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On June 11 I published a review of the Leica X Vario (the camera Leica's marketing has called "The Mini M").
On June 1 I published "Four Cameras; Black and White Studio Tests". This article looks at side-by-side studio tests
(done at various ISO levels) of the Leica Monochrom, Sony RX1, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Sigma DP2 Merrill. There are
tests of various lenses, and a new camera, currently in progress.
On May 9 I published a review of the Pentax K5 II S, a compact DSLR with no AA filter.
On April 27 I published a new article that looks at BW pictures made with the Leica M and Fuji X100S
at Daytona Bike week.
On April 11 I published a new article based on extensively field testing the Leica M and Fuji X100S side by side
at a motorcycling event called "Daytona Bike Week".
On March 26 I published a short review of several hood options for the Fuji X100 and X100S.
On March 7 I published the first part of a new article called "Five Cameras: Studio Tests". This part looks at
side-by-side studio tests (done at various ISO levels) of the Leica M (240), Sony RX1, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Sigma
DP2 Merrill. The other part of this article will compare the Sony, Fuji and Sigma to the Leica M Monochrom.
On March 4 I published a review of the Sony RX1.
On February 27 I published Part One of an extensive review of the Fuji X100S (production level).
February 22: In order to give Leica feedback on the pre-production M (240) I did a number of detailed studio tests
to look at the camera's performance in comparison to the Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom. I've published an
article on these tests today and will soon publish another article about my field testing of the beta Leica M (240).
On February 1 I expanded my article about conversion programs for X-Trans RAF files with new tests of Silkypix
Developer Studio Pro 126.96.36.199.
On January 30 I published a new article that looks at how the Fuji X-Pro 1 (X-Trans) RAF files are converted
by the current versions of Adobe Lightroom, Capture One and Fuji Raw File Converter EX. The results were
On January 23 - 25 I updated my article on "Three Medium Sensor Cameras" with resolution comparisons
based on converting all three ISO 200 test files in Iridient Developer (which now supports the DP2 Merrill).
On January 19 I published an article that looks at the output produced by three cameras with notable file quality
that use sensors of different sizes or types: the Olympus OM-D E-M5, Ricoh GXR A16 and Sigma DP2 Merrill.
On December 17 I published "Part Two" of my review of the Leica Monochrom -- this time looking at a production
model. This article also looks at some interesting aspects of dynamic range and working in BW with any digital
On November 13 I published a review of the Sigma DP2 Merrill.
On September 19 - 25 I updated my article about the Leica M with many new sections. This article will continue to
expand over the coming months.
On September 17 I published the first of several upcoming articles on the new Leica M.
On September 7 I published a review of the Fujinon XF 60/2.4
lens which is based on extensive testing done both
in the studio and in
the field. Fuji has also recently announced new firmware for the X-Pro
1 system and I will be
reporting on that in the near future.
On August 8 I published an update to my review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 based on field testing the camera
with a Cosina Voigtlander 21/4.0 Skopar rangefinder lens.
On July 29 I published a review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
On July 17 I published an article about using the Pentax K5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 to photograph an
unusual game of firemen's water polo. If one is interested in the new Oly, in particular, this might be worth reading.
On July 10 I updated my article about using rangefinder lenses on the Fuji X-Pro 1 with a discussion about a
workaround that lets one see the camera's frame lines when using the "M Mount Adapter" and working in
On July 2 I updated my article about using rangefinder lenses on the Fuji X-Pro 1. I've now begun testing the
official Fuji "M Mount Adapter" and this update may be of interest to photographers who are seriously interested
in using RF lenses on this camera.
On June 26 I significantly revised the "Distortion" section of my Fujinon XF 18/2.0 review. I think the information
discussed there may be of interest to many photographers even if they don't work with the Fuji X-Pro 1.
On June 26 I published an article about working in the rain with the Pentax K5 and an update to my review of the
Leica X2 based on the recent testing I've done of Firmware 1.1 for that camera.
On June 22 I published a full review of the Fujinon XF 18/2.0 lens which is based on both field and studio testing.
On June12 I published a new article about using rangefinder camera lenses on the Fuji X-Pro 1. Photographers
interested in that topic may find this new piece interesting.
On June 8 I published a small essay about Berlin as seen through the finder of a small sensor camera.
On June 6 I updated my article about four window finder cameras with an extensive new section based on a
collaboration with software author Sandy McGuffog. Together we converted and analyzed a set of test files in
Lightroom, Silkypix and Sandy's (iOs platform) program PhotoRaw. We learned a lot about the Fuji X-Pro 1
RAW files and the various RAW conversion programs that support them. This might be useful reading for
photographers who are interested in technical analyses (especially if they work with the new Fuji).
On May 31 - June 4 I updated my article about four window finder cameras with some comparisons of RAW
file conversions, of X-Pro 1 files, made using Lightroom and Silkypix.
