ZD 50-200mm

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The Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens is not dead yet – a nice hand held sunset

Friday, June 12th, 2015

I am tossing up whether to buy the lovely Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lens and leave my old favorite, the Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD Four Thirds lens for certain niche uses such as 800mm telephoto reach with the EC-20 teleconverter.

So my past 2 bushwalks have been with ONLY the Four Thirds lens mounted on my Olympus OM-D E-M1, to see if I can do without the faster focusing, more compact Micro Four Thirds lens.

The Four Thirds lens gives me more telephoto reach but in low light or poor contrast, the PDAF of the E-M1 still is a bit slow and for these sunset shots when contrast in the distant trees was low, I decided I was better off resorting to manual focus. Now I am not sure if the Micro Four Thirds lens optimised for CDAF will do better but I suspect it does.

The other lovely aspect of the Micro Four Thirds lens is that the lens does not extend on zooming – this aspect makes the Four Thirds lens look very long and intimidating indeed, particularly with the big lens hood attached. However, it does sit reasonably well on my waist belt – although I certainly wouldn’t want anything much heavier than this on my waist while bushwalking.

Here are a couple of hand held low light dusk sunset shots with the Four Thirds lens:

dusk

Olympus E-M1, Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD Four Thirds lens at 112mm f/5, ISO 800, 1/160th sec. I chose f/5 instead of f/3.2 just to give me a bit more background depth of field.

birds

Flock of birds flying home to roost.

Olympus E-M1, Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD Four Thirds lens at 182mm f/5, ISO 800, 1/80th sec – yes that’s right 360mm effective focal length hand held at 1/80th sec, not bad – that’s why I use Olympus gear. If I had the Micro Four Thirds lens, I would have had to add in the 1.4x teleconverter to get this telephoto reach.

So, I am still undecided both lenses have their pros and cons – if I didn’t already have the Four Thirds lens, the Micro Four Thirds lens with 1.4x teleconverter would be a no brainer for me – but can I really justify having both?

Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD
Price at Amazon.com $US1399 $US1199 but perhaps half price used on Ebay
focal length range in 35mm terms 80-300mm 100-400mm
1.4x teleconverter 112-420mm f/4 140-560mm f/4-4.9
2x teleconverter N/A 200-800mm f/5.6-7
length 160mm fixed length, collapsible lens hood 157mm but extends on zooming and bulky bayonet lens hood
diameter 79.4mm 81mm
weight 760g (880g w tripod mount) 995g (1070g w tripod mount)
CDAF optimized Yes, silent dual linear voice coil motors, face detection AF No, requires PDAF (eg. E-M1)
close focus 0.7m giving 0.42x macro 1.2m giving 0.42x macro
filter size 72mm 67mm
diaphragm blades 9 circular 9 circular
optical formula 16 elements in 10 groups (1 aspherical ED lens, 2 aspherical lenses, 1 SED lens, 3 ED lenses, 1 HD lens) 16 elements in 15 groups (3 ED lenses)
image sharpness in centre (my testing) At 200mm marginally sharper than the 40-150mm with MC14 at 150mm and comparable apertures. At 150mm marginally sharper than the 40-150mm at 150mm and comparable apertures.

A different take on the Great Ocean Road

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

In my last post I mainly shot waterfalls and rainforests in the west Otways along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

This post takes this further and explores a few coastal seascapes using the weatherproof image stabilised Olympus OM-D  Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Please click on the photos to open a larger size view in my Tumblr account.

 

Long exposure hand held shot in bright sunlight as a storm approaches bringing a small rain shower behind the coastal rocks:

Details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus mZD 12-40mm PRO lens at 12mm, f/5, Hoya ND400 10x neutral density filter, ISO 200, 1/4 sec:

sun showers

Same location, different view as more rain showers approach the coast:

Details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus mZD 12-40mm PRO lens at 12mm, f/5, Hoya ND400 10x neutral density filter, ISO 200, 1/4 sec:

stormy coast

From high up on a hill, a lone lady walking the ocean beach at sunset, and hopefully I have captured the remote serenity ambience that she must be enjoying:

Details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus ZD 50-200mm f.28-3.5 SWD lens at 200mm, f/4.5, ISO 800, 1/125th sec (not bad hand held for a 400mm equivalent focal length in 35mm full frame terms!):

beach walk

And driving further west along the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles region at sunset:

Details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus ZD 50-200mm f.28-3.5 SWD lens at 50mm, f/8, ISO 200, 1/200th sec:

sunset rainbow at Twelve Apostles

Tourists having trouble working out which way to shoot – into the sun or away from the sun – so let’s cover both shots:

Details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus ZD 50-200mm f.28-3.5 SWD lens at 54mm, f/8, ISO 200, 1/640th sec:

tourists

Cradle Mountain in the snow with the Olympus ZD 50-200mm lens on Micro Four Thirds

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

I have always loved the Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens for Four Thirds as it is quite a unique lens:

  • it is the most compact, and light premium quality lens of 100-400mm field of view (in 35mm terms) and the only one of its main competitors to be able to fit into a 24cm deep camera bag whilst fitted to a camera
  • it weighs just 1.07kg with tripod plate and is only 157mm long with a 67mm filter thread and close focus is an amazingly short 1.2m
    • the longer, far more expensive Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L weighs 1.36kg, attracts internal dust, uses 77mm filters,  and lets in only just over half the light, while close focus is 1.8m
    • the heavier, longer, much more expensive Nikon Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR weighs 1,36kg, is 171mm long, uses 77mm filters, lets in only just over half the light, while close focus is a poor 2.3m
    • the much heavier, far more expensive Nikon Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 VR weighs 3.3kg and is more than twice as long at 358mm, and you need to resort to 52mm rear filters while close focus is 2m
  • it is weatherproof, and the long lens hood further reduces risk of rain landing on the front element
  • it has lovely bokeh for a zoom lens
  • it is relatively affordable
  • when used on an Olympus camera, you get 3-5 EV of image stabilisation
  • it can be used with either 1.4x or 2.0x tele-converters (allowing hand holdable 800mm super telephoto capability with AF as well as 1:2 macro!)

This is one of the lenses I like when I am a passenger in a car on a road trip and only get to shoot out the window.

HOWEVER, it has a couple of problems:

  • you need to use it on a Four Thirds dSLR or the Olympus OM-D E-M1 if you want fast AF
  • it is a touch big and heavy on most Micro Four Thirds cameras, and on most, AF will be slow if there is only CDAF available.

Personally, I cannot wait until Olympus bring out their even more compact Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens later this year, although I would like to see a 100-200mm f/2.8 or at least a 200mm f/2.8 weatherproof prime lens as well.

In the meantime, I took this lens with me on my cabin luggage to Cradle Mountain, and despite having this in my backpack, plus a fisheye lens, a 12mm lens, a 20mm lens, a 45mm lens, a 60mm macro lens and my 75mm f/1.8 lens with my Olympus OM-D E-M5, and a few extras, the weight still was under 5kg! This would be impossible to achieve with any other system, and sure made life bushwalking that much more pleasurable.

So here are a few shots taken with this lens mounted on my E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera:

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

The threatened Tasmanian Devil:

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

Cradle mountain region with fresh snow after the overnight snow storm which converted the beautiful green national park into a white wonderland:

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

Cradle Mountain region in the snow

 

 

Lunar eclipse over Melbourne

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Last month’s eclipse of the moon at moonrise in Melbourne was quite challenging to photograph.

It would have been nice to find a location with the city’s buildings in the foreground, but given the position of the moon rise this was not easy and thus a spot along the shores at Williamstown was chosen which looked across the bay towards St Kilda’s Palais Theatre.

The very dim eclipsed moon was difficult to see rising over the Dandenong Ranges in the distance and it was not until it was some 5 degrees above the horizon that it could be seen through the autumnal haze. Manual focus was made much easier with the electronic viewfinder and image stabilisation during magnified view using the Olympus E-M5 camera.

My initial attempts were with the Olympus E-M5 with Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens with 2x converter (the EC-20) at full 200mm focal length giving an equivalent field of view of 800mm on a 35mm camera.

