J Parker

Lives in United States United States
Joined on Dec 12, 2008

Comments

Total: 119, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Shooting with a used DSLR kit that cost me just $80 (268 comments in total)
In reply to:

J Parker: Despite my 'modern' gear, I still shoot weddings and portrait commissions with a Fujifilm S2Pro and S3Pro (about $100 each). Unlike most cameras which shoot a range of subjects, these particular cameras are optimized for one thing -- to make people's skin tones look amazing. The color rendition (and BW rendition for that matter) smokes any modern camera I have -- no exaggeration.

BTW, I had to laugh at the thought that I shot my last wedding with these cameras with a 99 cent pack of alkalines -- too bad they don't make DSLRs that take AA batteries anymore :D

Thanks for the great article!

@vadims, thanks for your post. You hit it right on the head -- the level of elitism and pretentiousness in the wedding field is insane. My peers are pretty convinced that it's impossible to shoot a great wedding without camera gear designed for Jedi Knights....

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 02:24 UTC
On article Shooting with a used DSLR kit that cost me just $80 (268 comments in total)

Despite my 'modern' gear, I still shoot weddings and portrait commissions with a Fujifilm S2Pro and S3Pro (about $100 each). Unlike most cameras which shoot a range of subjects, these particular cameras are optimized for one thing -- to make people's skin tones look amazing. The color rendition (and BW rendition for that matter) smokes any modern camera I have -- no exaggeration.

BTW, I had to laugh at the thought that I shot my last wedding with these cameras with a 99 cent pack of alkalines -- too bad they don't make DSLRs that take AA batteries anymore :D

Thanks for the great article!

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2017 at 18:50 UTC as 79th comment | 6 replies
In reply to:

utphoto: "It’s true that, without the input from marketers, engineers can produce Formula One race cars. However, most people find a Ford Focus, Honda Civic or BMW 3 Series much more affordable and considerably more convenient for collecting the weekly shop. Still, if you wait long enough, some of that Formula One know-how may well make an appearance in your family hatchback."

Not really true. Virtually all F1 engineering, design and vehicle construction is done in the UK at specialist facilities. The engineers designing consumer vehicles have little or nothing to do with F1 design.

Actually, Richard has a point. Honda on more than one occasion has marketed that its consumer cars benefit from its extensive F1 know-how (Honda supplied engines to F1 legend Ayrton Senna). And even more to the point, Saab used to extensively market that its expertise in making fighter jets (and we thought F1 cars were impressive) was also utilized in its cars.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2017 at 22:26 UTC
On photo NOLA beauty in the Beautiful caucasian female faces challenge (2 comments in total)

Even years later, possibly the world's finest portrait lens. Great shot.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2017 at 02:37 UTC as 2nd comment
On photo Paloma in Wildbegonia's photo gallery (2 comments in total)

Very nice portrait!

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2017 at 22:37 UTC as 1st comment | 1 reply

Some of us are hesitant about any lens that isn't auto focus.

A while back, I observed old footage of photographers shooting Muhammad Ali. Although all the photographers had were manual focus lenses, not only were they focusing at lightning speed, they were focusing as if the lens was a natural extension of their hands (think of a piano player playing hundreds of notes without looking at the keys). I realized that if you've handled, focused and adjusted a lens hundreds of times, the lens became so intuitive that you could literally compose and focus as if it were second nature.

Although I was pretty content with my AF glass, I decided to try shooting manual focus exclusively. At first it was an extremely slow process -- and then I crossed a point where without zone focusing, I could follow and shoot even rapidly moving subjects with no issues. Yes, I mean no missed shots.

Develop the skill and learn the nuances of a MF lens. It will take your photography to another level.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2017 at 14:41 UTC as 12th comment | 6 replies

Several years ago, business guru Tom Peters wrote that there was going to come a time when those who were laughing at the inexpensive goods coming from 'other' countries wouldn't be laughing much longer.... He went on to state that these goods (lenses in this case) would eventually rival their mainstream counterparts in quality -- at a ridiculous fraction of the price. When DVD players cost $1,000, the company Apex introduced a $99 dollar DVD player that was built like a tank and outperformed the major brands. This phenomenon occurring in the photography world would not be a very far reach. Just an observation.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2017 at 02:31 UTC as 30th comment | 4 replies

Whenever Lensbaby releases a new lens, you can count on plenty of mindless comments from people who have never spent significant time with one (yes there is a learning curve). I should know -- I might've been the biggest skeptic of all.

