Friday, November 16, 2012

In-depth LENS Primer by CANON, The EF Lens World - Canon Europe

A common complaint when using 'Sport' Cams for our Aerial Photo/Video needs is the inerrant 'barrel distortion' which is also often associated with the use of Wide Angle Lenses. In short the wider the 'angle of view' the greater the  'barrel distortion'  ... 

Although this distortion can be fixed (somewhat) in post-processing but for it to be done in-camera the manufacture needs to implement it within Firmware. Which they may or may NOT have done as for videoing general 'sports' action  'barrel distortion' is not that much of a concern. Either way it's not an easy fix as it's a issue with ALL wide angle lenses and to fix in-lens would certainly drive up the cost of it's manufacture. This would also drive up the cost for a market that does not require it fixed. I might even go so far to suggest 'Sports' Cams although can be cheap and easy to implement (thus operate) might not be the best choice for an Aerial Camera especially if 'barrel distortion' is your number main concern. 

Although 'barrel distortion' is only one characteristic and issue associated with LENS design so with that in mind I offer the following reading material.

I've found a pretty darn good read about lenses, lens design and their associated characteristics which may help one choose a more suitable camera and lens system for their NEXT AP Bird. Which is more or less in keeping with what you might want out of your next Aerial Camera or if simply looking for a new camera/lens it would certainly be in your best interest to read, it's worth the read  ...

For this in-depth primer to Lenses by none other than CANON, download and read the PDF

I would also like to point out this material is often quoted as their source material by a number authors of photographic (on-line) tutorials as it is also the quoted source for a few review sites. This is also how I came upon the material.

This reader's review:

"1933, the Precision Engineering Research Laboratory (later changed to “Canon”) was established in a room in a three floor apartment building in Roppongi in Tokyo, as a workshop for building high-quality 35mm cameras"

"1946, Serenar 50mm f/3.5! Canon first began working on lenses not long after the end of WWII. Developed and produced completely in-house, the first lens to see the light of day was the Serenar 50mm f/3.5. Serenar means “clear,” symbolising the clarity that the development team was aiming for."

Wait a minute, so who was making Canon's lenses prior to 1946?

I pulled the two quotes from the recommended document,
The EF Lens World, where Canon are talking about the history of their Lenses. But nowhere do they mention who it was making their lenses prior to making their own. As it happens I know who exactly who it was and any guesses as to who? Yes it was NIKON as they were making professional grade lenses for the military, universities and consumers alike since the turn of the century. I found that morsel of info documented in the history of photography and this 'history' is an interesting story in itself I would certainly recommend reading, History of Photography - WiKi.
EF Lens World was created by Canon so there is a certain amount of 'Corporate BS' that needs to weeded through to get at it's information. As a side note see FUD, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, also Weasel Words by Ken Rockwell.

Yes the information provided would be true for all LENS manufactures so as I see it the challenges of LENS construction set forth by Canon are no different than those of other manufactures. Given the information is relevant to all manufactures I had no issues posting what could be construed as Canons own self serving hype.

Putting the 'Photography' back into
Aerial Photography

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Dull Day Over Lake Ontario

Looking South-West -  Ship passing the 'Petro Canada Refinery' 

Local trivia: The Smoke Stack (Powerhouse) and Roof Tops peeking out above the tree tops is part of a local landmark, the old Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital (history) as it was originally named. Later the old hospital was renamed the Mimico Branch Asylum, Mimico Hospital for the Insane which is in the western part of the village of Mimico (as it was called at the time) which later became the part of town known as New Toronto. New Toronto became part of the borough (and later, in 1984, city) of Etobicoke which was merged into the new City of Toronto (part of the Greater Toronto Area or the GTA) in 1998.
Street View: Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital


Construction of the asylum started in 1888 and was completed in 1889. The hospital opened on January 21, 1889 with ten male patients and two attendants who were sent to get the institution ready for the influx of inmates that we're to follow. Dr. Nelson Henry Beemer who became the first superintendent was a strong believer in "meaningful work" as a form of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, like all male and female asylum inmate laborers in Ontario during this period, none received any pay for their so called "meaningful" work.

The old asylum closed it's doors on September 1, 1979. At the time of the it's closing the institution was seen as "an antiquated relic of Canada’s Victorian past" which was inspired by the prevailing trend of deinstitutionalization. The term 'deinstitutionalization' was an idea born out of the thinking mental health patients would be best rehabilitated living out in the community as opposed to being committed (locked-up) within an institution. However those decisions we're not without political controversy as many believed at the time it was simply an attempt by government to cut the upward spiraling cost of health care in Canada without any respect and concern as to the consequences of what those decisions might bring about. 

History proved the hospital's patients we're the victims of this controversy as it was for patients of many psychiatric institutions within Canada. Many we're simply cast adrift to became homeless without adequate means of looking after themselves both physically and mentally. And for a few they remain homeless to the present day. Fortunately the most severely ill were institutionalized in the newly constructed Queen Street Mental Health Center. This facility was an up to date modern structure that was more suitable to the care of those in need of the most care

Aerial view: Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital
The story is not without some 'colour' and on the somewhat lighter side is the haunting. In the years after the asylum's closing it's certainly been a target for 'Social Graffiti' as there have been a number of silly rumors and a some of the most far out urban legends. The most notable are reports by some of the present staff and students who now occupy the former grounds. They claim they are visited on a regular basis by a ghostly appearance. As always as it is with stories of UFOs stories of an haunting have to be great for attracting tourists to an area. WOW scary "The place is Haunted!" and joking aside, more here - Haunted or Not?
Video: Haunted Humber College - Main Floor


It would seem to me the only thing "haunted" here is the title!
... The
video does show at least one of the buildings and how it currently looks.

The former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital current status: 
... Active - Reused as Humber College South Campus