Sunday, October 9, 2011

Silent forest

Again, Konica Big Mini and Superia 200

This film actually CAN be useful - for b&w photos - like here :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Main library in Vienna

Another Nikon AF600 shot - nice resolution for a small P&S camera:































I seriously think I will be switching my photo hosting to Picasa - with Google+ You have UNLIMITED photo space.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nikon's smallest P&S - Nikon AF600

Another small P&S camera I've came across is the Nikon AF600. It's almost as small as Mju-II and definetely smaller than Big Mini.
It's got 28mm lens with 3.5 maximal aperture. I needed a little bit time to get used to that wide angle. The lens itself is very sharp (for a p&s) and doesn't have too much vignetting or distortion. Autofocus and metering wotks excellent! All the 36 pics I made are perfectly usable!

This shot has been made on Portra 160 film (slightly cropped and converted to bw):

























And here's the little hero:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Architect's dream

Already at taking it I got the feeling, that it will be a nice shot.

Konica Big Mini BM-302
Superia 200

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Panasonic DMC-FZ50 resolution test! (and why Lightroom sux)

As espected:  the combination of 10Mpx sensor and Leica lens produces amazing results when it comes to resolution, check out this pic (notice nice bokeh of this lens!):


























And this is a 100% crop - the details are almost pixel-size!:



























To make this crop I had to use freeware Gimp - Lightroom simply don't allow u to crop to a certain size!

Other bad thing about LR is lack of scratches-removal tool I had a very bed time trying to remove few scratches from my scanned films - and we're talking about quite pricey software here!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunset in the city

Like the way sun shines through the building :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

First shots with DMC-FZ50 good so far!

Both pictures as shot - jpegs and no post processing (no cropping either):



























I had a day for architectural details :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Use good films only!

On film, You've got only one opportunity to take the shot, I've made few Superia 200/400 films and am so unhappy about it!! Crappy colors, bad resolution - some shot woul've been great if they were better quality.

You can buy expired films like Reala, Portra etc. and they still will be better choice than cheapo stuff. You can always alter Your pics, but You just can't make them better if shot on wrong film.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Got "New" digital camera! Pansonic DMC-FZ50 - initial impressions

Two weeks ago I bought 2nd hand Panasonic FZ50 to replace my Canon S2IS (all gear shots till now were made with Canon!).

It's a nice, big Superzoom-Type camera with Leica lens.

It is pretty much useless for larger prints above ISO200.


more to come...

Monday, April 11, 2011

How to make a good photo of Your bike?

I am a big bike-hobbyist. What I always had problem with was how to do a nice-looking photo of my bicycle. I tried many times with the same effect: flat, dull, unexciting.

Only recently I managed to find a proper technique: IT'S ALL ABOUT DOF!*

*depth of field

Remember: this shot was made with Canon S2IS, which is a cheap 5mpx superzoom digicam and 2.7-3.5 lens.

What I did was:
- waited for a perfect light (CLOUDY DAY! - almost no shadows!)
- chosen possibly non-distracting background
- kept distance between me and a bike AND bike and background - I had to zoom in to fit the bike in the frame!
- shoot in Aperture priority mode and set the largest aperture possible

This is the final effect:

























In the details I managed to squeeze even shallower DOF/ stronger 3d effect!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A beautiful view...

...to me for sure!

Made this shot with Nikon F60 and Nikkor 50 f1.8 lens - I believe it was made in Auto mode.
I used Kodak Elite Chrome 100 film and converted it to bw in pp.
The pic is slightly cropped from above, to remove distracting white part of the clothes from the frame.
I also added a bit contrast to the bush on the right hand side to balance the composition.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Industrial - first Big Mini shot

Made with Konica Big Mini BM-302. I'm quite pleased with the results from this little camera. Despite of using cheap, out-of-date Superia 200 film - I managed to do some nice shots.






































I've also have a new member of my little family: Konica Big Mini BM-201. Quite a looker, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Das neue Lehrbuch der Fotografie" - book recommendation!

"Das neue Lehrbuch der Fotografie" by G√ľnter Spitzing

If You read in German - this book is a extremely useful source of informations for those, who search for some basic to intermediate photographing tips. It contains not only usual hardware-using tips, but also elements of psychology of photography.

Publisher: Laterna Magica
First edition: 1988
Series: "Information foto"


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why bother with phone pics?

You just can't always have a proper camera with. Using build-in mobile phone camera actually helps You to make better photos with normal size camera, especially in ways of seeing things and better framing.

