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The ‘Lookout’

Let’s step back once again into the Photojottings time machine, and head over to the south rim of the magnificent Grand Canyon, where we’ll find the ‘Lookout’ (now called Lookout Studio) during a late phase of construction.  In this literal glass plate window in time, we can observe Mary Colter’s vision of a structure designed to emulate the natural scenery …

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Nikon 35Ti review

The diminutive Nikon 35Ti was one of the very best pocket cameras that came out in the 1990s, and continues to be impressive even in the age of digital; with their massive megapixels that use complex and very expensive lens designs to work well with a sensor instead of film.  Ironically, the now 25+ year old Nikon 35Ti has one of the sharpest lenses I've ever come across; it just seems much sharper with more contrast along the sides than the newer lenses designed for digital cameras; which oddly are much larger and heavier, see the image with the Sony A7R and Sony FE Zeiss 35mm F/2.8 lens inside.

I've had this camera since about 2014 and use it quite often when traveling; it's small and never gets in the way, plus I know all the pics will come out good, and I won't need to waste time checking out my pictures when I get back to the hotel room at night like we all do with digital, right?

For those of you that want a pocket point and shoot camera capable of taking razor sharp pictures, and getting properly exposed slide film; this is your dream come true!!

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Cameo Cream Kodachome

Ding ding, hey pal, fill ‘er up, but before you do, take a picture of me and my gal!  I was photographing a home a few years ago, and noticed a large tray of slides on a table in the hobby room.  I asked the homeowner if she took them, and she didn’t really say, but offered them to me …

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West Roxbury Massachusetts time machine.

Let's fasten our seat belts, and get ready for a ride in the photojottings time machine!  Oh, and bring your jacket, it's late October and a bit chilly!

For the journey today, we'll head back about a hundred years and visit a quite, leafy neighborhood in West Roxbury, Mass.  Henry A Stanley photographed the scene somewhere around 1910-1920.  Detail in this century old (undated) 5x7" glass plate negative is stunning, (click image for larger size, shown here at 7000 pixels wide).  Check out the gas street lights, especially the close one in the upper extreme left side; the unique street sign to the right, and what looks like an early automobile way down the road.  The white blotches on the right are from the paper sleeve that stuck to the emulsion side over the years; I may try to remove it at some point, but I don't have the skill and nerve to try it right now.

The address for the house on the right is 218 Park St...

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Sony 24-70mm GM, Zeiss lens comparsions

I've finally completed the comparison page for the Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM, and Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F/4 lenses.

I'm surprised at the results at 24mm, and 70mm, the Zeiss is not really that much different at wide apertures.  The GM lens really shines in the centers at all apertures and focal lengths, and it's very noticeable in these crops.

The Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM (B&H Photo) would be great for someone (with deep pockets) that likes to shoot street scenes and landscapes, and wants near prime lens performance, but is not bothered by a large and heavy lens.

The Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F/4 (B&H Photo,) is about half the price (and heft), of the GM, but is totally adequate for day to day shooting if you don't plan on printing tack sharp 24x36" posters.  I never print that big, and find the Zeiss will continue to meets my needs in the future, so I'm not going to add the GM lens to my stable at this time.  Both lenses offer a lot of performance for the money, you just have to figure out how you're going to use the lens, and what features and qualities are important to you...

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New Sony ‘E’ lens for APS-C lovers

Sony has come out with a new 'E' 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C $599 lens, the first one since 2013 if you don't count the 18-110 OSS F/4 video lens.  Additionally, if you've been pining for a silver A6300, your wait is over.  I'm not sure if Sony has set aside any development resources for more APS-C cameras and lenses, your guess is as good as mine.

The new Sony 'E' 18-135mm lens looks like it may perform quite good judging by the Sony MTF graph, and least in resolution and contrast. The optical configuration is 16 elements in 12 groups, with one aspheric and two 'ED' and elements. It has a linear focusing motor, and optical stabilization. I'll be reviewing the lens in the coming months.

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Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM full review

Howdy folks, the first real post of of 2018 is ready, and I hope you'll enjoy it, even if you can't afford it.  I'm working on the comparison between this lens and the smaller 24-70mm F/4 version; that should be ready in a few days.

The Sony FE 24-70mm F/2.8 GM is a superb lens, the best zoom lens Sony has ever put out, and I've reviewed almost all Sony lenses going back to the Konica Minolta days before Sony bought them.  Impressive qualities include low light fall-off at all focal lengths, flare and ghosting are minimal, especially at wide apertures, color fringing is well controlled overall; build quality is excellent, although it is a large and heavy lens, but that's typical of other manufacturers similar lenses.  If you are looking for a smaller lens with the same focal range, check out the...

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2017 in review

Just a quick post to broadcast my thoughts on the two websites for 2017, including most popular posts, viewers, and direction.

First off, thanks to all the visitors for checking out my 'new' site photojottings. It's been around since 2012 in an abbreviated way, but I've been pretty serious about it in 2017, and spent a ton of money transferring all the old material from kurtmunger.com to here.  My intention is to keep the old site up for a couple more years, then give it a proper burial, hopefully before web.com pulls the plug on the old trellix sitebuilder and the whole site gets trashed instantly, that's my fear and reason for transferring the old stuff here.

Kurtmunger.com.  I haven't updated my old site with anything meaningful in almost three years, (3/14 last lens review); however, the site still gets nearly 109,000 visits per month, and almost 200k page views.  Top five posts include the dirty lens article, two 'E' mount charts, lens price guide, and the Kodak Brownie review, all of them done about 5-10 years ago.  I'm in the process of updating all the old reviews that have been transferred to photojottings, so always check here for the most current info.

Photojottings.  I didn't post very many new reviews in 2017, but I did get rolling in September by adding two posts a week on average, and have kept that up,  however, I'd like to pick that up a bit to three posts a week soon.  My goal is to do about two full reviews a month, probably a combination of new FE lenses, film cameras and some gear related articles, along with updates and site changes and/or additions.  The top five posts include: Fuji GWS690III review, a film camera, and ironically the most popular page on the site, then 'all lens reviews' page. Third is the Rokinon 12mm F/2 review, fourth is the Sony 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 review, and the fifth most popular post is the Sony Zeiss quick comparison.  Rounding out the top ten include the Kodak Funsaver disposable camera review, the Sony 55/1.8 and Sigma 30/1.4 review, the complete lens guide page and Sony 24-70/4 review.

I use a lot of film each year, in 2017 I shot almost 40 rolls of film, and went through a 25 sheet box of Ilford 8x10 film...

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