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)

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:
- 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."


"...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.


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!)