Did you know that some of the most famous master painters from centuries past may have actually used camera “technology” to aid them in creating their masterpieces? According to the hotly debated Hockney-Falco thesis, some well-known artists likely used rudimentary camera obscura rooms as a tool — essentially “tracing” parts of their work.
Do you ever clean the front element of your lens by fogging it up with your breath and then wiping it off with a cloth? If so, you might want to stop — Nikon says the practice could be damaging to your glass. Apparently human breath contains stuff that isn’t too friendly toward camera lenses.
This is probably a “duh” fact for many of you, but one that some of you have perhaps never heard or realized before: Did you know that the flashes in the Canon Speedlite lineup are named after their maximum guide numbers? To figure out the power of your Speedlite, just take the model name and hack off the zero at the end to get the GN (e.g. 430EX has GN 43, 580EX has GN 58).
If you’ve visited the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada anytime during the past five years at night, you’ve likely enjoyed the dazzling light show that appears on the side of the tower. The 1,330 uber-bright LED lights (which cost a cool $2.5 million) were installed in the elevator shafts back in 2007, and are turned on from dusk every day until 2 the next morning. What you might not have known, however, is that the seemingly random colors that appear are really not so random after all: they’re actually pieces of photographs!
Photographer Jeff Cable purchased a couple Canon 5D Mark IIIs recently and discovered that although the camera offers both SD and CF card slots, you should avoid the SD slot if you want maximum shooting speed. He writes,
[...] for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard [...] Without UHS [Ultra High Speed] support, the top speed that can be achieved by the SD card is 133x. This is true even if you purchase a 600x SD card and insert it in the camera. The best you will get is 133x
It turns out that the camera will default to the slowest card inserted. So, if you have a 1000x CF card in slot one and any SD card in the second slot, the very best buffer clear that will achieve is 133x.
It might not be a big deal for most photographers, but if your line of work requires clearing the camera’s buffer as quickly as possible, it something you might want to be aware of.
Why you should not put an SD card in your Canon 5D Mark III (via Photography Bay)
Image credit: Photograph by Jeff Cable
Take a look at your camera, and there’s a good chance it’ll have this symbol: Φ — a small circle bisected by a long line that looks like a hieroglyph of Saturn. If you’ve always wondered what it means, today’s your lucky day: it’s called a “film plane mark” (or “focal plane mark”, depending on who you ask), and indicates exactly where the film (or sensor) plane is inside the camera body. One reason the mark is useful is that macro photographers often want to determine the exact distance between their subject and the film plane, and the mark can make this calculation much easier.
(via PhotoNotes.org via Reddit)
P.S. For a complete list of common camera symbols, check out this page on PhotoNotes.org.
We’ve heard of camera manufacturers dipping into unrelated fields before, and we’ve also seen some pretty interesting marketing stunts, but in the early 90′s Kodak had already done both… in a colorful, cuddly sort of way. Back then, as an either desperate or creative ploy to get kids into photography, Kodak came out with the Kolorkins: a set of colorful, collectible stuffed animals. Read more…
You may have heard that digital cameras can be made sensitive to infrared light by removing the IR filter found inside, but did you now that something similar can be done with the human eye? People who have aphakia, or the absence of the lens on the eye, have reported the ability to see ultraviolet wavelengths. Claude Monet was one such person. Carl Zimmer writes,
Late in his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts. As his lenses degraded, they blocked parts of the visible spectrum, and the colors he perceived grew muddy. Monet’s cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see–and to paint–in ultraviolet.
[...] With his lens removed, Monet continued to paint. Flowers remained one of his favorite subjects. Only now the flowers were different. When most people look at water lily flowers, they appear white. After his cataract surgery, Monet’s blue-tuned pigments could grab some of the UV light bouncing off of the petals. He started to paint the flowers a whitish-blue.
The lens on a human eye ordinarily filters out UV rays, so we don’t see many of the things certain animals see. For example, the males and females of some butterfly species look identical to the human eye but very different to UV-sensitive eyes — the males sport bright patterns in order to attract the females!
Monet’s Ultraviolet Eye (via kottke.org)
Have you ever wondered why newer Canon DSLR battery covers have a small rectangular hole punched into them? It’s more than just for style:
Take a look at the cover. Does it have a small cut-out a few millimetres in from one edge? This is not just decoration. It is designed so that you can tell at a glance which of your batteries are fully charged and which are not. The batteries that come with this cover have a blue stripe down one side of the back. When you remove a charged battery from the charger, you can attach the cover so that the blue is visible. When you remove a discharged battery from the camera, you can attach the cover so that the blue patch is not showing.
It’s a simple and useful tip that those of you who don’t read instruction manuals may have never learned.
(via Canon Professional Network)
Here’s a simple trick for those of you who find yourself always plugging in USB cables the wrong way on your first attempt: pay attention to the seam on the metal tip. Apartment Therapy writes,
Look closely on the metal tip and you’ll notice that there is a seam on one side of the connector. This seam denotes the contact side of the USB. In horizontal oriented USB ports the seam should face down. In vertical oriented USB ports the seam should face left. If you follow those rules, you’ll get your USB plugged in the right way, the first time, most of the time.
(via Apartment Therapy via Lifehacker)