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Author Topic: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...  (Read 5178 times)

ErikKaffehr

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Hi,

I used to regard Lloyd Chambers "diglloyd" site as an excellent source of information. I don't subscribe any longer, but I have every reason to believe that it is still an excellent source.

So why I don't subscribe any longer? The answer is in part cost versus value. Lloyd's web sites have a lot of very good information, but once you have read them they just serve as reference. Lloyd still creates a lot of new content, but it is spread over a large number of sites. I would gladly pay 50$ a year for the whole set but not 250$, because I don't think there is enough new info.

But, there is another part - which I feel is worth discussing - and that is about openness, discussions and writer responsibility.

I have some background in the scientific community, having some unfinished postgrad studies in neutron physics and after that working a few years in commercial research. Science is much about sharing observations, publishing findings and having them challenged by a knowledgeable community.

I find the restrictions put up by "Diglloyd" a bit to restrictive. Obviously, "Diglloyd" sets the conditions, but I feel that not having full disclosure and no open discussion diminishes the value of information.

So, what do I mean with full disclosure? To begin with access to the raw files, with reasonable restrictions. I got a set of Leica S2 raw files from Lloyd and he was kind enough to let me write down my observations after reviewing my article. I was fine with that.

Not really a disclosure question, but I feel that there needs to be a discussion. If you draw conclusions they may be incomplete or even possibly entirely wrong.

Let's look at some of the more disturbing things Diglloyd wrote about.

1) Lloyd has found that tolerances were an issue on many camera systems. That finding is probably a bit uncomfortable, but probably quite true. The cause we often don't see those effects is that we are not used to critical viewing of image detail.

2) Another issue Lloyd often found that it is difficult to achieve critical focus. Autofocus is not accurate enough and manual focus is also difficult. This is also probably quiet true. Contrast Detect AF is often dead accurate and magnified live view can achieve perfect focus, at least in theory.

So, Lloyd indicated that quite a few camera systems could not deliver on AF (or MF) accuracy, that included some Nikons and Canons, the Sony Alpha 900, Leica S2, Pentax 645D, Leica M9 and M240 and few others. On the Leica S2 he indicated that of five series of shots two were usable.

These findings are not pleasant, but may be quite true, unfortunately. But there is more to discuss

Leica S reaction

Diglloyd also has a blog, which he uses to inform about his commercial writing. This posting is worth reading:
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2010/20101221_2-LeicaS2Focusing.html
At that time I was subscribing to the Leica pages, mostly because I was subscribing to DAP before Leica was spun of as a separate "site". So I had access to the full article.

A couple of years later Diglloyd published another posting on his blog: http://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150728_2330-LeicaS-autofocusError.html evoking strong reactions from the Leica community. Being aware of Diglloyd's former findings I posted some support for his view. The problem is that he posted a link demonstrating the issue on his pay site:
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150728_2330-LeicaS-autofocusError.html

I sort of considered subscribing to check the information, but I have a marginal interest in the Leica system, and Lloyd's conditions would not allow me to share substantial information, anyway. I felt uneasy about the issue.

The Sony A7r, shutter shock issue
Diglloyd was the first to discuss the Sony A7r shutter shock issue. That was unpleasant news for Sony folks and it has been confirmed by many other testers.  Lloyd suggested some measures to mitigate the problem.

I really felt this was good information from Diglloyd. The vibration was caused by the opening and closure of the first shutter curtain. There was no way to fix the issue in firmware. My opinion was at the time that the A7r was premature. The A7 had electronic first shutter curtain, but the A7r did not.

Yes, Diglloyd did a good job on this, although I wish he was not asking for a firmware fix, that probably not was possible. Some bright engineer measured the vibration using a voice coil and an oscilloscope, clearly demonstrating that opening the first shutter curtain was the cause of vibrations.

Now we get on to the Sony raw compression issue

As soon as the Sony A7r arrived Diglloyd discovered the "orange peel" artefact. He early on decided that the cause was Sony's raw compression. So he started a crusade against Sony's raw compression.

Now, Sony's raw compression is twofold. The first part is using a tone curve. Nikon uses the same technology and it is explained here: http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5499

This compression is lossy, in the sense that a bitwise copy of the original cannot be built from the compressed image. On the other hand the information that is lost is essentially noise.

In addition Sony has a "delta encoding"  based on 16 pixel segments. This delta encoding is mostly OK, but can cause artefacts on steep lumination gradients:
Jim Kasson has a long series of articles on the issue, this one gives some insights: http://blog.kasson.com/?p=4854
The someone mentioned on the first line happens to be me…

The issue is really that in all probability the Sony raw compression scheme cannot cause the "orange peel artefacts". So what is causing those orange peel artefacts? The way to find out is to analyse the raw files, use different tools and different raw converters. I asked and got access to some of the raw files where Lloyd has found the problem, under his quite restrictive terms. I did my homework and could identify the problem and asked Lloyd for permission to share my findings. He was not very positive to that…

So what were my findings? Sorry, I cannot share. Diglloyd's conditions…

That takes us to another question, writer responsibility…

I feel that if you publish on the Internet you have some responsibility. For me, the proper way is sharing all information, including raw files and also being open to discussion. Things are seldom white or black, true or false. Real world is a continuum...

