calson

Lives in United States Elkhorn, United States
Works as a photographer
Joined on Nov 14, 2005

Comments

Total: 70, showing: 1 – 20
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The current 3-series Gitzo tripods have serious design defects. The last one I bought arrived with pieces broken off and not usable. After that I switched briefly to RRS and finally to Feisol which provides the best and most versatile tripods currently available in the USA.

Too often there is a review of a new camera with no regard to available lenses or speedlights and this applies to tripods where with Feisol I can change my tripod to a center column one in seconds or add a quick level base in less than a minute and have a well designed and well engineered set of tripod capabilities. Feisol also provides an excellent carry case whereas with Gitzo (and RRS) the customer has to shell out more money to buy one as these two companies only provide a cardboard box.

Customer support by Gitzo has been notoriously bad for years so when a customer has a problem they are not going to get the help they need.

Link | Posted on Jul 29, 2021 at 17:50 UTC as 2nd comment

Feisol CT-3472 tripod at $600 has 57" height, supports 66 lbs and in 30 seconds add $63 center column kit increasing height to 10+ inches, rock solid with 600mm f/4 lens. $84 and 30 seconds add a quick level base for video and panos.

Feisol CT-3472 gives me 3 tripods at half the cost of my RRS TVC-34L and Feisol is better designed and build quality is as good as RRS and better than Gitzo. I also got an excellent carry case with the Feisol as compared to RRS and Gitzo where all I got was a cardboard box.

I have owned the RRS tripod, two Gitzo tripods, and a dozen other field and studio tripods over the years and nothing provides the utility and build quality (and reliability) of the Feisol tripods. The Feisol CT-3441T is by far the best travel tripod I have found and despite its light weight at 2.6 lbs it supports a 44 lb load with the legs fully extended. Feisol also provides great carry cases - Gitzo and RRS provide a cardboard box.

Link | Posted on Jul 15, 2021 at 19:11 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply
On article Why have cameras and lenses become so expensive? (672 comments in total)

Lenses and digital cameras are very different in terms of production costs. A digital camera SLR or mirrorless is largely a computer with a display and a mount for a lens. My D1x cost $5500 in 2002 and my laptop cost over $2,000. A D6 sells for $6500 and a comparable laptop now sells for $800.

Nikon mirrorless lenses are overpriced when compared to Olympus MFT pro lenses. Nikon and Canon now produce two sets of lenses, one for DSLR and one for mirrorless cameras and this adds a great deal of cost and production complexity. Canon makes most of its profits from its commercial printer and copier division and does not depend nearly as much as Nikon on profits from its cameras and lenses.

But it is instructive to see how prices have fallen for the Canon pro level video cameras over the past 20 years. A Canon 3-chip 1" sensor 4K video camera now sells for $2200 which is a tenth of what a similar video camera sold for when I bought the D1x DSLR.

Link | Posted on Jun 3, 2021 at 21:40 UTC as 12th comment
On article Opinion: Do we really need all those buttons and dials? (890 comments in total)

I would much rather push a button than have to go through menu selections to make changes to settings. The menus are already very complicated and it takes time just to find items. The older the photographer, in particular those who shot film and took it to a lab, the more difficult it can be to change and have to worry about settings. With film the tech in the lab fixed the problems from the photographers who had poor technical skills like Cartier-Bresson for example.

Looking for an all-in-one solution reminds me of the Japanese saying "he has many knives, none sharp".

Link | Posted on May 13, 2021 at 20:22 UTC as 31st comment | 1 reply
On photo DSCN5414 in the My best photo of the week. challenge (12 comments in total)

Shooting at slightly below the subject's eyelevel makes for a very compelling picture. A big advantage of shooting hand held and not being tied to a tripod. This is one of those pictures that deserves to be made into a large print and put on the wall.

Link | Posted on Oct 10, 2020 at 20:37 UTC as 3rd comment
On article Tested: Four travel tripods for every budget (520 comments in total)

Terrible selection that provide little help to photographers. I have owned many tripods over the years and only three I have kept. Cullman with mini ballhead weight 17 oz. and supports 8 lbs, Feisol CT-3441T with center column that supports up to 44 lbs and costs $435, and Feislol CT-3472.

Feisol travel tripod has working height w/o center column of 57". I can press down with no flexing of fully extended legs. There is often leg deflection and rotational flexing around the spider assembly with many tripods. CT-3441T collapses to 18.9" and weighs 2.63 lbs. and comes with a top grade carry case, unlike RRS and Gitzo where all I got was a cloth sack. At $435 it is also a good value considering that it is less than half the cost of a Gitzo or RRS and provides equivalent build quality and performance.

