MediaArchivist

MediaArchivist

Lives in United States D.C. Metro, VA, United States
Works as a Rock & roll photog, computer geek
Has a website at www.mediaarchivist.com
Joined on Feb 2, 2013
About me:

Goal: develop the proper shooting techniques and technical skills that allow for the most unusual and hard to obtain shots. This necessarily involves using equipment "incorrectly" and modifying or ignoring many accepted shooting styles.

A good deal of my current effort is directed at musicians on dimly lit stages:
http://www.roxplosion.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Roxplosion/
https://instagram.com/roxplosion/

Comments

Total: 40, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Ask the staff: electronic or optical viewfinder? (888 comments in total)
In reply to:

jalywol: When I had my first SLR, a Pentax MX, which had a huge, bright, OVF, I always struggled to get sharp focus. When I got an AF film Nikon about 20 years ago, I no longer had to MF, but realized that OVF was even worse for MF. That held true for my D200 and D90 too...but, before I got the D200, I'd had a Sony DSC-F717, which had an EVF. By today's standards it would have been laughable, but I fell in love with it. I could see actual exposure, and it made getting exactly what I wanted in my image much easier.
Somewhere during my tenure with the D90, I bought an M43 camera, and re-discovered my preference for EVF. I ended up going entirely mirrorless since, with both M43 and A7 bodies. I find that looking through an OVF now feels like going back to stone knives and bearskins. There is so much information, both in terms of the image and the settings, in the EVF that I really feel like I am shooting blind when I use an OVF now. Another added bonus, too; MF is super easy with EVFs!

I've been using focus peaking with f/1.4 lenses and tend to get my subjects in focus, including eyes if that is what I am going for. The strength of the highlighting depends on many factors, both in the scene and the "peaking level" setting in the camera. I would not be surprised if certain lenses also affected accuracy. Regardless, in my opinion (and experience) peaking is more accurate than using a split screen and focus-recompose... but I could see how that could work with a lot of practice and experience with a particular lens and its specific field curvature.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:47 UTC
On article Ask the staff: electronic or optical viewfinder? (888 comments in total)
In reply to:

BruceB609: Not overlooking Live View on any camera, I enjoy OVF and EVF but the later is a great tool for previews and information. I'm truly hooked on a black and white EVF display when that's my greyscale objective anyway. Black and white always seems to compose differently from colour. Great for infra red converts. In the end, it comes down to the camera I'm using and what I'm shooting for.

On many cameras, both DSLRs and mirrorless, there is a neat trick you can do with live view on the LCD screen (and with an EVF). Set the camera to record raw, and set it to B/W mode with focus peaking turned on. The peaking is much easier to see (if it is in color), and the raw data will be in full color (which you can convert to B/W if desired).

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2017 at 06:58 UTC
On article Ask the staff: electronic or optical viewfinder? (888 comments in total)
In reply to:

jalywol: When I had my first SLR, a Pentax MX, which had a huge, bright, OVF, I always struggled to get sharp focus. When I got an AF film Nikon about 20 years ago, I no longer had to MF, but realized that OVF was even worse for MF. That held true for my D200 and D90 too...but, before I got the D200, I'd had a Sony DSC-F717, which had an EVF. By today's standards it would have been laughable, but I fell in love with it. I could see actual exposure, and it made getting exactly what I wanted in my image much easier.
Somewhere during my tenure with the D90, I bought an M43 camera, and re-discovered my preference for EVF. I ended up going entirely mirrorless since, with both M43 and A7 bodies. I find that looking through an OVF now feels like going back to stone knives and bearskins. There is so much information, both in terms of the image and the settings, in the EVF that I really feel like I am shooting blind when I use an OVF now. Another added bonus, too; MF is super easy with EVFs!

With focus peaking, an EVF allows you to have your subject anywhere in the frame— even the edges or corners. I am learning that many lenses with "soft corners" really just have a curved focal plane— and getting a subject sharp in those corners is merely a matter of focusing properly.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2017 at 06:55 UTC
On article Ask the staff: electronic or optical viewfinder? (888 comments in total)

I rarely use the viewfinder, I use the LCD for almost all my shots. So the debate is kind of pointless for me :)

Link | Posted on Mar 13, 2017 at 20:45 UTC as 95th comment | 2 replies
On article Sony SLT a99 II Review (1559 comments in total)
In reply to:

tbcass: I have issue with this;
"The screen can be used at all sorts of angles, but finding the right position to shoot from below waist level in portrait orientation is confusing, and makes the Sony look unnecessarily clumsy next to anyone using a typical professional DSLR. If the screen could spin on its base hinge freely without hard stopping points, the mechanism would be much more useful, but the hard stopping points force it to be used in specific ways, making it more cumbersome than a fully articulated screen."

