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Life on forum
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:32 am    Post subject: Life on forum Reply with quote

After the "back to life" which took place in Christmas time, forum members seem to lower activities even more. That may give an idea of the interest to MF lenses passing through a hybernation period. But I guess the reality is more complex.

When you cast a glance at the reported number of online visitors, in this period it is not much less than in 2016. I'd say more: in Christmas period, when there were more posts, the number I saw from time to time oscillated at around 80-100 visitors at each moment. Now, in "rush hours", it easily comes up to 180 (in all cases the total majority of visitors are in guest, non-registered mode). So, there is less posting with more visits than a couple of months before.

1. The first idea that comes to mind: it's an effect of the epidemic. As it was already discussed a couple of times, we have more restrictions to go out and to travel, so the moments inspiring photography are diminished. Is it still the case, or maybe the adaptation to the new situation is on the go, and we continue to photograph pretty much without sharing? Is less posting is just an expression of hard times and stressful rhythm we are living?

2. The second idea, which was also partly discussed: members got more experienced, we tested a good amount of lenses and discussed some of them many times. So the primary GAS and the gold rush is in some extent over, and our attention is more attracted with rare lenses and technical pecularities. At least, such an impression comes from the last month posts which attracted more comments. Is it an effect of ageing and growing mastership or experience?

3. The third idea is that the amount of information in the forum achieved a certain level of saturation. In this case more new shots from the already-discussed lenses do not seem to add a great value. Does it naturally lead to some kind of work and tests of new formats of presentation? Maybe the future of the forum is in more sophisticated comparisons and more artistic inclinations, as compared to the first enthousiastic period of "bare" lens presentations?

4. The fourth idea: variety of experiences and even some gender dynamics are vanished in our talks. Before novice posts were published more often, provoking faster and unreluctant replies, and even experienced members were putting many novice questions, kind of "Never heard of this lens, do you have an idea?" Besides, there were just more female members who contributed to the general style of the forum. I think of Mo and some other members who were very active and were adding much to the attractivity of the exchanges. Now the forum is more like a knowledgeable gentlemen club. And, as in every club of the kind, calm and silence are appreciated, even though they don't bring the same satisfaction to a digital club members as compared to real world ones.

5. The fifth idea: active life and discussions are elsewhere. This hypothesis was also discussed, and facebook was mentioned as an alternative. But other platforms did not seem to attract more posts than this or some other photoforums. Simple dispersion of activities among many sources might be a viable idea, and in this case the lowering median activity in each platform should be a generalized phenomenon. I do not have a large experience in facebook and other media, preferring open forums with good search options, so personally I have some doubts of the life passing elsewhere, certainly due to my clear lack of the whole picture.

What are your ideas and explanations of the situation?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What situation?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Less posting simulataneous to visits grew up.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been a member of this forum for 12 years now. True, I don't frequent it as often as I did in my early days, when I had become excited over the idea of using manual focus lenses with my digital camera -- which was a 10.1 mp crop-body Canon back then. And it was also during these early years of my membership here where manual focus lens prices were at their nadir (lowest), so there were many deals to be found.

And not just lenses, either. To this day, one of the best deals I found -- on eBay -- was a Bronica ETRSi with a lens, a couple of backs, and a prism finder for $127. Yep. Try touching that these days.

But I was also buying many lenses from the 70s and 80s as fast as I could afford them simply because they were so cheap. And of course as all this was going on, I was sharing my experiences with the forum.

Nowadays, many, many photographers have discovered the quality of older manual focus lenses, which has inevitably caused prices to rise, and I think this has also caused the number of posts and/or visits to decrease.

As for me and my current lens buying goals -- the way I look at it now, well, I've acquired so many lenses over the past 12 years, the first question I ask myself when I find something tempting is -- do I really need it? I mean, does this lens fill a gap in my collection in some way? More often than not, the answer is no, I don't need it and no, it doesn't fill a gap. But often I'll buy the lens anyway. This may be because it has a historical significance to me or it may even be a lens I used to own and I'm now curious about its performance with a digital camera. The latter doesn't happen very often anymore. Last time it did was when, several months ago, I bought a Soligor 85-300mm f/5 two-ring zoom that I bought and sold back in the mid-80s, convinced I'd bought a turkey. But I've closely examined some slides I took with that lens and I became less and less certain that the lens was as bad as I originally thought. So I bought a clean example off eBay for peanuts. And you know what? It's not a bad lens, really.

