flash Tag

Say what? Oh, no, we're not going to roast that old chestnut again. Climb the barricades, wave the HCB banner, and throw Leica rangefinders at the police. Would throwing Argus C-3's be more appropriate? They've got sharper corners. The age old debate about artificial versus natural light probably started when the first photographer put his cigar out in a pot of magnesium powder. It would have continued unabated through the tungsten and fluorescent tube era on to flashes - trays, sheets, bulbs, tubes etc. Purity, authenticity, sanctity, and artistry would have been invoked by one side to deny the chance for others to see in the dark and equally so by those who wanted to illuminate the world. In the last decade the fight has been taken out of the ring by the development of powerful amplifying circuits and noise-rinsers that let the nominative sensitivity of a sensor rise to fantastic heights. Starting with the Nikon D3 and continuing with their products - and those of other major makers  - the ability to photograph in places too dim to see in has become...

Fujifilm X-100V, please, and step on it. I don't want to be late. I am a man of my word - I brought down suitable models for the Fujifilm X-100V test as I said I would. 1:43 scale models of a taxi and a mustard van. And yes, I would trade my car for a 30's Ford sedan or a Citroen H van in a second. Not sure if I'd haul mustard in it but it would make a cool camper conversion. The reason for the toy cars was to test out the new lens formulation on the x-100V. The original lens of the X-100 and the three subsequent iterations was glorious for general photography but started to soften up at the edges when you moved into extremely close-up range with the camera. For a model shooter it limited the use to medium distances. Otherwise, the fact that the camera never had dust-bunnies on the sensor and synched at all speeds with the studio lights made it a dream to use. Roll on to now and look at the Ford. Excellent focus  -...

And do it digitally. You all can. I attended a funeral last week of an old club-mate. In the manner of many modern ceremonies there was a slide-show presentation at one point and we got to see as many good pictures of his 94 years as had survived war and emigration. The quality of the old stuff was exceptional...

You might be forgiven for thinking that wireless triggers are simple things. So they are, when all you wish to do is tell a circuit to close at a distance from the camera. You put a transmitter on the hot shoe of the camera, a receiver under the speedlight out in the distance, and fire away. As long as the things are plugged in correctly and the AA batteries are fresh, it works every time. When you start to go TTL, however, and start to introduce different models of different maker's flashes, the whole thing becomes as complex as a spider's web. Here's a collage of images from the different trigger systems here in the shop on just one day. Beware that not all triggers made are shown - you have miles to go in this forest before you can sleep...

Ever see a Speed Graphic or Crown Graphic press camera - or any of the other US or British cameras of the 40's and 50's? Note that every one of them seems to have two things in common - a big silver handle flash on one side of the camera and Jimmy Olsen behind it. Golly Superman! The big silver handle contained as many " D " cells as they could cram in as a way of providing enough electricity to fire the big press flash bulbs. It could also provide synchronising ports for cables and a button to trigger a solenoid on the shutter. Whatever you were doing with the other hand - focusing the camera, pulling a dark slide, or fighting crime, the handle gave you a massive grip on the massive camera. The users decided which side they wanted to hang on to about evenly - the handles could be slung either left or right. Even when the smaller Leica-style rangefinders moved in for some press work, there were big handle flashes to let you keep it all in...

I am amused these days when every product or service I see is preceded by the letter "i " in lower case. It is put there to suggest that the object is considered to be intelligent. I'm prepared to believe this, but would like to point out to the manufacturers that this does no good at all when the purchaser 's name starts with " D " for dumb. My first name is Dick...