November 27, 2014, 09:34:58 AM

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Messages - drmikeinpdx

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1
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Exclusive Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Savings
« on: November 23, 2014, 12:15:55 PM »
Just by chance a Canon 50mm 1.2L popped up on Craigslist yesterday and the owner was willing to negotiate a reasonable price.  I decided to go for it and stop agonizing over my 50mm lens choice.

My reasoning is that I do not need absolute max sharpness, but I do need autofocus consistency.  I have had too many autofocus frustrations in the past and did not want to risk getting into that again. 

2
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 5DIV: 36 MP US $ 3799 TBA in March 2015
« on: November 23, 2014, 01:38:24 AM »
36 mp?

Bet they put two of the ubiquitous 18 mp crop sensors together.  Will be called "Dual Sensor Technology."

3
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Exclusive Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Savings
« on: November 21, 2014, 08:28:57 PM »
Wow, that's fabulous to get a discount on this lens so soon after release.  My written review is just getting the finishing touches (it will go live next week), but my video review just went live for those of you debating whether or not to buy.

The video review can be seen on YouTube here:  http://bit.ly/1xXyVhf

Great timing on posting your review, Dustin!  I'm really uncertain about this lens.  I'd love to have a 50mm lens that has more consistent autofocus than my quirky Sigma 50 classic that I've learned to live with.  On the other hand, at least half the people who review the Art lens comment on the quirky autofocus!  I just can't win!

I tried to do the smart thing and rent one from LensRentals.com.  I got one that had horrible front focus from the outer focus points, but the images where I used the center point were fabulous.  Sometimes I think the camera gods are just trying to torment me!

Maybe I will roll the dice and see if I get a good one, but be prepared to send it back as many times as needed to get a good one. 

Maybe I should sacrifice a goat or something?

4
Lenses / Re: EF 35mm f/1.4L II to Finally Come as Well? [CR2]
« on: November 14, 2014, 11:51:27 AM »
Don't need a 35 for my work.  I'm holding out for a new 50mm lens.  It may be a long wait!    :'(

It's really strange to be in a situation where there is nothing I can justify buying in the Canon (or Sigma) lineup.  I've been something of a fanboy for the last several years, but lately my disposable cash has been going elsewhere.   At least there is LensRentals.com to keep me interested in trying out new gear and help me use up my extra $.

5
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: I took the cheap road to FF
« on: November 11, 2014, 12:30:45 AM »
I cleaned the sensor on my 5D classic a couple of times with a product called  Sensor Swab along with a cleaning fluid called Eclipse E2.  It worked fine, although the products are rather expensive.  I'm pretty spoiled now by the self cleaning cameras.

Remember that the 5D classic does not have Micro Focus Adjustment.  Getting accurate focus with large apertures is pretty hit or miss.  On mine, some lenses worked well and others were unusable.  I would think that a lens like the 24-105 F/4 L would be a nice companion for a 5Dc.  I didn't have any L lenses the time.  Might have kept the camera longer if I did.

Oddly, the one lens that worked the best was a Tamron 28-75 F/2.8, probably just dumb luck.

6
Lenses / Re: Rented a big white and wow
« on: November 09, 2014, 12:09:01 AM »
Nice shot!  Looks like it came through just fine.

7
I enjoyed clicking back and forth between the 7D and the 7D2 at various ISOs.  I'd say less than one stop of improvement.  If you take into account the five year wait, it's definitely not very impressive to me.  I plan to keep my 7D classic as a backup to my 5D3.

However, I'm happy for you guys and gals who shoot sports and birds.  Looks awesome for you.  Hope you have fun with the new camera!

8
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: One Samsung Camera to Rule Them All
« on: November 02, 2014, 09:38:06 PM »
Going by my experience with my Samsung Galaxy 4, I bet their new camera has wi-fi capability.  I would also guess that you won't be able to keep Samsung from doing forced downloads of profitable bloatware.  I can just imagine myself photographing a hot model and having an ad for a some new ride sharing service take over my LCD screen!

9
Lenses / Re: Sigma or Canon (50mm 1.4)
« on: November 01, 2014, 10:54:52 PM »
Trying to decide on a 50mm lens is tough!  in my opinion there is no really good option.

I rented the Art lens a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, it was sharp wide open.  If that is someone's only criteria, I think it is the best option. All the other 50 mm lenses available in the EF mount have problems either with autofocus or, in the case of the very expensive Zeiss, no autofocus at all!

Note on the 50 Art, for lots of people, including me, you will probably need to use only the center focus point or those near it.  The outer points front focus horribly.  Maybe that will be a problem for you and maybe it won't

I've had the Sigma 50 Classic for a few years and got mildly frustrated with the somewhat erratic autofocus.  If you use it wide open, you had better double the number of shots you normally take and make sure you refocus for every shot.  That's what I do.  At least it is fairly sharp wide open when you get the focus right.  I did an outdoor photoshoot with the Art and the classic and had a hard time telling the photos apart when both were used wide open.

I just did a complete studio shoot with only the Sigma Classic on my 5D3. I used it between 2.8 and 5.6.  I really enjoyed pixel peeping, it looked like an L lens to me.

I haven't tried the Canon 1.4, but it would probably be a good option for your 50D.  I believe that body does not have MicroFocusAdjustment, which is a must for a non-Canon lens.  It could even be an issue with the Canon 1.4 if you intend to use it wide open.

So whatever lens you get, be prepared for it to be less than perfect in one way or another.  :(

A good photographer learns to work around the limitations of their equipment.

10
Software & Accessories / Re: Free DxO Optics Pro 8
« on: October 29, 2014, 12:22:41 AM »
Me too.  Won't accept the activation code now.  Maybe it was a limited time offer?  Will try again tomorrow.

11
Photography Technique / A Note From Portland
« on: October 24, 2014, 04:33:40 PM »
I am writing this from Rainy, Stormy, Portland!  We actually had a tornado or two and torrential rain in the area yesterday.

November is a bad time to visit Oregon!  We don't even have much Fall foliage to look at.   If it were me I would spend as little time as possible here and spend most of your time visiting the Grand Canyon, Arches, and other areas in the warmer and dryer part of the country.  You will certainly get A LOT MORE nice scenic photos to take home.

If you happen to love cold, rainy weather, then this advice might not apply to you.  This time of year, most Portlanders hang out in the brewpubs and coffee shops or at Powell's Books.  It's a tough time of year to do any kind of scenic photography.  A waterproof camera might be helpful.  LOL

Oh, and find the web sites for the various state's highway departments.  Bookmark them on your mobile device.  They will have information on the road conditions in the mountain passes you will be going through.   November is hard to predict, the roads could just be wet or they could be covered with dirty snow.

Also remember that the days are short.  Driving 14 hours may not be too bad in daylight, but when most of it is in the dark, your fatigue level may become excessive.  Certainly your speed will have to be less.  I would estimate four days from El Paso to Portland myself.

12
Lenses / The 50 prime problem
« on: October 24, 2014, 09:20:44 AM »
From what I've been able to gather from a couple of years of net research and renting and borrowing lenses.  Nobody makes an EF mount 50mm prime that works very well, at least for my needs. 

I eliminate the Zeiss due to lack of autofocus.

The 50 L has focus issues at different distances

The EF 50 1.4 has poor optics and is fragile

The EF 50 1.8 is good for the price (hmmm maybe I should test that one again)

The Sigma classic 50 has autofocus problems

The Sigma 50 Art has autofocus problems

A fast 50 prime needs a very accurate and consistent autofocus system to take advantage of the shallow DOF.  It is frustrating that none of the manufacturers have risen to the challenge.  I don't know why it has to be so difficult.  I have money to spend, but nothing to buy.  :(

13
Infrared and VeloDramatic...   Glad you are having good luck with the 50 Art lens.

What body are you using your 50 Art on?

Do you use the outer focus points or mainly the center point?

14
NancyP, I really liked Canon's 35mm stabilized lens when I rented one, but I  need it in a 50.

Since there is no sign of one on the horizon, I may start researching the 50L lens.

15
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 160 vs. 100
« on: October 23, 2014, 01:14:03 PM »
If you want to know more about the work of William Claff, you can follow this link:

http://home.comcast.net/~nikond70/index.htm

He has a number of charts that apply to Canon sensors, mixed in with a lot of Nikon data. 





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