The Walking Man (volume 2)

In contrast to my previous solo photowalk which involved a single zoom lens (the EF-S 18-135mm), this collection was taken using only prime lenses (specifically, the cheapshit EF 50mm f/1.8 and the Lensbaby fisheye with the f/8 aperture).

Also, these were taken over several days instead of in a single session.

Although I also had the Lensbaby Sweet 35 in the bag, I had not encountered any subject recently which really begged to be taken with a selective focus lens. That piece of glass has rather limited use outside of portraiture.

Incidentally, I need to do a thorough check of the camera after this batch of photographs. Frequent switching of lenses is a recipe for stubborn dust on the sensor.


A few loose screws

Just bought a new cheapshit device for me to toy with.

I tested it a while ago, and it was surprisingly responsive (though my expectations were admittedly low to begin with). As it is, I suppose that regular customers could find this very useful. Imagine waking up at night and needing to go to the bathroom. No more need to fumble around for the light switch: Just walk in the general direction and the light instantly switches on as you approach it.

I have other plans for the gadget though.

With an additional transistor and an audio cable of suitable length, I reckon that this Taiwanese product costing Php150 could be turned into a simple motion detector for triggering a (D)SLR camera to take pictures. The butchering will proceed once I have a better idea of the sensor's range and sensitivity.

Amusingly, the group of LED lights (which I would have no need for afterwards) is of similar shape and size to Tony Stark's iconic chest piece.

I suppose that one could slap on a switch and a few batteries, then sew this to the inner side of a dark shirt for shits and giggles. VoilĂ ! Instant cosplay/Halloween costume.


An unsound mind in an unsound body

Yesterday, I went to the hospital for a pulmonary check up.

Waiting for my turn to see the doctor, I wandered through the halls at 8PM and noted that I was exhibiting the symptoms of having played too much Silent Hill.

 Seriously, these walls would have been fucking awesome if they were painted red

An unsound mind in an unsound body, but at least the imagination is somewhat healthy.


Raindrops keep falling on my head (and on the f***in' camera too)

After the minor upgrade, I was planning to go some place nearby for some practice with zone focusing.

Just a few blocks away

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit less than cooperative, so I tried something else.

Needless to say, both equipment and user were in need of drying afterwards.

Weather-sealed replacements still 6 or 7 years away


If you want something done right...

An inconvenience that plagues most of the cheaper lenses is the lack of a focus distance markings.

Of course, "cheap" is relative.

One may wonder what's the point of having such a quaint feature given the level of automation employed by today's digital cameras. "Why not just rely on the camera's autofocus feature?"

And wonder you will until you wander into scenes such as these.

In low light, contrast detection autofocus fails, phase detection autofocus fails, manual confirmation using the optical viewfinder is impractical even for eagle-eyed photographers (especially for cameras with 1.5-1.6 crop factor), and the viewfinder turns into a shitty haze at ISO 1600 and higher.

Technically speaking, one only has to twist the focus ring to the proper position in order to get the subject into focus (that is, if your camera/lens supports manual focusing); the problem is knowing to what degree the focus ring must be adjusted. It is in situations such as these where the focus distance markings becomes indispensable since they allow the user to compensate somewhat for the machine's shortcomings.

Recognizing this and not having enough cash at the moment to get more sophisticated gear with the proper markings, I chose to improvise again.

A total of 7 evenly spaced marking from the minimum focus distance (MFD) to infinity.

Plotting out focusing distances for the prime lens was easy enough, but doing the same for the zoom lens raises the issue of it being NOT parfocal. For example, the MFD at 18mm is approx. 41cm, but the MFD at 135mm is approx. 21cm. The MFD changes even if the position of the focus ring is exactly the same in both cases.

It's also interesting to note that the focusing distances of the 2 lenses scaled very differently. The focusing distances on the 18-135mm zoom lens are somewhat "evenly" distributed. At the 5th notch, the camera was already 586cm away from the subject.

In contrast to this, the focus distances of the 50mm prime lens jumps very sharply as the focusing ring approaches the position for infinity. At the 6th notch, the camera was just 329cm away from the subject. Basically, anything between 329cm and infinty would require very steady hands since the difference between the 6th and 7th notch on the focus ring is an 11-degree twist.