Photo Of The Day: Flare X 😊

To celebrate the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max, here’s one from the “old” iPhone X 😊

The Apple iPhones, and I’m assuming other makes as well, seem to have this cool distinctive flare. Must be from the lens position behind the protective glass. Maybe not. Either way, it only happens when pointed directly at the Sun or close to it.

Even though this was shot with the iPhone X, I’ve seen this before with the iPhone 5 and 6s.

I’m certainly not getting one of the new iPhones but as I’ve learned with the X, never say never! Have a good day folks 😊😘

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Trends: Canon AE-1 & Fuji FP-100C

Just sharing with you guys a couple of postings I made to the YouTube channel but did not post them here till now.

These are segments I called “Tuesday Trends” where I look at topics that I feel are “trending” in the camera and photography world and even though they might not be mainstream news, I feel are interesting enough to put a spotlight on.

First up is the legendary Canon AE-1 from 1976, one of the most popular cameras of all time.

Just for you guys, I’ve cut to the chase in the above video. I came to the conclusion that the Canon AE-1 prices have been rising is because…YOU GUYS ARE BUYING THEM UP! 🙂

Not you my camera savvy readers, most of you guys probably have or have had the AE-1 at some point in your lives, but hipsters (you know who you are!), newbies, and anyone just getting into film photography. Part of the problem is because the AE-1 was, and is still so very popular, it almost always shows up during a search for film cameras.

Now first off, let me say I love the AE-1 for what it is. It’s a great camera that introduced millions of people to the wonderful world of photography. Yet, especially today, its specs are hardly earth shattering. Keep in mind, I’m just talking about the AE-1 original, not the latter AE-1 Program though when it comes to rising prices we can count that camera in too.

Shutter priority, manual mode, and relies on batteries. If you’ve read my pages here, you could probably read between the lines. Especially that last part about the batteries.

Now I’ve never been an anti-battery camera person. On the contrary, I have always found most modern cameras that uses batteries to be reliable enough not to worry,

That said, if you have a choice, especially the choices we have in today’s used market then I would say I would much rather buy a purely manual camera that doesn’t need batteries to operate, other than the meter of course.

I was quite disturbed to find the AE-1’s prices rising, after not checking for a long time. I used to periodically buy this camera to give away to friends or kids who wanted to learn photography. They never cost any more than $25-50 for a whole package of body, lens, filters, etc. Not any more. Now prices for a body alone averages $70.

This is not right! This should be a CHEAP CAMERA in terms of used prices! Anyway, my reasoning is all in the video, please check it out if you’re interested. I repeat myself a lot in this video but the point is clear…The AE-1 should be a CHEAP CAMERA and the prices should still be CHEAP 🙂

Second up is the Fuji FP-100C, the packfilm classic that Fujifilm discontinued in 2016.

I posted somewhere on social media a couple of weeks back that I was facing REALITY and giving up on packfilm. In fact, I already have a buyer for my Polaroid Land Cameras once I deplete my last few packs of FP-100C.

Even the honorable fellows at CATLABS of JP who declared two years ago: “WE WILL MAKE PACKFILM” have given up on the process as announced this week.

As I had made my decision and prepared this video before their announcement I thought it was very timely! That’s what I mean by trends!

Basically, to cut to the chase, and if you DON’T want or have time to watch the video, I’m stating that if you ever wanted to try this film this might be the time because after a period of relative stability last year, the prices for the FP-100C are rising back up which may or may not indicate that the remaining stocks are close to depletion.

A sign that it is nearly gone is that B&H and Adorama no longer show this film in stock. Even a couple of months ago, it was.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful to somebody out there. Oh please forgive me when I get into “character” lol. As I said, you kinda need “personality” when you’re doing this YouTube thing 🙂

Catch you guys next time!

Sam

Canon EOS M 18mp (Original) Images

With the recent release of the Canon EOS R system, and the Nikon Z6/Z7 just before that, it seems that these big two Camera Legends have finally embraced the mirrorless camera segment.

Fans and critics (myself included) have complained that the big two did not give it their all when entering this market back around 2012.

Instead, their initial offerings, Canon’s 18mp EOS M and Nikon’s 10mp V1 and J1 respectively, seemed more like an appeasement to their base and to those who might otherwise have been enticed by mirrorless pioneers Olympus, Panasonic and/or giants like Sony. But this criticism seems to have been rectified with the new full frame mirrorless releases.

Today, we will look at some images from the EOS M, Canon’s first foray into the mirrorless camera segment.

