Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Hiking the Waldnaabtal

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

On this hike I used two cam­er­as. The film one was a Con­tax G2 with its Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28mm attached. I loaded a Kodak Ultramax 400. The digit­al one was a Sony A7R2 with a M39 Voigtländer Col­or-Heli­ar 2.5/75mm attached. I loaded … a pretty cool sensor 😉

The full album can be seen here on my flickr pages. I made a col­or ver­sion and a black & white ver­sion again.

The Con­tax G2 is a gem … I men­tioned it already in anoth­er post about its sib­ling, the Con­tax G1. Regard­ing the lens … I’m impressed by the sharp­ness.

All images above were made with the Con­tax G2, Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28mm on Kodak Ultramax 400.

The Sony A7R2 … is simply a cool tool which I mainly use with vin­tage glass. The manu­al M39 Voigtländer Col­or-Heli­ar 2.5/75mm is so easy to handle with the focus peak­ing, it’s light­weight, small and deliv­ers a won­der­ful sharp­ness.

All images above were made with the Sony A7R2, Voigtländer Col­or-Heli­ar 2.5/75mm.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


Perseids Meteor Shower

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Anoth­er astro­nomy high­light was the Per­seids Met­eor Shower occur­ring in August and this year we were lucky, as it was new moon and so it was quite dark out­side, here in that rur­al region.

The max­im­um hit rate was announced for Monday morn­ing around 4:30 GMT, I knew that I’d not wait that long.
Start­ing around 23:15 CET by set­ting up the equip­ment — tri­pod, cam­era, beer, I thought the Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 loaded with the M.Zuiko 12–40mm f/2.8 should give enough width at 12mm to cov­er a nice area of the sky around Perseus con­stel­la­tion in the north-east­ern sky.

Try­ing some set­tings to get the most out of the night sky, I ended up with focal length 12mm (cor­res­pond­ing to 24mm FF), aper­ture wide open at f/2.8, between 10 and 20 seconds expos­ure time and ISO 1600. Fol­low­ing the rule of 500, stars start to move on an image when the expos­ure is longer than 500/focal length. So 20 seconds seemed to be the max­im­um here. The EM-1 makes it easy set­ting up shot sequences in cam­era, so I tried 99 shots each time. First set was 10 seconds and the rest were 20 seconds expos­ure time, so I had between 6 shots per minute in the begin­ning and 3 shots per minute in the rest of the ses­sion.

Mak­ing nearly 375 pic­tures between 23:30 CET and 01:39 CET I found exactly ONE shoot­ing star on my images … hmm, I should prac­tice 😉

What I found a lot, were blink­ing air­plane trails, as the loc­a­tion seemed to be on the flight path from Nürn­berg to Prague — busy night.

Both pic­tures are JPG out of cam­era.
Dur­ing the time the E-M1 did its job, I saw many more shoot­ing stars in the east­ern to south-east­ern region of the sky — most of them at the end of my ses­sion. Unfor­tu­nately the cam­era was point­ing to the north-east.

My con­clu­sion: Had a nice time in the dark out­side at 12 °C with a won­der­ful night sky. Next time I’ll try the 7–14mm lens to cov­er a lar­ger por­tion of the sky … and hope­fully cap­ture some more of that beau­ties 😉

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

Once in a mankind — Lunar Eclipse with Mars

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

My first thought was … argh … there will be mil­lions of beau­ti­ful, sharp and frame filling pic­tures on the inter­net already nano­seconds after this event has star­ted. Then I thought … let’s have a look … and I saw the dark brown moon rising over the south­east­ern hori­zon.

Hm, … I fetched my bin­ocu­lar and enjoyed what I saw … frame filling … oh my dear.

Well, to make a long story short … I went inside and fetched my work­horse — guess what I mean — moun­ted the longest lens I have for it — the M.Zuiko 75–300mm lens (which cor­res­ponds to 600mm on the long end) — moun­ted it on a tri­pod and star­ted tak­ing some pic­tures. Some­where I read that this spe­cial event will occur again in around 100.000 years … wow … and I was watch­ing it now … live.

The small dot in the lower right is Mars — the red plan­et.

Well, that’s it … ah … this time there is no black and white ver­sion 😉

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

Inspiration is the motor for improvement

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Did I ever tell the story, … why I love a spe­cial kind of city sky­line images?

It was some time ago, when I was look­ing for some­thing wide, some­thing quite wide, some­thing quite large and some­thing … quite old.
I found a Zeiss Ikon Ercona, a 6x9 tech­nic­al won­der from the early fifties — last cen­tury. This gem uses a large format in a small body — it is a fold­ing cam­era using a 105mm Zeiss Tes­sar lens. Soon after, I found a spe­cial image on flickr … from the Swedish pho­to­graph­er Gust­af Emanuels­son. It was an image of the Copen­ha­gen Sky­line. The image is mind-blow­ing. I do not include the image here — simply a link to the flickr loc­a­tion.

