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Messages - sdsr

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Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: Today at 12:55:43 PM »

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).

That's why I like c. 50mm macro lenses too, and that 55mm AI-S Nikkor is one of my favorite lenses - the best $125 I've ever spent and one of the reasons I'm glad to have a FF mirrorless camera (my lens is second hand, but I understand you can still buy new copies from Adorama or some such).

Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: Today at 12:29:32 AM »

However the EF 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8 are horrible wide open in cameras with high megapixels. They just can't handle it, plus the CA in the bokeh which is terrible and unfixable in post process

The EF 85 1.8 does have its flaws (esp purple fringing - but that's true of the 85L too), and if Canon were to replace it with something along the lines of the 24/28/35mm IS I would likely buy one if it fixed the purple fringing.  But "horrible" wide open on high MP sensors?   Perhaps my standards are low, or I don't photograph the right sort of thing in the right sort of conditions (or both), but that's not the adjective I would use.  Shortly after I bought my a7r - which, of course, has a much higher MP sensor than anything Canon currently offers - I spent a few hours on a couple of days wandering around taking casual photos last Spring (all hand held, manual focus).  Few of them were wide open, but I uploaded some of those that are, with crops, here:


I think the lens holds up rather well technically (whether the photos are otherwise worth looking at is another matter).  It may not be an Otus, or even the 85L, but given its size and price I'm not inclined to complain too much.  And if you stop it down a bit on an a7r....

EOS-M / Re: Adapters + legacy lenses on the EOS M: any advice?
« on: October 24, 2014, 11:20:25 PM »
Which lens is better: KONICA 135MM F/3.2 HEXANON AR or PENTAX 135MM F/2.5 SMC TAKUMAR M42.
Better, as in sharper for micro shots attached to the EOS-M with some extension tube and an adapter?

I can't answer that question directly (I have the Konica Hexanon 135 3.2 and 135 2.8s from Olympus and Vivitar ($28!), along with the Canon 135mm L) but allow me to suggest another for you to consider as well, the highly regarded Vivitar 135mm 2.8 close-focusing - it's bigger than the standard Vivitar 135mm 2.8 (though not as big as the Konica-Hexanon) but allows you to focus much closer than any of the others and, depending on what you want to do with it, this may make extension tubes etc. unnecessary (on the other hand, if mine's typical, it's probably not as good at capturing detail on distant subjects as the others I have).  To find out more, this may be a good place to start (it's where I first learned about it, I think):


I should perhaps warn you, if you're interested, that this lens seldom shows up on ebay (I've never seen it at KEH/Adorama/B&H) and when it does, as often as not it's not this lens at all but the regular Vivitar 135mm 2.8 misidentified (whether the sellers are clueless or devious I can't say) - but it's easy enough to figure out. All you have to do is look at the photo the seller provides of the front of the lens - it will have "close focusing" (among other things) written on it.  (Despite the evident scarcity of the real thing, it's still not expensive - I don't think I paid more than $120 for mine, which seems to be in good condition and even came with its original case.)

All that said, you might find the ergonomics of the bigger 135mm MF lenses a tad awkward (to say the least) on an EOS M - they're all metal and even the smaller ones are heavy for their size compared to most modern lenses (I use mine on mirrorless Sonys).

First, ask yourself why did you buy mirrorless camera over DSLR? I highly recommend staying with their native lenses - smaller, lighter, more balance and most important of all faster AF.

Otherwise, there is no true benefits carrying mirrorless with an adaptor and larger EF lenses.

Oh I don't know - there are advantages to mirrorless cameras that have nothing to do with size (disadvantages too, from certain perspectives); besides, the OP may already own a bunch of EF lenses and want to start there.

Anyway, the standard Metabones adapter provides EXIF data, in-camera aperture change (crucial with EF/EF-S lenses, of course), IS support and, for some lenses, AF - but Dylan's right: if you need fast AF, let alone the astonishingly fast AF you get from EF lenses on Canon dslrs (or native lenses on the Sony), you will be very disappointed/frustrated.  Speed varies (fastest in my experience is the very lightweight EF-S 10-18mm), but it's never fast enough to use on anything that moves (it seems to be accurate, though, and of course you're spared back/front focus issues).  You may find MF preferable, in part because the a6000, like all the better mirrorless bodies, makes MF easy, worlds apart from any dslr (or slr, for that matter).  And if you do, you may want to try a few cheap old MF lenses (there are lots of good tips online) and adapters; the focusing rings on those are in a different class from anything I've encountered on a lens made for a dslr, even L lenses. 

