“Discover the life and work of Garry Winogrand, the epic storyteller in pictures who harnessed the serendipity of the streets to capture the American 1960s-70s. His “snapshot aesthetic” is now the universal language of contemporary image-making. …”
American documentary photographer Garry Winogrand was called “the central photographer of his generation” by photography curator, historian, and critic John Szarkowski and this documentary movie provides some insights into how and why he earned that accolade.
Winogrand was a key member of the generation that established the snapshot aesthetic as applied to photography in public as a genre in its own right, alongside Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander, Tony Ray-Jones and others, all relying on Leica M-Series rangefinder cameras and often the 28mm focal length.
Now that street photography has become even more established as a genre and in some manifestations as a cult, practitioners would do well to study its beginnings at the hands of artists like Winogrand and his colleagues back in the 1960s and 1970s, starting with Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable.
“Late Monday evening, VII (pronounced “seven”), one of the world’s premier photojournalism agencies, discreetly posted a terse, two-sentence statement on its website announcing that Antonin Kratochvil, the famed photographer and one of the organization’s founding members, had resigned. Any further inquiries, the agency said, “should be directed to Mr. Kratochvil.”
Kratochvil’s quiet resignation came on the heels of a bombshell report in the Columbia Journalism Review by Kristen Chick, in which several women accused him of groping and intimidating a number of female colleagues. (Kratochvil continues to deny all allegations.)…
… There were stories about the toxic culture of photojournalism before Chick’s reporting, including recent articles that brought down the famed sports photographer Bill Frakes and National Geographic editor Patrick Witty. But nothing was as comprehensive and pointed as Chick’s piece. After witnessing a wave wash over Hollywood, the media, politics, and corporate America, Chick’s story should have hastened our industry’s own #MeToo moment. That hasn’t happened — and the reason is bigger than a few bad actors….”
Quincy’s Fujifilm X-Mount OEM and third-party brand lenses lists are kept up to date and are drawn upon by Patrick at Fuji Rumors for articles, and I go there when I need to research current and coming X-Mount lenses for my articles.
I have been struck by how the number of third-party X-Mount lenses keeps increasing, with most of them being manual focus lenses often designed and manufactured by Chinese companies, but so far my biggest ongoing disappointment with the Fujifilm X-Mount system remains unassuaged by Fujifilm itself as well as by third-parties making native or adapted X-Mount lenses.
Other than Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R semi-pancake prime lens, nobody but nobody is making a prime lens that is equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format.
This searing blindspot is not just a Fujifilm X-Mount APS-C problem; it applies to the Micro Four Thirds sensor format as well wherein Olympus does not make a 14mm lens at all and Panasonic’s Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II pancake lens appears to have gone missing in action from many retailers.
The 35mm sensor format’s 28mm focal length and its APS-C and M43 equivalents of 18mm and 14mm respectively has been a staple of the documentary, photojournalism and street photography genres for years now including those when I relied on them on Canon, Leica and Nikon rangefinders and SLRs, but it seems that contemporary lens makers just do not give a damn.
Yes, one may wish to slap a 14mm, 18mm or 28mm inclusive zoom lens on to one’s camera as I do with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro or the usually underestimated Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS collapsible zoom lens, but using those focal lengths on a zoom and as a prime lens are two very different things.
Especially if the said prime lens allows easy setting of hyperfocal distance via manual focus or manual clutch focus mechanisms like those in some Fujinon prime lenses and Olympus’ excellent M.Zuiko Pro primes and zooms.
There are some close but no cigar choices for non-Fujifilm cameras, such as Panasonic’s Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens, but for now I will stick with my two M43 zoom lenses rather than fork out for yet another no-cigar substitute.
What I am really after is a decent 18mm prime lens for my Fujifilm X-Pro2 for use as my number one documentary lens.
Given the premium price Fujifilm charges for its elderly Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, no way am I going to throw good cash down that particular black hole.
Getting back to close but no cigar, independent cinema lens company Veydra lists a 19mm Mini Prime cinema lens amongst its options, and it is available with a Duclos-designed Fujifilm X-Mount that can be DIY-attached onto an M43 version of the lens.
Sigma released a 19mm f/2.8 Art lens in the M43 and Sony E mounts some years ago, but the company has never shown signs of coming out with a Fujifilm X-Mount version.
The Sigma lens is affordable but the Veydra costs over twice the price of Fujifilm’s 18mm.
Veydra’s is an excellent geared cinema lens but its greater size and wide front diameter compared to the Fujifilm and the Sigma makes it a poor choice on my X-Pro2 given I rely on the camera’s excellent optical viewfinder for documentary photography and oftentimes video too.
This ongoing dilemma would not be one if Fujifilm simply went along with their customers’ longstanding request for an updated 18mm lens but I often find myself wondering if the company even cares for its documentary, street photography and photojournalist customers.
