BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THIS ISSUE - Tuesday, January 03, 2006
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Winter Online School Begins Wednesday!
* BETTERPHOTO: Learn How to Use That Holiday Gift!
* BETTERPHOTO: Looking for Information and Inspiration ... for Free? Check This Out!
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto Online School: Focus on Specialty & Business Subjects
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Tim Cooper's Landscape Photography
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: First Scanned Image / Monitoring Your Digital Images
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Lighting Gels ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: External Hard Drives
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Adding Color to B&W Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Avoiding Harsh Shadows with Flash
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Macro for Digital Cameras
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Lens Filter Adapters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Flash for Digital Rebel
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Macro Lens: What to Buy?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Taking Pictures in a Nightclub
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: I Need a Good Photo Printer
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Digital Lens on a Film Camera?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Problem with Sharpness


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BetterPhoto's Winter Online School Begins Wednesday!
Make 2006 a photographic year to remember by joining one of BetterPhoto's online courses! Each class is focused on teaching you how to improve your understanding of photography through exciting weekly assignments and helpful critiques. You must act fast, though, since classes start Wednesday, and many courses are filling up fast! For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to the 245th issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

I hope you are enjoying these opening days of 2006! At BetterPhoto, there's so much excitement at BetterPhoto, with our next session of online courses kicking off this Wednesday. And our winter lineup is our absolutely best ever. Check out all the classes at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

Charlie Borland teaches a number of outstanding courses here at BetterPhoto, such as Stock Photography and Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting. Once again for SnapShot, Charlie shares his knowledge with a terrific Photo Tip ... this one on lighting gels. Also, don't miss another great batch of questions and answers - with lots of input from instructor-author Peter Burian, who teaches the excellent Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography online course.

The new year also brings many opportunities take part in a unique photographic adventure: a combination of online learning and on-location excitement! Check out our extensive BetterWorkshops lineup at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/on-location-photography-workshops.asp

That's it for now. May this new year be filled with prosperity, growth, and success for you and yours.
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Learn How to Use That Holiday Gift!
Have you received a new digital camera? Do you want to learn how to use it to make great digital photos? Then consider one of the following BetterPhoto courses: Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography; Bare Bones Digital Photography; Digital Workout #1: Beginning Digital Photography; Jump Start to Digital Photography; The Joy of Digital Photography; and An Introduction to Digital Photography: Using Your Digital Camera. For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photo-courses.asp?catsearch=DIG

Become a Complete Digital Photographer ... in Just One Year!
Join BetterPhoto™ founder Jim Miotke for a fantastic year-long adventure: The Complete Digital Photographer online course. For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JCM05.asp


*****
Looking for Information and Inspiration ... for Free? Check This Out!
- Free Stuff at BP #1: Our Photo of the Day newsletter provides a daily showcase of creativity:
http://www.betterphoto.com/digitalPics.asp

- Free Stuff BP #2: Articles, articles, and more how-to articles on all facets of photography:
http://www.betterphoto.com/allAbout.asp

- Free Stuff BP #3: Photography blogs by BetterPhoto instructors, staff members, and BP President Jim Miotke:
http://www.betterphoto.com/BetterBlogs.asp


*****
BetterPhoto Online School: Focus on Specialty & Business Subjects
- Specialty: We have an amazing range of courses in this category, with topics including: portfolio development, Polaroid image and emulsion transer, photojournalism, wedding albums, fashion, flowers, people, animals, weddings, travel, and Corel Painter. Info:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photo-courses.asp?catsearch=SPL

- Business: Are you an aspiring pro? BetterPhoto has a great line of online photo courses geared to marketing and business. All are taught by working professionals who are also experienced instructors. Info:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photo-courses.asp?catsearch=BUS

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FEATURED GALLERY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Focus on Tim Cooper's Landscape Photography
Beautiful images of the great outdoors start with beautiful light. And master photographer BetterPhoto instructor Tim Cooper has a new 4-week Short Course on this very subject:
Understanding Natural Light

Be sure to see Tim's Premium BetterPholio™ for many dynamic images captured in dramatic light:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=1557635

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last week, we asked:
At the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, a picture of the young son of researcher Russell A. Kirsch reportedly was the first photograph to be digitally scanned. Kirsch used an early mechanical drum scanning device. What year did this occur?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Noella Thomas is:
I'm going to say it was scanned in 1957.

