Mike Sandman

Mike Sandman

Lives in United States Brookline, United States
Works as a Retired management consultant
Joined on Mar 20, 2003
About me:

Sony Alpha FF now; formerly Canon. Started with a Balda 35mm rangefinder in 1956. My 15 minutes of fame: One of my photos was included by dPreview in its "Reader's best 'place" shots" in 2016

Comments

Total: 381, showing: 1 – 20
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The Sony website lists all the Sony-branded A-mount lenses that are supported, but what about Minolta A-mount lenses? Presumably, the mounts will match up. But will the lens communicate with the camera? If the lens is autofocus, will autofocus work? Anyone know the answers?

Link | Posted on Sep 11, 2020 at 03:06 UTC as 3rd comment
In reply to:

Niko Todd: It's irritating and nauseating keep reading over and over again comments about how unfair it is to CaNikon because Sony has had a head-start!
Should Sony users feel guilty and uncomfortable, because CaNikon were stupid and arrogant not to react on time?
And when they did, they ended up with that ridiculously big mounts, which improve nothing; add vignetting, unnecessary weight, and make transition to the mirrorless even harder due to the big price.
Can't wait for the RF 400 f/22 Pancake and the Nikkor f/0.1 BlackHole.

@BrentShumer - Third-party lens makers have certainly increased the number of lenses available for Sony FF cameras, but even without a single third-party lens, the line-up available for Sony would have about 20 Sony-branded choices.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2020 at 19:25 UTC
In reply to:

Niko Todd: It's irritating and nauseating keep reading over and over again comments about how unfair it is to CaNikon because Sony has had a head-start!
Should Sony users feel guilty and uncomfortable, because CaNikon were stupid and arrogant not to react on time?
And when they did, they ended up with that ridiculously big mounts, which improve nothing; add vignetting, unnecessary weight, and make transition to the mirrorless even harder due to the big price.
Can't wait for the RF 400 f/22 Pancake and the Nikkor f/0.1 BlackHole.

My recollection is that when the Sony A7 was introduced, there were numerous posts suggesting that it was foolish to buy the camera because there were so few lenses available. Now we see the same sorts of comments about the Z and R cameras. Time may not heal all wounds, but it will heal lens availability.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2020 at 01:35 UTC
On article Lensrentals tears down the Canon 600mm F11 IS STM (242 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: After reading Roger's comments (which as usual are informative and fun to read), and learning that:
There will be diffraction at f/11
There's a whole lot of plastic in a long, extending lens
The gapless design "improves contrast. Some." ...and my experience with a Canon DO 70-300 DO lens that had poor contrast...

I'm thinking that a used 500 mm mirror (catadioptric) lens would offer better IQ, size and weight, and be better overall despite the specular highlights problem.

@entoman -- yup, I'm aware of the out of focus highlights showing up as bright donuts. It's just a question of which devil you prefer to live with.

@dave8 -- Thanks for the comment about the IQ of the Canon f/11/s vs. the Minolta.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2020 at 19:17 UTC
On article Lensrentals tears down the Canon 600mm F11 IS STM (242 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: After reading Roger's comments (which as usual are informative and fun to read), and learning that:
There will be diffraction at f/11
There's a whole lot of plastic in a long, extending lens
The gapless design "improves contrast. Some." ...and my experience with a Canon DO 70-300 DO lens that had poor contrast...

I'm thinking that a used 500 mm mirror (catadioptric) lens would offer better IQ, size and weight, and be better overall despite the specular highlights problem.

@MikeRan -- True. The A-mount autofocus 500 mm f/8 Minolta is an option -- it seems more likely to be in good shape than an old Soviet MTO lens. But any of these will need an adapter, so autofocus is likely to be slow.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2020 at 16:18 UTC
On article Lensrentals tears down the Canon 600mm F11 IS STM (242 comments in total)

After reading Roger's comments (which as usual are informative and fun to read), and learning that:
There will be diffraction at f/11
There's a whole lot of plastic in a long, extending lens
The gapless design "improves contrast. Some." ...and my experience with a Canon DO 70-300 DO lens that had poor contrast...

