810Photo: Blog http://www.810photo.net/blog en-us David Hidding / 810Photo.net deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:45:00 GMT Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:45:00 GMT http://www.810photo.net/img/s/v-5/u595351303-o159829057-50.jpg 810Photo: Blog http://www.810photo.net/blog 120 120 Tethering the Fujifilm X-T2 http://www.810photo.net/blog/2017/4/tethering-the-fujifilm-x-t2 Tethered test image - "Free Trapper" bronze by Keith Christie

Tethering the Fujifilm X-T2

Historically, tethering the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2 has been a painful experience. You had a choice of using Fujifilm's HS-V5 software, which was unpopular, or using Adobe Lightroom, which was painfully slow. To tether in Lightroom you need to purchase a plug-in from Fujifilm through the Adobe plug-in site (https://creative.adobe.com/addons/search?q=fujifilm). Not as easy or economical as just hooking up a late model Canikon to your computer and blasting away because Lightroom supported those manufacturers out of the box.  If you were a Capture One user...forget about it, C1 would read Fuji files, but would not tether Fujifilm cameras.

As of April 2017, the situation has improved. Lightroom's tethering speed of Fujifilm files is better and Capture One can be made to work.  Historically, Lightroom's tethering speed of Fujifilm files was poor, taking about ten seconds to transfer a file and display it.  With the current release, the average transfer speed, from shutter trigger to displayed imaged on a 2014 Macbook Pro was three seconds.  Lossless compressed raw files were about a quarter of a second (.25) faster, transferring and displaying in 2.75 seconds.  Those are very usable speeds.  

For Capture One users (and other software that can monitor a hot folder), Fujifilm has released a little piece of software called X-Acquire (http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n170222_04.html).  Available on both Windows and Macintosh platforms, X-Acquire does one task very well, it transfers files from the X-T1, X-T2, and GFX cameras to a computer. It works fast, on the MBP using a USB3 cable, X-Acquire transferred uncompressed 50 megabyte raw files from an X-T2 in about 2.5 seconds (displayed in Finder).  If you configure Capture One to use a hot folder, the average time from shutter release to an imported and displayed image in Capture One was 3.3 seconds (currently uncompressed RAW files only).  Again, a usable solution.

Hooray!  The ability to use Capture One for tethering the X-T2 is important to those of us that use it in the studio.  

 

Tech stuff:

I set the X-T2 upon a tripod and manually focused on a static scene. Leaving the camera in full manual (no autofocus, no autoexposure) while tethered to the Macbook Pro, I triggered ten individual shots, timing each shot with a stopwatch. The stopwatch was started at the same time as the shutter was triggered and stopped when the image would display on the computer.  There was human variation in the start/stop, so the numbers are not exact.  

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Adobe Capture Fujifilm GFX Lightroom One X-T1 X-T2 studio tether tethering http://www.810photo.net/blog/2017/4/tethering-the-fujifilm-x-t2 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:40:30 GMT
The Aerialist http://www.810photo.net/blog/2017/1/the-aerialist Mary PatAerialist Mary Pat Letourneau shows some flexibility

About a year ago, Mary Pat Letourneau came to my attention as a contortionist. I started following her on Facebook and quickly realized that she has been working hard in circus arts such as aerial hoop, pole, aerial silks, and contortion. She has a strong background in ballet, which becomes obvious when you see her perform.

I've been wanting to get her in front of my camera for the past year and our schedules aligned recently. Since she is a popular subject for photographers, she wanted to shoot on the aerial silks because most photographers don't have the space, ceiling height, and equipment to make that happen. Being the agreeable person that I am, I immediately agreed.

With most shoots, I set up some wireless video cameras to document the shoot. Sometimes they can make for interesting behind the scenes video. A couple different camera views are below.

First a time lapse, compressing a four hour shoot into five minutes.

Mary Pat Time LapseTime lapse of shoot (4 hours compressed into 5 minutes)

And some selected highlights...

Mary Pat Letourneau - HighlightsBehind the scenes highlights of photoshoot.

The rest of the images can be found here.

