JIFFACO - unlimited

Na této stránce najdete věci týkající se techniky používané při fotografování.
This page is all about devices used in photography.

There are things upside down on this page. Like in wag.the.dog the newest is first.


2006-03-25: Lens battle - Flektogon 35mm 1:2.4 MC v. Lithagon 35mm 1:2.8 C

Back to the bed. I made a lot of pictures of my not used bed and take the sharpest ones. Some things has to be noted.
* Flektogon has not the 2.8 F-stop. I used first click after 2.4. There are 2 positions betweend 2.4 and 4.0.
Flaktogon had huge sun shade, Lithagon was naked.
I had to use direct flash for F-stop 5.6 because indirect was too weak. I know, that it would be much better if I used indirect lighting, but there were no other way. Firing system of my flash army (8 flashes) has not been done yet.
And as usual, all pictures were convertered in SPP with the same settings (Exposure -0.5, Contrast +0.3, Shadow -0.5, Highlight +0.5, Saturation +0.1, Sharpnes +1.0, X3 Fill Light +0.3, Temperature fixed - flash, Color adjustment 22C+21M). Color was straighten with a grey table (left corner) on first fist picture (Lithagon,F2.8,indirect flash). It might be slight unreal on other ones, but I kept it for all pictures same to be able to compare colors both lens.
There are results:

Because of the Lithagon is not so known lens there are pictures of it:

There is no back side view, because the back side was shaped to fit into CSM422 and not to touch Sigma SD IR filter. Simply back side is not in original shape, so it should not be shown here.


2006-01-29: Lens battle - SMC Takumar 50/1:1.4 v. Porst Color Reflex 55/1:1.4

Please look on pictures below and make your own results.

All pictures were made as series of 8 images with different focus. The picture with sharpest forest on the horizon in the middle of picture was used here. I you think that you need wires, walls or some dominant objects in the picture, please make you own test! But I'm sure you will not see how the sharpness is distributed over image area. You will only see something is sharper or less sharp. But it could be not only because of natural sharpness of the lens but because of different focus and different distance from objects. To make picture exactly focused to the object with constant distance from the camera is only way. This object are trees on horizon. The trees in the forefront are there only to checking deep of focus. But I hope you know it. If not, you might rather look on the wires or wall tests made by someone else. Of course you are not able to see what happens in the corners. But information how it is sharp on the left or right edge is enough for comparing these 2 lens, for me. If you miss corners or apertures between 1.4 and 4, pay me one day off and I will do it! And for the dummies I will cut only horizon, because it seems they are not able to understand if they see more than they need to see.


2005-08-12: Accessories: 4GB Microdrive with Share Steno CD211

I have bought 4GB microdrive instead of 2GB solid-state CF card. I will not make speed tests, because it has been already done by many magazines. I want to show how Microdrive can works with Share Steno CD211 even the maker says "Microdrives are not supported".

The problem is current limitation. It is set to 330mA. It is not enough to start Microdrive disk. What we need to do is open device, remove PCB and near the USB connector exchange one resistor. Removed resistor you can see on Picture 1. There is red arrow in place of resistor. Picture 2 shows new resistor on the place. You need one resistor 1k ohm in size 603. Original value is 1k5. You have changed current limitations to 0.5 A
Next step, that can be useful, but not necessary, is adding some capacitors to hard disk power lines. I did it a some time ago. I have problems with strange sounds coming from HDD and crashing backups with CF cards. With XD was everything OK. It seems that CF has bigger power consumption and disk has problems when moving heads fast during write operation. So I added 2 capacitors (470uF each) near HDD connector. Picture 3 shows how it is placed on side with LCD and second capacitor is directly on the connector on second side. You can see it on Picture 4 and Picture 5.
You can do more tuning of CD211. For example bigger battery. There is 2Ah battery on Picture 5. It is parallel combination of 2 cells, small piece of universal PCB and a lot of adhesive tape. That resistor on the front of battery is just only for compatibility with original cell. Picture 6 shows how it looks with battery inside. The hard drive is not really in right position shows Picture 7 but it fits into connector without any problems - Picture 8. One think you have to remember with such home made battery - it has no under voltage protection. You can easily destroy the lithium-ion cells!

And now you can see it all in action...

Hardware issues have been solved, but one important thing stays open. Apacer Share Steno CD211 supports FAT12,16 and 32, but FAT16 only with clusters size 32KB. It is limited with 2GB space. Non-standard 4GB FAT16 with 64KB clusters is unsupported. It can read files in root directory, but not files in any other subdirectory. I have sent question to Apacer, but I don't hope they can solve it.

Only for testing purpose I formatted 4GB card to FAT32. Copying card full of X3F files takes 33,5 minutes. With 2Ah battery I managed to do 2 copies. During third one the device stopped in middle saying "Low Battery". Battery was not fully charged before test, so we can guess that 3 copies are possible with fully charged battery and some more time between each operation. Today it was 8GB successfully transferred.

