Tom Caldwell

Tom Caldwell

Lives in Australia Coffs Harbour NSW, Australia
Works as a Chartered Accountant
Has a website at tpg.com.au
Joined on Feb 19, 2002

Comments

Total: 187, showing: 1 – 20
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On Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras news story (112 comments in total)
In reply to:

bawbaw: These will be useless on digital RF with the deep rear element design, even the modern voigt wideangles are really bad on the M9/240. I was pretty sad when I saw the voigt 21mm on my M9, that having been my goto lens on film.

For about the same price there is better and more sensible L39/M mount wides ,used zeiss zm 21mm for one.

Like the Petzval before. It's cheaper to buy an original used and leave the disappointments to the cool kids that have made the lomography guys snake oil well grow deeper and deeper. Keeping in mind pre lomography these were about £30 on ebay if that.

Anyone tried to buy an as-new original Russar recently? It seems that there is a preconception that Russian lenses are necessarily not good. Perhaps this is a wake-up call to revive the US lens industry? Any US golden oldies that Lomo can revive?

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2014 at 21:01 UTC
On Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras news story (112 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Looking at their gallery, IQ looks disturbingly much like that of my Spiratone 18mm f/3.5 (YS/M42 mount) on a Sony A7. The Spiratone cost 1/10 as much, and I'm not sure it was worth that....

Prof Hank, this was indeed a very good lens. I have two, one seems to be a prototype version and has seen heavy use. The other was the black version from the '80's which was in unused condition and very well made. I would worry that the size of the rear protrusion would mean that it would struggle to fit inside the body cavity of some digital cameras. I doubt if the original would fit inside the A7 type body.

Rusinov patented his lens design in the West - I don't know if anyone bothered paying royalties.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2014 at 20:51 UTC
On Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras news story (112 comments in total)
In reply to:

elefteriadis alexandros: -Yes, some lenses are designed to win tests, some lenses are designed to take beautiful images ...
-BUT 600euro!! are you kidding?..

Cheaper than the price of a second hand "original", these are the most expensive Russian lens on the collectors market. Don't get blinded by rusted in attitudes.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2014 at 20:38 UTC
On Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras news story (112 comments in total)
In reply to:

JJ Rodin: Has Russia shown that it could build consistent quality items? Ever?

Surely very high priced items may be fine but this is not that really - less than a Leica or most Zeiss made in Japan.

Hand made can be good or bad, it can mean no ability to have precise automation, so each lens system and optics may have a variance possibly a HUGE variance.

A lens ONLY for the brave, IMO !

For some the cold war never warmed up and prejudice runs deep. The price that this new version is on offer is significantly less than the cost of buying a good copy of the real thing.

I would be more worried about whether that rear protrusion would fit inside my camera body. It apparently does on an A7 type body. They must have shortened the tube. Also f5.6 is not particularly fast, but it is compact, wide, well made and distortion free - or at least the original is. Easy to see why Western lens manufacturers soon copied Rusinovs design.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 12, 2014 at 20:33 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

AndreSJ: I'm I the only person confused about the actual market that the GM1 is aimed at?? I know its quality is great and I'm a fan of the product but it seems to be aimed at a very small market of people.

The price is high due to it having the same sensor as the GX-7 and it seems like all the lenses being dedicated for it are just as highly priced (yes great quality).

My question is who (if your spending the amount of money that you would have to) wants a camera that small??

Easy - looks like a small point and shoot. Therefore those that define it by looks alone think it is an occasional pocket camera for "backup" or something the wife might like to use to capture the kids at sport.

By pricing it high this side of the market will surely die and it might actually be recognised as a very capable camera that owes nothing to any other besides leaving out some creature comforts because of the restrictions of its size.

Because it is small does not mean that it is not capable. Releasing a high performance lens as a package with the camera is making a statement that it is a very capable unit and has created the usual cacophony of "too much" from those that just need a point'n'shoot but envy the best.

Buying this combination for an occasional use pocket camera or for the wife (who knows nothing) to carry in her purse is a notion that has to be dispelled.

This is a serious camera guys and it comes at a serious price.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:38 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

al_in_philly: Now Panasonic, in partnership with Leica, has made the perfect "trinity" of fast walk around primes. First was the standard focal length 25mm f/1.4. Just recently they gave us the longer "portrait" 42.5mm f1.2. And soon we'll have a "photojournalist" 17mm f/1.7. Given how easy it is to carry around a stealthy little m4/3 body and three lenses, street photography has been given an interesting twist.

Some of the best lenses have always been made in Japan. So what does "Leica" do except allow the maker to charge twice as much?

