Nov 26 2014

Signs with the Pentax Q7

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The full-sized SLR lens is just there to give some scale for the Q7 and the 02 zoom lens.  There may be some overlap with my film shots mostly because I use my Q7 as a lightmeter as well as a camera.  These pictures are just some fun snaps of signs from a trip earlier this year.  For many things the Q7 is perfectly adequite as a photography tool and there is no denying it’s diminutive nature can be a real advantage both in size and inconspicuousness.

 


Nov 24 2014

Polaroid P-15

That means there are only 14 possible chances at Polaroid Spectra awesomeness and if the poor distribution of the chemicals in this one is any indication the time is running out on these.

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Nov 22 2014

The Swap(s) (Olympus SP35 for Canon AE-1 and Minolta X700)

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It would have been a lot better story if it had ended as the simple trade of my Canon AE-1 for this Olympus SP35 Rangefinder but things never seem to be that easy.  I suppose I should back up and start from the beginning.  Back as a teenager I bought my first brand new camera a Minolta X700 (Yes the story goes back that far)  Saving you from further boredom I will  jump ahead to this year.  I acquired a Canon A-1 which made my Canon AE-1 superfluous so I decided to sell it and a few others at the local flea-market.  A fellow approached and was looking at the cameras, he too had a camera in a case around his neck.   After a brief discussion it turned out it was an Olympus Sp35 a model which I had never seen before.  It also turned out the wearer of said camera was a photography student and wasn’t happy with it for several reasons one of them being the rangefinder focusing.  He wanted an SLR and I love rangefinders so we did a straight trade, the Canon for the Olympus, and that’s the point at which the story should have had a happy ending but unfortunately didn’t.  I think he hardly got through the first roll before the Canon jammed which isn’t conducive to completing photo assignments. He happened to be taking the photography class with a friend of mine so he contacted me and I met with him to exchange cameras back but I also offered the alternative to keep the Canon and also receive a Minolta X700. A camera which may have been that first camera I ever owned but I can’t be sure because I had two.  He took the Minolta and that’s the last I heard from him.

Well that’s the story of the camera swap at the swap meet.  Fortunately the Olympus SP35 is a fine camera and it’s my new favourite, well until something else comes along.

 


Nov 18 2014

Ricoh R1 great camera design

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What can I say about this camera that hasn’t already been said? Apparently not much, It just works well with no fuss and looks great doing it.  The new Ricoh GR digital camera derives a lot from it despite the nearly 20 years that seperate them.

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It’s not just a retro thing like some camera manufacturers are doing there is a continuum of design with Ricoh’s cameras.  Good design doesn’t require radical changes.


Nov 14 2014

Pentax MZ-6

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The Pentax Mz-6 may not be a tank of a camera like a Nikon F5 or the Pentax MZ-s from the same era but it offers all the necessary controls for any type of image making.  It’s lightweight and compact meaning that the addition of the battery grip doesn’t turn it into a monster but rather allows the use of readily available AA batteries.  Previously the Pentax Z1-p was my camera of choice for making 35mm film images but the MZ-6 has better usability and is closer in operation to the DSLR I use.  A nice feature of this camera is its full compatibility with all K-mount lenses even ones without aperture rings. That matters when you try to use a lens such as the DFA100 Macro WR a lens without a physical ring for aperture control.  It also allows the use of older manual aperture control lenses transferring the setting to the camera with a physical linkage something that is missing from the DSLRs.

 

 


Nov 12 2014

Minolta Freedom Vista

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Freedom from the enslaving 4×3 images or even the oppressive 16×9.  Only this Minolta will set you free with its 27×10 aspect ratio.  Within its images you will be able to realize your dreams of wide horizons and grand vistas oh the vistas you will see.  Perhaps I’m overstating it slightly but composing for what is nearly a 3×1 aspect ratio is certainly different.  You really need to move away from the traditional notions of composition and divide the image area in new ways.  It’s not always easy to fill the frame with interest but it’s also not a good idea compositionally to have large areas with nothing in them as they tend to appear very static.   My Minolta Vista is looking pretty beat-up but it works perfectly.


