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Reichmann's M8 review is up

Niels - NHSN

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Bob - I recently sold my 24-70L after having it sit in the closet for about a year since getting the 24-105L IS. I miss f/2.8 but the extra reach and IS more than make up for it on a full frame body. <p>If you get the 24-105, try <a href="http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/">PTLens</a>, an inexpensive PS plugin that corrects distortions and vignetting in a pinch. I've been using it since it was a freeware, but $15 is still a small fee to pay for one click work on distortion from just about any digital camera and lens on the market.
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Thanks for posting those pics and very nice, too.


Check your email...


Regarding zooms, I've tried out the 24-105 and 24-70 and have a marked preference for

the latter. I supsect the latter is sharper, has better AF and I like the extra stop. To each

his or her own..


Boris, ZZ was very nice and incredibly pretty. My shoot was essentially a PR job and I didn't

hit any creative highs with it.

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Hey Andrew,


Fancy meeting you here. Thanks for the postcard by the way.


I bought a new 24-70 last month (the reason you were able to buy the 270mm lens by the

way). It is a star performer and finds focus easily.


Over on DWF there is a very strong bias towards this lens in preference to the 24-105 re

speed vignetting, freezing the action..... This influenced me significantly.

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Hi Gary.


What a small world! Looking forward to getting the lens. Think I may have to put up lots of

posts on the web to find out more about it. I'm guessing it's from the '70s. Where did you

buy it?


Note to everyone else: I have bought a 5x4 270mm f6.3 lens in a Linhof panel from Gary

on ebay. All it says on the front is anastigmat and portrait. Because it's a portrait lens I

gather it gives a softish look. Have I described it right, Gary?


Glad to you like the 24-70. I think it's terrific with the one quibble about it's performance

at 24mm. Lots of bendy lines...

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Just to put Andrew's preference for the 24-70 into perspective, you should all be aware

that he doesn't have to actually carry his own equipment. He has a team of three fulltime

assistants: Carlos, Alfonso, and (my personal favorite) Clint. As well as being easy on the

eye (my friend at Tatler tells me he bought them on ebay from Karl Lagerfeld, although

she may be pulling my leg) they cater to his every need - bag carrying, film changing,

downloading, backup, monocle polishing, cooking, cleaning, plus a few other things I

probably shouldn't mention....They're also fiercely loyal

and protective

- at NY fashion week Alfonso overheard me being bitchy to Donatella and Elton about


provincial taste in

sashimi (salmon ahead of yellowfin, swordfish ahead of sea urchin roe) and threatened to

slap me senseless.

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I think it's only fair that I tell you that Clint has left my team.


The official press release stated that it was down to artistic differences over my choice of

floral print shirts. However, I don't mind telling you, in strictest confidence, that he and I

were embroiled in an increasingly bitter dispute over skin care regimes. For all his good

points, and let's be honest no one could iron a cravat like he could (amazing what they

teach you in the Marines), I felt that Clint was too tied to the past. He was an out and out

devotee of Creme de la Mer and as any self respecting metropolitan male will tell you

Chanel's Sublimage is now the only was to go.


I've emailed Guy about suitable candidates as a replacement but he has yet to reply. I

suppose this means another trip to the Pink Flamingo.


By the way, I won't have a bad word said about dear Elton. I have photographed the

interiors at his White Tie and Tiara ball for the last two years and he's hilarious. Nothing he

said is anywhere repeatable on such an august forum as this, however. Besides, he didn't

say those things about me. It was just a rumour put around by a embittered DMR owner

who probably still uses Creme de la Mer.

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Guy is currently busy massaging Creme de la Mer on his M8 sensor to see if he can come up with a novel method to cure the banding and color cast issues from his new favorite toy, and while he's at it, single handedly save a little company in Solms from world wide embarrassment. His last visit to Pink Flamingo is what made him realise there was something wrong with his M8. When he came back from the establishment and reviewed his files, he thought he'd just paid a visit to the Magenta Flamingo.
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<I>On a more serious note, do you think that the M8's novel approach to colour casts means

that Guy won't have to put so many gels on his backgrounds lights?</I><P>


I'm OK with that, as long as the Batman intro on his web site stays...

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"I think it's only fair that I tell you that Clint has left my team"


.....and I think it's only fair to tell you that Clint is now second lens wrangler on Team

Boris. And a fine and dignified job he's doing - well, well away from the degradation of Mr

Lamb. His rehabilitation is also going very, very well. He even uttered his first words today

- you may live to regret not enforcing a nondisclosure agreement....