 

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Aerialsilks Cirque du Soleil Mary Pat Letourneau aerialist circus contortion dancer http://www.810photo.net/blog/2017/1/the-aerialist Sun, 15 Jan 2017 01:12:44 GMT
Comparing Nifty Fifty's - Part III http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys---part-iii Lenses tested for this articleA selection of portrait lenses

 

In Part I, I discussed the reasons for doing this test and showed tight crops from the images. In Part II, I showed full images shot at F/2.8. In this part, I'll show the closeup images at the widest aperture of each lens, some of these images will have already been seen in Part I, other images will be new. In theory, wide open should show the best bokah for each lens, however, that may not be the optimum sharpness for a given lens.  For most lenses, optimum sharpness is achieved when stopping down two or three stops from wide open.

Methodology. I used my Fujifilm XT-2 camera.  At the time of writing, the XT-2 is the highest resolution (24MP) APS-C camera made by Fujifilm. In no way, shape, or form is this super accurate testing.  There are no lens resolution test charts, no brick walls, nothing like that.  Just my spouse (semi tolerant), some lights behind her to create bokah, and a flash in front of her. Images were imported into Lightroom for cropping and exported. No other correction was done.

The slowest lenses tested have an aperture of F/2.8, and since no lens is at it's best wide open, I also tested at F/4.0. Lenses that were faster were also test at lower F stops so the shape of the bokah was viewed. Some tested lenses have as few as seven aperture blades, nine was typical, one has 12 blades. The 12 bladed aperture provided beautiful round bokah at all settings.

Tested Lenses

Description Aperture Blades No. Elements
Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR at 55mm  9 (rounded) 17
Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR at 50mm 7 (rounded) 23 
Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R 7 (rounded) 11
Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro 9 (rounded) 10
Helios 44-2 58mm F/2 8 (rounded) 6
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) 7 7
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II - Effective F/1.0 7 7+4
Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) 7 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D 9 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II - Effective F/1.3 9 6+4
Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 12 (rounded) 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These images are all shot at the widest aperture of each lens. 

Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR 55mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR 55mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R at 1.2 close

Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R at f/1.2

Fujifilm XF60mmF2.5 R Macro at 2.5

Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro at f/2.5 

Helios 44-2 58mmf2 at 2.0

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 at f/2.0

 

Nikkor 50/1.4 @1.4

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) at F/1.4

Nikkor 50mmF1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at 1.0

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at F/1.4 - effective F/1.0

Nikkor 55mmF2.8 Micro (pre AI) at 2.8

Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D at 1.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D at F/2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D Turbo II at 1.3

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II at F/1.8 - effective F/1.3

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50-2.8 at 2.8

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 at F/2.8

 

Mazimum Aperture Conclusions:  

The Fujifilm 16-55mm shows some onion ring bokah, not strong, but not clean.

The Fujifilm 50-140mm zoom shows some oblong bokah.

The Fujifilm 56mm bokah shows slight onion rings and has an oblong appearance around the edges, otherwise it's ok.

The Fujifilm 60mm bokah is very clean when the lens is wide open, bokah circles are round and clear.

The Helios bokah is oblong everwhere, getting progressively worse further from the center of the image.

The Nikkor 50/1.4 bokah looks clean everywhere, nice and round.  Adding the Lens Turbo to the lens turns the bokah into footballs.

The Nikkor 55/2.8 bokah also looks clean in the center and moves to oblong towards the edges of the frame.

The Nikkor 85/1.8 bokah is very even throughout the frame, nice circles. Adding the Lens Turbo changes the bokah circles into footballs towards the edges.

The Jena bokah has a hot spot in it's center, giving a slight 3D appearance to it.  The Jena also shows some oblong shaped bokah towards the edges.

 

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Camera Fuji Fujifilm Nikon SLR bokah film gear helios jena lens manual focus mirrorless nifty 50 nikkor photography portrait tessar test zeiss http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys---part-iii Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:30:34 GMT
Comparing Nifty Fifty's - Part II http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys---part-ii Lenses tested for this articleA selection of portrait lenses

 

In Part I, I discussed the reasons for doing this test and showed tight crops from the images. In this part, I'll show the complete images so you can evaluate the shape and appearance of the bokah at F/2.8.  Remember, since some of the lenses have apertures faster then F/2.8, we are stopping them down for equivalency (to check sharpness), that may not be optimum for best bokah.

