JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 81, showing: 41 – 60
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In reply to:

photobeans: Nikon 1 system will be extinct in a few years. It was a mistake and they know it. Now that I've seen what Nikon has to offer in their mirrorless segment, I'm selling off my Nikon DSLR and lenses soon and leaving the Nikon system. I'm not interested in your stuff anymore, Nikon.

As a"lost soul" I do indeed believe what I wrote.

I have the V1 and its 3 lenses and like it a lot. It does serve a purpose, and the 30-110 in particular is unique on the market in how it combines reach, quality and very small size (+ VR).
The V1 is far from perfect. In particular in terms of low light PDAF, native lens line-up and control layout.

Now, while there are indeed a lot of critics out there, there is a general consensus in the industry to recognise that the system sold in very large numbers. I am not surprised Jaspers's claims in that respect.

Some explain that success by the global advertising campaign in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Anyway it did very well, and is now ready for a rebound, especially at the high end (V1).

The 18.5mm is a step forward. They do need a V2 and super wide angle option. For longer focal lengths the 30-110 does pretty well and the FT1 + Nikkors adds great capability. I also hope for a Nikon compact "à la" RX100, which is a great offer from Sony.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 15:16 UTC
In reply to:

photobeans: Nikon 1 system will be extinct in a few years. It was a mistake and they know it. Now that I've seen what Nikon has to offer in their mirrorless segment, I'm selling off my Nikon DSLR and lenses soon and leaving the Nikon system. I'm not interested in your stuff anymore, Nikon.

I'd bet quite the opposite. The CX format has very many advantages, both in terms of high end "compact" cameras and in terms of small and light interchangeable lens systems, for beginners and for accomplished photographers alike. Not mentioning the N1's unique ability to cater for high quality supertele performance at a very reasonable cost.

On the back of the recent 18.5mm launch, all they/we really need now is a native ultra-wide option and perhaps a very compact native macro/portrait option.

The Nikon world is moving on 2 fronts: towards FX as "standard" DSLR system and towards CX as beginner/backup/long reach system.

When the Nikon 1 lens line-up is completed and we have a V2 or V3 with good low light PDAF, I see no room at all for DX DSLR. Question is "when".

They should also launch a mid-range FF AFS/VR tele lens asap (135 f2 or 180 f2.8), as that would turn that V2 into an absolute killer long reach machine. On top of completing the FF line-up.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 06:20 UTC

Not the most fascinating interview. Obviously those guys have to promote what is in the shops now. They also have to reassure readers that they have a roadmap for the future while avoiding to say anything that might lead anyone to postpone a purchase. Basically those guys are not allowed to say anything meaningful at all. They have to follow to the letter the Q&A document prepared by their marketing and comms teams. Why waste time on such interviews?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 04:41 UTC as 30th comment | 2 replies
On Photokina 2012: Interview - Stephan Schulz of Leica article (221 comments in total)

The S line is truly Leica at its best: innovative and obsessed with quality. I find this infintely more impressive than the nostalgia-tainted M. The S is clearly the best DSLR available out there, for very many applications. Not for all of course, but wherever ultimate quality is paramount, it is the top.

Based on output examination, the quality of the lenses and the formidable tonal gradation refinment of the pictures set it apart from 35mm DSLRs, D800(E) included.

The sheer functionality and useability set it apart from MF competitors. And, in that world, the price looks much less exotic.

Of course it is basically unaffordable for people who are not paid for top quality images, and it is not a system that normal human beings can carry all day on their shoulder (though body and one lens is not impossible).

I am delighted by the D800, and feel privileged to have been able to afford it, but am happy to have the Leica S as an aspiration for the day those Lotto numbers come out.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:08 UTC as 69th comment | 1 reply
On Hasselblad responds to Lunar criticisms article (628 comments in total)

Poor Luca. The outcry was not on the principle. Sony is a great provider of innovative technology in the photography space, and the NEX7 is an excellent platform. It is/would be great news to know that Hasselblad is tinkering with that platform to improve it, through ergonomic changes to the body and the software, and to make its manipulation more "luxurious" (more responsive buttons and dials, better layout of commands, software user interface, etc). Hell, creativity in terms of shape and colours and material is more than welcome as well!

