Tag Archives: gear

The Image Doctors #222

A Change May Do You Good

Are you still using a photo editing workflow or camera gear from before 2010? A lot has changed in the last 15 years, and sometimes it can be easy to fear learning new tools. Both of us view learning new tools, including software and cameras, as part of a life-long process. This week, our podcast explores the existential fear that may make photographers resistant to change.

Program Note: We will be in Cuba next week, so our next show will be March 16th.

The Image Doctors #220

Interpreting Online Camera and Lens Reviews

Any time a new camera or lens is announced, we often scour the internet for any available reviews. While many online reviews are excellent, it’s also important to consider that every review (including ours) are implicitly biased. We tackle the issue in this week’s episode.

Pushing the envelope

Testing the Olympus 100-400mm with a teleconverter

The Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens is a surprisingly good performer, especially considering its sub-$1500 price point. It’s not a lens that I’d even consider using with a teleconverter, because you lose quite a bit of light in that scenario. Nevertheless, I figured I’d try it out when I was in San Diego last week leading my birds in flight photo workshop.

I put the Olympus MC-14 1.4x teleconverter on the 100-400mm and happened to encounter a song sparrow at relatively close range. So I gave it a shot. At these extreme magnifications, the lack of a good optical image stabilizer was noticeable (IBIS gives better results with this lens), but I kept the shutter speed high, and hoped for the best. I surprisingly got a couple of keepers, but autofocus accuracy was reduced somewhat (not unexpected).

song sparrow
Song sparrow at 1122mm effective, f/9.0 ISO 20,000 (click for full-size image).

In the past, I might have tossed these images out… ISOs 20,000? But by using DXO Pure Raw 3 to de-noise the raw files and a little Topaz Photo AI sharpening, the results were quite usable!

The Image Doctors #211

Checking your lenses for defects

While most camera lenses produced these days are excellent, sometimes you get a defective one. It’s happened to both of us a few times over the years. This week, we’ll talk about what to look for when you’re evaluating a new lens, and how to spot common defects.

The Image Doctors #210

The Best Used Cameras

It’s that time of year where dread starts to seep in… no, not Aunt Mabel’s fruit cake, but what to do when a friend asks you “what’s a good camera; I only have a few hundred dollars to spend.”

Well, that’s where we come in. Assuming your friend (or relative) really understands what it means to operate a “real” camera, then there are lots of good options out there on the used market. Today, we’ll go through a short list of camera bodies which still deliver the goods and are great values.