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Author Topic: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness  (Read 38478 times)

candc

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »
this got a rise out of him,  what does "wrfn" mean anyway?

WRFN?

Thanks!

Ken

Sent from iPhone 5

On Jul 4, 2013, at 6:37 PM, Craig Driessen <craig071@centurytel.net> wrote:

> I really like your tips but your elitist attitude is really pissing me  off! Just because someone doesn't make their living taking pictures doesn't mean they don't know how to take a good one. I understand your point but every "non pro" doesn't just troll the forums and argue about meaningless technical bullshit, okay?

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »

J.R.

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2013, 12:46:08 PM »
Funny that some people get upset that KR makes money doing this....if he didn't, someone else would.   There's obviously a market for it and he's not harming anybody/thing.  (I know someone is thinking right now that he's harming his viewers photos...beat you to the joke)

It's called capitalism and freedom.

Go somewhere else if you don't like his site...simple.

+1.  KR site is heavily opinionated but what I like from him is that he's not afraid to point out what's important in photography which is the art behind it.  Most of the time, CR people tend to focus on the technical side and not on the art.  Yes, his photos most of the time isn't impressive (at least in my opinion) but at least he's trying to take good photos.

I think your observation is spot-on, and the content of this thread is a particularly good proof of that: what started as a (very short) discussion on KR's opinion on lens sharpness vs image value, quickly turned into a name-calling and mud throwing contest... I have seen too few valid arguments (if any) for or against the real added value and importance of lens sharpness on the artistic quality/value of pictures, which was the initial subject by the way (set by KR's article).

Nowadays, photographic equipment manufacturers have gotten so good at designing their lenses that the differences in optical quality (sharpness, but not only) across their current products portfolio has become so small that one has to do some serious pixel peeping in order to see differences between two lens models. Is that the main factor which really prevents someone from properly projecting his/her vision onto a photograph? ...not really, unless you always work with 100% crops and print billboard-sized posters. A good proof? Check what some people can achieve with a Holga... and I’m not even talking about what kind of crap equipment Photographic Masters of the past used for their work.

So, on this subject I believe that KR has a point. I also agree that Ken is a bit too black-and-white in his analyses, he has strong opinions and often spend his time beating dead horses, but in my opinion he definitely has some interesting points of view (use the "take only what's good for you and leave the rest" phylosophy, that'll prevent you from developing a stomach ulcer). If the content of his web site surely has less added value than a good Scott Kelby book, his descriptions certainly raises some useful questions in the head of the (curious) reader, and this is what is needed for any serious photographer (not the tech junky of the lens geek) to improve his/her photographic skills - the ones related to artistic vision that is (remember that he approaches the subject of photography from the point of view of art and vision projection; that is certainly what confuses tech experts and gear perfectionists so much)
[/quote]

The last website I'd go to to improve my photographic skills is KR.... enuf said!
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Max ☢

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2013, 12:52:21 PM »
Funny that some people get upset that KR makes money doing this....if he didn't, someone else would.   There's obviously a market for it and he's not harming anybody/thing.  (I know someone is thinking right now that he's harming his viewers photos...beat you to the joke)

It's called capitalism and freedom.

Go somewhere else if you don't like his site...simple.

+1.  KR site is heavily opinionated but what I like from him is that he's not afraid to point out what's important in photography which is the art behind it.  Most of the time, CR people tend to focus on the technical side and not on the art.  Yes, his photos most of the time isn't impressive (at least in my opinion) but at least he's trying to take good photos.

I think your observation is spot-on, and the content of this thread is a particularly good proof of that: what started as a (very short) discussion on KR's opinion on lens sharpness vs image value, quickly turned into a name-calling and mud throwing contest... I have seen too few valid arguments (if any) for or against the real added value and importance of lens sharpness on the artistic quality/value of pictures, which was the initial subject by the way (set by KR's article).

Nowadays, photographic equipment manufacturers have gotten so good at designing their lenses that the differences in optical quality (sharpness, but not only) across their current products portfolio has become so small that one has to do some serious pixel peeping in order to see differences between two lens models. Is that the main factor which really prevents someone from properly projecting his/her vision onto a photograph? ...not really, unless you always work with 100% crops and print billboard-sized posters. A good proof? Check what some people can achieve with a Holga... and I’m not even talking about what kind of crap equipment Photographic Masters of the past used for their work.

