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Photography QnA: How Digital Camera Equipment Works

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Category: All About Photography : Digital Photographic Discussions - Imaging Basics : How Digital Camera Equipment Works

Have questions regarding Canon digital camera equipment and lens? Or maybe you have questions concerning basic slr digital camera equipment. This link has information regarding a plethora of camera equipment.

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Photography Question 
Dex 

member since: 12/13/2008
  1 .  Recover Deleted Files
I have a Canon Powershot SD1000. I accidentally deleted the video of my son's first christmas concert last night. Is there any way to recover this file?

12/13/2008 11:01:51 AM

Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/8/2004
  Dex,
As long as you haven't shot over the photos on the card, you can get some "image recover" software and try to recover them from the card. Google "image recovery software" and see what you come up with. I just bought some Lexar CF cards and they come with a free download for one. Others may cost you 30 bucks or so.

12/13/2008 11:42:18 AM

Gen Nagase
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/31/2003
  Sandisk 2GB and 4GB cards also come with the recovery software. As Todd said, free recovery software is available on the net while some are shareware and/or commercial product, and you may have to pay a small fee if you decide to keep them. There is a good chance you can recover your video.

12/13/2008 1:15:39 PM

  I have a program called Media Recovery that works well on all types of storage methods even Hard Drives, it finds lost photos, Audio & Videos. You can also go to a camera shop & they will be able to help you. My friend deleted all his 50th WA photos!! We were able to get them all back for him, he was then able to return safely home.

12/18/2008 7:04:23 PM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  I did a similar dumb thing erasing photo of a recent trip. PhotoRecovery LC-Tech saved my bacon.

http://www.lc-tech.com/home.html

Best of luck,

Alan Marcus
alanmaxinemarcus@att.net

12/18/2008 7:39:42 PM

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Photography Question 
Jamie J. Lange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/27/2007
  2 .  Color Correction on Outside Photos
 
  Before
Before
© Jamie J. Lange
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  After
After
© Jamie J. Lange
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
I am having a problem with all of my images looking too blue after I take them on an outdoor setting. I am using a Canon 5D. I however do not know much about using a gray card and correcting before I take a bunch of photos ... therefore, I am decreasing blue and bringing back natural color tones one by one in Photoshop Elements. Help!

11/11/2008 10:50:49 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Set your white balance to Auto and see if that helps.

11/11/2008 10:59:24 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  In the sample pic, the subject is outdoors, but in shade. The light in open shade or cloudy overcast is bluer (higher color temp) than direct sunlight. The 5D has separate WB settings for each of these conditions. Or you can simply set AUTO WB. Even so, the actual color temperature may not match that of the presets, so just correct in post-processing.

11/12/2008 5:21:57 AM

  You could also try shooting the image at several diffeent white balances and see which one you think is best

11/18/2008 7:12:25 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Jamie,

When the shot counts and you have the time such as in portraiture, manually white balance in the outdoor setting.

Some will argue if you shoot in RAW, you can adjust this later; agreed.
Why bother?..Get it right the 1st time and avoid that step.

Some are down right sticklers about WB, I am not one to cry or even notice if I am off by -1 or -2 mired.


Pete

11/18/2008 7:25:47 PM

Jamie J. Lange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/27/2007
  Thanks so much to everyone! I found some infomation videos on white balance and Canon 5D on YouTube. It was so helpful because I want to get it right the first time instead of fixing every photo. Thanks again!

11/18/2008 8:44:58 PM

  Whenever I can, I set Custom White Balance in my camera which is quintessential for saving time in the long run and creating good color.

Take an image using any mode. Often I start with AWB.

Next, place a gray card in the same lighting as your subject, filling the spot metering area with the gray card. That is, move the gray card either close to your lens, or move your lens close to the gray card. Remember, the card must be in the same lighting as your subject.

Take a picture of the gray card, switching to manual focus if you have problems with autofocusing.

Scroll down the menu and SET Custom White Balance in your camera. This will tell the camera that your subject is the gray card. Press the SET button again to confirm.

Next, scroll to the custom white balance setting on your camera. And press the SET button on the camera to confirm you decision.

This will remain active as long as the light remains the same for your subject.

The 2nd way, if you are shooting RAW, is to correct the color in Adobe Camera Raw. If you don't know how to work with ACR, Charlotte Lowrie has an excellent course: "Camera Raw From Capture to Finished Photo"

The 3rd way is to correct your image in Photoshop/Element...And, perhaps, you may need to do this as well as the other methods after you finish correcting and enhancing your image.

I'm currently taking:
Correct and Enhance Your Images with Richard Lynch, which is a very enlightening course.

Hope this helps.


11/22/2008 11:44:52 PM

  BTW, If you want sharper images, use a sturdy tripod or have one where the camera lens is square over the center of the tripod. I also use a one gallon ballast of water, which makes a light weight carbon fiber tripod far more sturdy. ~Bunny

11/22/2008 11:50:38 PM

  The gray card I use is the so-called 18% gray card available at larger photo stores, such as:
http://tinyurl.com/5uqfzt

It works for me in setting custom white balance.

11/23/2008 10:57:50 AM

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Photography Question 
Paul S. Fleming

member since: 4/27/2008
  3 .  Cleaning the Sensor
Hi Guys,
To clean my D-200 and my D-70 sensors, I have been looking at the Delkin Sensor Scope, swabs, a blower and cleaning fluid. The whole lot comes in a kit, and you can buy them separately. Has anyone used these products? If so, would you please let me know what you think and who has the best price? Many thanks ahead of time. "ps"

10/8/2008 2:26:14 PM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Paul, I use Pec pads and Eclipse fluid (from Photosol.com), along with the Visible Dust brand Arctic Butterfly brush and Sensor Loupe. The Loupe is the same basic thing as the Delkin, it's just made a bit better (and costs a litle less, I believe). I also have a bulb blower to get out the particles that will blow away before attempting the "washdown".
As for pricing - you can check around. I don't know who else carries Eclipse (besides Photosol); the other stuff is pretty much available.

10/9/2008 3:44:43 PM

Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/8/2004
  Paul, I don't know how Copper Hill Products compares to what Bob has used, but I bought one of their sensor cleaning kits and I'm pleased.

10/9/2008 4:21:03 PM

Phillip A. Flusche
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/17/2003
  Before going to the cleaning swabs, ask yourself "Just how dirty is the sensor." If you only have one or two spots of dust then just use a bulb blower on it. I have D200 also. Begin by locking up the morror. Be sure you have a fully charged battery so the mirror will stay up and not fall down during the cleaning process. Be in as dust free environment as possible. Point the camera down while the lens is off with the mirror locked us so no new dust gets in. Blow on the sensor with the bulb blower a few times. DO NOT EVER USE COMPRESSED AIR AS DAMAGE CAN OCCUR. The bulb blower should not have a brush on it. Be careful not to touch the end of the blower nozzle on the sensor. After blowing off the dust take another test photo of some sort of light colored background such as a clear blue sky or a neutral colored wall. Download the photo and zoom in and scoll around to see if the dust is completely gone. Repeat as necessary. The last time I had a couple of dust spots it took me 3 or 4 times to finally get it. I suppose if the sensor is really badly contaminated the swabs would be the way to go though. Be careful with the lens off in normal use to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS turn off the camera and wait a few seconds. The sensor is a very good electronic magnet for dust when the camera is on. Much like a TV screen or monitor screen. They attract dust too.

10/14/2008 7:59:41 AM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Most all the Pro's at the racetracks use Visible Dust brushes...they're not the cheapest but the pro's I work with swear by them. The Arctic Butterfly (sounds Obscene) but works awesome, used it at a Nascar event because you pick up a lot of dust when switching between lenses in the pits.

10/14/2008 9:10:06 AM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Paul, I guess it bears some clarification - there are essentially three approaches to cleaning the sensor. Ranked in terms of "invasiveness", they are:

1) puffs of air - as Phillip points out - use only a bulb type blower - never canned or compressed air - blowing air across the sensor (with the mirror locked up, obviously) will remove loose particulate matter.

2) Arctic Butterfly brush: whereas the air bulb does not touch the sensor itself, this brush is designed to make contact. There are no liquids used here - the brush's bristles are designed to accrue a static charge when you actuate the motor in the handle (it runs on an AA battery). The motor spins the brush head, the act of spinning in the air is enough to build up a charge. The idea is to swipe the thusly-charged head across the sensor ONE TIME. This is not an exercise in painting - a single swipe is all it takes. Once the sensor is touched, the brush head loses the static charge and thus its effectiveness in attracting particles that were a bit too sticky to get blown away in step 1. So take a brush stroke, then check with the loupe to see if the sensor is clean. If not, try again after re-running the spinning motor on the Butterfly.

3) Finally, if steps 1 and 2 still leave dirt on the sensor, you will need to try something more persuasive - a clean swab with liquid on it. This is the Eclipse/Pec pad combination I mentioned earlier. The Pec pads are extremely sterile and lint free, the Eclipse liquid likewise pure, so the approach is to fold a pad over a small spatula-shaped tool, drip a drop or two of Eclipse on it, then take a single swipe across the sensor - that's it. No scrubbing, no second swipes. If there's still dirt, take another Pec pad and do it again. The whole idea is to avoid contaminating the sensor with any debris that did get stuck to the pad.

So the complete approach would be to take the above steps in that order. Start with the blower bulb, move to the Arctic butterfly, and if they fail then swab with the Eclipse.

Hope that helps

10/14/2008 9:28:31 AM

Phillip A. Flusche
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/17/2003
  Bob, thanks for your response. I was not aware of the Artic Butterfly and how it worked.

Phil

10/14/2008 10:11:56 AM

Paul S. Fleming

member since: 4/27/2008
  Thank you everyone for answers to cleaning the sensors on my cameras. I knew I could trust BP members to come to my aid...You always have in the past. Thanks again, "ps"

10/14/2008 3:48:15 PM

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Photography Question 
Pamela H. Shumate
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/10/2005
  4 .  Spot On Pictures
I have noticed a spot on my pictures recently. It appears either as a black spot or a blurred spot. I have swapped lenses and it is still there. Any suggestions? Thanks!

9/30/2008 10:08:47 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Pamela,

Looking at your gallery, I see you own a Canon EOS. I presume it is a 20D. Anyway, this and other digital SLR models feature interchangeable lenses. Likely, you have another lens that you sometimes mount, or if not, likely you have removed your lens because you are inquisitive (that’s good).
In the process of lens removal, we run the risk of dust and the like getting into the interior of our camera. This can also happen even if we never dismount the lens. Exposing the interior runs the risk that dust will settle on the surface of the digital imaging chip at the rear of the camera. This chip has a protective cover glass, likely it is speckled with a dust flake or two or three. You can have the chip’s surface cleaned or you can do it yourself.
Read the camera manual looking of chip cleaning. You will need some supplies if you attempt this yourself. It sounds daunting but it's actually not that difficult. First get, at a camera shop, a blower, and try and clear the dust off. Likely a friendly clerk at the camera store will help, but if not, search this Web site for tips on how to do it.
Best of luck.

