There’s nothing quite like it in the United States—for that matter, in the whole world. The Seventh FotoFest International Month of Photography begins late this month in 1 louston— and if you like looking at all kinds of photos, it’s the place to be.
Did Pentax really turn the K1000 into a cheap, plastic has been?
1970s vs 1990s Pentax K1000
Herbert Keppler First and last of breed—how much
We mourned the demise of the Pentax Kl000 and welcomed Pentax’s very different ZX-M successor last month. But don’t he surprised if many a mailorder store and local photo dealer still have a number of the old fellows stashed away and are advertising the K 1000's availability.
Whatever happened to the big, bright SLR viewing image?
When focal-plane-shutter 35mm SLRs with pentaprisms first became popular, looking through the finder was a real eye opener. Instead of peering through a tunnel-like range/viewfinder peep-hole, you were suddenly, as it were, plunked down front and center in the third row of a bright wide-screen movie theater.
Want to make powerful pictures? Shoot what you love— your kids, your boat, even your old neighborhood.
“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 and any pertinent technical data (such as camera, lens, exposure, film, filters, tripod) to “Your Best Shot,” POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, P.O. BOX 1247, Teaneck, NJ 07666.
Son of ELPH: Junior Doesn't Zoom, But He's Really Quite Fast
CANON ELPH Jr.
More Fast-Lens Fun: Selective Depth of Field
Fiddling With Depth Via Film Speed
How to Dive Into Shallow Depth
Is the world ready for a smaller ELPH? As in the size of a credit card and the thickness of a deck of cards? Canon thinks so, and its Pixie and Troll Division has duly introduced the ELPH Jr., which is, as far as we can figure, the smallest reloadable camera you can get that uses film available on the mass market (namely, Advanced Photo System cartridges).
“Theater Fire” sparked fiery controversy among our respondents, although overall it scored very well, garnering a sizzling 82 percent approval rate. Curiously, there was nearly as much disagreement within the yeas and nays as between the yeas and nays. This photo’s hot selling points: Color, sense of spectacle, dramatic angles of ladders and water spray.
How serious enthusiasts integrate photography into their lives.
MONAKIL ATA GLANCE
When Dan Monakil’s company downsized, was it a disaster for him, or really a blessing in disguise? In 1993, department head Monakil, age 38, found himself on a down escalator descending from management to database technician. Still with a job and an adequate salary, this career-driven overachiever thought it the worst thing that had ever happened to him.
Don’t let winter freeze you out of great nature shots. Some hot tips.
Get a leg up on your tripod
Exposure of the right kind
Nature doesn’t go away in the winter, and neither should nature photographers. With a little thought and preparation, any reasonably adept photographer can easily deplete his or her film supply capturing the subtle tones and moody light of winter— even on the dreariest day cold weather has to offer.
Violet Turner etches her stark subjects with her camera, then blasts them to life in the darkroom.
Most people try to take beautiful color photographs—nice portraits or landscapes—to show friends, to frame, to hang on the wall. Not Violet Turner. She looks for the stark, the marginal, the bizarre. No fancy SLR camera for her; she shoots everything with a point and shoot—with the flash turned on, no less.
Can you predict how grainy a big blowup will be? With Kodak's Print Grain Index, you finally can!
HOW THE PGI WORKS
Print grain vs. film grain
When you think about making an 8x10- or 16x20-inch blowup, grain is probably the first thing you worry about. Just how grainy will the image be when blown up to that size? Even the RMS granularity system used by film engineers to measure grain can’t predict graininess with any degree of certainty.
Two digital camera rollouts break both the megapixel and mega-buck barriers.
Agfa ePhoto 1280
Don’t touch that dial!
Agfa PhotoGenie comparison
Resolution comparison test
Wait, wait, wait, wait
Agfa ePhoto 1280
A choice of modes
Michael J. McNamara
The new DC210 digital camera (street price $840) looks and feels like a welldesigned 35mm point-andshoot camera, yet it offers a slew of unique digital features and the highest true resolution (864x1 152 pixels) of any digital camera in its price class.
Here are eight tips from the pros to show you how to turn bad weather into great pictures!
In the movies and on stage, thunder booms and lightning flashes when the plot’s at its thickest. Bad weather is good theater. And good photography, too. Weather changes the face of the world. It can alter texture and mood or add unusual, unearthly light and drama.
It’s so simple that we take It for granted, but It’s taken on all comers for over 60 years!
Rivals that didn’t last
Whether your 35mm camera autoloads, sets the film speed automatically, races through pictures at speeds up to 8 fps and power rewinds, or you load and set everything manually, it’s doubtful you think twice about that inert assembly of metal, felt, and plastic parts that lets you do it all: the 35mm film cartridge.
Tim Fitzharris uses digital imaging to create compelling nature pictures, but his goal is to heal the planet by revealing its fragile beauty.
Selected books by Tim Fitzharris
If your first reaction to the title above is to think it’s a contradiction, Tim Fitzharris, who photographed, enhanced, and assembled the nature pictures on these pages would be the first to agree with you. When it comes to pictures, Mother Nature isn’t the one who needs a helping hand; it’s photographers depicting her domain who often can use some serious assistance.
For Rob Levy, a lifelong photo project (and obsession) began with a single vacation shot.
His secret? Investing time
Where had the twentieth century gone? Rob Levy, a law student from New York with a passion for photography, saw no sign of it. Looking around the small, dimly lit kitchen of a cottage in a small village in northern Romania, he found no light bulbs or electrical appliances, no processed or refined foods, no plastic or printed packaging.
No, you don’t need underwater gear to get shots like these. Just a nearby aquarium!
EXPLORING THE DEPTHS OF AQUARIUM PHOTOGRAPHY
Public aquarium flash setup
Ideal home aquarium flash setup
Can you shoot in your local aquarium?
Checklist for dry underwater shots
Dave Wrobel’s underwater photography is all the more spectacular when you realize he doesn’t use any breathing apparatus at all. Not even a snorkel. In fact, you might describe Wrobel as an experienced underwater shooter who never got his feet wet.
Can you at last expect good black-and-white prints from C-41 color chemistry? Kodak gives it a try.
Kodak T400 CN vs. Ilford XP2
T400 CN AND XP2: HOW THEY STACK UP
PAPER MAKES A DIFFERENCE TOO!
CHROMOGENICS: CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT
ARE THE CHROMOGENICS SIMILAR? NO WAY!
CHROMOGENIC VS. CONVENTIONAL B&W
THE PROS AND CONS
For color shooters, getting good quality prints from one-hour minilabs or custom labs has been getting easier, faster, and more reliable for the past quarter century or so. Too bad we can’t say the same for black and white. There was no comparable, widely available, simple and fast way to get black-and-white prints, until Ilford came up with the bright idea of a black-and-white chromogenic film back in 1980.
To many of its viewers and a horde of social commentators, most of what passes for programming on American television is drivel. To Joe Brazan, on the other hand, every show on every channel is potentially high art. What’s Brazan found on the tube that the rest of us have missed? Color, pattern, shape, movement, metaphor, and symbol.
Hands on: Average in size and weight for a 50mm macro. Nicely finished in matte black with shiny black front ring. Deeply recessed front element helps minimize flare. White-on-black metric distance scale in window atop lens is large and legible, but smaller green footage numerals are hard to read.
Hands on: Broad, easy-to-grip but somewhat stiff to turn, smooth rubberized zoom ring and knurled manual-focusing ring control this weighty, solidly made, handsome, black-finished lens. Zoom and distance scales are legible but white meters and feet can be confusing. There’s a useful close-focusing scale for various zoom focal lengths.
Max. MAG: (all distances to focal plane) 1:12.2 @28mm (1 ft 6:i/4 in [0.47 m]) 1:4.54 @ 85mm (1 ft 5 in (0.43 m)) @ 28mm: Center and corner sharpness was excellent at all apertures with optimum performance at f/8. @ 85mm: Center and corner sharpness was acceptable but with slightly below average corners at f/22 and f/32.
I initially found Mr. Maxymuik’s article “Sell your pictures for postcards” [July ’97, page 86] quite enticing, though in the end, more amusing than useful. As a published “professional” amateur, I have for some time also attempted to break into the world of travel and aviation postcards with the same methods that Mr. Maxymuik describes, but to no avail.
Our February '48 Cover shot of a "Harlequin Girl" perched incongruously on a vintage G.E. light bulb carton was taken by John Raymond of Fords, New Jersey. He lit his winsome subject with five floods-three bounced off the ceiling and two close to the subject for fill.
Looking for new options in wideangle photography? Have I got the show report for you!
Sint sees the future... and it’s a Megavision!
PhotoPlus, the photo trade show formerly known as VisComm, has a new name but the same location: New York’s Jacob Javits Center. PhotoPlus also still has its finger on the pulse of professional and advanced-amateur photography. That means, with few exceptions, everything shown is designed for serious users, be they fans of traditional or digi ta photography.
Polaroid has joined the party, and introduced an inkjet printing paper. Designed by Polaroid’s own imaging engineers, the paper is claimed to deliver true photo-quality color from the major inkjet printers— Apple, Canon, Epson, HewlettPackard, and Lexmark. With the look and feel of photographs, prints made on Polaroid’s Inkjet Photo Paper ($12.95 for fifteen 8½xll sheets) are also claimed to resist water marks, color smudging, and light fading. A long shelf life is also promised, even after the package has been opened. (Polaroid Corp., 575 Technology Sq., Cambridge, MA 02139, 800-816-2611.)
Saunders has upgraded its popular Domke Gripper line of camera straps to include a navy blue version finished with stylish cordovan leather endpieces. The series of straps, which is colorcoordinated to match the Domke camera bags, incorporates rubber and cotton strands in patterned tracks that are claimed to provide more friction for extra shoulderclinging power. In two widths, Gripper straps ($15-$20) also feature quick-release connectors that swivel so the straps don’t easily twist or tangle. (The Saunders Group, 21 Jet View Dr., Rochester, NY 14624.)