Yes, an Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 with its M.Zuiko 12–40mm is not 6x9. Nev­er­the­less I tried the image of the Mel­bourne sky­line with that mas­ter­piece in mind. Yes, this res­ult is lightyears away from what I had in mind … but this means there is room for improve­ment and … fur­ther images.

The image was shot using the equip­ment men­tioned above and it was slightly cropped and post-pro­cessed to get a de-sat­ur­ated col­our ver­sion and a b&w ver­sion.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

Hiking the Lerautal with a Canon A-1 and a FD 1.4/50mm S.S.C. — Part II

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

As prom­ised in the first part of this Can­on A-1 attempt, I have fin­ished the first roll of film — it’s again an Agfa Vista 200 — and it’s back from the lab, so it’s time to show some images.

A couple of images were made dur­ing a hike in the Lerautal — a val­ley with a small creek — the Lerau. The path fol­lowed first the hill up to the old castle ruin of Leuchten­berg (built in the 10th/11th cen­tury … and sorry, no pics here … maybe next time) and went then down into the val­ley of the Lerau. This val­ley is mainly covered by forest and the Lerau is mean­der­ing through it.

This time, I post-pro­cessed the col­our images slightly with Col­or­FX by apply­ing some kind of de-sat­ur­a­tion magic — the Agfa Vista is nor­mally show­ing more vivid col­ours. They can be found here. As I’m always see­ing scener­ies also in black and white, a b&w ver­sion can be found here.

Using the Can­on A-1 more often, some of the quirks I men­tioned in my earli­er post do no longer both­er. Still, the combo is quite heavy and still the multi-func­tion wheel is some­thing one needs to get used to. Tech­nic­ally, the Can­on A-1 worked flaw­less with its 1.4/50mm S.S.C. lens and so one can more focus on the import­ant part — see­ing scener­ies.

One thing, com­par­ing to let’s say a Con­tax 139 Quartz, a Con­tax 159 MM or even the Olym­pus OM-4Ti is, that the film advance works … not so smooth. This is some­how dis­ap­point­ing with a premi­um mod­el, but it may simply be caused by aging. So let’s not over­rate it here. I simply find it aston­ish­ing how dif­fer­ent the tact­ile feed­back of this mech­an­ism feels with dif­fer­ent cam­er­as, where it is always the same tech­nic­al pro­cess behind.

My con­clu­sion: It was inter­est­ing shoot­ing my old dream cam­era, but … I’m sure that I will not use this cam­era fre­quently. It’s def­in­itely no bad cam­era — under no cir­cum­stances, but it does not thrill me as much as I thought it will, dec­ades ago.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

El norte de España

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

In spring 2016 I trav­elled to North­ern Spain, vis­it­ing the Basque Coun­try, Can­tab­ria, Aragon and Castile and Leon. Fly­ing to Bil­bao and head­ing to our first loc­a­tion in San Sebasti­an, we made a stop­over in Zumaia. The little town is nice … but more fam­ous is its rock form­a­tion — The Fly­sch. The land­scape is stun­ning and so we stayed some hours before going to San Sebasti­an.

The work­horse was — again — the Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 with its M.Zuiko 12–40mm PRO lens, com­pleted by an iPhone 5s. So this was again a pure digit­al jour­ney. This time I’ll try stay­ing at B&W only, know­ing that the col­ours here were won­der­ful too.

Over the next weeks I’ll post more of this trip — here on my blog, but also on my flickr page.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to check out my web­site too!


P.S. … and don’t for­get my flickr page.

Hiking around Flossenbürg with a Contax 139 Quartz

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

After dress­ing this beauty in new clothes, I was keen to see a first film in this 40 years old cam­era. So I moun­ted a Carl Zeiss Planar 1.7/50mm, loaded an Agfa Vista 200 and … enjoyed a photo walk;)

OK, this is not the 1.7/50mm lens attached 😉

… this is the right one 😉

Again we choose Flossen­bürg as our des­tin­a­tion and this time it was a 3 hour hike. We star­ted at the old castle — dated from around 1200 AD. From the castle tower you have a fant­ast­ic view in the sur­round­ing land­scape.

From there we headed down­wards over Ham­mer­bühl, Alten­ham­mer and Gais­mühle to the Small Gais­wei­h­er and the Large Gais­wei­h­er. After hav­ing lunch, we hiked back uphill to the end of our tour. All images from the trip can be seen here in the ori­gin­al Agfa Vista col­ours … and  here in a black&white ver­sion.

A very good review of this cam­era done by James Toc­chio can be found on Cas­u­al Pho­to­phile, so there’s no need to repeat the obvi­ous.
To me, this beau­ti­ful little cam­era is a pleas­ure to use … with a single weak point. The meter is not activ­ated by half-press­ing the shut­ter release but­ton like on many oth­er cam­er­as, but by a sep­ar­ate but­ton loc­ated on the cam­era front. While hav­ing your index fin­ger on the shut­ter release but­ton, you can have your middle fin­ger lay­ing on this but­ton. You need to get used to it, but it works.

