#563. The Monday Post (27 Feb 2017) – JPG vs RAW debate interesting again

By Paul Perton | Monday Post

Feb 27

A Hunter S Thompson-esque slow burn for vengeance remains this week. Anthrax sweeties, hand delivered to the CEOs (and boards of directors) of those software developers who singly and often en masse are destroying a hobby, art form, or perhaps an income stream for countless thousands of photographers around the globe.


In more restrained terms; a pox on their houses.


I suppose mentioning anthrax, sweeties and CEOs is probably not the smartest thing to do with “…a man so obnoxious that karma may see him reincarnated as himself” running things across the Atlantic, but that’s how I roll sometimes.


Hey! Take a look at this picture:



Not bad eh?


The banding is caused by the JPG engine in your browser BTW.


Pre-sunrise at Kleinmond lagoon – X-Pro2, 23mm f1.4 and for those remotely interested, ISO 400, 1.7s @ f11.


Pascal and I have been in discussion in recent days concerning the surprising and rapid improvements in OOC JPG images. This JPG was so unexpected (I usually go straight to the RAW file) that I did start to wonder whether I should start to shoot JPG only and simplify my life a bit.


After several days, I started to get an itch of interest in seeing what the RAW file might actually look like once edited a bit. With Luminar at hand, this is what I got and now I really can’t decide which I prefer.



The JPG is clearly a visual compromise, but full of saturated tones and visual interest. The edited RAW file is almost a different picture entirely. Which do I prefer?


Right now, the edited RAW, but in a few minutes?



I see the M3 replica tins are back on Leica Rumors. Despite being datelined last October, this item (re)appeared this morning – nothing worse than having obsolete and outdated kit for sale eh?


Which brought me to this:



Clearly, the Leitz mothership is being successful in peddling some of their hugely expensive sets, even those with the paint artistically rubbed off. If not, why would Nikon be doing this. Surely they don’t need to boost sales with new technology and cameras? I mean, the latest cascade of releases from the company has been a litany of warmed-up, feature driven D3XXX, D5XXX and D7XXX DSLRs and that has to tell you that the Japanese giant is completely content with its offerings.


Or is it? More recently (over the weekend actually), Nikon has announced a corporate re-focus on “…mid-to-high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras and lenses”.


Is this the death knell for the ever iterated, shocking pink Coolpix, the 1” sensor and ridiculous KeyMission? Several years late, but it might still put a dent in Sony and Fuji’s ambitions and stop Canon from grabbing a huge market share too.


As a Nikon user since the ‘70s, I hope so, especially if it brings a FF mirrorless that will use my collection of much-loved decades old Nikkors.


One from the “Now I’m pissed-off” department:


Who knows what product plans Zeiss might have, but it seems pretty clear to me that Sigma’s arrival in the super lens arena has called for a pricing re-think in Oberkochen. If I’d bought a 15mm Distagon and suddenly found that the price had been reduced by $951, I’d be feeling pretty violent just now – that’s a big reduction and a clear indication of just how much vertriebspannung Zeiss have been making.


And, if these reductions are realistic, the message they convey isn’t good for anyone except those with some readies and an eye for a bargain.



And finally, if you are an X-Pro user and haven’t discovered Adam Bonn’s thirty-something posts on his love/hate affair with the camera, you might enjoy slowly reading through this. It starts with his fractious relationship with the X-Pro1 and more recently, his growing love for both that and the X-Pro2.


It’s for dipping into and slow learning, not one concentrated read.


Despite being about the X-Pros, there’s lots that is also applicable to the SLR-styled X-T range(s) too. Highly recommended.


Pascal Adds … briefly

Nobody’s asking, but my preference goes to the more flashy jpg 🙂

Speaking of preferences, let me just share a link to a wonderful portfolio I’ve just fallen in love with: Gentle Appearances in Tokyo Metropolis.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Hmm – Sigma goes head to head with Zeiss, at 85mm, and wins by one point.

    OK – here’s how I see it – and I’ve tried a couple of Sigmas and heaps of Zeiss lenses. Please note – this is a purely personal viewpoint, and everyone else is perfectly free to feel 200% differently.

    1 – Sigma is cheaper – by a wide margin
    2 – Sigma’s QC is lousy – both my lenses have crappy couplings for the lens hood, and I really mean CRAPPY. And the 24mm w/angle was ditched after one trip to Europe, because it was the “friday afternoon” job (that’s Aussie gergo for an assembly rushed through the production late on Friday afternoon, with resulting failures after it’s sold) and had SERIOUS back focusing problems – which I struggled with for a while, and gave up on. (In case an argument breaks out – that was confirmed by specialists from two professional camera stores – who tried valiantly, but couldn’t do any much better than I could).
    3 – my 55mm ART is a great lens (with a crappy lens hood)
    4 – my two Otus’s (28 & 55) DEVOUR the ART lenses – including the 55mm ART – so bang goes paragraph 3.
    5 – Sigma offers AF – Zeiss tells you to focus your own lens
    6 – I don’t think either of them are weatherproofed – the Otus’s obviously aren’t, so you know to be careful – I suspect there ought to be a red flag on the ARTs, too
    7 – the ARTs have stabilisation – if you can handle an Otus, you don’t need it – in the 60 years I’ve been using them, Zeiss products have provided their own stability – feathers flutter, but you build castles with rocks!
    8 – one point! – that’s a tough call from DxO – but I do not believe it stops there. If that’s all that’s in it, and the ART 85 is a helluva lot cheaper, game set & match to Sigma. But that’s NOT all. If the two Otus’s I have are any sort of guide, I love them for the accuracy and subtlety of the tones and colors they bring to my photography – from that viewpoint, they widdle all over the two ARTs I’ve tried. Still a hell of a price to pay for quality – but as with most things, you gets what you pays for.

    Great effort from Sigma. I remain unconvinced. Anyway, neither of them are going to sell me one, because at 85mm I have no interest in them – not sufficiently different from my 55mm to be of interest.

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