So, on this subject I believe that KR has a point. I also agree that Ken is a bit too black-and-white in his analyses, he has strong opinions and often spend his time beating dead horses, but in my opinion he definitely has some interesting points of view (use the "take only what's good for you and leave the rest" phylosophy, that'll prevent you from developing a stomach ulcer). If the content of his web site surely has less added value than a good Scott Kelby book, his descriptions certainly raises some useful questions in the head of the (curious) reader, and this is what is needed for any serious photographer (not the tech junky of the lens geek) to improve his/her photographic skills - the ones related to artistic vision that is (remember that he approaches the subject of photography from the point of view of art and vision projection; that is certainly what confuses tech experts and gear perfectionists so much)

The last website I'd go to to improve my photographic skills is KR.... enuf said!

That's your personnal opinion and I respect that. As far as I am concerned, a few of his analyses did open my eye on the fact that I use to put too much emphasis on my equipment rather than on my photographic skills. So, I am glad to see that you already had this epyphany :)

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2013, 01:08:36 PM »
Funny that some people get upset that KR makes money doing this....if he didn't, someone else would.   There's obviously a market for it and he's not harming anybody/thing.  (I know someone is thinking right now that he's harming his viewers photos...beat you to the joke)

It's called capitalism and freedom.

Go somewhere else if you don't like his site...simple.

+1.  KR site is heavily opinionated but what I like from him is that he's not afraid to point out what's important in photography which is the art behind it.  Most of the time, CR people tend to focus on the technical side and not on the art.  Yes, his photos most of the time isn't impressive (at least in my opinion) but at least he's trying to take good photos.

I think your observation is spot-on, and the content of this thread is a particularly good proof of that: what started as a (very short) discussion on KR's opinion on lens sharpness vs image value, quickly turned into a name-calling and mud throwing contest... I have seen too few valid arguments (if any) for or against the real added value and importance of lens sharpness on the artistic quality/value of pictures, which was the initial subject by the way (set by KR's article).

Nowadays, photographic equipment manufacturers have gotten so good at designing their lenses that the differences in optical quality (sharpness, but not only) across their current products portfolio has become so small that one has to do some serious pixel peeping in order to see differences between two lens models. Is that the main factor which really prevents someone from properly projecting his/her vision onto a photograph? ...not really, unless you always work with 100% crops and print billboard-sized posters. A good proof? Check what some people can achieve with a Holga... and I’m not even talking about what kind of crap equipment Photographic Masters of the past used for their work.

So, on this subject I believe that KR has a point. I also agree that Ken is a bit too black-and-white in his analyses, he has strong opinions and often spend his time beating dead horses, but in my opinion he definitely has some interesting points of view (use the "take only what's good for you and leave the rest" phylosophy, that'll prevent you from developing a stomach ulcer). If the content of his web site surely has less added value than a good Scott Kelby book, his descriptions certainly raises some useful questions in the head of the (curious) reader, and this is what is needed for any serious photographer (not the tech junky of the lens geek) to improve his/her photographic skills - the ones related to artistic vision that is (remember that he approaches the subject of photography from the point of view of art and vision projection; that is certainly what confuses tech experts and gear perfectionists so much)

The last website I'd go to to improve my photographic skills is KR.... enuf said!

That's your personnal opinion and I respect that. As far as I am concerned, a few of his analyses did open my eye on the fact that I use to put too much emphasis on my equipment rather than on my photographic skills. So, I am glad to see that you already had this epyphany :)

I trust you saw my signature ... I love my equipment for what it does, but then it is only a tool ... so is KR  ;) ;D ;D ;D ;D
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GmwDarkroom

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2013, 01:38:45 PM »
The last website I'd go to to improve my photographic skills is KR.... enuf said!
I have no opinion on Ken Rockwell, but there is value in learning from what others do wrong:


comsense

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2013, 03:02:46 PM »
Funny that some people get upset that KR makes money doing this....if he didn't, someone else would.   There's obviously a market for it and he's not harming anybody/thing.  (I know someone is thinking right now that he's harming his viewers photos...beat you to the joke)

It's called capitalism and freedom.

