the brandenblog

Branden Frederick is a San Jose-based nerd, technology manager, and photographer.

cameras
zeiss sharpness

zeiss sharpness

381
1 Nov 2020
Carl Zeiss is a lensmaker with a historic reputation for creating the sharpest optics, with only Leica giving any consistent reputation. Of course, with modern lensmaking, pretty much everything new is sharp. But I shoot with a lot of older gear, so I got curious, and explored this reputation. Read more.

five years with fujifilm X

five years with fujifilm X

1143
6 May 2020
In November 2014 I went whole hog into Fujifilm's X camera system, starting with the X-T1 and two lenses. Now, over five years later, I have 25,000 Fujifilm X photos from four different camera models and a dozen different lenses. Is Fujifilm X still the right system for me? Read more.

lomography diana baby

lomography diana baby

is it any good?

891
19 May 2019
110 film was designed for consumer simplicity. It came in cartridges which handled a lot of the machinery, giving 24 shots of 13x17mm negatives, most often at ISO 200. This allowed for very simple camera designs and film loading, at the expense of image quality. It's the film type I used for my first 15 years of life, but it died out when digital rose up. Until Lomography brought it back in 2017. Read more.

fujfilm GA645Zi: medium format point-and-shoot

fujfilm GA645Zi: medium format point-and-shoot

1079
21 Nov 2018
Nine months ago I learned of the existence of this line of cameras that both use medium format film and are flat and compact. Unfortunately, they are also glorified point-and-shoots. Read more.

pentax K-50 saga

pentax K-50 saga

wherein I learn about aperture block failure

325
28 Jul 2018
I love bright and crazy colors, so a few years ago when Pentax made the unusual decision to produce their K-50 camera in a huge array of toy-like colors, they had my attention. I was not in any way looking to buy a new SLR system at the time, so I didn't, but I never forgot about it. Read more.

pentax K-01 a.k.a. the brick

pentax K-01 a.k.a. the brick

505
24 Jun 2018
I bought, used, then sold a Pentax K-01 all within two months. More than just not being the camera for me, it's not even clear why this camera was created in the first place. This is its story. Read more.

cell phone cameras

cell phone cameras

a review

1057
24 Jun 2018
I read yet another article yesterday about how technology in cell phone cameras has surpassed that of dedicated cameras and "wow! look at these photos where you can barely tell which camera made the image!" *barf* Read more.

xpan: a prestige camera

xpan: a prestige camera

1110
2 Feb 2018
For years, the Xpan was a dream camera for me. Then that dream became reality. Did it live up to its expectations? Read more.

kowa/six compared

kowa/six compared

1421
2 Dec 2017
The Kowa/SIX was produced from 1968 to 1974, and was the first of three Kowa medium-format 6x6cm cameras. It competed against (and was cheaper than) the Hasselblad V system – and someone familiar with the Hasselblad will recognize many of the same selling points in the Kowa. I've been shooting with a Kowa/SIX for about two year now, and have become familiar with the camera. Read more.

leica m3 versus fujifilm x-t1, a comparison

leica m3 versus fujifilm x-t1, a comparison

2342
18 Jul 2015
In which I compare the 1955 35mm legendary film rangefinder Leica M3 to the 2014 modern digital mirrorless Fujiflim X-T1. Read more.
I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice