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Subject: "Strange solar flares with D50- why?" Previous topic | Next topic
mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Wed 16-Jan-08 01:16 PM
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"Strange solar flares with D50- why?"


Wheat Ridge, US
          

I've noticed a problem with my D50 when shoting towards the sun. I get a broad white stripe, ragged at the ends, stretching horizontally, centered on the sun. No, it's not a contrail.

I returned my first D50 when I saw this. The second one didn't exhibit the problem in initial tests, but it cropped up again today.

Do I need another D50, or another camera? I've never seen this when using a KM 7D, or my Sony V1 or V3. Do all D50s do this, or am I just unlucky?

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Reply message RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?
guthycs
08th Dec 2006
1
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mcnik
08th Dec 2006
2
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guthycs
08th Dec 2006
3
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mcnik
08th Dec 2006
4
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gphoto50
08th Dec 2006
5
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mcnik
08th Dec 2006
6
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guthycs
08th Dec 2006
7
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Solutions Etcetera
08th Dec 2006
8
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Deecy
08th Dec 2006
9
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mcnik
16th Jan 2008
22
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Zeroneg1
09th Dec 2006
10
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09th Dec 2006
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09th Dec 2006
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mcnik
09th Dec 2006
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guthycs
10th Dec 2006
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mcnik
12th Dec 2006
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14th Dec 2006
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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 12:42 AM
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#1. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 0


Edmonton, CA
          

John,

For some reason your images do not appear even if I click on the links. Did you use any filter on the lens while shooting against the sun? The sensor of DSLR is much more reflective then film and because of this you often get "ghost" images of strong light when using filters. Nikon recommends removing all filters when the composition contains a bright light.

Csaba

Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Fri 08-Dec-06 12:47 AM
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#2. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 1


Wheat Ridge, US
          

Sorry, but I have no experience attaching photos here. Do they have to be hosted on another site first?

No, there was no filter. Funny, a young girl at the photo store tried to convince me the flare was there because I hadn't used a polarizer. I didn't buy her story, or her filters. The D50's kit lens is very resistant to flare and ghosting compared to other lenses I've used. I think this is happening on the sensor- is it sometimes called "bloom"?

  

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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 01:14 AM
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#3. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 2


Edmonton, CA
          

I'm not a paying member yet, so can't post images. I saw a similar problem with image posting in the portrait forum. I'm sure others will be able to help with this.
Not sure what can cause the flare besides a filter. I'm sure the more experienced Nikonians will be able to help.

Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Fri 08-Dec-06 01:41 AM
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#4. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 3


Wheat Ridge, US
          

I sure wish I could just show you this, but here's a more detailed description. The shot was taken with the 18mm setting, with the sun in the upper part of the frame. The white streak is about the thickness of the sun. It extends about 1/4 of the way across the narrow side of the frame. The streak is pure white with tapering ends. It looks like a short stretch of jet contrail, except it isn't- the sky was completely clear. It appears in each of three pix I took into the sun.

  

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gphoto50 Registered since 06th Feb 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 05:26 AM
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#5. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 4


Bangor, US
          

I am not sure of the cause of your problem but you can post a link to a photo hosting site which holds a copy of your photo... such as flika or photobucket. Just copy and paste the address in your message.

Greg

... nature has ceased to be what it always had been - what people needed protection from. Now nature - tamed, endangered, mortal - needs to be protected from people. When we are afraid, we shoot. But when we are nostalgic, we take pictures.
Susan Sontag - On Photography

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Fri 08-Dec-06 06:00 AM
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#6. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 5


Wheat Ridge, US
          

Sorry, I'm not set up with that yet. I could send you a photo by email. But you all should just go to my parallel post in photo.net. That'll take you to a reference to imaging-resource (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D80/D80A5.HTM) which gives the unwelcome answer- Yes, they all do that. By design. It's a by-product of the electronic shutter, the same feature that I found most compelling about this camera. There's a work-around that's not very obvious, but read it and learn.

I've never seen such a blatant photographic flaw caused by a piece of hardware. Sorry, but I can't obey any stinkin' warnings not to take pictures including the sun (considering that I usually shoot below 20mm). Especially now that modern lenses, even the D50's humble kit lens, are so wonderfully free of ghosts and flare.

