March 04, 2015, 07:47:22 PM

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Messages - Ruined

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1
Lenses / Re: Next L Lens From Canon Will be a Prime [CR2]
« on: Today at 06:09:38 AM »
First of all a little history about the 50/1.2, 50/1.0, and 85/1.2 designs from Canon.

The EF 50/1.2L is descended from the FD 50/1.2 manual focus lenses, and from a optical design standpoint,  it has more in common with the even older FL 55/1.2L and its contemporaries (like the well-known Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 and the much more obscure Yashica ML 55/1.2) than it has with the EF 50/1.0L.  But the EF 50/1.2L is also different:  it gives up some center sharpness in exchange for smoother background bokeh compared to the old manual focus lenses.

I speculate that this design choice was motivated by a perceived need to fill the void left by the discontinuation of the EF 50/1.0L, but this is not something anyone not working in lens development at Canon at the time can substantiate.

As for the EF 50/1.0L, optically, this lens was quite novel in design.  The use of high refractive index glass to correct sagittal flare and aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberration wide open was not a new idea in itself, but the particular implementation was distinctive.  The design is not without its flaws:  it wasn't especially sharp; contrast suffered, especially in the image periphery.  It behaves a bit like the 85L shot wide open in that there's sharpness at some wavelengths and not at others; and sharpness at certain spatial frequencies and not at others.  But in a sense, that's what gave the images a distinctive look (apart from being f/1.0), and a character that lends itself to things like low-contrast, low-light portraiture.  And of course, like the 85L, it was hard to nail focus and unwieldy.  But for a design in a time when film was the photographic medium of choice, you can't really argue that the EF 50/1.0L didn't fulfill any specific purpose.  It's just that the drawbacks and the cost (both to produce as well as buy), not to mention its niche nature, made for poor marketability.

As for the EF 85/1.2L design (both I and II, as the optical formula is identical), this is very obviously the EF descendant of the earlier FD 85/1.2L.  The formula was tweaked, but the overall imaging performance is remarkably similar.  The EF 85/1.2L and 50/1.0L are the only lenses designed to take full advantage of the diameter of the EF mount--they remain the only lenses ever made by Canon for which the rear element glass goes right up to the end of the lens, and goes across the full diameter.  No other autofocusing SLR system is capable of such designs.

What is the future?  Since the design of the EF 50/1.0L, a number of advances have been made in computational optics, materials engineering, and production engineering.  The potential absolutely does exist to create a lens that is optically superior in terms of aberration correction.  But Canon is headed in the opposite direction:  they have consistently shown more interest in sacrificing fast apertures in favor of IS and using sensor ISO to compensate, because the latter is more cost-effective and leads to lighter lenses with larger design tolerances.  The demand for ever-higher resolution sensors (the meapixel race) has further shifted lens design philosophy toward high MTFs.

So, the ostensible obsolescence of the 50/1.0L is mourned by a small but devoted group of photographers for whom sharpness is decidedly not the end-all and be-all of image-making.  And with the increasing popularity of DSLR video, one might have a faint glimmer of hope that fast apertures will once again find a purpose.  But I don't believe Canon has put any priority on fast primes.  I could be wrong.  I hope I'm wrong.  It would be wonderful to see Canon release a worthy successor to the 50/1.2L or 50/1.0L.  But the historical trend doesn't furnish any evidence for that.  If anything, we might see some weird 50/1.4L priced around $900, the disappearance of the 50/1.4, and an upgrade to the 50/1.8 II at the old 50/1.4 price point--"and let the $100 bargain hunters buy the Yongnuo," they might think.

Or if this rumored lens is an EF 35/1.4L II, I imagine it'll be upwards of $1600, easily.  It isn't that my pessimism is a criticism of Canon--if anything, they are simply responding to the market, which has been asking for nothing but "Sharp! Sharp! Sharp!!!"  It's just what I see from the historical trend in the past 3-4 years.  A 5Ds-R might even expose flaws in the beloved EF 135/2L.

I see what you are saying, and believe me I am no sharpness freak - the 50mm f/1.2L is my favorite lens despite having the much sharper 24-70 f/2.8L II.

But, personally I think Canon nailed it with the 50mm f/1.2L and it was the correct choice over the 50mm f/1.0L.  Even if new advances in optics were able to overcome the flaring, reduced sharpness, and other artifacts of the 50mm f/1.0L, it would still have that mountain of glass to move which would result in taking a step backwards to slow, more easily broken autofocus of the 85L.  And then the little things like the easily scratched rear element, no weather sealing likely due to autofocus mechanic, etc.  The 50mm f/1.2L offers much of the same look of the 50mm f/1.0L while being a whole lot more practical and less unwieldy.  In fact, I hope they make an 85mm f/1.4L with similar changes.

