You really date yourself if you can recollect watching TV test patterns. (The plot was pretty boring, but the performance was extremely consistent.) For those who remember the Golden Age of rabbit ears and blown vacuum tubes, now you can hang up a framed video-resolution target of the sort you sat through while waiting for the Saturday morning cartoons.
Our persnickety panel of editors praises and pans your pictures
Subject or frame?
Love at first sniff
Shop till you drop
E.S. Nice use of a wide-angle lens. I think the photographer should have burned in the ocean; it's so overexposed. Overall, I love the driftwood and the way the trees bend because of the distortion of the lens. P.K. I like the texture in the tree and the strong dramatic sense of movement in the driftwood, the way it so forcefully leads your eye into the picture.
SHOOT NEW, FINER-GRAINED, BRIGHTER KODACOLOR 400 GOLD ANYWHERE FROM ISO 25 TO 1600? C’MON,KODAK. YOU MUST KIDDING!
ARE GRAIN AND SHARPNESS IMPROVED? LOOK AT THESE 30X PHOTOMICROGRAPHS.
CHECK PORTRAIT QUALITY BELOW.
HAS COLOR ACCURACY REALLY BEEN IMPROVED?
How did Kodak do it?
The snapshooter purchasing an ISO 100 color print film often chooses the one in the most familiar yellow, green, or othercolor film box, or whichever film can be had at a better price. But if you’re the buyer of an ISO 400 print film, you are more often a knowledgeable photographer, selecting the film you feel has superior picture-taking ability—brighter colors, finer grain, and sharpness, and a wider exposure latitude.
Choosing the right zoom lenses: a peculiar and perverse individual opinion
Until recently, a camera owner didn’t concern himself overly with the hairy question of which zoom to buy until after he bought his camera. Cameras generally came with a sensible, so-called normal, single focal length 50mm lens having an aperture from f/1.4 to f/2.
Popular Photography’s information exchange where readers help readers solve problems
Cords That Strike a Chord
This Camera Cart Comes to the Fore
Shortwave Can Be A Darkroom S.O.S.
Give Your Flash a Split Personality
Seismic Detector of Darkroom Shakes
You're all familiar with that horror classic, "The Night of the PC Cord from Hell." Leaving aside the heartbreak of connector fall-off, these camera-to-flash connectors always seem to get tangled, frayed, or mangled in some way. One major reason they get in such disarray is that they're the wrong length—either too long for handheld flash or too short for studio connections.
For wonderful food and photography, try Belgium even if it's not Tuesday
Ghent and Antwerp
Elinor H. Stecker
Think fabulous food and seductive scenery, and you're thinking of Belgium—a country that's a visual and gastronomic treat. It's a tiny country, only slightly larger than the state of Maryland, but crammed with picture-taking opportunities, to say nothing of the chance to indulge yourself in some of the world's most delectable cuisine.
The idea of a pocketable 35mm camera is at least as old as the original Leica A of 1925— a small, svelte, scale-focusing model with a collapsible 50mm f/3.5 lens that was slid, capped and caseless, into many a trouser pocket. Although the first Leica was widely extolled for its diminutive dimensions (2⅝x5¼x1½ inches with lens collapsed), it was never really marketed as a pocket 35, and it soon grew beyond pocket size as built-in rangefinder and faster interchangeable lenses were added in the ’30s.
B + W, the German maker of high-quality (and lofty-price) optical filters, is offering an informative booklet explaining the uses and effects of the whole range of filters. Profusely illustrated (and a tad racy), the 44-page booklet naturally promotes the use of B + W filters but includes corresponding Wratten designations for filters listed.
Indeed, black-and-white photography has come to a sorry pass (“The Case for Blackand-White,” January ’91, page 36). Just how sad is reflected in the pages of current photographic magazines. Not too many years ago practically every issue of POPULAR or Modern Photography would contain meaty, useful articles on developing (the results to be achieved with selected film in various soups) as well as on printing and enlarging techniques.
Why are today's pros in love with zoom lenses? Because they make it easier to get great pictures like these!
In the not-too-distant past, professional photographers regarded zoom lenses with suspicion, if not outright disdain. They were convenient gimmicks that might satisfy uncritical amateurs, but compared to pro-caliber single-focal-length lenses, their optical performance ranged from mediocre to wretched.
Hands on: Largish, somewhat heavy, but well balanced for wide-aperture zoom. Focusing ring sufficiently wide and grippable for manual focus, but mechanism feels loose, not well damped. Zoom ring is wide and comfortable, smooth, and well damped.
Hands on: Quite compact; just a bit larger than some normal lenses, although for its size more of a middleweight than a lightweight. Balances very well on camera. Separate ribbed and rubberized zoom ring is easy to grip, well positioned on lens for fingertip zooming.
Hands on: Fairly compact for a 28—200mm, but on the heavy side; balances well on camera. Fast autofocusing in mount tested. Broad, rubberized push-pull zoom collar is comfortable, easy to grasp, but action is somewhat stiff, holds settings well.
Hands on: Somewhat large, moderately heavy; balances well on camera. Rubberized zoom/focusing has rough texture but affords good grip; smooth, adequately damped action. Easy release for macro position; macro ring is in two short segments, making it somewhat cumbersome to rotate down to closest-focusing position; reproduction ratios marked for 1:4, 1:5, 1:6, and 1:7.
Hands on: Rather large and heavy but not excessively so for a fast tele zoom; balances well on all but the lightest SLR bodies. Very broad, well-textured zoom/focus ring has smooth, well-damped push-pull zooming action, very smooth, well-damped focusing action.
Hands on: Quite compact and light for a 100-500mm zoom; balances well on camera. Ultrawide, textured rubberized zoom/ focus collar rotates very smoothly for focusing; push-pull zooming action long, but smooth and well damped. Sparse depth-offield scale covers f/11 and f/32 only, has infrared index.
Sharper, lighter, smaller and faster: Zooms have skyrocketed in quality and quantity. Need a guide to the 35mm zoom boom? Look no further.
WHAT’S WHAT IN ZOOM LENS TERMS
A lot has happened to zooms in the last 20 years, and most of it has been good. So good, in fact, that at least one analyst (Harry Martin of the industry-watching Wolfman Report) predicts that, with the exception of special-purpose optics, single focal length lenses will be extinct by the year 2000.
Ideas aplenty at the winter Consumer Electronics Show ’91, as product intros await economic upturn
Put EOS Lenses On a Camcorder?
New Tapes in Old Formats
Quick-Charge Flash Fix
Still Video: DAT’s Nice
Improve Your Image
General Goodies Department
Commodore is launching CDTV (Commodore Dynamic Total Vision), a CDROM-based system with a variety of uses. The sleek, black machine, about the size and shape of a VCR, is operated by a simple, infrared remote control. Applications include playing standard audio CDs via a video control panel on your TV, or inserting special CDs that let you work through instructional and educational disks, each capable of holding enough information to fill more than 50 computer disks.
When the 1990s arrived, we thought the craze for black-and-white photographs that epitomized the late 1980s would have run its course and color would again reign supreme in print communication. But judging from the recent flood of blackand-white picture books (see reviews below), we couldn’t have been more wrong!
Honest, unflinching answers to your most pointed equipment questions
“L” of a difference
Your December '90 "Top Cameras” issue started me on some heavy-duty thinking about how many camera makers are doing us a grave disservice. I was appalled to see only one camera listed under "Manual-Exposure 35mm Rangefinder”: the Leica M6.