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POLL - Moving sensors

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Thank You, Huw. :D :D

    And as for the public leading the manufacturers, that stopped years ago with the flooding of the markets with 'disposable' electronic gadgetry and the great bluff and spin called 'progress'.
  2. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    My turn - thank you Sey :D ;)
  3. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    I'd say, "my pleasure", but obviously it isn't - well, you know what I mean. :(

    These are undeniably 'interesting times', and there have clearly been some huge benefits in some respects, but as I said earlier, they've been accompanied by some big steps backward as well. No point in shutting our minds to that. :(
  4. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I know exactly what you mean.

    What saddens me the most though is that the younger generation don't know that they are 'losing' natural skills and talents, while the 'bridge' generation seem to be in total denial, or maybe they're trying to convince themselves that only good is happening.

    Isn't it fun being a 'wise' Luddite. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif :(
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Using an F5 in manual is not the same as using an FM2. The meter response of the FM2 is more predictable for a start. Either requires skills that anyone who has only ever use an auto everything camera probably doesn't possess.

    25 years ago maintaining the avionics on a large transport aircraft was a skilled occupation. Not to the extent it was 10 years earlier but a skilled job. Then in 1988/9 along came central maintenance computers and anyone who was willing to acquire the ability to interpret the output could do most of it. The electronics became the expert but it still needed hands to do the mechanical bits. Obviously the enjoyment was in the diagnosis and trouble shooting so all the electronics did was turn the job into a routine, read the screen change the box.

    Electronics in cameras is doing the same thing, if you are so inclined you can set your top of the range DSLR on auto and it will deliver perfectly acceptable well exposed images. You still need the "eye" to get really stunning shots but little technical ability is required. For me the enjoyment is in taking control.

    You can probably guess that I drive a manual car.

    I don't actually object to automation but, in the same way that using an automatic gearbox in manual just isn't the same a using a manual, switching off the features you don't want isn't the same as having a camera without them.
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Ah, but Huw you're confusing capability with user requirement. Of course bellows give you much more magnification, but I can't actually recall many people using them actually taking full advantage of that - I think if you look back at a selection of macro images of the 70s, say, you'll find stuff very similar in scope to what is done today. Now if you read what I wrote, you'll see that I referred to one of Canon's lenses making bellows redundant, the MP-E, of course. If there really was that much demand for that degree of close-up work, I contend it would sell a lot more, and other manufacturers would make one - especially Sony, who surely have access to the old Minolta equivalent.

    I think you've just misunderstood what the majority of the demand was, as I've explained, and that that portion of the demand is actually better matched by a macro lens, or a macro lens and extension tubes if required. Just ask yourself if we have many questions on here from people wanting to get closer than 1:1 - I can't recall many.

    But what's important - the means, or the end? Granted, like you I enjoy both, but I really don't think it's right to say or even imply that that's the only approach. In all honesty, if I never have to calculate exposure increase due to bellows extension for a non-TTL metering camera again, I won't lose any sleep over it or consider myself in any way lesser than before. The people who expect everything to be done for them photographically aren't the enthusiasts, but exactly the same people who were the original customers of Kodak. Nothing's changed in human nature. In the meantime, I quite fancy technology that'll correct my wonky horizons when I've not got the time to use a tripod and spirit level, TBH. There are loads of things I scoffed at when introduced that I later had to admit were quite useful, or often even more so - DX coding, for example. "I'm perfectly able to set the film speed", I thought, and 99% of the time of course I was. The other time I got gross over/underexposure due to forgetting to change it. Saved me a few films a year from total ruin. Dumbing down? Perhaps a classic case, but OTOH it saved me both money and, more importantly, pictures - and ultimately, I think that's more important. YMMV, and that's perfectly fine - as I said before, there's no one true path to enlightenment in this hobby of ours.
  7. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    "You still need the "eye" to get really stunning shots but little technical ability is required."

