Aug 15 2011

Ricoh Auto Shot Pictures

That’s some serious flare in the back lit picture,  you can’t get that from a modern lens.  Yes I’m actually pleased about that, it may not be something you want in your everyday photography but if you need that look for a reason this would be the way to get it.

Aug 14 2011

Ricoh Auto Shot

In honour of Ricoh purchasing the digital imaging business of Pentax from Hoya I present the Ricoh Auto Shot.  1960’s design, function and results, the later ensured by using a poor quality cheap film.  The defining features of this camera are it’s two shutter speeds (1/30) of a second in manual mode and 1/125 in auto and that the film advance is accomplished by a clockwork spring.  Unfortunately my spring is mostly noun and not so much verb, resulting in a single exposure for every wind instead of the much cooler 6 when it was new.  The exposure adjustment is controlled by a selenium cell surrounding the 35mm f2.8 lens.  The aperture blades come together to produce what I like to call batkeh, odd bat shaped highlights at some apertures.

It’s a small camera as you can see here when compared to a quarter.  The shutter release is actually OK being in the front as your index finger naturally falls on top of it when you hold the camera up with both hands, there being no other way really to hold it and trip the shutter.  The fastest setting is for ASA200 film which makes the 10 possible selections between 12 and 100ASA amusing.  It’s a fun little camera and if I ever find myself time traveling to 1964 I will be sure to take it along.

Aug 12 2011

#Polaroid a week (16)

Maybe I should make myself some reminders about this, the weeks seem to be pretty long sometimes.

Aug 11 2011

July 2011 misfits

Here are some images from July that I liked but never made it into any posts.  It’s never too late for pictures.  Some of the processing may be a bit heavy but sometimes I just adjust for the moment I can always change things later.

Aug 10 2011

Pentax DA 12-24 on film

The Pentax DA series of lenses are designed with an image circle that covers the APSC sized digital sensor.  They are not intended to be used on a 35mm film camera, as they create large amounts of vignetting.  That almost sounds like a challenge to me.  I mounted my DA 12-24 on a PZ1p loaded with Kodak Ektar and experimented.  It is immediately apparent that the wide end between 12 and 18 millimeters is out as the lens just doesn’t come close to covering the film frame.  You can see this immediately in the viewfinder.  However between 18 and 24mm and with the lens adequately stopped down to about f11 you can actually use this lens as an ultra wide zoom on film.  Converting the image size factor around from 35mm to APSC means the 18mm on 35mm film is about equivalent to 12mm on APSC.

Here you can see what happens if you don’t stop down enough, although I think this shot was taken with the DA 35mm ltd with the lens hood deployed.

Aug 8 2011

Satchel (22″ x 40″) Deepzoom image.

With “Satchel” I’ve created a framework for a narrative without leading to a specific one.  The viewer is needed to complete the work, bringing their own experiences and visual memory.

In order to see the entire image and get a sense of the scale you will need to go to the deep zoom version of the image here.  Satchel

Aug 6 2011

Wester Autorol Samples

I’ve chosen to concentrate on this image because it demonstrated all that the camera can do.  Once scanned the file is around 5200×5200 pixels or something equivalent to a 25 Mega pixel camera file.

Here is a 100% crop from the above image.

And here you can see that when the lens is shot wide open there is a considerable amount of  vignetting.

I will have to use this camera again to get a better sense of it’s abilities but it was such a pleasure to use that I’m really looking forward to it.

Aug 5 2011

Wester Autorol

Of all my cameras this may be the most obscure.  While it is a conventional medium format folder the company that produced it seems less so (Nishida).  They apparently existed between about 1936 and 1958, producing some cameras in their later years under the Wester name.  What information there is about this camera online is mostly in Japanese.  It’s a well built camera with many nice details.  It uses 120 roll film and doesn’t have a window on the back to view frame numbers but actually has a proper frame advance mechanism.  Each new frame can be brought forward after pressing the release lever on the back beside the viewfinder.  It has a 75mm F3.5 lens to cover the 6cm square negative it produces.  Wide open there is strong vignetting that doesn’t entirely go away with stopping down.  I actually consider this a good thing as it gives the images a particular look without any manipulation,  if I didn’t want this I could be just shooting digital. The shutter goes from 1 second to 1/300 second.  The nicest feature though is the coupled rangefinder which really separates this camera from the rest of the folders that I have come across.  It’s as easy to use as a 35mm rangefinder but of course the resulting negative is much larger with excellent detail.  One difficulty with cameras like this though is getting a perfectly sharp exposure while hand holding,  they are inherently hard to hold steady.

Aug 4 2011

RAW processing

So just how much processing can you apply to a RAW file, apparently quite a lot.   I took this shot and thought I liked the bluishness of the white balance but once I got it into the computer it was a different story and I wanted something different with more punch.  I really don’t think I could have successfully manipulated this image so much had it been a JPEG out of the camera.

Aug 3 2011

Sigma Dp1s compared


While I had access to the Sigma Dp1s I set up a quick comparison with my current digital cameras.  The Nikon P7000 and the Pentax K-7.  The image bellow is 100% crops from the same area.  You can see that the DP1s produces a very clean detailed file but there is just no getting around the fact that it is much lower resolution.  As for the K-7 image I shot the DA12-24 at 16mm to make it roughly equivalent in focal length.  I do have better performing lenses but I thought I would make it as fair as possible. 

Here I’ve upscaled the DP1s file to the same size as the K-7 image using photoshop to make a more directcomparison.  So in my estimation the image resolution sits somewhere between the point and shoot P7000 and the DSLR K-7.  The fixed 28mm equivelent F4.0 lens really is quite limiting but if that is what you want in a point and shoot this camera will work. 

I’ve read that the Dp1s makes a good landscape camera,

but I find it hard to see, unless your printing at a relatively small size.  The images that I did have printed seem to suggest a maximum printing size of around 11×14.  In the end I’m not so interested in whether Foveon is a better technology than Bayer filter sensors.  It is a camera that does one thing at one focal length, and that’s OK, but the market has moved on with camera’s like the Fuji x100 while Sigma has made minor updates to the same products.  As the DP series of cameras exists today it’s hard to make a valid case for purchasing one paritcularly with their high asking price.