Category Archives: Teaching point

Lens Reports.

I’ve re-instituted some of my Lens Reports from a few years back.

They can be found on the “Instruction” page of this website (see above), but I’m also posting the links below for your convenience:


Thanks for reading,


State of the musings.

(or, Gear Update 2016).

At this time each year, moments of photographic doubt seem to plague me — doubt about the work I’ve produced, and doubt about the gear I’m using,

The annual condition is not so much secondary to the realization that yet another year has slipped by, and therefore the “frames” of our existence have measurably diminished (though this too carries a great weight).

No, it’s more to do with the winters here:  the lack of light and warmth tend to encourage an introspective existence.  And when a photographer does a considerable amount of thinking (and not much photographing), it usually leads to trouble.

So, here’s the trouble I’ve gotten myself into.

I made the decision to walk away from my Leica gear.  All of it.  This was, in fact, decided last month.

I made the decision to pick up a Nikon D810, and photograph with Sigma 35m f/1.4 Art and (Edit December 29, 2014:) Nikon 85mm f/1.4G Sigma 50mm Art lenses.

I made the decision to stay with film — the only photographic medium that matters (my opinion of course… but I’m right and you know it).  To see this through, I’ve decided on a Minolta Autocord as my “walk around” camera.  I’m waiting for it to arrive.  I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Finally, I made the decision to return to the mighty Mamiya RZ67+110/2.8, the best portrait-producing combination I’ve ever used.  Why did I sell it?  You’d have to ask somebody who knows.  I no longer have the RZ67, but I will.

So there.

Prosophos Cameras and Lenses 2016

Edit (December 29, 2015):  The Nikon 85/1.4G has been replaced with the Sigma 50/1.4 Art and the image above has been updated to reflect this change.  The Minolta Autocord arrived not functioning, so it has been sent for CLA.


The Wedding Guest.

Brought to you by me, and the Leica M9 and 50mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4.


The Wedding Guest

Tomato-Face™ Technology Alive and Kicking in the Leica SL.

Prosophos - Tomato Face
The Leica SL continues to garner attention — understandably.  The images from this camera are quite remarkable with respect to micro-contrast, sharpness (“bite”), and tonality.

I unhesitatingly concede this, even though my original post about the SL postulated that this camera might actually kill Leica.

I no longer believe this to be the case, though I still have to question who the intended customer for the SL is (hint: it’s not the professional photographer, no matter what the marketing and some review sites may say).

Now, I will admit, I may be wrong about this too, but getting back to the topic of this post…

The more output I’ve seen from this camera, the more I think that Leica is using their (patented?) Tomato-Face™ technology, first quietly introduced on the Leica M (Type 240).  It’s a more refined version though, with a more subtle tomato rendering.

What is Tomato-Face™ technology?  It’s the high tech advancement in digital imaging processing that converts — on-camera — natural Caucasian skin tones to a red-speckled La Tomatina (Spain’s Tomato Festival) participant’s complexion.

La Tomatina - Courtesy of Latomatina org

↑image courtesy of

You aren’t convinced that this is possible?  Have a look at some of the online images and then get back to me.

Once again, Leica, I’m advising you — for your own good:  please bring back an updated CCD sensor for your next Leica M camera (see My Open Letter to Leica – over 600 photographers agree).



Q&A: for Mads (regarding Sigma lenses for Nikon).

Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART - Prosophos

On an earlier post, Mads asked if I had to test several copies of my recently acquired Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART lens, before deciding on the one I own.

The answer is: no.   The first one I evaluated was perfect.

My camera dealer’s Nikon D810 has been calibrated (by Nikon) and the Sigma 35 I tried was focusing perfectly at near focus, mid-distance, and infinity.  On my D810, which is not perfectly calibrated, I need to set the camera to +5 micro-focus adjustment.  This is the same adjustment I need to make to my Nikon 85mm 1/4G (which is also functioning perfectly), in order to achieve proper focus on my camera-lens combination.

