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Saturday, 16 March 2013


Hi Mike,

Re your note about using color in a sensitive way ("Wierd cat"), I'd love to see a post on this topic. As a fairly strong protanope (red-green blind - I scored 96 on the X-Rite Color Challenge), I can't even begin to understand what that term means to you. Not only do I see certain colors differently, but I don't understand what people mean when they say that certain colors clash. I just don't experience the clash (similar to the way I've never experienced heartburn, so I don't know what it feels like), so I can't begin to judge it in photographs.

Interestingly, my younger daughter is even more protanopic than I am (what are the odds of that?), yet my wife and my older daughter are so sensitive to color that specific colors affect their moods in strong, specific, and highly consistent ways. I have zero affective response to color per se -- I don't know for sure if this is related to my protanopia or is perhaps something that at least some people with "normal" color vision also experience. When you talk about using color sensitively in making pictures, is this something all of you normals just get, and we differents just don't?

I suspect that there is a broader spectrum of human sensitivity to color than most people realize, and that the use of color in photographs affects different viewers in widely divergent ways. I wonder too if there aren't color-blind photographers out there working successfully in color, and how they deal with color.


For me, the availability of WA primes that enable throwing the background out of focus has been THE main reason to go full frame. However, recently another option has come up that enables the same effect. It's a kind of reverse tele-converter for Sony E-mount that allows you to use full frame Canon lenses without a crop factor AND with a one stop INCREASE in effective F-stop.

This device may be the deciding factor in why my next camera will likely be a Sony NEX-7n rather than a full frame DSLR. Here's a link to a review of the adapter. http://www.eoshd.com/content/9485/metabones-speed-booster-adapter-full-review Although this review emphasizes video, it should work just as well for stills.

BTW if that group picture is with a 28mm, it must be heavily cropped, judging by the relative sizes of the front and back people. 35mm is about as wide as you can go without distortion in the corners.

"28mm's on full-frame can go from looking pretty normal-wide to quite wide-angley, depending on the subject and composition."

I presume you are including the crop in "composition".

That second Del~Uks group portrait is cropped to 5:4 avoiding the troublesome corners giving it an effective 32mm (diagonal) view.

Is that first photo from the same Steve Simon, photographer and writer, author of the amazing "The Passionate Photographer"? http://www.stevesimonphoto.com/

[Sorry, don't know. --Mike]

Have you considered using Flickriver to view only photos loaded on Flickr taken from a single lens. For example this link here allows you to view only shots that taken with the AF_ S Nikkor 28mm f1.8G :

This other one does the same thing for the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.4G:

If you scroll over the image you can click on the info icon that shows exposure details. Unfortunately flikriver takes no account of the quality of the pic, but you do get to see them all on one page..

The 28/1.8 is a nice lens and performs stunningly well when stopped down. However, the slightly soft look wide open that Nikon seems to favor now (yes, we're talking serious enlargement) left me a bit cold, as did the mechanics and ergonomics of the lens. So I did the irrational and bought the Zeiss 25/2, which lacks autofocus but delivers a nice pop and razor sharp definition at all apertures. And the wider focal length counteracts the desire to get a Zeiss 21/2.8, something that would be needed if I had a 28 :-)

"I might point out that the 28mm focal length makes a perfect normal lens on APS-C:"

Yes. YES! 35mm being the de facto normal for APS-C annoys me way more than is rational or healthy. But maybe that's because I quickly settled on a 30mm Sigma soon after getting my first (APS-C) DSLR. It was the only fast normal prime that would AF on a Nikon D40 back in the day. Sold them both last Friday and I may be feeling slightly sentimental about it.

"Interestingly, my younger daughter is even more protanopic than I am (what are the odds of that?), yet my wife and my older daughter are so sensitive to color that specific colors affect their moods in strong, specific, and highly consistent ways."

Whoa, your wife and older daughter may be tetrachromats, an exceedingly rare condition. So far researchers have only found one person with it.


You should look into this as it would be a very big deal. Researchers have been combing the world looking for another tetrachromat and there are a number of unique career possibilities for a tetrachromat.

An example at f/5.6: http://www.cabophoto.com/External/USA_Tr_0611.jpg

Thanks! Really appreciate a bit of "curated" choices.

The picture "a flower picture and a bug" seems to have been taken with a Makro Planar T* 2/100 ZF.

I went to Bic Camera (btw, my favorite camera store in the whole world--anyone who has a chance to visit Japan should stop in) today to try out lenses a bit. They let you put your memory card in their body and go nuts for a few minutes. I was thoroughly impressed with the 28, to the point that only my lack of cold, hard cash was able to stop me from buying it (japanese stores prefer not to use credit cards). contrary to other posters I found it to be quite sharp at f1.8, at least on a d600. but I didn't try it on a d800 so perhaps that is something I'm missing. I was also impressed at how lightweight it is--noticeably lighter than my 50 f1.4, which is currently my favorite lens. In a completely different direction, I tried out the 14-24 next to the 16-35 and the new 18-35, and can honestly say that to me the price difference would be worth it, mainly for being able to reach out to 14 mm. guess now there's at least 2 lenses on my list to save up for...thanks, or something.

hugh crawford:

Thanks for the tip! I will definitely look into this.

Honestly, I don't know if my wife and daughter's color discrimination is that much better than the average person (though it is light years better than mine, for sure!). The thing that struck me was that without having talked to each other about the subject, they both named the same colors as giving rise to the same kind of mood response, and even used many of the same words to describe their experiences of specific colors. This might be old news to some, but it came as a revelation to me because color doesn't affect my mood in the slightest.

But what I'm really wondering about is whether all (or most) people with normal color vision would tend to respond in a similar way to the use of color in a given image. Anybody have an answer, or care to venture a guess?



The genetic requirements for tetrachromats are pretty specific and unusual and sound like your family. The colorblind daughter is rare enough to get my attention, and reminded me of the rest.

"Because one X chromosome is inactivated at random in each cell during a woman's development, it is possible for her to have four different cone types, as when a carrier of protanomaly has a child with a deuteranomalic man. Denoting the normal vision alleles by P and D and the anomalous by p and d, the carrier is PD pD and the man is Pd. The daughter is either PD Pd or pD Pd. Suppose she is pD Pd. Each cell in her body expresses either her mother's chromosome pD or her father's Pd. Thus her red–green sensing will involve both the normal and the anomalous pigments for both colors. Such females are tetrachromats, since they require a mixture of four spectral lights to match an arbitrary light."


hugh crawford:

Thanks, once again! This is even more interesting than I realized. Definitely bears some investigation. I'm much obliged.


i have nikon D serires but still learning features, its too hard to understand.

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