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Sunday, 17 July 2022

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Mike, I'm sure I won't be the only one saying this, but: Please give the Halide app a try. Forget HEICs, JPGs, and Apple's "raw", try Halide's DNG files. I think they're great, and have more or less stopped carrying a camera for daily stuff. Your standards may be *much* higher than mine, of course, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you run them through a decent raw converter.

Mike

Greetings Mike -

Nice understated watch - what model # is it?

I've had luck with the Casio Tough Solar analog/digital watches which have Bluetooth to connect & sync the time with your phone. Great attention to detail & design. My favorite is the yellow GAB 2100c.

There are many individual projects that are just hard to do and easy to stop. Frankly the fact that you manage to publish your blog by yourself and live off it is pretty amazing, since you don't have an editor or publisher or even a spouse saying it's your next deadline soon, get to work. I put on an event yesterday that took a lot of effort. I would never have done it without weekly planning meetings with 4 other people, deadlines, and what became a 30 page shared planning document.

That's tough about the watches. Live and learn and move on. Don't emulate your friend in Austin, who has the obsession with buying camera bodies and duplicates and lenses and their duplicates, while he already has cameras and lenses that do almost identical functions.

Does not Apple ProRaw and/or Halide app solve this problem?

Mike, have you tried a Fuji x100 series camera?

They are easy to take along, and have the lens reach you may prefer. The files are wonderful to look at and work with. I started with x100t, which was great, but then I wanted to upgrade to the x-pro3 for its movable screen (use it for digitizing film - I still shoot b&w film). Since the same battery is shared with the x100v and the x-pro3, I upgraded to the x100v. Glad I did.

IMO, you are not lame, just a human with interests and satisfaction needs.

There are a precious few photographers (eg- Mark Hobson) who do just fine with their cell phone- and good on them! I'm jealous, even though I have no desire whatsoever to go there. The GR gives me the everyday portability, and quality, I find acceptable (when thinking print as end result). I absolutely lust for a Q, (it's just so freakin' sexy), but it would actually be less advantageous in the field: less portable, less inconspicuous, less depth of field, less cost effective. I still may get a used one someday, and then be reluctant to use it (as per your extra watches)- too conspicuous, too precious to take and risk in so many situations.

Oh, and I still thank (and very much curse) you for reviving my interest in (vintage) watches- as if I have expendable income... it's just that every time I see one I desire, I'm instantly transported into the magic of film noir.

I haven't had a watch for years, but I wanted one. Your collecting made me think about it again, but I definitely wanted an automatic. Obviously, most are stratospherically priced or cheap and rubbish. I managed to find a decent Seiko on Amazon for £100 and I really like it. Accurate to within about 10 seconds per day. And now I can tell the time without having to get my phone out.

Regarding picture projects, this guy (linked below, YouTube of NBC news story) had one... it's been 26 years and still going. One image on film every day. Once a month he goes to one-hour-photo and gets them developed and printed. Then cataloged and annotated with info.

https://youtu.be/pDnewKsETsY

I dug out my old 6mp Nikon D40 and am going to do this. Once a month I take SD card to kiosk and get my prints. It will be interesting to see how long I can keep this up.

Also... what a quitter, Mike. 😀 I bought 4 new watches this week. FWIW, a Seiko has been my EDC now for a while also.

I've always lusted after what I thought would give me the absolute best image quality within the limits of practicality (and therein lies the controversy). When I shot 35mm film, I wanted medium format film, then 4x5 film but I stopped short of 5x7 or 8x10. Photographically, I hate compromise. After going through everything from Minox, to 4x5 film, I've finally settled on a single system and it works for me. I have a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. I love that it's always there, especially right now on a beach with grandkids, but really don't like the quality of a print or even a file. I am with Geoff Wittig in that I absolutely hate it when a great opportunity arises and "all I have is that damned iPhone." However, I must admit, I now have some of what a colleague called "snappy pix," that I would not have were it not for the phone/camera. On social media no one can tell or seems to care about the difference between an image made with an iPhone and a Phase One 150MP back. I chuckle when I read detailed technical notes on Facebook photos. I guess the bottom line is to enjoy what you do whatever you do it with. (ended a sentence with a preposition-sorry grammar police.)

It can take a while for any new habit to settle. Missing a day here and there, from trying to do a photo-a-day thing, is not a problem, or a reason to throw in the towel... unless you want it to be an excuse for doing so! You haven't failed, you're just getting into it, or seeing how taking part in such an activity fits into your life.

If you've ever kept a daily diary in the past, you're more likely to find it easy, as you're partially reviving an old activity or habit.

Cautionary note - it can become addictive! So says a https://www.blipfoto.com user that's only missed a few days since starting eleven years ago. None in recent years. Main journal has 4541 entries, some added for days before the start date. They have a phone app to make it easier to upload photos/entries. You're not compelled to become a (paying) member, though that does give access to some extra features, and helps to keep the site working. There's no advertising to distract, etc. It's a friendly little community.

Suspect my "Blip" (entry) for today may be a wrist watch, if I can find it.