Nov 8 2014

Pentax Q7 and 02 Zoom tiny yet mighty

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Having bought one of the original Pentax Q cameras and having a few lenses for it, it seemed like an easy decision to then pick up this camera combination when it was on sale.  First let’s get the main caveat of this camera out-of-the-way.  Yes it has a tiny little sensor but if that is the only thing you go by your missing out on a fantastic little camera that does an admiral job of creating images.  While it isn’t much larger than a point and shoot camera its versatility leaves all others behind.  I have a selection of lenses from fish eye to adapted lenses equivalent to 500mm and beyond but for this post I’ve limited the images to those shot with the 5-15mm kit lens (23-69mm equivelent in terms of 35mm film).  The combination does have quite a bit of chromatic aberration as seen in the  200% RAW detail at the top left but with a quick one click adjustment in Lightroom it can be somewhat mitigated as seen on the bottom right.

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It’s small size means that I am more likely to take the camera along where every I go and the versatility of it means that I rarely feel like I needed a better camera.  There is even more to this little beast that I’m not touching on but as a straight forward photography tool it packs a ton into its tiny little package.  The pictures that follow are a mix of images straight out of the camera and some edited to be more in line with what I intended.  Using the Q7 reminds me to have fun and create images rather than obsess over the technical aspects.  (Yes those first two images are meant to look grainy and pictorial)

And finally if you click on the image bellow a full resolution image will open that I think demonstrates how much this camera and lens can resolve.  It exceeds what I have been able to achieve with 35mm negative film in resolving power and rivals my older DSLR which is quite a feat.

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Nov 5 2014

Agfa Vista plus 200

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Agfa Vista plus 200 is an inexpensive C41 film (approx $2.50 per roll of 36 exposures) but don’t let the price fool you it’s actually a really good film.  For most of the images the colour was very accurate it only had trouble reproducing some reds particularly the red wildflowers.  I can’t really eliminate my V700 scanner from the equation so it could play a small factor in that and the film is also said to be geared towards natural skin tone reproduction so that also could play a part in the rendering of the reds..  Here are a couple of colour mixing charts that I shot with Agfa Vista plus 200 (seen on the left) and my Pentax K-3 DSLR (on the right).  I also found that the colours had a muted pastel look that sometimes required a little extra saturation during post processing.  If you want image perfection you shouldn’t be shooting film anyway but if you want the look of film and you want it cheap this film is perfect.

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Nov 2 2014

Where did all the cameras go?

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I suppose after the great Selfie incident in 2018 when everyone on earth posted a selfie and broke the internet, camera use was greatly curtailed.  That is the only plausible explanation for the lack of cameras in Science Fiction movies set in the future.  Oh there is a lot of surveillance going on but not much photography for the fun of it.  And it’s not just this galaxy either.  There are plenty of references to photography set in our time and the past but I’m struggling to think of any movies I have seen that are set in a future that included a person with a camera.  Is it that when thinking about the future we believe the idea of photography to be passé or perhaps superfluous considering we will all have a camera implant or maybe its that every picture really has been taken at some point.  I’m guessing that will happen pretty soon.

At least Fuji appears to continue to make film for the Mars market in 2084

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Of course if you are aware of a film set in the future where photography plays any role I would be interested to know.  After all I here Endor is beautiful this time of year.


Oct 29 2014

Pentax UC1 (Espio Mini)

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When you flit between cameras like a butterfly in a field its easy to forget the great cameras that you’ve already passed.  The Espio Mini is one of those cameras it is fantastic and tiny and never disappoints.  It has the same things going for it as the Olympus Stylus epic such as size and the clamshell lens cover but the slightly wider angle lens I think is a better performer.  If you can embrace the fully automatic nature of these little cameras they offer a worry free photography experience.