Hi Noella: That's it! Lots of good info on the Web regarding this event, although our original idea for the Trivia Question came from BetterPhoto instructor-author Jeff Wignall's excellent book: The Joy of Digital Photography That's also the title of Jeff's excellent online course here at BetterPhoto!

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - Monitoring Your Digital Images - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

In what year did the first digital camera with an LCD monitor hit the market? Strictly Optional: What was the manufacturer?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lighting Gels ... by Charlie Borland

You can change the color of your strobe lights for effect and color balance. Your strobes are balanced to daylight, so if you move them in and take your shot using the ambient fluorescent lights also, you will have mixed light and color shifts. So you must add color correction gels to your strobes to make them the same color as the ambient light. Then correct this color imbalance using the proper white balance. You can also use color gels for effects for creating vivid colors in your scene such as a red highlight on a product, blue background behind a person, and any combination you can conceive. These gels are manufactured by Lee and Rosco.

View Charlie Borland's online photography courses:



Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:
  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW QUESTION 1: External Hard Drives
Can someone offer any advice on buying an external hard drive? I use my laptop for all of my digital photographs. My current laptop is 1.4 GHz-40GB. And while I do back up files, I would still like to leave a lot of files on my hard drive for easy access. I do about 3 shoots a week right now. I am just looking for good quality, and any advice on appropriate/reasonable amount of space. Thanks in advance!
- Deb A. Brown

See Deb's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit debannphotography.com - Deb's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Deb, as a general rule, more capacity is better. It's really a matter of what you can afford to pay. As for brands, Fantom, LaCie, Maxtor and a number of other brands are quite reliable. The big issue is how they would connect to your laptop - do you have USB, USB 2, or Firewire (IEEE1344) connectability? Whichever, you need to get a drive that connects that way.
One spec about hard drives is their spin speed - 5400RPM or 10,000 RPM, etc. For the purpose of storing image files, this will not matter much - you can save money by buying a "slower" drive. The uber-fast models are really made for videography types - who need very fast transfer rates to/from the main computer while editing or showing video.
Drives keep coming down in price. I just replaced my 120GB drive with a 250GB (Fantom, both times), which, 1 year later, was cheaper than its 120GB predecessor. Check places like PCConnection.com, PCWarehouse.com and PCMall.com to get an idea of costs.
- Bob

ANSWER 2:
Wow, Bob. What a wealth of information! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond, and for giving me a great starting place as I do my research. Happy New Year.
- Deb A. Brown

See Deb's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit debannphotography.com - Deb's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21507

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21507

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Adding Color to B&W Photos
Will someone explain to me how to add color to specific items in a B&W photo?? Many thanks!!
- Michael E. Quintana

ANSWER 1:
You need to select the items to which you want to add the color. This can be done in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements using the Magic Wand or any of the Lasso Tools. Once selected, you can use the Paint Brush or, even, the Fill Tool if more appropriate. (See "Reflection" in my Gallery.)
Be sure you use all the adjustment capabilities (basically called Opacity Settings).
Once you're done "colorizing," you may find there is too sharp a demarcation between the color you added and the surrounding areas. You can use the Blur or Smudge Tool to smooth the transition.
You can also add color using the Clone Tool, taking color from an area of the "current" image or from another you've uploaded.
Have fun.
- John Sandstedt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21506

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21506

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Avoiding Harsh Shadows with Flash
What is the best way to avoid the ugly shadows apparent when using flash with the camera in an upright position? I have no problems using flash with a bracket when camera held in normal position but still get harsh shadow problem when held upright. Can they be removed successfully in Photoshop?
- Ruth Downing

