Category Archives: Plugged in

Plugged In: Parting shots — smart use beats new gear

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

As the Redoubt Reporter embarks upon a well-deserved vacation, it’s a fitting occasion for summing up our nearly eight years exploring technology and photography.

Originally, Plugged In was a weekly computing and networking technology feature. As those technologies matured, they became quite reliable, affordable and slow to change, reducing the need to frequently upgrade hardware and software. The maturing of those computing technologies is excellent news for all of us who rely on them daily, but yields few new topics, certainly not enough to sustain a fresh weekly feature for eight years.

Enter digital photography, a combination of art and science that appeals broadly, is more accessible for most people, and still surging forward with few indications that its steady technical improvement is slowing. Even though new digital imaging products cannot break the iron laws of physics, increasingly clever electronics now produce technically superior results, sidestepping former limitations. Even though camera makers don’t seem to turn much profit, each quarter brings new and better products.

While out of state a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see a number of vintage prints made by Ansel Adams and other famous master photographers. It was evident that, judged solely on final printed image quality, digital photography is a superior technology, capable of readily producing reliably higher quality results, even when printed very large.

Used carefully with good lenses, even midlevel digital cameras using Micro Four-Thirds, APS-C and full-frame sensors have the potential to produce higher quality images than formerly made with bulky film cameras. Compared with larger format film cameras used by now-famed masters, careful digital imaging shows better controllability, higher sharpness, reduced graininess and better dynamic and tonal range. Oh, and you can have color images with no greater difficulty, and image stabilization enables quality handheld photography even in dim light.

So, if you bemoan the passing of easily scratched silver films processed with toxic chemicals in the dark, producing potentially uncertain results, then you’ll bemoan without me, and I’ve processed film for more than 40 years.

So, as this column rides off into an oversaturated digital sunset, I’d like to reflect on a few broad, enduring fundamentals: Continue reading

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Plugged In: Find photos to fit a theme, not a theme to fit photos

Illustration 1

Illustration 1

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Curating your own photos is nothing more than making the final choice of which photos you’ll show others, whether as large prints at a formal exhibition or in an online gallery. Being your own worst critic is surprisingly hard work, full of indecision, delay and second-guessing.

Although there are no easy rules or foolproof shortcuts, this week I’ll discuss the process that often works best for me. Over the years, I’ve found it helpful to have an organizing theme as a general starting point for selecting a series of related photographs that mutually enhance each other and look good together.

I’ll first tentatively define a theme or title and search my existing photos for images that may fit. That works better for me than defining a theme and then trying to make new photos to fit. Doing so feels forced and succeeds less often, at least for me.

As I go through existing photos and gather the initial batch, my initial concept typically evolves in unexpected directions or is even discarded entirely where a different approach is more in harmony with available photographs. At this point, it’s important to keep an open mind.

After gathering a large initial group of candidate images, it’s helpful to get second opinions from others whose judgment and taste you respect. That helps avoid the trap that we all face, choosing lower-quality photos that personally appeal to us because they’re associated with positive memories, or choosing “outlier” photos that don’t really fit the overall theme and seem jarringly disconnected from the others, no matter how individually good they might be.

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Plugged In: For good photos, use a light touch/touch of light

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter,

The term “photography” literally translates from the original Greek as “light-writing” — a most apt name. Photography captures light — nothing more, nor less.

The most effective photographs use light to best advantage, preferably in a uniquely personal way. That means being constantly open to how natural light makes a scene come alive or, if you prefer a more formal style, how you can artificially light a subject to make the best possible image. Although it’s simply a personal preference, I like the look and feel of natural light and images as found, rather than artificially constructed images lit by artificial light.

During the film era, photographers were generally urged to take photographs in bright sunshine with the sun behind the camera, causing subjects to be evenly front-lit. That was due to the significant limitations of early color films, not aesthetics or interesting lighting. Digital photography is more flexible, at least when images are saved in RAW format using a camera with a wide dynamic range, and post-processed with a good program, such as PhotoShop ACR, Lightroom or DXO Elite.

If you use a good digital camera’s dynamic range to best advantage, you’ll be able to take good photographs under a much wider variety of lighting conditions, while still retaining the ability to make exhibit-quality enlargements.

