Essays / s /

DIY Tethering Cable Strain Relief

Once you start with cabled tethering from your camera to your computer you'll soon want to look into a solution for a strain relief for the cable on your camera side to not only protect you from accidental disconnections, but even more from damaging your camera's internal connector port.

Pretty soon you will stumble over the JerkStopper by Tether Tools which is basically a small plastic part that cramps around the cable with a short cord that is bound to the strap eyelet of your camera. Well, that little thing is everything else than cheap at over $16 currently.

Some cameras like the Canon 5D Mark IV also come with a cable protector that works perfectly for this camera. But that is a very rare case for a very limited number of cameras.

Luckily a lot of people have published similar DIY solutions, which are cheaper and fit every camera. Just search on YouTube and you will find plenty of DIY alternatives. Here I would like to present you a slightly different approach that works very well for me.

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Unexpected Side Effects with Canon Cameras

In general I really like the usability and ergonomics of my Canon 6D. The menu system is very easy and intuitive to understand and the camera is a pleasure to hold in the hand with very well thought button placements.

However so far I have experienced two unexpected side effects with settings that took me quite a while to figure out as the relationships between the implication and the actual setting do not sound logical to me at first glance.

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Wireless Tethered Shooting With Canon Cameras

The aim of this post is to explain how to set up wireless tethered shooting with a Canon Camera using the built-in Wi-Fi. I am using a laptop with Microsoft Windows 10, a Canon 6D as camera, the original Canon EOS Utilities for transmitting and displaying the latest picture, and finally Adobe Lightroom for culling.

The hardest part in the whole process unfortunately is to get your camera paired with your computer. Before we try to setup the network you first have to install the EOS utility on your laptop.

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So, You've Cleaned Your Lens

And it looks near perfect now. All smears are gone. Not a single grain of dust is visible. Great job! You put the lens cap on and a few hours later when you take it off you see - oh no!!! - grains of dust and fuzz are back. Even though you had the lens cap on all the time.

This could be because you have forgotten to clean something you might not have thought of - something I frequently forget and need to keep reminding myself: The inside of the lens cap.

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The Legal Side of Sharing Other's Pictures Online

Note that this is an older post I've posted on my older blog around software development earlier in April 2012. As I am about to switch off this older blog, I am re-posting this here with some updates as it is still a valid topic around photography.

Recently I've talked with a friend about the legal notice [de] with added costs against a Facebook user. A third user has posted an image of a rubber duck on that users timeline. However this image violated the copyright of a copyright owner. Yes, you've read correctly: In Germany you can be sued for a photo that someone else has posted on your Facebook timeline.

This triggered the question whether it should be allowed to sue unlicensed usages of only private usage context? Should it be allowed that private users are sued for downloading and posting a picture on their Facebook page?

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Your Next Prime

Have you ever asked yourself, what's the best focal length for your first or your next prime lens? In case you are just starting with photography with zoom lenses only and never set a focal length consciously Adobe Lightroom may be able to tell you.

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Battle of the Nifty Fifties

This year, the Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 II, also called the Nifty Fifty celebrate it's 25th Birthday. Yes, that's right: this lens was released back in December 1990 and is the second oldest lens that is still in production (more on the oldest Canon lenses on Yet it still dominates the list of the most popular Canon lenses, and for good reasons: It's cheap, it's fast, it's small and lightweight, and it offers good performance for the price, which makes it the first prime lens for most Canon owners.

But of course, being such an old lens does have its downsides so Canon has just released the successor of the old Nifty Fifty: The new Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 STM.

Side viewsLeft: The old nifty fifty: Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8II - Right: the new nifty fifty: Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 STM

Ever since my wife fell in love with the old Nifty Fifty, I started to miss it in my own camera bag, so I've been looking for an alternative therefore. I had the chance to test the EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM, but didn't feel that it was worth the extra price: there's no ring USM - just an USM motor. It also has very plasticky feeling and wasn't as fantastic optically at more than tripled price.

