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Working with light in Palmetto, Florida

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by welsberr, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. welsberr

    welsberr New to Mu-43

    3
    Jan 23, 2015
    I'm a native Floridian who spent two-and-a-half decades in other parts of the country, but I'm now back.

    I got a serious grounding in photography by getting recruited into the high school yearbook production. I suspect I was voted "least likely to pawn the school's cameras" by the faculty or something. As I pursued a career in the life sciences, I held down a job as a staff photographer for the college newspaper. I took various courses from the fine arts college in photography as electives. Following graduation, the market for biologists was bad, but I was able to get a job in a photo studio. After a while, I managed to get a job as a lab tech, where most of the work was photography-related. Following that, my jobs have had more to do with programming and data analysis and less with photography, but I've pursued the photography as an avocation right along.

    The high school had a pair of 35mm SLRs with 50mm, 28mm, and 135mm lenses: a Mamiya 1000 DTL and a Konica AutoReflex T. My first purchases were a used Koni-Omega Rapid 6x7cm rangefinder and a Gossen Luna-Pro light meter. A photographic mentor of mine, Lamar Philpott, took me around some camera stores, and I made my first Nikon system purchase: a used Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI lens. It took me several more months to save up for a camera to put it on, a Nikon F2A. Since then, I have used all sorts of film equipment in 35mm, medium format, and large format. In 2002, I sprung for a DSLR, the Fuji S2. A Nikon D2Xs followed, and then a Nikon D600.

    While browsing eBay's used gear, I ran across a used Panasonic GF2 for less than $100 and got it. To start with, I just used Nikon-mount lenses with adapters. (Conceptually, the GF2 paired with the Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 is a little more than a stop slower than the Ermanox camera rig used by Erich Salomon, but otherwise ends up being in the right ballpark for size, weight, and field of view.) I got an Olympus 14-42 kit lens for something that integrated with the camera's electronics, but a lot of what I did with it still depended on adapted glass. I've used Nikkor 135mm f/2.8, 200mm f/4, and 300mm f/4.5 lenses on it, with some very nice results. I lashed up a rig with a Vivitar 500mm f/6.3 lens and T-mount 2x teleconverter and got some nice shots of a full moon. I also liked the Bower 8mm fisheye for it, and I've been thinking about getting a native M43 7.5mm fisheye. I've picked up an Olympus E-PL1 as well, but I don't have an EVF for the Olympus, while I did get one for the Panasonic. I find the EVF makes things simpler. Recently, a member of my local camera club announced that he had a C-mount lens available for someone who would put it to use. I expressed interest and he gave me the lens. I had been expecting some small thing from a CCTV system, but what he handed me was a Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens. I had to grind down the rim of a C-mount adapter and epoxy the lens to it, but it works nicely in M43. Another thing I've tried is images without lenses, where I am creating patterns of laser light directly on the sensor. The M43 bodies also are just about perfect for adapting to an old Leica Labphot microscope I have.

    While the M43 cameras I have can't compete with the Nikon D600 for image quality, I find that I do often base my carry-along kit on the M43 gear. I am having a lot of fun with it.

    I have some of my work up at http://wesley-fine-art.bwng.us. My blog about photographic topics is at http://baywing.net/phot.

    Wesley R. Elsberry
     
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  2. welsberr

    welsberr New to Mu-43

    3
    Jan 23, 2015
    I've moved away from Palmetto. I split my time between Clearwater, Florida, and Eaton Rapids, Michigan now. Earlier this year, I ran into a short battery life problem with my Panasonic GF-2. Even with new batteries, it stayed on for an absurdly short amount of time. I noticed that the Olympus E-M5 was being sold at clearance various places, so I picked one of those up. I also snagged a Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-D lens off eBay. Those two items together rock. That gives me an image-stabilized field-of-view equivalent of a 600mm f/4. I got good shots at an evening rock concert even though I was stuck about 150 feet back from the stage; I can get stunning shots handheld in daylight with this combination. (The dragonfly shot at the http://wesley-fine-art.bwng.us link is an example.) I'm playing with the notion of adding a Metabones Speed Booster adapter, which would give me the functional equivalent of a 450mm f/2.8 rig.
     
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