So you think your accessories bag is full? Imagine this: There you are on a photo shoot with your buddies in the Andes when you spy mountain goats leaping up sheer cliffs—but you’re too far away for even your longest lens. No sweat. You reach into your camera bag, pull out various parts, and quickly assemble—your personal helicopter! You zoom off, get the shot, and boy, are your friends impressed.
If you know a photo tyro who wants to learn more about photography but goes into convulsive shudders at the mere mention of terms like “f-stop,” have we got the book for you. Photography for Dummies, one of the latest in a series of those ubiquitous yellow-covered Dummies books, was written by our own contributing editor (and American Photo technology editor) Russell Hart, with occasional assistance from a few POP PHOTO staffers.
The undulating walk, the swelling hips, the platinum curls, the beauty mark, the breathless voice, and the undefinable magic that was Marilyn Monroe: it was a spectacular sight, photographed by virtually all the major professional studio photographers and photojournalists the U.S. had to offer and...David Geary.
When covering photo shows in “Snapshots,” we try to avoid those in one location in favor of shows that travel, so more of our readers can see them. Thanks to the Internet, many shows can now get to you—anywhere! The Library of Congress’ “American Memory” exhibition spans more than 100 years, from the 1800s to the 1960s, on its online site, www.loc.gov.
It took nearly 30 years for Pentax to redesign the legendary medium-format rollfilm camera renowned for its solid construction and convenient 35mm-like handling. But the result is a greatly improved machine that retains all the agreeable character of the original.
POP PHOTO’S longtime picture editor, Monica Cipnic, almost fell over her lightbox when she found out she was included with luminaries from the photo world in the Web magazine The Digital Journalist. Founded by Time magazine’s senior White House photographer, Dirck Halstead, the site ran a series of editorials written by Halstead on the status of the photo editor in today’s media, titled “Are Picture Editors an Endangered Species?”
The November issue of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, pages 6 and 7, contained a Tokina lens advertisement featuring landscape pictures by famed scenic photographer Kathleen Norris Cook. Due to a printing error, her major photograph was erroneously printed in soft focus.
Location, location, location—it provides the context that helps define and showcase your subjects.
1st ($300) Love among the ruins: In his native Belgrade, Serbia, Vladimir Milivojevic Boogie, now living in Sunnyside, New York, befriended this teenage gypsy couple and visited and photographed them many times in and around their impoverished home.
August was a desperation month for my “SLR” column in POP PHOTO. Having waited patiently for years, hoping some enlightened tripod manufacturer would produce a 60-inch-high, 20 inches or less folded, no more than 2-pound travel tripod, I gave up and advised readers to consider using a not-too-stable group of shortish, unsteady, flimsy tripods until something better came along.
Input cookbook recipes by hand, typewriter, or computer? What nonsense. Use your camera!
I admit to the luxury of having a low-cost Canon copier at home (even though everyone thinks I’m crazy not to use the POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY office machines). More often than not, I find articles in old bound magazines or material in reference books that I must copy.
Want to test your lenses? Here's a chart that will let you do it.
“How can I test my lens?” is probably one of the most asked reader questions. In days of yore, before electronic automation took over the POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY laboratory to the tune of a half million bucks, our late rival, Modern Photography, provided test information in lines-per-millimeter resolution, center and corner of picture, together with an estimate of what the lines per millimeter meant in terms of picture quality.
Why are so many cloth-end neckstraps so long? Probably to accommodate possible 8-foot-tall basketball players. But when most of us relative shorties attach ’em to our cameras and make sure our cameras hang at proper chest level, we often wind up with lengthy, awkward strap ends.
Microdear microfiber cleaning cloths finally available in the U.S.
For years I have been raving about what I think are the best lens- and camera-cleaning cloths anywhere—the Microdears, made in Japan by Etsumi Co. They are generously large and thick, available in bright colors but, alas, have been obtainable only in Japan—and even there they are often hard to find except at Yodobashi Camera stores.
What was hot at the biggest biennial photo show on earth in Cologne, Germany? Enough to make a jalapeño jealous!
