jeep: One of the best uses of layer masks is selectively combining different exposures of the same scene to achieve a natural looking HDR image, without the overblown look of HDR software and tone mapping.
If done proerly, HDR can yield pefectly natural results. And an image properly tonemapped for a natural look appear more natural than an image pieced together in layers.
It's a matter of skill, and a matter of intent. And very much a matter of opinion.
There are times to strive for a natural look and a time for a more surrealistic look. This has been true not only as long as photography has been around, but as long as art in any form has been around!
Unskilled artists tend to be a bit heavy handed when applying special effects. But in the right hands, heavily tone mapped images may bring a beauty and interest to a scene that would otherwise be dull and boring. It takes as much skill to apply a heavy special effect without over doing it as it does to apply the effect to make it appear natural.
I revisited some of the images I had pieced together from bracketed shots and layers, and tonemapped them in HDR. They look more natural via HDRI than through layers.
Mssimo: If your shopping for monitors, make sure you buy a IPS panel. The other common type that is very bad for color and view angle is called TN.
Dell Ultrasharp monitors use LG panels; these are the same panels used in apple's best monitors. They are also used by HP pro line monitors.
I have two U3011's. (decoded name: Ultrasharp 30" 2011) They are huge. The 27" has more pixel density but its 16:9 (Less Height than 16:10; 2560x1600 vs 2560x1440)
@M Jesper.Not everyone knows every technical spec about every device. I'm far from stupid or technically illiterate but I have no idea what IPS or TN stand for.
Dvlee: Some years ago i worked for a studio that had a room full of vintage gear. There was a kit of old large format lenses that had interchangable rear elements that screwed onto the back of the shutter module. These elements enabled the the same lens to be used for 8x10 and 4x5 with exactly the same field of view. They seemed to work as well on other lenses that shared the same shutter module.
In 2002, when I first learned about the APS-C crop factor, I had opportunity to ask an optical designer if it was possible that such an element could be built into lenses for APS-C to compenste for crop factor so that the lens would have the same field of view on APS-C.
He explained, not only is it possible, it is the same principle that used in zoom lenses.
We all know that to focus a lens, al we are doing is moving the lens in relation to the film/sensor plane. Lookthe rear element of a prime lens and you'll see it move in and out as you turn the focus ring.(Continues in REPLY)
This lens was designed to provide an increase in speed using full frame lenses on an ILC, but I am more intrigued by the potential of this concept to allow full frame lenses to deliver the same field of view on APS-C.
With image stabilization, better noise reduction, and each generation of cams having better hi ISO performance, the need for faster lenses is moot. It’s more about the optical qualities of wide aperture(shallow depth of field, bokah) than “speed.”
When using a full frame lens APS-C crop factor forces us to either step back to get the same field of view, which changes perspective and depth of field, or use a shorter focal length, which will not have the same optical or depth of field qualities.
Lens makers have addressed the APS-C wide angle problem by making even wider lenses. Even the Canon 17mm tilt shift seems to have been created to address this.
This actual usefullness is limited to retaining the qualities of lenses like the 50mm1.2 ir 17mmTS-E.
Isit13: I've understood the maximum speed for a lens is dependent on the rear element diameter vs the sensor distance?
If so, this means you cannot get any magical low size number mounting a version of this with a f/1.2 Noct Nikkor?
I might add that this only work when using a lens designed for a big sensor on a camera with a smaller sensor, becasue the lens is designed to project a larger image circle and the adapor is shrinmking it donw to the size of the small sensor. It would work using a full frame lens on the smaller APS-C chip but not on a full frame sensor. The adaptor would make the image circle too small and the corners would be cut off.
The way this works is the exact opposite of a teleconvertor, which makes the image circle bigger, stretching the image out and making it appear larger. By spreading the image out...same amount of light over a wider space makes it dimmer.
Lens designers do know about this concept but it's a trickier design to build into the lens. Instead of designing these wide angle convertors into the lenses, they have instead given us ultra wide lenses for APS-C. I have an 11mm which is equal to 17mm on full frame and thats pretty damn wide!!
I wish I could draw you a diagram because its so hard to describe in words.
1st...this adaptor does not have any direct effect on the lens or the f stop. It does not increase the amount of light that enters the lens, it is only taking the light that is being projected in a wide beam and tightening the angle of the beam to a more narrow beam so that the SAME amount of light is being onto a smaller space. The same amount of light in a smaller space makes the light brighter.
2nd...the adaptor does not make the lens wider. You cannot make a 200 MM act like a wide angle. The problem is that when we use a wide angle lens intended for a large sensor on a camera with a small sensor, the lens projects too big a circle and the tiny sensor only sees a small portion of it; it crops the image, so the chip only see a portion of the image.
This adaptor makes a 40mm act like a 40mm by projecting a smaller image onto a smaller chip. It focuses the light into a small space and makes it brighter
nathanleebush: Am I crazy or is there not more barrel distortion with the adapter? Nobody seems to be talking about that. The aspect ratio is the same, but the image seems to warp more.
Its hard to tell with the samples provided...but I think I might see some distortion but not so much that could not easily be fixed in Photoshop.