Beginning photographers are often urged to take photos during the first hour after dawn and the last hour before sunset. When the sun is near the horizon, the angle of sunlight is nearly horizontal, emphasizing textures and shadows that bring out maximum detail. Low-angle sunlight has a warm overall color balance that’s often very flattering. Compared to Lower-48 photographers, Alaskans and other high-latitude residents have an advantage — our winter sun is low on the horizon for months, even during midday, extending the optimum time for making outdoor photographs.

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Plugged In: Choose concept, content, style for photos

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Although technical excellence is a necessary first step in choosing your best photographs, it’s not sufficient. Your best photos should stand out for their strong and unique content, concept and personal style.

A photo’s content is nothing more than its subject and, as appropriate, the subject’s surrounding context. Documentary photographs usually include more surrounding context. Abstract ­appearing photographs often achieve their sense of abstraction by eliminating as much surrounding context as possible, focusing on only the most interesting portion of the subject and eliminating the visual cues that identify the subject.

Extensive post­-processing of supposedly documentary photographs raises a number of ethical issues. On the flip side, “Photoshopping” more abstract ­appearing images is both useful and a generally accepted path to a visually interesting final result. As with the photographs themselves, it depends on the context. The popularity of various subjects routinely waxes and wanes. As an example, documentary photographs were rarely seen among “art” photographs a decade or two ago, but are now the norm, while abstract-appearing images are currently out of vogue.

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Plugged In: Hard looks make easy work of photo curation

By Joe Kashi, Redoubt Reporter

Initially discarding technically deficient photographs is only the first step in arriving at a coherent set of consistently good photographs. Now it’s time to pull together your remaining digital files into a single location, personally curate your own work and showcase only your best images, those you’ll be proud to show to anyone other than a loyal canine friend.

Technical concerns are less daunting by this intermediate stage, but comparing and selecting your best work can seem daunting and beset by indecision. There are billions of technically excellent but supremely boring images floating in digital space. How will you distinguish yourself? Through personal curation — a process in which you methodically sort through your work to find the best images with broad appeal.

Rank beginners, including myself not so many years ago, typically inundate their viewers with every mediocre, unrelated but possibly interesting image on their memory cards, in the hope that something “sticks.” That’s unworkable. You’ll bore your viewers and fatally dilute the impact of your best work in a way reminiscent of those horror stories recounting interminable 1960s vacation slideshows.

Over the years, I’ve evolved a basic approach when sorting the wheat from the chaff, particularly when preparing a solo exhibit for viewers who are apt to be critical, such as practicing artists and art professors at various university galleries. The first step is to winnow out those photographs that only a mother — in this case, the photographer — can “love.”

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Photo editing as easy as 1, 2, 3

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

What do you want to accomplish when you push the shutter button? That’s a more fundamental question than how many megapixels your camera saves, regardless of the photos that you take.

Hundreds of billions of digital photos are taken each year, often uploaded to publicly visible social media sites. They’re not all masterpieces — nor even necessarily in focus — but they’re important to someone, whether as a personal or family memory, commercial or legal data, or as art. Whether you want your photos to stand out from the crowd or simply ensure that they meet your business and personal needs, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what you want to do and how to reach that goal.

Family and travel photos are fairly straightforward. We want to preserve memories and share them with others. What we photograph is individually meaningful to each of us and beyond critique by others as long as they’re of adequate technical quality.

Business and legal photographs require a bit more thought to ensure they meet your objective needs.

As examples, advertising and promotional photographs should show a product, location or some other aspect of your business in a positive and honest manner. Contractors need to document the extent and quality of their work, especially work that will soon be covered. Litigants need to document real property, damages, accident scenes and the like. Prior discussion with other involved persons, such as an engineer or other technical consultant or your attorney, is usually advisable in such matters.

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Plugged In: ‘Network in a box’ offers connectivity across the globe

Effective mobile computing and Internet access are now fundamental to improving education and knowledge of the world for everyone. In less-fortunate areas of the globe, especially areas without reliable AC electrical power, battery-powered computer access can be deeply transformative.

Closer to home, setting up a highly portable, battery-operated home network, storing all of your family’s photos, video, other media and family files, can be a real pleasure. It’s now easy, using inexpensive technologies that we’ll discuss this week, and one of the best ways to protect family memories in the event of a threatening situation, such as a fire.

Why even bother with any form of home or small school network in the smartphone era? Smartphones are useful, and the dominantly popular form of highly mobile computing in the U.S. However, they have significant cost and operational limitations compared to even the most basic, inexpensive notebook computers, particularly in educational environments and where large amounts of video and other data need to be stored and used by several people simultaneously.

These limitations, and the solution to them, became apparent when I and several other Soldotna Rotary members were recently asked to design and build a small, highly portable computer network for a desperately poor school in Masaya, Nicaragua. The school does not have electrical power in its classrooms and has no wireless Internet access, problems that persist not only in developing nations, but in many remote areas of Alaska, as well.

In the process, we found a rather unique and inexpensive solution for a mobile, battery-powered computer network that’s equally usable at home, at a Scout or Bible camp, and by families on a long-distance driving trip. Some minimal electrical power is required to recharge the battery-operated computers and battery-powered network in the evenings, but even rough, highly fluctuating developing-nation AC power can be used. It’s a “network in a box” — eight highly compact netbook computers that can run most of the day on a single battery charge, connected together with a battery-powered wireless network hub that includes massive central storage.

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Plugged In: Camera accessories are gifts that keep giving

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Stocking stuffers are small and to the point, as is this week’s discussion of useful, less-expensive photo accessories that qualify as stocking stuffers.

  • Spare batteries are a necessity for any digital camera user. Third-party branded batteries are much less expensive, and some brands, particularly Wasabi Power, seem to be as good as the branded batteries. A Wasabi Power kit containing two batteries plus a convenient wall charger usually costs under $30 at Amazon. They’re my personal choice.
  • Protective UV filters screwed into the front filter ring of every interchangeable lens are another necessity. They’re relatively inexpensive and often absorb the scratches and damage that would otherwise ruin the front glass element of a lens. Depending on size, expect to spend about $12 to $25 per UV filter. A well-made filter should have only a negligible impact on image quality.
  • Polarizing filters were common during the film photography era, but for some reason fell into disuse more recently. That’s unfortunate, because polarizing filters are one of the best ways to deal with overly bright skies, haze, glare reflected from wet surfaces and other outdoor photography challenges. A decent polarizing filter will cost about $15 to $25 more than an equivalent UV filter. I’d suggest buying one for the lens you’re most likely to use outdoors.
  • Professional photographers commonly use neutral density filters to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. That results in a slower shutter speed or wider lens aperture when special effects are desired. Some neutral density filters have a graduated, smoothly diminishing density from top to bottom. They’re specifically designed to reduce an overly bright sky for a more-balanced exposure.
  • Buying the cheapest possible filter is poor economy and often noticeably degrades image quality. Low-grade, non-multicoated filters can cause a great deal of image-ruining flare, so be sure to get multicoated models. Hoya makes a wide variety of reliable and reasonably priced standard filters. Hoya EVO, Sigma and B+W UV filters are even higher quality but rather more expensive. Be sure that you purchase filters of the correct diameter to match each lens.
  • Nearly all modern digital cameras use some form of SD memory card. Buy newer, faster SDXC cards if you can. They’re backward compatible with nearly all current camera models at only minimal extra cost. There are many excellent brands, including Lexar, Sandisk, Kingson, Sony and Transcend. 16-gigabyte SDXC cards usually sell for $7 to $15 at Amazon, depending on brand and read-write speed. UHS-3 speed SDXC cards are the fastest although not all cameras can make full use of their fastest speeds. Still, they’re a good investment.
  • Be sure that you have a fast USB 3 memory card reader to plug into your computer. I like WeMe and Transcend backward-compatible SDXC USB 3 card readers. They cost about $7 to $10 at Amazon.
  • Using a lens hoods is one of the best ways to avoid the streaking flare that often ruins photos when the sun or another bright light source directly strikes the front glass of a lens. The worst flare usually occurs when bright light strikes the lens at an angle, rather than head on. Although many new lenses include a bayonet-mount lens hood designed for that particular lens, that’s not always true. You’ll often be able to find third-party lens hoods that are low-cost, exact copies of a manufacturer’s expensive hood for a specific lens model. That’s the cleanest solution because it provides maximum protection without blocking the corners when used with wide-angle magnifications. Metal, Leica-Contax-style lens hoods that screw into the front of the lens or its UV filter are a widely compatible option. I like the Fotodiox-brand Pro Angle metal hoods. Avoid collapsible rubber lens hoods. I find them awkward. Expect to spend $7 to $20 per lens hood of any type.
  • Many of us who bought our first good cameras during the 1970s and 1980s remember when every decent camera shipped with a nice protective leather case. Unfortunately, even expensive new cameras rarely ship with a protective case anymore. The least-expensive options are one of Opt/Tech’s neoprene cases that come in several standard sizes and slip over a camera and its basic kit lens. They provide a reasonable degree of protection against bumps and moisture for $20 to $25. Stewart’s Camera on Fourth Avenue, in Anchorage, has a nice range of Op/Tech neoprene cases. Leather cases provide a nice aesthetic touch but are more expensive and probably less protective than the Op/Tech neoprene cases. Name-brand leather cases are expensive, usually costing more than $100. I’ve been disappointed with the poor fit and low quality of most lower-cost, third-party leather cases. MegaGear cases seem to be the best third-party, form-fitting leather camera cases I’ve found. Plan on spending about $40 for one but be sure that it fits smoothly.
  • Although many lens makers include protective cases with new lenses, many do not. Many lens cases have disadvantages. Some are nothing more than thin nylon, not very protective against bumps, while other cases are padded but too bulky for easy use. The best compromise I’ve found are the Pentax lens cases for Limited Series lenses available in several sizes from Bhphotovideo.com for $15 to $25 each. I’ve found that inexpensive neoprene lens cases rarely fit well.
  • If you’ve been really good and put out a very large stocking, perhaps Santa may bring you a decent tripod for those nighttime, low-light and high-telephoto occasions. Cheap tripods are rarely satisfactory but a good one will be a useful investment for decades. Manfrotto and Slik are the leading brands, and for good reason. They’re excellent tripods and usually a good value. I prefer tripods with an adjustable ball head rather than three separate handles. Carbon-fiber tripods tend to be lighter but more expensive. Generally, aluminum alloy tripods made by Manfrotto and Slik are less expensive and only a bit heavier than carbon-fiber models, costing about $60 to $200, depending on your needs. And don’t forget a remote release designed for your specific camera.

