steveTQP

steveTQP

Lives in United States Dallas, TX, United States
Works as a Test Automation Engineer/Stock Photographer
Joined on Dec 23, 2003
About me:

Check out www.totalqualityphoto.com for SHARP
stock photography...Thank you!

Comments

Total: 33, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

scottcraig: Investing in a lighter tripod for travel may seem like a good idea however for someone like myself who shoots landscape where it's mostly windy I prefer a tripod that is heavy and sits firmly on the ground. Now concerning this tripod. Looking at it's flawed design IMHO and the poor presentation of this video I sincerely doubt photographers will be impressed with it's use.

Hi Scott. Regarding this FLM CP26 Travel Tripod, exactly what specifically are you referring to when you say “flawed design”?
Thanks, SteveTQP

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2018 at 16:27 UTC
In reply to:

matthew saville: 4.) There are all kinds of tripods. If you're just a casual traveler who needs slow shutter speeds once in a while, a dinky tripod is great. Not everybody needs to lug around a 5 lb boat anchor.

However, the market is already saturated with half-decent tripods in this category. Most of them are in the $200-300 range.

Unfortunately, many of these are indeed crap. (Oben, Benro, Mefoto, Sirui, Fotopro, Giottos, yes I have broken ALL of these!)

Still, there are a couple decent "generics" that have transcended their knock-off roots to become a decent brand.

Personally? My favorite is the true original- SLIK. They've been around for as long as Bogen/Manfrotto and Gitzo. If you need something ultralight, or a boat-anchor, they've got great options.. All of them are great quality, too, and have collectively given me the least trouble in my years as an outdoor photographer and gear reviewer / torture-tester. (And my tripod death toll is up to at least a dozen, at this point.)

Matthew, So, if I understand you correctly, you haven’t actually heard specific issues regarding the FLM tripod, but rather, it’s your “feeing” about a “lack of indestructibility”, and because of that, you’re “holding your breath” over a potential leg lock malfunction? What about the newly designed one-piece shims, or the dearth of reported issues with FLM products? FYI, I was impressed with my 35 year-old Gitzo Studio Tripod when I was using a 4x5 View Camera, as it was robust, heavy, and never failed! But, it’s not suited for hiking with a Mirrorless kit. I’ve read reports of leg issues even with Gitzo, RRS, and Feisol. Anything “man-made” can fail. Conversely, I agree; other brands like MEFOTO have products that work too. However, IMHO, this FLM tripod is simply in another class in terms of engineering, precision, and the unique features of the ball head previously described. Good luck with whichever tripod you decide on!

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2018 at 16:22 UTC
In reply to:

Bperrey: I'm an unabashed FLM fan. I also have many other brands of tripods and monopods, including many Gitzos and Manfrottos, in addition to my large FLM. In travel tripods I own a Gitzo, Giottos Vitruvian, and a BeFree, in addition to tripods that extend up to 8-feet tall that could handle a bazooka! None of those other travel tripods is capable of full-time use. The specs alone of the proposed FLM CP-Travel indicate this will be no mere spindly Gitzo with its 6x CF and a tiny 10mm smallest leg, but it will be a very stable and strong tripod in travel-tripod form (only). FLM is beginning to emerge as a major high-end tripod, and I learned one of their next offerings (probably not crowd-funded) will be a heavy duty item, with 10x CF. So regardless of opinions about this CP-Travel, one must regard this release as the attempt to fill out the range of tripod offerings. To date FLM has issued tripods with 26mm and 30mm largest legs only, so the Travel is new territory for FLM and travel tripods.

Bperrey, As a landscape and product photographer whose main concern is image sharpness and detail, I can state that the FLM CP26 Travel Tripod is without question, the best made, most robust, solidly built, best engineered tripod I have ever used! The 26lb load capacity means that it can handle my Fujifilm X-System kit (as well as any DSLR/lens combo) with ease, not to mention the unique features of the ball head, i.e., a 15 degree Pan function knob that enables precise 15 degree click stopped panning for precise panoramic stitching, and a single-axis knob that enables only one axis movement when needed. It's a supremely high-quality product that I highly recommend, for both travel and studio work. Thank you sir. Regards, Steve

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2018 at 01:10 UTC
In reply to:

noflashplease: Golly, the AmazonBasics 52" carbon fiber travel tripod is less than $80....hmmm....