Methodology. I used my Fujifilm XT-2 camera.  At the time of writing, the XT-2 is the highest resolution (24MP) APS-C camera made by Fujifilm. In no way, shape, or form is this super accurate testing.  There are no lens resolution test charts, no brick walls, nothing like that.  Just my spouse (semi tolerant), some lights behind her to create bokah, and a flash in front of her. Images were imported into Lightroom for cropping and exported. No other correction was done.

The slowest lenses tested have an aperture of F/2.8, and since no lens is at it's best wide open, I also tested at F/4.0. Lenses that were faster were also test at lower F stops so the shape of the bokah was viewed. Some tested lenses have as few as seven aperture blades, nine was typical, one has 12 blades. The 12 bladed aperture provided beautiful round bokah at all settings.

Tested Lenses

Description Aperture Blades No. Elements
Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR at 55mm  9 (rounded) 17
Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR at 50mm 7 (rounded) 23 
Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R 7 (rounded) 11
Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro 9 (rounded) 10
Helios 44-2 58mm F/2 8 (rounded) 6
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) 7 7
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II - Effective F/1.0 7 7+4
Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) 7 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D 9 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II - Effective F/1.3 9 6+4
Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 12 (rounded) 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first group of images are all shown at F/2.8 to make it easy to compare them directly. 

Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR 55mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR 55mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R at f/2.8

Fujifilm XF60mmF2.5 R Macro at 2.8

Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro at f/2.8 

Helios 44-2 58mmf2 at 2.8

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 at f/2.8

 

Nikkor 50/1.4 @2.8

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 50mmF1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Nikkor 55mmF2.8 Micro (pre AI) at 2.8

Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D at 2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D at F/2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50-2.8 at 2.8

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 at F/2.8

 

Full frame conclusions:  The aperture blades on the older Nikkor lenses makes for strongly shaped polygonal bokah.  The Jena bokah has a hot spot in it's center, giving a slight 3D appearance to it.  The Jena also shows some oblong shaped bokah.

The Fujifilm 50-140mm shows oblong shaped bokah towards the edges, that's not unusual for a zoom lens.

The Fujifilm 16-55mm zoom shows some onion ring bokah.

The Fujifilm 56mm bokah is clean but has an oblong appearance around the edges.

The Fujifilm 60mm bokah is oddly shaped, neither round nor oblong.

The Helios bokah looks good in the center and shifts to oblong towards the edges.

The Nikkor 50/1.4 bokah looks clean everywhere, but you can clearly see a polgonal shape because it's stopped down..

The Nikkor 55/2.8 bokah also looks clean in the center and moves to oblong towards the edges of the frame.

The Nikkor 85/1.8 bokah is very even throughout the frame, but is showing the polygonal shape of the aperture.

 

Part III

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Camera Fuji Fujifilm Nikon SLR bokah film gear helios jena lens manual focus mirrorless nifty 50 nikkor photography portrait tessar test zeiss http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys---part-ii Mon, 21 Nov 2016 03:08:47 GMT
Comparing Nifty Fifty's http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys Lenses tested for this articleA selection of portrait lenses

 

Over the years I've acquired various lenses in the 50-60 millimeter focal length, something I find funny because 50mm has never been my favorite focal length. With a crop sensor camera, I use the 50mm focal length more then I would on a full frame camera. With the crop sensor utilizing only the central portion of a full frame sensor, the nifty fifty gives the equivalent field of view that a 75mm lens would on a full frame camera.  The 50 becomes very usable for upper body shots that I previously would have used an 85mm to shoot on a full frame camera.  The thing to remember is that 50 millimeters is still 50 millimeters, just because the field of view has changed by using a crop sensor camera does NOT mean that the subject isolation that occurs with an 50mm lens has changed.  If you want true subject isolation and "lens compression" then a true 85mm lens (or longer) is needed.  