9/30/2008 11:34:28 AM

Pamela H. Shumate
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/10/2005
  Thanks for the advice. This was the assumption I had, just wanted a little verification. I'm actually making a trip to the camera store today. Thanks again!

9/30/2008 11:41:27 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Dust on the sensor is a recurrent problem but is easily remedied as Alan described. A simple software program (like Paint) can easily zapp out those pesky specks your cleaning might have missed.
Note: Never use compressed air canisters to clean your sensor. Use a blower-bulb (...without the brush).

10/2/2008 8:38:50 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  HI Pamela,
Most camera stores would advise you properly to NEVER use a can of compressed air to clean your sensor, although it might sound like an easy solution. The angle to use it is never right and it would leave a film on the sensor and damage it. The hand squeeze bulb works very well in most cases -- putting your shutter on "bulb" and holding it so where the lens attaches faces down. The theory is to loosen any dust and let it "fall" out. I'm convinced Shakespeare must have been a photographer with the famous line from Hamlet "Out, out damned spot!!" LOL.
Good luck.
Bruce

10/7/2008 5:03:10 AM

Pamela H. Shumate
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/10/2005
  When I went to the camera store they said I would have to get it professionally cleaned. That would be $65 & two weeks without my camera. I'm going to check the manual first, to see if I can do it myself and get a blower brush. I can't give up my camera for two weeks. Also, I have been fixing the spot in photoshop,but when you have 100 or so pictures to fix it gets a little annoying. Again, thanks for all the info.

10/8/2008 5:41:34 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Pamela,
Sending the camera out is ONE option. A blower bulb is around $10 (plus or minus) and is a necessary part of your gear. I keep one in my camera bag at all times. The "rocket bulb" or whatever the particular company dubs it, works well in most situations and is certainly worth the small investment to try BEFORE sending the camera out. Most pros have a second camera, largely because of that (if you have to send one out you aren't totally dead in the water in the meantime.) Sometimes that takes a little bit before you can afford the second body but it's worth it on the long run. Nikon just had one of my D200 bodies for a month and that was the "speedy" service! Another important note that has yet to be mentioned and sometimes we take it for granted...every time you change lenses, you MUST turn off the camera. The sensor is a CCD, a charged couping device. As such, if your camera is on, it ATTRACTS DUST like a magnet!!
Good luck.
Bruce

10/8/2008 6:02:16 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Thanks Bruce, for that great tip about turning off the camera when changing lenses.
I for one, change lenses quite often and have never paid attention to whether my camera was on or off (...until now).

Another tip I've heard rocommended is to get a spare body-cap and drill a hole in the center the same diameter as the plastic nozzle on your blower bulb. This will (supposedly) direct the full blast of air onto the center or the sensor and scatter the dust toward the edges.

10/8/2008 11:00:14 AM

Pamela H. Shumate
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/10/2005
  I'm pretty good about making sure my camera is turned off when changing my lenses. Alot of my pictures are taking outside, so I tend to change lenses out doors & I'm not so good about keeping it pointed down when doing this. Are there anymore suggestions about what kind of cleaning supplies I should keep handy. Thanks again.

10/8/2008 11:24:18 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Pam,
As much as it sounds like a good idea, when you are "working in the field" you don't always have time to make sure the camera is pointed down when you change lenses. The second camera body with a different lens really helps here so that perhaps you don't have to change at all. It is more important to get the shot and know you have a blower bulb that can loosen the small dust. Only in extreme situations will dust lodge on your sensor and a hand blower won't be able to clear it off. THEN you can send it in. Until then, clean your sensor with the blower and go back to happy shooting. There are, on the market, a wet swab designed to clean sensors but I have not been brave enough to try that. If you ruin the sensor in the process it's about $1,000 to replace it. I for one don't want to chance it!! I'll stick to the squeeze bulb.
Bruce

10/8/2008 12:29:22 PM

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Photography Question 
Vicky 

member since: 7/22/2008
  5 .  Film-to-Digital: Lenses?
I am thinking of transferring from film SLR to a digital SLR. I have lots of lenses for the film body, but will they work with a digital body? Thanks!

7/22/2008 7:37:30 PM

  All depends on what lenses / mounts you currently have and what digital camera (d-SLR) you get. Some lenses / mounts will work fine with some digital SLRs. Some won't.
Most likely, you will have to buy the same brand of digital SLR as your film SLR, but you will also probably have to limit yourself to only particular d-SLR models, depending on the particular lenses you currently have.
Look at the manufacturer's Web site for d-SLRs you are considering ... it should provide a list of compatible lenses (at least Nikon does for Nikon lenses).
If you have lenses made by a 3rd party manufacturer, you can probably contact them about compatibility once you have narrowed your choices of d-SLRs. Generally, though (at least for Nikon), cheaper d-SLR models will be fully compatible with only the latest lenses, while more expensive models tend to be more compatible with a wider range (although you may still not have complete support for all features).
If you want more specific answers, I suggest you post the specific lenses and film SLR you have and ask for d-SLR recommendations.
dvc

7/22/2008 8:23:49 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Vicky,
On Google,..type in the name and model of the camera body you are intending to buy, followed by "lens compatability chart", and you'll likely get something like this

