Cheap Lens Vignetting

Historic Buildings at Fort Casey

This is an example of the vignetting you get from a cheap lens. The same cheap 400mm reflex lens that I discussed on my last post (and from the same trip to Whidbey Island and Fort Casey). You tend to get some vignetting with any reflex lens due to design issues, but I was a little surprised at the amount I got in some of my images. I haven’t figured out why some images are more ‘severe’ than others, but there is some in most images. Vignetting can be intentionally added to some images to focus the viewers attention on the main subject. The image below shows how this might work … and is an example of cropping away a lot of the corner areas of the image to minimize the vignette.

Jefferson County Building Clock Tower

Finally, another couple shots from that trip that were cropped to eliminate most of the vignetting.

Point Wilson Lighthouse at Fort Worden
Fort Worden Historic Buildings

New Lens: Depth of Field

Wild Rose and Cow Parsnip at Fort Casey

I recently bought a new lens: a Tokina f/8 400mm reflex. It is a wonderful lens for its small form and cost (less than 10% what a Nikon 400mm ‘normal’ telephoto lens lists for). There are some trade offs for any reflex style lens: you get a fixed aperture and some artifacts from the front reflex mirror. I took it on the Port Townsend – Coupville ferry run and while on Whidbey Island, I walked around Fort Casey.

One of the characteristics of long telephoto lenses is relatively shallow depth of field. You can use it to your advantage, but it can be a challenge getting your image to work out. In the image below, I was focused on getting the kite in the image … which I did successfully. But the kite is just about all that’s in focus.

Kite at Fort Casey

River Otter

River Otter

I was walking along the beach at Fort Worden State Park (Port Townsend, WA) when a river otter came out of the water and climbed up onto the rocks in front of me. It seemed fairly unconcerned with my taking photos, but did keep watching me. Fine with me … eye contact is good.

Nisqually Delta — Mountains in the Sky

Nisqually Delta — Mountains in the Sky

The Nisqually Delta is outside of Olympia, WA and is home of the Nisqually – Billy Frank, Jr. National Wildlife Reserve. It had been diked, drained and converted to farmland back 100 years ago or so, but the dike was intentionally breached and the interior is now salt marsh and provides home to young salmon. They built a wonderful walkway that runs most of a mile out for viewing birds and other critters. I took this image across to Luhr Beach (the buildings on the water) and the boat ramp. I didn’t notice the mountains visible in the cloud gaps until recently. They are the southeast corner of the Olympic Mountains from about Mount Ellinor to The Brothers.

Beach Grass

Beach Grass 1

These are both images of grass along the beach. The top one has the grass growing almost on a vertical bank with just a few green shoots coming up through the yellowed remains. It was taken with my iPhone, while the bottom image was taken with a film camera. You can see the film grain pretty clear in it, especially in the sky. Also, the wind was blowing the grass below … but in both you can see the effects of the wind.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: