Discusson Group Notes January 2, 2009

Discussion Group

The holidays are over and the attendance went back up to nine. It was great to see Bonnie back up and moving about, albeit a little slow yet.

Mike and I showed up first and we talked about macro lenses. Mike recommended the Sygma 105 and showed me some sharp closeups of insects and other small things using that lens plus extensions. Mike later showed us his Sygma 10-20 wide angle lens which he says forces you to be creative.

Mike had a thick folder of photos on all different types of paper, including canvas, covering a wide range of subjects. He recommended Ilford Fine Art Velvet. I asked him about the canvas, which I tried once, and he said to print on the lighter colored side (the box didn't come with instructions).

I showed off my new Canon right-angle viewer that I plan to use this spring on little flowers close to the ground. Now I don't have to lay in the dirt craning my neck.

Terri showed off her new Manfrotto tripod so Mike pulled out his carbon Slik. His was much lighter but he said that hers was steadier.

Jerry brought out his handheld viewer with a 40G hard drive for those who hadn't seen it before. This led to a lengthy discussion about card readers/viewers versus laptops and other devices.

Mike described Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF.html as a measure of image sharpness and details as it relates to lenses. This was new to me but sounds like an important parameter to learn about and consider when I buy my next lens.

Evelyn brought out her D40x Nikon but I couldn't follow the details since I was in another discussion.

Jerry showed us some of his photos and the one I liked best was his lizard on the rocks. This one, though, had the lizard in color while everything else was in B/W. It was a great visual effect that I hope to try my hand at when I get the time. He also had some photos of deer in Tehachapi.

On the subject of flowers I recommended checking out the unusual flowering plants around the parking lot at the South end of the Movies 22. Someone else recommended the flowers around the Mall. Also, places like Lowes and Home Depot have a wide variety of flowers for sale and, if you come up with a good story like "my wife is making me do this," they'll let you take lots of photos of them.

Terri and Lee bragged about their planned fall trip to New England.

Then we did an "around the table" on "your first digital camera" which was fun and interesting. This led to a discussion of old cameras, such as the Brownie.

By that time we were mostly talked out and it was getting late so we called it a night.

Refrain: We meet each Friday at Bianco's Cafe at the South end of the Lancaster Market Place, behind and across the street from Movies 12. The core times are from 7 to 8 PM but there's typically someone there from 6:30 to at least 8:30. Bianco's will keep the lights on for you.


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

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