Monday, February 29, 2016

A Beacon In The Darkness - B+W


Those of you who have lived in Darwin, New Guinea, Singapore, or Hong Kong will know what I mean when I say that humidity is not a friend to either your wardrobe or your camera equipment. It might be warm and romantic, but it grows fungus like crazy. You eventually end up taking pictures through the bottom of a petri dish...


We see it in lenses and camera bodies that have been in these climes - see it on the surfaces of lenses and smell it in the mustiness of the equipment. It is bad news, ruining the coatings on optical surfaces and rendering the lenses useless as far as definition or contrast. Getting rid of it once it has attacked the lenses is sometimes not possible - even if they can be cleaned the cost is considerable.


Well, what to do? Stay away from the naked tropics is one answer. So far it has worked for me -  my one trip to Singapore was spent in the dehumidified air conditioning of cocktail bars. I can thoroughly recommend the idea, but it played hell with the liver.


B+W, the German filter makers, have come up with a sober solution. They have put out a device called UV-Pro for Nikon, Canon, and Sony shooters who have DSLR or mirror-less cameras. It generates UV light that kills the fungus spores and prevents the development in the first place.


The component that does this is a special UV-LED. It is powered from a USB port and mounted in a detachable housing. The housing itself is held in a Nikon, Canon, or Sony adapter by magnets.


The adapter is darned clever - one end is for the lens mount and the other lets the adapter clip onto the camera body. Apparently fungus can also get onto the surfaces of glass associated with the sensors of the cameras - they need an occasional zapping as well.


It must be powerful medicine - there is a warning sign on the LED unit itself not to look directly at the light.

The price of the unit is well under the $ 200 mark and at that is a bargain for the tropical photographer. We might mention that Camera Electronic has supplied especial drying cabinets for this same problem - the Legend cabinets come in a large range of sizes and facilities - both these and the new B+W UV Pro should be worth their price in protection  - and for classic lenses they may be the only way to preserve them for the collector.

In-store now. Be sure to check out our on-line store as well for tis an other fine B+W filter products.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

" I Drop These Cameras All The Time..."


If there were ever a phrase in the language more likely to cause me to love and admire Andrew Ritchie and the Canon EOS 1Dx Mk II, I have yet to hear it. He let us into this secret last night at the Northbridge Hotel while addressing the audience at the product launch.

Leaving his pictures aside...and they were very good pictures...his candid admission that the rough and tumble of his world - the newspaper photography game - is a tough one on cameras was a telling point for the brand. The Canon EOS 1D cameras of various marks are built to withstand all the rough treatment that they are likely to encounter. He knows it and he prefers them. He drops 'em all the time...



The evening was much the same as many product launches - a brief address from one of the CE owners - Saul - a talk about some of the new technical points of the equipment by the manufacturer's representative - Sheryl - and then a show and tell by a photographer who has had a chance to use the camera - Andrew. The audience was, in the "Casablanca" sense,  the usual suspects...but in this case they were the suspects for a different crime. Specifically for paid professional work that demands high speed and durability.


Andrew had been given use one of only two of the new EOS 1Dx Mk II cameras in the country and had to find suitable subjects that would test it out. He selected water sports, low light environmental portraiture, and his curly spaniel in the park with a green tennis ball. We can report that in all cases the camera and the Canon lenses that he selected to work with produced saleable, printable, publishable, hangable images. And the dog is gorgeous.


The camera is apparently a lot easier to use than previous evocations - they have taken a leaf from the more humble cameras and incorporated touch-screen technology to allow people to select what the AF system is going to do. It also has the ability to do a lot more than before, including tracking useful subjects even when interrupted by intruders into the frame. The viewfinder is a lot brighter than before.



The thing can shoot JPEG images as fast as it can get electricity - any where from 12 to 16 frames per second depending on the type of battery. And it can keep on shooting until the card fills up... the buffer has enough capacity for this. Even if you are firing off raw images it will go to 178 before needing a rest and sip of Gatorade. This means you get a picture of the spaniel and the ball in 178 frames of the tennis ball holds up..If you need to alter the raw file in-camera and then send it off fast to an editor ( or to Facebook...) you can do this as well.

ISO performance seemed good. He was shooting at ISO 2000 but of course the device will go into the 5-figure mark if you want it to.


