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Ednaz

Lives in United States United States
Works as a just another photo hack
Has a website at www.onemountainphoto.com
Joined on Feb 4, 2004

Comments

Total: 167, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Small but mighty: hands on with the Panasonic GX85/GX80 (311 comments in total)
In reply to:

Arizona Sunset: So, an interchangeable LX100 with improved IBIS.

Color me tempted.

That 12-32 kit lens that comes with it is a real gem. Completely unexpected. I got it on my GM5, and thought, well, yeah, we'll be leaving that in the dry cabinet, but the image quality, even wide open, is really good. It's so small, I do keep it on my GM5 in my briefcase with the fast small prime kit (12, 15, 20, 42.5mm f1.7 lenses, all fit in a case for an old Nikon flash, clips on belt...)

I've found the GM5 to be a great "constant carry" camera, and the GX8 to have the best (meaning, instantly intuitive) controls of any camera other than the Nikon DSLR interface (but, I've got 20 years of experience with that UI... which makes the GX8 UI even more impressive.)

I think Panasonic's iterations are starting to spit out great cameras. Unfortunately, that iteration strategy means that whatever you just bought, something six months from now will make you wish you waited.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 22:14 UTC
On article Nikon D5 real-world low light, high ISO samples (278 comments in total)
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: People still look at these results like young boys going 'wow! An F1 car reaches 340 km/h', as if everything came down to top speed (or high ISO for all that matters).
Besides, I see no reason to use 1/1000 at a concert. 1/125 would be enough to freeze any motion with the camera handheld, especially if the photographer insists in using a wide-angle lens (in which case he could even safely use 1/60). That would make the noise much less intrusive. As it is, this is a mere exercise in the camera's capabilities. Which is great, of course, but in the real world, with the camera in the hands of a professional, things would be quite different.
Feel free to be impressed with these high noise images anyway.

I shoot a lot of jazz musicians for their publicity stills and cd covers, in live performance, and the only way that 1/125 is fast enough is if you're really good at catching the tiny still moments that occur in all musical performances. And that's for relatively laid back performers. I have had to shoot at slower speeds, and the only reason I got anything is because I knew the music, knew the musicians, so knew exactly when they'd be the most still.

Link | Posted on Apr 1, 2016 at 16:39 UTC
On article Nikon D5 real-world low light, high ISO samples (278 comments in total)

Very, very impressive. I've been quite happy to shoot at ISO 10,000 but to get two more stops (the pictures at 40,000 were excellent... one more stop up and things started to get a bit weird) so that I could work at motion-stopping shutter speeds would be amazing.

I don't think I'll be able to convince myself to go with a D5 addition to my kit, though. My two adventures into the huge "pro" size bodies - one in film days, one in digital - taught me that I really don't like the size and weight, and the vertical grip isn't something I care about. Now hoping that there's a D810 size or smaller implementation of the same sensor on its way...

Link | Posted on Apr 1, 2016 at 13:08 UTC as 25th comment
In reply to:

misolo: Does anyone know whether this is in preparation to discontinuing development and support? They're still great tools.

Google's pattern of behavior in other businesses suggests that this is probably the end of Nik development, probably even for bugs. One or two iterations of the Adobe tools to wreck the interfaces with Nik and it'll be all over.

I love the Nik tools and have from the start, although I really only use the black and white conversion tools and a handful of the photoshop image tweaking tools - mostly the selective contrast adjustment. All the rest seem to be more for people who like to do things with photos more aggressively than I do.

Link | Posted on Mar 25, 2016 at 13:05 UTC
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2442 comments in total)

Niche-y camera, for sure, having an interchangeable lens rangefinder. Just happens to be a niche I like. I often shoot with both eyes open (DSLR or m4/3, no matter) so that I can see things developing or flowing around the subject of the moment. I lose a bit of framing precision, but as a street and travel shooter, the additional awareness gained pays off over and over again. What I love about a rangefinder camera is that I don't have to shoot both eyes open to have that near-subject awareness.