7/22/2008 11:47:04 PM

Jason A. Hall

member since: 6/28/2006
  All Nikon cameras use the 'F' mount with all lenses back to the late 1970's able to be mounted onto ANY Nikon slr body.Later AF-S Nikons(D40/60) require AF-S lenses to enable Auto Focus as the focussing motor is built into the lenses themselves rather than the camera body(older af and pro Nikons use an autofocus screw coupling to drive the autofocus gears in the lens).
Older lenses can still be used on the AF-S Nikon d-slr's but AF would be manual only.The AF-S models generally come supplied new with a couple of kit lenses suited to them.
Canon completelt dropped their 'FD' mount system in the late 80's thereby completely obsoleting all lenses up to that time from even mounting onto a Canon d-slr.Canon d-slr's using the DX or APS-C sensor(EOS 400d/40d etc) use only EF-S lenses with the full frame and pro models only able to accept EF or L lenses(which are more expensive).
Also Nikon actually include a list of all lenses they ever made in the menu of their D-slr's so that the lens being used can be selected and the camera will optimize itself for that particular lens!.
Just as an aside,Nikon have recently introduced 2 full frame models(D3/D700)which can use either type of lens that is to say lenses optimized for the DX format and also FX lenses.When using a DX lense on an FX body the camera automatically 'masks' the sensor to use only an area the size of a DX(aps-c) size sensor albeit at a reduced resolution.
Other brands of slr like Pentax maintain some measure of compatability with their previous K-AF lenses and Sony still uses the Minolta mount although I'm not sure if the AF systems are still compatible.
Hope this helps.

7/29/2008 3:18:37 PM

Archana Padhye

member since: 1/12/2004
  Hello Vicky,
I had posted the same type of question in the forum and I received very good guidance from the members. I am sharing the discussion
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=26679
Regards,
-Archana Padhye, INDIA

8/5/2008 2:31:20 AM

  I use lenses all the time that were not made for my camera via adapters (sometimes several at once). You will likely have to put up with some loss of functionality ranging from lack of ability to use auto-focus (not a problem for me as the lenses I use were from before the auto-focus era) to inability to focus at infinity.

However, if you get a camera with a mount like the bulk of your existing lenses (for example, I had a Sigma SA-300 film camera, and upgraded to a Sigma SD9 digital -- both of which had identical mounts), you will likely be able to use your current lenses.

The question becomes:
* what do you have?
* what do you plan to upgrade to?

Richard Lynch

8/5/2008 5:26:26 AM

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Photography Question 
Rom A.G.

member since: 2/16/2005
  6 .  Image Sharpness
I took 3 photos as a test. On 1st image, sharpness was set to +2; for 2nd, it was 0; and for 3rd, it was -2.
The -2 pic was blurry and seemed out of focus, it was also the smallest in size. Thus, is it a good idea to always leave sharpness at +2, or is there such a thing as too much sharpness? (Same for contrast, is +2 too much?) I guess anything that increases a pic's size is good; setting to 8mp instead of 6mp or 4mp, and fine instead of normal or economy(smallest size). Thanks

7/16/2008 6:30:20 PM

  I assume you are talking about in-camera settings? If so... Generally speaking, any in-camera sharpness settings can be equally or better achieved in software after downloading to your computer. Further, any sharpening done in-camera cannot be "undone" ... which is to say, if you've lost image quality, you've lost it forever. If you use a minimal sharpening setting in camera, you can always tweak the sharpening values later ... as long as you don't delete the original image, at least!
The same is true for all other in-camera image enhancement options (saturation, etc.). That's why so many people here shoot Raw ... it leaves the maximum possible of all image processing options up to you to do later after downloading to your computer.
Straight out of the camera, unprocessed images don't look very impressive. However, with good understanding on how to process photos manually using good software (such as PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro, etc,) you can actually achieve much better final results (with some work) by shooting with minimal in-camera processing. The question is: Do you want to do that work? Or, would you prefer to just use straight out of the camera images? If the latter, use heavy in-camera processing settings. If the former, shoot "flat" (as few in-camera settings as possible) and process later on your PC.
dvc

7/16/2008 9:23:36 PM

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Photography Question 
Karen Seargeant
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Karen
Karen's Gallery
karenseargeant.com

member since: 1/18/2003
  7 .  Why Does My Camera Write Slow?
I love my Canon Digital Rebel XTi ... however, when shooting fireworks, it writes extremely slow, causing me to lose some good shots. I have turned off the viewing, tried different file types (Raw vs. JPEG, smaller or larger) but nothing helps. Any suggestions?

7/6/2008 10:08:56 PM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Karen,
The modern digital camera features chip logic - i.e., the camera’s main chip or CPU has all manor of built-in computer enhancing programming. These are computer routines that improve the images we take. Especially rigorous are the routines for situations that present a photographic challenge. You would be unhappy if you turned off these enhancements. We pay the price which is a longer processing time. We gain by better images.

7/6/2008 10:34:22 PM

 
 
  Seattle 4th 2
Seattle 4th 2
f/8, 1/20s, iso400, 70mm, tripod & remote shutter release
 
 
Hi Karen,
if you are shooting at slow shutter speeds (1 sec or slower), it does take longer for the information to be processed & written to the card.
Long exposures on Canon dSLRs with noise reduction use a dark frame to reduce noise. The shot still consists of one single exposure but then there is delay while the dark frame is taken and then the results are combined and the result written to the card.
For fireworks, you should be shooting 1/15 thru 1/40 of a second range, and it should be a faster write time. I just shot a fireworks show, and at f/8 thru f/11 and ISO 400, I was shooting between 1/20 and 1/30 speed, and they were writing fast enough to keep up with the show.

