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Alan7140

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Alan7140 last won the day on 30 November

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About Alan7140

  • Rank
    Grandmaster Member
  • Birthday 07/01/1953

Profile Information

  • 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. New Norfolk, Tasmania, Christmas Parade. The girls walked slightly beyond the point of focus between the time I focused, steadied the camera and pressed the shutter, but not so far that I'd call the shot a write-off. Pentacon Six TL with 2,8/180 Carl Zeiss Jena and Fujifilm Acros 100 processed 13.5minutes, Rodinal 1:50. That 180mm Sonnar lens is a true 2kg handful, next time it's the 120mm Biometar and a bit more legwork to get in closer. Relearning the ground rules after being spoiled by those years of lightweight, compact digital Af, AE, OIS nonsense is taking a while, but it's also proving most enjoyable all the same.
  2. Alan7140

    At the beach

    If you have film simulation turned on you'd best forget about judging the exposure by what you see in the viewfinder. The disparity is so great that when I first turned my X-T2 on (film simulation is on by default) I thought there was something seriously wrong with the camera and was on the verge of sending it back until I found that default "on" set buried in the menu. Try a few back to back of the same scene with simulation turned on and then off, adjusting the camera to display what looks to be the correct exposure in the viewfinder for each. If there is a noticeable difference in the saved files, then I'd kill the simulation. It's a gimmicky thing, anyway.
  3. Alan7140

    I Must Apologise

    Dallas, my mention of the Freelander 2 was more in relation to its Ford platform/design. Before Ford stepped in Land Rover had perhaps one of the worst reputations for badly put together vehicles, and as a past owner of four Range Rovers (1974, 1984, 1986 and 1989 models) I can attest that this reputation was entirely well deserved. Whilst they were sheer brilliance when off-road driving, getting there or back was entirely up to the gods of chance, and while I was luckily never actually stranded as a result of being virtually raised at my father's motor garage, the amount of down-time in the repair shop, along with associated huge invoices for parts, made owning "The Best 4x4xFar" a right royal pain in the arse. The Ford/Land Rover product is a whole other story, my current car being by far my best built and most reliable 4x4 yet. I never thought much of Fords in that 1970's-90's era, but currently I've had to change my view on that for the 2000's. I have friends who own other cars emanating from Ford Europe's design studios, and they have developed a similar brand loyalty. If I had to buy a new or newish small car tomorrow, I'd start (and probably finish) at a Ford dealer's showroom.
  4. Alan7140

    At the beach

    I'm not sure how the X-E3 viewfinder/monitor display is set up as default, but both the X-T1 and X-T2 inexplicably came with the displays showing film simulation turned on (so the colours looked like a kid had been let loose with fluoro crayons), and the exposure compensation display turned off, so no matter how much you added or subtracted with the compensation dial, the display remained steady. Turn the former off and the latter on and you'll get to see the colour of the scene as it looks in real life, and the lightness and darkness of exposure caused by dialling + or - displayed on screen/viewfinder in real time how exposure will look with that compensation included. I agree that Fuji's weird terminology choices are also a hurdle - it still takes me ages to find where they buried the control of these two things, and the odd way they label the functions. At least they've discovered that "Silent" is not a generic terminology substitute for "Off" now, which was something that created an immense amount of confusion in their first models.
  5. Alan7140

    I Must Apologise

    Although I was a long time Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover/Range Rover owner from 1974-94, in 1994 I bought a second-hand 4Y.O. Honda Prelude 2.0 SI with 79,000Km already driven, and drove it trouble-free (with the exception of front CV joints, $100 each side, did the repair myself using reconditioned shafts). I retired the car when I bought a new Land Rover Freelander 2 in 2011, having driven the Honda for 16 years (and with the gearbox making a bearing rumble that indicated a rebuild, and for which parts were no longer available). Final mileage was 375,000km, trouble-free until the gearbox problem, the engine was still in perfect order and didn't use any oil (aside from the 1 litre per 10,000km it slowly leaked from the sump gasket which I never bothered to replace - it looked like the whole front suspension or the engine itself needed to be dropped or lifted to get the sump off). The Freelander 2 is basically a Ford design, being based on the EUCD (Mondeo) platform, and it has been trouble-free for 100,000km, having been designed while under Ford Europe's ownership. Reports lately of new Land Rover products would indicate a slow return to reliability problems since TATA bought the company from Ford in 2008, though. The replacement for the Defender, due late next year, will be a make-or-break fro LR, I think, if indeed they bother at all. At the moment they can still sell their other models as fast as they can make them, even with the reliability question mark increasingly hanging over them, and financially they probably don't miss the Defender as its profitability was questionable given its build cost, being largely built by hand. However there is a legion of Defender fans that they stand to lose - all you have to do to judge that latent popularity potential is look on the news stand magazine racks to see current Land Rover magazine cover photos which invariably feature a Defender of some sort, even though they haven't been made for nearly three years now. So if I were to buy a conventional car (as opposed to a 4WD/SUV) , I would probably look at either Honda or Ford in preference to all else. However, reading the sales statistics for vehicles in Australia, the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger were #1 & #2 respectively in October, if that means anything.
  6. Alan7140

    Was there a fire drill?

