Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12, 2012 - Looking a little lost

May 12, 2012 - Looking a little lost

This is one of my nephews. I grabbed this shot while we were all attending his half-brother's Bar Mitzvah. Everyone was dressed nicely, we were all there at temple a bit early, waiting while the photo pro shot pictures of the family. I look for these kind of pictures - the little guys always seem to get a bit overwhelmed at times, looking sorta lost in the sea or a forest of tall people.  Many of the adults, even if they're family, are basically strangers from out of town, seen only at times like these when extended families come together.

This was shot with my 5dII, using my now somewhat dated Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L zoom. The lens is big and heavy, but is pretty much perfect for shooting at gatherings like this. It covers a nice range, is bright enough to use inside, and is built like a tank.  Its is the first L lens I bought - and one I have no plans on giving up. This image was shot zoomed to 70mm, at ISO 200, f/3.5 and 1/125'th. The zoom compresses things some, the larger aperture gives us some good blur in the background. Did some quick retouching in Lightroom.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012 - New Old Lens

May 11, 2012 - New Old Lens

May 11, 2012 - Takumar 1:4/17
This is a fairly recent addition to my collection of older manual focus lenses. It is a Takumar 1:4 17mm Fish Eye. They're not too hard to find on eBay, but always seem to drive a premium price. After watching for a while, I found one at the lower end of the scale, bid, and won. It isn't a perfect example, but the flaws are minor enough for it to be perfectly serviceable. I'm less interested in spotless museum quality collectors items than I am functional, interesting bits of gear to enjoy actually using.

Haven't yet shot very many frames with this fish-eye. Haven't really had the time. It is VERY wide - 180deg FOV. Found it is very very easy to include fingers and such in the frame.

Am using these older lenses on the 5dII by way of various M42 to EOS adapters. Have tried a couple different ones. Have a "pro" Fotodiox right now which seems to be the best of the bunch - and even that one sometimes doesn't mate well enough for the focus chip to function. Most of these are made over seas. The chips work, but seem like a real hack. Mostly an after thought, they're typically just glued onto the adapter ring. However, since the 5dII doesn't have a split-prism focus screen available, unless you have really good eyes, the chip is a necessary evil. Of course, with a fish-eye, like this, it isn't quite as much of a worry as with other lenses.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012 - Lytro Day 2

May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012 - Lytro Unboxing

Second day with the Lytro. Above, the freshly unboxed camera.

Starting to get the hang of it, but still have a ways to go. Did post a first "living picture" to my personal Lytro page. It isn't great, but shows some of the "refocus" capabilities of the camera.

You can click around the frame there and pick what you want to focus on, and zoom in here and there. I've not yet found a way to adjust the exposure in the frame - it just isn't available in the software. Hopefully that's a "not available yet."

Shown in the photo is a bit of my back 40. We planted the daisy looking flowers last summer - they've so far been pretty hardy. Have already learned that they're going to need to be kept managed or they'll get out of hand.

Back to the Lytro Camera - it is still in the early adopter phase here, I think.  Interesting gadget which needs some refining and tuning. Off the cuff downsides, it doesn't perform very well in lower light conditions, the view finder is postage stamp small and doesn't really work well at anything other than straight on viewing. There's not any way to lock down the zoom, and, since it is based on a touch sensor along the top edge of the back of the camera, which is near the shutter button, zoom tends to get out of whack unintentionally. The lens cap seems to be easy to lose. It is held on by a magnet, but its closer to the strength of a fridge magnet vs the rare earth stuff in certain proprietary power supply connectors.

Most of these things have been noted elsewhere - and weren't unexpected. The cool factor of the gadget, and its unique if still very early features are for me, still appealing. More to come, as time goes on.


My Lytro arrived last night. Haven't had much chance yet to play with it - first attempts weren't great. It doesn't have quite the ISO an sensitivity of the 5dII. Is going to take some getting used to. The small postage sized rear screen is a bit tough to use for composing - biggest thing is that it can be hard to see at odd angles.
Form factor is different from any camera I've ever used before. Fits in the hand well, but feel like I want a case of some sort for carrying it around. Finding one of quite the right size should be fun. The front lens cover is magnetic - not sure why but there isn't a similar one for the back.

Tried a few more frames this morning, but managed to get out of the house without the cable. Going to have to wait to see how any of it turned out.

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Too Long

Been far to long since I've been updating this. Time to rectify that.