Leonard Shepherd

Leonard Shepherd

Lives in United Kingdom Yorkshire Dales, United Kingdom
Works as a Retired professional photographer.
Joined on Feb 25, 2006
About me:

Photographer for 51 years.
I ran a photographic business in the 1990's. 3 years illness resulted in it's premature closure.
Keenly interested in wildlife and landscape.
Photographic lecturer and judge.
Was an Olympus beta tester.
Now use Nikon, ranging from D810 to D7100, with 20 lenses ranging from 14-24 to the 200-400.


Total: 18, showing: 1 – 18
On Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G review preview (415 comments in total)

As far as I am concerned the jury is out as to the testing of this lens.
If auto focus was used in the brick wall test any half competent photographer should know a brick like the one used in the test is likely to produce poor AF accuracy - the reason why has been explained in every Nikon AF SLR and DSLR instruction book since at least 1999.
The test seems to confirm curvature of field common to this type of lens.
What intrigues me is the 4 corner 100% crops have different exposure, different lighting and different sharpness. Either the lens is a dud and you did not say so, and/or you selected from several different exposures, and/or you did not have the sensor parallel to the wall and/or maybe the wall is not built flat.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 14, 2014 at 17:42 UTC as 18th comment
On Canon EOS 70D Review preview (688 comments in total)

Page 11 says the autofocus target is a good one.
This seems to be a fundamental error. According to Nikon and Canon it is not a first class target for testing phase detect AF.
It is not for me to explain why ephotozine has not followed Nikon/Canon guidance on choosing a good target foresting phase detect AF.
Whether the Canon would show the same front and back phase detect focus issues with a better target is unknown - but probably not.
When AF is not accurate due to a target being unsuitable for consistent reliable AF, recommended work arounds are manual focus or a better AF target at an appropriate distance.
Fine tune is primarily for accuracy issues with good targets - not less than ideal targets where the focus error is usually due to the target and not the equipment.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 31, 2013 at 17:27 UTC as 161st comment | 4 replies
On Best DSLRs and ILCs for less than $1000 article (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

wayfarers: Nothing from Fujifilm series X offering? Why?

The article shows "interesting" discrepancies between USA and UK prices. The Lumix GX1 costs more UK £ than USA $, indicating UK us vastly overpriced. The Canon 60D and Sony A65 difference is not as wide as it should be, indicating UK overpricing. Other differences are about right, or favour those in UK.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 30, 2013 at 06:47 UTC
On Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction article (1852 comments in total)

Having just looked at the Adobe web site - in the UK it could be a good deal!
After taxes we pay around £575 for PhotoShop.
It seems I can order from USA at $19.99 a month $240 a year about £180 UK and no VAT to pay.
I am not saying this is cheap, but break even is about 3 years use, with free upgrades - provided the subscription stays at $19.99.

Direct link | Posted on May 9, 2013 at 05:22 UTC as 223rd comment | 5 replies
On Nikon issues service advisory on D600's dust issue article (240 comments in total)

One of the challenges is quantifying internet hullabaloo and Nikon's "very rare" in the UK advisory
At the time of the D200 banding issue if you believed the internet 9,999% had banding. Extensive research at Nikonians quantified less than 3% of their D200 owners had banding, Nikon UK told me 3 months after launch less than 2% had been returned with any fault, and at the time there was the B&H quote "There is a lot more talk about banding than there is banding to talk about".
It is disappointing Nikon has taken three months to announce a fix for those who have a problem compared to 2 months for the D200 fix. The D200 fix was reported by users as taking less than a week including shipping.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 23, 2013 at 09:34 UTC as 56th comment
On Just Posted: Nikon D7100 Hands-On Preview article (311 comments in total)

Rather than ask questions why not also check out http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d7100/
It seems to have the D600 autofocus but covering much more of the screen area than the D7000. The body shell and grip are improved.
Overall it looks like a very much upgraded D7000 but not quite the equal of the pro grade D4.
It may well out resolve the D600 at lower ISO's.
With a UK launch price of £1300 (including 20% tax) it is likely to fall after about 6 months to £999 - about 40% less than the current UK street price of the D600.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 21, 2013 at 08:45 UTC as 54th comment | 2 replies

