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: 88, showing: 61 – 80
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On Editing on the road article (114 comments in total)

this seems like excellent advice to me. i think it is especially useful to review shots every day in order simply to improve, technically and aesthetically, as the author suggests.

my travel is often in 2 month or more chunks, so i have to plan for storing and backing up very large sets of photos. i bring a good laptop, and three hard drives, one of which is always with me. i also have started carrying a very large sd card, which is useful for backing up just the real selects as the trip goes on, and can be carried in the waistband of my trousers. i should look into the newer ruggedized models, but really, the basic sd card is unbelievably durable.

i don't disagree about deleting really bad mistakes, but personally i just keep most of the misses. they aren't starred, and most i'll never look at again, but every once in a while it has been invaluable to be able to go back and check some detail of sequence or background. and storage is basically very cheap at this point.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2012 at 23:48 UTC as 39th comment
In reply to:

waxwaine: Go Pentax!

Yes, go pentax--go on and produce a ff camera... or an f/2, 27mm pancake....

I am extremely impressed by pentax's cameras, but criticizing canon on this point is silly. Just as is brand jingoism generally.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 10, 2012 at 22:20 UTC
In reply to:

xtoph: i am sympathetic to the plight of the photographer. poor information (let's stipulate that wasn't his fault), piled on top of very difficult circumstances (too many people, not enough time).

but:

these are inexcusably poor quality photos. not because they are insufficiently 'patriotic' (irrelevant) or because they follow a unique artistic vision (please). it isn't really a subjective or even aesthetic matter. the problem is bad technique: wildly oof shots, unbelievably badly framed shots (body parts arbitrarily cut off), and extremely badly exposed shots (blown skin on the face, or insufficient exposure). even without preparation, a photographer should be able to get consistent results, at a minimum.

if pictures are worth 1000 words, then a pro photog should be fluent in the language. what we see isn't a personal dialect or style, it's poor grammar, to the point where there is no way to tell what the pics are supposed to say.

so of course it is photo news. it's embarrassing.

ppastoris:

first of all, many of the worst examples which caused the initial reactions to this episode have been removed, and many of the remainder seem to have been re-edited. [also, many action shots by different photos have been added--notably without as many amputations in spite of shooting active competitions.]

second of all, even from the remaining set linked in the dpr article above: really, "only" one? how about #32?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-32.html?tag=img
or #40?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-40.html?tag=img
or #42?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-42.html?tag=img
there are others. even if we don't count shots like 48 and 49 and assume it was intentional, merely bad composition, i can only assume you didn't bother to actually watch the slideshow before you replied. [or, cbs changed the selection again--#19 isn't even by klamar.]

on focus: i am talking about wildly oof shots, not poor sharpening. i know the difference.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2012 at 08:25 UTC
In reply to:

Lng0004: DPR chooses to post what's probably the worst shot of the bunch. If people only take a look at this one shot before commenting, then yes, it's absolutely crap.

But take a look at the entire collection. It's not that bad.

alfred (and Lng0004):

yes, much, /much/ worse than this. the original sets of photos which caused the initial reaction have been redacted and/or replaced.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2012 at 08:08 UTC

i am sympathetic to the plight of the photographer. poor information (let's stipulate that wasn't his fault), piled on top of very difficult circumstances (too many people, not enough time).

but:

these are inexcusably poor quality photos. not because they are insufficiently 'patriotic' (irrelevant) or because they follow a unique artistic vision (please). it isn't really a subjective or even aesthetic matter. the problem is bad technique: wildly oof shots, unbelievably badly framed shots (body parts arbitrarily cut off), and extremely badly exposed shots (blown skin on the face, or insufficient exposure). even without preparation, a photographer should be able to get consistent results, at a minimum.

if pictures are worth 1000 words, then a pro photog should be fluent in the language. what we see isn't a personal dialect or style, it's poor grammar, to the point where there is no way to tell what the pics are supposed to say.

so of course it is photo news. it's embarrassing.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 7, 2012 at 22:42 UTC as 75th comment | 6 replies
In reply to:

Zdenek Janda: I think that the photographs clearly show that olympic athletes, although at top in their sport discipline, are just people as you and me, and not "superhumans".

I am sure, that photographed athletes are not embarrassed by these photographs. As athletes have enough confidence in themselves, they don't need, and in most cases don't want, be photographed same way as fashion models.

olympic-class athletes at the top of their game are *not* 'just people like you and me'. get over yourself. superhuman is precisely what they are.

the bulk of the photos in question are inexcusably bad, although i am sympathetic with the predicament of the photographer.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 7, 2012 at 22:27 UTC
On Scientists demonstrate 'paint-on' batteries article (108 comments in total)
In reply to:

qwertyasdf: I never had problems with electronics that have replaceable batteries.
The validity of non-replaceable batteries is only justified in Job's reality distortion field. But then Apple products is heavily biased towards design.
I don't see why so many phones / tablets now have non-replaceable batteries. I do not appreciate the fact that companies are copying Apple for the sake of copying.

YES, unibody designs give better structural integrity. Yet I NEVER saw a device with replaceable battery break into half. The structure simply will never be the weak point. If a phone / tablet breaks, 99% of them time it's the screen that is broken, regardless of it's structure.

And No, this is useless to camera makers, cameras are meant to be kind of blocky, and batteries are meant to be replaced.

This is a great technology, I'm waiting to see it being used in iPaper, or better yet, the iWallpaper

glad you've never had problems, but i've personally had two phones i have to tape together because the battery won't stay in, and one laptop with a similar problem (battery drops out). i've seen dozens of other people's phones with the same problem. the problem isn't marketing bs, it is real.

and peiasdf's comment isn't a 'what if', it applies to current apple devices. the battery tech is one of the major innovations of the air and ipad.

if you need additional power, there are plenty of external battery slabs for your laptop or phone in whatever size and charge capacity you desire. no different from carrying spare batteries around.

i suspect the current innovation it will not be useless to camera makers, either.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 30, 2012 at 09:37 UTC
In reply to:

REDred Photo: My favorite street lens has always been the 35mm. I really would love to see a 17mm f1.4 in a fairly small form factor for micro 4/3.

this (14mm) on m4/3 is actually pretty close (closer than anything else) to a classic 35mm view, assuming you crop the frame to the classic 35mm frame.

it looks a little bit large, but f/2 should be a sweet spot, and this could potentially be a major factor for me to consider m4/3. (the pany 14/2.5 is a bit underwhelming, though i know people who do stellar work with it.)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:46 UTC
In reply to:

amangupta: For portraits in sufficient light, it is best to consider it as a 75mm f/1.8 rather than the cropped sensor equivalent focal length. Portrait lenses are supposed to "flatten the perspective" and 75mm lens will show the perspective in exactly the same way no matter what the size of the sensor behind it is. And DOF will also be according to 75mm f/1.8, which is plenty shallow I believe (I have a 60mm f/2 for Nikon DX and usually have to stop down to prevent half the face from becoming blurred). Only thing the FOV equivalence with 150mm changes is the distance between subject and photographer (which incidentally, increases DOF further).

amangupta is absolutely wrong about this. i really don't know why this myth of 'absolute focal length' persists, but it has no basis in reality.

in general terms, the 'equivalent focal length' (real number times focal length multiplier) gives a good approximation of the characteristics of a given lens. it is true that for smaller formats, the equivalent focal length will produce more dof at the same f stop and framing--but this is rarely the most salient factor in 'equivalence'.

a 50mm lens on a dx format sensor makes an excellent head-and-shoulders portrait lens. so does oly's 45/1.8 on micro 4/3. this new oly lens will produce a dramatically compressed perspective in close-cropped portraits, which most people will find flattering and graphically powerful (although personally i prefer to use a shorter telephoto or normal lens for portraits; i like my characters rounded, not flat).

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2012 at 09:31 UTC

Wow. There's no way I can afford this, but boy would I like to try one. People who haven't used apo lenses may not appreciate the effects across the field, esp in oof areas, that come with a lack of color aberrations. this will be pretty much the first time we have the option to use an apo normal lens for 35mm format.