    Thanks, Hugh, I'm as chuffed as you are that I got the thing working again, even if it was a total fluke that the broken mirror clip that must have been jamming the works fell out on its own after I removed the base plate and moved a few gears around. I'll put a strip of film through it before getting too carried away just to make sure it's working as it should, but visually and audibly it appears to be just fine. That the meter now agrees 100% with both my Polaris Dual 5 and my Lunasix 3 gives me added confidence all is OK. I'm also chuffed that the mods to the Pentacon Six worked so well as they have totally transformed the camera in ease of use. Having three operational 6x6 bodies (the Pentacon Six plus two Kiev-60 bodies, one rebuilt by Hartblei, the other by Arax) I think will also prove beneficial, because after learning on 35mm, processing and printing 120 film will definitely help hook people who've never used film into keeping up with it.
  7. Alan7140

    Was there a fire drill?

    Absence easily explained: Top centre left: install plastic Fresnel/microprism/split-image screen with optional separate glass grid overlay in Pentacon Six 51mm x 51mm viewfinder, thereby replacing dull, fat glass standard screen (balanced middle right) and sourced from dead Kiev-60 (top right) which supplied its standard 55mm x55mm screen (several hours of patient sanding to reduce the glass overlay 2mm on each edge keeping the grid centred that way, and less time to do the same with the plastic Fresnel screen). Finally cut three layers of old film to a 1.5mm wide border square to separate the glass grid from the split-image bulge (can be seen as a pinkish line on this angled shot, top left, but invisible when seen through the viewfinder). Then many more hours sanding an old piece of window glass sequentially with 180, 360 and finally 600 grit wet-and-dry carborundum paper to make a fine ground glass (balanced middle left) and, with breath held, cut glass to be an exact friction fit onto the film transport rails/film plane to allow a tedious back-and-forth sequence of remove viewfinder screen sandwich, adjust three support screws, replace screen sandwich, check focus of film plane ground glass with screen.... and repeat...etc... until both were exactly the same, instead of 4" front focused (at 2metres with 120mm lens) from the original's position. You wouldn't think a fine Fresnel would add that much error, but my first film before the adjustment certainly showed this to be the case. Meanwhile partially dismantle and restore to working order an old Praktica Super TL camera kindly donated by Hugh_3170 with a cocked but jammed shutter and a meter which only maxed the needle out when switched on and thus didn't give a reading. Then dismantle an otherwise beautiful Meyer Optik Görlitz Oreston 1,8/50 so as to remove the old and really dried-out helicoid and aperture ring grease and give both a light coat of modern, non leeching grease. And finally, lower right, grind a circular piece of cheap and disused +1.5 dioptre reading-glasses lens into a circle using the slow, geared-down knife-sharpening wheel on an electric bench grinder to snugly fit into the Pentacon Six metered prism detachable rubber eyepiece and held with a minimal amount of plastic glue so that I could focus that without glasses - the standard prism must have about a +1 dioptre correction as it didn't give me a clear picture with either my reading glasses or my distance glasses on, and naked eye viewing is well and truly past tense for me, no matter what standard viewfinders come with. All of this is to comply with my intention that my return to film photography and provide the classes I'm teaching in using B&W film to be as economical as possible, and anything that could be made or fixed from parts in hand or supplied, would be. This is what photography used to be, anyway - a career of forever improvising and making equipment to suit or as needed to replace that which was broken, before digital came along and totally upset the apple-cart with its sophisticated electronics, glued tight plastic constructions and proprietary bespoke software. I mean, Daguerre and Fox Talbot didn't just order stuff from B&H or Adorama - they made almost everything they needed themselves, which to me was always part of the intrigue and fun of photography. Well.... you did ask.
  8. Alan7140

    Osterley, Central Highlands, Tasmania

    It depends on your final use, of course, but I've found 1:1 barely adequate (or even totally inadequate) for prints of around 12x16" and above (depending on the film stock - it messes up super fine grain film like Agfapan 25 more than Tri-X due to the effect described below). 1:1 can sound like you're getting a true representation, but film grain can often be much smaller than a pixel, or crosses two or more pixels without "filling them up" with the tone they represent, being that film grain is irregular both in size, shape and distribution, which a sensor array is not. While the eye can't really see anything other than the overall image both microscopic methods show unmagnified, what does happen is that even a 1:1 digital copy of a film frame tends to effectively amplify the size of grain when trying to figure out how to interpret these random tiny objects smaller than a pixel or irregularly crossing two or more pixels. So the digital file looks grainier. This effect often produces online comments about my photos being grainy, something accentuated when further reducing resolution for forum use, and all I can respond with is "but you should see the print...". Files that look grainy at 1:1 digitally copied look less so when stitched sections at twice that magnification are produced (so far I've peaked at around 100MP which puts out a file in the order of 1GB - I'd have to switch to a large format lens as I've reached the limits of the image circle with my medium format lenses to get a whole neg at that resolution). Fact is, though, if I printed a 16x20" print from the neg onto photographic paper, it will appear a lot less grainy than one of these 100MP stitched copies, and probably even a 150MP or more copy. At least that's what I figure seems to be happening - I obviously don't have the scientific instrumentation to actually clinically confirm this theory.
  9. Alan7140

