« Sunday Support Group: Two Radical Obesity Interventions (OT) | Main | The New Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 »

Monday, 05 August 2019


I use a Nikon D7500 and D750 and approach sensor size in a different way. Not sharing lenses so much, but having similar featured cameras for ease of use, and each with it's own usage. The D7500 I use 16-80mm and 70-300mm DX zooms, which is massively less weight than the FX counterpart. And the D750 I use small primes (28 1.8 and 58 1.4). Kind of taking advantage of the strengths of each sensor, the DX with more DOF and "reach" and the FX with better low light ability and narrow DOF for the primes.

For various reasons, I like to minimize lens changes while out and about. But not wanting to get a second X-H1 at this point, I'll often take my X-H1/56mm f1.2 and X100F/23mm f2 out together. This give me two different focal lengths on two different bodies with the same image quality.

Leica Tri-Elmars too

I am getting the feeling that Neanderthals are getting an image makeover these days. :-) In the past they have always been depicted as big, slow, and dumb. I guess that was the old scientific consensus. :-)

Surprising Way Your Neanderthal Genes May Affect You

The DRD4 7R gene makes you think like a Neanderthal. If you've got it, you're sensation-seeking, risk-taking, impulsive, and creative. We're ADHD, bipolar, and have addictive personalities.

"It may be our Neanderthal genes that are behind virtually all human progress. New DNA data reveals that many of us are carrying Neanderthal genes. And not only that, but evidence is mounting that when those genes are activated in you, they can cause you to become incredibly resourceful, pioneering, creative... and utterly out of control.

"Scientists used to like to think that we come exclusively from a branch of human evolution called "Modern Humans." The thought that modern humans may have interbred with another species entirely -- the Neanderthals -- was viewed as unsavory heresy. That is until yesterday.

"But besides the recent genome discovery which only says that we're carrying some Neanderthal genes -- we have yet to recognize that it is likely that those very Neanderthal genes are the cause of the development of human civilization as we know it."

"America is a melting pot of this risk-taking temperament, because at one time or another just about every population of Uprisers (those with the active Neanderthal DRD4 7R gene) were drawn to taking the risk of leaving their homeland to pursue the American dream just like their nomadic Neanderthal ancestors. The rest of the world thinks we're mad -- because we are -- but we're also crazy smart and innovative. By the way, this higher incidence of the DRD4 7R gene in America has already been revealed.

"Stabilizers, to this day, tend to be very uncomfortable and feel threatened by Neanderthal traits. Those possessing Neanderthal traits (the Uprisers) are often rebuked, shamed and marginalized because they violate the norm. The tragic thing is that there seems to be something deep in the modern human psyche that abhors the Neanderthal genome -- literally an instinctive desire to genocide our Neanderthal lineage. In the past we've scapegoated, witch hunted, crucified, and martyred those with Neanderthal traits. Today we are labeling these Upriser Neanderthal traits with psychological disorder diagnoses like ADHD and bipolar and then drugging those traits out of our collective experience."


Giant cold-blooded lizards? Dontcha know about recent (and not-so-recent) findings that suggest warm-bloodedness and maybe even homeothermic constant temperature control are old news? Like, as much as 250 million years old? Likewise fur, feathers, and – to maybe a lesser extent – brains. The ancestors of mammals, dinosaurs, and crocodiles seem to have already been pretty modern back that long ago. There are some big changes making the rounds in biologists' and palaeontologists' views of animal metabolism, body covering, and intelligence. Modern crocodiles, alligators, and kin are apparently just secondarily stubby-legged, sluggish, and cold-blooded, as they have four-chambered hearts and possibly also one-way airflow through their lungs, like birds (dinosaurs). Both of those adaptations are otherwise exclusive to active, warm-blooded animals with high metabolic rates. Ligament scars and other features of fossil dinosaur bones suggest that they also had birdlike air sacs and the accompanying unidirectional lung airflow. This seems to apply across all groups of dinosaurs. Then there are all the fossil feathers that new techniques reveal (or just don't destroy upon excavation). Oh, yeah, and it turns out that crocs aren't all that dumb, either. If aliens visited in the early Jurassic, the long-legged, warm-blooded, armored, clever crocodiles running around might have scared them off permanently. Then they would have missed the only really significant change in life on Earth in the last couple hundred million years: the conquest of the planet by flowering plants and their bee/wasp/ant/moth/fly/bat/shrew buddies.

I bought a used T3 a couple years ago with a 50mm Hexanon on it. What a wonderful piece of kit. That lens was just wonderful on everyday color negative film. Just a gem.

Yes! This is the secret to the perfect camera setup: (i) a nice spectrum of ergonomically solid prime lenses; (ii) a set of 2 or 3 camera bodies, sharing the same global design features but each with its own characteristic design twist that makes it especially useful for a distinct type of usage; (iii) a common sensor & processing technology that is shared between these different body types, leading to identical or near identical files for the editing stage. In use, this whole setup acts as if it was one single higher-level camera.

