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Advanced Questions
by Chuck McKern

With over 12 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions. 

A while back you ran an article on hyperfocal distance that had a downloadable hyperfocal chart. Can I still get a copy of the chart?


Sure can. You can read the article What is Hyperfocal Distance and Why Should I Care? There are links to download the charts in a couple of different formats at the end of the article. All of our back issues from the last three years are available online by clicking on the Back Issues button at the top of this or any page in the magazine or you can go there directly at

Wonderful and informative online mag ... the best I've seen. I'm going to have to invest in Digital Pro 2 ... was hoping it would support Fuji S2 raw files, perhaps in the future?


Check out the new plug-in for Photoshop from Adobe that will handle these Raw files ($99 from Adobe). You may want to consider converting them to a Tiff or JPEG format for use in Digital Pro program. You could make all the important adjustments in Photoshop first. Check out Adobe's Web site for details.

I have an Epson 1270 printer. If I were to load the Epson 1280 driver would this work and give me any additional functionality such as full bleed?

Don Simpson

Nope, full bleed is a function of a different hardware design on the 1280. It's hard to predict what the results would be of running a driver that doesn't match your printer. In extreme cases its even possible that you could damage your printer.

H! I'm into architectural photography...use the Nikon N80 for the same with the on demand grid lines displayed on the viewfinder...this helps me align with verticals and horizontals...I have an N70 also and would like to see the same grid on it's viewfinder that's specs say that the focusing screen is 'fixed'...can i interpose, thru a service center, a piece of transparency with the grid lines on it, between the pentaprism and the focusing screen? if yes, how will that affect the AF / metering?

Joginder Singh

The focusing screen in the Nikon N70 is not interchangeable and I haven't heard of anyone who has disassemble the camera's prism to add a film/screen so I don't know what the affect would be to the cameras systems. This isn't a modification I would attempt.

I'm writing in reference to the Epson 1280 "clipping" question in a previous Feedback column. I want to point out that when trying to print borderless prints, the Epson software will slightly enlarge the photo beyond the size you asked for. Thus, the final printed image will be cropped some from what you intended to print.

The software does this to insure overlap at the edge of the paper. You can find this information in the 1280 manual. It's just hard to because it is so poorly written.

I've given up on borderless printing for this reason. Unfortunately, cost wise, if I want an 11x17, I need 13x19 photo paper.


There might be a simple way around this. You say the Epson driver enlarges the image "slightly". Try a test print that has hash marks in from the edge every ten pixels. Count how many hash marks are cropped off and you'll know exactly how many pixels you're losing. For most images it won't be enough to worry about. If however you require that you get the entire image just add a border X pixels wide to the image before printing and you'll be sure to squeeze the whole image in. Just keep in mind that the actual number of pixels "falling off the edge" will vary slightly from print to print which is why Epson chooses to "waste" a few.

Just found this site and wonder if you can help. I photograph Bald Eagles for the NY Conservation on a volunteer basis. (Retired). I am using a Fuji S1 & S2 with Nikkor 300 F2.8 and Nikor80-200mm f2.8 and recently a Sigma 50-500mm APO with pretty good results. I am trying to get away from the use of extenders but still need a long lens. Was wondering if you know of any tests run on the Sigma 800mm 5.6?

Lou Buscher

I am sorry I don't know of any tests with the Sigma 800mm lens.

We did use a 2x tele-converter on the Sigma 50-500mm with good results but you lose auto-focus operation due to the speed of the lens. If you want to see our review on that lens, go to

If any of our readers send us feedback on this lens I'll pass on what they have to say. How about it guys? Do any of you own this lens?

I just recently bought my first digital camera. It is a Canon 10D, and I was wondering which white balance setting I should be selecting when shooting silhouettes?

Thank you for you help. 

You can try using the auto white balance. My experience is that in most situations the auto white balance works fine. Otherwise you would want to set the white balance for whatever the light source is for the shot. In other words, if you are using a tungsten light source, you would put it in tungsten, etc. One notable exception is if you are shooting those silhouettes against a sunset and you want deep saturated reds and oranges. In that case make sure you set the camera to daylight or cloudy white balance. Cloudy will further increase the saturation of the color in the sky.

Any opinions on the," MOOSE Circular Polarizer"? I have read some info on it. I figured with the reputation of Moose Peterson as a nature photographer & Hoya the manufacterer ofthe Filter it shouldn't be of poor quality. Have you used it ? I like the price point for it,B&H $109.00 for a 82mm Sigma EX F2.8 24-70. I do like the idea of it as a combination of a warming filter & polarizer in one. I have read other Circular Polarizers tend to be a bit blue in color saturation. Also have you ever used a polarizer with black & white film. Just curiouse of the effect if any.

Any input is appreciated. 
Elaine C. Carbone

I personally have not used the "Moose Filter" but have heard a lot of praises for it from several other photographers (Jim McGee uses one). If you're looking for a warm polarizer, I would probably go for this one based on Moose's reputation and the images I have seen Moose publish. If you're looking to save a few dollars Tiffen makes a similar filter.

As far as using a polarizer with black and white - why not? It will effectively remove the unwanted glare or reflection from non-metallic objects just as well with black and white as it does with color films. In black and white, it will also darken the sky to make the white clouds stand out more. I have even seen one photographer use a red filter with the polarizer and black and white film to make the sky go black making the white clouds contrast dramatically against the sky.

From the Readers 

I was just reading Pat's advanced question about the unreadable CD's he has his photos on (Issue #25). I'm not positive about all the correct "lingo" but I have created CD's in the past and if you don't create the Table of Contents when you're finished making the CD regular CD drives won't be able to read them, only the CD-Rewritable drives will.

Fortunately you can go back afterwards and there should be a command somewhere to create the Table of Contents so they can be read on a normal CD drive. This will save him the hassle of transferring all those photos from computer to computer.

Just thought he might like to know. 

Jason brought up a good point and we passed it on to Pat. If any of you have other thoughts or solutions send them along and we'll pass them on as well.

In Issue #24 I read in advanced questions someone asked if it would hurt the camera on an N70 to check depth of field by setting aperture then push lens release a little to see the DOF. Your answer was no but you may drop the lens. I just thought you may have included, you may expose the film to light. (just a thought).


Actually you wouldn't. The result is no different than changing lenses. The film is only exposed when you depress the shutter.

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