Sunday, December 23, 2012

Albedo 79 w/camerabag2

there is a program available thats similar to instagram but lets you manipulate shots from cameras and not just phones, its called camera bag 2, and its presently on sale for 5$!

here is a shot of my 2 bandmates practicing on their synths that I took with my Leica M8 and then processed in CameraBag2

Complete with Light leaks and a square format border :)

Here is the program

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Strobist start

I finally broke down and bought a set of flash triggers and they are great fun. Cowboy triggers they are called and they were a grand total of 28 bucks + Shipping, really good deal.

 I took a few test shots goofing around and my luckless daughter was walking around getting ready for bed so I corralled her into posing for a few photos, here is 1 I liked

I think this is f8 iso 160 1/200th of a second with the flash at 1/16th power

Monday, October 15, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Orange Foliage

Here is a shot of a beautiful tree going through its autumnal colour change, we see lots of trees with red and yellow leaves, but only a few that have this striking orange, so I pulled over and took some shots of it.

ISO 160 F4 1/250th of a second

time to kickstart my blog site again now that I have more time on my hands

funny thing is, I put this shot up as an afterthought and it hit flickrs top 125 most interesting on explore!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summicron 50/2 : Shimmering bokeh

I dont know whats going on with the left hand side of this shot, but I like it, shot at F2 and ISO 160

I think its just the out of focus rendering coupled with the edge of the lens/sensor deficiencies.

Intriguing nonetheless

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Candid Portraits

My brother from Ottawa was in town with his family and at the farewell meal I skulked around with my summicron 50/2 and a Metz MZ 40 attached to my M8

 The difference was I used a homemade cardboard snoot to make the flash more of a spotlight, I also tried to capture people as they acted more natural or themselves as opposed to perfectly posed portraits

 All shots are ISO 160 f5.6 and the flash set for 1/16th power

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summicron 50/2 : How sharp is this lens?

Hi all

 after taking some shots of the vintage aircraft I noticed a cool 1969 Chevrolet Corvair in the parking lot as I was leaving , I took a few shots of it as it was quite sunny and hot and I didnt have any sunscreen on :(

 here is one at f4 , so the lens is stepped down 2 stops F2>F2.8>F4  and its incredibly sharp , probably one of the sharpest lenses Ive ever used and its older than me, in fact 48 years old to be precise :)

and Ialso took this one, which is wide open at F2 , the bokeh and depth of field are very nice but whats striking is how sharp the in focus areas are, wow A highly recommended lens and I always lust after newer gear ( lenses, M9 etc) but Im thinking that for a 6 year old digital camera thats *only* 10 Megapixel it does quite well still..........

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summicron 50/2 ; the Hero Pose

I was at the local airport this weekend as they had a fly-in of the yellow wings of Canada , its a flight of 4 aircraft that were used in flight training during WW2  ( )

here is a nice shot of a friend of mine who flies for them , I thought it looked like a WW2 hero pose

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summicron 50/2 : Natural Light portrait

At a pals house there was a ray of sunlight from the setting sun that went through 2 doors and a hallway and had this finely defined edge, so I got a pal of mine to stand in it. he was reluctant to be photographed, and wanted to take a shot of me.

So I asked him to stand there so I could get the camera setup, I took this shot , and handed the camera to him for 1 other shot. By then, the light was gone......

 I took 2 of my hand to get the exposure correct and then took this one shot , we took a total of only 4 !  I converted this one to B+W to see if it looked better ?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Helios 40 VS Cron 50 VS Elmarit 135

Even though last year was supposed to be my 365 project, I miss posting shots on my blog file, so its time to get back in gear!

This shot was ISO 100 f2.8 1/25th of a second , all of these shots were handheld BTW

 its a shot of a tulip in our garden just after sunset taken at point blank range with the overkill lens the Helios 40 85mm T34 tank gunsight. I say Overkill because it weighs a Kilo and is stiff as heck to focus, sometimes focusing it unscrews it from the camera, next thing I need to do is get it adjusted and lubed up.

here is what it looks like on Camera ( taken with the Elmarit 135)

 Just like the  Elmarit 135 lens on the leica M8 its a chore to use and you really suffer for your *craft* but if you ever nail it, wow, what a great piece of glassware! sharp in the centre and a rapid falloff to the edges, plus that deliciously smooth bokeh

  here is one that is similar to the next 2 comparison shots

ISO 100 f2.8 1/160th of a sec

so thats the 1965 Helios 40 85mm f1.5  stepped down a tad to f2.8, the reason for this is the Elmarit only goes to f2.8, and I wanted to compare them on semi-equal footing  :)

 Next up is the Leitz Kanada Elmarit 135/2.8 , complete with my new IR cut filter , so here is the best shot I got from that lens .

