Keith Cooper

Keith Cooper

Lives in United Kingdom Leicester, United Kingdom
Works as a Commercial Pro Photographer
Joined on Feb 16, 2003
About me:

Lots of photography articles and reviews on the Northlight site - see the latest at:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/photography-articles-and-reviews/

The original Canon Rumours pages are at:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/rumours-page/

My real work:
http://architecture-photos.co.uk/
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/commercial-photography/

...and as for gear lists, don't get me started -- who cares :-) :-)

Comments

Total: 79, showing: 1 – 20
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Yay! HP haven't given up on high end photo printing ;-)

I've reviewed many big printers and the Z3200 was one of the first (2009). I've been waiting to see what would come next...

I look forward to being able to add the new Z9+ to the reviews

Interesting comments, with the range of views over the usefulness/pointlessness of doing your own big prints

Comments about ink costs are frankly irrelevant if you're serious about making good use of such printers. I'd go so far as to say that if the cost of ink or the amount of ink in starter carts is an issue, you should take it as a hint that big printing might not be for you

I happen to love the control & creative flexibility that large printing gives. I'm under no illusion that it will be cheap & if I don't use the printer often, then I'm increasing the risk of reliability issues

If not for a print business, owning a large format is a bit like owning a classic car, it costs money, but you get the enjoyment and experience of using it

Link | Posted on May 26, 2018 at 22:40 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply

An interesting addition to the range - I'm hoping for one to turn up for a review before long - I've tested all the others in this range and have a 2700 to put it beside.

Link | Posted on May 7, 2018 at 14:08 UTC as 3rd comment
In reply to:

sh10453: Questions:
Why should I use this lens, or any similar 3rd party lens, instead of using billows and a native lens?

Often better image quality. The optics of the normal lens are rarely optimised for very close working. You can of course reverse lenses for tubes/bellows, but the specialist lens is still often better and often easier to use.

I do have some EF mount bellows and EF reversing attachment, but to be fair, it's clumsy to use ;-) As to use in the field - all my paying macro work is in the studio :-)

Then again I made a very good macro from a reversed lens that cost me £3 in a junk shop, attached (with hot melt glue) to a £5 set of cheap EF tubes...

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2018 at 22:47 UTC
In reply to:

NameFinder: A question to Venus Optics / LAOWA Lenses (if someone is still around):

Is the increase in magnification accomplished only by moving the lens part away from the sensor (as if using a macro lens on bellows) or are single lenses internally shifted as well relative to each other?

The whole idea of 'focal lengths' is fraught with complexity when working with lenses like these - especially in comparing with say a 'normal' 25mm lens.

Focal length is nominally stated at infinity, which lenses like this and the MP-E65 don't do.

Even the Canon TS-E135 I recently reviewed has an effective focal length of ~220mm at its closest 1:2 setting.

I'm sure those better versed in optical design can provide detail, but for close up working take apertures and focal lengths as referring to something a bit different to when we note them in day to day photography ;-)

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2018 at 16:07 UTC
In reply to:

NameFinder: A question to Venus Optics / LAOWA Lenses (if someone is still around):

Is the increase in magnification accomplished only by moving the lens part away from the sensor (as if using a macro lens on bellows) or are single lenses internally shifted as well relative to each other?

I've looked again at the one I have here. The lens elements do move forward as a group, but the rear rectangular baffle moves forward less.

It's difficult to be certain, but I think there -might- be some small internal movement in the optical group as well, but not a lot

Not my lens to poke around in so I can't be sure ;-)

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2018 at 10:11 UTC
In reply to:

ChatBot: It is 25 millimeter (effectively 50mm on m43). This lens isn't going to get me close to anything, unless the subject is stationary by nature. I would get more use out of a macro filter.

The lens is very much a specialist one for the magnification and many would find a lower magnification more generally usable

The focal length is somewhat irrelevant for this type of lens, so the normal 'doubling' for 4/3 is not strictly relevant.

When you are looking at magnification, it is relevant to sensor size, so my 65mm MP-E65 at 3x covers the same area as the L25mm at 3x

The smaller m43 sensor just covers a smaller part of the lens image circle

Whilst his could be thought of as a higher magnification for equal sized prints (from say FF, APS-C and m43) it's often far easier to use the lens by working out the physical area covered in the focal plane.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2018 at 08:43 UTC
In reply to:

fusoexplorer: Could you focus stack with this successfully?

No - not at all.

To stack with this lens you need to physically move the camera.

I use a motorised Stackshot rail for the examples in the review (including the animated one)

See also the earlier answer to this same question ;-)

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2018 at 22:39 UTC
In reply to:

fusoexplorer: Could you focus stack with this successfully?

Disagree - use of stacking depends on the use of the photo you are taking

Yes it's useful and I will often use it, but it's not essential in the commercial photography I do with such lenses (I don't do insects/plants so YMMV)

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2018 at 13:17 UTC
In reply to:

jrconner: Probably best to consider it the functional equivalent of a low-power, zoom microscope lens. At the low end, it approximates the magnification of a 24mm reversed on a 60mm. At maximum magnification, its the functional equivalent of a 35mm reversed on a 180mm. But the Laowa's optical performance might be better than jerry-rigging lens combos to obtain similar magnification.

I've rigged quite a few lens combinations (inc. for telecentricity) and have an MP-E65.

Until they take it back, the laowa is the best I have for 2.5-5x detail

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2018 at 10:05 UTC
In reply to:

fusoexplorer: Could you focus stack with this successfully?

