Beverly Hills Community Services gave me a great opportunity to lead a photography tour at the Greystone Mansion City Park. The tour was one of a handful that were done in place of the Beverly Hills Art Show. Unfortunately, the Art Show had to be canceled due to the current status of the world. Keep reading to see how the tour went.
Pentacon 500mm f5.6 Vintage Lens and the Fuji GFX 50s
Over the last year I have shifted to using more and more vintage lenses with my Fuji GFX 50s. Having access to vintage medium format lenses that provide sharp and distinctly different looks compared to modern digital lenses has been a joy. Lenses from Carl Zeiss Jena for the Pentacon 6 lens mount in particular have been great to shoot with. Using vintage lenses on modern digital cameras breathes new life into these amazing tools. Therefore, I felt required to try some of the Pentacon made lenses. The Pentacon 500mm f5.6 lens is the first of these lenses that I am writing a review for. Let’s see how this lens performed in some real world applications.
Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnor 300mm f4 and the Fuji GFX 50s
The possibility of using a modern digital medium format camera like the Fuji GFX 50s with almost any vintage medium format lens ever made is exciting and just makes my creative juices start to flow. One of these vintage lenses is the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnor 300mm f4. There were so many legacy lenses produced. Therefore, their are many to choose from. There are many pros and cons to using vintage lenses on modern digital cameras which I won’t go into here, but a separate post on that topic is coming.
The Jena DDR 300mm lens I tested has the Pentacon Six mount. It is the most modern version of the lens, therefore it has multi coating. The older versions only had a single layer or no coating. This is the 3rd Carl Zeiss Jena DDR lens I have reviewed. So far, these lenses have all been outstanding optically, well constructed, and super fun to create photographs with.
Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnor 180mm f2.8 and the Fuji GFX 50s
When full frame mirrorless digital cameras started being manufactured a few years ago, it breathed new life into a vast amount of vintage film camera lenses. One of these vintage lenses is the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnor 180mm f2.8. This was expanded when Fuji released the affordable GFX 50s medium format mirrorless camera. There are many pros and cons to using vintage lenses on modern digital cameras which I won’t go into here, but a separate post on that topic is coming.
The lens Jena DDR 180mm lens I tested has the Pentacon Six mount. It is the most modern version of the lens, therefore it has multi coating. The older versions only had a single layer or no coating. This lens is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Pentacon 6 Carl Zeiss lenses and an amazing portrait lens.
The Flashpoint R2 eVOLV 200 1st Impression
Lets start with the obvious here. The Flashpoint R2 eVOLV 200 is a variance of the Godox ad200 and is sold at Adorama in the US. This system appears to check all the boxes a photographer would want in a flash system. It is small, portable, and at 200 watts of power brighter than a modern speed light at about the same size. There are a stable full of accessories and gadgets that make the flash even more attractive.
Given that this system also has a transmitter for most of the major camera brands adds to the excitement. I shoot medium format and full frame cameras from different manufactures. Being able to use the same lighting system by just changing out the transmitter is a huge plus of not needing to buy portable speed lights for both systems. The eVOLV 200 also has High Speed Sync (HSS) as icing on the cake.
Now that we’ve gotten all excited about the possibilities, let’s see how it performed the first time out.
The new rise of mirrorless cameras has allowed many of us to dust off old vintage film camera lenses to use with modern digital cameras. One of these lenses is the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Biometar f2.8 80mm lens. Until recently we were limited to full frame digital mirrorless camera bodies, but that all changed when Fuji released the medium format digital mirrorless camera in 2017. This is very exciting because there is a whole untapped genre of vintage medium format lenses out there to potentially use. There are many pros and cons to using vintage lenses which I won’t go into here, but a separate post on that topic is coming. A vintage lens on a mirrorless camera is not for the faint of heart, given their manual workings, but the image quality some of these lenses produce is well worth the work.Read More
While I am focusing (pun intended) on a journey with a 4X5 field camera at the moment, my hopes are that along the way you find some valuable information regardless of the type of camera you are using. Remember cameras are tools to create photographs, and no one camera does everything. We often need multiple tools to do many tasks. A good example is needing a flat head screw driver, a hex screwdriver, and a Phillips head screw driver. Different screws need different types of screw drivers, and the same is true with photography. The cameras that are good with fast action aren’t necessarily the same as a camera with file sizes big enough to print at billboard size.Read More
This was an old post about editing a histogram from a blog I had previously had. Hopefully, you find it useful.
Last week I blogged about moving my photography studio up to Los Angeles from San Diego, so I figured this week I will get back to the technical stuff. I will definitely get back to the studio stuff soon, explain how I am using the space, and how I’m setting up the lighting for some of my studio photography.
Now on to the topic at hand. First, what is the histogram, why is it important, and lastly how do you use it.
What is the Histogram –
I get asked how I get the colors so real and vibrant quite often when I show my printed color fine art work. Here is a little trick I picked up to improve the color of my images while editing images without needing any extra tools other than Lightroom (LR) or DXO when you edit your digital images. If you would like to see more about my raw digital workflow see my previous blog post https://mjvphoto.com/my-digital-raw-image-workflow/.
First a little background:
When I transitioned from shooting color film to digital imagery, I really wanted to understand color. Primarily, how some people got amazing color and why my images seemed to be flat. As I progressed, and learned I realized that I could do a lot of customization of the color without needing and extra tools other than the raw editing apps I already had.Read More
This is blog post about my digital workflow from a few years ago. I am re-posting on my new site. Hopefully you find it useful.
I’ve been asked by a few people what I use for a digital workflow as it relates to shooting raw images. How do I save them, store them, etc.? So I figured I would share my workflow with the world.
First a little background:
I started shooting raw files instead of jpeg images about 6 years ago due to the increased ability to work with those images in post processing. At that time I started a file management system that worked for me. I am not a fan of the Adobe SAAS (subscription) System of pay monthly and give it a cool trendy name of “Cloud”, and render you helpless if you ever stop paying model. That said, I do believe Adobe has the most developed and seamless products, but that is a discussion for another time.
Currently, my process allows me to use either Lightroom or DXO (or any other raw editing tool) that I want. Some are better than others for specific things.Read More