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I'm with those who like the driveway snow shot - a lot. It's not only about the edges, contrasted to the smoothly textured middle, it's about the forms on the edges. Upper left is like shadows that could be thrown by unclothed human body parts, as well as other organic forms. Along the bottom are shapes strongly reminescent of reclining female bodies, with attractive texture and lovely, subtle shadings of light. Whether we become aware of these things at a conscious level or not, we respond emotionally by finding them interesting and attractive. In my case, I was immediately attracted to it, then became aware of reasons why that should be so as I looked more and thought about it. Although it looks good as a monochrome, I prefer it with the blue saturation pulled way down, which pulls the top toward neutral without changing center or bottom. I'm another candidate for it in a print sale. Subtle color preferred. \;~)>
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Weather Weirdness at The Online Photographer
Ah, finally a proper replacement for the GX7, I couldn't understand the bulk of the GX8. The 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, though, at least the copy I tried, is decent, but not outstanding. I returned it. The PanaLeica 12-60/4 is an excellent lens. I quite enjoyed my GX7, which I shot side-by-side with an E-M5. I never understood the knocks on the GX7 for shutter shock and less than stellar IBIS. I shot it a lot with the Oly 75-300 lens, quite a lot @ 300 mm. With the EFC on, I never found it to give anything away to the E-M5 in stability/sharpness. I don't see any purpose in the G9 or GX9 today. I left the E-M5/GX7 duo for the HR Mode and esp. the Focus Bracketing of the E-M5 II. It was, BTW, that HR Mode that clearly showed the weaknesses of the kit 12-60 Panny, so maybe it's OK for a camera without it? Nah.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2018 on Panasonic GX9 Arrives at The Online Photographer
"In that case, I'll continue to find something wrong with every camera that comes along. :-)" No problem there. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2018 on Panasonic GX9 Arrives at The Online Photographer
I think you are leaving a piece of this puzzle out. If you shoot JPEG, you get the maker's idea of look. If you shoot Raw and use the maker's coverter, you get a look identical, or at least very similar to, the JPEGs. If you use ACR/LR/PS, images tend to look more alike between cameras and makers than like the makers' ideas of look. I happen to prefer Adobe's taste in look to Canon DPP or Oly Viewer. DxO default conversions don't look like any of those others. And so on . . . Those with old 4/3 cameras with the Kodak CCD sensors, those with Fuji X-Trans sensors, and undoubtedly others, know that what the image out of camera/conversion looks like depends highly on converter.
"How To Buy Lenses" From that title, I would expect somethings about how to get good deals, good copies, etc. Might not "What Lenses to Buy" be a more apt title? I do know the part about buying through your links, and do so where possible/practical. Doesn't work for old/weird lenses for my Alt photography. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2018 on How To Buy Lenses at The Online Photographer
"when people relied not just on two-lens kits, but two-camera, two-lens kits, or even more cameras and lenses, draped around their necks, ready for action. Photojournalists in the 1960s using 35mm rangefinders were often kitted out in this fashion." I imagine another benefit of 4 cameras is 144 frames of film. If something PJ-ish happens while just out in one, or changing film, there's another camera with a not too different FoV ready to go. I wonder if at least two of the cameras in these four lens kits might not have been the same FL.
