Over the past eight years I have been seriously involved in photography, but sometimes I don't feel like I'm making progress. It's useful sometimes for me to compare photos that I have taken over the years so as to see how I'm progressing. In this post I compare three photos I took of the same subject, the colosseum in Rome, from about the same spot.
In the past few months I have been dating a young woman, a woman who is much younger than me. There are advantages and disavantages to dating a younger woman. One advantage is that she pushes me to do things that I would not do normally. She has gotten me to use my mobile telephone to take photographs. As an advanced photographer, I have always disdained this idea. In my opinion, mobile telephones are not meant to be cameras. They can take pictures, but one should use a camera, not a telephone for photography. Still, love and sex can change a man's perspective on things.
People will ask me sometimes why I use a film camera instead of a digital camera. I explain to them that each camera has a sensor for recording an image. A digital camera uses an electronic image sensor, which is reusable. A film camera uses generally a rectangular piece of a strip of film, which may be used only once. There are some advantages and disadvantages to each. However, at the basic level, different types of cameras have different types of sensors—electronic or film. The type of sensor it uses will effect the results of the initial image.
In case anyone is interested in charting my madness and sadness, here's an update on how far down this path I have gone thus far—see my previous post to this topic (Almost Everything Must Go) in which I explain my plan to sell almost all of my cameras and lenses and switch to a new system.
I have a crazy plan: I’m going to sell almost all of my cameras and lenses. I’ve begun to implement this plan, but thought I would get some comments from some of you before I sell off the best items. One of the things that’s inspiring this is an inadvertent assessment I made recently. A few months ago, looking through the more than 25,000 photos on my computer that I have taken in the past seven years, I printed my fifty best ones to put in a small photo album to show visitors to my home.
When I started this researching at the end of September 2010 the two Zeiss ZM 85mm lenses, I was considering buying one of them: the expensive f/2 lens ($3,350) and the inexpensive, but cheaper f/4 lens ($875). A few people sent me messages leading me instead to decide to buy the Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8 (46mm filter, German or Canadian made) lens.
A few weeks ago I purchased for my Leitz Minolta CL (i.e., Leica CL) camera, a half case—only the bottom half of the camera is wrapped in a case made of leather. I bought it from a small manufacturer in China who goes by the name of Mr. Zhou. It's a very nice, but I don't use it in the way many people do
One new Zeiss ZM 50mm lens came up for sale Sunday morning on B&H Photo. Someone bought it by the afternoon. It wasn't the model I want, so that's fine by me. It was the Sonnar f/1.5 and I've decided recently that I'd prefer the Plannar f/2 lens. It's rated a little better in some ways and it's cheaper and uses the same size filters as the Zeiss ZM f/2 35mm lens that I already own.
Since I posted an entry about Reducing Zoom over a year ago, I've used my Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM zoom lens only three times—I set up a smart-collection in Adobe Light Room to check. I took a total of fifty-four shots: forty-one in October last year, five in March of this year, and eight more in May. Of those three batches, I've only used five of the photos—they were all from the outing in May.
A couple of times a year the canals in Milan (in the [I]Naviglio[/I] neighborhood) are dry, either from lack of water flow from the moutains, or because the locks are closed upstream to drain them. It would be an excellent opportunity for the city to clean the trash out of the canals, but they don't.
For a few years now I have thought it would be interesting to climb down into one of the canals to take pictures of the restaurant barges stuck in the mud. Today, I finally did it. These are some of the photos I took with a Lumix GF1 camera and a Zeiss 35mm f/2 Biogon M-Mount lens.
I own a Lumix GF1 camera with the 20mm f/1.7 pancake kit lens. I also have one of the Voigtlander M-mount adapters, so I'm able to use my Zeiss and Leica M-mount lenses. This is a seemingly excellent combination, but many of my images are terrible.
As a result of messages I've received related to my post about the two Zeiss ZM 85mm lenses and another in which I am considering the Leica 90mm Lens, I've begun looking for a 90mm Leica lens. I've been checking out the ones suggested here. However, I have no sense of what lenses should cost, no way to gauge them. Maybe y'all can give me some guidance in this area, although I'm departing from my own topic.
I want to buy an 85mm Zeiss ZM lens for my Zeiss Ikon camera. Zeiss makes two 85mm lens models for M-mount cameras. They make the Sonnar T* f2.0 and the Tele-Tessar T* f/4 lenses. The Sonnar lens costs more than triple that of the Tele-Tessar.
