Thank you for the very good article, “Is Kodachrome Still the King?” [August ’90, page 46], Since Kodachrome and Fujichrome are regarded as “cool” and “warm,” respectively, I presume that the color in these films is shifted. Could cooling and warming filters, No. 82 (bluish, + 100° Kelvin) and No. 81 (yellowish, — 100° Kelvin), be employed to counteract this shift?
Tiny twigs, bits of antique lace, silk ribbons, and rosebuds—what a charming way to frame a photograph! Artist Nina Henry handcrafts these Victorian photo pins by rephotographing an heirloom portrait, reducing it to approximately 1 ¼ x ¾ inches and surrounding it with stiffened gilded cloth and all manner of small, golden objects.
Where does the light go? What background works best? How do you control reflections, and how do you make the setup more than a little bit unusual? These are some of the questions a photographer asks himself when he shoots that inanimate subject known as a still life.
We're back!! Despite erroneous reports of its demise, our contest continues.
“Your Best Shot” Entry Rules: You may send up to 20 of your best shots (transparencies or prints no larger than 8x12) along with a daytime phone number, Social Security number, and any pertinent technical data to “Your Best Shot,” POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
What makes cameras beautiful, ugly, elegant, overdone, cute, pretty, or hideous? Hard to say, and not too easy to show!
Five gorgeous rangefinder 35s
Can SLRs look great? Here are three beauts.
Six of the ugliest cameras ever made
Can SLRs be ugly? Look at these four, above left
When it comes to cameras—or any other machine designed for a specific purpose—beauty is as beauty does. If a camera is efficient at taking good pictures, it really doesn’t matter whether it looks like an unadorned box, an ungainly hulk festooned with a haphazard collection of knobs and whatnots, or an elegant little piece of precision whose elements combine with uncommon grace and symmetry.
Open wide, SLR fans; soon you'll be able to shoot panoramas
Something new: zoom panoramas!
Darkness at noon? A tale of gross photofinishing
It's really supersatisfying when American ingenuity blows the combined minds of the entire Japanese photographic industry. Not only did Kodak’s little $12.95 single-use 12-exposure Stretch camera receive an ecstatic reception from the Japanese public, it became a plaything for most of the top Japanese camera designers.
FOR SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO SECRETLY ADMIRE POINT & SHOOT CAMERAS
The panorama wars: Stretch, meet Hi!
New-concept camera, old-concept fisheye
WIDES GONE WILD
It's too easy to be green
MIND THE LIGHTING!
Wouldn't it be hilarious if the great battle of the '90s wasn't Fuji Velvia vs. Kodak Ektachrome 50HC, but the War of the Wides or, more specifically, the matchup between the paper-and-plastic pseudo-panoramic disposable recyclable cameras?
The DX coding system for 35mm film cartridges is a great convenience—unless you bulk load film, in which case you’re probably gnashing your teeth and cursing the day those metallic film stripes were invented. It’s not just that you have to set your ISO speed manually; it’s that quite a number of cameras today will set film speeds only from DX coding.
Suddenly the darkened screen explodes with brilliant color and the eye-filling glory of your slides. "You took those?" a viewer exclaims with awe, and you wonder, Why would anyone settle for just prints?
What makes it go?
THE ANATOMY OF A SLIDE PROJECTOR
How to choose a projector
A look at projection lenses
How to test a projector lens
PROJECTOR TYPES Which fits your needs?
PROJECTOR TYPES: Straight tray
PROJECTOR TYPES: Manual loading
YOUR PROJECTOR’S LAMP: Cost, power, and longevity
MAKE YOUR OWN LENS TEST SLIDES
Is your projector bright enough?
PROJECTION LENS QUALITY Do you get what you pay for?
The proper screen
LENS FOCAL LENGTH MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
OF CURVED SLIDES AND STRAIGHT WALLS ...
WHICH SIZE SCREEN?
