Member Discussion

Three Cheers For Ethan, Three Cheers For Derek!

After a recent IPVM report on long lenses, I was spurred on to learn even more about their behavior in various scenarios. I was interested in seeing, for academic purposes mainly, what a certain similar, but slightly modified outdoor shot from the original test would look like. So I undertook getting the frame myself.

For several days I smugly imagined the ease of the task before me as I considered the logical sequence of actions. I could almost hear the satisfying clack of the tripod legs locking, the sharp mating snap of the modular connectors, the low whir of the dc iris, that would be soon followed by the zipping of the final bag, after the simple and successful capture of the frame.

What I didn't imagine so well was:

  • The futility of reading a gloss laptop screen in the bright Sun.
  • The difference between a field that looks level and one that actually is level.
  • Battery life: laptop, POE, and vehicle.
  • The amazing complexity of recording the exact parameters that each image is taken with.
  • The difference between "not very windy" and "no wind"
  • The outrageous speed of the Sun, and the difference 20 minutes makes between shots.
  • The difficulty in communicating between persons 500 ft. apart using only ad-hoc hand gestures, even if vigorously repeated.
  • The uncanny ability of certain park patrons to needlessly block the shot for minutes at a time all the while feigning ignorance.
  • How nice an actual pen can be.
  • The subtle undertones of contempt present in the statement "Were you able to get it this time?"
  • How I no longer consider "hopping a fence" to be a viable option.

So kudos to Ethan and Derek for making it look so easy that one might underestimate the myriad of difficulties to overcome in even the most basic test!

Any chance of a 'behind the scenes' video on how you manage it all?

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A behind the scenes? I don't know. I am not sure who would watch it, besides you :)

Doing tests right takes time, trial, effort and frustration. Most important, it takes factoring in a lot of 'little' things that can invalidate the results, if not appreciated.

Indeed, because there are so many little things that can go wrong and need to be accounted for, we will often do tests multiple times as we figure things and try to verify that the results are actually correct.

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