I enjoyed your “Shoptalk” in the July issue. I have found that a piece of frosted (single side only) drafting film is often a handy substitute for ground glass for the amateur camera tinkerer. The film may be cut to the exact size needed with scissors.
SON OF THE NIKON F, THE F2 . . . For months, rumors have been flying about a new Nikon camera . . . now you can go to your dealer and see it. The F2 was unveiled simultaneously around the world. Here are the details: it is a system camera like the F, with numerous improvements, yet still takes the same 40 Nikkor lenses, 17 viewing screens, and most other F accessories.
Even if you are not a dyed-in-the-wool modern birdwatcher—armed with a super-8-cum-zoom movie camera rather than binoculars—it is more than likely that in this era of air, noise, and water pollution you have found yourself getting away from it all with increasing frequency.
Alan Jacobson, Mount Royal, N.J. First, consider the Him. If you are not bulk loading, but shoot with factory-packed film, we can probably eliminate the cartridge as the source of trouble. That leaves the camera. Expensive or not, dirt and grit inside could cause the scratches.
Manuel Alvarez Bravo—Photographs, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City (July 7-August 25). If one were to try to select the photograph most representative of Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s artistic and philosophic concerns, Grave and Mountain, 1956, might be the choice.
How flash powder helped to start a one-man crusade against poverty
One morning in 1887, a press item announcing the German discovery of flash powder as a photographic illuminant provided the means for one of the greatest one-man crusades against poverty and human erosion in the social history of this country.
One of the surprising things today is that there are still so many different answers given for basic steps. Take the simple matter of drying film without getting visible water marks, streaks, or scratches. Believe it or not, you can find staunch advocates of sponges, squeegees, or chamois cloths as well as wetting agents.
When I was in London two years ago, I found it hard to believe that there was so little interest in photography. The Institute of Contemporary Arts had hung a few shows. The National Portrait Gallery had hung a crowded collection of Cecil Beaton’s portraits of people who were either noble or famous—and usually rich.
Introducing my magic "box"— you can't beat it for lighting studio portraits
Almost every advertising photographer’s studio nowadays contains at least one large “box” light that is used for the majority of the photographs done in the studio. It’s hard to say who originated this concept, because actually it is an adaptation of natural light coming through a window or skylight.
The ideal darkroom doesn't exist, but who needs it?
If I could have an 18x24-foot darkroom, I’d partition off a 6x8-foot room within this room and place a 4-foot sink inside for black-and-white and color film processing. Then I’d partition off another 8x12-foot space and install an 8-foot-long stainless steel sink exclusively for color print processing.
They were really packed into the room. Buying, selling, trading, looking, touching. Not that the John Jay Room of New York’s Penn Garden Hotel is a gigantic place, but reasonable estimates are that more than 350 people attended the event. What was it that drew these people there?
ARIZONA Phoenix Art Museum; Photography Into Sculpture (MOMA) Oct. 4-31. Soft Images/ David Ruether Nov. 1-21 (Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Ithaca. New York) CALIFORNIA________ Friends of Photography Gallery. Sunset Cultural Center.
Is the interest in photography's history and old processes a cop-out?
The study of the history of photography, and the current interest in the revival of old processes such as bromoil, gum-bichromate, paper negatives, platinum printing, Daguerreotypes, and the like, can be a fascinating pastime. It can also become a trap that can keep many an individual from developing into a competent photographer.
We've come a long way since the British started auto-focus in 1892
The recent unveiling of a significantly original auto-focusing lens design, the 80-mm Nikkor-AF f/4.5, presages an era of truly automatic cameras that will not only select proper exposure, but also set correct subject distances, without external manipulation. And those old saws about “composition finders” that signal artistic subject arrangements have gained new currency.
Diary of a Century, photographs and text by Jacques Henri Lartigue, edited by Richard Avedon. New York: Viking Press, 1970. Unpaged, S27.50. In 1901, when Jacques Henri Lartigue was seven, he received a camera from his father, a Paris banker and amateur photographer.
International flavor reigns at Six Flags amusement parks
If there’s any possibility you might be shooting movies while on the rides at one of the Six Flags amusement parks, for goodness sakes, take along some sort of lens-protecting Filter and a handful of tissues or a soft cloth to wipe the water off the camera.
Confessions of a random color slide shooter and how he had fun making profit
Did I ever tell you about the slide show to end all slide shows? I first had the idea in 1955, but I know that it wasn’t exactly an original idea because I am certain that the idea came to me in 1940 at the New York World’s Fair while watching a multiscreen presentation in the Kodak pavilion.
The artist, agony, ecstasy, and the "raw prototype" —a tale of woe
Late last night, I finished work on a project that began six months ago. It represents a one-of-a-kind prototype of an instrument to measure the exposure accuracy of cameras featuring exposure automation. After a full period of in-use testing and operator familiarization, it will be used in gathering data that will appear in the Lab Report section of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY.
