Irelands Southwest and West (Part 5)

Part 5 of our 2017 trip through Irleands South­w­est and West. Com­ing to the final (ana­log) part of our tour which leads us from Con­nemara back to Dublin.

Leav­ing won­der­ful Con­nemara and the County Galway …

… and enter­ing Dub­lin — what a contrast.

Hav­ing some nice food …

… and walk­ing over the Ha’­Penny Bridge.

Next post will cov­er the digit­al part of the journey.
Earli­er parts of this series can be found here.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


Irelands Southwest and West (Part 4)

Part 4 of our 2017 trip through Irleands South­w­est and West.

Leav­ing The Bur­ren and Doolin (and the Cliffs of Moher, but that’s anoth­er … more digit­al … story) behind us, we headed north to touch Gal­way, the beau­ti­ful old town lay­ing on our way to Con­nemara County.

Gal­way … with some typ­ic­al Irish pub :)

From Gal­way it was a short, but nev­er­the­less beau­ti­ful ride to Clif­den — our final stay in the west.

Dog’s Bay and Gur­teen Bay — two nice beaches lay­ing vis-á-vis on a spit of land.

The tiny vil­lage of Round­stone, with its ceram­ics and craft shops.

Up to the Skyroad (giv­ing its unique driv­ing exper­i­ence), driv­ing by cloud covered hills and …

… hav­ing a fant­ast­ic look from the Wild Atlantic Viewpoint.

… still more ana­log work to come.

Earli­er parts of this series can be found here.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


Irelands Southwest and West (Part 3)

Part 3 of our 2017 trip through Irleands South­w­est and West.

From the Dingle Pen­in­sula we headed north to Doolin where we found loads of beau­ti­ful Cafes and Pubs.

We found some old stuff … around Doolin.

We found some very old stuff in the Bur­ren — a carst region …

… also host­ing some very old neo­lith­ic dolmen.

The Bur­ren — worth hiking.

… more to come.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


Irelands Southwest and West (Part 2)

Part 2 of our 2017 trip through Irleands South­w­est and West.

Arriv­ing in Dub­lin, we imme­di­ately got our car and headed south­east. Dub­lin itself was planed as the Great Final of the tour.
Some people (greet­ings to Jim) are recom­mend­ing to hire a car as small as pos­sible, as driv­ing in Ire­land can be chal­len­ging and Irleands roads are some­times quite nar­row. Indeed they are right. Nev­er­the­less it was great fun driv­ing a not-so-small car on one lane coun­try roads ;)

What I can recom­mend is def­in­itely an auto­mat­ic trans­mis­sion mod­el, as driv­ing on the wrong side is some­thing you get used to, but it takes a little bit. Not sure how people here can drive their whole life long on the wrong side of the road.

Our first stop down to the west was … Kilkenny. Yes, they’re fam­ous for their castle and … their beer. At least I thought when in the even­ing order­ing a loc­al Kilkenny at the pub. The friendly wait­ress told me, that since many years the Kilkenny was brewed at Guin­ness in Dub­lin. Again what learned.

As it was a one night stop in Kilkenny, we had to hurry to see all the things worth vis­it­ing here. Old Smith­wicks Brew­ery, Domin­ic­an Black Abbey, the Cathed­ral Church of St Canice or Matt The Millers Bar & Res­taur­ant, just to men­tion some.

On the road

On our way fur­ther down, we went over Jer­point Abbey and the Rock of Cashel to Kil­lar­ney, finally reach­ing our B&B in Beaufort on the Kerry Peninsula.


The next days we stayed here, explor­ing the south­w­est. Hik­ing in the Kil­lar­ney Nation­al Park vis­it­ing the Muck­ross House on Loch Leane, the Gap of Dun­loe (cool driv­ing exper­i­ence), Lady’s View, the Ring of Kerry and Valen­tia Island, from where since 1866 the first per­man­ent com­mu­nic­a­tion link between Europe and the North Amer­ica was operated.

From Beaufort, we headed over to Inch Beach (cool Irish beach), from where we explored the Dingle Pen­in­sula and we met Fungie — the fam­ous dolphin.

… more to come.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


Contax G1 with a Zeiss Planar 2/45mm

This time a beau­ti­ful Con­tax G1 found its way to me, accom­pan­ied by three legendary Zeiss lenses. All parts are in good shape, so let’s see what comes out when the first film is pushed through.

On the one side, the Con­tax G‑System (i.e. the G1 and even more its sib­ling the G2) is said to be the world’s most advanced 35mm rangefind­er cam­era sys­tem. On the oth­er side its said that beside all its mer­its, it has its rough edges too. More on that later ;)

Here are the three stel­lar lenses I meant, start­ing with the Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28mm …

… the Carl Zeiss Planar 2.0/45mm …

Contax Zeiss Planar 2/45mm

… and the Carl Zeiss Son­nar 2.8/90mm.

All three are rated as superb from a wide range of review­ers on the web — all far more exper­i­enced pho­to­graph­ers than I will ever be ;)

But now, film is loaded and on we go — an Agfa Vista 200 will do the job.

