Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

This has been a good month for finding prime, vintage primes and the latest addition is the finest condition lens so far. This 1964 Mir-1 is perfectly mint and comes straight from Ukraine where it was made. It wears the badge “Grand Prix Brussels 1958” for which it won the title at the 1958 World Fair. I did have a few reservations about permanently modifying this near perfect lens but my purpose has always been to make this a usable set of vintage lenses and this modification does not alter the function in any way…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

I absolutely love the pristine Jupiter-9 M39 mount I recently acquired and it has become the standard walk around lens on my 5D3. It takes amazing nostalgic photos and once you learn to tame it by stopping down a bit, it strikes a beautiful balance between soft and sharp. The one thing that has bothered me compared to the Helios 44-2 M39 is that the Jupiter has been unable to attain infinity focus. I decided, reluctantly, to crack open the Jupiter in the hopes of modifying the registration distance and was pleased to find just how easy the Jupiter-9 is to service…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

I’ve been casually looking for a good example of this lens for over a year. I really wanted something longer than the Helios for portrait stills and physically smaller than the Pentagon Six lenses I’ve adapted for cinema work. Jupiter-9 lenses are plentiful on eBay although generally in well used condition. I’m really pleased to have scored a near mint example straight from the motherland. This is a silver edition from 1965 that was originally made for the Soviet Zenit SLR. This is a stunning lens to look through and to look at. This is a lens I will treasure and pass down. I’ve never thought about any of my expensive Canon gear that way…

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Category: Apple, Opinion, Photography, Video & Film

I’m certainly impressed with the new sensor and quality coming out of the iPhone 6S. Having spent some time shooting extensively with an iPhone 5S at the beginning of the summer, the differences are immediately apparent. Besides the beautifully sharp, pinch-and-zoomable 4K resolution, the image quality itself has a more natural almost film like look. This is most noticeable in the flares which seem quite a bit more prominent. I love the look…

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Category: Apple, Photography, Travel, Video & Film

It’s been a while since I went on a trip like this and I wasn’t really in the mood to lug around lots of heavy camera gear so I set a goal this time to shoot with nothing but an iPhone. There’s something to be said about spending a few days getting to know a remote place; observing the tide cycles, foraging for food and water. It certainly was refreshing not having to worry about thousands of pounds of camera gear and the weight reduction was a real joy…

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Category: Apple, Opinion, Photography

I initially hated FCP X when it came out and couldn’t understand why Apple would strip functionality and abandon a whole industry that had emerged around FCP 7. But with time, I’ve come to love FCP X and it’s still my editor of choice in a fairly crowded market of other professional choices. But Aperture is different. Apple isn’t replacing it with a re-envisioned professional tool. It’s simply abandoning pros on it’s higher end platform. This is a disturbing signal to send out to the professional community about the long term viability of the Mac.

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Category: Opinion, Photography, Video & Film

Video is there but the specs are no better than the 5D3 and the quality may be worse due to the super high mega pixel sensor. Some features have even been removed such as a headphone jack for monitoring audio and clean HDMI output for use with external recorders. Canon clearly have a defined market for these new cameras and unfortunately, that’s not me for a number of reasons…

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Category: Photography, Vintage Lens

I did the tourist thing the other day and grabbed my 5D3 with a few old communist lenses…Helios 44-2 2/58, Zeiss Jena Flektogon 4/20 and Biometar 2.8/120. I intended to shoot some video but ended up enjoying the new focus screen so much I stuck to stills. The Helios remains my all round favourite due to size and vintage look. The Flektogon has amazingly little distortion compared to my Canon 17-40 (check out the straight lines on the image of Buckingham Palace). It’s a bit soft around the edges but that’s its character…

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Category: DIY, Photography

In my review of the Optix auto focus confirmation chip, I mentioned how most modern cameras use focus screens optimised for auto focus lenses and therefore lack some of the focussing aids found in older film cameras such as split prisms. I also said I was content using the focus auto confirm with my manual lenses but I’ve been growing more and more frustrated lately when the auto confirm fails to sound…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

Probably the single biggest challenge using a manual focus lens on a modern DSLR camera is finding the sharpest focus point. The focus screen seen inside the viewfinder of modern cameras tends to be optimised for auto-focus lenses and therefore lacks some of the manual focus aids (like split prisms) found on camera bodies past…

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