|Cheap 100mm Macro Alternative - The Vivitar Plastic Fantastic!
The "Plastic Fantastic is a good enough optic but the build quality is about as bad as it gets. Mine still works after three years of light use, but it is as noisy as it gets, it wobbles a lot, it's built from the cheapest plastic you ever seen, and it feels like a toy!
My Vivitar version of the lens at one time had a giant hair stuck in it that made it useless beyond f11, but the hair seemed to disappear over time so it is now functional again. Dealing with the 1:1 attachment
is not convenient and macro shooting would be much smoother if you could use the
full range of the lens without needing to add and remove the diopter. This older lens design
may to lead to easier blowouts than most of my other lenses on digital, and of the 35 or so A-mount lenses I have owned, this lens is the worst built of all of them. However, the glass inside this lens is far from the worst, and the lens can produce some very good results for most folks. Do not use this lens in a dusty, dirty environments, or you will be sorry...If
you are in need of a Macro lens on the cheap then the Plastic Fantastic (Vivitar,
Cosina,) may be a useful purchase for you.
|Sonolta Opens a Cool New Photo Site as the Director of Photography for the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL)
CIFL launches new photo site - Tuesday, 31 March 2009
The Continental Indoor Football League proudly announces the opening of CIFLPhotos.com, which will serve as the official photo gallery of the CIFL.
CIFLPhotos.com will feature game photos, individual player photos, dance team photos and officiating photos. The site will also feature options for fans to upload their own photos, as well as an eCard feature that allows fans to send photos from the site to friends and family with a personal message attached.
“In the coming weeks, I will be filling out the home page, expanding the feature set and adding hundreds of CIFL images to the site,” said CIFL Director of Photography Don Northup. “We have commitments from several photographers from around the league, but we are still looking for photographers in each city so that we can get all of the games covered in the galleries.”
“To make the site as strong as it can be, we are looking for at least a dozen photo submissions from each of the staff photographers, editorial photographers or fan club photographers from each of the games played,” continued Northup. “We are also including a fan photo section, so that CIFL fans can participate and have their own gallery of photos hosted at the official photo site of the CIFL.”
CIFLPhotos.com is accessible by visiting http://www.ciflphotos.com, by clicking on the photo gallery graphic on the league homepage or by visiting the Photo Gallery link in the Fan Zone tab on the league homepage.
“When Don approached us with this idea, we were excited at the possibility of having a professionally maintained photo gallery site,” said CIFL Co-founder Jeff Spitaleri. “The fans are our lifeblood and this is another way for us to provide them with best experience in indoor football.”
Any photographers interested in submitting photos to CIFLPhotos.com are encouraged to contact Northup at email@example.com. Northup designed, implemented and maintains CIFLPhotos.com, and also serves as the site’s main photographer.
The press release can be found here: http://www.continentalindoorfootball.com/newsite/
|Sony Alpha A700 and the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro - Cold As Ice!
A700 + Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro @ 180 mm ISO 200 f11 1/500 +0.3 Bridge/ACR
a700 + Sigma 70-300 APO DG
Macro @ 210mm f8 1/125 +0.3 ISO 1000 Bridge/ACR
A700 + Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro @ 135 mm ISO 200 f14 1/250 +0.3 Bridge/ACR
It made it to a record 25 BELOW ZERO Fahrenheit here in Rockford one night this month! It had warmed up to -5 when I took these snaps with the Sony Alpha A700 and
the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro!
|Sports Photography Quick Tip - Indoor Football
Quick Sports Tip: Indoor Football
To freeze most indoor football action you will need to shoot at least 1/360, and many shooters stick with at least 1/500. I like to see some foot and hand motion in my shots so I use a lot of 1/360 and
1/400th. In addition, if you are shooting at say 300mm you will need at maybe t 1/360 to *safely* eliminate handshake blur. Put your camera in shutter priority at 1/360 or 1/400th minimum and open your lens all the way
up and then set the ISO to the lowest setting that still gives you an adequate exposure.
The indoor shots below were taken in very poorly lit arena without the aid of a tripod or a flash.