There are millions of photographers who have never had the thrill of seeing their pictures blazing brightly across a home projection screen. Poor devils. While some former slide makers may have forgotten the excitement and slipped into the doldrums of shooting only print film, there are 10 times as many camera owners who have never tried projection at all.
Dozens of exciting machines compete to project the greatest slide show ever—yours! Here’s a small sampling.
Format: 6 x 6 cm Tray type: Gravity feed, horizontal rotary Tray capacity: 80 slides Lensmount: Custom collar (motorized, push/pull focus) Lamp type: 250-watt quartz halogen Weight: 31 pounds Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 17 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Very quiet; 65.2 dB (front), 61.1 dB (above), 64 dB (back) Features: Perspective Control Projector (PCP) has lamp/slide/condenser assembly mounted independently within projector housing. This allows projector to be tilted while image geometry is retained (that is, little or no keystoning). Two-lamp system instantly shifts to auxiliary lamp when bulb burns out. Other features include: terminals for external dissolve units, automatic reset to zero position. "Edit" control allows you to remove (reverse, replace, invert, etc.) a slide without projecting next. Accessories: Carl Zeiss Planar lenses (75mm, 150mm, 250mm) sold with matched condensors; also: case, twin projector racks, remote control. List price: $2,600 (150mm f/3.5 Planar lens, $500) Comments: Projected images are impressively sharp and detailed. Relatively tanklike in size, but PCP 80 is very quiet in operation, and its slide change mechanism is surprisingly nimble. If the reason for its size (and cost?) is the Perspective Control mechanism, the tradeoff is worth it, especially for medium-format slide shooters who must project in tight quarters. Projector lacks a high/low bulb setting and autofocus, but the unit will accept Kodak remote controls, which may be easier to find (and afford) than Hasselblad.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Gravity feed, horizontal rotary Tray capacity: 80 or 140 slides Lensmount: Rack and pinion Lamp type: 150-watt quartz halogen Weight: Approximately 12 pounds Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.5 x 11.5 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Noisy; 69.2 dB (front), 65.1 dB (above), 72 dB (back) Features: Quick-release bulb housing, power-cord retainer, remote-control storage compartment, rear leveling foot, 140-slide tray (standard). On other Carousel models, autofocus, slide previewing screen, timer, and variable power for overseas currents are available. Accessories: Wired or wireless remote control, carrying case, dustcover, dissolve control, stack loader, slide clips (see picture, page 41). List price: $436 (with 102mm f/2.8 Ektanar C lens) Comments: Parts and service are almost universally available from local dealers or Kodak’s eight nationwide service centers. Accepts normal (70-hour), high-output (35-hour), and long-life (200-hour) bulbs. Projector performs admirably (bright image, smooth and fast slide change) with quick setup and easy leveling. Also transports easily with large built-in handle. Illuminated controls make it easy to use in a darkened room. Fine-focusing, especially with manual control, can be difficult.
EKTAGRAPHIC III AMT
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Carousel-compatible, horizontal rotary Tray capacity: 80 or 140 slides Lensmount: Carousel-type rack and pinion Lamp type: 150-watt quartz halogen Weight: Approximately 12 pounds Dimensions: 12.9x4.5x11.5 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Noisy; 68.9 dB (front), 65 dB (above), 73.7 dB (back) Features: Quick-release bulb housing, autofocus, timer, power-cord retainer, reading light, remote-control storage compartment, rear leveling foot, 80-slide tray (standard). Terminals for external dissolve and tape units. Some Ektagraphic models feature slide-previewing screen, high/low lamp settings. Accessories: Wired or wireless remote control, carrying case, dustcover, filmstrip adapter, stack loader, slide clips (see picture, page 41). List price: $657 without lens Comments: Basically a more rugged, upgraded Carousel designed primarily for audiovisual use. Slides are held more securely in projector gate to assure image alignment during multiprojector dissolve presentations. Some motor parts (ball bearings, motor pulley, etc.) are sturdier than Carousel; Ektagraphic also features three-year warranty instead of one. Also accepts 300-watt high-output bulb (15-hour lifetime) that Carousel will not. We found performance similar to Carousel's: bright but noisy. Projected image vibrates slightly on screen, and very fine manual focusing is difficult.