Ken Rockwell's review of the D7100

Started Feb 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
fortwodriver Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Why Ken Rockwell gets Denigrated.

Guidenet wrote:

What you didn't address and rightfully so is the fact that Ken is not a successful professional photographer, but you're right he doesn't need to be. He could be a creative amateur with a successful photography blog. I would say he has a successful blog, but I don't think his photography is that good overall. Even I can as well as a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then and put it on our blog if we had one. Some of Ken's aren't bad but as a whole somewhat average at best.

He doesn't say he's a successful pro photographer. He does however, run casual photo outings with a few local camera clubs. It's a different environment. Camera clubs don't tend to be places "professional" photographers hang out at because they're desperately trying to make money... When they're not doing that I highly doubt they have a camera in their hands. They're probably engaged in whatever non photographic hobbies they have.

What about Thorsten Von Overgaard? The dude with (possibly) the worlds longest Leica M9 review? He's a professional photographer and writer, but much of what he writes about the camera is abstract and of the "just feel it" thing. Strangely Leica users tend to good writers. In 21 pages of stuff though I still am not convinced the M9 is anything but a toy for the very wealthy.

I see what you mean. I'm not saying his examples are stunning examples of photographic superiority. I'm not sure that's what he's after with his gear though. Be careful with saying that someone elses images are "average". You're "being the Ken Rockwell you don't like" by stating fact on an subjective opinion. Someone somewhere believes the colours and look he gets from his family photos and his road trip photos are great.

My problem is when he makes misleading statements as if they were fact. That's where he differs from the more credible writers online. Let's take one as an example. Ken often says that there is less need for a mid zoom. He might say something like, "The pros don't even bother with middle range zooms. They either stay on the wide side or long side." That's a very common remark by Rockwell and completely misleading to a novice photographer. Moreover, it's Ken using the idea of what Professionals do to make his statement seem valid.

But hold on a second. While a pro may buy a mid-level zoom, which tend to be ridiculously expensive, why would an amateur? Rockwell even indicated a few times that the kit zooms are quite satisfactory. He's also of the school that the best photos can usually be had by walking up to and getting closer to your subject with a wide-to-normal lens instead of zooming a giant phallic lens around.

Now, go tell that one to your many successful wedding photograhers in the world. Tell them they should ignore the middle focal ranges. Heck many consider a middle zoom to be their bread and butter lens. The same holds true for many other forms and genres of professional photography. The truth is that he doesn't particularly like the middle ranges. Neither do I but would never make the claim he made. That's just one of a very many misleading remarks Ken Rockwell is capable of making.

Careful, where I come from Wedding Photographers are some of the grumpiest, most hard-done-by, yet equally miserable professionals around. Sure there are a few that shine, but it's just not the business it used to be when medium format film was king. Now every soccer mom and her son has a DSLR and that peeves a lot of wedding 'toggers to no end. Pros use middle-range zooms because it suits their workflow - and makes them money - not because they find it a wonderful focal length range.

I won't get into all the things like telling people they should leave the hood at home but add uncoated Tiffen UV filters to their glass (at the bottom on just about ever lens preview). Or to buy a cheap not so stable tripod or no tripod at all. Complete rubbish, IMO.

Yeah, I don't get that either. As a kid I had a Tiffen UV on every lens and couldn't figure out why those filters kept fogging or going "dull" over time. I ended up switching to B+W MRC filters (I admit I am clumsy with lens surfaces so it's a insurance for me.)

The tripod thing I get. What you can get for cheap in a tripod now is quite a bit better than even what was around 15 years ago. $150 buys you something that will work well with a light, modern dslr. I don't think he's talking to those guys with backpacks full of lenses who walk around Disney with a 100-400 2.8 zoom. Honestly, when I see a dude with a backpack and a big Dx series or 1D series camera at a place like Disney or the Zoo and he's pointing it at me and my family, I feel a bit uneasy.

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