Alan7140

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Alan7140 last won the day on 6 July

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About Alan7140

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    Master Member
  • Birthday 07/01/53

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tasmania, Australia
  • Interests
    Photography, Guitar
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • Fav. Camera
    Fuji X-T2
  • Fav. Lens
    23/1.4
  • Fav. Editor
    Photo Ninja

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  1. Assuming that this time the Nikon mirrorless camera is a serious professional tool, and given their initial con-job in swearing black and blue that the DX sensor in their first pro digital bodies was the future that they'd be taking (D1, D2x), then switching without warning to the 135 frame D3 and subsequent pro cameras, I doubt very much that Nikon would even consider anything other than 135 for a pro mirrorless, no matter what anybody says. It will also sit better with their future partner should the mooted merger between Fuji and Nikon take place, without either partner stepping one each other's product lines.
  2. Thanks, Merlin - it's great fun, very reminiscent of my time at university when we were given a subject or topic and turned loose to photograph it as part of our practical assignments. Having an effectively full manual camera and lenses makes that all the more familiar.
  3. What Anthony said. I was unfortunate enough to have bought a Fuji X-Pro1 right at the beginning in 2012, and ran into the Adobe failed demosaic in its original iteration, which was simply woeful. Since then Adobe have only fiddled at the edges with the original algorithm instead of doing the ground-up rewrite that is necessary. At present Iridient's X-Transformer is the only practical way to get a DNG demosaic into ACR/Lr in order to use ACR's sliders and modifiers, but that really is an extra pfaffing-around extra step and you end up with a considerably larger DNG file as your "raw" with xmp side-car file than if you just use a straightforward raw processor that offers user-controllable modifiers and saves directly to tiff. Also, any processor that uses dcraw as its basic demosaic algorithm will do a much superior job with processing X-Trans files than the mush that ACR/Lr produces. At present I'm happy with Photo Ninja (although its promised V.2.0 is now two years past its announcement date, so one would have to suspect that PN isn't long for this earth), X-Transformer, Affinity Photo and the slightly less user friendly (but free) LightZone as being extremely competent in dealing with Fuji X-Trans files on the Windows platform. Apparently Iridient is in beta with Windows full version of its raw processor, which will no doubt be well-received. As for Sigma - there have been suggestions that Affinity Photo will handle /is working on X3f files for the Quattro sensor, but my copy of Affinity won't even see the SDQ-H files, let alone process them. Maybe affinity will be the first successful third-party processor for the Foveon, but more likely they'll also give up an leave us battling with Sigma Photo Pro and its unwieldy, slow and under-featured processor.
  4. I spent an hour or so today amidst rain squalls and wind taking a few photos of the harbour's old defensive canon battery and structures at Kangaroo Bluff on Hobart's Eastern Shore, again using the Sigma SDQ-H and primarily the 1984-made Mir 20M 3,5/20 lens. In keeping with the age of the old fort and the 1950's origins of the Flektogon lens design that the Mir 20M is based on, I chose to bring the images into a period appearance with a bit of help from Siver Efex 2 and a custom preset. I'm really enjoying the image character of this lens - so much more "organic" (for want of a better word) than the clinically sharp corner-to-corner and higher contrast imaging that has become the norm with modern lenses. The defensive bunkers with rifle loops at each seaward corner of the pentagonal emplacement give a clear field of fire for six rifles in each direction along the ditch in front of the fort. And then the weather turned again, the buildings of modern Hobart's Battery Point suburb on the Western Shore some 3km away just visible as subtle shapes through the rain: Before they disappeared, I had taken a quick hand-held shot (with a 1981 3,5/135 Jupiter 37A lens) of Hobart City, it's northern and western suburbs, with the looming kunanyi (Mount Wellington) behind with the Organ Pipes rock formations near the summit some 10.5km distant disappearing into the gathering cloud: Perhaps $40 really can buy a decent lens... the time on the clock faces of the General Post Office tower at lower right and exactly 3km away being clearly legible in the full-size version as showing 11:50 a.m., although the phenomenal resolving power of the Foveon sensor no doubt also played a hand in that.
