keepreal

keepreal

Lives in United Kingdom Enfield, United Kingdom
Works as a Retired, was Information Technology Manager
Joined on Mar 24, 2007
About me:

Amateur with a passion for pictorial photography of more than fifty years.

Comments

Total: 185, showing: 1 – 20
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I am hoping for good news about the new Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT. If it has minimal distortion, is sharp to the edges at f/5.6 and comes at a reasonable price, then this may solve all my problems. I may get rid of my bulky and heavy APSC outfit to instead rely upon my Olympus E-PL3 with VF-4 EVF.

My first camera is a Nikon D300 (OK there is better now) mostly used with the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM near to 12mm for landscapes. Mine is one of the good ones and that combination at smaller apertures satisfies me, even for very large prints. My hope is the new Laowa lens works as well on MFT.

There are better MFT cameras with more pixels but for my work this is not essential. Download the original at https://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3894780139/photos/3302669/ and view to a suitable size to judge that. But remember that in a matt print the demands are a little less. This was taken on the E-PL3 with the m.Zuiko 12mm F2 ED cropped to match my TV as monitor.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2016 at 12:43 UTC as 14th comment | 1 reply

Is this pyramid selling? I mean the crowd funding part. Surely, nobody is going to tell me this is made to a very high tolerance for cine users. I am sure I am safe, unlike elsewhere where I commented on similar lens offerings.

If anyone wants it, I have a pack of six rolls of bread for $100 + PP $35. Please get in touch.

Link | Posted on Sep 11, 2016 at 12:15 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

keepreal: There must be a lot of idiots out there. Otherwise we would not see lenses from Cooke and other manufacturers as such ridiculous prices. I am sure they are nowhere near worth anything, even a lot less than the asking prices.

I would be a lot happier if people with more money than they know what to do with gave it to help those in the poverty trap get educated and motivated to better themselves. Some do of the own accord, but not that many can see how. The divide between the rich and poor has widened since the 2008 credit crunch, the wealthy mostly escaped the consequences but the mostly innocent less well off have faced the brunt of it.

If I thought there would be any chance of success, I'd like to see a worldwide boycott of Cooke, Meyer and other manufacturers behaving like this - not just in optics or photography, by the way.

Thematic "I have flagged your dpreview account for abuse and hope you get banned." Should I return the favour of trying to ban you for going off the deep end? Have you ever heard of free speech?

I warrant that a premium is justified if there is a market for products manufactured to closer tolerances but that does not justify extortion. Unless of course, they are designed to photograph the dark side of the moon from earth, in which case prices like these sound just about right.

Link | Posted on Sep 6, 2016 at 21:55 UTC

There must be a lot of idiots out there. Otherwise we would not see lenses from Cooke and other manufacturers as such ridiculous prices. I am sure they are nowhere near worth anything, even a lot less than the asking prices.

I would be a lot happier if people with more money than they know what to do with gave it to help those in the poverty trap get educated and motivated to better themselves. Some do of the own accord, but not that many can see how. The divide between the rich and poor has widened since the 2008 credit crunch, the wealthy mostly escaped the consequences but the mostly innocent less well off have faced the brunt of it.

If I thought there would be any chance of success, I'd like to see a worldwide boycott of Cooke, Meyer and other manufacturers behaving like this - not just in optics or photography, by the way.

Link | Posted on Sep 6, 2016 at 19:56 UTC as 9th comment | 16 replies
In reply to:

Kaso: What's the value of this article? How can Lr be mentioned together with Ps? What about Capture One Pro and Corel Paintshop Pro, to name just two worthy competitors?

DPReview should stick to camera reviews. When doing so, DPReview should adopt a "suggestive" tone, not a "definitive" one. The serious (non-troll) comments tend to be more insightful than the articles themselves.

I agree with your last comment entirely, except many of the equipment reviews are superficial, misleading or both, especially the award of stars even for flawed equipment.

I still think DP Review is a great source for reviews in much more detail than anywhere else, but you have to check out if what they say is entirely true or sometimes only partly.

