May 2019

It's always thrilling to be given a big chunk - whether it's chocolate, motor car, or money. I would be out of my depth with all three, but I figure I could cope better with a camera - thus I was delighted to handed the new Panasonic S1R camera with a 50mm lens when I visited the Murray Street Store.  To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Panasonic cameras always intrigue me - I had one briefly a few years ago - and any new evocation of their top range is worth looking into. But in the case of the S1R I'm afraid the looking into becomes looking at. It is somewhat beyond my league in price and bulk. Not that it is the biggest or most expensive of cameras - there are still larger and dearer ones on the market - but it is getting up past what Panasonic used to aim at. I suppose that is the way of the trade - though it is interesting to see some makers downsize their designs while other boost theirs. And...

As to the question of who can practise analog photography we can answer by pointing you to the world of 1980. Everyone you knew then could - and if they are still alive they can now. They might not be able to do it with the facility or felicity of that time, but it's still open to them. As for the question of who should choose it, you have to look back on the previous Analog Line columns. a. If you are a photographer who can please yourself as to what you do and have the character to realise that - well, you can be a great analog worker. You'll have your failures, but as you are your own boss, these can be forgiven. If you're wise you'll learn and not repeat them. This happy position is also involved with time. You'll need to be in control of your own schedule as it will inevitably be a slower one than that of the digital worker. The slower pace of delivery may make you appreciate the beauty of what you've done more.   b. Conversely, if you are...

I always wished I had an Auntie Zelda. She sounds like the sort of lady who would either make cinnamon rolls or get roaring drunk before noon. Both attractive prospects. How delightful, then, to see a Zelda in the Stirling Street accessory rack. In this case our old friends Three Legged Thing have added another L-bracket to their current line. And the name is quite significant. Put aside thoughts of the cinnamon rolls or F. Scott Fitgerald's wife - this Zelda is so named because she is a direct match for the new Nikon mirror-less Z cameras - the Nikon Z6 and Z7. As these are specific models, the bracket is especially cast for them. It is not one of the universal types that has internal rails to let it expand or contract. This is one size for the Nikon Z cameras. This specificity allows a very clever feature to be cast into the basic device - look at the post in the baseplate just behind the tripod screw. That fits into a special socket on the baseplate of the Nikon Z cameras...

I frequently pass by the Sigma racks in the storeroom but foolishly never stop to pluck something from the shelves. My fault, because I am missing some of the most intriguing lenses in the place. The shooters who use Canon or Nikon camera bodies get a better chance than I to test things out. And someone with a Nikon Full-frame DSLR will be the one to take an interest in today's lens. The dear old 105mm lens has been the mainstay of the portraitist for a long time - when mounted on a 24 x 36 camera it is perfect for head and shoulders and upper torso shots - such a good combination of focal length and depth of field that these lenses are frequently ground with a wide maximum aperture. f:2.8 is common and then it'll run up to f:1.4 in the premium ones. f:1.4 for this length is a sizeable chunk of melted sand and demands the best design for the resolution and freedom from distortion, It looks as though it also demands the best possible barrel mounting - this is...