Pentax K5 IIs vs Canon 5DMKII

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The argument isn’t a new one… which camera is best for my work… which camera can offer me more bang for the buck… In my case, I’ve owned a number of film and digital cameras and learned through much trial and error. Having owned and used the Hasselblad H2 and being (previously) pressured by other photographers to buy Canon, I had purchased a 5D Mark II but after two years of swearing and fussing I sold it! I’ve not looked back and there’s good reason not to.

I’ve found many photographers that are happy with Canon products and some whom I’m a fan of their work, work done with the same model camera I owned (5D Mark II). In many cases, it would be easy to assume the problem was user error and if I were reading this and had never owned this model, I might assume the same but uniquely enough the Canon 5DII has two major defects that some people are not aware of… banding and noise! Amazingly, I’ve seen the reports that claim the 5DII has very low noise and yet the copy I owned was PLAGUED with noise and plagued with banding problems.

Having sold it last year and letting go of some great prime lenses in the process, I then chose to purchase an APS-C camera. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have occurred to me as the APS-C format has always been associated with amateur photography. Doing my due diligence on the new Pentax K5 IIs I was intrigued by the claims by DXO that the K5 (it’s predecessor) was capable or rivaling the image quality of the 5DII and even beating it by ONE POINT! That impressed me to say the least, for many reasons. Forgoing the chances of being wrong, I bought a K5 IIs model and waited for delivery, which came in December of 2012. After selecting a 17-70 zoom lens and then some older Super Takumar, Pentax-A and Zeiss Jena prime lenses, I set out to test the capabilities of this little camera. To say I was astounded is an understatement. The K5 IIs isn’t just good, it’s impressively good! It’s damn good, it’s good enough to make you think twice about taking a full-frame camera with you when you leave the house.

I own several film cameras and typically when hiking or city walking I use my larger Tamrac bag to carry my gear and being able to take a camera that is light, small and packed with a big punch makes my trips all that much easier. At 16.2 Megapixels it rivals the Canon 1Ds Mark III, Nikon D7000 and many other competitor models. The fact that it can go Lens-to-Lens with the Nikon D3X can BEAT it in image quality is pretty remarkable considering the substantial cost difference between the two cameras. For me that cost savings was huge.

Below are some images shot with both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Pentax K5 IIs to give you a better understanding of just how good this camera is. No doubt, some will say they could get better results with the Canon than what I’m posting here and that is precisely my point! Canon pumps out so many cameras these days that quality control is, in my opinion, as serious problem for the camera maker. They seem to have a ‘so what’ attitude towards issues like banding and noise which are huge problems and things that cannot be easily corrected with software.

First is the Canon 5D Mark II (Non-HDR).  This picture was taken with a Canon TS-E II 24mm L series lens, arguably Canon’s BEST lens for landscapes and architecture.pennybacker

Second, The Pentax K5 IIs, 3 shots stitched (non-HDR).  This was taken with a Super Takumar 28mm lens, made in 1968!  This is NOT considered one of Pentax’s best lenses and only received a rating of 7 out of 10.Pennybacker_Panorama2a

To make things more ‘fair’ as the second image (above) was taken under better daylight conditions and stitched from three tiles, here’s a single image (below) taken just after sunset on the Gulf of Mexico, where the light is very dim, using the K5 IIs.  As you will see, there is little to no noise noticeable in this image shot at 100 ISO and using only a cheap Cokin ND Grad filter and a Pentax 17-70 zoom lens:

Destinsunset

And then there’s this (below): a three-shot bracketed image, processed in CS5 and Pro-Efex 2 HDR software, no filters and using a 17-70 zoom lens. The colors, the clarity, the image quality all rival many full-frame cameras and give Canon and Nikon quite the run for their money.

Capital Storm_Pentax K5 IIs

So what is the ultimate camera…?  Well the answer is it depends!  It depends on what you plan to do with it.  What kind of images you want to take.  What type of lenses you require for your work and whether or not you plan to sell the images you take.  For me, I’ve sold stock images taken on my Pentax K5 IIs and never sold a thing I shot with my Canon 5D II. Does that mean I’ve simply gotten better at my work?  Perhaps but perhaps it also means I’m now utilizing equipment that meets with my needs as a photographer.  Either way, Pentax has earned a customer for life.