This is a favorite set up of mine for the moon but being so low and with the atmospheric disturbances it was not possible to get sharp imagery of the craters.

Timing of the shot of a lunar eclipse is quite critical as the most aesthetic image is when the sunlight just starts to hit the edge of the moon (as shown below).

I then resorted to doing wider angle shots to show the yachts anchored nearby, so here is my version of the lunar eclipse:

lunar eclipse

EXIF: 100mm focal length (50mm + 2x telecoverter = 100mm in Micro Four Thirds crop = 200mm in 35mm full frame equivalent), ISO 1600, f/7.1 (f/3.5 x 2), 1/4sec, tripod mounted.

See my wiki for how to photograph the moon.

AFL Football Grand Final – candid portraits with the Olympus ZD 50-200mm

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I didn’t manage to get tickets to watch my team Geelong play the Saints in today’s AFL football Grand Final, so I decided to go to Melbourne’s Federation Square to watch the game on the big screen on a very wet, cold Spring day which included a hail storm.

As an aside, the AFL Grand Final at Melbourne’s MCG stadium hosts one of the biggest stadium crowds in the world, 99,251 spectators attended today’s game creating a special ambience (however, the record for the MCG was 121,696 in the 1970 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwo0d).

I decided to leave my Canon 1DMIII at home and take my favorite combination: Olympus E510 + Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens and my Panasonic GH-1 with Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens for the night shots without flash.

The Olympus lens got very wet in the rain, although I managed to protect the E510 as well as I could, and the resulting candid portraits were worth it – even though they were mainly of Saints supporters.

Again, all were straight jpegs from the camera, AWB, no post-processing apart from resizing for the web. All were aperture priority exposure at wide open aperture although the night shots on the stage were manual exposure.

For example:

little saint

and this one amazes me how any camera could meter the skin tones perfectly when there is such backlight combined with a black umbrella to confuse the meter – maybe they just neutralised each other out, or maybe the metering is good?

umbrella girls

Check the full photo story here and look at how nice the bokeh is with that lens …. delicious :)

Melbourne’s tulip festival – why I love the Olympus ZD 50-200mm lens

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Last weekend I decided on a day trip in very poor weather to the nearby mountain ranges to check out Melbourne’s annual tulip festival in the Dandenong Ranges.

When I first arrived it was pouring rain, so I decided to go to nearby Olinda where one of my favorite pie shops “Pie in the sky” resides and indulged in a pie floater – a beautiful steak and mushroom pie sitting in a pea and ham soup – just the thing to warm you up on a cold Spring day!

The bad news… whilst eating my pie and soup, the rain stopped and this absolutely gorgeous light streamed through the clouds, but then disappeared by the time I was ready to leave :(

Now onto the tulip festival – this as I found out, reinforces how multicultural Melbourne really is – this is a Dutch festival but that Saturday was Turkish day complete with a belly dancer, but the tourists were dominated by Japanese and other Asian tourists including locals.

I decided I was going to only take one camera kit – my Olympus E510 Four Thirds camera with my much treasured Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens – you can see how useful this combination is, by checking out my photos taken with this here.

One aspect I do like about this lens is that it is weather resistant so a bit of rain is not going to hurt it (but I do have to protect the E510 although it has survived a wave at a beach washing over the top of it without any issues! For complete weather sealing you really need the Olympus E-3 or its successor which should be announced soon), and its big lens hood which helps to prevent rain drops hitting the front lens and ruining your images. I must admit I tend to often not use the lens hood on this when its not raining as it almost doubles the size of this already large lens and tends to intimidate people.

Now, onto a few candid pics of the day to show how nice this combo is (click on images for larger view):

Note that these are all straight jpegs from the camera, no post-processing apart from resizing for the web – Olympus cameras arguably have the best jpeg engine out there – if you don’t want to spend time processing raw image files, I would strongly advise you think carefully about buying Olympus – I would rarely use a jpeg straight from my Canon 1DMIII and I believe the general consensus is that applies to other cameras too!

