Old Man Just Keeps on Going


Old Man Just Keeps on Going
Originally uploaded by Dan Rosenthal

Via Flickr:
The lovely Ricohflex VII. Despite the modest specs and lowly name, this has one of the best lenses I have ever used. But damn it’s hard to focus and is limited by it’s ‘range’ of shutter speeds: Bulb, 1/25th, 1/50th and 1/100th. That’s it!

But when you nail it… Damn…

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Canon FD Cameras and Lenses Extravaganza!

It’s been a while since I shared my Canon FD case and since there are a couple of new additions, it is high time!

The 50mm F1.8 is probably my favorite, though all of the lenses are utterly spectacular*. The 20mm F2.8 is wonderful and produces exceptional images. The 100mm F4 Macro is just great. The two portrait lenses (100mm F2.8 and 135mm F3.5) are different in focal length and rendering and both have a special place in my heart. Everything looks great through that 135 and the 100 is so damn sharp.

The FTb is my Desert Island Camera** and the new addition is the AV1 which I gave to my girlfriend last year for her birthday. She didn’t fall in love with it and I actually forgot it was the AV1, which is Aperture Priority and my preference, and not the Shutter Priority AE1. Silly me! All this time it’s been waiting for me to adopt it. And so I did. It had the 35-70mm F4 lens on the front. I haven’t developed a roll shot with this lens yet but am looking forward to see the results to see where and how it will fit into the collection. Whether it does or doesn’t will be the deciding factor in which of the other lenses that I have my eye on will finally end up in the KEH shopping cart.***

Ilford HP5 is still my favorite B&W film. Colour I am still torn between Superia, Portra and Pro400H. And let’s not even talk about slide film…

* The Sigma 50mm macro is a good lens but I don’t love it. Not as good as the 50mm Canon and not as good a Macro as the 100mm F4 either. Perhaps I just don’t want an empty space. I think it’ll be replaced soon…

** It gets the 50mm F1.8 on the front.

*** Torn between the 24mm F2, the 28mm F2 and the 35mm F2.

Moose


Moose
Originally uploaded by Dan Rosenthal

Via Flickr:
Ladies and gentlefolk,

May I introduce you to…*drumroll please*…. MOOSE!

Moose is a Mamiya RB67 Pro S camera and is wearing a lovely 90mm Mamiya Sekor C lens with a scintillating maximum aperture of 3.8.

On Moose’s rear we have a sexy revolving back in the 120 variety able to hold 10 glorious shots in 6x7cm format in the orientation of your choice. That’s right folks! portrait or horizontal is no problem with this well-endowed beauty!

And … wait for it … *Ca-thunk!*…. Listen to that shutter sound! Wondrous!

Queue up ladies and gentlemen to adore the one and only…. MOOSE!

(unbridled applause; standing ovation)

Wedding Kit


Wedding Kit
Originally uploaded by Dan Rosenthal

I’m shooting a wedding tomorrow and this is my kit. First time I’ll be shooting with the OM-D as my primary camera. Backup is my trusty and beloved Canon FTb. I’m using the Canon FD lenses in the Olympus with an adapter. Awesome. Love those old lenses. They have a look all their own. This is also the first wedding I’m shooting after ditching my entire EOS kit. Last time it was a 5D2 and 1 series film bodies with primes. Looking forward to the change. Looking forward to the finished images too.

Hello, Old Friend

This is a mirror selfie taken with my little ol’ Sony W110. We’ve been reunited.

This was the first camera I bought myself. Before this, when I had gotten the bug for photography, I had been using a Canon compact lent to me by my girlfriend at the time. Thanks Alison. Prior to this it was film compacts and my dad’s old Canons. But this was my first digital. I was addicted.

I agonised over this little fella. I was working as an Online Content Manager at the time for a large international corporate and I was hating it. Who knew, on that fateful day when I opened the box of this Sony and put it on charge at the office and then took it for it’s first outing exploring the streets of Joburg during our lunch break, that this would be the beginning of something special where I could make a living doing something I loved so much?

I never dreamed of it at the time. I just wanted to capture the world around me. I was smitten with the realisation that all my senses were heightened. Even today, when I have a camera in my hand or in my bag I am aware of everything around me just that little bit more. I look for patterns, admire colours and shapes and my eye seeks compositions. And every once in a while I take the camera to my eye and take a photograph.

My sister moved to England a few years ago and we swopped cameras. I gave her this Sony and I got her Canon 350D. We were both very happy with the swop ūüôā That was another huge leap forward in my photographic education. Thanks Tess.

A year ago, my sister gave this Sony to my mother. My sister had upgraded to a Panasonic GF1 (I’m still a little jealous… I’ve always wanted one of those…) and decided my mother needed something a little better than her Blackberry for photos. It has been sitting in a drawer ever since.