"Crucial to the concept is that you use the two lenses in the OPPOSITE way from how people usually think of zooms and primes. You use the zoom when you're photographing purposefully, when photographing is absorbing your whole attention and concentration; and you use the little prime as a "do-everything" lens when you're just carrying the camera along with you in order to have it along, as you go about your other business or your daily life. The reason for that is that when you're photographing deliberately, you don't mind extra weight; when you're just carrying a camera along for fun is when you want it to be light and handy." This whole series of posts hangs on the above idea. I've been trying to determine why it bugs me so much. It shouldn't; it's just another way of working that's different from mine. I think the essence has finally percolated out. The distinction you draw between serious photography and just carrying a camera for fun doesn't fit me. I find it not only possible, but common, to be going about my business and daily life, notice a subject and be, for a moment or minutes, ". . . photographing purposefully, when photographing is absorbing [my] whole attention and concentration . . .", then go back to what I was doing. (Wife and friends will attest to my disappearances.) Conversely, I may be fully equiped, two serious cameras around my neck, pouch of filters on my belt and bag of lenses and accessories over my shoulder, and find myself paying little attention to possible subjects for a while. ----------------- "Moose says that the Panasonic 12–60mm is just as good as the Oly 12–100mm, down to the bokeh. Since I don't need anything quite that long." LOL! That is my experience, but would not be happy with that lens by itself. When I'm using it, it's always paired with another body, equipped with the PLeica 100-400. If stuck with only one of those two lenses, I would choose the 12-100, because I ". . . always need something longer." My casual kit is two Panny lenses, 14-140/3.5-5.6 and 42.5/1.7, and an achromatic C-U lens. The lenses are chosen chosen for their OIS to use with the tiny, IBIS-less GM5. My use is also different, zoom for everything but the dim, prime for the speed. I might prefer a shorter prime, but as it's for low light, I would need OIS, too, and such a thing doesn't (Yet?) exist. And it is perfect for casual portraits. ------------- "But for generalist expressive photography, it's quite possible to own and use only two primes."But for generalist expressive photography, it's quite possible to own and use only two primes. I started out with primes, first the one I could afford, then usually just two, I was sooo happy when I got my first, extremely limited range, zoom and the 70-210 made me think thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Stuck with two primes of the FLs you suggest might force me to drop photography and find another means of artistic expression. Just sayin' - we're all different Mrs. Spratt
"—that most photographers actually use zoom lenses by slamming them to either the short end or the long end, seldom landing in the middle anywhere. That is, they used them like two primes." But did they have any data? Might they have been prejudiced in favor of primes and against zooms? Herewith data on one photographer, July, 2012 through Jan. 22, 2018 and seven zooms. Lens Min. FL Max. FL The Rest PLeica 100-400 11% 45% 44% Olympus 75-300 11% 45% 44% Long Zooms 11% 45% 44% PLeica 12-60 14% 37% 50% Olympus Pro 12-100 14% 20% 66% Panasonic 14-140 4% 30% 66% Olympus 14-150 6% 30% 64% Olympus 12-50 8% 12% 80% Normal Zooms 8% 21% 70% Total 10% 34% 56% Pretty wide scattering between the ends, except for the 12-50, with a large clump @ 43 mm, the FL of its Macro Mode. So, am I that odd a zoom user, or might the wild guess work have been a teeny bit inaccurate? Not many surprises to me: 1. The longest lenses are often too short to properly frame distant subjects, and will be cropped. 2. Leaving the long ones out, 70% of my shots have not been at the ends of the zoom range, nor are there hidden clumps just above or below the ends. 3. I'm not much frustrated by wide end limitations. This is affected in early years by a wider zoom often at hand and later mostly by my common use of stitched panoramas for real WA. "So if you're buying an all-purpose zoom to use as your main normal lens, just ask yourself, if the short end were a prime, would it be short enough? And, if the long end were a prime, would it be long enough?" The data suggests that: 1. My imagined Oly Pro 200-800 zoom would be a good fit. 2. 10 mm would be a better bottom end for mid range zooms for me. 3. Long zoom range, casual zooms starting at 14 mm work pretty well for me at the short end, not too bad at the long end. 4. 12-100 is a better range for me than 12-60. TMI??
What surprised me is not that several people liked the 12-100; it's a first rate lens. I'd say it has excellent IQ at pretty much any settings, if IQ existed. What surprised me is that no one but me commented on the Panny Leica 12-60/2.6-4.0. As far as I have seen, over thousands of practical shots, they are optical equals in quality. I've just spent some time browsing files from both, looking at bokeh. I can't see it as anything but a toss-up, with one or the other being slightly different with different apertures and subject-background or subject-foreground distances. Both seem to my eye to meet your criterion of "The kind of bokeh I like, anyway, smooth but not too smooth, not "fuzzy," just a little bit of bite left in." They generally fall short of my preference for minimal bite, but so do almost all lenses. \;~)> The Oly has Sync IS on their recent bodies and the Pleica has it on their recent bodies. There's also the problem of purple halos around small, bright things in dark areas using Panny lenses on Oly bodies. So I'd sort of expect Panny body folks to like the PLeica 12-60/2.6-4.0 I'm totally fence bound. If only one of these lenses existed, I'd undoubtedly be happy with it. I wrote at considerable length about the similarities and differences between the two in my second comment to the Itch post.
[As far as I can tell, a great lens that almost no one uses. --Mike] Well, that seems to have brought out the 12-100 users. "I also love the 12-100mm f4 - it is extremely versatile and I think there is some special sauce in it that really makes images pop!" ". . . the 12-100/4. An amazing lens that has almost the same performance at the short end, the middle and the long end, and is probably best wide open. The size is the one penalty." I may be the only one here who regularly uses both (actually, 3 shots with one and two with the other today.) I shot the first part of our two weeks in Bhutan mostly with the PLeica 12-60 and 100-400, the second part with Oly 12-100 in place of the 12-60. If there's any secret sauce in one that's not in the other, I can't see it. Having looked at hundreds of photos and fully processed close to 250, I've never noticed a difference in wide to mild tele shots, and couldn't say without peeking what day I switched. The reason I still have and use both is a serious case of "fence" syndrome. The Oly really is a bit big for main walk around lens on a µ4/3 camera. The weight and form factor of the Pleica are far more pleasing to me. 12-100 had the reach I like. 12-60 is faster at the short end. The big difference, and where I think Oly dropped the ball is in close-ups. Both go to 0.3x, but the Oly does so @ 12 mm and the Pleica @ 60 mm. A quote from an email I sent to the Oly List: I went over to look at a flowering plant . . . I already knew that part of their special character that I like is the color of the flowers. It's one of those colors in nature that just don't photograph accurately. But I was right there, so I went to take a shot. Eeek! I've got the 12-100, and can't get much magnification without throwing the shadow of the honkin' great front of the lens on the subject. Then there's a dahlia starting to bloom, and a cute bud, just starting to burst open, right there. Same problem, but I take a shot. Run in the house, change lenses, return to the scene of the crime. I get both shots the way I want them. Yes, I believe Oly, that I could, theoretically, get the same size image as with the PLeica. And maybe if I take off the lens hood, and maybe use a tripod to get close enough and hold the lens there, maybe some fill light, or a different time of day . . . but I just couldn't get the shots, standing there with camera in hand and subjects ready. The perspective of the Oly shots is also unappealing. Practical upshot is that the Oly doesn't do a kind of shooting that's important to me without fussing at least with an auxiliary lens or tube. The PLeica just does it, no fuss, no bother, on to the next thing." But . . . but, there's that reach with the Oly, which is why it came into play today. It it did close-ups properly, it would have been the winner.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2018 on Itch at The Online Photographer
Tuesday, I revealed my obsession with the little details that differentiate cameras that make getting the photo easier, or even possible, by pointing out the G9's lack of focus bracketing as a reason I'd give it a Silver, vs. the E-M1 II/s Gold. My camera for this challenge would be the as yet non-existent E-M5 III. 1. Retain the Mysets of all previous Olys. 2. The operational speed features of the E-M1 II. 3. The feature mentioned for the future way back when HR Mode for the E-M5 II debuted, an HR ability with 1/60 sec. total for all 8 exposures (with fast enough exposure per piece.) 4. Form factor of the E-M5 II, but with a couple more Fn buttons. Perhaps #1 needs explanation. While obscure to many/most Oly users, MySets are a group of four custom settings. Their special quality is that they may be assigned to Fn buttons. I can press one button and be in Focus Bracket Mode with my preferred options. Press again and I'm back where I was. Like the G9, with its top LCD, Oly has succumbed to the desire to attract DSLR users by making cameras look and act like them. So . . . The E-M1 II has three Custom Settings on the Mode Dial. OK, so they cut the number from four to three, and put then on a dial, what's wrong with that? What's wrong is that they can no longer be assigned to Fn Buttons! And . . as it should, the Mode dial locks. So, to go to a custom setting, I would need to push the lock button, spin the dial - to the correct one of many detents, take the shot(s), then spin it back and reset the lock. Talk about backward "progress" in usability! Lenses are easier, I guess. Panny 7-14/4, PLeica 100-400 and either PLeica 12-60/2.8-4 or Oly Pro 12-100/4. But I need two of the bodies, or no deal. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2018 on Itch at The Online Photographer
And a small voice in the wilderness called out "Continuous LED lighting . . . " Especially for those of us who have never used off camera flash for their own work, eschew flash of any kind wherever possible, the likely light effects of flashes such as you speak of is a mystery. When there's no choice, artificial light or not get the shot, one may, of course, spend a lot of time chimping and adjusting OR - turn on the LEDs. It's dark today, and I wish to take some pictures of the stuff under the tree, so I'll take the little, light, daylight balanced LED. Probably hand hold it, look at the light on the camera LCD and push the remote release when it's right. Right first time.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2018 on Bare Bulbs at The Online Photographer
"Topic #1" I'm happy the process you describe works for you. I'm also happy that a quite different process works for me. Just as, and related to the fact that, tastes vary, not all mental and visual processes are the same. Months and years later, I'm a pleased at how my choices have held up - both for me and for others who encounter them. My Mileage Varies.
"I find David Adam Edelstein's trio particularly appealing. It would be good to see more of his work." Search engines are your friends. Lots of hits, lots of photos.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2017 on Black-and-White Update at The Online Photographer
Hold on to it for that B&H Deal 'o the Day that will come along in the not to distant future. You know, that thing that you would like (or mayhap didn't know existed, let alone would call to you), can't justify, but now at a price that's amazing - and - feels free with the gift certificate.
That looks like a good resource, and I'm happy you've pointed me to his blog. OTOH, I imagine a book like that, in the hands of some, would be an excuse not to go ahead and make a book - reading, pondering, considering, when just moving ahead may be the thing to do. I would suggest to anyone who is thinking about making a book just do it. It's easy and relatively inexpensive to make a book with any of several on-line resources. Then, if it seems desirable, after considering the result and getting the responses of others, dive into a book about making books with an idea of what works and what doesn't in what you have done. In his review of Adornment, Colberg says "You’d imagine it must be pretty simple to make a good photobook if you have no narrative to contend with, but that’s not true. It’s just as hard." And yet, maybe you'll be lucky! I made a book as a response to an attractive promotional offer. I had a group of photos I would like together, so I tried it. Colberg says ". . . even in the absence of narrative the edit and sequence matter. The challenges of putting the pictures together are just as big, if not bigger." Well, I messed up one pair of facing images and the placement of another relative to the gutter. The publisher made a mistake in the last photo, so I got a free re-do. Other than that brief stumble, it was a great success. I've made six books since. Based a little on my own satisfaction and more on the reactions of family, friends and the occasional stranger, it appears I have a previously unknown talent for ordering images. One eleoquent friend, whose own first (prose) book has just been published calls my picture books Meditations. "I derive equal enjoyment from seeing what you could call a collection of individual pictures that somehow speak of something larger, but that mostly remain there. There is, after all, a lot to be said for that kind of photography." Has anyone learned to paint by reading a book, without exercises? This is Art. Try it if it calls, and find out what you have hidden away. If this isn't your metier, at least you haven't read a tome about it. \;^)>
Hey! I was there! Outside the police car, listening to Mario Savio via his bullhorn. Still in Berkeley
"I took that number from the counter in the camera rather than by counting files on my disk. - D-DB" Dubious and much different meaning counts for me than they used to be. I now take quite a lot of in-camera focus stacks (brackets, in Oly terminology). One press of the shutter button generates 15 or 25 (my settings) exposures, that in turn become one final photograph. As those exposures are all without mechanical shutter use, there's no shutter mechanism wear and tear. A simple camera exposure count or a count of image files give a wildly inaccurate idea of how many "pictures" I took. Fortunately, the LR catalog allows me to stack those multiple exposures automagically by time proximity and get a "real" photo count. (I still don't like LR for editing, but the catalog is pretty darn useful.)