The 18mp EOS M was praised for its APS-C sized sensor and image quality but criticized for its slow, subpar AF. Not what Canon fans expected.

As mentioned before on this site, I’ve had my EOS M since 2013. I only got one when they were having a close out sale which included body and the 22mm f/2 STM lens for under $300.

I’ve used it sparingly over the years. Somehow, I never sold it. The turtle slow AF was reason enough to sell it but I think it’s the camera’s image quality when combined with that superb 22mm f/2 STM that made it a keeper for me. All pics here, unless otherwise noted, were made with the M and 22mm f/2 lens.

Looking on these pics now, it does make me think quite hard about how I might acquire one of the new full frame mirrorless bodies from either Canon or Nikon 😊

But don’t sweat it folks. I stand by my statements that I no longer crave the latest and greatest but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider the new cameras once the prices come down 😀

There is something great about the older EOS M and you know what that is? Despite its slowish AF, the camera is capable of excellent images and…It can be found on the used market for MUCH cheaper than the new EOS R! Have a great day good peeps!

“Kiss” 2015. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM.

“Funnel” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. I’m not a huge fan of “state fair” type food, including funnel cake, but the light on that plate was delicious 🙂

“Ride” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. Note, the EOS M gives images that at first glance are reminiscent (in a good way) to photos from the latest generation iPhones, such as the iPhone X., in terms of color and sharpness. Of course, with an 18mp APS-C sensor, it also offers higher detail retention and resolution.

“Hey You!” 2014. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. This photo was shot using the built in “Miniature” Creative Filter. The filters can be fun if used sparingly.

“AMC” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM.

“Elmwood” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. The 18mp EOS M is capable of excellent night shots, low noise and good retention of details.

“Turbulence” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. In my opinion, the EOS M original is not well suited to action shots due to its turtle slow AF. But a shot like this is easy for the M 🙂

“Boy Wonder” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. The 22mm f/2 STM is capable of nice portraits with good bokeh, provided your get in close and your subject can stay still for the shot 🙂

“Primates” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. Manila, Philippines.

“What You Want?” 2013. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM.using the EOS M’s Grainy B&W Filter.

“Ghetto Blaster” 2013. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. Many people rave about the Olympus B&W art filters, but to me the Grainy B&W filter on the EOS M is better!

“Flower” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. The versatile 22mm f/2 STM is capable of “florals with bokeh” as well as street work.

“Bottled Water” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. Manila, Philippines. They sure love their purified water in this country and in hindsight they were ahead of the game on this! But a lot has to to with not wanting to get sick from that tap water 🙂

“Twisted Sister” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM. Farmingdale, NY. The pic says it all 🙂

“AutM Leaves” 2015. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM.

“Hello, Goodbye” 2018. Canon EOS M, 22mm f/2 STM.

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September Morn…And a couple Canon 1DIII Images

Ah can you believe that September is here once again? I know it’s played out but the title of that old Neil Diamond track just fits.

To me, and I guess many folks, September and this Labor Day weekend represents the bittersweet end of Summer.

So here this September morn, I have a couple images from my current camera of the week and that camera is the Canon EOS-1D Mark III.

“Happy Labor Day” 2015 that is! Shot with a Canon EOS-1D MKIII and Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 lens. The Yongnuo is a pretty good copy of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III was released in 2006 and at that time, it was supposed to be the ultimate Canon sports and photojournalists camera.

However, that was not to be due to one fatal flaw…Unreliable AF. Reports from users and reviewers at that time revealed a camera with a seriously flawed AF system that was apparently getting a lower hit rate than the previous 1DMKIIN. Note this was mostly in AF Servo mode.

Disappointment was apparent when reading the forum postings of that time. Not just because the AF was bad, but because the image quality was so good! Such bittersweetness!

Don’t forget guys, I was on those forums just like you! Except, I stayed silent and just digested all the information 🙂

To their credit, Canon offered to fix any 1DIII cameras with these issues at that time, once they acknowledged the problem. The fixed cameras are often called the “blue dot” versions.

However, even after the fix, some people felt the camera was still having autofocus issues. And the 1DIII never quite got the accolades or respect that Canon sought. And so went down one of the potentially most amazing high speed cameras ever released.

I got my first one in 2015. I had it for a short time, but I did feel it was giving me random off focus images so I sold it quick. It may or may not have just been all in my mind! The problem with this camera is once the seed of doubt has been planted, it’s hard to get it out of your head.

