okagesama de


thanks to my grams and gramps !

series of 12 images on 1 roll of 120 black and white film.
have a wonderful week !

lighting by profoto. elinchrom octabank. kodak TRI-x film.


4×5 graflex


first off, thanks a million matt of www.abelsonscopeworks.com awesome and amazing work ! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !

Aloha all ! happy fathers day ! 

thanks matt ! the amazing modified Graflex Super D 4×5 SLR w/  Pentac 8-inch f/2.9 lens arrived ! here above you can see at camera right,  Super D graflex 4×5 SLR w/ built in hood and super sharp kodak ektar. 

First off, the front is made from a billet piece of aircraft 6000 series aluminum an amazing feat of machining with the option of tilt added.  the front standard is secure by two knurled knobs at the center of the standard keeping the heavy 8-inch pentac in position.


Ample tilt can be attained with a slight limit by the bellows. A future project might involve making a slightly bigger bellows to accomodate more front movements. the above view is about where the lens is at infinity. 




Left, you can see the grafted Sinar 4×5 back that was installed and fitted to the original rotating graflex system. At camera right, a modified graflex 4×5 super D w/ graflok back.  One of my goals in having this modified is the ability to shoot 4×5 instant film w/ the convenience of a single lens reflex. Both Fuji 4×5 instant films and 3×4 pack films can be utilized. 

i’ll post more photographs of the lens in action shortly, need to head up to http://www.hawaiicamera.com/ to pick up some Fuji FP-100C 4×5 !’m on my last sheet.


fav focal lengths part 2 50mm

part 2 in a series. LOL

the infamous and standard focal length, the 50mm lens.

in my camera ‘stash’ i use various incarnations of the 50mm lens, each with its own signature and character. Starting with the fastest of the fastest, is the Canon 50mm f/0.95 in Leica mount, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Lensbaby 50mm f/2.0 in Nikon PB-4 tilt/shift bellows, and the most used, very sharp Nikkor AI 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor for studio work.

above image created with Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 freelensed on a Canon 7D.

fitting into a nikon PB-4 TILT/SHIFT bellows, a Lensbaby 50mm f/2.0 . very versatile and fantastic on cropped sensor cameras. the bellows allows for some fantastic macro images. image below.

lastly, the Nikkor AI 55mm f/3.5. fantastically sharp and versatile with its flat field, or low distortion and the ability to make macro or closeup images.

image above, Nikkor 55mm micro nikkor. sharp and nice bokeh signature.
while below image, the macro also performs well for closeups too. two lenses in one.

each 50mm variant has its own character. the lensbaby features a very shallow depth and interesting bokeh signature. while sharp in the ‘sweet spot’, the lens also doubles as an interesting lens at infinity. the zuiko is a fast f/1.4 all around lens, super compact and sharp. lastly, the micro nikkor is also compact but razor sharp for all around images and most especially, closeup macro pics.

thanks for reading ! please chime in if u have any questions or comments !


Starting the weekend right.

perspectives or point of view/s.

what is it ? how do you use it in photography ? first, for the photographer it can be crawling on the ground or offering a bird’s eye view by climbing to the top of the highest building. two different vantage points with different psychological and visual differences. besides getting down and dirty, changing the view, via camera perspective show’s you the photographer are ‘working it’. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. the important part is the effort or efforts.

in the above photograph, a fisheye lens is used to ‘force’ the foreshortened perspective, holding the camera above on a monopod gives a slight aerial view and a clear view of the rest of the subjects. so in this case, various lenses can create a super wide feeling or an isolated feeling via a macro (closeup lens).

macro view. below, freelensed macro view of pink flowers. (lens handheld in front of camera). the isolated view point, condenses the viewers and concentrates her/him into a perspective that oftentimes would be overlooked. detail images is what many photographers sometimes forget to ‘see’, they see the big picture and miss the little ones.

as you know, you can’t go back to the situation after the job is finished.

also when editing a final product of a bunch of images, having different views of an assignment sometimes lends itself to tell the story in a different and creative way.

another variation on the theme with perspective is the illusion of 3-dimensionality on a 2-dimensional surface. a genius of this was escher. huh ? 3d on 2d ? once you learn a bit about lighting, playing in the studio and learning more of the phenomena of light, you can start playing. breaking the rules too.

