RCicala

DPReview Contributor
Joined on Oct 7, 2011

Comments

Total: 45, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

Frank_BR: Great work by Roger Cicala, as always.

The difficulties experienced by Roger Cicala to dismantle the Canon 5D Mark IV came basically from not having access to the service manual of the camera. Manufacturers are increasingly reluctant to provide information and parts for maintenance by anyone other than authorized centers. The consumer is treated like a king when he/she spends his/her hard-earned money on a product. Sadly, immediately after the purchase manufacturers start to consider the consumer as an idiot who must be away from any maintenance, however simple it may be. In fact, the maintenance of a digital camera is not so complicated if you have the right information and right parts.

Frank is exactly correct. We generally have to 'reverse engineer' everything. Access to manuals isn't happening so we have to make our own. A certified repair shop would have the manuals, and next time we do it we'll know what to expect.

An orderly disassembly is the key. You can't usually tell from the teardown articles but every piece is laid out in a specific order, every screw kept by it's hole, etc. If not we'd have zero chance of reassembling. If it's laid out properly, another tech who had never seen the camera should be able to sit down and reassemble it without difficulty.

Actually one of the reasons we started publishing teardowns is we would take pictures of 'first disassemblies' so we'd have reassembly documentation.

Link | Posted on Sep 12, 2016 at 13:51 UTC
On article Comparison Review: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA vs 55mm F1.8 ZA (255 comments in total)
In reply to:

zeratulmrye: I think it would be more interesting to see a comparison between this lens and the 50ART

BTW: funny some people would rather trust MTF data from a heavily DIYed optical bench than actual pictures...

Honestly, Edna, that's what I do too. And how I think it should be done.
Roger

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2016 at 19:38 UTC
On article Comparison Review: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA vs 55mm F1.8 ZA (255 comments in total)
In reply to:

SmilerGrogan: Sorry guys, unless you have your own staff lens techs and a zillion dollar testing machine, I'm afraid i'm going to have to vote with Roger on this one.
Your field tests are fine in a mid- to late 20th century way, but lets face it, they're not dispositive of anything except your particular camera and lens on a particular day with your particular atmospheric conditions.

Rishi, I totally agree. It does seem from your reports and others, that the 55mm may be better, or at least equal, from a resolution standpoint off-axis. I think it's a close call that will come down to copy variation.

In the small center area I don't have any question the 50mm f/1.4 is amazingly sharp, probably the best of any mid-length lens. But that's not of great importance to a lot of photographers. It is, however, awesomely cool to geeks like me. So this may be one of those times where my geeky enthusiasm doesn't translate well to most people's photography :-)

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:57 UTC
On article Comparison Review: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA vs 55mm F1.8 ZA (255 comments in total)
In reply to:

SmilerGrogan: Sorry guys, unless you have your own staff lens techs and a zillion dollar testing machine, I'm afraid i'm going to have to vote with Roger on this one.
Your field tests are fine in a mid- to late 20th century way, but lets face it, they're not dispositive of anything except your particular camera and lens on a particular day with your particular atmospheric conditions.

Actually the copy variation is quite good with the 50mm f/1.4 Sony. But every lens from every brand has some. It's impossible to completely eliminate it.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2016 at 00:34 UTC
On article Comparison Review: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA vs 55mm F1.8 ZA (255 comments in total)
In reply to:

SmilerGrogan: Sorry guys, unless you have your own staff lens techs and a zillion dollar testing machine, I'm afraid i'm going to have to vote with Roger on this one.
Your field tests are fine in a mid- to late 20th century way, but lets face it, they're not dispositive of anything except your particular camera and lens on a particular day with your particular atmospheric conditions.

Rishi, great review! I'm a little concerned that the mid-range sag in the 50mm f/1.4 might be overstated a bit in my test results. It's possible that the slight difference between our 2mm glass in the MTF machine and the 2.3mm glass in the cameras may make it appear a bit worse than it really is, if anything. But I'm pretty comfortable the 50 f/1.4 should be a bit better around 16mm.

Still the difference is pretty small and I think sample variation is probably larger than the 'difference on average' we saw. Both, as you say, are great lenses.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2016 at 22:02 UTC
In reply to:

Karl Persson: Interesting, but RC uses some terms quite loosly:
I wouldn´t call a voice coil an "electro magnet" and I certainly wouldn´t call cams and rollers a "helicoid".

