Lens review Lifestyle Nature Nikon Travel

Pictures and gear

Yes, of course your eyes are more important than gear. Yet you can't make pictures without a camera and lenses. In these examples, I used the PCE Nikkor 24mm f/3.5, the AF-S Nikkor 85m f/1.4G, the AF-S and Z Nikkors 14-24mm f/2.8, the AF-S 300mm f/4 and the AF-S Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II. Other lenses I use are the AF-S Nikkors 35mm f/1.4 and 58mm f/1.4 and the AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 plus TC-14E-II and the Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8 VR and 55mm AF. OK, I'm a bit of a exception because I want to take all kind of pictures for my books and maybe I just love lenses. I sold the 70-200 mm and the 300 mm by the way when I bought the 80-400mm.

P.S. It took me about twenty minutes to make the  picture of the Arc de Triomphe - apart from the many years we had to wait till Cristo's project was realized and then the days I had to wait for a blue sky. 

I used the PCE Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 and shifted it up approx. 80% to make the lines of the Arc de Triomphe parallel. But that still didn't make the picture convincing. The problem was, that the cars in the foreground draw attention to them, instead of the Arc. So I had to wait.  Maybe time is even more important than gear and vision. Photography is after all, about time and the decisive moments.

Geen categorie Lifestyle

What can a DSLR or mirrorless camera do, a high-end smartphone can’t?

What can Tiger Woods do, you can’t? If you have to hit a ball and put it in a hole one foot in front of you, the difference between Tiger Woods and you might look small. But if you play a real game, and the difference is enormous.

A DSLR (or mirrorless camera) is a tool that enables you to make every picture you image, in the highest possible quality, at every possible moment. A smartphone is a tool with which you can make about 1% of these photos in a quality that varies between quite ok and very bad. (Quite ok means: looking good at the screen of your smartphone but just so-so on a 4k screen let alone if you want to do some post-processing to make contrast and colors look right.)

Yet most people make that 1 % of the pictures and don’t care to make better pictures. They don’t see that the faces of the people in the pictures are distorted, that their noses are much too long e.g.. If they would want to make really great pictures regularly (and not just now and then by accident) they would have to invest a lot of time in learning how to take pictures, even with a smartphone. And if you do that, why would you settle for gear that limits you to 1% of your capacities?

The very best smartphones are quite good – compared to smartphones from a couple of years ago.  They took over large parts of the market for compact cameras. That was easy, after all, compact cameras use the same sensors and don’t have exchangeable lenses.

But physically smartphones differ a lot from DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. That has three consequences: 1. They’re extremely limited in lens size. 2. They’re extremely limited in sensor size. 3. They’re extremely limited in ergonomics.

Smartphone manufacturers have done a lot to compensate for this. The most important effort was in the field of marketing. That’s why many people ask this question. They don’t understand the differences, look at some pictures made with DSLRs but used in adds for smartphones and think they are almost equal.

The second important effort is that smartphone manufacturers spend a lot of money on smart combinations of extra hardware features and software, to mimic the effects of exchangeable lenses and larger sensors. That works – hence the 1%. But the differences are still enormous and one should never forget that those technologies triple down to mirrorless cameras (and to a lesser extend to DSLRs) so there will always be a large difference.

Maybe, one day, smartphones become as good as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are today. Maybe, because with regards to lenses smartphones are already at the limit of theoretical capacities and the limits of the capacities of CMOS-sensors are also very near. It’s hard to say if and when smartphones become as good as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are today, but it will, in any case, take longer than is relevant for the gear you buy and use in the next decennium.

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