Technical Notes

The images displayed on this web site are either scanned transparencies or, since 1997, digital images. In the early days I used fixed lens film cameras either manufactured for mass use by Kodak or other similar manufacturers. I then progressed to a Russian built SLR with just a standard 50mm lens. Basic but reliable, this camera taught me how the various functions worked and gave me wonderful experience in setting exposures without a light meter.

Most of the scanned slides in these galleries were taken with Nikon FM2 and F2 bodies with a variety of Nikkor lens. One of my favourites was an 85 mm focal length lens that I used for many forms of photography. Generally shooting on slide film, my favourite stock was Kodachrome II 25 asa film later branded Kodachrome 25. Occasionally I used Agfa slide film usually 50 asa although occasionally faster film was purchased where bad light might have been a problem. My preference was always to use Kodak film within the tropics with Agfa used in more northerly climes. This rule was only occasionally broken usually when processing at Kodak was going through a bad spell.

A short venture into large format was made using a Mamiya RB67. This was a wonderful piece of kit but proved to be too heavy for the type of places I was travelling. It was also hard to hide when you didn't want people to see what you were photographing!

I am still not happy with the qaulity of scans I am achieveing. This is plenty of room for improvement here! I have tried various techniques with my Minolta scanner and I think I am getting better. Rest assured, the slides themselves are beautifully exposed and well looked after.

Since 1997 all images have been captured on digital cameras. The early experiments was with a simple Kodak DC240 digital camera. This was subject to all the limitations of an automatic machine but with knowledge gained in the field, I was able to fool the camera into doing all sorts of things the automatic functions were trying to stop you doing.

Needing higher quality I moved onto a Minolta Dimage 7i fixed lens unit. With higher resolution sensors, image quality was much improved and I took the plunge to leave film altogether and rely solely on digital. More recently equipment has been upgraded with the purchase of a Nikon D200 with a range of lenses designed for digital use. This has further increased quality and I am back with favourite Nikons.

I still have concerns with digital cameras or anything that relies on batteries to be able to operate. My old Nikon FM2s could be taken anywhere in the world without the need for replacement batteries. This was due to my experience with exposure and the only thing electrical about these machines was the light meter. Everything else was mechanical. As you might guess my luggage now contains a variety of spare batteries, chargers and emergency power supplies. If everything was still mechanical ... they were the good old days.