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Matsu
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2012-01-20, 08:35

Thom Hogan has suspects we may see as many as 3 significant February announcements from Nikon. Interesting, perhaps even two successors to the D700/D300 which could be very interesting. I have to find the link, but a reasonable pundit speculated that the D300 successor might not materialize at all, rather a slightly improved D7000 for the top line DX. For FX we could get a mid market D800 built for resolution, and an entry level FX taking up space under it, something a little lighter in features, borrowing from Canon's original 5d recipe. You get the lower resolution, but high sensitivity, sensor; lower spec AF and metering, and *no focus motor*. It's just perverse enough to be a real strategy for differentiating their top 4 models. Top line DX gets enough pro features, shoots fast, and mounts all lenses, but its limited to the DX frame, naturally. FX gets divided between a high sensitivity entry level camera, but one that can't use some of Nikon's exotic and/or expensive pro glass, for which you'll need either a D800 for high resolution and low speed, or a D4 for high speed and sensitivity. I found it to be a plausible approach, sure to ignite a shit storm of complaint from AF-D lens owners - though a gradual phase out is unavoidable...

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Dorian Gray
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2012-01-20, 09:55

Nice tripod, PB PM. It looks familiar to me!

Matsu, that does sound just perverse enough to be believable! But what sensor might the low-end FX model use? Not the D4 sensor, unless we're talking at least a year out, and not the D3S sensor, since I suspect it's about as good as the D4 above ISO 3200.

My point is that event photographers would quickly move to AF-S lenses — if they're not already using them — in order to use a cheap FX camera with world-class high-ISO capabilities. That would severely undermine D4 sales, in much the same way the D700 undermined D3 sales. High-ISO performance is what matters to these guys, from what I can tell. Lots of photographers would happily give up tank-like build quality and ten frames per second in exchange for a much lower price.
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Chinney
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2012-01-20, 11:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
In other news Kodak filled a chapter 11. I think the restructuring will bring and end to the film devision altogether. Sad news for those who holdouts who still shoot film, but for most people it's a bit of a yawn. Kodak has done nothing innovative since they killed off their high end DSLRs a number of years ago.
I am old enough to be at least a little bit sentimental about this. I was a late convert to digital - and still have my old film equipment - but now have not taken a film snap for a few years. I sometimes still feel that there is a certain quality to film photography that is not reproduced digitally, but even that feeling has largely faded. There is just so much great digital photography out there. A better technology has come along. My only lingering feelings are when I see something like Fred Herzog's work, captured on Kodachrome in the 50s, 60s and 70s: http://www.equinoxgallery.com/artist...io/fred-herzog. My wife gave me a framed, full-size (about 20" x 30") version of this one from the Equinox Gallery as a Christmas present this year:



(The low-res online reproduction is only a pale shadow of the physical print)

I wonder sometimes if a digital camera could quite capture the organic subtleties of images such as that. I think that the answer is probably "yes it could", but I nevertheless do sometimes wonder. In any event, the move to digital should certainly not lead to a dismissing of the incredible work done by photographers in the film age.

Let my hat be your umbrella
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Matsu
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2012-01-20, 12:37

I have't really paid attention because it's not what I want to do. I'm surprised by how much of the telephoto line-up is upgraded to AFS, almost everything! Outside the 135 f/2 DC, there aren't too any long AF-D lenses that interest me. But at the wide end, especially smaller (f/1.8/2/2.8) FX primes, there's nothing wider than the 50. I think they have to keep focus motors around for a little while longer, but maybe it's a smart game to "incentivate" a round big lens upgrades from those still holding AF-D glass or scouring the used market - it would depend on what we see offered in lenses.

I think a... let's call it a D700s... could get by with either of a D3s or D4 sensor. Especially if the camera is more basic in its operational speed and flexibility, less robust, etc... you might get the same sensor, doesn't mean you get the same camera. People looking at prices aren't buying D4s regardless. But, it's the flip-side of that equation that dictates the decision: are people who value -2ev autofocus tracking at f/8 while shooting 10fps at ISO12800 willing to put up with a slower focus system and slower shooting rate, and are there enough of them? Or do some people on the cusp have to be up-sold?

