Metz Tag

We are not going to suggest that the clients of Camera Electronic should come in to buy stuff in a sozzled condition - far from it. It has been done, mind, but it was not a pretty sight to see. And it is hard enough getting the sales staff down off the top of the cabinets with a hockey stick at the best of times.But there is something to be said for the concept of the cocktail hour consultation. Pull up a shaker and I'll explain.Cocktails are made from a mixture of things - liquors, essences, fruits, mixers, etc. They can be very complex or very simple - provided the ingredients are good, they nearly always succeed. Okay, the pickled herring martini was a general failure but we still sold some in Holland...

Those of you who followed the news from Photokina in 2016 - sent back in part by the management team of Camera Electronic and in part by the press departments of major manufacturers - will have been attracted to the new cameras and lenses shown. Lots of you will have zeroed in on new offerings and are starting to make vague plans to get something fresh...

What is the appeal of the hot light? What? How can anybody love a lighting system that makes a studio hotter in January? That needs specially-ventilated light shapers to work. That makes the metal snoots so hot they smell like the grille at Alfred's Kitchen? What is the deal with hot lights?Well it is June and the weather is getting colder, and if you are in a studio right now the constant light can be a bit of comfort. It is not as good as a reverse-cycle Fujitsu set to 27º but it goes a little way to heating the place. And the metal snoot? Well, you can heat that to welding temperature with the modelling light of at the average mono block anyway - learn to direct the head of the light by using the handle at the back instead of grabbing the light modifier at the front.The real deal with the hot/constant light is that you can see what you get. If you are training students to see what their lighting is actually doing, or if you yourself...

Okay. You're reading this. That headline got you. I knew it would. Read on and see what the connection is.Note: if you are going to be all awkward about the drunk bit, substitute barley water and improving tracts if you wish - the Gary Fong advice still applies.The Gary Fong Lightsphere is a device that has undergone a number of development changes. Early versions were made in two grades; clear and cloudy - and you had to pick the exact model to fit your speed light. Our shop had to stock about eight of them to service all customers. It was a beeping night- mare to get the right diffuser to the right customer.Things have changed. Gary saw the light ( ! ) and got his factory mates to make a universal diffuser that not only fit all comers but was made in flexible plastic to fold down upon itself. It could be used for a whole new range of speed lights.The basic idea of the Lightsphere is to fire the blast of flash light vertically into a roughly spherical...

Nearly all the flashes I own are TTL except for the ones that are not. And fortunately the ones that are can be switched back to manual control.This may puzzle the newcomer to the sport - after all the Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Olympus, Fujifilm, Sony, and Leica people all make a great deal of telling us that their various flashes are TTL - indeed in most cases this mode is the default one when you switch the speed light on. There are lots of occasions upon which it is exactly the right thing to do and many people can rely upon it to give them what they want.One of the joys, in fact, of demonstrating a modern Nikon or Canon flash to a first-time flash buyer is to put an SB700 or 430EXII onto their camera, glance at it to see that it is set to Auto or Program, TTL and AF, and then just point the thing at them and rip off half a dozen portraits right there. The TTL balances whatever the shop lights are doing and nearly...

I do not own a smart phone. Mine is a rather stupid one - it can summon the police or a pizza, but cannot take pictures of them as they arrive. I do not repine - I have mirror-less cameras for that. I have a album of 8 x 10's of Neapolitan pepperoni surprise.For those of you who do have the photophones and who insist on videoing themselves and others, there is a useful accessory just now on the market.The Metz LED - 72 smart is an add-on LED array with 51 of the little glowing nubbins mounted on a metal mount. It plugs into the socket on your mobile phone and draws power from its own internal Li-ion battery.It has several power settings starting at a full 72 Lux rating and then going down to a blinking mode. More than enough light to video with the phone or to light up a Subbuteo tabletop football game. The battery will go for some four hours on a full charge - and you charge it from a USB port on your...

This coming weekend one of the major hot rod shows in Western Australia will be taking place at the Claremont Showgrounds - probably in the Silver Jubilee Pavilion. There will be show cars, hot rods, custom cars, low riders, drag cars, drifters, and the occasional cute little stock car. Plus rock and roll shows, hamburgers, beer, auto parts dealers, custom paint pinstripers and no end of accessory, publication, and clothing sellers.The common feature of all the exhibits will be colour and pizazz. It will be a perfect opportunity for Perth photographers to make spectacular car pictures undercover...

Okay. We've resolved never to crawl up a ladder ever again. But the perspective of the down shot still intrigues us.At a car show, you can get some pretty good perspective shots from the front or back quarter of he vehicle. Also from dead on front and back. You can sometimes get useful interior shots - if the owner has left the side window down. There are even secret techniques to get good interior shots when the window is up...

That was a down shot. The sort of thing that you do when you don't know that you can't do it.Wooden 4 x 5 field camera bolted to a rafter in the studio ceiling. Just enough space between the the back of the camera and the ceiling to insert the double dark holder.A builder's ladder to get up to the camera for cocking the lens and inserting the double dark and then pulling the dark slide.Focus? Lie on the floor with the camera just above my nose and focus on the rafter - I mean, focus works in both ways - once it is set for the rafter it'll be set for the floor.Red paper backdrop covered in thin red velvet. You have no idea how much white lint a red velvet can pick up until you are sitting there with a roll of sticky tape picking up the bits.Lights, camera, action. Model in place, drapes in place, football in place - ladder in place, double dark in place, cock the shutter, pull the slide, stretch the air release tube...