Scott Nicol

Lives in United Kingdom Kent, United Kingdom
Works as a Scientist
Has a website at www.snicolphotos.com
Joined on Dec 14, 2010

Comments

Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF gallery and first impressions (316 comments in total)

In the UK, we have a yeast-based spread called Marmite... its taste has become so famously divisive over the last 100 years between those that like it and those that hate it that has become a metaphor for anything that provokes an absolute love/hate response...

This is a 'Marmite' lens. I personally love the ultra smooth bokeh and find the 70-200 bokeh actually very distracting. That's not a slight at those who prefer the opposite, just a statement of how the bokeh looks to me and I respect their preference for a more defined less blurry look. I purchased the lens and love the close focus abilities plus the clickless aperture switch for video. However, this is not a general purpose walk around lens (and not great for low light) and for many people, one of the many great 85mm lenses available for fe mount would be more practical (including adapted lenses like the sigma).

Link | Posted on May 9, 2017 at 14:02 UTC as 61st comment
On article DxO ViewPoint 3 adds automatic distortion correction (27 comments in total)
In reply to:

Scott Nicol: I've upgraded but having problems with the MAC version - it installs but just shuts down a few seconds after opening it and so far DXO have not been able to trouble shoot the problem as there are no errors. The updates to my existing viewpoint 2 and DXO Optics installed just fine though Optics refuses to recognize Viewpoint is installed.

it was the DXO_labs folder in my user library folder - its hidden by default. It also contained a dxo filmpack folder on my mac so I copied that before deleting it and let viewpoint create its own folder then added that one back. Ping DXO support for more specific instructions how to find it.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2016 at 09:03 UTC
On article DxO ViewPoint 3 adds automatic distortion correction (27 comments in total)
In reply to:

TyphoonTW: Still doesn't support my version of Samyang's 14mm f2.8 -_-

Without exif data to identify the lens (the samyang is full manual with no electronic contacts for most mounts) its hard for them to autocorrect the distortion etc.

Now, what would be nice is if their distortion correction allowed for more complex corrections for moustache shaped distortion or manual preset profiles for samyang lenses that the user could apply to uncropped images... I've created my own for sharpness, vignetting etc for my samyang lenses but can't correct the 14mm's distortion... have to go into LR for that which is a pain.

Link | Posted on Nov 17, 2016 at 15:38 UTC
On article DxO ViewPoint 3 adds automatic distortion correction (27 comments in total)
In reply to:

Scott Nicol: I've upgraded but having problems with the MAC version - it installs but just shuts down a few seconds after opening it and so far DXO have not been able to trouble shoot the problem as there are no errors. The updates to my existing viewpoint 2 and DXO Optics installed just fine though Optics refuses to recognize Viewpoint is installed.

Update - Customer support came back to me this afternoon and all good - now works fine - turned out to be a problem with the default DXO folder in my MACOS library. They just sent me direct instructions how to find and delete the folder and then when I started viewpoint, it recreated the folder and worked fine. In fairness to DXO, whilst the problem was annoying, personalized support that actually fixes a problem is always a good thing so kudos to them for that.

Link | Posted on Nov 17, 2016 at 15:11 UTC
On article DxO ViewPoint 3 adds automatic distortion correction (27 comments in total)

I've upgraded but having problems with the MAC version - it installs but just shuts down a few seconds after opening it and so far DXO have not been able to trouble shoot the problem as there are no errors. The updates to my existing viewpoint 2 and DXO Optics installed just fine though Optics refuses to recognize Viewpoint is installed.

Link | Posted on Nov 17, 2016 at 11:08 UTC as 7th comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

JoJo Song: There is a brand in my country,named Godox,they have the same system in a low price already~X1Ts and TT685s~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Remote_Control_X1S_TTL_Wireless_Flash_Trigger.html~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Camera_Flash_TT685S.html

I did the lastest firmware updates for both flash and transmitter - it was a little confusing as the update program was in both english and chinese but the actual update took a few minutes including downloading the files - I'll contact Godox regarding the problems mainly to make them aware of the issue (I only use the 32M flash as an lightweight controller for the 60M off camera - the radio transmitter means I don't really need it anymore).

