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Archive for August, 2009

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Lightning Shower

am fortunate enough to have a beautiful view of Toronto’s downtown core, even though I live a little further North.

When we saw the storm brewing overhead I immediately pulled out my D300 and tripod, extra battery, 55-200mm lens and pointed it at the CN Tower, thinking that if I were lucky enough to capture any lightning the CN Tower would be the most dramatic subject!

I configured the intervalometer on my D300 to take 10 second exposures every 11 seconds until it filled the memory card (or the batteries died… whichever came first). I was surprised at the results and honestly didn’t expect too much.

Here are just a few images. I actually took so many that I am now creating a pleasant video clip showing the storm passing the city and moving south. Nature’s a beautiful thing.


The calm before the storm...

The calm before the storm...

Lightning 1

Lightning 2

Lightning 3

Lightning 4

Lightning 5

Lightning 6

Lightning 7

Thanks for reading!

Fisheye for your cam – update

In my previous entry I said I’ve enabled the LOMO Fisheye lens to attach straight to a Nikon SLR body… well, that’s notexactly true. I’ve hit a wall.

Because the lens-to-focal plane distance on the Fisheye cam is roughly 28mm whereas Nikon’s is 46mm, it’s just not possibleto enable this lens to focus properly as it needs to sit much closer to the camera’s sensor than is physically possible (without damaging the camera that is).

Oh well, the hack isn’t a complete waste as the lens can be fully utilized when mounted in front of an existing wide-angle lens, for which the 18-55mm kit lens that came with your cam is perfect :) I’ve attached the lens to a lens cap for this purpose and it works great. I know a cap’s only purpose is to sit lightly on your lens and so it’s not built to have something stuck onto it, but the LOMO lens is very lightweight so this trick is reliable as well.

No details yet because I haven’t taken any great pictures to show it off. Expect to see something next week!

If you’re eager to try this, I have followed the instructions here but intend to post some tips next week with detailed pics.

Thanks for reading!

Fisheye for your cam – on the cheap! Part 1

Though probably not as much as Chris Halford, I love my fisheye. I primarily shoot wide, and the 180 degrees perspective that my Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens provides me is about as wide as I can possibly need from a lens. Before breaking the bank to buy it, however, I first looked into buying a Lomography Fisheye camera. It is definitely cheaper than a dedicated lens, but the downside for me was the film factor. Shooting digital is just oh-so economical.

Anyway, luck would have it that my girlfriend came back from another thrift-store scavenger hunt with a broken $2 Lomography Fisheye in hand!

The broken Fisheye.

The broken Fisheye.

I was really looking forward to digitizing this, so I couldn’t be more ecstatic and promptly tore it apart to remove the lens…

I found an article online from someone that has already adapted the Fisheye camera lens to fit his Canon SLR, and so this task suddenly became easier.

Taking apart the camera couldn’t be simpler. After removing a few screws, and an outer ring on the front of the lens, the body halves, freeing you to remove a few more screws to ultimately detach the lens. After that it was only a matter of cutting excess plastic and shaving some of the back of the plastic housing (slowly) with a dremel to enable it to focus to infinity when mounted on a Nikon.

Needless destruction!

Needless destruction!

The biggest hurdle was then figuring out how to securely fasten it on a native Nikon mount so it can be attached and removed like a regular lens. This thing is composed of really cheap plastic and cannot be securely fastened by screws. I have experimented with a macro ring adaptor from Nikon as well as an M42-to-Nikon adaptor, but have not yet decided on how best to secure it.

The LOMO Fisheye lens, shown in its future resting place.

The LOMO Fisheye lens, shown in its future resting place.

It's a beautiful thing.

It's a beautiful thing.

Now that I have all the hard work out of the way, permanently mounting it to a Nikon adaptor is all that remains until this bad boy has a place in my camera bag.

Want to try this yourself? Unless you have money to burn, be sure to buy a broken Fisheye cam (with an undamaged lens being the only requirement!) for cheap on eBay or scour local thrift stores. Check eBay as well for cheap mount adaptors for your brand of camera to which you can wedge in the Fisheye lens. Also, the lens cannot be focused and has no aperture settings, but everything is pretty much in focus anyway when shooting with this.

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which I describe how to adapt this lens for your camera.

Links of interest:

Thanks for reading!