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What's New Archives          Nov 01, 2006 - Jan 01, 2007

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November 14, 2006 – Leica Magenta Cast Issue

The teapot tempest known as the Leica M8 Magenta Cast problem now appears to have a short-term fix. Though this problem seems to be concerning some vocal observers more than actual owner / users, this solution appears to offer a workable solution for some while we wait on the company's proposal. My write-up is now online.

Update:

The indefatigable Erwin Puts has published Part 2 of his ongoing Leica M8 review. (Are you bored with this topic yet? I'm not.) In any event, it makes for interesting reading; will feed the trolls, and is an ideal cure for insomnia. A Lagavulin double (no ice, but with a bit of Evian) is recommended for the faint of heart.




November 15, 2006 – New Site Design

Welcome to our new look. The site has had a face-lift and you'll notice quite a few changes, some of them cosmetic, but there are several new features as well.

One of the changes is the new navigation bar at the top left of each page. This is not in a frame, so it will scroll upwards as you move down a long page. You’ll also find major navigation links in the footer of each page.

What’s New (this page) now is available as an RSS feed (at long last). We have also added the small videos that I’ve been producing recently, as well as some of our preview videoclips on a separate Vodcasts page, where they can be subscribed to, viewed immediately, and also loaded into your Video iPod.

We have tested the new CSS design on almost every current browser on PCs and Macs. The only problem that we’re aware of is that Safari users will need to clear their cache to view this page properly. Firefox users should also empty their browser's cache. If you do experience any other browser problems, please let me know.

Warm thanks to Mark Guertin for his assistance in making this all happen. More to come.




UPDATE: The profiles for working with megenta Leica M8 files, as described in yesterday's article on the Leica M8, can be found in the Capture One Pro demo, which may be downloaded without charge, and then loaded into the version of Capture One LE that ships with the camera.


November 16, 2006 – Creating Portfolio Book Albums

How do you store and present your prints?

Contributor Mark Segal has an approach that is not only attractive and simple, but not terribly expensive. Find out what he does in Between the Shoe-box and the Portfolio Box.


November 17, 2006 –Two New Portfolios Available



It has been about two years since I last made my print portfolios available through this site. Previous editions have been sold out for quite some time.

I have just announced an Antarctic as well as a China portfolio, each containing images from shoots done during the past 12 months. Online slide-shows are available showing the images that are contained in each portfolio.

Each portfolio contains twenty 11X17" (ANSI-B) prints in a portfolio case. Each of the prints is signed, and the edition is signed and numbered as well. These portfolios are limited to just 25 copies each.


Fuji has just reintroduced Velvia 50 to the UK market. It was apparently discontinued nearly two years ago. (Guess I didn't notice).

Nikon has today officially announced the D40, a new low priced 6MP DSLR.



November 19, 2006 – Canon iPF5000 Mac Intel Driver

The Canon iPF5000 printer has lacked a driver for Intel Macs since its introduction some six months ago. This has now been remedied, and my new report shows where you can find them for download.

This year’s digital cause celebre is Leica’s release of the long-awaited M8 camera, but with a major flaw, its excessive infrared sensitivity and subsequent magenta tinted blacks under some situations. What people want to know is why didn’t this show up in initial testing, and what if anything can be done about it?

Sean Reid has now published Part 4 of his ongoing review of the M8. In it he discusses why this magenta cast problem was initially missed (including by yours truly), points to another digital camera which has had almost the same problem for more than 2 years, and which no one has noticed till now, and he discusses the use of IR cut filters to provide a partial remedy. Please note that Reid Reviews is a subscription web site.

Leica has said that they will be announcing their proposed fix for the problem, likely this week. It could entail new firmware, new profiles, and likely the use of lens filters. It may even entail existing owners having to return their camera to the factory. We’ll know soon, and it will be reported here once announced. In the meantime shipment of the M8 to dealers have been halted.

Update: Current owners of the M8 will want to try out the new Leica M8 profiles created by Jamie Roberts. You can read about them here, and download them here. They appear to do an even better job of dealing with the magenta cast than the P30-Easy Black profile which I wrote about last week. If these profiles had shipped with the M8 from day one I doubt that we'd even be aware of the problem, and certainly it would not be the public relations disaster that it has become.

