Archive for the ‘Apple Preview’ Category

L-bracket for Fujifilm X-T5

March 28, 2023

In a recent blog post, I said …

l use Arca Swiss L-brackets for all of my cameras. Good L-brackets are designed so the bracket doesn’t block any camera doors or ports. But I don’t have one for the [Fujifilm] X-T5 because it’s new enough that the selection of compatible L-brackets is poor. Source Credit: Walter Sanford, Comedy of Errors.

My urgent need for an L-bracket trumped my anxiety about ordering one from AliExpress in China. I decided to buy an L-bracket for my X-T5 from the “GoGlory Store.” US $27.55 plus free shipping helped to incentivize me. I placed my order on 12 March 2023; it was delivered on 20 March. Shipment from China to the east coast of the United States in eight (8) days was a pleasant surprise!

The L-bracket is well-made and fits my Fujifilm X-T5 perfectly without extending the vertical rail (as shown in the top photo, below).

Photo Credit: “GoGlory Store.”

The bracket comes with two Allen wrenches: a larger wrench (shown above); and a smaller one. The “GoGlory Store” Web page says the Allen wrenches are magnetic; they aren’t. Look closely at the full-size version of the preceding photos. Notice two small silver circles on the bottom of the horizontal rail — those are magnets in a groove that fits the larger Allen wrench.

The larger wrench is used to tighten/un-tighten a larger bolt that connects the L-bracket to the 1/4″-20 threaded tripod socket of your camera. The same bolt has a groove for a flat-head screwdriver.

The larger Allen wrench is also used to tighten/un-tighten a slightly smaller bolt that enables you to extend/contract the length of the L-bracket. That bolt does not have a groove for a screwdriver.

The smaller Allen wrench is used for two small bolts that enable you to remove the vertical rail completely.

Battery-chamber door

The following photo shows the L-bracket mounted on my Fujifilm X-T5; the opening in the horizontal rail enables the camera battery-chamber door to open/close freely without removing the L-bracket.

L-bracket, showing opening for camera battery-chamber door.

Camera Connectors (side doors)

The next photo shows the vertical rail of the L-bracket and the left side of my camera. The large cut-out in the L-bracket enables easy access to two small doors on the left side of the camera, and doesn’t block the built-in speaker. Both doors to the camera connectors are open in the following photo.

L-bracket, showing cut-out for camera connectors (side doors).

The vertical rail features four 1/4″-20 threaded sockets (taps) for mounting camera accessories.

What are the take-aways?

During limited testing, I am completely satisfied with the L-bracket I bought from AliExpress. Really, how often do you hear me say that about camera gear? A well-made product that does what it’s supposed to do, all for a good price plus free shipping — what’s not to like?

Copyright © 2023 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Comedy of errors

March 14, 2023

My first big focus stack turned out to be a comedy of errors. Lots of little things, all of them avoidable, but the one that broke the stack was when the camera battery died approximately two-thirds of the way through the project.

My new Fujifilm X-T5 has a much larger battery than my Fujifilm X-T3 so I never imagined it wouldn’t last long enough to create the stack.

I might have been able to salvage the stack by changing the battery without removing the camera from the focus rail, but the Manfrotto quick release plate partially blocked the battery door. Doh!

l use Arca Swiss L-brackets for all of my cameras. Good L-brackets are designed so the bracket doesn’t block any camera doors or ports. But I don’t have one for the X-T5 because it’s new enough that the selection of compatible L-brackets is poor.

I have two ways to provide continuous power for the X-T5 but I couldn’t use them because the battery door was partially blocked. Double doh!

Making lemonade from lemons

Long story short I used Helicon Focus to stack all the photos up until the power failure and the results look fairly good, as shown below. Oh what might have been. Triple doh!

ISO 400 | 80mm | 0 ev | f/8 | 1/250 s

The preceding composite image was created from 192 of 328 photos. I used a safe step size of 50 µm (microns) between photos. Each JPG photo is ~13 MB, 7728 × 5152 pixels.

The coin is acceptably in focus from the top of the coin to a point about two-thirds of the way toward the bottom. Zoom in on the horse’s head and you should notice sharp focus is lost beginning below its eye.

The amount of detail in the composite image is astounding, as shown in the close-up of the upper-right quadrant.

Close-up, upper-right quadrant.

Copyright © 2023 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Post update: Which family is it?

December 2, 2022

The following odonate exuvia is from a damselfly in Suborder Zygoptera.

The overall shape of the prementum (highlighted by a red rectangle) indicates this specimen is from Family Calopterygidae (Broad-winged Damselflies). Notice the embedded raindrop shape (highlighted by a purple rectangle), located toward the upper-center of the prementum — a key field mark for this family.