I think that, besides suddenly making the old 50/2 much more valuable, this is also going to provoke a reevaluation of the 50 summarit. Up til now, it has generally not been appreciated as much as the excellent 35/2.5, but this is going to put new pressure on it.

Direct link | Posted on May 10, 2012 at 23:26 UTC as 56th comment
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

@ john

that's silly.

@ kodachrome200

as i explained, unless you only shoot your dslr at f/4, no, your vf does *not* let you see the dof of the photo.

look, you obviously aren't interested in understanding why someone might make a different choice than you, so this may be pointless. you are right--the rf does not show any dof; it shows you the scene as your eye sees it, something other cameras don't. an m camera lets you look straight at reality and lets you be the medium to visualize how you want to photograph it; an slr forces you to look at a flat focusing screen about a virtual meter from your nose, showing a poor approximation of how the /camera/ will see the scene (and in the process hiding reality in oof swaths and outside the framelines).

the rf system works better for me, and some of the best photographers ever. others of the best photographers in the world prefer slrs. i don't think nachtwey is stupid for using an slr; why do you insist that i am for using an m9?

Direct link | Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:27 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

@kodachrome200

read it again--i did not say nor imply that 'slr users are less skilled'.

"also, how dare i"? well, first off, you misunderstand the word 'visualize,' evidently mistaking it for a synonym of 'see'. never mind; slr vfs *do not* give you very good control over what you are seeing through them. in general, they present the scene as it would appear with dof at ~f/4. sure, you could stop down manually to see the real dof at, say, f/8 if you wanted to (or you can just visualize it...), but that's impractical. if otoh you are shooting wide, there is *no way* the reflex vf can show you the true appearance of the photo--it can't display wider than the equivalent aperture of the fresnel lenses in the focusing screen (usually about f/4, sometimes a bit wider). so, want to see in the vf how your lens looks shooting at f/2? sorry, you can't. and this all assumes you are using a flagship camera--otherwise you're stuck with only 95% of the scene, seen through a tiny tunnel.

Direct link | Posted on May 9, 2012 at 08:29 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

@kodachrome2000:
an slr-style vf doesn't offer more control, it it just an aid to visualizing the effects of the camera on the scene. (not a very good one at that.) an actual rf--which the xpro1 is not, btw--assumes you are skilled enough to understand how your camera sees, and concentrates on letting you see a clear and true view of the actual scene, which no other type of camera does. rather than altering the scene and making you try to imagine what reality looked like, it shows you reality and trusts you to imagine what you want your camera to do to it. that enhances control. and no, a film leica doesn't 'make more sense' than an m9; i use one too, but i shoot enough that the m9 began saving me money (on film and dev) in under a year, to say nothing of the quality advantages.

i agree that it is a whole lotta money for a camera. it is still cheaper than film, and the only way to shoot a classic rf digitally. that, plus size to quality ratio, makes it eminently rational for some.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 23:29 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

@iapx: none of the people from the dpr article above shoot with a rangefinder full time (or even part time), as near as can be deduced from their comments. using an m camera takes skill and practice. unlike an uberkamera of, say, the d4 persuasion, the camera is exactly as good as you are; no better, and no worse, either. it takes relatively little time with a d4 to get to the point where the limiting factor is the camera, and your only hope of improving on those limits is if nikon comes out with a new model. with an m camera, you are in complete control, and as you improve, so does the camera's capabilities.

if you want to see in-focus rf photos, feel free to view mine (though frankly i am more interested in subject, moment, and composition than absolute sharpness) either here on dpr or e.g. here:
http://phloiterer.tumblr.com/

please don't read into this any criticism of the d4 or for that matter any other camera; a camera's limits are not the same as the measure of a photograph.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 23:16 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

Bevardis: Rangefinder system is outdated? Please, with some training you can be just as fast as any SLR lens, if not even faster. And also >100% viewfinder is such an amazing thing.

Taking pictures with RFs is nothing like SLR in many respects- not better, not worse, but just so different.

