JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 109, showing: 41 – 60
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On article Fujifilm makes XF 90mm F2 R LM WR official (137 comments in total)

It will be interesting to compare real life images from XT1 + this 90mm against something like the Nikon Df + Zeiss 135mm f2. Both are 16MP, so comparison can be pretty straightforward.

Construction/design point to potentially a very high performer, very solid, also mostly metal, but with great AF and weather resistance. Even closer focus than Zeiss.

The Zeiss 135 is a stellar perfomer as we know, but a bit fiddly to deploy due to MF and weight.

At almost half weight and half cost, this Fuji is truly appetising! Hope it delivers to that level of expectation!

Link | Posted on May 18, 2015 at 06:25 UTC as 26th comment | 5 replies

Tempting. Curious about tests of course. The 25mm in particular: optical design uses less elements than the 25mm f2 ZF2/ZE, focuses closer and is much lighter. If same or better performance, that would send yet another signal to the DSLR vs mirrorless FF debate. The 85 is not that much lighter than the 85mm f1.4 ZF2 despite the latter's old school build. The OLED idea is ingenious. The overall design is nicely contemporary. These and the Loxia make the Sony a7 range very tempting. But I still do not like the design of that Sony camera range: bland, semi-retro cues, annoying user interface, etc. Probably not for me yet, but keeping an eye on them. That system is now moving fast, and in the right direction.

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2015 at 04:45 UTC as 29th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: That Sony FE range sure has some very attractive features, and most of the recent lenses are clearly best in class. Well done to all involved! That said, I do wish the Sony body designs and user interfaces were not what they are. I just do not like them. Would love that range to have the Fuji xt1 design for example. One day maybe. Part of the pleasure of photography is the interaction with the tools. I think they are getting the lens designs right, the body features are great, but the body design.....

@Zorak That is a big risk indeed! ;-)

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2015 at 13:04 UTC

That Sony FE range sure has some very attractive features, and most of the recent lenses are clearly best in class. Well done to all involved! That said, I do wish the Sony body designs and user interfaces were not what they are. I just do not like them. Would love that range to have the Fuji xt1 design for example. One day maybe. Part of the pleasure of photography is the interaction with the tools. I think they are getting the lens designs right, the body features are great, but the body design.....

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2015 at 05:36 UTC as 24th comment | 6 replies
On article Am I missing something here? (627 comments in total)

Richard,

You make some fair points and ask some good questions. Just one correction: you forgot the 18.5mm f1.8 lens (equiv around 55mm FX), which is a gem in itself. For the rest, it is a matter of opinion indeed. For very many applications the 1" sensor size makes perfect sense. The Nikon 1 users are usually very enthusiastic about the reactivity and speed of the system, the video features and the quality of the stills output. I know I love the V1 and keep going back to it after having failed to enjoy the more trendy but sluggish mirrorless offers (Nex 7, Fuji xe1).
The sarcastic comments that pop up every time the Nikon 1 is mentioned do no good to anyone and are usually completely off the mark. Nikon has produced a great system, with many highlights, and quite a few odd gaps, baffling user interface details and bizarre marketing choices. I will buy the V3, if the 18MP output is as good as the V1's 10MP. And the new long zoom. And the 32mm f1.2. And keep my DSLR outfit.

Link | Posted on Mar 13, 2014 at 05:43 UTC as 212th comment | 3 replies
On article Nikon D4s First Impressions Review (1038 comments in total)

Beautiful machine! This is indeed a really impressive technological showcase of a tool.

Link | Posted on Feb 25, 2014 at 12:10 UTC as 226th comment | 1 reply
On article AP cuts ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer (166 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: The element that was cloned out was an important piece of information. It was telling the viewer that there were more than one reporter at that precise location. That brings insight and questions about the "PR" logistics around the photographed incident : how did the reporters get there? Who brought them there? Why? Did the gun carrying person in the picture know he was moving in front of reporters? Did he place himself in that way at that location because he knew the press was there?

By cloning out the camera, the photographer wanted to avoid such questions being raised by the viewer. He wanted to suggest exclusive intimacy between him, the fighter and the war surrounding the scene. That is not a minor act, and Mr Contreras knows that full well. AP did the right thing.

On the other hand, If I was running a news agency, I would probably hire the talented Mr Contreras now, as he has certainly realised the risks of doctoring such images and wil never be tempted again.

@LeitzKameraAktion: you are right. It did not cross my mind that the videocam might have been his own, simply lying there. Another proof that a picture does not necessarily tell the whole story, cloning or no cloning.... Does not change the fundamental issue though.

Link | Posted on Jan 25, 2014 at 08:11 UTC
On article AP cuts ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer (166 comments in total)

The element that was cloned out was an important piece of information. It was telling the viewer that there were more than one reporter at that precise location. That brings insight and questions about the "PR" logistics around the photographed incident : how did the reporters get there? Who brought them there? Why? Did the gun carrying person in the picture know he was moving in front of reporters? Did he place himself in that way at that location because he knew the press was there?

By cloning out the camera, the photographer wanted to avoid such questions being raised by the viewer. He wanted to suggest exclusive intimacy between him, the fighter and the war surrounding the scene. That is not a minor act, and Mr Contreras knows that full well. AP did the right thing.

On the other hand, If I was running a news agency, I would probably hire the talented Mr Contreras now, as he has certainly realised the risks of doctoring such images and wil never be tempted again.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2014 at 05:06 UTC as 66th comment | 3 replies
On article Fujifilm teases upcoming SLR-style X system camera (910 comments in total)
In reply to:

marike6: Locking exposure dials a la the Nikon Df? Any amount of money that DPR loves this camera and the dials from day one. :-)

Part of what makes the X cameras at least interesting is the rangefinder design, the whole poor man's Leica thing.

What is the point copying a DSLR body styling? It's has no bright Pentaprism so why the pseudo pentaprism housing?

This is a head scratcher move from Fujifilm that is for sure. No FF, just an X camera dressed up as a DSLR. Has anybody asked why?

"Locking exposure dials a la the Nikon Df?": unfortunately no lock on that dial it seems. On XE1/X100, EC dial is way too sensitive to unintentional manipulation (rubbing against clothing while carrying or just by holding camera in hand). Kept ruining opportunities. With Df, EC only happens when you want it to. The dial locks are features I truly love with the Df. For the rest, this new X sure looks nice. With the new 58mm f1.2 and Fuji's xtrans processing, this will be a killer portrait machine !

Link | Posted on Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22 UTC
On article Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G review (417 comments in total)

It is a specialty lens. While 58mm is close to the 50mm "standard", the small reduction in angle of view and additional compression make it a very suitable indoor "action" portrait focal length. I see uses for this for low light photography in bars, at parties, weddings, etc. Sure the 50mm can do it as well but it is not exactly the same. The 60mm macro can do it from f2.8. The 85mm requires more distance, more room to back off. The 85mm makes it harder to get 2 people together in focus.

It is also a seductive specialty lens in its design, prioritising for a set of goals beyond "sharpness". The obsession for ultimate sharpness, outside of scientific applications and some landscape styles, is mainly self gratifying pixel peeping fun. Some of us prefer "mood" or "atmosphere" to "lines per millimetre".

I'd understand the hate if this lens replaced the standard 50mm f1.4, but it does not. As a specialty lens, the price might be right for the target users.

Link | Posted on Dec 31, 2013 at 16:28 UTC as 88th comment | 2 replies
On photo bored girl--Mirik, India in the Discussion challenge: Off Centered Subject challenge (19 comments in total)

Wow! This is a gorgeous picture indeed!

Link | Posted on Dec 31, 2013 at 04:40 UTC as 2nd comment
On article Nikon Df Review (1628 comments in total)

AF is indeed not the strongest Df feature. I have been using mine for more than 2 weeks now, and, while I genuinely love the overall experience, I do find the Df's AF a bit less sure footed than the D800's. Specifically in very low light situations where this camera otherwise excels. In those situations, it hunts a bit more and sometimes does not lock on subjects that I feel the D800 would. Typical example is focusing on model eye at portrait distance in dark bar or dark street. That comes marginally easier with the D800. As per light sensitivity data for the AF module in spec sheet.

For the rest, I do find it very good at manual focusing. Not sure if there is any black magic going on in the viewfinder or if it just a placebo effect, but it works for me with MF lenses, including with the f1.2 50mm. Success rate around 90% wide open when careful.

A great companion for nostalgic old farts like me, or for the younger folks who crave for a more "analogue" interaction with the world.

