Archive for category Photography

Review of the Manfrotto 055CXPro3

I picked up a Manfrotto 055CXPro3 tripod for Christmas 2011. At that time, I started off writing a short review of it, comparing it with my then-current 055XProB.

Amazon shipping

  • no problem, earlier than expected
  • price went up after I put it in the cart though
  • center column was damaged in transit, cosmetic marks made by the 3 legs

Tripod itself – compared to 2007era 055XProB

  • 1st impression: Locking different – not really good or bad
  • Good:
    • Covering of screws on latch is gone, washer integrated into screw itself
    • Less parts to loose is always good
  • Bad:
    • Screws to secure latch are now hex head instead of phillips head. Why? I now need a semi-specialized screwdriver to take it apart.
  • Indifferent:
    • Latch and screws on upper & lower leg segments are subtly different. Need to keep track or compare all visually before reinstallation
    • Leg segment tops aren’t molded – additional plastic part used as stoppers. This is probably a direct result of using carbon fiber instead of aluminium.
    • No hand warmers. Using it in winter… is going to be fun.

I’ve also completely dismantled it, cleaned it and rebuilt it. There weren’t any manuals, but I found a part diagram/listing on Manfrotto’s site that helped show how the part fit together. (If that link breaks, I found it under the spare parts section here.)

Took some practice, and a few missteps (particularly with the tension(?) spring securing the center column), but it ended up working fine after clearing the sand out of it. (Where I got sand on it from, I have no clue.)

Once again though, I was disappointed in the need of specialized tools. In this case, a 3/8 (I think) hex key.

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Fun with Python and image processing

Today I got to work with something I’ve been meaning to for a while – Image processing with Python, in particular the PIL/Pillow library. (Pillow’s a forked, more up to date version of PIL, and it’s in PyPi.)

So about 30 minutes after planning and googling and reading the docs, I have a first version that takes a bunch of images, all the same size (it doesn’t check though), and randomises the list, then cuts vertical stripes of equal sizes out of them, and assembles it into something like this:

This is made up of stripes of 120 photos

Then I moved into variations – swapping the red and blue channels with this code. (Result)

Or how about staggering the rgb channels so each stripe is built with the red channel from the first image, green from the second, and blue from the third? (Again, oddly funky result.)

And finally, just combining channels from three different images wholesale, without the vertical striping? (The result looks pretty interesting with the pink glow.)

What will I do next? Probably look at combining different sized images – have some way of calculating the height & width of images and cropping random portions out of them such that they can be pieced together. Not like the random shapes of a jigsaw puzzle (PIL only supports box shapes), but a collage almost.

I’m still getting over the ‘this is awesome’ and wondering how the random number generators will affect the outcome of the image though.

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Time Lapse Lessons

I ordered an intervalometer off eBay back in December. After waiting 49 days for delivery (I even opened up a dispute case with eBay because the time limit was about to expire, then it came the very next day), I got it, and played around with it.
So far, I’ve done 3 time lapses, and learnt some stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

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Travel tripods: Update

So… I checked on the 190CXPro4. $669.

Yeah… definitely not getting that, at least right now.

I’ll admit I’m worried about wasting money… but that’s why I’m starting my search now, so I can look for a good one that will keep most of its value.

Have a few pictures from Japan though.

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Travel tripods

So… Been looking around. The 190CXPROB costs upwards of $300 on Amazon… which means I shudder to think how much it costs here. Ideally, I’d like a tripod that’s under $250 ($300 max), and folds up small enough to hang off the side of my bag. Or get strapped underneath it. Essentially, limited to the outside dimensions of my backpack.

Fotopro C-5C was (supposedly) selling for $298 during COMEX, which ended last week, so that reminds me that I’ll need to go to the next show… So I’ll be at Suntec sometime in December, it seems.

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State of Photography (Equipment)

So. Faced with a trip to Japan next Feb, and Uni after that, it’s time to take stock of stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

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Placeholder + New gallery

So… it’s been almost exactly a year? Clearly I do not use a blog. But just when you thought this was dead…

Now that I’ve paid homage to one of the many internet memes, more about what’s going on with me.

  1. busybusybusy. About 2 weeks before school begins again, and I’m going to be suffering from jetlag when I get back to Singapore. Goodbye wintery Canada, hello deathly hot (in comparison) Singapore.
  2. New gallery: (Time for shiny new! Now with built with Flash!)
  3. It’s gonna be a long year. IB exams and what not are going to happen at the end of the year, and I need to do well on them. Really really well.

Which of course means studying, which means less time to ‘update’.

I should just change the name to ‘Updates yearly”, shouldn’t I? =D

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