See Cineo Matchbox: Bought 3 of them for my Mercedes Sprinter Photography Adventure Van, Really Right Stuff BH-25 Attaches Them Almost Anywhere.
Cineo Matchbox LED remote phosphor lighting
It’s on sale, it’s discontinued, I have six of them—I adore the light quality. Three are installed in my Sprinter van.
The one catch for battery usage is the overpriced $99 bracket which is needed to attach a Sony NPF battery—it ought to be included. But with that bracket, I can carry the Matchbox in the field, which I used for subtle fill light in this stitched image. Don’t forget batteries.
But I now have a new interest in a newer Cineo offering, more on that below.
Old Stump View To Mt Conness at Sunset
f1.8 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 31; 2017-11-08 17:58:07 [focus stack 6 frames][low-res image for bot]
NIKON D850 + Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
The new Cineo Lightblade
I wrote to Cineo asking for a demo unit of their new Cineo Lightblade. It looks like something I could really use for for my office and perhaps for my van—I always seem to have too little light when I want it. I have some hope of being able to evaluate one:
Let me talk to the powers that be on my side. Not sure if you heard the news, NBCUniversal acquired Cineo Lighting. Let me see what we can do as we have a lot of changes and process we are managing. I will follow up with you.
Hopefully the new process will sort itself out and get me a Lightblade to evaluate.
Cineo Lightblade remote phosphor lights in 1 or 2 or 4 blade configurations, 2 feet or 4 feet long
You must be fully recovered from your recent crashes if you are carrying the Otus 28mmm in the field.
...Glad to hear you are back in the thick of things. You will have lots of work to do this fall.
DIGLLOYD: I make a point of NOT carrying the Otus 28 very far—it’s just too bulky and heavy. So sad that Zeiss targets video only now, with huge and heavy lenses when f/2 would do great with superior performance and are more field usability.
For the past few days, I’m feeling great again! I rode 81 miles /3000 calories yesterday and felt great, stronger at the end than when I started, based on years of experience a sure sign that my body is working again and ready to accept severe training loads (I’d ride 3+ hours day ~2200 calories @ ~208 watts if time allowed). Still, my strength has returned only in the past week or so. The turnaround started in mid June, after an assault by back to back antibiotics back in late March and mid April. The cure of antibiotics was worse than the disease (UTI and then prostatis).
For UTI and prostatitis I have learned something: try to pee it out first—it worked for me after the Eastern Sierra Double, which I completed in record-slow time (for me). But I missed 5 other double centuries this year—too weak even for my baseline training rides.
I advise extreme prejudice against antibiotic use unless absolutely necessary. Aside from destroying the gut microbiome (the “2nd brain”), antibiotics can affect muscles and tendons and nerves and just about everything.
I must be sensitive to antibiotics: Metronidazole was my first really bad experience, causing peripheral neuropathy that took two years to recover from. This go-round, I had physical and cognitive effects that hit me hard in April/May both physically and cognitively. The brain part gave me some deja vu with respect to my 2018 concussion along with ADD* for a few weeks (worse than after my concussion!), with one scary day of a severe inability to concentrate that I have never before experienced. I hope to not have to take antibiotics ever again. For myself, I consider antibiotics the most dangerous types of drugs out there in commonplace usage.
From my Dec 30 bike crash, two root canals preceded 6 crowns to fix cracked or broken teeth. A root canal on a molar wasn’t bad, but a root canal on a front tooth is not an experience I care to repeat. For a few weeks more, I have 4 plastic temporary crowns on the four front teeth and the durable ones get installed later in July. Even the plastic onese look terrific compared to the hillbilly broken front tooth 'look'. I'm deferring the wisdom teeth extraction until 2020—I’ve had my fill of dentistry, even if expertly done! And my bank account is drained.
My gratitude to all my subscribers who have stuck with me the past 15 months. And hopefully the foregoing will spare at least one person some damage.
Good work with the recent Zeiss Otus images along with some of your other favorites too, loving all the recent Zeiss lens tests you doing on the Panasonic S1R, it’s certainly giving you some resolution to play with.
I’m really pleased to see you shooting the likes of the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 with the S1R also, just shows how damn good it is and more than assures me that it will never let me down quality wise, not on my mediocre Canon 5DM4 sensor!
But out of all of it, Zeiss seem to have the upper hand on the colour fidelity compared to the likes of Sigma etc, colours just seem richer, I’ve seen other online testers and images can sometimes look cold, magenta or both, Canon are particularly cool with a pinkish look to their lenses, but think we’ve spoken of this previously.
But I ask at the end of the day, how much resolution his enough for real world everyday publications, indeed an A4 front cover only needs a 24mb file and I often get asked to just supply images for web and press release at around 11 MB, I know you love the detail along with the resolution for landscapes which is key, but realistically if you were using imaging on a Billboard, Rip software generally takes an image of 50% up to size.
Yes, I know the extra resolution is handy for cropping if needed and gives you more freedom and less restrictions, but as iv’e said, for most commercial applications I maybe using only about 70% of my 5Dmk4’s full resolution and picture libraries require around a 50mb file minimum.
DIGLLOYD: heck, iPhone images look good on billboards from distance! If the job is magazines, I recommend using 42/45/47 megapixels at least, if only to avoid digital artifacts like moiré and color aliasing and staircasing and noise. It’s about far more than resolution, as the Panasonic S1R so persuasively demonstrates with its Multi-Shot High-Res mode.
The golden age of photography is upon us, but on top of that, the golden age of high visual impact photo-realistic visual immersion is coming soon to a wall near you. 8K displays (7680 X 4320) are not far off, and the new VESA display standard incorporates 16K display support.
Print is irrelevant to me and to most camera users these days. While nothing beats a strong composition, presbyopia means that 8 X 10 magazines are increasingly not enjoyable—National geographic is just too damn small. Even 11 X 14 sucks, since type size is apparently for those under the age of 40. It will only get worse, and close-up glasses don’t really solve the core issue.
I love seeing details in my images that I didn’t even notice firsthand. I love photorealism, I love the unexpected find in an image, and I can’t stand mushy details, as I am so attuned and attentive to the world out there. Faces too interest me that way, well just about everything. Just the way I am wired.
I for one intend to shoot for future enjoyment with 10K (up to 10240 X 6820) an intermediate goal, and 16K (15360 X 8460) perhaps 5-8 years out. That’s my target as I shoot here in 2019. For now, the iMac 5K is the best thing going for viewing, excepting the coming Apple Pro Display XDR.
See also: Photographic Film Really Was Not Much of a Performer.
Something you said today alarmed me though, “print is irrelevant to me and to most photographers.”
In my world, here in the Portland, Oregon area, my circle of photographic friends do not consider an image to be finished until it is on paper. As you know there are many wonderful papers available to us now and excellent printers. I do not sit at my computer all day and try to use my phone less. My home and that of most of my friends is adorned with prints, some are mine, some are by colleagues. I am fortunate to have picture molding in my home and can change out images relatively easily with no holes in the wall.
I am well aware that people print less. My monthly group now has more people projecting images than showing prints but often there’s some problem with the projector or computer, delaying the showing; one needs to reduce the ambient lighting, and the images frequently look just awful, even decent ones
With projected images, one is limited to a few moments of viewing, viewing is at a distance, details are not often visible, and a critique is all but impossible. When we show prints, one can linger over a nice one, look at it carefully and closely; critiques have meaning.
I’m not giving up the print, I hope many others agree. I often wonder why we worry about high resolution cameras when the images will be seen only at significantly lower resolution on a screen, or horrors, a phone.
DIGLLOYD: prints will endure of course, and I do enjoy some large prints in my small home—but I have nowhere to store/swap them, nor the money, time or inclination to do so. Each to his own, as it ought to be.
