Sunday, May 30, 2010

85 F1.2 Love this Lens

Well I seem to be posting more about my Android diversions than photography lately, so here's a little return to my main subject, shooting the 85 1.2 - I passed on the 70 - 200 2.8 last year in favor of the 85 prime. I wondered if it was the right decision, but after shooting with it for a while, I'm glad I chose it, the images taken with this lens are very unique and you can usually spot them fairly quickly.

Shooting with this lens takes a lot of patience (because it's a slow focusing lens) and even more practice. Shooting wide open produces EXTREMELY shallow depth of field - like in millimeters! Look at the sample above, 3/4 pose you would usually think one eye in focus and the other soft, but here you can see the the DOF is so shallow the focus softens with the span of a single eye - probably less than an eighth of an inch. Shooting this shallow means I need to change the way I shoot - No more using the center focus sensor, locking focus, then recomposing - that slight change in position will throw the it out of focus. You really need to use the focus point selection function here and use the sensor that falls on the area you want in focus - this does put some boundaries on you composition. My usual technique of prefocusing and waiting for the right expression doesn't work either, lock too early and your subjects subtle movements can throw you out of focus again.
But even with all this hassle, I just can't get over the unique nature of the images produced, and in my opinion, well worth the work.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Froyo up and running on my nexus one

Yea, Google's next version of their android operating system, Froyo, wasn't supposed to be out for a couple of weeks. But it does appear that they pushed it out to their nexus one dev phones last week so of course its out there on the web... and now on my phone. :-).
The official Google file only works for stock, non-rooted, T-mobile Nexus ones, but thanks to Paul's hard work over at MoDaCo, we now have a way for all of us that rooted our N1s to get our 'Frozen Dessert' - Thanks Paul!
So What Do I Think?
Well, I was running Cyanogen's latest rom with Pershoot's UV/OC kernel - so how's Froyo Compare?
  • Dalvik VM with JIT compiler: I did not notice any performance gains in my apps (although my rooted setup was much more responsive than stock)
  • New Browser rocks! Much improvement here. Notice Google reader and docs to render MUCH faster - definate improvement.
  • Tethering - Both USB and WiFi tethering are enabled on this build, Awesome! Love the support in the OS, this was the biggest reason for me the root 2.1 on my N1, now there's no need. The NexusOne is still Google's favorite Son and they're showing it lots of love, here. I doubt any updates pushed to the other Android phones by the carriers will have this option.
  • The new camera is nicer and more responsive but I miss the desire camera I had on before, touch to focus and face detection should have made it's way into Google's native camera...
  • My problems with loosing WiFi during sleep seemed to have all but disappeared.
  • So far I'm loving all the little enhancements as well (like next and previous buttons in GMAIL and the permanent phone and browser buttons on the home screen.

I'll need a little more time with it to see how battery life is but overall, I think it's worth keeping over the custom roms I was running. Although, I can't wait to see what the ROM cookers have instore for 2.2....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rooted my Nexus One

I'll have to admit, I've put off rooting my N1 for lack of a good reason and the possibility of ending up with a $500 brick.
But after reading all the walk thrus on I got the confidence up to finally do it with the sole intent to run the Andriod-WiFi-Tether app.
The one thing that was lacking was detailed instructions on rooting under Linux, but hobo14 saved me there with his post which provided the critical initial usb settings I needed to have the computer see the phone during fastboot (seems that the Vendor id changes when the phone is in fastboot)

$ sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

- Save these two lines into the file:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="18d1", MODE="0666"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="0bb4", MODE="0666"

$ sudo chmod a+rx /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

After that, all went well. I used the latest Cyanogen mod, as it was noted to be the most stable.

So how's it work?
  • The phone is really snappy but that could be cause I wiped the 30 or so apps off the phone but I'd be nice if it stays that way after I load it back up.
  • Wifi tether works great.
  • So far my Wifi Sleep issues have gone away - but it's still too early to tell.
  • A bit more bling on the phone (multi color trackball, new wallpaper, and ringtones)
  • Also seems that I have 150M free now verses less than 90 with the stock roms.
I'll revisit this post as I find out more.