This is Dennis's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Dennis's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
Is there something going on here ? You've recently written about car mags and supercars and about not overbuying, interwoven with posts about the Zeiss ZX1 and Tamron Opera and Zeiss Batis lenses. I don't know whether I should view it as a double standard or ironic commentary.
Hmmm ... I'm only 160 (used to be 150) at 5'11 and like a car with legroom. I've been driving either a pickup truck or SUV for at least 25 years now, so it's not about ease of getting in/out for me. However, I will freely admit that the number one, overriding factor in the choice of the SUV I bought a year ago (and any car I might buy going forward) was seat comfort for my creaky back.
I don't have a favorite aspect ratio - I agree, at least based on my own experience, that photographers can adapt. I've been shooting 2:3 for 30+ years, dabbled with square (6x6) and when I experimented with shooting for square crops for a little project, I loved it. I'm comfortable with wide horizontals and shorter verticals, but I think you (can) just end up composing for whatever you're using, so I've seen great 4:3 horizontals and 16:9 verticals as well. I think that if I were to switch from APS-C to m43, I'd probably adapt, rather than crop, except when needed (and I crop APS-C now as suits the photo).
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2018 on That Was Nice at The Online Photographer
This was an interesting read that seems to express a sense of missed opportunity that I think others probably feel at this post-September-Revolution juncture. However, I believe that the part about telephotos showed your own bias. You stated that you assumed bird/wildlife photographers would flock to m43 for the reach. And when they didn't you determined that they use big lenses for the prestige. It's pretty easy to find some impressive wildlife & bird photography out there by people using these lenses and I'd conclude that they're using them for the results, not the prestige. Personally, I went years without a long tele (since switching from film to digital) and only recently purchased a Sony RX10 III. This should handle my backyard wildlife needs (though AF at the long end is dodgy compared to my DSLR). I'm not enamored with the idea of carrying around a big tele (nor do I see any prestige in it). But I've dabbled in it and read about it enough to believe that those who do bother carrying long teles do so because they're very passionate about what they do and about doing it well. Personally, I see FOMO as being a bigger factor than prestige in people's irrational attraction to larger-than-necessary sensors. When I see the word prestige, I think of the guy in the Honda looking at the guy in the Mercedes. Maybe he wants a Mercedes, maybe he doesn't, but there's nothing wrong with his Honda. With cameras and sensors, I see the guy shooting APS-C looking at the guy shooting FF and wondering what he's missing out on. He's thinking about noise in 100% views at ISO 6400. If the FF guy is using a Leica and he's envious, then it's prestige, but if it's just a bigger Nikon, then I think it's insecurity.
Mike, I think you've hit the disconnect squarely on the head ! At this point, I think it's finally clear where the companies are headed and where they want buyers to go. The big question is whether buyers will go and what happens if they don't. Will the APS-C DSLR users migrate, stick stubbornly to their DSLRs, or look elsewhere ? Will one of the companies "break ranks" and offer Fujifilm some serious competition in mirrorless APS-C ? What are Canon and Nikon offering to entry level buyers ? EOS-M isn't compatible with EOS-R. (Is that it ? You buy one or the other ?) Nikon doesn't have APS-C mirrorless (or any promise to have it). It's a tough time to try to figure out which system to buy into, when m43 offers more quality than you need, but the m43 system you want is $1700 (and so is the 1" fixed lens digicam you want !) and a Z6 with a 24-70/4 can be had for around the same price as a G9 with a 12-35/2.8 ... I tend to think that manufacturers are going to win out and get a lot of people who never planned to buy FF to buy FF. But who knows ?
(In reply to my own question: oh, it's apparently a NEW URL !) [Right, created because of the new consortium. --Mike]
Would would have guessed there were enough SL rumors to warrant a URL ?
