PIX 2015
Alec

Alec

Lives in United States New York City, NY, United States
Works as a Photographer
Has a website at http://karasevstudio.com/
Joined on Oct 24, 2000
About me:

I'm a photographer serving New York City’s theatre and fashion industries as well as industrial and advertising photography needs of the city’s businesses. My O2 (Optically Opinionated) blog contains ideas, tips, and industry commentary.

Comments

Total: 172, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

Alec: Accessible slo-mo is a very welcome development for filmmakers, right up there with similarly cheap good low-light and 2496 field sound.

But what astounds me is that smartphones aren't being left in the dust - if anything they're catching up! This is iPhone6 240p low light NYC subway:

https://vimeo.com/133791958

Very true. I think it's not only a matter of reading the frames, but also processing them. To be fair, smartphones have very, very powerful processors nowadays (justified by other killer apps before slo-mo was even on the map) that can make a good use of those readouts. By contrast, on cameras, for a processor to do say 1080p at 480fps, that computing power would pretty much sit idle for any tasks other than slo-mo that I can think of.

...Unless we can think of on-board raw processing that rivals present-day desktop, with real-time lens correction, far more sophisticated noise reduction and sharpening, and perhaps onboard HDR and focus bracketing etc etc.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2015 at 01:40 UTC
On Sony reportedly shifting focus to full-frame cameras article (453 comments in total)
In reply to:

mark power: Let's admit it, Sony engineers are brilliant - too brilliant. They apparently race one another to see how many features they can cram into a tiny space. So many picture options undermines the confidence of the photographer because who has time to test them all before deciding to make a photo? There's usually the nagging feeling, "if only I had..." let's have a stripped down version of the A7s. No video, few picture and scene effects, no auto cropping, face finders and so on. Just keep the essential features for good responsive intuitive photography. They could call it the A7pro. We'll never go back to film but the best film cameras just gave you what you need and didn't burden the machine with a lot of engineering hubris.

So in what way is A900 not exactly that? It leaves out all the BS and has a really great viewfinder, really solid body, clean and functional interface, all the real photography features, and a strong shutter and aperture and focusing motors, etc.

If one likes a pure-bred photographer's camera and doesn't want gimmicks, but also doesn't want an A900, one really has to wonder. It's kind of like saying I wish iPhone 6 was more like iPhone 4 in the way it worked, but in an iPhone 7 sort of way... a neat statement, but totally non-actionable.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2015 at 01:31 UTC

Accessible slo-mo is a very welcome development for filmmakers, right up there with similarly cheap good low-light and 2496 field sound.

But what astounds me is that smartphones aren't being left in the dust - if anything they're catching up! This is iPhone6 240p low light NYC subway:

https://vimeo.com/133791958

Direct link | Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 03:14 UTC as 5th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Horshack: Loving my RX10M2. The 960fps comes in handy for geek experiments, like these I did last week:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnNSs36tmMQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6httCrBPL4

It may also be a matter of the much smaller aperture motors and dainty plastic gears aren't up to the task of the larger pro lenses' aperture mechanisms.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 03:09 UTC
On Sony reportedly shifting focus to full-frame cameras article (453 comments in total)
In reply to:

mark power: Let's admit it, Sony engineers are brilliant - too brilliant. They apparently race one another to see how many features they can cram into a tiny space. So many picture options undermines the confidence of the photographer because who has time to test them all before deciding to make a photo? There's usually the nagging feeling, "if only I had..." let's have a stripped down version of the A7s. No video, few picture and scene effects, no auto cropping, face finders and so on. Just keep the essential features for good responsive intuitive photography. They could call it the A7pro. We'll never go back to film but the best film cameras just gave you what you need and didn't burden the machine with a lot of engineering hubris.

I have what one would call the last pure-bred digital still camera. SONY DSLR-A900. No video. No live view. Want to buy mine?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 02:56 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Judging from the price, they must all be much higher quality. However, I don't understand why it needs to be higher quality than their still counterparts. I mean the resolution of 4K is 4096x2160, which is much lower than those of still image (typical 24MP) required.

I use Samyang's current cine lenses. They're not corrected for focus breathing (to do that, the lens should have a little zoom action that counteracts picture slightly changing size when focusing). I see nothing in the specs of the new ones suggesting that they would, since it's kind of a big deal for a purely mechanical lens of a given resolution - basically double the mechanical complexity without any more play or misalignment.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 02:45 UTC

Clearly, the big bucks and the creators of the original works have the leverage over those who (yes, creatively and competently) capture those works. Most of the viewers of those concert shots want to see Taylor Swift concert pix - they utterly don't care which photographer has captured them. That makes the photographer relatively disposable.