If you take the same amount of light that covers a large area and redirect it so it covers a smaller area, you now have the same amount of lightconcentrated in a smallers space, which makes it brighter.
Its kind of like using a spotlight which uses a lens to adjust the size of the spot...the smaller the spot of light the brighter it become.
All this lens does is add one more element of refraction to the light path, bending it so as to turn a wide cone of light that covers the larger sensor area into a narrow cone of light that just covers the smaller sensor.
This not only concentrates the light making it brighter but also compresses the image so that the part of the image that would lie outside the sensor is now inside.
I think the fact that it compresses the angle of projection and enables the full field of view to be projected onto a smaller sensor is FAR more interesting and usefull than its brighteness boosting function.
If you look at a zoom lens you'll see the rear element stays still during focusing but moves while zooming in and out. He explained that the rear element(s) in a zoom plays an important role in the spread(coverage) of the cone of light which determines the magnification of the image. The lens elements that actually focus the lens are in front of the rear element(s). So in essence the rear element in a zoom lens is a built in tele/wide angle converter.
There really is no reason why a lens element to do this cannot be designed right into the lens.
So why don't they do this? It's a matter of economics. It's easier to design and manufacture the lenses without having to deal with an added element . Most APS-C cameras are designed to be smaller, lighter and less expensive than full frame lenses and the lenses need to mirror that design philosophy.
But it is possible and it would be better to have it specifically designed for a particular lens and built in than to use an adaptor.
Some years ago i worked for a studio that had a room full of vintage gear. There was a kit of old large format lenses that had interchangable rear elements that screwed onto the back of the shutter module. These elements enabled the the same lens to be used for 8x10 and 4x5 with exactly the same field of view. They seemed to work as well on other lenses that shared the same shutter module.
Suave: A used Galaxy s2 off craigslist was $120, DSLRController was $10, and now I can control not "some" but pretty much any function of my camera.
DSLR Controller has alot of the features I look for .
But even though my new smart phone was a very recent product at the time, out of the box the version of Android it came loaded with was obsolete. Even if I upgraded to the newst possible version the phone would accept, I would have to root the phone for DSLR Controller, something I was not willing to do.
DLR Controller does not have much backward compatibility.
Does it have Live View, touch focus capability like DSLR Controller does?
Deleted pending purge: Retro look, cameras looking the way they don't have to any more, funny colors, cheap(er) copies... but not much of what the end users wish. And while manufacturers should pay more attention to users, it seems their ideas come from the sources which, I think, are quite distant from its buying public. Too large percentage of "new" comes from juggling the old, anyway.In the end, we never get exactly what we want, rather what's a bit closer to what we want, from among what we can choose...
It's like fashion...retro is in. Colors are in. People have grown tired of white/gray/beige/black devices. Maybe it's not what you want but other people do.
There are lots of people who like retro, funny colors. Frankly,I've grown bored with bland white/beige/gray/silver/black colors schemes for devices. But that's me and I'm not you.
I'm sure there's something out there you like. In fact the choices are so overwhelming it's hard to choose just one without feeling like I'm missing out on something . That's life! Always been that way and always will be!
Keep in mind these are devices being shown at the CONSUMER electronics show, not a professional photographers show.
However, I have to disagree that they are not paying attention to what end users want. These devices may not reflect your wants, but they do reflect what other consumers want. These companies are not as stupid as you may think, and they will sell billions of dollars of this junk.
Superka: landscape photographers would laugh at this "technique". Too many limitations. I was trying to make panoramas with panoramic heads. I have Nodal Ninja 5, bought for this! But it just a non-sense! It is slow to setup, slow to shoot, no viewfinder, no long exposures, moving objects always present! Now I have 6x17 panoramic camera which gives me 160 Mpx at one shot! Perfect 160Mpx! And I often shoot hand held!!!! My camera, Gaoersi 617 was made in China and costs 940$+450 for the Fuji SW 90/8 super wide lens.All this stuff, like FF digital, TS-E lenses costs so much, that you can easy buy good scanner (imacon or Nikon) and have beautiful film colors and 13-stop Dynamic range (with Kodak Ektar).
Oh..one more thing...$940 for camera plus $450 for lens comes to $1390. I paid $1299 for a tilt shift lens. I don't include the camera in that cost because I already have the camera which I use a lot for all kinds of photography, not just landscapes. Plus the tilt shift lens gives me the special functionality for which it was designed.
A tilt shift lens is a far more flexible tool than a specialized film camera and does not incur the additional cost of film and processing.
I've used 617s and I shot Technical Pans B&W film which enabled me to make phenominally large and beautiful prints. I have to agree with you that a 617 can deliver beautiful images..but it is old school technology and outside of the scope of interest of DP Review.
Years ago I used the Fuljfilm 617, which was a nice portable alternative to a 5x7camera. But if portability is not an issue than it would be cheaper to buy an old 5x7. The advantage with an actual view camera compared to the 617s is the flexibility of movements that allow the full range of movements controlling focus, field of view and perspective(distortion). Plus you have more room for cropping to reposition the horizontal lines.
But I think the point of the article is about using tilt/shift lens as a DIGITAL alternative to a large format field camera and as an alternative to using a panoramic head.
In the transition from film to digital I first abandoned the darkroom but coninued to shoot 4x5 film and scanning the negs before eventually abandoning film altogether.
Scanning film is so 20th century. So is spotting dust specks, and the expense of film and processing. that more than offsets any savings over a tilt shift.
BSHolland: I'm a bit confused about 500px Terms of Service, with regards to licensing & sublicensing. (English is not my mother tongue).
500px claim the "right to sublicense". But only "in connection with the Services".From my understanding, sub licensing is only necessary when it is NOT in connection with the services.
So what's the point in phrasing it like that?
Even those of us who speak English as our first language are asking that question.
klopus: Since it's a paid photo hosting, marketing and sales site what makes it different from SmugMug or Zenofolio both of which are also targeted to "serious" photography?
The terms of Service make it different.
While the sidebar says ". We will protect the copyright and will not sell your photos without your permission.” the terms of service imply that by the mere act of posting content to 500px, you are giving them that permission. Like most of the other photo display sites, they make it a point to say they are not claiming the copyright, but they are claiming what is essentially unlimited usage with the right to sublicense.
Zenfolio does not do that.
While YOU can sell photos on 500PX, the terms of service imply that 500PX is claiming the right to sell your images through some other portal...say an independent photo stock service?? If you had discovered that 500px had sold your work to a third party, by virtue of the terms of service, you would have no recourse to sue 500PX. Not only do the terms of service feature the standard usage rights grab, it also includes a waiver of your right to sue 500px for any reason whatsoever!
This issue does not address the question of model releases. When we post images of people on instagram and facebook, we do so under the assumption that the images are only being posted for personal usage...sharing with others, and not for commercial usage.
If facebook uses any image of people for promotional purposes, they are doing so without model releases.
The facebook/instagram terms of service do not require that users have model releases from all persons whose likenesses are posted on those services. They cannot absolve themselves of the liability, or transfer the responsibility for releases onto the persons who posted the pictures for non commercial use. The user(photographer) owns the copyright to the image but if the person in the photo has not signed a release neither facebook/Instagram nor the user has the right to assume or grant permission for the use of their likeness for commercial purposes.
Najinsky: Storm meet teacup.
Instagram allows you to share your images with others. That costs money; servers, storage, bandwidth, people. Money doesn't magically appear where needed and has to be raised.
In raising money they want to showcase their product, which incorporates your images and the community surrounding them.
It's really easy.
What's really hard it making wording to describe it to the satisfaction of the litigious hoards and conspiracy theorists. And with good reason, because when a business get granted a right, whether intentionally or by accident, history tells us it may one day suit it to exploit that right to the max.
The fees they would have to pay for images to use in their ads and promotions would be an insignificant amount in proportion to their other operating expenses and earnings.
Other companies that have much smaller earnings and tighter profit margins pay substantial amounts for photography. The photography aspect is just a small portion of their advertising costs.
Look at the numbers for 2011:
Facebook-3.71 billion in sales/revenue 1 billion net income
Canon-45 Billion in net sales 4.8 billion net income (pretax)
Epson-11.7 billion in sales 123 million in net income
When facebook purchased Instagram , Instagram had 13 employees. Its operating expenses are practically nonexistant compared to Canon (197,000 employees), Epson (80,000 employees) and even the parent company facebook, which only employs some 3000 employees.
facebook/Instagram can afford to pay for the photos they use in their ads.
Photomonkey: Kind of fun to watch people get outraged about TOS on a free service. Also fun to see business people try to figure out how to make money with their free service without enraging the users.
They provide the platform but the users provide the actual content that makes the platform interesting to people. Facebook and Instagram do not create their own content, we do it for them.
They sell the information they gather on us to advertisers who use it to advertise to a target demographic. This is a more efficient and cost effective method of advertising.
case in point: On Pinterest I created a board on Mid Century Modern furniture. Almost immediately I start seeing ads for Mid Century Modern Furniture on facebook, Yahoo, just about any site I go to that has ads. The information we provide them is a valuable commodity to advertisers.
So we may not have to pay for those services, but we give them something valuable in exchange. Yahoo, fb and Google have made billions this way, as did TV and radio for many decades before the web. They don't need to claim usage rights to get a fair exchange for the service they provide.
It looks like we got their attention!
But we have yet to see how Instagrams revised terms play out. Will they quell the public uproar? Or will they just try to introduce more ambiguous wording that leaves us scratching our heads?
I'm afraid however the the erosion of user intellectual property rights will be like the rise in gas prices: up a dollar, the public complains, down seventy five sents, the public feels relief, then up a dollar...after a while gas hits $6 a gallon we'll be happy to see the price drop to $5.25!!
Likewise these "social networking" ,or digital image display sites may announce unacceptable terms , then, in response to user complaints, revise them to make it appear that they have backed off, when in fact, they have advanced their encroachment on IP rights.
We have to be diligent about these changes and stand by a Zero Tolerance policy. In fact we should demand they rescind all usage claims other than what is needed to display content as the users intended.