Anton Aylward

My Fuji F600EXR Arrives!

I collected the Fujifilm Finepix F600EXR that I had ordered via Amazon from the post office this evening.

There’s a bit of a back-story:  I had won a Amazon gift certificate at a trade conference and decided to use it to buy a small camera.  I talk in terms of a ‘shirt pocket’ camera, but in fact the F600EXR is a bit bulkier, a bit thicker than some that could be termed that. The lens mount is not flush with the body, as you can see in the illustration.  I did however have a few key requirements when I was searching for a small camera.  Key among them was that the camera could handle RAW format.  I’ll discuss the why and wherefore of that in another posting.  It does. however, reduce the set of candidates quite considerably.

The F600EXR is not available in Canada, but then the gift certificate was for Amazon.COM not Amazon.CA so that didn’t matter.  The one drawback was the hefty shipping fee.  To address that, I sent the certificate to a friend in the USA who buys enough from Amazon so that he has a ‘free shipping’ discount 🙂

So, I was left with having to pay the duty when I picked it up earlier this evening.  The duty and taxes amounted to C$20.30 and there was an additional $$9.95 “handling fee”.  Bummer that!  All the same, its a fine camera for $30.

Amazon reviews are here.

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Anton Aylward

A photographic study in light, Rembrant style and others

The Night Watch by Rembrandt, c.1642 (or The M...

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

This is important, but it isn’t quite what I want to say.

Lets leave it at this is an excellent first order approximation.

Where I differ is the ‘studio‘.
If you’re in a studio everything changes vs being on the street.
Its the ONE situation where a fixed lens is so superior to a zoom lens that nothing else count. Its the one situation where having plenty of aperture doesn’t count since you’re supplying all the light and in the place you want.

But I picked up on the Rembrandt because of the light and the dark.

I’ve seen these pictures at the Tate in London and at the Met in NYC I’ve seen others, one in particular in a private collection that is almost all dark black and brown except for the pinpoint of light catching the cheek the eye and the nose. Its fabulous.  It was position in a ‘dark corner’ with a pin-spotlight on the face — all to enhance the dramatic effect of the light and dark.

Rembrandt: Self Portrait (Altman)

Rembrandt: Self Portrait

The point here is Light and Dark.

And that’s not something most studio shots have … any way, any how.
All to many look like the shots of the the author on the back flap of a hardback book or something from a fashion magazine. Oh, and that includes the you-can-never-get-it-to-look-like-that pictures of food in adverts and on packaging.

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Anton Aylward

Not the lens I thought it was

When I read this  I realised that the lens I had with the GF-1 was not what I thought.
In reality its “90-400” in 35mm SLR terms.

The article says

This is the traditional portrait lens focal length. However, with f/4
as the maximum aperture at 45mm, the lens can hardly be called a true
portrait zoom.

Well, I thought of a 85mm lens as being a for portraiture.
The “Portrait Zoom” I bought for my Canon is a Soligor 80-200mm F4.5, but I normally use the 35-70mm F3.5.
Both are FD breech mount and both have macro capability.

Call that 17-35 and 40-100 in Four Thirds.

On the Minolta I normally use the 35-105 F3.5 but also have a 75-300
F4.5. Again, both have macro capability. These are AF mount lenses.

Call that 17-50 and 37-150 in Four Thirds.

An adaptor for the Canon FD lenses to the GF-1 does exist but the Canon lenses of that era are not automated.
One review  is quite positive, but makes it clear that this is a MANUAL lens.
There’s a forum that picks up on using Canon lenses with cheap adaptors.
The results look satisfactory but I don’t know about the handling.

Another review was not so positive.

One reviewer suggest an alternative
This warns against using Minolta Maxxum lenses on a four thirds camera.

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Anton Aylward

Macro? Well, No

All the lenses for my Canon and Minolta have Macro capability.  There’s something about zoom lenses, it seems, the lends then to being able to be macro lenses without the need for an extension tube or bellows.  In macro mode the zoom function now becomes a sort of focusing mechanism.  I don’t now the details.

But the 45-200mm lens with the GF1 doesn’t seem to have a macro function.

Typical close-up lensYou can also do close-up work with a magnifying “filter” lens at the front of the camera.  I have one of these but its a 58mm thread and the lens on the GF-1 is 52mm. Continue reading