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"It's not like it's obviously such a great subject. It's just a subject I needed to understand, for some unknown reason." Perhaps all you need to understand is that it is a great subject? Take a look at crops. 3:2, better, 16:9, better yet, 8:3 - yowsa!
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Pictures of Farmland at The Online Photographer
"Seriously, if I were to get the itch to do an OC/OL/OY project with an x, y or z, I'd probably have just as much fun with any of the three. I'd simply figure out what I could and couldn't do, what the strengths and weaknesses of each camera are, and then just do with each camera the kinds of things each is best at." I suppose I'll never understand the idea of OC/OL/OY, or of doing only what a particular camera and/or prime lens is good at. I approach photography the other way 'round. I have at least an idea, often something more specific, about what sort of images I want to be able to create, and look for equipment with which I can accomplish that. Some of those image creation desires have remained unsatisfied for over 50 years, but fewer and fewer as digital matured. Fewer yet more with recent developments including in camera focus stacking/bracketing. Even the serendipitous image that arises out of nowhere, is more likely to be captured properly with a broad ranging kit than OC/OL. As I have a broad range of interests, and wish to create various kinds of images, I have various cameras, lenses and software. As I travel, sometimes perhaps to places I won't see again, I find that the most photogenic places also have wide ranges of potential images to be captured. I can't imagine why I would want to have my photography shackled by one camera and one prime lens. I suppose I may be an imagistic hedonist who can't see the value in ascetic practice. . . . "The point is the pics, in the end!" Exactly! So why not use the gear most effective in capturing the pic? You have written before that a photographer needs to find a style at which he/she is particularly adept and focus on that. Assuming that's not some sort of moral imperative, I assume it's about making money as a photographer. But I don't want or need to make $ at it. I want to have fun and make images that please myself, and with any luck, others who see them. So far, I am managing both. I would not with even OC/OPL/Oday. Chacun à son goût View From the Other Side Moose
"Some are falling behind in the lens department, while Sigma and others take up the slack." I don't know about other formats, but that's not true of µ4/3. Today, the resolution limits are sensors (except in Oly HR Mode.) With the E-M5 II High Resolution Mode, I can test lenses with ~50 MP sensor resolution, and the lenses I've tried simply resolve a lot more detail in HR Mode than straight 16 MP. Interestingly, Shooting the same subject in normal and HR, then downsampling the HR image to the same 16 MP dimensions resolves more, cleaner/sharper, visible detail than the 'straight' image.* All the lenses I've tested resolve more detail in HR than native sensor resolution. It seem that at least the newer and higher end ones will be fine at 50 MP. * Bayer Array sensors are only about 50% efficient at rendering their raw resolution as converted, RGB pixels. Sampling with each color at each sensel location by moving the sensor around doesn't require demosaicing, and retains more detail.
I certainly hope Panny stays around, thrives, even. I'm essentially brand agnostic within µ4/3, but feel it is much better for having two major players and some minor ones. Most of the noise I hear about them seems to revolve around camera bodies and enthusiast compact cameras. I speak up for their lenses. They seem to be on a long, steady program to upgrade their lenses. As a long time user of the Oly 75-300 zoom, I can say the PLeica 100-400 is a big step up; a spectacular lens. The new 42.5/1.7 is even better than the wonderful Oly 45/1.8. No meaningful difference in the center, but better toward edges/corners. (And has OIS, so I can use it properly in my little GM5 kit.) Jury still out for me on new PLeica 12-60 vs. Oly 12-100. They optically whup the regular 12-60 Panny and venerable Oly 12-50 (but for its 'macro' mode.) The big difference for me is size and weight vs. reach. In still cameras, it seems to me that the GX8, and GH5 for stills, lag behind the E-M1 in several performance and feature/capability categories. I happily used a GX7 beside an E-M5, in a two camera set-up, for many thousands of shots. They really were comparable in performance/IQ. If one never needs/wants much higher Res, focus bracketing, better IS, faster focus and faster overall operation, the GX8 is a fine camera. Otherwise, they are really behind. OTOH, I'm no video expert, but it seems the GH5 is a big step up compared to the E-M1 II. My 'serious' kit has been a pair of E-M5 IIs since it came out.
