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Tech Podcast Network
Tuesday
May052009

Photowalk 69: Getting To Know You...

IMG_5820


As you know, I recently got a second hand Canon 350d / Digital Rebel XT from eBay, and I paired it with a Canon 28-80 f3.5 lens that was fitted to my EOS 50e Film SLR. I've also just got a M42-EF Lens Adapter, so that my old Praktica Film SLR lenses and macro tubes will fit. What this means is that I've got a new camera and a number of new lenses to learn, and yesterdays photowalk was the first time I got to play around with them.

It was an overcast evening, but any time to shoot is a good time to shoot, so to start I stuck the M42 adapter onto my 350d, added the Soligor 90-230 with a couple of Macro Tubes, and headed out into our garden.

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Using this old zoom with macro extension tubes means that I can get really magnified shots, without having to push the lens right up against the subject - great for insects, etc. I was probably about 2 feet away for the above photo. The Depth of Field is small, and if I want to use a tighter aperture I've got to focus first then "stop down" to get more of the subject in focus, but the long focal length, combined with a tight aperture means that camera shake is a real problem, so I tripod really is ideal.

Another advantage to being able to shoot macro from a distance is that I can use my Rebel XT's built in flash without having to worry about the lens casting a shadow, so I'll be playing around with that in the future too.

IMG_5815


The above was again shot with the Soligor Zoom, combined with extension tubes, hand-held, up into one of the rose bushes in our garden. The light was poor, and at 1/80th of a second I was lucky to get a shot that wasn't too blurred, but it shows potential. A bit more Sun, a higher shutter speed, and some water droplets sprayed from my trusty trigger spray and it could have been very nice indeed.

All these photo's were shot in RAW, then worked on in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS3. I did my usual curves, b&w, colour adjustment and levels work, then on a couple I applied Noise Ninja and some selective high-pass filter for sharpening.

IMG_5832


Just messing about with this one, seeing if the Soligor was up to my typical "brick" shots. I was shooting hand-held, through a chain fence, and it looks OK, if a little wonky!

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Another test shot for the Soligor - this time at full zoom, and stopped down (I think!) to F5.6. I had to rest the big lens on the railing at Forton Lake Bridge, and again, it came out OK, and would be better with some nicer light.

IMG_5825


I used my Canon 28-80mm F3.5 lens for this one, and again, it came out OK, but I really need some better lighting conditions (or go HDR) for my usual b&w "look".

As I was looking through the shots, and the meta-data, I discovered that my 350d is "stamping" the old owners name into the exif info for each shot, so I'll have to install the Canon software and change it to me!

Overall, an interesting walk, but it does feel like I'm starting again, camera wise, getting used to the different strengths, weaknesses, buttons and settings of my new camera and lenses. One good thing about this is that it's forcing me to freshen up my photography and try new things, or old things in a new way. I'm experimenting again, which is always a good thing for any photographer.

Cheers, Rob.
Sunday
May032009

SCL Photo Podcast 43: M42 Lens Adapter and Long Exposure Assignment

SCL PodcastA short chat about the M42-Canon EF Lens Mount Adapter I got the other day, and all about our new May / June Assignment, "Long Exposure".

Subscribe on Itunes. (Will open Itunes, then you need to click on the "subscribe" button.) (Free)

Subscribe with other Podcatchers. (Google Reader, etc) (For Free)

Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

Download / listen to the LOW BANDWIDTH mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Again, free!)



Our Flickr Group.

Cheers, Rob.
Friday
May012009

Old M42 Lenses On My New Canon 350d Rebel XT

OK, I have no idea whether these lenses will be any good, but I got a M42-Canon EF Mount Adapter through the post from eBay yesterday, and couldn't resist taking some shots of the new with the old:

Soligor 90-200mm Zoom, f4.5, On Canon 350d Rebel XT
Soligor 90-200mm Zoom, f4.5, On Canon 350d Rebel XT



Soligor 90-230mm Zoom, f4.5, With 2x Tele Converter, On Canon 350d Rebel XT
Soligor 90-230mm Zoom, f4.5, With 2x Tele Converter, On Canon 350d Rebel XT



Pentacon 28mm F2.8 On Canon 350d Rebel XT
Pentacon 28mm F2.8 On Canon 350d Rebel XT



Macro Extension Tubes On 28mm F2.8 Pentacon, On Canon 350d Rebel XT
Macro Extension Tubes On 28mm F2.8 Pentacon, On Canon 350d Rebel XT



Carl Zeis Jenna 50mm F2.8 On Canon 350d Rebel XT
Carl Zeis Jenna 50mm F2.8 On Canon 350d Rebel XT



So what's the point of all this? Well, as you may know, every camera manufacturer has a different lens mount, and most have changed that mount over the years. In the past, the M42 screw-type lens mount was very popular, so there's loads of cheap lenses available.

With a fairly cheap adapter (about £6) from eBay, these old M42 lenses will now fit my 350d Rebel XT - much cheaper than buying new lenses from Canon, Sigma, Tamron, etc.

The catch is that you can only use manual focus, and aperture priority or manual modes - so everything is a lot slower. I don't know if any of these lenses will have any advantage over my Canon 28-80mm, but it's going to be a lot of fun trying them out!

Cheers, Rob.

Thursday
Apr302009

Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT First Look Video




Apologies for the quality and my ineptitude in showing off the camera - but I just had to share this with everybody!

Cheers, Rob.
Sunday
Apr262009

SCL Photo Podcast 42: Battle Eye

SCL PodcastQuick review of "Battle Eye, A History Of Combat Photography", by Norman B. Moyes.

(And a bit about my new Canon 350d / Rebel XT!)

Subscribe on Itunes. (Will open Itunes, then you need to click on the "subscribe" button.) (Free)

Subscribe with other Podcatchers. (Google Reader, etc) (For Free)

Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

Download / listen to the LOW BANDWIDTH mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Again, free!)



"Battle Eye" On Amazon.com.

One Of My First 350d / Rebel XT Pics (Taken At Stokes Bay):
IMG_5631



Cheers, Rob.