Bull!!!!!! It's the same system that's in my A77ii and I have no problems at all. Apparently the reviewers are just uncoordinated oafs. In addition most professional DSLRs have fixed screens.

I use my a99— in portrait orientation— to take waist level, floor level, above-the-head level, behind a speaker cabinet level, and reaching forward as far as I can level shots. Often all of the above within a few seconds as I move the screen to accommodate the new position. It's possibly the most flexible screen available, and for me one of the most important features on the camera. I'd struggle to think of how I might look clumsy next to another photographer, but I care more about results than how I look getting them.

Link | Posted on Feb 13, 2017 at 19:07 UTC
On article Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art DxO results: a new king is crowned (249 comments in total)
In reply to:

dtray187: I had this lens on my d810 for a few shoots.... it was incredibly sharp , but the bokeh was not looking good to me, too harsh, that's a huge deal. And the way it rendered skin wasn't to my liking. It Was just too clinical, I replaced with the 105mm 1.4e and wow that thing is amazing!
Honestly the 85mm 1.4g I liked better than the art, 1.4g wasn't as sharp but rendered incredible, memorable portraits. This sharpness war needs to be balanced with results on portraits.

Designing a lens for bokeh is a difficult design goal, or at least measuring the results are. Designing a lens specifically for bokeh invites scorn, such as the Nikon 58/1.4G (which is heralded by those who know what they are doing with such a lens). Almost all other attributes of a lens can be measured objectively on a test bed, and Sigma seems to have used that as a goal. Of course, nothing wrong with that and Sigma has certainly exceeded expectations with objective measurements. I have the 35/1.4 Art, and while I don't think the bokeh is horrible (most of the time), in most situations I prefer the bokeh from my 1980's designed Minolta 35/1.4. The Sigma far exceeds the Minolta for just about everything else that it can make choosing which one to use an interesting exercise. I don't have the 50/1.4, but from what I have seen the bokeh is not as smooth as with the older Sigma 50/1.4 EX (which I do have and use quite a bit).

Link | Posted on Feb 6, 2017 at 07:07 UTC
On a photo in the Leica M10 real-world samples (pre-production) sample gallery (1 comment in total)

Nice shot! Saturated LED lights sure can be a challenge... I wish there was an obvious place to discuss this and other issues specific to this type of shot. Maybe a "Concert Photography" forum?

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2017 at 06:49 UTC as 1st comment
On a photo in the Sony a6500 Sample Images sample gallery (1 comment in total)

Those lights look pretty saturated. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated "Concert Photography" forum where the specific issues of this kind of work can be discussed, and someone seeking wisdom from their peers would no where to go.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2017 at 06:47 UTC as 1st comment
On a photo in the Sony a99 II Real World Sample Gallery sample gallery (1 comment in total)

LED stage lights are tough! Wouldn't it be nice to discuss the specific issues of this type of lighting in a "Concert Photography" forum?

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2017 at 06:44 UTC as 1st comment
On a photo in the Nikon 20mm F1.8G ED rock and roll photos sample gallery (1 comment in total)

Nice shot! I'd like to discuss the practical issues a photographer faces when taking shots like this in a dedicated "Concert Photography" forum on this site, wouldn't that be great?

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2017 at 06:42 UTC as 1st comment
On a photo in the Nikon 20mm F1.8G ED rock and roll photos sample gallery (1 comment in total)

Wouldn't it be great to be able to discuss the technical challenges of taking shots like this in a dedicated "Concert Photography" forum?

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2017 at 06:41 UTC as 1st comment
On article Buying a second lens: what lens should I buy next? (295 comments in total)

"Although the term has a specific meaning..." we are going to ignore that and misuse the term, passing up the opportunity to create a teachable moment in an article intended to teach.

Link | Posted on Jan 19, 2017 at 16:38 UTC as 8th comment
In reply to:

Prince Of Darkness: Is BRIDES magazine still a thing?

Are magazines still a thing?

Link | Posted on Jan 2, 2017 at 02:20 UTC
On article Got Bokeh? DxO reviews the Nikkor AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED (140 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biological_Viewfinder: I think bokeh is silly and useless and a sign of laziness.

If the photographer would just spend 5 seconds looking for an adequate background, then it wouldn't have to be blurred almost out of existence.

Whenever I see a photograph that is crisp and sharp everywhere, my own eyes can scan the whole frame as though it is the best 2 dimension representation of our 3D world. Whatever I'm not looking directly at is a little blurry, when I look at it then it resolves and is sharp.

Whenever I see a photograph with far too much bokeh in it, such as anything made with this lens wide open; I can't resolve any of the detail at all except for the subject. So it is not an accurate representation of the world, and it's just silly. Like a toy.

If I felt that I needed to make the background blurry to accentuate the subject, then I could do that in post with photoshop. Maybe not as good, but really is anyone even looking that hard? Put my doctored pic against this lens and most wouldn't even know.

