#581. The Monday Post (10 April 2017)

#581. The Monday Post (10 April 2017)

Tasting glasses, Stellenbosch

Tasting glasses, Stellenbosch

 

Monday. Post day. First up, some news:

 

Gizmodo says Nikon Tries to Right the Sinking Ship With a Stupid Swarovski Replica

 

I don’t get it either. The company seems to have lost the mainstream plot, has little or nothing new to offer, meanwhile loyal customers are wondering where they can get the newer photographic technologies.

 

And, as if to underline their loss of marketing nous, the next news item announced celebratory (old and/or existing) models with gunmetal finishes. Seems like someone’s been reading the Leica playbook.

 

Meanwhile, there’s a raft of Coolpix announcements on the way. Mass market revenue earners they may be, but while the company is focussed on point and shoots, the serious photographers are walking out of the other door.

 

Lourensford estate, Somerset West

Lourensford estate, Somerset West

 

Wine bottle lighting, Franshhoek

Wine bottle lighting, Franshhoek

 

La Motte estate Franshhoek

La Motte estate Franshhoek

 

I don’t usually bother too much with this kind of post, but found the whole thing and the guy’s dedication to his art, very amusing.

 

Job done

Job done

 

Manor house furnishings, La Motte estate Franshhoek

Manor house furnishings, La Motte estate Franshhoek

 

Summer shadows, Stellenbosch

Summer shadows, Stellenbosch

 

We’ve been promising road tests of photo editing software for some time now and in making a start on this mammoth project, the scale of what we were taking on gave us all reason to think again.

 

Already, there are several reviews and road tests of individual applications, the latest being Picktorial, which appeared late last week. Rather than re-invent the wheel and tell you nothing new while we’re doing it, we’ve decided to tackle the subject in a much less linear way.

 

Starting in the next couple days, we’ll be publishing individual DearSusan sections for each of the editing apps we’re currently testing and in some cases, adopting. These won’t be the usual road test type posts – you can read those anywhere – but rather opinions, experiences, ideas, feature omissions, satisfaction, bug reports and developer responses as each of these complex packages perform in everyday use.

 

This is a group and ongoing effort and you can expect to see coverage build up on the abovementioned Picktorial, On1 RAW, RAWPower, Iridient, Luminar, LR, C1, Lightroom, Photos and probably several more. None of us uses just a single photo editing package, so we’ll be able to compare RAW import, file handling, editing and plug-ins as well.

 

The first post will be ready in a couple of days and posted (hopefully) by mid-week

 

Tarts, deli in Stellenbosch

Tarts, deli in Stellenbosch

 

Furnishings abstract, Vergenoegd

Furnishings abstract, Vergenoegd

 

Britannica

Britannica

 

Sony appears ready to release a new version of its RX1 fixed lens super cam. At least that’s what you’d think if the US$600 price drop now on offer is to clear existing inventory.

 

Bob Hamilton is the only person I know with ownership experience of this 35mm f2 beauty. I asked him how it performed: “I sold it about 18 months ago, just after I got the A7R2. I’d been using it as a back up for the original A7R, but when the 2 arrived, that became the back up.

 

It was a nice camera. Nice, if fixed (all the upsides and downsides of that) 35mm Zeiss f2 lens. Very well made, if a bit on the (too) small side. No built in EVF which was an add-on, hot shoe, extra and wasn’t particularly good compared to what’s available now, although the later camera has a pull up and click into place EVF, a la RX100 series, which always seems flimsy to me and in imminent danger of being knocked off.

 

The usual nice, 24 mpx, Sony sensor but the usual poor menu system with not many customisable buttons, due to its small size.

 

That’s really about all I can say. Nice camera and lens and will still take excellent images, despite the pixel count being significantly lower than the later model (and presumably the new one). Same as the Fuji X100 series in that, so far, they have stuck with the original 35mm lens and not opted to change it out when the higher resolution sensor was introduced.”

 

History on the wall, Vergenoegd estate

History on the wall, Vergenoegd estate

 

Farm house, Vergenoegd estate

Farm house, Vergenoegd estate

 

Untouched for decades...

