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Duncan_Andison

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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison


  1.  

    Love my 13" macbook pro retina display - the 27" iMac is better for working on photos due to the screen size but the 13" does an amazing job when I'm on the road and is lightening-fast with LR and PS CC - I have an i7 late 2013 with only 8 GB RAM and a 500GB SSD, 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD would be amazing. The solid state drives are really the way to go - have one on the iMac too and the speed is terrific. 

     

    I use the Wacom Bamboo tablet with no problems, assume you can use yours - guess you should check with the manufacturer for the latest drivers if it's not just plug and play. Don't know about an outside monitor but if it works you could save a lot using it with the monitor instead of buying an iMac too. 

     

    With iCloud you'll love how you can save so much and have it on your phone, iPad and laptop, seamlessly going from one to the other. I love making notes on my phone and having them show up on my computers, and with Yosemite & iCloud, I can start a document on my laptop and finish it up on my iMac with the changes all up to date. I also save some of my photos to the cloud but still need to sync my LR catalogs. IMHO it's a definite advantage of keeping my gadgets all in the Mac family.

    Thanks for the reply, i think either the 13 or 15 inch would make a good laptop for travelling and hooked up to one of my dell 24 inch IPC screens would make a good machine for editing... i too love using notes or diary on my phone and find them updated on my ipads seamlessly .. brilliant.

     

     

    Forgot to say earlier, I also use an Intuos 4 and the Mac drivers for that are solid. Work really well.

     

    What connectors do you have on the monitor? On my 13" (2013) the HDMI only powered unto 1080 for some reason, the Thunderbolt did the full 2560 x 1440. The 15" dual graphics card Macbook does 2560 x 1440 on both HDMI and Thunderbolt. Depending on the monitor inputs, you'll need Thunderbolt adapters to connect it to the laptop.

     

    I think both 13 & 15 handle 4k monitors now and the 15 dual graphics card will do support one monitor unto 5120 x 2880. Worth bearing in mind. I opted for the dual card one as I have no intention of upgrading this for 3-5 years at least.

    • Upvote 1

  2. I've used a number of MacBooks Pro & Air now. I did have a 13" macbook pro retina, 8gb ram 2.6ghz I think. It ran CS6 perfectly and Capture One Pro 8 as well as a host of other photo apps. In hindsight I would've gone for 16gb ram though just to give the extra headroom (if it hadn't been for video requirements).

     

    In the end I ended up selling the 13" in favour of the 15" Macbook Pro Retina (2015), 2.5 - 3.6ghz i7 with 16gb ram, 500gb ssd and dual video card as I'm starting to do more 4k video clips.

     

    This is a beast of a machine and runs 1x 27 inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution and a 27" Cintiq also with 2560 x 1440 resolution and doesn't skip a beat. This means I was able to do away with upgrading my old iMac as it is just as powerful, if not more so, than most workstations. So, if you go for something a little more expensive / powerful for the laptop, you could avoid the additional cost of buying an iMac as well!!

     

    The 15 is still a nice size, not to big at all. The new trackpad "force touch" is very nice on the new machines (both 13 & 15). If you do go for the 13", max out ram and chip if you can, it will be more than enough to replace an iMac if you have a screen to attach to it! The other perk of this is you don't have to sync files between machines.

    • Upvote 1

  3.  

    I have looked at the A7r but the examples I've seen  (raw files) still seem to exhibit a lot of CA, which happened a lot when I had the Nex 7. It was also at that time I had several sin bins for SoLD. It had the habit of back focusing a lot. I've read reports that this is common problem with the A7r as well. 

     

    CA is a product of the lens used, you can hardly hold that against the camera. A colleague sent me some A7R raw files and I was very impressed, IIRC they were shot with a Zeiss zoom and the quality of the sensor blows away my Canon 5D 2 by a country mile. I was opening up shadows to try to find noise and couldn't find anything worth mentioning....and those were night scenes.

     

    Add to that being able to use such a wide range of lenses especially one like my TSEs and it's understandable why Sony may concentrate on the A7 stable.

     

     

    I know, but when the lens is designed by Sony for that camera then I can blame the manufacture for not producing high quality lenses to support the new tech camera bodies.... for me, I can't live with an excellent camera if the lenses don't match and end up increasing my processing time because of imperfections. When I seen the amount of CA for a £1000+ lens I just shuddered as it brought back memories of the Nex7. 

     

    I had a number of adapters for the Nex 7 and at first, it was fun using other manufactures lenses with your camera but the added bulk (large FF lenses plus adapter) on a small body and sometimes random IQ and even more random focusing issues, I preferred to stick to lenses designed specifically for the camera. That's the same with Fuji, adapted lenses never match the quality of the lenses designed for the system.

