xtoph

xtoph

Lives in United States seattle, WA, United States
Works as a anthropologist
Has a website at www.phloiterer.tumblr.com
Joined on Sep 22, 2004

Comments

Total: 86, showing: 1 – 20
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On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (1829 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: Where this article stumbles is in not clearly addressing at the start the fact that the two systems compared have different aspect ratios, and thus the 'equivalent' shots will not look at all the same (different things will be included and excluded in each; they will decidedly not "have the same framing").
This maybe should be obvious, but i doubt it actually is obvious to many of the people who might actually benefit from reading this (people just geting started choosing a camera).

Joe--the difference between aspects might be minor to you; it isnt to me, at all. I am sure you wouldnt like having all your 2:3 format pictures cropped off at the edges the way they would be on an oly. Afair panasonic made (makes?) odd-size chips specifically so they do not have to actually crop in--but i havent tracked where they are these days with that. (or maybe both p and o use multi-aspect chips now with no lost pixels--in which case i withdraw my complaint.)
But otherwise, when your topic is 'equivalence', and the very first statement about that equivalence is absolutely, incontrovertibly not true--the framing will *not* be the same--then it is time to make a minor modification to the article ao that it is no longer incorrect.
Richard--if this is supposed to be about 'all' systems, then aspect ratio needs to be dealt with.
Otherwise, i think it is a good resourse for people to have. All else equal, i am all for more information.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 10, 2014 at 02:02 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (1829 comments in total)

Where this article stumbles is in not clearly addressing at the start the fact that the two systems compared have different aspect ratios, and thus the 'equivalent' shots will not look at all the same (different things will be included and excluded in each; they will decidedly not "have the same framing").
This maybe should be obvious, but i doubt it actually is obvious to many of the people who might actually benefit from reading this (people just geting started choosing a camera).

Direct link | Posted on Jul 9, 2014 at 22:19 UTC as 101st comment | 9 replies
On Kodak Pixpro S-1 First Impressions Review preview (175 comments in total)
In reply to:

Glen Barrington: To those who believe this is aimed solely at the "Asian" Market. I suspect it is difficult for outsiders to understand the appeal of the name "Kodak" in North America among people who aren't Professionals or even 'enthusiasts', but who still want a "nice" camera. (Nice defined by THEIR standards, not yours).

I also suspect this brand will find its way to the North American market as quickly as possible and it is to the benefit of Olympus and Panasonic. with the Kodak m43s brand established globally, that takes the pressure off Olympasonic to go to the expense of developing, producing, and marketing the low end introductory cameras that they find difficult to make a profit with. This will allow them to concentrate their resources on the more profitable enthusiast and professional cameras.

If Olympasonic is smart, they will bend over backwards to help JK Imaging to establish this brand in as many places as possible.

You might be surprised by how *few* people, even in america, recognize the kodak brand. I work with classes of young students learning photography, and also teach at the university level (in usa); for a recent class trivia question, asked 'which is the american camera brand?', out of minolta, canon, nikon, and kodak, not one student chose kodak; the majority answered minolta, some canon. When i inquired after, not one student in two classes recognized the word "kodak"; they only had the vague sense that it sounded foreign.
Its easy to forget how time flies... I still shoot tri-x and portra.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 25, 2014 at 07:53 UTC
In reply to:

wansai: this is a complete non issue. most ppl who have photoshop would know how to do this even without the tutorial. it is a simple process, something i would, at most categorise as intermmediate level ps skill, but likely one that any basic user should know.

i havent seen his blog post. unless he specifically states to do the shop then pass the image off as your own, i see no issues with it. also, if it is a picture of you and you have not signed a release, the photographer has no merits in trying to use it for commercial purposes. you have as much claim as the photographer.

You don't understand what a model release releases. You dont own every picture someone else snaps of you, and it is indeed more than legal for them to sell that photo they snapped (and own) without your permission. (applies in the us and most countries)
It is largely because of pervasive misunderstandings such as this that the issue in the op is in fact worth denouncing.

Direct link | Posted on May 29, 2014 at 23:15 UTC
On Shockproof flagship: Olympus 'drops' new Tough TG-3 article (106 comments in total)

Yeah, raw would be nice, but beside the point unless oly offers true manual exposure control or AT LEAST aperture priority mode. Seriously, what is the point of advertising your f/2 lens if there is no way to take advantage of it? I got some good UW pics with the tg2, but also lost a whole lot of them to motion blur because the camera inexplicably decided it needed to shoot at f/5.6 and 1/30 sec or slower ... Underwater. Good luck with that. (Also tended toward severe overexposure underwater, to the point where even -2 ev comp wasnt always enough. How hard is it to just let the user set exposure?????

Direct link | Posted on Apr 1, 2014 at 23:38 UTC as 9th comment | 1 reply
On Review: Ona Lima camera strap article (142 comments in total)
In reply to:

samfan: I pity anyone who uses the original strap that came with the camera and doesn't know better. Those straps prove the camera manufacturers have just contempt for their users. So uncomfortable they might as well be made of chains and poison ivy, but of course, with a huge colorful logo or several.

the leica strap is one of the best designed and best made straps out there. (it is slightly less grippy on the pad than an upstrap, which is why i don't use mine, but it looks better and wraps better around the wrist.) possibly the only piece of good advice kr (he who shall not be named) ever gave: no matter what brand camera you use, you can get yourself a leica strap (and often for less than other brands, for a change).

Direct link | Posted on Mar 28, 2014 at 23:46 UTC
On Review: Ona Lima camera strap article (142 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jim Evidon: This is a case of over-design. For my money, the best strap is one that is sized for the camera and user; i.e., no adjustment. One of the best straps I have used was one of the earliest sling straps made out of soft webbing with a simple ring that slides up and down the strap and attaches to a camera lug. The strap was hand made somewhere in VT and for all I know,they may be out of business.

The second best strap is another simple gem that I use on my Fuji XPro-1 made by Lance (http://lancecamerastraps.com/classic-non-adjust/).

It is simply a nylon woven line that does not adjust. You order it by length and color desired. It is nicely finished. Because of the large diameter of the nylon line, it is soft and comfortable and requires no shoulder pad. I carry it sling fashion while walking and around the neck while shooting. I have used Optech, Tamrac, Sun-Sniper, etc., and this Lance Strap beats them all.

Now, if someone would only make the perfect camera bag I'd be very happy.

the problem with non-adjustable straps is that you do sometimes need a different length, such as when you put on a bulky jacket, or when you are carrying two cameras at one time.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 28, 2014 at 23:43 UTC
On Review: Ona Lima camera strap article (142 comments in total)
In reply to:

vroger1: My prime need is for a strap to remain on my shoulder while I am using another camera, or just for carrying around. The ONLY strap I can recommend is the "UPSTRAP" found at upstrap.com. It really works and I own UPSTRAPS for all my digital cameras, all sizes (the straps vary in width) from my Leica D-Lux digicams through my Canon DSLRs. The are not expensive and actually work!!.

i agree with the recommendation for the upstrap. i've bought about 6 over the years (a couple for my brother and a friends camera). it is the only thing i've found that actually works as a shoulder strap. and no obnoxious branding, not superfluous gadgets, no ridiculous 'quick release' fail points.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 28, 2014 at 23:42 UTC
On Nikon video hints at long-desired 'digital FM' article (554 comments in total)

I dont understand the article comment about ergonomics improving since the fe2. Sounds to me like they are already missing the point. Aside from the focus turning the wrong way on nikons (:p), the fe/m2 were almost perfect cameras ergonomically speaking. Getting back to that is what such a camera should mostly be about.

I suspect that nikon is hoping to tap a market of folks who are sick of the upgrade cycle, who want to go back to buying a single camera to use without anxiety for a decade or so. Build in the quality construction, and at this point there are off the shelf pieces which could deliver more than ood enough quali pics for that kind of time frame. At which point the cost makes sense, becomes a rational investment rather than a two year tax on keeping up with the state of the art.

