Some Film Images Part I

No dear friends and readers, I have not run out of Camera Legends to profile for you. However, from time to time, I’d like to put up some images I’ve taken over the years, if only to remind myself that I still love photography and also so that readers of this site can see that I actually DO use the gear profiled 🙂

Like many of you out there, I really love cameras and lenses. But just as importantly, I love the equipment more if it helps me take a decent picture.

The photos below are a random sampling of the gear and the photos I’ve taken with them. Some of the cameras used to take these shots have been profiled. Some are previews of possible future postings.

They are not masterworks or anything. Many are from my attempts to learn or test equipment. Most were taken for just the pure joy of photography.

I thank you for taking a look. And not to worry, I have more great gear to profile and review for you coming soon 🙂

Note: Most of these images were posted elsewhere on the web years ago, long before I knew anything about WordPress. As such, some were resized to dimensions much smaller than I’d like to show you, but as I cannot find the originals at this time, this is what I can post. Sorry about that.

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“Mom in DC” 1984. Kodak Disc Camera. This image represents one of my earliest attempts at photography, at least the ones I could find. Shot with the long defunct and defiled Kodak Disc Camera, a camera that was bashed by critics and consumers alike. However, I have to say, I really loved that camera and this image brings back a lot of memories.

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“Ghetto Blaster” 1985. Minolta X-700, 50mm f/1.7 MD lens. My brother and father with our Cutlass Supreme which we called the “Ghetto-Blaster” with its missing hubcap 🙂 Thirty one years in time, but I’ll be darned if that golden light on the print doesn’t still look as golden as the day I took this shot.




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“Bangkok Bride” 2005. Olympus Stylus Epic, 35mm f/2.8, Kodak High Definition 400 film. Shot in Bangkok, Thailand.

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“Holy Petal” 1995. Contax G1, 28mm f/2.8 Zeiss Biogon, Fujichrome Velvia. Taken at a temple in Bangkok, Thailand.

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“Portrait Of An Addict” 1997. Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Kodak Tri-X. An attempt to self document one man’s horrible addiction to cigarettes. This photo was accepted to Flickr’s “Film Is Not Dead It Just Smells Funny” group, which is quite a selective bunch so I was honored by their acceptance of this pic.

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“Mannequin Fantasy” 2006. Ricoh GR1, Fujicolor Press 800.

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“Lots Of Love” 2008. Leica R8, 90mm f/2 Summicron-R, Ilford XP2. I was honored that this image was profiled on Leica’s LFI “Analogue Masters” Gallery a few years ago.

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“Rainy Day Blues” 2009. Leica CL, Canon 50mm f/1.2 LTM, Kodak Tri-X 400 developed in HC-110. I was sloppy and something went wrong with the development and I got the blues after seeing the ‘damaged’ roll . But since photography is such a subjective, sometimes emotional thing, I developed a liking for the look of some of the ‘ruined’ images.

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“Masked Shooter” 2008. Contax RX, Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 lens. The man with the clandestine figure, the Masked Shooter, has probably shot nearly a thousand cameras 🙂




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The Minox DCC 5.1

The Minox DCC 5.1mp digital camera from Minox. Let’s make no mistake about it, this is a toy camera and I only got one for my collection as it is cute as a button 🙂

The Minox DCC 5.1 is a 5.1 megapixel camera introduced in 2010 by the famous miniature camera maker Minox.

While it obviously mimics the looks of the legendary Leica M3, an M3 it is not. This is pretty much a toy camera, pure and simple.

The camera is clunky to use and the image quality is quite bad. You can forget about shooting it at night or in low light unless you have the accessory flash. Over the years, I have been known to take cameras to their low light limits, and if the camera is half way decent, I can get something usable out of it. But this one, for low light shots, I said “Fuggedaboutit” 🙂

Sure, you might if you are so inclined, get some cool effects with it, but it’s a novelty, not an everyday camera.

There will be no “official” reviews on this one. In fact, everything you need to know about it, I just wrote it in the sentences above.

