JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

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

Comments

Total: 280, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

Old Cameras: I bought a Nikon 28/2.8 AI-S new from a dealer in 1992 for $170, still works like new. I’m guessing this Voigtlander is no better or only marginally better optically. Their 58/1.4 and 40/2 are expensive and optically mediocre. Style is not a substitute for substance.

@Old Cameras: the 58 is not "optically mediocre". It is an excellent and useful lens. The 40 is not excellent (loaded with CA) but has unique selling points (build, size, minimum focus distance). The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-S remains a very good lens. The only advantage of the Voigtlander is that you get full EXIF and can manage aperture from the body.

Link | Posted on Sep 16, 2021 at 19:15 UTC
In reply to:

Absolutic: Appreciate extended optical zoom to 77mm. Would have loved even longer. That would allow iPhone users to take nicer concert photos. (Most venues don’t allow cameras but phones are ok) or make it a more universal vacation camera. One thing I wish iPhone would finally go to 24mp from 12mp
For better ability to crop.

I wish phones were also forbidden at concerts, except maybe for a 5 mins slot at the start or encore. That forest of extended arms and bright screens is the main reason I stopped attending large audience concerts. Completely ruins the atmosphere, and the feeling of sharing a common sensory experience in real time.

Link | Posted on Sep 15, 2021 at 06:31 UTC
In reply to:

LAOGUN: 40mm? No way!! I like my iPhone 11. I just came back from Joshua Tree, I even didn't use my Fujifilm XT-30 with 18mm F2 on last day there.

Also, it doesn't have internal flash.
Last, it is really ugly.

The iPhone 12 lens specs you share provide equiv focal length (and the 13 mm equiv is a great feature) but they do not provide equiv aperture (in terms of light gathering and depth of field management). Interestingly those specs are not published by Apple or by iPhone "testers", so I had to do a bit of research. According to most sources, the sensor behind the 52mm equiv lens seems to be a 1/1.7" Sony sensor. A f/2 physical aperture to cover that sensor size is equivalent to a f/9 aperture to cover a full frame sensor.

So the Apple iPhone 12 Pro's "portrait" lens is in fact a 12mm f/2 or an equivalent of 52mm f/9 (I have rounded the precise numbers) - not that exciting anymore is it?

The GR IIIx 26mm f/2.8 lens covers an APS-C size sensor, and therefore behaves like a 40 mm f/4 equivalent on a full frame sensor. A completely different ball game when light is not optimal or you want "real" background blur.

And we could go on with resolution and pixel sizes.....

Link | Posted on Sep 10, 2021 at 07:28 UTC
In reply to:

Phillip Forsten: I wasn’t impressed with the III since the detail captured wasn’t impressive. The II on the other hand captures amazing detail. Hopefully the detail with this new version is like what is seen on the II.

@Philip : yes ideally, it would have a mini EVF option. A hot shoe based thingy of the same size as Sony's RX100 EVF would be OK. But it does not have that, and, for my usage, the rest of the GR proposition more than compensates. Also, I do not suffer from shake-induced blurry pics more than with a X100F for example. Holding at arms length does not necessarily mean being sloppy. Maybe that will be more of a challenge with the 40mm equiv. We'll see.

We are all "geeky photographers" in these forums, I agree. But I see no advantage in advertising that in crowds. My last trip was early 2020, pre-covid lockdowns, and brought me to Napoli. The GRIII was the perfect picture grabbing tool in the narrow crowded streets.

I use it for hiking as well and for cycling, and it provides some of my best landscape pics, without the stress of carrying an ILC, even with only one lens.

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 10:11 UTC
In reply to:

Phillip Forsten: I wasn’t impressed with the III since the detail captured wasn’t impressive. The II on the other hand captures amazing detail. Hopefully the detail with this new version is like what is seen on the II.

