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1 May 2021

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention. This time we look at nature, used gear, breathless reviews, a case in point, infinity, Peter Eastway, NFTs and Frank Bernard Clench's statue.

  • The Guardian has published a few winners from the German Society for Nature Photography competition. Difficult lighting situations adroitly handled.
  • In Competition From Used, Mike Johnston suggests the quality possible with a $92 40mm lens on a 13-year-old camera makes it even harder to sell new gear. That's certainly been our experience.
  • And on that note, Kirk Tuck mocks Nearly a Dozen Breathless Reviews of the new Sigma 35mm Art lens for mirrorless before adding his own. "I've never used the lens," he begins. "If you have a 35mm lens you like (and who doesn't?) then you probably won't get any additional utility out of the this one."
  • Of course, the fun doesn't stop just because it's been unmasked. Lloyd Chambers gets right back on the bike with his review of the Voigtlander FE 35mm f2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical. "I’ve shot it and I'm impressed. Unless you cannot abide manual focus, this is a MUST HAVE lens. I just love the way it handles—superb haptics, superb focusing throw, fits in my hand just right on the Sony A1. The f2 performance is jaw-dropping. And the value proposition is unbeatable." Full review tomorrow. (Gee, how to decide? Maybe go with Tuck and peer through our 35mm f2.8 Nikkor from the Carter administration. Which, you know, hasn't failed us yet even though we paid it off 40 years ago.)
  • In Zeiss 15/2.8 Distagon, Metabones 1.26x on GFX 100S, Jim Kasson notes in the comments, "Old lenses can loose infinity focus." And then he explains how he reset infinity with a Metabones adapter.
  • An Essential Manual for the Travel Photographer is the second part of Peter Eastway's travel photography tips. The first was published yesterday. "There's no single way to take photographs of people, but the most successful photographers tend to be quiet and modest when they are in the field," he writes, for example.
  • In What Are NFTs and Why Are Some Worth Millions?, the BBC provides something of a FAQ on the subject. "The idea of buying something which isn't there is just strange," former Christie's auctioneer Charles Allsopp told the publication.
  • A century and a half ago Frank Bernard Clench photographed the Lockport Lock on the Ernie Canal, the engineering marvel of the world. In April, the city honored him with a life-size bronze statue and an Erie Canal Exhibit running through June 6 featuring some of his work and his equipment. The sculpture by Susan Geissler is a poignant reminder to all photographers, who are never seen in their work. Even in this memorial bronze, Clench is hidden behind a dark cloth, his face obscured forever.

More to come! Meanwhile, here's a look back. And please support our efforts...

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