Funniest Sean Reid line, maybe ever...

Ray Sachs

Not too far from Philly
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you should be able to figure it out...
I've been a Sean Reid subscriber for a few months now. For the most part, I'm glad there are people doing what he does, but reading his reviews is about as much fun as running sandpaper across my eyes. Really really DRY technical stuff. I can't imagine I'll pay for another year when this one is up. Nonetheless, his reviews and analysis are generally quite exhaustive - no stones are left un-turned, and there's good information in there if you want to go find it. But his analysis definitely runs to the technical, only a pixel peeper would care, end of the spectrum and I live at the other end.

So anyway, today I'm fighting my way through the analysis of the X100, X-Pro 1, M9, and the new Leica Monochrome (which I may have mentioned once or twice, I just don't get). And in the midst of the driest technical analysis I could never want to read appears this line, referencing his wife, who I guess is a pro photographer with, he assures us, a good eye for color:

"The key, she tells me, lies in the bananas".

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. I'm hearing Bogart delivering the line as a young and beautiful Lauren Bacall glances knowingly from the background. I'm seeing Groucho Marx working the eyebrows and the cigar. Its just a great line, but to say it didn't fit in a Sean Reid review is like saying the Titanic had a rough night, like saying that aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, the play wan't half BAD......

It actually makes sense in the context of the article, but it was and is SOOOOOO out of place, such a seeming non sequitur, that I just had to crack up.

There, now you don't have to go read the article - I've gotten to the best part for you. Hopefully this short quote is not a copyright violation.

The Leica Monochrome, btw, shows very impressive high ISO performance and a really REALLY nice natural noise pattern at high ISO. The X-Pro seemed the most impressive of these cameras overall, but in a B&W conversion at all but one or two ISO's (where the X-Pro and the MM came down to a matter of preference), the MM was really nice - best of the bunch. By enough to justify its price tag and to give up the color channel manipulation working with a color file will give you in doing a conversion??? Absolutely not, at least to my way of looking at things. I still don't get this camera. BUT, it is very impressive in terms of high ISO noise, both the relative lack of it and the attractiveness of the "grain" that is inevitable when the ISO gets really high.

None of which amounts to a hill of beans, though, once you understand that "the key, she tells me, lies in the bananas".

After using a Monochrome Digital camera, I've never converted any of my digital color images to monochrome. It never made sense to me to make a color sensor and then use the output for monochrome. If you want monochrome output, ditch the mosaic filter. Monochrome output from a Foveon sensor would not have the spatial artifacts in it, would be better. Adding up the pixels in the 2x2 bayer site would make sense.


betwixt and between
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Thanks, Ray. I got the email alert...but I have to say that I am not made for Sean Reid's style of review. I bought in way back when the X100 first was coming out. Glad to know about those bananas!:th_salute:


Hall of Famer
Bumping an old thread to bring a differing opinion out there.

So many gear reviewers out there are not writing very precisely about camera gear. They write using confusing phrases, they make small factual mistakes, they make oversimplifications on technical matters, they parrot camera/lens manufacturers' possibly incorrect and/or oversimplified marketing statements.

Are their texts valuable? Yes. Are they entertaining? Oh yes. I enjoy Ken Rockwell, Steve Huff, even Kai Wong because they may not be very accurate but they entertain and there's always the seed of truth in what they half-heartedly write.

But there aren't many who take an accurate stance on technical reviews. Sean Reid is maybe the only one out there. This style that he uses is commonly known as "academic" style where you avoid using culture-local phrases, you avoid ambiguity, you avoid weasel words. This style is dry but very dense in information and if successful in its goals, will be very clear and unambiguous to read and understand.

In theory it's not impossible to mix humor in academic style but it happens to be that your brain goes into this "dry & accurate" writing mode and then attempting to inject humor becomes difficult.

I've read too many reviews about something and the conclusion is that "this lens is the bomb!" and I'm left wondering if he meant good or bad performance.

In a world of inaccurate writing, people mixing and matching focal lengths with crop factors, mistaking Adobe-processed raw images for being true raw, whatnot, Sean Reid's writings is a breath of fresh air.