I'm disappointed about this design flaw, but even more dismayed in some of the forums I used to research this camera. No review I read mentioned this. Of course, I didn't think to check I-R's review of another camera, the D80. There they announced that the D70's (and D50's) "sensor bloom" problem had been cured by the D80's newer more mechanized shutter. But you don't learn of the flaw on the D50's own review pages there. And a search here for "D50 sensor bloom" turned up nothing more relevant than "I cleaned my sensor."

The D50 is the most mysterious, inscrutable camera I've ever owned. In less than a month, I've found out two little-known, undocumented "features" in it. One's a great benefit and one's a humongous flaw. What an interesting age to be a photographer!

  

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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 05:17 PM
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#7. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 6


Edmonton, CA
          

So what's the work-around? I couldn't find anything about that in the link. I guess the obvious work-around is to use a low enough shutter speed where the electronic shutter doesn't kick in yet. Does anyone know what's the max "mechanical" shutter speed for D50, D70?

Csaba


Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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Solutions Etcetera Registered since 21st Jun 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 09:06 PM
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#8. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 7


Pollock Pines, US
          

It is difficult to relate to your disappointment... after all there "are" reasons why there are bodies that still cost 5 grand. For about 10% of that you have a body that takes comparable pictures under 90% of the conditions.

Just trying to see the glass as half full.

Scott Simon
Solutions Etcetera

Scott Simon

Solutions Etcetera
http://www.solutionsetcetera.com

  

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Deecy Registered since 08th Dec 2006Fri 08-Dec-06 11:04 PM
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#9. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 7


NYC, US
          

There are always work-arounds. Use a polarizing filter and forget camera defects. There's nothing wrong with the D50. It is what it is. The D80 costs $500 more than the D50. It has a better shutter system. I personally love my D50. It's more camera than any manufacturer offers at anywhere near the price.
Enjoy!
Deecy//

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Wed 16-Jan-08 01:16 PM
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#22. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 9


Wheat Ridge, US
          

I finally did some tests at different shutter speeds and found that 1/640 second is the threshold where I start seeing that "false contrail." It was longest at 1/1600th, stretching 2/3 of the way across the narrow part of the frame. By 1/2500, it was shorter, but thicker. Interesting.

My D40 just shipped from Adorama. I look forward to testing this phenomenon and sharing the results. Then I'll decide which camera to keep.

And to the Deecy, please understand that's my only goal here. I'm not here to hang Nikon or defend it. I don't own stock; I don't think Canon's better; and I'm not saying the D50 is a bad camera. It's been fun to experiment with it and find that it has these hidden capabilities and drawbacks.

When on other forums I pointed out that the D50 syncs non-dedicated flashes over the stated 1/500th speed, all the way to 1/4000th in fact, I was accused of being mistaken. I considered this very good news, but many wanted to deny it was possible. I see a tendency to choose up sides here and argue. That's not my intention- if I wanted to argue, I'd go to a political forum. I write this for the sake of science, sharing my surprising experiences with a product that has more tricks up its sleeve than almost anything I've purchased lately.

I don't consider this a real problem, though. I've never had a camera that's so good at photographing things that aren't there. And I know how to avoid this problem, but I doubt many other D50 owners do. The manager of the shop that sold me this, Denver's largest remaining indie camera store (Mike's Camera), didn't know what to make of it. The half-dozen reviews I read before buying the D50 didn't mention it. The virtual tour company I work for, which specifies the D50, hadn't heard of it. It's that lack of available product info that disturbs me the most.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Zeroneg1 Registered since 08th Apr 2006Sat 09-Dec-06 02:38 PM
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#10. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 22


US
          

The phenomenon u are seeing is caused by the CCD's. This happens to Video cameras too because of the 'crosstalk', menaing one CCD influences its neighbor to go above the threshold hence u get a STRIP of them or a long line. This is normal for CCD's. This is why other manufacturer's use CMOS as a detector since it is not affectd by this although some CMOS affects the 'accutance' we expect from a CCD.