I'm thinking that a used 500 mm mirror (catadioptric) lens would offer better IQ, size and weight, and be better overall despite the specular highlights problem.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2020 at 16:10 UTC as 28th comment | 35 replies

Thanks for publishing this

Link | Posted on Aug 21, 2020 at 19:54 UTC as 25th comment
In reply to:

David Hull: I think that all of this discussion of overheating in video modes raises the question of what can photographers focused primarily on stills expect? It seems to me that, with the R5, Canon has finally provided the camera that the traditional photography crowd has been screaming for: relatively high resolution, DR competitive with Sony and Nikon, IBIS, very competitive AF and tracking etc.

I think all of this discussion of video overheat raises a certain amount of FUD for stills shooters. I would like to see some commentary from the camera testers regarding the effect of this issue on stills shooting. Perhaps it exists and I have missed it?

1, Are there any limits imposed on stills shooting?
2. If you run it up against the wall in video use do you have to wait for 20 minutes before you can squeeze off a still shot?
3. Does DR depend on the number of shots taken i.e. does heat buildup on the sensor raise read noise noticeably? how does that compare to other cameras etc.
4....

@DavidHull - I agree. As a stills shooter and migrant from Canon to Sony, the R5 appears to me to be everything one could hope for in a FF mirrorless. It presents a benchmark for Sony to match with the inevitable A7Rv. The IBIS sounds almost too good to be true. If I hadn't moved to Sony, I'd buy the R5 - for stills.

I think Canon's problem is that 8K video is the headline feature, and it's clearly very limited. The dissatisfaction being expressed by video shooters points up the increasing bifurcation of the FF market into cameras designed for stills and cameras designed for video, or at least pro video. Sony's introduction of the A7Siii is an example. Panasonic is possible exception, at the cost of building a much larger and heavier device, thereby giving up the potential size/weight advantage of eliminating the pentaprism.

Link | Posted on Aug 3, 2020 at 15:54 UTC
On article DPReview TV: Canon EOS R5 review (935 comments in total)

I can manage the overheating by traveling with a slab of dry ice, but if the animal eye focus doesn't work well enough to handle a bear rug mounted upside down on the ceiling...

Link | Posted on Aug 1, 2020 at 22:02 UTC as 91st comment | 1 reply
On article Tested: Four travel tripods for every budget (373 comments in total)

I have the Peak Design aluminum version, which at the cost of a few ounces saves $270 vs. the graphite version. Peak Design's unique feature is its small size when folded -- it fits in a carry-on suitcase - in fact it would almost fit crosswise. And as the review says, it is nonetheless quite stable, so its a superb travel tripod. If the aluminum version was added to this review, it would win hands-down on value, despite the innovative but awkward head.

You quickly get used to nesting the column so that the tripod fits into the included case, and an included case is in itself a nice feature. Now if only they'd included a strap on that case...

A question for the reviewer: Mike, whats the big deal about setup speed? I've seen other tripod reviews mention setup speed, but I can't think of many situations when I'm in such a hurry with a tripod that a few extra seconds matters.

Link | Posted on Jul 26, 2020 at 19:42 UTC as 85th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Something odd happening with the links to each section of this story - click on some of them and you get redirected to a no-graphics summary of all the recent news stories

On a Mac with OSX Catalina, using Safari, when I click on #6, for example, I get redirected. It doesn't happen with all the segments of the story -- just a few. Maybe something specific to the links in this story, or something perculiar with my laptop, but that seems unlikely.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2020 at 17:05 UTC

Something odd happening with the links to each section of this story - click on some of them and you get redirected to a no-graphics summary of all the recent news stories

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2020 at 14:55 UTC as 87th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: B&H published an interesting article about mirror lenses a few days ago:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/mirror-lenses-quirky-yes-worth-it-absolutely

The article describes the cons for this type of lens, notably the donut bokeh, and those negatives are certainty reflected in some of the negative comments here. The main pro is the size and weight of the lens. Tokina says this one will weight 355 grams. Canon's f/4 400mm DO lens weighs "only" 2.1 kg because of the DO elements, and OK, it's f/4, but it's also a $6900 lens. This one might cost 1/10th of that, and if you can accept characteristic mirror lens bokeh, it should be pretty interesting.

