Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I’ve had this Nikkor 50mm lens for over a week now. I’m very happy with it. I wish it were wider, but that’s the shakes with a DX body.

Photo-wise, I don’t miss my 85mm f/1.4. I do miss its sexy body, but I’ll get over it.

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Went to see the screening of PJ20, the Pearl Jam documentary by Cameron Crowe, last night at the Tampa Theatre. Went with Oscar, Jeff and Aric. Had a great time.



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I bit the bullet and bought a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 D lens last week. It arrived Saturday, 17 September, 2011. Read Ken Rockwell’s review here.

So far, so good. It seems to be built really well. The autofocus does seem to hunt a bit but I was shooting in somewhat low light.

Update 25 September 2011 Sunday: I like the pictures that come out of this lens. The subject is creamy or smooth and the backgrounds are to die for. But I don’t feel like they’re enough better than those from my 50mm f/1.8 AF D to justify keeping the 85mm, in that I’m mostly shooting indoors where 85mm is kinda long. Plus, I’m not stoked about the focus. Focus speed on my 35mm f/1.8 G DX is far superior. I suspect that I’d love the focus on the G version of this 85mm f/1.4, but that’s too much coin ($1699) for me to feel comfortable dropping at this time.

Yesterday, I decided to send my 85mm f/1.4 D back. For available light family photography, I’m going to try this combination instead of this 85m f/1.4D:

According to Ken Rockwell (and borne out by pictures he’s provided on his site), the metering on the X100 is phenomenal and that’s what I really need — an any-light-conditions f/2 masterpiece. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re reading this and find Ken’s reviews to be valuable, please make your online purchases using his affiliate links. That’s how he makes his living and is able to bring us the best reviews on the stuff we love.

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My Canon S95 camera is still the bee’s knees. I Love it. I bring it everywhere in my small Timbuk2 messenger bag, protected by its little Olympus neoprene case.

Its color rendition is phenomenal and it takes excellent video. It’s still not for taking photographs of moving targets, such as my daughter. I have my Nikon D90 for that.

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Data Loss

I lost some pictures last night. From 20110222-0814. I think I got them all back. Here’s the story.

At the office, I had moved the files from my Nikon D90’s 8GB Kingston SD card to my new MacBook Air. That went fine. Lots of pics. It had been far too long since I’d processed the pictures on this card.

First mistake: Moving them from the SD card instead of copying from the SD card and then renaming the directory on the SD card until I’d made lots of copies of the image files.

Last night, around 9pm, I was moving those pictures from my MacBook Air to my external hard drive, where I store my pictures, using ForkLift (which I love).

Second mistake: Moving instead of copying and renaming the directory on my MacBook Air until I’d made another copy or two of the image files.

Something was funky with Forklift. It wasn’t throwing an error but the source directory wasn’t disappearing and neither were its files. I restarted ForkLift, happened again. Tried with another folder, happened again. Files were getting copied instead of moved. Could it be permissions on my new MacBook Pro, which I had recently transferred settings and files to from my MacBook Pro via Apple’s Migration Assistant? Rebooted, problem happened again. So somewhere in here, I probably did an undo or two or a delete. Who knows. But suddenly I found myself with two identical folders, one of the Mac, one on the external drive, each with one crappy locked JPG in them and no other files. Uh oh. This is where I started to turn white. Undo didn’t handle. No redo was available. I was screwed.

I wound up recovering the files using my MacBook Pro, Parallels Desktop and a free tool named Pandora Recovery. It found no deleted JPGs to recover on the SD card, but its surface scan recovered a whole lot. Lost filenames and modification dates, but the EXIF data includes the picture taken date, so I can restore modification dates.

Many older pics were also restored. I’ll use Directory Opus to compare all the recovered images to existing images to weed out the majority of unnecessary files, at least that’s the plan.

Next, I found Exiftool (spelling?) by Phil Harvey. Wow! Just wow. What a neat tool. I used the following command to successfully change all 3500 JPG files’ modification dates to that of the photographed date in each picture’s EXIF data. This is the command:

exiftool ‘-DateTimeOriginal>FileModifyDate’ .

A non-free tool, exiffile (part of ExifUtils) also works, but I’ll take the functional free version, ExifTool in this case.


  • Don’t let pictures sit on the camera so long. Get them duplicated fast.
  • Don’t delete images from SD card until they’re in two or three other places.
  • Don’t move files — copy, then rename directory of originals, keeping it around a while.

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I picked up one of these the other day. I was tricked by its claim to include an “autofocus chip” into believing it would autofocus (via screw, most likely, since it doesn’t look wide enough to have an internal autofocus motor). Well, it is indeed non-AF. That chip just makes my D90’s autofocus viewfinder light turn on when the subject is in focus.

I’m still considering keeping this thing. I like the bokeh so far (just a few tests since late last night) and I really like the build quality. Specifically, it feels solid (heavy) and the focus ring is nice and smooth.

24 August 2011 update: I miss this lens. But I couldn’t stand having to manually focus it, especially since my favorite target is a five year old girl who is always on the move.

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When Apple launched their Mac App Store recently, they put Aperture 3 in it and dropped the price for App Store purchase from $200 to $79.99. That’s a compelling price. After reading a few reviews and talking to my photographer friend, I bought it.

I’ve only played around with a bit to date, testing reference file rename/delete/move handling and such, I haven’t really used it for reviewing and cleaning up photos. So far it’s not bad.

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