Lens Whacked

Lens whacking (aka free lensing) is a video technique where an old manual focus lens is used in front of a digital camera body, but not attached. The idea is that you can move the focus and let in light leaks. The beauty of this technique is that you get a really nice old fashioned filmic look to footage without faffing about with a lot of processing and software. Of course, with most current DSLR’s having a live view mode, you can use the technique for stills photography as well.


This was my first attempt. I was happy with it. The first thing I realised is that it isn’t easy. Balancing that lens in front of the camera while trying the different effects was hard enough, but then try and get to the shutter button! (I used a Zuiko 28mm lens in front of an EOS 60D and liked the combo.)

The next day was sunny, so it was out into the back garden. Strangely enough, I found this harder! Still, a nice focus effect.

in the garden

As a video technique, I really like it. It gives a super 8 kind of look and feel, and I love the effect for photography. Something I shall be playing with more and more over the summer.

A really good link for the technique is on Philip Bloom’s website.


Welcoming Back an Old Friend

Moving from Nikon to Canon has had one benefit. It meant I could get an old EOS film body and get a couple of cheap lenses that I could use with my digital body and not have to run yet another system. That old film body was the 50E.

Canon EOS 50E

The 50E is one of my all time favourite cameras. I love the styling, which has never dated like some cameras. Yes, the 30 which replaced it was sleeker and had more autofocus points, but I think this looks better. It’s also nice to have a camera with eye controlled focus again. I know some people didn’t like it, but I’ve always been a fan of it and I think it is a shame that Canon never carried on developing it.

So welcome back old friend. I look forward to putting you through your paces.

All Change.

Time flies. Can’t believe it has been a few months since I last posted. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement, but, the first year of university is almost over and there’s plenty of news to come.

Of all the excuses for not posting, not having any camera gear has been a pretty good one! After Christmas it was goodbye to Nikon and a long search for a replacement. After a lot of research I opted for a return to Canon and ended up with a 60D. I like the camera and partnered with a Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 produces really nice results. I’m loving the jump in ISO and reduction in noise and the colour rendition is really nice. (Sounds like there’s a ‘but’ coming I hear you say, and there is.)

I do miss Nikon. As a photographic tool Nikon works the way I work. I love the autofocus system, which, for me, is far better and more flexible than Canon’s. I prefer the layout of the controls, although I will give Canon the edge on the metering. The irony however, is that my DSLR is now no longer just a photographic tool and my focus (pun intended!) is moving more to video. Sadly, Nikon don’t seem to get the video thing yet, which is a shame, because Canon is running so far ahead of the video game that not even Sony can catch them up, and Sony has some nice offerings. Most of the guys I’ve teamed up with at Uni are also Canon users and the final thing that swayed me was Magic Lantern, which does some amazing things to the 60D. (A lot of buzz is being generated lately by the Raw footage ML are getting out of the 5D mark III as well.) Magic Lantern has turned Canon’s DSLR’s into a serious movie making tool for independent film-makers. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Magic Lantern I would have gone for Sony. (I fell in love with the NEX 6 after playing with it for 5 minutes.)

So, time to catch up, post some pics, and reveal something about my next project. Gonna be fun.