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a small FAQ
deze pagina in het nederlands

what is in my bag?
how do I stabilize my lightweight tripod?
what makes a camera professional?
at the airport
hacking the om4(ti) synchro-time
my dream camera

>How do I stabilize my lightweight tripod?

Try hanging your camera-bag from the middle of the tripod's head.
The Gitzo Mounteneer has a hook for this. I use a short string or a piece of cable for that.
Manfrotto (also a great tripod-maker & for sale outside Europe, named Bogen in the US) makes a kind of triangular cloth.
You fix it to the legs of the tripod somewhere in the middle and fill it with gear.
That's what it's for. But you could use it with stones or sand or whatever, just to give the tripod some mass. Slik now makes one too, to fit their carbon tripods. It's a little small. They justly call it a stone-bag.
Its easy to make it DIY.
With these tricks I even use my lightest Gitzo with my Sinar.
(Yes I do have an 11 kg Vinten (former video-)tripod for that, but porters sometimes come very expensive 8-))


>What makes a camera "professional"?

> For instance, what features does a "Pro" need, and for what reasons.


>How does the camera that Cartier-Bresson used compare to today's professional cameras?

His Leica M3 (and later M4) was, and is, VERY reliable. I own one. It has an impossible viewfinder. And it's no easy job to get your film in. But for the rest it's just a very well made little box with almost no options. You can wind film, focus a lens and set the time. Not much can break down.
Compare this to the post about Nikon UK who ran out of F90 shutters last week.

The difference between the pro and the amateur is, that the pro has to perform.
She or he has to come back with something.
Even when not all circumstances are perfect. You will also have to shoot your wedding when it rains.

The amateur finds his or her pictures. I love that part of the job: You just go out and capture whatever you think will look nice printed. No light? We wait till tomorrow. The shutter/lightmeter/aperture did not function well? Ok maybe better next time.

But in real life you work on a still life for christmas and in the middle of the night your Hasselblad breaks down.
Then it's nice that you can phone a friend: can a get your Hasselblad for tonight, yes I know it's two in the morning...
And then you have to explain why... No I will be more careful with yours.
Yes friends, Hasselblads do break down and contrary to popular belief you do have to pay for the repairs ;-)
They even break down rather often, or at least need a lot of costly servicing and costly repairs.
So it's also important to have access to backup, rent or repair.
Only with a professional camera system that will be the case.


> At the Airport

>I have had to open sealed boxes of film to show the cassettes to the security people.
This was on international flights though.

This happens all over the world. Once a flight was delayed for half an hour because of my 50 rolls of kodak. It was in Belgium.

>BTW, I always carry a roll of Kodak Ektar 1000, now Royal Gold 1000, in my bag.
I've been told by airport security people at home and away that they will only hand check if there is 1000 speed film in my bag. So there always is.....

This is a great advise, thanks, I will try it.
The procedure I encounter most of the time, goes more or less like this:
Could you please take a picture with every camera, sir. NO! DO NOT POINT THAT CAMERA AT ME, SIR.
I never dared to tell them it is probably illegal to record their airport.
The tightest security is probably found on ElAl and IraqAir, where I had to strip. This was in a seperate cabin though.
All the handluggage was checked in front of at least 5 other passengers and 10 security-people on a table.
All of it. My film, my pencil, my compass, everyting was tried and opened.
The girl next to me had to demonstrate her vibrator to someone who had no clue at all, but all the passengers in the room had ;-)
Yes this was before the Gulf war.

Here is the link to the x-ray faq:
FSTOP. We are a film advocacy committee aimed at making the picture-taking public aware of potential damage to photographic film generated by new x-ray security scanners installed at airports worldwide for the inspection of checked baggage.



> My Olympus Om4 ti can only flash at the synchro time of 1/60

Ha! Mine flashes at longer times also! (At last, something Mr Yoshihisa Maitani was wrong about!)

Hack the OM synchro!

If you put the T20 on an OM4 or an OM4ti in auto mode, the shutterspeed will automatically change to a 1/60.
Some people hate the Om4 for it. If you put a small piece of tape over the contact on the right (front) contact of the hotshoe,
you sacrifice the flash ready signal, but you have *fill-in flash* or *open flash* capability in auto mode.
Needless to say it does not give you faster flash synchro. Buy the 280-flash for that. (This works with the ti's only.)

Hotshoe layout on an OM4ti (the OM4 only has the upper three contacts)

Lens side....._________
................o...o------------ tape over this contact
................ o o.....
Back side

I have taped over my 4's and 4ti's for about 10 years now.
(It took me two years to come up with this. Once you know it it's simple.) And everything still works fine.
I don't know if Olympus will approve though.


my dream camera

>Just out of curiosity, if you could only have one camera and one
>lens to use for the rest of your life, what would be your choice? More
>important, WHY would you choose them?

I'd love to have one custom built for me:

The body: 6x9 cm SLR.
Film: 70 mm.
The lens: 38 mm Hasselblad Zeiss Biogon (only 6x6, I know),
the alternative: 47mm Schneider Super Angulon (no place for the mirror with these ones, alas)
Metering: probably the F5 matrix, but the Olympus Om4's otf/spot will do fine, as it does for me now.
Winder: yes
Built in flash: yes a small one for fill-in, but with the features of the Olympus 280: sync up to 1/2000. Extras:
Changeable filmcassette
Total weight and form: about that of a nikon F5
Must be possible.
Most of it I have: albeit in ten different camera's or so.
Especially the old Bronica Ectl was a promising concept and had a great line of Nikon lenses.

People do things like that: building what they need.
I recollect an article in Popular Photography, somewhere in the beginning of the eighties.
The title was: One-off Wonders.
Most of the people hacked a Hasselblad SWC to get the Biogon shifting or tilting.
In the stereo world they combine Leica's and Pentax's.
And in the pinhole world they convert campers and barns ;-)

Maybe when I retire.


any comment? mail me