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About Bill_D

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    Bay Area, California
  • Photographic Interests
    Nature, botany, gardening, camping, hiking, landscape photography
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  1. Dallas, I agree about the Oly 12-40/2.8. I love this lens, the way it handles, and the results it gives me. While it's not as compact as the slow kit zooms, it gives me more choice in apertures given m43's 'low ceiling' of acceptable apertures due to diffraction.
  2. Bill_D

    Unusual snow in Tokyo

    We just had our warmest January ever by far in northern and central California, and until a couple of weeks ago Alaska was extremely warm for this time of year and often warmer than much of the central US. There was a persistent glitch in the atmospheric circulation pattern that sent warm air north over the eastern Pacific and the west coast of North America, while unusually cold air went far south in the middle and eastern part of the country.
  3. Filter quick changers (boxes) and extra filter drawers, at Teleskop-Service http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=TS+Filter+Quick+Changer&suchdas=OK and at Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=k%3ATS-Optics+ultra-slim+filter+drawer%2Ci%3Aelectronics&keywords=TS-Optics+ultra-slim+filter+drawer&ie=UTF8&qid=1386826772 . One problem I noted is that with these items one loses automated communications between the camera and the lens. This would generally be the case anyway when using a cross-format adapter, but it is something to keep in mind if you're planning on photographing something that changes fast enough that you'd want auto-exposure working.
  4. Thanks, Bjørn! The key here is flexibility to allow experimentation. Baader claims you can stack their filters but we'll have to see when I get to that point. Meanwhile, I have three extra Nikon filters on their way. They will be available for sacrifice should I go that route which I expect to do. I photographed the annular eclipse and Venus transit last year in visible using a solar filter, and the next step is to try other wavelengths!
  5. I'm posting this in the main technical discussions forum because while my inquiry is motivated primarily by invisible spectrum efforts, people doing only visible light photography might assist with these equipment questions or benefit from answers that may be provided. In learning about Nikon lenses I've found that a certain proportion have unusual filter arrangements. These include internal filters on a wheel (several fisheyes), internal but exchangeable filters in a holder (various long lenses), rear-mounted filters (the mirror lenses among others), and rear gel filters (14mm f/2.8). The rear-mounted and holder-mounted filters are special Nikon filters with external threads and a unique thread pitch. Other makes of filter won't fit these threads, and the filter holders have limited clearance in any case. Thus you are limited to using the filters Nikon made, if you can find them. This limited selection of filters presented only modest issues when I was shooting 35mm film, as I seldom used these lenses. Now this situation has reared its head again due to my new photographic efforts. Additional issues I'm faced with are that certain specialty filters such as the Baader astronomical filters are only available in 1.25" and 2" sizes, making them too small to go in front of some lenses. Due to the Nikon thread, they also won't fit in the filter holders or on the back of lenses with rear-mounted filters. So here I am plotting ways of trying to use certain lenses for astronomical uses and for UV on converted wide-spectrum cameras. Currently I have a wide-spectrum Panasonic GX1 and a wide-spectrum D5100; IR is taken care of with dedicated IR cameras. Here are the specifics: 1. Sometimes lenses will go on a M4/3 camera via a mount adapter. I want to glue an adapter ring inside the mount adapter which could receive various 1.25" filters such as the Baader Venus, H-alpha, or others. This looks doable in at least some cases, though I have yet to find a suitable adapter ring to use for this project. Before I ruin a mount adapter or find unexpected optical issues, are there any things I need to be aware of when I pursue this modification? Is there a better way to go about this concept other than a custom filter box / mount adapter? 2. I'd like to be able to place similar filters on the rear end of lenses having a filter mount there. This might work (given careful attention to mirror clearance) if anyone makes or has made an adapter to the special Nikon thread. I have not found any such thing yet. 3. I'd like to be able to place similar filters in the filter holder of suitable Nikon lenses. It looks like this would require custom-modified filters, either placing the filter glass into the Nikon filter ring (with a filler ring due to the difference in diameter) or else finding an adapter to connect the special Nikon thread on the filter holder to custom-made slim-line filters. (The effects of the undersized filter diameter, 33mm vs. 39mm, hopefully would be addressed by the DX format of the camera.) 4. It looks like I could use slimline 48mm filters in my Canon FD 800/5.6, though I have not tried yet since I don't have any in that size. My Baader Venus filter (supposedly 2" but really 48mm, and serving as a proxy for all the other Baader filter types), does more or less fit the screwthread but is too wide to allow the filter holder to go back into the lens. Sounds like custom filter-ring fabrication is needed. At some point dealing with numbers 2 through 4 might get so expensive that I'd be better off just getting an internal-filter UV camera, or maybe a wide-spectrum NEX with filters in the adapter as per #1. However, for now I'm trying to avoid more conversions. Lenses and supporting equipment are good essentially indefinitely if properly cared for, while digital cameras and conversions thereof have a definite half-life. Alternately, I could just stick with M4/3 cameras for these lenses, but I'd like to have more choices in format. I'd greatly appreciate any information or suggestions on these issues! Thanks, Bill
  6. Thanks, stenrasmussen. I've already posted a few photos of the Bay Area in my album.
  7. Thanks, Oliver. I found the critical info in the UVIR section, namely that the D700, like some other Nikon full-frames, uses an internal IR light and is not recommended for IR conversion. That's fine- there are other choices for conversion like the D7000 and D300s which offer live view and which can meter with unchipped lenses, a few of which are usable for UV photography. Starting up again with film is the cheaper route for now, though.
  8. Thanks to all for the welcomes! Dallas, most of the digital photos I have available and which are worth posting are from farther afield but I'll see what I can dredge up from the local area. Bjorn, yes, I've been interested in biology since I was a kid, but since adolescence mostly plants and in particular plant ecology and geography. Here in California we have tremendous plant (and overall ecological) diversity which makes it a very interesting place to travel in as either a naturalist or a scientist. Olivier, my one attempt at near-UV photography used a recommended color film which (unknown to me) had recently been reformulated to eliminate its UV sensitivity. My one attempt at near IR used a filter which recorded too much light in the visible/IR boundary region so I did not get the desired effect; it looked more like using a red filter. I'll try again, maybe even with my Pentax 67. I've also got some old and new lenses in 35mm that should work well for one or the other part of the spectrum. I'm particularly looking forward to near-IR black and white photography of stark places such as Mono Lake, the White Mountains, and Death Valley. All this is going to wait for at least a few months due to other priorities like getting my office set up and finishing the cleanup job after rats took up residence in our house; my den was one of their hangouts (!). At some point when I can afford it I'll get a used D300s or D700 and have it modded for UV and IR photography, which will enable use of color if I wish. Regards, Bill
  9. Hello all, I just joined to see what this site has to offer. Like Francis I've been photographing for a long time, since I was a child. I mostly photograph landscapes and other aspects of nature but I also photograph meetings of friends and family from time to time and document the trips my wife and I take. Currently I'm mainly using a Canon S95 for snapshots and a Nikon D7000 for more serious use, the latter mostly with the Nikon 16-85VR and the Nikon 12-24/4. Film still holds a place in my heart and I'm looking forward to getting out again with my Pentax 67 system in the next few months. I'm also interested in IR and UV photography and intend to make renewed efforts in those areas. I look forward to learning a lot here! Bill
  10. Bill_D


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