I additionally tried out a used copy of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, and it was focusing perfectly.   My dealer also had a new copy of the same lens, but it was unfortunately front-focusing by about an 3 cm (this shouldn’t dissuade people from buying Sigma lenses… the first few Nikon 58/1.4G lenses I tried were also a little off, and — as already stated above — so is my Nikon D810).

I hope that helps, Mads.   By the way, if you ever plan on visiting Toronto, let me know and it will be my pleasure to welcome you to my city.


“Mary” Christmas.

Focus is on the near eye.


Mary Christmas

Resolution: Sony A7RII vs. Leica SL vs. Nikon D810 vs. Canon 5DS R.

I’ve always found DPREVIEW‘s studio comparison tool useful when evaluating cameras for resolution.

Here is the entire scene (I’ve added the numbers with red circles):

Studio Scene

↑studio comparison tool © DPREVIEW.


Now here is the comparison I ran with four cameras of interest (using RAW files).

I specifically focused on the numbered areas above.

Let me know what you think…










Related:  Leica M9 sharpness vs. Sony RX1R, Nikon D800E, Fuji X100s.

Christmas Elf.

Technical:  The Nikon 24/1.4G @ f/1.4, mixed lighting (predominantly window).


Christmas Elf

The Parade.

Before anybody raises skin tone colour concerns, please be aware that she is wearing make-up.


The Parade


This image was taken at the same time as all of my other recently posted images, before I realized that my 58/1.4 lens was front-focusing.

The intended focus here was the near eye, but the actual focus ended up being on the front of the hat.

Still, I like this image.

(Andreas: the background buildings are the same yellow-ish buildings🙂 )




Thank goodness for Nikon’s AF fine-tuning.

Nikon AF Fine-Tuning Prosophos

I fine-tuned the focusing on my 58/1.4 lens this evening.

As I suspected, it was off.

I suppose I could be annoyed that it needed a “+15” adjustment, but I’m mostly relieved that it can be corrected easily.

[Edit (November 21):  Upon further testing – in daylight🙂 – it turns out I need to make a +18 adjustment!]



Fleeting expressions like this are rarely seen with our eyes but always perceived by our subconscious.

Photography has the power to suspend such moments for our leisurely contemplation.

It’s one of the qualities of this obsessive pursuit that I enjoy.



The Police.

A little motion-emotion.

(Technical:  1/30 | f/16 | ISO 64)


The Police

Life’s Little Moments™, Reloaded.

Introducing the Nikon D810.

New camera, same outlook.

(Onward and upward.)

Oh yes — the lens.

Another time.

I’ll discuss.



Life's Little Moments, Reloaded

3 photos of my dog, Honey.

A roll of 120 film on the Mamiya RZ67 allows for exactly 10 photographs.

I used 3 of those frames tonight to photograph Honey — just because I love shooting the RZ67, and I hadn’t for a while, so I was itching… because good things happen when I pick up the RZ67.

(and Honey makes for a willing model)

More to follow.

(currently scanning the images… 9 out of 10 are worth keeping)


Burning a hole.

Prosophos - Burning a Shutter Curtain Hole

Yes, I did it.

I managed to burn a hole in my M3 shutter curtain.

After all of these years… this is a first.  I had read about it but never really worried about it.

As far as I can tell, it was caused by not having the lens cap on while I was outside in intense sunlight (at the Blue Jays game).  My uncapped lens likely focused the rays of light onto a small area of the shutter cloth and — voila! — a hole was created.

This is what the hole was doing to all of my film images:

(iPhone shot of a scanned image on my computer screen)

Prosophos - Shutter Hole

Fortunately the curtain can be easily repaired/patched.

Now I have to reconsider my w(hole) modus operandi for shooting.  I have been using my lenses with protective hoods and filters but no lens caps.



Sometimes, you just have to hang on.



Technical:  1/30 sec.

Technical #2:  My Leica M3 is broken (curtain issue).  I thought the (now sold) 50/2 Jahre was flaring badly, but the same bright spot I was seeing in its images appears in the centre of most of my images with 35 Summicron ASPH.  Bummer!  Thank goodness I took two quick images of this scene and this (second) image was okay.  Thank you also to my friend Mark (If Time Stood Still) for help with the diagnosis.