Miracle digital minilabs will solve your print problems!
THE MINILAB OF THE FUTURE...
...AND WHAT IT CAN DO
An autofocus Contax 645?! You’d better believe it!
Nikon’s Pronea S: simplest APS SLR yet
35mm Point & Shoots March on in Sensible Shoes
APS Camera Trek: The Next Generation
35mm Point & Shoot
APS Camera Trek
APS POINT & SHOOT
An incredible 28—300mm zoom plus complete redesigns, upgrades, and improved cosmetics.
Leica M6 Gets Autoflash
Digital Cameras: Resolution Soars, Prices Plummet!
Count on your digitals
New Films Boost Color and Sharpness
Polaroid lures kids with tiny prints, recyclable cameras, oddball names.
Automatic macro photo system from Goko
More mini marvels from Minox
Controls simpler than on P/S?
Leica and Minolta digital cameras
Rollei digital SLR!
Photokina '98, the last of these great international photo-graphic expositions of the 20th century, was undoubtedly more exciting and significant than any held in recent years. With digital and silver-halide technologies converging at a frantic pace, startling new developments in autofocus SLR systems, digital printers that promise the automatic elimination of redeye plus on-line enhancements in print quality, a raft of new films designed for greater sharpness, less grain, and improved color saturation, a proliferation of megapixel digital cameras providing near-photographic image quality at lower-than-ever prices, and scads of attractive new 35mm and APS point-and-shoots these are interesting times for any red-blooded photo enthusiast.
From the beaches of Cancún to the ruins of Chichón Itzá, the Yucatán peninsula is a photog’s paradise.
If You Go
The cave opening is as black as a dark-room during a power failure. I check my mask and snorkel one last time before slipping into the cool, still water. With a guide and a powerful underwater flashlight leading the way, I slowly swim out of the daylight and into the mouth of Nohoch Nah Chich, or Giant House of the Birds, the largest underwater cave system in the world.
This year, digital cameras have improved dramatically, with higher resolution, more neat features, and lower prices than ever!
AGFA EPHOTO 780
AGFA EPHOTO 1680
CANON POWERSHOT A5
CANON POWERSHOT PRO 70
EPSON PHOTOPC 700
HP PHOTOSMART C30
KODAK DC210 PLUS
MINOLTA DIMAGE EX ZOOM 1500
NIKON COOLPIX 900
PANASONIC PALMCAM DC1580
SONY MAVICA MVC-FD81
SONY MAVICA MVC-FD91
List of Manufacturers
POWERSHOT PRO 70
DIMAGE EX ZOOM 1500
Michael J. McNamara
Been waiting till now to buy a digital camera? Congratulations! You've entered a buyers’ market, with more choices than ever at prices that are remarkably low compared to last year. Consider this: A year ago, only one digital camera in our roundup offered 1.3 megapixel resolution and built-in 3X zoom for under $1,300. (1.3 million pixels is approximately what you need to make photo-quality 5x7-inch prints on a good inkjet printer.)
Evolution, revolution, and a touch of status quo: for large-format shooters, the 1998 edition of Photokina had it all.
Digital lens lines
Imagine a big city convention center. Imagine the convention center has a show floor as big as a football stadium...not just the field but the whole stadium. Now, imagine a trade show with 10 buildings that size, some with two floors. If you can picture all that, you’ve got some idea of the size of Cologne, Germany’s Photokina photo trade show.
I enjoyed your Oct. ’98 issue. In the great article on winning photo contests (page 84), it states “Avoid contests with entry fees.” Isn’t that how the contest prize money is acquired? I entered a great photo in a no-fee contest run by a major newspaper.
56 1999 TOP 35MM & APS CAMERAS 38 STAR ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ RATED
By and large, this has been a banner year for significant new camera intros, most of which breezed in during the final quarter of `98. On the top-tier SLR front, Minolta brought forth the Maxxum 9, a mighty, metal-clad, pro-caliber flagship and the first of its kind with a built-in flash.
