Tom K.

Tom K.

Lives in United States Tulsa, United States
Joined on Mar 6, 2002
About me:

Retired aerospace engineer

Feb 2000 - Canon A50 (Sold Aug 2000)
July 2000 - Canon S100 (great early pocket camera)
Oct 2000 - Olympus C-2100UZ (a classic)
Nov 2003 - Minolta A1 (CCD died 8-2006)
May 2005 - Panasonic FZ5 (given to wife after I got FZ30)
Sep 2005 - Panasonic FZ30 (great camera in its day, seems dog slow now)
Jan 2006 - Fuji F10 (don't like it-overrated)
Apr 2006 - Kodak CD33 (2 from eBay for grandkids to use)
July 2006 - Nikon 4500 (from eBay for digiscoping-disappointed)
Aug 2006 - Panasonic FX07 (lost)
Sep 2006 - Minolta A2 (from eBay to replace A1)
Aug 2007 - Kodak P880 (from eBay on a whim)
Apr 2009 - Panasonic ZS3 travel zoom
Dec 2009 - Panasonic GH1 with 14-140 lens (finally a decent EVF)
Sep 2012 - Panasonic FZ200 (lightweight, wanted more zoom reach)
Apr 2013 - Panasonic ZS19 (replaced ZS3 when zoom function got intermittent)
Feb 2014 - Panasonic GF1 (bought cheap to have a dedicated body for the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye)
Jun 2014 - Panasonic ZS40 (replaced ZS19 which lacked EVF)
Dec 2014 - Panasonic FZ1000 (4K video, beautiful EVF)
Mar 2015 - Panasonic ZS50 (replaced ZS40 due to improved EVF)

Comments

Total: 95, showing: 1 – 20
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What interested me was the hours of thought and prep that went into ten minutes of Lawrence's time. Makes me think of military aircraft that need hundreds of hours of maintenance per flight hour. There's always a lot behind the scenes that people generally don't know about.

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2017 at 22:38 UTC as 65th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

dlb41: Why, unlike the moons, does Saturn's or its ring's surfaces lack any detail and look blurry?

Because neither is "solid". Saturn itself is a gas giant so all that we are seeing are its cloud tops.

The rings are composed of trillions of particles ranging roughly from under 1cm to 10m in size - from marble to room size. Cassini was never close enough to the rings to resolve individual pieces.

Link | Posted on Sep 15, 2017 at 22:18 UTC
In reply to:

paulfulper: Also when I was a kid I remember before an eclipse everybody put a lit candle under a small glass (far enough as not to break the glass with the fire ) the candle fire blackened the glass and then you could safely stare at the sun or put it in front of the camera as a filter.
I haven't seen anybody doing that this time around.......

That's because it wasn't safe then and it isn't safe now. But if you didn't know any better, it seemed like a good idea.

A $2 pair of eclipse glasses works and there's no excuse not to get them ahead of time. It's not like a solar eclipse happens suddenly and without warning.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHXWUhWf8fU

Link | Posted on Aug 28, 2017 at 05:15 UTC
In reply to:

MannyZero: Don't you guys have Discovery Channel?
Doesn't your local library (Yes, that building where one can find lots of square things named books) have video documentaries about eclipses?
Wait for the evening news.
Or wait for NASA's images: fantastic images with up scaled studio props.

Yes, why see an eclipse in real life when you can watch it on TV or see pictures in a book? And there's no reason to go to Yellowstone or Paris or Hawaii or any other place when you can just Google them. No reason to visit a fine restaurant when McDonald's will make a turd just as well. Why experience sex when you can watch it on your computer? Just stay in your basement and let someone else do things.

Link | Posted on Aug 27, 2017 at 17:19 UTC

The advice about not photographing the eclipse does not apply to the disenfranchised unfortunates who are not in the path of totality. As I've said before, a 99% partial eclipse is a 0% total solar eclipse.

Partial eclipse? Fine, do whatever you want, you aren't going to miss anything amazing because you were fiddling with your camera. Total eclipse? Use your eyeballs and other senses to absorb the all-too-brief experience. If you can get some shots without too much distraction then it might be worth it, your call.

And the "Frankenstein" rig that Rishi made by stacking filters? That seems pretty dumb when cutting a pair of solar glasses in half and taping one side over the lens would have done the job perfectly well.

Link | Posted on Aug 27, 2017 at 15:48 UTC as 34th comment

I wonder what the oldest known photograph is, of a US President while in office.

Link | Posted on Aug 18, 2017 at 18:32 UTC as 31st comment | 2 replies
On article Flip to flop: the pocket camcorder flash in the pan (49 comments in total)

If I ever heard of it, it didn't make an impression. I have no recollection of this thing. It may be that it was a phenomenon that I completely missed, or it may be that it wasn't as widespread as you seem to think it was.

Link | Posted on Aug 17, 2017 at 13:46 UTC as 26th comment | 5 replies

Ditch the screen and make it as small as possible so that I can put it on my cat, and then you've got something useful.

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2017 at 14:41 UTC as 11th comment | 1 reply

1. Be handsome.
2. Be attractive.
3. Don't be unattractive.

Link | Posted on Aug 8, 2017 at 20:42 UTC as 16th comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

Jun2: Too much danger for a stupid picture

Re-read the description and watch the video. There was no actual wall of flame, it's a 4.4 second exposure with a lighted 6ft wick moving across the background to produce an effect. I wouldn't say no danger at all, but pretty minimal.

Looks like a pretty nifty and fun shoot.

