Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pasta primavera

Well there was a happy ending to my "taken for a ride" post. I had  also purchased some asparagus that although pricy was really good and so I concocted a pasta primavera that was actually delicious although the contribution made by the peas was rather minimal. I used the peas, some asparagus cut up. broccoli florets, scallions, garlic,  shallots, carrots, celery and a few small fresh tomatoes. It was sensational. The pasta was mafaldine by Poiatti a very good pasta outfit from Marsala in Sicily that is the same rand I use when I'm there. Because the factory is close by, this pasta is very cheap. Here in the Sates it's a different story. At any rate it's nice to find this brand stateside.

For those with a morbid curiosity in thech matters, the camera was the Olympus EP L-2 with a Nikkor 24mm F 1:2.8 that becomes a 48mm lens. It was hand held and shot under fluorescent light. This may attribute for it's lack of super sharpness. But it looks delicious and it was.

Now it's Nikon's turn

Nikon Celebrates a New Milestone: 80 Million NIKKOR Lenses

nikon-logo.jpgA few days ago, Nikon announced that the they have reached an impressive new achievement with the production of their 80 millionth NIKKOR lens. This comes just a week or so after Canon announced that they had surpassed 90 million lenses.

Northampton, Mass, / Museum, interiors.

It always fascinates me to see the small local museums in the States. Coming from a place where thigs are really old and where modern history means the Renaissance up to the present, I also find it interesting to note what id deemed to be antique. In this fast paced world anything from the prior generation is old. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this small local flavor museum whose claim to fame is the plethora of Calvin Coolidge material. Coolidge was from Northampton. I look at these place strictly with an eye as to what will make a good shot. I really see the world as photographs.

A fast, serious lens from an unusual source

It's good to see Samyang  again. There used to many more independent manufactures who brought out products that were less expensive that the original manufactures. Up to a few month ago, only Sigma and Tamron were the serious independent players. Now we see that this fast 16 lens with 13 elements is a serious contender and at a bargain price. 

The ultra wide angle, bright lens Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS was designed with utmost diligence. Its optical structure is based on 13 elements arranged in 11 groups. This includes one ED-type lens of extra low dispersion ratio, one optical glass aspherical lens and one hybrid aspherical. The lenses have multi-layer anti-reflective UMC coating which ensures very good transmission of light. Solid casing and the quality of workmanship aligned with excellent optical parameters make this lens an exceptionally attractive and user-friendly tool both for professional and amateur photographers. Not bad, Samyang, keep it going.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Old Mansions, Martha's Vineyard

This is a must place to visit. The ferry ride is pleasant and the public transportation on the island is cheap and very efficient. I will post more photos of this wonderful place. Here we see some of the oldest mansions.

The oldest home on Martha's Vineyard

Taken for a ride

I can understand all the fuss about CAS [community supported agriculture] with it's concomitant organic and biological reality. And I can hardly understand paying more for this produce. BUT when I pay 12 dollars for peas on a so called "local farm" at Orient Point in Long Island and come away with a pittance of tiny and useless peas I get rather annoyed. With the same amount of money I could have bought a lot more fresh peas at a local store. This sort of thing makes you almost yearn for chemical fertilizers. NEVER AGAIN. CAS may actually be a super rip off that hipsters and other bourgeois types who love to waste money can appreciate. Last April  in Sicily, at my favorite farmer's market, I got exceptional  peas at a lower price than in the super market and they were absolutely delicious.Here they are sold directly to the buyer and they cost more. Go figure. Fool me once shame an me, fool me twice, shame on me. No more silly CAS for me. It looks like as big a rip off as organic. Just another way to take the unsuspecting consumer for a ride.

The results are on the left and the empty pods are on the right

They come in all colors

Two New K-series dSLRs from Pentax: the K50 and K500

Pentax unveils two new K-series dSLRs; the colorful K50 and entry-level K500.

pentax-K-50_120color.jpgWhile the K50 looks like it's an entry-level dSLR aimed at consumer types with a huge assortment of colors (120 possible combinations), that couldn't be further from the truth. This camera is packed with mid-level dSLR specs, including up to 81 weather seals to keep out both moisture and dust. It also boasts 16-megapixels of resolution from an APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, burst shooting at up to 6fps, a broad ISO range up to ISO 51,200, a high quality pentaprism OVF with 100% frame coverage, a Prime M image processor, fast and accurate SAFOX Ixi + AF system, built-in Shake Reduction (SR) stabilization system, and much more. All for only $700 USD as a body only, or $780 USD with the kit DA-L 18-55mm WR (Weather Resistant) lens.
You can also have black, apparently

The K500, available in any color you want as long as it's black, is an entry-level model that shares some similar specifications with the K50 (16MP, built-in SR, ISO up to 51,200, OVF with 100% field of view, etc.). However, it sports a more affordable price tag, a "wide selection of simple user-modes and creative tools",  and it runs off of four AA batteries (versus a Li-ion pack like the K50). The K500 will sell for $600 USD as a body only, or $700 USD with the standard DA-L 18-55mm lens.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cape Cod beaches


Shot while tropical storm Andrea was passing through. The feeling on the beach was rather exciting.

rain, rain, go away

We seem to be in some sort or new rainy season. I am practically unable to enter my backyard  because there so much water on the plants and they are so lush that I will get totally soaked. I was able to photograph these yellow flowers ans want to share the image with you. BTW, my wife Marcy has come up with a new name for this type of gardening: aerial view gardening; not bad.

