Saturday, 24 December 2011

A busy day at BODMIN GENERAL railway station.

Bodmin General, is the HQ station of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway... another preserved railway, this time in Cornwall.  The station is in the middle of the route of the railway, meaning that you first catch a train out towards Bodmin Parkway, where it shares a station with the mainline. The train then returns to Bodmin General, and goes out the other way to Boscarne Junction. You can see a plan of the railway here....

so here is some of the "action" on a recent visit.....

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tornado and Britannia - double heading

The Brand New (?) Steam Engine TORNADO, and the restored BRITANNIA, double heading a rake of coaches, out of Ropley Station, on the Mid Hants Preserved Steam Railway, otherwise known as " The Watercress Line".

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Bournemouth Air Show. (as seen from Christchurch ! ! !)

Was down at Christchurch quay, for a day visit, there were some classic cars on show on the green, and then overhead, flew the Lancaster bomber, taking part in the Bournemouth Air Show.2011... tragically, one of the Red Arrows pilots was killed, when his plane developed a fault after the main show on they were returning to the airfield... he crashed and was killed.

The following pics were taken with my FZ28, with the mpx reduced to 7mpx... giving me a zoom of 21.4 times, instead of 18 X... and with my 1.4 sigma lens screwed on, I now have a max zoom of 29.96 (almost 30 X ZOOOOM)..

Bournemouth is about 5 miles in a straight line along the coast from Christchurch, so I reckon that the pics I took today, were between 1 and 2 miles... the Bi-planes flew directly over my head, while on their way to the show, and I reckon the last pic he/she would have been about 500feet above me.

I am particularly pleased with the shot(s) of the "memorial flight"  REMEMBER TO CLICK ON THE PIC TO ENLARGE IT...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

New Appreciation of the Sigma 1.4 Telephoto lens

After some discussion on flickr, I have just completed a series of photographs, to show the excellent quality of the Sigma 1.4 Telephoto lens I have been using for the past 18 months or so.

The first photograph is from my conservatory door across the patio, to centre focus on the basket containing a fuschia, on the right hand side of the archway.  The distance is about 10 feet, (3 mtrs). The camera is set on the IA position. NO post processing has been done to any of these photographs, except to add the text and the crop to show the simulated addition of the SIGMA 1.4 Telephoto lens.

                                            ORIGINAL VIEW (click the pic to enlarge)


                                           ZOOM TO 18 X OPTICAL ZOOM (click the pic to enlarge)

                 SIMULATED 18 X OPTICAL ZOOM BY CROPPING (click the pic to enlarge)

                 ADDING THE SIGMA 1.4 TELEPHOTO LENS (click the pic to enlarge)

Adding the Sigma 1.4 Telephoto lens, makes the FZ28 into a MAXIMUM OPTICAL ZOOM  of 25.2 X Optical Zoom. (40% MORE OPTICAL ZOOM)   without any deterioration in the quality of the photograph.

At this level of increase, cropping the original "seems" to give the same result, however, the cropped picture has had the pixels enlarged to produce the result required, and therefore, must, lose some definition in the process, compared to the addition of the Sigma 1.4 telephoto lens.....

Whilst it is an extreme example, you can see what happens when you crop a picture, by looking at the third picture, that has been cropped, to simulate 18 X zoom..  By adding a good quality lens, such as the Sigma 1.4 teleconverter lens, there is no barrel distortion, and no chromatic aberration, as there has been with the other lenses that I have evaluated over the period. These problems can be caused by poor quality lenses, or the different focal length/plane of the combined FZ lens system and the additional. Fortunately, the Sigma lens works very well with the Leica FZ lens system.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

ANOTHER evaluation of a telephoto lens

Another evaluation !.. yes, another one... this time it is

Pro 46mm 3.0X Tele-Photo Lens For Panasonic HDC-SDT750


 Which is actually a new 3D video camera by Panasonic.However, it was advertised on Ebay, with a 46mm thread, so how could I resist the chance to try it out !!!. So I sent off for it, and a few days later it arrived from HongKong.  When I opened the package, I was very impressed. The lens was well protected from the usual bumps in the post, but inside the box, it was again protected inside a nice leather look tie top bag. Getting the lens out, and looking through it, I was again impressed with the clarity and the sharpness, plus the "solid" build of the lens itself. 


I noticed that the outer barrel of the lens was larger than my previous lenses, including my favourite Sigma 1.4 lens, so I had to switch on the camera, and let the lens barrel extend to "normal" position before screwing on the 3 X telephoto lens. I had to remember to remove it before switching off, otherwise it would have caused some problems, when the camera lens barrel retracted into the camera lens housing. 

 Here it is fitted to my FZ28..... This is how it looks, after switching on. As you can see, the barrel is slightly larger than the housing, and , despite removing the Panasonic Lens Hood Ring, would not retract IF the camera is switched off, with the 3 X telephoto lens attached.....


The next pic shows the FZ28 at FULL ZOOM, with the lens attached


 The lens is very heavy, compared to others, this lens weighs in at 11 ounces, or 320 grms.... compare that to the total weight of the FZ28 at 16 ounces or 475 grms. and you can see it needs careful handling.  The zoom motor seemed to cope adequately with the extra weight, but I would not want to keep zooming back and forth for many operations may soon wear out the motor unit. 

So, what did it perform like? Well, sad to say, I was disappointed.  Looking through it, as an "eye glass" or short telescope, and it produced clear sharp image quality.... however, as you can see from the pics, it caused distortion around the edges, for quite a way into the centre.... this also produces some "colour shifting". and the centre of the lens did not focus well, when trying to work with the Panasonic FZ28. 

Here are some test pics... 

The first pic is "normal 18X zoom" of a yacht, about 3 miles out to sea, from Lee on the Solent, looking towards the Isle of Wight.



This next pic is with the 3 X telephoto lens attached. Same boat, same distance...............

As you can see, the 3X telephoto has worked ! ... BUT you can also see the problems it causes !..

Here are a couple of much nearer subjects... about 100 metres away...

And for the real test... how does it compare to my Sigma 1.4 !! !  !  ! ..

The first pic is "normal 18 X zoom".....Focus point is the Red Lifesaver in the centre of the pic...


 Followed by the Famous Sigma 1.4 telephoto lens......

And finally, by the 3 X telephoto lens...........

So, there you have it.... another evaluation....

Reluctantly, I have re-packaged it, and posted it back.... ... .... If you have any comments you can log in on here or comment on the Panasonic FZ28 flickr discussion page....

or the FZ35/38 discussion page...


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Evaluation of IQ Video CRX3010 2x Telephoto Lens (M46 Mount)

Evaluation of   IQ Video CRX3010 2x Telephoto Lens

I saw this lens, advertised on Ebay, and thought it might just be the answer to the elusive "handy" 2 X telephoto lens.... so I sent off for it, and it arrived after two days... even though it was Royal Mail 2nd class post ! ! !. On opening the box, I was very pleased with the physical size, and the "professional look" and construction.

As you can see from the photographs, it has an "integral" slide out lens hood, and when fitted on to the lens of the FZ28, it retracted into the main case of the camera, when it was switched off, without having to be removed... Exactly how my Sigma 1.4 X telephoto lens worked....

So far..... So good ! ! ... now to do some photo testing.... which I am sorry to say was very disappointing, after such a good start...

You will see from the test pics, that I first took one at 18 X Optical zoom, then added my 1.4 X Sigma lens, then removed that, and added the new IQ CRX3010 2X lens... ...

It is noticeable that the Sigma lens does "loose some light" , but this is easily rectified using software.... the important thing is that there is no significant loss of definition and sharpness.

Looking at the CRX3010 pics,  it is obvious that it does not "work" with the FZ28 lens system, and produces very blurry results.... What a shame... Ah well, back to the search engines ! ! .. will keep on trying.

Series of test pics to give evaluations 


Each pic has a description at the bottom to explain what lens is being used. The last pic of each group is a crop from the first one, to simulate how a 2 X telephoto pic should look, compared to the actual CRX3010.

In summary, after taking a pic at 18X Optical zoom, careful cropping to 2X simulated (as shown) can give just as good a pic, without the need for a telephoto lens ! ! ! .. (maybe I should be looking for a 3 X telephoto lens ! ! )