Posts filed under ‘Technology’

Nikon Back

I love doing new things that require a bit of planning. As previous posts show, I have started up photography again and been a bit successful with it. I recently had a photo chosen by the Torontoist to display on their site. If you want to see the photo go here.

Anyhow, that bit of news is not what I want to write about here. In browsing Flickr I discovered a Flickr friend had produced an image using a Canon 5DmkII mounted on a Widepan sliding back attached to a Linhof 4×5″ Technika V camera with a Wollensak 11.5″ lens (see the image here) . I loved the color the lens produced and I also was attracted to the challenge of doing the same thing using my Crown Graphic. I decided I would try to attach my Nikon D80 to the camera. The fun was in the planning.

I needed a mount for the camera and Stan, at International Camera (now closed) gave me an old Nikon lens that had the mount I needed. I took the lens apart and voila, I had the adaptor. My next problem was to decide how to mount the adaptor to the Crown Graphic. I let the problem sit for a few weeks and one morning woke up with the solution. I would go to the art store and pick up a foam board that I could cut to proper dimensions and mount the adaptor on. While looking at the foam boards I saw a 5×7 canvas that artists use to paint on. It was perfect, two glued together would be just the right thickness for the Graflox back on my Crown. I bought some flat black paint and three boards and the total came to $11.

I measured the film holders and applied the measurements to the canvas, cut the canvas, found the centre location for the adaptor and cut the required hole for it. Everything worked like a charm. Actually, I was going to mount the adaptor with the lens barrel but decided to use an extension tube as a spacer for the camera and mount the adaptor fluch on the back. Here is the pre paint (I need to paint the Nikon back black) results……………

Initially I mounted the camera using a 36mm extension tube for a spacer but I couldn’t focus the camera to infinity. I stopped down the lens to f32 and this photo resulted……….

This was my very first picture using the Nikon on my Crown Graphic. Although totally out of focus I was really happy about it.

I exchanged the 36mm tube with a 20 mm one and these are the shots I took with it……….

All the above shots were with the focus on infinity so I had to test a macro shot using the same setup.

Since the Graflex uses bellows there was no reason why I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to my subject. Anyhow, the results of a closeup………………….

The lens on my Crown Graphic is Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 135 mm, a “normal” lens for 4×5. I don’t know what the focal length is when my Nikon is mounted on it but I suspect it must be around 500 or 600 mm. It was a fun project and now I need to find another one. Hmmm, maybe build a camera using an old Minolta zoom lens as a start.

May 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

We Are All Photographers Now

Last week I found a post about an art project in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exhibition is titled “We Are All Photographers Now” and it’s being held at the musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. The exhibition is about the rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age and displays photos from around the world. Anyone can submit an entry via their web site which is here.

When an entry is submitted, you receive an email from the museum containing the following message…….

Thank you for uploading your picture. You are the xxxxth contributor to upload a photo to our servers! It will be shown in the galleries of the Musée de l’Elysée during the exhibition “All photographers now”.
Once the exhibition starts, we will photograph all the images. If yours is being shown, you will receive an e-mail with a picture showing how your image was exhibited.

In my case I was the 18,161th contributor.

As I understand it, they will randomly choose 100 photographs a week. These pictures will then be printed and shown as such for a full week before being replaced by the selection from the following week, and be subsequently archived in the permanent collection of the Musée de l’Elysée. All other photos will be selected at some point and will be displayed using projection or other means.

I sent two photos last week and today I received an email containing the following message…….

Your image was shown in the Musee de l’Elysee’s exhibit ‘We are all photographers now!’ in the last few days. Enclosed you will find an installation view of your image that shows it in the wall.

The visitors to the exhibit are fascinated by all the different photographs that are being shown from participants like you from all over the world. Thank you again for participating and please feel free to upload more images to the site

Here’s the image I submitted …..

and here is the installation photo ………….

I know it’s a random selection process but hey, I’m still proud of it being there.

March 5, 2007 at 2:38 pm 3 comments


After having a great day with Francesca and Keiko, I had to get down to work and write about it. Most of the day was spent processing the photos, sending copies to Francesca and writing the previous post. After that I spent some time going over old pictures to see if I could come up with more additions to Flickr.

