Editorial

Peter Flower

In Newsletter 106, in the report on the Saturday Natter, there were comments about the choice of camera that John Fisher had made recently. In an earlier article, in Newsletter 104, Pete Welch had outlined his choice of equipment for a lengthy trip to Ecuador and Colombia. (It should be stressed that Pete has a much more extensive variety of equipment at home!) However, articles like these do highlight the dilemma facing all of us when it comes to purchase of additional kit or possible replacement of existing equipment. This is particularly so if a change is anticipated from conventional DSLR cameras, which have been generally regarded as the principal choice for keen amateurs like our members who graduated from film to digital models of the same manufacturer. As will be shown in my detailed analysis (Spoilt for choice) the sheer volume of different cameras and lenses available makes the choice a daunting task.

Another topic that has been mentioned frequently in recent times is the possibility of adapting older lenses to fit on later models, especially mirrorless ones which make this option much more practical. Regular readers will know that I have experimented with fitment of Canon lenses on my Panasonic camera. I wrote to Amateur Photographer on this subject. I am happy to say that this chosen as 'Letter of the week' in the 2 June 2018 edition of the magazine.

Spoilt for choice

Peter Flower

One of the features in Amateur Photographer magazine that appears on a regular basis is a Buying Guide for cameras and lenses that is sponsored by Park Cameras. This is a comprehensive listing of key specifications for these, providing information about currently available equipment. This is a useful first guide to the range of models from the manufacturers of exchangeable lens cameras and the lenses available for them. Taking as an example the guide from the 2 June 2018 edition, this runs to no less than 12 pages of information.

Detailed examination of the listings reveals the sheer enormity of the task involved in making a choice of camera model from a particular manufacturer as well as any decision about adding a new lens to one already owned. I don't expect you to read these in detail, but a selective look at the makes or models that are of interest to you may be useful. The figures also give some indication of the way that the overall market is developing. By all means skip the detailed figures and just read the final summary.

As regards choice of DSLR camera the following figures reveal the bewildering range of models – Canon (18); Nikon (12); Pentax (6); Sigma (2); Sony (3). These facts are further complicated by the fact that some are full-frame models, others having APS-C sensors. As regards mirrorless models, the figures are as follows – Canon (6); Fujifilm (10); Leica (4); Olympus (7); Panasonic (9); Sony (14).

When it comes to lenses the choice is even more bewildering. Not only are there lenses available from the camera maker, but there are even more from independent lens makers like, for example, Sigma and Tamron. What is even more confusing is that the lenses which cover full-frame sensors can generally be used with (say) APS-C ones, but that there are some made specifically for the smaller sensor. An example is that of Canon. EF lenses can be used with all EOS models, but EF-S lenses are restricted to use on models that have APS-C sensors.

In the following listings the total number of lenses by original makers is followed by an indication within that figure of those which can cover full-frame sensors. DSLR- fit lenses – Canon (67 – 52FF); Nikon (73 – 47FF); Loawa (6); Pentax (38 – 12FF); Samyang (17); Sigma (42); Sony (29 – 18FF); Tamron (29); Tokina (10); Zeiss (17). To further add to the confusion, the independent lens manufacturers tend to supply them with suitable fittings for different makes of camera. Regarding the Tamron range, all of them are available with fittings for Canon and Nikon cameras, with 22 to fit Sony and 7 to fit Pentax cameras.

For mirrorless models the figures are – Canon (7); Fujifilm (24); Laowa (5); Leica (9); Olympus (26); Panasonic (31); Samyang (11); Sigma (5); Sony (40 - 23FF)); Tamron (3); Tokina (2); Zeiss (12). Again, the independent lens manufacturers often come with different camera fittings. As an extreme example, from the small range of 11 lenses by Samyang, 10 are available with Sony E-fit, 6 for Fujifilm, 6 for micro 4/3 (Panasonic or Olympus), and 6 with the Canon EF-M mount. In the case of the micro 4/3 camera owners, they have an even wider choice because Panasonic and Olympus lenses are compatible between both. Together with independent maker's lenses the owner of either make has a choice of 70 lenses.

