Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Digital Cameras & Shooting Techniques => Topic started by: Rob C on December 15, 2019, 04:36:25 pm

Title: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 15, 2019, 04:36:25 pm
http://leicaphilia.com/what-i-dont-want-for-christmas/

My alternative place for photographic ruminations. Lot's of good sense.

:-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Ray on December 15, 2019, 08:34:21 pm
Quote
I’m sick of technical squabbles and little minds arguing irrelevant issues as if they were a matter of great import. News flash: the camera you use doesn’t matter. Not one fucking bit. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you stop obsessing over whatever new technological gimmick Leica or Nikon or Fuji is selling you, the sooner you’ll open yourself up to what really matters, the things that will make ‘your journey’ better. One thing I have learned is this: equipment is irrelevant. Nobody’s photographs got any better, or any worse, because of the equipment used.

Rob,
I think you are going overboard to the polar opposite of the 'obsession with technical issues' that you are criticizing.

There's no way that I would be interested in going back to the days of film with heavy, bulky MF, or Large Format cameras. I recall in the 1980's I lost interest in photography for a while, until a colleague in the Public Service where I was working, brought to my attention a new Pentax camera that had an autofocus system.

Since I'd experienced some difficulty with the slowness and/or inaccuracy of manual focus with moving subjects, I decided to buy the revolutionary Pentax ME F, and my interest in Photography was renewed. My interest continued as Photography progressed into the digital world, making it possible to process the RAW data on a desktop computer, instead of inside a smelly and unnatural Dark Room.  ;)

However, I do understand if one's main motivation in Photography is to imitate 'art', taking street photographs that look like a Manet painting, then issues of resolution, dynamic range, fast and accurate autofocus, are not particularly relevant.

But what might be relevant is the focal length range of the lens attached to the camera, and its weight.

Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2019, 06:35:02 am
Rob,
1.  I think you are going overboard to the polar opposite of the 'obsession with technical issues' that you are criticizing.

There's no way that I would be interested in going back to the days of film with heavy, bulky MF, or Large Format cameras. I recall in the 1980's I lost interest in photography for a while, until a colleague in the Public Service where I was working, brought to my attention a new Pentax camera that had an autofocus system.

Since I'd experienced some difficulty with the slowness and/or inaccuracy of manual focus with moving subjects, I decided to buy the revolutionary Pentax ME F, and my interest in Photography was renewed. My interest continued as Photography progressed into the digital world, making it possible to process the RAW data on a desktop computer,
2instead of inside a smelly and unnatural Dark Room.  ;)

3.  However, I do understand if one's main motivation in Photography is to imitate 'art', taking street photographs that look like a Manet painting, then issues of resolution, dynamic range, fast and accurate autofocus, are not particularly relevant.

4.  But what might be relevant is the focal length range of the lens attached to the camera, and its weight.

1.  Those words are not mine; they are a part of a complete feature from which that you have selected a part... That said, I agree with the guy in his overview about the equipment junkie mindset: it solves nothing for you if you do it in order to improve your abilty as photographer. Sharp snaps were made in the past, too, decades before af was invented. That said, af helped me a great deal too during the period when I had cataracts, especially before I knew that they were my problem. But all I needed was the central af spot as in my old Nikon cameras - the D200 and D700. I have never even tried using the other af areas -why would I? Simple is best.

2.  I never had such problems with a darkroom; if anything, it was a nice place to get away from everything and concentrate on the work. But then, I was ever a bit of a loner. The lightroom, for want of a better word, has altered the game completely, and brough dishonesty to the fore. At a stroke, it ruined the belief in good photographers. For all we know today, we might just be looking at good tech guys saving both the day and the ass of some celebrity snapper who never learned how to do it properly. I still admire good photographers, but less so manipulation heroes. Shit, even I can do some of that kind of stuff. Good photography depends on seeing pictures, not messing about for hours later trying to make something out of rubbish.

3.  That's one pleasant part of photographic art, but not the whole of it. Resolution is always a factor because you never know the future of a picture (why I stopped making cellpix), but unless you are also a commercial creature, it makes no real difference. Dynamic range is mainly a digital awareness problem; films like the slower Kodachromes and Velvia always did have limited DR, and folks just learned how to use them properly. The real problem that these things offer today is that digital can't cope with burned out highlights in the same pleasant manner as could film: the effects of over exposure are so ugly with digital.