  5. I can't remember me having anything to rave about with LR, either, .... although using Fuji and Sigma cameras mean that Adobe software in general is pretty much useless to me aside from occasional retouching of files processed by other software, and for the printing of finished files.
  6. More like wild - Lynx?
  7. Thanks, Merlin & Hugh. Hugh, these lenses are a nice change from the optical perfection modern system lenses come so close to achieving. A lens like this Mir copy of the Zeiss (Jena DDR) Flektogon wide angle design from 1950 would never be made and sold these days - nearly everyone is too busy living in the land of 100% examination of image sharpness for that to happen. Getting the lenses to Australia has been a bit tricky, but so far the only thing to go astray has been a brand new shift adapter from Hartblei in Kiev - and that has been lost by Australia Post, not by the various carriers with whom it made its circuitous journey to this country. Unfortunately this has rendered one of the primary reasons I embarked on this whole thing useless - and that is to use an as-new Pentacon 6 mount medium format Vega 12b lens as a two-frame stitch mechanism to butt join two consecutive shifted frames as a distortion-free B&W single photo which should make about 50MP Foveon-style, which in turn should give a result in the ballpark (or better) of a 100MP Bayer medium format sensor. Australia Post don't seem to be in any hurry to rectify the bungle, even though it disappeared after it was scanned at "an Australia Post Tracking Facility" (presumably Sydney). They insisted as well that I get Hartblei to file a lost parcel complaint with Ukrposhta in Kiev before they will even do anything to try to find it, even though Aus Post have admitted it's in Australia and therefore they were the ones who lost it. Bloody bureaucracy is perhaps the worst human invention ever.
  8. Still having a ball with the Sigma SDQ-H and the bevy of Soviet lenses I have bought to adapt to it, out of which the Mir 20M 3,5/20 is proving to be the most fun - and is also the most fickle lens I've ever used at the same time. Crazy fall-off and CA towards the edges - unless the edge is a lot closer to you than a subject focused in the mid-far distance positioned in the middle of frame. Then that close foreground, say, gets sharper than edges which have more distant subject matter. Or something like that - I'm still trying to work it out. At first I thought it was field curvature - but surely nothing so simple could explain this extreme degree of odd optical performance. Maybe someone mistook it for a hand grenade once and the resulting throw knocked things asunder. Whatever, it produces intriguing results. It also focuses crazy-close... a matter of about three inches from subject to front element. When people ask "Why Sigma?" - for B&W it's just without peer. There was absolutely no special treatment applied to the sky here, just processed normally in SPP Monochrome.
  9. Another holiday, Mike? Oh well, I suppose somebody has to do it...
  10. I'm going to get a DNA decode done - I allegedly also have Germanic ancestry, but I far prefer things to be off centre than straight down the middle... Rule of Thirds and Golden Mean appear to rule my compositional sub-conscious. That said (and acknowledging that composition is entirely a personal preference thing), I think the processing here is absolutely spot on - I love the pastel colours.
  11. Lovely shots, Luc. The first one in particular could almost have been taken in the old growth forests of Tasmania such is the similarity in appearance of the vegetation.
  12. "Sir"?
  13. Having battled mightily with colour in the earlier part of my career (colour repro in the 1970's was real alchemy) my preference has always been for B&W. Blues and purples have always been a problem area, because film is sensitive to unseen UV light which can alter the response to blue itself. Filters can help, but not fully cure this without altering other parts. We once had enormous trouble with a local Ford Marquis model that had blue velour seats (ahhhh, the '70's! ) which Ektachrome simply refused to record as the eye saw in daylight - the seats went from Ford Blue to a distinct purple instead (almost the same as your flower above). There were no sliders to help out, of course, nor any way of selectively photographing things and joining them up later as the shot was the centrepiece of their high-end brochure and retouching at that level would have been evident. Ford's preference for blue in such things is a virtual given, but in the end the colour scheme was changed to a royal red and burgundy for the car and its seats.... (which I thought looked a whole lot better, anyway, but I wasn't paid to have opinions back then ).
