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Author Topic: An Embarrassment of Riches  (Read 9601 times)
dreed
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« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2012, 05:26:49 PM »
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MatthewCromer. Um exactly what was this great era of innovation from CaNik during the film slr era?

Well, I don't know about great but...

Canon debuted the pellicle in the EOS RT (first autofocus camera to have this feature.)
Canon debuted eye-tracking focus in the EOS 5 (feature not found in any other brand?)

... there may be others...
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BJL
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« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2012, 05:39:29 PM »
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Rob C.,
It seems that your point is that advances in automation (focus, exposure level setting, film advance) and operating speed are irrelevant to you, and then, yes, maybe not a lot has changed except the replacement of chemical emulsions by electronic sensors.

But if all such technological innovations of the last fourty years or so are irrelevant to you, I think it just means that you and the 21st century do not have much to say to each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Dave Millier
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« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2012, 06:38:03 PM »
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I really feel you can't make such blanket statements about other people. I still have my Kodak 14n but will get rid of it soon. I've already disposed of my 5D. My Pentax K5 offers all the quality I need in a very compact package. My G3 I'm testing appears to do the job to in an even smaller package. Why would I want to waste 2500 on the behemoth of the D800 when I can spend 300 on the G3 and get all the quality I need for an A3 print that will fit in a coat pocket.




Economically, it obviates the high-end crop-dslrs as 'pro-sumer' cameras. Most people with the money for serious glass and a serious interest in photography will find little appeal in a $1500-1800 APS-C camera when a D800 can be had for $3K.

It's not fan-boy talk to say this camera will likely be looked-back on as a real milestone in the digital camera industry.

- N.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2012, 06:47:12 PM »
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I really feel you can't make such blanket statements about other people. I still have my Kodak 14n but will get rid of it soon. I've already disposed of my 5D. My Pentax K5 offers all the quality I need in a very compact package. My G3 I'm testing appears to do the job to in an even smaller package. Why would I want to waste 2500 on the behemoth of the D800 when I can spend 300 on the G3 and get all the quality I need for an A3 print that will fit in a coat pocket.

I don't think Nick was making blanket statements about other people - he was projecting where the market may be going based on prices relative to technical specs. I projected in my post that the D800 will make inroads on MF because it now becomes possible to do a great deal of what ~40MP MF does for 5K instead of 30K. Nick is projecting it will make inroads on the higher-end crop DSLRs. It's a very interesting line of argument and makes sense - at least to me. If there is a small difference of price for a very large difference in technical specs, it's entirely reasonable to expect many people to "buy-up", just as it's reasonable vis a vis MF to expect them to "buy down". This camera just happens to have (I'm sure not by accident) a very strategic price point for what it offers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
BJL
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« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2012, 07:16:03 PM »
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I've already disposed of my 5D. My Pentax K5 offers all the quality I need in a very compact package. My G3 I'm testing appears to do the job to in an even smaller package.
For the sake of argument, I can conceive of one way that advances at a given format size like the D800 could hurt a smaller format like APS-C, in defiance of the persistent trend towards smaller formats "getting the job done", and that is that an even smaller format encroaches from the other side, and we move back to the traditional scheme where the sequence of formats went mainly by a doubling of linear dimensions: using the short edge (also film roll width), 24mm, 42.5mm=1 3/4", 100mm=4, 8". That could leave a format like the 13mm on the short edge of 4/3 format as a natural next size down from 35mm format and strand APS-C.

I do not see this happening with DSLR's, where both "incumbency" and lens sharability with 35mm format favor APS-C formats, but maybe with mirrorless systems, where there is far less priority on backward compatability with "big old 20th century style SLR lenses".  Especially if Canon follows Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, and one half of Pentax in going smaller than APS-C for a mirrorless system.

