Canon’s 30 millionth

DPReview posted that Canon built their 30 millionth EF lens. This is quite a feat since they only introduced the mount in 1987 (a new mount to go along with a new “EOS” body which added Minolta’s auto-focusing ideas into their previous auto-exposure (AE) design), just under twenty years ago. This is great stuff!

Canon EF lens lineup

“Canon lens lineup” by Canon USA

For reference, Nikon built their 30 millionth in 2001 and introduced that mount in 1959, or just over forty years. Continue reading Canon’s 30 millionth

Scanning resolution…

Here is a question I received today:

We’re planning to buy the 35mm film negatives from our wedding photographer, and we would like to have them scanned into digital format (as a back-up, and so friends/family can order prints). A friend of a friend offered to help us out—and “scan them at 16-bit resolution” for free.
Does that refer to bit depth (i.e. 65,536 colors) – or something else?
Would 11″x14″ prints from a “16-bit resolution” scan look ok?

Continue reading Scanning resolution…

Moving to the Front Row

I’m always amazed that so many Mac users haven’t seen Front Row just because it is installed only on an iMac (G5 and Core Duo).

Now that the MacBook Pro is out with the Front Row installed, I recalled that there was some way to hack other Macs to run the software. I wondered what the status was and a quick web search shows that it is alive and well.

Following the instructions, I got it working on my Powerbook G4. As you can see from the video, it is a little sluggish when you are running it and SnapzPro to record it, and I think it may be related to some issues I might have with DVD Player crashing the first time I launch it. But other than that, the behavior is full of the usual Apple eye-candy goodness.

“Moving to the Front Row” by me
Front Row running on a Macintosh Powerbook G4 (sped up 2x).

Continue reading Moving to the Front Row

Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year eCard - Dog 06
“Dog ’06” by Mnemonix

Michael Rowley whom I know from work designed some kick butt Chinese New Year images for Plaxo eCards. You can check them out here (they’re the one’s marked “new”).

He uses his mad pict-o-graphics skills on one of them. There is another clever one from with an image kindly provided by Marya Figueroa. Look for them.

I can’t wait to see more.

They’re all premium cards but you can send them via a 30 day free trial.

BTW, Chinese New Year is on January 29th, 2006, so you can postdate your e-cards to send on that day. (I really should make that automatic in a future release.)

Feeding the Canon trolls

I hate how nearly every discussion that mentions Canon and Nikon in the same breath degenerates into a pissing contest. Yes, I’ve been guilty of this myself, but I like to think my rants are of a different quality than mindless cheering of “my team.”

Having said that, I wanted to piss on another troll here in my blog, because of something I read in this Flickr thread. It is typical of many things I’ve seen spouted. Continue reading Feeding the Canon trolls

ZF lenses

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

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.

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