Saturday, March 8, 2014

If you have $ 4,000.00 you do not need, your lens is here

The new ZEISS Otus 55mm F  1.5
Now hear this: the $4000 'no compromise' Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4,  is here. This may be  the sharpest 35mm full frame-format lens ever made or maybe it's not but for those whose pockets are full of cash it's irrelevant. It is a big lens but according to ZEISS, it balances  well on the camera, and offers  that  wonderfully smooth and precise  feel that only classic manual focus lenses have. ZEISS claims that it's  selling well and unexpectedly, they has more back-orders in the UK alone than it expected to sell in total. Isn't there supposed to be an economic crisis? Actually there's no crisis for the very rich. Luxury items sell well no matter what the economic picture is.

It was a cold day



These two shots go back to December of 2007 and are the result of my tagging along at my daughter's photo shoot at my friend  and trusted car mechanic Vito Oliveri's  shop in Queens, New York. He was nice enough to open the shop on a Sunday and I really wanted to make sure that the chaos that results from a photo shoot would not create damage to the shop, so to speak. <at any rate it was a cold but fun day. Some shots required the model to pose on the provided muscle car. As can be noted, the model was freezing. The camera at the time was a Nikon D-200. BTW the photos were for a contest in Digital Photographer magazine and Jen won first prize for fashion shots. Not too shabby.
This apple didn't fall too far from the tree.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Have a peaceful weekend


Finally an EVF from Canon

The new Canon GX-1 Mark II is here

We now have Canon's latest enthusiast compact, the Powershot G1 X Mark II. It has s a near-SLR-sized large sensor  with a  dedicated fast F2-3.9 lens with a nice 24-120mm range, making it an ideal choice as a small  and not cumbersome travel camera. It has dual electronic control rings around the lens - one of which is clickless - and a tilting rear screen.
BUT, what I really  like is the EV -electronic view finder. Join the club, Canon.
I do not understand how one can make a serious composition and hold a camera steady while looking  at an LCD. Then on sunny days it's really impossible to do so. I have the Olympus EPL-2 and the Panasonic GX-1 both with EVF's.  They are absolutely necessary tools. They should really be built in.

As you can see, the camera  has a different, more business like grip as to make holding more pleasant and steady. This from it's looks, at least, appears to be a very nice camera as an all around image maker that will not get in the way. This is so important on a vacation. Yes vacation. Why must we turn our vacations into photographic assignments? Why not relax and be on vacation even from so called serious photography? Why not savor the place instead of worrying about what lens to use. Why not enjoy the food instead of constantly being on the lookout for images that with a sense of relaxation will usually be made anyway. Use the old carpet diem approach and relax. I am still surrounded by thousands of slides from years ago and frankly, I do not really know what to do with them. Many are nice images but not as nice as I thought they were when I took the. Today, this is a bigger problem as digital images cost nothing to take, we end up with more mediocrities. Fortunately we can DELETE, most of the. But I digress.

Grab the moment

I was doing a shoot for Catholic Charities, my client, at their senior center in Astoria, Queens, and was trying to find faces that showed general satisfaction. This woman caught my eye not only because of her demeanor but because of her apparent intelligence that was caught with my trusted Nikon D 1-X whose image quality was superb.

The dying of the light


Where do you go on a very cold afternoon especially after a long bout with cabin fever? I usually walk my dog and go to the backyard. Here I captured the late afternoon light when it's magical. They are not great shots but they make the point. The camera was the Olympus E-PL2.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back to the past

 Your LOMOGRAPHY Petzval 85mm F 2.2 is here.

No matter what one feels about this whole retro thing, Lomography's recreation of the classic19th century Petzval portrait lens is real and available to pre-order. In this shiny  brass finish  it's a beautifully-crafted and a supremely attractive lens. It sports an unconventional rack-and-pinion focusing  that works unusually well. The lens also uses drop-in the old Waterhouse stops to change the aperture. Go figure.
On a creative note, I welcome these not super sharp lenses since I feel that all this movement to super reality is killing the art. If I want super reality, I use my eyes. I am so sick and tired of all those pixel peepers who suddenly became very scientific and post ridiculous items with mentions of transfer function and Nyquist theorems to mention a few. The fact that they do not understand any of this jargon or do not see it's negative impact on the art is disheartening. But that's life. Some of the greatest images ever made.were shot with very primitive, by today's computer enhanced standards, lenses and cameras. Lomography has an array of interesting and off beat lenses that contribute to the art. Go to their website for more information and enjoy the experience.

