Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Closing down shop

Since it is painfully obvious that Google doesn't care about Blogger as much as they used to, I don't see the point in running a blog here when everyone that reads my content is already reading it off Google Plus. Effective immediately I am going to put to sleep all of my blogs except for PedroJavier.Org. If you are one of the rare few that actually checks my content here instead of Google Plus, please circle me.

Share test

Testing automated sharing from Blogger to Google Plus. Pic unrelated.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rokinon 8/2.8 Fisheye and geometry corrections

Here's a very informal sample of the kinds of things that can be done with the Rokinon 8/2.8 Fisheye. The first shot is as-is, the APS-C equivalent is 12mm which is wide enough to show some fisheye effect. The middle shot was manually corrected in DxO Optics 8 with intensity=82 and respecting the aspect ratio, and the vertical edges were re-aligned in DxO ViewPoint. The last shot is the same as the middle shot but cropped to the maximum rectangular area available. 

It is obvious that with some careful composition this lens is going to be very handy for architectural shots. I shot this on purpose off the side to exaggerate the distortion. 

Rokinon (Samyang /Bower ) 8mm f/2.8 for Sony e-mount

Here's a little cameraporn : Rokinon (Samyang /Bower ) 8mm f/2.8 for Sony e-mount. This is a lens that had been selling for a while for $400 or so, then grabbed my attention when I started to see it on sale for around $300. And then it came up on Amazon's Gold Box for $239, but only the silver model (it also comes in black). I didn't care about the color, but I was worried about the quality of the finish. I am actually impressed, the finish is really damn nice, it is a really cool-looking lens. The focus ring is still a bit stiff, but the depth of field is so gigantic that you can just pre-focus and forget about it. The hood is not removable, the lens arrived with both caps and a storage pouch. Somehow Sigma and Rokinon manage to sell some of their NEX lenses with pouches or cases, yet the three Sony lenses I have bought stand-alone (16mm pancake, 30mm macro, 55-210mm) only arrived with caps.
The lens is tiny, it seems to be about the same size as the 30mm Sigma 2.8. As for weight, it feels about the same as other manual lenses I have, but better balanced since it doesn't need an adapter.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fun with geometry adjustments

There's a funny back story on today's #fmsphotoaday  / #project365 photo. I am holding the phone with my left hand, and I am a lefty, and I am shooting with my right hand, and I have had a lot of coffee today. 

One way to mitigate would be to put the camera on a tripod, use the remote and concentrate on getting the tripod aimed properly, then it is a matter of keeping a consistent position for my hand until I got the shot right. Add to that I was feeling too lazy to add a circular polarizer filter, so the hand had to angle the phone just right to avoid reflections from the lights above. 

That of course is too much work. It was easier to just get the focus effect right and adjust for geometry later, which is more or less what I did.

The left shot is as-is, notice that the phone looks distorted because I couldn't get it perfectly parallel to the focal plane of the camera. The middle shot is the result of adding keystone distortion adjustments to the left image, I did this with DxO ViewPoint. The way this works is you pick four corners of  an object that represents a diamond shape with 90 degree corners. The photo is rotated because the program assumes that you are aligning yourself to a horizon.

The right crop is the maximum rectangle that you can crop from the second photo (plus some extra processing that doesn't involve geometry) automatically. You can constraint the crop rectangle to the original aspect ratio, but it would had cut some of the phone, the way you fix this (something I screwed up) is that if you know you will be doing keystone adjustments, you should try to give yourself as much room around the object as it is possible. Had I shot this a bit farther and had as much as one inch of extra room, I could have kept the original aspect ratio.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My freaking eye

After 16+ hours troubleshooting a sick SQL Server database. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Behind the scenes: Sony NEX-7, Sony SEL30M35 macro, Neewer macro ring lights and the $1 photo frame trick

The Neewer macro ring lights come with a set of ring adapters (49mm pictured) that allow you to quickly mount and rotate the lights. The flash shoe mount for the battery pack is useless on NEX cameras that have a non-standard flash shoe.
Ivette found me two of these picture frames for a buck apiece at the Dollar Store.  It is a piece of crap, but it did the trick. and the glass was clear and clean which is all I needed.  
The 49mm adapter ring for the Neewer macro ring lights is now attached to the hood of the Sony SEL30M35 macro lens. I could have screwed it without the hood, but I wanted to use the hood as a spacer. 
Everything in place. Note how the fascia over the lights curves into the ring, which allows you to use the lights flush against objects. 
Not as bright as a flash, of course, but very handy. 
And here it is in action. This is without using the precision digital zoom, note how everything in the frame is in focus (the red lines are the focus peaking feature available on all Sony NEX bodies). 
Because of the size of the lights assembly plus the hood, the lens is perfectly placed so the bill is parallel to the focal plane, which helps mitigate shallow depth of field focusing issues. You can do this with any camera as long as you are not adding undue stress to the camera mount or the front of the lens. Plus of course, as long as the minimum focusing distance makes sense, if not you'll need some kind of spacer. 

More stupid macro tricks

Are you having trouble with thin specimens like paper money, leaves, that kind of thing? Go to the Dollar Store and pick up a photo frame, you should be able to easily find them in 8 x 10. You can now pin your specimen perfectly flat, so no more annoying shallow depth of field issues when shooting macro. I shot these with the Sony SEL30M35 with the Neewer macro ring lights, which lets me use the lights as a stand for the camera and lens and stay perfectly parallel to the sensor plane.

None of these are crops, they are either full-size as-is, or using precision digital zoom. I am actually surprised at the shots of the USPS money order security strip, you can clearly see the strip embedded into the paper.

Full-size, no crop

Precision digital zoom

Precision digital zoom

Precision digital zoom

Security strip on USPS money order, front. Precision digital zoom

Security strip on USPS money order, rear. Precision digital zoom

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

More fun with macro

I shot both of these with the Sony SEL30M35. The first shot is a 100% crop of a normal shot. The second shot is using the precision digital zoom.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

For #treetuesday

Telephoto test

Quick and dirty: handheld zoom test, 100% crop. Sony NEX-7, Sony SEL55210. This was shot through a double pane glass door, the bird houses are about 205 feet away. Not good enough for pixel peeping, but pretty damn usable. 


One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?