February 28, 2015, 08:07:04 PM

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Messages - Mika

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Gotta back claims like that up, Mika. There have been no mentions of a mass of talent leaving the company since Microsoft acquired it. There shouldn't be, either, as it should be business as usual...Microsoft owns the Lumia unit now, that doesn't mean they are going to change everything right off the bat (or change anything...Lumia is the most successful Windows phone, and it's driving the growth of Windows phone in the market...best not mess with something that works.)

PureView is the best camera technology in a phone right now. Why your complaining about that now that it's in Microsoft hands, I cannot fathom.

Re-read what I said. I said the people left when Microsoft strategy was ANNOUNCED, which dates some months before the infamous burning platform memo. Nokia had to offer large cash incentives to keep people working in the house. You may also be interested to know I work in the R&D side of things, and actually in the city where Nokia mobile started. Some of my university time buddies ended up there, and additionally, some of the Nokia people came to us after the announcement. The writing was already on the wall at that time as they knew Microsoft is going to be selected, and elected to get out. I'll try to limit the discussion about mobile stuff from here on as it is so far out of topic.

Again, re-read what I said. I certainly didn't complain Pureview is on Microsoft's hands. I'm saying they didn't get everybody involved in the technology, and the patent deal with Canon; that I interpret as realizing that they don't know enough of image processing in-house as no other Canon patent area is really applicable to their side of business. Alternative interpretations are, of course, possible.

This is again a scrap out of the 1990's. Microsoft has been directly listening to customer feedback for many years now. They have been an extremely open and cooporative company, vs. a monopolistic company, since the whole anti-trust suit. This very deal is a PERFECT example of the NON-competitive nature of the Microsoft of today. Your once again living in the past.

Oh? How many years ago did you say this happened last? Since I think the last time was about two years ago when Microsoft royally ****ed up deals with mobile operators, trying to utilize similar strategy of trying to force their terms to mobile operators (relatively dumb if you ask me, those companies are among the richest on Earth). Unfortunately for them, operators answered "Go home Mr. Nobody". And it really shows in pathetic sales. As for the actual reference, take a look on the shareholders' meeting memos from Nokia. I don't for a second believe that the typical predatory tactics would have changed at all, and they will be used when necessary. Large companies just are like that.

As for Surface...Microsoft's future is dependent upon the entire Microsoft ecosystem being directly competitive with Apple products, specifically. To be quite blunt, Microsoft's hardware partners SUCK ASS. They NEEDED a big, fat, PAINFUL kick in the rear end to knock some sense into them. The mobile windows hardware market has been failing for years...products have gotten cheaper and cheaper, and the quality of those products has tanked right along with price and profit margin.

Well, if that's the way you see it. I see it a bit differently - Microsoft reduced the profitability of these companies up to the point their R&D became mainly small incremental upgrades and now enters the same market, able to out price their hardware due to software licensing costs. Actually, because of this threat, Linux got considerably better video card support from AMD just last year due to Microsoft's actions, and that's just from the top of my head. And what it comes to products getting cheaper, that's probably true. What I don't agree with is quality.

Comparing something to Apple stuff doesn't really impress, it's a company that can't even get their OFFICIAL chargers working (=cutting corners with electrical safety to reduce size of the charger). If we had the same legislation before entering EU, it would not have been even possible to sell the OFFICIAL Apple chargers here due to safety regulation violations.

Generally in Europe, it's considered a bad move to jump to enter the same area as your customers - it is guaranteed to create ill-will, so you really shouldn't be surprised because of this. Funny thing is, this is exactly the recent stuff why Microsoft is not liked, but you're downplaying this example by saying it's a genius move. Well, I don't know, it could be strategical genius at play, but the chances are, you're also taking a risk of alienating your OEMs. It doesn't happen in a second, though, and Microsoft has cash to play. See where I'm getting at?

The ribbon was a DIRECT response to years of customer feedback on the Office UI. People hated having to dig multiple levels deep within menu systems to find features in Word and Excel primarily. Microsoft designed the ribbon in an effort to solve that exact problem, based on explicit CUSTOMER feedback about the problems with their old Office design. Ribbon was a success in that it brought everything right to the surface, one level deep in a series of tabs.

I know the background of the Ribbon. I've to F______ use it every F______ day. Including Paint (seriously, what the hell Microsoft?) and ZEMAX, whose latest update incorporated it, despite the CUSTOMER FEEDBACK not to go there. Luckily, with professional software, they have to implement menu structure - and I've seen no-one using the Ribbon in CAD software in our house. What it comes to the Office, I agree that user feedback triggered the change, but the change itself is still botched.