On May 28 I published an extensive article based on controlled studio tests that look at the file quality and noise
levels (at various ISO settings) of four window finder cameras: the Fuji X100, Fuji X-Pro 1, Leica M9 and Leica
M Monochrom. It includes over 120 pictures made with these cameras - all of them converted from RAW in a beta
version of Adobe Lightroom.
On May 10 I published extensive reviews of the Leica M Monochrom and the Leica X2 based on working with
pre-production samples of each. Included are samples from the field and results from formal studio testing.
Both articles include many, many illustrations.
On April 24 I added new sections to my review of the Fuji X-Pro 1 after having used the camera and XF 18/2.0 lens
to photograph contra-dancing at night using auto-focus and ISO 6400. I also evaluate the changes in Fuji's latest
firmware release for this camera and its XF lenses.
On April 9 I published an update to my article called "Fuji X100: New Firmware" after testing the camera with
On April 6 I published a review of the Pentax K-01.
On March 28 -30 I updated my review of the Ricoh A16 based on field testing of a second sample.
On March 27 I added a new section to my "Seeing The Subject" essay that looks at the potential of using the Nikon
D800/D800e finders for a frame-lined view of the subject. I have not yet tested the new Nikons.
On March 22 I published a "rolling review" of the Ricoh A16 "24 - 85" Zoom lens/sensor module.
On March 12 I published an article that looks at what some of the practical/functional issues are likely to be when
using rangefinder lenses on the Fuji X-Pro 1 (as compared to using Fuji's own XF lenses). I have not yet received
Fuji's M-mount adapter for this camera but will be testing it with various "challenging lenses" once that arrives.
On March 8 I updated my review of the Ricoh GR IV with comments on the new firmware 2.10.
On March 5 - 7 I updated my review of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with moire tests and new color sample pictures - several
of which show how the camera and 35/1.4 render out of focus regions and subjects seen close-up.
On March 4 I updated my review of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with a section called "The X-Pro And Tae Kwon Do". It looks
at how the camera performed when shooting fast paced subjects under existing indoor lighting.
On March 2 I published the first part of an extensive rolling review of the Fuji X-Pro 1 (which I am initially testing
with a 35/1.4 Fujinon lens). The camera tested is a production model. This article will be expanded several
times in the coming weeks but the sections published now already cover a lot of ground.
"I have to say that I am in awe of your thoughtfulness and intelligence
as they're reflected in what you've done. I'm sorry I hadn't come
across your work before."
Director Of Graduate Studies In Photography
Yale University School Of Art
are an exceptional writer and photographer but what is most important
is that I have never found any bias in anything you have written about.
That says a lot in this day and age."
- Elliot Stern
Founder and Director
Blue Ridge Workshops
"In the din of the Internet's noise, Sean Reid is one of a handful of
voices worth listening to."
- Kent Phelan
"The best and most detailed account
(of the Leica M8) I've yet read from a photographer's point of view is
on the Reid Reviews site."
- Peter Marshall
Photography Guide, About.com
"Reviewing photographic equipment isn't as easy
as it looks. Not only does it take writing skill, and a critical
sensibility, but for the review to carry weight and have value its
author must have significant experience with similar and previous
equipment. Sean Reid has written equipment reviews for The Luminous
Landscape for the past two years, and unfailingly they have
been well-researched and comprehensive. Sean writes with both
style and insight, and bases his opinions on his years as a
photographer, and not simply from the perspective of a technologist, as
is too frequently found on the Net. His site is free of
advertising, and well worth your support. I was particularly taken by
his article "On Small Sensor Cameras". It is a
unique perspective on how different digital formats are redrawing the
face of photography."
- Michael Reichmann, Publisher
The Luminous Landscape
Welcome to ReidReviews.com,
an on-line magazine of
reviews and essays by photographer and writer Sean
Reid. Each year, there will be at least twelve new
articles about the tools and practice of photography added to this
site. As of winter 2012 there are well over two hundred thirty articles on
this site - many of them very extensive. There are no press releases, news summaries or
the like but only reviews, essays and other writing about photography.
writer naturally brings his or her own experience and perspective to
the articles he or she writes. My writing is heavily
influenced by my experience working as a professional photographer for more than twenty-five
years. I'm primarily interested in cameras and
lenses as tools for drawing, as I believe that photography really is a
branch of drawing. As the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said in an interview, "My photography is just an instant drawing...I never quit drawing. The camera is a way of drawing."
I'm also guided by the photographer
Andre Kertesz's observation, "I see the thing, I feel the
thing, I make the thing". So when I review a camera
or a lens, I look primarily at how it presents the world to the
photographer (via the finder), how it works as a
tool in the hands, and how it draws the kind of picture we call a
There are at least
two kinds of review content on this web site. There are
reviews of cameras and lenses that are receiving wide attention from
many photographers (and reviewers) as well as reviews of equipment that
is of great interest to more specialized groups of
photographers. I have written quite a bit about
rangefinder cameras and lenses and that equipment will continue to be
an important focus of this site. I also give a lot of attention
to compact cameras that are designed for serious photography.
There are also essays and other types of articles to be found here that
are not necessarily about equipment per se.