I don't buy into the squeeze from the bottom. After all, Sony's 1" sensors helped several manufacturers carve out a niche (for several manufacturers in the presumed-to-be-dead compact market. Rather, I think it's because (most of) we photographers have this ingrained belief that "bigger is better". Years ago, 35mm was the ideal balance between film size and cost/practicality for most people. In the DSLR era, it's been APS-C, but costs of FF have been dropping, FF systems offer the broadest selection of gear, and it's no more impractical than it ever was. The thing that doesn't come up in that is image quality. In film days, 35mm was sufficient without being overkill. Indeed, compared to what we can do today, we were considerably more restricted. Today, except for shallow DOF, a 1" sensor probably meets the same standards, but sufficiency just doesn't factor in for most people, any more than it factors into their choice of a flat panel TV (what's the biggest I can afford that fits on the wall ?), cars (what's the biggest I can afford that fits in the garage), houses (what's the biggest I can afford), cell phones (you get the picture). In short, the move to FF is being driven by consumers' irrationality, but there's no point in judging ourselves too harshly, because the downsides of choosing FF over something smaller just aren't all that significant. I'm getting ready to do some test prints to see if I could live with 12x18" prints from 1" sensors and if I could be happy with m43 instead of APS-C. But then again, a couple of my Nikon lenses would work fine on the new z 6 and that 24-70/4 looks pretty compact. Go figure.
Re: "Other Lenses" ... Just thinking that Nikon might want to lay claim to a letter of the alphabet sooner rather than later. Sony has A mount and E mount (but muddies that up with "FE"). (And, of course, they're all Alphas and use 'A' in their camera model names). Canon uses EOS, but has EOS-M and their new mirrorless system is rumored to be called EOS R. Nikon, itself, has F mount (in DX and FX) and the old Nikon 1 mount (in CX) and uses 'D' on DSLR names (and Z, now). Olympus uses E extensively for various camera models and Panasonic likes 'G'. Sony also uses G for high end lens designations (the old Minolta 'G' lens updated to be GM or "G-Master") while Canon uses 'L' (and Nikon just puts gold rings on theirs). Pentax has K (and has used Q - they've probably ruined Q for anyone else). Fuji is all about the X. I'm not even going to go look up all the letters Sigma, Tamron and Tokina use. I suppose, though, that Nikon will simply not give the "other lenses" a designation (reserving the designation 'S' for its higher end lenses). That would be a lot easier than trying to pick a letter from what's left. Maybe they should take a page from Zeiss' book and come up with seemingly meaningless names, like Touit, Batis and Otus.
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2018 on Great News from Nikon! at The Online Photographer
"You buy a camera for the lenses" - that is the key ! Right now, Z is the obvious FF mirrorless for Nikon F lens owners and probably should not be under serious consideration for anyone not planning to adapt F mount lenses. I mean, if it interests you, then by all means, look at it, but I would wait for the native lenses I want to be available. Like you, I was sort of burned by my eagerness to buy into APS-C e-mount early on. I even upgraded along the way, added a couple 3rd party primes, tried lenses that I didn't expect to be good because some people insisted they're not so bad (and found that my expectations were right). At this point, I have a couple of bodies and half a dozen lenses to sell off. The latest & greatest Sony rumors even have a new high end performance-oriented APS-C body with dual control dials ... but still no mention of any new APS-C lenses. The Z intrigues me as a Nikon lens owner, but as an APS-C Nikon owner, half my lenses are DX and the cost to upgrade is more than I need to spend. And, like Sony, Nikon seems to have zero enthusiasm for APS-C. (I'd consider switching to Fuji or m43 just for their ongoing commitment, but there's no compelling reason to spend money to do much of anything right now, except keep taking pictures).
I sort of fell into a job with a big company, but somewhere along the way, realized that it's the best place for me. I'm not an entrepreneur, don't want to market myself, find work, research health insurance options, taxes, retirement savings or any of the rest. I just want to come in and do the work I'm paid to do. So I put up with the corporate BS because it's better (for someone with my temperament) than the alternative. It also seems logical and efficient: civilization advanced when we moved beyond subsistence living and were allowed to specialize. So it makes sense for me to spend my time on what I'm good at and let marketers do their thing, let HR and IT do their jobs and so on. I give lots of credit to those with the passion and drive to run successful small businesses. I know I'm not cut out for it.
A couple of things came together recently and led me to a purchase of an RX10-III. First, after using a Sony mirrorless system for years as my compact alternative to my Nikon DSLR, I decided that I really dislike dealing with multiple lenses when out and about shooting casually. Second, I've been without a long tele for years, but have missed having something to shoot backyard & local wildlife (which I do half-heartedly at best). And while there are nice, affordable options available for Nikon, the idea of the RX10 was appealing because it's something I can keep handy in the house to run outside when I do see wildlife. The RX10-III was an open box model ($700+). AF hunts at the long end at times and if I were considering spending $1400 for a new one, I would definitely pony up for the 'IV'. At this point, I'm enjoying the camera enough to consider upgrading to the IV and resolving not to buy a long tele for the DSLR. Or maybe not, time will tell. But aside from the AF (which is fine for most of my uses) it's proven extremely capable and handy (I also have an RX100 for even more convenience). I've shot deer in the back yard, got a slow motion clip of a hummingbird and have even used it for a couple of events where I'd normally take my 70-200/2.8. I expect to put it to good use on summer vacation. The lens is very sharp and when you put that together with the speed (f/4 at the long end) and the reasonable high ISO performance, it's not far off the mark from an affordable tele for a DSLR (those tend to be f/6.3 at the long end and don't exactly exploit a 24MP sensor). For a casual (at best) wildlife shooter like me (or anyone who wants to shoot long with something light) it's an interesting option.
I have been a Featured Commenter on TOP on more than one occasion.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2018 on Devilish Question at The Online Photographer
I have not had the same experience at all as Jim when it comes to upgrades. Of course, old stuff fails. New stuff will, too; usually sooner. Newer appliances are usually more efficient and quieter, though the quiet doesn't always last. Our new dishwasher probably is better than the old one in every way - time will tell if it will last 30+ years. The newer fridge has been problematic, requiring a new control board within a few years, and is still prone to "overcooling" and freezing things in the back of it. The new microwave has all kinds of automatic features we don't use; meanwhile, it heats inconsistently every once in a while. I'm sure we could all go on and on. I will say that digital cameras seem to keep getting better and better. They might feel a little cheaper than older models, but I think they're getting even more reliable. The only downside is when an "upgrade" removes a feature or dumbs something down, but the net is usually very positive.
Speed Queen. (Craig Yuill recommended it in your 2013 post). The local appliance repairman told me he won't touch Samsung or LG appliances ... too much bother: repairs are so expensive, you're halfway to buying a new one, and customers complain when the expensive repair part fails.
I mean it as a compliment when I say you're not the McDonalds of photography blogs. BTW, have you seen "The Founder" (Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc) ? I recommend it.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2018 on 70 Million Served at The Online Photographer
I really need to go get my eyes checked and get a new prescription. Anyway, when I need to read tiny print (and my daughter isn't around to read it for me !) I use ... drumroll please ... my iPhone ! No app, just the stock camera.
Beats me. It looks like they took out the things that make Fuji's X system good (retro control layout in a comfortable body with X-Trans sensor) to make a camera that looks vaguely like every SLR from the 70s. I suspect it will sell to people who want to use Fuji lenses with a Bayer sensor, but it has none of the appeal of higher end models for me.
