JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Brussels, Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 136, showing: 1 – 20
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JacquesBalthazar: Funny that Barney’s pick was published the very same day I purchased my own M10, bringing me back into that idiosyncratic brand’s fold 7 year’s after I had given up on it, post M9 and M8 disappointments.

During those 7 years, I went on a merry-go-round of other systems, and had mostly settled on the Fuji X line. Way too much stuff was bought (new and second hand) or part exchanged along the way, but thank goodness I had kept a core set of M lenses and my old M6 throughout the process. It would have been infinitely cheaper for me to stay with Leica and just deal with the frustrations of the time.

Despite my best efforts, i always missed the M.

All that to say that I exchanged yesterday my whole Fuji X system against an M10. Three large supermarket bags full of lenses, bodies and accessories against one box. Still had to top that off with a little cash.

I now feel « home » again and looking forward to a great M weekend along the old streets and canals of Ghent.... Love to all!

@Ergo607: my issues with M8 revolved mainly around the obligation to use filters on all lenses to correct the horrendous magenta cast delivered by the sensor’s own disastrous IR filtering (and the sensor size). My issues with M9 revolved mainly around sensor cracks (twice) and very disappointing low light performance (low light photography historically was one of Leica M’s strongest points). I did not try next generation (M240).

Link | Posted on Nov 12, 2017 at 10:29 UTC

Funny that Barney’s pick was published the very same day I purchased my own M10, bringing me back into that idiosyncratic brand’s fold 7 year’s after I had given up on it, post M9 and M8 disappointments.

During those 7 years, I went on a merry-go-round of other systems, and had mostly settled on the Fuji X line. Way too much stuff was bought (new and second hand) or part exchanged along the way, but thank goodness I had kept a core set of M lenses and my old M6 throughout the process. It would have been infinitely cheaper for me to stay with Leica and just deal with the frustrations of the time.

Despite my best efforts, i always missed the M.

All that to say that I exchanged yesterday my whole Fuji X system against an M10. Three large supermarket bags full of lenses, bodies and accessories against one box. Still had to top that off with a little cash.

I now feel « home » again and looking forward to a great M weekend along the old streets and canals of Ghent.... Love to all!

Link | Posted on Nov 11, 2017 at 07:40 UTC as 69th comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

(unknown member): A 1.4 lens this wide with electrical contacts that in a decade will fail... only the cost of feeding one adult for a year. Hmmm , we have the RoHS problem again> it is why I dont buy. It is why I dont buy a Leica M10. It is why I dont buy expensive, and possibly good equipment. Does it/they come with a free circuit and chip replacement for when RoHS leadfree circuits crystal up and dont work any more? Well?

You may not care, but you do care when your hard drives fail, and your TVs fail for the same reason, so there must be a mental illness element operative in photographers after all!! If an item is of good quality, buy it regardless and pray it keeps working beyond its 1 year warranty, even though the price this year is 50% above last years model (Dont argue cf D810/D850 Sony A7RII/ A9, Fuji Xpro1/2 the list goes on, the financial THEFT worsens). And it is not even autofocus, and NO landscape photographer NEEDS f1.4!!

For the Nikon mount version, the lens would still operate flawlessly even if you ripped out ALL electronic components, on aperture priority mode or full manual. You would only lose EXIF data on aperture and lens ID, and the ability to pilot aperture from the body (no program mode or shutter priority automatism).

The rest is purely subjective, and all OK.

At my end, I want it, and I will trust it to still be working flawlessly in 20 years time or more, just like any other soundly built mechanical lens. In fact I am more worried about the durability of the Milvus focus ring cover material (some kind of rubber) than about any other component of that lens.

Link | Posted on Oct 19, 2017 at 12:00 UTC
On article Shooting with a used DSLR kit that cost me just $80 (284 comments in total)

Healthy exercise.

