February 03, 2007

Next-gen "Origami Lens"

John Dowdell tipped me to an interesting development in the world of tiny optics:

"Your next camera phone might get a new kind of lens if researchers at
the University of California at San Diego convince the cell phones
makers. They have designed an ‘origami lens’ which will slim high
resolution cameras. Today, their 5-millimeter thick, 8-fold imager
delivers images comparable in quality with photos taken with a compact
camera lens with a 38 millimeter focal length. In a few years, these
bendable lenses could be used in high resolution miniature cameras for
unmanned surveillance aircraft, cell phones and infrared night vision
applications."

I, meanwhile, prepare to head out the door with a comparatively luggable 17-85mm lens in hand.  Having seen a colleague shooting this week with an approximately 35-200mm lens that appeared to offer a much wider aperture than mine & no appreciable increase in bulk, I keep wondering about my photo friends’ advice.  "Oh, those things are blurry crap," they say–but boy, the flexibility & speed they appear to offer sure is appealing.  It makes me think of audiophiles who drop thousands of dollars on equipment that (to me, anyway) just reveals the flaws in the source audio or other components.  I don’t want to use garbage, but I’m starting to stroke my chin about the info I’ve been getting…

2:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Photographing Saturn; Rocking Jupiter

NASA’s JPL has surveyed the public & posted the favorite photos of Saturn taken by the Cassini-Huygens mission. You can see more from their collection here. [Via]  And if you’d like to try your own hand at photographing the planet, see Space.com’s advice on how to Capture the Lord of the Rings (with a little help from Photoshop).

The space connection keeps reminding me of a drive-by beat-down administered to the band Train (the guys who brought you "Drops of Jupiter," and who have apparently sold four million albums–to whom, no one knows): "Watching her cry, I knew Benchley had hit bottom. I had reached the mythical state of total anti-rock, which I call ‘Train,’ after the band. When the head of every drum is torn, and all guitars out of tune, when the microphone melts in your hand, that’s Train, and I was in Train all the way up to my drops of Jupiter."

12:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]
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