Showing posts with label cameras. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cameras. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicago Street Photography

I recently completed my second business related trip to Chicago in as many months. I was fortunate enough to have a few hours here and there that were not entirely scheduled. The weather was gorgeous for several days. Even a walk out to breakfast is a pleasure when it is sunny and 60+ degrees!

I have to admit cheating on the Typosphere. I've come to enjoy Google+ communities as a means to share my photography. We are also at the end of a school year with a seventh grader and a Freshman. Almost every evening is scheduled. Anyway, here are a few photos until my next installment on our scheduled trip to Duke University this weekend.

The World on Time

Yeah, I love fast and politically incorrect cars. This almost makes up for my daily 70 miles in a Prius. Being a large metropolitan area, it is not surprising that the preferred color for transit is basic black (enhanced with Picasa 3).

And kids will always be kids...

This is one of those joyous moments in street photography. In this case, I wasn't in good light and the camera was turned off. I saw the kid on the wall and two friends goading him on. I turned on the Sony NEX-6 and swung it up just in time to get this shot. Sure, a half second later would have been more dramatic, but I would have been more likely to miss the shot altogether.

Just five minutes later, the teen boys had moved on and the same spot was occupied by a couple in love.
Love and Flowers
I opted for a simple and compact setup for this trip. All of these images were shot with a Sony NEX-6 equipped with a Sigma 30mm f2.8 lens. I love the color and contrast from this lens and sticking to a prime helps me see compositions as I walk around.

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy watching people take photos of people. Tourists and their cameras are ubiquitous on the Magnificent Mile. I am also guilty as charged!

Just Another Flat Stanley

A tripod means you are serious!

Spring Tourists and Tulips

Tablet, Tulips and Towers

A Photographer on the Clock

One reason I enjoy pivoting LCD screens.
And moving on, here is a little bit of street life I enjoyed. I wasn't out at prime Busker hours, but I did get a couple of shots I like. Always tip the Buskers if you enjoy their work (or take a photo).

A Little Early
Making Music
And now for something completely different...

Um, don't ask me about this one. She had a tripod, that's about all I can confirm.
And more street life...

There were at least three officers every block, but only one team on horseback.

Birthday Fixings

I try to avoid taking photos of the homeless street people. That is a general principle in one of my favorite Google+ street photography forums. Still, the visible homeless population has mushroomed along the Magnificent Mile. When wandering with a camera, sometimes compositions appear.
Different Speeds
Different Worlds: Cropped and modified in Picasa 3
Lastly, I will depart from street images to something from the Chicago and Picasso exhibit at the Art Institute. It is an amazing exhibit and I recommend it highly along with the Othello, Remixed show playing through mid-June.

As always, thanks for looking and reading!

Copyright Notice: All images and words on this blog are copyright DwayneF of Vintagetechobsessions. While copyright is a concept viewed by some as antiquated, I am also well aged. You can always buy your own camera and visit Chicago and see what you can see. I highly recommend it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Canon 7D Survival Test

The nice people at DigitalRev TV are a little crazy.  But they are crazy in an entertaining way.  In this video, Kai puts a Canon 7D through a series of torture tests.  Can this DSLR survive being hit with a truck, immersed and frozen, shot, thawed and burned?

I'm not going to give away the ending.  However, I probably don't need to coddle my 60D as much after watching this test.

I have to admit that this was pretty excessive.  I would not try this with my own camera.  I certainly wouldn't go quite as far over the top as Kai. I'm not quite that childish.

Even with all that, I am reminded of the photojournalist who died in the collapse of one of the World Trade Center towers.  His Canon DSLR was found smashed in the rubble.  While the camera was well beyond the point of ever functioning again, the files on the CF card could still be retrieved.  I'm impressed with how far imaging technology has come.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Geek Pride Day!

Today is Geek Pride Day!  It is also the 35th anniversary of Star Wars Episode IV.  In some quarters it is Towel Day in celebration of the Hitchhiker's Guide.  To celebrate, I have posted some photos of some of my favorite geeky things.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zeiss Ikon/ICA Folding Camera Circa 1926?

Kind of Steampunk and Beautiful, But What am I?

Click me to see larger.

