Monthly Archives: September 2008

Link Roundup 09-20-2008

So much going on this week…

3 New Projects to Keep You Busy

It always seems like the photography bloggers are unintentionally on the same project roll-out schedule. We just ended our film camera project here on Epic Edits, but in its wake three others have popped up within a few days of each other.

So if you’re looking to get involved with a project to keep you busy, here are 3 good ones worth checking out:

BUYING PRINTS FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS
JMG-Galleries — Deadline: November 2, 2008

The goal of this project is to introduce fine art photography, photography books, print exchanges, and other photography related products to photography fans of all walks of life. It is also to spur photography fans to think in terms of financially supporting talented photographers so they can continue to do what they love.

This is such a cool thing! We love selling our own photos, but it pains most of us to think of buying one from another photographer. Jim offers several methods for acquiring prints or other items from your favorite photographers: alternate products, books, print exchanges, etc. I’ve been meaning to do some print exchanges for a while now, so this is the perfect excuse for me to get going with it.

POLLUTION/ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS PROJECT
ADIDAP — Deadline: October 18, 2008

The world we are living in is getting more polluted every minute. The project aim is to document the pollution you are experiencing in your area in a picture. What we are looking for is a documentary kind of photos that would raise environmental awareness in the viewer.

I’ve long held the belief that the camera is the mightiest of all weapons. Photos can change the world, and they will continue to make an impact on our history-in-the-making. Antoine has a great concept going with this project — pollution is everywhere, and we’re often so used to it that we can’t see it. Capturing this in a photo can bring it back to the attention of everybody. The winner of the project will receive a one year Flickr Pro account.

SHARE A PHOTOGRAPHY TIP
Beyond Megapixels — Deadline: September 26, 2008

We’re all about sharing our photography tips and tricks here at Beyond Megapixels because we like making information accessible for all. Now we’re asking you, dear readers, to share some of yours.

Jeff and Lisa bring us some awesome photography tips and articles each week. So now they’re turning the tables and asking us for tips. Specifically, they’re asking you to post a photo (on your blog, Flickr, or wherever) and give a few paragraphs on how the photo was created and/or processed. Oh yeah… and they’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one random participant.

80 Film Cameras for Under 50 Dollars!

I want these awesome camera reviews to be the main focus of this article, so all the text will be below the mosaic. As a result of a group project, here are 80 film cameras for under $50!

And if you’re into film, be sure to check out my film photography blog.

Project Winner #1 - (49) Marine XI, by Erick CusiProject Winner #2 - (14) Handy Box, by Jan MorenProject Winner #3 - (15) Yashica Samurai X3.0, by Tomas Webb (aka The_Wolf_Brigade)

