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Hi, I'm Iljitsch van Beijnum. These are posts about photography.

More comet hunting

It was reasonably clear again yesterday night, so I tried shooting the comet from my balcony, which worked pretty well despite the two streetlights illuminating the camera:

I then went to a dark place just outside the city, and took this shot:

The blue in the first photo is probably due to the auto white balance taking some foreground that I cropped out into account. Soon after I started shooting, mist came rolling in, which may explain that the detail wasn't better in the second shot.

Apart from that, the comet head clearly looks greenish here (click on the second photo to see a larger version), and the comet has moved a surprising distance between the first shot at 0:09 and the second at 1:37.

Same 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens wide open, ISO 1000 for the first shot, ISO 1600 for the second.

Permalink - posted 2020-07-19

Comet hunting

Earlier this week, I read that there's a comet that's visible. It's called C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), but I'll call it Neowise for short, after the space telescope that found it.

Read the article - posted 2020-07-18

Nikon's 18-55 + 55-200 mm vs 16-85 + 70-300 mm lenses

A year and a half ago I waxed poetically about the small size and the weight of Nikon's latest collapsible version of their cheap 18-55 mm lens, as you can read in my review. However, since then I've also bought the bigger and heavier 16-85 mm lens, which covers a more convenient zoom range. And then I found out that Nikon upgraded its other cheap kit lens to be collapsible: the 55-200 mm one. So I bought that one as well.

So now I have two sets of consumer normal zoom + tele zoom lenses: the collapsible 18-55 and 55-200 and the more upscale, but still consumer-territory 16-85 and 70-300 mm lenses. So I thought I'd compare them.

Read the article - posted 2015-11-28

How well does vibration reduction on Nikon lenses work?

I couldn't help myself and bought yet another lens a couple of weeks ago. It's the Nikon 55-200 mm VR II. It's a small and cheap tele lens for Nikon DX digital SLRs, and I'll be talking about it some more soon. What I want to do today is look at how good the vibration reduction works.

Full article / permalink - posted 2015-11-23

Back button focus

If you've used a camera in the past decade or two, you know the drill: half-press the shutter button and the camera focuses, then press the shutter all the way to take the photo. Should you find yourself second guessing the autofocus system, then you can flip a switch or go into a menu to turn off autofocus (AF) and manually focus (MF) using the lens' focus ring instead. With a single lens reflex camera you'll have a dot in the viewfinder that tells you AF or MF has been achieved successfully. If not, the Nikon D7100 has a couple of extra indicators next to the focus confirmation dot that tell you in which direction you need to turn the focus ring to achieve focus.

For some types of photography, such as close-up / macro or astrophotography, you may find yourself switching to autofocus and manual focus quite often. I'm here to tell you there is a better way: back button focus.

Full article / permalink - posted 2015-11-08

Flash photography with Nikon's SB-700 flash

It's been a while since I wrote about photography. But I got another toy the other day, and I have a lot to say about it! So be warned, this could get a bit long. The new toy in question is a Nikon SB-700 "speedlight". What we regular people would call an external flash unit, or simply "a flash".

Read the article - posted 2015-10-08

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