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Boris Liberman
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Oh, and it totally slipped my mind, but Mike - I think you ought to publish a digest/summary statistics of some sort...
Mine is Ricoh GXR with Leica M-mount module, and Voigtlander Nokton 40/1.4 mounted on it.
As of recently my absolute favorite is Mark Knopfler. Here is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTvc-bEP35I And his lyrics are marvelous. Listening to his songs is just like talking to a good old friend. I used to like PF, but I no longer have any of their records...
Mike, I should ask you what kind of point of reference you had in mind when you compared... I mean - well, you're totally entitled to your opinion and stuff, and naturally you have immense experience with many lenses and many things photography, but I am not sure I grok you rightly, you know... I suggest two lenses that I find very interesting - one is Nokton 40/1.4... I think it gives Pentax SMC FA 43/1.9 Limited decent run for the money. Another is not a lens per se, because, say, you cannot mount it on anything really - it is the so called lensor of Ricoh GXR system - the 33/2.5 macro, aka 50mm module (50mm being so called EFL)... I should suggest that this lensor and GXR body would be quite wonderful nifty fifty of modern days... Just my cents, really...
For me it is Ricoh GXR with A12-50 macro (33.5/2.5 actual) lensor. Suffices it to say it was my sole companion during my daughter's and mine trip to USA back in September 2012. Brought back 1700+ frames and lots of great memories. In my view this is probably the best non-DSLR camera+lens combo if for whatever reason the angle of view of 50mm is needed.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on The Out-the-Door Test at The Online Photographer
Mike, as of recently I have Ricoh GXR with A12 50mm macro module for my main camera. Can't praise it enough. It is probably the nifty fifty of the modern times. So, my vote would go for Ricoh GXR. I think I would also like to respond to Kevin Purcell's comment. Kevin, you see, the sensor alone does not make it. My little Ricoh has the same (or very similar) 12 MP sensor that was popular one generation ago - a number of Pentax, Sony and Nikon cameras seem to have it. But each such camera adds its own tweaks both in h/w and in s/w. So, I think that although what you say make perfect sense, somehow the specifics of these manufacturer's tweaks need to be factored in.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2012 on Calling All Geeks! Part I at The Online Photographer
Wishing you speedy and complete recovery, Michael!
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2012 on Get Well Soon MR! at The Online Photographer
Just recently I got Ricoh GXR with A12 50mm macro module. 50 mm here is EFL, just to be sure I am not misunderstood. Presently I am experiencing very strong urge to let go of all my Pentax stuff sans may be one body, two zoom lenses and a flash so that I can keep shooting for my older daughter's school. I mean, I could buy A12 28 mm module, a Leica M module, one wide and one 50 mm lens and have it all covered. I totally marvel at Ricoh colors and the way it renders light (for lack of better words here).
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2012 on The Number One Camera at The Online Photographer
I happen to work with a person who used to work in Israeli branch of Leaf (or some other medium format digital manufacturer). Few days ago this guy brought in a calendar that demoed work of Leaf digital back. The print is marvelous and the size is A2 (I reckon it is 40x60 cm or thereabouts). It just looks gorgeous. Personally to me the ultimate test is in the final print which in a sense test the whole process end-to-end - be it shooting technique (hand-held vs tripod), the lens, the processing, the printing, the materials involved, etc. While I think that what Ctein wrote is essentially correct, in my eyes, the ultimate test is print and if one comes up with the print from 12 MP APS-C sensor that is visually better (of course it may differ from viewer to viewer) than that from Nikon D800 or Pentax 645D or whatever, then all the technical and/or theoretical advantages in question kind of disappear...
Sadly the step from D700 to D800 was thrice as many pixels... Couldn't they produce D750 with "mere" 16 MP and the asking price below USD 2000??? Again, horses for courses. I compared Sony A850 with Pentax K-7. I had a friend of mine coming for a visit from USA and we drove to Negev desert for some quality shooting and quality time together. Surely Sony A850 came well on top but was it 2 times better? Well, no. Actually except enlargement size, I've no clue how such a comparison can be made objectively. Subjectively, I found K-7's output good enough only lacking in dynamic range department which was taken care of by K-5. So, ladies and gentlemen, we have now a camera that costs about USD 3000 (probably slightly less), can do 36 MP and also can do ISO 204800... Anyone care to put some numbers in for the camera two generations thence?
