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Wednesday, 03 July 2013


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Never saw your 2008 article, Mike, until now. I thought I was the only one with a visceral, nails on the chalkboard, reaction to infrared photos. Sorry, Ctein.

Ubiquitous wide open lens effects, with mis-focused subjects (if one can even determine the intended subject) generate a similar response.


Could you do the world a favouw and do a comparison betwix the 60th.....the Sigma 60mm and the Olympus 60mm Macro (for ordinary photography of course).

Would be cool to hear you comments on these lenses as they are both nice performers (or so the pigeons say, if they are not busy staring in you pictures).

Greets, Ed

Who is writing software for an Arduino.....

The wonderful I.R. picture at the ead of your post has reminded me to get out my old ZZ Top images for a re-listen. ;-)


ACR for Canon IR converted camera is not as good for doing RAW IR conversions. At least my usage shows they are always magenta looking. Canon software reads the colors correctly and you get more greens and cyans. Might it be possible for DDB to use one of your IR RAW files in his RAW converters test? It would be nice to know if others render the colors accurately before the work begins.

HIppies in Infra red!!!

The Glitter Rockers want a piece of that infra red action. I am sure of that.

Dear Gijs,

One of the keys to having more wonderful photographs in your life is to remember to just spend a lot more time looking, period.


Dear Ed,

That would be a very sensible comparison, especially in light of the factor-of-two difference in price. But that's only if I were doing formal lens tests. I'm not. I'm just looking at a couple of lenses that personally interest me that DDB happened to own, so I played with them some and ran some comparisons to my already-owned lenses while we were out making IR photographs and all that stuff.

The thing is, I don't have any interest in 60mm, per se. I've got the 45mm Olympus f/1.8; if I need a slightly narrower field of view of 16mm, I'll just crop. I've got some vague interest in the 75mm f/1.8, down the line, which makes the 60 even less interesting. But I don't own a good macro lens. I used to care a lot about macro photography, viz. the Jewels of Kilauea series. I don't know if I still do. But, maybe, and that's enough to get me to casually look at the Olympus lens. But the Sigma? No interest at all.


Dear Mathew,

The Olympus came back from Life Pixel with a custom white balance calibration that is almost perfectly neutral. It's there in the metadata that RAW converters see, so when I open the image up in Bridge and ACR, it also looks almost perfectly neutral. I don't see any reason to run it through other RAW converters.


Dear David and Tony,

You are not so far off. You can't see it in the IR photograph, but I'm also wearing my pretty stylish new clothes. Combined with my uber-stylish glasses (at least, according to the rest of the world), I'm not wearing the right style of clothes to read as hippie (which I'm not) and they are way too chic and colorful to read as computer geek (which I'm not).

So after the day's photography and our obligatory pizza dinner, DDB and I went out for our obligatory ice cream. A fellow came up to us in the ice cream parlor who was absolutely, positively convinced we were in some band, to the extent that even with our repeated polite denials, he was rattling off the names of small local groups (I presume) positive we would know of and have some connection to them.

It was pretty clear he knew the local music scene and he was totally sure we were part of it. Had to have been the clothes. That kind of thing never, ever happened to me when I was doing the artist-black look for the past 15 years.

So you wanna be a rock 'n roll star? It's all in the threads, man.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Dear Jeff,

See, now I've given you advance warning that you can totally skip next-week's column!

We're all about service, here.

I can promise (or is it a threat) that there will be at least two columns on the subject, maybe three, over the next month or so.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Can't find the original at the moment to check the date but this is from a few years ago...


Looks more like Dusty Hill in the foreground. Where's your axe?

Would love to hear more about your IR adventures. I want to convert a m4/3rds camera to IR, but have not had the money available. Would love to know what lenses seems to work, and what luck you have with RAW converters. The lack of good support for IR in ACR/Lightroom bums me out. I currently have a canon S90 converted to IR with 850nm blocking filter.

A quick search of the hard drive to find my whatisit.jpg shows that I did that on 05-03-2008 (3rd May 2008). Looking at the folder for that day I can see I took it at 1:48pm using a Pentax K10D with 50-200 zoom (set at 105mm or 157e). Exposure was 1/200sec @ f6.3 on 200ISO (how's that for trival infomation).

