50 years ago the opening of Photokina 1956 was marked by a greeting telegram from Dwight Eisenhower, the US president (the first Photokina expo was held in 1950). Now, 50 years later, Photokina 2006 got no greeting cards from presidents, but it attracted much more visitors and companies, being the main European exposition devoted to the photo industry.
According to the press release, 1579 companies from 46 countries took part in the expo. 162000 visitors from 153 countries came so see their stands. The expo was housed in eleven pavilions (some of them being two-storeyed). The expo was held in Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany.
Along with photo devices, Photokina 2006 also exhibited photos. Why exhibiting photos? One of possible answers is to remember. The exhibition was devoted to Cologne, ruined in World War II, those photographers, and their cameras.
Another answer is to show the world like nobody else could and to demonstrate abilities of printing-machines.
History of the brand is no less important in this case than the photos, taken with Hasselblad devices for its nearly age-long history.
Another example of successful history and a successful brand. Photography and photographers.
A quickie tour of the exposition on a single floor of a pavilion will take up half a day, I know it from personal experience. Six expo days from September 26 to October 1 let you see it all, if you are strong enough. Considering the weight of presentation materials and daily fatigue, you will hardly manage to visit everything. The hosts try to make the life of their visitors easier, thank you very much (not for free, of course, ticket price for all days is 65 Euro). Free bus rides to downtown (you can walk, if you like), very cheap (in our terms) food and wireless internet in the press center, presentation materials collected in the same press center, and no explicit and hostile anti-terrorist measures.
Of course, the main participators of the expo were companies, which business had to do with photography: Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sony. The following companies expanded their expo grounds this year: Casio, Epson, Hewlett-Packard (the author visited Photokina thanks to this company), Nokia, Samsung. There were some stands from Russian companies as well - OAO "LZOS" (Lytkarinsky Zavod Opticheskogo Stekla - Lytkarinsky Optical Glass Plant) and Lomond.
Leica's testing ground.
Lumix L1 reflex camera was one of the main hits on Panasonic stand.
22 Mp Mamiya ZD digital camera with a 36x48mm sensor is not a new product anymore. But it's still an interesting camera.
Seitz is not a famous company - its panoramic cameras and accessories for panoramic photography used to be known only to connoisseurs of wide photography before the recent news about the 160 Mp Seitz 6x17 Digital .
Here are main conclusions, drawn by analysts:
You may learn about many new products, presented at Photokina 2006 or prior to this expo, in our news. Let's enumerate the most important devices from the professional photography sector:
Canon 400D 10 Mp SLR with a new dust cleaning system
Along with well-known companies, Photokina housed a lot of stands, where I wanted to spend much more time than I really could. They are not likely to appear in the news. As they slowed down yours truly in his tour of the expo, it would be only fair to pay them some attention in this article.
Practically all digital SLR manufacturers equip their cameras with "sensor dust cleaners". Each manufacturer used to struggle with dust in its own way. With service centers or with brushes and rubber syringes. As for now, there are a lot of solutions of the dust problem. But I'm amazed only by simple and effective ones. Canon uses electrostatics (EOS 400D) to prevent dust from sticking to a sensor. Electrostatics is one of the key brush-vacuum cleaner principles in the products of Features & Benefits Photographic Solutions "BRUSHOFF" (Micro-Tools distributor). Conducting hair of a brush is grounded to make dust easier to remove from a sensor. Sensor Swab brushes are used to clean real dirt (grease spots, salt, etc).
You need only Virtual Backgrounds (www.virtualbackgrounds.net) equipment and a proper transparency to make a nice portrait in good interior. You can come to a photo session in jeans and jogging shoes and get a portrait in a palace.
A model is photographed in a studio, as usual; you should just install a special screen as a background.
Then you select the best transparency on a light table and insert it into Virtual Backgrounds. You get a ready photo, which does not require any post processing in a graphics editor.
One of modifications and installation layouts of Virtual Backgrounds.
A hybrid technology - taking pictures with a digital camera and printing photos "on silver". DE VERE 504 DS DIGITAL enlarger (www.odyssey-sales.com) allows to print color and black-and-white 50x60cm photos and provides 300 dpi:
Wooden tripods from BERLEBACH (www.berlebach.de). Warm, cozy, and reliable - clients are falling asleep:
The next Photokina will be held in two years.
Sergei Scherbakov (email@example.com)
October 10, 2006
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