Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pushing the Limits

This title image has been overly sharpened and corrected for the CA evident in the RAW images. I did not do this with any of the other images in this post.

Tonight, my Tamron 400mm camera lens became a telescope. Optical modifiers abounded. The moon's limb was looking good and night was beautiful. Actually it was quite humid, so much so, in fact, that my gear had to sit and acclimate to the outside warmth and increased humidity.

The Setup

Heavy Manfrotto tripod (Still not heavy duty enough for all this though. I really could have used a geared head as well.), the Tamron SP 400mm f/4, the Tamron 1.4x (140f) TC, AND Tamron 2x (01f) TC stacked, a M4/3-Nikon-F adapter, and the little GF1. Altogether:

400mm (Lens) * 1.4 (1.4x TC) * 2 (2x TC) * 2 (Four Thirds Crop Factor) = 2240mm

2240/50 = 44.8x magnification

= Awesome

The Results

I have added black around this image to reframe it, not only for a bit better comparison with the image I made with the D700, but also since the moon took up nearly the entire GF1's sensor.

On the D700, with this setup, the Moon is nearly a quarter of the frame. Other than slightly increase the exposure, I have done no real PP save for a tiny bit of sharpening I typically do since uploading them to the web tends to soften. I have sharpened about .3 pixels with an unsharp mask in CS3. Also, I used a .jpg file from the GF1 since CS3 cannot open it's proprietary RAW format. Because of this, in-camera sharpening is evident which is perhaps why the Panasonic's image is a bit crisper. Looking close up at the crops below, CA is very evident but is to be expected with this many optics in place; especially optics that aren't necessarily outstanding pieces of glass such as the 01f converter which adds some CA in everyday use at early apertures and cost around $20.

By clicking the first image, then clicking the second, you can then navigate to the new tab/window and use the back/forward buttons of the browser to toggle and view the differences. They are subtle but overall I am pretty excited about these results! I really wasn't expecting images this good from stacked TCs.

I am finding more and more greatness about that Tamron 400mm and I don't regret the buy or the wait for a second!