From what I could hear, there will be an April delivery date for the new camera, but I could also hear the wholesale and retail people saying that you would be very wise to get a deposit in for the camera right now...there may be a rush and a delay in the supply otherwise.

Nota bene: The audiences at these beanfests do vary according to the sort of equipment that is on show. Of course camera people are always interested in cameras and lighting people are always interested in lighting, etc, but it is notable to observe the degree of concentration evinced and the sorts of questions that come forth from this crowd. These people are serious photographers and know what they need from their cameras. Their questions were sensible and to the point, and anyone listening to them and to the answers was benefitted.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Defeating the Glass With Light


Look at that title - normally photographers are trying to do just the opposite - use glass to tame light. But there are times when you need to go at it the other way around.

We've all been to museums, shops, and galleries where interesting things are displayed under glass. It is under there to prevent you from getting your grubby hands on it and degrading it - or to create a sense of wonder and desire on your part. The awkward part comes when you want to take a picture of it.

Sometimes the people selling or displaying the things won't let you do it - for fear of breaking some law or giving away some advantage. Sometimes it is to allow them to sell their own pictures of the objects in their own bookshop - this is a classic ploy for some museums. No good you taking your own pics when there are postcards to be sold!

Even if you are allowed to shoot photos, you frequently fall foul of the way the goods are displayed:

1. The items may be behind tinted glass.

2. The glass surface may be dirty - filthy dirty in some cases.

3. There may be dodgy lighting in the display case. Dodgy in positioning and intensity and definitely dodgy in white balance. Some lights do not have a colour temperature - they have a colour fever.

4. Strong lighting outside the display case may reflect on the glass surface and obscure the contents.


Oddly enough, this is exactly the situation that pertains to outside displays at one of my favourite events - the car show. If a car owner chooses to wind up the window and it is dim inside while bright outside you cannot get a good picture of the interior of the car.
This happened so often that I evolved a way to deal with it that can be applied equally to the museum or shop.

First - if you are not allowed to use flash you can't do this. Likewise if your camera can never come off of an "automatic" sort of setting, you are stuck. But if you are not so restricted, here's what you do:

1. Put the ISO up to 400-800.

2. Put the camera in Manual mode.

3. Set the shutter speed to 1/125 or 1/180.

4. Set the aperture to something between f:4 and f:11. You'll be experimenting with the first couple of shots and can dial yourself into the correct exposure after you see the results.

5. Set the flash to manual as well and try your first shot at 1/2 power.

What you are doing is making your camera's sensor blind to the ambient light but sensitive to the powerful blast of light from the flash. If you are careful to keep the camera and flash pointed at an angle away from where the light hits the glass, it'll go though to the subject and not come back as a reflected blast onto the camera. The depth of field being shallow at close ranges means your camera won't effectively see the surface of the glass - it will see through it.

You may also have to take your camera off AF to do this as it may insist upon focusing on the surface of the glass - and you want to select the subject yourself.


Fussy readers will please excuse the slight over-exposure on the grey Leica camera but note how much better it is than the ambient-light shot at seeing past the obstructions.

The car interior is also through a full side glass window.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Getting The Data Wrong


I must apologise to anyone who went along to the Northbridge Hotel tonight looking for Canon EOS 1Dx MkII cameras and free beer - they would have been disappointed by a day and had to buy their own drinks.

I apparently got it wrong in an early version of the post - the event happens tomorrow at 6:00 at the Northbridge. When I dial up the post now it seems to be correct but there must have been a time when it generated confusion. I hope no disasters ensued.

All that said, I am looking forward to seeing this benchmark professional camera and hearing about the use of it.

Uncle Dick

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DL AND COOLPIX - Nikon Has Some New New Cameras Coming


COOLPIX is a familiar name for Nikon enthusiasts - it has been the model name for a number of their compact digital cameras for a number of years now. They have wisely retained it to introduce four more new compact and bridge cameras: the COOLPIX B700, B500, and the A900 and A300.

We've just been sent the promotional sheets for them and to give you a précis of the new features, essentially you can regard the B series as the ones with electronic viewfinders while the A series are screens alone.

The B700 will have a 60X optical zoom, 20.3 Megapixels on a back-lit CMOS sensor  and a new processor. It will shoot 4K video and has a number of new features for video like "Superlapse" to combine numerous pictures.