You are saying that Ribbon put everything on the surface, right? Take a look on the attached PNG. What is the circled button that I see there? You know, the one that EXPANDS the options in Ribbon? The thing that should NOT exist based on the design criteria? This is basically a RE-VAMPED menu structure for you, with the exception that this is actually WORSE. The expansion button is so small that it's harder to hit than the older text based menu. I actually couldn't find the button first time I needed it!

Add on top the fact that the Ribbon icon size is sort of fixed (I only need the text part, not the graphic icon to begin with - deciphering icons is harder than text). I would like to place much more buttons there, but can't! Because of that, I still can't orient the Ribbon vertically to take advantage of the nowadays wide display aspect ratios. And I've made my opinion known on the Microsoft side.

Now your just speculating about Microsoft forcing anything on it's customers. You can still, and will always be able to, buy Office stand-alone. I did. I own a couple stand alone copies. I opted for that, instead of the much cheaper $99/yr Office Cloud standard edition. I prefer to store my data locally...but not everyone does. Some people, some corporations and smaller businesses, much prefer to offload the once-necessary costs and complexities of managing their own computer networks and systems onto a larger business entity that has more talented and effective resources for managing such things.

It could be. And I thought I made it clear this is speculation (though based on several snippets of facts). Getting back there, there's no similar legislation in place for data storage as there is for example book-keeping that small enterprises typically favor too, and data storage is actually much more sensitive area. In Europe, I don't think this would fly - you're simply considered stupid if you do this, until the legal standing is clear. Also add on top that Cloud servers that stay on US soil are suspect for US government actions at any second. This is not to say that your average worker cannot upload anything to Cloud, but he's responsible for the brunt if data loss happens.

Cloud is Microsoft's strength. Their biggest competitor there is actually Amazon, and they are making headway, helping spur a competitive market in the cloud services business.

This doesn't make any sense. You're saying Microsoft's cloud is for the enterprise, but as far as I know, Amazon is for consumers. Which is it?

The way app stores are run isn't really a Microsoft thing. Apple started that trend, and in many ways, it is essential to the protection of consumers. Just look into how many problems and security issues can and have occurred on the Android platform, with it's open app store, vs. how many of those kinds of issues occur on Apple or Microsoft devices. There needs to be some level of buffer, some small barrier to entry, to help weed out the apps that are designed by data and identity thieves for the purposes of data and identity theft, fraud, etc.

I agree with store safety with Android. But, you're saying app store isn't a Microsoft thing. I think here you'll need to look into the future and not in the past as you so readily advised me. Apple is the most profitable high-tech (HAH!) company on Earth, and it stands for a good reason Microsoft has an incentive to go the same way - and this includes orientation towards the consumer. So, the software companies building on Windows ecosystem can also predict that in the future their profit margin drops due to the Microsoft taking a larger share in the Microsoft Store. Which is fine, Microsoft can do whatever they want with their ecosystem and I suppose you get something back for the price, but I'm saying there will be consequences and market share erosion as not everybody will find the properties worth their money. As you are already seeing with the case of Valve. And I never said this had anything to do with Windows 8, but general Microsoft strategy.

FYI, I was actually supporting Windows against Linux when 7 was released. It's only now that 8 is released and Microsoft's strategy is clear, and it seems consistent UI changes are the norm, I'm considering switching to Linux in next computer update. Microsoft actually never made the jump easier.

You have clearly never been part of a software development project, certainly not on any large-scale project that had a large installed base of users. You have to START somewhere.

I could argue this is actually even more important in R&D world. To START somewhere is well-known. However, it's important to listen to the feedback during the start too in my area, as the project gets axed if customer doesn't like it. In other words, exactly what Microsoft did NOT do with 8, and consequently patched in 8.1, but too late to save the name.

Well apparently, Microsoft wants to have some Canon tech in their imaging stuff now. Unfortunately, I guess nobody told them that it's not exactly the same thing to transfer from system camera level imaging to mobile imaging. It does make me wonder whether when Nokia imploded the people who really knew the details of Pureview technology jumped ship... As far as I know, Nokia lost a ton of talent at the moment when Windows strategy was announced.

Anyways, Microsoft hate is not because Windows 8 didn't work, or had underlying issues. The hate is because Microsoft doesn't listen to customers or just does business moves that people see are going to cost them more in the long run. And that they are trying to push their monopolistic software attitude to other business areas where they have no foothold. Or backstabbing their hardware buddies with releasing Surface to begin with.

Vista with Office updates that forced non-customizable Ribbon was bad enough, and on top of that, the companies had to pay to get people on courses how to use 20 year old tools again.

Now, add another Office change (2010), the UI didn't remain constant, although I think it was a general improvement to 2007. Add on Windows 8 screwing the operating system UI again with Microsoft marketing trying to push it as a "vast improvement" where real world experience was completely different. Especially when beta testers WARNED the company about this.

It doesn't help that Windows 8.1 removes a part of the forced stupidity (though I wouldn't cross my fingers), the version name is already tainted. It has to be Windows 9 and an attitude change to recover from this. The point is, if the most downloaded third-party application is Classic Shell, the UI was ****ed to begin with. Note that this holds for the business side experience when using desktops with large screens.

Unfortunately, Microsoft also started to push for cloud integration in Office, and at this part of the world, there's not a lot of businesses who would like to upload critical information to servers based in the US given the current legislation that can confiscate the data at any point. I'm pretty sure Microsoft's plan is to start forcing cloud services down on our throats gradually to charge the usage basis for monthly services, and that I don't want.

I also definitely don't like the Microsoft store integration of the computer UI, and from what it seems, neither did the entertainment industry. Ask how bad it had to be if Valve switched on to developing their own operating system!

This is, of course, from my point of view. If you ask me, Windows 8 could've worked had the preferred UI been a simple question in the beginning. Ribbon would work better if it was customizable. Microsoft's name would look better if it wasn't seen nowadays as a potential competitor with their customers and so on.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: July 03, 2014, 08:08:46 AM »
I have lens no.2 now. The first was very unpredictable. This second one is more consistent, but not reliable. I have done both FoCal, with a mix of poor and acceptable results (The first lens did not pass FoCal at all) and a manual LensAlign test. With LensAlign I have found a fairly consistent back focus, coming from infinity to app. 1,2m and front focus coming from MFD. Not much, but enough to make f1.4 shots sufficiently out of focus to be annoying.

With the Eg-S focusing screen on the 5DIII and Ec-S on the 1DX, I get equal or better results shooting the Otus wide open. That sort of kills my interest in the Sigma ...

I agree on the optical performance though. When focus is right, you can get absolutely stunning images with this lens.

I have it reversed on 5D. From INF to 2 metres, front focusing.
From MFD to 2 metres, back focus. The lens is now sent to service, from what it seems to me, this looks like a software thing. I suspect there's nothing wrong in the lens mechanics itself.

Given the images I got with it, I'm willing to wait a couple of months to get the software ironed out. But photography is indeed not my day job and I can see why this would not be acceptable for pros. Sigma 50 Art is still the best 50/1.4 I've seen image quality-wise, background or punch.

but do design lenses as my day job

really? Awesome!

going WAYYYY OT here but whats stopping anyone making a 35-85 f1.4 with IS
size be damned to me it should not be to complicated right? since its not going to deep into the wide end

Well, I have not tried to do that yet, but I think the biggest thing there would be to control the element positions accurately enough during zooming - F/1.4 primes already require quite accurate element positioning, and I suppose it would only get more complicated with movements in the barrels (that also have their tolerances).

The other factor would then be the cost and market for such objective.

Hi Scott,

Having looked a bit through your Flickr and homepage, I'll have to concur with others being critical. You'll need to improve the home page, others have already posted a lot of things that could be done.

Now, that being said, I'm definitely not a professional - but do design lenses as my day job so I'll have to keep myself informed how people are actually using the objectives. However, I do note that I could've done better some of the things, while some of the others not which is not something I like if I'm contacting a pro. So, instead of thinking being surrounded by amateurs, you'll need to ask what could you do to push yourself above the amateur level.

From the Flickr it looks like you're at your best at photographing mechanical stuff, airplanes and so on - though cars do need a bit more practise (I find them difficult to photograph). I personally liked the air show photos where planes are in the air against colorful sunsets, but planes on the ground not as much. Take a look on the posted Snappy vs. Crappy page (great find whoever did that!), where a photographer has found his niche in mining industry. His work clearly stands out from the rest.

So I'd advice to develop your strongest area in a public way, but keep the areas where you need practise out of the page. This pretty much mirrors what others have said.

