Saturday, November 17, 2012

Just fooling around with my Lensbaby

You cannot take yourself seriously especially when taking pictures. You see, it's actually a very easy thing to to most of the time. I do not look kindly upon those who call themselves "photographers," as if they were some sort of quantum mechanics physicists although quantum theory plays a large part...but i digress.
So at times, it's nice to have some fun. It's not that important, really.

These were shot with a Nikon DSLR  with the original Lensbaby. They are just pictures, nothing very important as most pictures really are.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Archival scans

These scans all go back to the summer of 1972 and are all shot in Ortigia, the old city of Siracusa. The camera was the Canon FT and the lens the Canon 28mm f #.5 FL.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The splendor of fall

 These photos shot barely outside my home in North Eastern Pennsylvania show how wonderful the fall is in that part of the country. It's all gone now, alas.

Good news from Olympus


First bit of good news is to that Olympus is still with us. There has been much news of doom and gloom about the future of the company.

Now for the other good news and that is the introduction of a fast F1.8 lens. I love the Micro four thirds system but it really lacks lenses that make is easy to use in low light. This should do very nicely. It's 34mm equivalent field of view should make is ideal as a walk around lens. It also looks fabulous.


The Olympus    New 17mm f/1.8 M.Zuiko Lens for their Micro Four Thirds Cameras Is Here

Olympus has just introduced a new M.Zuiko lens for their Digital PEN and OM-D Micro Four Thirds camera lines, the M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8. This  very bright lens gives a 34mm equivalent focal view, with a fast maximum aperture for great low-light abilities and pleasing bokeh effect. I frankly hate this term but it's fashionable. This lens  is not only brighter than their original 17mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko lens, but it also has their unique Snapshot Focus mechanism, which allows for easy pan focusing with a built-in distance indicator. Being a mFT lens, it is also compatible with Panasonic's G-series of mFT cameras. 

There are three aspherical lens elements, including a Dual Super Aspherical element and a high Refractive index lens to help reduce aberrations. The lens is then treated with Olympus' ZERO (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating) lens coating that should eliminate ghosting and lens flare. 

The new M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens will be in stores month (December, 2012) with a MSRP of $499 USD.  Go to the Olympus website for the full press release.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scan we must

Looking at my countless slides and trying to preserve them the best way I can I occasionally get the feeling that it's an almost impossible job. But scan we must or else they will be lost as they fade away. These scans are all Kodachromes shot in August of 1972, can it be 40 years ago? Time does slip by inn what appears to be an increasingly accelerating rate. The camera was the Canon FT and the lens  was the superb Canon 28mm F 3.6 FL. The place is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily. It's a well known fact that the best examples of Greek classic architecture are found in Sicily where the Greeks built bigger and better temples that were better cared for and therefore survived in better condition than in Greece or in any other part of Magna Grecia. We Sicilians are very proud of our Hellenic roots among other roots.

But it will never be the old KODAK

It's better than total liquidation. Let's hope for the best.

Kodak Secures Financing to Avoid Bankruptcy

There's some great news from Kodak today. The company was able to secure the funding required and has pulled itself out of bankruptcy. The company managed to pull together $793 million and says that it will be reestablished as a commercial printing company by the middle of 2013.

That funding comes with a condition - Kodak must sell its massive portfolio of patents for at least $500 million. The folks at Kodak say that won't be a problem. They'll also be selling off two business units and resolving pension obligations in the UK.

"The additional liquidity from this financing will enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum," says CEO Antonio Perez. "It establishes a clear path for our emergence as a stronger, more focused company."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When black and white conversion is necessary

I loved Agfachrome 50 slide film, it had what I considered a more European look. It wasn't as flashy as Kodachrome II, the all time great slide film but it had its positives in rendering some colors a bit warmer than the Kodak film that always tended to give a cooler or more on the blue side look. Did i mention that it was also much cheaper? Well, unfortunately, unlike it's Kodak counterpart, it did not age well and the colors faded and became quite magenta looking. The only thing to do in this case is to use black and white conversion in Photoshop. It works quitw wellas these  old slides show. All taken in Florence a long time ago.

Classic vintage shot

I can honestly say that this photo taken with a Kodak Retina camera on Kodachrome II slide film is my very first "real photograph." I'm very proud of it. It made me believe that I had some talent and potential as a photographer.

The lines are getting blurred

As we have been stating for some time now is the almost foregone conclusion that the traditional camera will cease being a "camera" but will be a "device" that will be used in new ways. It will be a camera phone and a WI FI device all wrapped up in one. The great progress in call phone photo capabilities should be a clue. This joint development between AT&T and Samsung should add more proof to the case. This is what is known as progress and we welcome this development as an inevitable course of events. 
Joint camera  venture from AT&T and Samsung
 US cellphone network AT&T will sell Samsung's Galaxy Camera from November 16th at a price of $499. The Android 4.1 connected camera, which essentially adds a 21x zoom compact camera to a Galaxy SIII smartphone (with the omission of phone function), will cost the same amount with or without a data contract - rather than being subsidized by the carrier, as smartphones usually are. Anyone buying a Samsung smartphone at the same time can receive up to a $100 discount. The AT&T version of the camera will offer a HSPA+ connection, not the faster LTE system.

Vibration compensation on a macro lens

Because of the high magnification involved, any vibration compensation on a macro lens is welcome news. It's as important as in a long telephoto. So this upgrade is welcome news.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Macro Releases November 30th at $849

  This November 30th is the official release date of the  new SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD from Tamron.  This new  macro lens is an update of the  older 90mm macro, and has  many technological advancements - such as Vibration Compensation and Tamron's Ultrasonic Silent Drive.

Naturally, the lens has not changed completely.  Tamron's 90mm lenses retains it's old optical characteristics  that many photographers love and the company asserts that the rounded diaphragm and low dispersion - one LD and two XLD - elements all add to sharp images and superior blur.

This lens will be available in Canon mounts on November 30th.  Approximate Retail Value is $849.  Nikon and Sony mounts will follow  soon  we hope.  No Pentax Mount?

Visit Tamron's website for more details.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Archival slide scans

Naturally photos are everywhere to be shot. Here I was walking in Central park in a wintry Sunday afternoon in Central Park and passed by the boat house with the boats out of the water as it was February. What makes the shot is the use of a short telephoto or what many will calla portrait lens. Needless to say, the lens was my trusted Nikkor 105 F 2.5 a true optical gem if there ever was one. A lens that I still have and treasure after all these years and one that keeps repeating how valuable Nikon has always been to photographers. It's lenses have never become obsolete and for this I'm eternally grateful to this truly great camera maker. The film was Ektachrome 100 that I would buy in 100 feet rolls and make may own rolls and I developed in Unicolor chemicals. The amazing thing is that they have lost just a little of their color and general brightness but with minimal Photoshop tweaking, I was able to restore some of tat  faded glory. They may be cliche to a point but I like them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's always the light but the glory of Venice sure helps

While the so called decisive moment is of paramount importance in street photography, understanding light as a tool to create excitement and interest is of the out most important in architectural or travel photography. These examples were shot in Venice in the spring of 2007 with the Nikon D 200.

For all of you techies who miss the point that it's an art

There have always been those for whom photography was a science. It began with those obsessed with chemicals and those obsesses with finding out all sort of optical "secrets" and would constantly upgrade lenses only to shoot at brick walls. Of course they missed the entire point of photography. These types, with the advent of digital have escalated their techie interests to the point of utter nonsense as they talk about Nyquist theorem as applied to sensors and aliasing filters and all sort of really recondite technical jargon reserved for the initiated. You see if photographs get as real as reality there will no longer be a need for them. But if they are happy who I;m I to judge, I can only point out that in my opinion they are misguided. But we are all misguided to a point.
At any rate, Sigma has come to the rescue of these techies who ca now obsess to their heart's content about such things as micro focus ans other very important topics. Give me a break.

Sigma's New 35mm f/1.4 Lens Offers an Optional USB Dock for Minute Adjustments

If you're the kind of super anal photographer that likes to get down to the nitty gritty when making adjustments, Sigma's new direction is going to make your day.

Starting with their new 35mm f/1.4 lens, the company is adding the ability to tweak to your heart's content through your computer via a USB dock. You can update firmware, play with different parameters and even make micro focus adjustments.

The 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is also the first lens in Sigma's Art line. It sports a hyper sonic motor for quiet autofocus, Super Multi-Layer Coating to help in the elimination of flare and ghosting and four Super Low Dispersion lenses that pair with a single Low Dispersion lens.

Sigma's new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM runs $899. The USB dock will be out in the near future - no word on pricing yet.