RCicala

DPReview Contributor
Joined on Oct 7, 2011

Comments

Total: 76, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Sony a9 banding issue: fact or fiction? (733 comments in total)

OMG - good science on the internet!!!! Jim and Rishi this is a beautiful thing to see.

Link | Posted on Jul 1, 2017 at 11:46 UTC as 30th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

MrBrightSide: That may look impressive, but all it is is a bunch of brackets, clamps, and rods assembled in an imposing manner. Anyone with even the most basic mechanical skills and 20 minutes can do the same thing.

My question is what is the lens they're using and what is that block through which all the cables are routed.
May I suggest that DPR use its connections in the industry to get one of the editors entrée into a full-on smart phone shoot and report back in minute detail what they observe. I bet There is one happening on the streets of Seattle this very minute. A phone call to the cities film office get you hooked up in time to go be a fly on the wall

Kharan, there are all kinds of optics you can put over the camera lens, but I'm guessing they were just using the Cine lens using focus and that spacing plate to put the image where the phone camera could see it directly.

Link | Posted on Jul 1, 2017 at 11:16 UTC
In reply to:

MrBrightSide: That may look impressive, but all it is is a bunch of brackets, clamps, and rods assembled in an imposing manner. Anyone with even the most basic mechanical skills and 20 minutes can do the same thing.

My question is what is the lens they're using and what is that block through which all the cables are routed.
May I suggest that DPR use its connections in the industry to get one of the editors entrée into a full-on smart phone shoot and report back in minute detail what they observe. I bet There is one happening on the streets of Seattle this very minute. A phone call to the cities film office get you hooked up in time to go be a fly on the wall

I'm pretty sure that's a Zeiss CP.2 but not sure which one. Maybe 85mm.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2017 at 23:42 UTC

This is my favorite article in DPR History. Made my day!

I remember when 5D Mk II video was all the rage and people would be shocked that their footage didn't look like 'insert famous filmaker'. Of course he had dollies, jibs, tons of lighting, and 16 assistants.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2017 at 19:14 UTC as 68th comment | 4 replies
On article Now we know: Sony a9 is sharper than we thought (394 comments in total)

Being scientific isn't about having the right answer. It's about trying to get the right answer and being transparent in your methodology so that others can constructively critique your methods and make them better. And then the hard part - going 'we made a mistake, we're fixing it'.

The easy thing is not show methods, not accept criticism, and scream "I'm right" louder than anyone else. It's easy. But it's bad science.

My compliments and admiration for doing the hard thing. I've had to do it several times.

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2017 at 18:58 UTC as 81st comment | 12 replies
On article Roger Cicala has had it with cheap UV filters (15 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: would have been nice if he actually said what filter was used in the test.

The label on the side said Tiffen, but I suspect the glass wasn't $10 generic filter glass. I can change the glass from one filter ring to another in about 30 seconds. If I was sleazy and had some free time it would be simple to buy dozens of scratched up filters of one brand, and dozens of $9 window glass filters, change the glass out, and sell them online at a nice profit.

Link | Posted on May 17, 2017 at 10:45 UTC
In reply to:

obsolescence: If that photo of the lens was shot by DPR's staff, they should have stopped down a lot more. The obsession with diffraction is unfounded -- proper sharpening will remedy any unsharpness at web sizes.

That was not DPRs fault, they take way better product pictures than we do.

Link | Posted on Apr 10, 2017 at 13:44 UTC
In reply to:

cosinaphile: mr cicala..... tear this lens down!

[ ronald reagan executive voice ,with slightly pompous tone ]

As you wish - but give me a few weeks :-)

Link | Posted on Apr 10, 2017 at 12:23 UTC
In reply to:

Old Cameras: On the subject of sample variation, I'm wondering how performance might shift over time and with normal (or rough) handling. Tolerances are designed in, the worst performing lens is an indication of the design and manufacturing tolerances. Take a good lens and test it once a year to see how it changes with regular use.

In general, when we see a significant MTF change, something has happened: the lens has been dropped, something inside has come loose, etc. There are exceptions, of course, but as a rental house we consider that 'it just got really soft all of a sudden' probably means 'I dropped it but there's no marks on the barrel' :-)

Link | Posted on Apr 8, 2017 at 22:05 UTC
In reply to:

TBLF: IIRC, Roger at LensRental had chose not to rent the old version Tamron 70-200 2.8 for it being "too fragile". Makes me wonder how he feels about renting this one? I didn't see mention. I can attest to the old version fragility, having had mine go through the Tamron repair dept blame me for stiff focusing, which they said was from "cracked cam barrel and you must have banged it because there is no other way for it to crack". This was with my 7yr extended warranty too... didn't matter. So, while I love the output of my Tamron, I am not in love with their service dept. FYI, my Tamron looks like it just came out of the box, not a scuff or mar on it anywhere, I don't have kids to smash things about, and it always stays in it's padded case when not in use. Yes, I'd buy another one, but only with the accidental damage policy, so I don't have to put up with this finger pointing baloney on an obviously mint lens with a factory defect of such a fragile part. There... I feel better now. LOL!

Too soon for me to tell, of course. I will say Tamron repair in the US is good and other recent lenses from them have been pretty solid, so I'm optimistic.

Link | Posted on Apr 8, 2017 at 22:03 UTC
In reply to:

dialstatic: Roger should be aware that Stigler's Law of Eponomy states that no discovery is ever named after its original discoverer ;-)

Well, what if I claim it was Aaron who discovered it? Do I have a shot then? :-)

Link | Posted on Apr 4, 2017 at 23:08 UTC
In reply to:

Deliverator: Didn't most reviewers claim Nikon's new 24-70 VR was worse than the old G? Except reviewers like Thom Hogan, who actually took pictures with it, and not test charts at 5 feet, I mean. I wonder what Roger has to say about the new version?

I said it was about equal or perhaps slightly less sharp in the center, but better off axis with less astigmatism than the original version. I called it more 'different' than better or worse. You might give up a tiny bit of center sharpness, but you get a much smoother image with good sharpness right to the edges.

Link | Posted on Apr 4, 2017 at 23:06 UTC
In reply to:

Jon Stern: It's interesting that they're testing lenses on modified cameras, rather than using a Trioptics machine.

Well, they are doing center and subassembly tests on an interferometer. But the off-axis camera testing dies hard.

Link | Posted on Mar 20, 2017 at 22:41 UTC
In reply to:

Entropy512: This is mainly for @RCicala (maybe I should post it as a blog comment instead?)

"the PCB is small and only has one large flex connecting it to all the camera’s electronics. A typical 70-200 f/2.8 would have at least half-a-dozen connections" - I see two large flexes there? The 10-pin E-mount and then another large flex going deeper into the lens.

It would be interesting to know what is on that particular board though - in future teardowns, would you mind taking detailed photos of all of the PCBs (if possible - detailed enough such that IC markings can be read) for the curious EEs in your audience? :) (Your picture of the "big" PCB is much better - the markings are a bit hard to read, but that's likely because not all IC markings are easy to read even with the naked eye...)

I probably have some better images, and certainly some that aren't cropped. You can email me roger at lensrentals and I'll send you some.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2017 at 03:13 UTC
In reply to:

OlyPent: Eventually, will this thing end-up on the used lens market?

Depending on the lens from 30% to 75%. It's not a great indicator of quality, though. For example, we'll quickly do a $500 repair on an Otus, but not a Canon 85 f/1.8. There's also the parts thing. We can buy Canon parts by the gross at reasonable prices, so a Canon lens has little value as a parts donor. We can't buy Nikon parts without going through shady repair shops in iffy parts of the world, so a Nikon lens may be worth $$$ in parts which makes that $500 repair less attractive. We can buy some Sony parts, but they're pricier and many are in big assemblies, so a Sony lens with, say, a broken mount might donate enough parts to fix 4 or 5 other lenses. So lots of Canon lenses live to be sold, but fewer Sony and Nikons, but it's more about economics than simply reliability.

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2017 at 22:02 UTC
In reply to:

Ultimax: Maybe put a drop sensor device in an easy to access panel. I think this would keep the renters and second hand market honest.

Actually the surprise was stuff didn't get dropped all that often. You know, looking on the internet I thought every package got dropped 12 times, but it turned out it wasn't worth sensors.

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2017 at 13:29 UTC
In reply to:

Ultimax: Maybe put a drop sensor device in an easy to access panel. I think this would keep the renters and second hand market honest.

We've actually done that with shipping cases. :-)

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2017 at 19:48 UTC
In reply to:

weathersealed: Praise, speculation, criticism of built products carries much less weight when then techs are not certified by Sony to repair this lens or sat down with the design team and gone over everything why and what for.

You are correct, we are not Sony Certified. We could be if we wished, but it's very expensive to buy all the equipment it requires. We sit down with their engineers regularly and have excellent give-and-take both by email and in person. BUT there are things they don't tell us and other things I can't share because of nondisclosure agreements.

So far I've been able to tread the fine line of continuing the blog despite the nondisclosures. For example, on several occasions I've done contract work for a manufacturer, then gone back and repeated the same tests on our own gear so we could write it up. That's getting more difficult and may come to an end for some brands this year, partly because being 'factory authorized' for most brands, requires complete nondisclosure.

That being said, this was, as you suggest, the first time we'd ever seen the inside of this lens. And our reason for doing it is primarily so that we can keep lenses in operation to our standards.

Roger

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2017 at 19:48 UTC
In reply to:

OlyPent: Eventually, will this thing end-up on the used lens market?

Damn, I knew I shouldn't have shown the serial number in all those pictures :-) Actually, this one is going to be a 'learning lens' for us. We'll spend time off and on for a month moving optical adjustments and seeing what effects they have, documenting, etc. writing our own manual so we can work on these. It may go back into stock some day, it may become a parts donor. If it does go back to stock, it will be one of the most heavily tested and closely analyzed lenses in the fleet.

If it does sell in two years (only about half our Sony lenses make it to sell -- see parts donor above) we'll mention it because linking to the articles will probably make it somebody's collector's item. You'd be surprised how that works.

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2017 at 19:32 UTC
In reply to:

Angrymagpie: Just in case I'm misunderstanding this, the mystery is basically: how come such an expensive and market-as-innovative-and-professional lens did so poorly in the test?

I have to repeat all the testing on Lensrentals-owned copies, and we're kind of backed up with some contract work. A couple of weeks at least, maybe a month, I'm afraid.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2017 at 00:35 UTC
Total: 76, showing: 1 – 20
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