September 29, 1998

Sony announces Mavica Printer FVP-1

(c) 1998, Sony Corporation - All rights reserved
Sony Corporation announces plans to launch a new digital color printer, called the Mavica Printer [FVP-1], that is equipped with a 3.5-inch FDD (Floppy Disk Drive). This printer allows users to print pictures taken by Sony's Digital Mavica digital still camera and stored on a 3.5-inch floppy disk.
Availability: Nov. 20, 1998 in Japan
Price: 64,800 yen
Initial Monthly Production: 2000 units
The Mavica Printer offers printing at 1,410,000 pixels (306 x 306 dpi), and it incorporates a 3.5-inch FDD as well as video input / S video input terminals. In addition to Sony's Digital Mavica, the printer can be used with video cameras and VCRs.
Main Features of the Sony Mavica Printer FVP-1
Prints directly from a floppy disk, by simply inserting the disk into the FDD
Resolution of 1,410,000 pixels (306 x 306 dpi)
Equipped with video input / S video input terminals for printing pictures taken from video material
Offers compatibility with Super Coat polished paper, which improves the color reproduction and life of the print
Includes image processing software, for creating original greeting cards, postcards, stickers and labels.
Operates with a wide variety of printing paper such as Super Coat (for high durability), pre-cut stickers, labels for floppy disks, etc.

September 15, 1998

Image and Society in the Weimar Republic

A Laboratory of Modernity: Image and Society in the Weimar Republic

Exhibition explores the visual culture of Germany during the Weimar period.


This is a special exhibition, organized to accompany Professor Eric Rentschler's fall course at Harvard in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures Weimar Cinema: The Laboratory of Modernity, explores aspects of the dynamic, avant-garde visual culture of Germany between the two world wars, including many direct and indirect references to film.

Seven extraordinary vintage photographs by László Moholy-Nagy, lent by Robert and Gayle Greenhill of New York City, will anchor the exhibition, which will also include works by artists such as Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, Otto Dix, George Grosz, August Sander, John Heartfield, Josef Albers, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Herbert Bayer, and others.

A Laboratory of Modernity has been selected by Tawney Becker, curatorial assistant of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Graham Bader, graduate student in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard.


Although the short-lived and turbulent Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was a period at times troubled by political and economic instability, ultimately succumbing to the Nazi rise to power in Germany, new media and technologies emerged, fueling the vibrant cultural scene, particularly in the cities. The fall of the imperial regime and its institutions at the end of World War I infused the arts with new vitality. The founding of the Bauhaus, a progressive school for art, architecture, and design, in 1919 heralded a new era for art education, production, and industrial design. Modernism took hold, and avant-garde culture flourished even as the democracy and the economy were weak. It was a time of conflicts and contrasts: new artistic movements and trends struggled with broadening political and social conservatism. The 1920s saw the efflorescence of the photo-illustrated press, and the freshness of the new media-photojournalism, documentary film, broadcasting, and sound recording-in works from this period are felt to this day.

A Laboratory of Modernity is structured around three key themes that investigate use of materials and technique as well as content. The first section Montage: Abstraction and Politics features artistic explorations of the montage technique in collage, prints, and photographs. The flood of technologically recorded reality in both image and sound made suddenly available to the public triggered a splintering of vision seen in the various types of montage witnessed in literature and theater as well as the visual arts. Moholy's manipulation of light in his photograms and dadaist collages by Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters evoke the excitement of early experimentation, opening a path for later political application in Heartfield's scathing photomontages for the Berlin-based Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (workers' illustrated paper) and Lissitzky's dynamic use of the technique in his Catalogue for the Soviet Pavilion for the International Press Exhibition Cologne 1928.

The Modern Subject takes various forms in the second grouping, which is divided into sections focused on figures and types, artist portraits, and the mannequin or doll-like figure. Here exploration of the figure reveals the artists' varied approaches to process and subject-whether viewed through the sober lens of the "New Objectivity" (Neue Sachlichkeit) in realistic portraits by Rudolf Schlichter or Karl Hubbuch, in Otto Dix's intense self-portrait, or in the satirical caricature of Hitler as a barbarian by George Grosz. Beyond these prints and drawings, the photography in this section-penetrating documentary photographs of the German people as catalogued by August Sander and Erna Lendvai-Dircksen, the inspired manipulation of the image by Herbert Bayer and Moholy-Nagy, the unusual viewpoint in Werner Feist's Head (1929), and Joseph Albers' and Lyonel Feininger's investigations of the mannequin-exemplify the new range of approaches to the figure that the camera made possible.

The Weimar period is popularly identified with 1920s Berlin, and it was in the city where culture boomed. Artistic incentive to experiment and explore also drives the Urban Visions presented in the third group of the exhibition. Moholy-Nagy was one of the key members of the Bauhaus faculty and proponent of "productive creation," not reproduction; his ground-breaking Bauhaus Book No. 8: Painting, Photography, Film (1925) in which Paul Citroen's photomontage Metropolis I (1923) is reproduced, is included in the exhibition. Experiments with distorting and often dizzying angles and abstraction are captured in architectural views by Moholy-Nagy and his wife Lucia Schulz Moholy as well as in photographs by Albert Renger-Patzsch and a student of the Bauhaus, Iwao Yamawaki. Grosz's socio-critical street scenes reflect his sharp political views whereas Herbert Bayer's mock-ups for a movie house and a multi-media building still carry the freshness of ideas of the brainstorming architect-designer.