Go somewhere else if you don't like his site...simple.

+1.  Yes, his photos most of the time isn't impressive (at least in my opinion) but at least he's trying to take good photos.
:o :o :o ::) Did you just say he is trying to take good photos. You insulted him. He thinks he is a gift to photography.
I think KR fans or KR disguised as fans are failing to understand why so many people dislike him....
Its mostly his attitude and personality. Not the fact that he is wrong about half of the things (the chance factor; you have to be genius to be wrong about everything).
You don't need KR to tell you that idea/thought and composition matters most in art photography. Its just common sense....
However, having a good camera+lens+tripod+well aligned optics with post processing does not hurt the art part. Agreed that a good artist with rebel+kit lens is better than bad one with 1DX+allL. However, if you lack idea and composition, its better to have technically sound photos than oversaturated restrooms and garbage bins...

« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 03:04:51 PM by comsense »

terminatahx

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2013, 03:38:10 PM »
His Sharpness rant is ridiculous and embarrassing for a so-called veteran photographer.  If image quality is important, sharpness is paramount.  Yes, there are situations where blur and softness are appropriate. 

Ken needs to stop begging for donations, and get out an earn money with all the gear he's used and reviewed, as it's clear that from a skill standpoint, he's very lacking.
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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2013, 03:38:10 PM »

verysimplejason

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2013, 08:23:44 PM »
Funny that some people get upset that KR makes money doing this....if he didn't, someone else would.   There's obviously a market for it and he's not harming anybody/thing.  (I know someone is thinking right now that he's harming his viewers photos...beat you to the joke)

It's called capitalism and freedom.

Go somewhere else if you don't like his site...simple.

+1.  Yes, his photos most of the time isn't impressive (at least in my opinion) but at least he's trying to take good photos.
:o :o :o ::) Did you just say he is trying to take good photos. You insulted him. He thinks he is a gift to photography.
I think KR fans or KR disguised as fans are failing to understand why so many people dislike him....
Its mostly his attitude and personality. Not the fact that he is wrong about half of the things (the chance factor; you have to be genius to be wrong about everything).
You don't need KR to tell you that idea/thought and composition matters most in art photography. Its just common sense....
However, having a good camera+lens+tripod+well aligned optics with post processing does not hurt the art part. Agreed that a good artist with rebel+kit lens is better than bad one with 1DX+allL. However, if you lack idea and composition, its better to have technically sound photos than oversaturated restrooms and garbage bins...

Hehehe! Again, to reiterate what has been said, take what you can and leave the rest.  It's the same anyway for a lot of photography sites.  It just depends on how much garbage you can take and sort so you find the gold.  That said, KR will teach you at the very least on what's the real meaning of photography as opposed to a collector.

verysimplejason

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2013, 08:30:57 PM »
His Sharpness rant is ridiculous and embarrassing for a so-called veteran photographer.  If image quality is important, sharpness is paramount.  Yes, there are situations where blur and softness are appropriate. 

Ken needs to stop begging for donations, and get out an earn money with all the gear he's used and reviewed, as it's clear that from a skill standpoint, he's very lacking.

I think you miss the point on his article.  I am not proposing he's entirely right but he just pointed out that what's more important.  Composition vs sharpness.  Sharpness means nothing if you don't nail the composition. It's like pointing out what's different between art and science. 

One more thing, asking for donations for a website isn't wrong.  That's purely business.  As someone pointed out, it's just the way capitalism is.  At least he's not forcing anybody as against some sites who will charge you just for you to read their opinions (e.g. espn insider).

Max ☢

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2013, 03:18:36 AM »
I trust you saw my signature ... I love my equipment for what it does, but then it is only a tool ... so is KR  ;) ;D ;D ;D ;D

Indeed, good point about your signature. As far as KR is concerned, this is still your opinion but  ;D ;D on your last remark!


