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About designdog

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  1. designdog

    AFS Nikkor 58 mm f/1.4 G: Test drive

    "What do I know, Volume 37" Contrary to all my previous unenlightened and bloated statements, I have joined the club and purchased the 58mm 1.4g. My humble apologies for entreating on the knowledge and experience of my fellow contributors here. I am a fool, pure and simple. There. As penance for my sins, I will spend a week on an island in South Carolina with a packet of relatives, many of them teenaged, my D800, the 58mm, the 24mm 1.4g, and the 85mm 1.4g. There will be bokeh.
  2. designdog

    Comparison: Fuji X100s, Fuji X-T1, Olympus OM-D

    Andrew: Just reread your original post. Your photographs are terrific, I must say. I do, however, have a question: It seems that your preference for the Olympus is seriously impacted by the AF, particularly, the ability to readily move AF points. Yet the sample photos do not seem to be those which require that feature. For myself, I never move the AF point, shoot single shot on my D800, and take my time about it. (Though nothing I do approaches your efforts.) I also shoot mostly in full manual, with MF. Therefore I am leaning to a Fuji XT-1 or a Sony A7 as a mirrorless addition to my kit, using my current lenses, where possible, with adapters. It just seems to me, your pictures not withstanding, that going to a m4/3 sensor is backing down on technology...
  3. designdog

    Comparison: Fuji X100s, Fuji X-T1, Olympus OM-D

    Of course I was looking at the Sony A7r, but scared off due to the shutter vibration issue. Reluctant on the A7 because of the smaller sensor and more plastic in construction. What Nikon to Sony adapter would you recommend?
  4. designdog

    Comparison: Fuji X100s, Fuji X-T1, Olympus OM-D

    Hmmm. I seem to be a member here now. I am thinking of the X-T1, from a slightly different perspective: when I had an X Pro-1, I used adapters to enjoy some Nikon manual focus lenses. Results were good not great. I no longer have that camera, nor those lenses, but I do have the adapters, and some pretty good Zeiss lenses. And some Voigtlander, which are quite good, and small. So my thoughts are to get the X-T1 and uses the mf lenses on it. The new viewfinder on this camera should make manual focusing much easier...
  5. designdog

    Sometimes you find a good one...

    Never took much stock where the reviewer stated that he had a good, or a bad copy of a lens, etc. until now. I have a Voigtlander Nocton 58mm 1.4 SL II that I got for just under $400 from ebay. It is mint, and I ordered the new lens hood with the snap on cap. Anyway, after a day or two to get used to this one, I am quite amazed. Easily the best "50mm" I have, and that includes the Zeiss 50 2MP, the Nikon 50 1.2 AIS (bought new), and the Sigma 50 1.4. This lens is sharp from f2 on up and has some of the famous Zeiss 3D, or micro contrast, but with the richer colors of a Nikon. What a surprise! The attached image is just a quick shot from our grounds this morning. Hope you can see what I am talking about here...
  6. designdog

    Living and working with the new Nikon Df camera

    Bjorn, If you were carrying the D800 instead of the DF, you would have had an easier time holding on to the camera...
  7. designdog

    Capture one Pro 7.....

    While the science is not subjective, the individual viewer is. For example, I can correct a color cast using Photoshop, the color picker, and the curves tool. I absolutely know what RGB values constitute darks and lights (my printing limits) and can reasonably select mid tones, which can be confirmed by the color picker. My monitor is absolutely corrected (but, again, by subjective me.) I work the curves and all the values line up, like a Vegas slot machine. It is "perfect". And it will reproduce perfectly, as I have corrected my printer profiles as well. Yet it looks off. To me. Maybe to you, and a hundred others. But another hundred will say it looks great. That, my friend, is the subjective conclusion to an objective process...
  8. designdog

    Capture one Pro 7.....

