Posts Tagged ‘rogercicala’

There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Lens

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I get asked a couple of questions every time I publish a graph showing Imatest results for multiple copies of lenses like the one below. Most people understand that some copy-to-copy variation is inevitable in the manufacturing process. Most are surprised, though, at how large the sample variation seems to be. Heck, I was surprised at how large the sample variation was when I started doing this kind of testing. Read more…

Camera Gear Rentals is Big Business, and LensRentals Proves It

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Some people say that the secret to striking it rich during a gold rush is to sell shovels. That’s kind of what Roger Cicala is doing. With photography exploding in popularity as of late, Cicala has found huge success in loaning out gear to photographers who would rather rent than buy.
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Disassembling a Tripod Ball Head to See How It Works

ballhead

This will probably be of limited interest to most of you, but we like to know how things work, not just how well they work. We thought we’d take a couple of pictures when we disassembled a ballhead in case any of you were interested. Our demonstration partner today was a Benro B1 ballhead that had a stripped tension adjustment knob, but all ballheads work basically the same way.
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Overcoming My Photo Entekaphobia: The Fear of Shooting at f/11

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Entekaphobia is fear of the number 11. I’m a resolution fanatic. I test every new lens for resolution. For personal use, I’ll choose the lens with higher resolution over the one with creamy bokeh every time. When choosing a camera, I have a (yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true) strong tendency to want the most megapixels. I’m a resoholic.

Being a resoholic, I’ve always been somewhat fanatical about apertures. Whenever possible I shoot with the lens stopped down at least one stop to wring the maximum sharpness out of my lens. But I’m always careful not to stop down too far because I was taught, soon after I picked up a camera, that if you stopped down too far the dreaded diffraction softening would kick in.
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A Graph of New Camera Gear’s Perceived Worth Over Time

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For several years now, my occupation has been to basically read everything written about new equipment. In order to help everyone save time, and to save the Internet millions of electrons, I have developed a concise method to summarize all such discussions for all newly introduced imaging equipment.

I modestly call this Roger’s Law of New Product Introduction and have summarized it in the graph above. You will notice there are two possible paths a new product may follow. To date, these two paths accurately describe every introduced product.
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Sigma’s New 35mm f/1.4 Has Impressive Sharpness Compared to Its Rivals

If you use a major-brand DSLR, you should be keeping a close eye on the new $899 Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (above center). It undercuts the popular (but pricey) lenses of rival camera makers by hundreds of dollars, and appears to have build- and image-qualities that are equal to (if not better than) those lenses.
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Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II Trounces the Mark I in Sharpness

Despite its girth, weight, and price, Canon’s original 24-70mm f/2.8L is a highly-regarded general-purposes lens. When the followup Mark II version was announced back in February, the higher-price tag, similar specs, and lack of IS had many photographers scratching their heads. Then the reviews started coming out.
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First Impressions of the Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera

I am not a reviewer. I don’t even play one on TV. There are already some in-depth reviews out on the new Canon EOS-M, and more coming daily. But I handle a lot of equipment and test a lot of equipment. When something new comes in I spend a day handling it and testing it. Hopefully this will give you a quick overview of the camera, and perhaps fill in some things that actual reviewers don’t get to tell you about. We recently got a bunch of EOS M cameras, a bunch of the 22mm lenses, a couple of 18-55 kit lenses, and a single EOS M EF adapter.

For those who don’t want to read this but do want to tell everyone what I said later, here’s the summary: it is the best of mirrorless, it is the worst of mirrorless, it is the camera of wise choices, it is the camera of foolishness, it is the epoch of accurate autofocus, and it is the epoch of slow autofocus. In other words, I’ve got mixed emotions.
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The Nikon D600 Has Sensor Dust Issues

We tend not to get too excited about sensor dust problems at LensRentals; we clean sensors on every camera after every rental, so it’s just routine. When we started carrying the Nikon D600, they all arrived with a fair amount of dust, but that’s pretty routine, too. Manufacturing and shipping can be a dusty experience.
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How the US Govt Accidentally Created the Golden Age of American Photography

“Corn Along a River” Marion Post Wolcott, 1940. Library of Congress.

My overview of American government goes generally like this: (1) Something happens. (2) The government passes some laws in response to it, adds on a few pork projects, and raises taxes to pay for the laws and the pork. (3) The laws (or pork) cause an entirely new problem. (4) Repeat.

The usual outcome of this cycle is that every year we have more laws and higher taxes. But every so often, some accidental side effect occurs and something awesomely good happens. So it was during the alphabet-soup days of New Deal government during the Great Depression. The accidental side effect was the Golden Age of American Photography. How it happened is rather interesting.
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