(1) Minolta Hi-Matica AF2, by narruemon(2) Diana+, by Stephan Kaps(3) Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, by Rafi Abdullah(4) Elikon 535, by Johann Affendy Mahfoor(5) Polaroid Pronto 600, by nan(6) Beier Beroquick KB 135, by Stéphane Heinz(7) Fed 3, by Brenden Delzer(8) Smena 35mm, by Matt Steinbrecher(9) Polaroid Fun Shooter, by Chica(10) Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, by Toycamper(11) Akira PC-606, by Toycamper(12) Olympus OM-2, by Sam Galope(13) Olympus Trip 35, by Matt Charnock(15) Yashica Samurai X3.0, by Tomas Webb (aka The Wolf Brigade)(16) Lomography Diana+, by Brian Auer(17) Fujica Mini, by Bernd Saller(18) Argus C-3, by Brandon Babbitt(19) Minolta AutoPak 470, by Rex Auer(20) Ricoh 35 ZF, by Mikhail Fludkov(21) Kodak Vigilant 616, by Gary(22) Fujifilm Nexia Q1, by Toycamper(23) Meikai Point & Shoot, by Toycamper(24) Minolta X-370, by Bob Simmons(25) Kodak Retinette 1A, by kristarella(26) 25mm Panorama Camera, by Michele Ferrario(27) Olympus Pen EES-2, by Javier Odriozola(28) GP Hero, by Dane Doerflinger(29) Lomography Diana+, by Gavin McDougall(30) Zorki 4K, by Hitesh Sawlani(31) Zorki 10, by Toycamper(32) Villa Avto, by bLind-Shutterz(33) Kodak Instamatic 33, by monika mitterdorfer(34) Praktica B200, by Marco van Egdom(35) Reporter, by Stefan Bucher(36) Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, by Rodrigo Monteiro Gonçalves(37) PhotoFlex MX-35, by Toycamper(38) Split-Cam, by Toycamper(39) Mamiya C330, by Jeremy Johnsen(40) Zenit TTL, by Dima(41) Pentax K-1000, by Nick Jungels(42) Chajka II, by Rodrigo Monteiro Gonçalves(43) Agfa Isolette I, by Mustanir Ali(44) Pentax K-1000, by Derek Dysart(45) Minolta SRT-Super, by Bryan Villarin(46) Lomo Action Sampler, by Udi Tirosh(47) Sears KS Super II, by Scott Coulter(48) Vivitar IC100, by Erick Cusi(50) Vivitar Avon, by Erick Cusi(51) Praktica Super TL, by Victor Ionescu(52) Baby Company Yellow Green Camera, by Erick Cusi(53) Sunny Fruit Juice 35mm, by Rodrigo Monteiro Gonçalves(54) Gevaert Rex Lujo, by Maria Eugenia Quiroga(55) Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, by Claire Lu(56) Golden Half, by Kristoffer Marklund(57) FED 4, by Daria Sukhanovska(58) Agfa Billy I, by Antonio Marques(59) Konica C35, by Jim Davies(60) Canon Rebel 2000, by Monte Landis(61) Lomography Fisheye Camera, by John Hawkins(62) Time Camera, by Erick Cusi(63) Yashica J-7, by Mattias Wirf(64) Pinhole Camera, by Violeta Riera(65) Voigtländer Vitoret, by Jes Consuegra(66) Pentax Espio, by Ani Castillo(67) Nimslo 3D, by Hugo Pereira(68) FED 5C, by Suzanne Offner(69) Pentax IQ Zoom 835, by Monte Landis(70) Yashica-A, by Jason Hall(71) Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, by Elaine Mesker(72) Yashica-Mat LM, by Sarah Gerace(73) Nikon One Touch L35AF-2, by Raquel Stanton(74) Tura Underwater Camera, by Stephanie Briggs(75) Lomography Holga, by Nathaniel Perales(76) Nikon F3, by Luke Rossin(77) Minolta X-370, by J.P. Stephens(78) Minolta XG-M, by Rey Berrones(79) Lomography Holga 135, by Matt Maldre(80) Olympus OM-1, by Amber Lupin

When I announced this project, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the level of participation. I asked for people to buy a sub-$50 film camera (or use one they already had), write a review of the camera, and publish an entire roll of photos from the camera. I was kind of hoping for 30 or 40 entries.

But the community exceeded my expectations and surprised the heck out of me! We had all kinds of crazy stuff showing up: rangefinders, SLRs, TLRs, toy cameras, underwater cameras, point & shoots, box cameras, folding cameras, Polaroids, and even a 3D camera. 80 of them in just one month! I applaud your efforts — you guys are awesome! With all this enthusiasm for film photography, I feel like we’re on the brink of a film-revolution. It was great to see so many people picking up a film camera for the first time in years (or for the first time ever!), and having such a good time with it.

So if you’re ever looking for a cheap film camera — just go through the list above and I’m sure you’ll find something that sparks your interest. The photographers who participated in this project have essentially created a huge resource for other photographers that may be interested in film photography.

OUR SPONSORS ROCK!

How cool is it that ILFORD Photo and Lomography have sponsored this project to give away a Diana+ and 10 rolls of film to 3 winners!? These two companies are at the heart of present day film photography and it’s pretty awesome that they’ve taken an interest in our project.

