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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 05-03-2008   #1
Roger Hicks
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Pictures taken with a...

Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?

If I'm doing a review, obviously I use the kit under review. But if I'm not, I use either my favourite lenses or what's on the camera at the time: I take much the same sort of pics with a 35 Summilux, 50 Sonnar or 75 Summicron (my three favourites).

Also, by the time a pic has been scanned and post-processed (or shot digitally and post-processed) then reduced to 600x900 pixels (a screen-filling image), what can it tell me about the camera or lens? Let alone a 400x600 vertical shot?

After a few weeks, I can sometimes tell or remember which lens I used for a given shot, but often I can't. Sometimes I can't even tell if I used a 35 or a 50, and I certainly can't tell an M2 from an M4-P from an MP, or even any of those from a Voigtländer (except sometimes with fast lenses close up) or Zeiss Ikon.

What do others think about this?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #2
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maybe ...
telling what equipment was used is all that is worth while telling about those pictures?

just a weird idea, of course.
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Old 05-03-2008   #3
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I think all my pictures in the gallery are titled by the subjects name. Only the earliest photographs I uploaded have gear information.

I rarely remember what lens I used much less the aperture,
I only know when It's the 75 lux because it's my only coded lens.
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Old 05-03-2008   #4
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Once again, Roger, It's just YOUR opinion that pics can't be judged based on web image. Me, for example, - If I like a particular photo online, I do want to know what equipment was used as it gives me an idea how some things work together. Helped me make some lens descisions in a past many times. So for me - web pictures can tell a lot about lens performance. And so far - everything I could see from online photo - did perform in a same way once I got to use the same lens in real life. It's just you have to find a good source of info. Why a camera info you say? - well, the whole thing about Konica/Leica incompatibility for example. If I see a pic that was shot with MP and Hexanon, and it is sharp - I can see that they work well together. Or if something backfocuses, etc.
Now, some info about the shot, as far as what's on the pics is helpful too, - so subject info is a good thing to have.
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Old 05-03-2008   #5
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speaking for myself only:
i do not doubt the usefulness of testing. i do some testing to see what my equipment is capable of, and i appreciate the availability of reference pictures in the net. though, those are of limited use only, as it is not clear whether my own results will look similar - my own workflow may yield different results even in a similar situation.

but beyond that point, i no longer care.
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Old 05-03-2008   #6
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When I save a digital or scanned photo I name it by subject. But if I post it online I usually identify the equipment used (plus film and whatever I can remember about exposure settings) mostly to save the bother if someone asks. And I've found people often do ask (though not so much on RFF, I'd guess), even if the info is right there in the EXIF for a digital shot. Its a defensive habit that's become, well, a habit.

...Mike
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Old 05-03-2008   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krosya View Post
Once again, Roger, It's just YOUR opinion that pics can't be judged based on web image. Me, for example, - If I like a particular photo online, I do want to know what equipment was used as it gives me an idea how some things work together.
Sure: a good picture looks better on the web than a bad picture, and you can get some idea of the overall 'look' of an image. And the question 'how did he do that?' sometimes has a technical answer.

But it's not really a matter of opinion whether you can tell more about sharpness and contrast from a transparency or from a web image. If it were otherwise, why would anyone make cameras that were more than one megapixel? This isn't opinion: it's simple physics.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 05-03-2008   #8
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Originally Posted by mfunnell View Post
When I save a digital or scanned photo I name it by subject. But if I post it online I usually identify the equipment used (plus film and whatever I can remember about exposure settings) mostly to save the bother if someone asks. ...Mike
Dear Mike,

Indeed, identifying the kit can sometimes be useful, but I know that a lot of the stuff that appears in print is a flat lie, made up to please people who expect that sort of thing. I even knew one photographer who attributed all his best 6x7 shots to one manufacturer (who gave him kit) and the so-so shots to another (whose kit he had to buy).

