eXtensions - Monday 22 January 2018
Tethering Nikon DSLR with the Recently Updated Sofortbild (v1.5)
By Graham K. Rogers
As I have a session teaching an outline to photography in a Communications class I run, the DSLR is useful so that I can demonstrate different types of lenses I use, from a 25mm lens, 50mm and 85mm for portraits, and a 70-300mm telephoto lens. If I take photographs in class and transfer the images from the SD card to the computer, the immediacy is lost.
Instead I use a photo technique known as tethering that links the camera directly to the computer (itself connected to a projector). As the photographs are taken, they appear within a few seconds on the large screen. I start with the 25mm lens and take a group of students in the room. As I change the lenses, the same group, then one individual, come closer - larger - and the use of different lens types is clear. I follow this up (if I can) by the use of an extension tube: "a spacer that goes between the lens and the camera" (Shutter Muse). This allows a subject to be magnified quite easily.
Image taken with telephoto lens in fading light conditions
I used to tether the DSLR cameras I have using Aperture (File Menu), but this has not always worked for me. I also have the free Sofortbild software that is available through the Mac App Store. It works with Nikon cameras only. This recently had problems with updates to macOS and the camera drivers, but all has now been resolved.
A beta version was available on the website which worked perfectly for me, but the software now been updated. Version 1.5 has moved on as some of the drivers for older Nikon cameras are no longer available. This is explained on the App Store page.
With a camera connected via USB and the software running, almost as soon as a photograph is taken it is displayed on the Sofortbild panel. In the red information display (top and bottom of the screen) metadata is shown. This is most useful as the displays of most DSLR cameras are small and to keep peering through a viewfinder of older cameras is not efficient when trying to be professional.
Image taken with 85mm lens inside - white balance adjustment needed
Sofortbild Inspector (left) and Preferences panel
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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