New Carl Zeiss Camera Lenses

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 9:27 pm

The rumors and teases from Germany are now over. Carl Zeiss has announced a couple new lenses for the Nikon F mount. Additionally, Dr. Winfried Scherle (Head of Zeiss’s Camera Lens Division) states that Zeiss will also produce the new lenses in a ZS line (M42 mount) as well, which means that owners of cameras that can take a M42 adapter (just about all can) will be able these long awaited optics from Zeiss.


Some end of Summer IR pics

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 3:31 am

Here are a couple infrared pictures taken over the past weekend. The first was taken with my canon 10D. The lens was a canon 28/2.8 and the filter was a Hoya RM-72. The 10D has a strong IR low-pass filter in front of the sensor, so it took some long exposures to get these pics. The second was taken with my old Olympus 2020, which allows for relatively short exposures times with the RM-72.

Summer IR

Summer IR


RAW 4-way comparison

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 4:07 am

On the FredMiranda forums, a user posted a RAW 4-way comparison of Abode Camera Raw, Canon Digital Photoprofessional, Bibble Pro, and Raw Shooter Essential, showing side-by-side output of all 4 programs.


Julian’s Lens Calculator

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 3:42 am

Julian’s Lens Calculator is like a depth of field calculator on steroids. Lots of fun clicking here :)

Review of Photoshop CS2

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 1:38 am

The article Beta Testers on Photoshop CS2: We’re Impressed has some useful comments about some of the new features in Photoshop CS. In particular, reading the piece on CS2’s new sharpening features makes me want to plunk down the cash to pick up Adobe’s latest offering.


Canon USA Consumer Products - EF Lenses 101 - Focal Length Comparison

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 3:55 am

The Canon Focal Length Comparison is a nifty bit of flash that shows the approximate field of view of various lens focal lengths. Personally, I found it surprising how much little extra reach a 400mm lens gave compared to a 300mm.


The Classic Camera Repair Forum

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 9:47 am

The Classic Camera Repair Forum

I came across this site last night after I received that I won on ebay. The lens is in perfect condition.. except it has a stuck aperture :(. I don’t know right now if I’m going to return the lens or not. If I don’t, I might try my hand at repairing it myself.


Night Photography by Larrie Thomson - Night Photographer Dot Com

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 6:37 am

Night Photography by Larrie Thomson

Very cool night photos.

Jay Arraichs Photoshop Tips

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 6:27 am

Jay Arraich has put together a nice collection of basic Photoshop Tips. I might have to go over these and brush up on my PS skills a little.

Digital Camera RAW Converter Comparisons

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 5:17 am

I found a nice article comapring various RAW converters. I’ve heard good things about Capture One, but, after reading this review, I’m not sure that it’s worth the price of admission when the converters that ships with Canon cameras and photoshop CS compare favorably to this product.

BTW, I finally bought myself a present: A clean secondhand 10D. :)


Noise Reduction Tool Comparison

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 8:29 am

Michael Almond has posted an update to his excellent Noise Reduction Tool Comparison. He concludes that Noise Ninja is the overall best tool. I’ve been using Noiseware, which I’ve found tends to work very well with its default settings. Noise Ninja seemed to require too much tweaking to get good results. Perhaps I was just being lazy :). I might download Noise Ninja again and give it another try.


Canon 10D vs 20D

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 12:51 am

I’ve bugged just about everyone in my personal, corporeal life with my contemplations of which digital SLR to eventually buy (Yes, I do plan on purchasing a DSLR and not just endlessly shop for one. I really, really do!). Since I’ve already bugged everyone in my everyday life with my excessive preoccupation with this hopefully imminent purchase, I figured that I’d share this preoccupation with everyone on the Web :P.

So here’s what I’m dealing with.

  1. I’d really like a full frame camera like a Canon 1DS, or even an almost full frame camera like a 1D Mk II
  2. There is no way that I can afford such a camera right now
  3. A Canon 20D would appear to be the best option that’s within my price range.
  4. I have a feeling that I’d find the APS-sized sensor of the 20D less than optimal, since I tend to prefer the wide angle perspective.
  5. Thus, I see myself moving to a full frame camera eventually.
  6. With this eventual move in mind, I have a hard time justifying the cost of the 20D.
  7. So I’ve been thinking about picking up a digital Rebel or a used 10D.
  8. Decisions, decisions, deisions

Anyway, here are some links that I’ve been perusing lately. Canon 10D vs. 20D EOS 20D verseus EOS 10D comparison Canon EOS 10D with some comments on the EOS 20D Canon 10d or 20d
Nikon D70 (kit w/ lens) vs Canon 10D vs Canon 20D for newbie


Comparison of Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 1:27 am

Here’s a nice comparison of Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. I really enjoy reading these amatuer lens reviews/tests.


6-megapixel DSLR or 8-megapixel Digicam. Which Should You Buy?

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 4:05 am

PhotoReview has a nice piece titled, 6-megapixel DSLR or 8-megapixel Digicam Which Should You Buy?, that does a good job of countering the megapixel fetishism that many consumers have. Perhaps consumers should start asking about how big cameras’ sensors are?


What does this sound like?

