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Mar 202019
 

(This is definitely a work in progress; I’ve still got more lens adaptors to buy and more lenses to test)

So I have a new Fujifilm GFX50R with one native lens (63mm) and my fortunes don’t extend to buying more lenses any time soon. Yet I hear that some 35mm lenses will work even though they’re designed to cover the smaller sensor of 35mm (or in many of the cases below 35mm film).

As someone who has been sticking third-party lenses (and I don’t mean Sigma lenses with an EF mount) on my Canon cameras for years the obvious thing to do is buy some adaptors to test the lenses I have.

And on the grounds that I would find this information useful if someone else had posted it (and I’d found it), I decided to put this out there. No guarantees on the accuracy though!

Caveats :-

  1. No, the images aren’t meant to look good; most of this testing was done inside after a long day staring at a computer screen. The subject is boring, the focus may be off, and if you think these images represent what I’m capable of I’ll just roll about the floor laughing (and I’m not that good). When of course I add the images to this posting.
  2. If you have to have a “smart” lens adaptor for Canon EF lenses, choose a good one. The first one I bought was rubbish; I’ve since gone with a Kipon branded one.
  3. The column for “soft vignetting’ is particularly dubious; I’m not great at spotting it in the first place and until I move the images onto a computer screen and take a closer look I wouldn’t guarantee anything.
Lens Photo? Soft Vignetting Hard Vignetting Sample (links)
Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/100mm ZE No No 1
Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8 ZE No No 1
MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Yes
Sigma 12-24 @ 12mm No No
Sigma 12-24 @ 24mm Yes Yes
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L Yes Yes
Canon 200-400mm mk1 @ 200 No No
Canon 200-400mm mk1 @ 400 Yes
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/19mm (1977) Yes
Leica Summilux-R 1.4/50mm (1971) Below f/11 No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/35mm (1984) Yes No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/180mm (1975) No No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/90mm (1966) No No 1
Leica Macro-Elmerit-R 2.8/60mm (1977) Below f/4.0 No
Leica Summicron-R 2/50mm (1965) TODO TODO TODO
Olympus OM 18mm f/3.5 Yes
Olympus OM 85mm f/2.0 Yes No
Olympus OM 35mm f/2.8 Yes No
Carl Zeiss Jena 3.5/135mm No No 1

Mar 152019
 

Not.

I encountered this sign today at lunch when walking past a bunch of environmental protesters. I agree totally with their intentions, but this particular message is just wrong.

The earth (if sentient) is just about waking up and wondering what we are – the whole of human history and pre-history (the bits that weren’t written down) is no more than a blink in the eye of the earth. If we successfully cause an extinction-level climate change event (and so far it looks pretty successful), our entire extinction will be just another layer in the geological record – just a bit more unusual than other thin extinction layers.

The earth will quite happily get used to a warmer (or colder if it eventually settles down that way) climate equilibrium and might just (if sentient) wonder where we’ve gotten to.

The earth will go on without us; barely noticing we were here.

We’re not a plague on the earth; we’re a plague on our children.

And when you come down to it, the slogan “We Are A Plague On Our Children” is far better – it’s accurate and more personal, and harder hitting.

Early Morning Seatrip
Feb 262019
 

The most peculiar thing about antisemitism (except for the concept itself which is frankly ridiculous) is the phrase itself. The words “Semitic” is in fact today used to refer to a group of languages rather than a group of people.

And that group of languages is used by a wide collection of different people – including Arabs, Maltese, and yes, Hebrew speaking Jews.

The phrase “antisemitic” was first coined by Jew-haters to make their hatred seem more normalised and scientific. Yet, the word has been normalised and accepted by their opponents – essentially letting the Jew-haters win.

According to Jonathan M. Hess, the term was originally used by its authors to “stress the radical difference between their own ‘antisemitism’ and earlier forms of antagonism toward Jews and Judaism.”

It is not for me to dictate to anyone, but it seems to me that we should perhaps give these scum back their original names. Call a spade a spade, and a Jew-hater exactly what they are.

The Edge Of The D (Curved Brick Wal)
Feb 242019
 

Normally when you set an IP address manually on an interface you do not get a whole lot of choice of how it is done – very often you have to specify the IP address itself and a network mask. The addresses and masks are almost always specified as “dotted quads” (10.0.0.1) rather than the real address in binary or decimal (167772161).

The network mask specifies what parts of the IP address are the network address and which are the host address – to determine whether a destination needs to go via a gateway or is on the local network. This is expressed as a bitmask like 255.255.255.0. Having said that, rarely some devices (Cisco routers in the dustier parts of their code) require the reverse – 0.0.0.255.

An alternative approach is to use the CIDR format to specify both the IP address of the device and the size of the network – 10.2.9.21/24. This is used (at least) on Palo Alto Networks firewalls and is probably the simplest way of configuring a network address I have come across.

Having configured hundreds of devices with static addresses … and helped solve oodles of network configuration issues, I feel that the CIDR format method is likely to be far less error prone.