When all is said and done, a good picture will be a good picture independently of the age of the capturing device or the technology used. The combination of subject matter, composition, storytelling, creativity, “decisive moment”, interplay of light, tones and colours, are what makes a good picture.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 06:37 UTC as 54th comment
On article Vintage lens shootout: three lenses, one model (76 comments in total)

It feels to me as if the attraction of this hardware-based optical weirdness is similar to what motivates the resurgence of film: digital has made the whole photographic process "idiotensicher" and a bit too easy. An ignorant click in Snapseed will transform any snapshot into something that - to the untrained eye - will look like what would have taken years of experience and many hours of research and labouring in the "old days".

By going vintage, we try and go back to the days where the photographer needed training, know-how and experience - on top of a creative vision - to produce something out of the ordinary. However, by doing that on sensor based cameras, we opt for a lazy hybrid approach. To make this a bit more interesting, we should probably abolish raw from the process: you either get it right in camera or you failed.

No raw, no digital filters, fixed ISO, aperture-priority or full manual settings, and we are closer to what photography used to be. Not that it matters.

Link | Posted on Aug 9, 2017 at 07:22 UTC as 14th comment | 1 reply

Very nice offer by Sony indeed, allowing them to climb further up the price (and margin) ladder and be less exposed to mass market downturns, which is everyone's main objective in the photographic device business these days. The body design improvements are more than welcome as well, even if the software UI remains unwieldy. That said, Sony could have opted for a more radical departure from the a7 design and set a new standard of useability. I just cannot get along with the physical and logical user interface of the Sony a series....

Personally, I would be seduced by an offer combining the technology and announced performance of this a9 with the physical interface of a chunkier XT2 or the less pretty GFX. GFX (or Leica SL or D810) size would be better as well for hand held useability with the larger "pro" lenses, operation with gloves, etc. Wonder how this a9 handles with the new battery grip....

Link | Posted on Apr 20, 2017 at 06:32 UTC as 48th comment | 1 reply

very nice option at that FL. In the Nikon world, the only real competitor is the beautiful but manual focus Zeiss. It also feels in many respects like a modern alternative to the 180mm f/2.8 AFD (not mentionning quirky 135mm AFD) and a cost effective alternative to the recent 105mm f/1.4

From an ethical point of view, I like it that Sigma (and Zeiss/Cosina and Fujifilm) go on producing in Japan rather than join the China offshoring mob.
Price feels just about right.

The only "iffy" bit with Sigma is the FUD around long term firmware compatibility with Nikon's AF and electronic aperture management protocols. I wish these guys agreed proper licensing terms to prevent unexpected mishaps down the road. I know the dock is there to re-assure us, but all that reverse engineering just feels very risky for prospective buyers.

Link | Posted on Mar 20, 2017 at 08:07 UTC as 5th comment | 2 replies
On article Fujifilm X100F Review (822 comments in total)

Nice work all round, thanks DPR. Also thanks Fujifilm for catering to the sometimes irrational desires of passionate photographers. I have the X100T and can "feel" the benefits procured by the F upgrade without even touching one. Contrary to my first foray into the X100 concept, I now own the XPro2 and 23mm f/2 combination, which is a real joy to use. The larger size of that body makes it in fact easier to manipulate, and the WR feature is reassuring. So am not too sure if I'll take the plunge for this new little jewel... Hard to resist though, even more so after reading this nice write-up!

Link | Posted on Mar 17, 2017 at 16:12 UTC as 90th comment

truly impressive trio! Weather sealing added now, and that is great news.

Now, if only we could be sure that their AF system will remain entirely compatible with current or future Nikon cameras despite whatever firmware/processing quirks might be thrown at them .....

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2017 at 08:35 UTC as 74th comment
On article Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF bokeh demystified (355 comments in total)
In reply to:

Aroart: Bokeh is so overrated.. I Have a very strong fine art background and started getting getting serious about photography for the past 6 years.. Out of all the elements that make a great photograph bokeh is dead last.. Even photo contest winners rarely win because of, ooohhh look how blurry it is... Subject matter, Light, Composition, Story, will make or break your photograph..

