Fazal Majid

Fazal Majid

Lives in United States San Francisco, CA, United States
Works as a Telecommunications Engineer
Has a website at http://www.majid.info/
Joined on May 11, 2001

Comments

Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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On High-end full frame roundup (2014) article (539 comments in total)

Missing the Leica M-E and M typ 240. That said, I am puzzled by the recommendation for the A7, given it has been thoroughly obsoleted by the A7II.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 7, 2014 at 01:24 UTC as 96th comment | 6 replies
In reply to:

Jeff Fenske: Great to see, but they're still *stuck in 3:2*, though, which seems unnecessary now that the mirror box is gone.

Why not implement a *multi-aspect* ratio sensor to capture more of what the lens sees? Many shots are better in 4:3, and achieving a native field of view in 16:9 is a great benefit too.

An *oversized* square or round sensor would be the ultimate — capturing everything the lens sees, and making tripod repositioning from landscape to portrait (or vice versa) unnecessary.

4:3 is close to the 1932 Academy format before widescreen cinemas got popular and superseded in in the 50s, and is the aspect ratio for NTSC SDTV. The world has moved on, and it is an outdated relic that inexplicably lingers in low-end compact point and shoots (which are dying, eaten alive by smartphones) and the ill-advised m43 format.

3:2 is much closer to the golden mean, to the 21st Century 16:9 standard for televisions and most computer monitors, and to the human eyes' natural field of view. Sony would be astonishingly dumb if they downgraded from 3:2 to 4:3.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 23, 2014 at 03:32 UTC
On Opinion: Bring on the 70-200mm equivalents article (328 comments in total)
In reply to:

PerL: I believe many users of APS-C Canon/Nikon want the road open for eventual migration to FF, so I would choose the 70-200 2.8, or 70-200F4 if portability is a main factor.

There is also the excellent 70-300mm f/4-5.6.5L IS, which remains portable but with the benefit of extra reach. It replaced my first-generation 70-200mm f/4L and my short-lived 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS..

Direct link | Posted on Sep 21, 2014 at 02:47 UTC
On Photokina 2014: Hands-on with Leica X and X-E article (132 comments in total)

The ring in front is not a "design feature". It unscrews to mount accessories like the digiscoping adapter for Apo-Televid spotting scopes.

I've read the X series still has a market among architects and other people who appreciate its simple, elegant lines and UI. It's nice the X drops the ugly protuberances of the X2/X-E. That said, I switched from a X1 to a Fuji X100 years ago (now X100S) and haven't looked back since.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 17, 2014 at 15:07 UTC as 28th comment | 1 reply
On Sony announces Alpha a5100 compact mirrorless camera article (106 comments in total)
In reply to:

Fazal Majid: It's 2014. A camera's video features are not "impressive" if it's not 4K.

Let me clarify - I don't expect 4K in a midrange camera like the a5100, chips to do H.265 compression are barely available and certainly there are no off-the-shelf logic blocks available that Sony could integrate in its BIONZ processors this year, or probably even 2015. As a feature, it is going to be available only in high-end cameras above $1500. But I take exception to 1080p being "impressive" by itself, it is pretty much table stakes nowadays. It seems DPReview reworded the text to qualify what is impressive is the video quality for the class and the features like XAVC-S and 50Mbps bit rates, which is fair enough.

4K TVs are beginning to go mainstream (a Samsung 50" 4K now only commands a 50% premium over the 1080p equivalent), and I fully expect the majority of sets sold in 2015 will be 4K, 2016 at the latest. Right now, the only content you can get at that resolution are 8+MP photos and a handful of titles from Netflix 4K. I doubt many lenses are up to the demands of 4K video.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 19, 2014 at 15:23 UTC
On Sony announces Alpha a5100 compact mirrorless camera article (106 comments in total)

It's 2014. A camera's video features are not "impressive" if it's not 4K.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 18, 2014 at 06:24 UTC as 17th comment | 23 replies
In reply to:

Abu Mahendra: Right. Hasn't Canon had this for a few years now?

