MP Burke

MP Burke

Lives in United Kingdom United Kingdom
Joined on Mar 4, 2011

Comments

Total: 51, showing: 1 – 20
« First‹ Previous123Next ›Last »
On Focus Stacking in Macro Photography article (126 comments in total)

I think that the interest in photographing animals in the field is the ability to capture behaviour, such as fighting, feeding and mating.
Going out when the insect is at its coldest and immobile prevents such behaviour being observed.
The dragonfly in the photograph is not identified and indeed could be difficult to identify, since the view does not show the top of the abdomen or thorax where many characteristic markings are likely to be. Some may regard the image as novel or attractive, but it says little about what the insect is and nothing about what it does, so I do not regard it as being particularly useful nature photography.
It should be said that if people become fixated on stacking and want a static subject there are many pinned specimens already in museum collections. Some invertebrates are in decline: no need to kill them.
Finally many small animals have been photographed using the scanning electron microscope, with higher DOF and resolution than optical can provide.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2013 at 19:37 UTC as 35th comment | 3 replies

Both Jacobs and Jessops have now both disappeared from New Oxford Street in the space of a year and it's a shame, though I suspect many people used their shops to have a look at cameras, which were then bought online at a lower price.
It has to be remembered that Jessops had undergone a huge expansion, with most of the stores being opened in the past ten years.
In the early 1980's they had just two stores in Leicester and London with much of their business being done by mail order. Perhaps the company would have been in a better position to survive if it had fewer stores and concentrated on internet sales.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 11, 2013 at 19:58 UTC as 11th comment

There is always a lot of people saying the M Leica are too expensive. However, for the time being, it is the only full frame interchangeable lens mirror-less camera. Perhaps if someone else could be bothered to make a good camera to rival Leica (as Cosina did in the film era) and make use of the wide range of M mount lenses, then we could have a cheaper alternative.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 17:16 UTC as 23rd comment | 2 replies
On Is Instagram 'debasing photography'? article (291 comments in total)

The problem with Instragram and all these other effects is that they have a tendency to become endemic. When I see lots of photographs being given the same treatment, it leads me to think that effects are being used by default, rather than as a thoughtful response to the subject.
My main concern is that these effects seem to influencing the directors of TV programmes. Recently the BBC showed a science documentary on what was called "global weirding" i.e. the apparent increase in the frequency of extreme weather events.
Much of the programme was shot with a filter effect that rendered everything except the centre of the frame out of focus. This seemed to be the director's way of reminding everyone that the programme was about something "weird".
I often get the impression that film makers are bored with the subject matter and think they must be constantly doing things with the images to stop viewers falling asleep.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 20, 2012 at 15:47 UTC as 59th comment | 3 replies

The tester seems to have been confused as to the purpose of this lens. The 150mm equivalent angle of view is most useful for circumstances where your subject is too far away to be photographed with standard lenses or kit zooms.
The 75mm lens looks like it gives high performance at f1.8 and should find uses for photographing concerts and events in mediocre light, as well as outdoor candids and certain types of sports where you are not too far from the subject.
At the same distance to the subject the 75mm focal length gives less depth of field than shorter lenses but this apparent benefit is counteracted, for subjects such as posed portraits, by the fact that you have to step further back from the subject to render it the same size as with a shorter focal length lens.
The Olympus 45mm f1.8 gives close to the classical angle of view for portraiture and if taking portraits is your sole objective, there is little advantage in getting the 75mm lens.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2012 at 13:51 UTC as 20th comment | 6 replies
On Just Posted: Fujifilm X-Pro1 review article (271 comments in total)

When I examined one of these cameras I was rather shocked to find the lens whirring in and out as it focussed. It does not offer encouragement that Fujifilm will ever be able to match the AF speed of other mirrorless systems with internal focus.
If I was in the market for a mirrorless camera now, i would find the X-Pro 1 intriguing but highly frustrating. The lack of an ultra-wide lens (until some time in 2013, it seems) is the biggest problem, and the performance of the 18mm lens does not inspire confidence that the shorter focal length lenses will live up to the results of those at 35 and 60mm. Personally I like to see a lens range, not a roadmap. I would want to see that the lenses are available and tested before buying into a system.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 28, 2012 at 23:12 UTC as 69th comment

Of course it is bigger and (likely to be) much more expensive than the Panasonic 14mm f2.5. I think Schneider have an eye on the users of the AG-AF100 series and possibly also the Sony VG10 video cameras.
If the lens can achieve high performance at full aperture without significant vignetting and distortion correction, then it will have advantages over the current m43 wide angle primes that some people may be willing to pay for.
m43 owners will have to accept that third party makers will often be making lenses to cover the APS-C image circle. This doesn't make them bad lenses, it will just mean they are likely to be bigger than the native m43 designs. I think it's nice to have the growing choice of prime lenses.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:35 UTC as 25th comment | 1 reply
On Just Posted: Pentax K-01 review article (358 comments in total)
In reply to:

