Fixer Fingers

(C) 2004 Three rolls of Tri-X, X-tol 1+1 for 9 minutes.

Amazingly, I still have a film backlog from November — the three rolls now hanging are from a trip to Speaker’s Corner and a following visit to Copenhagen. Glancing at the negs it seems clear to me that I still have quite a ways to go with the DSLR before I’m as comfortable using it as I’ve grown to be with the Contax.

I’ve decided my next system expansion will be to hybridize slightly — to take the advice of Sean Reid and, for about the price of the Canon 28mm ƒ/1.8, get the Contax 28mm ƒ/2.8 and an EOS adapter (Better sell the rest of that older Canon gear, huh).

There’s just comething about the Zeiss lenses, whether its the design or the coating I’m unsure, but it’s there — I could see it just glancing at the first roll of negs when I bought my Contax. They were visibly different from Canon negs, even before they were printed. Sharp? Snappy? Sure. But it’s more than the photodo measurements, even as high as those are. Even Canon’s own lens designers have said it: “Sometimes what the eye perceives is slightly different from what is expected, even if all the measurements meet the proper values. We’ve experienced the fact that the perceptions of an expert surpass the precision of measuring instruments.”

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A Corker

So if you live in NYC, as I used to, you know what WFMU is, and you probably know that they have an interview program called The SpeakEasy, and you might even know that the hostess Dorian has a habit of bringing photographers on the air to talk, without pictures, about pictures.

Recent guests have included Steve McCurry, Mary Ellen Mark, Jerff Meremelstein, Jonathan Torgnovik, Peter Howe, and Philip-Lorca di Corcia, so very recently distantly parodied on this very site.

Di Corcia’s interview is in the true photrant tradition — “Cindy Sherman… fruit flies have evolved more than her work” is just the tip of the iceberg. A worthy waste of an hour of your time.

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Stirring up the Pot

Right on the heels of my previous post about DSLR circles of confusion and sensor size, Canon goes and releases (well, leaked) news of the 1D Mk II, with an 8MP sensor and a new multiplier factor: 1.3× — my guess got the exact sensor size wrong, but the trend (and apparently price) just about nailed.

So much for Canon going the EF-S or Four-Thirds route — they’re clearly headed in the direction of full frame for the line.

This will play a bit of extra havok with the lens market, which can only sell more lenses for Canon (and a few for Sigma and friends). That 50mm is now a 65mm, getting right into Leica R “normal” territory. And the 20mm is genuinely a wide lens again. I wonder how many 16-35 and 17-40 zooms will pop up on Ebay later this year.

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The Certainty of Risk from Power Tools

Landscape with Power Tools, (C)2004 Kevin Bjorke I’ve enjoyed Michael Johnston’s Sunday Morning columns for the past couple of years — back in 2002 he published a short list of book titles that he considered crucial for “practicing photographers.” Some I had read, and others I logged-away in my PDA for future reference. I generally trust Michael’s opinions on photography as being reasoned and informed, even if they don’t always coincide with my own (He also was the one who, through this article, got me going on a chain of links to John Brownlow and the streetphoto list).

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Filing Systems: The Virus

So during the South Bay Bloggers’ Meetup on Tuesday Night, I discovered a new sport: Google Voyeur.

Simplicity itself: take a typical digital-camera photo ID, like ih, Title: 143_4354

Now, just poke that number into Google. Chances are, it’ll come up with other people’s digital photos. Their personal photos, dutifully crawled and catalogued by Google’s robot.

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