August’s Indifference, And A Final Flourish?

Coming off July’s month of using just one camera again (this time my Samsung GX-1S), I thought for August I would slacken the reigns a little and use whatever camera I fancied.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that. In fact it has really worked on the photography front at all.

I started with my familiar Pentax K-m and a new to me lens, another 55mm, this one a Hanimar 55/1.7 that cost me next to nothing.

The Hanimar performed as expected, but more so.

In that the best photographs of the walk were better than I thought they’d be, and proved (again) that virtually any 50 or 55mm lens can conjure up a decent image with care, so just pick on and get on with it.

But it was hard work to get those few images and there were probably 10 bland and instantly deletable ones for every passable one.

I like a slightly higher keeper rate than this.

The K-m seemed to have considerable difficulty metering too, and most of the time I was exposing nearly two stops over, which I couldn’t quite figure out.

Next I tried my sole Micro Four Thirds camera, the Lumix GF1, which I recounted the other day.

It wasn’t a memorable experience either, and paired with the K-m/Hanimar outing meant I’d spent only about an hour out shooting in about 24 days.

In between, we’ve had something of a heatwave over here, with temperatures over 32C in the daytime and not much below 25C at night for perhaps 12 days this month.

Typically I go out and shoot in all seasons, and even in mid winter I’m happy to wrap and warm and go wandering for new photographs.

But I can’t bear being too hot, and the typically ensuing muzzy headaches put me off photography greatly, so during this hot spell my photography was next to zero.

Except for snatched shots of the family having water fun in the garden!

My third photowalk of the month (this from someone who would usually expect to have at least one 90 min photowalk each week, and shoot 500+ images a month), was this afternoon, a brief wander whilst waiting for my son’s trampoline class.

This time I went back to an old faithful combination, the Pentax K100D and A series 50mm f/1.7. 

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This yielded one or two images I felt were worth keeping, and it was good to return to a more reliable and enjoyable combination of camera and lens.

For the remaining few days of the month I’m not sure what will unfold. 

Whilst autumn is already reaching its fingers across the woodlands, it feels far too early to make my now annual switch back to black and white photography with a digital compact, as opposed to colour with a DSLR.

I’ve been reading up on a few Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds cameras, wondering if one with more DSLR-like handling and a viewfinder as well as a screen would be a better fit for me than the Lumix GF1.

But with only one, all manual 7Artisans 25/1.8 lens in Micro, and none in Four Thirds mount, I have very little invested in another system, and don’t really want one.

It’s more likely I’ll wait a few months and seek out one of the other digital compacts on my wish list, like a Sony RX100, or another Lumix.

So I expect this coming weekend, the last of the month, I’ll take one of the DSLRs out again with a trusty M42 lens, and hope that August has a photography flourish left in it yet.

How has August been for you on the photography front? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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8 thoughts on “August’s Indifference, And A Final Flourish?”

  1. I have very similar impression. August I started with Samsung GX-20 but I found it so unreliable, same as you with K-m. I mean, majority of shots were underexposed at least by 1 stop and I cannot set the default +1EV correction because the metering system can suddenly make an opposite calculation and overexpose the shot. I lost the fun factor here which I remember was great when shooting K-x and K100D few years ago.

    Then I moved to a small, cheap Panasonic TZ-5 which was like a breeze. Simple joy. A few days ago Panasonic G10 arrived, my fist m4/3. Haven’t played with that much but the first impression is not so refreshing like TZ-5 made.

    Yesterday I was in a mall to touch few cameras, the RX100 plays nice, the LX100 plays nice, the new TZs also play nice but currently I am little lost and considering to pause all shopping (GAS) activities and focus on the gear I have to take from them as much fun as I can.

    Cheers!

    1. Yeh Martin you’re right about that fun factor. I don’t mind a bit of tweaking whilst I go, especially when I’m using a DSLR with old manual lenses. But if every shot needs multiple takes and the exposures the camera is choosing seem erratic, it just gets too frustrating.

      I plan to take my K-m out again with a more tried and tested combo again (perhaps the DA 35/2.4) and check it all works and exposes ok with that.

      The RX100 I’ve been looking at since it came out. I do have a bit of a soft spot for Sony as their camera phones were what I cut my teeth on, photography wise, about 15 years ago.

      The original looks good still, but many say the III is the one to go for, which had a wider, faster lens, and a decent viewfinder.

      I don’t know much about modern Lumix models, but love my LX3. I wouldn’t mind exploring some newer offerings, and indeed the LX7 which succeeded the LX5, which succeeded the LX3, is well regarded.

    1. Thanks Jason, much appreciated. I do seem to like photographing ferns, there’s something about the fractal nature of their unfurling leaves I find beautiful.

  2. August hasn’t been great but hasn’t been a total loss either… I’m still enjoying the K200D I purchased a couple months ago.
    Regarding metering – it can be the fault of the camera or lens, and not necessarily the design. First the mirror needs to be clean, so blowing off dust every now and then is necessary.
    But usually I find it’s the lens… some old lenses have terrible internal reflections that overexpose pictures. Also, just a hint of haze in a lens element, while hardly affecting the pictures, can affect the metering quite a bit. Finally, older lenses are usually a bit more unreliable than newer lenses because they don’t have coatings on the rear element and the sensor itself reflects light (which film didn’t).
    The DA 35 should tell you whether there’s any issues with the camera, or if it was just that lens that was giving you trouble…

    1. Thanks Chris, I didn’t know there were so many factors that could influence the metering. Nest time I take the K-m out it’ll be with the DA 35/2.4 to see how it meters.

  3. Life has been in the doldrums for most of August. With the exception of a visit to a beer garden and a trip down the New Jersey shore we have ventured nowhere. My photography has been limited to about one photograph a day.

    Except for Wednesday this week. At Avalon Beach on the New Jersey shore I captured 70+ images on my Fuji X-T2 and shot three rolls of 35mm film in my Minolta X-700.

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