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Pixel Peeping Gear Freaks

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Pelao, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Jim Radcliffe has added a blog section to his Boxed Light site.

    I enjoy his photography, and share many of his views on the balance between photography and gear. His comments on the GF1 were one of the key things that made me investigate M4/3.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post about pixel peeping:

    Pixel Peeping Gear Freaks

    His review of the GF1 is here:
    http://www.boxedlight.com/gf1/index.htm
     
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Jim does wonderful work and I agree with him completely. I have found some features (or lack thereof) on cameras that make it easier or harder to get the kinds of shots I'm after. I have yet to find the mythical IMAGE QUALITY to be the limiting factor in any of my photography.

    As Kevin says so well, its the quality of the images, not the image quality, that matters. And the camera barely matters in that quest - the best ones just get out of the way better than others.

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    A man after my own heart.

    As those who know me know I very little interest in cameras other than as tools. Also if you watch my post you will see I never respond to broad statements made by people that don't have a portfolio either here or on another site.
     
  4. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I enjoy discussions about gear, and I really enjoy well designed and constructed tools. What's important for me is the context, and Jim's reviews and blog strike it right for me. Much the same is found on Luminous Landscape: commentary on gear that is real world and relevant to the making of photographs.

    The judgement and angst based on 100 and 200 per cent views of images is also something I avoid. It's not that access to such views is wrong in itself. For me it's about the final output and what the photographer was trying to capture.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Mort

    Mort Mu-43 Regular

    I liked that article, thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

    I love photography and appreciate camera's, but use them, and still print in the darkroom as well as have my digital images printed on photo paper not inkjet(which In my opinion I prefer the former).

    One of the reasons I joined this forum was to meet like minded people who use M4/3 format, and although I do feel I am doing this, the initial impressions are so far that most posts seem to be by the gear freaks. I am new so might get a better balance the longer I stay around for and read more posts.

    Mark
     
  6. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I suspect that one of the big influences is the constant flow of new gear, and the ease with which the news can be shared. This feeds the ' new or better gear will guarantee that I make good images' idea. With M4/3 there may at one time have also been a sense of insecurity too: would the format have legs?

    Generally, I have found this forum to be more about the photography.
     
  7. Mort

    Mort Mu-43 Regular

    I do feel that the 4/3 format came of age when it became m4/3, we've all seen how popular these camera's have become since Panasonic's G1 came out.
    Both Oly and Pan have made all the other manufacturers think out of their normal boxes with all the mirrorless camera designs and talk going on.


    Mark
     
  8. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    Time to post some of my test Shots in which pixel-peeping was used to adjust the lenses.

    J-3 modified for close-focus (0.8m) on the Leica:
    [​IMG]

    1930s Zeiss 5cm F1.5 Sonnar made into Leica Mount, RF coupled using a Russian focus mount:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A 1939 Sonnar "T" 5cm F1.5 made into Leica Mount:

    [​IMG]

    Just call me a pixel-peeping gear freak.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    It always surprises me how people think of technical qualities and their gear as some kind of personal trait. And the emphasis on the "best" quality is part and parcel. This chase for the "best" in unobtainable because all the factors in imaging and technology have no qualitative characteristics--there simply is no "best.".

    On the other hand, I see folks reject imaging science with the condescension that it does not deal with "the real world." That too is a false position. It usually stems for an incomplete picture of the problem and science. It is also illogical as how can the science that brings use our fabulous toys not be able to describe them.

    Extremism on either side does not seem very useful.
     
  10. Mort

    Mort Mu-43 Regular

    @ BrianS, there's nothing wrong with pixel peeping if your after image quality, but how many people who have digi camera's these days regularly take this to the print stage and display their work?

    I know in the club I'm a member of, all the digital users hardly print apart from a few.


    Mark
     
  11. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    598
    May 6, 2010
    You're a pixel-peeping gear-freak
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Jim Radcliffe ... Jim's work is excellent he comes from a Leica gear background (sold it all) still owns a FF DSLR.
    But yes he does great work with the GF1 and mostly the Panasonic kit lenses, I think he shows how todays m43 are pretty darn good.
     
