My Ideal Lens


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Disclaimer: I'm not saying such a lens should be offered, or would be a viable product.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying there's anything lacking with Fuji's current lens lineup. It's great and it's fine.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying I'm personally uphappy with that lineup. That would be churlish, and a churl* I am not! I have a whopping nine of them (well, eight Fujinons and a Zeiss), most of which came to me as gifts.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying it's even possible to build this lens. I think so, but I'm not a lens designer.

Disclaimer:

Fuji 35mm diagram
Fuji 35mm f14

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Merry Christmas! &c.


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Eastlake-view-small

TOP World Headquarters, seen from the South, in the beautiful
Finger Lakes region of rural Upstate New York

Alas, Christmas is just another day for me this year. Nothing doing, no family. Thus it is to grow older alone.

At the same time I think I'm happier than I've ever been, thanks to the work I've been doing in the spiritual fellowship I'm part of. I love the area where I live and have more friends here than I've ever had anywhere since boyhood; my son Xander has grown into a fine man, and is doing well, and his girlfriend

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The (Near) Perfect Lens for a (Digital) Leica M


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35mm summarit

The Leica 35mm ƒ/2.4 Summarit with its dedicated hood

This isn't a holiday post (despite today being Festivus*), but it continues the ideas of several recent posts. You know how I like to follow threads.

In the Comments to the "Inglorious Excess" post of a few days ago, Peter Wright wrote:

"Thirty-five millimeters is my favourite focal length, and I want to give a shout out to my latest acquisition: A Leica 35mm ƒ/2.4 Summarit. (I already own other 35mm M-mount lenses, but 'needed' to add this one.) It is not an inexpensive lens, and probably does

Ultron 35mm

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Sunday Support Group: Thorny Issues (*Added: Sale Update)


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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[Ed. note: This is my second-to-last post until December 27th. I'm taking a few days off for Christmas. The problem with that is that this is what I like doing, and I don't particularly like not doing it. But our year-end holiday break is traditional!   🙂  ]

A few supportive recommendations this Sunday, some reiterated:

Confused about food? How Not to Diet is out, and it's utterly wonderful. An encyclopedia of diet demystification. I've been reading it since two weeks before it was published (thanks to the publisher for the advance copy). Michael Greger (and team—I

Sigma 45

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Age of Inglorious Excess


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Roger Cicala, the lens guru whose blog is the only must-read on the PhotoInternet for me [UPDATE: amend that, I do read others], some time ago declared the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 Art (available in five different lensmounts) to be the sharpest lens he had ever tested. (I reviewed that too.) Roger has an optical bench at his disposal. As he is the founder of Lensrentals, he even has the unheard-of luxury—crucially—of being able to test a number of samples and plot them. This is why he doesn't recommend the $1,500 Sony FE 35mm ƒ/1.

Sigma 35mm-2

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Best Film Cameras for Newbies


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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And the winners are:

Nikon FE (and FE2), 1978

Nikon FE Edgar Bonet

Nikon FE, top view. Photo by
Edgar Bonet (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Plusses: Durable; plentiful; has all the right features; repair services easily available, diopters ditto; small and light; satisfying to use. Many lenses available. If you like it, there's an obvious future step up in the modern (2001–2006) FM3a, which combines all the virtues of the entire lifespan of the FM/FE lineup but was very expensive new and remains very expensive now.

Minuses: Well-known as a desirable starter film camera, thus relatively expensive; isn't as well

ME Super John Nuttall
X-570
Olympus OM-2n

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Fujifilm X-H1 Current Impressions


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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["How's your new camera?" —Michael Perini, yesterday]

Someone said here the other day that each generation of new cameras is less interesting than the last. There's something to that.

Fuji x-h1 7But as Exhibit One for the rebuttal, let me propose the Fujifilm X-H1. Yes, it's true, the wild-and-woolly "frontier market" of pell-mell growth is over. The camera industry is in steep decline (adjustment?) lately. Smartphones have cut the guts out of the popular mass market for digital point-and-shoots, which barely exist now. And we're paying more for cameras than ever before, or at least we are

Fuji x-h1 with booster

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?


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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It took me four days to write yesterday's essay—a number of drafts—and it didn't improve my brand or further the site's mission. A whole satchelful of new cameras were introduced as I was a-beaverin', and manufacturing some breathlessness about that would have drawn more eyes. And been less work.

The new cameras:

Sony A6100 (a simplified A6400, $748)
Sony A6600 (with IBIS and a much larger battery, $1,398)
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H (optimized for video, $3,997.99)
Canon EOS M6 II (has the 90D's 32.5 MP sensor, $849)
Canon 90D (latest in a long line of traditional APS-C DSLRs, $1,199)

Sony A6600
Yeats tombstone

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Open Mike: What Danielle Jackson’s Artnet Review Tells Us About What the Whitney Biennial Tells Us About the Future of Photography—and the Reviewers and Curators and Academicians Who Will Shape the Artists Who Will Shape It*


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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"Can we all just get along? Can we get along?"

Rodney King

I've always thought that "political correctness" (PC) was for the most part a shibboleth, a cudgel fashioned by the political right for its own ends. The first four paragraphs of the Wikipedia article about it have it about right; the pull-quote might be, "in public discourse and the media, [PC] is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive or unwarranted," a sentence girded by no fewer than seven footnotes. An article I read in Harper's when I was visiting my liberal mother

Flagg building

Continue reading “Open Mike: What Danielle Jackson’s Artnet Review Tells Us About What the Whitney Biennial Tells Us About the Future of Photography—and the Reviewers and Curators and Academicians Who Will Shape the Artists Who Will Shape It*”

Around the Web on a Tuesday


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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BlakePhotos by Iain Blake

Iain Blake's 100 Strangers: We were talking a couple of weeks ago about approaching strangers on the street to make their portraits with their knowledge and consent. If that honorable old idea (current paragons include Scott Schuman and Brandon Stanton) appeals to you, you really must not miss Round 3 of Iain Blake's 100 Strangers project. (A comment turned me on to this at the time.) Really not much to add, but I felt joy clicking through this collection on Flickr. I found myself thinking entirely about the people and not about the photography.

