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Dennis
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I think it's entirely possible to promote oneself without generating the same reactions. I visit plenty of other photographers websites - some amateurs, some pros. Jay Maisel asks $4000+ for his prints and $5000 for a weeklong workshop and I come away wishing I had that kind of disposable income. Trey Ratcliff takes the Aaron Greenman approach, with his "Stuck in Customs" brand and it's very obvious that he's trying to make money off his site, but I don't come away with the same negative reaction I get off Aaron's site. So it's not that he's marketing; it's that his specific marketing turns me (and, apparently, others) off. Then again, if it works for him, my opinion is irrelevant. I hope it does.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on What Else? at The Online Photographer
Ken, thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment. Right off the bat, I will admit that I'm the type of person who is extremely bad at/uncomfortable with self-promotion, and for that reason, am well suited to working for someone else. That said, self-promotion can be done in varying ways. Curiously, the "About" page on ACG's site changed since yesterday. Yesterday, it included the full text of a Leica Blog article, which today only appears accessible through his links page. Anyway, when I clicked on the "About" page yesterday, it opened with 3 pictures (the last one, the "smirking" one) followed by the text "A brilliant street photographer in the classic Leica M tradition ..." (which is the start of the article, and you only find out that it was an article at the very bottom). So maybe he corrected a mistake since yesterday, but I get turned off by people who feel the need to tell you they're brilliant. For years, a few coworkers and I went to a long-running deli once a week for lunch. The owner was a great big guy who did catering jobs on weekends and always came out to say hi and talk hockey with the couple guys who follow hockey. The food was just good, substantial, fairly priced deli food, with some hot options that changed week to week (you always had to ask). A couple years ago, it closed down and was replaced by a new luncheon business with a forgettable name based, presumably, on two guys who opened it. It was professionally painted with a logo that was obviously professionally designed. Inside, it was clean (no more shelves full of groceries and snacks) and streamlined; there was a pretty, young girl (I don't know if she followed hockey) behind the register, a menu done up in the same font as the sign outside, and on the wall, a "mission statement". Everything on the menu had a name and the food was ok, but overpriced. The whole experience was lousy ... it changed from a place whose emphasis was on food to a place whose emphasis was on marketing. ACG doesn't let his pictures speak for him. I don't necessarily knock him for trying to make a go at it, but maybe the way in which he's trying turns me off. So it's not a philosophical objection to trying to make money. Maybe it's an objection to trying to make money with style over substance. For what it's worth, I also wish him luck.
I wasn't prepared to believe the rumor. Sony has 5 OSS zooms and 2 non-OSS primes. I figured they wouldn't have spent time developing those stabilized lenses if they were going to add IBIS. But it's great ! Sony is the company I love to hate and hate to love. They're technologically brilliant, but are the polar opposite of Pentax/Ricoh/Fuji when it comes to understanding the soul of a photographer. The original NEX line was a hodge podge of cheap and expensive lenses, some good, some not so good, some redundant, some missing ... but then, along comes FE, and one lens after another, you'd swear they hired a strategist from Fuji to plan it for them. And after swapping my A mount system for Nikon, and putting my NEX in a cabinet to collect dust, I pretty much swore off Sony systems (love my RX100) ... but now I'm thinking an FE system could be in my future. (Distant future; I love looking at new gear, but usually change when my needs change).
That's why I love being an amateur photographer. There's no need to cater to any audience, save my friends, family, and mostly, myself. I've read a lot (hundreds) of childrens books to my daughter over the last 12 years. It's very clear to see the difference between the rare, genuine labor of love, and the market-driven (or worse, marketing-driven) stuff, especially the never-ending series that read like they're written by committee. I've been a lifelong fantasy & scifi fan (though I read an awful lot more of it as a teenager than now), but have never read Ursula LeGuin; I'll have to try something.
"My take on the difference between painting and photography is that a photographer is allowed only 1/250th of a second to make the photo." That's probably the view that causes a lot of people to fail to respect good photography. Take a look at this video: http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/10/31/the-creature-in-the-wall-video-bts/ Never mind the landscape or wildlife photography that might start with planning many months in advance, possibly camping out for weeks on end, waiting for weather or tracking elusive animals. A good photograph may be captured on silicon in 1/250s but may take hours/months of preparation, hours/days of post processing, and years developing the skill and knowledge to be able to capture it in the first place. And that's probably the main thing that distinguishes really good photography from the stuff that guys like me do :)
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Urgent Controversy? No at The Online Photographer
I'd love to imitate Caravaggio, but can't get Gizmo to bite my daughter.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Urgent Controversy? No at The Online Photographer
My daughter might not know how to load film, but has seen slides, negatives and a variety of old film cameras, so she wouldn't be as funny as these kids. But I do remember showing her an old rotary phone we keep in the basement for power outages. "What do I do ?" "Just dial 1 ..." She puts her finger in the hole over the 1 and looks at me. Since then, she's asked me to bring up the old phone to show a number of friends, and has one friend in particular who always finds an excuse to make a call from our house (and asks to use "that old phone").
