Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Check out this guy's stack of glass.

 Old lens inventory.

It seems he has a YouTube channel as well. 

I'll never ever get anything close to what that guy has.

Family Portrait ~ Nikon manual focus lenses
A few lenses
Many of these have found new homes 
since I took this photo

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Down another rabbit hole...

Shared with little comment...

Aero Ektar lenses on old cameras (yes, I used to own an Aero Ektar and used it on a Speed Graphic, too, but what a BEAST that setup was)

David Burnett on photography

David Burnett photographing the 2nd impeachment hearings

Eric Lindbloom "Angels at the Arno" is a book that was shot using 120 film in a cheap meniscus lens Diana 

David Hamilton's "Venezia"/"Venice" is a book that was shot in a very soft style

A friend sent links and hints to these and other stuff just yesterday.  After wandering around that side of the photo-universe I felt I had to share them in case you're not already aware (I certainly wasn't - not that I know everything - very far from it, in fact).

The passion for photography is clearly evident to me.  Makes me wish Paris hadn't just re-confined for the third time in a year.  I feel stuck along the cote d'Azur and I don't have access to my "things."  I feel I'd like to continue to explore the use of a lens that I modified.  And I'd like to order a few books, too.

I realize this is a First World Problem and that we're all in the midst of something deadly serious (Covid-19).  Hopefully my wife and I will both have our vaccinations soon.


Peille ~ 2021

Peille ~ Village Perche'
in the Alps above Menton and Monaco

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Image Sharpening ~ in-camera and Capture Sharpen (RawTherapee)

The prior two winters we in Nice I feel I learned quite a bit about out of focus rendition (aka: "bokeh").  I had a small stack of Nikkor and Takumar manual focus lenses that I'd brought with me.  The project was sparked by my wondering how on planet earth the 85mm f/2.2 SF Pentax had apparently such extreme depth of field, even wide open at f/2.2.  My questions were eventually answered and I felt I'd spent my time well during winter "down time" when there wasn't much to do along the cote d'Azur.

This year I changed things up quite a bit.  I left all my manual focus lenses at home and abstained from dragging the gorgeous low-milage A7 full frame with me.  This year I'm going all AF after having learned that manual glass can be quite heavy and the weight limit on baggage can be breeched if one isn't careful when making an emergency return to Paris via aircraft.

I brought with me two EVF Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras.  One is a NEX7 that a friend sent me and the other is my old A6000.  The A6000 has a 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G-Master OSS mounted on it and the NEX7 has mounted on it what turns out to be a very lovely 16-70mm Zeiss ZA f/4 OSS.  The out of focus rendition of the Zeiss lens is to my eyes nothing short of wonderful.  I may have to write something about these two lenses someday, but we'll see.

This has left me with no photography blog project to work on.  The weather is different this year than the last two (colder and wetter).  The pandemic has kept folks locked down (even as they fail to wear masks - is it any wonder that this part of France has blown up "red" on the Covid charts?).  And even though we bought a used car (our first in our nine years of living in Europe), we head out about once a week.  This still leaves a ton of "down time."

My mind ricochets off this and that idea.  Daydreaming, thinking about this and that, and considering my recent realization that Sony has correctly implemented the human perception model for converting color to black and white, something tickled the 'ol brain cells and I got to wondering how "sharp" in-camera jpgs might be compared with AWR (raw) format images processed with "Capture Sharpen" in RawTherapee. 

This was my first pass.

Image Processing ~ sharpen comparisons
Here is the full scene

Image Processing ~ sharpen comparisons

Click on the image and inspect it at 100 resolution

It is pretty easy to see that the AWR image processed using "Capture Sharpen" is "sharper" than the out of the camera jpg with "Sharpness" set to 0.

This led naturally to the question of what might things look like if I took the in-camera jpg processing "Sharpness" up to +1?  Here's what I found.

Image Processing ~ sharpen comparisons

Here is the full scene

Image Processing ~ sharpen comparisons

Click on the image and inspect it at 100 resolution

Comparing AWR/"Capture Sharpen" image with the out of the camera jpg with sharpness set to +1 suddenly became much more difficult. At first I didn't notice any difference. It turns out, differences are rather subtle.

My eyes feel strained.  On very close 100 percent full resolution inspection (ie: staring at the screen for minutes on end) AWR/"Capture Sharpen" _feels_ to me "digital" with hard edges and steep light/dark transitions.  The in-camera jpg processing _feels_ much more like film to me.  There is a nice "roundness" to the sharpened image. 

I will continue to shoot AWR because I like the flexibility in image processing.   If I really want a film like "roundness" to my AWR, I can apply a light unsharp mask or turn down the sharpening parameters of "Capture Sharpen".  

There may be times when in-camera jpg processed images are more than adequate.  If I set the imaging storage to AWR + jpg I would have the best of both worlds, right?  

Which might lead to an interesting new project.  What?  I have no idea.  I seem to have plenty of time on my hands to think about it, though.