Link | Posted on Dec 20, 2013 at 06:56 UTC as 320th comment
In reply to:

CFynn: Wonder how this compares to the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4?
That lens is the same focal length and speed, but available at less than one third the price. Has nice bokeh too.

Nokton 58..... I am curious as well. That one is a jewel....

Link | Posted on Nov 14, 2013 at 13:11 UTC
On article Just Posted: Our Nikon Coolpix A review (352 comments in total)

Fair review. I am one the crazy/lucky guys who ended up with both A and GR. always dreamt of an APS GR, but when the A came out I thought that was it, and had no idea the Ricoh was round the corner. So I have learned to use and love the A before splurging for the GR. in retrospect I was all wrong of course, and having both feels silly. All this to say is that, after time with both, I unexpectedly prefer the A. Despite the better ergonomics and UI of the Ricoh. Not sure why I do. It has to do with build and finish I think. The A is very well put together in all aspects. The materials used feel better, and the dials and buttons have great tactile feedback. Better for me than GR. and I just love the output and IQ. Finally, I like the "made in Japan" bit. It is noteworthy in today's age and a good thing for many fundamental reasons....

Link | Posted on Jun 7, 2013 at 04:39 UTC as 31st comment | 1 reply
On article Is this the new Leica 'Mini M'? (369 comments in total)

(Comment deleted by author)

Link | Posted on May 30, 2013 at 06:16 UTC as 87th comment
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: One question from me, for the reviewer: what are the real life consequences of GR's 12-bit RAW processing vs the A's 14-bit ? I would have assumed there would be an impact on DR and maybe also on colour gradation. Or not?

@marike6: thanks for the reference. 1 EV DR difference can be meaningful, and something nice to have when one tries to salvage a pic marred by exposure error or excessive contrast. I am very impressed by the IQ I get with the A, shooting raw. I am pretty sure that in 90% of cases (or more), the GR will provide just as much quality. Cool cameras..... Wonder how the GR's 21mm adaptor performs....

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:50 UTC

One question from me, for the reviewer: what are the real life consequences of GR's 12-bit RAW processing vs the A's 14-bit ? I would have assumed there would be an impact on DR and maybe also on colour gradation. Or not?

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 04:03 UTC as 17th comment | 6 replies
In reply to:

JohnyP: Another useless preview. In the last 30 days there have been 2 camera reviews! Most cameras are either announced or previewed. Those previewed ones are likely to end up just like Nikon D4 - previewed and forgotten.

@R Butler: what would be the downside in publishing a schedule of coming reviews? It is not like you would be disclosing strategic insight to your "competitors". Such a schedule would help potential buyers better time their own purchases. Those of them who trust your methodology and share your views anyway. The indirect advantage of publishing that schedule would be to force you guys to feel the healthy heat of a public deadline... ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 03:51 UTC
On article Just Posted: Ricoh GR preview (159 comments in total)
In reply to:

SunnyFlorida: I've been a Nikon user for a long time but a consumer for longer, it's great to see products like the Ricoh bring a dose of reality to the Nikon Accounting Execs who over the past 6 years have been overpricing their products relative to similar products in the market, sorry Nikon I'm not paying a 40% mark up for brand name.

I do not think it is "for a brand name". It could be for a variety of good reasons:
1) Manual focus on lens ring: preferable for many to lever or dial on the back;
2) 14-bit colour depth. That will bring a real IQ advantage in real life (skin tones, landscapes, etc);
3) Compatibility with existing Nikon accessories (flash system, GPS, wi-fi, etc) for people who already own Nikon DSLR;
4) Nikon after sales and repairs all over the world (they might suck, but they exist);
5) Integration in NEF workflows for Nikon users (NX2 fans in particular);
6) Made in Japan (a democratic country).

Finally, not quite sure the real life "mark-up" is 40% now (I bought mine 100 EUR under street price just after release), and prices will come down further, a usual with Nikon (special rebates, bundles with hood or OVF, etc).

Link | Posted on Apr 18, 2013 at 18:25 UTC
In reply to:

vodanh1982: Whoever bought a Coolpix A will want $300 back.

I would not mind trading in my wonderful A for this even more wonderful GR, and lose 300 bucks.

Link | Posted on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:06 UTC
Total: 109, showing: 41 – 60
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