24" x 12" colour print titled Blue on Blue depicting granite boulders, Bright Point and sea located at South end of Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island. Photographed on Fuji Reala 100 with Fujica G690 (6x9), 65mm f/8 SW I Fujinon lens @ f/22 1/15sec.
Peskin was the first staff photographer hired for Sports Illustrated. Was renowned for his
choice of original vantage points when most sports photography was done from the press
box. Used Rolleiflexes …
10″ x 20″ vertical print titled Rocky Bay depicting large granite boulders in the foreground and the Sunferries MV Sunbird passing Hawkings Point viewed from the northern end end of Rocky Bay, Magnetic Island. Photographed on Fuji Superia 100 with Fujica G690 (6Ãƒâ€”9), 65mm f/8 SW I Fujinon lens @ f/11 1/30sec.
So, there I am a couple of weeks back happily placing an email notify request at B&HPhoto; for out-of-stock Fuji Reala 120 when the other day I receive a notfication from B&HPhoto; stating:
"We would like to inform you that the Fujifilm -- FUR120 GREY -- CS 120 Fujicolor Reala Color Print Film (ISO-100) you previously registered for notification has been discontinued and will no longer be available from B&H;"
Not sure if this means discontinued by them (B&HPhoto;) or Fuji. I just ordered another 60 rolls from Adorama to be on the safe side. That and the 20 rolls in the fridge should keep me in film for another 12 months.
I ‘d heard that with the introduction of 160C and 160S announced by Fuji and introduced at PMA 2005 that they would be discontinuing NPC160 and NPS160 but what’s the story with Reala?
I hope it’s just a B&HPhoto; thing but can’t help wondering if Fuji is looking to rationalise it’s medium speed colour 120 line to just the new 160C/S.
Discussions in Google Groups indicated I should keep fairly modest expectations when conducting unguided 35mm Astrophotography (AP) and much of that advice was held to be correct but only to a degree—hence these observations.
Having had my first encounter with star trails a few months previously I had all but given-up attempts at unguided AP with the exception of the moon which, thanks to good glass and clear skies, had proven a rewarding subject.
However, I decided to give the smaller stuff one more try albeit with a little more planning and research this time around. First, I had to find what maximum exposure I could expect to achieve with my lenses before star trails took over. Another stop at Google Groups revealed the best approximation I have found to date, namely to simply divide the lens focal length into 600. Using this calculation a 300mm lens would permit a maximum unguided exposure of just 2 seconds without noticeable star trails (e.g. 600/300=2).1
However, a 17mm lens would permit an exposure of up to around 30 seconds. At this point it looked as if I was going to have to restrict myself to wide field constellation photography with my 17-35mm and lunar photography with my 300mm as anything else would likely exceed my limited set of exposure scenarios.
However, I decided to press on and conduct my own trials. I wanted to see if I could retrieve any detail of Saturn and its rings using my Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF IF-ED. The first exposure settings I tried was ISO 1600, 2sec @ f/4. However, this just rendered Saturn as a circular white hot flare. Some fourteen exposures later, I managed to reduce the exposure to a point where Saturn was rendered as a small dull orange/yellow disc. Needless to say that even a 5x interpolation failed to reveal Saturn as anything but a warm coloured fuzzy oval—a classic example of the need for telescopes.
Undaunted, I revisited my Wife’s Astronomy software the next day and noted that during the previous night the Crab Nebula had been immediately adjacent to Saturn. I began to wonder if my initial overexposed shots of Saturn from the previous evening may have captured some semblance of the Crab Nebula. To check this I cropped a 252 pixel area adjacent to Saturn that contained what appeared to be a green ‘splodge’ of colour and ran a 5x interpolation. I feel that in context with the toolset the results speak for themselves and indicate quite good detail and colour rendition for such a limited exposure and focal length.2
Pleased with the results (read easily amused) I decided to see if I could pluck something else from the dark reaches of the solar system. I had previously been concerned that any attempts to reveal the bright red clouds of the Great Nebula of Orion were being thwarted by the brightness of the Trapezium which would glow brighter and larger with successively longer exposures.3 However, shorter exposures tailored to correct this were insufficient to expose anything remotely like a fog of red cloud in the Orion Nebula. I decided to revisit these shorter exposures to see what I could reveal about the Trapezium itself. Again, I made a small crop and ran a 5x interpolation using bicubic resampling in Photoshop® but in addition to this I pushed the curves in the red channel revealing a spidery red halo around each member of the trapezium.4
In conclusion, I am beginning to see some good results from the Fuji S2 Pro’s 12 megapixel mode in combination with fast and sharp glass such as the Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF IF-ED and the Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D. I am also keen to add the 2 stops faster Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 D to my astrophotography toolset if I can ever afford it. I am very appreciative of the fact that living on Magnetic Island, Queensland some 12 Kilometres from the Australian coastline means relatively unpolluted skies and I’m certain that this has played a major factor in the results I have achieved to date. Consequently, I am going to continue my attempts to capture some of the dimmer objects normally considered out of reach of us telescope impaired astrophotographers.