Now I've got a few extra moments I'll add to my bird imprint story. This is the only one that's left a decent imprint (some have left feathers stuck to the window) but it happens more than rarely. Enough that if our dogs hear a thud, they know that they have a chance of catching the dazed bird and they sprint around looking for it. They have obviously worked out that it's easier than catching them themselves.

[Not to be critical, but if that happens regularly enough to train the dogs, shouldn't you put a few stickers on your windows to prevent more birds from maiming themselves in the future? After all, birds are human too. --Mike]

The bird that hit that window probably realised what was about to happen, going by the wings spread out as if in an attempt to slow down, whereas...

Spy vs. Spy!

Ctein, that's ok; we're just on different wavelengths. :)

Looks like my kamikaze bird was a bit more committed (or blind) than Ctein's, coming in full-out, beak-first, wings spread!

It appeared on my daughter's window one day a couple years ago. We found no remnants on the ground below which made us wonder: Did she get up and just walk away from this?!! (wink)

It makes for a good novelty photo, although I'd recommend "converting" to black & white for more . . . impact.

http://www.jeffglassphoto.com/blog/ (Can't recall how to post the image directly, but it's the first one on my blog page).

That selfie looks like a movie still from a sci-fi cult classic. I wanted to comment that the bird impact photo is really special. And then I wondered if it might fit into the imaginary sci-fi flick that featured the first shot :)

When I was kid living in Canberra, we had a big plate glass window facing west. One summer, with the sun very low on the horizon and reflecting directly into the window, a whole flock of budgerigars - about 50 of them - flew into the window at speed and knocked themselves senseless onto the patio. They all lay there for about an hour, then, as one, they all came to and flew off.

1. An actual bird WAS harmed in the making of this image?
2. Thank the Lord that pigs don't fly.
3. How about a 'normal' photo of the new outfit?
4. The mysteries of the universe are simple compared to the carry-on with print heads on Epson printers. One day all fine, next a complete colour stops.... Sometimes takes one cleaning cycle, other times, ten (usually when you are on the last drain of some cartridge, and a rush job - and this is a 9900!)


I know your "Jewels of Kelaea" series and they are not stricktly macro....at least not al of them (or ther must be a 20mm fern growing I don't know about :-)).

Now that little devil Sigma will suprise you if I have to believe this review.


Being more crisp then the Oly....now I find that hard to believe and since you and your new eagle specs are a benchmark to us all (enough of the sucking up done?), your views would be loved.

Greets, Ed.

Since I've been doing some IR photography for a few years now, I will probably find next week's column interesting. I was already surprised to note how well your sunglasses block IR in the top picture.

All the tech stuff aside, I find that composing in IR is hard, even with a digital camera with live view. It's so different from what we usually see and I believe that's why many (most?) IR pic seen on the net tend to rely on effect for visual impact rather than an interesting subject and composition. Is IR something you believe will be a significant part of your work, or just a little test at the side at this point?

I think it's a late-in-life rumspringa.

Note how the tentative lead adventurer appears to be holding onto something familiar for stability.

I had the same issue with my old, deceased Epson 3800; underfilled PK cartridges (same cartridge as yours). Started weighing all new cartridges. The problem could be worse, you could live in my area where there is no place to buy supplies and have to keep a backup stash at all times.

I hope the bird on window print is made available for purchase because I'd like to buy one.

I recently purchased a IR converted Nikon D70. I have thus far had a bunch of fun with it and maybe even made a good image or two... I will be very interested in whatever you choose to include on the blog about your IR experiences. I don't know of this interests you - but I would be very interested in color IR results and how you go about getting the RAW IR file to look "right."

Dear Ed,

Where did I say they were all "macro?"

I am not interested in the Sigma lens.
"No" means no. End of discussion.


Dear Oskar,

Look at the IR work in my portfolio online. You decide.


Dear Michael,

Hahaha. I just watched the wonderful PBS "American Experience" film on the Amish three days ago, so I totally get it.


Dear George,

You can purchase it. 17" x22" print size, order information is at ctein.com/howorder.htm

pax / Ctein

Your problem Ctein,

So test your Oly, it will be okay I can asure you (see link) and it well should be at 500 dollars. I won't invest in it for 3 reasons:

1) I don't do macro (boring)
2) I think it is way to big
3) I think it is way to expensive
4) I'll spend the 300 dollars in my pocket on some gears for a motorised panoramahead I'm building for myself (saving about 2700 dollars in the proces).

for an excelent test of the 60 (one that Ctein has no means of topping).


Greats, Ed.

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