Attention to detail (like bokeh) allows photographers to stand out. This lens is a tool to help accomplish that. How are you ever going to stand out when you refuse to broaden your skills and experience? Have you been brain-washed into thinking blog posts make the photographer?

Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2016 at 23:14 UTC
In reply to:

marbles504: If the photog doesn't have the "password" to decrypt their photos, then there's no reason to torture them, is there?

Here's a simple solution: public/private key pair - the photog's "home base" (assumingly secure) has the private key. The camera contains the public key and is used to encrypt the photos. Photos are encrypted after a set interval after shooting (1 second, 1minute, ....adjustable in camera) so that the photog can review images and delete rejects. There is also a new encryption button that will force the camera to encrypt all photos immediately.

Using this there's no reason to torture the photographer for some password.

From a computer security standpoint, this is sound. If it was in widespread use, then governments and their checkpoints would be less menacing (although they could hold the photographer and demand their employer decrypt the data as a condition of release). The problem is implementation. Doing it correctly is, as my CS professor would say, "non-trivial". You can't just snap your fingers and have a button appear as well as all the necessary infrastructure for secure key exchange.

Would the implementation be "hands off" for the manufacturers? In other words, could Reuters set up a secure key exchange infrastructure on their own, or would it all have to run through Canon/Nikon/Sony/Olympus/et al? Conceptually this is a simple idea (which is almost always good for security), but implementing it in the real world will be complex. Not impossible, but certainly "non-trivial".

Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2016 at 17:01 UTC
On article Got Bokeh? DxO reviews the Nikkor AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED (140 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biological_Viewfinder: I think bokeh is silly and useless and a sign of laziness.

If the photographer would just spend 5 seconds looking for an adequate background, then it wouldn't have to be blurred almost out of existence.

Whenever I see a photograph that is crisp and sharp everywhere, my own eyes can scan the whole frame as though it is the best 2 dimension representation of our 3D world. Whatever I'm not looking directly at is a little blurry, when I look at it then it resolves and is sharp.

Whenever I see a photograph with far too much bokeh in it, such as anything made with this lens wide open; I can't resolve any of the detail at all except for the subject. So it is not an accurate representation of the world, and it's just silly. Like a toy.

If I felt that I needed to make the background blurry to accentuate the subject, then I could do that in post with photoshop. Maybe not as good, but really is anyone even looking that hard? Put my doctored pic against this lens and most wouldn't even know.

You have not yet grasped the fact that when people spend $2k+ on this lens, they are not using your money. Many people have a different approach to photography, usually based on their tastes (not yours) or their clients'. Your bombast, while notable, does not turn your opinion into universal fact.

Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2016 at 05:48 UTC
In reply to:

dash2k8: Just my worthless $0.02, but I think for a special-purpose lens like this, "real-world" sample street shots are of less value than carefully designed shots, because that's what we would use it for, especially at large apertures. Sure we could use it to get shots of our cats around the house and there's no harm done in taking random shots on the street in a sample gallery, but I would definitely have loved to see more shots in the afternoon framed against a golden sky peeking through tree leaves... I understand DPR doesn't have wedding models just lying in wait so I'm not really complaining, I just found the sample gallery not totally useful to me.

Is it really that "special" purpose? I use my current 85/1.4 for concert photography, and for certain venues and situations it works great. I'm not holding my breath for samples in any reviews, though :)

Link | Posted on Nov 17, 2016 at 00:39 UTC
In reply to:

bildsee: Looks like all the samples are unprocessed JPGs, right?
If so, then this gallery is also an interesting example how well the 5d IV performs straight out of the camera.

F/1.4@35mm is great but @85mm? I doubt that this makes sense with portraits in most cases since it is not possible get both eyes in focus unless the face is exactly parallel to the sensor plane. We can see this by the samples. However, does a portrait with only one eye in focus make sense?

You have options. Get both eyes in the focal plane, or one eye for the sake or art, or stop down. Just because it goes to 11 does not mean you have to crank it to 11 all the time.

Link | Posted on Nov 17, 2016 at 00:34 UTC
In reply to:

mariuss: Any chance to use Canon EF Lens on this camera? Man, i need no 5D4 when i can have A99II...

The flange distance is too great. If such an adapter existed, either you would not be able to focus to infinity, or a "teleconverter" type of adapter would be necessary.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2016 at 01:39 UTC
On article Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Sony a99 II (441 comments in total)
In reply to:

JakeB: Can Sony NOT make an ugly camera?

Yeah, it's a tool, got it.

Will no doubt appeal to those with the souls of plumbers.

The uglier the camera the better, as far as I am concerned. I'm the same with camera bags— lately I have been using a diaper bag.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2016 at 20:36 UTC
Total: 40, showing: 1 – 20
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