It has been a very long period of time spent with Coronavirus. Now, it seems officially announced that things are all fine, upon which I don’t completely agree.
I am merely a photographer. All that I want is to photograph freely, visiting here and there. If I really want to, I can, but honestly, I can’t yet. Something is still in front of me for not doing. And, the most unfortunately, I cannot quite recall how I used to do it before.
“Challenge” is the word for the past few years. I shall keep walking. KT
A while ago, I heard the news that Canon will no longer produce flagship DSLR cameras. They will focus on flagship mirrorless cameras. So, at least for Canon, mirrorless camera is their future. Anytime sooner or later, all the small format cameras will be mirrorless only, I strongly believe. Although lenses are optical elements yet, cameras will become “video cams” with still capability.
I own a Canon EOS R mirrorless camera. Now that Canon EF lens is not their first priority, I wondered I shall try one of Canon RF lenses. So, I obtained the least expensive RF lens to see how the futuristic camera would feel in full operation, not with my old lenses.
I believe current mirrorless cameras shall be operated basically in “full automatic.” Any manual functions are supposed to be “optional and supplemental” only.
I was a bit surprised that the viewfinder always looks “turned-off” black when I start shooting. Plus, the lens begins operating from “out-of-focus.” So, my futuristic mirrorless camera always stays “not quite ready” whenever I hold it. My older manual focus lenses behave better, since I can preset the focus.
My impression of mirrorless camera in full operation was far from satisfactory. I simply want to photograph. Sadly, I have no time to enjoy whole handling of a camera. And, my camera shall follow me proactively, not arbitrarily or accidentally. KT
It has been about twenty months passed since New York City was first hit by Coronavirus. So many things have been changed since then, and now, little by little, some of those many things are coming back. I do not mean “literally as before Coronavirus,” though.
I miss museums and galleries the most. I cannot stop by them anytime as I used to. I need a reservation. Viewing prior to photography auctions is also by appointment, and it is required to specify lot numbers of interest. All lots are not on view (except online) as it used to be.
Ironically, I re-realized that New York City is the city of “dining out.” People are deeply dependent on restaurant business, from operation through dining as a customer. Indoor dining is 100% back with vaccine certificate, but “outdoor dining area” has been a new trademark of New York City restaurant scene.
It is interesting to see those outdoor dining area, especially while not in operation. It is supposed to be open-air, so you can see everything inside. There is something new going on; temporary table settings which you will never know how long they would last.
To me, it is almost like looking at installations in museums or galleries. A new “artistic” feature of New York City. KT
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Most mirrorless camera users would simply purchase accompanying lenses from the camera brand. There is no reason not to do that. However, other photographers would know they can use older SLR and rangefinder lenses, too.
In that case, aperture control of older lenses would be “manual.” If you turn the aperture ring, diaphragm closes and opens. LCD viewfinder of mirrorless cameras is very clever. Brightness automatically adjusts according to diaphragm size.
I believe it is rather welcoming, than being only able to see the viewfinder at aperture wide-open. With SLRs, yes, it is better to see it brighter. With mirrorless, you can see the bright view it would exactly photograph, plus with correct depth-of-field shown (somewhat with help of focus-peaking).
Traditionally, professional lenses used to have “manual” aperture control. Older SLR lenses can now forget about “spring-loaded” auto-aperture. Welcome to professional use of lenses. KT
Future of photography might be in mirrorless cameras. They no longer need precision optical or mechanical parts internally, similar to video cameras. Most of camera manufacturers reformed their line-ups with mirrorless cameras, no matter they are of 35mm full-size or APS-C format.
“Hidden” fact of mirrorless camera is the “shortness” of its flange focal distance. You can use any older lenses by filling the gap with appropriate “lens mount adapter.” None of those camera manufacturers produce “trans-brand” lens mount adapters, but instead, Chinese manufacturers do.
I own old Olympus OM Zuiko lenses, and it is simply great finding a new way to shoot with those lenses and a mirrorless camera. I know. Olympus Micro Four-Thirds sensor is too small, merely one-fourth of 35mm full-size. I do not enjoy my standard 50mm lens as “telephoto 100mm.”
I thank K&F Concept, the Chinese photographic accessory manufacturer. Now, I can see through Leica lenses, too! KT
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In his writing, Alfred Stieglitz says he photographed “Fifth Avenue, Winter” during snow storm on February 22, 1893. He claims he stood there with his glass plate camera for three hours, eventually to capture the moment.
On February 1, 2021, there was a strong snow storm in New York City. Knowing the exact location where Stieglitz was photographing, I somewhat unconsciously pulled myself to the location. Due to less population by pandemic, snow was not plowed well during the day.
Of course, there was no horse carriage climbing up Fifth Avenue. Instead, in three seconds a car turning from East 35th Street honked at me, “Don’t you stand right in the middle of the street!” I know, no one understands what I am doing. Just felt great for myself. KT
“Fifth Avenue, Winter 1893″ is the title of Alfred Stieglitz’s masterpiece. Although it is said to have been criticized by then fellow photographers “blurred and not sharp,” the photograph shows a horse carriage in severe snow storm with movement. It is a great photograph.
Although knowing that it was photographed on Fifth Avenue, New York, recently I have seriously searched what exact spot Stieglitz was photographing the masterpiece at. As a matter of fact, it was not that difficult, especially after finding out A.T. Stewart Mansion and Astor Residence on west of Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. It was already a famous corner of the city even before the Empire State Building.
Fifth Avenue is now one way, going south. I stepped into the road to photograph the view. Stieglitz must be roaming around me some 130 years ago. A sweet encounter. KT
The year 2020 was a terrible year. The world was devastated by Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 from the beginning. I don’t really remember what happened in what month. Some months passed fairly slow, or other months passed in a flash. We all tried to survive, and lived through mostly within our minimal activity range.
Looking through my photographic archive of 2020, there was not much happening. Of course, all photographs were shot in my walking range, except ones from the earliest months. I can see my struggles from them. I tried film photography as well as digital. I also tried color film. However, I don’t think I could hit a home run often.
I don’t really know how the situation goes entering year 2021, but someday, everything would come back to “normal.” I would have to struggle until then, I understand.
Everyone has to keep walking, and hope for a safer, better new year.
(Somewhat continued from my old blog post)
About the same time last year, I was trying out Kodak Alaris Ektachrome E100 Professional film. Now, since I shipped my digital Leica M Monochrom for sensor maintenance, I am back shooting with the same film.
In daily life, there are still restrictions due to Coronavirus, but I enjoy shooting with “all mechanical” film Leica M4-2. Reading light with my handy reflective lightmeter is not so redundant as digital spotmeter. I can also look for some colors. Scanning processed color reversal films is a good routine, although my scanner is not the best. Thank god a good professional lab is still in operation in the city.
Ultimately, there must be no practical difference between shooting digital and film. Of course with film, you cannot check the image immediately after you photograph. You need to wait until you finish and process the roll. However, it is just the matter of shorter or longer wait. Eventually, you obtain and keep the images.
The truth is simple. Forget everything, and keep shooting. KT