I got it for under $50 and it’s purely for my collection as a camera buff. One thing I will say is that, just like the model holding the camera, it is cute as a button…which is why I got it 🙂

As bad as these cameras are as a “camera” they still have their appeal as collectibles and in that respect, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these “Leica” Minoxes end up as an interesting footnote in the Camera Legend of Minox.

Although the Minoxx DCC 5.1 is an older model, there are a couple of other similar cameras Minox put out, including the last 14mp model. Although I still think they are very much toy cameras, if you’re interested you may be able to get one at a good deal on here for Minox cameras.

 

The Sony A7R: Is It The Ultimate?

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“The Dream” 2015. The Sony A7R, when introduced in 2013, represented the pinnacle in digital camera technology. Seen here with the Canon 50mm f/0.95, it is a “Dream” combo for me. I played around with some “Pop Art” type settings for this shot 🙂

The Sony A7R is a 36.4 megapixel mirrorless digital camera introduced (along with the 24mp A7) by Sony in 2013.

Now think about it…a mirrorless camera with a whopping 36.4 megapixels on a full-frame sensor. You might call the A7R an instant Camera Legend!

Note: With the exception of the first two photos, I have included some larger than usual photos especially for this camera. You may have to double click on the photos to see them at their intended sizes.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

While the camera looks like a miniature DSLR, it is indeed NOT a single lens reflex. Instead, it is a mirrorless camera that does not rely on a reflex mirror as in traditional SLR cameras.

You have the option of using the back LCD, as in all digital cameras, or the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF has a resolution of 2.4 megapixels and is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

The camera is small, but feels good in the hand. Solid, light but with a nice heft to it. The right hand grip feels comfy and secure to me, but might not for someone with larger hands.

When I first handled the camera at the PhotoPlus show in NYC in 2013, my impression was that the camera looked and felt a lot like my Olympus OM-D EM-5, only stronger and not as light as the OM-D. I would say it is like the EM-5 ‘grown up’ 🙂

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“Pucker Up” 2014. Sony A7R, Voightlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical, first version. Lipstick, ear-rings, kids jewelry…growing up way too fast! 🙂

It is not the prettiest camera in the world, but not the ugliest either. It feels like a ‘machine’ or a computer with a camera that Sony put together, in essence that’s what it is, but I kinda like that. And this machine is made for image making. It is not here to win any beauty contests, it is here to work. And it is an excellent worker.

CONTROLS AND FEATURES

The controls are well laid out with the mode dial, on/off dial, and exposure compensation wheel at the top. The inclusion of the “Fn” or function button on the back makes it easier to access key features such as ISO, drive mode, flash, focus, etc, etc. This is certainly a lot better than some of the lower end NEX cameras I have used where you have to use the scrolling virtual menu to access these features.

The menus are typical Sony and any NEX user will be familiar with most of it. You can customize this camera to do a lot of things, but I suggest you read the manual to have it do what you want.

As mentioned earlier, the EVF is wonderful, amazing really. I was always an old-school optical viewfinder guy, but the EVF on the A7R has won me over. Combined with the focus peaking, I have been able to get sharp shots in situations where it would almost be impossible. It’s that good.

There’s a lot more features to this camera than I care to write about. All I can say is that you can do almost anything you want with it 🙂

AUTOFOCUS

I can’t say much about the AF because I have mainly used manual legacy glass, i.e., Leica M, Olympus OM, Nikkors, etc, with this camera.

I did use a kit lens from the cheap Sony A3000 on the A7R and it focused fast and sure. Note that if using AF lenses from the APS-C NEX series, the A7R automatically switches to its 1.5x crop mode at a still respectable 15.4 megapixel resolution.

The two AF primes most users rave about when using the A7R/A7 series are the Sony made Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 FE and the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE Sonnar lenses. I have yet to really desire these, due to the lack of funds, and my simply having no problems getting sharp shots with my legacy glass. One day I hope to get around to one of these fine AF Zeiss lenses, and the 55mm f/1.8 is the one I’d get first.

