Monday, January 18, 2010

DPReview, bans, and other stuff (updated May 2016)

Update in May 2016 …

DPReview is a place I go once in a long while to look at what is happening in the camera world. I’ve not been buying much, but I still have the used D90 with grip and 18-105. What a nice combination that is. My old Sigma 105 is magnificent on it and I traded the GX1 and an 18-42 X lens for a Tamron 28-75 2.8, one of my favourite walk about lenses. I just recently acquired the Panasonic G7 and am looking now to consolidate down to only a few bodies with an equal mix of image and video prowess.

I think I would like to end up with the D7200 replacing the D90, the G7 and G6 for video, and the OMD EM10II or the GX85 to replace the secondary travel camera EPM2 and the GF3 vestigial limb. So the travel kit might be the G7 and 14-140 with either GX85 or EM10II with the 45mm and 7.5mm Samyang fisheye. That would be pretty magnificent.

The D7200 would be for macro work as I really hate the short focal lengths of the macro lenses available for the m4/3 bodies. One day I suppose they will get that right (i.e. a 75mm or greater for macro to match the APS-C 105 working distance.) The D7200 would also make a superb studio camera of course with the Tamron 28-75 or the 105 (I don’t mind standing back to get that kind of image quality.)

Update in late 2015 ...

I've pretty much dropped off of DPReview in that I am very busy with work and hobbies. I've started shooting for charity, which is interesting and challenging and I really don't care about the acquisitiveness of the typical denizen of DPReview any more. The prototypical "buy everything" attitude has worn thin and the old "doctor / lawyer" joke regarding fat wallets is no longer funny to me. It is just sad to see buying big gear substituting for learning to control light and process images to look great.

And do note that I am not suggesting that I have mastered anything. I am just another photographer on a long learning curve, as is everyone reading this. I shoot some simple m4/3 gear, none of which is current. I still have the Panasonic GF3 that I banged up in Stockholm (search for "takes a licking" on the search box in the right-hand column.) I also shoot the wonderful Olympus E-PM2, which is small and has a hot shoe and a modern sensor of the Sony era (think E-M5.) My workhorse is the Panasonic G6, which is the least capable sensor I have in low light, yet still produces fine images and is amazing in bright light and studio because of its heritage from the original GH2 sensor, much tweaked of course. But the gear I use for studio work is the Nikon D90, a pretty old camera of the 12mp generation that still kicks serious butt. I love shooting tethered to Lightroom and printing on location, which is necessary for charity work. Lightroom and Nikon work well together. Panasonic and Olympus are way behind in their approach to tethering and so they and Adobe have not got together on this yet. Probably never is my guess. Too bad ...

The portraiture work was performed with my super-portable setup -- umbrella, speedlight brolly box and three manual Nikon speedlights. The work is decent, although I would do it differently today. The second generation work was for the Pug rescue Under My Wing, which is done using a rather busy background, not all that much to my liking. I used continuous video lights there and it shows. The light from outside intruded a bit (which made the processing difficult and that really shows) and it was impossible to deal with movement. Still, some of the shots are good. But the third generation system -- four strobes acquired on clearance and on Kijiji with a white background also acquired on Kijiji, a couple of 75" brolly boxes acquired on clearance from Henrys (and still available for a song on their site) -- shows a massive difference in approach and results.

Have a look at my portfolio here. (Note: Having some trouble with ipower domain redirects, so you may be forced to click on the "My Portfolio" button in the middle of the column on the right.)

The point, of course, being that this is old(ish) gear and yet my results are better than ever. So don't get sucked into the gear race. We all pine for the latest stuff, but I would suggest you force yourself to expand your skills by taking on challenges like charity work. Consider checking the rescues in your area to see if they have photography booths at their fundraising events, but make sure that you do your research and practice before you show up.

Update in late 2013 ...

I've been on the forums now for many years ... and I have dropped out a few times by now to refresh my interest. Generally, I still consider DPReview a place to interact and exchange information. I learn from those people and I try to give something back as often as possible. I am well known as someone who does not like to be fed b.s. so I always challenge vague or misleading arguments and that seems to really bother some people. So be it.

As my interests have changed, I have partially weaned away from my original home forum -- Fuji Talk. I was never much interested in Nikon forums as interacting with them was rarely satisfying. The m4/3 and digital video forums are a bit better, although there are always people who are irritating, and I say this with full knowledge of the embodied irony :-)

Original text ... well, not completely original as something I wrote to counter a heavy attack from a wing nut has now been removed and no longer applies.

I originally left DPReview when the acrimony and bickering got to be too much even for me.

I stayed away for about 3 months, and after feeling refreshed I came back. Things had improved only marginally but I have mostly stuck it out. The road, however, is incredibly rocky with certain people on the forums thinking they some sort of God-given right to crusade against individuals they don’t like. Puerile and infantile, but what can you do …


crazy football mom said...

I'd have gone with the shock & awe post, but that's just one guy's opinion :-) Good for you for standing up for...uh...for what's right! And your friends have your e-mail as you said. I read something today about people from your past...if they're not in your present, there's a reason. It was rather profound ;

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Gaye ... it's really a combination of me overusing the forums and a few people destroying the culture there ... there remain quite a few nice people who are pleasant and interested in learning the fundamentals ... those are the ones I will miss ...

Anonymous said...

I have say as an occasional DPReview forums visitor I have noticed of late some (just some) of your posts over there have been the most childish and rude in some threads - this might be out of angst with some of the people that was generated in other threads but from the particular sample I saw you looked like the bad guy.

That said I am not to point the finger at you on your own site but to say that maybe you have been pulled in to a dark place by some people over there that really don't deserve the time of day. The thing is if you run off from DPReview - they win. If you sink to there level posting there - they win. If you stay on DPReview, rise above the childishness of others and keep up the work spreading your own (obviously considered) opinion and a polite and helpful way - everyone wins.

Maybe you need a holiday from DPReview - maybe you have really been rubbed up the wrong way and are feeling like your in the trenches of a battle you need to win. But it's just a website, everyone is entitled to a point of view even if it is stupid, ill-informed and maybe even abusive and belittling - that's just life. Don't take it to heart - don't take it on your shoulders to fix it all. Let it slide, don't let them get to you - walk away and forget about them and please keep sharing your positive views with the rest of us.

Turn the other cheek - stand your ground and stay with us.


Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha.....What a tool. I was wondering why FTF was so pleasant these days. Good to see that the person who dragged down the forum into the sewer will now just stay in the sewer all alone. Enjoy!!!

Kim Letkeman said...

I usually delete negative comments from anonymous people, but I am going to leave this one stand as a testament to the kind of assholes that inhabit the forums these days.

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Simon, but I also have a slew of articles that need writing for work and I find it too easy to slip into dpreview when I should be writing ... there are many reasons to stay off the forums, not just those morons who make it such an unpleasant place ... and as for winning, well ... so far I feel like the big winner to be honest. My time is my own again.

Childofthe60’s said...

Kim, though I have not always agreed with your style when it was apparent that you were irritated by the comments of others, I have never regretted reading your thoughtful and intelligent remarks about photography and your personal observations regarding various camera models. I have to admit, it was some of your detailed observations regarding Fuji's F70EXR that helped me decide to purchase that camera soon after it was released. And I am glad to see your further delight with this camera in your posts here as well. Again, while I didn't always agree with your approach, I can't help but feel the FTFs will be a lesser place without your experience and observations. You are correct, when the threads stay on topic and remain helpful, they can be an amazing place to glean information and contribute ideas. After all is said and done, I can't believe you will stay away forever. I imagine someday seeing a new username popping up in the forums - KLetkeman(2)

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Glenn ... only time will tell. This is also a lifestyle decision. That needs a bit of time to vet.

Brian and Grace said...

Good Luck Kim, a just read a thread announcing your leaving the forum, and left this response:

Thanks for posting this as I had wondered where he had gone.

