TWiP #176 – How to Buy Lenses

On this episode of TWiP… Should you buy on or off brand lenses? When to shoot RAW vs. JPEG, and DSLR market leaders Nikon and Canon widen their leads.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Ron Brinkmann, Bruce Clarke


Leica to Sell Lens Adaptors to Mount Pentax, Hasselblad and Mamiya Glass on S2 Camera
Leica will be releasing an adapter which will allow other owners of the S2 to attach lenses from other manufacturers. Frederick, Ron, and Bruce discuss whether they think we’ll ever see other camera manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon doing this. Bruce doesn’t see this happening with the big players like Canon or Nikon but thinks it may be a way that some of the smaller manufacturers could try to gain some market share by opening up their bodies to work interchangeably with other brands of lenses. Ron was hoping to see more of this with the increased popularity of the micro 4/3rd cameras. Frederick opens up the discussion to the validity of using 3rd party lenses from companies like Sigma and Tamron and wonders how many listeners are using off-brand lenses and what they think of them.

Head on over to the forums and share your thoughts on using 3rd party lenses.

When JPEG Trumps RAW
A recent post on Your Photo Tips, reopened the long running debate of RAW vs. JPEG. Although RAW files offer the most latitude and highest image quality, there are situations where shooting JPEG may be an advantage. As a wedding photographer, Bruce shoots on RAW 95% of the time. The only instance where he might shoot in JPEG would be when doing things like a photo booth at a wedding or when he’s covering a sporting event where he might be capturing 1000’s of frames under controlled lighting and doesn’t have to be as concerned with needing that additional wiggle room. Ron also shoots mostly in RAW but will occasionally switch to JPEG if he needs to do a quick capture such as when he was recently in Venezuela and was photographing his guide diving into a tiny pool of water. He used JPEG to get the maximum number of frames possible so he wouldn’t miss the shot.

Nikon and Canon Widen Their Lead in Digital Cameras
No surprise, Canon and Nikon continue to grow their market share which is no surprise. What is the surprise here is the number of units they are shipping. Frederick wonders if the gap has widened so far if it’s too late for the other guys. Ron thinks that Sony is the dark horse here and could make some waves with their EVO view finders cameras. Bruce thinks that it’s important that there is competition in the space to keep pushing the leaders. Speaking of Nikon, Bruce was recently at a workshop with Joe McNally and shared his experiences seeing him work.

Related to gear, Ron recently picked up the new MacBook Air and is using a beta update of Dropbox to manage storage. The new Beta is available at the Dropbox forums and allows you to be more specific about what folders you sync. Dropbox is a great solution for sharing and synchronizing files between computers.


Every week our producers scour the TWiP forums to find the best questions for us to answer on the show. Here are this week’s questions:

Question #1: Bookself from North West Florida: I’m considering a baby DSLR for travel. There are two Fuji camera with very similar features and price: Fujifilm FinePix HS10 and the Fujifilm Finepix S200EXR. Could someone tell me what the difference is? (aside from $20). About the only feature that would make much of a difference to me would be low light capability.

Bruce: Of the two, I think the S200EXR would be the better choice for low light situations. Here are the specs for the two cameras:

HS10 – http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_hs10/specifications/index.html
S200EXR – http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_s200exr/specifications/index.html

The HS10 has a 30x optical zoom, 10.3 mp, and a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor. According to DPReview.com, it doesn’t perform well in low light. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q110superzoomgroup/page5.asp

The S200EXR has an interesting CCD sensor that appears to have 3 modes depending on the shooting situation. As described on their website, this Super CCD EXR sensor features a ‘new arrangement of the color filter mosaic provides more image data than conventional arrays. Combined with new 3-way Capture Technology, the result is a single sensor that can operate in three modes: high resolution, wide dynamic range, or high sensitivity and low noise.’

Ron and Frederick also suggest checking out DPReview and using their feature that lets you do side-by-side comparisons to compare different cameras.

Question #2: Bookself from North West Florida writes: Would Apple consider buying a camera/video company? Videos and images make up a big part of their eco system… and they do like to control the pipeline.

Ron: I don’t see them jumping into a space they can’t own or do something really special in. The only scenario I could see them jumping into would be if they created something that paired tightly with one of their mobile devices. Bruce brings up Apple’s one-time foray into the camera space with their Quick Take camera.



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Frederick Van Johnson – www.frederickvan.com and www.twitter.com/frederickvan

Ron Brinkmann – www.digitalcomposting.com and www.twitter.com/ronbrinkmann

Bruce Clarke – www.momentsindigital.com and www.twitter.com/bruceclarke


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Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Show notes by Bruce Clarke at www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly. Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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