Greg VdB

Greg VdB

Lives in Earth
Works as a Geoscientist
Has a website at www.pbase.com/gbleek
Joined on Sep 6, 2002

Comments

Total: 163, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

smafdy: I was hoping for a repulsive coating. I guess repellant will have to do.

you don't like people spoiling your landscape pictures? :-)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 14, 2014 at 05:54 UTC
In reply to:

h2k: Once these are available, may i suggest a polarizer test on DPR?

Standard-setting indeed, Mark, and I actually used that as a basis to buy a polarizer back then. However, it's six years old by now... So I would like to second the request for a polarizer group test here on DPR! (not only optical quality, also durability and 'cleanability')
I use Hoya HD filters now which also repell fingerprints etc, so it would be nice to see how they (and the B+H nanocoated ones) compare.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 14, 2014 at 05:52 UTC
In reply to:

Fogsprig: No dot - no buy!

Mark Banas, with an article title like this, you should not be surprized that every other commenter will mention the red dot. And is it wrong that people question the very high prices of these photographic tools?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 21, 2014 at 17:39 UTC

At least they give you two pre-defined white areas that the users can paint red as to their liking...

Direct link | Posted on Aug 21, 2014 at 17:28 UTC as 126th comment
On Sony a7S used to shoot Chevrolet commercial article (278 comments in total)

The funny thing is that after all is said and done, Cinoflex says "If you embrace and correctly format a DSLR to your on set environment… you have an incredible camera on your hands." Should we assume they also built a mirror into the a7S? :-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 21, 2014 at 07:44 UTC as 58th comment | 2 replies
On Readers' Showcase: Astrophotography article (44 comments in total)

Nice images all of them, but in my opinion it's a bit of a pity that just one deep space object was selected... Check out the forum thread people, and the Astrophotography Talk Forum in general, as there's some hugely talented (and determined!) people hanging out there. Also, as I have been finding out over the past few months, they're always welcoming and helpfull towards newbies.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 17, 2014 at 11:16 UTC as 18th comment
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: Have you happened to watch one Mr Bean's episode in which R. Atkinson plays a janitor at an art gallery who accidentally drops some paint over a canvas and instantly becomes a famous painter? And then he works hard and produces a perfect, ultra-realistic painting of some cute kittens and everybody turns their back on him after seeing that painting? Well, Mr. Marom's pictures never fail to bring me that episode to mind. They remind me of the painting Mr Bean thought of as "perfect". And, just like the purported painter's audience, I turn my back on them. This is beautifully executed, but hollow and uninteresting. At least that's how I find it. I know I'll get negative replies for this, but hey - it's my opinion.

Ah, so you only like the classics then? :-p Just joking, but (very off-topic) in fact the digital era has definitely had an impact on the value of one single photograph. As you also kind of referred to in your second post, nowadays we see so many pictures that it becomes harder and harder for one single photograph or photographer to catch attention long enough to gain lasting recognition. However, with so many people actively involved in photography, using anything from smartphones to large format digital backs, it's a certainty that there are more hugely talented people currently involved in this art form than ever before. One of my contemporary favourites in landscape photography is Ed Leys who used to be a frequent poster here. Since you said you like understated colours, I'll share links to his galleries in case you hadn't come across them before:
http://www.blackmallard.com/o_barn/
http://www.blackmallard.com/cal_ls/

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 15:54 UTC
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: Have you happened to watch one Mr Bean's episode in which R. Atkinson plays a janitor at an art gallery who accidentally drops some paint over a canvas and instantly becomes a famous painter? And then he works hard and produces a perfect, ultra-realistic painting of some cute kittens and everybody turns their back on him after seeing that painting? Well, Mr. Marom's pictures never fail to bring me that episode to mind. They remind me of the painting Mr Bean thought of as "perfect". And, just like the purported painter's audience, I turn my back on them. This is beautifully executed, but hollow and uninteresting. At least that's how I find it. I know I'll get negative replies for this, but hey - it's my opinion.

No problems, Manuel, it's often difficult to understand meanings over the internet.
Before your second post, I had no clear idea what the message of your Mr Bean analogy exactly was. Sure, technical perfection is not an essential part of what makes a great photo, but on the other hand technical perfection also doesn't stand in the way of a photo being great... From your three messages now, I gather that personally you are not easily impressed by beautifull landscapes, regardless of their technicallity. Me on the other hand, I can easily find things that touch me in landscape shots, yet much less so when human-centered subjects are involved. Regardless, I can easily see what you and others find impressive about 'Derrière la Gare de St. Lazare', as I find it a very interesting image as well to gaze at and analyze all the different components and impeccible timing.
Trust me though that I could easily fill 20min when trying to convince you of the value of a landscape picture I love :-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 15:10 UTC
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: Have you happened to watch one Mr Bean's episode in which R. Atkinson plays a janitor at an art gallery who accidentally drops some paint over a canvas and instantly becomes a famous painter? And then he works hard and produces a perfect, ultra-realistic painting of some cute kittens and everybody turns their back on him after seeing that painting? Well, Mr. Marom's pictures never fail to bring me that episode to mind. They remind me of the painting Mr Bean thought of as "perfect". And, just like the purported painter's audience, I turn my back on them. This is beautifully executed, but hollow and uninteresting. At least that's how I find it. I know I'll get negative replies for this, but hey - it's my opinion.

