Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

I was pulling images for a great white shark project recently and revisited the images from my trip to Guadalupe last September. I saw two images very similar in lighting, obviously the same shark. But different angles and very different perspective. Looking at the EXIF data I saw they were taken only moments apart, and the major difference was the zoom setting. One was at 16mm and one was at 35mm, the opposite ends of the zoom range on my 16-35mm II lens, each rendering a significantly different vision of the same shark. Since I couldn't zoom me (by swimming closer to the shark), it was nice to have a lens that could provide such variety.

I mention this only in the context of all the testing I've done lately to try to bring the best optical performance out of wide angle zoom lenses. Sometimes it is troublesome to by trial-and-error find the exact port extension for a particular dome/lens combination, but these tools are so very useful in the field, the effort is worth it.

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