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Author Topic: "Sommelier or snob"  (Read 23901 times)

Jim Kasson

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2015, 08:59:34 PM »


We don't all respond to tastes in the same way so what one person may like, another may hate. I've seen that in informal wine tasting groups - some people may like a wine that others don't. Usually there's general agreement on whether a wine is good or bad but it is not guaranteed.


I did blind tastings once a month with the same group of people for 30 years. At the beginning, there was a lot of disagreement as we learned what wine was all about. In the middle, the score sheets were remarkably consistent. At the end we diverged again -- tho' not as far as in the beginning -- as we became confident in our own palates.

I have observed the same thing in groups of people learning to appreciate art.

Jim

Ray

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2015, 09:38:11 PM »

The analogy of wine tasting seems more relevant to the appreciation of the 'artistic' merits of a print or projected image, than the equipment that produced the image.

Equipment has an objective performance capability which is not a matter of subjective opinion. One can argue till the cows come home whether or not the additional dynamic range provided by Nikon cameras improves the 'taste' of one's photos, but one cannot sensibly argue that the latest Nikon DSLRs do not have a higher DR capability than the latest Canon cameras (at base ISO), because that's an objective fact which is clearly demonstrated at DxoMark, and can be confirmed by one's own tests if one cares to take the trouble.

Likewise, much of the ergonomics and ease-of-handling of a particular camera is a matter of subjective opinion and often relates to what one is accustomed. That the buttons on a particular camera are small, comparatively, is an objective fact. That they are fiddly is a subjective opinion which relates to the size of one's hands and how skilled and accustomed one might be to operating devices with small buttons.
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BillDownUnder

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2015, 11:36:50 PM »

A meaningful discussion would arise in comparing the cost of a camera, not to the cost of a wine, but to the cost of making that wine: Grape selection, crushing, casks, testing, blending, ageing, etc.

An experienced vintner spends money with a target of a wine with particular level of quality. A camera maker does the same thing.

Are there snobby camera buyers in the same way there are snobby wine drinkers? Sure.

Are there drivers incapable of exploiting their high-performance cars, just as there are photographers who can't exploit their high-performance cameras? Sure.
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Schewe

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2015, 12:42:09 AM »

Are there snobby camera buyers in the same way there are snobby wine drinkers? Sure.

Are there drivers incapable of exploiting their high-performance cars, just as there are photographers who can't exploit their high-performance cameras? Sure.

Well, when it comes to wine, I know Michael is very cost conscience–because American and Euro wines are expensive in Canada while Australian wine is quite cheap (I don't buy Canadian wine except for Ice Wines). It's quite easy to get good, inexpensive wine in the state stores in Canada.

On the other hand, I tend to go to Binnies (a big wine store in Chicago just down the street from my studio–both Mike & Ke  have been there) and buy wine that has a Wine Spectator rating of 90+ that sells for around $20-25. I am almost always happy with the purchase :~)

Not unlike Wine Spectator, LuLa has a similar impact on my impression of digital cameras. I enjoy the fact that Michael and Kevin are equipment junkies and try out just about everything. Course, I don't buy ONLY based on Mike & Kev (I would go broke) but I tend to think of LuLa ratings to be on a level of Wine Spectator...don't even ask about Wine Enthusiast...my impression is WE can be bought (kinda like some of the other camera review sites out there :~)
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hjulenissen

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2015, 03:12:34 AM »

...
So whilst it is possible to objectively measure wine, images, music, etc, a measure of a specific quantity is no guarantee of it being liked by any given individual.
Blind testing will tell you what those participating in the test liked (or what they were able to distinguish).

I have only read anecdotal stories about wine where supposedly the average guy prefers cheaper mass-market wines to more expensive ones, while experts prefer the expensive ones (to some degree).

In audio (that I have more knowledge in), there have been numerous tests on e.g. loudspeakers that fails to show such preferences: people (you, me, my grandmother) seems to prefer loudspeakers that are "neutral", have wide bandwidth, little distortion etc.

-h
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LesPalenik

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2015, 04:52:33 AM »

Quote
To be able to tell the difference between the "20,000 USD camera shot" and the "2,000 USD camera shot", the print, or the reproducible medium, needs to be quite large.

I observed that when it comes to wine testing, the opposite is true. The larger the consumed quantity, the smaller the difference between the tested products seems.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 04:59:22 AM by LesPalenik »
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BillDownUnder

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2015, 09:54:55 AM »

...while Australian wine is quite cheap....
We prefer to think of Australian wine as "inexpensive." The "mirrorless" of wines?

By the way, love the videos. Will there be an update for Lightroom 6?
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PeterAit

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2015, 02:29:29 PM »

Would you care to elaborate?

-h

Reliable scientific (objective) tests for cameras and lenses are plentiful--resolving power, distortion, flare, dynamic range, etc. But, AFAIK, there are no such tests for wine (and I hope there never will be!).
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Peter
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hjulenissen

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2015, 02:33:53 PM »

Reliable scientific (objective) tests for cameras and lenses are plentiful--resolving power, distortion, flare, dynamic range, etc. But, AFAIK, there are no such tests for wine (and I hope there never will be!).
You seem to not be aware that it is possible to scientifically test the subjective?

-h
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amolitor

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2015, 02:39:11 PM »

Of course you can make objective measurements of subjective experiences. There's a lot of noise involved, and people REALLY don't like it when you do, because it usually turns out that their wine, audio cables, lenses, fabrics, paints, etc etc are indistinguishable from placebo.
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PeterAit

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2015, 03:26:13 PM »

You seem to not be aware that it is possible to scientifically test the subjective?