As for the cheap jibes about Guy and his filters, he who laughs last laughs longest. The

world is changing and you boys may well find yourselves left behind in your dull gel-free

cul-de-sac. You've heard of The Bilderberg Group? Prepare to hear the mighty roar of The

Raccoon Group (named after our inaugural meeting at Raccoon Ranch) - where fashion

meets politics meets art. The founders are myself, Lagerfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Kylie, Hedi

Slimane, and, of course, the BIG MAN himself. From now on what we say goes. On Monday

Hedi launches his new Urban Cowboy range - I'll let you guess who the face of this radical

new look is....Thin is out! Magenta skintones are in. The Kaiser has redoubled his

bodyweight in the last six weeks.

Before Christmas you'll all be gelling up and sporting snakeskin boots 'n' hats. And

another thing Andrew, cancel your reservations for Milan, Paris, and NY. There's a new axis

of fashion - Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson. Yeeha......!

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Shouldn't that be "tHeE raKooN cLUb"?


Who's providing the music for this bold, but slightly over-weight, venture? I'm thinking MC

Mancuso duetting with the Scissor Sisters re-mixed by Tiefschwarz. I know you've still got

a bit of a thing for the '80s (you soppy old thing, you) so it would be no hardship to drag

(sic) Boy George in.


Gotta go now. I want to see how my stocks are doing in manufacturers of IR filters.


Waiter! Another bottle of your finest if you please and Karla, go gentle on the massaging

will you? There's no rush.

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Before you start digging up your old copy of 'She's A Model' by Magenta, maybe you can

suggest a decent agency in the UK that I could place some portraits with? My experiences

with Retna have been almost as surreal as recent posts on this forum and I know about your

unabiding love affair with Getty. Who else is there?


By the way, you can tell Clint that if he thinks I haven't noticed my missing pair of Manolos

then he's VERY much mistaken.

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"a decent agency in the UK"


Oxymorons agogo...


There's no decent UK agency right now. But then there never was a decent Brit agency. I've

had contacts/friends/girlfriends at a few of the Brit

agencies over the last 20 years and it's always been a total freakshow. The weirdest of

them all was (is? can it still be limping along?) Impact, an agency of independently wealthy

photographers owned by a bizarre three-feet-six Frenchman married to a real-life

princess. I'm not making this up. Put him in a red mac and give him a meat cleaver and he

could have cranked up the discomfort factor immeasurably in Don't Look Now. Then you

had Network, a bunch of champagne socialists who, as soon as they caught sight of the

corporate dollar, gave up on editorial completely and couldn't understand why their stock

sales dried up. Last I heard they fired all their staff just before Christmas last year -

although I understand that at least one of the Leica toting class warriors is doing very

nicely with an annual retainer from Satan Inc to show the public the caring side of the

devil.....Then there was the fetchingly chunky (perfect for Hedi's new Urban Cowboy look)

Geoff Katz and his merry band of men. Geoff, from what I can work out, is a decent human

being with appalling taste in photography. But, who else would have backed and made

Parry a rich man? From what I can work out Geoff was too pure for the London snakepit -

hence the move to NY (and the subsequent sellout/demise of Katz Pictures). You mention

my contempt for Getty. Staggeringly this has grown over the last month - they managed to

fire the one decent guy and asset that they

had in NY (a Brit, and, I believe, former protege of G Katz). I totally understand the Getty

operating model, I just don't understand the collusion of willing photographers - it really

is like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving/Christmas. It's insane. Getty and Klein don't even

hide their intentions....


Anyway, I could rant on endlessly....but I won't. To cut a long story short there are no ideal

agencies. Magnum manage to stay afloat. Which is a good thing. VII have discovered that

there's more money in giving workshops to dumb wannabe richkids than in photography

itself. Which is an interesting thing. Vu have discovered that moving sideways into the

gallery scene is an option. Which is a good and interesting thing. Meanwhile Getty and

Corbis seem to be stumbling. Which is a wonderful thing. Finally, a few small new agencies

have surfaced in the last couple of years who take photography seriously and have

discovered that the big assigning magazines are starting to look for an alternative to

Gorbis. Which is a really hopeful thing.


Why not target and work direct with individual agencies in key territories rather than

giving syndication rights to any single outfit?

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Thanks for your thoughtful, if somewhat depressing, reply. You may retain Clint's services

for a little while longer but don't come sobbing to me when you discover that some of

your more risque Lanvin frocks have gone missing.


Retna contacted me about selling some of my older images. They have managed to do this

on occasion but the little treasures omit to mention this to me. Having wearied of phoning

them up about the trifling inconvenience of forgetting to pay me (I'll get 'em in the end),

I've decided to look elsewhere. Looks like it won't be a barrel of laughs wherever I go.


