Anyone want to buy an RB Graflex?

DSF2020 480x321 Anyone want to buy an RB Graflex?

"Pocket-sized" 4x5 RB Graflex

I relocated to Costa Rica with my 4×5 Series D RB Graflex. Despite its size, the RB merits packworthiness and has been on the road with me previously because it is none too traumatic to replace. Essentially they sell for a couple of hundred dollars on fee-bay, but they are seldom in the sort of condition to use long term. Most sit on shelves as they did with their many previous owners, in need of repairs, with hardly anyone left alive to properly fix them. I shoot and service mine for the most part-still not a master of all their mechanics, but I can patch up most boo-boos.

I thought I would be blessed with inspiration and atmosphere in which to produce a photography book in Costa Rica, but I am struggling to find my muse. So my RB sits on the aforementioned shelf, fighting off a weekly bout with fungus blooms on the outer leather as well as some of the inner wooden surfaces. This comes after being encased in a drybag with silica gel. I was wise enough to keep the lenses (yeah lenses plural - I found a source for custom RB Graflex lensboards) sealed tight in a Pelican case. Unfortunately the case is not large enough for the RB. I don’t want to bring the camera back home to spread its wealth to my other photographic toys, but I highly doubt anyone here in Costa Rica would possibly be interested in buying mine. If not sold here, I will have it on eBay in a matter of days of my return to civilization. So if you happen to buy a musty RB Graflex from me, it should be fine as long as you keep it in a sunny, dry, and warm environment. A week in a dank basement and you are looking at a wispy layer of fungal icing on your camera cake. On the other hand, what do you expect for $200?

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Oh no, not another Fujifilm digital disaster!

x100 480x290 Oh no, not another Fujifilm digital disaster!Looks like the web is all a-flutter about a prototype from Fujifilm being shown at this year’s photokina.* The X100 has been called everything from a Sigma-killer, or a a Leica-lite, to a challenger to the Micro-Four-Thirds format. All of these predictions are not without merit, but people seem to quickly forget how quickly Fujifilm can screw up a damn good thing…

Lest we forget that we are talking about Fuji… the company that has a digital division produced under the name of Fujifilm. When it comes to professional-grade digital cameras with the Fujifilm name on it (excluding Hasselblad H-series cameras etc.), it is safe to assume that the X100 will be like its Fuji predecessors with these three characteristics:

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Found ‘Round the Web… David Alan Harvey

Besides sharing my first and middle name, Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey is seemingly as camera bag-obsessed as I am. His collection exceeds my own, but I’m catching up!

Bag World from Stephen Alvarez on Vimeo.

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WordPress Wankers…

e mark 480x480 Wordpress Wankers...Well, my inbox has been taking a beating as once again there are a new round of hackers trying to create Admin accounts. This happened to me and other WordPressers almost exactly one year ago. I posted about it last September, after a few weeks of new users popping up at a time when my page views were at their lowest. I made a list and it seemed to be helpful for others, so I will post a new list and add to them as they come into my website.

There appear to be a few Russian email addresses, not unusual in the world if hacking. I’ve also recently noticed a large influx of referrals from Russian casino website which may have something to with this latest set of attacks. What is the new surprise is that another WordPress-based site I visit regularly, Nikonrumors.com, is also referring these attacks. As before, you need to be concerned with these subscriber accounts as they are designed to be a proverbial foot in the door for hackers to convert them into administrator accounts. Of course, some of it is simply forum/blog registration spam. Either way you don’t want them on your site. You can read about many others who have caught these attacks in time, and some after it was too late, by searching for “WordPress hackers.” One way to help filter out these scumbags is to Google any suspicious email addresses. Some are so fishy that they don’t need to be looked up at all. So far we have these uninvited guests:

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A Little Bag Bashing…

So what do3996090387 cb28874d38 m A Little Bag Bashing...es your messenger/shoulder/camera bag says about you?