(I've not tried any of Metabones' speed boosters, partly because I have a ff mirrorless camera, partly because for the price of one of those I could buy a handful of MF lenses.)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How Strong is a Sony Lens Mount
« on: October 24, 2014, 08:48:30 PM »

Roger was responding to the posts about loosening the mount screws to simulate the issue.  He said that loosening the screws will always cause it to happen and I agree.

Umm - What Cicala wrote, titling his response "Shame on you Fotodiox" was this:

"For loosening the screws in their demo camera before making that video. We've got dozens and dozens of A7s and I'd never seen flex like that. But if I loosened each mounting screw 1/2 turn, I got flex exactly like that."

(Lots of other sensible-looking posts in that thread too.)  I think msm's perspective is quite plausible.  There may be some problematic bodies (I have no idea, but Cicala has seen more than probably anyone else), but it's not at all clear what "the issue" was that people were complaining about - slight rotational play, clueless mishandling or something else, let alone whether any mere "wriggling" had any effect whatever on the images produced.  The idea that Fotodiox is responding to demand rather than trying to create it by exploiting internet chitchat is a tad naive (even if they were it's not clear exactly what the demand is or whether this will satisfy it).  And based on my experience with their lens adapters - usually perfectly fine except sometimes with inaccurate infinity stops - I doubt Fotodiox are the last word in mechanical finesse and I certainly won't be buying one of these things for my A7r or A6000 (nor, when I attach my 70-300L to either one, would it occur to me to pick the combination up by the body...). 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DxO mark: here we go again!!!
« on: October 24, 2014, 06:22:25 PM »
From Nikon rumors:


Let the trashing begin.

I think the one that I find most amusing is that they rate the Nikon D810 higher in low-light ISO performance than the 6D. Yet, if you use the comparisons on DPReview even a blind squirrel can see how awful the D810 is at higher ISOs.

I don't think the dpreview comparison tool (assuming that's what you're referring to) shows that, but then I'm not a blind squirrel  :P.  The problem with that tool is that it's misleading unless you compare cameras with similar resolution because they don't up/downscale images according to the comparison you're making.  If you compare a 36mp image at 100% with a 21mp image at 100% you get greater magnification with the former, and that includes the noise.  You would have to upscale the 6D image or downscale the 810 image to compare them properly (which is how they do it at photographylife.com, for instance).  As it is, notwithstanding that there seemed some areas where the 810 did better (I just did the comparison at ISO6400), but I won't comment further as I've not so much as touched a D810 and don't plan to.  (I keep meaning to do a similar comparison between my 6D and 5DIII vs my Sony A7r but I'm too lazy....)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How to differentiate crop vs. FF
« on: October 14, 2014, 12:01:56 AM »
One advantage of crop is that after buying the camera body you will have more money left over to but an excellent lens. The higher quality lens will have more effect on the quality of the image then the camera  :P

Perhaps, but as a general rule, as Neuro and others have pointed out, any given lens (assuming you can attach it to both) generates better images on a FF body than it does on an APS-C body; I think it would be a shame to buy an excellent lens (let alone all the high-end lenses listed by the OP) and then restrict yourself to using it on an APS-C body. 

(One could, in fact, make the opposite argument - that owning a FF body allows you to save money on lenses, at least in some circumstances (there's no FF equivalent to the remarkably cheap Canon 10-18mm, for instance), sometimes astonishingly so - there are some ridiculously cheap old manual prime lenses that make amazingly good photos when attached to a mirrorless FF body (perhaps they do on dslrs too, but mirrorless bodies make it incomparably easier to use such lenses).  E.g. while everyone else has been getting worked up over the Sigma 50mm Art (which I'm sure is wonderful), I've been greatly enjoying using, on my Sony a7r, a Pentax/Super-Tak 50mm 1.4 (c. $90), a Minolta/Rokkor X 50mm 1.4 (c. $50) and a Nikkor 55mm 2.8 macro (but superb even at infinity - c. $100); but then I don't shoot sports, BIF etc....)

