Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

Lives in United States Denver, CO, United States
Works as a Photographic Product Developer
Joined on Dec 30, 2002
About me:

Working on Photography and Photographic software.

Proud member of the International Sigma Users Group

Comments

Total: 134, showing: 1 – 20
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Caught in the intersection between the decline of the camera market and the decline of publishing... since they were more gear focused on gear there is little place for them in a world where photography is going more and more to cell phones, or higher end specialized pro gear.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2017 at 03:02 UTC as 26th comment
In reply to:

beatboxa: He's got a great attitude & accomplishments, but there were a few areas that I think were missing in this interview: specifically, reliability and image quality.

He seems to equate things like 'corner sharpness' with 'better', but there are plenty of IQ aspects where the Arts fall short for certain applications. Portraits is a great example: when contrast, bokeh, tones, etc. matter. And the Sigma Arts generally don't do well in these areas.

Ironically, the Sigma "Arts" are some of the most technical and least character lenses out there. They should rename them to the Sigma "Sciences". :)

I really don't see Sigma Art lenses having an issue with bokeh or contrast:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kigiphoto/32561870106/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kigiphoto/33163744175/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kigiphoto/32781090780/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kigiphoto/33036234371/in/dateposted-public/

Those are all taken with the Sigma 50-100 Art. I read through the article warming against "modern" lenses but I saw very few comparison examples, and a lot of examples of the supposedly better lenses that were with very different subjects... I am suspicious. It seems like if you see some samples from a lens/camera combo that have great bokeh/contrast then you have a shot of achieving something similar. I personally think Sigma has been working nearly as hard on the rendering of new lenses as the sharpness... Sigma is far from a technical-only company, they want lively images from lenses and cameras also.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2017 at 07:30 UTC
In reply to:

Bhima78: At this point, someone just getting into photography should be really compelled to forgo native glass, and just get all the sigma alternatives. They perform as good or better, and are much cheaper. The only lenses worth it in native are the cheaper, older primes, F4 zooms and the few focal lengths Sigma has yet to build a lens for.

@rrccadI n the real world the lens exchange program is way more economical (and simple) than trying to resell an old lens and getting another in the same mount. For someone that worries so much about reliability you seem to place zero value in knowing your copy of a lens is good, something you are really rolling the dice on in the used market where you have no idea what abuse a lens has taken. Not to mention the rolling the dice of selling YOUR lens and getting scammed by a buyer leaving you with no money and no lens.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2017 at 07:08 UTC
In reply to:

Triplet Perar: Third party lenses are always a double-edged sword; you may think you get a reasonable value for reasonable money, but the issues start adding up quickly, because the lens design and tech was not made exclusively for the best benefit of one mount only, or even some cameras within that mount, and third party manufacturer certainly has no information about the planned advancement of any of the mounts or camera tech specific to that mount. Whilst at the same time, camera manufacturers know all that vital information in advance.
There are too many variables to control, and I do not see how that ends up being either cheaper or better in the long run, because manufacturers like Sigma must compromise somewhere, and very much serve heated up, generic optical designs.

That's why Sigma added the USB lens customization option for high-end lenses though, so you can tailor how a lens works with your camera. As for variables - what variables are those exactly? It seems like there's (A) does it mount nicely, and (B) can it AF well. I would say all third party lenses (not even just Sigma) have had pretty good reviews in recent years...

Reviews are extensive enough now that you can be pretty sure what you will get with either a first or third party lens - and buying first party lenses does not always guarantee quality either. Part of that is the frequent release schedule that camera companies have these days, if you have even a slightly older camera chances are that new first party lenses were not tested extensively with that camera.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2017 at 06:49 UTC
In reply to:

Sarge_: From a sales perspective, I cannot fathom why they would make a Sigma mount over a Nikon mount.

Surely there are more Nikon users who also own Sony E mount cameras than their are Sigma camera owners with E-mount cameras?

