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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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10 Jan 2021 8:29AM   Views : 309 Unique : 232


Thereís an Al Stewart song that begins Ď1959 was a very strange time, a bad year for Labour, a good year for wineí Ė and 2004 was a bit of a turning point for me. Up until the end of August and redundancy, I had a full-time and permanent job Ė something Iíve not had since.


It was also the year that I met a tall, slender and talented lady called Joceline Ė and very late in the year, I bought my first DSLR, a Sigma SD-9, quite a weird camera. A nominal 3mp, but with the red, green and blue sensor units stacked on top of each other, so that it gave higher quality than you might expect from an equivalent Bayer sensor. And more directly derived from a film camera than most: the viewfinder has the area outside that covered by the sensor greyed out, but itís just a full-frame device, downgraded.


The turbulence of my work life (at the beginning of September, I started a temporary job at Oxfordshire County Council, so I didnít have the trauma of a sudden lack of income Ė but I had all the fallout of having left a job that Iíd been good at, and mostly enjoyed) meant that although I still took pictures, I wasnít necessarily paying them as much attention as I did before, and do now.

Consequently, Iíve just discovered a cache of colour slides of Joceline, shot on at least two occasions during the year, Several grace this blog. Many were on the lovely Agfachrome Professional 100 RSX, the final beautiful development of the gentlest slide film Iíve met. Kodachrome may be as accurate, but it is a little colder: Fujiís Astia was a decent stab at the sort of palette that Agfa managed so easily.


And looking at the films, Iím aware that my transition from film to digital started very slowly: originally, I took a few digital images among the film pictures, and I was happy to burn through several films in a shoot, even quite a short one. The opposite is now true Ė though the first all-day arrangement with Joceline, at the Whit weekend, resulted in 27 films for the darkroom. Iíve not matched that since!


In retrospect, I view my best years at Coventry City Council as a sort of Camelot. So much of the time I was surrounded by competent people, doing their jobs properly Ė and I know thatís something that many people never experience. To be part of an organisation with competent people who also operate as a competent group is a wonderful thing: and itís one of the reasons Iíve been watching The West Wing with such enjoyment.

But if you think photographic blogs should only be about cameras and photographs, I offer you both of thoseÖ


Recent blogs by dudler


dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Jan 2021 8:32AM
Behind the Sigma is a Minolta Dynax 9 - I wonder how coincidental the layout is? Remember that the SD-9 is a conversion of the SA-9 film camera - it even has two sets of batteries: one for the exposure system, using the same type of battery as the Minolta, and a separate set in the base to power the digital electronics.

Any resemblance is not even skin deep: the Minolta has a shell of stainless steel, while hte Sigma is solid plastic.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
10 Jan 2021 10:40AM
John, about 5 years ago I bought a new Sigma SD15 camera from Germany. I bought it because I had a Sigma DP 1 and liked the results from the Foveon sensor. (I also had a Nikon DSLR at the time) I liked the results in colour from the SD 15 but it led to my love of infrared.
Briefly, the IR filter in the Sigma DSLR is in the throat of the body immediately behind the lens. This can be popped out and if a dark IR filter is placed across the front of the lens you cannot see through the viewfinder, nor see the results on screen but you can make very good IR images. As I was only taking landscapes at mid-day this was not too much of a problem.
I would take multiple images of the scene and choose the best in computer. I then, later, used a Yashica optical viewfinder in the hotshoe to make things easier. The various IR value cheap IR screw on filters were all very good. The camera could also still be used for colour with the internal filter replaced. But it was a slow clunky camera. I have some images that please me from the Sigma.

I then saw sense and bought a Panasonic Lumix GX-7 that had already been converted to 830 nm IR and with a Leica 15mm lens it produces bigger & better images and I can see what I am taking.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Jan 2021 1:03PM
I'd heard about that, Richard - sadly, the SD-9 filter is not easy to remove - I believe all the subsequent SD models were different!

I'm currently considering a full-spectrum conversion of an Alpha 7R...

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