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06-01-2011, 08:04 AM   #391
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Go easy on the elitism wolf cries, Steve!
I have considered your rebuttal in stride. Robin's post could conceivably be interpreted as condescending, but I didn't take it that way, nor to I believe it was the intent of the post. As Jay responded, it was bold and direct, but poignant and sobering.
Robin addressed many of your rebuttals within his own post, so no need to go much further into that.
Just relax, and see it from the point of view of a happy FA ltd user.
LOL... Which I soon shall be, I think. Still... Great photographs have been made for a long time, in formats so profoundly different from what we use as to be nearly unrecognizable. I'll think it over in the point of view of a happy FA LTD user, but I submit that you re-read that post from the viewpoint of *any great past photographer* (Westin, Adams, Cartier-Bresson, Arbus - pick one ). Check out how many of their great quotes are about how a certain lens renders the light. Then compare that to their observations about how the photographer chooses their image, and the philosophy of photography. What kind of ratio do you think you might find? Do you think that those people - many who considered 35mm "small format" - laughably small in some cases - would read that post with approval and agreement?

If anyone had told rparmer that he saw pixie dust because he's a lousy photographer, or because he lacked experience, or any such ridiculous assertion, I would have defended rparmer, not piled on; yet several people have made exactly that assertion about those who are skeptical of it - most profoundly rparmer - and if you feel you'd like to congratulate him on that effort, feel free. I do not.

Still - it's all in fun. I feel strongly about some of this stuff - the art of photography vs. the technique of photography, for instance - but I was enjoying all the joking and jibing. *shrug*. Such is life.

06-01-2011, 08:18 AM   #392
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
In short there are the following categories of people in this thread:
1. Those who think lenses don't matter, or don't matter enough to care about.
2. Those who know lenses matter but don't believe the FA Limiteds are special.
3. Those who know lenses matter and believe the FA Limiteds to be special.

We can further divide class 2 into:
2a. Those who are content with this and have perhaps found their own special lenses.
2b. Those who find it necessary to deride those in class 3.

Those in class 1 have a lot of photographic learning to do -- this is good fun! Those in 2b have a lot of life learning to do -- this is often painful.

Postscript:
These photos were chosen for their diversity and because I like them. Some will illustrate the special rendering of the FA43 and others might not. But in no case do I take a shot with this lens and say "I could have done better with lens X". That's because the FA43 Limited is the best lens ever made for Pentax. And only in cases where the focal length is completely wrong would I reach for another.

Thank goodness I appreciated the photographic work and advice of those who came before me. I followed their example and took their advice, buying the FA43 as my first lens after the kit zoom. That gave me a gold standard against which to measure other lenses. (I didn't appreciate the full extent of this until I had used the lens for at least a year.) If I can provide the same service for others I feel happy in giving back to the community that so helped me.
FA limited lenses are special because they are above-average to excellent optically and come in discrete packages (compare them to for example Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L which is nice but big). But FA 43 is the worst good lens of the three good lenses, though. Sometimes DA 40 produces (to most brains) a nicer image, on account of its smoother bokeh, as I've demonstrated in this thread. On the other hand, FA 43 is a stop faster. It's usually a give-and-take situation. Forum hyperbole isn't necessarily a "service for others."

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-01-2011 at 09:13 AM.
06-01-2011, 08:31 AM   #393
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
But FA 43 is the worst good lens of the three good lenses, though.
You've committed your own declared sin. Hyperbole.
06-01-2011, 08:33 AM   #394
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
You've committed your own declared sin. Hyperbole.
"I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to." -- J. R. "Bob" Dobbs

06-01-2011, 08:39 AM   #395
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Message deleted by poster. No point feeding the trolls.
06-01-2011, 08:41 AM   #396
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
You've committed your own declared sin. Hyperbole.
How is that hyperbole? (just curious). I mean, you might disagree - *I* might disagree - (although quite a few people have made that same observation), but how is he exaggerating for effect?
06-01-2011, 08:43 AM   #397
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
How is that hyperbole? (just curious). I mean, you might disagree - *I* might disagree - (although quite a few people have made that same observation), but how is he exaggerating for effect?
I don't think it's hyperbole either. I suspected fifty posts on what hyperbole is or isn't would follow, if I argued either way, though.
06-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #398
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
How is that hyperbole? (just curious). I mean, you might disagree - *I* might disagree - (although quite a few people have made that same observation), but how is he exaggerating for effect?
Well, I think you might take things too literally as I'm really just having fun, but if, to me, he is exaggerating, then to me, this is hyperbole.