In addition to the electrical connections being the same, the Canon mount has the same rear distance to sensor, which the Nikon format does not... but doing an SA or EF mount version, Sigma gets both for free basically - and bumps up the desire/resale value of SA mount lenses.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2016 at 04:38 UTC

If he was smart he'd convert the lens to an SA mount, so he could also use it on an SD Quattro camera in the future for excellent still work that takes full advantage of the lens...

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2016 at 04:34 UTC as 47th comment
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)
In reply to:

FantasticMrFox: This camera would be a nightmare to handle for anyone whose right eye doesn't work properly (like me). Put your left eye to the viewfinder and you won't be able to reach any of the controls on the right side of the body. You'd hardly be able to hold it comfortably and press the shutter.

How can a company which continue to pump out some of the best lenses on the planet take one of the best sensors there is and put it into an abomination like this?! It almost seems like they are desperately trying not to sell cameras.

I don't see any issue using the control wheels with my left eye against the camera.

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2016 at 03:54 UTC
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)
In reply to:

NancyP: I hope that Sigma remembered to put in a socket for remote wired / wireless triggering. These are low ISO cameras, great landscape cameras, born to be used on a tripod. My Merrills are tripod cameras much of the time.

PLEASE, SIGMA...........
BETTER AND MORE STABLE SOFTWARE (SPP upgrade). Maybe SPP runs stably on other operating systems, but on Mac 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, it (last Merrill version of software 5.5) is a disaster.

The Sigma site already has a remote release cable - it attaches to the USB port.

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2016 at 03:49 UTC
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)
In reply to:

Kwick1: And yet again, DPReview won't ask a direct question that's all over the forums and unanswered by Sigma: will the new 1.8 zooms work on the APS-H model? Of course pricing and availability is also a great unknown.

Sigma says DC lenses (and all other EX lenses) will work on the H, the camera may decide to crop a bit though - hope they make that an option.

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2016 at 03:47 UTC
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)
In reply to:

Joseph Mama: Hmm. So they have an adapter for Sigma mount to E mount. And are making their own cameras. Wouldnt that mean its about time for their 150-600 to have a new Sigma mount version, so we can finally get stability AND decent autofocus?

The 150-600 already has a Sigma SA mount version that works well on the SD-1, what do you mean?

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2016 at 03:46 UTC
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)

You should mention that one reason for the new flash unit is that they have a USB dock for the flash now too, so you can update firmware and create custom flash settings from an application on the computer.

Link | Posted on Feb 25, 2016 at 15:33 UTC as 72nd comment
On article CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Sigma SD cameras and lenses (313 comments in total)
In reply to:

The Davinator: Can we please get rid of the "I own it, I wamt it I Had it" buttons? They obviously mean nothing.

I found them useful if only for the distribution of people who want the H over the C model SD Quattro.

Link | Posted on Feb 25, 2016 at 15:31 UTC
In reply to:

webber15: The future for this new release looks very bleak to me...

1...no ibis...
2...no 4k (or was it 8k)
3...no tilty/twisty screen for selfies...

Dead before it even hits the shelves ;-)

People who want selfies are already moving to phones away from other cameras.

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 22:10 UTC
In reply to:

christoph73: I own a Sigma SD14 and SD1 but I doubt I'll be purchasing another Sigma camera. For me, Sigma lost the plot when they abandoned the one thing that set them apart from all the other brands and their insipid 1/3 colour information recording Bayer sensors. I love the look of the original foveon sensors (allowing for it's limitations in low light) but as soon as they tried to join the myriads and create a Bayer like sensor that doesn't record 100% colour information, like in the dp quattros, that was the end of the love affair for me. Now they are just another brand producing forgettable cameras but nice lenses. I hope by the time my SD1 wears out they will have seen the light (and heard the wrath of Sigma users) and returned to producing cameras that capture full colour information like they used to and once again produce that 'magic' foveon image.

The new version (H) is an 8MP version in low res (using all of the layers at the same count). I don't think they need a 10MP version also...

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 22:08 UTC
In reply to:

epozar: fixed lcd.. no tnx

So sure are you? Check the viewfinder closer.

