Jump to content

Audiophile camera experiences


speaker dave

Recommended Posts

Don't be ashamed of audio. These issues exist in many hobbies and fields. Any way you want to measure it, radical subjectivist tenets have lost almost all commercial impact. Compare this to, say, the field of cold remedies, colon or liver,"cleansers and detoxifiers," or male performance enhancements, gasoline additives, "low fat" foods.

-k

Yes, I've seen these crop up in my other hobbies. Owners of Leica cameras get frustrated when Nikon and Canon owners point out that their expensive lenses don't measure any sharper than their Japanese counterparts. "Ah but the bokeh is better." (quality of the out of focus foreground/background. Not generally true.) They start to invent fictional superiorities with psuedo technical virtues such as "microcontrast".

At least with vintage timepieces nobody is claiming that a fine old watch keeps time better than a new cheap quartz watch, but I am waiting for it to come: "It better reveals the true Gestalt of the flow of time."

Its evolution vs. creationism. The underlying conflict is between science and faith. You either believe that cables make a difference and all amplifiers have a personality, or you don't. The only thing that frustrates me is that so much effort is expended that doesn't result in forward progress. Imagine all the hours that have been spent on comparing capacitors and speaker cables rather being spent on blind tests of best microphone technique, or experiments in multichannel music layouts, or the pros and cons of different loudspeaker directivities.

Keep debating guys. Maybe we'll hammer out a little bit of the truth.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I've seen these crop up in my other hobbies. Owners of Leica cameras get frustrated when Nikon and Canon owners point out that their expensive lenses don't measure any sharper than their Japanese counterparts. "Ah but the bokeh is better." (quality of the out of focus foreground/background. Not generally true.) They start to invent fictional superiorities with psuedo technical virtues such as "microcontrast".

At least with vintage timepieces nobody is claiming that a fine old watch keeps time better than a new cheap quartz watch, but I am waiting for it to come: "It better reveals the true Gestalt of the flow of time."

I had a Leica back in my photography hobbyist days. It didn't take pictures that were any sharper than Nikons or Canons (I had a Nikon SLR to go with my Leica RF). Its big advantage was its ergonomics. I never had to fumble for controls the way I did with the Nikon, its dials were silky smooth and it just felt better in the hand. The audio equivalent would be features on audio gear that don't make it sound any better but produce a better "user experience," like heavy flywheels on mechanical tuners or damped pots that don't sound and feel as if they're grinding themselves down every time you turn them.

My brother collects vintage watches. They don't keep time any better than a $39 quartz Timex, but they sure are prettier, and watching the sweep hand move around the dial without jumping can be kind of hypnotic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I've seen these crop up in my other hobbies. Owners of Leica cameras get frustrated when Nikon and Canon owners point out that their expensive lenses don't measure any sharper than their Japanese counterparts. "Ah but the bokeh is better." (quality of the out of focus foreground/background. Not generally true.) They start to invent fictional superiorities with psuedo technical virtues such as "microcontrast".

At least with vintage timepieces nobody is claiming that a fine old watch keeps time better than a new cheap quartz watch, but I am waiting for it to come: "It better reveals the true Gestalt of the flow of time."

Its evolution vs. creationism. The underlying conflict is between science and faith. You either believe that cables make a difference and all amplifiers have a personality, or you don't. The only thing that frustrates me is that so much effort is expended that doesn't result in forward progress. Imagine all the hours that have been spent on comparing capacitors and speaker cables rather being spent on blind tests of best microphone technique, or experiments in multichannel music layouts, or the pros and cons of different loudspeaker directivities.

Keep debating guys. Maybe we'll hammer out a little bit of the truth.

David

Interesting about cameras... I did not know that.

At least the battle that the creationists fight, however misguided I think it is, has profound implications. Thus, I can understand the reason that the sincerely faithful soldier on against the scientific consensus. But capacitor sonics? Is that really something one wants to battle the entire framework of modern scientific thought to win one on?? There has to be an ego motive, or a profit motive, or a rebellion motive. What else could explain the passion?