I think he had outgrown this non DSLR forum and due to his low tolerance of other views especially if he thinks they are inaccurate, it has been causing him a great amount of stress. His technical knowledge is very high, but I don't think the average poster wants to go to that level.

I notice that a thread has been pulled from the fuji forum, it was the one comparing the F200EXR and F70EXR which got out of hand. The last I saw of that thread, KL had posted an enormously long and minutely detailed response and for me it had reached comedy level, so I responded with the fact that it might make it to the Guinness book of records for the longest and most detailed thread in order to alert him that it was getting over the top. This was the last response I saw.

Not sure if this was the straw that broke the camels back or someone may know something else.

His technical input will be missed I am sure, but at least now I don't have to fear starting WWIII simply by making a statement.

Good luck to him, it was a brave move to excommunicate himself.


Kim Letkeman said...

Brian ... I left DPR completely, not just FTF. I did see your comment in that thread "alerting" me to going over the top ... however, I did not see a similar comment to the moron to whom I was responding. Since that post was equally long and contained a lot of negative and misleading information, it most certainly should have drawn a similar response ... don't you think?

Unknown said...

Wow, I will miss your technically accurate and direct posts there.
FTF is not the worst BTW, both of the DSLR fora I visit have their share of flame wars.
I will be glad to keep in touch via mail or here however.
And Pooey in those that find the need to attack you here anonymously.
It is so easy to be Brave behind a Mask!

Alastair said...


Sorry to see you have decided to leave the DPreview forum and thanks for your help when I had problems with my F70 EXR (my lack of ability not the camera)!

I have been away from the Forums for quite some time myself, due to lack of time but also because I got fed up with a lot of the childish comments that have been posted and the personal attacks on people like yourself who were just trying to help.

Anyway, I will keep reading your blog from time to time; its always interesting, informative, well written and excellent photos, shame some of your detractors don't put so much effort in as you did!

Thanks again for your help and hope to see you back on there one day?


Ian Bramham said...

Hi Kim,

I haven't been following the goings-on at the FTF for a while now but I'm really sorry to hear that you felt the need to leave the place as I always valued your detailed and technical knowledge on all aspects of photography and camera technology.

When I was active on the FTF two years ago your low light concert photographs using a Fuji F30 impressed the hell out of me.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kim. I do understand clearly your reasons for leaving. BUTTT, I kept coming back because of your insight and your absence from the site has been felt. I hope that if you ever decide to sharing your thoughts, expertise and insight to dpreview or another photography site that you let us know so we can join in. Best wishes

Unknown said...

Hi Kim,
Just wanted to say thank you for all your good advice over the years.

When I was considering a DSLR you helped out.

When I was looking for a compact to carry in my pocket, your detailed posts on the F70 were (and will continue to be) instrumental.

Hopefully the rest will be beneficial to your other pursuits and family and that you feel like coming back sometime in the future.

Kim Letkeman said...

Lili, Alastair, Ian, Graham and anonymous -- thanks so much for all the kind words. If I could trust myself to only interact with people like you, I would happily continue. But we all know that that's not gonna happen ... I'll continue to challenge certain people's inaccurate or misleading information and it all continues. This is a better choice for me for now. I am always here though and I see every comment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kim, I haven't been too active at DPR lately (you know, computer chess, my other hobby) but I wish you all the best. I just bought a TZ6, btw. Maybe we'll meet again somewhere in Cyberspace!


Anvancy said...

Some people didnt like your company it seems.I am not a regular so dont know the internal matters.but thanks for supporting and answering queries during the time.

Have a nice day.

and yes do visit my stream from time to time.



Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Bas, I always enjoyed our interactions. Best wishes. You too Avancy, even though you've only been around a while. As for those who didn't like my company, well, many of them could not stand to be challenged and could not back their (generally wrong) technical assertions at all ... their inevitable aggressive defensiveness was one of the most tiresome aspects of the FTF ... I really dislike a lack of critical thinking and lazy posting.

Unknown said...