ANSWER 1:
Ruth, when you say using the camera in an upright position, are you referring to rotating the camera 90 degrees so if the flash is on the hot shoe it is now aimed from the side rather than above the lens? If so, then you may want to consider getting a flash bracket - as this is precisely why those were invented. The idea of the bracket is to allow you to turn your camera body 90 degrees and still leave the flash at the 12 o'clock position - that is, above the lens rather than to its side. Stroboframe and Custom Brackets, among many others, offer units such as these.
Alternatively, you may want to get an add-on piece of specially-shaped vinyl offered by Gary Fong - a very successful wedding photographer in the L.A. area. His Photojournalist Lightsphere II is actually amazing - it sits on the flash and is designed to have the flash unit pointed straight up towards the ceiling. If your flash unit has the ability to twist the head sideways, then you can rotate the camera to the vertical position and twist the flash head towards the ceiling again. As a result, without the use of a camera bracket you can get pretty great lighting. In fact, I'll sell you my bracket since I now use the PJII and don't use it any more...
As for getting rid of the shadows you already have - there's just no easy way. This is a real retouching job.
- Bob

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21504

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21504

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Macro for Digital Cameras
Any suggestions on the best digital cameras for shooting extreme close-ups (macro) on flowers, plants, etc., that will give great clarity and also few problems with what you see in the viewfinder vs. the recorded image?
- Barbara Alvillar-Sosa

ANSWER 1:
Do you want a point-and-shoot or a DSLR? If you want a DSLR, then if you get a decent macro lens, the camera shouldn't make much of a difference.
- Brendan Knell

ANSWER 2:
One plus (for me, at least) about using a DSLR for macros is that you are looking through an optical viewfinder and straight through the lens. The LCD screens on P&S cameras don't really have enough resolution for picking up subtle focus changes, which are important in close-up photography.
- Stan Lubach

See Stan's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Barbara, Stan's point is well taken - the digital viewfinders in the digicams with non-interchangeable lenses are low resolution - it's like trying to focus on a tiny TV screen. In the world of macro, most shooters don't rely on auto-focus due to the very thin depth of field and the desire to be quite precise with exactly what will or won't be in focus. For serious macro work, a DSLR is the only way to go.
That said, as Brendan points out, a good macro lens is the next step. Macro lenses come in three basic lengths - 50-60MM, 100-ishMM, and 200-ish MM. They all can focus close enough to get the tiny flower to a life-size image on the sensor; the difference is the longer lenses can be used from a greater distance.
So you could take a shot from 6 inches away with a 60MM lens, or 12 inches with a 100MM. Same final image projected on the CCD, but the latter gives you more working room.
- Bob

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21498

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21498

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Lens Filter Adapters
I have several Nikon lenses that take 52mm filters. I now have a N6006 Nikon and a lens that has a filter size of 62mm. Is there an adapter so I can use my 52mm filters on the 62mm lens?
- Jeff Carrazzone

ANSWER 1:
I've had a similar problem since I had lenses that were 52mm as well. Since I've gotten some better lenses, the diameters have grown as well as the max aperture. I thought about an adapter but figured it wouldn't be a good idea ... since this would be using a filter that would be smaller then the diameter of the lens. As a result, you would probably see a fair amount of vignetting or shadowing around the edges, more or less depending on the focal length. If it's a longer lens, you might be able to get away with it, though.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=98920&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

or

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=59796&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

I believe that would be what you're looking for. They're somewhat cheap, so you could get one just to see if it works and I don't know if they would take it back as a return or what if it didn't work well. If you have a local camera shop that stocks more professional items like, maybe, darkroom stuff or pro cameras, they should be able to order one of them.
Otherwise, while it's pretty expensive, I've heard that some people buy step-up rings for their lenses to match a certain larger filter size so they only needed to buy one filter size. Maybe something like 72, 77, or 82mm?
Hope this helps!
- Andrew Laverghetta

