Thursday, 2015-05-14

State of the gear collection, May 2015

So quite a lot has happened in 2 years when it comes to the stuff I use, and as I was bored I thought I shoot the collection as a series of thematic “kits”.

As before, click through the pics to see them on Flickr[1].

The “pre-AI” kit.

The pre-AI kit

A classic 70s era focal length collection: 35, 55, 105.

I finally got the 35mm ƒ/1.4 I was lusting after, and it happened to be an AI-converted Nikkor-N with radioctive thorium glass. It’s been through a CLA as its aperture was sticky and is now nice and smooth.

The pancake kit

The pancake kit

Another new lens: the Cosina-Voigtländer 40mm ƒ/2 Ultron.

The “assignment” kit

The "assignment" kit

(Scare-quotes as the only “assignments” I get involve being the resident photographer at company trips and family gatherings.)

I actually only use the 28-105 in anger. The 70-210 is usurped by the 30-110 below.

The travel kit

The travel kit

This has actually worked out well for me. A fast wide for environments and indoors, and a very compact telezoom for reach.

Future plans

I need something wider than 28mm equivalent, and I’m planning on getting a 18-35mm zoom for either the D700 or (more likely) the V1.

I’m growing more and more disaffected with the size and weight of the Nikon D700, compared to the enjoyment of actually bringing it with me and taking pictures.

Right now I’m teetering between streamlining my lenses towards using them with a Sony A7 and adapter, or simply getting the Df as a new FX camera. In any case I’ll probably get rid of stuff that I see as dead weight, such as the 70-210/4 and a couple of redundant primes.

[1] Flickr doesn’t use notes anymore, but all the images are tagged with the lenses in them.

Thursday, 2015-04-30

April

Hedda

Viking

Kungsträdgården

Yeah, I like shooting cherry blossoms, what of it?

Illetes

Apr 2014 | Apr 2013 | Apr 2012 | Apr 2011 | Apr 2010 | Apr 2009

Tuesday, 2015-03-31

March

Spring is in the air!

Henriksdalshamnen

Karlavägen / Tender Loving Care

Norrbro

Sicklasjön / Spring postponed

Mar 2014 | Mar 2013 | Mar 2012 | Mar 2011 | Mar 2010 | Mar 2009

Tuesday, 2015-03-17

Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley

This is a full-length novel set in McAuley’s “Jackaroo” universe, previously the setting of some short stories early in his career.

In the Near Future(tm), the alien Jackaroo appear over an Earth ravaged by climate change, economic collapse and rampant nuclear terrorism - The Spasm. They offer humanity free transport to fifteen habitable planets via wormhole gates. There are no strings attached (well our space program is ended, but it’s not clearly forbidden as it is in the previous stories).

Humanity has a new chance. Just like the countless other civilizations the Jackaroo have assisted in the past.

The gift planets are rife with artifacts left over from the “Elder Races”, not all of them benign or useful. For every fast-growing coral useful to constructing dams against the rising oceans, there’s a new drug spreading havoc. People have the chance to emigrate and start a new life on a new world, where they promptly fall back into a life of crime or start McDonald’s franchises.

Our protagonists come in contact with an alien eidolon, a ghost left in an artifact from the planet Mandala, and are caught up in a race against time to reach a dig site out in the planet’s outback… where something’s coming through…

I’m a huge fan of McAuley and really enjoyed this book. It’s an artful blend of first contact, humans vs alien and police procedural, and it takes a while to figure out how the two strands of the story is intertwined.

Big props to my local library for ordering this book basically as soon as it appeared in stores!

Search this site for the term: mcauley.

Saturday, 2015-02-28

February

Kungsträdgården

Indalsälvsdalen mot Åreskutan

Duved kyrka

Feb 2014 | Feb 2013 | Feb 2012 | Feb 2011

Tuesday, 2015-02-17

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

The sequel to Ancillary Justice. Every bit as good.

Monday, 2015-02-02

The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution by David Andress

A good overview of that most dramatic period of the French Revolution. Andress puts it into the context of foreign war and domestic insurrection.

The Revolution casts a long shadow, and Andress does a good job explaining why. After 225 years, we take constitutional government and the separation of church and state for granted. But the French nation went from quasi-medieval absolutism with a de-facto Catholic state church to radical republic and official dechristianization within a few years. All this was lubricated by hectoliters of blood and the complete suspension of due process.

No wonder the existing powers of Europe viewed this much as they later viewed the Bolsheviks (themselves conscious imitators of the French) and pulled out all the stops to oppose the Revolution.

Also interesting is that the designation of “Terror” as an official policy wasn’t a later calumny, but actually the official name.

The revolutionaries were also horrible misogynists. Politics was not for women, in fact individuals like Mme Roland were especially singled out and vilified.

Saturday, 2015-01-31

January

Kungsträdgården

Spires

Jan 2014 | Jan 2013 | Jan 2012 | Jan 2011 | Jan 2010 | Jan 2009

Monday, 2015-01-26

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

A superlative historical novel. As in her later Wolf Hall, Mantel does a creditable job inhabiting the inner minds of her characters.

I’m simultanously listening to Mike Duncan’s most excellent Revolutions podcast which is a great help in grasping the wider history of the Revolution. Just as in Wolf Hall, Mantel expects you to have a better grip of history than perhaps you remember from school.

Sunday, 2015-01-11

Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies

A superlative general history of some now vanished states in Europe. From the well-known (Burgundy, Aragon) to the obscure (Etruria, Rusyn), Davies discusses their history and compares their fates.

The book is thought-provoking, as it makes clear that not all nations are destined to lead long lives. Davies is convinced for example that the UK will break apart, citing the example of how Ireland extricated itself during the 20th century.