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Dallas

What's Your Next Photography Purchase, Post Lockdown?

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This morning I was finishing off the product shoot I got on my last day of freedom and I think the next thing I will buy for my photography kit will have to be a couple of Godox TT600 speedlights to match with my Godox AD200. I have been really impressed with the AD200 and if I could replace my two Olympus FL-600R units with speedlights that I can control with the same controller I use for it, that would simplify my studio work tremendously. A/C strobes are sooo 2010... :) 

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Just bought a Lab-Box daylight developing tank to speed up the film processing. Much too expensive for what it is but very convenient. I hate the old changing bags and all that nonsense.

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Still trying.

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Sometime you've just got to make your own (work in progress)...

tozaNlo.jpg

 

At best guess it's a J.W. Lancaster & Son half plate camera (ca. 1898-1904), something that pre-virus I had considered too incomplete and really only fit for the trash. However being locked down has put a whole other perspective on "spare time" and on Wednesday I stripped it down completely and started polishing what appeared to be rusted metal fittings, but turned out to be heavily oxidised brass.

 

The bellows were completely rotted and full of holes, but opening them and gluing a new liner on the=m seems to have eliminated most of the problems, the rest will hopefully be taken care of when some lightweight opaque tape arrives via ebay in the next week or two. Failing that working out, a lot more time will see a new set of bellows made  (I hope - after my last attempt at bellows making I swore off it for life, and they were simple rectangular bellows with only 14 large folds - these are tapered with dozens of tighter folds).

 

As the camera back (including  ground glass screen and dark slide holder) was completely missing, I'm in the process of adapting my Thornton Pickard back to this camera in an easily removable fashion for use on either camera, which is proving to be a surprisingly straight-forward thing to do - gotta love wood and simple design for ease of doing such things.

 

Here's a sequence of shots showing what the camera looked like originally (note the colour of the brass fittings):

TQQXUB9.jpg

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I jumped off the gear merry-go-round years ago. For the stuff I shoot, my equipment is deep enough, and more than good enough. As a general observation, I've yet to see improvements in the results the Gearzoids get from all the new, up-to-the minute equipment they endlessly buy.

So no, I don't plan to purchase anything.

Robert

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I shoot film. That's film. F...i....l....m. You remember film don't you? It was in all the papers.

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10 hours ago, rbsinto said:

I've yet to see improvements in the results the Gearzoids get from all the new, up-to-the minute equipment they endlessly buy.

 

I share the same sentiment, which is why I am still using 7-year old digital cameras. Lighting though, is always upgradeable or expandable. 

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I recently received top marks in a stiff club competition for a mono print (A3 size) taken a few years back with my D70, all 6Mp of it! Who needs 60Mp for that purpose.

Marketing man wins OK!

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Still trying.

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12 hours ago, Dallas said:

 

I share the same sentiment, which is why I am still using 7-year old digital cameras. Lighting though, is always upgradeable or expandable. 

I'm shooting digitally with two D3 bodies and three auto-focus lenses (Sigma 12~24, Nikkor 24~70 2.8 and Nikkor 70~200 2.8). In addition I have over twenty manual focus lenses that cover me from 17 to 300 2.8.

And when I want to go to film, I've got motorized F and motorized F2AS bodies as well as a Nikon SP, and S3 and a Cosina/Voigtlander R2S body and a bunch of Nikon and CV lenses in S-mount to shoot.

Yes, I did buy a flash about a year ago that was compatible with the D3, but that's it.

I'm done buying gear.

Robert  


I shoot film. That's film. F...i....l....m. You remember film don't you? It was in all the papers.

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We’ll see how this year goes, but if everything goes well I’d like to get a Phase One XT with the Rodenstock 32mm lens.
 

What I’d like the most is to stay healthy along with my family and loved ones. The stuff can come and go, or just wait. As many stated here, in the end it really doesn’t matter.

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Getting there.... my new/old camera just awaits me finishing the bellows repairs, and then I'll be one happy chappy taking photos the way it was meant to be. ;)

 

WGQzTq2.jpg

 

(refer previous post )

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Looking good, Alan.

 

I have found a buyer for my Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO lens but can't conclude the sale until the lockdown comes to an end. Once it goes it will give me a bit of a gap to add the lighting I need.

 

I will also need to modify my shooting table a bit so that I am not using up half of my office to do tiny products. That should be a very simple fix involving a hacksaw to shorten the pipes that make up its frame and then buying a smaller piece of perspex. Actually, I have been thinking that I should just create a plywood top for it and go back to using material as a sweep. I don't see the need to light anything from underneath. Or maybe I should fold the whole thing up, sell it and build my own new table from plywood and have hinged sides made out of perspex to reduce the footprint or expand it when needed? Hmmm.... 

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I was looking at some new lens options before this all blew up, but with the prospect of us all working from home, I ended up spending the money on a new monitor just before they all sold out.

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And my "new" gear with its c.1900 body and 1870's lens is now complete, and blow me down if the first shot taken of the bottles on my mantelpiece this morning wasn't perfect. Most pleased with this acquisition and the time being well-spent in bringing it back to life.

 

f53FQvn.jpg

 

RCj8GE9.jpg

 

The last step, after putting a new lining inside and cloth hockey tape outside to render the perished bellows light-tight, was to fashion two bottom brass support brackets and two upper latches (using only the existing screw holes already in the camera body) to adapt on an interchangeable basis my Thornton Pickard ground-glass and darkslide holder back to the camera to replace its missing back. These two steps took a full two days - and helped make this lock-down bearable.