It is such a shame no affordable camera exists.... Even at $9000 M9 body offers inferior performance to entry level DSLRs for $500. Solution- do the film and dream of Canonet D :)

brki: you got it. i do it all the time.

just because /you/ can't do something, doesn't mean it can't be done.

the m cameras are as good as you are, no better--and, unlike auto-everything wunderkameras, no worse, either. most people will be better photographers with a d4 than with an m9, but with practice and some talent, you can keep getting better and better the more you use the m9; with the d4, you're pretty much stuck with the performance built into the camera, good as that is.

i'd rather know that any mistakes lie with me, than curse my camera and be able to do nothing about it besides upgrade to the next model...

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:05 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

nathanleebush: Leica lovers like to think of their cameras as fine wines, steeped in tradition. Why change the formula, we had this figured out 500 years ago, right? Except that cameras are technology, which is subject to different rules (Moore's Law, anyone?). Would we be buying a printer in the mold of a 17th century printing press for that "legacy feel?"

Leica does the absolute minimum to keep up with tech developments, and aside from the LCD screen and sensor, both of which suck, the camera is mostly unchanged from a model half a century ago. Compare a Nikon D800 to its counterpart at a similar (adjusted) price point 50 years ago, and I think you'll see a lot of refinement and radical rethinking. Companies that are afraid of change and pushing themselves to develop their technology & instead live off their brand are lame. I'm not saying Leica won't have a place in a world where people have too much money and need to buy their self-esteem, I just think the concept of value here is delusional.

my brother is a leading teacher and master printmaker for intaglio printing and photogravure (which uses printing presses just like the 17th century), and i can tell you, no other, more 'advanced' printing method can match the dmax (and other qualities) of those prints.

'old' does not equal 'worse' technologically speaking.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:57 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

jl123: I must say I get "it" but I also don't get "it". Of course that "it" is the same statement that so many leica fans utter: 'the camera makes me think harder, and therefore I can compose a better/more well thought out shot' or something similar.

My reply: Maybe people should try to think a little harder with whatever camera they have, not just if its a lieca.

like it or not, people don't make photos; people with cameras make photos. the camera has an effect on how you make the photo, which can have a (minor or profound) effect on the photo you make. putting an slr in manual mode isn't the same at all as shooting with a rangefinder.

i wouldn't personally call the rf effect slowing down and thinking harder; more like speeding up and learning to think more, but that's another matter.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:43 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

Gesture: Rangefinder photography lets the world flow into your camera. Reflex photography captures it. There is a difference in vision, approach to life.

i would have said "flow /through/ your camera" vs "slams it into a two-dimensional wall to leave an imprint in goo before sliding off in a heap," but yes, just so, and i suppose i could be overtaxing the metaphor...

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:36 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: What we have here is an exceptionally well made obsolete product.

I actually own and love a Leica M3, but the rangefinder design just doesn't cut it anymore. In it's day, it was the ideal compact 35mm camera. Today, the MILC cameras do it better, and at a much more reasonable cost.

Frankly, I'd rather have my Olympus EP1 and $9,500 in my pocket than a brand new Leica M9 plus lens. In many respects the EP1 will outperform the M9, but it just won't have the same prestige or status.

Lets be honest for a moment. If this very same Leica M9 had a Samsung badge on it, then no one would pay more than $800 to buy it.

This isn't about photography, it's about jewelry.

nothing against the 'mirrorless' options and i am glad they are here. many of them are a bargain, and no sensible person argues you cannot make truly great photos with them.

but they simply don't let you operate them with the speed and precision of a rf. af is fine if you want to cede control over the moment of exposure to the camera; i do not. and i can focus my m6 or m9 faster and more accurately than my 5d2.

the rf is not 'obsolete'; it is different. it is the only way you can see outside your frame in a vf. it is the only way you can frame and focus your picture while looking at a natural view of the world, not a flat, projected version on your focussing screen. you don't have to like or care about the difference, but plenty of other people do.

and enough already with the 'jewelry' cracks. we all know that some people buy cameras--many brands, leica included--for status. it doesn't follow that everyone who buys one does so for prestige.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:25 UTC
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)

just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:12 UTC as 46th comment | 11 replies
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