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Friday, 04 May 2012


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I'd love to hear the story of how you got banned.

How do you get banned from dpreview? I'm guessing it involves truth.

Those forums, Sigh. One well meaning OP a few years back passed on the news of HCB's death and posted a link to his work. Few knew who HCB was and one responder asked after viewing Bressons' work if Henri ever made a shot that was in focus?

I'm sure that dude is still studying 100% crops wondering what new camera will make him better.

Ha ha. How did you get banned from dpreview again?

I stay away from all the forums precisely because of stuff like this. They are a waste of time and are full of idiots who think they know everything. And there are always trolls. Never feed the trolls.

The Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds forums over at DPR are rampant with.... rampancy. There really is no other word for it.

I just want to comment on the article itself. While I believe that the author (whichever Sexton he may be) is grossly mistaken about the merit and future of the M4/3 format, I actually really enjoyed reading his opinions about camera design. I find industrial design fascinating and incredibly important. I am a color photographer and digital has definitely surpassed 35mm terms of quality with color films. Yet I still love shooting with my Leica MP every once in a while simply because it is in my opinion the most beautiful camera ever made.

I openly admit that I have a problem buying too many cameras, but it takes all my strength to resist ordering an OM-D, and believe it or not, that yellow K-01. I love beautiful cameras with few buttons and even fewer menus. Give me a focus ring, a button for ISO, an aperture ring, and a shutter speed dial, and I'll be happy.

Visiting DPR is like the 18th century leisure pursuit of visiting the asylum at Bedlam, each ward, erm forum, having its own special flavour. From the orb-obsessives on the Fuji ward to the please say something nice about my out-of-focus snapshot over in the private Leica rooms.

Almost as good as the Hammerforum.com article!
Thank you for supplying Friday's entertainment.

Just for the record, you've caused me to actually, factually, laugh out loud. Very good!

Also, on re-reading this post, I laughed again at "I was banned long ago, which has turned out to be a time-saver". Good show, my good man, good show!

In the interest of full disclosure, I unwittingly addressed a comment to Mike that was intended for Ctein about a month ago, and Mike graciously edited out my boo-boo.

Well, I DID read the Richard Sexton article. Sorry, but it was turgid, verbose, and more that a little pretentious. Caused me to have heavy attacks of MEGO.

'Sides, he dissed the Olympus EM-5. Heresy, as far as I'm concerned (especially as I'm getting one). He went on about how stupid Olympus was for going for a retro look, and how dumb the faux pentaprism for the EVF was. Well, as I said in comments (not on dpreview), I thought retro was the cool look these days--and I like the way the EM-5 looks. Probably because I use OMs. And I thought Olympus' placing the EVF where they did made perfect sense.

I dunno--I guess Mr. Sexton is of the opinion the that the proper look for mirrorless cameras is rangefinder style--which, of course, is retro itself. I mean, really, there are only so many ways to configure a small camera....

"Well, I DID read the Richard Sexton article. Sorry, but it was turgid, verbose, and more that a little pretentious. Caused me to have heavy attacks of MEGO."

I personally find a fair amount of what Lu-La posts to be in this same vein, looking down on the heathens who dare to use equipment without the utmost of perfectitude and don't print photos that are measured in feet as opposed to inches.

But, each website speaks to each audience, and I'm clearly not it. *sigh*

It's worse than you think. John Sexton, whose day job is President of NYU, has proposed ruining Greenwich Village with some huge new towers.

"John Sexton, whose day job is President of NYU"

Now that name confusion I think I'd have a little more sympathy for. [g]


Which John Sexton? I personally know three men named Richard Sexton.

...sorry, I just couldn't resist.

I'm not a member of DPR or if I am I've long since forgotten my particulars. Nonetheless I've been mining their Fuji forum for X-Pro1 stuff. It's a tough slog but the occasional bit of useful information makes an accidental debut there. And then the trolls appear.

The fun's in the "I've returned my X-Pro1" threads.

What's MEGO?


Some people just seem to have an irresistible urge to "comment" in various forums (fora?) regardless of whether or not they've read the whole thread or have any knowledge of the subject under discussion. I've lost count of the number of times I've followed a thread where—about one page in—someone says "I haven't read the whole thread so far but...". Or in response to "is x better than y?", "I haven't used x or y but...".

On the other hand it's gratifying when the know-alls get their just desserts.

I posted a link to this post in the Sexton DPReview thread an hour ago. They should all be over here shortly. Enjoy!