Reecently, I found another one very cheap and decided to try it again. I would never make judgement on just one copy of a camera. I was very surprised when taking a series of my eldest child on her Razor, that the 1DIII kept up even as she picked up speed! It was probably too easy for this camera! I will probably put those sequences up should I do a future review on this camera.

But in case I don’t, just know that if you buy one, try to get it cheap or from a reliable dealer because there’s always a risk with this camera. However, it’s also possible that any 1DIII’s with serious issues should have been fixed by now

“Razor’s Edge” 2018. Canon EOS-1D MKIII, EF 135mm f/2L lens. I took this last week. Testing out the 1DIII. It’s a camera I’ve always wondered about, but stayed away from it due to its reputation for AF issues. I got rid of my first one due to those issues, but this one seems a keeper!

“Smile” 2018. Canon EOS-1D MKIII, EF 135mm f/2L. Zay now knows, somehow, when to give me the pose 🙂

“September Morn” 2009. Rolleiflex SL66, 80mm f/2.8 Rollei HFT Planar, Tmax 400 in Tmax Developer. Yes folks, I had one of these cameras too! Didn’t hold on to it long, but I do miss the silky smooth yet sharp images from that Planar lens!

That’s it for this morning, see you soon! 😊

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Flashback Friday: Olympus OM-D EM5 Images

The Olympus OM-D EM5 (right) next to the Olympus M-1 (original OM-1).

The original 16mp Olympus OM-D EM5 was introduced by Olympus in 2012 and quickly became a favorite of mirrorless camera fans.

Its retro styling brought back memories of the classic Olympus OM cameras of yore such as the OM-1 film camera.

When I first saw it in the flesh, I knew I had to have one. So in late 2012 or early 2013, I did something I don’t normally do. I bought the camera new!

Right away I was impressed with the OM-D’s performance and image quality. It was the first mirrorless camera that I felt gave me images as good as what I was getting from my full frame DSLR cameras. And I’d used many of the highly rated mirrorless cameras before it, ie, Olympus E-P1, E-P2, Panasonic GF1, GH1, GH2 and a few others.

“Twins” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital lens. The EM5 captured these “twins” with beautiful color and depth of tones.

I loved the fast touch shutter, it was great for quick and rapid street work.

Indeed, the Olympus OM-D EM5 became one of my favorite cameras to use and you know that’s not easy considering all the cameras I’ve tried 😊

I had originally planned to do a review on this camera but it was not to be. Why?

Because last year the shutter started to conk out on me. It started taking blank images. Checking further it seems the shutter curtain is no longer opening.

A little research on the internet shows that many other people have the same issue with this first generation of the OM-D.

This is indeed disappointing as I bought the camera new, it has probably less than 5k on the shutter, and never been dropped or abused.

It’s out of warranty and I hear Olympus will charge around $175 to fix it. To me, that’s pretty unacceptable for a camera with such low shutter count. I have a Nikon D700 bought USED with over 200k that still takes great pictures!

Of course you can say that the D700 is a more pro oriented body. But 200k and still shooting vs 5k and dead? Come on now Olympus!

So Olympus, if you come across this and you want to do right please contact me! 😊

Sounds like I’m joking but I’m not. I’m seriously disappointed as I loved the camera. I know cameras can give out at any time but I think there must be more to these EM5 shutter issues. Just do a search.

Anyway sorry for my rant, here’s a few OM-D EM5 images during better days. Have a great weekend folks!

“The Mean Lady” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital lens. Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. The kids called this lady “the mean lady” but to me she was always nice! The EM5 performed admirably on black and white images too.

“The Human Touch” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Samut Prakan, Thailand. As Rick Springfield once said, we all need the “human touch” 🙂

“Smoker” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Samut Prakan, Thailand. A charming fellow who enjoyed his smokes 🙂

“Thai Miyagi” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Samut Prakan, Thailand. Maybe I’m nuts, but this man reminded me a lot of “Miyagi-San” Pat Morita.

“Asiatique” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Bangkok, Thailand. The EM5 was superb at capturing night and low light images.

“Gator Riders” 2013. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Pattaya, Thailand.

“Big Hair” 2015. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Did Baby Zay have big hair or what?! 🙂

“Blue Pool” 2016. Olympus OM-D EM5. Olympus OM-D EM5, 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital. Manila, Philippines. Kids in a portable “baby” pool. It works! 🙂

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Manila In B&W With The Ricoh GR-1 Film Camera

“Hotel City” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. There are so many hotels in this city! And so many beautiful hotels at that. This one is the Rizal Hotel near Manila Bay. I was very close to the building and despite having the GR-1 with its 28mm lens, I wish I had a wider lens. Yes, there is such a thing as not wide enough! 🙂

Manila, the bustling capital of the Philippines, is a fascinating, lively, and colorful place that in my opinion is better suited to color photography than it is for black and white photography.