Summary - If nothing else these figures demonstrate the daunting task facing anyone having to make a decision about a choice of new or additional photographic equipment. It is perhaps significant that the total number of DSLR cameras (41) is now beaten by mirrorless ones (50). Having said this, the length of time that DSLRs have been available (both film and digital) has allowed the likes of Canon and Nikon to build up a large catalogue of lenses that continue to fit their latest models. Added to this are the lenses from independents like Sigma and Tamron that are available with fitments that are suitable for these leading makes of camera. The newer ranges of mirrorless cameras have taken time to build up a comparable choice of both prime and zoom lenses. Nevertheless, Fujifilm has established a 'road map' for introduction of new lenses, whilst Sony is also building up a range that satisfies the requirements of many keen photographers, especially for their full-frame models. (It should be noted that Sony e-fit lens category covers both full-frame and APS-C cameras) Users of Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 cameras benefit from the fact that lenses are interchangeable between the two makes. Also, the fact that Panasonic's introduction of the first mirrorless camera in the range, the G1, dates back to September 2008, allowing for a 10-year development period of the lens range.

Annual General Meeting – 21 May 2018

Reigate Photographic Society – Chair’s Report for 2017-18 Season

Your committee has met four times in the season and continued to work together well over the last year. I would particularly like to thank John Fisher, Steve Lawrenson and Peter Welch for their contributions as they stand down making way for several new nominations for next year. John will continue to head up our Albany cup selection group. Steve Lawrenson will continue to head up our class selection panel as well as run a skills group for newer members. Peter Welch will continue as a valued member of our projection team. In the absence of any further nominations Chris Worsley, Irek Burakowski, Louise Baker and Nick Rogers will be joining us on the committee next year - all of whom have joined the club in the last year or two. Chris has volunteered to take on the role of society Secretary.

Stephen Hewes has continued in his role of Membership secretary and our membership has increased to 54 over the season boosted by Stephen’s open evenings in the park last July. He has also run a successful Extra Events program that has included among other varied events, the London Clowns service, London twilight shoot, instruction from Don Morley and practice shooting of a live football match, a motor cross event in Kent and a wheelchair basketball match. Through the year our monthly Denbies Natter has enjoyed a good turnout and lively engagement that has also enhanced John Fisher’s informal mentoring facility. More of our membership attended the Albany Cup evening last year with John – we hope to improve our position next time.

Our thanks must especially go to Paul Renaut and Louise Baker for their hard work in producing and sustaining another excellent weekly programme throughout the season. We have enjoyed a range of top quality speakers such as Robert Canis, Heather Angel, James Burns and Andy Hooker. Our thanks also to Peter Tucker for his behind the scenes publicity of all these events. Our interclub competition with Dorking went well and we were pleased to win this year! Mick Higgs organised a memorable Chatham Challenge event last summer and John Fisher failed to come second in the competition and so will be organising next year’s Event which will be on 8th July! Next year’s Set Subject will be ‘Staircases’ and will be held early enough in the season for us to use the results for our Albany Cup entry next year.

Paul and Louise have already lined up an exciting full programme for next season, (they will send out a pre-view up to Christmas by email, otherwise you will receive a printed programme when you sign up for next year). We have decided to discontinue the ‘round table’ event of previous years and instead Stephen will introduce more informal training type opportunities into our monthly Denbies events to cover a wider range of new members interests. On the subject of e-mails Stephen will sending out a GDPR notification request that you must reply to if you want to remain on our emailing list.

I would like to thank our new projection team who have been trained up by Jill Flower and led by Irek. During the year following research by Peter Welch, we invested in our new state of the art projector and at least one visiting speaker has commented that his dpi’s hadn’t previously been so well projected at a club. The committee has decided to purchase a portable sound system and I have applied for a grant from the BRBAC towards the cost. We are also looking into how we might further improve a print display facility.

Colin Hodson has continued to ably manage our Exhibitions – our annual exhibition in October attracted over 100 visitors this year (an improvement from the previous season) And Colin has also sorted and run the Exhibition Print competition this year.

Our thanks are due to Carol and Lester who continue to head up the refreshment team. Sadly, a stalwart member of the team, Rosemary, will shortly move away from the area. Both Rosemary and Christine have served us well and we need some more volunteers to step forward to fill the gap. Another member leaving us is Mark Thomas who has served the club well over many years.

Our thanks to Jill who has faithfully continued as our web-master and particular thanks to Peter Flower for his now very long standing and varied club newsletters. With that in mind, and in accordance with the constitution (7f) the committee has decided to create the honorary position of fellow. The constitution allows the committee to create such posts for limited periods. Our resolution reads as follows: -

"The committee would like to create the Reigate Photographic society post of 'fellow.' A maximum of three post holders would undertake such voluntary duties as presenting annual awards, welcoming special speakers or visitors etc." The post recognises the long-standing commitment made by individuals to the running of the society as well as the wider photographic community. Fellows may be nominated by any member and if agreed by the committee and appointed by majority vote of the membership would hold the post (as long as they remain in paid-up membership) for an initial period of up to five years.