Most professional photographers I know don't really give a toss whether it was shot on a Hasselblad or a Rollei as long as it's a good picture. Indeed, that was the first example I saw of made-up data, over 25 years ago. You could see from the trannie it was Hasselblad (frame edges, not image quality) and when I queried it, the photographer said, "Was it? Who cares? Change it, if you like..."

I write a 'best guess' to accompany many shots, often qualified with 'as far as I remember' or something similar; but it doesn't signify a whole hell of a lot, even when it's accurate, which it usually is (fairly) because I can often remember what I was using.

As for remembering exposure data, I'm most unlikely to do that. The same is true of just about every professional I've ever met, unless there was some special reason to remember.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #9
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I think it's a familiarity thing a lot of the time. I can tell you what cameras quite a few of the more active memebers here own and I'm sure a lot of them know what I own. Sometimes I look at a pic and think ... "Oh, he used the Hexar for this pic. My god ... he's still got that Canon f1.2 50mm!" etc etc.

It's no big deal ... if someone wants to let me know what camera and lens combo he used for the shot and how he processed his film even ... that's fine with me!
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Old 05-03-2008   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Sure: a good picture looks better on the web than a bad picture, and you can get some idea of the overall 'look' of an image. And the question 'how did he do that?' sometimes has a technical answer.

But it's not really a matter of opinion whether you can tell more about sharpness and contrast from a transparency or from a web image. If it were otherwise, why would anyone make cameras that were more than one megapixel? This isn't opinion: it's simple physics.

Cheers,

Roger
Ok, I'll bite - so how exactly, if I'm trying to decide to buy or not to buy a Noctilux, I'm supposed to judge this $5000 lens? Based on what you say - I have to buy it, shoot some transparency film with it and only then I'd know what it can do.
Or I could try looking at some pics online - as I do it.
Hmmm....
Moving on. Ok, I agree, that in a "laboratory" enviroment Slide would tell more about a lens than a web picture. However, what about the real world? How many people, including even ones that use Noctilux and such lenses, actually have a good use for that slide? 1%?
In today's world everything IS digital. Physics or not, most people use digital web pics and do just fine. Most people even with high megapixel cameras, like m8 or EOS 5D, dont ever print pictures - all goes online.
Is it the way to get the most out ur lens/camera? Maybe not, but it's where things are now. Plus, I thought (and I may be wrong) that you are an M8 user, right? But if you are - do you think it's a good enough camera to produce a file that sharpness and contrast of the lens can be judged on, or do you still have to use a slide film for that?
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Old 05-03-2008   #11
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Originally Posted by leicasniper View Post
I guess it's intended use that influences a lot of this, but I don't think you can tell a lot from photos posted on the web. I have photos that look great posted on the web, but are a bear to print. And I have photos that print beautifully that don't look good on the web.

The short version is that I'm not sure the web is useful for evaluating equipment unless the only place you are going to present your photos is on the web. YMMV
All I can say here - your workflow is flowed somewhere. My images are very consistant - they either look/print well, or they dont.
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Old 05-03-2008   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Mike,

Indeed, identifying the kit can sometimes be useful, but I know that a lot of the stuff that appears in print is a flat lie, made up to please people who expect that sort of thing. I even knew one photographer who attributed all his best 6x7 shots to one manufacturer (who gave him kit) and the so-so shots to another (whose kit he had to buy).
That's nasty - but inapplicable in my circumstance: I imagine my "influence" is roughly less-than-zero. However, if any manufacturers are out there, I will state "I cannot be bought (but have most attractive rates of hire )"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
As for remembering exposure data, I'm most unlikely to do that. The same is true of just about every professional I've ever met, unless there was some special reason to remember.
Well, I imagine most professionals shoot a lot more frames than I do! And what I said was "what I can remember" which usually isn't a lot. I generally have a rough idea of the aperture (within a stop or so) but seldom remember shutter speeds. Even when shooting manually. But that rough idea is usually driven by what vague memories I might retain of what I was trying to achieve at the time. Which is possible if (as is the case) I get through a roll a week and, perhaps, four rolls on a "good" weekend.

