Metz Tag

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...

When I started shooting events in the field in the 70's I fell upon the electronic flash with glee - it was so much better than the bulb flashes that I'd used prior to that. Of course it gave a different look to the images - harder shadows for one, and a cooler and more consistent colour temperature. In those days, the WB was set by the film manufacturer and you changed it via filters...

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...

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...