    I would say that if you get a "stunning shot" using this technique, it would be a fluke, even if you have two "eyes"!
    My argument is that in order to deliberately get that "stunning shot" you need more than an eye for composition, you need to know the effects of ISO, DOF, apperture, shutter speed and how your meter will react to the light. In short you need to know about photgraphy and your camera. Beyond that, manual or automatic, it matters not one jot. I think it is very arrogant to assume that folk who regularly use automation do not consider and use this information in their photography.

    I dont know about your avionics analogy, but to me it comes across more like the difference between older aircraft with cables and hydraulics and the newer fly-by-wire jobs. They both do the same things and take you to the same destinations, they are just put together differently.

    If Nikon turned out the camera you are looking for it would use the same meters, the same motors, processors, sensor and memory etc etc probably even the same body. What would be different? disabled control software, fewer buttons and a bigger price tag.

  8. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    No - I was, myself, an avid macro enthusiast back in the early/mid 70s, and I well remember what was being shot and exhibited, and that was precisely what made me go into the matter so thoroughly. Close-up photography was a thriving genre. People most certainly were using higher magnifications, and that's why the plethora of independent bellows as well as the marque versions were able to exist.

    YES - I KNOW, THAT'S PART OF THE F***ING POINT! The interests and abilities of photography 'enthusiasts' are dumbing down as the electronics take over and eliminate the practical, hands-on skills. So many these days can't even spare the time and energy necessary to read their camera manual, or a book on basic photography, let alone bother with a genre of photography that requires them to set things up as carefully and patiently as macro work.

    Well, there's the difference between us, I guess - you value a world in which we have idiot-proof equipment [and - honestly - I don't mean the term pejoratively ;)], whereas I value one in which we have to learn and practice and acquire the general skill of not being an idiot. :)
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Just keep practising... :D

    Like I say, it depends on the relative importance you put on different aspects of the hobby. For those for whom the technical aspects are paramount, then you're an eloquent mouthpiece; I come originally from that tradition myself, but for me, there's plenty of room for those for whom the result is more important than the technicalities (as long as they RTFM, for sure) - I don't see that either should be excluded or demonised simply because it's not the path one personally treads.
  10. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Of course - hope springs eternal! :)

    Fine, but when it comes to the equipment that is available to us, it does seem to be a case of the high-tech, low user-input, low skills electronic version of photography displacing the traditional, low-tech, high user-input, skills-based photography. AF SLR cameras, for instance, have essentially completely replaced manual focus ones, and the same for lenses (aside from a couple of traditionally minded independent manufacturers trying to keep them alive). And you know - even if some here don't - that it's not just a simple matter of turning AF off - AF cameras and lenses make extremely poor substitutes for equipment actually designed for manual focusing.

