Monday, August 27, 2012

lens tests part II

So here are the next six pictures with the camera shooting from above. The methodology was the same: iso 100, f stops at 3.5 or 2.8 then 8 and 22, and I had a pizza.

For the 35mm lens I accidentally focused on the light meter rather than the page which was how I wanted to show how shallow the depth of field really could be. The demonstration still works though.

In the last few pictures the sun peaked through the shades.  That was what wrecked up the whole thing. I'm so annoyed I don't feel like writing much more about it.

f3.5 1/20

f8 .3sec

f22 1.3sec

There isn't a huge difference between the 35 and the 45. The 45 does have a wider aperture, and frankly I do not see the loss in focus on the edges, but then, like I said before the Canon has a much smaller sensor than the 6x4.5cm film the lens was made for.

f2.8 1/50

f8 1/6
f22 1.6sec
I was sitting around reading 6 Days of the Condor and decided to take some comparison shots.

The pictures were taken in terrible lighting conditions. The natural light was bouncing off a brick wall and through a set of cheap blinds. My light meter registered 20 foot candles. I set the camera on a tripod and the mirror lockup. The body is a Canon 20d set to iso 100, and I had a pizza for lunch.

 This picture is taken with the 35mm lens at f3.5 and the shutter speed at 1/25. I used an old condensed copy of the oxford english dictionary to illustrate the depth of field. Again, crap light.
This one f8 at .5 seconds

 f22 and 2 seconds

Without moving the camera I switched out to the 45mm lens and here's the difference
notice the shallower depth of field of the f2.8

deeper at f8 

 and f22

Still without moving the tripod everything got weird

clearly the 80mm lens does not focus as close in as the other two. Close as I could go, the page is completely out f focus. not exactly making my point on how awesome this lens is. boo.

 f8 brings it in better

 f22 there might be words printed there!

Because of the terrible fail that the 80mm lens had, I moved the tripod and set out the light meter with the ol' dictionary. The pictures came out a bit better I think.

 Look at that! 80mm pulls through with the shot
 but f8 looks better

 you guessed it f22.

more later, this is getting long.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

eight years of learning the hard way.

Some people think the fastest way to get past a chain link fence is running headlong into it. If you have enough momentum you'll just knock that bastard over. This seems to be my approach to buying things. I see where I want to go and by god if anything thing like reason is going to stop me from getting there.

Eons ago (2004) I bought a Mamiya 645 1000s. And it didn't work.

The good people at National Camera traded my recently purchased camera body straight up for a different one (to explain I bought the body for a wicked price at the tent sale, really I came out good on this) that did work. What I didn't realize at the time was that the lens I had bought also would become the most treasured piece of camera equipment I have ever bought. I like it more than my polarizing filters even (oh my!).

The 80mm 1.9 is the fastest medium format lens ever made. It takes damn crisp pictures and will shoot night as day (haha he made a funny).

The trouble I was having with it was the cost of processing though. At about 20 bucks a roll to develop I was going broke trying to use this awesome piece of machinery. Whats a guy to do.

My brother revealed the solution to me: adaptor ring. Last year we picked up a cheap adaptor ring of Amazon for the 645 to a canon eos. The d20 is not a full frame sensor and the switch between mediums makes the 80mm lens act more like 110 or something, but it still has rich color and amazing speed.

But wait, there is more.

This year I picked up two more lenses. One is very unpopular: the 45mm 2.8. The interwebs will tell you about how the 45mm has excellent optics as far as the middle of the lens but sacrifices crispness on the edge of the frame (talking about the c lens(the one I got)). But with the mad cropping factor of my setup the fuzzy outer edges are out of the equation. Since the lens is unpopular it is also cheap.

The other is the 35mm 3.5. also a great lens makes group photos easier for example. I wish it had a wider aperture but I like having the wider view.

(she is sitting on my lap)
After using a Tamron 28-80 and a 70-200, the prime lenses take getting used to. I have to move myself more to get the shots I want. But I think the obsession with zoom has been pressed out of me. If a Mamiya zoom lens dropped in my lap I'd use the crap out of it I'm sure, but I'm not rushing out to get one either. The color I got from the Tamron lenses always seemed blah, when I was shooting film or when I switched to digital.  Something else that drove me crazy was the motors for the autofocus sounded like an immersion blender after the first year. Don't get me wrong, I do not regret buying those two lenses. But there is a difference in quality--maybe thats the difference between $200 new camera lenses for a Canon and $200 used lenses made for a Mamiya.

I think I knocked over a fence, but it took buying two cameras and some additional bits to make it happen.


To be clear: the crazy talk was actually the best thing I ever did for the Instigator. The ability to switch tires around willy nilly has been a boon. Last summer we bought a FatBack and a Pugsley and the 135mm hubs and disc brakes make everything interchangeable. I have not hidden the bike as a straight 26in wheel set since. I have a 29er front wheel on it now and the geometry is significantly better. The ride with a larry is still smart and it corners like a crazed antelope. By leaning forward I can whip the shit out of hairpin turns in Lebanon Hills. Also I can crash without much worry about damaging the bike. The added bosses for water bottles or pumps or anything cages or racks makes an otherwise tour resistant bike more comfortable.

What I really want to talk about now is camera lenses.