    Ron, Anyone in the forum knows about monitor calibration and profiles, so I won't go there. I do feel, however, that each of these photo manipulation programs chooses to display color a bit differently. Don't know whether it is the interpretation of the gamma, or what, but they look a bit different in preview to me. Over the years I have been able to set up Photoshop for printing, and have pretty consistent expectations with what I see and what I print via my Photoshop setup. So, whenever I want to evaluate a new software situation, whether it is a new app, or a plugin, or whatever, I send a 16bit 300dpi tiff file to Photoshop and do the evaluation with it. Sometimes I will print the file on my Epson. Another way, for non Photoshop users, is to simply process and upload the file from your favorite app, and the one you are evaluating, to, say, Flickr. If you have the opportunity, look at the files on different monitors, and different devices. That way you will determine not perhaps the best program, but the one that works best for you...
  9. designdog

    Capture one Pro 7.....

    Ann, I agree with this — to a degree. Camera profiles can make a big difference. I have been using the Huelight profiles in Lightroom, but have since reverted to Camera Standard. In Capture One this is called a Base characteristic/Curve, and I use Film Standard. I also agree that the starting point greatly impacts the ending point, but only to the extent that you subsequently manipulate the image in either program. The best way to test this, and make your own decision, is to simply open "flat" or standard images in each raw convertor, and send them to Photoshop as tiff files. (Or you could print them, I suppose, but that brings in other variables.) As a next step, work on each file to your heart's content in the raw processor, and send them to Photoshop again. I am much more comfortable in an Adobe environment, and I feel that CapureOne has fewer controls to work with, but even I cannot deny the quality when I see it. CaptureOne Pro 7 is my raw convertor...
  10. designdog

    Beta version of Capture NX-D released

    Ran through 10 raw files with NX-D and CaptureOne 7. Did basic minimum edits and opened them in Photoshop, comparing them in sets. Not even close. I wonder why Nikon spends their money on software development...
  11. designdog

    28 2.8 AI-s, 28 2 AI-s and the D800

    Agree. But, since I seem to not be able to do much with any of them, it is reassuring to use those which look and feel so technical. So, I can get a mint, as new 28 2.8 AI-s for under US$400, or a 28 2 AI-s for 650. Hmmmm. Only problem is I will want to shoot some travel and far scenes with it, so the 2.8 is not so good with that...?
  12. designdog

    28 2.8 AI-s, 28 2 AI-s and the D800

    Well, Bjorn, I do confess it was another "knee jerk" reaction on my part. As in, I got one Zeiss, saw how it performed on my D800, and then got three more. Probably lost a lot of money in doing so, but I do not regret having these four lenses! In my country we tend to do many stupid things spontaneously. It is something of an art form. Perhaps if we had irony, we would not be so compulsive. Guilty. As charged.
  13. designdog

    28 2.8 AI-s, 28 2 AI-s and the D800

    Bjorn: The necessity was to raise capital to acquire the Zeiss lenses! Doesn't mean I don't miss them, particularly the 135 2 AI-s...
  14. designdog

    28 2.8 AI-s, 28 2 AI-s and the D800

    I am trying to put together a light weight, low cost kit for my D800. Right now I have the Voightlander 90mm APO, and the Nikon 50mm 1.2 AI-s. Some time back I had a 28mm 2.8 AI-s that worked well with my D700, but I purged all of my AI-s lenses when I went with the D800. Now, I wonder. I have the high end pretty well covered: Nikon 24mm 1.4G, Zeiss 1.4/35, 2/50MP, 1.4/85, 2/100MP plus the Sigma 35 and the Nikon 85 1.4G. I was looking for a smaller lens in the 24-35mm range that would form a kit with the 50 and 90. I really enjoyed the 28mm 2.8. Some say the 28mm 2 is even better. But these are not under the demands of the D800. Anyone have experience with these? Thanks.
  15. designdog

    Old Dog, New Tricks

    Here is an update, if anyone is interested. My opinion, the opinion of a long term Adobe user, supporter, and beta tester, is that Capture One Pro (7) is the best raw convertor available. Please note that I am using the strictest definition of a raw convertor: using the program for white balance, exposure, tone controls, color correction, lens correction, perspective controls, etc. Basic image editing. On the front end of my work flow I am somewhat limited, being on a Mac platform, with a seeming dearth of good DAM software. I am trying Media Pro. Photo Mechanic is a Big Fail with large collections. I may remain with Lightroom as my asset manager, though. On the back end I use Photoshop, and a variety of plug ins, for sharpening, noise reduction, resizing, etc. Time and again I am able to get better looking images from Capture One. Really amazes me, but it is so, at least for my subjective viewing...

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