MANUAL FOCUS

As mentioned, I have been using the A7R almost exclusively with legacy glass. This is the best camera I have used for this purpose.

I set the focus peaking to red, mid level, and just focus away. Focus peaking allows for the camera to highlight (in red, yellow, or white) the edges of your subject when the camera determines that you’re in the focus zone. Sometimes, you may have situations where you can’t really get a good ‘peaking’ but the EVF is clear enough where I can make the focus most of the time.

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“Twilight” 2014. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95 “Dream Lens” at wide open, ISO 800. Please click on the photo for a much larger and better view.

Focus peaking is easy to use and a very effective tool for using manual focus lenses on your camera. As mentioned earlier, the implementation on the A7R is one of the best I have used. It makes you wonder how we took all those nice photos on film SLR’s all those years without it 🙂

Don’t get me wrong. You’d probably still get a better hit rate with the autofocus 55mm f/1.5 FE, for example, but I’ll be darned if don’t tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to see how well I could focus my old lenses.

DO I NEED 36 MEGAPIXELS?

This is probably one of the main questions people have when deciding whether or not to buy the A7R. For some, it is the reason to stay away. For others, it’s reason enough to sway them to give in to their G.A.S. “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” 🙂

I’ve been using this camera for almost a year, got it last May, 2014. Here’s my take on this…

Probably 99% of the time, 99% of us won’t need 36 megapixels. We get the A7R because we WANT it. There I said it 🙂

Back in 2004 and 2005, when we had 5 megapixel and 8 megapixel cameras ruling the digital camera world, I obsessively printed up 13×19 and 20×30 prints from cameras like the Nikon D1X and Canon EOS 20D and the results looked great. Even a 13×19 from a 4mp D2H looked pretty awesome.

It may seem silly now, but you have to remember in 2004 and 2005, this digital stuff was still a relatively new game. With each increase in megapixels, we were ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ and going bonkers with the latest and greatest. Today, 20+ megapixels don’t even make eyes blink anymore. Maybe some realized that after 10 megapixels, it was “good enough.”

So since printing billboards with an A7R is no problem, anything printed smaller will be a piece of cake for this camera.

Initially I did not intend to get the A7R, partially due to its price and partially because I didn’t need 36 megapixels for what I do. I do mostly street and portraits. I’ve done weddings and had a few shots published in a magazine, but professional photography is not my thing. Like many of you, photography is my passion and I prefer to keep it that way.

Anyway, I ended up with the A7R about half a year into its introduction because I was able to get one brand new through a friend for $500 less than the store prices. I can’t resist a bargain, so the savings were enough to push me over. Of course, I had to get rid of some cherished items to come up with the cash 🙂

Besides saving $500, I thought the A7R would be the ultimate solution for my legacy lenses. And indeed, the A7R has really turned out to be that camera.

Here’s the best excuse you need for wanting those 36.4 megapixels: If you come across that once in a lifetime shot, and assuming you actually get the shot, you will have the peace of mind in knowing you took it with your best camera. Simple as that. If in that dream world, MOMA wanted an exhibition print of your shot, they can have it with the A7R, again assuming you got the shot. Worst case (and more likely for me) scenario, you have some beautiful large prints in your home 🙂

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“Quadpods” 2014. Sony A7R, Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 Aspherical, ISO 100. Check the image below for a 100% crop of this image.

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A 100% crop of the image above. The A7R provided excellent resolution with the classic Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 Aspherical lens, but also reveals some chromatic aberration from this classic aspherical lens as well. You’d probably never spot it on prints up to 13×19 and even if you did, would it be a problem? 🙂

PERFORMANCE

The A7R has really impressed me with its results. When the Nikon D800/D800E came out in 2012, I read so many things about how 36 megapixels would require “super” photo techniques, tripods, the best lenses or otherwise you’d end up with blurry useless shots. Ten years ago, they said the same thing about ten megapixels so I took that with a grain of salt.

