Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lens maker interview, Zeiss Otus etc

Talking about multi-coating and size of lenses, Bert found this very interesting interview with a lens tester from Zeiss.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, October 18, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Friday, October 17, 2014

Canon Reveals ‘World’s Longest’ 4K Cine Lens: A 50-1000mm Monster that Costs $78K

[Thanks to TCGirl]

And big long zoom lenses for cinema is no thing of the past. Canon just came out with this true hulk. Incredible. 1000mm is a *really* long tele, trust me. (With few exceptions, it's the longest anybody makes.)
4K. (4x the pixels of HD)
50-1000mm. Loooong zoom. Surely in top quality.
$78,000. Thus the price...

Sad there's no in-situ photo of this, because I'll bet ya that this is not one you want to try to hand-hold.

It's funny how much is already being invested in 4K resolution cameras and such, when nobody yet has a solution as to how to distribute that extreme resolution...    :-)
Heck, I just invested a minor fortune in spring to get a 4K monitor (only two types were available), and then just yesterday, Apple announces, get this, not only a 4K monitor, a 5K monitor, and it's an iMac! Apple is cwaaaaazy! (There is no "5K" format, it's just Apple's way of saying "we got even more pixels than 4K, bitches".)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, October 17, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Differences in multi-coating

When not in storage, I rarely bother to put lens caps on my lenses, so I decided to get UV filters for the protection of my favorite ones.

It would be stupid to have a lens with fine anti-reflection coating, and then put on a filter with poor multi-coating. (It's called Multi-Coating or "MC", because many years ago, it was only done with one layer, which only dampened reflections of one color, not too effective. I think all lenses today have multi-coating.)

Oh by the way, in this day and age, some makers of multi-coated filters still makes it sound in their promotion that their filter can remove reflections and flare from a lens. This is of course cattle poo. The best they can do is to not add any new ones!

I bought three different brands just for kicks and comparison. Like I expected, the old, big brands Hoya and Cokin look fine, in some light they almost are invisible.

However, Nisi, a brand I had not heard of, seems to have lousy coating. I won't be using that one. See these comparisons, the Nisi (top on both pics) and the Cokin reflecting the same light source.
(I don't know why multi-coating usually leaves green behind as the strongest reflection.)

By the way, the Cokin really is fantastically thin, the frame. Impressive. I doubt that affects the strength of the thread too much (it's shorter), unless you tend to stack filters. But it's good if you want to keep a very compact lens compact, or it's mounted on a super-wideangle where it may cause vignetting (darken the corners). 
If you want one, it has the subtle and humble name of: 
"Cokin 46mm Super Slim Pure Harmonie Multi Coated UV Filter"!

(Yes, Cokin is the one with the square plastic filters which you put in a holder in front of the lens. I heard that if you put them flat on tables, they collect scratches like all-git-out. I can believe it, no frame, and it's only plastic.)

(Photo by Points In Focus)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, October 17, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are there good photos still to make?

We live in a time where amateur photography is exploding far beyond the dreams of anybody living pre-digitally. If it wasn't true before, it's certainly true now: everything has been photographed thousands of times.
So one might get occasionally into a bit of despair: what's the point of me going on? There's nothing new to photograph.

But then I see a photo like this. It looks much like a Lee Friedlander photo, but a search has revealed no source to me. But anyway, the point is:
There is nothing special about the subject. It's a typical US town street, Baltimore or something,  on an unremarkable day, with all objects in it we see every day. (Albeit from over half a century ago.)

(Click for big)

But that's just the thing, to me: despite all this, I love this photograph. To me, it's excellent art. What a fantastic arrangement of lines. The composition moves me, to me it is beautiful.

And if the Art does not come from the subject, it must come from... Source only knows... The Photograph itself, certainly (or maybe Certainly Not, it's just an object). Maybe the mind of the photographer. Maybe luck. Or inspiration. Maybe higher forces.
And all these things will always exist, no matter how many times something has been photographed.

Bron informs: "Street in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania." -- Jack Delano

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, October 16, 2014   11 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

George Jones - Squidbillies Theme

I really like the show, and the theme song. It is funny as all-git-out.  They have had many good singers singing it. This one is one of those I'm surprised I don't know, since apparently he's nigh enough king of country. (Me having little interest in country normally of course helps.) George Jones (wiki).

