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  • 2011
    • March
      • Internet Explorer Javascript Strangeness
        I finally solved one of the issues my Pic a Day gallery had with Internet Explorer:
        For any reason, IE (tryed on IE6, IE7, IE8) is unable to dynamically create a not yet declared variable when you directly affect the result of some function.

        Javascript is supposed to automatically cr

  • 2010
    • November
      • Photo Recipe: Architectural Blueprint, step by step
        To create this, it is relatively easy once you found a suitable area to photograph. You need some big straight lines, and preferably some repetitive square patterns, like from windows, tiles,...

        I used the inner structure of the Arche de la Défense, near Paris:


    • September
      • Photo Recipe: Summer salad, step by step (food photography)
        In July Lara Ferroni challenged us to do a photo remake of Matt Armendariz's Ultimate Summer Salad. The key points are:
        *non-lettuce salade
        *landscape composition
        *strong rear light

        Here is how I created my shot, step by step:

        First, set up a placeholder wit

    • July
      • Some Planar 50/1.8 shots
        Here are a few shots made with the 50/1.8 m42 planar lens (available under the Zeiss, Rollei, Ifbagon and Voigtlander brandings), from my 2009 pic-a-day gallery:

    • April
      • 90mm macro lenses comparison (manual focus)
        Quite interested to know how much the modern Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90/2.8 (72B reference) would be an improvement over the older Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90/2.5 (52B and 52BB), I bought a brand new (likely old stock) 72B from KEH.

        This comparison is between 3 90mm macro lenses:
      • Two 21mm lenses, 30 years apart
        After a couple of years with my Soligor 21/3.8 lens (the same lens is also available under the Vivitar brand), I bought a modern 21mm in order to know what I could expect from 30 years of improvements on wide angle lenses.

        My 30 years old 21/3.8 Soligor lens (in T4 mount, used with an m42

    • January
      • Trying some food photography
        As I am often amazed by food pictures I decided to try it a bit, in order to start understanding how much work it requires. As I am not experienced within this field, I decided to start by imitating an already existing shot.

        I decided to copy this one:

        It is from th

  • 2009
    • December
    • November
      • Beroflex 28/2.8

        This 28mm f/2.8 MC Auto-Beroflex lens is a relatively small M42 mount lens featuring a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4 (higher magnification than a Sigma mini-wide which only goes to 1:6). While not exceptional, quality is quite good. Considering its low price, this is a very nice len

      • Some shots from the Porst 55mm f/1.2 PK lens

        Here are a few shots from the "Porst color reflex mc auto" 55/1.2 lens, in Pentax K mount. This lens is built by Cosina, and features 6 optical elements in 6 groups (so it is different from the 55mm f/1.2 Tomioka lens in M42 mount which features 7 elements in 6 groups). Oddly,

    • October
      • A few more Vivitar/Soligor 21/3.8 shots
        Some more shots from my Vivitar/Soligor 21/3.8 lens (T4 mount):

        (I actually own two copies of this 21mm lens: the Vivitar version and the Soligor version)

        All the pictures are from my 2009 pic-a

    • September
      • Zenitar M2s shots
        The Zenitar M2s is a very surprising lens. Designed to be a cheap replacement for Helios 44-x lenses as a kit lens for Zenit DSLRs, is a 50/2 lens in a fully plastic barrel (although some internals are made of metal). This plastic housing is really a pity, as it gives it a cheap look and feeling.
    • August
      • Jupiter 9 (M42 version) servicing
        Here is a partial repair guide for Jupiter 9 lenses. Unfortunately I was not able to fully dismantle it, as several screws broke when trying to use them.

        This lens optical schema is made of 7 elements in 3 groups. The diaphragm is located between the two triplets.

        The fro

    • July
      • Servicing an m42 Planar 50/1.8 to put it into manual aperture mode
        This is an 50/1.8 M42 planar lens, designed by Carl Zeiss (Oberkochen, not Jena) and built by Rollei in Singapore.
        This one is branded as Ifbagon, but it is also available under the "Rollei - Design by Carl Zeiss" and "Voigtländer Color-Ultron" labels.

    • May
      • Super Takumar 135/3.5
        I had the opportunity to try a 135mm f/3.5 Super Takumar lens.

        I have been surprised by the smooth handling of its focus ring, which is really pleasing to use. Even if it is only a Super Takumar and not an SMC Takumar, I did not had any flare issue (but I was using it with its

    • April
      • A few Rubinar 500/8 shots
        This is a 500mm F/8 russian mirror lens (m42 mount) of Maksutov (not Matsukov, as I first spelled it) design, manufactured by LZOS.

        Significantly more compact than a traditional 500mm lens, it is reasonably hand-holdable if there is enough light. While it is f/8, its actual tr

    • March
      • Soligor / Vivitar 21/3.8 in T4 mount
        This is an old T4 mount lens manufactured by Tokina, and released in 1977. This sample is branded as Soligor, but it was also released under the Vivitar brand.

