Technology

Apple Pencil 2 and iPad Pro by Adrian Galli

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There is something special about using Apple Pencil 2 on the new iPad Pro. Apple Pencil 2 is the first piece of technology in my 15 years in the tech industry to impress me in such a way that I can not completely articulate my point.

Not hours ago, I was discussing this very observation with a colleague and friend who just got her iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2. We both we inclined to say that it writes/draws significantly better than the original Apple Pencil.

But why?

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Perhaps it is the imperceptible lag from tip to writing? The twenty milliseconds of lag while using the first generation is apparently imperceptible but maybe on a subconscious level the human mind still intuitively notes that lag and a sliver of analogy doubt, however paper thin that doubt is, nags at one’s perception. 

Apple did not mention anything about the lag time of Apple Pencil 2—Apple is always one to boast about significant improvements. If, for example, the lag is ten milliseconds, Apple could easily have said, ‘Lag time has been cut in half.” Marketing folks hearts flutter when they have such specifications to exclaim to the world. But we in fact didn’t hear anything about it.  

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It may be that the screen interface of iPad Pro is simply more accurate when in concert with Apple Pencil 2 so the “ink” is right under the tip. But I have nothing to substantiate that supposition.

In the end, no matter what is the behind this perception, it makes no difference as Apple Pencil 2 and writing on iPad Pro is a wonderful experience. 



*This article and the viewpoints discussed are not representative of Apple. My opinions and observations are my own and not to be confused with Apple’s marketing or perspective.

Deliveries — Package Tracking on your Apple Devices by Adrian Galli

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Some of the best apps are apps that make every day things a little simpler. One of my favorite apps to help with little tasks is Deliveries. It does one thing and does it really well. It tracks packages.

From FedEx to USPS, Royal Mail and DHL, grab a tracking number and one will receive notifications on Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Deliveries shows locations, delivery estimates, days to arrival and more. Add a name to the delivery should there be more than one coming from the same courier.

Made by JuneCloud, they are a small developer out fo Detroit making only a few apps but all really well designed. Not only do they help one track their packages, they also make a simple and classy notes app called Notefile.

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Today Deliveries users received an update making this app even more useful: Siri Shortcuts. Simply say to Siri, “Show me my deliveries,” and a quick view of what deliveries are available show up.

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Some other nifty features of Deliveries are the ability for it to add the estimated delivery date to one’s calendar. It will show up as an all day even so even when one’s eyes aren’t on the app or Notification Center, Calendar will still keep one updated.

Deliveries is available on all iOS, macOS, and watchOS devices, tracking a package can be done from desktop to pocket to wrist and it syncs via iCloud.

It is one of my favorite things to see the Deliveries complication on my Apple Watch watchface with the days until a delivery—with a single tap, I get all the same information as on iPhone or iPad.

Additionally. If more information is needed, Deliveries is pulling data from the couriers’ website and one can quickly jump to the detailed information.

It is a five dollar app but totally worth it. The new Siri features really make it a quick and easy app to work with and the interface remains one of my favorite.

Tip: If one copies a tracking number from an e-mail or website, upon opening Deliveries on iOS, a “quick entry” notification pops up for speedy input.

Deliveries from JuneCloud

iOS: $5
macOS: $5

K&F Concept Lens Adapters by Adrian Galli

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I run several camera systems at the same time... crazy I know. Most systems are very similar and very capable. My Nikon system is really my high end professional gear—big, powerful, strong ecosystem. My Olympus gear (Micro Four Thirds) is small, great for travel, some wonderful lenses, and impressive innovation. Finally, I also have a FujiFilm X-T20 and a clue of lenses—Fuji is making some of the best camera and lenses around these days and also the only affordable medium format cameras on the planet.

I can get into more details about why these systems are all in my camera bag but one of the reasons I have my Fuji system is for using adapted lenses.

There is a common fallacy that “old lenses” are not functional for digital cameras. It is an unexpected and untrue statement but I assume it is for two reasons: camera companies want you to buy the newest gear and a lot of people believe that old is bad and new is better.