This could be brilliant for them--extremely well timed in terms of current capabilities, market saturation, and getting in while sony still doesnt have the stable of relevent lenses on offer.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 25, 2013 at 20:56 UTC as 181st comment | 3 replies
On Sony Alpha A7 / A7R preview (2381 comments in total)

They do not look "much smaller" than the full frame interchangeable lens m9, particularly when you take into account the size of the respective lenses.

Not actually that big a deal, but it is sort of odd that a review site which aims at comprehensiveness keeps ignoring the leica offerings.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2013 at 06:49 UTC as 739th comment
On Ten things we learned this week article (91 comments in total)

I have to add my objection to the new "click and load 12 pages to view content worth maybe 2" design i have seen a few times here recently.

Not only is it tedious and timewasting, but it is incovenient if you want to compare anything or review anything you just read as you go along.

Please dont go this way--just makes your site look like "10 wardrobe malfunctions" clickbait nonsense.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 12, 2013 at 05:53 UTC as 36th comment | 3 replies

(based solely on the pairs displayed here: )

eric wins!!!
...
and there in a nutshell is the absurdity of photography as a competitive sport.

(though this does seem to be all in a good lot of fun. )

Direct link | Posted on Aug 20, 2013 at 01:52 UTC as 24th comment
In reply to:

xtoph: The arguments here seem to range from 'let a 1000 flowers bloom' to 'how dare she', with some detours in between. In general i tend to side with letting artists experiment--but this isnt the same as painting a moustache on the mona lisa, which will never be confused with the original work. On the contrary, this seems to implicitly suggest that it is a 'better' version of the artist's intent (because it masquerades as closer to reality) than what we are currently stuck with, as if it were a restoration of a chapel fresco. That seems to be the gist of the many comments that 'the world is in color, bw is a manipulative lie'. 

This i think is the biggest issue: a fundamental misapprehension of what goes into bw photography. Yes, MBW looked out on a color world; no, she did not frame her subjects in color. All of these photographers knew what they were doing and worked in bw deliberately.
[continued]

[from above]
Bw wasn't a technical limitation that held their work back, it was a creative tool they exploited for conscious expressive effect. the fact that some of them didn't have a practical option to shoot in color doesn't mean they really wanted to do so, relegating their actual efforts to the status of some kind of mistake or inferior draft of history. And even if they had a desire to make color photos, they crafted these with a different aim.

It is this covert subversion of the artistic expression of the original photographer, rather than the colorizer's overt and distinct original contribution, that characterizes the present incarnation of the photographs. I dont find that worthy of celebration.

To my eyes, the only one of these photos which seems to work as well in false color is the last one. (a better prepared bw version might change that.) the others all suffer by comparison.

Which begs the question.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 19, 2013 at 19:24 UTC

The arguments here seem to range from 'let a 1000 flowers bloom' to 'how dare she', with some detours in between. In general i tend to side with letting artists experiment--but this isnt the same as painting a moustache on the mona lisa, which will never be confused with the original work. On the contrary, this seems to implicitly suggest that it is a 'better' version of the artist's intent (because it masquerades as closer to reality) than what we are currently stuck with, as if it were a restoration of a chapel fresco. That seems to be the gist of the many comments that 'the world is in color, bw is a manipulative lie'. 

This i think is the biggest issue: a fundamental misapprehension of what goes into bw photography. Yes, MBW looked out on a color world; no, she did not frame her subjects in color. All of these photographers knew what they were doing and worked in bw deliberately.
[continued]

Direct link | Posted on Aug 19, 2013 at 19:18 UTC as 56th comment | 2 replies
On Panasonic GX7 First Impressions Review article (1201 comments in total)
In reply to:

StefanW: Regarding the scene:
Having twice the brushes, color tubes and cards in the scene doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Instead I would prefer additional objects, something like the globe (of the old scene). The different text sizes on the globe were nice for comparison of resolution and high ISO capabilities of different cameras side by side and which texts can still be read. Different text sizes are relevant to allow also a distinction or comparison for the future when the cameras in maybe 4 years come with the a 100MP sensor.

