Pilgrimage Into Digital Reality
time I was at
was in 1978, 25 years ago. That was the year here in
Germany when driving on Sundays was limited to the even numbers on the
license plates one Sunday and the uneven numbers the following Sunday.
the States you were only able to buy gas if your tank was at least half
empty in order to avoid panic-buys.
was also the year John Wayne died of cancer he contracted while filming
a “Dschingis Khan” piece. This was a movie they filmed in parts of
where underground nuclear testing occurred. Almost
everyone who was involved in shooting this movie died sooner or later of
impressed me most at the time was the TV in the bathroom of a hotel in
. If you were watching a drama and had to go to the
bathroom you could continue watching it in peace. I was extremely
RV we rented in 1978 in
It was snowing in spite of it being July and we escaped from
and the cold into the warm
1978 a 9 x 12 colleague was taking pictures of
from the sunroof of his car. Back then he needed 12 minutes for his
I went there too and took my Kodachrome – 64 slides with the Olympus
OM-1 in 2 minutes.
a 9 x 12 colleague still needs 12 minutes for his picture,
me with my digital camera and small picture format,
the copying of the pictures to my laptop and white balance them,
a hard drive and the time needed in the evening in the hotel
change the picture from RAW to TIFF and giving it some form in
run it through a color management system, burn it on a CD-Rom,
to finally save it on the desk-top at home
now I need about 13 minutes per picture….
can’t stop progress…..
though it was already October 2003 and the season was already over,
was very crowded. I haven’t seen a National Park be
so crowded for a long time. Especially in
you have the feeling that you are in a big city
during rush hour.
spite of the park being so full, this National Park is – especially
for landscape photography – a perfect destination. Here are a few
pictures from that October in 2003 that I took during my five-day stay
there, before I continued on to
even though it did not snow at the National Park this
time, on the contrary, in spite of it being October it was very warm
pictures with the EOS-1 V and the
4.0/17-40 mm and 4.0/70-200 mm, on Velvia -50
(exp. as the 40 ISO) and with the pol-filter and tripod.
2. Approach to Digitals
photography ship is undoubtedly taking course towards Digiland – and
recently at full speed. It is relatively unclear which harbors it will
weigh anchor in, and it is even more questionable if it will at all.
Let’s remember video. There were three systems: first the one from
Grundig, later it was re-named as System 2000 and then VHS and BETA
According to the opinion of experts, BETA was the best system, then the
Grundig-2000 and least of all VHS which, in spite of this, was the only
one that survived because the manufacturers having the cleverest license
policies from all three competitors.
Now we have
three different directions in digital photography as well: One is
pushing towards a whole-format chip, the other system towards the
extended factor of 1.5 and the third group around
and Kodak, the open ¾ system, which is especially
attractive for wildlife photographers.
A 2.8/300 mm is in this system a 2.8/600 mm and all the lenses are
specifically calculated for digital photography and no “compromise
lenses” that came from analog photography.
question if the Nikon and Canon photographers will change to that. They
had been “cheated” by Minolta and
not too long ago and will hardly be open to risk
another change to a completely new system. Concerning the enormous
amount of money for a complete set of professional photo equipment, most
professional photographers quickly lose their sense of humor and their
level of tolerance is zero.
started an alternative professional system to Nikon
and Canon. Two wonderful and very good professional lenses – 2.0/200
mm and 2.8/350 mm – and the alleged professional cameras OM-3 and OM-4
that already brought the beginning of the end, emerged. In actuality
they were tuned-up amateur cameras and after the first two pro-lenses
“that’s all she wrote”.
ended up doing nothing further for their SLR-clients,
tried to get as much money as possible from the existing material and
just let the whole thing die out in turn leaving the clients with
partial equipment “standing in the rain”.
did the same thing a bit later: The era of auto focus was started with a
professional fanfare: A
Minolta 9000 (the first AF-SLR in any case) for professionals – the
Minolta 7000 for amateurs came later – and with two superb lenses, the
first AF 2.8/300 mm on the global market and the first AF 4.0/600 mm on
the global market. Nikon needed another 12 years in order to offer their
customers an AF 4.0/600 mm.
a grand beginning, professionals were counting on a fantastic and
quickly expanding professional AF system, but – that was it. The
pro-9000 with its miserable view finder should have been quickly
followed by an improved pro-SLR and two lenses are a bit meager for a
professional system. But Minolta soon let the 9000 die out and never
came up with a real professional camera – only, just as
before that – some face-lifted, tuned-up amateur
cameras as pseudo-professional casings.
consider the company policy of
and Minolta you don’t have to wonder about the fact
that the market is under firm control of Canon and Nikon and that it
most probably will stay that way. You can fool photographers once but it
is much more difficult the second time around.
On this tour in October 2003 I had taken the new digital EOS-300D as my
second camera. First impression: a good and – relatively –
inexpensive digital SLR for those who want to take digital pictures with
an SLR for their own enjoyment.
Professionals and semi-professionals will more then likely have to wait
until summer of 2004 until a completely suitable digital-SLR will be on
the market for nature photographers – and as a serious alternative to
the analog SLR.
photographers are known to be inventive:
in order to take analog and digital photos simultaneously (without
having to drag two tripods around with me)
I mounted (sometimes) the EOS-1 and the EOS-300D next to each
other on a Burzynski Macro Slide.
are some digital results from this trip, most of them saved in a
Why jpeg and not raw?
First of all, I get about 40 large/fine jpeg pictures but only 16 raw
files onto a 128 MB CF-card.
And then, a jpeg-picture is done and finished in the camera. So if I
take more then 200 pictures during the day and have them saved in a jpeg
format, they are done in the camera and I can watch TV in the evening.
If I save in the raw format they are exactly that: raw and I have to
take each and every picture, convert it to Photoshop and work on it. So
much for watching TV that evening….
, EOS-300D, 4.0/17-40 mm, pol-filter, tripod.
, EOS-300D, 4.0/17-40 mm, no filter, tripod.
of the three-week digital try-out:
pictures turn out better because you have direct control.
only have about 6 Million pixels per picture for
rmation, sharpness and fine grain at your
a KB-Sensia-100 has 25 Million pixels and the new KB-Velvia-100 has
even 50 Million pixels.
does application tell us?
picture agencies use the benchmark of 6 Million pixels being enough for
editorial publishing and 11 Million pixels for advertisement.
if you have an affordable digital SLR you have to use the format to its
full extent and later – according to this rule – you should avoid
making any big cut-outs.
Such a magnifying glass for your
digital SLR should definitely be part of your equipment
in order to judge the picture - even in sunshine - directly after you
can get these through your camera dealer from Startec GmbH.
on this LCD-Monitor viewer called “Digifinder” is available under
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