Author Archives: Photographs by Peter

Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55/1.4…



Before the grains of sand.

The title is both figurative and literal, because I previously posted an image entitled Grains of Sand.

On the very same roll of Tri-X was this frame, taken moments earlier.  I normally choose a favourite image to post, and when I developed the roll, I chose the more dynamic photograph.

Now — almost two years later — I wonder whether I prefer this more contemplative one.


Before the Grains of Sand

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Homework by the Fading Light, Part 2.

Homework by the Fading Light, Part 2

↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.

Light Reading, Part 2 (different processing, different image).

Here’s a second image, taken a little earlier from the first (and cropped).

The lighting is different, and I’ve processed it differently too.

I realize I’m comparing apples to oranges, but I’m curious on your thoughts as I work through these D800E/Otus files.


Light Reading, Part 2 (different processing)

↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.

Light Reading.

Light Reading

↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.


The art and science of composition.

Or, synchronicity.


↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.

Glenfiddich Window Portrait (Tilt-Shift test shot).

This is a test shot using my recently acquired used Mamiya tilt/shift accessory on Fuji instant (“Polaroid”) film.

No alcohol was harmed during the testing process.

Glenfiddich Window Portrait - Mamiya RZ Tilt-Shift Fuji Instant

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 180mm @ f/4.5, tilt/shift accessory, and Fuji FB-3000.

One more thing… for the Mamiya RZ67.

Ever since I acquired the Mamiya RZ67, I have been searching for a specific accessory item for it.

The trouble is, it is difficult to find a used example of this piece.  And brand new, it sells for more than what I paid for my entire (used) Mamiya kit.

However, last week I found a mint copy of what I was looking for, at an exceptionally low price.  I thought it was too good to be true, until it arrived this week.


Pop Quiz:  Can you identify the accessory in the image below?


Mamiya RZ67 Tilt-Shift Accessory - Photographs by Peter

(the above image was taken with my new digital set-up: the Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4)

Homework in the fading light.

Homework by the fading light

↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.



↑Leica M9 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/1.4.

My new gear – Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon.

Nikon D800E - Photographs by Peter

Zeiss Otus 55mm f_1.4 APO-Distagon - Photographs by Peter


I am amazed at how many of you correctly deduced either the lens or camera, based on the two “test images” I posted over the last 24 hours.  A few of you even employed a psychological analysis of me to come up with your answer.

The first person to correctly guess both camera and lens, even before the first test shot, was Johannes.  Impressive predictive prowess, my friend.

Honourable mention goes to Andrew, who correctly guessed the lens and steadfastly held on to his prediction.

So here I go…  on to a new adventure.

Please be patient with the images.  The M9 + 50 Summilux ASPH pairing produces a different look, there is no doubt.  In many ways I prefer its rendering to my new gear (the M9 has a CCD sensor that is superior — at base ISO — to any of the current CMOS offerings, and Leica lenses are of course legendary).

Yet, I’m back to Nikon, where my digital experience was first forged.

In a sense, I’m home again.


Test Shot 2.

Orchids in the evening.

Considering the camera was handheld at a shutter speed of only 1/125 sec, the sharpness is excellent.  The shutter vibration is better than what I expected.  I’m pleasantly surprised.

The lighting was mixed (natural twilight and nearby incandescent) and the colour is true to what I saw.

Tonality is really nice too.





Aperture:  Undisclosed

Shutter Speed:  1/125 sec

ISO:  400

Camera:  Undisclosed

Lens:  Undisclosed

Test Shot (with 100% crop).

As promised, here is the 100% crop from the image posted earlier today:

Honey - Test Shot



Aperture:  Undisclosed

Shutter Speed:  1/200 sec

ISO:  500

Camera:  Undisclosed

Lens:  Undisclosed

Test Shot.

Finally some nice window light today for a few test shots with the new system.  Honey was my willing (but perplexed) model.

I’ll post an 100% crop from this image, later today.


Test Shot

Transition Period.

For the first time in five years, I am without a digital Leica M (my Leica M9 is gone, and so are my Leica lenses).

I don’t see myself purchasing another digital Leica M again, unless:


  • The sensor is state of the art.  Leica seems intent on never going back to CCD (despite my best efforts), but the CMOS sensor in the M240 was a disappointment.  There are better CMOS sensors out there.
  • Leica regains its focus on still image photography.   With the M240 and its already-obsolete-at-launch EVF, they produced a product with “me too” add-on gimmickry at a premium price.  Thank goodness they weren’t silly enough to drop the rangefinder focusing mechanism, or else all would have been lost.
  • Leica improves its quality control, and the reliability of its products.


The Leica M3 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm are still with me.

The Mamiya RZ67 is with me.

My deep connection to rangefinders will remain with my M3, and I will continue to develop my portrait photography with the formidable RZ67.  Both of these are, of course, film cameras.

I’ll therefore be exploring another digital system.

In fact, it’s already in my hands.


Winter Hat Portrait.

Winter Hat Portrait

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 110mm @ f/5.6, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

Tasting Snow.

Springtime in Toronto:  we’re not quite there yet.

Tasting Snow

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 110mm @ f/5.6, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

Ukulele Girl.

The light is gradually entering into our lives again and with it more opportunities to photograph.

(Music to my eyes…)


Ukulele Girl

↑Leica M9 and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.  Custom processing by pbp.


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