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"How about a 15% larger Miata with a super high revving 3.5 or 4 litre V8? I'd buy that." I've got that- it's a 2003 Mercedes CLK 430 Cabriolet. Runs like a scalded dog with its 4.3 liter V-8. Fast, safe, reliable and cheap ($16k two years ago.), maybe even stylish. What's not to like? Well, OK, it's automatic- but you can shift it manually if you want.
I'll chime in as a current owner of several Michael and Paula prints. It doesn't bother me a bit that the TOP print sale prints are selling for less than I paid for mine, in fact, I think it's a wonderful opportunity for others to own some of their work. The prints I bought were chosen carefully because I love the subject matter. I also bought one of their Azo Portfolios to help fund the Azo replacement paper that Michael helped develop. I don't care about the secondary mkt because I love my prints and will never sell them (my heirs will have to deal with that if they choose). I should add that M & P's prints are simply exquisite; true works of art that you can hold in your hand and treasure. No one who buys these prints would have reason to be disappointed in their quality. I also very much admire M & P's dedication to their craft and art. Michael has basically spent his life photographing with a large format camera and they both have a wonderful body of work.
I quite like the camera and gear impressions that you post here on TOP. It seems to me that you strike a good balance among photographic discussions of all types with the result that a strong, interesting community has gathered here that always has insightful comments. Thanks! And your D800 photos of the gear are just fine.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2013 on Panasonic GX1 Impressions at The Online Photographer
Excellent thoughtful piece, Kenneth. As I get older I reflect on this subject more often. As for me, I photograph for my walls. That is, I make prints, mat and frame them and hang them on my walls. When I get tired of a print or have a new image I want to see, I swap the print out of the frame and hang something new. I have a short list of subjects that I photograph most often and strive to make images containing a strong graphical element. Printed images that reveal something new every time you look at them are just captivating. Apart from the images themselves, the act of photographing has been my way of relating to the world for 50 years now. Perhaps it gives me some perceived measure of control over the uncontrollable, a sense of peace in a world of turmoil. Whatever it is, I don't think I could live without making images, even the ones that don't end up on my walls. Maybe some day, but not just yet.
Many years ago I realized that I enjoyed operating a camera and experiencing the photographic process as much or more than I enjoyed the end photograph. I've made many satisfying pictures in my life and I love all of those, but I love cameras, too. I don't give a hoot about possession or ownership of equipment, but I crave the experience of learning and using different cameras as precision mechanical (electronic) devices. I'm the same way with cars, having owned fifty or so different ones during my 65 years. A lot of this is because I'm ADD and need the intellectual stimulation of constant change. I do admire those who can ignore the equipment and concentrate on the photograph alone, I'm just unable to do that!
When I read that article on bokeh in 1997 I was pleasantly shocked and amazed! There being introduced to me was a photographic concept that I had not known existed or ever considered. I was thrilled to discover it through the article. Mike, thank you so much for publishing that article; I have used that knowledge of bokeh ever since!
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2012 on I Should Have Said... at The Online Photographer
I watched that show on Pete Souza last fall on PBS and found it absolutely fascinating. Highly recommended for this TOP audience. I wouldn't want that job because of the intensity of the work involved, but I'm glad that someone of Souza's caliber is doing it!
Mike, you're right about the Wista being the first Zone VI view camera. I skipped it because there was never any pretense about its being anything other than a private labelled product, not manufactured by Zone VI, in other words. I said the initial production runs... BTW, I learned a lot about photography from Fred Picker, his publications and products in the 1980's. From the point of view of a customer, he was quite good. One just needed a good "bluster" filter...
Toggle Commented Nov 25, 2010 on The Wista is 30 at The Online Photographer
The initial production runs of Zone VI view cameras were made by Wisner. I have one, S/N 208, ordered new in 1986. Picker and Zone VI later took over production in their own facility, apparently using Wisner's designs. Thus the lawsuit that Mike mentions above. I don't remember when the production cut-over occurred, however. My Zone VI view camera sits unused now, but I still love it.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2010 on The Wista is 30 at The Online Photographer
I'm there, too. After 20 years of using a Pentax 6x7 with ten available exposures per roll, I'm similarly frugal with digital. Ctein used a 6x7 too, which may be part of his influence. I bought a new digital camera a year ago and have made a total of 2500 exposures with it. And that includes cat and flower pictures!