Also, avoid mixing OK pictures with great pictures, like some of the airplanes taxing on overcast day with those colorful and dynamic airshow photos. Overcast weather makes it darn difficult to shoot in natural light, so until you get really (and I mean REALLY) good at it, try to keep them away from the portfolio. Or just start controlling the light at overcast days, but that's something you just can't do with airport photos. I find that unless I can find a good subject, a photo taken in overcast day is a photo that I could probably do better on some other day and look to do that then. As somebody else said, less is better in this case.

On the other hand, shooting airplanes on a clear day can be equally difficult if there isn't a distinct subject. This ejection photo is an example of a more direct sunlight photo but the pilot ejection itself makes it more interesting.

A bit of criticism towards the family photos, I find taking group shots of standing people tends to lead into a mediocre photo, especially if the camera is facing directly the people. This is an area where I think you need to improve if you'd like to advertise families on your page. Family to me is a much more intricate matter, and it's more about those private (not THAT kind of private) moments together.

You may see what I mean from Elena Shumilova's work, a Russian mother who mainly photographs her family. She's probably one of the most talented non-professionals (as far as I know, it's nothing short of amazing that she isn't a pro already) I've ever seen. There's a bit of animals there too. She mainly uses natural light and has been educated as a painter. Though, taking these sort of pictures at occasions like birthdays would be extremely difficult. That's when knowing the local weather and how it works in the pictures helps!

For model shots, Katerina Plotnikova is a source of inspiration. Don't worry, when it says "Adult content", it just means model's skin is visible, but she succeeds walking a very thin line on not being offensive of any way. Those beds in the trees are NOT photoshopped, but really there. Don't ask me what sort of persuasion skills she has to have to get the model to agree to go there, or dance with a bear! She occasionally does explain how the shots were taken.

I think some of your architectural shots would need to be improved, but this is an area I don't know much about. Ultrawide perspective does make buildings look funny, and while OK with friends, I think it's not something that professional can afford to do too often. Perhaps tilt/shift could help here?

Landscapes with ultra-wides is a different subject entirely. I don't find doing that very easy, and it often requires me to switch from ultra-wide to just wide to get rid of the perspective distortion. Also I need to know at what times and where the light becomes good, so on weather forecasts, I'm looking for sunny days today and rainy days tomorrow. That often means that the extra humidity may turn the evening sky red, and at that time I want to be somewhere photogenic. That may not be your area, though. Additionally, shooting landscapes tend to force me to go there very early or very late with the additional challenge that this city is very flat, leading to little depth in the images.

Just some commentary from me, tried to be constructive

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 23, 2014, 07:40:38 AM »

There's a tiny bit of change in the illumination levels in these photos, March and April tend to be more sunny.

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 23, 2014, 07:30:57 AM »

Technically, the last one was the hardest.

Sama, I'm a bit interested of that as well. I haven't seen ice accumulation of that level on the tree branches, I can only suppose that's caused by a rain of super-cooled water?

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:40:40 PM »
And then January (-25C mostly)

It's difficult to portray snow in so few photos, and given the limited time we have sunlight in January-February, it is hard to find good photography days. On the other hand when the light gets good, it remains so for the whole day. Think about staying in the golden moment for several hours and you get the idea...

I'll continue this tomorrow

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:16:37 PM »
And here's for Decembers

About the last one, I wasn't particularly looking it from an artistic point of view. It's more of a documentation of reality of this Christmas here. In case you were wondering, yes, that is indeed a road. Unfortunately, overcast sky didn't allow me to try more refined artistic look.

Snow and darkness gives rather vivid colors.

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:09:52 PM »
Thanks, this is a great topic!

Now I had a convenient excuse to rummage through seven years of winter photos, here's four from Novembers spanning over several years.

I do find winter photography with snow rather tricky. It's almost always a learning experience.  :D

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 11-24mm f/4 Lens
« on: January 26, 2014, 06:50:42 AM »
I sort of concur with the people thinking F/4.0 would be perfect for this range. If it had to have a variable aperture ratio, then I'd actually like the shorter end to be slower one. But I sort of like that Canon designed it a static F/4.0, and that it is F/4.0 and not 2.8.

What it comes to bulbous front element, I was first thinking that principally, the aperture ratio should not affect it much (11 mm focal length F/4.0 equals 2.75 mm entrance pupil diameter, compare that to 4 mm of F/2.8 ). Then I realized that there is still a need for additional elements correcting the image edge, thus leading to a longer lens, which effectively enlarges the front element due to FOV. F/4.0 should ease things up a bit with respect to vulnerable front, but by looking at the lens diagram, I'd see it's still quite vulnerable.

