Tagged: Canon

Multiple Exposures on Canon EOS 6D

One of the many great features of the Canon EOS 6D, aside from its full-frame sensor, GPS, WiFi, and its price, is its support for multiple exposures. Canon released a video earlier this week showing how to use the feature.

The first time I used this feature was almost by accident during the Center for Holographic Arts closing party in April. I was trying to capture both the backlit plate on the overhead projector and the two men standing in faint light.


Ultimately, I settled on using HDR to make the photo because the lighting for those two subjects was too different to use multiple exposures. But I’ll play around with this feature now that I better understand its purpose.

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Fool Me Once…

Today is April Fool’s Day. Since yesterday, I’ve been on high alert carefully scrutinizing anything that could be a prank. I usually forget about today—being too preoccupied with this, that, or something else, but this year, I was expecting it so I’ve been fully prepared. Although this heighten skepticism has taken most of the fun out of today, I did get a few choice pranks.

Make a Photo without a Camera

The folks at Lomography, makers of analog film cameras for the hip art-school set, has announced a new spray that will allow you to slowly expose an image onto a roll of film.

I fell for this one at first, partly because I saw it on March 31. It seems completely feasible until you read that it takes up to 24 hours for a decent exposure. I thought that was a typo. But the giveaway in this video was in the time-lapse sequence, where the guy stands with the roll of film in the dark. I’m no expert in Greek, but I know you need light to make a photograph.

Canon Wildlife Camera

Speaking of photography, I saw this announcement come across my RSS feed this morning from The Digital Picture, an expert website for Canon photographers.

Fake Canon 1D W (Wildlife) for April Fool's Day 2014

This is a very compelling prank. A camera like this makes some sense. However, as far as I know, no one has ever made a flagship (D)SLR camera specifically for one application. (Okay, fine, Canon has made two cameras specifically for astrophotography.) As I skimmed the article, I thought it was real, until I realized what day it was.

Bryan, the site’s owner, even included a link to the B&H website so you can pre-order this camera. However, that link takes you to an “April Fool’s” page, revealing that you have been had!

Apple Buys iFixit

A good April Fool’s Prank is one that seems plausible and incredible at the same time. Apple buying the hub for online do-it-yourself repair manuals seems both plausible and incredible. The press release includes some very humorous details, admitting they sold out.

“Everyone has a number”, admitted Kyle Wiens, iFixit’s CEO. “I didn’t think there was a reasonable number that would make me say, ‘You know I was going to change the world with repair documentation but here’s a number.’” In the end, Apple gave us a number that we couldn’t refuse.

I saw this from the spoil-sports at MacRumors, who not only revealed this and other “stories” to be April Fool’s hoaxes, but admitted that they did not intend to “participate” in any prank news stories. That makes sense since some of the rumors they reference are a bit unbelievable, even if some are spot-on.

Hulu Announces New Spin-Offs

Hulu announced two new spin-offs of hit series available on the streaming service, including one where Hannibal gets a cooking show.

The other is, The Field, a spin-off of the critically acclaimed series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which I haven’t yet seen (shame on me, yes, I know). 

Honestly, I figured out that these spin-offs were fake. However, I was very impressed that they went through the trouble to make two very good looking videos. 

Fake United Jeff’s Improvements for United Airlines

The Twitter account for the fake Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Airlines, is one of the few Twitter feeds I read like a blog, where I scroll back to each tweet until I read them all. Today, he’s been dispatching fake announcements to improve United Airlines, such as this one to solve the labor dispute between the airline and its two sets of pilots (former Continental and former United).

Some, however, are more sensible, so much so that you know that they’re fake.

I really hate the new logo, and I’m not alone.

EFF Reports that MPAA is to Update its Copyright Curriculum for Kindergartners

The Electronic Frontier Foundation sent out a “very special” issue of its newsletter, the EFFector. 

A few of the stories were pretty obvious pranks. For example, they mention an NSA program, IMPENDINGSLUMBER, that is designed to “intercept children’s bedtime stories.” But one was a little too close to reality to be an obvious prank. Here it is in its entirety:

Citing numerous psychological studies that indicate children under the age of eight respond primarily to fear-based cues, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is adding another character to its “Sharing Is Bad” copyright curriculum: the “Fair Use Creep,” a four-headed monster in a trench coat. “We think these children will respond well to characters like the Fair Use Creep,” said MPAA chief Chris Dodd in a press conference Friday. “And by respond well, we mean cower in fear.”

