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02-28-2012, 07:41 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
I'm still trying to figure out why the major film manufacturers thought it was a good idea to introduce APS when they all knew digital was going to be the standard within five to ten years. Weirdest moment in photo history, IMO.
Denial. That's the only explanation.

02-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
Sure. But I don't understand denigrating those who use such a camera as not being serious photographers. There are plenty of good reasons for many informed photographers to want such a thing. Why be so elitist about it? Change happens.
Denigrating the camera for not having a viewfinder is not denigrating users who don't care,

QuoteQuote:
However, it doesn't mean they (EVFs) will be worse, either.
Since there is no guarantee either way, it's safe to presume that manufacturers will take the less expensive and more expedient for them road, and discard reflex mirrors and optical viewfinders when it suits them. Most likely, this will happen well before EVFs are better than OVFs (if they ever make it to that point).
Historically, viewfinder quality has actually degraded significantly since the 1980s, so there is no reason to think this trend won't continue.
QuoteQuote:
Looking at the entire history of photography from its beginning, I could disagree with you rather strongly about that. But I'll agree with you that this has been true for the past fifteen or twenty years.
Looking at the entire history of photography, it is impossible to disagree with me on this point.
Glass plates were more dimensionally stable and less of a fire hazard than nitrate based negatives. Roll film was a drop in quality because the format was smaller, 35mm was smaller still, colour was (and still is) less stable than B&W. Zoom lenses weren't as good quality optically as fixed focal lengths, P&S cameras generally had pretty poor image quality and crappy viewfinders.
And on and on.

QuoteQuote:
I'm still trying to figure out why the major film manufacturers thought it was a good idea to introduce APS when they all knew digital was going to be the standard within five to ten years. Weirdest moment in photo history, IMO.
Interestingly enough, I was inadvertently part of the study group that gave birth to the APS format. I was the quality control/production supervisor at a major wholesale photolab that was very closely tied to Eastman Kodak in the mid 1980s (well before digital was more than an interesting technical experiment). I was part of a focus group that Kodak used to research improvements that could be made to the consumer film to make it more user friendly.
The outcome of that study was the APS-format. You are presuming that this sort of thing just happens in a vacuum, the reality is that the APS format's roots were some 15 years prior to when consumer digital photography was obviously going to supersede film. I don't think anyone (especially at Kodak) really understood just how much potential digital had to change the market. Digital was really still in it's infancy when APS hit the market in 1996, and film still had a ways to go in it's run.
02-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Interestingly enough, I was inadvertently part of the study group that gave birth to the APS format.
OK, so APS isn't ALL your fault, but if we need someone to kick around, you're it.

And I understand that APS is actually a family of formats: APS-C, -D, -H, and -P, none of which share any common dimensions horizontally or vertically. I recall seeing many APS cameras in retail stores. And that's where they generally stayed, not moving from the shelves, not purchased by the target audience.
02-29-2012, 04:42 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Looking at the entire history of photography, it is impossible to disagree with me on this point.
I do like people who are strongly sure of themselves.

QuoteQuote:
Glass plates were more dimensionally stable and less of a fire hazard than nitrate based negatives. Roll film was a drop in quality because the format was smaller, 35mm was smaller still, colour was (and still is) less stable than B&W. Zoom lenses weren't as good quality optically as fixed focal lengths, P&S cameras generally had pretty poor image quality and crappy viewfinders.
And on and on.
You win.

QuoteQuote:
Interestingly enough, I was inadvertently part of the study group that gave birth to the APS format. I was the quality control/production supervisor at a major wholesale photolab that was very closely tied to Eastman Kodak in the mid 1980s (well before digital was more than an interesting technical experiment). I was part of a focus group that Kodak used to research improvements that could be made to the consumer film to make it more user friendly.
The outcome of that study was the APS-format. You are presuming that this sort of thing just happens in a vacuum,
Well, no I'm not. I'm not a kid, and I worked in marketing for a software firm, so I understand the long cycles of R&D. No need to talk down to me, thanks. Before that, in the mid-90's, I worked as a lowly prepress tech, and the coming of digital was all anyone in that industry talked about.

QuoteQuote:
the reality is that the APS format's roots were some 15 years prior to when consumer digital photography was obviously going to supersede film. I don't think anyone (especially at Kodak) really understood just how much potential digital had to change the market. Digital was really still in it's infancy when APS hit the market in 1996, and film still had a ways to go in it's run.
It's interesting to know how long APS was in development and that is no surprise, actually; but I don't buy that by the time it was introduced, no one in the companies involved (well, except maybe for Kodak, who has had its head perpetually up its rear end) had any clue that digital was the future.