MP Burke: I think Pentax got it wrong with this camera. If you see it alongside other mirrorless cameras it looks very bulky as a result of its greater depth.
Pentax seems to have been concerned with having compatibility with its slr lenses, but they have designed something with such a large flange back distance, that it largely defeats the object of it being a mirrorless camera, as the review correctly emphasises.
A notable disadvantage of the longer flange back distance is that the K-01 can not use the recently announced Sigma lenses (first third party AF lenses for mirrorless systems) or use any lenses made for older rangefinder cameras, such as those for Leica M or screw mount.
A more sensible answer to the problem of compatibility with slr lenses would be to supply a dedicated adaptor which permits AF. Even this would not solve the AF speed issue. Obtaining higher AF speeds with CD-AF cameras really needs lenses to be specially designed for them, with internal focussing.

The "$600 A-mount adaptor" is presumably a reference to the Sony LA-EA2, which incorporates a mirror arrangement to implement Phase detect AF. Adaptors without this function (e.g. Sony LA-EA1) are much cheaper.
When you look at the K-01 overall, you see the disadvantages of the longer flange back distance as I mentioned above, you see it has to try to use CD-AF with slr lenses, that it has no EVF and also has rolling shutter issues. All of this combined gives the impression of a badly implemented mirrorless design.
The principal reason for the design is surely that Pentax did not want to produce a range of dedicated lenses for mirrorless cameras.

Direct link | Posted on May 31, 2012 at 16:34 UTC
On Just Posted: Pentax K-01 review article (358 comments in total)

I think Pentax got it wrong with this camera. If you see it alongside other mirrorless cameras it looks very bulky as a result of its greater depth.
Pentax seems to have been concerned with having compatibility with its slr lenses, but they have designed something with such a large flange back distance, that it largely defeats the object of it being a mirrorless camera, as the review correctly emphasises.
A notable disadvantage of the longer flange back distance is that the K-01 can not use the recently announced Sigma lenses (first third party AF lenses for mirrorless systems) or use any lenses made for older rangefinder cameras, such as those for Leica M or screw mount.
A more sensible answer to the problem of compatibility with slr lenses would be to supply a dedicated adaptor which permits AF. Even this would not solve the AF speed issue. Obtaining higher AF speeds with CD-AF cameras really needs lenses to be specially designed for them, with internal focussing.

Direct link | Posted on May 31, 2012 at 11:35 UTC as 71st comment | 5 replies

I think f2.8 is the right choice of aperture. This looks like a useful lens for my outdoor and landscape photography and the relatively small size and weight are a boon on a long walk. F2.0 would have been too big and expensive.i
The initial price is as expected and I will be waiting to see if it is offered at a lower price as part of a bundle with the forthcoming GH3. If not, it would be a case of waiting until various reviews are available and (if they confirm high I.Q) then waiting for the next round of cash back offers from Panasonic.

Direct link | Posted on May 21, 2012 at 12:15 UTC as 19th comment | 2 replies

So now Leica has five 50mm lenses in its range. What's to complain about? A few people may buy it if they become fixated on getting the best possible performance at f2.
The older Summicron and the cheaper Summarit lenses are still available, so is a 50mm f2 from Zeiss and there are lots of second hand lenses out there. Nobody, even Leica M9 owners, has to buy this lens.

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 16:04 UTC as 28th comment
On Shooting with the Leica M9-P article (648 comments in total)

The Leica M9 clearly fits the bill if you have a range of expensively acquired Leica lenses and want to take digital photographs with them. There is no alternative that allows you to use these lenses without a crop factor of 1.5 or so.
The M bayonet mount has been around for nearly 60 years and is a remarkable survivor in an age where technologies are increasingly ephemeral.
There is no reason in principle why an M mount camera could not be designed with an autofocus mechanism. This was done in the film era by shifting the film plane back and forth in the Contax AX camera.
Similarly, there is no obvious reason why the M9 camera could not have been given a formal review. The lack of autofocus should not be seen as such a terrifying prospect that it disqualifies a camera from consideration.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2012 at 22:58 UTC as 107th comment | 2 replies
On Pentax K-01 studio test shots published article (146 comments in total)
In reply to:

ryansholl: There have been ugly cameras in the past, but this one really does take the cake. Others may say what they like about "absolute image quality," and it's not bad in that regard, but if the absolute in image quality came with a Fisher Price badge on it I'm pretty sure I'd not be the only one to shy away. Or "My First Sony" actually seems most fitting, looks a lot like my cassette deck @ 6 years old.

Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. I saw one of these on sale yesterday and I think it's ugly too. I think it looks boxy and mis-shapen when compared to other mirrorless cameras. The decision by Pentax to use the same flange back distance as their slrs is the reason for the shape.
This decision is a double-edged sword: while it allows Pentax lenses to be used without an adaptor, it completely prevents compatibility with a wide range of other lenses for L39 and M mount which can be used with other mirrorless cameras.

Direct link | Posted on May 3, 2012 at 12:08 UTC

Well done Canon. For a while I was becoming complacent, thinking my newish computer with 1080p monitor was powerful enough for anything I would want to do.
Now 4k video comes along. 4k is likely to become the next big feature used to sell new cameras, computers and TVs.
Though many people will initially be sceptical, it will gradually start to trickle down to less expensive equipment and exert an influence on what we expect from cameras and the computer equipment we use.
A good example of how expectations can shift quite rapidly is the inclusion of video in Dslrs: ten years ago no-one seemed to complain that dslrs couldn't do video: now it seems they are expected to have high quality 1080p output. 4k may be part of the normal feature set 10 years from now.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2012 at 14:28 UTC as 113th comment

The X Pro 1 seems to be the first APS-C system with a 28mm equivalent fixed focal lens, which I find praise-worthy since that has for long been a favourite focal length of mine.
However, I find it frustrating that the system is already on sale and there appears to be no thorough evaluation yet of the 18mm lens's performance. Hopefully, when reviewers have a bit more time with the lens, some suitable images will appear (i.e. taken of a subject with fine detail from corner to corner, at low ISO) which will show what the 18mm lens is capable of.
Similarly, it would be helpful to show some how the macro lens performs with macro subjects, e.g. butterflies or dragonflies.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 11, 2012 at 16:45 UTC as 8th comment

There is an inconsistency in the above article: in one place it mentions
"A dedicated sensor that automatically determines shooting angle, making it possible to tell whether a photo was taken horizontally or vertically no matter what lens was used." which sounds like an orientation sensor built in to the body to me.
However, in the specification table it says there is no orientation sensor. This looks like an error from cutting and pasting the GF3 specification.

You can now get the GX1 with the 14-42mm power zoom lens for less than £600 in the UK. The prices of Panasonic cameras always drop a few months after release, and I would expect the GF5 price to end up significantly lower than that of the GX1. In the meantime, the GF3 will be available at a lower price.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:35 UTC as 44th comment
On Just Posted: Canon PowerShot G1 X review article (519 comments in total)

Neither the viewfinder nor the AF performance are comparable with those available on dslrs or the best interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras.
The presumption that it can be compared directly with interchangeable lens cameras is highly questionable: in the past one could buy fixed lens rangefinder cameras, such as the Yashica Lynx 14, that were significantly cheaper than interchangeable lens alternatives. This is not the case with the G1X, which seems to have been very generously received by reviewers.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 30, 2012 at 15:42 UTC as 75th comment
On Pentax K-01 preview (376 comments in total)

When Pentax first made a 40mm pancake lens it was used on 35mm cameras. The 40mm focal length should be replaced by around 30mm for APS-C.
The design brief for this camera appears to be to make a mirror-less camera without the need for any specially designed lenses. Hence the flange back distance of over 40mm, which is the same as it was on 35mm slrs. Pentax has retained this flange back distance for all these years yet has never made a 35mm digital camera.
While the Pentax lens range may look impressive superficially, many of the lenses were designed to cover the 35mm format image circle. Pentax ought to discontinue these older lenses and start again with its lens range with some primes that are relevant to the APS-C format, e.g. 12mm, 18mm, 23mm, 35mm f1.4, rather than the old hand-me downs from the 35mm era.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:16 UTC as 87th comment | 1 reply
On Composition Basics in Macro Photography article (73 comments in total)

The images here make me think I have been guilty of some excessively tight cropping of damselfly images. In a month or two's time they should be on the wing again and I will try putting this advice into practice.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 8, 2012 at 16:55 UTC as 29th comment
On Canon announces EOS 5D Mark III 22MP full-frame DSLR article (488 comments in total)

Having used a 35mm film camera that weighed 500g and a medium format camera that was about 800g (body only weights), I find it a pity that 35mm format digital cameras are all so big and heavy. Add on a couple of the heavy L lenses and this is not a system I would like to have to take on a long walk in the Welsh hills. At least the Nikon D800 is lighter than the previous 35mm Nikons. The 5D mk III seems to be going in the wrong direction, towards a faster motor drive and increased weight.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 14:23 UTC as 74th comment
Total: 51, showing: 1 – 20
« First‹ Previous123Next ›Last »