Category Archives: Q&A

Epson V600 Scanner.

I had someone ask me today how I like the Epson V600 scanner.  A few more of you have asked the same question since my last set of images were posted, so I thought I’d resurrect this previous discussion:

https://prosophos.com/2014/02/07/epson-v700-vs-plustek-120/

The same observations for the Epson V700 hold true for the V600, except that:

  1. The V600 film holder can handle 3 frames of a 6×7 negative, just like the Plustek 120.
  2. The V600 is smaller than the V700.
  3. The V600 costs much less than either scanner.

All in all, I am pleased with it and would recommend it to anyone scanning medium format film. For 35mm film, I use the Plustek 8200.  Both of these scanners can be purchased for less money than the Epson V800, which is the current equivalent to the now discontinued V700.

The Plustek 120 is also no longer available, but a next generation model is anticipated.

—Peter. 

 

A little story about baseball (exhibition pre-2020 game).

The days are already much shorter here, so most of the game was played in the dark with the field lights on.  I had to crank up the ISO to 8000 (and beyond) but most of the grain you see here was added during post-processing.

—Peter.

 

↑Nikon D500 + Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR.

 

Happy 10th Birthday, Leica M9.

Yes the M9 was introduced 10 years ago today, on 9/9/9.

It is the last of the great CCD cameras, and in its wake lies a mountain of corroded sensors.

Come on Leica, make another CCD-based M camera.

Dare to be different again.

—Peter.

B&W Film Tutorial and M10 Presets are back.

Due to semi-popular demand, the following are back and available for purchase:

  1. Prosophos B&W film developing
  2. Leica M10 presets

The links are in the main menu above, near the top of the page.

Thanks,

—Peter.

 

Photography.

Photography has always been driven by technology.

So why is it that the further we go, the more we lose our way?

Maybe that’s why HCB (in 1968) abandoned photography and returned to his first love… painting.

—Peter.

What do these two photos have in common?

These two photos have something in common.

What is it?

(Whoever guesses correctly will have all the glory of getting full credit on this blog, for as long as I pay my annual fees to WordPress.)

—Peter.

The Graduates (Film Simulations Applied).

Top Panel: As previously posted.

Bottom Panel: Film Simulations Applied.

EDIT:  I just replaced the bottom panel with the updated versions (you may have to refresh your browser to see the changes).  The differences are now more subtle, but the bottom panel definitely retains a more film-like appearance.

—Peter.

The Graduates.

I decided to create this composite image using photos I’ve taken over the past year.

As you can see, the first (from last year) was created with the Nikon D850 + 105mm f/1.4.  The other two (from this year) were created with the Fuji GFX 50R + 110mm f/2.

I share the above information purely for your interest and not for the purpose of making comparisons, as there are simply too many variables in effect in each image (for example, subject’s natural skin tone, time of day, natural vs. artificial vs. mixed lighting, etc.).

Suffice it to say, both systems produce wonderful image quality, though I would give the edge to Fuji  (you cannot, however, discern that from the small-sized images I’ve posted).

With respect to weight, the Fuji also has a slight advantage:

  • Nikon D850 (1, 055 g) + 105/1.4 (985 g) = 2, 040 g.
  • Fuji GFX 50R (775 g) + 110/2 (1010 g) = 1, 785 g.

However, the Nikon is without a doubt the more versatile system.

—Peter.

The Konica Hexanon 60mm 1.2.

A couple of years ago, I updated my review of the Konica Hexanon 60mm 1.2 by deleting the entire discussion and replacing it with the statement:

“I no longer recommend this lens.”

Do you know why I did that?  Because:

“I no longer recommend this lens.”

Since then, I’ve had a handful of people (including one in the comments section of what remains of the “review”) write to ask me whether I did this to drop the price of the 60/1.2, so that I could buy it again.

Well… no.  That would be unethical.

Part of the reason for the downgrade was the price-to-performance ratio had become too great, and part of it had to do with a change in my preferences.  Simply put, I am no longer interested in lenses that impart too much of a specific “look” to a photograph.

So for those individuals who paid an insane amount of money to own one, I’m sorry that its price has dropped, though I really don’t think I had anything to do with it.

—Peter.

[Guest Post] Aaron C Greenman and the Mamiya 6.

Aaron writes:

“Peter, as you know I have been a Leica M shooter for most of the past 15 years….. until the past three years, when I have been wrestling with the (as of now somewhat false) promise of portable mirrorless digital (the Hasselblad X1D). Back and forth, it has been a struggle to decide between the wonderful image quality and color fidelity of the Hasselblad with the obvious handling, fluidity and OVF advantages of the Leica
Anyway, I have neither now, as I await an X2D equivalent, and I’ve found and am using what I pray every night for exactly in digital – the Mamiya 6, along with its 75mm and 50mm lenses (approx. 50mm and 28mm equivalent).
For any Leica M enthusiast, the Mamiya 6 (or 7, if you want to shoot 6×7), is a wonderfully familiar experience: a big nice optical coupled rangefinder, compact design for its 6×6 image size, a collapsible lens mount, and quality, lightweight lenses with sharp and characterful rendering. I have also always wanted to shoot square natively, and it is a simple joy in a square, uncluttered viewfinder – never having to turn the camera takes one more variable out of the composition equation. 
The accompanying photo was taken with the 6, the 50mm and Ektar 100 on a recent trip in United Arab Emirates, and shows the Mamiya excels in the most key area – an instantaneous shutter that allows its owner to precisely capture the moment. 
All in all, it is an experience of pure photographic bliss…… just be mindful of the limits of 12 shots per roll! 😉”
Aaron, thank you for your thoughts, which I’m sure will be helpful to photographers out there contemplating getting the Mamiya 6.  As an aside, I never thought I’d see you shooting film, and it’s nice to see you indulge in some colour photography!  Keep up the great work.
For my part, I have really wanted to get back to film (and almost did so recently) but the constant announcements of film stock discontinuations and ever-tightening shipping restrictions on chemicals for developing have made me hesitate to (re-)commit.  It’s images like this, however, and what I see over at Mark’s site that keep the idea of film photography alive for me.
Lastly, regarding your comment…
“…it has been a struggle to decide between the wonderful image quality and color fidelity of the Hasselblad with the obvious handling, fluidity and OVF advantages of the Leica.”
…much like you, my ideal camera would be designed like a Leica M with a proper (OVF) rangefinder, but would contain a medium format sensor, in a body no larger than a Mamiya 6 (or Hasselblad X1D).
Leica, if you’re interested, we can help you do it!
(one can hope…)
—Peter.

The Panasonic S1.

I just got around to reading Steve Huff’s review of the Panasonic S1, and I must say that two things really, really impressed me:

  1. The colour reproduction at high ISO.
  2. The dynamic range.

Generally speaking, the sample images have a special look – I can immediately tell that there is something different (in a good way) going on there.

I am not interested in the camera per se (because I prefer rangefinders), but I am interested in working with sensors like this.

—Peter.

 

Nikon: “We cannot beat the optical viewfinder”.

Recently, dpreview interviewed three top-level Nikon executives, and one of them said:

“In terms of hardware, it is likely that mirrorless will catch up with DSLR.  But one thing that is a challenge is the time lag of electronic viewfinders. Even though we have a great mirrorless [solution], we cannot beat the optical viewfinder.”

—Nikon (March, 2019).

It’s refreshing to see someone from a major camera manufacturer speak the truth.

On the other hand, many camera reviewers have erroneously made claims over the last few years that EVFs are now just as good (or almost as good) as optical viewfinders.

Although there’s no doubt that EVFs will continue to improve, I’m sticking with OVF-equipped cameras (for now) so that I can continue to see the world clearly and in real-time.

—Peter.

Boy, Portrait.

With a lens like the 7Artisans 50mm 1.1, I’m seriously asking myself whether I should keep the Leica 50 Summilux ASPH.

Technical:

  • Lighting:  Westcott Ice Light.
  • Processing:  My Leica M10 presets for Lightroom (purchase here).

—Peter.

Leica M10 + 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1.

 

Truck-sized.

This Fujifilm GFX 50R test shot #2 is consequent to an initial discussion here and subsequent discussion here.

The truck was moving when I photographed it.

The full-res file leaps off the screen.  You can get a sense of that effect here, even at this (much smaller) size.

—Peter.

Fujifilm GFX 50R + Fujifilm 63mm f/2.8 R WR.

The Leica M11.

The Leica M11 will have >40 MP.

That will really reveal focus errors when using fast lenses wide open.  Technique will therefore matter more than ever.

It would be nice if the new sensor achieves greater dynamic range and colour accuracy (which admittedly is already quite good with what we have).

Leica, please just keep the optical viewfinder (that’s a personal request).

—Peter.

Coffee Break.

This image is in follow-up to the discussion here.

—Peter.

Fujifilm GFX 50R + Fujifilm 63mm f/2.8 R WR.