Link | Posted on Jul 27, 2020 at 23:19 UTC as 97th comment | 1 reply

8 stops is worthless with macro where one is using flash and with portrait work where shutter speeds slower than 1/125 are going to result in subject motion blur and lots of shots with closed eyelids when people blink. OS also slows down the autofocus response and that is more of a problem than camera motion in most situations.

Link | Posted on Jul 9, 2020 at 18:20 UTC as 3rd comment | 1 reply

Instead of providing healthcare workers with PPE the government spends it funds on jet fuel for a bumch of young guys to joy ride over the skies of our cities. Does anyone really believe that a nurse who is risking their life to work face to face with Covid-19 patients is at all impressed by some kid flying overhead at 10,000 feet in a jet? Talk about misplaced priorities.

All the trillions spent to shock and awe people around the world with our military might and 750 plus military bases overseas is money that is not going to feed or clothe or house or provide medical care for our own people who desperately need it. It is a good part of the reason why the USA with 4.25% of the world population has 31% (at last count) of the Covid-19 deaths. We are definitely Number One when it comes to killing people - nobody does it better.

Link | Posted on May 21, 2020 at 18:14 UTC as 13th comment | 4 replies

The patent application was granted to Autel and DJI chose not to challenge it at the time. Now their lack of diligence is going to cost them dearly. DJI had 5 full years to license patent rights for their aircraft and did nothing. It is the way of the patent world and to ignore the situation in the United States is inexcusible. This is not a case of a patent troll but a company engaged in producing its own aircraft and doing the necessary research to avoid patent infringement with their own products.

Sad to say but many patent attorneys are worthless and until a patent is not granted or is rejected or challenged their clients believe them to be competent. In China the patent and trademark process is quite different and a great deal more expensive when seeking protection for an invention.

Kodak after ceasing its film business made hundreds of millions each year licensing rights to its many patents. The investment it made was generating income for them and nothing wrong about that.

Link | Posted on May 21, 2020 at 18:08 UTC as 20th comment

Many will choose to stick it out for 6-12 months and the more interesting statistic will be number of PPA members in 2022. The bankster initiated collapse of the economy in 2007 hit the construction and remodel industries the hardest and by 2019 it had not recovered to 2006 levels.

Between the move to DIY photography and the federal governments failed response to the predicted Covid-19 pandemic there will be far less work for pro photographers. Product and commercial seniors photography will recover sooner than more people to people sectors like wedding and portrait and T&I photography.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2020 at 19:43 UTC as 50th comment
On article The Nikon D750 vs D780: Should you upgrade? (321 comments in total)

$1500 for the D750 or $2300 for the D780 to gain no real improvement in autofocus performance with a AF system that dates back to the D3 introduced in 2007. Nikon decided to add bells and whistles while not providing the improved autofocus performance found with the D500, D5, and D850. The D500 came out in 2016 and it is a disserve to loyal Nikon customers that nothing has been done to improve the D7xxx or D750 level of cameras in the past 4 years.

Much better bang for the buck at this price with Canon or Olympus. Sony would be an option if they had a full lineup of lenses.

Link | Posted on Jan 20, 2020 at 20:51 UTC as 46th comment | 3 replies

This applies equally to the auto dealers who get rebates or discounts based on the units they have sold during a period and this reduces their cost of goods and increases their net profit and on this they pay INCOME TAXES. Sales taxes are very regressive and hit workers far harder than the rich taking a larger share of their net income. This is bad enough without a fictional sa;es tax on dollars in sales that never transpired.

It is not enough that the rich get trillions of dollars in tax breaks while workers get a 50% hike in payroll taxes. Now the state of New York wants to charge a special tax on anyone who buys products from B&H. I am glad B&H is not rolling over to the state extortion and I will be buying from them as much as possible in the future.

Link | Posted on Nov 27, 2019 at 04:15 UTC as 16th comment
On article Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII: What you need to know (154 comments in total)

Nice camera but the Panasonic DC-LX100 II compact point and shoot has a 4/3 size 17MP sensor for double the image area and it comes with a much faster Leica zoom lens. There will be better image quality and better low light autofocus and less need for very high ISO settings that introduce excessive noise in the image files.

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2019 at 18:37 UTC as 15th comment | 1 reply
On article Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII: What you need to know (154 comments in total)

Prime competitors are the Sony RX100 VA that has a 24-70mm f/1.8~2.8 lens, and the Panasonic DC-LX100 II that has the much larger 17MP 4/3 sensor and the 24-75mm f/1.7~2.8 Leica lens.

