• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

The decline and fall of Reflex.

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,991
Likes
4,651
A fundamental difference between audio and photography is that a lens and camera are part of the creative process, I guess it's similar to the fact that amplifiers and speakers for electric guitars which are also part of the creative process are very different than those designed for music playback. So flaws are what they are, people may like some 'character' (i.e. flaws) in a lens and use it creatively.

I think it is easy to get too focused on measurements, where optics and sensors have something in common with audio is that at a certain point measured performance basically just because a matter of bragging rights and marketing, and indeed becomes another form of subjectivism. I struggle to remember a lens I've used that didn't have the sharpness, resolving power etc to produce perfectly good images if used correctly. And some of those that need some care are the result of clear compromises which the manufacturers don't hide, such as ultra-wide aperture designs which trade off against getting the maximum aperture right down.

And that is without considering that performance is not the only reason people like things. I'll straight up say my interest in old camera gear is about the tactile feel and the mechanical precision, I'm perfectly happy with my mirrorless camera and mobile phone in terms of photographic tools. I love the feel of nice MF lenses and of mechanical cameras.
Excellent Post. Excellent!!!
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,821
Likes
5,893
Location
Singapore
It's funny how the appeal of very wide opening lenses has changed. In film days lenses like F1.2, 1.4 etc were mainly about getting light to the film to allow use of reasonably brisk shutter speeds and the very narrow depth of field was an unavoidable consequence of that. Now with digital cameras and very high ISO speeds which still give good results such lenses are all about using the narrow depth of field and blur for artistic effect.
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
14,316
Likes
23,047
It's funny how the appeal of very wide opening lenses has changed. In film days lenses like F1.2, 1.4 etc were mainly about getting light to the film to allow use of reasonably brisk shutter speeds and the very narrow depth of field was an unavoidable consequence of that. Now with digital cameras and very high ISO speeds which still give good results such lenses are all about using the narrow depth of field and blur for artistic effect.
I've a friend who I've had this conversation with a few times. He had me do photog duties at an event for him once. He was crazy about making sure I got the people in focus and the background blurred using a digicam. I told him when I had an SLR it was a side effect of exposure needs. Now I don't need it and everybody wants it that way.
 

rdenney

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
1,741
Likes
2,701
Selective focus has always been a recognized technique, though its popularity has varied over time. It was popular with the Pictorialists, avoided (mostly but not always) by Group f.64 and its followers, popular again in the 70’s, and again with some starting in the 90’s. It was in that last period that the smoothness of the out-of-focus blur became visible to people who use the technique outside a niche group, and Japanese photographers gave that smoothness a name: bokeh.

It’s a hallmark of larger formats that use longer lenses with associated narrower depth of field. Microscopic formats have so much depth of field that the effect is nearly unattainable, and it is simulated using software. They are also diffraction-constrained, which restricts print/display size, which in turn requires greater blur to look blurred. This is why larger formats have a different look.

Rick “for whom it is a tool in the box, not a panacea” Denney
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
14,316
Likes
23,047
Selective focus has always been a recognized technique, though its popularity has varied over time. It was popular with the Pictorialists, avoided (mostly but not always) by Group f.64 and its followers, popular again in the 70’s, and again with some starting in the 90’s. It was in that last period that the smoothness of the out-of-focus blur became visible to people who use the technique outside a niche group, and Japanese photographers gave that smoothness a name: bokeh.

It’s a hallmark of larger formats that use longer lenses with associated narrower depth of field. Microscopic formats have so much depth of field that the effect is nearly unattainable, and it is simulated using software. They are also diffraction-constrained, which restricts print/display size, which in turn requires greater blur to look blurred. This is why larger formats have a different look.

Rick “for whom it is a tool in the box, not a panacea” Denney
More than one way to skin a cat of course. Many approaches produce useful engaging photos. In general I'd align more with the group f.64 aesthetic. Certainly I think early pictorialism was far too far along the blurry side of things. Of course my favorite painters are Impressionists. ;)
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,821
Likes
5,893
Location
Singapore
In the 80's high speed long telephoto lenses of the sort favoured by press sports photographers were frighteningly expensive and very bulky. They still are very expensive and bulky but seem a bit less crazy than they once were. I find something very amusing about seeing people walking around with a huge battleship of a lens on their camera, especially when it is a small mirrorless. Quite a few of the Fujifilm XF lenses can go pretty wide while still being reasonably priced and not that bulky
 

Klonatans

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
30
Likes
13
Location
Germany
For me DSLR is not dead yet. As I have invested in F mount lenses over the years, I will use my Nikon D750 as long as it works and then replace the shutter or get a second hand Nikon FF DSLR if D780 is discontinued by then.
 

Roland68

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
395
Likes
254
Location
Cologne, Germany
For me DSLR is not dead yet. As I have invested in F mount lenses over the years, I will use my Nikon D750 as long as it works and then replace the shutter or get a second hand Nikon FF DSLR if D780 is discontinued by then.
What's so great about a DSLR?
I understand the nostalgic approach, but technically...

When the image is created, the technology is absolutely the same, sensor -> shutter -> lens, end.

Unfortunately, many DSLR manufacturers have messed up the transition to pro, or semi-pro, DSLMs. From there I can understand the sticking to DSLR.
- The change/shortening of the print run only brings a little more compactness and is a deterioration from a technical/optical point of view (significantly more oblique angle of incidence of light on the outer pixels).
- High quality and fast viewfinder image? Sit, failed! The Olympus DSLMs show how badly and arrogantly this topic was approached by the DSLR manufacturers. Even the e-M5 offers a great viewfinder image. Very fast, enough for objects with 300 km/h, brightening for darkness, up to 14 x magnifier for focusing. The current viewfinder of the Olumpus DSLM should bring tears to the eyes of most DSLR/DSLM users, especially with FF.
- Never touch a running system! Why change proven (also haptic) designs no matter what? Just to show it's a DSLM now? Why should you treat a DSLM differently than a DSLR? Ok, apart from the (possible) advantages of the viewfinder.