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2017 on Lumix G9 and Leica Lens at The Online Photographer
"Format: On large prints (prints, not screens) you see the difference" - Robert Might I suggest that it depends on the photographer, post processor and the printers, both person and device? I have seen, close up, significant crops of 16 MP µ4/3 files printed to 20x24" in Ctein's printer room. I don't think they give a thing away to FF beyond any magnification I will ever print or have printed. Can I do that? No. Can you: Perhaps not, but that doesn't necessarily mean the equipment can't. "lenses for 4/3 not that much smaller - Robert" Had you said that "some" or "quite a few" or "fast, expensive" lenses for 4/3 are not that much smaller, I might possibly agree. Even using the rather small for the time FF Olympus OM lenses, the apples to apples differences are great. OM 28/2.8 is much larger and heavier than Panny 14/2.5. Same for OM 50/1.8 vs. M.Z 25/1.8. I could go on . . . How about Leica 100-400 vs. - oh wait - there's nothing even close to comparable for FF. Yes, the giant f/1.2 lenses may be little smaller than their FF equivalents. I wouldn't know, as those aren't my kind of lenses. But I have a full complement of OM lenses other than the super fasts, had some MF Nikon F lenses (only the lovely 200/4 left), extensively used some EF mount lenses on 5D and have way too many µ4/3 lenses. There is a large to huge difference in size and weight - apples to apples. I don't know if you have real experience with µ4/3 gear. My opinions are based on many miles slogged with both kinds of gear.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2017 on Lumix G9 and Leica Lens at The Online Photographer
"The LUMIX G9 includes a largest-in-class Status LCD on the top, allowing users to check the settings at a glance." Ergonomics are so personal. I recently had occasion to use a DSLR for the first time in years, for a specific project. How am I " to check the settings at a glance." when I am at the back of the camera and the LCD is on the top? I disliked that design with my 5D. Now that I'm used to mirrorless, I really hate it. Why would I want to move my camera from shooting position to see how it's set? Most recently, sitting on the ground or a low stool, camera on a tripod, I couldn't lower the camera or twist it up/back, nor could I see the top without getting up, now too high. Feh! The Oly SCP provides all that info, plus the means to change any of it, right on the back LCD or in the EVF. Far superior, to me. (Yes, I imagine the G9 has Panny's QuickMenu, which isn't even close to as useful as the SCP, but doesn't require moving self or camera to read. But then what's the top LCD for, other than adding size and weight? Lipstick on a pig.) BTW, I'm neither for nor against Panny, overall. I used a GX7 alongside my E-M5 very happily for thousands of shots - and personally found the IBISs about equal, still use GM5 and ZS50 and my most used lenses are PLeicas.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2017 on Lumix G9 and Leica Lens at The Online Photographer
". . . I was thinking that photographers who shoot Micro 4/3 are the luckiest photographers in the world." Couldn't have expressed my feelings better myself. Came back from Bhutan a month ago. 15 days, 3,500+ stills*, 180 videos. On the Bhutan part of the trip, actually used three Oly bodies, two Leica lenses, four Oly lenses, one Laowa, 7.5 to 400 mm FL range. Fabulous photo trip. The gear was close to perfect, excellent results. Could I have been just a tiny bit happier? With the as yet imaginary E-M5 III, with the faster focus and better focus tracking of the E-M1 II, perhaps. BTW, the f1.2 lenses that set this post off are just noise to me. I seldom used even the f1.8-2.0 max apertures of the lenses I carried, 83 shots, f1.8 - f3.5. [Back to the digital darkroom, slave!!] *Counting the multiple exposures of focus stacks each as only one shot.
