Photo Of The Day: “Lost”

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“I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see” -John Newton. I’m not particularly religious, but I do think Amazing Grace is an amazing song. Shot with a Zenza Bronica S2A, 75mm f/2.8 Nikkor-P, Fuji Neopan 400 developed in T-Max developer.

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Black & White Portraits

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“The Tsingtao Boy” 2009. Canon F-1N, 50mm f/1.4 FD lens, Tri-X. Chinatown, NYC.

While I do love color photography, there’s just something different about black and white photography that really endears me to it. And when you combine b&w with people (or animals!), that really takes it to another level for me.

These are just some b&w images taken over the years. Like I’ve said before, sometimes I do want to remind myself that I love shooting almost as much as I love cameras…I think! These are also images from cameras I am planning to review for you, cameras like the Leica M8 and the Canon F-1N, which is one of my favorite Canon bodies ever, past or present.

It seems almost unbelievable to me that it has taken this long, but after two weeks I’m finally getting my main working computer back today! As I mentioned before, this really set me back as far as content for this website is concerned and I’m just beginning to catch up. Thanks to those who continue to visit and I do appreciate your time and comments.

This is admittedly going to be a busy week and writing a blog with any kind of content takes a lot of time. Even my shortest article takes me almost half a day. I admire those who can do this consistently on a daily basis, I know I can’t!

Hope you all have a good short week in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA.

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“Man In The Middle” 2011. Canon Powershot G10, Paranaque, Philippines.

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“Imported From The Past” 2011. Nikon F4s, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AIS. The great Louis Mendes stands out like an icon from the past with his old school Speed Graphic and sharp, retro outfits.

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“Vimeo” 2006. Canon Rebel XT, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC. I was buying a lens from this man and I took this shot while testing it. I found out a couple of years later that he is apparently one of the founders of the video sharing site Vimeo!

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“The Competition” 2006. Canon Rebel XT, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC. Sometimes facial expression tells you everything!

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“Time Will Not Wait” 2011. Leica M8, 35mm f/2 Zeiss Biogon. Koh Samui, Thailand.

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“Brother Blues” 2010. Leica M8, 50mm f/2 Summicron-M. Washington Square Park, NYC.

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“My Door Is Open” 2011. Leica M8, 50mm f/2 Summicron-M. Nonthaburi, Thailand.

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“The Godfather Of Bangkok” 2011. Minolta CLE, 40mm f/2 Summicron-M, Tri-X. A scene from a restaurant on the side streets of Bangkok, Thailand. With one hand on his meal, the other hand reaches for the plate before anyone else could get to it first. Don’t mess with the Godfather of Bangkok! πŸ™‚

A couple of my favorite portraits from the selection above were done with Sigma lenses. Our affiliate and friends at Adorama is offering some incredible savings on SIGMA lenses which only runs through 11/30/15 so if you wanted to pick up some of those super sharp “ART” lenses, this is a good time to do it! And if you order within a certain time, they make every effort to ship same day, which is a great benefit to buying from Adorama versus the competition.


 

Flashback Friday: The Nikon EM

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“The Nikon EM” 2015. Nikon’s smallest, lightest, and cheapest 35mm SLR from 1979 seen here with the 50mm f/1.8 Series E lens, which is a great match for the camera.

The Nikon EM is a 35mm SLR introduced by Nikon Corporation in 1979. It was at the time, considered the smallest SLR Nikon had ever produced, and also the cheapest.

The camera was supposedly meant to be marketed to beginners and women in particular, but it wasn’t a hit for either targets. Apparently, many women avoided it with the belief that Nikon’s position of selling them an “easy to use” camera was sexist and insulted their intelligence. You got to remember, this was the late 70’s early 80’s! πŸ™‚

In addition, it alienated some hard core Nikon users who felt the lower quality build of the EM was a sign of bad things to come, especially for a company known for their tough and heavy duty professional cameras.

The Nikon EM is basically an entry-level camera. It relies on two S76/A76 or one 1/3N battery. The camera features aperture priority only camera with no full manual mode. However, it does have something lacking on many Pro cameras and that is an emergency 1/90 mechanical shutter which can be called upon in case of battery failure.

With the EM, Nikon also introduced a set of lenses that matches the EM’s position for price and lowered quality. These lenses were called the “E Series” lenses. While lower priced than Nikon’s AI or AIS equivalent lenses, these E series lenses have developed Β cult following for their price to performance ratio.

