digital Tag

Not going to enter into a debate about which is better - analog or digital - or to take one side or the other. I've done the one and do the other and in both cases I'm just grateful when I can see the faces in the pictures and the horizon is straight. But I am curious as to whether there will be any new developments of value in the analog field in the future. I was drawn to this speculation earlier in the year by the news that the Perth photo markets were set to reopen in November after a two-year hiatus. I wondered if there would be a flood of secondhand digital or whether we'd see the same old run of film cameras. I also experienced the shock of the old encountering the new when I went to a hifi retailer seeking a small CD player for a studio system. Oh Dear Me, I can buy amazing new Bluefi things that are probably better, but if I do not want to start up with new technologies, I'll be reduced...

Dale Neill recently posted a piece on Facebook comparing the hit rate of  good results between the roll-film, 35mm, and digital eras. Like Dale himself, it was funny and dead-on accurate; 6 good shots whether the shooter was using 120 film, a 35mm cassette, or a digital card with 2000+ files on it. As Dale said, it shows that we took a darn sight more care to get the exposure and composition right when we knew we were paying a higher price for it. The 19-year-olds can stop snorting their contempt and show us old geezers just how wrong we are...

I have started speculating about the old working dogs in the Perth photo scene. I hasten to add I do not mean the people - I have too much respect for the photographers to pry into their ages. Plus I want them to like me enough to buy me coffee and cake on occasion. No, I mean the equipment. I don't know the answer to these questions but I'd welcome answers to the column or in person from the people concerned. Who is shooting professionally with: a. The oldest camera per se. What year was it purchased? b. The oldest analog camera. What work are they tackling with it? c. Ditto the oldest digital camera. Are there any of the original ground breakers still whirring? Where do you get batteries for it? d. Okay, now we go out past where the buses run. Who is using - professionally - the oldest and smallest memory card? Do they shoot with their fingers crossed? You can pursue this line of enquiry for the enthusiasts and amateur users as well. They don't have to earn a living with the...

I am afraid I have this picture in my mind of a Japanese monk raking a stone garden. The garden has one small altar and a very carefully placed bamboo plant. The monk's face is peaceful and composed and he is evidently deeply engrossed in the careful movement of the rake. He is wearing a GoPro Hero 9 camera on a helmet mount...

  Some years ago I was delighted when my friend Warren visited the shop and bought a small camera bag. As much for the social contact as the sale - it got pretty fraught on Friday when the point of sale computer program refused to cooperate and no help was offered. I was glad he had cash as I could not have faced another EFTPOS incident. As a passing comment he mentioned that he wished the manufacturers of little digital cameras would make some that resembled older film cameras - the bellows types or box cameras. Warren is a re-enactor and part of his role involves capturing images while in character. An "old camera " new camera would be perfect for what he does. Come to think of it, it would be perfect for what I do as well. I could eschew housing Fujifilm X-series cameras in wooden boxes and haul them out in the vintage world openly. It raised the question in my mind why the Japanese or Chinese firms have not jumped on this little bandwagon straight away. After all, we have seen no end of weird...

The advantage of an X-Pan/TX-1 film camera back in the day was the compact nature of the rig vs the large alternatives that Linhof, Fujifilm, and other specialist makers cobbled up for pano work. These behemoths were wonderful, taking very large negatives on roll or sheet film, but they were monsters to haul out to remote places. Every venture to take panoramas for commercial purposes was a complete campaign. The X-Pan/ TX-1, on the other hand was a hand camera using 35mm film - and no larger than a regular rangefinder. It had automatic film advance and sophisticated exposure measuring. It was very nearly as automated as a digital camera - albeit one that threw an image some 23mm x 65 mm on the transparency or negative. Well I propose to throw an image some 23.6 x 7.8 mm on the sensor and trust that modern pixellage will be good enough to cope with it. But I want the historical ease of use. Two choices present themselves for this - the X-Pro1 and the X-E2. I own each of these bodies and they,...

For years I read about the Hasselblad X-Pan camera and the Fujifilm TX-1 - in reality the same camera from the Fujifilm stable but wiht different body treatments - and did not crave one. I owned a Hasselblad and a studio and combined the 6 x 6 format with indoor shots. There was very little call on my part for any sort of panorama work. Indeed, I had decided that I could not see panoramas anyway - I have been wearing glasses for 64 years and they formed the tunnel of my vision. Yet I have a book of Kodak Colorama panos from Grand Central Station and they are some of the most charming advertising shots I've seen...

I've gone through a number of photo eras here and in North America and can look back to compare and contrast them. So, very likely, have you. If you've not experienced them so far, here's hoping you'll get a chance to in the future. The great thing is if you could keep your eyes and ears open to what is being shown and said - you'll find this changes as new tech appears. And it also changes as new advertising agencies get hold of the trade. Way, way back ( dinosaurs, Elvis ) it was the era of the film SLR . They started small and got bigger, rising in price and bloating in size as new features like TTL metering were added. They got bulkier and blockier - I recommend you to some of the Topcon bodies if you fancy yourself something of a weight lifter. Then the size war turned to another front and the compact SLR came in - see the Pentax MX as prime example of small thinking - the Olympus OM series as well. Then the automatic...