Friday, August 29, 2014

I've Got This Old...And I Read That...

Ah. Ah, indeed.

I too have got these old...'s and have been reading that you can get an ... to attach them to the ... and then you can...until you fall down dizzy. Or you can save time by falling down dizzy to start with.

The widespread adaptation of the CNC machine in small workshops in northern Asia has  facilitated this no end. We can get adapters to stick nearly anything to nearly anything else. Sometimes it seems a good idea and sometimes it just seems an idea. Fortunately most of these devices are fairly inexpensive so that if the advice from the internet proves rotten you can throw them away with little regret.

It's no that they are bad products - indeed they are very well made. The stumbling block is what you might be trying to do with what goes on the front...reusing old lenses sometimes yields marginal results. Camera lenses that might have yielded a sort of a negative or slide on the old 1959 SLR might be woeful with the mirror-less sensor on the latest camera. There can even be compounds of misery - lenses that were intended to be universal optics with complex adapters in the film era clapped onto a digital adapter and waved in the breeze...Oh Dear...

I proved this to myself at an event when I tried to adapt a tele/macro/zoom lens to my mirror-less and got a day's-worth of slightly fuzzy images. Focusing issues? ser shake issues? Dodgy aperture setting? All three? Well, I learned and I paid and it won't be until the same event next year that I can recover those images I need.

Contrast this with a similar event a fortnight ago - same camera, same flash, but with a purpose-built zoom lens from the manufacturer of the camera dedicated to the camera mount. No fuzzies. Clean results. Easy operation. Best purchase decision I have made in a long time.

Please feel free to imagine and experiment - but be prepared to set fire to your shirt when some of the experiments go wrong.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Leica Long Landscapes

The users of film cameras have distinct advantages over their digital counterparts - it makes no difference what the electrical wall plugs look like in your holiday hotel. You cannot lose the charger down the back of the bedside table. Spare batteries are easy to find, particularly for the older models that do not take batteries. And the last for...decades...

The technique of shooting a landscape scene through a dense filter to extend the exposure time is quite popular with digital shooters these days. The same is possible with film if you use one that has a low enough ISO to start with - but you still have to use the very dark ND filter.

Start yourself out with the AGFA PAN 25 film - made by Maco Photo Products in Europe. A true 25 ISO, and extremely fine grain. You can reach the website of the manufacturer for development times here:

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Still Very Much Alive

On my private Facebook page I sometimes read positive assertions from friends that they don't make film any more. Then I come to work and look at the fridge full of different varieties of fresh 135, 120, and 4 x 5 film. Colour neg, colour transparency, black and white, infra red, instant peel-apart...if they are not making it, where does it all come from month after month?

I have stopped believing in the supernatural, so that rules out film fairies. I suspect that the factories that coat the emulsions are still going and the business is very much alive - good news for users of older analog cameras. Depending upon which camera you have, you should be able to shoot film long into the future.

Note: if you are using Leica or Hasselblad cameras they will last four years longer than forever anyway...

Note also that the pro labs are still going strong and can cope with ( nearly ) anything you can load into your camera. The lab techs might shake their heads but they soldier on anyway.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Father's Day Plan - For Fathers

I am a father. I had a father. He had a father. We're trained and qualified in fathering - it has been a family business. We know what we are talking about.

I know what I look like*. I know what my father looked like. I know what my grandfather(s) looked like. I have seen the pictures - in the case of my father's picture, I took many of the images during his last 20 years.

What do you look like? When you're gone what will you look like? You'll look like your pictures, that's what you'll look like - you children will see that as you. Wouldn't it be a good idea if what they saw was good-looking?

You're a photographer - you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't. This is not a blog about liverwurst sandwiches. So...since you can take pictures, spend some time between now and Father's Day to take some selfies.

Do it right. Find good light - or make it in your own home studio. Set your camera up on a tripod or camera clamp and either set the self timer mechanism or get a cable or wireless remote release. Shoot some trial shots to get your exposure right, and then start to shoot ones that feature your face.

Look carefully at those shots. If you want your eyes to look better, turn them the right way - if you want your mouth to look good, practise how to hold it. Make a film star of yourself quite deliberately - you are making a record for your children and grand children.

Dress as well as you can - you don't want to be remembered as the old guy wearing the bike lycra covered in advertising or the DEATHMETAL tee shirt. Make yourself look as dignified as you can - you can smile and warm up the image that way. If nothing you own looks good, go buy some damn clothes.

