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Mysterious indeed. Oly's 25/1.8 lists at $400, is $50 off for the moment, then $100 off starting Thanksgiving. This new Panny is slightly larger than the Oly, and not as cute, but lists for $150 less and is $200 less at the moment than the Ebon Friday Oly special. I've relied on the Panny 20/1.7 for a "normal" prime for some time, trading a little AF speed and sharpness away from the center for the pancake size and weight. For $99, you and B&H have enticed me to see if bigger is indeed better ... I don't quite understand another aspect of Panny's primes lens line. Until/except for the GX models, Panny's bodies have no IBIS and until one recent, premium prime, the Leica 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH, none of the prime lenses have IS. Much as I like the tiny GM1 for unobtrusive use, in the dim and dark, where it would otherwise be ideal, I have to go with the larger Oly bodies to use my fast primes to best effect.
I'm so happy for you, and just in time for TOP's birthday! Have you considered the possibility that toasters haven't changed, something in you has? I suggest this because your life experience with toasters is so different from mine, lived longer, but in the same appliance-culture space. I have indeed experienced bad toasters here and there in my peregrinations through life, but mostly in other peoples' abodes. I do agree that size, appearance and price seem unrelated to performance. I have not personally had a separate, one function appliance dedicated to toast in my kitchen for at least a couple of decades. For ages, one small, cheap toaster oven made decent toast, in addition to its other duties, with no need to dedicate limited counter space to a one function device. More recently, its larger replacement makes excellent toast, in addition to even more useful things than the last. It also toasts bread and bread like products of any size and shape. I have also experienced, with some envy, one of those old toasters (brand??) that slowly, elegantly and reliably raised perfect toast on its own every time. No motor; some sort of heat/timer release of the latch on the spring.
"... hoping that maybe someday I'll find the $300 for a used 25/2.8 normal for it. " "Thank you Kathy, but I need the one for micro 4/3 format instead." I suspect that, like me, Kathy was confused because you referred to a focal length and speed that have never been available for µ4/3 but are for 4/3. A typo for 25/1.8, perhaps?
By a double link jump, this post led me to Carl Weese's featured comment on "You Must Do This", 11/11/14, a year ago: "For a long time I've been pointing out in workshops that a lot of people misunderstand The Zone System and turn it into some sort of holy procedure exactly because they take it to be prescriptive instead of descriptive. It doesn't say, 'you must place caucasian skin tones on Zone VI,' it says, 'caucasian skin tones will fall on Zone VI in a realistic representation.' " This seems to me to be at odds with St. Ansel, "Many consider my photographs to be in the "realistic" category. Actually, what reality they have is in their optical-image accuracy; their values are definitely "departures from reality." The viewer may accept them as realistic because the visual effect may be plausible, but if it were possible to make direct visual comparison with the subjects, the differences would be startling." —Ansel Adams, The Negative, from the Introduction Why am I hauling around this old quote? Because it's important to me to know that my visual perception system and that of my photo equipment see very differently. I see it as my task in representative photography to create from the image captured something plausibly like what others would have experienced, including emotional response, had they seen the original subject at the time. I see the Zone System as a way to achieve something like that within the limitations of B&W print media. So if I raise the tonal values of a beautiful birch tree further above those of the background than the photographic gear "saw" (as I just did), to match my memory of the experience I had of the subject, I hope that I am creating a plausible recreation of what I "saw". Responses of viewers to my photo books indicate that I succeed reasonably well in doing so.
Should it not be OC/OPL, or OC/OFL? (One Prime Lens or One Focal Length.) Otherwise, a fool like me, forgetting the details of an earlier post, might think "Sure, I could do that with my E-M5 II and 14-150 lens, as long as I could use an extension tube for closer up." But then again, I wouldn't, and I'm not part of "... those to whom it appeals." OC/OPL/OY strikes me as a little like wearing the same clothing and shoes every day for a year, no matter the place, weather, etc. I suppose you might put me in the category of those for whom the envisioned final image is the goal and choice of gear is means.
"Briefly?" No. As a "graduate" of the Free Speech Movement* at Berkeley, I'm sorry to say it depends on a lot of factors and is endlessly in flux. OTOH, it's better than before the FSM, when University/College administrators and police had unquestioned rights to control all aspects on on-campus speech on both public and private campuses. The general question of freedom of speech in open privately owned spaces open to the public varies by state. Pretty decent summary here. This is one reason why, in some jurisdictions, some spaces otherwise open to the public are closed once a year on what would otherwise be an open day. * Yup, I was there when Mario Savio was ranting from atop a police car with his bull horn, and so on ...
