Ednaz

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: 155, showing: 1 – 20
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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.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 11, 2016 at 12:49 UTC as 6th 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.

Direct 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.

Direct 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.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 17:31 UTC as 111th comment | 1 reply
On article Readers' Showcase: Christopher Michel (70 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.

Direct 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.

Direct 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.

Direct 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.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 26, 2016 at 20:56 UTC as 8th comment | 2 replies
On article Going Pro: We interview Fujifilm execs in Tokyo (365 comments in total)

Whether you agree with all their positions or not - and I agree with some, not at all with others - they are cogent, coherent, and thought through. The way they've worked with their advisors (I know two personally) is very different than the big three, but very consistent with how Leica has worked with professional photographers. (And the two I know were die hard Leica fans until the XT-1, and are now both shooting XPro2.)

A marketing mentor of mine taught me that if you don't understand the value proposition to a segment, that means you're probably not the target market, and I think that's true here. The real question is whether there are enough people/street shooters (rangefinder plus primes) to make the XPro series viable (this strategy I understand... it's why I own Fuji gear), and whether the XT-1 plus zooms can find a big enough market. (And while I own an XT-1, I don't understand its positioning.)

Direct link | Posted on Jan 21, 2016 at 14:11 UTC as 47th comment
On article Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 ED VR real-world sample gallery (137 comments in total)
In reply to:

NAwlins Contrarian: DPR: "With these caveats in mind, we still found the sharpness of the lens to be somewhat lacking relative to our high hopes."

DxO: "Conclusion: Disappointing DxOMark scores"

Either this lens is an inexplicable stinker at a high price, or there is some problem with the early copies, or Nikon quality control is terrible.

EDIT / FURTHER THOUGHT: To be fair, Nikon may reasonably believe that those wanting or needing a zoom lens, f/2.8, and VR are not really about ultimate sharpness and low chromatic aberrations; and those needing ultimate sharpness and low chromatic aberrations and able to spend $2400 would be better off with a few primes and a good tripod.

Sadly my 24-70 focus ring had stiffened up a bit, and the AF had gotten a little less consistent probably due to lubricant stiffening, and I was going to use that as my excuse to upgrade. Even stashed away the $$ for that. Instead I'll get the old lens cleaned and tuned, and take a shooting trip someplace with the money remaining.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 14, 2016 at 18:52 UTC
On article Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 ED VR real-world sample gallery (137 comments in total)
In reply to:

NAwlins Contrarian: DPR: "With these caveats in mind, we still found the sharpness of the lens to be somewhat lacking relative to our high hopes."

DxO: "Conclusion: Disappointing DxOMark scores"

Either this lens is an inexplicable stinker at a high price, or there is some problem with the early copies, or Nikon quality control is terrible.

EDIT / FURTHER THOUGHT: To be fair, Nikon may reasonably believe that those wanting or needing a zoom lens, f/2.8, and VR are not really about ultimate sharpness and low chromatic aberrations; and those needing ultimate sharpness and low chromatic aberrations and able to spend $2400 would be better off with a few primes and a good tripod.

NAwlins... there have been a lot of complaints since the 24-70 came out (the older one) about poor corner sharpness compared to center sharpness. Lots of complaints. Never much bothered me, since I seldom put my main subject in the corner of the frame... the center sharpness covered well the rule of thirds part of the frame, and I often add a touch of blur and vignette to the corners in final print preparation. But to have the result of improving corner sharpness be loss of center sharpness, that's just a bit weird to me.

As much as I wanted the VR, I'll probably pass on this iteration since the old 24-70 more closely matches my style, and the extra size and weight is another turn off. I'm really interested in seeing who is thrilled by the different performance. With pixel count continuing to rise, more sharpness would seem the more logical target.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 14, 2016 at 18:19 UTC
On article Lensbaby Edge 50 Optic launches for pre-order (19 comments in total)
In reply to:

mrc4nl: Legacy preformance,high end price. Its a tough sell for lensbaby. and 50 3.4 seems on the low side for bokeh shots, not near as fast as a f1.4 (or f1.8)

tkbslc is right (mostly.) Lens blur does look different than software generated blur in most cases, because f1.2 or f1.4 lenses tend to not be perfectly corrected for aberrations. Those aberrations give character to the depth of field blur. Adobe's now including coma and astigmatism in their blur algorithms, and while it's definitely a lot easier to use software selective focus, you don't see people abandoning their tilt shift lenses. I do think though that there are way too many slice of focus images that are gimmicky - something slathered on to a relatively uninteresting photo in the hopes of making it interesting. If I find myself immediately thinking of the technique, it means the photo didn't work.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 14, 2016 at 13:19 UTC
In reply to:

Ednaz: Every year, I try out one pair of the latest, greatest, most highly touted gloves that aim to give enough flexibility to allow for decent camera control, and that provide the best warmth. (I lose or ruin - or one of my dogs ruins - one pair of gloves a year, on average, so it's not like I'm awash in gloves.)

So far, I haven't found anything that's good for what I like to do, which is go out shooting during heavy winter storms. I measure effectiveness by how long it takes for my fingers to begin screaming in pain from the cold. The best I've found so far were gloves I got last year from Sserius, which are waterproof along with being moderately heavy weight. My Marine son in law got me some gloves that his colleagues swear by, by Tenn, which while they only allow for some degree of control, only do so with large camera bodies. Can still only get about an hour of shooting time without hand warmers.

So, I'm sure there'll be a lot of people signing up, in pursuit of a better solution.

Mick2, thanks for the tip. I've got circulatory problems in my hands (inherited family issue) so my hands feel cold most of the time, and get painfully cold fast in winter. That's a problem for someone who loves shooting in blizzards. I'll check these out, seems like a better idea than hand warmers in pockets.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 10, 2015 at 12:42 UTC
On article Canon 35mm F1.4L II: a photojournalist's perspective (86 comments in total)

Great article. I've had some similar back and forth which one do I prefer issues with the 35mm focal length in Nikon world. I had the old manual 35mm f1.4, and loved shooting with it. It also had that veil at f1.4, and I liked it. But it was manual focus. I got the new AF 35 f1.4, and while its a better lens all around, along with autofocus, it's so big and heavy that when I'm packing a kit for a shoot, it's often left behind, since I can't weight justify having the 24 1.4 and 35 1.4 both. Good thing I didn't sell the old manual focus lens... it's small and light enough that it's easy to say "yeah, throw it in the bag."

At 85mm, I went from f1.4 to f1.8 for size and weight reasons. At that focal length it's hard to see the difference. I'm going to look at the new f1.8 lenses at other focal lengths for the same reasons.

Nice shots, and very thoughtful analysis.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 7, 2015 at 18:47 UTC as 18th comment

Every year, I try out one pair of the latest, greatest, most highly touted gloves that aim to give enough flexibility to allow for decent camera control, and that provide the best warmth. (I lose or ruin - or one of my dogs ruins - one pair of gloves a year, on average, so it's not like I'm awash in gloves.)

So far, I haven't found anything that's good for what I like to do, which is go out shooting during heavy winter storms. I measure effectiveness by how long it takes for my fingers to begin screaming in pain from the cold. The best I've found so far were gloves I got last year from Sserius, which are waterproof along with being moderately heavy weight. My Marine son in law got me some gloves that his colleagues swear by, by Tenn, which while they only allow for some degree of control, only do so with large camera bodies. Can still only get about an hour of shooting time without hand warmers.

So, I'm sure there'll be a lot of people signing up, in pursuit of a better solution.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 4, 2015 at 18:36 UTC as 10th comment | 2 replies
On article PIX 2015: Robert Hurt and the hidden universe (59 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ednaz: Stunning pictures, and great to hear about the how and why.

FYI, you can download files of many of the NASA photos and print them yourself - they even have a letter you can print to take to the store if you're having them printed that says, NASA says it's OK. Some are as large as 40x60 inches. I've printed a couple on my large format printer as gifts for my grand niece, who's astronomy crazy. Two of their images are the only ones in our house other than my own photos.

Nah, pure ulterior motives. Want her to grow up to be an astronomer so I can get her to get me in to observatories...

Direct link | Posted on Nov 30, 2015 at 13:17 UTC
On article PIX 2015: Robert Hurt and the hidden universe (59 comments in total)

Stunning pictures, and great to hear about the how and why.

FYI, you can download files of many of the NASA photos and print them yourself - they even have a letter you can print to take to the store if you're having them printed that says, NASA says it's OK. Some are as large as 40x60 inches. I've printed a couple on my large format printer as gifts for my grand niece, who's astronomy crazy. Two of their images are the only ones in our house other than my own photos.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 29, 2015 at 19:49 UTC as 13th comment | 4 replies

Huge props to Sony for this. They've made massive progress. If someone had no legacy gear and was looking for a kit to go pro, I'd have to include Sony in the discussion. For someone with a big cabinet full of Nikon or Canon DSLR lenses (and it's lenses that determine the size and weight of kit) it's quite hard to consider switching to Sony... you get 33% of value on trade in (the second you open the box, its value is less than 50% of street cost at best). Switching, for a really serious working photographer, is a $20,000 decision at worst, $10,000 at best, if the photographer works in a limited subject space so doesn't need a full stable of lenses.

As to excluding the D4s and Canon 1Dx, they ARE in a very different category... for professional photojournalism, pixel count means nothing past 12-14mp. You can do the front page of Sports Illustrated or a big NY Times image with that. D4s emphasizes very different values than any camera discussed here. Speed, buffer mater more.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 26, 2015 at 00:39 UTC as 82nd comment | 4 replies

Excellent work, Damien. Reading your review has taken me from "so what" to "I have to find some time to play with this."

I'm going to try this out with the macro lens on an extension tube... I wouldn't be surprised if that was outside of the capability (so much light lost as it is that autofocus typically struggles) but if it's even a little bit within, it'll make things easier for me on some of the ultra-macro stuff I shoot.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 25, 2015 at 15:56 UTC as 56th comment
On article Panasonic's Post Focus feature arrives November 25 (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

photohounds: Interesting,
Olympus was also working on 2 variations of this idea at the same time.

Theirs are called Focus Bracketing and Automatic Focus Stacking (it happens in-camera and the original shots are also kept as separate files).

They went public a couple of months ago.
MFT - more useful every day!

Well, Kiril - not my experience at all. And your first sentence (eliminates the need for menus) and the first of your second paragraph (spend time to learn its customization options... that's be in the menus, right?) are pretty much in conflict. All cameras can be adapted to style. I do it all the time, mostly without having to look things up in a manual. And then, for most cameras, you never need to go into the menus. That's not been my experience, or the experience of a lot of reviewers. Sony still has work to do to understand working photographers. I can tell you that in workshops, one of the things I have to do a lot is get the students to select the "reset to factory defaults" option, which massively improves their opinions of their cameras, and the quality of their images. And then we make the six or seven changes that matter. It needn't be so complex. But hey, if you're happy, that's awesome.

Four control wheels. Yeah, that's it.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 24, 2015 at 22:48 UTC
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