– John Gracen

Amateur Photography Myths

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I was reading something the other day and came across this blog by Ken Rockwell (a photographer that posts frequent opinions on equipment) about How To Spot an Amateur. I should note that I don’t make it a habit of reading blogs of other photographers or so-called “equipment gurus” (I don’t even like creating my own blogs) but this one caught my attention.  While the post: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-spot-an-amateur.htm, does highlight some (key word here being SOME) aspects of what amateur’s do in the field, I have to say I disagree with several of the comments Mr. Rockwell stated in his blog, primarily:

KR: “Backpacks are not for carrying anything you need as you’re walking around, like cameras or lenses. Bag makers sell a lot of expensive packs to a lot of people new to the hobby. Don’t fall into this trap.”

– I find these comments ironic and grossly incorrect! Peter Lik, arguably one of the best landscape photographers of this century, uses a backpack to carry his gear in the field. Are you calling him an ‘Amateur’?  Never mind that he makes infinitely more money than Mr. Rockwell and has a well known name, outside of online blogging…. I use only Tamrac Expedition series bags.  I like to put duct tape on mine to distract would-be thieves from thinking it’s full of expensive equipment (which it is).  I’ve also painted my bags with spray paint to further give the impression that my bag belongs to a bum!  Frankly, my gear isn’t there to impress, it’s there to help me get the shot when I need it and lugging a Pelican 1510 hard case simply isn’t practical for many of the places I go.

Backpacks are more practical as they are simply easier to carry and get around in the field. I would NEVER take my gear on long hikes without a good backpack as there are simply too many obstructions like rocks or boulders that you may need to climb over, tree branches (which have wreaked havoc on my mechanical shutter releases) and mud, rain, sand and dirt.  I own several older prime lenses (Zeiss Flektogon 35, Zeiss Flektogon 20, Super Takumar 28, Pentax-A SMC 50….).  These lenses can be bought for $40-$300 in most cases.  They are relatively cheap to own and yet I still protect them like my children, as they are no longer made and not so easy to replace.

Anyone that carries a $2000 camera with a $1000 or $2000 lens into the field without ANY protection other than a strap and his armpit should get a mental wellness checkup!

What I find is most amateurs or novices buy a ‘cheap’ backpack or worse use a plastic grocery bag (my brother-in-law did this), a ‘cheap’ tripod (if any) and an expensive DSLR with even more expensive lens. Now that’s the sure sign of an amateur. I use only Tamrac bags for one reason: durability! They make the strongest, most photographer friendly bags available, period! Companies like CLIK use clever marketing to make you think their bags are well padded but I’ve not been impressed with their products.  My Tamrac Expedition 8 has literally been used and abused and it always keeps my gear safe in rain, heat, mud and hiking!

KR: “It’s Ok To Buy And Own Everything Ever Made, Just Never Try To Bring More Than A Camera And Lens Or Two Anyplace At Once. People With Less Experience, Just Like Inexperienced Or Infrequent Travelers, Bring Everything Out Of Fear That They Might Need It.”

– This I partially agree with as my idea of bringing one lens means a good prime lens and that makes sense when shooting landscapes. However, if you shoot both film and digital as I do, you may want to take both. Why two cameras?  Perspective!  I typically will take my Fuji GX617 in a lot of instances where I also have my Nikon 800E.  The panoramic look of the 617 gives a whole different expression than the 2/3 format of a FF digital. I can have one composition with two completely different images.  One can even be suited for stock with the other is suited for fine art.  Why limit yourself?  If you’re making the effort to hike a distance, why not take full advantage of it.

KR: “It’s inelegant to put a polarizer over a UV filter. You might get vignetting with a wide lens, and you’re inviting extra ghosts and flare from the unneeded UV filter that should have been removed before you placed any other filter over the lens. The UV is just a mechanical prophylactic, it doesn’t do anything optically today. Only use a polarizer if you need it, which is rarely. If you don’t need it, it costs you about two stops of light, meaning you’ll have to shoot at larger apertures, slower shutter speeds or higher ISOs to get the same result as you would if you took off your polarizer and replaced it with your UV filter.”

– First, I don’t give a rats-butt about elegance when I’m out shooting (though he is right about using a UV filter – I never use them).  However his comment of, “only use a polarizer if you need it, which is rarely…” Really? If you plan to shoot landscapes much and especially during daylight hours between 9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. (in most regions) you will want to take a good CPL with you. Shooting in strong sunlight, the polarizing filter is invaluable to a landscape shooter, in fact I know several professional photographers that regularly shoot their models using a polarizer for effect. I use two types of filters, the first are screw-on of which I have two: a B+W Kaesmann CPL and a B+W ND Grad. I also use Schneider square filters. I’m sure some 14 year old kid in a small room can claim, “I can do all that with Photoshop… dude”. To which my reply would be… how would you know? Have your ever gotten up from your desk, left your room, hiked to a mountain top and stood behind a film camera or DSLR and used a good set of hard filters??? Sadly, that would be rhetorical question as I already know the answer… NO!  Kids these days are all consumed with iPhones, iPads, laptops and blogging on social media networks.

