Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by kropotkin, Jul 26, 2014.
'Superior image quality' - a strange obsession for a photographer to have!
When it's placed over capturing the moment, the mood, the atmosphere and the message, yes.
Didn't say that.
I think you've made your priorities pretty clear over the last few pages of this thread.
If I somewhere said that, then I misstated my position.
Like any other photographer, I first of all am trying to communicate my message etc, whatever it happens to be.
My preference for doing so, is to have the best tool for the job.
In determining which is the best tool, the ability to produce superior image quality, is foremost in my consideration.
A tool is a tool. It can only "do the job well" if the person using it can operate it. That's why decent photographers can get fantastic photos with seemingly-mundane kit. David Bailey, for example, to prove a point when he used to advertise the Olympus Trip 35mm compact camera (way back in the late '70s), did several professional photoshoots using one, rather than his usual Rolleis, and Bert Hardy, a fairly legendary photo-journalist on this side of the Atlantic, took a bet that he could get a front page-quality picture with a Box Brownie (single-speed shutter, single aperture).
Don't put your faith in kit, put your faith in your own competence to take a good photo, and in your understanding of the basic technical principles of camera-use, and of composition. Do that, and you won't go far wrong, regardless of whether your kit gets loads of great hardware reviews.
Nope, just to take photos.
Because at the end of the day, "good" is 95% perception, and only 5% to do with how sharp the lens was, or how highly the sensor (or, for we old-timers, the film) is rated.
It depends what kind of photography you are doing, how important a lens or a body will be. It is always necessary to work with the qualities of the kit you have. Some images may well be beyond a particular combination of equipment. If it is critical you get those shots, then the specific gear may be necessary.
And yet it's almost impossible to quantify unless you're counting pixels and/or cross-analysing the colour repro against a chart like camera mags used to do with new film emulsions.
For me (and this is only my individual opinion) a "superior image" is one that draws you in, whether it grabs you by the throat, or just makes you look again.
Sure, but most amateur photographers are generalists, and if they do "specialise", it's generally in a genre where specialist kit isn't required, beyond perhaps a macro lens, or a fast lens. They don't need extra-light or extra-robust bodies, or a pixel count in the 20s of millions, although it's fairly obvious that people llike to OWN such kit, regardless of need.
Actually most people I know who shoot large format say it saves them money. They don't need to take many pictures. They tend to be a lot more careful about what they shoot.
I knew an Anglo-Indian bloke in the '70s who used to make money doing postcard shots of London (the usual banal views), who would "storyboard" his pictures so that he only ever used 2 sheets of film max for each shot.
One particular person I know (who runs the darkroom I use) was saying he only ever took one shot of each place when he was doing a project with several locations. He and his partner would visit beforehand and plan the shot.
I've never shot LF actually - I would like to. I was considering getting the Harman Titan pinhole as I like doing wide urban shots. Need a new tank spiral though.
I know some birders / natural history types with fast 500 or 600 (one has an 800mm lens), and bodies with very good AF. Then there are some landscapers with 36mpx DSLRs.
What most impacts image quality imo is lenses. The best lenses make the best images, unfortunately the best lenses cost the most because photographers have realised their qualities and this dictates prices.
I absolutely LOVE my x-e1. They're almost identical to the x-e2 but half the price. Seriously consider one.
The EVF is excellent and with the 27mm pancake it fits in my pocket. The kit lens is a real step up from a normal kit lens too, a stop faster across the whole range (f2.8-4) and pin sharp.
I wouldn't if I were you. They've not reviewed the x-e1 or x-e2 sensor at all, so I'm not sure where you're getting that from. Also, Ken rockwell is about the only person on the planet I've heard moan about the colours coming our of fuji sensors, everyone else raves about them. I don't think I've ever seen a review that gave it less than 4 stars ever. That other site for pixel nerds (http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x) raved about the lens IQ too.
Anyhoo, it's a lovely camera.
For the nerds, here's a 100% crop of a handheld mixed lighting scene at iso 800, straight out of the camera as a jpg with no post processing. This isn't meant to wow you with the picture, but show the detail it can easily resolve. Not sure while I feel the need to do this, but hey...
If you get an x-e1, fuji will send you the 50-230 zoom for free btw: http://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/digital-cameras/promotions/ I did this and sold it almost instantly on ebay for £200.
I would have been torn the same way you were OP, but the sheer value for money won me out. It's a bargain of a camera at £400 quid.
omg, I've gone all fanboi.
That's true: what I say in the post is that 'Looking up the sensor ratings of any listed Fuji, they all rank near the bottom of the heap.'
I think that people develop a bit of brand loyalty with cameras, lens issues aside - I know that I've been faithful to Canon for years, and it'll be a big change for me, switching to a different manufacturer.
Not me so much. With compacts, I've had several Ricohs, a Canon, Olympus, several Sonys and a Konica and I recently switched from Nikon to Olympus for my SLR.
Well that's because the only ones they've reviewed are point and shoots or bridge cameras.
