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Monday, 23 March 2015


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I prefer the theme shot in black and white (I like warm blacks)...

I was sat in a bar last week using the torch on my wife's iPhone to light her whilst I shot her with my own 4s. Saw some bemused looking faces trying to figure out why I wasn't just using the flash on my own phone. Even if the torch is off camera, it's hardly flatteting light. It's definitely better suited to highlighting small details than lighting faces.

Ha. I love that your fill light is a camera. That just happens to be resting on another camera. I can relate to this all too well ;)

Mobile phones and tablets are now extremely useful light sources for product photo, specially tablets with a white background, or image with full color, as a area light.

got to give it to product naming responsibles:
Schneider 80mm


Asahi-Pentax 135mm ƒ/4 Super-Multi-Coated Macro-Takumar

There you have quite a tongue-twister

...great you still have that one...I still wish I had my 25, 35, 85 Zeiss lenses from my C/Y system back in the 80's...

I once used a first gen iPad as a source of colored light on a Bristlecone pine at an elevation of 11,000 feet for a long exposure image at night. I sat the iPad on a small folding chair, used an app called Flashlight, chose the color, and it came out pretty good.


Hello from the Missouri Ozarks! I just bought a house here, and am enjoying the sunrise over the lake. Hope you're doing well, Mike!

The interesting thing that I've been noticing on tabletop shots such as this isn't so much the addition of the fill light, nor the shadow of the lens on the Rollei, but the change/addition of the color temperature across the scene. The fill is much cooler than the foreground, and the table in the left rear is obviously catching a bunch of a fluorescent in the kitchen.

That said, the color rendition of digital, especially in mixed light, is miles better than film ever was... so it's a bit of a moot point.

Nice cameras, by the way. I've always wanted to try the 6008.

Mike, you have some wonderful machines in your collection! That Rollei in particular would have me staying in the film era just on its own. (What am I saying? At my house, a Hasselblad 501CM, a Nikon F2, and FM3a ARE keeping me in the film era!)

I remember once that you said that you tend to regard your 'photography' and your ownership of 'cameras and lenses' as separate hobbies. Personally, I found that a very helpful point of view, as it can also apply to me, and otherwise I would need to admit that I had a disease and needed to get help.

Don't you love the iPhone's flashlight? It has more or less replaced my giant, weapon-sized Maglite at home. And like you, I love it for emergency fill light. I used it to illuminate the front of this church during a long exposure:


There are starting to come out a new type of light: compact LED panels.

I have a couple biggish ones, panel: hand-sized. Bulky for a LED product, but wireless and give a ton of light, pretty soft.

Then I two tiny ones, a credit sized one and one even smaller. Sadly they use their charge pretty soon, and the bigger one only works with its own app. But they do give a bit softer light than a phonecamera flash.

I hope others will come soon, it should not be hard to make a really good one, considering the great power economy and the compactness of LeDs.

I look at the Zeiss 21mm in Nikon mt, and then the 20mm Nikkor. I really don't care how optically superior the Zeiss is (which it undoubtedly is), or how much more well made it is (which it also is)- I ain't gonna lug that thing around on my FM3A or F3. My photos are gonna be a bit less sharp at the corners, but the rest of my body (and my back pocket) is gonna be a whole lot happier.

I'd rather have the camera and lens you've used as a rest for your iPhone. The combination of an E-M1 and Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro lens is just sublime. The ability to take hand held sharp shots at macro distance still amazes me. On topic, the fixed Zeiss branded zooms on my RX10 and RX100M3 cameras are excellent.

By the way,
it is very telling to see [pity you might not have the models there!] those "medium format" cameras [contrary to sheet or field cameras] against a SLR system or even a contemporary medium format digital camera.

The pentax, imho, is a very telling story. Because there is nothing to compare it to, seems of a "reasonable size". Only when compared to a APSC or 35mm peer I do notices how big they are.

[I don´t have any background with Zeiss glass. The Zeiss Jena was good, but not quite there with the SMC peers, so didn´t pay too much attention. And the Cosina glass was not attractive, price wise, to make the investment, compared to the Cosina-Voightlander SL series].

Good to see that your E-M1 is still getting used ;)

Man up and shoot the big dogs, instead of using them as props. It would go a long way to improve your street cred. You are quickly falling into iphoneographer territory.

[Been there and done that, Ed. I put in my 10-to-15 thousands of hours souping film and making prints, shot with everything from that Contessa to an 8x10 Deardorff and everything in between. Just came across a nice 6008 shot the other day (made with a loaner camera), from about 22 years ago. Times have changed. --Mike]

Last year I stopped into a used shop here in Japan that has all kinds of used stuff (musical instruments, computer gear, books, etc.). They also have a packed glass case with old camera gear so whenever I am in the neighborhood I check to see what they have. Last year they had a Yashica ML 55mm f2.8 macro (manual focus) with original front/rear caps and a Kenko 52mm skylight filter for $5. I looked it over and it was in really good shape so I bought it. Bought an m4/3 adaptor for about $10 and it mounts fine to my Olympus E-M5 and E-M10.

Would love to see the 6x7 next to the Nikon D800.

[Can't help you there. My former D800 has gone the way of all cameras and now resides in Hawaii, and many of the dollars spend on it are back snugly in my wallet. Alas. --Mike]

Given power consumption for normal use, if you use an iphone as a flashlight does it need charging twice a day?

Sounds like you're fine keeping the LX as a non-working example of another time in SLR design. However, if you wanted to fix it, you could send it to Eric Hendrickson. He's a former Pentax service manager and does a wonderful job repairing any of the film cameras.

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