Relying heavily on Photoshop, in my opinion, is a poor excuse for failing to get the shot right in the field. Ansel was a master of the darkroom however he was also a master of technical application behind the lens.  CS5 and Lightroom 4 were designed for post-processing, not inventing something that wasn’t there. I get that painting in a sky is easier than waiting for the right weather condition to form however taking a super-crappy image, shot through a plastic lens and then adding layer-upon-layer of vignetting, digital blur and wizardry doesn’t make you a great photographer!  Digital filters do not have the same effect a good hard filter offers. I use Graduated Coral, Neutral-Density, Polarizing and Warming filters to add effect to different compositions, depending on the time of day, location and how I feel about the shot.

KR: “Pros use their gear so much that it gets thrashed. Here’s what my friend Karl Grobl’s gear looks like. He earns his living with this gear every day, and by now it looks even worse than when he took those photos. The surest way to spot a hobbyist is that all his gear and tripods look brand new, and they probably are.”

– There is truth in this statement. There is also stupidity in it as well! The term “PRO” refers to anyone that earns a living or part of their living by taking photographs. This can be many things to many people. My brother-in-law used to be a wedding photographer. His equipment was thrashed. Mostly because he was broke and couldn’t afford better equipment. His lenses, some of which worked, some not so much… his camera a Canon 5DII had issues: the light meter and histogram were way out of calibration… he struggled to get the shot right even though after much post-processing (remember the 14 year old with his PHOTOSHOP), his work always came out looking good. How did he do it with beat-up gear? He spent 3 times the effort post-processing his images. That’s not professional that’s just dumb! My gear shows wear, certainly but if you don’t take care of your gear it won’t take care of you.  Whenever a piece of my gear breaks I either fix it or replace it.  I don’t have time to screw around with hoping my gear will work when I need it to.

My good friend Vince Tanzilli is very particular about his gear.  He photographs celebrities and people daily and gets paid for doing it. Vinnie’s let me borrow a few things in the past but only because he’s seen how well I keep my gear and knows he’ll get it back in as good of shape or I’ll buy him a new one.  Making sure your camera’s in good working order, making sure if you have zoom lenses that they actually zoom (even manually… my brother-in-law’s didn’t) and making sure your batteries are charged and your storage cards are reformatted after each shoot. I recently trashed two mechanical cable releases for my Fuji camera at a cost of $30 each, from climbing over boulders and getting them caught on tree branches.  It sucks, believe me, but whenever that happens I continue working and replace them later.

KR: “Someone shooting with a DSLR on a tripod in daylight probably has a few screws loose. VR further eliminates the need for tripods. If I shoot a 15-pound 400mm lens, I use a monopod; not to steady it, but just to hold the weight.”

– I’d like to address this statement in particular.  Sure, a good DSLR with a fast lens and shake-reduction (which very few lenses, and even fewer camera bodes have BTW) can get a good image at a shutter speed between a 160 and 1000 shutter speed, but daylight is subjective and what about shooting a vista, in daylight, while the sun is at 90 degrees to you, with a film camera and an F5.6 or even F8 lens… Handheld? Monopod? I don’t think so!  I don’t know about you but film is expensive to buy and process and can be quite unforgiving if you’re camera isn’t still.

Can you shoot a Medium or Large Format film camera handheld? Some, certainly. However, the image quality won’t be the best. Take my old Hasselblad H2 with 50-110 zoom lens.  That camera was a beast at 10 pounds.  Good luck handholding that sucker!  The fact is, light is subjective to the camera and lens. If you are using a DSLR and F4 or faster lens, certainly you can use a monopod or even handhold your camera and get a pretty decent image. However, if you are trying to shoot an old barn, skyscraper with clouds moving above it or if you’re shooting in a windy condition for example, you might need a tripod. Monopods are great but they are not a ‘cure all’ for every situation.