Also, it appears to me that many people today talk a lot about af and accuracy, yet still shoot the majority of their pix with medium apertures of around f8 or so, where af is largely immaterial because of the natural DOF.

4.  Yes, that is absolutely the case. And weight is why I no longer bother with a tripod.

I wish that I had a camera that looked like an M3 and weighed no more, but was actually an slr with a pentaprism. I know, impossible.

;-)

Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on December 16, 2019, 09:36:39 am
http://leicaphilia.com/what-i-dont-want-for-christmas/

Preaching to the converted.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: chez on December 16, 2019, 10:14:33 am
And yet I see many of you sitting at a computer and discussing the latest gears.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on December 16, 2019, 10:23:02 am
And yet I see many of you sitting at a computer and discussing the latest gears.

I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2019, 11:09:44 am
I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.

Wait, do they make an automatic box for Cavemen?

Have to admit, if that elusive set of numbers comes together, I could still be very tempted!

;-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2019, 11:12:34 am
Preaching to the converted.


Yep, but it doesn't negate his argument - or mine!

;-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on December 16, 2019, 11:16:28 am

Yep, but it doesn't negate his argument - or mine!

;-)

Agreed.

;-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2019, 11:58:05 am
I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.

?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: BJL on December 16, 2019, 12:13:55 pm
Rob, I like your reply in that forum far more than the article’s clichéd, wildly exaggerated repetition of that “only the photographer matters, not the camera” mantra. For example, my mix of long-lens subjects and hiking to reach them would not be met by either a phone-camera or any 35mm format kit.

I propose two slightly milder dogmas:
- So-called street photography can mostly be done with any gear including a phone; in fact a good phone camera might be today’s Leica as the best tool for the task.

- _Most_ subjects of interest to _most_ photographers can be handled fine by any recent ILC, whatever kind of viewfinder or sensor it has — but many of us have our edge cases (wildlife, huge prints, fast action in low light, etc.) and those are what decides if our current gear is sufficient, and if not, what the most worthwhile upgrade options are.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on December 16, 2019, 12:38:59 pm
?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?

Due to a serious eyesight problem I switched from an antiquated camera I loved but could no longer focus to a camera I could.

Hopefully it'll serve me well for the next 10 years.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on December 16, 2019, 12:42:06 pm
Wait, do they make an automatic box for Cavemen?

Have to admit, if that elusive set of numbers comes together, I could still be very tempted!

;-)

An automated Caveman? Really, Rob, that would be an anathema.

;-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2019, 02:05:38 pm
?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?

Gear; gears.

Keith made an automotive jest.

:-)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Ray on December 16, 2019, 08:34:27 pm
The camera is a tool, and like any other tool that advances in capability due to technological progress, the latest development might help one to do one's job (or hobby) better and more efficiently.

If it doesn't, it might be because the person is stuck in their ways, and/or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: BJL on December 16, 2019, 08:51:38 pm
The camera is a tool, and like any other tool that advances in capability due to technological progress, the latest development might help one to do one's job (or hobby) better and more efficiently.

If it doesn't, it might be because the person is stuck in their ways, and/or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features.
Or in some cases, the technological advantages may have no practical, visible effect, for a particular photographer’s artistic or professional purposes. Like 16 vs 14 stops of DR when the subject brightness range of their chosen scenes is a more typical 10 stops or less, or 100MP for portraits where more than 20MP only adds details of blemishes, pores and veins on eyes that are then best edited out, or ISO 100,000 for someone who works with stationary or slow moving subjects.

Many photographers, even talented and demanding ones, have no use for the equivalent of a 200MPH truck that can pull a five ton trailer, even it can be afforded.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Ray on December 17, 2019, 02:02:01 am
Or in some cases, the technological advantages may have no practical, visible effect, for a particular ohotographer’s artistic or professional purposes. Like 16 vs 14 stops of DR when the subject brightness range of their chosen scenes is a more typical 10 stops or less, or 100MP for portraits where more than 20MP only adds details of blemishes, pores and veins on eyes that are then best edited out, or ISO 100,000 for someone who works with stationary or slow moving subjects.

Many photographers, even talented and demanding ones, have no use for the equivalent of a 200MPH truck that can pull a five ton trailer, even it can be afforded.

Of course, and I think my statement, "...or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features", covers all those points. If a photographer is not interested in photographing birds, or the moon, or the stars, it's understandable he would not be interested in a new, long-telephoto lens with improved image stabilization, improved resolution, or lower weight.

Likewise if he's not interested in shooting video, then a new model of DSLR or Mirrorless with improved 4k video capability, would likely have no appeal.

However, a camera with 16 stops of DR might have noticeably cleaner detail in the 10th stop, than a camera with 14 stops of DR. That is something to be determined.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on December 17, 2019, 02:25:15 am
Equipment can be fun. Obviously it’s not the be all and end all but why the disparaging  fuss about being interested in it? All from an anti technology blog that takes as it’s name a piece of equipment that in its day was cutting edge technology. If you don’t care about cameras why rabbit on about all the Leicas you own and the first one you bought and still own?  I mean who cares right?
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 17, 2019, 04:08:38 am
Equipment can be fun. Obviously it’s not the be all and end all but why the disparaging  fuss about being interested in it? All from an anti technology blog that takes as it’s name a piece of equipment that in its day was cutting edge technology. If you don’t care about cameras why rabbit on about all the Leicas you own and the first one you bought and still own?  I mean who cares right?

The very simpe answer is this: Tim, the owner of that web site, happens to be the best writer on the psychology of photography, and several other things, that it has been my luck to discover on the web.

On top of this, in the best traditions of money and mouth, he has also managed to produce a wonderful back catalogue of photographs - he's currently producing a book of "road" shots made from a car, that are stunningly evocative of all sorts of emotions and things that, perhaps especially for non-Americans, draw a wonderful picture of the American ethos. I write non-Americans, because I firmly believe that living somewhere generally makes you blind to it and its peculiarities: you think them the norm, which for you, they are, but not so for outsiders. It was what made Klein Klein: a New Yorker, he lived in and saw Paris before he returned and shot his New York book. Are citizens of Tokyo stunned by their city? Do Ventians go ooh! and ahh! every time they see a gondola? How many Indians look in awe at the Taj Mahal if they live in its shadow, seek a ride in a flea-infested rickshaw if they have a car, risk diarrhoea from street crap if they have their own kitchen, or give a damn about black holes if they live in Calcutta?

As for who cares about which cameras the blog's owner has/had? he does; also, the fact that he knows them rather well is interesting for people who might be thinking of buying one just for the hell of it, even if just to put on the shelf. At least they aren't foisted out there as ancient relics pretending to alter your life for the better the moment you put your money down.

The site is free, and you actually do learn something new now and again. Which is cool. And nobody is forced to read it.
Title: Wake up Call—and "lack of interest in exploring the benefits" of a larger format
Post by: BJL on December 17, 2019, 11:13:23 am
Of course, and I think my statement, "...or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features", covers all those points.
"not interested in exploring" does not cover _all_ those points; it ignores the possibility that some _have_ explored and assessed those potential benefits—perhaps by looking at the specs and what others have achieved with the new gear rather than acquiring it themselves—and have decided that the potential benefits are negligible or non-existent for them. As surely as in the film era many of us explored the potential benefits of upsizing from 35mm to 645 or beyond—and decided that the potential benefits were not significant for our purposes.

Your wording seems to confuse carefully considered choices with lack of interest, but perhaps you are just not expressing yourself clearly. For example, would you describe the decision of many quite dedicated photographers to not acquire gear in a larger format than their current one, even as it becomes a bit more affordable, as always being due to their being "not interested in exploring the potential benefits"?

For example, I have explored the potential benefits of a 36x24mm or 44x33mm or 54x40mm format kit and decided that it would be a net "dis-benefit" for my photographic objectives.

On the other hand, the better AF and IBIS of newer models does tempt me!
Title: Re: Wake up Call—and "lack of interest in exploring the benefits" of a larger format
Post by: Ray on December 17, 2019, 05:13:42 pm
"not interested in exploring" does not cover _all_ those points; it ignores the possibility that some _have_ explored and assessed those potential benefits—perhaps by looking at the specs and what others have achieved with the new gear rather than acquiring it themselves—and have decided that the potential benefits are negligible or non-existent for them. As surely as in the film era many of us explored the potential benefits of upsizing from 35mm to 645 or beyond—and decided that the potential benefits were not significant for our purposes.

Your wording seems to confuse carefully considered choices with lack of interest, but perhaps you are just not expressing yourself clearly. For example, would you describe the decision of many quite dedicated photographers to not acquire gear in a larger format than their current one, even as it becomes a bit more affordable, as always being due to their being "not interested in exploring the potential benefits"?

For example, I have explored the potential benefits of a 36x24mm or 44x33mm or 54x40mm format kit and decided that it would be a net "dis-benefit" for my photographic objectives.