"I'm even more surprised by the 14-140 mm zoom" Quite a fine lens, for the size, weight and $. Mine lives on a GM5, as my casual kit. One caveat; it gets very soft at close focus at the long end. I get excellent C-U images using an achromatic C-U lens, far superior to what it can do on its own, and higher mag, if I like.
". . . Sony IMX 269 sensor. As far as I can figure out, that's the name of the new 20-MP Micro 4/3 sensor in the Panasonic GX8 and GH5 and the Olympus Pen-F and E-M1 Mark II, although take that with a grain of salt" That salt might be Phase Detect AF., which the E-M1 has, to allow fast (ish) focus with legacy 4/3 lenses, and the Pannys and other Olys do not.
"Oh, and the singing and humming that went along with his keyboard work. I always thought he was just having a good time. Sing along with Glenn!" I had the pleasure of listening to George Lopez play the Goldberg Variations just a few years ago. Beauty, depth, fun to watch the hand/finger work, and no vocalizations while playing. While not playing, affable, interesting and just a little funny*. I begin to wonder whether GG's intensity and shenanigans were really in service to the music. *As I understand it, his namesake comedian doesn't play Bach.
"Girl needs to cut back on her meds." What do you suppose Emil Gilels was on, in 1981? "A force of nature." Certainly describes Gilels, in both life and music. Valentina Lisitsa, above, 6:47 Gilels, DG 400 036-2, 7:05. OK, it did take him 4% longer. OTOH, his performance, while just as propulsive, is more nuanced in places. Perhaps why he had a larger place in the music world? Listening, I can hear just where those extra seconds were used. He is just as fast, and at least as fluid, where fast, but does more where it slows a bit. His has long been my favorite of this movement, balances so perfectly with the first. His first movement of the Waldstein is another that grabs me by the throat, shakes and worries me about, takes me on a wild ride, then drops me at the end, exhausted, drained, happy, ready for that post-C cigarette, figuratively. Pretty, excellent really, and polite? Kempff. A step down, Barenboim. A bit more muscle, Richter. Horowitz I love, in repertoire he understands; he didn't 'get' the Moonlight, IMO. Everything repeats. [Gilels is my favorite too. His "Waldstein" is straight from the gods. --Mike]
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2017 on Getting Glorious at The Online Photographer
'Wow - I'm really surprised by the significant variation among the "same" lens.' It doesn't just apply to resolution. Back in MF film days, when Modern Photography tests ruled, they allowed ±5% in focal length as normal sample variation. The OM Zuiko 21/2 and 18/3.5 that they tested happened to vary in opposite directions, -4.0% and +4.2%, so they were @ 20.15 and 18.76 mm. Hardly worth the trouble of having two lenses. The spec. on my Panny 20/1.7 is closest focus of 180 mm. On my particular copy, it's actually 155 mm as measured from subject to focal plane mark on the camera body. Could easily be 200 mm on another sample, I imagine. EXIF on an Oly body reports 180 mm, probably based on the lens saying it's at closest focus and that is 180 mm. Especially likely as the method they use to estimate focal distance is least accurate at the ends. EXIF is wonderfully useful, but not gospel. Mass production at reasonable prices doesn't allow lab grade precision.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2017 on Roger Watch at The Online Photographer
Why do you think that this particular essentially religious and political set of beliefs about diet and health is any more accurate than the endless stream of dietary input and health ideas of the past? That it won't be superseded by something else in the near future? One of an also endless number of "failures". The anti- animal fat people actually managed to get McD's to change the fat they used to make their fries. Then had to try to change that again, when the new revelations revealed that the change had been for the worse. "Back to Lard!" I've known since I was a kid, mixing the coloring into blobs of oleo, to make it colored like butter, rather than lard, that it wasn't good for me. Sometime recently, I noticed someone finally discovered that better IS apparently better for me than oleo. But that will likely change again. There is also some pretty convincing evidence in our metabolisms that the big initial change as we separated from our closest 'cousins', the chimps, was that they remained vegetarians, while we became carnivores that supplement our dietary needs with vegetable matter. I do agree that fresh and freshly prepared are excellent - and fairly likely to be good for us. I buy and prepare the vast majority of the food we eat. I have, in fact, never eaten McD's food, for example. You might find the section in Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari, about the effects, including health, of the agricultural revolution at least a partial antidote to this film you mention. More obscure is the first 2/3 or so of Sex, Time, and Power, by Leonard Shlain. In the process of finding his own, open to question, answer to the mystery of human menstruation, he provides a wonderful summary, in layman terms, of our metabolisms. That the the reasons for human menstruation, and chronic anemia among all menstrual women, fron NYC Co-ops to tribal huts, which is completely unlike the way any other mammals work, are unknown, might be reason enough to doubt the pronouncements of the latest prophets of diet. There's a whole lot about how, and why, our bodies work that we just don't know. Another little tidbit about beliefs, as opposed to facts, even by doctors. There has been one major study of thousands of cholesterol and death rates, just that. Statistically, lower cholesterol is associated with higher rates of death among all sex and age cohorts but middle aged men. So, as you turn sixty, playing the odds would mean raising your cholesterol, to increase your statistical likelihood of living longer. But, the study didn't have data to even speculate on why it's results might be so. And they fly in the face of a strong cultural meme* that has made cholesterol a demon. The parallel between rituals, treatments by experts and special dietary rules around cholesterol and the rituals, priests/etc. and dietary rules of religions around pleasing, or at least not angering, God(s) is a strong one. Many years ago, I read an article by an RN who had spent her career in nutrition. She held that we will never really know, because we can't do controlled tests on people. Perhaps that will change in the future, but that future isn't now. For now, the latest, always incomplete, findings about our metabolic systems will continue to generate wonderful new health benefits from dietary changes, that mostly don't work in any verifiable way beyond anecdotal stories. * In the original usage for which the word was coined, not the degraded web usage. [Dude, don't discourage me. --Mike]
A caveat: To get a major speed benefit from replacing a mechanical HDD with an SSD, your computer must have a high speed SATA (or direct MB) connection. Many older portables have built-in SATA I interfaces. A new SSD will upgrade reliability, but, at least in my case, have no noticeable effect on speed. I knew this going in, and replaced the HD as it was getting long in the tooth and I didn't want it to die in the middle of a trip. It also decreases power usage, which should increase battery life at least a little and made my little beastie run cooler.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2017 on The Computer Has Landed at The Online Photographer
"In fact, that's largely true for landscape photographs in general; they are pale mementos of the witness experience. You just can't adequately bottle that multi-sensory stuff." This reminds me of a quote from Galen Rowell "One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it."
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2017 on Bluff Sunset at The Online Photographer
"That's the reason why I love photography. It forced me to look, and thus allowed me to see." Thanks, Giulio, for such a poetic and succinct way of putting something I have found to be true for me!* I've had people say to me that by carrying my camera, I miss seeing the world directly. While that may be true for them, it isn't for me. Walking about alone, I tend to get lost in my head. Walking with others, I tend to engage with them, and miss what's around us. With camera in hand, a good part of my conscious mind, and some part of my subconscious, are paying attention to my surroundings, looking for interesting visuals. It works! I see more of what's around me than most people I walk with. Much isn't photogenic, but worth experiencing, and the rest gets to be recorded. Part of my enjoyment is afterword showing the things I've seen and captured to others who were there - and didn't see many of those things. ~~~~~~ * And more poetically than Dorothea Lange.
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2017 on Bluff Sunset at The Online Photographer
"It's not as much fun, I grant you," Ohhh, but it "IS" more fun, really. The last several years since the E-M5 came out and I switched to µ4/3 have been the most fun in my photographic life - and the most productive of work I really like. Fun is in the one having it, not the suppositions of others.* WHEeeeeee . . . . . "but the smart money might be to go against what's currently hot and settle on Micro 4/3" By "hot", I assume you mean head space and on-line blather space, as opposed to actual purchase and use, as neither camera has yet shipped to anyone but reviewers. Dollars to donuts only a tiny percentage of those talking them up will actually pony up all that dosh to buy one. Appearance and Reality are connected, but it's a mysterious connection. ________________________ * Neither of the cameras mentioned sound in the least like fun to me. To someone with my photographic interests, they are closer to doorstops than useful tools.
I've been scratching my head, even tried doing it literally, and I just can't come up with one. I've had many favorite cameras, usually, fortunately, one I was using. But a "favorite-ever"? I can even imagine a next favorite, the E-M5 III I hope will come along, with all the improvements in the E-M1 II, plus a much faster HR Mode and whatever other new trick they can come up with. But I don't imagine it to be favorite forever. In a way, it's like asking my favorite pair of pliers. I have many, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Each can do useful things that the others can't, so how can I have a favorite? In another way, it seems part of the Western cultural gestalt, certainly part of my American experience. Growing up, people, and other kids, are always asking what's your favorite color, game, food, and so on. It's like we want to define, and be defined, based on a simple set of expressed preferences. I don't get it. The world is full of amazing colors, amazing flavors, amazing places, anazing people, amazing things . . . I loved my '55 Chevy, '68 BMW, 71 Porsche 911, '76 Audi 5000CS turbo Quattro. I love my 95 Olds convertible and our Sprinter based travel van. They've all been favorites; I don't have to pick one. Do I like Harriet better than Junia? Rob better than John? All are important to me. And the truth is that all have good and bad qualities that overlap. They are all favorites. I'm surrounded by favorites; what a wonderful life! We have a friend I dearly love. She's more like family than some family. We seem to be connected by something undefined, but larger than both of us. If I had to live with her for more than a few days visit, one of us would go mad and/or try to kill the other. That just doesn't fit in the simple paradigm of favorites. I hope this is a fun one for everyone else. Due to dis-ability, I'm sitting it out. "If you can't be with one favorite, love the one you are with."
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2017 on Camera 'Porn' at The Online Photographer
You are an enthusiast. Like many enthusiasts, especially those with no manufacturing experience, you often confuse what you like, or would like, and the words coming from other enthusiasts as being strongly related to camera company success. To you, and me, with my enthusiast hat on, a great company is one that makes interesting, innovative gear. Both gear that's fun to talk about and fun to use. By that measure, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony Fuji and [insert your fave here.] are the leading camera companies. From my viewpoint, Olympus leads, because it has introduced entirely new capabilities far more than the others in recent years. As these are abilities that don't much impact the kind of photography you do, I think you undervalue them. IBIS, HR Mode, Focus Bracketing and so on, have deeply changed what I can do as a Photographer. They've granted wishes I've had since I was a teenager, mucking about in the school darkroom. So, I've got Oly and Panny gear, and an A7, but I don't fool myself that there is any correlation between my tastes and camera company success To me, with my financial analyst hat on, a great company is one that makes very few money losing and many money making products. By this measure, Canon is a great company, best in its industry. My hope is that the small companies with innovative gear do well enough to survive. You deeply misunderstand the economics of manufacturing. As do so many other industry pundits and folks posting on line. The Nikon troubles, perhaps disaster, was entirely predictable from reports of their declining sales. Lay people tend to think that a 30% decline is sales will mean a 30% decline in profits. It's more likely that a 10% decline in sales will mean a 90% decline in profits. A 20% decline will generally mean massive losses. I could go on for pages explaining why this is so, and have, elsewhere. Suffice it to say that details will vary by company and industry, but are much like the above. You've talked about Sony's FF mirrorless success. What you and I don't know is if they are actually making any money at it. It's a mind space success among enthusiasts, but that is unrelated to financial success. [Sounds like your two hats are arguing with each other. I only