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New Year’s

Sparklers taken with a long exposure. Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 17mm,  ISO 100, f/8 for 15sec. RAW edited in LR.

Sparklers taken with a long exposure. Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 17mm, ISO 100, f/8 for 15sec. RAW edited in LR.

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Canon 6D with 17-40 f/4 lens. Taken at 31mm, f/4, ISO 6400 and shutter 1/80. RAW edited in LR

Old Communication

Had some old radio tubes and a practice oscillator box in the garage I thought would make some cool pictures. I used a Canon 6D with an old 90mm Tamron f2.5 macro lens. I used an adaptall 2 for canon adaptor to mount it on the 6D.

manual mode, f/4, ISO 1600 and 1/250. Edited in LR5. 1920x1080

Manual mode, f/4, ISO 1600 and 1/250. Edited in LR5. 1920×1080

manual mode, f/4, ISO 500 and 1/160. Edited in LR5. 1920x1080

Manual mode, f/4, ISO 500 and 1/160. Edited in LR5. 1920×1080

manual mode, f/4, ISO 1600 and 1/160. Edited in LR5. 1920x1080

Manual mode, f/4, ISO 1600 and 1/160. Edited in LR5. 1920×1080

Canon 6D with a Tamron 90mm f2.5 macro

Canon 6D with a Tamron 90mm f2.5 macro

Modifiying an old 55mm f2 Pentax Lens to work on a Full Frame Canon

SMC Pentax 55mm Lens with Aperture Lever intact before surgery.

SMC Pentax 55mm Lens with Aperture Lever intact before surgery.

First things first, attempt this modification at your own risk. If you break something or yourself don’t come crying to me.

I recently was given an old Pentax lens and wanted to use it on my Canon Cameras. Now, for APS-C Canon DSLR’s like the Rebel line this is not much of a issue. Purchasing a simple Pentax to EOS adapter for a few bucks makes this happen. However, If you want to use it on the the 5D or 6D Cameras you should stop before attaching the adapter. This is because while the Crop Sensor Cameras work fine, Full Frame Cameras like the 5D, 6D etc. have a larger mirror that will hit the Aperture lever/guard on the back of the lens. The solution? Simply put, cut off the Lever and Lever Guard. Now if you’re the live-life-dangerous type just Dremel the dang thing off and be done with it. But….If we can find the obsessive-compulsive with-in, we’ll need get a little more complicated and partially disassemble the lens and do it “Right”. Or At least what I would consider “right”. Partially disassembling will allow cutting off the parts needed with little risk to the lens.

Start By removing the 5 screws holding the rear mount inplace. Lift up and set aside.

Start by moving the Aperture ring to f22 (this will help later) then remove the 5 screws holding the rear mount in-place. Once the screws are removed just lift up on the rear mount and set aside.

Now before you remove the Aperture rind make sure you're on 22 and slowly but firmly pull back. You don't want to do this quick because a small ball baring is just under the 22 position. Don't lose this!

Now before you remove the Aperture ring make sure you’re on f22 and slowly but firmly pull back. You don’t want to do this quick because a small ball bearing is now just under the f22 position. The bearing is held in-place by only a small indention and the Aperture ring itself. Don’t lose this! When you’re putting the lens back together make sure the bearing is resting in the indention and firmly push the aperture ring back in-place at position f22

Don't lose this!

Don’t lose this!

Finally remove the 3 screws holding the Aperture lever to the lens.

Finally remove the 3 screws holding the Aperture lever to the lens and pull back.

Now the whole reason we took the lens apart was so we could safely cut the Lever off with little risk of damaging the lens.

Now we are free to cut away the lever.

One down, one to go.

One down, one to go.

I chose to use som cutters to slowl cut away the guard and when the guard was cut low enough I used a utility knife to shave the rest down.

I chose to use some cutters and slowly cut away the guard low enough so I could use a utility knife to slowly and carefully shave the rest down.

Pentax mod guard shave

Guard removed.

Guard removed.

After the Guard is removed reassemble the lens and attach the Pentax to EOS adapter. The adapter I'm using has an AF confirmation Chip per-installed but one with out the Chip should work just as well. The Chip doesn't automate anything but will allow the camera to beep when focus is achieved. Provided you have the shutter button halfway down while focusing. Last the adapter itself had to be be cut some but only the lock. If I didnt cut it down the lens would have still worked but was starting to where on the Mirror stop in the 6d so I just trimmed a little off.

After the Guard is removed reassemble the lens and attach the Pentax to EOS adapter. The adapter I’m using has an AF confirmation Chip pre-installed but one without the chip should work just as well. The Chip doesn’t automate anything but will allow the camera to beep when focus is achieved, provided you have the shutter button halfway down while focusing. Last, the adapter lock itself had to be be cut some but only the lock. If I didn’t cut it down the lens would have still worked but was starting to where on the Mirror stop inside the 6D so I just trimmed a little off and problem solved.

