Monday, March 31, 2008

Pentax Sweepstakes

Sail Away to Costa Rica

Will you Sail Away on a cruise for two to the birding paradise of Costa Rica and Panama? Or walk away with a PENTAX K20D digital camera package, or a Optio W30 camera?

Enter the PENTAX Sail Away Sweepstakes by participating in a binocular demonstration at a PENTAX retailer or viewing the PENTAX binocular video right now!

Grand Prize is a 10-day cruise to Panama and Costa Rica - a birding paradise - aboard Cruise West's 102-guest Pacific Explorer.

Second Prize is a PENTAX K20D digital camera package including flash attachment and 18-55 mm and 50-300 mm lenses.

Third Prize is a Pentax Optio W30 camera.

Enter today… and picture yourself trekking through remote jungles in search of the unexpected and unusual.

More info from the Pentax press release:

PENTAX Imaging Company launched the PENTAX SAIL AWAY program to highlight select models of our binocular line. Between now and May 31, 2008, consumers may view an online product video and enter* the PENTAX Sail Away Sweepstakes at Prizes include a Cruise West cruise and exciting PENTAX products.

*No purchase is necessary for the consumer. Limited to U.S. residents only and one entry per person. Official contest rules and product video posted at

Did you know that PENTAX has announced 16 new products since January 2008? Leading the line-up are the PENTAX K20D digital SLR with 14.6 megapixels, live view and a host of customizable features and the K200D with advanced technologies in a user friendly package. PENTAX also announced five new lenses and a popular spotting scope camera adapter.

Check out the K20D video, K200D video, and a binocular video for more information on these products. PENTAX also has developed two tutorials on flash photography that are now live on the PENTAX Imaging and PENTAX SLR websites. Stay tuned for future photography tutorials.

On the compact digital side, PENTAX announced five compact digital cameras including the full-featured Optio A40, the tiny Optio S12, the affordable Optio E50 and the colorful Optio M50 (with a new website at With a 5X zoom, a 3 inch monitor and a slim body with Face Recognition, Smile Capture and Blink Detection, the Optio V20 is the latest PENTAX digital camera model.

Finally, don't miss out on the great rebate saving on sleek and stylish PENTAX Optio Z10. Learn more before you buy about this fun, full-featured camera at

Good Luck! And remember...

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Free Comics for Photographers

What The Duck
by Aaron Johnson

What the Duck is an online comic strip. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc.

Begun as a simple blog "What The Duck" has grown into a regular comic strip. Writer Aaron Johnson mainly tells the tales of a photographer duck as he experiences many of the same trials and frustrations as real photographers.

And remember...

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Free Photo Network

Store, Share, Communicate, and Network

Free from Yahoo!

Flickr is the most active photo community on the internet. More people visit share there photos and visions and make connections than anywhere else on the net.

Flickr is a free service owned by Yahoo. To set up an account to share your photos on Flickr all you need is a free Yahoo id. Flickr is such a valuable tool for photographers that nobody despite your level of photographic experience should ignore it.

Flickr is vast and encompasses people and photos from all walks of life and experiences. It has professionals as well as those who post via cellphone camera.

For the professional photographer Flickr offers networking exposure to millions of potential customers and the ability to tag each photo with keywords and provide links and information to potential customers. For any professional photographer that is thinking about ignoring Flickr first read 36 reasons that Flickr is a photographers ultimate tool over at, a website dedicated to identifying digital-age earning opportunity's to photographers.

For the ameature photographer Flickr provides a terrific place to host and share your photos. But it is much more. Flickr encourages its members to participate by allowing you to annotate and comment and ask questions on others photos. It also provides groups that you can join to share photos of a specific theme, or based on a photographers make of camera, or even skill level. Perhaps best of all Flickr is full of helpful fellow photographers that will help you grow and learn as a photographer.

So don't wait, Join Flickr today! And open a whole new world to your photographic experience! It is free after all...

And remember...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

DIY Camera Lens

Teach an Old Camera
New Tricks!

(Photo: Zeiss Ikon on a Sony Alpha A100)

Make an old camera useful again. Many old film cameras and lenses can easily be adapted for use with todays Digital SLR's. The science for which cameras and lenses make good DSLR adaptations is simple. The lens needs to go from a thicker camera body to a thinner body (with the adapter thickness making up the difference).

If you transfer to a thicker body then the lens will only focus for a couple of feet like a macro lens and everything else beyond will be out of focus. An optical element (lens) can be fitted into an adapter to correct this but they 1.) are very hard to find 2.) are very expensive 3.) you lose some quality and perhaps 1 f-stop of speed.