The answer to our prayers?

Dynamic range has been the Achilles' heel of digital. This may be an answer to thos problem. Let's hope so.

Fujifilm and Panasonic have developed a new Organic CMOS Sensor Technology with very high sensitivity and dynamic range

In a joint press release, Fujifilm and Panasonic announced that they've developed a new imaging sensor technology using an organic photoelectric conversion layer that offers the industry's highest dynamic range.

Instead of a traditional silicon based layer that may be 3 microns thick, a very thin (approximately 0.5 microns thick) organic film layer has been developed to convert light, allowing a huge increase in saturation levels and dynamic range (up to 4 times what would be expected from traditional sensor technology), while decreasing noise levels at the same time.

Because the new sensor design offers a much higher incidence angle, this sensor design may lead to better lenses that take up less space in newer compact camera designs, too.

 This is very exciting news. It will make all our old lenses "digital ready."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The baby Leica is here.

This will appeal to Leicaphiles who are not necessarily photographers but status symbol driven buyers. We hope that there will be an EVF. The wide end is OK but a maximum of 75mm equivalent doesn't cut it.

Leica Unveils the Leica X Vario

leica_x_vario1.jpgLeica has long held a reputation for providing camera models that cause users of other brands to be jealous of the very high quality that Leica products are known for.

The new Leica X Vario may stir the same feelings, as it's designed to be a Premium Product offering a very high quality design. For example, Leica used a body made from magnesium alloy and aluminum with soft leather trim to insure the camera is both solid and comfortable.

Leica states the new Leica X Vario will excel in lowlight conditions due to its larger 16.2-Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, allowing ISO speeds up to ISO 12,500. Leica equipped this camera with a premium quality Leica Vario Elmar 18-46 mm f/3.5-6.4 autofocus zoom lens that provides coverage equivalent to 28-70mm on a 35mm camera.

When it comes to handling, the Leica X Vario follows the lead of the Leica M and offers a persuasively simple handling concept that is reduced to the bare essentials in all respects. All functions and controls are clearly laid out, and settings can be changed in an instant to meet the needs of any photographic situation. At the same time, the commendably, user-friendly menu interface displayed on the high-resolution 3" monitor provides a clear overview of all settings at a glance.

This new camera also has the ability to switch between automatic and manual control in a split second, thanks to precise click-detent dials on the top plate that allow manual pre-selection of the required shutter speed and aperture values. In addition, the required focusing distance and focal length can be set via the focusing ring on the lens.

Leica also included the ability to capture full HD video at 1920x1080 pixels and 30 frames per second. The full HD videos can also be saved in Internet friendly MP4 format and uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices without any need for conversion, allowing inspiring moments to be shared with friends not only in high-quality photographs, but clear HD video as well. An integrated wind-cut filter ensures super audio clarity.

An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X Vario to a photographers' particular needs. For example, the Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex electronic accessory viewfinder with 1.4-megapixels and a 90° swivel function is extremely helpful when shooting from unusual angles. An accessory handgrip makes it easier to shoot one-handed and provides a better grip. As with the Leica M (Typ 240), finger loops in three different sizes (S, M and L) can be attached to the handgrip, helping further ensure safe and steady handling of the camera. An optional lens hood ensures the minimization of reflections and the Leica SF 24 D flash unit offers greater freedom for subject lighting.

Leica will also include Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, in the Leica X Vario package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. The software is available to X Vario customers as an online download after product registration.

Sandwich, Cape Cod

This is a very lovely town steeped in New England traditions. we are staying at a very old and historic inn and I will post some photos of this lovely place in the near future. We are having a great time here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chatham, Cape Cod

These photos of the Beach and lighthouse in Chatham were takes shortly after tropical storm Andrea had passed. This is a lovely area and we are enjoying our annual trip to New England.

Monday, June 10, 2013


These exteriors are of the Museum at Northampton, Massachusetts. At this time of the year the path leading to the entrance is full of beautiful pink roses.

And now we have reached number five

I purchased Lightroom 4 this past December, installed in a beefed up laptop with an i5 and 8 gigs of ram and have still not used it being very happy with my Version 3.6 in my X-P machine. About a week ago, this machine finally bit the dust so I was planning on using the Version 4 on the Windows 7 laptop PC. And now this....Version 8. Well I must first use and learn version 4 before I upgrade. I may not even upgrade for all I know.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Port Jefferson

These recent photos of Port Jefferson, this lovely town on the North Shore of long Island were shot with the Panasonic DMC-GX1 and the Olumpus14-42mm lens. It was a lovely day and we passed by because we had to take the ferry to Bridgeport.


This was the third course of our three course breakfast at the Isaiah Jones Homestead, the historic B&B we are staying while in Sandwich, Cape Cod. More photos of this delightful place will follow in future posts in the near future, We just love this place.
 The first course was  delicious scones, the second was a delightful fruit cup of fresh fruits and the third, pictured below, was of delicious and very light pan cakes with slices of bacon and strawberries. What more can I say.