A great alternative would be the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens. But while it may be a fantastic lens, it's even more expensive and as a hobbist photographer I'm not really dependent on its great performance. Also I wanted a lightweight, always-in-my-bag lens, and the Sigma is very heavy.

In the end I was very happy to hear news of the updated EF 50mm 1:1.8 STM and yesterday it arrived in my hands.

So here is my comparison of the old Nifty Fifty versus the new one: is it worth the higher price? Should you buy it if you already have the old version? Should you buy the STM version, or is the old version still a good choice?

It is said that both lenses contain the same optical formula with the same number of optical elements. However the test results show much more differences than expected.

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A Surprising Discovery

We always kept an old Contax SLR with a standard zoom and non-spectacular Yashica lense attached to it on a shelf in our living room as nice decoration object, which we got from my photography enthusiastic father-in-law, who unfortunately died way too early from cancer several years ago. Two days ago my wife reminded me that there is another camera stored away in our cellar and this made me curious. When I found it and I saw the lense I couldn't believe what I was holding in my hand.

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 C/Y

All the time there was a Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 C/Y in excellent condition in my cellar. Yes, this means 85 mm at f/1.4 combined with Carl Zeiss quality made in Germany! A bokeh monster!

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Copyright, Licenses and Terms of Services

The legal implications, when you upload an image to an internet service.

Imagine that a couple of weeks ago you've uploaded a photo to a social internet service. A nice photo that you are proud of and that you just want to show to your followers as usual. However right now you are browsing an art print shop and you see... your photo as the most popular print and on sale as canvas print for $499. Does this makes you upset? Do you want to call an Lawyer to sue these bastards? Now what, if I tell you that the shop could have done nothing wrong from a legal perspective and that they could be perfectly fine making big money with your work?

I am constantly amazed on the lack of knowledge of the terms of services of a internet service users are using. In case you didn't dare to read the terms of services yet and do not care what happens to your content that you are uploading to a site and in case you do not want to know what to look for in the terms of services and their implications, this article will be too boring for you. Feel free to continue uploading your content to any service as usual. But please do not start complaining like these crybabies that uploaded their images under a common CC license to Flickr without ever reading and understanding a license.

Before I begin let's clarify that I am not a lawyer and no expert in copyright law. Further more there isn't something like an international copyright law. These regulations differ from country to country. The points below are my own understanding of the status quo.

Further more I am referring to Facebook and its terms of service (ToS) as a role model example here. Facebook isn't the only black sheep on the net, but after reading this article you hopefully get some hints on what to look for in the jungle of a site's ToS.

Ready, for some boring stuff? OK, let's go.

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Merry Christmas from Stuttgart

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Stuttgart.

The picture above shows you how a Christmas tree looks like in the home town of Mercedes-Benz. Well, at least from a certain point of the Königsstrasse, the main shopping street. Actually the Mercedes Star is located on the top of the train station tower several hundreds of meters behind the tree.

The Story Behind "Too Old to Drive"

This is a tutorial that I wrote for an upcoming tutorials book by

The Picture

Too old to driveThis old chevrolet is slowly rusting in the ghost town Bodie in California.
Canon EOS 550D with Magic Lantern firmware, Sigma 8-16 mm @ 8 mm, 4 Exposures (1/125s, 1/800s, 1/50s, 1/3200s), f/7.1, ISO 100

Bodie is a ghost town north of Mono Lake in California and unlike many other artificial and touristic ghost towns Bodie remains unchanged in its current state and is allowed to decay through natural forces over time. For sure that is one of the reasons for Bodie’s popularity and a must see, when you tour through California like we did in May 2013.

I am pretty sure that most of you have already seen the one or other picture from body, maybe even of this 1937 Chevrolet coupe. Despite the sheer amount of subjects in Bodie this is one of the most interesting for sure.

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