  13. Optical Thrombosis

    Optical Thrombosis Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 10, 2010
    I used to suffer from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) - But since I bought my E-P1/17 f2.8/FL14 combo, I seem remarkably satisfied. Amazing. And my photography is getting better!

    I do get irritated by know-all reviewers in a well-known weekly UK photo mag (you know who you are) who preface every m4/3's review with sideswipe comments about how Samsung and Sony have bigger APS-C sensors, how it 'must' give better high ISO performance etc. Cant say the aforemention uninspiring products excite my photographic juices as much as the PEN...

    I don't pixel peep. That way lies madness. Look at the print folks, and remember if its a large print you view it from further away - guess what, a great photo looks great no matter how may pixels are there...

    I currently display a slideshow of my best images on a 10.4" digital photo frame on the coffee table at home. Its 800x600 resolution, I resized copies of the images in photoshop to fit that res. Guess what? they look great! Everyone else thinks so as well!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Optical Thrombosis

    Optical Thrombosis Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 10, 2010
    PS - totally agree with the article you link to!
     
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Maybe to some people the science isn't that important - its useful to have the basic conceptual grasp..and that part is actually universal to whatever camera you use but beyond that point, the art of making an image is of greater importance than the science.

    sometimes the destination is more important than how you got there.

    K

    K
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Fiddler

    Fiddler Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks for posting this - it's a good read.

    All the best,

    Colin
     
  17. russell

    russell Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Dec 28, 2010
    Victoria, Australia
    Just a query from a newcomer to digital -- I understand the frustration with gear obsession, but at the same time to me "pixel-peeping" seems essential to overcome the limitations very crude but deceptively smooth-looking display of computer screens. Much the same as you wouldn't base your judgement of a 35 mm or 6x7 image, camera or lens based on eyeballing a contact sheet --- you would at least get out a loupe or better, make an enlargement -- I can't see how you can tell how good an image really is or whether a lens has the potential to be used to make a good image, unless you are looking at that scale. Because, for some types of image at least, it is details at that scale that make or break the impact of the image in a decent-sized print. So either you have to actually make the print, or you need to get a magnified view with a loupe or a digital loupe---pixel peeping. Granted, there are many types of image for which this is all irrelavent-- but the converse is also true.

    (The fact that you can't see those details on-screen, and yet many times aren't even aware that those details are lost, is one of the things that still frustrates me about trying to appreciate photography off the web...)

    Edit to add: P.S. Brian S, those pictures of the grass heads are gorgeous!
     
  18. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I think Brian S fails the pixel peeping gear freak test. As would the situation Russell describes. It's not the pixel peeping, or even the gear freaking that irks. Brian peeped to get his lenses just right - so he could make those great photographs. That is making use of being able to peep.

    Similarly, looking at an image at pixel level in order to edit or learn for your chosen output seems kind of normal behavior.

    It's when the constant peeping and gear feasting takes place almost without photography being in the conversation that it all looks pointless. When someone gets excited at a new camera's amazing high ISO ability because, say, they love to shoot dark concerts, then it all makes sense.

    But when someone rarely posts about photography itself, and does not share or comment on photographs, yet will decry their unused gear because a peep shows a new camera to be 'better', then the photography seems lost.

    To each his own of course. I love looking at photographs, and enjoy reading about the making of images or how someone uses their gear to reach their photographic goals.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    That was not my point. But I can certainly agree with your statements.

    My point was one where people see technical data or theory and it appears not to match their experience and so they react by blaming it on the science. Usually with some comment about the "real world" and how scientist "don't know everything" type of thing.
     
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Exactly. Or even if the science doesn't match up with their prejudices.

    I only began examining images at 100% 18 months ago, after I discovered that my E-620 was badly misfocusing, in a fashion that appeared quite visibly in 11x14 or larger prints. Most of my images get displayed to others on screen, but issues like high noise at ISO 800+ and banding are easily visible on my 23" monitor.

    I've found that carefully monitoring AF and avoiding high ISOs does pay real dividends when it comes to showing images, on screen or off.