For indoor sports your best bet would be to purchase an f2.8 lens or faster to
allow usable shutter speeds. On the cheerleaders you can sometimes drop to as low as 1/200th and still freeze most of what needs to be frozen, but I would stay a little faster under most shooting conditions.
The shots you see above were shot with the Minolta 135 2.8 on the A700 ISO 2500-3600 at about 1/400th Handheld.
|Cataloging Your Offline Image Archive - ACDSeePro2 Is Up To The Task
Let me very briefly introduce you to the ACDSee offline cataloging system.
ACDSee is also a photo processor and a viewer as well, but I will only be
addressing the offline cataloging system capabilities of the program in this article.
Notice the OffLine Media Option in the Folders menu.
Now I have clicked the Offline Media Option open exposing my MA disk numbers (Master Archive CD and DVD) which correspond to a number written on the disk itself. The physical DVDs and CDs are stored on spindles in numeric order so it is easy to find and pull the disk needed.
Now I have clicked on the disk MA-0001 and it exposes a thumbnail catalog of the images on that disk.
Shortly after clicking on one of the thumbnails of anything offline this window will pop up telling you what disk # to insert to access the file. Once the disk is inserted then all of the ACDSee thumbs are the linked to the actual images themselves.
In the screenshot below I have searched for that particular PICT0392 stored on MA-0001 disk above and ACD has turned up tons of photos with that file number on my system, and on my offline media. Notice
EXIF and IPTC and other data are stored along with the thumbnail image in the database
Once you click that particular PICT0392 you are looking for this window pops up telling you to insert the correct disk to access the image.
With an offline cataloging system like ACDSee's no longer do your drawers
full have CD's and DVD's need to sit unusable and unsearchable!
If you have a ton of photo DVD's and CD's archived that you need to catalog
in a searchable fashion, ACDSee has provided photographers with good
system at a very low price. ACDSee has been recommended by many reviewers and
photography sites including the staff of DPreview.com and I certainly
would not hesitate to recommend this program to anyone looking for an
affordable image cataloging solution.
|The Sony a700 and the KM 18-70 Kit Lens Get The Job Done on Independence Day 2008!
Believe it or not I shot the entire fireworks 2008 firworks show was with the Sony A700 and the KM 18-70mm kit
lens, manually focused in the dark, at f11 and ISO 100! My *target* shutter
speed on the majority of the shots was 3.2 seconds, but the full range of speeds
I used was from .5 seconds to 6 seconds. The focal lengths on *most* of the
shots was between 18-26mm. The small bursts required the longest shutter speeds,
for the grand finale I had to cut it down to .5 seconds per exposure. I believe
around 4200 shells were launched during the 30 minute sky concert, and the cost
of the show was near $70,000.
This was my 6th year shooting this show, and the A700 + 18-70 kit produced more
keepers than my Minolta 7hi, Minolta 5D, and the Sony A100 efforts did in the
past. My position was sitting on the bank of the river, with my tripod about 2
feet off the ground. I was so close to the river at one point I actually dropped
one of my batteries and it slid into the river, luckily I leaned over the bank
and retrieved it as it had fallen onto a rock outcropping protruding from the
water. This year it was tougher than usual to secure a solid position for the
night shoot as the masses had converged on the downtown area for a big outdoor
rock concert prior to the show.
To view over 180 images and exif information from my 30 minute July
4th, 2008 shoot please click here.
|Super Sexy Sony Alpha Cheerleader Gallery Now Open - Sony Alpha a700 Does the Crush Girls in Milwaukee!!
The Sony Alpha a700 DSLR performed beyond my expectations in Milwaukee while
covering the Rock River Raptors playing the Boncerushers in CIFL indoor football action.
The Bonecrushers have a stunning dance team, and I am very happy the Sony a700
was able to capture the beauty and the enthusiasm of this awesome indoor football
dance squad adequately.
to view the amazing Sony A700 Crush Girls photo gallery.
Click here to view
all of the Sony Alpha photo galleries.
Click here to
view all of the football and cheerleader galleries at RockRiverFootball.com