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Photos Through Train Windows


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#1 niemi24s

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:46 PM

Finally found a way to make a lens shade for my Canon PowerShot digital camera that will (when placed against the train window) block light reflections from inside the car, preventing them from becoming part of the recorded image (still or video) and degrading the image quality:

 

 Attached File  IMG_0150c.JPG   122.18KB   76 downloads

 

It's made from a shock absorber boot that's fairly flexible with an end small enough to be trimmed for a secure fit on the extended lens housing.  It also extends far enough in front of the lens housing so that the camera can be angled almost 45° without breaking the light seal.  The boot was cut with an X-Acto #11 hobby knife and the flange at the end trimmed using a pair of curved cuticle scissors.  The difficult part might be finding the correct size boot to fit your camera.  I made it easier by first measuring the OD of the lens housing and then turning down a fender washer to that same diameter.  Attached the washer to the end of a bolt (for a handle) and used it to find a boot with an end just small enough to be trimmed for a light yet secure grip on the lens housing.

 

Can't wait for my next train trip to try it out!    :)


Edited by niemi24s, 25 July 2015 - 09:21 AM.


#2 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:59 PM

Very creative-looks good!  Please let us know how it works.



#3 looshi

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 07:08 PM

For those that have SLR cameras, they also make rubber lens hoods that screw on the end of the lens. I use one of these.



#4 niemi24s

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 09:32 PM

Extraneous light can also be blocked if the lens housing is placed in full contact with the window surface, but the flexible hood allows the camera to be held at a reasonable angle without admitting stray light.  Another possibility for these types of cameras lacking threads at the fronts of their lenses might be a threaded filter adapter with a properly sized friction mounting plus a threaded rubber lens hood like the one looshi linked.  Spiratone used to make such things long ago for twin lens reflex cameras - perhaps they still do. 


Edited by niemi24s, 23 July 2015 - 09:40 PM.


#5 FrensicPic

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 10:40 PM

Extraneous light can also be blocked if the lens housing is placed in full contact with the window surface, but the flexible hood allows the camera to be held at a reasonable angle without admitting stray light.  Another possibility for these types of cameras lacking threads at the fronts of their lenses might be a threaded filter adapter with a properly sized friction mounting plus a threaded rubber lens hood like the one looshi linked.  Spiratone used to make such things long ago for twin lens reflex cameras - perhaps they still do. 

Do not place the lens directly against the window...vibration may be transmitted to the camera possibly resulting in blur due to camera movement. The rubber lens shade being discussed will "insulate" the camera from vibration while helping to block reflections and extraneous light. This comment also applies to airplanes, buses and cars.


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#6 niemi24s

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:17 AM

Do not place the lens directly against the window...

I've never experimented much with it, but perhaps a fingertip between the lens and window might provide sufficient isolation to avoid a blurred image while at the same time avoid marring the image with unwanted reflections.  I think my biggest concern over placing the lens against a window would be damage to the lens extension/retraction mechanism caused by a severe jolt.  I've no idea how robust those mechanisms are. Do you?



#7 FrensicPic

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 12:48 PM

 

Do not place the lens directly against the window...

I've never experimented much with it, but perhaps a fingertip between the lens and window might provide sufficient isolation to avoid a blurred image while at the same time avoid marring the image with unwanted reflections.  I think my biggest concern over placing the lens against a window would be damage to the lens extension/retraction mechanism caused by a severe jolt.  I've no idea how robust those mechanisms are. Do you?

 

Depends on the camera of course. You do make a valid point about damage if there happens to be a jolt while the lens barrel is touching or even close to the window.


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22,913 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Capitol Limited.

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#8 Alice

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:13 PM

Not as good as hoods, but in a pinch, close the curtains and put them behind your head and the camera to block interior light.

 

About putting lenses against the glass, I've done that and had the lens retract somewhat when pushed, screws up the focus. Closing and opening it properly a couple of times fixed it. Some cameras might not be so forgiving.



#9 niemi24s

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 07:32 PM

Alice's post got me to think that it might not even need to look like a traditional lens hood.  Held reasonably close to the window, something as simple as this might work just as well (maybe):

 

Attached File  IMG_0152b.JPG   102.27KB   44 downloads

 

All it needs to do, I think, is block light reflected off objects inside the car from bouncing back off the window into the field of view of the lens.  Membrane roofing material seems to work OK as it's a little stretchy for an easy fit on the lens.  If this works, it would save running around town looking for a shock absorber boot the right size.  Will try to find a good way to test this and the other hood.  Thanks for the idea Alice.  



#10 flying_babyb

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 10:31 PM

humm! i like this!! now does anyone hae a idea for making some sort of shade for the back of the screeen? Its so annoying when you cant see the screen in the sun glare. I have a simple kodak easy share and a finepix s4400



#11 KmH

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:21 AM

For those that have SLR cameras, they also make rubber lens hoods that screw on the end of the lens. I use one of these.

Make sure a lens hood like the one linked to does not vignette the lens at the shorter zoom focal lengths.

 

I don't find myself often wanting my camera lens perpendicular to the window.

The vast majority of the photographs I make on the train I have the lens at an angle to the window.

 

The short actual focal lengths and quite small actual lens apertures of small point & shoot and cell phone cameras cause focus and depth of field (DoF) problems DSLR cameras don't have.

In other words, the further outside the window the DoF starts and the point of focus is the less likely reflections in the window will be recorded in the photograph.


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