Not sure that I completely agree with his testing methodology, but the results may still be of interest. The M9 certainly holds its own.
Not sure that I completely agree with his testing methodology, but the results may still be of interest. The M9 certainly holds its own.
Sony A99, RX1, RX100
I don't even won't to comment on this BS. Ken is just ......
What is BS about it? Curious what your take is.
I'm still trying to figure out how he figures the Nikon is a 27MP equivalent camera... D300s is still 12.3 MP. To be honest the test isn't of much value. The M9 doesn't compete at all with the D300s. The D3x or even a D700 would have been a better test subject as would have a 1DsMkIII over the 5DMkII...
This is no test. Focus is off, lenses are not off the same quality, files are over processed and so on....
Ken is a nice guy, but shares a trait with Steve Jobs: he's surrounded by an RDF (Reality Distortion Field). He is also crippled with a lack of proper testing procedure. His claims of "real world" testing are just that: claims. The term itself is oxymoronic. Testing is done in a laboratory (or the field) with controlled conditions. You test one variable at a time comparing the results (plural) to a control. The tests must be repeated in order to be valid. What he is doing is a usage report. How was the weather, Ken? Did you have all three cameras on tripods and fired them simultaneously? What was the average leaf size and vein count so we can compare actual resolution dependent details instead of looking at Impressionist photography? The number of unaccounted for variables just makes it worse and worse.
I must say, that test is crazy. Stupid methodology. Most everything about it is flawed. Get a current 50mm Summicron for the Leica (a brilliant 50mm lens) and two non-oem f2 lenses like the Zeiss 50mm f2 Makro-Planar in EOS and F mount (as it is considered "better" than each oem's respective standard offerings,) get a REAL D3X, and actually focus the 5DII properly... Also shoot a firmly stationary, flat subject like a highly textured wall. Then we can start to draw some conclusions.
I don't even know what he is trying to do. If he wants to test the effective resolution of the sensor, he should be shooting the respective best lenses he can find, and stop them down a bit, on tripods, mirror up (well, for the M9, he can leave it down ), focus bracketing, etc. If he wants to compare lenses, he needs to get similar lenses and stop using ancient copies. In either case, he needs to use cameras which are more equivalent. The D300s can just not be compared with the others here, in these terms.
His articles are shallow, unfair, and ultimately useless. I don't know how he stays in business.
Since it is clear what ought to be done to make an "effective test" (not just you Carsten but many many camera owners know this by now), there is nothing much to it. [He says that he used the best lens that he has. that is a problem with Leica M mount being backward compatible - a real problem for Leica.]
I am not sure about the "shallow, unfair and ultimately useless" part (though it may be quite accurate).
To me, it just goes to show what kind of business is this review business.
I am looking forward to SR's comments on KR's review.
do you know this one?
# Ken Rockwell is the Chuck Norris of photography
# Ken Rockwell's camera has similar settings to ours, except his are:
Tv[Totally Awesome Priority]
# Ken Rockwell doesn't color correct. He adjusts your world to match his.
# Sure, Ken Rockwell deletes a bad photo or two. Other people call these Pulitzers.
# Ken Rockwell doesn't adjust his DOF, he changes space-time.
# Circle of confusion? You might be confused. Ken Rockwell never is.
# Ken Rockwell doesn't wait for the light when he shoots a landscape - the light waits for him.
# Ken Rockwell never flips his camera in portrait position, he flips the earth
# Ken Rockwell ordered an L-lens from Nikon, and got one.
# Ken Rockwell is the only person to have photographed Jesus; unfortunately he ran out of film and had to use a piece of cloth instead.
