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.

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".)

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)

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

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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teamwork is best!

[Thanks to Bert]


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.)

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.