29 April 2016, Friday
Big Pile of Tires in a Small Room, Route 66.
It took me almost three months to print all these, as well as explain in explicit detail how I shot each of these.
The interesting part is that I made all these shots in less than 48 hours, but it took me all this week to write up exactly how I did it. You need to have the technique mastered so it just happens; you cant stop to worry about ISOs and shutter speeds when you're actually out shooting. You need a camera of which you are the master so that you can concentrate on your pictures, not on your camera.
I think some of this is my strongest work to date, which I attribute to shooting the square Hasselblad and it letting me concentrate on what's in my picture, instead of what's in my bag. I only had three fixed lenses: a 38mm, an 80mm and a 150mm, which are similar to a 21mm, 45mm and 80mm.
NEU: LEICA M-D typ 262
As I explained years ago in one of my LEICA reviews, LEICA shooters never look at an LCD, except to make basic settings. LEICA LCDs are for text, never for images.
LEICAs always take perfect images, and LEICA shooters are used to seeing their images on billboards and on museum and gallery walls, never electronic screens. Thus no LCD is good enough to display LEICA images.
I explained in my reviews years ago that we could ignore the crummy little LCDs on cameras like the M9 and M240, and that many LEICA digital shooters simply put duct tape or a TRI-X film box end over the LCD to keep from distracting themselves while shooting.
Taking my advice, LEICA again announced a digital camera with no distracting LCD, the LEICA M-D typ 262, which is a LEICA typ 262 without the LCD. it has a quieter shutter, and heavier brass top and bottom plates than the 262.
The only settings are focus, aperture, shuter speed and ISO. It shoots in DNG, there are no menus, and nothing but shooting. Bravo!
For the LEICA shooter this is perfect; LEICA MEN know people who look at their LCDs after each shot have no idea what they're doing.
27 April 2016, Wednesday
Next Month: Spring Light in Yosemite
At the base of Yosemite Falls on our 2014 trip. More photos from that trip.
I'll be teaching this Yosemite Conservancy Photo Trip in Yosemite from Thursday afternoon, May 12th 2016, through Sunday morning, May 15th, 2016.
We'll be exploring waterfalls and all over Yosemite Valley as well as the surrounding area. For even more fun, we usually rent bicycles and do an easy loop of the valley.
This trip is run by the Yosemite Conservancy, so you register for it through them.
With the huge El Niño storms, the snowpacks are deep and the waterfalls are running like crazy; this will be an awesome year for waterfall photos!
26 April 2016, Tuesday
Hasselblad or Mamiya?
A reader who loved his Mamiya RB67 — and sold it for a DSLR— now wonders if he ought to get another Mamiya, or get a Hasselblad instead.
Today Hasselblad is inexpensive; today I'm shooting Hasselblad because it's finally affordable — and it's at least as extraordinary as it always was.
The chrome lenses are magnificent, but if you're as precise a worker as I am, expecting perfect exposures for each and every transparency I shoot (I expect and get 12 perfect chromes out of 12 on a roll), I'd steer clear of the chrome or black C lenses unless you don't mind sending each out for service before you start using it. They'll all take pictures, and if you're shooting negative film probably won't notice, but I need my shutters within a sixth of a stop, especially over temperature.
Even though I prefer the look of the classic chrome lenses, the wimpier CF lenses are all newer, and work great as received, while the C lenses are far more old and worn by the time we get them.
Hasselblad sold C lenses from 1954 ~ 1982, then CF lenses from 1982 ~ 2013. Any CF lens should be young enough to be working great; that's what I've found with mine.
Get any Hasselblad 500 series body (I'd skip the focal planes); just get be sure that it's a newer body (503CX or newer) with an Acute Matte screen. No worries, an older one like a classic 500 C/M can take a an Acute Matte screen. The Acute Matte screen, standard since the 1980s, gives the normal bright image we take for granted today. The regular Hasselblad screens from 1947 until the 1980s are very, very dim.
I simply bought an Acute Matte screen and popped it in my 500 C/M, and voilà, it's state-of-the-art. The gotcha is that an Acute Matte screen is the most important part of a camera, and a used Acute Matte screen costs about the same as the difference in price between these cameras. Luckily it's easy to service the old 500 C/M bodies and parts aren't scarce. I'd pass on most 500 C bodies simply because it's a pain to change them to the Acute Matte screen.
I have Gus Lazzari service all my classic gear. I also recently discovered that Hasselblad still services almost all of the old lenses and cameras well.
For digital medium format, I'd pass on the Hasselblad 500 system. While it's my favorite for medium format film, and was Ansel Adams most used camera for decades, the Contax 645 is far better for use with a digital back as the Contax 645 is a modern camera with the usual electronic control and communication. Also there are no real digital medium format 6x6 backs, the largest "medium format" digital backs are barely 6x4.5 on a good day.
22 April 2016, Friday
For those of you serious about your work — but prefer to spend less on your camera than you spent on your last new car — Hasselblad is having a huge sale on the H5D-40 camera.
EVEN NEWER: Sony A6300 Review.
I just spent a week shooting my A6300 in Hawaii, and now its review has twice as much information and a much larger Usage section, as well as a slew of sample images.