Maybe it's a camera that can come to light 8-12 months after the first few runs of D4 have sold...?

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PB PM
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2012-01-20, 13:39

The only AF-D telephoto lens left is the 200mm F4 micro, which dearly needs to be updated.
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Matsu
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2012-01-20, 17:05

X Pro 1 sensor looks impressive here
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PB PM
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2012-01-21, 21:29

Yup, nice camera. Price still looks too steep for a crop sensor (IMO). I'm sure they will sell well with street shooters.
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Matsu
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2012-01-23, 08:31

It's probably going to seem like a bargain when Leica's X based ILC comes out...

Hey, does anyone here shoot the 14-24? I've been flirting with one a club meet-ups. Heavy bugger, but I like it. Starting to get lens acquisition pangs... They really need to update the 17-35, a far more rational lens...

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PB PM
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2012-01-23, 13:16

They did, the 16-35mm F4. Having two F2.8 wide angle lenses didn't make much sense and was cutting into sales of the 14-24mm. I am avoiding it, filters for it are too expensive, its heavy and flares like crazy.
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GSpotter
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2012-01-23, 15:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
They did, the 16-35mm F4. Having two F2.8 wide angle lenses didn't make much sense and was cutting into sales of the 14-24mm. I am avoiding it, filters for it are too expensive, its heavy and flares like crazy.
Me too, I bought the 16-35 and I'm mostly happy about it (I wouldn't mind if it had been a bit shorter and the distortion at the wide and could be a bit less, but apart from these minor quibbles - a smaller lens doesn't make the D700 smaller and the distortion is just one click in Lightroom), it's a great lens. The VR comes in handy sometimes...

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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PB PM
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2012-01-23, 18:26

Yes, the 16-35mm is on my short list of lenses to acquire in the future. Not great for shooting parties or indoor events, but great for landscapes. I think my next lens, which I'll be saving for over the next year or two, will be the 300mm F2.8G VR and the TC20E III.
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Matsu
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2012-01-24, 15:57

The 16-35 range is very nearly the ideal ultra-wide focal range, and the VR should be very handy, and the price is not bad, but I'm not convinced after a lot of reading and sample image reviews, that it's better than the 17-35 *once you factor out price.*

If you can find a good post 2006 model, there may have been a very minor, quiet revision there, some of the external markings changed and it seems to have lost a negligible amount of weight. This might be the used bargain to hunt for...?

The centre is stupid sharp, but not the edges. However, that seems to be the case for all of the Canon 16-35L I/II and Nikon 16-35 and 17-35. Sticking to Nikon, photozone measures the 17-35 sharper everywhere than the 16-35 when stopped down to f/4, however other credible reviewers give the 16-35 edges the nod.

Rockwell, who produces better reviews than photos, even has conflicting information on them. His 24mm comparison images clearly show the 17-35 sharper everywhere stopped down to f/8; not quite even on the edges at f/4, but clearly sharper in the center at any aperture, including wide open - for some reason he skips f/5.6 where I suspect the two come even on the edges. However, the flipside comes in his ultrawide review: Finding the 16-35 superior for situations that call for more depth of field hand-held - which has some merit - if you need to be at f/4-f/8 to keep more overall sharpness then f/2.8s won't do anything for you.

All this to say, it's a mixed bag. The 16-35 is cheaper (new) better at 16mm , lighter, and has VR. The 17-35 is better at f/2.8 , has the sharper centre, heavier, no VR. The edges are a toss up.

I'm still really tempted by the 14-24, purely for cheap thrills. It makes high impact images. A tad trendy, but if you feed it a bold subject and some strong architectural lines, it has an ability to make the whole world converge on your subject. Good for clients who want to feel like rock and roll gods or action superheros...

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PB PM
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2012-01-24, 16:27

Sample variation with the test samples is well noted. Most actual users of the 16-35mm F4 seem to like it (many sold their 17-35mm after trying it). I think it goes both ways really. If you need a fast aperture, get it, if you don't, don't.
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Matsu
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2012-01-26, 09:25

From NR: D700 and D300s officially marked discontinued now.
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PB PM
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2012-01-26, 14:08

Discontinued in Japan only, due to the ban of EN-EL3e batteries.
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Dorian Gray
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2012-01-29, 09:42

Like Chinney, I'm sentimental about Kodak's demise. I've used many Kodak products, from the inimitable Kodachrome 25 (I have maybe 150 boxes of PKM slides waiting to be scanned… one day!) to the cinematic Ektachrome E200.

I also took full advantage of the awesome digital library Kodak put online in the late nineties, a veritable treasure trove of technical material on photography. I have no idea how it made any sense for Kodak to fund that, but that was the kind of thing that Kodak did in the glory days. Now the Kodak website is a shell of broken links.

I see Kodak as another great American success story terminated by the cult of the MBA. Is nothing sacred anymore? Maybe it's just the nature of capitalism. Kodak grew big by using every trick in the book, so perhaps no-one can complain if capitalism had the last laugh.

---

More positively, it looks like we're finally going to see new full-frame SLRs from Canon and Nikon soon, to replace the 5D Mark II and D700 respectively. These cameras tend to hang around for several years, so great things are expected! My greatest hope for these cameras is that they're priced within reach of keen enthusiasts. A $3500 or $4000 camera won't change much, and there's a distinct possibility we'll see such prices. I hope they're at least under $3000 ($2000 would be better, but the rumoured specs are too impressive to realistically hope for that).
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Matsu
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2012-01-29, 15:35

My camera bag has some room in it now. I just got rid of my 85mm AF-D. I thought I would keep it until I got to really use it on an FX camera, but it was a little noisy, and I managed to make a couple of sheckls in the deal. So now, I'm waiting to see what's in store in the full frame world. D3 and D3s models are in something of a free fall this month. I've found high mileage D3 and D3s models for very low prices - they might make the perfect compliment to a new D800

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PB PM
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2012-01-29, 16:46

Dorian I understand the attachment to Kodak, I shot with Kodak film for many years (still do from time to time). My first digital camera (best point and shoot I ever had frankly) was a Kodak.

As for used D3/D3s prices, they are falling a little ($3500 for D3, $4000 for a D3s) but still a little steep. A second D700 would be nice, but used models in decent condition (IMO) are more than I paid for mine new!
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Matsu
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2012-01-30, 05:47

The lowest prices I've found on a D3 were $2,300 for a non-Canadian market camera, and 2700 for a low shutter count version - all for sale locally in Toronto. Also, a D3s for $3,500, but with over 70,000 clicks - which is still acceptable on this body. Curiously, no used D700's for sale for he past week or so. The D700 is still a bit unique - fast fps, compact body, high sensitivity FX sensor. People are still waiting to see the D800 I think, which as rumored will likely substitute video and a high resolution sensor in place of the high frame rate - basically more of an upgraded Canon 5DII formula.

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PB PM
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2012-01-30, 14:47

Lots of D700s in eBay in Canada (2-3 a week right now). They are going for between $1900-2300 used with under 50,000 actions.
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Matsu
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2012-01-30, 16:18

I didn't even look on eVILbay, just local. From the seller's perspective, timing is everything on eBay. Right now D700's are hot and people tend to bid them up a bit if the seller has a good rep. Just a couple of weeks ago I saw three auctions for D300/s that ended without a sale. That model's value has really tanked, people are trying to get 800-1000 for them, but there aren't (m)any takers. It's not more than a D200 now, owners don't want to part with them for so little, buyers see too many other new DX or used FX options.

This year might be same for D700 sales. If I had one I'd probably just decide to run it until it's dead, or sell right now while there's demand from users who like its exact feature set.

If I were making predictions I'd guess that in twelve months used FX cameras will cost:

$1000-1500 for a D700 (already discontinued in some markets)
under $2000 for D3 (already discontinued and replaced)
$2000-$3000 for D3s (depending on condition, and pending clearance of retail stock, and subsequent discontinuation)

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Dorian Gray
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2012-01-30, 16:53

Good but well-used D700s are going for about 1400 euros in Paris, rising to about 1550 for a mollycoddled example. The prices have fallen by at least 100 euros since the D800 rumours became strident a month ago — and that despite new D700 stock drying up — but I feel people are still unsure what to do because they don't know how the D800 will be priced.

If the D800 is priced at $3000, the bottom will fall out of the D700 market in short order. If it's $4000, there will be a lot less pressure. It also depends on whether Nikon updates the D7000 or D300S soon (or is the Dxxx series finished?), because new DX cameras would also put pressure on used D700 values.

It's an interesting market dynamic. The D700 and 5D Mark II are the cheapest full-frame cameras, so they attract a very broad user base, and everyone has their own reasons for using the cameras. There's everyone from poseurs who really couldn't care less about the specs, to serious landscape hobbyists with $10k lens kits, to hairy video guys with no lenses to speak of, to wedding jobbers, to globe-trotting journalists. Many more.

I like my D700 a lot, and consider the 5D Mark II a bit of a botch job. But the market clearly rewarded Canon more. Quite why that was is hard to say. Maybe Canon was just better placed than Nikon in 2008 to capitalise, with hoards of happy xxD owners ready to upgrade, recent switchers with the original 5D, people who'd given up on Nikon, etc. For the 5D Mark II camera itself, I'd guess the pixels were more important than the video, so Canon might be taking a risky step if they let the D800 walk away with the pixel crown, no matter how fancy their video might be. On the other hand, if they make the 5D Mark III a really slick, thought-out, all-round camera, it might please the crowd who say the 5D Mark II is a souped up Rebel.

Who can say?
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Dorian Gray
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2012-01-30, 17:14

By the way, I guess you gents heard about the rumour that the D800 would come in versions with and without an anti-aliasing filter. This strikes me as spectacularly unlikely, since removing the AA filter is daft from an information-theory perspective, and Nikon would be the last company to ditch good sense just to please a few strident photographers who think AA filters steal their resolution.

More likely, I think, is that the rumour mixes up the details, and this feature has something to do with video. Video I know nothing about. How would the removal or addition of an anti-aliasing filter — perhaps at the touch of a button — affect video? Can anyone guess?
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Matsu
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2012-01-31, 06:50

I think people speculated about that because the high (rumored 36MP) resolution resembles that of medium format digital, and many of those have no AA filter. Fuji re-arranges the pixel matrix in the X Pro 1 sensor to simultaneously eliminate the AA filter and defeat moire. They claim this can't be done with a bayer pattern. We haven't seen a direct comparison yet. A popular opinion, though it may be nothing more, is that once pixel densities are high enough, you won't need an AA filter - the frequency of the sample will be far finer than the resolving power of the optics in front of it. I don't know, AA-less sensors seem preferable to some photographers.

I think a combination of market position, timing, resolution, and video made the 5D2 more popular overall - It was the first time you could get a big motion picture look from a cheap camera, but it involved a lot of compromises. That matters less now. If I shot any video for an event, I'd probably go with a smaller sensor camera and intercut with a few photos and some pretentious pseudo-artistic DSLR video shots, but take the bulk of the video from something small and fast a Nikon1, 4/3rds, or NEX or something like that, or I'd partner with someone shooting just video on a proper motion camera. I don't have a big interest in that either way, but it may be a part of winning some kinds of event business...

