Fixed Speed Zoom Lens

Recently I was struggling to understand how the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 could have a stable 2.8 lens across the entire zoom range.   To my mind the number was f/D where f = focal length and D = diameter.  Ergo it could not be constant.

There’s no change in the mechanical opening in a constant aperture lens. The iris doesn’t move, it doesn’t open wider, it remains the same. It’s all in the optical properties. 

As the magnifying front element/group moves relative to the iris, when you zoom it magnifies the aperture as seen from the front of the lens thus increasing the relative aperture and therefore maintaining the constant f-number. Constant aperture lenses are designed so that the entry pupil varies in direct 1:1 ratio with the focal length of the lens as you zoom.

The above is the words of a poster named VirtualRain over at MacRumors and it is perhaps the most simple way of explaining it I have seen.   They key is magnification and relative aperture.

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Sanford Florida

Sanford Florida is in the news a bunch right now.   That’s where one man shot another in a middle of the night encounter.    What actually transpired between the two men to start the altercation will forever be open for debate and is now only known by one man.    What is known is that the press has selectively edited 911 tapes to make the shooter say thing he didn’t say, and biased the story in other directions.   Its a regular three ring circus right now.   Yesterday or today the NAACP condemned Al Sharptons call for escalation.   Apparently Al wants more uprising.   The only uprising so far that I’ve heard on the local radio is the city of Sanford threatening to have the press arrested if they don’t quit harrasing city workers in their homes.

So for now its a sad time one man is dead another may be dead soon if this keeps up.   This death gets all the press while other deaths are not even noticed.

To that end I share this picture of Sanford, FL I took shortly after tropical storm Faye blew through.

Snake Watching


This weekend sitting on the back patio with my wife we watched this fellow slither up to the edge of the patio. He proceeded to snake up into the plant on the corner. He sunned a bit with his tail still on the ground. Then he went higher in the plant, stopped, and struck. He ate a small lizard that wasn’t paying attention.

I don’t know for sure it was the same guy. I shot this a few years ago in another part of the garden with an 80mm lens which was closer to the fellow than I wanted to be but still got me the shot. While he’s non venomous they can still hurt if they bite.

The thing about life…

Above is a picture I shot of buzzards in a tree with Venus and the Moon above.   It shows life and tends to the more morbid end of photography.

The thing about life is that we never really understand it.   We simply delude ourselves into thinking we do.   Enough figures, studies, cellular diagrams, this and that result not in us understanding life, but rather it results in us thinking someone must.

The truth of life is it is beyond comprehension.   There are two points where this becomes crystal clear.   At the moment of birth and the moment of death.   What is this thing called life ?

I tend to think we miss the point when we view ourselves as individuals, rather we are part of a larger culture, as in a larger culture in a petri dish.   Collective thought and identity have vanished in modern times but that is the only true way to understand the species.

Looking for Beauty

Today I needed to see some beauty so I looked through my flower and butterfly pictures.    This was taken at a butterfly haven not far away.   I never know the species of anything I just know what looks pretty and what doesn’t.

Strawberry Wine

Two flats of strawberries have arrived in the home.   One flat for freezer jam and one flat for making strawberry wine.   Here is a picture of the lovely things.

  • 4-5 lbs of fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, and any spoilage cut off.
  • 2.5 lbs of sugar ( was 2 lbs but these could have been a tad riper )
  • 1tsp acid blend ( or juice from 1 lemon )
  • 1/8 tsp of tannin
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • yeast
  • water enough to round out a gallon

The process has begun.  Everything was sanitized.   The berries were washed, stemmed etc.   Put into cheese cloth bags, and mashed to a pulp.   Water was boiled and sugar was added then all was placed in primary fermenter.  It sits for a day, then I add a acid, tanin, yeast nutrient and crushed campden tablet.    Half day after that I add the pectic enzyme.   Twelve hours after that I remove berries and add  a started yeast culture.   Obviously this is not a complete instruction set.   If you want to make wine do not follow these instructions but do your own research first.  Thanks!

Then comes the fun part.   Listening to the living active fermentation in the primary fermenter ( a fancy name for a bucket with a lid and a hole for an airlock.    About a week after that we start racking to a gallon glass jug a time or two.   Why its called “racking” I have no clue but the process simply means siphon from one container to another taking care not to splash it about or add air.   The purpose is to leave behind any settled sediment.

Wine should be ready by mid summer.

Mister Here’s Your Mule ( aka Goober Peas )

From the 2009 Narcoossee Mill Reenactment

Sitting by the roadside on a summer’s day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.

Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.

When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, “Mister, here’s your mule!”
But another custom, enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.

Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.

Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says “The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now.”
He looks down the roadway, and what d’ya think he sees?
The Georgia Militia cracking goober peas.

Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.

I think my song has lasted just about enough.
The subject is interesting, but the rhymes are mighty rough.
I wish the war was over, so free from rags and fleas
We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.

Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.

The Storm After The Calm

A Diana F+ Lomography capture using the Pinhole aperature of an impending tropical storm.   I did not record the shutter here.   It was very windy.   To shoot I handheld the camera on the sidewalk at an appropriate angle, then tried to hold it still while I opened the shutter and then held it open as i counted off an appropriate number of seconds till I could close it.

The results were pleasing and captured the mood of a storm very will in my opinion.

Still not shooting new stuff right now. Just going through the moldy oldies.