Untouched for decades…

 

The Monday Post has been generally well received, with just a couple of grumps about the (slightly) more personal perspective(s) it offers.

 

Well, this is new territory for all of us.

 

On the topic of posts, thanks to all of you who have been to our Facebook page and liked us. Not been there yet? Shame on you 😉

 

Today’s post images reflect the fast fading summer – it’s a heavily overcast and chilly autumn day down here on the Southern Tip. These pictures were intended for the now abandoned InSight: Cape Winelands project 🙁

 

Barrel stencils at Annandale winery

Barrel stencils at Annandale winery

 

Garlic growing at Gantou estate

Garlic growing at Gantou estate

 


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7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    pascaljappy April 10, 2017

    Paul, the Kirby Jenner link is absolutely glorious, thanks for that 😉

    Great photographs, too.

    The app review project is an important one. To be honest, I’m really disappointed with the Mac app world. Everthing is there to create a unique and fantastic ecosystem but all I’ve seen so far are half-arsed attempts all going in the same direction and missing some of the features that are vital to most while piddling about with ridiculous fun stuff that amuses you for 12 minutes before you move on to something new. Apple Photos is absolutely brilliant, but has a few missing features that no one is addressing, for some unfathomable reason (keystoning correction being just one).

    Everyday I move that much closer to giving it all up and moving back to Capture One, which is a serious program for serious photographers. I hope our survey can either create a patchwork that covers all the essentials or exposes the gaping holes for all to see and poo poo.

    Cheers

  2. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron April 10, 2017

    I hope this doesn’t offend you Paul, but I really find Gizmo’s article shallow and obnoxiously – deliberately – offensive. Nikon has enough problems, without people with a different agenda making sh****y comments like that, when all they are trying to put out is a souvenir of what is – by any standards – a glorious past. It has NO relevance to their current or future production or innovative skills or marketing. And I was reared on the principle that if you don’t have anything nice to say – which clearly, Gizmo didn’t – then you shouldn’t say anything at all. In my mind, Gizmo has done more damage to themselves than anyone else.

    Moving back to this group.

    I love your photos – many of them are far more creative than I feel inclined to be – so you have afforded me the opportunity to sit back and admire someone else’s skills. Yours, on this occasion. I am giving four of them equal first prize 🙂

    • Avatar
      paulperton April 10, 2017

      Thanks Pete. Gratuitious Giz’ comments may be, but I’d guess that many readers are (figuratively) air punching and proclaiming how good it is to give Nikon another shot where the sun don’t shine.

      In that environment, it’s frighteningly easy for people who have never used them to take sides and demand new. In my case, my several year old D800, old D700 and older still D2X still work perfectly. Some of the Nikkors I use are decades old and continue to deliver satisfaction, reliability and value for money.

      Your upbringing wasn’t wrong, but times have changed radically. This is the now generation and either of us would be forgiven for occasionally scratching a GAS itch. The youngsters now beginning to run things have a different way of satisfying their cravings, exacerbated by a generational need (and acceptance) for instant gratification.

      So it’s OK now to publish and not fact check. It’s OK to demand and expect. It’s OK to not know who Jim Morrison was, or what a slide rule was for. I’ve been grumping for years that without so much knowledge, this generation will be unable to train the trainers because they don’t know how things really work.

      Well, it looks like I’m being proven wrong. These youngsters are doing fine. It pisses me off that they have no clue who Brunel* was, or what a fundamental role he played in pretty much everything we do today. Just like it pisses me off when people say something is “…300% worse”, instead of just settling for “a third as good”. It goes with middle age, I’m told.

      So, I’ll live with that – no choice really, especially if I want my kids and their friends to continue talk to me.

      * amongst a lifetime-long list of others. Choosing Brunel was simply an example. An important one, but an example nonetheless.

      • Avatar
        jean pierre (pete) guaron April 12, 2017

        I have one niggle and one “criticism” for my D810. I wish the LCD screen was a tilt screen (I use that feature on my Canon, quite a lot). And like everyone moans about, it weighs a bit. All the more, with one of the Otus lenses.