The B500 is similarly-shaped but has a 40x optical zoom. and 16 Megapixels for the sensor. All the other good stuff , though.

The A900 has a 35x optical zoom and 20.3 Megapixels but has the additional capability of a 1cm super macro mode. As well as " Superlapse ". Super! 4K as well.

The A400 is the stylish compact of he series with an 8 x optical zoom and a variety of body colours. Good for panorama or 2 cm macro and hosts a wealth of features that will appeal to the selfie shooter...like Glamour Retouch. I need Glamour Retouch. Actually I would be satisfied with Not Quite So Hideous Retouch...

OKAY - now the new news for bigger shooters. People who would like to carry pocketable Nikon camera to supplement their big Nikon DSLR outfits - or who would like to take the Nikon lens quality out for a run where weight and size matter.

Nikon have introduced the DL range of cameras - looks as though there will be three of them initally - with a host of new features across the models. These are large compacts with lenses that are fixed in place...however there are three models with zoom lenses that are intended for three ranges of work:

1. DL 18-50

As the title implies, this is the wide-angle model of the series. It will have a lens capable of 18-50mm equivalent fixed in front of a 1" backlit CMOS sensor. The lens runs at f:1.8-2.8. There is an effective VR system, new processor, Nikon Snap Bridge data-sharing capability and an optional OLED electronic viewfinder available.

2. DL 24-85

Here's the medium range lens model - again at f:1.8-2.8 but with the same features as the wide one. Also noted on the press release: an in-built neutral density filter to let you use those wide apertures in bright light. Plus a super-macro mode.

3. DL 24-500

Well, here Nikon have had to include an electronic viewfinder in the design from the start - that long telephoto lens capability demands it. Aperture is f:2.8-5.6 for this longer lens.

The delivery times for these new cameras extend into the next few months but we'll be letting you know when they hit the shop shelves. You can also pursue them through our on-line store.

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Cameras And The Beer Economy


There has been a great deal of hoo hah recently in the media about Perth's beer economy. Apparently people pay for favours, products, services, and opinions by delivering cartons of beer instead of cartons of money. This is seen as matey and unlikely to attract the attention of the Australian Taxation Department. As it turns out, this is incorrect - everything - attracts the attention of the ATO.

Really, think about it. The ATO workers are in Canberra and Albury, NSW. If there were any two places on earth that would make you think about drinking, it would be Canberra and Albury. I should imagine office workers there think about it constantly, and the idea that they are not getting their share when your local tradie trims your asbestos fence for you with the chain saw( and then puts it through the mulcher ) would be gall to them.

Is it the same, we must ask, with bottles of beer at camera launches? Are we all in danger of little men in a grey sleeveless jumpers popping up at our elbow and handcuffing us as we reach for the Corona? Will we need to arrive at the door half cut beforehand on our own money and just sit down and watch the show.

And what is the sushi position?*

Well, after consulting a beeration expert I can reassure the clients and customers that it is not a federal offence to down one or two at the Camera Electronic promotional nights. The management are paying for the slosh and then reporting it diligently to the ATO as a legitimate business expense, as they do for the ammunition and spare horses, and you are in the clear. Your only obligation is to enjoy yourselves...moderately, please...and to give due consideration to the industry presenters, photograph makers, and video presentations. You are at liberty to fall lifeless from your chair after the first 20 minutes of a Powerpoint presentation and no-one will think ill of you...

It would be nice if you would look carefully at the special offer sheets that generally accompany the product presentations. Both the wholesalers and the shop work closely together to make sure that there are good deals there on the launch night - sometimes with prices and sometimes with added extras. Take advantage of these, and do it right then. Frequently the opportunity is only for that one occasion - this is a good illustration of the advisability of keeping an emergency photo fund somewhere. Somewhere that only you know about...when your time comes, Maitland, know it...

Product launches are fun. The industry reps there really DO know what their stuff does and they are more than happy to tell you all you need to know. It is ever so much more satisfying to get the REAL information from people that actually sell the cameras than rely upon someone at Mum's Basement Camera Rumour Pty Ltd. to tell you fairy tales.

Note: Keep reading the weblog and the CE Facebook site. We've got two dynamite Canon launches coming this month and March and I suspect there will be others from other firms as well. The recent Olympus and Fujifilm nights at the shop were a hoot.

