Tag Archives: aurora

Iceland – the land of light – Third

This is going to be my third post on Iceland I hope you have had a chance to view the many photos in (part 1 and Part 2). I am going to focus on panoramas in this third post, less texts and more photos. Iceland is such a different place, so hard to describe, rough nature, real nature, and all over. There is no other place that draws me like Iceland does, and I could easily se myself living on this windy rough island. Continue reading Iceland – the land of light – Third

Iceland – the land of light – First

Iceland is one of the countries I cannot get enough of, I love to visit it again and again. Every time I have had the pleasure of going to Iceland it has resulted in new adventures and new impressions. Last year we visited the western parts surrounding Reykjavik, but this year we went more Eastover. The plan was to be staying just south from Vatnajökull and some 90km west of Höfn, focusing on the coast, glacier and icebergs. The trip did prove itself to be much more than planned, there was a abandoned Viking movie set, in stunning surroundings, Aurora Borealis, waterfalls, ice caving, canyon hike, stunning coastal sites, caves at Vik and more. Continue reading Iceland – the land of light – First

About, to be triggered

VILTROX JY-710 2.4GHZ Wireless Remote Shutter
This wireless intervalometer works wonders, I have used it extensively, it has a good vbattery life, handles extreme cold well, no problem with baking sun either. It is compatible with most camera systems, but beware to get the right version. It claims having a control distance up to 100 meters, yet i have not tested it with more than meters.

One of my favorite features is the light for the light up screen is a very dim green. You won’t ruin your night vision with this. All of the functions you expect from an interval-meter are there and work well for the most part. Besides featuring a remote control feature. It has automatic timer, it can set delay time, exposure time, interval time, continuous AF and number of shouts for timed interval photography. The time is settable in 1 second increments, units from 1 second to 99 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.

Another of the favorite features is when using this for bulb photography, then the display  shows how long time your exposure has been. The device is configurable so you can enable audio notification of the passing time.

Hint

One thing that isn’t in the description is that controller can be connected with the wire directly to the camera if you don’t want to use the wireless function. There is a jack at the top of the controller.

Comparing the product

I know this is not a scientific test, but my experience with the JY710 is that it kept working at -25c degrees, long after where intervalometers like the Hahnel Giga T Pro II died. Should you want to see the result of that trip its to be found at “The ride of the Valkyries final” which is a timelapse taken approximate 100 km north of Trondheim, Norway.

It is also very intuitive where others take a longer study of manuals before you can figure them out.

Regrets, I’ve had a few, nothing too serious 

I could have wished for a “after” timer, where one could see the elapsed time, in case you are using long exposure noise reducing.

There is no on/off button, it frustrates me, yes i know that the display possibly is not using more power than a digital watch from the 90’s, still I hate it.

The quality of the product seems to match the price, I do not like the plastic used on the basic structure. It seems not to be a problem, but I would prefer something more robust.

The manual is poorly written. The company website is no use at all. But it is all the same, the product is fairly intuitive. I do recommend sitting at home learning this equipment before taking it out under the dark skies.

Recommendations

Giving the negative sides mentioned above, you might think that i would recommend you staying away from the product… and nothing would be more wrong. The price and the functionality outweighs any negative remark there is to this product. I could simply not live without this product.

 

The ride of the Valkyries

According to a legend of the Norse mythology the Northern Lights were considered to be shed by the armour of the Valkyries, a host of female helping spirits of the god Odin, the Allfather of the gods. The Valkyries, warlike virgins mounting upon horses and armed with helmets and spears, decide who will die in a battle, soaring over battlefields like birds of prey and selecting among half of those who dies in battle. They then bring their chosen to the afterlife hall to Odin’s throne hall, the Valhalla.

While riding forth on their errand, the Valkyries gallop across the night sky equipped with helmets, spears and armour that glow and shimmer in the darkness, shedding a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, creating the beautiful sigh of the Aurora Borealis.