The operative word is "most", as in probably 99% of people shooting a real camera, even ignoring camera phones, which are used for more than 99% of the images made today. Eric’s own words capture that: “my circle of photographic friends...” is surely a tiny circle compared to the millions of people buying cameras today. It’s just not a thing that people make prints anymore, let alone high quality ones or large sizes. I do, my readers most likely do, but I don’t plan to print much anymore, maybe never again. It’s a cost and space issue, and the accumulation of crap over time as I age along with a lousy user experience (unpack a print from storage to view it? Ugghhh).
Images are worthless if they cannot be viewed. There is a ton of pleasure in viewing images which are far too numerous to print and display. There is a ton of pleasure in a photo realistic viewing experience, which prints do not do as well as the best electronic medium already does.
“my circle of photographic friends do not consider an image to be finished until it is on paper”: Isn’t this at least a personal preference, if not an outright conceit which has no factual or logical basis? Tradition is not an argument. Preferences are not an argument.
If viewing images electronically looks bad, that's bad execution and/or bad technology. Bad prints look bad also! Neither is a fact of reality or a constant. The dynamic range of prints is inherently inferior to to a good display, because prints are a reflective medium (backlit 'chrome' type prints could improve upon that), while displays are a transmissive medium. I know that some new print techniques on metal and such and/or ultra high gloss paper can be eye popping, but they still cannot compete on dynamic range, and in any home environment like mine, there are always reflections that further diminish print viewing. Still, I do like my coated canvas prints. But a 10K display at six feet wide would be awesomely better and can deal with ambient light by adjusting color and brightness.
I like my large prints (six feet wide preferred, but at least 3 feet wide). IMO, prints under 3 feet wide suffer from “ageism”—smaller ones are a physical hassle (presbyopia) to view for me—I am not interested in reading glasses for enjoying a print in my house, so nothing less than 3 feet will do. Nor do I have the money to make large high quality canvas prints I prefer!
As for detail, I’ll put the visual impact of an iMac 5K up against any similar-size print. The fact is that the human eye responds primarily to contrast, and the iMac 5K kicks the crap out of prints for that. The 32-inch Apple Pro Display XDR arrives this fall, and it will surely be the finest viewing experience ever seen, particularly for black and white and its larger size is just about perfect for general viewing. It offers 6016 X 3384 pixels (20MP) at 218 DPI and I challenge anyone but the youngest people with 20/20 vision to care about higher DPI—the eye responds to contrast down the pixel level on such a display, which a print simply cannot compete with, end of story.
Then there is damage—having kids, all my prints in the hallway have dings.
Of course I understand that physical media have appeal and always will—me too. But that has a limited role to play.
Point is, we will have 8K/10K/16K displays up to 8 feet wide or larger, with 16K within a decade. The possibilities for viewing my images when I want at up to huge sizes I could never print well with full detail and contrast will make prints look like dusty artifacts.
Meanwhile, the iMac 5K is a terrific display that comes with a free computer.
Emil B writes:
Your points about the overall decrease in need for photographic prints and increase in viewing images on a monitor are well taken.
As a photorealist painter, a few years back I have given up on using photographic prints as references for my painting and have switched to the use of an iPad.
The only time I resort to printing is if a gallery requests to view my print portfolio. At a local society of artists I exhibit along with photographers who continue to show prints as their end product. In world class galleries in San Francisco and Carmel photographic prints continue to be offered for sale. Cultural, technological and economic factors seem to have dramatically reduced interest in purchases of both photographic prints and paintings.
In view of your statement about the irrelevance of prints, how do see the future of photography as a fine art?
DIGLLOYD: the medium does not take away the art, at least for photography. That would confuse vision and persuasion and insight of the artist with the means of presentation.