That sounds very street-centric. Or maybe event-oriented. When I practiced nature photography, before my daughter was born and I had Free Time, gear did not get in the way of being "in the zone". I'd have all my gear in a backpack, no camera "at the ready", tripod slung over my shoulder, and walk around, looking for potential photos. When I found something, I looked around some more. I figured out where to setup my tripod, then chose a lens. Slow, methodical, thoroughly enjoyable. Nowadays, I'm shooting people - friends, family, kids at my daughters school - at parties, concerts, recitals and so on. Typically, I carry no more than two lenses, and avoid changing lenses. If/when I do change lenses, I shoot for a while with the new lens; I don't switch back & forth. Gear definitely gets in the way for this kind of shooting. I can understand why event photographers carry two bodies to avoid lens changes. (I'll often use my RX100 in place of a second lens). I can generally be successful going out with a single prime, or a wide range of focal lengths. I just get into a mindset that works for either. With multiple focal lengths, I'm more open-minded, looking for anything with potential. With a single focal length, I look for things suited to that lens. Both modes can be very satisfying. I agree about editing in the field, or even having to muss with settings a lot. I like to have my camera setup so that I'm not mucking around with settings too much. I have my DSLR customized to my liking, so that whether I'm shooting candids in low light or landscapes on vacation, I can get at the exposure & focus controls I need. One of the things that keeps me so addicted to reports/tests/announcements of new gear is the quest for the "perfect camera". I'm not looking for better image quality than I have now (I'm already a generation behind) or for new features; I'm looking for that camera that I'll pick up and become one with; a synergistic blend of hands, eye, camera, brain. (I think every manufacturer claims to already make that camera, but I think it's a different camera for every photographer).
Mike, you do NOT need another camera. As for the camera, you already have a NEX-6 with a Zeiss 24/1.8 which is pretty much the same thing. And you're looking at a $3300 kit ! And that's only $800 worth of lens and $2500 for a Sony camera body. Hmmm ... what else can I tell you. OK - take a look at that picture you posted. Take a look at the expression on Gavin's face. It's saying "Mike, you don't need another camera". How about this one: "Mike, you just bought a house !" That help any ?
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2014 on O Lawd Hep Me at The Online Photographer
'Bird impression by Ctein' just brings to mind all kinds of images ... especially after his budgie posts.
I'm still with you on this Mike. The iPhone is never the "right" camera; at best, it's the "better than nothing" camera. Obviously, a phone is better at sharing images than a camera, and millions of people have no interest in carrying anything other than a phone, but for me and presumably millions of other photographers who do this as a hobby, I can't ever think of a picture I've taken where I'd rather have had a phone than a camera. There may be things I do where I'd rather not have a camera with me, but that's about the thing I'm doing; not the pictures I'm taking.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2014 on Open Mike: Hidebound at The Online Photographer
In reply to Jim, if everyone interpreted the truism according to its point (which you stated, and which I agree with) it would be fine. But I've read more than enough forum posts to be convinced that people are using the truism to rationalize laziness. That's the problem with adages and clever analogies - the people who understand them don't need to be told, and the people who can benefit from them don't always understand them.
