Thursday, December 1, 2016

SHORT & SWEET: FX vs. DX, or "You cant get Orange Juice from Cow Tits"

Lets keep it simple, ok? Short and sweet. The KEY reasons of owning a FX camera is reducable to four things:

1. Ultrawide lenses, both prime and zoom for landscape work

2. Lens compression of framed subject face/body (A 56mm on DX is still a 56mm, despite being a 85mm FOV)

3. To get "great" bokeh requires less a shallow DOF at a given focal (85mm at 1.8 requires a 56mm at 1.4 or faster)

4. Pixel pitch (all exposure is gain and time) on MOST (some are DX pitch) FX cameras is such that shadow recovery and DR is much better

One LIVES within these limitations. DX itself has advantages over FX (pixel pitch for cropping for wildlife photography).

All in life is a trade-off, deal with it (or own both, as most pros do).

Friday, October 28, 2016

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: All Nikkor Current Lenses Evaluated


17 min. video where I go over ALL current Nikkor lenses and my recommendation or lack thereof as to whether the lens is worth having, or owning.

While I quickly go over EVERY current Nikkor lens, the experience and knowledge of each lens i quickly judge has tremendous experience behind it for or against each lens.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ren Kockwell (you know who I am referring to) is a TOTAL IDIOT

Let me quote the fool below,...if you cannot find 100% fault and ignorance in everything he says, then you should sell your camera and take up another hobby/ job.

Many decades ago lens adapters were popular because cameras and lenses didn't communicate with each other, and because cameras and lenses were all made by different companies anyway.

Today it's foolish to try to adapt different lenses to digital cameras. There is no communication between lens and camera, so it's a royal pain to try to shoot with the Frankensteinian combination, and the results usually aren't as good.

When you use a lens adapter, you sentence yourself to enormous added hassles of losing metering, losing exposure automation, losing data recording, losing autofocus and losing automatic diaphragm operation: you have to remember to close and open the diaphragm by hand for each and every shot!

People quickly learn that you can't really use other brands of lenses on your DSLR or mirrorless camera because of this added inconvenience, and the potential for quality loss when using lenses optimized for different formats just isn't worth it.

It doesn't matter if you can get an Olympus OM lens and a Sony NEX adapter or whatever inexpensively on ebay, because the resulting combination of using an older lens on a digital camera always results in frustration, and the end results are rarely as good as using the correct lens in the first place.

Even the crummier modern mirrorless lenses are often optically better than using older top-end SLR or rangefinder lenses because newer lenses use far newer designs which are usually much sharper than what we accepted for use back on full-frame 35mm film.

In almost all cases, there is no electronic communication from the adapter, so you get no EXIF information, either, about the lens or its focal length.

Yes, it's easy and inexpensive to adapt old lenses to your new camera, but actually shooting with it will be a big pain. Using a lens on an adapter adds many more steps between you and your photo, all of which are taken care of automatically when you use the correct modern lens for your camera. The results with the modern lens will probably be better than with an old adapted lens, too.

If you use an adapter and like it, don't let me discourage you, but if you're asking my advice, adapters make everything much more complicated. Any time I'm thinking about my camera instead of thinking about my subject and what's in my picture winds up as weaker images.

Lens adapters are for tweakers, not for productive photographers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

X-T2 CONCLUSION: 1 MONTH HARD TESTING Final Scoring of the Fujifilm X-T2

Detailed review to appear later, here is my final conclusion on owning a pair of X-T2 and doing very extensive testing for over a month.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The NEW $2800 Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR. Using Fluorite elements, which Nikon themselves formerly dumped on

So, the replacement for the two dud lenses (VR1 and VR2) Nikkor 70-200 2.8 has been released, and its not only extremely expensive at $3100, but also will contain at least 2 primary Fluorite elements.

I have indeed for years now told people that the VR1 and VRII Nikkor 70-200 2.8 versions were "failures" on several fronts, in both speed and focus breathing, and of course I was correct.

