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Saturday, 19 October 2019 Dereel Images for 19 October 2019
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Web server: the results
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So I left the old web server stopped overnight, so that it didn't redirect requests to inappropriate domain names to the new server. Came back in the morning and the load average on the new server was still below 10. Turned on the old server again, and bang! Within minutes I had:

last pid: 16293;  load averages: 31.65, 23.93, 13.76             up 53+19:32:08  01:16:42

Why does it make such a difference? Is it the content that keeps PHP busy? Sadly, it doesn't seem to have had much effect on the traffic.


Orchids again
Topic: photography, technology, gardening, opinion Link here

Over the past week I took a couple of photos of the yellow orchids just north of our property entrance on Stones Road. They weren't a success:


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Both are only marginally sharp, probably because of the wind. They're acceptable at the standard (“tiny”) size, but even a slight enlargement shows how bad they are:


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Today I took a couple of flowers back home and tried focus stacking under more controlled circumstances:


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That's a lot better! But there are still details. I did this with Zerene stacker, which offers two different algorithms. I must really read the details, but so far I just have the names: PMax (apparently preferred) and DMap. The first photo came out better with DMap. The PMax version had a halo round the features. Here DMap, then PMax (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


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But DMax also seems to have less depth of field, visible here at the back of the right-hand flower:


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It's not clear if this is an advantage or a disadvantage; it also makes the background sharper, something that I've prefer to avoid.

In passing it's interesting to note that these flowers seem to come in pairs.


Sunday, 20 October 2019 Dereel Images for 20 October 2019
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Lenses: Oldies. Goodies?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Camera lenses tend to last longer than the bodies, and even in the digital age I have a couple of lenses that I have had for over 10 years. But then there are the analogue lenses. I've had my current 50 mm f/1.4 Super-Takumar for over 52 years, and some of the lenses I have are clearly older than that.

The 50/1.4 Super Takumar had an excellent reputation, but three years ago I received my Leica Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 and discovered that it's an order of magnitude better than the Super Takumar:

 
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There are no prizes for guessing which is which.

On the other hand, I missed a couple of things:

So: how about comparing the Super Takumar and the Cassar? Certainly the appearance is markedly different:


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To do it right I need to find a “full frame” camera that will take Pentax screw thread lenses, clearly with an adapter. In the meantime it would be interesting to see how it did on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

The results are only partially of interest, since the camera is wrong. The big surprise was the difference in contrast:


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