Flashback Friday Photos

Just a quick and random posting of photos that can now be filed under “Throwback” or “Flashback.”

The years roll by rapidly my friends! Let’s cherish every moment and photograph as many of these moments as we can. Before you know it, they’re all “throwback” or “flashback” photos! 🙂

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“The Beach” Part II, 2011. Bronica RF 645, 65mm f/4 Zenzanon lens, T-Max 400, Wildwoods, NJ. It’s been a mild winter so far, but with the cold weather forcasted to come soon, hmm, I think I’d rather be on the beach! Ah, I loved that RF 645, wish I could get another one.

 

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“White House” 2007. Sigma SD-14, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX. It’s hard to believe President Donald Trump has been in the White House for only a week! Ten years ago, I’d never imagine this man that I knew from “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous” would be the President of the United States!

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“Bangkok Traffic” 1995. Canon EOS 10s, Sigma 28-70mm UC lens, Kodak Gold film. This is how Bangkok traffic was in the 1990s.

FUTURE FLASH

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“Holy Prominent!” 2017. This is NOT a Flashback Friday pic. This is a “Future Flash” of a camera we plan to review for you in the near future. What is it? Ho! Why it’s the legendary Voigtlander Prominent with the equally legendary original Nokton 50mm f/1.5 lens. This was a top system from the 1950s and 1960s and still highly desirable today for collectors as well as shooters.

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“Nik Cam” 2002. An old school type “selfie” with the Nikon N8008s 🙂

Photo of The Day: “The Lady Of The Harbor”

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So another 4th of July has come and gone and indeed the year is more than half done. Is there any way to slow down time short of getting on a spacecraft and cruising at the speed of light? 🙂

I still remember as a kid watching on television America’s “Bicentennial” in 1976. That was a big deal the Bicentennial. Anyone remember that? Gerald Ford was the President of the United States (thanks to reader Kevin Thomas for pointing this out!). You’re telling me that was forty years ago?! Hot damn man!

Anyway, here’s one in the spirit of the 4th of July. I shot this twenty years ago in 1996, the last time I actually visited the Lady. If anything, I hear she looks better than ever!

Any New Yorker knows that you visit the Lady once or twice and then you’re content to see her from afar, i.e., from a bridge, from a boat, etc. Only tourists actually want to go there and brave the long lines 🙂

The gear I was using at that time was the Canon EOS A2E which was a semi-pro/enthusiasts camera, much like the 7D is today. It had a unique feature called “eye control” focusing which is what the “E” in A2E stood for. The camera also had a twin without the eye control feature called the A2 and was also known internationally as the EOS-5.

The camera used technology that followed your eye movements to predict focus. It didn’t work really well for me, but I heard that it was fine for others. I did try it on the EOS-3 later on and it worked much better on that body. Overall though, being somewhat of a traditionalist, I just thought it was a fun gimmick and went back to focusing the “normal” way. Choose focus point, compose, shoot 🙂

The camera was actually quite great to use. Good build quality, speedy and accurate AF. It had one fatal flaw however. That flaw was that the mode dial was prone to breaking rendering it useless. The good news is that it did take a lot of usage for that to happen. Mine happened after about five years of ownership with moderate use.

Canon did repair them at one point, but the cameras are so cheap now it’s just better to grab another one if you really want to try it.

The lens used was an el cheapo EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 which was a decent, if not great lens. And the film I believe was Kodak Gold as it was my film of choice back in those days.

Ah those were the great days when I got by on one camera and two lenses, far from the gear lust monster I have become today. I always tell anyone starting out, if they have a decent setup like a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, to just stick to what they have and work with it. Of course, they don’t listen and I can’t blame them I guess 🙂

Recent Items

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“Patriots” 2015. Canon EOS-1D Mark III and Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 EF lens clone. The Yongnuo deserves a review in its own right! 🙂

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“The Razor’s Edge” 2016. Canon EOS-1D Mark III, EF 85mm f/1.8

Hello my friends, I hope you are enjoying your Fourth Of July weekend! Just quickly a couple of items.

About ten years ago, 2006, Canon released perhaps their most controversial 1D body and that body is the 1D Mark III. Many of you will remember the whole AF “controversy” which involved the camera not focusing correctly, sometimes even on easy shots. This was a no-no for a pro sports/journalism market that had come to rely on Canon’s renowned autofocus.

Anyway, people sent in their cameras for a fix, sometimes multiple trips to Canon repair. It was a mess. Although Canon apparently fixed the issue, many are convinced even today that the camera was never “right.”

Well, you know I’m probably the king of doing the unexpected, so I got one about a year ago as the prices have come down to a price one could afford. I plan to do my own review of this camera shortly after having ample experience with it.