But you also know what? I don't think I shared that experience here, so shame on me.

I think it's safe to say that most lenses that are discussed here were originally designed for 35mm SLRs. What I've begun doing is adding to my medium format collections while prices are still somewhat affordable. I have the aforementioned Bronica plus a Pentax 67, so I've been on the lookout for lenses for both these systems. I've got my Pentax 67 system pretty much decked out now, with lenses ranging from 45mm to 400mm. But for my Bronica, I have only 40mm to 150mm focal lengths. So I plainly need to get busy with the longer focal lengths. However I've found that they tend to be rather pricey anymore, which has slowed my acquisition of them.

So anyway, that's my take. What's yours?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

much of the "core community" have also gone somewhere, look at the members list by date or number of posts, many missing

edit: checked it, actually surprisingly many are still active

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some rambling thoughts on the forum over the last eight years:

I joined the Forum in 2013, so am a latecomer compared to Michael.
Originally, I joined so that I could learn about MFLenses that I had never seen or used, as well as find out more about those that I had.
The forum was friendly, welcoming and generally tolerant of "odd" questions from posters, including myself, who had not had much exposure in this field, and were fairly ignorant.
The questions were usually asked in a courteous manner, responses were always courteous and informative, and there was usually some gratitude shown for the efforts to respond that members made. In short, it was a very social forum with first names often used in exchanges.

With the little knowledge that I have gained - much of it from the forum, I have collected some types of lenses and avoided others.
I grew to like Komuras, Takumars, Meyers, and some of the excellent lenses that appeared in PB mount that had both Meyer and Zeiss lineage.
Of course as an old Canon FD user, I was attracted to that series, because at the time they were sooo cheap and sooo good.

My first serious digital camera was a Nikon D300, so naturally the wonderful world of Nikkors opened up.
The forum has lost many of its old faces - Mo is particularly missed - but life makes us all busy and we often have other things which demand our time.
There was a period a little while back, where some new members seemed to lack courtesy, and presented with questions that they appeared to expect answers to as a right, and there was little in the way of gratitude shown for the responses that were provided. This phase seems to have thankfully passed.

The great value of the forum is in its almost encyclopaedic coverage of most things MFLenses related. To the point where it is often the de-facto Google supplied answer to an online query about individual lenses and their characteristics.
This has taken years to grow and develop, and should be valued by everyone.

Searching the Forum for particular lenses is best done using Google with MFLenses as the leading variable. The forum search engine does not work half so well in my experience. However there is a wealth of information here if one cares to look.

As to the future, well I like to see what lenses people are using, and I enjoy perusing samples of their work and the results that they can get from lenses. Are there still lenses on my wish list? Not too many at this stage - but if anyone finds an Angenieux 50mm f1.8 in a yard sale or thrift store and wants to send it to a good home.............. Hahaha...........

Happy snaps to all

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the main reason I stop posting pics is the change of rules at photobucket, all my pics disappeared Sad
now pics seems back but tagged like Creta aquarium with contax 50 1.4

lately, I travel with 7kg cabin bag, enough for my laptop and shirts but Sony point shot have replaced heavy dlsr

I liked to use my "good lenses" to pic my daughter but selfie mania made me useless
she even force me to photograph her with an iPhone (boooo Sad )

I still read a lot of posts at mFlenses, always enjoyable Smile

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many people don't bother with dedicated fora anymore. They just join a Facebook group.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: actually using optics Reply with quote

One possible explanation is that those who aquire lenses to use actually are out taking pictures rather than sitting in in front of their computers.I disagree with the view that covid travel restrictions limits opportunieties to find good motives. Walking around outdoors is usually unresticted. and if one happens to live in an unspectacular place, th challenge to find good snaps is even greater.

The info-saturation effect can certainly explain some inactivity . Just like news organizations find that people do not click on expected news like "reruns" of ancient conflicts . With old and venersable optics novel tests, unexspected provenance:as well as details about innards as well as caveats ad maintenance shouldcertainly kindle interest-.

My reasoning is that various fora have given me much useful info, so it is only fair to contribute back. But less time should be used on reading about photography than actually takeing pictures.

I agree with the statement above that the search function lof this forum leaves something to be desired. Whenever I have searched with stringent boolean variables to unearth info on exactly one lens, it provides long lists of everything in the search string. I am still looking for info on the innards of my quite small sigma and Fujita 135millimetres (not particularly good ones).


PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a long time member, largely active 2008-2013, then had to stop for some years (house renovation) and then I am back. The change in the forum is strong :
- Many of the ancient members do not post anymore
- Even the "original" admin Attila is not here anymore (or so... I am not sure to saw him posting since I am back)
- Many comments on pics are of a very limited value, like "great" or just smilies, comments were more argumented/better critic
- I see many pictures that are not very representative of each lens' character, some of them could even be done with a point and shoot or phone (pictures at infinity or with a enormous DOF), I do not remember of that before, or at least, not at this point
This gives me the impression of having lost some quality in the forum.
Plus the fact that I am trying to reduce my number of lenses, inscreasing the shooting quality.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. I read the forum posts from 2009.
2. Now, the IQ of some digital lenses and the easy acces to them, call my attention more frecuently than vintage lenses do.
3. The forum is changing or must change.
4. The newer digital systems give to us almost all the lenses than we need to walk for all the photography ways

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Less posting simulataneous to visits grew up.

Seasonal variation.

Attila posted some forum statistics in 2009 and 2010. Those and the attending comments may be applicable.


PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:30 am    Post subject: statistics for 2020 /21 desired Reply with quote

most interesting, some recent stats would allow conclusions to be drawn.

Another reason for moderate recent activity might be observation of the wise rule of keeping quiet if not having anything new to contribute. More precise sorting of themes and search mechanism might improve matters, this site is still quite popularly referenced as a repository of knowledge.


PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Few small observations:

- I've noticed increased interest in analogue photography previous and this year. This is great.
- I was really frustrated when forum server change occurred and many images from past were lost.
- Atilla vanished and became a myth Smile.

It can be considered a success forum is still alive and doing well when competing with Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, lately also Tiktok. The form of longer written posts and administrated replies without trolling seems ancient to younger folks.

Photography shall pursue to transcend the form of smartphone screen size. Large image dimensions (not resolution) is a factor not to be dismissed easily.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pancolart wrote:
Atilla vanished and became a myth Smile.

I think he was always closer to a Greek Deity than us

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, long term members have already got and tested all their "desired" pieces. So the GAS is gone for them.

There is not so much novices posting here since those "vintage MF lenses" have gotten popular and their current price is horrible compared to pre-2010 times. The lenses are not so accessible to be bought just as personal curiosity/for fun. However, these novices might still be pointed to this forum by Google Search when looking for info or sample pics.

The saturation is definitely a thing. To me it seems like each 35mm photo lens have already been discussed here. Sure, there are still oddities like projector, x-ray, military, micro, lithography, prototype, etc. lenses but these are a niche.

Besides, the site/forum has been half-broken for years, receives no maintenance updates, and starts to look outdated. So my hope is the web.archive.org covers all the knowledge accumulated here.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I joined the forum in 2013, after having discovered I might use on my new Sony Nex lenses produced long before 2010. Since then it has been a source of curiosity and inspiration in combining old quality with up to date quickness, quite an appealing combination. Another appeal assisted by the forum consists for certain in the idea I had of the price difference of lenses and cameras back to their production date and now (even with the price tag grew up back today). GAS was and still coupled for me with as a repeating sensation to be able to afford some real (working) treasure at very moderate expense.

But the pleasure of being forum member, sharing pleasure of equipment exploration, having a meaningful and valuable feedback is less individual than it might seem. Many right things were said here already. I add a reference to this 2014 thread which similarly answers a quite expressive question "Why I like this forum?". The answeres prove some long standing features that are very important for this forum as a community place. Some of you note important differences marking the last years of the forum life. For me the basic formula of expertise + courtesy + solidarity is always there. And this is what makes the forum a very special international meeting place. Thus I'd sincerely regret if the forum turned into a pure archive, as some of you suggested.

For long time I have been seeing the forum as a living encyclopedia, offering to everyone a source of plausible information, and I contributed myself accordingly. When life on forum was especially intense several years ago, community dimension was taken for granted, and it was perfectly completing the encyclopedic one. When activities get less intense, the question of community acquires a greater importance. What is the threshold of minimal motivation for members to continue posting and sharing their knowledge, what kind of minimal feedback and a satisfying number of other members posting keep the forum mutually attractive? There are for sure new experiences rady to share and new ways to put questions on gear and photography, with growing (and even saturated) experience. Maybe, it's the matter of speed? I mean, the first discovery phase, until the saturation came, was marked with high speed posting. Now it's a kind of interplay, and the next phase might be marked with longer meditated, thus rarer posts? Or it's just seasonal as Visualopsins hints?

Tom, Paul, I completely agree that google search works better than in-forum search. Still, it's a tolerable quirk.

Poilu, you point out an important issue with images tagged by photobucket. It breaks pretty much the sense of watching and ths posting. Maybe posting directly to the forum would work? Let's enlarge the Autofocus section, with our new habits?

D1N0, do you mean a particular facebook group or maybe some of them? Could you give some links to follow?

Pancolart, do you mean some specialized or new forums where this interest to film is manifested?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very special place, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been very active, but have been hanging around here for a long time.

I think the early days of the forum could be described as exploration, experimentation. As 'we' posted these experiments and attempts an invaluable and deep knowledge resource was built here. Ironically, that resource has become so good that it has greatly reduced the need for people to experiment or ask questions, the answers are in the archives.

I wonder how many folks come here as a result of a google search, find the answer to whatever they needed to know, and therefore never feel the need to make an account and interact?

In any event, this seems to be a good time to mention how much I've enjoyed reading this forum over the years, and thank everyone for sharing their images and their ideas. Thank You Dog

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:

D1N0, do you mean a particular facebook group or maybe some of them? Could you give some links to follow?

This one is pretty active:


PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Life on forum Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
After the "back to life" which took place in Christmas time, forum members seem to lower activities even more. That may give an idea of the interest to MF lenses passing through a hybernation period. But I guess the reality is more complex.
What are your ideas and explanations of the situation?

Well, I think there are many reasons and everybody may have different ones.

Some of my reasons for the reduction of forum activities which come to my mind:

I'm simply using more and more AF lenses for convenience reasons nowadays and this isn't really the right place to discuss them.

I'm participating in other forums as well where my contribution is more apprechiated; e.g. DPReview, Facebook (camera specific groups), etc. It's not really encouraging if you don't receive any feedback from your postings.......

Besides that my interest in photography varies from time to time; i.e. sometimes I don't touch a camera for several months at all and use my smartphone instead. This is a valid alternative nowadays and more than good enough for day to day photography.

BTW, my latest acquisition for every day and travel photography is a Panasonic Lumix GX80/85 (I still have several original lenses from my ancient Lumix GF1 and a lot of tiny RF lenses) as I'm getting tired to carry too much heavy equipent around and a 16MP MFT picture is better then a missed 42MP FF one because the camera stays increasingly at home. This is also a consequence of replacing my car with a motorbike. Wink

Therefore I will probably sell my totally unused equipment sooner or later: I have by far too many cameras and lenses which I haven't touched for years.....

However, I'm still reading the forum frequently and may continue to contribute.........


PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have adopted a look and learn attitude towards forums. It saves me tons of grief from those who can make forum life difficult. Fortunately they are few here. I learn much here that would likely be hard to come by otherwise. The current situation worldwide has made some testy and seeking a target which I don't want to be.

In that vein I'm grateful for the knowledge shared freely on this forum. Thank you all.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Fuzzywuzzy, with this number of posts you seem to have well contributed to the forum.

D1N0, thank you for the link. It is an interesting and animated group, even if less structured than the MFL forum. Curious to discover there a sticky post warning against political discussions. I remember this was an issue here too, and it looks like every photo-discussion ground passes through such a regulatory phase. It's a pity all this energy and knowledge of the people who share will be digested by facebook, never available for open search and reference.

Thomas, you've already initiated a very interesting discussion in Autofocus corner about phone cameras performance. Maybe we should develop that and try to confront closer MFL and cellular gear performance?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph, you seem to think there is a problem. You seem to have a goal in mind. What is it, please?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Thomas, you've already initiated a very interesting discussion in Autofocus corner about phone cameras performance. Maybe we should develop that and try to confront closer MFL and cellular gear performance?

Smartphone photography has certainly it's limits when it comes to more difficult objects and sceneries. That's the reason why I've ordered the Lumix GX80 (should arrive the next days).
Most probably one of the best travel cameras available today. In some aspects even better than my Sony A7R II but still small enough to fit in my pockets. In addition it's cheaper and offers more possibilities compared to any better smartphone for photography.
I'm looking forward to compare the results.