Nikon was forced to KILL off both lenses for their new beast. I saw this move well over a year ago.
Despite the price hike, there is no existential denial that this new lens will be superior in both speed and performance. 

HOWEVER this new lens will also prove a BOON for team Tamron who right now (sic) are having naked twister parties over the cost of this new lens and projected increase in sales of 70-200 2.8 VC Tamron lenses resultant to this news.


Enter the Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens $2,800

LET NOBODY MISS the fact that the ZOOM RING has been swapped to the front of the lens.

*This is one lens you will surely want (must) to have insurance on. A nice drop of 3+ feet and there is a danger of serious lens damage 

This is NIKON'S own spin AGAINST USING FLUORITE in the not too distant past:
"While the optical properties of this new glass closely resemble those of fluorite, Super ED glass is more resilient to rapid temperature changes (thermal shock) and not as susceptible to cracking as the crystal structure of fluorite. Super ED glass also boasts a higher refractive index than fluorite, making it highly capable of correcting aberrations other than chromatic aberration"

Downsides of using Fluorite:
Fluorite is rather fragile to temp. changes, and can crack if transitioning between hold/cold environments.
Fluorite is quite brittle and worst of all it has perfect cleavage on three planes.
Fluorite materials also have their refractive index vary with temp; thus fast lenses are made "to focus past infinity". This is so at the temp extremes one can focus at infinity.
NASA rejected Fluorite because it would crack or explode under the stress of rocketing into space with its vibrations
Dropping a lens with Fluorite is a no no.
Fluorite is rather soft and is very slow to work with, it cannot be quickly polished.
Upsides of using Fluorite:
Zero scatter throughout the element. Very low dispersion.
Exceptional color correction down to 400nm. The Germans noticed this too when they were using fluorite as microscope objectives back in the 1800s.
Excellent CA correction


Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 LENS OF THE YEAR goes to 3 different lenses, all fully deserving in their own right

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Fujifilm 16mm f1.4

Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 Nokton 

Kinds of Lenses, Classes of Lenses, and the lost Art of Lenses sacrificed to the Artifice

I will be outlining much longer detailed articles with lens reviews on this blog in the future. Suffice to say that clarification is necessitated that all lenses must be judged within 3 independent classes.  Zoom lenses, wide angle primes below 28mm, and conventional primes 28mm and above.

Only 3 aspects of lens design have improved in the past 25+ years (much longer still for conventional primes); image stabilization, AF tracking devices and interface, and lastly wide angle primes. Reinventing the wheel in simplex optical design has revolved around increased resolution, removal of CA, and removing vignetting, & corner-to-corner lens rendition. Much of this has, alas come at a heavy cost to the ART of high quality conventional lenses. The pendulum has to this day swung MUCH TOO FAR to the end of the ARTIFICE (the construct, the empirical lens and its quantifiable nature).
However, in the case of professional photography, the ART is also the ARTIFICE, the ART is also the PERFORMANCE. Unlike many devices in life, which may look lovely, performance matters move. In the case of the photographic art form, the esse, the logos, the KOSMOS NOETOS (κοσμος νοητος) has been lost and surplanted by existentialists, materialists, who have no more idea of what ART is than a computer. These existentialist beings embrace the quantifiable, the COSMOS AESTHETOS.

At the cost of ALL else  lens designers have bent their souls to the existentialists, rather than the artists. It might be added that the sharpest blade is undesirable if its art, its attributes are poor. This is an ancient truth that has been lost in the craft of modern lens design. 

Further still lenses are of two divisions, high purpose & generic. This is (or should be) self-explanatory in the diagram below; keep this in mind before your next purchase


BOKEH: Kinds of Bokeh. Qualities/Properties of rendered Bokeh

BOKEH:  Kinds of Bokeh. Qualities/Properties of rendered Bokeh

Bokeh (originally /ˈboʊkɛ/ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə, Japanese: [boke])

While we all know what bokeh is, we needn’t get into the technical discussions at this time in this article on the circle of confusion, but lets start to recognize the KINDS of bokeh and PROPERTIES of bokeh, and then at a later time identify the cause and natures of these lens “thumbprints” that render the art or lack thereof of the lenses we love or hate.