The 4th reply from Mosswings is part right on the money. Those who understand optics know when the sensor and lens each has equal resolution the image resolution (what we are interested in) is 42% lower than either measured in isolation.
Confirming the average loss is 45% is no more than reinventing the wheel!
I see no advantage in relating lens performance to human vision.
The human eye perceives time at 1/60th of a second. With electronic flash we can record movement much shorter and with a tripod much longer than 1/60, creating visual movement impressions impossible without using a camera.
Many use wide angle and telephoto lenses to create visual angles of view the unaided fixed angle eye cannot perceive. In macro we can record detail much too small for the eye to see.
D and O have come up with a formula to make themselves look better than others. The reality is they give the impression of not having a clue as to what most photographers think photography is about.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 18, 2012 at 07:55 UTC as 34th comment | 1 reply
On Nikon marks production of 75 millionth Nikkor lens article (81 comments in total)

Responding to Zerg2905 where Nikon is now is more important than where it was a few years ago.
Nikon appear to be producing the most lenses a year and might soon be ahead of Canon. This would tend to confirm Nikons current market share is moving ahead of Canon.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:33 UTC as 31st comment | 6 replies

An "interesting" video - but is the video reliable?
Every time the mirror lifts it blows some air forward, creates a mini vacuum and some air gets sucked back. Then when the mirror falls the air currents get reversed.
If there is dust in the mirror box or on the rear lens element or even if the lens is not airtight (the 50mm f1.8D is not and does not have a lens flange gasket) - maybe this video is not reasonable evidence the camera had a defect - especially if there was a lot of none camera body induced dust.
Going further the left hand side of the video has uneven lighting - the video showing the test set up does not - if anything the light level is higher on the left - and is clearly both uneven and darker in the video.
I suspect a "troll video" with less than 1 out of 10 for credibility.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 26, 2012 at 20:16 UTC as 55th comment | 1 reply
On Nikon D5200 Hands-on Preview preview (213 comments in total)
In reply to:

peevee1: "Aside from this, the D5200 is essentially the same as its predecessor. "

Yeah, "only" sensor, processor, AF system and firmware. All 4 most important elements of a digital camera. ;)

There are some interesting comments - mainly from those never likely to use the camera!
I will not use it either because I can afford cameras with bigger viewfinder magnification, but appreciate it is a good package for the majority on a budget.
Nikon make over 7,500,000 DSLR's a year and it is likely 90% are not high end/pro grade bodies.
The kit lens (not compulsory) is decent for Nikon's lowest priced lens. With ANY lens 24 MP results in more image detail in the file than 12 MP so in that sense it is fine.
Anybody wanting consistent highest quality aims to spend more money but in it's market segment it should easily deliver good 20x16 inch prints - even with the kit lens.
Compared to say the D70 launch price it is an altogether better camera and much better value for money. If this was not so Nikon would not sell around 7,500,000 DSLR's a year.
"We" can nit-pick about detail - but this camera is not aimed at the majority of Nikon owners using this forum.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:32 UTC

Was the review good?
It says VR was not as effective at 300mm as shorter focal lengths, but used a constant focus distance, not allowing for the obvious magnification increase at 300mm.
Safe hand held speeds increase with image magnification - with any focal length.
Nikon indicate in the 105 VR instructions a subject 8 feet wide or narrower needs 1 shutter speed faster for sharp results. This implies a need for 2 speeds faster by 4 feet wide and so on.
Increased magnification at 300mm same focus distance relative to 28mm leaves less VR benefit available for camera shake reduction.
The review gives a fair summary of the VR results a relative novice might get. An advanced worker might know about the image magnification issue using VR.
Was there a slight tendency to misfocus at 300mm? The example shown used a fine detail subject with which all Nikon DSLR instructions indicate AF may not be particularly accurate. Was the reviewer paying enough attention to the quality of the AF target?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 31, 2012 at 09:47 UTC as 36th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: Optional tripod collar... it should be standard. The lens should then really be $1623.90. That's almost the same I paid on my 70-200 f/2.8 back in 2004, and it had a collar standard.

