If you’re looking for a high-quality, sharp lens with fantastic bokeh, vintage lenses can be a great option. They can give you images of great quality, yet you can buy many of them at very affordable prices. In this video, Mathieu Stern compares three vintage lenses for shooting portraits: Konica 40mm f/1.8, Porst 50mm f/1.4, and Jupiter 9 85mm f/2. He paid the cheapest among them around $6, so let’s see how they perform.
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Photos of distant planets are fascinating, right? But how often do we get to see a photo of a planet as it’s just being formed? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have recently captured a planet as it was forming around a young star. The photo is incredibly detailed and it’s the best photo of a planet’s birth taken so far.
Game Boy camera was launched twenty years ago, and technology has advanced immensely since then. Nevertheless, experimenting with this toy camera in the modern era is still kind of fun. Photographer Tim Binnion recently brought his to 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, China. He captured the Formula 1 race with the 0.016-megapixel camera, and the results are unusual and pretty amazing.
The use of slit scan photography is actually quite old. It is often called line-scan, photo finish, or streak photography. Slit scan photography has a rich and colorful history rooted in chemical analog photography. This technique is often used to visualize high-speed events, such as missiles and bullets, although it is probably best known as photo finish photography that is used to determine the outcome of races.
In the past, slit scan photographic systems used a sheet of film that was moved past a slit. These cameras were most commonly used as photo finish cameras at races and, for example, could very precisely measure the time one horse might have won the race by. There were a number of designs of these types of systems. One of the most interesting slit scan cameras had the camera and film moving at the same time to create a panoramic picture. The last camera on the market to use this technique was the Spinner Dolphin 360 made by Lomography.
A 50mm lens is probably the first lens most of us bought after we got the camera. They are generally affordable, especially if you go for a f/1.8. But if you’re on a really tight budget, or just want to satisfy your gear acquisition syndrome without guilt: Kai Wong has a video for you.
In this video, he suggests five great 50mm lenses that cost well under $100. So if you’re looking for your first or for another 50mm lens, check out Kai’s suggestions.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, organized the ninth annual contest for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year. They have recently published the shortlisted images for 2017, which will show you spectacular images of space taken from all corners of the world.
Over 3800 entries were sent to the contest, from 91 countries across the globe. They range from stunning photos of Aurorae to photos of galaxies, comets, planets, and stars. The contest even includes the first time images of Uranus and asteroids. Out of almost 4000 photos, here are 31 of the shortlisted ones for your enjoyment and inspiration.
If you prefer working with natural light, with clever positioning of the subject and some DIY magic you get two light sources from a single window. Guys from The Film Look demonstrate how to make the 2-light setup on a budget and without any lighting gear, using only the light you get from a window. They used it for an interview, but it can also be applicable to portraits or for vlogging.
Although I’ve (sadly) never owned a Nintendo Game Boy Camera, I love to see how artists, scientists or nineties kids play with it in the modern age. An astronomer Alexander Pietrow used this 1998 gadget for astrophotography, and ended up with 2bit images of the Moon and Jupiter. He shares the process and the photos with DIYP, so take a look how the Moon craters look when taken with a 2bit, 128×112px Game Boy Camera. And if you use a telescope, you could take them yourself, too.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of M42 and other older manual focus lenses. I’ve been using them for years with my DSLRs. They have imperfections, suffered from very random quality control, that give each one a slightly unique look and feel. They often have characteristics that can’t be reproduced with modern “perfect” glass and post production. So, whenever I see my favourite photographers also using them, I get interested.
This time, Texas based portrait photographer, Francisco Joel Hernandez has discovered the Russian-made Jupiter 9. Out of all the M42 lenses I own personally, this is tied with the Helios 44-2 as a favourite. We’ve featured the Jupiter 9 before, but Joel’s video shows a couple of neat tricks for working with this lens on location. The big one dealing with the flare this lens is often prone to.
Regular readers here on DIYP will know how much we like seeing Mathieu Stern’s videos. He’s shown us some great old and weird lenses working with modern cameras and shared a few cool stories. Now, he’s teamed up with fellow French photographer Serge Ramelli to talk about portraits. More specifically, they’re portraits with vintage lenses.
In these two videos, Mathieu introduces Serge to vintage lenses, and the pair also offer up a challenge. They’ve made raw files available and want to see how you’d post process some of the images Mathieu shot using old Canon FD lenses. The second video shows the adapter Mathieu uses to connect FD lenses to his Sony A7II and why he’s now ditched ND filters from the front of his lenses.