...Mike
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Old 05-03-2008   #13
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The equipment information satisfies the gear headedness part in us. So, the specific model is nice to know, but really it's the format and type of camera (RF, SLR, TLR, scale focuser, field LF, mono rail LF) that would be more significant.
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Old 05-03-2008   #14
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Interesting question Mr. Hicks. I can remember (as I am sure you can), when you never saw a photo in a magazine or book, without not only the camera and lens, but aperture and shutter speed, film, and maybe other information. Everyone knew that professionals and serious amatures kept notes of those things for all photos.

I almost never did. I did often recall the unusual things such as an unusual lens for a particular photo, or unusual shutter/aperture, that is, not what the meter called for. I often thought I should record such things, and did for a while in my first year of college when I didn't have a meter. It helped me be able to zero in on the best settings for a particular lighting situation. I was taught when taking forensic photos to record all. I started trying to do that, but soon found that wasn't really necessary either.

Certainly when I got my first SLR, I didn't, I just followed the light meter's recommendations. I found the Yashica TL Super's meter was excellent. I could follow it and didn't have to record anything to repeat good exposures. I don't know any other reason to keep such records.

If it isn't necessary for that, why bother? I can always tell the film if necessary, and I can guess pretty close if I wasn't using a normal lens. Again, why bother?

I guess I am trying to say I think you are right.
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Old 05-03-2008   #15
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Do you mean odd as in esoteric, or odd as in 'is that guy really wearing a dead skunk?'

Esoteric odd: yes.
Dead Skunk odd: no.
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Old 05-03-2008   #16
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Sometimes I like to see the gear, film, developer, time, temp, agitation, not for any reason I just like it.
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Old 05-03-2008   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?

If I'm doing a review, obviously I use the kit under review. But if I'm not, I use either my favourite lenses or what's on the camera at the time: I take much the same sort of pics with a 35 Summilux, 50 Sonnar or 75 Summicron (my three favourites).

Also, by the time a pic has been scanned and post-processed (or shot digitally and post-processed) then reduced to 600x900 pixels (a screen-filling image), what can it tell me about the camera or lens? Let alone a 400x600 vertical shot?

After a few weeks, I can sometimes tell or remember which lens I used for a given shot, but often I can't. Sometimes I can't even tell if I used a 35 or a 50, and I certainly can't tell an M2 from an M4-P from an MP, or even any of those from a Voigtländer (except sometimes with fast lenses close up) or Zeiss Ikon.

What do others think about this?

Cheers,

R.
I think you are 100% spot on and have stated your thoughts quite well. I find my approach is less gear-centric and more about the subject as well.

Your point about processing analog-to-digital and then displaying that image on the average computer monitor/screen has been the "elephant in the room" in these discussions and I'm glad to see it acknowledged.

Best regards,

Bob
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Old 05-03-2008   #18
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Originally Posted by Krosya View Post
Moving on. Ok, I agree, that in a "laboratory" enviroment Slide would tell more about a lens than a web picture. However, what about the real world? How many people, including even ones that use Noctilux and such lenses, actually have a good use for that slide? 1%?
In today's world everything IS digital. Physics or not, most people use digital web pics and do just fine. Most people even with high megapixel cameras, like m8 or EOS 5D, dont ever print pictures - all goes online.
Read any magazine, and they will tell you, "Believe what we say, not what we print." This is because ANY reproduction medium is variable -- and magazines are more reliable than uncalibrated monitors. Books are better still.

Buy on a test if you can, or on the advice of someone you trust if you can't. It's fairly clear that you have no faith whatsoever in anything I do or say, but fortunately, there are plenty of others who feel differently. And you must have some reviewers you trust.

As for 'it all goes online', sorry, this is flat nonsense. Where do you think book and magazine illustrations come from? Or advertisements? Or newspaper pics (the least demanding form of illustration until the invention of internet forums)? Why do you think advertising photographers use 39-megapixel Hasselblads? For that matter, have you ever been to a photographic exhibition?

Quite honestly, no, an M8 doesn't deliver the same quality as a first-class slide (as well as the M8 I have an MP, and M4-P and a couple of M2s). A lot depends on whom you believe, but the maximum pixel equivalent I have heard for a 35mm slide -- in his words, 'a portrait of Art Garfunkel, with every hair sharp and no jaggies' -- could exceed 30 megapixels; most estimates place it at 18-20 megapixels before you start getting down to 'empty' information (basically, grain structure).

Hand-held in low-light; well, could be as low as 6 megapixels, but 10 isn't too bad.

If I were shooting only for the web, I'd have no real reason to waste money on high-megapixel cameras, and I'd regard anyone who did so as having more money than sense; or at best, as having enough money to indulge in buying cameras he liked but would never really have much need for.

Cheers,

Roger

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 05-03-2008 at 09:22.
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Old 05-03-2008   #19
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Originally Posted by L39UK View Post
I agree with Krosya,I am interested in all the technical information that is presented with a photograph,camera,lens,film,aperture,speed etc.and even the location, if details are given, and tend to choose photo magazines (eg.Amateur Photographer)that do provide most of the details.
I hope the RFF members will still provide as much detail as they can of their postings on the forum it certainly adds more interest to a thread IMHO.
William
Dear William,

There are two different questions here. One is the value of 'technical information'. Personally I believe it to be limited, because I'm very unlikely ever to be shooting in the same place with the same camera and lens under identical conditions, but I know some people like it and that's why I put it alongside most of the pics in my books, magazines and web site. Location is a lot more useful, because I might think, "I'd really like to go there", but when I do, my cameras and lenses are deeply unlikely to be identical to those given in the caption to the picture.

My real question when I started this thread (bold italics in case anyone wants to skip the first para) was more to do with the threads that say "Show your pictures taken with a..."

How are you going to sort them out? Do you categorize your pics by subject, or by lens? If someone says to you, "Show us your pics taken with a Canon f/1.2," for example, are they filed under 'Canon f/1.2' or under 'Mexico' and 'Poitiers' and 'Jazz club dance spectacle' and so forth? In other words, after a few weeks, let alone months or years, isn't it going to be really hard to find the pics taken with a given lens?

The 'you' is of course a general 'you', chosen as less formal than 'one', rather than 'you, William'.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 05-03-2008   #20
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I don't have the possibility to test equipment without buying it so I am glad to get some technical information (lens, film, camera) here at RFF or a pBase, flickr ... Comparing different images from different photographers taken with the same lens give me more information then theoretical, pseudo-scientific "lens reviews" ...
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Old 05-03-2008   #21
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Wouldn't it be the greatest danger to make photos only for having samples of each particular lens you have?
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Old 05-03-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
As for 'it all goes online', sorry, this is flat nonsense. Where do you think book and magazine illustrations come from? Or advertisements? Or newspaper pics (the least demanding form of illustration until the invention of internet forums)? Why do you think advertising photographers use 39-megapixel Hasselblads? For that matter, have you ever been to a photographic exhibition?

Roger

Nonsense? Really? Hmmm. While it's true - there are still some publications that are done on paper - most things now days is either online or on TV. Just look how many magazines no longer exist! Many of the are photography magazines. Less books are being printed and sold - again - most things are online now. Monitors are getting better and better, so magazine print can't compete with it anymore. Many photo magazines switched from paper to online versions. But you should know all this. as far as 39 megapixel cameras - they only use them for huge spreads, not for regular magazines, and nowdays - it's digital screens on the side of the buildings that replace regular posters. So, less and less goes to print. Actually, exhibitions probably the only thing left where photo print is in most cases done traditionally, and not digital. But even that is being affected by digital more and more.
For all we know, in 10 years all exhibitions may be on HD screens - way easier as you don't have to put them up and take them down for different event - just put a new DVD in and it's ready to go - with option for a real print to buyer/collector.
So, like it or not - most of the imagery will be on screen. it already is - just compare now and 10-15 years ago.
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Old 05-03-2008   #23
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Nonsense?
Yes, nonsense. And you know it. Go into a bookshop. Or anywhere that sells magazines. Then come back and say that no-one is using high-quality pictures.