03 SEP 2022 | Powhatan County, VA USA | (exuviaventral side)

Two genera from Family Calopterygidae are common in the Commonwealth of Virginia: Hetaerina; and Calopteryx. For species in Genus Calopteryx the raindrop shape (Fig. 19) looks more like a diamond shape (Fig. 18), so it’s probably safe to infer this specimen is a species in Genus Hetaerina.

Related Resources

Post Update: Congratulations to Doug Mills, Wally Jones, and Bob Perkins for correctly identifying the family of this exuvia.

Doug and Wally looked at the shape of the prementum. Bob looked at the antennae.

The long middle segment on the antennae is the key, found only on Calopterygidae nymphs. Nymphs of the other families have antenna segments that are progressively shorter from base to tip. Source Credit: Bob Perkins.

Looking at the prementum should enable you to identify all three families; looking at antennae works for only one family.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Depth of field

November 11, 2022

Once a teacher, always a teacher. I guess that’s the reason I like to create and share blog posts that relate to things I’ve learned about photography. Such as depth of field.

Depth of field, more specifically shallow depth of field, is the reason many macro photographers like to do focus bracketing and focus stacking.

In order to demonstrate shallow depth of field, I arranged the same three studio “models” (used in my last blog post) in a way that would be impossible for the camera to capture all three subjects in focus. For what it’s worth, the distance between the closest and farthest model was approximately six inches.

To add to the challenge, I changed the aperture from f/7.1 to f/5.6 — that’s closer to the “sweet spot” of f/4 for the lens in my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300, but the depth of field at f/5.6 is shallower than f/7.1. How shallow is it? (Queue Johnny Carson.) For the answer, I turned to my favorite online “Depth of Field Calculator.”

Notice I selected “Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150” as the camera. That’s because the FZ300 isn’t on the long list of cameras supported by the calculator. No problem. I own both the FZ150 and FZ300 and I can tell you they are virtually identical in every significant way.

My camera was mounted on a tripod so that the front of the lens was approximately five inches from the closest subject. The focal length (mm) of the lens was derived from the EXIF info for one of the three photos shown below.

Look at the calculator output, highlighted by the red rectangle in the preceding screen capture. Notice the total depth of field is 0.24 inches — that’s only around 1/4 inch! There’s NO WAY all three subjects can be acceptably in focus using my FZ300 and the camera settings I selected.

Post Focus

I used Panasonic “Post Focus” to capture the scene. This time, I used “Post Focus” to select different focus points after the shot was taken. During playback, I selected three focus points, one at a time, and saved the following JPG files.

For the first photo, I selected a focus point on the toy monkey. Notice the orange dinosaur in the background is clearly out of focus. Wait, did I really just say that? Yeah, go with it — you know what I mean.

Focus point on nearest subject.

For the next photo, I selected a focus point on the green dinosaur. I don’t know whether I’d call the other two subjects “acceptably in focus” but I know they aren’t tack sharp.

Focus point on middle subject.

For the last photo, I selected a focus point on the orange dinosaur. Notice the toy monkey in the foreground is out of focus.

Focus point on farthest subject.

So there it is — if you would like all three subjects to be in focus then focus bracketing / focus stacking is the only way to go.

My last blog post, entitled “Focus bracketing using Panasonic “Post Focus,” explains how Panasonic “Post Focus” can be used with Adobe Photoshop to do focus bracketing and focus stacking.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Sample photos: Fringer EF-FX Pro II lens mount adapter

September 2, 2022

Oh look, it’s the “Made in the shade” monkey and Buzz Lightyear — two of my favorite studio models! Whenever I need to test new photography gear and/or techniques, they are always willing to help.

As promised in my last blog post, here are a couple of sample photos taken with my Canon EF 100mm macro lens mounted on a Fujifilm X-T3 digital camera body using a Fringer EF-FX Pro II lens mount adapter.

Single point focus was used for both photos. For the first photo, the focus point was located on the monkey’s right eye (bottom eye, relative to the photo). The real world size of the toy monkey is ~4.8 cm long.

“Made in the shade” monkey toy.

The Canon lens is controlled by the Fujifilm digital camera via the Fringer adapter. EXIF information (shown below) is available for each photo. As you can see, the photos in this set were taken using an aperture of f/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/250 s, the default sync speed for the X-T3.

The “sweet spot” for the Canon EF 100mm macro lens is either f/5.6 or f/8. The depth of field is shallower at f/5.6 than f/8, but I thought the former might be a better test for sharpness than the latter.

