Coming from a traditional film background, I enjoyed the large bright viewfinders of Olympus’ original OM System and it was one of the attributes that made the OM1 so successful back in the 1970’s. My migration path over to digital eventually saw me drop the viewfinder concept altogether, as I embraced Leica's X1, X113 and T cameras. Generally speaking I was happy composing pictures on the camera’s rear screen, but it does have limitations.
We have always liked photographing small things and are particularly interested in macro subjects. Due to this, we found ourselves moving in to small product photography not only out of interest but also due to picking up some work in this field. Initially we used similar methods for photographing these small items that we had deployed for our macro work. And while the results were acceptable it was obvious that something more professional was required. This triggered a search for lighting, stages and backdrops of which there are many. As we did not intend to work with subjects much larger than the size of a DSLR body and a couple of lenses, our attention was drawn to Novoflex’s Magic Studio system. Having used some of Novoflex’s products in the past, and been happy with them, we took a closer look which resulted in a purchase.
Transparency film production has been in free-fall for several years now, as more and more photographers gravitate to other emulsions or technology. With just a few slide films remaining on the market it was obvious that some projector manufacturers like Kodak and Leica would end their involvement with this historical medium, and discontinue machines that were once a photographic mainstay. I must admit that in 2013 I expected very few 35mm projectors being manufactured, but a trawl of the web revealed many models still in production from the likes of Reflecta, Braun, Kindermann and Simda.
Kiwi specialise in producing high quality photographic accessories such as lens and mount adapters, macro accessories and quick release systems. Their product line is constantly expanding to provide useful well engineered components that complement most camera manufacturer’s offerings, including Leica.
Back in the film days, Olympus was top of the tree when it came to macro system components. Along with seven dedicated macro lenses, flash units, bellows and supporting accessories was a unique item – the 65-116 Telescopic Auto Tube, designed to offer a portable method of taking true macro images.
In the closing years of the 1980’s, Olympus took flash technology to a new level with the F280 gun. Being the innovative company they are, they took ground breaking strides to overcome the problem faced by all manufactures when it came to flash exposure.
Those photographers who enjoy macro or close focus photography will appreciate how important a sturdy tripod and well-made focus rail are. I have always held a particular fascination for macro work as I enjoy making images that illustrate the infinite patterns found in flowers, or alien like insect detail.