SteB

SteB

Lives in United Kingdom lancs, United Kingdom
Joined on Apr 3, 2007

Comments

Total: 62, showing: 1 – 20
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On Sony Alpha 7S added to test scene comparison tool article (269 comments in total)

I think that's pretty impressive. Even taking into account down-sizing the other images it's clearly the cleanest from any FF sensor at high ISOs. I think this might have some potential from a macro/close-up photography perspective. Light is always a challenge, and often you have to use flash to freeze motion, or handhold. The big problem with flash in daylight is fall off over distance and black backgrounds. This means the background all has to be close to the subject to prevent it, which restricts how you shoot. I think this type of high ISO performance is maybe getting to the level where with noise reduction software, it might allow a type of photograph previously impossible in field macro photography. We'll have to wait and see if it's there yet. It'd be a lot better if it was A7 price.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2014 at 23:09 UTC as 24th comment | 13 replies

I can understand the advantages of a curved sensor. However, I do think it may cause compatibility problems if it's widely adopted. Whilst a flat sensor may not be ideal, at least it is a common standard. If you made an ILC camera with a curved sensor it would make all pre-existing lenses obsolete.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 18, 2014 at 07:49 UTC as 106th comment | 1 reply
On Hands-on with the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 article (101 comments in total)

I'm trying to work out the close-up capabilities of this camera. But I can't find any info yet on the close-up distances at relative focal lengths. Also does the macro function work on the whole focal length range, or just a portion, such as the wide-angle end?

Any info would be much appreciated.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 12, 2014 at 20:14 UTC as 15th comment | 1 reply

Undoubtedly part of this reason is because of the marketing strategy of the camera companies. The DSLR and intechangeable lens camera market was a bubble that would always burst. This is because the sales were huge, and the amount of people who make proper use of this type of camera were small. In other words people were buying them, because they wrongly thought they would get photos just like the pros. When obviously photography takes a bit more effort than just buying a certain camera.

Initially when mirrorless cameras were released the manufacturers were claiming sales volumes several times that of all DSLRs. Such a thing was only likely to happen if they were cheaper than DSLRS. Unfortunately the manufacturers went chasing premium price sales. The premium price camera market as a money spinner for camera companies is also not likely to last. They have priced themselves out of the market. It has killed sales, and they will carry on shrinking with the current strategy.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 24, 2014 at 22:44 UTC as 75th comment

Wonderful. I waited a long time for such a lens to show up for 4/3. I think it could make m4/3 the go to system for a lot of nature photographers. A 300mm f4 on a crop sensor is probably the most versatile lens for a nature photographer. It is the sweet spot between portability, performance and reach. However, Olympus do really need to produce matching 1.4x and 2.0x converters to go with this, especially the 1.4x converter.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 12, 2014 at 13:25 UTC as 35th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

_sem_: So what is the free working distance at 1:1?
MFD 150mm - length 91mm - flange distance 18mm = 41mm, I guess (I assume it does not extend)

Yes I think you've got it right. This is what I've used to work out the working distance of newly announced lenses, and it usually gets you within a mm or so of the actual official figure announced later.

The MFD of 150mm indicates that this lenses dractically reduces its focal length at close focus distances, which is not unusual with this type of IF lens. This has advantages and disadvantages. It gives lower MFD but means that the same length of extension tube gives more magnification. It's a pity this lens is so long because a MFD of 41mm is a bit limiting. If it was closer to 60mm this would be much better. The Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro, which is an extending lens, has a working distance that is only 2mm less.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 31, 2014 at 17:43 UTC
On Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested article (269 comments in total)
In reply to:

SteB: On the subject of lag and post locking. These are big problems in macro photography especially when you approach or go past life-size. It can be very difficult to frame something, because of this sag that occurs when you take your hand away. The best ball head in the world can only do so much to eliminate it because some of the sag that occurs after you take your hand away is because of flex in things other than the ball head, such as camera and lens.

However, there is a solution, a geared head. In this respect a moderately priced geared head such as the Manfrotto 410 is better than the most expensive ball head money can buy for macro photography, simply because you do not have that problem and have precise framing. The price you pay is more weight, and slower adjusments.

@JamesVo

Yes, that's exactly how it works.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 15:40 UTC
On Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested article (269 comments in total)

On the subject of lag and post locking. These are big problems in macro photography especially when you approach or go past life-size. It can be very difficult to frame something, because of this sag that occurs when you take your hand away. The best ball head in the world can only do so much to eliminate it because some of the sag that occurs after you take your hand away is because of flex in things other than the ball head, such as camera and lens.