While it is true that if you used those “super” photo techniques, you could get the best out of the A7R, it is NOT necessary to get consistent sharp results out of the A7R. They may not always be “tack” sharp, but unless you’re shooting landscape exhibits or advertising campaigns, it should be sharp enough.

I do a lot of night and low light shots. I’ve always kept the camera in Auto ISO and it’s one of the few cameras that really does the job at this setting. I only adjust manual ISO if I specifically want ISO 100-400 or anything above ISO 800. With fast lenses and in low light, the A7R tended to choose the lowest ISO values it could get away with, thus providing better quality images with these lenses.

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“STOMP” 2015. Sony A7R, Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical, first version at ISO 320. I actually shot this out of a moving car, pre-focused and a little off on the focus plus car movement, but I still like it. Driving by shooting can yield interesting results, but I do not endorse it 🙂

I generally turn off the noise reduction on my cameras, but with the A7R I keep the noise reduction at its “Normal” default and it does a nice job with ISO’s as high as 6400 providing a good balance between detail and noise. I only use RAW on this camera if there is difficult lighting or if I have the camera on a tripod. Otherwise, the “Fine” or “Extra Fine” jpegs are good enough for me.

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“Lobster Box” 2015. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95, ISO 100. As mentioned in the article, the Sony A7R in Auto ISO mode chooses the lowest ISO values possible with fast lenses in low light to provide better image quality.

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“Flying High” 2015. Sony A7R, Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical, first version at ISO 100. First day out in the park and swinging higher than I’d ever seen 🙂

Many of my legacy lenses cannot out resolve the A7R sensor. Even many modern lenses cannot out resolve the 36mp sensor. However, don’t let that dissuade you. Even my vintage Canon “Dream Lens” 50mm f/0.95, a lens known for its soft ‘dreamy’ quality wide open, is surprisingly nearly as sharp as a modern 50mm when stopped down to f/5.6 or so.

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“Bundle Up” 2014. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95 “Dream Lens” at ISO 1000. Shot at around f/1.4 and processed to minimize the well known aberrations that have endeared this lens to its owners. Please click on the photo for a much larger and better view.

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“Autumn Leaves” 2014. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95. Please click on the photo to see the details of the 100% crop inset. The crop is from the zipper of the jacket on Baby Z’s left side. At first it might seem ‘standard’ fare for a 50mm lens until you realize this is the Canon “Dream Lens” often thought of as soft. As you can see, it kept up amazing well with the A7R’s 36.4 megapixel sensor, better than I thought!

Just because you’re not using all those 36.4 megapixels doesn’t mean its wasted. You still get the benefit of being able to crop small sections of the files and still get usable pictures. And of course, you can print larger.

Wide lenses, such as my Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Heliar, do not work well on the A7R resulting in vignetting and color cast around the edges and blotchy spots. You could probably use correction software to fix these issues, although I haven’t tried.

The A7R sensor (same Sony sensor as in the Nikon D800/D800e) is also well known for its superb dynamic range. I can pull out great shadow detail in underexposed images and rarely ever get blown highlights with this camera.

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“Lifehouse” 2014. Sony A7R, Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Heliar M mount, ISO 100. Note the vignetting and color cast around the edges. Please click on the photo for a much larger and better view. Not pretty (except the couple, of course!), but it can be corrected to some degree with software. Or you can be happy and look at those issues as a “Natural Instagram” 🙂

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“Baby Beach” 2014. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95 at wide open, ISO 100.

For the A7R, I generally stay in the 28mm range for wide angle where it works just fine.

The camera also does 1080P Full HD video though as mentioned in other articles, I’m not a video guy. My home videos from the A7R look nice though 🙂

BOTTOM LINE

I love this camera! It’s as simple as that. It has become my go to camera if I think I’m going to be shooting something worthwhile. It’s fantastic at low ISO’s and excellent at high ISO settings.

If I were doing it all over again today, for the same money, I’d probably get the A7II with its 5 axis stabilizer, but I haven’t really needed image stabilization because I equalize the A7R’s lack of IS by using fast lenses.

