Monday, December 2, 2013

Week of 12/01/2013 Experiments in the Cold

Camera: Canon EOS 5d
Lens: Canon 28-105 zoom @105mm
Exposure: f9 @ 1 sec
ISO: 100
Location: 10th and Callowhill
Image size: 10” x 15” @ 240 (cropped)
Print size: 8” x 12” (Horizontal on 13 x 19 paper)
Printer: Epson Artisan 1430/ Cone Color Inks/ Moab Lasal

Although I definitely have my spots, my vantage points in the city that I return to, I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s the unexpected, the impromptu capture that keeps the blood flowing. This one spontaneously happened while experimenting with a loaner camera and a light tripod with a 3-D Junior Manfrotto head, as I went to revisit the site of last week’s shot.

The system worked well and I found it to not be so ungainly that it was a liability. Some heavy elastic hair bands allowed me to attach a carry strap for toting around the legs. The camera held even in the vertical position and the combination also worked as a very solid and portable monopod. All that was missing was a quick-release arrangement to easily mount and remove the camera out in the cold. 

The optical quality of the full-frame Canon trumps the micro 4/3 Lumix; especially noticeable is the difference in image detail. This is not surprising given: the sensor is markedly bigger, the lens is pro-grade, and the system has an image stabilizer. The trade-off is the Canon is about twice the bulk and weight and lacks the rotatable fly-out screen of the Lumix, which I love when taking shots at high and low angles. The Nikon FM2n, the 35mm I often use, with the same focal length zoom, is about 2/3 the size and weight of the Canon.   

Film has its strengths and weaknesses, but mostly I am enamored of working with mechanical cameras. Food for thought is these recent full-frame digital images are, in a number of ways, superior to the home-brew scans I’ve been doing from 35mm. At the size I’m printing, an un-cropped image approaches the medium format shots I’ve done plus there is no immediate cash outlay.  So far, they feel right when printed.  

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