Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Sevilla, when it’s still cold at home — Part 3

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

The Met­ro­pol Para­sol was build in 2011 and con­struc­ted by the Ger­man archi­tect Jür­gen May­er. It is a wooden struc­ture, 150 x 70m wide and  up to 23 m high. On its top you can have a walk across.

As so many times before, I made two albums, one in col­our and one in black and white, as both show their spe­cial mood.

Next to come … Placa de Tor­os.

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.

 

 

Sevilla, when it’s still cold at home — Part 2

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Calle Sierpes is a won­der­ful shop­ping lane in the old cen­ter of Sevilla. I found tons of beau­ti­ful sub­jects (bet­ter objects) which give an impres­sion of the ancient his­tory of this beau­ti­ful and amaz­ing town.

As so many times before, I made two albums, one in col­our and one in black and white, as both show their spe­cial mood.

 

 

Next to come … Met­ro­pol Para­sol.

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.

Sevilla, when it’s still cold at home — Part 1

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Vis­it­ing this beau­ti­ful old town in Al Andalus for the second time, this time we choose to come in Feb­ru­ary to escape the sum­mer heat with its approx. 40 °C. End of Feb­ru­ary, it was sunny in Seville and we had cozy 18 degrees. Guess what cam­era was on board … I only say ‘work­horse’.

Attached to my Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 was my default lens — the fab­ulous M.Zuiko 12–40 PRO lens, which nev­er ever dis­ap­poin­ted me dur­ing all the years.

As so many times before, I made two albums, one in col­our and one in black and white, as both show their spe­cial mood.

We had an accom­mod­a­tion dir­ectly in the old centre around the cathed­ral and so all the major stuff to vis­it was in walk­ing dis­tance. After arriv­ing, the first way was down to our no. one Bodega, fol­lowed by a short walk around the fam­ous cathed­ral.

Next to come … strolling around the Calle Sierpes.

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.

Contax G1 with a Zeiss Planar 2/45mm

Friday, September 7th, 2018

This time a beau­ti­ful Con­tax G1 found its way to me, accom­pan­ied by three legendary Zeiss lenses. All parts are in good shape, so let’s see what comes out when the first film is pushed through.

On the one side, the Con­tax G-Sys­tem (i.e. the G1 and even more its sib­ling the G2) is said to be the world’s most advanced 35mm rangefind­er cam­era sys­tem. On the oth­er side its said that beside all its mer­its, it has its rough edges too. More on that later ;)

Here are the three stel­lar lenses I meant, start­ing with the Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28mm …

… the Carl Zeiss Planar 2.0/45mm …

Contax Zeiss Planar 2/45mm

… and the Carl Zeiss Son­nar 2.8/90mm.

All three are rated as superb from a wide range of review­ers on the web — all far more exper­i­enced pho­to­graph­ers than I will ever be ;)

But now, film is loaded and on we go — an Agfa Vista 200 will do the job.

The Con­tax G1 body has been reviewed on sev­er­al web-loc­a­tions — just check my web­site to name some — so there is no need to repeat. There are some points which are widely cri­ti­cized — things like a hyper sens­it­ive shut­ter but­ton, a small view­find­er, too slow max­im­um shut­ter speed and an unre­li­able auto­fo­cus — so I’ll have an eye on these.

The first lens I’ll try is the Carl Zeiss Planar 2.0/45mm, which is said to be  one of the best lenses of all times.

Puh, … film is done and in the lab. In the mean­time I can talk about how it went, shoot­ing this combo.

To me, this cam­era is a little gem. It fits in the hand like it was made for … me. Reminds me some­how on its SLR sib­ling — the 159MM. All dials and switches and but­tons are simply where they should be. As I was shoot­ing in aper­ture pri­or­ity mode with auto­fo­cus, the only thing to adjust was the aper­ture.

First point, the max­im­um shut­ter speed of 1/2000s was nev­er an issue.

Shoot­ing ISO 200 film there is plenty of room for adjust­ments for play­ing with depth of field. Using film with ISO 100 or ISO 400 or even ISO 800 makes it easy to work when the envir­on­ment makes it neces­sary. I do not know how some claim this 1/2000s to be an issue — too slow and not fast enough. Dur­ing their time, 1/2000s was not that bad, when most SLR and Rangefind­er offered 1/1000s — and yes I know there were SLR offer­ing 1/4000s already … at least some.

Maybe com­ing from mod­ern DSLR or Mir­ror­less Cam­er­as (I really like this term as it describes an object with its miss­ing fea­ture) with their max­im­um shut­ter speed of 1/4000s or 1/8000s or even elec­tron­ic shut­ter with 1/32000s is some­how chal­len­ging for those old cam­er­as, but really .… it’s nice hav­ing it, but who need this?

Second point, the hyper sens­ible shut­ter but­ton.

When ‘half-pressed’, it trig­gers auto­fo­cus and auto­ex­pos­ure meas­ure­ment. To call this ‘half-pressed’ is some­what funny as you do not really need to ‘press’. I com­pare it more with the shut­ter but­ton of my Min­olta X-700, where a slight touch trig­gers the meas­ure­ment. That’s it.