        But I knew all that when I bought my gear. And I am thrilled with the things I can do with it. So the niggles disappear through the cracks in the floorboards.

        What HAS been amusing me lately is the stuff I’ve been “re-reading”, as I file away some of the articles I’ve been saving. Thinking back over the past 12 months, and all the discussions about “which format”, mirrorless vs DSLR, which make – and comparing them all with the [often very enlightened] discussions about things like that, in some of the articles, I found myself rolling around the floor laughing my … [etc] Maybe I should re-publish some of the material in those articles – kind of like holding up a mirror and saying hey, did you take this into account when you said the ONLY choice was XYZ? No wonder some people are dumping digital and heading back to analogue!

  3. Avatar
    The anonymous Grunter April 10, 2017

    Gizmo: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all – unless it helps the person/company to develop.

    Paul: the DS facebook activity is an absolute turnoff for me. I don’t like any data octupus.

    Sony: the Rx has never been an option, as a A6000/16-50 has the same resolution/size but much more flexibility. Sony has some good camera development e.g. sensors (A 7r, A7r II, A6500), IBIS, touchscreen (Nex 3F,5N,5r,5t), OVF in tilting form (Nex 3F,5N,5r,5t) but why don’t they put them together in one camera (e.g. an A5T with tough mount, IBIS, the FF 36 Mpix sensor, tilting OVF and touchscreen for 1500 Euros) for all those MF fans with ageing Nexes with OVF ? This in my opinion would be a bestseller, as the workflow would be great. Only the Fuji GFX 50 has something comparable with a small falnge distance and a large sensor.

    Well, time will show, which manufacturer will come up with sth. like that.

  4. Avatar
    Michael April 10, 2017

    For What It’s Worth – I really like the pics

  5. Avatar
    Adrian April 16, 2017

    Why on earth would Nikon be releasing new Coolpix models? The consumer pocket camera market has declined so rapidly as a result of smartphones being so ubiquitous (and always being with you, and often taking better photographs). Sony led the way with enthusiast 1″ sensor cameras that focused on image quality, lens quality and innovative features, together with small sensor cameras in tiny bodies with impossible zoom ranges (Panasonic realised this even before Sony). Others followed, even boring old “me-too” Canon with their “me-too” offering’s for the brand faithful. Nikon just cancelled their enthusiast 1″ sensor cameras a year after announcing them – and they are going to make some new Coolpix models? I’m baffled as to why – cancel the high margin profitable thing, make more low margin consumer landfill rubbish? Is this a recovery strategy?

    They’ve been mired in QC problems with their SLRs for aboit 4 years, and although they do innovate, they often do a so-so job of it, or if they do it well, they fail to follow.it up and capitalise on it.

    Canon make money because the herd buys their products. Their SLR ergonomics generally seem mediocre, their sensors are mostly mediocre (APSC with the DR of 4/3rds, anyone?), and some.of their products drop the ball really badly.

    As foe crystal replicas – crystal, that’s “posh” glass, very high end – is in a long tradition by the Japanese of celebrating their corporate history with re-made versions of old things, versions with new paint colours etc. Leica may be better at is since as a boutique camera maker they have a consumer base who are prepared to pay big dollars for such nonsense. Nikon probably do too – there seems a strong collectors market for their rare products and special editions.

    I think their market statement last month has been overblown abd mis-interpreted. Sony wrote off billions of yen for “damage” following earthquakes to company divisions that hadn’t made money in years – a convenient way to get bad debt off the books. Nikon aren’t about to GP bankrupt, but… Me too mediocre action cameras, more Coolpix, cancelling interesting enthusiast products etc is not a good demonstration of an ability to weather the storm and steer a safe course forward.

    I’ve never had a Nikon SLR, but I wish them well more than Canon, as they seem to be a brand for the thinking and the artist rather than the herd, and I respect that.

    Some nice photos in the post, and quite confusing by inverting them!

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