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 19:36 UTC
In reply to:

GodSpeaks: Very interesting cameras, but why oh why did they use a DSLR flange distance? Had they used a shorter flange, AND produced Sigma, Canon, Nikon and Sony mount adapters, they would have sold a lot more cameras. Doubly so, if the mount adapters were AF capable.

Who wants to buy Sigma mount lenses, other than current Sigma owners?

Well one side benefit is you can remove the IR filter and shoot real IR with the camera, without any conversion.. then put the filter back in for normal color shooting.

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 19:33 UTC
On article In pictures: PhotoPlus Expo 2015 (26 comments in total)
In reply to:

baldeagle21b: Yeah, it was pretty boring. Just a bunch of stuff. Drones were pretty cool though.

I didn't think it was boring at all - it's the first year I've been. I really liked the wide assortment of practical photographic gear - but what I liked even more were the wide range of classes and seminars you could sign up for. I took a few and they were pretty good.

Link | Posted on Oct 26, 2015 at 01:40 UTC
In reply to:

ColdViking: Betteridge's law of headlines: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

So, no.

There are a few reasons, and a far, far, far better alternative. Reasons:

1/ It runs a mobile chip, the chip will never be able to do what a laptop or desktop chip can do. Want to do RAW? Forget about it. Never going to happen. There is no way the ARM chips are going to be able to power through that.

2/ It runs an operating system designed for a phone. It shows. It doesn't work.

3/ The apps are not there, and due to (mostly) hardware and software limitations of the device, they're never going to be there either.

The alternative, if you want to use a tablet, is a Microsoft Surface Pro. It's a real PC. It blows anything ever created by Apple out of the water for real work. It also isn't all that much more expensive than the iPad pro.

The iPad "Pro" is for those easily separated from their money.

1) The processor in the new iPad pro will be a bit faster than the new Macbook. iPads today can already work with RAW files.

2) What does that even mean. It obviously works or people wouldn't buy them.

3) "The Apps Are Not There". Perhaps you missed the large numbers of demos during the keynote? The apps will be there when the hardware is there, and after the new Pro hardware comes out you will see much more serious apps that take advantage of the greater resources the pro offers.

The Surface Pro is nice but is still just a PC. The iPad Pro is coming at things from a more modern angle.

Link | Posted on Oct 3, 2015 at 22:41 UTC
In reply to:

MeganV: It looks tantalizingly close, to me.

Unfortunately, Apple's persistent need to stupefy and sandbox everything throws a few critical, structural roadblocks in the way.

(1) Screen color / brightness calibration still isn't possible, unless you duck back-and-forth into apps like Spyder gallery. How can you edit (or create), seriously, if you can't trust your screen? It's crazy that they'd put all that work into the feel and precision of the "pencil" and then *not* offer a way to calibrate color. Is it a real artist's tool or not?

(2) We need access to the file system. I've never understood why siloing files away in individual app repositories is "easier" than allowing *me* to organize them in folders of *my* choosing. "Real artists ship"--i.e., they create *a lot* of files that they need to organize.

(3) Until the iCloud (or Dropbox or Google Drive) is as fast as a connected SSD, we need a way to mount a real drive. Disallowing it seems so arbitrary!

(1) Apps can individually support a profile, if a number of them standardize around a few formats it should be pretty easy (If the calibration companies are smart they will build iOS libraries to make it easy for app developers to make us of profiles).

(2) A file system has always been the worst way to organize... except for all the others. That said you can use a real file system - iCloud Drive, or Dropbox are all options that are basically filesystems you can explore.

(3) Modern iOS devices have very, very fast SSD onboard. If you are using something like Dropbox is can easily download a large set of images locally for editing, it will sync back up pretty quickly. But again, professional apps could even have ways to shuttle back and forth to a PC over a local wired connection, or even a local external drive...

Link | Posted on Oct 3, 2015 at 22:38 UTC
Total: 134, showing: 1 – 20
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