The trade-off is an internal flash with Sony or the larger sensor and lower noise levels with the Panasonic. Actually the Panasonic cost $300 less which with the added cost of the Panasonic DMW-FL200L flash at $228 still makes Panasonic less expensive while providing better image quality and having better flash.

Link | Posted on Jul 29, 2019 at 22:38 UTC as 33rd comment | 1 reply
On article Waterproof buying guide updated for 2019 (53 comments in total)

As with all waterproof cameras user must keep the seal clean. A hair across the seal will allow water into the camera. But the cameras are splash proof and a good choice for use river rafting or kayaking or hiking in the rain. Cheaper to replace if stolen or dropped overboard.

What is most important to me with these P&S cameras is that they have Shutter Priority, RAW capture, and GPS. All three were present with the Nikon Coolpix AW120 but sadly the newest version has been dumbed down and lacks Shutter Priority and only does JPG file format. Even worse with these cameras is them all using sRGB as the color space.

At this point the best camera is the Olympus TG-6 which does have GPS and a digital compass and supports a RAW file format. For serious UW photography an OIympus MFT camera and lens in one of the inexpensive Olympus camera housings is the better option. The Olympus UW housing is $500 as compared to paying for a DSLR housing and a port at a cost of $4,000 or more.

Link | Posted on Jun 15, 2019 at 18:10 UTC as 9th comment
On article Olympus OM-D E-M1X review (2391 comments in total)

Odd that a $6500 camera is being compared to the performance of one that costs $3000. It is like Car and Driver comparing a Porsche Carrera to a Subaru Impreza WRX.

A far better comparison would be the performance and features of the Olympus E-M1X to the Nikon D500 or a Canon 5D Mark IV. What is not appreciated with this tennis test is the value of the Olympus Pro Capture capability that buffers automatically up to 35 frames and provides 60 fps shooting. For wildlife photography this is a fantastic feature provided only with this camera.

It has internal optical stabilization providing 7.5 stops of OS that is additive with a OS Olympus lens. No other camera manufacturer provides this capability.
Evaluating the D5 I photographed BIF for a week it provides outstanding autofocus performance and is noticeably better at locking on to a subject that is rapidly approaching the camera, but it is a 8MP camera in DX mode or with any amount of image cropping which I passed on buying it.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2019 at 19:48 UTC as 56th comment

These will get used to store 4K data feeds from a range of devices, including commercial drones used for mapping. In some situations they are collecting more than 1GB per second. Question becomes one of the throughput of the bus and the power of the data compression processors.

My first hard drive, purchased in 1980, cost over $5,000 and was the size of a shoe box and had a capacity of 5MB. At least the electronics industry has been increasing in efficiency and cost effective solutions. Amazing what can be accomplished when there are few monopolies in place (other than data communications and Windows and the transportation sector with forced reliance on gas powered vehicles.)

Link | Posted on May 22, 2019 at 19:09 UTC as 2nd comment
On article Olympus E-M1X vs Nikon D5: shooting tennis (650 comments in total)

I own the D500 and D850 and rented a D5 for a week of testing. The autofocus of the D5 was noticeably better than that of the D500 or D850 when the subject was approaching the camera at speed. No real difference if the subject is going across the frame but then that is true with the preceding generation of Nikon cameras going back some 10 years to the D3/D300.

Where the D5 falls down is with its 20MP sensor that effectively becomes a 8MP sensor with any cropping as in its DX mode.

Link | Posted on May 1, 2019 at 00:18 UTC as 27th comment

Whenever I see the term "artificial intelligence" in an article I know it was written by someone with a degree in English literature taking verbatim the pronouncement of a snake oil peddler. There is no such thing as artificial intelligence and the term is used to sex up the more plebeian sounding but accurate term "machine learning".

With image processing software it is not even machine learning that we get but rather preset parameters to provide a proscribed series of manipulations to take place. It there was learning taking place then the results would change with each iteration but that does not happen.

Link | Posted on Apr 7, 2019 at 20:51 UTC as 11th comment | 3 replies
On photo Blue Moonlight in the Canon Challenge challenge (32 comments in total)

It has the feeling of a Vincent van Gogh painting. I like every aspect of the image and appreciate that a composition like this does not simply fall into place.

I like that you left the image nearly intact to preserve and communicate the scene as it presented itself to you. So often people are inclined to adjust the exposure to make it "normal" and in so doing they kill the image.

Link | Posted on Jan 8, 2019 at 00:13 UTC as 1st comment | 1 reply
Total: 70, showing: 1 – 20
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