The outcry is about the outcome of that project: the design choices are awful. Just awful. They are a paramount of bad taste. They are the contrary of the declared aspiration. The design choices point clearly to the worst of Eighties/Nineties bling, and there was a clientele for that. So, perhaps, they know who they are designing this for. That is not a market segment I feel any affinity with. And has nothing to do with photography. Very sad.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 20, 2012 at 09:15 UTC as 161st comment

There is something to explore in this interview: the idea of non-obsolescence. The idea that you buy a M, and whatever happens, in 3, 5 or 10 years time, when they cannot repair it anymore due to unavailability of spares, they offer you the new model of the time as replacement, either for free (if yours is still under guarantee, and very long term guarantee should be an option), or, at most, for the difference between what you paid new and what current model costs. This would be so sensible, as the accountability for not being able to repair the product clearly lies with the supplier rather than with the customer.

To make this explicit and official would go a long way in justifying the price, which, I agree, is unjustifiable in this digital age, where electronic components have very short lifespans, independently of other camera manufacturing conditions. That promise would only hold for the original buyer of course.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2012 at 13:01 UTC as 19th comment | 2 replies
On Photokina 2012: Leica Stand Report article (15 comments in total)

I am probably the only one to really really like the Paul Smith X2. For the rest, the S is the most interesting part of Leica's 'kina show. Not in my budget, but probably the ultimate DSLR of the year, and next. The M is a disappointment for me in terms of design and features, but the price is less crazy than expected.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 16:35 UTC as 10th comment

Beware: now we know what happens when Mr Ferrari entertains Mrs Ikea in a dark Tokyo tunnel without adequate protection... And do not mix grappa with aquavit and sake ! This hurts.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 14:42 UTC as 435th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Nishi Drew: Kudos for doing something different, making an interesting design with what looks like a nice grip. It's on the crazy and weird side, and yes it's super expensive too. But what bothers me is the NEX mount... srsly wat? The NEX cameras are great in every way except the underwhelming performance of the lenses, unless one adapts legacy lenses to this thing it's certainly not worth what it's trying to be.

Some of the NEX lenses are very good. Fully agree on the "crazy and weird" bit.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 14:36 UTC

I just wish they had been able to retain the dimensions of the M3,2,4, 6 or MP. They already added some fat on the M7, back when. Then much more fat on M8-9. I had the M8 and M9, and still have a M6. It is only millimeters and grams here and there, but there is a world between the handling of a M6 and the handling of the M9. I grew to hate the M9, partly for that reason: it tried to look like my lean and mean M6, but handled like a brik. The new M is even thicker and even heavier than the M9. Still disguised as a Leica M, but is a whole different beast. Bloated. I wish them well but this one makes me sad.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 05:30 UTC as 56th comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

iudex: Like everything in life this lens can be viewed at from different sides: on one hand it is a welcome addition to poor Nikon 1 lens offer, both the speed and the standard focal lens are fine and make it the best lens choice for the 1 system. On the other hand, taking into account tha latest releases in CSC segment, Nikon 1 with it´s tiny 1" sensor seems even more funny and cannot be taken as a serious camera (especially when the prices are similar to much larger-sensored CSCs). And adding a first serious lens after the second generation (J2) was introduced seems a bit late. However I would still not erite the Nikon 1 off, with some price drop and some new lenses it may still be an interesting alternative to enthusiast compacts like LX7, EX2 or X10.

