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YONGNUO YN35mm f/1:2 AF

Posted on 2016.05.26 at 16:39
Current Location: 67114

YONGNUO YN35mm f/1:2 AF

There I was, first session of a new shoot in Larned, KS this Spring. We were up the concrete steps dwarfed by the massive pillars of the architecture and I was pressed against the bricks trying capture my model who was opposite me against the column. The 50mm lens on the crop sensor increased its focal length and the 24mm prime I have was too wide. (As an aside, I was not directly behind the camera, either, and as the Rebel SL1 doesn't have an articulated screen, I had to rely upon my limited number of autofocus lenses.) If I slid to either side to increase the distance, the shot wouldn't work, and if she moved she'd be in angry, shadow-casting direct sunlight. Resignedly, I grabbed my 18-55 kit lens and framed the shot. Pulling it back, I looked down at the barrel and noticed it was sitting at 35mm. I announced then and there I wanted to add a 35mm AF prime to my collection.

And that was the easy part.

The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM was my first choice, but at $999 retail, awfully pricey. I mean, not for an, "L" series lens, just...expensive. And every "pre-owned" lens site out there (and there are quite a few of them) had them used at the low, low price of...$999! Which of course, is retarded. So I started looking at alternatives, where I ran across the Chinese version of Canon's previous model 35mm f/2 for nearly $200 less than Canon's previous model 35mm f/2. That's quite a savings. Enter Yongnuo. But what sold me were the reviews, some of which described in detail how the Yonguo surpassed the Canon. Sample pictures sealed the deal and it arrived 3 days later.

It is by far the noisiest of my AF lenses, and I haven't had a chance to use it in a shoot, but here are basically the first two pictures I took with it (if you're not getting tired of seeing my daughter model - seriously, I need more models, she begs you!)

Two under the cut...Collapse )

Camera Side

1960s Asahi Pentax-M SMC f/1.4 50mm

Posted on 2016.05.25 at 22:49
Current Location: 67114

I bought this lens at Moler's Camera in Wichita on the way to sit hospice with Bill, my second purchase from them (the first being the Sigma Mini-Wide II 28mm f/2.8). Given the circumstances which followed, its no wonder I never wrote about this lens. You can get one on Amazon for about $80, what this one set me back, which is really exceptional given its f/1.4 aperture. That's really what this one is all about - low light shooting and deep depth of field. That said, it can be tricky even using your camera's live view, but I almost always bring it out at least once during a shoot to highlight the subject, although its usually just quicker (and sharper) to use the auto-focus of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. But then that's not why I use this one. Like with most lenses, its sharper > f/2.0 but I almost exclusively use it for its wide aperture. In that vein, its a bit of specialty lens, albeit one I use more often than some of my other 50mm primes. But not nearly as much as my Helios' for example.

Two under the cutCollapse )


Sony Alpha NEX-3n

Posted on 2016.05.24 at 20:27
Current Location: 67114

Sony Alpha NEX-3n

While researching and purchasing unique, inexpensive lenses from all over the world I kept running across these little 16mm cine lenses which utilize a C-Mount, and while EOS adapters are made for them, the depth of the sensor only allows for macro photography - which is one of the many reasons "mirrorless" (and 4/3 cameras) are so adaptable with older cinema and rangefinder lenses - their sensor is much closer to the flange, recreating old non-SLR film cameras. Additionally, my old Minolta lenses cannot be adapted to Canon because the rear-element extends too far into the camera, causing the mirror to hit the back of the lens rendering it ineffective. Those old Minolta lenses can, however, be adapted for these mirrorless cameras.

While I've been thinking about those cheap, 16mm cine lenses for awhile now, I'd only recently considered picking up a mirrorless camera. I really didn't want another gun in my arsenal, especially due to the stupidly overpriced G1X I almost never use; sitting there underappreciated. But when I found a brand-new-in-box NEX-3n on clearance for fully half off, I decided to see if I could at least turn it into a tax write-off after some sage advice from GF who's owned her own business now for 8 years.

