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Monday, 21 May 2012


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Bad luck Mike. You missed it. The 6mm has already been sold, at full price.



I would suggest Hilla Becher......or mr. Robert Adams......or me? And I wouldn't test it in an 8 x 10 but in a 4 x 5 (and with good glass able to cover 95 x 95 mm and not much more) but at 11045 x 11045 pixels on a 95 mm x 95 mm disk.....glass won't be limiting since that means about 60 lp/mm and that can be reached by most 4x5 lenses (with ease) if you stop them down a few notches.

Greetings, Ed

And about Leica prices.....that is a load of economic bullshit. That is not about the fact that this article is bullshot. Economically he's talking as straight as it gets. But since economics is no science at all (since it cannot predict anything as Mr. Scholes so nicely proved in 1998) this is also bollocks par excellence. Leica's are expensive because:

1) Developmental costs are spread over a few units.

2) Workmanship in Germany is expensive (that's why German cars cost more then Korean cars).

3) It costs Leica a lot more to market a new Leica per unit then lets say Nikon or Canon.

Leica has no luxury bonus anywere except for the exclusive models (ostrich leather that kind of kitt) that are marketed as luxury items and the rebranded Lumix products (although they come with higher graded software (Lightroom in a redundant version instead of SilkyPics).

Greetings, Ed

Just started to play with the $50 fish eye(from Amazon) that Opteka makes, using it on the Canon 15 to 85mm lens. Auto focuses to the front of the lens. The center 1/2 is very sharp.
Probably not as good as the Nikkor one, but one heck of a lot cheaper and just as much fun.
They made a fish eye for the 900 series digital nikon, I think my wife has one kicking around some where. Have to try it if I can find it in the camera rubble.
Thats the "Opteka 0.20x HD2 add on lens. Also works on the 18 to 55mm kit lenses. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Opteka+0.20x+HD2+

"Silver and Light" lost me when the narrator said, "The basic foundation of this camera was built on the American Spirit". I just don't get that type of thinking. Perhaps someone can explain.

Looks like he's making some really nice plates. But they aren't that big...I don't think he needs the truck. Just a big ass camera.

ok that's a pretty big plate. I stand corrected.

Re: the NEX-like camera in the TV series "Person Of Interest". There was also a second character in the same episode using a NEX-ish camera with long lens at waist level for covert surveillance.

The 6mm fisheye has already been sold. I remember seeing one at a camera show in London years ago. It was mounted on a tripod. I looked through the viewfinder of the attached camera, with my arms stretched out sideways. I could see my hands and wrists.

"He wants your opinion as to which photographers they should give one to to test."

Am I allowed to nominate myself?

I want to photograph the Grove of the Patriarch and Yosemite with Zeke's 112MP camera. Eat your heart out, Uncle Ansel.

Edie Howe

Several readers already alerted me to Spectral Imaging's quest for a photographer to try out a new prototype camera. Two have nominated me to be that photographer. I took a look at the camera description in the video and it sounds pretty damn cool. (So does their chief techie; he looks and sounds just like my kind of guy!). I think I'd make a very good choice. If you happen to feel the same way, would you drop them a note and tell them why? And if you don't, by all means recommend to them a photographer of your own preference.

Me, I'd be recommending John Sexton, if he were at all interested in digital. Except for that one little issue, he'd be perfect.

pax / Ctein

1. So I can be forgiven for initially mistaking Zeke for someone else, eh?

That beat (camera) is quite a hoot. Rather like some renegade guy from DPreview gone mad. The camera is bad enough to hand hold, but the cryogenic plant is a killer. But I'm sure ThinkTank would develop a bag for it.

2. Olympus's new marketing slogan: "The Olympus OM-D. Finally a camera that can even make a low-light lawyer look good."

3. Actually, I had no idea that humans actually touched Canon cameras before they reached stores. Ewww!

"'Silver and Light' lost me when the narrator said, 'The basic foundation of this camera was built on the American Spirit.' I just don't get that type of thinking. Perhaps someone can explain."

I read a long article a few years ago that made the case that the more national myths a country has, the more it suffers. Citizens can't see clearly what's going on, can't make rational decisions, and get led down the garden path by leaders adept at invoking the mythos. If that's true, then America might be in trouble. Americans seem to *constantly* tell each other bullshit about America. If you don't like it, good thing you don't live here, because it's a steady rain. Most of it is sanctimonious and treacly, a lot of it is untrue, and a lot of the things you hear actually contradict other things you hear.

You know what they say: Oh well.

Maybe every country is like this, I don't know.


