January 28, 2015, 11:22:55 PM

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Messages - AlanF

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1
I am going to eat some of my words. Yesterday, at the end of some miserable attempts to photograph birds at a reserve, I stopped off at the visitor centre where you could see a Swarovski target that had been placed for an exhibition and had been left behind, a 100 or so  metres away. Here is a shot of the target with 420mm on the 5DIII, to get a feel for the scene. Next, is an unsharpened crop from RAW of the target with the 100-400mm on the 7DII at 400mm f/5.6 (the crop is close to 400 px wide at 100%). Below that is at f/8 and 560mm (about 560 px wide). At the bottom it's at 800mm f/11 using live view (close to 800 px wide). On going from 400mm to 500mm, there is a little improvement in resolution. But, on going to 800mm, it becomes much clearer and you can even read the numbers in the circle. I was so flabbergasted on getting home, that I checked my focus just in case live view was better than AF - it wasn't. It is just that you need to get to 800mm to resolve the fine details, and below that they are merged (below the Nyqvist limit).

So, the 100-400mm II takes the 2xTCIII very well, and the 7DII focusses really well in live view at f/11. I can't wait to photo the moon with the 7DII/800mm, and I am drooling at the thought of a 400 DO II with a 2xTC!

The first relatively clear night. It was still hazy, but I tried out the 7DII + 2xTCIII + 100-400 II. I processed in DxO, PRIME with clearview to help remove the haze. The performance was creditable, and compared not too badly with a shot with the 300mm/2.8 + 2xTC (below).

2
Reviews / Re: Impressions from 7DMkII and Comparison to 7D
« on: Today at 04:52:21 PM »
Such low level screen dumps are close to useless for comparisons.


What do you mean with low level? The resolution is limited ba the moderators. I do this the first time. In my blog they are full resolution... This means that I have to treat them diferently for this forum. right?


And you can see what is important: The 7D2 shows at each Iso level a higher level of contrast as well as color depth.


The images were taken as jpg. because at the time I shot them no Raw engine was available..

You posted these months after raw engines have been available.  The rest of us manage to post 100% crops etc that can be evaluated on this site.

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I want to take a week's break at the end of March for bird photography in Cyprus, most probably in Paphos. Any suggestions for a hotel etc and advice, please?
Alan

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Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: January 27, 2015, 06:59:17 AM »
Great Horned Owl. All taken with 5DMkIII and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. The first one at 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 640, 200 mm. The 2nd one: 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 1250, 200 mm, and the 3rd one: 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 800, 200 mm.

How did you get so close to take those shots at 200mm? I need a lesson.

5
Reviews / Re: Impressions from 7DMkII and Comparison to 7D
« on: January 26, 2015, 05:17:31 PM »
Such low level screen dumps are close to useless for comparisons.

6
Lenses / Re: I'm conflicted please help
« on: January 26, 2015, 11:17:15 AM »
The thing is the difference between 400 and 500 is 2-3 steps.

Yes, if your subject is 8-12 steps away.  Whatever the distance, you need to get 25% closer to your subject with the 400mm lens to match framing.  That can often be quite a challenge with wildlife.

You need to get 20% closer, not 25. :)

Fair enough.  In that case, you can be 25% further away with the 500mm lens.  Potayto, potahhhto.   ;)

Reminds me of Robert Maxwell's suggestion that they should increase the list price by 25% and then offer a 29% discount to get the same selling price. It took a while to convince him that he would lose 6.25% that way.

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Lenses / Re: I'm conflicted please help
« on: January 26, 2015, 10:00:10 AM »
The thing is the difference between 400 and 500 is 2-3 steps.

Yes, if your subject is 8-12 steps away.  Whatever the distance, you need to get 25% closer to your subject with the 400mm lens to match framing.  That can often be quite a challenge with wildlife.

You need to get 20% closer, not 25. :)

8
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 26, 2015, 09:05:54 AM »
AlanF, from time to time don't forget to give your evaluation of the 7D2 from personal experience.  I'll be on the fence until March or maybe early April.

