Mac Pro or iMac for Photoshop?
See my test results at MacPerformanceGuide.com.
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I’m back from my mountains trip yesterday. A storm moved in today bringing rain (and thus snow) to the mountains, which I’d really have enjoyed. But too long and too much work builds up.
I shot a great deal in the mountains for variety, which gives me a good selection for showing a variety of usage scenarios:
The Nikon 20/1.8 makes pleasing images at f/1.8 at dusk or night. These shots left a bit dark and are best viewed at larger size (will do in my review).
See NEC to Offer 32-Inch Professional UltraHD 4K Display Soon (PA322UHD) for more information and my comments on this exciting new offering for professionals. Thanks for using these links to order.
Order NEC PA322UHD with calibration software and calibrator unit
(slightly confusing click the “Price” button to add to cart)
Order NEC PA322UHD WITHOUT software/hardware calibration (not recommended)
The PA322 UHD is due to ship in December, but I hope to have a unit for review in November. A 32-inch display has a viewable image size of 31.5 inches diagonally.
I’m feeling strongly inclined to return the iMac 5K for two reasons. First, the PA322UHD will suit my needs much better over time, even though it is “only” a 4K UltraHD display. Second the iMac 5K is woefully expensive once configured up, has a number of limitations, and the 5K screen while gorgeous for viewing has a very high pixel density which is not looking all that friendly for tweaking images at a detail level.
Hiking high in the Hoover wilderness on an idyllic warm day (perhaps the nicest day I’ve ever seen this late in this area), I flushed half a covey of these birds, but some stayed put. By freezing and moving very slowly, I was able to get some shots with the Otus 85 as the birds cautiously accepted my presence and even resumed feeding. But it’s no easy task to photograph moving subjects with the Otus 85 (manual focus with razor thin depth of field).
I think these are white-tailed ptarmigan, but that’s a guess. I’ve never seen them before in all my hiking in the Sierra.
The water is so low that dozens and sometimes hundreds of trout are trapped in small pools. Hiking by, the water goes alive in some shallow pools (sometimes the trout panic to the point of flipping right out of the water onto the bank). A fish-eating raptor could have a field day. This pool is relatively large and deep compared to many of the much shallower ones in which trout are trapped. This situation exists all over the Eastern Sierra due to the drought. Some trout are seen spawning in water so shallow their backs are at times out of the water.
The 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH affords a bit more moderate wide angle effect and with the added bonus of f/2 which can be used to separate the subject from foreground and background, which along with vignetting draws the eye in.
Yesterday’s storm was all bluster, with the next day clear and still, the ferocious wind spent. And a fine morning it was indeed.
I’m getting a good sense of both of the Loxia lenses, which will be well documented in my review of Zeiss Loxia in Guide to Mirrorless. There is no substitute for field use when evaluating all aspects of a lens, including operational characteristics and performance under varying conditions.
At higher elevations frost heave is seen everywhere, and shaded areas are not melting. This shot at around 5:00 PM.
Some aspen still retain their leaves even at around 7500' elevation. Late October backlighting is wonderful. As well, the angle of the sun in late October is very friendly; this is late morning.
The upper Pine Creek area has this wonderful striped rock lying in heaps and forming cliffs. The stripes can be inches wide, or as wide as several meters. The darker rock has a bluish cast, and the combination is striking.
Today started out sunny and gorgeous just like yesterday, but decidedly nippy and with ferocious winds—enough to rain gravel up Lee Vining grade.
Sure enough by late afternoon a few clouds hurried across the sky, and by late in the day hard little snow flakes began pelting me. While I am used to the outdoors, being miles from my car with no-one for miles always make me take pause—but I prepare accordingly, and was well dressed in my Western Mountaineering 'Flash XR' down jacket over a Mountain Hardware 'Nitrous' down jacket, Western Mountaineering down pants, and that over an Ibexwear wool hoody. Plus wool socks and light wood gloves. Comfy even with the wind chill below freezing.
Get Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED at B&H Photo.
The weather in the Eastern Sierra has been unbelievably pleasant for late October. Dream days. And hardly anyone here. But a storm might be headed in.
If any reader lives in the Bishop area and has a spare Sony A7R battery, I could surely use one for a few days. I somehow forgot my spare and its charger... it’s a tedious time charging the A7R via USB3.
I get rather bored with most Nikon lenses (mediocrity is uninspiring if not annoying), but the 20/1.8G looks to be an exception and quite possibly is the best Nikon wide angle yet. Relatively small and light and with standard filter threads, all at a bargain price that includes the lens shade.
Accordingly, the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED will be getting a goodly amount more coverage when I return. I am shooting it out in the field and liking it. See the existing review coverage of the Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G.
Well, I did it again about 18 months after the last time. The one weakness of the Arca Swiss Cube (I hardly use any other tripod head) is that if it falls over and takes a hard knock, the brass geared teeth will notch.
As before, Robert Watkins at Precision Camera Works repaired it, and it’s smooth as butter again.
Note: the latest Cube model won’t take my preferred clamp as shown because the knob won’t clear a knob on the Cube. I do not like the Arca Swiss clamps; one can still mount a Really Right Stuff lever release clamp on the latest Cube model, but have Precision Camera Works do it, because the stock Cube has been loctited on solidly.
Robert Watkins at Precision Camera Works does a variety of work with camera gear.
Please ship your Cube to us (at the address below) via your preferred carrier (we like UPS) along with your contact information, a brief description of the problem and, where appropriate, proof of warranty. For equipment not covered under warranty we will provide a detailed estimate, free of charge, before doing any work.
(If you are an international shipper, see this very important message
Our Cube repairs are turned around, on average, in 3-5 days plus shipping. (Repairs are processed in the order received and are affected by time to receive payment, where applicable, as well)
All we will need to go ahead with the repair is your approval and payment information. We accept Visa, MC, Discover and PayPal. No charges will be made to your credit card until repairs are finished. For PayPal payment, we will send you a PayPal invoice that must be paid before any repair is performed.
The weather window over the Sierra might close by Sunday or so, so I’m hoping to head to the mountains tomorrow to make some solid images with the two new Zeiss Loxia lenses on the Sony A7R, though its vibration issues make it a migraine for any evaluation of sharpnesss. I also have the Sony/Zeiss 35/2.8 Sonnar for comparison with the Loxia 35/2 Biogon. Optically speaking, since build quality is a world apart with the Loxia another better ballgame.
Also on the menu is more shooting with the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G, which so far suggests to me that it might be the best wide angle lens Nikon makes, the 28/1.8G being a dud, the 24/1.4G being fast but not really good enough, and the 35/1.4G easily bested by the Sigma 35/1.4A.
The server was swapped today. Single server now on 100 megabit link, no separate image server now.
Coverage of OS X Yosemite is over at my MacPerformanceGuide.com.
Professionals using Photoshop, Maya, Autodesk, Unity, etc should proceed with caution towards OS X Yosemite. It might not be ready for prime time.
I am experiencing my own severe performance issues with Yosemite, in of all places, the File Open and File Save dialogs (which I use hundreds of times a day, so this is a real time-waster in my day).