ImagingUSA Expo

The ImagingUSA Expo was in our backyard earlier this week in Atlanta.  I went to see the gear of course, and to get some inspiration for new things we could possibly make for photography.  I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’ve always known that you can’t make an easy living taking pictures, but the market for recording our memories will never run dry.  In all honesty all a person really needs is a good idea and just one camera, but the tools without a doubt can help.  Here’s a brief recap of the things that piqued my interest.  It’s a shame I didn’t take the time to look at the exhibits of prints.  The ones that I did see, really didn’t move me, not in the artistic or human sense.  Of course most of the images were all about clarity and visual power, much like a Hollywood blockbuster.  If I wanted to see introspective photos, I would of course go to any art school photo department or online photojournalist gallery.  This is the show to see cameras and lenses that cost more than used cars.

Me before the GWCC filled up with people.  Yes, I still shoot both Canon and Nikon. 🙂

A view of the showroom floor from above.

Canon C300 and 1DC

A demonstration of the new Canon Speedlites with built in radio functionality.

This product I really liked, the Icelight. Very cool light saber type of LED device. The quality of light was pretty nice, with a touch of daylight warmth.

I could see these being used on some indie film shoots. Very easy to place off camera, hair lights, separation, etc.

Time to fire up the ol’ noggin so I can create my own version.

The very expensive Sony RX1. I like how it is a silent reporting type of camera, but a bit out of the price range of most people.

However, the Sony is cheap compared to the gold standard pictured here, the Leicas under glass. For some odd reason though, one can almost justify the $10,000 price of the 50mm f/.95 Noctilux. Almost…

Instead of $10,000 for one German lens, you could instead select several from this audacious tree of lenses at the Nikon booth. Truly beautiful. This is about as close as you can get to diamonds and jewelry for guys.

Most of these lenses will be worth more in a few years. They certainly hold their value more than some used cars.

I knew my friends at the Sigma booth would allow much more hands on testing than the other manufacturers. I’m a big Sigma/Foveon fan, since the SD14 I have used to be one of Dick Merrill’s old cameras.

I didn’t get to test the SD1 Merrill, but I am familiar with the ridiculous horsepower in the new Foveon sensor. It’s not going to win any high ISO challenges by any means, but this camera is all about sharpness down to the pixel level.

The Sigma rep let me shoot some files on the DP2 Merrill, which uses the same sensor as the big SLR. This was shot using the modeling light.

This is a color tweaked out of camera jpeg from the DP2 Merrill. Very nice and sharp. The lights were triggered, and the camera settings were ISO 100, 1/160 and f/14. I’ve always liked the Foveon image quality. It’s just unique and different from Canon and Nikon.

I processed this image from the RAW file. The DP2 Merrill is quite slow at storing the files, but you have to learn to work with this camera.

Another image from the DP2. I stepped in a bit closer. ISO 100, 1/160, f/14. The RAW file just has tons of detail and can withstand uprezzing. The 45mm equivalent f/2.8 really is nice. For studio and portrait photographers tired of blurry photos and you want to return to the medium format sharpness, this might be the tool to get. Again, I use Canon and Nikon because they are tried and tested tools, but the Sigma is rewarding in its level of difficulty.

This is a 100% crop from the image above.

Another 100% crop.

And the camera used to take the above photos? The little one on the right!

D600 with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG

D600 with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG

D600 with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG. Very sharp at f/11.

D600 and the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4

D600 and the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4

30 degrees and wind is very cold to us here in the south.

Kitsch’n 155 Diner 🙂

Country Steak Platter topped with Mushrooms and Onions with Collard Greens and Sweet Potato Fries: ★★★★☆

Chili Dog with Jalapenos: ★★★★☆


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