I have been following your posts for over two years from India, and have found your arguments usually compelling and very thorough - leading me to purchase an F70 which I have just started using in the Himalayas in pretty difficult lighting conditions. Your guide has been very useful.
As a practising film professional, at some point I wanted to invite you here too (Himalayas), since I see you as a gladiator in an arena who will not yield an inch to amateurs - just my kind of pro. Your style was sure brusque and abrasive, characteristic of a professional who has no patience with (and cannot tolerate) substitution of solid facts with unsubstantiated subjective posts - the latter being a typical character trait of those who try to disguise their incompetence with irrelevant drivel.
Taking some time off from this site is not a bad idea, but returning in a more centred, Zen like 'Avatar' at some distant point in the future would possibly be a welcome option for a 'warrior' like you?
All the very best and may peace be with you.

Billx08 said...

> I usually delete negative comments from anonymous people . . .

Of all of the FTF bottom dwellers that infested it, this one may not be as anonymous as he thinks that he is. I agree with your decision to let it Slide. :)

That said, I'm sorry to see your departure and hope that the void isn't filled with more of the ignorant fanboy and mean spirited posts that you effectively took to task.

I've never emailed any forum members and never checked your email address while it was available, but at least you can be reached publicly here. :) Let us know if you join some other forum or change your mind at some future date and return to DPR (with another name, of course).

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

I just checked into the FTF, saw that you'd left and figured I'd say "bye".

It's a shame you left, but I understand why. You were one of the few people there who actually gave some real, unbiased and knowledgeable advice on cameras and their use IMO, and you'll be missed for that. I also benefitted from some of your comments back when I was a regular on that forum.

I haven't been looking into the FTF much myself anymore, though I spend (too much) time on other forums: too many bad vibes in the FTF these days. Blame can always be found on both sides, but some of the stuff I've read just in these last two days....yuck. You'll have less stress and frustration without DPReview, I'm sure.

Christa (cnb)

Yanko said...

Hi Kim!

Read the post, got the point..well I guess you are right. Wanna say a big thanks for all the comments, technical expertise and advise I got from you! Learned a lot.

If you're off the FTF I'll just have to stop by here more often :)Well your Blogger is bookmarked now, so I'll be sticking around enjoying your new technical inside and lovely shots.



Hards80 said...


I didn't actually spend that much time on the FTF until I was deciding on my latest compact companion to my dslr kit. So I missed most of the drama.

but I am glad that I did run into your posts and subsequently this blog as it led to my decision to opt for the F70EXR, and finally get some examples of what the camera does when setup properly, versus the slew of crappy automode 10mp images. and it has proven to be an ideal kit for when the dslr isn't needed.

i have been able help many others on Steve's with their F70EXRs as well by pointing them to your how to shoot it blog post. so on behalf of myself and those on Steve's, we thank you for that.

anyways i will continue to follow your blog.

best wishes,

happymomof3 said...

I am new to FTF and really enjoyed your comments and advice. Sorry to see you go - I totally understand your reasons and wish you well.
I just got the F70EXR - based on your advice and comments and looked forward to posting and getting your insight and advice and help as I start my photography journey... it is really a shame I didn't find the forums sooner... I wonder is there a way I can contact you as I did not even think about looking up your e-mail address? obviously I don't want to post my e-mail here and I understand you can't post yours... is there a comment section on the blog that is private where I can give you mine?
For now I guess I will just visit the blog more... and maybe post the occasional question... if you would not mind answering...

Unknown said...

I hate to see this Kim, because well I appreciate all of your technical knowledge and assistance over the years, and because well then they sort of win.
The culture there has certainly been kicked into the gutter. It saddens me to see the needy spuds taking over, but I spend less and less time there myself. If I start a WDYS thread someone starts 6 of their own immediately to divert back to themselves. The old gang and I still stay in touch, I will add you to our list. I will visit your blog from time to time to keep up.
There truly is more to life than DPR!!
Hey we will always have the F11..... Keep cool!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim

It's a shame you're going - although maybe the FTF will be more peaceful now (not all your fault, I know).