I need to make the observation here now that though some Internet Cassandras have had a field day with this problem (are you old enough to remember the phrase nattering nabobs of negativiity?) , the M8 itself remains a superb camera; capable of taking some of the highest quality images I’ve yet seen from any camera short of a medium format back. More soon.


November 21, 2006 – From the Big House, to the Outhouse

Today's featured article is a new essay on photography and art criticism by regular contributor and fine-art photographer Pete Myers. It is titled From the Big House, to the Outhouse.

With winter about to descend (at least for those of us on the top half of the planet), the leaves are gone, yet the mantle of snow which makes winter photography so interesting and challenging is still a month or so away. With that in mind, the current Home Page photograph is a reminder of what is to come.


November 22, 2006 – Win a Digital Camera

You probably have noticed mention on these pages of The Video Journal. This is the DVD magazine which we publish and which pays the bills on this site. Without your subscriptions and individual issue purchases we would not have the resources to keep this site going. We don't carry any advertising on this site other than for our own videos, and have no sponsors or commercial relationships. The Video Journal is it!

So, from time to we do something to get your attention – such as to run a contest. Our latest allows you to Win a Canon G7, just in time for the New Year.

The Video Journal is a terrific resource for anyone passionate about their photography. There's nothing else like it in the world. Each issue has more than 2 hours of broadcast quality programming about photography by award winning film maker Chris Sanderson, and Michael Reichmann. This disks will play on any computer or set-top DVD player, anywhere in the world.

Help support this site. Win a Canon G7. Make yourself a better photographer by subscribing to The Luminous landscape Video Journal.


November 24, 2006 – Sandisk Extreme IV Speed Demon

It isn't often that a new technology comes along making something 2X – 3X faster than the previous generation. This is the case though with the new Sandisk Extreme IV cards and Extreme card reader when used with Firewire 800. Even with Firewire 400 or USB II there's a marked speed improvement in file transfers.

Find out the details in my Sandisk Extreme IV review.

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An announcement appeared today on the Leica US web site. In brief, it describes how anyone with an M8 bought prior to now will be able to send their camera back to Germany for an upgrade. This will be to fix various problems as detailed.

But, curiously, there is no mention of new profiles, or a fix for the poor auto-white balance. This announcement is also at odds with details which were provided in a letter to Leica dealers earlier this week.

I'll have more on this situation as it evolves and additional details become available, likely after the holiday weekend.

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The Home Page photograph has been updated.
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Remember to enter our new  Win a Canon G7 contest.



November 27, 2006 – Whose Problem is Colour Management?

With the advent of digital imaging photographers have become responsible for managing colour. It used to be the chemists and scientists at Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa that did this for us, but now we have had to take over this responsibility.

Today, Ray Maxwell, an engineer (and fine-art photographer) with decades of experience in the field of colour provides us with the first in a new series of articles on the topic, titled – What's The Problem Color Management is Trying to Solve?

On behalf of readers I'd like to welcome Ray. We met for the first time earlier this year on a shoot we did together in Western Canada, and I found him to be a most thoughtful and well informed individual. I look forward to his future contributions to this site.


November 28, 2006 – TOP Turns One

The Online Photographer, a web blog published by Mike Johnston turns one today.

Mike wrote a great many columns for this site over the years, and for the past 12 months has been informing and entertaining readers with his daily blog at TOP.

Today I'm pleased to feature an interview with Mike Johnston by David Emerick


November 29, 2006 – Epson 3800 Interview Vodcast & New Leica M8 Information

At a recent trade show in Toronto I had an opportunity to interview Andrew Patrick, who is responsible for Epson Canada's Professional Imaging Group. The just-launched Epson 3800 printer is discussed, as well as market competition and future directions in photographic inkjet technology. A video of that exclusive interview is now online.

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Sean Reid
of Reid Reviews has recently updated Part Four of his Leica M8 review with a short piece by master digital printer David Adamson as well as some information related to the official announcement Leica placed on their site on November 24.  With his permission, we're reproducing some of his comments here:

"...In addition to the information included in this announcement, I've received the following information from Leica. Customers in the USA and Canada will have the option of sending their cameras either to Leica USA or directly to Leica in Germany. The corrective work (confirmed as a change in the camera's hardware) can, however, only be done in Germany. Any M8s purchased in the USA after November 27, 2006 should already have had these hardware changes completed but I recommend confirming this fact with the selling dealer before making the purchase. Just to clarify Leica's statements above, firmware version 1.10 (or higher) should be available for customer download and installation in early December of 2006. It will not be necessary to send the M8 in for firmware updates. In the USA and Canada, the two free filters themselves should be available from Leica USA in January of 2007 and then additional filters should be available from Leica dealers in February of 2007. Registered M8 owners (in the USA and Canada) who wish to place their request order (for the two free filters) may do so by completing the PDF form linked here  and faxing or mailing it to Leica USA. I expect to be discussing further information about Leica's response to these issues when that information becomes available."
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The Home Page photograph has been updated.