The whole debate, and associated negativity, around Nikon 1 format/range is quite odd to me. It is what it is and does quite a few things very well. I find it better than anything else that I have tried with that type of footprint in terms of reactivity, speed and AF performance. It is really cool in terms of "capturing the moment", especially when things are moving around. The 1" sensor performs really well, and the increased DoF is a blessing in many cases. It is a great step up from "compact" sensors, not a replacement for FF, APS or even m4/3.
It is also a fantastic focal length "mutiplier", bringing very good quality for angles of view that were only achievable with super expensive or superbad tele alternatives, especially when you bolt on Nikkor AFS lenses/zooms: the 100mmm f2.8 VR macro becomes an extremely good 270mm f2.8 VR macro for example!
Inversely there is low capability on the WA side. The interfaces, etc, could be improved. But the system is far from a dud overall.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:26 UTC

No VR?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 13, 2012 at 04:38 UTC as 34th comment
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: I agree with others this is going to be a hard sell, as both Nikon and Canon have really excellent AF alternatives at that same focal length and aperture.

CZ's 100mm f2 Makro-Planar is more unique, and makes more sense.

But I do not agree that manual focus is that difficult even with current high res DSLRs. Would be better with a proper ground glass screen, but it is not that hard, and, in Nikon's case anyway, the electronic rangefinder is not as useless as some seem to think. A bit quirky, but there are "tricks". I do not find I need Liveview for conistent focus.

Indeed, peaking is the new ground glass! Unfortunately I do not get along with EVFs for a bunch of other reasons....

Direct link | Posted on Sep 7, 2012 at 15:56 UTC

I agree with others this is going to be a hard sell, as both Nikon and Canon have really excellent AF alternatives at that same focal length and aperture.

CZ's 100mm f2 Makro-Planar is more unique, and makes more sense.

But I do not agree that manual focus is that difficult even with current high res DSLRs. Would be better with a proper ground glass screen, but it is not that hard, and, in Nikon's case anyway, the electronic rangefinder is not as useless as some seem to think. A bit quirky, but there are "tricks". I do not find I need Liveview for conistent focus.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 7, 2012 at 14:30 UTC as 36th comment | 8 replies
On Fujifilm X-E1 Preview preview (410 comments in total)

Unclear to me: are ALL AF improvements of the XE-1 also delivered by v2 of XP1 firmware, or are there other differences (hardware or otherwise) to the XE-1 that would further increase its AF performance ("X-E1 uses a new autofocus algorithm and different sensor drive mode") ?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 6, 2012 at 06:50 UTC as 125th comment | 1 reply

When I buy stuff, I look at the price/performance ratio like everyone else, and price is important. But I try and add another dimension to the value equation, and put a high weight on the sustainability/CSR side of things. I am prepared to pay a higher price for items that carry brands that belong to companies who have a publicised policy on those matters. That includes production conditions, fair employment, sourcing policies, environmental impact, etc.

I try and avoid giving my money, directly or indirectly, to sweatshops and environmentally irresponsible producers.

Nikon has a CSR policy. The Nikon point of view is here:

http://www.nikon.com/about/csr/index.htm

I tried to find information on Pixel's supply chain and CSR policies, and found nothing. They might be a good outfit (their management is proud of their production lines) or they might be pirates, I do not know at all, but if I purchase a grip for my D800, I'll buy it from Nikon, partly for that reason.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 31, 2012 at 06:17 UTC as 22nd comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

Pootle2: I don't understand the hate... this is THE best value camera if you have kids. The speed of focusing and shooting is amazing.

I just wish the pancake lense was more compact so that the camera could be a bit more pocketable and that we had some F2-ish lenses.

I like the Nikon 1 format and the system. It is a great compromise bringing together features that you cannot find together elesewhere. It will not be an alternative "do-it-all" system for keen photographers, as bigger sensor ILCs try to be, but complements a Nikon FF or APS system really well. As it is a very small package with great IQ and a long native reach (the 30-110 lens) I have been able to use it for concert shoots for example, without any hassle with organisers or fellow watchers (tks to V1 EVF), and am delighted by results. It also brings tremendous low cost/high quality extra reach for Nikon users who own long glass. It is fast in operation. Very snappy. So, for Nikon DSLR users, it does have its advantages and a place in gear bags. It is weak on the wide end though (nothing wider than 28mm eq) and has no native fast lenses. For pure amateurs who want to go beyond P&S without "drowning" in "scary" systems, it works very well. J2 is a bit of a yawn though.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 9, 2012 at 06:57 UTC
On Just Posted: Nikon D3200 in-depth Review article (357 comments in total)
In reply to:

marike6: The Pentax K-30 just received a "Highly Recommended" from ePhotozine today.
And they don't once mention the Lumix G3 or any other ILC preferring to not compare oranges to apples as this review does liberally and somewhat puzzlingly.

