Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cannot stay away [ Lu beddu paisi ] redux / E PL-2

I hope you do not get tired of this view as I never tire of admiring it's beauty. Patience.

Such a beautiful and irreplaceable view / Nikon F

This classic view is really irreplaceable. I know that a new so called freedom tower will attempt to fill the void but it will not really do it for me. The lens was the 24mm  f2.8 Nikkor. Shot on T-Max 400 developed with T-Max developer full strength.

Archival shot / Canon FT

A young woman who is now probably a senior citizen captured in Sicily wat back in 1972 with the Canon 50mm FL f 1.4 lens and Tri-X developed in D-76 full strength. Where does the time go....

Friday, February 17, 2012

That old square format / Yashicamat 124-G

I got my first taste of the square format in the summer of  1969 when I purchased my first Yashicamat 124, a wonderful camera that got me hooked to medium format. The G model had gold plated wires in it's light meter. They were inexpensive cameras that put out. I then got into the Mamiyas  in 645 and 120 formats and eventually got into 6X7 with the long gone  Koni-Omega. When i was able to afford them,  I got a couple of Rolleis and even a Minolta Autochord. I have practically shot with every camera ever made. I just love the large negatives and enjoyed the 120 slides that you put inside the Kodak PK 12 Mailer for processing. That wait was painful but it made you appreciate photography. It's just too easy with digital and soon real photography will bite the dust.
This shot was made in prospect park on a cloudy winter day long ago.

Interesting card news

Samsung Introduces Stylish Branded Memory Cards

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, announced today that it is now shipping a new line of advanced SD and microSD cards that are ideal for digital imaging and mobile devices. The seven new models of SD and microSD cards are now available as part of either the High Speed Series or the Plus Extreme Speed Series, both of which deliver up to 24MB/sec read speeds on cards with a capacity of 4GB or higher.
Styled with a brushed metal design, Samsung’s beautiful new line of SD and microSD cards are built with “Best-in-Class” performance. Able to meet the growing demand for high speed and high capacity memory in modern devices, the new cards are ideal for today’s digital cameras, camcorders, smartphones and tablets. With (up to) 24MB/sec OR (max) read speeds, users can transfer 1GB of images in as little as 42 seconds. In order to ensure their reliability, Samsung has designed both lines of memory products to be waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof, allowing them to withstand some of the harshest conditions. All models are guaranteed to survive up to 24 hours in water, withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs), and resist up to 10,000 gauss (slightly less than the power of a medical imaging magnet).
“It is our goal at Samsung to deliver superior performance, reliability and a stylish design across all of our product lines, including our memory line,” explained Reid Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics America. “Utilizing our 19 years of experience in memory manufacturing, we’ve built both lines of SD and microSD cards for performance. With read speeds of up to 24 MB/sec and max write speeds of 13 MB/sec (High Speed Line) and 21 MB/sec (Plus Extreme Speed Line), as well as meeting our ‘3-proof’ reliability standard, these cards represent the ultimate in digital imaging and mobile computing storage. As the #1 memory supplier in the world and manufacturer of so many high performance portable devices, we are committed to ensuring consumers realize the best possible experience with those devices.”

Another camera I wish I still had. / Fuji S1-Pro

The S1 by Fuji, my third digital camera but my first one used on jobs, was amazing. It's puny, by today's standards, sensor of 3.4 mega pixels  produced outstanding images. These are out of the camera JPEGS. The body was very prosaic and it's battery set up was ridiculous. Nevertheless, it produced great quality images.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nasty news, the greed never ends.

(Reuters) - Japanese police and prosecutors have arrested seven men, including the former president of Olympus Corp and ex-bankers over a $1.7 billion accounting fraud -- one of the country's biggest corporate scandals.

Got some money burning a hole in your pockets? Here's the answer.

Leica M9 ”Titanium”
- Exclusive special edition – solid titanium
- Design collaboration with Walter de’Silva (Volkswagen, Audi)
- Limited to 500 cameras worldwide
- Custom designed CCD for optimal performance
- Sold with LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens
- $26,500.....a bargain

Il Nostromo / Canon G-9

I have posted and raved about this modest restaurant in Rapallo in Liguria many times but it's worth repeating.. Modest in appearance only as the all you can eat food is superb. Eat until you are totally sated for a modest cost. The place is always full at lunch time and it's noisy.  Nothing nouvelle here, only great food. The staff is efficient and pleasant. A must if you are anywhere in the area.

The trend continues

Large sensors in small cameras continue to fascinate. I have used the four thirds system for a year now and find it excellent. Here we have a larger sensor but it's in a non interchangeable body. It appears to be a very competent camera and one well suited for travel.

Canon unveils The Master Compact – the revolutionary PowerShot G1 X

  .  Canon has introduces the PowerShot G1 X – a revolutionary new compact camera with a large CMOS sensor, designed to produce DSLR levels of image quality and control in a highly portable metal body. Created for professional and serious photographers, the PowerShot G1 X creates a prestigious new category at the top of Canon's legendary G-series line-up, and redefines the
performance achievable from a compact camera.

A high-quality camera in its own right or the perfect complement to a professional DSLR, the PowerShot G1 X combines EOS sensor technology with DIGIC 5 processing power, a new precision Canon lens and extensive manual control – creating the finest compact camera Canon has ever produced. Designed to be highly portable, the PowerShot G1 X features a zoom lens which retracts into a discreet, robust metal body, providing photographers with an unimposing camera that delivers high quality images and superior handling.

