Halleluja – My lens is calibrated!

After a week or two of testing out my new 14-24mm lens, I was a bit disappointed. At first I thought it was poor technique or over-expectations from all the hype with this lens. Images I had captured up to this point were blurry or out of focus – they ALL really sucked. I knew something was out of whack when SheryAnne’s point and shoot photos were coming out light years better than the photos out of my rig. Since I am an amateur at photography, I figured it had to be me. I focused on improving techniques to keep the camera from shaking, shutter to focal length fundamentals, and lighting fundamentals. So I continued to shoot, test, learn, and study how to use this lens…but my photos were still coming out poor. After reading Seb’s review on the LensAlign focus calibration system, I thought I’d give it a try to see if I had any calibration issues – it turned out that I did! The calibration system revealed a significant amount of back focus at 14mm and by the time I stretched the lens to 24mm, it was front focusing! After fine tuning the lens and camera using the LensAlign system, my photos have been more in line with what I expect out of this lens – sharp and consistent! Here are some samples after calibration:

Now I understand why photographers love this lens!

And for you geeks out there my final AF Fine Tune settings ended up being:

50mm f/1.4 -2
14-24mm f/2.8 -18
24-70mm f/2.8 -3
70-200mm f/2.8 0

So now you can see why I was tripping over my photos prior to calibration! LOL

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Muir Woods x Pt. Bonita Lighthouse x SFMOMA

We knew coming into the weekend it would hit 90+ degree weather so we planned on heading north to do some hiking! We ended up going to Muir Woods to do some hiking, then going to the Point Bonita Lighthouse at the Marin Headlands, then finishing off our day at SFMOMA! It was tiring, but a lot of fun since the weather was PERFECT!

We started the day at 7:00am. Since neither of us had ever been to Muir Woods, we decided to stick to their standard hiking trail.

Every which way we turned, the scenery was majestic!

Muir Woods was a lot of fun and we plan on going on longer hikes on their more adventurous trails in the near future. Up next was a short drive to the Point Bonita Lighthouse with it’s newly renovated suspension bridge.

We got to the lighthouse after crossing the suspension bridge, we looked at each other and said, “Yep, it’s a lighthouse!” LOL The lighthouse, itself, wasn’t anything special. The view of the lighthouse was the real draw. The only thing of interest inside the lighthouse was the light bulb. It was crazy to think that a bulb this size (about 10 inches tall) could illuminate the lighthouse and provide light that could be seen dozens of miles away!

The hike ended up being about a mile to the lighthouse – in direct sunlight, downhill, very steep, and on really loose ground. Every step we made downhill to the lighthouse we knew that we were going to have to make all these steps in the opposite direction uphill! The hike back was difficult because by this time, both of us were starving! So we headed back to San Francisco and had lunch at Super Duper. We did quite a bit more walking and ran some errands while in the city. We finished off the day at SFMOMA to check out some exhibits we had not seen yet.

SheryAnne was intrigued by this unusual exhibit since it had motion detectors and changed as you moved around it:

I ran around the museum testing out my new camera lens and learning what it was capable of doing.

This was a pretty cool exhibit utilizing projectors in a way where you could be part of the exhibit! We had a lot of fun with this one!

It was 6:00pm by this time so we headed back home. We had a great time at all three of these venues! We plan on doing more hiking in the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais this spring 🙂

Dieter Rams

We finally had the time to check out the Dieter Rams exhibition at SFMOMA this weekend.

“Widely regarded as one of the most influential industrial designers of our time, Dieter Rams produced iconic works and innovative ideas (in particular his advocacy for “less but better” design) that have proved seminal for our contemporary design culture. For more than 40 years, Rams was the lead designer for the German household appliance company Braun. He has also been the active designer for German furniture company Vitsœ since his start there in 1959. This exhibition includes more than 200 models and objects by Rams and his team, as well as contemporary designs influenced by his Ten Principles of Good Design, such as Apple computers.”

Source: http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/434#ixzz1aut6vcBD
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

I was interested in seeing the exhibit because I knew that many of Apple’s designs were heavily influenced by Dieter Ram’s work.

Rule #10 of Good Design (my favorite rule):

Apple products influence by his design:

Hair dryers:

Portable TV:

Turntable and radio:

Slide projector:

SFMOMA

We thought The Steins Collect was so good we had to see it a second time! Unfortunately, no photography is allowed in private collections, but I managed to snap a few other shots.

Our favorite coffee shop, Blue Bottle Coffee, and our favorite place to have it, at the Rooftop of SFMOMA. This is the coffee we have been begging others to try!

Difficult not to appreciate the architecture throughout:

Rothko at a distance:

More of the architecture:

Finally.

It’s been about 35 days, four doctor visits, 12+ lbs. gained, and two weeks out from work since I had my double ear infection. It’s only up until today that I feel about 95%. I still suffer minor loss of hearing in my right ear from eustachian tube swelling, but it has been progressively improving. It really took this long to recover – most people think I overreact by avoiding people when they are sick…well, not being 100% even after 35 days should be enough reason for others to understand. I was out from work for 2+ weeks (I really should have been out for 3 weeks but I couldn’t be away from work that long without creating more of an issue for when I return). Well I’m glad this is all in the past…

This weekend, we hit The Boiling Crab in San Jose – the new location, not the older one. Their shrimp cooked with the “whole she-bang” is the best item on the menu! It’s whole shrimp flavored with cajun spices, lemon pepper, garlic, and butter! If you haven’t tried it yet, you should give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed if you like spicy seafood!

We also hit Tropisueno in San Francisco. This is probably one of the better Mexican joints we’ve been to in a long time. We hit this spot after seeing the Steins Collect exhibit in SFMOMA. If you are a Matisse or Picasso fan, this has to be one of the largest collections we have ever seen.

Hopefully the weather will improve now that I am starting to feel better!