Friday, July 27, 2007

A trip to Richmond Park...

Hi all,

I was astonished to find Richmond Park literally covered in dark green ferns, chest high. They love water and I guess the reason for Richmond being thick with them was because of all the rainfall we had. Anyway, I was expecting to find Richmond dry and I actually wanted to see some deer. In 9 hours there, there wasn't one to see for miles which was quite surprising but I guess the deer didn't like to be covered up by ferns.

As I and my friend were about to leave Richmond in the car, half the way out, I see out of the corner of my eye a little fluffy tail sticking out of the denseness. I asked my friend (a bit risky) to back up a little and I see this fluffy tail sticking out, still undisturbed. Funny enough it only raised it's head when I changed lenses on my camera (yup the car didn't disturb her and I guess the sound of a lens change is a bit similar to the cocking of a hunting gun) and I had a split second to take this shot. Lucky enough, I had the camera accidentally set to the right ISO setting and shutter speed for the length of the lens and the results speak for themselves :)

Until next time,


Deer_Blog_size_c, originally uploaded by Luis Rubim.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

S3 pro goes to a concert...

Hello again,

Last Sunday the 15th the "Rise London United Against Racism" concert took place at Finsbury Park, London. There was also a mass demonstration happening at the same time in central London, as it was the day that war broke out in Cyprus in 1974, as Turkish forces invaded the northern territory.

So I had to choose between the two events. I chose the concert, because I never done a concert with my camera. I must say I was expecting the mass demonstration to have some coverage as there were some Parliament speakers there and it is an ongoing 30 year old issue in the country, not to mention the massive Cypriot community in the country. The coverage was near to none.

So, off I go with my Fujifilm S3pro DSLR and two lenses, Fujifilm S20pro compact, 2 flashes and 4 cards. I have to say, I ended up regretting carrying all this gear as it turned out it wasn't that necessary and I did not manage to get as close as I wanted (yeah, still haven't got that press pass yet). Anyway, I was happy with what I manage to get and not only that, the S3pro delivered a stunning performance at ISO1600 (yes at this point things get very grainy), delivering a set of images which were very clean for the ISO rating. A quick curves adjustment in Photoshop and voila, some usable images. I must admit, when I first looked at the images I was a bit disappointed and then I realised (as I only really started to use this camera to a greater extent now, so some things I still miss), this camera records 400% Dynamic Range in it's WIDE2 mode which I always have on, unlike any other( except its successor the S5pro), so the images were apparently lacking in contrast and looked very noisy. The ammount of colour information that this camera records is astonishing and also results in a rather large 25MB RAW file that translates into a 65-120MB TIFF. The camera does this so you have enough latitude for adjustment and you don't lose the detail in highlights. This is particularly useful if you are using high ISO values (ISO1600) with this camera. The grain for that ISO rating is very low in comparison to other cameras. Anyway lets look at some pics.

Here are some shots from the day, hope you enjoy:

The Noisettes stormed the place

Jamelia strut her stuff

Kelis dropped her bombastic tunes

Long lenses attract attention

This time I wanted attention ....

The kind of shot that only my compact could do: up close and personal

Until next time,


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Fujinon 55mm f2.2 - A gem from the past...

I have had this lens modified for some time but never really came to use it as most of my work is centered around other areas of photography. But for fun, I pulled it out of the bag the other day and start playing with it. Here's a small backgrounder on the lens:

The lens was bought with a Fujica ST605 camera, which as then replaced for another as it developed a problem. These cameras come most of the times, if and when you find them with their standard lens, which is the Fujinon 55mm f2.2. So I ended up with two of them. I decided to try one on my Minolta DSLR with an adapter and at first I was none too happy as it really gives you a very short range and I could only really focus close , at about 4.5-7in away. I guessed it was something to do with the way the adapter was made/machined. Then one day I was playing around with it still with the idea that it doesn't quite work as I wanted it and I was cleaning it while looking through the viewfinder and it was a had great macro ability with that same adapter. This lens was not intended for macro at all and it's manual. Not only that, I also found that the sweet spot (which is the area where the lens performs optimally and will be very sharp) is great.
But as with all lenses, it would be nice to be able to fully close down the lens to its minimum aperture so images become even sharper(with the adapter in this lens you can't as this lens has a pin which does it, but it's controlled by the camera). So, I crossed my fingers removed the T-adapter, pushed the pin all the way through, put a small screw in the hole where the pin is as to lock it, put the adapter back on and voila, aperture controlled by the ring on the lens.

Now the reason for this post really is that I only now had a real play with the lens and put it through it's paces. Even though this lens can do macro after the modification, the real shock came to me on the amount of detail it can resolve. It can do macro to some extent, but not frame filling insect that's exactly what I was headed for, insect macros by cropping the image. That would be the test.It's performance is outstanding for a lens this old! The difference with this lens and others is that this lens is 30 years old and only costed me around a fiver! It's performance, if used correctly is the same if not superior to several current lenses that surpass it's price by the hundreds of pounds.

I am posting a crop along side the full resolution image, so you can see the amount of detail that this lens can resolve. No sharpening applied to this image.

Hell, why should I spend £300-£500 if a lens costing a fiver gives me the results?!

Please note that Blogger may resize and reduce quality of the higher resolution picture to fit it's parameters. The original image stands at 3008x2000.

6MP JPEG from 6MP RAW (click image):

Crop from RAW and then converted to JPEG(click image):

Until next time,


Monday, July 02, 2007

That's right folks...

DSCF0725_m_m, originally uploaded by Luis Rubim.

The UK has gone smoke public premises. Is it a good thing? Yes, but maybe not for everybody...I don't see how smokers can enjoy their drink outside with all the "extra sauce" that the weather has brought lately. But then again, imagine the savings smokers will do in the winter...leaving more for drink!... Maybe it's not so good as it looks then....

Until next time,