By the way, my subject line throws in the high end compact format 2/3" because that happens to continue my size halving sequence. As a hostoric quirk, that was the format of the first Olympus DSLR, the fixed lens E-10.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 08:08:02 PM by BJL » Logged
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2012, 07:24:37 PM »
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Good question about the lenses Alan - the issue is of course that they are not "optimized" for digital, and the resolution of that sensor is so fine it could make a difference to ultimately achievable image quality; so the real question is whether what you will get using those lenses meets your expectations and from there, whether investing in a D800 is worthwhile paired with those lenses. I don't know the answer, but I suggest there is a real question here.
I've not done any kind of chart testing, only taken pictures and they seem to perform quite well with a digital back.  The 105mm, f2.5 was one of the best 'film' lens that Nikon made.  I guess I should download some test charts and see how it stacks up.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2012, 07:27:03 PM »
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There are all kinds of reasons to make photos (and paintings) different sizes, both large and small. But not many people really had the option to print large, until recently, and for a whole lot of mechanical reasons, rather than artistic preferences...which was my point.
Agreed.  If you look at pictures of the set up Ansel Adams had to make 'big' prints you realize how much better we have things today with inkjet printers.  I'm sure he would have salivated over the possibility of printing on a 44 inch wide inkjet!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2012, 07:27:32 PM »
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YES! I remember that 105mm lens - I used it on a Contax decades ago and it was superb.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
JohnBrew
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« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2012, 07:56:26 PM »
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Good question about the lenses Alan - the issue is of course that they are not "optimized" for digital, and the resolution of that sensor is so fine it could make a difference to ultimately achievable image quality; so the real question is whether what you will get using those lenses meets your expectations and from there, whether investing in a D800 is worthwhile paired with those lenses. I don't know the answer, but I suggest there is a real question here.
Mark, several of the pros on Nikongear have tested many of the so-called legacy lenses on the D800 and found them to be as effective as they were in the past.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2012, 07:58:51 PM »
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Mark, several of the pros on Nikongear have tested many of the so-called legacy lenses on the D800 and found them to be as effective as they were in the past.

Interesting. I hadn't seen any of that - and it's encouraging of course, but the more relevant question in this context is how those lenses compare on a Nikon D800 compared with high-end Nikon lenses optimized for digital.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
BJL
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« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2012, 08:16:47 PM »
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Good question about the lenses Alan - the issue is of course that they are not "optimized" for digital, and the resolution of that sensor is so fine it could make a difference to ultimately achievable image quality ...
If lenses were designed for film including the highest resolution B&W films, even the D800 does not yet surpass that, so I would not assume that "film lenses" were all designed with less demanding resolution goals than modern DSLR sensors need. Many yes, but not all.

For example, Kodak TMAX 100 has MTF of 70% or better all the way up to the Nyquist frequency of the D800, just over 100lp/mm. It drops to MTF of 50% only at 125lp/mm, which would need pixel size of under 4 microns, so 54MP in 35mm format.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2012, 08:19:58 PM »
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It's not only about resolution - it's about how they concentrate and direct light on the microlenses of the sensor.

http://www.shutterbug.com/content/digitally-optimized-zoom-lenses-do-they-really-make-difference

and tons more stuff:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=lenses+optimized+for+digital&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 08:23:32 PM by Mark D Segal » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
MatthewCromer
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« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2012, 08:23:51 PM »
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I've got a couple of analogies that I think are instructive.  Aviation is a mature technology just as digital photography is a mature technology.

Let's see.  That would put us -- right around 1930 or so in aviation terms, given the amount of time digital imaging has been actively developed.  And there weren't any significant changes in aviation between 1930 and today, right?  Uhhhh. . .

I'm afraid I find it pretty unlikely that "digital photography is a mature technology".

Quote
After a certain point in the development of a technology, advancement comes at a slower pace and every increment is hard-earned.  That doesn't mean there isn't value in the advances or that it would be better to hold them in reserve until a larger advancement could be debuted.  As far as the manufacture of components goes, Cessna Citations are among the most advanced of light jets and they have an enviable safety record, and yet they don't build the engines.  Pratt and Whitney builds most of the engines.  I think that point is irrelevant.  I don't care that Nikon doesn't manufacture the sensors or displays.  I would rather they source the best they can or develop strategic partnerships and work at their highest value developments.  We live in an age of undeniable technological mastery.  As photographers we have tremendous tools that would be unimaginable just a few years ago and yet we can complain over the lack of even greater advancement.  My grandfather was a British Army officer and served at a time when cannon were hauled around behind horses, yet he lived to see manned space flight.

Yeah.  So why is Canon still selling "cannon hauled around behind horses" then?

More to the point, why are Sony, Olympus and Panasonic innovating with digital?  Why is Nikon innovating with their V1 line and not with their dSLRs?  I'm afraid the answer is that their dSLR customers prefer to buy what they are used to, and not go forward with new breakthroughs in technologies.

You can't blame Canon and Nikon for building the dSLRs their customers want.

I wasn't BTW criticizing Nikon for buying their sensors from Sony (in fact, Canon should consider doing the same).  I was simply noting that the actual breakthrough with the Nikon D800 (a really kickass sensor at an affordable price) wasn't even their doing.

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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2012, 08:25:19 PM »
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1) Perhaps the low hanging fruit has been taken.
2) Perhaps continuity is also important to their customers.
3) Perhaps those corporations are content to reap the profit from previous innovation until their market share is threatened.

I'll take 2) and 3).
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2012, 08:26:12 PM »
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I wasn't BTW criticizing Nikon for buying their sensors from Sony (in fact, Canon should consider doing the same).  I was simply noting that the actual breakthrough with the Nikon D800 (a really kickass sensor at an affordable price) wasn't even their doing.