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:29 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

TTran510: When the new GM1 kit drop by $100 or $200 I will replace my E-PM1 with it.

I hope you like waiting - by rights this little gem should have a purchase queue a mile long.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:22 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

white shadow: With this lens the GM1 is becoming more attractive as a recreational camera for travel and low intensity use. The tiny 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is actually quite good especially when compared to the latest Oly power zoom version which comes with the Oly EM10.

Now, this 15mm f/1.7 should make the GM1 even better. Perhaps the only disadvantage of the GM1 is the short battery life. For that, we just have to carry a spare or two.

See "mingthein.com" for some images made with the GM1.

Would you really pay this much for a purely "recreational" and "low intensity" lens?

Unfortunately the GM1 is plagued by faint praise.

In reality it is a very high performing box of tricks that quite deliberately leaves out some user comforts to enable it to be this small.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:20 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

Zoron: no built-in stabilization....so no for me.

Quite right it would not suit you at all.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:17 UTC
On Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7, and GM1 kit news story (277 comments in total)

The GM1 is coming of age - not only will it mount all M4/3 mount lenses but it is being specifically targeted with some very "prime" primes.

It might take a while to throw off the shackles of being seen as a pocket/purse camera suitable for lightweight situations.

No doubt a few will be tempted to buy this expensive little lens and camera so that it can be used for occasional "snapshot" use.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 25, 2014 at 02:17 UTC as 10th comment | 2 replies
On Samsung NX mini First Impressions Review preview (524 comments in total)

Neither fish nor fowl, pay the extra and get a GM1 fro a proper camera or a Pentax Q for a worthwhile over-all compact package.

I wonder how long before the street price falls through the floor? This camera is neither cute nor enthusiast material. Possibly designed for a mobile phone camera user who has decided that they need "a real camera".

Direct link | Posted on Mar 19, 2014 at 04:59 UTC as 142nd comment | 2 replies
On Am I missing something here? article (563 comments in total)

I think that the answer is that Nikon don't really know either. They would like to make the small camera and lenses that they are undoubtedly capable of making but they don't want too make such a small sensor camera so good that it becomes their main product llne even if doe not imact on their dslr range. More "image" than the technical side. Good enough, looks good, but not a technical tour de force.

I am sure that the 1" sensor miight be deliberately chosen so as not to really threaten the dslr models but suggest that some day one day a larger sensored high preformance mirrorless from Nikon will emerge.

If they make the V series too good then maybe their loyal customer base will become too happy with the 1" sensor and resist the inevitable extra cost of the final dslr camera replacement.

I feel for them, the decision process must be hard to finalise and perhaps it shows in this product. Neither fish nor fowl.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 13, 2014 at 23:39 UTC as 93rd comment

Hmmm ....

Is this "shape" a new lens (external) design fashion on the way? The Sigma "Art" lenses look strikingly similar.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 1, 2014 at 06:57 UTC as 10th comment | 1 reply
On Sony Alpha 7R Review preview (759 comments in total)

The body is worked over carefully in the review but not direct mention of the buttons and wheel trapped in "the ledge".

Still a great achievement, but I am constrained to wait until the ledge disappears and the shutter button and front wheel have their position reversed.

Presumably Sony will look around for some "best practice" menu systems from their rivals as well.

Nevertheless a great camera and if anyone really needs one sufficiently for their purpose they will quickly get used to operating it.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 23:10 UTC as 164th comment | 2 replies
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

Serious Sam: Just love so far what all the Sony fan boys says about this camera. I don't own an A7 or A7R but there is enough review on the net to give us some idea.

I get extremely annoyed when fan boys say things like “It is not the equipment’s fault, you have to custom to it…” Ah… it doesn’t bloody focus correctly and that’s my fault OMG.

About the focus peaking, if I pay 2K for an FF body, I will expect the system to work. This is a standard feature for all mirrorless. My crappy G5 can focus peaking in almost any condition. Why can’t a 2K Sony do that? I have never been an NEX fan and I guess I never will be.

All those of you who glorify about how good you expensive Canon/Nikon glass work on A7, read what he is writing. He is using some cheap lens and looking at whether A7 is good platform to use it. I never understand why you want to mount Nikon/ Canon lens on a non-native body. Then again one reason why people is doing this, because the FE lens range is crap.

@harold1968 if you think that Sony focus peaking is the best in the business then you might not have tried many focus peaking implementations. Its not.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:45 UTC
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

Artpt: I am not a professional photographer, but tried an old Minolta lens on a Sony A57 versus the kit....I have to wonder if aging lens are up to the standards of today's sensors? The Minolta was about $17, but none of the images were colorful and sharp. I suppose recent lens would be better, but vintage lens don't seem a good fit.

