Just some stuff about photography

BY TAG

Lee RF75 polariser on Hasselblad XPan

in GAS , Friday, May 17, 2013

This is a quick note which will be of interest to almost nobody, except perhaps the person who asked about it on Flickr, but whatever, I’m in a public service kind of mood.

A while ago I invested in the Lee RF75 filter system, which fits nicely on both my Hasselblad XPan and Olympus micro four thirds lenses.  My source for this kind of equipment is the ever reliable Robert White.

On their website they state:

“The RF75 will take 2 filters as standard and can be adjusted to take a single filter to enable its safe use on the widest angle lenses, like a 30mm on the Hasselblad XPan.”

However, I’ve found to my cost that this is not 100% accurate, at least not when using the RF75 clip-on polariser. Skipping the point that using a polariser on a ultra wide angle lens is not always a good idea - at least not if you’re using it for the basic make-the-sky-prettier application - unfortunately it is not safe on the XPan 30mm lens.

The examples below are straight uncorrected scans direct to JPG.

Evidence, case 1.  The “blue sky” test.

Rf75 1 30mm 2slot

XPan 30mm lens, clip-on polariser, RF75 holder as shipped with two filter slots. Extremely intrusive.

Rf75 1 30mm 1slot

XPan 30mm lens, clip-on polariser, RF75 holder with one filter slot. Still some intrusion, but salvageable (not that you’d want the sky looking like that. This is a TEST!).

Evidence, case 2, Vegetation, reflections test - something you might conceivably want to do even at 30mm.

Rf75 2 30mm 2slot

XPan 30mm lens, clip-on polariser, RF75 holder as shipped with two filter slots. Extremely intrusive.

Rf75 2 30mm 1slot

XPan 30mm lens, clip-on polariser, RF75 holder with one filter slot. Still some intrusion, barely noticeable in this case. Probably you’d get away with it in this kind of scenario

So, in conclusion, the RF75 polariser can be used on the XPan 30mm, but you need to remove all but one filter slot, and be very careful. And take a safety shot without it on.

This is really an extreme case, and is in no way a criticism of either the Lee RF75 (or the similar “7” system) or of the Robert White team. They’re both excellent.

p.s. - there is no issue using the polariser on either the 45mm or 90mm lens, or indeed any Olympus lenses I’ve tried it on. This, I repeat, is an extreme case.

Posted in category "GAS" on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Using the Belairgon lens

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

 

Posted in category "Film" on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 05:21 PM

From Russia with love

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.

Posted in category "Product reviews" on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 03:07 PM

Antarctic panorama portfolio

in Antarctica , Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I’ve just added a portfolio of 12 Antarctic panoramas to my photo galleries. The captions will need updating, once I can figure out where the locations really are. But that’s not terribly important. I really can’t say at this point if these area the “best” of the 200 or so candidates, but they’re a representative selection.  It really was that gloomy!

Snowhenge dot net  photography  other stuff

Now I can move on to the rest of the backlog…

Posted in category "Antarctica" on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11:32 PM

polaramics

in Antarctica , Friday, April 12, 2013

Although I’m hopelessly addicted to wide-format photography, using my Hasselblad XPan film camera, there’s no question that it lacks the immediacy of digital. It has taken over two months to get the 10 rolls of Ektachrome E100G which I put through it in Antarctica developed, scanned, cleaned up and somewhat edited. Of course this time I was sidetracked by a trip to Venice as well as several other tangents I shot off on, not to mention earning a living and keep the garden under control. And having a life. Well, marginally. At the same time I still have another 12 rolls from Patagonia which remain in their boxes, and a veritable avalanche of digital photographs from Antarctica which I have had but a cursory look at. I tend to get very linear about this stuff, so apart from the distraction of my Venice projects (which were also a bit linear), I have really concentrated on this process.

Coaxing the best results I can out of my ageing film scanner is time-consuming, as is removing the artefacts it generates. But that’s just part of the deal. The challenge is to get some approximation of the fantastic way the slide film looks on the light table onto the screen.

The next step is to select a dozen or so for a gallery page, but here’s a quick preview.

Xpan antarctica05 10
Xpan antarctica06 13
Xpan antarctica08 01
Xpan antarctic03 11
Posted in category "Antarctica" on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 06:53 PM

Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >