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Topics - Aglet

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Macro / Sam Droege Bee catalog, stacked macros.
« on: January 26, 2015, 09:39:24 PM »
Heard this on CBC, Sam Droege puts a 5D2 and an MPE 65 macro to good use, stacking dozens to a hundred images to get the final result using a beer cooler for managing the light...


a link to the CBC audio should be good for a few months:
it's in part 2


I'm not really surprised that they do.
I like shooting with my XT1 and the images OOC can be ready-to-go in many instances.  When not, the raw files are very malleable and the stabilized lenses are very good indeed.
With the grip carrying an extra battery I can also do quite a bit of shooting in a day.

This review is for the mirrorless skeptics, the EVF skeptics, and the SLR die-hards.
As Kevin Raber states, it's all about the end result.  And, spoiler-alert, he's quite pleased with it.
I have to concur, I often find myself just grabbing a tiny bag with 3 Fuji bodies with lenses and I'm good to go on pretty much any of my subjects.  The full-frames and even my crop DSLRs are left on the shelf more and more.


this is interesting, not sure where I'd make use of it altho it would make storage of my processed, finished files a bit smaller, perhaps.


some story at


NOW we're getting somewhere!  A machine like this will temp even me to try out a Sony body... with lots of lens adapters.


translated at SAR forum:


for those who haven't experienced IBIS in a Pentax or Olympus body, it can work very well.  Makes nearly every lens you have stabilized, even classic old primes.

This is a product I wish Ricoh-Pentax would have put out... 2 years ago.

Higher-end A-9 model still rumored for early 2015,  Hmmm...

OK, so I still don’t have ACR or DNG converter that’ll work with the 7d2’s raw files so I can do my standard performance check WITH A LENS CAP ON SHOT. ;)


Using the Iridient Developer beta version 3 to process the raw files, the usual 4 stop push shows NONE OF THE VERTICAL STRIPES THAT PLAGUED THE ORIGINAL 7D and many other Canon bodies. (to do this properly you also have to reduce IrD’s DEEP SHADOW FINE TUNE to NO Tint correction.)


This doesn’t provide me with a direct comparison vs my usual Adobe-based process but it’s enough to provide much optimism that the major vertical-stripe FPN issue is likely solved.


Not all wine and roses tho, there’s still quite a bit of red channel noise and there’s even horizontal and vertical banding patterns that show up at mid ISO levels but they’re of a much larger and smoother nature and will be less likely to cause issues for most pushed shots compared to what Canon users have had to endure for a long time.

I’ve attached some screen shot crops from Iridient 4 processing for a quick comparison, data's in the file name.

Just got my 7d2 recently and haven't had time to play with it.
So I just did some very informal quick AF testing outside.  I compared it with my Fuji XT1 and my Olympus EM-10.
Lenses used were Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS, Fuji  XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS, and Panasonic 45-150mm f/4-5.6 respectively.
I used the Canon lens at 70mm, same with the Fuji, and the MFT system I set to about 55mm to provide similar angles of view.
All shots were hand held, Aperture priority mode, iso manually set to 12800, no EV comp and center AF points.

My back yard's fairly dark at night; ~ EV 0 to EV -1 where I was shooting.
exposures were:
1/8 @ f/4.4 @ 12800iso Oly EM10
1/3 to 1/2 @ f/4 @ 12800iso Fuji XT1
1/3 to 1/2 @ f/4 @ 12800iso Canon 7d2

What I found was the 7d2 struggled a little to AF in that light with that lens.  2 out of 3 test subjects it succeeded but it was the slowest camera of the 3 to focus in those conditions.  The 3rd subject was too dark and low contrast for it to CDAF and it was completely useless in live-view.  I think my old 5d2 had decent live view under such conditions.
I was able to effect a rough manual focus however.

The Fuji XT1 was able to provide a bright, if noisy, display of the scene in its EVF and it nailed 2 out of 3 test subjects very quickly and allowed me to MF the 3rd one but it was not easy or very successful.

The Oly also nailed the first 2 test subjects, almost as quickly as the Fuji, but its display was much dimmer and was completely unable to provide any assistance on the 3rd subject.  It seemed to gain-up in a monochrome mode during AF of the first 2 subjects.

So pushing the low light AF limits with these 3 cameras tells me something I didn't expect.
Fuji's flagship, at 2/3 the price of the 7D2, was able to AF in dimmer light using its sensor-based AF system faster than Canon's latest and greatest AF system.  Something worth considering if you shoot in dim venues.
The budget level Olympus EM-10 performed better than I thought it would under those conditions.

I already know the frustrating lack of speed these 2 mirrorless cameras have when used with long lenses even in good daylight but I am keen to see what the 7d2 will do with my old 100-400mm L lens in daylight and twilight conditions.  That is what I bought it for and I hope it will perform as well or better than my original 7D under those conditions.