December 1, 2006 – The Leica M8 Debacle and Silver Lining

The launch of the eagerly awaited Leica M8 last month turned out to be a bit of a debacle.

The company has now addressed the magenta cast issue with filters, and the smearing and green ghost issues with a factory recall. Poor white balance will be addressed with a firmware upgrade soon, we're told.

So is the M8 a failure, or a flawed jewel? I summarize the situation and find something of a silver lining in my new report titled the Leica M8 Solution.

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The two new portfolios which were announced two weeks ago have sold very quickly. There are fewer than 8 copies of each left in this limited edition. If you are considering one or both of these as a Christmas present for yourself, or someone else, you may wish to place your order before they are sold out. New orders are now being shipped by Fedex within 48 hours of receipt.





December 4, 2006 – Canon iPF5000 Printer – Six Month Update

I've now been using the Canon iPF5000 printer for more than half a year, and have made nearly 1,000 large format prints with it. My Update Report is now online.

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Interested in the latest in gigapixel high-res photography? Check out xRez, Eric Hanson's latest brainchild.
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Remember to enter our new  Win a Canon G7 contest.



December 7, 2006 – Namibia Portfolio Now Available. Delkin Review.

I am announcing today the availability of a new limited edition print portfolio; Namibia – The Ancient Desert. The two previous portfolios in this series, China and Antarctica, announced just two weeks ago, have now sold out.


As with each of the previous two portfolios this one is limited to just 25 copies. Deliveries are guarenteed to anywhere in the world by courier prior to the Christmas weekend on orders placed before December 18.

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After my recent review of the super-fast Sandisk Extreme IV card reader, I was curious as to how the just introduced Delkin eFilm Expresscard 34 CF card reader would compare. My report is now online.


December 10, 2006 – Oh No. Not another Leica M8 article!

Yes, another one. This one though will be of interest not only to someone contemplating the purchase of an M8, but also anyone interested in the technical aspects of sensor / lens design.

Leica M8 – Another Perspective by Efraín García, Juan Oliver, Javier Martín and Rubén Osuna is now online.
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Mastering Landscape Photography: The Luminous-Landscape Essays, by Alain Briot, is now available. Though the book is available on Amazon and through retail book stores, you may want to check out Alain's special offer.


December 12, 2006 – Mike Johnston's 48 Hours in Color-Management Hell

Printers can be a pain. Setting them up, maintaining, calibrating, profiling, and dealing with the vagaries of the relationship between the printer driver, the operating system and Photoshop. It's amazing that these things even work at all. (Having made some 1,500 A3 sized prints in the past 3 weeks I know whereof I speak).

Mike Johnston ran afoul of the printer devil recently, and in an exclusive article for this site, Double Jeopardy, writes about his pain.

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And speaking of printers, two new ones have shown up chez moi this week, the Epson 3800 and the HP Z3100. I'll be testing both in the days ahead and will have reports on my experiences online here before Christmas.

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If you are a user of Capture One, and like different B&W "looks", you might wish to check out the new JFI B&W Films for Capture One. This $19.95 package includes 15 icc profiles emulating b&w films including; Agfa 200X, Agfapan 25, Agfapan 100, Agfapan 400, Ilford Delta 100, Ilford Delta 400, Ilford Delta 400 Pro, Ilford FP4, Ilford HP5, Ilford Pan F, Ilford SFX, Ilford XP2 Super, Kodak Tmax 100, Kodak Tmax 400 and Kodak Tri-X.
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Remember to enter our new  Win a Canon G7 contest.



December 13, 2006 – Digital Photography Guides from Adobe

In a recent posting on his blog, Adobe's John Nack has published a list of guides to various aspects of professional digital photography that the company has recently produced and made freely available. Among the topics covered are color management, RAW workflow, prepping images for offset printing, and black-and-white conversion.

