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.

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Ultra High Resolution: Meteora

433mp meteora

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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433mp copyUHR_Meteora_CROP2UHR_Meteora_CROP3UHR_Meteora_CROP4

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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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

A 36 megapixels image from Sony A7s

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A 36 megapixels image, not with the Sony A7r , but with the a7s. It’s the result of a series of photos taken handheld and stitched together with Autopano Pro software. It’s quite easy to do that, especially on images where there is no movement.

I find 12 megapixel to be enough for most situations, but it’s good to have the opportunity to create a larger resolution image when I need to and I don’t have with me the Nikon D800E.

Here’s a crop from the image above.

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(Link for Sony a7s on Amazon.co.uk)
Sony a7s E Mount Camera Body (12.2MP, Full Frame CMOS Sensor)

(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

Posted in Cameras | Tagged | 5 Comments

Cows

Cows
(Imagen taken with Nikon D800E)

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Preparing my Smugmug portfolio page

Those of you who visit www.kbesios.com, will notice that it shows my new portfolio page on Smugmug. I’ve been planning for a long time now to set up a portfolio page with photos and videos, and I have just opened a new account on Smugmug. The page is not complete, there are many more photos and videos to add, I will notify when it is ready.

This blog will remain at www.kbesios.com/blog.

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Large Format

large format

After a long time, I took my large format camera for a few shots. I managed to make about 10 images during the past two weeks. Now, 10 images on a digital DSLR maybe a couple of seconds in burst mode, but with large format is a whole project !

My Sinar Norma 4×5 is a wonderful monorail camera, built like a tank and quite small and lightweight for a monorail camera. The problems with a monorail like this on the field, is not size and weight, it’s the awkward shape which prevents you from packing it with lenses and holders on a large camera bag, unless you dismantle it, which is something I enjoy. So, I have it set up in my car and will carry it on the tripod for a very short distance. It has all the movements you may ever need, but for someone who does not do architecture, macro or anything else sophisticated, I believe a field view camera is a better choice. The good thing about monorails is that they are dirt cheap to find, much cheaper than a field camera.

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(Sinar Norma, Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f/5.6, Ilford Delta 100 film
aperture: f/22, speed: 1/30)

SinarNorma_No77_NDSoft06_150mm_F22_s1-8
(Sinar Norma, Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f/5.6, Ilford Delta 100 film,
LEE ND Grad Soft 0.6 filter, aperture: f/22, speed: 1/8)

I mostly shot Kodak TMAX 100 and Ilford Delta 100 for landscape work, but I would not hesitate using the Ilford HP5 for landscapes, in cases when the light needs a faster film to keep a decent shutter speed (f/22 and f/32 are the apertures I use more, so there are times when I need a faster film to prevent blur from moving leafs, for example.)


(Sinar Norma, Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f/5.6, Ilford Delta 100 film,
LEE ND Grad Soft 0.3 filter, Lee 23A light red filter aperture: f/22, speed: 1/15)

Working with a large format really slows down your pace. There are so many parameters to deal with, and even the slightest mistake could ruin the image. So, you are practically making an image, and the whole process from loading the holder, operating the camera, developing and scanning the sheets is what makes large format so exciting. And of course, the huge negative gives you plenty of resolution for huge prints and a wonderful tonality.

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(Sinar Norma, Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f/5.6, Ilford Delta 100 film,
aperture: f/32, speed: 1/15)

Being able to use movements gives you many choices when shooting large format. You can tilt, swing, shift, use rise and fall, all these movements give you full control of things like Depth of Field, focus, perspective etc. I don’t usually use many of those, since my primary subject is landscapes, but for those times I needed them , they were very useful.

One thing that is very difficult to appreciate on a monitor is the look of large format.The tonality and sharpness, and the ability to print at very large sizes. I believe you can’t really appreciate a 4×5″ photo until you see it printed, this is where this format shines.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience to shoot large format after a long time, and I am planning on making some images with Fuji Velvia this month, you can’t beat the look of a 4×5 slide sheet on a lightbox !

All images below are shot with Sinar Norma, Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f/5.6 and Ilford HP5 film.

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SinarNorma_No86_f32_s1-8_20110104

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©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Analog, Large format | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blue

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An old image shot at Itea, Greece with the Leica M8 camera and Summarit 35mm f/2/5 lens. This was one of the rare times I used the HDR technique.

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Landscapes | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sony a7s with Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 lens

A couple more images taken with the Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 on the Sony A7s. This lens works like a charm on this camera body, and it’s tiny size and weight makes it a superb choice for wide angle shots on the Sony. And it is also excellent when shooting video.

Sony a7s with 15mm

Sony a7s with Voigtlander 15mm f:4.5
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(Link for Sony a7s on Amazon.co.uk)
Sony a7s E Mount Camera Body (12.2MP, Full Frame CMOS Sensor)

©2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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