wear my enthusiast hat here--I only care about photography enthusiasts and their/our interests and needs. Tangentially, I want companies to make what we care about and I want those companies to survive--of course--Contax and Bronica aren't much use to us now--but fundamentally I am uninterested in "financial success" in isolation. Our perspective is that of photographers. That's why we care that the companies a) make what we want and b) stick around. The same can't be said backwards. From my perspective, Sony and Fuji ARE more successful camera companies than Nikon right now, because they make products that are more interesting and useful to us, and they're innovating more and listening to and responding more to their customers. If they are less successful financially than Nikon, that doesn't mean they are less successful from my perspective. Another way to say this...if Camera Company X figures out how to make zillions of yen selling shoes or soap but stops serving photographers, then it would be a much more successful company, but I would care a lot less about it. --Mike]
An interesting read, thanks for the link. Not much surprising to me in there, although confirmation by objective testing of things I've thought I knew is nice. I hate lens testing, but did a lot of shooting of test targets when I got my Oly 12-100/4 Pro. What's surprising is how well my one particular copy does. Although I shot at wider apertures as well, I can only pixel peep so much, and only looked closely at f5.6 and f8. (Also, not coincidently, my most used apertures.) The zoom was, as close as I can see pixel peeping @ 100%, without all that test gear gear, as sharp, center and edge, as the Oly 45/1.8* prime, and darn near as good as the famously sharp 75/1.8. I doubt if anyone could see a difference short of a wall size print. It's better than the older Panny 20/1.7, not quite as good as the Oly 25/1.8. I was particularly impressed with how it holds up in the corners. I know a few empirical things: 1. Pure lens resolution is only one of several factors that determine image sharpness, and not always the most important one. 2. Lens resolution and perceived sharpness are only important factors in some images I make, and only crucial in a minority. 3. I have never been, and will likely never be, content with 2-3, even a handful of primes. 4. I deeply detest changing lenses in the field. I shoot a lot out in woods, fields, swamps, etc. Wind, dust and damp, no place to set things down, not enough hands, and so on and on . . . and the time consumed, yuck. I am happier carrying two bodies with one zoom on each, covering 24-800 mm eq. than changing lenses. Thus, I am highly delighted that the range and quality of zooms has continued to improve since the first one I used, a so-so Nikkor 43-86 that would look like bottle bottom glass compared to this 12-100. ______________ * Now the Panny 42.5/1.7 has come on the scene. The tests of a handful of samples on the web and one private one show it to better the Oly in the outer zones.
"Q: What kind of woman will put up with a sixty-year-old man?" Well . . . I was only 57 when I met Carol. We didn't get around to getting married for about ten years. It'll be 16 years together shortly after my 73rd. birthday. "If you're a BOGG—beardy old grumpy guy . . . " There may lie the rub? I was beardy, old by some measures, but young at heart and far from grumpy. Both still true. Neither beard nor age are barriers to finding a woman who doesn't 'put up' with one, but actively enjoys being together. Grumpy? Maybe.
"If you're the type of person who couldn't get by on two lenses and thinks the question is stupid, one word: understood. You're excused." I don' wanna be excused . . . I could get by on* two lenses, but can't figure out why I either should or might want to. I am more than content both that others should be free to use however many or few of whatever lenses they choose, and that I don't concern myself about that. * Should that not be 'with'?
Olympus 12-100/4 Leica Lumix 100-400/4-6.3 Double extra credit? Nikon 5T achromatic C-U lens fits both. Extra half credit?
"GFX-50S Has Everything" That assumes that sensor size outweighs size and weight. That will be true for some, not for others. Among the "Everything"s it will never have are IS and long lenses along with the things they bring, broad hand hold-ability, long working distance, hand held macro/C-U. Antithetical to my sort of photography. I also wonder what the vast majority of us potential customers would do with all those MPs. The Ctein sample print that he and you sold from the first µ4/3 camera, the 12 MP E-P1, convinced me that I'm wildly unlikely to need anything like 51 MP, other than for impressive pixel peeping, and perhaps a bit of mine is bigger . . . The High Res Mode of my E-M5 II already gives the Pentax 645Z a run for its money, and I imaging the higher res E-M1 II will better that. Yes, HR is great for playing and for lens testing. It's also a pretty amazing noise reduction mode. So yes, I've spent time gazing at HR images at 100%. But I can't see what advantage all that resolution can give to even fair size prints, let alone the books and web images in which most people see my work. If someone walked up and handed me one with a lens or two, I would not even open the box before rushing to sell it.