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2012 on Nikon D800, Woo-Hoo! at The Online Photographer
I've Pentax K-5 and DA* 16-50/2.8 that is good enough for me. Though it seems Canon is pursuing the absolute/ultimate sharpness. Somehow I have a bit of deja vu here where the comparison to pixel count wars in camera sensors realm pops to my mind. Surely there will be great many users who will find their good and valid reasons to buy this lens. But I wonder how many would look inwards and realize that 5DMk3 (or whatever is going to be the name) and this new lens is actually too much. Personally, I feel like I am stopping at K-5 and DA* 16-50/2.8.
Few random points. 1. The mere news that Canon is introducing new lenses, be it new version of their flagship L-series zoom or these lenses is just brilliant. The more the better. 2. Personally, being a Pentax user, I have a bit of my own share of doubts regarding the in-lens image stabilization. It may have to do with a number of QC issues Pentax had recently, but it seems to me that image stabilized lenses require more precise manufacturing and quality control process. Also, the failure of IS mechanism can be subtle in a sense that it may show some times (as opposed to always) only thereby making one's life miserable. 3. I leave SR on as a matter of course. I shoot mostly hand-held and I am aware that the mere fact that I shoot hand-held makes my photographs less sharp. K-5 is actually quite sharp enough for my purposes and the readiness of SR mechanism is almost instantaneous (unlike K-7, where some waiting was in order). But then again, with proper technique and proper learning of the camera these things can be put to advantage. 4. Still I think that a proper mirror-less camera with leaf shutter (is it the right term of the shutter that is not like that in SLR) is favorable to various image stabilization mechanisms. So may be new offerings on the market (no matter by which maker) will prove interesting. 5. Ultimately I think that USD 800 for slowish 24/2.8 and/or 28/2.8 is a bit too much to ask. Let's hope their manufacturing and QC will be perfectly and absolutely flawless.
Mike, being a Pentaxian I should say that in my personal humble view the most pleasing skin tones were produced by K10D. Close second comes K-5. Between Canon and Nikon I prefer Canon rendition of skin tones. In general though I do prefer warmer color rendering. Specifically in case of skin tones, it seems that Nikon has a tendency to overdo yellows. Or at least the photos that I've seen, which is by no means a sufficiently large representative set. In sooth, Mike, that's the oddest question you asked. Which camera produce the most pleasing skin tones? That of mine of course. If I shoot people or portraits, would I use anything but the best one for the job?
Mike, few points mostly in random order though Freud adepts may find it wasn't so random after all. 1. You appear to have not mentioned Samsung NX and most recent Ricoh GXR A12 M-mount module. Both are compact cameras (in case of Ricoh - module, of course) with APS-C (read - bigger than m43) sensor and interchangeable lenses. Though may be not as big as Sony, Samsung is still pretty darn huge. And it seems their partnership with Pentax seeded them with some serious quality... As for Ricoh module - LeicaSonic is fine, but "native" Leica may be finer :-). 2. As for m43 being the system. It certainly is a very well developed and rounded system. But the page you provide shows gazillion basic kit lenses and another gazillion of tele kit lenses... Once you collapse those, it suddenly looks a bit smaller. 3. I am still waiting for Adobe to come out with LR that will natively support Pana G3 RAW files. I have shot a few courtesy of my co-worker who bought this camera. 4. Finally, I went to DPReview and pixel peeped some. It seems Ricoh A12 (50 mm macro) module still beats even most resent offerings from Olympus and Sony with respect to high ISO (as in 3200) noise. I certainly would like to see a Ricoh GXR module for K-mount. Then I'd certainly buy one as it will nicely complement my Pentax kit. I certainly would like to see Canon produce a camera with bigger sensor than Nikon 1 and they could - after all, they have their own sensor R&D and manufacture, don't they?
Mike, I'd like to bring to your attention that in some cases there is no any other way but adapter way. E.g. tilt and Pentax. Pentax doesn't offer native tilt lens, only shift one, and that one is rather old too. Obviously this is a specialty but adapter nonetheless. I just bought CSJ Flektogon 50/4 and Ukrainian Pentacon 6 to Pentax K tilt adapter. Specifically in my case I expect to learn a thing or two about photography by using this combo on my K-5.
Given that I rarely comment in your blog, Mike, it would only fitting to comment right now. Presently I am pondering buying a small camera with large sensor 'cause even with Pentax, my gear is big and heavy (K-5 with grip and a lens), not to mention that as a dad I have to haul my daughter's camera (K-7 and a lens). Ricoh GXR with 50/2.5 macro module is certainly an option... Your review is going to be met with anticipation...
