I overestimated the home field advantage yesterday. While shooting along the creek, my foot slipped and I splashed into the water with all my gear. The plan was to get a photo of a hunting kingfisher for today’s Photography News.
Instead, I made two observations that I would like to share with you. The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens has its limits when it comes to water resistance. On the other hand, the sealing of the Nikon Z9 did not disappoint and did not let a single drop get in. And what about you, have you ever managed to drown your photo equipment? How did it turn out? I’d love to hear about your experiences. But now, onto what has happened in the last week.
- Panasonic’s new Organic Sensor: After ten years of development, it seems to be ready. You won’t see it in any camera yet, so what can we look forward to in the future? The main feature that Panasonic mentions in their press release is reduced color crosstalk. In other words, each RGB pixel is only receptive to the part of the color spectrum that is assigned to it. This should lead to greater color accuracy, especially in difficult lighting conditions.
- Xencelabs Pen Display 24 Studio Series: Wacom tablets (for drawing or editing and retouching in photo editing programs) have a new competitor. This 24-inch tablet offers 1.07 trillion colors in 4K, wide viewing angles, programmable Quick Keys unit for keyboard shortcuts (detachable from the display), and more. Available from the second quarter of 2023 for $1,899.
- Zoner Photo Studio X Spring Update: With the new major update, ZPS X adds support for over 1200 camera lenses (automatic correction of distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting). RAW processing speed has almost doubled. Multi-monitor support has been improved. The Video module has also received new features. A 30-day trial version is available for download here.
- Zhiyun MOLUS G60 and X100: A pair of lights for photographers and videographers on the go. Both lights can be powered by AC or battery. They allow continuous light adjustment from 0% to 100%. The color temperature is adjustable from 2700 to 6500K. A wide range of accessories can be attached to the light source to change the character of the light. For more information, visit the B&H PhotoVideo website, where the lights can be pre-ordered for $199 (G60) and $249 (X100).
The Rumor Mill
Rolleiflex: the return of a twin lens reflex legend?
The famous company of the same name may have declared insolvency in 2014, but the name still lives on as “Rollei GmbH & Co. KG“. Previously, Rollei was known for its twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras, which had been in production since 1929. These cameras had a lower lens for shooting and a second lens above it for focusing. The focusing screen was on top of the camera, so when you focused, you stared downward. Remember that?
TLRs were eventually displaced by SLRs. It is rare to see someone using a TLR today. I have one myself (traditional Czech brand Flexaret) on my windowsill. But the last time it had film in it was very, very long ago.
Rollei no longer makes cameras, although that may change soon. An interesting post appeared on the Twitter posing as the official Rollei account. It announces that a new digital TLR Rollei might be introduced on April 20th (I double-checked if it is not the 1st). If this post turns out to be true, it will be one of the boldest releases in the photography industry in a long time.
Pentax on a wave of nostalgia
Not long ago, Leica revived production of its M6 35mm camera. Apparently, the traditional Japanese camera manufacturer Pentax is not lagging behind. Recently, the magazine Barfout! published an interview with several representatives of the Japanese photography industry. One of the interviewees was Takeo Suzuki, product planner and designer at Ricoh Imaging’s PENTAX Business Unit.
The interview reveals that in today’s electronic world, there is a growing demand for the good old analog experience. Open the camera door, load the film, manually rewind to the first frame. After 36 frames, you use a small lever to wind the film back into the cartridge. After developing the photos, a moment of excitement to see if they turned out well.
If you want to experience all that, you can buy a used Pentax K1000, Super A or even an LX for a few dollars. Or you can wait a while and maybe see a brand new model with manual rewind. If you need a refresher on the sound difference between manual and motorized rewind, the Australian Superb Lyrebird will remind you.
Will Canon surprise us with a fast 24-105mm lens?
It may not be as much of a surprise, since the rumor that a 24-105mm f/2.8 could be introduced in the first half of 2023 appeared on Canon Rumors a few days ago. In any case, it would be an interesting addition to Canon’s lens portfolio. After all, full-frame lenses in this focal length range tend to be f/4 at best. The 105mm at the long end would open up more possibilities for portraits, weddings, or street photography, where wide apertures are so desirable.
Photo Contest Corner
“Reflections ” Photography Competition
- Topic: Reflections is the theme for this competition.
- Fees: $12 to $36 (1 to 6 entries)
- Prize: Cash Awards up to $10,000 to the Top Three Photographers.
- Deadline: April 7
2023 International Photography Competition FMoPA x TPA
- Topic: There are 8 categories to apply for: People, Places, Nature, Abstract photography, Conceptual Photography, Still Life, Documentation, Plane.
