Editorials Archives - Photo Jottings


Going up in the air, in 1920!

Engineer, and amateur Photographer Arthur Plame recounts his first airplane flight in an October 1920 'The Camera' magazine.  Palme watched with interest as a local automobile dealer bought a Government surplus Curtiss Bi-plane and established daily passenger flights for a dollar a minute over the town, (probably Pittsfield MA).  After a few months of watching the airplane fly over his home several times per day, and 'landing safely,' Palme became envious and started thinking about taking a camera along for his first flight.

Palme explains the process of figuring out what camera to use, what height and angle would be best for showing off the town below, how the pictures turned out, and even the sales he made with the 12 images captured during the 18 minute flight.

It's an interesting article, and if you're at work, it'll only take a couple of minutes to read...

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Behind the scenes of the 1958 Western; Buchanan Rides Alone

Columbia Pictures presents; Randolph Scott in 'Buchanan Rides Alone.'  Big Man!  Big gun!  Big Excitement!  Grab a bag of popcorn and  Watch it now!  Today we go behind the scenes of the 1958 Western, Buchanan Rides Alone, starring Randolph Scott.  Much of the movie was filmed in Old Tucson, which is a famous movie location just west of Tucson, Arizona. 

Anyhow, My Dad took his Aires 35-IIIL along for a random studio/location tour, and it just so happens that some of the scenes for the movie were being filmed that day.  By looking at the pictures and shadow angles, it appears the morning was cloudy, and it cleared up in the afternoon...

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2018 in review

Well, another year has gone by, and thankfully It was a productive one, at least for the website.

I managed to review over 40 film cameras this year; (and now have around 52 total), much more than I thought I would be able to do---last year I said I'd like to do about two per month.  However, I did miss the mark on reviewing developing and scanning products; zero on that one, though I recently purchased a small and relatively inexpensive PrimeFilm XA Super Edition to help me keep up with all the film I've been shooting.  I also haven't been very good at posting old/antique film negatives and glass plates recently but I do have a lot in the hopper.

In 2018 I shot over 65 rolls of film, (quite a bit more than last year); mostly color print (C-41) with about 14 rolls of slide (E-6) and just a couple of rolls of B&W.  The film type was split closely between 135 format and 120. There were a few rolls of 127 and 828 too.

I did not shoot any large format this year, however, I still plan on reviewing a few cameras that I have, and have used quite a bit in the past.  I probably won't be doing a whole lot of large format anymore, it's just too expensive; 4x5" is around $5-10 per shot (depending on film type) with self-developing, and double that for 8x10." Even worse, have it developed for you by a lab, (I have E-6 film done) and you wind up paying around $35 (total) per shot with postage for an 8x10."  Oh, and it gets worse; add $50-100 per shot...

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News and upcoming reviews.

First off, I've replaced the awful test pictures at the bottom of the Fuji GSW690III review with some decent ones.

And now a quick note about upcoming camera reviews and posts.  For visitors from the legacy site: I'm not currently reviewing any Sony lenses, or any other lenses for that matter.  I've decided to concentrate my efforts (at least for now) on reviewing film cameras, accessories and new film products, plus posting information on film shooting in general and developing techniques; all of that is based on my personal failures, (and successes) from the 1970s to the present, so I have a lot of material to draw from.

Unbelievably, I've been shooting digital since the late 1990s.  My first digital camera was an Agfa blisterpack 640x480 model, then going up the ladder to a Olympus 750UZ, and a Konica Minolta 5D around 2005.  After Sony bought Konica Minolta's camera division in 2006, I've had about a dozen of their DSLR's and mirrorless, including my latest one, the A7R, which is now over 4 years old with around 300k clicks on it.  I plan on one more upgrade, and that's it.  I'm still shooting interiors with digital, but I've been trying to sell the idea of film to clients for all other work...yes, of course it's tough.

Before digital, I remember how exciting it was to get my pictures back from the lab, especially after waiting a couple of weeks; or even the one hour photo at Walgreens!!  I still get excited, even when I shoot some film, and develop it right away myself!  After careful composing, exposure, developing and printing, I enjoy seeing the end product, especially when the picture turns out just as I envisioned.  I don't get excited from digital imaging anymore.

Well, have you had enough rambling about the good ole days of film? hopefully not, because in the coming weeks look for the following camera reviews, but not necessarily in this order: Kodak Duoflex IV with Kodar F/8 lens, Contax Tix, Kodak Star 535, Canon 110ED, Fuji GA645W 45/4, and the Fuji GA645 60/4 version---both are medium format cameras.  Also look for some comparisons along the way as to what the differences are in medium format film, from 6x4.5, 6x6 to 6x9 etc.  Additionally, I have a whole bunch of folders from Zeiss Ikon, Kodak, Agfa, Voightlander and more, some north of 100 years old that I'll be reviewing too!

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Randy Houser BTS ‘we went’ pictures

So I spent the day hiking in the nearby mountains; and got in a little picture taking along the way.  I usually take along a folding 120 camera, this time it was the Ziess Ikon Ikonta, a cheap 6x6 that my dad bought brand new in 1953.  I'm driving down the mountain heading home when I see all these cars and huge buses parked at a pull out called windy point.  It's here I usually stop and take some late afternoon and sunset pictures before it gets dark, and where this comparison was made.  This time it's definitely packed with cars and people, plus some portable generators running and what sounds like some huge speakers blasting music on the west edge of the cliff.

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Larger, heavier, and less portable

When Sony announced the new A7 and A7R in 2013, the press release stated in part; “The A7 and A7R cameras are significantly smaller, lighter and more portable than any other full-frame interchange lens camera.”  I thought great, finally a full frame system that’s lightweight, small and portable; now I can do away with my ‘a’ mount full frame …

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Sony and their systems, three years later

It's been three years since I wrote a post called 'Sony and their systems,' see the old post here. In that article, I covered each system, number of cameras and lenses, and the average retail price.  It was quite an eye opener then, with lens prices coming in higher than expected, and the overall selection of new lenses and accessories was a bit disappointing.  So how are things looking three years later? Really good, or really bad, depending on what system you bought in to.

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More site improvements, now we’re ready for an audience!

I'm continually trying to make the site work better, and be more useful. The full resolution photo galleries are working fine now, just click on the picture to open in a larger box, then right click and download it if you want. Also, the site is loading much faster thanks to some work behind the scenes, and a new host server. Remember, everything on the old kurtmunger.com site is now located here, go here for lens reviews, and here to see where things are now located, thanks!

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