Two X-Pro2 cameras equipped with an 18mm lens on one and a 50mm lens on the other is, in my experience, the closest one can get to a perfect two-camera, two-lens documentary photography and photojournalism set-up.
Why provide half of the equation, Fujifilm, when you could so easily give us both even if each lens might be Fujicron-style f/2.0 compacts instead of the maximum versatility of f/1.4 manual clutch focussing alternatives?
The problem of Fujifilm’s ageing, substandard Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens
Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens, regrettably much too slow to focus manually or via autofocus and its aperture ring too flakey and quirky for fast-paced professional work in stills and video, though some folks seem to like it for the quirkiness that made it frustrating for me.
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 Aspheric prime lens for Leica M-System cameras, for me the archetypal 28mm documentary and photojournalism lens. I want something similar for my X-Pro2.
Duclos Lenses came up with a Fujifilm X-Mount option for Veydra’s Mini Primes that can cover the APS-C format.
Veydra Mini Prime 19mm cinema lens available in Sony E-Mount, Micro Four Thirds mount and Fujifilm X-Mount.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS collapsible standard zoom lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens, one of the most versatile top-quality professional zoom lenses made.
Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II Aspheric pancake prime lens, which appears to be missing in action from most if not all retailers now.
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens. Narrower than a 28mm-equivalent 14mm lens in Micro Four Thirds format, but at least it is generally available whereas Panasonic’s 14mm pancake lens seems to have vanished.
Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN for Sony E-Mount APS-C and Micro Four Thirds. Sigma, please release this in a Fujifilm X-Mount version.
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4.0 ZM Leica-M-Mount lens. A solution for the well-heeled in combo with an M-Mount to X-Mount adapter?
Fujifilm M Mount Adapter. Will this work with the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4.0 ZM lens?
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Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R Lens – B&H – The least impressive Fujinon X-Mount lens in Fujifilm’s collection and one that badly needs to be replaced with a new Fujicron-style lens or better yet a wide aperture manual clutch focussing alternative for professional photography and video work.
Leica CL Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18mm Lens (Black) – B&H – This APS-C rangefinder-style camera with interchangeable 28mm equivalent lens is another possible solution to the ongoing problem of Fujifilm’s substandard Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens.
“Based out of Mexico City, but working wherever there is a story to be told, Daniel Berehulak (www.Danielberehulak.com) is an award winning photo journalist. His images have covered the Trial of Saddam Hussein, The Iraq War, the aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan and more recently the drug wars in The Philippines. He very kindly stopped by the Photo Gear News stand to talk to us about shooting with Panasonic Lumix cameras, notably the recent G9. Daniel also offered some words of advice to those wanting to get started in photo journalism.”
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 with Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery Grip and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens.
Panasonic’s expansion of its Leica optics-equipped Leica DG lens range with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens is a welcome signal that the company is taking seriously M43’s viability as a professional-quality format for stills photography and moviemaking.
Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak, like so many of my former colleagues with whom I worked for newspaper and magazine publishers here, finally upped and left for foreign clients and countries where photojournalists are still able to eke out a living covering events and people crucial to understanding and sometimes even influencing how the world is developing.
It was terrific to come across this video of Mr Berehulak stopping in for a quick chat with the Photo Gear News team at last month’s The Photography Show 2018 in Birmingham, one of the many photography trade shows that occur in the northern hemisphere.
I hope that some day soon, despite there no longer being any photography trade shows back here in Australia, Mr Berehulak will make some presentations on his work and career while on one of his not infrequent trips home to see family and friends.
Although Mr Berehulak has also been known to use Nikon DSLRs, this Panasonic Lumix Luminary brand ambassador has apparently long relied on Panasonic Lumix cameras and lenses and especially on Panasonic’s Leica prime and zoom lenses.
This may be a controversial view in some quarters but in my humble opinion digital gives us more than analog ever did with greater image quality in smaller, more affordable cameras and lenses to the point where Micro Four Thirds Bayer sensors outdo 35mm film, Fujifilm’s X-Trans APS-C sensors outdo 120 roll film and Fujifilm’s medium format Bayer sensors outdo 4″x5″ sheet film.
If I were fortunate enough to still be shooting for analog magazines and newspapers including those published by Fairfax as Daniel Berehulak did, I would mostly be relying on Lumix cameras due to their size, weight and silent mode, though I remain partial to Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses for their manual clutch focus and other professional-quality traits.
The small Micro Four Thirds sensor format and its little, quiet, discrete cameras are modern-day answers to the original aims of the inventor of the Leica analog camera, Oskar Barnack, to produce an easily portable camera for landscape photography but that was first put to serious documentary use reporting on the floods that swept through Leica’s home base of Wetzlar, Germany, in 1920.
Little wonder that Panasonic has collaborated with Leica Camera AG on producing Leica and Panasonic Leica-branded lenses for its stills and hybrid cameras and camcorders since 1995, lenses favoured by Daniel Berehulak for his documentary photography and photojournalism work.
