peter w. carpi | other equipment


~The Equipment~


I have used a lot of filters over the past year and a half.  I started with 58mm, as mentioned
above, and migrated to entirely 77mm now based on the lenses I use.  The filters that get 
the most use have been a circular polarizer, UV haze, and an infrared filter. 

The polarizer is essential for daytime landscapes and in the rare occasions when I shoot water.

I really only use the UV haze filter for protecting the lenses and generally ends up stacked
on the inside of my polarizer, which means it isn't really doing anything.  I have never noticed 
a difference in photo quality from the UV have filter.  

For infrared my solution has migrated somewhat.  I have used two different 
types of infrared filters; when I used to have 58mm lenses I used a Cokin holder and a  
gelatinous filter.  This was a constant pain to put together and, since my lenses moved when 
focusing, attaching the filter system after focusing often changed the focus.  Remember, the
Canon DSLRs have IR filters over their CMOS sensors, so the sensitivity to IR frequencies 
is so small that you have to manually focus before putting on the filter.  The net effect of the
image sensor's filter screening out IR frequencies, with the attached filter screening all but 
IR frequencies, is a very narrow band of frequencies that actually get through.  This also 
leads to a very long exposure time, typically 30 seconds, in order to get enough light.  I  
addressed the problems above by; first, getting 'L' series lenses that don't rotate or extend 
when focusing, so attaching a filter doesn't disturb the manually set focus; second, I 
switched to a circular glass filter that attaches to the 77mm lens front.  This makes
switching between visible and IR spectrum shots much easier.  The only IR picture in 
the gallery was taken with the old setup, and you can see if you look closely, a little 
bit of distortion in the image that resulted from deformation of the filter in warm 

In order to reduce vibrations when shooting long-exposures, typically for
night cityscapes, I use Canon's RS-80N3 remote switch. This doesn't allow you
to program the duration of the exposure, however it does have a lock switch that
will manually keep the shutter open until you choose to close it. This is helpful
for 30 second-plus exposures, assuming you have a stopwatch.

I have also played around with graduated neutral density and color warming  
filters, but not enough to know what I am doing. 
Still adding more to this part...[August 21st, 2006]

It's been a while since I've updated this section and I feel like I am getting toy creep
because I can't fit all of my camera gear into a large camera backpack. Either I should
write about the toys or sell them!

For tripods I have use a super-heavy duty tripod for cityscapes that I wonder if a tornado
could move. Needless to say that reduces wind distortion on long night exposures well. I also
have a carbon fiber monopod that doubles as a club and walking stick for hiking and traveling.

I had a stint where I became interested in flash photography and purchased a flash tripod,
although I have lapsed in my progression with, and use of, it.

I recently purchased, although have not yet received, a Sima SL-20LX LED light for use with
video on the Canon 5d MK2. The hope is that this will work like flash for still photos.

I'm sure there will be more toys to come....

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January 23rd, 2009

2009 Peter W. Carpi. 
All rights reserved. 

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