I did the same test with 256MB Apacer Photo Steno(*) semiconductor CF card and I could do 27 copies. Each copy means switching on, scanning usb, menu operation, copying, 1 minute timeout to power off. With switching off just after each copy I believe that the number can be 30-50 percent bigger. But leaving it one minute is more realistic usage, than switching just after copy finishes. Anyway, 27 cards is les then 7GB.

Shortly about speeds. Microdrive speeds in pc are a little bit more then 2MB/s writing, more than 4MB/s reading. CD211 can read it in aprox. 2000 seconds. It is read speed 2MB/s. Mentioned 256MB card writes less then 2MB/s (2MB/s if empty, 1,6MB/s if almost full) and reads 4,5MB/s. To made copy into CD210 takes 1:40. It is more than 2,5MB/s ... Silicon card is faster than HDD. If I have this card with 4GB, the full copy will take les then 27minutes. I could save 7 minutes with this type of card. The same is in SD10 camera. Microdrive is slower even the speeds in PC are better. Microdrive has only one pros - the price!

Conclusion: CD211 - cheap, nice looking, user tuneable device with small battery live time that can't read 4GB FAT16 file system. If you are looking for something faster why don't try PD70X?

(*) Does anyone know what the word "Steno" means? Apacer has almost everything named "Steno"


2005-08-10: Lens report - Rubinar 500/1:8 versus Sigma SA 70-300/1:4-5,6

Two lens in this test. First is mirrored Rubinar 500mm with fixed F=8 and second is my old telezoom Sigma 70-300 at the long end.
Pictures from Sigma are made with only f=300mm and resampled in Photoshop (bucubic,sharper) to 170,91... percent. They exactly fits the size coming from Rubinar. The building is about 600m far. The outlook tower is 4,6km far. Taken in evening just before sunset. Used Manfrotto 190PROB tripod with 460Mg head. At photo of building with sigma you can see long but not so strong blur in vertical axis. It might be problem of my floor. Its old wood and even I tried to go as far as possible I could produce some vibrations. Anyway you still can compare sharpness and details in horizontal axis.

My result is that Rubinar could bring a little bit more details than resampled Sigma can do. But the difference is really small.
Pros for rubinar are its size, nice grip, precise focusing, "circle bokeh" and of course filters coming with it that I can use with Sigma 17-35. Cons is only one: too blurry pictures. From the other side pros for Sigma are auto focus (definitely), it is zoom, can use higher F number than Rubinar, can focus from 0.9m. Cons are the size when at 300mm, inaccurate manual focusing, can't be held at focus ring, because it moves so easy


2005-08-3: Lens report - Zenitar 16/1:2.8 blurred left side corrected

Something about 0.7mm inside back plate and rest of the lens. Left and right focus is balanced, but infinity is again unreachable. I'm going to get thicker back filter. Thicker glass makes longer working distance of the lens and infinity will be reachable without mechanical changes in the lens.


2005-07-24: Sigma SD10 - can take pictures in far IR

One picture in BW. Auto white balance have done strange colours. After selecting some preset (Sun, Cloudy) almost whole soldering iron was violet or purple. So I changed it to monochromatic for sharper details. Its really hard to focus right for infrared waves.


2005-07-24: Lens report - new Zenitar 16/1:2.8 in mountains action

Only 2 shots. Both with infinity on lens ring. Left side is blurred. Something is wrong. Colour aberration on the break between the hill and sky is really big, but it seems to be normal for this lens.


2003 or 2004: Power consumption of digital camera Sigma SD9.

I don't want to say what is hoho-power-pack. Name is derived from surnames of two founders: Me and my college from work. You only need to know that all camera functions are powered from single battery pack. It has 5 classical AA rechargeable cells and all are in the body of camera. No external box is needed. It have been developed because of CR123A price. One piece costs from 150 do 250 Czech crowns - aprox. from 5 to 8 USD. This is to high price for me. I'm digital photographer - I don't spend money for the films and I don't want to spend money for batteries! After one week of usage hoho-power-pack I have found that consumption of some of cells is too high. Ampermeter have proved it. Results are below:

					hohobat		digital		analogue
					5xAA		4xAA		2xCR123A

power-off / good suspend		50-60 uA	~10 uA		43 uA
digilowbat flashing			70		2 		?
ready					330		240		90
release half depressed			350		- 		100
during active focusing			500-1000?	-		150-500?
shoot, curtain open			1400 		900 		340-360
shoot, post process 			1200		900		-		(only for long times)
writing to card				600		550		-
LCD on 					600-1100 	600 - 900	-		(depend on picture)
lowbat (can't be on)			?		2 mA		?		(inserted old batteries)

almost all in mA, reprinting or another any public usage of this numbers is prohibited until I give you permission

This is very close I have been expecting. Only power during taking picture is a pretty high. Now I know why the night shooting is so battery consuming :-).