The ironic thing is that its not a monotonic march towards objectivism. New methods may initially defy a complete objective description. I would assume that the rise of digital photography has introduced all kinds of new variables to image quality that can only really be adjudicated by preference testing. (EG- ABX tests.) Similarly, MP3 encoding strategies are very difficult to rank without the use of listening panels.

Indeed, as you say, it is a shame that the efforts to better understand and characterize loudspeakers, perceptual codecs, mic techniques, etc, are pushed out of the popular consciousness by trivialities like cables, capacitors and D/A converters.

-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting about cameras... I did not know that.

At least the battle that the creationists fight, however misguided I think it is, has profound implications. Thus, I can understand the reason that the sincerely faithful soldier on against the scientific consensus. But capacitor sonics? Is that really something one wants to battle the entire framework of modern scientific thought to win one on?? There has to be an ego motive, or a profit motive, or a rebellion motive. What else could explain the passion?

The ironic thing is that its not a monotonic march towards objectivism. New methods may initially defy a complete objective description. I would assume that the rise of digital photography has introduced all kinds of new variables to image quality that can only really be adjudicated by preference testing. (EG- ABX tests.) Similarly, MP3 encoding strategies are very difficult to rank without the use of listening panels.

Indeed, as you say, it is a shame that the efforts to better understand and characterize loudspeakers, perceptual codecs, mic techniques, etc, are pushed out of the popular consciousness by trivialities like cables, capacitors and D/A converters.

-k

Correction: I mis-spoke in my parenthetical remark implying ABX tests are preference tests. They are not preference tests. What I should have said is:

...new variables to image quality that can only really be adjudicated by preference testing. (EG- double-blind tests.)

Then again, "blind" tests seem like a strange idea to apply to photography.

-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then again, "blind" tests seem like a strange idea to apply to photography.

If you put film negatives under a microscope, you'll see that the images are actually not continuous but are binary, made up of clumps of grain particles. The pixel groups in high-res digital images are actually smaller than the grain clumps of some high-speed film images. So people who previously took their photos on 400 speed Instamatic cameras and switched to early 1 megapixel digital cameras with decent lenses actually tended to get better images, and today's 10 megapizel digital blows the 400 speed Instamatic away like an AR-3a next to a boom box. No double-blind testing required there. The comparison becomes less obvious when the film image is an 8x10 Technical Pan or Ektar neg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you put film negatives under a microscope, you'll see that the images are actually not continuous but are binary, made up of clumps of grain particles. The pixel groups in high-res digital images are actually smaller than the grain clumps of some high-speed film images. So people who previously took their photos on 400 speed Instamtic cameras and switched to early 1 megapixel digital cameras with decent lenses actually tended to get better images, and today's 10 megapizel digital blows the 400 speed Instamtic away like an AR-3a next to a boom box. No double-blind testing required there. The comparison becomes less obvious when the film image is an 8x10 Technical Pan or Ektar neg.

The actual number of pixels on the exposed but undeveloped film called the latent image is made up of fewer pixels than what you see on the developed negative. Evidently in the developing process, these pixel elements multiply. The standard for images as I recall is 25 speed Ectachrome. Whether color film is considered "professional" or amateur depends on aging because the balance between the layers and therefore the colors shifts over time. Professional film should be kept refrigerated until just prior to use. Samples are culled by the manufacturer and tested to be within spec by comparing the results to a standard color card. After they've age out of spec, the film is sold as amateur film or discarded. I don't have specs for the number of equivalent pixels for Extachrome 25 but my hunch is that it is far sharper than 15 megapixel digital images. Ectachrome has a notorious penchant for a blue shift especially when exposed in the presence of ultraviolet light such as in sunlight. A sky filter or ultraviolet filter which are transparent to the naked eye is recommended. 400 speed Kodachrome or Kodacolor is typically grainy, overly contrasty, and not good film for anything but snapshots. Major differences in image quality only becomes apparent when images are magnified to a point considerably larger than you normally see with a hand held photograph. Such images such as for billboards require very high resolution film. Personally I like shooting 100 speed amateur quality Fujichrome for use with a slide projector. I like its rich saturated colors. It is especially excellent for anything green. Velvia is too saturated and looks cartoonish IMO. One source of poor results often overlooked are large volume developing labs where they don't renew the chemicals frequently enough. Generally though this is not a problem in my experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The actual number of pixels on the exposed but undeveloped film called the latent image is made up of fewer pixels than what you see on the developed negative. Evidently in the developing process, these pixel elements multiply.