“Mall Town” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. Mall culture is alive and well in the Philippines. They love their malls! I hate to admit it, but I frequented many malls during my visit and they were all great. They take their malls seriously in Manila! 😊[[[[[[[[[[[[

However, as a B&W fanatic, you and I both know that everything looks good in B&W anyway 😀

With that in mind, I couldn’t help but take my Ricoh GR1 along for this recent trip.

Now you may or may not recall, but in the last post I mentioned bringing along two of the greatest point and shoot film cameras along for this trip.

I used those cameras with color film so that means the GR-1 was NOT one of those two cameras, despite the fact that it could easily be in that same list of “greatest.” So what does this mean? It means I hope you’ll stay tuned as I have more goodies and surprises coming your way!

This article will show some photos taken with the GR-1 and Kentmere 400 B&W film. I developed this roll in D76.

Looking back on the photos, I wished I had shot more than one roll with the GR-1. That’s the problem with taking too many cameras 😊 In fact, I could’ve easily used it as my only film camera and I would’ve been happy with that.

Here are just some photos from the trip. Not meant to be an artistic showcase, just the things I saw in Manila and some thoughts on them. Where I can, I will try to give you some commentary.

“Intramuros” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. This is the famous walled city at the heart of old historic Manila. I shot this through a dirty window using both the iPhone X and the Ricoh GR1. I was surprised at how much detail came through from both! The detail here is really limited mostly due to the film grain when compared to the iPhone photos.

“SALE” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. I love fashion photography but mannequins are as close as I usually get to fashion models 🙂

“BGC” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. A scene from Manila’s vibrant “BGC” district, a hip financial and social center.

“Manila Floods” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. It rained nearly every day of the two and a half weeks I spent there. They don’t call it the “rainy season” for nothing.

“OOMA Sushi” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. Had a good meal here. Not sure why the man is smiling, but I certainly don’t know him! I just took a quick grab shot 🙂

“Lucban Church” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 Developer. Heading out a couple of hours southeast from Manila, I visited the small municipality of Lucban in the province of Quezon where I saw this beautiful and historic church that dates back hundreds of years. This is the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish Church otherwise know as “Lucban Church.”

“Free Fall” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76. Youngsters having fun at this man made waterfall at the Vila Escudero, a resort about an hour away from Metro Manila.

“Night Lights” 2018. Ricoh GR1, Kentmere 400 developed in D76 developer. The lights on the open air rooftop at the SM Aura mall in Manila. Considering this is ISO 400 film, I think the Ricoh GR1 did pretty good with this shot.

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Photo Of The Day: Manila Sky

Hello friends. Sorry if it seems like I’ve been away for a long time! There is a reason other than laziness…I’m in Manila!

The Philippines is a country I’ve been to a few times so I’m quite familiar with it by now.

No, I’m not Filipino. Not that I wouldn’t want to be. I’m just not! 😊

But I do have family members who are. And so whenever I get a chance to go to this beautiful and fascinating country I always make sure to pack up some goodies to shoot with.

For the first installment and probably many thereafter, the photos are mostly from the iPhone X and the 16.3mp Ricoh GR.

I used them to complement each other, not as competition. However, I can now affirm my past statements that the iPhone X can completely perform as my only point and shoot digital camera. In fact, I honestly feel that I don’t even need the GR for this trip.

But of course, I know you guys want a “real” camera so I brought it along 😊

In the past, I have taken Leica, Rolleiflex, and bulky Canon cameras and L lenses, but this year I kept it light with compact but capable cameras.

On previous trips, I focused more on close, intimate portraits which was the reason why I brought equipment like the Rolleiflex and Canon L lenses. This year, I wanted more street and environmental portraits.

Don’t worry film fans I haven’t abandoned you! I brought with me two of the greatest Camera Legend film cameras, which I can’t reveal at the moment 😀

I am sending the films to The Darkroom lab as I shot color film this time and I’m taking no chances on processing them myself. I find I always get ugly blotches and spotting when developing color film. That’s a process I want to master but haven’t been able to yet.

Anyway, I’ll have more photos coming soon. Have a great day good peeps! 😎📷😘