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Messages - pinnaclephotography

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1
Landscape / Re: Antelope Canyon, AZ Recommendations?
« on: October 05, 2013, 11:08:01 PM »
I went through Lower Antelope last year...there is only the one group running the show, and as long as you have decent looking equipment, you can opt for the self-guided 2 hour "tour".  I would strongly recommend mentally preparing yourself to bracket your exposures, some scenes are probably the equivalent of 25+ stops of dynamic range, such as this one:

sand and time by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

For me, the 2 hours were not enough, I could have easily spent twice that duration, and Lower Antelope is only a few hundred feet long.  Keep looking for compositions with multiple layers to maximize the shift in light intensity/tone...

eye of the dragon by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

And if you are in the Page area, you might as well shoot Horseshoe Bend while you are at it...

Horseshoe under the stars by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

Beautiful shots! Are those the true colors that one sees or are they altered in PP?

The color hues are...fairly accurate (I shot with a slightly cooler color balance) but the saturation was boosted a bit in post.  The color balance to the eye was a bit more orange, a bit less purple, though that would change if a cloud moved in front of the sun.  The color shift is quite visible to the eye and since it is a slot canyon, the angle of the sun is the critical effect for what colors you will be getting...for example, when the sun is directly overhead in June or only indirect in December, you will be seeing quite significant differences in color intensity and hue spectrum.  The primary factors here are the angle of the light and intensity.  Each time the light bounces off a wall, it looses intensity and looks cooler to the eye.  Since the canyon walls are so organically irregular, one spot might contain darker areas where light had to bounce off 3-4 walls to get there and another brighter spot with only 1-2 bounces, that would appear much, much warmer in hue.

As a side note, this color phenomena also applies to the Narrows in Zion...or would if the Obama administration hadn't thrown a temper tantrum and closed the National Parks...which is a real pity...hopefully that situation will be resolved by late October/early November (best times for Zion).

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Landscape / Re: Antelope Canyon, AZ Recommendations?
« on: October 05, 2013, 12:20:53 AM »
I went through Lower Antelope last year...there is only the one group running the show, and as long as you have decent looking equipment, you can opt for the self-guided 2 hour "tour".  I would strongly recommend mentally preparing yourself to bracket your exposures, some scenes are probably the equivalent of 25+ stops of dynamic range, such as this one:

sand and time by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

For me, the 2 hours were not enough, I could have easily spent twice that duration, and Lower Antelope is only a few hundred feet long.  Keep looking for compositions with multiple layers to maximize the shift in light intensity/tone...

eye of the dragon by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

And if you are in the Page area, you might as well shoot Horseshoe Bend while you are at it...

Horseshoe under the stars by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

3
Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 26, 2013, 02:35:00 AM »
I'm also considering the Samyang 14mm as a wide angle lens for a 6D I've recently purchased. I am somewhat concerned about the barrel distortion it reportedly has (this is coming from the review at photozone). Can anyone comment on how field relevant the distortion is? Has anyone had good results correcting it in post, or perhaps has not needed to? Thanks in advance!

There is some fairly complex wave/mustache distortion, but unless you shoot a lot of architectural or flat horizons (typically seascapes), it isn't much of an issue.  It is correctable with a lens profile, but that reduces the field of view down towards 15mm.  Distortion aside, it optically trounces the 14L and is on par or slightly better than the Nikon 14-24 @ 14mm.  Another advantage is that you can use it at f/5.6 with equivalent DOF as a 16mm lens at around f/8 or f/11 (basically, it is very hand-holdable).

But how much CA, and how sharp is it, wide open at f/2.8?

I did just say it trounces the 14L and is comparable to the Nikon 14-24...that should qualify the lens as adequate.  The Samyang/Rokinon/other sub-brand 14mm is extremely sharp in the center at all aperture settings, it is only the extreme corners that dip into the "only ok" territory.  Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled at all apertures.  The only serious limitation (aside from being an all manual lens) is distortion, which as I mentioned above, is mostly only a problem for scenes with straight lines across the scene (horizon, etc.), which again, is correctable in post.  Granted, there may be sample variation issues, but my copy is stellar.  I would recommend using live view for best results though...even with a good viewfinder it can be tricky to tell if you are perfectly focused at such extremely wide focal lengths.

Feel free to listen to other opinions, but they will probably confirm what I just stated.
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/532-samyang14f28eosff
http://www.lenstip.com/239.11-Lens_review-Samyang_14_mm_f_2.8_ED_AS_IF_UMC_Summary.html

4
Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 25, 2013, 11:00:24 PM »
I'm also considering the Samyang 14mm as a wide angle lens for a 6D I've recently purchased. I am somewhat concerned about the barrel distortion it reportedly has (this is coming from the review at photozone). Can anyone comment on how field relevant the distortion is? Has anyone had good results correcting it in post, or perhaps has not needed to? Thanks in advance!

There is some fairly complex wave/mustache distortion, but unless you shoot a lot of architectural or flat horizons (typically seascapes), it isn't much of an issue.  It is correctable with a lens profile, but that reduces the field of view down towards 15mm.  Distortion aside, it optically trounces the 14L and is on par or slightly better than the Nikon 14-24 @ 14mm.  Another advantage is that you can use it at f/5.6 with equivalent DOF as a 16mm lens at around f/8 or f/11 (basically, it is very hand-holdable).

5
Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 25, 2013, 08:06:05 PM »
The Samyang 14mm outperforms every wide angle in the price bracket...granted, if shooting directly into the sun, flare control could be better, but with a domed front element, there is only so much one can do...it is also close to a perfect startrail lens, provided the scene can accommodate 14mm...

@ f/2.8

Horseshoe under the stars by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

@ f/2.8

Moonrise over Zion by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

probably @ f/4

The Cliffs of Insanity by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

probably f/5.6 or f/8

into the valley by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

9
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
« on: December 19, 2012, 09:50:39 PM »
The 70-200 f/4L is extraordinarily versatile for landscape details.  I think this formation in Antelope Canyon emulates a dragon portrait, or perhaps a carp or something...


eye of the dragon by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

10
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D MARK III lens recommendation
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:33:17 PM »
for landscape work, i'd consider the Zeiss 21mm Distagon f/2.8 as an alternative to the 16-35L.  Considerably better image quality, and it's built like a tank.

If you'd only be buying the 70-200 f/2.8 II for portrait work, maybe you'd be better served with a 135 f/2L or the 100L Macro.

If portrait work is your thing, the 85 f/1.8, 85L, or 135L would be good places to look.  Unless you are shooting in a studio I would consider the 100L macro too slow for portrait work; more DOF control is needed IMO.

I share the sentiment for the Zeiss 21mm, the lens is just magic...though with the mkIII there is an unfortunate lack of precision focus screens, so you would be best off using live view.


Archangel Falls by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr


The Subway, smasher of GND and polarizing filters alike by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

11
Lenses / Re: Advice 5d3, wide angle
« on: November 18, 2012, 09:14:24 PM »
For those looking for a more moderate wide angle, the Zeiss Distagon 2/35 sits towards (or on) the top of image quality hill...Canikon cannot touch Zeiss in the microcontrast arena.


Autumn in The Narrows by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

12
Lenses / Re: Advice 5d3, wide angle
« on: November 15, 2012, 08:10:09 PM »
Would someone please enlighten me: Why are there so contradicting opinions on the 17-40L vs 16-35L? For all other lenses folks usually seem to be able to agree on what's "better", though "is it worth it" usually is more controversial.

* Is it because the qc allows for a large spread of "bad" and "good" copies of these uwa lenses?
* Is it because Canon has silently updated a lens or optimized the production so it got "better"?
* Is it because shots at open aperture are compared to "landscape aperture"?
* Is it because landscape shooters want to have edge sharpness, while event shooters don't care that much?

Here's the link to the iso crops if you want to play around: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=412&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=2&LensComp=100&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0

Value and price play a large role in it.  If you were to take a poll asking which lens people would rather have gifted to them, I would suspect that the 16-35L II would win handily.  Most hobbyists can't afford thousands of dollars for a lens.  The 17-40 is one of the least expensive Ls and has good value if you work to its strengths.

Value factors certainly apply.  Is a used copy of the 17-40L worth the money?  Yes, IF you don't want to operate with prime lenses and can accept many of the limitations that come with trying to make a zoom (jack-of-all-trades, master of none issues).  There certainly are sample variation factors, but all copies will be pretty terrible in the corners at 17mm, regardless of aperture settings.  It could be argued that most people buy UWA lenses primarily to shoot at the widest focal length available, so I recommend picking whatever lens performs best at that focal length.

Perception and the L bug come into play.  If a lens has the red ring, many will emotionally decide it is better than it really is and loose objectivity.  Third party options are seldom considered by most...to cite a specific example, I was recently on a particularly (in)famous bridge in Zion National Park, at sunset.  Approximately 70% of the photographers (30+ people crammed on the bridge) shot Canon, 25% Nikon, and 5% other.  Of the Canon shooters, 9/10 were shooting with the 17-40L, 16-35L, 24-70L, or 24-105L.  There were only a couple people not shooting L glass, and to the best of my knowledge, I was the only one using a Canon body with third party lenses (Zeiss, Samyang).  Peer pressure comes into play and the "popular" lenses will be perceived as best, especially by the token shooter with a Rebel (most people were walking around with 5K worth of gear on this bridge).  That bridge was probably the only time I've ever seen 20 grand or more in tripods...

Doing a bit of research, one will find that Zeiss lenses consistantly beat out Canikon options, due to drawing/rendering styles.  Microcontrast and subjective sharpness make a huge impact.  Canikon options typically go all mushy and detailless in the corners, which is terribly annoying for landscape work.

So when considering the peer pressure of L glass and objectivity, most people cannot imagine that L glass can often be lousy compared to other options.  Canon has a very poor history of wide angle image quality (sharpness being the primary  metric), particularily in the corners (Canon's design strengths are more in the moderate and telephoto ranges).  Nikon is a better in this regard, as evidenced by the stellar 14-24.  To compare UWA options for a moment, the 14L, Samyang 14mm, and the Nikon 14-24 are three options that come to mind.  The 14L has a particularly remarkable attribute and that is distortion control...after that, everything rapidly goes downhill, which is dissapointing for a $2000 lens.  The Nikon 14-24 is super sharp and has minor distortion issues at 14mm, but at wider focal lengths that is well controlled...I'm not surprised that quite a few Canon shooters have adapted this lens.  Most people have never heard of the Samyang 14mm and considering it only costs $380, most would just assume it is terrible and move on.  Well, it is terrible, at distortion that is.  For sharpness, it easily beats every wide angle Canon makes, except perhaps the tilt/shift lenses.  If your shooting is not hampered by the complex mustache distortion (sunset shooters with a straight horizon), this is the best value UWA you will ever find.

Here are 2 shots I took recently with the Samyang 14mm.  Both were shot at f/2.8 and are sharp corner-to-corner.  When one gets this wide, the DOF is pretty extreme even wide open, which keeps the lens surprisingly handholdable.


Horseshoe under the stars by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr


The Cliffs of Insanity by posthumus_cake ([url=http://www.pinnaclephotography.net]www.pinnaclephotography.net)[/url], on Flickr

13
Lenses / Re: Advice 5d3, wide angle
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:47:06 PM »
The 17-40L is flexible but optically limited.  Only so-so sharpness in the center and the corners are terrible at all apertures.  This lens (like other L lenses) is a good one to pick up used and resell when one is willing to shoot Samyang (nuisance of fully manual lens) or Zeiss (expensive).  At UWA, one should really be shooting on a tripod, so MF is no big deal.  Saving money with the Samyang route is probably the best move for most, provided they have the patience.

I'd recommend passing on the 16-35L, it really doesn't get much sharper than the 17-40L, just more expensive.  The only real redeeming characteristic of the 16-35L would be aperture flare characteristics around f/16.

14
Lenses / Re: Advice 5d3, wide angle
« on: November 13, 2012, 09:07:24 PM »
Zeiss 21 F2.8 could be another thought.  I went that route then snatched up a 14mm Samyang for the times I need even wider.

I thoroughly agree.  This makes a solid combo; both are solid choices for landscapes, but the Samyang 14mm is in a price/performance league of its own.  Both these shots are sharp, corner to corner, at f/2.8.  You will not find that in any other inexpesive UWA.
http://500px.com/photo/17884247
http://500px.com/photo/17891095

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