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Carousel-compatible, horizontal rotary Tray capacity: 80 or 140 slides Lensmount: Carousel-type rack and pinion or helical Lamp type: 250-watt quartz halogen Weight: 13 pounds, 2 ounces Dimensions: 11.25x4.5x13 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Average; 67.9 dB (front), 63 dB (above), 67.7 dB (back) Features: Spring-loaded auxiliary lamp; high/low lamp settings; terminal for external dissolve and sound units. Highand low-speed slide changing will accommodate different types of external control units. Accessories: Wired remote control, infrared wireless remote, carrying case, and keyboard for randomly viewing slides by number. List price: $1,179 (lens, tray not included) Comments: Bright image and easy to operate, except that much fine-tuning of lamp/ reflector alignment is required at setup. Slide tray spins quickly and smoothly around when advance button remains depressed so you can swiftly access a specific slide without having to manually operate tray. Revolving tray stops automatically at zero position for quick removal. Apollo features an extremely versatile interface for external control units, but this interface really boosts its cost.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Carousel-compatible horizontal rotary Tray capacity: 80 or 140 slides Lensmount: Carousel-type rack and pinion Lamp type: 150-watt quartz halogen Weight: 13 pounds, 9 ounces Dimensions: 13.75 x 5.5x 12.75 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Average; 65 dB (front), 64.4 dB (above), 73 dB (back) Features: Autofocus, wired remote control (standard), high/low lamp setting, quickset release lever for tray removal, easy access to lamp, rear leveling foot, power cord housing, timer control (on some models). Accessories: Custom dissolve units, dustcover, carrying case, multiprojector stands List price: $540 (without lens) Comments: Image quality is good. Best operative feature is focusing: equally good from either control panel or remote control. Focusing motor is very smooth and responsive, with little searching required to coax image into sharpest focus. Controls and operation are straightforward and seem reliable. Problems: no storage compartment for the standard-issue remote control, and projector seems unnecessarily bulky. It’s considerably bigger than the Rolleivision 35 Twin, which contains (wo projectors. Sestar lenses often sold with Caramates are sharp.
P 2000 PRADOVIT
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: European straight Tray capacity: 60 slides Lensmount: Helical Lamp type: 250-watt quartz halogen, without reflector Weight: 18 pounds Dimensions: 10.5x6 x 13 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Noisy; 70.8 dB (front), 65.6 dB (above), 73.4 dB (back) Features: Autofocus, high/low lamp setting, terminal for external dissolve and tape synch units, standard remote, which features a focusable pointer. Accessories: Infrared remote, dustcover, carrying case, stacking containers for slide tray, dissolve unit. List price: $1,245 (without lens) Comments: Remarkably fast slide changing, very bright screen image, convenient, spill-proof slide trays, and buttery smooth focusing; in short, an elegant design and a delight to use. Slide shooters will have to ask themselves if acquiring the Leica name (and all the reliability this implies) is worth the sky-high cost of this gem. Remote control with illuminated pointer is very responsive, though somewhat bulky. Projector bulb is relatively difficult to remove.
