Ben Herrmann

Ben Herrmann

Lives in United States NC, United States
Works as a Retired US Marine Corps - and now fully retired!
Joined on Jul 11, 2002
About me:

FULL NAME: Bernd Werner Herrmann. Since there is no nickname for the German first name "Bernd", kids in the US just started calling me "Ben" at an early age and it stuck.

BIRTHPLACE: Moosburg, Bavaria (Germany)

CURRENT HOME: We emigrated to the United States in the early 1950's and settled in the Philadelphia area (Northeast - Lawndale section). We subsequently became naturalized American citizens. We (my immediate family) now resides in the central North Carolina area.

EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Retired US Marine Corps and now fully retired.

ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Aquarius (Feb 13).

MILITARY SERVICE: US Marine Corps - 26 years of active service). Military Campaigns: Vietnam from Feb 66 - September 68. Also served as a Marine Corps Recruit Drill Instructor with "L" Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego from Feb 72 - Feb 75.

EDUCATION: (NC State University) - BS - Tourism, Parks and Recreation Management - Summa Cum Laude.

PREFERENCES/ACTIVITIES: Digital Photography, weight training, physical fitness, gourmet dining, fine wine, gardening, rifle/pistol marksmanship, mentoring the mentally ill/autistic, and am actively involved with conservative politics in a variety of capacities.

MUSICAL PREFERENCES: Classical and Romantic periods of music (specifically, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn). BIG BAND (Miller, Ellington, Basie, Goodman, etc.) and MILITARY MARCH MUSIC - specifically the German/Austrian variety (Deutsche Märsche and Der Grosser Zapfenstreich).

FAVORITE FOOD CHOICES: French, Asian Fusion, Italian, Japanese.

Cameras currently in my collection (and yes, I do use them all from time to time):

C-7070, C-8080, E-1, E-300, E-500, E-330, E-520, E-3, E-30, E-P3, E-M5, E-PL5, E-PL7 and XZ-1

L1, L10, GF1, GX1, GF6, G5, and LX7

D7100, P7700 and P330

G12, SX50 HS, EOS-M, and EOS-M2

X10, X20, X-S1, HS-50EXR, X-A1 and X-E1

EX2F, and NX300

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Total: 18, showing: 1 – 18

I frankly don't understand Canon's logic with regards to Mirrorless in general. After the initial M fiasco (meaning very few sales here in the States), once they lowered the prices substantially, droves of folks made it a point to pick one up. I most certainly did and I love that little camera. It had lots of potential, that's for sure.

So when Canon made iterations about wanting to really get serious about mirrorless again - and the rumors about the 3M started circulating - many of us were chompin' at the bits that finally it would be released again in the US market. But noooooooooo - there they go again. This has personally soured my attitude toward Canon, although I do enjoy using some of their other cameras. But the key here is that I personally won't be purchasing anymore of their products and will focus on other brands.

Hopefully (not betting on it) that things will change with their judgements with regards to mirrorless in the US.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 14:09 UTC as 283rd comment | 1 reply
On Tamron 16-300mm Di II VC PZD real-world samples article (103 comments in total)

The zoom range is obviously impressive - but IMO, I must say that the results from this lens are befitting of some massive super zoom (there are trade-offs). IMO, the trade-offs are in the areas of clarity & definition. The images look nice but are more a result of the camera than the lens.

There something missing from these images - perhaps that "you are there" quality - a veil, if you will, that some how prevents you from feeling the visceral impact of an image. But that's to be expected with the massive amount of glass employed in these super zoom lenses.

It's for convenience folks and quite frankly, other than needing something for an all-in-one venture (with clarity being sacrificed), I couldn't see adding this lens to something like the 7D Mk II or any of the other upper end APS-C sized DSLR's. But it will sell because of the nature of this lens.

I'd be curious to see what images taken in RAW (and processed carefully in the likes of Lightroom) would look like.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 8, 2014 at 15:17 UTC as 20th comment | 2 replies
On Post-Photokina polls - Tell us what you think article (198 comments in total)

It's not the size my dear readers,'s how you use it!!!! Sage advice given for a wide variety of scenarios in life!