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“Say Cheese” Sony A7R and Vivitar 35-105mm f/3.5 low budget lens.

I’ve also been trying out a lot of oddball lenses such as the Vivitar 35-105mm f/3.5 on my A7R. I got this lens for $5 dollars and was attracted by the constant f/3.5 aperture and of course, the low price 🙂

I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it! It may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it is sharp and has a surprisingly useful “macro” or “close range” mode which I used for the portrait above. The lens flares like crazy outdoors however and not necessarily the prettiest flare.

The lens was apparently built by Tokina, which may explain its hefty build. It’s the current “in” lens on my A7R so I hope to post more pics from it soon.

Anyway, please enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and don’t let it pass too fast! 🙂

 

Tuesday Titans: The Original 11mp Canon EOS 1Ds The Camera That Killed Film

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“The Mountaintop” 2005. With the 1Ds in 2005. Please excuse this funky pic! At that time, I felt I had been to the “mountaintop” and wanted to show that I, the “Ghetto-Blaster” and a mere mortal, could also hold in my peasant hands, the Camera Legend that is the Canon EOS-1Ds.

The Canon EOS-1Ds is an 11.1 megapixel full-frame digital SLR, released by Canon Inc 2002.

While not the first 35mm full-frame digital (the Contax N Digital I also reviewed is), the Canon EOS-1Ds ruled the roost as the “King” of digital photography and had a segment of the market all to itself for quite a few years.

Why? Because to have 11 megapixels and a full-frame sensor in 2002 was totally and utterly mind blowing!

It’s hard to appreciate this in today’s flooded market of 24 to 42mp full frame cameras, especially if you’re relatively new to all this. You should try to “transport” yourself back to 2001, even before the 1Ds came to market, but even then it’s not as mind-blowing as having lived through this era.

In 2002, we were still barely out of the 3mp range when it came to high end cameras. The 2.7mp Nikon D1 and the 3mp Canon EOS-D30 were the hot cameras of the day. Six megapixel cameras were coming to market. But the EOS-1Ds was on another plane altogether.

I still remember it well. The 1Ds was at a level where very few “mere mortals” like myself could reach. Not only was it incredibly expensive at $7999, but there was such an aura around the camera that made it seem untouchable for many like myself.

THE 1Ds AS A CAMERA

Since this is not meant to be a full throttle review, I will just state some of the key features and deficits of the 1Ds.

The 1Ds, as with all EOS-1 series cameras, has an impressively tough build quality and iconic looks. You know a 1D series camera when you see one, you can’t mistake it for anything else.

The 1Ds is an autofocus camera with 45 AF points. The AF system was similar to all 1D series cameras of its time (1D Classic, 1D MKII) and is derived from the EOS-1V film camera, the last and most advanced pro EOS film camera.

The AF is quick and accurate in all but the lowest of low light settings. Canon’s 1 Series cameras have always had excellent autofocusing abilities and I have nothing bad to say about this.

The 1Ds has a shutter range of 30 seconds to 1/8000 and an ISO range of 100-1250, plus a special ISO 50 (L) that can be used though it is not part of the native ISO range for the camera. The viewfinder is bright with 100 percent coverage.

Compared to today’s cameras, the 1Ds lacks amenities such as focus peaking or any other focusing aids for manual lenses. Unlike many Nikons, the 1Ds will not give you electronic focus confirmation using manual lenses. You can however buy adapters with built in focus confirmation chips on them.

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“After The Fall” 2015. Canon EOS-1Ds, Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8

The back LCD is small and low resolution at 2″ and 120,000 pixels. Image playback magnification was available, but had to be done through a two step process that was clunky to use.

For a film camera lover, this kind of digital camera is quite appealing, despite its drawbacks and flaws. The 1Ds with manual lenses is as close you can get to a 1V film camera with manual lenses. It will make you work for that shot!

A TRUE CLASSIC

If there was a candidate for a “classic” digital camera, the original 1Ds is it.
In fact, today people refer to it as the 1Ds Classic.

That is true, and it is a digital classic, but the main reason people refer to it as the 1Ds Classic is to differentiate it from the couple of incarnations that came after it, ie, the 1Ds Mark II, and the 1Ds Mark III.

The 1Ds had a huge impact at the time of its introduction. It is often considered the camera that “killed” off film as the professional photographer’s medium of choice.

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“The Champ” 2013. Canon EOS-1Ds, EF 85mm f/.12L. The 1Ds Classic became the “Champion” of digital photography in 2002.

As a film lover, I have to say that filmed being “killed” by the 1Ds may be a bit of an overstatement. I mean, of course, film is still here with us, thank God, nearly fifteen years later.

