Lives in United States New York City, NY, United States
Works as a Photographer
Has a website at
Joined on Oct 24, 2000
About me:

I'm a photographer serving New York City’s theatre and fashion industries as well as industrial and advertising photography needs of the city’s businesses. My O2 (Optically Opinionated) blog contains ideas, tips, and industry commentary.


Total: 288, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

Franz Weber: This is what I can not understand: when the image sensor has a aspect ratio of 16:9 why do they use circular lenses? Wouldn’t it be better to use oval lenses in order to safe weight and cost?

Enginel You're 100% correct. My post was TMI as it was so I "simplified" that one off. Thanks for reading mindfully! :)

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 18:24 UTC
In reply to:

Franz Weber: This is what I can not understand: when the image sensor has a aspect ratio of 16:9 why do they use circular lenses? Wouldn’t it be better to use oval lenses in order to safe weight and cost?

1. Great question
2. All the surfaces still have to have the spherical surfaces (or aspherical, but with rotational symmetry). Equipment to fabricate those is built for round lens blanks and finished products.
3. Out of focus highlights / bokeh, on wide-aperture lenses, will reflect the shape of the elements. Canon's 85/1.2 has one side flat due to how it mounts, and it shows up in some shots. Some of the newest f/1.2 and faster lenses coming from China now, suffer from almond-shaped highlights off-axis (too-small front elements, like looking through a paper towel core tube off-axis).
4. BUT you're correct, and esp on a drone it would have saved weight to shave off top and bottom from at least the front element group (improving flight time + range + gimbal response). But factors #2 and 3 are strong enough they'd even not done it with video cam lenses they were taking to the Moon - while the band-aids they did count. But-but, on 70mm film lenses it's done sometimes.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 16:16 UTC
In reply to:

Androole: What is a tripod "made specifically for a Sony Alpha camera"?

It seems to be the only thing that is really camera specific is a plate designed to integrate with the body to prevent rotation, e.g. RRS plates.

For video, Manfrotto do make all manner of remote controllers. It is possible they want to get more into follow focus (high precision remote manual focus servo) game yet utilize camera's native focusing motors. It can be lighting (still or motion picture) that integrates with the camera's metering. Camera-hugging connectors that don't obscure the ports and batteries on current and planned (meaning under NDA) camera body designs.

Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2017 at 17:11 UTC
In reply to:

Don Sata: Lol... Zenit was the T34 of cameras and now somehow they are going to add some intangible value to the already inflated Leica brand?

Aren't hipsters supposed to be in extintion?

Well, in Russia, Western fashions tend to bounce around and linger for a couple years longer. And while Intel and other companies have significant research done there, they're still pretty backwards as far as cheap but powerful modern consumer electronics ASICs.

I think this will be a cold start, and another and another that, but eventually they may come up with something. After all, this did indeed happen: - and so did this:

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2017 at 00:41 UTC
In reply to:

MikeRan: Hard to imagine a path to success here...

Yeah. Using LEICA for camera electronics (as opposed to a Chinese/Korean/Taiwanese company that makes them in the first place) sounds like a snooty decision made within the confines of executive boardroom over vodka and caviar.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2017 at 00:31 UTC
In reply to:

rurikw: Why are people craving the M42 mount? It's awful. I have it. Slow, cumbersome, comes loose when you turn the focus ring and is hardly compatible with electronics.

@Old Cameras, exactly! I want SONY to make an 8x10" camera with an 8K 960fps video mode, and then complain that (1) AF is slow AF on that f/1.4 tilt shift zoom that I'd also demanded, and (2) it runs too hot for my liking after the first 10 min.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2017 at 00:27 UTC
In reply to:

BokehFanatic: If they make it very basic but professional, cheap but sturdy and the same for the lenses, I see sufficient sales! Maybe me included. :)

There's enough profoto-manfrotto-buff-stuff in a photo studio, brands that clients don't know, and to which they pay 0 attention. Nobody is phased by unfamiliarity with Phase One.

Clients sure pay attention to how good they look on the photo, the photographer's name and reputation, the studio environment, and whether they're getting a good service and good value out of the shoot, period end of story.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2017 at 00:23 UTC

Based on SONY's own stated objective for the camera, I'd have preferred to see one with
1. interchangeable lenses (basic shallow screw mount w/ manual focus ok, e.g. same as 30.5mm filter thread, w/ existing pancake lens included by default), and
2. internal 4K recording with better than 8-bit color.

If each camera needs its own 4K recorder, logistically and cost wise it nukes the point of using a bunch of these cameras in unison. I rather it have the above features and be limited to 4-5 min 4K takes in ProRes internal and cost $300 more than the current cam.

If I have to tether it to a rec, I'd have to put it in a rig to hold the two together, and at that point I might as well have a regular cam in a rig. I get it that as-is the cam can help capture a racing cyclist from his/her boot's perspective, and the inside of a grand piano with strings vibrating etc, and inter-cut with CineAlta better than a GoPro can, but it's a fraction of uses possible with the above features in place.

Link | Posted on Sep 1, 2017 at 03:53 UTC as 43rd comment
In reply to:

AngularJS: 1,000 fps at what resolution? And will it overheat?

720p, and yes (guessing)

Link | Posted on Sep 1, 2017 at 03:31 UTC
In reply to:

dennis tennis: Useless liberal white elephant space station. Instead of pointing outward doing fake research, that space station could have been used to track illegal Mexican Muslim rapist terrorist dishwashers invading our sacred lands. Lands our ancestors legally stole from the Native Indians.