"The committee now proposes the first post holders as: - Don Morley, Steve Lawrenson and Peter Flower. We would like to have your endorsement by a vote at the start of next season.

I would like to thank Modesto for his work as our treasurer and Stephen as our accounts advisor. And it is in recognition of the importance of sustaining an attractive programme that continues to draw in new members, that your committee has decided that the subs which have remained very modest in recent years will be increased as noted on your agenda. I commend the accounts to your approval which is the next item on the agenda.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helps out with the society often behind the scenes with stewarding, refreshments, washing up, helping set out the chairs, introducing or welcoming new-comers, attending the various organised events and supporting the society in any way.

Mike Weekes

Presentation of awards

After the AGM the presentation of annual awards took place. Details of these can be found elsewhere on the web site. However, one particular trophy winner was so pleased with her award that she posted the following pictures on the facebook site. Cass obviously celebrated her winning of the Don Morley Trophy with a glass (or more!) of bubbly.

Summer programme of events

Stephen Hewes made a brief announcement about plans for a series of events to take place in the summer interval. Fuller details will be available shortly.

Skittles – Six Bells, Newdigate – 22 May 2018 – organised by Jill Flower

Peter Flower

This was a highly popular event, attended by no less than 25 of us including members and family or friends. There had been a lapse in the holding of this event due to the fact that pubs in the local area had dispensed with their skittles facilities. (Previous events had been held at the Surrey Oaks and the Six Bells) Research by Jill earlier in the year revealed that the Six bells had reinstated the availability to install the skittle alley along the side of the main dining room. This is a particularly convenient arrangement because it allows the room to be totally dedicated to those taking part, as well as having the tables set up for the meal close to the alley. A process of drawing numbers was used to create the five teams, each of five members.

The evening was totally taken up with two rounds before the meal and one after. As usual individual scores varied wildly, but there were some surprising 'strikes' when more than a total of nine skittles were sent flying. This was a very enjoyable evening with members and guests mixed into the teams. As usual there was the encouraging (?) banter from rival team members as the throws were made and wild applause whenever a good score was achieved. Everyone had fun, and the irony was that no-one had a decent camera on hand to record the event! However, we are indebted to Darren Pullman and Cass Elbourne for providing some images from the evening's action.

Chris Worsley scores a strike. Action shot of Chris by Cass Elbourne, Overhead shot of skittles falling by Darren Pullman

I'm sorry to have to point out the shortcomings in Darren's photo. He is a judge and should have realised that although he managed to get an uneven number of skittles in the shot (good) I find my eyes wandering to find a focal point. Also, his choice of shutter speed was not suitable. I give it 5! (Only joking – not bad for a smartphone shot in low lighting)

More photographs taken by Cass -

Action shots

Jill and other skittlers (Cass), the score board for the first two rounds (Jill)

An additional factor that added to the success of the evening was the friendly and efficient service provided by the staff of the Six Bells. There were just two members available to cope with the bar for other customers as well as ourselves and serving up the meal. Our thanks go to them for making us so welcome and cheerfully coping with the pressures of this busy evening.

Chatham Challenge history – update

Information from Angela Vickers

Following my article on the history of this annual summer event that has taken place since 1993, and the request for further information, I received an almost complete list of events from Angela Vickers. This is not a name that will be familiar to our newer members because Angela is no longer a member. However, she was a member for a considerable period of time and served on the committee for many years as the Society's treasurer. Reference to the list shows that she organised the event on no less than three occasions.

It will be noted that the Challenge has now taken place for 25 years. The formula for this event was the brain-child of the late Alan Ainsworth who organised the first visit to the Chatham Dockyard in 1993. It is obvious that the format of the event, with the winner from one year organising and judging the next one, plus the requirement for 12 images to be produced on the visit to each of the venues has been a popular one.

Comment by Peter Flower – I have won the event, a long time ago, on two occasions. As a flavour of the sorts of subjects that were set I present some samples that I used. On the visit to the South Bank, London, in 2000 one of the subjects was simply “Chatham”. How to find Chatham in London? If you were observant on your walk along the south bank you would have seen the crest to the old London, Chatham & Dover Railway alongside the red pillars that supported the original railway line and the new Blackfriars Bridge.