Still and movie cameras Eastman Kodak has come out with a moderately-priced ($37.95) Instamatic, the X35, with extended-range exposure control. Electronic shutter makes automatic exposures under lighting conditions from bright sunlight to artificial light indoors, night exterior scenes, museum interiors, etc.
Admittedly, I have some gripes about modern lenses—but I am not about to give lens makers a general clobbering. After all, how could I possibly complain about such innovations as faster and sharper optics, macro lenses, anamorphic or wide-screen types, perspective control lenses, fish-eyes, mirror optics, improved zoom lenses, ultrawide and super-tele lenses, and other inventions undreamed of a few decades ago?
Chicken wire, cross talk, intagliation— what it's all about
Next time you’re in danger of being put down by some street-corner wise guy spouting off about the few optical facts he knows, just tilt your Stetson back and ask him if he can describe an optical means by which an object can be magnified or demagnified without the use of any curved surfaces.
One day a few years ago, a New York dealer in antique furniture phoned to say he had just purchased a collection of more than 5,000 daguerreotypes and cases. He asked me to announce the fact in my column, which I was then writing for the Sunday edition of The New York Times.
With the coming of radio, everyone just knew that the phonograph record was dead! With the coming of through-thelens-reading SLRs and rangefinder cameras with built-in meters, the hand-held meter is . . .? Photo dealers, distributors, and manufacturers to whom I have spoken tell me that sales of hand-held exposure meters are holding their own.
Most theater critics are not playwrights; film critics don't make films and many critics of photography are not now nor ever have been photographers. So. have you ever wondered whether POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY'S staffers ever actually get their editorial hands wet in developer, or know what the inside of a darkroom or the working side of a camera looks like?
AI Rubin, a 26-year-old artist and photographer is a talented and sensitive individual who loves to share his enthusiasm about life with others. He attended the Boston Museum School on a scholarship. “I went through such extensive art training, so many things were stuffed into my head, that I’m still trying to forget them,” says Rubin.
So say student photographers at Union College, and they prove it
On most college campuses, departure from tradition has, in itself, become a tradition. Few areas of academic life have remained untouched by change, including that big end-of-school-year memory book—the yearbook.
It carries just about anything, from a 30-cent film clip to a $278,000 viewer—at cut-rate prices
HARVEY V. FONDILLER
If you happen to know someone who wants to save $238,000 on the purchase of a used 35-mm film viewer, have him contact Bomze, 7 East 19th St., New York, N.Y. That supermarket of second-hand professional photographic equipment is currently offering a $278,000 machine for only $40,000.
We bigots are forever getting confused by the facts. For example, as far as I was concerned, any tiny 35-mm camera with only a wrist strap was not photographic apparatus at all. I considered it more of a charm bracelet. Pure prejudice. However, now that I have had a chance to use the Petri Color 35, I’ve got to admit that, far from being costume jewelry, it’s all camera.
Comments: There is a general sense of correctness to both the outside and inside of this little handful. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the clean, sturdy manner in which controls are cross-coupled between the meter and the shutter and diaphragm.
In looking at Stanley Knap's photographs, one approach that stands out strongly is his use of middle and far distance objects as important compositional elements. This is very unusual these days, because for years people have had it drummed into them that they should concentrate only on close-up objects. Not so, says Knap; objects can be important in a picture even if they’re not stuck right in front of the lens.
Mona Lisa kept flashing her goofy smile, and Lord knows why she’d never gotten her teeth straightened; and she had this vacuous stare that she never seemed to take off you, and she chattered with the rapidity, and the intelligibility of a jackhammer.
POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY’S travel department maintains a complete upo-date world-wide listing of travel information sources—countries, states and general areas. This page has been designed to help readers plan their vacations, photo tours, and week-end trips, by making it easy for them to obtain current news about any point on the globe.
We will pay $10 for original, illustrated ideas on better picture-making, as well as darkroom aids. Please include stamped, self-addressed envelope if you wish unused material returned. Vignetting easier with template A time-saving and an accurate method for centering portrait subjects to be vignetted involves the use, at the baseboard, of a piece of dark, stiff paper cut to the exact size of the printing paper to be used.
STAR TEST: The image of a point of light is examined with a microscope. The deviation of the image from the ideal indicates the nature and extent of the aberrations. The test is partly subjective. ELECTRONIC BENCH TEST: Contrast levels are compared electronically between the image of a coarse and fine slit, and the result is expressed as a percentage.
A library of useful information is available to photographers free, thanks to the instructional literature many manufacturers offer. There are, no doubt, several booklets described here that will interest you. Just enclose 1Oc in coin or stamps to cover handling and you can circle as many choices as you wish on the coupon below.
Large-format b&w infrared film I own a 2¼*3¼ press camera, and would like to try my hand at some experimental work, using black-and-white infrared sheet film. My friends insist it is only made in the 35-mm formal, but l am sure I have seen photographs that were made with larger formal film.