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2015 on The First Amendment at The Online Photographer
Well, I'll take the Modigliani. In part because my taste in this case coincides with yours. But more importantly because it would sell for more, and I could buy a great deal of contemporary art I like better - and a building to house it. Art is always a matter of taste, some mixture of truly personal with a greater or lesser overlay of collective.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2015 on Portrait Paintings at The Online Photographer
" Yes, I can refocus locally and then export a static version, but I have found no way to post a dynamic version without using their server." Ah, I see the problem. Fortunately, I have no interest in posting dynamic versions. I am interested in using the camera and software to create my own static version, with greater control over focus, DoF and bokeh than other tools allow. Beyond the possibilities in the software itself, which I so far find less intuitive, and perhaps less capable, than I had hoped, the thought of exporting more than one version and overlaying them in PS with layers and masking almost gives me goosebumps. It may all be a flaming failure, but that can be fun, too.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2015 on A Lytro for Peanuts at The Online Photographer
Thanks, Mike! I hope you got your spiff, as I clicked through from your link. It appears I got the last one, or someone else got it a second or so after me. Moot point now, as to this offer, but Jan Moren is doing the casual web misinformation thing. Beware of AFAIK! The camera itself can do some processing and JPEG output. More powerful processing from the two kinds of Raw output files is done with a program provided with the camera, which has recently been upgraded considerably. It does require a fairly powerful computer to do that. There is no on-line "development" offered or required. I'm very interested* in focus, DoF and bokeh, and it appears from examples on the web that this camera, for all its limitations, allows some amazing play with those factors. I'm expecting a mix of fun and frustration that I couldn't justify at earlier prices. Now I'm excited, and wishing it came with Prime two day shipping. * I reject the word obsession. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2015 on A Lytro for Peanuts at The Online Photographer
I agree with essentially all you have said in this post. And yet, "There's actually nothing prescriptive about advice. It just always looks that way." is so true that perhaps making the implicit explicit might be useful? " what's implicit is, "hey, some people might find it useful to think of this in this particular way." That might help those who are too easily swayed by "authority" from being pulled away from a nascent movement in the direction of their more true calling of this time in their life by taking too seriously advice that's not for them.
EEK! "... to happily say ..." Has one of the last stalwarts of intact infinitives on the web given in? Personally, although they jump out at me, and stop the flow of my reading, I'm not sure there aren't times when split infinitives read more felicitously, and occasionally struggle with them when writing. Here, though, "... to say happily ..." reads no worse, and doesn't grate on some sensibilities. \;~)>
A little mystery solved for me! At the 2007 Atlantic Antic, a HUGE street fair held on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn the last weekend of September, I took this image of a photographer with Speed Graphic. Certainly looks to me like Mendes, but all the gear and an assistant seemed to me different than the way of working outlined here. I assumed he was taking sots of the fair. I took the shot, and included it in my book Three Days in Brooklyn, as a contrast. Here were this guy, Picture Man, according to the brochure, and an assistant, with a mass of photo equipment, sitting down, while I was up and actively taking pictures. Knowing now what he was likely doing, I imagine they were just taking a break from a very busy day when I happened by. Electronic flash for the realities of working for hours; all the gear probably being power/recharger for the flash and lots of 4x5 instant film packs. (Couldn't get a good shot of the guy with the then new Leica M8, who had it unused, hanging from its strap, the whole time I saw him.)
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2015 on Louis Mendes at The Online Photographer
As a data point in the other direction, the one I live in: Oly E-M5 II with Oly 17/1.8 lens = 519 g. Fuji X-T1 with 23/1.4 = 740 g. As I'm almost never looking for shallower DoF, I would be happy to trade 3/4 of an F-Stop for the smaller size and weight. Based on my careful comparisons using DPR and IR studio test images, any meaningful difference in IQ between the E-M5 II and the Fuji X series images from Raw files is illusory.
