Thursday, January 31, 2008

Frozen Cascade revisited

24 plus red plus falls



The rest are here. This trip, on the MX, was entirely a K24/2.8, FA43/1.9, and FA77/1.8. Purism at its best on that front, I suppose. The film was Ilford Delta 100. Very shiny, I'll have to remember this stuff. I have a roll of the 400 in the MX right now, I'll finish that in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stuff or things

stuff on my desk

I tried to high-contrast pop a color image. Exposure +1.45, shadows set to the 30something range... I also popped a red filtered image, for fun. No real difference between the two.

This is what happens when people call you and try to tell you how to do your job.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

77 portrait

cat asleep

ISO 800, so the contrast details suffer some, but ... that's wide open. I can put up a 100% crop if you care, but I don't.

I love being able to convince myself to invest in serious glass.

Incidentally, today, I saw someone in old Ellicott City doing a "model" shoot with some kind of 70-200 f2.8... that's a lot of work for a day like today, I guess. Sometimes, I'm glad I shoot the small system.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


snow here

It's rare to see a sign that allows behavior. Also, look at the way the 77 rendered "downtown" Wheaton.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Waxen Towers, pt. II

You may remember the waxen towers from the overflow tray of our extremely broken Xerox Phaser wax printer. We finally terp-tradered it, but before it left this morning, I went ahead and pulled out the little drops here and there from the inside of the machine, to include a revisit to the tray.

This is my favorite piece:

wax towers

Monday, January 21, 2008

Film and Filtration

Cascade in Monochrome

Okay, so I walked the Grist Mill Trail from its head to swinging bridge, then walked up to the "impressive" part of cascade falls.

Before I set out on that, I picked up some Ilford Delta 100 and 400 film and a 52mm red filter. Armed with both my *ist DL and MX around my neck (which must have made me look like the most phenomenal nerd ever), I set out with a misloaded roll of color film and the 43 on the MX, and the 50-200 on the DL. Nothing exciting from the digital, but I wanted to try to set up a "black and white" shot with the red filter on a digital camera. That's what you see above. Seeing as how I'm using a quarter of the photosites on the sensor, it should come as no surprise that detail takes a pretty good hit using this method. I already knew that would happen, but it came as a surprise that the meter can no longer be trusted - the camera doesn't know the difference between film and the digital sensor, so it meters down three stops even though the red channel stays just as sensitive to the light coming in. Blah blah blah translation - trusting the meter results in an overexposed shot in the amount of the color filter's exposure factor: in this case, about 2 stops, give or take.

Figuring out a conversion workflow (because I KNEW I needed to shoot raw to do this) was an interesting challenge. I figured out that if you go to the "calibration" tab in Adobe Camera Raw and desaturate the reds and greens completely, getting a monochrome image is just adjusting the blue saturation down to the point where all three histograms line up perfectly. Then you go back to the first tab, bump up exposure between 2.5 and 3.5 stops, and fiddle with shadows until you get the overall contrast you're looking for.

At any rate, I'm taking the film in to have it sent off tomorrow; hopefully, sometime this week, I get the results of that back.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

600 posts of garbage

Little piles of degu always make me smile.

hyphen line to train
So does the Hyphen line in the direction of Train.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Caution: Taxicab stand

cone danger

Metro station... oh, College Park!

Actually, I'm not really sure which idea was better, the 43 plus crop to "square" or the 77... I don't think it matters all that much, though, as the subject is a small traffic cone on a sign.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

For Boredom

77 from top
77 from front

I took these with the DSC-SR300 camera we bought to try this nonsense of enabling podcasting for instructors who want to use video of themselves instead of just audio. True story - the handycam dock station doesn't support firewire, so as of now, the camera is useless to us, as our podcast solution for the moment depends on being able to use a Mac to do the editing. Thanks, Sony!

At least it can do a few seconds worth of slow motion capture.

For the record, that's the 77 on my camera (as is probably obvious). Its hood is extended in both shots, but you can see it isn't much in the first shot. In the second, you can see that the diameter of the front element is just short of 49mm.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Limited distance walkabout




50 shots from today, almost all with the 43 and 77.

I didn't make it to Cascade falls. Why?

avalon map
(click to make larger)

I "got a little lost" on the trails; they have the road closed for repaving right now, but I figured it'd be fun to walk trails to the falls instead of walking down the road. I went up ridge trail to part of rockburn branch trail, then turned around and went back to the start of morning choice trail, walked that through to connector trail, then picked up ridge trail until the trail shelter where I turn back down river road. I pulled out a stripe the same length as two tenths of a mile on the scale marker, I got about 17 of them from start to finish which is close to three and a half miles. Ridge trail is pretty tough work, not as bad as buzzards rocks trail was, but it goes into and out of several drainage creeks off the higher plateau. I ended up running most of the trail from the point where it intersects with connector trail until I met with the road again. By that point, it was 2:40, and I wasn't sure I was going to have enough time to get to the falls, set up, get meaningful pictures, and get back to the parking lot before the park closed (4:40).

