A Viewfinder Darkly

Photography tips and tutorials

Canon 35mm L II series lens with Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Canon have redesigned the 35mm L II series wide angle lens , including new optical technology to reduce colour fringing or chromic aberration.

“We continually strive to achieve the ideal lens performance, which has driven the development of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, found in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens” said Yuichi Ishizuka of Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon 35mm L II lens

Canon 35mm L II lens

A camera lens controls the image by bending  or refracting, light rays.   Natural light, or white light, is a combination of wavelengths, or light colours. Each wavelength is refracted differently when passing through a plain glass lens. This results in all the colours not converging on the same point, this causes chromatic aberrations, or colour fringing, in an image.

The molecular design of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) refracts blue light (short wavelength spectrum) more than existing optical technologies including UD glass, Super UD glass and Fluorite. This gives  lens designers greater control over colour fringing. Placing the BR Optics material between  conventional optical glass  convex and concave lens elements helps to produce sharper images with outstanding contrast and colour fidelity by reducing axial chromatic aberration.

Blue Spectrum Optics

Blue Spectrum Optics

The new lens is has more lens elements and is larger and heavier than its predecessor,  indicating the new design is more than including the BR Optics.  This suggests Canon’s designers have prioritised optical performance over convenience.

As with all L-series lenses, this new lens is highly resistant to dust and water – making it ideal for outdoor photography, even in harsh conditions.

The L series are Canon’s premium lenses. Manufacturers try not to make it obvious that there is significant   quality difference between their best lenses aimed at serious photographers  and the modestly priced versions aimed at the budget conscious photographer.

Pricing and Availability

The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with 72mm filters and will be supplied with Lens Hood EW-77B and Lens Pouch LP1219. It is scheduled to be available in October 2015, for an estimated retail price of $1,799.00.

Check Adorama for current pricing and availability

Canon EOS M3 mirrorless compact camera


The new EOS M3 compact camera from Canon promises  quality and versatility in a convenient size.

The EOS M3 is designed for serious photographers. The  Canon M3 has one of Canon’s 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensors, with control  and processing  capabilities derived from their DSLR range. The M3 has  access to the entire lineup of more than 80 Canon  EF-M interchangeable lenses and EF, EF-S lenses (when used with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M). (more…)

Photograph the Familiar

My Neighbourhood

Starting out in photography and you can’t find interesting photographic subjects?

Photographers are often inspired by images of exotic places, or unusual scenes.  Frustration can set in when they are unable to go to far away places.

The answer is all around them.  The secret is uncovering the hidden gems often obscured by the everyday point of view. Often life gets in the way and we are too busy to appreciate our surroundings. (more…)

Ricoh GRII compact camera mixes convenience with premium image quality

Ricoh’s new compact camera offers mobile device connectivity with  the photo quality of a DSLR.

The Ricoh GRII  compact camera aims to meet the challenge from smart phones by providing high image quality in a  a pocket size camera with mobile connectivity for instant photo  sharing.

The Ricoh GRII’s  Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality is enhanced with GR Remote, a web-based application which allows users to control camera settings virtually via any browser, as well as view and share images wirelessly.

Ricoh GRII

Ricoh GRII

“With the introduction of the GR II, we are taking the premium compact camera to a new level, offering the key features desired by photo enthusiasts: high resolution, a wide angle lens, quick shoot time and portability,” said Jim Malcolm, President of Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “With its new Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, photographers can now easily share their exceptional street and travel shots more easily, benefiting from the best of both worlds.”

The Ricoh acquisition of Pentax shows in the GRII’s use of a APS-C-size CMOS image sensor with approximately 16.2 effective megapixels. This sensor proved an outstanding performer in the Pentax K5 DSLR .

The compact wide lens may have also benefited from Pentax’s design experience. Pentax has a history of high performance pancake lenses for SLR and now DSLR cameras. Pancake lenses are much thinner than normal lenses making the design perfect for compact cameras such as the Ricoh GRII. (more…)

Scanning old slides with the Epson V500

The only time it ever snowed in our suburb, thirty years ago

Over thirty years of my film photography are sitting in boxes of  transparencies and negatives hiding in the cupboard. I learnt much about photography over the years. Even though as a raw beginner in photography my  techniques were far from ideal,  my basic instincts were always there.

The scanning project has tow aims. First is exploring the film scanning techniques and settings with theEpson V500 and the other is searching  the old photographs for any suitable for my photo library. (more…)