The Con­tax G1 body has been reviewed on sev­er­al web-loc­a­­tions — just check my web­site to name some — so there is no need to repeat. There are some points which are widely cri­ti­cized — things like a hyper sens­it­ive shut­ter but­ton, a small view­find­er, too slow max­im­um shut­ter speed and an unre­li­able auto­fo­cus — so I’ll have an eye on these.

The first lens I’ll try is the Carl Zeiss Planar 2.0/45mm, which is said to be  one of the best lenses of all times.

Puh, … film is done and in the lab. In the mean­time I can talk about how it went, shoot­ing this combo.

To me, this cam­era is a little gem. It fits in the hand like it was made for … me. Reminds me some­how on its SLR sib­ling — the 159MM. All dials and switches and but­tons are simply where they should be. As I was shoot­ing in aper­ture pri­or­ity mode with auto­fo­cus, the only thing to adjust was the aperture.

First point, the max­im­um shut­ter speed of 1/2000s was nev­er an issue.

Shoot­ing ISO 200 film there is plenty of room for adjust­ments for play­ing with depth of field. Using film with ISO 100 or ISO 400 or even ISO 800 makes it easy to work when the envir­on­ment makes it neces­sary. I do not know how some claim this 1/2000s to be an issue — too slow and not fast enough. Dur­ing their time, 1/2000s was not that bad, when most SLR and Rangefind­er offered 1/1000s — and yes I know there were SLR offer­ing 1/4000s already … at least some.

Maybe com­ing from mod­ern DSLR or Mir­ror­less Cam­er­as (I really like this term as it describes an object with its miss­ing fea­ture) with their max­im­um shut­ter speed of 1/4000s or 1/8000s or even elec­tron­ic shut­ter with 1/32000s is some­how chal­len­ging for those old cam­er­as, but really .… it’s nice hav­ing it, but who need this?

Second point, the hyper sens­ible shut­ter button.

When ‘half-pressed’, it trig­gers auto­fo­cus and auto­ex­pos­ure meas­ure­ment. To call this ‘half-pressed’ is some­what funny as you do not really need to ‘press’. I com­pare it more with the shut­ter but­ton of my Min­olta X‑700, where a slight touch trig­gers the meas­ure­ment. That’s it.

You get used to it the more you use it. Is this not the same with all things you learn? Learn­ing to ride a bicycle is tricky in the begin­ning, but once you got it, it’s pretty easy for the rest of your life as you know how to keep the balance.

Third point, the autofocus.

I can remem­ber my Yash­ica T5 which too has a cent­ral auto­fo­cus field only. Not hav­ing the inten­ded object in this focus field gives a missed focus … les­son learned.

Same for my Can­on AF35 MKII. Cent­ral auto­fo­cus field and if you miss your inten­ded object it res­ul­ted in a missed focus … les­son learned. Easi­est to be seen when shoot­ing two people, fram­ing that both are placed well and point­ing the cent­ral focus field in the middle between them. Wow … get’s the back­ground sharp and in focus then.

And yes, if you place ver­tic­al lines in this focus field it helps a lot. So there’s noth­ing spe­cial with it. Learn it and then do it — it’s like rid­ing a bicycle. That the pass­ive auto­fo­cus is not that good in really low light does not bear a big sur­prise. No con­trast, no auto­fo­cus. If you keep this in mind, auto­fo­cus works like always — and it’s fast enough.

If you come from the digit­al age with your DSLR and Mir­ror­less Cam­era car­ry­ing tril­lions of focus points spread over the whole sensor and work­ing with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence like algorithms to auto detect everything … yes, then you per­haps might get a little bit lost with a single cent­ral focus field.

I learned, that many pro­fes­sion­al pho­to­graph­ers often deac­tiv­ate their auto­de­tect everything auto­fo­cus and use the cent­ral focus field only. Guess why?

Fourth point, a small view­find­er … can we please skip this and go to the next point.

Indeed it’s small — the smal­lest I’ve ever seen, besides some very old cam­er­as like my Zeiss Ikon Ercona II. Once you know how to best look through it (i.e. pos­i­tion your eye), you see all things neces­sary. The info pan­el on the bot­tom, the cent­ral auto­fo­cus field and the full frame (pun inten­ded). Noth­ing more is needed to frame and focus.

Shure, if the view­find­er would be like on a Min­olta Dyn­ax 9 this would be fant­ast­ic (more on that in a later post). But finally it shows what it should and its suc­cessor made it bet­ter with a lar­ger view­find­er — on the G2.

Next point … my conclusion:

If you can find one — get one and enjoy it.

Point one, two, three and four show to me that you do not need to worry using this cam­era. Those were the most cri­ti­cized top­ics and none is a show stop­per. The oppos­ite is the case — this cam­era fells into hand as it was made for and it’s hand­ling is so easy.

Besides all that tech­nic­al stuff, this cam­era is a real beauty — as beau­ti­ful as a cam­era can be. To me, this is a won­der­ful piece of tech­no­logy and worth being used to take pic­tures without any doubt.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

P.S. Just to men­tion, the full film can be found on flickr in col­our and in black and white.