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The Official Head-Case Photography Thread.


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Just a few shots from August with friends. Looking at statistics, almost all the time I just used the respective base ISOs, very few were above 800. All the qualities modern sensors have - they just aren't necessary to have especially with fast optics and I haven"t even applied AI noise reduction.




Used the EF 24/1.4 II which I find quite hard to frame with (28-35-40 might be my sweet spot) and one of the most ridiculous vintage portrait lenses. Quite heavy, slow and hard to focus, optically the softest I own, loads of aberrations, flaring, all sorts of things. But it is imposing, especially with the recently acquired hood, and it does produce some pleasing shots with distinctive colours and soft background blur. (but so do many others)




The R6 Mark II might have improved colours over the R6, but I am still not completely happy with it. Strangely, this does not apply to video, where I get 'full Canon colours', so it is still those LR Profiles not working well, otherwise this it is strong money in all aspects, but an EOS R, R6 or R8 might be even better value (R5 is best overall).






In contrast, D700 just looks really good to me. I might retract the 'film-like look', simply has consistently good colours, providing a great base for faster editing (used the Nikon DX2 profile this time). I have some gripes with the AF and weight (especially if I find a 28/1.4 which will add more). But less than 300$ with 50/1.8G seems hard to beat, I will probably dump all of my gear that is cheaper. With the Zf, Df seems to be getting cheap, seen not so pretty ones for as low as 600$ body only. Not sure about the grip, but otherwise it might provide an even better sensor in a smaller, lighter body with a bit better AF (just one pointer where my GAS is heading...)

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Have you compared the R6 and R6 II jpgs (or something like trial DxO PhotoLab for RAWs) to verify it’s the LR profiles? It might be that I was used to Fuji colors, which are basically controlled by a single person, but the color differences in brand across models are irritating. I know it was a 5D mkX vs. 6D battle and certainly there in Leica SL models. Sony at least seems to do it by generation, instead of model. Although not your experience, I’ve often wondered if video matching across brands played a part here in sacrificing still consistency in brand. Or more basically the march towards perfection/realism. 

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Well I saw R5 R6 JPEG comparisons, seemed similar, but RAW files seem to behave differently. Tried C1, DXO. Canon's DPP which does the best job but very slow and clunky to use. So staying with LR, it is what it is and the files or certain cameras (mostly older ones) seem to work better than others as far as skin tones are concerned but I guess with enough skill it is possible to overcome it, it just would be much nicer if the journey there wouldn't be unpleasant...

I did try some hacked profiles like 1DX / 5D Mk3 Standard/Neutral for the EOS R, sometimes they work. Sometimes..

As a stills-only camera I don't have a lot of requirements, actually. The biggest problem with manual focus is that there likely won't be any pictures of me in the collection...

a) Should be FF to match my lenses (or in case of a Fuji GFX, some FF lenses still cover it)
b) I do appreciate if it is nimble to shoot with
c) RAWs that are nice to edit in LR would be the icing on the cake
d) Modern day conveniences like USB-C charging are neat, tilt screen, etc.

So even a Leica M9 should be mostly sufficient for with a replaced sensor, but pricey for what it is, other things to note, too, other electronics may fail, over time the rangefinder goes out of whack etc. etc, with the Leica SL2 i give up point b) even if I put small lenses on it, which is inconvenient.

As far as a hybrid camera is concerned, it's R5 all the way, with a 24-105/4 combined IBIS+IS it can be considered as a modern-day camcorder equivalent. No matter if the lens is new or vintage, 8k downscaled 4k HQ in-camera looks incredible (polar opposite of phone footage, masses of detail but zero sharpening, colors and contrast just pop without over-emphasis), and it is nice to have 4K 120p as well. R6II also great but not quite the same level (and not the same to handle either), afterwards with an R6 rolling shutter gets too high, etc.
Biggest idiosyncrasy is that there is no way to lock AWB (camera does a really good job, just drifts over time), and with the non-calibrated screen and EVF, it is slow and difficult to eyeball it manually.