Significance: The EOS-1/1N flag-ship, introduced almost a decade ago, has enjoyed the longest commercial run of any POPULAR “top” AF SLR. While some photographers are still awaiting the long-rumored pro-oriented, digital/film hybrid from Canon, others are perfectly satisfied with the terrific 35mm SLR that the EOS-1N most certainly is.
Significance: The Aria is to German cameras what the Volkswagen Beetle is to German cars: compact, somewhat lighthearted, and not necessarily made in Deutschland. If a “lighthearted” Contax strikes you as a contradiction in terms, that’s because Contax SLRs are usually no-nonsense tanks with alphanumeric names such as RTS III or 167 MT.
Significance: Quite simply, the Nikon FM2N is a modern classic that is much admired by pros and serious amateurs as an exemplar of straightforward mechanical simplicity, dependability, and compactness even in this era dominated by autofocus, auto-exposure SLRs.
Significance: While it’s not quite as compact as the original Contax G1, the G2 is functionally superior in many ways. Happily, none of the improvements have compromised the camera’s elegance and refinement. Like the G1, the G2 is an interchangeable lens, breech-bayonet-mount, electronic AF rangefinder 35 built on a die-cast aluminum chassis, and clad in a posh titanium outer body.
Significance: Probably the best-selling of all Advanced Photo System AF SLRs, the Canon EOS IX is a high-tech wonder. The designers have taken virtually all the features of their EOS Elan II 35mm SLR and squeezed them niftily into a radically contoured but handsomely finished stainless steel—clad body accepting the whole 35mm SLR EOS line of autofocus lenses.
Significance: Most people have stopped worrying about the designation of the Konica Hexar. A point-and-shoot? Well, yes, in terms of convenience and speed. A pro rangefinder? Yes again, for its optical quality and control. The Hexar simply defines its own unique category: the autofocus, multimode non-SLR, a camera that can make both a camera enthusiast and a weekend point-and-shooter happy.
Significance: After a brief hiatus, Konica is once again making a camera in its groundbreaking A4 series of pocketables. And the Big Mini F is a goody: a handsome camera with a fast f/2.8 lens. Features: The Big Mini F has the standard flash options (autoflash, autoflash with antiredeye, flash on, flash off), plus infinity lock, self-timer, and exposure compensation of ±1.5 EV.
Significance: Cleverly disguised as the original ELPH—that paradigm of sophisticated outlandishness— this potent pixie from Canon has a full 3:1 zoom squeezed into a stainless steel body that is, remarkably, only 1 ounce heavier and no more than ⅜inch bigger in any dimension than the original (and very much current) ELPH.
Hands on: Of average length and weight, lens is black semi-gloss with a ⅝-inch manual focusing ring covered in matte black and ribbed synthetic rubber. Located midbarrel, manual-focusing ring is a bit over-damped, in our opinion. The three focusing scales—metric, English, and magnification ratios (1:1 to 1:4)—are rendered in white, green, and yellow decals, respectively.
"Handy" is the operative word for Sony's new Digital Handycam, the DCR-TRV900 ($2,599). Handy because, in addition to recording video, it can record digital still images to a floppy disk (see photo) or PC card. The Sony camcorder also boasts three CCDs, progressive scan, as well as interlaced modes, Super Optical Steady-shot, and manual control of all aspects of exposure.
CALIFORNIA A Portrait of our Times; through Jan. 3. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-357-4000. Lynn Geesaman; through Dec. 24. Robert Koch Gallery, 49 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-421-0122.
Honest, forthright answers to your most probing questions
Iced by prices
In January 1995 I bought a Nikon N70 from one of your well-known mail-order advertisers. I paid $699.95, and in your latest issue the same camera is being advertised for as little as $360. In July 1996 I bought a JVC GR-DV1 camcorder from the same firm for $2,395, and now I see it advertised for as low as $870.
The eerie-looking alien on our December ’48 cover is only a plaster cast, transformed by the creative lighting of Erwin Blumenfeld, who lit it by placing red, yellow, and green cellophane sheets over three separate spotlights. He balanced the illumination levels in each color by taking meter readings and adding or subtracting sheets as needed, and took the shot with an 8x10 Grover View and 14-inch Ektar lens.