Not only is phenomenal still photography being shot with these lenses, I'm seeing them being used in several big budget cinematic productions as well. Some alternatives do exist (i.e. Minolta's Rokkor 50mm 1.7 or Fujian's 25mm 1.4), but these lenses complement the Lensbabys -- not replace them.

Most importantly, I've found that Lensbabies have the ability to inspire compositions of literally any subject matter. Put a Lensbaby 3G on your camera (quite possibly the coolest lens ever made) and total strangers will walk up to you and want to be photographed by it. One last tip -- their Tilt Transformer (discontinued) will convert any Nikon glass into a Lensbaby while giving you the option to also use the Nikon lens as you normally would.

Link | Posted on Jun 27, 2017 at 23:27 UTC as 13th comment
On article Throwback Thursday: Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom (104 comments in total)
In reply to:

J Parker: Alex Majoli did some of the best work I've ever seen and won several of photography's highest awards with this camera (and the C5050 before it). I've seen few images taken with today's cameras that even come close. Imagine shooting the presidential election and the Iraq war for Newsweek, the New York Times, and National Geographic with a small sensor point and shoot -- and creating breathtaking work. Other pro photographers questioned his use of these cameras -- but Majoli's work won the awards (i.e. Magazine Photographer of the Year, National Press Photographers Association).

With a small sensor point and shoot camera.

The C8080 was one of the last cameras that took photographs that looked like actual photographs -- instead of the photo-realistic watercolor paintings today's cameras produce (and I say that as someone with 30 years experience painting photo-realistic watercolor paintings....)

Thanks, DPReview for the great article.

Kharan, thanks for the comment. I admit, my third paragraph was written with a slight amount of subjectivity and sarcasm. You are right -- today's sensors are indeed amazing -- the rendering just seems different from film and some of the great CCD cameras from years ago -- not worse, just different. Amazing images can be created with both an 'ancient' Nikon D70 and a modern Nikon D750.

Link | Posted on May 20, 2017 at 14:35 UTC
On article Throwback Thursday: Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom (104 comments in total)

Alex Majoli did some of the best work I've ever seen and won several of photography's highest awards with this camera (and the C5050 before it). I've seen few images taken with today's cameras that even come close. Imagine shooting the presidential election and the Iraq war for Newsweek, the New York Times, and National Geographic with a small sensor point and shoot -- and creating breathtaking work. Other pro photographers questioned his use of these cameras -- but Majoli's work won the awards (i.e. Magazine Photographer of the Year, National Press Photographers Association).

With a small sensor point and shoot camera.

The C8080 was one of the last cameras that took photographs that looked like actual photographs -- instead of the photo-realistic watercolor paintings today's cameras produce (and I say that as someone with 30 years experience painting photo-realistic watercolor paintings....)

Thanks, DPReview for the great article.

Link | Posted on May 19, 2017 at 12:43 UTC as 22nd comment | 3 replies
On article CP+ 2017: Olympus interview: 'We chose to be bold' (352 comments in total)

When Olympus released its 15mm F8 Bodycap lens a few years ago, I became a fan for life....

Link | Posted on Apr 12, 2017 at 23:16 UTC as 21st comment
In reply to:

Sylvain G: 40mm
so sad it's not more popular... but maybe times aren't so bad if voightlander releases its 40mm f1.2.

Many of the early digital cameras (Sony S85, Canon G2) had 37, 38, and 39mm lenses at the wide end -- I always thought these were amazing focal lengths (as is the 40).

Link | Posted on Mar 27, 2017 at 23:08 UTC

Thanks for the great topic. I highly recommend the insanely excellent Zeiss 24-120mm 2.8-4.8 -- for less than $175.... Just one thing though -- it comes 'packaged' with (ok, attached to) a free camera -- the profoundly underrated Sony R1, a large sensor camera that thinks it's a medium format camera.

Treat each marked focal length (i.e. 24mm, 50mm, etc.) as a prime lens and enjoy. BTW, pick up one of these before people one day realize how good this imperfect, but very capable camera is, even today (I'm using two of them to shoot a wedding next month).

Link | Posted on Mar 27, 2017 at 23:04 UTC as 99th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

J Parker: Look, Sony makes great cameras and I still use them all the time. But when I shot a 4 hour funeral with a Panasonic G series camera, not only did the camera record continuously, it was only slightly warm, to the point of being almost undetectable -- AFTER 4 HOURS. Incredible image quality in both videos and stills. If you want a no hassle camera that just works, the GH5 is highly under-priced for what it does.

No problem, V -- thanks for your question and comment! So many great camera choices....

Link | Posted on Jan 17, 2017 at 05:23 UTC
In reply to:

J Parker: Look, Sony makes great cameras and I still use them all the time. But when I shot a 4 hour funeral with a Panasonic G series camera, not only did the camera record continuously, it was only slightly warm, to the point of being almost undetectable -- AFTER 4 HOURS. Incredible image quality in both videos and stills. If you want a no hassle camera that just works, the GH5 is highly under-priced for what it does.

Thank you for your question. Contrary to the custom of many funerals, Black church funerals tend to be joyous, uplifting, and often life changing. Characterized by world-class preaching, singing, and worship, this type of commemoration is the norm in many African American churches and communities. This was a special ceremony celebrating the life of a phenomenal person and friend.

Link | Posted on Jan 17, 2017 at 05:00 UTC

Look, Sony makes great cameras and I still use them all the time. But when I shot a 4 hour funeral with a Panasonic G series camera, not only did the camera record continuously, it was only slightly warm, to the point of being almost undetectable -- AFTER 4 HOURS. Incredible image quality in both videos and stills. If you want a no hassle camera that just works, the GH5 is highly under-priced for what it does.

Link | Posted on Jan 17, 2017 at 04:26 UTC as 12th comment | 7 replies

I went to a restaurant today and bought some soup -- but had to pay extra for the spoon....

Whether it's headphone jacks or SD cards, trust me, it's not about innovation. Like the airlines constantly creating new fees, Apple intends to maximize every square inch of their products to make them as profitable as possible. I can't imagine these types of stunts being pulled on such an extremely loyal fan base if Steve Jobs was still around.

What happened to this company that once seemed to be the only tech company that understood creatives -- and focused on making products for those who chose to march to a different drummer every once in a while?

Link | Posted on Nov 3, 2016 at 23:15 UTC as 282nd comment | 5 replies
On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 / G80 Review (691 comments in total)

I think Panasonic must be the most underrated camera maker out there. Although I shoot with cameras from just about every mirrorless system (and each has its advantages), I've experienced the following with the Panasonics:

1) Ridiculously good video. I was doing most of my video work with Sony's, until I shot a 4 HOUR funeral ceremony with my Panasonic -- not only did the camera record continuously without shutting off, after 4 hours it was barely even warm. Wow.

2) JPEGs are not outstanding, but still very good -- but the detail and color rendition of the RAW files are some of the best I've seen with very little post required.

3) Some very cool lesser known features. One in particular is being able to use the touch screen to create your own custom composition grid by allowing you to move the x and y axis however you want (i.e. think of your own personal rule of thirds). I don't know of any other company that has thought of that.

So many great cameras to choose from....

Link | Posted on Nov 1, 2016 at 03:52 UTC as 85th comment | 1 reply
On article Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm F10 (122 comments in total)

For me, the peculiar thing about these cameras Fujifilm made in that era was that after shooting film for almost 20 years, moving to the Fujifilm cameras was a very smooth transition from film to digital. The images I got out of the S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S5100 and other Fuji compacts never made me miss film even once (which makes sense after realizing that one of Fujifilm's long time film engineers was instrumental in calibrating the color rendition for their digital cameras).

As much as I enjoy the many advantages of modern digital gear, it takes a bit of post-processing to even approach that same aesthetic with the files from most of the current cameras. It's good to see Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic trying to incorporate these type of profiles (even including the option to add grain) into their most recent cameras.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2016 at 02:04 UTC as 38th comment
On article Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm F10 (122 comments in total)
In reply to:

J Parker: Thanks for a great article. Please do a future piece on the truly legendary Fujifilm S2 Pro.

Once you got used to its quirks, this eccentric camera might be the greatest wedding/portrait camera of all time -- with what other camera could I have shot a wedding with a 99 cent set of AA batteries? As good as Fuji's current cameras are, the S2 Pro arguably defines the standard for beautiful color rendition, even today.

The S7000 was a great camera indeed.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2016 at 01:50 UTC
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