Understand this, a Full Frame-35mm equivalent DSLR can record less light than a Medium or Large Format camera.  Large format cameras on the other hand, like the Wista 45SP film field camera coupled with a Schneider 90mm lens can record infinitely more light than a DSLR however the depth of field is much more shallow, requiring smaller F-stops.  As a result, the lens is slower and requires a tripod… even in good daylight.  Even most Medium Format camera’s are much heavier than their DSLR counterparts.  More light (larger format) and a slower lens = less noise (but requires a tripod).  Less light (smaller formats like FF digital or APS-C) and a faster lens = more noise and potentially no tripod or just a monopod.  Which is better… it depends!  Action, Sports, Photo-jouranlism… go with a fast zoom on a DSLR.  Landscapes, Architecture… may be a good DSLR with a F3.5 or slower prime lens or you might want to go MF or LF here.  When you walk up to the life-sized pictures that Ansel Adams photographed, you will see why he used large format film over 35mm.  The detail is simply stunning.

You see, photography isn’t just about “being there” it’s about being there at the right TIME of day (or having a good lighting kit or reflector kit), understanding how to compose your work, having good knowledge of your equipment and knowing how to control the available light.

My intent here is not to discredit the better key points that Ken has laid out but help people to realize that having good working equipment, a solid tripod and a good backpack is NOT the sign of an amateur but actually a common sign of someone intent on getting the shot correct while protecting your gear, which should be your goal when you’re in the field.

Pentax K5 IIs vs. Canon 5DMK2 vs. Hasselblad H2

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Pentax K5IIs– Pentax K5 IIs, 17-70 F4 zoom lens

Hasselblad H2 with P30 back

Hasselblad H2 with P30 back

Canon 5D2 with 50mm F1.4 prime lens

Canon 5D2 with 50mm F1.4 prime lens

For years I’ve enjoyed visiting the Griffith Observatory. It’s one of the few places in Los Angeles with absolutely amazing views of the entire city. Beginning several years back, I shot this same scene, first with a Hasselblad H2 and P30 back coupled to a 50-110 zoom lens. The combined weight was about 10 pounds and needless to say, I didn’t carry that camera into the field much, even with a good tripod. The second go around was with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 50mm F1.4 prime lens, not an L series lens but one of Canon’s better primes; not nearly as heavy but still best used with a tripod. The most recent trip I shot this with a Pentax K5 IIs and a 17-70 F4 zoom lens. This new Pentax camera is so light and compact for a DSLR I’m finding that I hand-hold it more than any other camera I’ve owned; aside from a point-and-shoot. The weight is impressive!  All three images were shot using a Gitzo Tripod.

When comparing all three images at full resolution, I was amazed. The difference in sensor size and pixels is as follows:

– Hasselblad H2 with P30 back – 30 megapixels in a 6 x 4.5 medium format CCD sensor.
– Canon 5DMK2, 21 megapixels in a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor.
– Pentax K5 IIs, 16.1 megapixels in an APS-C (1.5 crop) CMOS sensor.

While the Pentax is half the megapixels and virtually half the sensor size as the Hasselblad, the image quality is substantially better. Both of these images were shot with zooms, though a Hasselblad 50-110 zoom can set you back about $4000 compared to Pentax’s 17-70 zoom at around $500 (quite a huge difference). Camera costs are even more skewed with a new Hasselblad being $$,$$$ while the Pentax K5 IIs was around $1300. One is considered Pro grade, the other Prosumer. So why pay more for the H2 over the K5 IIs… noise and file size. That’s sadly about it! Years ago I would have never attempted to compare an APS-C camera to a MF digital camera like Hasselblad but Pentax has seriously hit a home-run with this one.

And what about the image shot on the 5D2 with a good prime lens… actually, the two images when compared at full resolution are very close, while I favor the dynamic range and noise to have faired better with the Pentax. That’s full-frame with a prime being challenged by APS-C with a zoom. Normally that math shouldn’t compute but in this case it does.

The Three images all have noise and each sensor was straining to produce clarity with objects set at near infinity like the buildings in the background. This isn’t unusual however since the time of day and loss of natural light makes any camera strain to bring the image into good focus.

When looking at the detail in the concrete of the Observatory building itself though, the Hasselblad P30 image is blurry. The H series zoom lens has always been said to be soft and it’s possible being an evening shot that it could have been back-focused slightly however I doubt it. I shot the same lens for several years and never had trouble focusing and typically did so manually as it was a heavy and tight turning lens. The Canon F1.4 prime lens was easily set manually and the Pentax 17-70 zoom lens was tested using autofocus first, then checked manually and then tested again using auto-focus.

