Author: Uncle Dick

Okay. I have to admit it. The deck looks magnificent. Even for a stills-only shooter it has that techno-appeal that makes me want one. I just have no idea what to do with it. There are a number of these Blackmagic design decks in the Stirling Street Shop. This one unboxed and available at a good price. It's a video studio in one with 8 full channels of blending for production work. It's also got a 10-channel audio mixer so this can do live broadcast work to full professional standard. I own vintage HiFi equipment that is far less complex than this and it is interesting to see just how well equipped the back panel is: Also how well designed the portable grips are - that's venting ports under there. It probably has cooling fans as well. I must admit to a flashback when I see the complexity of the symbols on the video section - Nephew Harold on the Red Green Show who had control of the visual effects and constantly swiped, dissolved and whirlpooled the scenes while Red tried to cope with keeping...

No, you cannot. But I suspect there are a number of the more technically intelligent people in the readership who will welcome the chance. Ricky Packham pointed out the new Blackmagic equipment in the shop and I set about photographing it. Most of the new equipment is still in the boxes - and there's plenty of supply for all the different devices. My problem presenting them to you is that I, Captain Ludd, know little of the subject. But I can observe, and if you are a videographer, your knowledge will sell the goods far better to yourself. One bit was available outside the box for inspection - and I was impressed by the quality of construction. See? I didn't even get the back of it right-side up. But the printed chart allows the user to program a switch panel on the top of the box to convert a bewildering number of signal options to output in other forms. A lot of the other boxes promised other conversions and activities: Now that is more black boxes than the airlines keep in their Boeings and as...

Some years ago, when they were new on the scene, I reported on the Nikon Df camera. It was an unusual offering from Nikon at the time, and has not become any more mainstream in the interim. Finding an example on the CE shelf this week spurred me onto another consideration of it. Nikon cannot be accused of being sticks in the mud...

And there is nothing on Earth that will set you dancing in the dark better than a series of cables and wires strung across a darkened photographic studio. Whether you entangle yourself with the power leads on the floor or clothesline yourself with the PC cord or computer tether cable, the experience will be exciting. You may be able to get some use out of that public liability insurance policy too, as well as the Medibank premiums. Mmm, boy there's something to look forward to...

I read several photography columns daily, and to my credit, I rarely steal ideas from them. This is not from fear of prosecution, but from the fact that so many of them feature things in which I'm not interested. I'm sorry to say that a very well-known daily website is getting less and less relevant as time goes on. I don't blame them - the bits that make up the trade are getting scarcer -  and anyway, I've lived where they write from and the climate there isn't conducive to great literature. But every so often I pick up a snippet that gives you to think. On all three sites recently there was a reference to returning goods that had been purchased. In all three cases this action did not seem to be the result of the products being faulty - just that the writer did not fancy them. I'm willing to bet that it's not just in the rainy Northwest, locked down Alps, or privileged California sun that this sort of thing is rife. Rife? That sounds like a note of...

If one were to read all the literature of the last couple of years regarding the format and sensor sizes of digital cameras, one might be forgiven for thinking that there has been somewhat of a witch hunt. By this I mean the smaller format sizes have received scant treatment alongside the 24 x 36 FX or full-frame cameras. This is not surprising - it's been relatively late in the piece that large sensors could be made by Sony in sufficient quantities and at a low enough price to permit their incorporation by other makers. And don't look shocked when I couple the one maker with the others - they buy their components from each other. Okay, you can buy 24 x 36 Nikons, Canons, Leicas, Sonys, and Panasonics off the shelf today. And lots of lenses for them, whether they are going to be for DSLR or mirrorless operation. You'll be told that the larger sensors and wide lenses are capable of marvellous photographic effects and increased light-gathering powers. There are a number of technical explanations for this and many of...

One of the iconic symbols of Hollywood - besides the sign on the hill - is the Klieg lamp with the barn doors. The Kliegs were an arc system and murder on the actors and actresses who had to bake under them - apparently the high UV could cause eye damage. " Klieg Eye "was a real thing. The lights had to be directed, even if the players did not. So there were swivel stands and control wheels and moveable shields to cut off part of the light pattern. The most efficient way to do this was with large movable flats but if you only needed shade a smaller area, the " barn door " could be swung into place. Whether they were effective or not depended upon their surface area. This form of light modifier then made it into the studios of still photographers when the studio flash systems were perfected. I've got two sets that clip onto my ancient Elinchroms and they are sometimes moderately effective. I found a better set on the back wall of CE in the Profoto...

When I was working behind the counter at CE - fitfully, I hasten to add - I was often tasked with the job of setting out the inks for the printers. We carried a number of the Epson models - still do - and it was a precision task to match the various supplies with the printers. Fortunately Epson was pretty good about colour-coding the boxes - less so about the various sub-variants of ink. You had to read the label carefully to see if it was the right number. The Epson Ultrachrome inks are actually wonderful. When I set my R 3000 printer correctly, load my paper correctly, and get the computer to correctly send a signal ( Three correctlies in a row...