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George Lepp's Natural Image Newsletter

Bob Atkins , Aug 01, 1998; 02:14 p.m.

I must admit I let my subscription to the Natural Image lapse a year of so ago and I'm wondering what George has been writing about and testing recently. Are there any subscribers who could bring us up to date on what's been happening there?


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Yuri Huta , Aug 02, 1998; 08:11 a.m.

Response to Gerorge Lepp's Natural Image Newsletter

I don't know if it is a surprise or not but the latest issue is the 1997 vol.13, no 3. Has it always been this far behind? Anyhow I can't find that particular issue, but here is a quick rundown of the previous four issues:

1997 vol. 13, no. 2 - filters for outdoor color photography - desktop digital printing with inkjet printers - upcoming programs and items for sale by Lepp (projectors)

1997 vol. 13, no. 1 - multi-zone focus technique - professional quality tripods revisited - Nikon 24-120mm zoom - Tamron 90mm macro lens - upcoming programs

1996 vol. 12, no. 4

- 80-400mm telephoto zooms - image stabilization: does it work? - Canon EF 300mm f4L IS USM

1996 vol. 12, no. 3

- black and white slides with Agfa Scala and Kodak T-Max 100 - Presenting your images - flash brackets for long lenses from Really Right Stuff

Something that has changed, which I find annoying, is that the latest lens tests now do not include "hard" numbers. Instead Lepp merely tells us whether or not lenses are capable of professional quality images.

Shun Cheung , Aug 02, 1998; 09:42 a.m.

Response to Gerorge Lepp's Natural Image Newsletter

In the latest issue, there is an article on Lepp using hasselblad cameras and the set of equipment he uses. Of course, Lepp is also giving seminars with Judy Holmes for Hasselblad University.

Overall, I like Lepp, but now he has even more associations and endorsements from Canon, Kodak and Hasselblad. You just have to wonder how objective he is in his equipment reviews and film tests.

Yes, unfortunately his newsletter is falling very behind, by about a year now. I guess it is hard to write a one-man magazine. Circulation can't be that great and the cost is pretty high.

Bob Atkins , Aug 02, 1998; 11:40 a.m.

Response to Gerorge Lepp's Natural Image Newsletter

I guess I only missed 3 issues! Yes, he has been falling further and further "behind". It's tough to keep up a publication like this when you have other jobs as well. I noticed the trend to drop numerical ratings from lens tests too. It's a pity. If they could be believed, they were useful. Hassys may be good cameras, but I wonder how many of his readers are really interested in them.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the older issues are more interesting than the newer ones. That's understandable, since there are only so many things to write about and eventually you use them all up. I was a magazine columnist (not on nature photography!) for about 10 years, and it got harder and harder to keep it fresh and interesting.

Dan Smith , Aug 02, 1998; 04:21 p.m.

As far as Lepp and others who are or want to put out newsletters that they accept money for, are they way behind on cashing your checks for the newsletters? I would bet not. If you accept the dimes from the masses you put out the product as promised. Too many accept the money & don't produce and somehow think those who are out the money shouldn't get pissed off about it. The excuse that they are busy doesn't hold water. If you can't produce after taking the money, write a letter to all whose cash you accepted and explain the problem and give the option for full refunds, enclosing SASE for the subscribers to use so they don't waste more cash on a dying horse.

Lee Daniels , Aug 02, 1998; 10:55 p.m.

I agree with Dan. As far as I can tell, George Lepp seems to spend most of his time writing for OP. Maybe this would solve your subscription (not!) problem, Bob. Resub to Lepp's newsletter which has basically ceased, wich will cancel out your (not) subscription to OP and end up with neither.

Bob Atkins , Aug 02, 1998; 11:44 p.m.

I think the Natural Image often falls a bit behind, then rushes to catch up with several issues spaced not too far apart. It least that has happened in the past.

Perhaps he need some articles from contributors? Normally he writes it all himself, but he's used some in the past (including one of mine). Maybe I should send him something else. I've got this spectral analysis of UV filters (which ones actually block UV and which don't) that I've been meaning to write up for a while now!

Mark -- , Aug 04, 1998; 11:25 p.m.


I have noticed that Moose Peterson has been taking more articles from contributors as of late. Probably due to the same reasons - more content and less time commitment on his part. I still continue to look forward to each issue of the BT Journal (as opposed to other subscriptions mentioned in recent threads)... it is just as informative and interesting as the first issue I received.


Richard Stum / Kinesis , Aug 05, 1998; 01:01 a.m.

About two years I met George for the first time at a seminar at which he was speaking. He told me that one of the objectives of his own newsletter was to provide a forum of non-commerical unbiased opinions on equipment and techniques. He said with OP, the advertisers have a bunch of weight on what can be written in columns. (This is contrary to what Shun Cheung said, although since that time, he may be under more pressure from sponsors.) By the way, in the latest issue (Spring? 98) he reportedly did a write-up on Kinesis Long Lens Cases vs. the ScopePack. I have not seen the review. Anyone out there seen it? I know he is sponsored by Saunders (i.e. ScopePack distributor).

Shun Cheung , Aug 05, 1998; 07:08 a.m.

It is well known that Lepp has strong ties with Canon and Kodak, and more recently Hasselblad. Therefore, it is a bit questionable how objective he is in his product reviews. This topic has been discussed over and over.

For example, when the Kodak Lumiere film was introduced a few years ago, Lepp gave a very positive review in his newsletter. Of course, Lumiere was a flop and was soon replaced by the E100 films. Eventually even Lepp himself admitted that Lumiere failed because it was too yellow and then gave a very positive review on E100. Now, you wonder why Lumiere was rated so highly in the first place. Two years ago I went to Lepp's seminar sponsored by Canon and Kodak. Lepp told the audience that the Kodak films were so good that he hadn't open a green Fuji box for a long time .... I cracked up.

As I said before, overall I like Lepp, or I wouldn't be going to his seminars and subscribing to his newsletter. However, when I read a product review by Lepp or for that matter by any other big name photographer, I always keep in mind their association with the menufacturers.

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