If shopping for the A7R, the price for new as of today (B&H) is $1898, and I’ve seen them sell used for as low as $1200 which is a screamin’ deal.

The A7R is a wonderful and very versatile camera, capable of opening up a whole new world of photographic fun and exploration for you. As mentioned earlier, the Sony A7R became an instant Camera Legend the moment it was introduced.

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“A New Zay” 2015. Sony A7R, Canon 50mm f/0.95 “Dream Lens.” It is indeed a new day with Baby Zay and the Sony A7R in the house! 🙂

Is it the “Ultimate?” Well, let’s say it didn’t stop me from wanting other cameras. It did however fill me with the thought that I didn’t need other cameras, I just want them because I love cameras! Anyway, this is not a camera I would use for events where fast AF and rapid fire is needed. It is kind of overkill for street work, which is what I love. However, at its best you can’t deny the image quality of the Sony A7R. It is among the best, and it is a Camera Legend standing high above its mirrorless peers.

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PROS: 36.4 Megapixels (you want it!); Possible Medium Format look in 35mm digital package; Superb EVF; Superb dynamic range; Excellent focus peaking for manual lenses; No AA filter for potentially sharper images; Lightweight, but sturdy; Great colors; Usable high ISO performance; Makes fantastic large prints

CONS: 36.4 Megapixels (you don’t really need it); The need for bigger memory cards, more processing power from your computer; Color cast and other issues with wide angle manual focus lenses; No AA filter, potential moire; Limited AF lens lineup; Battery life; Feels like it might be a bit fragile for long term durability, only time will tell I guess.

My first choice if buying an A7R today would be to check the competitive prices at Amazon through their affiliates. You can find some very competitive prices from the link below. I’d also recommend Adorama and B&H, never had a problem with either of these camera super stores. Buying from these dealers through these links helps to support this blog and helps me add to its content. It will cost you nothing and you’d be buying from the very best dealers. Thanks for your time reading this article and thanks for your support.

Amazon’s list of competitive stores selling the Sony A7R.




The Olympus E-1

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“Cuckoo” 2014. Olympus E-1, Zuiko Digital 25mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Sorry for the funky treatment…one really did fly over the cuckoo’s nest 🙂

The Olympus E-1 is a digital slr that was introduced by Olympus Corporation in 2003.

It was their first digital interchangeable lens slr and an attempt to tap into the prestigious pro digital market that was dominated by giants Canon and Nikon.

The E-1 was also the first dslr to sport the new “Four Thirds” or 4/3’s sensor that was heavily promoted at that time by Olympus and Panasonic.

If you want to get into all the technical aspects for the 4/3’s sensor, just go to the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Thirds_system

Basically, 4/3’s is a sensor smaller than full-frame or APS-C, but still much larger than any point and shoot camera in 2003. The sensor has a 2X factor, meaning for example, a 50mm lens will translate to a 100mm lens on the E-1 and other 4/3’s cameras. Olympus definitely went against the stream on this one, as they did many times in the past. I’ve always been an Olympus fan, so this is one for the “little guys” 🙂

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“The Fly” 2005. Olympus E-1, Zuiko 90mm f/2 macro.

The E-1 used a 5mp Kodak sensor, back in the days when Kodak made some amazing sensors. In fact, one of the main reasons for the E-1’s cult-like following is due to what Olympus enthusiasts like to call “those Oly colors” and of course, a large part of that is due to the Kodak CCD in the camera. The mount was also highly adaptable to use with “alternative” lenses and I greatly enjoyed using the camera with various Leica, OM, and Contax lenses.

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“Evergreen” 2009. Olympus E-1, Leica 90mm f/2 Summicron-R. My little girl used to pick flowers for me. How I miss those days 🙂

The E-1 had superb build quality utilizing a magnesium-alloy, “splash-proof” body. I found the ergonomics to be great with the controls nicely laid out. The AF was sure and speedy in daylight, but struggled a bit in low light conditions. The ISO range was from 100-800 with ISO 1600 and 3200 available in the settings as “ISO BOOST.” I tended to stay within the 100-800 range as I found the “boosted” settings too noisy for me.