DIAMATOR AF IR MC ZOOM
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: European straight (standard) or vertical rotary Tray capacity: 50 slides Lensmount: Helical Lamp type: 150-watt halogen without reflector Weight: Approximately 8 pounds, 14 ounces Dimensions: 10x4.5x11.75 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: Quiet; 66.9 dB (front), 63 dB (above), 67.7 (back) Features: Autofocus, high/low lamp settings, timer, terminal for external dissolve and tape synch units, infrared wireless remote (standard), and integrated wired remote control with light pointer. Slide Editor offers a handy way to remove slide from projector gate and invert or replace it without having to remove tray or show next slide. Accessories: Timer, carrying case, wireless remote, projector stand, and vertical rotary trays. List price: $310 (without lens) Comments: With the lens that U. S. distributor (Bogen) sells for the Reflecta—a sharp Vario-Doctaron 70-120mm f/3.5 for $135 (list)—this surprisingly lightweight projector represents one of the best buys around. (Service and parts? Good question.) The remote is probably the most handsomely designed we've seen. All the controls are included, plus the remote nestles back into the machine's body to become projector's attractive control panel. Bright image and smooth focusing
ROLLEIVISION 35 TWIN DIGITAL
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: European straight Tray capacity: 50 slides Lensmount: Helical Lamp type: 150-watt quartz halogen (2) Weight: 16.5 pounds Dimensions: 12.2 x 4.7 x 12.7 inches (W, H. D) Noise levels: Noisy; 70.3 dB (front), 68.9 dB (above), 70.9 dB (back) Features: Two-projector system (in one housing) permits dissolves and other special effects. Programmable, on-board microprocessor controls slide changing and dissolves automatically at user-determined intervals (2.5-second default time). Interchangeable memory chips store slide sequencing and timing on some models. Builtin remote control serves as unit control panel. Autofocus. Accessories: Extension rails for connected slide trays, carrying case List price: $2,168 (includes two 90mm f/2.4 Schneider AV Xenotar lenses) Comments: Overall the most capable we machine we tested, the Rolleivision Twin is a complete AV system in a box that’s smaller than most simple projectors. Permits direct control from personal computer as well as external AV tape and dissolve units. Some models feature programmable random access of slides with variable duration times, fades, fast/slow dissolves, and flashes. Amateur who can afford this machine can mount very elaborate AV presentations with a fraction of the equipment usually required. Instruction manual recommends glassless slides only.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Vertical rotary (standard) or European straight Tray capacity: 100 slides Lensmount: Helical Lamp type: 150-watt quartz halogen Weight: 9 pounds, 7.5 ounces Dimensions: 9.75x5x11 inches (W, H, Noise levels: Quiet; 68.6 (JB (front), 62.3 (above), 67.1 (back) Features: Autofocus, built-in slide previewer, built-in remote with cord storage (remote doubles as projector control panel), built-in rail extender for long straight trays, lamp removal tool, terminal for remote dissolve and sound units Accessory: Carrying case List price: $240 (with 85mm f/2.8 Vivitar lens) Comments: Lack of retaining ring on vertical wheel allows slides to shimmy out. Relatively sluggish tray-moving mechanism; “Ferris wheel" thumps through its circuit. “Slide previewer" is actually a mini, projector-top lightbox; it can't be used with tray to view slide images like more sophisticated Kodak feature with the same name. Projected images vibrate slightly on screen. This is the most economical of all automated machines we tested, and among the lightest in weight.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts Tray type: Trayless, manual loading Tray capacity: Single slide Lensmount: Custom helical Lamp type: 150-watt CEW Weight: 3 pounds Dimensions: 3 x 7 x 8.25 inches (W. H, D) Noise levels: Very quiet; 58.8 dB (front), 54 dB (above), 58.1 dB (back) Features: Removable 60mm f/2.8 lens (only lens available as of press time); easyswitch bulb; slide compartment conveniently stacks 30 viewed slides. Accessories: Semi-automated slide changer, filmstrip adapter, carrying case; adapter kit allows operation from car cigarette-lighter outlet or car battery. List price: $119 Comments: Rather wide-angle lens means large but relatively dim picture if projector is located behind viewers in normal-size (12 x 16-inch) viewing space. Deceptively toylike, this Cabin is an extremely lightweight and compact gem of a projector. Operation is quick and convenient with easy-to-operate eject button that quickly drops slide from projector gate into holding bin. Noise levels are the lowest of any projector we tested and so is its price. This little Cabin is small enough to fit in a briefcase, but its light construction means you ought to pack it well and avoid knocking it around. Don't make the mistake of dropping a slide into the slot meant for filmstrips—it will strenuously resist removal.