Size, shape, distribution, and qualities/properties

Kinds of bokeh:
Cats eye
Bubble bokeh
Doughnut bokeh
Balled bokeh
Gaussian blur
Bladed, geometric bokeh
Aberrated bokeh (axial colored)
Nisen bokeh
Onion ring bokeh (generally viewed as ugly and distracting)

Below: Soap Bubble bokeh from the Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8

Qualities and or Properties of bokeh:
Harsh, Geometric, distracting
Smooth, overlapping, buttery
Spectacular & overwhelming, strong
Mild & Muted
Swirly, tunneling
Astigmatic or circular funnel bokeh

Below, the Cats Eye bokeh which is Swirly from the distracting Nikkor 105mm f1.4

Below, the Doughnut Bokeh from the Nikkor 500mm f8 mirror lens, also called catadioptric bokeh

Below: Aberrated bokeh from the 50mm 1.4 Takumar Pentax


Copyright 10-2016 Ken Wheeler

1. NEVER TRUST anyone’s images claiming they represent a lens. Wisdom necessitates you ask: Did the lens produce that image, or did you use that image from the lens to produce a radically different image?

2. ONLY 3 THINGS IN LENS DESIGN HAVE IMPROVED IN THE PAST 25 YEARS: 1. Wide-angle lens resolution & distortion improvements. 2. Autofocus speed tracking motors / design. 3. In-lens image stabilization. 

3. Any fool who buys a lens based merely upon its resolution is no better than an alcoholic who buys a wine based merely upon its Alcohol content percentage. ALWAYS BUY A LENS based upon the highest / best output possible. This is no different than falling in love with a beautiful person who has deadly transmittable diseases.

4. ALL lenses are to be judged upon six criterion. R.P.G. & B.C.D. Resolution, Phase, Gain & Bandwidth, Construction, (AF) Drive.

5. Microcontrast is SET IN STONE at any an all apertures pertaining to a lens design. If it has bad microcontrast, it cannot be resurrected to look good especially for ALL B&W shooters

6. GLASS IS EVIL, regardless of its quality, design, coating, or chemical additives. Any FOOL who tells you that a quality 35mm (for example) with  9,10,11+ elements produces a “good as / better image” than a quality 35mm with 4,5,6 elements, is a LIAR, FOOL and has no ability to discern good from excellent.

7. GLASS IS BOTH Insulator & Capacitor. EVERYTHING in the Universe is ELECTRICAL & MAGNETIC by nature, including LIGHT itself & GLASS. ALL LENSES are designs with unique attributes of capacitance, resistance, permeability & permittivity of low-capacitance spectrum visible light (RED), and high-capacitance spectrum visible light (BLUE/GREEN), both of which behave radically different from each other passing thru ANY and ALL glass elements of any quality or design.

8. Perceived Depth & Saturation output from a lens design is either Optical, Electrical, or Both. Luminal depth /saturation. Spatial depth /saturation. Translation/Microcontrast depth /saturation. Rendered depth /saturation. Focal/compression depth /saturation. Compositional depth /saturation. Bokeh depth /saturation.

9. TIME IS MONEY, THEREFORE NEVER buy a lens based upon what you CAN DO WITH ITS IMAGE in Lightroom or Photoshop, rather what you CANNOT do with its image in-computer.

10. ALL LENS DESIGN is itself an ART, and there are (for example) 1000+ ways to design a 50mm lens. ALL LENS DESIGN is a tradeoff in output. You can make the lens output very sharp, with no CA at all, but with that will come SACRIFICES in other qualities which cannot be ADDED in-computer, such as microcontrast, bokeh qualities, etc. ALL LENSES have a limited spectrum of PURPOSE, and learn what that purpose is and never buy a lens OUTSIDE of its design spectrum of PURPOSE.