BMWVgaj.jpg

 

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3 minutes ago, Dallas said:

That is masterful, Alan. Fantastic job. 👏🏻

 

Thanks, Dallas. Now just the wait for this virus thing to subside so I can actually get out and use this thing without incurring a $1,680 fine for engaging in a "non-essential" outside activity. 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Alan7140 said:

 

Thanks, Dallas. Now just the wait for this virus thing to subside so I can actually get out and use this thing without incurring a $1,680 fine for engaging in a "non-essential" outside activity. 

 

 

 

You've posted some great shots of your yard and over your back fence in the past, I'm sure you'll find something (if the Australian autumn weather is prepared to cooperate).

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2 hours ago, crowecg said:

 

You've posted some great shots of your yard and over your back fence in the past, I'm sure you'll find something (if the Australian autumn weather is prepared to cooperate).

 

I have the run of a 3,500 acre farm, but this camera is not really something I fancy carrying over hill and dale. It's not a practical folder with that lens, nor is it likely to fit into any of my carry bags or packs; it's bigger than the Thornton Pickard which itself takes some persuasion to fit into my KATA Bumblebee backpack, which is the largest bag I have.

 

In fact I really only set about restoring this camera as it's the most portable thing I have which will enable that particular lens to be used outside, but in near proximity to the studio, something that is necessary to enable some practicality in exposing 1.6 ISO paper negs when photographing living things.

 

Whilst I have 2,450 w/s of flash available altogether (2 x 1,000w/s & 3 x 150w/s) even at one metre distance from a subject that barely gets the required exposure wide-open at f/4.5 in the studio, which I can do with my Voigtländer Heliar 4,5/240mm lens, but as near as I can work out this unbranded but 30 years older c.180mm  Petzval lens is closer to f/5.6. Thus a single discharge of all flashes together will still fall about a stop short of the light required. Therefore it's an outside portrait lens ~ and that is somewhat academic anyway as social distancing and self-isolation make the likelihood of me doing any portraiture this year remote indeed, attempts at selfies aside.

 

Still, I have to admit that I did enjoy doing this camera restoration project, and the lock-down was the enabler in allowing that to happen, even if I never get to actually use it in the manner intended. I honestly think this Covid-19 saga will drag on for months, if not well into next year, and that the repercussions of the changes we're all having to make now and into the future on account of it will see the world becoming a very different place to what it was before the virus.

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I'm not a huge fan of infra red photography although under certain circumstances it can produce really interesting images. Suffice to say that my interest has never been sufficient to justify the expenditure on a conversion of an old camera, but following an interesting piece I found on the web I am now in possession of a 720nm infra red filter. Whilst clearly not able to produce comparable results to an i/r camera early tests look promising. Watch this space!

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Still trying.

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12 hours ago, Clactonian said:

I'm not a huge fan of infra red photography although under certain circumstances it can produce really interesting images. Suffice to say that my interest has never been sufficient to justify the expenditure on a conversion of an old camera, but following an interesting piece I found on the web I am now in possession of a 720nm infra red filter. Whilst clearly not able to produce comparable results to an i/r camera early tests look promising. Watch this space!

Older cameras usually work better when used unmodified.   In the past I’ve shot infra red when the sun gets too harsh for visible light.  If you can get your exposure times down enough to catch people, they come out with a very vampire Look to their faces.

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Totally agree.  Great to see this old gear being put back into service and being rescued from an uncertain future. 👍

 

 

On 18/04/2020 at 17:55, Dallas said:

That is masterful, Alan. Fantastic job. 👏🏻

 

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There is nothing around that I want at the moment.

 

This is worrying; I don't want to lose my GAS.  Perhaps I will return to normal when life returns to normal.

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On 19/04/2020 at 12:00, Anthony said:

There is nothing around that I want at the moment.

 

This is worrying; I don't want to lose my GAS.  Perhaps I will return to normal when life returns to normal.

 

Depends upon how long it takes for "normal life to return". May be years before that happens and people have pre-Wuhan coronavirus disposable income.

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I got the two Godox TT600 units and sold off my FL600R’s. Actually came out with a little change too. Haven’t had an occasion to put the new units to work yet, but I did test them with the Xpro transmitter and they work just fine. Maybe I should make a set up video?

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Finally got round to making some lockdown gear purchases.  Turned out to be quite a challenge.  My first attempt was a Fuji-Nikon adapter - I cancelled that after about 6 weeks when the dealer still couldn't tell me when they would be able to dispatch it.  The second attempt was nearly as bad - despite the online postal tracking, things almost went awry with my purchase taking over a week just to get across Sydney (which isn't under lockdown) before taking another two weeks to finally reach me.  It might have taken even longer if I hadn't submitted a lost parcel complaint and some customer feedback questionnaires with scores of 0.

 

As my long term objective has been to get some macro capability for my Fuji system, my new purchase was the Fuji MCEX-16 extension tube. Now time to play!

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I’ve actually bought a more equipment than I thought I would during lockdown, however lots of it isn’t photography related. I bought a Presonus Audiobox 96 audio interface that I use to record voice over for training videos I have been making. I also bought some Samson SR850 headphones (which are great!) plus last week I finally got an amazing deal on a Samson MBA-38 boom arm for the microphone. 

 

Then I got the studio stand that I posted about before and of course the laminate pine top for my old shooting table. 

 

On the camera / video side you guys already know that I finally caved and bought a new camera in the form of the Lumix G9. I have also acquired a few more cheap video lights (actually borrowed for now, but I will probably end up buying them). Here’s my most recent video with the new camera, lights and using a teleprompter for the first time. 

 

 

 

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I bought a studio stand, Manfrotto Super Salon 230-809. Bought it used, of course, and saved quite a bit of money. What a joy has it been to shoot using this beast.

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