A

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 17:23 UTC
In reply to:

noflashplease: Godox managed to beat Sony to market. I really don't see any point in paying the premium for OEM lighting solutions when the third party gear is often more innovative, not just cheaper.

in fairness, the godox RECEIVER is not yet available to buy (but coming soon)... but then the godox transmitter and latest godox TTL flashgun (with built in receiver) are available now and are being bundled for less than the price of the Sony receiver alone... I bought one a few days ago and am impressed (it's not as good as my 60M but very capable and fantastic value for money).

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 14:38 UTC
In reply to:

JoJo Song: There is a brand in my country,named Godox,they have the same system in a low price already~X1Ts and TT685s~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Remote_Control_X1S_TTL_Wireless_Flash_Trigger.html~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Camera_Flash_TT685S.html

Two problems to be aware of with the GODOX TT685s so far though
(1) mine appears to underexpose by about a stop compared to the Sony 60M - but it does so relatively consistently so dialling in some FEC works fine (both on and off camera)
(2) using the OPTICAL Sony wireless system (with the right settings in camera and on the flashguns), my 60M triggers the godox, the godox triggers the 60M but my Sony 32M does NOT trigger the Godox during the exposure - only after (I think - I see the godox fire but I can't catch the flash going off in a shot) - this suggests some bugs with their implementation of the Sony wireless ttl system - but hopefully this can be fixed with a firmware update which can be performed by the user via usb port on flash.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 14:33 UTC
In reply to:

JoJo Song: There is a brand in my country,named Godox,they have the same system in a low price already~X1Ts and TT685s~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Remote_Control_X1S_TTL_Wireless_Flash_Trigger.html~http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Camera_Flash_TT685S.html

I literally bought one of these at the weekend because I was fed up waiting for the official sony solution - so far no regrets - its a capable budget flash with output comparable to my 60M and the radio wireless system works well in TTL mode - all for 120 GBP compared to i would estimate a street price of 500 gbp for the official system... and thats without the cost of a flash.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 14:27 UTC
On article Sony warns against use of unauthorized third-party apps (183 comments in total)
In reply to:

mick232: If I use such an app and an unrelated part such the built-in flash or battery fails, I will insist on my warranty, whether Sony likes it or not. If I have a firmware problem, that is a different story.

I could also envisage an app or firmware mod that tapped into the sensor shift system and tried to emulate an Olympus style mega pixel shift mode image or pentax style star tracking app doing serious damage (or significantly taxing) the camera's shift mechanism if it wasn't programmed carefully / had fail safes to make sure the mechanism fired up / shutdown as designed...

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2016 at 01:03 UTC
On article Patents hint at camera on future Apple Watch (34 comments in total)
In reply to:

Scott Nicol: Whilst I'm not a big fan of the Apple Watch and agree that a watch is a far from ideal platform / form factor for taking artistic photos.... its worth pointing out that there ARE other uses for a camera other than 'art' - one of the problems with smartwatches (and other small electronic gadgets) is that the physical size often limits ways for the user to interact with the device. A camera or video 'input' is not that far fetched for certain applications e.g. facial recognition to unlock things, bar code scanning, character recognition for translations etc are all possible applications for such a camera. All of these are niche uses currently but like many technologies before them, smartwatches are seeking the 'killer' app that justifies their purchase in the mind of the user - thus I don't think Apple CONSIDERING the inclusion of a camera in the watch is quite as crazy as some might think.

I actually agree to some extent. I own a pebble and one of the reasons it is better than my old watch is the customisation display - specifically, I have poor eye site without my glasses on and poor colour perception in low light - the ability to turn the back light on with a gesture, use a very large font that I can read and choose a colour scheme that works for my eyes at night is actually a big plus. I actually believe that the killer app will be health related in some form - the manufacturers are chasing the fitness market / HR monitors as they see them as low hanging fruit but an always on / in direct contact with the skin monitor for say blood glucose or monitoring HR or BP in conjunction with a fall would be genuinely useful medical device... that also tells the time / accepts notifications. I believe all the tech is ready for mainstream adoption / consumer acceptance - bar battery life which is my number one problem with the pebble and why I won't buy the apple watch just yet.