The NEX-3n incorporates a similar APS-C "crop" sensor, which is slightly larger than Canon's APS-C spec. A nice comparative graphic here: http://cameradecision.com/compare/Canon-EOS-100D-vs-Sony-Alpha-NEX-3N. The thing is, many of these cheap cine lenses are f/1.4 which I have a difficult time finding inexpensively (I only have one, a Pentax-M Asahi SMC I haven't written a review on) and then only in 50mm. So these cine lenses come very wide in a great range of focal lengths.

I need another camera like I need a hole in the head, but maybe something will come of this?

Sensor depth differences


Monument Rocks

Posted on 2016.05.17 at 14:28
Current Location: 67114

Eric B&W

1990 Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

Posted on 2016.05.12 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

1990 Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

Having become fascinated with the exceptionally swirly bokeh of my 1973 Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 because it has been taking *the* quintessential shots of my sessions, consistantly - well, they're always my favorites - I started looking into which of the Helios 44 family was the swirliest, and discovered its not limited to the 44-series at all. Less swirly (until proven otherwise) is the 81N, and more swirly is the 77M-4. Its also four times more expensive, but arrived from the Ukraine in record time. I was hoping I'd get it before michelle1963's wedding in Vegas, but managed to get it prior to my Colorado shoot - where I plan to put it through its paces.

At 50mm its a little shorter (especially on APS-C) than my 44-2 and a two tenths of a stop faster. I haven't gotten to play with it much, knowing the "sweet spot" isn't going to be found by shooting anything indoors, but I did finally talk my daughter into letting me shoot her one day after school because I was so excited to see it in action. It seemingly has less contrast than my 44-2 (and I really should have used a fill-flash on her), but its absolutely more swirly. So we'll just have to wait and see what wonderful things I get to point it at on the way to Colorado!

Now, with more swirls!Collapse )


Detailed HOWTO

Posted on 2016.05.11 at 18:45
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

I experienced an unexpected (and rather lengthy) internet outage today in the middle of my workday, and as I flipped on my phone's hotspot I saw the default setting didn't include activating the wireless radio and wondered if the reason for that had to do with power consumption (it does). Having never before used the Bluetooth protocol for tethering, I attempted that today instead. The instructions, however, left quite a bit to be desired:

  1. Pair iPhone with your computer.

  2. On iPhone, tap Pair or enter the code displayed on your computer.

  3. Connect to iPhone from computer.

How? How do I connect to the iPhone from the computer after pairing. Does a new interface become visible in the Network and Sharing Center? No, it does not. I couldn't imagine it showing up as a wireless broadcasting device, but checked there nonetheless. Nope, not there! I re-read the last step, “Connect to iPhone from computer.” I finally decided to see if any devices popped up in my icon task bar and sure enough there was the familiar Bluetooth symbol. A simple right-click and “Join a Personal Area Network.” Which, by the way, I didn't know the nomenclature for such – not that it would have mattered, as Windows 10 doesn't know it either, so searching for the phrase “Personal Area Network” wouldn't have been any help (not that in the entire history of Windows has searching ever been any help).

But its worse than that, much worse. I called support on an installation issue I was having with SLES 12 SP1 and supplied them with detailed error messages, log files, and a supportconfig. At one point I was asked if I'd reviewed the VMare installation instructions (I hadn't). Support provided a link and I sat there, mouth ajar, wondering how the fuck they expected me to respond. I waited until the next morning to send my email. You see, the three “steps” they wanted me to review (I shit you not) were:

  1. Insert the CD into the CD-ROM drive.

  2. Power on the virtual machine.

  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

I responded to support that I was fairly confident the issue I was having was with #3 if that helped and thanked them for the detailed installation instructions.