Also, this:
QuoteQuote:
Denigrating the camera for not having a viewfinder is not denigrating users who don't care,
I'm getting very weary of this whole discussion, but I'm going to be gracious and assume you've simply missed the many posts referring to anyone who does not use the usual dSLR-type camera as not a serious photographer, or some other variation. The remarks are not worded as outright insults, but are usually either casual, inserted into the discussion as if it's a given, or snide.

I personally much prefer rangefinders myself, but I don't think of people who prefer SLRs as noobs.

Thank you for the spirited discussion and your knowledge.

02-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
Well, no I'm not. I'm not a kid, and I worked in marketing for a software firm, so I understand the long cycles of R&D. No need to talk down to me, thanks.
Sorry
QuoteQuote:
Before that, in the mid-90's, I worked as a lowly prepress tech, and the coming of digital was all anyone in that industry talked about.
I suspect digital technology was much more advanced in that field than the field of photography at that time. We didn't see digital at all, really, until the first Nikon/Kodak hybrid DSLR, and even then, we really didn't take it seriously.
03-01-2012, 07:33 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I suspect digital technology was much more advanced in that field than the field of photography at that time. We didn't see digital at all, really, until the first Nikon/Kodak hybrid DSLR, and even then, we really didn't take it seriously.
Yes, but the big camera companies knew it was coming - my original point! The only explanation I can think of is that when they decided go ahead with the introduction of APS, they erroneously assumed that digital would only be of interest to a very high-end, niche market: I recall in the mid-90's in print production, the buzz was all about how digital was going to revolutionize studio photography and make large-format view cameras obsolete (and so it did, within a few years.) It's definitely not the first time that big business has misread the wants/needs of ordinary consumers!
03-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
OK, so APS isn't ALL your fault, but if we need someone to kick around, you're it.

And I understand that APS is actually a family of formats: APS-C, -D, -H, and -P, none of which share any common dimensions horizontally or vertically. I recall seeing many APS cameras in retail stores. And that's where they generally stayed, not moving from the shelves, not purchased by the target audience.
APS was a single format. Every frame that the cameras exposed were full format exposures (corresponding to APS-H, which made a 4x12 print). The film had a magnetic stripe on it which was encoded by the camera as to which format was shot, and the printers masked accordingly.

QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
Yes, but the big camera companies knew it was coming - my original point! The only explanation I can think of is that when they decided go ahead with the introduction of APS, they erroneously assumed that digital would only be of interest to a very high-end, niche market: I recall in the mid-90's in print production, the buzz was all about how digital was going to revolutionize studio photography and make large-format view cameras obsolete (and so it did, within a few years.) It's definitely not the first time that big business has misread the wants/needs of ordinary consumers!
APS wasn't introduced by a big camera companies, it was introduced by a film company. While the camera companies made some lightweight APS cameras, they were just making another P&S camera because there was a format to fill, which meant that there was market share to be had.
03-01-2012, 04:28 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
APS was a single format. Every frame that the cameras exposed were full format exposures (corresponding to APS-H, which made a 4x12 print). The film had a magnetic stripe on it which was encoded by the camera as to which format was shot, and the printers masked accordingly.


APS wasn't introduced by a big camera companies, it was introduced by a film company. While the camera companies made some lightweight APS cameras, they were just making another P&S camera because there was a format to fill, which meant that there was market share to be had.
Actually, Canon, Nikon and Minolta made expensive SLRs in the APS format, in some cases complete with new lens lines, in an attempt to woo advanced amateurs and pros. No doubt you haven't heard if this because the attempt was such a massive, resounding failure.

03-05-2012, 08:39 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
But my big question is, why is that mirror needed, and why is it a necessary component of a "serious" camera, even if it can be demonstrated that a mirrorless camera can have all the features of a dSLR sans big honkin' slappin' quiverin' noisy mirror?
I think it would be hard to have a live, TTL view of the scene without the mirror... and like Adam said, the optical VF will always prevail in some photographic situations. Perhaps when EVF/LCD lag has come so close to what we see in OVFs, then it will start becoming generally acceptable
03-06-2012, 03:36 AM - 1 Like   #25
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Some serious photography requires a VF, some doesn't. Some requires an OVF, some doesn't. Don't get painted into the same corner with those claiming that only Canikon dSLRs are 'pro' cameras by saying all mirrorless cams are toys. Humans are serious; cameras are tools.

