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Dennis
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A couple of things came together recently and led me to a purchase of an RX10-III. First, after using a Sony mirrorless system for years as my compact alternative to my Nikon DSLR, I decided that I really dislike dealing with multiple lenses when out and about shooting casually. Second, I've been without a long tele for years, but have missed having something to shoot backyard & local wildlife (which I do half-heartedly at best). And while there are nice, affordable options available for Nikon, the idea of the RX10 was appealing because it's something I can keep handy in the house to run outside when I do see wildlife. The RX10-III was an open box model ($700+). AF hunts at the long end at times and if I were considering spending $1400 for a new one, I would definitely pony up for the 'IV'. At this point, I'm enjoying the camera enough to consider upgrading to the IV and resolving not to buy a long tele for the DSLR. Or maybe not, time will tell. But aside from the AF (which is fine for most of my uses) it's proven extremely capable and handy (I also have an RX100 for even more convenience). I've shot deer in the back yard, got a slow motion clip of a hummingbird and have even used it for a couple of events where I'd normally take my 70-200/2.8. I expect to put it to good use on summer vacation. The lens is very sharp and when you put that together with the speed (f/4 at the long end) and the reasonable high ISO performance, it's not far off the mark from an affordable tele for a DSLR (those tend to be f/6.3 at the long end and don't exactly exploit a 24MP sensor). For a casual (at best) wildlife shooter like me (or anyone who wants to shoot long with something light) it's an interesting option.
I have been a Featured Commenter on TOP on more than one occasion.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2018 on Devilish Question at The Online Photographer
I have not had the same experience at all as Jim when it comes to upgrades. Of course, old stuff fails. New stuff will, too; usually sooner. Newer appliances are usually more efficient and quieter, though the quiet doesn't always last. Our new dishwasher probably is better than the old one in every way - time will tell if it will last 30+ years. The newer fridge has been problematic, requiring a new control board within a few years, and is still prone to "overcooling" and freezing things in the back of it. The new microwave has all kinds of automatic features we don't use; meanwhile, it heats inconsistently every once in a while. I'm sure we could all go on and on. I will say that digital cameras seem to keep getting better and better. They might feel a little cheaper than older models, but I think they're getting even more reliable. The only downside is when an "upgrade" removes a feature or dumbs something down, but the net is usually very positive.
Speed Queen. (Craig Yuill recommended it in your 2013 post). https://www.speedqueen.com/the-speed-queen-difference/american-quality The local appliance repairman told me he won't touch Samsung or LG appliances ... too much bother: repairs are so expensive, you're halfway to buying a new one, and customers complain when the expensive repair part fails.
I mean it as a compliment when I say you're not the McDonalds of photography blogs. BTW, have you seen "The Founder" (Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc) ? I recommend it.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2018 on 70 Million Served at The Online Photographer
I really need to go get my eyes checked and get a new prescription. Anyway, when I need to read tiny print (and my daughter isn't around to read it for me !) I use ... drumroll please ... my iPhone ! No app, just the stock camera.
Beats me. It looks like they took out the things that make Fuji's X system good (retro control layout in a comfortable body with X-Trans sensor) to make a camera that looks vaguely like every SLR from the 70s. I suspect it will sell to people who want to use Fuji lenses with a Bayer sensor, but it has none of the appeal of higher end models for me.
I say no. First, the question asked was whether everyone should try shooting film at least "once". That's subject to interpretation, but even if you believe there's something that can be learned from shooting film, you don't learn it shooting it once. I never did my own darkroom work (I developed a roll of b&w once with a friend and had no idea why I was doing what we were doing). Early on, I shot negative film and had it processed by mail order labs and between the exposure latitude and the small prints, sloppy technique was masked. My first advance in IQ came when I started shooting slide film and got a light table and a loupe. That helped me improve on the technical side of things. The second came when I started shooting digital and had more freedom to experiment, to see what worked and what didn't. That helped even more, not only on the technical side, but with composition and all kids of lighting. I'm intrigued by view cameras (I like "perspective corrected" images and often do that in Lightroom). I think I'd probably rather get PC lenses for a FF digital camera, though. If I could try a view camera in a workshop setting, I'd happily give it a go, but it's nothing I'd ever dabble in on my own.
Mike, to understand those people, consider that they don't print. They'd be happy to have that picture and share it on flickr or Instagram. I side with you on the issue. I've bypassed scenes that I'd have loved to stop and photograph if only I had my camera, because a phone snapshot isn't what I wanted. "Any picture is better than none" doesn't always ring true. Sometimes, it's just one more thing to have to delete. Of course there have been plenty of times I've been glad to have my phone to snap a photo of something that I want to remember or share. As you say, there is such a thing as the right camera (and the wrong camera).