@wetsleet
I was surprised as well, as Nikon used to trash-talk fluorite in favor of ED glass (sour grapes) but according to the data sheet it does:
http://www.canon.com/technology/s_labo/light/003/03.html

@rrcad
According to this, Canon uses magnesium fluoride coatings for some very high-end lenses, but they don't specify which:
http://www.canon.com/technology/s_labo/light/003/03.html

Dirt-repellent coatings are certainly not new - see Zeiss' LotuTec or Leica's AquaDura as applied to binoculars. Apparently what Nikon is claiming as innovative is a new technology for applying the coating, not the coating itself.

Direct link | Posted on May 25, 2014 at 02:41 UTC
In reply to:

Abu Mahendra: Right. Hasn't Canon had this for a few years now?

No, Canon has had calcium fluorite lens elements lens elements, which provide more dispersion compensation than ED glass, but are also much harder to work with, which is why only Zeiss and Canon used them in camera lenses, but it seems Nikon has finally joined the party with the 400mm f/2.8.

Direct link | Posted on May 23, 2014 at 16:06 UTC
On Review: Ona Lima camera strap article (144 comments in total)

Personally I can't stand straps where there are untucked little bits protruding from adjustment buckles. That's what makes the standard Leica shoulder strap such a great design.

With many straps you can use the technique described in http://www.wired.com/2014/02/proper-camera-strap-technique/ to loop them back out of the way between the strap loops, but the permanently attached middle on this trap makes it impossible.

There are many companies that make much better all-leather straps than this one. Leica, Hard Graft and Artisan&Artist just off the top of my head. Another very classy one is the Artisan&Artist Kumihimo braided silk strap, which would be a good fit for a Japanese camera (I have one on my X-T1).

Direct link | Posted on Apr 27, 2014 at 20:27 UTC as 11th comment
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2291 comments in total)

For the naysayers: you are not the target market. The people who buy this are those who want true Leica lens quality or brand image (not a rebadged Panasonic), but find the M rangefinder system too difficult to use. It will sell like pancakes, although arguably the X Vario is a better choice for that audience.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 16:22 UTC as 591st comment | 6 replies
On Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review preview (2291 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peter Bendheim: I wonder if the Apple design guru Jony Ive had a hand in this design - after all he designed the once off auction Leica recently out of aluminium - and this looks Apple-ish...Aluminium is a very easily scratched and dented metal, though. At that price, can't be too reckless unless you are rich and don't care.

No, it looks that like the Titanium M9, it was designed by Walter da Silva, head designer for Audi.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 24, 2014 at 16:09 UTC
On Adobe launches Lightroom for iPad post (131 comments in total)

Adobe halved its profit after its ill-advised attempt to ram subscription pricing down its clients' throats, but so far Wall Street is cheering:
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21599370-adobes-bold-embrace-computing-cloud-should-inspire-others-super-subs

This is just a transparent ploy to use the iPad adjunct as a Trojan horse for subscriptions for LR, and raises the odds Adobe will discontinue unlimited licenses for LR sooner rather than later. It's time to evaluate alternatives like DarkTable.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 8, 2014 at 17:38 UTC as 40th comment | 1 reply
On Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested article (269 comments in total)

Ball heads may look like simple devices, but design and tolerances matter for long-term reliability. I used to have an Arca-Swiss B1, until it became unusable due to the dreaded freeze-up problem, and the official fix no longer worked, even after disassembling it. I switched to Acratech (I have 3 of them now) and never looked back.

I understand why Markins and Acratech were excluded from the group, but it's like excluding the Tesla S from a review of sporty sedans because it lacks exhaust pipes. The diameter of the ball head is not always correlated with its performance.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 15:29 UTC as 93rd comment
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Review preview (585 comments in total)
In reply to:

Munene: I need some straight advice, please: GX7 or XE2?

