Alec

Alec

Lives in United States New York City, NY, United States
Works as a Photographer
Has a website at http://karasevstudio.com/
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.

Comments

Total: 256, showing: 21 – 40
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In reply to:

aramgrg: Why is 2.8 this big? Nikon is doing 1.4. It could've been 2.0 or at least 1:1 macro.

@TrojMacReady great link. Yup. A lot of folks think bokeh is simply the amount of blur. Any lens can blur the foreground/background if it's relatively far from the main subject, and extra-wide aperture lenses can do it with a shorter separation distance.

However bokeh is really the quality of the blur not the amount. The example you cited is great because the Nikon lens produces plenty of blur but it's very wiry quality, not smooth. (Bokeh isn't limited to how edges of the out of focus highlights are rendered, it's for everything - just more obvious on the highlights).

A great bokeh lens delivers a better "visual signal to noise ratio" in that there's less "visual hiss" in the background that takes attention away from the main subject. It's expensive to make a lens that is both great bokeh and sharp. Many manufacturing-friendly optical formulas that deliver great MTF are inherently horrendous at bokeh - it's a bit like going nuts with a sharpening filter in Photoshop.

Link | Posted on Feb 7, 2017 at 21:27 UTC

Glad to see Minolta heritage lives on!

I use the Minolta 135/2.8 STF. It's a manual focus lens - as STF complicates AF enormously and I reckon back in the day Minolta didn't have the tech.

On its Maxxum 7 (film) body, Minolta had a special STF mode where it would do a multi-exposure at varying apertures - for a fixed camera and subject, it mimicked what the STF lens did, with any lens.

They also had series P Portrayer filters, that slightly blurred yellow/orange (skin) tones only.

In other words, Minolta has a significant heritage in "run-and-gun" glamour (Hassy and large format counted more on retouching and deliberate staging / extensive light modification vs. Minolta's tools & tech to get the most out of given subject & scene).

Link | Posted on Feb 7, 2017 at 17:27 UTC as 66th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

aramgrg: Why is 2.8 this big? Nikon is doing 1.4. It could've been 2.0 or at least 1:1 macro.

I use the Minolta STF. It's a manual focus lens - as STF complicates AF enormously and I reckon back in the day Minolta didn't have the tech.

On its Maxxum 7 (film) body, Minolta had a special STF mode where it would do a multi-exposure at varying apertures - for a fixed camera and subject, it mimicked what the STF lens did, with any lens.

They also had series P Portrayer filters, that slightly blurred yellow/orange (skin) tones only.

In other words, Minolta has a significant heritage in "run-and-gun" glamour (Hassy and large format counted more on retouching and deliberate staging / extensive light modification vs. Minolta's tools & tech to get the most out of given subject & scene).

Link | Posted on Feb 7, 2017 at 17:26 UTC

I've two of the 8GB CF Ducati cards. In use to this day, without fail.
I got them on sale which reduced the price premium somewhat. At the time they were the fastest to clear the camera buffer when shooting bursts, and the fastest being recognized and popping up thumbnails in Lihghtroom import when inserted into a computer. I certainly got my money's worth.

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2017 at 20:08 UTC as 2nd comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Fujica: People actually buy these waste items?

I've two of the 8GB CF Ducati cards. In use to this day, without fail.
I got them on sale which reduced the price premium somewhat. At the time they were the fastest to clear the camera buffer when shooting bursts, and the fastest being recognized and popping up thumbnails in Lihghtroom import when inserted into a computer. I certainly got my money's worth.

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2017 at 20:08 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

Entopy, my dear, if only you knew! Have been tinkering with optics and adjacent tech for product photography for a while - just took this for the sake of discussion: http://karasevstudio.com/img/wd/Alex-Karasev-SONY-mount.jpg

Aslo: http://karasevstudio.com/photo/consulting/build.html

Hardware is really.hard! I've gone as far as gotten a custom chip (from Russia!) for AF signals but let's just say it was the equivalent of Edison's 3rd attempt at a light bulb. As Brian Smith says on http://briansmith.com/where-are-the-nikon-af-lens-adapters/ , Nikon has underwritten a lot of complexity to uphold its mount compatibility posture for its users, whereby clients enjoy an unspoken commitment that a single-digit body will basically support whatever lens. But anybody adapting to their glass will have to do the same feat (without the benefit of a wealth of insider knowledge). I can't go on kickstyarter with what I can & know so far; it's not enough & I'll just waste people's money. Metabones!

