Are you turned on by fossils? No, you say; well, you probably will be by Murray Alcosser’s beautiful, incredibly dramatic color photos of fossils in the new Harry N. Abrams Inc. book, Fossils: The Evolution and Extinction of the Species ($60), with text by Niles Eldredge.
We ordinarily don’t tell you about what goes on at photographic-trade press conferences because, one, this isn't a trade magazine and, two, we’d bore you to narcolepsy. However, we might note our very favorite one of recent memory, which was held on wet carpeting, in a virtually empty place, with an awful sound system, and was followed by an elegant lunch of hot dogs and beer.
What happens when one of contemporary photography's most acclaimed practitioners turns his lens on one of the oldest motifs in art? For the answer, seek out Lee Friedlander's foray into nude photography, which can be seen across the country in a show (and book) organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Dahling, can I get you anything from the minibah while we’re waiting for the caviah to arrive?” “Well, puhhaps a spot of the X.O., lovey, and—oh, yes—grab a camera from the fridge while you’re there. I really must get a snap of you in your new Courrèges.”
Those of you who have been following our “camera at the ready” tales might consider another motivation for having the photo gear always loaded and handy: commercial gain. Lenore Rinder of Milwaukee found photo opportunity knocking at her apartment window one afternoon when she looked out at the Allen-Bradley Company’s building, whose 280-foot tower houses the largest four-sided clock in the world. Suspended by block and tackle, two steeplejacks were replacing a broken pane of glass next to the man-sized numeral marks.
All too often, photo-enthusiast doctors buy top-drawer camera outfits, but because of the demands of their profession, this high-class hardware often winds up languishing in the top drawer! Dr. Mark Mankoff, a New York psychiatrist and prerush-hour commuter, has a better idea.
FOR SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO SECRETLY ADMIRE POINT & SHOOT CAMERAS
The Aiborg has landed!
How low can you go—in color?
Like a Leica? Try two new ones.
Look! Around that person's neck! It’s a model UFO . . . It’s a Darth Vader mask . . . It’s a Konica Aiborg! Konica, the company that brought you the precision shirt-pocketables (the A4/Big Mini), the sound-triggered party camera (Kanpai!)
The long telephoto lens: Among nature photographers, more homage is paid to this monolithic tower of glass than any other piece of camera equipment. Indeed, success among nature photographers is often measured by the millimeters of their longest telephoto lens.
Still the hottest thing in making color prints from negatives, Kodak’s RA-4 process began replacing the previous system (EP-2) in 1988. This simple, two-bath process is really fast, environmentally friendly, and no more expensive than the previous color-printing process.
Mail-order ad listings: Sheer gibberish or clever abbreviations? Actually, some of both.
The greatest advances in 35mm SLRs today are being made in two areas: automatic control and autofocus systems. In a practical sense, automatic control has been enhanced by such methods as fuzzy logic, which allows the camera to make and carry out decisions that were previously made by your brain and acted upon by your hands.
The recent introduction of Kodak's Ektachrome 1OOX Professional film (EPZ) may add one more nail in the coffin lid for film of low to normal color saturation. Like its close cousin. Ektachrome 64X Professional (EPX), introduced earlier this year (see “Shooting Color," August 1991, page 32), the new film has a warmer color balance and higher saturation, along with a half-stop greater speed.
I have been a subscriber to POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY for a long, long time, but I cannot recall an issue with the impact and content of the October 1991 “How-To.” R.N. McDonald Minneapolis, MN I hope there will be more how-to series. P. Kahn Daytona Beach, FL In one word, your October 1991 was excellent.
When this painter-turned-photographer traded her brushes for a camera, the results were astounding!
Michael J. McNamara
What inspires the mystical montages of Maryjean Viano Crowe? At first glance, the extraordinary wall-sized displays defy a simple explanation. Here we are, face to face with images sharing the mysterious complexity of painted Byzantine icons, yet formed from a canvas of none other than black-and-white photographic paper.
John Hedgecoe has revolutionized photo books. Gone are the countless pages of unending text, boring drawings, and sparse, lackluster photo illustrations. Hedgecoe offers a splendid profusion of colorful, inspiring photographs, superb illustrations, and cogent, easy-to-read picture taking and technical text.
Do you need a spotmeter? And should it be inside or outside your camera?
What do meters read?
Preview meter settings
NEA APPLICATION DEADLINE
If you’re satisfied to keep the sun behind you and shoot average subjects under ordinary conditions, you can get by using a durable, cardboard exposure calculator, the film manufacturer’s instruction sheet, or a point-and-shoot camera.
Just how accurate are spotmeters? We tested them against a calibrated light source.
Is your spotmeter truly on the spot? Selectivity test measures area of maximum sensitivity.
Accuracy: The accuracy of any meter must be judged in the context of the system within which it’s used. For example, if your meter reads consistently 0.7 EV high, your camera’s shutter overexposes 0.3 EV, and your favorite color lab pushes slightly to get more intense color, you could get a cumulative overexposure of 1.5 stops.