I think KR fans or KR disguised as fans are failing to understand why so many people dislike him....
Its mostly his attitude and personality. Not the fact that he is wrong about half of the things (the chance factor; you have to be genius to be wrong about everything).
You don't need KR to tell you that idea/thought and composition matters most in art photography. Its just common sense....

Personally, I don't think that his attitude and personality, or why people dislike him, or how he earns his living are even remotely relevant factors in the present context and discussion. Honestly I don't care if the guy’s an a-hole, I care about opinions on some ideas about photography as a technique and as an art.
He is certainly wrong on actually more than 50% of the things, but 1/ that does not mean that all his ideas should be dismissed because on top of that "nobody likes him" and 2/ that means that there is still more that 10% of his site content that can be useful to the learning amateurs - granted that there are better web sites and books for that.

There are three ways to improve one's photographic skills (technical and artistic): practice more (obviously), acquire new knowledge and/or better equipments, and go back to basics in order to correct wrong biases developed over the years. The last one is often disregarded by long-time photographers (I did not said "experienced" or "skilled") because it is based on the possibility that someone has developed wrong habits over time, and few people question themselves and take the step to review these "common senses", as you put it, once in a while. Too bad, because that's also a good way to improve/correct one's skills.
 
However, having a good camera+lens+tripod+well aligned optics with post processing does not hurt the art part. Agreed that a good artist with rebel+kit lens is better than bad one with 1DX+allL. However, if you lack idea and composition, its better to have technically sound photos than oversaturated restrooms and garbage bins...

Having top notch equipment certainly does not hurt the art, but for that you must already have a minimum amount of artistic skills and visions before setting up 10+k of hardware and software. Otherwise, no amount of sharpness will save your sorry attempts at rendering a certain atmosphere, mood or feeling in your photos. Of course, if these are not your goals, then ok, there is nothing wrong at optimizing the technical qualities of your images at the expense of artistic quality (which is, of course, a subjective matter).

fragilesi

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2013, 02:34:13 PM »
Another great KR diatribe was how you didn't need to shoot in RAW.  Obviously, if you know what you are doing you can program the camera for each and every exposure to get the proper white balance, noise reduction, sharpening, colour space, lens corrections, contrast etc etc... out of the camera as a Jpeg.

It's the great KR... he must be right... but I don't understand how to get a single jpeg that has the right colour profile for a printer, a monitor, and a projector all at the same time.

Yeah ... and he had another one on the lines of why you no longer need a tripod. I guess that was the last time I visited his site. Well, I visited his website again today, only for confirming the fact that his website only contains "aggressive personal opinions" and not "logical presentation of fact"

So, I think I've got this right.  You knew all about his website and what was on it.  And today you visited again to confirm that not only does it contain what you thought it did but that it contains precsiely what he says it does.  And now you're posting to tell us that too?  Okay.

As a complete newbie I stumbled on his site a couple of years ago. He opened my eyes to quite a lot. It wasn't hard given how little I knew but he set me on the path of several very good equipment purchases and technique decisions - and yes I branched to other sites to get a balanced opinion.  I don't agree with everything he says, for example his point about longer lenses not being wortwhile but I've found the site an interesting introduction at times, eg wide angle lenses.

Very importantly he doesn't try to blind me with science.  CR seems excellent in many ways but like most technical communities it has its own language, initialisms and so on to learn and as is typical of such communities some people delight in making things sound complex.  At least with Rockwell I can understand what he's saying and gauge his opinion easily and quickly as a newbie and choose to accept it or challenge it.

That has real value and yes other sites do similar things but why shouldn't he too?  He is at least open and honest about what his site is, and is not.  If any of the people criticising him think they can do better and lead us simpletons on a "better" path in an easy to understand way then by all means go ahead.  Because if you can, I'll be an avid reader  :D.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 02:35:52 PM by fragilesi »

Sella174

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2013, 03:07:39 PM »
... but I don't understand how to get a single jpeg that has the right colour profile for a printer, a monitor, and a projector all at the same time.

Aren't those things supposed to be intelligent enough to translate between colour spaces ... meaning if the JPEG is produced in sRGB and the printer uses [whatever], the software should remap/translate/re-encode?