The Crème Brûlée I Never Wanted to Make

Posted on 2016.05.04 at 14:33
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

My Best Buy card has 0% for 18-months. Indefinitely. I can "stack" purchases, and pay them off 18-months at a time, at 0% interest. As such, Best Buy is where I prefer to make my large purchases. In the last three years I have purchased my Bosch dishwasher, 55" HDTV, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens, and my 27" computer monitor all through Best Buy, and all at 18-months 0% interest.

Naturally, I assumed I would purchase my car stereo and installation there as well. Only, I was wrong. When I was presented with a $275 bill for installation alone - four speakers and a head unit - without having yet picked any components, I was sure a better deal could be found elsewhere. Like the guy who charges $50/hr and estimated two hours for the same components. Unless I didn't purchase the components he has for sale, then his hourly rate goes up. I did check on his components - the entire installation would have set me back $562 plus tax.

That's when I decided to do it myself.

Because I'm dumb.

Or stubborn.

Or both.

At any rate, I ended up with an outstanding 100x4 (40x4 RMS) Sony head unit and two pair of Kicker 6x8 speakers. That was the easy part. I picked up a Ford-Ranger-to-Aftermarket adapter, because I thought, well...you'd plug one end into the "Ford Ranger" harness, and the other end into the "Aftermarket" harness, but that would have been far too easy (and upon retrospect made more sense since each aftermarket stereo presumably uses its own unique wiring harness). Last time I did this I was my son's age and wiring anything newer than my Dodge AM Radio into my 68 Coronet 440 with miles of electrical tape. Looking at the rat's nest of wires I had to splice together between the two adapters before they would work as I described, I settled on screw on wire connectors and drove down to the local Auto Zone. When he was done laughing at my request, he introduced me to heatshrink crimp connectors because they don't carry screw on wire connectors anymore. On the upswing I can now get cracking on that crème brûlée I never wanted to make with my new Chinese manufactured butane torch.

Anyway, the heatshrink crimp connectors looked super easy. They weren't. And I somehow ended up with the exact number of connectors I needed, which meant I had to find a way to fix the ones which crimped improperly. No, seriously, how difficult can it be to crimp a goddamn wire? My success rate was something like 80%. And I had less and less room to not burn the shit out of my fingers or the wires behind the connector with that damn blow torch the more connectors I put together. But eventually, I got that done as well.

Now, when I graduated high school I worked as a porter for a large Buick dealership, and spent most of my downtime with the guy who worked trim, so I was at least familar with a lot of how those large pieces of plastic get attached to the metal skin of the interior - which is to say, I was not at all looking forward to tearing and ripping the inside of my truck apart. But I did anyway, to remove the old, dusty, paper speakers from their moorings. A couple of Ford speaker adapters and closed-cell ("Boom Mats" I think these were called) and the speakers were the simplest part of the entire installation.

The greatest dismay was the universal mounting faceplate, which had "super easy" and "1-2-3" mounting instructions. Unless you had the Ford Ranger, in which case all I had to do was remove half a dozen tabs with some sort of cutting tool. Exactly the type of cutting tool I didn't have. So now I have a Dremel. But that's OK because I've lots of uses for a Dremel. Anyway, it all eventually went in, and while I was inside the truck doors I took the opportunity to tighten everything up which was otherwise loose or rattling, and put everything back together. The truck looks good, and now sounds good too.

But I hope to never do that again.

And I figure the whole thing cost me $450 anyway.

But I got a much nicer head unit with the money I saved by not paying someone else.

And it took me a week.

Neelix - Mmm..., clown

All Grown Up

Posted on 2016.05.02 at 21:10
Current Location: 67114

For several years now I've made these enormous crock-pot meals - almost always lentils & greens, and more often than not peppers and beans. On rare occasion a meat and/or very little rice or pasta. They're never seasoned the same way twice either - I vary wildly on whether I season it with cumin and turmeric with curry or cumin with chili powder, sometimes I'll make an Italian dish out of it and sometimes make it cheesy. We've had lasagna flavored, pizza flavored, southwestern chili, BBQ. Anyway, I usually make them over the weekend then eat on them for a week. They're really very visually appealing the first day, then less so over subsequent days until it just turns into goop.