    That's just one aspect. The same goes for so much else. And if those of us who have experienced photography without all the electronic intrusions, and know the benefits of freedom from those things, don't stand up and shout about it when asked whether we want yet another gadget becoming the next 'must have' feature, who will? And, indeed, what is the point of the question being asked?
  11. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    While this thread may not beat the post record for the room it must certainly lead the way in word count :eek:
    A lot of people on here remember the non-auto-days of photography and well remember the innovation that was necessary to achieve the stunning images that drove us to try and emulate. Think of the sheer invention of Steven Dalton and the Oxford Scientific unit (think the early Attenborough series).
    They could not have innovated without a knowledge of the 'basics' as we call them. Working away along an earthworm's burrow or stopping a hummingbird in flight took great technical skill, inventiveness and a sound knowledge of lighting, shutter speed, aperture et.al. - and they were working within rather tighter ISO limits than we have to.
    I see none of that happening now. No one disappears into the garden shed and works on solutions to photographic problems and yet it is not too long ago that the journals carried occasional articles on such things.
    Popping back to Geoff's car analogy (above); on most sunny weekends you could drive around any town or village and see many cars with their bonnets up as the owners serviced them on the drive. A quick trip to Halfords for the points, plugs, filters and oil a happy hour or two and away you went for another 6000 miles. Now, apart from oil, there is damn little you can do under a car bonnet.
    Ah, well, it saves time I hear but my question is, saves time for what? It cannot be for families - the divorce rate is through the roof.
    Hobbies? Photography? - maybe, but if everyone is carrying basically the same equipment - and we are, whatever the make - then the essential fun of 'stretching' a hobby to it's limits is gone and all are taking basically the same shots with little need to think - our wonderful multi-thousand pound kit inventories have become little more than 'Point'n shoot' and I would argue that for the majority of buyers (which excludes this place) that is EXACTLY what they are.
    As some have argued, manual use of modern cameras is very possible, IF you can get your eye close enough to the viewfinder to see the mass of figures and symbols along the bottom of the screen, IF you can accurately focus with some millimetre wide ring at the far end of the lens and IF you can accurately assess the image on a small ground glass screen that has no focussing aids at all. This has become so tiring and 'fiddly' that few bother with it preferring to lose shots with their favourite lens while they choose any one of 50 odd focussing points on the screen and the motor hunts up and down because AF will only work effectively in fairly bright circumstances.
    Before anyone jumps all over me I do know that AF is improving but it ain't there yet!
    My point, as Huw's, Sey's and others is simply this. We have lost choices; and while the manufacturers have provided us with more technical innovation than you can shake a stick at they have also removed a huge amount of satisfaction and personality from our hobby. The majority of posts in these forums is about chasing new kit, not about chasing better images.
    There are many of course (including on here) who assume that new kit will bring better images - for them, there is no hope.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I do find it more than a little ironic that those who accuse new technology of leading to dumbing down and erosion of choice haven't applied their self-professed inovational skills to seeing how these technologies can be used for their own benefit...
    The fact is that manual focus on a modern DSLR is vastly easier than it was on my first SLR, a Zenit E - which had, er, a tiny, dark focussing screen with no aids. Magnified live view on the latest LCDs makes critical manual focus pretty easy and very precise - much more so than just about any manual-focus 35mm SLR I've ever used except the Contax RX, which had an, er, electronic rangefinder aid. And although it's true that many modern lenses are horrid for manual focus, the majority of mine are actually very nice indeed - my L series zooms have a terrific manual focus feel and sensible gearing, the EX HSM Sigmas likewise - and unlike many of my manual-focus lenses, they're as easy to focus manually in very low temperatures as they are at more normal ones. So you;ve got perfectly good manual focus options AND AF - hard to see that as an erosion of choice compaared to manual focus only. Open those minds up, use those precious thinking skills, and make the most of the massively increased choices!

    As to the DIY aspect, well I can only assume you've not been reading AP in the last year, with quite a few articles on making your own this, that and the other. On the car front, if anybody really wants to go back to the days when you couldn't guarantee you would get to your destination without breaking down - well, words rather fail me, actually. A happy hour or two? Are you mad? The skinned knuckles I've had from trying to remove brake drums that didn't want to budge etc. etc. - I would much rather spend that time debating with you. :D

    As to the majority of buyers only wanting to point and shoot, well, yes - that's all they ever wanted to do with a camera. Now they get mostly technically acceptable pics, whereas before they got mostly poorly-exposed, out of focus and shaky ones. What's wrong with that? These people will never be photographers, but they're helping keep the costs down for the rest of us, so I don't have a problem with that. For them, a better camera DOES mean better images - not aesthetically, but technically. I rather thought that was what you were unhappy about, so you can't really then say that the phenomenon doesn't exist... ;)

    And if just one of them is encouraged by that to get more into photography, that's a win in my book.
  13. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Well there's a problem with what you're claiming here, Nick, because basically, it's impossible. And it's not a question of dinosaurs, and luddites, and the like - it's just plain old physics. The Zenith screens were certainly small, and dark - but, paradoxically, you might think, that very darkness was why they were actually so good for manual focussing.

