Wednesday, October 29, 2014

About a substance called Sugru

Sugru is a highly useful and fun substance, sort of a combination of moldable rubber and glue. Amazingly it sticks to virtually any surface with chemical glue, including smooth metal or plastic.
It makes many repairs and fun ideas much easier to make. It's not cheap and it takes a day to cure, but it's still worth it. For example I have made grips for a couple of tablets and a camera, and they really help. (Sugru is not very grippy, sadly, so I had to invent a way to put grainyness in. Dabbling the surface with a toothbrush before it dries works pretty well though.)

There is a wealth of ideas on their site. Here is their newsletter.

Below is a grip I made with super-grippy surface. You can also see a strap I put on the tablet case with superglue. I think the strap is even better than a grip, actually, but they are both much better than nothing. I am amazed that four years after iPad One there are still almost no solutions for improving the grip on a tablet, and those that are there demands the whole hand behind the tablet, you can't have the thumb in front to change pages. With mine you can, making one-handed reading much more comfortable.
I cut the front of the case, since when folded back it gets in the way of the strap and grip. You can also put them directly on the device, I've done that with my Kindle Fire HDX.

I could not find a perma-link to this post, so I took a screenshot: 


I have written to the Sugru people with praise and one criticism. They claim that Sugru is heat insulating. I used 24 packs of Sugru on packing a thick ceramic coffee cup (you buy it in bags of 8 tiny packs). I hoped to keep my coffee hot longer. Even with a broad strip of bubble plastic inside it, it did not work. After a couple of minutes the surface of the Sugru gets quite hot. And of course it takes this heat from the coffee, so it gets cold as fast as normal, even with a preheated cup.
I don't like to complain, but I feel that I had wasted an hour and $50, so I felt it was false advertising. I don't think they did so on purpose or maliciously, for packing around a pot handle it probably does some good. And it is only a minor thing which does not take much away from this fun and useful product. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 29, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Daily Arial View

The Daily View site with the cutesy address has some often-interesting areal views.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 29, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Net issues today?

Here in Lancashire, England, I am having some odd issues with the Net today. Over half the web pages/sites I try to load time out. Don't appear. But sometimes they do, it's all random.

The really odd thing is that I have the same problems whether I use my cable connection or my ADSL connection. (And it also doesn't matter if I use Ethernet or wifi, or if I use my desktop computer or my iPad.)

These are quite independent connections. How can this be? Sunspots?
Does anybody have similar problems? (Argh, if you have you may have given up loading this page...)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014   3 comments links to this post

André Wickström´s english stand-up in Iceland

I have lost count of how many times readers have asked me: "Eolake, can you please explain, how does Danish sound to a Finn? Particularly one who is trying to amuse people in Iceland?"
And I must admit, for the longest time I have come up short. But thanks to our old friend TTL, I can now deliver!

Update: hmmm... there seems to be issues with the video, try it on Youtube if it does not work for you.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014   3 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That's how a delighted porcupine sounds

This is so amazing and funny. Sometimes he sounds so human.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 22, 2014   2 comments links to this post

"What camera should you buy?"

[Thanks to Bert]

Famed photographer/reviewer Ming Thein has made a quite funny and actually quite truthful InfoGraphic answering "what camera should I buy?" Enjoy!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 22, 2014   2 comments links to this post

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

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