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Wednesday, 25 September 2019


Re: Pentax

Maybe they are hoping to keep afloat selling 100th Anniversary tat? ;-)

I used to be a Pentax fan; no longer.

About the Cadillac...I have my main character driving a Cadillac sedan in a book I'm writing now, because I saw one on the street, and it really is a sleek, good-looking automobile, reminiscent more of a Mercedes ubermobile than a BMW, IMHO. Mercedes are dignified, as is the Caddy; BMWs are snaky-looking, which is way different, while still good. But, sedans are dying, because they're simply not as functional as the wide variety of small, medium and large SUVs. People of a certain mind constantly carp about SUVs, but the smaller ones are probably more energy efficient than sedans, when you take into account what they're used for, and are certainly more practical for people who have pets, need to move stuff, etc. Most sedans should be shorter, lighter, and only have two seats, for what they actually do, which is wastefully move one person around. People should save their carping for (mostly empty) pickup trucks. I personally have a plug-in hybrid SUV, with which I'm quite pleased, but in driving it around town, I noticed that virtually every automaker has an SUV that looks almost exactly like mine. Convergent evolution at work.

Come to think of it in all my walking downtown, camera in hand have I ever seen anyone shooting with a Pentax digital. (Mr. Kirk Tuck is playing around with a Pentax camera now. He walks the same streets as I do. Maybe I'll bump into him sometime.:)

RE: Venerable Marques that Might Be On Life Support

Having owned and used significant amounts of Pentax equipment over the years, I have a strong sentimental attachment to the brand. I can say the same for Kodak, Exacta, Vivitar, Konica, Minolta, Rollei, Mamiya, and Bronica, just to name a few. Unfortunately, it's neither sentiment nor nostalgia that keep brands viable, but dealers and customers, neither of which Pentax has in great supply. Until Pentax can figure out an effective way to increase sales and profits, they are more likely to shrink than grow.

Dear Mike
have you seen the Pentax ME-D? Sure looks fun. All we need now is some manufacturer to bring out a digital manual focus rangefinder camera. Are we always only going to have as choice a Leica? Not everyone can afford one, I sure can't.


[You mean the ME-D posted on April 1st featuring an oval dial caused by ham-handed Photoshoppery? Afraid that one's unlikely to be coming. :-) --Mike]


You make me sad. You gave a shout out to short range zooms, but didn't mention my favorite, the olympus 28-48. It was my go-to street lens for at least ten years.

But then you also didn't mention my least favorite, the Nikkor 43-86. I had the first version (I was young and foolish) and it wasn't as bad as folks said, but that didn't make it good either.

But it may be the Nikkor was just as good, but I prefered and still do, the range of the oly.

Bill Pearce

"Would you hire a photographer to shoot your wedding with an iPhone 11 Pro?"

If I think they have The Right Stuff and they have confidence in the iPhone as a camera, I'd vote yes. Ditto if their tool of choice was an iPhone 5, Polaroid folder, Brownie, original 5D, a Hasselblad, a digicam or an 8x10. As long as they know what they're doing and why. Hypothetically, of course. And I'm only one vote ;)

I still have my Minolta AF 35-70mm f4 that I bought years ago. Got it used in Tokyo in the early '90s for about $30 with hood and lens caps in excellent condition. Good lens. I recall the very early zoom Nikon 43-86mm f3.5 from 1963. Didn't have a great reputation, but it got the ball rolling on zooms. :-)

New cameras are coming in October? OK, but who are the buyers? I can understand why the big camera companies are desperate to re-excite the type of customer (guy) who upgrades to a new camera every two or so years, but those days appear to be over - maybe forever. With my almost complete return to film, the only new digital camera that interests me is the upcoming Fuji X-Pro3. Your friend Kirk Tuck was very interested in it in a recent blog post. And he noted that the "experts" on Dpreview despise it, which almost guarantees that the X-Pro3 will be an innovative and useful photographic machine for real photographers.

Great news about Mary Halvorson being granted the MacArthur Foundation award.