When you have a couple of dozen good shots of you, edit them carefully and print like mad and burn off a half dozen discs. And send the discs to where they will be safe - if some get lost there should at least some that survive, unlike you who won't...and that is the whole point of this exercise...

You will eventually be a visual memory - be a good one, not just a Facebook grab shot.

* Hell on a dry biscuit some days...

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Monday, August 25, 2014

When Doctors Disagree

I spent some time yesterday evening reading articles written on the net by users of the next camera I intend to covet. This is a good sport, and one that you can all play from the comfort of your computer chair - for free, too. And the advice is worth every penny you pay for it...

I am never drawn to writers who cannot use the English language well - not that I decry their knowledge of photography for that. I realise that they may be wonderfully fluent in some other language and did I read that, I would be well informed. I don't, so I confine myself to those who can write what I can read.

I particularly look for people who own the gear and then use it to do what I do - passing by those who speculate on what they would like to own or what the manufacturer should do. I need facts and the people who have discovered these facts for themselves are in the best position to assist.

But what to do when two chaps both engage in the same business - paid wedding  photography - and both have purchased the same camera and lenses - but have diametrically opposing views on the subject? Not just artistic views - they are both judging the gear and the way it works at the wedding. One loves it and one hates it. And they are both taking good pictures - you can see them on the net - and they are both right...

Well, nothing is perfect. The Patton tank is wonderful for crushing Volkswagens but woeful as a vacation tourer. We accept this a work around it.

I think that I, and you, who may well be struggling under similar confusions, will just have to come in and get the gear in hand and test it out ourselves. You can rent 'em and the lenses and make your own discoveries.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Play A Game Of Checkrs With Datacolor

I love my colour reference board. I use it in my studio when I am trying to get an exact reproduction of the colours of  model cars. Then I distort the heck out of them with Photoshop Elements, but that is beside the point - I start out clean and clear.

Mine's an old model made by a respected old manufacturer. It was made while Elvis was alive but is still going strong - as it gets stored carefully in the dark between uses*. It cost me a surprising amount of money back then and I am glad it is still going strong - I like to get value for money.

Well, if you would like to get better value than that right now in a colour/B&W reference card may we suggest the Datacolor Spyder Checkr 24. It is made in a lot sturdier material than my old one and in a more convenient size - 5 x 7. You can haul it in any camera bag for a quick ref shot in every new situation.

There is also a downloadable SpyderCheckr camera calibration software and support materials note on the sleeve that protects the panel. Not sure what they expect you to do but all I have ever done is look carefully at the results on the Polaroid/print/screen image and then take appropriate measures. Call it chromatic blundering into the furniture, if you will, but so far it has worked.

$ 65 means you CAN afford this.

* If they had stored Elvis in the dark between uses he might still be going strong too.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

All Too Hard Becomes All Too Easy With Fujifilm

If you are one of those people who takes a heap of photos on your mobile phone you then:

1. Post them on Facebook
2. Post them on Flicker
3. Lose them when the mobile phone is stolen/broken.

All the advertising so far to make you take your phone in to a chain store and print out the images on it have failed, so they are still on there. The pictures of your dinner, of you in the bathroom taking selfies, the pictures of the dog dressed in a onesy...

Well, conquer the inertia - Fujifilm have produced the perfect answer for you. Connect a mobile smart phone to the Fujifilm Instax Share printer and load up the app. Also load up a cartridge of the little Instax film - there are 10 shots to each cartridge.

Then send the picture from your phone to the Share and out pops a picture that develops right there in front of you - 90 seconds.

Of course you might not be as photogenic straight away as the two individuals seen in the heading photo, but keep practising and you will get there.

Trust Fujifilm to come up with a simple fun idea like this.

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Saul Sez

A quick note in from Saul regarding lighting:

The Profoto people will be adding another controller to their system in mid-September.

It will be the Air Remote TTL-N for the Profoto B1. This means the Profoto B1 will be able to do TTL with both Nikon and Canon cameras. Right now you can do this with the Air Remote TTL-C for the Canon system.

It's not only for the B1 - the literature states that it will also synch and control any Profoto unit that is compatible with Air. There will be long operating range - 300 mtrs.

Nikon shooters will want to try this one out as soon as they can. Mid-September.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Good Design From Panasonic - In Store Now

The Panasonic FZ 1000 has been a camera on the lips of many callers over the last few weeks - now at last we can satisfy the curiosity and ambition of the people who rang - we have the camera in stock.

It is a bridge camera, whatever that has come to mean these days and if previous cameras were stone arches, this one is a cantilever suspension with multiple spans. The big daddy of bridge cameras.

It starts with a 1" sensor - large enough to deal well with detail and electronic noise. It has an f:2.8 lens ( that goes to f:4 at the longest focal length...) and it has a massive zoom range - the equivalent range of 24mm to 400mm.

The electronic viewfinder has been upgraded to 2,359 K OLED. and there is a hybrid form of image stabilising incorporated.

The big move for the video side of it is the 4K High Speed Video with an FHD of 120fps /100fps.

This currently may well be the ultimate convenient Africa/Alaska camera for the wildlife tourist. It has been made with an attention to the ergonomics of the hand that is characteristic of Panasonic - the good grip design that they showed with the GX-7 is echoed here. A man's hand can comfortably operate the camera. The eyepiece is also made with enough extension that the nose can comfortably fit behind it. Not an inconsiderate matter for some.

Come in and try it - we're charging the battery right now.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Pardon My Packshot

Some packages are just too good to unpack.

Witness the neat job Røde have done on the new model stereo microphone for the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Plug it into the appropriate Apple product and add the appropriate app and you can record stereo sound in 24-bit/96 khz with a high=pass filter and windshield. that's studio quality in the field.

Now you can attach it to your DSLR and make movies or just thrust it under a politician's nose and make trouble.

In-store right now. We've also got them for the older models of iPhone as well.

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Paying The Right Price

What's the right price for a camera? This is a question that exercises the wits of many of our clients - but I sometimes wonder if they tend to fool themselves with the answer.

We see all sorts of prices here. Some seem fair and some do not - I am particularly suspicious of low-ball offers coming from unidentifiable sources on the internet or passed by word-of-mouth. I think many of them are based on imagination - designed to hold the attention of the reader or listener until the unidentified source can invent the next one.

Sometimes these prices are ludicrously high - anyone who has ever looked into the little camera store in Nürnberg will know what I mean - and one can only wonder if the writer of these advertisements has missed a couple days of medication. That is a kind thought, as is the one that assigns this sort of behaviour to a sense of humour. I'm not too sure - I looked in the window of that little store and I saw the owner and I don't think you could have got a laugh out of him with a bayonet...

Now we get all sorts of games here; Whoomi, The Singapore Railway, J Card, and Eye No to mention a few. We cope with them as best as we can. They all are postulated upon reducing the price of the goods we sell but I am starting to think that this is harming the players. You see, when they play and win, their sense of victory is very short lived - and the value that the winners place upon the trophy ( the new camera ) is reduced in proportion to the price.

In short, if you pay peanut money, you regard whatever you have as peanuts. You don't respect the camera, value its features, expect it to last, or make it last. You are willing to trade it in on the Next Big Thing before the Big Thing you have in hand actually works for you. You buy short and sell yourself short.

Consider valuing what you have not on the discount you wheedled but on a proper price that accounts for the performance. Performance is better than ever too.

Final note - If you have read this far without screaming in rage and pelting the computer screen with rocks, I will admit that you can pay far too much for some goods. I have two Penny's khaki shirts and an old Eisenhower jacket that I wear around the house. They are wonderfully comfortable but as I inherited them from my late father 31 years ago they are costly. I would far rather he were here now to be wearing them around our house...

Dick Stein

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Head And Tail From Manfrotto

Just a small note for the users of Manfrotto 190 tripods with removable center columns.

The 556B center column is available as an accessory for these - it allows you to add the capability of levelling the head separately from the orientation of the legs. This means that if you are using a video head it can start movement dead level with the horizon and then move to a smooth pan. You'll see a mechanism like this on the larger professional motion picture tripods.

The basic platform sits in a bowl and you get some 15º if tilt in all directions - the grip down at the bottom of the column then tightens up.

What it would also be perfect for is the panorama enthusiast. Combine this leveller with a simple turntable and you would have a complete light pano head that doesn't flop around. Gotta be a good idea for someone.

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Three More Days To Click

The Click To Bid on-line auction that the West Australian newspaper is running is on for three more days - it closes off at 9:00 PM on the 17th of August.

We made up a big list ( I made up a big list...) of good items for this auction - all sorts of price ranges,too. We carefully put them aside ready for delivery if someone wins the bidding, and we are anticipating the flow of buyers after the sale closes.

