Saturday, March 25, 2017

M4/3 beats full frame again

Here's an article from a photographer who is now doing much better with his compact Micro Four Thirds cameras (even the entry model E-M10) than with bigger/heavier/costlier cameras.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Time to read

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
– Stephen King

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A good cafe-neighborhood?

Does anybody know at least one neighborhood in the world where there is at least one cafe which is open very late (and possibly early), where you can get good coffee and sandwiches, and in a  neighborhood which is not alcohol-infested?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Datamancer keyboard

For those who had not seen my Datamancer keyboard, here it is. All original parts (keys from an old Remington), and created or designed and hand-made by one person.
All fully functional!
It was created by Richard Nagy.




Friday, January 27, 2017

New long tele-miracles

This is taken with the new Panasonic/Leica 100-400mm zoom for Micro-Four-Thirds. This is the equivalent of a 200-800mm zoom in the "old" 35mm Full Frame format (meaning a *very* long lens.)

A lens which would be very hard to carry, and nearly impossible to shoot with. Not to mention shooting *hand-held". Which is just what I did here! (Above 300mm was considered impossible by most.)

And I did it in dark weather, pretty close to sunset. And basically ALL the pictures were sharp. One image of these two is a crop of "100%" of the other one, meaning all you can get out of a picture. The is the longest lens I've had, in performance speaking (tele-reach).
...In physical size, somewhere I have an old manual-focus bird-photographer's 500mm lens. This lens was not sharp, it did not zoom, focusing with it was hit-and-miss at best, and it was so big you were likely to be taken down be the police by your third photo. (No joke, I'd hate to walk around in people'd areas with that thing. (In contrast this lens is half the size/weight.))

Auto-focus and auto-stabilisation has a *lot* of the honor of the performance of these lenses. High-sensitivity digitial sensors a lot of the rest. My raw talent has... well, not a lot. :-)

 [For those who wonder about the un-sharpness of parts of the picture (forground/background), this depends on the settting of the lens' "aperture" and can be used creatively. It's a natural optical phenomenon.]





Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Review inflation...

This is from an email re an eBay item I just ordered: "Delivery [from China] usually need about 20-30 days. ... Please do not leave 1,2,3,4 stars on Shipping Time, they are equal to negative, thank you so much in advance."

 So anything less than five stars these days is "equal to negative"... Can you say "review inflation" kids? I knew you could.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

American Dad this season

Is it just me, or has the writing on American Dad gotten much less... sharp this season?
I'm sure at least they've gotten new writers.
An example:
"I said this home needed more culture." 
"You did?! I thought you said it needed more vulture." 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Digital miracles and 100mm portrait lens

I imagine what it would be like to travel back in time to the photo club of my youth and demonstrate a modern digital camera. Holy mama. I think I could list at least a dozen major features which I would have given a kidney to have back then. And that's just the major ones. Just the ability to shoot at 3200 ISO in great image quality, and to hand-hold down to 1/8th of a second even with a tele lens. Even after getting used to the progress over years, it still seems miraculous. I remember logging a big tripod around in the nineties just to be sure to get sharp pictures even with a short tele lens in overcast weather. Now, 'it's to laugh'.

 ---
(I had the one below. A wonderful portrait- and all-round lens. Compact and nifty; many of my favorite pictures were taken with it, examples shown. I actually don't remember, though, what originally (in my teens the first time), made me choose a 100mm over the much more popular 135mm, but I don't regret it.)







Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Selecting MFT lenses

An impressive article about choosing lenses in the Micro-Four-Thirds system (my favorite camera system, compact yet top quality).
(If you prefer another system/brand, there are links to similar articles for others.)

Note: I agree with the article that it pays to pay attention to whether the lens or body has Image Stabilisation, it's great to have it. But I have found that it does not harm if they both have it. Also I have not had problems if there was no UV filter built in. And adding one to the front of the lens I don't find "inelegant" but rather a way to assure that the front lens will be pristine even after long use. There are even special filters now which are extra tough, especially made to protect the lens (though they are pricey, see this $115 example from Hoya's new HD3 "hard line").






Saturday, December 17, 2016

Good Girl art

Sensual girl portrait art.


Fuji GFX, the new compact big-format cam

Nice promo video about the new compact "medium format" (big sensor) camera Fujifilm GFX. (What's with the dang X's still? How about a name which hints at what the camera is?)

OK, so eight grand is still a Pro price, but it's much cheaper than a Hasselblad or a Phase One, and getting big-format cameras in more reasonable sizes is an excellent thing.

It seems the finder bump can be taken off if you want to use the screen instead, also an excellent thing.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Old cameras

A friend's son for some reason likes the idea of using film cameras (they've barely even been made in his lifetime), and acquired some nice old gear. (A class in school teaches them how to use film, I guess to make them more in touch with the medium.)

And I'll be damned if I don't get nostalgic about those old cameras. I would not start developing films again for all the treasure, but the cameras were "real cameras"... They were equally good years later, unlike digital ones, which you can almost feel crumbling under your fingers after their first new years'.


And these old metal machines often had a classic macho kind of beauty, something you can't say about many digital cameras, except a few which were made to look classic, like the Fuji X100 and the Olympus Pen-F.



... A photographer friend once asked to buy my Olympus X100. He didn't remember the exact name of it, so I asked him which of two possible choices it was. He said "the one which looks like a camera", and I knew which one he meant...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Music collectors

I'm just watching the Gilmore Girls, and the wonderful Lane charcter (wait... "Jane Lane"... I *knew* they were fans of Daria) is ordering new CDs from a huge catalogue.

 I'm wondering, big music fans, who buy new music all the time, how can they possibly *consume* all that music? There's just not time enough. I don't buy a lot, and I still have music I've yet to listen to.

 I suspect that they have the intention of listening to it all, but even if they can't, they want to *have* it, and it just piles up. They probably believe they will have the time to listen to it one day, all the while they keep buying new.
 Ah well, as addictions go, it could be a lot worse. :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vincent Bal shadow art

Vincent Bal makes some fresh, clever, and often funny art by combining drawing with the shadows of everyday objects.

Although he (wisely) here uses a very simple style, it sometimes shows that he can really draw.






Monday, November 28, 2016

Why write in cafes

On request, here is a little piece I wrote about why many find it helpful to write in cafes and such places.