@Aroart: Absolutely true! Still, for certain compositions, it is not absurd to think of bokeh the way one thinks about a studio backdrop: the texture, colour(s), mood, that help enhance the look and feel you want to communicate about your main subject. An accessory or a prop. Nothing more. Might as well use one that looks nice to your eyes, or works for your image.

Link | Posted on Feb 18, 2017 at 06:32 UTC

Beautiful! I can only imagine the thrill and dedication that went into producing this series....

To those who complain about "deja vu": with the trillions of pictures churned out in the digital age, it is getting increasingly unlikely that anyone will ever produce a photographic picture "never done before", in any style. The exception might be PJ work, as each news event will be unique. But even there, at the end, charred bodies, flag waving crowds, crying mothers, will become interchangeable in the eyes of most viewers.

Link | Posted on Jan 3, 2017 at 10:56 UTC as 11th comment
On article 2016 DPReview Readers' Best Shots: People (93 comments in total)

Great stuff, congrats to all!

Link | Posted on Dec 31, 2016 at 19:46 UTC as 33rd comment
On article Flickr reveals its top 25 photos of 2016 (190 comments in total)

Beautiful gems out there, thanks to all, photographers, Flickr, Dpr, what a beautiful world we have!

Link | Posted on Dec 17, 2016 at 15:22 UTC as 70th comment | 1 reply
On article Nikon reportedly eliminating 1000 jobs in Japan (518 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: Smartphone still has a couple of hurdles to cross before fully replacing "generalist" cameras, mainly when it comes to low light and long reach applications. But for most occasions, the smartphone does replace the dedicated device. For 99% of end users, what counts is the "impression" of quality when the pictures are visualised and shared on high res screens, from the phone up to the 4K TV in the living room. The smart phone provides that impression well enough, and very comfortably. Nikon and the others know that full well, and are responding with niche products for segmented audiences. I am sure hard core hobbyists and pros will be served well in the process, at a higher cost for end users, and with less jobs at the producing end.

Absolutely, with variations. In that context, Nikon's transformation into a leaner and more focused organisation can be seen as something promising rather than something worrying.

Link | Posted on Nov 8, 2016 at 06:55 UTC
On article Nikon reportedly eliminating 1000 jobs in Japan (518 comments in total)

Smartphone still has a couple of hurdles to cross before fully replacing "generalist" cameras, mainly when it comes to low light and long reach applications. But for most occasions, the smartphone does replace the dedicated device. For 99% of end users, what counts is the "impression" of quality when the pictures are visualised and shared on high res screens, from the phone up to the 4K TV in the living room. The smart phone provides that impression well enough, and very comfortably. Nikon and the others know that full well, and are responding with niche products for segmented audiences. I am sure hard core hobbyists and pros will be served well in the process, at a higher cost for end users, and with less jobs at the producing end.

Link | Posted on Nov 8, 2016 at 05:45 UTC as 118th comment | 2 replies
On article DPReview Asks: What was your first camera? (766 comments in total)

First kid camera to call my own: a 126 body with flash cubes. It had metering. Not sure if it was Kodak Instamatic or another brand (not the Agfa with the desirable flat red shutter button).

My first real camera was a Yashica Electro 35. A really lovely rangefinder, with two sexy little lights on top for exposure guidance.

Link | Posted on Nov 4, 2016 at 19:37 UTC as 387th comment
On article Fast and light: Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED lens review (159 comments in total)

Interesting that weather resistance has now become much more of an expectation. Same trend with higher end bodies. That type of feature is really useful,and one of the main reasons that attract enthusiasts to Fujifilm. Nikon is unfortunately a bit shy in promoting it. That might be linked to guarantee complexities of course.

It is also interesting that Sigma have done such an effort with the build and design of their Art lenses, but have completely ignored the WR aspect.

That basically leaves Nikon DSLR users with the new Zeiss Milvus and Tamron SP ranges, for peace of mind in bad weather or rougher environments. Hopefully Tamron will rapidly extend the new SP prime range at the wider and longer ends.

Link | Posted on Oct 5, 2016 at 15:29 UTC as 50th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

FodgeandDurn: Is the benefit of MF undone by the relatively slow lenses? I love Fuji and I am glad they've made something so ambitious, I am wondering what advantage this camera has over a high resolution DSLR with an Otus lens, a combination that is considerably cheaper. Of course faster lens adaptation will be a factor.

I can think of uses for this setup, but nothing that 35mm can't do, and a lot of that comes down to the lens map. More of a question than a criticism. I'd love to use this to photograph stars, but even then I wonder whether an A7s wouldn't be just as useful (of course this isn't this Fuji's intended primary use).

@Hellraiser: sorry to still disagree. My view is that, at identical pixel size, with a F/2.8 lens wide open (for example) and same shutter speed, each pixel on a MF sensor gets exactly the same amount of light as each pixel on a FF sensor .

However, if you do keep pixel sizes identical, the MF sensor will have a far higher resolution than the FF sensor. And that is "better" in itself, for large prints, large screens, cropability and whatever requires large magnification. Similarly, in the film era, emulsion of a given film (Ekta 100 for example) was the same whatever the image size, so - of course - larger formats rendered much better than smaller formats, once a certain print size or projection size threshold was reached. That was not due to the quantity of light reaching the emulsion but to the enlargement factor required from that emulsion after it was exposed to light.

Anyway, end result, is that MF IQ is awesome, and it is aweome to think I/we might be able to afford that soon!

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 10:21 UTC
In reply to:

FodgeandDurn: Is the benefit of MF undone by the relatively slow lenses? I love Fuji and I am glad they've made something so ambitious, I am wondering what advantage this camera has over a high resolution DSLR with an Otus lens, a combination that is considerably cheaper. Of course faster lens adaptation will be a factor.

I can think of uses for this setup, but nothing that 35mm can't do, and a lot of that comes down to the lens map. More of a question than a criticism. I'd love to use this to photograph stars, but even then I wonder whether an A7s wouldn't be just as useful (of course this isn't this Fuji's intended primary use).

@Hellraiser: I am not too sure of that either. I believe pixel size (at identical sensor generation and signal processing efficiency) is what makes the difference, rather than sensor size, with each pixel receiving more light, and interfering less with its neighbour, when it comes to the usual IQ criteria (outside of resolution of course).

So a MF 50 MP camera should yield better IQ than a FF 50 MP, but, outside of sheer resolution, should not necessarily yield better IQ than a current generation 16 MP or 24 MP FF. I do not have exact pixel sizes, but feels just about right to me.

At the end, it depends on required resolution for a given application. I see this Fuji being a big hit for very high end fashion photography , high end (read A1 or bigger prints) landscape/art photography, advertisement (outdoor billboards).

And of course for photo freaks such as myself who like to think they "could" do any of the above if they had the opportunity.... ;-)

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 08:43 UTC
In reply to:

FodgeandDurn: Is the benefit of MF undone by the relatively slow lenses? I love Fuji and I am glad they've made something so ambitious, I am wondering what advantage this camera has over a high resolution DSLR with an Otus lens, a combination that is considerably cheaper. Of course faster lens adaptation will be a factor.

I can think of uses for this setup, but nothing that 35mm can't do, and a lot of that comes down to the lens map. More of a question than a criticism. I'd love to use this to photograph stars, but even then I wonder whether an A7s wouldn't be just as useful (of course this isn't this Fuji's intended primary use).

(adds to my previous post here) So the IQ generated by this Fuji @50 MP would not necessarily be better than the IQ generated by a current 16MP or 24MP FF sensor, at usual print sizes and viewing distances (let's leave outdoor advert posters aside). Or when viewed at 1:1 magnification on screen. Or would it?

So, yes, this Fuji should in principle beat the A7RII or the D810 or the 50 MP Canon at their own game from an IQ point of view, but not necessarily by much, and not necessarily in ways that were obvious in the film age.

We will see of course. By the time the Fuji comes out, the FF landscape might be a bit different as well, with next generation high res sensors reaching market.

Interesting times.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 08:07 UTC
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