Which is why my daughter a couple of years back exclaimed, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" when she found her brother eating a large bowl of (I think it was Texan chili-style) one day. He looked sheepish, as they'd vowed to never eat the crock-pot meal, but he explained, "I know, but its really, really good!" She was so disgusted with him.

We had spent last week and last weekend apart, but were both home Monday. When she got off the bus she begged, "Please tell me you made something in the crock-pot..." I had to smile. Its become her favorite snack when she gets off the bus, and her favorite weekend staple - a big bowl of whatever is in the crock-pot that week :)

Typhoon SSBN


Posted on 2016.04.30 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Now that I know how to best wield it, its crazy that the absolute best pictures I get are with a 40-year old Soviet lens I got on eBay for $25. I do sometimes wonder what results would yield if I had a full-frame camera, but I am not in the least bit disappointed with how they turn out on the crop-sensor. I am so pleased in fact, that I researched and purchased another Helios, the 77M-4, a 50mm f/1.8. Its supposed to be equally (if not more) swirly. It arrives from the Ukraine in a month. The two pictures I had printed locally were tagged with a note asking if I was printing copyrighted material when I picked them up - they weren't convinced they were mine until I signed an affidavit.

I've tagged my Helios shots here: ehowton.livejournal.com/tag/helios


Oz in Spring

Posted on 2016.04.29 at 00:00
Current Location: 67550

Helios 44-2


My Other Grip is Non-Sentient

Posted on 2016.04.28 at 15:01
Current Location: 67550

Shooting down at the Ponderosa


Busy Day

Posted on 2016.04.27 at 22:04
Current Location: 67114
Tags: , ,

My alarm woke me at 0855, and five minutes later I was dialed into two conference calls, and logged into work with a piping hot mug of black coffee. Emails, more meetings, unix, change requests, and I was done. I opened the garage door, powered on the subwoofer and turned on my Engima mix while removing two of the four door panels of TURDUCKEN and pulling out the speakers. Then I completed my research on car stereos (settled on the Sony MEXXB100BT with a built-in amp), edited some portraits from this past weekend's shoot, and ordered the Mother's day gifts for the kids (they wanted to present her with their portraits which I had mounted - his and hers). I revamped my pending Harry Potter mix and listened once again to my yet-to-be-released Terminator mix. At some point I managed a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, played Minecraft with my daughter, and Wizard101 with my girlfriend.

Bet I sleep good tonight.



Posted on 2016.04.21 at 16:46
Current Location: 67567
Tags: ,

Dreamed last night I was in Germany, at a beer fest, with a group of my British friends. It was so wonderful, drinking all the delicious beers. I made the circuit twice around. I could not remember ever being more happy.



Posted on 2016.04.19 at 14:00
Current Location: 67567

Dreamed Dorian and I lived with Muse and her boyfriend for the second night in a row. The first night we lived in lean-to's and tents in a big field where it rained all the time. Like Woodstock. We lived there along side jesskd26 and her husband drax0r and their four kids. And my two kids. And Muse's two kids. There were SO MANY KIDS. Someone was always having a birthday party and I was wearing a tie to work every day and driving a goddamn Buick because that's what I did. Commute. That was a nightmare all of its own.

But last night's dream took a much darker turn. Because Muse's past had caught up with her as some relation brought her caravan to the nice house we shared and parked it next to the pool. She was carnie folk, and Muse was doing everything to rid our house of her because she brought with her not only bad juu-juu, but also a devastating realization of her past that the townsfolks could never know. Like, maybe she'd killed someone once upon a time. I dunno, but we needed her out, and fast.

Now its very possible that this next part was because I'd inexplicably wondered if John Cleese had played, or been credited as Nearly Headless Nick in all the Harry Potter's or just the few I remembered him in right before I fell asleep in real life; I dreamed we were being haunted by Hector, the Rector specter. Yes, there was the ghost of a clergyman of a long-abandoned parish named Hector who was haunting us. Hector, the Rector specter. I wondered in my dream if he was collaborating with other spirit beings up and down the ecclesiastical ladder with equally lyrical name/title combinations, like Haimen, the layman daemon. I dunno, I couldn't come up with any in my dream. I was going to try to incorporate, "Cardinal" for reasons unknown.

