On April 21th 2022, IDImager launched Photo Supreme version 7.
The upgrade from V6 costs $ 77 (-40% from the full price) and $129 for the full license (one user)
Software as a service, aka SAAS is a business model that you subscribe for the right to use a program, paying for this in a regular way.
Those companies marketing teams sell the idea that this is a very good thing to you and they will keep the software always updated at no extra cost (Hahahahah ! Really?) And better: they try to convince you that this is more economic to you...
Reasons why I would never use a subscription-based software:
On January 18th, 2022, Capture One discontinued C1 dedicated versions for Sony and Nikon.
Now you must pay for the full product, much more expensive.
At the present day (Jan. 19th) you can still download C1 Express for Fuji.
There are better options for less, like DxO Elite.
IdImager launched a FREE, lite version of its awesome Photo Supreme.
It has the same features of the paid version, but it's limited to 5000 images per catalog.
Raw Power is one of the most rewarding raw image converters for Mac to date. It's powerful, simple, elegant yet affordable. If you have a Mac, it's a must-have.
Too long to post here.
Please follow this link (redirects to a page inside this blog)
Please note that this blog is not associated with any equipment or software maker. It reflects my own opinions and impressions, as stated in the disclaimer.
Update September 28th 2021
This is a quite neat camera from the mid-'60s made by Zeiss Ikon, but the project was originally from Voigländer. Some people say that this camera is not so reliable, but mine is working perfectly except for the light meter.
It's a bulky and heavy all-mechanical camera with a very good viewfinder. Not exceptionally large, but very, very clear and it has a 45 degree split image focusing aid and a plain matt area.
The shutter speeds are from 1/2s to 1/1000s and it's very smooth and reliable compared to the Contarex and Contax rangefinder cameras from Zeiss. It's simple and less prone to jams.
The Icarex was sold with finder options: A plain waist-level (like the ones found on TLRs), a simple prism and the dreaded CS.
The last one has a so-so CdS light meter very prone to problems. The exposure setting is very awkward. First you need to set the speed on the top dial of the prism assembly and set the same speed on the shutter speed selector. Then you need to step down the lens by pressing the DoF/iris button near the lens mount and adjust the aperture until the light meter needle stays at the center. Not very practical. To make things even stranger the meter needle is at the TOP of the viewfinder area, along with the aperture number. At its top, we can see an exposure guide calculator. It uses a dreaded PX13 (625) mercury battery. Do yourself a favor, forget about it and use a handheld meter.
I prefer it with the simple prism (no meter).
|Icarex 35 with the standard prism|
|Icarex camera lens mount|
|Icarex lens mount|
IdImager just released Photo Supreme version 6 with many improvements and bug fixes.
Worths a look if you need a professional-grade DAM
This is, to my taste, THE best DAM available.
* This blog does NOT monetize or profit from any software or equipment maker
It's a massive, chrome-plated beast that impresses, at least looking at it. But it's very rare to have one working properly. This camera is a mechanical and electronic nightmare. It's extremely complicated and you should not try to repair one unless you're from a very specific guild of repairmen.
The camera has a huge, very bright optical viewfinder that accepts interchangeable focus screens. The standard one is a fresnel-type with a micro prism collar and split image focusing aid. The viewfinder also shows the light meter and the shutter speed readings.
Ergonomics? What for? Just a very heavy brick-like body with a strange control layout. The focusing control is standard, but the aperture is linked to a wheel at the camera's front, near the prism box. The shutter speed control is around the counter, film advance, and shutter release button. This is a terribly complicated setup in terms of mechanics and a nightmare to CLA. Do not try to CLA it unless you're a very experienced technician. This camera demands a true expert for this.
|Contarex 35 Electronic|
The shutter is electronically controlled and this means that the camera needs batteries to work. It uses a strange choice, two "N" batteries, being the original mercury ones. But you can use alkaline as well, and the camera has a built-in battery test button.
If you really want to dig into this camera internals, please read this first. Be advised.
It's a very interesting camera IF you can find one in proper working order, but expect to pay $800 (working) to $1500 (for one in perfect condition), body only.
Avoid it if not working ! It may cost you an arm and a leg to get it repaired. If in good working order, it's a pleasure to use it.
The Contarex 35 Professional is the classical mechanical version of the previously mentioned camera. It's still very complicated to service and, again, needs a really good technician. But it's far more reliable than the electronic model.
|Contarex 35 Professional|
The shutter speeds goes from 1s to 1/1000s and the curtain is made of cloth. The viewfinder is, like the electronic cousin, very clear and allows a precise focus.
|Contarex 35 Professional|
Here is a small list of the available lenses for the Contarex
|Zeiss 50mm F2 Planar in Contarex Mount|
This lens is a permanent classic and it's still has a very modern look even having more than 50 years!
The lens above was made for the Zeiss Contarex camera (not Contaflex). The material and craftsmanship are absolutely flawless. Sturdy but very smooth, truly precision made piece of Teutonic engineering.
Sharpness is not an issue. It's very sharp from F3.5 even at the corners and it has a jaw-dropping resolution at its center on any aperture from F4 to F11.
As an early model, although coated, its coating is not even close in performance compared to modern ones, but it works well if you use a proper light hood and avoid shooting directly against very bright light sources, so flare is a real issue with this lens.
The contrast and colors are excellent and work like a charm along with the Sony A7 series. Of course, you will need a CRX to Sony E adapter to use it with this camera.
Interesting things are the strange 8-blade iris opening with a peculiar star format in certain apertures, and the fact that this lens has no aperture setting ring. The aperture was set by a control wheel at the camera's body. The CRX adapters usually have an aperture control ring.
It's a rather expensive lens, with prices between $200 and $500 depending on the condition.
It can be an interesting pick if you find it in good shape and for a fair price, otherwise, I would suggest taking a look at the Rollei Planar 50mm F2 in QBM mount which has a very good HFT multi-coating and cost much less. But make no mistake, the craftsmanship of this Zeiss is FAR superior to any lens from Rollei in QBM mount.
Also, there are other better '50s for the price from Canon, Pentax, Olympus, and Minolta. But this lens is classic and a must-have for any serious collector.
One of the most common questions in photography is about how to prevent fungi contamination on lenses and other photographic equipment. The solution is very obvious but there is a lot of misinformation on the internet that must be cleared.
First, know your enemy, the fungus.
The common ground is the humidity, not the temperature unless we're talking about more than 50 degrees Celsius. Don't believe it? Temperatures in the Amazon rainforest can reach easily 42-43 degrees Celcius and there are LOTS of fungi there. Temperatures in cheese maturation caves are always below 10C and sometimes 5C. Plenty of fungi there... Each fungi strain has a specific optimal temperature range for development.
Keep the humidity low and you'll make any fungus life much harder.
I use two Benro dry cabinets set to 35% RH and I had no problems with fungus since 15 years ago. You can also use hermetic pots with silica-gel, but you WILL need to heat the silica from time to time, or when the RH goes over 40% inside the pot. Put a small cheap hygrometer inside the pot, container, or whatever you use. The key is to have a good SEALED one. No good sealing = no protection.
About the UV urban legend (UV-C lamps, sunbath, etc.)
|Kodak Signet 35|
(I know, I'll make a decent picture ASAP)
|Kodak Signet lens: Ektar 44mm f3.5|
|Kodak Signet 35 exposure calculator|
|Kodak Signet 35 back|
|Olympus Stylus (Mju)|
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|Kodak S-Series S500AF|