Flickr is an online community of photographers, writers, artists and the like. I initially joined Flickr to have a means of posting my photos on this blog. I soon discovered that there is far more to Flickr than just storing and saving photos. There are different groups you can join and discuss your photos, get critiques and even enter contests. It actually influenced me to return to a hobby I hadn’t done for longer than I can remember. It motivates me to do more photography. There are amazing photographers in Flickr and their work is truly inspirational. Almost everyone I have had contact with is very encouraging. To be honest, I’m very intimdated by a lot of their work and creative endevours. Now it’s become a challenge to produce more interesting snapshots and get feedback from other people in the Flickr community. If you look to the right of this post you’ll see a box labelled Flickr Photos. Click on the picture under it and you’ll be able to see other pictures I put there.

Anyhow, here’s some photos I posted yesterday. All of these photos were taken with my Canon G6, a point and shoot camera.

From Paris

From Barcelona

another from Paris

and one from Girona

Have a great day.

January 18, 2007 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Exploring PobleNou

Today is a holiday in Spain. It’s All Saints day. Waking up this morning was like Sunday morning, very quiet. A good thing because last night was a late night. Sebastien and Jackie came over for dinner and the wine and conversation flowed easily.

We have wanted to explore Poblenou for a few weeks now so we chose today to go. It was a perfect walking day, not too hot. We took the metro to LLacuna and walked over to the rambla. Lot’s of people out walking.

We walked around to get an idea of what the area was like and Alex bought some roasted chestnuts. They were actually quite good . Apparently they are traditional on this holiday.

We found a nice little pub to curb our hunger for a bit and Alex had her beer. This cafe had quite a selection of draft beer and Alex had her favourite. I usually order a clara and whenever Alex orders a draft with my clara the waiter always gives me the draft and Alex the clara. I guess real men don’t drink clara’s in Spain.

We left the cafe and started walking back towards the centre of town. On the way we came across lots of abandoned buildings and graffiti. The area of Poblenou is undergoing massive transformation. It is an industrial, working class neighbourhood in the midst of change. The area is becoming Barcelona’s version of Silicon Valley. The plan is to have Poblenou become the high tech centre and renewal is the current state. It’s interesting because they are keeping portions of the old industrial buildings to incorporate into the new. Here’s a window to the past and I wonder what it will look like in the future.

I think much will be lost when they renew. There is so much graffiti around. I view graffiti as an art form and here in Barcelona they are very good. Even inside broken down factories,

on the walls that keep people out

and even inside where people cannot see. I had to stick my camera lens in a small hole to get this view of the inside.

A protruding wall that is part of an image becomes the main component of an abstract photo. There is so much material here it’s hard to isolate good photo material. I wanted to capture everything and I feel I didn’t capture anything. Alex says my images are too busy but that’s what I wanted to convey. Even if the factory is no longer used, it is still productive.

Seems like we’re getting into a habit here. After getting enough photos we ended up at Wushu’s again. Great ending to another great day.

November 1, 2006 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Making Decisions

Well, here I was all set to upgrade my camera from a Canon G6 to the Canon EOS 30D. What had generated interest was the release of the Canon G7. It’s a beautiful looking camera and an upgrade from my G6.

I started doing research on this camera but as soon as I found it didn’t have raw capability I was not at all interested.

While looking at the G7 I learned that the Canon EOS 400D/XTi had also been released. I read all the pre-release reviews at the Digital Photography Review (a must visit site for anyone interested in digital photography (also check out Fred Miranda’s site)) and I became really interested in this camera.

I was going to wait until we returned to Toronto because I thought that if any version changes were made they would probably be done by the time I returned. The G7 has new imaging software (Digic III). I think that if it works ok then by the time I return they might re-release the Canon EOS 400D/XTi with digic III. Well, while reading the tons of information about this camera I discovered the Canon EOS 30D. It had some features that I wanted but were not on the 400D. Features such as spot metering, a broader range of ISO settings, a faster continuous drive and a pentaprism viewer instead of a pentamirror.

These features are not earth shattering but I did decide on the 30D, actually I set my heart on it. Alex and I went down to a few photo stores here in Barcelona and I looked at the 30D. It fit nicely in my hand and I loved the quality of the build. I started reading more user reviews and guess what, they made me question my choice. It seems there is a big issue with dust on the sensor. Even right out of the box the camera needs a cleaning (so I’ve read). I tried to re-evaluate to the 400D but the big complaint about that camera is the ergonomics. It might sound picky to some but a camera has to feel right. My G6 is a great little point and shoot camera but the ergonomics of it sometimes get in the way of getting a quick shot off. There are features on the 400D that I like such as 10.1 megapixels and a dust removal system but I don’t know how effective the dust removal system is. I started looking a the Nikon D80 but it’s price for the features it has is a no go for me. Besides, I hear that although the build quality seems much better than the Canon, the photos are not as sharp as that of Canon ( I know, it’s the lens and sharpness is an qualitative issue)

I even went as far as contacting Henry’s Photo in Toronto to get the cost of shipping one to me. By the way, they were great. Alex bought her Minolta from them and their attitude and friendliness have made me a loyal customer.