*Rolled up.




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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So What Goes There?


What indeed.

Come along to the Northbridge Hotel, 210 Lake Street at 6:00 on this Thursday the 25th and see for yourself.

We can give you a few hints:  it is made by the Canon company, it takes pictures, and it has an EOS, a 1, a Dx, and a Mark II in the name. And it is brand spanking new. And fast. And rugged.

But these are just hints...you can eat and drink while we let out more hints on the night...RSVP to the shop to tell us you're coming.

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The Barbershop Quartet


I love products that allow me to practise cheap and corny headlines. The Barber Shop company have my entire approval...and not just for their charming name.

They are, briefly, makers of exceptionally fine camera bags, backpack, Gladstone bags, and straps. The level of design and craftsmanship that they show is wonderful.

Here's 4 products that just came into the shop. I don't know how much they cost, because I pinched them off the receiving dock and ran for the studio before they could stop me, but I am guessing ...a lot. No getting around it when you look at the detail of the leather work. Think the top level of Italian workmanship.

The little straps are intended for connection to the right-hand side suspension lug of a digital camera.


The dark one you see in the illustration is called the Razor Cut. It's leather, with metal ring and clip mechanism that is shielded from the camera body with a broad leather pad. You rig it into a loop and slip your wrist through. Unlike some of the other ones made from nylon cord, it does not cut the blood circulation to the hand as you use it. It is sturdy enough to act as a war flail - If your photography involves mayhem this would be a good buy.

The lighter coloured strap - the Tight Contour - is a pad that also attaches under the camera body and snugs it to your hand. Very comfortable - if you had to do a long job this would be a blessing.


The big long strap is one of the dragoon-style designs that encircle the body and allow the camera to be tracked up and down the front of the shooter on a carabiner clip. You'll know the names of the opposition makers' products from other weblog posts, but remember this one as one of most elegant and effective. It's called the Full Beard.

The pad is leather, curved in 3 dimensions, and a perfect fit to the shoulder. There is a rubber inner liner to prevent it falling off.


The strap is smooth webbing. The rider is tough and has a leather shield to the clip. The clip itself has a roller lock that prevents the jaws from opening when you don't want them to.



The final item is the bag. Black leather, fully lined with cloth, and with a customisable internal padded insert. It is rounded, finished and sleek. The latch is one of the smartest ones on any bag - it opens from the top rather than the bottom and is a simple snap. No massive fumbling buckles or crude leather cutouts. No complex plastic alligator buckles that take your cuticles off.



Elegant. If you've a top-quality mirror-less system to carry, carry it in this.

Barber Shop Quartet? Sweet, Adeline...Check out the range on our online store.


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Monday, February 22, 2016

The Midnight Laboratory Of Dr. Ernest...


Approach the the old castle, open the creaking door, and avoid the large Tesla coil machine making lightning in the corner. Welcome to the laboratory of Dr. Ernest. It is as near to Transylvania as most of us ever get...

Disregard the shrieking. It is just the staff looking at the latest work roster. Pay them no mind. Look on the bench...

Notice the Canon camera sitting with the lens off, and strange wires leading from the inside...leading to the dismantled Voigtlander lens nose-down on the workbench. Now listen and watch as Dr. Ernest triggers the continuous exposure drive of the camera and captures the result in slow motion...

Notice how the actuator lever in the lens bounces back and forth as the diaphragm of the lens is stopped down - and how it comes to the end of its travel and meets as simple a device as a brass wire to arrest it...

See the shutter open in perfect synchronisation with the diaphragm, even though the camera is banging away like a maxim gun. And look into the mysterious depths of the camera at the living, breathing sensor...sensing things...

Notice how every paragraph ends with three dots...

Behold! Dr. Ernest breathes life into the separate parts! Behold! He knows how to make them operate in unison! Behold! He knows how to put them back together again and not end up with extra screws and springs! The science of the Repair Department! Life!

And one last thing...

video

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Unashamedly Grabbing At The Big Screen For the New Pentax


Locked away as I am in my medieval tower, with nothing to do but weave tapestries and comb my long golden locks, I am somewhat at a loss as to how I am to get information and images to tell you about the new Pentax full-frame camera - the K1. Fortunately I have the internet and no sense of shame and have recently discovered how the screen-grab mechanism works. I am confident that the medieval tower will defeat any copyright lawyers that come after me and as the whole idea is to sell more pentax K-1 cameras, I don't suppose the wholesalers will mind.

