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Messages - bardamu

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Lenses / Re: Canon MP-E 65mm - Due an upgrade?
« on: January 11, 2015, 02:59:04 PM »
This is the second thread recently about an MP-E mark ii and I'm quite surprised to see them.  However, I'm also quite surprised to learn that it was released in 1999.  Nikon have had 15 years to come up with a competitor and they haven't bothered.

Realistically, most of the time the limitations of this lens will relate to physics, or user error, or the other equipment being used (or not used), rather than the optics.  It'll be worth learning a bit about the behaviour of the lens at different apertures, and also thinking what other equipment you might need (e.g. rails, specialised lighting, focus stacking software, tripod/ballhead etc) to get the best out of it.

I've spent probably hundreds of hours using this lens as part of a research project, mostly in a focus stacking capacity but also single shots at narrower apertures for moving objects (tiny living animals).  I'm quite happy with the sharpness.  The convenience for framing is unmatched.  But what really stuns me is the extremely low or absent CA with this lens.  I see it with my other macro lenses, but not with this, which is quite amazing.  There isn't much to ask for in a mark ii version.  Probably more aperture blades would be one thing.  The technical quality of the bokeh probably isn't top notch due to the 6 aperture blades, but in practise it doesn't bother me at all.  I could think of a few other minor things.

The learning curve with this lens is quite steep and unfortunately I've never seen a really comprehensive review / guide for it on the net.  There is a lot of excellent info out there, but it is scattered around all over the place.

Overall, I would say don't worry about a mk ii and get this lens if you're curious about it.  It's wonderful and I've really enjoyed using it.

Lenses / Re: Canon MP-E 65mm - Due an upgrade?
« on: January 11, 2015, 02:38:45 PM »
I've been reading reviews and noted this lens is 16 years old! But the only negative I can see regarding this lens, aside from one's personal level of expertise, is softness at 1x on f/2.8

f/2.8 in that lens in there only for viewing purposes I guess. No one in the right mind would shoot it wide open, especially at higher magnifications, unless you want micron-thin DoF :) It could have started at f/5.6, but image in the VF would be too dark (talking about non-live view age anyway). Also, lenses usually perform best when stopped 2-3 stops from maximum aperture. Which make this one ideal for usual aperture values.

Most copies of this lens will be sharpest at about f/4, with f/5.6 only very slightly behind.  However, copies do exist in which the lens is sharpest wide open.  So, for maximum detail whilst focus stacking f/2.8 could be a rational aperture choice.  I stack at f/4 most of the time.

You're right on the money about the VF thing though.

Anybody remember this?


Canon have now provided a high quality UWA zoom and a 100-400 refresh.  Maybe they are listening to us customers  :)

Looking forward to what they will release next - it should be a 50mm f/1.4 is this trend continues...  Of course, new sensor tech is still at the top of the list...

Canon General / Re: More Canon Lens Mentions [CR2]
« on: October 11, 2014, 07:45:49 AM »
Apart from that I think I am pretty well covered.

You have about $65k of gear listed under your post.  I should hope you would be well covered ...

But, what the heck, why not aim for 100k ... ?

EOS Bodies / Re: Official: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 15, 2014, 09:17:42 AM »
Very pleased to read on DPreview that the camera takes interchangeable focus screens.  Makes it more appealing to me for use in macro work.  Can see myself getting this camera.

Looks like all the mini-1DX hype was not far off the mark actually.  That shutter at 10fps sounds great.

The way I see it, Canon and Nikon are responding in fundamentally different ways to the crisis that is impacting the camera industry in the form of the hegemony of camera-phones.

Canon have basically turned their attention to cost cutting, by recycling components, not moving to new sensor tech fab, etc.  What innovation they are engaging in is mostly directed at lenses, such as the 16-35 f4, 400 DO, 40 pancake, etc.  Nikon is seeing Canon sluggishness in the realm of bodies as an opportunity to gain market share and is both cutting costs but also attacking with bold body releases.  Both strategies entail risk (as Nikon's QC problems reveal).

I'm reminded of a time when I was watching the Tour de France and two riders approached a refreshment station.  As one of them slowed down and pulled over for a homologous blood transfusion drink the other guy launched a sudden breakaway behind his back.  Such is the state of the camera market.  Canon are on the side of the road drinking their own Koolaid, Nikon are pedalling like crazy (but with the occasional flat tyre, busted chain, etc) and Sony are still learning how to ride a bike in the first place.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon announced D750
« on: September 14, 2014, 02:21:03 AM »
This is the kind of camera that makes people change systems.

Ouch!!  Way to throw Molotovs on a Canon forum!   :)

Actually, I don't really agree, but it could certainly have an impact on new entrants to the FF market.  The system-change-inducing camera was the Nikon D800/D800E (and, perhaps, the 5D mk iii, for all the disgruntled D700 owners put off by too many megapixels).

Plus, I think the 7D mk ii could be system-change-inducing camera as well, because it is something that Nikon doesn't yet have - a true replacement to the D300s.  The D7100 is very nice, but for serious sports / wildlife etc the 7D ii will probably be all over it (buffer, fps, focus etc).  However, if Canon could have released the 7D ii with a relevant lens such as a refresh of the 100-400, 300 f/4 or 400 f/5.6 then it might have been a stronger punch into the ribs of Nikon.

