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The damage from a new fraudulent scheme is 20 million rubles a month

 

Photo: lime/Alex Maishev

The cyber fraudsters began stealing Bank card data of customers with sites promising easy money on the Internet. But for a fee citizens must pay tax using credit cards. At the stage of data entry of...

 

newsworld.co/hackers-invented-a-new-way-theft-with-credit...

zauji.com/9461.

I purchased this faucet in oil rubbed bronze for a kitchen remodel in 1009. Within a few months the rubber button on top changing the faucet from spray to stream stopped working. Since it was still a beautiful faucet and because I would need to get a plumber out to replace it, I ignored the broken toggle button. One year, almost to the exact date of original installation, the sprayer hose came out of it housing, and leaving us without a usable sink until we could replace the faucet. I called the manufacturer to describe the problem and they promptly sent me a replacement faucet at no charge. I paid a plumber to come out and replace the broken faucet, who discovered on removing the old faucet that the bronze finish had completely chipped off under the handle just below where the faucet moves to swivel from side to side. The second faucet failed in exactly the same manner, again almost exactly one year from installation. That inside hose carrying water to the sprayertap came out of its housing and could not be reattached. Plus the bronze finish of this second faucet had chipped away even more than the first. I called representatives of Danze, the manufacturer, and they were very responsive to my complaintsjust incredulous that both faucets had failed as I described. I asked to be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the faucet and the plumbers fees for installation. They acknowledged that the company had had problems with the finish on the first faucets they manufactured in this model but those problems had been corrected. They refused my request for reimbursement but offered me any replacement faucet I wanted in the Danze product line. I explained that I had new counters cut with a single hole for the faucet and of the five faucets that would work in my kitchen, four would look awful and I was reluctant to install the faucet I bought for a third time. The company proposed sending me the same model I originally purchased with many assurances that it would not chip or fail, plus an agreement that they would reimburse me for all plumbing costs incurred in installation. In addition, I was told that if the third faucet would fail, they would reimburse my money and pay for another plumber to come in and put in a fourth faucet. The third faucet has been installed for four months now. There is prominent chipping of the finish in the same place as the other two faucets. The housing has not come off the sprayer arm yet, but it no longer docks tightly and this minor failure always preceded complete detachment in the last two faucets. I must say Danze has been wonderful to work with. They have been very responsive to my complaints and very quick in trying to make things right. Within 12 hours of emailing the customer care manager about the third faucet failure I had a return email apologizing for the mess and his assurance that my claim would be expedited. The company has promised me full reimbursement for the cost of the original faucet, plus they will cover the cost of (hopefully, a final) installation of a faucet not manufactured by Danze. In all, I paid for one faucet which Danze replaced twice more. They have and will cover all installation costs. The company made a beautiful but defective faucet but their responsiveness and quick actions prevented this situation from being a complete nightmare. Instead it has been a big inconvenience and annoyance. Dont fall for looks with this beautiful faucet and dont assume, because it is expensive, it is wellmade or will last. If youve stopped here looking for a faucet, keep looking or beware. UPDATE***As of 1012, I have received full reimbursement for the cost of having a plumber replace this faucet in my home, THREE TIMES, and the original cost of the faucet purchased through Amazon. If you have installed one of these defective faucets in your home, and plan to replace it, it is worth your while to pursue a claim with the company. If you remove this Danze, keep the defective faucet. DO NOT DISCARD. The company will pay to have it returned but they will want to see it. This entire experience has been extremely annoying but the company has been very responsive.

The water motion in this reminds me of a washing machine. When I was a kid I remember being mesmerized by my grandparents front loading washing machine. At home we had a top loader, so it was something new and interesting when I was little.

 

My Flickr Pro Account expired today. When I went to look at my stats for today I got an ad page, so I went to renew my account for another year. Overall I've been pretty happy with Flickr, so I clicked through to renew my 1-year subscription and eventually got to the end of the process and was presented with this:

 

"You are about to subscribe to the Yahoo! service listed above. You will be charged the total due, on an auto-renew basis, for each term as shown above, until you cancel."

 

As a consumer I find this kind of policy offensive. It's a tactic used by second rate companies to collect recurring subscription fees even after a customer stops using the service. Some people find automatic renewal to be convenient, but for them there has always been an option to enroll in auto-renewal. This policy change was enough to get me to take a step back and reassess what I get from Flickr, and how it compares with other sites.

 

The best feature Flickr Pro offers has no competitive alternative that I know of, and that is unlimited storage of full resolution photos. This is the single feature that has convinced me to renew, at least for now. At some point I am planning to build a gallery with a service like Zenfolio, or Smugmug, or one of the other similar options. Once I do, this Flickr feature will become much less important.

 

The other feature Flickr has that I enjoy is their groups, but since Google+ added communities I find it to be almost as good. I still think Flickr's groups are better, especially with the way photos are added, but communities are close enough, and the activity and engagement from Google+ communities is actually much better than Flickr.

 

My Flickr presence had about a 1 year head start on my Google+ presence, so the group I interact with on Flickr was initially much larger. Now that I've spent time on Google+ I've found that my personal community is growing many times faster than on Flickr. It's also much easier to find active relevant and interesting discussions on Google+.

 

Flickr has Explore, which is a huge opportunity for exposure that doesn't really exist on Google+, and only kind of exists on 500px (if you can get to the front page). The problem is, despite having improved my photography (in my opinion), and definitely increased the engagement I get on the photos I post, the last time I had a photo in explore was March of 2012 (13 months ago). Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to complain about this, and I understand it's a complex algorithm that accounts for many different factors, but if I never have a photo reach explore, it's not a relevant feature to consider when I'm deciding whether or not to continue using Flickr, or renew my Flickr Pro.

 

The last feature Flickr Pro offers that I do really enjoy is stats. I like to see where my photo views come from. As far as I know, nothing like this exists on other social networks.

 

Ultimately, I renewed my Flickr Pro for 3 months (instead of the 1-year I was originally planning) and immediately canceled it so it won't auto-renew. In 3 months, I'll reassess my Flickr use, but for now, I'll continue on. But Flickr, I want you to know I'm not happy with your policy changes, and your competition is evolving much faster than you, so our days together may be numbered.

Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - A Plumpish Proportion

 

Photo By: SSG Robert Stewart

 

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

 

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

 

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.

On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.

In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work... Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm...”

In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.

In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion ...to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

 

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”

Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.

To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.

The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.

Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.

Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.

Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.

In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.

Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.

While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.

In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”

The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.

In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”

In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.

The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”

In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.

As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”

At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.

When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.

In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.

The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.

During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.

The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.

In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.

Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”

The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.

In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.

After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.

The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc... New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.

The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.

The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.

The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:

* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc...)

* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence...)

* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.

* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things ...).

* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.

* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).

* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).

* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).

* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc...).

* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.

* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.

What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc... were far away places that most had not visited.

As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.

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NEW RELEASE @ Pure Poison FASHION

- Group - New Offers!

Pure Poison will release new item every Friday and we have a special discount program for our members, such as:

 

-> Group members will receive 50% off for one specific color of the new release and 20% off for the other available colors. We will announce which one of specific color every friday!

Check for Group vendor ( highlighted in red) near the normal vendors.

 

-> We will also have a lucky draw program for our monthly customers and group members. The monthly prizes will now be:

1st winner - 6000L - Gift Card

2nd winner - 3000L - Gift Card

3rd winner - 1000L - Gift Card

 

With this new offer, we have increased the join fee for Pure Poison group to 500L. This group fee change will not effect the existing members.

 

Enjoy!

jewelrydom.com/15605.

I purchased this faucet in oil rubbed bronze for a kitchen remodel in 1009. Within a few months the rubber button on top changing the faucet from spray to stream stopped working. Since it was still a beautiful faucet and because I would need to get a plumber out to replace it, I ignored the broken toggle button. One year, almost to the exact date of original installation, the sprayer hose came out of it housing, and leaving us without a usable sink until we could replace the faucet. I called the manufacturer to describe the problem and they promptly sent me a replacement faucet at no charge. I paid a plumber to come out and replace the broken faucet, who discovered on removing the old faucet that the bronze finish had completely chipped off under the handle just below where the faucet moves to swivel from side to side. The second faucet failed in exactly the same manner, again almost exactly one year from installation. That inside hose carrying water to the sprayertap came out of its housing and could not be reattached. Plus the bronze finish of this second faucet had chipped away even more than the first. I called representatives of Danze, the manufacturer, and they were very responsive to my complaintsjust incredulous that both faucets had failed as I described. I asked to be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the faucet and the plumbers fees for installation. They acknowledged that the company had had problems with the finish on the first faucets they manufactured in this model but those problems had been corrected. They refused my request for reimbursement but offered me any replacement faucet I wanted in the Danze product line. I explained that I had new counters cut with a single hole for the faucet and of the five faucets that would work in my kitchen, four would look awful and I was reluctant to install the faucet I bought for a third time. The company proposed sending me the same model I originally purchased with many assurances that it would not chip or fail, plus an agreement that they would reimburse me for all plumbing costs incurred in installation. In addition, I was told that if the third faucet would fail, they would reimburse my money and pay for another plumber to come in and put in a fourth faucet. The third faucet has been installed for four months now. There is prominent chipping of the finish in the same place as the other two faucets. The housing has not come off the sprayer arm yet, but it no longer docks tightly and this minor failure always preceded complete detachment in the last two faucets. I must say Danze has been wonderful to work with. They have been very responsive to my complaints and very quick in trying to make things right. Within 12 hours of emailing the customer care manager about the third faucet failure I had a return email apologizing for the mess and his assurance that my claim would be expedited. The company has promised me full reimbursement for the cost of the original faucet, plus they will cover the cost of (hopefully, a final) installation of a faucet not manufactured by Danze. In all, I paid for one faucet which Danze replaced twice more. They have and will cover all installation costs. The company made a beautiful but defective faucet but their responsiveness and quick actions prevented this situation from being a complete nightmare. Instead it has been a big inconvenience and annoyance. Dont fall for looks with this beautiful faucet and dont assume, because it is expensive, it is wellmade or will last. If youve stopped here looking for a faucet, keep looking or beware. UPDATE***As of 1012, I have received full reimbursement for the cost of having a plumber replace this faucet in my home, THREE TIMES, and the original cost of the faucet purchased through Amazon. If you have installed one of these defective faucets in your home, and plan to replace it, it is worth your while to pursue a claim with the company. If you remove this Danze, keep the defective faucet. DO NOT DISCARD. The company will pay to have it returned but they will want to see it. This entire experience has been extremely annoying but the company has been very responsive.

View On Black

 

This is the Americana at Brand, L.A.'s newest beacon of American consumerism that opened on May 2, 2008 in Glendale. On the surface, it may look like just another mall, but with more than 75 stores and restaurants—plus a state-of-the-art movie theater and a park with a water fountain, it's definitely bigger than anything Los Angelenos have ever seen before.

 

Two years in the making and cost $400 million, Americana is the new shopping center and residential center in Glendale made possible by Grove developer Rick Caruso.

 

Caruso, who spent millions fighting Glendale Galleria owner General Growth Properties while planning the project, has built an empire by creating stylized retail centers that encourage shoppers to kick back and hang out. You either love the idea of shopping in a fantasy land -- where shiny trolleys cruise mini-streets and uniformed elevator men ask "Which floor? "-- or you cringe over its Disney-esque surrealness.

 

But only the terminally cynical will be blind to the Americana's charms. Yes, architectural purists will bemoan the hodgepodge of design styles -- Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Mediterranean, Classical and many more. But walking down the paved pathways, you almost feel as if you're strolling Boston's Newbury Street or Georgetown in Washington D.C. Or the main drag in Vegas. A 2-acre grassy knoll features an 80-foot "dancing" fountain, the centerpiece of the project, with stores and a playground curving around all sides.

 

Unlike at the Grove, there are no department store anchors, only a multilevel Barnes & Noble and an 18-screen Pacific movie theater. And though the outdoor space is triple what it is at the Grove, there's actually less retail.

 

But the lineup is aimed straight at younger shoppers: Calvin Klein, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Lacoste, Martin + Osa, Free People, H&M, Juicy Couture, Custo Barcelona and XXI from Forever 21.

 

Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first store in California for its Australia-based line Gilly Hicks, which features hip lingerie and lounge wear for twentysomethings. Paperchase, a British stationery store, will debut its first West Coast shop.

 

Tiffany & Co. launched its lower-priced "concept store," geared toward the trendy jewelry shopper.

 

And you won't go hungry -- though you might leave with a touch of indigestion. Restaurants and eateries include Cheesecake Factory, Beard Papa (cream puffs), Caffe Primo (salads and paninis), Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, CrepeMaker (handmade crepes), Jamba Juice and Richie's Neighborhood Pizzeria. On the higher end, there's Katsuya, the Japanese restaurant from sushi chef Kaysuya Uechi and designer Phillippe Starck.

 

The Americana takes its customer service seriously. The concierge desk offers -- for fees -- valet service, on-site oil changes, rental car and taxi reservation assistance, wardrobe consultation and styling, dry cleaning, tailoring, a notary public and even a yoga instructor. That's just for shoppers.

 

There are even more perks for those planning to move into Caruso's Neverland. Stacked above the center's shops and restaurants are 100 condos and 238 apartments, with condos ranging from the low $700,000s to $2 million and rents from $2,000 to $5,500 a month. The list of services for residents reads like Mariah Carey's backstage rider: piano tuning, baby-sitting (kids, pets and plants), movie tickets, personal shopping, art appraisal and food delivery.

 

Day shoppers who won't be rolling out of bed and into Urban Outfitters -- and don't want to valet -- will be subjected to a fascimile of the Grove's creeping, merry-go-round of a parking garage. But then passage to strange lands has always been tricky.

 

Info from www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-americana27apr27... (with minor changes and additions)

There were about 45 dust spots on this image when I opened the RAW file in Photoshop and had to carefully remove them all before converting the RAW.

I think it is a big issue of any interchangeable lens system camera(both ILC and DSLR).

 

Why the Sony FE system is doomed 1: Is Sony the final loser as usual in the ILC market too?

 

Everybody in a camera forum claims MILC,especially the Sony FE system is winning this ILC game over the rest, Canon Nikon are really stupid losing all their market to the Sony, is that really true?

 

Between 2006 and 2008 Sony was the fastest growing company on the DSLR market, reaching about 13% market share in 2008(in unit sales) to become the third largest DSLR company in the world.

But then Sony switched to SLTs and dropped DSLRs. After that they switched to focus more on their new E mount and the 'NEX' APSC mirrorless system, which I personally loved and supported with my own money. After that they dropped the 'NEX' name and quit releasing new APSC mirrorless lenses while solely focusing all their effort on FF mirrorles-the 'FE' mount(Fullframe E mount)...........

The results? Sony now commands about a 11% market share for ILC cameras, so despite of the common forum myth that Sony is taking over this industry with the series of the quick A7X camera launches, Sony is actually losing their sales and market share-they have been losing more A mount guys to CN than they have been taking CN guys with the FE series plus the obscure adapter strategy.

So Sony still remains the 3rd largest ILC (DSLR, SLT and Mirrorless) company in the world but not by unit sales any more, by value. This is significant because they are no longer selling as many affordable cameras as they used to be , and most of their sales loss coming from younger gen market because many of young new photogs no longer afford Sony ILC cameras or like many of our friends here, they cannot justify the prices(even the supposed to be lowend A6300 costs over 1k).

 

Now, the question we might want to ask to Sony is, if they stuck with DSLRs or SLTs, could they have done the same or better? Or would just the simple mirrorless A99 type body without the SLT have actually done any better than over hyped but awkward A7X series? I actually think so. Sony has never tried to advertise the A mount properly, never promoted it seriously at their sites or via DPR, LL ,etc, but the A mount line has been just doing as well or slightly better than the E mount. So if they seriously advertise and promote the A mount line, I think they will sell better than the E mount line.

 

Please do not get me wrong I am a A/E mount user and definitely not a DSLR fan any more. I am a big EVF fan, so I am not DSLR biased. In fact, IMO, high resolution EVF is one of the most important features-almost a must-have feature in any camera system. So I will never go back to OVF camera myself, to me it feels very awkward and even anachronistic.

 

But I have to be realistic and honest, the E mount seems to be a failing effort, and it is clearly seen in the sales number. The A mount is not as insignificant as it supposed to be to Sony sales.

Now, despite of crazy shill marketing and internet promotion for the FE system,Sony only has about 11 percent or less of market share which is about 8 percent and 3 percent of MILC and D-SLR market respectively. If you read the numbers superficially it seems like the E is selling much better, but is it really so? No. Because the MILC market is about 1/3rd of the D-SLR market size, so the 8 percent sales in MILC market is about identical to 3 percent sales in D-SLR market.

 

The reality is the E mount share is getting worse and worse every year as the prices going up every new generation, and it is expected to become much worse than what Sony has presented it would be in their recent presentation to the dealers throughout the world, because Sony now thinks "market share" is ILC's+lenses+accessories and "by value" to obscure the data. They seem to be deliberately ignoring the negative unit sales numbers.

 

So again, despite of the common forum myth the FE is not a very successful mount system in terms of sales. I am a FE mount user and I use it for now(there is no better choice for me) but I am not committed to it, and in fact, I much prefer the A6300 plus the A99vMK2 combo if they are fully supported with a good lens lineup by Sony(and Zeiss and Tamron). Actually, the only one reason why I still have to use my FE A7X series is the lens line, mostly the Batis line and that is all. If it is not for the Batis, I am not using it. IOW, if there is proper lens support from Zeiss, Sony and Tamron for the original APS-C E mount, then there is no reason for me to use the overpriced over-hyped, awkward FE mount system.