However, in some ways, it is not an overstatement at all. When you look back to 2002, the 1Ds really did have a huge impact on the perception that digital was not able to compete with film yet. It changed that notion for many photographers.

Eleven megapixels was huge in those days, kinda like 36 megapixels today, so keep that in mind when enjoying your new 42mp camera 🙂

Many who used the 1Ds back in the day were saying that not only was it as good as film, they were saying the 1Ds surpassed film in overall quality. Professional photographers who were shooting 35mm and medium format film took to the 1Ds in droves.

THE RISE OF DIGITAL AND THE LEGACY OF THE 1DS

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“Rise” 2013. Canon EOS-1Ds, EF 85mm f/1.2L. The 11.1mp EOS-1Ds helped usher in the rise of digital photography while driving film into the niche market that it is today.

I remember back in 2002-2003, many non professional photographers (myself included) were day-dreaming about owning the 1Ds and imagining the detail possible with that “titanic” 11 megapixel resolution.

The 1Ds was one the first digital cameras that really showed the true potential of digital photography. I truly believe it is one of the cameras that pushed film photography into the niche market that it has become.

The 1Ds took digital image quality to another level. You can search and find all the photographers, including very hard to please landscape photographers raving about it. Fashion, portrait, and advertising photographers also took to it.

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“Swan Lake” 2015. Canon EOS-1Ds, EF 135mm f/2L

But the 1Ds also reminds us that with digital cameras, you’re King for the day, and a has-been by tomorrow.

Swing over to today and think of the 36mp, 42mp, and 50 plus megapixel cameras we have now. Take the lesson from the 1Ds that eventually these “high” resolution numbers will seem like nothing 🙂

BOTTOM LINE

I sold everything to buy my first 1Ds in 2005. I bought it from a professional fashion photographer who swore by it and took some really awesome shots with it.

But for me, as a street and available light shooter? Sold it in two weeks. Hated it! Why? I was shocked at the noise in nearly all iso settings. The 12mp 5D had just been released and I had such buyer’s remorse. Got a 5D afterwards and was much happier.

I was able to get a 1Ds in 2012 as part of a trade deal, and having more experience with post-processing, as well as  appreciating “grain” I have come to love the 1Ds. Thanks to a relatively weak AA filter, it produces images with great sharpness, and the noise can actually be used as a creative part of the image. I hate to say the overused cliche “film-like” but this is one of those cameras where you can coax that elusive film-like digital image with some work.

To this day, there are people who swear the 1Ds can produce “magic” that few
cameras can. I’m not sure it can defy the laws of digital nature, but it certainly is one of the few cameras out of the many that I have used, that has an undeniably powerful aura about it. The original Canon EOS-1Ds is a true Camera Legend that had a titanic impact on the world of photography.

WHERE TO BUY?

Make no bones about it. Compared to today’s cameras, the 1Ds is severely out-dated and out performed.

But it has a few things going for it. It is a full-frame camera, which still keeps it in the top tier, even for an older digital camera. It has a weak AA filter, which I mentioned. It has 11.1 megapixels, which may not be incredible for today, but is still plenty good enough. I’ve always said anything ten megapixels and up is usable for almost anything, except for that high budget ad campaign where you need a Hasselblad H4D 60mp, that you and I won’t be doing 🙂

The great news for all camera lovers is that the 1Ds has gotten quite affordable. If seeking one of these, prices are trending at $300-450.

I would highly recommend buying from a place where there is a good return policy because the 1Ds is really old on the market. Canon no longer services these cameras and I don’t know who does. The good thing is that these cameras were built to last for a very long time. The bad news is that, as with all electronic cameras, they can fail tomorrow. For a safe purchase you may try HERE and HERE.

Photo Of The Day: “Near Miss”

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“Angry Bunnies” 2015. Canon EOS-1Ds Classic, Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8

Easter weekend to me is about reflecting and celebrating the victory of Jesus. It’s also about spending time with the family.

Number one, Jesus, I need to work on. I need to go to church more often. I believe, I respect, and I love Jesus, but maybe that’s not enough.

Number two, I have no problem with. I’m always spending as much time as I can with my family, specifically my girls, although they may sometimes find Papa annoying, as you can see in this photo 🙂

Anyway, here’s a good example of missing the moment because you’re fiddling with equipment. I was playing around with my 11mp EOS-1Ds Classic (2001) and one of my favorite zoom lenses, the Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8 OM lens when all of a sudden my eight year old (with a piece of gum dangling out of her mouth) and my (then) six month old went into “angry” mode!