Link | Posted on Jan 26, 2017 at 19:10 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

@Entropy512 I'm not suggesting everybody should go back to screw drive for new designs. I'm saying an adapter that implements it for the sake of providing access to tons of great pro caliber Nikon glass (a lot of which may never be released by SONY) is a great thing for the system.
A screw drive can be made to work great. Screw drives on my Sony A900 and Minolta Maxxum 9 are *powerful*. A service manual shows they have a gear ratio of about 6:1 to 8:1 (lens screw spins slower than motor with a hence higher torque). Like I said, in the recent years drones of all sorts caused a MASSIVE increase in DC motor mechanical power density. A dynamic control circuitry could send a forward / reverse peak voltage at accelerating / decelerating phases to, in this day an age, drive those Nikons faster than an F5 body ever did. The point is, that's not even necessary - just having a normal aperture stop-down and okay AF would be great. I don't get the argument that it'd be a bad thing to have.

Link | Posted on Jan 26, 2017 at 08:33 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

Re: "What you describe would be met with manual focus and the current manual aperture adapters for Nikon lenses. Seriously, the Commlite adapter is so "meh" that it's not much better than MF."

Not having to manually stop down lens aperture is a decades-old feature (late 1960s?) for a good reason, and an adapter mechanically facilitating a photographer's focusing intent on a chosen point in the frame is a useful workflow feature as well. Plus, an adapter's chip can maintain a default and per-lens aperture focus adjustments table (complex lenses shift their point of optimal focus slightly when aperture changes). So while a purely mechanical adapter gets one part of the way there, a fully automated one would significantly broaden usage scenarios and streamline everyday use as well, even with a slow AF (which, as I said above it may not have to be, and the combination of phase detection and contrast detection AF should be able to get any focusable optic optimally focused).

Link | Posted on Jan 25, 2017 at 16:03 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

@Entropy512 While I understand that an optical formula can be tweaked to enable different mechanical properties (namely leave front and back elements and length fixed for optimal weather sealing, or lighten the focusing group for faster AF), I've as yet to read a serious paper on fundamental optical differences (vs. regular evolutionary improvements in sharpness/microcontrast) of lenses "specifically designed" for digital or for phase detection or for ospdaf etc. Light rays are light rays and they will converge the same way at a given aperture and MTF. So when they say an older pro-caliber optic won't work well at all "because, new sensor tech", that smells Corinthian Leather to me big time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_leather

Link | Posted on Jan 25, 2017 at 15:45 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

Entropy512 these are valid points in isolation (i.e. if a user has a cost-free(!) choice of a native E-mount lens for every unique or otherwise useful screw-drive and/or mechanical aperture lens out there. In the broader reality of course such an adapter would give a functional access to many viable and interesting lenses that may not be released in E-mount for years, if ever. We're not just talking about a native vs. adapted nifty-fifty, but accessing an entire universe of lenses.

And even for the speed, never say never. For instance, a screw-drive Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS is meaningfully faster focusing on 9-series bodies than any incarnation of the native 70-200/2.8. But like I said it's not always about what would have been better if you could access an optically identical native optic in the same budget. For a lot of the shots, being able to focus even slowly, and operate the aperture link somehow at all, would be all that's needed to get a unique shot with a unique lens.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2017 at 21:28 UTC
In reply to:

belle100: Can we also have versions for Nikon F-mount please.

belle, 100% ! There's nothing, 0, that prevents a CPU in the adapter that directs an electrical signal to the lens's CPU and motor, from directing its own built-in pair of motors.

The adapter has enough room for even quite powerful conventional motors (there has been a massive evolutionary increase in mechanical power density driven by drones and other small robotic applications). And ring type motors could actually occupy more room than what the camera body allows, i.e. one could put more powerful and longer lasting such motors in a mirrorless adapter than what could be designed into the body.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2017 at 19:31 UTC
In reply to:

tangbunna: i have no idea about the adaptor price at that much.. but it should be worth to add extra money to get a real fullframe canon dslr without the need of adaptors.

