Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Geek photography

I'm still not bored of our last mountain trip, especially because now rainy season has started, I know things are now very different up there. The excuse for another post is that I got my film back from Yodobashi Camera.


Day 2: The moon at Karasawa Curl

At Karasawa Curl

Day 3: Since I don't have a tripod, here's evidence that we weren't the only ones up at stupid o'clock.

Sunrise from Kita Hotakadake

Stupid o'clock - Yarigatake

Yarigatake at sunrise

Stupid o'clock, Hotakadake

Hodaka from Kita Hotaka

Now for extra super cool geek part. The picture with the moon in, and the one of Yari were both taken with an 100mm f2.8 lens. Such lenses are typically huge, heavy and expensive - they have to be big so they can catch all those photons - right? Not so great for taking up mountains! Turns out they don't have to be big at all...at about about 2 inches long and about 200g, the 1980 Series E is the smallest 100mm lens Nikon have ever made. It is also very cheap. The catch - it neither focuses nor exposes on most modern cameras, my N80s film camera included! Needless to say it also doesn't have the other "features" that weigh down modern lenses, such as image stabilisation. The lack of exposure isn't a deal-breaker on a digital camera since you can take a picture, look at it, adjust settings and take another. Not so easy for film - unless you have a light meter, which I don't. What we did was use our point and shoot digital cameras to take exposures, then do some sums and work out the exposure for the film. What a lot of fun it was doing mental arithmetic at stupid o'clock. ...adjust aperture and speed from P&S exposure to something the camera can actually do (and with 1/100th second or faster shutter speed), adjust exposure for different ISO, and for the polariser if necessary... check by considering sunny 16 rule... press shutter. It worked! Perhaps I should more often try thinking before I shoot...

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