Doesn’t it seem a bit extreme for the motion picture industry to infiltrate children’s curriculum with lessons on copyright maximalism? This must be a joke, right? Sadly, it’s not.

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Canon Explains Exposure

It might seem counter-intuitive, but the more expensive your digital SLR camera is, the fewer automatic controls it offers. Once you get to a certain camera tier, such as a full-frame digital, you won’t find the same automatic modes that are essential in consumer-level models that cost less than $700. You’ll need to make some decisions about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

Animation propellor

Canon has published a web tool, cleverly titled “Outside of Auto,” that explains and illustrates how changes to those settings will affect your final photograph.

Because these settings are inherent to all photography, they apply to any make of camera, such as Nikon and Sony, Holga and Leica, iPhone or Samsung. And yes this applies to film as well as digital.

Buy My Awesome Macro Lens [Update: Sold]

Canon EF-S 60mm Macro for Sale

Once again, I am pruning my lens collection to make room for other awesome lenses in the near future. Up for sale is a Canon EF-S 60mm USM macro lens. My ambitions to master product photography, especially shooting Sarah’s jewelry collection, didn’t turn out to be the all-consuming hobby that I had anticipated.

Macro lenses obviously excel at shooting really close up and at shooting small objects, like coins and insects. In my case, I used it to shoot coffee brewing.

Coffee Brewing

Macro lenses can also be used for shooting distant objects. At the recommendation of a professional photographer, I used my macro lens to photograph the annual Manhattanhenge event from Long Island City.

Manhattanhenge from Long Island City

I’m not exactly sure what the advantage is of shooting distant objects using a lens designed for shooting close-up, but the photos were pretty great.

Much like I did with selling my 35mm lens, I’m willing to sell it in person or online. If you are in the New York area and are shopping for a Canon EF-S 60mm macro lens, contact me and we’ll set up a meeting. If you prefer to shop through Amazon, I have listed the lens there too.

The above links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, I will earn a commission fee.

Update: The lens sold last night.

Canon and the 35mm Mid-Range Niche

Canon has announced two new EF lenses that appear to improve on existing offerings. One of which finally fills the gap between a $300 lens and a $1,500 one at the versatile 35mm focal length.

The first is a 24-70mm f/4 L zoom lens. With a list price of $1,499, the lens is a little out of my price range at the moment, although it’s an intriguing option were I to afford the yet-to-be-released Canon EOS 6D.


The second lens is a bit more intriguing. It appears to be an upgrade to its 35mm f/2 prime lens. The lens adds an ultrasonic motor, which is long overdue. I used to have a 35mm f/2 lens, and it was a great starter prime lens for me. But the slow, and not to mention loud, auto-focus mechanism pushed me towards the 28mm f/1.8 USM lens. The puzzling thing about this lens is the price. It is listed at $849, which is over $500 more than the existing 35mm f/2 lens. The rationale for this hefty premium might be because of better optics, the ultrasonic mechanism, and presumably a better build quality. The 35mm lens felt very close to the 50mm f/1.8 (a.k.a. the “nifty fifty”) in terms of build quality: a little light and a little fragile. But it could also be because of the addition of image stabilization. I understand that it can be a great feature for long lenses, but it seems unnecessary for a 35mm wide-angle lens. Judging this lens is premature without having used it or seen it, but I can already identify that this is not a necessary upgrade for me, since I’m perfectly happy with the 28mm USM lens.

Canon must have released these knowing that they are filling particular niches. Indeed, Canon finally has a 35mm lens that fits between the old f/2, at $319, and the f/1.4 L, at almost $1,500. Those of us who wanted to upgrade the Canon 35mm f/2 would have to go to a different focal length, either 28mm or 50mm or upgrade to the L glass. But now Canon gives its users another option for very a versatile focal length and should satisfy users of both full-frame and cropped-sensor cameras.

The above links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, I will earn a commission fee.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Along with the new Canon Rebel T4i, there’s also a new Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. For $200, it’s a very tempting prime, weighing only 4.6 ounces, that makes your SLR almost compact.

Of course, I find out about this a day after getting a Canon G12 point-and-shoot so I can shoot photos and video while on long bike rides.