Local attorney Joe Kashi received degrees from MIT and his law degree from Georgetown University. He has published articles about computer technology, law practice and digital photography in national media since 1990. Many of his articles can be accessed through his website, http://www.kashilaw.com.

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Plugged In: Upgrade lenses for photographers on gift lists

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Although the cameras we suggested last week typically ship with a basic “kit” zoom lens, kit lenses often have some practical and optical limitations, especially when the light is dim. This week, we’ll suggest some affordable interchangeable lenses that supplement or could replace a basic kit lens.

Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Are there any types of photos that you could accomplish more easily or more effectively with a different lens? If so, then first consider lenses designed for such photos.
  • Lenses with very wide, f/1.4 apertures are more expensive yet often optically inferior to comparable lenses with a smaller, f/1.7 or f/1.8 maximum aperture.
  • A normal magnification, wide-aperture prime lens is generally the least expensive, most versatile first purchase for beginning and intermediate users.
  • Bear in mind equivalent magnifications. APS-C digital SLR and mirrorless cameras have a 1.5 equivalent magnification factor, which means that a 35-mm lens used with an APS-C sensor camera acts like a normal-view, 50-mm lens on a traditional 35-mm film camera. Micro Four-Thirds cameras have a 2x equivalent magnification. So, a 25-mm lens on an M 4/3 camera is the equivalent of a 50-mm lens.
  • Image stabilization is exceptionally useful, but only cameras made by Olympus and Pentax always include image-stabilization hardware built into the camera body. When using Pentax or Olympus cameras, any mounted lens will be stabilized. If you’re using any other brand of camera, it’s advisable to buy a lens that includes optical stabilization.
  • Single magnification “prime” lenses tend to be sharper, brighter and less expensive than comparable zoom lenses. Supertelephoto lenses with a very wide magnification range tend to be less sharp than standard zoom lenses. Personally, I prefer to use prime lenses whenever convenient.
  • The lens mount of both camera and lens must match. For example, you can’t use Nikon lenses on a Canon camera body. We’ve used prices posted at Bhphotovideo.com and Amazon.com, including only models with autofocus and auto-exposure. We sought the best balance between cost and high image quality. That eliminated many of the least-expensive lenses. Although some brands remain on sale, you may get a better deal after Christmas. We’ll start with lenses designed for Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras.
  • Fast prime lenses: These are compact, very sharp and work well in low light. They’re the best deals of all for sheer image quality and low-light versatility at a low price. We suggest Canon’s 24-mm f/1.8 ($129), 40-mm f/2.8 ($149), and 50-mm f/1.8 ($99 to $110) lenses, Pentax’s 35-mm f/2.4 ($117) and 50-mm f/1.8m ($91) models, and Nikon’s 35-mm f/1.8 G ($197) and 50-mm f/1.8 G ($216) prime lenses. They’re unstabilized, except Pentax. Pentax’s excellent Limited Series APS-C prime lenses remain on sale at BHphotovideo.
