Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Lomographic Spinner 360 gets a quick test

This is a Lomographic Spinner 360. It's a strange-looking thing covered in grippy studded rubber, with a huge protruding handle, gaping metal hood, exposed rubber-band gearing and a peculiar dangling pullstring.

It looks like what would happen if a computer tried to understand bdsm, gave up, and designed a bird instead.

But I can assure you that the Spinner 360 a camera, and a pretty interesting one at that: it takes full 360-degree panoramas on standard 35mm film.

A view from Mount Tolmie

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lens comparison: Leica-mount lenses

Leica-mount rangefinder lenses have a long history, stretching from the thread-mount lenses of the early 1930s to the modern Leitz and Zeiss/Voigtlander Cosina "M" bayonet lenses of the present day.

More to the point for the contemporary reader, the very earliest thread-mount lenses are still compatible (via adapters, of course) with the thoroughly modern Leica M, Micro Four Thirds, and Voigtlander cameras of today. So, new camera shoppers, this affects you directly.

I shoot with a rangefinder, and I think it's the finest sort of camera out there- but the lens selection can be so extensive that I often wonder what the difference might be between this lens and that one. And for the digital-only bunch out there, how do these lenses work on an affordable Micro Four Thirds camera? Are they worth considering?

So here we go: a quick comparison of seven different "standard" rangefinder lenses, from the 1930s to today. THIS IS NOT SCIENCE! It's curiosity. I think we've got a solid comparison going here, and I'll leave most of the conclusions to you. Full-resolution files are linked below, so have a look and decide for yourself.

And if you think that a 70-year-old lens has no relevance to modern cameras, you might want to keep reading (warning: image-heavy!)

"Will This Work??" Ektar 25 edition.

I remember shooting Ektar 25, long ago, in the before times. It was an ultra-fine-grained, saturated film with a vanishingly low ISO of 25- so you'd shoot it outdoors, on a sunny day, or you wouldn't shoot it at all. But if you had a lot of light, or if you were used to shooting Kodachrome anyway, Ektar 25 was the way to go. Kodak's new Ektar 100 (available in store) is a spiritual successor, but I still mourn Ektar 25's brief run.

That's why I was pleased to see this old roll walk through the door, squashed into the bottom corner of a neglected camera bag. It's been a while, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to load it up see if it would still capture a decent picture.

Why the question? Well first of all, it's obviously not had an easy life: the box is smashed and watermarked, and it had apparently been stored in a hot attic for at least the last few years. And second of all, this film is older than some of you:
Still worth a try, though. And the results?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New for rent: The Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid

The MicroPro Hybrid is a brand-new LED continuous lighting unit from Litepanels. Designed to run for hours off a set of common AA batteries, this compact unit is a cord-free, hands-free lighting solution that's designed for ease of use and portability.

Great for still or motion photography, the MicroPro Hybrid is now available for daily rentals. Read on for details!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Great Chinon Chimera

You're looking at the Chinon CE-4s, a humble 35mm SLR with handsome-but-undistinguished styling and a solid-but-plasticky build. In its stock incarnation, it's a functional and reliable 35mm SLR with a flexible Pentax K mount and aperture-priority auto exposure. No, there's nothing at all unusual about the Chinon CE-4s.

Until someone makes it mad.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Three brand-new Samyang/Rokinon lenses you may want to consider

We've brought in a selection of unique Samyang/Rokinon lenses. These are very good quality Korean manual focus lenses, built of metal and high-quality plastic, with smooth focusing mechanisms and aspherical elements. Compact and well-made, they can help fill gaps in your lens lineup at a surprisingly affordable price.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What to do if your camera needs repair

As you're probably aware, we sell the vast majority of our used equipment with a warranty. We do this because we believe that you should be able to rely on any equipment that you buy, old or new, to do the job it's supposed to do.

That's why we do our best to test all the equipment we receive, and provide both a return period and a repair warranty on most of our gear. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What resolution differences mean, with examples.

Digital cameras are marketed with such a heavy emphasis on resolution and megapixels that I thought it might be educational to see what the difference in resolution actually looks like.

With this in mind, we pulled together a collection of Nikon cameras spanning more than ten years, and we shot a few examples. Read on for samples.