photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Sell out!

anything that’s not nailed down…

in GAS , Sunday, August 31, 2014

It’s time for a bit of a clear out here at the Snowhenge World Observation Bunker & Control Center, and before all this stuff goes on eBay, I’m offering it here, as well as on several forums.  Please note, I am not, as the interwebbies put it, “jumping ship”, I’m still an Olympus user (both 4/3 and m4/3), just having a bit of a rationalisation, and hopefully raising the funds for a little device I have my eye on…

Please either email me directly, or in the comments here, if you have any suggestions. I might be open to a certain degree of bargaining. Or not. All prices include an estimated $50 for insured delivery via SwissPost / EMS, which, frankly, is probably cutting my own throat.

So, here we go.

Item 1. Olympus E-5/E-3 mega-set

Olympus E-5, 7667 shutter actuations

Olympus E-3, 15339 shutter actuations
HLD-4 Grip / Battery Holder with AA-battery insert and Acratech Arca Swiss-compatible plate
Acratech Arca Swiss-compatible plate for E-5
BCM-5 Charger
4 BLM-5 Batteries
BCM-2 Charger
5 BLM-1 Batteries
RM-CB1 Remote cable
FL-36 Flash
2 8Gb Sandisk CF cards

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I am the original owner of all items. All come with original Olympus packaging. These cameras have been well looked after, but have been used, not kept on a shelf, so they have some light signs of wear. However both are in full working order and the screens have no significant blemishes. The E-3 is missing it’s remote socket cover. All items were bought in Switzerland as official Swiss imports and therefore have manuals in German, French & Italian. English and other language versions are available on Olympus web sites.

Asking price is $975. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.SOLD

Item 2. Olympus E-400 Twin Lens kit

Olympus E-400, 3447 shutter actuations
Olympus magnifying eyepiece
Zuiko ZD 14-42ED lens
Zuiko ZD 40-150ED lens
battery, manuals and accessories.

This is the last Kodak CCD Olympus DSLR, and was only sold in Europe. Due to it’s size it was also described by the press as a “digital OM”, well before the OM-D series was thought up.  It is about the same body size as an OM-D EM-1. The camera is in full working order, but the back screen is a bit scuffed. The original lens cap for the 40-150 left to seek it’s fortune elsewhere some time ago, and is replaced with a generic cap.

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I took this camera out for a nostalgic stroll a while back, and wrote a note on my experiences.

Asking price is $250. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.

Item 3. Olympus Digital Zuiko ZD 7-14mm f4.0 lens


This ultra-wide zoom lens for Olympus Four-Thirds cameras (and m43 via adaptor) is of exceptional optical quality. I am the original owner. It is used, but in very good condition, with no blemishes to the glass or body. Complete with original front and back lens caps, soft pouch, and original packaging.

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Asking price is $1050. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.SOLD

Item 4. Olympus Digital Zuiko ZD 150mm f2.0 lens


This f2.0 fixed focal telephoto for Olympus Four-Thirds cameras (and m43 via adaptor) is rated by many as one of the finest SLR lenses ever produced. So why am I selling it? Well, despite the fact that it really is fabulous, mainly because the focal length doesn’t really suit me.  I am the original owner, however it was bought direct from Olympus as a refurbished demo item, and does not come in the original box. It is used, but in very good condition, with no blemishes to the glass or body. Complete with original front and back lens caps, lens hood and Olympus semi-rigid carrying case.

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You can see a recent shot from this lens here, in this case used on an mFT Olympus E-P3 camera with manual focus.

Asking price is $1550. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.SOLD

Item 5. Panasonic LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH lens for micro Four Thirds

An excellent, fast portrait lens for the mFT system. Although it is indeed excellent, I don’t use it very much, and therefore I’ve decided to sell it. It is used, but in very good condition, with no blemishes to the glass or body. Complete with original front and back lens caps, hood, pouch, and original packaging.

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Asking price is $350. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.

Item 6. Lomography Belair 612 kit, with Belairgon 114mm lens.

The Belair 612 is a medium format camera which can produced 6x6, 6x9 or 6x12 output. It’s an interesting concept and some people love it, but it doesn’t quite fit in with my aims, so I’m selling it.  The sale includes the Zenit-built Belairgon 114mm glass lens, which I also discussed.  The camera kit and lens are sold in their original packaging with all accessories. Also included are 4 rolls of spare Lomography 120 film.

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I wrote several posts on my experiences of the Belair 612 and Belairgon lens.

Asking price is $250. This includes insured delivery to most of the world.


And finally, if anybody in the Olympus community is paying attention, if you re-blog, or twitter, or FB this and let me know, then I will put your name in the hat for an absolutely free Olympus E-System Angle Finder (for E-1, E-300, E-330, E-400 and possibly other bodies - not E-3, E-30 or E-5, anyway they don’t need it).  Interested ? Just spread the word, and leave a link in the comments here.


A little more Belair

last set of shots for now

in Film , Wednesday, May 22, 2013

For the few people who have asked, here are a few more Belair 6x12 / Belairgon 114mm shots. Just to summarise what I’ve said before, without very careful technique, and some degree of luck, there is no way you’re going to get the sort of results which justify the use of 120 roll film, at least not from a “straight” point of view. 

