Archive for the 'photography' Category

Phone pics

I like taking photos. Since my digital SLR is too bulky to carry around all the time, I often shoot at things and people using my mobile phone. Every now and then, a photo taken with my phone comes out sort of… interesting.

CesarGon at ACE Meeting

CesarGon at ACE Meeting

On the Train

On the Train

Train Station

Train Station

There.

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Going bosky

Isabel captured this beautiful moment when I went bosky with the remainders of a cured pork leg.

Going Bosky

Going Bosky

Ain’t I cute?

Diffractive optics worth the price?

I own an old Canon EF 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM lens, which is badly damaged from fungal growth. I want to buy a new telepohoto lens for my Canon EOS bodies, and, until a few days ago, I was pretty sure that what I really wanted was the Canon EF 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens. I definitely need the image stabilisation feature, since most of my telephoto shots involve birdlife in not always ideal light conditions. This lens is built with diffractive optics, which offer “more compact size than other zoom lenses with equivalent focal lengths and aperture”. In fact, the lens is extremely compact when set at its minimum focal length. The average price for this little creature here in Sydney is about A$ 1,950. Of course I would like one of the L series telephoto lenses, but they are usually too large and heavy, and, most importantly, I cannot afford them.

Last week I read about the newer EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM, which is very similar to the DO lens in all respects except for the diffractive optics. This one presents the elongated shape more typical of a 300 mm lens. The second difference is that it retails at about A$ 995, that is, half the price.

So, what do you think? Is it worth spending twice the money just to get diffractive optics and a small size? Do diffractive optics have any other advantages?

I also considered buying a prime 300 mm lens just for the sake of gaining a few aperture stops, but all of them are L series, the cheapest one being an f/4 at about A$ 2,500.

Please leave your comments.

I hate Photoshop’s user interface

I have been thinking about buying a copy of Photoshop CS to use on my digital photos. So, some time ago I downloaded a demo version and decided to experiment with it a little bit before making my decision.

I have used the demo to edit and fix some photos. After some experience with it, all I can say is that I am dazzled by its features and power, but I hate its user interface. Why is it so unresponsive? Let me explain.

I am not using a very fast computer, and I imagine that you are supposed to use a top-notch machine if you buy Photoshop. However, my complains are not about the overall speed but of how the user interface works. For example: any operation that you request via a menu command or a button click will block the whole application. Haven’t these guys at Adobe heard of multithreading? Corel got it right here. Saving a file is a perfect candidate for multithreading: when you click Save, the app spawns a new thread that saves the file, as Word or Corel PhotoPAINT would do, and let the user meanwhile continue with other things. Photoshop chooses to amuse you with the progress bar while it display the nasty hourglass…

Continue reading ‘I hate Photoshop’s user interface’


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