Jack

For us bird fanatics, the 7D II is a huge leap forward from the 7D. Firstly, the AF has been improved beyond recognition. On Sunday, I was standing next to a guy with the 300/2.8 II +2xTC on the 7D, and it wouldn't autofocus, which is the reason I ditched the 7D. Also, the AF is far more consistent, 1 shot after another spot on whereas before I would have to take a batch to get a keeper. Focussing at f/8 is still excellent, and the dual pixel AF in live view works very well at f/11. Secondly, it is noticeably sharper. It also fires very rapidly at 10fps and relatively quietly. The 7D II and 100-400 II seem made for each other. However, the 5DIII plus 1.4xTC +100-400mm II at f/8 is a match for the 7D II + 100-400. I am in camera-lens heaven at the moment.


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Lenses / Re: I'm conflicted please help
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:20:39 AM »
It depends on how you operate.  If you like sitting in a hide (blind) and use a tripod or sitting in a car with a beanbag, then the 500 + 1.4xTC would be suitable or the 300 II + 2xTC would give you nearly as much reach and quality.  If you don't use a tripod and you like walking/hiking, then the much lighter 300 is the clear winner, as it is also for sports etc.  The new 400 DO II also adds to the dilemma, as does the 100-400 II. 

10
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 25, 2015, 06:11:31 PM »
Birds are still very scarce over here. I have uploaded these, taken yesterday at Lakenheath, to show the quality of the 100-400 II + 1.4xTC + 7D II at f/8. The birds weren't that close and did not fill the frame, but the quality is satisfactory. I probably would have done nearly as well without the TC, but it works fine and gives some extra resolution.

11
Lenses / Re: What to take to Iceland ?
« on: January 23, 2015, 03:13:29 AM »
Warm clothing for obvious reasons, lots of money because it's so expensive, and don't go whale watching because they hunt them and you won't see any. Spectacular scenery when it isn't raining. 

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Lenses / Re: Advice - what to take to Europe
« on: January 22, 2015, 10:20:37 AM »
First of all may I extend a warm welcome to you. You have chosen two of the most interesting and exciting cities in the world, and I am sure you will enjoy your visit.
In answer to your question, if you mainly want to take pictures of the buildings and tourist attractions then for me the 24-105 would be enough. This lens is on my camera for most of the time when I am travelling.
Do you find you often use the 16-24 range on your 16-35 F4? If so, then take that lens as well.
I cannot think of why you would need anything longer than 105mm - but again it all depends what you shoot. If, for example you plan to visit London zoo then you might find the 70-300 lens useful. If not then I would be inclined to leave it at home.

He's visiting London and Paris, not London and New York! Normally I would recommend just the 24-105 but I got some great shots with the Tammy 150-600 in Paris last summer. So, the 70-300 would be useful. Below is the Eiffel Tower at night shot through the windows of a restaurant using the EOS-M and 18-55. The Eiffel Tower using the Tammy at 150mm, and the Arc de Triomphe at 226mm. I take the big lens for bird photography, but the EOS-M with the 18-55 and 55-250 would be very handy and discrete. Of course, I wouldn't travel without the 100-400 II in future!

Why would it be different if he were visiting New York?

It was a joke meaning that London and New York are more exciting than London and Paris!

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Lenses / Re: Advice - what to take to Europe
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:28:21 AM »
First of all may I extend a warm welcome to you. You have chosen two of the most interesting and exciting cities in the world, and I am sure you will enjoy your visit.
In answer to your question, if you mainly want to take pictures of the buildings and tourist attractions then for me the 24-105 would be enough. This lens is on my camera for most of the time when I am travelling.
Do you find you often use the 16-24 range on your 16-35 F4? If so, then take that lens as well.
I cannot think of why you would need anything longer than 105mm - but again it all depends what you shoot. If, for example you plan to visit London zoo then you might find the 70-300 lens useful. If not then I would be inclined to leave it at home.