@Philip : "a camera without a viewfinder doesn't really feel like a camera": that is true. But in view of the size/volume, you quickly adapt. It is really a one hand device, that you hold at arm's length, attached to a wrist strap for safety when you pull it out of your pocket/bag. Stabilisation is a bonus in current generations. As you shoot pretty much the same way as a small smartphone, you merge in the crowds much more easily. You do not signal yourself as a "weirdo" or "geeky" photographer. The real downside of the absence of EVF is the lack of readability of the back screen in bright sunshine. That is where the tiny ovf accessory helps. But not vital.

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 05:38 UTC
In reply to:

Mortal Lion: So now I will need to buy dual pocket shirts....

Excellent! ;D

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 05:21 UTC
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: I have been using GR cameras ever since the film based GR1. The concept has been refined through the years of course, but the fundamentals have not changed. A top quality, fast and nimble photographer's tool that fits in your other pocket (the smartphone being in the first pocket). I've learned to live with the 28mm equiv lens, but this announcement opens brand new perspectives. I'll purchase it asap. I can see myself traveling with both bodies, alternating between them depending on time of day and activities. A 40mm equiv is exactly what the doctor ordered for social portraitures, outings with friends, moody pics in bars and restaurants, food pics, etc, with a level of quality infinitely higher than the best smartphones. The 28mm being ideal for landscapes and cityscape, small rooms, etc. They even provide quasi-macro. The beauty of the GR is that it is flat and rectangular. There is no excuse to leave it at the Airbnb. Great news!

@Impulses: that is very true. In good light, if you avoid pixelpeeping and if you do not mind big differences in colour balance in your vacation's bounty of pics.... :)

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 05:16 UTC

I have been using GR cameras ever since the film based GR1. The concept has been refined through the years of course, but the fundamentals have not changed. A top quality, fast and nimble photographer's tool that fits in your other pocket (the smartphone being in the first pocket). I've learned to live with the 28mm equiv lens, but this announcement opens brand new perspectives. I'll purchase it asap. I can see myself traveling with both bodies, alternating between them depending on time of day and activities. A 40mm equiv is exactly what the doctor ordered for social portraitures, outings with friends, moody pics in bars and restaurants, food pics, etc, with a level of quality infinitely higher than the best smartphones. The 28mm being ideal for landscapes and cityscape, small rooms, etc. They even provide quasi-macro. The beauty of the GR is that it is flat and rectangular. There is no excuse to leave it at the Airbnb. Great news!

Link | Posted on Sep 8, 2021 at 19:24 UTC as 111th comment | 3 replies
On article Fujifilm GFX 50S II review (499 comments in total)
In reply to:

Opie3: While a full frame camera will work better for a lot of people, this is going to provide a gap in image quality for people looking to print larger or do commercial work.

@Pixel8888 At base ISO and "equivalent" focal length and aperture, your strawman statement on APS vs FF is probably as correct as Philip's.

Things change as signal amplification increases: at same resolution (let's say 50 MP for sake of argument), larger sensors will produce less visible noise (assuming no big generation gap between sensors, as tech evolves) and cleaner images at larger print sizes.

Thing is that the sensor used in this GFX 50 is far from new, and that might counterbalance things in favour of latest gen high res FF sensors. I do not know that for a fact of course, but Richard Butler's point on "no MF magic" seems sensible in this case.

The paradigms were very different in the film days: a 6x7 Velvia slide or Portra negative puts any 35mm slide or neg to shame once you print larger than A5, the differences becoming increasingly spectacular as the prints get bigger.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2021 at 09:59 UTC

Not sure why this should be treated as newsworthy, except signalling one could save a few bucks buying now compared to October. The increase is marginal. And if that is what it takes to maintain availability of those gems, so be it. Many of these lenses are works of art in their own right. Would hate to see them vanish from store shelves.