I was commissioned to write one of these, titled Making the Transition from Film to Digital. This is a 12 page downloadable PDF file. The blurb reads as follows...

"Making the transition from shooting film to shooting digital is an exciting journey, but without this roadmap you might find more detours than solutions. Author and photographer Michael Reichmann provides a guide to the new language of digital photography, and will help you identify the crucial differences of shooting with film."


December 14, 2006 – Pentax K10 DSLR First-Look Review

Pentax is one of the venerable names in photography. Though they were slow in getting off the mark with digital, now, with their new K10D DSLR the company has bootstrapped itself into the front ranks. My Hands-On Report is now online. This report also contains some thoughts on handicapping the current players.

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For those of you that follow goings-on within the industry, you may be interested in a press release by Jenoptik announcing that the sale of control in Sinar to Leica, as announced at Photokina in September, has been cancelled. Implications – unknown.


December 15, 2006 – Photoshop CS3 Beta Download Available

Adobe has released a free beta download of Photoshop CS3 for both Mac and Windows. It is available to anyone with a Photoshop CS2 serial number.

You can read the details at PhotoshopNews.com and download the program (it's big!) at the Adobe Labs web site.

Photoshop CS3 won't ship until some time in the first half of  '07, but Mac Intel users have been chomping at the bit, and Windows users won't be unhappy with this Christmas present either.

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UPDATE:

This is to advise that there are now just 3 copies of my recent Namibia Portfolio remaining.



Sunday, Dec 17 – SORRY SOLD OUT

Since this is an edition limited to just 25 copies, when they're gone, they're gone. Orders placed before next Wednesday are guarenteed delivery to anywhere in the world before Christmas. Wouldn't you like to find this remarkable 20 print portfolio under your tree next weekend, even if you have to be the one to put it there?



December 18, 2006 – It's not the camera, it's the photographer. Right?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said or wrote "It's the photographer, not the camera," I'd likely be as rich as Bill Gates. Is it true, or is it just another one of those tedious web affectations that people write when they have nothing else worthwhile to add to the discussion?

In my new essay titled Many Factors I look at this issue from a few different perspectives.

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I would like to thank everyone that purchased one of the limited edition print portfolios that were made available here earlier this month. The response to these offers was overwhelming, and I'm pleased to say that all three portfolios are now sold out. I expect to have several new ones become available in the months ahead so watch for an announcement here. If you subscribe to our new RSS feed you won't miss them or any of the other upcoming What's New announcements.
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The Home Page photograph has been updated to one with a seasonal flavour.

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UPDATE #1

It is with considerable sadness that I report that Bruce Fraser passed away on Saturday. Bruce was an expert and widely published author in the field of colour management.  I only knew him personally for a brief time, but have had great respect for his contribution to the industry. He will be missed.

UPDATE #2

Erwin Puts, the world's leading Leica lens mavin, now has a first review of the new Leica TRI-ELMAR-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASP online.

UPDATE #3

Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker now has a field report on the Leica M8 at Digital Outback Photo.



December 21, 2006 – Epson 3800 Printer Review

Epson has recently started shipping the new 17" Stylus Pro 3800 printer. Using Ultrachrome K3 inks like its larger sibling the 4800, the new model is less expensive, and is able to hold both photo and matte blacks inks simultaneously, automatically switching between them as needed.

Is the Epson 3800 a winner? Find out in my just published hands-on report.

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Canon has just released firmware updates for the 1Ds MKII, 1D MkIIN, and 1D MKII. (And who was it again that thought that this naming convention was a good idea?)

This update allows the cameras to utilize SD cards with capacities greater than 4GB, and CF cards larger than 8GB.

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UPDATE

It has been announced today that Pentax and Hoya are merging. You can read the details here. The industry consolidations continue.



December 26, 2006 – Leica M8 Redux

The recall of cameras from the initial shipment of Leica M8s is now underway, with owners starting to receive their updated cameras, and shipments of new cameras reaching dealers around the world.

I have had my updated camera now for about two weeks, and also a sample 486 IR cut filter. My report on the Leica M8 update is now online.

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Speaking with sensor and digital camera designers over the past few years has given me an appreciation for how tough it can be to get it not only right, but excellent. It's a combination of science and black magic.