You get used to it the more you use it. Is this not the same with all things you learn? Learn­ing to ride a bicycle is tricky in the begin­ning, but once you got it, it’s pretty easy for the rest of your life as you know how to keep the bal­ance.

Third point, the auto­fo­cus.

I can remem­ber my Yash­ica T5 which too has a cent­ral auto­fo­cus field only. Not hav­ing the inten­ded object in this focus field gives a missed focus … les­son learned.

Same for my Can­on AF35 MKII. Cent­ral auto­fo­cus field and if you miss your inten­ded object it res­ul­ted in a missed focus … les­son learned. Easi­est to be seen when shoot­ing two people, fram­ing that both are placed well and point­ing the cent­ral focus field in the middle between them. Wow … get’s the back­ground sharp and in focus then.

And yes, if you place ver­tic­al lines in this focus field it helps a lot. So there’s noth­ing spe­cial with it. Learn it and then do it — it’s like rid­ing a bicycle. That the pass­ive auto­fo­cus is not that good in really low light does not bear a big sur­prise. No con­trast, no auto­fo­cus. If you keep this in mind, auto­fo­cus works like always — and it’s fast enough.

If you come from the digit­al age with your DSLR and Mir­ror­less Cam­era car­ry­ing tril­lions of focus points spread over the whole sensor and work­ing with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence like algorithms to auto detect everything … yes, then you per­haps might get a little bit lost with a single cent­ral focus field.

I learned, that many pro­fes­sion­al pho­to­graph­ers often deac­tiv­ate their auto­de­tect everything auto­fo­cus and use the cent­ral focus field only. Guess why?

Fourth point, a small view­find­er … can we please skip this and go to the next point.

Indeed it’s small — the smal­lest I’ve ever seen, besides some very old cam­er­as like my Zeiss Ikon Ercona II. Once you know how to best look through it (i.e. pos­i­tion your eye), you see all things neces­sary. The info pan­el on the bot­tom, the cent­ral auto­fo­cus field and the full frame (pun inten­ded). Noth­ing more is needed to frame and focus.

Shure, if the view­find­er would be like on a Min­olta Dyn­ax 9 this would be fant­ast­ic (more on that in a later post). But finally it shows what it should and its suc­cessor made it bet­ter with a lar­ger view­find­er — on the G2.

Next point … my con­clu­sion:

If you can find one — get one and enjoy it.

Point one, two, three and four show to me that you do not need to worry using this cam­era. Those were the most cri­ti­cized top­ics and none is a show stop­per. The oppos­ite is the case — this cam­era fells into hand as it was made for and it’s hand­ling is so easy.

Besides all that tech­nic­al stuff, this cam­era is a real beauty — as beau­ti­ful as a cam­era can be. To me, this is a won­der­ful piece of tech­no­logy and worth being used to take pic­tures without any doubt.

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.

P.S. Just to men­tion, the full film can be found on flickr in col­our and in black and white.

El norte de España — done

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Refer­ring to a former post star­ted in June, I now com­pleted pub­lish­ing a fine series of black and white images of our trip back in 2016 through North­ern Spain. You can find the full series here on flickr.

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.

Prague w/ a Contax 159MM

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Spend­ing a day in Decem­ber in Prague, that town fam­ous for its light, its mood and its old archi­tec­ture. This time I choose a Con­tax 159MM to come along with me.

As we only had one day, it felt like speed dat­ing with this town. As it was end of the year, it was ugly cold here. So we decided to vis­it the main attrac­tions like the Hrad­schin with the castle, the cathed­ral, the Golden Alley then down to the Charles Bridge, the old town and then use the rest of the day strolling around and enjoy­ing the atmo­sphere. Cold, sunny and a lot of people around.

Unfor­tu­nately, my Con­tax 159MM seemed to have a light leak … show­ing on all images. Nev­er­the­less, the pic­tures taken have their own charm. I repaired the leak in the mean­time and the cam­era is await­ing its next run. All images can be found in my flickr album.

Do I have some­thing to say about this beau­ti­ful cam­era?

Well, the whole tech­nic­al stuff can be found on my web­site and numer­ous reviews can be seen on the inter­net — I lis­ted some on my web­site too, so there is no neces­sity to repeat it here.

Indeed … pick­ing up this little gem, it imme­di­ately falls into hand. I have rarely used a cam­era with which I felt so famil­i­ar with from the first con­tact. Com­pared to the older Con­tax 139 Quartz — besides some improved tech­nic­al stuff — it has a slightly pro­trud­ing hand­grip, which simply feels com­fort­able and the meter­ing is activ­ated by half-press­ing the shut­ter but­ton. A ded­ic­ated on/off switch, faster min. shut­ter speed, pro­gram mode (with all Zeiss MM lenses) and a bright, clear and huge view­find­er are some oth­er niceties. Size­wise, it plays in the league of the OM-1, so you do not need to worry about first book­ing a gym.

My con­clu­sion: The Con­tax 159 MM is one of the best cam­er­as I ever had in my hands. This little gem thrills.

