In equipment, photography on February 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm
The Mamiya RZ is a camera system with a proud tradition, long a beefier, lesser-known big brother to Hasselblad. Now, several years after the digital shakeup – a cruel transition for the medium format market – the RZ receives a high tech makeover. Interestingly, the camera is unchanged from its historic form. Refinement has gone towards smooth, cable-free integration between a detachable digital back and a classic film camera front. All the parts are familiar. The digital back is a Mamiya DM33, originally designed for 645 duty, the camera body is a RZ67 Pro IID, still capable of accepting film backs, RZ67 lenses, and Mamiya’s wide range of accessories.
The assembled Mamiya RZ33 is a classic all-manual camera, hefty and capable, with the most modern of 33MP digital output. Over the coming weeks, we’ll dive in to its full capabilities and come out with stories to tell!
The RZ33′s Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID Camera Body
The Mamiya RZ33 is a large camera, easily making other modular medium format systems, like the H4D series from Hasselblad, seem compact. By comparison, the Hasselblad, as well as Phase One/Mamiya’s 645DF camera, are high-tech compromises between this and the likes of Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. Indeed, the RZ does no compromising (there isn’t even a handle!)
Read the full review on my new site:
In photography on January 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm
It’s been a great adventure to start this blog and watch it grow over the past year or so. I’m very grateful to my readers and subscribers and those who have shared links and comments. The blog has done so well for itself, that I’ve decided to scale it up to something more accessible and wide reaching, a new Web-based magazine!
I hope you will follow me there and consider subscribing to the new site (I’m using Feedburner for the new page, which allows very nice integration with any RSS or Feed reader and issues nicely compiled e-mail updates). Also, in line with the current trends, the new pages (both the magazine and my new portfolio page) offer smoother integration with social networking and link sharing.
Over the coming months, you’ll see a lot of cool new content there, including upcoming reviews of products from Broncolor, Profoto, Leica, Pentax, Nikon, and Mamiya, as well as a regular featured artists, the current artist being San Francisco-based editorial photographer, Anne Hamersky (the interview with Anne is the first official entry to not be migrated from this site). I’m bringing on a couple new expert contributors and hope to create a valuable resource for photographers.
Now, more than ever, I appreciate your support, in reading, commenting, sharing, and in visiting my sponsors. Check it out and let me know what you think! [I'm especially encouraging commenting on the new Facebook page you'll find linked to the magazine].
So, as a sneak peek:
Photo Arts Monthly
The Art and Science of Photography
In equipment, photography on December 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm
The Leica S2
Over lunch last Tuesday, I enjoyed spending a couple hours with Leica rep Victor Naranjo and the compelling new Leica S2 digital camera. And — while there is nothing wrong with traditional digital medium format cameras like the Hasselblad H4D series or P+ series from Phase One — the Leica S2 is a whole new approach to Big Digital and instantly makes the digital back on film camera paradigm seem dated. The S2 is hefty, refined, and strikingly simple.
Victor described the S2 as a big brother to my Nikon D3 and it’s an accurate ergonomic description of the Leica. The big, rubberized-metal DSLR is big, but feels familiar, more an evolutionary cousin of a Canon 1Ds or Nikon D3 series camera than a Mamiya DM or Hasselblad H4D. It’s an intriguing camera that is certain to be a powerful new tool for a wide range of photographers.
[Read on for my first impressions of shooting the S2 and a few example images..] Read the rest of this entry »
In photography on December 21, 2010 at 2:05 am
Shot with a Nikon D3 and the Perkin Elmer 600mm f8 “Solid Cat”
In equipment on December 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm
Check out BorrowLenses.com for an interesting opportunity to shop for (slightly more) affordable cameras and lenses from a respected name in the rental business. The sale includes a nice selection of professional Canon and Nikon glass, including all three elements of Nikon’s pro-zoom triumvirate: 14-24mm f2/8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 70-200mm f2.8. Would I buy used gear from a rental house? It’s a trade off, as the gear has likely been used by a wide range of photographers, though it’s also been professionally cared for between far-flung beatings… For a decent price, I’d consider it.
In other news, BorrowLenses.com is also now stocking the new Nikon D7000 and 85mm f1.4G AF-S.
In photography on December 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir,
A powerful, groovy night of praise and worship in
Oakland’s Paramount Theater
It’s been a while since I shot a concert. I’ve been intrenched in the highly controlled world of portraiture for a long time. Shooting live music is like a portrait shoot with a lot of hard work to get to the right spots, no communication with the subjects, and a three-year-old controlling the light packs. But it is good fun, especially with a rockin gospel choir shaking the house like the OIGC. For one night every year, Oakland’s premier theater, the Paramount, comes alive as the city’s biggest, loudest church, and it’s a beautiful thing. The choir, with a surprising array of soloists and style keeps it funky, drawing its energy from the supremely confident and charismatic director, Terrance Kelly.
“People talk about Oakland like it’s just people shooting one another, but what about all this?!” he said, lifting his hands towards the gold-leafed art-deco vault, still vibrating from the last jam. The choir is built on peace, harmony, and strength in unity and is doing great things for Oakland!
[More images and a gallery link after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »
In digital art, digital workflow, equipment, technique on December 1, 2010 at 10:34 pm
The Trouble With Canvas
Ink jet canvas? Yes, it can be a cheesy photo presentation, like something out of a cheap Miami motel. Also, lesser canvases have given the medium a bad name with poor shadow reproduction and drastic texture that all but obliterates fine detail. Last year, I ran through a roll of Canon’s Graphic Matte Canvas that I wouldn’t recommend for any conceivable reason to anyone (in fact, it was given to me for free by Canon, which I should have taken as a sign). I think canvas photo printing, as a general cynical consensus, has the reputation of being a technique to force mediocre photography into something that looks like art.
The appeal of canvas, on the flip side, is a modern floating presentation when it’s nicely gallery wrapped on a good stretcher frame. Tightly wrapped and well folded at the corners, the finished product is hard to beat for visual impact. Of course, it also has to be a stunning print, as there is no glass, matting, and framing to amplify the print size or quality. And, after all, canvas really is the de facto surface for certain more established schools of art and photographers can play with that.
[a review of my new favorite ink jet canvas after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »
In location shooting, photography, technique on November 16, 2010 at 11:44 am
Artist, David Nyquist, Oakland, CA, November 13, 2010
It’s a fun, if intimidating process, to set up a portrait of a fellow artist. It might be that a corporate executive wouldn’t be interested in the process or subtleties of photography, but a painter is very likely to appreciate the power of light and composition. I’ve been spending time with Arnold Newman’s portfolio this week and it’s always a source of inspiration. He’s the Godfather of editorial portraiture and photographed a number of notable artists, including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams (talk about intimidating artists for a photographer to shoot!)
[more, and a "behind the scenes" shot after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »
In digital workflow, equipment, photography on November 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Hasselblad Phocus & the H4D Digital Workflow
Deciding to buy in to a medium format camera system involves more than cameras and lenses. In the case of Phase One/Mamiya and Hasselblad, going big includes delving into exciting proprietary software. Phase One makes the excellent Capture One software while Hasselblad offers – as a free download – the relatively new Phocus program. While it’s true, to some extent, that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has become something of an industry standard for digital workflow software, both Capture One and Phocus are unique and able programs offering a higher degree of camera integration and a more unified workflow between camera and computer. Phocus is a cool piece of software, and – like Capture One – a strong selling point for the cameras and lenses it’s designed specifically to support. Anyone considering an H-series camera should certainly download Phocus and experiment with it. Hopefully this entry will serve as an interesting introduction.
[more after the jump..] Read the rest of this entry »