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Everything posted by Alan7140

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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":
  4. So I made a commitment to "adopt" an 8½-year-old German Shepherd from the Hobart Dogs Home for surrendered, abandoned or unwanted dogs. Aside from getting me out for a 5km walk every morning now, I also took him for a walk in a nearby rainforest reserve a couple of days ago, deciding to carry a Pentacon Six fitted with a Mir 3,5/45 lens loaded with T-Max 400 film rather than take anything even vaguely digital. Aside from this scenery being totally new experience for the dog (it soon became apparent that he obviously had never seen a river before, nor a forest pathway, nor even a footbridge, let alone a waterfall), I was reminded yet again how shooting film is, for me anyway, a wholly more involving and satisfying way to take photographs than with the digital cameras and phones that have now swamped the photography field. With only 12 frames for the whole walk at my disposal, thinking before pressing the shutter release became an active part of taking the photograph, rather than just clicking away and selecting the best later as we're so used to doing these days. There's also something about the visual quality of a true medium-format negative that sets it well and truly aside from the digital world's attempts at providing "equivalents" for cameras with postage stamp-sized and smaller imaging sensors, and that even processing the film afterwards is a whole lot more satisfying than staring at a monitor with glazed-over eyes. Unfortunately the waterfall at the end of this walk is at the end of a narrow and heavily vegetated, debris-strewn gully which limits possible viewpoints, plus the recent rains meant that it was literally thundering down, with clouds of spray all but obliterating the falls themselves, which, along with the fact that the sun is always behind this waterfall means that it backlights the spray, which makes things even worse for photography. Both the Pentacon Six and the Mir lens are of course not "weather resistant" either, but as neither shares so much as a battery, diode, wiring or anything electronic in their functioning parts, I thought maybe a shot for fun was in order, so we all got wet, the camera, lens, dog and myself, in order to get this almost indiscernible (but fun) photograph.
  5. I usually try (and fail miserably) to keep things reasonable. For instance I swore off any new digital gear in favour of returning to old cameras using film and paper for negatives. I'd been doing pretty well, my last digital purchase being a Sigma sd Quattro H in early 2017, and that in itself was because it's really the only camera, film or digital, which can produce proper infrared photographs with no structural modification (digital), or trying to find usually out-of-date IR film (film cameras) that can actually still return a result. Until an hour ago, that is, when I pulled the pin on a Fujifilm X-T5, which will be immediately followed by a 30/2.8 macro lens to join the camera, both of which will almost exclusively (and unusually) be used to give me pixel-shift-hi-res copies of my large format paper and film negatives without having to stitch segments of individually copied portions for stitching to get the same resolution that I have to do now with either my X-T2 or the Sigma sd Quattro H. At least that's the intention, we'll see how that works out as soon as the items become available and are delivered.
  6. Having just read through the specs of the new Fujifilm X-T5, it appears that Fuji have hit the nail squarely on the head with this one for me, reduced in size compared to the X-T4, re-oriented to stills photography instead of the video bias that its other recent cameras have been focused on, and a 40MP sensor with pixel-shift enabling 160MP hi-res mode, all at a release price that seems eminently reasonable. Along with a long-waited for 30mm f/2.8 1:1 macro lens to finally(!) give me a macro lens that equals the angle of view and nearer lens-to-subject distance that the 50mm macros of the 35mm film era cameras were pretty much standardised on. For my principal use on a copy stand this outfit will be unsurpassed and will finally enable me to produce high quality files from the large format B&W paper and film negs that I'm currently concentrating on without having to copy and stitch sections in order to produce a resolution that properly compliment these ultra-fine grain original negs. 160MP is as much as I'll ever need, I reckon. Granted this is a truly left-field and unusual requirement, but this camera will deliver in spades for me, bolstered by the fact that I already have a bag full of XF lenses and accessories - seems I chose wisely when I switched to the Fuji-X system way back in 2012 (X-Pro1, followed by X-T1 & X-T2). The X-T5 is the one I've always hankered after, though, and I sat out the X-T3 & X-T4, and Fuji have finally got there for me. 😃
  7. This is the sort of thing that attracted me to photography in the first place, and probably why Cartier-Bresson was my earliest and still most important influence on me, and also why I like the discipline involved in film photography which forces the calculated release of the shutter at a certain moment, rather than the current "spray and pray" CH setting that the sound track to any video of a press conference or similar proves through the continuous shutter chatter that so many digital photographers use these days. I'll offer this, just an ordinary, generic scene, using a Pentacon Six camera, just a single frame taken, composed, paused and shutter released at precisely the right moment:
  8. Thanks, Chris. Similar angle, but a lot closer to the flowers to render them roughly to scale - I don't know what the actual focal length of the phone camera lens is (as opposed to the "equivalent" nonsense), but the lens is only a couple of mm away from where I presume the sensor is; the 360mm camera lens was 560mm away from the film plane, however.
  9. Thanks, Dallas. Light from one North-facing window with diffuse glass, seedling laid on a raised piece of clear glass with a piece of plywood below to give some very slight, very out-of-focus modulation to the anticipated very light grey background.
  10. Pulling weeds from under my 142 year-old oak tree the other day, one turned out to be an offspring of the oak, which in turn gave me a visual on exactly how an acorn lying prone on the ground eventually becomes a tree. Photographed with one of my Thornton Pickard 1910s ½ plate camera, 1930s 4,5/210mm Carl Zeiss Jena lens, exposure 3 minutes @ f/16 using Ilford Multigrade paper for the negative.
  11. People will hate this, because.... well, no colour, for one thing, it's not digital, and it's got very few sharp bits. That said, I was trying out my Thornton Pickard ½ plate camera (c.1910) with an early 1960's 360mm f9 Rodenstock Apo-Ronar lens a couple of days ago, using a small stand of feral Blue Plum Hyacinth flowers as a macro-sized target, at near full triple extension on the camera giving something in the order of 1:2 Magnification. Busy bees knocked a couple of the flower heads around during the 4 second exposure to boot. Shot using Ilford multigrade B&W photographic printing paper for the negative, I still liked the result for its zero grain and lovely smooth B&W tonal rendition. The setup involved rolling around on the ground a bit, the lens, and as well the flowers as seen by a phone camera 😊:
  12. Thanks Chris. Only one of nine batteries in the bag had enough juice to get the camera working, so these shots nearly didn't happen!
  13. No batteries, no memory cards, no circuitry, no auto anything, impressive presence, always draws comments and conversation when out in public, and it cost practically nothing. And it's BIG! In fact it makes a "Pro" DSLR look like a pipsqueak. 😁😁😁 Plus it makes photography both fun and challenging again, and it actually forces the user to make use of that grey matter between their ears.
  14. From my back porch I spotted some movement in the still waters of the farm dam in the next paddock. Chipping the rust and dust off my Fuji X-T2 after months of it lying idle owing to my return to traditional B&W film photography, I walked over to the dam and managed to grab a shot of an extremely busy little platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) as it surfaced briefly for some air before diving again to forage. Meanwhile a local black swan (Cygnus atratus) paddled over and posed briefly for its own portrait (all this barely 50 metres from my back door).
  15. Living inland on this island of Tasmania limits my opportunity to visit coastal locations with any frequency, but this is the dawn view one gets of the North West coast of Tasmania as the overnight Spirit of Tasmania vehicular ferry from Melbourne arrives in Devonport after crossing Bass Strait, taken at around 5:30 a.m. in November 2011 (two images stitched, taken with my then brand new Fuji X100).
  16. It might curtail the more adventurous walks into the forest I'd planned, but I'll never stop taking photos with those cameras - after half-a-century of photography being a daily occupation, I'm enjoying the chance in retirement to be utilising "proper" photographic materials and equipment again too much to contemplate giving it up altogether, hernia or no hernia! 😊
  17. I reckon that if it stays as it is I'll be following your course of action as a preference, too. It's no real trouble at the moment (just a bit uncomfortable at times, letting me know it's there), but I'll get the doc's opinion as well just to be sure.
  18. These are great, however they (and others you've shown of late) show a Melbourne that is totally unrecognisable to me, even though I spent my life from ages 11 to 42 living there full-time. On the other hand, my adopted near city of Hobart still looks much the same as it did when I arrived here from there nearly 28 years ago.
  19. .... and I should have given up trying to proceed when common sense told me to do just that at my age. Looks like the fall I had at the outset which broke my Leki walking pole also broke my abdominal wall - doctor's appointment next Monday to investigate what looks precisely like a hernia. This could end up being the most expensive pair of photographs I've ever taken! 🤒
  20. After several years' break I ventured into the old growth forest that was listed as a World Heritage Area in 2014 after an eight year campaign by diverse members of the public who had sought to save it from the logging industry. The area I went to consumed much of my time 2006-2014 as I photographed both the forest and the protesters involved in the campaign, but this time I carried my rubbish-tip rescued and restored 1910's Pony Premo 5"x7" format camera and 1960's Schneider Kreuznach 5,6/180mm Symmar lens . The ensuing years had led to the forest reclaiming virtually all signs of the campaign that went on there, and I really had to work hard penetrating a place which once had been well marked and relatively easy going. After a couple of hours of struggle I gave up and set up the camera to take this single shot using Ilford Multigrade IV paper for the negative. Even though the sun was shining in a clear sky it was as dark as early evening in there as the exposure of 2 minutes at f11 rated at 1.6 ISO attests. Keeping with analogue, I drove a bit further down the road after extricating myself from that entanglement and climbed a steep little hill to photograph the forest for a more general of the forest that stretches off into the distance (to be undisturbed by the greed of industry forever more), using my trusty 1980's Pentacon Six TL camera with a 1960's Carl Zeiss Jena 2,8/180mm lens and Ilford Pan F Plus film.