 

 

Crumpler: Williamsburg is the center of the universe and I have no problem paying $7 for a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon

Timbuk2: I’m too old for a Crumpler

Tenba: My other bag is a tote from the last PBS pledge drive and in this bag is my Blackberry, business cards, laptop, and a whole lot of messy unorganized paperwork

Lowepro: I will never go camping with this bag, but it looks good with the North Face gear I own, and to no coincidence, will never go camping with either

Billingham: My other bag carries my vintage golf clubs in the back seat of my restored 1965 Alfa Romeo Spider

Domke: How else am I to earn a Pulitzer?

f64: I’m old, my camera is old, my technique is old, and still think Ansel Adams was the messiah

Freitag: I think purchasing carbon credits and biodiesel are really good ways to exorcise my post-industrial bourgeois guilt

Tamrac: This was a real bargain – it came free with the deluxe camera kit and extended warranty I ordered online and saved a whopping $10 over the price at my local camera shop

National Geographic: My travel agent booked me on one of those lovely safari package holidays and as soon as I got back I sold every shred of that expensive photo gear I purchased for the trip except for this bag. Currently it wields nothing but an iPod and some magazines.

Chrome: I spent a lot of money to look like a homeless bike messenger. My NJS certified singlespeed has Phil Wood hubs and deep vee wheels, plus I have a tattoo of it on my leg

Jansport: Mommy bought this for me!

Manhattan Portage: Eeny-meeny-mine-moe, I picked the dullest bag, I know…

Kipling: My shoes are very important to me, that is why they spend half the day in this bag

Victorinox: I am an elitist douchebag who will buy anything European, just for the sake of it being European

Ortleib: Although I make my commute on a bicycle year round in all weather conditions, I really hate biking

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You Point, Eyepoint

61754892 ebf83ca380 m You Point, Eyepoint
cc You Point, Eyepoint photo credit: Philgarlic

I briefly mentioned finders in my last rant. This has led me to my latest gripe – whatever happened to high-eyepoint viewfinders? Leica and Nikon finders pleasured a whole generation of sweaty, overweight, myopic photographers. You would think with the prevalence of these dim and tiny viewfinders attached to APS-C cameras, someone at Nikon would have though to pull an old F3 HP off the shelf and cram the finder onto a D300s.

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A Love Letter to Nikon & Pentax

letter3 480x359 A Love Letter to Nikon & PentaxDear Pentax and Nikon,

I applaud both of you for sticking with the lens mount system that has been carried through the transitions from manual focusing, to auto focusing; and from film to digital. Allowing photographers to mix older lenses with new ones in their optical libraries gives both of your systems an unparalleled advantage when it comes to the palette of lenses afforded to a shooter.

On the other hand, I am constantly fighting the urge to spit in your face the way you have spit in the face of every customer using a manual focus lens with an APS-C or full-frame digital SLR by not providing them with the option to use a split-image rangefinder or microprism focusing screen. Do you know how hard it is to accurately focus a Nikkor 50/1.2 AIs lens with a D300s? One has to have to bracket focus while squinting through the low magnification finder! And that focus confirmation dot is useless for any precision. Sure Katz Eye and some Asian junk peddlers offer some “void-‘yer-warranty” screens, but it is not the same. What is more aggravating is that it isn’t like Pentax or Nikon have never designed or don’t have the ability to manufacture these types of focusing screens. They have previously been present in their wares for decades.

Some of the current SLRs have interchangeable screens – as long as you like grid lines in addition to the standard matte. It is like offering unsweetened vanilla ice cream in addition to basic ice milk – there is a whole world of flavor out there Nikon and Pentax are missing out on. Many older lenses were better built and are better optical performers than their current counterparts. The Nikon 28mm/2.8 is a prime example of that, where the durable AIs version has eight elements in opposition to the plasticy D-type with six. What is the point of getting excited about the latest and greatest digital camera released if you can’t use it to its fullest extent?

Take a lesson from Leica – notice they didn’t replace the rangefinder of the M9 with a digital focus scale. They could have, but clearly they respected their core user group unlike you headache-inducing bastards.

Tersely yours,

Angry Photographer

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I’m still here

A minor site update for the few who are still paying attention.

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