The XPro1 had just too many weird issues for me, but I loved (still do) the incredible Fuji primes. I tried to love the XT-1 as a home for those primes, but couldn't get there. The GX8 is, for me, a better EVF camera choice, altogether smaller and lighter, albeit it's the lenses that are smaller.

With the XPro2, so far (a week of use) I'm going to be happy. Most of my XPro1 complaints, fixed. Rangefinder's great for me from 14mm to 90mm.

Link | Posted on Mar 14, 2016 at 22:00 UTC as 120th comment
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2442 comments in total)
In reply to:

noflashplease: Much like the original X-Pro1, this camera looks like fun. However, as an APS-C body, it's not a serious alternative to a Leica rangefinder, even at a fraction of the price. The value just isn't here at $1,700, either, not when the first generation is on closeout at $500.

I can tell you that the gap in performance - focus performance, viewfinder performance, handling (joystick etc) between the Xpro2 and Xpro1 is huge. Yes, $1200 huge. I own both, and I'm still trying to evaluate whether I'll keep the XPro1 as a backup body. Generally, I try to have two identical bodies for a system... in Nikon land, it's been easy to have the last generation serve as the backup body because the whole UI is so consistent. But right now, it feels like the improvements in handling and performance for the XPro2 are big enough that having an XPro1 as backup isn't any more intuitive than having an XT-1 as backup.

Link | Posted on Mar 14, 2016 at 21:50 UTC
On article On assignment: the Leica Q at a Portland wedding (212 comments in total)

Good friend of mine, who shoots political events for one of the major agencies, uses a Leica Q alongside his Nikon gear. The Nikon gear is for the times when he's been banished to the press pen and needs a long lens, or when he's working in the crowd and wants some shallow DOF isolation. He uses the Q for when he can get in really close to the candidate and show the candidate interacting with the crowd. He's said that he is allowed to get closer with the Q than when he was pointing the big Nikon rig at the candidates. The small camera in front of his face seems to make security think he's just a fan (despite the credentials around his neck.)

Link | Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 17:38 UTC as 35th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

probert500: "Eviscerate" has a very strong negative connotation - misleading headline.

Uh, as someone who, at various points of his career has been lead editor for dozens of large scale research reports a year, rigidly adhered to the Chicago Manual of Style and with several fact checker and professional grammarians weighing in, eviscerate is absolutely correct usage of the word.

Only if your definition of every word stops at the FIRST definition in a dictionary (which would make for a very, very dull vocabulary) would eviscerate only be applied to meat beings. (see, that's well after the first definition...) The third definition onward is where the richness of analogy and metaphor turn dull communication into rich imagery.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2016 at 22:56 UTC

I love teardowns. This one was pretty much evisceration, because they took things apart that they wouldn't ordinarily, since the lens wasn't going back into their stock. Fuji is totally insane about snug and bump-resistant assembly, and for a low cost zoom, even more insane about choices for the internal works of the lens that will make it last much longer than other lenses at this price point. Maybe at any price point, says the man with three Nikkors in for age-related deterioration of the mechanicals.

There seemed to be a lot of micro-adjustments throughout the lens - shim points, adjustable carriers. That's the only way to get consistent quality from a lens, because the potential for problems rises exponentially with number of elements. Tiny manufacturing issues per element creates factorial, not additive, opportunities for optical issues.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2016 at 22:50 UTC as 23rd comment

Decentered? In images at 400mm, where there are left side and right side of the image within the depth of field focused area, the right side looks worse to me than the left. Man with dog image, for example. And the bokeh is different on the right than on the left.

For those who want to test the lens against a brick wall at short or medium distances, that's not going to tell you everything. Many big telephoto zooms perform differently at max zoom with close subjects than with distant ones. Nikon's 200-400 is famous for this, better close. I find the 100-300 Panny to be the same way. Look at the blur on the fur of the animals on the hill - that's what the 100-300 looks like out towards infinity, as does the Nikon 200-400. Real world subjects, close and far, tell you a real story. Unless your photography consists of shooting newspapers.

Looks a touch better than the 100-300, but only a touch.

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2016 at 17:57 UTC as 24th comment | 1 reply
On article Ultra-compact: Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II review (516 comments in total)

DPReview, is something wrong with the image post-processing, or the image prep for the web, on this review? Way too many "soft" complaints to make sense. Was on a shoot in Cuba in December, there were three of these in our group, and not a soft image to be seen unless it missed focus. So, the comments are pretty far out of line with what I saw in our group.

What I do agree with is, this camera - actually all the Sonys - sucks down batteries like athletes suck down Gatorade. All the mirrorless interchangeable Sony shooters on the trip (except the two working pros shooting Sony) were in battery panic near the end of the day, even with four and five batteries across two bodies. The pros weren't... because they brought 9 batteries. The three people shooting the RX1R II were shooting them as casual back up cameras, and still went through two or three batteries in a day.

Link | Posted on Feb 15, 2016 at 20:46 UTC as 115th comment

I use wide angles for portraits all the time, when the environment is an important part of the portrait. On a recent shoot in Havana with dancers from the National Ballet in an old, decaying mansion - nothing in that place had changed since the early 1960s - used wides in full frame equivalent from 24mm to 35mm a lot, and in a couple of cases 14mm equivalent.

It does get you in really close to the human subject and a lot of people really aren't very good at that, makes them uncomfortable to engage with a subject like that. (Which was the purpose of the workshop - to get people in close and engaging with a subject instead of sniping at them with a long lens.)

A lot of the celebrity portrait shooters work in the 24-35mm range also, particularly when they've got interesting sets to work in.

Link | Posted on Feb 14, 2016 at 14:59 UTC as 127th comment | 1 reply

Amazingly detailed and clear explanation of what I call the "bucket of compromises" problem with engineered and manufactured items. There's no such thing as "no compromises" - because even if you strive for zero functional compromises you're compromising your ability to sell an impossibly expensive item.

Lenses have definitely gotten better. I remember when professional photographers would only buy lenses in person, and would try four or five before choosing the one they'd buy.

Link | Posted on Feb 11, 2016 at 12:49 UTC as 40th comment
In reply to:

Timbukto: I thought the first image was a fancy optical adjustment bench. But it's just hand sanitizer station. I think Chipotle needs some of those.

Also why on earth would anyone need to unbox a unit to QC vs just QC prior to boxing? Shady boxing workers? Or just nonsensical workflow?

Absolutely standard and best practice to do one final statistical sample from a shipping unit - in this case, a box of lenses. In the businesses I work with (equally precision gear, different industries) the boxing process itself can cause problems. Wouldn't be a surprise if they did a 1 in 10 sample from each box, but also a 100% sample from every nth box. Your ability to know that some problem is being caused by the logistics process is based on that final sampling test.

In something with that many components, processes, and steps, and packaging as complex as that (to survive the shipping process), problems are often cumulative. A problem caused by that last boxing process may require changing torque on some adjustment screw way earlier in the process.

Link | Posted on Feb 3, 2016 at 12:58 UTC

I love this kind of thing. As a little kid, my favorite thing was to go on one of the many "factory tours" that were offered by companies at the time, and see how things were made. My father - actually everyone in his family - worked in different roles for a major auto company and I got to see how prototypes were built, how engine blocks were created, glass making, final assembly.

Notable how many visual inspections there are. Some things are still much better detected by human eyes and brains than by any form of automation. That "something just doesn't look right" often is a problem that from the machine vision perspective is all within spec, or isn't detected by the types of tests done.

Hardly any company does real factory tours any more, the kind where you had to put on hardhats or hair nets, safety glasses, and worry about getting your shoes oily.

Link | Posted on Feb 3, 2016 at 12:52 UTC as 9th comment | 1 reply
On article Design, looks and desire: Olympus does it again (396 comments in total)

This particular design has me scratching my head from some perspectives. It feels more like nostalgia drove the design more heavily than specific functionality desired. I recognized the design shout out to the original Pen-F immediately, but is the target customer going to value scene modes enough to justify taking up a key control point on the body?

