Sunday, May 31, 2015

Saying Goodbye with a Buddy Shoot at Songdo Park

The time has come to say goodbye to my army battle buddy and photography enthusiast, Lorraine. As is always the case here in Korea, we soldiers will receive orders to report to a new duty station, usually after a one year tour. Lorraine will catch a plane back to the States where, after a well-deserved vacation, she'll report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. What better way to say goodbye than with a fun, evening buddy shoot? Only one location came to mind, Songdo Park, Incheon.

After a more than filling pizza and nachos dinner (these nachos were topped with chili beans, mustard and relish, what's up with that?) we walked across the street to the park to shoot some photos of the incredible architecture and reflections on the lake but mother nature was not on our side. A thick fog rolled in and obscured the bright lights on all the buildings, which was the whole reason for going there. We made the best of it and fired off a few shots while sipping on beer and soju. And even though the photos didn't turn out the best, we each captured a few good ones and had a great time saying our goodbyes!

Good luck Lorraine, we'll miss you around here and hopefully we'll meet again soon. I'll leave you with happy memories of good times, fun photography outings and this suitable quote...

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." - Richard Bach (American novelist)

Shot with Sony A7 Mark II with Minolta 20mm wide angle lens (Sony LA-EA4 Adapter) and Sony A6000 with Zeiss 16-70mm lens.

Bye Lorraine!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Real Work of Art - Zeiss Ikon Contaflex 35mm Film Camera from the 1950's

I'm a little worried about myself. Now that I have just about every lens in my kit that I've ever wanted, I am getting the feeling that I will soon turn my attention, and wallet, to collecting classic 35mm film cameras such as this gorgeous Zeiss Ikon Contaflex that I stumbled upon on eBay...

This little camera is a work of art in and of itself. It was manufactured in Germany sometime between 1953 and 1958. As with most things designed and manufactured in Germany, the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is extremely well-built and sturdy. Although it's at least 60 years old, it looks really great. When I hold it in my hands, I get the feeling like it will easily last another 60 years. It's made almost entirely of metal and that weight is reassuring. It features a fixed 45mm Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens which I'm sure will produce remarkable images. Here is a sample image that I found on the web (Photo credit:

The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is a "Rangefinder" camera. That means that the focus ring is split into two halves, the two halves will align when you manipulate the focus ring and the image is in focus. The name Zeiss is synonymous with exceptional quality in the photography industry. Zeiss lenses are reknown and this camera has the distinction of having both a Zeiss body and lens. 

Fortunately, I found a You Tube video which demonstrates how to load the film into the camera body and I also found a .pdf download of the original manual. I plan to load some film into it after work tonight and I'll be sure to share my first roll of photos with you as soon as I can.

Check out some more pics of this classic beauty...

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex I

I'm still getting my feet wet when it comes to film photography. As you can see in the images below, I got a slight double exposure from my last roll of 120 medium format shots with my Hasselblad 503CW. I'm not sure if I exposed the roll when I opened the film back to remove the film after rewinding or if the film is just a bad roll, after all, it's been expired for a long time (yes, film does have an expiration date).

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot better and am quite pleased with the images from my Minolta X-700 35mm film camera. That probably has more to do with the fact that the Minolta X-700 features an Aperture Priority mode that I really like to use. I manually set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed so there's no guess work there.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye Has Arrived!

It's always a happy day when I see my name on the mail room list, this means that a package has arrived for me and today it was the Sony 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens that awaited my signature. I unwrapped it with the unbridled ecstasy of a child on Christmas morning.

My first impressions (mind you, I've only had it in my possession for around 20 minutes as of this blog posting) is that it is an extremely well-made, high quality lens. It's all steel and feels sturdy and weighty, even the lens hood is made of steel or aluminum. It feels like it's built to last.

Photos shot with Sony A77.

Here are a few quick shots of the lens a a couple trial photos. So far so good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bored? Just Grab Your Camera and Walk

I've got these T Shirts for sale with a slogan I am proud to say I originated "EVERYTHING IS A PICTURE" (available now at and it's a catch phrase that really holds true. I decided to take myself out for dinner yesterday, as is usually the case here in Korea, and I brought my camera along. After all, I purchased the spectacular Sony A7 Mark II and complimented it with the impressive Zeiss Loxia 50mm lens for the specific purpose of shooting street photography. Just as I suspected, they make a fine pair!

Next time you find yourself with a little free time, even just an hour, you may find that walking around your neighborhood will yield a bounty of photographic opportunities, because, "Everything is a Picture".

All photos shot with Sony A7 Mark II and Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 lens