I say no. First, the question asked was whether everyone should try shooting film at least "once". That's subject to interpretation, but even if you believe there's something that can be learned from shooting film, you don't learn it shooting it once. I never did my own darkroom work (I developed a roll of b&w once with a friend and had no idea why I was doing what we were doing). Early on, I shot negative film and had it processed by mail order labs and between the exposure latitude and the small prints, sloppy technique was masked. My first advance in IQ came when I started shooting slide film and got a light table and a loupe. That helped me improve on the technical side of things. The second came when I started shooting digital and had more freedom to experiment, to see what worked and what didn't. That helped even more, not only on the technical side, but with composition and all kids of lighting. I'm intrigued by view cameras (I like "perspective corrected" images and often do that in Lightroom). I think I'd probably rather get PC lenses for a FF digital camera, though. If I could try a view camera in a workshop setting, I'd happily give it a go, but it's nothing I'd ever dabble in on my own.
Mike, to understand those people, consider that they don't print. They'd be happy to have that picture and share it on flickr or Instagram. I side with you on the issue. I've bypassed scenes that I'd have loved to stop and photograph if only I had my camera, because a phone snapshot isn't what I wanted. "Any picture is better than none" doesn't always ring true. Sometimes, it's just one more thing to have to delete. Of course there have been plenty of times I've been glad to have my phone to snap a photo of something that I want to remember or share. As you say, there is such a thing as the right camera (and the wrong camera).
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2018 on Whoops, Wrong Camera at The Online Photographer
Interesting point and I think you're generally right (which is about as right as you can be when generalizing). I liked my compact rangefinders (a Minolta 7sII and a Ricoh 500) better than I liked the Leica (M6 I think ?) that I tried many moons ago ... but I'm not sure that counters your claim, because I never used them on a remotely regular basis, preferring my SLR. So I don't fall into that category of people who say they like rangefinders in the first place - they're fun to play with. Now the really interesting thing would be to check back in 20 years and see if you can say the same thing about mirrorless and SLR. My gut feeling is that there will be people who continue to prefer SLRs and it won't be because of a particular brand, but time will tell.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2018 on People Like Leicas at The Online Photographer
There's a proverb that goes something like "you have to take things the way they happen so you should try to make them happen the way you want to take them". I suppose you could adapt that to cameras: "You have to use the camera you have with you so you should try to have with you the camera you want to use." Or something like that.
Mike, I'm with you 100%. I do not get the appeal of vlogs. Most of them badly misuse (or underexploit) the medium. If all I get is 10 minutes of someone's face talking to us guys, how is that better than written text ? (It must be better for the vlogger attempting to make money on youtube). I've clicked on camera reviews that never show the camera. One of the worst was a video that opened with a middle-aged plus guy (i.e. MY age and old enough to not be doing stupid stuff) sipping from a cup of coffee, then saying "ahhhh, let me just put my coffee down and we can begin". That was it for me - no idea what the rest of the video might have contained, but if that's his idea of being, I don't know, clever or cute, no thanks. As for "you guys" I think it's wishful thinking and intended to mean "all of you loyal followers" as opposed to "random guy who stumbled across my video and probably won't ever watch another one of my videos". Let me leave you with this (only 4 second) video:
1. Hard to answer since I can't really figure out why I'd want to shoot film (the likeliest reason would be to try shooting a view camera, which wasn't one of your choices). I'd say rangefinder, probably a compact RF to do some casual handheld not-really-street photography w/b&w film. 2. DSLR-style.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2018 on Two Questions at The Online Photographer
I never found much use for 50mm on APS-C. When I owned a 28, 50 and 85 (for the good ol' KM 7D) my stats showed that, of the photos taken with those primes, 45% were with the 28 and 45% with the 85. The 50 was too short or too long for most anything I wanted to shoot. BTW, the way I've heard the whole "human vision" thing is that if you shoot with a FL equal to the diagonal of the sensor, then make a print, if you view that print at a "standard" viewing distance (equal to the diagonal measure of the print) then the scene in the print occupies the same FOV that that portion of the scene did when you took the picture. That explanation pleases the mathematician in me, but I doubt that I've ever looked at more than a handful of images in my life at a distance equal to the diagonal. (My eyes won't focus close enough in most cases !) Still, for whatever reason, I'm partial to 28mm on APS-C and find even 35mm a bit "tight".