Mittwoch, 31. August 2011

Pulling Moves

 I'm actually now, live, blogging from my very new and very own bedroom (in the very children's sleeping bag I bought back in Zaragoza, but in the huge bed I bought from Wille) in Gallstraße 25, 54290 Trier (Süd). Surprisingly one whole day before officially moving in. But who counts dayze, when great events are in the happening?

 I already told you about my arrival in Trier, my wild and young marriage with the Nex 5 and the massive excitement that followed, but I didn't about the first wild night in Trier, how I lost my favourite jacket in ze world and how I spent my dayze until this very happy moving-in-with-Wille-day.

 Sunday I was slightly hungover all day, so I did nothing at all, but Monday evening I was meeting up with the KnoppLehmlers of Trier and their dog - after balancing 10 (new and empty) tea chests on my head through town (they were bloody heavy!). We had a great walk with the KnoppLehmlers and their qwutey little doggy "Rosa". I learnt a lot about dog education and tought a lot about cameras (because the Nager is considering buying a proper digital camera). We spent the rest of the evening drinking good vino, eating good (Cashew) nuts and talking about good things. And taking this qwute pictures of the qwutest of doggies!

  Then I went home. Home to Wille. And we went to sleep, but I couldn't sleep. Then we got up. At 6am. And that was early. And we started packing for the move the very first time in our lives. Well, for this particular one. And we made it in time. Just about. There was stinking dog poo on the stoney road to glory (really, the dog poo was the worst - and of course the sun came out from behind the clouds the moment the nasty dog decided to defecate just at the big bootey (pi) of our VW Sprinter, which enhanced the strength of the doggy flavours) and we had to accept some major losses, but in the end it was a really nice day with friends, some outdoor excercise and some chilling in the afternoon sun with really good Döner and free Weizen beer from our lovely neighbours. And I got internet. What does man need more to be happy? BANG!

¡Buenas noches!

PS: der Soundtrack dieser Tage wird geprägt von ein bisschen Depeche Mode, Rammstein und massiv von dem unglaublichen Tron Legacy Reconfigured by Daft Punk.

well, we did a little thing on Sunday. we took the Nex 5 for a walk - now somebody tell me which ISO this is (it really actually is 6400, but where's the grain?)

"really, ISO 6400?!?!?"

macro shots of a spider in the bathroom. with DIY soft box

team demolition. both over 2m tall... and full of dirty jokes :D

walk the dog without letting him walk you - but those big sad eyeees...

the water was never this peaceful - good to have a nice camera at hand

Knopp's vegetation

attack the paparazzo in his own kitchen!

the heavy lens is not without its drawbacks - or rather drawfronts?

this ain't no cool wallpaper, it's the eyewatering effect of a too heavy couch unluckily misplaced on a massive tele
my bed to the left and my bed to the right, good night!

Samstag, 27. August 2011

Finally Settled

 Man, I'm tired. But so happy! Got the train to Trier this morning, 5:41am, wasn't very nice, but now I'm back in my new/old home town Trier, I've moved in with Wille, kind of, and most important of all: I am finally united with my very own Sony Nex 5, which Wille bought for me in Berlin. The combination with the Leitz C-Summicron 40mm looks simply stunning and I just can't get the smile off my face. Finally a compact high quality digital camera with a "real" lens - a combination which is not only for the picture quality, but for the shooting experience and the heart. The only thing missing is a viewfinder, but I'm not missing it very much yet.

 So this is it. It really exceeds everything I have hoped for! We upgraded the firmware to version 4 with Wille right away and without its benefits the camera wouldn't have been the same. Most of all I love these 3 changes: (1) the addition of the new "focus peaking" feature introduced with the Nex C3, which makes manual focusing a joy even on a LCD screen, (2) tons of art filters for fun shots and most importantly (3) the ability to customise various buttons, virtually more than I actually need! I now have full manual control over exposure lock, white balance, ISO, metering mode and either dynamic range optimisation, art filters, shooting mode or digital magnification for even more betterer focusing, I haven't decided yet. The camera is ultra-responsive and just intelligently laid out - I cannot imagine anybody having problems with the handling (given they are not retarded and have thumbs). Even professional photographers a couple of decades ago would have killed for this device with its sleek and unintrusive design, simple and reduced controlls, superb build quality and waist-level viewfinder.

 I was surprised how the camera worked in every shooting mode, from iAuto to full Manual mode, always with a balanced exposure. For about 520€ you get better picture quality for stills and full HD movies than in most DSLRs (I mean - Sony's second best Exmor sensor in addition to actual Leica glass) in a package that is just the right amount of small - neither as fiddly or dwarfish as most digital compact cameras (therefore unfortunately not actually pocketable), nor as bulky, intimidating or salient as modern DSLRs. In other words: half of the price of the Fuji X100, but makes me thrice as happy! Not to mention the unique advantages of using old manual lenses (like manual aperture control in videos, a buttery smooth manual focusing ring - also amazing for video and online depth of field preview, which makes a dof-preview button redundant), which are not without their drawbacks, though (no autofocus, no aperture recording in the files and virtually no zoom lenses - but who would actually use a zoom lens on a Nex? The guys from Panasonic are the right people for that, they do an excellent job in that respect, even although it is not for me).

 It may sound weird and I am surprised myself, but this camera is the first camera I really love like a young girl. I married my a55 a short while ago and I am happy with her - she serves all my needs, but has her airs and graces. I found a fascinating and challenging muse in the Leica CL, but I have too much respect for her to actually be in love - ah this reminds me, I should upload some photographs I took with her. The Samsung ST70 is my little crack whore, she does the dirty jobs like parties and bad weather photography and she does them as well as a camera of that size can do them. But then, the Nex 5 with the C-Summicron is my young lover, the one I want to always have around, play with and explore, show proudly to my friends and literally have at my heart wherever I go.