You also learn to value other focal lengths, more resolution, color reproduction, or low light abilities. Every time when You shoot with phone and think something like "I wish I had a short telephoto now*" - You actually learn when to use a short tele.

* can also be wider lens, brighter, tripod, etc

Nice contrast, simple colors and forms is everything what makes this photo.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Konica Big Mini - a japanese legend.

Let me introduce to You: Konica BM-302 with 35mm f3.5 lens.

This little camera has an cult-status in Japan, mainly because of early Hiromix work. Nobuyoshi Araki also swears to this model.

The Big Mini is small and fits perfectly into my pocket. The lens is collapsible and have NO lens cover (it doesn't bother me much. Despite of having not too many knobs (5 of them - release, power, mode, mode2, rewind), its very intuitive to use: just point-and-shot - simple as that. It also have some extremely useful funktions for more serious photographers:

- exposure compensation +-1.5
- forced flash (fill in and slow sync)
- up to 7,5 sec long automatic exposure

Results: pictures are sharp enough, without disturbing vignetting or distortion.

For more informations and sample pics click "Konica" - label on the right ---->

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Night lights

this is my favorite shot from Olympus Pen D - night series.

Made hand held using B - time and following a moving car (panning). Kodak Elite Chrome film as always.

Notice how some lights turned to dots and other not. The dotted lights are powered by mains and are blinking at 50 Hz. Car lights aren't blinking.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pimp my ride - more on bw conversion

Here's a simple snapshot of a car parked by my house. Did it with Minolta XD7 and 35-70 lens.

The reason why it's converted to bw is, that the car on the right (background) was actually YELLOW - and was distracting the viewer from the main photo subject. There isn't much color in winter landscapes at all - that's why black & white winter pics looks so good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter by night

Again - Olympus Pen D - half frame camera.
Hand held at about 1/8s
Converted to bw

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Night lights

This picture is all about color, lights and lines. Does it have to be sharp? Don't think so.

Made with Olympus Pen D
Kodak Elite Chrome
hand held

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Symptoms of the Gear Acquisition Syndrome

You should be concerned, if at least 2 of listed habits meets Your behavior:
- You spend Your time in Internet reading gear reviews and not watching actual photographs
- You spend more time playing with Your gear than making photos
- You are more active in gear-related forums than in photo-forums
- You are deeply concerned about technical abilities of Your camera
- You aren't using most cameras from Your collection at all
- You have many gear related books and no photo albums
- You have no idea who Edward Weston was, instead You know all the upcoming camera models

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter IS colourful! Minolta 35-70 f3.5 lens thoughts.

Sometimes... eh... mostly not...

Minolta XD7 + 35-70 f3.5
Kodak Elite Chrome

The 35-70 is a great universal lens. My version is the one with macro mode (used on this pic). There is a rumor, that this lens was made in cooperation with Leica (vide leicas 35-70 f3.5) - not that I really care. Its just simple, versatile - my favorite beater-take-everywhere-with lens.
Focusing is silk smooth and precise, starts from 80cm or about 20 in macro mode. I had been shooting with expensive 24-50 f4 lens for a while and didn't noticed much difference in sharpness.

Friday, February 4, 2011

WU vienna by night...

Minolta XD + Minolta 24-50 f4
Kodak elite chrome

This photo turned to be very boring in color - i simply added a bit contrast, turned to bw, and lightened a bit the wall on the right side using lr. Et voila!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Half frame pic

That's how it looks. These are two pictures made one after another.
Olympus Pen D
Hand held
Kodak Elite Chrome 100

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another phone pic...

Made at the WU Vienna - these are two chairs. Again with huge restrictions of mobile phone build-in camera, I have to concentrate on very simple forms with basic colors to get interesting photo.

Half frame, enyone? - Olympus Pen D impressions

Half frames are perfect replacement for modern digital p&s cameras. They do 72 pics on normal 36 film, which IS quite a lot!

This monday I picked from my lab film made with Olympus Pen D - I'm truly impressed with this little camera, and it became my favorite take-enywhere snapshot equipment. It is equipped with fantastic fast and sharp Zuiko 32mm f1.9 lens (a bit longer than 50mm on full frame) and have build-in selenium light meter (on my example still works pretty accurate!).

It has a central shutter and it is the quietest shutter I've ever heard! Actually when I made first photo with it, I thought it was broken - just a silent "click". It's even quieter than very silent Yashica GTN.