7/6/2008 11:16:28 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Don't feel bad, Karen, even the Nikon D300 ($1700) and the D3 ($5000) process slow when long shutter speeds are used with Noise Reduction turned on.
Technology will soon cure this too. :)
Pete

7/7/2008 5:14:06 AM

Paul D.
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Paul
Paul's Gallery

member since: 1/25/2006
  Hi Karen, there may be an easier answer. What brand and model of CompactFlash card are you using? That makes a big difference in write speeds. For instance, the SanDisk Ultra II Cf writes about 9mb (megabytes) per second, which is OK at best. But, you want faster write speeds, so check out the next model up, the SanDisk Extreme III cards... they write at 20mb per second. Lexar makes excellent cards also, but instead of calling it 20mb/sec, they call it 133X, just so you know. Now, to add more confusion, the NEWER SanDisk Extreme III's have just been released, and they write at 30mb/sec. Lastly, the SanDisk Extreme IV write at 40mb per second, but your camera may not fully utilize that. My suggestion, if you do have a slower CF card currently, is to try the SanDisk Extreme III, NEWER version (30mb/sec). The write speeds are super quick, and they're only about 50 bucks for a 4GB card! Search "SanDisk SDCFX3-004G-A31 4GB Extreme III" on Amazon.com, and make sure you select the newer model. It'll have "30mb/sec" written on the card's label. By the way, the Extreme III's gave me one other neat surprise. Because of the faster write speeds, my battery lasts noticably longer than with the slower Ultra II's. Hope that helps!

7/8/2008 6:31:00 AM

Daniel Novak

member since: 7/2/2006
  When noise reduction is on the camera takes two exposures. One actual and one with the shutter closed to assist with noise reduction. The second exposure is exactly as long as the first one. If you want to shoot faster, turn noise reduction off and postpone that task till postprocessing.

7/8/2008 6:56:34 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
Good answers.

7/8/2008 7:01:54 AM

Paul D.
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Paul
Paul's Gallery

member since: 1/25/2006
  Karen, I missed your statement "when shooting fireworks". If your shutter speeds are longer than 1 second, then the noise reduction that the others mentioned is a factor, so listen to them! ;-) Faster CF cards do help also, but they don't help the "2nd exposure" that takes place to reduce noise. If you shoot a 2 second exposure, the card has to write that image and another 2 seconds of the "noise reduction image".

7/8/2008 8:04:39 AM

  Thank you all so much for your help.

I was able to keep up with the show, but did miss some great things. I got about 80 shots with 60 good ones, so I am not complaining, really, just trying to understand the issue.

Just to clarify, the first night I shot fireworks, I used a SanDisk Extreme III 2 GB card (20 mb/s) and it was slow, so the next night I used my 4 GB "generic" Turbo CF card since the Extreme III didn't help the speed, so, it must be the noise reduction scenario.

As far as that is concerned, if I turn off noise reduction, how do I adjust it "postprocessing" as indicated by Daniel?

7/8/2008 8:47:58 PM

  Hi Karen,
I shot all mine in raw with noise reduction "ON" and used Photoshop ACR to adjust my images mostly using brightness, black, contrast/saturation controls. You dont want to lighten much especially shooting at higher ISO because you will get noise but just a little will brighten the colors. The black slider will remove the cloudy smoke residue from the explosions but I left a little bit showing in my above example. I really didn't tweak much, just small adjustments and I was using a 4GB Extreme III card. I was timing my shots with the launch of each firework and shooting at 1/20s or 1/30s, I was able to shoot (even a few multiple shots at a time) and was ready for the next one. The only ones I missed were because I was too slow to hit the shutter and there were only a couple of these that I can remember.

7/8/2008 9:16:28 PM

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Photography Question 
Samantha L. Dean
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Samantha
Samantha's Gallery

member since: 12/17/2006
  8 .  Blue or Purple Fringing
I purchased a new Sony 75-300mm lens less than four months ago, along with a new camera. For about the last month, the photos taken with the Sony lens have blue or purple fringing and seemed to have a soft focus instead of clear, crisp focus. Is this something I am doing or is it the lens? All advice will be most welcome!

3/6/2008 7:59:18 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Samantha,
In a perfect color-corrected optical system, all the colors come to a focus at precisely at the same location, forming an image at the surface of the digital imaging chip (focal plane). Sorry to report, that dream has never been achieved. What actually happens is: the image is composed of multiple images superimposed on top of one another. Each different color of the vista comes to a focus at differing distances from the lens. Blue light forms an image further down stream and thus the blue image is the larger image. Red light focuses closer in thus it is the smaller image. The other colors come to a focus at intermediate distances; each thus is minutely different as to size. The purple fringing you have identified is caused by two types of chromatic aberrations. One is called transverse; a variation of focal lengths by color, the other is longitudinal whereby the actual location of the image is a function of its color.
Lens makers know about aberrations. They design complex multi-element systems to counter each and they succeed to a high degree. Countermeasures for aberrations are more difficult when the lens is very long or very short as to focal length.
Sorry to report that digital cameras introduce another phenomena that piles on top of the chromatic abnormalities. The digital chip is divided into tiny sights (pixels). These are the light sensitive locations. These pixels are then further divided into sub-pixels each covered with a strong red or green or blue filter. This arrangement fashions a matrix with surfaces that act just like tiny biconvex lenses (lenticular array). Thus the purple fringe is a combination of chromatic aberrations and the lenticular contour.
The good news is: Your digital editing software now contains automatic tools to deal with purple fringing.
Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)

3/6/2008 3:28:16 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  To add to Alan's detailed analysis:
Fringing is most prevalent toward the outside portions of the frame and is even more pronounced along lines that are not sharply focused.
(I've noticed this while conducting test with super-telephoto/converter combinations and with extremes in macro.)
In other words, break the "rules" and compose your primary point of interest in the center of the frame AND make sure your point of critical focus is on target.
This will reduce or eliminate the effect of chromatic aberration on your subject.
Any fringing that occurs toward the outside portions of the frame can be cropped out.

