Panasonic Tag

If you have always sighed to own a Leica camera but quailed at the price of the new ones, there is an opportunity for you now in the secondhand shelves of Camera Electronic. Ignore the gold-washed Leicavich 35mm camera - that's just an ex-Soviet Fed faked up for the sucker market. Buy it for a talking point, if you fancy, but know what it is. Look more closely, however, at the Digilux 2  sitting behind it. The camera with the silver finish and leather strap. It's not new - and it's not ex-Wetzlar - but it is a genuine Leica made in collaboration with Panasonic of Japan and it has a genuine Summicron lens ( probably made in Yamagata ). All this is good. The camera will not have the screen or the resolution of a new Leica Cl or M10. You cannot expect that. It has nowhere NEAR the number of numbers in its price tag as those modern cameras, however - and there is your advantage. The rest of it is made to very high standards indeed and can serve very well. And,...

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...

Not to mention the camel exhausts and general air pollution of Cairo and surrounds. I not to mention this because a friend is  touring Egypt - the cities and the Nile up as far as Aswan - and has sent back some glorious photos via our social network. Unfortunately, I think many of them have been taken with a mobile smartphone and the lens has not coped well with the atmosphere. Perhaps it has been fingerprinted as well...

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...

The upcoming Birdlife Photography conference in Fremantle - 21 and 22 September  - set a bell ringing in my budgie cage. I remembered a lens I had seen on the Panasonic shelf at our Murray Street Store and it seems as if it was made in Heaven - or Yamagata - for the dedicated bird photographer. Before we get onto that, go to the BirdLife site and look at the fun to come: https://www.birdlifephotoconference.org Remember that you get cheaper prices on your tickets if you book early. So, the lens. The Panasonic 200mm f:2.8 Lumix G lens...

It's always thrilling to be given a big chunk - whether it's chocolate, motor car, or money. I would be out of my depth with all three, but I figure I could cope better with a camera - thus I was delighted to handed the new Panasonic S1R camera with a 50mm lens when I visited the Murray Street Store.  To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Panasonic cameras always intrigue me - I had one briefly a few years ago - and any new evocation of their top range is worth looking into. But in the case of the S1R I'm afraid the looking into becomes looking at. It is somewhat beyond my league in price and bulk. Not that it is the biggest or most expensive of cameras - there are still larger and dearer ones on the market - but it is getting up past what Panasonic used to aim at. I suppose that is the way of the trade - though it is interesting to see some makers downsize their designs while other boost theirs. And...

And this time it's not the maple syrup - it's the vexed question of what lens to get whan you have no idea - no idea what you you will be taking pictures of, what your camera can do, where you'll be going, or why you want the pictures. If this sounds a bit vague...

Not where I come from, it isn't. Mind you, we tended to put maple syrup on everything. I'm surprised I still have teeth, eh? More to the point, is it a pancake lens if it actually amounts to a standard focal length? Should it be a wide angle if it is going to be short-coupled? Is there another name we can apply to it? Yes. I call the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f:1.7 ASPH II the fighting lens. It is just a little bit shy of a standard lens for the micro 4/3 sensor...