Featured Forum Thread: "Greetings from Italy" by Ray Sachs

LisaO

Regular
That does look 3D-ish I think you convinced me (through this thread) to get a DP2M for my cruise.

I got back home yesterday. I'm too jet lagged and scatter brained to do much of anything today, but I did manage to upload a full res file of that one Sigma time exposure night shot that I had promised to. The new link is back in the thread, but here it is again so nobody has to go back and look for it. I'm not generally a pixel peeper but this one is sort of fun to pixel peep to check out all of the detail in the buildings and mountains and stuff... Easy enough to click through and then select the full size version...

9339237095_2ee5e622f9_o.jpg

20130721-SDIM0550-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

-Ray
 

Maczero

Regular
Location
Fife, Scotland
Real Name
Andrew
I'm just catching up with this thread!

I'd agree with you about the difference between Positano and Praiano. We had a week in that part of the world a few years ago (pre digital cameras) and Positano is very photogenic, but a lot more touristy. We rather appreciated the relative quietness of Praiano - and it's not as though they are very far away from each other.

One lesson I learned from that holiday - get somebody else to do the driving. taking a hire car round those roads would be fine if it weren't for the oncoming traffic (normally a young guy and his girlfriend side saddle on a moped) coming round a hairpin corner on your side of the road.

Andrew
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
I finished my book/album of this trip up this morning. You can view it here:

Amalfi Coast 2013 by Ray Sachs | Blurb Books

You can also preview it there (but the quality of the previews is pretty bad in my experience), or you can buy it there but I don't expect anyone to do that - I publish these for myself in lieu of photo albums...

I also got a PDF of it, which you can download for free if interested, here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzYbLKEAQf-lR25HUXNNT0lseU0/edit?usp=sharing

The quality of the PDF is really good, unlike Blurb's preview page, depending on what you're viewing it on...

-Ray
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Wow you are so on the ball with it Ray! I haven't even begun to edit yet. Then again you had a lot of time to process while you were there, I didn't even have time for a full nights sleep :D And I've shot the botanical gardens and a civil war re-enactment since!
 

Ray Sachs

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Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
Traveling with a laptop was a LOT easier, particularly since we weren't really traveling, but living somewhere temporarily. But all of my shots were more or less finished when I got back, the trash was culled out, and putting the book together is a pretty easy process - the better part of a day of work stretched out over a few. But if I don't do while the stuff is fresh in mind, I'm less likely to do it, or do it as well. So, its done! And the first few days back, my schedule is so screwed up that working on a photo book is a good thing to do in those weird awake periods very late at night (or on end of the trip, very early in the morning). When its done its all sort of an anti-climax, but its still nice to have it done...

-Ray
 

Ranger Rick

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Tempe, AZ
Real Name
Rick
Thanks for the link and the download, Ray. I've followed the postings, appreciating the images as you posted, and this is the icing on the cake. Beautiful work!

Rick
 

neffsrus

Regular
I typically read this forum from my smartphone when I have breaks in my day. After seeing these shots on my iMac, I'm going to read these form the computer more often. Because of Ray's posts, I've told my family, "next summer, I vote we take an RV trip across country, or, how about a trip to ITALY!". (We'd be fortunate to do either one, honestly. These pictures really make you want to go.
 

Ray Sachs

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Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
I typically read this forum from my smartphone when I have breaks in my day. After seeing these shots on my iMac, I'm going to read these form the computer more often. Because of Ray's posts, I've told my family, "next summer, I vote we take an RV trip across country, or, how about a trip to ITALY!". (We'd be fortunate to do either one, honestly. These pictures really make you want to go.

Thanks so much I'm glad the photos have that effect. I'm sort of in the "come down" phase right now of the memories make me want to go BACK! I'm gonna have to dream up some projects to keep me distracted from thinking about it.

-Ray
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Thanks so much I'm glad the photos have that effect. I'm sort of in the "come down" phase right now of the memories make me want to go BACK! I'm gonna have to dream up some projects to keep me distracted from thinking about it.

-Ray

You just need to think of other new and exciting places to go, that's all!
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
When in doubt, go wide... I can't believe I almost didn't bring my Fuji and 14mm. I'd fully run out of inspiration for shooting in Praiano, shooting with the 28 and 35mm. So this morning I took a short walk with the 14mm (21mm equivalent) and shot a lot of the same stuff I've shot already with the Nikon (28) and Sony (35). I just see better for some types of shooting with a wider perspective. Narrow little Italian Village walkways are an obvious place for it. I expect this camera/lens is going to get a LOT of use in Positano in the next couple of weeks.