Toggle Commented Oct 21, 2015 on Right-Sized at The Online Photographer
I have that camera, an Oly E-m5 II - If one interprets your spec. as " ... any one model of camera ... I use two of them, so when I'm in the field, I don't spend a lot of time changing lenses. That way, I would be relatively happy, as the bodies and lenses I have are those currently best suited to me. I could do the four year thing I suppose, but in reality, if a successor that meets my needs better shows up in that time I would blithely ignore the stricture and acquire it. I won't do it for the simple reasons that I like to use other cameras occasionally and that other cameras can do things the main pair can't, as, for example, with my waterproof camera that works underwater.
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2015 on What's It Gonna Be? at The Online Photographer
I don't know how many people were able to read the page of text ... So depressing.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2015 on Happy Columbus Day... at The Online Photographer
"You've got me right where you want me. Right where I should be. Right?" Yes. Others have already written that book. Not the one you would write, maybe better, maybe worse. But they don't keep my favorite blog perking along.
1. Frame 2. Hang 3. Enjoy Perhaps someone else will have a more monetarily enjoyable solution. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2015 on Finance 101 (OT) at The Online Photographer
You said it already a few days ago. "Have Fun With Any Camera" I do get recognition, from family, friends, acquaintances and the occasional stranger going through my books of images. Neither fame nor fortune has seemed likely. About a majority of those who go through my work encourage me to publish as 'real' books, a few very vehemently. It's my sense that as soon as I try to make it a business, it would no longer be fun. I am occasionally surprised at how serious I am about taking pictures and processing them into images I like. I also wonder if that phase of my life might pass one day. Either way is OK.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2015 on Open Mike: Pots of Gold at The Online Photographer
Robert Harshman, I don't believe I agree. I wasn't familiar with these techniques, so I took a little tour. None of what I saw involved extremely high precision movement of sensor or static subject exactly calibrated to sensel locations. The math may be similar, and what Oly has done might not have happened without these predecessors, but what it has to work with seems to me significantly different. Hassleblad has previously done something similar to, but not as good as, what Oly has done. By using the very high precision sensor movement control from IBIS (possibly why the IBIS is better in the Mark II), the camera knows exactly the locational relationship of each sensed pixel to those adjacent. (BTW, this use of the sensor location control mechanism means no IBIS in super resolution mode.) What Oly has added to the idea pioneered by Hassleblad is additional exposures at pixel pitch distances. This means no decoding to infer colors for each pixel. Each pixel location is individually sensed by sensels of each color. This both eliminates moiré and increases color accuracy. The results on things like fabric are sensational. I'm not talking theory. Take a look at the 100% images of repeating patterns in the IR review. I've also carefully compared the standardized test images on IR and DPR for the Mark II in S-R mode to the Nikon D850 and D900. The D900, in particular, suffers terrible moiré from the lack of an AA filter, and the E-M5 II gives superior results to this much higher resolution sensor camera with many subjects.
Slight caveat The E-M5 II has one oddity that affects use of Silent Mode. First, definitions: Anti-Shock Mode on the Mark I used a slight, adjustable delay after first curtain closing before opening it again for exposure. The Mark II, with A-S set for Zero Sec. delay, uses Electronic First Curtain to avoid both delay and shutter shock. Completely effective. Silent mode adds Electronic Second Curtain - no mechanical shutter action or noise at all. However, Aperture Mode with Auto ISO works quite differently in Silent Mode. With both full mechanical shutter and EFC Modes, the program exposure logic makes sensible choices of shutter speed and ISO, seeming to take into account focal length, as well. Resultant shutter speed and ISOs are like those of the Mark I and the Pens. In Silent Mode, the behavior is quite different. The "program" clings tenaciously to 200 ISO down to ridiculously low shutter speeds, then suddenly jumps to high ISOs when it gets really dim. I had been getting some amazing illustrations of the new IBIS' abliities down to the 1/10 sec. range at 300 mm (600 mm eq.), but not what I was expecting, or desired, on some things like bird shots. A conversation with Oly support insued, including sample images, EXIF data, and so on. It was left with the tech and others he consulted baffled and asking that I let them know if I figured out what was going on. When I got a second body, and it behaved the same, I was pretty sure it wasn't a sample failure. Then one day I discovered that it only happened in Silent Mode, which I usually had on in the field to avoid scaring birds, butterflies, little mammals, lizards etc. I passed this on to Oly support, who replied "it is possible that the program is different in silent mode, there is a limitation with the technology, or this could be a bug ... can determine if this needs a correction, and if this is possible, include it in future firmware versions." As this post seems to be an illustrated, slightly incomplete, summary of what I and others said in comments yesterday, I thought I'd add something substantive, if a bit arcane, to the collective knowledge of this excellent camera. I have since used this knowledge as an alternate mode for things like running water.
