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civilized ku # 2539 ~ late Spring / early Summer lushness

Lush backyard ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggenIn a comment on the entry ku # 1244-47, Peter Nilsson wrote:

Without wishing this to sound like the Mark Hobson fan club I do particularly value the regular reminder that I don't need to buy a new camera. Saves me thousands...

Peter, thanks for non-fan club comment although, nevertheless, I am willing to give you preferred fan club standing. That written, I'm happy to read that I am having some impact / doing my part in helping some stay off the never-ending upgrade merry-go-round. Although ... Olympus has finally introduced the new E-P5 - a camera which "looks as though the E-P5 is the camera we'd always hoped the PEN series could be" (DPReview).

If I had unlimited resources, I might be tempted to acquire the E-P5 (the upgrade force is still strong within me). However, please note the emphasis on the word "might". The reason for that is quite simple - I'm still very satisfied with my current crop of E-P2s.

Sure, the sensor in the E-P5 is much improved and the high ISO performance is vastly improved - the only 2 things I actually might care about in the new model - but, while those improvements might be needed by some and desired by others, I'm not so sure that either of those rational or emotional states of mind are at work in my picture making world.

To wit, re: improved definition / sharpness - I have never been on the eye-bleeding razor-sharp bandwagon. What I want is for my prints to look very nice at a normal viewing distance (it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want to view a picture from an abnormal viewing distance). That is to write, a distance which is dependent upon print size and appropriate for viewing the picture in its entirety because it is only by viewing the entire picture that a viewer can (hopefully) see and appreciate what it is I am trying to convey. IMO, my pictures (and those, made by others, which appeal to my eye and sensibilities) are about more than the sum of their nose-to-the-print-surface parts.

In addition to my non-addiction to razor sharpness, I am concerned with the idea that a sensor which produces pictures which, when viewed at a normal viewing distance and when added to any of the pictures in my ongoing bodies of work, would look visually different from my earlier pictures in that same body of work and therefore out of sync within the body of work.

As for improved low-noise high ISO performance, it would be nice but, in fact, noise is not something I struggle with on a regular basis. Having a few fast pancake lenses in my bag really helps avoid having to use high ISOs (I rarely go higher than ISO 400). In those cases where noise becomes a concern, I find a little bit of noise reduction works very well to solve the so-called problem.

That written, if I were to start a body of work which concentrated upon low-light situations and referents, I would undoubtedly feel differently about high ISO performance.

So, I'll soldier on, dancing with the cameras dates I brought to dance. If I'm going to spend money on any cameras, it most likely will be to snap up a few of the inevitable supply of new (not used), bargain basement priced E-P3s which will become available.

Reader Comments (3)

I bought a new camera (Pentax 67ii) in 2003 with the intent of making a whole lot of photographs that could be printed in large sizes. Ten years later I have yet to reach the coveted mark of 100 completed prints. Failing to produce even 10 prints a year on average is rather embarrassing (especially when compared to the output of Mark and several others here) but none of the reasons for this slow progress have anything to do with the camera per-se. So, for an entire decade I never gave any thought to changing/upgrading my equipment. Things are different now. It is hard to find a good place that can process film, harder still to get the film scanned and most recently I learned that my favorite film has been phased out. Finally, reasons outside of my ability as a photographer are starting to have an effect on my work.

June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnil Rao

Anil,
The photos of yours that we have are beautiful, and really draw me in. Keep shooting.

June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe wife

The upgrade frenzy is indeed a strong force, and there are countless reasons to resist the urge. Yet the digital age makes it really hard to use any tool for a long period of time. Batteries die, pixels on the sensor die, software and hardware becomes obsolete with new versions of computer operating systems etc. When I shot film I knew my camera inside out (Hassy 501, Nikon FM2), but these days I spend most of the time scratching my head navigating various menus. Image quality and usability has taken back seat behind GPS, Video, Wi-Fi and countless outher useless features.

I have never understood the argument about normal vieving distance. To me, an image that looks good up close usually looks good from a distance, but the opposite isn't always true. I prefer the best of both worlds. That said, I prefer small prints myself. I like them to be rich with detail (though not overshrpened) and so small (A4/8x10) that the viever moves close to examine them.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSvein-Frode

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