See Andrew's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Greetings, Jeff. If I understand you correctly, you want to have your 52mm filters fit a lens that's 10mm larger in diameter. I don't think that's gonna work unless you've got a glass stretcher. Many of my Nikkor lenses take a 52mm ring and, of course, I have some lenses that I scored later that take a 72. Had to bite the bullet and buy the larger filters.
Andy is right, in that you can get rings to step down from the larger 72mm size to the 52, but you can't get a smaller filter to cover the opening on a larger lens unless you're willing to accept some vignetting of the image. So, two solutions: Get larger filters and appropriate lens shades and step them down to the 52mm, OR buy a set of resin filters that use a holder and will accept adapter rings to fit various size lenses. That way, after you've got your filters, if you change lens sizes or types, say from smaller threaded to larger bayonet mount, you only need to purchase new rings for your filter holder. Seewhatimean?
My preference for resins, color correction, compensating filters and special effects, is the Hitech system. But there are a number of manufactuers out there, and their filters will fit the Hitech holders. Cokin, for example, makes a Pro set that has various size rings available. Lee filters too. And take a look for those rigs at http://bhphotovideo.com
Get the picture?
Mark
- Mark Feldstein

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21497

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21497

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Flash for Digital Rebel
Which flash would be better suited for me if I want to take close-ups and portrait photos ... Canon or Promaster? Thank you, Bruce.
- Bruce Penix

ANSWER 1:
Bruce: Are you are absolutely certain that the Promaster flash is 100% compatible with your camera's high-tech features? A flash unit that's "dedicated for Canon" may be fine for a 35mm camera but not necessarily fully compatible with a digital SLR. An EX series Canon flash unit is fully compatible.
Then there's the issue of how to use flash to take close-ups and portraits. That's a more complex issue.
One suggestion: use off-camera flash. To do so, you would need a cable that runs from the hot shoe to the off-camera flash unit. Then, you could hold the flash unit where it is most appropriate: above and to the side of the subject, perhaps.
Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2
60cm (2ft.), TTL Off-Camera Flash Cable. ($50.) See www.bhphotovideo.com
Regards, Peter Burian, Instructor
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/PBN01.asp


- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Peter Burian's Web Site - www.peterkburian.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21482

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21482

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Macro Lens: What to Buy?
I am interested in buying a macro lens. I am looking at a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 lens. What I want to know is the Promaster lens of the same specs. Is it just as good as the Canon? I just don't want to be buying a name, if I can get the same lens for less with the same quality. Thank you.
- Bruce Penix

ANSWER 1:
The Promaster is a good value, but does not have the same specs as the Canon. The Promaster 100 f/3.5 Macro is 2/3 stop smaller maximum aperture and cheaper build quality. It will focus only to 1:2 (but includes life-size adapter for 1:1), where the Canon will focus to 1:1 without any adapters. Its front barrel extends with close focus, but the Canon has internal focus. The Promaster uses a conventional geared AF motor, where the Canon uses ring-USM and has nicely damped full-time manual focus.
Still and all, the Promaster lens is a good economical choice if the budget does not allow for the Canon (or Sigma or Tamron) macro lenses. It reportedly is very sharp.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
If you want a lens that has AF capabilities, then the Sigma 105mm is the best value in this focal length. It will be as sharp as the Canon and cost hundreds less. If you want a lens that will be the equal of the Canon or Sigma, and are willing to focus manually and handle all aspects of exposure, then pick up an M42-to-EOS adapter for your camera, and then pick up a Pentax SMC Takumar 105mm or 135mm off of eBay. Get a set of extension tubes also. You will have a package that will not be surpassed, quality-wise, by anything from Canon today, at about 25% of the cost, and it will do everything the Canon lens will do and more.
- John Clifford

ANSWER 3:
Bruce: I have also tested the new Tokina 100mm Macro lens. Superb!!
Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D Macro Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS$370.
www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&InitialSearch=yes&O=RootPage.jsp&A=search&Q=*&bhs=t&shs=AT-X+100+PRO+D+&image.x=7&image.y=5

Regards, Peter Burian, Instructor
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/PBN01.asp


- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Peter Burian's Web Site - www.peterkburian.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21481

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21481

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Taking Pictures in a Nightclub
I'm going out tomorrow night to see one of my favorite local bands play at the bar. I'm planning on taking my digital along because a lot of amusing things happen when this band plays... What would be the best settings on my camera to use? My scene mode has a night setting ... This band uses a lot of professional light gear.
- Aingeal M. Puirséil

ANSWER 1:
If you have manual capabilities on your camera (sorry, don't know what model you have), try a shutter speed of about 90, ISO around 400 and wide open on your aperture. This is similar to how I shot my former roommate's band and had some awesome exposures as a result.
Chris Walrath
Walrath Photographic Imaging
- Christopher A. Walrath

ANSWER 2:
Sorry about that. I have a Kodak DX7630. I have Auto, Scene Mode, P, A , S, C and Manual on the camera... Would it be good to set my white balance to any particular thing? I have Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, and Fluorescent... Did you use your flash at all?
- Aingeal M. Puirséil

ANSWER 3:
I used a Minolta 35mm film SLR that has little in the way of frills (it's 25 years old) so I would say daylight and flash. That was in low lighting. Try a few exposures in different modes once you get there and see what works best. Be sure to have at least a half an hour to experiment.
- Christopher A. Walrath

ANSWER 4:
Ah, the lights, the action, the booze. Living in Branson, Missouri, I have lots of opportunity to shoot in bars and theaters. My favorite brewsky shooter is my Minolta X700. I use it with a grip-mounted Promaster 5750 flash. My two favorite filters to use on the club circuit are the Tiffen four point star and the Tiffen six point star. These filters accentuate the stage lighting. For lenses, I use a 135 tele prime lens and a 70-210 zoom. I can't tell you what I would use in your outfit, as you said nothing of your equipment. I usually try to use band member movement to my advantage.
I got a killer shot of a guitarist who had a habit of jumping off the drum riser. I set the camera up on a tripod and locked the shutter open with a cable release. When he jumped, I manually popped the flash when he hit the stage. He appeared as streaks coming off the riser, froze when he hit the stage, and streaked running across the stage.
All I can say is: USE YOUR IMAGINATION!
- Mark R. Hiatt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21435

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21435

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 9: I Need a Good Photo Printer
I need suggestions, please. I'm working on a home-based (2-bedroom-apartment-based) studio. I need a good photo printer that would be used solely for printing photos and (small) posters. Obviously, it would have to be pretty small to fit here, but I want good quality and know nothing about the technology. I also want to be able to print up to 8x10 or even 11x15. All suggestions are welcome.
- Becky A. Shadowens

See Becky's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit euromoment.com - Becky's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Becky, if you really need to go up to 11x14 or larger, then your only option is pretty much an inkjet printer. Dye Sublimation printers like the Kodak 1400 produce outstanding output but their maximal size is 8x12 inches.
In the world of inkjets, Epson, Canon and HP are the best known brands. They make a gaggle of models - the Epson 2200 has been considered an excellent photographic printer with sizes up to 13x19 (actually 13x44" if you use roll paper and a Windows machine). And they now have a newer model - the 2800 I think.
Just know that with inkjet printers you want to use quality supplies, because lesser inks and/or papers will probably fade sooner as well as not produce the colors you want. But there's a whole craft to printing with inkjets; you may want to do a little investigation with some color management books at the library.
- Bob

ANSWER 2:
Becky: Both Canon and Epson make excellent 13x19" format printers. The Canon i9900 is less expensive than the Epson R1800, but its prints do not last as long. About 20 years on display vs. 80 years on display.
In other respects, the Canon is a superb printer - $384 right now ... a bargain. The R1800 is $529. You can find specs for both at www.bhphotovideo.com
I have tested both and would be happy with either.
All the best,
Peter Burian, Instructor
Online PhotoCourse™: Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Peter Burian's Web Site - www.peterkburian.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21432

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21432

back to top

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Digital Lens on a Film Camera?
I shoot 35mm film with a Nikon N65. I just received a Tokina 19-35mm lens for Christmas. However, it's a lens for a digital camera. Will it still work on my film camera? I heard that using digital lenses on film cameras causes some vignetting. Is this true?
- Ann Marie Carter

ANSWER 1:
Ann Marie, there are generally two differences between the digital lenses and their film brethren:

1) Because the chips in most digital SLR cameras are smaller than the 24x36mm frame size of the 35mm film format, lens makers can design their digital lenses with a smaller "cone of light". That is, some digital type lenses will not fully expose the entire frame of 35mm film - rather, you will see vignetting (sometimes rather extreme) towards the edges of the shot. Of course, if you enlarge just the central portion of the film, this doesn't make a difference.