Professionals and enthusiasts, please comment.

Is this tongue in cheek? - your $17 Minolta is not colourful and sharp (I like it) ;

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:39 UTC
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

rjsanyal: Excellent points, Barney - I feel much the same about everything you mention.

Oddly enough though, I do like the fact that depressing the shutter button halfway brings you out of magnified focus view (MFV). Why? Because after manually focusing in MFV, I need to recompose & shoot. Ideally, you want to minimize the time between recomposing & shooting so that you don't lose focus (due to either you or the subject moving - with fast primes, even a slight rocking back & forth will change focus). So my workflow to come out of MFV is to depress the shutter button halfway, quickly recompose, then fully depress the button.

Ideally, turning the MF ring would automatically engage MFV (as it does with native mount lenses if 'MF Assist' is ON). This'd address your issue. That's exactly the behavior w/ my Metabones Smart Adapter III - but only in 'Advanced' mode, not 'Green' mode. The former has its own host of issues, so I've written to Metabones requesting that the behavior not change w/ mode.

The biggest issue here is not that soft pressing the shutter tips the user out of magnified view but rather it cancels it permanently. My NEX6 does this as well and it is a big problem. What it should do is act as a toggle - soft press clear magnification - release shutter- return to previous magnified view. Just what photographers need. The lack of this toggle effect can make us wonder if those that design and manufacture Sony cameras ever use them. This is not a new problem and Sony have had penty of camera models and time to address it. Strangely the NEX6 in my known example has plenty of ways to cancel magnified screen and none really to hold it when necessary.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:36 UTC
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

tex: An exceedingly odd article. Rather surprised it got past vetting (if there is any). Far too personal to be of much real use to people. It's not just the funky lens bit; more troubling is the part about how difficult it is to manual focus. The article's comments about the difficulties strongly suggest someone who has spent more time with AF than manual focus in all its manifestations: viewfinder, rangefinder, ground glass, TLR, SLR with eyepiece or without (as in some medium format) . I am perhaps very wrong about that, but those of us who cut their teeth with cameras long before decent AF and can remember all sorts of problematic manual focusing (and with this camera it's truly easy to manual focus),and are probably all scratching their heads over this one; somewhat evident by the comments and "likes". The "criticisms" in this article read much more like a chronicle of personal ineptitude. I certainly hope something this idiosyncratic doesn't find its way into the real review.

sroute on the Sony forum has nothing but praise for how easy the A7R is to focus MF lenses. My son who has one agrees. I have had an extended play with his A7r and can confirm this from my experience. I can only suggest that the choice of super-cheap lenses was not a good one. Hugely expensive ones are not necessary either, to my experience, but perhaps some of the difficulty is reflected in the lenses actually used? Effetively bragging about how cheap they were and then saying they were hard to use might be a clue. However I would not buy an A7 type as I quickly worked out that the ergonomics were terrible and that the messing around required with the focus peaking a technical disgrace on Sony's part.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:23 UTC
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

ZhanMInG12: I work with the Canon 24mm TS-E and the 21mm Summilux for still life and portrait work and have been 100% happy with the output result. In fact since I don't want to use several bodies just to achieve specific results, the A7 is the only body option I would consider.

The Canon Tilt-shifts are especially great for adapting, because you can use peaking to always know where you are focused on, and adjust the lens accordingly. With a Canon body you're stuck with trying to repeated magnify and adjust.

Yes here we are trying "proper" MF lenses and not a collection based on lowest cost, furthermore someone who is experinced with good lenses can surely make them do what they were designed to do. Using my TSE-24 on "any" digital camera is much easier and more satisfying than any dslr can offer AF or no.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:13 UTC
On Using third-party lenses on Sony Cyber-shot a7 / a7R article (469 comments in total)
In reply to:

Horshack: I'm generally very pleased using legacy/MF glass on my A7r but I definitely agree with Barney's usability criticisms, particularly about the redundant magnification sequences and how the camera doesn't zoom to the area of focus on playback, which would be extremely useful for quickly confirming focus/sharpness/eye-blink/etc.. The camera could easily store this information in the EXIF data and utilize it for playback.

And I'll add one complaint of my own - magnified view should have an option to automatically return to that same magnification area + level after taking an exposure. This is essential when taking multiple images of action/moving objects. The Olympus MFT bodies support this.

,,, and so does (choke) Ricoh on its GXR. Who are Ricoh?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 22, 2014 at 04:09 UTC
Total: 187, showing: 1 – 20
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