Meet the Blogger

Who am I?

South Australian, born and raised in its capital city, Adelaide.  Age, well I’m still working but its been a good few years since my 21st!

Photography and Me

I’ve moved in and out of an interest in photography over forty odd years.

Way, way back, my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 133X using black and white 126 format film. A brief dabble followed with a vintage folding Agfa 120 format camera borrowed from my father.  These camera recorded early family holidays and other travel, and my first roll of film recorded the first Boeing 747 jumbo jet to touch down in Adelaide (we’re going back to somewhere around 1971 for this).

Once old enough to pull in a few dollars working, a jump to a Ricoh manual 35mm SLR and colour film was made.  Then to a Pentax ME Super SLR, with the Ricoh being sold off.  An Olympus Trip 35 also came into the mix a year to two later.  Early stuff with these cameras was shot on Agfa slide film (great colours) and later using colour negative film.

The Pentax ME Super and the Olympus Trip 35 sustained me into the 90’s until both developed mechanical faults and were retired to the back of the wardrobe.

Photography paused for a while until I made the jump to digital, acquiring a Nikon digital point and shoot, all 3.2Mb of it and with lossy, heavy JPEG compression. My initial impressions of digital imaging were a little underwhelming.

A Canon S3is mega-zoom followed. With a 6Mb sensor and a much better JPEG engine, this camera could take some good photos. But a mechanical fault common in the S3 and its predecessor model (the “black screen of death”) saw the Canon being retired before its time.

While searching for its replacement, I circled back to Pentax SLRs and acquired a Pentax K-x dSLR. With Ricoh having since acquired Pentax, it’s an even fuller circle than originally envisaged.

Having acquired a dSLR, the possibilities of what I could achieve started to expand, particularly with the imaging improvements that could be achieved with additional processing back at the desk top computer.

In late 2013 I acquired Pentax’s latest flagship dSLR, the K-3. While the K-x was a darn good camera for its price point, the K-3 is just better in every way.

The daily lens on the K-3 (and before that the K-x) is a Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 zoom which I find most satisfactory and a huge upward jump from the standard kit Pentax 18-55mm kit zoom, which now sits at the back of the bookcase shelf. For a bit more reach, I reach for a Pentax DA 55-300mm F4 – 5.6 zoom. I have also accumulated a pretty wide selection of the Pentax M series of manual lenses that were in production from the late 70’s to early 80’s. Evaluation of the M lenses’ strengths and weaknesses, and deciding which ones I like, is a work in progress. Lens buying addiction is hard to shake and I now find myself also owning Pentax’s three top of the line FA Limited prime lens. Just for now, I’ve slowed down on the lens buying as the bookshelf is getting a little cluttered with lenses.

Other in-use cameras in the house are a Olympus E-PL1 micro four thirds with the kit zoom and an adapter to accept the Pentax manual lenses, and a Canon point and shoot.

Added as of September 2013 is a Samsung NX1000 mirrorless camera.  I wasn’t quite happy with the Olympus E-PL1 in terms of image noise at higher sensitivities.  The NX1000 allows me to still have a compact camera but with a larger and higher resolution sensor which is less noisy than the Olympus.  I’ve added a Samsung 30mm F2 pancake lens to it to make a compact high quality set up I can carry on a belt. So far, it looks a promising solution.

My Photo Style

Probably best described as a documentary style photographer, but I’m trying, inch by inch, to broaden my imagination and approach to subjects.

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