Secrets of Digital Photography

5 Megapixel Ultra Wide! 08 17 02



U L T R A   W I D E   &   A C T I O N S


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Note: The CP5000 is known as the CP5K to its friends.




The Widest Coolpix gets Perfecto!

Got WC-E68?
Oh, yes, you should!

Wide Open Spacious:

Nikon has the widest digital cameras. In a sense, they always have, because that FC-E8 fisheye lens is so completely beyond the general range of wide optics.

And, of course, you could always put the 0.63X converter lens on your CP990/995 to turn its native 38mm (equivalent) widest zoom into a 24mm optic.

But that's not what this is about.

99 Degrees of freedom! Dramatic interiors become easy to capture with the E68. It can even feel too wide, sometimes. Not to worry, you can still zoom for intermediate wide views.

When Nikon introduced the Coolpix 5000, it was created to be a wide-zoom camera from the get-go. Zooming from an equivalent range (in 35mm camera terms) of 28-84mm, it covered territory other cameras couldn't touch without accessory lenses.

A 28mm lens is wide, by still camera standards, enjoying the threshold of the super-wide range, as it drinks in more view than the 35mm lens most photographers think of as the typical "wide" angle of view.

The carousel here was shot with the camera zoom at full wide, making an image equivalent to a 28mm wide angle lens on a 35mm camera.

Nice, but from this high perspective, I could not back up farther to get the whole carousel in the shot.

If you really want a major wide angle lens, many photographers think about a 24mm optic. But Nikon didn't stop with that as a goal for the CP5000.

As you may remember from Nikon Class, they never just bring out a new camera format without considering the peripheral possibilities. The CP5K was announced at the same time its wide converter optic, the WC-E68 was introduced. The two are made for each other.

This new lens adapts to the CP5K with a small barrel extension called a UR-E5 that surrounds the folding zoom. With the WC-E68 in place, the CP5K looks quite different from its most compact form. Now it takes on the air of a major camera with a major optic up front.

One photographer I know keeps the 'E68 on the CP5K ALL THE TIME. It gets his clients clucking and wooing.

Then they see the pictures he gets with the rig and they just keep on clucking and wooing.

Woo clients with this. Wait till they see how big it makes the inside of their place look! "Woo, lookit THAT!"


Once fitted with the new wide converter, the CP5K becomes a major new kind of tool--the Super Wide Zoom Camera. It's field of view immediately goes to 99 degrees of wide angle capture. But there's no need to leave the zoom control alone. It stays in focus at ALL ZOOM SETTINGS! At full tele, that works out to a normal-ish 33 degrees, but the lens stays sharp.

At full wide, interior spaces become huge. Perspective shots get tremendously dramatic. Things that could never fit into the frame before suddenly can, with room to spare. And any intermediate degree of wide angle can be zoomed to, making it a 19mm, 21mm, 24mm... on demand.

That's more like it. Plenty of wide angle coverage now, the WC-E68 makes the camera into an even wider-angle zoom.

And it stays sharp throughout the zoom range. What was a 28-84mm zoom now is a 19-57mm zoom lens.

No, I'm not standing on sombody's shoulders, just holding the camera over my head at the same place the camera was positioned for the first image. But look how far away that waist-high railing looks! What a LENS!

Wouldn't you know? At the same time, a bit of barrel distortion arrives, too. It's less on this optic than on previous wide converter optics, but with a lot of architectural images, even a whiff of barrel distortion can be irritating. (No, that's not barrel distortion in the shot above, the carousel is really round to begin with...)

I've made barrel distortion filters in the past and they straighten out the curves from the WC-E24, WC-E68 and wide zoom positions of the 950/990/995 and even 775 cameras. Would the WC-E68 be correctable, too?

As it turns out, the WC-E68 uses aspheric optics. That makes the actual barrel distortion of the lens a tad on the variable side. Meaning that the curve of the barrel effect performs a bit of swoop as it slices across the image and extends into the corners. In being corrected for barrel phenomena as much as is optically practical, the corners got a bit more correction than the center 90%. It's not a spherical phenomenon, and you would likely never notice it unless you were trying to absolutely zero it out, like I was.

Fortunately, the vast research department of DigitalSecrets.Net Labs were able to apply a veritable cocktail of techniques with this as the result:

(Run your mouse over the image below to see the correction in action.)

The outward curve of barrel distortion is most often noticed at the sides of the image. A few seconds later, they're gone.

The barrel effect is not strong with this lens, and it is very well corrected for such an amazingly wide converter optic. The 99-degree field of view is going to make architects drool when they see what it can do. You do lose a few pixels at the top and bottom of the shot, but that's a natural consequence of this sort of correction.

To tweak these super wide images into perfection, the iNovaFX Photoshop Action filters iBC5KWC68 and iBC5KWC68+iCrAb do the final rectification. The variant with the iCrAb added does a small extra adjustment to the image to reduce a small amount of chromatic aberration as well.

 Many images shot with the WC-E68 will not need the extra exotic steps these iBC filters provide. But when they do, there is no substitute for this level of tweak.

It gets around a number of lens "issue" subtleties in a fast, accurate one-step action, and brings every architect in the world, except Frank Gehry, the ultimate correction.

Why not Frank? How would he know the lines had been straightened?

Not all images need straightening.

The iBC5K filters work with the WC-E68 on the CP5000 only. And the image will be corrected only if it was shot at the widest setting.

Both new iNovaFX filters are in the Version 4.0 & current Version 5.0 of the Nikon eBook along with a suite of iNovaFX filters designed especially for this camera. Get one today.






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