Canon 5200mm 1:14

Speaking of lenses, here’s a real blast from the past I came by over at eBay. Not a toy, and far from inexpensive, it doesn’t even matter if you’re already shooting a Canon system, because the cost of the camera body would be infinitely insignificant in comparison…

14 lens. Camera (circled in red) not included...

The Canon 5200mm 1:14 lens. Camera (circled in red) not included...

This lens uses two aiming telescopes, just to help you focus it… Apparently it was produced in very, very low quantities in the early 60s – 1962 to be exact.

From Canons own info:

This is the only ultra-telephoto lens in the world capable of taking photographs of objects 18 to 32 miles away (30km to 52kms away). Having a focal length of 5200mm, Canon Mirror Lens 5200mm can obtain one hundred times as large an object image as that of a 50mm lens.
For focusing this mounted or fixed lens on an extremely distant object, two aiming telescopes are set on the side of the lens barrel, and the entire lens is placed on a rigid stand which rotates smoothly. Minimizing the overall length had been a big problem in designing this lens. However, the Catadioptric system that is applied to the other two Canon mirror lenses has succeeded in reducing it down to one third of the nominal focal length. In general focal length and optical aberration increase with each other, however, our long and persistent research and development have succeeded in solving this problem. Canon mirror lens 5200mm composed of spherical main and secondary mirrors and a correction lens would assure you of clear images.

First of all, the claim that this is the only telephoto lens to be able to produce a photo of an object more than 30kms away is, ofcourse, bullocks. As some of you may well know, the earth is round, and the curvature of the earth is blocking your view of anything that far away. Should you, with the help of your well-trained army of assistants, manage to point this thing upwards, you’ll no doubt be able to take some nice moon shots, but many other telephoto lenses are able to do this, even though the moon is about 385000 kms away!

Secondly, whatever chinese spying program this was part of, them now decommissioning it probably means there’s even larger and better optics available.

You know what they say about the size of ones lens…

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Lensbaby releases 3 new lenses

Lensbaby has released 3 new inexpensive ‘toy lenses’, the Muse, the Composer and the Control Freak, now all including replaceable optics for even more creative playroom.

Lensbaby at Roskilde Festival

Lensbaby at Roskilde Festival. Photo: Mathias Vejerslev

These three new lenses are all built around the original concept: One sweet spot surrounded by blur, but these new versions appeal to different kind of photographers due to their different construction (handling).

I had a chance to play around a bit with the Lensbaby 3G at this years Roskilde Festival (thanks, Schack!), and was positively impressed with its effect. Its a refreshing feeling to not care so much about ultimate image quality (its basically a plastic lens, one that is difficult to focus!) but more about the possible image effects. It kind of ‘frees you up’ creatively, especially since you are all the time trying to selectively focus in a very obscure way. Both the ‘hunt’ and the ‘kill’ can be very satisfying – closest analogy is ‘like Photoshop but without the software!’ Ofcourse it can seem like a fad and can reach a point of being an overused gimmick, but if it gets to there, it aint the fault of the tools at hand. If you haven’t yet tried one of these babies, maybe it is time to see what you can do with it?

Lensbaby photos at Flickr

Vincent Laforet’s 5D Mark II video

Vincent Laforet, famous PJ, was lucky enough to get his hands on a pre-production model of the new 21MP Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera. He had it in his possession less than 72 hours, but he still managed to produce a short movie (less than 2 minutes, costing him $5000 – not counting gear) that has since made the rounds all over the internet. Why was this movie so hyped? – Because there’s nothing hotter in the Photography bizz today than the merger of still picture and movie technology in SLR class bodies. And the 5D Mark II delivers 1080p HD quality at 30 frames per second for up to 4GB a clip – at unprecedented high ISOs, and for the price point ($2699 body only in the USA. Europeans get the pleasure of paying the same amount in Pound Sterling) unprecedented image quality. The movie after the jump is scaled to a quarter of the original size – the original footage would quite simply be to large to meet the bandwidth demand.

You’ve got to give it to him – he knows his timing (Photokina, 5D II launch), and he managed to get the most out of the beast in the short time he had it in his hands. Especially considering he claims to have no prior videography experience!

Vincents Reverie, filmed with a Canon 5D Mark II + a lot of top Canon glass.

Adobe announces Creative Suite 4

Adobe has announced Creative Suite 4 on September 23!

New features in Photoshop CS4 of interest to photographers include:

Completely revamped interface
The Photoshop interface has had a major overhaul this time. Palettes has been replaced by tabs and panels, which you can group as you like. The GUI is accelerated by modern GPUs in a number of ways, and non-destructive adjustments now has its own panel. Flash-based panels are possible, among the included examples are the Kuler application for color harmonies. Image zooms at odd intervals, such as 66,6% and 33,3% are now sharper and less ‘pixelized’.

Photoshop CS4 interface

Photoshop CS4 interface

Content Aware Scaling
You can now scale an image, and intelligent code will ‘invent’ new data for enlargement or remove data intelligently for reductions, without altering important elements of your photo.

Camera RAW 5.0
Camera RAW 5.0 has many improvements. Of most importance are the new and improved color profiles for all cameras. It is now possible to choose color profiles that closely match that of your camera vendors, such as Canons ‘picture styles’. Adobes own color profiles has been updated to give more accurate and pleasing color. Local corrections are now possible via brushes or gradient masks, and most of the image editing options of Lightroom has now made its way into ACR.

Non destructive masking
PSCS4 has a new Mask panel for non-destructive masking. You can control feathering and density, and use the Refine Edge technology of CS3, all non-destructively.

Improved stitching and blending
Photomerge has been further developed, and now also feature lens distortion correction. A new feature is focus blending for extended depth of field from several source images.

64bit support
On the Windows platform, you can take advantage of the larger RAM address space in 64bit.

Bridge CS4
Bridge is now faster and more useful than ever. Task-based workspaces increases efficiency, and new web galleries and PDF contact sheets are welcome additions. Auto-stacking analyzes and sorts your images in sequences for HDR or panoramas.

… And much more. Visit Adobes website for more juicy details.

Welcome to imagingpro blog

This blog will focus on all aspects of digital imaging, in particular photography, software, technology and tips & techniques. Forgive me as I am not a writer, nor is english my first language, but if you are a photographer or digital imaging specialist – or if you want to be – I promise there’ll be plenty of posts of interest here for you. Welcome!