Apple Preview | Inspector

Buzz Lightyear reporting for duty, sir. I don’t remember exactly where the focus point was located, but it was probably somewhere near Buzz’s face/head.

Buzz Lightyear plastic toy.

Regular readers of my blog might be happy to know Buzz will be back again for my next blog post.

What are the take-ways?

As you can see, my Canon macro lens works well with the Fujifilm camera. Does it perform better than my Fujinon 80mm macro lens? It’s too early to tell.

The APS-C sensor inside the Fujifilm X-T3 digital camera has a crop factor of 1.5x, so the Canon EF 100mm macro lens has a focal length of 150mm (35mm equivalent) when mounted on an X-T3. The net result is an increase in apparent magnification.

Some of the advantages of mounting the Canon lens on a Fujifim digital camera (rather than my older Canon DSLR camera) are really about features available on the X-T3 that enable me to get more from the same lens.

For example, there are only nine (9) focus points on my Canon EOS 5D Mark II; the Fujifilm X-T3 can be set for either 117 or 425.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II doesn’t feature focus peaking; the Fujifilm X-T3 does. Focus peaking is a useful aid for focusing the Canon lens manually. More about this topic in my next blog post.

And of course, don’t forget that all of my Canon lenses (including several L-series lenses) can be used with my Fujifilm cameras via the Fringer adapter. I’m especially looking forward to testing the Fringer adapter with my Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lens.

In summary, the Canon/Fringer/Fujifilm rig works as expected. During limited testing, I discovered something that doesn’t work. (Again, more about this topic in an upcoming blog post.) The problem isn’t a deal-breaker and it should be something that can be fixed in a firmware update of the Fringer adapter. Editor’s Note: I just contacted Fringer as of this writing. I’m interested to see whether they are receptive to customer suggestions for improvement. I’ll update this post to include their response. Post Update: Fringer replied to my message promptly. Details in an upcoming blog post.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Blog posts related to instar

July 29, 2022

A while ago I created a series of single-topic blog posts related to instar. I just converted the Web versions of those blog posts to PDFs (Portable Document Format).

The PDF version of each blog post is available in two “flavors”: an interactive version (with Internet access), meaning the embedded hyperlinks work as expected; and a non-interactive version. Both versions are ad-free.

  • “How to estimate instar”: Web version; interactive PDF version, Apple macOS and “Safari” (119 KB); non-interactive PDF version, Apple iOS and “Safari” (533 KB).
  • “How to estimate instar, revisited”: Web version; interactive PDF version, Apple macOS and “Safari” (474 KB); non-interactive PDF version, Apple iOS and “Safari” (2.5 MB).
  • “How to estimate instar using Photopea”: Web version; interactive PDF version, Apple macOS and “Safari” (154 KB); non-interactive PDF version, Apple iOS and “Safari” (308 KB).
  • “Determining final instar the Cham way”: Web version; interactive PDF version, Apple macOS and “Safari” (195 KB); non-interactive PDF version, Apple iOS and “Safari” (1.3 MB).

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

How to convert a Web page to PDF

July 19, 2022

It’s possible to save a Web page as a PDF (Portable Document Format). Print-to-PDF, rather than print to an external printer, is a feature of many Web browsers that works well in some cases.

For example, when I pay bills online I use print-to-PDF to make electronic copies of the payment receipts from my bank.

In contrast, print-to-PDF might not work well when printing a blog post with embedded advertisements.

I tested print-to-PDF using Google “Chrome” and Mozilla “Firefox” to save a few of the posts from my photoblog. The results looked bad. I had to find a better solution.

That’s when I discovered Apple “Safari” can be used to convert Web pages to PDFs that look fairly good. Some of the Web page formatting might be lost but the PDFs are ad-free and interactive (with Internet access) — that’s win-win! Here’s how it works.

How to use Apple Safari to convert a Web page to PDF

A computer running Apple macOS is required. Step-by-step directions are as follows.

  1. Launch Apple “Safari.”
  2. Open a Web page in Safari.
  3. Select View / Show Reader
  4. Select File / Export as PDF…
  5. Click the <Save> button.

The “Reader” view in Safari displays text and graphics only; advertisements are not shown.

For example, I used Safari to create a PDF version of “Collecting odonate exuviae,” one of my recent blog posts. The following graphic shows a screenshot of the first page from the PDF. A link to the entire PDF is provided in the image caption.

(See complete PDF version of “Collecting odonate exuviae.”)

Buoyed by success, I used Safari to create a PDF version of “Hunting spiketail dragonflies in Virginia,” another one of my recent blog posts. The following graphic shows a screenshot of the first page from the PDF.

