Tom Caldwell

Tom Caldwell

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


Total: 210, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

D1N0: Shot with a German camera. Weren't the Zorki's any good?

There is a certain (fairy) tale that Russia helped design the first Leica in secret whilst Germany was still regulated on making possible war armaments after WWI. Believe it or not the FED was in production pre-WWII in Kiev but the factory was bombed flat. Some production was kept going in a temporary location during the war. Afterwards the Zorki was made to FED designs by KMZ as there was no real FED factory left. The Ziess factory was shipped back to Russia as reparations and became a manufacturer of Ziess Contax cameras under the name Kiev. The Zorki remained in parallel development to the revived FED.

The FED was a cloned Leica by whatever means and the Zorki a cloned FED (but only post WWII). The camera made with Germany equipment after WWII was the Kiev.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 04:37 UTC
In reply to:

bluevellet: German camera used by the Soviets to immortalize German defeat.


I also believe that a Leica camera was the favourite camera of Alexander Rodchenko and it is interesting to see that well regraded Russian photographers were using these instead of the FED bodies which were perhaps more crudely made at the time. Later Zorki's such as the 4K have been said to match if not exceed the Leica in quality.

If watches were to be erased as a sign of possible looting then one might also wonder if cameras were excluded as possible looted articles?

Not that I suspect that this is the case here as the preference of noted Russian photographers for Leica gear is well known.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 04:18 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2001 comments in total)
In reply to:

konmin: I think having a common benchmark is useful reference for everyone. I do appreciate Richard and his team for writing this article.

Hmm, for crop sensor cameras, I hope camera manufacturers would be upfront about the equivalent aperture values too.

Most do state the equivalent focal lengths (in 35mm terms) but ignores the aperture values.

The reason could be that the aperture values would appear less appealing if camera manufacturers do so e.g. a Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 OIS on a Four Thirds sensor would be 85mm F2.4 in 35mm terms.

It seems that a 42.5mm f1.2 lens made for the 4/3 sensor is exactly that. If this becomes equivalent to something else then this is for a user to determine if they wish to do so. But for a rusted in 4/3 sensor user it is 42.5/1.2 alone.

On the other hand a legacy slr lens labelled 50mm f2.0 is a 100mm f2.0 on a 4/3 camera but the f stop of the former lens is equivalent to f2.4 if used on a full frame sensor (which it cannot ever be) and the 50mm f2.0 remains f2.0 on a full frame sensor (which it is quite capable of).

To compare to lenses as if used in situations which are completely imaginary constructs is a mental exercise alone.

Therefore optical focal length equivalence is a relatively easy mental adjustment whereas the relative aperture adjustment, whilst real, is not of nearly as much practical consequence.

Unless wishing to argue about it.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 05:05 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2001 comments in total)

Useful article. "Equivalence" has its own complications.

Aps-c sensor users of legacy ex-slr lenses are happy with 1.5x equivalence being the crop factor. Aps-c seems to use the FF equivalence as it's standard.

In the case of focal reducers making aps-c roughly 0.71x adjustment then applying 1.5x crop factor or a combined equivalence of 1.5 x 0.71 = 1.07 compared to the nominal focal length of the lens is a standard that most users can relate to. A lens of 100mm used on aps-c will happily be thought of as 107mm equivalent. In most cases reasonably similar to the markings on the lens.

In the case of M4/3 users they look at the same lens as 100 x 0.71 or a 71mm equivalent (to 4/3 sensor use) Then of course we have to multiply by the crop factor of 2x to get yet another equivalent value of approximately 140mm for a 100mm legacy ex-slr lens used on a M4/3 camera with a focal reducer.

How this article applies to focal reducers would be a further interesting exercise.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 04:50 UTC as 225th comment | 1 reply
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)

I don't have any native E-mount lenses (my problem) so I cannot see any advantages (only disadvantages) in the A6000 over the NEX6. Chunkier body if that lights your fie and more megapixels to make it burn brighter. Throw away a good evf certainly leaves room to bring it back in a later model as "an improvement". Did I miss something?

Direct link | Posted on Jun 12, 2014 at 06:42 UTC as 23rd comment | 1 reply
On Picquest wants to be the Uber for photography post (24 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: OK, here's the scenario. You feel a sudden impulse to have a portrait made, and you are short on time. So you reach for your phone, and use this ap to quickly and efficiently find a portrait studio close to your home.

Luckily, you had the foresight to download this ap last week, just in case this situation ever came up!

This is what happens when someone wants to design an ap, but there are already 10,000 other aps out there, and all the good ideas have already been taken.

So they start scraping for anything that might even be remotely useful.

Next, someone will design an ap that helps you quickly find a philosopher, or a toxic waste dump. Only because no one else has designed one before.

Perhaps an app to find and app that suits the need of the moment.
Myself I think that anyone owning a camera is a photographer and therefor the map of photographers in your locality might be more like grains of sand on the shore.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 07:06 UTC
On Am I missing something here? article (636 comments in total)

The sales strategy for slr/dslr was to sell cheap(er) entry level kits to those that wished for a "proper" camera but only wanted to work with the simplicity of point'n'shoot. Some of these buyers would progress in their photography and buy more sophisticated versions and their more enthusiast lenses. Perhaps an echo of this practice can be seen in Nikon's 1 System strategy?

It might not be working but this does not mean the intent is not there.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 22:08 UTC as 14th comment

I guess at some stage Chinese made lenses must come of age. Just as much as the first post WWII Japanese output was not accepted but within a relatively short time had finished off the bulk of camera manufacturers in Europe.

Not sure when the US camera/lens industry died - was it Polaroid and Kodak?

But I am sure there are plenty of good optical engineers and talent in the USA it has just resiled from mass production of camera objects. Right now if it is not made in Germany or Japan it cannot possibly be any good.

Direct link | Posted on May 7, 2014 at 05:27 UTC as 9th comment | 2 replies
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

Couscousdelight: Lie-ca, nice catch ;)

As said by Ropi below, they lie with the "Made in Germany" mention too, they are in fact made in Portugal, then send to Gerrmany.
Like for cars, it's just another german quality myth.

My VW Golf assembled in South Africa has had problems - but only from parts made in Germany - the assembly process itself has not resulted in any defects.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:25 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

starwolfy: Yes these lenses are corrected like all manufacturers do (thats called a lens profile), but it doesnt lower the other quality of their lenses: edge to edge sharpness and micro contrast from wide angle to maximum zoom. Since barrel distortion is very well software corrected these days then why bother. I dont know if they lied or not (where are evidences?) But if I agree these lenses are nowhere near the performance of Leica M lenses, they do not seem to be any slouch either. When I hear people saying its just a basic kit lens it just bugs me. This lens have nothing in comon, performance wise, with a standard cheap kit lens. Its focal length should not fool you. Then if price bugs you, well its certainly overpriced for what it is but Leica always was. To conclude this camera looks very nice and the new T mont seems able to take on a full frame sensor whic is good for future possible development. I am tempted by the body itself as a backup or easy go camera but to put M lenses and not T ones.

Yes but instead of an heirloom lens that can cross mount platforms you have a lens that will give sub-standard performance on any camera except a Leica T mount. That is the major problem. Not that they are super-perfect (or otherwise) on the "T" itself.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:23 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ben O Connor: Why is everyone so angry!! Seriously.
There are people "out there" (not me) who want to touch something Leica... M's are costing a bit alot, even second hands (both lens &body) are not friendly...
So here is a working class hobbyists leica interchangeable lens cam, with a stunning style. I personally prefer a leica X1, but it lacks a lot digi stuff, and X2 has a horrible hunch back for evf!!!! So even this is nicer with its inner feature... Just enjoy or run away, don't make yourselves upset about it...

Tall poppy syndrome - needs to be cut down to size - if you hold yourself out to be the greatest you need to constantly prove it as there are a lot of sickle wielders out there looking for something worth harvesting.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:21 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

Nick932: Even with non production software on a brief test the IQ was better than my EM1 and A7r using the same Leica lens. It is a bargain for this price. Less expensive than my EM1 and A7r. It feels solid and light with a very nice comfortable grip, no thumb rest is needed. EVF is nearly a must for precise composition and wide angle MF lenses. It has a crisp display even in London bright sunlight. The User Interface still needs work is not flawless. However, it is not an M but a good AF complement. On the other hand if one can afford an M using the EVF the focus is just a snap very quick and clear but no modern UI.

Congratulations Leica for making these excellent products.

This is a sort of "the end justifies the means" comment. The dpreview article made it clear that the end images were great and only took exception to the fact that apparently Leica claimed that it was without software trickery. That trickery was used just like all other mortal manufacturers is not a cardinal sin but assuming immortal infallibility to justify a huge lens price is something to be noted.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:16 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

ZoranHR: 1. take the glasses you are using to judge value of Leica.
2. put them again and look over to Olympus.
3. than look over to Fuji.
4. than look K-3,D7100,7D.
5. Does only Leica look overpriced?

I hate when someone's lying,but I don't hate Leica brand or any other. That would be too much of black and white thinking. Shallow.
Buy something on your budget and preference... And just take photos!

Lying is a harsh word - being loose with the truth sounds better

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:12 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

JJ Rodin: Not most popular, but most looked at. Who has bought one? That is the popularity that is of utmost importance.

Glad to see this 'haughty' arrogant company get 'revealed' a bit !

So you lens are NOT so perfect are they Leica ? Never thought they were! You confused yourself in thinking that though didn't you?! You believed your own PR.