I did my first professional photography work in 1984. While I am primarily a "fine art photographer" (a strange and clumsy term that suggests one makes pictures of paintings, sculptures and the like) I also do professional
architectural and documentary wedding photography. So I sometimes
look at the performance of cameras and lenses in those
contexts. I obviously can't write about every piece of
photographic equipment and so my focus is really on tools that, I
think, deserve some attention from serious photographers, professional
or amateur. Sometimes they are fairly new to the market,
other times they might be quite old and found only as used
equipment. In either case, if I decide to write
about a lens or camera, it's because I believe it's worth reading
about. I was a film photographer for two decades (and
a B&W exhibition printer for a few years)
but I now
work entirely with digital capture. As such, almost all of my camera
reviews are of digital models. The individual reviews obviously discuss
specific cameras and/or lenses but all of the reviews also look at more
general aspects of photography that can be relevant no matter what
camera and/or lens a photographer uses.
My own photography frequently
illustrates the articles on Reid Reviews and the site sometimes
features articles about my own photographic projects.
I am primarily a black and white photographer (except for a few
projects and certain work that I do for clients) and so many of the
general (as opposed to technical) illustrations on this site are in BW.
bio from Luminous Landscape (where I've been a contributor for several
years and have recently begun a column called "Common Sense") reads:
Reid, an American, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for
over twenty–five years. He studied under Stephen Shore and Ben Lifson
and met occasionally with Helen Levitt. In the late 1980s he worked as
an exhibition printer for Wendy Ewald and other fine art photographers.
In 1989, he was the first American photographer to receive an
artist–in–residence grant from the Irish Arts Council in Dublin,
Ireland. His commercial work is primarily of architecture, weddings and
special events. His personal work is primarily of people in public
places. Having worked mostly with large format and rangefinder film
cameras for many years, he now works primarily with the Leica M8.2,
Leica M9 and Canon DSLRs."
simply, I think your sections on 'drawing' and and on 'sunny day
lenses' are the best writing about photographic lenses that I have read
- whether in magazines, journals, books or the various sources online.
Few professional writers about photography ever attempt such a full
consideration of the range of lens performance characteristics and the
different ways in which they are photographically significant. Some
discussions in photographic communities online circle around the
subject, but don't achieve the focus, rigour and articulacy that you
have managed here. Your
article is what all writing about photographic lenses ought to be like,
yet it's astonishing that next to none of it is. Interesting though
Irwin Puts Leica lens book is, it would have been so much more
interesting, and so much more appropriate to its subject matter, if it
had been written as you have written here...I found the article
incredibly useful and interesting. A great help in clarifying and
firming up what I have experienced and half-understood about how
different lenses work."
- Simon Pulman-Jones, England
"We all owe you a vote of thanks for such a
massive and thorough piece of work. What a concept-- a "lens test" that
is really about the pictorial effect of how lenses draw their images.
Lines per millimeter and MTF graphs have their place, but your article
really gets to the heart of the matter in the way that photographers
can relate to instantly."
- Peter Klein, USA
is a really excellent in depth review. I particularly like how you
guide the reader not to look for winners, but to use it as a reference
for their own needs. I think it may turn out to be a reference classic
for working photographers seeking how to judge lenses in real world
use.. I for one will be returning to it."
- Jim Watts, USA
read your substantial paper with great interest. I am an amateur
enthusiast in photography and optics. Your
concept first surprised me, because I have had an impression that few
photographers in North America and possibly in Europe like to discuss
lens characters as expression tools. Among Japanese photographers,
amateurs and professionals alike, there is a long tradition of interest
or even addiction in appreciating various image characters of optics.
For instance, Shoji Ohtake, one of the most influential photographers
in Japan writes a regular column titled Lens Physiognomy for a major
camera journal. He says that for each of his representation he selects
the right lens from his huge collection.
was impressed by your pragmatic and well-organised approach in
reviewing the lenses. Your observation is keen and relevant to
essential aspects of photographic imagery. Your rhetoric is straight,
logical, and free from jargon. These are rarely met in review papers on
similar tests, which tend to be too technical or too subjective.
should also tell you that I myself have evaluated lenses mostly in
B&W for the same reason as in your reviews. Few people have
understood me. All in all, it is a marvelous paper.
- Mikiro Mori, Japan
very informative, even enlightening, work. It not only provides visual
evidence of comparative lenses' performance, it also gets right to the
most important factor of lens evaluation - how the image looks to the
photographer. Long ago I stopped reading test charts of lenses since
none of my clients ever published any. It is always the look of the
finished image that counts."
- Richard Weisgrau, USA
hope your tests become a benchmark for other reviewers to pay more
attention to the real needs of photographers..."
- Phil Fogle, USA
think that your approach is what photographers have been asking for.
Your article was spectacularly successful. I didn't think a review
could be any better than yours on wide angles for the R-D1, but you
topped it with this one. Thank you for all the hard work that went into
- Bill Marshall, USA
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they can provide you with a good sense of how I approach reviewing
Wondering what other
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