Adam Isler, photographer manqué
I intend to post here the photographs from my daily peregrinations, mostly around New York City. These will be images I believe are worthy of an audience, but not necessarily portfolio quality (the portfolio quality pictures can be found on my site for sale at
). This will allow both sites to be cleaner and easier to navigate.
I may also post occasional thoughts, on topics of interest to me, about photography, politics, or other subjects.
Please let me know what you think….
I’m not sure why these listings of equipment are considered de rigueur on photographers’ sites: is it because our readers want to know, or because we want to tell them?
I bought my first serious camera, a Voigtländer Vito C second hand for $30 when I was about 12. At 13 I used my Bar Mitzvah money to buy a Minolta SrT101 and I stayed with Minolta for most of the ensuing 38 years. Not too many years ago it was time to upgrade and a new generation of DSLRs had arrived. They offered higher IQ than any before: in particular CMOS chips with low-noise, high ISO performance and I had to choose among the Canon 40D, the Nikon D300 and the Sony A700.
I expected to go with the Sony, keeping all my Minolta glass and flash. Trying all 3 cameras in the hand at the NY Expo I found the Canon hard to control, the Nikon fast and responsive and the Sony bewilderingly different from my beloved 7D. I sold my Minolta equipment and became a Nikon shooter. While the camera is marvelous, fast, responsive, lets me shoot usably in the dark, hand-held – I must admit that several features that were intuitively obvious and easy on the Minolta are arcanely difficult to accomplish on the Nikon and, particularly in light of the Sony A900 reviews, I have sometimes wondered if I mightn’t have been better staying with Sony.
Update: as of April 2012 I am a Sony shooter with the new Nex-7. See my subjective first impressions posts if you’re interested in this kind of equipment geekery.
At times, over the years, I have also wished I shot with Pentax, Olympus, Canon, Leica, or medium format or view cameras – but the simple fact is my budget is meager and I have chosen what at the time seemed to provide the best combination of quality, features, flexibility for my shooting style and budget and then been locked in.
In light of the foregoing, no one should take the following list as an endorsement of the equipment. Everyone’s needs and preferences are different as are their hand sizes. Furthermore, as should be obvious but often appears not to be, improving one’s photography is much more about learning craft and technique and, above all, how to see and frame than it is about equipment specs.
Current Cameras and Lenses
- Sony NEX-7
- Sony E 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS
- Sony E 55-210 f 4.5-6.3 OSS
- Sigma 30mm f2.8 EX DN
- Sigma 19mm f2.8 EX DN
- Sony HVL-F58 AM flash
- Nikon D300
- AF-S Nikkor 24-120 f3.5-5.6 G (judged one of the worst lenses ever by Mike Johnston, though not by others, I admit to not having enough visual acuity to see all the flaws he did; nonetheless, I’ve thought about replacing it with the 16-85)
- Tokina SD 11-16 f2.8 (IF) DX
- Nikon SpeedLight SB-800
- Canon G9
Cameras and lenses loved, but gone:
- Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D
- Minolta 24-105mm (never sold it – would anyone like to buy it?
- Minolta 100-300 APO D
- Minolta 11-18mm
- Minolta Dimage A1
- Minolta xd-11
- Minolta XE-7
- Minolta srT101
- Rokkor MF55mm f1.7
- Vivitar 135mm MF f2.8 (never sold this either – anyone interested?)
- Vivitar 24mm MF (can’t remember how fast it was – left it on a subway platform 20 years ago and never saw it again)
Older equipment, mostly gone:
- Kodak DC280
- Vivitar “potato-masher” flash. The first thyristor model with a shoulder strapped battery pack.
- Voigtländer Vitessa
- Voigtländer Vito C
- Ansco Viking
- Kodak Hawkeye
Printer and Software:
- HP Photosmart B9180
- Adobe PhotoShop CS5 (I skipped CS4)
- Adobe PhotoShop LightRoom 4 (I use this much more and CS5 less of late)
- Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0
- Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0
- Nik Viveza 2
- Zenfolio (and Friedl’s brilliant export plug-in for LightRoom)