Sunday, 25 September 2011

How to Copy Slides to Digital Photos without Scanner using your Canon 5D/Nikon D700 or Sony A900

Are you looking to copy your old slides into digital photo format but can't afford to invest many hundreds of pounds in a high quality slide scanner? Or are you finding that the copying of slides using a scanner is not fast enough and are looking for a quicker way to copy slides to digital images?

If so then there is a very cheap solution that allows high quality copying at the standard resolution of your camera. You can buy a slide copier for a few pounds on Ebay or elsewhere that attaches as a lens to the front of your full frame camera and allows you to copy the slides directly to the card in the camera at the resolution you choose. So on a Canon 5D Mark2 it means you can scan slides at up to 21.8 Megapixels, far higher than most dedicated slide scanners.

I picked up my Ohnar Zoom slide duplicator copier on Ebay a few years ago having previously owned one some years for its original pre-digital purpose of copying slides to enable you to crop out unwanted objects or to recompose a slide. It is important to note that the original slide copies were designed for film cameras so they are only suitable for full frame DSLR cameras. If you use a slide copier on a crop sensor that it is not designed for then the crop factor will mean that you lose part of the slide image.

I've just checked Ebay and there are still bargains to be had - this Ohnar Slide duplicator to copy slides onto your digital SLR camera sold for £1.24 plus £4.50 P&P - an absolute bargain to get high resolution, very fast copies of your slides into a digital photo format and much quicker and better value than a dedicated slide scanner.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Using a Canon 600d in a photography studio for a Model Shoot

Is it possible to use a Canon 600D in a photography studio? The answer is a definite yes. There are a few ways to fire the studio flash lights, either with an infra red trigger that sits on the hot shoe, a radio trigger again via the hotshoe of the Canon 600D or using a cable. The Canon 600D does not have a PC socket so you would need an adapter to fit on the hot shoe to convert it to a PC socket. These adapters are readily available for a few pounds at photo shops or online.

These photos were taken on a Canon 600D in our photography studio as a trial of different lenses. You can use any EF or EF-S lenses on the Canon 600D in a photography studio but the distance between subject and camera may be an issue with longer lenses due to the 1.6x crop factor on the Canon 600D.

Taken using a Canon 600D in a photography studio

Model photo using a Canon 600D in a photography studio

Kodak Brownie Reflex 20, 620 Film Camera

My first camera was an old Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 Camera that I was given from a jumble sale. It took 620 film and produced square photos, unusual for a 10 year old compared to friends with their 110 cameras. I guess it was released in the 1950s due to the style of images on the box. The big difference was the quality of the photos though, the 110 photo were generally very poor as the negatives were so small but the photos from the Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 were pretty good due in part to the very large negatives. I searched high and low for a flash gun for the camera but without success. Eventually the camera got sold and I moved on to a Lubitel and Zenit TTL cameras.

A few years ago when I was in the States I spotted a Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 for sale on Ebay. I managed to aquire it for the princely sum of $5 and this one came fully boxed and with the flash gun.

The Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 is a twin lens reflex camera so unlike the current SLR cameras there is a separate lens for the viewfinder. The viewfinder is also on the top of the camera and you look down into it to compose the shot.

Photos of the Kodak Brownie Reflex 20

Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 Outfit in box

Kodak Brownie Reflex 20

Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 camera

Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 viewfinder
You can download the manual for the Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 as well as many other Kodak cameras on this website

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Stage Theatre Society present their production of Les Miserables

Shot on the Canon 5D Mark 2, this video of I Dreamed A Dream performed by Gemma Scoles is from the forthcoming STS production of Les Miserables.

Stage Theatre Society present their production of Les Miserables at Rainham School for Girls
26th - 29th October at 7.30pm (Sat Mat at 2.30pm)
Tickets are £10, and £8.50 for concessions.  Ring 07791 359939 to book your tickets.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

First Video shot on Canon 5DII - Motorway Fire

M2 Motorway Lorry Fire Video shot on Canon 5D2
My first video shot on the Canon 5D Mark2 of a lorry fire on the M2 motorway has now had over 150,000 hits on YouTube. I've been amazed at the quality that the 5D2 can shoot and even on YouTube the exceptional resolution can still be see. You can view the video here

Video of M2 Motorway fire - Car transporter lorry fire with Kent Fire & rescue

Update: 22 October 2011, the video has now had 219,000 hits on YouTube, an incredible 70,000 more views in just 2 months!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Canon develop 120Mp Megapixel Sensor

Canon has announced it has successfully developed an APS-H-size CMOS sensor that delivers an image resolution of approximately 120 megapixels (13,280x9184 pixels) the world’s highest level of resolution for its size.

When the 18Mp sensor of the 600D produces files that are 20+ Mb in size and the 21Mp sensor of the Canon 5D Mark 2 produces files of nearly 30Mb just imagine the storage and processing power that your computer will need to edit the files from a 120 megapixel sensor.

I guess it won't be coming soon but shows what can be done. When the first Canon D30 DSLR was released with 3Mp sensor and the top of the range now has 21Mp (7x the size)around 10 years later, it is entirely possible that we will see 120Mp sensors in the not too distant future as it is "only" 6x the current sensor resolution.

Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6 USM Lens Review & Info

I've written in this blog previously about the Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6 and what a great lens it is for the money.

There are a number of different versions of the Canon 35-80mm lens that have different characteristics and value. The main variants are the mark I, mark II and mark III versions of the lens but in addition there is also a very rare and far more useful USM version of the Canon 35-80mm that uses the Canon Ultra Sonic Motor for focus rather than the standard micro motors, making it much smoother and quieter to focus.

Overall although this is a very cheapie lens, it is excellent value and as you can read in the review of it on this blog at 9x6" print size it is impossible to see any difference in quality between this and far more expensive lenses.

Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6 USM - verdict: an absolute bargain!

Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6 USM lens

Canon 35-80mm USM Lens Review

Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6

Canon 35-80mm f4 - f5.6 lens 

Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro Lens - Which Version? Mark 1, Mark 2 or Mark 3?

There are now three versions of the Canon 100mm f2.8 EF macro lens, the mark 1, 2 and 3. All have different characteristics and unless you know which version you are buying you may not get what you were looking for.

The Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens mark 1 was released along with some of the very early EF film cameras. It has a 52mm filter thread and the lens extends as it focuses which can cause issues when shooting very close up. This lens is not USM which is one of the differences between it and the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens mark 2. If you see a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens advertised that does not have the distinctive gold USM banding around the lens barrel then it is the mark 1 version.
Photo of Canon 100mm f2.8 macro MARK 1 (Note no USM logo)

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens mark 2 was released in the mid 1990s to replace the mark 1 version. Unlike the mark 1 it features a USM motor and internal focus so the lens length does not vary as you focus.

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 L IS macro lens mark 3was released in 2009 and is the first Canon lens to feature their new IS Image Stabilisation mechanism. This is an L series lens unlike the first two versions and with a price tag to match.

Either the mark 2 or the mark 3 versions of the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens are ones I would recommend. The mark one version has too many drawbacks and is too close in price to the mark 2 to make it worthwhile in my view.