On the other hand, the better AF and IBIS of newer models does tempt me!

If you don't acquire the gear and use it, you are not really exploring the 'potential' benefits. Did you miss the word 'potential' in my statement?

It's understood that what interests  one person often does not necessarily interest another person. We are all different, with different motives and purposes. That's fundamental.

There might be sound, practical reasons why the 'perceived' benefits of one particular camera system are overshadowed by 'perceived' disadvantages, and the significance of those 'perceived' disadvantages will vary according the the individual's circumstances and goals, and will therefore affect his/her interest in exploring the potential benefits of that camera system.

The benefits of Medium Format in the film era is a good example that applied to me. The benefits were always apparent, such as more detail and less noise, but the disadvantages of significantly greater price and weight, overshadowed those benefits, until the beginning of the digital era when professionals started dumping their MF film equipment in favour of the new, but ridiculously expensive, digital cameras.

The price of a second-hand MF camera was suddenly very affordable and much cheaper than the first Nikon and Canon APS-C digital cameras, so, for a few years I enjoyed those benefits of better detail, and lower noise. However, the cumbersome weight of the MF system was still a disadvantage, as well as the expense of the film and the expense of processing the film.

When digital APS-C cameras became affordable, I bought one, and there was no turning back because the advantages of unlimited, free film, outweighed  the disadvantages of less detail and more noise.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on December 18, 2019, 10:26:24 am
In Portugal we have a saying:

"either 8 or 80"

Meaning that we can change from one extreme to the other very easily and very fast...

When the author writes that gear is irrelevant, and does not make for better photos, he is simply wrong. Factually wrong, and can be easily demonstrated.
Title: assessing the value of gear to one's needs does not always require using it
Post by: BJL on December 18, 2019, 11:54:34 am
If you don't acquire the gear and use it, you are not really exploring the 'potential' benefits.
I disagree with that sweeping claim; it is rather clear that studying examples of what others have achieved with a certain photographic kit can do and looking at reviews by trusted sourced and technical specifications is in some cases enough to determine that the benefits would not be sufficient to justify acquiring such a kit. If for example I know that my current gear provides more than enough resolution for what I do or aspire to do, including adequate cropping latitude, then I do not need to try a 50MP Canon 5Ds kit (with lenses offering sufficient telephoto reach for my uses), or a 150MP Phase One kit (even surrendering some telephoto reach!) to determine that the additional pixel count would be of negligible benefit to me—even less so do I need to handle such a kit to determine that its greater bulk would be a substantial _disadvantage_ for my purposes.

Dare I note the numerous adverse judgments that you have made of various photographic tools without having acquired and used them?
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on December 18, 2019, 12:33:05 pm
You can often get an idea of what kit will and won’t suit you but sometimes it’s nice to push yourself out your comfort zone to see how it impacts on how you see and work. I have shot from 8X10 to MF to APSC to 80MP MFDB. All worked in their own way.

I have always used moderate lenses and for my own work a three primes would do it. A 28, 55 and 85 on FF is where it has been for me. Now I’m enjoying using longer lenses and also wider lenses. Sometimes it’s just fun to play with new stuff.

What is odd to me is all the barely used just tested equipment that comes up for sale. Mint condition never touched except with gloves and shutter counts under 1000. There seems to be a constant competition on who is the most fussy and pedantic over methods and equipment as if in preparation for the great day when photography will begin. But first the mission to find the perfect aperture for the perfect lens on the beat tripod with the highest resolution back. Stuff bought and sold and hardly a photo taken. It’s about balance but that’s a deeply personal thing. I would rather be fumbling for a shitty lens in a badly designed camera bag on the side of a hill as the sun comes up than testing perfect kit at home with a lens chart. It’s not that I feel that I’m superior, it’s just that I like being outside taking photos. For those that like to test endlessly and obsess over kit, good on you. I hope you are enjoying it and keep the info coming. It’s all useful.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2019, 02:32:41 pm
In Portugal we have a saying:

"either 8 or 80"

Meaning that we can change from one extreme to the other very easily and very fast...

When the author writes that gear is irrelevant, and does not make for better photos, he is simply wrong. Factually wrong, and can be easily demonstrated.


As with many things, one really can take some of them too literally.