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2011 on More Camera Not-Yet-News at The Online Photographer
Mike, it seems to me that humans as a breed are getting more "dainty" as you've put it. You see, my dad is 172 cm (sorry, I am metric person) and at the time of his youth he was in medium to slightly tall height category. I am 180 cm and it is not that tall, really, more like a medium height. Now, my major problem with all kinds of transportation is knee space. So, it stands to reason that along with us bipedal talking apes, the cars that haul us around grew as well...
I think the answer is either yes or no but on all counts (related to the "equipment matters" part). I think further it largely depends on the specific person. Some people can drive an old VW Beetle and feel like they're driving a Ferrari (road behavior notwithstanding). Some would drive brand new Jaguar and be already dissatisfied with it, because they heard a rumor of the model following this one. They may drive rather badly, nonetheless. It is the combination of the man and their gear that matters the most, I think. I still remember a lady with whom I had honor of working for few years more than a decade ago. It was back in the analog days. She had a regular point and shoot camera of the time, but boy, her pictures were brilliant. Her motto was - it is small and cheap, thus I can take it with me everywhere. Another example would be my daughter, who is 9 years old and who's been shooting with my Pentax DSLRs and lenses (currently K-7 and DFA 50/2.8 macro). She likes shooting and takes wonderful pictures. We made her a JAlbum book recently. It is a joy to hold and look at. Now, if one thinks that brand new honking 600/4 lens will make one better birder, it may be a mistake. And yet may be not. As long as one knows what they are doing, they are likely to be fine. To that end, an integral part of knowing what one is doing is to know where the limit is. Give me an M9 with 'Crons - I am extremely unlikely to produce anything better than what I've been shooting with my Pentax gear. Not because Pentax is good, but rather because I know that I am not going to be any better with Leica. Ultimately, gear is just gear. And friends, such as your dog are far more important. Get well soon, both of you!
Toggle Commented May 15, 2011 on Does Equipment Matter? at The Online Photographer
Scott wrote: Too often life is presented in a Disneyesque way, all the animals live, nobody is hurt etc. To which I'd like to reply the following: In my personal and humble opinion it is unfortunately not the case. I fail to recall any piece of really good news that was recently published by the media that: - made it to the top news - was in public mind for longer than a split second In fact, I fail to recall any piece of simple good news from the mass media at all. It is simply not news worthy to post bright images of smiling faces of happy people. Over here I don't get any of these. The grimmer and the more disgusting is the better. To that end the picture of so many photographers each taking its own angle at a body a shot girl is typical example of newsworthy imagery. I pass no judgment whatsoever on the newsworthiness and generally worthiness of such images, but I beg you to have a look and consider whether such images and general direction the mass media is moving in these days, can actually imply something profoundly basic about our society. As for your original question, Mike. I think my personal humble answer would be "no". If the process is secondary to the decision to take the picture for other than technical reasons - then "no". If it is the other way around, whereas a special process (be it analog or digital, no matter) was devised only for the sole purpose of taking a picture of some grim scene, then I would dare question the integrity of a person who's set upon taking that image.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2011 on Ethics Around the Web at The Online Photographer
The main problem of such a news announcement be it through forums or otherwise is that whomever will start offloading Olympus 4/3 glass will sustain monetary losses. I don't think that Olympus handled this decision of theirs in the most graceful fashion... Sad news.
I am with MichaelinA2 here. I've -6 diopters in each eye so it is an issue for me. My K-7 has Katz Eye focusing screen (no markings, no optibrite) and Pentax original magnifying eye cap. It is perfectly fine, though with A 50/1.2 lens it becomes a bit strainful on my eyes after a prolonged use.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2010 on New Pentax K-5 Announced at The Online Photographer
May I humbly point out that the world is not pure black and pure white. There are great many shades of gray, many more than our cameras and even the most advanced ones can capture and grasp.
Mike, with all due respect, especially to the reaction of your previous post on this issue, I think you were right the first time. A good lens is a good lens, period. I, personally, have a feeling that this was a rather half-cooked effort by Pentax. The rumor has it that this new lens is full frame. It will be interesting to wait and see if it really is. The only true 'innovation' here is the fact that it seems to be the very first prime lens by Pentax featuring the multitude of colors of the lens barrel.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2010 on I Was Wrong... at The Online Photographer
Boris Liberman is now following Michael Johnston
Sep 5, 2010
Pentax is really cool. Personally, ever since I obtained SMCP A 50/1.2, I find it difficult to dismount it from the camera in favor of another lens. I used to have ME Super but unfortunately at the time I did not have the proper lens to mount on it. Although I do have all three FA limited lenses, A 50/1.2 is much more dear to me, being the lens I think of by default when I think of getting ready for a shoot.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2010 on The World's Best Lens at The Online Photographer