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Last night, I planned to get together with a friend after work. Between getting off, and going to his house, I stopped at the Mall to grab a bite to eat. I also had enough spare time to wander into the Apple store to look at the MacBook Pro a little bit. I know already that a MacBook Pro is going to be my next laptop -- the big Acer laptop is dying, and I really want to be back in the Mac world for all of my computing again. After resurecting another friend's older MacBook Pro this past week, I decided that I could actually work just fine with a 13-inch model. Hers is old enough to be pre-Retina Display, and the new entry-level model does not have Retina, either. Finally, when I bought the iPad Mini, I found that I couldn't see a marked difference between Retina and non-Retina models to justify the price difference.
While in the store, I got into my Flickr stream, and looked at some full-resolution images I'd taken with the Fujifilm X-E1 and uploaded recently. First, I looked at them on the entry-level machine, where they looked very good. They were nice and crisp and punchy -- pretty much how I thought they should look when I released them into the wild.
And then, I had a look on the machine with the Retina display. I was astounded at the difference. I could see details in the images that I barely realized were recorded! Even the reduced-size images on this site looked better. One of the images I used as reference is the one to the right (you can click the thumbnail for a larger version, or access the Flickr version here). Where I specifically noticed a difference was in the window screen detail. While you can see it on a convention display, it tends to look a bit murky. On even the 13-inch Retina display, the detail was very clear.
I continued comparing the two screens, and in every application, the display was a joy to look at. Text, as advertised, smooth and legible -- even at tiny type sizes. I was, frankly, amazed.
So, is it worth a few hundred dollars more? For a professional (or serious amateur) photographer, you betcha! And, I think that even someone doing general purpose computing, the Retina display would make for a far more comfortable working experience. It's much easier on the eyes. In fact, I think every computer screen should be this good!
Wow, the Adobe keynote today was almost overwhelming, once they got going -- some of the background stuff was a little slow. There are lots of exciting updates and additions to my most used applications, along with a host of new mobile apps that are amazing. And, Adobe's even making some hardware now.
One of the really big newsmakers is that the Adobe Photographers' bundle (Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC (both desktop and mobile), and the cloud integration, will be available for $9.99 per month permanently. This had been hinted at before, but not confirmed until today. That's an awesome deal for those who only need the photo applications.
As I said, though, the amount of information was fairly overwhelming, so if you're a creative professional and you didn't see the announcement live, you really ought to watch the video for yourself.
I saw this over on flickr and simply had to share:
I've got some old cameras with good bellows and working lens shutters ... and I've got a bunch of cigar box guitars ... and a couple of 4x5 Graflex film holders ... Hmmm ...
But wait! There's more:
Photos by: Jack Germsheid
One of the reasons I made the switch to Sony cameras was the amazing imaging qualities of the cameras and the functionality of the new single-lens-translucent (SLT) technology. I've talked about that before. Another important reason was the ability to use older Minolta Maxxum lenses. Images made with Minolta lenses have a certain "look," much like older Olympus lenses from the OM-1 days. So, in addition new high quality "new tech" lenses, I decided early on that there were a few Minolta lenses that would have to be a part of my kit, and the first one I wanted to get was the second-generation of the 50mm f/1.7 (the second generation is almost identical to the mystical original "crossed X" version, but is rumored to be slightly sharper). Last week, I found a great price on one on line, and quickly snapped (no pun intended) it up.
Literally, this is one of the first pictures I took using the lens. There were specific things I was looking to examine in this "test shot": color, depth of field control, bokeh, and sharpness.
Obviously, at f/1.7, depth-of-field is extremely shallow. And, wide open, the bokeh is beautiful! Nice, perfectly round spectral highlights and soft, flowing colors. And what lovely color. Amazing and beautiful results from a lens that's nearly 25 years old.
For those who long to pixel-peep... Actually, I saw this crop when I zoomed into the image in Lightroom to take a closer look, and really liked the composition. It also affords a nice look at the detail that the lens can capture.
I'm definitely planning to add at least a couple more of these classic lenses to my bag, specifically, the AF 20mm f/2.8 and the AF 135mm f/2.8. An original AF 24-70mm f/2.8, if I can find one that I can afford, would also make a great addition to my kit. More than likely, I'll pickup the 28-85 f/3.5-4.5 instead, as well as a 70-210mm f/4.