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Friday Slide Show: A Telephoto on Mount Davidson Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

7 August 2020

We really can't say what got into us the other day. Some wild hair. Some daft idea. Some crazy inspiration. We mounted the Lensbaby Twist onto a Kenko 2x teleconverter and put that on an adapter to mount on the Olympus E-PL1.

If it sounds more like a Dagwood sandwich than an optical recipe, we can't blame you. But we couldn't resist because it gave us a pretty good telephoto, at least as long as we could hand hold.

The 60mm reach of the Twist on the Olympus becomes a 120mm crop. And when we doubled that with the teleconverter, we ended up with 240mm.

Just the ticket for a walk up Mount Davidson, San Francisco's highest hill.

We'd been meaning to take that hike for a while but mostly we've been walking around Mount Davidson, not up it. It's pretty heavily wooded and there are coyotes and raccoons living there. Not to mention skunks. And other vertebrates whose acquaintance we have no intention of making.

But with 240mm holstered, we couldn't resist.

The only trouble with the outfit was focusing through the EVF. It isn't a very high resolution EVF to begin with. It's a little like looking at a standard TV broadcast with bad reception on a nine-inch kitchen TV in the 1980s.

Our Setup. Adapter, Kenko, Twist for 240mm.

Which is usually good enough to tell if autofocus has picked the wrong thing. But not great for finding infinity when it's elusive.

But we really liked playing with the shallow depth of field. It meant moving around a good deal more than we might have with a zoom lens to compose the image, but we didn't mind.

People did look at us funny. "Why is that dude backing up?" we heard them thinking, raised on wide angle smartphone cameras.

But at least they weren't skunks.

Back at the bunker, we saw how poorly we did with focus. Next time, we admonished ourselves, use the LCD and magnify it. So there will be a next time. As punishment for not using our head.

We also noticed a peculiar hot spot in some of the images. We think it may be related to aperture but we're not entirely convinced. It's something to do with the glass in the Kenko, we would guess.

We took care of that with a brush in Lightroom that knocked the exposure down. That was enough for images where the area was in the shadows. Where it was in the highlights, we used the Hue slider to eliminate the color cast. See if you can tell (the spot is always in the center of the image).

One other edit we rarely make was increasing the Exposure as much as a stop. We figured it was the fault of either the Kenko or the overcast day.

But we really can't tell you what got into us.

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