Lots of other shops and businesses did too - so there will be a lot of people bidding and then looking at the figures as the time draws to a close. It's kind of like the eBay bidding system on the net...but with one big difference.

The goods are real. The sellers are real. The West Australian is real. They are all here. The items are all covered by correct Australian warranties. You are not depending upon the vagaries of the postal system or a seller who is a pseudonym and a number in Nome, Alaska. The seller in Nome may be as honest as the day is long, but I've been in Alaska in the winter and I know how long the days really are...

Note: The newspaper mentions that they also send part of the auction proceeds to Telethon.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Big Brother Epson Cash Back - Fly In Now

Looks as though the Epson people have decided to add cash back offers to their A2 printers as well as the A3+ ones.

Word has come that the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 photo printer is eligible for a $ 250 cash back for units purchased from now until 30th of September.

If you would like the roll-print capability of the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 with its extreme colour gamut and resolution, you qualify for a cash back from Epson of $ 500. Same period of time applies.

These are totally professional inkjet printers that are simple enough for the enthusiast to operate. These cash offers mean that you can get into printing much more easily than before.

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Freezing Warm In The Studio

Did goe to Terrace Photography in Wittenoom St., East Perth laste night and was greatley entertained.

The distributors of the Elinchrom flash system arranged for a top-notch fashion photographer - Stef King - to demonstrate the new Elinchrom ELC monoblock flash head in a studio setting. Stef was aided and abetted by the crew from Terrace, Team Digital, Kayell, and us - Camera Electronic. She was armed with a Nikon D4 camera connected via a Tether tools orange cable to a laptop. The pictures were transferred up to a projector and we got to see the results instantly.

The lighting was done, as I mentioned, with the new Elinchrom ELC heads. These are 500 w/s and 1000 w/s types and fit all the standard Elinchrom shapers. last night they used strip and octa soft boxes made by Elinchrom with very effective grids attached. The heads chop light precisely - very fast strobe effects and instant recharging. Sophisticated timing options too - you can have lots of small pops and then one big one in the middle of the sequence. The tiny slices of light are at usable power - you aren't restricted to tiny settings.

The result? Stroboscopic effects - stop-motion effects - Edgerton effects. Dreamy sequences and then sharp delineation right in the middle. No wonder Stef and other fashion experts love this sort of look - it is arresting.

Mind you, I couldn't help thinking that someone should have been arrested...the things that they did to the poor little model girl! She was a tall graceful attractive girl and as game as they come. But they dressed her like a Guy and then proceeded to throw silver paint, smoke, glitter, and corn flour at her - frequently at the same time. If it had been a food shoot they would have thrown a bucket of gravy at her...What price the modelling profession?

Ah, but she did have the satisfaction of seeing Saul and Ben from CE and Team Digital volunteer as the last models of the evening - they were treated to glitter and corn flour and fortunately there was a lot available. I expect the upholstery in their cars will bear witness for the next month.

In the end, one can conclude that the Elinchrom ELC is a good light for studios and is at a good price. If you see a tall girl with long hair trailing corn flour and glitter somewhere this next week try to not stare - it would be cruel ...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jack Out Of The Box

My daughter bought a cake decorating kit. It is made in  Switzerland - world headquarters, presumably, of squirting icing on sponge. It certainly seems so from the promotional announcements on the outside of the package; there are paeans of praise and promises of paradise on every surface. It is the sort of cardboard box that would be worshipped in remote jungle villages in a Conrad novel.

And the cake decorator is just a plastic icing squirter with nozzles...

What a contrast to the sober and refined packaging for modern cameras...oh, wait. Don't look at the pictures on this one or the advertising blurb on that one. Concentrate on the one in the plain cardboard box. Inside of which is a box worthy of a Fabergé egg...You may tire of the camera in a few years but don't lose the packaging - it will eventually be worth a fortune.


The other end of the packaging spectrum generally originates in Wung Fou Province with the Extremely Auspicious Ever Victorious Camera Accessory Company. The cardboard box that surrounds their product - a pretty well-made lighting set that's good value for money - is made of recycled water buffalo ears. Or the straw that John West rejected. Whatever, the thing spontaneously disintegrates in your hand as you try to get it onto the shelf. Biodegradability is a fine thing, but there is the matter of timing.

Please, manufacturers...a box that has a clear label as to contents, plus a barcode that works and a serial number if applicable. Enough room inside to repack the goods after demonstration or display, and simple wrapping - not a cardboard origami puzzle. Sturdy enough to travel, but accessible once it gets here. The sales assistants of the world will pray for you.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Little World

One of the charming little hidden programs available these days in mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic GX-7 is the "miniature effect".

When we take pictures of model train sets, model harbours, or miniature villages on a table top we generally see them from a distance and a height. Of course for more realism we go down to a scale height and maximise depth of field by nefarious means but that is secret photographer's business, and the average users never go there. they get pretty good overall pictures of he train set with just a portion of it in focus and the rest blurry. SOmetimes they wish it was different...

Well, who would have predicted that people would want to take pictures of normal scenes and produce just this same restricted effect. But it has become a much-desired special effect. The companies have made the camera keep the center of the field of view sharp while progressively blurring out the periphery - or so I thought.

I was looking down from a tall building in Tokyo at the harbour - a clear day and lots of fascinating  Japanese detail. The picture taken in landscape orientation worked. When I tilted the camera into portrait all went wonky. I had not realised that the softening ran in a horizontal band.

Still artistic, but a little more random than I was aiming at...

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Out Of the Woods

This view of the Carrie Nation Memorial Forest is brought to you by courtesy of the Lee company. The same people who make the Big Stopper, the Little Stopper, and the Enormously Popular System Of Graduated Filters. They also make large rolls of transparent and translucent plastic sheets that you can put over studio lights to change the colours.

You can have mild filters and wild filters - the weak ones compensate for inadequacies in the lighting and the wild ones compensate for the lack of artistic ability. The rolls are big enough that you can cover the front of a soft box or cut them up to make reusable ones for the smaller reflectors. I sandwich them between bits of matt board or plywood and then hook that over the rim of the reflector. Crude, but effective.

Beware of the heat generated by the modelling lights - Lee make heat-resistant gels for theatrical use that can withstand the stage lights - if you have a choice get this kind.

Roscoe also make this sort of material, and sometimes we have interesting packets of pre-cut gels here in the shop. Heck, they're cheap enough and you never can tell where a colour will be needed. You can wrap them on a speed light and do it out in the field as well. A splash  of green on a bride's face at the altar is always a nice touch...

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Thinking Of A Different Temperature

No, I don't mean just waiting for summer to roll around. It'll roll around of its own accord without us wishing for it. Then we'll wish for winter...

What I mean is the business of lighting one way, seeing another, and ending up with a third option. And how to cope with it all.

I use studio flash units made by Elinchrom. They are fine items and have served well over several decades. Were i re-equipping the studio with someone else's money I might wish for Profoto, but as I have 5 lights already and a cupboard full of light shapers, I will stick to the Elinchroms.

They all have modelling lights to allow me to see what the pattern of light coming out of the front will be. That is all I can really tell with a modest degree of accuracy, though - the pattern - because the modelling light is a tungsten light bulb that is in aslightly different position from the flash tube.

What comes out with the modelling lamp is yellow light - it is quite different from the clear 5000º Kelvin output when the flash tube goes off. If I am looking at the setup in the studio my eyes and the LCD screen on the Fujifilm X-E2 see that yellow light and imagine that is what will go with the final exposure. Nope. Fortunately there is instant replay to let me see what happened, but there has to be a mental off-set to think of what the result might be.

A suggestion has been made that there might be an improvement if you put an LED lightbulb in place of the modelling lamp. Try it and tell me - my Elinchroms are 250EL and 500EL models.

I should not complain - I used to use sheet film and had to do a Polaroid sheet film test beforehand. Then I had to meter for two different ISO's and apply all the rest of the imaginary offsets as well. Each finished negative was a surprise and each finished print a version of reality that could never be repeated...

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Persian Rug

Persians, so I am informed, weave deliberate mistakes into their rugs. The rugs themselves are quite sturdy and sometimes very colourful. They can be seen in buildings all over the country - nearly every major city has at least one carpet shop closing down and selling these rugs at below cost price. Indeed, some of these shops have been going out of business for years - I suppose it is the sort of failure that you pass down from father to son...

Apart from the business model, the idea of the deliberate mistake in the rug is to demonstrate that the rug maker is human...not divine. This is a charming  philosophical point, although in practical terms, anyone observing the weavers would be unlikely to fall into quite that mistake....