2
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
« on: March 03, 2015, 04:46:02 PM »
Ruined, that's a good way to put it and the hardest part about using 11-15mm in landscape work, is that you have to get very close to the foreground or have a stunning foreground without distractions in the outer frame.  In the Western U.S. and similar areas, this might not be a challenge, but for many of us, the 24-70 or 16-35 make a lot more sense.  When I had the 12-24, I found landscape opportunities far and few between, even when seeking them out. 

For architecture/real estate, it promises to be a real winner, though, and for some landscapes, and certain other types of work (editorial, fashion, etc.), it opens up a world of creativity.  Take a look at what Von Wong did with SmugMug using the Nikon 14-24 (at 14mm) or what Lindsay Adler does with the Sigma 12-24 (final photo) for some examples.  These types of shots take some or even a lot of planning, but they can give some remarkable results.

It is definitely true 11-15mm offer unique perspectives that 16mm+ do not.

The question is whether those perspectives are used frequently enough to justify $1800 additional cost over the 16-35 and some of the disadvantages of the 11-24, assuming one isn't going to buy both the 11-24 and 16-35.  If the latter is the case, then it just boils down to cost vs use.

3
Lenses / Re: Next L Lens From Canon Will be a Prime [CR2]
« on: March 03, 2015, 03:44:22 PM »
If they are attempting to replace the 50mm f/1.2, why not go all the way and introduce a new f/1.0 or f/0.95 (with optimal sharpness and focusing capabilities, of course)? It's time for Canon to introduce another revolution, not just an evolution. They've certainly proven that they can do this on the wide end (ie 11-24), but it would be great to see this innovation in the form of a new extreme-aperture lens.

The reason the 50mm f/1.2L is f/1.2 is because by making it f/1.2 Canon was able to significantly increase sharpness and focusing capabilities and reduces artifacts over the 50mm f/1.0.  50mm f/1.0 requires a massive amount of glass to move around and there is not much way to get around that as it is physics.

Personally I would like to see an 85mm f/1.4L, basically redo the 85mm f/1.2L II with the improvements they made in the 50mm f/1.2.

The 50/1.0 has quite the same Dimension as the 85/1.2.

Exactly, it is a near identical design to the 85L.  Meaning the 85L could be similarly improved if it were adapted to the new 50mm f/1.2L design and say dropped down to f/1.4 - greater sharpness, faster focusing, less artifacts.  Reverting to the old design would be a step back, the 50mm f/1.0 was obviously inferior to the 50mm f/1.2 in every category except aperture.

4
Lenses / Re: Next L Lens From Canon Will be a Prime [CR2]
« on: March 03, 2015, 03:33:10 PM »
If they are attempting to replace the 50mm f/1.2, why not go all the way and introduce a new f/1.0 or f/0.95 (with optimal sharpness and focusing capabilities, of course)? It's time for Canon to introduce another revolution, not just an evolution. They've certainly proven that they can do this on the wide end (ie 11-24), but it would be great to see this innovation in the form of a new extreme-aperture lens.

The reason the 50mm f/1.2L is f/1.2 is because by making it f/1.2 Canon was able to significantly increase sharpness and focusing capabilities and reduces artifacts over the 50mm f/1.0.  50mm f/1.0 requires a massive amount of glass to move around and there is not much way to get around that as it is physics.  There is no free lunch with lenses where you can have the widest aperture, fastest focusing speed, best sharpness, and least artifacts - everything is a tradeoff.

Personally I would like to see an 85mm f/1.4L, basically redo the 85mm f/1.2L II with the improvements they made in the 50mm f/1.2.  It would be nice to have an 85L that focuses as fast as the 50L f/1.2.

5
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:07:10 PM »
I received mine yesterday, but didn't get a chance to play with it a whole lot.  As expected, the lens is big, and moreso, quite heavy.  The front element is much more protected that I had expected and makes the TS-E 17 look like a foolish design.  The lens cap is somewhat odd, and as Keith said, much lighter than expected.  Mine doesn't want to snap on evenly on both sides, but that might just be me needing to get used to it.  11mm is insanely wide as expected, and I appreciate Keith's distortion tests.  That seems to match what we're seeing in param's shots and is great news for architectural shots.  Unfortunately, this is also making me consider a geared head.

I thought it might be a less practical, but still viable replacement for the 16-35 f/4 IS, considering I have the 24-70 f/2.8 II, but after handling the 11-24, I'm not so sure.  The 16-35 is the perfect travel and walk around lens and 16-35mm range is really practical.  The 11-24 range reminds me of the Sigma 12-24 I used to own.  It's great for landscape and architecture, but the focal range is very limiting for other types of shooting.  24mm is still quite wide, whereas 35mm is a moderate focal length for general purpose work.

On the curved tree issue, when I was shooting at 12mm, I would either crop out the far sides, or get in close to the trees and use the curves to add to the perspective and drama of the shot.  I hope to get out and shoot over the next few days and I'll try to take a few shots to show what I mean about that.

I don't think its really a replacement for the 16-35 f/4L per se, as that one lens covers the focal length 99% of landscape shots end up in.  For me I much more frequently would need 25-35mm for landscape than 11-15mm for landscape.  While the latter does have some unique effects that can be impressive for landscapes, practically I generally need to get closer than 24mm (due to environmental hazards) far, far more frequently than 16mm is not wide enough - and unless you are willing to carry two lenses on hikes/etc then you are stuck cropping with the 11-24mm in these cases.  And ND filtering becomes more complex with the 11-24 as well.

The 11-24mm is a beast and a technical stunner, I just do not think it is practical in any way for most given its costs and all the things you need to give up from the 16-35 f/4 to get 11-15mm.  But as usual in photography, if you need wider than 16mm frequently, then you need it :)  This is a niche pro lens for a pro that does 11-15mm photography frequently - if that does not define you I would say money spent wisely elsewhere.

And for the record, I ended up selling my 16-35mm f/2.8L II because I am using my newer 24L II when I need wide in events now - f/1.4 beats f/2.8 everytime for events.  I used the money to buy a 16-35mm f/4L IS for hikes, as it is smaller and more landscape-oriented with less PP needed than the f/2.8L II where I will be using it.  I did wait to see the 11-24L first, though, and decided I did not want it due to cost, lack of front filtering, size/weight and loss of 25-35mm.

Eventually I would like to get the 8-15mm fisheye as well...

6
Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon 35mm F2 IS
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:11:49 AM »
This thread is inspiring. The 35 IS has just sailed past the 100L to the top of my wish list.

The current 35L seems almost pointless.

Unless you really need f/1.4 and are willing to accept inferior bokeh highlights for that aperture, I would say yes the current 35L is pointless.  The bokeh highlights have that dated angular look on the 35L unlike the 35 IS.

Until Canon updates the f/1.4L, I would always recommend the f/2 IS to anyone who asks my advice for this focal length.

On a side note, this is a fantastic lens for street photography in the city due to the focal length, small size, and high quality.

7
Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:09:37 AM »
Great stuff here, how can you not love this lens? I should really shoot it more.

It is my favorite Canon lens bar none :)

8
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 6D II - what's inside?
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:53:04 AM »
At a very minimum, the 6D II will have to have at least as many AF points as it does now, all cross type.  Continuing to have only one cross type in the center will likely make a 6D II a non-starter.

9
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:50:16 AM »
I've added a few more pics to http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/cameras/lenses/ef_11-24_f4l.html

They look at distortion (the real sort, not just the effect of a wide rectilinear projection ;-) ) and flare.

Also the problem that sometimes comes as a surprise to landscape photographers not used to wide views when you move the horizon down - trees leaning inwards...

I'm not selling lenses, so I'm always going to include examples of what can go wrong if you're not careful, in any review. I've no interest in buying into the myth that just getting the latest wonderful new lens will massively improve your photos - that takes hard work and skill ;-)

I think this 11-24 f/4L is a stunning technical achievement, but it is not one I could justify in my kit due to the expense and the comparative quality of the 16-35 f/4L for similar types of photography at a much lower price point.  Of course, if you need 11-15mm often enough that it is worth the cost, size, weight, loss of front filters, loss of IS, loss of 25mm-35mm, YMMV :)

Personally I'd rather round out 8-15mm with a true fisheye and leave rectilinear to 16mm+.

10
Lenses / Re: 16-35F4 L IS, Any good?
« on: March 02, 2015, 07:08:34 PM »
No, the 16-35 F/4 L IS is a great lens. Really the best purchase last year.

I even think now to sell my 14 f/2.8 Lii and 24 f/1.4 Lii. Don't use those lenses anymore after I got the 16-35 f/4

I'd agree on the 14 f/2.8L II because the usage would be very niche when you have a 16-35 f/4L unless you *really* needed 14mm or f/2.8 at 14mm.  But how often is that the case?