Some people that are reading this will conclude the test is not fair as two zooms cannot equally be tested against a prime and vice-versa and I would submit that you would have a point… however, as I had what I had at the time each shot was taken, this is the closest comparison I could achieve with each of the three systems, shot at nearly the same time and as close to the same composition and perspective as possible.

While the Canon produces a good image, the Anti-Aliasing filter used by Canon, IMHO is simply too strong. I’ve shot thousands of images and rarely have I had problems with moire. The real problem I had with Canon has been banding! Their settings and/or software design as integrated with the CMOS sensor creates a substantial amount of unwanted noise when shooting at sunset or low-light and in many cases that I noticed, causes banding (faint vertical lines showing up in your final composition). I had heard many other Canon owner’s complain about the issue so I’m not aware if Canon corrected this problem with the 5DMK3, I can only speak of the system I owned.

Yes, I know it has been several years since Canon introduced the 5DMK2 and Pentax has clearly had time to tweak their software to get the most out of the new CMOS sensors and yes the lack of the anti-aliasing filter does give the K5 IIs a slight advantage however… the Hasselblad’s Phase One P30 digital back has no AA filter. They don’t use them in most MF systems.

So what’s the moral here… well, I’m sorry to say… there isn’t one! All three systems are good systems in the right hands with the right composition.  If you have money and are willing to buy a new Hasselblad H4 with P60 back for $32,000 then I have no doubt the image quality would be hard to rival by most any DSLR.  However, if you are budget conscious and are trying to decide whether to buy an older Canon FF camera vs a new APS-C, you may want to look at the above files at full-size and also consider that DXO labs tested the Pentax K5 II and ranked it’s overall image quality better than the 5DMK2!  What about Nikon?  Well, I haven’t gotten my hands on the D800E as of yet but I have seen the test results and it looks very promising.  Who knows, I may put it to the test in the very near future.  For now, when I’m not shooting film on one of my medium format cameras I’ll be keeping the K5 IIs in my bag wherever I go.

This exercise was meant to entertain, complain, enlighten and bewilder. Hopefully it has accomplished all of that ;-).

Good night!

Back to Cali

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During a recent trip to Los Angeles, I took the opportunity while there to shoot a couple of my favorite places. El Matador Beach north of Malibu and the Griffith Observatory. While I shot both of these compositions on film as well, the transparencies are still at the lab. Here is what I captured with my Pentax K-5 IIs and 17-70 zoom lens. Griffith Observatory

El Matador Beach

El Matador Sunset

Digital Vs. Film… Continued

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I’m including in this post a link to a great excerpt on the ongoing argument of Digital vs. Film (analogue). http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/not-film.shtml. This issue has been argued so often and with so little real positive results that it begs the question… why continue it? Yet people often do, as they feel this need to be right about what they shoot.  I think it important to point out that while you will find images in this blog shot on Canon and Pentax DSLR cameras, you will also find those that have been shot on Velvia 100 film using a Fuji GX617 camera and B+W Kaesman polarizer.

For me, I shoot both film and digital and each are unique and valuable in their own right. Digital cannot compete with the Dynamic Range and saturated colors of Velvia film just as film cannot compete with the speed and flexibility of a good DSLR. The Canon 5DMKII and 5DMKIII and the Nikon D700 and D800 and Pentax K-5 are all good cameras. Whether they are “great” cameras depends on what you are using them for. If I were going to a Laker game I would surely want to bring along a Nikon, Canon or Pentax DSLR. Capturing a moving airplane… DSLR. Shooting birds in flight… DSLR. Shooting the Grand Canyon at sunset… take your pic (pun intended). Shooting the Grand Canyon at sunset with the intent of blowing the image up to 30×50 or larger and putting in a gallery… the best choice would be film, no question! Of course, the 60 and 200 megapixel backs now available by Phase One are challenging that statement more and more. This of course is a horse of another color as medium format SLR cameras are quickly becoming the gold standard for professional shooters.

So why film at all then? Well, it’s hard to explain to someone that has never shot film or shot it for any period of time. There are many reasons, all of which will be highly debated but here they are:

1) The Tonal Range of film is so hard to beat by a digital sensor. Sure, digital sensors are making leaps and bounds in terms of dynamic range but Film is so simple: organic emulsion in layers that has a chemical reaction to the light reflected upon it. A Digital image is an engineer’s interpretation of what light should look like. Digital sensors must be engineered and then reverse engineered with anti-aliasing or low pass and even color correcting filters to correct for moire. A problem not experienced in film as film does not use mechanical pixels.