-h

Sure, but that's irrelevant. You can do a very objective survey of people's subjective responses to, say, wines - but then you are measuring people's responses, you are not measuring the wine itself - two very different things. Not that the latter is worthless, just that it is not a measure of the wine.
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Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

Jim Kasson

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2015, 03:30:47 PM »

Reliable scientific (objective) tests for cameras and lenses are plentiful--resolving power, distortion, flare, dynamic range, etc. But, AFAIK, there are no such tests for wine (and I hope there never will be!).

Sure there are. Total sugar, total acid, acid breakdown (malic, tartaric, lactic, citric, acetic (you don't want much of that), ascorbic, butyric (you really don't want much of that), sorbic, succinic), sugar/acid balance, tannin, and many important chemicals. They don't feature it, because it interferes with the romance, but some wineries have gas chromatographs tucked away somewhere.

There's a way to test for many of the entries of the Davis wine wheel:

http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/wine-educational-questions/davis-aroma-wheel/

And why is this a bad thing? It brings us better wine.

Jim

« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 03:35:42 PM by Jim Kasson »
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PeterAit

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2015, 03:43:34 PM »

Sure there are. Total sugar, total acid, acid breakdown (malic, tartaric, lactic, citric, acetic (you don't want much of that), ascorbic, butyric (you really don't want much of that), sorbic, succinic), sugar/acid balance, tannin, and many important chemicals. They don't feature it, because it interferes with the romance, but some wineries have gas chromatographs tucked away somewhere.

There's a way to test for many of the entries of the Davis wine wheel:

http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/wine-educational-questions/davis-aroma-wheel/


Oh please! I think you know perfectly well what I meant - there are no objective tests that tell you good a wine tastes. The tests you list are a help in making consistent wine, nothing more.
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Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

hjulenissen

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2015, 03:51:37 PM »

Sure, but that's irrelevant. You can do a very objective survey of people's subjective responses to, say, wines - but then you are measuring people's responses, you are not measuring the wine itself - two very different things. Not that the latter is worthless, just that it is not a measure of the wine.

I'd like to repeat my statement that you disputed:
reliable scientific (or science-inspired) tests for wine are reasonable to design, while similar tests for cameras are difficult and will typically only test one of several relevant aspects.
I think you have this backwards.
I think that it is actually you who have it backwards. You have not offered any insight on why you think that I am wrong that scientific tests are easier to design for wine than cameras. Rather, you continue to give the impression that you do not understand that blind tests can be as good science as anything else.

Let me state it clearly. Blind tests (can be) scientific inquiries into the subjective. They can be published and peer-reviewed. They help further our understanding of how humans perceive the world. And in matters concerning human senses they are quite important, be it wine, imagery or sound. I believe that doing relevant blind tests for wine is doable (if cumbersome). Doing a blind test for camera gui, image quality etc at once sounds next to impossible.

It is quite possible to do a blind test consisting of side-by-side camera images. You would have to put some work into the experiment in order to get a relevant conclusion, though.

-h
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 04:01:01 PM by hjulenissen »
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Jim Kasson

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2015, 03:52:00 PM »

Oh please! I think you know perfectly well what I meant - there are no objective tests that tell you good a wine tastes. The tests you list are a help in making consistent wine, nothing more.

There are no objective tests that will tell you -- as a scalar -- how good a photograph is, either. Or, AFAIK, a lens (remember, we're lookiing for a scalar if we're asking how good). Just as there are many identifiable image defects that can be tested for, there are many such defects in wine. Those tests are not only useful in making a consistent wine, they are useful in evaluating a wine, and wineries use them for that purpose, just as lens makers use optical bench tests to evaluate lenses.

Jim

PeterAit

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2015, 10:02:01 AM »


I think that it is actually you who have it backwards. You have not offered any insight on why you think that I am wrong that scientific tests are easier to design for wine than cameras. Rather, you continue to give the impression that you do not understand that blind tests can be as good science as anything else.


I provided several examples of objective tests that can help evaluate the quality of a camera. You provided precisely zero objective tests that can be applied to wine that can help evaluate how good the wine is. Yet you continue to insist that I have it backwards? Sheesh, if I roll my eyes up any more I will be looking out the back of my head!


Let me state it clearly. Blind tests (can be) scientific inquiries into the subjective. They can be published and peer-reviewed. They help further our understanding of how humans perceive the world.


Yes, I know, I know (as I have already stated). And, as I have already stated, I have all along been talking about tests THAT ARE APPLIED DIRECTLY TO THE CAMERA OR WINE (yes, I am yelling because you're not listening). I am not talking about measurements of people's SUBJECTIVE RESPONSES TO THE CAMERA OR WINE. As you say, the latter can be quite useful and valid, but IT IS NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. Really.

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Peter
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2015, 10:25:59 AM »

There is no metaphor in this world that geeks are not going to take literally and parse it word by word, letter by letter, font by font...

PeterAit

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2015, 10:36:40 AM »

There is no metaphor in this world that geeks are not going to take literally and parse it word by word, letter by letter, font by font...

Sheesh, you shouldn't be so harsh on hjulenissen! He means well.
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Peter
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Isaac

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2015, 12:43:36 PM »

I provided several examples of objective tests that can help evaluate the quality of a camera.

Provide examples of objective tests that can help evaluate the feeling of using a camera -- or would that necessarily be subjective, like the taste of wine.


« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 01:28:26 PM by Isaac »
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Isaac

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Re: "Sommelier or snob"
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2015, 01:29:45 PM »

Quote
…if the multi-thousand dollar cameras and lenses that I own are worth that expense, or are they, like expensive wines, a matter of – in his word – snobbery?

To some, they may be worth that expense as a matter of snobbery.

To some, they may be worth that expense as a matter of sensual pleasure.

To some, the point would be the photographs.


"Books and magazines are full of advertisements for cameras -- it's a racket … What matters is the idea, not the camera." Man Ray
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