I can’t speak for the camera companies but they are in the business of selling equipment so it seems likely they wouldn’t dissuade someone from believing that their old film lenses from the 1960’s aren’t good. Fact is, normal and telephoto lens optics haven’t really change much. Mostly is is some technology like image stabilization and various lens coatings. Wide-angle lenses have come a long way—Nikon is probably the front running in this area but in past, wide-angle lenses weren’t so hot. Otherwise, lenses from decades ago frequently have some very wonderful and unique qualities that aren’t found in many lenses today because, you know, sharpness is everything according to so many photographers.

I’ve been fortunate to find and play with some absolutely incredible old lenses from long before I was even born but the problem is, these lenses have mounts that are all but extinct. Or, like my Nikon 50mm ƒ1.8 E-series, does use Nikon’s F-mount and still work on my Nikon cameras but it is also a great lens to mount on my Olympus or Fuji cameras—it is worth using on any camera.

 FujiFilm X-T20 with K&F Concept Nikon F to Fuji X mount adapter, Nikkor 50mm ƒ1.8 E-Series

FujiFilm X-T20 with K&F Concept Nikon F to Fuji X mount adapter, Nikkor 50mm ƒ1.8 E-Series

Lens adapters can be very expensive—$99+ in many cases. However, I was searching around on eBay for a few deals on said adapter when I stumbled on K&F Concepts.

These adapters are usually around $25 and are really well made. All metal construction, these adapters come is a protective case, and K&F have adapters for just about every mount imaginable. From Nikon F to Fuji X mount to Exakta to Micro Four Thirds, all of my fun “vintage lense” have new life on my cameras.

 Nikon F mount to Fuji X mount

Nikon F mount to Fuji X mount

 Nikon G (F Mount) to Micro Four Thirds

Nikon G (F Mount) to Micro Four Thirds

 Nikon G (F mount) to Fuji X Mount

Nikon G (F mount) to Fuji X Mount

It is important to note that adapted lenses do not communicate with the camera; one will not have any meta data such as aperture, focal length, and the like. Some lenses, Nikon G-type for example, do not have aperture ring and therefore specific adapters with an aperture ring are needed.

Notice the different between the general Nikon F adapter and the Nikon G adapter. The scalloped metal ring controls the aperture lever for G-type Nikkor lenses. It is important to also note, the aperture ring does not have actually click stops to certify what aperture one is using but there is some feedback from the ring (clicks) to know it is functioning. Using these adapters ensures one will get comfortable with both manual focus and manual controls as a whole.

Sadly, as it stands, the E-type (not E-series) Nikkor lenses are not supported at all because only a Nikon camera can control the electronic [E] aperture. The good news, those are very new lenses. Nikon only makes a few. But since these adapters are really about working with older, vintage, or specialty lenses, it should not pose a problem.

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I can’t recommend these more. For $25ish, one can get a bunch of these for the price of one Metabones adapter. They are low enough cost to allow one to collect all sorts of old lenses and enjoy the artistic elements of lense that are essentially extinct.

An old photography adage: You date the camera but marry the lens.

Keep those old lenses around and put them to good use with these simple and great adapters.

K&F Concepts

Price: $25

Facebook got Androided by Adrian Galli

According to various sources, Mark Zuckerberg ordered his executive staff to switch from iPhone to Android devices—because Tim Cook bloodied his nose about Facebook’s privacy debacles. 

A petulant move if I ever saw one. A note to all leaders—this is a reactionary, knee-jerk reaction based on emotion rather than rationality. It is a poor way to lead a team and certainly poor way to lead a company. 

Mr. Zuckerberg, this is far more telling about yourself and your company than any inquest or statement in which you’ve ever been involved.

Waves, Chicago, 2018 by Adrian Galli

While I just posted about my continuation of Geometry and how I was concerned I would run short on structures in Chicago, no sooner did inspiration hit and I took my Nikon D500 + Nikkor 70-200mm ƒ2.8G out to photography a building I’m intimately familiar with. 

A photographer colleague of mine said, “You’re doing some really impressive work. This Geometry series is like you’re taking photos and making them into graphic design.” For the record, and I always stress this because people question it always, there is no Photoshop, Illustrator, vector graphics, etc. Geometry series is minimally processed in Photos on a Mac—it’s all exposure and timing.

Photography is seeing common things differently and capturing one’s vision like no one else can.

Waves, shot on Nikon D500.

 Waves, Chicago, 2018

Waves, Chicago, 2018

Dedicated to Michael.