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I mentioned Katherine the dancer a number of times, but I haven't posted a photo of her in ages.  She was a woman I met in a local nightclub not quite 20 years ago.  She was a dancer in the New York club scene in the early 90s.  For a variety of reasons she left NYC and now lives in a hill town in western MA.  Katherine is ...quite a character, but I always had very good chemistry with her as a subject for photography.  I took two sets of photos with her in 2006.  The first of which was about 3 days after I got my first DSLR (the never very good EOS 30D) and the second was with the same camera 3 months later.  At that time I had bought a 35mm F/2 and 50mm F/1.4.  I also had learned quite a bit about taking photos, but still effectively knew nothing.  Starting 2020, I began revisiting and re-editing the shots I took during those two sessions.  I still pick away at the remaining unedited ones that I think are worth pursuing, but I'm largely done.

In '06, I ran a bunch of the photos through the Holga and Lomo Photoshop scripts I liked at the time.  In retrospect, it's clear I leaned in to lo-fi nature of the results those scripts produced to mask flaws present in the originals.





14 years later, I had different ideas, software and skills for editing photos.  Instead of overly dramatic PS scripts, I've been working the use of lookup tables.  LUTs are a thing primarily used in video, but with some careful work they can make subtle but impactful changes in still images as well.



This shot always reminded me of the Houses of the Holy album cover.




Taken with the never spectacular EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 USM III.









Her face is a bit blurred in this one, but I like the look of determination.




A rare B&W conversion.  This one just works better without color.


Observant viewers will note that while I left behind many of my mid-00s bad habits, I still put a vignette effect on most of these images.  I like how it looks on portraits.

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A friend of mine posted about that thrift find in Discord.  Turd in the punchbowl opinion: The Canon 50mm/1.2 is ass.  It has remarkably lousy bokeh.  It's better than the old Canon 50mm F/1.0, but so is basically everything else.  TBH I'd rather have a good 50/1.8 like the OG 1986 Mk I.  In the age of modern DSLRs and their insane high ISO settings, super fast primes are really not necessary.  The cost and weight penalty brought on by super fast lenses is almost never worth it. 

Also everything I said above is not true for the the Canon 85L, and as best I can tell the Nikon and Sony 85/1.4s.  Maybe I'm biased (I am) but the designs used in lenses longer than 50mm render OOF highlights in a much more pleasing fashion.  In the case of the 85L specifically, it has this brilliant property of transitioning from the in-focus area to OOF seamlessly.  The 85L paints the background in a way that the 50/1.2L completely fails to do. 

I have a bunch of photos I took back in the fall of '09 with the 85L and my crappy-ever-for-its-time 30D.  I re-edited a bunch in the last few years.  I  posted some here a while ago, and I'll dig up a few more example later.  Right now my (sainted, octogenarian) mother is pestering me to pack the cars to drive back to MV tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been picking up more photo books, but the one I was most excited about this last month was the title I thought best captured those early pandemic days. Maybe a bit on the nose, but how do you show the lonely alienness of those first 6-9 months? Anyway, Andrew Rovenko's The Rocketgirl Chronicles (Backyard Space Travel)









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In no particular order:


Finished another roll of film.  The first one I put through my Rebel K2 in 15 years(!)  Still have no idea where I'm going to get it (and the other three rolls I have) developed.



The only photo from my ferry ride back from the mainland that I've bothered to edit.



Departing from MV.  Those are some very Vineyard weather conditions unfolding.  Makes for ethereal imagery.




Fussing around with a circular polarizer on my 17-40L.  The combination is a PITA to use because I have to adjust the filter with the lens hood off, re-attach the hood and then frame the shot.



Testing out my 5D IV the first day I got it.  Taken with my 50mm F/1.4, which I hardly use because I prefer my OG 1986 "Nifty Fifty" 50mm F/1.8 in every regard.