(See complete PDF version of “Hunting spiketail dragonflies in Virginia.”)

If you compare/contrast the Web version with the PDF version of both blog posts, then you will see the PDF version isn’t a perfect copy of the Web version. Some PDFs will look better than others.

How to use Apple Preview to “mask” unwanted content

Some minor clean-up of the PDF output might be necessary, depending upon the Web page. Here’s how I use Apple “Preview” to “mask” unwanted content.

  1. Launch Apple “Preview.”
  2. Select View / Show Markup Toolbar
  3. Set the border color to White. Set the fill color to White. [See the larger red rectangle that highlights these two settings, as shown in the following screen grab.]
  4. To add a new all-white shape, click the Shapes icon and select the rectangle shape; click-and-drag to reposition and resize the rectangle, as necessary. [See the smaller red rectangle that highlights this setting, below.]

Screen grab showing Apple “Preview.”

In case you’re confused by what is shown in the preceding screenshot, notice you can see two iterations of the “Markup Toolbar”: the upper version is the one used to add the red rectangles to the document that appears in the “floating” window; the lower version is the one used to create three white rectangles that were placed over content that I wanted to mask. You can’t see those white rectangles but they are there.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Authentic Aloha Shirt

July 12, 2022

I bought an Authentic Aloha Shirt from Reyn Spooner recently.

I ordered a 50th State Flower shirt from the “Reyn Spooner Archive.” My shirt is blue with a button front. Love it!

In 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawai’i into the Union, officially becoming the 50th State in the United States. This print celebrates Hawai’i and our state flower, the pua aloalo (hibiscus). Before being named the official state flower, the pua aloalo was recognized as the emblem of Hawai’i and represented royalty, joy, and respect. Source Credit: Origins of a Classic.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro: “Quik for Desktop”

May 24, 2022

GoPro legacy software “Quik for Desktop” (Ver. 2.7.0) can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with a GoPro HERO5, 6, and 7, but doesn’t work with GoPro HERO8, 9, and 10. “Can be,” that is assuming the feature works with your camera/video. Huh? Please continue reading.

“Quik for Desktop”

My former colleague Kyle Margenau sent a video clip to me that he shot using his GoPro HERO5 Black action camera.

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | Media

In order to edit a video, double-click on its icon in the Media library.

Editor’s Note: DO NOT click on “Open in Create Mode,” shown along the blue bar near the top of the screen — otherwise “you’re entering a world of pain!” “Create Mode” seems to be GoPro’s quick-and-dirty process for creating simple videos with added music for the purpose of sharing on social media. I tested the process so you don’t have to be frustrated — “Create Mode” was an epic fail!

There are four buttons for editing video, located along the lower-middle of the window. Shown from left-to-right, the four icons are “Create a Clip,” “Rotate 90°,” “Grab a Photo,” and “Adjust Gauges.”

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | “Adjust Gauges” button

When I clicked the “Adjust Gauges” button (shown above, highlighted by a red square), the following error message appeared on-screen.

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | No GPS Data

There are/were six “Stickers” available in “Quik for Desktop,” and they are somewhat different from the seven “Stickers” available in the “Quik” app (Ver. 10.15). Using “Quik for Desktop,” you can add as many stickers as you like; using the “Quik” app, you can add four stickers.

  • GoPro Logo
  • Info Cluster
  • Speed Tracker
  • GPS Path ← line with no context
  • Speedometer ← better than the version in “Quik” app
  • G-Force

I think it would be nice to include the exact latitude and longitude of the camera in the “Info Cluster.”

“Quik” app

The following JPG frame grab (2 MP) was saved from the “GoPro Quik” app (Ver. 10.15) running on my Apple iPad mini 6. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 17 mph.

Notice I juxtaposed the “Path” gauge (upper-left) with the “Terrain” gauge (lower-left) in order to underscore a point that I made in my last blog post — a line without any context/frame of reference is pointless.

GoPro “Quik” app.

As you can see by the telemetry “Stickers” shown in the preceding frame grab, Kyle’s video does in fact include GPS data. It’s worth noting the frame grab (shown above) does include EXIF but does not include GPS info for latitude, longitude, and elevation. C’mon GoPro — frame grabs from video could, and should include GPS info!

If you can determine the exact time of each video frame, you can use the exiftool -geotag and -geosync options to read the GPX file and geotag the extracted frames. Source Credit: ExifTool Forum.

I have NO IDEA why the “Adjust Gauges” feature in “Quik for Desktop” doesn’t work. I tested “Quik for Desktop” running on an older Apple iMac desktop computer (Intel) as well as a newer Apple MacBook Air (M1) — the “Adjust Gauges” feature didn’t work on either device.