ISO 160 f2.8 and 1/125th of a second

 This shot was before the sun went down below the houses and horizon, but it is still appealing to me because of the dreamy quality the light gave it , oh to be back in San Diego now that I have some good cameras! 

 The main disadvantage of the rangefinder camera is that the minimum focus for most lenses is quite far, on the 135mm lens its 1.5 metres ( 5 feet) which is a drag  as you have to focus , and then look at the LCD and see how it looks :(   as you can see , this is a little out of focus , but the out of focus background is what I wanted to compare anyway so no big deal.

 I really like the bokeh/depth of field/ out of focus type of shots , and sometimes its nice to have a bit of fun with processing also .   Hmmm ,  even though for years I was a staunch purist now I think about it ,  no crops , no processing , no anything, blah blah, I can safely say I was full of S%$# . I have access to a fully digital workflow and darkroom, and I enjoy it a lot more than I used to, because I can get the results i want quite readily.

 so enough confession, here is the fun shot

shot wide open at F2.8 ISO 160 and  1/500th of a second .

I messed with the white balance and the contrast, I then added in some grain to make it look vintage. Ive always liked the 70s album cover shots that look like they were shot on grainy film, and thats what I ended up with after listening to Vangelis' Opera Sauvage again while editing!

 The background came out really nice and I think the colours remind me of a mid 70s sunset in the UK

 Last and definitely not least is this shot :

 Taken with the 1964 Summicron 50/2 lens , stepped down to f2.8 , as you can see , the background is a lot more defined , illustrating the difference that a change in focal length can make. 

ISO 160 f2.8 1/125th of a second

 for a goof here is a shot at f8 to see how sharp it gets

ISO 160 F8 1/125th of a second

and the best part about doing comparisons and tests, is that my kids are always nearby, and even though I was trying to keep track of the settings etc in my cameras, I managed to snap this of my eldest as she took a sniff of the tulips while I still had the cron 50 mounted

 is it flared out? a little low in contrast ? I dont care to be honest, I think its captures what being a kid is all about, sniffing flowers on a beautifully warm evening

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Leitz Canada Elmarit-M 135/2.8 : Sol

I finally got a UV/IR cut filter so my M8s IR over-sensitivity is tamed with my Elmarit 135 lens, I went to the graveyard down the river to take some shots of that area and the farms, but the sky wasnt looking too promising so I started off for home,

 Halfway home I noticed in my rear view mirror the sun was yellowish and directly down this rode over a bridge, so I pulled over and took 3 shots  , this was the best one

 One downside of the filter is I got a lens flare towards the right hand side, but its a small price to pay for correct lighting :)

ISO 160 f2.8 1/8000th of a second ptteeeooowww!!  ( the EXIF data says f1.0 , I WISH I had a 135/1.0!)

Monday, April 23, 2012

summicron 50/2: Bright light!

 A shot from a dinner out with some friends  , my youngest gal taken as the sun peeked under the sunshade on the patio

 this is ISO 160 f 2.8 ( stepped down slightly to get more depth of field) and 1/1000 of a second

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Summicron 50/2 : Moss Motors, Santa Barbara

As we left a  restaurant recently  the sun was getting lower in the sky and there was a vintage MG in the parking lot, so as my wife got the kids all set in my car, I took 3 or 4 shots of the cool convertible , have Leica , will travel.......

 You can actually read the name of the dealer in the hood ornament :

" Moss Motors , Santa Barbara!"