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2018 on Whoops, Wrong Camera at The Online Photographer
Interesting point and I think you're generally right (which is about as right as you can be when generalizing). I liked my compact rangefinders (a Minolta 7sII and a Ricoh 500) better than I liked the Leica (M6 I think ?) that I tried many moons ago ... but I'm not sure that counters your claim, because I never used them on a remotely regular basis, preferring my SLR. So I don't fall into that category of people who say they like rangefinders in the first place - they're fun to play with. Now the really interesting thing would be to check back in 20 years and see if you can say the same thing about mirrorless and SLR. My gut feeling is that there will be people who continue to prefer SLRs and it won't be because of a particular brand, but time will tell.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2018 on People Like Leicas at The Online Photographer
There's a proverb that goes something like "you have to take things the way they happen so you should try to make them happen the way you want to take them". I suppose you could adapt that to cameras: "You have to use the camera you have with you so you should try to have with you the camera you want to use." Or something like that.
Mike, I'm with you 100%. I do not get the appeal of vlogs. Most of them badly misuse (or underexploit) the medium. If all I get is 10 minutes of someone's face talking to us guys, how is that better than written text ? (It must be better for the vlogger attempting to make money on youtube). I've clicked on camera reviews that never show the camera. One of the worst was a video that opened with a middle-aged plus guy (i.e. MY age and old enough to not be doing stupid stuff) sipping from a cup of coffee, then saying "ahhhh, let me just put my coffee down and we can begin". That was it for me - no idea what the rest of the video might have contained, but if that's his idea of being, I don't know, clever or cute, no thanks. As for "you guys" I think it's wishful thinking and intended to mean "all of you loyal followers" as opposed to "random guy who stumbled across my video and probably won't ever watch another one of my videos". Let me leave you with this (only 4 second) video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE_TUwYc6Vk
1. Hard to answer since I can't really figure out why I'd want to shoot film (the likeliest reason would be to try shooting a view camera, which wasn't one of your choices). I'd say rangefinder, probably a compact RF to do some casual handheld not-really-street photography w/b&w film. 2. DSLR-style.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2018 on Two Questions at The Online Photographer
I never found much use for 50mm on APS-C. When I owned a 28, 50 and 85 (for the good ol' KM 7D) my stats showed that, of the photos taken with those primes, 45% were with the 28 and 45% with the 85. The 50 was too short or too long for most anything I wanted to shoot. BTW, the way I've heard the whole "human vision" thing is that if you shoot with a FL equal to the diagonal of the sensor, then make a print, if you view that print at a "standard" viewing distance (equal to the diagonal measure of the print) then the scene in the print occupies the same FOV that that portion of the scene did when you took the picture. That explanation pleases the mathematician in me, but I doubt that I've ever looked at more than a handful of images in my life at a distance equal to the diagonal. (My eyes won't focus close enough in most cases !) Still, for whatever reason, I'm partial to 28mm on APS-C and find even 35mm a bit "tight".
I second that and I bet it would be appreciated by a great many people.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2018 on A Brief Plea to Apple at The Online Photographer
"But just knowing how Mike feels about it makes me see it sympathetically to his view of it. What do you think?" Well aren't we all sympathetic to his view now ? You poisoned the jury pool !!! At first, it didn't do much for me. Then it made me want to know more - it seems like a photo that should be illustrating a great story or part of a series. But the explanation says all there is to say - walking back to the van after playing. That takes away all the potential for poignancy. Or does it ? I guess it grew on me while trying to figure out what I thought of it. Certainly anyone with a connection to the children should love it. I like it, too.
My daughter is considering studying music in college (a couple years off). I found a web page discussing a survey of music school graduates who, after a couple years out of college, unanimously agreed that they were well prepared to play in ensembles, but also agreed (to more varying extents) that they were generally unprepared to actually start a career in music. Most institutions focus on the academics and performance aspects of it and not the business side - how you can actually make a living at it, how to network, how to self-market and so on. Apparently, there's a bit of a parallel with photography in that there used to be more large orchestras offering opportunities for long term employment, and now there are more smaller ensembles and more freelance opportunities, making it possibly easier to get gigs, but harder to get enough of them to pay the rent on an ongoing basis.
I have to pay attention and be disciplined to compose well through a DSLR viewfinder. I have a tendency to look *through* it at the subject(s). So I see the trees, the people, the cars, the buildings, whatever. What I want to see is a two dimensional rectangular image. When I started playing around with my first couple digicams, I realized that seeing the 2d image on the LCD provided that abstraction easily. Around that same time, I also bought an angle finder for doing macro work and discovered that it gave me a similar level of abstraction. Whether it's because I was seeing something that wasn't directly in front of me or something about the image in the finder, it made it intuitively obvious that I was looking at an image. I'll have to play around with this some more - I wonder if it's because I was seeing an obviously bounded rectangle where I'm hard pressed to see out to all of the edges and corners of some viewfinders with my eyeglasses. Anyway, now the problem with LCDs is that I have to hold them too far away to see them clearly. (I'm way overdue for an updated eyeglass prescription). None of that makes my iPhone a particularly enjoyable camera, though.