You missed a great one today: A 35ft camera with a 6ft long negative. Blows any digital camera out of the water in terms of resolution... who needs more mega pixels when we can just make our film bigger?


p.s. I don't want to know how he dodges and burns... A couple of airplane flaggers maybe?

The George Eastman House had one of those Nikkor fisheyes on display, back in the '70s. They had it set up inside a glass tube so that you could actually see through the lens (the Nikon F body had an enlarged viewfinder). The view was spectacular, even if it was of a room full of glass cases. I suppose that they still have it in storage somewhere...

Arg, the only person who can explain what was meant by the "American Spirit" comment is the commenter himself.

But I'll hazard a guess that he was indulging in a bit of traditional American jingoism. And I'll also note that like America in general, he failed miserably and repeatedly in Yosemite before getting one image that completely failed to impress me. While wet plate imaging is fascinating, the originality and beauty was lacking in the images themselves.

Just sayin'.

"Me, I'd be recommending John Sexton, if he were at all interested in digital. Except for that one little issue, he'd be perfect."

Totally ignoring any potential disinterest on John's part, I nominated him yesterday. ;-)

"American Spirit" has traditionally meant independent thinking and self reliance. Both traits, like common sense, are sadly uncommon these days.

I used to have a Canon FD 7.5mm circular fisheye, and it was quite a good lens with built in filters as I recall. I think it cost me around $550, second hand. For $160, 450, I don't mind taking a couple of steps back. Here's a self-portrait--


Given that chip's DR and sensitivity, I'd have to say that Michael Kenna would be near the top of the list.

George R. Lawrence built a bigger camera , used it in the field, and used glass plates to take life sized photos of a steam locomotive in 1900

Nice looking work though

Over on the LFPF we've known about the Spectral Imaging offer for a week now and many of us have voted for the forum's founder and sponsor - QT Luong. Not only has QT generously enriched the photo community by paying for the hosting out of his pocket for years and years now - but he is a truly excellent large format photographer with a science background (he worked at the JPL before becoming a full time photographer). His bio is really top notch and he is a great guy - check out his work and story at http://www.terragalleria.com.

Nothing against Ctein but QT would have the solid skills to shoot with a large digital camera and make best use of its extended range.

Otherwise, I just hope they pick somebody other than some pompous "famous" schlock photographer.

".....If that's true, then America might be in trouble. Americans seem to *constantly* tell each other bullshit about America...."

"....Maybe every country is like this, I don't know."


I too hear people constantly tell bullshit about America, and it isn't Americans who are doing so.

By the way, I currently live in the only country on earth with 4 distinct seasons. That must influence the unique Yamato/Bushido/Samurai Spirit. As a foreigner, this stuff is often irritating, absurd, funny, but rarely something that stands up to thought, so no wonder the "American Spirit" in relation to a camera design confuses people.

It would be an interesting contest to see which country had the most national myths.

(Oh, I really hate it that the OMD seems to be so good. I will not buy one. Yet.)

Mike, I think you should read the item on Leica pricing. It's quite informative, and I found it an interesting read.

I saw Steffi Graf using her Leica in a Longines ad that ran on French TV the other night.

Dear folks,

Peculiarly enough, the “American Spirit” remark didn't bother me at all. And I'm about as anti-patriotic as possible and still stand to live in this country.

I think the thing is that I filed it under the general category of what I think of as “artist psychobabble.” Namely, what utterances come forth when a nonverbal-medium artist tries to verbalize the feelings, intuitions, and unconscious influences that shape their work. I'm not saying they don't have such feelings and that they don't motivate their art in important ways. But when said artist tries to express that internal subjectivity to an external audience when it's not one's “native tongue,” it most frequently sounds like pure blather to the listener.

Doesn't matter if it's American spirit, religious impulse, rampant mysticism, Freudian drama. I find it rarely makes any sense and is best ignored. I found it no more or less meaningful than if he'd written that a tree had spoken to him and urged him to cut it down to make the lumber for his cameras.

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

“American Spirit” would be Bourbon, right?

Thank you, Ctein. That's exactly what I thought about the "American Spirit" line, but couldn't think of a polite way to say it.

In any case, there IS a history of sort of mild "Spirit of America" talk about photographing the mountains and prairies of the west that goes back before Ansel Adams. I think it's more about wildness than any kind of patriotism, and certainly not "jingoism."

Further, with respect, I think it's a little mean-spirited to criticise someone for trying and failing and trying again. I'm not thrilled by the pictures either, but that's my problem.

Finally, and I say this with fondness, please don't try to tell me that Englishmen don't tell each other bullshit about England. Or, God help us, the French.

"'American Spirit' would be Bourbon, right?"

Or applejack, cf. Michael Pollan's delightful chapter on Johnny Appleseed in "The Botany of Desire."


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