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Robin Gregory – In Focus

This #In Focus interview is with Robin Gregory and was conducted by Sarah Fitzgerald-Jones.  Sarah says :- I would like to introduce you all to a great friend of mine whose work I hugely admire. Robin works hard in the construction industry but also enjoys one of the best hobbies ever, Photography and the art of […]

6 Excellent Film Rangefinders For The Beginning Photographer

The Canonet QL 17 GIII was the final iteration of ’s consumer friendly compact rangefinder series produced up until the 1970s. The QL 17 features a 40mm f/1.7 lens, along with a leaf shutter capable of speeds up to 1/500th of a second; flash sync is available at any speed setting. The QL 17 features a shutter-priority autoexposure mode and has parallax correction marks through the viewfinder. Metering is handled by a built-in cdS cell above the front lens. The maximum supported film speed was 800 ASA.

 

The Electro 35 GSN was a film designed in the early to mid-seventies; it featured an electronic blade shutter and was able to sync flash units up to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. The camera featured a 45mm f/1.7 Yashinon lens. Opposite of the Canonet QL 17 GIII, the Yashica Electro 35 featured an aperture-priority auto-exposure mode. Metering on the unit was handled by an element on the front of the unit. The silver Electro 35 GSN was also available in black under the ‘GTN’ model designation. The maximum supported film speed was 1,000 ASA.

 

The Hexar AF was a film camera designed by Konica in 1993. When the company began selling the camera, they labeled it as a high-end point and shoot camera comparable to the Leica CM. The attached 35mm f/2 lens is wonderfully sharp with a high level of contrast. Being manufactured in the 1990s, the unit features an infrared autofocus system for quick focusing. The unit can be operated in automatic, aperture-priority, and manual modes. Despite the shutter only being able to handle speeds up to 1/250th of a second, the Hexar can support up to 6400 ASA speed film. Automatic parallax and angle correction, along with a ‘stealth mode’, make this camera an excellent choice for street shooting.

 

The Hi-Matic E was one of the many film cameras produced as a part of the company’s 35mm rangefinder lineup. Our favorite model, and the one featuring the best value, is the Hi-Matic E. Released in 1971, the Hi-Matic E was one of Minolta’s last ‘high-end’ variations of the series. The camera featured a 40mm f/1.7 Rokkor lens with a fast shutter speed of up to 1/1000th of a second. The Hi-Matic E features the same automatic exposure system as the Yashica Electro. A unique aspect of the Hi-Matic E was that the system had no actual diaphragm, the shutter blades would open to the correct aperture. The maximum supported film speed was ASA 500.

 

The G2 was a film camera released in the mid-1990s featuring interchangeable lenses and an electronic autofocus system that featured both continuous and single focus modes. The G2 itself featured a top shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second while in manual mode and 1/6000th of a second while in aperture priority. The G2 remains praised for its excellent build quality and high-quality available lenses from Carl Zeiss. Lenses ranged from 16mm to 90mm focal lengths, with the 45mm f/2 Planar being regarded as one of the sharpest 35mm lenses of all time.

 

The CLE was a film camera designed as part of a joint partnership between Minolta and Leica in 1972. The CLE was first released in 1981 with a focal plane shutter capable of a max shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second. The camera featured Minolta’s TTL flash technology and Leica’s M lens mount system. The included through-the-lens CdS exposure meter is coupled with an aperture priority mode for automatic shooting; a manual mode is also available. Considering that the CLE accepts Leica M mount lenses, Minolta teamed up with Rokkor to create three more affordable lenses: 28mm f/2.8 wide angle, 40mm f/2 standard, and 90mm f/4 telephoto. The maximum supported film speed was ASA 1600.

 

Getting into analog photography can be an exciting proposition; maybe you find the medium more delightful, or you just want to learn more about the times of yesteryear. Either way, we have assembled a list of some of our favorite rangefinder-style analog cameras, ranging from the friendly and affordable Canonet QL 17 GII to the pricey yet exuberant Contax G2. We know that we may not have everyone’s personal favorites, but the list below is filled with cameras we know you’ll enjoy. If you are just getting started, you are going to want to focus on the shutter speed, film speed, and exposure modes you are going to want to use. Also take note of the included fixed lens or available interchangeable lenses for your system. Unlike digital photography cameras that feature constantly changing image sensors, your film can be switched out at any time – so simply find a body that matches your needs.

 

 

Leaked Photos Show the Upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

is moving all three dials on the top of the to the right side and replacing the one on the left with an on/off switch and what appears to be a function button.

 

Back in January 2014, Olympus expanded its OM-D mirrorless camera lineup by introducing the affordable E-M10, touted as “the OM-D for all.” By eschewing weather-sealing and some other features, Olympus was able to shave hundreds of dollars off the price tag. Now, as the original E-M10 nears its 2nd birthday, Olympus is ready to announce its successor, the E-M10 Mark II.Digicam-info just published the first leaked photos of the upcoming camera. It will reportedly also be available in silver and black, and will feature a redesigned physical interface and grip.