Now then, on the question of corporate photography, I have noticed that you have often

criticised PJs who have taken money from this particular avenue. Is it possible you are

being, perhaps, just a little too idealistic?


You know how tough it is to make a living from photography (unless you're...Magenta

Man! Groovy costume and cape, incidentally but perhaps just a shade too tight). You know

how rubbish editorial rates are and the fact that they are proportionately getting worse. Is

it so bad to take to the occasional corporate gig to keep the wolves from the door. Or, are

you an independently wealthy, Leica touting, Jimmy Choo wearing, champagne socialist?


Thought not.


I really can't see what's wrong with doing a bit of corporate work providing, it's not for

someone like the manufacturers of Agent Orange. I mean, how far do you take it? Do you

stop certain publications from using your photos because of their political line or the fact

that they take ads for SUVs? Do you sell your photos in galleries but only to those who fit

the right profile?


I think I appreciate how passionate you are about this and I don't wish to sound glib but

it's not easy making an honest buck doing photography.


Curious of Kentish Town

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Andrew, sorry about the delay in replying. In terms of my levels of idealism, I'm happy to

fess up to the fact I went awol from this thread because I was entering the frantic last

week of a six week commercial assignment. Hypocritical? Kind of...


A lot depends on how you pitch yourself. What troubled me about Network was that they

(at least in the early days) billed themselves as concerned right-on photographers, yet by

the end they were producing PR images for the British Army. I really don't think that that

sits comfortably with, for example, their earlier "Still War" project in N Ireland (even

allowing for the fact that it involved different photographers) - it would be interesting to

know what some of the Catholic families in Belfast and Derry who opened their homes to

Abrahams and Sparham made of this development.


Another problem with immersing yourself in the commercial world is that there's a strong

possibility that your work will permanently lose its edge. You meet with an art director

who positively gushes about your "vision", but you understand within the first 24 hours

that if you're going to get any repeat work then you have to leave that vision behind.

You're being paid that (admittedly pleasing) "creative fee" for not much more than tripping

the shutter to order. I know a lot of photographers who'd like to dip back into editorial

assignments who simply can't hack it in that world anymore - they've lost the ability to be

the primary creative force.


Editorial rates are now abusively bad. Most of the big players haven't (at least officially)

increased their day rate for more than a decade. Plus, where once an assignment would

have been fairly open-ended, they pin you down in advance to too few days. The net result

is that there's little option but to take on corporate/advertising work if you want to live a

reasonable lifestyle. The problem is retaining a credible balance that allows you both to

survive and continue evolving as a photographer. I know a few people who manage this

(I'm desperately trying myself), but the vast majority lose their balance right at the

beginning and never regain the qualities that made them attractive to the commercial

world in the first place.

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There's nothing in your reply that I can take exception to. It's an entirely reasonable

rationale. There is a moral/creative conundrum here. Period.


You still haven't explained why you don't want an M8 but we'll let that pass.


I've taken one photograph this year that I'm pleased with and that was on an unpaid job.

How's your hit rate?

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My "hit rate" sometimes drops to the point where I have to look at previous work to

convince myself that I'm the real deal. At other times I feel totally unstoppable. It ebbs and

flows, but like any photographer with a sense of their own creative mortality I understand

that there's the real possibility that, at any time, it might never flow again. If I ever reach

that stage I'm moving to Arizona with my three M8s and the biggest box of gels you've

ever seen.


One thing that's really perked me up this week is the news that me and The Guy have

placed joint first in the forthcoming World's Best Dressed Photographers issue of PDN.

They've described us as the Outkast of modern photography - with him playing Big Boi to

my Andre 3000. It's a better analogy than the usual Lennon (him) and McCartney cliche,

but I still think think Sontag nailed it more accurately with her sombre post 9/11

appraisal: "More than anything else this tale is a love story. Two intertwined lives

cascading through the exploitative freak and demon show that is modern photography.

The parallels with Buffy The Vampire Slayer are simply shocking. Can this be

happenstance? Of course not. Whedon clearly is using demonic metaphors in an attempt

to rationalize the post-Corbis era. Spike (romantic, intense, cheek bones to-die-for, but

with a reckless capacity for spilling blood) is Mr C Han. Buffy (petite, pretty, convincing in a

plaid microskirt, but with a kick like a mule) is The Big Man. Will love conquer conflict? Will

Getty be slayed using nothing more than an overengineered German camera and some

lurid backround lights? We can do no more than hope".