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2018 on iPhone Fail at The Online Photographer
As with other subject matter, the answer to this is that what I like to look at and what I like to do aren't necessarily the same. I appreciate constructed still lifes (the plural is weird) - I even thought about trying to emulate Walter Wick "Eye Spy" type shots with my daughter's toys at one time. But I never did and I don't often construct anything - I don't like to pose people or arrange objects. It's not out of some misguided notion that one way of shooting is somehow superior to another, but a recognition of what I enjoy about photography. And that is the search for scenes, moments, subjects that beg to be photographed ! Things I see that I want you to see, too, or that I want to remember. The result is a photograph whose "interestingness" sometimes depends on context - on the knowledge that what you're seeing is a representation of something I actually saw; something serendipitous, not something constructed. Honestly, I wouldn't even know what to construct to make a good image. I don't have the artist's drive to create something. But I love seeing cool sights and I love that the more I photograph, the more I train myself to see cool sights.
I don't get it. You blog for a living. You post content, but wouldn't spend so much time doing so if you couldn't monetize it. Now you're complaining about advertisements while reading content that someone else has provided. The question is: what content would there be if nobody made money on it ? I teach my daughter to assume that pretty much everyone you run into in life is looking to take her money. If someone is offering something, assume they're looking to profit from it. And, just like in real life, I avoid the more money-grubbing places on the internet in favor of those with a reasonable value proposition.
Mike, I think the difficulty in picking an ultimate kit is what keeps me shooting what I'm shooting. Everything else I look at has its advantages. Meaning everything I look at is missing advantages that the other things I look at have. It's all good and nothing is obviously best. It's interesting that you're going from looking at crop mirrorless (Fuji and m43) to FF DSLR and not FF mirrorless. An A7II with a 35/2.8 and 70-200/4 or 70-300 could be a nice alternative.
The idea of a zoom as a flexible prime might be a philosophy that works for some, but not me. I typically either want range (and want to put the range to good use) or I'm perfectly fine enjoying a nice, sharp, fast, compact prime without the flexibility. Part of the difficulty I have with midrange zooms is I want them to do well for scenic shots (so I like a 24mm equivalent with good sharpness out to the edges) and I like them to creep into portrait range (at least 85mm equivalent, but preferably 105mm or longer) and, ideally, at a faster-than-f/5.6 max aperture. The Sony 16-70/4 is appealing for e-mount, but its not a great landscape lens at the wide end. (I had the older Sony Zeiss 16-80 for A mount and really liked that lens). I think full frame users have better choices in this regard (24-xxx/4 zooms where f/4 on full frame provides shallower DOF than an f/4 zoom on APS-C). The Nikon 16-80 is about perfect and might be the solution if Nikon rolls out an interesting mirrorless solution. I actually bought the Sony 10-18 just to get a good 24mm equivalent (too bad the Sigma 16/1.4 wasn't out at the time) but basically use it as an expensive WA prime because I also find little use in anything wider than 24mm equivalent.
I often do a variation of that. Sony e-mount with 18-200 and a prime (28/2 or 30/1.4). That works pretty well, but then I still sometimes miss a longer fast prime. Before that, Sony 16-80 with a 28/2 for when the sun set. But it always varies ... I might opt for 85 & 28 instead of a zoom. Or 70-200 and 35 on my DSLR (no overlap). In short, the perfect two lens kit is perfect sometimes, but not all the time.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2018 on The Perfect Two-Lens Kit at The Online Photographer
What do you read on your Kindle, books or files ?
What would your non-brief answer look like ? Re: holistics and the medium format camera that's more or less free of quirks, I have no opinion on that, having only ever used a Rollei TLR. But I kind of feel that way about digital cameras. I don't think I've ever used a digital camera - or heard of one, for that matter - that's been satisfying enough to think that I could use this camera for a decade or two. They all have something that begs for improvement after using them for a while. I think a handful of people have found cameras they've gotten along with (just as some undoubtedly did with medium format) and a couple of cameras (Nikon D700 comes to mind) have more than a few fans, but I don't know that anyone has made any close to a "just right" digital camera. (Maybe my Sony RX100 is the closest, though certainly not as an only camera).
Toggle Commented Nov 8, 2017 on Medium Format Digital at The Online Photographer