I love seeing this.
I had a great talk with Keith from K.B. Canham Cameras. They're an Arizona based large format camera maker.
The one in this image was a beautiful 7×17 camera they have made. Mounted on the front of it was a very exclusive Schneider lens. If the barrel of a lens is gold, it probably costs a lot. If I remember correctly, the lens had a large enough image circle to work on a 24″ back. The bellows for that 24″ camera extended out about 2 meters. They didn't bring that camera along for the trip.
They were positioned at the Kodak booth where they've become partners in the distribution of Kodak sheet film.
I asked Keith if the market for the cameras was growing or not. He said before the economic downturn, they were extremely busy. They expect growth to happen again, once things improve.
I've never shot with one, but I'd love to. I love the 7×17 format. I don't think I'd be married long if I came home with a 3rd camera system.
Speaking of Kodak
I went over to Kodak to see if there was a new film, I think they launched the new Ektar 100 around the last Photokina. Sure enough, there was some new Portra 400. It's a great film.
If you want the film look, shoot film. Go grab a $5 film rebel and mount your 85L to it and get some of this stuff.
Apparently Kodak remains committed to marketing and producing film. It's great to hear.
Samsung had a big presence
I must admit, I do not pay a lot of attention to the Korean electronics giant when it comes to photography. Maybe it's because I've never gotten along with their TV's. Samsung has stated they want to own the mirrorless market, and they looked very aggressive with their massive booth.
I played around with the NX100, I must say I didn't really like the feel of it in my hands. It was far too smooth. They need to add some rubber or leather to the body. It was well laid out and the buttons had a nice feeling to them. I'll be looking forward to seeing the image quality.
We seem to talk a lot about M 4/3 & Sony, never Samsung. Is it different in Asia perhaps?
I Love Gitzo
Gitzo had a great booth showing off ALL their wares. I learned yesterday that they have a Safari line of tripods. They're accented in an earthy green. They're nice and seem well sealed. I have enough tripods, so I will not be buying another.
They also showed the Athena you see in the image above. It's a “self levelling electronic device”. In the demo, the 5D Mark II inside it was rotating in full 360.
The one knock I have against Gitzo is their lack of a TRUE Arca style mount. Their ballheads are nice, but they'd be a lot nicer if they added that to the lineup. I won't buy a Gitzo ballhead because of that fact. They do have an Arca adaptor, but it's a less than perfect solution.
My main tripod is a GT3541LS, it works for every occasion.
Topaz Labs (This is not an ad)
I had the pleasure of running into the guys from Topaz Labs. I was enjoying a fine German meat product on one of the many patios and we started chatting. I think received a very cool demonstration while eating dinner (more on that in a sec).
I learned of Topaz Labs and their software from ads appearing on this site.
After they demoed the various plugins, I came away pretty impressed. It's software that's priced for everyone. There's a lot of plugins for Aperture and Lightroom that cost more than the programs themselves!
This software will work for everything from Elements to iPhoto to Lightroom and Aperture.
The Demonstration (iForce)
One of the folks involved with Topaz Labs also has a side project for the iPhone. If you're into magic at all, this app is extremely cool.
Creator Greg Rostami jumped up from his dinner and came over to my table and for the next 5-10 minutes, he performed a magic show with his iPhone. I was entertained, as were some of the patrons of the restaurant.
The programming for this app is pretty clever use of the iPhone hardware.
I said I'd find something wacky at Photokina, I didn't realize it was going to be a magic app for the iPhone.
Greg's Site: http://www.rostamimagic.com/
Howabout some Photography? The Red Bull Illume Competition
We buy and talk about all this photography equipment a lot, howabout using it to create amazing images? Mission accomplished with the Red Bull contest.
I was introduced to the Red Bull action photography contest at the show (where have I been?). The winner received a Leica S2! After seeing his image, he should have received 2 of them.
Check out the site and all the amazing photographs.
So that was a lot of stuff in a short amount of time at Photokina. I'll write a wrap-up of the event in the next day or so and give some opinions of the good and bad from our favourite brand, Canon.