One thing I learned from DPR readers that is enormously valuable to know - so repeat here - is that Adobe DNG Converter need not only be used to reformat other types of RAW images to DNG. If you specify in preferences/custom DNG 1.1 demosaiced, that results in things like lens correction distortion actually being carried out. For some that may be the only way of getting that without paying for other software that can do that.

Occasionally learning gems from other readers like that make DPR's foibles worth putting up with. I use it to convert RAW from my Olympus E-PL3, as what I use for my main camera gives substandard results.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2016 at 16:25 UTC

I should have added to what I wrote earlier that using CS2 or any other old image editing software does limit you to JPEGs if you have a newer camera. I do, so I use what many people call a RAW developer before CS2, and regard Capture One and others as being of that kind. Not only does that enables you to optimise the compression of a wide range of light into what you can view on a monitor or print with excellent tonal gradation, some of them allow you to merge bracketed exposures for high dynamic range. But be careful, some of them are hopeless with even the tiniest movement of the camera if not on a tripod, or movement in the subject, like leaves even moving slightly in the breeze.

I use Machinery HDR Effects which is very cheap, easy to use and is superb. In fact, unlike anything else I have used, you do not have to mess around with controls to get good output. Machinery usually does the job automatically, so any tweaking you wish to do before saving is much, much easier.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2016 at 15:51 UTC as 88th comment

Part I of II

Lightroom or anything else that forces you into cataloguing your images is of no interest to me. My foremost need is extensive editing capabilities for local areas and the ability to select them where next to impossible like a sky, not including whispery thin tree branches or leaves with light peeing through them.

Photoshop is quite good at that, but Mask Pro or the Layers module of Perfect Suite from onOne which replaced it, even better. However only Photoshop gives me enough tools to modify or replace my selection once I have made it. I did try Gimp but it was impossibly non-intuitive and complicated to use, so much so that I have no interest in finding out how much better more recent versions now are.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2016 at 15:25 UTC as 98th comment

Part II of II

I dare say Paintshop Pro would satisfy me but I started out with Photoshop Elements until I won Photoshop CS2 as top prize in a photo magazine competition because of the skills I demonstrated using Elements 2. Elements only handles 8 bit and has no non-destructive editing, which I decided was too limiting. I would not have wanted to pay the hefty price for the bigger brother, so that prize was just as well.

However, I am happy to stick to CS2. I never wasted my money to upgrade it because I never needed the extra bells and whistles Adobe tried to tempt you with. Besides, Adobe made the user interface completely cluttered up, whereas that with CS2 is nice and clean.

I do not regret sticking to CS2. The skills using it I have developed over the years now entirely meet my needs and I would not want to have to start again with anything else just for the privilege of being a few or several hundred dollars out of pocket.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2016 at 15:25 UTC as 99th comment

I was in awe at Zion National Park and took many successful pictures there. But somehow I felt no camera truly could do justice to the place. At home I decided to use two shots taken about a mile apart and combine them. Even though this is not my best result, I felt this captured the atmosphere of the place rather better than other efforts and see no problem if pictures rather than photographic records are what you are after.

You can see the result at http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3894780139/photos/3302685/ where the red rock in the background and the sky were from one frame, the rest of the scene from the other. Have a look at the image in the other available sizes with your browser set to full screen; on mine "large" works best. Unless you do so, the image at the link does not quite look right, at least not on my monitor.

Link | Posted on Jul 10, 2016 at 11:58 UTC as 2nd comment | 1 reply
On article Meyer-Optik Goerlitz launches 3-element 95mm F2.6 (124 comments in total)

These lenses are very expensive. Does anything suggest there is a decent justification for this? I would not be interested even if they were giving them away. If three elements lenses can be that good, why are other top quality brands like Leica and Hasselblad not also producing them?

My suspicion is this is a case of the "King's new clothes", the marketing aiming at people who have too much money to know what to do with it, as I also suggested about the new exotic metal Trioplans.

What on earth is the point of forking out for this lens or those others? You cannot show it off like a Lamborghini.

Link | Posted on Jul 1, 2016 at 08:10 UTC as 27th comment | 6 replies

I had one of the original versions with an Exakta Varex mount and was surprised how good it was, especially for a three element lens.

Cheap at a fourtieth of the price for a simple lens design. Why people will pay through the nose for a bit of metal that has no effect on the performance heaven knows, but then a lot of people have a problem with more money at their disposal than they know what to do with.

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2016 at 15:39 UTC as 4th comment

Thanks everyone, for the warnings.

Like s_grins, I use ON1 software and have no regrets. I also use Machinery HDR Effectcs to develop my RAW and, most of the time to merge exposures for HDR or, if a panorama PTGui, which also handles HDR reasonably well. Last but not least I always use Photoshop CS2, did not waste my money on any upgrades but the get results by the expertise I have gained over the years with it. That's what makes the most difference, not bells and whistles.

So my first reaction to Landscape Pro, when I watched the videos, was how brilliant. This is going to make things a lot easier and give me more options, especially when I replace or enhance a sky. I do that all the time.

But on reading so many adverse comments here, I decided against it. Better the expertise I already have and to continue to develop it further than start afresh with an entirely new approach, especially if at times the results are apt to be bizarre or substandard. It is too cheap to be that good!

Link | Posted on May 21, 2016 at 13:05 UTC as 44th comment
In reply to:

nicoboston: Nikon is launching three 1"-sensor cameras. Why not. But Panasonic strategy with the ZS100 seems more logical IMO. I'm looking for a decent travel/backup compact and I do not see the rationale behind all these confusing Canon G*X and now Nikon DL cameras. I never had a Panasonic before, but if the ZS100 continues getting good reviews (so far they are quite encouraging), it could be my next 2nd camera! I may change my mind if IQ from these DL is very high above the other ones, but I doubt it.

@ThatCamFan, would be if lens distortion on RAW were non-existent like my Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM (Mk I) on APS-C. I expect when I see a review it will be about 5% barrel distortion.

Customers are being treated like fools and products brought to market on that basis.

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2016 at 19:01 UTC
In reply to:

ThatCamFan: I have decided to sell my Nikon gear, this was the last straw to be honest for me. Im not going to say what brand I am going to because I dont want people to go "ewww this brand or that brand stinks" I used to work in Quality Control at two companies, neither were camera companies but knowing about Quality Control this just annoys me. I see this as complete incompetence. I love my Nikon but I dont want to be in the "you dont know what your getting until after you bought it" (aka: Will my new product work or not when I put it on my camera or use this camera?")

Totally agree with your sentiments and, if I wanted to add to or replace my Nikon equipment, I'd do the same. Fortunately my older Nikon equipment is from a time when they were reliable.

Onnly thing is that if I did which to change, what to? Short of a Leica 240 and a huge outlay, in my opinion there is nothing worth having, for one reason or another. Same goes for lenses, unless you are happy with distortion and software correction.

Just have a look at http://3.static.img-dpreview.com/files/p/TS6000x4000~sample_galleries/9996097469/2181421848.jpg in the A6300 samples gallery. Of course this building is curved but you can expect results like this even if it were not if you want to shoot RAW with a wide angle.

IMO, photographic product design and quality are in decline, even if the techlnogy and what is possible are making great strides.

Link | Posted on Mar 6, 2016 at 18:41 UTC

No Nikon camera upgrade to avoid the risk, but also none of the more recent lens designs from any manufacturer at any price. Almost all are so big and heavy too, which is ridiculous, More importantly, even the primes now have medium to high distortion and rely upon software correction - a dreadful fudge, with serious side effects..

Considering a somewhat lighter outfit than my DSLR, a Leica M Type 240 plus Voigtlander 15mm Heliar or 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar, would appeal to me other than the price. But not a Zeiss lens because they have bad vignetting on digital unless, perhaps, the pixels at the edge of the sensor are turned inwards, Leica style.

I would not consider a Sony AR II because of the likelihood of the risk of vignetting with very wide lenses. Their prices are too high prices for a multinational, as opposed to a genuine photo manufacturer. It could be OK, but like Panasonic, too risky.

Slightly reluctantly, I am sticking to my D300 plus Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2016 at 10:57 UTC as 15th comment
In reply to:

lacikuss: Thanks God I've moved away from Nikon right after the garbage D600 came out...jey!

I have similar sentiments as I have mentioned above.

I've moved away from any Nikon upgrade, having a D300 which I will keep. At least that performs as it should.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2016 at 10:25 UTC

There have been too many Nikon flaws and recalls since the oil problem on the D600. Nikon quality control is not what it used to be. That puts me off thinking about an upgrade.

I had been toying with replacing my D300, but not with FX as that more likely also would mean needing to get new lenses. I am only bothered about small apertures at 200 ISO in bright light and better IQ is not something I actually need.

The most likely alternative I had in mind was the D7200 but possibly the D500, if the dynamic range of the latter is substantially better than earlier models. With less than a genuine 14 stops on RAW - however small or large - I will stick to exposure bracketing and HDR where the smaller range of older models then makes no difference.

But, after so many service advisories, I will not bother. Better to play safe.

Link | Posted on Mar 3, 2016 at 11:15 UTC as 20th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

keepreal: It is a pity that Richard Butler did not discuss dynamic range and megapixels.

When it is possible to capture 14 stops dynamic range in a single frame I might upgrade but, until then, I will continue with exposure bracketing. Also, until I start printing larger than A2 (60 cm) from near to a full frame, 12 mp will be perfectly adequate for good quality where pictures are the end product, not tables of performance figures.

I am far from alone in that the pictures in my gallery almost always are taken in good light at moderate apertures on APS-C and the subjects are static. If not for that, a better camera than my D300 might be justified.

Only a specific few camera cope well in all kinds of conditions, in which case one can understand an interest in the like of the new Nikon D5 and D500. But, if you look at the galleries of those here who have them, many appear to be using cameras way beyond their needs. I rarely find that their subject matter, equipment and results are on a par.

There is no genuine 14-ish camera.

Try Bill Claff for more realistic DR ratings at http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm.

His figure for the D5500 is 10.3, that for my D300 is 8.4 and those figures are more in line.

Link | Posted on Jan 27, 2016 at 05:54 UTC

It is a pity that Richard Butler did not discuss dynamic range and megapixels.

When it is possible to capture 14 stops dynamic range in a single frame I might upgrade but, until then, I will continue with exposure bracketing. Also, until I start printing larger than A2 (60 cm) from near to a full frame, 12 mp will be perfectly adequate for good quality where pictures are the end product, not tables of performance figures.

I am far from alone in that the pictures in my gallery almost always are taken in good light at moderate apertures on APS-C and the subjects are static. If not for that, a better camera than my D300 might be justified.

Only a specific few camera cope well in all kinds of conditions, in which case one can understand an interest in the like of the new Nikon D5 and D500. But, if you look at the galleries of those here who have them, many appear to be using cameras way beyond their needs. I rarely find that their subject matter, equipment and results are on a par.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2016 at 13:07 UTC as 37th comment | 3 replies
On article Nikon's New D5 and D500 Push the Boundaries of DSLR (737 comments in total)
In reply to:

Muskokaphotog: The new Nikons are unquestionably great cameras. Apart from "professionals", who uses anyone of these cameras enough to justify spending the extra $? The other issue is the lenses. I have been using cameras and lenses for over 40 years and I think lens quality has actually regressed at the professional end. Sure we have better AF, but most lenses now need serious computer rejigging to compensate for distortions and other aberrations. When will Nikon create a standard lens with the corner to corner sharpness and a distortion free horizon?

That is something that very much concerns me too.

Sure, software can correct a lot of the distortion but there is nothing to compare with the best lenses designed to suffice without it. I mostly use exposure bracketed frames for HDR and choose which software to use to read my RAW frames and merge them based entirely upon the quality of the tonal mapping of the result. That conflicts with lenses needing software correction, although by first converting to DNG 1.1 the Adobe RAW converter does incorporate distortion correction.

However, you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Link | Posted on Jan 14, 2016 at 12:09 UTC
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