Rob
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Ray on December 18, 2019, 06:02:18 pm
You can often get an idea of what kit will and won’t suit you but sometimes it’s nice to push yourself out your comfort zone to see how it impacts on how you see and work. I have shot from 8X10 to MF to APSC to 80MP MFDB. All worked in their own way.


I agree. Good point.
Title: Re: assessing the value of gear to one's needs does not always require using it
Post by: Ray on December 18, 2019, 06:36:57 pm
Dare I note the numerous adverse judgments that you have made of various photographic tools without having acquired and used them?

I never buy anything without first assessing its features and qualities, and its pros and cons, whether it's a new car, camera, computer, clothes, or house.

Nothing is beyond criticism except that which is perfect.

None of the cameras I've ever owned have been beyond criticism. There is always a trade-off between the perceived benefits and the perceived disadvantages. However, it's probably true that 'fanboys' tend to ignore the disadvantages.  ;)
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Benny Profane on March 01, 2020, 11:27:31 am
Well, if your expression revolves around fuzzy little 8x10 prints of obscure subject matter, like the OP seems to enjoy, sure, stick with a level of technology that produces grainy and out of focus little prints. The academics and Boomers in the photo world love them. But, if you want to print large color, and put some value in sharpness and lack of noise at that size, then, buy a new camera. But don't waste your money on a Leica, of all things. Those are for collectors and bloggers.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on March 01, 2020, 11:51:27 am
Well, if your expression revolves around fuzzy little 8x10 prints of obscure subject matter, like the OP seems to enjoy, sure, stick with a level of technology that produces grainy and out of focus little prints. The academics and Boomers in the photo world love them. But, if you want to print large color, and put some value in sharpness and lack of noise at that size, then, buy a new camera. But don't waste your money on a Leica, of all things. Those are for collectors and bloggers.

Actually it’s pretty much just the boomers that seem to like prints at all. Everyone younger seems to have moved on from huge detailed prints. It’s the philosophy of if your photograph is boring make it bigger. The sheer size might impress someone. Not referring to your photography at all. Don’t know your work, just a general grumpy comment.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: KLaban on March 01, 2020, 12:34:13 pm
As always, match equipment choices to needs.

Simples.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on March 01, 2020, 12:46:40 pm
As always, match equipment choices to needs.

Simples.

And there you have it. Simple really.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Benny Profane on March 01, 2020, 05:21:04 pm
Actually it’s pretty much just the boomers that seem to like prints at all. Everyone younger seems to have moved on from huge detailed prints. It’s the philosophy of if your photograph is boring make it bigger. The sheer size might impress someone. Not referring to your photography at all. Don’t know your work, just a general grumpy comment.

Then just shoot with your phone. It's always in your pocket. The quality of a Pixel 4 is better than an old Leica, and it's much more versatile. Easy.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on March 02, 2020, 12:56:56 am
Then just shoot with your phone. It's always in your pocket. The quality of a Pixel 4 is better than an old Leica, and it's much more versatile. Easy.

Because I’m 59 and grew up chasing quality in the film days which was not technically very easy. As with most of the older generation of photographers quality is important to me. It’s the newer generation of photographers more likely to use a camera phone because it’s always available and is fairly versatile.  More versatile than the Leica I used for a few shoots in 1985. Not as versatile as my pair of Sony cameras.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: JaapD on March 02, 2020, 04:52:08 am
“When the author writes that gear is irrelevant, and does not make for better photos, he is simply wrong. Factually wrong, and can be easily demonstrated”.

It depends what ‘better’ is in the eyes of the observer. Gear is imho indeed relevant but different than you might expect. The latest and greatest is not necessarily the best. Speaking for myself I’ve made my best images with my Mamiya RZ2 and APO lenses, on slidefilm, then scanned. Lots of limitations w.r.t. a fully digital workflow and by far not the latest technology so to speak.

Remember Cibachrome print, printed by a Durst Lambda (for correcting the steep contrast curve)? I haven’t seen anything better since.

Additionally, I wouldn’t push Sally Mann the latest digital camera in her hands and expecting her to create better images.

Regards,
Jaap.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on March 02, 2020, 02:32:37 pm
“When the author writes that gear is irrelevant, and does not make for better photos, he is simply wrong. Factually wrong, and can be easily demonstrated”.

It depends what ‘better’ is in the eyes of the observer. Gear is imho indeed relevant but different than you might expect. The latest and greatest is not necessarily the best. Speaking for myself I’ve made my best images with my Mamiya RZ2 and APO lenses, on slidefilm, then scanned. Lots of limitations w.r.t. a fully digital workflow and by far not the latest technology so to speak.