I was checking some references for my latest article on colour photography great Joel Meyerowitz when I came across the image featured in this article’s header above. Yes it is true, Joel Meyerowitz is teaching an online course on photography for Masters of Photography and I am sure it will be worth every single cent of its US$170 course fee.
Walk with Joel in all his 34 lessons as he takes you on this truly inspirational photographic journey and shows you how to stay alive to the meanings and possibilities of the world in front of you. With Joel as your guide, you will learn how to find your creative voice and identity and apply it to your own photographic subjects. Join in and share your course photographs with Joel’s student community and get them critiqued. You will also get your own course certificate from Joel too.
For over 55 years, universally acclaimed, award-winning photographer, Joel Meyerowitz, has been one of the world’s greatest image-makers. Although Meyerowitz is a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he transformed the medium with his pioneering use of color. As an early advocate, he became instrumental in changing the attitude toward color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. Meyerowitz’s work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, and he has published more than 25 photography books. He was the only photographer to gain unrestricted access to Ground Zero after 9/11, which produced a body of work that led Meyerowitz to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2002.
Meyerowitz is a Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of both the NEA and NEH awards, an inductee to the Leica Hall of Fame, an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society and a recipient of their prestigious Centenary Medal. He has taught at Princeton University in New Jersey and at The Cooper Union in New York.
It is also pleasing to see that Albert Watson is teaching one of two coming courses, with the third being taught by Steve McCurry. I hope some great female photographers will present future courses on the principle of “if she can see it, she can be it”.
“These are the first images of the new Panasonic GX9 and the new TZ200. Both cameras could be announced this week! Stay tuned on 43rumors!…”
These are the features that the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 needs for it to be a viable, up-to-date, competitive documentary and photojournalism stills and video flagship camera as the GX8 was when it was released:
4K 8-bit 4:2:0 video, though 10-bit 4:2:2 would be nice 😉
5 axis in-body image stabilization with Dual IS 2 for OIS-equipped lenses, for stills and 4K video
20 megapixels sensor
40 megapixel/80 megapixel high resolution mode
Cinelike D, for use with Leeming LUT for good quality video colour and tone rendering
Decent handgrip, even better than the GX8’s handgrip
Dual SD card slots
Fully articulated LCD monitor like the GX8’s monitor
HDMI out for clean signal external video monitoring and recording
L-Fn function setting capability, for Panasonic and Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses with L-Fn buttons
L Monochrome D picture profile
Low-shock electromagnetic shutter to combat the dreaded GX8 random shutter shock
No built-in flash
No low-pass filter
Optional larger eyecup
Remote release port
Tilting electronic viewfinder (EVF), as good as or better than the GX8’s EVF
DPReview – Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review – 7. Shooting Experience – “The Panasonic Lumix-DMC GX8 is a hugely appealing mirrorless camera. Combining enthusiast-friendly ergonomics, an innovative tilting viewfinder and a solid feature set in both stills and video modes, the GX8 is a great all-rounder. Pretty much the only black mark against the GX8 is a persistent problem with shutter-induced softness in some shooting situations – an issue that Panasonic gets credit for trying to address in firmware, but has failed to completely eliminate.”
The Online Photographer – The Delicate State of the GX8 – looks at the shutter shock issue in the GX8 and other digital cameras of various brands.
“There are so many books for photographers, but I’ve boiled my long reading list down to a few books that have had the greatest influence on my journey in photography. The following is a list of the top 5 books that I believe every photographer should read….”
This top 5 list of photobooks shared by Kirk Mastin of Mastin Labs contains five of the best and most inspiring ever published, with four of them featuring the work of some of the most inspirational photographers of the century, Alex Webb, Richard Avedon, Martin Parr and Win Wenders, all highly recommended.
“With the Sony A9, Panasonic G9, Fuji X-T2, we’re seeing mirrorless camera makers start to target the last DSLR stronghold, sports and photojournalism. This week Rob Galbraith is joining us to discuss how much progress has been made, and what mirrorless cameras still need to tackle to completely dominate the industry.”
Comparing DSLRs to mirrorless cameras (DSLMs) for photojournalism
My Panasonic plus Olympus version of the four lens DSLR-style mirrorless photojournalism kit
I am partial to the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses for their many attractive qualities for documentary photography and moviemaking, most especially their manual clutch focus for when focus is critical, so here is my own list of components.
This list is based on the range of assignments I worked on during my newspaper photography years. Add a GH5 to the list and you have an excellent kit for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds documentary moviemaking and photography.
It is early days in learning about the G9 at the moment, but I would love to know whether it is possible to use its 80 megapixel high resolution mode for environmental portraiture and other forms of portrait photography, potentially making the G9 a contender for magazine feature and fine art photography.