Curated from Leaked Photos Show the Upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

 

FT-1 Adapter – Use F Mount Lenses On A Nikon 1 Camera

The FT-1 adapter allows F-Mount Nikkor lenses designed for use with DSLR and SLR cameras the more compact Nikon 1 Series bodies. This is a great option if you have a lot of F-Mount lenses already and don’t have the budget to purchase more Nikon 1 lenses.

The adapter is simply attached to the Nikon 1 Series like a lens, and the F-Mount lens of your choice can then be attached onto it. Using the FT-1 increases the angle of view of the lens by 2.7 times. This means that using a telephoto lens on the camera will give you an angle of view equivalent to a super telephoto lens being used.

As well as increased telephoto reach, the FT-1 has no loss of light, meaning a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 will remain just that. The FT-1 also allows you to take full advantage of the Nikon 1’s high speed continuous shooting of up to 60 fps when using it and a compatible AF-S Nikkor lens.

This month, 10 members have the chance to have 1000 photos scanned for free by Vintage Photo Lab! Vintage Photo Lab specialise in bulk scanning for your old photo…

If you own a Nikon DSLR system and have recently bought a Nikon 1 Series Mirrorless camera or are thinking of purchasing one, did you know that you can use your F mount DSLR lenses on Nikon 1 Series cameras with the FT-1 mount adapter?

 

 

Kenko releases new 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters for Canon EF/EF-S lenses

The Kenko Teleplus 1.4x HD DGX is made up of three elements in 2 groups and weighs in at 110g with a 25mm barrel length. It offers full autofocus operation on lenses with an maximum aperture of f/4 or brighter, with the exception of ’s EF 50mm f/1.8. Exposure is adjusted by one stop and aperture diaphragm coupling is fully automatic. The Teleplus 1.4x HD DGX Teleconverter is set to go on sale for £219 ($340 USD).

The Kenko Teleplus 2.0x HD DGX is made up of 5 elements in 3 groups and weighs in at 157g with a 35.8mm barrel length. The 2.0x HD DGX improves upon its 1.4x counterpart by offering full autofocus operation for lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or brighter, with the same exception for Canon’s 50mm f/1.8. Naturally, the 2.0x HD DGX reduces exposure by two stops. The Teleplus 2.0x HD DGX Teleconverter is set to go on sale for £219 ($340 USD)

Keno provides a helpful document to check whether your and lens combination are compatible with its latest teleconverters, which you can find by clicking here.

Panasonic GX8 is the First Micro Four Thirds Camera to Offer 20.3MP

Panasonic has just announced the new Lumix GX8, a new Micro Four Thirds mirrorless that boasts a resolution of 20.3 megapixels — a first for an MFT camera. This is up from 16MP in the camera’s predecessor, the GX7.

Inside this new flagship mirrorless camera is also a new Dual I.S. image stabilization system that’s appearing for the first time in a Lumix G series camera. It can work alongside lens image stabilization for maximizing stability and suppressing unwanted vibrations.

Inside the GX8 is a CMOS sensor powered by a quad-core Venus Engine that has a max ISO of 25600 and can do 8 frame per second continuous shooting. On the video end, the sensor can also capture 4K video at 30/24p (or a stream of 8MP photos at 30fps to create a “4K Photo”).

On the back of the GX8 is a tilt-able 3-inch, 1.04MP touchscreen and a 2.36MP, 100%-FOV tilt-able electronic viewfinder. All this is wrapped in a rugged shell crafted from magnesium alloy.

Other features in the camera include Wi-Fi, NFC, a 1/8000 max shutter speed mechanically and 1/16000 electronically, focus peaking, silent mode, time-lapse, and stop motion.

Stuart Wood – In Focus

This #In Focus interview is with Stuart Wood and was conducted by Sarah Fitzgerald-Jones.  Sarah says :- I was very fortunate to do this interview with the incredible award winning photographer Stuart Wood. I was blown away by his work and would even confess to being a little star struck by him! A really genuine […]

Kodak Turns 92-Year-Old Film Manufacturing Building Into Rubble

Yesterday marked the end of another piece of Kodak’s once-powerful film manufacturing business. The company used 100 pounds of dynamite to take down the 92-year-old Building 53 at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York. The sprawling 250,000-square-foot plant, once used to manufacture acetate base for film, was reduced to 1,500 tons of steel and concrete in less than 20 seconds. A number of spectators gathered at the park to witness the demolition. Here’s what YouTube user dransgp saw:

Since 2003, Kodak has spent $200 million in demolishing around 45 buildings. The industrial complex is being redesigned to allow other companies to move in share it with Kodak.

At the peak of Kodak’s reign during the days of film photography, more than 50,000 employees worked out of Eastman Business Park, but that number has since dwindled to around 1,000. A second plant in the business park is still operational and will still be churning out acetate film base for Kodak.

Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Lens Review

This manual focus telephoto lens offers a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture for a price of around £136, which seems very good value for a lens of this type. So what’s the catch?

