A Collector’s Life For Me: The final frame Kodak Instamatic 500
When Tony Kemplen resolved to use a different film camera each week, he discovered a treasure trove of lost gems
Say the word ‘Instamatic’ and the first thing to come to mind (for those of a certain age) is likely to be the mass-produced, ultra-basic, chunky little cameras that were the staple of family and holiday snaps in the 1960s and ’ 70s. Made by the million, the Instamatics used the foolproof 126-cartridge system, taking 28x28mm square images on 35mm film and had just one perforation per frame. Even though the cartridges are no longer made, I bet many a household has one of these cameras tucked away somewhere. They are still a very common find in charity shops and at car-boot sales, but sadly the chances of using them are very slim. Short of reloading an old cartridge, a process which is elaborate and far from perfect, the only hope is to find an unused film, which will of course be considerably out of date and possibly wildly expensive. I’ve seen a 30-year-old cartridge fetch more than £20 on eBay, but luckily I managed to pick up a couple for less than a fiver each.
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Does full-frame really matter? (Sony Alpha 11 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
The APS-C-sized sensor has changed dramatically over the past few years. Tim Coleman tests the image quality of the best APS-C sensor, used in the Sony Alpha 11, against the most popular full-frame model, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II
With the launch of the 21.1 -million-pixel Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the 24.6-million- pixel Sony Alpha 900 in 2008, high-pixel, full-frame DSLR cameras became more ‘affordable’ for enthusiasts At this point, the sensors in these cameras gave a degree of image quality that was superior to that of their smaller APS-C-format counterparts, through improvements in the areas of detail resolution, dynamic range, low-light performance and control of image noise.
Three years later, the 24.3-million-pixel resolution of Sony’s APS-C-sized sensor, which is found in its Alpha 65,77 and NEX-7 cameras, matches the pixel count of the best of these older-generation full-frame models.
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Bertie Gregory is just 18 years old, but already he has a number of remarkable wildlife images in his portfolio. He talks to Oliver Atwell about his approach to photography, the future and his involvement with the 2020 Vision project
There is a new young generation of enthusiasts entering the world of photography We profiled one in AP 10 December 2011, when we interviewed 18-year-old macro photographer Jack Hood. We’ve also seen a number of young photographers submitting images to our Reader Spotlight pages. What’s perhaps most impressive, though, is the quality of photographs being produced by these young amateurs, and 18-year-old Bertie Gregory is no exception.
Bertie’s portfolio of wildlife images has steadily grown over the past few years to form an impressive body of work, the likes of which would make any seasoned professional jealous. Crucially, Bertie’s dedication to photography – as well as his passion for the natural world – has led to him being selected as one of 20 young photographers to contribute work to 2020 Vision, a multimedia project that is attempting to address the link between people’s well-being and the restoration of natural environmental systems. The fact that he has managed to accomplish this at just 18 years old makes it all the more impressive. Yet Bertie has received no college or university training in photography, although he is currently studying zoology at the University of Bristol, and is entirely self-taught.
(more…) «Great expectations»
Chris Gatcum shows you how to add focus to your wildlife photographs
WHETHER it be feather or fur, the textures in a wildlife image can really bring your subject to life. However, these details can also be difficult to reveal. Without a degree of sharpening, details can blend into a single homogenous tone, especially if you need to crop your shot to make your subject more prominent in the frame. All digital images benefit from a certain degree of sharpening, no matter how expensive (or otherwise) your camera and lenses are, simply because of the way in which digital images are formed. There are two options when it comes to choosing where you sharpen your images: in-camera or in your image editing software. If you record raw files, software- based sharpening is the only option, and even if you shoot JPEGs, sharpening your images in your editing program is the better option.
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Frans Lanting recounts how he took this image of a group of chimpanzees in Senegal and gained an astonishing insight into their behavior
MUCH of what we know about wild chimpanzees comes from studies of forest communities in equatorial Africa, but a group of savanna chimps living in north-west Africa is making us rethink the nature of our closest cousins. The chimps from Fongoli in south-east Senegal live in a zone where the forest gives way to an open savanna environment much like the landscape where early humans evolved. The savanna chimps do things differently from their forest cousins, largely because the environment is very different. They made headlines around the world when biological anthropologist Jill Pruetz observed them making primitive spears to hunt bushbabies, which upended our idea that only humans use weapons. Her work reveals a variety of cultural behaviours between chimps in different regions in much the same way as diversity between humans. I worked with her directly as I was working on a series about chimps.
This was a gruelling project. We followed the chimps for two months and covered 700km on foot carrying heavy packs. It was very hot and humid. This particular image was taken at a waterhole at the beginning of the rainy season. It was beastly hot and the Fongoli chimps like to cool off in the waterhole, defying the common notion that chimps don’t like water. I was keen to document this unique behavior, but the chimps were shy even after two months of tracking them daily. However, their regular visits to one secluded waterhole gave me the idea for an image that would put my camera in much closer proximity to them than I could ever be.
(more…) «Photo insight»
Nikon’s latest FX-format DSLR has a 36.3-million-pixel output, Expeed 3 image-processing engine and multi-area full HD video capture. Tim Coleman takes a first look at the D800
36.3-million- pixel, FX-format 135.9x24mm), CMOS sensor IS0100-6400 (expandable to 50-25,600) Full HD 1920×1080 video capture at 30p. 25p or 24p 3.2in. 921.600- dot LCD screen Prices (body only) D800 £2.399.99; D800E £2,689.99
NIKON’S D800 is the company’s second FX-format DSLR camera to be launched this year, joining the D4 that was released last month By virtue of its size, name and price, the D800 may seem a natural successor to the company’s D700. However, as its high pixel count surpasses that of even the company’s flagship D3X, Nikon has stated that the camera will sit alongside the D700 and D3X in the range – for now. I can see the lower price point of the D700 is still appealing, but the days of the D3X may be limited.
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Sony unveils whopper zoom
SONY has unveiled a 500mm f/4G ‘super-telephoto’ lens. The ‘rugged’ SAL500F40G 500mm is designed for use with Sony A-mount SLT (single lens translucent) and Sony DSLR cameras.
The lens, which has 11 elements in 10 groups, features three ED elements and is billed as Sony’s longest fixed-focal-length G lens to date.
The ‘weather-resistant’ optic will deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 750mm lens, using a camera with an APS-C-sized sensor.
The lens, which is built to order, is due out in April at a price yet to be announced, although Sony UK has confirmed that is expected to cost around £11,000
London Olympic chiefs issue fresh photo statement
AP seeks clarification from LOCOG
Committed to defending your photographic rights!
OLYMPICS organisers insist spectators will not face restrictions on the size of cameras they can take into the London 2012 stadium, just days after suggesting otherwise.
In a statement released to AP on 1 February, a spokesperson for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paraolympic Games (LOCOG) said: ‘Obviously we recognise that spectators will want to bring cameras into the Games. The only restrictions are around size and these restrictions are to prevent undue impact on other spectators. We also would not wish multi-point tripods used within the venues for the same reason.’
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