Read my reply again, Manuel, and you'll see that at no point I said I disagreed with your opinion. In fact, if you had read my post above yours, you'd have seen that I too have my reservations about this image. I also tried to clarify why I feel this way so that others could form a better opinion of whether they agreed or not, and I'd welcome replies in either direction. Your original post just lacked life in my opinion as it was all about aesthetics :p

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 13:51 UTC
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)
In reply to:

Greg VdB: As per usual a very informative post, Erez! I've never done focus stacking, but if I ever stumble upon a scene where it's necessary, your step-by-step description will definitely be of great help.

About the photo now. First of all, I want to state clearly that it's a gorgeous shot, and that I fully appreciate the difficulties that had to be overcome to be able to take it. But... (yes, a "but") Somehow the composition doesn't really draw me into the image. I agree with you that the ice balances nicely the mountains and sky, but still it feels "flat" to me. Considering the ice cold waters and fast moving aurora (nicely visible across the different shots btw), the composition is probably the best possible, but my perfectionistic nature would have liked to see the horizon moved away from the center. Just to suit my curiosity, I took the liberty of changing the perspective in photoshop, and would be happy to know your thoughts on this: http://www.pbase.com/gbleek/image/156940865/original

Thanks for the reply Erez. Considering that I'm forraying into nightscapes myself, it definitely was a very interesting read for me. And from your words that you had better images that evening, I gather that you might agree on the composition point. Would be nice to go shooting together once and discuss these things on the field, but unfortunately you and your travel destinations are over my budget at the moment ;-)

Again, thanks for this series, I always learn something from them.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:51 UTC
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: Have you happened to watch one Mr Bean's episode in which R. Atkinson plays a janitor at an art gallery who accidentally drops some paint over a canvas and instantly becomes a famous painter? And then he works hard and produces a perfect, ultra-realistic painting of some cute kittens and everybody turns their back on him after seeing that painting? Well, Mr. Marom's pictures never fail to bring me that episode to mind. They remind me of the painting Mr Bean thought of as "perfect". And, just like the purported painter's audience, I turn my back on them. This is beautifully executed, but hollow and uninteresting. At least that's how I find it. I know I'll get negative replies for this, but hey - it's my opinion.

Your opinion is as valid as anybody else's, but would be much more interesting to read if you could give us a "why"...

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:42 UTC
On Behind the Shot: Flames of the North article (67 comments in total)

As per usual a very informative post, Erez! I've never done focus stacking, but if I ever stumble upon a scene where it's necessary, your step-by-step description will definitely be of great help.

About the photo now. First of all, I want to state clearly that it's a gorgeous shot, and that I fully appreciate the difficulties that had to be overcome to be able to take it. But... (yes, a "but") Somehow the composition doesn't really draw me into the image. I agree with you that the ice balances nicely the mountains and sky, but still it feels "flat" to me. Considering the ice cold waters and fast moving aurora (nicely visible across the different shots btw), the composition is probably the best possible, but my perfectionistic nature would have liked to see the horizon moved away from the center. Just to suit my curiosity, I took the liberty of changing the perspective in photoshop, and would be happy to know your thoughts on this: http://www.pbase.com/gbleek/image/156940865/original

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:37 UTC as 28th comment | 2 replies
On Quick Review: That Steady Thing article (68 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ron Poelman: Uh-huh.
Weight ?
Coz, I can use my lightweight tripod as a monopod too;
and it works really well with 2 short/1 long.

Ah, you just beat me to it. Seems like the reviewer missed the elephant in the room...

Direct link | Posted on Jul 10, 2014 at 09:31 UTC
On Quick Review: That Steady Thing article (68 comments in total)

Ok, where is that part where you list the mass and dimensions? The only reason to have a monopod instead of a tripod is that it weighs less and is smaller, so knowing how much you lose on these with the steady thingy is rather crucial.

Anyway, I happily carry my 1.6 kg tripod around with legs that can bend upwards to achieve all the positions shown here, and more...

Direct link | Posted on Jul 10, 2014 at 09:29 UTC as 44th comment
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2031 comments in total)

Shame on you, DPR, the equivalence trolls are now facing mass extinction!