  • Upgrading standard zoom lenses: Sigma’s 17- to 70-mm f/4 zoom ($400) is a good upgrade from basic Canon, Pentax and Nikon kit lenses. Nikon retails their excellent 18-to 105-mm upgrade zoom for about $400. Sigma’s lens is a better buy for Canon cameras. All are image-stabilized. Tamron’s unstabilized 17- to 50-mm f/2.8 zoom (about $400 to $450 on sale) is a very sharp, brighter upgrade for Pentax users.
  • Telephoto zoom lenses: Avoid unstabilized telephoto zooms except with internally stabilized Pentax cameras. We suggest Canon 55- to 250-mm ($300), Nikon 55- to 200-mm VR zoom ($350), and the newest HD Pentax 55- to 300-mm ($255) telephoto zooms. Tamron’s stabilized 70- to 300-mm VC-model stabilized telephoto zoom (about $450) is a sharp, higher-grade choice for Canon and Nikon users who want higher magnifications.
  • Superzoom lenses: The many similar superzoom lenses are good all-in-one and travel lenses. Sigma’s newest 18- to 200-mm and 18- to 300-mm “Contemporary Series” superzooms are among the best in this price range. Tamron’s lower-cost superzooms and Sigma’s other superzooms are older models that, while often a good buy, are less perfected optically.
  • Macro lenses: These are close-focusing prime lenses that work well as very sharp short-telephoto lenses. All currently sell for less than our $500 cap. Tamron’s 90-mm and Sigma’s 70-mm models for Canon, Nikon, Sony Alpha and Pentax mounts are bulky but excellent. Pentax’s 100-mm macro is very sharp and well built with a weather-resistant metal body. Nikon’s 40-mm G and Canon’s 60-mm macro lenses are less expensive than the higher-end Pentax, Sigma and Tamron models, but also good.
  • Sony A5100 and A6000: The best affordable lenses for Sony’s E-mount APS-C mirrorless cameras are made by Sigma — the 19-mm, wide-angle, 30-mm normal, and 60-mm short telephoto/portrait models. Each costs about $200 to $210, with f/2.8 maximum apertures. Zeiss’s 32-mm Touit ($499) is a higher-end alternative. None are stabilized on E-mount cameras, a drawback.
  • Micro Four-Thirds: Olympus and Panasonic M4/3 mirrorless camera users have a wide choice among high-quality, affordable lenses. Olympus’ 12- to 50-mm zoom ($350) is the least-expensive upgrade to the kit lens. Luckily, most Olympus and Panasonic kit lenses are sharper than average. All M4/3 lenses are inherently stabilized when mounted on Olympus cameras, but not with most Panasonic cameras.
  • Among fast prime lenses, we suggest Panasonic’s 14-mm f/2.5 and 20-mm f/1.7 models, both about $270. We also recommend Panasonic’s 30-mm f/2.8 macro and 42.5-mm f/1.7 prime lenses, and their compact 35- to 100-mm f/4-5.6 compact telephoto zoom. All three are very sharp, stabilized and retailing in the $350 to $400 range when not on sale.
  • Sigma sells M 4/3 versions of its 19-mm, 30-mm and 60-mm f/2.8 prime lenses for about $200 to $210. The 19-mm Sigma is OK, the 30-mm Sigma is very good, while the 60-mm model is exceptionally good. Olympus’ 25-mm f/1.8, 45-mm f/1.8 lenses (each about $299) and 60-mm f/2.8 macro lens (about $400) are excellent and recommended.
  • Olympus’ 40- to 150-mm f/4-5.6 telephoto ($99 on sale) can be good if you get a properly assembled copy. Olympus’ 75- to 300-mm II supertelephoto (about $450) is sharp and versatile when used carefully. Olympus’ new 14- to 150-mm Mark II zoom is sharper and less expensive than Panasonic’s older 14- to 140-mm model, but stabilized only when used with Olympus cameras.