3/6/2008 4:02:55 PM

  Thank you both so much for your explanations. From what you've both told me, it would appear that the problem occurs due to both equipment and operator error and / or anomalies. I will try to get better. :-)

3/7/2008 6:52:00 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi again Samantha,
Don’t beat yourself up over this! Lens aberrations are a fact of life. John Dolland in 1757 demonstrated the first lens to significantly correct chromatic aberration. He did it by combining two lens shapes. One element positive, shaped like a lentil seed i.e. convex, the other negative, shaped concave like the inside of a bow. Seems the color error of these different designs are nearly exactly opposite. When combined they almost but not quite cancel color error. Today’s lenses are made-up using multiple elements some positive, some negative. Additionally lens makers intermix different types of glass like crown and flint. Some blends contain rare earth elements. In the old days it took months and sometimes years to calculate curve shape and materials (using a slide rule). Today’s computers solve as fast as you can input the data. You benefit, highly corrected accurately made lenses are affordable. Tomorrow’s lenses – mixtures of different glasses and plastics mixed while molten and spinning. Just think, a lens made with denser glass at the edges, this reduces the amount of curve needed – it’s going to be great.

Alan Marcus

3/7/2008 7:58:32 AM

Barefoot Photography by Tina Doane
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/3/2005
  This is all very confusing, I am all of sudden having these purpleish swirls on my images..driving me crazy!!!! I havent changed my lighting or camera settings, I used fixed lighting set up in studio and have had the same set up for two years. My question is the same time I started having the problems with the swirls I also startrd having problems with my lens. I use a canon 5 D withe 28 to 135 mm lens. Could the two problems be related?? Please help!

8/7/2008 7:26:56 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
Maybe you could expand a bit on those lens problems, Tina? What are they? When do they occur?
And why don't you post one of those photos with the purpleish swirls?
A picture paints a thousand words.

8/7/2008 7:45:10 PM

Barefoot Photography by Tina Doane
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/3/2005
  I am having a purlpe/blue tinted fringe on alomost all of my images, out of the blue. I Have tried everything to eliminate but nothing has worked. I am also having focusing problems with my lens. On my 5D the lens will sometimes do nothing when I press the shutter button, then I power off and on again and then it will work for a few minutes then repeat. This has become more frequent latley. So it finally wouldnt work at all so I took the same lens and put on my back up camera a 30D, now it keeps making a clicking sound like it is trying to focus but will not stop clicking and will not give the "focusing beep" like it usually does. To make a long story short, the purple fringing is becoming worse and the focusing problem that once was a nuscance is now a constant problem. So the only conclusion after all my trouble shooting is the thier has to be a connection between the lens and focusing problems and I come to that because I have a second studio with the exact camera, lenses and light set up and I have never had the purple fringing there or the focusing problems. Both studios are identically set up to the tee!!.

8/7/2008 7:53:13 PM

Barefoot Photography by Tina Doane
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/3/2005
  I am having a purlpe/blue tinted fringe on alomost all of my images, out of the blue. I Have tried everything to eliminate but nothing has worked. I am also having focusing problems with my lens. On my 5D the lens will sometimes do nothing when I press the shutter button, then I power off and on again and then it will work for a few minutes then repeat. This has become more frequent latley. So it finally wouldnt work at all so I took the same lens and put on my back up camera a 30D, now it keeps making a clicking sound like it is trying to focus but will not stop clicking and will not give the "focusing beep" like it usually does. To make a long story short, the purple fringing is becoming worse and the focusing problem that once was a nuscance is now a constant problem. So the only conclusion after all my trouble shooting is the thier has to be a connection between the lens and focusing problems and I come to that because I have a second studio with the exact camera, lenses and light set up and I have never had the purple fringing there or the focusing problems. Both studios are identically set up to the tee!!.

8/7/2008 7:53:13 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
Offhand I would say that lens was bumped so hard that it broke the AF motor and dislodged some lens element.
I would get it in for service and repair.

Have fun!

8/8/2008 1:59:09 AM

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Photography Question 
Celeste McWilliams

member since: 7/20/2004
  9 .  Damaged/Bent Pin
I was unable to load memory card into my Nikon D70, and discovered that one of the "pins" (in the memory card slot of camera) is bent, so much that loading a memory card is impossible. Help!!! Can it be repaired and, if so, is it worth the expense?

1/6/2008 5:44:03 PM

  This is not an uncommon occurrence, Celeste. To answer your two questions:
- Can it be repaired? The answer is "yes." But, you'll have to send it back to Nikon for repair. This could take a while.
- Is it worth the expense? Now, this is only one man's opinion here ... but the D70 is rather old technology and the newer cameras are faster and have larger files/better quality, and are better built. A D200 can be found used (at a good price) and in good condition since the advent of the D300. The D200 and D300 are both quite superior in every way to the D70, and updating your camera is worth considering. This, obviously, depends on your budget and financial priorities. My daughter just had her D70 converted to a dedicated infrared camera (http://lifepixel.com) and got the new D300. The D40x is also an excellent upgrade to your D70.