I have watched several tutorial videos on YouTube that show the feature does work, or at least it did at one time.

Please contact me if you have any suggestions for troubleshooting this problem. Thanks!

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


GoPro: How to add “Stickers”

May 20, 2022

Every GoPro action camera since the GoPro HERO5 Black features a built-in global positioning system (GPS) receiver; my GoPro HERO4 Black does not.

Assuming you own a GPS-capable GoPro camera, there is another case for using either “Quik for Desktop” or the “GoPro Quik” app to edit video: adding overlays to video, including stickers and telemetry gauges.

GoPro legacy software “Quik for Desktop” can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with a GoPro HERO5, 6, and 7, but doesn’t work with GoPro HERO8, 9, and 10.

The “GoPro Quik” app can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with HERO8, 9, and 10 cameras; it’s also backward-compatible with HERO5, 6, and 7.

It’s worth noting that the “GoPro Quik” app can be used to edit a single video clip for free, with some limitations. For details see GoPro Quik: Free Vs. Subscription Features. See also GoPro Quik App- All Your Questions Answered by Jordan Hetrick (12:33).

Add “Stickers”

My good friend and former colleague Kyle Margenau sent a video clip to me that he shot using his GoPro HERO8 Black. First the video clip was saved to “Photos” on my iPad mini 6, then it was added to “Media” in the “GoPro Quik” app.

Tap the “Media” icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) to see “All Media” saved to the “GoPro Quik” app. Kyle’s video appears at the top of the list on the page, last saved on Friday, May 13 [2022].

GoPro “Quik” app | All Media

As you can see, I already edited the video to add several “Stickers.” Tap the pencil icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) to edit the video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Stickers” button (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

GoPro “Quik” app.

Up to four stickers can be displayed on the video, one in each corner.

There are currently 7 stickers available in the app:

  1. GoPro Logo
  2. Speedometer ← speed plus compass heading
  3. Terrain ← unavailable in “Quik for Desktop”
  4. Path ← line with no context
  5. Speed Chart
  6. Altitude
  7. G-Force

Source Credit: GoPro Quik: How To View Stickers.

In the following screenshot notice that blue tick marks indicate the “Stickers” that have been added to the movie.

GoPro “Quik” app | Stickers

Add more “Stickers” by tapping one of the icons (shown above, highlighted by a red rectangle). By default, the new sticker will be shown in the upper-left corner of the movie. Tap the same icon again in order to reposition the sticker to the upper-right corner. Tap the same icon again to move the sticker to the lower-right corner; tap it a fourth time to move it to the lower-left corner. Tap the same sticker icon five times in order to delete it from the movie.

Tap the ✔️ icon (lower-right corner) when you are finished (shown above, highlighted by a red square).

Save Media

Wait, you need to do one more thing. Tap the “Save” icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in the upper-right corner in order to save your edited video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

The following screenshot shows where the video can be saved. There are three (3) options; I recommend “Save to Photos” (shown below, highlighted by a red rectangle).

GoPro “Quik” app.

Grab Photo

Play the annotated video clip and when you see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located along the bottom of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square). For more detailed directions, see GoPro: How to “Grab Photo” from Video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen (shown below, highlighted by a red rectangle). Then choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab: Save to App; Save to Photos; Share Media.

GoPro “Quik” app | Grab Photo

The following video frame grab (4 MP) was saved from the “GoPro-Quik” app. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 22 mph.

GoPro “Quik” app.

The last screenshot was taken from the video using the Apple “Photos” app. Notice the black bars along the top and bottom of the screen. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 12 mph.

Apple “Photos” app.

What are the take-aways?

Could the GoPro Logo “Sticker” be any bigger? It’s ridiculously big! It shouldn’t be too difficult to update the “GoPro Quik” app to enable the user to resize/reposition “Stickers,” similar to the way it works in “Quik for Desktop.”

In my opinion, the Speedometer and Terrain “Stickers” are two of the more useful telemetry gauges.

It would be nice to add numbers to the tick marks on the Speedometer. In this case, the Speedometer is marked in increments of 10 mph, but the increment varies depending upon what is shown in your movie. Also, it would be nice to show an exact number for compass direction, from 0-360°.

The Terrain “Sticker” shows the path of the camera superimposed on a map. It would be nice to have the option to select the map type, such as street, terrain, or satellite. In contrast, the Path “Sticker” is simply a line that traces, well, the path of your camera. In my opinion, a line without any context/frame of reference is pointless, but hey, use the Path “Sticker” if you like.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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