Background: I used to shoot with my Leica M6. I do mostly street photography. I love my GF1, but am ready to upgrade. Two issues: I do not like the way the light meter reads in GF1 (or I use it wrong), why not a match like the old days (needle, diodes)? I don't know if the exposure is correct until I press the shutter? Again, this could be me. The XE2 has a shutter dial on the camera, but how does this affect reading the light meter inside the viewfinder? THIS IS A BIG ISSUE.

So, GX7 or XE2? I am not too concerned with video or wifi or whatever, just good images. Does the fuji sensor trump the 4/3, end conversation? I sometimes enlarge to 20X24. My old Leica (and Canon FTb), I have prints 4' X 6'! Both are awesome (not really planning more, I used to print at a lab).

Unfortunately I cannot find a store that carries both for me to look at (or even one of them, where I live).

Here is what I shoot: www.visualquotations.com

Thank you.

Go for the X-E2 or wait for the X-Pro2. Better sensor, better lenses, and with the adapter you have a 1.5x vs. a 2x multiplier for your Leica lenses' focal length.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 11, 2013 at 08:20 UTC
In reply to:

brendon1000: I barely remember the time when 50mm lenses were among the cheapest premium glass you could afford. Now with the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 for $3k, the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for 1.5k and now the Nikon 58mm f1.4 for 1.7k those days seem to be long gone ! :P

I have the Canon 50mm f/1.2L and it is completely underwhelming. I'd much rather get this Nikkor, or the Sigma for that matter.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 17, 2013 at 04:55 UTC
In reply to:

JDThomas: Noctilux? Not even close. It's a derivation of the 58mm NOCT-Nikkor f/1.2.

Which was in its time superior to the 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Aspherical of its day (better coma correction on the edges, for starters).

People who complain about the price are clueless. It competes with the recently introduced Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon ($4K) or a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH (also $4K for the M version, the R version was discontinued a long time ago and many Canon and Nikon shooters use it on their bodies with a lens mount adapter, despite the many ergonomic compromises that entails).

Direct link | Posted on Oct 17, 2013 at 04:53 UTC
In reply to:

Fazal Majid: Film was never this sharp? I take it he has never seen the humongous, yet finely detailed prints of Avedon's "In the American West".

You are referring to scanning backs like the original Leica S1 circa 1999 or the current Better Light 4x5 scanning backs. They don't suffer from Bayer interpolation artifacts.

Bill Atkinson used one to make the photos in his book "Within the Stone", and the main market is museum art photography.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 14, 2013 at 22:00 UTC

Film was never this sharp? I take it he has never seen the humongous, yet finely detailed prints of Avedon's "In the American West".

Direct link | Posted on Aug 14, 2013 at 06:04 UTC as 27th comment | 5 replies
On 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop) article (353 comments in total)

For Mac users, there is also Acorn.

Direct link | Posted on May 18, 2013 at 01:42 UTC as 151st comment
In reply to:

Lee Jay: "Basically we have no plans to make Lightroom subscription-only at any point in the future. We have plans to make Lightroom available in its current form pretty much indefinitely."

Despite the clarity of this statement, the tin-foil hatters are out in full-force. Just goes to show how hated the CC model is - it can even turn ordinarily-rational people into conspiracy-theorists.

Poor Hogarty, he is a nice guy and a collateral victim of the CC fiasco. Hei s the LR/ACR Product Manager, not an executive, and he is not in a position of authority to bind the company to a commitment that all future versions of LR will be available on a traditional licensed model. Only the CEO or a senior VP could do that, and even then, it would not be legally binding. Didn't Adobe say just that when CC was first released?

His choice of terminology is precise and he is not over-promising. I believe him when he says he does not know of any plans to change LR licensing, and LR (or PS Elements) has a different target audience than Creative Suite. That said, people higher up in the food chain may be planning to do to LR just what they did to CS, and Adobe users, having been burnt once, are not likely to give even someone honorable as Hogarty the benefit of the doubt.

Direct link | Posted on May 16, 2013 at 02:57 UTC
Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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