If you do need to set a netmask, use ipcalc to check what it is (and use it to cut&paste rather than risk typos) :-

✓ mike@pica» ipcalc 10.2.9.21/24 
Address:   10.2.9.21            00001010.00000010.00001001. 00010101
Netmask:   255.255.255.0 = 24   11111111.11111111.11111111. 00000000
Wildcard:  0.0.0.255            00000000.00000000.00000000. 11111111
=>
Network:   10.2.9.0/24          00001010.00000010.00001001. 00000000
HostMin:   10.2.9.1             00001010.00000010.00001001. 00000001
HostMax:   10.2.9.254           00001010.00000010.00001001. 11111110
Broadcast: 10.2.9.255           00001010.00000010.00001001. 11111111
Hosts/Net: 254                   Class A, Private Internet
Through The Gateway
Feb 092019
 

One of the things that irritates me about fancy new service management systems like systemd is that unless you get everything exactly right, you can end up with things interfering with specific configuration files – specifically /etc/resolv.conf.

Now as a DNS administrator, I have a certain fondness for manually controlling /etc/resolv.conf and it does actually come in useful for making temporary changes to test specific DNS servers and the like. The trouble comes when something else wants to control that file.

The ideal fix for this conflict is to have things like systemd control a separate file such as /etc/system/resolv.conf.systemd, and for /etc/resolv.conf be installed as a symbolic link pointing at the real file.

But back in the real world, if you do disable systemd-resolver which can be done with: systemctl disable systemd-resolved.service; systemctl stop systemd-resolved.service

Then you may also want to make the file immutable: chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf. On at least one server, systemd merrily re-created /etc/resolv.conf as a symbolic link to an empty file despite systemd-resolved being disabled.

Corner Of The Pyramid
Feb 032019
 

Apple’s stockprice has taken a bit of a tumble just recently, prompted by a statement from them indicating that they’ve made a bit of a mess of the iPhone releases and they’re not selling as many as they expected.

Foolish scaremongers are predicting the demise of Apple. Over a few bad quarters? That’s just ridiculous.

If anything (and you fancy a gamble), now is probably a good time to buy shares in Apple, because they are not going away any time soon. And they will probably come up with an answer to what they are doing wrong.

So what are they doing wrong?

Too Few Products

It may seem a bit strange to say considering just how many different iPhones you can buy, but what I am really talking about here are product types rather than individual variations. After all whether you are buying an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, you’re still buying an iPhone.

Just take a look at the Apple web site navigation bar :-

Each of those (with the possible exception of a particular keen Mac user of the “Mac” group, and of course “Music”) is a product that a person is only likely to have one of.

And keeping the number of products you sell small makes you more vulnerable to the occasional “miss”. Which with the best planning in the world will happen from time to time.

Just imagine what is missing :-

  1. The Apple HiFi
  2. The Apple alarm clock.
  3. The Apple home/small office network server.
  4. The Apple power-line ethernet adaptor.
  5. The Apple WiFi access point.
  6. The Apple air pollution monitor/smoke detector.

And that’s just a few items thought up by an individual on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Don’t Ignore The Fringe Fanatics

For many years, Apple survived by making products well suited to the audio/visual creator community. And yet looking through the Mac line-up, there is nothing there suited to the real power user.

And yet Apple has fans who still want to run macOS – either compromising on their needs by getting an iMac Pro (usually with huge piles of non-Apple external disks) or by getting an ordinary PC and running macOS on it.

Give them what they want, and no a promise to release a proper Mac Pro “someday” isn’t sufficient.

There may not be a great deal of profit in it, but a small profit is better than none. And catering to power users may well have a greater effect than you suppose – they are or can be influencers. Imagine every photographer, videographer, and sound engineer saying “Forget about Windows; get yourself a Mac”.

Because that’s what they used to say.

Too Expensive

If you ask anyone if they would like more features, the answer is almost always yes, but they can become more reluctant if you ask them to pay a little more money for those features.

And if you ask them to pay more for features they are not interested in, they’ll rapidly lose interest if money is tight and their old phone is ‘good enough’.

And that is what has happened, the latest iPhone has more and better features than any previous iPhone but the price has crept up. For many (including the affluent “middle-class”) it has become a significant purchase rather than something that can be paid off with 2-4 months of minor inconvenience.

Follow The Path
Jan 302019
 

There are a bunch of people out there who jump on every single piece of ‘evidence’ they can find or construct that supposedly contradicts the evidence that the climate is changing for the warmer (and that it is mostly human activity driven).

Why?

In the beginning, some of them may have been honestly dumb, and objected to the notion of global warming simply because it challenged some of their favourite activities. After all who could believe that people could influence the climate?

And after all, what do climate scientists know? They’re just book smart and everyone knows that common sense beats book smart every time.

But over time, something else creeps in (and in some cases is there from the beginning) – a tendency to abuse the human liking for controversy to get more “hits” and a higher profile than would otherwise be the case.

And money of course.

So when you find random people on the Internet throwing rocks at the experts, bear in mind that they might just be innocently dumb or they might have an ulterior motive.

But let’s face it: They’re not after the truth no matter how much they claim otherwise.

Rusty Handrail
Jan 252019
 

If you are using the right kind of terminal that supports graphics inline (such as KiTTY), then you can write simple (or complex) tools that insert images into the terminal.

Being able to display the flag of a country (if you know its two-letter ISO code) is kind of trivial but useful if you need it.

And a shell function to do that is remarkably simple :-

function flag {
    wget -o /dev/null -O /var/tmp/flag.$$ http://flagpedia.net/data/flags/normal/${1}.png
    if [ $? -eq 0 ]
    then
        kitty +kitten icat /var/tmp/flag.$$ && rm /var/tmp/flag.$$
    else
        echo Not found
    fi
}

(that’s a Zsh function which may require adaption to Bash).

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