A Laboratory of Modernity will provide the public with a first glimpse at several recent acquisitions by the Busch-Reisinger and the Fogg, including exciting photography from this period as well as a few rarely seen examples of work by women photographers. The exhibition is supported with funds from the John M. Rosenfield Teaching Exhibition Fund.


Related Events

Gallery talks at Busch-Reisinger Museum

November 7-8, with Christine Mehring, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History of Art & Architecture.
November 28-29, with Graham Bader, graduate student, Department of History of Art & Architecture.
December 5, with Sarah Miller, Werner and Maren Otto Curatorial Intern, Busch-Reisinger Museum
December 20, January 9, with Tawney Becker, curatorial assistant, Busch-Reisinger Museum.

Film Series - Weimar Cinema

September 22 through December 15, 1998
Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), directed by Robert Wiene

Destiny (1920), directed by Fritz Lang

Nosferatu (1922), directed by F.W. Murnau

The Last Laugh (1924), directed by F.W. Murnau

The Joyless Street (1925), directed by G.W. Pabst

Secrets of a Soul (1926), directed by G.W. Pabst

Metropolis (1927), directed by Fritz Lang

Berlin, Symphony of a Big City (1927), directed by Walter Ruttman

The White Hell of Pitz Palü (1929), directed by A. Franck and G.W. Pabst

M (1931), directed by Fritz Lang

The Blue Angel (1930), directed by Joseph von Sternberg

Mädchen in Uniform (1931), directed by Leontine Sagan

The Blue Light (1932), directed by Leni Riefenstahl



Busch-Reisinger Museum from October 31, 1998 through January 10, 1999

September 9, 1998

Canon Speedlite 550EX Flash and Wireless Transmitter ST-E2 specifications

Canon Speedlite 550EX is the main component of a new flash system designed together with the EOS-3 SLR camera. It provides full compatibility with the new area AF technology employed by the EOS-3 and refined E-TTL autoflash for improved performance. Other main features include a maximum Guide Number of 180 (ISO 100, ft.), an AF-assist beam which links to the EOS-3's 45-point area AF, FP Flash (high speed sync), FE lock (a flash version of AE lock), and FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing). The Speedlite 550EX also incorporates a built-in wireless transmitter, which can control other Speedlite 550EX units set up as slave units. Flash coverage is set automatically from 24mm to 105mm, and a wide-angle panel extends the coverage to 17mm. The new Speedlite runs on 4 AA-size batteries, and can also be used with optional external power supplies such as Compact Battery Pack E and Transistor Pack E. Recycling times are similar to those experienced with the Speedlite 540EZ. Speedlite 550EX is compatible with all EOS models.

The most impressive feature of the 550EX, however, is its ability to support a wireless multiple flash system which allows photographers to set up unlimited numbers of additional Speedlite 550EX flashes as slave units while controlling their flash output from the camera position. Even when using multiple Speedlites, photographers can utilize all of the 550EX's advanced features including E-TTL, FP flash, FE lock and Flash Exposure Bracketing (FEB).

All 550EX controls are located on the rear of the unit, including a Master/Slave switch, indicating whether the flash will be used as a Master (on the camera's hot shoe) or as a remote Slave. The remote flash system permits photographers to set up as many as three groups (designated A, B or C) of 550EX Speedlites set up as slave units with virtually unlimited numbers of flash units possible within each group.

When using the EOS-3 with multiple Speedlite 550EX flash units, or when shooting with E-TTL wireless autoflash using the Speedlite 550EX in conjunction with the wireless Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, the output ratio of two different slave groups can be set on the master unit. The A:B flash ratio can be set to any of thirteen half-step increments ranging from 8:1 to 1:8. Flash exposure compensation for slave group C can be set on the master unit in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments up to +/- 3 stops. This is ideal for background or accent lighting when shooting portraits in a studio setting, for example. Power output for each Slave unit can be controlled directly from the Master flash or Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, eliminating the need to adjust each Slave unit from its remote location. In addition, the system offers a "modeling lamp" function which gives photographers a good idea of how lighting will fall on the subject. The wireless remote flash system has a range of approximately 35 feet when used outdoors and approximately 50 feet indoors. Each slave unit, when signalled by a test flash from the Master Unit, indicates its readiness in ascending order according to its assigned group, giving photographers the ability to verify that the slave units are within range and functioning properly. An LED indicator on the back of the Master Unit acts as a flash exposure confirmation signal, and is fully effective even in wireless multiple flash setups.

Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

Canon's wireless Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 is ideal for use by photographers who do not need to have any light source emanating directly from the camera position, but wish to utilize the system's remote flash capabilities. Mounted on the hot shoe of the camera, the wireless transmitter serves as the Master, controlling the functions of up to two groups of 550EX Slave units. Like the 550EX, the ST-E2 also has a built-in AF-assist beam which is linked to the EOS-3's area AF.

The new Canon Speedlite 550EX flash and Wireless Transmitter ST-E2 will be available in USA at Canon authorized camera dealers in early December.