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Plugged In: Camera on your gift list? Shop smart for value

By Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter

Although the Black Friday shopping frenzy has passed, some excellent digital cameras remain available for less than $500.

These are typically older models introduced within the past two years being cleared out to make way for new products in 2016. That shouldn’t deter you. All the cameras discussed this week are capable of professional-quality results and would work well for beginning and intermediate photographers, particularly students.

Cameras and lenses should be purchased as new, in-box items with at least a basic, 18- to 55-mm kit zoom lens. Avoid refurbished cameras and “international version” gray market items without a U.S. warranty.

We’ve used the prices posted at Amazon and BH Photo, ignoring “bargains” dependent on mail-in rebates. Stock goes fast, though, so there’s no guarantee these will remain available for long.

We’ll start with digital SLR cameras using moving mirrors — the larger, more traditional choice. All of these include APS-C sensors, whose size is intermediate between full-frame sensors and smaller, Micro Four-Third sensors. Continue reading

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Plugged In: Bookmark the best to better your photography

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Our holiday gift suggestions in 2015 focus on truly useful books that take your photography to a higher plane, relatively inexpensive items that help you make better photos with your existing gear, and cameras and lenses that provide excellent capabilities while costing less than $600.

This week, we’ll start with serious books about serious photography.

Improving your knowledge and technique does more to enhance the quality of your photographs than buying an expensive, prograde camera or lens. No amount of top-tier equipment can compensate for poor composition or cliched subjects. So, we’ll make our first shopping stop in the book department.

There’s real benefit in broadening one’s view by seeing representative examples of acclaimed photos by other photographers, and not just American photographers.  Continue reading

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Plugged In: Don’t assume ‘auto’ is all-powerful

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

The focusing errors so common with modern autofocus cameras didn’t trouble Ansel Adams, Edward Weston or their contemporaries. A black cloth over the camera and their head to shut out light, a magnifier and the ground glass back were the only requirements for careful manual focus and brilliantly controlled, sharp images.

Focus

In some regards, high-quality photography took a step backward when autofocus cameras became the norm. As we noted last week, autofocus mechanisms in digital SLR cameras often go out of adjustment and require periodic recalibration for the sharpest results. Although many tend to blame soft images on supposedly mediocre lenses, missed focus and subtle camera shake are more often the culprits.

In my personal photography, I’ve found that manual focusing remains the most reliable means of assuring consistently sharp focus on the primary subject in tricky situations, regardless of the camera that I’m using. Manually focusing a modern dSLR camera is actually more difficult than older film cameras. The focusing screens of older models were specifically designed for manual focus, incorporating a central split-image feature and a surrounding microprism.

Those focusing aids are no longer included on standard dSLRs. For accurate manual focusing, you’ll need to buy and install an after-market focus screen. The best I’ve found are made by Katz-Eye and cost about $150. Installation is fairly simple but requires a steady hand. Inexpensive foreign-made screens are unusable.

Mirrorless-system cameras, such as those made by Olympus, Panasonic and Sony, are usually easier to focus manually because so much more information can be displayed in the electronic viewfinder or on the rear LCD screen. With my Olympus cameras, moving the focus ring automatically switches the viewfinder or rear screen to a highly magnified view that allows precise focus, as well as visually checking depth of field.

The most modern mirrorless-system cameras, such as the Olympus E-M5 II, include a “focus-peaking” viewfinder or rear LCD feature that outlines the areas in best focus with red or another contrasting color. It’s nice for quickly checking general focus, but I find that using a highly magnified image is more reliable when great accuracy is needed.

Exposure

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