Karl, you are completely correct, of course. I was sloppy trying to get that done before I had to leave town. Thank you for the correction.
Roger

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 12:33 UTC
On article How to: iFixit disassembles the Fujifilm X100T (102 comments in total)
In reply to:

Requin: So it would be possible to turn it into a full spectrum camera by just replacing the part shown in slide 9 with a clear glass equivalent?

Should be quite possible.

Link | Posted on Mar 20, 2016 at 12:40 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: Some very sensitive people complained that Roger Cicala eviscerated the lens. They didn't need to be so mortified. The lens was already dead. It had been assassinated by suffocating in water. Not by Roger Cicala, of course.

absolutely!!! I'm changing my title at work to Lensslasher effective immediately.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 12:23 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: Some very sensitive people complained that Roger Cicala eviscerated the lens. They didn't need to be so mortified. The lens was already dead. It had been assassinated by suffocating in water. Not by Roger Cicala, of course.

While I didn't use it in the original title, I did use it in the text to describe the part where we took all of the internal structures out of the barrel.

I was a physician long before I started playing with lenses and the definition of the term I've I've always used is "to remove the internal contents". That seemed fairly appropriate when we were pulling all of the inner elements and electronics out of the barrel.

Obviously, others feel differently about the term, but at the time I thought it a pretty accurate description.

Roger

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 01:29 UTC
In reply to:

c45: melland wrote: "Well I guess there come a point where the author has to assume a certain level of education / intelligence / interest from his readers..."
Could also be a case that the author is targeting his article at idiots, possible? Also, by starting this article with " How tough it can be?... " the authors expose their own ignorance of a design, manufacturing and marketing process, there is nothing mysterious here!!!!
Most people praising this article for its "educational, eye opening qualities" had never been involved in any design/manufacturing process. Making glass lenses is 400 years old, like any other product lenses are designed for a target market. Sony asked for a SUPER SHARP, low CA lens and they got OTUS.
Some will be happy with it and some will not.
The implied "overwhelming" straggle needed to produce a lens is a nonsense! Maybe LR can not deliver on the quality of their rented, re-rented, re-re-rented, re-re-re-re-rented................. lenses?

Actually our published testing involves new copies. We test them when they arrive so that later we have a comparison if there's a question of whether they've changed.

Link | Posted on Feb 14, 2016 at 00:14 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: Roger Cicala's article is interesting, but it reflects his particular view of the manufacture of lenses. An optical MTF bench is not an appropriate tool for mass production of lens. A computerized test (like Imatest) is perfectly suitable to verify if a lens that just rolls off the production line is within specifications. By the way, computerized lens tests measure MTF, don't they?

(it continues...)

A good point, and they are tested using a Imatest-like setup on a computerized line. Some differences, though: these assemblies are very small, robotically assembled, and of low cost. The 'throw in the trash if not OK' principle is applied. I've been told by people involved that between 20% and 35% fail. The failure rate is just built into the cost.

Still, I think a similar principle is being applied during assembly with some photo lenses - when cemented groups are cemented and when some other groups are mounted. It's just this kind of thing that I think is (and will further) improve consistency.

Link | Posted on Feb 11, 2016 at 16:59 UTC
In reply to:

emfor: Cudos to Roger and Aaron.
I am very excited about the teardown of the Sigma Art.
I dind't find it at the lens rentals page.

I'm writing up the teardown of the Sony 35 f/1.4 now, we'll follow with the Sigma Art next week and probably the Zeiss to try to give everyone some comparisons.

Link | Posted on Dec 10, 2015 at 14:20 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: It's amazing how people are easily impressed, especially when they are predisposed to. For example, Roger Cicala said "We were impressed with 6 screws to hold onto the filter barrel, most lenses use 3". What is the point of using "6 screws to hold onto the filter barrel" when the mount of a Canon camera, including the professional 1D, is held with "only" 4 screws? It seems that Roger Cicala did not realize that the 6 screws he mentioned are adjusting screws, as the presence of the small springs strongly suggests. These 6 screws probably serve to shift and tilt the front optical group.

A good engineering design is not one that is over-engineered, but one that has no weak points.

Actually, that was his first thought. But since they 1) have no connection to the front group, or to the barrel containing the front group or any other optic, 2) are not adjusting, they all set to a single tension, and 3) the front group is not adjustable, that didn't make much sense.

