How To Add An ND filter To The Impossibly Curved Rokinon 8mm F2.8 Fisheye Lens

We mentioned the Rokinon 8mm f2.8 several times on the blog as being a great lens for its price. One thing that is kinda hard to do with this lens is use filters. This is both because the curvature of the lens extends beyond the filter thread and also because of the shape of the petals of the built in lens hood.

This makes it practically impossible to place an ND filter on such lens. The folks at CheesyCam just shared a sweet hack using a Rosco ND gel and some blue tack. The trick is to place the gel at the back of the lens rather than in the front of the lens as we usually do. For ND CheesyCam uses the 3404 gel from the Rosco cinegel sample book, which cuts 3 stops off, and placed it using some blue tack.

Even zoomed in at 400% I was actually quite surprised that the gel almost did not introduce any softness.

[Adding ND Filter Gel on Rokinon Fisheye Lens to Block Light via CheesyCam]

P.S. You can use a similar hack with the Rokinon 8mm f2.8 to shoot infra red photos.

How to Create a Fake Tilt Shift Effect

I made a quick trip to South Korea this weekend for an international dance event called Red Bull BC One 2013 World Finals. With top notch performances of musicians and international dancers gracefully defying gravity, I wanted to make sure to try something different with these action shots.

I decided to try out a tilt-shift effect to miniaturize the performers since the arena was such a huge space. Tilt-shift is a mechanism on certain specialized lenses that is used to blur out certain parts of a photograph while leave other parts tack sharp. Used commonly on architecture, the contrast of the focus and blur is meant to resemble the kind of bokeh that is formed when macro shots are taken.

In these indoor shots, these were taken at 1/1000 shutter speed minimum with an f-stop of 1.2 in order to achieve the sharp crispness of movement without the graininess. However, there is no tilt shift lens on the market that can reach that speed. So the only way to create this effect is through Photoshop.

If done correctly, the end result will look like this.

How to Create a Fake Tilt Shift Effect

[Read more...]

Warning: Cheap Filters Can Harm Your Glass

There is quite a debate going on about whether one should use filters for lens protection or avoid filters for better quality.

Here is another thing to take into consideration – Some cheap filters may harm your glass, not just your image quality.

Warning: Cheap Filters Can Harm Your Glass

Roger Cicala of Lensrentals had a few Canon 24-70 f/2.8 Mk II returned with a circular scratch pattern on the front element. This can be quite annoying especially since this is a $2,000+ lens.

This got Roger to experiment with various filters. He realized that the cause for scratches is contact between a cheap “thin” filter and the slightly bulged front element of the 24-70. [Read more...]

Faking an ND Filter for Long Exposure Photography

So, I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a bit, and figured it might help me to get off my ass and actually try it out if I described my thought process.

Long Exposure - Shanklin
Long Exposure – Shanklin by Richard ‘Tenspeed’ Heaven, (cc-by), 5 sec  f/32 ISO 100

I’ve been wanting to get some ND filters to experiment with daytime long exposures for a while now. The problem is that I’m lazy. So when I say “for a while now”, I really mean that it’s been like 3 years.

I had previously written about using median stacks to remove noise from an image, as an easy way to remove non-static objects from a scene, and to create interesting artwork. It’s those last two things that got me thinking… [Read more...]

Apparently 70-200mm Lenses Are *Not* Built Like Tanks – Actually Tend To Break More

Every once in a while Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com publishes their repair data. Being a fairly big rental house, it is quite interesting to look at his observations.

Rental houses are usually a pretty good source of data as far as how items take abuse since rented gear goes through more abuse than owned gear. That said, Roger has an eloquent non inflammatory way of describing the data making dry and sharp observations.

Apparently 70-200Mm Lenses Are *Not* Built Like Tanks - Actually Tend To Break More

On their last report, LR shares that the 70-200mm lenses that they rent out need servicing more that other lenses. And they take up 4 of the top 16 places in LR’s most serviced lenses chart. Starting with the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II @7th place with an average of 39 weeks, Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS @9th place, Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8 IS II @13th and Sony 70-200 f/2.8 @ 16th. [Read more...]

How To Correct The Green Cast From A 10 Stops Neutral Density Welding Glass Filter

One of my all-time long exposure photographers is Australian photographer Alex Wise. (not sure if you can say “long exposure photographer”, but I just did.

He usually shoots with uber-strong-high-end B+W 110 or Hoya ND400 ND filters, but recently he took a 10 stops welding glass (around $10 on Amazon) and swapped his high-end glass for cheap working-level welding glass.

How To Correct The Green Cast From A 10 Stops Neutral Density Welding Glass Filter

Unsurprisingly results were pretty good, and Alex shares a few tips on shooting a daytime exposure with those filters and how to correctly post process them.

This basic video shows how easy it is to correct for the notorious green cast. [Read more...]

Pro-Tip: Make Cool Hazy/Light Leak/Mystical Photos With A Sandwich Baggie And A Colored Marker

Photographer Jesse David Mcgrady shares an awesome tip for creating hazy and mystical photos in camera using a simple ingredient you probably have right next to you.

Pro-Tip: Make Cool Hazy/Light Leak/Mystical Photos With A Sandwich Baggie And A Colored Marker

Photographing someone or somewhere kinda boring or plain? Want to punch it up with some cool vintagey or light leak lens effects without sacrificing quality of the over all image or using photoshop? Then try this: [Read more...]

Use Lego To Keep Your Lens Cap Safe

If someone made a survey and checked to see what is the one piece of equipment you loose most, I am willing to place dollars for pennies that the answer would be lens caps. Those things just keep getting lost. I guess this why you have so many lens cap holders solutions out there.

Here is a nice idea by Flickr user RawSniper1 that uses nothing but 2 pieces of Lego, has a really shallow footprint and will save your cap.

Use Lego To Keep Your Lens Cap Safe

It is probably one of those super simple ideas that make you smack your head and say how come I did not think about it before.

You would need a drill, some glue and a bit of wire to make this, but it is totally worth it if just for the innovation of using Lego in your process.

P.S. if you want something a bit more fancy, you can check Benny Johansson’s lens cap holder which is probably the cutest lens cap holder in the world.

[Lego Gear on Flickr] [Read more...]