Saturday, October 31, 2015

Upgrade of my Nikkor 85mm f1.8 Lens

I have had a Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D lens for several years. Here's a shot I made with it some time ago.
Made with Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D Lens][
Not bad, right? The sharpness is not to be argued with. However, this is one of the few times that I've been unpleased with the "bokeh," or out of focus rendering characteristics of a lens. I don't like how the bright spots in the background are so regular and repeatable.
I recently decided to upgrade this lens, sending the AF-D off to KEH for a reasonable purchase price, and buying the newer Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S G lens, refurbished by Nikon, for about $150 total cost (after selling the AF-D). I was not sure about this trade, especially since I am not a fan of G lenses overall. Their lack of an aperture ring makes them useless on my Nikon film cameras. But, the AF-S lens just hums on my Nikon Df (and the D810 for that matter).
Here's a sample shot from the new lens:
Made with Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S G Lens
As you can see, the new lens has no trouble with sharpness, either. And, at least in this example, the bokeh is lovely. I have to gain more experience with this new lens, but it looks very good at this point.

Friday, October 23, 2015


On October 16, 2015, there was a march and protest against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and more specifically, against Monsanto, in Washington, DC.
Disclaimer: My coverage of this event does not indicate that I do/do not identify with the protester's position on this issue.
The event began at the United States White House, in Lafayette Park. The protesters took to the street, and marched from the park to the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The welcome at the EPA (by Department of Homeland Security) was calm, yet firm. This officer informed the protesters that they were welcome to protest on the front lawn, but if they attempted to enter the EPA building, they would be arrested. No one attempted entry.
Many of the protesters dressed up as honey bees, a species they have identified as being affected by Monsanto's products.
The honey bees staged a "die in" on the EPA lawn.
There was a range of speakers at the event, ranging from the very young (10 years old?) to adult. Their logic ranged as well, and a lot of numbers and statistics were stated without much context, in my opinion.
Next, the group marched on to the DC offices of Monsanto. This gentleman was attempting to get into the building, presumably on some sort of official business, when one of the protesters offered him some "Monsanto Bucks," a printed fake currency meant to represent the money that changes hands between government and company officials. He did not accept it.
The Monsanto building had prepared well, and had security guards and tape at the doors. They would not let this gentleman in. Apparently disgusted, he seemed to have had no choice but to walk away.
Interestingly, his security badge lanyard says "Criminal Division." I'm not sure what to make of that.
This was the only instance of tension that I witnessed during the protest. The police were present, but as you can see, quite relaxed and friendly with the protesters.
At this point, the energy of the group started to wane, and I moved on with my evening.
This was an interesting shoot for me. I covered it entirely with my Leica M9, 35mm f2 Summicron v.3, and 90mm f4 Elmar C lenses. Great fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween's Coming

Pumpkin Time, by Reed A. George
Leica M3, 50mm f2 Summicron Collapsible Lens
Kodak Ultramax 400 Film
Processing and Scanning by The Darkroom (
Manipulated in Snapseed

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What Do You See?

Here's my favorite shot from last weekend's LHSA meeting in Washington, DC.
I call it E(ye)nigma.
E(ye)nigma, by Reed A. George
Leica Monochrom, 50mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. lens
iso 1250, f2.4, 1/125 sec.
What do you see in this image? I hope you'll see two very different images if you look at it from a distance (or with you eyes squinted a little), and then look close up at some of the details.
It's a complicated, busy composition. I know that. That is part of why it works for me.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Got to Borrow a Leica Monochrom Camera - and I Liked It!

As part of the LHSA (International Leica Society)'s annual meeting in Wahington, DC, Leica camera offered the "Leica On Loan" program to us members. I got to borrow a first version Monochrom camera and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens. Here are two shots I made with that combo.
I am very impressed with the results. Now that the new, improved Monochrom is out, I am really interested in that, too. Purely in an academic sense, that is; I don't have $7,500 laying around...
Leica On Loan is a wonderful benefit of being an LHSA member. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of my LHSA friends in DC.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Another Panorama - Bronica ETRS This Time

I really like shooting panoramic images.
Rudy, Ben, and Will, by Reed A. George
Bronica ETRS, 135W Panoramic Back, Kodak Color 400 Film
I'm dragging the Bronica gear out after a few years of neglect. I'm having a problem with the film not advancing predictably with this 35mm wide back, but sure like how this image came out. More to come from this camera.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Aloha Lake, Desolation Wilderness, by Reed A. George
The iPhone does an incredible job with panoramas. Click on it to see the detail.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Walking Tour Itinerary and Plan - LHSA Annual Meeting - Georgetown, Washington DC, Thursday October 15, 2015

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, I will lead a walking tour as part of the program for the International Leica Society (LHSA)'s annual meeting. This year, the meeting will be held in Washington, DC. My tour will be a nice walk through Georgetown, and will last from 8:30AM to noon.
Here's the itinerary (total 2.8 miles walking), with likely photographic interests listed below each location:
8:30 AM: I will meet the group in the Marriott Lobby; we need to leave promptly at 8:30AM to catch an 8:45AM train at Crystal City Metro Station (8 minutes transport time). Fare is $3.20 (cash/fare card). For those who can, it will be very helpful if you can purchase Metro fare cards before the tour. A total of $6.40 per person should cover the Metro ride both ways.

9:00-9:20 AM: Begin walk from Rosslyn Metro Station across Key Bridge to Georgetown.
- nice views of the Potomac River, Roosevelt Island, Georgetown Waterfront from above

9:20-9:50 AM: Georgetown University (37th Ave NW from Prospect St North to O St NW).
- campus architecture, students

9:50-10:15 AM: Walk East on O St NW to Wisconsin Ave NW
- Cobblestone street, neighborhood architecture

10:15-10:45 AM: Walk South on Wisconsin Ave NW to Georgetown Waterfront
- people, street scenes, cross C&O canal

10:45-11:15 AM: Walk along Waterfront, up 33rd St NW to M St
- Potomac River, park

11:15-11:45 AM: Walk M St NW back to Key Bridge, back across bridge to Rosslyn Metro Station. Trains returning to Crystal City leave at 11:35AM and 11:47 AM (8 mins. transport time). Fare is $3.20 (cash/fare card).
- Street scenes

Here's a map of the walking portion of the tour:
The red dot in the image above is Rosslyn Station.
Here are some teaser images from my practice walk, to give you some ideas of what you may see on the tour:
Key Bridge:
Wisconsin Avenue:
Georgetown Waterfront:
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Washington, DC!