Copyright 10-2016 Ken Wheeler

1. Exposure is Gain (aperture) & Time (shutter).

2. ISO is not part of the “exposure triangle”, it is APPLIED GAIN, not exposure! The TRUE “exposure triangle” is GAIN, TIME, & SNR (native noise).

3. Each & Every lens on earth ever made dumps out the SAME LIGHT regardless of what is underneath it.

4. Exposure is per UNIT AREA, not TOTAL AREA (i.e. ‘sensor size’)!

5. Bigger FX sensors do NOT capture MORE LIGHT ‘exposure’ using the same lens & same exposure as a DX CAMERA does. Neither does crossing the border into the larger state of Connecticut from Rhode Island result in “more light” falling on your head.

6. Less NATIVE Noise (SNR) captured on a FX sensor is due pixel pitch / photosite size (also sensor design & microlens design),…NOT sensor size! However many newer FX sensors have DX pixel pitch / photosite sizes!

7, NOISE (SNR) is defined by TWO things (with aperture, shutter speed & lens being equal across the board)…Native gain & Signal processing (AD converters & SNR firmware).

8. A camera is NOT a sensor, it’s an image processor!

9. What is CAPTURED, or native gain, ENDS AT THE SENSOR. What is PLACED on your SD card is what is PROCESSED.

10. Native exposure & processed exposure = CAMERA EXPOSURE

ISO has 100% NO connection to exposure. Its APPLIED GAIN

Native exposure is TIME (shutter) and GAIN (aperture)

ISO has no connection to film grain of the old days.  ISO in digital cameras is APPLIED GAIN to input signal.

Resultant stored images are converted (AD converters) and processed thru SNR (signal to noise) firmware.

ISO, contrary to you being brainwashed that it is, NOT part of an "exposure triangle".

SNR, or the native signal gain which includes sensor efficiency, microlens design, and pixel pitch, and sensor design affects the SNR

All digital ISO is input gain applied AFTER the native image is captured (PAST TENSE)

Learn this fact. ISO only true ability is letting the photography MANIPULATE to desire, either Gain (aperture) or Time (shutter), nothing more.

Conservative FASCIST & Liberal FASCIST: Both are Facists & HATE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

What do both of these mouth-breathing demons have in common? They're BOTH hardcore FASCISTS.

Fascism is not liberal or conservative, it's about control and supression, crushing freedom. I'm not a political person, im BOTH liberal and conservative honestly.

Right-wingers accuse liberals of crushing free speech, and they're right.

Left-wingers accuse conservatives of crushing (especially Trump, who ALWAYS rails on and on about how evil the PRESS is,....of which much of this is true, the press today is crooked and corrupt now more so than ever before), and they're right.

Fascism knows nothing of conservative or liberal, only suppression. 

Below we have an insane hardcore liberal fanatic calling for PHYSICAL ABUSE "we need some muscle over here!!" she cries out to others to attack a photographer
Shes lost her job and unlikely to be hired anywhere soon.

Below we have an insane hardcore conservative fanatic trying to kill and ram a photographer, on public property.
This insane fool is now in jail. 

Conservatives and liberals, ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS must be united against anti-Photographer FASCISM.

Professional Photographer CAMOFLAUGE

With so many photographers these days being confronted and attacked, stealthy means are justified.

Enter the professional STREET Photog. who wants to go unnoticed, just as any hunter who stalks his prey. So, what is STEALTH PRO PHOTOGRAPHY?  Some tips:

1. Look like a tourist !
2. Look like an obvious douche bag in your dress!  White socks, LONG, etc.
3. Do dumb things no REAL photographer would ever do, like the 'LENS CAP TAMPON'......i.e. the lens cap on a tether.

People will look at you like the goof you appear to be, unknowing you're packing SKILLS and a Fuji X100T for example.

Smile a lot, and look like you're dumb and lost!!!!

ENTER THE NINJA of Pro Street Photography!

The Golden Gospel of Photography

Sometimes words are unnecessary.