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326 reputation
15
bio website cheshireeng.com
location Monrovia, CA
age 50
visits member for 4 years, 4 months
seen Sep 4 at 22:26

Engineer, Magician, Jack of all Trades


Dec
5
comment Are there portable cameras optimized for documentation?
You should be able to use exposure compensation available in most P&S cameras to nudge the images into the slightly over-exposed direction so that the (usually) white pages are not mistakenly set to 18% gray. Try something like +1.5EV as a starting point, your mileage will vary. A moderately bright white LED flashlight with a diffuser may also help with having enough light to hand-hold the camera, and reduce any shadows.
May
20
comment Does Earth's latitude affect the color of light?
Personally, I carry a Whibal card in my kit. It is a sturdy chunk of solid plastic that is the same gray color pigment throughout. It is approximately 18% gray, but more importantly, its spectral response is very close to dead flat through the visible region meaning that it is a reliable gray reference under any (visible) light and with any sensor. Being a block of plastic, it doesn't pick up coffee stains easily. It also has bright white and black patches and a high-contrast sturburst pattern.
Apr
11
comment Why is sensor sensitivity called “ISO”?
The Wikipedia article on this subject has an interesting overview of the history of film speed measurement, as well as discussion of how the speed is actually defined by the modern standards that is sufficiently detailed to eliminate my temptation to pay $66 for a copy of ISO 6:1993 which apparently only has about 24 pages of content inside the covers.
Nov
13
answered Why isn't there an adapter to make manual lenses autofocus?
Oct
13
awarded  Yearling
Jul
20
comment What does this switch do on my macro lens?
On Nikon SLR bodies, the position of the sensor is indicated by some subtle marks on the body, and the center of the tripod mount point is below the intersection of the optical axis and the sensor image plane. I assume there are similar properties of Canon bodies that are either documented or can be discovered.
Jul
19
answered Between Nikon 18-55mm II and 50mm f/1.8, which suits my needs better?
Jul
19
comment What “Top Tips” should I give compact camera users in a short talk?
+1 for learn the modes. I'd add RTFM to that, but most folks will have already lost the fine manual, and the typical manuals aren't all that fine in the first place.
Jun
6
comment I was looking at the Nikon D90, but it's discontinued. What should I choose instead?
Remember, you are marrying the lens family, not the camera body. Get a D90 today, and when you need to upgrade later the lenses you've bought in the mean time are still all useful. I started with a D70s, and upgraded to a D90 a couple of years ago. I am not disappointed, and haven't begun to think about what body will be next as I have not personally hit any limits of the D90 that hurt my ability to take the pictures I want to take.
Jun
6
comment Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?
Remember, good glass is expensive. Camera bodies are more subject to technology creep than lenses. Once you pick a brand and start to buy lenses, you will have a substantial investment locking you into that brand when you are ready to upgrade or replace the body you buy today.
Jun
6
comment Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?
+1. Having access to current users will be important when getting started. Being able to occasionally borrow an unusual lens or merely ask questions that can be answered in the jargon used by your camera's maker can be very helpful. All else being equal, this could be the deciding factor. (It was for me, I already had friends and relatives with Nikon, and knew no Canon users well enough to borrow equipment. After much shopping, I had no concrete reason other than that to pick Nikon over Canon.)
May
24
comment Are “Windows Photo Viewer” rotations lossless?
@horatio, the multiples of 90 degrees are a special case for JPG compression, where it is technically possible to rotate the image without a compression cycle by "simply" rearranging the compressed data. It does involve removing and applying a layer of lossless compression, so the file size might change, but no lossy operations are required.
May
24
comment Why are tripods forbidden in some public spaces and how to deal with it?
A string pod will often do the trick, it just takes practice to use it well. You also need a stable stance. I just step on the end of the string; a loop sounds like a good idea until you forget you just tied your foot to your camera the first time.
May
20
comment How do I to clean prime lenses' internals? Or should I even try?
One thing you will need that may be hard to come by is a very clean workspace. Nowhere in my home or office would do, I can see the occasional dust motes swim by as I type this. You don't want to trap new dust inside while putting the now clean optics back together....
May
7
comment What is Lead Room?
+1 for experimentation with rule breaking, or at least bending. Especially in digital, where the marginal cost of experimentation is measured in time and a few spare bytes of storage.
May
6
comment Why don't most cameras support PNG format?
@jetxee, Yup, Pentax and a couple of the very high end cameras do native DNG. I just won't hold my breath waiting for Canon or Nikon to move away from their proprietary RAW formats.
May
6
comment Why don't most cameras support PNG format?
@erjiang, I certainly agree with that. I've advocated archiving a copy of dcraw.c that works with your camera along with your periodic backups of your raw files as at least one way to make sure you've got a document that describes them.
May
5
comment Why don't most cameras support PNG format?
I'd tend to agree with Leonidas here. The real issue is that DNG is not adopted by more camera makers. As photographers, we own our negatives, but our digital negatives are locked up in proprietary file formats, often with details concealed under NDA. Adoption of DNG by either Canon or Nikon would go a long way toward solving that. It won't happen, though.
May
5
comment What can a fisheye lens be useful for?
Pano is one of the dark arts of photography. Personally, I covet a quality fisheye and I'll probably never stitch anything again. Unfortunately the one I used on that trip had to return to its owner. One of the things I learned from carrying it is the same thing that Piotr observed in his answer. It is far more useful than you expect. I found that I was consciously not taking the standard tourist photos because it was more fun to make the shot I could take with it interesting than to change back to a normal lens.
May
5
revised What can a fisheye lens be useful for?
added more photos