Well, it was a long time coming, but is apparently reality rather than promise - a full 24 x 36 mm frame Pentax DSLR camera. It has the general shape of the smaller Pentax cameras and the same lens mount, so users of the current lenses  - and legacy lenses as well - can experiment and see if they have the pleasant surprise of a lens that covers the whole sensor area. Apparently some of the Limited Edition Pentax lenses do.

It runs a 36.4 megapixel CMOS sensor and no AA filter for maximum sharpness. ISO up to 204800. There's a 5-axis shake reduction system and 36 AF points.


I'm particularly taken by two ergonomic features; the swinging and skewing LCD screen at the back with stabiliser rods, and the Operation Assist Lights that let you see where the latches and controls are in the dark so you can change lenses in a theatre at night. Very good idea!

Dual card slots, WiFi, GPS, 1080 video,and the ability to automatically sense if you are using crop-frame lenses and to narrow the usable area of the sensor accordingly.

Note that the press release mentions 12 new full-frame lenses but the only details are a 15-30 f:2.8 and a 28-105 f:3.5-5.6.


The shape in the press pictures is pure Pentax and as this has always been pretty good to hold in the past, there is no reason to think it different for the larger sensor.

We await developments gleefully.



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Canon Launches Forth - Part Two


Well it isn't just the big, heavy Canon cameras that are bursting out into new models - Canon Australia will be bringing the new EOS Canon 80D camera to Camera Electronic on March 3rd at 6:00 PM.

The launch will show the new crop-frame Canon EOS body as well as the new 18-135 lens that is set to pair with it. And the whole presentation will be with the expert guidance of Stephen Scourfield.

Stephen is the travel editor of the West Australian and a consummate photo shooter. He's been advising Western Australians for years about the best way to maximise the potential of the digital camera for our memories, and he's had a chance to see just how this new Canon performs.

Of course, being Canon, and being for travel, the video component of the new body has really come to the fore. New Auto Focus performance, new flicker-free shooting, new higher ISO capability extend your video shooting into scenes that were never possible before. Audio pickup facilities have advanced as well.

The night has representatives of Canon Australia, Camera Electronic, and Stephen - it also has food and drink, but you'll be wise to RSVP through to the shop to tell us you're coming so that we can arrange for the beer tankers to get down the side of the building. That and the sushi and sausage roll cars that shunt in on the private railway spur. These things take organising, you know.

There would appear, from the press releases, to be a new 18-135 zoom lens and a power zoom adapter that will be made to assist the videographers. Heaven knows how the latter works but it should all resolve itself when the representatives start the cameras going round the room.

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Canon Is Out To Launch - Part One


Plan of Attack Number One:

Northbridge Hotel, 210 Lake Street North Perth.

Thursday the 25th of February, 2016

6:00 PM

Rendezvous with representatives of Canon Australia, Camera Electronic, and Andrew Ritchie.

See launch of new Canon EOS 1DX Mk II camera. Hear Andrew discuss his work and experience with this new equipment. Watch videos. Take notes and price lists.

Eat and drink. Be merry.

Discuss pre-order price with Camera Electronic staff. Loosen wallet. Open it and blow cobwebs off credit card. Put down deposit on new camera. Chortle inwardly.

Go home and plan out new profitable shooting at weddings, sports, fashion, studio, and events. Make sure lenses are cleaned and ready to go. Get extra invoice forms ready for new clients. Stand in front of mirror and practise sneering at other shooters who do not have the new camera. Chortle openly...

Yes, Folks, it is new model time at Canon Australia and the new Canon EOS 1 DX Mk II debuts next Wednesday at the Northbridge. This is the seriously fast and professional new Canon camera that is at the top end of the action and sports list. This is the one the pro agencies require of you. Now that there is a new one, they will soon specify it. Beat them to the punch - order one now and pay a deposit for the best price.

You know who you are and you know why you need this camera...bless you. Come on down and watch the presentation and get a feeling for the gear.

Note RSVP to CE so that they have the refreshments ready....


