Mar 21 2014

Thank you 100,000 views.

Airlie Beach by Brendan Davey
Airlie Beach, a photo by Brendan Davey on Flickr.

Since opening my Flickr account in 2007 I have had over 100,000 views of my photos, and over 50,000 since Sep 2012. WOW that is some fast growth, at this rate I will hit 200,000 before the Year is out…..

Well I better get back to making more pictures…..

Share on Facebook

Feb 19 2014

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:

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

 

Share on Facebook

Dec 16 2013

Mortimer Bay Sunset

Mortimer Bay Sunset by Brendan Davey
Mortimer Bay Sunset, a photo by Brendan Davey on Flickr.

Still testing the Hadia 10 stop filter. It does work well. It’s not perfectly neutral, but still quite good. The pink / purple in the shot is mainly due to the Hi-Tech 0.9 HE Grad.

I am finding that it has significantly less flaring that my other 10 stop filters that drop into the holder.

Share on Facebook

Nov 25 2013

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.

Share on Facebook

Nov 13 2013

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.

Share on Facebook

Nov 8 2013

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.

Share on Facebook

Oct 15 2013

Tropical Queensland.

Airley Beach by Brendan Davey
Airley Beach, a photo by Brendan Davey on Flickr.

I have just uploaded some new photos onto Flickr, they contains some pictures, mainly sunrises from Cairns and Airley Beach in the Whitsundays, check them out by using my flickr links to the right.

Share on Facebook

Sep 19 2013

Fishing with the Hi-Tech Pro Stop 10 (IR)

Fishing, Townsville. by Brendan Davey
Fishing, Townsville., a photo by Brendan Davey on Flickr.

It’s been a little while since my last post, so I though I would do a quick post about my first experience with the new Hi-Tech Pro Stop 10 (IR).

When Lee first introduced their big stopper I doubt they had any idea just how popular it would be. The Big Stopper quickly got a good name because it gave a very neutral color cast, ad just worked. Consequently this filter is most than likly going to be on backorder if you order it.

Hi-tech over recently years have really started to expand their filter range, catering more to digital photography, and their new Pro Stop range show their commitment to produce quality filters. The New Pro Stop range can be purchased from 1 stop right though to 10 stops. Designed to reduce IR as well as normal wavelength visible light, which produces a very neutral exposure.

Although I have not dropped my filter and I don’t plan on doing so it is claimed to be more durable than the Lee, of which there are numerous complains about how fragile it is. It also has the rubber / foam black strip to block light entering from the edge of the filter.

And then there is the price, it’s cheaper, what more do I need to say…..

Results: Fantastic, Neutral, no light leaks. stunning.

Share on Facebook

Sep 4 2013

FOTGA Fader (Variable) ND

Recently I read a few reviews that indicated that the FOTGA ND 8 Stop was a good fader or variable ND filter, and should be considered for landscape work. Most information I read gave it favorable reviews with the only draw back being the typical black “cross” you get when using it to the extreme.

So here are the results from my testing:

Camera: Canon 6D with Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II + FOTGA Slim Wide Band Fader ND (W) 82mm.

Settings: Manual Focus, Av Mode, f5.6, 100 ISO.

The filter was tested at 16mm, 24mm and 35mm, with the filter set at Min, 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4.
It should be noted that the marks on the fader mean nothing, so I have also indicated the strength based on the camera shutter speed equating them to the closest f-stop(s) of light reduction when compared to no filter.

Post processing: All of the images were imported into light room 4.6, and had lens correction applied to ensure that the standard lens vignetting was removed. For the purposes of the test I was not concerned with sharpness or color balance.

Results & Conclusion:

FOTGA

I think the results speak for itself, for me with a full frame camera (6D) and a good wide lens, suitable for landscapes the results were terrible, bad copy? fake cheap knockoff? maybe, but I doubt it. In my option this filter is only useful on the min setting or 2 stops, beyond that significant vignetting is introduced. It may work better at focal lengths beyond 35mm, and when I get a step up ring I will trial it on longer focal lengths.

Bottom line this filter is not suitable for landscapes.

Share on Facebook

Jul 28 2013

How is the Samyang 14mm going?

So I have had the Samyang for more than a while now, and I thought I’d give some more feedback. Firstly I must say this lens is SUPER sharp, at f5.6 it is incredible.

What I am finding however is that the distortion plug-in for Adobe Lightroom is not perfect, and I’m still left with a little distortion which is a little bit frustrating. Probably more me looking for the issue, knowing it’s there. However it would not be easily seen in most shots.

I am finding the fixed hood and no front thread very frustrating, and I long to use my ND grads and variable ND filter. To that end the Canon 14mm or any other brand at 14mm would have the same issues, so I think it still warrants having a 17-40mm or 16-35mm lens as well, maybe even a 20mm f2.8. I have managed to salvage most shots where an ND Grad would have been useful, like this one I took recently in Perth.

Still, I can’t complain given the cost…

Share on Facebook