ILFORD Photo

I’d like to offer my thanks and gratitude to both companies for joining us, and I encourage all of you to check out what they have to offer.

A BIG THANKS TO OUR JUDGES

I asked each of our two external judges to choose their favorite project entry — which is a daunting task with 80 participants! I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” to Jim Talkington and Udi Tirosh for taking on this role. Two of the three winners are shown at the very top of the list, and will each receive a complimentary Diana+ from Lomography and 10 Rolls of film from ILFORD Photo. And don’t forget to cast your votes for the third winner!

A few words from Udi of DIYPhotography.net

Participation was amazing. Now, this is not your ordinary “shoot a pic and submit” kinda contest, it requires effort, discipline, and commitment. After all it is film and it takes at least one day to chimp. Not to mention getting a camera for less than 50 greens.

It is not easy going through 80 entries so here is the process I used: I divided the submissions into 8 groups of 10, and browsed through each group, limiting myself for one or two selection per group based on general impression, first paragraph, and camera reviewed. I ended up with 12 reviews. I skimmed through the 12 and narrowed it down to three. that was not easy as there were more than three that actually were really good.

It was a though competition between Nick Jungels’ Pentax K1000 review, Erick’s Marine XI, and Mr. Wolf’s Yashica SamuraiX3.0.

The Pentax K1000 review was written right from the heart. It is packed with the technicalities that would interest me when considering a film camera like the viewfinder, the aperture ring, and “feel” of the camera. However, Nick is not just talking about the K1000, he is talking to the K1000, and for this he gets my full appreciation.

The Wolf’s interview with Dr. Lomo was fun to read and was both amusing and informative. and earned points for “sucking up to the prize givers” (yes wolf it was worth it).

The last review that made the final trio was the Marine XI. I could not resist a review that brings GAS in the first paragraph. This certainly got my attention. This along with the creative use of flash got Erick the winning vote. This and the Cohaagen-Give-those-people-air expression on the set taken with the camera.

And a few words from Jim of Pro Photo Life

It’s been a great deal of fun getting to judge these entries. From the moment Brian first announced the contest I’ve been looking forward to seeing what readers would come up with and the results have exceeded expectations. This contest rocks, on many levels.

There was a great deal of diversity and many interesting cameras: toy cameras, half-frames, Soviet SLRs…you name it. And being totally honest, I always like a good bargain. Part of the intrigue would be seeing just how much camera could be purchased for $50. Just what bargains are out there?

So it was with a bit of a personal surprise that I found my winner to be Janne in Osaka with the simple “Handy Box” box camera. Rather than seeing how much camera could be purchased for $50, Janne showed how little camera is actually needed to enjoy photography and create beautiful photographs. The text was informative, explaining the camera, company background and tips for shooting with the simple little box. And the photos sealed the deal for me. Shot in a variety of situations and obviously more than just a test roll, they were a pleasure to view.

But the tech junkie in me still wants to buy a Zorki, Fed or Olympus Pen. As a runner-up I have to go in the other direction and point out the very unique Yashica Samurai half-frame camera (and equally unique review) from The Wolf Brigade. The little Yashica is about as high tech and over-engineered a $50 camera as you’ll find, a complete contrast to the little Handy Box. Long live the endless variety and possibilities of the $50 film camera!

Again guys, thanks so much for judging this contest!

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

[UPDATE] The official voting is over and all three winners have been awarded their prize — but you can still leave a comment about your favorite entry!

Like I said, we’re giving away 3 prize packages. The first two winners have been chosen by our judges, and the third will be chosen by the masses. Leave a comment with your vote for best project entry. Look for those who put in the extra effort and/or got creative. You can vote by listing the entry number or the name of the reviewer — if you hover your mouse over the thumbnails, you’ll see this information show up. More than one vote is OK if you can’t decide between a few really good ones. One week of voting, then I’ll tally-up the points and announce the third winner.

