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Dual Gauge Diorama
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 Posted: Tue Jul 9th, 2013 10:59 pm
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Bernd
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Even as humid and hot as it is today I wanted to see what a 35 SLR and a small diorama would be like to photograph models on. I had started this small diorama many many years ago. It depicts a dual gauge engine service facility. There are three scratch built and two kit built buildings. The coaling tower is an Alexandar Scale Models building and the square water tower is a kit building, but I don't recall the maker. Behind the 2-6-6-2 steam engine are two scratch built sand houses and a sand bin. The inspiration came from the the Cambell's sand house kit, which I haven't built yet. I just used the plans to scratch build them because I was saving the kit for the real layout, if I ever get to it.
















Several things I learned and want to try next. Focusing was kind of hard with the digital SLR. I'm thinking perhaps leave it on automatic, but then I also want to try stack focusing so everything is in focus. Need to play around with that a bit. I kind of like the fact the camera takes black & white pictures. Next time I need to play with the manual settings more to get the hang of it.

I'm sure some will recognize some of the models. The two HOn3 flat cars are scratch built from an article in RMC. The two HOn3 log cars are kits. The brass HOn3 is a Mudhen K27 2-8-2. The other is a Model Diecast D & RGW 2-8-0. The standard gauge 2-6-0 is a Ken Kidder engine with a scratch built 4 truck heavy duty flat car. The 2-6-6-2 is a Bachman standard gauge engine.

 And in picture #3 there is an error. I didn't see it until after I had reduced the picture sizes. It's not that evident in picture #4. Can you spot it? CLUE: You need to be a steam enthusiast.

Bernd

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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 12:25 am
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Bill Fornshell
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Hi,

The tender is backwards.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 12:53 am
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Bernd
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Ya, the shell just sits on the chassis and when I set the engine on the track the shell had come off. I just stuck it back on and didn't pay attention if I had it on properly. Goes to show you need to check your pictures before editing and posting. :f: :bang: :bang:

Bernd

 

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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 01:15 am
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Bill Fornshell
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Hi,

The pictures are nice so that is really all that matters. I like the contrast you get with the B&W.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 11:31 am
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Bernd
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Thanks Bill. I discovered I was backwards on my aperture settings. I forgot a higher F setting gives better depth of field than a lower F setting. That's what happens when you use AUTO settings all the time. You forget how to really use a camera.

Yes, black & white does make for a nice contrast.

Bernd 

Last edited on Wed Jul 10th, 2013 11:31 am by Bernd

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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 04:59 pm
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W C Greene
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Wow...that old Ken Kidder "Porter Mogul" brought back memories. I had a couple of them long ago, expensive at the time, about $19.95. Not bad runners either and fixed up into neat little standard gauge lokies. Later on, I found one in HOn3 but couldn't afford it, $49.95 at that time. And the MDC HOn3 2-8-0, built several of those also. A shame that they are no longer made, wonderful kits indeed.

Woodie



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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2013 05:09 pm
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Bernd
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Hey Woodie,

Ya, I've had that Ken Kidder well over 25 years. It does run pretty good considering it's an open frame motor. Same goes for the MDC engine.

All projects I started and never finished because something else caught my interests. Now it looks like I'll need to finish them.

Bernd

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 Posted: Thu Jul 11th, 2013 01:15 am
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Bernd
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After taking pictures outside with my unfinished diorama a close look at the pictures shows very little depth of field, I discovered I had my F stop setting wrong. I had forgotten that a large F stop number closes the iris down for better depth of field. I also discover that the Cannon Power Shot SX20IS only has a max setting of F8. Hardly good for great field of depth. So off I went searching for a Stack focusing program. I found one here.

http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/CombineZM-Download-78530.html

After several download attempts usng the large download logo I discovered all this did was download a file compressor such as WinZip. What you need to download is either " External Mirror 1 or External Mirror 2". To test the program I used my Microsoft LifeCam Studio camera. I take all my indoor pics of modeling stuff with this camera. It has a very poor depth of field. So here's the first of a set of 14 pictures I took. I started at the nose being in focus and worked my way back to the end of the B unit changing the focus one increment at a time.

First picture.



Now after running the 14 pictures through the program.



Now that I've learned all this I'm now anxious to try taking pictures out doors knowing what I know now.

So if you want to get good depth of field with a digital camera that only has an F stop of 8 the thing to do is stack focusing. The program was real easy to run. It does have a lot of other options but I didn't use any of them and still don't know what they do.

Have fun getting better focused close up pictures of your models.

Bernd

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