Friday, July 09, 2010

B-day list

Per usual procedure, I list some things that I would not at all mind receiving for my birthday! Huzzah for materialism.

Falcon Eyes PC-to-hotshoe adapter. (Don't need this anymore!)
Male-Male PC sync cord.
Tommy Hilfiger spray deodorant.
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Upgrade (note: the cheaper upgrade version, not the full >100€).
Pendulum - Immersion.

More later!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Need new glass!

I took the time to bring my camera in to the store the other day to try out the Tamron 17-50 VC that I talked about earlier. Long story short, it just clicked. (Pun intended.)

First impressions was that it was a lot heftier than the kit; being a constant-aperture lens this was expected, but it was interesting exactly how much larger it appeared on the small 1000D body. The zoom-ring had a bit of friction to it, but nothing I can't see myself getting used to...

I did, however, notice something in my test-shots, which I can't see myself getting used to. While I was pretty satisfied with the image quality, there was a patch in the middle focal length around 30mm that was just atrocious at f/2.8. This went a bit opposite of the reviews I've read which usually put 50mm as the real problem area, which could point to sample variation. (I noticed a bit of the same problem at f/4, but otherwise it behaved as I had hoped.) I will certainly test it more thoroughly when the time comes to actually decide to purchase or not, but there is a strong want-factor about this lens.

There are a couple of options to the Tamron: there's the equivalent Sigma 17-50 which just came out, which is about 1.5x the price of the Tamron, then there's Canon's own ultimate EF-S lens, the 17-55, which in turn is about 1.5x the price of the Sigma. They all cover roughly the same focal length (ie. same zoom level) and they're all constant f/2.8. What separates them is differences in build quality, autofocus and image quality, following roughly the price increments: Sigma has a bit better image quality and autofocus motor than the Tamron, Canon has the edge on both of them.

One thing I would want though is working autofocus in low light. I learned that from the 50mm, there's no point in having a fast lens if it won't focus correctly in low light. But seeing as pretty no third-party lens can have the same level of autofocus compatibility as Canon (as they reverse-engineer the connections), that would mean the Canon 17-55, which I really don't have the budget for.

But who knows, I might win the lottery!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Back & front OneLight style

I had a thought some time ago about the possibility of doing a backlit portrait, where the background goes all white. Having only one light makes it a bit tricky, of course, but I figured that if I could plop a reflector right in front of the face, it might reflect enough light to give a proper exposure.

With that in mind, I started setting up what I had. My cardboard softbox in the back, and at the front, a piece of white paper disposable tablecloth I had found for cheap.
As you can see, relatively close quarters.
Cutting a hole in the paper got me a place to set my camera and get the shot.
So we have light coming from the softbox (quite bright), bouncing off the white paper and coming back. One light, not so shabby results.