I've actually heard some folks attempting to refer to it as the Boeing Space Station. Contrary to what the government wants us to believe, it never landed on Mars. The Russians sent Laika, but she only brought a double-shot vodka glass filled with dirt. Turns out, you can't shovel worth a damn without opposable thumbs. And, it was lunar dirt, to add insult to injury.

Link | Posted on Aug 22, 2017 at 03:57 UTC
In reply to:

gbdz: Just for my curiosity, I Googled their sites and galleries and as far as I am concerned, photography is doing as well if they are also doing it or not.
The American trend of people losing their jobs after accusations but before trials or convictions is scary. It is mob justice, KKK stuff even though done in the name of social justice.
People used to be innocent until proven otherwise...that used to be in the law.
Now they are guilty as tweeted.

While egregious actions have had swift consequences even in the past, there used to be a pretty broad "gray area" of tolerance where both sides would be in agreement to wait and see what the court says.

Nowadays we have that area shrunken to a thin line, and what's worse, depending on the situation or the field that line veers wildly to the left or right. In adademia, show business and so on, it leans left; if you're facing a politician in one of the red states, or a police man, it leans right. Both sides call for consideration but neither seems to be willing to give it, and anyone in its own ranks who dares to raise a voice of dissent, is ostracized with such vengeance that Fahrenheit 451 seems chill by comparison.

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2017 at 05:22 UTC
In reply to:

2eyesee: I'm surprised that such soft, low resolution images are presented as evidence that ICL's are becoming obsolete.

At full size they are only 960x720, so wouldn't hold up to even small prints or viewing on anything other than a small smartphone screen. At even at this <1MP size, they are very soft viewed at 100%:

Forget about ILC's for a moment - a 5 year old RX100 would produce far superior results with its f/1.8 on a 1" sensor (that's 4-7x larger than smartphone cameras).

Yeah - it's not exactly exemplary scientific method to snap a photo of your own kids and say "Look - aren't they precious, my babies? This camera is amazing, I love it."

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2017 at 05:09 UTC

Smartphones don't compete on IQ alone - they also have full-time internet connectivity that is already paid for, plus powerful general purpose CPUs which run specialized photo processing and sharing apps from very rich and open ecosystems. To many people, these are devastating advantages, for whose sake they would tolerate a slower response, lower IQ, and fewer optical options. Like I said here (more context)

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2017 at 05:05 UTC as 44th comment
In reply to:

DtEW: "Free" content whose format is easier for businesses to advance their agenda from (gear reviews!) drowns-out/starves higher-minded "free" content whose format is harder for businesses to advance their agenda from.

Sadly, not a surprise.

because this is the appropriate place to advance that agenda / communicate this message

Link | Posted on Aug 15, 2017 at 16:07 UTC
In reply to:

Lee Jay: After 30+ years of being an active model airplane builder and flyer and 40 years of being an active photographer, I just can't get excited about helicopters, single or multi-rotor. I last had a camera on a model airplane in 2002.

Every time I go look for a "drone" (horrible term) that I could use for photography, it's either not available with the features I want or it's outrageously expensive (i.e. 5 figures). And every time I fly my small helicopters and quads, I get board after a few minutes. They just aren't fun to fly for me.

Terminology wise, there are even oxymoronic references to drones with pilots riding them (because, drone is a buzz|keyword that gets clicks). And then you point out a fixed wing with the same remote|auto-pilot features and the folks are like "that's not a drone", because their gerbil brain has no room for anything other than drone = quadcopter; the rest is taken up by TV shows on Netflix.

Link | Posted on Aug 9, 2017 at 14:02 UTC
On article Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 shooting experience (405 comments in total)
In reply to:

Alec: So is it Panasonic or is it Leica? I need to know in order to take a stand that this is
(a) images richly imbued with plasticity, luminosity, character, air, mystique that is proof undeniable of Leica's untouchable superiority, or
(b) meh pix from an inconsequential lens that'll be forgotten about in 2-3 years.

Oh, I see. It is starting to make sense.
Everybody knows that the very expensive Wetzlar air trapped between the lens elements has been a major contributor to Leica lens cost. I wonder if these technicians are being fed beans grown in Wetzlar in order to duly imbue these Panasonics in order to make them into bona fide Leicas.

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2017 at 23:59 UTC
On article Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 shooting experience (405 comments in total)

So is it Panasonic or is it Leica? I need to know in order to take a stand that this is
(a) images richly imbued with plasticity, luminosity, character, air, mystique that is proof undeniable of Leica's untouchable superiority, or
(b) meh pix from an inconsequential lens that'll be forgotten about in 2-3 years.

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2017 at 05:21 UTC as 21st comment | 5 replies

It would suck if brands start making bodies with distinct non-spherical curved sensor surfaces, which they patent, and proceed making lenses targeting their specific curvature patterns ... thus taking away the legacy and cross-brand lens support that SONY's E-mount full frame has given us, that was unseen since M42

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 19:43 UTC as 52nd comment
In reply to:

Nikoncanonfan: Even a broken Leica has more style, purpose, desirability and magic to it than a working Sony.. ..

It's off-message to say "purpose". Say mystique.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2017 at 19:32 UTC
In reply to:

BadScience: A reminder what happens when consumed by greed and not knowing when to let go of the rope.

Couldn't have put it better myself (and I tried). If only Slater took the high road, he'd be giving TED talks about animals left and right, and signing limited edition print that HE made of the monkey's photo, to hang in the Smithsonian, and for the Library of Congress, and for private collectors for BIG bucks.

Being inflexible and pressing your disadvantage can be a very unfortunate, toxic trap. There's a lesson for all of us.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2017 at 02:57 UTC
Total: 288, showing: 1 – 20
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