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Please Note: From March 6 - 16 I will be photographing intensively in the southeastern USA and my access to e-mail
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On March 3 I published a review of the Sony/Zeiss Sonnar T FE 35/2.8 on the Sony A7R.
On February 24 I published a new article that looks at how the Sony A7R and Leica M (240) perform with two
50 mm rangefinder lenses.
On February 18 I published a new article that looks at how the Sony A7R and Leica M (240) perform with two
35 mm rangefinder lenses.
On February 13 I published a new article that looks at how the Sony A7R and Leica M (240) perform with two
28 mm rangefinder lenses.
On February 5 I published a new article that looks at how the Sony A7R and Leica M (240) perform with three
21 mm rangefinder lenses.
On February 1 I published a new essay called Rangefinder Lenses on Digital Bodies: History, Techniques and
Challenges. As its name suggests, this article looks at pairings of rangefinder lenses and digital bodies from
2004 (when the Epson R-D1 was introduced) to the present. My hope is that it will serve as a general, and
practical, resource for photographers interested in using RF lenses for digital capture - no matter what camera
body one is using or considering using.
On January 28 I published an article that looks at the quality of files from the Sony A7R and the Leica M (240)
based on controlled side-by-side studio tests. This is the second in a series of eight articles I'm publishing that
test the following (in various combinations): Sony A7R, Sony 35/2.8 Sonnar, Leica M, various rangefinder lenses
and an E-Mount close-up adapter for RF lenses.
On January 10 I published a field review of the Sony A7R.
On December 21 I published an extensive review that looks at both the Fujinon XF 14/2.8 and the Zeiss 12/2.8
Touit used on the Fuji X-Pro 1. This article is based on both field and studio testing.
On November 13 I published a full review of the Fuji XF 23/1.4 R based on field and full studio testing. This is an
extensive article with over 80 illustrations.
On November 5 I published a new article based on re-converting various resolution test files, from lenses made
for Fuji XF Mount, using a high resolution RAW converter. I also looked at how the interpolation of
software distortion correction can affect resolution.
On November 1 I published a full review of the Fuji XF 27/2.8 based on field and studio testing.
On October 18 I published an extensive review based on field and studio testing the Cosina Voigtlander 21/1.8 on
the Leica M (240). This is a detailed article with nearly 70 illustrations.
On October 10 I published an extensive review based on field and studio testing the Leica APO 50/2.0
Summicron Aspherical side by side with the Leica 50/2.0 Summicron (current version). This is a detailed
article with over 100 illustrations.
On September 6 I published an extensive new article based on field tests of the (XF Mount) Zeiss Touit 32/1.8
and formal studio tests of that lens compared to the Fuji XF 35/1.4
On August 20 I published a short article about photographing with the Ricoh GR while leading a motorcycle tour
of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.
On August 5 I published a short article about using the Pentax K5 II S to photograph firemen's water polo.
On August 4 I published the results of studio testing the Leica X Vario, Pentax K5 II S and Ricoh GR.
On July 10 I published a very short article regarding Ben Lifson.
On July 10 I published a short article about using the Ricoh GR at a 35 mm EFOV.
On July 1 I published a review of the new, medium sensor, Ricoh GR.
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 188.8.131.52.
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.
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 photograph.
"Quite 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
- Jim Watts, USA
"I 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. I 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. I 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. My applause."
- Mikiro Mori, Japan
"...a 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
"I hope your tests become a benchmark for other reviewers to pay more attention to the real needs of photographers..."
- Phil Fogle, USA
- Bill Marshall, USA
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