Anyway, in terms of sheer image quality, other things being equal, FF wins, for the reasons given by others (Sporgon's point is especially good).  I have a couple of APS-C bodies, but I'm really not sure why.  That said, whether the differences are of any significance, or are even noticeable at all, is another matter.  It all rather depends on how the resulting images are viewed and how critical the viewer is (the same goes for differences in image quality among lenses, for that matter), and an APS-C body may make more sense for reasons unrelated to sheer image quality.

For me, the issue gets more interesting if you throw M43 into the mix, because that system, unlike APS-C, provides a big advantage over FF in terms of weight/bulk while providing image quality that rivals APS-C, albeit with a loss of shallowness of focus (plus, it tends to cost more than APS-C dslrs).  Of course, it can't compare to FF at high ISOs (it's not much different from APS-C), but if you're not trying to freeze action, that's not an issue - thanks to the extremely effective IBIS in more recent Olympus M43 bodies (E-M5 and later), I have little difficulty in keeping the ISO at 200 most of the time, and, of course, since it's IBIS it applies to any lens you attach.

So there may not be an easy answer....




Enthusiasm and tech are not synonymous, my experience over the last 30+ years of serious photography has been that enthusiasm trumps pretty much everything, sure there will always be images that are just not possible without the latest or greatest, but from what I have seen, none of us, including myself, are shooting them.

That's probably right.  But in my experience it's not really either/or: better equipment, up to a point (doesn't have to be "latest or greatest" - the original question simply referred to equipment that was better than you started with), boosts enthusiasm by making the learning process easier and more enjoyable.  Those who have said that experience/learning/technique/an artistic eye matter most have a point, obviously, but it's easier to achieve those things when you're not hampered by, say, inferior focusing mechanisms (too few focus points, inconsistent/inaccurate AF lenses, design that effectively makes MF near-impossible, etc.), bad ergonomics (esp. burying important controls in intimidatingly complex menus) and so on, and when the resulting images look inherently better (less noise etc.). 

("Better" is relative anyway and needn't be expensive.  There was no such option when I bought my first dslr, but for my purposes, miles "better" than the Nikon dslr I started out with would have been a good mirrorless body with a few old MF lenses and perhaps a couple of good modern AF lenses - it's easier to learn what the controls do if they're easily accessible and you can see their effect as you look through the viewfinder, and incomparably easier to MF when magnification and focus peaking show up there as well  - for me, at any rate.)

Canon General / Re: Advice for re-investing please?
« on: October 06, 2014, 02:49:09 PM »

The best mirrorless cameras are grossly overpriced, and the technology is moving rapidly, so consider that before investing thousands in a mirrorless system that almost matches your "M" in IQ.  You can use a adapter to mount a Zeiss lens to the "M" and have something very special.

Some seem overpriced to me too, but the best aps-c mirrorless camera is probably the Sony a6000, which costs <$600, while right now the ff a7 is <$1500 and a7r <$2100 (often less).  Provided they're compatible with the use to which one wants to put a camera, they all seem like a pretty good deal to me, especially since you can attach just about any lens to them, albeit usually with complete loss of AF performance (or with the Metabones Canon adapter, considerable loss of AF performance - though I would note it's much faster on the a6000).  With such a body there's no need for a "system" at all.

EOS Bodies / Re: High ISO Samples from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 16, 2014, 04:38:34 PM »

Someone that many would call a competent photographer posts a series of images, of which a substantial fraction are out of focus and criticising the camera is baseless trolling?

So what would you like to blame for the focus problems:
* The camera
* The model
* The lens
* The photographer

Why speculate at all?  For all we know, people milling about around him kept bumping into him at awkward moments, or the model kept moving, or....  What's odd isn't so much that some of the photos are duds as that anyone should have thought the bad ones worth publishing in the first place.

EOS Bodies / Re: High ISO Samples from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 16, 2014, 04:31:14 PM »
Okay, finally found some real samples:

Cameraegg Canon EOS 7D Mark II Sample Images & Movies

EDIT: These are from the Canon Japan website and are damn impressive (as you'd hope).  The ISO 100 performance and sharpness of the 85L portrait is amazing.  They must have really optimized the low pass filter (like they did in the 5DIII) as well.

I wonder if the second one there is a response of sorts to the third one here:



The benefit between 22 and 36mp bodies is negligible when using let's say the Tamron 24-70mm. Once you get the zeiss 135mm APO, the difference is stark.

However, doesn't change my point that even at 36mp it's hard to get the detail out of it and let alone a 50mp sensor in 35mm format.

Funny you should mention that lens, inasmuch as Roger Cicala reports that the Tamron 24-70 on a D800 outperforms in terms of resolution the (superior) Canon 24-70II on a 5DIII, a combination that outperforms the Tamron 24-70 + 5DIII.  You can't attach the Canon to a D800, but you can (and people do so) to a Sony A7r, so.... 

I'm not sure what you really mean by "get the detail out of it".  You seem here, and in other posts, to suggest that unless you own lenses that can make the most of (whatever that means) a higher resolution sensor, there's no point in using a camera with a higher resolution sensor (other things - such as noise, dynamic range, etc. - being equal, presumably).  I'll leave the science to others, but have you tried this yourself or is your argument based on speculation?   I've attached a fairly wide array of lenses to my A7r, mostly Canon EF (including some rather inexpensive ones) but a few others as well, including some fairly elderly inexpensive manual lenses even older than those you sneeringly (or so it seems) invoked in another post, and with only one exception so far they are capable of sharp detailed images when viewed at 100%, probably more so than when I use them on my 5DIII (which is not to say the differences are significant).  Is your experience different?

But of course the appeal of a sensor, let alone a camera, isn't just its resolution - it's other aspects of its performance; when Sony (or whoever else) releases a 50mm FF camera the other things mentioned above won't be equal.  E.g. there are reasons to like the Sony A7 line independent of sensor resolution - noise, dynamic range, that fact that the sensors are housed in mirrorless bodies to which you can attach just about any lens and which have good EVFs, and so on.  Given all the other benefits (they're not for everyone, of course), it's nice to be able to attach EF lenses and obtain images that look at least as good as they do via their native bodies.  Whether those lenses "gets the most out of" the sensor doesn't matter much to me, and I suspect it won't to lots of others too; you can always supplement them with lenses that perform better.   It would be disappointing if the images looked worse, but no-one has provided any reasons to suppose that they would.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 09:44:37 AM »
Again fascinating that a lens with better "metric scores" (better sharpness, vignetting, and CA) is getting a lower overall DxOMark Score than the Otus 55/1.4.

DxO scores mean nothing to me.

Edit: I was referring to the comparison picture displayed here at first with the D800 Body and Otus 55/1.4 and Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135/2.0 as opponents. See here:

There's a rather different sort of review, by someone who actually took photos with one, here:


Lenses / Re: Sigma 35 Art vs EF 35 IS in real life
« on: September 09, 2014, 04:17:06 PM »
How's the focusing of the Canon in low light? I've been eyeing the Sigma but like the IS of the Canon and the price. I shoot with a 5D3 which seems to help some lenses focus in low light and accuracy.

I rented both lenses when they were new for about a week, using them on a 6D or 5DIII (I forget which) mostly in very low light (after sunset in winter), and although that probably isn't long enough to get much sense of AF accuracy, I never had a problem with either one.  But, since you mention low light, there is one issue where the Sigma seemed unquestionably superior - coma. Few review sites address this, but this one does:



If coma is a big enough issue for the sort of things you photograph, the Sigma seems preferable; otherwise the Canon might be more appealing.  (I couldn't decide and while I was dithering Adorama had a ridiculous short-lived sale on the 28mm IS, so I bought that instead....)

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Preorder Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T*
« on: September 09, 2014, 03:37:30 PM »
This may already have been posted elsewhere, but in case anyone's interested here's an early review:


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