Actually, they clump. A single grain particle is much smaller than a digital pixel, but the equivalent of a digital pixel is a grain clump of 30-40 particles, which is larger (in a 35mm film image).

The standard for images as I recall is 25 speed Ectachrome.

There was a 64 speed Ekatchrome and a 25 speed Kodachrome, both of which have been discontinued for some time. The current TOTLs are BW400CN (B&W neg), Ektar 100 (color neg) and E100 (color slide). I don't think Kodak offer anything 25 speed anymore except for some specialized products for scientific use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there was ever a 400 speed Kodachrome transparency (slide) film I certainly never saw it. The two standard versions were Kodachrome 25 and the somewhat more grainy and less sharp Kodachrome 64, with a 200 ISO/ASA rated film available at one time. Produced over a 74-year period, both were superior to any E6 processed Ektachrome or Fujichrome stuff, or Agfachrome, too, for that matter, if the user wanted absolutely vivid colors. (Remember the Paul Simon song, "Kodachrome.") The latter three contained built-in dyes that allowed independent processors (or home hobby enthusiasts) to process the stuff. The Kodachrome versions were vastly different, being actually specialized black and white transparency film with special color-sensitive dye-coupler filters built in. During the very elaborate processing required, the Kodak lab used those filters as guides and actually added the dyes at that time. Because added in dyes at the processing facility could be much more stable than dyes that were in the film to begin with and obviously had to be light sensitive, Kodachrome film was more color stable than any of the other versions, and also sharper and richer, since the filter layers could be thinner than the dye layers in the competing stuff, including Kodak's own Ektachrome. (Ironically, this stability involves dark storage; when bathed in light, say with projection, its fading qualities are actually worse.) It is easy to tell a finished Kodachrome transparency from the other types, because when looked at from an angle the surface actually appears to have the image etched into it. Believe it or not, the film was developed by two musicians, Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes.

On the other hand, Ektachrome 6x7 transparency film did allow for a slightly sharper printed image than 35 mm Kodachrome, but to get that one had to deal with the much larger camera format. Ektachrome was available in both 120 and 220 rolls. At one time Kodak also offered Kodachrome in that size, but they stopped producing it after 35 mm film began to dominate.

Kodacolor film delivers a negative image that has to be reverse printed to deliver a print. (The various "chrome" films were all transparencies that printed positive from a positive.) It was available in a 400 -peed format, as well as 100 and 200 speed versions. Earlier versions were somewhat slower, and there was also a 100-speed Kodak Vericolor that was smoother in texture and somewhat less contrasty, and it was targeted to portrait photographers. I used scads of the stuff. Within reason, negative films really did not have to be date targeted to prevent color shifts, since it would always be used to make prints that would have color corrections applied during that procedure. Transparency film can also be color corrected, but the pros did not want to have to worry about that, and so, yes, the pro stuff was generally zeroed in at one level, with a recommendation to keep it refrigerated until ready to use. Stuff slated for amateur use had a use-by date that resulted in a continuous color-shift potential from the manufacturing date until that use-by date. However, most photo enthusiasts would not be bothered all that much by the changes when using the stuff for slide shows (heck. the color shifts caused by cloudy vs sunny days or shooting indoors without flash was much greater), and when printing the same kind of corrections could be applied as with negative film.

Howard Ferstler

Sorry, I meant 400 speed Kodacolor. I got poor results with it the few times I tried it. Never even tried 1000 speed, didn't waste my time. Also the faster the speed, the more prone the film was to fogging by airport x-ray machines esepcially if you had to go through more than one. I used to use lead lined bags and sometimes if they challenged me I'd ask for hand inspection. 25 speed film under low light conditions could be overexposed and push processed (or was it pull processed) to get acceptable results. Most pros I'd heard about liked 64 speed Ectachrome. Only problem with slide film was the necessity for bracketing, sometimes extensively. This turned me off to positive transparencies at first but in the end that's all I liked to shoot. One of my Nikon bodies allows you to program it in. Usually I'd bracket at +1,0, -1. Color compensating filters Like FLDs just made it harder and required both an ISO shift and more bracketing. One problem with transparencies are that they don't remain absolutely flat in slide projectors unless you use glass cover slips. This makes it impossible to achieve sharp focus from center to edge. Curved field projector lenses reportedly helped but I never had one. I've also got an expensive Navitar which I never tried. My personal preference was for Fujichrone because of the intense saturation but Velvia went too far. I hate slides with washed out colors. I shot a lot around the Caribbean where the colors are intense to begin with.

