Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Encore une toile d'araignée

Another spider web. I got a little carried away with the webs. Part of the reason was that I was experimenting (again) with the camera. I'm still not totally satisfied with my images; I find them too grainy and not crisp enough. I just don't know if it's the lens or it's me. The lighting in most of my pictures seems right, but the images just aren't sharp enough.

A wide shot. The subject (plant and web) are in focus, but the detail seems grainy to me (f/9, 1/60 sec, ISO-160).

So I take a lot of photos of the same subject with a different settings, hoping that I'll hit on the magic combination. One benefit of doing that is that I'm getting more of a feel for manual photography, where I choose the aperture and shutter speed instead of letting the camera do it for me. I'm learning to like the control that gives me.

A closer shot. The subject is still in focus, but I think the details should be crisper (f/7, 1/60 sec, ISO-100).

For a while I thought the issue was that I needed a tripod for my shots in lower light conditions. And that's true in many cases, but not all. I still get the graininess in bright light photos when the aperture is smaller, the shutter is quicker, and the ISO is standard, which combined, should make for a sharp shot.

The two photos here were taken with a relatively slow shutter for hand-held shots. But I've taken similar shots with a tripod without getting a better result.

I think I'm going to have to break down and get myself another lens to see if that makes a difference. I'm thinking of a fixed 50mm lens of a higher quality than the kit zooms that I got with the camera.


  1. Kit zooms, Walt, are reknown for not having good glass! I get the crispest results from my original PK mount Pentax f1.7 50mm and Tamron Adaptall 2 f4 75 - 250mm zoom... both from 1979!
    I keep dropping hints that I "need" a good 90 or 100mm macro lens... but, like my old Tamron [£200 plus in 1979], they are expensive.
    That "relatively slow" shutter speed is actually fast for a modern digital camera... the sensor reacts way faster than film ever used to... with "rifle shooting" breathing, you should be OK with pictures taken at 1/30th for a 50mm focal length... [pro-rata up the scale]

    I like these web shots, anyhowz!

    1. tim, do you use your old (1979) lenses on your new digital camera? I have some not-so-old lenses that I used with my old Canon film camera. They're electronic AF lenses but were not made for digital cameras. I've been afraid to use them because I don't know if they'll work right and I don't want to short out any of the electronics in the camera (if that's even possible).

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Walt, yes... the Pentax manual lists the mounts at the back as a list of mount types and what doesn't work... the older the lens, the more restrictions [presumably the way the pins line up] until you get to the old manual lenses and then it is set everything to manual and give the camera "permission to work" with them in the User menu... Canon must have a similar proceedure... there was an uproar when the Pentax istD came out, without that ability, and a firmware update followed hot foot!!
      The same thing MUST be so for Canon, purely because there would be the same uproar... but louder [more Canonistas out there!!]
      You should be able to find out at a Canon forum on t'interweb.
      I think you are about to have fun!!

    4. Walt, my brother [Canon 5MkII user] sent me this link...
      It is from a store in the US and gives the conversion factor... x1.6...
      so your lenses will be longer... 50mm becomes 80mm... and a 250mm lens is 400mm equivalent... etc

    5. tim, thanks for the tips and the link. My lenses are sigma, and while they fit on my camera, they don't work. I get an error message that the camera and lens can't communicate and no image can be taken. Oh well!

    6. Ah!... is there a USER function on your camera?
      I have to turn my Pentax to USER and set a function in the menu pages to allow non-Pentax and Pentax lenses to be used with the AF off.
      Sigma lenses should work... they are pretty well-respected makers of "glass"

      The WV is "licedust 2122"... so that's what gets inside lenses!!

  2. spider webs look like crocheted lace; plus, have you ever watched a spider spin one? fascinating, captain!

  3. Vous devriez demander a Olivier!

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  5. Hello Walt,
    Really beautiful images...
    Hope you are both doing well.

  6. Can spiders fly? How else do they get from one point to another, like between these flowers for example?

  7. that second web photo, especially, is lush -- looks like a lady's shawl. Quite beautiful.


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