While your posts were always scrupulously accurate, you made the (imo mistaken) assumption that everyone was there, above all else, to be given instruction to improve their technical skills, and while this is an admirable viewpoint, some folk are just there to enjoy their hobby with (mostly!) like-minded people. Remember, a lot of folk come home from a hard day's work, and they're on the internet to just relax and enjoy themselves, not find themselves enrolled on an intensive tutorial (however helpful that may be).

You have an attention to detail which I can only ever aspire to, but your approach, while always technically sound (as far as I can tell, with my limited knowledge), was sometimes somewhat abrupt in its delivery. This, I believe, can be intimidating to those who are on the periphery, such as new or prospective members.

I understand your motivation is always to help and educate, but I found your manner to be counter-productive in this respect.

Anyway, I wish you all the best, and given your posting history, you may get to spend some more time away from the computer - something I think we could all do!

Kim Letkeman said...

Tilak ... such kind words. I am humbled. At some point, I would love to see the Himalayas with my D700 ... such a feast of beauty I can hardly imagine.

Bill, thanks for the kind words. You are one of several shining lights of objectivity that I will miss for sure. And yes, the ignorant fan boys are no doubt going to town on the forum as I write this :-)

Christa, I remember the period during which you were active. I enjoyed your work and your other contributions. Thanks for the kind words.

Yanko, although you have been there only a short while, I think you are having a positive impact on the forum culture. Keep that up. And thanks.

Dustin, there really was little drama ... just more of the same tiresome crap that one has to wade through from a few people. Your arrival has provided some interesting view points and I think you will be good for the FTF. My best to the community on Steves' as well.

HappyMomOf3: Thanks for the kind words. Contact me on the blog next week, after this has all blown over, and I can get you my email address somehow. Quite a few from here have it.

Kim, so glad you stopped by. Thanks for the kind words. You have always been a beacon to which everyone could gravitate and share experiences without judgment or fighting. Your threads have been the highlight of the forum for years. And yes, lately we see a trend that others just have to grab that spotlight ... one in particular feels it necessary to do once a day :-) ... And yes, the F11 will probably stay with me forever ... or with my son if he wants it.

Anonymous: While I appreciate the sentiment and advice ... I think I've been patronized more than enough by now. I am not addicted. I do not need to seek help. I work at the computer all day because both my job and my favorite hobby require it. I do get out (do you even read my blog?) I know that you had relatively good intentions ... but I really don't need to be told how to live. This post was testament that I know when to make major changes.

Sunshine_boy said...

Hi Kim,
I'm sorry to see you go and surprised at the same time because you never gave me the impression that you are the chap to bow out of an argument or 'challenge'. I can understand you though if free time is at a premium. Thanks for the chats, comments and advice I had from you in the forum and I hope one day I'll see you there again.

All the best to you mate
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

Enough have been said by others.

I just wish you can have a relaxing break.

I am also aware of prolong usage of computer at work and at play can affect our health. So I am picking up hiking again lately, bringing mostly my film cameras with me which requires less PP.

Take care & wish you a happy 2010


Kim Letkeman said...

sunshine_boy, thanks. I didn;t really bow to anything since there is no active discussion at this point, but I did get tired of the sameness of the fan boy arguments, so there was little point in continuing that anyway. And yes, free time is at a real premium these days, so this is already paying off.

danny_only, I am right there with you. Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Kim, first of all you are greatly missed by many of your friends at the FTF. Imagine the Enterprize without Captain Kirk. Sad, isn't it?

Others are not so nice and may be taking things to a new level as they know you aren't viewing. It pains me to say that your character is being slandered by these posters. Because you have used your real name at the FTF, and because you are not there to defend yourself, you may wish to check into the legal aspects of this.

Here is wishing you only the best and your swift return to the FTF. Don't know if I'll be there if/when you return. It's getting past a certain line in the sand which I just can't cross, as I've discussed with you before. And as I stated at the forum, I may shortly be joining you, Gus and a few more who have chosen not to participate in that type of environment.

Please be well and keep in touch.


Kim Letkeman said...