A young buck across the pond.  It is with great restraint that I avoid shopping for Canon 400mm or 500mm L prime.  Wildlife photography is where dreams and bank accounts go to die.


The contractor working on our house is ...quite a character.  He's either greatly over or under medicated for his ADD.  He's got a really nice doggo however.


Her name is Turkey and she's an English Bull/Boxer mix.  She has a gorgeous brindle coat.  Watching her dart around my yard put me dangerously close to wanting a dog.



A study of the tool shed my grandfather build in the 50s.  Futzing with the 85mm F/1.8.



Absolute silliness with the 17-40 at the wide end.



From my first test of the nutty Suntar 135mm F/2.8 M42 lens I bought for under $20.  It has an amazingly long minimum focus distance and an aperture that only increments in full stops.  This was taken at F/5.6 or F/8 IIRC.  I ran this images through Luminar 4 and applied a LUT to it.



Did I mention I bought a Holga HL-C 60mm F/8 in Canon EF mount?  It's enormously silly.




I got a Asahi Super-Takumar 50mm F/1.4 in the mid 00s, as part of a lot of M42 lenses I bought of eBay.  It's quite expensive now.  I find it to be reasonably sharp when stopped down, but never particularly contrasty.  I post processed the above two photos extensively in Luminar 4 and Photoshop.  This is Sweetened Water Pond, which is the one across the street from where I live.  It's normally a Vernal pond, going dry in the summer.  It stuck around for all of this year and the ducks were quite happy about it.



You've heard of Turquoise Hexagon Sun?  This is Orange Hexagon Lens Flare.  The Takumar's element coatings are decidedly a product of the 1970s.



The CZJ Sonnar 135mm F/3.5 once again proving it's the best actual lens amongst the army of 135mm primes I own.



Early evening moon.  85mm F/1.8 again.  It is a really good lens that I don't use nearly enough.

Edited by Knuckledragger
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I used Reformed Film Lab out of Florida to mail some rolls of film not too long ago. Price was reasonable, turnaround was quick and their in-house scans were pretty good to my un-tuned eyes.

This was some Fuji 200 that expired in 2012 I think, on my Dad's old OM10 with 50mm lens.

Fuji 200 3-13.jpg

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I have another post identical to the one I just made, but first it's a detour into a nightmare.  I've known two guys named Eddy and Jair for over 20 years now.  Of all the photographers I know, Eddy is the one whose work is going to end up in a museum.  He does one thing and does it well.  He takes street portraits with medium and large format film.  He's also bipolar AF, drinks and smokes heavily, and is morbidly obese.  I like Eddy a lot, but I recognize he's not going to live forever.  You should check out his work while he's still around.

The January of 2007, Eddy and Jair were walking through the woods and stumbled upon some hunter's Bushnell remote game camera. Being they miscreant teenagers (they were actually 20 at the time) that they were, they ganked it. The trail camera produced really noisy, crappy 640x480 images. It also had some serious rolling shutter issues, which were not normally a problem on a camera that's not supposed to move.  During that January, Eddy took, or more to the point, the CAMERA took a bunch of weird and very bad photos.  There's no shutter control on trail cameras.  Just a few settings, either motion activated or timed.  I think one shot every 5 seconds was the fastest.  I ran a select few of the images through Topaz GigaPixel AI and in a couple cases Topaz DeNoise AI as well, but did almost no other edits to them:


This is the moment the pair stumbled on to the camera.  It's like something out of a found footage horror film.  That will be a recurring theme.




Two self portraits Eddy took in the bathroom mirror after he got the camera home.  There's a very strong rolling shutter effect on the second one.





A triptych taken during one of their many visits to the remains of the infamous Belchertown State School.  The grounds were very accessible in the mid 00s.  These are demonstrably terrible photos, but there's something about the lo-fi horror movie aesthetic they have that I quite like.  The testarossa in them is Eddy's younger sister Rosie, who is a bit of a nightmare herself. 