Photos are where you find them

This shot is actually a test of my then newly acquired Olympus E PL-2 that I still treasure. Being a photographer, I went for the composition over the actual test so I came away with what I think is an interesting shot. I hope you agree.

One man band

This photo was shot on Carmine Street way back in 1969 with the Canon FT and the Canon 85mm F 1.8 FL lens. The film was naturally Tri-X.  This one can stand alone also.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's been nine years already





Nine years have passed since The Gates, a work of art that involved the entire Central Park, came and went. It was, as anything in New York, huge, crowded but ultimately unique. I was sorry to see it close  since it was a welcome sight that warmed up the winter of 2005. But all comes to an end. I like to go back to these images often and always find interesting ones. I went on a few occasions and on this one I took along a Nikon D2-H. As I always say, I love this city.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Now cameras are getting cute

Colors are nothing new to cameras' exteriors; now Fuji has announced an almost  endless way to customize your X Series cameras. You can make them as cute as you like. There's even a light blue. Go figure. But it's fun.


The quiet side of Venice

For all the confusion and congestion that one usually sees in Venice, there's a reality of almost total quiet just around the corner. Venice is actually a very underpopulated city with very few actual residents and with most of the people who work there living in nearby Mestri. It's almost like a theme park. Just leave one of the main tourist filled streets and another quiet and depopulated Venice becomes evident. It's actually uncanny.These are from April of 2011, our last visit there and were shot with the Olympus EPL-2, We are just itching to get back. Population issues aside, this is an uniquely fascinating and magical place.





Monday, March 3, 2014

The new H5D-50C

       With such nomenclature it can only be a  Hasselblad.

  Hasselblad has started shipping the  new 50MP CMOS sensor camera that was just announced in mid-January. The new H5D-50c moves away from the  usual CCD sensors that   have been standard in their medium-format digital cameras. Hasselblad states that because of this new CMOS  sensor  the H5D-50c can shoot up to ISO 6400 with a dynamic range of up to 14 stops!  That is surely a step in the right direction.  With cell phones having 41 mega pixels,  and so called full frames 24X36mm DSLR's sporting 48 mega pixels, ultimately it's the size of the photo sites that make all the difference and the resultant greater dynamic range is what separates the medium format digital cameras from the rest of the pack. What will the H5D-50c set you back?  €20,900 or  $28,702. Actually it's not the most expensive camera on the market. Naturally one must add lenses and the sticker shock will begin to creep in. But for a niche professional who needs it, it's another business expense. It's only money.

Maybe this will help

Just attempting to warm you up a bit. I'm excluding for my followers on the southern hemisphere who could use some cold air. It may at least warm up you hearts. Just trying my best; it's the least I can do. Enjoy.



Another stand alone photo

At times, as I look at my images, I find some that i believe to be superior enough to warrant a "stand alone" status. This photo from way back was shot in Tri-X with the Canon FT and the Canon 50mm F 1.4 FL lens. The building is no longer thee and these children are now, hopefully, grown ups. Photography has this uncanny ability to freeze moments in time.

Have a peaceful week


Sunday, March 2, 2014

My last shots of the towers



These are my last shots, other than those I took from the park near my house on that shameful day, that I took of the towers. As was usual, I would walk  frequently on the Brooklyn Bridge with my Belgian Shepard , Mookie and sit on the benches between the two bridge towers and enjoy the scene, These shots were taken on the Sunday morning, of September 9th. I always took my camera along on these walks because there always were photo ops. On that day I took many more photos than usual of the Twin Towers and after a long period of resistance I am finally able to post them. I have never introduced political views in this blog and will not do so now. I will only say that this tragic event hit me hard. I went to the site a few days later but have never returned to the so called "ground zero." I just cannot get myself to go there. Also, my walks on this stupendous bridge have diminished in frequency since then. My beloved city is not the same.
I had my Fuji S-1 Pro on that day.