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“Sprouts Of Life” 2005. Olympus E-1, Zuiko 90mm f/2 macro.

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“Fields Of Gold” 2007. Olympus E-1, Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit, ISO 800. Note the “noise” beginning to show. I don’t find it objectionable, but some might.

The E-1 also had one of the most quiet and smooth shutters I’ve ever used in a camera, and one of the most effective dust reduction systems. I’ve never seen a speck of dust in my E-1 images and I’ve used these cameras a lot over the past ten years.

If you’re looking for one of these, prices are trending at $65-200, with the average around $100 or less for the body alone which I feel is a killer deal for a fantastic camera.

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“The Kill Master” 2005. Olympus E-1. For less than $100, the E-1 is a “killer” deal for a Camera Legend.

Around 2004, I was in the (sadly) now defunct J&R electronics store in lower Manhattan. There were a lot of beautiful prints hung up on the wall of their photography department. Still a firm believer in film at the time, I was marveling at the prints and saying to myself…wow, look at what people are giving up by not shooting film! Guess what? All those shots I admired were done with an Olympus E-1 🙂

It’s hard to believe that the Olympus E-1 was introduced almost twelve years ago. It still remains a favorite among Olympus fans for its great color, superb build, and reliability. Although 4/3’s is now a dead system, it doesn’t mean you can’t use those cameras and lenses to take great shots.

The Olympus E-1 was the first of its kind and it has left a legacy that continues today with its successful Micro 4/3’s offsprings, which became the true fruition of what 4/3’s was supposed to be. The Olympus E-1 is a classic and will go down in history as a digital Camera Legend.

Pros: Superb build quality, splash-proof; Colors; Good AF in good light; Cheap in today’s world, a bargain!

Cons: “Only” five megapixels; Slow start-up; Slow write times to CF card; Digital grain begins to get objectionably “noisy” at ISO 800 and up; Part of the now dead 4/3’s system.

Important Note: While they share the same sensor size, please remember that 4/3’s and Micro 4/3’s are not compatible. For example, if you have a mirrorless OM-D EM-1 or EM-5, or a Panasonic Micro 4/3’s camera, you CANNOT use your Micro 4/3’s lenses on a 4/3’s body like the E-1. You CAN however use the 4/3’s lenses on Micro 4/3’s with the right adapter. Thanks for stopping by!

The 4mp Canon EOS-1D

Introduced in 2001, the 4.15 megapixel EOS-1D is a digital camera legend.

While they had collaborations with Kodak before with the EOS-D2000/Kodak DCS 520, the 1D was the first “all” Canon pro “1” series body that continues today with the current 18mp 1DX of 2011. Today, the 4mp 1D is also known on the web as the “1D Classic.”

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“Camera Nut” 2009. Canon EOS-1D, Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-R

I got my first copy in 2004 and really loved the body and files from the 1D. I remember spending my time with the 1D trying to eek out as much quality as I could from those 4 megapixels! I shot, I printed large, I tried Genuine Fractals (anyone remember that program?).

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“Portrait Of Midi” 2007. Canon EOS-1D, EF 50mm f/1.8

As many 1D owners can attest, the camera is capable of producing very sharp files with really nice color, a combination of a great Panasonic sensor, and what I like to call “PHAT” pixels from the lower resolution.

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“My Adidas” 2004. Canon EOS-1D.

The 1D was a hit with sports photographers and photojournalists, as well as enthusiasts like myself and many others. The camera could do 8 frames-per-second, though I never used it at that rate. Couldn’t stand to blow the shutter that fast, even if the camera could take it 🙂

The 1D Classic is plentiful on the used market and they can be had in good condition for around $200 and up. Lower priced samples are usually in rough shape. Remember, a lot of these cameras were in professional hands and probably have high mileage although the 1D shutters have been documented to have gone well into the hundreds of thousands.

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“Tribute” 2004. Canon EOS-1D, EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5.