I wish I still had this camera / Panasonic LX-3

One of the most competent point and shoot cameras ever. It has now been replaced with the LX-5 that sports a lens that goes from 24-90 mm  [35mm equivalent] focal length. It did not have an EVF nor an optical viewfinder, unlike the new model on which a somewhat limited EVF can be attached. Nevertheless it took great photos. These are some of my earliest tests with this camera in my backyard.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remember Pentax?

It was a leader in camera and lens designs and quite popular in the sixties. With the advent of autofocus and digital wizardry the company sort of lost it's way. Too bad as their Takumar lenses were superb. It did make various attempts at gaining a foothold in the digital DSLR matket but had to compete with Canon and Nikon. Their products, were and are outstanding. Now everyone is trying to create a small large sensor camera and Pentax has entered the fray we hope it has success. They deserve it. Their union with Samsung will capitalize the company and their future seems bright.
While all other MILCs are based on relatively new lens systems specifically designed for those cameras, Pentax's K-01, which was introduced last week, is the first MILC that is backwards compatible and, without the need for any kind of adapter, is compatible with millions of lenses that have been available for decades. Featuring an electronic viewfinder and a Sony-made sensor that is expected to produce outstanding images, the camera looks a bit toy like but is expected to be a serious contender for the enthusiast market. And if you own Pentax K-mount lenses, it's a natural progression.

Archival shot / Nikon F-3

Shot at an event in a senior center for Trump Pavilion, my client. This person really dressed up for the occasion. The camera was the Nikon F-3 with the 105 mm F 2.5 Nikkor. The film was Fujicolor 400. The interesting thing is that this is a scan from a 4X6 print.

Street Scene / E PL-2

Shot on West 18 Street in Manhattan.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lens Baby News

As posted below, you can see what the original one element Lens baby can do. Now the company has become very ambitious and has quite an extensive line of products. A visit to their site is very illuminating.

Lensbaby Launches the Edge 80

Lensbaby-edge80.jpgNow   Lensbaby have released their latest optic for the Optic Swap system. The Edge 80 is, as the name implies, an 80mm lens that's compatible the Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak systems. It can get confusing at times.

Used "normally"  or straight ahead, the Edge 80 is sharp from edge to edge. The fun comes when you start tilting the lens to create horizontal, vertical or diagonal focal slices. Changing the aperture controls the amount of blur you'll get on your photo - a simple adjustment that can be made on the fly.

"Like a great lens mounted on a view camera bellows, you can make spectacular 'straight' photos with the Edge 80 pointed straight ahead," says Lensbaby president and co-founder Mark Strong. "Then, when you want a different look altogether, fluidly tilt the lens to create a razor sharp slice of selective focus through your image."

Visit the Lensbaby website for more details

Shots with the original Lens Baby

Lens Baby, a company that makes very unusual optics that allow all sorts of distortions has been around for a while and has developed an extensive repertoire of lenses. I actually find their product somewhat confusing. These photos were shot with the Nikon D700 and the original very simple Lens Baby. It's fun to see what happens using controlled distortion.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fujifilm X-Pro1

An affordable M-9? Well, perhaps, but it's within reach and looks fantastic.

As promised camellias by Marcy / Canon G-9

These camellias at the Planting Fields Arboretum were shot by Marcy. Very nice indeed. It shows that under competent hands a so called point and shoot camera can give excellent results. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

One from the backyard / Canon 1D III

A peonie in my backyard with the Sigma 50mm F 2.8 macro lens. On a cloudy day, the colors stand out more.

Amazing camera for Nikon fans

Nikon D800

Features a 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor

3MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) –  Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers.  A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 6.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon's highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon's latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.  

"Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality," said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. "The D800 is the right tool for today's creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control."

Extreme Image Quality

The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon's highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon's first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

This is truly a paradigm shift. An "affordable" high mega pixel camera for the rest of us.

Long awaited camera is almost here.

The Olympus faithful (myself included) have waiting a long time for this one to hit the market and it looks like we'll get the m4:3rds machine we wanted from Olympus afterall.  I loved the EP2 and the EP3 but in each introduction I shook my head at the lack of insight into professional and advanced amateur usage patterns on the part of Olympus.  I've been very, very clear that no pro in his/her right mind would buy a camera that didn't have an EVF.  And the VF-2 EVF attachment is a good tool.  But dammit, if you wanted to use the EVF on the EP2 and the EP3 you used up the hot shoe and the only two way terminal on the camera.  Wanna use the VF-2?  Then you can't use a hot shoe mounted flash.  Wanna use a outboard microphone to do good sound with your video?  Not is you need to use the VF-2.  It drove me nuts.  

We were also starting to chafe under the constraints of the 12 megapixel sensor.  And if I had a quarter for every time I heard the Olympus fans decry the lack of weather sealing on the Pens I'd be driving a Bentley.  

The ultimate wish list looked something like this:
1.  Built in, high quality, fast refresh EVF
2.  16 Megapixel Sensor (preferably one that could be used in various aspect ratios without cutting into the pixel count.  Like the one in the Panasonic GH2 (which is very, very good....).
All of these concerns have been addressed and it appears that we have a nice retro looking camera that is not heavy, not very large but very good.

Beautiful Country / Canon 5D

The east end of Long Island is truly a wonderful area. It's flat but beautiful with its many small farma and of course it's vineyards, It's always a pleasure to go there. the lens used was the Canon 24-105 F 4 L.

Just a tease / Nikon D 70S

I will be here soon enough.