Tonight, at dinner, i asked about the camera. I think about it often… To my delight it was safely nestled in a drawer right next to the table. I got home and put the very dead battery on the charger and did a little jig when it slotted into the camera and the Sony sprang back to life.

And now it’s back home. One of the cameras I really and truly love. It’s nothing special. Bit it’s special to me. I’ve won awards with pictures taken with this. I’ve printed and sold prints taken with it. I’ve loved it and loved using it.

Welcome home, Old Friend.

Canon 1nRS – User Review

A few years ago I¬†acquired¬†the¬†marvelous¬†Canon EOS 1nRS. There was not too much information online about this glorious¬†marvel¬†of a camera. This review aims to change that. At least there’ll be one¬†more¬†review than there was…

This, like my other reviews, will be a user’s experience of the camera. Specs are out there if you want em. Google is your friend.

As you might have correctly guessed by now, I friggen love this camera. It is unique and has character – buckets full. The first thing that sets this camera apart is that it has a pellicle mirror, something Canon (I believe) first introduced into the world of photography with the Pellix back in the day and what Sony is now calling it’s Translucent Mirror technology in it’s new SLT cameras like the A99. It is part of the EOS 1n series of professional cameras. There were a few models, some without a grip some with it as an option. This, with the designation RS, was the only model with both the grip permanently attached and with the pellicle mirror.

The reason for this was to allow the 1nRS to shoot at a blistering 10 frames per second. In other words, if you are a film masochist, you can blaze though a roll of 36 exposures in a little over 3 seconds. Wowsers. I’ve needed and used this feature once.

The lovely side effects of this technology gave us what is a gem of a camera: no shutter black-out and no mirror-slap. These are, aside from the lack of¬†previewing¬†the depth of field and having more of the image than is captured in view, the things that people cite when explaining/waxing lyrical about the advantages of rangefinders. Also, rangefinders are teeny-tiny compared to the 1nRS. It’s a hulk. So with no mirror slap you are able to hand-hold this bad-boy at shutter-speeds you really shouldn’t be able to and the fact that the viewfinder doen not black out during exposure lets you actually see what you are capturing. As it happens. Wowsers number 2. Add to this the advantages of an SLR – seeing what is in focus, seeing what your lens choice is doing to the scene, seeing the actual framing, long lenses etc – and you have a truly wonderful tool.

As a portrait shooter, this is a dream camera. The built-in grip makes portrait orientation a natural change in grip rather than sticking your elbow out in the air (waving it around like ya just don’t care), the shutter is soooo quiet and discreet, and you can see your subjects expressions change and quickly grab another shot with the stupid-sensitive shutter, which by the way has one of the¬†lowest¬†lag-times of any camera. Wowsers number 3. Plus, I get to use my dream portrait lens, the Canon 100mm F2, ¬†on this and make utter magic.

The best part of this camera is that it shoots film. you know, that stuff that you used to squeeze into¬†cameras? Kinda smells funny? Colours and contrast and grain that makes you want to do a jig? That’s the stuff.¬†With some of the finest lenses on the planet in full autofocus. It’s almost strange to have this level of refinement in a film camera – we are led to believe that film = old and crusty. Well I got news for you, I sometimes just take out this camera just to touch and caress it. Not so much with my 5D mark 2… The 1nRS is beautiful. Beautiful to hold, a¬†seamless¬†joy to shoot and a pleasure to own.

Enough talkin’. Here’s some photographs taken with my 1nRS whose name, I should add, is Betty. I call her Big Betty. But not to her face.

I love you Betty.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised, Jaffa, Israel. Canon 35mm 1.4L

Hardware Strore Man, Israel. Canon 35mm 1.4L

Wedding Prep, Canon 50mm 1.4

Johan, Canon 50mm 1,4

The Flower with the Hard-to-Spell Name, Canon 50mm 1.4

Scene from a Decor Shoot 1, Canon 35mm 1.4L

Scene from a Decor Shoot 2, Canon 14mm 2.8L

Old Man & Memories

To the best of my knowledge, this is a Kodak Vigilant in one of it’s incarnations.

This belonged to my father. It still almost works. It’s aperture blades are sticking. Not a huge repair that I will one day get around to doing. It needs seals and it needs 620 film.

It sits on a desk for this photograph. That’s an Angry Bird ashtray on the left. The desk belonged to my grandfather. I remember him sitting at it writing letters and doing calculations on a calculator. These are fond memories and I am so happy that I have the desk in my home now for me to sit at and write letters and to reminisce at.

The Kodak usually sits atop our camera display cum drinks cabinet. It is the only camera there that I do not regularly use and that doesn’t work – a creator of memories has become a memory itself. A ¬†momento. A display piece. A curiosity.

Like I said, I will fix it and use it soon. I already have a project that it is perfect, and destined, for. That giant negative will be a thing of beauty.