Each time you go up in format, you go backwards in technology and reduce the speed you can work at. But you go up an increment in image quality, that's the payoff that compensates. Hassleblads and Roliflexes work great if you can afford them and want to lug them around. They must be tops for studio work though. The cheap immitation Russian and Chinese knockoffs are a complete waste of money. Once you get to large format you are also in another realm. Ansel Adams must have had some muscles to lug his equipment around. Didn't he use a Graflex?

I hated working in dark rooms. Not my cup of tea at all. In classes I took, I was always the last one out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Popular Photography magazine (or maybe it was Modern Photography) used to sell USAF test/resolution cards for lense evaluating that one would affix to a large wall area in a proper pattern (to get both center, edge, and corner data) and then photograph with fine-grain film. Then, the processed negatives could be examined under a microscope and analyzed for lens sharpness. (You could also use film with less resolving power to evaluate the film itself in relation to other films.) I did that will all of my lenses, and while it was educational it took some skill to determine the impact not only of lens resolution but also lens-contrast issues. Some lenses I had (and I had maybe fifteen 35 mm versions) were sharp, but lacked contrast. Others were contrasty, but lacked serious sharpness. Some lenses were superior to others in the center, but with less of an edge out near the edges and corners. One could spend hours scanning those negatives for artifacts.

Actually, I did not see really serious sharpness and contrast results until I did the test with 6 x 7 cm film camera.With that stuff, the degree of magnefication required for specific print sizes was far less than it was with 35 mm. During the film era there was no substitute for larger film types.

These days is supposedly is pixel count that matters, although the camera lens better be able to capitalize on the device's electronic sharpness.

Howard Ferstler

Geez. do all gearheads share identical preoccupations? Yeah, I have a good amateur knowledge about Halide chemistry and spatial Fourier transforms. I was photo editor for HS yearbook, lived in my darkroom, spent a summer taking 40/hr a week classes with a pro, etc. In fact, my main motive in applying to MIT in the first place was to study with Minor White. However, I soon after became very disillusioned with the Zone System and Aperture movements, the whole formalist Carmel aesthetic. It was probably one of Adams' increasingly strident lectures that put me over the edge. Went Polaroid, Man Ray, WPA, Weegee, HCB, Warhol and Arbus all the way, baby! As audio took over, that withered, too. It wasn't until cheap digital, and the instant photographer/subject loop it created, that I got back into taking pictures on a daily basis. I love cheap digital cameras. Never got into wine, though, either cheap or expensive.

-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geez. do all gearheads share identical preoccupations? ..............

-k

Yeah, been there - done that too. Amateur musician for 10 yrs, photo bug after that including a stint as camera club president. Canon Pellix and Rolleiflex 2 1/4 TL reflex (still have). B&W darkroom and slide show. Now I own a Panasonic (Lumix) camera with a Leica lense and joined another camera cllub recently! How's that for an unexpected outcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Popular Photography magazine (or maybe it was Modern Photography) used to sell USAF test/resolution cards for lense evaluating that one would affix to a large wall area in a proper pattern (to get both center, edge, and corner data) and then photograph with fine-grain film. Then, the processed negatives could be examined under a microscope and analyzed for lens sharpness. (You could also use film with less resolving power to evaluate the film itself in relation to other films.) I did that will all of my lenses, and while it was educational it took some skill to determine the impact not only of lens resolution but also lens-contrast issues. Some lenses I had (and I had maybe fifteen 35 mm versions) were sharp, but lacked contrast. Others were contrasty, but lacked serious sharpness. Some lenses were superior to others in the center, but with less of an edge out near the edges and corners. One could spend hours scanning those negatives for artifacts.

