ZF lenses

Zeiss introduces ZF lens for Nikon F-mount

Zeiss today announced the much rumored foray into Nikon SLR cameras with the ZF lens series for the Nikon F-mount. (Previously Zeiss only made interchangeable photo lenses for Contax.)

These lenses are manual-focus prime lenses. In particular a 50mm (Planar T* 1.4/50 ZF) and 85mm (Planar T* 1.4/85 ZF) lenses. Probably much better constructed than the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor that is my most used lens. Of course, the $100 price point is hard to beat, even if I give up 2/3 of a stop.

It will be interesting to see if Zeiss will be able to carve out a niche in the prime lens market without the corporate advantages they had in the Contax line.

I hope so.Continue reading ZF lenses

MacRumors MacWorld roundup

MacRumors Logo

Arn posts a roundup of the Macworld 2006 rumors. I have always loved the work he has done there, even though MacRumors is an aggregator of rumors, not a news site itself, he seems to have a “taste” for what is good Mac news and what isn’t living up to his tag-line: “news and rumors you care about.” Truely.

One thing interesting in the report is the implication of 13″ widescreen Intel iBooks (“MacBooks”) and Intel-based Mac Minis in the spring. Caitlin notes that if true, it would leave a single non-Intel hole in the line up: pro desktops and servers (PowerMac G5 and XServes).Continue reading MacRumors MacWorld roundup

WMV on Mac OS X

After I read that Microsoft quietly discontinued support for Windows Media on Mac OS X, I didn’t know what to make of it. Just another free app for the Mac that Microsoft is discontinuing—guess MSN Messenger is next on the chopping block.

Flip4Mac WMV logo

As a consunmer, it reminded me that I needed to install a Windows Media Player solution on my computer again, as it begins its arduous recovery from a drive failure. At work, many people zip around video and given the platform predelictions here, many times that video is something in Windows Media. Well, I guess that leaves out Windows Media Player X 9.0.

Now normally I would download the latest MPlayer or VideoLAN Client to do this, but that always seemed a kludge. Oh, they have their uses, but I mostly I’m talking about a one-trick WMV playback-pony. Luckily, the article pointed out a solution I had bookmarked and forgotten about: Flip4Mac WMV.Continue reading WMV on Mac OS X

Address Book sharing

Mac OS X Tiger is full of features you never notice until someone is looking over your shoulder saying, “What’s that?”

In this case, Joseph was looking over my shoulder and what he noticed was an accidental drop down sheet in Address Book that led me to realize that Address Book supports address book sharing through dotMac. I don’t think I ever saw it mentioned but is interesting given who I work for.

Address Book—Subscribe to .Mac Address Book

This is a sheet that pops up when you select “File->Subscribe to Address Book…” from the menu in Address Book. I had no idea it was there until today.

Continue reading Address Book sharing

How to waterblur

Someone asked on Flickr how you get waterblur in your photographs.

You can go into aperture priority stick and stop down to f/22 to get waterblur, but you are hitting the diffraction limits of the lens and losing sharpness. (Remember, if you have a polarizer hanging around, it doubles as an 2-stop ND filter. If you have a pocket digital camera, your sunglasses can be a filter in a pinch.)

Horsetail Falls, Columbia Gorge

Horsetail Falls, Columbia Gorge” by tychay
3 exposures (2.5″, 0.6″, 1/6″) (Nikon D70) ƒ22, iso 200, 12mm (18mm), 81A + polarizer, tripod

ND filters and a tripod are your best bet. A neutral-density (ND) filter allows you to experiment with waterblur on a sunny day:

Redwoods and West Berry Creek, Big Basin State Park

Redwoods and West Berry Creek, Big Basin State Park” by tychay
3 exposures (3″, 1.3″, 1/4″) (Nikon D70) ƒ16. iso 200, 12mm (18mm), vari-ND, tripod

Continue reading How to waterblur

A Million Little Equivocations

Million Little Pieces by James Frey

I think what Frey did was wrong and probably potentially harmful to real drug addicts out there, but it wasn’t that interesting until I read that Oprah put her stamp of approval on it—“essential emotional truths” my ass.

We live in a world of political double speak, where even the big O thinks she is entitled to it.Continue reading A Million Little Equivocations

ID as nominal philosophy

LA Times reports on a California lawsuit concerning “Intelligent Design.”

Since Intelligent Design as a science was universally shut down, the idea this time is to nominally call Intelligent Design “Philosophy of Design” while teaching it as a science or religion course. It’s a lot like a long car trip with your older brother in reverse: you agree upon a line you cannot cross and then he puts his finger over, then his arm over, an escalates until you start fighting again. Amusing stuff.Continue reading ID as nominal philosophy