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Messages - symmar22

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Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 10:51:28 AM »

What do u mean by "crappiest lens" My copy is sharp wide-open in the centre at f2.5. I often shoot at f2.8 without any problems, despite the fact that  my copy has some blurry right edge, which only shows up in shooting test charts.  It is vy sharp wide open on the left edge and centre too on a full frame camera. It is a vy sharp lens good for food photography.

The only issue is QA like the defect I have and the loud focus motor noise LOL!

BTW, distortion wise, the compact macro tops 50/f1.8 & 50/1.4.

To begin with, I had to test 3 copies, before I could find one that was not badly centred (obviously yours is as well). Honestly, the edges are indecent at 2.5, and the complete coverage until the corners is not happening before f8. That's acceptable on the 50mm f1.8, not on a Macro lens. The vignetting is is also extreme until 5.6, and strangely it's the only lens I have that Reikan FoCal refuses to AFMA (seems the AF motor can not repeat focus properly enough). I have a 15mm fisheye that doesn't show the same issue.

The plus is the distortion is absolute 0, the field is perfectly flat (good for art repro), and it's a killer lens at f8, f11 and much better than most at f16. So I use it as kind of fixed aperture lens for architecture. Considering the price, it's not that bad, but again it compares very poorly with the Nikkor AI-S 55mm and AF-D 60mm I had before.

For a macro lens it is the absolute minimum requirement, and clearly shows it's age. I believe it's the only 1980's micro motor left in Canon's range (not sure if they still make the 135mm soft focus). I would buy immediately an improved IQ version with IS and USM.

Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:32:57 AM »

EF-S 10-18, EF 16-35 f/4 IS, EF-S 24, 400 F/4 DO II, 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-M 55-200... just not the lenses you want.

You are right it is a few lenses, but it is all relative for me since I do not have a crop camera (or an M one).

I am thinking about buying the 16-35mm f4 (finally a good wide angle zoom). The 10-18 and and 24 are likely good news for the crop sensor users. The 400 DO is obviously not a lens for everyone and the previous one was not very successful. I do not have much to say about the 24-105, but I won't trade my f4 L for this one. Finally the 55-200 is released when they do not make the (relatively unsuccessful) Canon M any more, with no successor announced.

In the same time, I would love to see replacements for :

20mm f2.8, 28mm f1.8, 35mm f1.4, 45mm f2.8 TS-E, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f2.5 Macro, 85mm f1.8, 90mm f2.8 TS-E, 100mm f2.

These are outdated designs,  and IMO in need for a refresh. How many of these would sell compared to the 400mm DO ?

Hopefully, the new 100-400mm is coming soon. :)

Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 02:57:38 AM »
Come on Canon, your standard Macro is a shame, this one as well needs an urgent upgrade.

I really can't see much of a case for renewing that lens. With the 100mm twins offering either great value (non IS) or superb IQ (IS L) as well as the 60 mm for EF-S, that leaves a very small niche for a ~50mm macro lens to fill. The short working distance that focal length requires would make it a hard sell even at a lower price than those lenses currently available.

I do not fully agree here, the 100mm L is a superb lens, but I have both the 50 Compact macro and the 100mm L and they do not serve the same purpose. I won't comment the 60mm EF-S since I don't have a crop camera. A 100mm is not a 50mm (though the perfect focal for a standard macro should IMO more be a 55-60mm).

 I use the 50mm macro not for real macro (a 100mm or even the 180mm are more practical), but for the specifications of any 50-60 macro lens : ultra sharp , zero distortion, perfectly flat field and the ability to focus close. It has a use in (art) reproduction, studio photography, landscape and architecture. I used Nikon for 20 years before switching to Canon and the 55mm AI-S, then 60mm AF-D were the best lenses I had. They both could easily replace the 50mm of their time for general use, if you did not need 1.x aperture. I just cannot say the same with the 50mm Compact Macro (a 27 year old lens).

Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 24, 2014, 10:10:24 AM »
You forgot the 50mm compact macro on your list, brilliant in the f8 - f11 range , but the crappiest lens ever wide open. It is one of the very few (if not the only) left over from the original 1987 EF releases. The old Nikkor AI-S 55mm was much better compared to the LOMO/Canon 50 Compact Macro f2.5.  Come on Canon, your standard Macro is a shame, this one as well needs an urgent upgrade. What happened to the year of the lens ???

It's not because you don't need it than no one does.

Of course not.  The point is that Canon's goal isn't to make a product to meet the specific needs of every individual.  They've shown that they can accurately assess the needs of the majority, and design/produce cameras and lenses that satisfy the needs of the majority of customers.  If an individual's needs differ from those of the majority, they should look elsewhere for gear...and understand that their doing so doesn't bother Canon in the least.

I hear you, but aside from the debate if Canon sells more or less, it is supposed to be one of the 2 real professional DSLR brands (aside from medium format). The want / need for a higher Mpx count is not the fact of only one individual, it is a requirement for lots of pro photographers. Therefore it is not completely insane to assume that Canon (if they still consider themselves as a professional photo equipment company), could think about fulfilling the needs of a decent part of the professional market (fashion, beauty, product, architecture, interiors, art repro and so on), who would need more resolution. The market being what it is, not everyone can afford the 50k investment for a digital back. I am just saying that Sony/Nikon, seem to have understood the need, while Canon wants to sell a camera that does everything. Doing that, they push away a sizable part of the pro market (not everybody is into sports or weddings).

The way Nikon has segmented the pro cameras make IMO more sense, D4 for press/speed, D800 for studio/resolution, D600 for general public/budget. With canon we have 1Dx for everything/high end, 5D3 for everything/medium end, 6d for everything/budget. I'm not saying they are bad cameras, I am saying that the image they give are all the same.

And no, I do not want to switch to Nikon (I was there for 20 years), I would just like to have another sensor to put behind my 10k of EF glass. In my case the Sony A7r will likely be the alternative, but I would have preferred a Canon 35/40 Mp DSLR offer.

Just wanted to add my two cents to the struggle. The Mpx fight seems to be an endless debate, nevertheless, I am always surprised to see people who seem to decide what is good for others. More resolution will always be wanted, that doesn't mean it's always needed. Saying that more pixel is useless is just nonsense; it might be useless for you, but some folks need more resolution for different matters. I am old enough to have worked with film for a good while, and in the good old times, everyone was trying to switch to the newest film because of it's better sharpness and finer grain. Some jobs needed better resolution than others, a press photographer could deal with small format (24x36), while fashion required medium format and advertising large format view cameras; nobody would discuss if 4x5 format was useful or not. It's like asking Ansel Adams if he really needed to shoot 8x10 sheet film.

Nowadays, things have changed a bit, since all DSLR outresolve easily small format, and the only thing that is still out of reach is the large format (minimum 4x5) cameras. On the other hand, most people only watch their pictures on screens, so for that purpose, most DSLR are overkill.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't a demand for higher quality. My work is architecture, landscape and interiors, where every pixel available is required. These jobs were previously done ideally with large format view cameras, one of the domains were DSLR cannot still compete.

One of the option is to put a digital back on a view camera, but we talk about 30 to 50k budgets here, plus they are extremely awkward to use in the field. The cheapest modern medium format back is worth 20k for 40-50MPx resolution, so the idea of getting 36 Mpx for 1/10th of the cost makes perfect sense.

  Sure not everyone needs that, as a hobbyist, if you take pictures of the dog in the garden to show on facebook,  it's just plain ridiculous, but for lot of working pros with budget limitation, the Sony 36Mpx sensor is plain gold, whether you are a Nikon user (D800) or for us Canonists in the form for now of the Sony A7r / metabones combination. The Sony has the immense advantage of "opening" the system, and to get rid of the dependence to one lens/camera brand.

You like it or not, the Sony sensor is more advanced than anything Canon is able to put on the market. It's one thing that you are perfectly happy with your equipment (or for some that you rage about the inability from Canon to design a competitive sensor for now), but it is another one to say that nobody needs better. I can read that lots of people here use their camera hand held, focus with AF and make extensive use of high ISOs. For this use, a 1Dx, 5D3 or 6D make perfect sense; in my case, I use a tripod 99% of the time, very seldom use more than 400 ISO, and focus manually since 75% of my work is done with TS-E lenses.

I could easily say : "why the hell do people need 150 points AF, 12Fps and 12800 ISO"?. I don't, because I know some folks shoot different things than I do, use different technique and simply have different needs. So maybe it's time to admit that other people may need more than the average 20Mpx than Canon can offer us nowadays.

It's not because you don't need it than no one does. I work with a 5D2 and I've reached the limits of its sensors, some of my clients would like (need) more, but the 50k digital view camera option is not a realistic financial option in my case. Fact is that Canon has nothing better to offer for my needs than my 5 years old 5D2. So the option will likely be the Sony / metabones combination. There is no shame here, and I consider myself lucky that Sony is offering an alternative.

When I shoot for pleasure, I use a Linhof 4x5 camera with Schneider lenses, and the digital files I get from my Canon simply look ridiculous compared to a well scanned 4x5.

A more careful a way to put it would be to ask in what case more resolution is needed, instead of assuming that what is good for you is enough for all. To finish, I do not agree with the idea that the D800 (or A7r) are niche products; they are not for everyone, and have not been designed as all-round cameras. Nikon has the D600 and Sony the vanilla A7 for that purpose, but that doe not make them niche cameras, simply specialized ones (ask pro fashion and beauty photographers if their Hasselblads are niche cameras). I think it is just different approaches, Canon wants every camera to be an all-rounder, but doing that, they have pushed away specialized users. Nikon or Sony make different cameras for different uses, and I am betting that the new Sony A7s will be extremely successful with videographers, though as well a specialized camera.

- As most people said, it's unlikely Canon will release any full frame soon, though there is a serious need for a higher MP /DR camera (for this reason, my next camera will likely be a Sony A7R with adapter for EF lenses). On the other hand, the 16-35mm f4 IS lens was leaked only a few days before its announcement, seems Canon is good at keeping secrets.....

- IMO, no grip is needed for landscape work (you prefer to keep the camera lower on the tripod to limit vibrations), but if you really want one, I'd go for the Canon one, since you'll have a better integration with the camera, plus the 3rd party grip will have zero value in case you want to sell the camera. If you don't have one yet, you should rather invest in a good tripod (cheap ones are just waste of money, an embarrassment and absolutely useless).

- For the SD card, you should consider takind 2x32GB or 4x16GB instead of one 64GB, it's about safety : cards die, and you don't want to lose a fully loaded 64GB card with thousands of pictures on it. With landscape work, you should have time to change your card from time to times.

- Cannot comment about the AF of the 6D, but word is the central AF sensor is excellent. However, it's a non issue for landscape work, as you will more likely use the live view. I work with TS-E lenses who don't even have AF on a 5D2 that has a really crappy AF, and I never considered I needed better AF for my type of work.

I'm curious why folks spend that kind of money on a tripod for stills.  That's almost as much as I paid for my video tripod with dual handles and a nice fluid head, all of which is massive overkill if you don't need smooth pans and tilts while the camera is live.  I'm just curious, speaking as someone who has never shot stills with a tripod that costs more than about forty bucks.  :)

Well I guess it all depends how serious you are about your photography, but as an architecture, interiors and landscape photographer, my most important tools are my tripods, and their heads. I could easily do with fewer lenses, but I could simply not work without a good tripod. Here is a few reasons :

   - No limitation in speed or F-stop, you can use 100 ISO and pose for 1 minute @ f22 if needed.
   - The camera is always perfectly leveled so you do not have to waste half the image with adjusting the horizon later.
   - With a cable release and mirror lock-up you can achieve excellent sharpness (no camera shake and carefully  adjusted focus).
   - Probably the most important, you can achieve perfect framing, since the camera is steady, you can concentrate on what you see, focus where you want, try different exposures, and repeat the process. Take time to check details in the corners, make sure no unwanted item is in you picture and wait for the right moment to press the shutter while keeping a perfectly set frame, composition and light setting.

Maybe it's me then, I am a Canon user as well and am not logged on any other brand forum, but I can feel a tendency to defend Canon with sometimes biased arguments.

I do not take for granted they are better or worse than others, they just make photo equipment (among other things). I read a lot of "it's crappy, it's ugly it's a useless stuff" about the Sony camera, I am just pointing out that this is for one a real novelty, and that Canon has not been the most creative lately.

I will take this camera for what it is, a possible upgrade from my 5D2s for architecture and landscape use. IMO we should be happy that other brands (in this case Sony and Metabones) can offer us some alternatives to what Canon is not able to deliver.

Maybe am I a bit too old, but coming from the 4x5 camera systems, where you can use any lens with any camera, I welcome the change that finally allows the same with digital cameras. IMO it is a healthy move from the closed systems big companies have been imposing for pure marketing purposes.

Mirrorless cameras allow almost infinite lens/cameras combinations, this is IMO a good reason to consider them.


It's to admit that Canon hasn't released anything very exciting this year (except maybe the 200-400mm, but how may of us will actually buy it ?), and a few new products on the market is always good to take. IMO all the ranting shows mainly the frustration of some people who cannot accept that these days, creativity is not on the side of the brand they support. The A7R might not be for everyone, but for me it will probably be the camera that finally replaces my 5D2s.

I'm into architecture and landscape, I've been doing it for years with a 4x5 Linhof, and couldn't care less about AF or frame rate. What I need is a new sensor, and fact is Canon is not able to deliver it. They may in 2015, but I am not holding my breath for a 7000$ 1Dx HD. Until they have something affordable and available (5D4 in 2016 ?), the A7R might be the camera that will fill the void.  With the lens adapter it will cost roughly the price of a 5D3, but in my case it will actually be an upgrade (contrary to the 5D3). The size of the camera compared to the lenses is irrelevant on my Gitzos. And it seems it will be a nice companion to my TS-E collection.

Instead of dismissing every technical progress because it doesn't have Canon written on it, I prefer to adapt and use the tools available, WHOEVER makes them.

I could link this to the Nikon Df, it is nice to see something different (if not new). I am sure Canon would have released a retro styled (A-1) digital camera similar to the Df, it would have been the pride of this forum. But as it's Nikon who released it, it can only be worthless.

These days there is much more excitement with Canon who repainted a 100D in white. That is some real exciting new product. Nice move Canon.

Fun that the most exciting thing since a long time on this forum is a Sony camera. I must admit I am excited too, I would have preferred a decently priced High Mpx Canon reflex, but I start to wonder if it will ever happen. The A7r seems so cheap for the sensor it offers, it will probably be my next camera to finally upgrade from my ageing 5D2s. This should be a decent performer to use my TS-E collection for architecture.

The more it goes, the more Canon shows it's lack of creativity, and IMO they should be careful if they want to stay on the podium in the future. While they recycle their old components into a not-so-new camera or make version 4 of the same old lens, other brand are actually creating exciting new products and guess what ? Decent prices.
Canon is definitely becoming the Japanese Leica, for its conservatism and price policy.

Sony has definitely played a nice move. I'm afraid as too often, Canon will come too late, too expensive and not daring enough.

EOS Bodies / Re: 70D and Dxomark....
« on: August 30, 2013, 06:14:15 AM »
I agree that people don't buy sensors and Canon is still n°1 in DSLR sales, nevertheless, however good a camera the 70D is, the main improvement I see is for video. It seems Canon has found an elegant way to solve the AF problem in video, but as a still photographer I find it a bit disappointing. And the sensor results show clearly that Canon has still no reply to the most advanced sensors on the market. I was expecting better ISO, noise and DR, we get the (roughly) same sensor as the 60D but now it can take care of the focus. I do not deny the technological advance (for video), but IMO it is still a very elegant way to hide their inability to improve the IQ of their sensors.

As a low ISO user, I stick with my 5D2s, but they are getting a bit old, and I would love to see one day a new sensor with huge improvement, like the 5D was in it's time or the 5D2 was an upgrade over the 5D. I sincerely hope the 5D4 will show such an improvement.

Lenses / Re: Which L Lens to start with?
« on: August 29, 2013, 06:21:23 AM »
You've reached the stage where you recognize that you can improve your photography, and you're wondering how to go about it. This is an exciting place to be, but also one fraught with confusion. The mistake that a lot of new SLR photographers make is to think that an ultra-sharp lens will, somehow, magically improve their photography and make their pictures look 'professional'. Actually, this is the wrong way to approach things. May I suggest that what you should do right now is think about how you can change your approach to how you take pictures? How can you make your pictures different from the crowd? Can you look at things in a different way? As a so-called professional, this is the question that I ask myself every day on the drive in to work.

L lenses won't inherently give you this - what they will give you is a robust and reliable tool that you can use every day without having to worry about it and that you can realistically expect will still be earning you money in three years time. Most of all, what you're going to get from an L lens is robustness, reliability, solidity and a tool that will do the job in adverse conditions, amidst a scrum of other photographers when, quite frankly, all you want to do is go home. Sharpness and color rendition comes a long second to all this. An L lens is just a working tool. Yes, generally, they will be slightly better than consumer lenses in sharpness terms (though not always), but there is a limit to this. It's not that L lenses are bad, more that these days, consumer lenses are really good, and good value to boot. Just not reliable or tough enough for day-in, day-out professional use. That's what you're paying for. Believe me, I'm much more concerned that my lens/camera will stand up to a bash against a wall than how sharp the lens is. When I want to make a memorable photograph, sharpness is a very minor consideration. Composition, perspective, content and subject interest and dynamics are what I'm looking for. I take accurate focus and an acceptably sharp result for granted, and even focus is a tool in itself. And you're probably going to be looking at most of your pics on a computer screen at best. Come on, guys, how many of you regularly print photos to 20x30?

So you want to spend some money. That's fine. First of all, go and get yourself a copy of Adobe Lightroom and learn how to use it. This will make more difference to your photographs than any lens ever will. Check out Lyndadotcom - it's a great educational resource. Learn how to use your camera in aperture priority mode and in full manual. Then, as JDRamirez suggests, get yourself a good prime lens and a polarizing filter. The new Sigma 35mm is a very good place to start. If I only had one lens, it would be a 35 prime (and my second would be a 135L). This will teach you to make yourself think before you release the shutter. It'll stop you being lazy and make you more aware than you believed possible of what's in front of you. Put your zoom lens away for a month or two and dream up some projects with specific themes that you'll use your new lens exclusively for. Rust. Specific colors. Water. Close up. Monochrome. Motion blur - whatever - anything that your imagination can come up with, but be strict with your self and don't goof off, because at the end of the day, the only person you'll be fooling will be yourself. Walk out of the door with a purpose and don't get side-tracked. Down the line, you can pick up a 300L f/4 or 400L f/5.6 or similar for your wildlife, etc. Same theory as the 35. For travel, you've already got a great lens. Personally, I'm not a great fan of ultra-wides (e.g. 10-22) until you've got a lot more mileage under your belt. They're novelty lenses in most people's hands, although that particular lens is very good on a crop camera. Whilst the 70-200 f/2.8 v2 is a magical lens on full frame, somehow, as someone else mentioned, it doesn't really gel on a crop body. Furthermore, you've already covered its range. If you really have to get a zoom, the 70-300L will work better for you.

Not sure that this is what you wanted to hear, but I remember when I had the same questions as you (back in 1978). I wish I knew then what I know now...

Could not have said it better.

Lenses / Re: A Big Lens Announcement in September? [CR1]
« on: August 29, 2013, 06:11:31 AM »
May be a new version of the canon 35 or 135L. They are of the oldest lens.

A lot of lenses are even older : the 50mm f2.5 Compact Macro and 135mm f2.8 Soft Focus (1987), 50 f1.8 II (1990), 100 f2, 45mm and 90mm TS-E (1991), 20mm f2.8 and 85 f1.8 (1992), 50mm f1.4 and 400mm f5.6 (1993) and 28mm f1.8 (1995).

The 35mm f1.4 would nevertheless need a refresh (improved IQ and weather sealing), the 135mm f2 could use  weather sealing and IS, as well as the 400mm f5.6.

I am more thinking of 45mm and 90mm TS-E (100mm f3.5 L Macro TS-E) and wide zooms (14-24mm and 16-50mm IS).

I would love to see a 180mm Macro II, sealed and stabilised, but I doubt it will happen.

Lenses / Re: TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Replacement Info [CR1]
« on: August 10, 2013, 06:33:03 AM »
In order to become useful for macro photography we need much more than 8.5° tilt.


I have the 90 TS-E, and use it much more than the 100mm Macro for flowers close-ups (with 12 and 25 mm macro tubes), it's über-sharp and a joy to use, but I wish 3 things could be improved :

- separate tilt/shift function (I assume the v2 will have it).
- slightly closer focusing distance (at least 1:2 instead of 1:3)
- improved tilt capacity (more than 8°), but that will be at the cost of the relative compactness of the 90mm, since the lens will need a bigger optical circle, which means bigger lenses.
- I was quite happy with the 90mm focal, doubles nicely from the 45TS-E. 100mm TS-E Macro L sounds good, but I hope they won't turn it into a 135 or 150mm, that would be too long for a true close-up/detail/studio/ architecture all-rounder.

I hope we do not end with a 3lbs, 3000$ monster.

Lenses / Re: Canon primes
« on: July 31, 2013, 05:45:15 AM »
I would go in the way of the cheaper lenses too. I own a good amount of L glass as well, but I buy it only when it brings something I really need (17 and 24 TS-E for architecture, 100 macro L for the IS, 135mm for the USM and f/2). More expensive is not always better. I was with nikon before, used AI-S manual lenses that were all constructed the same (excellent) way. You had the 35mm f1.4, f2, f2.8, all built exactly the same, the f2 was the best of them, but some people needed 1.4 and other could only afford the f2.8. What I mean is not to fall in the trap of overkill: L is nice, better built, but Canon was clever enough to separate it from the "non L" lenses so you always feel poor when you don't have the L. That's the magic of marketing.

I earn my life with my lenses, and in some cases non L is better for me; I have the old 15mm Fisheye, and almost fell in the trap of swapping it for the 8-15 L (thanks to Canon cashback offer); the old one makes exactly the same images, but is 1 stop brighter, lighter, smaller and I paid 500€ instead of 1200€. I went hiking with the fisheye and am happy I did not buy the L zoom.

For the lenses you consider, my wife has the 85 1.8 and earns her life with it, no one ever complained; it's clear the 1.2 allows a more creamy bokeh and is a bit sharper, but is 5 times the price, big, heavy, not the fastest AF and is focus by wire in manual focus. If you make nice portraits, the 1.8 will do a perfect job, the 1.2 would probably do it a little bit better, but it's up to you if you want to spend 5 times the money.

For the 35mm, I was hesitating like you, I finally bought the f/2 IS, and could not be more satisfied with my choice, it's optically as good as the 1.4, almost half the weight, 1/2 of the price, the bokeh is really nice and the IS is for me a real plus, that makes you want all you primes would have it.

Construction quality ? Honestly all Canon lenses are good enough to work professionally, don't let yourself fool into thinking that you cannot make good pictures if it's not L, buy what you really need.

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