 

Many of dealers(except big US online sellers like Amazon or B&H) throughout the world actually not very happy about Sony and their stupid policy of forcing all potential E mount buyers to the FE by intentionally disabling the APS-C lens line.

Many of dealers think the FE system will fail in the long run ,the FE system will not win, it is a temporal success, in deed a very short time success........and it is even an euphemism..........to put it polite.

 

What's hilarious about Sony camera business is that if you read the numbers carefully, you quickly realize Sony's SLT to MILC focus shift in ILC market has not actually improve anything in terms of their overall camera sales, but their E mount MILC has just deprived some serious sales from their A mount. And the even sadder fact is their MILC sells overall, regressed significantly in the past 4 or so years. The year 2013 was the peak year for them and after that it has been steadily declining.

 

What's really sad is that they failed to gain anything on their forceful focus shift from the A to the E to the FE and probably cost them a significant amount of momentum. By forcefully shifting their marketing focus from the A to the E to the FE in a very short time,they've created many many disappointed Sony haters.......just like they did with the Vaio PC business a few years back.

 

Despite of all the purported success Sony supposed to have got, Sony is still a small player in the ILC business, and probably even less significant after this year because only those well-heeled rich guys or spec-obsessed landscapers buy their FE cameras due to their unfair sudden price hikes.

 

Even domestically(here in Japan), as of last year, they are 4th for market share in ILC's, and actually further losing sales to CNFO.. And Japan is supposed to be the most mirrorless friendly market.

 

After all, maybe Canon Nikon Fuji were not as stupid as they always thought to be by those armchair camera market experts?

 

Unlike Sony and Fuji,Canon Nikon have not wasted much of their very limited RD money on quickly contracting current consumer camera market, but they have effectively invested that in something more important for their future such as medical imaging, automobile camera system, and surveillance camera tech. For us gearheads, maybe being mirrorless or mirrored is a very important issue, but for most of NORMAL people it is not important at all, and the A7 form of camera is not really disruptive in any way. It will not change the way we use our cameras or anything: It is not connected, It is not programmable, It is not dust-free(most important issue to me), It is not significantly lighter than Canon or Nikon fullframe system as opposed to how Sony has originally marketed it to be, It is not a true hybrid system. The FE FF has just made the great NEX extremely awkward, if not useless.

I mean many E mount users have bought into it for the promised smaller SYSTEM size(it was a lie) and extremely affordable lens system(another lie), not for the oversized overpriced FE lenses.

Again if not for the Batis, I am even not writing this crap about the A7X since there is nothing else interesting about the FE mount system.

I guess I will give a few more months for Sony to see if they are actually serious about the APS-C line E mount lenses and how they treat the A mount and the user base. It is very important because I know the future of the A mount will also be the future of the E mount and FE. Sony throws anything against the wall to see what will actually stick and they will keep replacing everything even those commercially successful ones, as they always do in all markets they enter.

This really exhaust users and this is why Sony has so many haters.

 

Honestly, now I think only three real pros for Sony FE system are below:

1 DXO 11 support

2 cheap Capture One 9.4 Pro for Sony(50US)

3 Zeiss Batis line lenses.

   

UPDATE: There are many articles that explain about A mount license contract here in Japan.

It seems to be the type of odd contract is the reason why Sony has not really serious about the A mount development any more.

Many dealers here already reported Sony has already finished the A99V successor, but the management still want to hold on the announcement.

The problems are:

1 Sony has to pay license fee to Konika Minolta.

2 All Sony G and GM lenses are Konika Minolta designs and they want to or already raise design and production fee.

3 Technically, the A mount license is still owned by KM not by Sony.

4 if Sony quits the A mount business or quits supporting the mount, KM will charge 5 years of the annual license fee for it.

So even if the A99 successor sales really well, it may not be a very profitable product for Sony, and therefore, they want to be careful about it. Also, they have to calculate the risk of quitting it. Even if Sony has to pay 5 years of annual license fee to KM, it is still better terminate the A mount business.

It is again all about politics nothing else.

Many forum people tend to think Sony has bought KM business, but it is not that simple. It looks like much more complicated legal issues there. If you check the biggest customers list for KM optical business, Sony has always been listed there. And it looks like KM is charging quite significant amount of money annually for the A mount license.

 

UPDATE2: now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

 

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of them themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp Sony sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year. But it is a pure contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

 

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie who want to promote Sony over Nikon or anything.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next sensor producers. Now, Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not use Sony for this. As fool as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

  

Nikon crisis 7:Keep the F or not for better long term future.

 

Should Nikon keep the F or ditch it ?

 

A short registration distance has some advantages for some lenses but disadvantages for others.

 

For example if light rays from the exit pupil strike the sensor at an extreme angle, such as happens with various wide angle lens designs, you can have problems of vignetting and colour fringing. Leica experienced this with their early digital M bodies with certain of their lenses which had been excellent on film, and needed an special designed set of micro lens arrays.

 

This was a problem with some Leica film lenses on older sensors, such as the one in the NEX-7. It is not a problem with lenses designed for digital sensors, or for recent sensors with BSI. IOW, if the E mount had slightly wider mount diameter design or a bit longer registration distance,then the A7RMK2 would not have needed the special designed expensive microlens arrangement, and thus could have been a lot cheaper than it is now.

 

That's an important point - lenses that are specifically designed for digital sensors. A short registration distance doesn't automatically make this easier.

 

There are various ways of correcting this - a curved sensor being one; or a sensor with angled micro lenses at the periphery being another(this is the tech the A7R2 and the A6300/X-Pro2 sensors use). But both of these have a potential disadvantage when used with lenses that do not require correction. Alternatively software correction could be employed with the compromises that that involves.

Or the manufacturer could re-design lenses so that light rays are as near to parallel as possible when they strike the sensor, which in the case of some wideangles means utilising a retrofocus design. But if you do this your lenses are then back to the size of those used with DSLRs, so unfortunately you have lost most of the potential advantage of the short registration distance here already........this is why all the great E mount fullframe lenses are huge...........in fact, on average bigger than Canon Nikon Tamron equivalent lenses.

  

Sigma seem to be going down this line, and I don't think they will do well.

The big optical advantage is that almost any lens can be used.

That might be an advantage to some users but I'm not sure it's an 'optical' advantage.

  

A second one is that there is more space for tilt-and-shift adapters, bellows or other devices to go between lens and camera. You couldn't use the Cambo Actus with a DSLR.

But the hypothetical mirrorless A or F mount can take this and so able to get a better quality set of TS lenses than the current DSLR TS lenses from Canon, Nikon or Zeiss.

A marginal advantage for most people frankly. But for architecture photographers it is a huge advantage over the short flange distance mount design of the E mount.

And at least, it is a way better more practical design than the short registration mount design with an adapter option.

However, if your main point to have a mirrorless camera is to get better non-native lens adaptability, then it must have short registration distance which accepts more lenses from many different eras.

But I doubt there are many many mount adapter freaks in the FE mount world any more, since most of us already know adapted lenses do not perform very well, and adapters add extra weight, and deprive some serious amount of potential IQ of lenses adapted.

IMO, the main point of mirrorless is reducing mechanical and optical complexity and thus being able to increase profit margins; and to use an EVF for both the same visual experience for stills and video.

The optical advantages are for a very, very, very limited range of focal lengths and fields of view. As pretty much all MILC systems demonstrate, lens size is mainly driven by focal length, image circle, and max F number, if you doubt it look at the Panasonic Leica 12/1.4, is it really tiny? No, it is bigger than the Batis 25mm f2 or the Fuji 16mm f1.4......And then, you look at Sony FE glass... barring the 28/2 & 35/2.8 all the lenses are about the same size as their DSLR equivalents. No magic here.

You look at E glass... 20/2.8 is the same size as the EF 24/2.8. 16/2.8 is small but really bad. If there are advantages they haven't been realized or capitalized on.

Also the optical benefit is only for lenses under around 44mm-50mm in the case of Canon or Sony A , and actually you gain that back for longer focal lenses. for instance Olympus made some pretty small and good primes for the OM mount which was even longer then the EF mount. So small lenses are indeed possible even without short registration distance as opposed to many tiny mirrorless fans claim.

Also while there is some optical advantages (not really major because the lenses have to be designed for the sensor stack), there's also counters which has to worry more about sensor reflections, vignetting and color casting,etc that don't occur with a more relaxed registration distance. This is a big part of reason why Nikon F mount cameras using the same sensor usually have less sensor reflection or color casting issues than the Sony E mount rivals using the same sensor. But no reviews talk about this since they do not want to displease Sony and its fanboys........

So, if the size potential reduction is not the main point for Nikon to go mirrorless, then why not just keep the very popular F mount with excellent lens line?

I used to be agaist this idea-keeping the venerable F mount, but now I am kind of supporting it since I have learned the only one real advantage of going really short with flange distance is better legacy lens adaptability.

I think keeping the F makes more sense as Thom Hogan and others say, because, by now, most of people already using mirrrorless(especially the FF ones) already understand the short mount registration distance does not make FF lenses really small unless seriously compromising on max F number or edge sharpness.

  

UPDATE:Another serious issue all the camera makers will have to face but I did not really realize before is that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor type).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Fukuoka with one of my long time friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying!

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G5X when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway.

Then why not just go all the way up to FF or MFDB, or at least APS-C?

 

So maybe the one really doomed is not Nikon F or Pentax K or Sony A but m43?

Nikon and Pentax have historically had very enthusiastic and even fanatic core shooters and they are usually too old to adapt themselves fast to new EVF based gear even if they understand it is the more logical thing for them as they are aged. So D-SLRs may survive as antique cameras, but m43 or Nikon One?

    

Update2:now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

  

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of their own sensors themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I'd say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out through internet by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp DX sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year does not mean they are Sony chips. It is a simple contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony or Toshiba.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors to Toyota or some other car airplane manufactures in Japan.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next main sensor producer. Now Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not choose Sony for their main sensor producer this time. As obtuse as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

 

UPDATE4: Now, I just confirm that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D3400 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

        

For those who wanted to see one of the many images I have been working on!!! This is about 1.55m high, just a little higher than me! This was dicussed with my customer before I painted it concerning size, design and color - it had to fit to the wall colors....lol. Yup, really. I was very glad to get this finished and my customer was very happy too!!! Off to buy a new camera and a mega lens....lol. (just kiddin')

 

No invites necessary, if you want to make a comment more than happy to see you pop by. I have some more images going into a show today - so keep your fingers crossed - maybe I sell something. I need more room.

 

For anyone who would like a painting please contact me directly at my email address. I charge a nominal fee for painting water color (portraits of people and animals) or other subjects on canvas. Fees for freight are reasonable and my charges mainly cover just reimbursement for materials.

Always looking for new work to keep me busy.

 

$99 Iceland Flights, Best New Routes, How Airlines Train Flight Attendants and More

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Each Saturday, we round up news stories that you may have missed from the week before, including several that already appeared on The Points Guy, and some more that we haven’t covered yet. If you’re an avid TPG reader, scroll down for the new stuff. Here’s the top miles, points and travel news you may have missed this week:

 

WOW Air will start serving the New York market in late November.

WOW Air’s Launching New York Service with $99 One-Way Flights

 

Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air has served the East Coast of the US through Boston (BOS) and Baltimore (BWI), but the carrier is expanding to the New York City area with flights from Newark (EWR) to Reykjavik (KEF) beginning at the end of November — starting from just $99 each way.

 

Check out June’s most exciting new domestic and international routes.

Exciting New Airline Routes for June 2016 and Beyond

 

Stay up to date on on June’s most exciting new airline routes, both domestic and international.

 

It’s important to have a strategy to meet your elite status goals by the end of the year.

Strategies for Meeting Your Elite Status Goals in 2016

 

Now is the perfect time to determine the best way to reach your elite status goals for the year. Discover some of the easiest methods for locking in elite status before 2016 comes to an end.

 

Check out Singapore Airlines’ crew training center.

Inside Singapore Airlines’ Pilot and Flight Attendant Training Center

 

Ever wonder how Singapore Airlines maintains such high standards of service and attention to detail? Find out by taking a look inside the airline’s crew training center.

 

Through July 4, Costco members will be able to shop at Sam’s Club for no additional cost.

Costco Members Can Shop at Sam’s Club Through July 4

 

Costco members can shop at any Sam’s Club location in the US through July 4. All you need to present is your Costco membership card and you’ll be allowed to shop at no additional cost.

 

In Other News…

 

The more you stay, the more you earn with SPG’s Choice Rewards promotion.

Earn More Starpoints with the Choice Rewards Promotion

 

Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn extra rewards when staying at properties in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives through June 30, 2016.

 

The structure of Chipotle’s loyalty program is difficult to comprehend. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chipotle Has a Loyalty Program for the Summer, But It’s Super Confusing

 

Fast-casual Mexican food chain Chipotle has launched a loyalty program for the summer months. However, the program is very confusing — it probably won’t do much to lure back old customers or attract new ones.

 

You can now use Marriott points to book Experiences — ranging from culinary to entertainment to sports.

You Can Now Book Marriott Experiences, But They’re Very Expensive

 

Marriott has taken the concept of SPG Moments and integrated it into its own rewards program as Marriott Experiences — which you’re now able to book. However, many of the Experiences require a huge sum of points and thus may not have very wide appeal.

 

Etihad’s new lounge at LAX will open at the end of July. Pictured is the Etihad lounge at JFK.

Etihad Lounge in Los Angeles Will Open in July

 

Etihad will open its new lounge at LAX by the end of July. The lounge will be available to first and business class passengers and will boast modern styling and excellent food.

 

Find out which airports will accept walk-in appointments for TSA PreCheck enrollment.

Certain Airports Offer Same Day Walk-In Appointments for TSA PreCheck

 

If you want to enroll in TSA PreCheck but don’t want to wait for your appointment to do so, you may be in luck. Certain airports across the country will allow walk-in appointments for enrollment. Check to see if your local airport is on the list!

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred:registered: Card

 

Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards:registered:

 

Named a ‘Best Credit Card’ for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine

 

2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

 

Sleek metal card design

 

Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening

 

$0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader

 

1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points

 

Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more

 

Intro APR

 

Regular APR

 

Annual Fee

 

Balance Transfer

 

Credit Rating

 

N/A

 

16.24%-23.24% Variable

 

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

 

See Terms

 

Excellent Credit

 

via

 

The post $99 Iceland Flights, Best New Routes, How Airlines Train Flight Attendants and More appeared first on Elite Limo.

 

ift.tt/299JoDi

via

Sydney, Australia. One of the very few things I found irksome about Australia was the internet situation -- it's expensive and you have to watch how much you use. If you go over your monthly bandwidth limit your ISP will charge you extra fees or drop you down to dial-up speeds. I had to make a trip to the Apple Store nearly every Sunday to piggyback their free WiFi, since it was the only place in New South Wales offering that service. The idea that coffeeshops, cafes, or bookstores might offer free WiFi access to their customers is a strange and risible one to the Aussie mind.

 

See where this picture was taken. [?]

NEW RELEASE @ Pure Poison FASHION

- Group - New Offers!

Pure Poison will release new item every Friday and we have a special discount program for our members, such as:

 

-> Group members will receive 50% off for one specific color of the new release and 20% off for the other available colors. We will announce which one of specific color every friday!

Check for Group vendor ( highlighted in red) near the normal vendors.

 

-> We will also have a lucky draw program for our monthly customers and group members. The monthly prizes will now be:

1st winner - 6000L - Gift Card

2nd winner - 3000L - Gift Card

3rd winner - 1000L - Gift Card

 

With this new offer, we have increased the join fee for Pure Poison group to 500L. This group fee change will not effect the existing members.

 

Enjoy!

jewelrydom.com/57182.

I purchased this faucet in oil rubbed bronze for a kitchen remodel in 1009. Within a few months the rubber button on top changing the faucet from spray to stream stopped working. Since it was still a beautiful faucet and because I would need to get a plumber out to replace it, I ignored the broken toggle button. One year, almost to the exact date of original installation, the sprayer hose came out of it housing, and leaving us without a usable sink until we could replace the faucet. I called the manufacturer to describe the problem and they promptly sent me a replacement faucet at no charge. I paid a plumber to come out and replace the broken faucet, who discovered on removing the old faucet that the bronze finish had completely chipped off under the handle just below where the faucet moves to swivel from side to side. The second faucet failed in exactly the same manner, again almost exactly one year from installation. That inside hose carrying water to the sprayertap came out of its housing and could not be reattached. Plus the bronze finish of this second faucet had chipped away even more than the first. I called representatives of Danze, the manufacturer, and they were very responsive to my complaintsjust incredulous that both faucets had failed as I described. I asked to be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the faucet and the plumbers fees for installation. They acknowledged that the company had had problems with the finish on the first faucets they manufactured in this model but those problems had been corrected. They refused my request for reimbursement but offered me any replacement faucet I wanted in the Danze product line. I explained that I had new counters cut with a single hole for the faucet and of the five faucets that would work in my kitchen, four would look awful and I was reluctant to install the faucet I bought for a third time. The company proposed sending me the same model I originally purchased with many assurances that it would not chip or fail, plus an agreement that they would reimburse me for all plumbing costs incurred in installation. In addition, I was told that if the third faucet would fail, they would reimburse my money and pay for another plumber to come in and put in a fourth faucet. The third faucet has been installed for four months now. There is prominent chipping of the finish in the same place as the other two faucets. The housing has not come off the sprayer arm yet, but it no longer docks tightly and this minor failure always preceded complete detachment in the last two faucets. I must say Danze has been wonderful to work with. They have been very responsive to my complaints and very quick in trying to make things right. Within 12 hours of emailing the customer care manager about the third faucet failure I had a return email apologizing for the mess and his assurance that my claim would be expedited. The company has promised me full reimbursement for the cost of the original faucet, plus they will cover the cost of (hopefully, a final) installation of a faucet not manufactured by Danze. In all, I paid for one faucet which Danze replaced twice more. They have and will cover all installation costs. The company made a beautiful but defective faucet but their responsiveness and quick actions prevented this situation from being a complete nightmare. Instead it has been a big inconvenience and annoyance. Dont fall for looks with this beautiful faucet and dont assume, because it is expensive, it is wellmade or will last. If youve stopped here looking for a faucet, keep looking or beware. UPDATE***As of 1012, I have received full reimbursement for the cost of having a plumber replace this faucet in my home, THREE TIMES, and the original cost of the faucet purchased through Amazon. If you have installed one of these defective faucets in your home, and plan to replace it, it is worth your while to pursue a claim with the company. If you remove this Danze, keep the defective faucet. DO NOT DISCARD. The company will pay to have it returned but they will want to see it. This entire experience has been extremely annoying but the company has been very responsive.

zauji.com/9757.