        The Soligor version on camera, next to the Vivitar version.

        Using 72mm front filters, it is a mid sized lens, no

      • Modification of a T4 to M42 adapter
        There are some interesting lenses available from under the Vivitar and Soligor brands using the T4 mount. Adapters are available for several mounts, including m42, which can then be used on various modern cameras.

        However, there is a small issue: if your m42 adapter is not pushing the rea

    • February
      • The introduction of multi-coating on camera lenses
        Lenses coating dates back from 1935, when it was invented by Alexander Smakula, working for Carl Zeiss. While multi-layers coating (multi-coating) was invented in 1938 by Katharine Burr (at General Electric), it was not widely used on camera lenses untill the 70s.

        Early multi-coating were

    • January
      • Switched to Pentax
        So here it is, I finally updated my KM5D. I replaced it by a Pentax K20D, as it is the best choice right now for me, in order to cover my own specific needs.

        Here is my new everyday camera (yes, it looks a bit like Dr Frankenstein's camera with its red eye and tilted lens ):
  • 2008
    • November
      • Lenses coating influence in digital photography
        I've read many times that old pre-digital lenses might not be suitable for use on DSLR because of their weak coating. I was also aware of those tests by Pete Ganzel regarding sensor flare.

        Short explanation about sensor flare:
        Digital sensors are highly reflective (way more than

    • October
      • Switched to Nikon...because of the viewfinder
        Since about 2 years ago, I am using a KM5D, and lately, I mostly switched from AF lenses to MF lenses. However, our current viewfinders are not that good for manual focusing, compared to pre-AF area film SLRs.

        Sure, an a700 features a bigger viewfinder, but I did not felt like spending th

    • September
      • Macro Revuenon 1:3,5 / 35mm servicing
        Here is a repair guide for this m42 lens:

        Even if "macro" is mentioned, this is not a macro lens. At best it is a close-up lens, but not macro. It is obviously designed to be really cheap to manufacture, as the body is entirely made of cheap plastic, except 7 s

      • Javascript to work around CSS limitation: expand to container width
        Having a line of text which is as wide as its container width, sound simple? Well, actually it is not that easy.

        For my pic a day gallery I wanted to put a navigation interface under the thumbnails, and to have this navigation interface extend to the full possible width. Of course, as the

    • August
      • Servicing a Pentacon 50/1.8
        I had this "Pentacon auto 50/1.8 multicoated" m42 lens lying in bad shape since a few monthes ago(front part going away from rear part). I finally toke some time to fix it, so here is my small repair guide.

        First, unscrew the front ring with the markings on it. It is just a plas

      • AAC in FFMPEG
        There is a lot of activity regarding AAC in FFMPEG since July.

        The AAC decoder from Summer Of Code (SOC) 2006 is now included within the official FFMPEG tree, after cleanups by Robert Swain. It an AAC-LC and AAC-Main profiles decoder, so it can not yet replace FAAD/FAAD2 as it doesn'

    • July
      • Partial servicing of Tamron Adaptall SP 60-300
        I received a Tamron SP 60-300 lens which is in need of cleaning (fungus and grease on lens elements).
        I did not yet had time to fully clean it, but here are the steps for a partial cleaning (front part of the lens).

        Fold the top of the rubber grip:

        With a permanent m

      • Using sprites within CSS
        By random browsing, I found a web optimization article about using sprites within CSS.

        Sprites are basically a set of small size graphics that were used a long time ago to simulate characters animation within video games. There was a predefined set of postures per character, and by altern

    • April
      • 1970-1971 catalogs of Russian lenses
        Here are some old catalogs of Russian lenses, from 1970 and 1971. They are quite big, extensive (but of course are missing the lenses developped after 1971), and best of all, they include lenses diagrams. If you are interested into this kind of lenses, those will be quite usefull.

        Table o

    • February
      • Pic-a-day for 2008
        Considering that I'm already doing the "one prime for one month" challenges from Dyxum, and considering that those challenges happen every 3 month, that obviously means that I'm shooting 1 pic per day during 1/3rd of the year.
        ... so why not going further?
        Thus, I decid

  • 2007
    • December
      • Is Vorbis really a standard?
        Until now, Ogg/Theora and Ogg/Vorbis were included within the HTML 5 recommendation as a feature that "should" be supported:

        "User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio, as well as the Ogg container format."

        Nokia just issued a position

    • October
      • Oktober Fest - one prime challenge
        There is a nice "contest" going on at Dyxum, a Minolta/Sony DSLR website. During october, for one month participants should only shoot with one prime lens (ie fixed focal length, ie non-zoom). A Nikon forum, Nikoncafe, will also host the same event, but for Nikon shooters


    • September
      • Minolta MC/MD lenses on Canon EOS cameras
        Today, I found a webpage about using Minolta MC/MD lenses on EOS cameras. Using some clever mechanical engineering, this one allows infinity focus without any alteration of the lenses (ie no need to modify lenses).
        The problem of MC/MD lenses with Canon EOS mount is that the registration distan

    • August
      • Pixmantec RawShooter Essentials and Samsung GX-1L
        RawShooter Essentials is commercially dead since Adobe bought Pixmantec. However, it's still a quite useful little application, that you can find using your favorite search engine.