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I toddled around downtown Edgartown with the 5D IV and nifty fifty Mk I.  It was ball freezingly cold, especially with the wind off the ocean.  With that said, the light was fleeting but perfect.  Photos from that jaunt Real Soon Now(tm).  At the moment, all I have time for is an OC shitpost:


Zoomer meme if it needs explanation.

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The Vineyard is full of artists, and has been for ...centuries really.  One of them is a painter, and he discovered my Flickr page a while ago.  He liked this photo I took in September of '09:


Reflecting on it (heh), the image has entirely too much foreground.  In the past I was very guilty of such poor framing choices.  In this case I had a 50mm on an APS-C sensor, so I didn't have much of a choice. 


2010 infrared image of a rail bridge I photographed a great many times.  Again with acres of unnecessary foreground.  It's the "rule of thirds" not the "rule of corners."  Anyway...


Tim, the painter, wisely chose to focus on the top half of the photo I took in '09 and turned it into an interesting scene.

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This is gonna be a long walk, as most such posts are.  In early 2010, a now long closed second hand store on MV had two 1990s point and shoot film cameras.  They gave them both to me because they didn't want to deal with the hassle of testing them.  The first was an awkwardly titled Olympus Trip XB AF 44:


Seen here in 2010, taken with my 30D and Orestor 135mm F/2.8 manual, stopped down to F/I-have-no-idea-that-was-13-years-ago.  I got the Olympus working, but it died halfway through the first roll I put through it and and would not come back to life no matter what I did.  The other camera was a lower end Fuji Smart Shot II:


Seen here a few months ago, taken with my 5D IV and 135mm F/3.5 CZJ Sonnar.  As I'm fond of saying, the Sonnar is the best actual lens among the ever growing army of manual focus 135mm primes I own.  Unlike the Olympus, the Fuji kept running through an entire roll of film. 


Nothing says quality like "CVS Photostar."  The Smart Shot II was made in 1994.  I have no idea how old the above roll of film is, nor how long it was the camera.  It might be utterly ruined.  With that said, I shot the entire thing this summer.  As with the other, uh, 4 exposed rolls I've amassed, I still have no idea where I'm going to get it processed.

I've also been shooting a fair amount of digital.  It's taken me quite some time to make friends with the 5D IV.  It's quite a camera, and has a very dense set of controls.  The AF system is very complex and I don't like it.  I was much faster with my 2006 EOS 30D than I will ever be with the 5D IV.  It's a good thing I don't shoot sports.  With that said, I have had some successes.




This time of year, last light is a fleeting and intense moment.  The colors that appear for a few minutes at the end of the day are nuts.  I live next to a pod, but across the street is a farm.  I traipse through it with my 5D and lens du jour, trying to capture what I can.  The above were taken with the 17-40L.







The same phenomenon a few days later, taken with the '86 nifty 50 (a lens I much prefer.)  These are all more or less "SOOC" with slight edits at most.  I also visited the Edgartown waterfront with the 5D and 50, but those shots will have to wait for the moment.


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I, uh, bought a new camera.


...and by "new" I mean "a Kodak Duaflex III, made between 1954 and 1957.  It's a TLR and and by "TLR" I mean "not at all, actually."  Real TLRs have a pair of identical lenses that can be focused.  They also usually have a proper adjustable aperture.  The Duaflex here has none of that.  It has a fixed focus 72mm Kodet lens with a 3 position Waterhouse (think 19th century) aperture.  The viewing lens is not the same as film lens and is, to use the technical term, a pile of crap. 

With all of that said, the camera was $10, and I will never put a roll of film through it.  I'm going to use it for through the viewfinder shots using digital camera (5D and iPhone probably, but don't put it past me to try out infrared TTV).  I'd prefer a proper TLR for TTV photos and over a long enough period of time I'll get one.  For a ten spot I'll futz around with damn near any piece of camera gear.  The store where I bought it had the original flash that came with the camera when it was new. 