Howard Ferstler

Yeah, I've done that with a number of lenses too. Its actually pretty tricky to evaluate the full resolution of a sharp lens. I didn't have a microscope at the time. Projecting with the enlarger onto the floor didn't get a large enough image. I ended up using a magnifier to inspect the aerial image as projected by the enlarger into space 3-4 feet away. 70 lines/mm what about the best I saw and a number of lenses peaked out at 45.

Makes it all a bit academic, like measureing amplifier distortion below .001%.

The high contrast/low resolution or low contrast/high resolution conundrum is nicely revealed with MTF measurements. Modulation Transfer Function, measuring contrast falloff as "spatial frequency" goes up, is directly analagous to measuring frequency response of a bandlimited system.

I think that is part of why many of us are attracted to photography: there are many overlapping concepts. A desire for excellence in one field is similar to the same desire in the other.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never ran any tests on my camera lenses, though I did occasionally check the lens on my enlarger. I used the published test results in the major magazines to eliminate sub-par candidates, and once I narrowed the field down to those whose measured performance were the best in my price range made my final purchase decisions based on subjective "look and feel" factors like whether the controls were well-placed and formed and how smoothly they operated. Pretty much the same way I chose audio gear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, been there - done that too. Amateur musician for 10 yrs, photo bug after that including a stint as camera club president. Canon Pellix and Rolleiflex 2 1/4 TL reflex (still have). B&W darkroom and slide show. Now I own a Panasonic (Lumix) camera with a Leica lense and joined another camera cllub recently! How's that for an unexpected outcome.

Yeah! I really loved my Lumix. It was a wonderful camera in so many ways. When it broke, due to my error, I decided to step up to a digital SLR. Big mistake, and I really miss the Panasonic. Yeah, the new camera's 20X optical zoom is fun, but as soon as I get some spare $$, I want another Lumix pocket cam.

Free associating: one of my early digital cameras was a mid-level Fuji FinePix. I don't remember the exact specs, but it was probably 1.3 MP. You'd laugh at that number in cellphone these days. But, looking at old shots, avoiding excessive enlargement, the image quality seems better than what I get now. As I've said elsewhere, I'm not on an image quality quest. Just seems odd.

-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was into it big time there for a while: wedding work, portraits, architecture shots, art, etc. I also did a lot of direct-duplicate copy work for the state photo archives here, most of which involved copying old and deteriorating 8x10 nitrate sheet film onto safety positive film. Did thousands of them. I have seen enough of your shots now on Facebook to see the impact of Weegee, Warhol, Arbus, etc. Yep, that is you.

I sent all of my color negative and transparency work out to be processed and proofed, and then did most of the larger-size enlarging myself, even with many wedding shots. I always fully processed my own b&w negatives, however. Two shots, done in 1981, are attached. One shows my darkroom towards the enlarger end. There are actually two of them, one for color printing and one for b&w, both mounted on a special bench I built that allowed for enlarging to 20x24 with either 35 mm or 6x7 negatives or transparencies. The second shot shows the darkroom towards the "wet" end. I had trays for b&w work and motorized drums for the color printing, with a five-gallon water heater under the bench, beyond the two sinks in the wet shot.

Chemical photography was fun, but digital is more fun, and certainly easier. The darkroom is now my supply room, with mostly cabinets and shelving occupying the space, and no water heater or sinks.

Howard Ferstler

Nice darkroom... much bigger than my home one was.

I knew I was forgetting somebody important to me: Robert Frank, who not only influenced me when I was a kid, but who also was very generous with time, critique and advice when I was lucky enough to study with him, circa 1980. But, that era of my photography was totally different. FB is mostly random stuff that had some particular appeal or relevance to somebody I was communicating with. A couple of years ago, I was intending to get my personal website going again, organize and upload music, scan paintings and photos, etc. Then ZT hit the 80 hr/day phase, plus I waste all my extra time blabbing on line. Does the internet count as a hobby?

-k

PS- Wasn't anyone here a Panatomic fan? Or cooked Tri-X???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice darkroom... much bigger than my home one was.

