Mike Sandman

Mike Sandman

Lives in United States Brookline, MA, United States
Works as a Manager
Joined on Mar 20, 2003
About me:

Canon 5D Mark II; Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS; 70-200 f/4 IS; 17-40mm f/4 L; 24mm TSE II; 420EX; 580 EX II; Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro. Epson 3880 printer. Canon Powershot S-95. Started with a Balda 35mm rangefinder in 1956.


Total: 107, showing: 41 – 60
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On Chicago-based Calumet Photographic closes U.S. stores article (195 comments in total)

Too bad to lose a store where there were some knowledgeable people, but the handwriting has been on the wall in Boston (Cambridge). There's been a declining amount of stock on the shelves and a lack of enthusiasm when customers enquired about goods the store would have to order in. Perhaps that was because suppliers were getting nervous about Calumet's ability to pay the bills - a typical precursor to the failure of a business. So... sad but not surprised.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 14, 2014 at 02:50 UTC as 67th comment
On CP+ 2014 interviews: What we learned article (94 comments in total)

OK,executives want to know what dPreview users want... Canon, Nikon, listen up!

I have a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon lenses. I live in the US and I'm unhappy to read what Canon said about not introducing a mirrorless camera aimed at prosumers. I bought a Sony NEX-6 as a walk-around camera, and an adapter for Canon lenses. Canon could have had the money I paid for that gear. And when it comes time to upgrade the 5D Mark II, the inevitable successor to the Fuji X-T1 will be a refined, capable tool that's compatible with a line of very good X mount lenses.

Canon and Nikon can ignore the mirrorless market and hope US/European photographers will as well, but over the long run, mirrorless cameras have intrinsic advantages. The two big guys worry that if they made mirrorless cameras, they'd cannibalize their DSLR market. But there's a question they need to answer: Shouldn't they eat their own lunch rather than let someone else eat it?

Direct link | Posted on Mar 6, 2014 at 21:22 UTC as 12th comment
On Fujifilm X-E2 Review preview (316 comments in total)

Nice review - thank you. I have an NEX-6 and am thinking about switching. After this review, still thinking... One thing the review may have covered but which I missed -- how do you change the shooting mode (Aperture preferred, speed preferred, etc).? There doesn't seem to be a dial for this.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 6, 2014 at 01:03 UTC as 69th comment | 5 replies
On Integrating the MacBook Air into a pro workflow article (347 comments in total)
In reply to:

Frank C.: I wish DPR would spend more time reviewing cameras and lenses rather than worry about satisfying/plugging their sponsors, I miss the DPR of old with Phil Askey running the site... oh well I

Certainly true that there's room on dPreview for articles on workflow and on specific devices like the Air. After all, no one forces me to read articles in which I have no interest. My only criticism is that the praise for the Air seemed a bit over the top. But I still read it, and as a Windows user about to migrate to Apple, I found it useful despite its giddiness.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 17, 2014 at 17:29 UTC
On Integrating the MacBook Air into a pro workflow article (347 comments in total)
In reply to:

Frank C.: I wish DPR would spend more time reviewing cameras and lenses rather than worry about satisfying/plugging their sponsors, I miss the DPR of old with Phil Askey running the site... oh well I

But Simon, with all due respect, someone on staff presumably took time to look at the article. The Air's attributes aren't news, and the article is over-the-top giddy with praise. Seems a bit silly for dPreview.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 15, 2014 at 03:11 UTC
On Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested article (274 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.

I agree with OP comment that a geared head is a good solution for the problem of sagging after the ball head is locked down. A geared head like the Manfrotto 410 has zero sag, and Manfrotto makes a couple of heavier variants. You have to modify the 410 to use it in portrait mode for panoramic shots with a plate fom Hejnar Photo. One note of caution: Geared heads are heavy, and the 410 makes even a farily hefty set of tripod legs feel top heavy.

I second the many complaints about omitting Acratech. The GP2 ballhead is very solid and mitigates sag by including a drag adjustment that works quite well.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 16:20 UTC
On Canon EOS 70D Review preview (690 comments in total)

Clarification, please:

The review says, "The remote shooting section of the app gives a reasonable degree of control over the camera. You can set the camera's focus point and get it to focus..." and trigger the shutter.

It's not clear (at least to me) from the screen captures whether you can use the WiFi link to see the live view image on a remote smart device like an iPhone/iPad, and fully control it from that device, like you can with a CamRanger.

Can you clarify that point?


Direct link | Posted on Oct 31, 2013 at 19:32 UTC as 157th comment | 2 replies

I use a CamRanger and it's very versatile and helpful. Works great on both an iPhone or iPad, where the ability to see the image before taking the shot is great advantage. Highly recommended for night, landscape & architecture.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2013 at 15:21 UTC as 28th comment
On Weye Feye connects your DSLR and smartphone post (42 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Looks like it has the same features as the $399 CamRanger (which lets you see the image and control the camera on both phones & tablets). Nice to see an alternative to CamRanger that's a bit less expensive.

You're right about the current price. Sorry!

Direct link | Posted on Sep 12, 2013 at 21:30 UTC
On Weye Feye connects your DSLR and smartphone post (42 comments in total)

Looks like it has the same features as the $399 CamRanger (which lets you see the image and control the camera on both phones & tablets). Nice to see an alternative to CamRanger that's a bit less expensive.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 12, 2013 at 16:02 UTC as 22nd comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Wayne B.: Can anyone describe what effect that the CC announcement back in - what was it, May? - actually had on Adobe? Their stock doesn't seem to have suffered much. In what other ways can the effect on their business be objectively measured?