I did a google search for them and they are still in business

ISO 160 f4 1/500th of a second

Friday, April 13, 2012

Summicron 50/2 : Yello Hotrod

At the playpark they have a water play-area, during the summer this car is slippery as all get out, right now its cold and dry

ISO 160 f2 1/4000 of a second

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Super MC Takumar 50/1.4: The Octagon

Pentax K-X body Super-M Coated takumar
50mm f1.4 at f 4 and ISO 3200

octagonal highlights as opposed to circular as the lens has an 8 bladed aperture , Im just happy that an ISO 3200 shot came out looking quite decent even if it is just a test/abstract shot

Super MC Takumar 50/1.4: Starbursts

Pentax K-X body Super-M Coated takumar
50mm f1.4 at f8 and focused using live view

ISO 200 to get a slow shutter speed of 2 seconds

nice starbursts at f8!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Super MC Takumar 50/1.4 : Desktop Wallpaper

I installed ubuntu on my new notebook and I needed a desktop wallpaper so I took a few of my own :)

ISO 800 1/500th of a sec f2

Friday, March 30, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Night Flyer

Im getting back into the photoblog thing so expect more shots to appear soon.

At the model aeroplane club flying session we had some fun splashing in the puddles

 here is my youngest racing around at 1/4th of a second ISO 640 F2

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Summicron 50/2: 2 minute difference

There was a beautiful sunrise a week ago, this was just as the sun was peeking through the horizon and starting to light up the sky

2 minutes later the sky was this beautiful orange and the sky was all greenish


both shot at ISO 640 and F4

first one was 1/2000 of a second, the other 1/3000th of a second ( that because I wanted to keep it a tad darker)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Super MC Takumar 358/3.5 : Snowshoers

a few days before the big thaw we ended up going snowshoeing for the first time as a family and we had great fun

 I got ahead of the gals to take their picture with all the snow behind them

Imnot a big fan of the 35mm takumar to be honest, but its half of my bad weather go to kit, the ither being the 55mm/2 takumar that I prefer more. you can tell how bad the weather is by what lens I cart around with me, if its the 55mm I am a bit worried about it, if its the 35mm then the weather is really bad and I dont care if it gets ruined ( it  cost me 20 dollars!)

ISO 400  f5.6  1/400th of a second

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Classic leica Look

One thing about using vintage glass that I like is the rendering of the lenses always has a certain character that you dont get to see in the modern glass, I dont know if its because the modern lenses are so *clinical* or mathmatically correct or what, but I find the look of the older stuff more organic or analogue ( silly I know, saying I am using a digital device to capture the light through them)

 One other thing that plays apart is that the modern lenses all have fantastic coatings on them, and in most lenses they are multicoated. I believe that this 1964 Summicron 50mm has coatings on it too, but I dont know how many .  you can see that it gets a bit of flare when light hits it an angle but its OK when straight on, then again, store lights arent as bright as the sun through a frosted glass window either.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Super MC Takumar 28/3.5 : Kersploosh at Willy Wonkas Pool

My daughter after she cannoned into the pool from the water slide at the local aquatic centre during a birthday party , I converted it to B+W as the darker shadows and contrast brought out the splash better .

 ISO 800 f3.5 1/640th of a second shot in manual mode

here is a shot of the slide in the background before festivities started

ISO 800 f3.5 1/100th of a second,  cross processed using Adobe Lightroom 3

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Why a Leica ? part II

well its been almost a year since I bought the M8 and the cron 50 and I am still using it as much if not more , I didnt mean for my blog to merge from a vintage lens one to a Leica fanboy one, but c'est la vie :)

 The trouble I have is twofold

1: I really enjoy using manual lenses and the rangefinder camera is SO much easier to use for a few reasons , larger viewfinder for one, the almost 100% accuracy is another.

2; when I get the images from the memory card they still amaze me with their clarity and quality compared to almost all of my other glass , sometimes I feel like a photo opp has been for naught due to using my Helios 44 or Takumar lenses, then a shot like this one comes out

As you can see from my daughters hand this is a very slow shuter speed, i think perhaps 1/20th of a second , OK I checked, this is 1 FIFTEENTH of a second!!

ISO 640 F2.8 ( for a bit more depth of field)  1/15th of a second

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Helios 44m6 58/2: Happy Valentines Day 2012

I really liked this card I bought for my wife, so I took some shots of it with my Helios 44 on my KX

placed in front of another card to get a pink background at f2

ISO 1600 f2 1/125th of a second

this one was split toned in Lightroom 3

shot at f2.8 ISO 400 1/100th of a second

and last but not least a macro shot using the pentax extension tubes 1+2 stacked together

f2 ISO 1600 1/160th of a second

Happy Valentines day

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Takumar 200/4: 2x 2x teleconverters

This is taken at f5.6 and with 2 2x Vivitar teleconverters on the lens. The extra reach is nice ( I think that makes the lens a 1200mm equivalent)

Pentax crop of 1.5 x 200 x2 x2 .

