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Tech Tips

Tech Tips

OP Expert George Lepp tackles your technical photography questions in Tech Tips.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Lowdown On Zooms

Digital And Optical Zooms • How Many Clicks Do You Get? • The Color Of sRGB And Adobe RGB (1998) • Film Vs. Digital Vs. Sensor Size...Again

My son has a digital point-and-shoot camera with an 18x zoom, but when you zoom to the extreme end, the viewfinder displays a message that it’s a digital zoom, and the resulting quality isn’t very good. Is it also true that zoom lenses on D-SLRs don’t work well at their maximum ends? My 200mm zoom telephoto has a 1.6x factor. How does this relate to the digital vs. optical zoom on my son’s point-and-shoot?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away

Scanning Kodachrome • Choosing Quality Lenses • Best ƒ-Stop Revisited • Large-Format Printing

Q I’m using a Nikon Coolscan V to digitize some of my film images into versions I can display or market online. I choose good, technically correct slides to convert. Typically, E-6 images (Velvia, Ektachrome VS, Ektachrome G) look fine as .jpg or .tif files with little extra work. But I’m often disappointed with the results of scanned K25 or K64 Kodachrome slides. What should I do?
C. Toops
Marshall, North Carolina

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Close And Personal

Close-Up Sharpness • Water, Sky And Time • Blue Sky Blues • Fine-Art Prints

Is there a fundamental problem with using close-up filters on zoom lenses?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Keeping Gear Safe

ATV Camera Transport • Not All JPEGs Are Equal • Out, Darned Spot! • Worn-Out Imaging

I live in southern Utah where there’s an extensive ATV trail system and the possibility for some unique photographs.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time For Your Close-Up

More Macro • Matching Backups • Image Card Rescue The Best ƒ-Stop • Glass Beads Vs. Matte • Live View New

I have a 180mm macro and extension tubes, and I’m considering purchasing a 65mm macro. What kind of benefit would it really offer in terms of improved magnification and/or quality?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Getting The Most Out Of Fall Color

Autumn Color • Bracket, Bracket, Bracket • Edit, Edit, Edit • Finding The Problem

Fall is here, and my past experience is that I never come back with the brilliant leaf colors that were before my camera. Do I need special filters on my lenses, or is it all done in Photoshop?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Scan In 16- Or 8-Bit?

I've been scanning slide film on the Nikon Coolscan V ED in 16-bit mode, but this yields a big 130 MB file, which further enlarges during Photoshop CS3 editing. The large file won’t open in Photoshop Bridge. If I scan in 8-bit, will my file quality suffer?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pan Or Ball?

Recently I went shopping for a new tripod/head combo. At one store the salesperson told me that I should get a pan head because it gave greater control. At another store the salesperson said that the ball head is the only way to go because it’s quicker. What is your opinion of the two head styles, and how do they compare in stability, or is it just a matter of personal preference?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crop Or Magnify?

In the quest for magnification and image resolution, is it better to crop an image in the computer rather than resorting to the use of teleconverters (1.4x – 2x) in the field? I am aware that there will be a pixel reduction with the former as against more glass with the latter and the possibility of a poor optical match.

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