Sealskinz waterproof socks
DuPont, makers of Sealskinz waterproof socks for campers, climbers, and other outdoor types, has turned out something they think photographers will like: Sealskinz MVT gloves. The $27 gloves are lightweight and windproof, yet breathable, and they feature the same waterproof 3-layer nylon/polyester/Lycra construction used in Sealskin/, socks. The rubbery nibs on palm and fingers are claimed to provide enough traction to allow you to operate a camera without removing the gloves. (DuPont, 1002 Industrial Rd., Old Hickory, TN 37138.)
Nikon’s new top-of-the-line SB-28 Speedlight ($420) has everything the now-departed SB-26 had, minus the bulk. At less than 12 ounces, it’s about an ounce lighter, but dimensionally, it’s onefifth less bulky than the alrcady-petite SB-26. Despite the smaller size, the SB-28 includes all the power (GN 118 at 35mm, in feet) and most of the advanced features that made the SB-26 Nikon’s flagship flash— everything you might expect, plus the monitoring preflash, a fully rotating/tilting head, built-in white card, and more. The SB-28 is also much more energy efficient, claiming 150 full-power flashes per battery set—50 more than the SB-26. (Nikon Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747.)
Tripod on a roll
Notice anything different about this Bogen tripod? It’s got wheels'. How stable can a tripod with wheels be? Very, when its feet are on the ground. The sixteen-pound, aluminum alloy Roll Pod from Bogen ($460) snaps onto the legs of the Bogen 30-series and the Gitzo Studex-series tripods. (Adapters for other makes and models are promised.) To turn your tripod into a cart, you raise the Roll Pod's handle (arrow), the tripod legs lift off the ground and all weight is transferred to the two rubber-rimmed, 16-inch wheels. Lower the handle, and you’re back on three legs. The Roll Pod is claimed to be tough enough to handle most terrains, and can be used to carry camera bags, battery packs, and other accessories. The Roll Pod, by the way, doesn’t include the ’pod. (Bogen Photo, 565 E. Crescent Ave., Ramsey, NJ 07446-0506.)
Speaking of wheels.... Art Express, maker of leather art portfolios, has expanded into the bag business. The company’s first two offerings are directed specifically to motorcyclists. Designer Ed Edhal started with a set of Tenba bags, which he fashioned into the Art Express Pro Tourer ($175) and the smaller Sport Pro ($120). Both attach to a motorcycle’s gas tank using specially designed hookand-loop fasteners, and both will hold a complete system—camera, lenses, and flash. Bottom layers of polyethylene foam are claimed to give the bags extraordinary shock absorbency. You can pull the Pro Tourer off the bike and use it as a conventional camera back, but you'll need the accessory shoulder strap ($30). (Art Express, 236 W. 27th St., New York, NY 10001, 800-638-7258.)
Usable as a tableor chest-pod, Slik’s tiny new Mini Tripod measures all of 7.7 inches when fullycontracted and weighs only 11 ounces. It’s claimed to give solid support to still cameras or camcorders weighing up to 2.6 lbs. Eullv extending the unit’s two leg sections and center post gives the Mini Tripod ($29.95) a maximum working height of 8.5 inches. Fully contracted, it’s small enough to fit in an oversized coat pocket. Among its interesting features is a suction cup on the bottom of the centerpost for firmly attaching the tripod to smooth surfaces such as the hood of an automobile. (Tocad America, 300 Webro Rd., Parsippany, NJ 07054.)
Ultra-Low Dispersion glass
For the first time, Canon has combined both Ultra-Low Dispersion glass and an aspheric element into one of its top-drawer, “L”-series USM autofocusing lenses: the new 24mm f/1.4L ($2,400). Combined, the features arc claimed to dramatically reduce aberrations and distortion. The lens focuses to 9.8 inches for a magnification ratio of 1:16. It weighs 19.4 ounces, measures 3.1 inches, and features a nonrotating front lens element, which is nice if you do much work with polariers or special effects filters. (Canon USA, One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, NY 11042.)
Hitachi VMH-835LA Hi-8 camcorder
Looking for a camcorder with some fun-to-use, built-in video transitions? Check out the Hitachi VMH-835LA Hi-8 camcorder. Among other options, it will simultaneously fade and zoom out of a scene. It also has more practical pluses, of course, such as a lithium ion battery that’s one-third smaller and lighter than conventional NiCd batteries—but with three times the power. Like the other four models in the new lineup, the Hitachi VMH-835LA ($999) is lighter and slimmer than its predecessors. This one has a three-inch LCD screen that automatically adjusts its intensity according to the brightness of the ambient light. Other conveniences are rapid, automatic adjustment of all key settings; stabilization of both horizontal and vertical camcorder jiggles; and digital effects like mirror, mosaic, negative/positive, and 120X zoom. (Hitachi Home Electronics, 3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093.)
Honest, forthright answers to your most probing questions
I recently tried to trade in my three-year-old point-and-shoot camera toward a new AF SLR. At the Tokyo camera stores I visited, I was told I’d get just $20 for it—less than ten percent of its purchase price. A clerk told me that the resale value is low partly because point-and-shoot cameras break easily and are very costly to repair.