While certain photographers have for historical reasons become associated with the physical aspects of their work (e.g., Ansel Adams lengendary printing skills), that is not an essential attribute of a fine composition. I was unimpressed (actually disapponted) with Adam's prints I saw in the Adams family house when I visited— an iMac 5K with the contrast and tonal range that Adams could ony dream about woud be better—maybe his work can be retargeted for modern digital displays? Displays will only get larger/better with more pixels for more photorealism? See iMac 5K for Stunning Black and White Images.
Unlike inherently 3D art (e.g. sculpture), photography is 3D rendered as 2D with perceptual tricks to imply 3D. The medium matters little for photography except insofar as it adds some particular characteristic unobtainable otherwise (e.g., platinum printing) or some other sense like touch or smell or hearing—but I don’t touch or smell or hear my prints, and most everyone smothers prints under glass (adding a veil if not outright reflections). The wonderful physically sensual texture of a very fine rag paper is... not touchable upon display! Bastions of art (museums and such) disallow direct contact. Of what merit then is anything but the presentation that best persuades the visual cortex?
The golden age of photography is upon us, which includes the golden age of lenses. Optical quality has never been better—along with the grunt to make it even better, computational photography.
Here’s another observation, in the not so distant future, regardless of which system you use, there will be an adapter for just about every system so that any third party lens, or indeed, camera system will be universally adaptable to any lens so it won’t be as much of an issue which system you settle for.
DIGLLOYD: sort of, but not so much at a practical matter, for many reasons.
I do go to the trouble of adapting lenses in special cases, such as shooting Zeiss DSLR lenses in Multi-Shot High-Res mode, or F-mount lenses on the Nikon Z7 or Canon EF lenses on the Canon EOS R, but it’s far from ideal from a handling perspective (and no EXIF either).
Flange focal distance
First, the flange focal distance governs whether a lens adapter can be inserted between a lens and the camera. For example, the 16m flange focal distance of the Nikon Z7 lets (in priniciple) all other mirrorless and DSLR and rangefinder lenses mount via a lens adapter.
That’s because the flange focal distance of other camera present camera systems range are 18mm or greater, thus allowing at least a 2mm gap for an adapter to be inserted between lens and camera. While 2mm is iffy for support/stability reasons, it already exists for Nikon DSLR lenses (46.5mm FFO) to Canon DSLR (44.0mm FFO). Thi
The foregoing is why just about any lens can be mounted on the Nikon Z7, but Nikon NIKKOR Z lenses cannot be adapted to any other system, at least not without inserting additional optics (yuck) or dubious into-camera-throat designs.
Fujifilm lens mount schematic: implies 3.1mm thick sensor cover glass, 26.7mm flange focal distance
Most lenses these days lack an aperture ring, so a lens adapter has to, at the least, provide electronic translation from the camera to the lens for aperture control. And when it comes to autofocus support, good luck with many adapters—poor AF performance.
Camera brand X does not support lens correction of random Camera brand y lenses—so distortion correction and chromatic correction and vignetting correction are all off while shooting. This is sometimes OK, but sometimes a serious problem in that framing becomes difficult for a lens with significant distortion. Worse, most raw convertes including ACR do not provide any selectable lens profile support for Lens Y on Camera X, recognizing the len properly only when shot natively.
Many lenses are too heavy and too awkward to be practical and increase the risk of damage to both lens and camera flange (bumps, sheer weight). There are also two additional mounting surfaces which have significant risk of having planarity deviations versus a single mounting interface of a native lens.
Optics and sensor cover glass
The variations in sensor cover glass* thickness can be small to large, but high performance lenses can be very sensitive off-axis to differences. Thus performance of a lens designed for 0.8mm thick Leica M sensors is most often degraded massively on mirrorless—no exceptions so far—see MTF on Mirrorless Cameras of the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon for the huge losses (although it can offer stunning performance by f/8).
Differing sensor cover glass thickness vs design parameters causes light rays to diverge inappropriately, killing performance