I purchased this faucet in oil rubbed bronze for a kitchen remodel in 1009. Within a few months the rubber button on top changing the faucet from spray to stream stopped working. Since it was still a beautiful faucet and because I would need to get a plumber out to replace it, I ignored the broken toggle button. One year, almost to the exact date of original installation, the sprayer hose came out of it housing, and leaving us without a usable sink until we could replace the faucet. I called the manufacturer to describe the problem and they promptly sent me a replacement faucet at no charge. I paid a plumber to come out and replace the broken faucet, who discovered on removing the old faucet that the bronze finish had completely chipped off under the handle just below where the faucet moves to swivel from side to side. The second faucet failed in exactly the same manner, again almost exactly one year from installation. That inside hose carrying water to the sprayertap came out of its housing and could not be reattached. Plus the bronze finish of this second faucet had chipped away even more than the first. I called representatives of Danze, the manufacturer, and they were very responsive to my complaintsjust incredulous that both faucets had failed as I described. I asked to be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the faucet and the plumbers fees for installation. They acknowledged that the company had had problems with the finish on the first faucets they manufactured in this model but those problems had been corrected. They refused my request for reimbursement but offered me any replacement faucet I wanted in the Danze product line. I explained that I had new counters cut with a single hole for the faucet and of the five faucets that would work in my kitchen, four would look awful and I was reluctant to install the faucet I bought for a third time. The company proposed sending me the same model I originally purchased with many assurances that it would not chip or fail, plus an agreement that they would reimburse me for all plumbing costs incurred in installation. In addition, I was told that if the third faucet would fail, they would reimburse my money and pay for another plumber to come in and put in a fourth faucet. The third faucet has been installed for four months now. There is prominent chipping of the finish in the same place as the other two faucets. The housing has not come off the sprayer arm yet, but it no longer docks tightly and this minor failure always preceded complete detachment in the last two faucets. I must say Danze has been wonderful to work with. They have been very responsive to my complaints and very quick in trying to make things right. Within 12 hours of emailing the customer care manager about the third faucet failure I had a return email apologizing for the mess and his assurance that my claim would be expedited. The company has promised me full reimbursement for the cost of the original faucet, plus they will cover the cost of (hopefully, a final) installation of a faucet not manufactured by Danze. In all, I paid for one faucet which Danze replaced twice more. They have and will cover all installation costs. The company made a beautiful but defective faucet but their responsiveness and quick actions prevented this situation from being a complete nightmare. Instead it has been a big inconvenience and annoyance. Dont fall for looks with this beautiful faucet and dont assume, because it is expensive, it is wellmade or will last. If youve stopped here looking for a faucet, keep looking or beware. UPDATE***As of 1012, I have received full reimbursement for the cost of having a plumber replace this faucet in my home, THREE TIMES, and the original cost of the faucet purchased through Amazon. If you have installed one of these defective faucets in your home, and plan to replace it, it is worth your while to pursue a claim with the company. If you remove this Danze, keep the defective faucet. DO NOT DISCARD. The company will pay to have it returned but they will want to see it. This entire experience has been extremely annoying but the company has been very responsive.

Celebrate your cat or dog with a custom portrait by internationally-renown artist Acamonchi.

Immortalize the unique personality of your pet on a quality birch wood panel. These pet portraits make great gifts-as a way to remember a beloved pet, celebrate a new puppy, or just because!

These one-of-a-kind commissions start at $250* for a 12" x 12" portrait. Portraits take about one week to complete, require a 50% deposit and 50% upon completion. And, if you're in the urban San Diego area (or visiting) the artist will deliver your portraitpersonally-an no extra charge!

 

We have many satisfied clients in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, New York, Canada, and Mexico-check out some of our customers with their portraits on the Happy Clients page.

Own original art, show your love for your dog or cat, and support an artist-all at the same time!

Portrait pricing:

 

12” x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm) x $250 US dollars

18” x 18” (45.72 x 45.72 cm) x $450 US dollars

24” x 24” (60.96 x 60.96 cm) x $850 US dollars

 

*Some restrictions apply. Shipping not included, serious inquiries only. One pet per portrait, 2 or more pet in portrait can be arranged with additional fees, Feel free to ask for an estimate. Got an exotic pet? Lizard, hedgehog, or hamster? Let's talk!

  

Celebrate your cat or dog with a custom portrait by internationally-renown artist Acamonchi.

 

Immortalize the unique personality of your pet on a quality birch wood panel. These pet portraits make great gifts-as a way to remember a beloved pet, celebrate a new puppy, or just because!

These one-of-a-kind commissions start at $250* for a 12" x 12" portrait. Portraits take about one week to complete, require a 50% deposit and 50% upon completion. And, if you're in the urban San Diego area (or visiting) the artist will deliver your portraitpersonally-an no extra charge!

 

We have many satisfied clients in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, New York, Canada, and Mexico-check out some of our customers with their portraits on the Happy Clients page.

Own original art, show your love for your dog or cat, and support an artist-all at the same time!

 

Portrait pricing:

12” x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm) x $250 US dollars

18” x 18” (45.72 x 45.72 cm) x $450 US dollars

24” x 24” (60.96 x 60.96 cm) x $850 US dollars

 

*Some restrictions apply. Shipping not included, serious inquiries only. One pet per portrait, 2 or more pet in portrait can be arranged with additional fees, Feel free to ask for an estimate. Got an exotic pet? Lizard, hedgehog, or hamster? Let's talk!

www.urbanpetportraits.com

Celebrate your cat or dog with a custom portrait by internationally-renown artist Acamonchi.

Immortalize the unique personality of your pet on a quality birch wood panel. These pet portraits make great gifts-as a way to remember a beloved pet, celebrate a new puppy, or just because!

These one-of-a-kind commissions start at $250* for a 12" x 12" portrait. Portraits take about one week to complete, require a 50% deposit and 50% upon completion. And, if you're in the urban San Diego area (or visiting) the artist will deliver your portrait personally-an no extra charge!

We have many satisfied clients in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, New York, Canada, and Mexico-check out some of our customers with their portraits on the Happy Clients page.

Own original art, show your love for your dog or cat, and support an artist-all at the same time!

Portrait pricing:

12” x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm) x $250 US dollars

18” x 18” (45.72 x 45.72 cm) x $450 US dollars

24” x 24” (60.96 x 60.96 cm) x $850 US dollars

*Some restrictions apply. Shipping not included, serious inquiries only. One pet per portrait, 2 or more pet in portrait can be arranged with additional fees, Feel free to ask for an estimate. Got an exotic pet? Lizard, hedgehog, or hamster? Let's talk!

Now I hate RawTherapee 5.1, I just tried it twice but I still did not get used to its odd U.I.. Maybe although I really hate Adobe and Phase One, I may have to stick with them. I found all the other RAW developers I tried horrible in terms of speed or UI.

However, the problem with Adobe is I do not like the look it produces for my Sony and Panasonic cameras.

I like DXO but it has no complicated brushes or local color adjustment tools like Photoshop or ACDsee has.

Maybe there is no way but I still have to use Adobe product for some very complicated scenes.

But I really wish some day very soon I can get rid of Adobe junks from my computers. Next week I will be testing Silkypix and PhotoNinja although I know they are slow and have terrible U.I. I just want to get something actually squeeze out better detail than my Phase One Capture One 10 Pro for Sony.

Do not get me wrong the C1 is perfectly fine but I do need something works for all my cameras. My copy of C1 only works for my Sonys, I do not want to pay 450 US for the universal version of it, I think it is too steep and it is great but not worth that much over DXO11 Pro or RawTherapee 5.2, which is completely free.

  

The extremely narrow-minded and condescending view of FF worship religion called Equivalence pushed by the camera forum elitists

 

Whenever some one talks about great features or system capability or better balance of some smaller sensor camera system compared to so-called FF for "him" or "her", lots of obnoxious die-hard FF guys defend FF cameras as if only one acceptable camera system choice is the so-called FF-35mm system if one is serious.

They do not only disagree, but they mock, insult, and attack people who do actually prefer smaller sensor camera system over so called FF for any reason. I find this tiny world elitist view extremely arrogant and even silly.

One of their key arguments for FF being the best sensor format is superior image quality. And yet, almost none willing to consider the eventual ultimatum of what that really means. If the best IQ really is the only what they are after and thus FF, then how come most of so-called FF lovers never consider going all the way up to MFDB?

The difference between MFDB vs so-called FF(what a ridiculous term is it ?) is obvious but the FF lovers effectively ignore all that or marginalize the difference as small minor difference in diminishing return. Yet, they mock m43, APS-C and anything smaller than so-called FF without any rational reason other than a bit tinier sensor size than full 35mm format sensor. The A7R2, the D810, the K1 , 5DMK4,etc are good, but they are not the best with respect to DR, resolution and color depth..

The MF is much better if the size and price thing is no issue, and the IQ difference between MF vs FF is just as glaring as the IQ difference between FF vs APS-C. The MF is about roughly 47.8 percent better than the so called FF. The FF is just about 48-49 percent better than the APS-C. So there is no practical difference between MF vs FF and FF vs APS-C in terms of overall IQ and sensor quality. Yet, those who love so called FF just belittle anything smaller than their beloved FF but never talk about the FF is also a small format relative to MFDB or large format film.

Those who defend so called FF ridiculously are often found to be looking down their noses at the lowly APS-C users. But their sensor is only big compared to the APS-C and m43, so this is all relative.

The APS-C is the dominant format and the cash cow for most of camera makers, and thus that size of the sensor is the usually most advanced in terms of pure technology used.

And if we include One inch and cellphone camera sensors here, then it is very clear that most of advanced sensor techs are developed for the smallest format sensors and then move up their way to relatively big sensors such as the One sensor and then to APS-C, not the other way around

Now excluding smartphones, majority of people shoot either APS-C or m43, and therefore more manufactures spend more money on that sized sensors, and thus the latest generation APS-C sensors are just almost as good as the same resolution FF sensor from a generation back, with a bit lower read noise value.The so-called FF usually uses a couple of generations older tech, and thus usually the strongly supported(by FF fans), sometimes the Equivalence theory does not work in real world. . IOW, there is no theoretical a full stop difference between FF and APS-C IQ, it is more like just 1/3rd stop difference..

I mean the best FF is not a full stop better than the best APS-C, but at most the A7R2 or 5D4 sensor is just half stop or 1/3 stops better than the A6500 sensor or the XT2 sensor. The A7R2 sensor is not full 2 stops better than the 20mp micro43 sensor used in the GX8 at pixel level. Only at image level the best FF sensor is "about" 1.7 stops better than the best m43 sensor, and "about" 0.565-0.67 stops better than the best APS-C.

Now, I am absolutely certain the absolute reality those who can actually say " sensor-size is the most critical aspect of a decent camera system, and One, m43 and APS-C have no point,or at best unserious systems for a bit better convenience between the now extremely capable well balanced One sensor compacts and the so called FF" are only those who actually use MFDB or large format film cameras because they after all have the biggest sensor they can buy now.

But the reality is most of those condescendingly mocking m43, One, and APS-C with their camera bible- the equivalence, are all so-called FF users who are not sure about why they actually owning it and thus insecure about their choice.

So they are just arguing for argument sake or feel very defensive and need to keep mocking or insulting so-called inferior APS-C or m43 users to feel a bit secure about their choice. They actually know that they don't after all have the biggest sensor. They just have a larger sensor in consumer class camera league.. They claim image quality is their no 1 and only one concern, but they don't use the best sensor they can buy.

Actually, away from all their silly pride and ego and nonsense, it is really hard not to be impressed, surprised, and astounded by the rapid advancement of miniaturization technology in smaller format sensor camera systems, let alone in smartphones. Now, m43 is about to get handholdable high resolution pixel shifting shooting mode, and that effectively increases the usable max DR of the tiny sensor system about 2 stops. And it is just a matter of time some of APS-C cameras get that feature.

Now many smartphones have dual lens and dual sensor computational camera tech and this really sensationally changes the way we take our images, and I am very sure this tech will be going its way up to the One sensor compact cameras(I guess multiple lens and sensor one inch compact camera is coming soon).

Imagine how many people will be still shooting one of the current awkward so called FF systems when a small sensored, more convenient camera like m43 and One gets at least current FF level of IQ, ? I mean the average size of our houses is not expanding, the average size of prints is almost never changing last 20 years or so. And most of us now just have 4k monitors not 8k or 12k yet, so realistically no one really sees significant difference in IQ between bigger than one inch sensor formats(at least in practical level) unless in gallery prints.

So I think the silly excessive focus on extreme sensor resolution and meaningless high ISO and DR of the so-called FF camera manufactures is really doomed, I guess they are misguided or misinformed by the pros they are asking their opinions for their upcoming products development plans. In other words, they are listening to very wrong kind of people. As a half Japanese, I can easily see what actually happening in this obtuse industry behind the deep corporate curtain. Since most of so-called FF camera manufactures are predominantly Japanese electronics companies led or misled by the bald headed old Japanese suits that have too much egoistic pride and never listen to any one younger than themselves(even to those extremely logical and bright ones). The Japanese old suits never see that how the young generation use their cameras or more importantly their images.. The old Japanese suits never listen to any one but famous Japanese local pros who just tell them flattering compliment about their plans about new products. They hate criticism, cannot take it even positively constructive one like Thom's. They are stubborn and obtuse, and never understand the importance of proper connectivity, program-ability and better software even though Tony Northrup and Thom Hogan kindly pointing that out to them many times(actually almost as often as they get any chance to do so).

Personally, as m43 or APS-C gets the current FF level of IQ with a bit better program-ability, I will ditch my so-called FF. I know many people around me telling me if the m43 gets better or as good as the current FF level, then the FF will also get better, so the gap will never get smaller. Well it is true, maybe, but the point is GOOD ENOUGH or GOOD is good for most of people,especially when it is also smaller and more convenient or practical.

Now air regulations are getting stricter and stricter every year, gear sending fee is becoming more and more expensive, and it is becoming more and more difficult to send our gear due to paranoid security throughout the world airports. Considering all that, seriously, how many people will still be willing to choose the so-called FF over already good enough smaller format?

Many many people are just misguided by the elitist FF shills in many forums or armchair experts whose main interest is belittling everybody else-not in actual photography, writing about a series of many "FF is the absolute future,m43 is dead" kind of articles.

But in reality,so-called FF is/ has always been minority with only 9 percent or less market share in ILC camera market. The majority is always always belittled APS-C.

I think this erroneous business focus of so-called FF manufactures will eventually lead them to fail in this business. But it is not my main concern, what I'm really concerned about now is if only the extreme FF focused manufactures like Sony and Nikon fail, or the entire industry go bankrupt because of the above extreme IQ focused product design policy of these companies ? IQ is important, and was obviously the most important aspect of a good camera. But now, IQ is not the most important concern any more. There are many more things to a good camera system than just sheer IQ or a good sensor, but the Japanese camera companies are too obtuse to get it.

I think they were extremely lucky that Apple or Google did not buy Samsung NX tech.

IMHO, the only one reason why Samsung NX could not do well was because it was Samsung; if it was branded as Apple or Google or anything cooler sounding Western brand than Samsung, then it would have literally wiped out almost all the Japanese cameras by now.

The NX1 was and still is the best APS-C or best hybrid camera ever made by any one. It is still much better than the Sony A6500, the Fuji X-T2, and IMHO, the Samsung even beats the Sony's best mirrorless A7R2 or the most expensive mirrorless camera the Leica SL hands down.

I think Fuji, Nikon, Sony,etc, have to learn something from the great NX1. But I am sure they are too arrogant to see they are away behind the time and Samsung.

So my bet is all of those conventional camera companies will fail at this. I am sure we do not see the final form of winning camera design yet. The current mirrorless system is,just like hybrid car tech, a step gap technology. The electric self-driving car of camera does not show up yet.

I really miss the NX1-the smart-camera concept.

 

I think the loss of Samsung NX system is a huge problem, after all, no one else in this business is as innovative as Samsung has been.

   

The extremely narrow-minded and condescending view of FF worship religion called Equivalence pushed by the camera forum elitists

 

Whenever some one talks about great features or system capability or better balance of some smaller sensor camera system compared to so-called FF for "him" or "her", lots of obnoxious die-hard FF guys defend FF cameras as if only one acceptable camera system choice is the so-called FF-35mm system if one is serious.

They do not only disagree, but they mock, insult, and attack people who do actually prefer smaller sensor camera system over so called FF for any reason. I find this tiny world elitist view extremely arrogant and even silly.

