Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Catching up and Macro Testing

Not a macro but close enough
Phase One DF 120mm f/8 1/250 ISO50

Sandy and I just completed a 2-week working vacation that took us to White Sands National Monument, into San Antonio where we visited the Alamo before working our way to Clearwater FL with a side trip to the Big Cypress National Preserve.  After leaving FL we spent a couple days in Atlanta and were fortunate enough to meet with Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration.  I have know Dave for many years and met him at various locations but never on his home court.  We had a lovely visit with him at his company headquarters and were finally able to put faces to all the names of people I've spoken with over the years.

 Close up of the sands at White Sands National Monument
Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/350 ISO50

We left Atlanta heading west and home passing through Lake Charles LA where we found Lake Martin.  While not as large as what we experienced in Big Cypress, the area around Lake Martin was enough for us to start planning a return visit for more in-depth shooting.  As we continued west we decided to stop by White Sands again and in the end we were very pleased.

Taken outdoors
Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/250 ISO50

I had been wanting a new lens for the Phase One DF body I got last year and had decided on the Mamiya 120mm-Macro lens.  Picking the lens up from Dave Gallagher in FL I tested it in the Big Cypress as well as in Atlanta and in Lake Martin and White Sands. 

Getting better at it
Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/60 ISO800

We've already shared a lot from this trip with blogs from White Sands NM, Galveston TX, Big Cypress FL as well as the arrival of the improved power solution for Mamiya/Phase One 645 camera bodies.  We'll be sharing more experiences testing the macro function of the 120mm lens as well as images from Lake Martin and back to White Sands.  The coming posts are not going to be in any set geographical location nor will they be in the order we visited; they'll be in the order we process the images.  So sit back and enjoy them.

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/60 ISO800

As I shared already, I wanted to get back into macro photography and had decided the Mamiya 120mm Macro f/4 lens would be a nice addition.  The only problem was that there was now more than a couple of 120's to choose from; Mamiya or Phase One with Phase One now offering an additional choice between manual and auto focus.  Choices.  While my first thought was to get the auto focus I quickly realized auto focus in macro mode might not be the best option.  I remember a conversation I had with Ken Doo regarding his; while he doesn't use as much as he'd like, his very fast answer to the question of whether or not he'd sell his 120 was NO.

2-image stack
Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/11 1/60 ISO800

The last three images were shot in our hotel room in Atlanta using a plastic bottle to hold the "model", a bright flashlight to shine some light and a small travel tripod.  I was so anxious to try the macro capability in a controlled environment.  And it worked!

Phase One DF Mamiya 120mm f/4 1/60 ISO200

Knowing I haven't used the lens in the best of situations to do macro work what I've managed to get shows me the great potential of the lens.  I also used the lens as a more normal 120mm focal length for landscape and am just as pleased with the results.  This is the only duplicate focal length I have between my Phase One DF and Cambo WRS tech camera.

There's more to come including more of the camel so stay tuned. 

Once again, thank you for allowing us to share our experiences and please remember your thoughts, comments, suggestions or questions are always welcome.


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