Thom Hogan is Giving Me a Nervous Breakdown

bigeaterbigeater Posts: 36Member
edited April 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Every time I read a new post by Thom Hogan I get more and more depressed about my choice to use Nikon cameras. Over the last 10 years, I feel like I'm getting pretty decent results out of my cameras (I never made the mistake of buying a D600 or an early D800) and I've made some pretty decent money shooting Nikon, but Thom knows a lot more about cameras than I do, so I trust his judgement more than my own.
The unfortunate side effect of reading his posts is feelings of rage, hopelessness, humiliation, and fear.
Are Nikons really as bad as he says? Am I a complete schmuck for buying them?
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Comments

  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Take a couple of pills and get some rest. You'll feel better after a good night sleep...

    Chill


    framer
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    edited April 2014
    The two biggest problem with Nikon are:

    1. Failure to produce sharp DX "pro" lenses

    2. Failure to produce cameras which easily and wireless connect to the internet, computer or cellphone so images can be quickly transferred and sent over the internet

    If neither of these two issues are really hampering your photography, you can relax.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    edited April 2014
    but Thom knows a lot more about cameras than I do, so I trust his judgement more than my own.
    The unfortunate side effect of reading his posts is feelings of rage, hopelessness, humiliation, and fear.
    Are Nikons really as bad as he says? Am I a complete schmuck for buying them?
    Only you know whats best for you...unless you ask me, then of course I know what's best for you :D

    What I like about Thom is that he always gives you food for thought. Its hard to find people who buy the products and then can think critically about them. Most people that would do so would experience similar emotions that you just had, and thus tend to shut off their brain's critical thinking as a response. Remember cameras are just cameras. They don't take pictures, you do! If the cameras are handicapped in some way then you have to rise to the challenge and figure out a way to get the shot! To me, that's the fun part of photography.
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Thom is usually a great read. I respect his work very much.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • BerryhillBerryhill Posts: 10Member
    Quite a remarkable forum that produces rational responses from what could have summoned a trollstorm. My own estimation of Thom's take is similar to what has been expressed here: read his "insider's" take and apply it to your own program of acquisition and use.
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    Quite a remarkable forum that produces rational responses from what could have summoned a trollstorm.
    Come back on Tuesday... :D

    @bigeater Thom Hogan has good stuff. But if he upsets you so, don't read it.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Thom is usually a great read. I respect his work very much.
    As I do. He sealed the deal (along with Golf) on me buying RRS.

    But I have a fundamental conceptual disagreement with Thom (and some members on this board). I think the notion that there is a place for "high end DX" is flawed. DX was meant to bridge the gap between film and digital FX. This process is complete for professional and prosumer grade but will probably take another 10 years for consumer grade. After that, DX will be obsolete. Any one who wants more reach can crop, either in camera or post. I suspect that "pixel density" of even the cheapest cameras will exceed even the best Nikon glass, so it will be all about the glass.

    If Nikon truly wanted to produce a high grade "DX size" format, they would replace the f-mount with a new d-mount with a smaller flange diameter and flange to focal length distance to take advantage of the smaller size. I would be interested in buying that for a walk around camera.

    Since I have come to terms with that, I enjoy reading Thom and think that a lot of his points are valid.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    edited April 2014
    No, there should be an option to have a "pro" level DX kit which includes a D400 type body and some "pro" DX glass. 24mp in DX is very good for most purposes and many of us don't really need an FX sensor because we will never print or view that large. The entire web world can be supplied with 24 mp DX and almost 100% of the magazine print media can be supplied with DX. A DX "pro" kit should be offered by Nikon and it should not have a new size mount. Use the F mount so you can take a 50mm FX lens and use it as a 75mm DX lens. No reason not to have that option with all Nikon's lenses.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,232Member
    I wouldn't be afraid of what Thom Hogan is saying, although I think it is an honest criticism of Nikon's shortfalls. Truth be told a lot of camera companies have shortfalls and weaknesses.

    If it shouldn't affect your shooting style, I think you have nothing to worry about.

    I shoot DX, and although what Thom was right about the lack of DX primes, I am not really all that worried because with my gear I can shoot everything I need. Truth be told, I'm not a pro, so my worries are limited anyway.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • bigeaterbigeater Posts: 36Member
    I knew I could rely on you guys for the voice of reason! I feel much better. But Thom writes with such certitude and from such a place of authority that I get swept up in what he's saying and want to storm the barricades. Which barricades, I'm not sure.
    But people are out there every day taking amazing pictures with all kinds of Nikon cameras so it shouldn't really matter what one person says.

    And as for full frame vs. DX, I've worked at a lot of publications and there's always some art director who wants to make a double truck out of a crazy crop from piece of a shot, so I know that more resolution is always better. But the tradeoff is that you have to haul around a monster camera and big lenses even though your chiropractor has strictly forbidden it.
    So thanks again.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited April 2014
    Truth be told a lot of camera companies have shortfalls and weaknesses.