 Unfortunately the adding of the extra glass makes the moon not as crisp as i would have liked :(

ISO 1600 F5.6 1/400th of a second

Super Takumar 200/4: Albedo 0.39

Driving home from a nice dinner with the family we noticed the moon looked fantastic in the crisp air, so I took a few shots of it, this is one of the last ones I took, using the ST 200

 I believe I stopped the lens down to f8 to get the clarity I wanted and did a little bit of curve adjustment in adobe lightroom, viola! a new desktop wallpaper

ISO 400 f8 1/640th of a second ( moon is a lot brighter than you think!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Two horse open sleigh!

we went to the winter carnival on the sunday after the fireworks, first order of business was go for a sleighride :)

 This shot came out very nice , and I dont even like horses!

 the 2 big sleigh horses shot at f5.6 ISO 160 and 1/750th of a second

Friday, February 3, 2012

Summicron 50/2: BADAAAAAAMMM!!

The winter carnival is here so I went out with my family and my trusty cron50/M8 combo:

 Best part was the fun we had, worst part was using a brass camera with bare hands in -14C  OW!
3 hours later and my knuckles and fingertips are still sore. Luckily I am off to take a hot bath

 I tripped the shutter perfectly on this one I think  , BADAAAMMMM ! indeed! ( apologies to 2000AD comics )

ISO 160 f2 1/30th of a second : Quick side note, I shot 2 or 3 on aperture priority and was worried that Iwould miss some , so when one of the red rockets was falling I set the camera to 1/30th of a second on a whim, turns out 1/30th is pretty decent for fireworks!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Summicron 50/2: Ochre Sunset

I went to the annual flyin at the coliseum sports centre and took my family with me, and my trusty leica :)

 As we left, this was the view from the front steps of the sports centre, I think we should have left 5-10 minutes earlier

ISO 160 f4 1/20th of a sec

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Super MC Takumar 50/1.4 : Pat Benatar ?

My wife looking gorgeous and channeling her inner Pat Benatar

 a Lo-fi shot using the SMC Takumar 50 and my Pentax K-X

Ive been trying to take shots as technically perfect as I can with the gear I have available, but Im in a sort of lo-fidelity mood lately and I am trying to convey more of the actual emotion/action than the perfect portrait ( that sounds artsy and pretentious, but I meant it with all sincerity)


f1.4 ISO 3200 and 1/30th of a second ( thats a dark house!)

Digilux 1 : Macro Madness

I bought a leica Digilux 1 for a good price and took it out today, too bad it was overcast and 2C and windy ( chilly!)

 Now why would a point and shoot be on a vintage lens blog?  well it was made in 2001, so I guess 11 years old might actually be the newest item I own ( except for the 2 camera bodies of course!)

this was one of the first shots Itook with it, and the flash made my daughter look alabaster white, but her eyes looked awesome, so a little cropping and B+W and voila!

not bad for a 4 megapixel 11 year old point and shoot

ISO 100 f4.1 1/60th of a second

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leitz Canada Elmarit 135/2.8: Sad Knight


Everytime I think about selling this lens I end up using it and am impressed with the results, so this was a double test:

1: Testing some settings in LR I never use , and
2: High ISO on the M8, this is ISO 2500 , which is nothing radical for a new camera ( my Pentax KX shoots 12800!) but for a 6 yr old rangefinder its not too bad.

 I can see where the *rumour* that Leica made the higher ISO  noise look like film grain came from, what do you think?

Its desaturated it about 20% for that retro look that I like :) I am presently enamored with the idea of film, but a digital darkroom is so much simpler and also easier to clean up ( and doesnt smell or pose a danger to the kids)

here is the look I was going for

 What I could do is use a 256MB card and that would give me 24 DNG files just like an old roll of film, but I'd end up chimping and deleting the ones I didnt like anyway.........

ISO 2500 f2.8 1/45th of a second