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

Friday, August 31, 2018

Vintage Cars Through a Vintage Lens

"I'm not dead yet!" this blog, probably.

I have been AWOL for longer than I had recalled. Dang, the last post was from late 2016. Much has happened since then. Spawn the Younger has since graduated from high school after much success in Cross Country and distance Track events. She and her team broke every one of the girl's distance records at their high school in her last season. We went through the long and drawn out recruiting process (which will be blogged to help other distance runner parents) and tomorrow she is running her first collegiate meet with the NCAA DI UMKC Kangaroos.
Not a car. This is 3/4 a a Kansas State championship 4x800 team. The bouncy one is now a Kangaroo.
Yes, the last few years have been a blur. The blog needs to be brought back among the living since Facebook is a dumpster fire, Twitter is a burning dumpster sharknado, Instagram is getting spammed by Facebook, and G+ appears to have little to no engagement on photos posted there. Seriously, I get tons of engagement by posting decent photos on Google maps location reviews, but not on one of the last non-trolly social media destinations.

That's the long way around to the topic of the day. Several years ago, I made the switch to mirrorless camera bodies and fell in love with Fujifilm products. Mirrorless bodies like the Fuji X-T2 can be fitted with most lenses made in the last 70-years with relatively cheap adapters. The photos in this entry are out-of-camera using a 1960s era Olympus PEN F 20mm f3.5 lens.

The subjects were in seen at the Kansas City Great American Car Show, hosted on the Liberty Memorial grounds. There were a few garage queens, but for the most part it featured enthusiast grade and daily driver vehicles. Just super chill and pleasant.

Why use a vintage lens? Well, I'm lazy when it comes to post-processing. I do some PP with Snapseed, but beyond that I am bored with spending all my time behind a screen. I enjoy the natural rendering of a lens that delivers a period look on demand.

The Olympus PEN F/FT system was built to shoot on a 1/2 standard 35mm film frame. Conveniently, that's about the same size as a cropped, digital sensor. In theory, the Fuji X-T2 is using the lens as it was intended.

The system has some truly amazing glass, including the 40mm f1.4 that I often take on light travel excursions. The 20mm is kind of a mess. But it's a good mess with vignetting and out-of-focus areas one expects from a certain era. It's really soft under heavy clouds with a different character in hard daylight.

This car show is the second coming of the now defunct Art of the Car Conquers. Nothing lasts forever and that show took many volunteer hours to maintain. I hope to see that caliber of a show again, but enjoyed hanging out with people that drove their cars to this show.

Also not a car. Shhh... please don't hurt its feelings.

Which begs the question: could I become one of those guys that takes an interesting car to shows and drive-in nights? Maybe. But not until our adorable spawn are on their own and we have more room on the driveway. I recently came really close to buying a beautiful BMW E36 M3 sedan. I decided it would be a not-so-great daily commute vehicle and opted for a 2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid in the end. Luxury car depreciation is a minor miracle for used car buyers.

Vintage lenses are small, portable and fun. They take up a lot less space than a car. I am a car guy and love playing under a hood, but that kind of toy will have to wait. My hope is when I have the space and time that I can find the Datsun 280z of my dreams. I love pretty much everything about the 240z and 280z. They even have enough leg room for a six-foot tall guy. I can't say the same for old Fiats or the Mazda Miata.

This post is something of a beta test. Google profoundly screwed up their old photo catalog system when they dissolved the first iteration of G+. My Google Photos uploads are now working great in Blogger on a pure Android Pixel Book. I'll watch metrics on this compared to G+ posts. Likes and comments are free and appreciated by anyone in any social media space. I have to pick where to scream into the Internet void and appreciate the time you have spent on this humble blog.

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: