Morning mist

A couple of images taken with the Plaubel Makina 67 and Kodak Portra 160VC. Converted to monochrome since it was an expired film from 2012 and there was serious color shift (and they look better in monochrome !)

I think I have only one more Portra 160VC roll left, thankfully the new Portra 160 and 400 are still in production.

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(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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Long exposures with Sony A7s

The Sony a7s has become my main camera both for photos and video. For video, is a truly amazing camera. For photos, is not on par with my Nikon D800E for landscape work, but for everything else it is my tool of choice, unless there are specific projects like architecture or portrait work for example.

One distinct advantage of the Sony is size and weight. I always was very sensitive concerning these factors, but recently due a hernia surgery, my weight restrictions became very specific for the following months, so I am trying to keep my camera bag quite light these days.

I wanted to make some long exposures last weekend, so instead of my usual choice for this kind of work (Nikon D800E with 24-70mm lens) I chose the a7s (with the battery grip) with two lenses, the Voigtlander 21mm f/4 and Leica Summarit 35mm f/2.5. This combo is just 1kg weight, which means I can carry it along with my tripod without any problems.

Back to long exposures now, I used my B+W 110ND filters (10 stops) to be able to shoot long exposures during daylight. This was the first image I shot.

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Well, it’s obvious that there is a light leak issue here !

I’ve heard about this issue on both A7 and A7r models, I don’t know if it’s the same issue, or the fact that I had an adapter for my Voigtlander 21mm made worse this leak (I use a Novoflex adapter, so no quality issues with it). The Summarit 35mm exhibited a much smaller problem (almost absent). The solution was simple. I put a black stripe around the part that was leaking (top right and bottom left corner) and problem solved. This leak occurs at 30 seconds and longer exposures, and is nothing that really worries me, since I rarely shoot daily long exposures, and based on the results I got, I will return to my beloved Nikon D800E for this kind of photography !

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Seascape

With the Voigtlander 21mm and the filter attached, the sky didn’t look as good as I wanted to (its a rangefinder wide angle, wide angle lenses behave better on the A7s than the a7 and a7, but I suppose with filters attached you may have issues in the corners), with the Summarit 35mm results were better.

Camera operation was very easy, the live view made it a breeze to calculate exposure. No complaints here.

In conclusion, I was happy with the results I got, the A7s despite being aimed at videographers, is also a very good stills camera. But for long exposures during daylight, I will definately rely on the Nikon 800E in the future. It’s image quality and resolution is really spectacular and is the right tool for this kind of photography.

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Long Exposure | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lone Tree

Lone Tree
(Image taken with Fuji X100)

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Landscapes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Tree

It’s two weeks before Christmas and our tree is in place. I took this opportunity to shoot a short video and at the same test my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens (Nikon mount) on my Sony A7s camera.

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.
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Amazon.co.uk links

Sony a7s E Mount Camera Body (12.2MP, Full Frame CMOS Sensor)

Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Lens for Nikon

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Posted in Video | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Umbrellas

A rainy day means umbrellas, and this is what I decided to photograph today. For these kind of images, I usually employ my Ricoh GX200, due to it’s fantastic ergonomics (it can be easily operated single handed while my other hand holds the umbrella!). Today, I chose to use my iPhone 5s, an even more stealthy camera. I am not a fan of it’s image quality, but managed to make some decent images (although I will probably return to my Ricoh or my film Leica next time).

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Street | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A walk in the park

A few images I’ve taken during a short walk in the park. I had with me the Leica M6 with Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 lens and used a cheap (and expired) Fujicolor 200 film.

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Analog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The good old Leica M8

The Leica M8 is the first digital rangefinder from Leica which was released 8 years ago. It’s a camera I have used extensively for the last six years, and I still use it for infrared photography due to its unique “faulty” sensor (the IR filter is very thin so you can easily shoot infrared handheld).

As it is natural, technology has progressed a lot since 2006, still I find the M8 a great camera to use. Black and white images look wonderful probably due to the CCD sensor and thin IR filter, and I find the tones to be very subtle, also probably due to the CCD sensor. This is not a camera for available light, the high ISO performance is awful, but it is a rangefinder camera, and those who have shot rangefinders and liked them, know that it’s very difficult to part with them !

Below are images taken with the M8 (and they are not infrared, for a change !).

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Cameras | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ultra High Resolution: Meteora

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One of my first priority when I make landscape or travel photography is to create an image that could be printed at large size. I love printed photos and there is really no comparison between a large print on the wall and a computer screen. That was the reason that I started shooting medium and large format film, and also got a 6×17 panoramic camera a few years ago. Those were the times where 10 or 12 megapixels were considered high resolution ! I could stitch images together but it was really a burden.

Eventually, the Nikon D800E came and changed everything, at least for me. It matched the resolution of my 6×9 medium format camera and being digital, meant that I could experiment at no cost at all (films costs money !) and also stitch much fewer images than with my D700 for example, so I could reduce the possibility of any mistakes, or even being able to include moving subjects in the frame.

The image you see above is a 433 megapixels capture shot at Meteora, Greece. It took about 40 images (if I recall correctly) to create this panoramic photo. A 3 meters wide print at 300dpi with stunning detail, and you can easily go above 4 meters long at 200dpi or even more if I interpolate. It sure is difficult to find a place to hang it on my wall !

I used the Nikon D800 with the Nikon 28-300mm lens, not the best performer in terms of image quality, but I used a focal length of 135mm for the whole capture and I did not have with me my 135mm prime, Still, image quality was very good. This shot was actually a test to see if I can produce an image like that in the specific location. I will return eventually to reshoot it in a more appropriate time of the day (aka golden hour).

Stitching images was done in Autopano Pro, and as you can imagine it took a long long time, but the result was impeccable. This is the largest image I have produced so far, until the next one of course.

Usually, the more images you shoot for a stitch, the probability of a mistake increases. The D800E is really a superb tool for this kind of work, and most important, an affordable one, since the next step is a medium format camera which costs thousands.

As you can imagine, everything was shot in manual mode (including the White Balance) in order to maintain exposure and colour consistency.

Here are a few crops from the final image.

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Traveling with Polaroid: Plastiras Lake

This is the first post of a series I am going to make with Polaroid images from my travels around Greece. I really enjoy taking Polaroids and despite being a kind of expensive hobby, I tend to shoot very few each month.

I got involved in instant photography after Polaroid stopped producing its films. Thankfully, Impossible Project started producing films again, and I hope they will keep making those instant films. I also use a Fuji Instax camera, but I really prefer the unique look of a Polaroid photo.

Today’s images were taken at Plastiras Lake. All photos taken with a Polaroid SX-70 camera. I also own the Spectra, but the SX-70 is my favorite.

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Amazon.uk link
IMPOSSIBLE INSTANT COLOR FILM FOR POLAROID SX-70-TYPE CAMERAS

(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

Posted in Analog, Instant photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Plaubel Makina 67 with Efke 25 film

Today I am posting photos taken with one of my last EFKE 25 film rolls. It is one of the many films that have been discontinued during the past years, and one of my favorite for its classic look.

A film with ISO 25 requires light, but at the same time is very convenient for shooting a medium format camera like my MAKINA 67 wide open in broad daylight without the use of a ND filter.

Development was done with R09 developer.

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(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

Posted in Analog, Black and White | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments