On the left, the lovely Helene Atsuko - real name Brian Nugent - shot with the infrared-converted Canon 10D that appears in this earlier post. On the right, Helen shot with visible light, a few second later. I haven't really tried shooting infrared with studio lights, because I was worried that studio strobes wouldn't put out enough infrared light, but they do, and so I did. As you can see, latex doesn't reflect infrared at all, whereas the material of Helene's corset fluoresces. And so, presumably, an infrared-sensitive visible light camera - such as the Leica M8, or the early Kodak DCSes - would have trouble rendering it properly.
Helene quite cleverly has a burglar-proof latex catsuit:
And with that sentence I become the first person on the internet, perhaps the first person ever, to write the words "burglar-proof latex catsuit" (in that order).
Off to Liverpool, from whence one half of my family came, or at least paused in their journey long enough to have children. A journey that apparently encompassed the Carribean, although really we call came from Africa; and before then were no doubt a virus floating through space. Were we one virus particle, or millions? Did we split up, or were we always apart?
But anyway, I took along a bunch of cameras, including a 590nm-converted Canon 10D. This isn't the same 10D that pops up in Infrared X, although it's essentially identical; that one was converted for 720nm. A 590nm filter lets in a lot more colour, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because the skies and trees etc are especially vivid, but a curse because if you don't like orange skies and blue plants (or vice-versa) you're going to have to get jiggy with the colour balance. Which I did.
Unfortunately it was overcast, which isn't ideal for infrared - the colours really come alive when the sun shines on them. But it's Liverpool in November, what did I expect? Criticising Liverpool in November for being overcast is a bit like criticising sharks for munching on people; it's in their nature.
"It is your character
Deep in your nature Take one example Sample and hold Romance and replace The lack in yourself It is your nature" PiL: The Suit
The Mersey there, where the beat came from, and beyond it the Wirral, which taunts the people of Liverpool just as the moon taunted the ape-men in 2001. One day the people of Liverpool will build machines that can cross the water. But until then they fight for the Gods they made.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you replace the word "love" in a pop song with the word "lunch", the world becomes a funnier place. It's less well-known that if you replace the word "baby" with "Hitler", the world becomes even funnier. As I shall now demonstrate, for the first time on the internet, right here and now:
Ten Songs with Baby replaced by Hitler 1. Hitler, Can I Hold You Tonight? 2. Hitler Did a Bad, Bad Thing 3. Be My Hitler 4. Hitler's Got Back 5. Hitler Love 6. Hitler Hitler 7. Hitler Come Back 8. Hitler, I Don't Care 9. Hitler, I Love Your Way 10. I Love to Love (but Hitler just Wants to Dance)
Bonus: 11. Where Are you Hitler?
At this point I'm probably going to be banned in Germany. But I don't get any hits from Germany, so I don't care. Besides, the essence of humour is subversion, the more violent the funnier. And there are few more violent things than pop culture.
EDIT: But does it work the other way around? Let's see...
1. Baby Has Only Got One Ball 2. Springtime for Baby 3. Baby was a Vegetarian 4. Who do you Think you are Kidding, Mr Baby? 5. ...
I seem to have run out of songs with Hitler in them. Der Baby's Face?Baby with your Rhythm Stick? Overall the results aren't as funny. The Hitler-Baby rotation is a one-way mirror.
I've always wanted to write The Hitler-Baby rotation is a one-way mirror, but I've never had the chance. Until now.
Whilst filming bits of Britain's Nuclear Challenge - everybody has to start somewhere - I stumbled on these people falling from the sky, and filmed them. With a Canon 5D MkII, using a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. Music performed with Andrew Michael's lovely Pulsate, which fits the scene.
Over the last few weeks I've been tootling around with a Sony NEX 3, an interchangeable-lens compact body. I don't have any NEX lenses - none of them stand out - but the system can use almost every other lens ever made with adapter rings, including the old, compact Olympus OM range. A while back I had a look at the OM system's two 24mm lenses, which become 36mm walkabout lenses with the NEX's APS-C sensor; now I'm going to have a look at two of the system's 50mm lenses, which become handy 75mm short telephotos. In my dream his mouth was a hole in the bubbling mass that had been a face, and I had to dip the cake into milk in order for him to eat it, as the cancer proceeded to crush his heart. It was horrible, and every night brings a new horror.
Olympus made five 50mms for the manual focus OM system. There was the 50mm f/1.8, which was sold with the camera as a kit lens, and consequently was produced in huge numbers. It flooded eBay a year or so ago, when the world's vintage lens aficionados started paying attention to the OM system. There was also the popular 50mm f/1.4, the posh 50mm f/1.2, and a pair of macros, plus a 55mm f/1.2, which was replaced in the 1980s by a 50mm f/1.2. The company also sold an unusually fast 40mm f/2 pancake, plus two 50mm autofocus lenses for the OM-707 and OM-101, and a unique 50mm f/2 which had motorised manual focus and only worked on the OM-101.
Sony NEX 3 / Olympus 50mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4
But the lenses were available in different configurations as the system matured, and so there are dozens of different variations floating about. The earlier, 1970s run tended to be single-coated, whereas the 80s lenses had multi-coating - but not necessarily - and the 50mm f/1.8's optical formula was simplified later in its life, and there were mechanical tweaks etc. Furthermore the early lenses had a silver ring around the front bezel, whereas the later lens had a black ring. I like the word bezel, it is a good word.
First, the 50mm f/1.4. Mine is an earlier, single-coated G ZUIKO version, the G meaning that it has seven elements (E lenses had five elements, H lenses had eight and so forth). Later versions are no doubt better. Testing it quickly revealed a problem - the combination of f/1.4 plus the NEX's base ISO of 200 plus a top shutter speed of 1/4000 was too bright for daylight, and resulted in everything being overexposed by a stop and a bit. Luckily the NEX can pull back highlights, so the f/1.4 and f/1.8 crops below have been pulled back. Here's the scene at f/1.4:
Perhaps it's just me, or the standard creative style, but the NEX seems to have an oddly washed-out colour scheme, even well within its exposure parameters. Without further ado, let's give this lens its just deserts, f/1.4, f/2.8, and f/5.6 in that order, 100% crops with no noise reduction or sharpening:
Obviously glowy there are f/1.4, although this goes away immediately. You can still make out a lot of detail - twenty-one, twenty-one - but the results are arty rather than sciencey. Sharpens up nicely at f/2.8, although highlight edges still have a bit of fringing. Seems to get just slightly softer at f/5.6 although all the aberrations have gone.
And now the bottom-right corner, twenty-one, twenty-one:
Much the same as the middle, but f/2.8 is softer. At f/5.6 it's basically sharp across the entire frame. Now the 50mm f/1.8. Mine's a later version with "made in Japan" written on the bezel, which apparently means that it's multi-coated (most of the other multi-coated OM lenses had "MC" written on the lens instead). First, f/1.8, f/2.8, and f/5.6 in that order:
It's very similar to the 50mm f/1.4 in the middle. Now the corner:
It's not as good as the f/1.4 in the corners, though; at f/5.6 they're much the same, but f/2.8 isn't quite enough for the f/1.8 to match the f/1.4 at f/2.8.
As a consequence I tend to use the f/1.4 all the time. It has the same 49mm filter thread as the f/1.8, and most of the other wide-to-normal OM primes, and it's compact, as per the picture at the top of this article. It even looks good, which is a bonus - by coincidence the OM system's combination of black metal and silver matches the NEX's colour scheme.