Just wanted to say that

A) As I go through these, I am beginning to know which are shot with the fuji and which aren't, and I almost always like the Fujis best. Either the X100 has infected me with something, or I got very lucky when my wife got it for me. Either way I just think the Fuji renders things the way my brain likes, and this cements it.
B) Speaking of cementing things, those 14mm shots make me think my ideal second camera is the XE-1 with first a 14mm lens and then something longer as money allows. Over and over I gravitate to wider lenses.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
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Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
You just need to think of other new and exciting places to go, that's all!

It took us three years to get this together once we knew we HAD to go back. I don't see another major trip like this happening anytime soon. And I really don't know where it will be either, unless we go back to the Amalfi again... I'd love to spend a month in Paris someday, but summer's not a great time for that and with my wife being a schoolteacher, that's what's available... This was kind of a peak experience - you don't get those very often. I'm not expecting anything close to this anytime soon...

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

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Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
Just wanted to say that

A) As I go through these, I am beginning to know which are shot with the fuji and which aren't, and I almost always like the Fujis best. Either the X100 has infected me with something, or I got very lucky when my wife got it for me. Either way I just think the Fuji renders things the way my brain likes, and this cements it.
B) Speaking of cementing things, those 14mm shots make me think my ideal second camera is the XE-1 with first a 14mm lens and then something longer as money allows. Over and over I gravitate to wider lenses.

Kind of an interesting place to come to that conclusion because there are so FEW of them... There are four batches of Fuji shots (page 3, 6, 8, and 12) and then just a very occasional shot here and there. I like them too, but not more than the others. I really love the way the RX1 and Nikon render and the Sigma is from some alternate universe - the land of amazing detail. The Fuji is the least detailed of the camera's I brought on this trip, but it does have that sort of creamy look to the files. Even in raw, which I found myself shooting on this trip. I've always shot jpegs with my Fuji's before, but I guess I had the XE1 set to raw at the beginning of the trip for some comparison I'd probably been running previously and it was a bunch of photos before I even realized it. And I was happy enough with the results to just leave it there. Definitely rather Velvia-ish look, but a lot of that's probably my processing.

I do like wide angle a LOT though. To the extent that 28mm is my preferred every day focal length and 35 is as long as I like to go unless I specifically want to go with portrait length or longer. But the 14 might be as wide as I want or need. I brought the Olympus 9-18 out and only used it for a couple of cloud shots one day - the 14 is pretty much wide enough for anything I ran into on this trip and not sooooo wide that it looks cartoonish. The 14mm is what's kept Fuji in the game for me - I sold off my 18 and 35 because the Nikon and the RX1 had those functions covered better for my purposes and I just liked the RX1 more than the X100s when I shot with both. But that 14 is a SWEET lens - if only the aperture ring wasn't SOOOO loose...

-Ray
 

Darthpnoy88

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Location
Southern California
Real Name
Rain
Kind of an interesting place to come to that conclusion because there are so FEW of them... There are four batches of Fuji shots (page 3, 6, 8, and 12) and then just a very occasional shot here and there. I like them too, but not more than the others. I really love the way the RX1 and Nikon render and the Sigma is from some alternate universe - the land of amazing detail. The Fuji is the least detailed of the camera's I brought on this trip, but it does have that sort of creamy look to the files. Even in raw, which I found myself shooting on this trip. I've always shot jpegs with my Fuji's before, but I guess I had the XE1 set to raw at the beginning of the trip for some comparison I'd probably been running previously and it was a bunch of photos before I even realized it. And I was happy enough with the results to just leave it there. Definitely rather Velvia-ish look, but a lot of that's probably my processing.

I do like wide angle a LOT though. To the extent that 28mm is my preferred every day focal length and 35 is as long as I like to go unless I specifically want to go with portrait length or longer. But the 14 might be as wide as I want or need. I brought the Olympus 9-18 out and only used it for a couple of cloud shots one day - the 14 is pretty much wide enough for anything I ran into on this trip and not sooooo wide that it looks cartoonish. The 14mm is what's kept Fuji in the game for me - I sold off my 18 and 35 because the Nikon and the RX1 had those functions covered better for my purposes and I just liked the RX1 more than the X100s when I shot with both. But that 14 is a SWEET lens - if only the aperture ring wasn't SOOOO loose...

-Ray

The Zeiss lens has seduced you on that RX1 :) in all honesty I wanted to upgrade to that route after I sold the RX100 then opportunity came in when I found a GR in stock through Amazon.
 

Ray Sachs

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Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
The Zeiss lens has seduced you on that RX1 :) in all honesty I wanted to upgrade to that route after I sold the RX100 then opportunity came in when I found a GR in stock through Amazon.