A few days ago, in your blog entry about Stephen Scharf's excellent iPhone photos, I commented that I was not happy with a cloud photo I took with an iPhone -- for exactly the same reasons that Geoff Wittig mentions in your featured comments today. The iPhone is a great machine for a lot of things, even some "photograph-photographs." The problem comes with what I'd call edge situations...you can push the iPhone sensor so far, but no further, and then computer guesswork takes over. (In some ways, that's always been the case with cameras, all the way back to film, when large format was better than medium, and medium better than smaller formats, and skilled darkroom workers filled in for computer guesswork, doing what they could to improve the basic film image.) Someplace (and I would argue, someplace considerably beyond what an iPhone can do) there is a camera that will produce really fine prints, where, for the overwhelming number of viewers, increasing any of the usually talked-about photo-quality parameters would make no difference. I don't know exactly where that is, but I think most top end mirrorless cameras are there. There is also a space between "make no difference" and "good enough," and as someone who came up through photo-journalism, I've always dwelt in the "good-enough" realm. iPhones are not good enough. A Nikon Z7II, which I own, is probably in the "make no difference" zone. I'm seriously thinking of trying one of the discontinued Nikon 1 cameras, which, toward the end of their development, probably got to "good enough" and perhaps well into that category. This is all part of a continuing search for a small pocket camera, really iPhone-sized, that's good enough

Discovering the perfect watch for you doesn't sound at all like a dopey project, even if that wasn't the stated goal. And recognizing the project's end seems nothing short of wise. Without going into incriminating details, that's how I unintentionally kicked a self-destructive youthful vice--I lucked into a near perfect form of it, which ruined the chase for good.

I suppose that's the reverse of the phone camera trap, the latter being a way to guarantee that you'll never get the perfect file. But would you have learned that valuable lesson without embarking on the chase?

[Yeah, I've actually thought of that. Maybe I was just shopping...until I found the right one, and then the shopping is finished. --Mike]

Path well-trodden, and glad you pulled out quickly enough to save yourself regrets.

I never wanted to collect watches: after buying my Submariner in ‘72 I was set for life - until a Roma woman lifted it off my wrist on the public highway a couple of years ago. As they say, if it’s not a Rolex, it’s a piece if string. My current piece of string is an Invicta, a good copy of the Sub when seen head on, but too thick from the side. I kinda half hope the same woman makes a mistake and tries for Act II. I will be prepared.

Regarding the cellphone snaps: you’re absolutely right that you will regret making your masterpiece on it. Making a series of cellphone snaps (abstracts) of distresses paintwork on marine hulls cost me a nice little earner when I had to turn down a request to produce a large blow-up of one of them for the owner of a Fairline yacht that used to be a regular in the local marina. No, his boat was always immaculate - he just dug the colours of the snaps in the website. Never again. Use the proper tool: an actual camera.

This is why I couldn’t care less about having the latest and greatest phone camera, which only serves for ‘good enough’ documentation needs. Otherwise, my goal is to make ‘print worthy’ pics, and that’s what my dedicated cameras are for. If I don’t have one with me, life goes on.

That sounds like a great project, Bill! I'd love to see.

Why is everyone obsessed with the Iphone? To me, rather like all Apple products, Montblanc pens, Rolex watches or Leica cameras, all product categories I am very familiar with, it is absurdly bad value for money, a triumph of marketing over quality. They are all just tools, not jewelry!

[I'm not obsessed with it, it's just my phone, is all. I've never had any other kind. --Mike]

Your opinion matters here, Mike, so your iPhone 13 article made me think.* I'd just purchased a pocketable APS-C camera as an every-day carry, and I had to swallow hard--and push the camera a bit harder to see just how much I like it. So far, so good--although I still carry an iPhone to make calls.

(*I've been considering your comments since I began reading the Pentax list in the mid-1990s, and just last week I finally sold the no-longer-needed Nikon 24-70 that I purchased in large part due to your favorable review.)

Damn! And here I was, bracing myself for a Wristwatch Phase on The Online Photographer. I like watches. Disappointed ;)

I was wondering how long it would take for your iPhone 13 infatuation to fade. It’s true that I have a lesser model iPhone, but it just doesn’t produce the pictures I want. I’m back to carrying my Micro Four Thirds cameras.

I grew up on Timex watches but in 1968 I landed on Okinawa as a 19 year old kid who happened to be dumber than a bag of hammers.
The jewelry stores downtown were full of Seiko and Citizen watches and I loved them. Much prettier than what I had grown up with.
A bit of a revelation.
Your watch exhibits a lot of the design language those watches had.
It's a lovely design that rewards a closer look. Good choice.
I am not a watch collector but watches seem to collect me. There are several Seikos in my bed side table. All are pretty.

The file you need:
I am staying in the mountains this week and on Saturday I spent a glorious afternoon photographing wild horses in a remote, high mountain meadow. The landscape was spectacular and the stallions were all shimmering muscle and long flowing manes...and it could not have been more perfect.

If I had been carrying only the phone in my pocket on that day I would not have had the rare and memorable day that I did. I would have been fretting over being ill prepared and the day would have been diminished.

