James Pilcher

Lives in United States Summit County, CO, United States
Works as a database designer
Joined on May 11, 2004
About me:

Hiker and high country addict. Three months/yr in SW Florida. Fujifilm X70, Olympus Pen F, numerous native µ4/3 lenses, Gitzo carbon tripods, RRS ball heads, Lightroom, Spyder Pro color calibration


Total: 54, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Roadtrip Review Redux: The Fujifilm X100F (60 comments in total)

Much of what you wrote applies to me and my Fujifilm X70 also, sans the viewfinder stuff. One camera with a fixed lens and high-quality output can be soooo convenient.

By the way, the dpReview web rendering of your photos does them no favors. We all know the Fuji cameras are capable of impressively sharp and vibrant photos; yours are not rendered that way at all. That's not a criticism, just an observation about dpReview.

Link | Posted on May 28, 2017 at 15:53 UTC as 11th comment
In reply to:

Jonathan Mac: "It’s a situation that leaves APS-C users with poor choices and the arguably false impression that by buying these poorly-suited lenses, they’re making progress along an upgrade path (a fallacy that benefits the camera makers more than the photographers)."

If only more people would realise the truth of this, we would have more APS-C-designed lenses. Pentax did well in this regard until recently, when it abandoned it's APS-C user base to concentrate on FF lenses, the equivalents of which the APS-C users had been requesting for many users and not gotten.

Progress and maintaining compatibility are good, but manufacturers and users alike need to find the compromise between performance, compatibility and economics. This piece seems to argue for more advancement at the cost of compatibility, yet people will not abandon a system in which they're heavily invested. I know I wouldn't.

You need to buy into a system for what it is, not what it may become in the future.

"You need to buy into a system for what it is, not what it may become in the future."

Wise words. I moved from Canon EOS film to Olympus 4/3 digital in 2004. Why? Because I was convinced that "designed for digital" and all that it implied had merits. It cost me money, but the results were worth it for how I approach photography. Then in 2011 I bought into µ4/3 for "what it is" and abandoned the similar-but-not-fully-compatible 4/3 mount. I remain with µ4/3 today and have zero regrets.

Canon and Nikon need a new future. Hanging on to legacy mounts is not a new future, merely an adapted past. I was willing to look at a new future in 2004 and 2011. I know many prefer what was rather than what could be. The manufacturer's dilemma is how many people are there in each camp as phone photography rapes traditionalist approaches to imaging.

Link | Posted on May 23, 2017 at 16:05 UTC
On article Looking back: Canon's eye-controlled focus (208 comments in total)

What happened if where you wanted to focus was not where your eye drifted in the scene? For example, you may have wanted upper left focus, but your attention was really on the center of the frame? Just curious.

I briefly tried the original 3-point eye-controlled focus on the Elan in 1992-93. I decided that I very much preferred my circa 1989 EOS-1 with its single center focus point. I also very much preferred the build quality of my EOS-1 to the Elan, but that's a different discussion!

Link | Posted on May 11, 2017 at 16:24 UTC as 91st comment | 2 replies

I desperately wanted a Canon 10D. I visited my local big box retailer many times eyeing that camera. I owned a circa 1989 EOS 1 and some nice lenses at the time. I borrowed a 10D from a friend and shot it for a few days. Like you, Barney, my 28-70L did not get along all that well with AF on the 10D, but my 100mm f/2 and 70-200mm f/2.8L worked very well. Flash exposure, using a Canon 430 flash unit, was hugely inconsistent. In the end, I chose not to purchase a Canon digital SLR. I am an Olympus µ4/3 shooter today and very happy with the system.

Link | Posted on Apr 6, 2017 at 23:27 UTC as 37th comment
On article Zeiss formally announces Batis 135mm F2.8 (182 comments in total)

Seems a bit pricey for f/2.8 @ 135mm, but I'm sure it will be excellent.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2017 at 17:47 UTC as 40th comment
On article We try out the new HassleVlad (100 comments in total)
In reply to:

photofisher: I'm more interested in what UWA prime Vlad is using on his Oly and what he thinks of it.

Image #5 has a different lens attached than the one seen in the outdoor shots. The very last image #15 gives away the Olympus due to the design of the focusing ring.

Link | Posted on Apr 1, 2017 at 22:28 UTC
On article We try out the new HassleVlad (100 comments in total)
In reply to:

photofisher: I'm more interested in what UWA prime Vlad is using on his Oly and what he thinks of it.

Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye. Delightful lens.

Link | Posted on Apr 1, 2017 at 14:07 UTC

I had the Leica version, D-Lux 4. Very nice camera. Went everywhere with me. Limited dynamic range. I eventually upgraded to the LX-7. Now I shoot a Fuji X70 with APS-C sensor. Yes, I think the LX-3 redefined/created the enthusiast compact sector.

Edit: Being able to shoot raw and use a polarizer was a huge plus for me on such a small camera.

Link | Posted on Mar 23, 2017 at 13:47 UTC as 73rd comment
On article Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 sample gallery (46 comments in total)

It looks like this lens has great potential. Any complaint seems as though the commenter is looking for a reason to be unhappy.

Link | Posted on Mar 20, 2017 at 14:00 UTC as 16th comment
In reply to:

Impulses: They lasted longer than other publications that you would think would've been relevant for much longer... PC Magazine stopped printing a while ago. What's sad is that online outfits didn't fully take over the chore of some of these institutions...

I don't know how well staffed/funded DPR's actual reviewers are but at least there's some alternatives (no offense either way). I don't really know of a site doing mundane tasks that do require some manpower and plenty of hours, like reviewing laser printers, or comparing antivirus suites, etc.

Sure there's probably hobbyists and/or special interest sites dedicated to some of those niches, but the internet has in an odd way made it harder for that info to surface. It's like a double edged sword in that sense...

No offense, but you do not understand. Pop Photo and Modern Photo were the enthusiasts' tie to the entire realm of photography. They were that important. There were certainly many more highly targeted specialty photo magazines, but Pop Photo brought together the industry and the community. And a fine gathering it was.

This news saddens me greatly.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2017 at 15:20 UTC

Subscriber here since 1972. I cannot describe how sad this makes me. I truly believe this is a harbinger of the future of the entire photo industry. Dramatically declining camera sales this decade cannot and will not turn around.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2017 at 15:07 UTC as 89th comment | 3 replies
On article CP+ 2017: Hands-on with Sigma's newest lenses (199 comments in total)

I look at lenses like these Sigmas and drool a bit. I think to myself, "I should pick up a FF body just so I can try some of these Sigma Art lenses and find out what the shouting is all about. In the end, though, I'm getting excellent image quality from my µ4/3 kit and the top lenses in that system. I compare the size of my Olympus 8mm f/1.8 (fisheye) to the new Sigma 14mm f/1.8 (non-fisheye) and I snap back to the reality of size, weight, and any image quality tradeoffs.

That Sigma stuff looks very very good. The size/weight is necessary to get the combination of speed and image quality. I just don't want to carry it around.

Link | Posted on Feb 23, 2017 at 17:09 UTC as 46th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Stejo: An unstabilized 135mm. Just what the doctor ordered.

I shot with a 135mm lens on film 35mm for years and years. Lots of very nice crisp shots. Any photographer with good technical skills knows how to use an unstabilized lens.

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2017 at 16:30 UTC
In reply to:

James Pilcher: Kodachrome would have been a better choice.

So, bring back an arguably inferior product just because it's easy to process? That makes business sense, but not artistic sense. Whatever Kodak is nowadays, I'm pretty sure it's a business, and not an artist co-op, so Ektachrome it is.

Link | Posted on Jan 5, 2017 at 21:34 UTC

Kodachrome would have been a better choice.

Link | Posted on Jan 5, 2017 at 20:35 UTC as 133rd comment | 5 replies

I came from deep in the film era. I don't ever want to look back. Digital does it for me.

Link | Posted on Jan 5, 2017 at 20:34 UTC as 134th comment | 7 replies
On article Slik Lite tripods feature built-in LED lights (46 comments in total)

I've always wanted my tripods to shine. I cannot think of anything better to find under the Christmas tree, if it doesn't get lost among the tree lights.

Good grief. The next thing you know they will be putting video in still cameras.

Link | Posted on Dec 2, 2016 at 04:41 UTC as 14th comment | 1 reply

I can buy a blue one and it will match, well, nothing else that I have.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2016 at 14:02 UTC as 26th comment
On article Bolt-on 21: Fujifilm WCL-X70 sample images (52 comments in total)

These sample photos look extremely good to me. I might add this to my X-70, itself an extremely good camera.

Link | Posted on Jun 12, 2016 at 14:59 UTC as 15th comment

A lot of good thought went into this bag. I've read a couple of reviews already. Now let's see a smaller version for us mirrorless folks that have down-sized; this bag is just too big for my normal kit.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2016 at 15:20 UTC as 67th comment
Total: 54, showing: 1 – 20
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