Everything about the RX1 has seduced me (except the focal length, but I'm doing better with it than expected). The Zeiss is definitely part of it - just a wonderful lens. But the sensor gets the most out of the resolution of the lens and is incredible for DR, low light, etc. And the build and handling of the camera are second to none also. I tend to prefer the 28mm focal length generally, but I got very comfortable on my trip with the 35 and I was very happy just taking that camera out many days (and nights). Best camera I've ever owned. Between that and the Nikon A, a huge majority of my shooting is covered, with both wider and longer options for when needed, but that's a very small percentage of the time...

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

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Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
Ray,
I was wondering if once you return home and get a good overview of all your images if you could go over what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of each of the systems you used and when and why you used them.
I got my books from Blurb, a couple of the small ones available for sale (8x10) and one of the larger ones I had made up for myself with better paper (11x13) and figured this was a good time to revisit the cameras.

(BTW, I've updated the PDF slightly with a couple of new photos and a couple of other minor changes - if anyone is still interested the free PDF is here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzYbLKEAQf-lR25HUXNNT0lseU0/edit?usp=sharing)

Here's my conclusion - THE CAMERAS ARE ALL AMAZINGLY GOOD!

Seriously, I did a book from a trip that included this area three years ago, using an EP2 and a Canon S90. And the difference in quality is rather amazing. The new gear is just soooo much better, including the OMD with the 75, from which a few shots made the book. And, frankly, printing made most of the differences between the RX1, DP1M, Nikon A, Fuji XE1, and OMD seem sort of irrelevant. I would say the RX1 shots have an undefinable presence in the printed versions that stand out slightly above the others - it might be the lens and it might just be my bias. The RX1 is head and shoulders above the others in low light - the Nikon is second best and the Fuji a close third but its a distant second and third to the RX1. Once I got comfortable with the focal length (which I absolutely did by a week or so into the trip), the RX1 was definitely the MVP of the trip.

The detail and resolution advantage the DP1M has when pixel peeping pretty fully disappears in printed versions. All of the cameras, shot in the light they're capable of handling, look about as good in prints other than the slight advantage to the RX1, which I think is more lens than sensor except in low light. The really fun part of the DP1M is in the pixel peeping - and not just pixel peeping for its own sake - but blowing them up to 100% on screen and getting into the details of the buildings and the topography and even the faces of the people a hundred meters away! This is fun in its own way, sort of like looking at aerial photos or maps, and the camera is amazing for that! But I'd say the advantage is gone in the prints (maybe not in huge wall sized prints, but I never go bigger than about 12x18" and it just doesn't matter at those sizes). There's certainly no DOWNside to the Sigma (other than the workflow issues) but the advantage just isn't there at normal viewing sizes/resolution... The Nikon and Fuji and OMD looked every bit as good (the OMD isn't all that comparable because all of its shots were with the a long lens, and the overwhelmingly great 75mm at that - so the OMD is hitting somewhat above its weight with that lens - jeez, what an incredible piece of glass!), the Sony a bit better. So, great as it is, no DP1M for me...

These books just solidified my impressions and this trip sort of verified my choices in gear as the right choices for me. I spent a LOT of money on the RX1 and I did it with this trip very much in mind. Over the first few days I was having my doubts (I think expressed early in this thread), but then I found myself shooting with it more and more and soon realized it was living up to everything I'd hoped for it. The Nikon A is my favorite focal length, the best street camera I've ever used for how I shoot, fits in a pocket, and was as good as or better than any of the other cameras for IQ and for low light, OTHER than the RX1. It didn't get the most use of any during the trip, but it got a LOT, and it will probably be my go-to camera most of the time now that I'm home (except when I get a chance to play with other new gear - I've got an XM-1 and a Nex 6 and a handful of lenses coming in later today...). The XE1 with the 14mm was a perfect wide angle solution and this 21mm equivalent may be as wide as I need anymore. I used to shoot with the Olympus 9-18 a fair amount (with an 18mm equivalent wide end) and I brought it on this trip, but never really used it. I'd thought about buying the Fuji 10-24 when it became available, but its gonna be an expensive lens, and I just don't know that I'd use it with the 14 on hand. So the Fuji may just be a fixed lens camera with the 14mm from now on... And the OMD was great for what I brought it for - about 90% family shots, with just a couple of street and landscape shots from it making their way into the book... And its pretty much a family and long lens camera in my kit now too..

So, there you go. There are as many "right" answers about cameras as there are photographers. This kit worked better for me than I could have imagined. It pretty much lived up to my hopes, which is a rare feat. It'll be interesting to see what I've changed in another year or so. At the moment, I want for nothing and can't imagine why I'd want to change any of it, but I said that last year too and I've almost completely turned my kit over since then, so I make absolutely no promised going forward!

-Ray
 

BBW

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betwixt and between
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BB
Ray, thanks so much for all your photographs, for sharing so much of your trip with us - and, as always, for your thoughts about why your camera/lenses work for you. Always highly enjoyable reading!:drinks::bravo-009:
 

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