I seem to remember that I also asked for a self-portrait – remember that this was before 'selfies' with smartphones really took off! In 2004 I arranged the visit to Guildford which coincided with a huge gathering of narrow boats on the canal. On this occasion I asked for a picture of “The White House”. There is a pub in the continuation of High Street, just across the bridge over the canal, with this name.

At the time the exterior hanging sign had this image of the Washington White House. Checking recently, this seems to have been replaced with a totally different design.

The 2005 event, visiting the Weald and Downland Living Museum, was organised by Don Morley. The winning scores resulted in a dead heat, and even more amazingly the winners were Jill and myself! As a result we jointly organised the 2006 visit to Greenwich.

Summing up, it is very satisfying to have assembled the almost complete history of this event which I hope to complete and publish soon. Thanks are due to Angela for her diligent research, and I hope that we may be able to fill in the few gaps in the records that she provided. I also hope that members who have not taken part in previous events will have been encouraged to join us this year.

Fujifilm X-T100 camera

Techman

On 24 May 2018 Fujifilm announced its latest X-series camera, the X-T100. The camera shares the same internals as the entry-level X-A5, including its 91-point phase-detect AF system, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder, similar to the X-T20. As with the X-A5, the X-T100's 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor uses a traditional Bayer colour filter, rather than the X-Trans filter found on pricier X-series cameras. The X-T100 has the usual Fujifilm feature set including the Film Simulation Modes. The camera can shoot continuously at 6 fps and can capture 4K UHD video, but at only 15 fps. Battery life is rated at 430 shots per charge. For sharing photos the X-T100 includes Bluetooth to speed up the Wi-Fi connection process.

The X-T100 with the Fujinon 15-45mm XC f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens is listed at £619. Currently on pre-order terms from dealers like Park Cameras it is expected be available in mid-June in a choice of 'Dark Silver,' 'Champagne Gold' or Black.

Kodak Single Use Disposable camera

Techman

Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is designed for use in low and high outdoor lighting conditions according to the company. It claims that it is ideal for use at parties, weddings, and similar events. It is fitted with a 32.8mm f/10 lens, but it should be noted that there is no flash unit. It provides 39 exposures.

At the time of writing the camera is listed on the Amazon web site with a price of £7.79 (including free delivery) from K. K. Electronics.

Sony's aim for the future

Techman

At a recent presentation in Tokyo, Sony declared its intentions to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020. It would do this by boosting its interchangeable lens systems to combat the current leading share of the market by Canon and Nikon. Despite predicting only very modest growth in 2018 and acknowledging that competitors are becoming more aggressive, the company told investors that it will "win in an increasingly competitive market and continue to generate high profit" in the mid-term. Sony emphasised the many awards from TIPA, EISA and Camera GP Japan which showed the popularity of its alpha range in particular. It stated that it intends to broaden the range of lenses it offers and to expand its professional support services worldwide.

According to figures shown at the event, Sony achieved a 20% share of the still camera market in 2017 by value, and managed to rank third behind Canon and Nikon. It says it was the number one brand in the mirrorless market, and was number one in the premium compact business.

Note: In Newsletter 73, of 27 August 2015, we reported “Some time ago a Sony top official was quoted as expressing the intention to oust one of the top two (Canon or Nikon) from that position. Looking at the competing DSLR ranges it is obvious that the greater number of models, 14 each for Canon and Nikon, lack cohesion. Not only do they cover both full-frame and APS-C models, but the features are so very different, which can be regarded as a potential weakness.” At that time, starting from October 2013, Sony had already introduced no less than 5 models in its A7 range.

The A7S II introduction was to follow in September 2013, followed by 3 more models in the alpha range, plus the A99 II, up to the present time.

Regarding full-frame cameras, the introduction by Sony of 10 models in the time-frame from October 2013 compared with just 5 by Canon and 8 by Nikon is further evidence of that company's aggressive campaign.

And finally . . . . . . . . . .

PF

Looking at the first picture – are squares A and B different shades of grey? Image 2 shows them to be a similar grey colour, although square B is actually white as we know from looking at the pattern. An example of colour constancy.

Color constancy is an example of subjective constancy and a feature of the human colour perception system which ensures that the perceived colour of objects remains relatively constant under varying illumination conditions. A green apple for instance looks green to us at midday, when the main illumination is white sunlight, and also at sunset, when the main illumination is red. This helps us identify objects.