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Why the Olympus Pen F Will Succeed


It will succeed on three counts:

1. Performance of the stabilising mechanisms.


The Olympus camera uses more stabilising elements than other cameras. It compensates more for what people and circumstance do during shooting and as a result there is a better chance of the camera returning a sharp photo. It cannot entirely eliminate the effects of vibration if the user has attached it to a hammer drill or is taking pictures in Christchurch, NZ, but pretty near anything short of that will be within limits.

2. Adjustability of the colour and monochrome parameters.

This camera features a dial on the right front face that allows the user to start the process of adjusting the rendering of the view. It is further modified by a toggle switch on the back and produces a very great many choices of saturation, curves, grain and tone. This is the experimenter's dream camera, but it can also be a workhorse in a number of fields once the user has worked out exactly what they want to set and where. There are 4 custom channels, which is a full complement by any measure. You can set it and forget it, which is what you will do if you get lost in all the options open to you.

3. Styling.


The key style features are Pen F body shape, front colour control wheel, positive on-off switch in the same position as an old film rewind knob, and the rounded housing just above the left-hand-side electronic viewfinder. It just looks right and cool.




Last night's shop launch of the Pen F was started by Domenic Papalia, continued on a technical note by Burke Flynn, and capped off with the shooting experiences of Rod Lawson-Kerr. There was a good audience and everyone would have come away with something valuable. The camera and accessories - and a bunch of attractive Olympus lenses - are all in-store right now. Click here for Pen-F pre-order and here for the entire Olympus range in store now

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New White Boxes Full Of Good Things

http://cameraelectronic.com.au/zeiss-store.html?catalog[name]=Lenses---SLR-%26-Compact-System&catalog[decision_model_guids][0]=1c2d2aa8-6eda-4c6e-9b23-a49316b6450e

I have been away on holidays looking at big white boxes - see the heading image.

Whilst I was away the shop fitting gnomes have been to visit Camera Electronic and have installed two new showcases. Actually it might be one new showcase with two display areas but let's not quibble - the thing looks good.

One side seems to feature Sony camera bodies and lenses - the mirror-less, compact , and bridge types stood out on their orange plinths - while the other portion has a number of Zeiss lenses on blue stands. They all look well, and this is a great encouragement in retail presentation. There's a bit of theatre needed for anything and these cases make a good stage.

http://cameraelectronic.com.au/zeiss-store.html?catalog[name]=Lenses---SLR-%26-Compact-System&catalog[decision_model_guids][0]=1c2d2aa8-6eda-4c6e-9b23-a49316b6450e

I hope there is storage space under those trays - that is another retail story that we have to cope with. All cameras and lenses come in boxes and once you get the item out to be seen you have created double the space requirements for storage. It's not like the computer desktop where you click up an image or click it away into virtual storage space - real items need real centimetres of shelf space somewhere and some way to find them later.

A small aside - good lenses like these Zeiss examples need good lens caps, and good lens hoods. Of course, you get them from Zeiss. Other manufacturers take care of their own ranges, and you would be well advised to make sure that the proper one is on the front of your lens. But...some makers are better than others when it comes to making this easy.

You see, some put the exact specification number  of the lens hood on the box the lens comes packed in, and then also put the exact matching lens information on the box in which the lens hood is packed. Even if the day is foggy, the sales assistant can quickly get the right one. Other major makers do not do this, and the staff are thrown back on the resource of the internet to find out what fits what. Oddly enough, dear old irksome Ken Rockwell's blog is the fastest reference for many of these match-ups.

Well, he had to be good for something.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How To Tie A Slip Not With Black Rapid

http://cameraelectronic.com.au/products.html?catalog[search][text]=black+rapid&catalog[sort][on]=relevance&x=0&y=0

Born to Pun...the curse of Stephan Pastis and me...and every other advertising or copy writer in the world. If you are not familiar with the comic strip " Pearls Before Swine" by Pastis I advise you to google it for a couple of weeks until one of the pun strips comes by. It will be worth it.

Back to the Black Rapid. On a call into the shop I noticed that they have made a new shoulder pad for some of their straps and the thing is a beauty.

Prior to this, some of these iconic straps were made with shoulder pads that slipped fore and aft on the straps. This was fine for positioning the strap and the camera on the other end of it, but the characteristic sliding action of the Black Rapid system sometimes resulted in that shoulder pad crawling down the front or back of your shirt. This was particularly troublesome if you were wearing a shiny polyester shirt or a nylon rain jacket.