    Osterley, Central Highlands, Tasmania

    The key to what I'm doing is the Sigma sd Quattro-H camera - there is no interpolation with adjacent pixels when shooting in B&W mode as there is with Bayer or X-Trans. That means that every pixel is indeed an individual recording of its unique part of the image, which in turn makes stitching accurate as the program can match individual pixels accurately. The lens is less of a concern, more importantly was to get a lens that had a wide enough image circle to utilise the Hartblei P6 shift->M46->Sigma SD adapter and flat field rendition which the Zeiss Jena 2,8/120 medium-format lens with 1.2:1 extension tubes supplies perfectly for these 100MP scans. Using this setup with an LED panel stuck to the copy board and a Durst 1200 Laborator Neg holder on top of that means that nothing changes between the camera sensor and the neg during the exposure - one simply shifts the adapter after taking an initial centre-of-neg shot between 8mm and 11mm (as appropriate), and then it takes a further 9 exposures rotating the adapter to appropriate click-stops around its 360° circle and is perfect for 6x6 negs. Focus never changes during this, nor for subsequent negs, so after a bit of practice the procedure becomes very quick indeed. The slowest part of the procedure is Sigma's notoriously slow SPP raw processor, but as everything is constant I just set the processing to batch with a custom preset and get on with something else while it trundles away in the background. It takes PTGUI approximately two minutes to add the converted TIFF images, crop, stitch and save the pano. I only invert to positive after all this is done and I'm cleaning things up in Photoshop (film reintroducing the joys of dust and micro-fibres on the negs requiring spotting). All that said, for my usual copy setup I use my X-T2 and Zeiss Touit 2,8/50M Makro lens, for larger originals I take segments by shifting them around the copy-board and stitch them for a higher resolution end result. For any original A5 or smaller a single 24MP exposure is usually more than adequate, though. Here's a picture of the final setup, the lens at rear on the copy-board is a Sigma 70mm macro which I use for single-frame proofing of negs - it's quicker to use as it couples with the electronics of the camera.
  10. Alan7140

    Rolling shutter

    Conversely I've found that if you pan from a stationary position following a moving vehicle, you have to hold the camera upside-down to get the aesthetically pleasing "forward" lean to things, though.
  11. Alan7140

    Osterley, Central Highlands, Tasmania

    Reducing what was a 100MP stitched copy of the negative (10,200 x 10,200px) to 1480 x 1480px for the Web does hideous things to IQ, what with film grain being random and digital images being a regularly arranged grid, trying to replicate hundreds or even thousands of grains into one pixel even at full resolution, let alone further reducing that by nearly 7x for posting. There is a mismatch there which resampling algorithms based on reducing digital images cannot reconcile, although I'm not seeing any artefacts as such on my monitor other than a general roughness of "grain" in the sky which is simply invented grain caused by the mismatch which simply doesn't appear at all in the neg. The film was Agfapan APX 25, which for all intents and purposes is grainless when printed conventionally on bromide paper, or even when printed large in inkjet without downsampling that native 100MP "scan" resolution. The sky and clouds are smooth in tonal transitions on the neg, even when viewed under 15x magnification (i.e. 825 x 825 mm print), the background and foreground were out of focus as I shot this with a Pentacon Six using a CZJ 180mm lens wide open @ f/2.8, focused on the leading edge of the middle fireplace. There is perhaps also a lack of crisp sharpness as I shot this hand-held at 1/125 sec which might be pushing my luck a bit, but with 25 ISO film this is what can be expected. Next time I'll carry a tripod, although I'm down to my last 5 rolls of APX 25, and there's no more where that came from, leaving 50 ISO Pan F as the slowest B&W film available.
  12. Alan7140

    Abandoned

    Abandoned slab hut, Central Highlands, Tasmania.
  13. Obviously a 19th Century farmhouse was once attached to these fireplaces, but beyond that I have no details.
  14. Alan7140

    It's taken years....

    Major difference indeed, 12x more pixels. It's within my lifetime that St Paul's spire was the dominant feature of the north and east skyline of the City seen from the south, now it is barely visible.
  15. Alan7140

    Retired and resting in the shade

    This part of the old mental hospital is owned by a guy who takes hoarding to a whole new level. At least his long-suffering wife manages to sell most of it again, but the site alternates from looking like a vehicle wreckers to a builder's recycling depot. It works as a site that guarantees an endless stream of photographic opportunities, though.
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