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Susan Sontag? Susan Sontag?


Earlier this year I found myself yet again in one of those periodic creative slumps and

decided to do something about it by attending one of the Big Guy's (to give him his proper

name) workshops.


There we all were, sitting under the cruel, unyielding Mexican sun, the usual mixture of

wannabes and no hopers who had lost their way, Soth, Koudelka, Iturbide (at least she got

to go home at night) etc.


The BG was conducting a seminar on The Crop Factor and the Structured Absence when

Andreas Gursky, who was sitting behind me, made a comment about Sontag.


I can still hear the sound of the sombrero as it flew past my ears and made a six inch cut

down Gursky's cheek. "Sontag?" The Big Guy bellowed. "Nobody mentions Sontag!"


The BG has got this thing about always going to the original source: Althusser, Lacan

and, before we knew what happened, he barked out a huge chunk of Roland Barthes from

Camera Lucida in the original French.


It was hilarious watching all these so called masters of contemporary photography all

blubbing into their laptops as they frantically translated what the BG had just said. I don't

think Martin Parr even knew how to turn his power book on. All of them were panicking

except Luc Delahaye, of course, who just sat them looking smug but the BG took him

down with a machine burst of Walter Benjamin and his essay on Mechanical Reproduction.


With the Big Guy it's all about keeping your gels and your vision as unsullied as possible.

"Purity of essence", he kept muttering to himself. "Purity of essence".

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I went on a Mexicano Foto Safari myself, but, unlike you and the crew, came away deeply

unsatisfied. It was no fault of the organizers, just a simple misunderstanding - I took the

word safari to imply that we'd be doing some killing along with all the photo stuff. It had

been a lifelong ambition of mine to harpoon a Gila Monster and I thought that this would

be the perfect opportunity. Sadly, The Guy took a nasty flesh wound as he hurled himself

between the monster and my javelin. I learned a number of things from this incident:

firstly, that the Gila Monster is a much misunderstood and unfairly maligned creature;

secondly that the monster is a protected species in, that most civilized of states, Arizona;

thirdly, and perhaps most intriguingly, I learned (after inspecting my super-sharp M8

image files) that, contrary to popular belief, human blood is in fact magenta rather than



Incidentally Andrew, Sontag took the Buffy analogy further. She went on state that Willow

was clearly based on you (that mix of magic, mayhem, and long flowing skirts), that

Xander represented Another Bob (straightforward, trustworthy, but with plodding taste in

Billingham bags), and that the blunt stick used to slay the Flamboyance Demon in series

three was in fact Trevor "Bumpkin" Hare.

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I heard from an attendee of the Mexican safari that the bean and cheese burritos served for dinner, and prepared by The Guy, were yummy. Although, quite to his dismay, the toilets were fully occupied following the dinner, and because of that, The Guy had no steady partner to show off his Fandango moves with on the dance floor. I heard he does a mean Macarena.


To his credit, and to ensure 100% customer satisfaction, The Guy understandably provided free targeted gel massages to anyone who may have had to spend too much time sitting on the porcelain chair.

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It was more than a little misunderstanding! I think you are, yet again, guilty of not keeping

pace with the Big Guy's utterly irresistible and mischievious sense of humour. That wasn't

a Gila Monster. That was Al Kaplan's Monkey! You bleeding heart liberals just don't get it,

sometimes, do you?


According to Money's blog, on KreemUBoyz.com, Big Al was receiving an lifetime

achievement award at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (something to do with the most sat

on Leica) and little M had spare some time to spend down Mexico way. Naturally, when he

turned up, the Big Guy's limitless of fun went into overdrive.


A simliar thing happened to us at a lecture entitled "Environmental Portraiture and The

Purple Gel". The BG had his assistant, Wanda, on stage and was telling us how you should

really woo a lady before capturing her soul on a DMR.


I must confess it was quite a sensual experience but our reverie was abruptly destroyed

when the BG stood up, on his Manolos, to his full height and announced "But if you really

want to shoot them, use this".


Before we knew what had happended BG had pulled back his Louis Vuitton poncho to

reveal a low slung holster. There were cries of shock as BG whipped out his revolver and

fired three shots into Wanda.


Imagine the uproar! Not one single war vetran reached for his camera. Instead, the big

sissies were all running for the door. It was only when we heard the Big Guy's manic

bellows of laughter that we realised that he'd done it again! Two of the bullets were blanks

and Wanda was patched up quickly enough to join us for beers and Gila burgers on the

deck. Gee, I hope it was Gila. I kinda wondered what happened to Monkey.


I'd show you the photos but they came out a funny colour.

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