Sadly, my father does not have any photographs that he shot with this Kodak. They have fallen into the vast well of time.

I love how beautiful an object this Kodak is. I love how it is an old non-working camera that can be fixed and used. It has been to war. It now is witness to many a White Russian.

Tomorrow, who knows what it will see and what it will create?

______________

Canon 5Dmk2, Canon 100mm F2

Fuji X10 – User Review

So a while ago I wrote a glowing report on using the Nikon P7100. I still like that camera. But it is no longer my favorite compact. About 2 weeks after buying the P7100, as is to be expected, the Fuji X10 came out in South Africa. I knew it was coming but I don’t like to wait. I’m impulsive with camera purchases. (Very, very naughty habit.)
It turned out that my girlfriend was even more enamored with the brilliant black and white mode I wrote about. That ‘Creative Monochrome’ mode just lets you shoot and enjoy without much post image editing. She hates to tinker with photos in post. She basically pried the Nikon out of my hands and I soon found myself holding, lovingly, the beautiful Fuji X10 in my hands.
It has been a love affair. She makes people jealous and swoon. I’ve never had so many people, notably the public and not camera-geeks, remark what a sexy little camera it is. I have to agree with them. Many people take it from me to take a shot and are kind of surprised that it’s a digital camera and not a film camera.
To be honest, I was being a little hipster-fashionista-esqe*. I almost replaced the hole in my camera bag with a Leica M3. My number one criteria was to find a camera that I would enjoy walking around with and that would, god help me, look good. Obviously I would only look at cameras that would deliver good image quality and that was compact. But here’s the thing: I have a good few film cameras. I really don’t need a Leica. Of course you don’t need a Leica. I really, really, really want one though. Another post for another day. Long story short, the only M3’s that my camera store had were pretty banged up and a decent one with a lens** was far more than the X10. Also, I’d just spent a small fortune developing a ton of film that been accumulating in my fridge and, well, it hurt my wallet a bit.
So the Fuji looks good and feel good. I can walk around in fancy-pants clothes and still look good with a camera. I love my 5Dmk2 to bits but it’s a bit of a drag shlepping it¬†around to dinner and movies. It doesn’t quite go with a suit.
The X10 really is beautifully made. A joy to hold and use. I almost never have to dive into the menus. I assigned the Fn button on the top to change the Film Simulation modes. I am partial to the ASTIA setting though I know the names of the film stocks are a bit of a marketing misnomer. If you could add variable grain too, well, I’d be even happier. I have no idea about the Raw files since Aperture does not support them. Why Apple? It’s not like I’m one of 10 people in the world shooting with this thing. C’mon!
It has it’s quirks. Fuji is becoming famous for its recent brilliant but quirky cameras that drive uses to the brink of love and frustration all at once. I have to report that I have had very little frustration with this camera. The only thing that bugs me a bit is the odd restriction that in Aperture Priority the shutter speed is limited to 1/1000sec. Okay, it bugs me a lot. Photos are massively overexposed. Unusable. Crap. Delete. So now I just use Program if I’m outside on a bright day. Not ideal Fuji, not ideal‚Ķ
Aside form that niggle, the X10 is a dream to shoot with. The big optical viewfinder is great. There’s no information in the viewfinder at all. It’s quite zen shooting with the cameras to your eye. Not terribly accurate but worlds better than the peepholes that never really bugged me too much with the Nikon P7100. I’m much happier to have an opitcal viewfinder than none and I’ll take the good with the bad. There is serious parallax shooting closer than about 3 meters but you learn to use the viewfinder according to it’s abilities. I must say though, I’ve found myself longing for the X100’s finder at times.
The lens. It is wonderful. It’s the best part of this camera. Bright all the way through it’s very useful range, it also manages to give decent separation between your subject and the background. It is still a compact with a small sensor but it delivers the most visually pleasing results I’ve ever gotten from a compact. Below is the same pot-plant (at slightly different angles – they were shot on different days‚Ķ very unscientific) shot with the X10 at 100mm equivalent and at F2.8 and the Canon 5Dmk2 with the luscious 100mm F2.0 wide open. No contest. Obviously. They’re worlds apart. I’ll let you guess which is which.
Overall, I’m very happy with the Little Fuji. It’s not perfect but I love it a lot. It is a pleasure to have by my side (actually on a wrist-strap in my hand) all day. People admire it. I love holding it to my eye. I love the old-school shutter sound and the way you can hold down the DISP button and disable all sound making it invisible. And it’s files print well.
Berea is a Block Away
Fuji X10, Program Mode, F8, 1/850sec, ISO 400
This printed beautifully A2.
I’ve had cameras that I’ve like a lot. I sold those. I love this camera. But damn that X-Pro1 looks fine…
* Dear Gods of the English Language forgive that ‘word’, please.
** Those are kinda useful when trying to make photograph. And HELL are those rangefinder lenses spendy…