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Messages - Sauropod

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Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:48:58 AM »
I'll take a stab at it! 

Of the 1st 12 images, starting from the bottom left (the masked guy), the bottom row is not 50mm 1.2.  They don't scream "1.2" to me.
The next row, above, I'll say the tunnel woman is not, the horse nose is most certainly not, the purple shirted kid is. 
The wheat field is not.  The kid on the far right (with chin cut off) is not.
On the top row the umbrella girl *is* 50mm 1.2.  The ants are not.  The kid is not.  The rose is (I'm not convinced 100%).

To recap I am saying the umbrella, the rose and the purple shirted kid are all 50mm 1.2  I was torn on the wheatfield I'll admit and not sold on the rose.  However, when I viewed these images they are low res jpgs and rapidly pixellate on my monitor.  The argument is "I should know immediately, it should be evident, if they are 1.2L" but my vision isn't the greatest and I use a 30" high end monitor and have to zoom in to see much of anything nowadays (sadly pixel peeping isn't intentional when one's eyes go bad, it is just a fact of life :-)).  The low res of the images certainly isn't doing these eyes any favors but I do love the challenge!

After reading the entire thread, as a scientist, I'd predict I could tell the difference if the images were identical, as others have indicated.  The (antag?)onist of the thread argues mixing images and lenses shouldn't matter, for if it has magical qualities they should be self-evident.  I understand that logic but, with these samples, the low res jpg files prevented me from confidently (other than the umbrella girl and, in disagreement with a previous poster, the dog on the second set of 12) declaring 1.2 vs "other" in some cases. 

As others before have argued the various 50mm lenses are different brushes that provide different results.  I know my wife consistently picked the 200/2.0 images over my beloved 70-200 2.8 images.  Is she 100% right on picking them out?  Nope, but she picked enough out that, get this, she asked me to buy that awesome 200/2.0 lens! 

I've owned the 1.2 and I own the 50 1.4.  Is the 1.2 magical?  For me it wasn't magical enough to keep (there were Great Whites to be purchased!  :-)).  Unlike the 200 2.0 and, to a lesser extent, the 85L, I personally wasn't able to consistently tell which 50mm lens generated an image and, more importantly, neither could the Big Boss (aka my spouse).  I believe just about any lens can produce some amazing images but, ultimately, each lens is, as a previous poster mentioned, but a brush, a tool, that can do things other brushes can't. 

I have enjoyed this thread, and the 24 image challenge.  I ask that, at some point, we get to know which are the 1.2 images!

I love this forum.  I learn so while mostly lurking, and the passion exuded by all parties is very cool and most appreciated. 

Click on!

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Lenses / Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« on: December 15, 2013, 10:15:49 AM »


Thanks for letting me know your experience with the servo performance (I assume on a 5D3?)  I have some Star Wars stuff I need to sell too, but it won't be getting me this lens anytime soon!

I liked your images although I didn't sign up for 500px yet and couldn't see the full size images, if there were any.  Not to criticize but I would say this lens might be overkill for zoo photography, is that your primary use scenario?


Twas on the 5D3.  Based on my 1Dx experiences (alas not with the 200-400 itself) it should perform even better on that superbly capable machine!

No criticism taken regarding if this would be overkill at zoos as the answer would be...depends!  I think depending on ones goals (for pay/hardcore hobbyist) this lens could be justified.  The zoos out here in Arizona often have large (for a zoo) enclosures and the time of day/year the animals can be hard to see as they are far off seeking shade or hiding from the public.  A professional or (rich/dedicated) hobbyist could justify the purchase in time saved (and reduced dust risk) from lens swapping and reduced hassle in not needing to carry multiple bodies.  All is relative, I suppose, depending on ones funds and/or dedication.  I know I have missed some great shots (zoos and in the field) taking off/adding on teleconverters and/or lenses that the 200-400 1.4x would have captured with a level of sharpness that, in most cases, would have sufficed.

Funny enough I worry that at my desired primary use locales, places like Yellowstone and Africa, I might be better off with a 600 and 1.4x attached.  Image quality on my 5D3 with the 200-400 and a second 1.4 attached fails to keep pace with a 600 and a single 1.4x.  The versatility of the 200-400 is supremely awesome but, my goodness, the 600 is an amazing lens for those far away shots!

Apologies for sending folk to 500px.  I was going to upload my 3 images here but it was late and I was lazy and didn't want to convert raw to jpg to get under the 4096KB max file size.  A weak, but honest, excuse!  :-)

Sadly I re-assessed my Star Wars collection and, yeah, I think you are right.  It won't buy me the 200-400 anytime soon (maybe when Disney released the next one though...).  It could pick me up the double-dip-eligible 16-35 2.8 though!


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Lenses / Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« on: December 15, 2013, 03:01:59 AM »
I have been using a CPS loaned 200-400 1.4x the last few days exclusively handheld at various local zoos, both to compare it with other handheld shots from other lenses in my stable of the same animals and to help my case to my CEO (the missus!) that, over the long haul, buying this lens is cheaper than a purchasing gym memberships because I'll actually use the lens!  On the handheld front it was far lighter than I thought it'd be, so much so that I actually enjoy shooting with it handheld, that arm-burning sensation at the end of the day has an odd pleasantness to it.  My wife wouldn't touch it without a monopod so definitely the hand-holdability is relative. 

It is an amazing zoo lens!!!  Here in Arizona many of the animal enclosures are large, so much so I routinely take my 400 5.6.  As eml58 stated if I zoom in whilst in LR I can tell that many images just aren't as sharp as my 200 2.0 or 300 2.8.  However, I ran my favorite 200-400 images, interspersed with similar 200 f2.0 and 300 2.8 images, past family members and they "oohed" and "aahed" appropriately and never once complained about focus (in fairness they likely would have made the same sounds for any images).  Many of the shots I couldn't have gotten without a lens change or multiple camera bodies.

This image, shot at 540mm, is a good representation of how sharp the lens can be with an extender:
http://500px.com/photo/54954232

This one, shot at 400mm, was a family favorite:
http://500px.com/photo/54954252

Here is one from a tiger running towards me, leaping into a pool, shot through a fence, with the teleconverter on:
http://500px.com/photo/54956286

The shot isn't as sharp as I'd like (nothing other than cropping done on this shot) but with my primes I couldn't have gotten the sequence of him moving towards me.  As he got closer I simply flipped off the 1.4x (I wish the lever was on the right hand side) and kept shooting on my 5D3.

CarlTN: regarding moving away from the camera really fast on ai servo I didn't have any issues shooting the big animals coming or going.  Once focus locked initially it kept pace with everything I was shooting with no issues.

Overall I love the ability to zoom in and out, compose a shot on the fly, and pretty much handle most any situation with one lens on one body, especially in the dusty, windy conditions that I often face where changing a lens isn't peril-free or convenient and switching between two bodies isn't ideal.  I did miss the 2.8 when shooting mounted sauropod cervical vertebrae indoors but a flash fixed that easy enough. 

Conclusion?  I'm already looking around the house to see what I can sell  Anyone looking for some old Star Wars toys???


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Canon General / Re: Canon USA Changes the CPS Program
« on: September 13, 2013, 12:19:59 PM »
And one more follow up.  CPS reads the forum!  They recognized my pasted email response from them and sent me a note of clarification which is posted below.  I am impressed they took the time to clarify the conditions and I can live with a 10 day total eval.  Thanks CR and thanks Canon!

"I came across your post on Canon Rumors and I see there was still some confusion so I just wanted to clarify. The total loan duration for a evaluation loan will be 10 days total. That does include shipping time. So for instance we always use Fed Ex 2day service to you, which means if we ship the lens out on Monday you will receive it Wednesday so you will technically have it on the 3rd day. Depending on your return shipment method, if you decide to ship it 2day or even economy 3day select you would have it in hand for 5 to 6 days to test.
If we ship on a Friday or Thursday you do lose one or two days as Fed Ex would not deliver a Two day express shipment on those days, so that would cut your in hand time.
Please remember we cannot guarantee shipment on a specific day but will try to come as close as possible to the date requested if available and given the proper advance notice. Gold members require at least two weeks notice, Platinum members receive priority loans which can be as little as 2 to 3 days but is also based on availability.
I hope I was able to clear up any confusion."

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Canon General / Re: Canon USA Changes the CPS Program
« on: September 12, 2013, 07:48:18 PM »
Below is what CPS sent me at 9:36am EST.  I am hoping Keithfullermusic's note was from later on in the day and that CPS altered their stance.

Last night I emailed "Does this mean you will start counting the evaluation period from when I receive the lens and end it when I send the lens back?  Do weekends count?  Lastly will you have a demo pool in California?"

Their answer:
"The loan start on the day it ships and ends on the due date, which is the date we would need it back in our hands.  To answer you second question, weekends do count as days toward your loan request. So if we ship on Friday you do lose the two days even though Fed Ex does not deliver on those days. To get the most out of the request the best ship day would be Wednesday for arrival Friday as we use FedEx 2 day service, if the item is available.

Loans will only be shipped and processed through our VA loan facility."

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Canon General / Re: Canon USA Changes the CPS Program
« on: September 11, 2013, 07:17:13 PM »
I live in Arizona and all of my loaned equipment has come from, and had to be shipped back to, Virginia.

On the old plan we could rent the same lens twice a year.  I wonder if I will be able to request a "back to back"? 

The long eval period directly resulted in my purchasing the 200 f/2.0, 24-70 II, and the 400 f/2.8.  It also ended up  putting the 1DX and the 800mm on my list for future purchases (ok, I'll be honest, I'll probably wait for the 800 II, that thing is heavy!).  Had I only tested the lenses for 1 or 2 days I wouldn't have been able to simulate actual ownership.  I wouldn't have had time to hit the zoos and the outdoor areas I frequent.  I can say I likely would have passed on the 400 if I hadn't used it in multiple locations as I was on the edge of justifying using different lenses with 1.4x/2.0x tc iiis and save the money. 

Recently when I request CPS product I have taken to requesting "X or Y, whichever is available first" and have had a steady stream of lenses to demo.  I have the 300 coming soon and can't wait! 

Digitally tracking my cleanings is a nice to have and I (knock on wood) haven't had to leverage their repair facility yet.  The eval program was really the biggest benefit to myself.  Shipping product, insured, back to Virginia is spendy but with the long eval period I felt it was worth it.  If it was a true 5 day eval, where the clock starts when I receive the lens and stops when I send it back, I think I could live with that.  I can't (hope is more like it) believe with the new plan they would include to and from freight days as part of the loan as by reducing the overall loan time by a week, even with shipping, they enable a quicker inventory turn versus today's system.

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Lenses / Re: EF 200mm f2 , how much do you use it and for what?
« on: August 08, 2013, 02:19:54 AM »
Via CPS I borrowed a 200 f2.  When the time came to return it my wife told me to buy one!  She absolutely loved the portraits taken with the 200.  She had always liked the 70-200 f2.8 II images but, as others have said, the 200's images can possess a magical quality.  If only she'd appreciate the portraiture capabilities of the 400 2.8 :-)!   

I use the 200 for portraits (where space permits), when I need a "magical" shot with fantastic bokeh, indoor sports, and, my favorite, when I am simply relaxing at a zoo.  Also I use it to take pictures of mounted dinosaur bones in less than ideal museum lighting.  For me that extra stop can be extremely helpful. 

I love using it at small zoos.  Below is a shot of an owl I took at Bearizona. My kids call it the 3d lens and love the looks and quips we get when I use it.   
http://500px.com/photo/42608594

Admittedly the 70-200 goes with me just about everywhere as it is just so versatile and so good at so much.  But if you have a well rounded kit the 200 is, in my opinion, an exquisite acquisition.

Your question about use caused me to look at my LR metadata count by lens.  I was caught by surprise as of roughly 100,000 pictures in my main catalog the 70-200 was used for ~10,000 shots, the 200 for ~7,000.  A far closer number than I would have guessed. 

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Any regrets for leaving camera at home?
« on: March 26, 2013, 08:53:12 PM »
I remember telling myself, "Leave the camera, it is 6am and you are just going to the dump.  What shot could you possibly miss???"

My first non-zoo mountain lion is all...  Ever tried taking a picture at 6am with a 3 year old Blackberry phone while trembling from excitement?  Not the same as my 7D w/ the 70-200 2.8 that is always on it...   

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Canon General / Re: your scariest photography moment?
« on: March 12, 2013, 12:36:18 AM »
My family stumbled upon a largish rattlesnake while hiking in Arizona.  After trailing it a bit I decided to swap out the 15-85 for my new 70-300L as I was shooting way too close for my comfort.  Crocodile Hunter I am not!  After switching out the lens I called out asking where the rattler was.  Turns out my family had grown bored of the snake and had continued walking down the path!  Who gets bored of a live Crotalus atrox?  And, more importantly, where did the snake go???  Being this was my first rattler with proper photographic gear on hand I figured since I knew the general direction it was heading when I last saw it I’d see if it was still around.  I walked about 10’ across the granite strewn ground when thoughts of how Western Diamondbacks are naturally camouflaged caused me to look down.  It was then that I learned my last step had placed me directly *over* the rattler!  I was now straddling a coiled snake.  Not a rattle one came from it but everyone for miles around likely wondered the cause of my falsetto scream.  I’ve never moved so fast in my life, leaping blindly backward into a creosote bush (lucky it wasn’t a cactus!) from pure terror.  Thank goodness for IS for, after I realized I hadn't been bitten and wasn't going to die, I took some shots of it simply tasting the air with its tongue the entire time shaking badly from fear.  Three years on and my boys still loving imitating my scream when we desert hike...

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Animal Kingdom / Re: panorama to blur zoo fences
« on: December 15, 2012, 07:13:14 PM »
I suspect the 8 with the left parenthesis is the "shortcut" for "cool shades smile"
I thank you for your post as I walk by bird after bird because of the fence issue.  Next time I'll be sure to try your suggestion!

BC

and I'll try 8 and a parenthesis right...now:  8)

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