Fuji have got this absolutely right, and they make a real effort at maintaining points (ii) and (iii) across successive sensor generations. Myself, I reside in the "third generation", and my various primes are paired up in different ways with an XPro2, an XE3 and an XH1. I am ignoring the current fourth generation and may consider an update two or three generations down the line.

The strange thing is that in this recombining system, the same lens will adopt different personalities, depending on the body with which it is paired. The 16mm for me feels like a close-up people lens when on the XE3, but more like a wide-vista cityscape lens when on the XH1. Three bodies, seven lenses, resulting in endless permutations of different usage patterns. What a powerful system.

The mutliplicity of use patterns could be over-whelming, but I make sure that at any given time, I work with only one or two if these permuations, to allow for a sustained experience of their capabilities.

I am willing to call this a "perfect camera setup", but the amazing thing is that for this perfect system to work, the individual components absolutely need not be perfect themselves. They just have to be good enough, and they have to combine well.

Seriously, Mike. You're still a baby (said the 67 year old...). =)

My father has some old Minolta lenses I'm curious about putting into service on the body of my Fuji X-E1. I love the heft of the older all-metal bodies and wonder how they'd pair up with the Fuji sensor. Plus, I don't want to spend TOO much while I'm still testing out Fuji colors, processing, etc.

Neanderthal? Got it. Denisovan? Got that too. Velociraptor? Only when I'm really hungry.

I thought dinosaurs were now thought to have been warm-blooded? Looks like the latest round in that ongoing debate kicked off recently, in 2014 or thereabouts, and is not solidly settled yet maybe. But...not definitely cold-blooded.

"Varifocal" is kind of a loss (the word) -- as I'm reasonably sure many of my lenses now called "zooms" (cheap consumer zooms) have that behavior, but are not (any more) clearly labeled to distinguish them from the true zooms. The difference is even more important in video work, where you may zoom while the camera is recording.

I believe my varifocal experience was a Kiron 28-90ish K-mount lens. Yes, I'm within a few months of your age, and look back fondly on the large glaciers of my youth.

Ahhhh .... The Konica Autoreflex T series and those lenses. Oh those glorious lenses.

Back in the days of Dan the dino and Nick the neanderthal I owned an Autoreflex T with the Holy Trinity (35, 50, 85). The body must have been the prototype for the Abram's tank ... solid steel, heavy and all business. Transported the whole kit in a black briefcase with fitted foam interior. Sadly such things do not belong in a canoe on a rough lake ... flipped the canoe and the briefcase became an anchor without a chain on the bottom of the lake. Used the insurance money to buy a Rollei 3.5T ... and thereby hangs another tale.

My first experiment with lens adapters was when I bought an old Konica Auto-Reflex which was not only the very first focal-plane-shutter auto exposure 35mm SLR, but had a nifty lever on the top that would switch it from full frame to half frame in mid roll much like neanderthals coexisting with humans. The reason I bought it was because Konica made an adapter for using Nikon lenses on it, and Marty Forscher advised that I buy one rather than having a Nikon converted to half frame. It was especially cool that by advancing the film in half frame mode and switching to full frame for the exposure you could get interesting overlapping double exposures. I should mention that I had a lot of Nikon lenses then. Konica made great lenses but at the time that body and adapter were dirt cheap and Konica lenses were not.

Just wanted to pitch in that I agree with Kirk that you should stop the old-guy routine. You’re making yourself older than you are and since I’m not that far behind, you’re making me feel older than I do when I’m not reading your posts. Restart it when you pass 70.

Neanderthals had other talents as well. In the lyrics of the immortal Julie Brown:

When I need something to help me unwind
I find a six-foot baby with a one track mind
Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands
Give me a moron with talented hands
I go bar-hopping and they say "last call"
I start shopping for a Neanderthal

* * * * *

I like 'em big and stupid
I like 'em big and real dumb
I like 'em big and stupid


Everyone interested in our various ancestors should have a a look at the works of the twin brothers Adrie and Alfons Kennis.

Alternatively, giant aliens may have found the dinosaurs to be tiny.


I think Dave Jenkins makes a good point about aging. At the end of Clint Eastwood's movie, The Mule, as the credits roll they are accompanied by a Toby Keith song titled "Don't Let the Old Man In."
Give it a listen if you can, I think it's pretty good advice.

What a great comment from Dave Jenkins!
No offense Mike, but your not the only draw to this blog!

You need to think like a dinosaur. Yes, things have been kind of down for the last 66 million years or so, what with the wretched mammals getting all uppity, and recently those stupid apes who think they're so clever and important.

