Monday, May 25, 2009

Neutral Density Filters

Check it out! I told you I’d get around to writing about the new ND filter. ND stands for neutral density and comes in varying grades varying from 1 to 8. Mine is an ND 8 by a company called Tian Ya. Yes it is from Hong Kong and isn’t a well known brand like Cokin or Hoya, But those were $40 and mine was $12. But does it work!??! That is indeed the most important thing. Below are two pictures, both done on manual with settings of f/22 1/8s shutter speed an ISO value of 100. The first is without the filter and the second is with.

As you can see, the filter allows you to capture bright details with a slower shutter speed, so if you wanted the clouds streaking across the sky, this is the filter for you. Obviously the trees in the shot are under exposed and you could achieve the same look in the picture I have shown by using a faster shutter speed, but that’s not the point I was trying to make. I just wanted to show the amount of light it blocks out. It’s kind of like sunglasses for your lens! And it goes on just as easy, just screw it into your lenses existing threading. The one that I got has threading on both sides so I can screw on my macro or wide angle lenses on top of the ND filter, or another ND filter on top to make it an ND 16!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Titanium Optics 0.42x High-Definition Super Wide Angle Fisheye lens review

Hello! Got a brand new lens, thought I’d review it. I want to get into band photography so a couple of things are good to have. 1. A lens with a very wide aperture and 2. A wide-angle lens to help capture the whole stage. If you look around you’ll see that unless you are buying a fixed focal length lens, anything with an aperture wider than 3.5 starts to get expensive. By expensive I mean, more than what I can afford when I’m not selling photos and have a lot of other bills to pay, so I started looking for a wide-angle lens. Thing is, my little D60 entry level camera is all I have right now and if something happened to the sensor or lens while I was changing lenses at a busy club where beer and sweat and who knows what else is flying about, I would be very disappointed, and that’s when I discovered lens converters. Does the same thing (but not as well) and you just screw it on to your existing lens. Perfect! So I started shopping around, found a few on eBay and settled on this one, the Titanium Optics 0.42x High-Definition Super Wide Angle Fisheye lens. Ordered it, 5 days later it was here and here it is!

It came in a pretty big box stuffed with newspapers, which was nice, kept it safe. Inside the box the lens came in a nice little faux-leather pouch and there were instructions but me being a dude didn’t take any notice. So after 5 minutes of looking at it from different angles and unscrewing things then putting them back together and still not being able to get it onto the camera I looked at the instructions. They didn’t help. But after a bit more fiddling I got it! The lens comes in two parts joined together, which have to be joined to use the wide angle lens, but then you can take off the wide angle part and it becomes a macro lens!!! Two lenses for the price of one and that one only cost $120.00AUD.Sot the wide-angle lens joins with the macro lens, which joins the 52mm adapter, which joins your existing lens. Simple! As you can see from the pictures, it works really well!

This Is on a tripod, without the wide-angle, about a foot away from my double bass

Exact same everything, but now it has the wide-angle screwed on

Of course, you might not want that whole tunnel vision thing where the image becomes a circle, but that's one of the things that I like most about this converter. The more you zoom out, the more the image becomes distorted. If you don't want to distort the image, you just want to be able to fit more in, then zoom in all the way. Or you can go half n half where the lens in zoomed in enough to get rid of the tunnel vision, but out a bit to get some distortion.

And an example of the macro lens. This one is a strange one, although I haven't used a macro lens before, you have to be REALLY close to get it to work. This could just be that I haven't figured out the trick to it yet, but I'm not a big macro buff and don't plan to be, so I'm OK getting really close sometimes. Here's a flower.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Photos!!! I have taken up photography in a big way and I have been thinking about making this a designated photography blog. I think it might be a good idea because it can be a blog about photography from a beginner’s point of view. I always do a LOT of research and could share my knowledge as I learn. In the meanwhile, you can have a look at some of the pictures I have done already at