Alarming to hear your thoughts in the New Yorker. My understanding is when Conde Nast hired some bean counters a decade or so ago, they were briefed to examine all magazines with the exception of the New Yorker as Si Newhouse held it in special esteem.

With Si no longer around maybe it is no longer afforded special protection?

On a personal note, I visited the New Yorker’s offices about twenty years to meet up with, creative director, Elizabeth Biondi. I was in genuine awe. All those framed covers on the walls. There is something very beguiling about the mystique surrounding the New Yorker.

Would you hire a photographer to shoot your wedding with an iPhone 11 Pro?

I sure would if this photographer is Dmitry Markov. He shoots exclusively iPhone, and here is his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dcim.ru/

"Most sedans should be shorter, lighter, and only have two seats, for what they actually do, which is wastefully move one person around."
My Nissan Note is 18% shorter than any Cadillac sedan and can seat four while using about half the fuel. At least once a week I need its ability to carry more than two people and/or a significant amount of luggage, furniture etc. Downsizing cars is certainly a good thing but I don't think two seats is the way to go.

> On Wedding Photographers with I-Phones.

Considering some of what I see passing as "professional" work from mommies with cameras these days one could hardly do worse.

"Journalistic style" meaning point the lens everywhere and "spray and pray" and then give the couple over 4/5,000 photos on DVD/Thumb Drive and let them try viewing it before they divorce or die in the coming decades.

No training or sense of lighting. 32 exposures of the group with bride and groom's family, best men and flower girls - duplicated in similar numbers for every group shot. (the 32 comes from a wedding group I actually looke d at from the wedding of a friend's daughter)

Makes the old days of Hasselblads, Potato masher flash or set up lightnig, 12-15 rolls of film and a quiet proof book seem like ancient history.

I am taking a group of students back to Cuba next month, and will certainly be stopping by to take a look at that as well as the other exhibitions in Havana.

Travelers should be aware, however, that the U.S. has been squeezing shipping to Cuba lately, resulting in oil and electricity shortages, so plan accordingly.

Re: the new iPhone 11 Pro, it looks like it’s best to wait. IOS 13 has some badish bugs that the .1 release hasn’t completely eliminated. Unfortunately the 11s all ship with IOS 13, so they cannot avoid them. The phone is, as usual, over-booked right now anyway. So just sit back, relax, and wait for December or January when things settle down. OR, if you have an older phone, grab an XS at a good price! (I’ve loved mine.)

I'd dearly miss The New Yorker if it folded, but my subscription is paid. A while back I found an old New Yorker from the 1970s. They were covering the Watergate hearings with the thoroughness of a CSPAN. The Watergate article was 74 pages, the same length as the whole issue I'd received that week. The old one was peppered with small ads for urbane paraphernalia like gloves and wallets, too. But even the diminished New Yorker is essential for the long-form writing, and the comics. When a weekly issue arrives, the best thing is that I have no idea of what subjects will be included, just that the writing will be superior.

As for Pentax, if they never made another camera, I'd be sad, but they've already made just what I need. I'd just keep them working until I couldn't find batteries.

"Don't mindlessly slam it from one end of its range to the other—think of it as a 40mm, 45mm, or 50mm normal that allows you to tweak your framing a bit." - I have never thought of using a limited-range zoom in that manner. I wish I had. Thanks for the thought, Mike.

"Venerable names" are always and forever fading. Otherwise, they wouldn't rate as "venerable".

Bryan Geyer

Photo gallery in Havana-
from the series, "Si Si Havana".

The story on Cadillac is currently have three sedans, this will be going down to one model. Everything else in Caddy will be suv related xt4 xt5 xt6 then Escalade and bigger Escalade ESV , LIKE FORD AND CHEVY KILLING off sedans it will be cross over sand trucks and SUV ruling the market. That is what I was told when I brought my old caddy in for inspection . Dealer knows I do for trade in NXT summer. Sedans heading grave yard .

Thanks for the link, Mike. -B

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