Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘Canon G-series’:

More from NAB 2011: Heliopan Vario ND Filters and Good Times at the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum

While at NAB, I spent some time with Bob Salomon at the HP Marketing booth. The company has been around a long time and is well-known as the distributor for Novoflex and for Heliopan filters, among other quality products. I’ll be writing about some of them in coming posts. But at the top of my list was borrowing Heliopan’s Vario ND filter.

Heliopan ND Filter effect

In an earlier post, I wrote about using filters with the Canon G-series camera, using the adapter that Canon makes (and which too few photographers knew about until recently). So when our Northern California sales rep, Bill Hodges, sent me a press release about the Heliopan filter, I knew I had to get a sample for a field test.

The primary use of NDs is to allow greater control of depth-of-field, particularly in the field and in strong light. They are also essential if you’re looking to shoot subjects like moving water and need longer shutter speeds. So the idea of being able to ‘dial in’ the exact amount of ND without carrying a wide range of filters (and having to change them in the field) has great appeal. So stay tuned — I’ve got the filter in a 58mm screw-in, with plans to shoot some tests in the next couple of weeks. I’ll post the results.

Let’s return to the diversions that have nothing to do with NAB —

Here’s one that seems to be purely for Las Vegas locals — the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum. Located off The Strip, it’s a warehouse-like space with what seem to be more than 100 working machines from the 50’s (my era) to the 90’s. All the machines work and the price per play ranges from a quarter to 50 cents. Just as important, the Hall of Fame is operated as a non-profit and makes significant contributions to local charities like the Salvation Army.

One of the tables at the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas

I grew up playing pinball, and I’m sure I put a lot of nickels into many of these same machines. Back then, pinball was very much a male recreation. Just how much so is clear if you look at the graphics on the ‘back glass’ and on the playing surface. Another reason to have my Canon G11 with me at all times. No efforts at apologies, those were different times. Thanks here again to my son for a ‘find’ that he knew we would both enjoy.

By the way, we made a return visit on Sunday, with Russ Carswell (VDL’s Sales Director), and once he saw they had Track & Field, the arcade addiction of his earlier years, it was ‘Game Over.’ Tim and I could have left him there and come back hours later without being missed.

One of the tables at the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas

The Secret Canon G11 Accessory Everyone Wants — It Does Exist!

I’m just back from San Francisco, a chance to see some of our dealers in the Bay Area and to spend the weekend with my son and daughter-in-law. In the course of a visit to Keeble & Shuchat Photography, in Palo Alto, I left the store with a Canon accessory that I’ve been wanting for a number of years but never knew existed.

Canon FA-DC58B filter adapter

Like many professionals, I have loved and worked with Canon’s G-series for a long time. My first was the G2, and at the time it was an $800 camera and worth it. Now we’re at the G12 with a price of around $400 and the swing-out, tiltable screen that was a feature of the G2 way back when. My current model is the G11, and what I’ve always wanted is the ability to use filters on it. Canon happens to have a perfect add-on, the FA-DC58B, which fits the G10, G11, and G12 cameras. What is also interesting is that this adapter is something I think thousands of G-series shooters would buy instantly, if not for the fact that its existence is buried deep within Canon’s site. A couple of major professional dealers I mentioned it to had no idea it was even available. But I asked the right question of the right people at K&S and for less than $50, I’ve greatly extended the creative capability of what is already a great camera.

FA-DC58B filter adapter on Canon G11

To use the adapter, just remove the ring that surrounds the lens (push the release button and rotate the ring a bit); then replace that ring with the adapter, which has a 58mm screw-in front thread, and add whatever filter you want, with no vignetting at any focal length. Even though there is a built-in 2-stop ND filter in the camera’s menu, I often want to extend shutter speeds even more. So adding a 3-stop ND gets me just where I want to be. And if lens protection is what you need, a simple UV filter will work. I also find a lot of use for a Low-Contrast filter in landscape photos.

I mentioned the adapter to my friend and fellow photographer Allan Weitz, and within the day it was up on his very informative blog, fotoBistro.com. If you are shooting any of the more recent G-series Canons, it is definitely something you need to have in your kit.

The American Flag Under a Clear Blue Sky

The American Flag Under a Clear Blue Sky

It may be one of the most common photographic clichés, but who doesn’t like a good picture of the American flag in a strong breeze?

I spent most of this past Sunday on the waters of Long Island Sound, helping a good friend move his boat from its winter storage site to where it will spend the next few months here in southwestern Connecticut. The weather could not have been better – lots of sun under a perfect sky, favorable tide, moderate winds,  and not-too-choppy seas. We were on the water for about four hours, and I had (as usual) my Canon G11 with me. It was in the last hour of our trip that I was inspired to make this image, and I’m sharing it with you here. Actually, we were bouncing around quite a bit, and trying to get the flag just right without showing anything but the flag and sky took a fair number of tries (about 50, if you must know.)

The picture was shot in RAW at ISO 80, using shutter-priority (1/800th) and about a stop of under-exposure; producing a file size of 10 MB. As you know from previous posts, I’m a big fan of the Canon G-series cameras, and while I’m always looking carefully at ‘what’s next,’ I think the image is exactly what I was going for.