  21. OK, definitely not current, but my last German Shepherd Beckie stood in for a human model after I finished restoring the inside of my old schoolhouse for possible use as a studio in 1996, at which stage she was a rather delinquent and cheeky two year old "teenager". Taken with a Hasselblad using good old "film". (She eventually died of old age in October 2006).
  22. I should have added that this only works for people with unhindered binocular vision and good depth perception (i.e. 3-D vision).
  23. This probably won't win me any friends as it might require some effort on the part of the viewer, but recently I thought that as I now have two Thornton Pickard half plate cameras, obtaining a matching lens for the Schneider Kreuznach 5,6/180 I had already adapted to one of the cameras would give me the foundations for an out-sized stereo camera. Unable to obtain the exact same lens as the original 1960's model, I figured its 1970's replacement should suffice, even though it is very different in appearance, after all 180mm is 180mm, and f5.6 is still f5.6. so: I've set up the following shots (taken using Ilford MGIV paper for negs) to be viewed without the need for a stereo viewer by simply using the "cross-eyed" method, achieved with a bit of patience. Firstly, if viewing on a big screen, sit back a bit and start by focusing on the black dividing line between the two images, then slowly going more cross-eyed. What should happen is that the two image will split into three out of focus images, and as you continue to go further cross-eyed the images will merge in the centre, at which point the CPU between your ears will recognise it as a 3-D image and snap it into sharp focus in full 3-D, leaving the two remaining outlying images very indistinct and out of focus. Once this happens you'll even be able to navigate around the image and even move closer with everything adjusting automatically, all being well. (If the side images are distracting, bring each had up the side of your face as per a horse's blinkers - get that right and they'll simply disappear. (Viewing on a phone screen is easier still doing the same procedure, but you miss out on the fine detail and full detail and impact.) The following is the first one I did (before purchasing the extra S K Lens) using original but slightly dissimilar Thornton Pickard lenses, which meant I had to match the two size-wise in Photoshop, so it takes a bit more work to view, but for effect the subject matter was perhaps the best, and the rape plants surrounding the tractor take on a weird metallic sculptured look. Once you get that first image in 3-D, you should be able to hold 3-D as you scroll down to the next two without having to go through the procedure again. My main intention in doing this was to explore this for portraiture, but these days getting close enough to people is somewhat challenging as yet another wave of the virus (along with winter flu) hits us.
  24. I'll never give photography up completely (51½ years continuously so far), but the lockdowns and general avoidance of people in general brought on by the pandemic, along with months of very ordinary weather and light curtailed my enthusiasm somewhat. For the foreseeable future I'm pretty well bonded to the idea of continuing with B&W film and the various cameras I have for that at present, but even this is being curtailed by the massive increase in diesel fuel price here which makes even a short exploratory drive in search of suitable subject matter ridiculously expensive to undertake. I did take one photo, however, on the homeward stretch of an alarmingly short $60 drive a couple of days ago, which I'll post here in the Analogue section a bit later.
  25. A small window of conditions I'd usually expect here in winter presented a couple of days ago after months of lousy weather and light, and while I failed to find anything new to photograph on a short drive, on my way home I drove past a scene I'd taken with my Pentacon Six and posted here on 18th August 2019, and as if on cue the light turned magic so I stopped and had at it again but this time with my tip-rescued Pony Premo No.7 5" x 7" camera, a darkslide loaded with Ilford Multigrade IV paper for the negative, and using a recently acquired 1960's Schneider Kreuznach 5,6/180 lens. Whilst the landscape itself was pleasant enough if somewhat distant with this wider-than-normal lens for the format, the sky turned it on for me so I pointed the cameraupwards for the following shot: It's a photo which would have been a nothing shot in colour, but using the ultra-fine grained paper reminiscent of the tonal rendition of 19th Century collodion plates really made that sky glow.
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