Jada, I appreciate the heads up. I have no doubt that there is a feeding frenzy of libelous defamation in FTF now that I have left. Having argued with every self-important noob that ever walked the earth, I can imagine that they love the freedom of going unchallenged. I will remind DPReview to continue deleting the most offensive posts, but frankly, FTF is quickly becoming a sewer in which rats (some of whom even take the name) chew up everything that is good and crap out their opinions for each other to revel in.

Yuck ... even I think that analogy was a little gross :-)

Take care and enjoy your holiday from FTF ... you have earned it as someone who has tried so very hard to make peace among warring tribes ... one of which just wants to be at war because it has absolutely nothing else to contribute.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you seem to have a rather over inflated opinion of yourself.
You were rude and offensive to an OP ( who had not, up to that point, ever had any exchanges with you)I feel you may have lost your abilty to express yourself in a balanced and respectful manner.
Step back and take a look at yourself through the eyes of others; if you have any self awarness left?
People who express not to suffer fools gladly, are often fools themselves.
Matthew Hall

Kim Letkeman said...

Matthew ... did you actually read all the comments on this blog? Frankly, people like you and the rest of the juveniles on the FTF (they know who they are) are so numbingly tiresome by now that it is difficult to describe the staggering lack of interest that I have in interacting with you. I just do not have the adjectives ...

Anonymous said...

I'd wondered where you got to as well. I guess we all have to make choices when it becomes that compelling.

I think you'll be missed even by your detractors. Heck ..what fun would it be to watch a game if there was only one team?

I'm better with a camera for knowing you and perhaps more thoughtful in posting ...from reading the lively exchanges.

All the best, Kim. I'll pop into the blog occasionally and if and when you visit Winnipeg again I hope we connect on that occasion too.


Kim Letkeman said...

JJ, terrific to hear from you! I really enjoyed that time in Winnipeg and I expect to hit the 'peg in summer this year. Hoping for sometime around 1 July, but not sure yet. I will definitely catch up with you then. Thanks for the kind words. In fact, leaving DPReview completely is probably the most damaging thing I could have done to my detractors, and for exactly the reasons you mention. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Kim, yesterday I updated my computer from Vista to the most recent Windows version. In the process, my email addy book got swept clean.

I'm wanting to delete my 'velvet ant' email address which is tied to DPR. Please shoot me at email at your convenience and I'll provide my new email address.

Thanks, Kim


Anonymous said...

Hi Kim L.,

I am writing you because you have always been fair and most kind to me personally. I can fully understand why you might need a break from the FTF or DPR forums. I know that you are a working man and with some travel involved. Everyone needs some time to themselves and R&R. You deserve it that I know!

My personal hope is that you do take a rest from the forums, see more concerts and photograph the more interesting ones and share them here in your blog.

As for me I wish you all the best and I suspect you will be better off in a really nice DSLR forum where I believe you will find more satisfaction from you captures & usually more advanced type folks there=photographically speaking.

I just hope you do not make this self imposed ban permanent.

Kind regards and God Speed, Gary N W San Francisco

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks for the kind words Gary.

Anonymous said...

I'm following your example because I am fed up with the FTF. Look at the current top 6 posters;
Lloydy at 257 posts
Ron777 at 85 posts
Gary NW at 56 posts
CAMMASTER at 54 posts
PAUL TILL at 54 posts
rattymouse at 40 posts

I got to thinking, do I really want to continue with a group like this? Hell no!

Thanks for taking a stand. Bout time someone did. Its just not FTF either, its all of DPR but FTF is worst offender.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Kim, although we didn't have very much interaction on FTF, I have never forgotten how helpful you were to me when I needed advice about my F100.

You were one of the most knowledgeable posters on the forum and I'm sure I am not the only one who will miss you and your valued input.

I wish you well for the future.

Linda (LindyB)

Max said...

I have to said that I understand you Kim. And don't worry you're not missing anything. Actually it's worst that before. Almost all thread start with something like "My F200 in Guatemala".

So I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice if a forum dedicated to Fuji exist, one without such threads, one dedicated to discuss real issue of photography/camera like camera setting PP and such, one where people are expected to be willing to be learn and be technicly accurate ? And moderated this way ?