Kimmo Kulovesi (who took the photo above) writes about his adaptation on Yahoo flickr:

Contessa Nettel Cocarette on the Sony DSLR A100

"A Contessa Nettel Cocarette camera attached to my Sony DSLR A100 by means of sticking an 11mm M42 extension tube to the rear port of the camera. The moving lens assembly allows infinity focus to be achieved, enabling the 105mm f/4.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens to be utilized with the DSLR. (Or indeed, almost any SLR capable of accepting M42 lenses either directly or with an adapter..."

"from 1923... it's about as sharp as any lens I have."

-Arkku from Flickr

Lens adaptations or hacks have been around for as long as there have been cameras. Since there has never been a agreed upon standard mount between manufactures there has always been the case of certain special lenses that photographers could not live without and were adapted over when the photographer changed or updated camera systems. Some lenses like the 1920's Kodak Pocket Folder lens have been considered so special for their soft focus portraiture that they have been sought out, and modified to work in modern portrait studios.

Loss of automation is something to consider if you do desire to do an adaptation. Today's DSLR wonder-cams have a lot of integration between the camera and the lens. Without a modern electronic lens attached you will lose some automation that we take for granted today. Some of the biggies include:


You will surely lose Autofocus and the ability of the camera to determine when the shot is in focus using the focusing points. You will have to twist the focus knob yourself and then eyeball the image in the viewfinder to determine if the focus is correct.

Creative Modes

You will be stuck using the camera set to manual "M" mode or (if you are lucky depending on the camera make) possibly Aperture priority, if your camera can still meter light properly without an electronic lens, (Sorry Nikon DSLR users you lose your lightmeter!)

Auto Diaphragm

Modern cameras allow you to meter and focus with the lens iris wide open, then as the shutter is pressed the lens automatically stops down to the preset opening just before the shutter fires. The reason for composing with the lens wide open is to give a brighter viewfinder and to ease in focusing. With an adapted lens you will need to set the lens iris manually before you press the shutter.

To the modern DSLR user the loss of automation alone can be daunting. For those of us that used film cameras it will be like stepping back in time. Either way it is surely more work to adapt and use a non system lens than to just buy one made for your camera. However for many of us Do-It-Yourselfers hours of enjoyment can be had by adapting and using these older lenses and cameras.

And remember...

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

FREE exhibition space for photographers

Nikon Salon

Free Exhibition Space
for Aspiring Photographers

In its quest to contribute to the advancement of photographic culture,
Nikon Salon is offering a free exhibition space for aspiring photographers.

Exhibitions of your work may be held in one of three different spaces:
Nikon Salon, Nikon Salon bis, and Nikon Salon Juna21.
Each space has its own unique concept.

Nikon Salon Website:

Nikon will provide the following:

・ A set portion of production costs for invitation cards.
・ Production costs for greeting, profile and caption panels.
・ Frame rental
・ Invitation card postage fees (Excludes personal invitations)
・ Press release
・ Exhibition space
・ Staff to hang the exhibitor's work in the gallery provided.
・ \50,000 for printing materials
・An extra \30,000 for transport costs to/from Osaka, etc.

Nikon Salon is open to all creative contributions

However the opportunities don't stop there. The Nikon Salon bis gallery holds group exhibitions by members of the Nikkor Club and its branch offices, as well as other photographic organizations, schools and clubs. For aspiring young photographers, there is also Nikon Salon Juna21, where exhibitors must be under 35 years old.

Nikon Salon

Nikon Salon accepts any exhibition that strives to contribute to photographic culture. This program is open to all photographers.


Nikon Salon Juna21 seeks creative, original ideas from young photographers. Exhibitors must be under 35 years old.

For nearly 40 years

Nikon Salon has contributed to the spread of photographic culture by offering a free exhibition space to aspiring artists.
It started in January 1968, when Nikon Salon was first established in Ginza to celebrate Nikon's 50th anniversary. Since the very first exhibition "Eyes of Ihei Kimura," Nikon Salon has provided unique opportunities for both professional and amateur photographers by sponsoring their lectures and hosting their exhibitions. These opportunities expanded with the opening of Shinjuku Nikon Salon in June 1971. Osaka Nikon Salon followed in March 1974. The goal was to pursue the true meaning of photography: the expression of ideas. This meant breaking the barrier between professional and amateur photographers and viewing their work as art, not business strategy. The applications are still open to everyone. Photographers of every style and level of experience are welcome at Nikon Salon.

Nikon Salon looks forward to viewing your work!

And remember...

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