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2010 on It's Just How I Work at The Online Photographer
Great choice, Mike, I'm happy for you and Zander. I despaired of recommending a Mercedes to you because you seemed so attached to a manual transmission, but these cars are super: quiet, smooth, competent handling, excellent straight-line stability, I could go on and on. Over the years I have bought a number of used Mercedes (twelve, in fact) instead of a brand new some-other-kind-of-car. (I never bought a new one.) The car you bought represents one of the best automotive value propositions in so many ways: comfort, safety, reliability and fun at a great price. Enjoy! I'm sure you will never be sorry for this purchase. BTW- Have Zander practice running off the right side of the road and recovering smoothly without over-correcting. Those over-correcting accidents kill so many inexperienced drivers. Just a little practice could save his life.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2010 on Open Mike: The New Ride at The Online Photographer
I would argue that Leica in not interested in market share per se. What they are interested in is that their new products generate enough revenue to generate profitability and growth from where they find themselves now. Leica is small- even if they had more M9 orders they couldn't build them- it's taking a long time for them to clear their M9 backlog now! Not to mention the S2 in the mix. The M9 is priced to maximize its revenue, given Leica's production volume limitations. I'd do the same if I were running Leica.
Mike, this Camera of the Year format is just great. Lots of good info here in one place. Good job!
@John Taylor- The art collectors are Herb & Dorothy Vogel. PBS just did a film on them recently. Check Absolutely fascinating! BTW Mike, is print collecting the new direction that your photography is taking in 2010? Also, what happened to the photo contest or other "event" for TOP that you alluded to in the Spring? :-)
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2010 on Resolution 2010 at The Online Photographer
Whew! For a moment there I thought your New Year's resolution was going to be to learn to play the viola! Maybe the jazz viola...
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2010 on Resolution 2010 at The Online Photographer
Feeling as you do about houses, you might enjoy Sarah Susanka's book "The Not So Big House..." and others in her series. She's got some great ideas along those lines. Regarding the windows you'd like to get rid of, could you just put bookshelves in front of them?
These are cool pictures with a neat camera. A few years ago, I shot a series at the NC coast with two identical Ansco (Shur Shot) box cameras. One was loaded with TMX (100) for bright sun use, and the other loaded with TMY (400) for cloudy/shade. I figured the lenses to be about f/13 and they produced images with a reasonably sharp center and nicely soft corners. (I'd post those images, but they're old fashioned silver prints and I haven't scanned the negs.) The nice thing about those Ansco cameras is that they use 120 film natively- no need to respool to 620. (Watch out for Kodak box cameras- they're likely to use 620.) I wish this single-element lens effect could be replicated effectively in digital, but Lensbabies just don't cut it. The key seems to be that a single-element lens has just such a smooth focus gradient out to the edges of the (large) 6x9 cm negative size, whereas the small area of even a full-frame digital requires a lens with severe aberrations to produce out-of-focus corners that the resulting bokeh is terrible. Maybe there's something to physics after all...
I pre-ordered my M9 this afternoon from Amazon, so you'll be getting credit on that, Mike. I'll be keeping my M8 for long lens and IR work (and yes, I use it almost daily). Regarding the cost of these things, I bought a Canon 1Ds in early 2003 for $7k and I'm still using it six years later. I plan to use it another six years or until it breaks. One reason that I can afford an M9 now is that I passed up the 1Ds2, 1Ds3, 5D, and 5D2, much to Canon's chagrin, I'm sure. I'm excited! Not only will my 15mm and 25mm lenses now really be 15 and 25, but I also have two vintage Leica lenses, one from the 1930's and one from the 1950's that draw beautifully (to use Sean Reid's words) and should do even better full-frame.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2009 on Leica's Back at The Online Photographer
This is indeed very neat and creative. However, isn't this work truly sculpture which just happens to have been photographed so we can see it? Isn't photography the medium rather than the message here? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Just wonderin'...
Yes, Ctein, this makes perfect sense. My company made noise reduction devices to enhance radio communications and we found that speech intelligibility was improved when not all of the noise was removed. In fact, we ended up generating consistent white noise and adding a small amount back into the noise-reduced audio. I should add that this occurred in the analog domain.
Toggle Commented May 11, 2009 on Noise Is Your Friend at The Online Photographer