All is working well and no issues.

All is working well and no issues.

Downsides to modifying an old Pentax lens like this? Value of the lens is now suspect, as its only valuable to you and other Canon users looking to do the same thing. That said, if you reattach the modified lens to an old Pentax film camera the camera it will still work. You’ll still be able to take pictures like before but the camera will act like its always got a dept of field preview button pressed. This wont effect the pictures but will darken the viewfinder at higher f-stops. This happens now because the lever that was there before you so rudely cut it off allowed the camera to keep the aperture open all the way till the moment the shutter opened. This was to let the maximum amount of light into the viewfinder so you could see what you taking a picture of. Now If you stop the lens down you’re not only limiting the light going to the film but also the viewfinder. Again this wont effect the picture, just what you see though the viewfinder. Incidentally, this is also how it will work on your Canon camera as well.

6/27 Update: I got a chance to try this adapter out on some other Canon SLR’s. I found that the conformation chip on this particular adapter was not compatible with the T4i, T5i and the SL1. Not only was the chip not compatible, it prevented the cameras from working. The chip did not hurt the Cameras, it just put them into an error mode that went away when the chip was removed. As for my 50D and 6D I’ve experienced no errors and the lens and conformation chip work great.

ONA Union Street and Bowery Review

Union Street and Bowery

Union Street and Bowery

If you’ve ever found yourself bored with your local camera store bag selection and wish for a day you can be seen lugging around a non-nylon-hey-look-at-me-camera-bag, then you might want to check out ONA.

ONA is going after the idea that Camera bags and Accessories can be stylish and well made. By well made, I mean seriously well made. The two bags I picked up are the Union Street Ranger Tan and the Bowery Field Tan. Each bag is made of canvas, leather accents and brass hardware. The shoulder straps are essentially seat-belts, but in a good way, however not quite as wide. The Union Street, along with a leather bottom has extra padding on the strap to help with comfort and weight. Fully loaded, the Union will start pulling on your shoulder after a while and I’m a big guy so that saying something.

Bowery - Field Tan

Bowery – Field Tan

As for the Canvas used, its waxed to help with weatherizing the bags. It gives them a welcomed rustic look. I’m not going to convey this well in writing but the feel of this is also something to experience. Very well done.

The Bowery

The Bowery is designed to double as a bag insert and It does this by allowing for the shoulder straps to be un-clipped from the bag. The idea being that this makes it easier for the Bowery to fit in a larger bag. While this may be ONA’s intent I don’t see this as a realistic one as you would need quite a large and cumbersome bag to accommodate the Bowery as an insert. But hey that’s just my opinion, I’m sure someone out there is proving me wrong as I type. While I’m not crazy about the clips I found that the ability for them to swivel was a nice surprise. This helped kept the shoulder strap from awkwardly twisting. The Bowery Always seems to lay just right across the side because of this.

My main concern with the Bowery before it arrived was its size. I wanted a bag that would accommodate an SLR and one or two walk around lenses. I was not disappointed. Not only did this bag fit my 6D but I was also able to squeeze in a 17-40mm, 50mm 1.4, charger and extra battery. Now because I intend to use this as just a day bag I don’t plan on configuring it this way but instead, was just interested in how I could organize it.

Canon 6D with 50mm 1.4, 17-40mm, Charger and extra battery.

Canon 6D with 50mm 1.4, 17-40mm, Charger and extra battery.

It should be noted that to do this I use an extra insert I didn’t have use for from the Union Street bag and packed the Bowery with the 50mm attached, not the 17-40mm. I see myself normally using this bag with 17-40mm attached. So far I’ve found the Bowery extremely comfortable to carry around. And even though my wife gives me a hard time about it looking like a Man Purse, I don’t mind. This is one sexy bag.

The Union Street

The Union Street is a large (but not too large) messenger bag with room to spare. It’s tall enough for a 13″ mac book pro/air, 70-200 f4 and a flash like the 580ex. Its also tall enough for a mark 3 with the 24-105 attached. Storage is in abundance on the Union as well. The front pocket has room enough for a plethora of accessories, car keys, cell phone, etc. But even fully loaded the Union sits up right very well. The leather base is designed in such a way the bag does not want to tip over easily. Even the rear pocket has a nice design to it, a magnetic clasp to keep the pocket closed, something I would liked to have seen on the Bowery. But all in not perfect. I do have one complaint, after repeated use the insert material under the Velcro strap securing the laptop compartment is wearing a bit quickly. A minor issue on an other wise great set of camera bags and a welcome addition to my camera gear.

In all I’m very pleased with both bags and believe anyone looking for stye without sacrificing function just may find a bag in ONA. I’ll quit rambling on…Below are some more pictures to give you a better Idea and, hopefully help you decide for yourself.

 

Bowery

Bowery

Bowery with Canon 50D with attached 17-40mm and 40mm pancake

Bowery with Canon 50D with attached 17-40mm and 40mm pancake

Union Street

Union Street

Inseart wear from velcro

Insert wear from Velcro

Union Street Packed with an iPad, Flash, 17-40mm, 50D/40mm prime, light meter

Union Street Packed with an iPad, Flash, 17-40mm, 50D/40mm prime, light meter, Phone, blah blah blah yada yada yada it holds a bunch of camera crap

Union Street

Union Street

Union Stret

Union Street

 

More Flash Fun

Canon 50D iso 800, 1/100sec at f/2.8 using a Canon 50mm 1.4, 580ex flash fired up and away. RAW file edited in Lightroom.

Canon 50D iso 800, 1/100sec at f/2.8 using a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, 580ex flash fired up and away. RAW file edited in Lightroom.


100% crop of above image.

100% crop of above image.

Canon 50D iso 500, 1/100sec at f/2 using a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, 580ex flash fired up. Raw edited in Lightroom.

Canon 50D iso 500, 1/100sec at f/2 using a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, 580ex flash fired up. Raw edited in Lightroom.

Canon 50D iso 500, 1/100sec at f/2 using a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, 580ex flash fired up and away. Raw edited in Lightroom.

Canon 50D iso 500, 1/100sec at f/2 using a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, 580ex flash fired up and away. Raw edited in Lightroom.

Freezing Action with a Long Exposure (2 sec)

A 580ex flash was used by hand off camera and fired manually just before the 2 sec to stop the action. My camera was mounted on a tripod. The self timer was also used to prevent camera movement and give me time to work the flash. Lighting in the room was very dim and provided primarily by the Christmas Tree and some window light. Using the flash this way can have an effect of freezing action. Post editing was done in Lightroom.

2 sec exposure At f/6.3, iso 500. I used the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 at 28mm on a Canon 50D.

2 sec exposure At f/6.3, iso 500. I used the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 at 28mm on a Canon 50D.

2 sec exposure At f/6.3, iso 320. Canon, EF 10-22 f/3.5 at 13mm with a Canon 50D

2 sec exposure At f/6.3, iso 320. Canon, EF 10-22 f/3.5 at 13mm with a Canon 50D.

Example of a similar exposure with out flash.

Example of a similar exposure with out flash.

Display calibration

“Why do my prints look different from my computer screen?”
“After I’m done editing my pictures on my computer, my prints always turn out too dark!”

Display calibration OSX

Display Calibration Assistant

Screen or Display Calibration is often over-looked when we use our computers to edit pictures. What looks great in iPhoto or Aperture doesn’t always mean your prints will be as good looking. This is because most of us never take the time to calibrate our monitors or screens. In fairness, the bright, rich colors you get by the default setting do look good, but they’re not realistic when it comes to using those setting to edit digital photography. In OSX, an often over-looked tool to correct this is found in System Preferences-Display-Color. From here you can select the calibrate button and follow the the step-by-step instructions to calibrate your screen. Use Expert mode for more control and finer tuned calibration. Note: Follow all instructions and don’t look directly at the apple logo when setting the calibration sliders, use only your peripheral vision. You’ll know what I mean when you start the calibration. Also make sure you set your ambient light in the room to something functional ( i.e. comfortable to work in like lamps and windows ) before you start.

For more information and additional resources on display calibration check out www.imaging-resource.com and www.lunnfabrics.com

Lion Black and White Aperture 3 Preset

Both Images are 1920×1080 and can be saved as Desktop backgrounds.
Download Lion Black and White

Dandy Lion Macro 1920x1080 canon s95

Taken with a Canon s95 in Manual mode, ISO 80, f/4 and Shutter 1/125 with flash on. Picture was Cropped in at about 100% from original.

Dandy Lion Macro B&W 1920x1080

Picture after the Aperture Preset is applied.

Download Lion Black and White Aperture 3 Preset.
To install this preset open Aperture 3 and select the adjustments tab. In the Effects drop down menu, select “edit Effects”. From her you will see a new window that has a small gear icon in the lower left corner. Clicking on this will give you the option needed to import this preset.

Lunar Eclipse at Winter Solstice

Well it’s just after 12:30am 12/21/2010 here in Austin, Tx and what should be an awesome, once-in-a-life-time event is getting crashed by some heavy cloud cover. At least where Im at. Hopefully the clouds will move on soon. I’ll post more as the morning goes on.

2:24am Looks like tonight is a bust, to many clouds. At least there’s another in 2014 but unfortunately the next Lunar Eclipse at Winter Solstice is another 84 years out. Congratulations to anyone who got photo’s of the Eclipse tonight.