Sony Alpha cameras (and NEX as well) have two very nice features that make manual focusing a pretty effortless exercise. The first one is focus peeking, where the areas in focus are highlighted in a selected colour, and the other one is MF assist.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 22.48.31The way MF assist works is that when the camera is in MF mode, the preview screen on the LCD display or EVF is magnified, making it very easy to see when the subject is in focus. Once the MF assist is enabled, all you need to do is to turn the manual focus ring on your lens and the magnification kicks in.

However, if you are using third party lenses with the lens adapter in manual focus mode, the screen magnification doesn’t work. You can turn the focusing ring all day long, you will only have the benefit of focus peeking but not the MF assist.

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Sony SEL1018 F/4 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom Lens was made for the E-mount APS-C range of cameras, e.g. NEX-6,  Alpha 6000 (A6000) etc. Normally, using this type of a lens on the full frame cameras, such as A7, would cause a very heavy vignetting where the image, unless seriously cropped, would be pretty much useless.

Here is an example of using Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens on the full frame camera.

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The E-mount APS-C lenses work fine with the full frame E-mount cameras when the camera runs in the crop-mode, but at cost of a reduced resolution.

However, the Sony SEL1018 f/4 full frame sensor coverage is surprisingly good, with the vignetting being a real issue only at the ends of the range. When using the lens between 12 – 16mm, the vignetting can be very easily addressed in post processing.

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I bought the Wacom Intuos Manga  – Creative Pen & Touch tablet the other day and had quite some fun learning how to use it when editing my photos. However, last week I had to do a complete wipe and reinstall OS on my Mac and couldn’t get the tablet to work no matter what I did.

First of all, why did I reinstall the OSX? The computer I’m using came with OSX10.6, which I eventually upgraded to 10.7,  then to 10.8 and finally to 10.9 as they came out. None of these were clean installs, but rather straight upgrades. Every time it worked perfectly fine, but since upgrading to 10.9 things started slowing down. It came to the point where I had to do something so I did a clean 10.8 install and left it there. No 10.9 for now.

After installing all applications and enjoying my computer flying again, the Wacom tablet driver game me some grief, displaying “A supported tablet was not found on this system” error message when trying to configure it. I searched through number of forums and help files, but the general advice to remove and reinstall the driver, as well as repairing permissions didn’t work.

I’ve basically done all of the following:

  • Removed preferences,
  • Removed driver,
  • Removed Wacom software,
  • Repaired permissions,
  • Installed latest driver,
  • Repaired permissions again,
  • Rebooted after each step…

…but still got the same error message. Argh!

Considering I ‘downgraded’ to 10.8 I thought I’d downgrade the driver, too. I even went one step further (back) and downloaded the driver 6.20-W4, which the site states is for OS-X 10.7 and older, but it worked perfectly fine in my case.

The old driver was downloaded from the Wacom Europe website.

It’s disappointing that one needs to go through this much trouble to get the tablet working, but in the end the result is just sweeeeet.

Oh, by the way, the tablet comes with some software, one of which is Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, so if you are after PSE and were thinking of using the tablet, this might be quite a handy purchase.

The best thing about Microsoft are their mice (mouses), I love them. The tracking acceleration seems so natural while Apple’s is rubbish, for me at least. That’s why I use the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500. Cheap as chips and works perfectly in every way … but one. Scrolling is way too fast.

No matter how much adjustment I did it’s still way too fast. I set the Vertical Scrolling Speed in System Preferences (under Microsoft Mouse) to a minimum but it still scrolls like 15 lines with one wheel click (those little clicks while scrolling the mouse wheel).

Lucky I had a spare wired MS mouse to compare them. The wireless mouse USB dongle is plugged in one USB port on my external monitor (Dell U-2410), the Apple wired aluminium keyboard into another one while third one is free for my camera’s cable when needed. The monitor’s internal USB hub is then connected to the computer (MBP) via another USB cable.

I plugged the wired USB mouse into the USB port on my keyboard and the scroll on that mouse worked fine, slow as. I took it out and plugged into the spare USB port on the monitor and the scroll went crazy. I thought it might be conflicting with the dongle, so I took the wireless mouse dongle out, but the wired one still acted crazy. The last option was to plug in the dongle into the keyboard’s USB port and guess what – it works perfectly fine.

So if I plug the dongle into the USB port on the monitor – the scrolling is super-fast. If I plug it into the keyboard, which is connected through the monitor anyway, the scrolling is perfectly fine. I have no idea why, but it works.