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Friday, 12 March 2010


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"First one in with a mirrorless box that has a full-frame sensor and a native M mount wins!"

That would be the Leica M9. ;-)

Just a couple of comments.

First, about the Ricoh amateur mock-up. I read elsewhere (on the net) that Ricoh was planning to do this, that is to separate the lens from the sensor, and since the sensor is already separate from the body, this results in a modular system. The statement prompted a discussion about pros and cons, all without the benefit of real information (i.e., is the thing real). This is yet another example of what happens to the quality of public information and discussion when all the journalists are gone.

Second re film disappearance. Although I haven't shot film in years, I still have this feeling that I would like to try larger format "slow" photography one day (for landscape). The only realistic way that I could ever afford to do that, since it's purely for personal entertainment, is to use film and a medium format camera. The digital 135 full format and MFDB will almost certainly always be out of my reach, certainly not worth the investment for me, but Yashica 124s and Mamiya TLRs are perfectly affordable these days, and since I would use them sparingly anyway, the additional time it would take to scan the negatives/slides would not be significant. I doubt that I would ever want to make more than 1 or 2 2-foot wide prints per year; I don't have that much wall space left anyway. Actually, I am surprised to not see this option discussed more on the web. People are always looking for more resolution, so using medium format film for low volume personal projects seems to be a relatively inexpensive way to get into that game.

I don't actually remember which cartoon character said "faskinatin'" and "gawshk." Anybody know?

Mike, who would do badly on pop culture questions on a game show

Robert Roaldi,
People are always looking for more resolution, so using medium format film for low volume personal projects seems to be a relatively inexpensive way to get into that game.

I have rather thoroughly considered this myself. I came to the conclusion that depth of field on MF is a little too shallow for the handheld, natural light type of thing I like to do, and that it would have to be pretty low-volume for me to not be better off saving my pennies for an A-850. The math worked out to be about 450-760$/yr for about a frame a day. I'm accustomed to shooting that much on a good weekend. (In an afternoon, if I'm not interrupted.)

Mind you, I did just pick up the adapter that lets you shoot 35mm in a Yashica 635. I don't have a 635 yet, but I have this romantic notion of wanting to be able to use a TLR with some kind of film in another thirty or fifty years, and I figure that one of those two formats will still be around.

I also caught myself bidding on a mint Crown Graphic the other day, despite knowing I have next to no patience for that kind of slow paced photography. I'd burn through an 80$ box of film in a three day weekend. Maybe I love taking pictures too much to use film?

I think that would be Popeye.


"I don't actually remember which cartoon character said "faskinatin'" and "gawshk." Anybody know?"...

That would be Popeye, The Sailor Man...


Please don't let it be 4X5 Neopan Acros 100. The non-quickload just became available here in the US, prior to that I had to get it from Dirk. Not a bad place to get things but Freestyle is just up the street from me.

"Hot if obvious tip for the manufacturers: First one in with a mirrorless box that has a full-frame sensor and a native M mount wins!"

So Leica wins with the M9? What do they get?

Thanks Carl. The idea of "slow" photography appeals to me, or at least I think I'd like to give it a try. But then I also think that I'd like the "slow" food movement too, but come supper I am too hungry to take my time.

Maybe I can find a place in Ottawa that rents film-based medium format gear and get it out of my system that way. Can I limit myself to 10 or 12 shots per afternoon, I don't know, but if I leave the house with only one roll, I won't have any choice.


Sounds like Popeye to me

Seeing the superbly seamless mock-up photo above, I'm not surprised that some folk fell for it. After all, the gap between the module and base is less than that between most early 1970s MGB doors and bodywork. Just.

I think it was Popeye.

Guys, Mike,
Take a look at the header shot on the New York Times site, under 'Muslims too, perished in Nigerian Violence'. I think it is exceptional. Not the place for this? Like you say, Im just sayin'.
Cornwall. UK

"That would be the Leica M9."

Imagine a body that looks like a GF1, contains a FF sensor, has a native M mount, and is priced for the real world. As far as I can tell this is close to what Michael Reichmann was suggesting in his "Open Letter" article (assuming it would incorporate his other features), although I've had a hard time visualizing what he was suggesting even after re-reading his article.

In any event, it's technically feasible now--and legal feasible, too, since the M mount is no longer protected. I doubt very much Leica will ever make such a thing--it learned not to pirate its own M sales with the CL/CLE. But some other company can, and probably will at some point. When that day comes, I think that company, whoever it is, will have a moneymaker on its hands.