2) Because CCD and CMOS chips are more reflective than film, lens makers have started to multicoat the rear elements of their digital lenses (to reduce unwanted reflections in the shutter box). There is no downside to this enhancement as far as film goes.

The instruction guide that came with the lens ought to say if it's suitable for use on film cameras or not. Mechanically, there should be no difference - autofocus and exposure, etc., should work just like a Nikkor lens. If you don't want to open the box so you can return it just in case, you should call and ask the store.
- Bob

ANSWER 2:
It should work, but you will see some vignetting around the edges. Mechanically, you should have no problems. I'd just take it back, and exchange it for something you can use (another lens, or a flash, or just store credit).
- Erica Butler

ANSWER 3:
Ann Marie,
Is this the Tokina AF193 lens? If so, I don't think this is a digital-only lens. It's offered in the Nikon-D mount, but I don't think that makes it a digital-only lens.
I'm not a Nikon user, so someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
Nikon makes a DX series of lenses which are digital-only (and would cause vignetting on your N65), but I don't think this lens is like that.
I think this lens should work fine on your N65.
Good luck!
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Anne Marie: Yes, that is a lens designed for film cameras but it will work with your digital SLR.
See my article: Digitally Optimized Zoom Lenses; Do They Really Make A Difference?
www.shutterbug.net/features/0305digitally/index.html

Regards, Peter Burian, Instructor,
Online PhotoCourse™:
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Peter Burian's Web Site - www.peterkburian.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21394

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21394

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Problem with Sharpness
I need a little advice. I am shooting pictures of birds outside my living room window (window open during shooting) in a tree in my yard. I am using a Canon Rebel Digital with a 75-300 4-5.6 IS USM lens and aperture priority 5.6 - 6.3 to knock out the background - a big red stop sign, etc. My pictures are not very sharp. Do I lose sharpness by extending this lens to 300mm? Would 200 be sharper? How much effect would the 5.6 - 6.3 aperture have on sharpness? At 300mm, I can fill my LCD with the subject. Many thanks!
- Richard S. Clemens

ANSWER 1:
Richard, you don't mention using a tripod, and this can very well be the main problem. When you use the lens at 300mm focal length, it's similar to using a 9 power binocular - which not only magnifies the subject 9 times; it also magnifies any shake or movement at the camera side as well. While your intent is good to use the widest available aperture, it is still not a fast lens in the first place. This means that the shutter speed will be slower than it would with, say, an f2.8 lens. Slow shutter speed means a number of things - any quick enough movement on the subject's part will appear as a blur, and any movement introduced by you at the camera end will cause blur as well.
Understand, no matter how still you think you are, the blood flowing through your arteries and veins will cause a barely perceptable movement in your hands, which in turn is magnified by the longer lens. So ... use a tripod. That's rule number 1. Any stable support will be good - doesn't have to be a $500 carbon fiber behemoth. It should be sturdy, though - not a flimsy collapsible. From inside your home, a sturdy tabletop tripod or beanbag might make sense.
If possible, use a shutter release as well - to keep your finger pressure from disturbing the stability.
Beyond that, it's up to the shutter speed. The "rule of thumb" for 35mm cameras is 1 over the focal length should be the slowest shutter speed to handhold. With your camera's "crop factor", that multiplies a bit - so at 300mm the slowest shutter speed you should ever handhold is 1/500th - and that's a stretch. Even at 1/2000th you will see improvement using a support.
Of course, if there's not enough light to expose properly at those higher shutter speeds, you must go slower, or raise the ISO (and deal with noise). If the bird's wings are flapping, then, they may become blurred.
- Bob