Maybe you’re ask­ing, how I found my way to these Con­tax gems?
There is one, who inspired me with the Con­tax Vir­us — its Dan James with his won­der­ful blog 35hunter. One can find loads of appre­ci­ations for these tech­no­lo­gic­al mir­acles.

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.

Olympus OM-4Ti and Ricoh GR II

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

After hav­ing back the Olym­pus OM-4Ti from repair, I took it on a short trip to Frank­furt. Equipped with a Zuiko Auto-T 2.8/100mm and loaded with an Agfa Vista 200, I was keen to see, if the prob­lem has been cured at the OM-Dok­t­or in Ham­burg.

 

… and here the right lens.

 

We had two full days — one in Frank­furt and the oth­er in Mainz — and besides the Olym­pus OM-4Ti, an iPhone 6s and the highly respec­ted Ricoh GR II were on board. Olym­pus OM-4Ti was used in Frank­furt, the Ricoh GR II was used in Mainz.

First of all, why did I use the OM-4Ti only in Frank­furt but not in Mainz … it’s because the lens appeared to have a slightly bent aper­ture pin, which pro­hib­ited the OM-4Ti’s aper­ture sim­u­lat­or to work at the end of the first day. So sad! In the mean­time I have repaired this (thanks to a phone call with the OM-Dok­t­or), but on the second day in Mainz I’d bet­ter switched to my Ricoh GR II.

Second, my impres­sion on the OM-4Ti is two­fold.

On the one side I’m massively impressed.

  • it worked flaw­less after repaired by the OM-Dok­t­or in Ham­burg
  • the  tech­nic­al spe­cific­a­tions of the cam­era are superb
  • the size and weight are pretty stun­ning — one of the smal­lest and most light­weight (pro­fes­sion­al) SLR bod­ies
  • it simply rugged
  • the view­find­er is large, bright and clear
  • and so on …

On the oth­er side, I do not really get warm with this body (tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion also the OM-2sp I used dur­ing my trip to South-Tir­ol, which shares the same body and very sim­il­ar con­trol lay­out). Unfor­tu­nately I can­not name the reas­on for — it’s some­how a feel­ing only. Com­pared to a Con­tax 139 or even more a Con­tax 159, it simply does not feel like it fits in the hand.

Flaws … maybe some.
It has no on/off switch, which always makes it pos­sible to release the shut­ter acci­dent­ally when cocked. A second one, it’s meter can­not be switched off. It shuts off after some seconds auto­mat­ic­ally (15s if I remem­ber right), but when touch­ing the shut­ter but­ton (even by acci­dent), it starts again — which might drain the bat­tery. You have to switch the aper­ture to “B” or the emer­gency manu­al “1/60”, this deac­tiv­ates all elec­tron­ics, just to be sure when pla­cing it in the bag. How­ever this also makes it not a quick star­tup cam­era out of the bag.

I think I will have to use it a little bit longer, as the whole world praises the OM-line and so it must be me.

I have uploaded two albums, one is the Agfa Vista 200 col­our ver­sion and anoth­er is a b/w ver­sion.

The Ricoh GR II is a whole dif­fer­ent story.
I use it more fre­quently as my every­day cam­era and so I get used to it more and more. Besides the fact that I felt imme­di­ately famil­i­ar with it from the first day, it impresses me every time I use it. I’ll I add some pic­tures from the Ricoh GR II in my Frank­furt trip album on Flickr.
Here too, a col­our ver­sion and a b&w ver­sion exist.

This time I also tried some street shots using the snap-focus, where the AF gets  pre­fo­cused on a defined dis­tance. This avoids hav­ing to focus when hit­ting the shut­ter but­ton and you can hold the cam­era with one hand on arm length without look­ing on the mon­it­or. Totally unob­trus­ive. All pic­tures were crappy and … I have still to prac­tice that way of shoot­ing.

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!

Enjoy

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

Australian Adventure — I’m done!

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

These were the last images I pos­ted in my Aus­trali­an Adven­ture series, star­ted long ago. They show two old clas­sic Volk­swa­gen in Fitzroy/Melbourne. It was our last day in Mel­bourne and Aus­tralia and so gives a good link to our next day flight back to Ger­many.

The com­plete series can be found here on my flickr page. The whole Aus­trali­an Adven­ture story star­ted in Novem­ber 2015, when I headed to a three weeks trip to the South East of West­ern Aus­tralia, the Tas­mani­an Island and … finally Mel­bourne. There were so many won­der­ful impres­sions, that I would not hes­it­ate to come back again … some day. It took me nearly 18 months to com­plete the review and post­pro­cessing of nearly 1000 images taken mostly with the work­horse Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 and its won­der­ful lens M.Zuiko 12–40mm PRO, sup­ple­men­ted by my iPhone 5s. 286 images found finally their way on my flickr page, some of them in col­our, some in black&white and some in both moods.

As writ­ten in the title, I’m done with the Aus­trali­an Adven­ture and I’m already head­ing towards the next series — North­ern Spain with the Basque Coun­try, Can­tab­ria, Asturi­as and Castile-Leon — where we trav­elled in spring 2016.

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

Enjoy

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