Other negatives include poor battery life, which can be remedied if you buy one of the newer aftermarket batteries. The color can also be off at times, most notably images will sometime take on a greenish cast, especially in jpegs. All this can be fixed with some work in post-processing. The camera is also a heavy, bulky beast!

The positives are fast and accurate AF, great sharpness, and 4mp files that are a joy to work with, especially if you’re now used to 18-36mp files (Sony A7R, D800, etc, etc). And just the “feel” of the 1D series body will make you want to shoot it more, even if you don’t necessarily want to carry it around all day long.

In the 2014 world of 40+ megapixel cameras, it’s hard to imagine enjoying a 4 megapixel camera! However, I can tell you that the files from the 1D, when they’re good, they’re awesome. There is a reason why this camera has a cult like following.

The Canon EOS-1D Classic is indeed a digital classic and today, a great bargain entry into the wonderful world of the giant “1 Series” pro bodies from Canon. For the prices that they go for these days, the Canon EOS-1D Classic is a smokin’ deal for a Camera Legend!

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“Smokin” 2004. From my “Portrait Of An Addict” series. Canon EOS-1D, Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8

PROS: Superb build quality; Fast AF; Sharp files with the right lenses; Bargain prices in today’s world for a 1 Series Canon

CONS: Battery life; low resolution in today’s world; Greenish color cast, at times

Prices: As of today, trending at $75-300 depending on condition, accessories, and where you buy from.

Note: I’m sorry that I do not have full sized or larger images from the 1D to share. I lost most of my original files from this camera some years back.

The Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2

“Toe Curling Fun” 🙂 Panasonic DMC-LC1, 2009. For a larger and better view, please click on the photo.

The Panasonic DMC-LC1, aka, the Leica Digilux 2 was a 5mp point and shoot camera introduced in 2004 and featured a 28-90mm f/2-2.4 Leica Vario-Summicron lens.

I have fond memories of this camera. I remember lusting after it and getting one in 2005. I’ve never had more fun with a digital point and shoot than I did with this camera!

Now, I also had a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 before this and was not impressed with the “Leica” lens on it. It was sharp, but lacked any character.

The LC1 was different. The lens on this camera was phenomenally sharp. And it did have character. It had a Leica signature for sure.




Now being a small sensored point and shoot you’re not going to get any crazy bokeh with it. However, you CAN get some decent bokeh with the right technique/situation, but you also get resolution that looks better than you’d ever expect from five megapixels.

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“JD Omniac” 2006. Panasonic DMC-LC1. As mentioned in the article, you CAN muster out some bokeh from the Panasonic LC1 if you shoot wide open and get in close. Please click on the photo for a larger and better view.

The build is also very good and it almost reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with a big lens on it. I absolutely loved this camera for street shots.

“Fine Arts, Ten Bucks” 2005, NYC. Panasonic DMC-LC1. He had some good stuff for ten bucks! I asked the man what his name was, he said “Call me Papi”…I said “Ok Papi” 🙂

I am sure Panasonic built everything on this camera, including the lens, though it really seems like a Leica designed lens rather than just a Leica “badge” as on other Lumix cameras.

You can also get this camera under the Leica name as the Leica Digilux 2. The Digilux 2 comes in a silver/chrome finish. I much prefer the black body of the Panasonic version, it works much better for unobtrusive street work. The Leica is also more expensive, as expected. Ignore the “red dot” and get the Panasonic! Trust me on this one 🙂

If buying one of these, be forewarned that many have had sensor failures, and you always have to be careful when buying older digital cameras, especially expensive ones.

That said, the Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2 are cult classics and fantastic cameras that prove megapixels aren’t everything.

“Doc Spock” 2007. Panasonic DMC-LC1. Please click on the photo and check out the man’s face to see the outstanding resolution from this 5mp camera. You may have to double click it to see it properly.

Note 11/10/14: I have found the hard drive and some “lost photos” from the DMC-LC1 and have updated the post. The post is now current.