Agree with panilopez: this is about OVF vs EVF mainly. A bit about phase detect AF vs contrast detect AF as well. But from the point of view of a user looking at improving the quality of his/her pictures vault, both architectures offer a viable path. I find it therefore perfectly ok to compare the 3200 to the MiLCs from the IQ and performance point of views, as they provide very similar services.

Personally, after genuinely trying to move to an EVF-based system (nex7), I am now completely convinced I am an OVF guy. EVF causes me too much grief, due to my vision, the complex corrections I require, and the type of glasses and sunglasses i wear, which interfere with sensors and reduce ability to see the scene on sunny days.

Based on that fundamentalI design preference, if I was restarting this costly journey from scratch now, the 3200 would certainly be in my short list even after reading the DPR review. It is a pretty fair review.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 27, 2012 at 06:05 UTC
In reply to:

Katsunami: I can perfectly understand why Voigtländer makes M-mount lenses: they are noticably cheaper than Leica and Zeiss with (most of) their offerings, and they've got stuff that both of the other two don't have, such as a 50mm f/1.1 for €975, a, 12mm f/5.6 and a 15mm f/4.5.... if you want that stuff, Voigtländer is the only choice.

But why would someone want a manual focus 28mm f/2.8 for DSLR's from Voigtländer? It's just nothing special. It's 28mm. It's f/2.8. It has no AF. While people talk about a Zeiss or Leica "look", I've never heard them talk about Voigtländer; not much anyway. That's the brand you buy if you want one of their special lenses such as the 15mm, or don't have enough money (or don't want to spend it) to buy Zeiss or Leica.

Where Voigtländer is a "special" brand with cool and/or cheap(er) stuff for M-camera's, they don't add anything extra, better, or special to DSLR's, IMHO.

Could be that I'm missing something of course.

Cosina design and manufacture very cool lenses. They use the Voigtlander brand for their own in house designs, and there are real gems in there. The range is great for users who like traditional build and manual focus in small sizes, coupled with current electronic interface. This gives complete EXIF information to Nikon users for example, something not provided by Nikkor AIS lenses. Each of the Voigtlander lenses provides a wonderful combination of optical quality, small size, great build and affordable price. I own the 20mm, the 40mm and the 58mm in Nikon mount, and will probably purchase this 28mm, and the 75mm when it comes out. They are as much at ease on the D800 as they are on a FM2 or a FM10 or a FA. I am immensely grateful to Cosina for catering to this niche, and, yes, I would be just as happy having a proud Cosina logo on those lenses rather than the Germanic ghost of Voigtlander.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 16, 2012 at 19:08 UTC

Best review yet of the amazing duo. I ended up with the D800 because that is what was available in the shop the day I stepped in. Had it been the "e", I would have purchased the "e", just to generate that feeling that there is no way of getting more detail in any given shot, all other circumstances remaining equal. But then, I would have also generated a constant FUD regarding moiré, false colours, etc, that would have ended up in pixel peeping sessions and fastidious slider tweaking "just to be sure". Coz that is the way I am, and probably quite a few others as well.

So, at the end, with the D800, unless I print at maximum size for a gallery exhibition with "e" owners or pixel peep in comparative sessions with a "e" body, I know I will have an absolutely marvelous result when I do things right.

Regrading ease of use: I've learned many things since packing that D800, by the way. One of them is that it can also be used as the ultimate point & shoot.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 12, 2012 at 05:48 UTC as 33rd comment
Total: 81, showing: 41 – 60
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