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These are posts about photography. Archive for 2014.

Why another DSLR?

I'm probably going to get a new Nikon digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. You know, those big cameras that let you attach different kinds of lenses. Even though I got a new regular point-and-shoot (P&S) camera this summer, and my iPhone also takes very nice pictures. So why another DSLR?

Read the article - posted 2014-01-26

Have a look at my photos on Flickr

I just added a link to my Flickr feed to the list of links at the top of most pages.

Permalink - posted 2014-02-07

DSLR 101

This is a post about the aspects of DSLRs in general and the Nikon D7100 in particular that those of you who haven't used a modern digital single lens reflex camera may not know about.

Read the article - posted 2014-02-22

Nikon D7100 file sizes vs image quality

My new Nikon D7100 has a 24 megapixel sensor. I shot some test photos at 24, 13.5 and 6 megapixels with low, medium and high compression to see what the tradeoff between image quality and file size is. Have a look at the results.

Read the article - posted 2014-02-23

Pentacon 135/2.8 "bokeh monster" lens

I originally planned to get a D3200 or a D3300, which are part of Nikon's entry level DSLR lines. But I couldn't resist the extra features that are part of the more advanced D7100. One of those features is that you can use very old lenses that don't have a built-in CPU. So with a small adapter ring, I was even able to mount my 35-year-old (give or take a few years) Pentacon 135/2.8 135 mm f/2.8 lens, also known as the "bokeh monster".

Read the article - posted 2014-02-24

Testing cameras on the oil rig

As you may know by now, there's an oil rig 12 km off the coast of The Hague. 12 kilometers is pretty far away, so it's not easy to photograph. Even with a long zoom lens it shows up pretty tiny:

Read the article - posted 2014-03-02

My old Philips 31CT computer flash unit

I have an old Philips 31CT "computer flash". No, it has nothing to do with computer memory—it's a flash unit that sits on top of your camera. And although calling it a computer grossly overstates matters, but it has a small amount of automation built in that allows the flash to measure the amount of light returning from the scene that's being illuminated, and actually stop flashing mid-flash once a proper exposure has been accomplished.

Read the article - posted 2014-03-05

The 31CT flash revisited

After yesterday's experimentation with my old "computer" flash unit, someone on the dpreviews forums suggested that maybe I was getting bad exposures because the flash was a bit too slow for the D7100's 1/250 sync speed. So I set up a little still life to take some more test shots.

Read the article - posted 2014-03-05

Review: the new retractable version of Nikon's cheap 18-55 mm zoom lens

When Nikon announced the D3300 camera along with a new version of the 18-55 mm entry-level kit zoom lens, I got somewhat excited. One of the things that I don't like about DSLRs is that they're so big and heavy. So having an even smaller and lighter version of Nikon's already smallest and lightest zoom lens really appealed to me.

Read the article - posted 2014-03-08

The Nikon D7100 is useless for video

Earlier, I posted a video filmed with my Nikon D7100 DSLR.

The video came out pretty good, although it's rather boring and I really should be even more careful making sure m tripod is level. However, the D7100 is pretty useless for video.

Read the article - posted 2014-03-19

Nikon and Apple apply radically different color management to photos

The other day I had a discussion about whether to use the "standard" sRGB color space or a larger color space for my digital photos.

Read the article - posted 2014-05-04

Understanding old Nikon lenses: AI, AI-S, AF and AF-S

If you have any interest at all in using older Nikon lenses, you probably have some understanding of the difference between non-AI, AI, AI-S, AF and AF-S lenses. The trouble is that places on the web that explain the differences easily get lost in the details. This article is intended to serve as a slightly easier to digest version of the story.

Read the article - posted 2014-05-08

Review: Epson V370 Photo scanner

I started taking photos in the 1980s. I still have a bunch of black-and-white negatives that I developed myself, but never got them printed. In addition to that, I have color photos with their negatives and slides. The past years, I've been looking for a way to digitize all of these. The number of photos isn't huge, maybe a few hundred, but having a service do it at 50 cents or so quickly adds up. Turns out that some flatbed scanners have a transparency attachment so you can scan negatives and slides. The Epson Perfection V370 Photo scanner has a transparency mode built in. It gets pretty good reviews and only costs about € 80 or $100. So I got one.

Read the article - posted 2014-05-17

Testing 50 mm lenses

Since I got back in the SLR game, I got some additional second hand cameras and lenses. As a result, I'm now the owner of no fewer than five 50 mm lenses. (Well, four 50 mm and one 55 mm.) So I decided to compare them. First an overview, then some testing!

Read the article - posted 2014-06-17

Review: Nikon F65 camera, shooting film in the digital age

Earlier this week I got myself a Nikon F65 camera. The F65 is a single lens reflex 35 mm film camera that Nikon sold from 2001 to around 2005. You can get these second hand for next to nothing these days...

Read the article - posted 2014-06-19

Nikon FE and/or AI lenses: manual focus in the digital era

Last week, I wrote a review of the Nikon F65 camera. Although the F65 is more than a decade old, it supports most of the photographic automation that we're used to with our digital cameras. The F65 left me wanting to go even further back in time, so this week I'm going to explore manual focus photography with a Nikon FE SLR and Nikon AI and AIS lenses on my current Nikon D7100 digital camera.

Nikon FE with 50 mm AI lens and D7100 with 105 mm AIS lens

Read the article - posted 2014-06-24

Comparing black-and-white film and digital

I've been experimenting with shooting film a bit recently, which gives me that nice retro feel. And nothing is more retro than shooting black-and-white film. So let's compare the results to the black-and-white images current cameras produce.

In addition to using some classic Ilford HP5 film (well, Ilford HP5 Plus these days), which is very similar to Kodak Tri-X, I also wanted to try out some chromogenic film. Chromogenic film is black-and-white film that is developed using the same C41 process that is used to develop regular color negatives, so you can have it processed pretty much anywhere.

Read the article - posted 2014-07-13

Photographing fireworks remains tricky business

Tonight is the third night of the Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival! Hopefully the rain will be done by then. Photographing fireworks remains tricky business, though.

Read the article - posted 2014-08-22

The iPhone 6 as a camera

Although it has a number of limitations, the iPhone 6 camera can take really nice photos.

Read the article - posted 2014-12-27

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