“Slow down!” said a videographer to me one day when I was shooting a video for Cosyspeed in Berlin about my street photography.
“What? Why?” I retorted.
“You’re moving too fast!”
And that’s when I realized that I’ve finally learned how to shoot street photography very, very fast. There’s a major problem though: I’m going blind. My left eye is legally blind and barely usable even with my glasses and my right eye does most of the work. With that said, I needed to train myself to capture images without even looking sometimes. But it’s tough to do and requires you to have a completely clear mind, lock onto moving subjects with your eyes, feel emotions and moments, and use zone focusing methods in addition to Sunny 16 methods. When combined together, I learned how to shoot street photography faster.
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When it comes to seeing through a viewfinder, many folks don’t ever bother to adjust the diopter of their camera. But the truth is that you really should adjust it lest your eyes strain when looking through this very small hole. The problem though is with people not knowing how to properly adjust it for themselves.
For starters, consider your eyesight. If you wear glasses you’ll know whether you’re near sighted or far sighted. Depending on your prescription, you’ll want to adjust the diopter accordingly. Diopters often have a +2 or =3 setting to enable photographers to adjust what they see through the viewfinder for their vision.
Both EVF and OVF work differently though. With an EVF, it’s mostly a matter of looking through the viewfinder, turning on text displays and adjusting the diopter until you can see the text correctly. But when working with an OVF, it can become much trickier as what you’re seeing is optical and not electronic. For optical viewfinders, we recommend taking the lens off, pointing the camera at a light source and looking at the focusing points through the viewfinder. Then adjust the setting accordingly until you see them the clearest. When this is done, you’ll have set the diopter for your eye.
Now that you’ve got your new camera (or have had one for a while now) there are a couple of things that you can do to make sure that the performance is always up to par. And while you may have heard of cleaning your sensor and other things like that, do you know how to boost the camera’s focusing performance? Or perhaps how to extend the battery life?
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Nikon Rumors was able to find a bunch of brand new focusing screens designed for the Df camera. The screens, which come from focusingscreen.com, seem to be very similar to those made by Canon since they all state that they were produced using a Canon focusing screen type. They don’t really seem to say very much else though. It overall seems a bit odd as the Nikon Df is stated to have a 100% viewfinder on both Nikon and B&H Photo’s websites. By nature, most cameras with 100% viewfinder can’t have their screens changed.
If these indeed are real though, then they would be designed mostly for use with manual focusing glass as many of them have a split screen that works very much in the same way that older SLR cameras work. But it also means that your subject needs to be centered to be most effective.
We recently reviewed with Nikon Df, and we think that it rocks with classic lenses. Check out our review if you’re interested.
According to a story published by Canon Watch, Canon might be working on a hybrid viewfinder for its future generations of DSLRs. Commonly, DSLRs come with an optical prism or mirror finder that lets you look straight through the optical path of the lens, thanks to the reflex mirror that reflects the incoming light upward towards the viewfinder. This classic viewfinder design has been challenged by high-resolution electronic viewfinders in the recent past, which many prefer for their brightness in low light, the ability to overlay shooting information, as well as easier manual focusing.
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We found an awesome hack on Lomography magazine for those of you who are really into rangefinder photography (and we’re talking about actual rangefinder coupled cameras.) Basically, if you look through the viewfinder at the middle area (which corresponds to focusing) you’ll see the two images that line up. If you place a little bit of gaffers tape right over that focusing area, the rest of the rangefinder screen will brighten.
The staff here was talking about this and we didn’t totally believe it until I tried it. With my Polaroid 185, Voigtlander Bessa R and Yashica Electro 35 GSN, it worked flawlessly. The key is to not put it over the rangefinder itself, but instead the key area in the viewfinder.
Try it out for yourself. But before you do, take a look at this piece on how a rangefinder focuses.