Dora goodman
Leica Q2
Painting detail
Larry Laszlo

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TOP’s Upcoming Dye Transfer Print Sale—Wait, What, How? Why?!


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Written by Ctein

It's not normal to announce a TOP print sale this far in advance, but Mike and I have been planning this one since the beginning of the year. It's time for the big reveal.

Ctein's Thanksgiving Dye Transfer Inventory Print Offer
Starting on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the USA) and running for one week, Mike and I will be having a unique and massive dye transfer TOP sale. Every dye transfer print I have remaining in my inventory, regardless of size and rarity, will be on sale for $650. That's only modestly higher than

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Blog Note


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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[Yr. Hmbl. Ed. is taking a few days off for battery rechargement. Back soon!]

Battery

The Appetite for Work


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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[Editorial note: that "Angry Mob" post was a joke, just so everyone understands. However, it's going to take me a little longer to finish the "Baker's Dozen At the Museum" post. I'll continue to work on it over the weekend, I promise. —Mike the Ed.]

I've learned a lot about photography from Carl Weese. He should write a book.

Carl's the one who first explained bokeh to me (bo-ke aji or "bokeh" being the visual quality or qualities of out-of-focus blur). He also said, in the '90s, that "digital is the coming-of-age of color; black

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Flash in the Pan


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Guest post by Jay Burleson

Burleson flash

Jay Burleson, Flash in the Pan, 1756 French Infantry
Musket Demonstration, Fort Ticonderoga, New York

This photograph is, for several reasons, one of my favorites. Taken in 2015 with a Leica M9 and 75mm ƒ/2, the exposure, composition, and timing were all done well; the subjects are isolated from the background; and all three reenactors express varied and intriguing facial expressions. Most of all, you are seeing a demonstration of an extremely geeky process, frozen in the midst of happening—the firing of a flintlock musket. (Yes, referencing the recent TOP article, firearms aficionados also

Burleson flintlock

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Print Sale Ends Soon


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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LeighPerryPrint-smallOur current TOP Print Offer, "Car Park" by reader Leigh Perry from Australia, ends today at noon Pacific Time, only a few hours from now. Last chance! [UPDATE: Sale ended at 12 noon Pacific Time on August 20th. Thanks to everyone who participated! —Ed.].

I'd like to thank Leigh and Ctein, as well as those who have ordered prints so far. This is one of my favorites. It has the clean, enigmatic graphism and color sophistication of a modernist painting. To my eye it morphs between a distant view of a seascape and the gritty close-in reality

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Angry Mob


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Angry mob

These people came to the door. They want me to go work on the Baker’s Dozen “In the Museum” portfolio. They seem like they mean it. So I think I’d better go work on that. I’ll be back soon….

Mike

Original contents copyright 2019 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.

Amazon.comAmazon UKAmazon Canada
Amazon GermanyB&H PhotoAdorama

(To see all the comments, click on the “Comments” link below.)
Featured

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Mysterious Missing Airplanes


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Amelia-2

Amelia Earhart in 1937 in front of her Lockheed Electra

Using the faintest of photographic clues as inspiration, one of history's greatest treasure hunters may be on the brink of explaining one of the 20th century's enduring mysteries. Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is hot on the case of the mysterious disappearance of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, looking for her Lockheed on the slope of an underwater volcanic mountain.

People like mysteries, but people especially like it when mysteries are solved. For instance, the world's attention was transfixed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar

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Fuji Fire Sale


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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Fuji x-h1 with booster

Here I was, contemplating the notion of writing a post about the Fuji X-H1 possibly being my favorite camera of any kind, ever, and now this. From a fire sale price of $1,299 that I kept harping on and on about as a great whopping bargain—which it was—the Fuji X-H1 and the battery back / vertical grip is suddenly an unbelievable $999.95. (Here it is on Amazon, and at Adorama.)

For a camera/grip combination that debuted at $2,199 a year and a half ago!

Granted, this could well mean that an X-H2 is sitting on the runway

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Sunday Support Group: The Meatitarian Diet (OT)


This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer


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People need to eat plants (hear me out. I'm going somewhere with this). We were evolved to eat plants. Our teeth and intestines are formed so we can eat plants. Our nearest animal relatives eat almost nothing but plants. Our bodies function best on plants. Study after study after study closely correlates the health of populations to the percentages of plant food in their diets. All manner of medical outcomes—from the incidence of diabetes, to the health of our veins and arteries, to sleep, to headaches, to joint aches, to longevity—all improve when we eat plants. Plants contain hundreds and

Food over medicine

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Sunday Support Group: The Meatitarian Diet (OT)


This post is by from The Online Photographer


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




People need to eat plants (hear me out. I'm going somewhere with this). We were evolved to eat plants. Our teeth and intestines are formed so we can eat plants. Our nearest animal relatives eat almost nothing but plants. Our bodies function best on plants. Study after study after study closely correlates the health of populations to the percentages of plant food in their diets. All manner of medical outcomes—from the incidence of diabetes, to the health of our veins and arteries, to sleep, to headaches, to joint aches, to longevity—all improve when we eat plants. Plants contain hundreds and

Food over medicine

Continue reading “Sunday Support Group: The Meatitarian Diet (OT)”