Canon Lens Codes?

So you want to know a little more about the history of your canon lens?
where was it made? how old is it?

Well each lens has a code on the bottom, something like UA1234, plug your code into the form below and all will be revealed.

[iframe src="" width="100%" height="90"]


Read More

The Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis from Mortimer Bay
Aurora Australis from Mortimer Bay

It has been while since Hobart has seen a good strong Aurora. Yesterday the numbers were looking good all day, see:, and sure enough come dark the green and red was clearly visible to the naked eye.

From about 8:30 to 11:30 I snapped a few shots, and a few panorama stitches. I will upload some more to flickr as well.

If you would like to know more about the Aurora Australis, why not join the Facebook Page?

Read More

Should I use a UV Filter?

Yes, I’m going to go there…

In my opinion UV filters are a camera stores best revenue earner, for every lens or camera package they sell there is a better than even chance they can sell the purchaser a UV filter, or 2.

But are they worth it?

Here are a few of the Pros and Cons:


  • It may protect the lens from damage if dropped.
  • It may protect the lens for dirt, dust and other marks.
  • It filters out UV light.


  • If it breaks the glass shards may damage my front element, or coating, or the ring could get jammed on my lens.
  • It’s another layer of glass, and it may introduce flares and other artifacts into the image.

Well if you use a digital camera you can rule out the UV filtering being a benefit because digital sensors already have a UV filter. The filter has just as much chance of causing damage to a lens than protecting it. Saying “I dropped my lens and the UV filter smashed, thus saving my lens”, is a far call from reality, it most likely would have been fine anyhow. The amount of horror stories I have read about the UV filter causing problems once broken seems to be more of a problem than dropped broken lenses (Glass shards scratching lenses, filters getting stuck and needing to be removed by professionals etc). The UV filter itself offers next to no structural strength to the lens, and then you have the problem of image quality. It’s a known fact that UV filters introduce flares and ghosting (well documented).

For me the introduced artifacts and the probability of the UV filter doing more damage than good makes it not worth it. Sure it may stop the occasional finger print of smudge, but these are easily removed.

So why do it?

Well most people do it because they get sold the idea that it’s an investment to protect their lenses. Some UV filters can retail for as much as a kit lens, the easier solution would be to replace the lens if it did get damaged, which the UV filter would most likely have not protected in the first place.


Read More

Haida 10 Stop.

I went out last night looking for a nice sunset, not a cloud in sight. I was looking to test out a Haida 10 stop filter.

The filter works well with wide lenses, this shot taken with a Canon 16-35 f2.8 @ 16mm. The shot does have lens correction, but the overall composition, lighting and color has only been slightly adjusted. It could easily be mistaken for a lee filter, although slightly warmer. Overall not a bad filter, one I think I will keep in my bag of tricks…

The filter used was a Haida Slim Multi-coating ND3.0, 1000x (PROII). Shot taken on a 6D, 15sec, f6.3, ISO 50.

Read More

Aurora Australis @ The Devils Kitchen

Shot at 16mm, the beams from this Aurora were going up well into the 50+ degree mark from the horizon.

This makes it quite big by Tasmanian standards :) I was driving at the time, and this was the closest place I could pull over to shoot them. In hindsight the Tessellated Pavement at Eagle Hawk Neck would have been better, oh well, next time.

Read More

The Perfect Orb.

It’s taken some time, but I think I am getting better at creating Orbs. Recently myself and a fellow photographer tooks some shots in the Remarkable Cave at Shipsterns Bluff in the south of Tasmania.

I think this orb is one of the best I have produced from a single 30 second exposure. It was created using a bright LED, with the power supply and on/off switch located in my hand.

If you click through to my flickr page you can see some more I created. All of the exposures were 30 seconds, so the triple orb shots were taken very quickly, with about 7-8 seconds allocated to each orb.

Read More