Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking at focal lengths

I wasn't too sure what to title this so I went with what I was doing which was reviewing images and picking various focal lengths.

I'm in the process of obtaining a small lightweight full frame 35mm camera. One that won't sacrifice image quality for weight. No. I'm not giving up on my Cambo WRS1000 and Phase One P45+. What I'm looking for is a camera that will be complementary to my medium format; one that I can take on long hikes and still get the image quality I want/need. Why? I've found that as I get older I'm also developing various aches and pains while I pack around 30 pounds of camera gear. I've also noticed that I'm traveling less from the roadway with my medium format and more with my infrared camera. I still want to shoot color so the solution for me is to find the (near) perfect 35mm full frame lightweight camera.

I think I've solved my problem with the new Leica M9. The M9 is a lightweight digital rangefinder camera with 18 megapixels, and a 24x36mm sensor. While there's a heck of a lot in the M9's favor the one that stands out for me is that this uses the same sensor as my Phase One P45+.

No, I'm not expecting to achieve the same level of image quality as I get with medium format - what I do expect is a camera that will give me as good if not better image quality as Sandy's Canon 1DsIII. I also expect to be able to print images as large as I require them without losing detail.

So, I'm "sold" on the Leica M9 what's next? Lenses of course. Leica has a world class reputation not only for their cameras but their lenses as well. The plan is to obtain two lenses to start with and thus the reason for my exercise. I wanted to see what focal length I used the most while shooting IR which is full frame 35mm using a 24-105 lens. My thoughts were 50mm and either a 75 or 90mm followed shortly by a wide either 28 or 35mm. What I found is exactly that - I shoot in the 35 to 50mm range and very close to the 75mm range and then rarely 80 to the 105 range.

This might have been somewhat boring to those who don't like the technical side so I've included a couple images as well.

I received a phone call the other day asking how I felt about my Cambo WRS1000 and if I still liked it as much as I reported earlier. The answer is a resounding yes. I'm still tickled pink using a technical camera and will shortly post an update on my thoughts.

There's a car commercial I just loved where the spokesperson asks "when you turn on your car does it return the favor?" My question is very similar - "when you turn on your camera does it return the favor?" My answer is yes!

Thanks for letting me share.


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