Bokeh: The Least Understood Lens Property

Warning: Reading this article may diminish your enjoyment of some photographs you view in the future because you will start to observe a flaw that would previously have gone unnoticed.

A camera lens has many different attributes. There is focal length, zoom, minimum/maximum aperture, sharpness, and chromatic aberration… and that’s just off the top of […]

The Importance of On-Camera Flash

I don’t think I’ll ever buy a camera that doesn’t include a flash on the body itself. It isn’t that I like flash photography; I abhor it, actually. On-camera flash photography makes for uneven lighting, weird color mixes, and generally bad images. However, having a flash built into the body means that I’ll never be […]

Depth of Field

It’s a long-standing “rule of thumb” that f/8 is the sharpest aperture. It’s important to remember, though, that there is exactly one distance from the focal plane that has “perfect sharpness” while distances near are simply “acceptably sharp”. There is no sharp boundary (if you’ll excuse the pun) between that is in focus and what […]

D800 or D800E

There’s been a lot said about the new Nikon D800 and it’s twin, the D800E. There’s nothing but a single letter on the outside to tell them apart and not much on the inside, either, with only the anti-aliasing filter cancelled out.

What does an anti-aliasing filter do? It (nearly) eliminates the effect of “moire” […]

Lossy Compression of RAW

There has been some discussion recently thanks to the huge pixel count of Nikon’s D800 regarding the size of the NEF (“raw”) files. They’re 75MB, 14-bit, uncompressed. Nikon offers a form of lossy-compressed NEF but a lot of people think this is a Bad Thing™ because they know that JPEG is “lossy” and everybody knows […]