Still life scenes have been popular among artists that draw or paint. However, I haven't seen much done by photographers. I'm wondering why. I have some thoughts about this, but would like to know the thoughts of others about this topic.
In my collection of Canon EF lenses, I have a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens. It's an excellent lens. I don't think there's any other lens in this range of zoom lenses that's better than it for Canon EOS cameras.
As I improve my equipment and skills in film photography, and as I get better at using Adobe PhotoShop for processing digital images taken with both film and and digital cameras, I’m wondering if there is a difference. I’m wondering if a state of the art, high end digital camera can produce better images digitally and in print than any film camera.
There is one main question about film cameras that comes lately to mind, or rather a set of questions, that I’m considering: If I want both printed images and digitalized images, is it better to use a film camera or a digital one? I have equalized many factors among my equipment by purchasing a good film camera which uses the same lenses as my best digital camera and was made with fairly current technology (e.g., through-the-lens light meters).
Top of the line lenses are key to taking high quality photographs, but they can be expensive. This is the problem I’ve had with my film cameras. However, since I already own several excellent EOS L-series lenses, I recently purchased an excellent Canon EOS film camera to be able to use with these lenses.
For some inexplicable reason I have been buying and using film cameras for the past nine months. What I'm learning about film is that there are quite a few factors involved to make high quality photographs. Each factor in the process has to be at its best, or at least above a certain level in order to produce high quality images--either in print or digitalized. I'm not trying to achieve necessarily high resolution images with film. Instead, I'm looking for the clarity that I've seen in the photographs of many famous photographers during my lifetime.
This post includes a photograph taken with the replacement lens discussed in the previous post.
Well, I went back to the Leica store today to see about a refund or something. They were very nice about it. I showed them the photos and they didn't try to suggest a user problem. They pulled the lens apart, examined it and said they couldn't see where there was a problem with the lens, but were willing to take it back. As I feared, though, I was talked into an upgrade.
Per the recommendation of a few people, I shot a roll of film yesterday with my new (old) lens. The results are absurdly disappointing. The photos are overexposed in the center (see the photos below). At this point, I'm not sure what caused this or if there's anything I can do to solve this problem. I'm thinking that I may have cause for a refund, but want to know if it's a user problem or a user resolvable problem before I go to the store and test my Italian language skills.
I went to an excellent camera store in Milan (where I live) today, Foto Ottica Cavour. The store is very cool. It has an amazing selection of Leica cameras and lenses, as well as many other rangefinder cameras. It was nice to see cameras that I've only seen in books and on the internet. I wish I had had lots of money with me.
As part of my latest activities to relearn film photography, as well as to learn what escaped me about film in my youth, I have begun trying black and white film this week. It’s been an interesting experience.
Old rangefinder cameras can be impressive looking and may seem fun to use. But some of these cameras don’t have built-in light meters. For many decades photographers did without them, but those of us who are spoiled by them, doing without can be frustrating. It took me a while, but with the assistance of a simple guide and a hand-held meter, I managed to take pictures without a built-in light meter.
I confess that I like camera equipment. I like researching new equipment, deciding on what to buy, buying it and then using it. If I only wanted it just to have and didn’t use it, then I would be firmer about it being a problem. But I use my equipment and enjoy doing so. Is that bad?
Photography has three main components: the photography equipment, the act of creating photographs, and the photographs themselves. I believe enjoying all three is necessary to being an amateur photographer. In this musing I expound on these ideas and tell about my background related to them, or what has led to them for me.
Photographs that contain certain elements, certain patterns are appealing to us. These types of photographs are easily reproducable and as a result anyone can become a good photographer. What’s curious, though, is why we find photographs with certain patterns so appealing.
While some may consider macro photographs interesting art or pretty pictures, I consider it to be a form of meditation. Or at least a method of creating material for meditation. The subjects I like to photograph with a macro lens relate to a childhood need to hide from the larger world that oppressed me so much.
Normal people take photographs to record and remember social events (e.g., a party, or a child‘s graduation), to be able to tell people about their vacation in another country. These reasons explain why we take some photographs. However, as amateur photographers we take far more photographs and spend too much money on equipment than is needed for the simple reasons that normal people take pictures. So why do we do it? To explain this, I first define the term photographer, then professional and amateur photographers.