The 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic will come in April of next year, and auction houses are already seeing a spike in the number of artifacts from the disaster being put up for sale. Among them are a set of previously unseen photographs made the morning after the sinking, which show the rescue ships, lifeboats, and an icy Atlantic ocean. Read more…
The Nikon Lens Scope Converter is a rare accessory that attaches to the back of Nikon lenses, turning them into telescopes. You can sometimes find them listed on eBay for around $230. They’re designed for AF D-era lenses that have mechanical aperture rings, but you can “hack” your G lenses to be compatible by using a piece of plastic to keep the aperture blades in the open position.
Furthermore, you can mount the convert onto a Micro lens to make a microscope. Use it on a 105mm Micro lens, and you’ll have yourself a handheld 25x microscope!
Here’s a strange (and extremely rare) piece of camera gear: the Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle. Also known as “the Leica Gun”, it was made for photographers at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and became popular among wildlife and sports photographers during the interwar years. One of them will be auctioned off at the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction on October 30th, and is expected to fetch up to $100,000.
Who knows, maybe shoulder stocks will make a comeback as a form of image stabilization.
The ‘Wood Edition’ emphasizes the camera’s premium appeal by adding a casing made from Amboyna Burl, an expensive and decorative veneer taken from complex growths on a Southeast Asian tree. The case takes around 60 hours to cut, mill and polish.
Only ten of these cameras will be made, with each one priced at €9,999 (~$13,800).
Seeing a double rainbow is a relatively rare treat, but how about three or four rainbows? Scientists have only reported seeing triple rainbows five times over the past 250 years, but German photographer Michael Theusner was recently able to capture this first ever photograph of a fourth-order rainbow. Ordinary rainbows (first and second order) appear in the area of the sky opposite the sun (and aren’t seen in his shot), but when higher order rainbows appear, they show up on the sunward side.
Last year, U.S. Naval Academy meteorologist Raymond Lee and a colleague, Philip Laven, laid out a prediction for the conditions that would produce third-order rainbows, and they challenged rainbow-chasers to go out and find one. Among the requirements: dark thunderclouds, and either a heavy downpour or a rainstorm with nearly uniform rain droplets. If the sun broke through the clouds under these conditions, it could project a dim tertiary rainbow against the dark clouds nearby, they said. [#]
Back in May, a photographer named Michael Grossman followed this advice and succeeded in capturing the first ever photo of a third-order rainbow. Lee’s challenge and Grossman’s success are what inspired Theusner to try his hand at photographing higher order rainbows. You can find more background info on Theusner’s blog and in his recently published scientific paper.
Canon has long offered its telephoto L lenses in white in order to keep the lens cooler under sunlight, but did you know that certain Nikon lenses can be found in “white” as well? The lenses were officially called “light gray”, and can be purchased for pretty reasonable prices on eBay — the AF-S ED 70-200 f/2.8G VR seen above was sold a couple days ago by eBay seller shrewd25 for $1,999.
While Nikon Corporation was established in 1917 (as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K.), the company was a lens manufacturing company and didn’t make the first Nikon branded camera until 1948. The first camera was named the Nikon I, and started with serial number 60922. On May 28th, Nikon I No. 60924 will be auctioned at the Westlicht Photographica auction. This is the third Nikon production camera ever made, and the oldest known surviving Nikon camera. Bidding starts at €70,000 (~$100,000), and the camera is expected to fetch up to €160,000 (~$230,000). Some lucky (and wealthy) camera collector is going to be the owner of a rare and beautiful piece of photographic history.
A Polish collector claims he’s found an extremely rare daguerrotype of composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin, taken in his final repose in 1849.
If the image is authentic, it would be one of only three photographs of the composer, including the image of him alive in 1846, above. And it would be the only known original daguerrotype in existence — all other images are duplicates.
With a suggested retail price of £19,800 (currently about $32,000) and only 500 units in existence, Leica’s limited edition M9 Titanium probably isn’t a camera you’re ever going to lay eyes on in real life. When it was announced back in September of last year, we predicted that most of them wouldn’t see the light of day and would be placed immediately into collectors’ vaults. Luckily for us, someone decided to actually unbox (gasp!) one of these babies (camera #164), allowing us to see what it’s like to receive such an absurdly expensive camera. Read more…