Technical Notes

Rather than clutter the picture pages with details that most people may not be interested in I've summarised them here.


Canon EOS 20D
A good quality digital SLR which has proved easy to use, robust and reliable.
The quick response and a good range of settings allows plenty of scope for experiment. For larger scale phenomena the standard 18-55mm EFS lens is very good, but quite often a longer zoom is needed.
Dust on the sensor can be a problem because the best way to show it up is to image a bright smooth background - the sky does this very well !

Fuji Finepix S5000
Medium price digital camera.
This 3 megapixel camera has a good optical zoom range, it is light, easy to handle and uses rechargeable AA batteries. Focussing on distant objects in low light is fiddly and the harshness of the jpeg compression are my only real complaints. Having said all that it has been excellent value for money.

Pentax Optio S40
Medium price digital camera.
I got this compact 4 megapixel digital so that I would always have a camera handy, the Finepix isn't exactly a pocket camera. Optical quality is fair but the small size is bound to lead to compromises somewhere.

Pentax P30t
35 mm film camera.
12 years ago this was a good entry level SLR. The 28-80mm zoom is a handy range but still not enough to get a full 22 degree halo, let alone a full rainbow, in one shot.

Olympus mju1
35 mm film camera.
This little compact was very good for its time and has given excellent service.

Pentax K2
35 mm film camera.
I generally use this old camera for night time exposures. The exposure meter failed years ago but it is ideal for long exposures since the shutter is entirely mechanical - no batteries to drain in cold weather.


A program which simulates light scattering by cloud and fog droplets, by Les Cowley.
Useful for estimating drop sizes in coronas and fogbows.
See Atmospheric Optics for full details and download.

A freeware image processing program by Cor Berrevoets. Mostly I've just used it for stacking images, the raw mode on the Finepix wasn't as useful as I had hoped and quite often it has been easier to take 5 jpegs and stack them.
See the Registax site for full details.

Paintshop Pro 7
I've only used a few of the features in this medium level commercial package because processing has been kept simple.

ArcSoft Panorama Maker 3
A commercial program which has proved useful for stiching images together.

A powerful freeware HTML editor by Paul Lutus which has proved more than adequate for my purposes.
See the Arachnophilia Home Page for full details.

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