He's visiting London and Paris, not London and New York! Normally I would recommend just the 24-105 but I got some great shots with the Tammy 150-600 in Paris last summer. So, the 70-300 would be useful. Below is the Eiffel Tower at night shot through the windows of a restaurant using the EOS-M and 18-55. The Eiffel Tower using the Tammy at 150mm, and the Arc de Triomphe at 226mm. I take the big lens for bird photography, but the EOS-M with the 18-55 and 55-250 would be very handy and discrete. Of course, I wouldn't travel without the 100-400 II in future!

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Lenses / Inconsistent reviewing of lenses
« on: January 21, 2015, 09:08:40 AM »
We read reviews and draw our own conclusions, and generally have a feel for the sites that are reliable. This review of the 100-400mm II, however, takes the cake for contradicting itself.

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews

Tamron 150-600
150mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are excellent stopped-down at f/8 through to f/16
250mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are excellent stopped-down at f/8 through to f/22
450mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are excellent stopped-down at f/8 through to f/22
600mm
Both centre and edges aren't critically sharp until you stop-down to f/11, which means that you should only use the 600mm focal length sparingly if sharpness is your number one priority.

Summary:
Score for IQ 4.5/5

Sigma 150-600
150mm
Centre and edge sharpness are commendably good wide-open at f/5, and remain high through from f/5.6 to f/16
300mm
Centre and edge sharpness are commendably good wide-open at f/5.6, and remain high through from f/8 to f/16
400mm
Centre sharpness is commendably good wide-open at f/6.3, and both the centre and the edge remain high through from f/8 to f/16
500mm
Centre sharpness is commendably good wide-open at f/6.3, and both the centre and the edge remain high through from f/8 to f/16.
600mm
Centre sharpness is commendably good wide-open at f/6.3, and both the centre and the edge remain high through from f/8 to f/16.

Summary:
Score for IQ 5/5

Canon 100-400 II

100mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are both excellent wide open at f/4.5, and outstanding between f/5.6 and f/11.
200mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are both excellent wide open at f/4.5, and outstanding between f/5.6 and f/22.
300mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are OK wide open at f/5, and outstanding between f/8 and f/16.
400mm
Both centre and edge sharpness are OK wide open at f/5.6, and outstanding between f/8 and f/16.

Summary
Score for IQ 4.5/5

Firstly, the 100-400 beats the other two in his own descriptions and yet gets rated lower than the Sigma and the same as the Tamron. Secondly, photozone, which actually measures the sharpness quantitatively, has the centre sharpness at 300mm close to the top of the chart, and wide open is sharper at f/5.6 than f/8 for 200-400mm.
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/896-canon100400f4556is2?start=1

Very odd comments: “While you could use it (100-400) on a smaller APS-C body for a 160-640mm equivalent angle of view, it won't balance very well at all - as demonstrated by the images below, it's a much better match for a professional-grade full-frame camera like the 5D Mark III”.
an excellent telephoto zoom lens for Canon full-frame DSLR owners

But, the APS-C 7D II is only a couple of mm smaller in 2 of the dimensions and larger in the 3rd, and weighs 910g versus 950g for the 5D III. I can’t tell any balance difference between the lens on the 5D III and 7D II. The Tamron and especially the Sigma are far more unbalanced

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Lenses / Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review
« on: January 20, 2015, 04:00:56 PM »
SLRGear used the same bodies for the 300mm and 400mm prime tests.  ePhotozine used the 5Dii with the 300mm f2.8 ii and then used the 5Diii with the 400mm f4 DO ii.  The SLRGear tests would be more reliable for comparing.

I am not sure that using different cameras is the cause. At f/5.6, according to ePhotozine, both the 400 DO and the 300/2.8 are close to identical and the centres knocking the top of the chart, but the 300 is distinctly lower at f/2.8 than the DO at f/4.
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-300mm-f-2-8l-is-ii-usm-lens-review-19868
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-400mm-f-4-do-is-ii-usm-lens-review-26785

Seeing how they test, it looks like SLRgear should be the most reliable.


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