Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Country


Alan7140 last won the day on 10 January

Alan7140 had the most liked content!


3,950 of my posts have been liked

About Alan7140

  • Birthday 07/01/1953

Profile Information

  • My Real Name
    Alan Lesheim
  • Gender
  • Photographic Interests
    Photography, Guitar
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • My Favourite Camera
    Pentacon Six
  • My Favourite Lens
  • My Favourite Image Editor
    Rodinal, with some elbow grease ;)
  • My Location
    Tasmania, Australia
4,036 profile views
  1. You're welcome, Dallas. It's good to see it doing what it was meant to do again.
  2. Good to hear - it's not the usual sort of commentary one hears from most in the photography profession these days!
  3. Alan7140

    Night Market

    That's so sad to read, particularly given that I was born and spent my first and formative 11 years in SA. 😞
  4. Alan7140

    Night Market

    Nice series of shots, I can actually see the humidity in these shots (definitely not my scene - I'd suffocate 😉). Fuji certainly does have a way with colour, too, even though the camera is over 11 years old and uses a sensor technology that is different from nearly all the camera models they have come up with since then.
  5. You still have to use a 3rd party image editor to combine the stack, so it's fine to shoot the stack whilst manually shifting the focus, judging the overlap as you go on the LCD (and relying on memory) - I did a huge number of complex multi-row macro panos in exactly that way in the mid '00's to mid 10's until Fuji offered the auto stack shooting update via firmware for the X-T2. I had no problems doing them manually on the X-Pro1, though, thanks to the instant response of the LCD without having to laboriously go through the mirror-up-live-view/focus/shoot/mirror up-live view/focus/shoot sequence that using the D3s used to put me through for every shot to achieve the same thing, which wasn't so bad for individual shots, but a (human) memory-taxing, fiddly nightmare when doing stacked multi-row panorama shots. As your Laowa is a manual focus macro you're going to have to manually shift the focus anyway, so why not give it a go next time you have a motionless subject?
  6. Alan7140

