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06-20-2011, 06:42 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote


Well, I've read a number of stories were people sold it because they didn't "get it". Sometimes people reacquire the lens and then either still don't get it or keep it. I believe the lens is great and I'm sure I'd love it but it is definitely not for everyone.

My guess is that some people buy the FA77 and other Limited lenses with the expectation that their photography will automatically undergo a dramatic improvement. When this does not happen, they are then disappointed. None of this should be surprising, because, as we all know, it is still the photographer, not the gear, that makes a good photograph. Perhaps it is this fact that some people don't "get."

Rob

06-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
What you describe sounds like difficulties related to the focal length, rather than to the lens itself. 77mm in APS-C has an angle of view equivalent to 116mm in FF. That is something that you cannot get around. You may or may not find that it fits your photographic vision, but one might surmise that you are, indeed, "getting it," if this is the lens that you are using exclusively.

Rob
I'll agree with this. I'm still getting used to the focal length -- sometimes I lift the camera and expect the field of view of a 50mm lens. I think leaving it on my camera for so long is me experimenting with it in different applications and having found a few areas where it really excels. I don't think I'll fully "get it" until I understand all its strengths and weaknesses, which includes, of course, knowing when not to use it.
06-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
I'll agree with this. I'm still getting used to the focal length -- sometimes I lift the camera and expect the field of view of a 50mm lens. I think leaving it on my camera for so long is me experimenting with it in different applications and having found a few areas where it really excels. I don't think I'll fully "get it" until I understand all its strengths and weaknesses, which includes, of course, knowing when not to use it.
Absolutely. 77mm is not a general purpose focal length. Whereas I could shoot all day with just my FA31 or FA43, I could not do so with my FA77. It is a moderate telephoto lens and has a more limited range of application. Just accept it for what it can do and what it cannot. You will be much happier.

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 06-21-2011 at 09:31 AM.
06-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
My guess is that some people buy the FA77 and other Limited lenses with the expectation that their photography will automatically undergo a dramatic improvement. When this does not happen, they are then disappointed. None of this should be surprising, because, as we all know, it is still the photographer, not the gear, that makes a good photograph. Perhaps it is this fact that some people don't "get."

Rob
The gear sure as hell helps though! Send a top surgeon to a 3rd world back woods ER room, they can do a lot, but not like they can in a Trauma Unit in an average U.S. or European city. What that means is that good photographers will get some excellent images with either of these lenses.

06-21-2011, 01:41 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The gear sure as hell helps though! Send a top surgeon to a 3rd world back woods ER room, they can do a lot, but not like they can in a Trauma Unit in an average U.S. or European city. What that means is that good photographers will get some excellent images with either of these lenses.
I don't think that we are in any fundamental disagreement on this point. I appreciate fine lenses as much as most serious photographers, but I also recognize that a good lens won't make a bad photographer good, and a bad lens won't make a good photographer bad. Some of the greatest photographic images of all time were taken with equipment that would be considered inferior by today's standards. It's still the photographer who is most responsible for the quality of an image.

Rob
06-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I don't think that we are in any fundamental disagreement on this point. I appreciate fine lenses as much as most serious photographers, but I also recognize that a good lens won't make a bad photographer good, and a bad lens won't make a good photographer bad. Some of the greatest photographic images of all time were taken with equipment that would be considered inferior by today's standards. It's still the photographer who is most responsible for the quality of an image.

Rob
You would be surprised how many of us are running around with lenses out of the 40s, 50s and 60s. There are guys on this board that shoot 90% of the time with various Takumars etc. But the era you are talking about Cartier-Bresson for example was using . . . . Leica, not a Kodak Brownie.
06-21-2011, 03:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You would be surprised how many of us are running around with lenses out of the 40s, 50s and 60s. There are guys on this board that shoot 90% of the time with various Takumars etc. But the era you are talking about Cartier-Bresson for example was using . . . . Leica, not a Kodak Brownie.
Even HCB, were he still alive and taking pictures, would probably be using a more modern camera and lenses, and he was quite technophobic. I'm virtually certain this would be true of Ansel Adams. I'm not saying that the lenses that they used were cheap pieces of junk, but merely that they are not up to current standards. Leica has, after all, updated their lenses for very good reasons (other than being able to generate profits by selling them.) The same is true of every other lens manufacturer. Nevertheless, the great photographers of the past managed to get some great images from their lenses, which was the point that I was trying to make. The photographer is more important than the gear. I don't think that we need to debate the quality of older lenses.

Rob
06-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
But the era you are talking about Cartier-Bresson for example was using . . . . Leica, not a Kodak Brownie.
And others of that era were taking great shots with the Argus C3 with its Cintar 50/3.5 lens. Not exactly the latest/greatest, eh?

QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
I'm still getting used to the focal length -- sometimes I lift the camera and expect the field of view of a 50mm lens. I think leaving it on my camera for so long is me experimenting with it in different applications and having found a few areas where it really excels.
I'll suggest that what we consider general-purpose is more a matter of personal experience and comfort than of any intrinsic optical qualities. That's why I use a lens-of-the-day strategy, to expand my comfort zones and push my expectations. And I learn that non-standard FL's, and projector-enlarger lenses, deliver fine results in varied situations. For example, a 105/3.5 EL on bellows might seem a limited tool. Instead, I find that the expanded focus range and different tactile sense are liberating. No, it's not for 3/4 portraits in a small studio space, but neither are 70-77-85mm lenses. So I just change the space I work in, or change my framing, whatever it takes.