I don't hold myself out as the fons et origo of all knowledge, but I really can't help suspecting that you don't know very much about the multi-billion dollar publishing industry. Have you any professional experience in photography or publishing?

As for your point about exhibitions in the future consisting of LCD screens: well, anything's possible. But it's drivel at the moment.

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #24
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One of the reasons for the kind of thing you notice, I would suppose, is that we have so few photographers. I often see people putting up shots in their galleries saying "testing out lens X" and that is all they ever do - test out new gear or even largely post photos of their new gear. I try to produce in my small way the best portfolio of my photography that I can, but I see many people who are camera hobbyists first and photography hobbyists second.
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Old 05-03-2008   #25
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Whatever.
Reality is - while some still exist and probably will for a while - many bookstores ARE gone, closing, not making money, etc. Same thing is happening in a newspaper and magazine industry. Reason - everything goes online. If you do even a little research you can learn this. It's all about money and internet is very much less expensive than printing/publishing in a traditional way. Plus computer technology allows a high quality output online now.
Here is some info:
http://imhaya.org/2007/12/22/how-e-m...onal-magazine/

and more here:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...538652,00.html

I don't need to have any experience in publishing to know how to read the facts. Plus things are changing so fast now - all that experience is really useless anyway as things are done differently. So, you can call what I say - nonesense, but reality is reality and the sooner one accepts it - the better it is for them.
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Old 05-03-2008   #26
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...I don't need to have any experience in publishing ...
You said it. And it's just as well you don't, because your ignorance in this area is near-terminal.

Look up the numbers.

If you don't want a slice of that pie, because your particular pie is in the sky, fine.

But kindly don't waste the time of those who have a slightly less tenuous grasp on reality.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #27
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though I know it is quite different in the US with such high illiteracy levels.
I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you show me with pictures or something or define some of your words better?
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Old 05-03-2008   #28
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Noctilux. M6ttl. TLR. Am I alone in finding it odd that some people seem to classify their pics according to what they were taken with, rather than by subject?
I think it's somewhat understandable. Others have hinted at a reason behind mentioning equipment; there's a stage in one's development as a photographer where coming to grips with the various aspects of equipment performance is important. Hence the labeling of the shots according to lens, camera etc. I suspect there's also sometimes a sense of pride and identification with specific equipment and their tradition; not strictly relevant in matters photographic but certainly very human.

As one progresses and understands the various compromises to be made by using some equipment instead of other, they also become less of a worry. Until one day one completely forgets about them. But even when one does, some others may not, because it may be interesting to them what sort of equipment compromises one made to attain a certain photographic goal.

As for how much you can see through the screen...some things you can see for sure (flare, bokeh, etc.) It is probably best to hear what seasoned users one trusts for their judgment have to say about the various aspects of equipment performance. Photos may illustrate one's points. And they are good to look at

Quote:
My real question when I started this thread (bold italics in case anyone wants to skip the first para) was more to do with the threads that say "Show your pictures taken with a..."

How are you going to sort them out? Do you categorize your pics by subject, or by lens? If someone says to you, "Show us your pics taken with a Canon f/1.2," for example, are they filed under 'Canon f/1.2' or under 'Mexico' and 'Poitiers' and 'Jazz club dance spectacle' and so forth? In other words, after a few weeks, let alone months or years, isn't it going to be really hard to find the pics taken with a given lens?
I don't know how others go about this...I write information about date, rated speed of film, solution of developer, time and lens used on the sleeve where the negative goes. The lens info is for me to know focal length first and foremost. Not that it's easy to get confused, I 've got two focal lengths all in all. The ordering factor is date.