    Super Dry

    Living on what in reality is a rather large island that has a cool temperate climate situated in the northern part of the Great Southern Ocean in the shadow of the Australian mainland, and additionally being within 100 metres of one of the main rivers on that island, I'm lucky enough to never have had the need for either a humidifier (for my guitars) or dehumidifier (for my cameras). The humidity almost always stays in the mid-to-high 40's here, ideal for both guitars and cameras (and human beings, for that matter 😄).
  7. No, you have to stack separately (most editing programs can do this do this) which makes sense as often as not you won't want to stack the entire sequence, choosing the best start and finish point to get the result you're after. For instance I knocked off the last 15 or so in this stack as all that was happening was the unwanted background was getting sharper with each shot.
  8. After trying out the pixel-shift function for making high-res copies of my B&W large format film and paper negatives (which turned out to be every bit as good as I'd hoped), I thought I'd have a crack at the new camera's focus stacking function with the new linear-motor 30/2.8 macro lens. I expected that this short focal length lens would not be able to throw the background totally out of focus with an object as large as a rose, and I was indeed proved correct, so some layered selection and retouching was required to achieve the effect I was after. That aside, the speed at which the camera progressed through the 125 shots taken using electronic shutter before I stopped the progression when it appeared to have gone far enough on the LCD previews to render just the subject sharp was truly amazing. I didn't time it, but it couldn't have been more than ten seconds from start to finish, the lens shifting focus accurately and silently and the preview progressing almost like a slow motion focus zoom rather than a progression of still images. The result after stacking with Zerene Stacker, I think, is pretty good.
  9. There are few things more satisfying in this photography game than seeing disused equipment being rejuvenated and repurposed and being put to use again, I reckon. Digital by its very nature usually seems to discourage this with rapid obsolescence, and maybe Fuji inadvertently tripped up with the original X100 by providing something that was seen as almost a joke at the time but now has achieved veritable cult status. I'm having a similar experience with some of the film cameras I started buying and using again a few years back, most notably the Pentacon Six TL bodies and Carl Zeiss Jena lenses it uses. Always looked at as a huge Communist prank being played on the West at the time, I've found the Pentacon system to be addictive equipment in actual use, and surprisingly reliable after a simple grease and oil change and service. Unlike modern lenses, the lenses, too, are relatively easy to dismantle and replace old and perished grease with just some simple hand tools. In fact I no longer hanker after replacing the Hasselblad gear I sold off back in 2006 to finance the beginnings of a string of overpriced Nikon "Pro" digital cameras (average time of Nikon D ownership before obsolescence - about 2 years). Even though I'd used primarily Hasselblad equipment from 1972-1977, and again from 1996-2006, I never really actually enjoyed using the equipment. Sure it was reliable, produced good results and impressed clients (maybe that was an important thing, maybe not), but it never really "grew" on me. In the later '70's the Mamiya RZ/RB 6x7 cameras became the "expected standard" camera when I switched from advertising photography to weddings/portraiture etc, but if ever there was a camera system I actually hated using, the Mamiya R was it. So I'd offloaded it all by the mid-1980's. By then my business was full-time copy and restoration using 5"x4" film and Toyo Field 45A with Rodenstock lenses, when I moved to Tasmania and kept that going as a reduced mail-order model along with getting back into weddings, which by then had become 35mm film-based using a Nikon F4 along with a Hasselblad for B&W stuff. Until digital reared its ugly head, that is, and by 2006 I was on the buy/upgrade/trade-in/upgrade digital treadmill. Around 2010 Hartblei announced that they'd be releasing a tilt/shift adapter for Mamiya RB/RZ lenses to Nikon F mount, so I pre-emptively bought some still new-in-boxes RZ lenses, an RZ body, plus an RB67 with 90mm lens all attached from KEH whilst waiting for that adapter - which never materialised as Hartblei couldn't translate their design into a manufactured item, apparently. I've even forgotten why I even needed tilt/shift ability on my Nikon D cameras. So buying some film for the RZ to somewhat justify all this medium format stuff I really didn't want, I was quickly reminded me in short order why I had hated that Mamiya gear. Cumbersome, weighty, totally unergonomic and awkward to use, the whole lot is now on a long-term barter with my mechanic as he works off buying the camera outfit by servicing my car. He loves the camera, but then he specialises in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, so.... glutton for punishment, maybe? So the circle closes for me, even though it's true I just bought a Fujifilm X-T5 and 30mm Macro lens. Not because I think digital is the way to finish my life with photography, but with its pixel-shift feature the X-T5 produces 160MP single image copies of my 5x7 and half-plate film and paper negatives (mostly taken with cameras and lenses largely sourced from the "tip-shops" at various public rubbish tips and having given me additional satisfaction by restoring these things to working order), and which can produce perfect A2 prints without having to stitch sections together to get true large format quality (sure I'd like to actually print the negs in the darkroom, but aside from lacking the floor space for a 5x7 enlarger, simply finding one of those in serviceable condition these days at an affordable price would be like winning a jackpot lottery, so really the only satisfactory way to print paper negatives is to copy them digitally and print them on an Epson). So the X-T5 & lens are simply a means to an end, if you like. Between these old field cameras and the Pentacon outfit I'm actually really enjoying taking photographs again - it's similar to the equipment I was using all through the beginnings of my career, what attracted me to the profession, and what I understand and love about photography. So therein lies the similarity with what Dallas is experiencing. I'll admit that I originally bought the X100 Dallas is now making good use of on impulse because it looked so much like the first serious camera I ever used (my Dad's pre-war Leica IIIc), sitting in the showroom in its black presentation box looking all silver and pretty. The only problem for me, if it could be called that, was the fixed lens. I've always used interchangeable lens cameras or at least those with built-in zoom lens (even that old Leica IIIc had 35mm 50mm & 100mm lenses), and the x100's fixed 23mm slightly-wide lens, as outstanding as it is quality-wise, didn't really suit me. So when I got serious with Fuji and its first ILC X-Pro1 camera, initially with three lenses, the little X100 fell into disuse. So now there it is, having made an enormous, circuitous but safe journey (coincidentally to the country of my birth), happily being used again a decade after it fell into disuse here. What's not to like about that?
  10. Which is precisely why I steered my photographic endeavours back into the world of silver halides and chemistry back in 2016, ten years of pushing the barrow of digital being quite enough of a barrier to my enjoyment of photography (but made necessary because that's what the clientele wanted). Now I've retired I can do what I want, and am waiting for news on progress an order for Acros II 120 as I write this. My comment was based on how close the shot on actual Acros I took a few years ago looked (on screen, anyway) in tonality to the shot Daniel posted of the VW steering wheel in particular.
  11. And for a comparison, here's an example of the real thing (I think Fuji comes pretty close with their digital simulation):
  12. Adding a footnote: \Whilst I haven't received the Fuji 30mm Macro lens yet, I took a couple of 120 negs that I'd never been able to get a decent digital copy of using a technique of taking four sections of the neg with the Sigma sd Quattro H camera and stitching them together, and using a rather ordinary 7Artisans 60mm 1:1 macro lens I bought in desperation as a stop-gap after the Zeiss Touit 50mm Macro failed I took single copies of each which, even with cropping the rectangular image to a square still yielded unsampled images of 100 megapixels each with no interpolation during processing. The results, even when reduced for posting, show the tonality and smoothness that I was hoping for when I had this apparently hair-brained excuse for buying an X-T5. 😁 An added and unexpected bonus was how inverting the neg to positive rendered the slightly bluish colour cast of the polyester base of the film into a very pleasing warm-tone B&W, something else I've been trying to achieve for ages.
  13. I've a fair bit of work to do regarding setting up my copy rig for both film and paper negatives, but at the moment I'm a bit stymied as the new Fujinon 30/2.8 1:1 Macro I'd ordered is on back-order, something the dealer neglected to put in the ad but took my money anyway. When I get the lens I'll be able to set things up properly for that focal length, get everything square and in alignment and have something that can be swapped from film to paper in mere moments yet still keep everything true. The X-T5 will probably spend most of its time mounted on the copy stand as a result, but I an a bit tempted to use it for actually taking digital colour photographs as the few shots (not pixel-shifted)I've taken with it are astonishingly good, and a huge step up from the X-T2.
  14. No, it takes 20 frames which are combined in software during processing later. Pixel shift moves the sensor at half-pixel distances for each exposure, utilising the IBIS system to achieve this. So absolutely still subject and camera are essential. (I accidentally found out that a moving subject makes for an extremely rapid 20-shot burst when I forgot to turn Pixel-shift off. The files are initially saved as normally Fuji *.RAF files tagged & numbered in sequence that the desktop software combines later for pixel-shift, but can also be accessed individually as a normal raw file.)
  15. This is just the beginning of a journey, but here's a much reduced size comparison between photographing a 6x6 neg with a Sigma sd Quattro H camera and Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens using just the uppermost sensor layer (so approximately 26 megapixels and no interpolation, therefore a 26 true MP with no cropping), and a Fuji X-T5 with an adapted 1970's Minolta 100mm f/4 MD Rokkor lens (still waiting for the Fuji 30mm Macro to show up) using the pixel-shift mode (so 160 true MP with no cropping). Obviously with the squarish negative the end result was a lot less than this in both cases owing to cropping the best part of a third of the sensor, but the visual difference is certainly there even at these reduced-for-web example sizes. At first glance the more contrasty Sigma result is a bit more eye-catching, but the detail in both the highlights and shadows of the Fuji result perhaps indicates that going down this path to digitise my B&W negs (both film and paper) was perhaps not quite the folly I feared it might be. Of course as far as regular digital photography goes, the 40MP X-T5 completely swamps anything I've ever shot with before - the colours and acutance of the photos it produces are really stunning in comparison to what my X-T2 could deliver. So, first the Sigma "scan", then the X-T5 "scan":
  • Create New...

Important Information

By visiting this website you are agreeing to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy & Guidelines.