Doc Brown


Posted on 2016.04.18 at 10:45
Current Location: 67114

A month ago I tore the cartilage from my left knee in an unremarkable way: walking. I was on crutches for week and a knee brace for two. Daily ice packs and a GF who's certified in kinesiology and I'm back to walking normally again. Almost. So I went for my scheduled MRI. Only thing is, I've changed employers since then. But no worries, I signed up for bene's my first week.

Yesterday, I sat down to print out my coverage and discovered that none of my selections had been applied. So, I redid my selections, and printed out the card. But when I arrived in Wichita this morning (oh so early), I was told I they would need a member number prior to quoting me, but that I could still get the MRI and submit it when I received my member number! Having been duped far too many times before, I called the new insurance and was told it would take 10-14 days for my member number, but I could pay for the MRI out of pocket and later submit a reimbursement.

But also that MRI's weren't covered under this particular PPO without a prior pre-authorization from an intermediary who has to grill my primary care physician to ensure he's not just suggesting MRIs because he's bored or something (because I'm pretty sure that's what doctors do).

Needless to say I chose to not pay for an MRI myself, and simply drove me and my damaged knee back home to fight another day.


Proud Dad

Posted on 2016.04.15 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

When my father and brother arrived for a long weekend visit last month, he gave each of my children $100 cash as a gift. Not 15-minutes later, my brother had managed to back into a yellow concrete pillar at the gas station in dad's brand new car.

My dad was fit to be tied and started reading my brother the riot act.

He stopped abruptly however, when my son asked him if he'd like the $100 back.

What a great kid.


New Again

Posted on 2016.04.02 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

Just got the truck out of the shop, and I couldn't be more thrilled. It was a frustrating sequence of events having purchased a used vehicle, but the brothers who run Select Motors couldn't have been more accommodating given the cascading issues, and their garage of choice, Alexander Motors is now my garage of choice as well. Despite the initial bowel-wrenching estimates, the professional attention I was given by the entire staff really did win me over.

Turducken now has a completely new front suspension - all Moog parts - tie rods, upper and lower ball joints, and two new shocks. Perhaps more importantly, four brand new catalytic converters. For the first time since driving off the lot, I now know why the 4.0L V6 was an option in the Ford Ranger; its damn impressive.


US Air Force and Drugs

Posted on 2016.03.31 at 09:13
Current Location: 67114
Originally posted by jobu121 at US Air Force and Drugs
The US Air Force is investigating illegal drug use among troops protecting a nuclear missile base.
Nuclear Missiles.

Really ehowton

Tell me it isn't so.
Well, it looks like the 90th Missile Wing is in a bit of hot water.
The probe is focusing on 14 enlisted airmen guarding the F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. The troops, assigned to the 90th Missile Wing, are under investigation for "illegal drug activity while off duty," General Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command stated.

In 2013, General Michael Carey was relieved of his position as head of the 20th Air Force -- responsible for three nuclear wings -- after he was reported binge drinking and fraternizing with "two foreign national women" during a trip to Russia.
Soon after, dozens of officers from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana were suspended after they were found cheating on a routine test of their knowledge about how to operate missiles. Two were also implicated in a drug case. The Air Force uncovered the cheating when it was looking into illegal drug use on several bases.

Wow - crazy times in the Air Force.


OpenSUSE Leap 42.1

Posted on 2016.03.18 at 23:21
Current Location: 67114

8 Things To Do After Installing OpenSUSE LEAP 42.1


Lunatik's "Absinthe" over Killer Candy Pink

Posted on 2016.03.16 at 19:29
Current Location: 67114

Eric Howton Lunatik Absinthe March 2016

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