Friday, October 22, 2010

Lensbaby 2.0 on a manual focus camera

After having struggled with getting satisfying results with my lensbaby 2.0 on my Pentax MZ-S and Pentax K20D, both autofocus cameras, I had an epiphany and decided to use the lensbaby on my old, manual Pentax ME and all of a sudden it came together. As you probably know, the lensbaby is focussed by adjusting the tube length and tilting the lens to adjust the sweetspot with one hand while the other hand operates the shutter. After having used autofocus lenses for so long, I had completely forgotten the effective tools that a manual camera offers to help focus. The Pentax ME comes with with split image and a microprism ring in the centre in the viewfinder which offers a lot more help focussing a lensbaby than focussing just on the matte of my more modern cameras as the autofocus points would light up but cannot be relied upon. See also my most excellent blog

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Got my 3G Kindle finally a few weeks ago and I love it; as a bonus it has free 3G access in 100 countries allowing me to read email and visit webpages when stuck under another volcano ash cloud. If you’re into the classics like I am, there are a load of free ebooks available from, etc. If you read Dutch, make sure to check out Even though they don’t have the books available in Kindle format (Mobi or Kindle), but only in PDF. On the plus side, the Kindle PDF reader has correctly displayed all PDF files I have sent to it, but I prefer to convert my PDF files to Mobi format with the Mobipocket Creator to allow me to set font side, etc. Nothing is simpler.

Google and ye shall find.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

JOBO PhotoGPS review

The JOBO PhotoGPS has some cracking reviews, but I’m a bit less enthusiastic, especially now that I am using Windows 7 32-bit and the application, which is supposed to be Windows 7 compatible, stopped working properly leaving me with nothing and hoping that JOBO will release a version of the software that actually works on Windows 7.

The PhotoGPS unit works well enough from the flash shoe of my Pentax and records the location every time I release the shutter. So far so good. I found that it is not recommended to leave the PhotoGPS on the camera while walking around as it keeps falling off the camera. It would have made sense to add some kind of locking to the unit.
The PhotoGPS unit can store over a 1000 locations of photos, and that would be okay for one or two days’ worth of shooting for the serious amateur or professional (and this appears to be the target market), but very little if you are on a vacation trip and don’t want to carry a laptop around. Each location is, after download on the computer, a 129kb file which appears to be a lot for a longitude/latitude, height, a timestamp and possibly a checksum. If the data in the unit takes up as much space, then there is a possibility to optimize this so the number of points kept in the unit can be extended tenfold with a firmware update. Even though the file extension of the data on the computer is SDF, the file format is propriety and has nothing to do with the SUUNTO Data files format which also uses this extension and, at the moment of me writing this, GPSBabel cannot make sense of it.

Before I migrated to Windows 7 and could not longer use the unit, I was quite happy with it for the photos I took on my DSLR; the mapping worked well. I quickly discovered that I could also use the unit on my SLR but the software refused to map the photos taken thus because of the lack of EXIF timestamp in the scanned negatives. I am aware that not everybody is using SLRs anymore, but why limit yourself? Many of the geotagging tools allow you to drag a point onto a photo if it cannot match it automatically, the JOBO PhotoGPS software lacks this IMO elementary feature. It wouldn’t be this bad if the software would have allowed to export the points as a GPX file so I could use a tool like GeoSetter to geotag my photos, but once again, this functionality is missing.


The JOBO PhotoGPS is a cool looking gadget that is hopelessly letdown by the software.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Pixelpost Google Sitemap Creator

While on the subject of great Pixelpost addons, I forgot to mention the Google Sitemap Creator that can be downloaded from this location To download follow the link under the Google Sitemap for Pixelpost section.

So what does it do? It creates XML output describing all the pages in your pixelpost blog which can be added to the Google webmaster tools which is a free service from Google.

Why would I want to do that? Even if you have added your blog to Google to be indexed, it appears that Google only has a few pages of your blog indexed. By adding your sitemap, Google all of a sudden understands the structure of your blog and will index all the pages in the course of a few days after submitting your sitemap.
If you add the following server to your RPC ping servers under the Pixelpost addons configuration, Google will be notified each time you upload a new image:<your blog>/index.php?z=sitemap where “<your blog>” needs to be replaced with the URL to your blog.