On "breathing" on a technicality the f2.8 MkII does not breathe in the sense it holds image size when focusing close.
The Mk 1 breathes heavily in the direction of increasing image magnification.
The Mk II maximum reproduction ratio is 0.12x. This f4 is more than twice the magnification at it closer minimum focus at 0.274x.
Tripod mode VR is not mentioned so you will need a good tripod to better the up to 5 stops VR effect with a static subject.
Digressing at close focus distances most wide angles breathe heavily in the direction of reduced magnification.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 13:27 UTC
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: Optional tripod collar... it should be standard. The lens should then really be $1623.90. That's almost the same I paid on my 70-200 f/2.8 back in 2004, and it had a collar standard.

No price from Nikon UK yet but the Nikon MTF looks good
AF at f8 with a 2x on the new bodies is confirmed.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 07:51 UTC
On Nikon D600 Hands-on Preview preview (712 comments in total)

It is available to handle at Calumet in UK this Friday, and goes on sale on Tuesday.
As yet no UK price confirmed but initially including 20% VAT tax probably £1900-2000.
Maybe within 6 months it will discount to £1600-1700 - about where the D700 is now. This would be double the current D7000 street so although a better camera there is still a significant price difference.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 13, 2012 at 08:00 UTC as 226th comment

The launch prices seemed similar to EEC and USA after taking into account tax differences.
Since the launch announcement the UK £ has improved 10% against the yen.
Nikon UK have just started cashback deals on the D3100 and D7000 - almost certainly because the cost of importing has gone down.
Once back orders are filled in the EEC (which will take some tome) it will be cheaper for UK residents to buy from the EEC and still get a valid Nikon warranty.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 26, 2012 at 15:37 UTC as 99th comment
On Nikon D4 overview article (840 comments in total)
In reply to:

munro harrap: Yes they are slow! An R1 focusses slower, agreed, but shutter lag is 6 times better than a 1Ds Mkii or D4 (almost) SIX TIMES FASTER. that is six times more likely to get exactly what YOU want WHEN you need it> If I had that crazy 200MM extension lens for my £200 s/h Sony R1 (the first "mirrorless" machine with an APS-C sized sensor) and used manual focus (DOF a lot greater with APS-C!), the chances I could equal a machine costing ten times the price the R1 combo did new in 2005 are very real. And the shutter is silent and there is no vibration.

WE need to remember that a car is more useful at the same price and that kids cost too, so, frankly how to justify the splurge? I'll write and ask Nikon to give me one if it has no banding or AF problems, and the video outdoes a 5D MkII at less than a third of the price.

UK strike to reduce price to match US price . It is £3890, oh yes!

The most extensive D4 summary I have yet seen is Rob Galbraith's.
It clarifies many issues discussed at dpreview - and raises some issues not yet raised on this forum.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2012 at 13:46 UTC
On Variation Facts and Fallacies article (231 comments in total)

It is an interesting article - but how reliable is it?
Roger uses an example of a screw diameter - screw diameter does not affect assembly tolerance, though it might cause tightening issues.
In "whats it all about" point 5 there seems to be a misunderstanding of how AF works. If starting AF front infinity and then minimum focus gives different results the size of the parallel part of the target is not big enough relative to the length of the AF detection line.
What is happening is the AF is detecting detail further away coming from infinity and closer from minimum focus that would not occur with a bigger target. This is not "tolerance variation".
I agree lens and body variations likely to show in a 20 inch wide print are rare. If you have fast broadband this link I got from dpreview indicates the various electronic test stages in assembling a Nikon 24-70 - and includes a Nikon AF test target.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 28, 2011 at 09:34 UTC as 34th comment | 1 reply

Lenses were tested after return from rental - maybe an average of 15 rentals and 30 transits. Variations with new lenses should be much lower.
The resolution variation (excluding the defective lens) is about 7.5% for the original Canon and about 20% for the later Canon and Zeiss.
In the AF link there is reference to a point light source and the 1970 patent. Things move on in a 40 year period.
Chuck Westfall writing as head of Canon USA said "The nature of the AF sensors used by EOS digital SLR’s as well as those from other manufacturers is that *they perform most reliably when the entire length of the focusing area sees readable detail*" ie. not so good with a point source.
LensRentals to not provide a link to their AF target. Without this it is not possible to deduce whether they are using an AF target likely to result in reliable AF with a wide range of camera bodies or some mis focus issues.
Summing up - interesting information - but safe conclusions cannot be made.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 6, 2011 at 12:39 UTC as 17th comment | 1 reply
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