I knew I was forgetting somebody important to me: Robert Frank, who not only influenced me when I was a kid, but who also was very generous with time, critique and advice when I was lucky enough to study with him, circa 1980. But, that era of my photography was totally different. FB is mostly random stuff that had some particular appeal or relevance to somebody I was communicating with. A couple of years ago, I was intending to get my personal website going again, organize and upload music, scan paintings and photos, etc. Then ZT hit the 80 hr/day phase, plus I waste all my extra time blabbing on line. Does the internet count as a hobby?

-k

PS- Wasn't anyone here a Panatomic fan? Or cooked Tri-X at the other end???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The value of an F1.2 lens is in low light conditions where available light will be the only source of illumination. Experience with developing film quickly teaches the meaning of the phenomenon of reciprocity failure, the fact that beyond a certain point, halving the amount of light requires more than twice as much exposure time for the film to achieve a given degree of latent image intensity. This type of lens is especially useful for photography of nocturnal wildlife. In this type of photography some red light may be introduced because many nocturnal animals who might scatter in whiter light don't seem to be bothered by it. Even so, the lower the light level the better.

Genek--C'mon, let's move this back to speakers and audio. Or else I'll start talking about '60's-'70's boxing and WWII aviation, and it won't be pretty.

Steve F.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The value of an F1.2 lens is in low light conditions where available light will be the only source of illumination. Experience with developing film quickly teaches the meaning of the phenomenon of reciprocity failure, the fact that beyond a certain point, halving the amount of light requires more than twice as much exposure time for the film to achieve a given degree of latent image intensity. This type of lens is especially useful for photography of nocturnal wildlife. In this type of photography some red light may be introduced because many nocturnal animals who might scatter in whiter light don't seem to be bothered by it. Even so, the lower the light level the better.

Huh? :P:lol::lol:

Let's get back on topic as Steve suggests!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Genek--C'mon, let's move this back to speakers and audio. Or else I'll start talking about '60's-'70's boxing and WWII aviation, and it won't be pretty.

This isn't AudioKarma where there's a forum for utterly offtopic discussions. As long as everybody avoids personal insults and sniping and occaisionally says something about audio, have at it.

The biggest advantage I got from a really fast lens was focusing in low light. High speed film with a little push processing could make handheld shots at smaller stops perfectly viable, but the added brightness of a 1.2 lens was a huge helo in finding focus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't AudioKarma where there's a forum for utterly offtopic discussions. As long as everybody avoids personal insults and sniping and occaisionally says something about audio, have at it.

The biggest advantage I got from a really fast lens was focusing in low light. High speed film with a little push processing could make handheld shots at smaller stops perfectly viable, but the added brightness of a 1.2 lens was a huge helo in finding focus.

The various replies to this question have been interesting. Thanks.

It only goes to show, I'm not too old to learn new things.

(Just too old to remember them...)

-k

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken, somebody here thinks that we should not be discussing photography. Kind of like a mother hen, telling the chicks to just eat their corn and stop thinking about other things. Really somewhat childish, I should think. Hey guy, some of us here are interested in things other than audio (classic audio), and as long as we are not raising hell and going on forever about an off-topic topic, so what? Cut us some slack.

Anyway, the Minolta F1.2 lens I had was a 58 mm job, and because of the way 35 mm photography works, when looking through the finder with a lens of that focal length you get an image that is the same size as the way it looks when not looking through the lens at all. Kind of like looking through a whole cut right through the camera. Kind of cool, but certainly not the strong motivation for getting the lens. In some ways, the main attraction was the huge glass dome sticking out front. Yeah, that got people's attention.

I rarely shot wide open with any of my lenses (I also had a 50 F1.4 and a 50 F1.7 in the "normal" focal-length range), but what the F1.2 and even the F1.4 could do that I really liked was make it easier to focus in low light. Why? Because the greater light-grabbing ability made it just easier to see the target and focus on it.

Howard Ferstler

What irritates the heck out of me today is all of my old Rokkor lenses are near worthless. Couple that with the fact Kodak does a miserable job of printing photos from negatives and the fun has gone out of it for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, Minolta is kaput, and the lenses will only fit old-style SLR cameras. I had several of those, all manual types. Nikon and Canon have one up on Minolta there when it comes to being able to use old-type lenses on their current line of digital SLR models..