Lens compression may provide a more pleasing perspective, but bokah is what helps provide the subject isolation from the background.  Having ready access to various lenses that provide a 50mm focal length, I wanted to test them and see how they compared to each other. I was particularly interested in how older lenses would compare to more modern lenses. Modern day lenses tend to be more highly corrected for corner to corner sharpness and low chromatic aberration. Modern lenses have better coatings to reduce internal reflections and flare. Modern lenses tend to have higher element counts. If a lens designer held the diameter of the glass constant, high element count lenses would be slower (their lowest aperture would be higher then a low element count lens). This is because every piece of glass you put in front of the light reduces the amount of light that passes through. To get more light through, the designers need to increase the diameter of the glass.  So if we hold the sensor size/format constant, then two things influence a lenses' physical size, the lowest aperture and the number of elements. That's why a low aperture lens (for a given format) will be bigger/fatter then a high aperture lens.

So why be interested in old lenses? Physical size is one reason, modern high element count lenses tend to be larger and heavier then their predecessors. Hauling around four or five 800 gram lenses in a camera bag all day can leave a photographer with a sore shoulder.  Cost is another reason, old lenses can be purchased for pennies on the dollar compared to new lenses. Most important, with every piece of glass you put in a lens (high element count) you reduce the ability of the lens to transmit minute differences in color and shading (rendition). 

On the opposite side to the scale, new lenses can have incredible sharpness, weather sealing, automatic aperture, and auto focus. Auto focus is particularly important on modern DSLRs because modern DSLRs lack the focusing aids of yesteryear. When manual focus lenses reigned supreme, all cameras had special focusing aids in the viewfinder - microprism or split prism focusing screens. Those aids enabled the image to "pop" into focus in the viewfinder, helping the user focus. There are a few companies that sell focusing screens that can replace the screen in a modern DSLR with focuing screens designed to work with manual focus lenses. If you want to easily use manual focus lenses on your DSLR, I highly recommend you replace the focusing screen.  Mirrorless cameras, however, work exceptionally well with manual focus lenses. Most mirrorless cameras have various focus aids built in that make manual focusing a lens (old or new) a joy.  Focus peaking, digital split image, and magnification are all typical focus aids for mirrorless users.

Why do the testing? Basically, I wanted to see how the old lenses "stacked up" against new, state of the art, lenses. How was the sharpness, the bokah, the contrast, and the color transmission.  I did not test for flare, but probably will in the future.  I used all the lenses I could scrounge up that covered the 50 to 60 millimeter range. And because that range on a crop sensor gives an 85mm equivalent field of view, I also tested an 85mm with a Mitakon Lens Turbo II focal reducer. Without getting too deep down the rabbit hole, a focal reducer works like a tele-converter in reverse. In this case, the Turbo II reduces the full frame image circle of the Nikkor lenses and reduces by approximately .73 down to an APS-C image circle.  Additionally, while focal reduction has the effect of reducing the image circle, it also concentrates the amount of light, effectively gaining almost a stop of light.  It performs this magic through the addition of four elements to the optical path.

Methodology. I used an Fujifilm XT-2 camera.  At the time of writing, the XT-2 is the highest resolution (24MP) APS-C camera made by Fujifilm. In no way, shape, or form is this super accurate testing.  There are no lens resolution test charts, no brick walls, nothing like that.  Just my spouse (semi tolerant), some lights behind her to create bokah, and a flash in front of her. Images were imported into Lightroom for cropping and exported. No other correction was done.

The slowest lenses tested have an aperture of F/2.8, and since no lens is at it's best wide open, I also tested at F/4.0. Lenses that are faster were also tested at lower F stops so the shape of the bokah was viewed. Some tested lenses have as few as seven aperture blades, nine was common, one has 12 blades. The 12 bladed aperture provided beautiful round bokah at all settings.

Tested Lenses

Description Aperture Blades No. Elements
Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR at 55mm  9 (rounded) 17
Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR at 50mm 7 (rounded) 23 
Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R 7 (rounded) 11
Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro 9 (rounded) 10
Helios 44-2 58mm F/2 8 (rounded) 6
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) 7 7
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II - Effective F/1.0 7 7+4
Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) 7 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D 9 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II - Effective F/1.3 9 6+4
Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 12 (rounded) 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first group of images are all shown at F/2.8 to make it easy to compare them directly. 

Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR 55mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR 55mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R at f/2.8

Fujifilm XF60mmF2.5 R Macro at 2.8

Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro at f/2.8 

Helios 44-2 58mmf2 at 2.8

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 at f/2.8

 

Nikkor 50/1.4 @2.8

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 50mmF1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Nikkor 55mmF2.8 Micro (pre AI) at 2.8

Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D at 2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D at F/2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50-2.8 at 2.8

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 at F/2.8

 

Initial conclusions:  The aperture blades on the older Nikkor lenses makes for strongly shaped polygonal bokah. Additionally, the aperture blades on the Nikkor 50/1.4 don't fully engage leaving some nasty "hooks" at the corners of the polygon bokah - although that is not typically visible.  The Jena appears to be a little soft at F/2.8 (wide open) although it may be reduced contrast making it look soft; for portraiture, that actually may be a good thing. Certainly, for online use, the Jena is more then good enough.  The Jena also shows some oblong shaped bokah, indicating some uncorrected aberrations towards the corners; it's not bad for a lens design that goes back to 1902.  Additionally, the Jena is easily the smallest 50mm I have ever seen, weighing just 115 grams.

The Helios seems to be a nice performing lens, although physically, I did not like working with its aperture ring. The ring is stepless with a separate locking ring that controls the minimum aperture - lets just say that it's inconvenient to use.

The Nikkor 50/1.4 at F/2.8 is still short on contrast compared to more modern lenses. At F/2.8, the Nikkor 50/1.4 falls behind the Micro Nikkor 55/2.8 in sharpness and contrast.

Part II

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Camera Fuji Fujifilm Nikon SLR bokah film gear helios jena lens manual focus mirrorless nifty 50 nikkor photography portrait tessar test zeiss http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/11/comparing-nifty-fiftys Mon, 21 Nov 2016 01:59:49 GMT
A Photographic Journey - Part II http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/6/my-photographic-journey---part-ii Nikon F2 PhotomicNikon F2 Photomic with 50/1.4

Nikon F2 Photomic with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

 

In 1975 I was in my third year of high school, I was working in the family business during school vacations and saving money. Money "burning a hole in my pocket" lead directly to the first camera that I purchased, a Nikon F2 Photomic.

At that time, the Nikon F2 Photomic was the finest 35 millimeter single lens reflex (SLR) camera made in the world. It was used by professional photographers for sports and fashion. News and magazine photographers used it. Nikons were, arguably, used by more professional photographers than any other 35mm SLR camera. And I was determined to buy one.

That camera cost about $600. Why that camera and not a more affordable camera? To this day, I’m not totally sure. By that time, I was sure I wanted to be a professional photographer and I wanted the gear for the career.  In retrospect, knowing what I know now, a twin lens reflex (TLR) shooting 120/220 film would have been better for teaching me "vision".  But a TLR was "old" technology, big, bulky, slow to operate, and most important to me - you didn't hold it to your eye.

I purchased the F2 with a 50/1.4 lens.  That was typical for the time, you bought a SLR with a "nifty 50".  I didn't even consider a zoom lens, they were expensive, soft, and slow.  Unlike today, manufacturers did not "kit" cameras, selling the body with a specific lens in a box. There was no reason that I couldn't have purchased the body with something other than the 50.

Within a year, I was bored with the 50mm and wanted something both longer for portraits and shorter for indoors. I ended up adding a Nikkor 105/2.5 and a Vivitar Series One 28/1.9 to my camera bag.  I also added a Sunpak 611 "potato masher" flash unit for indoor shooting. The bulk of my shooting was for the high school yearbook, they covered film and processing, which allowed me to burn through a lot of film. By the time I left for college I had added a Nikkor 300/4.0 lens to my collection for shooting sports.

In college I continued to feed my film habit by shooting for the college yearbook and shooting various dorm events. Shooting dorm events, I actually got paid.  

After a year of shooting college sports, I decided that I needed a motor drive for my camera so I could capture action better/faster. A motor drive for the F2 was out of the question economically, but Nikon had released the FE, a body that had a motor drive available.  The FE was Nikon's first camera with automatic exposure capability, and it seemed to fit my criteria perfectly.

