Hasselblad surprised the photo world last month by announcing the Lunar: a hyper-luxury mirrorless camera with an opulent exterior and a Sony NEX-7 at its core. To say it wasn’t well received would be an understatement; photographers immediately mocked the camera’s over-the-top design — it’s decorated with gold and precious metals — and the fact that it will carry a price tag $5,000 more than the camera it’s based on.
Hassy isn’t fazed by the criticism. The latest word from the Hasselblad camp is that it has opened a new design center in Italy, where the Lunar was conceived. Regardless of what you think about the camera, at least Hasselblad’s game plan is becoming more clear.
Regardless of how you feel about Hasselblad’s idea of taking a $1,100 Sony NEX-7, souping it up, and selling it for $6,500 as a Hasselblad Lunar, I think we can all agree that there needs to be honesty in marketing the camera. Well, that’s what a couple of sections over on the Lunar website seriously lack. Check out the page boasting about the camera’s APS-C HD CMOS Sensor, which contains a side-by-side comparison showing the common APS-C sensor size next to other popular sizes. Does that look like a Micro Four Thirds sensor to you?
It seems that everyone has something to say about Hasselblad’s new line of Lunar mirrorless cameras, with “ugly” being one of the common adjectives used. The fact is, Hasselblad is trying to pull a Leica by taking the Sony NEX-7, rebranding it, “upgrading” it with a new look and rare materials, and slapping a $6,500 price tag on the resulting camera. The Lunar’s Photokina booth, brochure, and website feature concept sketches that show how the camera’s design came about.
What’s interesting is that not all the sketches show a modified NEX-7. Some of them appear to show a compact camera, and others a DSLR.
Hasselblad mixed things up today by announcing a new “ultra luxury” APS-C mirroress camera. Sounds like Earth-shattering news, right? Take a little closer, and you’ll notice that it’s not as monumental as it sounds. Basically, the company has taken a page from Leica’s book by playing the rebranding game. Just as Leica -Lux compact cameras are essentially rebranded Panasonic Lumix bodies, the new Hasselblad Lunar is a dressed-up version of the Sony NEX-7.
Neil Armstrong passed away this past Saturday at the age of 82. In addition to being the first man to walk on the moon, he was also the first photographer to set foot on that hunk of rock 238,900 miles away. Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin snapped a total of 122 70mm color photographs using modified Hasselblad 500EL cameras during their short visit on July 21, 1969. However, not all of them were pretty.
American Photo magazine writes that the photographic record left by those two men shows a very human picture of that first landing. Some of the “dud” photos show accidental shutter preses, focusing errors, lens flare, and even photobombed landscape shots.
Reuters photographer Luke MacGregor doesn’t know much about astronomy, but he had the idea recently of photographing the full moon rising up into the Olympic Rings found on London’s Tower Bridge. Armed with a phone app that informed him of moonrise times, he spent two evenings trying and failing to create the photo. Finally, on the third evening, he succeeded:
I readied myself at the predicted angle to the rings. The moon would be rising at 8:50pm and would hit the rings by about 9pm. As the moon had been rising later each evening it had become darker than the previous evenings. I wished I had my tripod. Nonetheless, using the Canon 5D MkIII meant I could push the ISO a little further than I would normally have chosen for a late evening shot. Exactly on time the moon began to show itself over the horizon, a lovely peachy color. I had to keep an eye on a changing exposure, balancing the brightness of the moon with a rapidly darkening sky. As it rose I had to keep moving along, mercilessly pushing tourists out of the way who had stopped to look, in order to keep the moon in line with the rings. Finally, after three days, I had the picture I had been trying to achieve.
New photographs of the moon by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera reveal that flags planted by Apollo astronauts are still “flying” after more than four decades. Each of the six manned Apollo missions planted flags at their landing sites, and it now appears that all but one — the flag planted by Neil Armstrong was blown over upon their departure — are still standing. The photographs were taken at different times of the day, and show small shadows rotating around the locations where the flags were planted.
What the flags look like, however, is a different question: they’ve probably experienced a good deal of deterioration due to the ultraviolet light and temperatures found on the surface of the moon.
(via NY Daily News)
Image credits: Photographs by NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
There’s an abandoned McDonalds in California that’s stuffed with 48,000 pounds of 70mm tape. These tapes contain never-before-seen ultra-high-res photographs of the moon shot by the Lunar Orbiter project 40 years ago. Rather than ship the film back to Earth, scientists decided to scan them on the spaceship, beam them back losslessly, and then record the data onto magnetic tape. Not wanting to reveal the precision of its spy satellites, the US government decided to mark the images as classified.
Since November 2011 I’d been thinking about an astrophotography project: take a photo of the moon each day from full moon to full moon, then combine it into a seamless movie that looks as if someone had moved the sun around the moon for one minute. I found similar videos, but most were simulations done in software, or photographic ones that weren’t very smooth. Seemed simple enough, mostly because I didn’t see the complications that would come along with this project caused by… physics.
My plan involved setting the same exposure each night starting with the full moon, and let the moon’s dark side gradually move across its face while the lit side stayed about the same brightness. Adjust the photos’ angles to match each other, throw all of them into Final Cut Pro X and add cross dissolve transitions between them, and I’d get a smooth movie showing every phase of the moon.
Between 1969 and 1972, NASA left 12 Hasselblad cameras on the moon to make room for moon rocks. One camera that wasn’t left there was a 16mm camera called the “Data Acquisition Camera” used during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. It’s now in the center of a legal dispute between the US government and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to set foot on the moon. Mitchell claims that NASA allowed him to keep the camera as a souvenir after the mission, while NASA says that no evidence of this transfer ever took place. The camera was slated to be auctioned for an estimated $60,000-$80,000, but now NASA is suing Mitchell to get the camera back. The lawsuit states,
All equipment and property used during NASA operations remains the property of NASA unless explicitly released or transferred to another party.
Looks like those Hasselblads on the moon aren’t free for the taking after all. Shucks.
(via Reuters via Space)