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Steese Highway trip

A family I know has a yearly house party where they serve food grown in their own garden, in Central, Alaska. That’s 130 miles from Fairbanks, and the road there is through some scenic wilderness. Unfortunately, my landscape photography still isn’t up to my own standards; only a few images came out with proper exposure. I really need to figure out bracketing on my “new” Canon. My still-lifes and close-ups came out much better. As already noted, this thing can capture some serious detail.

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The big camera

I recently picked up a used Canon 1Ds mark II, which is a decade-old digital camera. That’s prehistoric, but it’s one of Canon’s full-frame professional cameras. I can’t afford new ones, which cost $1000s. It’s a massive tank of a camera, and so not well suited to casual photography. I got it for the landscapes, still-lifes, and close-ups that I tend to do.

Equipped with a 50 mm f/1.4 prime lens, the photos it takes blow those of my trusty Nikon D40 out of the water. The images below aren’t of anything special, but look at the detail! Feel free to zoom in. I’m uploading them exactly as they came out of the camera, except for the conversion to JPEG.

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More medium format

Here are a handful of images from the Rolleicord, on ISO 400 black and white 120 film. The addition of a dedicated handheld meter really improves the exposure. I’m really liking this bigger film size. The detail is exceptional (compared to 35 mm). That does reveal one problem, which is that ISO 400 is a poor film speed to use for landscapes, particulary with this Tri-X-style film. Grain is artistically great for street photography and close-ups (like the cat photo), but not so hot when you’re trying to squeeze maximum detail out of distant subjects. Time for some ISO 100.