1/7/2008 6:06:58 AM

Bonnie Berlin

member since: 4/4/2007
  i repaired the bent pin in my canon rebel myself.
of course I KNEW the risk I was taking.
it was no longer my primary camera (i upgraded to the 5D) and I figured it would have to have the CF reader replaced anyway!
i broke a pair of tweezers in half and used the "tool" to push the pin back in position. it was completely bent over.
a little flashlight was also helpful.

1/8/2008 5:03:20 AM

Dennis C. Hirning
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  I had the same experience as Bonnie but my Canon Rebel was almost new. I think that I used a mini screwdriver as a tool. I don't remember for sure since it was about 4 years and 30,000 images ago.

1/8/2008 5:51:38 AM

Daniel O

member since: 5/30/2006
  If you decide to get it repaired, check with you local camera stores before sending it back to Nikon. My local shop has a 'special' on pin repairs.

1/8/2008 5:51:44 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  You know, trying to fix a bent pin yourself isn't a bad idea. Because if you send it somewhere, more than likely they would replace it the whole thing.
So even if you break the pin, you're not any worse off.

1/8/2008 7:48:13 AM

Gen Nagase
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/31/2003
 
".., you're not worse off."...

That's true...
But a bent pin, once bent, it will most likely be bent again. It's the nature of those thin pins. When fixed a few times, or may be the 2nd time, it will break...

So, fix it now, or fix it later...

I would consider Tony's idea of upgrading your equipment, too, depending on your current budget and desire.

1/8/2008 9:01:05 AM

Berl M. Thomas
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/5/2007
  The D70 has some value in and of itself because of its ability to high-sync with the flash. There is certainly a resell market for the D70 amond the Strobist.com community. Have a look at http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/01/control-your-world-with-ultra-high-sync.html

1/13/2008 5:05:44 AM

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Photography Question 
Jarred K. Peterson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2007
  10 .  Using Film Lenses on a Digital Back
I have heard people say that a lens designed for a film camera will not generate the same results when used with a digital camera. My question is whether or not that statement is true. Thanks!

12/19/2007 5:48:29 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Jarred,
I have seen articles and statements that clamed differences in performance when a lens designed for film is mounted on a digital. It is likely that performance dissimilarities exist however I bet they are negligible. Negligible is a relative however. I think the biggest impediment will be mounting. If mounting hardware is available; and the lens mechanical and electronic links to the body; you will be OK.

There is just one more consideration. Your film camera is a 35mm. The image area of this format is 24mm x 36mm. We calculate the diagonal, it works out to 46.9mm. The diagonal measure establishes what focal lengths are normal – wide – angle –telephoto - portrait. We round the diagonal up to 50mm as this is the accepted normal lens. Wide angle is 35mm focal length or shorter – telephoto is 135mm or longer – Portrait is 105mm or longer. These are not engraved in stone values but they are tried and true.

Now your digital has an imaging area that measures 15.1mm x 22.7mm with a diagonal of 27.3mm. Thus your camera being smaller is best served by shorter focal length lenses. In fact your digital is 60% of the 35mm format or stated another way the crop factor is 1.7 (inverse is 0.58). Thus:
Normal is 30mm – Wide angle is 20mm – Telephoto is 60mm – Portrait is 60mm or longer.

Hope this is enlightening (marginal technical gobbledygook)
Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net

12/19/2007 7:26:36 AM

Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/8/2004
  Jarred,

Alan is far more learned than I and has given you very good information, as he always does. I'd like to add that 3 of my 4 lenses are from my film camera. I shoot Nikon, and the oldest piece of gear I have is about 5 years old so the mounts for my lenses matched up with my digital camera purchase. I've not had any noticeable difference in my images after switching to digital.

12/19/2007 7:52:40 AM

  Hey Jarred:
I hear a lot of technical and somewhat academic questions like this in the workshop and lecturing business. Obviously, we can debate the technical merits, pluses and minuses, ad infinitum. Alan's answer is certainly credible and is important knowledge. However, a visual art - like photography - makes it very easy to see the results. For example, if you can, just take the same image with a "film" lens and with a "digital" lens of excellent quality. Open both in your image editing software of choice, enlarge to 100% and merely compare them. Just look at them. If the difference is not glaringly apparent, then I wouldn't worry about it. We use a mixture of film lenses and digital lenses, and it's a non-issue. The stock agencies we shoot for are the ultimate judge of what is acceptable, and our images (made with both types of lenses) are readily accepted for inclusion in their picture libraries, no problem.

12/19/2007 8:00:38 AM

  Hi Jarred,
I set up my digital camera to work with view camera lenses. The performance is not the same as a digital lens is, but different isn’t inferior. I have used Schneider, Dagor and Zeiss lenses, made at least as far back as 30 years ago with very exciting results. For information on the digital view camera check out this link: www.siskinphoto.com/camera4a.html.
Thanks, John Siskin

12/20/2007 12:24:39 PM

  I think the direct answer to your question is that digital and non-digital will not produce the same results, exactly, but that different may not at all be judged as good/better or bad/worse necessarily. So, I have to agree with both Tony and John and emphasize their positions.