The barrier that inhibits companies like Adobe (and Microsoft) from switching to a subscription model is that in the short term, revenue and profit drop. Adobe bit the bullet, but they started at too high a price for people who are primarily photographers. To be fair, the CC subscription offers a huge package of products, and if you regularly use even a few of them, the annual fee is not such a horrible deal. But if you only use Photoshop, well, the original deal was way overpriced.

Now they've retreated to a price/package for photographers, and I'm surprised at all the negative comment. If they'd done this in the first place, many of the critics would have applauded.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 6, 2013 at 01:36 UTC
On Sony QX100 preview (159 comments in total)

Wrong turn, Sony. If I'm willing to carry two devices, #1 will be my smartphone and #2 wlll be a small camera that I can fully control - a Canon Powershot 1xx or an almost-small Sony NEX 3 or 5. And a cylindrical clip-on makes no sense, as users will find out the first time it rolls off a table.

BUT: The NFC part is interesting. How about giving me a camera that I can control fully with NFC-enabled my smartphone, and let me compose the image on the phone's screen??

Direct link | Posted on Sep 4, 2013 at 20:22 UTC as 67th comment | 2 replies

The billboards are both amusing and sad. I've visited "emerging" cities for the last 40 years, from Sao Paulo to Bangkok. and the story has been the same. Duringl industrialization air and water pollution is similar to what you see in China. CO2 is not the problem -- it's particulates in the air from manufacturing & from coal-fired power plants and cars/motorbikes.

Much of what you see in Hong Kong's air drifts in from plants in Shenzen (just over the border from HK). Over time, public pressure mounts and air quality improves, sometimes rather dramatically -- witness Los Angeles in 1970 vs today, or London. Boycotting China may be emotionally gratifying to some, but it won't help Hong Kong as much as public pressure in the locality itself. Wait a few years and you'll see better skies in China. Meanwhile, visit HK in the winter and you'll have a good chance to see Victoria Peak. http://www.flickr.com/photos/99183821@N00/6246665966/in/photolist-avZNam

Direct link | Posted on Sep 3, 2013 at 14:53 UTC as 11th comment | 1 reply

Quintessential Hong Kong.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 27, 2013 at 01:33 UTC as 9th comment
On Panasonic GX7 First Impressions Review article (1200 comments in total)

The widget is a great addition. The ability to compare cameras is very helpful. I agree with one of the earlier comments asking for a bit of fabric or other material with some texture. And now I know what to do with my old Schilling notes

Direct link | Posted on Aug 15, 2013 at 13:21 UTC as 124th comment
On 2013 Pulitzer Prize photography winners announced article (50 comments in total)

If you go to the Pulitzer web site and look at the images taken by these photographers you can see that they're of the moment and powerful. They're staged only to the extent that the photographer positioned himself to get a good shot and composed well.

See: http://www.pulitzer.org/works/2013-Breaking-News-Photography

Direct link | Posted on Apr 15, 2013 at 23:24 UTC as 24th comment

A little weird. I've taken photos from buses and trams on occasion, although I was interested in capturing a store front rather than takings a grab shot of a person. It must feel threatening to have a pickup stop next to you and then have a bright light come on. Even if it's legal, it's still rude and intrusive, and while the results are fun to see, they're not so spectacular as to justify upsetting the subject of the photo. But maybe in 50 or 100 years someone will look at these and marvel at the way they capture early 21st century LA street life.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 11, 2013 at 15:48 UTC as 110th comment
On Just posted: Sony Alpha NEX-6 Review article (330 comments in total)

Thanks for this review - we've been waiting for this for quite a while. (1) The comment that battery life is better than average has me wondering what I'm doing wrong -- I get maybe 200 shots from a fully charged battery. (2) The main menu is indeed a hodgepodge and the "settings" tab is utterly disorganized. But if you set up the Fn key to suit the way you shoot, it's possible to avoid getting into the main menu very often. (Of course the Fn key just gets you into a personalized subset of the on-screen menu).

Direct link | Posted on Mar 26, 2013 at 13:21 UTC as 47th comment
In reply to:

l_d_allan: Samyang 14mm: own ... great lens for terrific price
Samyang 8mm fisheye: own ... very good lens (not great imo) for terrific price

Samyang 24 T/S: Too expensive for me. Wait a year or so to come down? BH has Canon 24 t/s for $2039-USD. If Samyang was 33% of Canon (~ $700) then I'd be interested. Maybe?

But still, the Samyang 14mm will work almost as well for me ... more FOV and probably about as much DOF.

I'm underwhelmed by the thought of taking 9 pano images to stitch together to get the panorama equivalent of 16mm or so.

You may be right if all you want is panorama shots, although a pano made from 3 shots taken with a 24mss TS lens is really quite easy to align. However, the main uses of a TS are (1) shifting to reduce the convergence of vertical lines in architectural shots and (2) tilting to adjust the plane of focus to change the effective depth of field. A 14 mm lens doesn't do either of those things.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 14, 2013 at 03:18 UTC
On Theme and Variations article (96 comments in total)

Some of the comments here have the theme, "Well, sure, you can do that because of where you live, but I live in... [some supposedly dull place].


There are opportunities all around us. Kids playing in those "scrubby suburban parks"; the river, harbor and Long Island Sound in New London, CT., etc. Really, anywhere you live, there's a place to practice the lessons of the article. There's a garden or a grove of trees or a pond you can examine.

What the article teaches is that you have to spend the time understanding the environment in order to photograph it well, whether it's the picturesque west coast of Ireland or the streets of Peoria.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 8, 2013 at 04:27 UTC as 50th comment | 2 replies
Total: 107, showing: 41 – 60
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