Then I thought, let's just do it. Get a domaine, install phpBB, and we are set.

But it's not that simple. To be alive, it need people. Knowledgeable ones and willing to participate. So my question is, could you be one of them ? If so, will you be up to promote it via your site and contacts ? You could also be in the technical aspect of it if you like of course.

Let me give you the URL of a similar forum for Ricoh cameras (not sure you know about it) that work pretty well:

Kim Letkeman said...

Anonymous: those stats are indeed scary ...

Lloydy at 257 posts
Ron777 at 85 posts
Gary NW at 56 posts
CAMMASTER at 54 posts
PAUL TILL at 54 posts
rattymouse at 40 posts

I'd say that the ratio of "thanks/attaboy" to useful technical info would be 257:0 in the first case. Ron and Gary mean well I think. And the last three are mean spirited and prone to reacting very badly to even the slightest challenge. So I agree with you that spending time on the forum simply is not worth wading through posts by those people. I was not really taking a stand, except perhaps for my own increase in pleasure versus time spent.

Kim Letkeman said...

Lindyb -- thanks for those kind words. I enjoyed your contributions and interacting with you and that's the sort of thing I will miss. Best wishes and may our internet paths cross again.

Kim Letkeman said...

Max: I agree that the idea has merit. I once considered hosting my own Nikon challenge site and even obtained an early version of Fujimugs software from Dan Wolf. But that turned out to be far more work than I could handle with my job being rather demanding. So I backed off the idea. I would be happy to support the concept, and contribute what I could, but do note that is a place just like that and it suffers from pretty low traffic. The Ricoh guys seem to have something going though, so there has to be a way. Let me know what you choose to do.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I just wanted to say that I would gladly participate in the type of forum that Max suggested above. Great idea!


Kim Letkeman said...

Jada, I might be interested as well ... I have been looking at the amount of effort to set up such a site on my domain, but it looks kind of high, exactly what I am trying to avoid these days.

Max said...

Glad you support the idea.
The set up (if we aim for something like the Ricoh forum from a technical pov) is not so complicate. All is needed is to downlaod phpBB (open source) drop it on a server (with MySQL on) and then do the configuration with a broswer in a hour or so.
Hosting it on your domaine is a good idea IMHO, it would help traffic, and thus posting. I'm willing to get involve in the install/config if you don't have time for it. My email is on my blogger profil.
I had a look at the fujimug site and I think I know why it doesn't work; it's related to the challenge part that hurt the overall participation on the site. If people post so much of their pictures at FTF, it's because FTF have high traffic, not the other way around.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all your hard work and participation, Kim.

(Dotbalm here)

sigh. There goes the neighborhood.

Your hyper-productivity will no doubt be re-channeled.

I'll leave all the past in the past except to say I caught only a glimpse of what happened when I returned from vacation. It appears some thread(s) were deleted and I observed others deleted as I took a glimpse.

I was in Yosemite to enjoy the "blizzard", power outage, road closures, fallen trees, lots of snow in the valley, etc. The snow in the bed of my truck remains 36 hrs after returning.

No takers on "Free Snow.*"

* Truck not included. Other exclusions may apply. Your snow's half-life may vary.

I owe you a debt of gratitude for your vigilant scrutiny of information, research, insight and advice.

So Thank You. That includes attic abatement.

Taking time to "release" from FTF is a good thing me thinks. However, I like the "?" in the parenthetical of your post title.

Reminds me of the day when you re-entered FTF with the claassic "Tap, this thing on?" People danced in the street. Cats were chasing dogs. Mice were sharing cheese. Highlights, halos and shadows all received the treatment they deserved. Nary a pixel went unfed. It was a big day.


Bottom line is the forum has moved left in the gelatin-concrete spectrum. Can't build a house on gelatin.

Best of luck and fortune in your FTF afterlife. I'll be checking in both here and there from time to time. Pardon me shoehorning this into a discussion re the future, but I wanted to acknowledge your departure, say thanks and keep the embers glowing.

- Dotbalm

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Dotbalm ... most kind. I have enjoyed your own insights over the years, and as I have said to a few people, these are the things I will sorely miss. But it's better this way for now ... and I added that "?" later, as I realized that no one can predict the future with any accuracy. I hope to see you around the internet ...

Kim Letkeman said...

Max ... I don't really know how much effort I can spare right now. If I figure out how to give you limited access to one domain, that might work. Let me check into that. But it won't be super quick.

Max said...

Kim, just to let you know that if you indeed can grant me access to part of your domaine, I am ready to take care of everything.

Unknown said...

So weird.

I just found this post after reluctantly heading over to DPReveiw to check out some opinions on a new camera, and I remembered why I NEVER go there: the forums are the rudest, and most childish I've ever encountered. By far.

I own a small Ad Agency, and dabble heavily in photography and related computer stuff. And, up until a year-and-a-half ago I was fairly active on their forums. At the time it really was the best* photography forum around.

(Although, I would say I always hated the "white-on-black" presentation).

However, I was setting up my new office at the time, and needed a few new pieces of software, including a monitor calibrator. After asking some questions there, as well as some other places, I settled on the X-Rite Eye One Display Two. I bought it (it was expensive), and was immediately surprised at the 'lack of polish' of the program: the documentation was terrible, and the software hadn't been upgraded since 2000. I own pretty much every piece of “professional” software available, and this was by far the worst I had ever bought. Sloppy and lazy, imho. Although, I ended up with what *looked* like a pretty good monitor calibration, I was a bit shocked I had paid so much money for such a poorly executed package. Was it terrible? No. I eventually figured it out, and no real harm was done. But I felt people should know all the nits and warts before buying. So, I wrote a review:

It's thorough, and good-natured. It's covers my experience with the product, and points out the good, and the bad. You know, like reviews tend to do?

I also posted it on DPReview forums, because it was a few of the users there that had tipped the scales toward my purchase. I actually THANKED the forumites for their input, and "offered up the review to the community".

While I realized there would be some people who didn't totally agree with my review (as often happens with all reviews), I figured it would at least be helpful and appreciated.

Boy was I wrong:

If you take the time to read the responses, even just a few of them, you’ll see the worst side of human nature hard at work.

It was literally like Lord of the Flies.

I am active on many, many forums here on teh internetz. I am definitely what you would consider a ‘power user’ both in terms of technology, and the websites that support that technology. And I have never, ever seen anything so childish and mean spirited in my life. Online or off. And there are some pretty crazy online communities out there.

Is it just photographers that act like this? It’s just so… weird.

I tried to steer the conversation back onto adult ground, but it didn’t work. So I wrote the moderators, asking them if this was “normal”.

No response.

So, I left and haven’t been back. Until today.

Well, one thing that was kindof funny about the whole thing, I checked out the portfolios of all the jerkwad pilers-on for that post, and their work was HORRIBLE. Just a bunch of hack, bad, struggling wedding photographers strutting their stuff online where they rule the realm. Pretty sad, really.

The irony is I have a very famous photography-related client –right now– who I’m buying a LOT of media for. And DPReview is obviously in the consideration set. So…I’m going to have a very frank discussion with my client about this very issue, and I’m going to let them make the decision whether or not to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars at DPReview. Or not.

Anyway, great post.

PS, I simply searched : “DPReview” and “assholes” and I got pages, and pages of hits. LOL.

Kim Letkeman said...

Ed, I have nothing against DPReview itself, I will miss their reviews as they are by far the best written. But the forums, and especially the FTF, eat far too much of my free time. I need that back, so this had to go. I would love to read the thread you referenced but I cut myself off from DPReview completely. Thanks, though, for the kind words on the post. I do agree with you that mediocrity is the norm on DPReview, and often from the most vocal sources. This is not to say that my images are much above that line, but rather than one must always try to get better ... and the basis for that includes testing and practicing and documenting what one has done. Screaming without any basis seems to do little to improve peoples' photography :-)