I have used the Series E 50mm f/1.8 and the 75-150mm f/3.5 zoom and they are both excellent lenses, optically anyway.

While there is nothing particularly special about the EM, I believe that time has helped the EM to achieve a “cute” status when people think of it. I mean, even for me, when I thought of what to profile tonight, the Nikon EM came to mind and I said…oh yeah, that cute little Nikon from the 80s πŸ™‚

IN THE HAND

Despite the negatives, when you actually use the EM, it feels nice in the hand. Small,Β light yet adequately solid. This is a Nikon that you wouldn’t mind carrying around all day.

And while Aperture Priority may seem limiting, it is in fact the mode that seems to be preferred by most photographers. The fact that it has no manual override, well that I don’t like.

If the camera is too small for you, you can “bulk it up” by using the MD-14 motor drive which not only makes the camera grippier, but also has the added benefit of being about to do about 3.2 frames per second.

MY CONNECTION WITH THE EM

Cameras, like music, are objects that have the very good ability to bring you back to another time in your life.

I remember in 1981, as a kid, my Mom’s brother came from overseas with a couple of friends. They went downtown and came back with a camera, the Nikon EM. I believe it was one of my first encounters with a Nikon camera. My very first Nikon experience actually was being in Rockefeller Center in NYC and seeing this huge Nikon telephoto/telescope which was a 2000mm f/11 Cassegrain telescope. Same as the one being sold in this eBay auction.

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BOTTOM LINE

The Nikon name evokes powerfully passionate emotions from photographers and even those who don’t know cameras, they know the Nikon name. It was, is, and probably will always be one of the greatest names in photography.

And while the Nikon EM is not the best representative of a classic manual Nikon SLR, it is a Nikon nonetheless, an interesting one, and perfectly usable in capable hands.

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“David & Goliath” 2015. The Nikon EM on the left shown for size with brute of the Nikon family, the F4s. Sorry for the poor quality photo. I didn’t feel like dragging out the studio lights tonight πŸ™‚

Prices on the EM go anywhere from $10-40 and don’t pay any more than that.

The Nikon EM itself may never be a Camera Legend, but it is an interesting tidbit, and time capsule into Nikon’s direction going into the 1980’s.




Some Film Images Part II

I had so much fun going down memory lane last night, I decided to do it again, one more night. This time the focus is on people and portraits. Back to reviewing cameras soon, I promise πŸ™‚

Again, captioned with these images are equipment that I have profiled or am planning to profile. Most of the gear I no longer have, except for the negatives and memories I have of them.

And again, while I love reviewing equipment, I love the equipment even more if it helps me take a decent pic!

Also as mentioned in the last article, a lot of these photos were posted for photo sharing sites long before I started blogging on WordPress. As such, some were resized much smaller than I’d like, but it would take me forever to locate the originals and work on them again. I thank you kindly for taking a look.

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“Separate Your Colors” 2011. Contax T3, Fuji Reala. Manila, Philippines.

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“The NWA” 1990. Minolta X-700, miscellaneous brand 80-200mm. No this is not Dr. Dre and the “West Coast” NWA. This is “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the original NWA πŸ™‚

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“The Young & The Restless” 1988. Minolta X-700, 50mm f/1.7 MD lens. Los Angeles, California. I was at the Farmer’s Market in L.A. and checking out magazines at a newsstand when I spotted two (then) very popular soap opera stars, Tracey E. Bregman and Doug Davidson, who were also checking out magazines. They must have been on a break from their show which was being filmed at CBS Studios nearby. I asked them for a photo and they graciously obliged. I was most impressed that they had no movie star “issues” and smiled for a geeky teenager with a camera πŸ™‚

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“The Gentle Giant” 2011. Nikon F4s, 28mm f/2.8 AIS Nikkor, Kodak Portra 160. I ran into NYC icon Louis Mendes, a photographer well known for his old school Speed Graphic camera and sharp retro outfits. Lou takes unique Polaroid portraits and has made a living and a legend out of it. I’ve bumped into Mr. Mendes a few times over the years and he has always been a willing a gracious subject for my cameras. Thanks Lou!

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

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“Native New Yorker” 2015. Leica M4P, 50mm f/2 Summicron-M, Kodak T-Max 400 developed in D76. NYC is a melting pot of cultures. No matter where you come from, you can quickly transform into a New Yorker!