The resistance to this idea is that no company (except, uh, the one that has to) believes that a non-autofocus camera can possibly succeed today.

I believe what I'm describing is the exception.

But then, I don't have to make that bet with my own money. [g]


I must be one of the rare people outside of Japan to have used Neopan 400 in 35mm :-). I liked it but preferred to shoot Neopan 1600 for a bit more speed, or Delta 3200 for those really available darkness occasions. When I go my first DSLR (with AS) I dropped B&W film for low light and consolidated my B&W to FP4+ and HP5+.

I could have easily gone with Acros and Neopan 400 but I had a bottle of Rodinal which doesn't play too well with Acros, at least I don't really like the grain with this combination. When my current batch of HP5+ runs out, I might have to go back to trying Neopan 400 and mix up some ID11 or Microphen and remind myself what's it like.

Reala also seems to be on the chopping block :(. I have found memories of Reala, it was a colour negative film I didn't mind shooting, even though I usually preferred shooting slides.

@Tibor: Rangefinders do, of course, have mirrors -- that may be why Mike used the odd phrase of "mirrorless box."

"I don't actually remember which cartoon character said "faskinatin'" and "gawshk." Anybody know?"

If memory is correct, "faskinatin'" was Popeye, or was it Bugs Bunny? Even less sure about "gawshk", but would not be surprised at all if it was Popeye.

The BJP has a report here:


This M-mount module for the GXR was a big LOL for me.

The same “exotic” modules than were shown in CP+ have been in the February issue of Nippon Camera magazine page 125, 130 and 131 with the same black gaffer's tape.

Anyway it might give some ideas to Ricoh. I mean a M-mount module with a APS-C sensor is super easy to do. Just remove the 33mm lens from the A12 module. Something has to be done to improve the manual focusing though.



What rumor? When I stopped by the film bunker at Glazer's last weekend, they had the Fuji spreadsheet of discontinued films taped to the fridge.

I thought due to the distance, M-module is nearly next to impossible for that camera. Anyway we have 4/3 if you want to go the adaptor route.

Film availability is always a hit-and-miss and that rumour only increase the uncertainty. Only get Kodak and Iiford here which I used (for 4x5). Fuji is mainly for Acros 100 (only in 120). 8x10 always have to order outside (except Velvia 50 8x10 which I manage to order a few boxes so far but the supply stop last month; still need to find another source).

In fact what really worry is the other rumour by Ian Grant about E6 in the same thread. I really like 8x10 Velvia self-developed and very happy to look at the result on my light table. Never saw a real kodachrome my life (the result on the web is exceedingly great) and hence E6 Velvia is the best thing I know and which I have. Please keep that.

Why did they drop Reala? Isn't it the Velvia of negatives?

I've never had problems getting fuji films in Australia. Australia - that's a country that is not Japan and not the US. There are a few others as well. I'm just sayin.

I hate to see Neopan 400 go away, although we could still use TMY2 which is the better film.

Daniel: Acros 100 does play rather well with Rodinal 1+100 semi-stand development. At least the 120 type looks pretty okay.

That M-mount Ricoh GXR rumor is silly. Who would believe such a thing?

Neopan 400: they'll come up with a better version, I'm just answering...

Dear Mike,

I found the Joel Meyerowitz conversation very interesting because it directly relates to something I had noticed about the Cape Light work. Those photographs were originally printed chromogenically, and seeing the originals made it very clear that Joel completely understood the characteristics and (substantial!) limitations of the tone and color palette he had to work with. It's one of the best matches of vision to materials I can think of in modern color photography. (The book is a pale and unsatisfactory imitation, which I own primarily because it reminds me of the originals.)

The match is so good that I did not imagine the series could be reproduced any other way and still work. So I was amazed when I saw a series of dye transfer prints that had been made from Joel's negatives, in the mid-1980s. They also worked! I was hugely impressed that Joel could recast the work so successfully, when the medium was so different. Raised my estimation of him another notch, if that was even possible.

Finding out that he can render the same work successfully as digital prints and is enthusiastic about them doesn't surprise me in the least.

At least that's something he and I have in common (I'll take my feeble associations with greatness wherever I can find them).

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Mike, I'll like to draw your attention to the M-module for the GXR. I was at CP+ in Japan and visited Ricoh's booth. They do in fact have such a sample, but the executives told me that it's only to show how flexible the GXR system is, and the possibilities that come with it. Ricoh may or MAY not develop such a product in the future. On another note, you might be interested to know that Ricoh also displayed a GXR attached to a Hasselblad SWC, and the explanation was the same. Hope that solves the mystery

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