Saturday, June 8, 2013

back to paradise

back to the Brooklyn Botanic on a summer day. Utter peace and tranquility


Fuji wants to join the big guys

There was a time when there were fewer cameras especially small ones. Now it's very hard to keep up with the sheer volume of different models. Many are very similar and tend to consume the buyer.
However, there also was a time when Fuji was a serious contender with their S Pro series that had given Fuji the wedding industry practically all to itself. There was no sequel to the famed S-5 Pro and that was too bad in view of their novel sensor approach. Their X series is now their high end system but it's pricey and in steep competition with other similar designs. It's too bad that Fuji has refused to embrace the micro four thirds system that is growing rapidly. We shall see what Fuji has in mind in the near future.

FujiFilm is planning to eliminate 50% of their compact camera models.

fuji_x20_450.jpgFujiFilm has been known for producing a wide range of affordable point-n-shoot cameras over the years, however after a recent report from Amateur Photographer (AP), it appears that Fuji will be scaling back production of their "low-end" models.

AP notes that approx. 50% of Fuji's compact offerings will be cut, which today consists of about 20 models. The reasoning for the cuts is likely due to smart phones taking over as a user's means to capture simple snapshots, but according to Fuji's Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products Division general manager, Hiroshi Tanaka, it's due to low profit margins on these models.

During an interview with Nikkei last week, Hiroshi Tanaka also noted that Fuji is planning to combine its digital camera operations and optical devices business, which they claim will help decrease 'procurement costs' by as much as 10%. AP reports that Fuji already has a plant producing optical parts in the Philippines, and that, 'assembling digital cameras there would help boost efficiency.'

The good news from all of this is that Fuji is going to focus more on their popular high-end models, like those in their X-series. Yesterday, Adrian Clarke (VP for FujiFilm Europe) told AP, 'We are overwhelmed by the positive reaction from photographers to the introduction of models like the X-E1, X100s, X20 and the lens line-up. Although we enjoy the compact market, it's fantastic for Fuji to get back to "real" photography.'

While it's uncertain whether Fuji will choose to produce their remaining low-end models in the Philippines, AP notes that they understand that Fuji's prosumer, X-series models will continue to be produced in Japan.

Friday, June 7, 2013

One is enough

This scan of a Kodachrome II slide shot with the Nikon Ftn back in 1975 is one of my favorites. Here again, the light makes the shot.

New Canon lens

Canon introduces the new compact, ultra-wide EF_M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens

canon_efm_11_22.jpgCanon has announced the compact, ultra-wide EF-M 11-22mm f/4.5.6 IS STM Lens for their EOS M system cameras.

This lens includes Optical Stabilization that reduces blur from camera movement, allowing shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower than would normally be possible without a tripod. Also, Canon used a Dynamic Access IS design to help get better HD movies without camera shake induced blur.

This lens can provide focus distances as close as 0.15 Meters (approximately 5.9 inches) and offers a very wide angle view for capturing scenes like landscapes. Canon states this lens was manufactured to Professional standards and uses their Super Spectra Coatings designed to minimize flare and ghosting.

Another  feature is that this is a retractable lens design to minimize the size of the lens until being used, with a switch to lock the lens in a retracted position, Canon used a STM focus system to give rapid and near silent focusing. Yet, this new lens also includes a manual focus ring for those photographers wanting complete control of focus

Thursday, June 6, 2013

back when there were fewer tourists

Agrigento in the summer of 1972 whe we were able to drive down to the valley of the temples and have a quiet picnic. Today it's mass confusion. Hard to park in the lots and a plethora of buses. Not to mention all the cameras and phones recording any possible object or situation.
In one of the photos, there are two young girls who by now are middle aged. Photography has that uncanny ability to freexe moments in time. It's almost scary.

BTW, for those who must know, these shots were made with the Canon FT on Kodachrome II.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What the new tourists miss

This is a follow up on the post that bemoaned the almost soulless new tourism and tries to show that at least in Erice, turning the corner can still offer great

views end experiences.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sometimes one photo is enough

Here in these posts, I share what I consider to be my finest work or my best efforts.
This shot dates from 2007 and shows the magic of late light in Siena.


A photo of the photographer as a mature man. I simply  love any and  all photos that anyone takes of me. Vanity? Why not..When you are as handsome as me or as full of himself as me or full of get the point. This is a fine shot that my talented wife, Marcy took, while we were on the vaporetto in Venice. I just like to share it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The down side

Tourism is seen as a way to create economic wellbeing and Italy has always been at the forefront of this phenomenon. What was once the so called  "traditional" tourism that had to include certain places for their cultural and aesthetic values - in short, made up of tourists who were sophisticated and knowledgeable  and who spent much money -  we now have the phenomenon of mass tourism that in many cases is budget tourism. This mass of people has changed traditional places that had  a certain beauty and intrinsic meaning into very touristy places full of so called souvenir shops and inexpensive hotels and restaurants that no longer feature the truly great cuisine and hospitality of the past.  These new tourists get  an image created for them. A look that is basically not real but idealized.  Places lose their identities as they become must see spots for a few hours or a day or so and then it's time to see another such site. Erice has become such a place. Located atop Monte San Giuliano overlooking Trapani on the north western corner of Sicily, this medieval town of interesting narrow streets and old architectural gems, has become sort of a tourist trap replete with all the ugly concomitant results as seen in these images. It's really too bad. If people got off the beaten track they would savor it's beauty but unfortunately most do not venture on their own leaving the "real" Erice empty of people.

Sticker shock

Not only sticker shock, but unavailability for the more popular four thirds market make these pricey lenses DOA. In a world increasingly dominated with Iphones what are they thinking? Of course potting a lens that costs a thousand dollars on a three hundred dollar camera makes no sense as far as the four thirds system is concerned but although Fuji  X system  ree great retro style cameras, they are very pricey and are also not selling very well. Nevertheless it's nice to see designers at work and companies willing to put out these products.
Zeiss has  just amade it known  that its first two Touit lenses for mirrorless cameras are now available for sale. The 12mm F2.8 wideangle has been designed according to the 'Distagon optical concept', and has an RRP of €920 / US$1,250 excluding VAT. Meanwhile the Planar-type 32mm F1.8 normal lens will cost €670 / US$900 excluding VAT. The lenses will be available to fit Sony NEX and Fujifilm X-system cameras, and include autofocus but lack optical stabilisation. The X-mount versions also feature aperture rings with 1/3 stop detents. The next model in the line, a 50mm F2.8 Macro, is expected to appear at the end of the year.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Rose Garden

Shot yesterday at the rose garden of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Enjoy.

I hope you have a rosy week.