Two points--first, there is more text of various sizes in this scene than the old one. Second, the repeated elements are very useful because they permit comparison of bright and shade performance, which is a major improvement over the old test scene. (check the tungsten version.)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 15, 2013 at 11:34 UTC
In reply to:

xtoph: it is really bad advice to recommend buying from someone who will not take returns/offer refunds, on at least two levels.

first, because the fact that not many people do return items, doesn't mean it isn't very valuable in the rare case when you need to do so.

second, because some of the best places to buy cameras also happen to offer some of the best return policies. (eg, bh).

which makes the advice both impractical and potentially disastrous. all to confer a false sense of 'scienticity' to your advice.

not helpful.

the entirety of the useful advice in this article boils down to 'don't worry too much about it.'

Tom--
B&h will ship most anywhere. I am aware that 'refund just because' is largely an american flavor, but hardly exclusively so. And of course there is a time limit--but the advice in kim's article was to avoid that window of security altogether.
As for "must add to the street pricing of goods", thats the same sort of reasoning in a vacuum kim is indulging in. In actual fact, prices at bh are about as low as they get.
It isnt hard to see why. Lots of people will take the plunge if they know they have a free do-over; but when it comes down to it, relatively few actually do return stuff without good reason.

Kim's advice, essentially to engage in psychological warfare against yourself, is silly. If you are in need of some psychic chill, try yoga, or maybe a hobby you enjoy and find relaxing... Maybe photography?

Direct link | Posted on Jul 25, 2013 at 19:52 UTC

it is really bad advice to recommend buying from someone who will not take returns/offer refunds, on at least two levels.

first, because the fact that not many people do return items, doesn't mean it isn't very valuable in the rare case when you need to do so.

second, because some of the best places to buy cameras also happen to offer some of the best return policies. (eg, bh).

which makes the advice both impractical and potentially disastrous. all to confer a false sense of 'scienticity' to your advice.

not helpful.

the entirety of the useful advice in this article boils down to 'don't worry too much about it.'

Direct link | Posted on Jul 24, 2013 at 22:43 UTC as 34th comment | 3 replies

it is a pretty serious issue, imo.
consider an expensive camera purchase, for the sake of argument, a leica m9. reviews vary wildly, to say the least. but the most troubling part is that some of the problems pointed out in negative reviews are extremely serious issues--which other users don't believe exist.
i've shot 100k+ exposures with an m9, and i can attest to the fact that there are problems with it i have never encountered with any other camera. otoh, there is no real way to decide whether you want to buy one, in spite of those problems, besides using it yourself. (i don't regret mine.)
now i want to buy a replacement. there doesn't appear to be any way to sift through some of the criticisms of the new m240 to determine whether they will be decisive other than, you guessed it, using the camera myself.
normally, the solution is trusted reviewers. but authoritative reviews of both the m8 and m9 failed miserably to expose actual problems-user reports did that.
catch-22.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 15, 2013 at 22:41 UTC as 130th comment | 1 reply

Really, the first three carry about equal weight for me, along with losing the ability to lock in a familiar and predictable set of program abilities, compatibility, and interface.
A long time ago steve jobs said 'people want to own their music', and that goes triple for their important computer programs.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 20:40 UTC as 832nd comment
On Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction article (1879 comments in total)

I legally purchased ps from v2, and cs v1,2,3. I was only able to do so because i get academic pricing, but even after i switched most of my photo work to aperture, it was worth it to use ps a couple times a month, indesign a few times a year. There is no way that the cc model makes sense or me. It is far too expensive--but it means i effectively lose the ability to run a few plugins i occassionally need to run on layers. On top of that, for an occasional user, the pitfalls of a constantly evolving interface, and shifting print output glitches entailed in evolving versions sounds like hell to me. And on top of that, i travel for long periods in countries where internet is spotty at best--i cannot risk a part of my workflow going down in the middle of a trip because subscription validation doesnt work.
I might consider renting ps by the hour, if that were reasonably priced, as a way to access it a dozen times a year. But i wont hold my breath.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 08:58 UTC as 554th comment
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