« Deardorff Company History | Main | Trees and Bees and Mysteries »

Friday, 17 December 2010

Comments

It's not "generosity". It's a tiered pricing scheme, as in maximizing-profits-pricing.

I halfway decided not to get this on-line book because of Diglloyd's pricing/viewing scheme, but in thinking about it overnight, and based on Ctein's review, I decided I needed the information more than the money, and bought into it. I paid $45 because I forgot to go into it from TOP's discount page. Sigh. I looked at the site for awhile today, and, in the first day, decided I got my money's worth. I've also decided that I have not taken, and probably never will take, a precisely sharp photograph by Lloyd's definition.

The information seems very good, very complete, and very readable, and, as I've said, I'm confident that I spent my $45 wisely.

On the other side of the coin, the site retains the capacity to annoy, if I have not misinterpreted things. The $45 subscription price (or $40 through TOP) does not get you access to Lloyd's full site, but only to the section to which you subscribe. So he talks in one section of "Sharp" about figuring out lens quality with a review of a Nikon zoom lens. It happens to be a lens I own, and he gives you a link... but the link takes you not to the lens review, but to another subscription page, and another $40 subscription. So even though the review is cited in the "Sharp" section, you can't see it without paying...Annoying? Somewhat.

So be aware that although you pay your $40, you don't get access to all of Diglloyd's stuff. You only get the specific item you bought.

Also, for years I thought he was "Digi-lloyd" and only now found out he's Dig-lloyd."

From looking at the table of contents, I learned one thing: that I don't care that much about my photos being sharp.

A couple of points about movies:

1. It's entertainment, not information. I do not have to refer to it multiple times.

2. I can buy a DVD of any movie if I really must watch it more than once.

Sorry, I don't buy it (literally).

If Lloyd was willing to provide a paper copy of the book, then I would be fine with that, but I can buy any number of well conceived books on technique for less than the subscription fee being charged.

The same is true with lectures. I may pay to see a lecture, but then I have the benefit of an interactive experience with the lecturer and, in almost all cases, there is an accompanying book or other material I can take away.

No-one is immune to the law of supply and demand, even software companies. If I buy a reference book, it's because I want to refer to it indefinitely.

On the other hand, if he was charging five bucks, I may be interested.

Steve,
If you'll work for five bucks a day, I'll hire you.

Mike

Posted by: david: "From looking at the table of contents, I learned one thing: that I don't care that much about my photos being sharp."

Ach! You've already created a new category under "All About Blur": Blur Due to Lackadaisicality!

See why this must be a subscription reference? It's always growing organically!

I'm sure this is a thorough treatise on the subject but I'm basically with you, David. It seems like a manically excessive treatment of an aspect of photography that, while not trivial, is generally distantly subordinate when the significant characteristics of the most revered images are surveyed.

Steve said,

"If Lloyd was willing to provide a paper copy of the book, then I would be fine with that, but I can buy any number of well conceived books on technique for less than the subscription fee being charged."

But I don't think you can buy what Lloyd is selling...which is the catch. And why I paid my $45.

JC


I think Lloyd should pay us for slogging through all that soul-numbing data. The dirty little secret is that photography really isn't that difficult.

hey guys why don't you just copy-paste as word format the whole book or use Corel trace software to cut as picture each 'screen' of document and then use Fine Reader software to turn it into text file abd there you go....you keep your book.

I join the ranks of those not willing to lease information. The reasons have already been hashed out. Just an FYI that this is 1 sale lost.

I don't understand the online community obsession with sharpness and testing lenses,.... now the measurebators can pay $40 for even more camera porn!

Me? For $40 I expect nice book to put on my bookshelf.

I was willing to pay for DAP because the reviews are useful for specific purchases; because the information therein must be frequently updated for maximal utility; and because much of that information has a reasonably short half-life.

MSI, on the other hand, is a reference work that should age more gracefully and which should, if properly constructed, need less frequent updating. I'm not going to buy that on a subscription basis.

Sorry, Lloyd; another lost sale.

@Mike

Mike's comment: "Steve, if you'll work for five bucks a day, I'll hire you."

Mike, if you find 299 other people to pay me $5 a day for the same material, I could quit the day job!

The one thing about supply and demand is - it's totally democratic.

I am just saying I won't rent information - that's my vote. If Lloyd gets enough subscribers to make a living, good luck to him.

I don't think the internet generation have the "value equation" quite sorted out yet.

JC said

"But I don't think you can buy what Lloyd is selling...which is the catch. And why I paid my $45."

Well, good for you. But, I somehow doubt that's true. Somewhere out there is a combination of books or a selection of free web sources if you are willing to dig around.

More to the point, my favourite book is "Europe, a History" by Normal Davies (ISBN 0-7126-6633-8). It is probably the greatest one volume summary of European history ever written, it runs to 1365 pages including maps and notes, and I refer to it constantly. It cost me £15 about 10 years ago.

Are you proposing Norman should have done the same thing as Lloyd? If so he should be charging about $400 a year, value wise.

I deliberately haven't read the other comments yet so as not to be swayed in my opinion. Which is: Lloyd's argument is specious. We don't own the experience we get from plays or films or concerts because in general we don't want to. Once or twice is enough and the performances are unique. Each is different in subtle ways, but unrepeatable.

If we do want a repeat experience, we can buy a recording and then we own a copy of that performance, although not the copyright, obviously. That's fair enough to me.

But a book is different again. We buy it because we want to go back over it and learn from it and keep coming back to it. If I pay for a book, I want it there for me, and I want to own the knowledge interpretation I get from it.

Sorry, Lloyd, I won't be buying your book. I don't subscribe to your site either, although I look at it, because the Zeiss and Leica and exotic stuff is way above my price range. Too bad.

Very interesting read on this issue--especially among the comments. I'll be honest, I've been tempted to spend the $40, and learn some sharpness tricks.

But first, let me point back at what commenter "stoyan" said: "hey guys why don't you just copy-paste as word format the whole book or use Corel trace software to cut as picture each 'screen' of document and then use Fine Reader software to turn it into text file abd there you go....you keep your book."

Ah, proto-piracy in its infancy. *smile*.

Show of hands: How many of you considered doing something like this? Note the word "considered". It would prolly breach the contract with Lloyd to do this--unless he left it out, then what's the big deal?--so I won't ask if anybody has actually done it.

If you're sitting with your hand in the air, you can put it down now. But now you know the allure of digital data piracy, and perhaps maybe even understand to a small degree the outrage at DRMC-crippled eBooks and mp3 files.

I'm wondering if there's a copy of the 'book' being shared via Torrent out there. Not that I'd download it without paying the fee--quit sniggering back there, I can hear you!--but it would be nice to have an offline copy AND pay Lloyd a fair fee.

Of course all of this assumes that the information in the book is actually usable by this poor schmuck 'tog. Up until now I've been more about composition and opening up shadows than sharpness, but then the last batch of big prints made me wince at how blurry they were.

Still, I'll prolly never be a member of the ƒ64 club. Even after $40 and a year's worth of slogging through lens comparisons. Sorry Lloyd, I won't be buying your subscription service. Nor hunting on Pirate Bay for a torrent.

I am more than a little tempted to subscribe. The idea that I could, just once, spend $40 and two weeks just marinating in the minutiae of sharpness, and be done with it forever, is really appealing. To never click on another forum thread about sharpness, or another blog post about the best tripod, out of the nagging fear that there is some aspect that I don't get. That's probably worth $45.

It's also, probably, the only area of photography where I could do that. I'll be buying Ctein's books on printing and exposure until the end of time, since software and printers keep changing. I never know what kind of insight Mike Johnston or John Sypal will bubble to the surface, and exhibitions of real prints will always offer real possibilities.

This is not to say I'm really keen on the idea of "disappearing tools" as Ctein so eloquently put it.

On the other hand, for years as a student, I used reference works I didn't own, and used old-fashioned workarounds like notebooks, sketchbooks, pencils and sticky notes, cameras and photocopiers, and the almighty 3x5 card. The ultimate goal is to cram the information into one's brain, since that, at least, is portable. I do think that Lloyd's subscription model most resembles the journal subscriptions that University libraries use. I think his users might not resemble those institutions, though.

People who hesitate to buy the access to Lloyd's book because of the online form should should reconsider the decision with web-crawler tools, like httrack <http://www.httrack.com/> or wget. That way you will still have the latest version of the book you have paid for (without updates after that moment).

If you're sitting with your hand in the air, you can put it down now. But now you know the allure of digital data piracy, and perhaps maybe even understand to a small degree the outrage at DRMC-crippled eBooks and mp3 files.

The comments to this entry are closed.