Interestingly, sites like DPReview and Imaging Resource fulfil reasonable requirements, not to mention a lot of serious bloggers.

Best regards
Erik


« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 03:57:12 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Manoli

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2016, 02:56:24 AM »

I asked and got access to some of the raw files where Lloyd has found the problem, under his quite restrictive terms. I did my homework and could identify the problem and asked Lloyd for permission to share my findings. He was not very positive to that…

So what were my findings? Sorry, I cannot share. Diglloyd's conditions…

What were Diglloyd's terms & conditions ?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2016, 03:16:01 AM »

Hi,

Essentially not sharing findings or images without permission and that permission was not granted. (PM sent)

Best regards
Erik

What were Diglloyd's terms & conditions ?
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Erik Kaffehr
 

ErikKaffehr

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I still think that there is a lot of good info on that site…
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2016, 03:26:01 AM »

Hi,

Just to be clear. I still think there is a lot of good info on the Diglloyd site and I think it is a very valuable resource.

For instance, there is a lot of lens tests on the Pentax 645D. Would I buy Zeiss lenses I would subscribe to his Zeiss pages. What I lack is the open discussion, like we have on LuLa forums.

Best regards
Erik
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Hulyss

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2016, 07:50:52 AM »

250$ per year for centralized informations we can find all over the web ? wow

I wonder how such a scheme can work. It is like an internet pwn shop imho. Meanwhile some of you are frustrated and the guy travel all day long with new gear in many places... on your money. If he was a good photographer I wouldn't mind. 
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2016, 02:41:00 PM »

Hi,

Would I plan to invest in a new system for say 10k a 250$ may be a good investment. I would also say that Diglloyd offers some info that is not available elsewhere.

On the other hand, some of his info may be a bit over-exaggerated and he keeps out of discussions. So it is a bit difficult to validate that information or to put it in perspective.

Professional sites like DPReview or Imaging Resource are much more informative and they are much more humble.

Best regards
Erik




250$ per year for centralized informations we can find all over the web ? wow

I wonder how such a scheme can work. It is like an internet pwn shop imho. Meanwhile some of you are frustrated and the guy travel all day long with new gear in many places... on your money. If he was a good photographer I wouldn't mind.
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Hulyss

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2016, 06:05:54 AM »

If you'll invest 10k in a system I bet the salesman let you try the product enough time to build up your opinion. It work for me I don't think it wouldn't be the same for you. Such site are pwn shops based on gear addiction.
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Danulon

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2016, 08:22:34 AM »

250$ per year for centralized informations we can find all over the web ? wow

I wonder how such a scheme can work. It is like an internet pwn shop imho. Meanwhile some of you are frustrated and the guy travel all day long with new gear in many places... on your money. If he was a good photographer I wouldn't mind.

Hi there,

when I pondered whether to invest into Zeiss ZF.2 lenses, diglloyd.com was a very valuable ressouce.
I found lots of image examples and real life use observations which helped me tremendously with my decision making.
I still subscribe to Lloyd's Zeiss and Advanced Photography sub-sites, but I feel that he spanned his endeavour over too many topics.
Therefore updates for certain aspects arrive too sparsely for my taste. E.g. a lot of recent Nikon lenses hardly obtain any attention by him.

So for different reasons than the thread opener, but with the same consequences, I will not prolong my subscription.

Kr,
Günther
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bjanes

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2016, 09:19:42 AM »

Hi there,

when I pondered whether to invest into Zeiss ZF.2 lenses, diglloyd.com was a very valuable ressouce.
I found lots of image examples and real life use observations which helped me tremendously with my decision making.
I still subscribe to Lloyd's Zeiss and Advanced Photography sub-sites, but I feel that he spanned his endeavour over too many topics.
Therefore updates for certain aspects arrive too sparsely for my taste. E.g. a lot of recent Nikon lenses hardly obtain any attention by him.

So for different reasons than the thread opener, but with the same consequences, I will not prolong my subscription.

Kr,
Günther

I currently subscribe to Diglloyd's DAP (digital advanced photography) and MSI (making sharp images) sub-sites, but am debating whether or not I will renew for the same reasons that Günther has given. I think that Diglloyd needs to re-evaluate his ala carte pricing. One can subscribe to all sections for US$200/year, but I think that this pricing is too steep.