The 1Ds is old school. It doesn’t have focus peaking or any fancy way to help with manual focus, other than your eyes. The shot wasn’t in critical focus, but I got it just enough where I could use it on Facebook or send to family. I would’ve preferred it if it were in critical focus and if I had my trusty EF 50mm f/1.8 on the 1Ds, I probably would have gotten that.

But since I was fiddling around with a manual focus lens, I barely got the moment which as you can imagine with kids, was gone right after I took the shot.

Anyway, I’m just glad I got this funny moment enough where I can have a good memory of it.

Have you ever missed a shot because you were fiddling around with a new (or old) lens? Fiddling around with a new camera or its settings?

Hey, have a blessed Easter weekend good people! 🙂

Photo Of The Day: “Evil Dead One Eye Truck”

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“Evil Dead Truck” 2007. Canon EOS 5D Classic, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di lens.

Howdy good people. Has it been a slow week? Yes, but not for a lack of new material. I must admit I have been really lazy this week 🙂

I don’t know how long it’s going to take to snap out of it, but maybe some energy bars and Gatorade are in order 🙂

I’ve seen shots of old cars and trucks from other people and I love them, but as a city guy, I’ve never come across one of these scenes until one day in 2007 when I took a ride to upstate NY for some apple picking. Right away, I knew I had to get a shot of this thing!

I did some processing to it, a little darker and more contrasty than I usually do, but I was having fun with it. Anyway, I’ve never come across one of these scenes again so I’m glad I got one.

Hope to have a new camera profiled tomorrow, have a good day folks!

Note: I have renamed this one in honor of my good friend “Radstradamus” 🙂 This guy is a Ninja, a master photographer in hiding. If he would ever like to show his work or has a link, I would sure love to show it!

***DEAL ALERT***

Some great savings on Panasonic Gear.

Also if you’re an Olympus user, take advantage of the current Olympus Lens Rebates. There’s no better time to buy lenses for your OM-D or Pen series cameras.

Breaking News: The Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

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The Canon EOS-1DX Mark II. Official image courtesy of Canon Inc.

Wow, I had an article all ready for “Tuesday Titans” but I might as well go with this one because this is certainly TITANIC 🙂

Canon has just introduced, nearly five years later, the successor to the Canon EOS-1DX and that camera is the EOS-1DX Mark II.

Key features that I can see from just a quick scan of the specs: a new 20.2mp CMOS sensor with dual pixel AF, technology originally seen in the EOS 70D; the camera can do 14 fps at its top speed and an almost endless shooting in jpeg mode; new 61 point AF system; 4K video; ISO 409,600. Of course, there’s much more. You can get all the specs HERE.

I’m fine with 20.2 megapixels, but I did kind of expected a little more in this department since the original 1DX is 18.1 megs, so this is a negligible increase. However, for the press and sports photographers who will most likely buy this camera, this is a comfortable spot for megapixels.

To me perhaps the most impressive spec is the claimed shutter life of 400,000 shots! Of course, press and sports photographers can wear this out fast and this gives them a lot more than the usual 100K we usually get from pro cameras. To the rest of us who don’t spray and pray, the 400k shutter life indicates to me that Canon probably won’t be updating this camera for another five years 🙂

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Could it be nearly five years already? From 2011, the Canon EOS-1DX 18.1mp at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC.

Here’s cool video of a real world shoot with the 1DX Mark II with sports photographer David Bergman, exclusively for our friends at Adorama. The opening is fantastic…Machine gun!!

The Canon 1DX Mark II takes the top spot as Canon’s new pro flagship camera. This proud lineage goes back to the original EOS-1Ds of 2002, and even much further back to the one that started it all, the original EOS-1 film camera which I reviewed HERE.

The EOS-1DX Mark II also appears to be the first to sport a new look for the 1D series, seemingly “sculpted” in certain areas, specifically the top (head) and the grip, making it appear more distinct than previous models.

AMAZON Valentines Day Specials.

One thing I have to say, whether we like it or not, it seems Canon and Nikon are definitely NOT embracing small mirrorless cameras. These companies are old and traditional and appear more than content to roll out these huge, bulky monster cameras.

In a good way, they are keeping the DSLR alive, in spite of the increasing mirrorless competition, and you got to admit, there’s something about the way these big cameras feel in your hand that is appealing. Their bulk makes you feel like you got your money’s worth, even if you’re not inclined to carry one around all day long.

The Canon EOS-1DX is bound to be an instant Camera Legend, just as any camera from the pro flagship would be. If you’re one of the lucky ones to get this camera, you may pre-order them from the links below. Although I’m not getting one, the one that strikes my fancy is the “premium” kit 🙂

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II Body.

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II Premium Kit.

All Canon EOS-1DX Mark II Links & Accessories.