"Wondering, though, what others use as a stand for this kind of work. " Aside from the very expensive Leitz Aristophot and Nikon Multiphot, it depends in part on how you plan to hold the film. When I tried this approach, I used part of the excellent Olympus OM System macro gear. This illustration shows how the Auto Bellows, 80/4 Auto 1:1 lens and Slide Copier work together. As it is all a rigid piece when put together, it doesn't much matter what holds it, other than to make lighting convenient. I put it on a tripod close in front of a bookcase on which I put one of those cheap daylight balanced 4x5" "light tables", which worked very well. The Slide Copier is well built, with spring loading, so one only need refocus when mount style/thickness changes. I don't have the roll film accessory, as I have no film rolls, but the holder easily accommodates strips of film. I know there were other, similar solutions made. If you are going to put the film flat in/on some holder, you need a vertical stand. There is an essentially infinite supply of old enlargers, at least some of which can be used as copy stands, as I have done. Again, Olympus made an ideal solution. Used set on a light table or a piece of opal glass/plastic with flash below and focusing rail and/or adjustable extension tube and macro lens, it makes a solid, compact set-up. It's hard to see from the pictures how solid and precise this gear is.
" If I put the Zeiss on an extension tube . . . the sides of the negative/slide will turn to mush." When I tested my C-U/macro lenses a few years ago, the Oly 50/3.5 1:2 Macro tied for first at 1:2, but was still quite good @ 1:1; flat field and corners still good. But I would use their 80/4 Auto true Macro bellows lens, optimized for 1:1, for this, which is how I tested it.
"I would have to have been on the lookout; because I am often lost in thought, I'm not always alert." "I don't know about you, but as I go about almost every day, I see far more photographs than it's possible to even try to take." Put together, those statements seem self-contradictory, but I understand. \;^)> What I've found is that I tend not to get lost in thought when walking - if I have a camera with me. (Otherwise . . .) Especially if it's a "real" camera and in hand or around my neck. Cell phones don't work, and a camera in a bag or pouch are less effective. I "SEE" more with camera in hand. OTOH, seen with camera in hand, ready to take advantage, most of those ". . . far more photographs than it's possible to even try to take." reveal their flaws as actual photographs. In the face of actual picture taking, the fantasies collapse, and the number of actual shots available is manageable.
You have missed a crucial, at least to me, aspect - dust, dirt, scratches, etc. The better dedicated film scanners, and even some flatbed scanners with illumination and holders for film scanning, have an IR channel which allows automated dust removal. This is, in my awed opinion, MAGIC. No spotting!! It does not work with silver based B&W film. It didn't work at all well with Kodachrome until recently, when both SilverFast and VueScan figured out how to do it. I have the equipment, copy stand, slide/film holder, macro lenses etc. to do it your way. I've tried it; I didn't like it. I have one imaginary friend* who digitized several thousand slides with a similar set-up, using flash under a glass holder with stops for slide placement and a macro with sufficient DoF to avoid individual focusing of each slide. Needed only when changing to different mounts. He was happy with the speed and perhaps had cleaner film/technique than I. He had also had a lot of trouble with his Nikon scanners, including subtle halo/auras around highlights that cleaning and Nikon service couldn't correct, and gave up on them. OTOH, Tiny Manley, a moderately well known Leica photographer, who has done stock all her career, is still scanning some of her 10s of thousands of frames of B&W film and slides. She uses Nikon scanners with auto feeders with success, although is also a little bothered by the halo problem. As to software and old computer/OSs, it's true most software that came with scanners is defunct, but VueScan is inexpensive and with excellent support. Yes, there may be a moderate learning curve foe some uses, but the results are excellent. It comes with it's own scanner driver that supports practically any scanner ever made. BUT, Windoze only, which is fine for me. Personally, I use a long discontinued Canon 4000FS film scanner (with back-up). It has much greater DoF than the Nikon, Minolta, etc. scanners and a more diffuse light source than Nikon, which doesn't exacerbate scratches. Yup, slow per frame, and only sticks of six frames or four slides per batch - BUT - will do those unattended with VueScan while I do other things. * Known for years on the web, but never met in person.