Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 - Six Month Review

So far, in terms of new photographic equipment announcements, 2011 has been pretty boring.  Innovation seems stalled.  All camera makers seems to be content in milking the consumers with old technology.  Sure, we have the Fuji X-100 and the Sigma SD1 which seem to stand out from the crowd, but they price themselves out of most people's reach, especially the almost $7000 SD1 body from Sigma.  I have seen samples from the SD1, which show amazing clarity and detail, where the Bayer sensor can't match. Sorry Sigma, as good as the SD1 is, your price is out to lunch.

Perhaps, the second half of 2011 will be more interesting, with new models coming out from Canon, specifically the 5D III and 1Ds IV.  Not that I can afford either of them, but I am hoping there will be some innovative technologies that go into these bodies, instead of just more megapixels.  Possibly more interesting products will come from Sony and Pentax.  I am praying the NEX-7 will come with a viewfinder, or least an option to have one.  Don't need more megapixels, but lower noise and more dynamic range will be very welcomed.  Pentax, who doesn't usually play by the rules, produces such gems with odd focal lengths as 77mm, 43mm, 31mm limited lenses, will likely announce an equally odd-ball EVIL camera with a point & shoot tiny sensor.  I really wish they will do better and succesd as I love their lenses, especially the old manual focus lenses.  Meanwhile, Panasonic and Olympus seem to be very happy churning out the me-too models that hardly has any significant changes from previous models.

Personally, I have been good.  No new camera bodies, no new auto focus lenses, just picked up some old lenses from the camera shows, and made some myself.  In terms of making my lenses, I have accomplished almost everything I set out to do the beginning of the year  - to make some of the non-focusable projection and TV lenses usable.  In fact, I went further than I expected.  Now I have a "system" of projection lenses.  I had so much fun and learned a lot from making these lenses.  Even some decent pictures were produced in the process.  More than what I asked for.  Really.

My heart is still longing for a full frame camera.  Because of the lenses I have already invested, there isn't many choices for me.  It will have to be a Canon full frame body.  My goal is to get either a 5D II or 1Ds II this year, hopefully the beginning of autumn, or least before winter.

Unknown flower -- NEX-5 & Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 85mm f1.7 @ f1.7. Click for larger.

 Today concludes a week of pictures taken with Minolta manual focus lenses.  Missing are MD 135mm f2.8 and 200mm f4.  I am not really comfortable using long lenses on the NEX, so I skipped them.


  1. Silène enflé or Silene vulgaris.

  2. @Anonymous: Thanks for the name of the flower. Much appreciated.

  3. Minolta week was great, would love another.

    You could do a week of the same place or object with a range lenses,
    The stock NEX, a Minolta, Projector lens.. would be great to see a comparison with just one subject.

    But what ever you do next I'll still be watching!

  4. Looks like Version 4 firmware is here!

  5. @The Sound Gallery: I have been planning to do this for a little while, but just find that I can't concentrate on taking pictures when swapping lenses too often. But, I may start next week. On training again this week and won't have chance to take pictures. Likely will start with 50mm lenses, which I have dozens. Then a whole week could be devoted to 80-90mm lenses: Takumar 85mm f1.8 vs. Minolta 85mm f1.7 vs. Leica 90mm f2 vs. Carl Zeiss Jena 80mm f1.8 vs Canon 85mm f1.2., etc.

  6. I like the idea of a lens battle, nice idea!