Add me to the chorus of people who simply must know how you got banned from the DPR forums!

I am grateful for DPreview's site and their thorough, methodical reviews of cameras. Over the years they've been very useful to me ... or at least entertaining.

Mainly ditto L-L's (Reichmann's) product notes. Usually quite practical commentaries. (Although the articles can sometimes make me howl.)

But I don't really see any substantive difference between the forums on DPreview and L-L. Perhaps the latter is home to older, crabbier men with deeper pockets? But they're both populated by largely the same mindsets and are basically identically time-wasters.

I wanted to read that LuLa article, but with 25-30 words per line I gave up. Got better things to do than waste my time on bad web design.

10-12 words per line please: it's why newspapers have columns. Anything more quickly becomes unreadable.

I emailed MR before when his pages were coming up with horizontal scroll bars (another guaranteed turn-off), but he just told me to adjust my computer. Fine: I only read pages that load sensibly these days.

Having just tried to read the original article I can only assume that MEGO is a contraction of Me and Ego.

Sorry, nice find though Mike.

Why were you banned anyway?


Et tu, Brutus? I was banned there years ago as well, for daring to post honest criticism of a photograph, as requested by the OP. I was nice, but honest. Oh well.

I have since rejoined, under a nom de plume (actually, it's my real name...), and have found a tolerant and accepting home there on the Nikon 1 forum - nice bunch of guys, who seem to just enjoy the heck out of their baby Nikons.

Frankly, I get a real laugh from reading the beginner forum... so much disinformation floating around in there that it boggles the mind.

Wow. You got banned for good? I got banned for a week and the email notification came a week after I posted whatever it was that P.O'd somebody and by that time I'd forgotten exactly what I said. I think it had to do with the phrase, "Nice food snapshots."

I've never posted there since.

I did read Richard Sexton Article to, and it made me laugth quite a lot. Since I didn't know him, I went to his internet site and checked his photography. Well, he is just another photographer whose photography is quite reliant on the "quality" of the camera he uses, i.e. lot of megapixels (or large film cameras). Most of his photography is taken with tripod mounted cameras so I will never trust his opinions on compact, fast cameras, like the OM-D. What amazes me is that many "future predictors" say that cameras have to change according to the technology used, that digital cameras should not be designed as film cameras. Well, tell me which is the difference between film and a digital sensor, both are flat surfaces which have to be illuminated by the camera optics, so optics is defining the shape of the camera more than the film or the sensor. You can say, well, but you dont have the roll to store and receive the film, ok, then I say, try to hold a M4/3 shaped as a Hasselblad, but smaller, it'll be a pain in the ass. The shape of small fast cameras hasn't changed because they are a sound design that has served us well since the first Leica. And, I'm sorry Mr. Sexton (Richard) but I feel a special pleasure when using well designed beautiful instruments. I will go 1000 times with an E-M5 than with that ugly nex-7, even if it has less Mpix.

Richie Sexton? The guy who used to play first base for the Mariners?

I wrote a lengthy reply, but this will suffice:

Who cares what Richard Sexton thinks? It's his opinion and he is entitled to it.

Who cares what Mike Johnston thinks? It's his opinion and he is entitled to it.

Who cares what I think. It's my opinion and I am entitled to it.

Who cares what you think. It's your opinion and you are entitled to it.

Fact is, there are many photographers and a little less many camera designs and a design that fits your personal need is now possible. So my cluncker can be your gem and vice versa. Diversity is a good thing as long as you take the right camera to the right job and that choice is up to you, me, Mike and Richard. And Richard, Mike, I and you have to live with that fact, basta subito, so to speak.

Greetings, Ed

I liked the Sexton article but I thought it started out with a splendid premise and then lost its way. The simile to fine watches was excellent and I enjoyed the history he mentioned. Unfortunately, when he discussed current cameras and their design he forgot about his intention to draw further parallels and descended into chronic new product miasma-lust. And, at the end, he certainly did not clearly examine his implied assertion that modern cameras are terribly designed given their utterly changed nature. There is no reason, for example, that a digital camera couldn’t look like a telescope. Play it like a flute, you see—with reference bumps to keep you right-side up. I can think of several other forms that would make much more sense for a digital camera than the SLR paradigm.

As for forums, well, most people don’t realize they are often raucous bars where everyone shares a common interest but it is hard to see who has gray hairs and/or experience. Further, most every forum poster can’t write, no matter their best intentions, and that makes reading them an exercise in imagination, irritation, or LOL.


With all these comments, I got curious and read the Sexton article on L-L. I normally wouldn't have bothered since, as Don pointed out, the formatting on L-L is awful. And the piece is way too long, and I have a life. But I read it, and came away with the notion that ...

it was an opinion piece.

Sexton offered some interesting insights, which I am free to consider or ignore. With that in mind, how could I possibly be offended by his opinion? I just don't get it.

I personally like the concept of the OM-D, though I'm not thrilled with the faux pentaprism housing. OTOH, my second camera was an OM-1, so it does evoke pleasant memories of the past. My first camera was an Exakta VX (with waist level finder!), a design which I rather doubt will ever be resurrected; thus the OM-D is my best shot at nostalgia. If I feel like I want nostalgia, but I don't yet have an opinion on that.

Back in a dusty drawer sits my Contax AX. Many folks seemed to hate it when it came out, but I liked it. The autofocus worked great, for my working style, and I loved my Zeiss lenses. I did, eventually, decide that it was just too big & heavy. For me. My opinion.

My Pentax K-7 falls short of the mark for me, in terms of auto-focus speed and high-ISO image quality, but I do like the ergonomics. I've never actually bothered to see what others on the Net think. And if I did look, I'm a bit unclear as to why I'd care. I guess I'm just not in the demographic for "social." Oh, well.

Well, thanks to you, Levi, I went over there and read that thing last night. I have to agree with Ken Tanaka that the forums at that place and those at L-L are about equal in value even though I cannot help but occasionally post a stupid comment at L-L. Any article posted by anyone at L-L just guarantees a week of nitpicking attacks---ask John Paul Caponigro.

When I checked the dpreview thread, the latter posts were of people who did not know who Richard Sexton is (short bio and a link to his website follows the L-L article) or predictable disses of his photography. Then there were the conspiracy theorists---Michael Reichmann hates 4/3 format and Olympus and that article was all part of his evil plan.

When I was in university, a professor told us that the first sign of insanity is writing a letter to the editor. I guess nowadays posting to forums is the equivalent. Given the furor anytime someone writes an article less than orgasmic about any camera, I'd say writing those types of articles absolutely confirms advanced insanity. Don't have time to speculate on what commenting on blog posts indicates, because I have to go chase the leprechauns out of the closet again.

Mike I love it when you comment on other web happenings. Reminds me of the write up you did on the HCB bicycle/stairs/railing picture that got deleted in flickr's "delete me" pool.
Wow, how long ago was that?

And how did you get banned from DPR?

I used to spend a lot of times on photo forums but then I realized that I've reached the level of technical proficiency that forums are not helping much in that regard and in general forums end up as huge timewasters when one starts to check them out on spare moments to "see if there's anything new".

Nowadays, my main photo site is probably TOP and I'm overall much more satisfied with the time spent :-)

The best thing in this thread is the new term micro 4/5. That shall be the designation for my brand new Chamonix 45N-2. :)

internet forums:
everybody disgraces oneself as best he/she can.

MEGO is an acronymn for My Eyes Glaze Over, originally coined for excessively jargon-filled explanations to non-technical individuals but can be applied to any case of excessively turgid prose.

As to the E-M5, looks like a nice little camera but it ain't gonna pry me away from my beloved NEX-7.

"Nowadays, my main photo site is probably TOP and I'm overall much more satisfied with the time spent."

Thanks Oskar!


"When I was in university, a professor told us that the first sign of insanity is writing a letter to the editor."

I thought it was the first sign of senility.


I can tell you why weird things like this happen. They'e putting stuff in the water, they're corrupting your precious bodily fluids. You'v e been warned.

Fark: John Sexton actually signed on to that thread to deny being Richard Sexton.

Really enjoyed your "Sexton" post and the comments that followed. It reminded me of a question that I've been meaning to ask you for some time: Are you still playing with the Doobie Brothers?

"Are you still playing with the Doobie Brothers?"

That's Don Johnson. I'm Mark Johnson.

Mark Mike

Great post, it made me read the Lu La post (though not much of the DPReview thread)
When I first saw the Lu La piece I could not get past the picture of the Hasselblad with the comment "No professional industrial designer(s) played a role in its familiar form and shape."
As we all know Richard-John's father Sixten was a quite famous industrial designer (well famous to those who have owned older Saabs) who designed the Hassie shortly after his brilliant Saab 92.

Apparently that dpr thread was so embarassing, they have now deleted the whole thing.

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