# When Ken Rockwell brackets a shot, the three versions of the photo win first place in three different categories
# Before Nikon or Canon releases a camera they go to Ken and they ask him to test them, the best cameras get a Nikon sticker and the less good get a Canon sticker
# Once Ken tested a camera, he said I cant even put Canon on this one,thats how Pentax was born
# Rockwellian policy isn't doublethink - Ken doesn't even need to think once
# Ken Rockwell doesn't use flash ever since the Nagasaki incident.
# Only Ken Rockwell can take pictures of Ken Rockwell; everyone else would just get their film overexposed by the light of his genius
# Ken Rockwell wanted something to distract the lesser photographers, and lo, there were ducks.
# Ken Rockwell is the only one who can take self-portraits of you
# Ken Rockwell's nudes were fully clothed at the time of exposure
# Ken Rockwell once designed a zoom lens. You know it as the Hubble SpaceTelescope.
# When Ken unpacks his CF card, it already has masterpieces on it.
# Rockwell portraits are so lifelike, they have to pay taxes
# On Ken Rockwell's desktop, the Trash Icon is really a link to National Geographic Magazine
# Ken Rockwell spells point-and-shoot "h-a-s-s-e-l-b-l-a-d"
# When Ken Rockwell went digital, National Geographic nearly went out of business because he was no longer phyically discarding photos
# For every 10 shots that Ken Rockwell takes, 11 are keepers.
# Ken Rockwell's digital files consist of 0's, 1's AND 2's.
# Ken Rockwell never focus, everything moves into his DoF
# Ken Rockwell's shots are so perfect, Adobe redesigned photoshop for him: all it consists of is a close button.
# The term tripod was coined after his silhouette
# Ken Rockwell never produces awful work, only work too advanced for the viewer
# A certain braind of hig-end cameras was named after people noticed the quality was a lot "like a" rockwell
# Ken Rockwell isn't the Chuck Norris of photography; Chuck Norris is the Ken Rockwell of martial arts.
# Ken Rockwell never starts, he continues
I can't read his stuff, it always sends my blood pressure right through the roof.
Just this guy you know
Jono,if youre into hi fi maybe you remember a man called Belt whose theorys included strategically placed pieces of paper that improved the resolution and naturalness of the stereo experience,Ken Rockwell is only half way up the tree,I really enjoy him and might just send him a fiver.......maybe.
When I got to the word "Teknik," I stopped reading.
Ken had a website up and running among the first people. Because his site was among the first on Google's results for "Nikon" search, he got a lot of traffic. He is very opinionated and provocative (as a writing style) and talks as if it is the truth.
His target audience are mainly beginners, so those people will believe whatever he's saying because they don't have the knowledge to filter his BS. I think some of his writings were insightful, although you always need other source(s) to determine what are the facts from the added BS stuff. It goes up to the point of reviewing lenses he has never tried!
After some years, he understood the "game" very well and he's certainly making a considerable bunch of money from his site and the large traffic it generates. His site is probably popular (many people getting to it), but it doesn't mean it is a good one! We have to give the man the credit for being successful in producing a money generating machine while others are very far from him in this regards, but that's probably all there is about him.
I may have gotten a couple of nice information from his site, but I see it a lot more as an entertainment matter than a solid reference. What I hate the most is the fact that many people are being smoked by his many reality-like opinions and the fact that the people who are having the most chance to read his stuff don't have the knowledge to filter the crap from his writings.
Last edited by Mozbee; 2nd October 2009 at 05:47. Reason: typo.
From what I read it's not a camera or sensor test. It's a test of 50mm f/1.4 lenses on Leica, Nikon and Canon digital cameras. Since he never fixed the Canon focusing issue, it's simply a test of the central part of the image in a Leica M9 and a Nikon D300s. Plus he is using an old Summilux, so I'm not sure what the test really shows if anything other than that KR could improve his testing methodology.
Agree or disagree with his methodology or results, but his marketing program seems to be working well: post provocative articles that generate forum posts with more links to his site resulting in high search engine placement.
There is another resolution test here from Luminous Landscape, comparing the A900 to M9 to 1ds Mk III.
P.T. Barnum - "There is no such thing as bad press."
He is funny to read, sometimes he makes good points. To be honest, I find the actual content of his site or his opinions no worse than at a lot of sites. He at least tends to present things as "this is my opinion, you should do it this way too" as opposed to "this is fact".
and unlike many he manages to show humour and intelligence,a little of which is needed by the reader.
Ken is actually a very nice person; I've exchanged emails with him in the past. His writings are provocative, but that can be said of many. If one doesn't agree with him, it's easy to move on, rather than get a coronary over it. The same can be said of Erwin Puts.
