Kristen, taken with the APS-C Ricoh GR

The Convention Wisdom is Wrong

The convention wisdom says “Any camera can get the photo in daylight. If you want to shoot in low light, full frame cameras are better than crop sensor cameras.”

This is backwards. Full Frame cameras are better in daylight. Crop sensor cameras tend to prefer low light. A controversial statement I know — let’s examine this in detail.

The larger photosites of Full Frame cameras allows them to gather more photons. When do you need to gather more photons? During the day when there are more photons to gather.

Having larger photosites allows the camera to operate at a lower…


Whenever I hear doom and gloom stories about AI taking over the world — whenever scientists kick the bucket of “What is Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence” down the road — I refer back to my thought experiment about the birth of AI.

The Thought Experiment

You work for NASA and you’re building a robot that can terraform Mars. Unlike the current rovers, the robot you’re building has to be independent, it can’t wait for half a day to send a signal to Earth, have someone program in instructions and send it back — it has to react in real-time.

It also has…


Focal length is the distance of the focus.

Imagine a pinhole camera. It’s just a box with a pinhole in one side. Light rays converge at the pinhole & create a mirrored image on the rear surface of the box.

In this example, the pinhole is the lens and the rear of the box is the “image plane” — where you would put the film or the sensor.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, this box is 50mm cubed — 50mm per side. …


Let’s start with the eye.

The eye is — for the purposes of this discussion a sphere. Focused light comes through the lens and reaches the retina where light sensitive photoreceptors turn that light into electrical signals.

When people try to define what a “normal” lens is, they often go back to the human eye — if the eye is what we use to perceive the world, then the eye must be the very definition of “normal.”

This is a slightly flawed argument, but the thought process can lead us to some interesting conclusions.

Angle of View

The first (flawed) argument for human vision being the starting point…


A bit of a departure from my usual vintage lens reviews, I purchased the 7Artisans 28mm 1.4 after looking at some of the sample photos online.

I love a good wide aperture prime, and while 28mm isn’t my preferred focal length, if there’s a wide aperture version I’m very much intrigued.

I was especially interested in being able to create a shallow depth of focus with such a large angle of view.

With the aperture at the front (in Leica fashion) and with the f/1.4 and f/2.0 being so far from each other, I wasn’t likely to accidentally knock the…


I have a weakness for fast vintage lenses.

These aren’t meant to be reviews so much as real world samples with a bit of commentary — to help you decide whether or not this lens is for you (and to remind me of the character of each lens before I reach for it).

My frustration with vintage lens reviews is that they all tend to be of the same flowers at close focusing distance and that doesn’t give a realistic portrayal of what the lens does in other situations, so these are all taken on photo walks in NYC, mostly…


White Balance 101 — The Basics

Light has a color, known as a color temperature. That is — it can be more warm (orange) or more cool (blue). When you buy lightbulbs they’ll say things like “daylight” or “warm glow” — these are descriptions of the color temperature that they produce.

That “daylight” bulb may have a color temperature of around 5,400 Kelvin. The “warm glow” may have a color temperature of around 2,700 Kelvin. This means that the dominant light put out by that source is around that color temperature.

Source: Wikipedia

This may be a bizarre concept to wrap your head around because you’ve spent your…


Minolta-PG 58mm f/1.2, second generation on a Sony A7. (Photo taken with a Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range mounted to the Ricoh GXR.)

I have a bit of an obsession with fast vintage lenses. Lucky for me, vintage lens manufacturers had a bit of an obsession with making fast lenses.

I already own and love the Minolta 85mm f/1.7 so when I learned about the 58mm f/1.2 (and its famous bokeh) I decided to pick one up.

I prefer to let the photos speak for themselves, but I did want to discuss the lens a little bit.

My copy is in excellent (mint) condition. It’s the 2nd generation (with scalloped focusing ring).

The focus ring is a bit on the stiff side but…


Brand Equity

Brand Equity can be thought of as the value of consumers’ opinions about your brand. The higher the value of your brand in their mind, the more equity you have. Brand Equity gives you the ability to take chances — your customers will go along for the ride and as long as you continue to provide value in line with your Brand Image (another topic), they won’t mind a few failures along the way.

One of the clearest examples of this right now is superhero movies. When making the first Batman movie way back 1989 Jack Nicholson turned to Michael…

Mark Wieczorek

Just This Guy, You Know?

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