Category Archives: Technical

Open Platform Community cameras from Olympus

Open Platform Community cameras from Olympus.

It’s an interactive initiative for users of Olympus’ new open platform cameras.

Anyone can hack, share, and join in on the fun. So come and share your experiences and photos taken using these revolutionary cameras.

I do not know much about this – yet – but am hoping it is what I think it is! This could be big – think of what independent software has done for the iPhone or Android or Windows platforms. Software created a massive ecosystem of features and accessories.

Two years ago, I spoke to every camera company except Olympus (could not reach them during their financial mess) about doing something like this. And then boom- Olympus steps forth! Good for them!

Computar f/1.2 12-75mm c-mount lens on Nikon 1 J2 camera

I recently acquired a used Nikon 1 J1 and a Nikon 1 J2 camera for use in my 3D photography and 3D video photography. I also bought a used Computar f/1.2 12-75mm c-mount lens, originally intended for us on “Super 16mm” film cameras. These can be adapted well for use on the Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras as the sensor is essentially the same size as a “Super 16mm” frame.

Here is what the lens looks like – it has a 55mm filter diameter but came with a 55 to 58mm step up ring:

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At wide angle (12mm) and telephoto (75mm), there is minimal vignetting. At some of the in between range, there is very noticeable vignetting.

To make the lens work on a Nikon 1, I used a Fotodiox c-mount to Nikon 1 adapter ring. I quickly found this ring puts the lens too far forward from the sensor focus plane. I ended up using a Dremel cutting bit on my shop drill and did a lot of grinding to push the lens almost 1/8″ of inch deeper into the camera. (Later I bought a different and thinner adapter ring that seems to work without modifications but I have not yet done much testing with this adapter ring.)

Here are some results – shot using the Computer f/1.2 12-75mm cine lens on a Nikon 1 J2 using a modified Fotodiox adapter. All images were shot in RAW mode and contrast or exposure adjusted slightly in Lightroom. The first photo used the “anti-vignetting” feature to lighten the upper left and right corners slightly. None of the photos are cropped. All photos are shot with the camera in full manual exposure mode.

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The focus point on this handheld shot is the pond frond located just to the right of center.  At f/1.2, the depth of field is so narrow that none of the other plants are actually in focus!
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This last photo was intended to test deep focus. However, when shot at f/1.2, the depth of field was still so shallow that te actual focus point ended up being near the back of the trees in the background. I need to go do more tests on the infinity focus but I am not too worried about infinity focus since I do not expect to use the lens for that type of shot. Plus stopping down just a little expands the depth of field.

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Overall, I am very pleased with the c-mount lens and Nikon 1 combination. The J1 and J2 do not have electronic viewfinders – only LCD back panels. For 3D shooting, that is fine as I want to see both cameras at the same time. However, if I were to use the Nikon 1 for 2D still shooting, I would probably prefer the V1, V2 or the said to be coming soon, V3 cameras. The V series is like the J series but with EVF and hot shoe, and slightly larger body.

It is amazing to be able to shoot photos like this with such a tiny camera and lens combination compared to shooting FF cameras. I prefer small cameras. Since I mostly shoot 3D, I am often carrying 2 or 3 pairs of cameras and the weight gets old after a while!

For more examples of what c-mount lenses can do for mirrorless cameras, check out this web site. Once upon a time, c-mount lenses were very inexpensive. But since the popularity of mirrorless cameras – micro 4/3ds, Nikon 1, Sony NEX and the Blackmagic Cinema pocket camera (4k video!) – the market for c-mount lenses has taken off. Bargains are tougher to find now but they can be found if patient. Still, a $100-$200 c-mount lens is a lot cheaper than a new $1500 m43 lens that does about the same thing 🙂

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Restoration of defocused and blurred images.

Fascinating: Restoration of defocused and blurred images. Yuzhikov.com.

The author explains the theory of mathematically converting a blurred image back into a sharp image. Think about that for a moment.

To understand the theory, it is helpful to understand some basic linear algebra for the matrix math operations and is helpful to understand the basic of signal processing such as the Fourier function.

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The opportunity for 3D is much larger than 3D movies and pictures

With our interest in 3D photography and video, we can get stuck on thinking 3D is just

English: A 3-D solid model of a jack inside a ...
English: A 3-D solid model of a jack inside a cube. Modeled and ray traced using Cobalt. Animation is 120 frames at 25 fps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

about photography or movies.

But the future of 3D is vastly larger. As 3D monitors and 3D TVs become wide spread – which is likely a few years out yet – consider the impact this could have on line shopping. And especially when glasses-free displays are common on computers, tablets, phones and HDTVs and the use of 3D is no longer a gimmick but the ordinary.

No longer would we expect to look at a little photo on the web site when choosing a product. Instead, we will likely look at a large 3D view or 3D model that we can rotate and examine, almost as if it were in our hands.

True 3D is also coming. Think “Holodeck” at a small scale. I know people working on this type of technology and for now, the goal is desktop sized “Holodeck” perspectives that enable engineers to design parts in their CAD system and then create a view – not just a mapping of 3D to a 2D display (like the image that accompanies this article) – but a volumetric display which you can walk around and see from all sides.

Add in 3D scanning technology – its available off the shelf today from Microsoft and its called Kinect. Use future 3D scanners to capture information about parts and components or the layout of a kitchen that is to be re-modeled. Or to capture a 3D model of yourself to then use in a virtual clothes fitting exercise where 3D modeled clothes are mapped to your body and checked for size, before you purchase online. So much for retail show rooms? And of course, this can all tie in to 3D printing. Or deliver a 3D virtual world to use from our remotely controlled 3D-seeing robot.

Even traditional 3D imaging can provide us with new perspectives. I enjoy shooting macro 3D – which is close ups of small objects in 3D. Because they are so small we have to get our face so close to the subject that we lose 3D depth perspective. But our camera can capture 3D depth at close range and enlarge it for our viewing.

Similarly, what about slow motion 3D? While we are used to seeing 2D slow motion in sports, 3D slow motion may reveal new insights. And then, what about slow motion macro 3D? Now we may be able to see things that we miss entirely today because we cannot see depth at close range, and definitely not in slow motion.

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24 fps, 48 fps, 60 fps? Where will film making go?

WETA head Joe Letteri talks reactions to HFR…and what frame rate will the industry settle on?

I do not yet understand the controversy (hope to see The Hobbit in HFR soon). Many TV sports programs are shot in 720p/60 frames per second and I’ve shot video at 60 fps. I’ve also shot video at 24 and 30 fps. Each has its place. And what about high frame rate video games which are now common?

I suspect that 60 fps will become a future standard (sorry 50 fps viewers). The 48 fps is interesting but when will we see 48 fps HDTVs or 48 fps DVDs for the home?

Here’s another interesting – and positive commentary – on the HFR 48 fps 3D version of The Hobbit.

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