I think the Fuji is a good example of a retro shout out but still did a beautiful job of keeping function top of the stack. Even the Panasonic GX8 tickles retro camera memories, but is the most logical and functional layout I think I've encountered outside of a DSLR. A few friends have rented them to check them out and every one of them has come back to me impressed at how quickly they stopped looking at the controls before using them.

The Oly XA was a very unusual design for its time, but turned out to be a hugely functional, useful set of weird things combined together. Nothing wrong with retro or odd. Function first.

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 17:31 UTC as 112th comment | 1 reply
On article Readers' Showcase: Christopher Michel (72 comments in total)
In reply to:

J A C S: A mixture of some great and unique images, like 4, 7, 8, and 11 and some overdone ones, like 1, 9 and 2 (is that a nuclear explosion in #2?).

#2 is a sun-dog. I've seen (and shot) a ton of them from airplanes, but to see them from the ground you need to be someplace with ice in the air, not water... like Antarctica.

And as to the "overcooked" comments - I find most great sunrises to be overcooked in reality. I'm synasthetic with colors (when they get intense I can hear them) and I've seen and heard many sunrises that are exactly like 9 as it's shown.

Although, I suspect in sampling down in color spaces for the web, the image got that overcooked look. I've seen it a lot when shooting raw, processing in ProPhoto, then converting to sRGB for the web, the crushing down of gamut creates that over-cooked look, particularly if the clarity slider (mid-tone contrast) was used. For highly saturated images like sunrises or sunsets, even Adobe RGB downsampled to sRGB gets that over-cooked look. I have to re-process for the web all the time.

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2016 at 15:28 UTC
In reply to:

Ednaz: Interesting demo. It's the one type of hazard that a lens hood doesn't solve. The vast majority of lens element threats get deflected if you are using a lens hood. I've destroyed many lens hoods, and nicked and chipped many more. I stopped using filters over my lenses after a number of nasty surprise flare incidents, and one incident where I lost footing on a mountain trail and my camera dropped straight down onto a rock small enough to go inside the lens hood, lens first. It not only destroyed the filter, it destroyed the front element of the lens, confirming what many of my photo mentors (urging me to stop with the filters) had told me would happen. I carry a couple of clear filters that I put on only when I'm shooting in an ocean storm or sand storm... but otherwise, don't risk the flare.

I'd carry a couple of these for when shooting in risky situations.

Yeah, I had an elephant sneeze on my ultra wide once, took me almost an hour to clean the snot or whatever it was off the lens. All that kind of stuff isn't anywhere near having weird flare lose an image. If you add two more air/glass interfaces to a lens that the engineers didn't think through, I'd wonder why you spent all that money for their work.

I worry about the oceans, because there are all kinds of nasty chemicals out there, some of which will strip many kinds of multi-coating in a few minutes. Not debris, which is a minor cleaning problem, but human-made chemistry dumped into bodies of water at stunning levels. I've got Gore-tex coats with holes in them from splashes from storms around New York.

Link | Posted on Jan 27, 2016 at 00:36 UTC

The only thing I find more interesting than a good teardown of a lens is a cut in half lens. Really enjoy seeing how the technologies are applied, and Roger's perspective of "and here's what that means for gear that works really hard" is fantastic.

Link | Posted on Jan 26, 2016 at 21:02 UTC as 17th comment

Interesting demo. It's the one type of hazard that a lens hood doesn't solve. The vast majority of lens element threats get deflected if you are using a lens hood. I've destroyed many lens hoods, and nicked and chipped many more. I stopped using filters over my lenses after a number of nasty surprise flare incidents, and one incident where I lost footing on a mountain trail and my camera dropped straight down onto a rock small enough to go inside the lens hood, lens first. It not only destroyed the filter, it destroyed the front element of the lens, confirming what many of my photo mentors (urging me to stop with the filters) had told me would happen. I carry a couple of clear filters that I put on only when I'm shooting in an ocean storm or sand storm... but otherwise, don't risk the flare.

I'd carry a couple of these for when shooting in risky situations.

Link | Posted on Jan 26, 2016 at 20:56 UTC as 8th comment | 3 replies
Total: 167, showing: 1 – 20
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