06-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #399
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Well, I think you might take things too literally as I'm really just having fun, but if, to me, he is exaggerating, then to me, this is hyperbole.
Sure. You've been very reasonable throughout, and if it wasn't fun, I'd have quit playing a long time ago. I wasn't ... "attacking" you in any way. I'm just curious how "But FA 43 is the worst good lens of the three good lenses, though" is an exaggeration, really.
06-01-2011, 09:12 AM   #400
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Message deleted by poster. No point feeding the trolls.
It's amusing that you would refer to me as a troll when just a few posts ago, after TOUGEFC posted his pix and we all picked the ones we liked, and the 43ltd stood out clearly, you and I were nearly in agreement, and I've maintained through the entire discussion my willingness to be converted by evidence - photographic or scientific - just not rhetoric. I even agreed to accept jsherman's definition of "pixie dust" as reasonable, early on.

Sorry, but that's not what I mean when I say "troll".
06-01-2011, 09:18 AM   #401
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Sure. You've been very reasonable throughout, and if it wasn't fun, I'd have quit playing a long time ago. I wasn't ... "attacking" you in any way. I'm just curious how "But FA 43 is the worst good lens of the three good lenses, though" is an exaggeration, really.
Again, you're over-thinking it. But it is just an opinion. Plenty of folks think the 43 is the best of the 3. It does irk me a bit when someone presents opinion as gospel truth, and yes, it does then begin to move into hyperbole territory. "JHD" and "Spotmatic" are, to my mind, the worst offenders. I at least try to label my opinions as such.
06-01-2011, 09:22 AM   #402
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
It's amusing that you would refer to me as a troll when just a few posts ago, after TOUGEFC posted his pix and we all picked the ones we liked, and the 43ltd stood out clearly, you and I were nearly in agreement, and I've maintained through the entire discussion my willingness to be converted by evidence - photographic or scientific - just not rhetoric. I even agreed to accept jsherman's definition of "pixie dust" as reasonable, early on.

Sorry, but that's not what I mean when I say "troll".
I actually thought he was referring to asdf as a troll, not you.
06-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #403
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I actually thought he was referring to asdf as a troll, not you.
Huh. Maybe so. I went back and read the post he deleted, and it was originally addressed to asdf. If (to rparmer) you didn't mean me, then I apologize.

Still, asdf and rparmer represent the extreme ends of the discussion here, IMO. Everyone else seems to fall somewhere in the middle. I've not seen any truly troll-like behavior, I think... A couple of friendly jokes and jibes, but nothing untoward. I mean, nobody has compared anyone with Hitler or anything.
06-01-2011, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #404
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Robin, good post, and I pretty much agree, although this first part seems contrdictory to me:
QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
As I have stated, I do not think there is "pixie dust" in the FA Limited lenses, for the reason that this would imply something unexplained, whereas Jun Hirakawa has in fact explained this thing. If this contentious phrase is used, it is only as short-hand because we are unable to verbalise the MTF etc. (Not to mention that these measurements have not been made available to us by Pentax.) Also it could be that no existing measurement would reveal the distinctive rendering. I'm not sure: one can read a lot from an MTF graph including quality of bokeh.
I could be reading it wrong, but it seems like you start by saying that PD is perfectly explainable, objectively describable, if only we can interpret MTF charts, and then go on to allow that "distinctive rendering" might not be measureable under existing known parameters. IMO, it's the second part that rings true. I'd just add that 'inability to verbalise MTF data' is not precisely equivalent to 'no existing measurement can reveal....'

Steve, honestly your reply surprised me, seemed like it was coming from a different person that your other posts. I think your accusation of elitism was overwrought, and in fact became sort of a Straw Man itself, in that you were ascribing words/attitude to Robin that I personally did not detect.

I don't see any elitism at all in postulating that some images could have characteristics that not everyone can detect. Based on the natural variability of practically everything in the real world, particularly in the physical and mental capacity of biological beings, it would be surprising if that were not the case. And claiming that something might be evident to person A, but not person B in no way asserts any inferiority of person B to A or vice versa. And I'll reiterate what I said before: differences in perception can to some extent be trained, but are also to some extent innate. I know you disagree, and that's cool. We also will continue to disagree on the matter of 'no false positives.'