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 12:34 am

My night’s surfing of dpreview forums has yielded one more gem. Can anyone guess what this sound is?

To answer the question, this is the sound of a Canon 50mm 1.8 mk II focusing.


Cool MTF Comparison tool

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 11:01 pm

Andrew’s Magnificent MTF Comparo-meter provides a Web interface to compare the MTF charts for 2 Canon lenses.

Reading Canon MTF charts

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 10:19 pm

Another great dpreview post: Re: How to read CANON’s MTF chart: Canon SLR Lens Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

1. On the Canon MTF charts, the distinction between thick and thin lines is the spatial frequency to which the lines apply, the thick lines being for 10 cycles/mm and the thin ones for 30 cycles/mm.

Comment: The MTF at a low spatial frequency is indicative of the dilution of contrast (by such phenomena as internal scattering of light, or “lens flare”. I ideally, that property would me measured at zero spatial frequency, but we cannot measure MTF at zero frequency, so we use the MTF at a low spatial frequency.

The “sharpness” of the lens is indicated by the way the MTF “holds up” as the spatial frequency increases (that is, for “finer and finer detail”). To really understand this, we would need to see a plot of MTF vs. spatial frequency. The normal MTF chart published by Canon (and most lens manufacturers) plots MTF against distance from the center of the frame, with spatial frequency as a parameter (reflected by different sets of lines), and for only one “higher” spatial frequency.

2. The distinction between the black and blue lines is the lens aperture to which the lines apply, the black ones at the maximum aperture of the lens and the blue ones at f/8.0

Comment: It is of course common that the MTF performance of the lens, at any given spatial frequency, will decline with increasing aperture (at least in the aperture range where diffraction effects are not controlling).

3. The distinction between the solid and dotted lines is the orientation of the path across the image to which they apply, or looking at it another way, the orientation of the pattern of test lines to which they apply, the solid lines to the meridional case and the dotted lines to the sagittal lines.

Explanation: The distinction only applies when we are not at the center of the frame. (This is why the meridional and sagittal MTF curves coincide on the MTF chart at zero distance from the center on the Canon-style MTF chart.)

The meridional test pattern comprises lines that are perpendicular to a radius from the center of the frame. If we had a test pattern of concentric circles, its lines would be meridional. Thus the meridional MTF would be taken for “travel” along a path across those lines, which would be a path along a radius from the center of the frame.

The sagittal test pattern comprises lines that are along a radius from the center of the frame. If we had a test pattern of radial lines (a “sunburst” pattern), its lines would be sagittal. Thus the sagittal MTF would be taken for “travel” along a path across those lines, a path at right angles to a radius, a path along a circle centered on the center of the frame.

Comment: The distinction between meridional and sagittal MTF reveals the presence of the aberration called “astigmatism”.

Cool polarizer tips

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 10:12 pm

From: Couple of neat tricks with polarizer: Canon EOS 300D Forum: Digital Photography Review

Polarizer in my regard is the most versatile filter you can put on you camera and with digital cameras it is probably the only one you ever need. besides serving its primary function of removing the glare from semi-reflecting objects (water/glass) it can be used as a density filter, warming filter, sky haze filter, etc.

Here’s just some of the neat tricks you can have by using the polarizer (most of them are highly usable in everyday photography):

1) on a sunny day look through polarizer at the sky. Now start rotating it - the sky will turn increasingly blue - giving it a very desired deep and saturated feeling. Notice that the best effect will be achieved when you are looking at the sky approximately 90 degrees from the sun. The closer you turn to the sun - the lesser effect will be

2) reverse the polarizer (rotating ring towards eye/lens) and start turning it - you will see that colors looking through it will distinctly become warmer/colder. To use your polarizer as warm fiilter on the camera you would need to buy a reverse ring (they are very inexpensive but well worth it)

3) stack two polarizers together: one in normal position and the second one in reverse. Now start rotating the second polarizer - you will see that looking though it the scene will become increasingly darker until you will achieve a complete darkness. Thus you can use two stacked polarizers as a variable density filter. You can use it to achieve long exposures during day time for various creative effects!

4) if you have LCD monitor try looking at it through the polarizer. Now start turning the polarizer and you will see that at some point the screen will turn complete dark. Search on internet for explanation on why this is happening!


Online Depth of Field Calculator

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 3:46 am

Online Depth of Field Calculator. Ok, if you end up spending more than a hour playing around with this thing, you can classify yourself as something of a nut. If you grab the code and try to improve it, you’re nuttier still. Right now I’m having an “Almond Joy” moment ;)

Seriously, this is a fun tool. Did you know that, if you used a 50mm lens @ f1.4 on a D20 focused on a subject 4 feet away, that the depth of field would be scant 1.21 in. ? Well now you do. A very cool feature of this calculator is that it includes predefined data for many popular digital cameras (such as sensor size and actual lens focal lengths) that factor into DOF calculations. Heck, it even had info for my old Canon A20.


Canon EOS Beginners’ FAQ III - Lenses

Filed under: Photography — Andrew @ 9:15 am

Canon EOS Beginners’ FAQ III - Lenses

This is a nice introduction to Canon lenses, along with purchasing tips for the beginner.

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