Note 11/4/14: I will be updating this post with more images from the LC1, but first I have to find the old hard drive which contains my images from this camera! It’s been a while since I’ve seen that old drive 🙂

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The Most Important Camera Of The Past Ten Years

Please forgive the funky colors. It was intentionally done. This image was first posted on Instagram and I used one of their filters to put some "funk" to the image.

The Most Important Camera of the past ten years…The Canon EOS 5D Classic. Please forgive me for the funky colors, this was originally posted on Instagram using one of their popular filters.

For my first post here, I’d like to pay tribute to perhaps the most important and influential camera of the past ten years. And in my opinion, that camera would be…

The Canon EOS 5D, otherwise known today as the “5D Classic.”

I’m sure there are many people who would disagree with me, we all have our opinions. I will try to explain my reasoning for choosing the 5D Classic as the most important camera of the past ten years.

Three things. First, it was a “full-frame” DSLR. In 2005, there weren’t many of them and the ones that were there were ridiculously expensive. The top EOS 1Ds ran about $8000.

Please click on the image for a larger view.

“Birth” 2007. Canon EOS 5D Classic, EF 50mm f/1.8, ISO 500

The 5D was introduced at $3299. So with the 5D came an “enthusiast affordable” price. That’s the second reason. Before the 5D, it was like the “haves” and “have nots” as far as owning a full-frame DSLR.

If you could afford one, you were in the “elite” category. For everyone else, you had to use an APS-C, “DX” or other smaller sensors.

The 5D Classic changed this with its price point. Even though it certainly wasn’t cheap, $3299 is WAY better than $8000 if you want to have something left in the bank 🙂

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“Lin’s Head” 2005. Canon EOS 5D, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR, ISO 100

And last reason, for its time, the 5D had amazing high iso performance. Even though other cameras beat it on high iso today, in 2005 there was no competition.

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Jazz legend Mike Stern at the 55 Bar in NYC, 2006. Canon EOS 5D, ISO 3200.

All these things that the 5D Classic brought to market are still being worked on today by nearly all camera manufacturers. Even though micro 4/3’s will never be full-frame, their manufacturers continually work on better high iso capabilities, stronger camera bodies, and “enthusiast affordable” price for their pro and enthusiast models. This could arguably be traced back to the performance bar set by the 5D Classic.

Full-frame…High ISO performance…Price.

“The Darkness Comes” 2010. Canon EOS 5D Classic, Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8, ISO 200

The 5D led the way to other awesome cameras that came after it…The Nikon D3/D3X/D700/D600/D4/DF, the Sony A900/A850/A99, the Canon 5D Mark II/5D Mark III/6D.

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“The Black Rain Killer” 2008. Canon EOS 5D, Zeiss 85mm f/2.8 Sonnar.

Even today’s mirrorless cameras such as the Sony A7/A7R/A7S all can be traced to the original 5D as their inspiration.

I’ve had mine since 2005. Thousands of shots. Never needed repair. Only once did the mirror fall out and I fixed it myself. Other than that, knock on wood, she still keeps ticking 🙂

“That Smile” 2008. Canon EOS 5D, Leica 90mm f/2 Summicron-R, ISO 800

Even today, I would say this camera could be used for almost any paying gig and still deliver the goods.

Is the 5D perfect? No. No camera is. No, it can’t do ISO 100,00+++, no it’s not a 10 frame-per-second monster, no it doesn’t have the fastest AF in the world. But YES, it delivers on image quality. At low iso’s, it still delivers files that look as good as almost anything out there today. At high iso’s, it can still get the shots albeit a little “gritty” by today’s standards, but I’m a fan of gritty 🙂

In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize the 5D for what it lacks. But to appreciate it, you have to “transport” yourself back to 2005. At that time, there was no full-frame DSLR cheaper, and no camera better for low light, high iso shots.

From 2007 “Happy Thanksgiving…Maybe Not?” 🙂 Canon EOS 5D, EF 50mm f/1.8, ISO 500

The Canon EOS 5D Classic is a digital pioneer and a true digital camera legend.

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