(Pictured here in far better shape than what they had.)  Vintage flashes are of exactly zero interest to me.


Also, they're enormous.  I can't imagine trying to wrestle one.  I also bought another 135mm manual focus prime.  No cap as the kids say.  More on that later.   Also also I've been learning about the 600mm and 800m primes Canon makes for their R series mirrorless bodies.  More on those (much) later.

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I should really learn to read.  A friend of mine pointed out to me that the Kodak I bought has the better Kodar 72mm lens that is not fixed focus.  It in fact has a focus scale printed on the top of it.  This makes it a significantly better camera than what I was describing above.  With that said, the Duaflex III is not a true TLR.  I was going to take some glamor shots of the lens I bought at the same time as the Kodak, but it's raining sideways here on scenic MV today.  The truth is bad weather conditions can make for some amazing photos on MV, but I cannot be arsed to traipse out around in it right now.


June of '05, just down the street from me.  Taken with my trusty PowerShot S60 and re-edited in 2020.



Same spot, same time.  Unedited.



The following day, at the EDG lighthouse.  The day had been totally clear when I started out and the fog rolled in out of nowhere.  Vineyard weather is like that.  Back to the present day:



This was a department store called Fligor's for decades.  My grandparents used to buy me overpriced Lego sets here when I was a kid.  I have fond memories of the stone wall meaning "Legos soon!"



An (AFAIK) no longer used boat launch, with Chappaquiddick in the background.



This is me trying to be less strict with the rule of thirds.



There's a retired boomer who happily tools around in this Porsche 993.  I am (not so) secretly jealous.  Air cooled engines make such a neat noise that sounds nothing like other cars.  Also I love that he has his surfboard strapped to it.  The exact opposite of this vehicle is the veritable army of Posche-Utes with their distinctive but stupid quad LED headlights.  I hate every single thing about the Cayenne.  They're shitty SUVs.  They're shitty Porsches.  They're really shitty to have to share the road with on a tiny island with narrow roads.  Also I swear the demographic that buys them are among the worst that....  [KNUCKLES.  No more ranting!]



The On Time ferry, shipping 2 oversized pickups and a dump truck from Chappy back to the "mainland" as they call it.  Someone in another forum asked me where I was to get this "airborne" shot of the ferry, so here ya go:



I was in Vineyard Haven around dusk (which comes at like 3:45 in the afternoon these days) and climbed up on to the lawn of the Martha's Vineyard museum, which is the best sited building on the entire island.  It was originally a military hospital IIRC.  The lawn is full of Canadian geese, and therefore a minefield of their droppings.  I had to tread carefully to get this shot.  I was honked at continuously for my efforts.



From the parking lot of the Museum.  I wanted to frame the tree, keep the harbor horizon flat, and not fall off the side of the embankment.  I succeeded in at least one of these tasks.



There's been  couple trees in my yard that have stubbornly hung on to their fall colors.  This one in particular was being an absolute showoff.  Taken with my CZJ Sonnar, which I never fail to describe as the best of my 135mms for actually taking photos.  Even if it has a pedestrian 6 blade aperture, it has a brilliant optical design.  The color transmission speaks for itself.  See how the OOF areas are what I call "painted."  It's like a poor man's 85L.  Not at all, actually, but it is a mighty fine lens.  I like it enough that I make up reasons to use it.  Taking photos of trees with a 135mm portrait lens is not something rational people do, but I have fun with it.  Speaking of...


More of the same, only entirely different.  Taken from the edge of my driveway.  I converted this shot to B&W with Luminar 4, which I find is better for the process than Photoshop.  I did do some further edits in PS to get the levels where I liked them.  There might be a tough too much negative space at the top of this photo, but I'm still pretty happy with it.



Last light on a day much clearer than today.  Taken with my '86 nifty fifty, which is the best walkaround lens I have until I get a new 35mm F/2 with a working AF motor.

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