Revolutionary camera design, but does it make the grade?
QUICK GUIDE TO WHAT'S NEW
FEATURES AT A GLANCE
What can you capture with 1 frame per second?
CANON EOS REBEL S #1348507 with 50mm f/1.8 II EF #2402723A
AUTOFOCUS TIME LAG
EXPOSURE ACCURACY AT FILM PLANE
SHUTTER SPEED ACCURACY
Programmed Image Control Exposure Modes
Rebel's PIC modes in action
Can a budget-priced, multifeatured, plastic-bodied autofocus SLR be suitable for both tyros and serious amateurs? And can that all-plastic body stand rough-and-tumble hard use or must it be treated more delicately? These are the important questions that lie beneath the attractive surface of Canon’s Rebel S.
Canon Rebel S: Plastic construction plus few parts equal high performance at low cost.
Inside the plastic lens:
Just how did Canon produce a lowcost SLR? First, it used plastic components, which can be injection molded more economically than producing machined metal parts, and it used them wherever possible, often combined into subassembly units that were larger than usual. With fewer fasteners, brackets, and connectors, production costs were further reduced. But Canon didn’t do away with metal completely. Where needed for additional support (such as reinforcing the hot shoe and lensmount), high-quality stainless steel was used. High-precision manufacturing and fewer parts mean that fewer mechanical adjustments are needed during assembly; but fewer adjustments can be made in rare instances that might warrant them. In some cases, an entire subassembly might be rejected instead of adjusted. Fortunately, this type of molding is generally very reliable. The exterior plastic parts of SLRs usually need a special coating inside to protect the camera’s electronics from external electromagnetic fields. These coatings contain much metal (other Canon cameras use a nickel-based compound) and are complicated to apply. The cost of the compound and its application naturally are added to the overall production cost. However, Canon has used an ingenious and less expensive alternative in the Rebel S (and Rebel). The engineers added a stainless-steel fiber directly to the plastic; although the material cost is slightly higher, major overall savings were achieved by mixing the metal fiber in with the raw plastic material. Canon claims the new way is “just as effective.” Typically, camera construction calls for separate subassemblies for such items as mirror box, pentaprism with frame and holder, and separate motors with gear trains for mirror/shutter and film transport, In the Rebel, the pentaprism is glued directly to the mirror box instead of being affixed with brackets and screws. A single motor is used for all camera functions, and one of the camera’s two gear trains is attached to the side of the mirror box, forming a single subassembly (see photo, top left). In addition to the savings just described, this type of assembly lets Canon choose which of its many factories can best produce each The elements are all glass, but the three Canon zooms designed with the Rebel in mind have more polycarbonate parts than we’ve seen on any interchangeable lens thus far. But just like the body, plastics are used carefully and reinforced with metal where necessary, but nowhere else. We were amazed by the snap-together construction and the high level of performance. These lenses aren’t for pros whose equipment needs occasional lubrication and adjustments due to the rigors of use, but they can deliver pro-quality images. subassembly on the basis of cost and degree of automation, leaving the most labor-intensive operations for those factories best suited for the job. Inside the Rebel S, price wasn’t the only economy addressed. Canon designers took many steps to help maintain battery life. Aside from the obvious, such as choosing a flash with a low guide number and limited (but adequate) angular coverage, other components also seem to have been designed toward that goal. Even the placement of the motor, midway between its two main functions, serves to reduce the power drain. Wherever possible, LCDs replace more power-hungry LEDs. Has quality suffered with all these changes? Not significantly. The question we found most nagging was, how sturdy is the body’s plastic lensmount? During our extensive testing, we were pretty rough on our sample, and we were unable to detect any problems. We don’t expect many, especially when the Rebel is used with the plastic lensmounts found on the typical Rebel-oriented lenses. But we do have some doubts about the mounts’ long-term ability to handle extensive changing of metal-iensmount lenses. However, we agree with Canon that most Rebel users won’t be interchanging lenses of this type often enough to warrant concern.
Hands on: Compact, slightly larger than 50mm normal lens, extremely lightweight zoom with very fast autofocusing. Broad, well-knurled, easily grippable rotating zoom collar. Smooth, but easy to grasp front manual-focus ring. No focusing scale.
Transfer your still images onto videotape and you’ll be able to ...
Slides and prints transfer best to video if you...
Means to an end
Rear projection devices
Elinor H. Stecker
You took wonderful action shots on video, your spouse shot slides of architectural glories, and now you wish all your travel pictures could be integrated onto tape. Or perhaps you shot your entire trip on slides, and, boy, how nice it would be to have them on videotape for easy viewing.
As the number of movie makers shooting on super 8 motion picture film has decreased, so has the number of retailers selling the film. This is no news to you if you’re still shooting—or trying to shoot— movie film. If your local dealer is not one of the 2,000 in the nation who still sells it, fret no longer.