Remember Cibachrome print, printed by a Durst Lambda (for correcting the steep contrast curve)? I haven’t seen anything better since.

Additionally, I wouldn’t push Sally Mann the latest digital camera in her hands and expecting her to create better images.

Regards,
Jaap.


The remark about Sally M is right on the money. Her pictures are about emotional content as well as stylistic mannerisms. It's what makes a Mann picture often quite easy to identify as hers; from LF down to her early Leica, she uses what suits her mood and emotional state at the time. She seems to have made her wildly famous "Family" photos with LF, yet they don't look stiff... I read her proclaim recently that she sometimes feels like just picking up her little Leica and going out to use it - I suppose for the lightness and difference of modus operandi.

Her photographs work because they come out of her head and are her photographs; whatever camera, the head remains the same, even if some gear makes the fulfilling more difficult than does another.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Chris Kern on March 04, 2020, 03:07:14 pm
Interesting how a thread like this can suddenly "wake up" (double entendre intended) after a hiatus of a couple of months. . . .

It seems to me that one of the most important reasons for buying new camera equipment―at least, since the beginning of the digital era―is to find a product that is more intuitive than what you have been using.  This is a subjective judgment, photographer-specific.  I can't adequately put into words how much frustration I've endured, and can't even guess how many good shots I've missed, while I was trying to rapidly wrestle the damn camera into the appropriate configuration.  Even a camera I've been using for an extended period and whose user interface I supposedly know well.  I've never found a menu structure that isn't a pain in the ass and the tiny buttons many manufacturers favor (because they can squeeze so many of them onto the camera body) always seem to elude my fingers until I take my eye away from the viewfinder and hunt for the one I want.  When the little Fuji X cameras popped up on the market I immediately gravitated to them because I could adjust any setting I frequently needed to change with a simple manual control that was easily found by touch, and select the value I wanted from the viewfinder display.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Rob C on March 05, 2020, 10:17:15 am
Interesting how a thread like this can suddenly "wake up" (double entendre intended) after a hiatus of a couple of months. . . .

It seems to me that one of the most important reasons for buying new camera equipment―at least, since the beginning of the digital era―is to find a product that is more intuitive than what you have been using.  This is a subjective judgment, photographer-specific.  I can't adequately put into words how much frustration I've endured, and can't even guess how many good shots I've missed, while I was trying to rapidly wrestle the damn camera into the appropriate configuration.  Even a camera I've been using for an extended period and whose user interface I supposedly know well.  I've never found a menu structure that isn't a pain in the ass and the tiny buttons many manufacturers favor (because they can squeeze so many of them onto the camera body) always seem to elude my fingers until I take my eye away from the viewfinder and hunt for the one I want.  When the little Fuji X cameras popped up on the market I immediately gravitated to them because I could adjust any setting I frequently needed to change with a simple manual control that was easily found by touch, and select the value I wanted from the viewfinder display.

Coming into digital cameras after a working life spent with film ones, my fear was that I would find it all far too confusing and counter-intuitive. To my delight, I discovered via the Internet that one could set them to as close to zero manufacturer-offered inputs as you want, and thus make them pretty damned much the same as film machines. Which was a huge boon for me and my old set-in-stone ways.

Consequently, all the camera is allowed to do by itself is focus (central point) on af lenses, measure exposure via Matrix metering (Nikon bodies) and make use of auto ISO. As remarked, all the rest of the things are dialled back to minimum possible, resulting in nice flat files that I can mostly take wherever I want to take them without going too far astray.

Having done that, the only differences I now note to film cameras is that non-af focussing isn't as good on digital camera screens, and that I don't run out of shots at frame 36. I don't have any buttons set to anything.
Title: Re: Wake up Call
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on March 05, 2020, 11:54:51 am
I was die hard manual focusing guy until about 4 years ago. AF on the old MFDB systems was not good, I believe it to be much improved, and of course monorail cameras AF was not a compatible concept. The past four years I used more and more AF, always with back button focus as it seemed more intuitive. The last coupe of weeks I found myself wondering what the hell I was doing with that system and now have changed it to focus on the shutter button.  If you have the af system buttoned down and can rapidly switch between different focussing areas, sensitivity, AF-C or AF-S, tracking, eyeAF and so on it works perfectly. No more back button focus. Just take a picture. Very liberating. Didn’t see that coming.

And so equipment evolves and how we use it changes.