What would be nifty (and serious) (and fun): a dedicated full-circle fisheye digicam with a square sensor, sized somewhere between P&S and APS. Of course OVF would be impossible. Use the EVF for 'serious' work, or just wave it around blindly for fun, sort of like Lomography.

Yes, some serious work requires careful undistorted real-time viewing of exactly the scene being captured with the greatest optical precision. And some, like Wheatfield's avatar of the simian self-portrait, eschews even human consciousness, let alone photographic smarts.
03-06-2012, 05:58 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Some serious photography requires a VF, some doesn't. Some requires an OVF, some doesn't. Don't get painted into the same corner with those claiming that only Canikon dSLRs are 'pro' cameras by saying all mirrorless cams are toys. Humans are serious; cameras are tools.

What would be nifty (and serious) (and fun): a dedicated full-circle fisheye digicam with a square sensor, sized somewhere between P&S and APS. Of course OVF would be impossible. Use the EVF for 'serious' work, or just wave it around blindly for fun, sort of like Lomography.
It's funny you bring that up; I've got a Lomography Diana F+ with all the accessories, and the one that stays on there the most is the fisheye lens. If I have the 35mm back on, then the included viewfinder for the fisheye is useless, but you know what? With even just a little bit of practice, a person learns exactly what she's pointing at. An image made with this camera after I'd only had it for two months was juried into a prestigious regional show, SlowExposures



And I have other cameras - as an example, the LOMO Smena Symbol, and this is a real Soviet LOMO camera, not one of Lomography's more recent el cheapo cams - that force you to manually measure, or be extremely accurate at guessing, distances between yourself and subject for focusing. If you don't get it right, you get a roll of blurry photos. Therefore you either learn to get it right or you get incredibly frustrated and give up and go exclusively back to cameras that give you a preview.

I've gone way off topic here but --

QuoteQuote:
Yes, some serious work requires careful undistorted real-time viewing of exactly the scene being captured with the greatest optical precision. And some, like Wheatfield's avatar of the simian self-portrait, eschews even human consciousness, let alone photographic smarts.
It was all my longwinded way of saying that I agree 100% with you. It could almost be said that I consider the damage to my eyes to be a blessing in disguise, because I was forced to stop using my dSLR and in the absence of the ability to continue what was before my primary creative outlet, drawing and painting, I unpacked my old film cameras, all of which had what would be considered by today's standards as having severe limitations. Heck, a lot of people today consider the mere act of having to use film as being a severe limitation!
03-06-2012, 06:25 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
Actually, Canon, Nikon and Minolta made expensive SLRs in the APS format, in some cases complete with new lens lines, in an attempt to woo advanced amateurs and pros. No doubt you haven't heard if this because the attempt was such a massive, resounding failure.
I had heard of, but forgotten about the Proneas (Nikon?), but I was a photo finisher at the time, not a camera salesman, and not really following what i wasn't interested in. The really funny thing with APS was that by the time the format came out, most of the consumer objections to 35mm film had been overcome within that format via DX encoding to set the ISO and auto loading to make that operation easier. The only thing APS really answered in 1996 was being able to open the back of the camera and expose the entire roll because it hadn't been rewound.
03-06-2012, 10:35 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
And I have other cameras - as an example, the LOMO Smena Symbol, and this is a real Soviet LOMO camera, not one of Lomography's more recent el cheapo cams - that force you to manually measure, or be extremely accurate at guessing, distances between yourself and subject for focusing. If you don't get it right, you get a roll of blurry photos. Therefore you either learn to get it right or you get incredibly frustrated and give up and go exclusively back to cameras that give you a preview.
I've old folders with only the most perfunctory VFs -- and SportsFinders (wire frames) are even worse. These folders need measured focus. I've mentioned that my obsession with photography was fueled by acquiring a 1934 German (Nagel) Kodak Retina, the very first 135 camera. Minimal VF, no RF, everything manual. So I learned to measure or pace-off distances, then just to judge distances, and to also judge light without a meter. *I* became the camera automation. Look; judge; adjust controls subconsciously; shoot. That's how it was done, Back In The Day. Kids today are just too lazy...
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