“The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

George Bernard Shaw

Scotland in the rain of December 2005, this picture was selected on the basis of the George Bernard Shaw quote above / below. The censored approach would say the unprocessed file is not worth looking at further.

Snowdonia Mono Masterclass

By the time you read this, I will be running the Snowdonia Mono Masterclass. The weather forecast last week was predicting rain, wind and sunshine so let’s hope it was correct. This type of weather forecast fills me with hope because it brings the possibility of changeable light. The last thing I want is a week of all the same light that is plain blue or plain dull skies. Windy hence changeable is good.

So, please wish us luck.

The essential guide to taking moody industrial pictures 

Mon 12 – Fri 16 November 2018 

Highlights  Rotterdam – The Netherlands 

  • Discover how to plan a successful photo shoot
  • Be in the right place at the right time
  • Photograph exciting industrial and modern architecture
  • Excellent for colour and mono photographers
  • Free copy of the ABC of CameraWork Manual worth £25
  • Great value for money + On-going email support
  • 6 Places
New Products

New Black and White 50 ISO film from Adox

New products are coming to the well-established camera equipment market all the time. Some products are also being reintroduced such as Kodak Alaris Ektachrome Transparency film. Also on the film front new black-and-white films are also being introduced. ADOX HR-50 is a new monochrome film stock that comes in 135, 120, and 4×5 formats.


How to see photographically workshop in Spain 

26 Nov – 2 Dec 2018

Andalusia – Southern Spain

2 Places

  • Discover your ability to see photographically
  • Suitable for Colour and Mono Photographers
  • Extra Free 1 day Introduction Workshop worth £99
  • Free copy of the Workshop Manual worth £25
  • Accommodation included – no single room supplement
  • Participant picture reviews
  • Only 4 participants with 121 tuition
  • Fitness level 1 of 3
  • On-going email support after the workshop
  • Excellent value for money
New (to me) Chinese Lens Manufacturers

There is a burgeoning crop of lens manufacturers in China who are providing additional choice to photographers. The two I have chosen to highlight today are 7 Artisans and Laowa. Both manufacturers are targeting completely different sectors of the lens market.   For 7Artisans they are looking at relatively low production values and price point. With these lenses, be very aware of the phrase “you get what you pay for”. Particularly with wide-angle lenses at maximum aperture the centre to edge sharpness will not be consistent some may even say the edges are soft. If you are a died in the wool landscape photographer who craves edge to edge acutance (sharpness) these wide-angle lenses are not for you at their maximum aperture.

On the other hand, looking at the samples at maximum aperture to me the soft edges are a benefit, not a weakness. I have said before that for me digital photography is too everything sharp, contrasty and saturated.

If you are on the search for a small and lightweight wide-angle prime lens with zero distortion at the edges you could take a look at the Laowa D-Zero lenses in 9mm and 12 mm focal length. How distortion free they actually are I am not sure but from the price, they seem to have taken the time to correct edged distortion. The price of a well-corrected lens does not come cheap.

Here is a brief overview of both company’s product lines  

7Artisans lenses

A group of Chinese camera enthusiasts gathered together for a dinner in Summer 2015. They were discussing their passions over the dinner table. Some were interested in optical design, while others were more skilled at running factory production lines, and one was an avid Leica lens collector. Everyone participated came to same conclusion; “If we involve our skills and work together, we can create new original camera lenses.”

CSC Lenses – 7.5mm f2.8, 12mm f2.8, 25mm f1.8, 35mm f1.2, M 35mm f2.0, 50mm f1.1, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f1.4

CSC Mounts – Fuji X, Canon Eos-M, Sony E, MFT, Leica M.

More info

Laowa Lenses

I was introduced to Laowa lenses by a client of mine on the Street photography workshop in Bristol recently. Jeff had a Laowa 7.5 mm fisheye lens that he was very happy with.

Laowa, briefly and formerly were Venus Optics, is a new manufacturer of distinguished, manual focus camera lenses based in China. Currently focusing on a range of manual focus specialist lenses for the discerning photographer.

Lenses – 7.5mm f2.0 Fisheye, 9mm f2.8 Zero-D, 12mm f2.8 Zero-D, 15mm f4.0, 25mm f2.8 Ultra Macro, 60mm f2.8 2:1 Macro, 105mm f2.0 STF (Smooth Trans Focus)

CSC Mounts – Fuji X, Canon Eos-M, Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, MFT.


Satisfaction warning

Just be aware that lens manufacturers do not necessarily make every lens with every mount possibility.

I have not purchased lenses from either company so cannot make a hands-on judgement all I’m saying these lenses are available should you wish to investigate them for your own satisfaction.


What you need to do next is… workshop 

7 – 11 December 2018

3 places Hartland Quay – North Devon 

  • Discover new directions for your photography
  • Dramatic Hartland Quay – North Devon
  • 4 nights B&B at the Hartland Quay Hotel
  • A free copy of The ABC of CameraWork Manual worth £25
  • Great for both colour & mono workers
  • 4 Places for individual guidance
  • Fitness level 1 of 3

P800 Printer

The printer still isn’t working absolutely as one would hope but I think I may have a cause of the problem, which is a step forward. A potential cause for both error messages of (1) roll paper detected and (2) remove paper could be packaging debris left over from the initial setup. I have tried to remove the suspected debris by rolling paper through the roll paper feeder and spraying compressed air in all rear orifices. Unfortunately, this has not been a complete success but it does give me a logical reason for the error messages.

I will keep working on this theory and keep you informed.

Club Talks and Lecture Tours for next Season 

It’s never too early to book a speaker for next years season beginning in September 2019. Why not consider organising a lecture tour that reduces travel costs if you are located a long way from my base in Bristol? Share the cost with other clubs in your area. See what I offer here