Bird list - GBH, a couple dozen robins in with the 30 or 40 chickadees, small numbers of what seemed like song sparrows, but I didn't get a better look than that, three pileated woodpeckers, a downy woodpecker, female ruby crowned kinglet, and (finally!) a brown creeper.

Good walk, though, good run for those parts that I ran. I like the lightweight kit, though I should have left the tripod in the car instead of bringing it with me. I'm ordering a set of trail maps for some of the parks around here and to the north tomorrow; hopefully I can save myself the trouble of heading out without a reasonable goal or idea of where I'm going next time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Narrow view, wide aperture

the 77
This is the 77 through the eyes of the 43.

the 43 with the 77
This is the first shot I took with the 77; it's the 43 through the wide open eye of the 77.

first subject shot
And this is the first subject I shot with the lens that meant anything. I'm working on providing the image for ARHU's iTunes U space, and testudo is going to be our subject. Good excuse to use the new hardware, I say.

This'll definitely keep me happy for a while. The lens is so advanced, it appears to have light-damping felt inside the lens barrel, near the rear element. Oh, also, this lens actually falls within the first 10,000 samples produced; it's been on the market since 1999 in silver, 2001 in black. At 270 grams, it's significantly heavier than the 43, but not as heavy as the 16-45. The nine blade diaphragm is pretty, and is almost rounded (despite their best efforts) up to about 3.5. Feels excellent on the DL. Oh, and I forgot the best part - both lenses have a filter diameter of 49mm; both even use the same push-on cap.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Epic Battle


Fun with dinosaurs. Some 43, some 50 macro, a couple with the fisheye. Good fun, though.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

3D effect


I was just kind of bored and found "inspiration" in my shoes and the cat's post.

Incidentally, I plugged the 43 onto my MX and snapped a couple of pictures with whatever film is in there. I forgot how nice it was to have a real viewfinder... in many ways. Not only is it 95% coverage 95% magnification, it also shows brightnesses and depth of field for lenses more open than 2.8. Huzzah ground glass! Now I'm really thinking it might be nice to get a replacement focus screen with a split prism... verifying the correct field of focus may end up more difficult than I think, but we'll see how things go out in the field. This weekend, hopefully, God will smile upon us and put forth some sunshine. At least for 20 or 30 minutes.

Close-up with the 43


That's reversed, f8 or something, 1/32 flash output. If you'd like, there's a forwards version here with EXIF intact - it's actually an excellent demonstration of off-frame flare resistance; I forgot to put the hood back on after reverse shooting and had the flash pointed more or less across the front element. Shot it with the 43 into the 25mm tube on the 1.4 extension tube, minimum focus distance.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Look at them go


That's with the 43. I did a brief comparison gallery between my three 'normal' primes wide open using the cat's nose as a focus point. There are a couple of bonus bokeh pictures.

I think that, if I don't end up getting a K10D or successor, I may need to install a replacement focus screen - the depth of field representation isn't accurate enough for these lenses (the 50/1.7 and the 43) wide open. It may just be worth the metering headaches to have a clearer and brighter view of what's actually in focus, and if that comes with a split prism, then great. Even if I pick up a mid level, it might be worth replacing the stock screen anyway, but that's a thought for another day.

All said, I have to say I like what the 43 does. I really need to try to get some people pictures with it, but even if it doesn't turn out to be "better" than the 50 in any significant way (doubtful, as it's about a million times sharper at f4 than any other lens), gaining painless metering on a digital body is enough of an improvement to convince me it might be worth leaving the /1.7 at home.

Monkey business

monkey dot biz

With the 43, yes, and from Friday, yes, but I didn't take my camera to the zoo today because I woke up late, and I didn't do anything yesterday because the light gave up on me. Oh well, it's something.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Campus is the best target

testudo again

berries again


EXIF and other samples here, to include a couple of (not so good) comparison shots between the 43/1.9 and the 50/1.7.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Limited Use


Got the box today. It's a pretty lens, very nice. The finish is kind of matte. The lens as a whole feels lighter than I thought it would. Nice touches? Little soft leather case (I knew I was getting that), green velvet finish inside the machined aluminum lens cap, black velvet inside the screw in aluminum lens hood, and fast autofocus with an incredible manual focus feel. I don't know how they did that last part.

Here's how it compares to the 50/1.7. Yes, the first two pictures are unrelated, but I figured you'd get a kick out of them anyway.

One question - do you think the aperture shape at the bottom of the 43 is going to be a problem? It goes from being "smooth" to being "segmented;" you can see it in the pictures. I haven't tried the lens out yet other than mounting it to a camera and observing the quality of the bokeh thanks in large part to the fact that I didn't get a hold of it until about 2:30pm. Nothing seems wrong with it on first inspection, but I figure it's worth asking. I can get it warranty serviced, of course.