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Share your photography hacks or pro tips

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by DeeJayK, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I know there are quite a lot of brilliant photographers on here who I know have shot a lot of images. Along the way I'm sure we've all come up with some little hacks to help us along. I'd love to try to capture some of those in this thread. I'll start:

    Legacy lens ID hack:
    As you know when you shoot with a lens that doesn't have an electronic connection to the camera, the information about that lens (focal length, aperture, etc.) isn't captured in the images' EXIF data. To plug this gap I've developed a way to make it simple to identify which images are taken with which lens after the fact.

    Before I mount a legacy lens, I first take a quick snap of the lens itself. Then when I import my images, I know that the shots taken immediately after that shot of the lens were taken with that lens. I can then use a tool like the LR plugin LensTagger to edit the EXIF data of those subsequent images to indicate which lens they were shot with. I usually also try to record the aperture.

    What sorts of hacks do you use?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
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  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Okay, here's another one that I got from another user of this forum (maybe @BigTam@BigTam ?):

    Micro Four Thirds small lens camera bag hack:
    Most camera bags are built and configured to store SLR lenses which tend to be larger than our :mu43: lenses. In order to allow these deeper bags to accommodate smaller lenses and to keep those lenses from rattling against each other, simply glue two rear lens caps together back to back. Now attach a lens to each cap and slip the lenses into your bag.

    Here's a quick snap of a Rokinon fisheye mated with an Olympus 14-42 kit zoom in this manner:
    i-wjRzxmv.

    ...and a video I came across (hat tip to Less Gear/More Photos blog):


    At least one user here advocates using similar "double back caps" on EACH lens which simplifies the process of changing lenses, as described here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
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  3. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Just put a sticker with lens info inside that lens cap - this way you don't need another lens.
     
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  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Great suggestion. Although I'm not sure it would work for me since I commonly interchange rear lens caps among lenses. I'll generally remove the cap from the lens I'm mounting and then replace that cap immediately on the lens I'm removing.

    I can definitely see the advantages of your way, though.
     
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  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    E-M5 eyecup retention hack:
    Some have found that the eyecup on the E-M5 is prone to falling off. I've experienced this myself with the E-M5 (mk I), and I've seen reports here that the same issue afflicts some with the E-M5 (mk II) -- I'm not sure how prevalent it is with the E-M10 and E-M1, but here's a simple solution that came from another forum member (I don't recall who):

    Remove the eyecup and wrap a small length of gaffers tape around the bottom of the eyecup, then reattach the eyecup and stick this tape behind the fold-out display. Here's an image of this hack.

    Other forum members suggested drilling a small hole in the eyecup and attaching it with a small screw or using super glue, but so far the gaffer tape hack has worked well for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
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  6. Mr Moo

    Mr Moo Rocket builder, collector of vintage air guitars

    299
    Sep 17, 2012
    SE Virginia
    Mike
    While on the subject of gaffer's tape, the locking mechanism on many of my lens hoods isn't that good. I use a small strip of tape on the underside of the lens to secure it while walking around, works like a charm.

    Pictured is the Pana 25mm 1.4, this loose-fitting lens hood is among the worst that I have.


    IMG_0508_1.
     
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  7. Old socks make great padded and elasticised lens pouches; usually much better than proprietary pouches (if the lens came with one at all). If you know how to handle a needle and thread you can get at least two pouches from one sock...
     
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  8. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    SD card storage hack:
    SD cards are small which makes them easy to lose. It's also a good practice to carry a backup or two in your bag. Card wallets and caddies are available commercially, but I never really saw the point. Instead, I just pop a couple of SD cards in a spare rear lens cap I have lying around, pop on a body cap and I've got a card caddie that is easier to find in my bag than loose cards would be and also can come in handy should I misplace a cap.
    i-wn7CbGf.
    I suspect this hack works rather better with DSLRs, since the larger caps can likely accommodate more than two cards. An alternative is to switch fully to microSD cards, of which I suspect maybe 10 or more would fit.
     
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  9. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    That's a great idea, but why would you need more than a couple of SD or Micro SD cards? I have a 64GB Micro SD card that permanently resides in my E-M10, plus an 8GB SD card that I can pull from a P/S that I sometimes use. I haven't encountered any SD card failures yet.
     
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  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Good point. For my use, two extra cards is really plenty. Just wanted to point out the capacity limit for others.
     
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  11. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, I can easily go through 200GB or more in a vacation, although I've switched to RAW only (instead of RAW+JPEG) now to help with that.

    Also, I got a quad SD card holder which fits in my wallet for ~$7:
    925160.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/925160-REG/sd_card_holder_0723102b_4_slot_credit_card.html

    (I prefer the cards not be in my camera bag in case it gets lost/stolen)

    Barry
     
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  12. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I use one of these when we travel. Kinda big for what it is. Another level of redundancy

    IMG_477479.
     
  13. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Do you swap out cards so you have some of your images on your person instead of in the camera when you're not shooting (referencing the stolen camera issue)? At least they are a lot easier to haul around than dozens of rolls of film!
    I've changed my shooting to small JPGs plus RAW instead of the high-res JPG plus RAW. It seems to shorten the time to load the card from the buffer.
     
  14. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I backup to my netbook every couple days.

    Barry
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    One of the best pouches for small lenses are these neoprene stubbie coolers:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I thought you Ozzies used an eski (sp?) for your stubbies?? :biggrin:
     
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Nope, we wear stubbies, transport our beer in eskies and keep the beer cold while drinking using stubbie coolers and our feet cool by wearing thongs.:laugh1:
     
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  18. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I think I need an explainer for this post. I gather that that an "esky" (possibly short for Eskimo?) is a portable ice chest -- what we in America would refer to as a cooler.

    My understanding is that a stubby is a short beer bottle (i.e. not a "long neck"). But you say you wear stubbies? There must be a second meaning I'm missing.
     
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Table lamp tripod hack:
    Say you're at a friends house and want to compose a group shot including yourself, but you failed to bring a tripod. You could try propping the camera on a table or something, but there's a simpler way. Just grab a table lamp (the sort with a lampshade), unscrew and remove the shade and screw your camera onto the top of the lamp (the threads are a perfect match), set the timer and shoot away. The trickier part will be dissuading your "wacky" friend from wearing the lamp shade in the photo.

    Obviously this will work best with the smaller cameras and lenses -- I wouldn't recommend it with your GH4 with the 40-150 zoom.

    Hat tip to everyone's favorite hammy technology writer, David Pogue, for this hack.
     
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  20. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    And 'Thongs' are the "butt floss" bathing suits young women wear to the beach! Actually Thongs were what we called that footwear when I was growing up, then somehow, that perfectly fine word for plastic footwear that falls apart after 8 weeks of wear got replaced by the less satisfying term "Flip-flop". The world IS going to ruin.