How does it apply to photography? Well, if you were to believe the marketers of some editing programs designed to retouch portraits, imperfection is something to be ruthlessly weeded out. Skins are to be smoothed, noses are to be trimmed and straightened, eyes are to be evened up, and teeth are to be whitened. Otherwise the person depicted would be...would be...ummm. Help me out here. I'm trying to say that the person depicted would be the person depicted.

Okay, I am not decrying a little eye-bag removal for those who have indulged the night before - also, removing roaring red eyes is a kind act. You can whiten teeth a little, but beware of trying to do the sort of thing that suburban shopping centre peroxide and laser clinics do. They are fake professionals and are used to pressure-cooking incisors. Do not attempt it at home on your PC.

I guess what I am saying is please do not try to make Konrad Adenauer look like a Disney princess. If people want to see computer-generated androids there are plenty of movies out these days that do that. Leave your portrait sitter some semblance of their real face and skin. They will be happy enough with it when the Adenauer wrinkles eventually do arrive.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Novel Idea From Germany

Here's a clever idea from a West German manufacturer - a digital-free camera.

It allows people who do not have access to electricity to still take still pictures. You put a tin canister with a chemically-impregnated plastic strip in the bottom of the camera just like a regular memory card and it uses this as a sensor. They've arranged for the strip to be in the same spot as the regular sensor so you can use normal lenses in the camera. No multiplying factor needed.

There's no need to keep turning on a back screen to see what you just took - the camera has an accurate TTL light meter to get the exposure right and you just take the tin canister out after 36 exposures and let someone take care of the post-processing work. Couldn't be easier.

There is no need to worry if the AF mechanism is going to focus accurately as this camera lets you take control of this important aspect. On a philosophical level it means that you are not accepting the tyrannical dictat of the bourgoisie in respect to sharpness - if you want it out of focus you can have it out of focus. Take control of your vision!

Users of this camera have access to a great range of lenses from Leitz, Zeiss, Voigtlander, and other manufacturers.

Best of all, users of this sort of camera will be joining a number of famous photographers in a sort of exclusive club - HC-B and HM the Queen come to mind, though not often at the same time. Very few brothers-in-law will have one before you do, even if they are famous photographers...

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Canon Come To The Cash-Back Party

More money calls to you.

Canon Australia are offering cash-backs to buyers of their top-line DSLR camera bodies.
These started just this week and will be running until September 30th - usual rules - you buy camera from an authorised dealer, then contact Canon Australia on the net with details of purchase date and serial number and they send you money.

This means an even better deal for you.

Here's the list of eligible bodies and their applicable cashbacks:

1. Canon EOS 100D DSLR camera body...............................$ 100
2. Canon EOS 700D DSLR camera body..............................$ 150
3. Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera body.................................$ 150
4. Canon EOS 1DX DSLR camera body................................$ 400
5. Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera body...................................$ 200
6. Canon EOS 5D mkIII DSLR camera body.......................$ 200

No matter where your level of expertise is - or what your ambitions are - Canon has a DSLR that can meet your needs. And their lenses are world-famous.

So now is the time.

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Aww, Come On....

Bag and a bar. Six bucks.

Money goes to the school - digital bag goes into your camera outfit - chocolate goes to your hips.

How good is that?

PS: The strawberry and mint ones come in a two-pack, so you can share. As if you would...

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Saw That - I Read That - I Heard That - I Found That...

The internet is a marvellous invention...apparently by Al Gore...who is warm, globally. I read that on the net on Great site, if you don't mind the pop-up ads for plumbers in your area.

Anyway, some of you may be reading this right now on the internet. It is also available on the back of pre-packed salads from your local deli. Hint: avoid the Geek Salad. It is not a typo...

Now back to the program. If you read anything on the net it must be true. And you can use this truth to compel people in shops to lower their prices. Doesn't work in the Post Office or  pre-packed salad shop but camera stores are easy. You can also use what you read to give you signpost for what to do with your camera. Just be careful to look along the signpost and then go the other way.

Okay, let's get serious. The forums have given everyone a chance to have an opinion but many of those opinions are not backed up by practical experience. They are the photographic equivalent of race-course touts telling you where to place your bets. If you are inclined to follow their advice, so be it. Just be prepared to look at a lot of departing horses...carrying your money.