" the Leica S lenses are the best you can buy for pictorial photography" I didn't even read the Leica S section at first. When I did, I was amused at the above, as I was playing with some images taken with LenBaby Spark 50/2 and Soft Focus lenses - sort of the antitheses of Leica S lenses.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2015 on Two New Cameras Announced at The Online Photographer
"The E-M5 Mark II is the orphan in the lineup, to be honest. (From a cost/value perspective, anyway ... it's only $200 less than the E-M1, and we'd much rather have an E-M1." Perhaps it's in the line-up because there are people - like me - who would never be happy with the E-M1. Why pay more for a larger, heavier camera that has a grip I don't like? Leaving aside the preferences of my body's ergonomics, you say nothing about why one might prefer an E-M1 to an E-M5 II. The E-M1 has one stand-out feature, PDAF sensors, so it can work well with 4/3 legacy lenses. I have never owned any, nor do I see any reason ever to do so. OTOH: 1. The 5-axis IBIS in the E-M1 & E-M5 is the same; that in the E-M5 II is significantly improved. DPreview says 5 vs. 4 stops. I say I can see a distinct improvement in use in the field, especially in long tele use. 2. The E-M5 II switches to a fully articulated LCD from a tilt screen. This will be a plus for some, not for others. It is less convenient for quick up or down, but allows shots otherwise requiring circus level gymnastics. 3. The E-M5 II adds an high definition mode, using ultra precision sensor shift to get real 40MP images with "true' color, much like Foveon and without moiré. The results are in most ways superior to the Nikon D850 and superior for high detail pattern subjects to the D900. 4. E-M5 II ups the video ante to 60p, bitrate from 17Mbps, E-M5, 24, E-M1, to 77Mbps. 4. 1/16,000 sec (electronic) vs. 1/4000, E-M5, 1/8000, E-M1. 5. Drops the no longer needed accessory port, lowering the profile of the top hump, making the flash shoe less prone to catching in things. 6. The E-M5 II has the same resolution VF and LCD as the E-M1, as well as the same WiFi, focus peaking, HDR, etc. 7. The really impossible on/off switch of the E-M5 has been moved to a sensible location, reminiscent of the Early OMs. Still not as good as the inspired GX7, but a LOT better for me. To my mind, the E-M5 II is functionally a superior camera to the E-M1, as well as fitting my hands better. I've voted with my $, using two E-M5 IIs, and up to 3,500 shots with them. I logged 12,600 on the E-M5.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2015 on Two New Cameras Announced at The Online Photographer
"Have Fun With Any Camera" The title alone is wonderful! Perhaps the best, certainly the most succinct, summary of photography for me. Seems to me the title transcends the content, which, pleasant as it is, seems to me superfluous. The title alone would have made a great post!
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2015 on Have Fun With Any Camera at The Online Photographer
" In fact, 4/3 and APS-C are very close in size. People can’t tell which is which from looking at prints, except when the prints are pushed to extremes and the viewers are told what they’re looking at and know what telltales to look for." I took some time comparing the studio sample images from DPR and IR for Oly OMDs and Fuji Xs. In the straightforward qualities of details resolved, noise, and so on, there just wasn't a clear winner. Each scored subtle points, neither could be called a winner. On quality issues such as BH discusses and color rendering etc., they may differ, but not on the basics, which are all that is sensor size related. "And of course many people defend digicams, the sensors of which generally really are much smaller, as being very usable under many conditions and very high quality if used within their limitations." No one has yet noticed that one of the images in one of my latest books was taken with the miniscule sensor of my Panasonic XS40, at 720 mm eq., and cropped. Base ISO, decent light conditions, work from the Raw file, decent post processing skills, and the results can be very good. I was only working to about 8x10, but clearly some image files will look good larger.
I agree, it's certainly a golden age for me. When I look at the selection available just in my camera drawer, I'm amazed at the range of choice (and a bit GAS embarrassed.) My far wider focal length interests limit me to one format. Dabbling with one or two lenses won't work for me. Replicating that range in three systems would be ridiculous and far too expensive. But the range of choices of body size and features and of lenses within µ4/3 is still huge.