The arrogance that blinds ! Or is that the $$ that blinds? ;)
PS: I am sure you will get plenty of 1%er's to buy your 'perfect' lens cam ! Enjoy those Yachts !

So what was under that dowager Victorian lady's dress - pantaloons instead of legs?

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:10 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)

It just means that the new Leica lenses are tied to cameras that can add the software corrections and that the lenses will be less competent in non-oem situations. I guess we had all figured that anyway and no one in their right mind had any idea of taking these rather expensive lenses and slumming them on a NEX body - if only that would work.

One of the nice things about the old "perfect" Leica lenses is that once bought they could be used on a lot of different camera bodies and enhance what could otherwise be achieved. Leica lenses were justifiably revered. Not any more - Leica lenses have been shown to be just subject to the same market constraints as the rest of them.

Direct link | Posted on May 6, 2014 at 04:06 UTC as 127th comment | 5 replies
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

Nick932: It is an amazing company. Is the only camera manufacturer that has sense of usability, current market/era and lets not forget that they provide a tool to create breath taking images. They know what innovation is, they define innovation. They just do it over and over and making the camera look simpler but very configurable customizable.

This is leadership in innovation. It is great that a company like you exists so all others can follow and try to reach you so we see new and better products; but you clearly show them who is the brain and ruler.

I just wanted a smallish camera that I can use my M lenses and yet be able to use AF and zoom lenses. Nearly all other cameras I have tried do not work 100%.

Thanks Leica.

PS:I cannot wait for the next Leica M I know it will be leapfrog again in the market.

Not mentioning Ricoh of course.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 23:51 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

munro harrap: Another ergonomic disaster from Leitz. Great viewfinder though. There is nowhere you can place you hands to keep it still as your digits will slide on the screen on the back. The grip on the front is OK, but it needs a left side thumb support (as they ALL do). I could see myself using it, but not in preference to full-frame, but only with a shutter with no lag (i.e 0.007 msecs -Sony DSC-R1 prefocussed 2005). Where do our noses go if we use the viewfinder?

A good opportunity for a bright after-market vendor to make a useful thumb rest?

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 23:49 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

samfan: Sounds like a camera for the same people that believe Apple was the first to have a web browser and camera in the phone.

Now they can buy a Leica, believing it's the most advanced ILC.

Just from the control description, this contains features that p*ss me off royally on any camera: such as not being able to have both grid and live histogram at once and having exposure info on the display essentially cropping the preview image.

And that touchscreen also appears to be used as well as on the current smartphones, i.e. poorly. The whole screen just does things that would be achievable by 2 buttons and a 4-way controller. You can do much more with a touchscreen if you don't design only for the lowest common denominator with fat fingers. Which this camera apparently is.

It's no longer a "nice toy for the rich" like Leicas tend to be, this is a toy for the stupid who want to feel smart.

I do agree with you Mel on the basis that this is a very elegant, well thought out camera designed for a less involved user who simply wants the best camera in that class which money will buy.

It should sell very well, and will join the gaggle of cameras at the tourist barricades being used at arms length by the usual squinting at the lcd. I doubt if the lcd will be any more visible in bright light than any other camera so equipped. But it does have what seems to be a pretty neatly designed clip on evf.

Therefore the target market does not seem to be the one I am in either. If any other camera manufacturer made a similar popular-user camera at this price it would be laughed at considering this price. But there is no doubt that it is an elegant design and will take good images. It just seems that there are other more capable cameras about for enthusiasts which are nearly as elegant and at a fraction of the cost.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 23:45 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

Amnon G: What's the reason for a new mount?

A yes, the LM mount is to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Alas even the shortish LM mount was still not short enough to meet the current trends. It would have been nice to make a LM mount with electronic compatibility and backward compatible with all LM lenses but I suppose an elegant adapter will do much the same thing even if it deliberately shuts out all those horrid large loutish legacy MF lenses form slr cameras by not allowing "shoot without lens".

Therefore users are being steered every which way into buying Leica only - right down to Leica straps. But the clone industry is strong and I guess aftermarket accessories will happen soon enough - that is if any Leica owner is to be seen as fashion dead with any non-oem part on this camera.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 23:35 UTC
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2298 comments in total)
In reply to:

HENNIGArts: Nice camera with interesting touch screen UI. But for me an external EVF is a no go, because I need EVF and flash at the same time for studio work. Thats why I prefer the Fujifilm X-T1. For casual, smartphone-fan shooters this might be the right thing - if they are willing to spend the money.

I am afraid that this camera is not designed for professional use but for the top end of the compact camera user range. The destined market is for relatively unsophisticated users who simply want the best built camera on offer and where price is no problem.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 23:27 UTC
Total: 210, showing: 1 – 20
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