A while back, I went on the auction site (aka feebay) and paid a few dollars for a Nikon PB-5 bellows. Basically, while dedicated Macro lenses (such as the Nikkor 105 mm Macro) let you take ‘life size’ pictures (1:1 ration of the real and virtual picture), a bellows extension lets you blow it up even further. In my case about 4:1, i.e. a 1/4 inch in the real world projects as one inch on the sensor/film, making for some really blow up shots. This is the way I took a picture of the seashell a few posts below, here are some more examples. It is fun, but cumbersome, as you have to focus well - even at small apertures the DOF is shallow, refraction becomes a problem and the object sits right in front of the lens, making lightening challenging. These were taken with an old 55mm Nikkor f3.5 mounted and the bellows almost fully extended.


Fern Spores

A Penny


Holiday Hiatus

Those if you who thought this will be another dead blog...there! Here is my entry for the new year. Happy New Year, belated, to everyone! The holidays have been busy and I have had a few things happen on the photo-front. First, a new addition to my stable, the Leica D-Lux 4, bought on a trip to New York, as “my old lady”, which should have come with me , unfortunately had her Rangefinder adjusted. The D-Lux is a little gem with superb image quality (for a point and shoot), and it shoots RAW images, which was important to me and limited my choice in camera. I took it to the city for some street photography (something I have to get used to, and any P&S will not be ideal for that). Here are a few examples:
City Island, New York

Grand Central, New York Now mind you, any P&S is not going to get good quality images beyond ISO 200 or ISO 400, but noise levels are very very good at ISO 80 or 100, as seen here:

JFK, Terminal 3, NY at ISO 80
And the same image “pushed” 5 stops in Photoshop (mind you these are JPGs):


Leica, my first steps

The newest addition to my stall, a 1969 Leica M4, as not seen much use yet. Hard to call something “new” that is older than I am. I am not very “retro”, but taking images with a camera that has no battery in this day and age is fascinating. Also, when you have to develop the film yourself (or invest quite a bit of money and time up here in Maine to have it done for you), you want to make each frame count. Funny how it suddenly takes a while to shoot 36 pictures, when before you could do that in 5 seconds with a DSLR. The Leica itself is a dream of mechanical perfection. Can you imagine your Point and Shoot still working after 40 years? I am not sure that a buy the “glow” people have described (such as here), but I find the images very pleasing.... This is just playing around, but I thought I’d share a few examples.

Alan Leica M4, TMAX 400 pushed to 1600

Matt Leica M4, TMAX 400 pushed to 1600

The Cat Leica M4, Fuji Superia X-TRA 400

First Snow in Maine Leica M4, TMAX 400 pushed to 1600