Pointing the CCD directly at the sun affects the CCD bucket levels brining the luminance values to the extreme so plus interpolation it just created havoc on the image. This is specially true for CCD sensore that are larger like what we have in the D50. This is the reason for its excellent low-light levels capability.

Also wasn't there a WARNING to not point the CCD directly at the sun?

  

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Solutions Etcetera Registered since 21st Jun 2006Sat 09-Dec-06 04:52 PM
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#11. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 10


Pollock Pines, US
          

>Also wasn't there a WARNING to not point the CCD directly at
>the sun?

Good point... I guess when all else fails RTFM.

From the manual...

"Do not leave the lens pointed at the sun or
another light source for an extended period.
Intense light may cause the image sensor to
deteriorate or produce a white blur effect in
photographs."

"Blooming
Vertical white streaks may appear in pho-
tographs of the sun or other strong light
sources. This phenomenon, known as
“blooming,” can be prevented by reducing
the amount of light that falls on the image
sensor, either by choosing a slow shutter
speed and small aperture or by using an
ND filter."

Scott Simon

Solutions Etcetera
http://www.solutionsetcetera.com

  

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Sat 09-Dec-06 05:39 PM
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#12. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 10


Memphis, US
          

Zeroneg has it right. This is sensor bloom and it occurs with most CCD to some extent. I have a friend who has several Nikon DSLR's and even his D2X has some minor bloom. Remember film was not nearly as reflective as a sensor. Like another poster stated if you want direct sun then use a polarizing filter this will help alot.

Plus let us know when you D40 comes how it performs but with something like this looking at the sun thru a camera can be harmful to your eyes so becareful trying to reproduce this effect. Jim

Share, Learn and Inspire
www.nikonians.org




I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Sat 09-Dec-06 10:00 PM
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#13. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 12


Wheat Ridge, US
          

If a polarizing filter helps this problem, it's because it would cut the exposure by two stops. That might reduce your shutter speeds, depending on aperture and mode. And thanks for your concern, James. Most of these sunny shots are made from a tripod, in a panoramic sequence without looking through the finder. I've been a photographer for 30+ years, so this isn't my first trip to the rodeo- even though I'm posting in the D50/40 forum.

FWIW, I just tested my KM 7D into the sun and found no trace of blooming at any speed. Neither did the Sony V1 and V3 I used for the same situations.

I'm about through with this topic. But I have to say I'm disappointed about the contentous & argumentative tone shown in some of the responses here-- especially you, Mr. "Read-the-F&$*^#-Manual." Do you solemnly pledge never to include the sun in any photograph, because the manual says so? Not even during these winter days, with their low sun angles? Would you travel to Alaska and never shoot the Midnight Sun? Even using and ultrawide, or a polarizer? Then you could never recreate a very commercial look I see in common snowboarding and mountain biking photos, for example, when the camera's looking up at a big air stunt, backlit with fill flash and a fast shutter speed (just the sort of shot the D50 excels at).

I know the sensor bloom issue is old news to some of you. Maybe it was discussed when the D70 came out, but I wasn't paying attention to Nikon's products at that time. Imaging resource reports on it in their D80 review, but there's no mention of it in the D50's own review. Iconsider it to be pretty obscure information. I know now to use no speeds above 1/500 when shooting the sun, but that's hardly intuitive. If you questioned any group of photographers about "When do you use a 1/1000th second shutter speed? When using flash indoors, or when shooting in bright sunlight and including the sun's image?", I don't think many old or new-school photographers would get it right-- except, perhaps, for D70/50 owners who've gotten used to this flaw.

I still find the D50 a useful tool because of its class-leading flash sync speeds. For me, that makes up for the sensor blooming problem. I just think more folks deserve to know about the D50's weaknesses, as well as its strengths. I got the answer from some helpful folks over at photo.net, and I wasn't insulted in the process. I guess that helps me decide that I don't need that $25 Silver Membership here after all.

  

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Solutions Etcetera Registered since 21st Jun 2006Sat 09-Dec-06 11:11 PM
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#14. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 13


Pollock Pines, US
          

Look Mr. Pro... you can dismount now. You asked a question... and suggested it was secret info available nowhere. I simply pointed out it was in the manual and actually took the time to quote it for you.

If you were insulted... well, gee, your a little sensitive, and perhaps you should communicate only with folks who understand and can compensate for your propensity to being offended.

Normally I would apologize for offending someone I had not intended, but your "grander than thou", condescending attitude precludes that.

Were you really offended by "RTFM" or do you just feel stupid that your big "mystery" is documented with the camera?

Nevermind... don't answer that... I am done with this thread!

Scott Simon

Solutions Etcetera
http://www.solutionsetcetera.com

  

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Sun 10-Dec-06 09:26 AM
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#15. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 13


Memphis, US
          

Sorry MCnik I wasn't trying to insult I guess I should not take anything for granted what was that never assume it makes an a.. you know the saying. I have just transitioned to digital myself at the beginning of the year and still shoot alot of slide film with my FM3a. Sorry you have a bad taste about Nikonians I hope you give it a little more time. Many Kind Regards Jim

Share, Learn and Inspire
www.nikonians.org




I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

  

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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Sun 10-Dec-06 03:59 PM
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#16. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 15


Edmonton, CA
          

It's a pity that this thread turned this "sour". I found the information that MCnik (John) and others shared with us very useful. I read the D50 manual several times but was not aware of this blooming phenomenon. Sooner or later I'd have encountered this problem and would have spent numerous hours trying to find out what was the reason. Now I know how to avoid it (not by excluding the sun from my images!). Solutions Etcetera, thanks for taking the time to quote the manual, but maybe next time omit the "RTFM". John, I do hope you'll give another chance to Nikonians, it's a good forum and it would definitely benefit from your experience.

Best regards,

Csaba

Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Tue 12-Dec-06 07:29 PM
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#17. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 16


Wheat Ridge, US
          

Thanks, Csaba and Jim, for your kind and productive comments. I won't go away sulking. I'll just lurk as I usually do, and post only when I think I have something interesting or new to add. Which brings me a question for "Solutions.." My new D40 is due to arrive tomorrow. The first thing I'll do is test it at high flash sync speeds, and shooting into the sun. Would you object if I shared the results with this forum? Or do you know the results already?

BTW, Csaba, you don't need to "exclude the sun from all your images." Just use a shutter speed of 1/500th or slower and you wont see the sensor bloom I've dubbed "false contrails." As one who primarily uses wide angles, I'm prone to including a bit of the sun somewhere in a 100-degree wide frame, and when doing panos on clear winter days, often there's no choice. I don't think it's harmful to the camera. Certainly it adds some sparkle to the photos. I think others who mostly use long lenses have a different. more cautious take on this issue. If you want to record sunspots, yes, use a telescope, not a camera.


  

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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Thu 14-Dec-06 02:18 AM
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#18. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 17


Edmonton, CA
          

I'm glad you are still around. I think many new D40 users would find it useful to know at what shutter speed the sensor bloom starts.

Cheers,

Csaba

Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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mcnik Registered since 05th Jun 2002Thu 14-Dec-06 02:27 AM
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#19. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 18


Wheat Ridge, US
          

And I'm glad you're here, Csaba. It must be hard to spare the time after your duties editing Car and Driver magazine.

  

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Thu 14-Dec-06 09:28 AM
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#20. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 19


Memphis, US
          

I would love to hear what your results are on the D40. I kept my D50 when I got a D80 because the D50 was better for long exposure the D80 has a tad bit of AMP glow and if fellow Nikonians hadn't shared their expierence I would have never known. Plus my Daughter is pushing for a D40 so the info will be grately appreciated. Jim

Share, Learn and Inspire
www.nikonians.org




I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

  

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guthycs Registered since 17th Aug 2006Fri 15-Dec-06 01:25 AM
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#21. "RE: Strange solar flares with D50- why?"
In response to Reply # 19


Edmonton, CA
          

Thanks John. But you are talking about Csaba Csere, a fellow Hungarian. I'm just a graduate student in Materials Science. Maybe I spend too much time on here. I hope my advisor doesn't read this forum

Cheers,

Csaba


Csaba

D50
Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 75-300mm F4.5-F5.6 AF
Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
Nikon SB-600

  

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