The D750 will probably have the effect of dragging down 5D mk iii prices, and resale values.

Now don't get me wrong, Canon makes solid products and I know the 7D Mark II will be a solid product in terms of performance and reliability, but Canon is just playing this way too safe.

"Solid" but "way too safe".  Excellent choice of words, you really nailed it.

I would also have liked to see Canon be a bit more adventurous with this release.  Throw in something surprising - 1.5 crop factor, 24MP (or maybe even 16??), new sensor tech, ?hybrid viewfinder...  Having said that, for my purposes (and those of many other people) this could be a very fine camera.  Will just have to weigh up my options.  I could get a (second) 70D + an excellent lens instead at current prices.

Perceptions could change upon the release of the actual product, and the first reviews, or course.  Tomorrow!?

EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:40:16 AM »
Very much a maybe here.

After a second or upgraded cam for macro, with occasional other applications, to go with my 70D.  Like the focal length offered by my 100mm and other lenses on crop for my purposes.  Looking for a bigger viewfinder and more rugged build (givens) but hopefully interchangeable focus screens and a boost in IQ.  Price hopefully not astronomical.

If the 7D ii doesn't seem right for me then I might just settle for a 2nd 70D, a 7D or, less likely, a 6D.

Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 15, 2014, 06:43:14 PM »
I expect this to be an excellent camera, but also, to look at it critically, a niche camera.  For those needing high-grade AF, high FPS and shooting predominantly with longer lenses, it will be ideal.  But the poor state of the EF-S lens line-up will inevitably limit its usefulness as a one-camera-does-all option.  Better off with a Fuji, or any FF.  The release of the 16-35 f4 does actually help Canon's crop range a little bit, since 26-56mm is a fairly useful zoom range to have with weather sealing.

Having said that, Canon will still sell plenty of them.  10% will have a legitimate need for it, 90% will buy it for the prestige, or out of curiosity.  Which is ok.  :)

Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 15, 2014, 06:29:53 PM »
10 pages of comments in such a short space of time?  The anticipation around this camera seems to be almost as great as that preceding the 5D mk iii release.  I thought nobody gave a s**t about crop cameras anymore?

wonder how it compares with the D610.

Lenses / Re: What would a 16mm or 18mm F2 FF lens look like?
« on: July 22, 2014, 08:29:56 PM »
Nikon has a patent for a 10mm f/2


Canon has some unique lenses.  A fast wide angle prime optimised for coma would be interesting.  Something like a 24mm f/2 L "Astro"

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Fuji Full Frame X-PRO2 coming 2015
« on: July 10, 2014, 07:42:58 AM »
Wont happen. Fuji barely built up its X lens lineup, so they wont start a new one that soon. I was told by a Fuji rep. that they barely break even with the Xpro line right now, and that FF Xtrans sensors cost nearly the same as the whole rest of the camera. An X200 with larger sensor is much more possible.

Fuji have a nice range of lenses.  Compared, for example, to the dedicated EF-S lenses for Canon or DX for Nikon.  There is no way this is mere oversight or laziness on the part of Canon or Nikon - clearly it is a deliberate and cynical attempt to cripple crop in order to encourage more movers into full-frame.

I've seen the cost of a FF sensor estimated at $300 - $400.  Even if Fuji's manufacturing costs are higher, I doubt they would be THAT much higher.  I could see Fuji going FF, to signify their ambition to mix it with the big 3 companies.  An RX1 like camera might be a logical place for them to start.

:'( Goodbye my dear 5d mk III . ..Don't let the door hit you in the A$$.  :o

I hear ya, man.
I was married to her older half-sister, 5d2, and divorced her.
5d2 snored a lot and filled my nights and even my blue-sky-days with her infernal noise. 
I even tried to seek shelter in the darker parts of town but the noise followed wherever I went.

I think those 5D girls sure looked voluptuous but mine was also hard for me to live with.  I think they came from an unrefined family;  I heard their mother was a Rebel and 5d2's father was a point-n-shoot who didn't stick around but a year or so.  I don't know who planted the seed for 5d3.

While feeling a bit lonely for a pleasant and reliable companion i saw a mail-order ad for a new bride in the form of a petite d5100.  When she arrived I discovered she didn't speak my language very well but we soon learned how to communicate and she rarely needed to be corrected.  She is very well behaved and, while not terribly sophisticated, always tries hard and put out her best efforts.  If she has a flaw it's maybe that one leg is a bit shorter than the other because whenever I line up a perfect horizon in her viewfinder the picture comes out a bit tilted...  We learn to compensate.

I soon discover she has lots of interesting relatives and within a year I find I've sponsored 5 more of her family and much of their estate now reside with me and we all play together and have lots of fun.  They were even very accepting of my fostering Pentax, Fuji and Olympus underdogs.  A few elderly Canon family members remain as well as they're just not worth moving to another home and they still occasionally can do some useful chores.

Dude, sounds like Nikon really has you by the ballhead.

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