Black Rapid makes some of their straps with an ancillary lock strap that runs under the armpit and that deals with the problem., but at the cost of another operation to get in or out of it. Now they have a better solution.

http://cameraelectronic.com.au/products.html?catalog[search][text]=black+rapid&catalog[sort][on]=relevance&x=0&y=0

Look at that pad - it is made of a soft live rubber with a very flexible shape, plenty of thickness, and gripping patterns on either side. It hits your shoulder and stays there - even when you slide the camera up and down continuously to your eye. And mark this; if you have to put another pack or strap over the top of this, it also benefits from not being as likely to slip off the shoulder.

Ergonomics in photographic equipment need not evoke an " Erg...". This is design done right.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Round Of The Staff: Daniel

http://cameraelectronic.com.au/spec_sheet.html?catalog[name]=Nisi-NiSi-100mm-Aluminium-Filter-Holder-Kit-V5-nisi&catalog[product_guids][0]=1198391

Did you know we have another contender for the systems filter stakes? I didn't, until I baled up Daniel and found out about it. You see, I believe the goods are only available from our on-line shop - either that or the rest of the staff are just being mean to me...

Nisi. This company turns out to a very complete set of 100mm x 100mm filters, holders, adapter rings, and storage cases. They also make 150mm sizes as well if you are playing with those really big wide-angle lenses.

ND's, ND grad's, polarisers, and some intriguing IR filters. All the good stuff for the landscapist and escapist shooting, and at affordable prices.

I got to see a kit that seemed to be a good start
-out deal - the basic 100 x 100 filter holder, a circular polariser to fit it, and three adapter rings all housed in a fitted case.

Pop over to the Camera Electronic on-line shop section of our website and look at the range of things that they make. Seems a fine idea.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Tiny, Green, and Cheap - And On The Level


In an never-ending quest to find the smallest and lightest accessories for you, we have hit upon this little gem.

It's a tiny ball level that you slide onto the hot shoe of your mirror-less camera for when you want flat horizons. If you're going to take landscapes - and in particular if you are going to go out capturing a series of shots for a panorama - you need this.

Big deal? You might not think it if you see a set of bubble levels on your tripod, but sometimes those levels are placed there as a sales incentive without being a photo aid. If the camera is not level, the whole thing is pointless, and sometimes the makers put the tripod levels on bits that are just not going to help - you need a bubble level on the camera itself to get what you want.

It weighs about nothing and doesn't cost much more - and if you plan to use the on-board flash anyway you can reserve the hot shoe for this level. I'd say this it the tourist's best friend when it comes to seascapes or pictures of the surroundings at Zanthus*...

* The mountains. Oh the glorious Nullarbor Alps at Zanthus...words fail me...


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Friday, February 12, 2016

What's In A Name - The Strap Game Gets Stranger


On my second pester stop one dayI talked with Daniel - the man who wrestles with corporate and institutional sales and who is adding things to the on-line ordering system. I cannot pretend to understand most of the mechanisms that he employs for this but he did reveal a few new lines of products that will be available soon.

The straps caught my eye. Now I have posted before on the Frontier and Colonial Photographic Establishment weblog column about searching for a perfect camera strap. I had nearly sawed my neck off with a series of regular straps from different camera makers and realised that I needed to replace either them or the neck.

I've been somewhat successful in comfort terms but have still to achieve coolness and style. Currently the Little Studio cameras depend from four different types:

1. An Op/Tech 3/8" Classic for the X-Pro1 and lens. Comfy.
2. A Crumpler mini cotton strap for the X-E2...a bit of a worry as it is narrow...
3. A Crumpler wide strap for the X-T10. Comfy and sturdy but a little garish. They only had pink ones left...
4. A fluoro green Joby wrist strap for the X-100. You could make a fighting flail out of this one...

They manage but look pretty naff. I'm still looking for Mr Goodstrap.

Two more candidate companies that may supply an answer are just coming on stream with CE. If you wish to get an idea of what they make, and what they right about what they make please google up these two:

Tie Her Up Straps   Camera Bondage

Deadcameras Straps

No. I'm not kidding. I can invent a lot of stuff but I can't invent those names. I googled them and had a read. The straps look nice anyway, and they might be just the thing to make the cameras look cool.

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