Link | Posted on Jun 21, 2016 at 12:41 UTC
On article Patents hint at camera on future Apple Watch (34 comments in total)

Whilst I'm not a big fan of the Apple Watch and agree that a watch is a far from ideal platform / form factor for taking artistic photos.... its worth pointing out that there ARE other uses for a camera other than 'art' - one of the problems with smartwatches (and other small electronic gadgets) is that the physical size often limits ways for the user to interact with the device. A camera or video 'input' is not that far fetched for certain applications e.g. facial recognition to unlock things, bar code scanning, character recognition for translations etc are all possible applications for such a camera. All of these are niche uses currently but like many technologies before them, smartwatches are seeking the 'killer' app that justifies their purchase in the mind of the user - thus I don't think Apple CONSIDERING the inclusion of a camera in the watch is quite as crazy as some might think.

Link | Posted on Jun 20, 2016 at 13:38 UTC as 6th comment | 2 replies
On article Action packed: Shooting the Sony a6300 in Miami (241 comments in total)
In reply to:

Androole: "...one thing is clear: Sony anticipates the a6300 to be another top seller."

I imagine that a lot of the A6000's popularity came from its remarkably low price tag. It was a high-quality sensor and processor wrapped in a simple, inexpensive body with no extra features or frills to drive up the cost. The A6300 very much follows in its footsteps with a similar template, but at a 60% (!) increase to its starting MSRP for a very similar camera, it doesn't look like nearly the same bargain value proposition in a very competitive market.

Likewise, it's hard to feel like a camera at this price tag will stand the test of time and "look impressive, even two years down the road," with ergonomic oversights you've highlighted like the missing direct controls, no touchscreen or AF joystick, and not being weather-sealed despite the $1000 price point.

It's a nice camera, but doesn't feel like it moves the bar the way the A6000 did unless you only care about 4K and incremental AF improvements...

@T3 Don't get me wrong - I love the A6000 and I bought one on day of launch - I felt it was a bargain even then! Nor do dislike what I've seen of the A6300. I'm even SORT of OK with the higher launch price as I want Sony / Camera shops to make more PROFIT - that ensures Sony will support the line with more lenses, flash, bodies etc which is good for me as someone invested in sony equipment (A7II owner as well). All I'm saying is that from the A6300 Sony looks to be aiming for more profit / unit over more sales - which is a perfectly valid business goal IF it works.

Personally, I'm still happy with my A6000 as a second body (even with a small sensor scratch) and many of the A6300 upgrades are nice to haves (for my work) rather than essentials so I'm not in the pre-order numbers this time at this price point but will watch and maybe pick one up later in the pricing cycle (or if the A6000 dies).

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2016 at 20:41 UTC
On article Action packed: Shooting the Sony a6300 in Miami (241 comments in total)
In reply to:

Androole: "...one thing is clear: Sony anticipates the a6300 to be another top seller."

I imagine that a lot of the A6000's popularity came from its remarkably low price tag. It was a high-quality sensor and processor wrapped in a simple, inexpensive body with no extra features or frills to drive up the cost. The A6300 very much follows in its footsteps with a similar template, but at a 60% (!) increase to its starting MSRP for a very similar camera, it doesn't look like nearly the same bargain value proposition in a very competitive market.

Likewise, it's hard to feel like a camera at this price tag will stand the test of time and "look impressive, even two years down the road," with ergonomic oversights you've highlighted like the missing direct controls, no touchscreen or AF joystick, and not being weather-sealed despite the $1000 price point.

It's a nice camera, but doesn't feel like it moves the bar the way the A6000 did unless you only care about 4K and incremental AF improvements...

Have to be careful with preorder rankings as those numbers can plummet once the early adopters get their cameras and real world opinions and reviews are on the internet but, cautiously, this would suggest that that Sony was at least partially right - there are plenty of people that will stump up the higher launch price

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2016 at 09:33 UTC
On article Action packed: Shooting the Sony a6300 in Miami (241 comments in total)
In reply to:

Androole: "...one thing is clear: Sony anticipates the a6300 to be another top seller."

I imagine that a lot of the A6000's popularity came from its remarkably low price tag. It was a high-quality sensor and processor wrapped in a simple, inexpensive body with no extra features or frills to drive up the cost. The A6300 very much follows in its footsteps with a similar template, but at a 60% (!) increase to its starting MSRP for a very similar camera, it doesn't look like nearly the same bargain value proposition in a very competitive market.