There is now a translation online, from the Japanese into English, of an interview with two of the chief engineers who were responsible for the design of the new Pentax K10D. This makes for interesting reading, and provides some valuable insights.


December 28, 2006 – ColorEyes Pro: Top-Tier Monitor Profiling

Without any doubt the most important thing that the desktop darkroom worker can do to ensure accurate colour reproduction is to calibrate and profile his or her monitor.

This is done with a small device called a colorimeter, which sell for about $250. These always come with software, but is it the best available? Maybe not.

What has been the best, in my experience, is ColorEyes. The latest version – ColorEyes Display Pro has just become available. My review is now online.
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National Georgraphic Traveller has published an article online about the world's leading photography sites. I'm pleased to note that The Luminous Landscape is listed among them. The article is a worthwhile resource.



December 29, 2006 – Last Chance to Enter

Here's a reminder that there are less than 72 hours left to enter our Win a Canon G7.

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You probably have noticed mention on these pages of The Video Journal. This is the DVD magazine which we publish and which pays the bills on this site. Without your subscriptions and individual issue purchases we would not have the resources to keep this site going. We don't carry any advertising on this site other than for our own videos, and have no sponsors or commercial relationships. The Video Journal is it!

So, from time to we do something to get your attention – such as to run a contest. Our latest allows you to Win a Canon G7, just in time for the New Year.

The Video Journal is a terrific resource for anyone passionate about their photography. There's nothing else like it in the world. Each issue has more than 2 hours of broadcast quality programming about photography by award winning film maker Chris Sanderson, and Michael Reichmann. This disks will play on any computer or set-top DVD player, anywhere in the world.

Help support this site. Win a Canon G7. Make yourself a better photographer by subscribing to The Luminous landscape Video Journal


January 1, 2007 – Looking Ahead

While many use the turning of the year as an opportunity for review of what has passed, I'd much rather look forward to the coming year. Here's how my 2007 is shaping up, and consequently what you can expect to see on this site.

I have four trips planned at this point – Marrakech, Morocco next week; Antarctica, the Falklands, and South Georgia in February; the Amazon river in April, and Madagascar in November. Marrakech and Madagascar are personal shooting trips. Antarctica and the Amazon are expedition / workshops previously announced on these pages.

A major book project is under discussion based on the upcoming Antarctic expedition, but it's still at the planning stages and too early for much in the way of specifics at this time.

In March I will be opening The Luminous Landscape Photographic Gallery and Print Studio in Toronto. The gallery will exhibit my own work as well as that of some of the world's leading photographers. The print studio will be used to teach seminars and for visiting lecturers. I'll have more details on this in the weeks ahead.

Jeff Schewe and I will be producing a Lightroom 1.0 training DVD. The Lightroom book which I had been considering this past fall was shelved to make time for other projects.

As for test reports – I have quite a few planned, including the very exciting new HP Z3100 printer (due this coming Friday), several Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses in Leica M mount, and the next-generation of the Imageprint RIP – and that's just in the weeks ahead. New essays, articles and reviews by numerous contributors are scheduled, and I'll also be expanding my Understand Series.

Of course this promises to be a big year for Canon, and no one doubts that they'll have a new flagship 1 Series camera at some point, as well as new lenses, and lots else. I expect to have early reviews of all of these.
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The current photograph on the Home Page is titled Red Dragon, and I regard it as the most provocative image which I took during 2006. It's a straight photograph (as is almost every image that I produce). The bizarre background is a sand dune illuminated by very early morning light. The petrified trees are some 600 years old. The location is Deadvlei, a dried-up lake bed in Namibia, where I lead one of my 2006 photographic expeditions.

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We're now entering out eighth year of publication. And for those interested in statistics, in December we had 825,000 unique visitors at the site, generating more than 4 million page views that month. There were a total of 12.5 million visitors during 2006, an increase of some 15% over 2005.
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Our first new piece of the year is Just Say Yes, the sixth installment in Alain Briot's ongoing series – Reflections on Photography and Art.
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The winner of our Canon G7 give-away contest is Milan Jurga of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Congratulations Milan!

Thank you for your support of this site through your Video Journal purchases. This is our only source of financial support, since we accept no outside advertising or commercial sponsorship. Help us keep it that way though your subscrption to our DVDs.

I wish you a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2007.

Michael Reichmann


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