Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 21, 2010 – Bee and Daisy

Bee and Daisy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So I always seem to gravitate towards posting some kind of macro shot, either of a bug or a flower (or, well, both..) on Fridays. Not exactly sure why I feel that way (that’s a total lie, I know exactly why, I just don’t feel like sharing), but it’s the truth. And, I know, this isn’t Friday, it’s Wednesday. But it might as well be Friday, because I’ll be out of town the next couple days, and thus I won’t be posting anything. Which means that you get to look at this little guy for the rest of the weekend.

This is the first picture I’ve posted (and among the first I took) with my new (to me) Tamron 90mm macro. So far, I’d say I’m reasonably happy with it. I had some decent results, but I also had some that were less than stellar. I’m not going to blame the lens for those just yet though, and to be fair I’ve only taken the lens out on a couple walks around the neighborhood, and it’s definitely shown some promise. Hopefully you’ll all get to see some more pics from it in the coming weeks and months and years (I know, bold statement, given that I’ve only been doing this blog for just over a year now.)

Have a great weekend!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens. 1/250s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 90mm (duh!).

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July 20, 2010 – View from Treasure Island

View from Treasure Island

View from Treasure Island

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey again everyone. Today’s picture was taken from Treasure Island, which is this little splotch of land out in the Bay off of San Francisco. It was formerly a naval base or something, but now it’s the place where a friend of mine recently got married. That explains why I was there. What’s your excuse?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do some tweaking on this one. Mostly just bumping up the contrast a little bit, to cut through the haze. But I swear the water looked all inky like that even before I touched it up. It was right around this time that I got my new Canon 55-250mm low-end telephoto (to replace my old Quantaray 70-300mm low-end telephoto), but I can’t remember if I actually had it yet on this trip. I’m going to go ahead and guess yes, and thus tag the post with that one. But that could be wrong. Whatever.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/400s, f/14.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 208mm.

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July 19, 2010 – Flathead Valley and Whitefish, MT

Flathead Valley and Whitefish, MT

Flathead Valley and Whitefish, MT

Monday, July 19, 2010

It’s the middle of July. It’s perfectly sunny, hovering right around 70 degrees. Summer has finally arrived here in Seattle. And all I can think about is how badly I’m pining for winter. 6 months from now, I’ll be kicking myself.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-55mm lens. 1/200s, f/9.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 47mm.

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July 16, 2010 – Rose



Friday, July 16, 2010

I figure as long as I post at least 3 pictures a week, I’m doing okay, right. 3 days a week naturally lends itself to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but meh, we can all stand to be a little bit more flexible. This is another picture of a rose from the Woodland Park Rose Garden in Seattle (yes, it’s in the same park as the zoo), and it was from the same photo session as the rose I posted a couple of weeks ago. It even looks like it could have been from the same rose, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.

I went into great depth on that post, so I’ll try not to do so again here, but this was taken with an old Kiron 105mm macro lens that I bought off eBay from a camera shop in the Netherlands. This particular lens was built for a Minolta mount, thus I had to buy a mount adapter from some random dude in Hong Kong in order to get it to fit on my Canon. But, it all works quite well together, with the exception that you have to set the aperture manually before you shoot, which makes focusing a pain. (Normally, the camera holds the aperture wide open while you’re composing the shot (which lets through as much light as possible, so you can see what you’re doing), then when you hit the shutter it steps down to the specified aperture before opening the shutter – but with this particular mount/adapter combination, you lose the automatic aperture control, and thus you have to make sure the aperture is set before you hit the shutter button.) But, it’s quite the lens, and if you’re patient and willing to look around, you can find lenses like this for quite a bit less than the modern equivalent.

That being said, I ended up at the camera shop this last weekend for an unrelated reason, and while there I took a look at the used lenses they had for Canon EF mounts. Turns out, they had a Tamron 90mm macro that I’ve had my eye on for awhile. Tamron has made two versions of this lens, and the one they were selling was the older one, but from what I’ve been able to tell it sounds like the optics are basically the same between versions, and both of them are generally very highly regarded, especially for the cost. Also, the price they were asking was *significantly* less than I’ve seen anywhere else for it (even used), so despite the fact that I had pretty much declared my near-term macro needs “fulfilled”, I decided I should go ahead and buy it, and if later I decide that was a terrible idea, I should be able to then sell it, and perhaps even make a profit. So far, it seems really awesome. I get back the automatic aperture and all that (since it was built to work with the Canon EF mount), and it’s also rated at 1:1 magnification, so the only question is the difference in image quality. All of the pics I’ve taken with that lens so far are still sitting on the camera, so that’s still an open issue, but I have no reason to think that they’re not going to be awesome. In the meantime, as I mentioned, here’s a shot from the other one.

And if you were curious, the reason I was in the camera shop in the first place is, while I was farting around on eBay not too long ago, I saw somebody selling a Sigma macro lens with an unknown mount. I believe it only goes to 1:2 magnification, but whatever, that’s not the point. The point is that I was able to get it for extremely cheap (20 bucks), because nobody knew what kind of mount it was, and thus nobody knew if they could use it or not. I figured I could buy it, figure out the mount, and then figure out if it would be worth getting a mount adapter and using it, or just reselling it with the added information of what the heck it was. It didn’t fit either of the mounts I could check (Canon EF/EF-S, or old-school Minolta), so I took it to the shop. They actually couldn’t tell either, it didn’t fit any of the bodies they had in the store. Granted, they aren’t a “used camera shop” in the true sense of the word, meaning they are mostly focused on new stuff, but they do a little bit of business in used goods, mostly for Canon and Nikon stuff. So, the current best theory is that it “may be for a Konica or Sigma”, but they didn’t have any way to test that theory for sure. Still unknown, but I ended up getting a cheap used Tamron macro out of the deal, so all in all it was a (somewhat expensive) success.

Have a great weekend!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro (Minolta mount). 1/160s, ISO 200, aperture unknown (didn’t write it down.)

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July 14, 2010 – Italian Alps

Hiking in the Italian Alps

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Man, I swear I was supposed to be born in the Alps. I would LOVE to live over in Europe (preferably either in northern Italy or southern Switzerland), but unfortunately I’m not the type that has the courage to make huge life changes like that. Sigh. I guess I’ll just keep dreaming.

This is yet another picture from Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso (Gran Paradiso National Park), in the Aosta Valley, which is in the far northwestern corner of Italy. The valley is capped at the end by Mont Blanc (they call it Monte Bianco), and this is also the valley that has both St. Bernard Passes (both Grand St. Bernard Pass – where they breed the dogs – and Little St. Bernard Pass), which cross into Switzerland and France, respectively. At the time I was there, not only did I not have any kind of wide-angle lens, the widest I could get was 28mm, which is a travesty. I guess I just need to go back.

This was along the Alpe Money (moe-NAY) trail, which spits out of the village of Valnontey and follows the river up the valley. We only had just under a week to explore all of northern Italy, so the fact that we were able to spend two nights in the park and go hiking for a full day was pretty amazing in and of itself. Some day I’d love to just spend a whole bunch of time hiking and exploring. But this stupid job thing just gets in the way. Sigh.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/250s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 35mm.

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