DXO have not looked into this range at all - the similar sensored x-pro is still not one there(another rave reviewed camera). The same was true of the OM-D. They didn't review it for ages. It was so long there was almost a need for the conspiracy cap tbh.
This thing is in another league. It's far better for IQ than my old pentax K-X and that was no slouch. In fact it was excellent, but this is even better.
tbf, I switched brands because (a) my dslr was run over by a van and (b) I wanted a smaller camera that took just as good pictures. I boiled it down to the olympus e-pl5 (same sensor as the om-d but smaller and much cheaper) or the x-e1. The x-e1 won for a couple of reasons, not least because it had a top quality EVF.
I'll do a bit more digging on the XE 1 - I was impressed with its relatively compact size.
What does "best" mean, though? Look through most 20th-century photography books, and you'll invariably come across loads of pictures taken on Tessars, Xenars and other "classic" lenses - all lenses that were the result of optical experimentation and mathematics, though, not products of algorithms, so which is best - my crystal-clear 75mm/f3.5 Tessar on my Super Ikonta, the lovely 50mm/f1.7 Pentax PK-A Super Takumar on the front of my DSLR at the moment, or the "mathematically"-perfect zoom on my Fujifil F660EXR.
Just because a lens is expensive and garners good (or even fantastic) reviews, doesn't mean it's one of the "best lenses". What tends to be best is what works for a particular picture. I'e seen great portraits taken on lenses whose focal length wasn't suited to portraits, and great landscapes that weren't taken on wide-angle lenses.
I think we get way too caught up with the techno-woo about kit, and don't give enough thought to "is it any good for what I might do?".
BTW, if you're using a crap emulsion, or have a grubby sensor, the "best" lens in the world won't give you "the best image"!
The rudest thing I've seen about Fuji's colour repro was "it's a bit Velvia", which as far as I'm concerned isn't an issue, given how many photo-pros used Velvia in its' prime.
Sometimes VP you do this thing of responding almost indignantly to one of my posts before going on to say pretty much the same thing as I said.
I think you know what a "good lens" is. A good lens is one which has gathered a repute among photographers because of attractive optical and or mechanical qualities. That repute usually means its used price holds up well.
So in the case of Nikon, the 85mm f1.8 is considered optically a good lens, but the 85mm f1.4 is considered optically better, so it commands double the used price of its f1.8 cousin. Again within Nikon, the 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR is considered a good lens, with fantastic optical qualities and its used price also reflects this.
Yes, these lenses often suit certain images, but as you mention, there are no rules.
ironically, ken rockwell was complaining that the velivia looked nothing like velvia.
the thing they messed up was they swapped the provia and "soft" settings, meaning it's a bit muted out of the box. Change it to "soft" and you get nice, bright provia type rendering.
The 27mm fuji lens is pretty much perfect corner to corner according to photozone.de My experience leads me to believe that it's pretty much impeccable, which is amazing for something with less than 2cm protruding from the body.
Weirdly, the 50mm pentax 1.8 I loved so much beforehand doesn't produce anywhere near as good results on my fuji as it did on my pentax. I thought it would be amazing, but it wasn't as good. I loved that lens. Go figure.
"Almost indignantly"? Don't flatter yourself!
And if I've said a similar thing to you, perhaps you should ponder that perhaps you're not making yourself clear.
Yeah, but that's your (and my) take on "best lens". My point here is that there are a lot of photogs out there, especially amateurs, for whom that's not a primary concern - for whom repute doesn't even figure alongside speed, weight etc - and they are the people who drive the market in lens sales. We all know at least one of this type of photog; the guy (it's ALWAYS a bloke!) with the latest camera and latest lenses, whose photography never improves, and who firmly believes that if only his gear was better, his photography would be too!
The problem being that many photographers - a majority of amateurs at least, going by my experiences (a bit old now) of camera clubs - will sit and read "The 35mm Handbook" or similar photographic manual, and then take what they've read to heart, and never willingly break any of the rules, and to me that puts a real limit on what you can achieve photographically. What I'd love to see on every photography course and at every camera club is for someone to do what my old Graphic Art teacher (thanks, Robin!) did - stand up with some printed matter in their hand, say "this is the rulebook for photography", and then tear it up in front of you! That really set us free, back in the '70s, the idea that there wasn't any "right" way to take photos, or to do composition, that the rules were okay, but that you could break them if you thought it'd result in a decent picture.
He was also a proponent of pre-visualisation (something that's kind of died a death as a serious photographer's practice), and always recommended carrying a notebook, so you could note down how you saw the frame, and how you wanted to reproduce it.
I've seen a few complaints similar to the above, and one of the issues seems to be registration distance. The adaptors are made to suit the majority of lenses, and in a minority of cases will be a few thou out of true registration. Leica, even with their production tolerances, used to end up having their dealers shim the lens mount adaptor on screw to m mount adapters with bits of rice paper, in order to deal with the problem!
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