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Nikon 13mm f/5.6 lens review

I’m a wide angle lens freak stuck in a kit lens body. I had a Sigma 10-20mm super wide zoom for my first Pentax K10D and it stayed on more than 50% of the time. Later I rented a Canon 17-40 f/4L for a couple of days in San Francisco and shot a bunch of picts with it on my 5D. Awesome. Here’s a link to some of my wide angle shots on Flickr.

I thought 14mm was as wide as one could go on a full-frame lens. Imagine my surprise when Ken Rockwell posted his review of the extremely rare Nikon 13mm f/5.6 rectilinear fisheye. Check it out. No barrel distortion what so ever. It is truly amazing stuff.

Thanks, Ken!

Enthusiast compact camera test has concluded their compact camera tests with a look at enthusiast cameras. The choice of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 as the overall winner is no real surprise to me. I picked up an LX2 back in February ‘07 in an attempt to replace my DSLR. I was incredibly impressed with the camera’s overall performance. My biggest complaint (and the thing that caused me to return it in exchange for a Canon G7) was the heavy handed noise reduction at all ISOs that ruined the 100% magnified detail of my shots. I’m a pixel peeper so this was a deal breaker for me. Also, the separate lens cap was a huge annoyance. Otherwise, it was one hell of a camera packed into a realistically pocket-able form factor (unlike the G series Canons).

Panasonic Lumix LX2 test shot

Apparently, Panasonic has listened to the complaints of photographers like myself and made improvements to the image quality. Meanwhile, the solid build, wonderful wide angle Leica lenses, built-in IS, and user-centric controls continue to make the Lumix line one of my favorites. While I ultimately decided that an advanced compact camera was not a viable substitute for a DSLR, I did settle upon a Lumix for my pocket camera of choice.

Premium compact camera test (best digital camera review site on the web) has just posted their comprehensive premium compact camera test. No surprise that the Canon SD880 IS is a favorite. I have owned a number of Canon point-and-shoot (p&s) cameras over the years- including the predecessor to the 880- and they have all performed at a very high level in all areas. Anytime someone asks for a recommendation for a digital p&s for a non-enthusiast I always point them towards the Canons. (BTW, I usually point enthusiasts toward Panasonic’s Lumix line of pocket cameras.)

The surprise here is that the Fuji FinePix F100fd ended up the Editors’ choice. It seems that Fuji has come a lot closer than the Big Brands to solving the high ISO noise problems typically associated with digital p&s cameras’ tiny sensors. I have zero experience with Fuji cameras but at under $300 on Amazon I might have to give it a shot as well as revising my recommendations. Chime in the comments if you have any experience with the Fuji p&s cameras (or any other favorites).

UPDATE: Check out Stephen Woolverton’s Flickr set of high ISO shots from the F100fd he ran out and bought immediately after reading this blog post ;-) Absolutely amazing stuff. ISO 12,800 looks like my Pentax K10D DSLR @ 800. Maybe I should consider trading down


I'm an industrial designer and an avid hobbyist photographer. People are always asking me "how'd you do that?" So, I decided to create this site as a place to share my experiences and insights about photography, the gear and what it all means to me. I'm not sure if this site will make anyone besides myself a better photographer but I figure it's worth a try. Take a look around and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!


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