ANSWER 2:
Everything Bob said. I want to add one more thing. I don't know if the D Rebel has mirror lockup (my 10D does). If it does, you might want to think about using it as well. When I am shooting with my 400mm lens, I always set the camera for mirror lockup, unless I am shooting at a high shutter speed (over 1/500th). I can see a huge difference in the sharpness of my photos. The mirror moving to let light onto the sensor makes the camera shake just slightly. Locking the mirror means that the first time you push the shutter, it locks the mirror, the second time, it opens the shutter. BTW, you do not want to leave the mirror locked for very long, as it is letting light into the camera the entire time, and bright light for too long can damage the sensor.
Use a shutter release cable. If I am thinking of the right lens, the lens you are using doesn't have a lens mount for the tripod, which means your camera will not be as stable when on the tripod. Just pushing on the shutter can make the camera shake enough to blur.
Remember, it takes very little camera shake to make the picture seem just slightly out of focus, just enough to seem slightly soft, and not tack sharp.
- David A. Bliss

ANSWER 3:
While everything in the previous answers is absolutely correct, I am a bit puzzled by this lack of sharpness. I regularly shoot this kind of subject with long lenses of similar max apertures, and I shot mostly hand-held because the birds refuse to cooperate and stay in one place for me; which also rules out mirror lock-up. Sure, I sometimes have trouble with camera shake and subject movement, but not often, and I don't believe I am any steadier that other shooters.
I think you will be a lot better off using either Program mode with shift to get a faster shutter or Tv and setting 1/500 or higher. The bean bag suggestion is both effective and practical, and a monopod might work ...
But your sharpness problems might not be due to shake at all. Birds move fast! Focus is harder to achieve on a moving subject, especially with shallow depth of field; try using predictive autofocus instead of single frame.
Finally, you could check the settings for sharpening in your camera and increase the amount of sharpness the camera applies, or the saturation level (which can make images APPEAR more sharp or less sharp, as can the contrast settings). These settings can also be adjusted after your files have been downloaded using the software that Canon supplies with the camera or in other software like PSP or Photoshop; adjusting the sharpness afterwards gives you more control.
Perhaps if we could see some of your problem images we could offer more specific ideas about how to deal with the difficulties...
- David A. Rich

See David's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Re: the sharpness problem, many responses were valid, I believe. But he is using the Image Stabilizer lens (IS), so the problem is that the birds rarely are still, always moving. Take many pictures, at high speed and many times you will get lucky with a sharp picture now and then. That's my solution when I use the same equipment.
- Mary

ANSWER 5:
Many thanks to those that offered comment, I am currently changing the way I take those pictures. I have also ordered a cable release.
Thanks for your help.
- Richard S. Clemens

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=21332

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=21332

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ask a question or answer a few from your fellow photographers:
http://www.betterphoto.com/qnaTOC.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
READ PAST ISSUES OF THE SNAPSHOT NEWSLETTER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read previous issues of SnapShot in the BetterPhoto archives:
http://www.betterphoto.com/snapshots.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SIGN UP TO PHOTOFLASH AND THE DIGITAL PICTURE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join the fun and master the arts of traditional or digital photography! Participate or follow along as we discuss topics & lessons, practice assignments, and offer feedback on each others' work. Subscribe to our other two free newsletters - PhotoFlash and the Digital Darkroom - at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Get word of your product or service out to our rapidly growing list of 57114 subscribers.

Until next week, happy shooting!

Thank you,
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you would rather not receive SnapShot, you may unsubscribe at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeun.asp?e={Email}

To change your email address, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeCOA.asp?e={Email}

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding www.betterphoto.com to your Allow List.

The sender of this email is the BetterPhoto.com, Inc., P.O. Box 2781, Redmond, WA 98052

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2005 BetterPhoto.com - All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission. BetterPhoto is a trademark of BetterPhoto.com, Inc.

Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.