Roger W. Hicks

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: May 01, 2007 0 comments

The name gives it away. The Fotoman 810PS is indeed an 8x10" point-and-shoot (PS) camera. Well, sort of. It brings you that huge, beautiful 8x10" (203x254mm) image in a camera that is more basic than you may readily imagine.

Unlike smaller point-and-shoots, there's no autofocus or autoexposure, and even with a wide angle lens (150mm, pretty much the...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: May 01, 2007 0 comments

Quality, according to the old saying, doesn't cost: it pays. These new manual-focus, Nikon-fit "ZF" lenses are a perfect illustration of that saying. Sure, they are built by Hirofumi Kobayashi in Japan, but they are built to Zeiss standards from Zeiss designs, and they feel like the Zeiss lenses of yesteryear: smooth, solid, beautifully finished, with a lot of...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Mar 01, 2007 0 comments

One reason why digital camera users may hesitate to make the switch to film--better quality, proven archival keeping, and lower cost--is that the cameras aren't complicated enough. For example, my Nikon D70 has around 24 buttons, levers, knobs, dials, trap doors, and switches, many of them multifunctional, plus an LCD read-out and a screen on the back. For...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

The Samoca 35 LE definitely wants to be taken seriously. The box is a classic piece of high 1950s design, and proudly announces "Exposure Meter Built-In" and "Lens - F 2.8." Open it up and there's a really classic leather ever-ready case with metal-rimmed, red velvet-lined removable top, so you can use the camera in the half case. Or you can take it...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

Despite innumerable premature reports of its death, medium format refuses to lie down. Instead, it polarizes increasingly into large-sensor digital (up to about 2x the size of full-frame 35mm) and highly specialized roll film--though the two biggest announcements of the show were actually traditional dual-platform (film/digital) SLRs.

Rollei deserves first...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2007 1 comments

This would appear to be a new golden age for rangefinder users. There are now three major systems (Leica, Voigtländer, and Zeiss) and two minor (Epson and Rollei). All use the same cross-compatible lens mount, for which an extensive and excellent range of lenses is available, and all compete with one another, albeit at different price points. Who could have imagined this...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

The time-honored Shutterbug Weird Stuff category is for all the products that don't fit in anywhere else: the sort of thing where a friend who was at the show tells you, "You wouldn't believe what I saw..." As well as the glorious examples in the subhead, we can add online caricatures, limpet-mine camera supports, Internet telephones, dental...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

Large format cameras, in the sense of "cameras that take large sheets of film," are ever rarer at photokina. There are still plenty of cameras, and sometimes (it seems) almost as many manufacturers, but because so many of the manufacturers are so tiny, making a few score cameras a year, they are known by word of mouth in the large format "fine art"...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jun 01, 2006 0 comments

Rubber chickens . Chocolate visiting cards. A camera support that looks (and performs) like a big, sticky limpet. Every bit as much as cameras, films, and imaging software, this weird and wonderful stuff is what the Photo Marketing Association show is about.

We are talking, after all, about marketing. It is literally their middle name.

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jun 01, 2006 0 comments

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the show, at least in conventional photography, was the new 35mm rangefinder stereo camera from Horseman. This shoots stereo pairs in the standard format--2x23x27mm in standard stereo mounts--so they can be projected or viewed with the binocular viewer that is supplied with the camera.

If the camera itself looks oddly...

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