I agree with your sentiments in this post. Another quote that's relevant: the enemy of excellence is good. Yesterday someone posted (to a forum) some photos taken at a family wedding with a mirrorless camera; they were just snapshots. But included in the photos was one shot of two petite women, each with a full frame DSLR, one with a white 'L' zoom on it, and neither of them looked bothered by it. (At least one of them was the official photographer). The person who posted defended his choice, saying he wanted to be "inconspicuous" yet in another of his shots was some guy taking a snapshot with an iPad. I've attended PhotoPlus Expo for the past 10 years (not sure if I'll make it this year, though). Apparently, there are plenty of female pro photographers, and apparently, they're interested in learning about gear that helps their work ! Anyway, they don't seem shy about carrying whatever gear is needed to get the job done; I see photographers of both genders and all shapes and sizes checking out FF cameras, big lenses, bags, tripods, lighting gear ... while the mirrorless systems get plenty of attention as well, there just doesn't seem to be this obsession with compromising to avoid carrying a little extra weight. I never carried a point & shoot until the RX100 came along, because until then, I never thought that any of them were worth owning & using. The 1/1.7" models that shoot raw are probably pretty decent, but tended to sell for around $500 before the RX100 came along, and that always seemed like too much for too little. I suppose that if I owned an iPhone, I'd use the camera on it. My twist on the expression is that any camera you have with you is better than nothing for *some* things, but not better than nothing for a lot of things. Basically, I'll shoot family snapshots with anything - pictures that are just for memories, maybe a small print in a photo book. Highlights can be blown sky high; that's not what's important. But beyond that, I didn't take up this hobby to shoot bad snapshots, and anything worth my time is worth shooting with a camera that can do a decent job. I hate diffraction-limited, compression artifact-laden jpegs that have been softened to reduce noise from tiny sensor phones & digicams. It's like saying the best music is whatever's available, when the only thing available is a tinny, staticky radio. I'll take silence, thank you ! Just to be fair, the flip side of this is that smaller systems are getting better all the time, so even if being prepared means one thing today; it doesn't have to mean the same tomorrow. Travel photographer Bob Krist is now shooting with Sony RX100, RX10 and A6000 instead of Nikon DX. And he's doing a lot of video, which he said required a team in the past, and that he can do alone with gear he can carry today.
TheOnionPhotographer ?
Mike, My first DSLR was the KM 7D and I current have a Sony RX100. DXOMark's comparison of the two is interesting. It claims the 7D was a bit less noisy through a measured ISO 1600 or so. I find high ISO images from the RX100 more pleasing, but I note that the 7D had nominal ISOs that were pretty accurate - 1600 was 1600, so that may explain some of it. I found 1600 to be my upper limit on the 7D; 3200 was only usable for b/w, and even then, the contrast was lousy. OTOH, I'll shoot ISO 6400 on the RX100. DXOMark rates the RX100 better for dynamic range. I notice it more at higher ISOs. Their chart claims the RX100 has higher color response at base ISO, while the 7D did better at high ISOs. That's one thing I did notice; loads of color in high ISO images from that 7D and I could reduce noise by dropping saturation and getting a more natural looking photo. Anyway, aside from the inability to get very shallow DOF when I want, I'd rather the RX100's sensor than the 7Ds. Here's an ISO 6400 shot I took of my daughter from the back seat of the car at dusk - I typically shoot it in S mode in low light to get the shutter speed I want (the algorithm defaults to opening up the aperture all the way, which is typically fine) and use Auto ISO to get to where the meter says I need to be. So I think I was probably at about 1/125s. http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com/Other/RX100-Samples/i-bK3r9cp/0/O/DSC01777.jpg - Dennis
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2014 on Sensor Size at The Online Photographer
I agree that (a) it's about time and (b) the SL1 is a surprisingly nice camera for a lower end model. The main use of a lens like this, to me, is to take away a reason existing DSLR owners have for looking at other platforms. Not so much to present real competition. Compared to various fixed lens and mirrorless offerings, what I see in the SL1/pancake combo is: - potentially excellent image quality and traditional DSLR performance and usability - typical, small, pentamirror viewfinder - a camera that's still pretty big - no IS - lacking other benefits of mirrorless While my main camera is a DSLR, I'm finding mirrorless and fixed lens cameras more and more intriguing as time goes on. The lens lineups for mirrorless keep getting better (at least Fuji & m43; Sony APS-C not so much) and smaller sensors keep getting better (m43 is great right now, and Sony's 1" sensors in the RX line and the Panasonic FZ1000 are excellent). Here's a gallery of photos taken over the last 18 months with my RX100: http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com/Other/RX100-Samples/ Still, if I *were* a Canon user, I'd snatch that new lens up in no time. (Nikon, are you listening ?)
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2014 on At Long Last Canon at The Online Photographer
I had dogs as a kid, but since then, my wife and I have had cats - we've had 4 come & go (up to 3 at a time; it's not like they don't live long lives !) and our 5th one now. Of all 5, the first one was unusually intelligent. On at least two occasions, my wife was talking on the phone and the cat wanted her attention, so after being rebuffed a few times, he bit through the phone cord while she was talking ! (I imagine most of your readers still remember phone cords).
One of your other favorite cameras (as I recall) is on sale, too. The GX7 is $300 off ($699 body only).
I can understand the temptation. Fortunately, we bought a house that offers no such tempation. After looking at what seemed like countless houses, including a pre-1800 salt box in a historic district (which would have brought with it restrictions on what we could do in the way of repairs/upgrades), we ended up with a dutch colonial built in 1979 with vinyl siding, hollow core lauan doors and a carpeted kitchen; there's nothing authentic about it. That's very liberating, even if it lacks charm.
