Sunday, August 25, 2013

Iris, Toning

This was shot on the D800e with my 85 1.4, wide open, and I think I had an extension tube on it too. Toning was added by adding a FILL adjustment layer, solid colour, pale orange, then setting blend mode to colour, fading the effect to taste, then double clicking on the adjustment layer to bring up the blending control window. I then used the output sliders (splitting both left and right limits by using the option key) again to taste.

More From Paving

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is Auto Focus The Biggest Boondoggle Of The Last 30 Years?

I have to wonder if photographers weren't hugely oversold on the value of Auto Focus. Many cameras and lenses do poorly - the fiasco of the Nikon D800, the fact that none of the mirrorless cameras is great at auto-focusing, and that even face detection doesn't figure out which is the leading eye that should be sharp.

People use the centre focus spot away from centre, then swing the camera to frame and assume that this will provide the correct focus - it doesn't - it might if the plane of focus is curved (like it shouldn't be) but if the lens is designed properly it won't.

That's why Hasselblad had their True Focus or whatever, to compensate for swinging the camera back to frame - and no other cameras have this.

Granted really good auto focus can be a blessing for sports events and even track, though I have to say none of the cameras I ever owned were good at it and mirrorless don't even try.

The new Zeiss Touit for $900, making it a fairly expensive lens as things go - is both noisy and back focuses - camera problem, lens problem - don't know, but it's back to manual focus. Haven't even tried auto focus on my 10-18 yet - I simply don't trust it for careful work.

Do I ever use auto-focus? I did with the GH2 since manual focus was challenging and it at least had face detection and you'd know it was at least trying - but rthe results weren't awe inspiring. I very occasionally will use auto focus on a flat perpendicular subject.

I have to say manual focus with the Nex-7 is a delight, with both magnification and focus peaking. Focus peaking without magnification is pointless and not nearly sensitive enough.

Could it be this is really the future? Sure is of my photography.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

More Construction

The first is the inside of a paving machine, the blue coming from the sky as the sun was very low an d not doing much for the machine.

All shot with the 10-18 on the Nex-7, the top image on a tripod (the light was fading and I wanted to keep the iso low - I did get shots at ei. 800 before the tripod.


If you check the exif, you will note that this was shot with a Nex-7 and 10-18 mm. lens. I was looking for something compact and with a better viewfinder than my old GH2 - and capable of shooting indoors.

I never completed my Light Rail project so was on my way when I noted some construction debris - concrete and ripper and bucket. I played around with composition till I got this, actually inside a larger piece of culvert, but at least with the bright sun not in this very wide angle lens.

I'd assumed I'd need to HDR it and counldn't figure out how to adjust beyond a +- .3 EV (turns out to be fairly obvious - press the option button after selecting Bracket. In fact, once the images were in Lightroom I saw that the standard exposure was fine so only a single image was used.

So far I'm loving the camera and lens - the IS still useful on a very wide angle lens - and rapid shooting so I don't move the camera between exposures, and magnified view for manual focusing.

A 40 inch print is decently sharp and I could probably go bigger on canvas. So far the viewfinder is working just fine in a bright sunny day which is what I wanted. This thing might just turn out very nicely - oh, and I like the picture.

1/60 second, hand held, IS, f8, ei. 200, shooting Raw of course. Note the shallow depth of field despite the focal length - because I was very close - ? 10 inches.