The only photos I had labs print were color-negative proofs. Everything else I did myself. The beauty of digital photography is that now the user can do it all themselves with relative ease and little space (a computer takes up less area than a chemical darkroom), and can do it fast and can also check their work on the spot and redo if needed, right on the camera.

Howard Ferstler

Of all the manual focus mounts, the only one I'm aware of that was compatible with later autoficus cameras was the Nikon bayonet F mount. Minolta MD lenses would not fit the Maxxum cameras, Canon FD mounts would not fit EOS. The reason I think was that the aperature of the opening on the Nikon lens was large enough to allow the autofocus sensor to be mounted in avialable space, the others were just slightly smaller but too small to work. Same for Olympus Zuiko lenses, too small. Not sure about Pentax screw mounts though.

When I bought my first camera, I was aware that I was buying into a system where the most expensive investment would likely be in lenses. I've got about half a dozen autofocus Nikkors, mostly zooms ranging from a 24-50 (my Alaska lens) to 75-300. I'd later gotten a brand new Canon T-70 with a 50 mm 1.8 FD lens at a price that I couldn't refuse. So I bought a couple of Tamron zoom lenses with adaptall mounts that allows them to be used with both Nikon and Canon cameras but manual focus of course. I've also got a 2x teleconverter for them.

It is very hard to focus manually in low light. In fact if you don't have 20-20 vision you may not get truly sharp focus in any light if you use the optical viewfinder. Autofocus is IMO a real blessing. In low light the flash attachment will "paint" a red light target for the AF sensor to lock on to before the shutter and flash will fire. This allows you to take a perfectly focused photo in total darkness.

Most lenses are sharpest when stopped down between about f5.6 and f11. Wide upen they lose depth of field and usually some sharpness. This can be a real advantage for some types of shots. For shots where you want only the subject in focus and the backround a blur this is one way to do it. For wildlife photography shorter lenses wide open and longer telephotos with inherently shallow depth of field offer an opportunity to take advantage of what Pentax introduced as "trap focus" and Nikon quickly copied calling it focus priority if your camera has this feature. In this mode you focus the lens at a spot where you think an animal will be such as near bait you set out. Then you set the focus on manual if it isn't a manual focus lens already. You can leave the camera unattended and when the animal comes into focus, the camera will fire the shutter automatically. You can also program it to fire multiple shots, even bracket for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the change came when the manufacturers changed from manual focus to auto-focus. Nikon and Pentax (the K bayonet mount) retained compatible mounts. Minolta and Canon totally reivsed their mounts. For the most part autofocus lenses of all 4 brands work on their digital cameras. With Pentax you can even use a simple adaptor and put old screw mount lenses on a new digital AF body.

I also have a bigger investment in Nikon Mf and AF lenses than in my D70 body, although, being lazy I tend to take most shots with a single wide range zoom. (28 to 200 equivalent)

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally broke down and bought a new digital camera yesterday, after years of putting off replacing my old 1997 1 megapixel Olympus. Lumix point-and-shoot FS25, the lowest priced model with Leica lens. Have only taken a few test shots so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally broke down and bought a new digital camera yesterday, after years of putting off replacing my old 1997 1 megapixel Olympus. Lumix point-and-shoot FS25, the lowest priced model with Leica lens. Have only taken a few test shots so far.

Welcome the the Lumix family! I have their super-zoom DMC-FZ18 and am very happy with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I started my own topic and didn't even know it.

If you guys are into digital cameras, can I recommend a site called DP Review (that's Digital Photography). More than enough measurements to keep any technical gear wonk in heaven.

Anyone into the debate about Foveon sensors? Rather than using Bayer pattern sensors (a matrix of lateral R, G and B sensors, they use math to decode that into color and luminance) Foveon uses 3 sensors per pixel, stacked. Problem is, if you count the three sensors as one pixel then they are way down on advertising pixel count. Counting each sensor as a pixel exagerates the pixel count.

Used in the Sigma line.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...