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: 189, showing: 21 – 40
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On article Sony reportedly shifting focus to full-frame cameras (455 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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Link | Posted on Jun 20, 2015 at 20:36 UTC as 29th comment | 1 reply
On article Alpha dog: Hands-on with Sony a7R II (1118 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.

Link | Posted on Jun 15, 2015 at 13:30 UTC
On article Alpha dog: Hands-on with Sony a7R II (1118 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.

Link | Posted on Jun 13, 2015 at 18:16 UTC
On article QromaScan uses your smartphone for digitizing prints (45 comments in total)

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

Link | Posted on May 7, 2015 at 21:35 UTC as 7th 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

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`.

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?

Link | Posted on Apr 26, 2015 at 22:11 UTC
On article Yongnuo creates near-clone of Canon 35mm f/2 (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.

Link | Posted on Apr 25, 2015 at 18:41 UTC
On article Yongnuo creates near-clone of Canon 35mm f/2 (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.

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.

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.

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.)

Link | Posted on Apr 24, 2015 at 17:20 UTC
In reply to:

Jonathan F/2: I had an A7 and returned it. I love mirrorless, but all the great advantages of the format go out the door with the bigger sensor in terms of both camera and lens sizes. If someone wants to go FF, I think they are better off getting a FF Canon/Nikon and any of the Sigma 24/35/50 Art lenses.

To me, full-frame mirrorless is more than a smaller full frame.

Size of a camera oriented towards serious work, the way I see it, has more to do with its proper balance and a sufficient interface with the human body holding it, for maximized stability and minimized fatigue.

Mirrorless still has some ways to go to match SLR in terms of viewfinder fidelity and lag, and AF speed. However the writing is on the wall: a mirror is a legacy tech that was necessary for film and early digital sensors. As the sensors and surrounding tech mature further and further, the mirror will be less and less relevant.

Link | Posted on Apr 24, 2015 at 17:14 UTC
In reply to:

Lapkonium: Meh, another subpar chinese fiddly toy.

Thank you for this piercing insight, sir. Do you have a twitter account where we can all subscribe to these nuggets of wisdom to make sure we don't miss any? Esp the chinese [sic] who assemble iPhones to tolerances that Zeiss and Leica can't match currently.

Link | Posted on Apr 18, 2015 at 16:25 UTC

The way I see it, whichever maker introduces an action cam with whole-field sensor readout, will rule the higher end space. All other features are pretty much commodity these days - anyone can put them in. ...Whereas being able to avoid the jello effect opens up many POV and mounting options that were until now unfeasible or expensive to implement.

I like the battery life on this thing and the fact that everything is integrated without external housing needed.

Link | Posted on Apr 15, 2015 at 16:42 UTC as 16th comment
Total: 189, showing: 21 – 40
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