Well, sure, but you can put a 24-85/3.5-4.5 on the FF body and do everything you could do with the f/2.8 lens on m43. I know, I know, whenever this topic gets brought up, somebody objects to the notion of equivalence, but every FF user knows he doesn't need an f/2.8 lens to match the capabilities of f/2.8 on m43 ... I really don't get why people insist on making the comparisons and then objecting when it gets pointed out that they're irrelevant. [The Olympus's superior depth of field is implicit in the comparative sensor size, which I mentioned as one of the major differences. --Mike]
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2014 on Changing Fashions at The Online Photographer
In reply to Tom Burke's question: "Isn't it just that new things are fun?" I would say no, not necessarily. New gear always has that fun factor associated with novelty. It's when the novelty wears off that you find out what kind of camera/car/whatever you have. Some cars beg to be taken out and driven. Some cameras beg to be shot. Unfortunately, the most fun models aren't always the most practical. Some people end up tailoring their photography to shoot what's able to be shot well with a (Leica & prime, whatever) while others use the fun camera when appropriate, and the workhorse when needed. My 70s rangefinders and my Rolleiflex TLR were far more fun than most all of the film SLRs I ever used. Of the AF SLRs I owned, one stood out above the others, for some combination of solid (but compact) build, 100% viewfinder, satisfying mirror/shutter (like the satisfying sound of a solid car door shutting), efficiently minimal controls, lack of extraneous features. I had another, newer model with more features that was better suited to handheld photography, but the other one remained a favorite. In the digital era, I've yet to use a truly "fun" DSLR. My first decent digicam was the Sony F717 and that was a gem until it was eclipsed in terms of responsiveness and IQ by my first DSLR. And my Sony RX100 has remained fun for a year now. The novelty of my NEX-5 wore off very rapidly and it quickly became one of the least fun cameras I've used (oddly, with some fun aspects). So for me, anyway, fun has little to do with novelty; new is fun so long as its new, but a camera that begs to be taken out and used is something a little more rare.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2014 on How Are Cameras 'Fun'? at The Online Photographer
Ahhh ... a timely topic that hits home ! I own a Nikon D7000. It's like a Ford F-150. It's very competent. I shoot with a 70-200/2.8 and track moving subjects in low light; I freeze them with fast shutter speeds and let the ISO wander as needed. I can change settings without taking my eye from the viewfinder. But it's boring and it takes up too much room in the garage. I primarily shoot the 70-200 or one of two f/1.8 primes. My 16-85 sees virtually no use since I got my RX100. The RX100 is fun ! It's with me a lot, it fits in my pocket, but it goes a bit beyond that. I carried my D7000 and my RX100 to Boston with me a few weeks ago. I split up my shooting ... some with each camera, and I used the 16-85 as well as 85/1.8. And the RX100 was just more fun. I whittled down my photos and my keepers matched my initial shooting - close to 50% with each. What made the RX100 fun ? Well ... live view, for one thing. The level gauge for those cityscapes. The solid build (even the D7000 and modern lenses feel plasticky to me). The silence of the thing ! So I started thinking about picking up something else to make travel photography more fun. I like the specs on the RX10 and found it well built when I tried it a year ago, but I suspect the power zoom feature would sap the fun right out of it. I know the X100s would be fun. (The Fuji X series in general). I'm not sold on the A6000 ... I've only tried it once and found it a little cheap feeling. The EVF isn't up to the better EVFs out there, and Sony, in its infinite propensity to do dumb things, removed the level gauge. From a live view camera. (I know, plenty of you can shoot straight without it, but I thought on-screen displays were part of the argument for mirrorless). I'm also thinking that the NEX-6, available at nice discounts, could be fun, but it still has the old not-fun-at-all NEX menu and lacks Auto ISO in M, so I'm not sure there, either. Something about compact mirrorless, especially when well built, does seem more fun to me. Just like my 70's era compact rangefinders always seemed more fun than my SLRs. Maybe because I shoot so little from a tripod any more. (A DSLR still seems right on a tripod). Also, when out & about, I find myself shooting video clips when armed with a camera like the RX100; something I don't bother doing with a DSLR.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2014 on How Are Cameras 'Fun'? at The Online Photographer
I think the cheapest (current) FF camera has to be the Sony A7.
I used the Minolta version on a Maxxum 7 film camera. My landscape kit was a backpack containing a WA zoom, then 50, 100, 200 & 400mm primes. The 50 & 100 were both Minolta macro lenses. Then when my daughter was born, I used it as a (very close) close up portrait lens for a while. It was great for faces, noses, toes, ears, fingers, etc.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2014 on A Recent Favorite Lens at The Online Photographer
http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/pdf/lenses_accessories_catalogue_01.pdf