Ronno Tramper Photography

31 july 2009, digital and macro

The reason I am showing you the shot of the common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) below is that it is so amazing how easy it has become to make it nowadays. Just walk into your backgarden, spot one, point and shoot. I used a Nikon D300, a Sigma 3.5/180mm macro at f5.6 and 1/1250(!) of a second at ISO 800, handheld. This particular camera and lens combination gives you the equivalent of a 270mm macrolens (1,5x the working distance!) plus an extra stop depth of field compared to 35mm film. I got off only six shots, inspected them on the camera LCD and ... ready. Only 15 minutes later it is on my website (the exif-info is in the image). As little as ten years ago this was highly specialized macro photography. With a 180mm macro lens at f8 or f11 and Fuji Velvia 50, there is no way you are going to take this kind of photo without a tripod and two flashes and an extra flash for the background if you do not want the background to be black. By the time you have set up all that gear the subject will not be there anymore of course. That's why rumor had it that photographers specializing in this type of macro photography manipulated their subjects (cooling them).

Common green bottle fly, Lucilia sericata
Nikon D300, Sigma 3.5/180mm APO Macro, f5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800, handheld

30 july 2009, Nikon D300s announced

Today Nikon has announced the D300s. The D300 already is a very good camera. You won't hear me complain about it. But my first reaction is that the D300s is a bit of a disappointment. Video, seven frames per second instead of six and an SD-card slot next to the CF-card slot: woooow! No D300 owner is going to upgrade to a D300s for that. If you desperately want video, go buy a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1. Better video mode plus a dedicated 14-140mm lens for less money than a D300s body. Seems like a nice little camera to toy with too.

28 july 2009, Blue Flowers, Campanula barbata

The Bearded Bellflower is found in alpine meadows at altitudes over 1000 meters. These were photographed in Gran Paradiso in the Italian Alps. I used the Sigma 3.5/180mm APO Macro at its widest aperture for a very soft out of focus background.
White and purple specimens exist, but the usual color is "sky blue". Fortunately most digital cameras are capable of capturing this blue color. I still remember how frustrating it was that slide films capable of capturing this color were very hard to find. My slide archives are full of purple cornflowers on Fuji Velvia 50.

Bearded bellflower, Campanula barbata
Gran Paradiso, Italy
Nikon D100, Sigma 3.5/180mm APO Macro, f3.5, 1/25 sec. tripod

15 july 2009, Indian Summer in Norway

I have just updated the Norway section of my Photo Gallery. The images are larger now and there are more of them. Some of them date back to the days I used kodachrome 64. Kodak recently (june 2009) announced that the Kodachrome 64 slide films will be discontinued. The end of an era. Looking at the slides now I cannot say I like the colors all that much. They are greenish and not very saturated. I had to do a lot of color correction to make them look good enough. I am curious if you can distinguish them from the Fujis (100 and Velvia).

I have been in Norway several times, always in the second half of september. The region in the middle of Norway, roughly between Lillehammer in the south and Trondheim in the north, experiences a very short autumn period during those two weeks. Often with vehement colors.

Jotunheimen, Norway
Nikon FE2, Nikkor 2.8/28mm, Fujichrome 100

7 july 2009, Simple Answers to Difficult Questions

Today I am publishing the first of a series of simple answers to difficult questions. The idea behind it is that there is a host of very complex information about photography, colormanagement and photo editing on the internet. The information is often confusing and sometimes just obviously wrong. In my answers I intend to offer the minimum that is needed to more or less understand the subject and make a sensible decision for yourself. Todays question is "sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998?" You can find my simple answer here.

6 july 2009, new Nikon camera bodies?

There have been a lot of speculations on the internet lately about Nikon launching new camera bodies this summer and fall. The interesting ones for me would be a successor to the D300 and a D700X using the same sensor as the D3X.

D300s or D400
The successor to the D300 would probably be a D300s or a D400. I just hope Nikon resists the temptation to come with a D400 that basically is no more than a D300 with something like a 14.8 megapixel DX-sensor. I do not want more pixels crammed into the small space of a DX-sensor. The present 12 megapixels are more than enough for an A2 print. I want an improved 12mp DX-sensor with even better high ISO performance: ISO 800 with the noise-levels and the sharpness of ISO 200 in the present D300 and acceptable quality at ISO 3200. Shooting handheld with compact, stabilized lenses under almost all circumstances gives you a lot of flexibility and new, creative possibilities. And I would like to experiment with HD video. So, yes please, that too. I will not even bother to buy a 14.8 megapixel D400 if it only has more pixels. The megapixel race should be ended as far as I am concerned. The emphasis should now be on even better image quality and more flexibility, not just more pixels.

The D700 was announced a year after the D3, so a D700X will see the light a year after the D3X, a lot of people reason. They might be right. The D700 has a 12mp full frame (FX) sensor. A D700X would have the 25mp FX-sensor of the D3X in the compact, much easier to handle D700 body. It will also make D3X image quality (read: more pixels and more resolution) available at an "affordable" price. Initially between 3500 and 4000 dollars/euros I would guess. It also means that the price of the D3X will have to come down. That is, if Nikon still wants to sell reasonable numbers of the D3X of course. Although I wonder if they have sold reasonable numbers of it in the passed year for the price they were asking. For indoor sports and theatre photography the best high ISO performance at this moment in time is still offered by the D700 (or the D3). A D700X will not change that.

4 july 2009, new cover photo

I have changed the cover photo of my website to july.