‘Who am I and what am I doing here?’ Introducing Roger Cicala

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I like large optics.

A good variety of you most likely know me because the Roger who began Lensrentals.com, and a few could know I was a doctor earlier than that. A few know I bought most of my share in Lensrentals.com years in the past and since then I’ve frolicked as their director of High quality Assurance, Beautiful and Proficient Spokesmodel, and a serious contributor to the weblog. Apart from QA, I haven’t truly managed something for years.

Once I began Lensrentals I had quite a lot of conversations with service facilities that went like this. Me: “That lens you repaired nonetheless sucks”. Particular person at service heart: “No, it’s inside specs”. Me: “What are the specs?” Service heart: “We are able to’t let you know”. Sooner or later, after I raised hell with a manufacturing unit service supervisor, he patted me on the pinnacle and stated, “testing lenses is difficult; you don’t have the background to grasp.”

Any of you who has ever seen a doctor after somebody says one thing like ‘you would not perceive; it’s difficult’ is aware of what occurred subsequent. I had no possibility however to spend a few years shopping for testing gear, providing internships to essentially sensible optical engineering college students, and creating a lens testing heart and methodology that was nearly as good as something within the trade.

Pictured: A lens testing heart and methodology that was nearly as good as something within the trade. This machine would not give us numbers, it is used to optically regulate lenses in actual time.

That most likely sounds ridiculous, however the actuality is that in 2010, all people (producers included) was nonetheless doing metrology (lens testing) the identical method that they’d finished it with movie cameras within the 60s and 70s. In my earlier life I’d finished scientific analysis, and my first interest was writing medical books for non-medical folks; placing advanced medical phrases in plain phrases. Once I began Lensrentals, I began writing once more, running a blog concerning the stuff we had been doing.

I ended up doing testing and consulting for a number of main producers, and a good variety of specialty producers

So a number of years later, when a service heart instructed me “it’s inside spec” I might ship them their specs (as a result of we’d examined sufficient lenses to know them) and the outcomes from the lens in query and say, “NOPE, it’s not.” In case you look again to my weblog posts in these days, you’ll see I even posted some examples of what service facilities claimed was ‘in spec’ versus what was actually taking place in addition to posting precise MTF (versus pc generated) information. As you would possibly anticipate, this made me quite unpopular with producers.

We then entered the normal ‘change of threats and authorized posturing’ interval. I managed to persuade most producers that we had been simply reporting info (emphasis on most). Finally they began sending engineers to take a look at our testing strategies. I ended up doing testing and consulting for a number of main producers, and a good variety of specialty producers. I don’t try this a lot anymore, since we gave our software program and methodology to any that had been , and most then began doing it themselves.

Take a look at outcomes for a lens that is not as sharp correctly within the heart, which truly is uncommon. Often the issues are away from heart.

I nonetheless have a lab in considered one of Lensrentals’ buildings, however I simply do no matter pursuits me in the intervening time. They let me put stuff up on their weblog however a lot of what I write solely will get broadly seen when DPReview reposts it. I’ve labored behind the scenes with the DPReview workers for years, so when Barney provided me the possibility to write down instantly for DPR we sat down and negotiated. I believe the phrases are honest; they aren’t going to pay me something, however they gained’t inform me what to write down about or to STFU [Editor’s observe: we provided to pay Roger however he stated ‘I already find the money for’ and I did not push the matter in case I misheard].

I anticipate you would possibly see a disclaimer about ‘the opinions expressed on this article don’t essentially mirror these of DPReview, anyone who works right here, or anyone we even know’ occasionally. However in any other case I’ll be writing op-ed items right here when the temper strikes me and when DPReview has a gradual information day.

Roger


The opinions expressed on this article don’t essentially mirror these of DPReview, its mum or dad firm, associates, anyone who works right here, or anyone we even know.

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