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2017 on GFX-50S Has Everything at The Online Photographer
An interesting parallel to my adventures in FF Mirrorless and old/odd lenses. I didn't enter through the gate of high res, though. I'd been playing with lenses that make images often far from sharp contrasty and clear, off and on, going back to film days. I'd been getting some good images on µ4/3, but felt limited. The lenses I had already and those I wanted to try were really FF lenses, and not as "good" on µ4/3. As neither resolution nor IS were of great importance, I bought a used A7. I've used it exclusively for my alt.moose work, staying with my conventional gear for regular photography. I've made a lot of images I like, although I have much more to learn. Like you, I've had to take a lot of sample shots at various apertures to get a sense of what these lenses do. The main menagerie is smaller than yours: Tamron 28/2.8 T-mount Super Lentar 35/2.8 T-mount LensBaby Velvet 56 56/1.6 Holga 60/8 Minolta Varisoft 85/2.8 SIMA Soft Focus 100/2.0 T-mount Sankor 135/2.8 T-mount generic Pinhole The early, pre computer design lenses do some interesting things at larger apertures. This with the Sankor 135/2.8 With digital, it's also possible to combine effects, as with the old SIMA Soft Focus 100/2, at three of its Waterhouse stops. Then there's the local club of LensBaby Optic Swap System lenses, with straight and bendy mounts. I don't like the kind of images they tout, finding them mostly tedious, but find they can do other very nice things. I still have my whole line of OM Zuikos from 18 to 500 mm and many other old MF lenses in OM or Tamron Adaptall mount. Most of those won't end up on the A7, although the 500/8 mirror just did. The last version of the 50/1.4, for example, is indeed an excellent lens, but doesn't fit my purpose there. I'll just use the Panny 42.5/1.7 on an E-M5 II.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2017 on The 'Bokina' at The Online Photographer
I mostly agree with you about the Peugeot 604. Wide track, wide tires and good fore/aft weight distribution, together with whatever they did in the linkage details, made it a joy to steer. I loved my gas version, until the minor repairs I could do moved into full falling apart mode. The Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro that overlapped with and succeeded it was also a joy to drive/steer. The all mechanical full time quattro drive and weight balance made it an amazing handling car in the curvy stuff. Lighter/quicker on its feet than the 604 for that. I had a GX7; used it for over 10,400 shots and liked it a lot. I never could find a use for the tilting aspect of the EVF. I don't recall ever wanting to look down and not using the LCD screen for the purpose. I can't imagine what the GX8 can have changed that would make me use it differently. If they had dropped the tilting feature on the GX8, it would have had zero effect on my choice to buy or not. Never have wished that the EVFs on my GM5 and ZS50, which are otherwise located in the same place on the bodies, tilted. I also had a tilting EVF accessory for Pens, and never tilted it in use. We're all different. And thus all such awards, "real" or casual are expressions of taste, not some form of absolute. [What else? --Mike]
"But what about people for whom the value equation is important? But what about people for whom the capabilities of the top of the line cameras that are not included in the lower/older models are important? I don't know about all those other brands, but this is significant with Olympus µ4/3. As you pointed out, the E-M1 II has IBIS better than anything else. Also an HR mode that's a step up from the E-M5 II and wasn't in the E-M1 I, and focus bracketing. I would probably buy one, if it weren't for that huge grip and paying for PDAF for which I have no need. As it is, the focus bracketing, IBIS and HR Mode of the E-M5 II will suffice for a while. The E-M10s and Pen-F are innocent of these capabilities.