What it comes to physical limits, it is not feasible to design a rectilinear lens with a FOV of 180 degrees. I think Theia Technologies has a 135 141 degree small-format rectilinear (sorta, it has some amount of barrel distortion but nothing close to fish-eye) with an aperture ratio of F/1.8. As a design exercise, I have once designed a 150 degree field of view rectilinear ultra-wide for a small format sensor. It was a sort of no-holds-barred thing; required several aspherical surfaces and special glass materials to get it function at least somehow, the total number of lens elements was over 15. I wouldn't like to try that again with a 35 mm sensor size.

So yes, rectilinear ultra-wides do become very expensive very quickly. I tip my hat to Sigma designers who could do a 12-24 with a relatively modest price. I tip my hat to Canon designers if they get the 11-24 on the markets.

EDIT: Moderators: why is this in EOS Bodies? I think I first wrote to a thread of the same patent under Lenses category.

Lenses / Re: Canon 11-24/4 patent
« on: January 25, 2014, 08:10:43 AM »
If I recall, Nikon had a 10 mm full-frame patent some time ago.

What I do like in Canon's approach is that it has a constant aperture ratio, and that this aperture ratio is F/4. From the usage point of view, I believe this is actually a better choice than F/2.8 for this focal length range. 16-35 is another case, though.

Let's see if they release it, though. Price may become an issue, but F/4.0 helps there a bit too.

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: November 01, 2013, 07:50:06 PM »

Well, I'll have to say I'm gravitating to a certain set of objectives as well, though my job as optics designer sort of requires me that I have some knowledge of the common objectives and knowledge of using them too.

I admit I'm gravitating towards the shorter end of focal lengths, my most used objectives seem to be:
Sigma's 35/1.4
Canon's 50/1.0
Canon's 24-70/2.8 I (not looking to II, this one is better for me)
Canon's 70-200/4.0 L IS

These lenses I do have as well, but there's something I'd like to change in them:
Sigma's 12-24 I - If this was a constant 4.0... I run against 5.6 on cloudy days
Sigma's 120-400 - 20 - 30 % lighter version would be nice. Or 300/4 II, if it happens.
Canon's 50/1.4 - Quite a long to list on what I'd like to change here. Though the motivation for this is just outside photography in low light, where I would not like to take the 1 kg behemoth.

Though, I can live with Sigmas, but that 50 mm update Canon... I'd also be interested in trying out a fast wide angle (something like 24/1.4 or 20/1.8 ) when I can find one that I like. After that I think I'm pretty much set.

What did not work for me? Well, 85/1.8 and 28/1.8, I don't use neither of them that much. Though they make a good light weight set for holidays with a crop body. And since I travel quite a bit with bicycle, long and or fast teles are pretty much a no-go. For example 200/1.8 was far too heavy for me, and 70-200/2.8 IS II sounded intriguing until I realized its twice the weight of the 4.0.

Lenses / Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« on: November 01, 2013, 07:05:09 PM »
If you're really interested, I would suggest Finland. There are some companies organizing photo safaris up north. Normally it is wolf and bear, but they also have a much larger population of lynx and wolverine, than we have here in Norway, so I would assume you could make them organize something that would suit you.
Check: http://www.insidenature.se/ostra-finland/ (you'll have to run it trough translation first though)

Thanks for pointing this out. Eastern Finland has a relatively large population of lynx and wolverine, and if you are serious, these guys could help you with wolverines and bears. There are several other people you could ask about, this one is famous for his book documenting his life with wolverines, but he does other stuff too.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sony A7 or A7R pre-order list
« on: October 17, 2013, 03:22:01 PM »
I'm interested, but I don't do pre-orders, so I'll wait for reviews first - and possibly that the price will drop a bit before buying it.

Otherwise, it's pretty much what I've been looking for: a lightweight full-frame camera that is more portable for trips than the Canon's crop bodies. I will still use the Canon's larger bodies closer home for better handling, but on trips, this is about perfect.

Especially if they get a 35/2 and a 85/2 (or 1.8s) out soon the A7 will be darn good for holidays, able to tack about anything I can think of and still be lighter to carry around than an APS-C body with 28/1.8 and 85/1.8.

Actually, thinking about it, I may sell the 28/1.8 and 85/1.8 soon.

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