Link | Posted on Aug 7, 2017 at 01:44 UTC
On article Five USB-C memory card readers compared (14 comments in total)
In reply to:

Dr Blackjack: One issue is with standards updating and changing all the time you know? With UHS and stuffs.

The great thing about standards is there are so many to choose from!

Link | Posted on Jul 27, 2017 at 23:50 UTC
In reply to:

Stefan Sobol: Having to take cameras out of bags and put them in a separate bin has been the practice at major airports in China for awhile now. It's no big deal to do it.

FWIW, in China they will inspect any spare Li batteries you are carrying. Anything above 160wh is not allowed, and you are only allowed to carry two spare batteries.

I don't think you can try to make sense out of, comparing battery sizes and such. It's like the old saying, "There's no reason for it, it's just company policy."

Link | Posted on Jul 27, 2017 at 04:24 UTC
In reply to:

melgross: I don’t know. I suppose they’re nice lenses if you’re into that kind of thing. And I suppose the small number of lenses made will be a cause of the high price for what is a really cheap achromat. But still, it’s awfully high for what it is.

The truth is that it shouldn’t matter to us what their problems are in making this, or their costs. It’s still overpriced for a very basic design, both optically, and mechanically. If it were $299, I might consider it for amusement.

If it were $29.90 I might consider it for amusement.

Link | Posted on Jul 26, 2017 at 20:46 UTC
In reply to:

KentG: If I had my choice I would be in the Pacific off the NW coast because the sun will rise in eclipse and I think the image of a black sun rising is something few will ever image at all. About as surreal as it gets. Instead I will be somewhere in the SE US.

To see the sun rise while eclipsed you would have to be out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean halfway between Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands. It wouldn't be "off the NW coast" at all. About as isolated as it gets.
https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2017 at 01:27 UTC
In reply to:

HB1969: I've been looking at that photo of the eclipse on the boat and I can't, for the life of me, work out what that light on the horizon is. Was there a city in the distance? Was the sky edited in from a sunrise/set image? Is it lightning from a storm? Would lightning light up the whole horizon like that?

During totality you are in the middle of the moon's shadow. All around the shadow, the world is in the light of the sun - reduced somewhat at the edge by the sun being partially eclipsed but increasing rapidly the further you get from the shadow of totality. What you are seeing is analogous to seeing sunset/sunrise in a 360 degree circle around totality.

Here is a photo of the 2006 eclipse, taken from a satellite.
http://epod.usra.edu/.a/6a0105371bb32c970b014e89fdf603970d-pi

Within the dark spot of totality the sky around the sun is dark but all around the shadow, light of the partially eclipsed sun illuminates the sky. My wife and I were in Egypt during this eclipse near the Mediterranean coast about 5 miles from the Libyan border, and she was moved to tears by this phenomenon.

Link | Posted on Jul 24, 2017 at 05:00 UTC
In reply to:

Desert Cruiser: We shot a total eclipse in May 2012 in Utah, USA, I think article above forgot about that eclipse? It was fairly easy to shoot and if you want to do it yourself, then here's some info on doing that. http://www.in-the-desert.com/solareclipse2012.html
Don....

Here are a couple of shots from the 2012 annular eclipse.
https://s6.postimg.org/pfy9lm6tt/2012-05-20-19-09_P1100296.jpg
https://s6.postimg.org/fjx6lz11t/2012-05-20-19-31_P1100323.jpg

As you can see the sky doesn't even get close to being dark, it's like sunset except with sun still well above the horizon instead of partly below it.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 22:31 UTC
In reply to:

Desert Cruiser: We shot a total eclipse in May 2012 in Utah, USA, I think article above forgot about that eclipse? It was fairly easy to shoot and if you want to do it yourself, then here's some info on doing that. http://www.in-the-desert.com/solareclipse2012.html
Don....

No, you did NOT shoot a total eclipse in May 2012. That was an annular eclipse in which the moon is near the far point of its elliptical orbit and so does not completely cover the sun, leaving a ring of sunlight (or an annulus). What you saw was an 87% partial eclipse, which I've pointed out below, is a 0% total solar eclipse.
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html

I photographed the same eclipse in Albuquerque where the ring of sun was low to the horizon. Yes, shooting a partial eclipse like this is easy, slap a solar filter on your camera and shoot away. Capturing totality is a whole 'nother animal. But hey, it's your 2-1/2 minutes, your call.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 22:14 UTC

When they make a sensor that can vary its curvature as a lens zooms, let me know.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 15:54 UTC as 66th comment | 3 replies

The sad part will be the millions of people trying to capture the event with their cell phones.

Here's a better use for a cell phone - set it up on a tripod facing away from the eclipsed sun, towards you and your companions and start it shooting video 5-10 minutes before totality (in landscape mode for god's sake!) Stop shooting video 5 minutes or so after totality has ended.

Instead of a blurry picture of a blank sky with a black dot in it, you'll have a cool video of your experience.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 15:36 UTC as 37th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

stratplaya: The astronomy expert should realize that most people don't have the luxury to travel the world seeking the next eclipse. It's a once in a lifetime thing for most.

The astronomy expert DOES realize that it's an extremely rare event for most people. That's why he recommends experiencing it, rather than wasting precious time trying to photograph it.

And for folks in the US, it's a once in a lifetime event only if you plan on dying in the next seven years.
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2024Apr08Tgoogle.html

I plan on seeing the next one in the US after that from my house. I'll be 88.
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2045Aug12Tgoogle.html

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 15:24 UTC
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