Likewise, it's hard to feel like a camera at this price tag will stand the test of time and "look impressive, even two years down the road," with ergonomic oversights you've highlighted like the missing direct controls, no touchscreen or AF joystick, and not being weather-sealed despite the $1000 price point.

It's a nice camera, but doesn't feel like it moves the bar the way the A6000 did unless you only care about 4K and incremental AF improvements...

I agree BUT I suspect the bean counters at Sony are testing what the market will stand - I suspect they think the a6000 started off too cheap and/or dropped in price too quickly and whilst that drove sales, it also meant less profit per unit - once the price started dropping its a lot harder for them to increase it compensate. Here, they will start off higher with a lot more profit and very closely monitor how its doing and drop the price accordingly to match their sales projections if needed. You have to remember, whilst being able to say "the best selling camera" is great for marketing, the board / shareholders would much rather see "most profitable overall"... even if that means fewer sales.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2016 at 23:38 UTC
In reply to:

maximme: still no solution to vertical shooting with the flash....
HOW to bounce when you are shooting vertical.
so far Sony has the best design.

I would agree its not essential but it does work well, particularly if you are constantly shifting from one orientation to the other at an event or using a non symmetrical light modifier

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2016 at 21:56 UTC

People are talking about the technical side here (which is great) but for me, this is an important milestone in the commercial maturation of the A7 series - with all respect to Metabones et al, there are few guarantees or comeback when you use such an adaptor with a Canon lens on a Sony body - they list compatibility etc. but ultimately, if the combo stops working (say canon do a firmware change on their next lens production run) the onus is on Metabones to reverse engineer and update the adaptor but they are a small company with no guarantee of success.

Here, you are dealing with Sigma lenses and a sigma adaptor and Sigma is a significant player in the Lens world - if something goes wrong with the combo, I expect prompt responses from Sigma to fix it (via firmware update or back at the factory). It just gives the average user more confidence of future support. It also suggests that Sigma thinks the A7 series is worth the risk and they can profit from its recent popularity.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2016 at 19:20 UTC as 80th comment
In reply to:

maximme: still no solution to vertical shooting with the flash....
HOW to bounce when you are shooting vertical.
so far Sony has the best design.

I've seen it referred to as Sony's patented Quick Shift Bounce system in a few places so that may be why its not been adopted elsewhere - can anyone confirm that this is indeed the case?

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 18:10 UTC
On article Fujifilm announces X-T1 IR for infrared photography (207 comments in total)
In reply to:

nathantw: I find it interesting that in the old days of film if we had a camera that had an infrared dot on the focus scale all we needed to do was buy a $15 (I'm exaggerating) roll of infrared film and a filter. Then there was Nikon's digital camera, the Coolpix 950 (I think), that did IR really well. Now you can get digital IR from Fuji for $1700. Man, inflation is a b*tch.

There also places that will perform the conversion for you if you are not confident enough (I wasn't on my first one) - circa 250GBP. I had a NEX 5n converted and it breathed new life into a camera that had previously been collecting dust on the shelf as a back up to my back up camera :-). Shooting solely in the IR range does create some very interesting images.

Link | Posted on Aug 3, 2015 at 14:34 UTC
On article Fujifilm announces X-T1 IR for infrared photography (207 comments in total)

If the filter on the sensor is letting through 380-1000nm light, isn't this a full spectrum rather than IR specific camera? To generate IR only images you would still need to add an IR pass filter to the front of the lens (e.g. a 590nm pass IR for example for near IR) otherwise what stops you blowing the exposure with visible light? If so do Fuji plan to manufacture them / sell them as accessories? Of course, an advantage of this approach is you can change the filter to IR cut off (or UV) pass for visible or UV use, increasing the flexibility at the expense of IR photographic convenience (I don't know how many filters would be required to cover all fuji lens filter sizes). My only experience is of a converted NEX camera but on that, some lenses (typically cheaper kit lenses) also create IR hotspots at smaller apertures - I'd be interested whether some of Fuji's lenses also suffer from this. Nevertheless, an interesting little niche camera for Fuji here which I applaud.

Link | Posted on Aug 3, 2015 at 14:20 UTC as 38th comment | 3 replies
Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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