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Old 05-03-2008   #29
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I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you show me with pictures or something or define some of your words better?
Dear Mike,

Someone failing to read, for example?

Seriously, Richard has a very good point. Ultra-specialist magazines are flourishing as never before. What were Bill Bryson's examples in the US (in The Lost Continent)? As I recall they were Christian Woodworker and Machine Gun Collector.

Then there's self-publishing. And the revival in antique processes. More and more people are tired of the ephemeral nature of the internet and the throwaway society. The market for things with intrinsic value (a Leica MP, for example, or a work of that is not on a monitor) may be falling in percentage terms but I have no doubt that with rising populations and disposable incomes (barring short-term economic blips) these are still very handsome and lucrative markets for those who have the necessary skills and intelligence to exploit them.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #30
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As for how much you can see through the screen...some things you can see for sure (flare, bokeh, etc.) It is probably best to hear what seasoned users one trusts for their judgment have to say about the various aspects of equipment performance. Photos may illustrate one's points. And they are good to look at . . .The ordering factor is date.
We are of one mind on this, including filing data. As I said elsewhere, listen to someone you trust when it comes to things like resolution, contrast, ergonomics, but by all means gain some impression from the Web of flare and bokeh.

But after date (accession number) I note places. Kit may or may not be noted. Then again, the focal lengths I own or have used at length in the last 15-20 years are 12-14-15-16-17-18-20-21-24-25-28-35-47-50-55-58-75-85-90-135-200-280-300-600-800; sometimes, multiple examples of each focal length...

EDIT For me, the accession number on a sleeved film refers to the lab notebook: dev, time, agitation. But the paper you print on can be at least as important as the film you used. How often does anyone tell you that? And how often do they say, 'Incident meter at EI 320' or 'Spot meter at EI 500' or 'Incident meter reading -1/2 stop' (for tranny) or 'Through-lens reading +1/2 stop' (for neg of bright subject).

Cheers,

R.

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Old 05-03-2008   #31
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Photo taken with a....lens!

Filed under Argazki/xuri 'ta beltz/dantza004/suarendantza023.jpg

Attachment 59000
Dear Richard,

HEY!

YOU'RE CHEATING!

You're not supposed to be judged on your photography...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-03-2008   #32
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Interesting thread, I'll try to do my best even being a newbie and with a low english level.

I agree with R.Hicks main idea, I think that the main technical data are focal length (so a newbie like me can see the field of vision and how to work with a particular focal length) and exposure data (sub/over exposure). What we see over the web is no more than a deformation/interpretation of reality or photography process results but not the real thing.

I've started using RF after a visit to cameraquest and Nakamura websites, dont't know how and why I've accumulated a lot of gear that I use scarcely, it remains at home while I shot with two cams and two lenses, now I think I'm less gear oriented and trying to do better photos with the media I feel comfortable. I've stopped doing tests that drive nowhere and try to learn how to improve my (awful) technique and "vision".

(My 0.2 cents)
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Old 05-03-2008   #33
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Photo taken with a....lens!

Filed under Argazki/xuri 'ta beltz/dantza004/suarendantza023.jpg

Attachment 59000
That is beautiful.

Matthew
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Old 05-03-2008   #34
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I've stopped doing tests that drive nowhere and try to learn how to improve my (awful) technique and "vision".
That's the hard bit. I've been doing it for decades. You (= I) get better, but never good enough.

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Old 05-03-2008   #35
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Simple: is one's primary interest cameras & lenses or photographs?
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Old 05-03-2008   #36
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You said it. And it's just as well you don't, because your ignorance in this area is near-terminal.

Look up the numbers.

If you don't want a slice of that pie, because your particular pie is in the sky, fine.

But kindly don't waste the time of those who have a slightly less tenuous grasp on reality.