These series is photographed some 120 km north of TrondHeim Norway in Fagervik

This timelapse is best seen in 4K I hope you enjoy it

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A black hole of a Lens

This blog is about a lens that so grown in me heart, I find myself using this more and more. The lens is the Samyang 14mm f/2.8, if you haven’t met it, then you have missed out on something as rare as true greatness on a budget.

samyang-14mm-f-2-8-lensIt started out with a lens i bought for wide field astrophotography, but it quickly turned out that this lens was perfect for panoramas as well. The build and glass is excellent  and added to the fact that it is a very affordable lens it seems perfect to start out with for my “limited” astrophotography needs. And boy was I wrong, I mean not in buying the lens but with regards to the “limited” use.

This is a manual focus, manual aperture, manual exposure lens that does not report any information, not even the aperture used to the camera. You might think “I cannot do without Autofocus”, but sure you can after all what is autofocus worth in a dark night. What really matters is image sharpness and ease of setting infinity, and this lens is right on the money here.

Image Quality

My bet is that you cannot find an equally sharp lens at this wide angle to the price of this piece of glass. It gives really a good contrast and resolution. The lens is center sharp at f/2.8 while the corners can be a little soft on a full frame camera. The softness at the corners should not scare you away, while it is still acceptable sharp, and quite good quite good for a lens this wide.  Shooting at day time you want to be stepping down much further to increase the sharpness. At f/4 is the center bleeding sharp, and not surprisingly is this terrific at f/8.

 

 

Focal Length

14mm will yield approximately  116° angle of view. You might think 14mm that is not all that wide, but it is, do not get it confused with a fisheye lens. This lens offers one of the widest rectilinear focal length available . It is true that a wide angle lens causes distortion making foreground subjects large in relation to background subjects. However with modern programs like photoshop this is easily countered. Admittedly this can be a challenge to work with , but with a little practice it can be used to your advantage. Often I refrain from countering the effect, and try to work with the effect instead, it can give the viewer a sense of the presence in the images captured by it, or help bend old trees even further.

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What is it good for

There is many areas of photography where this lens is applicable, this includes landscape, old forests, nightscape,  astrophotography, aurora borealis and cityscapes etc. Perhaps my biggest use has been Astrophotography and LandScapes where it really shines. I would never use it for portrait photography as the distortion will give an unflattering expression to my subjects.  Nor is it good for full figured photography as very few would appreciate such a distorted look. Should i set a rule for when i would use this lens, then it would be for everything without a straight line, or other kind of reference to judge the distortion from.

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Aperture

This lens offers a blazing fast aperture of f/2.8. I use this with great benefit when shooting the night sky, because the wide aperture permits me a shutter speed short enough to avoid getting star trails, and still use an acceptably noisy ISO setting. As I wrote earlier is this a full manual lens, this means that the aperture adjustment is done by turning the aperture ring.  The click stops are in 1/2 stop increments and gives off a noticeable “click” when turning the ring. This is worth an extra praise while the click aids accurately setting the aperture without the use visual confirmation, something that is especially handy when shooting at night.

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Downside

It should be no surprise that flairs can be an issue with this lens. Due to its angle and coating is this lens sensitive when shooting in the sun. The fixed lens hood is helping somewhat but not entirely. The lens hood also makes it ridiculously difficult to get a proper ND filter solution for this lens.  This will surely be a minus for many landscape shooters. The front element is also bulging out, and i am constantly fearful of scratching it and the front glass element really easy pick up vapor when shooting in cold environments. The back cap is my opinion garbage, and comes off too easily.

Calibrating the Samyang

Let me start out with saying that this is far from always necessary, my edition of the lens was right on the money when it comes to infinity focus.  However, the focus ring seems to be off on some lenses. It has a easily adjustable focus ring that with a small tweak allows you the marking of infinity at the correct focus point. All you have to do is loosen a few screws, get in focus on an object far away (infinity, past hyperfocal distance), move the focus ring and then re-align the markings. This site and video explains it very well.

 

All in all

This lens goes with all my praise, the low price will not make your old lady raise an eyebrow. It will be a permanent addition to your photo bag.