... First I thought: "he certainly sounded very different when he was young", but it turns out he sings very different from he talks.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 15, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teamwork is best!

[Thanks to Bert]


posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 14, 2014   1 comments links to this post

About That 25-300mm f/2.8 You Wanted

About That 25-300mm f/2.8 You Wanted, article.

Everybody wants one lens which can do everything, so you never have to change lenses (and miss a shot) again. Meaning a fast lens which goes from real wideangle to real telephoto, in high quality.
Well, surprise: it can be done, and it has been.
The catch: It costs over $40,000! And weighs about 18 pounds!

I have the Nikkor on the left, and trust me, it is not small. In fact it's so big that I regretted buying it... 1.5 kilo lenses are not for hobby street photographers! But I wanted quality. The joke was on me, when full-frame Nikons appeared, it turned out it was awfully unsharp in the edges. Lame. (Oh, it's been replaced years ago.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 14, 2014   9 comments links to this post

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robin Wong Olympus tester

Robin Wong is an entertaining guy who runs a blog where he tests the new Olympus gear. He does it subjectively but well, and often his pictures, though only taken for test-purposes, are really nice and good for wallpaper.

Here is his newest test, of an unusually excellent lens, the newest of Olympus' short line of super Pro lenses, the 40-150mm f:2.8 Pro lens. It has absolutely top-shelf performance all through the line (at this time top-level zoom lenses are actually sharper than almost all prime lenses, if you can believe it), it has a fixed top aperture of 2.8, very useful in low light and for getting nice soft backgrounds. It is also proofed against rain and even frost, like the other Pro lenses and the Olympus E-M1.

It is bigger and heavier than one is used to with Micro Four Thirds lenses, but a similar lens for full frame would be so big and heavy that one would hardly be able to use free-hand, and cost a lot more.

(A third of this is lens hood.)
Robin struck up an unusual friendship
with a cockatoo named Madonna. 

Photo: Robin Wong.

Here is an informative and funny shootout on video, comparing it to the much smaller, but also outstanding Panasonic 35-100mm 2.8. Results may surprise.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, October 13, 2014   3 comments links to this post

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Revolution in Art & Design using 3D Printing

Wow, I'll bet Neri Oxman never had any problems getting dates at MIT!
Seriously though, her work is groundbreaking.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, October 11, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Phineas and Ferb - Giant Puppet

If this seems familiar, notice the jaw and tongue, and then compare with previously posted, below. Nice homage.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, October 05, 2014   2 comments links to this post

Finally a compact reading tablet, and economical too

Finally a compact reading tablet, and economical too, post

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, October 05, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Video revenues

You may have heard that Amazon has paid a very kewl Billion for a site name, which, uhm, follows video games. Nope, doesn't make sense to me either, but for hundreds of millions young people, their video game universe is as real as anything else. 
A commenter provided this: 

"... numbers I gathered during a Google search that I think will help provide some context to Amazon’s purchase of Twitch: Total Revenue for 2013 for the following industries: 
NBA – 5 Billion. 
MLB- 8 Billion. 
NFL – 9 Billion. 
Movie Box Office Ticket Sales -10.9 Billion. 
Video Game Revenue 93 Billion
To put Twitch into perspective Twitch is to gamers what ESPN is to sports fans. Amazon’s purchase of Twitch gives them access to the video game universe in a way they might never be able to recreate from scratch."

Video game revenue is nine times that of movie box office! Holy mother of all that's unholy. Not sure what we can learn from this, but it seems there's a new drug in town. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014   8 comments links to this post

Crow magic

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014   2 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Light is the essense

An old-timer in my old photo club in the seventies/eighties once was service/guard at an international exhibition we held (in Copenhagen), top-notch images from 20 countries.
One quiet evening he walked around and tried to determine what made all those photos so special that they had made it to the exhibition against a lot of hard competition. He concluded that it was the LIGHT which did it. The *light* was an essential factor, amidst all the great variety of subjects and style.

I guess it's not for nothing that photography means Drawing With Light.

(Click for big pic, please. Photos by TCGirl. These made me think of the importance of the light. Olympus E-M1, Panasonic 14-140mm. And these are unprocessed, that good are modern cameras and photographers.)