Link | Posted on Dec 10, 2015 at 13:23 UTC
In reply to:

David Kinston: I'm crying - you ignored my sigma 85/1.4 boohoo

David, unfortunately we didn't have enough copies in-house to do the Sig.

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:35 UTC
In reply to:

Horshack: The copy variation scores in Roger's tests for some of the more expensive lens is appalling and unfortunately matches my own experience. Over the course of two years I've tried 3 different copies of the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II and have yet to find a copy that is anywhere close to reasonably centered, even stopped down to f/8 and tested on a lowly 5D. Here are photos of two samples, as compared to my 24-105 which is perfectly centered

Copy #1, 24-70 f/2.8 II @ 50mm f/8 vs 24-105 on 5D:
https://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/i-6NghqG2/0/O/i-6NghqG2.jpg

Copy #2 - 24-70 f/2.8 II @ 35mm f/4 on 5D (right side tilted/soft):
http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/i-S8ncn7M/0/O/i-S8ncn7M.jpg

24-105 @ 35mm f/4 on 5D:
http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/i-2rN4XcB/0/O/i-2rN4XcB.jpg

Rishi,

We're doing 70-200 f/2.8 zooms now and should have results pretty soon. I'm not sure we'll get to the f/4s anytime soon though. You make a great point about IS units adding variability, paritcularly with regards to the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. I've been told that the first two generations of IS did, indeed, add a lot of variability, but that newer IS units have much less effect. But that's been exactly my impression with lenses like the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 100-400 IS, and 300 f/4 IS.
Rgoer

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2015 at 01:11 UTC
In reply to:

win39: I wonder whether Lens Rentals has ever tested a single lens 10 times and gotten variation?

It is a really good point, and of course we have. That's one of the things that got us moving from Imatest to an optical bench. Bench variation is less than 1% compared to 3 to 4% for repeated measurements with Imatest.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2015 at 15:45 UTC
In reply to:

(unknown member): I've seen this on almost every Nikon owned, not at f16, but when shooting macro and working at effective apertures of f32 or higher. Not as dense as what's shown, but visible in that specific situation - macro, highly stopped down.

I suspect that there's a "tolerance" level for the spots...

We reported it to the manufacturer 3 days before publishing, making sure they weren't sandbagged by it. But we are not a retailer of the manufacturer. We buy our stuff from camera stores just like everybody else.
Roger Cicala

Link | Posted on May 1, 2015 at 18:43 UTC
On article LensRentals looks into the Canon EF 16-35 f/4 IS (62 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peiasdf: Isn't Roger "Len's Rentals" so why is he saying management tell him this and that?

Always enjoy reading his lens test and disassembly.

I had a great time starting Lensrentals, but I haven't been Lensrentals in a long while. There are 70+ people working there now. My skills don't include managing a big company.

Several years ago I sold a significant portion of the company to the guys who were actually running it: juggling depreciation, following human resources guidelines, negotiating logistics, and all that business stuff that I don't really know how to do, and never want to learn.

I still run the quality assurance and repair departments, but don't do anything with day-to-day operations - management runs that and I stay out of their way except at monthly meetings.

Roger

Link | Posted on Aug 9, 2014 at 21:51 UTC
In reply to:

sneakyracer: Lens Rentals stopped shipping to Puerto Rico for the same reason even though Puerto Rico is part of the US Postal system. I needed some gear while I was there and Lens Rentals said no way. Never again. Too bad, I liked their service.

We discontinued Puerto Rico not so much from theft, but simply because there were so many delayed shipments (and we refund the rental fee if things arrive late) that we were eating 1 of every 3 rentals to PR.

Roger Cicala

Link | Posted on Aug 1, 2014 at 14:49 UTC
In reply to:

Adam Maas: So Lens Rentals Canada has chosen to halt all shipments with Canada Post and instead ship via Canada Post??? Really?

Hint for non-Canadians: Purolator is Canada Post's courier service.

And yes, Purolator does use a lot of Canada Post infrastructure, including most Post Offices. They do use some different distribution centers in major cities but for most of Canada the only difference between the two is the paint job on the van.

Actually, I think they're doing a very right thing and fulfilling the orders they've already committed to, and using Purolator as the lesser of two evils for doing so. But they aren't accepting new orders at all.

Link | Posted on Aug 1, 2014 at 14:48 UTC
Total: 45, showing: 1 – 20
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