06-21-2011, 04:09 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Even HCB, were he still alive and taking pictures, would probably be using a more modern camera and lenses, and he was quite technophobic. I'm virtually certain this would be true of Ansel Adams. I'm not saying that the lenses that they used were cheap pieces of junk, but merely that they are not up to current standards. Leica has, after all, updated their lenses for very good reasons (other than being able to generate profits by selling them.) The same is true of every other lens manufacturer. Nevertheless, the great photographers of the past managed to get some great images from their lenses, which was the point that I was trying to make. The photographer is more important than the gear. I don't think that we need to debate the quality of older lenses.

Rob
You just stated my point, HCB was using top of the line rangefinders of the day. They would be using what suited them. That said, some of that glass is still pretty good, even today.

Last edited by Blue; 06-21-2011 at 04:16 PM.
06-21-2011, 04:15 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And others of that era were taking great shots with the Argus C3 with its Cintar 50/3.5 lens. Not exactly the latest/greatest, eh?

. . .
I am not arguing that the C3 isn't capable, I have one. My point was that unlike he implied, guys like Ansel Adams, Eddie Adams etc. used the best gear they could get their hands on and would so today! Ansel Adams even alluded in an interview that he regretted that he was going to miss the digital era. I don't think he would walk into BH or Adorama and ask them for the crappiest digital body they have.
06-21-2011, 04:17 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You just stated my point, HCB was using top of the line rangefinders of the day.
[Sigh] I never said he wasn't, only that today's lenses are better than what he used. Some might argue that vintage Leica lenses have a distinctive character that they find particularly pleasing. I cannot disagree, although I am hardly an expert on the subject.

Rob
06-21-2011, 04:35 PM   #27
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FA 77 wins for its compact.
06-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
My point was that unlike he implied, guys like Ansel Adams, Eddie Adams etc. used the best gear they could get their hands on and would so today! Ansel Adams even alluded in an interview that he regretted that he was going to miss the digital era. I don't think he would walk into BH or Adorama and ask them for the crappiest digital body they have.
Up on my shelf is a copy of POLAROID MANUAL, by Ansel Adams. Slumming, eh?

Anyway, we have top professionals using the best gear they can find, to make their living in a competitive field. And other top professionals (Jerry Uelsmann, Gene Smith and others come to mind) using good-but-not-elite gear they were intimately familiar with, because it suited them. Or Galen Rowell's mountaineering pix shot with an Instamatic -- a VERY GOOD one, sure (Instamatic 500, Schneider Xenar 38/2.8 lens, Compur shutter, a gem-like West German camera) but still...

Yes, those with great skills can do great things with great gear. And can do pretty damn good things with not-so-good-gear. But fancier gear doesn't produce better photography. (Cf. Leicas as dentist's cameras.) Not being a career-driven top professional myself, I'll be as happy as possible with the gear I can afford. (And I'll keep looking for more deals!)
06-21-2011, 06:08 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Up on my shelf is a copy of POLAROID MANUAL, by Ansel Adams. Slumming, eh?

Anyway, we have top professionals using the best gear they can find, to make their living in a competitive field. And other top professionals (Jerry Uelsmann, Gene Smith and others come to mind) using good-but-not-elite gear they were intimately familiar with, because it suited them. Or Galen Rowell's mountaineering pix shot with an Instamatic -- a VERY GOOD one, sure (Instamatic 500, Schneider Xenar 38/2.8 lens, Compur shutter, a gem-like West German camera) but still...

Yes, those with great skills can do great things with great gear. And can do pretty damn good things with not-so-good-gear. But fancier gear doesn't produce better photography. (Cf. Leicas as dentist's cameras.) Not being a career-driven top professional myself, I'll be as happy as possible with the gear I can afford. (And I'll keep looking for more deals!)
Some of my friends who know a good deal more about the history of photography than I contend that Ansel Adams would almost certainly be at the forefront of digital photography, were he in his prime today. He was very focused on technique and technology and always strove for the best quality that he could possibly produce by whatever means.

Rob
06-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Up on my shelf is a copy of POLAROID MANUAL, by Ansel Adams. Slumming, eh?

Anyway, we have top professionals using the best gear they can find, to make their living in a competitive field. And other top professionals (Jerry Uelsmann, Gene Smith and others come to mind) using good-but-not-elite gear they were intimately familiar with, because it suited them. Or Galen Rowell's mountaineering pix shot with an Instamatic -- a VERY GOOD one, sure (Instamatic 500, Schneider Xenar 38/2.8 lens, Compur shutter, a gem-like West German camera) but still...

Yes, those with great skills can do great things with great gear. And can do pretty damn good things with not-so-good-gear. But fancier gear doesn't produce better photography. (Cf. Leicas as dentist's cameras.) Not being a career-driven top professional myself, I'll be as happy as possible with the gear I can afford. (And I'll keep looking for more deals!)
Ansel Adams also often used Polaroid for test shots with large format cameras. Here is an example early in this video.



QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Some of my friends who know a good deal more about the history of photography than I contend that Ansel Adams would almost certainly be at the forefront of digital photography, were he in his prime today. He was very focused on technique and technology and always strove for the best quality that he could possibly produce by whatever means.

Rob
Ansel Adams said that in an interview back in the 80s. It starts talking about digital at about 7:10 in this video.

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