Guest Contributor – TomD – Weapons and Self-Defense

I don’t know to what extent it would be applicable but I have a lifelong intimate exposure to firearms starting, due to my Southern hunting heritage, in my preteens, followed by 4 years in the Marines, followed by 30 years of competitive rifle, shotgun and pistol shooting. I’ve competed extensively at up to 1000 yards and can hit within a paint can lid at that distance.


Guest Contributor – TomD – An Alternate Technique for Extended Focus

Here’s another way to extend your focus range without special gear or software: shoot the scene from a distance using a telephoto lens. And then crop in. This works best when using a camera with sufficient MP that you can have a usable resolution after the crop.

This was shot from around 8′ away at around 180 mm.[img][/img]

Guest Contributor – TomD – 21APR2019 – Photo

Here’s a shot with a long lens of a roller coaster scene at a county fair.


Cell phones do a pretty good job for some shots but there are a lot of situations that are just beyond them. The shot below for instance was taken in an over 200′ long tunnel with one incandescent bulb in the foreground and the distant entry daylight backlit, that’s usually an impossible lighting situation.

16MAR2019 – Guest Contributor – TomD – B25 at US Naval Air Museum with the Zeiss 16 – 35 f\4

Here’s one I took today using my Zeiss 16-35 f4. The subject is a B25 at the US Naval Air Museum onboard NAS Pensacola.

Supposedly, this 16-35 is outclassed by the Sony f2.8 version. Maybe so but after a number of shoots with this lens, it’s hard to understand how the advantage could be more than barely detectable much less sufficient to account for the $1000 difference in price. My Zeiss 16-35 F4 G lens is probably my best lens in sharpness and consistency of results. And I have a couple of multi-thousand dollar Sony G Master lenses to compare it to.

I think that if given the constraint of having to use a single lens, this lens would be it. Several years ago, my ideal lens would have been “taller”, probably centered on around 50mm. But since then, one of my acquaintances has shot a stunningly good body of work using a fixed 25mm Zeiss Batis lens. My next lens will be a prime (fixed) in that range.

Using a short focal length lens in a museum environment has one big disadvantage, short focal length lenses tend to have a large depth of field, i.e., everything tends to be in focus. Good photography dictates isolating the subject but museums are so dense that oftentimes the intended subject is just one of several in the photo view.


Guest Contributor – TomD – 06FEB2019 Photo

Welcome and thanks to long time reader, now Guest Contributor  TomD.  Link below to this photo on his site.  Just great.

When it comes to just absolute work to make a shot, this one (the whole series) was at my absolute top for me. Maybe not as bad as someone waiting silent for hours in a scorching hot blind waiting for the perfect bird shot but plenty of work.

To me, the water drops look like little spaceships.