PhotoNetCast Episode 12 is Available

PhotoNetCast

In this twelfth episode of PhotoNetCast, we discuss the topic of stock photography in the wake of Photoshelter’s decision to shut down their Collection.

At the beginning of the podcast, I also talk about my recent adventures with upgrading my computer storage space — including an interesting quirk with Windows Vista that allows you to lock yourself out of your photos.

Listen to PhotoNetCast Episode 12

Link Roundup 09-13-2008

A lot of interesting stuff happening this week in the world of photography.

Do We Want an Epic Edits Forum?

I’m always thinking about the community here, and how we can foster its growth. A forum is something that I’ve been thinking of for quite a while, but I held off mentioning it until we approached 5000 RSS subscribers. It may turn out that we need more of an audience to get a forum rolling, but let’s find out with a little poll.

I want you guys to be totally honest here (not that I’m questioning your integrity). But a forum is a big deal with lots of extra work and responsibility on my part. I have no problem maintaining such a thing, but if I’m going to do it I need to have a good part of the community also supporting it. On that note, I would definitely lean on some key players to keep the peace.

I think it would be a great way to “share the knowledge” and interact on a deeper level than just the comments here on the blog. I’m not exactly sure how the topics would be broken out, but I could imagine things like weekly photo themes, photo critiques, Q&A, film photography, digital photography, cameras and equipment, post processing, news and items of interest, and more.

So what do you think? Would you participate in a forum with this community? And at what level? Leave some comments too, and let me know what sort of features or topics would make a forum really shine.

{democracy:54}

And don’t forget to check out the results from the last poll titled “Who Wins? Nikon D90 or Canon 50D“. Even though the two cameras are in slightly different customer segment, the votes are nearly split 50/50. Lots of comments on that poll too — one of my favorites is from Antoine:

who wins ? the answer is easy Brian, WE do.

There is nothing that pleases me more than competition it pushes manufacturers to put in more features and lower the prices and, in the end, we are the biggest winner.

Both seems like good cams but, let’s face it, most of us doesn’t even need 1/2 of the features here.

Sony Steps It Up With the A900

Sony DSLR-A900

Big news today for all the Minolta/Sony fans in the crowd. They’ve announced their “Flagship” dSLR model, the A900. Similar in appearance to their semi-pro model, the A700, the A900 sports some fancy upgrades. The big hype has been around the 24MP full frame sensor, but the new model also has dual processors, improvements on the viewfinder, autofocus, user controls, and some shiny new lenses to go with that full-frame sensor.

Geared to compete with Canon’s 5D and Nikon’s D700, the price is also set in the same arena at $3000 for the camera body. I’m a Sony user, but I won’t personally be upgrading from the A700 to the A900 anytime soon. If I were a professional who relied on my equipment to make a living, I certainly would.

What do you guys think of this new camera from Sony? What did they get right? What did they miss?

SONY UNVEILS FIRST FULL-FRAME ALPHA DSLR MODEL
NEW PREMIUM LENSES SUPPORT FULL-FRAME ALPHA DSLR CAMERA

Preview at Digital Photography Review
Preview at Photography Bay
Preview at Imaging Resource
Preview at CNET

Tips for Finding a Film Developer

I recently got an email from a reader, Genaro Orengo, concerning workflow with film — specifically going from analog to digital. Here’s that email:

I recently read your post “Diana+ Camera Review”. I am curious as to your workflow for getting the shots from the film to the computer. Is there anyway you can share that with me? I am interested in shooting with the Diana, but am a little uninformed when it comes to medium format film.

And my quick response:

I get the film developed at a local photography store — most places will be able to process 120 format film (it’s still pretty standard stuff). Actually, I should say that most places will do C-41 (color negative) processing of 120 film. Slide film and b/w film are a little harder to find developers for. I just have them “develop only” — meaning no prints and no cuts. Then I cut them into the appropriate lengths and run them through my scanner (CanoScan 8400F) as full resolution TIF files. Then I just treat those files like RAW files and process them through Bridge/ACR or Photoshop if needed. If you don’t have a scanner (and if you don’t want to invest in one), most places that develop film also offer film scanning. The resolution will be somewhat low, but certainly large enough for web display. So really, you shouldn’t shy away from 120 format film just because it’s “medium format”. You just need to find a place that has the right equipment to handle it. Call around and ask them if they can develop 120 film, if they can process E-6 or b/w, if they do cross processing (E-6 as C-41), if they offer film scanning, and at what resolution.

