Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4 & Canon S95

Canon S95 16:9 ratio
Canon S95 16:9 ratio
Canon S95 1:1 ratio
Canon S95 1:1 ratio
Canon S95 16:9 ratio 
Canon S95 1:1 ratio
Canon S95 1:1 ratio
Canon S95 1:1 ratio
Leica D-Lux 4 1:1 ratio
Leica D-Lux 4 1:1 ratio
Everyone knows I love the square format on this camera. I tried out a Canon S95, which had all of the same size ratios, including the square format. I figured the S95 would be more pocketable, (it is), and could replace the D-Lux 4, (it can't.) I'm sorry but the S95 feels like a toy compared to the D-Lux 4, and though it may have a slight edge in having less noise at higher ISOs, the D-Lux is more robust in build, a bit faster in AF, and seems to render files more realistic in color. I would imagine the D-Lux 5 is about the same or better for files as the S95 in low-light, but I'm sure it's even faster than the Canon in AF speed. I liked the small size of the S95 though. Oh, and the little feature on it that miniaturizes everything. Kind of cool. I couldn't keep both cameras though, and frankly have a bond with the D-Lux camera. The Leica is much better built. The Canon is more compact. I sent the Canon S95 back. I do like Canon compacts though. It's just that this one actually felt cheaper in build than my old Canon SD800, which has an Optical Viewfinder! Sad, huh? That's the way it is nowadays though. No optical viewfinders on these cameras. Now, if I never owned the Leica, I wouldn't know about its build or wonderful sharp, accurate color files, and would have kept the Canon S95. Let's face it, the retractable lens on the S95 is awesome. No dealing with detachable Lens caps. Quite frankly, Leica could have dealt with this issue in the new D-Lux 5 camera, but didn't. That's my only gripe about this camera! (Though I do wish they had that little miniature feature too, like the Canon S95!) (All of these shots have had either Photoshop or Exposure 3 added. Also, most of these shots were shot in ISO 1600, 800 & 400 range.) 

Update: 11-11-11 
I was a bit harsh on the little Canon S95. For what it is, it's an awesome camera. The files from it are lovely, though not quite as good in dynamic range as the D-Lux 4. I ended up buying one again, so that my sister would be able to use a digital camera on her trips. Why didn't I just let her use my Leica D-Lux 4 or Sony NEX 5? To tell you the truth, I think she would go nuts trying to use the Leica D-Lux 4 with its annoying lens cap and metering issues. She would keep it in Auto mode, but the cap would drive her nuts. I know, because it drives me nuts. I put up with it because I know what this camera can do for its sensor size. It has a lovely lens. The Canon S95 is more pocketable. I know my sister loves that concept. The D-Lux 4 isn't. The Sony definitely isn't. I knew she wouldn't want to deal with the Sony due to size and the menus. The Canon S95 is perfect for someone who just wants to shoot on Auto, and it still has that manual capability. I like it a lot for the RAW and the Auto settings too. I usually shoot with it in manual though. It has a different file signature than the Leica D-Lux 4. I like it. The Leica has the edge, even with its annoying meter and cap. Still, I was too harsh on the Canon S95. It wasn't too long ago that I adored a Canon SD800 camera. It had a small viewfinder, but it had one. The Canon S95 is about the same size. So, it comes in handy when I just want to have fun with no pressure. It's perfect for that. The Leica on Auto is also fun, but again, the cap...argh! 

So, I have both cameras. My sister took some lovely shots with the Canon S95 on her trip back to Connecticut and to Sedona, Arizona. Isn't that what it's all about? HAving a camera with you at all times? DOn't even get me started on the iPhone. LOL!

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4: Gibson Les Paul 1959 Gold Top Holy Grail Guitar

It's the famous Gibson Les Paul 1959 model, but in Gold Top. The Holy Grail of guitars. A friend of mine owns this and he did meet Les paul when he was alive, and Les said he remembered this guitar due to a signature on it.

"Famous guitar players of today and yesterday such as jimmy page , eric clapton , mick taylor , slash and so many 100s of other popular rock guitarists have played and cherished the warm tone of this guitar."

Dennis said I could play this guitar if I wanted to, but I just wanted a picture with it for now. he's very generous like that!
Dennis is keeping everything original on this guitar.
See the wear marks from Dennis playing this guitar over the years?

This is one vintage beauty. It's worth about $250,000 to collectors.  Les Paul's signature is on it, and he remembers the guitar!

Dennis owns the Gibson Les Paul

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sony NEX 5 with 35mm Summicron ASPH 2.0 Lens

I have only one shot I took using this lens with the Sony NEX 5. I've been sick, so sorry for the lack of posts. The weather has been cold and wet as well. Did I mention I hate Winter? I don't like getting sick at any rate. For this shot I was just experimenting with a Leica lens on a Sony NEX 5 with an adapter. I have to use manual focus to get the shot. I think this would be better with a landscape, travel or human portrait. Dogs are hard to photograph even with a D-SLR camera. LOL!

I can't wait to try the Leica lenses when the weather is nicer. The only problem I have is with not having a OVF, which is what all of these cameras are missing except for the more expensive M8, M9 or Canon G series. The Leica X-1 can have one added, as can this camera, but it makes the camera not so compact anymore. Plus, the Sony zoom lens makes this camera bigger than necessary. (That, and it's not a Leica lens, which means I shall not show the files here using that. This is a Leica site.) I was trying to find an alternative to using a M8 or M9 due to the expense. (I sold my M8.2 because I just couldn't deal with the files degrading past ISO 640-1250, but also due to Ozzy's knee surgery. The whole digital M thing didn't thrill me either. Maybe I didn't give it enough chance, but my dog's surgery was looming, and I needed to get it done, hence the selling of the M8.2!) 

