An Informal Test for Excess Flare in my Primary Work Zoom. Test inconclusive but promising....

I have to confess that I do like a certain amount of flare; as long as it's not excessive. I know some quick ways to get as much flare as you'd ever want. You could put an uncoated "protection" filter on the front of your lens, clean the filter with some spit and a wipe on a shirttail and then shooting into the light, or you could inadvertently (or purposefully) get some oily goo on your unprotected front element and ignore it while shooting into the light, or you could just buy a cheap lens. And few lenses do flare like an 18-500mm zoom...

I like to see how well my lenses can handle flare so sometimes, when we're shooting and I've got the actual shot covered, I'll move the camera over to get a light directly in the frame. You know, just to see what happens when a 1K is shining all over my front element. 

Yesterday I was shooting behind the scenes at a TV commercial production and I moved over to put a light in my shot. I'll also confess that I like a well intentioned (and well motivated) backlight; especially if we are photographing people in black in front of mostly black backgrounds....

I was using the Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 near wide open and snapped a frame with the light near the center and a different angle with the light near the right hand, extreme edge of my frame. These are the end result. Not too shabby. I can live with that amount of flare in exchange for the visual happiness of having the light inside the "box" and getting such a nice, deep shadow from the dancer closest to the light. 

I was happy to see that there was no blurry flare patch and no repeating flare artifacts spread across the frame. 

Camera: Fuji X-H1
Lens: Fuji 16-55mm f2.8
Lighting, tungsten
Client: Zach Theatre

Earliest adventures with a 135mm lens. Bolted onto the front of a Canon TX. (Shutter speeds to 1/500th; nothing automatic.)

Lightroom is like your neighborhood bar/pub.

You've probably never heard this in real life:

Bar customer: "I'll have a pint of that IPA." 

Bartender: "Coming right up." 

Bartender slides a nice, cold glass of beer to the customer who admires it, picks it up and take a long drink.

Bar customer: "Mmmm. That's great."

Bartender: "That's be $5."

The customer becomes agitated. Rears back from his bar stool, hand on hips, raging with defiance.

Bar Customer: "How dare you charge me again! I was in the bar just last week and paid the full price for my beer. Now I own it and can drink it whenever I want. Charging me AGAIN for the beer is outlandish, scurrilous. You are just a greedy person! This is outrageous! Whoever heard of paying for beer twice?"

Bartender: "Get out of my bar you cheap bastard!" 

The bar customer slams the door on his way out, muttering, "I'll find a place where I can pay for my beer once and then drink forever for free." 

End of story.

So, yes, if you want to use Lightroom from Adobe you'll have to pay for a monthly license. In exchange you'll get state of the art software that is continually upgraded with new features and continually made to work with a wide variety of the latest (and ever changing) raw file formats.

This cost is the equivalent of 2.5 medium sized lattes at Starbucks. For your ten bucks you can use the program as much as you want. You could rack up hundreds of hours of use for $10 in a month.

But there are howls all over the web about the fact that Adobe won't sell the program outright but requires a license. How did we get to this place?

Many, many, many people stole the software and used it for free. Even working pros who made money from their use of the software chose to steal a "pirated" copy rather than pay for it. At one point bit torrent sites were overflowing with "free" copies, used as bait to pull people to their sites.

When Adobe realized just how out of control the situation had become they felt a need to protect their enormous investment of time, money, creativity, expertise and, yes, service.

Don't like paying $10 a month for two of the world's best imaging processing applications (Photoshop and Lightroom)? You are welcome not to. But don't make Adobe out to be some sort of villain. They are protecting their property as surely as any other company would.

Wanna blame someone? Blame all the people who didn't think twice about using pirated software.

Me? I like the constant upgrades. I like a program that works with all my various camera raw files. I especially like that I get new features for no extra cost.

For the approximate cost of two and a half cups of coffee per month. Amazing.