Obviously you can’t really see that from these tiny JPGs, but what you can see is good evenness of exposure across the frame, little distortion, and general quite pleasant rendering.

However at 100% camera shake blur is very obvious.

Belair set2 02

Lomography 100 ISO negative film, tripod, CanoScan 9000F at 2400dpi

Belair set2 05

Lomography 100 ISO negative film, tripod, CanoScan 9000F at 2400dpi

Belair set2 08

Lomography 400 ISO negative film, handheld, CanoScan 9000F at 2400dpi

Belair set2 11

Lomography 400 ISO negative film, handheld, CanoScan 9000F at 2400dpi

and finally, a “serious” scan:

Belair morobbia 1 comp

Fuji Velvia 100 ISO slide film, accidentally exposed at 200 ISO, stable, Minolta Dimage Scan MultiPro at 3200dpi

Belair morobbia 1 comp 100

1:1 section (actual pixels at 3200 dpi) of above. Not too bad, really.

So my conclusion remains. It’s not a complete dead loss, the lens seems pretty good, but the body remains the (very) weak point.  Metering / auto exposure is actually pretty good, but focussing is hit and (usually) miss.  There remains a question mark over infinity focus, but with such a shaky platform it is very difficult to tell if the issue is with focus blur or motion blur.

I guess one day I might take it off the shelf and try again.



Using the Belairgon lens

not quite as crap as the plastic lenses

in Film , Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Just a quick note, as I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I have now received and made quick scans of the first films I shot using the mighty Belair Belairgon 114mm lens hand-welded in Russia from genuine ex-Soyuz engine nozzles.

The results are sort of heading in the direction of encouraging, at least in the sense that they indicate it my be possible to consider the Belair 6x12 as a valid photographic tool in ideal circumstances.  There are hints that something like acceptable sharpness can be obtained, but the total lack of any real control over shutter speed (apart from being certain it’s never going over 1/125th, which is fairly tragic for a 114mm lens on a medium format camera) means that it’s not going to work terribly well hand held.

I also had “fat film” problems which each of the 5 rolls of Velvia 100 I put through it.  I had better luck - perhaps helped by the camera modifications I made - with a subsequent batch of Lomo negative film, but I haven’t seen that yet. And, well, Lomo negative film… hmm.  I also used a tripod. We shall see.

Anyway, the Belairgon 114mm does actually seem worth at least a little perseverance. The scans here are absolutely not optimised, just quick default scans on a flatbed Canoscan 9000F at 2400dpi.  When I have time I’ll see if they’re worth film scanner time.

Bel set2 02
Bel set2 04

Bel set2 05



From Russia with love

albeit somewhat overdue

in Product reviews , Saturday, April 27, 2013

Well, well, look what DHL dropped off yesterday. A brand new Lomography Belair “Belairgon” 114mm lens, apparently hand machined from a solid block of aluminium by Zenith in Russia.

The packaging is quite impressive, and the lens is built like, well, something Russian. It’s quite hefty, and apart from back lens cap, which is standard Lomography low grade plastic sh*t, generally it gives a good impression. Very firm but fluid movement, well put together. Unfortunately, the companion viewfinder is of the same type as the standard Belair lenses, so absolutely hopeless. Actually, it’s worse, as for some incomprehensible reasons the hipster designers have coloured it some virulent shade of orangey-red on the inside, which reflects in the (dim and blurry) view. Awesome.

So, first impressions, without having actually used it yet, are of a lens built to a standard way above the body it fits on to. Next step will be to see if it can actually rescue the Belair by delivering some decent photos.

Personally I find “Zenith. Russia” far sexier than “Lomography”....

The focus scale is far more useful than the one on the plastic lenses. Due to the Belair design, there are only 2 aperture settings, f/8 and f/16, which is fairly useless. Coupled with the lack of any manual exposure setting, there is a strong element of chance with any Belair shot, which I suppose is what “lomography” is all about. But “spray and pray” gets pretty expensive when you’re dealing with 120 format film.


More Belair stuff

still not overwhelmed

in GAS , Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A few reviews around the web, especially a very thorough four-part epic on Gary Seronik’s Film Advance blog, seem to confirm my own thoughts on the Belair 612 and its plastic lenses. Basically it seems to be being marketed to, and appeals to, more “serious” photographers, but its Lomography DNA is just all too obvious. And it’s probably too much trouble to appeal to the tradition Lomo crowd. It’s a pity, because with a little more investment you could have a useful if very basic camera. As it is it’s pretty much a waste of time. Possibly the “real” lenses which are now very late coming might improve matters, but I’m not convinced.  There are plenty of tips on how to achieve longer exposure than 1/125th, how to lock exposure, and other esoterica, but it’s all very fiddly and haphazard.

Anyway here are a couple of photos showing the field of view of the two lenses (and also that nominal auto-exposure is a bit approximate for slide film - or perhaps the Lomo Pro-X film is more like ISO 160 than 200 - and that neither plastic lens seems to focus at infinity)

Bel set1 05

the 90mm lens…

Bel set1 04

… and the 58mm lens

And here’s a couple more showing that the camera actually can step up and deliver a genuine Lomography experience…

Bel set1 07

Bel set1 06



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