- Fees: $10 per image (max 15 images).
- Prize: $1,000 for overall winner; at least $100 in goods and services for best in each category.
- Deadline: April 10
Good Deals and New Sales
Photographs by my friend and successful wildlife photographer Petr Bambousek or my colleague Nicholas Hess always reassure me that even with a small sensor you can do great things. It’s even more attractive when OM Systems’ best MFT camera, the OM-1, is now available for $1,900 (was $2,200).
You know what’s better for a photo expedition than one 2TB SSD? Two 2TB SSDs! That’s in case one fails or ends up in someone else’s bag. Personally, I travel with a SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD V2. It is now available at B&H for the very interesting price of $140 (was $450). With all these SSD sales I show in my weekly Photo News articles, you better not be buying them at full price.
This lens is not on sale, but it is in stock. Even that can be considered good news these days. What lens am I talking about? The Nikon Z 85mm f/1.2 S. You can order it from our trusted partner B&H PhotoVideo for $2,797.
Other Pages of Interest
Spring has arrived in the temperate northern hemisphere, and with it, the nesting season. Caring for chicks is hard work, as you may have experienced. The parents of the little falcons in San Diego not only have to provide enough food for their chicks, but they also have to protect them from all kinds of threats. Photographer Decker Nomura beautifully captured a peregrine falcon attacking a pelican that got too close to the nest. Pelicans may normally eat fish, but as this video taken by a BBC team on the African coast shows, the falcon probably was right to be wary.
Here you can see a python dealing with a human intruder in Cairns, Australia. No, don’t worry, this is not a tragic accident where a python swallowed a hapless farmer. Think of this post more as a reminder that even in the heat of the moment, it pays to treat animals with respect. Especially when their mouths are armed with needle-like teeth.
Sudan is not just the name of a country in central Africa. It is, or rather was, the name of the last male northern white rhino. Sadly, he died in 2018, and with him the chances of a natural recovery of the species. Photographer Ami Vitale is the author of the short film Remembering Sudan, the trailer of which you can watch on the Vital Impacts website. Sudan’s taxidermied body traveled from the National Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, back to his original home in Kenya last week. His skeleton will remain on display in Prague. See photos of the move here.
And a final note – there is a Change.org petition to keep Amazon from closing DPReview. At Photography Life, we consider DPReview and other photography websites not to be competition, but fellow photography instructors who help expand the art. Although it’s likely too late to convince Amazon, give it a signature if you can. You never know.
I have yet to drown a camera, but I did once use my camera backpack as a trebuchet….😱
Trebuchet? Maybe my imagination is too vivid, but it sounds like it’s better to drown the camera. Or am I wrong?
Step one: arrive at trailhead. Step two: choose a lens and install it on the body. Step three: put camera and lens back in side-opening backpack. Step four exit the truck and swing backpack around to put it on and watch in horror as said camera and lens reach apogee…. I forgot step three and a half – CLOSE ZIPPER on said backpack. Not sure whether water damage or the results of gravity setting in are more expensive to fix.
Wait… is “rewinding” when you advance the film to the next frame to get the camera ready for the next shot? All these decades I’ve been using this term incorrectly to mean winding the film back into the cassette!
Example of 35 mm, 135 format film…
The film is supplied in a single-spool cassette (canister).
To load the film, the free end is threaded into to camera’s take‑up spool.
The camera’s film advance lever winds the film onto the take‑up spool, one frame at a time.
At (or before) the last frame is reached, the film is rewound onto the spool inside the cassette, using the rewind lever (or electric motor).
Most cameras require the film to be rewound before the camera is opened. Some motorized cameras unwind the film fully upon loading and then expose the images in reverse order, returning the film to the cassette; this protects all images except the last one or two, should the camera back be accidentally opened. Disposable cameras use the same technique so that the user does not have to rewind.
Thank you Pete for being quicker than me with your response. I have no choice but to agree with you. But let’s not mince words. I’m rather really wondering if Pentax is serious about a new “(re)winding” camera.
Perhaps this web page will be kept up to date:
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.
PENTAX Film Project
The “official Rollei account” has been suspended on Twitter, so I guess the chances of a real and interesting product release are very slim.
Thank you for the update. I also thought it would be a pretty bold (more like suicidal) move.