The most obvious difference you are likely to run across is a conversion factor. A digital camera's sensor may be a different size than 35mm film (the exceptions are "full-frame" sensors which are sized the same as 35mm film, but even then there can be differences in how digital/non-digital lenses perform). This will lead to your lens length acting differently depending on the size of the sensor (called both a focal length multiplier and field of view crop--the latter is likely more accurate). In many cases the fact that digital sensors are smaller than 35mm film leads to non-digital lenses acting longer than they are when used on a digital SLR. One of the other key factors is loss of function: some non-digital lenses will not perform properly or take advantage of the features on a newer digital. There are other issues like vignetting, chromatic aberration, depth-of-field, angle-of-view, sharpness and there is a lot of discussion on the web about these and other factors...some good, some not. I've listed a few resources below.

* crop factor

* equivalence

And then there are resources dedicated to manual focus lenses:

http://forum.manualfocus.org

http://www.mflenses.com

If you have the opportunity to test the lenses that is the best -- you can actually judge the lens performance, and never mind the theory -- which will sometimes explain behaviors you see, but not always. I can also state that my favorite lenses are mostly my old, manual-focus, vintage lenses, which add character to shots, and force me to remain keenly aware of controlling my captures. For all the theory I read, I've had trouble with a handful of lenses, and these were, admittedly, of lesser quality.

So, the results may be different, but whether they are better or worse is your call.

I hope that helps!

Richard Lynch

12/26/2007 6:02:28 AM

JOHN R. ROLLASON
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/27/2007
  It has been most refreshing to read this thread, it proves to me that there are level headed people out there that can give very useful advice on what can in other forums be a thorny subject.

I have always said "don`t knock iy till you have tried it ", I get the impression that all of you on this thread have tried it and found that it does work.
I use FD lenses on a canon 350/xt digital via an adapter from china and get very good results,so much so that I use the FD lenses on the digital more than I do on my T90 and A1, but mention that on other forums and you get shouted down by the "L" brigade.

I only joined this forum a short while ago, but as I have found that there are like minded people on here I shall spend more time here from now on.

Best wishes

John

12/27/2007 11:25:35 AM

  When I married my husband, he had all Nikon equipment (lens, etc.). He got me very interested in photography and eventually bought me a Nikon N80 with a Sigma 28-80 lens and bought himself a Nikon F100. When we both decided to go digital, we bought a Nikon D70S because we were able to use all of our film lenses with the camera. My husband taught me the most important thing to remember with the digital is to set it up properly before taking the picture. The menu has a lot of options to choose from, but it does make a difference. Your decision also depends on what you are going to do with your photos. Good luck and have fun experimenting.

12/28/2007 8:04:36 AM

Vickie Burt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/29/2004
  I used to use a Sigma AF 70-300 zoom lens with my Nikon F801, and was always happy with the optical quality of the shots. That changed when I upgraded to the Nikon D70. The camera performed well, except when coupled with this zoom, and the images were clearly 'not sharp'. I spoke to Sigma about the problem, and they thought that as the lens was 10yrs old, and pre-digital, that perhaps it was unable to perform at the level demanded by a digital camera.

I have since upgraded to a new digital lens, and no longer have this problem :-)

12/28/2007 11:33:13 PM

Michael McCullough

member since: 6/11/2002
  35mm. lenses as I've heard cover a greater area of the sensor there for you are using whats known as the sweet spot when using these lenses therefore quality should be great depending on the lens quality to begin with...

1/7/2008 1:01:11 PM

  "I have always said "don`t knock iy till you have tried it ", I get the impression that all of you on this thread have tried it and found that it does work.
I use FD lenses on a canon 350/xt digital via an adapter from china and get very good results,so much so that I use the FD lenses on the digital more than I do on my T90 and A1, but mention that on other forums and you get shouted down by the "L" brigade."

Wow, I wish I had known this when I went DSLR. I might now own Canon rather than Nikon. I was so upset over Canon changing their lens mount that I decided to change brands when I purchased a digital camera.

1/7/2008 1:15:58 PM

JOHN R. ROLLASON
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/27/2007
 
 
 
I have 17 FD lenses for my A1 and T90 ranging from 17mm to a 600mm mirror, I have tried all of them on the 350, so far the results are not bad even though the adapter was on £22.00 from china via E-Bay.
I realise that the results are not going to compete with top notch lenses, but for me they are more than adequate, considering that I can use the lenses on all 3 cameras and they can be picked up for a fraction of the price of new ones.
This picture was taken with a Tokina 80-200mm F2.8 ATX on the 350 which with the adapter gives 160-400mm F4.

1/7/2008 1:35:57 PM

JOHN R. ROLLASON
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/27/2007
 
 
  Robin 1
Robin 1
Taken with 350D using Tokina 80-200mm F2.8 ATX FD lens via an adapter.

1/500 sec @ 5.6 at 200mm, picture taken at WWT Arundel, West Sussex
about 14.30hrs.

 
 
I have 17 FD lenses for my A1 and T90 ranging from 17mm to a 600mm mirror, I have tried all of them on the 350, so far the results are not bad even though the adapter was on £22.00 from china via E-Bay.
I realise that the results are not going to compete with top notch lenses, but for me they are more than adequate, considering that I can use the lenses on all 3 cameras and they can be picked up for a fraction of the price of new ones.
This picture was taken with a Tokina 80-200mm F2.8 ATX on the 350 which with the adapter gives 160-400mm F4.

1/7/2008 1:37:32 PM

  It looks good to me, John! I have the A1 as well and wanted the T90 in the worst way. I thought at the time that one looked like it had all the bells and whistles! I'm not sorry I went with Nikon but had I known I could get an adapter I may have stayed with Canon.

1/7/2008 3:05:47 PM

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