        RSE doesn't know about Samsung GX-1L. This camera is in fact identical to the Pentax *istDL2, with

    • July
      • Running LightZone under Ubuntu / AMD64
        If you want to run LightZone under an 64 bits version of Ubuntu (in my case Feisty/7.04), you will quickly discover that it does not work out of the box.

        Here is how I solved it:

        *download latest LightZone 2.4 from here

        *download LightZone 2.1

        *unpack both

    • May
      • A 64 bits version of Windows Vista?
        I recently bought a new laptop to replace my old one (an antique PIII-1100MHz).

        I naturally bought one able to run in x64 mode. It was bundled with a professional version of Windows Vista. That's nice, as the home version would have annoyed me, due to the lack of many things that I c

    • April
      • Small loops, Duff's device, Core2 and Athlon64
        Today, I played a bit with loops unrolling and AMD Code Analyst.
        One of the ways to unroll loops in C is to use a Duff's device. While a bit strange at first, this is quit handy for quick loops unrolling.

        While having a look at the generated assembly code with and without it (co

    • March
      • Sony A10 and A1 at PMA 2007
        Sony shown two new DSLR from the alpha line at PMA 2007. One (let's call it a10) is supposed to be a Minolta 7D replacement, and the other one (let's call it a1) is an higher range model.

        Those are just mock-ups, not yet real cameras. However, that is still a quite good thing, a

    • February
      • Rawstudio: an open source raw converter
        Raw converters was an area with an obvious lack of open source offer.
        Of course, basic solutions like using the UFRaw plugin for the Gimp or even directly using DCRaw from the command line were possible. But it only provides a minimal solution (not even mentionning that the Gimp does not yet su

    • January
      • Cult lens versus cheap modern lens
        As a zoom lens for my Dynax 5D, I originally bought a relatively cheap 70-300 Tamron zoom. With all the positive things said on the Dyxum forum about the old lens known as the "Beercan", I decided to buy one. In order to know how do both really compare, I decided to do a few tests.
      • A few software-only features to improve DSLRs
        From time to time, I am wondering "why is this feature not available in my camera?".

        To me, there are some features that might be quite handy in some situations, and strangely they are not always available. The surprising thing is that many of them are pure software features, wh

  • 2006
    • December
      • CCD reading and mechanical considerations in DSLR
        Found a very interesting interview of Pentax engineers about the K10D.
        They are mainly talking about data acquisition/reading from the 10Mp sensor and mechanical consideration.

      • About speed increase between x86 and x64, AMD vs Intel
        When switching from x86 to x64, it seems that Lame is getting about a 15% speed increase. Something to be considered is that in x86 mode we are using some hand-coded mmx and 3dnow functions, and some sse intrinsics functions (well, only 1 function right now), while in x64 we are only using the sse i

    • November
      • Does higher density sensor imply more noise?
        This year, there is a trend toward increased sensor density in DSLR, mainly because of the new 10 megapixels cameras.
        Many people (including me) are wondering about the noise level of those cameras compared to the lower density sensors. We have the following models that are in competition:
      • Switching raw negatives to DNG?
        I am wondering about swiching my raw files to DNG, mainly because of space constraints.

        Right now, my Minolta (5D) raw files are about 9 MB each one. Of course, it's quickly becoming (storage) space consuming, but I'm still reluctant to only keep jpeg versions. When you decide t

      • Quad cores benchmarks and LAME
        Some samples of Intel "quad cores" processors are now available. As with the introduction of dual cores, we'll see a lot of hardware websites doing some benchmarks. Several of them will also use LAME encoding as one of the tests.

        In the current version (3.97) LAME is not mu

    • October
      • LAME encoding speed evolution
        For the sake of curiosity, I tested the evolution of encoding speed of Lame using different versions. To simplify things, encoding is done at default settings (128kbps/cbr). Computer features MMX/3dnow/SSE/SSE2, audio file is about 1 minute long.

        Here are the results:

        3.20: 3.5

      • Noise shaped ADPCM encoding
        ADPCM is a very basic audio coding scheme, and is quite fast to encode and decode. The drawback is that compression is quite limited (fixed to 4 bits per sample), and so is the quality.

        As it's based on encoding a difference from the predicted sample, and that prediction is based on

      • First post
        Here it is, my first post on my new (first) blog.
        I finally decided to set up a blog, in order to be able to voice my opinion and express my ideas about things that do not fit into

        I wanted to have a simple flat file blog, in order to retrieve its data in an easier way