What do you think of Rockwells Zoom Patent?

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
edited February 19 in Nikon Lenses
Well if you did not read it the idea is that as you reach the last 20% of your zoom range the lens starts to crop in by a pre-selected amount say 1.5 2x 3x quote " saves you cropping later".
So I guess on an FX a box in the viewfinder would squeeze in to show you the framed area so you could still see the FX coverage ( to help you find the bird) or would the viewfinder squeeze to show only the cropped frame? Clearly it could not increase POI, you could over crop in camera and not be able to undo the crop. Maybe just an advertising gimmick to pander to those morons who think putting a 500mm lens on a DX makes it a 750mm....or to zoom out Rockwells wallet.
Post edited by Pistnbroke on
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Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 19
    Sounds DOA, typical Rockwell. Digital zooming like that is almost as old as digital cameras. If challenged in court the patent would crumble.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    Well I have not heard of digital zooming by rotating the zoom on a lens on a removable lens camera ..he seems to have a patent
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 19
    Turning a zoom ring to digital zoom is hardly a new thing, over 12 years ago I had a Canon and Kodak point and shoots that did that. Just because the patent office grants a patent does not mean it will stand a challenge. There are dozens of cases like that and in the end the patent is tossed due to what they call prior art (it’s been done before). Having it one a removable lens does not negate that.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    Yes, a patent filed may not be defendable.

    I suspect that the motivation is self promotion to drive clicks.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    However much you fight the physics you cannot change it . Perhaps programming a function button to change from FX to DX crop would be similarly effective..?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Very strange to have a patent on this. Software implemented. No change in hardware. I wouldn't have thought a software idea could be patented, especially if you only had the idea and didn't create the software to actually do it. It could be useful in certain situations. My 24-70 f2.8 could become a 24-105 (selecting x 1.5 at the long end) which I would like because I could use one lens from full body to headshots. It also could become a 24 to 135 (selecting a x 2.0 at the long end) just by selecting a different software multiplication factor. From 70 to 105 or 135 would it remain f2.8? I think so. I think all you would lose after 85 would be pixels, not light. The lens zoom tube does not get any longer. Assuming you are starting with a 45 or 60 mp sensor you can afford to lose some pixels from 70mm to 105mm or even to 135. It is a variable internal digital zoom which can greatly extend the usefulness of existing lenses. I would love to have a 24-105 f2.8 which I could change to a 24 -135 f2.8 when needed through a menu selection (especially if I was using a Z8 or Z9 60mp body). While it may not have made much sense in the days of 12mp DSLRs when you would rather change lenses than lose the pixels and cannot easily see the digital crop in the optical viewfinder I think it can be very useful today in the age of very high megapixel mirrorless bodies. I hope someone creates the software to do it. Good idea Ken!
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member

    However much you fight the physics you cannot change it . Perhaps programming a function button to change from FX to DX crop would be similarly effective..?

    You can already program a function button on just about all Nikon FX cameras to do this, so yes.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Sure, but it wouldn't be variable. Ken's "solution" is a variable "digital zoom" starting at your preferred set point and consisting of your preferred variable magnification. The change from FX to DX is one zoom ratio applied to the entire range of the lens.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    So if you had a 200-500 you would go out with it at 400...you spot the bird ,focus and zoom in to the right framing and push the shutter. Say you were at 450mm with 1.8x mag. Now the lens would be better than at 500mm but would the back focus be spot on ? You would need a lens that had been on a doc with FFA programmed into the lens for the whole zoom range. At 450mm you would have less POI than 500mm and croping later.
    PS dont see anything on my D850 to engage DX with a button push?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    I think it would make more sense to use it only on mirrorless bodies which eliminates focus and viewfinder issues and you wouldn't need a doc to program it. It would be implemented through software which could be assigned to a button push for selection and adjustment. You could not select it and use your lens standard or select it and get extra reach at the long end with less pixels on image which is why it would work best in very high megapixel bodies. I like the idea.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member

    Sure, but it wouldn't be variable. Ken's "solution" is a variable "digital zoom" starting at your preferred set point and consisting of your preferred variable magnification. The change from FX to DX is one zoom ratio applied to the entire range of the lens.

    It’s almost useless anyway. Never use it. It’s always better to crop in post since it gives you more framing choices.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
    Yes, crop in post. Exact same outcome, except that post gives you the ability to make a thoughtful, rather than hasty, decision.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    "It’s always better to crop in post since it gives you more framing choices." Good point.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    edited February 21
    so how do we programme a function button to go FX to Dx on a D850? PB PM ?
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 22
    You can do it in the settings for the function buttons, f1 same as any other changes. I have the video recording button set to frame changes, but you can program any of them to change from FX - DX. Just pick a button, and select "Choose Image Area" from the right side of the boxes for button press + turning command dial, OK. Then press the selected button and turn one of the command dials. This option has been around since the D3 shipped in 2007. It was less practical, since older bodies had fewer function buttons, that is almost one of the best aspects of the newer cameras.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    edited February 22
    Thanks PB PM will try that ..as you know I am not one for changing things on the fly more a Tape up all the controls type of guy.
    PS the idiot typing this did not look at the full list!
    PPS you cannot do it at the push of a button only push and control wheel so no good.(too slow)
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 22
    It kind of has to be that way, since there are multiple options when they are all active.

    As I said earlier, it’s basically useless, better to crop later. I only use it if I know my lens won’t be long enough and I’ll be cropping that much anyway, which isn’t very often.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,898Member
    So how does the "in camera" cropping work on DLSR? Does it black out the unused portions of the VF, and then you are left with a tiny viewfinder?
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    You get a DX frame which is red outside the DX area ( D850) and the centre area is clear .. At present I use a 1.2 crop because when it focuses in AF-C the outer area goes red..you have no indication in full frame.
    So overall I think ( spit vomit) rockwell may have a point.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited February 22
    In FX the enter OVF is the frame. That’s why they call it a 100% viewfinder. If you set the focus points to illuminate they glow red as well. Seems like a non issue.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    Please remember Ken Rockwell's preferred work flow. He wants to minimize post processing. Thus, in his workflow being able to crop at the time of shooting is better than relying upon cropping in post processing. He also wants to shoot jpeg if he can "get it right according to his desired final image" so that he eliminates having to post process raw files. Don't belittle him until you have tried it or just because you prefer a different type of workflow. I have shot jpeg to one card and raw to another card and loaded only the jpeg on my computer. In studio I can get the lighting right so the raw is not needed 98% of the time and I can simply go get it off the other card when needed. A jpeg can be adjusted a small bit (like about half a stop or so) without harming the image (Tony Northrup admits this in one of his videos). In outdoor portraiture I use fill flash or wait for a cloud to screen the sun or use shade etc to avoid the hot-spot/deep shadow issue. Jpeg can work in many situations when you do those things. Remember Kodachrome slides? They were like shooting jpeg digital. Remember film negatives? They were like shooting raw. The more post processing time you can eliminate, the better; unless you really like to manipulate images in post processing, which can be a separate skill in itself. For landscapes it again depends upon the light source but that is where I find shooting in raw the most useful because then I have less control over the light hitting a large landscape. For studio portraits I find shooting in raw to introduce a needless time wasting step about 98% of the time. Of course, everyone (including KR) is entitled to use their own preferred workflow.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 961Member
    I know that we do it differently, but I have never understood why I would want to bother with editing decisions in the field. In particular I would never want to throw away parts of the original image.

    During photography I want to be fully focused on the decisions that I can't postpone. My computer is also a much better UI.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,491Member
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    I am with donaldejose..I have never shot RAW and dont intend to .Rockwell only seems to shoot buildings so I dont see him coming backwith 1500 shots after a mornings work like I did taking 12hours to crop and edit down to 500. If you shoot birds or landscapes you have no control over the subject only the camera settings. There is so little wildlife in the UK I often come home from the bird/nature reserve with nothing. If you shoot people you have total control of every foot or hand position,orientation to the sun etc so you can get it right when you shoot. ( blinkers and tongue twitchers excepted !)
    I think Rockwell's idea is good but for high MP mirrorless to keep the POI up.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    edited February 24
    Pistnbroke. I think you have the correct understanding that Rockwell's intended use for such software is in the high mp mirrorless bodies of the future and in situations where additional reach is more important than additional cropping flexibility. When a person is shooting birds, for example, you don't often make many cropping decisions in the field and only minor ones during post-processing. In the field you are just trying to get as many POI as possible, the subject in good light, the subject in an attractive position or exhibiting an interesting behavior, etc. (I have a friend who gets great birding shots using his 600mm but that is far too costly a lens for almost everyone). Getting a small bird as large as possible in the frame and correctly focused is the prime issue so you want the zoom flexibility which will best help you achieve that result. A large amount of extraneous vegetation to be cropped out later is not needed or desirable. You don't want to have too much cropping flexibility because the more vegetation you include, the smaller the bird becomes. Get that bird as big as possible first and then crop attractively around it later.

    Another advantage of Ken's software solution is the one I first mentioned above. I have a 24-70 S f2.8 and a 70-200 S f2.8. I will often shoot studio portraits from 35mm f2.8 (or f4) to 135mm f2.8 (or f4). (As an aside, shooting so wide is sort of a fad, traditionally studio portraits were shot at f5.6 and higher). Now I can accomplish my f2.8 studio portrait shooing in two ways. 1. I can use the two zooms and change lenses at 70mm. or 2. I could use all primes (35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, not to mention 65mm macro or 58mm) and switch lenses many more times. Using primes lets me shoot at f1.2 or f1.4 or f1.8 or f2 in place of shooting at f2.8 and I can opt for one of those lenses if it really makes a difference in certain situations. I have shot portraits both ways and certainly it is fine for people to use either way. However, there is nothing wrong with desiring a 35 to 135 f2.8 zoom so I would not have to change lenses. Yet, no such lens exists to my knowledge. "Super zooms" exist but they are going to run from something like f3.5 to f5.6. I don't know of any f2.8 "superzooms" for portraiture. So give me a 60mp or higher mirrorless body (Z8 or Z9?) and I will happily use Ken's software with my existing 24-70 mp S f2.8 lens in studio or with longer zoom lenses (70-200 or 200-500) for wildlife. Ken's software should be able to be assigned to a button so it can be activated and deactivated with one button push and be adjusted with a command dial. Truth be told, I would use it with a 45mp sensor, but I don't plan on purchasing a Z7 or Z7ii.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
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