However, there is a solution, a geared head. In this respect a moderately priced geared head such as the Manfrotto 410 is better than the most expensive ball head money can buy for macro photography, simply because you do not have that problem and have precise framing. The price you pay is more weight, and slower adjusments.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 13:48 UTC as 103rd comment | 7 replies
On In photos: The beauty of bees article (49 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: Sorry, but as a biologist who loves and does everything he can to support the dwindling natural environment in which we all have a deep and profound share, I find an album of photos of collected-and-killed bees about as appetising as those dreadful cases of pinned, dead (some now extinct) butterflies, moths and beetles collected by Victorian "explorers".

Not impressed.

Brian

@Biowizzard, I understand exactly what you mean. My first interest as a boy was butterflies. But the pinning them to boards bit turned me off. It was not squeamishness, it was just that dead insects lack the beauty of live ones. My mission in life for a long time has been to replace needless collecting of dead insects, with vibrant photos.

Having a bit of a life sciences background myself I understand the importance of collecting. Type specimens, DNA etc. Yet the reality is that most dead collections aren't used like this. In fact more can often be learned from live photography.

So whilst I accept the biological approach of this methodology, as a resource, I don't see how it can inspire. To anyone familiar with insects, these bees most definitely look dead. It would be much better if they also started a collection of live photographrs running in parallel, and it was these shown to the world's media.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 29, 2013 at 19:25 UTC
On In photos: The beauty of bees article (49 comments in total)
In reply to:

Coliban: Are they dead?

Hi Stephen

Yes I appreciated that for scientific and technical purposes this is the right approach, and acknowledged it in my main comment. I've got a bit of a life sciences background myself in ecology so I'm familiar with collection and survey methodology. Also I appreciated that the methodology was primarily developed to be used by people that are first scientists and not necessarily experienced photographers.

I also appreciate the point about the dew.

However I still think that photographs of live bees would be a great adjunct to projects like this. In other words the background survey would used this methodology, but it would be supplemented where possible by live photos.

I've thought about his in depth as it is one of my big interests. I think the work around would be far more collaboration between expert macro photographers and researchers. Each utilizing the other's skill sets. With the pollinator declines I think it is essential to connect with the public.

Stephen

Direct link | Posted on Dec 29, 2013 at 12:23 UTC
On In photos: The beauty of bees article (49 comments in total)

Firstly, there's an error in the report and the pdf. The lens is in fact a 65mm lens, the Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x lens.

I think this needs to be looked at from 2 different perspectives. Firstly this methodology is really for researchers who are not skilled photographers. Research and assay methods have always involved the collection of dead insects. So photographing them rather than mounting them on boards is a legitimate research tool, and resource.

However, from a photographic perspective the reporting of this story in the media around the world is somewhat misleading. There are quite a number of highly skilled photographers regularly producing big stacks of living insects, including bees. It would seem the media are simply unaware of them, although they have published their images.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/opoterser/

Direct link | Posted on Dec 28, 2013 at 15:18 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply
On In photos: The beauty of bees article (49 comments in total)
In reply to:

Coliban: Are they dead?

"All the bees are dead. Sadly, with present technology, it is impossible to take multiple stacks of living insects."

Hi Stephen

Whilst I agree with you that it's impossible to do big stacks of moving insects. It's certainly not impossible to make multiple stacks of living insects. You just have to look at the work John Hallmen and Thomas Shahan, to know that the regular stacking of live insect shots is possible.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/opoterser/

Having said all that I agree a large project to collate images of bees would be much harder with live stacking. The point being though, that live stacking is possible. I took this spider shot 4 1/2 years ago.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3429/3913186569_089220b715_o.jpg

I even took a 2 shot stack of a hoverfly in flight a few years ago. Although I did have to clone out the extra set of wings.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3299/3498856262_99ab567c92_o.jpg

Direct link | Posted on Dec 28, 2013 at 14:58 UTC
On In photos: The beauty of bees article (49 comments in total)
In reply to:

racketman: There are numerous examples of multiple stacks of living insects, John Hallem for one takes amazing stacks of insects covered in dew or 'asleep', 50 or more shots is not unusual. It's a case if getting up early and catching them cold.
These dead bee shots are ok but you can't beat natural light.

"Do you have a link to the John Hallem bee photographs you mention please?"

His name is John Hallmen, which is probably why you couldn't find it. I can provide specific links to his bee photos if you want, but you should be able to find them on his photostream.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/

Direct link | Posted on Dec 28, 2013 at 14:36 UTC

This could be a very interesting lens if the reports of the price are right. If you look at the image samples below it looks pretty good. Just click on an image and it will put you in a viewer where you can see the image at what looks like close to full resolution. Whilst obviously compressed a lot, the basic image parameters should be clear i.e resolution and CA. The only thing not clear is how much PP has been applied. If these are OoC they are very impressive.
http://blog.naver.com/sp_marketing/70179201020

I've been a long time Bigma user and have a good copy, but this appears to beat it at the long end. Even a 2x converter on a 300mm f2.8 will only give 600mm f5.6 with a lot of iq loss. It will be interesting to see what it's like after it gets tested a bit more.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2013 at 13:39 UTC as 29th comment
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)
In reply to:

SteB: This is most certainly not a Nikon FM. The FM was in a class of cameras like the Olympus OM-1 and the Pentax MX. These were stripped down metal bodied cameras, which were at a similar price or even cheaper than plastic bodied consumer orientated SLRs. In other words they were the type of camera a pro could use, at a consumer near entry level price. This class of camera was also known for its simplicity, just manual mode and the basic features. Whereas the Nikon F3 was an entirely different beast, a big solid no compromise pro camera, that if I remember rightly cost about 9-10 times the price of the Nikon FM. This thing is more like an F3 on sterioids, all the bells and whistles, with a load of styling flourishes from older Nikons.

It's clearly not retro done right as it is self-evidently primarily designed as male jewellry. Whilst it will undoubtedly serve as a good camera, it is too big, too expensive, and with too many design flourshes, which won't ehance it as a camera.

Hi Meland

In the UK the Nikon FM was not significantly more expensive. In fact I seem to remember the AE-1 as being more expensive than the Nikon FM. I owned a Pentax MX and OM-1, but I didn't buy a Nikon system until later. The MX and OM-1N were about £120 and the FM just a bit more. The cheapest SLRs at the time were about £90.

You might be thinking about the Nikon FM2 which was at a different price point than the FM, although not massively more expensive. At the time the FM2 was released it was unique in having a flash synch of 1/200s and a top shutter speed of 1/4000. Most horizontal cloth shutters at the time had a synch speed of 1/60s and top speed of 1/4000s. The best other cameras did was 1/125s x, and 1/2000 max speed. So Nikon could charge more for the FM2, as at the time it's shutter was unique.

Also the situation changed in the 1990s. With more automated and AF cameras, these manual cameras were marketed to purists, and cost more than they originally did.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 5, 2013 at 15:13 UTC
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)

This is most certainly not a Nikon FM. The FM was in a class of cameras like the Olympus OM-1 and the Pentax MX. These were stripped down metal bodied cameras, which were at a similar price or even cheaper than plastic bodied consumer orientated SLRs. In other words they were the type of camera a pro could use, at a consumer near entry level price. This class of camera was also known for its simplicity, just manual mode and the basic features. Whereas the Nikon F3 was an entirely different beast, a big solid no compromise pro camera, that if I remember rightly cost about 9-10 times the price of the Nikon FM. This thing is more like an F3 on sterioids, all the bells and whistles, with a load of styling flourishes from older Nikons.

It's clearly not retro done right as it is self-evidently primarily designed as male jewellry. Whilst it will undoubtedly serve as a good camera, it is too big, too expensive, and with too many design flourshes, which won't ehance it as a camera.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 5, 2013 at 12:38 UTC as 734th comment | 5 replies

I think this quote from the interview sums it up "Because when you shoot, nearly every picture is the same to you, and a press picture is born in the imagination of editors and the public who see them".

This along with how he took the image is simply saying he was partly lucky, and it was more what the world made of that image, rather him having great credit for that. Nevertheless he had some considerable input and was doing his job to get the shot in dangerous circumstances.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 2, 2013 at 17:35 UTC as 37th comment
On Iain McKell photographs 'The New Gypsies' article (184 comments in total)
In reply to:

gusda9: These people are not original gypsies like I am they are Irish people living in a camp Real gypsys spread from India a thousand years ago They don't even speak the Romani language All of you are very ignorant of the culture of Gypsys We speak a very Distinctive language that is understandable Throughout the world by Other Gypsies Its like seeing any Asian person and saying they are Chinese Really people you need to google stuff up

They don't look like Irish Travellers to me, but New Age travellers.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2013 at 22:48 UTC
On Iain McKell photographs 'The New Gypsies' article (184 comments in total)

There are 3 main groups of travellers in the UK. Gypsies are not a thing of the past, but strictly speaking they aren't gypsies.

1) Romanies. These are what have been referred to as gypsies. It used to be a derogatory name, but now it seems they use the name themselves.

2) Irish Travellers.

3) New Age travellers.

The first 2 are distinct ethnic groups. Whereas the latter is a lifestyle choice i.e. most were not born to families that lived like that. The photographs appear to be of new age travellers, which is presumably why it's called the new gypsies.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2013 at 22:44 UTC as 31st comment | 1 reply
On Sony Alpha A7 / A7R preview (2381 comments in total)

I just checked the Sony UK site for the UK prices, and they are much better than I thought. They haven't just converted dollars into pounds. The pre-order body price of the A7 is £1299 and the A7r body is £1699 and the A7 kit £1549.
http://www.sony.co.uk/

These are pretty good prices considering £1299 is what the Olympus EM-1 introductory price is in the UK.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2013 at 13:37 UTC as 596th comment
Total: 62, showing: 1 – 20
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