Direct link | Posted on Oct 4, 2014 at 16:14 UTC as 54th comment
On Ricoh announces Pentax XG-1 superzoom article (195 comments in total)

Pentax seems several years behind the times with regards to their super zoom offerings. These small pin-head sensors are on the way out, IMO. Now if Pentax can get into the mix with a 2/3" or 1" sensor - and add RAW capabilities - then I think that would turn on heads.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 15, 2014 at 13:28 UTC as 27th comment | 3 replies

OK - so now I'm confused a bit. I have the stand-alone version of Lightroom (5.5), along with Photoshop CS-6 (which I at least continues to get ACR updates). I don't have CC, nor do I believe in any type of "subscription based" services.

Am I to understand that future major versions of Lightroom will now be only available through CC?

Direct link | Posted on Jul 11, 2014 at 17:11 UTC as 51st comment | 5 replies
On Olympus Tough TG-3 real-world samples gallery article (44 comments in total)

I really have to chuckle when I read some of the comments here. It goes to show that all of us "see things differently." I personally think that the Nikon and Olympus tough cameras "trounce" the Canon D30. To me, the Canon D30's images look smeared - no detail at all. Of all 3 of the touch cameras shown here, I'd have to say that I would go first for the Olympus, but I'd be happy with the Nikon as a very tight second. But the next guy may disagree - and that's life.

But it's interesting (and sometimes hilarious) to view how folks look at images - which can often be a result of the monitors they view them on, the calibration involved, if any, and a wide variety of variables could come into play - not to mention vision in general and personal IQ standards.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 17:52 UTC as 11th comment | 2 replies
On Nikon 1 V3: Real-world Sample Images article (175 comments in total)

Considering these are from a "kit lens," I'm very impressed. But more so (for me, that is), I'm attracted to the rich, pleasant color tonality of the images that this camera puts out - not to mention the smoothness of the images. I've not even looked at the Nikon 1 system due to the other toys I have, but this camera may cause me to take a gander at possibly getting this setup.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 9, 2014 at 13:34 UTC as 43rd comment

Yup - I discovered this almost immediately with my P7700 and found that after doing this 1.3 firmware update, my superb 3rd party Wasabi batteries no longer functioned.

But alas - I still had a copy of the previous version 1.2 firmware and I updated my camera back to version 1.2 - now all is well and I will not touch 1.3 again. It was simple to do. I'm really PO'd at Nikon for pulling this stunt. And the new P7800 and I take it the D5300 will not be able to use 3rd party batteries - bummer.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 10, 2013 at 00:06 UTC as 132nd comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Ben Herrmann: CAUTION: Be very careful - I just did the firmware update for the Nikon P7700, and now, 3rd party batteries no longer work. The camera will not respond to any of the 3rd party models that I have - including the Wasabi's that are superior. Once you turn off the camera (after firmware update), it will not start up again with a 3rd party battery (at least in my case). But it will function just fine with Nikon batteries. Way to go Nikon!!!! You Tu_ds....another way for you to make an extra buck now having to buy your batteries exclusively.

I have the older firmware - but is that feasible? I don't want to screw things up - so generally, when you introduce the most recent (previous) firmware, should this set things back the way they were?

Direct link | Posted on Nov 14, 2013 at 22:34 UTC

CAUTION: Be very careful - I just did the firmware update for the Nikon P7700, and now, 3rd party batteries no longer work. The camera will not respond to any of the 3rd party models that I have - including the Wasabi's that are superior. Once you turn off the camera (after firmware update), it will not start up again with a 3rd party battery (at least in my case). But it will function just fine with Nikon batteries. Way to go Nikon!!!! You Tu_ds....another way for you to make an extra buck now having to buy your batteries exclusively.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 14, 2013 at 21:45 UTC as 11th comment | 9 replies

Bingo....glad to see this. I really like the P7700 with regards to IQ. Having this higher def EVF makes all the difference in the world. Will definitely pick this one up.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2013 at 13:18 UTC as 47th comment | 5 replies
On Nikon adds Speedlight SB-300 flashgun to its arsenal article (46 comments in total)

Wondering if this SB-300 is a replacement for the SB-400. It certainly looks better, IMO over the flat-lying SB-400. Will both flash units still be produced together?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 6, 2013 at 14:37 UTC as 17th comment

Ridiculous is an understatment - but alas, there are those "red dot" folks where nothing else will do - along with the status, that is! Hey, different strokes for different folks. Let 'em eat cake...."that's what she said..."

Direct link | Posted on Jun 19, 2013 at 23:23 UTC as 149th comment

To begin with, I find it amusing how different folks can look at a product and provide immensely passionate opposing viewpoints - so yes Vern, there are "different strokes for different folks." But remember, they're just personal opinions based on first "gut reactions" to what they see.

I personally am glad to see this new Tamron zoom lens for a number of reasons, mainly:

1. Other traditional, well-known 3rd party lens makers are now making micro 43 lenses.

2. My experience with the Tamron 18-270 VC (both versions) on the likes of Nikon DSLR's led me to completely admire Tamron's VC system. So seeing this new 28-300 MM equivalent for the micro 4/3 cameras is really encouraging.

So for those who malign this lens, there will be many who will welcome its release on the micro 4/3 side of the house - a format that is growing by leaps and bounds. And yes, I shoot with a variety of brands of cameras (love'em all) but the advances made within the m4/3 field have been fantastic.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 31, 2013 at 14:51 UTC as 25th comment | 2 replies
On Olympus announces Stylus XZ-10 enthusiast compact article (198 comments in total)

When I first saw that Olympus was going to release the X-10 I had wrongly disparaged the fact that it would be a very small sensor with no RAW capabilities. So it is with much delight to observe that they've elected to add a RAW mode which really contributes to better IQ capabilities.

If they had released this cam without RAW, it would have been a different story.

So short of going the 1/1.7" sensor route, this XZ-10 could be Olympus's foray into the market that the Canon S folks once ruled (and I have an S100). Let's see how the IQ pans out. The lens and zoom factor are a step above, that's for sure.

So despite my initial misgivings about the XZ-10 (especially with Oly's previous history of P&S cams that had a massive amount of JPG compression), releasing this new enthusiast model with RAW capabilities is a step in the right direction. I'm so glad to see Olympus back in the enthusiasts market with a vengeance.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 30, 2013 at 14:29 UTC as 42nd comment | 2 replies


Although it's not a "prime lens" buster, it's nice to see some of the traditional 3rd party lens makers getting on board the mirrorless bandwagon. Hopefully, this pending 14-150 zoom lens will be as good as (or better) than the Olympus 14-150. Just more choices for those of us who have embraced the m4/3 system since the beginning. Be curious to see if this lens will range in the $500 or $600 range (USD). I do know that from trying their other 18-270 VC lenses on the likes of Nikon, their lens-based OS system is absolutely superb, especially on the long end.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 29, 2013 at 19:23 UTC as 19th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

JesperMP: Well, these 3rd party grips just show how flawed the design of both E-PL3 and E-PM1 are.
They may look slick with their flat smooth bodies, but from a practicality point of view, this is just stupid.
Even these Richard Franiec grips are a little bit too small for my liking.
Sony seems to get it with the substantial grips on both NEX-5 and NEX-7.

Sigh....."flawed?" Perhaps for you, but for many others the cameras will do just fine. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps next time you could prefer your remarks with "IMO...."

Direct link | Posted on Sep 14, 2011 at 14:06 UTC

Geeezzzz - no screw holes!!!! You're kiddin', right?

These grips are well known and Richard has made them for a whole slew of cameras over the past 5 - 6 years...and they work superbly. The grip makes a world of difference for camera balance and of course, your grip on the camera for better picture-taking.

The grips are attached via an adhesive backing that is quite tight and won't come off. Now granted, if you want it to come off, it will (like when selling the camera and you want to keep the grip).

These are superb accessories and he's stayed on top of it all by adjusting for different camera styles.

News or not, there are lots of folks who will jump at the opportunity of getting this grip.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 14, 2011 at 02:31 UTC as 20th comment | 1 reply
Total: 18, showing: 1 – 18