The above links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, I will earn a commission fee.

This Weekend’s Craig’s List Scam Attempt

Remember that 35mm lens I was selling? I also listed it on Craigslist. There were a few queries, but none of them seemed serious.

On Friday, I received an email asking if the lens was still available. I wrote back saying that it was, and I then received this reply:

From Jose Dave (eastalbel04@gmail.com):

Hi, Thanks for the mail.i was introduced to this site by a friend at
work and I’m seriously interested in buying the item on your posting
on CL for my cousin ‘Richie’ who is out of the state and has been
requesting for this exact item.I’m okay with your selling price i will
add $150 for the shipping charges to him.i would have loved to come
for a face to face transaction but due to my work, as a Petroleum
Engineer and currently offshore. i really want this as a surprise gift
for him so i won’t let him know anything about this until it get
delivered to him there because he is in need of it as a matter of
urgency and due to my work i don’t have time to handle the shipping..i
will want you to help me handle the shipping very well to him..Get
back to me with your confirmed PayPal email address for the payment

As you can tell, it’s a scam. There’s no way I am sending my lens to anyone through Craig’s List I cannot meet in person. That’s rule number one.

Meanwhile, my lens sold on Amazon!

The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you buy something that link, I will earn a commission fee.

Buy My Awesome Canon 35mm Lens

Shortly after selling my telephoto lens last December, I bought my first prime lens. It was a Canon EF 35mm f/2 lens that finally made it possible to take photos of my adorable but always moving nephew without motion blur. I also finally got that beautiful blurred background that gives my snapshots that professional, shallow depth-of-field look.

Since then I upgraded to the Ultrasonic 28mm f/1.8 lens, and I find myself using the 35mm lens a lot less. It’s not that the 35mm lens is bad or anything, it’s just that I prefer the quiet USM focusing of the wider lens.


If you are in the New York area and are shopping for an inexpensive Canon 35mm prime lens, contact me with the form below and we’ll set up a meeting and you can check it out. If you prefer to shop through Amazon, I have listed the lens there too.

Update: Despite someone on Craig’s List trying to scam me, I sold my lens this weekend!

The above links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, I will earn a commission fee.

A Third-Party Camera Battery that Works

If you’re concerned about buying a third-party battery for your charger, my experience with a Pearstone has been fairly positive so far.

Over our train trip through California in December and January, I left my camera battery and charger connected to the in-seat power outlet on the southbound Coast Starlight. I had the battery and charger since I bought my Canon 20D camera in November 2005.

Thankfully, the battery is pretty common as it was used in almost all Canon digital SLRs until the 40D but was the battery for the 5D Mark II. Since there are so many of those out there, it’ll be a while before these batteries become rare. However, original manufacturer batteries can be expensive, so it’s tempting to look for third-party brands.

To replace my lost battery and charger, I bought the Pearstone BP-511A battery and the matching Pearstone Compact Charger. I’ve used it for about four months, and so far, I haven’t noticed any diminished performance. Only time will tell if it will hold up to repeated charging cycles. My original battery would last for well over 1,000 exposures, even after over seven years of fairly regular use.

Good luck.

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Happy Birthday…to My Camera

Me with a Camera

Today is November 11. Not only is it Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day, and Corduroy Day, it is also the day I bought my first and only SLR camera. I bought my Canon 20D on November 11, 2005. I didn’t actually remember that I bought it on this day, except that I was registering a new lens and a new flash, and the Canon website showed me the list of products. Evidently, I had bought the camera on this day back in 2005. Cool!

GSOC Strike Day One 2

When I bought the camera, it was during the graduate student strike against NYU. The GSOC strike started only days earlier, and would continue into the cold days, cruel days of the winter. I brought my then-new camera to the picket line and found plenty of opportunities to shoot photos of the strike. One of the best opportunities came when GSOC’s undergraduate allies occupied Bobst Library.

GSOC Occupies Bobst Library 20

I shot the photo above during that occupation. I posted it on an older version of this website, and it was seen by the GSOC brass. They eventually published the photo in a book about the strike, The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace. Despite the attention we got and the perseverance of many on the picket line, the strike was a total bust, and almost no one remembers it. The union died that winter.

At least I got a little practice in amateur photojournalism.

The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you buy something that link, I will earn a commission fee.