JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

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

Comments

Total: 130, showing: 1 – 20
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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 (666 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 50th 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 386th 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
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).

@jacketpotato: most of those MF advantages are those we used to list when dealing with film (tonal gradations, etc), and they were absolutely true, and increasingly obvious the larger the film surface (6x7 beat 6x4.5, etc), at a given print size. The bigger the print size (or projection surface), the more obvious the difference as well.

It is not obvious to me that these advantages translate in exactly the same way in the digital world.

Pixel density and pixel size do impact IQ with other things equal (ISO, exposure, sensor technology/generation, etc): the larger each pixel, the less noise generated and the less likelihood of other electronic interferences. The smaller the pixels, the higher the resolution at a given sensor surface.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 08:06 UTC
On article Zeiss adds super-wide and tele- options to Milvus line (49 comments in total)

Pretty, pretty. I liked the "classic" line for its retro build and wonderful optical performance. But I do also value weatherproofing in photo equipment and innovation in design in general.

There has been too much retro styling in the last few years (this comes from a happy Df and Fujifilm user), and I am very happy to see Zeiss's "bird names" efforts, including in the manual focus space.

I do not yet own any Milvus lens, and I do not think I can reasonably invest in that line in view of my existing equipment, but there is none I would not want to own and use. The new 18mm is especially intriguing.

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:01 UTC as 5th comment
In reply to:

Don Sata: No X-Pro1

Adobe gives us Xtrans raw support, and it has even become very good at it. So do a variety of smaller developpers. It is a pity it was missed out for Snapseed, as it is a pretty cool tool (a bit too easy to use for the average Joe, which irks photo snobs such as myself). The main Fuji-centric scandal these days is that Apple have not developed anything for the new Xtrans sensors (XPro2 raw files still not supported). "Hard to develop" can hardly be an argument excusing a company with Apple's resources....

Link | Posted on Sep 2, 2016 at 06:01 UTC
In reply to:

Triplet Perar: We need lenses to tell lies, not to reveal truth. The context is always ugly in some way, let's hide all that. So we need lenses as this one to hide the ugly backgrounds in all pictures and in stories, only to show how beautiful and insanely great people are when taken outside any context.

@ovrebekk: Not serious in any way.

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2016 at 04:40 UTC
In reply to:

Triplet Perar: We need lenses to tell lies, not to reveal truth. The context is always ugly in some way, let's hide all that. So we need lenses as this one to hide the ugly backgrounds in all pictures and in stories, only to show how beautiful and insanely great people are when taken outside any context.

Absolutely. Background management or context representation take work and thought. That is so old fashioned. Opening a 100mm @ f/1.4 gets rid of the pesky reality.

Vogue look guaranteed at each click, at a fraction of the cost and weight of the 200mm f2.... (should work great with a D500 by the way...).

That said, great piece of glass, and having the automatic "delete context" option can be useful, depending on specific real world circumstances and client expectations.

Link | Posted on Aug 2, 2016 at 06:13 UTC
In reply to:

CameraLabTester: Any folks here remember the time when FAST glass was for capturing moments in really LOW light and not be obsessed with OOF Bokeh?

What? Don't tell me they're all retired! Noooo!

.

Still breathing.

That was exactly the case, as film did not accomodate darkness well at all. We did NOT want all that Tmax3200 grain that people are now adding in 1-click PP.

So, the guy who had the f/1.4 lens was able to shoot longer with lower grain and less movement blur than the guy who could not open as much. That was called a competitive advantage.

However, the razor thin DoF was seen as an UNDESIRABLE consequence of using such large apertures. A face is a face, not just a single eye. Same for objects, etc. You do not need f/1.4 or f/1.0 to fade out undesirable bakgrounds with anything longer than a 50mm.

Now, of course, if we get all that blur all over the place, it might as well be pleasant blur....

In the ISOless digital age, I assume that part of the motivation is to justify high prices (i.e. higher margins per item sold in what has become a decreasing volume market anyway).

But, well, it looks awesome nonetheless,.... ;-)

Link | Posted on Jul 29, 2016 at 06:46 UTC
Total: 130, showing: 1 – 20
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