     

    If they sorted that out, back focusing issue (random SoLD) and show a little more long term commitment then I would seriously consider their higher mp offerings. But spending approx. £3500 on a camera and 1 quality lens I would need to know they aren't going to do a Nex / 'A' mount in a couple of years time. Even the A7s is rumoured to change in the next version.... constant change / little stability. It annoys the hell out of me when Fuji change button positions on cameras, a bit of consistency with handling between cameras would be great rather than figuring out where X button has now moved to what part of the camera  :D


  4. I think that Sony is in for a big surprise if they think that everyone is suddenly going to upgrade to expensive FF cameras. The APS-C sensor  has  a lot of advantages -- as Bryan has pointed out -- for everyday photography. Time will tell whether or not Sony's apparent (?) decision to focus on FF for competitive reasons is really FFF (Full Frame Folly).

     

    What I find worrying with them is the apparent ease in which they can abandon a project. 'A' Mount, Nex and now APSC as a whole. FF is popular now but if something else comes along that's more appealing I have a feeling they would be quick to drop it. I want to see commitment from a manufacture if I'm going to commit large sums of cash in lenses and other system equipment. If I wanted 36mp+ at the moment, I would go Nikon just for stability rather than the Sony option. That said, if Fuji can upgrade their sensors to 24mp, that would be enough for me.

    • Upvote 2

  5. I decided not to go with Sony when I went mirrorless for just this sort of reason. I did not feel that Sony had a strategy that I understood and could buy into long term. Even David Kilpatrick (long time Minolta/Sony user) voiced concerns in one of his magazines a few months ago. My feeling has always been that Sony behave as the consumer electronics business that they are and don't seem to appreciate that serious photographers buy into a system long-term. A new strategy every other year is offputting.

     

    I wasn't happy with the overall lens quality with Sony when I had the Nex 7. It was a nice camera but the lenses at that time were not great (beside the 24mm). They were also taking a long time to refresh the Nex7 and I had a feeling it was going to be a one off camera and as such, bailed out. Glad I did now (using Fuji). I think it's a shame they aren't going to continue the apsc line, they had great potential.

     

    I have looked at the A7r but the examples I've seen  (raw files) still seem to exhibit a lot of CA, which happened a lot when I had the Nex 7. It was also at that time I had several sin bins for SoLD. It had the habit of back focusing a lot. I've read reports that this is common problem with the A7r as well. 

     

    I think they are doing a great job in terms of sensor development and innovation, just not when it comes to their own native lenses and sporadic focusing problems. I've never had to worry about focusing with the X-T1.... provided I do my bit right anyway! I'd happily shoot 90% of the time with the 50-140, it's the best lens I've owned on any system.

     

    Now, if you could combined the best of Sony with the best of Fuji, that would be something. 


  6.  

     

    Oh, my, something contagious going.

    I explored Corel Paint, reading reviews. Expensive. The I saw Corel a Paint Essentials for $50 on Amazon. I googled reviews. One of the reviews had a Buy link and that took me to Amazon, but the very same product was $30. Bought it, hee-hee.

    I figure if I can learn this one, and love it, I can always spring for the big daddy at another time.

     

    Exactly. Corel Paint is really nice software for illustration.... definitely worth having. I love the brushes you get with it etc, very realistic!

    What kind of illustrations can be made? Do you work from a photo or make one on a blank page? I wonder if illustrations sell well on Alamy?

     

     

    The oil and watercolour brushes look very realistic, as do pencil & pastels. It's been a long while since I done any painting in earnest but with I'm starting out again now I have the Cintiq. Originally, that's what I trained to be, a commercial illustrator (early 1990's in London, before the recession back then hit hard). I used to do a lot of storyboarding etc for commercials. 

     

    Had a bit play around today with Manga Studio 5 on the Cintiq using pencil and ink brush... it feels very realistic. So much so I found myself trying to brush the page with my hand after rubbing out some pencil lines!


  7. Oh, my, something contagious going.

    I explored Corel Paint, reading reviews. Expensive. The I saw Corel a Paint Essentials for $50 on Amazon. I googled reviews. One of the reviews had a Buy link and that took me to Amazon, but the very same product was $30. Bought it, hee-hee.

    I figure if I can learn this one, and love it, I can always spring for the big daddy at another time.

     

    Exactly. Corel Paint is really nice software for illustration.... definitely worth having. I love the brushes you get with it etc, very realistic!


  8.  

     

    Once you've conquered the Wacom, we'll get you on to a Cintiq....now they are fun and even more efficient.

     

     

    Dam you for getting me thinking about the Cintiq  ;) Spotted Amazon selling the 27qhd (non touch) for over £450 off the original price on their last one! Set up on an Ergotron arm to try and rescue my back and neck muscles from a habit of leaning forward towards the monitor. Now I can bring the monitor to me and draw on it like a large A2 pad!

     

    At least it covers as a 2nd monitor when I move it back to an upright position and also means I can get back into my drawing and painting as well! If it lasts as long as my intuos tablet, it will prove to be cost effective I guess!

     

    Edit.

    Anyone thinking of the 27 QHD with an Ergotron Arm, get the Sit/Stand arm as it's a lot stronger model and comes with the necessary adapter kit. That kit brings the price of the ordinary LX arm up to the same price as the LX Sit/Stand version. You can position the screen horizontal/tilted in mid air, stand up and draw on the screen very easily.


  9. ahh, you'll be fine with the Wacom, they are usually bullet proof in terms of set up. 

     

    In the setup software in preferences, you select the device, you can then either select functions or pen, then select the program you want to setup. You can set up specific functions and pen use for each piece of software. You can also change the mapping (what area of use the tablet will cover). This is mainly for multiple screen users but can be used on a single screen if you want it to force it into a certain screen proportion.

     

    I'm sure one of us here could answer any questions you have if you get stuck :-)


  10. I forgot to add earlier, make sure you assign "Precision Mode" to a key on the tablet (or even the pen itself). You can set the sensitivity of Precision Mode but basically, it focuses the whole tablet to a smaller section of the screen, This means the movements feel slower, more precise. It's very useful when working on masks in PS etc. While on the subject of masks, set one of the buttons on the pen to switch foreground and background colours.... between those two functions, you can quickly apply masks in a very controlled manner. 


  11.  

     

     

    It's impossible for us to put a timescale on this, sorry. It's a big project and we're focused on getting it right. We are working on it at this very moment.

     

    Cheers

     

    Alamy

     

    With the recent serious security exploits found in Flash there is some discussion that Flash might be totally disabled/blocked on some browsers. If this happens will Alamy have a non flash version ready to go?

     

    Thanks

    Michael

     

    They should be using HTML5 rather than flash (i'd imagine they are). Flash is on it's last legs, no point investing time in building something new that won't be supported by most browsers soon!

    Cheers Duncan, Agreed - my question was more is Alamy far enough along with the project to be able to launch should Flash get pulled suddenly. Google/Microsoft/Apple could kill Flash overnight without Adobe being able to do anything. It would just take a serious enough exploit.

     

    Michael

     

    I've switched flash off in Safari now, there are still a few websites using it but not too many thankfully!


  12.  

    It's impossible for us to put a timescale on this, sorry. It's a big project and we're focused on getting it right. We are working on it at this very moment.

     

    Cheers

     

    Alamy

     

    With the recent serious security exploits found in Flash there is some discussion that Flash might be totally disabled/blocked on some browsers. If this happens will Alamy have a non flash version ready to go?

     

    Thanks

    Michael

     

     

    They should be using HTML5 rather than flash (i'd imagine they are). Flash is on it's last legs, no point investing time in building something new that won't be supported by most browsers soon!

    • Upvote 1

  13.  

    Betty, it feels like we're in a parallel universe.  I have my old (v. old) wacom tablet next to me and I never got on with it.  For some reason I also bought a Intuos Pro M recently. I have to say that with a bit of effort, particularly setting the programmable buttons, I'm getting there and am more comfortable with it.  I have to say at the moment I'm still a bit quicker with a mouse, but on a lot of actions I'm increasingly more accurate with the tablet.  I guess after 20 years of using a mouse it's going to be more habitual so I'm going to hang in there with the tablet and keep working with it.

     

    Hope you're getting there also ;-)

    I'm working on it. It seems that for the moment, I'm doing best using both the pen and mouse. For instance, it seems quicker to make tool choices with the mouse, (less arm movement) then move to the pen. I've had a busy week, and haven't worked with it as much as I'd like, but seem to be getting on with it well for the times I've had.

    You are right about needing to get out of the mouse habit. But the little guy and I have been wedded for a long time, so it will be a messy divorce. ;)

    Betty

     

     

    When working on detailed stuff in PS etc, zoom right in, it makes it a lot easier / more accurate!


  14. Betty.......

     

    Don't overthink the situation, the pen is simply a mouse that looks like a pen. The only real difference between the two is that the left click of a mouse is performed by tapping the pen nib on the tablet surface.....