The odd thing is that Amazon's house brand goods have been very credible and the tripod in question appears to be a relabeled version $200+ Sirui, albeit with the weight rating reduced from 13.2lbs to a more credible "suggested" 8lbs.

I think we've reached the point where expensive, but obscure, German branded tripods aren't of any great interest. You might as well buy Chinese and let Amazon figure out which Chinese tripods will have low rates of complaints and returns. I'd trust Amazon. A German something-or-other? Blah.

Oben tripods are also a good bet. It looks like B&H is cherry picking the entire Benro line-up for their house brand. Again, I'd trust B&H to sort out the most desirable models of Chinese tripods.

HI Matthew. Well, having about 35 years in photography using dozens of tripods over the years, I can confidently state that I've never used one with the build quality, rigidity, handling of Legs and Ball Head features, and precision construction of this FLM CP26 Travel Tripod. (And I've used products from Gitzo, Manfrotto, Slik, Giottos, Oben, MEFOTO, Smith Victor, etc.) That's why I'm confused about your "general opinion is still mixed..." comment above. What exactly have you heard about this tripod, or FLM products in general? Thank you sir. Regards, Steve

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2018 at 01:00 UTC
In reply to:

noflashplease: Golly, the AmazonBasics 52" carbon fiber travel tripod is less than $80....hmmm....

The odd thing is that Amazon's house brand goods have been very credible and the tripod in question appears to be a relabeled version $200+ Sirui, albeit with the weight rating reduced from 13.2lbs to a more credible "suggested" 8lbs.

I think we've reached the point where expensive, but obscure, German branded tripods aren't of any great interest. You might as well buy Chinese and let Amazon figure out which Chinese tripods will have low rates of complaints and returns. I'd trust Amazon. A German something-or-other? Blah.

Oben tripods are also a good bet. It looks like B&H is cherry picking the entire Benro line-up for their house brand. Again, I'd trust B&H to sort out the most desirable models of Chinese tripods.

Mattthew, you made some fine points! I too, wouldn't trust ANY photography gear on an $80 tripod! This FLM "CP26 Travel Tripod", is on the opposite end of the Quality spectrum! It has super-strong 10x Carbon Fiber legs (26 lb load capacity!) with well-made twist locks, and a robust ball head that has several unique features that I've not seen in my 35 years of photography using tripods...For example, the "Pan" function permits butter-smooth normal panning, but in addition, adds a 15-degree ratchet function that is fantastic for us landscape/panorama photographers! There is also a "Tilt" knob that locks the ball head so that only one vertical/up/down plane is available. And finally, there is a "lock" function that locks the ball head from panning/turning, so that it can easily be unscrewed and/or mounted solidly. The kit comes with very well-made screw-on metal spikes, and folds up to a compact 15.5" for travel. Highly recommended for travel (or in studio)!! Thanks.

Link | Posted on Feb 7, 2018 at 03:26 UTC
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (287 comments in total)

Well said, Cdembrey! As a landscape and product photographer, I’m in a different niche than ZA, but I certainly appreciate his thoughts on “free photography” with no model/site release! I believe in producing a Quality image that shows the subject to its best advantage, and conforms to the art director, graphic artist or client’s Vision. That requires precision, understanding, and commitment on the part of the photographer that is quite obviously on an entirely different level than the kid who snaps a photo with his iPhone and posts it for grabs online! The former is a Professional product that deserves payment commensurate with its Quality. There’s a place for both. Thank you.

Link | Posted on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:53 UTC as 19th comment
On article Fujifilm XF 80mm F2.8 OIS WR Macro sample gallery (92 comments in total)

Very nice gallery! EcoR1, your statement that DXOMark rating the Sony Macro as the sharpest Macro lens, is misleading at best, because DXOMark doesn’t even TEST Fujinon lenses!! Thus, how can they imply that Sony’s Macro is the sharpest Macro lens? FYI, the Fujinon XF90mm f/2 is the sharpest lens I’ve ever used in 35 years of photography, so, if their new 80mm f/2.8 Macro is “at least” as sharp as their XF90, then I’d wager that it’s in another class from the Sony Macro. Just my opinion, of course. Thanks!

Link | Posted on Jan 21, 2018 at 13:50 UTC as 4th comment
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (300 comments in total)

Very interesting and detailed review of these selected top-end ball heads! I do agree with ARClark, that other top-end brands such as Acratech and Markins, could have been included to "round out" (excuse the pun!) this comparison. That said, I'm not surprised that the FLM Centerball 58 FTR unit was voted "Most Stable"... I have experience with the smaller FLM CB-38 FTII on their excellent CP26 Travel Tripod, and it's easily the most stable, highest quality head (and tripod) I've ever used in 35 years of photography. In fact, it actually seems to make my already sharp Fujinon lenses even sharper! HIghly recommended! Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Link | Posted on Dec 22, 2017 at 05:44 UTC as 11th comment

Well, while technological advances are nice, for sensor size, lens, and ergonomic reasons, no phone will replace my dedicated camera (DSLR or Mirrorless) for serious photography! IMHO, a “Jack-of-all-trades” device like a modern cell phone, cannot and should not need to “compete” with a dedicated device such as a camera. I believe that the Law of Diminishing Returns applies here. Enjoy the “phone” for what it is. Happy Holidays!

Link | Posted on Dec 8, 2017 at 14:46 UTC as 4th comment | 1 reply
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (300 comments in total)
In reply to:

rodney007: The best is Gitzo series ball heads, they are many times better than any of this junk.

In terms of build quality and functionality, I think that the FLM Ball Heads are in a class by themselves.

Link | Posted on Dec 6, 2017 at 08:11 UTC

Ludex, IMHO, Jadot is correct in that another “main reason for mirrorless” is no need to worry about AF front/back focus issues! That’s the main reason I went from a DSLR system to the superb Fujifilm X-System, besides the ergonomics, build quality, WR, and of course, the amazing detail, dynamic range of printed images, not to mention the stellar Fujinon XF lenses. I would be shocked if this new XF80mm Macro isn’t their sharpest XF lens yet, and if so, it should be the sharpest macro lens on the market! (Because if it beats the stellar Fujinon XF90mm f/2, in terms of sharpness, then nothing will come close! Just my opinion, of course! Thank you!

Link | Posted on Oct 8, 2017 at 21:44 UTC as 3rd comment
On article Photo story of the week: Torment (74 comments in total)

I happen to like this image. I also respect a photographer's creative license, as the owner of the image. As for calling Ansel Adams' work "manipulated", I disagree. He was also simply using his available tools and techniques to enhance the information already contained in the image! Nothing wrong with this in my book, as "art" is just the creator's interpretation, is it not? Thank you for the inspiring image!

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2017 at 14:09 UTC as 13th comment
On article Our favorite gear, rewarded: DPReview Awards 2016 (271 comments in total)

I don't put much stock into these lists when considering new gear. Having used many DSLR systems (both digital and analog) over the last 40 years, I am now in the mirrorless camp (Fujifilm X-System). And judging from the stellar image quality (sharpness, detail rendition, color, dynamic range) that I get from poster-size prints, I find the Fujinon XF lenses simply brilliant. Simply put, the MAIN reason I switched over to mirrorless, is the fact that I no longer trusted my 59 year-old eyes to acquire optimum focus when AF Micro-Adjustment was required. Mirrorless systems acquire focus directly off the sensor, hence no front/back focus issues to contend with! Either your image is in optimum focus or it is not (no guesswork). This should be useful to anyone whose eyesight is less than perfect. Of course, each photographer has their own criteria and needs. Bottom line: Get what you need, and enjoy the photographic experience! Happy Holidays to all!

Link | Posted on Dec 28, 2016 at 12:53 UTC as 30th comment
In reply to:

ChipR: it's time for Tamron to make this with the Fuji x-mount.

This Tamron se ms undoubtedly a great lens, but in terms of absolute sharpness, my money's on the Fujinon XF90mm f/2.0! Happy Holidays to all!

Link | Posted on Dec 26, 2016 at 02:40 UTC

Excellent article on Master Ansel Adams, Jeanne! As a mentee of Master Adams photography, I had the honor and privilege of corresponding with him via Kodak black and white postcards in the late '70s/early '80's. I had read his awesome "Basic Photo" series books, and admired his meticulous photographic techniques and resulting master prints. He expounded on that information by critiquing my work, and introduced me to cold light for black and white enlarger illumination, among other techniques. The superb sharpness, detail, and tonality of his prints continue to be unsurpassed, and it boggles my mind to contemplate the potential image quality Master Adams could have developed (pardon the pun) from today's digital imaging technology! Thank you for sharing this article on Master Ansel Adams!

Link | Posted on Aug 27, 2016 at 15:39 UTC as 13th comment
On article Fujifilm X-Pro2 versus X-T2: Seven key differences (371 comments in total)
In reply to:

PanchoVilla: These Fuji cameras are pretty toys, but I wouldn't give up my D500 for serious photography!

Pancho, just FYI, these Fuji "toys", in the hands of a capable photographer, can and do produce some awesome, highly detailed and dynamic images.

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2016 at 17:10 UTC

I appreciate the retrospective on Master Ansel Adams. I was quite fortunate to have read his "Basic Photo" series, and to have corresponded with him via Kodak b/w postcard paper. He critiqued my work, and introduced me to the superb cold light heads for the enlarger, and to Fred Picker's Zone VI Studios. Master Adams' prints were, IMHO, the best black and white images of his day. He was a true craftsman and humanitarian as well.

Link | Posted on Jul 10, 2016 at 12:11 UTC as 14th comment

Hello Gazeomon. Your points about the Samsung are interesting, as I've not had experience with that system. However, I DO have experience with the Fuji X-System (plus 40 years of photographic experience in general), and regarding your statement "I won't go the Fuji way with their smudge & smeary X-Trans sensor.", I beg to differ...I've created some beautiful 24x36 inch landscape prints with the Fuji XT-1 and some of their superb Fujinon XF lenses, and the sharpness, detail, and overall image "clarity" is simply awesome. I see zero "smudge and smeary", so your statement cannot apply to ALL Fuji X-Trans images! IMHO, if anyone does see those characteristics from their Fuji images, I'd suggest they try a different RAW image processor, and/or photographic technique, because the Fuji X-System is clearly capable of stellar images! If it wasn't, I'd be the first to switch back to a DSLR or other mirrorless system, as I'm an admitted "sharpness/detail fanatic")! Thank you.

Link | Posted on Apr 24, 2016 at 18:11 UTC as 4th comment
In reply to:

FuhTeng: How fun, thank you for the easy to use slideshow format and the lovely lens ****. I love cutaways of about anything, and these lenses are lovely even cut in half. I'm excited to see LensRentals put them through their paces (LR is the only site I know of that can do a worthy job of comparing lenses because they have so many copies of each!).

Greetings Photographers.
These new Sony "GM" lenses sound pretty nice, and though I don't own Sony mirrorless, I've always admired their collaboration with Zeiss. To my mind, "GM" connotes intelligence, as in "Grandmaster" chess! (I use the superb Fujifilm X-System, with their stellar Fujinon XF lenses.) I too, look forward to test comparisons of these lenses.
Regarding "one-handed shooting", I don't get the appeal. As an admitted "sharpness fanatic", there's simply no way to obtain maximum sharpness and detail shooting one-handed! That seems more like a method for a cell phone camera "grab shot", than serious work with a precision camera like these Sony's! Just my 2 cents...

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2016 at 14:00 UTC
On article The long, difficult road to Pentax full-frame (609 comments in total)
In reply to:

(unknown member): I will sell all my nikon cameras and lenses and move to pentax. you guys in the comments section have convinced me. wow, didn't knew that buying cameras was like entering a new religion :)

Greetings!
As a former Pentax enthusiast, I've always been impressed with the ergonomics, weather-sealing, lenses (particularly Pentax Limited and DA* Series), and most importantly, image quality! However, when I found an issue with inconsistent and slightly erratic behavior of the electronics in my otherwise awesome K-5, I did some soul-searching, and decided to move to the Fujifilm X-System, primarily because of the occasional AF front/back focus issues I've had in DSLR land. (I realize it's not so much a problem for those with cameras having AF MicroAdjustment, but I no longer trusted my old eyes to achieve optimum focus, hence my move to mirrorless, where AF is acquired directly off the sensor, so the image is either in optimal focus or it's not.)
In any case, the specs on this K-1 are awesome, but I'd wait until professional test reviews are out, before "selling your Nikon gear! Enjoy whatever system you use!

Link | Posted on Feb 20, 2016 at 16:49 UTC
Total: 33, showing: 1 – 20
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