PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


A Lytro and a Biogon

These two are like night and day, foresight and hindsight.  Hindsight looks to the past and shoots 20/20; foresight not so much.  The Lytro is my daughter's camera and we'll be putting mileage on it soon.

On to the subject of the 21mm Biogon ZM.  Here's a pair of samples for the Biogon, and this time the links point to full-res files ( warning: 20MB jpegs) because they're intended for maximum pixel-peeping:


They're really very good.  They're also shot at f/8.  My first surprise was that the lens isn't anything special when shot at f/2.8, or even f/4 sometimes, the Distagon does better.

My second surprise is that, due to an accident of the shipper, I got to see a silver version of this lens in addition to the black one I have above.  The aperture ring on the silver lens was terrible - it was stiff and I could barely feel the detents.  I was really afraid my black copy would be the same, but thankfully it feels like a real Zeiss ZM.

More to come later.



Bought my Lytro :^)

I plan to give it to my 4yr-old as her first camera. It was either that or a P&S – it wasn’t much of a contest. I want my daughter to think iPads and plenoptic cameras always existed, that I’m a dinosaur with my M.

This is the Polaroid of this era, what an amazing disruptive technology! Go Brian, go!

I had written this whole disparaging tirade about multi-frame blending hacks we keep hearing about here at NVIDIA. I’m skipping that to keep this positive.

In comparison to that other stuff, light field photography is a whole new medium where you’re making holographs instead of photographs. This medium has appeal for the lowest of amateurs at some immediate mass-market level (the focus thing) but to the serious artist there will soon be possibilities which did not previously exist. It will take a while for people to figure out what visual art can be made from holographs, and how to present them in mind-stimulating ways, and for all the tools to arrive that enable that.

It might take my daughter’s generation to grow up for that to really happen.

The gear will mature too and will stretch its application range. The beauty of this technlogy is that it’s relevant all the way to the top: think light field in a Phase One, light field in a RED. OMG. It just gets better and better, more and more mind-blowing as you think about it moving up the food chain.

This is the first week of the rest of photography’s history.