A Japanese lady admiring the tulips (and taking a few pics herself):

Japanese lady

Turkish sisters posing for a family portrait amongst the tulips whilst I was some 50m away:

Turkish sisters

Horses taking kids for carriage rides:

horses

Some girls are not afraid of the mud, or perhaps are more fascinated by the row upon row of tulips:

girl

and some lovely tulips:

tulips

Victorian bushfire landscape at 12 weeks with Olympus E510 and ZD 50-200mm lens

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Following on from my previous photo essay blog on the Victorian bushfires at 6 weeks after the fires in Feb 2009, I took another trip yesterday and went bushwalking amongst the burnt rainforests of mountain ash.

It was great to see the forests gradually regenerating, particularly the gullies, although in vast areas of drier forests, there was little signs of new life.

But amongst the devastation, paradoxically, there was beauty to be found.

The following image was taken with the late afternoon sun highlighting the dead orange leaves of the Australian Eucalypts, and contrasting with stark dead trees on the hills behind.

This is a very unusual scene for Australia, as although it may look like a northern hemisphere fall scene, Australian Eucalypt trees are not deciduous and don’t turn orange in the Autumn as they appear to be doing here. All these trees were affected by the bush fires.

The farm pasture has become green – indeed they had returned to green by the 6 week stage, and the farmer has rebuilt his fences.

Please click on this image to view it at larger size.

bushfie landscape

This image was taken hand held with Olympus E510 and the brilliant Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens – I just love this lens except it is a bit big and heavy, but much less so than its Canon or Nikon counterparts.

Sports using the Olympus ZD 50-200mm with 2x TC for 800mm reach from the boundary

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Much has been aired of concerns of the inevitably higher noise levels at high ISO of the Olympus 2x cropped when compared to the larger sensors.

BUT, if you can get by with ISO 800 and below, the 2x crop creates a unique opportunity by giving you unprecedented image stabilised telephoto reach of 800mm in a compact, relatively light (1.8kg), hand holdable package which you just can’t manage to achieve at all with a Nikon D700 or Canon 5DMII.

Yesterday, I played in our annual social cricket game, and brought along with me two camera kits:

  • Canon 1DMIII (1.3x crop) with EF 135mm f/2.0L + 1.4x teleconverter
  • Olympus E510 with ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD + EC-20 2x teleconverter

I like this combination as they are both about the same weight, and I can use the Canon to get in close while I am on the field risking my life getting hit by a cricket ball as I concentrate on getting the shot. While the Olympus I gave to a friend’s teenage son who had never used such a camera before, and I showed him how to AF by pressing the Fn button and all he had to do was take shots from the safety of the boundary line.

He absolutely loved clicking away and the extreme telephoto of 800mm reach in 35mm terms allowed him to capture the action on the centre of the pitch as if he was standing right there.

It was quite a cloudy day (great for avoiding highlights being blown out but not so good for super-telephotos hand held), so I had set the E510 to AWB, ISO 400, aperture priority at f/8 (f/4 x 2 for the teleconverter, although for some he must of accidentally moved it to f/10 ie. f/5 x 2).

So here are a few of what this 1st time, unsupervised photographer managed to achieve – these are straight jpegs from the camera – no crop, no sharpening, no PS other than resize and jpeg compression for the web.

Click on each to be taken to a larger view.

The first is a photo he took of his dad leg glancing for four runs:

his dad

And a batsman about to punish a bowler:

batsman

And he took one of his friend on the field not to far away, and it shows the lovely bokeh this lens has (this one I have cropped to about 25% of the whole image):

portrait

More of the day’s cricket shots can be seen here – yes that’s me in far camera right of the team photo

The close portrait shots using the Canon are very nice but it did require me to be within 3m of the subject to get them, not 100m as with the Olympus combo – distance changes everything!

More of my photos of the 50-200mm with 2xTC combo can be seen here.

The new E-620 and E-30 will be MUCH better than the E510 for sports as the extra AF points will allow more functional continuous AF, while the E-3 will allow you to keep shooting with this lens combo even if it starts raining.

Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses – as good as the Nikon D700 and Canon 5DMII are, I doubt they could achieve this telephoto reach without necessitating a tripod or monpod, and of course, the 5DMII may die if it starts getting a bit of a drizzle rain happening whereas the E-3 should be fine.

I have a web page outlining the comparative offerings available to Canon, Nikon and Olympus for telephoto lenses here – as can be seen, a hand holdable 800mm kit is not really possible on full frame dSLRs but could be achievable on the 1.5x or 1.6x cropped sensor dSLRs but on these, the noise at high ISO is not substantially different to that on Olympus.

The walk-around telephoto zoom kit – comparisons

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

My requirements here are:

  • focal length range ~100 to 400mm in 35mm equivalent terms
  • high image quality
  • reasonably light and compact – < 2kg for the camera and lens and preferably < 24cm long mounted so it fits in a medium size shoulder bag
  • image stabilised
  • aperture at least f/4.5 to allow reasonable background blurring
  • circular aperture blades for nice bokeh
  • preferably sharp enough and with minimal aberrations to allow reasonable use of teleconverters
  • close focus
  • ultrasonic motor or equivalent for fast AF
  • preferably weatherproofed so you don’t need to panic if it starts to rain
  • medium priced

NOTE: ONLY the Olympus ZD 50-200mm kits satisfy ALL the above options.

Nikon D700 full frame with Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR:

  • unfortunately the aperture is a bit slow negating use of teleconverters, etc and it is an expensive lens and is 1.36kg for the lens alone, while close focus is a poor 2.3m
  • a pro would probably go for the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 VR but that is much more expensive and tips the scales at almost 3.3kg!
  • verdict – great high ISO and action performance but not for walkabout

Nikon D300 cropped sensor with Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR:

  • gives 105-450mm range but at a slow f/5.6
  • a nicer option would be the much more expensive and heavier Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR which gives 105-300mm and could be used with a TC

Canon 5DMII with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS:

  • again a rather slow aperture and I suspect its resolution will not be adequate for the 21mp sensor, and I’m not a big fan of the push-pull zoom mechanism while at 1.36kg its still a touch heavy and close focus of 1.8m is still nothing to write home about.
  • I suspect it’s time for Canon to update this lens
  • an alternative is the more expensive but much lighter 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO IS lens
  • verdict: not a great option for this focal range as a walkaround

Canon 50D with Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 VC lens:

  • an incredible 15x zoom range giving 28-419mm range but lots of compromises on image quality and AF speed
  • verdict: may be an option if image quality is not highest priority and don’t need it for action photography

Canon 50D with EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS:

  • 112-480mm range but again, slow aperture and resolution will not match the 15mp sensor

Olympus E520/E510 with ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD:

  • the lightest (<1.8kg for camera and lens), and almost the cheapest option, and provides some great features which beat all the other options:
    • lens is weatherproofed (camera can be too if you buy the E-3)
    • nice wide aperture with circular diaphragm for nice blurred backgrounds
    • close focus to 1.2m giving 0.42x macro
    • ability to use with either 1.4x or 2x TC with AF functioning and good image quality, allowing an incredible 800mm f/7 capability which can be hand held at 1/250th sec
  • now if Olympus could make it a touch smaller and lighter, and work for Micro Four Thirds in contrast AF mode, it would be perfect
  • verdict: MY favourite telephoto zoom lens – if you need action use, then consider the E-30 or E-3 cameras which will give faster AF, more AF sensor points for continuous AF and 5fps burst rates

Olympus E510/520 with ZD 70-300mm f/4-5.6:

  • a cheaper, lighter alternative but at cost of image quality, slower AF and teleconverter use not recommended
  • gives an incredible 140-600mm range image stabilised and not as obtrusive as the other options

If you really want super compact but high quality and no need for fast AF for action, then consider:

  • Micro Four Thirds camera with forthcoming 45~200mm f/4-5.6 OIS lens which gives 90-400mm range in a very compact outfit, and I’m guessing there will be some continuous AF video-enabled camera bodies coming soon

It’s not just the camera to consider when buying a new camera but what lenses are available for it and how you want to use it.