As an aid to spot the bird in the highest branch, which indeed was very tiny in the frame: 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, September 30, 2014   12 comments links to this post

Top 10 Compact Cameras for Travelers

Top 10 Compact Cameras for Travelers, article on National Geographic!

Sure, it's about *travel* cameras, but it's very notable that there isn't a single DSLR mentioned! Mostly mirrorless. Times are changing.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, September 30, 2014   3 comments links to this post

Photo magic

This is one of the best works of "Photoshop magic", I've seen, thanks again to Bert.

Unknown author

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, September 30, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lenses and perspective (updated)

Here is a good article about lenses and their effect on perspective (or technically: distance's effect on perspective).

For example:

The long 200mm telephoto lens on the left compresses the scene by bringing the Independence Hall building in Philadelphia right up to the statue in front.  A 35mm wide angle lens used on the right relates the two in a very different way.
[Photo and text by Tom Grill]

Thanks to Bert for finding this wonderful illustration of perspective change.
The article also explains how the perspective changes with the distance, not the lens. The lens focal length changes merely allows you to fill the frame with the main subject at different distances.

photo by PetaPixel/Michael Zhang

Here is another good illustration.

Photo by Stephen Eastwood

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, September 29, 2014   3 comments links to this post

Can the Samsung NX1 redefine pro performance with a quantum leap in technology?

Can the Samsung NX1 redefine pro performance with a quantum leap in technology? - Article
(A very technical one, fair warning.)

As if there weren't enough brands with good cameras, now Samsung, of all places, are doing interesting stuff. For example:

When the guys in R&D were working on the Samsung Auto Shot feature, they recorded live 28 megapixel, 240 fps "video" to help with the debugging. We didn't see there being an application for that, at least for very, very few people.

Processing 28 megapixel at 240 fps... woa.


JK: The DRIMe V actually has a lot of IPs [small hardware circuit blocks] dedicated to noise reduction. It's pretty cool; there are a lot of them, and each one does a different type of noise reduction processing, all at the same time. 

DE: Really? So all these IPs can all be working in parallel doing their own noise reduction, and then some higher-level processor can come in and say, "Oh this is this type of image content here, so I'm going to use the output from this IP, but over here there's different content, so I'm going to use the output from this other one"?

JK: Yeah, yeah.

 The Samsung NX1 will be about $1500 body only. That says Pro Camera. But so does many of the features. Just a detail like the top plate LCD info screen, we sadly don't see many of those, these days.

Still, it's an uphill battle for Samsung to get into the pro market, because Pros don't buy cameras, they buy systems. Not only do lenses in similar quality have to be available, they also have to be paid for. That is no trivial expense, not for the photographer and not for the maker.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, September 29, 2014   2 comments links to this post

The "Busy" Trap

The "Busy" Trap, article.
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, September 29, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Panasonic puts a 1-inch sensor and a Leica lens on new CM1 smartphone

Panasonic puts a 1-inch sensor and a Leica lens on new CM1 smartphone, article.
It had to come: smartphone cameras with much bigger sensors.
Though everybody is uncertain about how big the market is. People who like photographing with a smartphone, do they really think that much about sensor-sizes and lens brands? If they do, won't they get a "real" camera? I don't know.
To be honest, while I think this is a natural and obvious and praiseworthy development, I don't feel any huge attraction to this toasterfridge. The size and kind of images you post on Faceblack and Instagroan, you simple can't tell the difference anyway, you need to make really big prints*, and if you do that, might you not want optimum camera controls rather than an Android interface?

Not sure. But I feeeeel there could be something cool made in this area, but it may take some ingenious and intuitive inventing to do so.
Or maybe not. Will this always be a Frankenstein? Cameraphone cameras have already been Good Enough for years, even for many enthusiasts, and they are only getting better year for year. So why buy an expensive phone (900 Euros) which is four times thicker than a nice phone, just to tell your friends: "See, it has a Leica lens!". Well, that may actually be it for many, and nothing wrong with that.

*And how many people really prints photos anymore? I haven't for years. After getting used to pictures reaching around the world in seconds, a print seems so... obscure. Getting them seen by more than a handful of people is real work. And also today's really big screens make for an enjoyment of a photo which it takes a *hell* of a print to beat. (And it can never beat the contrast range anyway.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, September 28, 2014   2 comments links to this post

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