  14. I'm finding it interesting (and challenging), Merlin. Over the past few years there seems to have been quite a movement growing which involves resurrecting long defunct processes used in the 19th Century, such as Daguerreotypes, salted-paper negs & prints and collodion positives (Ambrotypes and Tintypes). The chemistry involved with these varies from fragile, flammable and/or unstable to downright toxic, usually involves complex operations and long exposures, the use of large format plate cameras and the bulky, heavy gear that goes with all of that. Maybe it's because it is relatively recent and within many people's living memory, but very few actually seem interested in capturing the look and feel of mid-20th Century photography, and while there is certainly a strong movement still dedicated to using film and thus older glass, it's mainly the film part that is the intent, the hardware just being what is needed to use the film. As well there is the adapted lens movement, but that seems largely concerned with getting older or cheaper lenses back to work, or recreating "bokeh" that these lenses often produced through their sometimes primitive, rather than deliberate design. The Sony A7 seems to be the current camera of choice for this sort of thing, but it has a Bayer sensor, which gives decidedly different results to the Foveon. My intent differs from both of these streams, something that will become more evident I hope when I start producing B&W images that meet my expectations - something that is proving to be anything but easy. Colour will definitely not be a regular thing - the Foveon Quattro sensor is extremely fussy as to what glass it has in front of it, which in turn seems dependent largely on how sophisticated are the coatings applied to that glass. Images are very prone to producing a greenish/yellow circle of colour-balance in the centre drifting to magenta at the edges with the single-coated or uncoated lenses I've used. This means that there is a good deal of correction required in post to even the colour image up, which does nothing to aid the actual image (other than to make it look even) and as such is just a waste of time. Of course in B&W this becomes irrelevant as the tonality isn't affected, just the colour balance itself.
  15. Thanks for the comments, guys. By further explanation: for sure the photos look different - they certainly don't measure up when compared to photos taken with modern lenses..... which was exactly my intention. Personally I'm heartily sick of the pumped-colour, über-sharp from inch to infinity stuff that permeates almost every nook and cranny of the photographic world these days. I didn't really post them to compete with that, of course, but rather to provide an alternative outcome; one more in keeping with the prints that one would receive back from the processing lab in the 1950's and '60's, muted tones, depleted contrast and flawed rendering at the edges, and just a natural, vintage look. Even though all sorts of "filters" in any number of software programs are available claiming to provide such a look, there's nothing that can compete with the genuine article in creating the conditions for this at time of shooting. Hence my choice of the Sigma SDQ-H for the capture itself - I could easily adapt these old Russian lenses to my Fuji cameras, but the Foveon's stacked RGB capture layers, just like film, render colour and tonality in a completely different way to how Bayer or X-Trans form their images. The net result is more muted, less in-your-face, and altogether quieter images. Maybe it's also my comment on the incessant pixel-peeking baseline judgement that seems to determine what's a good or bad photo these days. Back when your final outcome was a 2.5 x 3.5 inch print, the concept of a 100% examination at pixel level would have been unintelligible gibberish. For sure a lot of people won't like the end result, but that isn't a concern for me. I'm choosing to see the world with this equipment as my camera showed it to me in the '60's, but without the hassle of actually using colour film. To my eyes the results here are right on the money for that. All this aside, it's still B&W that this camera and old lenses are going to be used for most of the time, just as the lenses were originally designed to do, and in which the Foveon excels at way better than any other sensor. I was just rather enamoured as to how these two photos also looked in the colours that the old glass and Foveon sensor produced, hence this post. (Note that I'm also choosing subject matter that can easily be repeated, and not risking an irreplaceable shot with these sub-par lenses - the first bridge has been there for just under 200 years, the second since the 1880's, and they're not going to disappear anytime soon as both are heritage-listed.)