Nikon FE with motor drive and 50/1.4Nikon FE with motor drive and 50/1.4

Nikon FE with motor drive and 50/1.4

Once purchased, the FE became my new favorite, relegating the F2 to a supporting role. I loved having auto exposure available and used it frequently.

My collection of photographic gear did not change for the remainder of my college years. With few exceptions, my images from this time are more documentary then artistic. The most memorable images came from a six week school trip to Kenya in 1978.

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Camera F2 FE Nikon Photomic SLR film gear nifty 50 photography professional http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/6/my-photographic-journey---part-ii Sun, 05 Jun 2016 22:15:00 GMT
A Photographic Journey - Part I http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/6/my-photographic-journey---part-1

Image courtesy of Darrin Behm

My photographic journey started at age nine when I received my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic 104 for Christmas. I probably shot four rolls of film over the next week. I would have shot more, but my parents told me to slow down, “You’ll run out of film.”  What were those images? Just the usual crap that kids with cameras shoot, their belongings, the floor (oops), peoples butts (misfire, there), family, the chair, etc..  You get the idea.  I wish I could say that I showed awesome photographic talent at an early age, but I can’t.  Hell, I wish I could show awesome photographic talent today.

NancyMy Sister Registers Outrage at My Existence.

My sister registers outrage at my existence (© David Hidding 1967)

After those initial rolls of film, I doubt that I shot another ten rolls of film with that camera.  I was dependent upon mom and dad, or a relative, to gift me with film. And then, mom and dad to pay for development of the exposed film.  What a racket! In the 1960’s, I suspect parents around the country cringed when their kids opened a gift containing a camera in the same manner as parents cringe when their children receive a drum kit for Christmas. It’s a gift that keeps on giving…to Kodak.  Later on, in the 1970’s, Kodak was replaced in parent’s hatred by Polaroid with their Onestep cameras.  It was easier to spend money on a Polaroid because you only had to go to the store once (the film contained its own processing), not three times (buy the film, return to the store for processing, return to the store to pick up prints).  I do recall occasionally saving up my own money and paying for processing, but with a quarter a week of allowance, processing took three months of allowance.  Needless to say, I did not use the Instamatic often.

Somewhere around age 13, I truly got interested in photography. My father purchased a Nikon F and I became the recipient of his old camera, a Kodak Retina IIIC.  The Retina had actually been my grandfather’s camera. My dad ended up with it when granddad died. The Retina was not particularly difficult to work with, but it was not easy either.  Metering was done separately and exposures were frequently off if you were not careful with the light.  This may explain why there were very few photos of my childhood.  Once my dad got the Nikon, with it’s thru the lens metering and thru the lens focusing, photos of our family became more abundant.

Kodak Retina IIIC (image by Jeff Dean at English Wikipedia)

I learned everything I could about the Retina. No manual had survived the multi generational ownership and there was no internet, I did a lot of experimenting. I hung out at the local camera store when I could and asked questions.  And I read photography books, a lot of photography books.  I may have borrowed every book our tiny public library had on photography.  I learned to develop my own black and white film, setting up a darkroom in the bathroom. I started buying Tri-X and Plus-X in 100 foot rolls and filling my own canisters because that was cheaper then purchasing 36 exposure rolls from the camera store.

At some point prior to my birth, my dad had been more involved in photography.  I found his old Omega B enlarger in the basement and set it up.  I learned to make my own black and white prints. The bathroom got more crowded, and my fingers took on the odor of developer and stop bath.

I became well acquainted with the reciprocal exposure rule (Sunny 16 rule) and used it almost exclusively with the Retina, since the meter on the Retina was horribly inaccurate.  I found, going through some old photographic gear at garage sales, add on lenses for the Retina that provided wide angle and telephoto views. These lenses screwed to the front of the Retina’s lens. I learned about parallax and other rangefinder weaknesses.