Cheers,

Bill
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timparkin2

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 04:42:42 AM »


The issue is really that in all probability the Sony raw compression scheme cannot cause the "orange peel artefacts". So what is causing those orange peel artefacts? The way to find out is to analyse the raw files, use different tools and different raw converters. I asked and got access to some of the raw files where Lloyd has found the problem, under his quite restrictive terms. I did my homework and could identify the problem and asked Lloyd for permission to share my findings. He was not very positive to that…

So what were my findings? Sorry, I cannot share. Diglloyd's conditions…


Hi Erik,

I can tell you what the problem was. Lightroom treats different raw files differently. Even with the same settings on Nikon and Sony (D800 vs A7R) senors, the Sony has sharpening applied and the Nikon doesn't. This is what causes the orange peel effect.
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kers

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2017, 05:46:30 AM »

I currently subscribe to Diglloyd's DAP (digital advanced photography) and MSI (making sharp images) sub-sites, but am debating whether or not I will renew for the same reasons that Günther has given. I think that Diglloyd needs to re-evaluate his ala carte pricing. One can subscribe to all sections for US$200/year, but I think that this pricing is too steep.
Cheers,
Bill
+1
I am on DAP for years and admire him for finding real problems that are overlooked by other reviewers.
That said i also find 200 too much for everything and asked him why not 50-75 for the whole bunch- he told me it would not be economical...
Over the years DAP has become a smaller part of his work and some new (DAP) lenses do not get the attention they deserve.
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JayWPage

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2017, 10:37:36 AM »

I am also a past subscriber of Diglloyd and have not continued my subscriptions for the reasons mentioned above, specifically the diminishing returns on one's investment after the first year. I once suggested to Lloyd that he consider a 24-hour rate, say $5 or $10 to allow someone to review his work on a specific lens or camera but he wasn't interested. I still think that would be a good idea.

Lloyd's work is presented as "the definitive word" on anything he pursues and I'm sure he rigorous in his methodology, but his conclusions are not necessary right or complete. Public discussion or challenges are not encouraged.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 02:19:59 PM »

Hi Tim,

Nice to see you here again ;-)

What you say resonates with me. What I think I saw in the samples was overenhanced shot noise. I could do similar sharpening with FocusMagic.

I didn't really make it to the conclusion that Lightroom applies more sharpening to Sony files that to Nikon files by default, but I am no Nikon shooter. If it is so, it may explain some of the good reputation Sony lenses have :-)

Best regards
Erik


Hi Erik,

I can tell you what the problem was. Lightroom treats different raw files differently. Even with the same settings on Nikon and Sony (D800 vs A7R) senors, the Sony has sharpening applied and the Nikon doesn't. This is what causes the orange peel effect.
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DougDolde

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »

He must be getting a lot of suckers er subscribers to afford his new Sprinter
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2017, 06:20:31 AM »

"The answer is in part cost versus value."

That is always the case and it is up to the consumer to answer that equation.

The issue, and this especially applies to photography as it does to many artistic based businesses, is that cost is tangible and value often ain't.  Information tends to have a poor resale value.

In this context, it is easy to quantify the cost.  That part is usually spelled out very clearly.  I want you to give me $200.00.  Not a lot of interpretation involved there.  What I will give you, in exchange, is something squishy called "value". 

If we think that art is hard to define, try defining value. What is a higher value to one, may not be as high a value to others.

It is easy to overvalue value, just as it is easy to undervalue value.  Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

As Publilius Syrus  once said,  "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.", but I think he totally ripped that off from Leonard Nimoy.  It is worth noting that this old dead Assyrian guy did not say "Everything is worth what its seller wants for it."

Unfortunately for those people who want to sell "value", the.. ahem.. value of the value is ultimately up to the consumer, not the producer.
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Rob C

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2017, 08:18:02 AM »

The Achilles heel with all of this testing stuff is that the object you buy comes out of a production run. There are no guarantees that all similar objects turn out identical. Now, if it were possible to have every lens tested by your favourite expert, you might end up a happy puppy, simply because his unique seal of approval is what you seek beyond your own abilities to decide for yourself.

Rob

BAB

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Re: Why I no longer subscribe to Diglloyd and some other reflections...
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2017, 10:33:17 AM »

Erik
Funny you posted this now as I was a partial subscriber to his site many moons ago and still jump on it once and awhile. I have often wondered why comments were locked, but more so my knowledge of the topics in general is limited to end user knowledge not electrical engineering talk. I like you found some interesting read and he did or was the first to discover short comings but as already mentioned often a beta camera firmware or luck of the draw body was at fault. Contrary to your thoughts though one of my biggest issues with his site is his eye Lloyd simply doesn’t have a good eye for image making, they are painful to look at. The images posted always look cold, flat and under saturated. They don’t exhibit real conditions to me ie. fog, smog, warm light, flash fill, reflector fill, objects, people (just fish), and combine with the lack of leading lines, diagonals or anything resembling compositions it’s really hard to believe what Lloyd is peddling is the truth and nothing but the truth!


So Erik we all have a different shape ears!,,


Barry
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