Better advice is, make your own decision based upon your own findings. You can bring a memory card here to the shop, clip together an outfit you wish to test, and make a card's full of different shots. Take the images home, look at them n your system - at 100% magnification. See the results for yourself, and formulate your own opinion.

Then act on that opinon. Your eyes can see and your brain can think

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting To The Point

How often have you sat in the dark at the camera club competition and looked at the perfection on the screen. And then had the judge pick out the one-pixel-wide flaw on the image - this in an image that is the size of a two-car garage - and score it as " can do better ".

Kinda makes you want to pack a pistol, don't it? Or at least throw a double-dark slide through the darkness like a ninja star, in hopes of winging the miserable sod. All your work, and all to no avail...over one pixel.

Well, take heart. This last weekend several members of the staff attended an exhibition of famous photographs of famous people by a famous photographer. And they were wonderful images, and iconic, and masterful, and apparently wouldn't make the cut at any of our local clubs...

One of the chaps said that we might have higher standards now - now that we have a flood of images in the world. These were taken when the photographer had to do a lot more hard work to produce an image. Or maybe the exhibition pictures are of such an emotional and artistic value as to transcend the judgement.

Whatever. I think it just means that the club people are better than they know it when it comes to making the images. All they need is a famous personality to photograph and an picture editor to buy it. And for LOOK, LIFE, SIGNAL, and FILM FLOOZIES magazines to come back onto the news stands....

Heading Picture: Grey Company's Saxon shield wall preparing to receive visitors.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Photo-minimalism...Game-Changing Iconic Trend For Legendary Masters

Having just emerged from the Battle Of Leederville - aka the camera club photo markets - with my sanity intact and my wallet bolstered by the contents of other people's wallets, I am set to squander my money all over again. I mean I am about to make some sensible and considered purchases, before it burns a hole in my pants pocket.

I have set out a list of desirable items to purchase that will be absolutely essential to happiness - if I do not acquire them as soon as possible I will absolutely die.

Or not, as the case may be. The dying bit may be a bit dramatic, but f I don't get these new possessions I will plunge into the deepest despair.

Or not, as the case may be. I am taking pictures right now with the cameras I already own that look pretty good. But if I don't have a new computer with the newest operating system that is connected to a cloud I won't be able to make anybody like them...or me...ever,ever again...

Or not, as the case may be. My clients like the way they look and they invite me to their shows all the time. They pay me money. I have a wife and family to love me anyway...and they make allowances for a lot of things.

But...but...but.. what am I to do if I want to become one of them game-changing iconic ambassadors and all? I've got this spare money and surely I need to buy happiness somewhere in the shops...

Or not, as the case may be...

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Another Boring Old Make-Money List...

The cash cows are loose in the paddock! Round them up and start milking the system!

We've just turned the corner into August and there are new cash-backs starting up. Here's the list of what you get by contacting the distributors AFTER you purchase the gear.


X-E2 Camera....................................................$ 200
X-Por 1 Camera................................................$ 200


A7 Camera........................................................$ 300
A7R Camera....................................................$ 300
A7S Camera.....................................................$ 300
A5000 Camera.................................................$ 100
A6000 Camera................................................$ 100
E Mount 24-70 mm  f:2.8 Lens....................$ 200
E Mount 35 mm f:2.8 Lens............................$ 200
E Mount 55 mm f:1.8 Lens............................$ 200
E Mount 70-200 mm f:4 Lens.....................$ 200


D3300 Camera.................................................$ 50
D5200 Camera.................................................$ 100
D5300 Camera.................................................$ 50
D7100 Camera.................................................$ 100
D610 Camera...................................................$ 150
AF-S 50 mm f:1.8 G Lens..............................$ 25
AF-S 14-24 mm f:2.8 Lens............................$ 100
AF-S 24-70 mm f:2.8 Lens............................$200
AF-S 28-300 mm f:3.5-5.6 VR Lens.............$ 75
AF-S 70-200 mm f:2.8 VR II Lens.............$ 150
AF-S 18-200 mm f:3.5-5.6 VR DX Lens.....$ 50

These are going for two months in the case of the Fujifilm and Sony offers and one month in the case of he Nikon listing. Like we said before, you purchase from us, please, thank you, then you contact the relevant company through their respective website and notify them of the date of purchase and the serial number and they send you money through your bank account.

It's no fair asking us to give you the money back in advance or asking Sony to give you back money for the Nikon products - or vice versa - but you can try if you like, Camera wholesalers like a laugh, the same as the rest of us...

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