 My highest photographic needs are finally met, which doesn't mean I wouldn't still need a flash gun and proper tripod which are among the most rudimentary pieces of photo equipment, but right now I am just too broke :D ttyl, enjoy the pictures

zu Deutsch: Schachtsucher (waist-level viewfinder
 - a street photographer's dream)

size matters: the Nex isn't pocketable (but which camera with
good IQ is?), but neither bigger than the analogue Leica

 As promised, some scans of the Leica pictures. Horrible quality unfortunately (the film's expiry date was in 1997 - no kidding!), but I hope you get the feel for the theoretically amazing "film look" and the typical Leica transitions from in to out of focus areas.

have you ever seen a goat with horns like these?

my brother with his new NX100

 My nagytata at his 84th birthday almost two weeks ago and his wife, my Oma, which died this summer, while I was in Cambridge.

Freitag, 5. August 2011

A New Leica Fanboy on the Block

 Hey, lange habe ich mich nicht gemeldet, aus guten Gründen! Es gab zu viel zu erleben, den Abschied von Cambridge, die kurze Zeit in Trier und dann die lange Reise durch Spanien, Frankreich, Belgien und schließlich Deutschland. Zu kämpfen mit winterlichem Sommer und Ticket-Kontrolleuren, die für jeden Zug den Noelia und ich nehmen wollten, Aufpreis verlangten. Trotz unserer Interrail-Pässe. Wie unpässlich.
 Nun der erste Eintrag seit langer Zeit und natürlich handelt er von Kameras. Ja, leider im Plural, denn ich habe ein ehrgeiziges Projekt begonnen, das die Erfüllung meiner photographischen Wünsche bedeuten soll. Ich bin unerwartet schnell unerwartet weit gekommen und habe auf dem Weg unerwartet viel Geld ausgegeben, das ich hoffentlich wieder reinkriege, wenn ich nur ein paar Objektive verkaufe.
 Meine derzeitigen Ergebnisse:
Vergleichsweise unmetaphorisch habe ich den Sprung zur Analogie geschafft. Die Leica CL ist die neue Lady in meinem Harem, alt, schön und man muss wissen wie sie behandelt werden will. Sie kennt die alten Tricks der Film-Photographie und lässt nur M-Bajonett-Objektive an sich heran. Sie ist eine echte Messsucherkamera mit drei "s" und bietet alles, was ich wollte, außer digital: klein, full frame und vollmanuell. Und Messsucher eben. Zwei Leica-Objektive und -Taschen dazu, wie sie selbst, aus den 70ern. Leider haben die Objektive die falschen Brennweiten, sonst blieben sie für immer mein. Aber ich will 35mm, daher sollen diese hier den Kaufpreis des Gesamtpakets wieder reinbringen. Das Photo oben nur mal zum Vergleich: beide Objektive sind sind 90mm und für full frame bodies, aber die an der DSLT ist doch ein bisschen größer als die stehende Leica. Jedenfalls, Teilziel 1: go analogue!

  Thomas im Anschlag, 2 Minuten lang, jedes Mal. Schnappschüsse gibts bei einer vollmanuellen Kamera und f2 nicht. Die "Leitz"-Umhängetasche gab's dazu - ist den Preis schon fast wert ;) Dieses und die kommenden Photos übrigens mit der neuen Kamera meines Bruders geschossen, einer Samsung NX100. Auch in die bin ich verliebt. Eine Kamera-Hure. Mit Gefühlen. No kissing though.
  Mit der 90mm Elmar-C passt die CL zwar nicht mehr in eine Jackentasche, aber dafür habe ich eine schöne Portrait-Länge. Der erste Film ist ein Drittel voll und ich berste vor Spannung. Der muss einfach morgen voll werden und ab zum Entwickeln (nein, Dunkelkammer habe ich noch nicht). Film ist übrigens so teuer geworden...ich habe mir wirklich den falschen Moment ausgesucht um damit anzufangen...eine Rolle Fuji Velvia 50 kostet über 12€ und selbst den Ilford HP5+400 gibt es jetzt für knappe acht Euro! Jede Aufnahme eine Investition.

 Und nun zum ehrgeizigen Projektziel: M-Bajonett-Objektive digital schießen. Kompakt und immer dabei. Die Sony Nex5 (natürlich in schwarz) habe ich schon und auch den Adapter mit dem M-Bajonett, aber die richtige "endgültige" Linse fehlt noch. Meine Leica-Gläser haben die falschen Brennweiten, Zeiss-Objektive sind entweder zu lichtschwach oder zu groß (aber liefern so wundervolle Bildqualität...), daher bleiben nur noch zwei Voigtländer-Objektive zur Wahl. 35mm f2.5 "Pancake" (der große Bruder ist mit 28,5mm Länge ab Bajonett auch nicht gerade ein Pinocchio, aber der kleine hier ist gerade mal 23mm lang - das zweitkürzeste M-Objektiv, das ich kenne) oder 35mm f1.4 "Nokton" (lichtstärker wird es bei 35mm kaum). Klein und günstig oder universell einsetzbar und bokehlicioust? Welche Lösung findet ihr schöner?
  Bald mehr von Reisen und Cambridge!

PS: die Bilder rechts von einem Typen, der schon so ziemlich jedes Objektiv an seine Nex geklatscht hat. Ohne seine Erlaubnis, aber mit einer Würdigung, hier sein flickr-Link (ziemlich geile Bilder, um ehrlich zu sein!):