I'd also throw away your argument about the great photographers in history. Photography has changed, not only in the available gear, but even, to some extent, in what people can do, and try to do with it. Those dead guys did not have the same range of products to work with. While I'm sure they all had their preferences in gear, they simply did not have the same level of possibility in reproduction and resolution as we have been given with modern sensors, lens coatings, etc. Even Adams, in The Camera, said something to the effect of (I am totally paraphrasing from memory here) "even the cheapest/worst lenses available today are all substantially better than what I had available during most of my career." And that was in the early 1980s at the latest. And with regard to technique, and what they saw as "quality" in a photographic result, we can hardly expect someone who saw sharpness as a "bourgeois concept" (HCB) to have spent time worrying about the subtleties of fine glass on a regular basis.
06-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #405
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Steve, honestly your reply surprised me, seemed like it was coming from a different person that your other posts. I think your accusation of elitism was overwrought, and in fact became sort of a Straw Man itself, in that you were ascribing words/attitude to Robin that I personally did not detect.
I'm tempted to joke here, but I don't want to give you the wrong idea or alienate you; you've been very reasonable and fun and informative to argue with. What I'm tempted to joke about is comparing the following bit to this post... You know.. "You didn't detect it because it's like pixie dust..." LOL. Really, sorry if I surprised you. I react poorly to what I see as poorly reasoned rhetoric in a fundamentally technical discussion.

QuoteQuote:
I don't see any elitism at all in postulating that some images could have characteristics that not everyone can detect. Based on the natural variability of practically everything in the real world, particularly in the physical and mental capacity of biological beings, it would be surprising if that were not the case.
Mmm... I don't dispute this, and haven't. However, every example you can give must fall into one of two categories: Measurable, demonstrable ( colorblindness, aphasia ) and preference ( "I think the Mona Lisa is ugly" ); neither of which position this discussion inhabits, yes? Perhaps you've got another category and a reason it should exist?

QuoteQuote:
And claiming that something might be evident to person A, but not person B in no way asserts any inferiority of person B to A or vice versa. And I'll reiterate what I said before: differences in perception can to some extent be trained, but are also to some extent innate. I know you disagree, and that's cool.
Perhaps you missed the part where he said:

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmer:
These accusations come from a basic insecurity on the part of the accusers.
or:

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmer:
Recognising and appreciating the differences in lens rendering is simply a matter of trained and attuned perception. If you do not have it, fair enough.
Really? I am skeptical about pixie dust because I'm insecure? You don't think that's condescending? And comparing the ability to see pixie dust in images to the ability to do calculus? That doesn't strike you as rhetorical histrionics? You can't see pixie dust because you have insufficiently trained and attuned perception? I'll buy that sort of rhetoric when the subject can clearly be quantified. Otherwise, we're back to the two categories: measurable, and opinion.

Furthermore, I don't see *anyone* arguing that lens choice is unimportant...

Either way... consider me "too sensitive" if you would like.

QuoteQuote:
We also will continue to disagree on the matter of 'no false positives.'
This is a separate, technical question that I find interesting. From a scientific testing perspective, a false positive would demonstrate that the quality being measured was not exclusive to one lens... The experiment design would clearly illustrate the existence of PD and its relationship to a given lens with just a statistically significant detection ratio; but a false positive is a different animal altogether, it seems.. Why do you think a false positive would not be illustrative of the ... image-related (as opposed to lens-related) state? (Curious about your reasoning there).

QuoteQuote:
I'd also throw away your argument about the great photographers in history. Photography has changed, not only in the available gear, but even, to some extent, in what people can do, and try to do with it. Those dead guys did not have the same range of products to work with. While I'm sure they all had their preferences in gear, they simply did not have the same level of possibility in reproduction and resolution as we have been given with modern sensors, lens coatings, etc. Even Adams, in The Camera, said something to the effect of (I am totally paraphrasing from memory here) "even the cheapest/worst lenses available today are all substantially better than what I had available during most of my career." And that was in the early 1980s at the latest. And with regard to technique, and what they saw as "quality" in a photographic result, we can hardly expect someone who saw sharpness as a "bourgeois concept" (HCB) to have spent time worrying about the subtleties of fine glass on a regular basis.
All of this is *true*, absolutely; my point is that great photographs predate the LTD series of lenses. They didn't just start happening in 1997 (or whenever the LTDs were first released)... They've been made with all kinds of cameras and films and the like. I'd like to see any reasonable argument that says that great photographs are correlated with great equipment, or with PD lenses...

Yes, it's a philosophical point, but one that I think is important - perhaps more important than pixie dust (gasp)
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