what rules ?

now the fun begins.

please follow me for tips about photograhy via

quality of light

learning about facebook and twitter… the million dollar questions, how do i connect a potential client to the vendor, in my case, how do i connect with new clients or companies needing images for their corporation or brand ? if u know please let me know. i’m learning about how social media can spawn new clientele. many humble thanks to our readership.

not just any kind of photographic images that any tom, dick or harry can make w/ a $2000 multi megapixel camera, but instead images that move beyond a snapshot by a ‘picture taker’ as opposed to an ‘image maker’.

one important key is LIGHTING. what is LIGHT ? simple photons you might say ?

there is one key component of light in the photographic world called ‘quality of light’. the sun is a light we commonly know and see every day, morning to evening. the most beautiful ‘quality of light’ of the sun happens at the moments before the sun actually rises and another time before the sun plops below the horizon and a magical time after the sunsets. i see many ‘picture takers’ leave after the sunset, they don’t realize or ‘see’ the magical ‘quality of light’. these ‘picture takers’ have the gear but lack the sensibility of how to see light.

i often wondered why i was sitting in art history class up at manoa listening to countless lectures and millions of slides being projected on huge auditorium screens. engrained in my subconscious was the renaissance works of rembrandt and his iconographic sense of light. what made him a painting meister was his sense of creating a mood with highlights and shadows.

PHOTOGRAPHY is ‘drawing with ight’ or in my case ‘painting with light’. when i set out, i brainstorm a few ideas, sketch them. most importantly, i think about the background (BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND) and of course foreground light and how and what tools i might schlepp along. less is more… sometimes.

if you have any questions, please chime in, this is a two way dialogue. sharing, growing and learning together.

bokeh signature

Bokeh signature. amazing character of bokeh. wikipedia describes it as, “In photography, bokeh ( /ˈboʊkə/ boh-kə,[1] Japanese: [boke]) is the blur,[2][3] or the aesthetic quality of the blur,[4][5][6] in out-of-focus areas of an image, or “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.”[7] Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively.[2] Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.
Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as specular reflections and light sources, which is why it is often associated with such areas.[2] However, bokeh is not limited to highlights; blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image.”

the key point is in the lens aberrations and large aperture with shallow depth of field. a key point, bokeh’d highlights can occur in the foreground when focus is at or near infinity. try it ! see below image.

the extreme shallow depth of the Carl Zeiss Jena 75mm f/1.5 Biotar, though difficult to focus, has some interesting lens issues that create a very unique bokeh signature when used at f/1.5.

the swirliness of the biotar is legendary.

radioactive quest

Aloha all !
sorry for the delay!

been working on building some businesses and finding some interesting and eclectic gear to make my job easier and vision more unique.

just arrived the other day, an amazing tool used in the 1950s, the Folmer & Schwing Speedgraphic U.S. Army Signal Corps 4×5, Still Picture KE-12(1) camera with a built in focal plane shutter that goes up to 1/1000 second ! the camera can be used with front lens shutter and an option of using the huge cloth focal plane shutter from 1/1000th of a second to 1/30th of a second ! pictured above with Jolo Lensboard and Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f/2.5 lens.

this unusual variant is a KE-12 signal corps 4×5 camera features all external non metal parts in olive drab leatherette and all the normal chrome/silver finishes are all anodized in black. the ‘stealth mode’ speed graphic. very unusual indeed. the mechanisms seem a lot smoother than the standard speed graphics i’ve owned.

the detail below shows the front 127mm /f4.5 Graflex ‘Yellow Dot’ Optar lens with graphex leaf shutter from 1/400th second, T thru B. this lens feels particularly heavy and dense with black anodized lensboard. when removed, the jolo lensboard by Jo Lommen and giant kodak aero ektar fits into the body/front standard without any ‘stretching’ of the front standard.

the camera even features handy dandy rangefinder focusing.

above image, Fuji FP100c . 4×5 instant film. notice the wild bokeh. its sort of the character of this wonderful speedy lens !

i’ll try to scan and post more 4×5 color instant images. at almost ¥400 per pop… it gets pricey fast !