Direct link | Posted on Jul 7, 2014 at 16:26 UTC as 330th comment
On Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lab Test Review preview (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

Greg VdB: @RichRMA and others worried about the tele-side: check here for another comparison of this lens at 150mm and 500mm wide-open:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

You'll see that if anything, their sample of the lens was sharper at 500mm...

This illustrates the big problem with lens testing sites: sample variation is very real, and basing nice numbers on just one copy is very much flawed! I've read somewhere that Roger Cicela from LensRentals acquired a new testing unit or so - here's hoping that he'll use it to systematically test at least ten copies of every type of lens he has and share the results with us. Because as it stands, lens review sites are pretty much useless to assess what one can expect from a lens sharpness-wise.

I think we agree within error :-)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2014 at 18:14 UTC
On Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lab Test Review preview (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

Greg VdB: @RichRMA and others worried about the tele-side: check here for another comparison of this lens at 150mm and 500mm wide-open:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

You'll see that if anything, their sample of the lens was sharper at 500mm...

This illustrates the big problem with lens testing sites: sample variation is very real, and basing nice numbers on just one copy is very much flawed! I've read somewhere that Roger Cicela from LensRentals acquired a new testing unit or so - here's hoping that he'll use it to systematically test at least ten copies of every type of lens he has and share the results with us. Because as it stands, lens review sites are pretty much useless to assess what one can expect from a lens sharpness-wise.

Well, I'm a scientist, and if people present me with a number my instinct is to ask "how reproducible is that number?". It happens often that lens A is tested sharper than lens B on one website, while the inverse is true on another website. So either one of the people doing the testing did it wrong (which I choose not to believe in case of the better known review sites), or lens variation does play a role. Roger Cicala indeed has done some comparitive testing in the past on sample variation, but usually he also just gives a single number "because that's what people want": http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09/why-arent-the-damn-numbers-the-same (check the first graph btw and tell me the variation on the average isn't interesting to know about...) DxO Marks is particularly good (read: poor) at presenting their results as absolute values...

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2014 at 14:04 UTC
On Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lab Test Review preview (218 comments in total)

@RichRMA and others worried about the tele-side: check here for another comparison of this lens at 150mm and 500mm wide-open:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

You'll see that if anything, their sample of the lens was sharper at 500mm...

This illustrates the big problem with lens testing sites: sample variation is very real, and basing nice numbers on just one copy is very much flawed! I've read somewhere that Roger Cicela from LensRentals acquired a new testing unit or so - here's hoping that he'll use it to systematically test at least ten copies of every type of lens he has and share the results with us. Because as it stands, lens review sites are pretty much useless to assess what one can expect from a lens sharpness-wise.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2014 at 07:19 UTC as 43rd comment | 9 replies

Considering the differences in production years, I'm gonna summarize these results as "fewer pixels don't have as much of an effect on signal/noise as some people claim". What could have more effect is the diameter (in cm, not just f-stop) of the front element of the lens attached to the camera...

Direct link | Posted on Jun 22, 2014 at 19:51 UTC as 89th comment | 2 replies
On 2014 Waterproof Camera Roundup article (238 comments in total)
In reply to:

Tobias1234: Last year I tried the Olympus TG-2 which was one of the 2013 recommendations. I was really shocked about the bad image quality compared to any other camera (e.g. S95, TZ10, RX100, FZ38, some mFT-Bodies) I have used before.
The lens of the TG-2 is fast, but it's so soft that open wide is unusable. The JPEG engine was also one of the bad ones.

I can not agree to the 2013 and this new 2014 comparison, because there is one really important feature which is a must for UW photography: RAW support. Without RAW the pictures will have heavy false colours and the UW programs will lead brownish or blueish color casts - depending on the distance to the subject.

After my bad experiences with the compact UW cameras, I tried a RX100 in a cheap housing (Meikon). The quality differences to the candidates is so big, that I can't understand what cameras like a TG-2/TG-3 are good for.

Even a cheap Canon S95 in a cheap Meikon housing (my backup) is lightyears away from UW cameras like a TG-2/TG-3.

These cameras appeal to a broader audience than your regular users? Huh?? Do you suggest that the only people looking for info are pixel-peepers? First time I came here I was an absolute beginner, and was thrilled to find Phill's review of the Casio QV4000, aka 'the poor man's G2'. Now, 12 years later, I might be what you have in mind with your 'typical DPR user', but I would think that newcomers are still flowing in, and your audience is much broader than the 'regular' users you seem to write for... Sure there are scenarios where image quality isn't the main concern, but do you really write reviews for specific situations alone? Let me put it like this: IF there was a high-quality p&s waterproof/rugged camera, I'm sure many of your 'regular users' would be very interested in buying one of those. AND it would be better for 'most consumers'!

Btw, an underwater RX100 would be nice, but very unlikely with its external zoom. Much more realistic is a fast fixed focal.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 17, 2014 at 19:11 UTC
Total: 163, showing: 1 – 20
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