But who are they fooling, really: there are three times as many dinosaurs as there are humans right now. No, sorry, that's wrong: there are three times as many of a single species of dinosaur as there are humans. And, well the humans have been doing OK for a few million years, but now they're busy making the world all hot and everything, and there's going to be a lot less humans pretty soon as they all fight each other for food and because of some really stupid thing about skin colour (I mean really stupid: what kind of dinosaur ever cared about that?). Pretty soon the only ones left will be the ones who ate the others, and they'll be pretty weak. And the world will be all hot and nice and, if we're lucky they'll spread a lot of lovely mutagens all over the place from their silly little fireworks so ee can get some good solid evolving going (I mean, come on, we survived the Chicxulub event, well some of us did, we're seriously unworried about some poxy little 'h-bomb').

Just think of it: a nice hot world, lots of weedy starving humans as prey, some good old mutating: yes, we've been resting for a while, but that was just an interval: we're coming back now and we're going to be around until the Sun finally fries the Earth.

The dinosaurs were never really gone, but they're coming back with a vengeance. You puny humans are just food.

Am I tripping or did I just flash on Norman Rothschild writing about his fondness for the Konica Autoreflex along with the 20mm Flektagon in Pop Photo?
How do I remember this and mix up my twin grandkids?
Some days I feel like my brain is becoming a landfill full of pointless stuff. No offense to the great Mr R. Read him a lot back in the day and learned a lot too.
And on the subject of varifocal who can forget the first gen Nikon 43 to 86 which could not focus on anything no matter what focal length it was set to (gotta let that one go).


For what it's worth, the so-called 'scientific names' of organisms consist of a binomial--the Genus (always capitalized) and the specific epithet or species (never capitalized). The binomial is also, according to proper usage, always italicized. Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis are separate species. A subspecies, when recognized, is indicated by an additional term, thus creating a trinomial. An example of this is the form of Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) commonly known as Harlan's Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis harlani).

And regarding referring to yourself as old, I too am bothered by this practice, partly because I'm older than you--So if you're old, then what am I?--and partly because I agree with the other commenters that if you say it often enough, you begin to believe it, and if you start to believe it you will decline more quickly. I have seen this far too often among my friends and colleagues.


Some advice from Thelma Pepper a 99 year old photographer from Saskatchewan:

"Life for a lot of people really begins at 60".

My first interchangeable lens was a Sun macro zoom 38-90mm. It was so bad that it put me off zoom lenses for 30 years and cheap zoom lenses forever. I was 14 and it took couple of years before I had enough money to replace it with two prime lenses 35 and 135mm. Since then 35mm has been my most used lens.
The macro setting in that lens was quite unique. It was like extension tube, it moved the whole lens some 10mm away from the focal plane. If anyone has used extension tubes with a zoom, you will know that it turns it into a varifocal. The zoom ring can be used for much faster focusing over a wider range than the focus ring. Focus ring is only for finetuning.

Quiet young man. I'm a decade older and I still feel young. But like you, I have the sitting disease and that's making my legs older than my body.

Also like you, my first serious camera was a Konica Autoreflex T3 with 50mm f1.8 Hexanon. Body serial number 586755, lens 7627303. How do I know? I bought them on a trip to Europe in 1974 and memorised the numbers (worried about theft), and they're still imprinted. I sold them to a friend a few years later and he was burgled some time after that. Did I have the serial numbers for his insurance claim? I sure did, and I reeled them off for him at the place we worked. He was impressed.

I remember that the Olympus OM1 came out in about 1973 and that was a strong contender, but I wanted auto exposure and the shutter priority on the Konica was pretty clever for its time, so Olympus had to wait about 20 years for my money.

Fun fact: the Neanderthal DNA in modern humans was passed on (almost) exclusively by male Neanderthals.

It's not age, it's wisdom. Well, sometimes.

Mike, I read someone recently who said he really liked the viewfinder of the T3 because focus just snapped into place. Reminded me of how you said the same thing about the Contax Aria. So if you're looking for more blog topics, how about one on film SLRs with snappy focus? I like reading about manual focus cameras so it's a self-serving request. :)

@Moose: I don’t know about you, but I only had four grandparents. Not that it differs much in the long run.

I was going to comment on dinosaur extinction, Neanderthals and binomial naming but I see that others have done a good job before me, so I won’t. Well, maybe just a little bit. Even when I read Zoology around 1960 it was accepted that the only differences between birds and dinosaurs were around adaptations to flight, such as feathers and warm-bloodedness but now it’s understood that these are not solely avian features and the non-avian dinosaurs exhibited them too.
Unfortunately, but sadly unsurprisingly, there is also a band of avian dinosaur deniers, see “ ‘Birds Are Not Dinosaurs’ (or BAND) movement” in this SciAm article by Darren Naish https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/the-birds-are-not-dinosaurs-movement/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tetrapod-zoology%2Ffeed+%28Blog%3A+Tetrapod+Zoology%29

I’m mildly amused by Internet reviewer logic.

Canon reuses the sensor from the 6D2 in the EOS RP... “what were they thinking?”

Fuji reuses a sensor “what a great idea”.

[Yeah but different reviewers. You never heard me say there was anything wrong with using the 6DII sensor in the RP. --Mike]

The comments to this entry are closed.