Early Spring in Sydney - Tulips

We have been experiencing unusually hot weather for the last few weeks. In fact this has been the hottest August in years. Spring has arrived early this year and the tulips, in the botanical garden, blossomed 2-3 weeks earlier than normal.

I love the bokeh

The background or bokeh in the photo below is just amazing, It reminds me of a water colour painting. The Nikon 105mm macro/micro lens is awesome.

I never realised that tulips came in so many different colours and patterns. They were just beautiful. I just wished I came earlier when they had just blossomed.

Up Close and Personal with theTulips

Macro 1:1, hand held

This is not a tulip, I think it's a daisy - Macro 1:1, hand held, no flash

It was extremely difficult to shoot at 1:1 as it was very windy. Just had to be extremely patient and wait for the wind to drop, take the shot before it picked up again.

Yellow Tulip with red racing stripe

Gorgeous Pink Tulip

Lovely White Tulip


DIY Cokin X-Pro Filter Rig for Nikon 14-24mm

Check out my new and improved DIY filter "rig" design. Click here.

This is a home-made filter rig for my Nikon 14-24mm lens. The design came about because I didn't want the universal adapter to scratch the hood of the 14-24mm lens.

It consists of a 100mm PE or polyethylene pipe, its black and is generally used for waste. I managed to get a piece of off-cut from a plumber mate. You can't find this at Bunnings, you need to visit a proper plumbing supply store.

I cut a 35mm piece of pipe for the universal adapter to clamp onto. I then sculpted the piece of pipe to the contours of the hood using my Dremel. The PE pipe is very soft so its not too hard to do. This has to be done otherwise you will see it on an FX camera, like my D700.

I also used strips of stick on foam to ensure a snug fit onto the lens and to minimise movement. You can buy them from Clark Rubber, you can buy them cut to length so its cheap, only costs me a couple of bucks.

Here are a couple of shots of the universal adapter and filter holder mounted onto the "rig"

Here is a shot of the filter "rig" mounted on my Nikon 14-24mm.

Here are a couple of shots of the filter rig with the Cokin X 121 installed.

Check out my new and improved DIY filter "rig" design. Click here.

Ok, you can see that there is a gap between the "rig" and the universal adapter. This gap needs to be blocked otherwise light coming from the back will ruin your photos.

This what happens if you don't block the gap. Can see the circle of light?

I used a piece of packing foam from a power supply I bought to fix my nephew's PC. Using a Stanley knife I cut a circle using the "rig" as the template. I am in the process of spraying it black. I have only managed to do the first coat, a couple more coats should do the trick.

I've been very happy with the results from my testing, there is zero vignetting at 14mm when using just one filter. However, the results have not been great when I try stacking 2 filters together. Most of the time I am able to just see the top right hand corner of the X-Pro filter holder. I think this is because I am not able to clamp the the filter holder squarely onto the "rig". A bit more tweaking to the "rig" should resolve this issue.

It is not the most elegant solution but I am still in the process of refining the design. If any of you guys reading this has a good idea please let me know. Chris and Vince, I hope this will help you guys get started.

Cokin has release a new universal adapter specifically for the Nikon 14-24mm. This wasn't around when I bought my one. Thanks for that Miha.

Here are some of my test shots from Warriewood Beach and Turrimetta Beach

Check out my new and improved DIY filter "rig" design. Click here.