Its all about finding your perfect means of carry and for me that has always been either a small sling bag (Slingshot 200 AW) or a holster (ancient Tamrac) depending on lens choice. When I carry in this way I can forget the camera is there.

So...regarding watches. I've been down that particular rabbit-hole for about 7 years now. It's been fun and educational. Save for two G-Shocks (which I usually wear when riding the bicyle, as crashing or falling while wearing a mechanical would not be a good thing), the rest of my collection are "mechanicals". Here's what I found is what I would classify as the "keys to success": have a small manageable collection. My recommendation is 3-8 watches. This provides enough flexibility to change things up a bit, but not so many watches that several sit in the case, unworn. A good way I've found to rotate through the collection is to wear a watch for 3 days, and then switch out to something else. A lot of watchonistas do the "a week on the wrist" approach, also.

I only own one Swiss watch, a Tudor Black Bay "Blue"; all my other pieces are German, Japanese, or independents. I have a couple watches made for me by some friends who own independent watch companies, Jonathan at Brew Watches and Jason at Halios (they are good friends with each other as well; it's way cool.)

My favorite brand is Sinn, a German watch company founded by an ex-Luftwaffe fighter pilot and blind flying instructor, Helmut Sinn, in the 60s, who was exasperated at not being able to obtain good cockpit clocks, so he started his own watch and cockpit clock company.

Sinn is pretty much known only to watchonistas, but they have an excellent reputation for making superb "tool watches." They also make watches specifically for German "special forces" units, e.g. the GSG 9, German Fire Brigades and Medical Air Rescue teams.

Personally, I like 'em for their no-frills, no frou-frou, no f**kin' around sensibility. I own three of 'em.

Here's my Sinn 556A, which is a great "all-rounder"/daily driver. It's a simple 3-hander"that is accurate, rugged, reliable with great legibility. It's also what we watchonisitas call a "strap monster".

Cheers.

AH, watch collecting! It ranks right up there with knife collecting and, my former true addiction..camera collecting. Those three were all personal ventures in my younger, foolish days (think 40's)! Now that I have reached the tender age of 907 months, I am finding myself not just older, but much more practical when it come to STUFF. No more collecting, but rather "un-collecting", any way I can. Sell, give, toss, any way!
I too have pared my personal watch collection to my grandfather's pocket watch, a my m with mother's daily wearer a petite Bulova silver one with tiny diamonds in the bezel that I can not read or wind. My brother has our father's retirement gift of an Omega Seamaster that he wears quite often.
Personally, I wear a very interesting Seiko I came upon several yeas ago. It is a "Kinetic" Sports 80 that is an electric (quartz) powered self-windier that uses a capacitor to keep up its mechanism's movement. And though I have had to have it cleaned and serviced but once, it keeps great time! Not at all valuable, just an interesting concept. 4 cameras, 4 watches, and give or take, maybe 40 knives left. Bye, bye STUFF.
I always enjoy re-listening to George Carlin's analysis of STUFF. Id f you have not heard it, spend a few minutes, it's on You Tube.

LOL! Now we know why Ken Rockwell is so keen on iPhones.

I fall in love with exotic/beautiful/work-worthy stuff - (cameras, watches) that I can't afford and precious jewels (Lamborghini) that I never could afford. However my 1990 Miata is suddenly riding the crest - especially ones that are "true" basic sports cars - 5 speed, no P/S no A/C no Power windows etc. Forced retirement = extreme budgeting, so no new cameras have passed the chief inspector. O.K. - over the years i've "temporarily owned" (and traded) all the cameras/lenses I've ever lusted after and a bunch of relatively cheap (by "collector" standards) watches. Looking at my first serious watch a Seiko, (engagement gift wife to be) I did a bit of research. The watch has had one tuneup in 53 + years. Seems to be a rare piece from 1966-7,one of the first "Pepsi" Seiko Divers. In researching I found many watch experts claim that Seiko in general have a reputation for quality above their pricing, so you went right the first time. As you did with the Miata, single handedly raising your son, and moving to the incredible Finger Lakes. Thank you for the years of great reading and knowledge!

Gabe

Iiving in the past is a lifestyle choice.

you hit the nail on the head:"always photograph with the camera that's going to give you the raw material you want to have in case you get a great shot. Even if it's a pain to carry or a pain to use."

A few decades ago, I think it was in the 70s, Hasselbladt had a very clever and very honest advertising campaign. The slogan was:
"Buy your best camera now."
The underlying rationale was that you should buy your best camera now, because you still have your whole life and all the photo opportunities ahead of you!
Many photo enthusiasts make the big mistake of not buying their dream camera until the second half of their lives, or often even later, finally,- when they are well off and wealthier.
But how many irretrievable photo opportunities are then already gone for ever, how many photos could not be taken or are technically poor, just because the camera didn’t cut it?
I find it very unwise, actually already masochistic, to waste one's photographic life and one's important photos with devices that might, possibly, just might suffice or often even fail.
The camera should always be technically better than you. If then a photo is not good, then you always know exactly what you have to work on, namely on yourself.
If photography really means something to you, then "Buy your best camera now".

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