The backyard test subjects were, in order:
1. a galvanized pole reflecting a light source with a dark background in the distance
2. a dried thornapple seed pod with a dark background in the near distance, and the most difficult was
3. a mass of mountain ash twigs and leaves.  Images of them below are reduced from the 7d2's ooc jpgs at 1/8 linear scale.

Lenses / EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS - Discontinued?
« on: November 01, 2014, 12:38:55 AM »
I was told, today, that this lens, which didn't sell very well compared to the pricier f/2.8 v2, is no longer available, at least in Canada.
Heard that at one of my local camera stores. (sales ratio about 7:1 for the 2.8/4)

Can anyone confirm this?

really pushing some samples, various video curves and still-grabs...  This is quite a nice toy.


is it popcorn time again? ;)

If I weren't actively avoiding getting into Sony mount at this time, this, and the A6000, are rather tempting.

Photography Technique / how NOT to use studio lighting
« on: October 28, 2014, 01:43:56 AM »
Is there a thread here somewhere about how to apply horrible lighting?
If not, whenever I see this guy's work I feel a bit bad for the young ladies who are his subjects.

There are other shooters who contribute to this chain's particular subject here, and IMO, many of them do a much better job of lighting than this Mr B, who seems to like hot spots, gross underexposures and everything possible to make a less than flattering image of otherwise fine subjects.
The only time I see consistently decent lighting in a set of shots is when it's outdoors, and even then it's often underexposed.

What do you think, art, or ignorance?
I think he thinks it's art by the way he likes to brand at least one of the shots with his name on it.
I certainly don't appreciate his style.  ???

EDIT:  the link would be helpful..


over at IR


seems they've done some careful thinking about their approach to the system and will be interesting to see how it plays out

Just got one for my MFT mount Oly E-M10.  I'm really looking forward to making some images with this thing.
For a mere $220, delivered, this has to be the undervalued lens deal of the year!
It's corner-to-corner sharp, wide open, on MFT.  Not sure how it fares on the NEX.

I thought the moderate 2.8 aperture would be a bit of a bokeh handicap but it's likely to be just fine for most of the shots I'll use it for and the bokeh is looking pretty smooth on the few scenes I've composed with it so far.
Min focus distance is about enough to make  a bit more than the palm of my hand fit the whole frame.
It even includes a nice nylon carrying case and a hood.

If you've been craving the impressive performance of the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 but balk at the cost, this is a lot more affordable and darn near as sharp if you check the charts on DxOmark.

Some outlining and a bit of onionskin on out of focus highlites is the worst thing I can see about its performance. 
AF is quick and almost silent, likely suitable for video even with in-camera mic's.

It's not very large physically either, tho it is a bit odd looking with the smooth finished barrel, all of which is an MF ring.

I recommend it, good value for the money, especially at this price.


Landscape / Blue Hour scenes
« on: August 29, 2014, 09:25:52 PM »
on a late evening drive home in Alberta, conditions were right for a lovely ground fog to form.  Wasn't equipped for night shooting, tripod was at home, but still managed to get a few variations of a fog-shrouded pastoral scene with enough color left in the sky to create an interesting silhouette of a lone tree.  This was my favorite of the group.

The camera direction was NNW almost an hour after sunset.
Hand-held, 200mm with VR, 3200 ISO, 1/6 th second at f/4.5 = sharp enough.
Minimal processing via ACR from raw.
Full EXIF is included in the image.

The idea of being able to do this is absolutely drool-worthy.
Will be interesting to see how well it performs and how much movement range it will have on a FF.


Dang!  Sony's the only system I don't carry... yet.

Photography Technique / APOLLO missions - image inconsistencies
« on: August 17, 2014, 07:36:51 PM »
This seems about the most appropriate forum heading to post this so here goes.

I've often heard of controversy around various aspects of images from Apollo missions.  I'd never taken it too seriously but an interesting old video on youtube ..


.. caught my attention the other night and I started watching it.
I've only gone thru the first 1.5 hours, it's ~3:40 total.

They present a variety of interesting discontinuities and other inconsistencies which could lend some credence to some of these images being produced in ways that are not congruent with the official story.
Whether differences in lighting or physical geometry, some things just don't look right.

None of this was obvious, when I was a wide-eyed kid watching these events unfold, back in the day on a small B&W TV.  Thinking about it now, that would have been an exceptional feat to accomplish with the technology of the time!  So there's room for doubt.. and deception.

Has there been a good discussion on this topic on this site before?

If not, with all the expertise available here, it should be possible to have a very interesting one.

For convenience' sake, if you comment on this, or any other video you may reference on the subject, please include the video time relevant to your reply.

Lots of useful incremental improvements in the D810 over the D800/e



NX-D software going free soon too


I wonder if the 64 ISO is truly native and will result in a bit more DR as well.
The improved battery life and shooting speed, group AF, highlite metering, etc, could all prove very practical.
Video improvements will likely appeal to those who need that.

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