I wanted to use Leica glass on some digital body, a cheaper digital body. Well, it's harder than I thought, but doable. I still prefer the OVF though, as my eyes can't see the glare on a LCD when outside sometimes. I'm sure there will be camera manufacturers out there who will make better cameras for low light, like this Sony, and maybe add an OVF? I won't hold my breath. So, if you can't live without the OVF, you need at least a M8 or a film camera. Or add an EVF. Meanwhile when I feel better I will experiment using the Sony with Leica glass, and also use the D-Lux 4. I don't want another Leica digital M as it's too expensive for what you get. I enjoy using my Nikon better. I love AF, but that's me. Yes, the Nikon is a bit bigger, but I'm so used to it. I think that the most enjoyable Leica experience for me is the little D-Lux camera and the M6 right now. What I do like about the Sony is the low light capabilities. The files are much nicer than what comes from the D-Lux, but the little D-Lux is more compact and a blast to use too. Each camera has it's strengths and weaknesses. When I feel better, I will add more Leica-centric files. Meanwhile, enjoy this picture of my silly little dog.

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4: Autumn Colors

Went to a farm and photographed some color with the Leica D-Lux 4 camera in 1:1 square ratio mode. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Leica M6: Fuji Sensia Reala Film

I was playing around with a roll of Fuji Sensia Reala film the other day. I went to Northampton, Massachusetts to photograph color. I was quick about it, only having so much time due to a tight schedule. I wanted to also apply Exposure 3, the different, older slide film filters. Trying to keep track of all the different filters for each file is a task. I don't even know if I did keep track. Let's just say that I tried to make these files look like old film. I even converted a few to black and white. Now, do I like the Fuji film? Hell yes! I love it! I do believe Fuji no longer makes this film. It still makes the regular Reala film. 

I loved the odd lighting here and using some weird filter in Exposure 3 made it more bizarre. 
I converted this bike path white arrow line to B&W because it was more impressive, and to the point. Oh, shuddup!
I definitely used an old Kodachrome filter here. This color reminds me of Eggleston. 
Women racing by in Thorne's Market. I don't know why I love blur so much.
Just a boring wall, but the color is quite enticing to me. I did use an older Kodachrome in this, I do believe. 
Okay, so I figured this would look better as a Sepia Tone. Exposure 3 has several. I have no recollection of  which one I used. I promise that the next roll, I'll keep track of it.
I want to live in Newbury Comics. It brings out the kid in me.  How can you not love this ridiculous Logo?
This dog was a good model for me, even when she barked. Good dog!
Bored and crazy Golden Retriever in front of restaurant in Northampton.
A most photogenic Greyhound waiting for its owner. I feel like Elliott Erwitt!
I converted this to B&W to see the difference. Any comments?
Fender Strat Cop-Off. Love Downtown Sounds Music Store. I bought 2 guitars from them. They are wonderful!
What is it about Mannequins that makes me so happy? Is it because they are the perfect, captive, model? 
Wigs and Mannequins! It doesn't get any better than this! I love taking pictures of window displays with reflections of the street in the background. 
Once of these days, I want to buy a wig and walk around all day with it on. Maybe do some self-portraits?
Pumpkin? Man in the Moon? What the heck is it? It's another window display with a reflection.
Not quite the greatest picture, but I like the person zooming by and giving the blur effect. Then again, it could be shit. 
Paul & Elizabeth's Restaurant. Love the lighting in this place. It's always fantastic.
The highlight of the day was meeting this Pit Bull Mix puppy named "Sampson". He was so adorable. 
I added some old Kodachrome filter to this, because the actual color of this Scooter is bright yellow. Still, this filter makes this photo look like an old Kodachrome slide that didn't quite get the colors right. 
This is close to what the Scooter actually looked like, and I prefer the one above this, though the color is wrong. 
This is definitely not the correct Scooter color, but I still like the old Kodachrome film look. 
Light & shadow. 
Light and shadow.  People and dogs.
It's the Stay Puff Ghostbusters Marshmallow dude. Another window scene with reflection in glass.
Iris Photo. A photographer's heaven.
Curvy street. 
Woman walking on curvy street.
This is inside Thorne's Market. I did use an older Kodachrome filter for this picture. 
Now, what was the point of shooting this film? I was sick of digital and every once in a while I need to break loose and shoot film. I have a warm, fuzzy feeling about film, and I can't give it up. Even if it's costly, and a pain in the ass to have processed. Well, not too much of a pain. I send my film to Iris Photo in Northampton, Massachusetts. CVS sucks, so will never bring it there again. I like supporting the smaller camera store. (I may try Costco for its cheapness too).If Iris Photo were to shut down, I would surely cry and then believe that film is quite dead. If that happens, I think I'll give up on photography. It will just be too painful to shoot only digital. Maybe I don't shoot a lot of film, but I enjoy it when I do. How about you? I also get quite excited about the negatives coming in the mail. Like a kid excited. Digital is fun, and I love it, but film is where it's at, Baby! 

Why shoot color negative film? Because it's C-41 process, and can go to any lab, be put on CD, and converted to B&W or use the Exposure 3 filters on the files. Kodak doesn't make Kodachrome 64 anymore, and I want to try and replicate it. I may try the Kodachrome 200 slide film, though it just isn't the same. Okay, I'm done ranting.