The family took a vacation to Mexico and I brought the Retina. I took pictures of the Pyramids and the game courts where the Aztecs played ball games with the head of their enemies. We toured Mexico City, Taxco, and Acapulco. I took photos in all of those locations. Sadly for me, all those images are lost, the negatives tossed during one move or another.

The Retina IIIC was a folding camera, the lens was hidden by a door on the front of the camera. Opening the door caused the lens and shutter to cam forward into shooting position. It was German built and precision engineered. To my young mind, it was the nicest thing I owned. Diligent use of the camera rewarded me with sharp, well exposed, somewhat boring images.

 

 

 

 

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) Kodak Polaroid Retina IIIC camera film gear instamatic photography rangefinder http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/6/my-photographic-journey---part-1 Fri, 03 Jun 2016 21:07:09 GMT
Gabija - 3 by 3 http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/3/gabija---3-by-3 Last summer I built a 3 by 3 box. If you don't know what one is, you can look at the image below. The name is pretty descriptive.  I've shot a few of these and they can be a lot of fun, especially if the subject has some clear ideas on their outfits and how to use the box.

Gabija came to the studio and unleashed her own particular brand of awesomeness. She came with three seasons in mind and all the outfits working from the same color palette.  After just 90 minutes, the whole shoot was over...way too soon.

One of the neat things about the 3x3 is that there end up being nine edited images, most can work as individual shots.  So expect to see some of these individual shots pop up from time to time.

Enjoy.

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) 3x3 Gabija Guzauskaite black and white blonde girl grid photography http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/3/gabija---3-by-3 Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:28:01 GMT
Behind the Scenes - Gabija http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/2/behind-the-scenes---gabija Photography can be as easy as picking up your mobile phone and using it to take a picture. Or it can be rather involved.

As a teenager, I used only natural light for my photographs. I was young, had limited funds, and natural light was cheap. During college, I knew exact campus locations where there was great light for shooting portraits.

When I started shooting models and portraits in 2014, after a 25 year hiatus, I wanted to control the light so I wouldn't be dependent upon location, time, and weather for great light. Control appeals to my inner engineer. The problem with shooting with lights, is that you have more gear to haul and setup.

Yesterday I did a collaborative shoot with Gabija. I had a behind the scenes video camera running. The photoshoot was essentially a two hours shooting three looks, bracketed by an hour of setup and and hour of teardown.

Enjoy the time lapse.

Behind the Scenes with GabijaSetting up, shooting, and tearing down for a 3x3 shoot.

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/2/behind-the-scenes---gabija Sun, 28 Feb 2016 23:42:15 GMT
To blog or not to blog? http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/2/to-blog-or-not-to-blog To blog, or not to blog?  That is the question.

I've never tried blogging before because frankly, the concept has always struck me as incredibly narcissistic. I mean, how much ego do you need to have to think that other people will be interested in your thoughts about whatever the hell you have thoughts about?

If you think that the color red is better than the color blue, blog about it. Broadcast your thoughts to the entire world about the reasons why wavelengths of light at 620 nanometers are better than light at 450 nanometers (blue is better, by the way).

I’m sure if I searched the interwebs enough I could find blogged opinions about anything and everything. Why canola oil is healthier than peanut oil? Easy to find and supported by FACTS. Why peanut oil tastes better than canola oil? Supported only by OPINION.

Are you positive that Johnny Unitas was the greatest quarterback of all time, blog about it. Jim Brown vs. Gale Sayers vs. Red Grange? What about O.J? Put your thoughts out there and let everyone read them. It’s only your OPINION, and who the hell cares about what YOU think?

Well, apparently some people do care about my opinion, or my experience; because a few (more than two) told me I should write about my thoughts and experiences in photography. 

Frankly, I have lots of thoughts and too few experiences.  I have never made my living from photography.  So other than being of above average intelligence and taking pictures for 50 years, I don’t believe that my opinion on anything photographic should carry any more weight than yours.  But those 50 years have given me some experience and knowledge that younger photographers may find interesting, or helpful, or laughable. Time will tell.

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deh@810photo.net (810Photo) blog ego opinion photography http://www.810photo.net/blog/2016/2/to-blog-or-not-to-blog Sun, 14 Feb 2016 15:10:29 GMT