I simply classify this test as BS
truth be told I am not sure I could argue with the "test": my 50 pre-asph lux at 1.4 is pretty soft on center. It has that "glow" of spherical aberration all over. I have no idea about the nikon glass, but I do know that the canon ef 50 1.4 is softer wide open, to the point imo of being unusable at 1.4. And I probably would not shoot it at f2 either. The lux is good at f2 and great at 2.8.
He notes the lux is diffraction limited at 5.6 which I would also agree with.
As for the 5DmkII which I have the autofocus has been working fine for me, in critical situations I use the live view. But I still prefer a rangefinder for low light focusing of wide lenses. Autofocus wide open in dim conditions is a ymmv situation.
I think the point was to show how poor 50mm lenses are from canikon. In this I agree, the only lens I really like is the L 50 1.2 which is better imo than the old noct.
but yeah, the guy's a nutter.
Ken reminds me of Chris Pirillo (whom I personally know). Very secure in his opinions and is not afraid to let every else know this. Chris is the kind of person that evokes two emotions in general: laughter at his antics (though he does get his point across) or a strong desire to strangle him on the spot. Ken strikes me as being cut from the same cloth.
I just don't know why he don't use a Leica R 50mm f1.4 with an adapter on Canon while modify the rear mount for Nikon. It is justify to use same lens on 3 machines.
Just see it as a joke. Leica won't get a better market share after the test. The sensor on M9 is till behind the quality of Canon or Nikon.
If his site has misapplication of facts or lack of accuracy whether through ignorance or deliberate act it is not good marketing. There is another term for it and and it is not provocative. And you don't have to be smart to accomplish it. It is a disservice to those who don't know better. If a site is going to it should attempt to have its facts straight and make corrections when errors become known.
Last edited by wolverine; 2nd October 2009 at 14:17.
Ken is a close friend of a friend of mine. From what I hear, Ken's writing style on his website is quite different from what he's like in person. He just found a provocative style that makes his website work.
So when you criticize, remember that you are criticizing the site rather than the person.
That said - what a crappy test!
There are two words when I hear about his site that really hit home with me. I'm sure he maybe a very nice person, never meet him so i have no idea BUT as a workshop owner and instructor of one. I never ever want to hear these two words together beginner and misleading. If you cut through all the comments and get down to the raw data this is where I lose him on my scale. Never should those two words be in the same sentence. Honestly knowing that out of the gate just reading his site would make me stroke out. As a instructor and I know Jack feels the same way we bust our *** to help folks understand everything about photography and letting a beginner out of our grasp with any misleading info. Than we would fail miserable as instructors and should be taken out for a good hanging. Anyone in this industry with knowledge and experience needs to take that type of dedication of photography that has a audience to heart.
Ken writes like he does for his site because it works for him, and works well. He has it down and if you browse some forums you may see plenty of people talking about this test. The thing is, all of us went to his site and checked it out due to all of this forum talk about it.
Plus, he lists camera "reviews" the day a camera is announced, before he even gets the camera. He lists specs and has his page set. This way, he gets ranked high in google as being one of the first with a "review" page.
Search "Leica M9 review" in google and you will see his page at #4 or #5 only because he put up his review on 09/09, which in reality was just a page of specs and opinions.
His site consists of tens of thousands of pages and he probably gets 200k unique hits a day. Add all of those hits up and between his affiliate and google ads he makes a huge chunk O change. So don't expect him to change anytime soon.
Kind of an odd comparison.
Not uninteresting if you already know something ... but to make decisions from this kind of test would be sort of foolish.
I think he peppers in enough caveats to red flag a lot of what he says as pure opinion, but for the Lemmings looking for a lead Lemming to follow, it's a trip straight over the edge of a cliff
If Lars says he's a good guy, I'll believe him. However I think it's pretty clear he is more an entertainer than a serious gear reviewer; the Jay Leno -- or maybe Ellen Degeneres? -- of the photographic world.
