JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 112, showing: 1 – 20
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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

Very nice additions to roadmap, but a couple of unfortunate deletions, such as the 33mm f/1.1 WR, the rumoured UWA (zoom or prime) WR or the rumoured 200mm f/2 WR. Still no tilt & shift option.

Link | Posted on Jul 7, 2016 at 07:02 UTC as 12th comment | 1 reply
On article Elevating X-Trans? Fujifilm X-T2 First Impressions Review (1232 comments in total)
In reply to:

coody: Well, it may be hard to compete with Nikon D500 with only $400 more.

Yep, I do suppose that xt2 vs D500 will be a hot topic for conversations. Looking at the studio scene output, Fuji is very promising on IQ and looks like it might have an edge there. That and the Fuji lenses will appeal to many users who still maintain both systems (my case), as the Nikon DX lens range is full of annoying holes. if AF and new flash deliver in real life, I'd see no good reason to favour the D500. We'll see.....

Link | Posted on Jul 7, 2016 at 06:26 UTC
On article D500 owner formally accuses Nikon of false advertising (475 comments in total)

would have been better not to plaster "wifi" all over the packaging and sales collaterals, and offer the now standard level of functionality further down the line via firmware upgrade, if at all. And of course, would have been better to be ready on release date with IOS compatibility for snapbridge, as that new capability was one of the unique selling points pitched at launch. wonder what happened there, behind close doors. .... That said, there is always a reputation risk and legal exposure when PR/Marketing bend the truth or spin recklessly, even on minor points. Consumer is right here, and that could also lead to class action by professional litigators in the US. Stupid.

Link | Posted on Jun 17, 2016 at 04:13 UTC as 118th comment
On article Apple Photos gets smarter in iOS 10, macOS 'Sierra' (61 comments in total)
In reply to:

El Chubasco: Glad to see the improvements for Apple Photos. Contrary to what many have said Apple is taking its application very seriously and it has become a real tool for photographers and photo enthusiasts like me. I left Aperture about a year ago and switched to LR. I never enjoyed Adobe's interface and was not really enjoying my workflow at all. I switched to Apple Photos recently as it has become much more robust with plugins and editing capabilities. The interface is really intuitive and so simple that I can see how many will be using this great piece of software.

Quite agree it is progressing nicely. The big annoyances for me currently are the slow pace at which they update their RAW support, the relative weakness of their database management options, the sparcity of "in-app" editing tools (vs the extensions) . Still not compatible with XPro2. Have taken up LR for a month now, for that reason, but maintaining both systems in parallel for the moment, probably till Sierra is released. Will decide then, hoping Apple bridges the gap.

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2016 at 05:57 UTC
On article Setting new standards: Nikon D5 Review (505 comments in total)
In reply to:

BigOne: I'm sure this is a great camera. And it's definitely "better" than the previous one. And quite likely, better than all the competition. But looking at its insane specifications I just don't see how all that can make photos better. As an engineering exercise, yes, it's amazing, kudos to Nikon. But in practical terms... just how much more to do you really NEED? I am by no means a professional photographer, but I just don't think it matters anymore. Do WE, viewers and readers really NEED all this? Do all those technical improvements make photos better to our naked eyes?

I'm looking at the photos made with cameras of just 5 years ago, and I honestly can't see any difference. Resolution? Nobody publishes full resolution anyway. Speed? It's been fine a long time now. High ISO? To shoot at a badly lit football stadium?

I think photo cameras have reached a point in their development when improvement of specifications, however cool, doesn't add anything to the resulting image.

It is all about productivity. Reliably produce as many images as possible in the shortest possible time frame, including in the most challenging environments, with minimum post-production overhead, at a predictable level of quality that rivals with your competitors and that consistently meets the specifications of all the publication outlets you aim to sell to.

It is the overall package that counts, and being one step ahead of your rivals always helps bring bread to the family table. If I paid my bills through photography, I'd invest in this. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I do not, so there is no good reason for me to spend on this. Passion is never a good reason.

Link | Posted on Jun 2, 2016 at 03:57 UTC
On article Unfade for iOS scans and restores old prints (36 comments in total)

Just had a quick try: this is a joke of an app. Takes pic, stores it, applies an automatic filter, done. No way of tweaking anything: same cocktail each time. all it does it pumps up the warmer colours and adds a bit of contrast. Nothing you could not do just as fast with a cheap flatbed scanner and any standard scanning software. Or by using phone cam and any good editing app. In fact, it takes time to make sure the phone is parallel to pic, at right distance, no reflection on the pic surface, etc. Much faster and more precise to just slip pic on scanner surface. Only advantage I see is for people who want to scan pics directly from old albums (when visiting grandma for example)...I feel I wasted money that would have been better spent on a glass of very good beer. I'll try again this evening more thoroughly and will report back if I find the above too negative.

Link | Posted on May 27, 2016 at 03:59 UTC as 11th comment | 2 replies
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2481 comments in total)

A couple of months down the road now with my X-Pro2 and still agree with most of the facts and opinions of this review.

I just want to add my subjective bit: I am now certain that the X-Pro2 is the most enjoyable digital camera I have ever owned, FF included, and I just love the output it generates.

The JPEG OOC are almost always stunning, and the right raw processing tools produce equally brilliant results, if one decides to rebake pics in PP.

In summary, for me personally, the XPro2 easily beats any digital M (or any mirrorless I ever tried) from both the shooting experience (build, design, operation) and the IQ standpoints.

Really looking forward to the X-T2 now, hoping to leave DSLRs behind for good. Will depend mainly on the haptics: the design of additional grip and balance with the bigger zooms need improvement compared to X-T1. A slightly larger/heavier body would be nice. Assuming IQ will be on par with X-Pro2, and hoping speed of operation further improved... :-)

Link | Posted on May 24, 2016 at 06:15 UTC as 28th comment | 1 reply
On article Benchmark performance: Nikon D810 in-depth review (255 comments in total)

very interesting review, and worth the wait. In particular, it is great to get some solid and replicable data across brands and combinations of lenses and bodies on the previously mysterious interaction cocktails between mirrors, shutters and VR.

Interesting to see those specific cases where the remedy (VR) can increase the illness symptoms (blur).

This begs the question of potentially similar downsides with IBIS on high density sensors, both in DSLRs and mirrorless. Any opinions?

Link | Posted on May 13, 2016 at 05:41 UTC as 45th comment | 1 reply

Neat.

if I had the disposable income, this the current digital M I would get. And then its Monochrome limited edition when it comes (with the ISO wheel in Leica-correct black I am sure).

But, since I do not have that funding, I'll celebrate this launch today by loading my 25 year old M6 with a roll of "real raw" organic sensor material, and have the full experience.

Last time I changed the battery on the M6 was 5 years ago, by the way, and I do not even have to worry being stuck if it runs out of juice.

In your face, M-D.... :-)

Link | Posted on Apr 30, 2016 at 06:56 UTC as 79th comment
In reply to:

Murat Sahan: Its incredible that an APS-C camera can give useble pictures at iso 12800 but it seems like it can. Bravo Nikon Actually, had a new look with the low light setting and it looks even better than the competition at ISO 12800. Almost as good as the D750

Agree with @HowaboutRAW on Xpro2. There is a lot of smearing of details in the high ISO D500 samples, which hides the noise.

Xpro2 has more noise at same iSO but much more detail. And that noise looks like tight grain rather than a mix of smudges and artifacts. In fact high ISO D500 jpeg samples remind me of previous generation Xtrans in terms of "smearing", Except it climbs much higher up the ISO ladder.

The above does not change anything to the fact that the D500 looks like a fabulous picture taking machine, and is really tempting.

For people with mixed Nikon/Fuji estates (quite a few of those around), this D500 is going to create a problem for the coming XT2. If it had a couple more wide angle prime lens options, I'd be tempted as well. Oh, darn, I am tempted anyway.

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2016 at 07:07 UTC

Nice performance. But not that extraordinary. Is there baked-in NR going on ?

looking at 12800 ISO for example (a "reasonable" super high setting that occurs in real life) and at 6400, I feel I see "smearing" in the D500 pics, that I do not see in, for example, the Xpro2 ones at same setting, which in turn has more visible "grain" noise. I see that quite easily in the faces. And I had noticed as well in the high iso images posted in the forum (birds and dogs).

So, less visible high ISO noise, but also a bit less detail?

Again, a great camera overall, probably one of the greatest at this moment in time....

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2016 at 04:13 UTC as 67th comment
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: Does this process work with third party lenses, or does the individual calibration of lenses require Nikon to Nikkor?

That is encouraging, thanks!

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 11:29 UTC

Does this process work with third party lenses, or does the individual calibration of lenses require Nikon to Nikkor?

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 02:31 UTC as 82nd comment | 3 replies
On article Fujifilm X70 Review (364 comments in total)

Interesting to compare the haptics between GR and X70. Both are clearly made for "expert" photographers, but come to the essentials from radically different angles.

I am an old analogue dials and knobs kind of guy, and am very comfy with my Fujis, but I do realise that in the digital age, the traditional interface embrassed by Fujifilm is not necessarily the most sensible.

The GR also claims solid 20th century roots by pointing back to the film GR1 of course. But that interface matured really nicely. It is a truly ingenious design.

I still have and enjoy the Nikon A (purchased before Ricoh GR was launched) and I very much enjoy the X100t. But if I had neither, I'd now go for the GRII I think.

Pity these guys screwed up the GXR adventure: a proper MILC with Ricoh GR haptics could have been a real hit.

Link | Posted on Apr 19, 2016 at 11:58 UTC as 48th comment | 2 replies
On article Fujifilm X-Pro2 firmware update 1.01 now available (75 comments in total)

I only had the reset once, on first day, but nice to have the fix so fast. Their speed of reaction is great here, and, more generally, I feel very safe, as a customer, in the knowledge they have consistently embraced constant improvements post release for all their X bodies and lenses. That is exactly how it should be in this fast paced digital world.

Link | Posted on Mar 25, 2016 at 05:29 UTC as 6th comment | 1 reply

I have the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AFS, and it does a stellar job. But this one is really really tempting based on spec sheet. The VC in particular will bring real advantages for low light portraiture or general night photography (cityscapes, etc). Also their new SP build + WR is much nicer than Nikon's f1.8 range, as I found out since purchasing the 45mm. If it renders as well (or better) than the Nikkor, it should be worth the investment. The 90mm is appetising as well.

Link | Posted on Mar 23, 2016 at 11:55 UTC as 15th comment
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2481 comments in total)

"Singular device" indeed, and a wonderful shooting experience, with great quality results. The Xpro1 was a great draft, while this is already a classic in my own personal pantheon of classics, and the only digital classic that comes to my mind just now....

Link | Posted on Mar 15, 2016 at 04:07 UTC as 115th comment

These look like fun! If reality matches spec sheets, and they are as fast and reactive as I hope, these might be the snappiest "compacts" around, with enough quality for 99% of enthusiasts. Well done!

Link | Posted on Feb 23, 2016 at 05:45 UTC as 156th comment

Very, very appetising! Going to be an expensive Easter!

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:26 UTC as 43rd comment
Total: 112, showing: 1 – 20
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