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Last edited by Matsu : 2012-01-31 at 10:05.
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Dorian Gray
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2012-01-31, 09:42

I can certainly accept that with sufficient pixel density the optics won't present enough detail to excite aliasing, but 36 megapixels isn't nearly enough for that. (It's "only" about 70% greater linear density than 12 megapixels.)

I think medium-format cameras lack anti-aliasing filters for cost reasons. Very large, custom anti-aliasing filters in low production runs would be expensive or thick — and if they're thick they would introduce significant astigmatism at the edge of the frame (see the mess Leica got itself into by trying to use a thin infrared filter in the M8 to keep astigmatism low with symmetrical wide-angle lenses).

An appropriate anti-aliasing filter shouldn't reduce resolved detail, but rather, spurious detail. Granted, lots of M9 and medium-format owners seem to like spurious detail in landscapes, etc. — I guess it's similar to the appeal of Genuine Fractals, which was all the rage a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I think a combination of market position, timing, resolution, and video made the 5D2 more popular overall - It was the first time you could get a big motion picture look from a cheap camera, but it involved a lot of compromises.
Yeah, but did the video really account for many sales? My guess is the high pixel count was much more important for the success of the 5D Mark II. The user surveys on photo forums always show near-zero interest in SLR video, but maybe the people who buy SLR cameras for video are somewhere else... like video forums!

If the 5D Mark III has "just" 22 megapixels, I'd be have to wonder if there's something wrong at Canon's sensor-making department. First they lost the high-ISO crown, then the pixel-count crown? Canon famously runs its own image-sesnor fab, which strikes me as anachronistic in 2012: it must be hyper-expensive to run, and next to impossible to keep up to date with the latest developments. How long will Canon keep this up? Will Canon's marketing bods eventually throw up their hands and tell the board that "Canon inside" is no longer selling cameras? Telling the world you make your own sensors is only good marketing if your sensors are the best.

I'm probably getting ahead of myself here!
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Matsu
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2012-01-31, 10:37

It might be 32, who knows? A fast shooting 22MP, with improved focus, DR, and noise characteristics could be just the ticket for a nice full-frame camera, but such a beast could be much too close the the 1Dx...

Nikon interview on DPR indicates faster aperture lenses for the 1 system and 4K video coming. The V1 can basically do this already, albeit in very short bursts. The sensor size could be a HUGE advantage here, they just need a couple of fast high zoom ratio lenses and a dedicated video body to make a great field camera for news and documentary.

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PB PM
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2012-01-31, 12:29

Canon rumors for a while has been saying the 5D MKIII will have a 22MP sensor, and he is usually right about those things (of course he was saying it would use the 18MP sensor of the 1D X for the last four months). Canon wants to get those low light shooters back, since they buy lenses like the 85mm f1.2L and such other expensive glass.

Last edited by PB PM : 2012-01-31 at 13:22.
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PB PM
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2012-02-01, 02:19

Lens rentals guys had some fun with a Nikon 1 V1 and the 600mm F4 Nikkor... http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012...-of-3250mm-fun.
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Matsu
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2012-02-01, 07:26

That's hilarious! I love it. I actually did a little surveillance once, this would have been awesome!
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Matsu
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2012-02-01, 11:47

I like this guy, thought it was a good read.

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com...l-implied.html

Reinforces my view that the best intersection of natural versatility (for people photographing people) happens between 35-105. This doesn't make him or me right, but it points to an interesting gap in zoom lens offerings, particularly for ILC cameras, where it's easier to carry two bodies on the hip. you could carry such a lens and a wide prime/zoom for more radical perspectives...

We don't have fast constant aperture lenses that really take in personal distances from small group to portrait. 28mm is about the limit for situating people without too much distorted perspective, maybe 24, but you'll be placing the subject very carefully with great pain to hold the camera just to the right level, or, you'll be making purposeful distortions of perspective. At 35, you can still get pretty close and it's not too hard to keep heads, torso and limbs in proper perspective and/or avoiding verticals caving in on the scene.

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