What I also learned was, that in the view­find­er, not only the shut­ter speed is dis­played, but also the aper­ture value should be vis­ible … not in this cam­era. Seems as if some­thing is broken. After con­tact­ing Peter Robin­son from he assured me that this is repair­able, send­ing also repair inform­a­tion — very good inform­a­tion indeed. As this means to dis­as­semble the body to fix a broken wire, I think it’s bet­ter hav­ing this job done by an expert 😉

My con­clu­sion: This beau­ti­ful little Con­tax 139 Quartz is so easy to use and its a pleas­ure to shoot with.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to check out my web­site too!


P.S. … and don’t for­get my Flickr page.

Hiking the Burgruine Weissenstein

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Between the years we were hik­ing to the Burg Weis­sen­stein in the Upper Palat­in­ates Stone­wood Forest. Dur­ing a snowstorm, in a winter won­der­land, we found the Burg covered by an ice shield. This area is one of my favor­ite hik­ing regions dur­ing all sea­sons.

All images were taken with the highly appre­ci­ated Ricoh GR II. The more I use this cam­era, the more I find it a really won­der­ful cam­era, both, in the res­ult­ing images and in the ease and flex­ib­il­ity of use.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to check out my web­site too!


P.S. … and don’t for­get my Flickr page.

Contax Aria and Yashica ML 2.8/24mm

Monday, June 4th, 2018

A first film found its way into my Con­tax Aria — an Agfa Vista 400. As lens I used a Yash­ica ML 2.8/24mm. The Con­tax Aria is a beau­ti­ful piece of tech­no­logy and one of the last SLR mod­els from Con­tax.

Tech­nic­al specs can be found here, so there’s no need to duplic­ate them.

And here comes the cor­rect lens …


The Aria is the smal­lest and most light­weight Con­tax SLR mod­el. It’s even light­er than the Con­tax 139 or the Con­tax 159. Dials and switches are sim­il­ar to the oth­er pre­de­cessor mod­els like e.g. RX or AX. All are well placed and pure fun to use. Show­ing a size com­par­is­on, just look here.

The lens — a Yash­ica ML 2.8/24mm — is rated not bad, reviews and rat­ings can be found on the web.

To give the combo a little bit room to shine, I took it on a hike in the Upper Palat­in­ate. Hik­ing to the Haarkapelle — not sure if Hair-Chapel is the right trans­la­tion, as it lies near a (very) small vil­lage named Haar and a small ridge called Haar-Rangen. It’s a small chapel in the middle of a forest, built as a remem­brance of a good man. The hike goes along a fair num­ber of ponds and we had a cold but sunny day at late Feb­ru­ary. So all was pre­pared for some nice pic­tures.

The film — an Agfa Vista 400 — is cur­rently in the mak­ing and dm and I expect it to be back in about a week.
Until then, I have made at least some digit­al shots with my lovely Ricoh GR II. Here you go …

I checked online the status of my film and just got the info that my film is not lis­ted in their order sys­tem … ???
So I went in the dm-shop and told them … they say they sent it out to the lab.
They called the lab which tells they nev­er received that film.
I placed a search request … let’s see …

The combo worked very well and hand­ling is quite a pleas­ure. The little Aria does not stand in the way and simply works. The Yash­ica gives a beau­ti­ful focal length with it’s 24mm and it’s a joy work­ing with it — a very sol­id con­struc­tion. Did I say, that 24mm is a focal length I like 😉

Let’s see what comes back from the pro­cessor …

Well, finally after 4 weeks I called them and … my film was back from pro­cessing 🙂

Using the scanned samples — 1500px — I made some tweeks with Sil­ver­FX and … voila … here they are 😉

What slightly irrit­ates me is, that the 3rd party lens shade was advert­ised for a 24mm lens … and here I have vign­et­ting on all images. What I found fur­ther was, some flares when hav­ing the sun in the image. But I think that’s not so bad for a 24mm lens. All images can be found here.

Enjoy 😉

P.S. In case you’d like to com­ment … it’s appre­ci­ated!
P.P.S. … and maybe, you want to check out my web­site too.
P.P.P.S. … and don’t for­get my Flickr page.

Hiking around Flossenbürg and Gaisweiher

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

The last day of the year A.D. 2017 we made a short trip to the Burg Flossen­bürg.

The small town is know for one of the KZ (Con­cen­tra­tion Camp) dur­ing the darkest era in Ger­man his­tory — the Nazi Era. This time how­ever, we did not vis­it the KZ, but hiked down to the small lake — the Gais­wei­h­er. That’s a short hik­ing tour which takes ~1,5 hours.

Burg Flossenbürg, Ricoh GR II Burg Flossen­bürg, Ricoh GR II

Not to men­tion, I gave the Ricoh GR II anoth­er try. It did not dis­ap­point me and delivered won­der­ful res­ults.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to check out my web­site too!


P.S. … and don’t for­get my Flickr page.