     

    So keep the pen about half an inch off the surface for cursor movement and tap the pen on the surface to left click and tap/draw to leftclick/draw.... simples.

     

    As for getting back to the mouse, the pen is only active within an inch or so of the surface, take it away and the mouse is back in charge.

     

    Best advice, just don't think about it, just play with it......and the mouse always is there as backup.

     

    I would suggest going in to settings for each brush in PS (use the little brush holder icon next to the size menu) and in shape dynamics, disable the pen pressure...... it can be a pain when you start and TBH, I have it disabled most of the time.

     

    +1 It's just time and practice.

     

    To be honest, I couldn't function without one now. I've been using Intuos 4 (medium) for about 4 years now and a small tablet for about 8 years before that. Just give it time and it will become second nature!


  15. Thank you MDM and Michael.

     

    I already have Time Machine running as well as cloning the whole system onto a separate drive once a week. You have restored my faith in OS X somewhat.

     

    Will wait to download El Capitan at least until one or two months after official release.

     

    Allan

     

    That's probably the best way. By then, someone will have already found the main problems and generally, posted a fix (which is often a tweak of the settings somewhere). In the end, the wifi issues was an easy fix and was just a couple of changes to the settings.


  16. Thank you for all your comments.

     

    One thing I need to know, not having upgraded to a new mac os in the past, is it necessary to download each one as it arrives or can one or two upgrades of OS be missed before loading the newest.

     

    e.g.: Go from Mavericks direct to El Capitan without downloading Yosemite?

     

    Allan

     

    You don't need to download each one. When you upgrade it basically starts a fresh from the one you have. I'd imagine it downloads the full OS, deletes the old and installs the new rather than adding updated files to the existing one. The only thing it will keep is your applications and settings which are held separate from the OS and not integrated to it like Windows. 

    • Upvote 1

  17. I see the beta version of Apple's new OS X is out for download in beta form for suckers to test it out for Apple instead of them sorting it out for themselves again as with Yosemite.

     

    I am still on Mavericks and will wait with interest to see what transpires before official rollout.

     

    Not too keen on taking it on myself after the problems with Yosemite.

     

    As long as my system keeps running without problems on Mavericks I will wait.

     

    Allan

     

    After the initial wifi and email problems, Yosemite is working rather well. I had more problems with the first release of Mavericks.

     

    As for El Capitan, I'll think I'll wait a couple of weeks or so after the first proper release. Need to see the first hand reports first from the brave souls on the front line!!


  18. Hmmm. The images are freely available if anyone wants them from Alamy's site! By putting these up as an example it hardly infringes anyones rights. Not sure why these don't have an Alamy watermark either? 

     

    I was thinking along the lines of, criticising someones port in an open forum without knowing the background. There are a lot of duplicates, could be a tech problem but the other person isn't here to defend themselves. For that reason I was suggesting it might be better to inform MS directly  so they can let them know about it. 

     

    I was just thinking if it were you or I that had made a genuine mistake, it wouldn't be nice to find it being discussed by others when searching the internet one day :-)

    • Upvote 6

  19. No need to decide whether you will go RM or RF. It comes down to the individual image. If it's easy to replicate or copy and was cheap to make then RF might be the right option. If it was costly and hard to get and in demand then I would go RM. RF isn't always a bad thing.

     

    As for .36 sales. If you only pickup 25 of those a day you will struggle to make ends meet. On the other hand, my micro sales are over 100+ a day and range from .38 - $120. But, and that is a big but, you have to pickup your subject matter wisely. There is no one size fits all. Horses for courses etc.

     

     

    Edit

     

    As John Says

     

    " Also, something else to consider is that many RM sales on Alamy are really hybrid RM/RF (e.g. iQ licenses)."

     

    I've had a recent situation where my RM images were sold for $30 with 5 years unlimited use during that time with a magazine. At $2.96 a year I know I wasn't the one getting the good deal there ;-)

    • Upvote 3

  20. The 50-140 lens is a different animal to the 55-200 in that it does not have the reach of the 55-200 so the distortion correction would not be as aggressive. Assuming that the 50-140 even needs to have any distortion correction applied at all that is.

     

    I cannot check that out as I do not have the 50-140 lens.

     

    I looked at Sony, before falling on the Fuji side of the fence, and did not like various aspects thinking the Fuji route was for me. Now having second thoughts.

     

    If Fuji had a long prime lens then I might carry on with them and stick to primes only avoiding zoom lenses. But I still like the convenience of zooms although having to take into account their shortcomings in all makes not just Fuji.

     

    Allan

     

    See if you can hire or borrow one to see how you get on with it.

     

    I personally prefer Fuji Lenses. Other than the 24mm Zeiss I found a lot of the Sony APSC lenses to be lacking but, that was just my experience and opinion. The best thing is to try one for yourself to see how you find it. If nothing else, it will settle or confirm the nagging doubt you have and leave you to concentrate on photography. Otherwise, it will always be in the back of your mind.


  21. Just browsing the web and came across this http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/fujifilm-55-200-3p5-4p8/4 on DPReview.

     

    It would appear that Fuji's distortion correction algorithm for this lens, particularly at the longer focal lengths, is stretching the image in the centre (center) thus causing a blurring/OOF effect.  It is only slight but shows up quite well at 100%.

     

    If the distortion correction is turned off then the centre of the image sharpens up at the expense of pincushioning of straight lines at the edges.

     

    You pays yer money and takes your choice but it would appear that switching off distortion correction would at least, in part, reduce the problem of being failed for SoLD.

     

    What do others think?

     

    Or would it be better to dump said lens.

     

    Anyone know if this occurs with other makes of lens when distortion correction is used?

     

    Allan

     

    Never really had any major problems with the lens that meant dumping it. There were a couple of occasions when it returned SoLD shots but the majority of them were ok. The only reason this lens has now been relegated is due to the purchase of the 50-140. This is very sharp even at f/2.8 @ 140mm.

     

    I'd say there would be only two reasons to offload the 55-200.

     

    1. You want the 50-140.

    2. Don't trust the copy of the 55-200 you have and want to try a new one.

     

    As john says, the 55-210 for the Sony was had issues with rendering distant objects at the long end. As I was using it as a landscape lens with a lot of the frame in the distance, I ended up with a lot of SoLD shots with it. It was one of the reasons I jumped ship, needed a good long lens. 

     

    That Sony 55-210 I found better in manual mode than AF. If you used manual focus you could get really sharp shots. I suffered a couple of sin bins with that lens in AF.

     

    The 50-140 would certainly cut out the SoLD but, there is that weight increase. I don't mind taking the hit because of the increased IQ and the ability to shoot at 1/4sec @140mm but I doubt it would appeal to everyone.


  22. I'm a bit confused by this Duncan,

                                                          Alamy's own definition of the different licence types is very clear. "The customer pays a licence fee each time they use the image."

    A separate magazine within a group or a different issue of the same magazine is a separate use and it cannot be argued otherwise. To argue otherwise is to suggest that it is RF

     

    I personally had the same issue 12 months ago and queried it with member services and got the same stock answer as you, to which I replied quoting the terms below. A few days later the repeat sale popped into my account. Admittedly the within a single issue was in the sale description, but I don't see that as of any relevance as the definition of an RM licence is clear.

     

    This is an important issue, perhaps member service could take the opportunity to clarify what the position is.

     

    http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-licences.asp

     

    If you take a look at the Chart above, basically the IQ licence type can be RF or RM.

     

    I asked MS whether they could reuse the images and there answer was yes, but they are unlikely to? Why not. A walking magazine, a walking image, 5 years to use it time and time again. I've already seen it 3 times in the last 12 months! When I checked my records only one sale. Initially I thought it was just one of those, ah, they haven't included all the conditions on our sheets and contacted them to confirm that it would be one use as many times in one issue. Sadly not.

     

     

     

    "Our sales teams work extremely hard to negotiate on deals with all forms of customers and always try to get the best market value possible for each licence.

     

    As mentioned previously it’s very unlikely that the customer will use the image throughout this duration, they just want to be covered"

    • Upvote 1

  23.  

     

    Very true. It's a time issue now focusing on key outlets and not spreading myself out to thinly.

     

     

    There is no right way or wrong way in this business, we all have different factors affecting us. If I carried on concentrating on my key outlets from 5 years ago I would be in deep doggy doo-doo now. By re-allocating my time from mainly one of my key outlets for whom I was more or less working full time but was failing in returns I have made time for a lot of other potential income streams. I now have 20+ income streams for my creative work. Some have earned their keep, some I dont supply any more but still send out an occasional invoice. None are micro. I have only a handful of RF images. I have become cynical in what I send where. Having more income streams means I am less likely to get stuffed if and when changes happen because of a new ranking or algorythm or SEO policy.  More options also gives more options and may open new markets you may not have thought of.

    Coincidently I sold a video clip this morning. However I am still not convinced that that is the road to riches.

     

     

    Food for thought. I've a load of things that I want to do, just have to make sure I do them and not get bogged down with other stuff!

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