Link | Posted on Aug 29, 2021 at 09:36 UTC as 18th comment | 4 replies
On article Nikon Z fc Review (2117 comments in total)
In reply to:

WGVanDyck: I love the Zfc concept. It's exactly what I've hoped Nikon would do for years. Yet, there is a feeling of betrayal by Nikon to this long time Nikon loyalists (Of the numerous Nikons I've owned; I still have 9 Nikon film & digital cameras on my shelf). I also have a shelf full of AF-G, AF-D, AF, and AI-S lenses that I have purchased over the years and love. The Zfc would be a marvelous home for my 28mm f2.8 AI-S, except that lens would be useless on Nikon's bulky, poorly thought out FTZ adapter. All the above lenses would only work at reduced capability, or worse. Even my AF-Ss with the FTZ would be bulky, defeating the purpose of the Zfc. And Nikon's Z lenses are generally bulky, expensive and frequently too slow at the long end. Besides, I've already spent a ton of money on Nikon glass!

That said, if you're interested in the Zfc, go for it. Nikon makes great stuff. Unfortunately, they're forcing me toward Fuji for a small camera and a couple of lenses. And all over that bogus FTZ.

FTZ works perfectly with G and E lenses. No AF with AFD lenses of course, but other functions are perfectly OK. Same with all manual focus chipped lenses (Zeiss ZF2, Voigtlander SLII lenses, etc). Only AI and pre-AI lenses (non-chipped) are handicapped, in the sense that they only work in full manual or aperture priority modes, and need to be operated at actual aperture (like any "dumb" third party lens on any mirrorless camera).

I agree with you that the FTZ looks ugly attached to the Zfc, and if camera aesthetics are the main motivator to get the Zfc, then, yeah, well...

When I get the Zfc, I'll use it mainly with the cute plastic Z 28mm (which will be cheap, light and at least as good as your old AI-S) and my stock of M-mount lenses, which are exactly the right size, weight and design for that little camera. The 50mm f/1.8 Z will become a very effective AF portrait lens when I feel too lazy or unsure for manual focus.

I'd love a small 135mm f/2.8 Z lens though...none on roadmap.

Link | Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 08:44 UTC

A very welcome exercise, and fully confirmed by my own personal experience (currently Z7 and Df). At a given sensor size and generation, more pixels has significant advantages when it comes to cropability, size potential of final prints, level of fine detail in very large prints observed at close distance. At same sensor size and generation, less pixels has significant advantages in terms of device and storage costs, readout speed, video implementations, editing speed. Noise is the same when you look at same size output up until the final print breaks down (and nobody routinely prints at sizes where 12 MP break down). Pixel peeping shows less noise per pixel for lower res bodies but that has very little to do with the end product (a displayed or printed whole image).

Link | Posted on Aug 15, 2021 at 07:38 UTC as 95th comment
In reply to:

Constantin V: That's all fine and good. I like Cosina and it's manual lenses, but fuji cameras have no good way to manual focus. Fuji develop autofocus systems and they aren't even close to good OVF-focusing methods of last century. Therefor Fuji sux.:(

p.s.

Tested cameras on their presentation, including X-Pro3. Peaking, "banding"... all methods are very weak.

Nope, manual focus works very well with Fujifilm cameras. In fact, the flexibility in choices and efficacity of focusing aids is best in class in the mirrorless world. More precise and less subject to calibration issues than any OVF. Testing complex devices at presentations is not enough to get acquainted with them.

Link | Posted on Jul 16, 2021 at 05:13 UTC
On article DPReview TV: Five best Fujifilm Film Simulation modes (207 comments in total)

I really like the idea of film simulations rather than the boring qualifiers used by most manufacturers for their jpeg settings. It kind of rehabilitates the pleasant challenge of getting it right as you shoot. Pretty much like shooting slides in the old days, you cannot count on the lab to fix some things later on. Delivering great "ready to print/share" jpegs adds real value to the camera. People who preach for "raw only" get it wrong: they add to their workload and computer time. Systems should aim to be good enough and user-friendly enough to avoid that extra workload. In that sense, Fujifilm and the "film simulation" terminology of its jpeg engine settings are the best I know. Usually better than any LR recipe. Add raw files for backup. Delete them after you check the jpeg results. Shoot more, process less.

Link | Posted on Jun 18, 2021 at 04:51 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Photodog2: Why the apostrophe around the phrase - due to production reasons? That's amateurish. It's what one does in a casual e-mail to friends hinting there may be more than meets the eyes. A professional journalist should discuss what might be the real reasons behind possibly specious phrases in a company news release.

@gannon burgett: that is entirely correct. Nikon issued a press release. A press release is a format of communication an entity uses to inform the market of a position it feels the need to publicise (other forms include advertisement or press interview/conferences, etc). The entity publishes the release on a section of its web site dedicated to such communications for further reference and sends it to a list of outlets and journalists hoping they will relay the content, and insure dissemination of the message. The outlets/journalists decide what they do with that: nothing or echo the content (as DPR did here) or investigate further before publication (a resource hungry option). In this context, quotation marks are absolutely necessary to allow readers to understand the status of the information they are reading: it is an extract from a press release. Same would be needed if one used an extract of an interview or another public quote from the company or one of its employees.

Link | Posted on May 22, 2021 at 07:12 UTC

Reminds me of the good old Leica R days: Sigma for most zoom lenses and Minolta for all R bodies up till R8/9.... same debates back then!

Link | Posted on May 13, 2021 at 11:18 UTC as 5th comment

Gorgeous!

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2021 at 14:33 UTC as 16th comment
In reply to:

cjcampbell: For those complaining about the price, I think Ken Rockwell had it right: Leica isn't really about better photography; it is about owning nice things. And I really can't fault people who want to own nice things. By any practical measure, for example, a Mazda CX-5 is a far better car than a Ferrari. But people do not buy Ferraris because they think they are better than Mazdas. They buy Ferraris precisely because they are expensive.

Not "because they are expensive", but because most of their models (not all) are built around an intellectually and culturally rich design philosophy (a bit like Apple, in the "real world", including the attention to packaging), and their construction is quite unique (from the materials used to the factory processes). Which is why they are expensive. Branding is key also, but in Leica's case, branding is not the only element. You buy a Leica (the M of course, and also some of the other models) because of that. Same for the Ferrari, except the Ferrari can do so much more than 99% of other cars in terms of speed and engine power. A Leica (body or lens) does not perform better than current generation photographic . Analogies with a Rolex vs a basic quartz watch are better indeed, or with an iPhone vs mainstream Android offerings.

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2021 at 08:25 UTC
On article Nikon Z6 II vs Canon EOS R6 - which is best for you? (663 comments in total)

Bah, as it always has been, ever since I first purchased a camera and bought my first issue of Chasseur d'Images (700 years ago it sems), it is all the same. I went Nikon because I stupidly thought back then that Canon was a US brand (the word sounds English). No other "reason". I prefer sushi to burgers. I also liked Contax/Yashica, and still regret their demise. And I like sauerkraut (only reason I can find for my soft expensive spot for Leica). At the end, much of Fujifilm is still produced somewhere in Japan, so, well, Fuji also still sounds good to me (and their designs flatter my old bones). Ultimately, this is just fun and games.

Link | Posted on Dec 30, 2020 at 12:19 UTC as 26th comment
On article Gear of the Year: Dale's choice - Fujifilm X-Pro3 (232 comments in total)
In reply to:

the_uteboy: I heard the Dura versions came out in 2020, so maybe the timing is relevant. Feeling like a d*ck carrying my Nikon DSLR around the streets I purchased an X-Pro3 in 2020, along with the 23, 35, 50 f2 lenses. The DSLR has it for speed and ergo over the XPro3, but the Nikon has no character... it just feels dated and clinical, albeit a proficient tool. The XPro3 with it's relatively crappy battery life nonetheless has character that counters its relative lack of speed. I'll still buy a Nikon mirrorless system once my DSLR dies as my main business tool, but the Fujifilm is a fun little camera to use. The Sunday convertible!

Yep, my exact feelings as well. Wish i could afford a Sunday convertible though! :)

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2020 at 11:50 UTC
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