1. This may be true when examining captures at around 50% resolution. However, a 12MP Fuji frame at 100% resolution indicates noticeable albeit slight object movement even at this modest exposure using a 300mm lens.
Just a few tweaks and edits of the CSS and we’ll be up and running and ready for content--thanks for your patience.
I purchased the Contax G2 in late September 2004 for an upcoming family holiday in NZ. I was determined not to take my Fuji S2 Pro (DSLR) and lenses as I was looking for something smaller to travel with and the fact that I was sick and tired of the trade-offs with exposure range of digital hence why I always shoot print film even for my MF stuff. To put it plainly the Contax G is the state-of-the-art rangefinder type camera featuring a raft of features that just made a whole lot of sense making it the quintessential all rounder:
- 4000sec shutter speed (useful if your stuck with 400+ film in the camera and the sun comes back out);
- 4 frames per second;
- zooming viewfinder when using the 28-90mm lenses;
- mid-roll re-wind support;
- combination internal and external metering;
- the best 35mm glass at middle apertures on the planet — period;
- used carefully on a tripod, you can give 645′s a run for their money; and
- Nice and compact! (camera, accessories, five lenses and 35 rolls of film can all fit in a Lowepro Nova 3)
Over the 8 months I shot with it I probably put through around 50 rolls of film, mainly Fuji X-tra 400 but also some Kodak T-max 100, 400 and Kodak Black & White Select 400.
I have to admit that I was heavily influenced into buying the camera after visiting The Contax G Pages and looking into the stunning imagery G-shooters were making. I came away from there with the realization that this was a take anywhere camera that was capable of doing just about everything well.
Needless to say that the ContaxG and more specifically the 16mm Hologon spawned an insatiable yearning for all things ultra-wide and hence the purchase some months later of a mint Plaubel Veriwide 100 (6x10) with its 18mm equiv. 47mm Schneider Super-angulon lens. I also have a Fujica G690 (6x9) along with three lenses including the 65mm f/8, 100 f/3.5 AE and the 180mm f/5.6. I have searched throughout europe and asia for the 50mm f/5.6 but to no avail which is why I eventually gave up looking and sprung for the Veriwide 100.
But I am getting off track; back to the G2. Robert Capa is reputed to have said: If your photos aren’t good enough you’re not close enough. My love affair with the Carl Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 with its scale focussing started almost immediately. So much so that this lens was on the camera during my NZ trip more than any other lens combined. Out of the 1000 or so frames shot during that trip I would have to estimate that some 800 or more were taken with the hologon. It’s addictive. I know, I’ve heard others say that it’s a circus lens but that’s just plain BS. What I like about the Hologon is that it lets me get close — real close. In point of fact it should come with a warning sticker stating: WARNING: objects are closer than they appear. I had to keep this in mind when shooting a very boistrous billy goat at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch NZ.
In fact with its fixed aperture of f/8 everything from around 18″ to infinity is in focus. There is something quite liberating about being free to just compose the shot without having to worry about anything else.
This lens is sharp and comepletely free of barrel distortion and has a Photodo mtf rating of 3.9 and there’s nothing with that kind of FOV that even comes close that level of performance. This is the lens for introducing fore-ground dominance effects into your photography. However like all ultra-wide angle lenses that have been corrected for barrel distortion you do have to be careful of placing some objects at the edge of the frame due to the resulting edge magnification effect unless you want people at the edge of the frame to look …well -- special!? However, place your subjects towards the middle and it doesn’t fare too badley — remember it is a 16mm rectilinear lens so don’t expect the same flattering profile as that from your AF-D Nikkor 105mm f/2 DC and let’s face it everything is in focus so you can forget the bokeh.