Format: Small and medium-format (35mm to 6 x 9 cm) slide mounts Tray type: Trayless, manual loader Tray capacity: Single slide Lensmount: Custom helical Lamp type: 650-watt quartz halogen Weight: 15.5 pounds Dimensions: 7.6 x9.25 x 17 inches (W, H. D); dimensions do not include removable slide changer Noise levels: Noisy; 70.3 dB (front). 65.8 dB (above). 71.3 dB (back) Features: Interchangeable slide sleeves permit variety of format sizes; high/low lamp setting. Accessories: Lens (200mm telephoto); carrying case List price: $965 (with 150mm f/3.5 Cabin lens) Comments: Slide-changing system allows for easy customizing to accept odd slide formats up to 6 x 9 cm in size (horizontal or vertical viewing). Images are bright and sharp with little falloff around the edges. Operationally, the most cumbersome of all projectors surveyed here—each slide must be manually inserted into slide holder, then slide holder is placed in slide changer, and slide changer is pushed into projector beam; you reverse the operation to remove the slide. For its rather cumbersome size, the Cabin 667 is lightweight and appears well constructed.
Format: 2 x 2-inch slide mounts (slides or filmstrips) Tray type: Trayless, manual loading Tray capacity: Single slide Lensmount: Custom helical Lamp type: Radmar #226 tungsten halogen with reflector Weight: 3 pounds Dimensions: 4 x 7.4 x 11.3 inches (W, H, D) Noise levels: No motor/no fan Features: 62-81 mm f/2.8 EFL zoom is sole lens. Push/pull sequential stack loader (forward only) handles 24-slide batches. Accessories: "D" battery base allows for operation without line current. Adapters available for automobile battery or car cigarette-lighter power hookups. List price: $140 (with lens) Comments: A valuable auxiliary projector for quick viewing or field viewing of slides, the Illustrator is small and light enough to travel anywhere, is reassuringly solid and easy to operate. It's adaptable to many different viewing conditions: Almost like a flashlight, it can be handheld for viewing slides around the room (or on the ceiling). Image quality is acceptably bright and sharp, but edges are soft. With standard cardboard mounts, stack loader seems overly prone to jamming.
Feeling negative about slide film? A look at these eight images will change your mind.
Why do pros primarily shoot film with names that end in “chrome”? And why are magazines like this one filled with a preponderance of photos originally taken as transparencies? As you can see for yourself and read for yourself on page 54 (“Are Slides Really Better?”), the technical and aesthetic benefits of shooting slide film (also known as chromes or transparencies) are legion.
Why do the most finicky photogs use slide film? Dim the lights, cue the projector, and find out!
The price you pay for slide quality: narrow latitude
Imagine looking at an exceptionally well-made enlargement from modern color-negative film. The colors are richly saturated, the detail crisp, and the grain nearly undetectable. It sparkles. Now imagine that it looks even better—that the image somehow stops looking like a print on paper and appears almost like a window on a real scene.
Is there one best way to make prints from transparencies? No—they’re all better than ever!
How do skin tones hold up?
How are the hues? Flower pix lend clues.
Snapshots from slides
For sheer dazzling perfection in representing reality, nothing can match a projected slide. (For elucidation, read "Are Slides Really Better?” on page 54.) Nevertheless, transparencies do have definite limitations. They're not the greatest things tor carrying around in your wallet, passing out to groups of friends, or hanging on the wall (slide viewers and transilluminated displays notwithstanding).
Honest, unflinching answers to your most pointed equipment questions
Stretching the truth
Aw c’mon! You can’t really mean what you printed about the Kodak Stretch 35. I’m sure the marketing people at Kodak and Kodalux are wearing big smiles, but I think you have stretched the facts a bit. Is the Stretch really a bargain? You assert that using a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera would require an expensive custom print to equal those available from the Stretch.
It's new, but how good is it? Here's what we found out.
THE SEKONIC SHUFFLE
Sekonic has recently reshuffled the features and control configuration of its highend flashmeter. The company’s hope is to generate some excitement in the heady realm of multitalented, multibuck metering products where the undisputed ruler is Minolta’s Flash Meter IV.