Cheers,

R.
Oh, I'm so sorry to waste your time. I know it's very valuable. forgive me, simple, stupid american illiterate person. After all, how can my opinion compare to yours.
Sorry, but I expected more, like maybe some actual facts, from the "expert".
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Old 05-03-2008   #37
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After all, how can my opinion compare to yours.
Sorry, but I expected more, like maybe some actual facts, from the "expert".
You're still missing the point.

This isn't opinion.

Look up the size of the publishing market. As I recall, it is $25,000,000,000+ in the US alone -- and there are plenty of other countries who can also read and write. You wanted facts? Look up a few about the size of the market.

On your own admission, you know nothing about publishing. It is therefore less than astonishing that your opinions on publishing really are not worth very much.

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Old 05-03-2008   #38
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Dear Mike,

Someone failing to read, for example?

Seriously, Richard has a very good point. Ultra-specialist magazines are flourishing as never before. What were Bill Bryson's examples in the US (in The Lost Continent)? As I recall they were Christian Woodworker and Machine Gun Collector.

Then there's self-publishing. And the revival in antique processes. More and more people are tired of the ephemeral nature of the internet and the throwaway society. The market for things with intrinsic value (a Leica MP, for example, or a work of that is not on a monitor) may be falling in percentage terms but I have no doubt that with rising populations and disposable incomes (barring short-term economic blips) these are still very handsome and lucrative markets for those who have the necessary skills and intelligence to exploit them.

Cheers,

R.
I don't know the numbers on illiteracy, but after grading grant proposals today, I am disturbed by the obvious lack of knowledge/experience with writing.

I wonder what is driving the success of the markets you and Pitxu describe. Is it driven by the younger generation or the older generation that is familiar with it? I'm still not comfortable reading/evaluating something in electronic form, I have to print it out and have pencil ready. This is not true for those who started reading pdf's from day one.

As for the lens-camera-film-development info., that seemed to be the norm when I started visiting RFF. It's a site focused on a type of camera, and some people like or are curious about the information. I think few would argue the gear makes the photo, but it's why people often visit the site in the first place. Entertainment is where you find it, in my book. I've always found it entertaining the pride some take in not being a 'gearhead' and point it out at every opportunity. But I guess feeling good about oneself by looking down on others seems to be part of human nature. Which is worse, pride in the gear you've acquired or pride in not being like 'those' people?

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What it's taken with
Old 05-03-2008   #39
F456
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What it's taken with

"Most professional photographers I know don't really give a toss whether it was shot on a Hasselblad or a Rollei as long as it's a good picture. Indeed, that was the first example I saw of made-up data, over 25 years ago. You could see from the trannie it was Hasselblad (frame edges, not image quality) and when I queried it, the photographer said, "Was it? Who cares? Change it, if you like..."

Roger,
A professional photographer friend told me yesterday that it can be quite different in the CLIENT's mind. After years of using a mixture of 35mm, medium format, and large format my friend has settled on the D2X for almost everything, content that it will provide the high quality needed for all kinds of professional printing. However, the clients tend to equate digital Nikon with 35mm film (i.e. a lesser quality format) and are then reluctant to commission work, until shown examples of previously commissioned photographs.

Going off on a slight tangent, I was fed up the other day - not for the first time - when someone commented on a picture I had taken: "You must have a good camera". I'd rather she'd said: "Nice work in catching that moment".

I knew I had a good camera: it was the fact I got something good out of it that was more satisfying to me, and that applies whether I use a Leica M for a drama production or my mobile phone for a coastal walk. In other words, even a mediocre camera becomes a good one when the subject matter comes together with interesting lighting and adequately good focus, exposure and composition.

Tom

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Old 05-03-2008   #40
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That's the hard bit. I've been doing it for decades. You (= I) get better, but never good enough.

Cheers,

R.
Can we add to that: As you (=I) get better, so -strangely- does the equipment? Whether we measure up to the equipment's potential is another matter.

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