Yup, I noticed that lens when it was announced. It's tempting even for a Sony owner like me, given the price. It weighs 930 grams -- about half of what the Canon 400mm DO lens weighs. But... It's only f/11, and the Canon DO lens I owned about 8 years ago (70-300mm) had poor contrast. And there are third-party 500mm f/5.6 catadiatropic lenses for $200, which is why the article B&H published caught my eye.

Still, if the Canon lens IQ is OK, it will be worth a look vs. a mirror lens.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2020 at 01:25 UTC

B&H published an interesting article about mirror lenses a few days ago:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/mirror-lenses-quirky-yes-worth-it-absolutely

The article describes the cons for this type of lens, notably the donut bokeh, and those negatives are certainty reflected in some of the negative comments here. The main pro is the size and weight of the lens. Tokina says this one will weight 355 grams. Canon's f/4 400mm DO lens weighs "only" 2.1 kg because of the DO elements, and OK, it's f/4, but it's also a $6900 lens. This one might cost 1/10th of that, and if you can accept characteristic mirror lens bokeh, it should be pretty interesting.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2020 at 16:56 UTC as 23rd comment | 2 replies

I'll be interested to see how the good the 600 and 800MM DO lenses are. Years ago I had a Canon 70-300 DO, and the images lacked contrast. I think that model is out of production now. DO lenses can be smaller and therefore lighter than lenses with standard optics, and if If the new primes produce good images, they should be moderately attractive despite the relatively small maximum apertures.

Link | Posted on Jul 12, 2020 at 03:34 UTC as 10th comment

Chris mentions using UV filters just to protect the front element of the lens from damage. Another slightly less expensive option is to use clear filters, which don't affect the image at all (assuming they're good quality and have an anti-reflective coating).

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2020 at 15:48 UTC as 29th comment | 3 replies

Olympus OM-1 & Zuiko lenses.
I also had a seldom-used bellows for the OM system and it fetched quite a good price on eBay. No regrets about that item.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2020 at 01:02 UTC as 145th comment | 1 reply

The competition does indeed include the $550 Loupdeck CT, but the $250 Loupedeck+ seems more directly competitive, at least for Lightroom. It might be appropriate to note that in the article.

Link | Posted on May 19, 2020 at 17:04 UTC as 32nd comment
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: This appears to be a means of reducing taxes, and despite the asset write-down, the company still forecasts a small profit. The change affects shareholders, but it doesn't suggest that Nikon wlll go out of business. And that's the "bottom line" for photographers. (It might make Nikon an attractive acquisition target, however.)

The point of my comment was that Nikon’s write-down of assets doesn’t indicate that the company was about to go under. And that’s good new for photographers.

The parenthetical comment about it being a potential takeover target was, well, parenthetical. But... would it be attractive? Well, it depends on the price. Nikon has a strong brand image in optics. An optics firm interested in the brand might want to acquire it or take a large stake in the company. And Japanese competitors and suppliers often own each other’s shares; Sony owns a share of Tamron and until recently owned 5% of Olympus. But again, the main point is that the write-down isn’t the harbinger of Nikon’s demise.

Link | Posted on May 13, 2020 at 13:22 UTC

This appears to be a means of reducing taxes, and despite the asset write-down, the company still forecasts a small profit. The change affects shareholders, but it doesn't suggest that Nikon wlll go out of business. And that's the "bottom line" for photographers. (It might make Nikon an attractive acquisition target, however.)

Link | Posted on May 12, 2020 at 14:14 UTC as 65th comment | 3 replies
Total: 381, showing: 1 – 20
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