Does it matter whose "doing" it was? The main issue is what it is and what it costs.

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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
MatthewCromer
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« Reply #75 on: May 03, 2012, 08:28:39 PM »
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MatthewCromer. Um exactly what was this great era of innovation from CaNik during the film slr era?


I was more specifically referring to the autofocus SLR era (although Minolta shares a lot of the credit for that particular breakthrough).

They definitely pushed forward the state of the art in autofocus, and Canon's introduction of IS was an obvious big win.

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BJL
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« Reply #76 on: May 03, 2012, 10:43:33 PM »
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It's not only about resolution - it's about how they concentrate and direct light on the microlenses of the sensor.

http://www.shutterbug.com/content/digitally-optimized-zoom-lenses-do-they-really-make-difference
My comment was addressed to your mention of resolution right after the mention of "digitally optimized". And agreed, issues like controlling flare due to sensors reflecting back more light than film are issues to some degree.

On the other hand, beware quoting seven year old sources like that Shutterbug piece: the worries about microlenses seem to have gone away, with the microlens designs in modern SLR sensors having off-perpendicular sensitivity good enough that there are usually no problems with SLR lenses, whose exit pupils have to be moderately far from the sensor anyway. There are problems with some rangefinder lenses, and maybe with some shift lenses.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 10:46:58 PM by BJL » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2012, 02:54:00 AM »
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Rob, different Russ Meyer! Rob is refering to the porno king who had an obsession with large, make that huge, mammary glands.



Thanks for seeing the humour of the twin names; I suppose it might just be a generation thing but no, wait, as far as mammary memory serves, Russ was way ahead of the arrival of plastic boobs - oh, of course, that means it must be age-related after all!

Confused -

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2012, 03:33:13 AM »
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Rob C.,
It seems that your point is that advances in automation (focus, exposure level setting, film advance) and operating speed are irrelevant to you, and then, yes, maybe not a lot has changed except the replacement of chemical emulsions by electronic sensors.

But if all such technological innovations of the last fourty years or so are irrelevant to you, I think it just means that you and the 21st century do not have much to say to each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that.




You are on the money. And my point is, to drive it further, that most of these 'innovations' don't really make better pictures. Pictures are basically about the mind, and because somebody likes to let the machine change focus, change exposure etc. for him doesn't make his work any the more superior at all. We had motor drives decades ago - they failed to make better shots, because all they did was allow chance a greater say and chance is notoriously unikely to co-operate with the lazy or inept. (However, they did encourage higher film sales.)

Someone mentioned the pelicle system of viewfinder - it didn't last and was seen as a novelty, period.

Gimmicks sell cameras; they don't usually create the conditions for better images. As far as I can see, digital capture has only created an entirely new camera industry at the expense of a hell of a lot of other established companies, jobs and the value of money invested in equipment itself. However, I am more than willing to admit that digital home printing has opened the door to a lot of more user-friendly opportunities for print making. Having written that, I have not seen any great number of prints that's been any more worth the making digitally than via the old ways. Do it with a brush, a trowel, a stick or a spoon or even through a lens - unless the image has something intrinsically worthwhile to state, it matters not at all that (or how) it is created.

And that's the basic, bottom lne that digital has never been able to disguise.

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 07:39:10 AM by Rob C » Logged

Tony Jay
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« Reply #79 on: May 04, 2012, 04:01:46 AM »
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I agree that any camera per se will not guarantee a good image (as far as aesthetics and artistic vision go).

It is also sad that the art of analogue developing and printing is largely dead (BTW my only exposure to this was doing electron microscopy at university - there's an expensive camera for you!). It is true that those that "develop" digitally and subsequently print now using experience developed prior to the digital era may have an advantage over us who have largely come to the craft in the digital era.

Many companies who have fallen by the wayside, most notably Kodak, held part of the future in their hands and just did not look ahead and see the opportunities or take advantage of them.

Nonetheless there are tremendous advantages in digital imaging.
The learning curve can be exceptionally steep due to the immediate feedback afforded by digital. The only reason my photography has advanced is due to this. Shooting slide film just didn't allow me to improve my image making - the interval between shooting and viewing was too great (even with good images I couldn't really remember what I had done or what I was really trying to capture from an artistic perspective).

Now I can concentrate on my vision as well as get reasonable feedback straight away (critical focus may be an exception at times). Viewing images on a monitor within an hour or two of shooting closes the loop nicely.

Personally I hope that film photography never dies off completely. It is still an important, if small, part of photography be it professional or recreational.

My humble opinion

Tony Jay
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