... why you no longer need a tripod.

Never use(d) one myself.

You should see my attempts to shoot video without a tripod...... my friend refers to the uneven motion as "nausea inducing"....

May I suggest you look at the Olympus E-M5 with its 5-axis IBIS ...  :)
Happily ignoring the laws of physics and the rules of photography to create better pictures.

Sella174

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2013, 03:13:01 PM »
If image quality is important, sharpness is paramount.

I beg to differ. Photography is art; sharpness is science.
Happily ignoring the laws of physics and the rules of photography to create better pictures.

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2013, 03:13:01 PM »

J.R.

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2013, 04:07:05 PM »
Another great KR diatribe was how you didn't need to shoot in RAW.  Obviously, if you know what you are doing you can program the camera for each and every exposure to get the proper white balance, noise reduction, sharpening, colour space, lens corrections, contrast etc etc... out of the camera as a Jpeg.

It's the great KR... he must be right... but I don't understand how to get a single jpeg that has the right colour profile for a printer, a monitor, and a projector all at the same time.

Yeah ... and he had another one on the lines of why you no longer need a tripod. I guess that was the last time I visited his site. Well, I visited his website again today, only for confirming the fact that his website only contains "aggressive personal opinions" and not "logical presentation of fact"

So, I think I've got this right.  You knew all about his website and what was on it.  And today you visited again to confirm that not only does it contain what you thought it did but that it contains precsiely what he says it does.  And now you're posting to tell us that too?  Okay.

As a complete newbie I stumbled on his site a couple of years ago. He opened my eyes to quite a lot. It wasn't hard given how little I knew but he set me on the path of several very good equipment purchases and technique decisions - and yes I branched to other sites to get a balanced opinion.  I don't agree with everything he says, for example his point about longer lenses not being wortwhile but I've found the site an interesting introduction at times, eg wide angle lenses.

Very importantly he doesn't try to blind me with science.  CR seems excellent in many ways but like most technical communities it has its own language, initialisms and so on to learn and as is typical of such communities some people delight in making things sound complex.  At least with Rockwell I can understand what he's saying and gauge his opinion easily and quickly as a newbie and choose to accept it or challenge it.

That has real value and yes other sites do similar things but why shouldn't he too?  He is at least open and honest about what his site is, and is not.  If any of the people criticising him think they can do better and lead us simpletons on a "better" path in an easy to understand way then by all means go ahead.  Because if you can, I'll be an avid reader  :D.

Hahaha ... I knew I would get a bit of stick for my "knowledge" of KR's website. However, the word "confirmation" used in my post above was confirmation for the OP.

I stumbled on his site in 2009 when I switched to Canon system and was looking up lens reviews. This guy somehow manages to come up right in the top 2-3 lens reviews on page 1 of a Google search of almost any Canon lens review search you undertake. I found a lot of his material quite odd, if not outright drivel ... his post regarding how digital killed the tripod. This made me wonder as to who the hell was this guy which ultimately led me to the "about" page.

Given that his site contains his personal opinions regardless of the facts makes things a bit obtuse. Personally, I'd take a logical reasoning of fact as compared to someone's aggravated person opinions any day of the week and twice on Sunday, ymmv. There is hardly anything useful on his site which is not available anywhere else.

Look at it this way -

  • If you want to improve your shooting technique ... get a book, attend photography course, attend photowalks with pros, post photos online and get them critiqued;
    If you want to find out more about gear (especially Canon gear), CR is best place to be because if someone is serving pure mashed potatoes, he is sure to get found out by the rest of the posters - some of whom are really knowledgeable

KR acts a bit like a clown, says that he is acting like a clown and then has people defending him and his opinions to the hilt ... awesome!
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J.R.

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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2013, 04:10:34 PM »
... why you no longer need a tripod.

Never use(d) one myself.


KR is not alone it seems ... Every absurdity has a champion to defend it ;D

Jokes apart, maybe it works for you because of what you shoot. For a majority of the crowd, this statement is simply absurd.
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Re: Ken Rockwell on Lens Sharpness
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2013, 04:10:34 PM »