Goodbye Kodak BW 400CN

Kodak Alaris is discontinuing the BW 400CN.

A very nice film meant to shoot Black & White and have it processed in a regular one hour minilab as it is a C-41 process film.

Now that one hour minilabs are an endangered specie and that it is much easier to find Black & White chemistry than C-41, it was bound to happen. Not sure exactly what to replace it with.

Here are some samples I shot a few years ago:

Beechcraft Expedition #2

Beechcraft Expedition #3

Untitled

Fuji X round up

Zack Arias take on the Fuji X-T1: Yep. It’s A Fuji.

Conclusion… I have zero regrets about selling all of my Canon gear and going Fuji. Zero regrets.

I have to admit, I’m not a pro like him, ie I don’t shoot for a living (also I’m less talented), but since I have my X-Pro1 I haven’t used the Canon much nor even lusted on any piece of gear for it.

Last week I have had my hands shortly on the X-T1 and the EVF is absolutely so much better than the X-Pro1. Non-withstanding the other advantages. If only I could try it longer.

Also don’t miss his Mystical Marrakech video (on YouTube) that he did for Fuji:

Camera lost at sea, found with SD card intact 2 years later

CBC report on a Shipwrecked camera found underwater after 2 years with photos intact:

A camera lost in a shipwreck off the west coast of Vancouver Island two years ago is finally to be returned to its owner — with the memory card and its images intact.

The camera, we can’t really say it survive, but the SD card still in working order 2 years later. Kudos to the researchers for locating the pictures owner, this is a kind gesture.

This show how robust media has become. Try this with a tape, with film, etc. Unlikely you’d be able to salvage them. On the other hand this doesn’t really mean we’ll be able to read them in 50 years, the problem being to actually access the media.

via m43 Rumors

The Hackers Who Recovered NASA’s Lost Lunar photos

First View of Earth from Moon - reprocessed

Wired has an article on The Hackers Who Recovered NASA’s Lost Lunar Photos :

[…] After the low-fi printing, the tapes were shoved into boxes and forgotten.

They changed hands several times over the years, almost getting tossed out before landing in storage in Moorpark, California. Several abortive attempts were made to recover data from the tapes, which were well kept, […]

Read it all, the effort is amazing. It doesn’t matter how you keep the medium, if you can re-read it or decode it, it is useless.

This is a shape of things to come. What will happen to all of those digital archives? These CD or DVD that will be unreadable because we no longer have the drives, or just decayed, these hard drives with obsolete connectors, which, if they ever start, might still hard to use in a few decades. And then what do we do with these RAW files that the camera vendor refuse to document?

These are all the questions we should remember to ask. The next Vivian Maier might never happen in the era of digital as we might unable to recover the content of the shoe box. Not everybody will have the skills of that team that recovered the NASA photos.

Leica T

Leica just announced the Leica T. Their new mirror-less system ; and by that I mean non rangefinder but really digital mirror-less with interchangeable lenses, APS-C sensor, with their own mount, and two new lenses including a 23mm f/2 (feel like a 35). Sadly it seems that the trend persists, there is no built-in viewfinder. Also it has a Leica pricetag, even if no as high as Leica M.

On overall the Leica T seems to get somewhat positive reviews, and the design is slick, to not say outstanding on some aspects, and minimalist where all the complexity is in a touch screen. All in all it looks like Leica focused on the basics: photography, and let the gimmicks on the side. But, oh boy, why is it a $600 extra for an external electronic viewfinder?

Luminous landscape has to reviews up, where they have had the gear in hand. One my Michael Reichmann:

The camera itself has nothing like the range of features and capabilities that its prime competitors have to offer, but then it isn’t intended to. Thus any such comparison would be pointless.

The other by Nick Rains:

This is a very cool camera. The look is like nothing else on the market.

Now I wish I had a loaner to try to have a better sense of what it feels.

Leica’s website.

Sony Alpha 7

The Sony Alpha 7 and A7R have just been announced and feature a full frame interchangeable lens mirror-less camera for around $2000. This niche was held so far by the Leica M at a much higher price point. Unlike the Leica, this is not a range finder.

Brian Smith has a field test that show what we can expect: an IQ Sony style (pun intended), ie good.

I believe that for a modern design system, “full frame” is possibly overkill, and Fuji has shown us that you can get top notch IQ with an APS-C sized sensor. Most DSLR systems, like Canon EOS, Nikon, Sony or even Pentax were designed for 135 film, as well as their lens, hence the “full frame” bias. This is also why I considered the RX-1 overpriced and overspeced, even though some people have found it worth it ; and with a top image quality as well. At $2000 body only the A7 can even be cheaper than the RX-1.

But this Sony is an E-mount (like on the Nex), with a short flange distance, that allow an easy adaptation of older lenses via easily available mount adpaters, including M-mount. This is probably why this camera has a lead off the m4/3 or even the Fuji. You get the real deal, the same field of view on your older lenses as they were designed. The only other alternative today is the Leica M type 240, which is both much more expensive (several time the price), hard to come by, and for which adapted lenses require either the use or the rear LCD or the external EVF.

I do believe that the A7 and A7R will find their way in the hands of people that have a large collection of lenses to adapt, and we can be largely confident that the image quality will continue to meet the expectations. Sony has really shown leadership on a market that was dominated by Olympus and Panasonic, and show that Nikon and Canon have to worry given their disappointing incursion into mirror-less land.

Things about the X-E1

Tim Bray wrote a love letter to Fujifilm:

He starts with the conclusion:

It’s the best cam­era I’ve ever used: Light, won­der­ful in the hand, per­fect con­trols, as­tound­ing lenses, pleas­ing pic­tures. So if you were think­ing of buy­ing a Se­ri­ous Cam­era, this is to­tally one of the ones you should look at. Or maybe the X-E2; more on that below.

I’ll let you read the rest.

As an X-Pro1 owner I can tell that almost everything applies to it too.

Cleaning old cameras

Two recent articles on cleaning (old) cameras:

Japan Camera Hunter: Classic Camera Cleaning Guide.

Petapixel: How to clean up your old camera.

Both have similarities in techniques, which is absolutely not surprising. I haven’t had the time yet to try these out, but if you needed a starting point to clean your collection of film camera, here you are. Digital cameras are not covered.