There were plenty of signs I couldn’t read, warning of slippery foot bridges, being written in Japanese: a language I can barely speak, and totally meaningless painted on a plank of wood. Still … it didn’t take long to figure it out. I was able to navigate them all, working my way further along the mountain stream toward its source. While I walked very slowly (baby steps) our golden retreiver became braver as he made each crossing, and deciding I was taking too long to cross the very last bridge, came back across for reasons I’ll never know. As he passed me on the 18-inch wide deck, I stepped aside to make room and in slow motion, watched the world turn upside down. I don’t remember the rest of the 6-foot fall or landing in the rocky stream, only waking up with a splitting headache and soaking wet. The worst damage was to my dignity (my wife still talks about it). But I faired better than my Nikon D810 and Nikkor 16-35mm lens which gave up the ghost that day. Nikon Japan told me they were “shusei fukano” (unfixable). They’re still sitting on a bookshelf as a prop for when I tell people about the “Bridge of Death!”
My girl friend last summer slipped from a rock while trying to cross a river in the mountains and took a swim with our Z6 and the z 14-30 f4. Fortunately, it was only a short remaining hike to the mountain hut. There we removed the batteries and put everything into dry packs I had with me. I had the two other cameras. 10 days later back home we had no connection to the CPU of the 14-30 f4 but the Z6 was already back online. I decided to put everything into a desiccator with dry gel and pump it down to 1 mbar. After one week the Z6 was fine and the objective started to communicate with the Z6 again. There was still moisture inside the 14-30 mm f4. I continued with that procedure for another two weeks and continued for another week after I could not detect any moist inside the objective. In short everything runs fine without a problem – great performance Nikon on this !
I think this did work so well because the water was clean and fresh from the snow so no mud but a really cold swim.
I put my camera and lens in a zip-lock bag with rice for a couple weeks. I guess that wasn’t enough. Of course, it could have been from the impact … I have no idea whether they fell on the rocks, on me or just in the water.
Well, that’s too bad, Pat. The D810 was a great camera. It’s a shame about the lens, too. I can’t help but end on a positive note. At least you have a nice decoration for your bookshelf. I wonder if the water got into the camera in any visible way? Through the bayonet or the battery door? What did the service department say, other than “not repairable”?
I didn’t really examine the camera to see how/if water got in … it went straight into the bag of rice; a brief inspection didn’t reveal any standing water inside, but the cards and battery weren’t harmed so it couldn’t have been too bad. Not being able to read Kanji, I don’t know exactly what they wrote. My wife’s patience for photography only extended to telling me they said it couldn’t be fixed. It was like pulling teeth to get her to help me fill out the form to send it in for repairs. Interestingly, though, she always reminds me to bring my camera on outings if I forget! ;-)
It actually has a positive note beyond the decoration on the bookshelf: I replaced them with a D850 and 14-24! LOVE my D850. And while the 16-35 was a good lens, it never made me say “Wow”, the way the 14-24 does!
The ziplock bag full of rice thing is actually useless. A proper humidity controlled chamber to suck the moisture out will do it, or an airtight container with a HUGE amount of FRESH dessicant in it. Those tiny little bags you find in some purchases will not do anything after they have been exposed to air and are too small to make a difference for these purposes.
I hate the advice because all it does is introduce rice dust into the mixture without changing the moisture in the air.
A “proper humidity controlled chamber”, like insurance, is expensive until you need it and rarely possible by then. I live in the mountains of a very rural part of Japan, several hours away from anywhere that would have such a thing, if they even did.
Now, that is a story with a happy ending! But not everyone has such sophisticated equipment at home. Like Pat, I wonder to what extent the water got into the camera. Was it just moisture, or did you literally pour water out of the camera after your girlfriend fell into the creek?
Hi, my girlfriend decided to cross the river at a different position as I was getting wet feet on my own crossing and we were both burned out a bit hiking in the Dovrefjell mountains about 17 km and about 400 m up in height with equipment ( 2 Z 50 ; 2 Z 6; 500 pf, 300 pf, z 14-30 f4, z 40 mm f2, z 20 mm f 1.8 – food, sleeping bags etc and getting mislead by the outdooractive app for the first time using it). She thought it was a flat crossing but after loosing control she had to swim a couple of meters and the camera was submerged. However, the sealing did really well and only drops were pouring out of the Z6 after checking on it. However – like I said in the beginning the system was not working anymore. The biggest and longest lasting problem was getting the moisture and drops out of the 10-30 f4. Vacuum – even a mild one in combination with dry silica gel was slowly improving the situation. We just came back from a photo trip to the Elbe Sandstone mountains and what should I say – everything worked – camera and objective….
I am super pleased with Nikon and the fact that we did not loose the equipment – I was not expecting that positive outcome.