The α6300 is an awesome little camera for when you don't want to tote a real DSLR. It's not cheap, but especially with the tiny little 16-50mm power zoom lens is all I need to shoot for a week and have an absolute blast.
21 April 2016, Thursday
NEW: Nikonos V Review.
An ultra-tough 35mm camera for shooting under any condition.
20 April 2016, Wednesday
In reference to Monday's curiosity about the legality of private parties selling-off what seem to be taxpayer-owned camera equipment for personal benefit, some folks discovered a law signed in 2012 where the US Government, signed by the President himself, allowed some taxpayer-owned "artifacts" to be kept and/or sold by private parties.
The key here is that that law came about after another fracas where an astronaut tried to sell some old checklists.
That law says it's now OK to keep and sell certain "artifacts," and carefully defines these artifacts as "expendable" items like logbooks and paperwork or "disposable" hardware from jettisoned lunar modules.
Clearly camera lenses are neither expendables nor disposable, and remain useful for decades. Heck, I still shoot Hasselblad equipment even older than these items today, and Hasselblad still services their cameras all the way back to the 500C. Regardless of what anyone says, Hasselblad cameras have been the cameras to which every professional photographer has aspired ever since the 1960s, and that continues today. Everyone wishes they had a real Hasselblad, and today, new Hasselblads still can cost more than a new Mercedes. Ansel Adams shot the Hasselblad since at least 1951 until the day he died.
The description then goes on to stress what a critical item this lens was to the entire mission, so as far as I see it it's clearly not expendable.
You decide; I don't see that camera gear is covered under this 2012 law. I hope Jeff Bezos picks this up and gets it to where it will be safe. Otherwise it probably will go overseas to some evil genius' lair — some guy with a white cat on his lap.
The good news is that this auction house also sold Wally Schirra's Hasselblad — the first Hasselblad in space, back in 2014, so I presume they know more about the legalities of this than I do. I regard the men who walked on the moon as the greatest Americans ever to have walked the earth, so who am I to say? I do say that it's great that our guys get to take home souvenirs, but not OK that when they're done with them that they publicly sell them for cash instead of returning them to The Smithsonian.
18 April 2016, Monday
Is it legal?
It's presumably still owned by NASA, but in the possession of an astronaut. While the auction house claims that it came from NASA as a "memento," I don't believe that. Note that it doesn't say it was "given" by NASA, just that it was "received from."
When you work with or for the government, there is a ton of paperwork - and a bidding process - when anything is transferred. NASA doesn't go handing out free cameras.
More common is "liberating" equipment, which conveniently bypasses the paperwork, but when something is liberated, the people who have it don't brag about it publicly.
I will presume the publicity around this will result in an investigation, and it will most likely have to go back to what I presume is the rightful owner: we, the American people, but it may take a while.
Another astronaut tried selling NASA items some time ago, and they were recovered.
Neil Armstrong's wife found a bag of goodies in his closet after he passed, and they were returned and are now at the Smithsonian
I know many of you are closer to these fracases than I am, but this looks highly suspicious. Taxpayer-owned property is often stolen from within, but the key is the thieves don't go on record about it. If this is a memento, great — but you may not resell it; it must be returned to the rightful owner: us, when you're done with it.
We all appreciate the service and sacrifice of these great men, but there is a line for what's legal to sell or not. I would hope there is supporting paperwork for who owns this, but the auction house hasn't mentioned anything — thus my suspicion.
I don't know anything more about this particular item than what's at this link. See what you think.
16 April 2016, Saturday
Deal: Canon 5D Mk III
Canon 5D MK III Bundle includes $124 in Adorama Rewards and:
· Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash, USA,
All for $2,749.88 after rebate!
14 April 2016, Thursday
New Zeiss Autofocus 18mm f/2.8 for Sony
This is a high-performance full-frame ultra wide. It has an OLED display for focus and depth-of-field and ought to be out next month — and we can order it today.
The Sony HX80 is now in stock, while we're talking Sony.
13 April 2016, Wednesday
I was out shooting in Maui (Hawaii) all last week and got back yesterday; I was also shooting on Oahu in February.
Something I confirmed with these flights, as well as another transcontinental trip last month, is that my Audio-Technica ATH ANC-9 active noise-cancelling headphones eliminate jet lag! Whoo hoo!
It makes perfect sense: these cancel-out all the low-frequency rumble from the jet engines. Our bodies don't like all that rumble. Our bodies respond to this loud rumble as if we're under some kind of threat like an earthquake or volcano, and after 5 or 6 hours of it, our bodies are exhausted from the constant state of alert to be ready for fight or flight.
I didn't quite believe that these headphones were responsible for this after the first trip with them, but after three long round trips, confirmed it. I arrive fresh and relaxed and ready to go; no longer do I lose the rest of the day all tired out and exhausted.
New Cine Gear from Canon
07 April 2016, Thursday
NEW: Hasselblad H6D
06 April 2016, Wednesday
Chicago Tribune Reader Equates me with Ansel Adams
Check out this awesome interview.
05 April 2016, Tuesday
NEW from Panasonic
01 April 2016, Friday
Nikon Lens Rebates End Tomorrow
40th Anniversary of the Founding of Apple
No kidding, Apple was founded 01 April 1976.
NEW: Sony A6300 Review.
A great little camera, no fooling!
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