Monday, October 12, 2015

Notes from Out There

This essay might be the best thing I've ever read on LuLa. I agree with Declan completely, or as I like to think of it, Declan agrees with me.

I suppose predictably the forum is grumbling a little with the "why can't I just take sharp landscapes?" crowd, to which I say "you can, but you cannot reasonably expect anyone else to think they're very interesting", and there's also some counter-voices. As usual, LuLa forums continue to be pretty good and thoughtful, as these things go.

I was genuinely pleased to see the piece on the front page. We need more of this out there. It's nice that Declan agrees with me, but it's nicer still that he's a thoughtful guy, writing thoughtfully, and getting his thoughtfulness published. I like to think I'd be almost as pleased, even if he disagreed with me.

Update: a commenter pointed out the error, there was a discussion, and to my surprise Ming accepted correction and updated his piece with some stuff about diffraction that's true. Well done, sir. We all make mistakes, it's really about whether we're gracious in our error.


And over here we have Ming in full voice, giving the 2000 word treatment to the 200 word idea, telling us how to use tilt-shift lenses. He's trying for hard-headed practicality, and gets fairly close to it. You'd think that with that many words he could actually explain the Scheimpflug principle, rather than his "practical simplification" of it. And then he pulls out this doozy, for no reason at all, in one of his patented "Look at how much stuff I know" sidebars:

Diffraction is why pinhole cameras work: they use the quantum properties of light bending around the edges of a very small aperture to focus it. However, the same principle also causes focused light rays to bend in the wrong direction, undoing the work of the optical elements

Which, for reference, is completely wrong. There's nothing correct in that statement, and there's no way to spin it to make it seem sort of correct. It's just wrong. And the topic is irrelevant to any discussion of T/S lenses and the like.

There's also some historical stuff that's wrong, but vague enough that one could weasel it around to semi-rightness. Suffice it to say that there was plenty of smallish format stuff going on with plenty of resolution, in the early days.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Declan's pictures: the wor ds still say a lot more, though perhaps not to him?