To many folks it's more about larger system logistics - you don't want the clutter of a 2nd system body and its own set of accessories. I shoot two Sony A900's and have added D800 with a couple of lenses a few yrs ago for video and tilt/shift. Switching to E-mount and adapters will definitely clean up the system and enable all lenses to be used. If I were a casual shooter with 2-3 lenses not needing any one specific feature, I'd def. find it easier to ditch-and-switch. On the other hand, I've built a useful set of lenses over the years, while those 2-3 lenses are all that a few of my colleagues have who have been ditching-and-switching as they've jittered among the different makers' systems.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2017 at 14:44 UTC
In reply to:

Rick Knepper: Sorry Sony/Metabones, I'm buying a Fugi GFX 50S instead. More resolution, more dynamic range, mirrorless.

Using a large Canon lens on a system with a large adapter takes away one of the major "benefits" of the Sony system. Using a 3rd party adapter is a fool's errand in my estimation. AF performance will still not be as good as it would be on a Canon system.

I think the short mount-to-sensor distance benefit is inherently E-mount system-wide, while the compact size and small weight is, appropriately, a property of specific bodies. For example there are fairly large cine cameras with E-mount, and I can't fathom SONY should shy away from making an even bigger one (or say a 9-series E-mount body with a full-size grip incl vertical, to facilitate a full day of work with minimal fatigue).

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2017 at 14:31 UTC
In reply to:

snapa: I'd rather see Sony announce a few more high quality native APS-C E-mount zoom lenses and updated pancake primes myself :-/

It makes sense to be able to pair the best bodies with the best lenses (or gain access to specialist features like the mentioned f/1.2). This enables (and rewards) the manufacturers who got a specific piece right, to make more of it, instead of expecting the other makers to match that feat in every case and lament when they can't always. This is a good day.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2017 at 14:25 UTC
In reply to:

DotCom Editor: How about putting a wooden handle on it, slapping a Hasselblad logo on the front, and then jacking up the price?

Certainly would be more useful than Hasselblad's prior efforts. A limited edition would also include a bluray video of various celebrities and celebrity photogs plugging and unplugging their various devices, in a slow motion set to music, with commentary tracks of them reminiscing about the experience.

Link | Posted on Jan 20, 2017 at 01:26 UTC

Best part: does NOT support charging Sony a7-series.

Link | Posted on Jan 20, 2017 at 01:21 UTC as 5th comment

Is it me or is it a high time we have something better than 8 bit color depth on HDMI output? I appreciate it that the added bits would require a greater processing power, but 14 bit stills and 8 bit video, seriously?

Link | Posted on Jan 16, 2017 at 06:26 UTC as 4th comment
In reply to:

G Sciorio: What's the realistic life on something like this? Sony is pushing their mirrorless, customers are loving mirrorless and then there's this...

For whatever reason, demand seems robust on the A mount (I'm still on it, too, but haven't upgraded my two A9's in years). SONY aren't interested in upsetting anybody - least of all, people willing to keep paying for something.

Link | Posted on Jan 16, 2017 at 06:23 UTC
In reply to:

abudiman: I'm not sure if there's any high quality c-mount lenses out there, or if any, still on production. They should opt for m43 mount. The video is awesome but dragged down by poor lenses. Low contrast and CA is everywhere.

There are, just few big zoom ones. The fixed-focal lenses for security cameras are fairly sharp nowadays as security cameras enter 4-5MP resolution range.

Link | Posted on Nov 26, 2016 at 06:03 UTC
In reply to:

Alec: OK if we look back, Apple did it before with USB. USB was widely seen as technically excellent but struggling for acceptance on any platform, because, chicken-and-egg problem: PC makers don't want it because no peripherals, and peripheral makers don't invest because, no PCs have it.

Until Apple decided to ditch mouse / keyboard / serial port etc and ONLY have USB. It single-handedly saved USB.

Yes, it is inconvenient in a short term, but c'mon. This new connector is clearly superior and in a couple of years it'll be everywhere.

BTW I'm not an Apple fan. Don't even have Apple. Typing this on a Dell XPS13, with one Thunderbolt 3 port.

Like I mentioned in the original message, laptops used to carry 9-pin serial port, parallel printer port and the PS2 keyboard and mouse connectors. Apple replaced them all with USB, and initially people complained but soon enough the manufacturers responded by making all peripherals USB. If Apple hand't done that, nobody else would have had the resolve to break the chicken-and-egg problem (leave old ports in place because too few peripherals and don't bother switching peripherals to new port because old ones are there).

Link | Posted on Nov 12, 2016 at 20:28 UTC
Total: 256, showing: 21 – 40
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