The takeaway for me is, creating a distinct vision and brand - and a following (if those vision and brand are compelling) are keys to success. Otherwise if you're faceless and replaceable, they're going to make you eat sh*t simply because they can. Yes, you can make good arguments that it's not fair etc., but they won't change the actual power balance and thus market reality.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 05:41 UTC as 25th comment
In reply to:

CharlesB58: Well, it's obvious some of the comments posted here are not only made by people who are not working music photographers, but not working photographers at all. The return a photographer gets of a given use of a photo is usually a fraction of what the record label saves with their unlimited use provisions. If you know the industry, you know that labels do all they can to screw their own artists out of money. The greed factor trickles down hill and is often disguised as Intellectual Property Rights.

I've dealt first hand with musicians who loudly protest the idea of of not receiving fair compensation for performances or distribution of recordings then tell me with a smile that they want to use my photos "for credit". I smile back and point out that I am every bit the professional they are. Sometimes we then agree on a usage fee. Other times they resort to using crappy smartphone photos taken by people who are thrilled to get their names on the artist's website.

Many times an artist would like to use my photos, but his/her contract requires approval by his/her label's publicity department. Dealing with those people, who are the ones who come up with the crappy photo contracts, is like undergoing dental work without anesthesia, unless you are already on their approved list.

So please, if you aren't an actual music photographer, consider that your comments don't have much weight in this discussion.

I'm a full-time photog serving NYC's advertising and theatre fields ( karasevstudio.com ). I'm not an actual music photographer, and my comments may not have much weight in this discussion.

That said, nearly all the leverage naturally is on the side of the original creative artist. If a sculptor contracts me to capture their work, yes, my creativity and skill play into how compelling the final image is, but let's get real here - it is the capture of the original creative work on whose design I had zero creative input.

If Taylor Swift comes to me for a headshot or an editorial shoot, and we develop a concept together and then shoot it, that's our show. If I were shooting her performance as-is, that's her show. A litmus test is, in the latter case, replacing me with a random competent photog would change almost nothing in the commercial success of the whole venture, and replacing Taylor Swift with a random competent singer would change almost everything. And that's the power balance.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 05:29 UTC

I'd love to see Sigma make a 20-40mm f/4 ZOOM TILT-SHIFT lens, for architecture, with a large imaging circle / shift value.

I say f/4 because for intended applications, shift lenses tend to be on a tripod anyway and with a wide intended dof. It's nice to dream of same at 2.8 but not at triple the price or with a significantly reduced imaging circle or compromised micro-contrast.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2015 at 20:36 UTC as 28th comment | 1 reply
On Alpha dog: Hands-on with Sony a7R II article (1087 comments in total)
In reply to:

En Trance: And my question still remains. Is a serious photographer interested in using a camera that has a primary design objective of fitting into his wife's fanny pack??? I love the technology and specs, but I wonder about the design compromises resulting from the miniature packaging.

A few of these rebuttals focus on weight. If the strength is the same, a lighter lens+body combo will of course be preferred by the pros, if well balanced.

Above, I spoke abt size not the weight. Yes a downhill skier will prefer lighter skis (assuming they perform the same) but not smaller skis or boots that only go up to your ankles. That'd be absurd. Ditto a competitive pistol shooter - he'd be nuts to prefer a pistol with a half-size grip. But for some reason with cameras, people get all worked up about pro cameras, regardless of tech evolution, desired to have the grip surface for your entire right palm. Are there pro caliber bodies that are tiny? YES. They may even be loved by pros as backups or personal shooters or some other applications. That's not the point. The point is, what SIZE you prefer to shoot all day every day with a big lens, such that your hands don't shake by the end of the day - and the answer is, a body that has a big physical interface surface for your palm.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 15, 2015 at 13:30 UTC
On Alpha dog: Hands-on with Sony a7R II article (1087 comments in total)
In reply to:

En Trance: And my question still remains. Is a serious photographer interested in using a camera that has a primary design objective of fitting into his wife's fanny pack??? I love the technology and specs, but I wonder about the design compromises resulting from the miniature packaging.

I fully agree that just like any other hand tool (say construction power tools, competition grade sporting equipment, etc.), a pro level camera has to present a human body interface that maximizes precision and minimizes fatigue. The 7 series, since Minolta days, have been "advanced amateur / enthusiast" cameras, and SONY, having acquired Minolta's mount, engineers, and heritage, have kept that convention. We'll have to wait for the 9 series to see a physically bigger mirrorless body. I am hoping the vertical grip would be integrated, for the above stated reason and also to provide a larges area for a larger LCD. I'd love something as big and high resolution as the iPhone 6 plus's display.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 13, 2015 at 18:16 UTC

You've lost your negatives and all you have are some stained, warped 4x6's? Now you can lose those too, because, iPhone

Direct link | Posted on May 7, 2015 at 21:35 UTC as 6th comment

I reckon the rationale behind the separate focusing adapter is flexibility:
- other mounts
- chipped version possible in the future
- af version possible in the future

Direct link | Posted on May 5, 2015 at 19:27 UTC as 49th comment

You fools, IT'S SIGNED BY THE ARTIST. That makes it all totally legit.

Assuming the hand is a replica of the artist's, he should maybe get out of the house some more. You know, into `en plein air`.

Direct link | Posted on May 4, 2015 at 14:53 UTC as 42nd comment
In reply to:

uzman1243: Does this have OSS?

Video is a fair point actually. But it brings the consideration of the reality of the market. Will this still fairly pricey, non-zoom lens with no Mod 0.8 teeth on the focusing ring and no iris ring at all, realistically be a popular video lens for the types of video-makers who rely on OSS as the method of choice to address non-deliberate camera shake?

Direct link | Posted on Apr 26, 2015 at 22:11 UTC
On Yongnuo creates near-clone of Canon EF 35mm f/2 article (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

AlanG: The AF in my Canon 16-35mm can't be repaired due to the part being discontinued. So here's hoping that Yongnuo's clone AF parts can fix my lens.

Yup. Relying on tiny piezo crystals to strike a hard surface and thus move mass - what a big "surprise" that this mechanism has an inherent expiration date.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 25, 2015 at 18:41 UTC
On Yongnuo creates near-clone of Canon EF 35mm f/2 article (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

AlanG: The AF in my Canon 16-35mm can't be repaired due to the part being discontinued. So here's hoping that Yongnuo's clone AF parts can fix my lens.

My first SONY 27-70/2.8 USM also gave up the ghost (and was replaced). I was saying from the start, USM/SSM inherently has a finite life span, unlike the "screw drive" in the lens (where with each body upgrade you'd get a fresh AF motor - one - for all lenses).

There are cases when the silent USM motor is worth it (despite that sooner or later it will brick the lens), but they're far fewer than what people appreciate. I don't expect anything to happen to my screw drive Minolta and Sony lenses - whereas I'd think twice buying a SSM/USM lens for long terms use - esp. second-hand.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 25, 2015 at 13:43 UTC
In reply to:

uzman1243: Does this have OSS?

I don't think so. But on such a wide angle, I doubt it would bring a lot of benefit. Any time a degree of freedom is added to an optical element or group inside the lens, tolerances take a hit - so adding OSS is something that ought to be weight carefully (quality gain vs loss). It's not a mere wishlist box one ticks.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 25, 2015 at 11:13 UTC
In reply to:

Cytokine: Why only 1.8 on the 85mm? That and the low price for a Zeiss Zeiss Probably means moulded optics. Average bokeh but probably very sharp and good resolution. No f1.
2 or even f1.4 but that means there will be little if any CA or Locas. But Canikon can do this better for a lot less.

.

It simply may be that they also want to better differentiate from a possible future 85mm f/1.2.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2015 at 17:23 UTC
In reply to:

Dimit: German made I presume..great choise..I love the brand,I love the A7 series combination with.

I am with you on old lenses, where the distance display was mechanically a part of the main focusing group which moved on a helicoid track (where focusing and rotation are rigidly and precisely mechanically linked).

I think the OLED display is relevant for future lenses. Basically the lens elements move directly forward and back, rather than twist in threaded tracks. As a result, a mechanical focusing scale would have to be "faked out" by a separate motor, and would add a layer of imprecision, lag, etc. (Not to mention the greater flexibility of OLED to show only units you want, as well as potentially be configured for a diff. circle of confusion etc.)

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2015 at 17:20 UTC
Total: 172, showing: 1 – 20
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