I have a comparison table of lens features here, some example photos I have taken with this lens, and example photos taken with this lens with Olympus 2x teleconverter (EC-20).

Bob Atkins has a comparison of entry level dSLRs here – although he does not go into length on the relative benefits of the lenses available to each.

Brandon Eu has a nice blog demonstrating how useful this lens is.

In my opinion, for the amateur who can afford it, the Olympus ZD 50-200mm SWD, the excellent Olympus teleconverters and general high optical quality of their lenses are some of the main reasons to choose the Olympus system, the cameras are rather secondary.

A celestial smiley face to bring cheer and good luck

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

It’s Dec 1st, 2008 and tonight we had the pleasure of a conjunction of the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus making a smiley face in the evening sky.

This alignment of the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus apparently will not occur again until 2052, although the next time Venus and Jupiter have a close conjunction is in May 2011 and March 2012 so for those that missed it, here is what it looked like from Melbourne, Australia.

I took the opportunity to play with my Canon 1DMIII with EF 24-105mm L lens from my letterbox.

moon, jupiter, venus

For the tech heads, I removed the UV filter to minimise lens flare from the street light and the settings used were 24mm focal length, f/4, 3200ISO, 0.5sec exposure.

No post-processing, just resizing and compression for the web. Click on the image for a 1000 pixel wide view.

I also tried with an Olympus OM 21mm and 24mm lens but whilst both gave excellent results, they did have a more pronounced lens flare.

Of course, I could have moved over to the park and avoided the street light but I felt this added interest and lit up the foreground nicely.

And just for the Olympus guys… here is a shot with the Olympus E510 with ZD 50-200mm SWD lens at 50mm which I have cropped just a little and applied a blue monotone tint in PS but no other PS other than resize and compress for the web.

Olympus - moon.

This image was taken at f/4.5, ISO 400 at 6 secs exposure with antishock set to 5 secs (mirror lockup). I purposely over-exposed the moon to bring out foreground detail.

The ZD 50-200mm at 200mm giving 400mm eq. focal length reach in 35mm terms actually took a very nicely cropped shot just of the moon, venus and jupiter, but lacked the contextual interest of the foreground.

Those in Europe should be lucky enough to see the moon occult Venus in a similar way to the following occultations I imaged of Jupiter and Mars a few years ago.

“The last time London was treated to such a favorably placed Venus occultation was back on October 7, 1961. And after 2008, there will not be another similarly favorable Venus occultation for the United Kingdom until January 10, 2032.”

I captured an uncommon event in 2005 when Jupiter was occulted by the moon:

jupiter occultation

and.. an even rarer event, a grazing occultation with Mars when Mars was almost at its closest to Earth in 2003 in tens of thousands of years – hence bigger and brighter than usual.

mars occultation

More of my astrophotography can be found here:

More information on this event can be found at space.com.

Other blogs to cover this event:

And, if you are in America, the moon has moved to the other side of Venus and Jupiter resulting in a sad face, which I guess is representative of the state of affairs over there :)

see:

and compares with past events:

and don’t miss this image of a sequence of shots at the same time each day for a full month in New Delhi showing Jupiter marching towards Venus using an 18mm lens. Three days of photography are missing because of clouds and haze in the evening, 12th, 16th and 30 November. The crescent moon starts at the bottom on 1st November, goes just at the edge of (behind) the building, and upwards, and returns in the scene on 1st December to form the now famous Celestial Smiley!

  • The octagonal building in foreground has a bit of astronomical history, Humayun – a mughal emperor in India, was an astronomer, one evening he was trying to locate Venus in the evening dusk when he heard the muezzin’s call for evening prayers, he rushed and fell down the stairs to his death (a few days later). The octagonal building was the library of Humayun.
  • Several DSLR cameras were used, Canon 450D, Canon 1000D, Nikon D80, Nikon D70. The images were first scaled (in photoshop) bringing them equal to a Canon 450D, as most of the photos were taken with this camera. Alignment (Translate, Rotate, Scale) was done in Images Plus, and composite was constructed using Startrails software.