I have more empathy for sites who contribute incorrect information because they don't know any better. Misleading people who are hungry for information, knowing they're misleading them.... and doing it because it makes a lot of money... makes what he is doing morally criminal (though not legally)
There's no doubt that The Onion is a lampoon.. but Ken throws in enough credible information to make it appear that what he's offering is good advice.. and beginners don't know any better, taking his site as gospel.
That doesn't sound like a nice guy in my book
hehe, well the '60s lux is pretty sharp, in the center.
I have to agree with Jim. As a product reviewer and instructor, this sort of mis-information is a disservice to the public at large. I know he has a site to run (I do as well), but all he is really doing is playing off of the behaviors of search engines to drive up his visit counts and get potential hits on his syndicated advertising. Constantly putting out what is, in essence, gibberish spiked with keywords puts him at the level of a spammer in my opinion.
KR's site cracks me up on many levels. It is completely simplified, no fancy CMS, all flat HTML files, massively interlinked, many pages outdated. However, his site has been around since the late 90's, and in Google's eyes, it's the authority on all things photography. I challenge you to search for any mainstream Nikon-related body, lens, accessory and not find KR's site in the Top 3. He was the early adopter to embrace the internet to take his opinions and share them with the world.
This said, he pulls a massive amount of affiliate revenue through B&H, Adorama, etc. Word on the affiliate marketing street is that he pulls 7 figures in revenue / month with B&H, which (assuming he's in the 4-5% tier) will make him between $40-50k a month off B&H alone. Add Ritz, Adorama, and whatever other program he's pushing (plus the Adsense clicks off his 100k+ uniques a day) and you have yourself a serious bidness.
If I was him, I'd preach my opinions too. There is plenty of suckers to listen to him closely and follow his buying advice. How is it really misleading if all you do is post personal opinions on the matter? It is up to everyone browsing a web site, a magazine, seeing a commercial, to determine whether or not you believe what is being presented. If you know better (like many of us do in regards to his "tests"), then you dismiss the drivel.
He's a successful business man, and I applaud him for it. If you're on top, you're going to have many people disagreeing with your business antics. KR ain't going anywhere.
Ever since he listed the fact that a Zeiss lens cap weighs 1 gram* more than a Canon lens cap as a negative point for the Zeiss, I haven't been able to take him seriously. I think that was also the first of his articles I read
*or whatever the actual weight difference is
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
I cannot believe that he is earning that much on commission, really. Either that, or he is even more of a knob than I previously thought, for asking people for extra donations on top. The way he talks about his budget vs. what he buys also tends to make me think that he makes more like $40-50k per year, and a little on the side from other stuff.
web site stats show he's getting about 140K page views/day, could equal a couple to few hundred a day in ads, not counting click through equipment sales commissions.
I like a few of his articles, agree with him on some of them. But my ultimate slam ever was when someone on a blog I used to contribute to recommended I go check out his site for gear advice
Beats me why he's still begging for donations.
What I'm disappointed about is the shameless plugs on Reichmann's site for his lightroom videos in the middle of his initial M9 articles. It's almost as if he's picking up on KR tactics.
OK, now I'm just annoyed with myself for actually looking at that 'test' on KR. What utter BS.
My D3x & AF-S 50/1.4 G would absolutely crush that feeble set of images by KR. If my foliage shots looked that bad I'd have sent both back long ago. My Zeiss 50/2 would have been even sharper.
AS for the 27MP 'equivalent'. I'm still sitting here in shock.
What a crock ....
So who writes a freebee that is not BS?
KR's methodology reminds me of my first college physics book: Beiser Physics. As an into level textbook, many of the problems were simplified for the sake of clarity. For example: a Russian aristocrat zeppeliner accidentally drops his samovar out of the gondola at 10000m. What is the final velocity when the tea-kettle finally lithobrakes? Well, the final answer was some ridiculous velocity because the problem fails to take into account terminal free-fall velocity. And if you take into account the mass of a fully loaded 400l brass samovar (500kg), the kinetic energy yield was equivalent to 49 megajoules. (While this number sounds impressive it actually equated to about 23 lb. of TNT.)
While this simplified the math, if the student is left with that information alone then things get a little squirrelly.