Well, that's the best detective work I can do based on available information.  Disclaimer:  This is the Internet.  I am not an expert on this particular camera and its origins are speculation based on available facts.

Now that we have that over with, lets look at some of the fine details of this machine.  For anyone that is curious, this photo session was done with the Canon 60D outfitted with the unworldly good Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro lens.

Confused Identity 1 on the Leather Strap
Confused Identity 2 Screwed on Side of Case
Confused Identity 3 below Lens Assembly.  This is the tension lock for the rail focal length adjustment.
Lens and Shutter Assembly in Normal Position.  Note ICA, COMPUR and Carl Zeiss Jena Logos.  The lever to the right of the lens cocks the shutter.  The release is the the small lever sticking out the bottom left.  The lens and shutter assembly screw out of the end of the bellows.  The advertisement at the end lists some available lenses.
Normal focal length extension.

Neat Tricks.  The entire assembly slides past the normal focus range to provide macro capability.  The silver thumb screw above and to the left of the lens adjusts the height.  The big knurled knob below the lens allows the entire yoke to slide left or right.  This machine is all about bending light to adjust for whatever is in the field.  The thumb wheel towards the bottom center of the photo runs a geared extension for the rails.

Full height and full length extension.  The bellows are amazingly supple for its age.

This is the standard viewfinder and bubble level.  The level is a nice detail.  The height adjustment screw is on the right.
About this hump:  this is an aftermarket roll film adapter.  I miss having the original plate holder, but this actually makes the camera a bit more functional.  I wonder what brand name would have been on the back?
The adapter includes a simple knife gate to expose the film.

For basic research on vintage cameras, my favorite spot is

The complicated story of the Donata name is explained in part at

The closest make and model I could find good information on is the Zeiss Ikon Ideal 225.  For a phenomenal writeup and photos on this beautiful camera, follow the link...

Jo Lommen's Classic Press Cameras

Original advertising.  Source:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Tale of Two Cameras - 50ish Years of Technology

The PEN F with a relatively huge 100mm f3.5 lens.  This camera takes standard 35mm film but only uses half of a frame for each exposure.

Many photographers use the manual focus primes for video preferring the shallow depth of field and the wonderful analog lens controls.
Notice the lack of a bulky pentaprism.  The mirror is flipped over to the left where the image bounces to your eye through a relatively small view finder.  Ignore the texture - that's light filtered through a screen door.  Oops.
That's the shutter.  It is a unique rotary titanium design.  Pretty cool for 1963!
And here we have the mirror box for the PEN F and the sensor on the Sony NEX 3.  It is the same size as on the Canon 60D series and does pretty darned well in low light.  The Sony system is encumbered by clunky and slow zooms, but the one currently available prime and wide angle adapter are pretty svelte.
This is the NEX 3 with a PEN F 38mm f1.8 and Chinese adapter.  I was shooting with the Canon 60D, so shown here is the old 30D that gingercat uses equipped with a 50mm 1.4.  This is my favorite walk around combination.  Yes, I love primes.

This isn't an entirely fair comparison.  The Canon is a far more capable body.  I can't shoot fire jugglers in motion with the NEX 3 body (middle), but it works for most of my casual walk around use and for catch and release in thrift stores and antique malls.  Notice how much bulk a proper pentaprism adds to the body size.

The three shutters are almost the same size.  The mirror box on the Canon is quite a bit bigger than the actual sensor.

Here is the NEX 3 and PEN F combo with a quarter for scale.  Even with a lens hood the set is tiny given the capabilities of the camera.  Bonus:  it does HD video.
 That all sounds wonderful, but there have to be disadvantages, right?  The live view screen as viewfinder is the worst thing about the NEX 3.  It totally washes out in daylight.  The controls are pretty fiddly.  I can shoot in mid-winter with gloves and adjust controls on the 60D.  That is not happening with the NEX.

Sony announced the NEX 7 body that is more oriented towards advanced amateurs.  It looks like a good spec, but I'll wait for tweaks and for prices to come down.

There is good news and bad news about the PEN F system.  The good news is that these lenses will never be thrown away or repurposed for art.  The bad news is that demand is high between the desires of NEX and Panasonic/Olympus 4/3 system users.  Prices are up, but these vintage lenses are still cheaper than their current autofocus counterparts.