But I wanted to expand on this topic and broaden the scope to finding a film developer that will suit your needs.

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE DEVELOPER

Once you locate some local places that claim to develop film (by Google Maps, Yellow Pages, etc), you’ll want to call around and find out if they can do what you need. Here are some things to ask potential film developers, depending on your current or future needs.

  • CAN YOU PROCESS 35MM AND 120 FILM?
    35mm is the most common film format, but 120 is also very common. Most places will be capable of developing both of these formats.
  • WHAT OTHER FORMATS CAN YOU PROCESS?
    Formats like 110, 220, 240, large formats, and others are less common, but still used. If you use a less common film format, you’ll want to find somebody that can deal with it. And find out if they can do it in-house — some places will claim they can develop these formats, but they really just send them off to a different lab. If you don’t want prints from these formats, be sure to ask if they could develop only — they may just be lacking the film holders for doing prints.
  • CAN YOU PROCESS BLACK & WHITE FILM?
    I’ve seen places handle b/w in two different ways: send it off to a pro-lab or do it by hand themselves. Black & white film developing is usually done by hand, so not too many places offer this service. The alternative option is to get the chemicals and do it yourself.
  • CAN YOU PROCESS SLIDE FILM?
    Slide film has to be processed differently than color negative film and b/w film. If you like slide film, make sure you can find somebody to develop it. Most places I’ve encountered will send slide film out to pro-labs.
  • WILL YOU CROSS PROCESS SLIDE FILM?
    Cross processing slide film as color negative film can be very interesting, but not all developers will do this for you. The slide film will alter the chemistry in the developer, so not everybody is willing to do this. Typically places with higher volume and more knowledgeable staff will be willing to do this.
  • DO YOU SCAN FILM? AND HOW LARGE?
    Most places will offer some sort of scanning capabilities. The resolution is typically around 1200 pixels on the long edge — so good enough for the web, but not for digital printing or stock uploads.
  • DO YOU PRINT? HOW LARGE? AND WHAT PAPER?
    Prints are handy to have — but will you be needing anything larger than the standard 4×6? How about 20×30? Can they print on matte paper, photo paper, or canvas?
  • WHAT ARE YOUR TURNAROUND TIMES?
    It really only takes about 10-15 minutes to run a roll of color film, and most places will give you a 1-hour turnaround for one or two rolls. If they do b/w, you might have to wait until the next day.
  • HOW ABOUT PRICES?
    If this is a concern, ask them about prices before you even bring the film in. I usually go with develop only to help cut the cost from a bunch of prints (plus I scan everything myself). I pay $3.50 per roll of color and $4.50 per roll of b/w.

I hope this helps address some questions that others may have about getting started with film photography. It’s really not scary, expensive, or difficult. Find yourself a knowledgeable film developer and they’ll take care of you.

I ended up finding a great place just a few miles from my house. The guys at Foto Finish Digital can handle all my 35mm, 120, and 110 format films. They even do black & white and small quantities of cross processing for me. They can enlarge up to something like 30″ on a few different types of paper (though I still need to try this out with them). I’m totally happy that I found such a cool place nearby.

5-Day Reminder for the $50 Camera Project

The $50 Film Camera Project

The $50 Film Camera project will be coming to a close at the end of this week — the deadline is September 12. Currently, we have over 40 entries and I expect that we’ll pass the 50 camera mark within a day or two. So if you were thinking about participating in this project, now is the time to get ‘er done! Remember, we’ve got 3 Diana+ cameras and 30 rolls of film up for grabs. I’m hoping to have the results of the project posted early next week.

GO TO THE PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT