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Messages - symmar22

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
.

+1,

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.

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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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Technical Support / Re: Not Windows
« on: July 31, 2013, 05:05:14 AM »
Have they seen the new 'coffee can'?   8)


Sorry Neuro, I did not want to enter the Mac vs PC dogfight, Apple makes good machines for sure, but for me they are too much of a closed system (hardware speaking). I guess I see it too much from the maintenance point of view, since I am used to built and repair myself my computers (I love Lenovo laptops for the very same reason). The laptops are excellent, but the desktop offer is IMO too limited, not much between the 3000$ workstation and the 27 inches "vertical laptop". Lots of Mac users I know would be happy with smaller, cheaper, "non-workstation" version of the MacPro.

Yes I saw the "coffee can", it seems like a very nice tool, my only worry is about the graphic power; I mean it's too much of it. So I hope for Mac users that they will propose a cheaper alternative. Two powerful FireGL is overkill for 99% of the people (unless you edit pro 4K video), and is a lot of wasted money and energy for most of us; it's likely the graphic cards will be for some 1500 to 2000$ part of the equation, so I sincerely hope they will release a model with the poor man's graphic card.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Portability: laptops vs desktops
« on: July 31, 2013, 04:32:11 AM »
+1 for Lenovo, although I am afraid no brand will offer you a really decent screen for photo editing on a laptop. Very few brand dare to put a good IPS or VA type on a laptop, 98% of the market are low end TN screens, most of the time hidden behind an awful mirroring glass.

I vote for Lenovo, since mine never let me down, I had 4 of them, they are highly upgradable and the maintenance is a dream. Plus it's one of the brands that still offers matte screens. If you want power, their W530 (or future w540) workstations offer quad core CPUs, up to 32Gb RAM, full HD 15.6"matte screens with integrated calibration, powerful graphics with 2gb RAM, you can even replace the DVD with a second hard drive or SSD. They can be configured to fit your dreams and are in fact more powerful than lots of people desktops.

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Technical Support / Re: Not Windows
« on: July 30, 2013, 06:41:18 AM »
I started with Mac too in 2001 with PowerMac G4 733Mhz that was running both OS 9.2 (a real pain) and OS 10.0 that was a real novelty. I wanted to install games as well, so I built my own XP / AMD PC, and the Mac immediately looked obsolete (hardware speaking). I was not a big fan of Win XP, but since Windows 7, PCs are extremely reliable (OS speaking). You may not like it, but Win8 works even better. I could not live any more without building my own machine to the specs I need, so there is no weak link in my desktop.

Plus I want a real calibrated screen for photo editing (not a mirror).

A friend of mine is stuck with his PowerMac 8 cores since 5 years, he cannot afford to upgrade, while I change motherboard and processor every 2 years for 500€, my i7 3770k simply puts his 3000€ Mac to shame. His old GT8800 graphic card died twice already, Apple replaced it for 350€ every time (the PC version sells for 50$ on eBay).

In 12 years I only had a motherboard failure, I just went to the next computer shop and my PC was repaired the same evening for the price of the part only.

So I know Macs are fancy and they are supposed to feel more "arty", but the price quality ratio is extremely poor, and IMO their only advantage is a neat design and for some a SLIGHTLY more user friendly OS (better looking too I admit) ;)

A lot of people I know who work in creative jobs, are more and more angry with Apple politics to let down power users (aka PowerMac users).

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Underwater Cameras
« on: July 19, 2013, 12:43:09 PM »
You could put a S100 or S110 in the dedicated Canon housing, but it's a bit over your budget. However you still would have a nice compact camera that works aside from diving. I would highly recommend the use of an external flash though.

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Lenses / Re: Sleeper Lenses?
« on: July 19, 2013, 04:46:10 AM »
For me it's the TS-E 90mm. It is hardly ever mentioned, although the image quality is excellent.

This one is on my wish list for sure...

+2 on the TS-E 90mm, I recently bought a 100mm Macro IS L that I love, but when I work with a tripod for close-ups (like flowers), I most of the time end using the 90 TS-E, since it's as sharp (if not more than the macro), and the tilt is a feature that cannot be replaced.

Another lens no one ever talks about is my 50mm f2.5 Compact Macro. It's light, cheap, has zero distortion, a perfectly flat field, and is brutally sharp until the very corners from f5.6.
The drawbacks are : no USM, only 1:2 macro (not very important for a 50mm IMO), it is soft in the corners and has lot of vignetting until f4. It's not a very good looking lens either ;) .

For subjects that require lots of DoF (landscape and architecture), it's probably the best Canon 50mm. Having been designed in 1987, it's one of the 2 oldest lenses in the Canon catalogue, (with the 135 f2.8 Soft Focus), it might be time that Canon replaces it. However for 269$ (B&H), it's a steal.

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In the "process" tab, you have the output setting on the left. DxO will make an output for every checked box. if you want JPGs only, then make sure all other outputs boxes are unchecked. When you click on the arrow nest to the selected output, you get more options for the desired file format.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« on: July 02, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
I can vouch for my Gitzos, being French that was the obvious choice when I bought my first pro tripod back in 1987 (a Studex series n°3), since they were still made in France at that time. I've series 1 and 2 aluminium as well. The Studex n° 3 is still the tripod I work with,  after 25 years of good service, I will finally replace it with a systematic 3 or 4 series. I bought a mountaineer 2 series a few month ago, and the added ease of use convinced me to finally replace my old Studex with a carbon equivalent. I've worked with Linhof and Manfrottos as well, I don't like the lever locking too much but that's a personal preference.

In fact I never had to replace one single part, I have 3 tripods only for different purposes. If you treat it decently, a well chosen Gitzo could be the only tripod you'll ever need.

I use Manfrotto 410 and 405 geared heads for precise levelling, they are very practical to use but don't last forever. In case some wonder, the 405 is IMO very overpriced, and doesn't bring much over the 410, except a few more spirit levels and 60% more weight and bulk. I had Gitzo heads as well, but they did not impress me too much, though the GH5380SQR and GH2780QR don't look bad. The Acratech Ultimate seems quite impressive.

It seems RRS makes good tripods, but bad distribution in Europe and very high prices make IMO, the Gitzos more realistic buys over here.

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