2) Film is romantic to a degree. It’s like a woman, you must keep it at the right temperature, then take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to shoot, then you must be careful loading it and (if you are using a rangefinder camera), you’ll need a good light meter and have to guess at what is the best shutter speed for your composition. In other words, film is temperamental.

3) Panoramic photography: this is where film takes the center stage. I was talking with a friend of mine and fellow photographer about the ability to capture on digital the wide-panoramic shots that you can get with film when using a 6×12, 6×17 or 6×24 film camera. My friend loaned me a Nodal point slide-shift adapter which allows you to turn a DSLR or SLR camera on edge and move the camera back on a tripod to center its lens over the “nodal point” and then in degreed increments, pan the camera taking a series of images that can later be stitched. After using it for several weeks, I returned and we compared notes. I surmised that only certain pictures could be accurately shot and effectively stitched to create a viable panorama that would match a film image. My friend said he could do anything on digital that could be done on film. Both of us needing the work of a master to compare turned to the panoramic prints shot by Peter Lik. We took 50 prints in total and reviewed them closely. Out of the 50 we reviewed, we both concluded that 38 of the 50 could NOT have been recreated, with any degree of accuracy, on digital format. My friend changed his view of film that day.  It is because when photographing fast moving clouds or water, set against an immovable background like mountains, trees or a monument (especially at sunset or sunrise) you need a single image to get all the elements working cohesively in the same plane.  When clouds move and the sun is rising or falling, you have just seconds and those seconds really count.  Most DSLR and SLR cameras (shooting RAW) need time to process the image and that in-camera lag time, coupled with shutter lag, allows nature to continue doing what it does best… move.  Waves don’t stop just because your camera is busy, clouds don’t pause and the sun… well its schedule is as regular as it gets.  So while you can make some cool looking panorama’s on a DSLR or SLR camera with an adapter and much post-processing and stitching, this is one arena where the panoramic film camera has little, if any competition.

4) Film images adorn the halls of the White House, Buckingham Palace, the Library and Halls of Congress and many noted places throughout the world. Digital is still so new it hasn’t had time to make such achievements, except in small doses by those able and willing to pay for the expensive MF SLR camera equipment. I still recall my first digital camera. It was 3 megapixels and about the same size of a Mamiya 7II with a 3.5 hard disk that also worked in a computers floppy disk drive, which is what the camera was designed around. The images were poor and mostly used to document work in the field as I was a construction manager at the time. This was just 12 years ago! A Hasselblad MF film camera on the other hand accompanied astronauts to the moon in the 1960’s and took the first images of the gray planet to bring back to the world. Canon and Nikon have never been to the moon, let alone traveled in space.

Can digital surpass film… absolutely! The Hubble Telescope has proved that, taking extremely large and high resolution images of distant planets and galaxies and beaming them back to earth at near light speed. The cost however would bankrupt a small country!  Someday, sadly, film cameras may become a thing of the past, the “once was” and “back when’s” yet for the time being I’m happy employing my Fuji GX617 every chance I get and I have no plans to retire it anytime soon… even if Mamiya or Pentax come out with a high resolution, MF SLR camera that the average person can afford.

Palace of Fine Art

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palaceoffineartThe Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco is such a cool place to visit.  Every time I go, I’m reminded of how tall this structure truly is; I feel like an ant standing under it’s giant columns and massive dome.  It’s shear scale is quite impressive and statues stand like guardians of the city.  If you haven’t been, make it a destination on your next visit to SFO.

Walk on the Wild Side

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The John Ferraro Building (DWP headquarters) is home to an awesome pool with some of the nicest fountains (and views) in the city.  I recently shot this same location on Portra 400 film and haven’t got around to drum scanning it to compare the film with these digital files.

Film Revolution: It’s Not Dead Yet!

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Many of my former pictures were shot on Canon’s 5D Mark II. After several years of post processing to sharpen files that I felt weren’t as sharp as I would’ve liked them to be, I decided to let my Canon equipment go and change my strategy: spend more time getting quality prints and less time post processing! I’m attaching two pictures (cropped images of the original RAW and .TIF files) which tell the tale of why digital hasn’t completely replaced film.

Architectural Interiors

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My work is a mix of commercial architecture, landscapes, cityscapes, things that I find unique or appealing and even conventional houses. When called upon I can shoot architectural interiors for realtors, homeowners and property owners alike. Though it may not have the artistic appeal of the Golden Gate Bridge or a decaying barn in an open field, this home is nothing short of a craftsman style masterpiece and was a joy to shoot.