The camera is fully mechanical - works without ANY batteries. The only quirk I can think of here is lacking of ANY sharpening help - no through-the-lens view nor rangefinder here! You have to "evaluate" the distance on your own (It's actually easier than it sounds).



























Build quality is superb - it feels rugged and heavy - despite its small dimensions. Everything works precise and smooth. Under "half frame" tag You'll find some photo examples from this camera.
I can only say: Highly Recommended!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nikon F3 vs Minolta X-700 - comparision!

The F3 is a top of the Nikon's line manual focus camera - it's the last manual focus nikon from professional F-series. There is plenty of informations about it in Internet already. Definetely the best F3 review / description is to be found HERE and HERE.

I will purely concentrate on comparision between F3 and state of art Minolta X-700 (introduced 2 years after Nikon's F3, X-700 was the last high specification MF Minolta, in-depth review are HERE and HERE)



















































AREN'T THEY SIMILAR?
The similarities doesn't end on the outside, they both have:
- nearly identical handling and operation
- similar horizontal-travel shutter
- similar technical specification (of course, F3 a bit forward here)



Technical specification of F3 was, of course top-notch at the time, the clear advantages over X-700 are:
- wider shutter speeds range 8 seconds to 1/2000
- interchangeable finders and focus screens
- mirror lock up
- T time for extra long exposures
- mechanical shutter release

Minolta X-700 was of course MUCH cheaper than Nikon, but still have some advantages over F3:
- NORMAL HOT SHOE
- fully automatic P mode
- no need to remove a cap to connect the Motor Drive (which really is pida in F3)
- build-in vertical shutter release in MD1


As for today, each of them have one additional advantage over the contestor:

You can use virtually every ever produced Nikkor lens with F3, what makes it a nice companion to modern DSLR. You can't do it with X-700. Minolta dropped the MD mount with introduction of AF Dynax/Maxxum series.

The PRICE of the lenses, otoh, speaks clearly pro Minolta - you can buy this wonderful 50mm 1.7 Rokkor for next to nothing, whereas a similar Nikkor is like $100.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Free manuals!!

HERE you can find world biggest free camera manuals collection!

HERE you can find a small manuals collection made by me and traditional photography freaks from Poland

How to properly convert color pics to bw?

I'm using Lightroom and its Grayscale Mix feature (Develop--->Grayscale). I used a color pic from my previous post. Left is converted without color adjustments, right with AUTOMATIC grayscale mix. The diffrence is massive!

Of course - You can also use manual settings to adjust the levels better to Your taste!

Why shoot diapositive film? Why shoot color?

Diapositive films have two major advantages over negatives:

- you can make dia-show (obviously)
- easier to get good colors when scanned

Color films have two major advantages over bw films:

- if you shoot bw you can never have this photo in color
- if you shoot color, you can easily convert it to bw AND get better results!! (see my next post!)


Photo made with Minolta XD7 + Minolta 35-70 f3.5 lens on Kodak Elite Chrome 100 film (10 years expired), scanned with cheap Plustek scanner.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some of the most important RULES OF PHOTOGRAPHY

In 1967 Edward Weston wrote:

"...few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it."


and:


"...the task can be made immeasurably easier by selecting the simplest possible equipment and procedures and staying with them. Learning to see in terms of the field of one lens, the scale of one film and one paper, will accomplish a good deal more than gathering a smattering of knowledge about several sets of tools."


This is a photo I made in 2005 with my first SLR camera - Nikon F60 (with some crappy plasticky zoom lens). Film: Kodak Gold 200. I decided later on to convert it to bw:



Monday, January 24, 2011

Your camera doesn't matter?? Mr Rockwell and Co.

"Your camera doesn't matter" - I do think everyone know the (in)famous Ken Rockwell and his website - mostly one-sided, but fun to read articles about photography.
IMO all such websites are crap. Whatever You read, listen or watch - You should always try to put it through Your own reasoning - only then You'll be able to develop Your own, recognizable photographic style. There is NO golden rule of photography. The best thing You can do to improve Your skills is to take camera and go out.

























I've made this picture with 1.3 mpx mobile phone (without even proper lens!). The only thing important here is COLOR - and that's whats really important in color photography.

Here are some basic composition rules.

Hi!

This is my private photo-blog. I'll post some new stuff as often as possible, I will also post tech details for my every photo and some useful thoughts/findings.

Enjoy reading (and watching!)