    That is certainly true, but the trick is, what are they. I have one view. Donaldjose has a very different view and I respect his view and admire the passion with which he argues it.

    So.....what are they. It is fine for us to express our views, but we are not the ones writing the $10 million dollar checks and risking our own money.

    For example, I would love Nikon to come out with a new 35mm mirror less camera with a good selection of pro-grade inter-changeable lenses from wide angle (where this format has a natural advantage to SLRs) to a short tele (where SLRs have the advantage). I would love it even more if it was medium format. There are lots of people here that agree (and lots that don't). The point is that lots of people here are assuming that Nikon is sitting on its beauracratic hands doing nothing except looking inward. For all we know they have done a huge amount of development work but are waiting until their market study is done to determine the parameters of the format. Oh.....they don't have to pay much for the market research because Sony is doing it for them.

    And then Nikon will make a move and we may never know what other moves they considered or even if it is the best move.

    Sure I wish Nikon was "X", but Minolta is gone, Konica is gone, Olympus and Pentax are on life support. Canon is strong but not making money at the moment. Nikon must be doing something right.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,454Member
    I look at this way, Thom sees things the Nikon can do to improve the products they make. I don't see it as bashing, just constructive criticism. Why? Because he does more than just say, "wow Nikon sucks!" he also says, "If Nikon did this, in this way, the product would be xxx times better!" Regardless of the issues Thom has, he still shoots Nikon primarily. I think that says something.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,452Moderator
    No, there should be an option to have a "pro" level DX kit which includes a D400 type body and some "pro" DX glass. 24mp in DX is very good for most purposes and many of us don't really need an FX sensor because we will never print or view that large. The entire web world can be supplied with 24 mp DX and almost 100% of the magazine print media can be supplied with DX. A DX "pro" kit should be offered by Nikon and it should not have a new size mount. Use the F mount so you can take a 50mm FX lens and use it as a 75mm DX lens. No reason not to have that option with all Nikon's lenses.
    +1. Also that argument could be used to support Nikon dropping FX when (if) they have MF bodies in their range as there would be no need for it. Wrong thread though. :-))
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    No, FX is "home territory" to those of us who cut our teeth shooting film. Only a real film size digital sensor seems to be what a DSLR should be to us. We want them and always will want them until we all die off.

    As a rule of thumb I think of it this way. FX will always be about one stop better than DX in image quality and medium format will always be about two stops better than DX in image quality simply because the sensors have more light to work with in producing the same size image and because you have to enlarge the base image less when you make larger prints. Up to about 11 x. 16 inch prints you won't be able to tell the difference. Let's be realistic about need. Few of us really need FX anymore after the most recent round of 24 mp DX sensor capable of shooting at ISO 6400. I still prefer to shoot anything serious on FX even though I don't need all the quality in the file because is seems "so right" to me. However, when someone wants a snap for the internet I pick up my D7000 set to small basic jpg and use that because even that size will be downsized on the internet. Vacation shots which often are printed in large photo books for relatives are shot on my D7000 set to large fine jpg which is more than adequate. I take the D7000 on family vacations because it saves weight and each morning I mount the lens I expect to use most that day with another back-up lens or two in my bag. Most work can be done with my 18-200 mm which has adequate sharpness with a 50 f1.4 or 85mm 1.8 prime as back-up. My FX bodies and lenses are used in the studio and for deliberate outdoor nature work so that type of work could easily be printed to 24 inches by 36 inches if the need ever arises to do so. Vacation photos will never be printed that large unless I am there to do serious photograph and then I would use FX.

    Medium Format, a dream. I do think I would see the improved image quality in poster size prints and would love to have such a system for studio or nature work. I doubt I would see any difference in studio portraits taken with my D800 and a medium format system as long as I was not printing larger than 16 x 24 inches and in all honestly how many portraits of people do you take who ever are going to want to print those images larger than 16 x 24 inches? Only a few people are so in love with their own beauty that they want to look at a large print of themselves hanging on the wall. The new Pentax 645Z is very interesting. If it posts a huge improvement over the D800, D800E, D800x or D4x it would be worth considering but I suspect a Nikon 50mp FX sensor will be about the same as the 50 mp sensor in the Pentax 647z so why not get the Nikon and still use your existing lenses? I think that argument will always kill MF for me and keep it in the dream category. The top mp FX sensor will be so close to the quality you can get from the cheapest MF sensor that it wouldn't make sense to invest in a new body which would need all new lenses when you can just keep using the lenses you have and for the less than the cost of a MF system you could get the latest highest mp FX body and a nice collection of the most expensive FX lenses on the market.

    I think Thom Hogan would agree with me about the utility of DX and FX and MF. He bitches about the lack of a DX pro system and the lack of cell phone/tablet internet connectivity built right into cameras. I agree with him on those things and do think they will come over time. We saw "add on Wi-Fi" and now we are seeing "built in Wi Fi" added to some new models. Next we will see a cell phone type of Android operating system accessible through your rear touch screen LCD so you can post an image directly to you internet website or send it directly to your cell phone. All we need is image transfer software, not the other stuff on Android cell phones.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    I like Thom; his input is always thought provoking, specially given the manner in which he express himself.

    But at the end, ladies and gents, it should all come down to what You are able to capture and produce with the gear you own...Nikon or not. Our future needs for gear purchases will be addressed by many manufactures. I strongly believe that Nikon will do its part.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    All opinions are subjective and no one person gets it right all the time. Remember that photographic equipment you use is just an extension of your skills
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I look at this way, Thom sees things the Nikon can do to improve the products they make. I don't see it as bashing, just constructive criticism. Why? Because he does more than just say, "wow Nikon sucks!" he also says, "If Nikon did this, in this way, the product would be xxx times better!" Regardless of the issues Thom has, he still shoots Nikon primarily. I think that says something.
    +1

    If you read any of Thom's other sites, he points out shortcomings more than positives. When I read him, it seems to me that in his mind "achieving the status quo" is not something to be praised or to write about. (I honestly agree with that) It is about how the system advances and can be still achieved in the future. As all of us, he wants to see Nikon do better - and he points this out better than anyone out there.

    If you dig that deep into any company, similar things could be said about them as well.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Someone else's opinion upsets us if we have questions inside of us already. I could shoot Canon or another brand and produce the same results. Look at some of the work on NRF from other manufacturers. Unless one checks the Exif file there is no way to see a difference and identify the brand.

    In 90% of photos the equipment makes little difference. It is the skill and experience of the person behind the camera which determines the final image.

    Nikon is on the top shelf of photographic equipment manufacturers. They certainly make mistakes, but so do all the others.
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    Msmoto is correct (as usual) and Thom Hogan was making just that point that sensors today are almost all the same across a format so we should be able to produce very similar results with different bodies from different manufacturers using the same sensor. Sensor are almost generic. Also, the ISO range from 100 to 6400 also is almost universally usable today.

    Thom wrote: "there’s almost a complete standardization well above the “acceptable level” bar. Consider:

    - 50mp Medium Format, mostly Sony sensors now
    - 24-36mp Full Frame (FX), all Sony or Canon sensors
    - 16-24mp Crop Sensor (DX), mostly Sony, Nikon, or Canon sensors"

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,596Member
    +1 Msmoto. Yes totally agree. The others do make mistakes. Nikon just did a bad job in how they handled the D600 mess. It really is the individual, not the equipment, that makes the difference.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Nikon has screwed up a lot.

    It seems like everyone makes a better point and shoot, their handling of support is spotty, the D600 is, literally criminal, and their stock is tanking.

    While some folks are saying the V/J models are cool, there was a M 4/3 format that was and is a better bandwagon to get on, IOW, why not support a format that shows promise than create a single purpose throwaway format?

    Nikon introduced and abondonded SLR video with the D90. What's up with that? Canon jumped up that took it away.

    If you like the noise the clicks make in the Df, remember it is largely a digital camera in a metal body. Oh, it is exactly a digital camera in a metal body. But it doesn't do video. Like, that had to be _taken out_ - like really?

    Nikon has sort of screwed things up the last year or two in huge and significant ways.

    The original poster has every right to be nervous if he or she is like me with huge investments in all things with "Nikon" printed on it.

    I get good results, but I would like to think that I can count on updating my stuff with more things that will continue to get good results - I have doubts about that.

    My best,

    Mike
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    I've got to say, Thom Hogan does my head in.
    I've found the only way I can take his pieces are to read between the lines on his reviews, then take a pinch of salt and kick the cat. By this time I've calmed down enough to digest his claptrap.
    By the way, some of that was tongue in cheek.....or was it?
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    Maybe this might help put Thom Hogan in perspective. At least this is how I 'read' things. You are hardest on the things you love. You want them to succeed, so you might give it a kick in the pants, so to speak. Maybe he goes to far. Maybe he is harsh. But behind those critiques, is a desire for Nikon to change, in his mind, for the better.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Maybe this might help put Thom Hogan in perspective. At least this is how I 'read' things. You are hardest on the things you love. You want them to succeed, so you might give it a kick in the pants, so to speak. Maybe he goes to far. Maybe he is harsh. But behind those critiques, is a desire for Nikon to change, in his mind, for the better.
    I think that this is a common theme for all of us.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    Also, Thom just focuses on Nikon. He could have many complaints about any of the companies which make DSLRs. In fact, all others, except Canon, surely would be subject to more criticism. If Thom focused on Canon I am sure he would have a long list of items in which they are deficient. Item number one: their sensors are a generation behind Nikon sensors; just look at the DxOMark scores.
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