Read some of the reviews...

...many of the super detail shots in the samples are stacked.

Largest stack I've done with the 25mm is ~190 images, so yes ;-)

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2018 at 09:41 UTC
In reply to:

Magnar W: If contrast and sharpness is as great as the sample photos indicate, this is an interesting lens.

It's interesting to see the reduction of sharpness as you step through the aperture settings of this lens. I've lots of examples in the review
(I don't do bugs/flowers etc, so my technical sample images didn't make the press info ;-)

The absolute sharpness drops off exactly as you'd expect, but the out of focus areas get accordingly sharper as you stop down. So, as with any macro work, the utility of any aperture depends on what you want from the image.

For some (stacked) images I'd use the 25mm with, the fall off at f/4 is more than I'd want, whilst other shots (especially if down sampled) I could happily use f/8 or 11 - f/16 gets really soft though.

At the f/2.8 setting with really fine steps, this lens works a treat with my stackshot, 5Ds and Helicon.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 23:13 UTC
In reply to:

Mssimo: I don't see a marking for infinity focus.

I'm not sure how the elements move, but I think there is some additional internal movement since the rear element doesn't quite move forward as far as the front of the lens when you go from 2.5-5x, that and the rear baffle also only moves part way inwards.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 22:58 UTC
In reply to:

Mssimo: I don't see a marking for infinity focus.

it's actually an optical design specifically made for the macro magnification, so not so much like adding tubes (from an image quality POV).

With lenses of this design you move the camera or subject to focus once you've set the magnification

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 22:17 UTC

A great lens to use - somewhat sharper than my MP-E65 at f/2.8

There is a thread about this lens in the Macro forum, since I've been testing one for the last month or so.

My own review and comparison with the MP-E65 is one of the ones listed in the full press release

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 22:13 UTC as 20th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

entoman: Excellent news. The "ultra macro" 25mm will be on my shopping list if it's optical performance is good enough.

I don't understand why dpr describes it as "weird". The conical barrel is clearly designed to enable the lens to get extremely close to the subject without casting shadows. This makes it MUCH easier to light subjects and to judge the effect of lighting by using modelling lamps.

It gets my vote as best product so far this year.
Thank you Laowa.

BTW it's a 'relay' macro not replay ;-)
The relay refers to the optical design (giving the length)

I've not had one to test properly (I've the 25mm macro here at the moment) but I did try it out at The Photography Show in the UK last year.

BTW for UK readers Laowa/Venus will be at this year's show in March

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2018 at 09:34 UTC
In reply to:

Krich13: For this kind of a working distance the macro lens should have incorporated a built-in illumination system (a ring light or an array of LEDs around the front lens element).

I've 2 lighting units here whilst I've had the 25mm - a continuous LED and a ring flash. With the continuous, it's not really bright enough to work other than wide open

The 25mm's metal lens cap clips on - solid enough for a good fitting adapter

All said though for the technical work I do, I prefer external light sources. The thiner 'pointy end' of the Laowa is sometimes a distinct advantage over the MP-E

The 8 blade aperture of the 25mm gives smoother OOF highlights vs. the 6 of the MP-E

At f/2.8 I'm seeing sharper fine detail for the Laowa on my 5Ds, but by f/5.6 the diffraction softening trumps any significant differences

I can see difficulties with the lack of auto stop-down for some. Not an issue for my technical work

It's really rather good, even if the extra sharpness means I'm doing far deeper stacks to get the benefit from it

Choosing just one, I'd still take the MP-E because it does 1x to 5x, but if I needed 2.5-5x for a job, the Laowa would be my first choice

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2018 at 00:19 UTC
In reply to:

Krich13: For this kind of a working distance the macro lens should have incorporated a built-in illumination system (a ring light or an array of LEDs around the front lens element).

I'm testing this lens and have been told there will be an LED based lighting unit for it. The working distance is slightly longer than the MP-E65

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2018 at 18:17 UTC

I've one of the 25mm macro lenses here at the moment for testing

It's extremely good, and quality wise bests the Canon MP-E65 if you use it wide open

There is a thread about this lens (with examples) on the Macro forum
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60678800

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2018 at 18:13 UTC as 17th comment
On article Here come the copyright bots, with lawyers in tow (30 comments in total)
In reply to:

upptick: Copyright is a constitutional right. If you’re opposed to enforcing someone’s copyright, are you against the First Amendment as well?

Yes, that's your constitution not mine - or many other DPR users... ;-)

Fortunately copyright law has international reach - albeit some places more effectively than others.

We've used Pixsy to help catch commercial infringers - some complain at their 'take' from the process, but having tried to chase up infringers myself in the past, personally it's a reasonable price to pay for not having to worry about the progress of a claim and deal with the lies, evasion and downright abuse I've encountered (YMMV ;-) )

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2018 at 12:00 UTC
On article Canon launches refillable ink printers in the UK (134 comments in total)
In reply to:

mosc: I'd rather buy a monitor. Who prints anymore?

"Ink jet printing is a nightmare back then and still is ..... it is unreliable technology..."

I'm inclined to suggest that this is arrant nonsense - modern higher end printers are principally limited by lack of user expertise in photography and editing.

And yes I do have to include myself in that category sometimes ;-)

Link | Posted on Jan 15, 2018 at 23:23 UTC
Total: 79, showing: 1 – 20
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