Ok, so now you know my problems. I don’t want to spend the money on the EOS 400D and now I don’t want to buy the 30D either. Actually, the posts about Canon have me questioning their quality control. They used to be known for their high quality products. Is success ruining them ???? Maybe I’ll just wait another few years and see what happens. Sigh.

Any thoughts on this (leave a comment) .

October 26, 2006 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

It’s Saturday

This turned out to be a great day. We woke up this morning to a beautiful blue sky and a very comfortable temperature. We headed out to the market to pick up some meat, fruit and stuff but stopped at OUR cafe for our morning coffee. We really took our time, finished what we had to do, dropped off the groceries and caught the 47 bus to Placa Catalunya. Alex wanted to go to Altaïr to pick up the brand new, just released, anxiously waited for Moleskine City Review books.

She has been waiting for these amazing little books since the summer and was in ecstasy when she bought them. Like a little kid at Christmas. These are really amazing books for anyone who is thinking of travelling. For full details go here to see what they are all about.

After leaving Altaïr we stopped in at a photo store to check out a camera I want to buy when we get back to Canada. It was a toss up between the new Canon Digital EOS XTi and the Canon EOS 30D. I’m really leaning towards the 30D.

This is one beautiful camera and my first DSLR. I am really looking foreward to using it. From there we walked down to Casanova on C/ Pelai, an amazing photo store. Alex bought a new lens for her camera and she tells you all about it on her blog. She talks about the rest of the day so I won’t get into it here. What I will do is post some photos of a lamp exhibit we saw while walking to Wushu’s. This exhibit is a dedication of sorts. I don’t understand what or why but each lamp had a persons’s name, date of birth and date of their death.

After eating we slowly headed back towards home. These are photos of where we walked in the old city.

From the narrow streets out into the main square as seen through the arch of a roman aqueduct, over a thousand years old.

As we were walking I saw this old basin made out of a solid block or marble. This turtle was carved on the edge, pretty cool.

As I said, it was a great day. Hope you all had the same.

October 21, 2006 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Mac Pro – A Dream

The new Mac Pro quad Xeon 64-bit worksation is out and I want one. I can dream can’t I ????? It was less than a year ago when I switched from a pretty powerful Dell and Windows XP to my current Mac PowerBook G4. It’s not that I was fed up with Microsoft or Windows XP. I used to do music on my Dell and had no problems at all. I used Cubase and had all kinds of controllers hooked up and I never had a problem. I was going to Barcelona with Alex and I needed a machine more for my digital photography than for anything else plus it had to be a laptop for portability. I’d heard that Mac’s were the machines to own if you were doing anything with graphics or music. I wasn’t happy with the laptop choices and since Alex already owned a Mac I thought I’d give Mac a try. Besides, I was already attracted to them because of their design and packaging. I know, I know, packaging doesn’t add to the computer in any way but I thought that if they spend that amount of time and effort in the packaging and seeing the PowerBook’s simplicity and design, well, the combination sold me. I really love my laptop. I’m not in the business of high powered database design or business modelling anymore (I think I’d use Microsoft if I was) so the Mac is just what the artist ordered.

Now they have come up with the Mac Pro.

The design of this machine is amazing. You can go to the Arts Technica site for a complete review. I just wanted to dream here and show just a few of the features of this machine, like the insides…

Those 4 hard drive bays are drawers and all you have to do is drop a hard drive into them, close the drawer and it’s done. No cables. It takes a pro only 30 seconds to install one. You can install 4 500 GB drives. I couldn’t fill those in a lifetime.

Of course, to display all this power I’d have to have the Apple cinema display, the 30 inch HD display. It’s awesome to see.

Feast your eyes on more than four million pixels in the first high-resolution 30-inch flat-panel display designed for a personal computer.

Then, to top all of this off and provide a beautiful interface to Adobe Photoshop CS, I would add an Intuos Cintiq 21UX tablet. This input device is amazing, go see it at Wacom’s site.

So, if I could, this is what I would order…..

The Mac Pro with Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
A 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s, one 16x SuperDrive Accessory kit, two 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, this is extreme but 16GB (8 x 2GB) of memory, Mac OS X and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI) graphics card. The 30 inch Apple Cinema HD display and the Wacom Intuos Cintiq.

All I can say is Wow ………………..

August 21, 2006 at 3:16 pm

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