One of their key arguments for FF being the best sensor format is superior image quality. And yet, almost none willing to consider the eventual ultimatum of what that really means. If the best IQ really is the only what they are after and thus FF, then how come most of so-called FF lovers never consider going all the way up to MFDB?

The difference between MFDB vs so-called FF(what a ridiculous term is it ?) is obvious but the FF lovers effectively ignore all that or marginalize the difference as small minor difference in diminishing return. Yet, they mock m43, APS-C and anything smaller than so-called FF without any rational reason other than a bit tinier sensor size than full 35mm format sensor. The A7R2, the D810, the K1 , 5DMK4,etc are good, but they are not the best with respect to DR, resolution and color depth..

The MF is much better if the size and price thing is no issue, and the IQ difference between MF vs FF is just as glaring as the IQ difference between FF vs APS-C. The MF is about roughly 47.8 percent better than the so called FF. The FF is just about 48-49 percent better than the APS-C. So there is no practical difference between MF vs FF and FF vs APS-C in terms of overall IQ and sensor quality. Yet, those who love so called FF just belittle anything smaller than their beloved FF but never talk about the FF is also a small format relative to MFDB or large format film.

Those who defend so called FF ridiculously are often found to be looking down their noses at the lowly APS-C users. But their sensor is only big compared to the APS-C and m43, so this is all relative.

The APS-C is the dominant format and the cash cow for most of camera makers, and thus that size of the sensor is the usually most advanced in terms of pure technology used.

And if we include One inch and cellphone camera sensors here, then it is very clear that most of advanced sensor techs are developed for the smallest format sensors and then move up their way to relatively big sensors such as the One sensor and then to APS-C, not the other way around

Now excluding smartphones, majority of people shoot either APS-C or m43, and therefore more manufactures spend more money on that sized sensors, and thus the latest generation APS-C sensors are just almost as good as the same resolution FF sensor from a generation back, with a bit lower read noise value.The so-called FF usually uses a couple of generations older tech, and thus usually the strongly supported(by FF fans), sometimes the Equivalence theory does not work in real world. . IOW, there is no theoretical a full stop difference between FF and APS-C IQ, it is more like just 1/3rd stop difference..

I mean the best FF is not a full stop better than the best APS-C, but at most the A7R2 or 5D4 sensor is just half stop or 1/3 stops better than the A6500 sensor or the XT2 sensor. The A7R2 sensor is not full 2 stops better than the 20mp micro43 sensor used in the GX8 at pixel level. Only at image level the best FF sensor is "about" 1.7 stops better than the best m43 sensor, and "about" 0.565-0.67 stops better than the best APS-C.

Now, I am absolutely certain the absolute reality those who can actually say " sensor-size is the most critical aspect of a decent camera system, and One, m43 and APS-C have no point,or at best unserious systems for a bit better convenience between the now extremely capable well balanced One sensor compacts and the so called FF" are only those who actually use MFDB or large format film cameras because they after all have the biggest sensor they can buy now.

But the reality is most of those condescendingly mocking m43, One, and APS-C with their camera bible- the equivalence, are all so-called FF users who are not sure about why they actually owning it and thus insecure about their choice.

So they are just arguing for argument sake or feel very defensive and need to keep mocking or insulting so-called inferior APS-C or m43 users to feel a bit secure about their choice. They actually know that they don't after all have the biggest sensor. They just have a larger sensor in consumer class camera league.. They claim image quality is their no 1 and only one concern, but they don't use the best sensor they can buy.

Actually, away from all their silly pride and ego and nonsense, it is really hard not to be impressed, surprised, and astounded by the rapid advancement of miniaturization technology in smaller format sensor camera systems, let alone in smartphones. Now, m43 is about to get handholdable high resolution pixel shifting shooting mode, and that effectively increases the usable max DR of the tiny sensor system about 2 stops. And it is just a matter of time some of APS-C cameras get that feature.

Now many smartphones have dual lens and dual sensor computational camera tech and this really sensationally changes the way we take our images, and I am very sure this tech will be going its way up to the One sensor compact cameras(I guess multiple lens and sensor one inch compact camera is coming soon).

Imagine how many people will be still shooting one of the current awkward so called FF systems when a small sensored, more convenient camera like m43 and One gets at least current FF level of IQ, ? I mean the average size of our houses is not expanding, the average size of prints is almost never changing last 20 years or so. And most of us now just have 4k monitors not 8k or 12k yet, so realistically no one really sees significant difference in IQ between bigger than one inch sensor formats(at least in practical level) unless in gallery prints.

So I think the silly excessive focus on extreme sensor resolution and meaningless high ISO and DR of the so-called FF camera manufactures is really doomed, I guess they are misguided or misinformed by the pros they are asking their opinions for their upcoming products development plans. In other words, they are listening to very wrong kind of people. As a half Japanese, I can easily see what actually happening in this obtuse industry behind the deep corporate curtain. Since most of so-called FF camera manufactures are predominantly Japanese electronics companies led or misled by the bald headed old Japanese suits that have too much egoistic pride and never listen to any one younger than themselves(even to those extremely logical and bright ones). The Japanese old suits never see that how the young generation use their cameras or more importantly their images.. The old Japanese suits never listen to any one but famous Japanese local pros who just tell them flattering compliment about their plans about new products. They hate criticism, cannot take it even positively constructive one like Thom's. They are stubborn and obtuse, and never understand the importance of proper connectivity, program-ability and better software even though Tony Northrup and Thom Hogan kindly pointing that out to them many times(actually almost as often as they get any chance to do so).

Personally, as m43 or APS-C gets the current FF level of IQ with a bit better program-ability, I will ditch my so-called FF. I know many people around me telling me if the m43 gets better or as good as the current FF level, then the FF will also get better, so the gap will never get smaller. Well it is true, maybe, but the point is GOOD ENOUGH or GOOD is good for most of people,especially when it is also smaller and more convenient or practical.

Now air regulations are getting stricter and stricter every year, gear sending fee is becoming more and more expensive, and it is becoming more and more difficult to send our gear due to paranoid security throughout the world airports. Considering all that, seriously, how many people will still be willing to choose the so-called FF over already good enough smaller format?

Many many people are just misguided by the elitist FF shills in many forums or armchair experts whose main interest is belittling everybody else-not in actual photography, writing about a series of many "FF is the absolute future,m43 is dead" kind of articles.

But in reality,so-called FF is/ has always been minority with only 9 percent or less market share in ILC camera market. The majority is always always belittled APS-C.

I think this erroneous business focus of so-called FF manufactures will eventually lead them to fail in this business. But it is not my main concern, what I'm really concerned about now is if only the extreme FF focused manufactures like Sony and Nikon fail, or the entire industry go bankrupt because of the above extreme IQ focused product design policy of these companies ? IQ is important, and was obviously the most important aspect of a good camera. But now, IQ is not the most important concern any more. There are many more things to a good camera system than just sheer IQ or a good sensor, but the Japanese camera companies are too obtuse to get it.

I think they were extremely lucky that Apple or Google did not buy Samsung NX tech.

IMHO, the only one reason why Samsung NX could not do well was because it was Samsung; if it was branded as Apple or Google or anything cooler sounding Western brand than Samsung, then it would have literally wiped out almost all the Japanese cameras by now.

The NX1 was and still is the best APS-C or best hybrid camera ever made by any one. It is still much better than the Sony A6500, the Fuji X-T2, and IMHO, the Samsung even beats the Sony's best mirrorless A7R2 or the most expensive mirrorless camera the Leica SL hands down.

I think Fuji, Nikon, Sony,etc, have to learn something from the great NX1. But I am sure they are too arrogant to see they are away behind the time and Samsung.

So my bet is all of those conventional camera companies will fail at this. I am sure we do not see the final form of winning camera design yet. The current mirrorless system is,just like hybrid car tech, a step gap technology. The electric self-driving car of camera does not show up yet.

I really miss the NX1-the smart-camera concept.

 

I think the loss of Samsung NX system is a huge problem, after all, no one else in this business is as innovative as Samsung has been.

  

UPDATE: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house a 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature of it yet but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k. So it looks like Nikon still does not get it right; they should understand a camera like the Df 2 really needs a decent EVF and fast LV AF to entice the target market for this type of retro minded compact FF camera.

The potential buyers of this type of cameras are often old with bad eye sight, this means they need pixel peaking to nail the focus really right...so they need a good EVF not the best film era OVF.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi-sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

   

This specific image was made with Nikon D800 and AF-S24-120mm f4VR lens in 1.2X crop mode.

I really miss the D800E 1.2X crop mode these days, it was a very usable feature that I often used. Having the D800E or D810 was like having reliable 3 different sensor format cameras in one body.

 

Originally there were about 45 dust spots on this image and had to carefully remove them all before converting the RAW.

I think it is a big issue of any interchangeable lens system camera(both ILC and DSLR).

 

Why the Sony FE system is doomed 1: Is Sony the final loser as usual in the ILC market too?

 

Everybody in a camera forum claims MILC,especially the Sony FE system is winning this ILC game over the rest, Canon Nikon are really stupid losing all their market to the Sony, is that really true?

 

Between 2006 and 2008 Sony was the fastest growing company on the DSLR market, reaching about 13% market share in 2008(in unit sales) to become the third largest DSLR company in the world.

But then Sony switched to SLTs and dropped DSLRs. After that they switched to focus more on their new E mount and the 'NEX' APSC mirrorless system, which I personally loved and supported with my own money. After that they dropped the 'NEX' name and quit releasing new APSC mirrorless lenses while solely focusing all their effort on FF mirrorles-the 'FE' mount(Fullframe E mount)...........

The results? Sony now commands about a 11% market share for ILC cameras, so despite of the common forum myth that Sony is taking over this industry with the series of the quick A7X camera launches, Sony is actually losing their sales and market share-they have been losing more A mount guys to CN than they have been taking CN guys with the FE series plus the obscure adapter strategy.

So Sony still remains the 3rd largest ILC (DSLR, SLT and Mirrorless) company in the world but not by unit sales any more, by value. This is significant because they are no longer selling as many affordable cameras as they used to be , and most of their sales loss coming from younger gen market because many of young new photogs no longer afford Sony ILC cameras or like many of our friends here, they cannot justify the prices(even the supposed to be lowend A6300 costs over 1k).

 

Now, the question we might want to ask to Sony is, if they stuck with DSLRs or SLTs, could they have done the same or better? Or would just the simple mirrorless A99 type body without the SLT have actually done any better than over hyped but awkward A7X series? I actually think so. Sony has never tried to advertise the A mount properly, never promoted it seriously at their sites or via DPR, LL ,etc, but the A mount line has been just doing as well or slightly better than the E mount. So if they seriously advertise and promote the A mount line, I think they will sell better than the E mount line.

 

Please do not get me wrong I am a A/E mount user and definitely not a DSLR fan any more. I am a big EVF fan, so I am not DSLR biased. In fact, IMO, high resolution EVF is one of the most important features-almost a must-have feature in any camera system. So I will never go back to OVF camera myself, to me it feels very awkward and even anachronistic.

 

But I have to be realistic and honest, the E mount seems to be a failing effort, and it is clearly seen in the sales number. The A mount is not as insignificant as it supposed to be to Sony sales.

Now, despite of crazy shill marketing and internet promotion for the FE system,Sony only has about 11 percent or less of market share which is about 8 percent and 3 percent of MILC and D-SLR market respectively. If you read the numbers superficially it seems like the E is selling much better, but is it really so? No. Because the MILC market is about 1/3rd of the D-SLR market size, so the 8 percent sales in MILC market is about identical to 3 percent sales in D-SLR market.

 

The reality is the E mount share is getting worse and worse every year as the prices going up every new generation, and it is expected to become much worse than what Sony has presented it would be in their recent presentation to the dealers throughout the world, because Sony now thinks "market share" is ILC's+lenses+accessories and "by value" to obscure the data. They seem to be deliberately ignoring the negative unit sales numbers.

 

So again, despite of the common forum myth the FE is not a very successful mount system in terms of sales. I am a FE mount user and I use it for now(there is no better choice for me) but I am not committed to it, and in fact, I much prefer the A6300 plus the A99vMK2 combo if they are fully supported with a good lens lineup by Sony(and Zeiss and Tamron). Actually, the only one reason why I still have to use my FE A7X series is the lens line, mostly the Batis line and that is all. If it is not for the Batis, I am not using it. IOW, if there is proper lens support from Zeiss, Sony and Tamron for the original APS-C E mount, then there is no reason for me to use the overpriced over-hyped, awkward FE mount system.

 

Many of dealers(except big US online sellers like Amazon or B&H) throughout the world actually not very happy about Sony and their stupid policy of forcing all potential E mount buyers to the FE by intentionally disabling the APS-C lens line.

Many of dealers think the FE system will fail in the long run ,the FE system will not win, it is a temporal success, in deed a very short time success........and it is even an euphemism..........to put it polite.

 

What's hilarious about Sony camera business is that if you read the numbers carefully, you quickly realize Sony's SLT to MILC focus shift in ILC market has not actually improve anything in terms of their overall camera sales, but their E mount MILC has just deprived some serious sales from their A mount. And the even sadder fact is their MILC sells overall, regressed significantly in the past 4 or so years. The year 2013 was the peak year for them and after that it has been steadily declining.

 

What's really sad is that they failed to gain anything on their forceful focus shift from the A to the E to the FE and probably cost them a significant amount of momentum. By forcefully shifting their marketing focus from the A to the E to the FE in a very short time,they've created many many disappointed Sony haters.......just like they did with the Vaio PC business a few years back.

 

Despite of all the purported success Sony supposed to have got, Sony is still a small player in the ILC business, and probably even less significant after this year because only those well-heeled rich guys or spec-obsessed landscapers buy their FE cameras due to their unfair sudden price hikes.

 

Even domestically(here in Japan), as of last year, they are 4th for market share in ILC's, and actually further losing sales to CNFO.. And Japan is supposed to be the most mirrorless friendly market.

 

After all, maybe Canon Nikon Fuji were not as stupid as they always thought to be by those armchair camera market experts?

 

Unlike Sony and Fuji,Canon Nikon have not wasted much of their very limited RD money on quickly contracting current consumer camera market, but they have effectively invested that in something more important for their future such as medical imaging, automobile camera system, and surveillance camera tech. For us gearheads, maybe being mirrorless or mirrored is a very important issue, but for most of NORMAL people it is not important at all, and the A7 form of camera is not really disruptive in any way. It will not change the way we use our cameras or anything: It is not connected, It is not programmable, It is not dust-free(most important issue to me), It is not significantly lighter than Canon or Nikon fullframe system as opposed to how Sony has originally marketed it to be, It is not a true hybrid system. The FE FF has just made the great NEX extremely awkward, if not useless.

I mean many E mount users have bought into it for the promised smaller SYSTEM size(it was a lie) and extremely affordable lens system(another lie), not for the oversized overpriced FE lenses.

Again if not for the Batis, I am even not writing this crap about the A7X since there is nothing else interesting about the FE mount system.

I guess I will give a few more months for Sony to see if they are actually serious about the APS-C line E mount lenses and how they treat the A mount and the user base. It is very important because I know the future of the A mount will also be the future of the E mount and FE. Sony throws anything against the wall to see what will actually stick and they will keep replacing everything even those commercially successful ones, as they always do in all markets they enter.

This really exhaust users and this is why Sony has so many haters.

 

Honestly, now I think only three real pros for Sony FE system are below:

1 DXO 11 support

2 cheap Capture One 9.4 Pro for Sony(50US)

3 Zeiss Batis line lenses.

   

UPDATE: There are many articles that explain about A mount license contract here in Japan.

It seems to be the type of odd contract is the reason why Sony has not really serious about the A mount development any more.

Many dealers here already reported Sony has already finished the A99V successor, but the management still want to hold on the announcement.

The problems are:

1 Sony has to pay license fee to Konika Minolta.

2 All Sony G and GM lenses are Konika Minolta designs and they want to or already raise design and production fee.

3 Technically, the A mount license is still owned by KM not by Sony.

4 if Sony quits the A mount business or quits supporting the mount, KM will charge 5 years of the annual license fee for it.

So even if the A99 successor sales really well, it may not be a very profitable product for Sony, and therefore, they want to be careful about it. Also, they have to calculate the risk of quitting it. Even if Sony has to pay 5 years of annual license fee to KM, it is still better terminate the A mount business.

It is again all about politics nothing else.

Many forum people tend to think Sony has bought KM business, but it is not that simple. It looks like much more complicated legal issues there. If you check the biggest customers list for KM optical business, Sony has always been listed there. And it looks like KM is charging quite significant amount of money annually for the A mount license.

 

UPDATE2: now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

 

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of them themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp Sony sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year. But it is a pure contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

 

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie who want to promote Sony over Nikon or anything.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next sensor producers. Now, Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not use Sony for this. As fool as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

  

Nikon crisis 7:Keep the F or not for better long term future.

 

Should Nikon keep the F or ditch it ?

 

A short registration distance has some advantages for some lenses but disadvantages for others.

 

For example if light rays from the exit pupil strike the sensor at an extreme angle, such as happens with various wide angle lens designs, you can have problems of vignetting and colour fringing. Leica experienced this with their early digital M bodies with certain of their lenses which had been excellent on film, and needed an special designed set of micro lens arrays.

 

This was a problem with some Leica film lenses on older sensors, such as the one in the NEX-7. It is not a problem with lenses designed for digital sensors, or for recent sensors with BSI. IOW, if the E mount had slightly wider mount diameter design or a bit longer registration distance,then the A7RMK2 would not have needed the special designed expensive microlens arrangement, and thus could have been a lot cheaper than it is now.

 

That's an important point - lenses that are specifically designed for digital sensors. A short registration distance doesn't automatically make this easier.

 

There are various ways of correcting this - a curved sensor being one; or a sensor with angled micro lenses at the periphery being another(this is the tech the A7R2 and the A6300/X-Pro2 sensors use). But both of these have a potential disadvantage when used with lenses that do not require correction. Alternatively software correction could be employed with the compromises that that involves.

Or the manufacturer could re-design lenses so that light rays are as near to parallel as possible when they strike the sensor, which in the case of some wideangles means utilising a retrofocus design. But if you do this your lenses are then back to the size of those used with DSLRs, so unfortunately you have lost most of the potential advantage of the short registration distance here already........this is why all the great E mount fullframe lenses are huge...........in fact, on average bigger than Canon Nikon Tamron equivalent lenses.

  

Sigma seem to be going down this line, and I don't think they will do well.

The big optical advantage is that almost any lens can be used.

That might be an advantage to some users but I'm not sure it's an 'optical' advantage.

  

A second one is that there is more space for tilt-and-shift adapters, bellows or other devices to go between lens and camera. You couldn't use the Cambo Actus with a DSLR.

But the hypothetical mirrorless A or F mount can take this and so able to get a better quality set of TS lenses than the current DSLR TS lenses from Canon, Nikon or Zeiss.

A marginal advantage for most people frankly. But for architecture photographers it is a huge advantage over the short flange distance mount design of the E mount.

And at least, it is a way better more practical design than the short registration mount design with an adapter option.

However, if your main point to have a mirrorless camera is to get better non-native lens adaptability, then it must have short registration distance which accepts more lenses from many different eras.

But I doubt there are many many mount adapter freaks in the FE mount world any more, since most of us already know adapted lenses do not perform very well, and adapters add extra weight, and deprive some serious amount of potential IQ of lenses adapted.

IMO, the main point of mirrorless is reducing mechanical and optical complexity and thus being able to increase profit margins; and to use an EVF for both the same visual experience for stills and video.

The optical advantages are for a very, very, very limited range of focal lengths and fields of view. As pretty much all MILC systems demonstrate, lens size is mainly driven by focal length, image circle, and max F number, if you doubt it look at the Panasonic Leica 12/1.4, is it really tiny? No, it is bigger than the Batis 25mm f2 or the Fuji 16mm f1.4......And then, you look at Sony FE glass... barring the 28/2 & 35/2.8 all the lenses are about the same size as their DSLR equivalents. No magic here.

You look at E glass... 20/2.8 is the same size as the EF 24/2.8. 16/2.8 is small but really bad. If there are advantages they haven't been realized or capitalized on.

Also the optical benefit is only for lenses under around 44mm-50mm in the case of Canon or Sony A , and actually you gain that back for longer focal lenses. for instance Olympus made some pretty small and good primes for the OM mount which was even longer then the EF mount. So small lenses are indeed possible even without short registration distance as opposed to many tiny mirrorless fans claim.

Also while there is some optical advantages (not really major because the lenses have to be designed for the sensor stack), there's also counters which has to worry more about sensor reflections, vignetting and color casting,etc that don't occur with a more relaxed registration distance. This is a big part of reason why Nikon F mount cameras using the same sensor usually have less sensor reflection or color casting issues than the Sony E mount rivals using the same sensor. But no reviews talk about this since they do not want to displease Sony and its fanboys........

So, if the size potential reduction is not the main point for Nikon to go mirrorless, then why not just keep the very popular F mount with excellent lens line?

I used to be agaist this idea-keeping the venerable F mount, but now I am kind of supporting it since I have learned the only one real advantage of going really short with flange distance is better legacy lens adaptability.

I think keeping the F makes more sense as Thom Hogan and others say, because, by now, most of people already using mirrrorless(especially the FF ones) already understand the short mount registration distance does not make FF lenses really small unless seriously compromising on max F number or edge sharpness.

  

UPDATE:Another serious issue all the camera makers will have to face but I did not really realize before is that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor type).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Fukuoka with one of my long time friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying!

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G5X when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway.

Then why not just go all the way up to FF or MFDB, or at least APS-C?

 

So maybe the one really doomed is not Nikon F or Pentax K or Sony A but m43?

Nikon and Pentax have historically had very enthusiastic and even fanatic core shooters and they are usually too old to adapt themselves fast to new EVF based gear even if they understand it is the more logical thing for them as they are aged. So D-SLRs may survive as antique cameras, but m43 or Nikon One?

    

Update2:now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

  

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of their own sensors themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I'd say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out through internet by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp DX sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year does not mean they are Sony chips. It is a simple contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony or Toshiba.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors to Toyota or some other car airplane manufactures in Japan.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next main sensor producer. Now Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not choose Sony for their main sensor producer this time. As obtuse as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

 

UPDATE4: Now, I just confirm that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D3400 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

        

Hello my friends todays painting is from one of my memories of Olongapo City, Philippines .my visit to Olongapo was special in many ways.Since I was in the navy at the time it was a chance to get the hell off the ship (U.S.S Callaghan DDG-994) google it haha I was a plankowner of that ship which meant I was part of the first crew on board which was a destroyer,anyway time to write about the the most exciting town in the Orient. The stories I heard about this place before even stepping foot off the ship were amazing,lets just say I was happy to be a single guy, this was my chance to experience what had become legendary - a night in Olongapo. For the bar owners it meant money, and lots of it. And for the Filipinos employed at the various clubs it meant not only income, but often the chance to meet the right guy and, if they were so disposed, to start the move eastward. the famous line of I love you Joe no sh&t take me back to the states was a line I heard almost every night, not me but some sailors actually got married to some very beautiful Filipino women, just walking down the streets would cause women to flock outside to you grabbing your arm like your some kind of rock star, to them you were rich, which is certainly not the case as everyone knows service men and women don't make jack squat really, but to them yes your rolling in the doe,its really a sad situation looking back on it the way alot of people and especially woman have to live but at the time being a young punk with a bunch of like minded navy men out to get drunk we were in heaven,at least in the minds of a bunch of young punks,another thing I remember is before you came into town you had to go over a little river known simply as the "Sh&t River." only a sailor could of thought up that name , but it was fairly appropriate given that raw sewage from the town was often dumped into it. Boys in little, flimsy boats beckoned from below the bridge, telling passers-by to throw pesos or centavos into the river. When a coin did get thrown, the boys would dive into the filth and somehow retrieve the coin. The navy eventually tried to discourage this practice by putting a fence along one side of the bridge. which is a good thing because no telling how many diseases one could get from such a practice,once in town and in a bar Most of the Filipinos who worked in bars, did not consider themselves prostitutes. In many ways this was true.

 

A bar fine worked like this: if a guy sat at a bar and got to talking to one of the girls behind the counter, he could ask her to leave the bar with him. The girl had the option of saying yes or no, though the bar owner or mama-san would often discourage refusals. Still, girls could, and did, refuse invitations by servicemen to go out on the town. This was one aspect of the barfine which distinguished it from prostitution. lucky for me Im a good looking guy and women would often want to pay me hahah sorry I guess I still have some of that navy jackass in me, just joking,any how

 

If the girl was agreeable, however, there would be a fine. Technically, you were not paying for the girl. In fact, the money you paid to the bar was to compensate the owner of the bar for the loss of the girl's work that night. This is because most of the girls worked for little or nothing other than tips. So if you wanted to deprive the bar of what was essentially free labor, you had to at least compensate the owner for the loss. Thus the "fine."

 

Granted, the girls did normally receive half of the fine. But this was merely a bonus paid by the bar to the girl for bringing it repeat business. Barfine amounts depended upon the bar. In the 1980's, barfines at the flashier places could go for as much as 500 or even 600 pesos a night - about $30 to $40 US. In the smaller bars fines averaged 400 pesos and sometimes even less. So what did a barfine get you? The only thing a patron was guaranteed was that the girl would be allowed to leave the bar with him. This came as a rude shock to some Olongapo newcomers, who assumed that the fine ensured him of a night of sex. It did not. True, the girls were highly encouraged by the bar owners to consent to sexual requests, and the girls themselves sometimes did so simply to ensure another barfine the next day, but the girls were not obligated to do anything. On most first "dates" the best you could hope for was a kiss, unless the girl was an unabashed "professional." Most were not, however. Most were girls from villages or other islands who served customers drinks most of the night, but who suffered the indignity of wearing a one piece bathing suit every hour or so in order to keep their jobs. They did this in order to make a few pesos for their family, and more often than not, in order to find a nice American guy who was marriage material so that she and her family might actually have a future of some kind. These Filipinos tended to cluster together in groups for safety and solace, If concrete relationships were established, a serviceman could sometimes buy a lifetime barfine from the bar. This would be a large, flat fee paid to the bar to ensure that the girl would always be available for the payee. Some of the girls liked this arrangement because of the implied commitment, and because it often served as an excuse on their part not to accept barfines from men they didn't find attractive. Note that a lifetime barfine did not necessarily prohibit the girl from accepting barfines from other men,especially if your ship pulled out even for a few days, and it did not carry over if the girl quit one bar and began working at another. Also, most of the girls were hopeless romantics. From the start most of them made it clear that they were not sexual partners. They were girlfriends, or "honey-ko's." You would take them dancing and out to eat and give them everything else which a girlfriend was due. She would meet your friends, and your friends' girlfriends, and you would take vacations together (for example, to Baguio). You might meet her family (usually an awkward affair).. Those pre-port fantasies of choosing a different girl every night would evaporate for most guys. If you decided to take out another girl, your own friends would question why you were "cheating" on your girlfriend, and you could bet that the "Filipino Network" was working at lightspeed to get word of your infidelity to the right parties. Despite their most stubborn efforts to remain a "playboy," sailors and Marines usually found themselves in relationships. Which implied - yes - commitment! It was a very humbling experience.

When the ships pulled out, that was a time of tears and promises. The girls who had found boyfriends would cry, the girls who had not welcomed the arrival of new ships and new hope. Promises were made by the sailors and Marines to come back, to write, to remain faithful...promises normally broken. Not always.Im pretty sure the navy no longer has a base there after many years and with the service men gone I have no idea how that place is now, after all even with all the crazy stuff that went on alot of money was pouring into that little city every night from servicemen around the world,

This 58 acre seafront camp was built in 1939 as a joint venture between Thomas Cook and the LMS railway. It continued to be run by Thomas Cook for many years and was known to many as simply 'Cooks Camp'. It was designed from the outset to be a more upmarket facility and was famed for its modernistic architecture, especially the 60ft-tall Hamlyn Tower which loomed large over the site to become a well-loved Prestayn landmark.

 

In common with other camps of this era it was a full board facility which meant that all meals were included and were taken in the huge communal dining hall which could accommodate 1750 people in one sitting. The camp reputedly owned the largest fryer in the world which was capable of cooking 2,000 portions of fish at one time!

 

The late 1960s saw a downturn in business as customers were looking for more freedom from the regimented entertainment and mealtimes. The camp responded by converting some of the chalets to self catering and by installing static caravans. The situation wasn't helped in 1971 when Pontins opened their brand new multi-million pound self-catering camp just a mile down the road

 

It eventually fell on hard times and was sold to rival Pontins in 1975. Plans were announced for a massive investment to convert the entire site into self catering. It was renamed Tower Beach and the following year 15 brand new two-storey chalet blocks were built in the traditional Pontins style. All chalets were equipped with kitchens and lounges. More old chalets were converted and the caravan park was expanded along with an area for touring caravans and tents. A new indoor pool was built and the old (larger) outdoor pool was subsequently filled in.

 

It differed from other Pontin camps in that an extra charge was made to use the camp facilities...the swimming pool, snooker room, even the evening entertainment complex all had a separate admission fee. However this was reflected in the holiday cost and Tower Beach was the cheapest self-catering camp in the old Pontins stable.

 

After investing a considerable sum of money it therefore came as a huge shock when Pontins closed it all down at the end of 1984 - most of the chalets were only 7 years old! The camp sat abandoned and derelict for the next 17 years during which time it was used for police riot training and even TV/movie filming. It was finally demolished in 2001.

 

The land was sold for a reputed £5 million and it's now a housing estate known as Tower Gardens.

m43 has failed6- Maybe not just Nikon, Pentax, m43, or Sony Amount but the entire camera industry going bankrupt?

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony, Fuji,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

 

I think Canon (especially) can afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7D) in roughly 5 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLR. The bottom sustains the top.

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan), and their number is decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of alpha 7 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

 

3. Sony/Fuji,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of premium brands. So once they feel ripped they do not want to spend a lot of money unless they actually produce something really game-changing.

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries unless we put them in out carry-on bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones suddenly become useless. 

 

So , in the end, I might agree have to think the industry itself is dying, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling neither Fuji nor Sony will win but some outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount system as long as you can and when time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so?

So I think 2017 will be a really tough year for the camera companies and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great modular camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this one, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in next year, and I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse.

   

UPDATE: There are many articles that explain about A mount license contract here in Japan.

It seems to be the type of odd contract is the reason why Sony has not really serious about the A mount development any more.

Many dealers here already reported Sony has already finished the A99V successor, but the management still want to hold on the announcement.

The problems are:

1 Sony has to pay license fee to Konika Minolta.

2 All Sony G and GM lenses are Konika Minolta designs and they want to or already raise design and production fee.

3 Technically, the A mount license is still owned by KM not by Sony.

4 if Sony quits the A mount business or quits supporting the mount, KM will charge 5 years of the annual license fee for it.

So even if the A99 successor sales really well, it may not be a very profitable product for Sony, and therefore, they want to be careful about it. Also, they have to calculate the risk of quitting it. Even if Sony has to pay 5 years of annual license fee to KM, it is still better terminate the A mount business.

It is again all about politics nothing else.

Many forum people tend to think Sony has bought KM business, but it is not that simple. It looks like much more complicated legal issues there. If you check the biggest customers list for KM optical business, Sony has always been listed there. And it looks like KM is charging quite significant amount of money annually for the A mount license.

 

UPDATE2: now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

  

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of their own sensors themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I'd say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out through internet by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp DX sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year does not mean they are Sony chips. It is a simple contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony or Toshiba.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors to Toyota or some other car airplane manufactures in Japan.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next main sensor producer. Now Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not choose Sony for their main sensor producer this time. As obtuse as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

 

UPDATE4: Now, I just confirm that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D3400 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

        

People who've tried and failed at Online marketing previously can experience enjoy it is impossible to generating income online. However, when talking about promoting your company, this game changes a great deal. For those who have not been successful yet, then then chances are you just haven't been subjected to quality marketing information.

 

Flashy websites look neat, but avoid making your site too distracting. Remember, you might have just a couple seconds to get a visitor's interest once they get to your website, so creating a good first impression is essential. Any more than that, and they are generally certain to mouse click away to a different page.

 

Link your site in each signature section which is open to you. If you are using a forum then you definitely should put your link within the signature area. Every email you distribute must have a web link for your site in your signature. This can be a non-aggressive method to advertise your website when you speak with anyone on the web. Create a tempting line that encourages readers to click and place it close to the link.

 

Affiliate marketing online must be considered seriously and researched well. Try to look for someone successful within the field to emulate. Most individuals who are good in internet promotion give free services or charge a little fee. After you have chosen a method you would like to try, stay with it until it proves profitable or shows you need to proceed to a brand new technique. It might start slowly, however it is worth enough time you place in it.

 

Internet marketing could be successful with dedication and effort. There is absolutely no such story in regards to a business that simply got lucky within their success. Do you reckon Anheuser Busch just hit a stroke of luck once they developed their brands of beer? Certainly not! They spent time, money and energy to be able to sell their product, making it the very best that could be to attract in customers.

 

One unique method of website marketing is via image searches. If you have relevant photos on your own site, the desire for your website could be increased because you are not depending on text searches only. People looking for photos might end up staying on your own site and searching through all of that can there be. You are going to build understanding of the company you might be selling, and raising the opportunity these individuals will return often.

 

Everything you have read above should enable you to ultimately turn into a better internet marketer, but it's not anything that's going to take place overnight. Today, no perfect recipe for guaranteed success exists. When it existed, everyone will be performing it. However with the best determination, anybody can use reliable information and turn it into a success. www.unleashyourgeek.com/get-organic-traffic-now-naturally...

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Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - Son in the Tub

 

Photo By: MAJ Aaron Haney

 

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

 

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

 

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.

On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.

In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work... Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm...”

In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.

In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion ...to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

 

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”

Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.

To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.

The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.

Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.

Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.

Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.

In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.

Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.

While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.

In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”

The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.

In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”

In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.

The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”

In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.

As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”

At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.

When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.

In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.

The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.

During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.

The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.

In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.

Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”

The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.

In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.

After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.

The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc... New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.

The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.

The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.

The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:

* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc...)

* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence...)

* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.

* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things ...).

* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.

* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).

* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).

* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).

* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc...).

* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.

* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.

What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc... were far away places that most had not visited.

As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.

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Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - Eye of the Holder

 

Photo By: SGT Pablo Piedra

 

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

 

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.

On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.

In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work... Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm...”

In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.

In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion ...to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

 

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”

Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.

To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.

The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.

Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.

Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.

Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.

In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.

Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.

While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.

In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”

The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.

In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”

In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.

The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”

In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.

As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”

At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.

When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.

In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.

The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.

During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.

The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.

In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.

Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”

The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.

In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.

After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.

The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc... New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.

The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.

The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.

The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:

* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc...)

* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence...)

* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.

* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things ...).

* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.

* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).

* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).

* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).

* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc...).

* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.

* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.

What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc... were far away places that most had not visited.

As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.

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m43 has failed6- Maybe not just Nikon, Pentax, m43, or Sony Amount but the entire camera industry going bankrupt?

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony, Fuji,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

 

I think Canon (especially) can afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7D) in roughly 5 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLR. The bottom sustains the top.

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan), and their number is decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of alpha 7 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

 

3. Sony/Fuji,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of premium brands. So once they feel ripped they do not want to spend a lot of money unless they actually produce something really game-changing.

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries unless we put them in out carry-on bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones suddenly become useless. 

 

So , in the end, I might agree have to think the industry itself is dying, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling neither Fuji nor Sony will win but some outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount system as long as you can and when time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so?

So I think 2017 will be a really tough year for the camera companies and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great modular camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this one, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in next year, and I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse.

   

UPDATE: There are many articles that explain about A mount license contract here in Japan.

It seems to be the type of odd contract is the reason why Sony has not really serious about the A mount development any more.

Many dealers here already reported Sony has already finished the A99V successor, but the management still want to hold on the announcement.

The problems are:

1 Sony has to pay license fee to Konika Minolta.

2 All Sony G and GM lenses are Konika Minolta designs and they want to or already raise design and production fee.

3 Technically, the A mount license is still owned by KM not by Sony.

4 if Sony quits the A mount business or quits supporting the mount, KM will charge 5 years of the annual license fee for it.

So even if the A99 successor sales really well, it may not be a very profitable product for Sony, and therefore, they want to be careful about it. Also, they have to calculate the risk of quitting it. Even if Sony has to pay 5 years of annual license fee to KM, it is still better terminate the A mount business.

It is again all about politics nothing else.

Many forum people tend to think Sony has bought KM business, but it is not that simple. It looks like much more complicated legal issues there. If you check the biggest customers list for KM optical business, Sony has always been listed there. And it looks like KM is charging quite significant amount of money annually for the A mount license.

 

UPDATE2: now, I think FF mirrorless is, like self-driving car, it is the future, definitely, but not really mature enough to be practical for many real life tasks, and they are both still immensely overpriced just because newer tech relatively to their older more practical rivals.

The Sony a7R2 should be cheaper than the D810 considering it does not have the complex mirror and proper weather sealings on the shutter. The X-T2 should be as cheap as the D7200 or the 80D. The A6300 should be as cheap as its predecessor(about 650US), no more than that, it is a great camera but still not able to shoot from a fast running car or train like the 7DMK2 or the D500, and so if you were a paparazzi or anything like that, you would not choose the A6300 as your main camera.

When I wrote my previous A6300 vs D500 hands-on experience,I was very very impressed with the A6300 AF, especially with the FE55mm f1.8Z. But now I am sure if my work is completely relying on the best AF in the game, I'd definitely choose the D500, not the A6300, which could not focus well on a super fast moving thing from a fast running train or a car unless the light level is perfectly ideal.

In last week,I tried to shoot street snaps from a fast running super express train with my A6300, A7M2 and A7R2, none of my Sonys could focus on anything moving from a 300km/h fast running train, I was really glad I also brought my D750 with me for my last short train trip.

Like Thom Hogan said, the Sony Alpha E mount cameras are too slow for anything moving fast, I mean their single AF speed is very fast, but it cannot track fast, especially when the light level is not really ideal.

Plus, the general operation speed of the Sony is just painfully slow, even the most expensive A7SMK2 is very slow. I mean it takes about 30 seconds to format a card, about 5 seconds or more to wake up from a long sleep, etc, and is too slow for anything unpredictably moving or decisive once a life time kind of shot. Another big issue of the Sony FE system is terribly short battery life. I know if I bring this up, many Sony fans would tell me after adding a couple of extra batteries it is still lighter than any of Nikon Canon FF D-SLRs. Maybe so, but the real issue here is because we need to change the battery almost every couple of hours, we would miss many decisive moments, and it is really annoying.

 

Now, it is obvious this is the most difficult time to spend some serious amount of money into any of these already existing camera system since they all suck in some ways and all the camera companies are too arrogant or stupid to listen to the actual users.

 

The FE50mm f1.4Z is an amazing lens that may change the direction of the entire industry but it is a huge lens, honestly, if I knew where Sony were heading to at very first place in 2013, I would not have spent this much money into Sony FE system......I wanted it to be small, light and simple, but now it is a big, heavy, expensive and very complex system.

Really, why every new lens must be AF and this huge is beyond me. It is just making the system impractical with the terribly oversized lenses. I have never seen any 50 this big(except my Otus 55 and the old Sigma Art I hated both of those huge 50 primes), seriously it is as big as the 85mm f1.4 GM and is an ugly looking lens, too.

Sony should not try a D-SLR replacement system with the A7 system, but a great RangeFinder replacement system.

Hope they wake up soon.

  

UPDATE3: I think I must correct some terrible lies spread by so called reviewers here:

1 Fuji X-Trans3 is just the same sensor design or some variant of the A6300 sensor. A lie. The Fuji 24mp sensor is Toshiba design, Sony produced sensor. Last year Toshiba sold out some of their CMOS plants to Sony, they made some specific contract conditions that they would continue to design core sensor designs and produce prototypes of their own sensors themselves, albeit a small number of each sensor they design, and then they take that to main fab process and Sony would mass produce that in Kumamoto Tech and Nagasaki tech.

And the Fuji X trans 3 sensor is the first practical case of this Toshiba Sony sensor business collaboration. So it is definitely not a Sony sensor. If you have both the A6300 and the X-Pro2 or X-T2 , you can easily tell that. The specs are very different and even the base ISO value is so dramatically different, I'd say the a6300 sensor is the better one here.

2 Nikon D7200 sensor is also Toshiba sensor but some similar variant of the X-Trans 3 sensor. No. Lit is another lie spread out through internet by the so called reviewer community.

The D7200 sensor was initially produced at Toshiba Kyushu plant, and then moved to Renesas Mie plant.

Now it is produced at Sony Kumamoto or Kagoshima tech.

So it is definitely a Toshiba sensor used Renesas IP, and the 20mp DX sensor used in the D500 seems also share the same tech used in the D7200 Toshiba sensor.

And they are nothing to do with Sony tech. Just now produced by Sony since Toshiba sold out their main CMOS factories to Sony last year does not mean they are Sony chips. It is a simple contract work and nothing like Sony designs it for others.

3 The Nikon D5 uses old Toshiba tech. No, wrong again. The Nikon D5 sensor is designed by Nikon and Renesas, produced by Renesas. All the high-speed read-out sensors from Nikon are designed by either Aptina or Renesas, nothing to do with Sony or Toshiba.

4 Canon does not sell sensors, it is another lie. They sell their industrial design sensors such as automobile and airplane sensors to Toyota or some other car airplane manufactures in Japan.

5 Renesas now has no their own CMOS factory. Wrong again, they still have 3 and 2 of which are small car use sensors but the last one in Mie still produces big sensors for Nikon. But their CMOS production capacity is not large enough for Nikon consumer grade bodies sold under 3k. So the D810 and the lower grade cameras use either Toshiba or Sony sensors produced at either Sony Kumamoto or Nagasaki, or some rare cases at Kagoshima.

6 Nikon is now completely dependent on Sony. Again, a big lie.

Nikon is now seeking another contract sensor producer who has large enough production capacity for their consumer grade camera sensors. And they are probably choosing Tower Jazz as their next main sensor producer. Now Panasonic, Tower Jazz and Sony are competing for that and I am sure Nikon will not choose Sony for their main sensor producer this time. As obtuse as the current Nikon management is, they at least understand how risky to give Sony all prior info about all their upcoming cameras, so they want to go against Sony. But the sad part is Nikon cannot be 100 percent independent from the Sony tie since Aptina one inch sensor choice is now no longer available as they are now a part of On Semi.

 

UPDATE4: Now, I just confirm that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D3400 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

        

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www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

www.urbanpetportraits.com

Celebrate your cat or dog with a custom portrait by internationally-renown artist Acamonchi.

Immortalize the unique personality of your pet on a quality birch wood panel. These pet portraits make great gifts-as a way to remember a beloved pet, celebrate a new puppy, or just because!

These one-of-a-kind commissions start at $250* for a 12" x 12" portrait. Portraits take about one week to complete, require a 50% deposit and 50% upon completion. And, if you're in the urban San Diego area (or visiting) the artist will deliver your portrait personally-an no extra charge!

We have many satisfied clients in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, New York, Canada, and Mexico-check out some of our customers with their portraits on the Happy Clients page.

Own original art, show your love for your dog or cat, and support an artist-all at the same time!

Portrait pricing:

12” x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm) x $250 US dollars

18” x 18” (45.72 x 45.72 cm) x $450 US dollars

24” x 24” (60.96 x 60.96 cm) x $850 US dollars

*Some restrictions apply. Shipping not included, serious inquiries only. One pet per portrait, 2 or more pet in portrait can be arranged with additional fees, Feel free to ask for an estimate. Got an exotic pet? Lizard, hedgehog, or hamster? Let's talk!

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

This 58 acre seafront camp was built in 1939 as a joint venture between Thomas Cook and the LMS railway. It continued to be run by Thomas Cook for many years and was known to many as simply 'Cooks Camp'. It was designed from the outset to be a more upmarket facility and was famed for its modernistic architecture, especially the 60ft-tall Hamlyn Tower which loomed large over the site to become a well-loved Prestayn landmark.

 

In common with other camps of this era it was a full board facility which meant that all meals were included and were taken in the huge communal dining hall which could accommodate 1750 people in one sitting. The camp reputedly owned the largest fryer in the world which was capable of cooking 2,000 portions of fish at one time!

 

The late 1960s saw a downturn in business as customers were looking for more freedom from the regimented entertainment and mealtimes. The camp responded by converting some of the chalets to self catering and by installing static caravans. The situation wasn't helped in 1971 when Pontins opened their brand new multi-million pound self-catering camp just a mile down the road

 

It eventually fell on hard times and was sold to rival Pontins in 1975. Plans were announced for a massive investment to convert the entire site into self catering. It was renamed Tower Beach and the following year 15 brand new two-storey chalet blocks were built in the traditional Pontins style. All chalets were equipped with kitchens and lounges. More old chalets were converted and the caravan park was expanded along with an area for touring caravans and tents. A new indoor pool was built and the old (larger) outdoor pool was subsequently filled in.

 

It differed from other Pontin camps in that an extra charge was made to use the camp facilities...the swimming pool, snooker room, even the evening entertainment complex all had a separate admission fee. However this was reflected in the holiday cost and Tower Beach was the cheapest self-catering camp in the old Pontins stable.

 

After investing a considerable sum of money it therefore came as a huge shock when Pontins closed it all down at the end of 1984 - most of the chalets were only 7 years old! The camp sat abandoned and derelict for the next 17 years during which time it was used for police riot training and even TV/movie filming. It was finally demolished in 2001.

 

The land was sold for a reputed £5 million and it's now a housing estate known as Tower Gardens.

Bae-Aérospatiale Concorde: 21st January 1976 - November 26th 2003

 

Yep, I'm on another one of my Concorde bouts again, but I don't consider that a bad thing if I'm honest because I've never known anyone who really doesn't like this aircraft. The thing about Concorde is the fact that it was, and still is, probably one of the most beautiful and sophisticated creations mankind has ever made, up there with the likes of the Saturn V Rocket. With smooth crisp lines and a long sweeping body, Concorde, although very much a plaything for the rich, showed the world that Supersonic travel is not just reserved for Fighter Pilots, but for the fare paying public as well, and took us to a place where I sadly feel we shan't return to, not in this day and age.

 

So where does Concorde's story begin? Well, our ability to break the Sound Barrier is a good start, with the early Spitfire pilots of World War II inadvertently doing so, and then a flight by the experimental Bell X-1, which was launched from the underbelly of a bomber and jetted off into a world very much of its own. Following these breakthroughs in speed, the first considerations for a passenger alternative were considered as far back as 1950, and in 1954 the first meeting of the Super Sonic Transport (SST) Committee was held.

 

Original intentions were to build passenger aircraft to similar principles as the X-1, but these were shelved due to impracticality. Instead, a new design known as the Delta-Wing was looked at, being used on the likes of the AVRO Vulcan. Ideas were created, and tests carried out on the similarly designed Handley Page HP.115, a purpose built aircraft for the intention of making the perfect testbed for the future SST. Eventually, the Delta design chosen was dubbed the Ogee Platform, derived from the Ogival Wing design. The most important intention of the design was to place the wing's centre of pressure as close as possible to the centre of gravity so as to lower the amount of control force required to pitch the aircraft, and the Ogee Platform came closest to this requirement.

 

Final design requirements came down to the design of the airframe itself outside of the wings. Essentially, the aircraft was similar in design to contemporary Delta-Wing fighter jets, with a long streamlined nose and a smooth body to reduce resistance as much as possible. Problems came with the actual operation of the aircraft's basic functions, most notably the cockpit, which had to be designed with streamlining in mind, but couldn't use conventional aircraft windows, with the strengthened window frame obscuring the view forward for takeoff and landing. In response, designers created a Drooping Nose, where the streamlined visor could be raised and lowered, with conventional aircraft windscreens behind to provide a view similar to that of a regular aircraft. Due to the length of the aircraft, the plane was fitted with a small wheel at the rear of the frame so as to absorb any potential tail-strikes during takeoff and landing.

 

During supersonic flight and transit through the Sound Barrier, fuel would be distributed between the forward fuel tanks and a small fuel tank in the rear whilst the aircraft was accelerating and decelerating so as to alter the centre of mass, essentially acting as an auxiliary trim control.

 

But one of the most endearing parts of the design was the point on the nose, which is not there for stylish flare, but for a very important reason. Without the point, aircraft attempting to transit the sound barrier would face much greater resistance as the airframe is much larger and more obtrusive, the point on the other hand breaks the sound barrier ahead of the actual aircraft itself, meaning the transit effect travels around the frame of the aircraft rather than against the hull.

 

Of course, the most difficult part when it came to getting the SST to go are the actual engines themselves. For the greatest efficiency, the new SST couldn't use conventional Turbofan engines as their cross-sectional area was too excessive. Instead, Rolls Royce was commissioned to build a set of Turbojet engines that could be slung in streamlined pods underneath the wings. The result was a quad set of Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 engines that had been developed from the Bristol engines used on the Vulcan bomber. In all, only 67 of these engines were ever built, and had an overall maximum thrust of 38,000lbf, pushing the SST to beyond the speed of sound.

 

By the mid-1960's the designs had been near enough perfected, and after signing up with Sud Aviation of France (later to become Aérospatiale), the combined efforts of British Aerospace and Aérospatiale resulted in the construction of two prototypes in 1965, these aircraft being dubbed 'Concorde', the French word for Harmony, Agreement, or Union. Concorde 001 was built in France at Aérospatiale's factory in Toulouse, whilst Concorde 002 was built at the BAC works in Filton near Bristol. The first flight of a Concorde aircraft took place on the 2nd March 1969, with Concorde 001 flying from Toulouse. On the 9th April, Concorde 002 made its first flight from Filton, and on October 1st, 001 made its first supersonic flight.

 

Both aircraft were presented at the Paris Airshow of June 1969, alongside one of their rivals, the Boeing 747. But Concorde was not the world's first supersonic commercial airliner, as the Soviet Union had beaten them to the punch in June of that year with the Tupolev Tu-144, an aircraft of almost exactly the same principles of Concorde that had been hastily put together between 1965 and 1968 after blueprints and designs had been obtained by Soviet Agent Sergei Fabiew. The Tu-144 made its first supersonic flight in June 1969, and made its first supersonic commercial flights with Aeroflot in May 1970.

 

However, the 'Concordski' (as it was known by the West), had many serious flaws, which came to bear in a series of horrendous crashes. The first major crash was at the 1973 Paris Air Show, where during a display flight, the first production Tu-144 aircraft broke apart over a suburb, killing 6 people on the aircraft and 8 on the ground. Another major incident took place in May 1978, when on a routine test flight an improved version of the aircraft known as the Tu-144D crashed on landing, resulting in the withdrawal of the 144's from commercial service after only 55 flights. They would remain cargo aircraft until 1983, after which they were used for the training of Soviet Cosmonauts for the Buran Space Shuttle project.

 

Concordski however did have a profound effect on Concorde, especially after its crash of 1973. Confidence in the Concorde was rumbled by the failure of the Tu-144, and thus many potential buyers pulled out. Originally, airlines such as American Airlines, Pan Am, Japan Airlines, Eastern Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Canada had all put in orders, but by 1975 only Air France and BOAC (later nationalised into British Airways) orders remained. At the same time, Boeing and Lockheed of the United States attempted to create their own SST's so as to combat Concorde, with Boeing creating the 2707, and Lockheed the L-2000, neither of which went beyond concept models.

 

Eventually, 14 production Concorde aircraft were handed over to their respective airlines between 1976 and 1980, with the first aircraft being delivered to British Airways on the 15th January, the first flight taking place to Bahrain on the 21st January. Simultaneously, Air France made its first flight to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar in Senegal. However, the Transatlantic routes to the United States were the main points of contention, as the fear of Sonic Booms caused protest, resulting in a ban being passed by Congress. Although permission was given to fly to Washington Dulles on the 24th May, the New York Port Authority continued to ban Concorde due to the noise. The result was a risky training program by Concorde pilots to land at JFK Airport without using any power at all, meaning that from the start of their descent over the New York area, no power could be applied so as to keep the noise levels to a minimum, doing the whole approach in one. Eventually the ban was lifted after it was found that Air Force One, a Boeing VC-137 (converted Boeing 707), was louder than Concorde, and thus commercial services to JFK began on November 22nd, 1977.

 

In addition to the British Airways and Air France flights to New York and Washington from Paris and London, a slew of other short lived ventures occurred at the same time. In 1977, British Airways jointly shared a Concorde for flights to Singapore via Bahrain with Singapore Airlines, painting G-BOAD in a BA/SA hybrid livery. These flights however were capped after only 3 runs due to noise complaints.

 

Another short lived venture was with the American airline Braniff, which leased 10 aircraft from both airlines to operate subsonic domestic services from Washington to Dallas-Fort Worth from 1978, with Braniff crews taking over from international crews after landing at Washington. These services ended in 1980 due to a lack of profitability, with only 50% bookings or less on most flights.

 

Over the years, Concorde also flew to a myriad of destinations off its usual Transatlantic services, including Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, South America, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, mostly on charter flights but sometimes for short demonstration flights for fun seekers. Usually, Air France would provide the charter aircraft as their Concorde fleet was used less than the BA fleet, only operating two flights a day as opposed to BA's four.

 

The 1980's though were the boom years of Concorde, as this was when the money makers really spread their wings. In the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson "For the have not's, it wasn't much fun, but the have's were having a ball!" Wealth moved from the stars of stage and screen to the stock marketing men and women of Europe and America. Investments on oil shares, and other large multinational companies meant you and your house was worth more than most countries. Greed was endemic, and the super-rich had no shortage of that. They'd have Champagne for breakfast, eat nightly at the Ritz, have a fleet of chauffeur driven Rolls Royce's at their beck and call, and would make weekend trips across the Atlantic with Concorde like it was a commuter train!

 

It was thanks to Concorde that Phil Collins could perform two shows for the 1985 Live Aid in one night, the first at Wembley in London, the second at Philadelphia JFK stadium, picking up Cher along the way who would join him in the finale 'We are the World.' You could arrive before you departed, and probably bump into a selection of celebrities en-route. Ex-Beatles, Actors, Businessmen, Fashion Designers, you name it, they were probably there!

 

These years were wild, profitable, and turned Concorde from an airliner, into a rite of passage for the money makers of this world. If you could fly on Concorde, then you'd truly made it in life!

 

However, as the 90's began to blossom and boom, the end of the decade brought its headaches for Concorde, and when things went wrong, they really went wrong quickly!

 

The recession of 1992 damaged Concorde's sales as money became much harder to come by, and the explosive era of greed began to fade away in the face of austerity. Environmental considerations began to crop up, and Concorde was singled out by environmentalists as one of the biggest culprits for noise and air pollution.

 

But on July 25th, 2000, disaster struck when Air France Concorde F-BTSC, crashed upon take-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle, smashing into a nearby hotel and killing all 109 passengers, plus 4 people on the ground. The cause was later determined to have been debris left by a preceding Continental Airlines DC-10, which punctured the tyres of Concorde and ruptured the fuel tanks on the port-side wing. However, the crash resulted in the grounding of all Concorde aircraft for over a year. Although test flights were carried out, and some private charters, revenue earning service was intended to return in the summer of 2001.

 

G-BOAF made the first service flight of a Concorde aircraft across the Atlantic from London to New York on September 11th, 2001, landing at JFK airport 30 minutes before American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked by terrorists, was flown deliberately into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, in what would turn out to be one of the darkest days in modern history. In the ensuing chaos, flights across America were grounded immediately, and Transatlantic services diverted, but this was just the beginning. Global markets collapsed and the aviation industry went into meltdown. Airlines such as TWA, Swissair, Sabena and Ansett Australia were just a few of the victims of this aviation downturn, and Concorde's return to service was delayed until November 7th, 2001.

 

Concorde may have stuttered back into life, but time had really caught up with this supersonic machine of the past. The maintenance costs of the aircraft were now much higher, with fuel prices rising and passenger levels dropping due to stagnation in the post-9/11 market. British Airways was making a loss on every single flight they made, and both this, with a mixture of discontinued support from Aérospatiale's successors, Airbus, meant that Concorde's fate was very much sealed.

 

On the 10th April, 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced the retirement of Concorde. Although the day after Virgin Atlantic and its founder Sir Richard Branson intended to purchase British Airways' Concorde fleet for a nominal fee of £1 each, citing a clause in the original agreement to operate the aircraft, the Government and British Airways denied allowing him to buy the aircraft for such a small price, demanding at least £1 million for every aircraft. This was further hampered by Airbus' refusal to continue maintenance support.

 

The end slowly came throughout 2003, with Air France's last Concorde flight taking place on 27th June, whilst British Airways conducted a series of farewell tours to a selection of destinations, including Toronto, Boston, Washington, Belfast, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Concorde was officially retired from British Airways service on the 24th October, 2003, but continued to operate a small number of farewell charters until November 26th, when G-BOAF, the last Concorde to be built in 1979, flew to its home base of Filton, ending the supersonic age of passenger air travel.

 

In all, every one of these £125 million aircraft still exist apart from two. Aircraft 203, F-BTSC, was lost in the type's only ever fatal crash in 2000, whilst Aircraft 211, F-BVFD, was withdrawn in 1982 after only 5 years of service and used as a spares donor, being cut up for scrap in 1994. The 6 prototype and 12 remaining production aircraft are now scattered across the world in museums, including Barbados, Seattle, New York, Brooklands near London, Manchester, Le Bourget, Toulouse and Chantilly in Virginia.

 

So, what killed Concorde and can we ever go there again? Many things killed Concorde, and when they came, they came fast. The economic downturn of the 90's and the rising environmental considerations started to damage its image, but the Paris Crash, the September 11th attacks and the ensuing stagnation of the aviation market, an outdated design becoming more and more expensive to maintain, the discontinuation of maintenance by Airbus and the fact that they were making a loss on every single flight is truly what ended Concorde's reign.

 

As for returning to the world of supersonic travel for the fare paying customer, in this world of austerity and environmentally bound agendas, I highly doubt it. Although Boeing considered the idea with the Sonic Cruiser, the amount of fuel required to operate these aircraft and the overall lack of interest or money to fund a project solely aimed at the 1%, means that chances are we won't see the likes of Concorde ever again.

 

But either way, we can be glad to say that we did it, we built Concorde, we flew it, operated it for 27 glorious years, and in doing so brought nations and continents closer together. Concorde truly lived up to its name, an everlasting symbol of peace, prosperity, speed, design and human endeavour.

 

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

The swinging sixties were in full flow, but in some corners of the world the peace and love mantra of the flower-power generation could not be heard.

 

Even as hippies in London and San Francisco were weaving daisies into their hair, in China Mao Tse-Tung launched the Cultural Revolution, a 10-year political campaign aimed at rekindling revolutionary Communist fervour. Brandishing their copies of Mao's Little Red Book of quotations, students of the Communist Party - the so-called Red Guards - pursued an ideological cleansing campaign in which they renounced and attacked anyone suspected of being an intellectual, or a member of the bourgeoisie. Thousands of Chinese citizens were executed, and millions more were yoked into manual labour in the decade that followed.

 

Meanwhile, the US government, under president Lyndon B Johnson, was escalating its military presence in Vietnam. By the year's end, American troop levels had reached 389,000, with more than 5,000 combat deaths and over 30,000 wounded. The war was a brutal and dirty one, with many US casualties caused by sniper fire, booby traps and mines.

 

The Americans responded by sending B-52 bombers over North Vietnam, and by launching the infamous Search and Destroy policy on the ground.

 

"To know war," Johnson said in his State of the Union address before Congress, in January 1966, "is to know that there is still madness in this world".

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=InRDF_0lfHk

 

There was bloodshed on the streets of London too, when Ronnie Kray, brother of Reggie, shot George Cornell dead in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in March.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rhr8Vjzy8E

 

Two years after his proclamations about the "white heat of technology" Harold Wilson was prime minister of a Labour government that included technology minister Tony Benn. If Benn was pleased to witness the introduction of the first homegrown UK credit card - The Barclaycard - in 1966, he was in the minority. The card was met with "a tidal wave of indifference", according to a Barclays executive.

 

Perhaps the UK public simply had other things on their minds.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRuVVqn63co

 

This was, after all, the year in which Bobby Moore's England beat the Germans 4-2 to lift the World Cup at Wembley.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T6IY2fz_Mc

 

Musically, 1966 was a vintage year. Jim Reeves' Distant Drums knocked the Small Faces' All or Nothing off the top spot. Other number ones in the year included Frank Sinatra's Strangers in the Night, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, the Walker Brothers' The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore and The Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones.

 

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones also continued their dominance of the music scene, with Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer and Paint it Black all topping the charts.

 

A Man for all Seasons won Best Picture at the 1966 Oscars, and its star Paul Scofield won Best Actor. Other films released this year included Georgy Girl, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Alfie and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzQTF--oQ-U

 

On the small screen, viewers were subjected to the rants of Alf Garnet in Till Death us do Part; while US audiences were introduced to the delights of the Monkees and Star Trek. And the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, thwarted lute-playing electronics genius the Minstrel as he tried to sabotage the computer systems at the Gotham City Stock Exchange.

 

"Batman heads off new corporate IT disaster" - now there's a headline to conjure with.

 

The Queen opens the £10 million Severn Bridge on September 8. The Severn Bridge was opened in 1966 to replace the ferry service crossing from Aust to Beachley. The new bridge provided a direct link for the M4 motorway into Wales.

 

The Severn Bridge has now carried more than 300,000,000 vehicles since it was opened in 1966. Between 1980 and 1990 traffic flows increased by 63% and there were severe congestion problems in the summer and at peak times each day. Further increases in traffic flows were expected in the years ahead. The problems encountered on the Severn Bridge were made worse by the occasional high winds, accidents and breakdowns. It is for these reasons that the Second Severn Crossing was constructed as without it congestion would become more serious and frequent on the M4, M5 and the local road network.

 

Bristol's Mecca Centre opens

 

1966 - Thursday May 19 is a glittering night in Bristol when 800 of the West Country’s VIPs are invited to the opening of the city centre’s brand new £32 million leisure complex on Frogmore Street With a dozen licensed bars, a casino, a cinema, a night club, an ice rink and a thousand plastic palm trees, this is the biggest entertainment palace anywhere in Europe and somewhere to rival the West End of London. There are girls! In bikinis! There’s even pineapple! On sticks! Drivers park their Hillman Imps in the multi-story car park!

 

And, amazingly enough, the venue has been an entertainment centre ever since. Bristol . . . entertainments capital of the South West, and one of the entertainments attractions of Europe. That was the talk of the town when Mecca moved into Bristol, splashed out a fortune and began building the New Entertainments Centre in Frogmore Street, towering over the ancient Hatchet Inn and the Georgian and Regency streets nearby.

 

The New Entertainments Centre wasn't just big, it was enormous and it was what 60s leisure and fun-time were all about, Mecca promised. Here, slap bang in the middle of Bristol, the company was creating the largest entertainment centre in the whole of Europe. A dozen licensed bars, an ice rink, bowling lanes, a casino, a night club, a grand cinema, asumptuous ballroom and, naturally, a multi-storey car park to accommodate all those Zephyr Zodiacs, Anglias, Westminsters, Minis, Victors and Imps etc which would come pouring into town bringing the 5,000 or so customers who would flock to the centre every day.

 

London might have its famous West End. Bristol had its Frogmore Street palace of fun and the opening night of the biggest attraction of all, the Locarno Ballroom, on May 19th was the Night To Crown All First Nights, the Post proudly announced. Sparkling lights, plastic palm trees in shadily-lit bars, a revolving stage, dolly birds in fishnet tights and grass skirts . . . this was glamour a la mid-60s and Bristol loved it.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNk8yuZ4lbI

 

Horace Batchelor K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M

 

1966 - KEYNSHAM became a familiar household name to millions of Radio Luxembourg listeners across Europe in the 1950s and 1960s — thanks to a local betting expert.

 

Self-styled 'football pools king' Horace Batchelor helped punters win a total of more than £12 million between 1948 and 1971 at a time when £75,000 was a fortune and his series of radio ads always mentioned mentioned Keynsham, which Horace would then spell out.

 

Customers followed his unique 'infra draw' tip system, which forecast which matches would be drawn in the pools. He put the otherwise little-known town on the map by spelling out its name letter by letter so listeners would address their applications correctly when ordering tips by post.

 

His ads included genial patter such as: 'Hello, friends — this is Horace Batchelor, the inventor of the fabulous Infra-Draw system. You too can start to win really worthwhile dividends using my method.'

 

Members of the system clubbed together to enter very large permutations with a good chance of winning the pools and then sharing the takings — though each individual only received a small fraction of each big windfall. Horace himself set a world record by personally netting more than 30 first dividends and thousands of second and third dividends.

 

During his heyday up to 5.000 orders a day were delivered via Keynsham to his office in Old Market, Bristol. His first major pools win came in 1948 when he was presented with £11,321 at Bedminster’s Rex Cinema —part of the biggest dividend then paid by Sherman’s Pools.

 

It also included £45,000 which he shared with syndicate members. - By 1955 he had won enough to live in luxury, running three cars and puffing cigars in an 18-room house. He later retired to a 27-bedroom ‘Batchelor pad’ in Bath Road, Saltford, a small village just outside of Keynsham, which he named 'Infra -Grange' after his system.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU7MMdlATZQ

 

Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966

 

Pickles, the mongrel dog who found the World Cup in a London street after it had been stolen three months before the 1966 finals, became a bigger story than that year's general election.

 

In March 1966, a few months before the start of the World Cup finals in England, a mongrel dog named Pickles found the missing Jules Rimet trophy in a London street.

 

One week before Pickles came to the rescue, the priceless trophy had been stolen from the Westminster's Methodist Central Hall where it was being displayed, albeit in a glass cabinet.

 

And this despite the presence of no less than five security guards. On that fateful Sunday, however, the guard stationed next to the trophy had taken the day off. The thieves stole in through a back door and snatched away the World Cup.

 

For his winning role in the tale, Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966 and awarded a year's free supply of dog food. His owner, a Thames lighterman named David Corbett, was a prime suspect in the case and police questioned him for hours before he was cleared.

 

With a dramatic goal in the final moments of what was a nail-biting match, England finally became soccer World Cup champions, securing a 4-2 win over West Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium. It was just one of the many highlights of 1966 that are etched on my memory from a year that had its fair share of controversy and tragedy as well as producing some outstanding music.

 

'more popular than Jesus’

 

Controversy come in the wake of John Lennon’s quip in a newspaper interview that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus now’. It caused a furor and led to thousands of the group’s records being burned on bonfires in protest in some parts of America. I recall seeing the news coverage on TV showing angry groups of people tossing piles of vinyl in to the flames. It was far cry from the outpourings of adoration and admiration that the Liverpool lads usually enjoyed. And for a while threatened to damage their reputation.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ6NL3iNNMs

 

The anti-Beatles outcry did however subside following an apology from Lennon and things eventually got back to normal on the Fab Four front. The catchy Paperback Writer topped the charts and their imaginative album Revolver reinstated their popularity.

 

Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales

 

One of the most tragic events that year In Britain was the Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales that claimed 144 lives, including 116 children. I was at work on a weekly newspaper on the October morning it happened. My colleagues and I had a radio on and listened to updates on and off throughout the day as rescuers dug through the tons of slurry that had roared down the hillside, desperately trying to find survivors in the mangled remains of the school building. I’ll always remember that it was a very dark period, particularly as so many young lives had been lost in what was later shown to have been an avoidable tragedy.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lzJLww3DvM

 

On the music front, 1966 threw up several gems, not least some groundbreaking offerings from The Beach Boys. It was, of course, the year that the magical singles Good Vibrations and God Only Knows and the grandiose album Pet Sounds set new standards in rock recording. Indeed, such was the excellence of the band at that time that it spurred The Beatles on to experiment and push their own musical boundaries still further.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YI

 

Motown was in its glory too, and The Four Tops epitomized all that was great about the sounds made under the guidance of Berry Gordy in the bustling, vibrant city that was Detroit. Reach Out I’ll Be There.

 

Other memorable songs, were Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, the Spencer Davis Group’s Somebody Help Me, the Rolling Stones Paint It Black, The Walker Brothers’ operatic The Sun Ain’t `Gonna Shine Anymore, and Chris Farlowe’s cover version of the Stones’ Out Of Time. All of them are classics of rock.

 

Tom Jones’ Green, Green Grass of Home was the biggest selling single. Way before The Voice!

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSajFnkUxQY

 

George Harrison married Patti Boyd.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm8oTkuIJgs

 

Sergio Leone created the spaghetti western with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly starring Clint Eastwood. Due to the striking height difference between Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach of over 9 inches, it was sometimes difficult to include them in the same frame.

 

Because Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PgAKzmWmuk

 

In the 1960s Michael Caine was a cocky young British movie star with a Cockney accent. He played a caddish womanizer in Alfie (1966) "Not a lot of people know that"

 

Adam Sandler, Halle Berry, David Schwimmer, David Cameron, Cindy Crawford, Helena Bonham Carter were all born in 1966.

 

The first episode of Star Trek aired.

 

Walt Disney died.

 

The Beatles achieved their 10th number 1!

 

The Sound of Music won Best Picture at the Oscars.

 

Twiggy was named the face of ’66 by Daily Express.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncuD39xi-7M

 

1966 was also the year that the term Swinging London was coined by Time magazine, and as they say the rest is history

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDIxIqc0Qkw

 

For a few years in the 1960s, London was the world capital of cool. When Time magazine dedicated its 15 April 1966 issue to London: the Swinging City, it cemented the association between London and all things hip and fashionable that had been growing in the popular imagination throughout the decade.

 

London’s remarkable metamorphosis from a gloomy, grimy post-War capital into a bright, shining epicentre of style was largely down to two factors: youth and money. The baby boom of the 1950s meant that the urban population was younger than it had been since Roman times.

 

By the mid-60s, 40% of the population at large was under 25. With the abolition of National Service for men in 1960, these young people had more freedom and fewer responsibilities than their parents’ generation. They rebelled against the limitations and restrictions of post-War society. In short, they wanted to shake things up… Added to this, Londoners had more disposable income than ever before – and were looking for ways to spend it. Nationally, weekly earnings in the ‘60s outstripped the cost of living by a staggering 183%: in London, where earnings were generally higher than the national average, the figure was probably even greater.

 

This heady combination of affluence and youth led to a flourishing of music, fashion, design and anything else that would banish the post-War gloom. Fashion boutiques sprang up willy-nilly.

 

Men flocked to Carnaby St, near Soho, for the latest ‘Mod’ fashions. While women were lured to the King’s Rd, where Mary Quant’s radical mini skirts flew off the rails of her iconic store, Bazaar.

 

Even the most shocking or downright barmy fashions were popularised by models who, for the first time, became superstars. Jean Shrimpton was considered the symbol of Swinging London, while Twiggy was named The Face of 1966. Mary Quant herself was the undisputed queen of the group known as The Chelsea Set, a hard-partying, socially eclectic mix of largely idle ‘toffs’ and talented working-class movers and shakers.

 

Music was also a huge part of London’s swing. While Liverpool had the Beatles, the London sound was a mix of bands who went on to worldwide success, including The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones. Their music was the mainstay of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline and Radio Swinging England. Creative types of all kinds gravitated to the capital, from artists and writers to magazine publishers, photographers, advertisers, film-makers and product designers.

 

But not everything in London’s garden was rosy. Immigration was a political hot potato: by 1961, there were over 100,000 West Indians in London, and not everyone welcomed them with open arms. The biggest problem of all was a huge shortage of housing to replace bombed buildings and unfit slums and cope with a booming urban population. The badly-conceived solution – huge estates of tower blocks – and the social problems they created, changed the face of London for ever. By the 1970s, with industry declining and unemployment rising,

 

Swinging London seemed a very dim and distant memory.

 

1966 in British music

 

14 January – Young singer David Jones changes his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones (later of the Monkees).

 

19 January - Michael Tippett conducts the performance of his cantata The Vision of St Augustine in London.

 

6 February – The Animals appear a fifth time on The Ed Sullivan Show to perform their iconic Vietnam-anthem hit "We Gotta Get Out of this Place".

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D88vc_GWw-g

 

4 March – The Beatles' John Lennon is quoted in The Evening Standard as saying that the band was now more popular than Jesus. In August, following publication of this remark in Datebook, there are Beatles protests and record burnings in the Southern US's Bible Belt.

 

5 March – The UK's Kenneth McKellar, singing "A Man Without Love", finishes 9th in the 11th Eurovision Song Contest, which is won by Udo Jürgens of Austria.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH8BQmfhUgo

 

6 March – In the UK, 5,000 fans of the Beatles sign a petition urging British Prime minister Harold Wilson to reopen Liverpool's Cavern Club.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1SQ99AYudo

 

16 April - Disc Weekly is incormporated with Music Echo magazine.

 

1 May – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Who perform at the New Musical Express' poll winners' show in London. The show is televised, but The Beatles' and The Stones' segments are omitted because of union conflicts.

 

13 May - The Rolling Stones release "Paint It, Black", which becomes the first number one hit single in the US and UK to feature a sitar (in this case played by Brian Jones).

 

17 May – American singer Bob Dylan and the Hawks (later The Band) perform at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Dylan is booed by the audience because of his decision to tour with an

electric band, the boos culminating in the famous "Judas" shout.

 

2 July – The Beatles become the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. The performance ignites protests from local citizens who felt that it was inappropriate for a rock and roll band to play at Budokan, a place – until then – designated to the practice of martial arts.

 

11 August – John Lennon holds a press conference in Chicago, Illinois to apologize for his remarks the previous March. "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I'm sorry I opened my mouth. I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."

 

29 August – The Beatles perform their last official concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

 

16 September - Eric Burdon records a solo album after leaving The Animals and appears on "Ready, Steady, Go", singing "Help Me Girl", a UK #14 solo hit. Also on the show are Otis Redding and Chris Farlowe.

 

9 November – John Lennon meets Yoko Ono when he attends a preview of her art exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhJIiEeMeF0

 

9 December – The Who release their second album A Quick One with a nine-minute "mini-opera" A Quick One While He's Away.

 

16 December – The Jimi Hendrix Experience release their first single in the UK, "Hey Joe".

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3JsuWz4xWc

 

1966 in British television

 

3 January – Camberwick Green is the first BBC television programme to be shot in colour.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWUu-LTFJjE

 

3 March – The BBC announces plans to begin broadcasting television programmes in colour from next year.

 

5 April – The Money Programme debuts on BBC2. It continued to air until 2010.

 

23 May – Julie Goodyear makes her Coronation Street debut as Bet Lynch. She did not become a regular character until 1970.

 

6 June – BBC1 sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNSbMNl9K7Q

 

30 July – England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley.

 

Summer – Patrick McGoohan quits the popular spy series Danger Man after filming only two episodes of the fourth season, in order to produce and star in The Prisoner, which begins filming in September.

 

2 October – The four-part serial Talking to a Stranger, acclaimed as one of the finest British television dramas of the 1960s, begins transmission in the Theatre 625 strand on BBC2.

 

29 October – Actor William Hartnell makes his last regular appearance as the First Doctor in the concluding moments of Episode 4 of the Doctor Who serial The Tenth Planet. Actor Patrick Troughton briefly appears as the Second Doctor at the conclusion of the serial.

 

5 November – Actor Patrick Troughton appears in his first full Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks as the Second Doctor.

 

16 November – Cathy Come Home, possibly the best-known play ever to be broadcast on British television, is presented in BBC1's The Wednesday Play anthology strand.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMR8KYDkRqk

 

BBC1

 

3 January – The Trumptonshire Trilogy: Camberwick Green

5 January – Softly, Softly (1966–1969)

10 March – The Frost Report (1966)

7 May – Quick Before They Catch Us (1966)

17 May – All Gas and Gaiters (1966–1971)

24 May – Beggar My Neighbour (1966–1968)

7 August – It's a Knockout (BBC1 1966–1982

17 November – The Illustrated Weekly Hudd (1966–1967)

 

BBC2

 

5 April – The Money Programme (1966–2010)

 

ITV

 

22 March – How (1966–1981)

 

1966 Events

 

3 January - British Rail begins full electric passenger train services over the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool with 100 mph (160 km/h) operation from London to Rugby. Services officially inaugurated 18 April.

 

Stop-motion children's television series Camberwick Green first shown on BBC1.

 

4 January – More than 4,000 people attend a memorial service at Westminster Abbey for the broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who died last month aged 52.

 

12 January – Three British MPs visiting Rhodesia (Christopher Rowland, Jeremy Bray and David Ennals) are assaulted by supporters of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith.

 

20 January - The Queen commutes the death sentence on a black prisoner in Rhodesia, two months after its abolition in Britain.

 

Radio Caroline South pirate radio ship MV Mi Amigo runs aground on the beach at Frinton.

 

21 January – The Smith regime in Rhodesia rejects the Royal Prerogative commuting death sentences on two Africans.

 

31 January – United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.

 

9 February – A prototype Fast Reactor nuclear reactor opens at Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland.

 

17 February – Britain protests to South Africa over its supplying of petrol to Rhodesia.

 

19 February – Naval minister Christopher Mayhew resigns.

 

28 February – Harold Wilson calls a general election for 31 March, in hope of increasing his single-seat majority.

 

1 March – Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announces the decision to embrace decimalisation of the pound (which will be effected on 15 February 1971).

 

4 March - In an interview published in The Evening Standard, John Lennon of The Beatles comments, "We're more popular than Jesus now".

 

Britain recognized the new regime in Ghana.

 

5 March – BOAC Flight 911 crashes in severe clear-air turbulence over Mount Fuji soon after taking off from Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing all 124 on board.

 

9 March – Ronnie, one of the Kray twins, shoots George Cornell (an associate of rivals The Richardson Gang) dead at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, east London, a crime for which he is finally convicted in 1969.

 

11 March – Chi-Chi, the London Zoo's giant panda, is flown to Moscow for a union with An-An of the Moscow Zoo.

 

20 March – Theft of football's FIFA World Cup Trophy whilst on exhibition in London.

 

23 March – Pope Paul VI and Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome.

 

27 March – Pickles, a mongrel dog, finds the FIFA World Cup Trophy wrapped in newspaper in a south London garden.

 

30 March - Opinion polls show that the Labour government is on course to win a comfortable majority in the general election tomorrow.

 

31 March – The Labour Party under Harold Wilson win the general election with a majority of 96 seats. At the 1964 election they had a majority of five but subsequent by-election defeats had led to that being reduced to just one seat before this election. The Birmingham Edgbaston seat is retained for the Conservatives by Jill Knight in succession to Edith Pitt, the first time two women MPs have followed each other in the same constituency.

 

6 April – Hoverlloyd inaugurate the first Cross-Channel hovercraft service, from Ramsgate harbour to Calais using passenger-carrying SR.N6 craft.

 

7 April – The United Kingdom asks the UN Security Council authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the oil embargo against Rhodesia. Authority is given on 10 April.

 

11 April – The Marquess of Bath, in conjunction with Jimmy Chipperfield, opens Longleat Safari Park, with "the lions of Longleat", at his Longleat House, the first such drive-through park outside Africa.

 

15 April – Time magazine uses the phrase "Swinging London".

 

19 April – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged with three so-called Moors Murders.

 

30 April - Regular hovercraft service begins over the English Channel (discontinued in 2000 due to competition with the Channel Tunnel.)

 

Liverpool win the Football League First Division title for the second time in three seasons.

 

3 May – Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM with a combined potential 100,000 watts from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.

 

6 May – The Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for three child murders committed between November 1963 and October 1965. Brady is guilty of all three murders and receives three concurrent terms of life imprisonment, while Hindley is found guilty of two murder charges and an accessory charge which receives two concurrent life sentences alongside a seven-year fixed term.

 

12 May – African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.

 

14 May – Everton defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, overturning a 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday lead during the final 16 minutes of the game.

 

16 May – A strike is called by the National Union of Seamen, ending on 16 July.

 

18 May – Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announces that the number of police forces in England and Wales will be cut to 68.

 

26 May – Guyana achieves independence from the United Kingdom.

 

6 June – BBC1 television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.

 

23 June – The Beatles go on top of the British singles charts for the 10th time with Paperback Writer.

 

29 June – Barclays Bank introduces the Barclaycard, the first British credit card.

 

3 July – 31 arrests made after a protest against the Vietnam War outside the US embassy turns violent.

 

12 July – Zambia threatens to leave the Commonwealth because of British peace overtures to Rhodesia.

 

14 July – Gwynfor Evans becomes member of Parliament for Carmarthen, the first ever Plaid Cymru MP, after his victory at a by-election.

 

15 July – A ban on black workers at Euston railway station is overturned.

 

16 July – Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. The Soviet Government rejects his ideas.

 

20 July – Start of 6-month wage and price freeze.

 

26 July – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.

 

30 July – England beats West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick and Martin Peters scores the other English goal in a game which attracts an all-time record UK television audience of more than 32,000,000.

 

1 August – Everton sign Blackpool's World Cup winning midfield player Alan Ball, Jr. for a national record fee of £110,000.

 

2 August – Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.

 

4 August – The Kray Twins are questioned in connection with a murder in London.

 

5 August – The Beatles release the album Revolver.

 

10 August – George Brown succeeds Michael Stewart as Foreign Secretary.

 

12 August – Three policemen are shot dead in Shepherd's Bush, West London, while sitting in their patrol car in Braybrook Street.

 

15 August – John Whitney is arrested and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.

 

17 August – John Duddy is arrested in Glasgow and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.

 

18 August – Tay Road Bridge opens.

 

24 August – Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is first staged, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

 

29 August – The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

 

3 September – Barely five months after the death of Barry Butler, a second Football League player this year dies in a car crash; 30-year-old John Nicholson, a Doncaster Rovers centre-half who previously played for Port Vale and Liverpool.

 

5 September – Selective Employment Tax imposed.

 

15 September – Britain's first Polaris submarine, HMS Resolution, launched at Barrow-in-Furness.

 

17 September – Oberon-class submarine HMCS Okanagan launched at Chatham Dockyard, the last warship to be built there.

 

19 September – Scotland Yard arrests Ronald "Buster" Edwards, suspected of being involved in the Great Train Robbery (1963).

 

27 September – BMC makes 7,000 workers redundant.

 

30 September – The Bechuanaland Protectorate in Africa achieves independence from the U.K. as Botswana.

 

4 October – Basutoland becomes independent and takes the name Lesotho.

 

18 October – The Ford Cortina MK2 is launched.

 

20 October – In economic news, 437,229 people are reported to be unemployed in Britain – a rise of some 100,000 on last month's figures.

 

21 October – Aberfan disaster in South Wales, 144 (including 116 children) killed by collapsing coal spoil tip.

 

22 October - British spy George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs prison; he is next seen in Moscow.

 

Spain demands that United Kingdom stop military flights to Gibraltar – Britain says "no" the next day.

 

25 October – Spain closes its Gibraltar border against vehicular traffic.

 

5 November – Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against Rhodesian government.

 

9 November – The Rootes Group launches the Hillman Hunter, a four-door family saloon to compete with the Austin 1800, Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Victor.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6aTt-zFlo4

 

15 November – Harry Roberts is arrested near London and charged with the murder of three policemen in August.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXp36IUpDkU

 

16 November – The BBC television drama Cathy Come Home, filmed in a docudrama style, is broadcast on BBC1. Viewed by a quarter of the British population, it is considered influential on public attitudes to homelessness and the related social issues it deals with.

 

24 November – Unemployment sees another short rise, now standing at 531,585.

 

30 November – Barbados achieves independence.

 

1 December – Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith negotiate on HMS Tiger in the Mediterranean.

 

12 December – Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of thirty years) for the murder of three West London policemen in August.

 

20 December – Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to Rhodesian government and announces that he agrees to independence only after the founding of black majority government.

 

22 December – Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith declares that he considers that Rhodesia is already a republic.

 

31 December – Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London.

 

Undated

 

Centre Point, a 32-floor office building at St Giles Circus in London, designed by Richard Seifert for property speculator Harry Hyams, is completed. It remains empty for around a decade.

 

London School of Contemporary Dance founded.

 

Mathematician Michael Atiyah wins a Fields Medal.

 

The motorway network continues to grow as the existing M1, M4 (including the Severn Bridge on the border of England and Wales) and M6 motorways are expanded and new motorways emerge in the shape of the M32 linking the M4 with Bristol, and the M74 near Hamilton in Scotland.

 

Japanese manufacturer Nissan begins importing its range of Datsun branded cars to the United Kingdom.

 

The 1966 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Brands Hatch on 16 July 1966. It was the fourth round of the 1966 World Championship. It was the 21st British Grand Prix and the second to be held at Brands Hatch. It was held over 80 laps of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 341 kilometres.

 

The race, the first of the new three-litre engine regulation era where starters reached 20 cars,

 

was won for the third time by Australian driver Jack Brabham in his Brabham BT19, his second win in succession after winning the French Grand Prix two weeks earlier. New Zealand driver Denny Hulme finished second in his Brabham BT20, a first 1–2 win for the Brabham team. The pair finished a lap ahead of third placed British driver Graham Hill in his BRM P261. Brabham's win ended a streak of 4 consecutive wins by Jim Clark at the British Grand Prix. Brabham's win put him ten points clear in the championship chase over Austrian Cooper racer Jochen Rindt with Hulme and Ferrari's Lorenzo Bandini a point further back.

 

1965–66 in English football

 

7 October 1965: An experiment to broadcast a live game to another ground takes place. Cardiff City play Coventry City and the match is broadcast to a crowd of 10,000 at Coventry's ground Highfield Road.

 

20 March 1966: The World Cup is stolen from an exhibition at Central Hall, Westminster, where it was on show in the run-up to this summer's World Cup in England.

 

27 March 1966: The World Cup is recovered by Pickles, a mongrel dog, in South London.

 

16 April 1966: Liverpool seal the First Division title for the seventh time in their history with a 2–0 home win over Stoke City.

 

14 May 1966: Everton win the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the final at Wembley Stadium, despite going 2–0 down in the 57th minute.

 

11 July 1966: England, as the host nation, begin their World Cup campaign with a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley Stadium.

 

16 July 1966: England's World Cup campaign continues with a 2–0 win over Mexico (goals coming from Bobby Charlton and Roger Hunt) that moves them closes to qualifying for the next

stage of the competition.

 

20 July 1966: England qualify for the next stage of the World Cup with a 2–0 win over France in their final group game. Roger Hunt scores both of England's goals.

 

23 July 1966: England beat Argentina 1–0 in the World Cup quarter-final thanks to a goal by Geoff Hurst.

 

26 July 1966: England reach the World Cup final by beating Portugal 2–1 in the semi-final.

 

Bobby Charlton scores both of England's goals.

 

30 July 1966: England win the World Cup with a 4–2 win over West Germany in extra time.

 

Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick, with Martin Peters scoring the other goal.

 

Honours

 

Competition Winners

First Division Liverpool

Second Division Manchester City

Third Division Hull City

Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers

FA Cup Everton

League Cup West Bromwich Albion

Charity Shield Manchester United and Liverpool (shared)

Home Championship England