But at least the old DSLR manufacturers now have a new market (sales) for lenses with the new edition size...

If I currently need a FF camera (DSLM), I would have to look for the fewest restrictions. Or grab a GFX100/S or GFX50S/S II right away.
 

Klonatans

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
30
Likes
13
Location
Germany
What's so great about a DSLR?
I understand the nostalgic approach, but technically...
Hi Roland,

I'm not a nostalgic person (never even thought of going back to film photography, that's worse than vinyl) and quite enjoy latest tech, but in this case I simply cannot justify a costly transition to a new system. I'm a hobby photographer and my D750 with a shutter count of about 30K is still a perfectly capable camera for my needs (I usually don't shoot fast moving objects and don't care about video). Sure I could buy a slightly smaller and lighter Z6 or Z6 Mk2 with a similar sensor and even try to use my existing F mount lenses with an f-to-z adapter (that would make it front heavy) and even cope with a short battery life. Yes, perhaps DSLR is already yesterday but it still works for me just fine and a statement like "the future is mirrorless" sounds like a marketing slogan to me. For me a really important reason to switch to the brave new mirrorless world would be a sensor with dramatically better low light capabilities, however I think the improvement in case of Z6 is only marginal.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,821
Likes
5,893
Location
Singapore
I think if you have a DSLR and have a good suite of lenses, and it still works for you then there's no need to change. If you are starting fresh then my own view is that mirrorless is definitely the way to go. I must admit that I have found being able to use the exposure correction dial as a third primary control alongside shutter speed and aperture, seeing the effect in real time, to be transformative.
 

rdenney

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
1,741
Likes
2,701
I think if you have a DSLR and have a good suite of lenses, and it still works for you then there's no need to change. If you are starting fresh then my own view is that mirrorless is definitely the way to go. I must admit that I have found being able to use the exposure correction dial as a third primary control alongside shutter speed and aperture, seeing the effect in real time, to be transformative.
This is probably reasonable just in terms of likely support from the manufacturers.

Of course, good DSLR's have had exposure compensation controls and displays for a long time, even well back into the film ear. I think my Canon T90 had it, and the little Elan 2 that I bought in the 90's certainly does. I don't think I need to see a simulation of the exposure on an LCD, however, to know where to set it--that's pure intuition at this point. But that intuition came from a lot of experience with old-fashioned metering, of course, and with slide film that has one quarter the dynamic range of modern digital.

Rick "putting it in the category of 'we won't know what we've lost until it's gone'" Denney
 

LTig

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
4,156
Likes
6,718
Location
Europe
[..] I find something very amusing about seeing people walking around with a huge battleship of a lens on their camera, especially when it is a small mirrorless.
That's true. My Panasonic GX9 almost disappears behind the Panasonic/Leica 100-400. But it fits mounted into my ThinkTank Speed Racer V2.0 I'm using for hikes instead of a small backpack. This together with a Nikon D800 + Nikkor 1:4/24-120 covers all you need on a trip and does weight around 2 - 2.5 kg.
 

JeffS7444

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
1,673
Likes
2,432
Like I said 3 months ago, this thread is really just a ‘late adopter chat line’ for therapeutic purposes.
I think that squeezing every bit of value out of existing SLR systems is also a form of recycling! But I had no real investment in them, and resale prices on the rangefinder system I had been using were so high that it seemed like a perfect time to sell it and buy into Sony’s then-new E-mount, and pocket the sizable price difference.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,821
Likes
5,893
Location
Singapore
This is probably reasonable just in terms of likely support from the manufacturers.

Of course, good DSLR's have had exposure compensation controls and displays for a long time, even well back into the film ear. I think my Canon T90 had it, and the little Elan 2 that I bought in the 90's certainly does. I don't think I need to see a simulation of the exposure on an LCD, however, to know where to set it--that's pure intuition at this point. But that intuition came from a lot of experience with old-fashioned metering, of course, and with slide film that has one quarter the dynamic range of modern digital.

Rick "putting it in the category of 'we won't know what we've lost until it's gone'" Denney

Indeed, exposure compensation is nothing new and it goes way back to film days. I think every SLR I ever owned had compensation indexes on the film speed setting. And with a digital camera you can take a shot then check the exposure immediately. However with a mirrorless it is a different ball game as you really can play with exposure and it does become as much a part of camera control as aperture and shutter speed. Even experienced photographers are highly unlikely to get anything like the degree of control and consistency available if using mirrorless. In a sense I know that nowadays we can do a lot of this later on with software anyway but I have found it hugely enjoyable and pretty liberating to have so much control over exposure.
 

Tokyo_John

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
175
Likes
224
I’m still wondering when Nikon will announce their medium format camera. The Z mount is suspiciously just big enough to accommodate a 44x33mm sensor, and Nikon has already made lenses with a 55mm image circle (such as the PC lenses).

There are so many amazing lenses from Nikon F mount, I doubt we’ll see many of them again in a Z mount version. For example, one of my all-time favorites is the 200/4 AF micro-Nikkor…I also love the DC lenses, the 180/2.8 lenses, the 50/1.2, and so on. With F-to-Z adapters, there will always be a market for these because they last forever.
 
Top Bottom