The 24 f/1.4L II I would reconsider though.  While it is true the 16-35 f/4L likely bests it for landscape, the 24 f/1.4L II with its wide angle and wide aperture open up some commonly useful creative possibilities not possible on the 16-35 f/4L such as subject isolation or stopping motion in a tight space.  And it is still possible to get a mostly undistorted people image at 24mm if you keep the subject near the center of the frame.  If you don't feel those possibilities are worth $1200, on the other hand, it might be worth selling.

Personally though, I think the 16-35mm f/4L IS and the 24mm f/1.4L II actually make a great pair.  16-35 f/4L for landscape and 24 f/1.4L II for environmental portrait/wide motion stopping/shallow DOF.

11
Lenses / Re: 16-35F4 L IS, Any good?
« on: March 02, 2015, 07:04:08 PM »
Thanks for that info, Ill have to rent a copy and check this out, I also like the TSE 17mm for keeping lines straight in buildings and for the shifting, do you guys think that is a good thing? Ill have to rent them both and see which one is for me.

It is, but a couple of downsides over 16-35 f/4L
-Cost
-Bulbous element more susceptible to damage
-No front filter support
-Only one focal length
-No IS

On the plus side, yes you can correct lines, etc - but then again that requires a tripod and intricate adjustments.  Do you want to commit that much time to each shot?

12
Lenses / Re: 16-35F4 L IS, Any good?
« on: March 02, 2015, 05:15:09 PM »
IMO the 16-35 f/4L IS is the ultimate practical lens for someone who enjoys landscape photography.  Yes, the 16-35 f/2.8L II is better for event photography and the 11-24 f/4L is wider for landscape but much more costly, huge, no IS, and can't take front filters.

So I think for most, the 16-35 f/4L IS simply makes the most sense as*the* landscape lens for most users.  It is even great for real estate.  As long as one of these is your primary usage the 16-35mm f/4L IS makes the most sense.

13
EOS Bodies / Re: Skipping the 5D-s. What do you want in 5D4?
« on: February 15, 2015, 09:28:00 AM »
Either user-replacable focus screen (with firmware support) or that fancy focus screen patent we saw a while back.  And, low light quality as good as the 6D or better.

14
Lenses / Re: Where are the new Canon 50mm and 85mm lenses?
« on: February 07, 2015, 11:48:00 AM »
I actually think the 85mm f/1.2L II is in more need of replacement than the 50mm f/1.2L.

I adore the output of the 85mm f/1.2L II but it has some major shortcomings that make it a difficult choice for general use unlike the 50mm f/1.2L.

Reasoning:
1.  85mm f/1.2L II really needs focusing speed improvement.  I understand that there is a lot of glass to move, but perhaps they should do what they did with the 50L and make the mkiii a 85mm f/1.4 if that would solve this problem.  It is a bummer to use this lens at a wedding and fail miserably with even center point AI servo because it can't keep up.  The 50mm f/1.2L is not a speed champ either but it is more manageable in terms of focusing speed than the 85L.

2. 85mm f/1.2L II would be nice if it had weather sealing w/ filter like the 50mm f/1.2L.  With the current design I think weather sealing is simply not possible due to the way the glass is moved around.

3. 85mm f/1.2L II has been known to break more frequently than other lenses due to the fragile-ish motor that drives the front element.  Again, maybe downscaling this lens to a 1.4 could solve this as well.

In summary, I'd like to see Canon do what they did with the 50mm f/1.0L > 50mm f/1.2L.  The 85L is surprisingly similar to the 50mm f/1.0L, so making this sort of revamp would not be a big change.  I don't think it is world ending that you can only get f/1.4 instead of f/1.2, and fixing all of the above issues will make the 85L f/1.4 III much more usable in general.

An another note, yes I know the 50mm f/1.2L has much more focus shift at MFD than the 85mm f/1.2L II.  But the 50mm f/1.2L also has a much shorter MFD, if you backup to the 85L II MFD the focus shift isn't much different.  Also note that the 50mm f/1.2L is sharper and has less visual anomalies than the 50mm f/1.0.  Perhaps the purple/green fringing can be reduced if the 85mm III is made an f/1.4.

In summary, Canon should use the blueprint of the 50mm 1.2L to construct the 85mm f/1.4L :) - as the 50 1.0 and 85 1.2 are so similar.

15
Lenses / Re: 11-24 is here, with images of it compared to Nikon 14-24
« on: February 07, 2015, 11:40:03 AM »
Very, very impressive piece of glass and feat by Canon.

For me though - too big and too expensive for my use (only do occasional landscape, and would have to hike with it - better with 16-35 or 24mm f/2.8 IS).

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