September 2019

I have to be careful with that title - I tried typing in Olympus Superzoom to the net to see what help it could be and it routed me off to old eBay sellers who have 35mm cameras for sale. Eek. I wanted to see if there was a comparable model from them that matched other major makers - something that had a small sensor but an enormous lens out the front. The sort of thing that cruise and safari tourists take overseas. It looks as though they might have had something like that some while ago, but are concentrating now on the things that can be done with their Micro 4/3 line of mirrorless cameras - and that they have just come out with a new lens to do it. The lens Carlos showed me is the Zuiko 12-200mm f:3.5-6.3 - possibly the longest zoom range lens for any mirrorless camera. It's the 35mm film equivalent of 24mm to 400mm. And we never thought of that in the day...

Attitude indication is performed differently in many situations - teenagers do it by pouting and shouting, nations do it by taking political hostages, and airplanes have instruments on their dashboards to measure it. Here's a selection of different types in diagrammatic form - as seen on the internet. BTW I'm grateful to whoever took that superb picture of the Hurricane cockpit...

I approach the Leica Boutique cabinets with care - the goods within them are top-quality and deserve more than just a casual glance. If you have the price, they are generally very well-made and backed up by an extremely reputable manufacturer. You just have to be prepared for a little more brand-culture than some others. This is also the case for the companies that provide accessories for Leica - they have to provide the same standards that the main company puts out - so that if you see a bag or strap from Artist and Artisan in Japan or a Leica cameras that bears a lens made in Japan, you can be assured that it will give you sterling service. I was mega-intrigued by the brown leather pouch in the island cabinet: the Artist and Artisan ACAM-78. It looked like a tiny doctor's bag, and I couldn't imagine what Leica thought they could fit inside it. It turns out they intend it for small mirrorless bodies but they show pictures on the net of it swallowing an M-series camera plus short lens. There...

Carlos and Sam at the Stirling Street Store are real life savers. When I'm casting about for a topic to include in the week's reports here on the weblog column, they always have something new - or newish - to show me. This time it was Carlos and a new little accessory from Manfrotto. Note: I am a fan of Manfrotto, as my studio will show. Nearly everything that has to stand up or hang down does so on something from either Manfrotto or Bunnings ( and if Camera Electronic did sheets of MDF board and sausages in a bun I could cut out Bunnings...

You've seen those war movies of the aircraft carriers in the Pacific or Korea. There's an officer standing at on the port side aft with a flying helmet on and two big cloth paddles in his hands. As an airplane comes in to land on the deck he'll raise the paddles up or lower them down and dip from side to side to let the pilot know what he needs to do to get in safely. The pilot must obey the flags if he can and he is under disciplinary orders to strictly obey two of them; the cut and the wave-off. The first drops him onto the deck in time to catch the arrester wire and the second makes him climb and veer off - hopefully for a better try next time. Both are mandatory. Oh, that it could be the same in the photo trade. The idea of the flying helmet and the paddles is very attractive but a little impractical in the shop during lunch hour - someone would get bopped in the crowd. But the cut or...

Now's the time to stop and make use of something that Adobe has offered for years; the ability to control individual colour channels. If you never fiddled with them - and I admit that heretofore I never did - the newfound facility with which they can be altered on the Loupedeck Plus means that a lot of images that were either dull or overcooked can now be saved. You may have deleted material in the past due to the wounds in just one colour when you could have gone in there surgically and sewed it up. The colour rotaries are located just under the P buttons that deal with cropping formats. At least these are sweet to deal with - they are coded with a dot of the colour that they deal with. Eight of them from red to magenta. It's really a better way to present these options than the standard Lightroom panel. You tap on the left for three criteria: hue, saturation, or luminance. And then scroll the wheel up and down to add or subtract the effect. Here's an example...

I used to like secret codes when I was a kid - letters written so that no-one else could read them. No-one ever had anything secret to say, but we all knew dynamite ways to do it. That's sometimes what I feel like when confronted with the buttons on digital devices. They can be marked with F or Fn for " function ", or C or CU for " custom". Occasionally you'll get an "Ctrl " marking or a " P " and then it's a case of diving into the manual to see what the designers actually meant. We all appreciate the extended functionality of cameras and the fact that we can switch them around to match where our minds have gone and where our fingers can go to...