    The thing is, there's a fundamental trade-off between brightness of focussing screens and manual focussing accuracy. Light leaving the back of the lens converges to form a so-called 'real image' (assuming the object is far enough in front of the lens), and that real image either forms in space (an aerial image), or on the focussing screen's surface, which is where you actually want it. But your eye will focus on an aerial image quite happily, given the chance.

    And that is the problem. For the human eye to be able to see and focus on an image on the screen it needs to scatter the light falling on it. Some light is passed through without deviating, but for accurate focussing you need the majority of it to be scattered - otherwise you simply don't have a screen image that you can focus on. Modern bright screens are designed to scatter less light, and allow more of it to pass through unmodified - that's why they are brighter. But it's a problem for accurate manual focussing, because the eye will focus more readily on a bright aerial image, formed either in front or behind the plane of the focussing screen, than it will on a dim out of focus image formed on the screen. Thus for the sake of a brighter image you actually lose the ability to distinguish the image on the screen, where you really need to see it.

    This is why the old Zeniths, along with numerous older SLRs, TLRs, LF cameras, etc., with their really coarse screens, were actually very good for manual focussing - dark, maybe, but accurate, which is really the point. I'm surprised you think the old Zenith E was worse (I had a 'B', so I know what they were like), than DSLRs, which without exception, have typical modern bright screens. I can only think that you're concentrating on the darkness of the viewing experience (which was undeniably poor) and being overly influenced by that. I'm quite certain that if you did a well-controlled, scientific comparison, testing your ability to focus accurately by eye, using a modern DSLR and using an old Zenith, you'd see that what I'm saying is correct. The bright, modern screens might give a nicer viewing experience, but they're s*d all use for accurate manual focussing! :-(
  14. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Sh*t I love it when he goes all scientifical on us!!!!!! :D :D
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    And the brightness of the focussing screen is related to the use of magnified live view for manual focus precisely how?
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    So do I - and it's particularly amusing when he's completely missed the point. :D
  17. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Moot, these days you don't get the choice.

    My guess is that (with a few very honourable exceptions, at least one of whom regularly contributes to this forum) the people who do "specialist" photography are no longer using conventional cameras. The majority of my images are now made with a camera that bears no controls whatsoever on its body and has no connections apart from a lens connection and a USB socket. It also contains no moving parts. OK, my specialization is in the opposite direction - the smallest things I usually image are bigger than the whole Earth - but the principle is probably the same.
  18. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    Written by Malcolm_Thomas -Carpal Tunnel in a thread in 'Lens Matters'

    Autofocus - Schmautofocus; An example (I believe) that demonstrates that the Gods of technology haven't got it quite right. :eek:
  19. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Actually I don't think he has. To use live view to aid manual focusing you need a camera with live view. Huw has pointed out that without that technology accurate manual focusing a DSLR is close to impossible.

    So, to use MF lenses on a DSLR you have to buy into a technology that you possibly don't either have or particularly want. That is progress?
  20. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Nick - I addressed directly, and in clear, unambiguous language, your point about the alleged superiority of manual focussing <u>by the focussing screen</u> on modern DSLRs. Read those underlined, italicised words carefully - they are the critical ones.

    As to focussing by live view - I took it for granted that any remotely intelligent and experienced user of SLR cameras (either digital or film) would not seriously try to claim that manual focussing by live view was in any sense a credible or desirable substitute for manual focussing by viewfinder screen, except, perhaps, under some very specific, limited circumstances. I therefore considered your introduction of it to be quite cretiously stupid, not contributing anything of value to the particular discussion point at hand, and did not waste any time on it.

    If, OTOH, you genuinely expect me to deal with it, as though it in any way whatsoever addresses the concerns that I raised about the poor nature of manual focussing on auto-focus SLRs, and the loss to photography that that meant and still means, then you are either being quite staggeringly dense, or you are deliberately trying to wind me up. Either way, clearly you are not worth any more of my time, and I shall not expend it on you.

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