Kaili Kelda are a Chinese company who produce a variety of budget-orientated basic manual focus lenses. This lens is available to and SLRs. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it performs.

Given the price of this lens, you’d be forgiven for having low expectations of almost every aspect of this lens. A mix of high-quality plastics with a lightly textured finish and metal have been used for much of the lens barrel, with a red ring placed near the front end of the optic. This lens isn’t overly heavy for one sporting a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture either, tipping the scales at 385g. As a result it balances well with the Nikon D600 body used for testing.

The manual focus ring feels a little gritty in operation, although there is enough resistance in the mechanism to help with applying fine focus adjustments. Closest focus is 85cm, which is fairly typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. 72mm filters can be attached to the deep circular hood supplied with this lens, or 55mm filters can be attached directly to the lens. The filter thread does not rotate, which makes it ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters.

This lens has no electronic or mechanical coupling with the camera, so stop down metering has to be used when shooting. The aperture ring has values marked at seemingly arbitrary values, with the distance between stops getting less as the lens is stopped down more. The values marked on the aperture ring don’t quite line up with the click stops either, which may cause confusion when using smaller apertures.

Surprisingly, this lens isn’t a bad performer. At maximum aperture, sharpness is very good in the centre of the frame and fairly good towards the edges. Stopping down improves performance with outstanding sharpness being achieved in the centre at f/4.5 and excellent sharpness towards the edges at f/6.

Chromatic aberrations are kept under control, hovering at around half a pixel width towards the edges of the frame for most aperture settings. These low levels of fringing should be difficult to spot, even in very large prints, or harsh crops from the edges of the frame.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. The corners are 1.3 stops darker than the image centre at f/1.8 and visually uniform illumination isn’t achieved until the aperture is stopped down to f/3.5 or beyond.

Imatest only detected 0.13% pincushion distortion, which is an extremely low amount and should very rarely need correction in image editing software afterwards.

The supplied circular hood does a good job of shielding the lens from extraneous light that may cause issues with flare, however, shooting into the light does result in a noticeable loss of contrast.

With a price of only £136, this lens is very inexpensive indeed. The closest equivalent currently available Samyang’s manual focus 85mm f/1.4 lens, which is available for around £211 and sports a faster maximum aperture and overall better build and handling. Nikon’s 85mm f/1.8G costs around £350 and Canon’s EF 85mm USM can be picked up for £240.

With a price of only £136, you’d be forgiven for having poor expectations of this lens. As far as build quality and handling are concerned, you can see where corners have been cut with the gritty manual focus ring, bizarre range of apertures and an aperture ring that doesn’t line up properly with the printed markings.

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

Chromatic aberration is the lens’ inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

This month, 10 members have the chance to have 1000 photos scanned for free by Vintage Photo Lab! Vintage Photo Lab specialise in bulk scanning for your old photo…

 

 

How Von Wong Captured An Amazing Portrait Deep Under Water

I had this grand idea: To recreate the iconic scene of a young Chinese cormorant fisherman hard at work on a bamboo raft – shot 30 meters underwater in a cenote just above a toxic layer of hydrogen sulfide. Traditional culture as a whole, is something that is inexorably fading with time. I wanted to create a piece that would immortalize a piece of my own culture – the iconic cormorant fisherman. By placing him directly above an underwater river, within this portal that was believed to lead to the Mayan underworld, seemed like the perfect way to bid farewell to a proud tradition. As a general rule, taking underwater portraits is extremely complicated. Simple tasks like breathing, communicating. posing and moving become a lot more complex whilst standard lighting rules and equipment requirements change completely. Transport that shoot 30m underwater and suddenly things become exponentially more complex. Ambient light levels and visibility plummet, dive time is reduced significantly while the safety risks from potential malfunction increase. Add onto that a toxic layer of opaque hydrogen sulfide and only five days in Mexico meant  we were really setting ourselves up for a challenge.

Last week I received a message from my buddy and talented photographer Ben Von Wong. We all know him for his incredible photos that mix practical effects as well as precisely-applied post production visuals. His recent photoshoot entitled “MAKING OF: BALLANTINE’S PRESENTS VON WONG’S UNDERWATER RIVER” is no exception. To make this all happen, Benjamin created a portrait shoot with a set his crew built aboveground and installed 30 meters underwater just feet above toxic hydrogen sulfide. Learn more about his shoot below.

If you want to learn more details about how this shoot was accomplished head on over to Von Wong’s blog: http://www.vonwong.com/blog/underwaterfisherman/

I appreciate Von Wong because he is always trying to push his boundaries to the next level creatively and production-wise. I think this shoot came out great and like it even more now that I know how much setup went in to making it happen.

Commercial Photographer (mainly Phase One medium format digital) and filmmaker based out of NYC. Started a site called Notabully.org to spread stories about well-behaved and positive pitbulls. Love cars, 80s movies, dogs, and adventure. Free time is spent traveling, sleeping, adventuring, or working on my baby, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.