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Topics - Sabaki

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Macro / Sabaki's Favourite Macro From 2014
« on: Today at 09:49:41 AM »
Macro is my favourite genre and although I'm still learning, I did enjoy a few of my photos taken this year

The majority were shot on my Canon 500D and a few with my new Canon 7D mark ii. I generally use the Canon MR-14EX ringflash and depending on the creature's size, may attach a few extension tubes.

If anybody has advise on diffusing the MR-14EX, I would be most grateful!

Here goes

EOS Bodies - For Stills / FotoBuzz 7D Mark II Update
« on: December 12, 2014, 01:33:02 PM »
Andy Rouse has updated his review on the 7D Mark II.

Some great new pics!

Lenses / The Next L Primes
« on: November 15, 2014, 04:02:00 AM »
A Google search later, it seems that the last non telephoto primes lenses released, were the 17mm TSE, 24mm TSE and the 100mm L Macro in 2009.

I believe it's fair to say these lenses are extraordinary in performance, with few faults.

But I'm beginning to wonder, just how far Canon can turn up the performance dial for any new prime they intend to release?

When I began photography three years back, a common bit of wisdom I found was that primes are just better than zooms and this was due to the simplified engineering required.
Then along comes 4 zooms, 16-35 f/4.0L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L ii, 70-200 f/2.8L ii & the 200-400 that had reviewers saying something along the lines of "this zoom performs good enough to make me sell any prime lens covered by that range."

I'm paraphrasing there, don't sue me  ;D

So back to the subject of what a brand new prime could bring to the table.
1. Sharpness from corner to corner at largest aperture
2. Contrast
3. Autofocus
4. Colour rendering
5. Bokeh/Aperture blades
6. Image Stabilization
7. Size/Weight/Filterability

Canon's latest zooms are a strong indication that the engineering process has become highly refined and that the next primes should truly shine.

I feel that Canon's next L prime should be able to deliver astounding image quality and simultaneously consign issues such as jittery or slow AF, sterile contrast and any fringing to the past.

Lenses / Critical View of 70-200 f/2.8 mkii+2xTC III
« on: November 08, 2014, 04:08:20 PM »
I often hear people citing the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii with the 2X TC III as a serious option as a wildlife lens and I don't quite agree.

I believe that the setup is touted as you end up with the best 70-200 out there which can double as a telephoto but I find the image quality to be a compromise.

The images I have seen, has me place both the 100-400 and definitely the 400 f/5.6 as better options.

Now an admission: I'm not a technical guy and cannot breakdown my feelings on the TC'd 70-200 into tech-talk but I find the overall IQ as poorer.

Am I wrong? Is the 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii a match for the 100-400 and the 400 f/5.6?

I'm interested in hearing opinions on this but let's keep it sentiment free ie "I own that setup and I love my photos"...

Thanks peeps

Hey everyone

Can you guts please offer some advice on how one should or should pack one's camera bag please?

I've recently found that if I place my Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L ii with the front element down, the lens cap pops off.

A veteran tog has also advised me not to pack my camera with a lens attached to it.

You guts have anymore? Should I vacuum my bag periodically?

Thanks guys

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Brief Hands on with the 7Dii
« on: October 05, 2014, 07:54:09 AM »
So I attended a Canon sponsored PhotoMob in Cape Town and briefly handled the 7Dii.

So speaking to probably the most senior Canon guy on the African continent, I got this info from him:

1. 2-3 stops better ISO performance over the original 7D.
2. ISO 3200 performance is a touch better than ISO 800 on the original.

Disclaimer: He is a Canon man and most things said are probably pitch but there we go.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Upgrading - What To Expect
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:57:25 PM »
After a magnificent 2.5 years spent with my amazing EOS 500D, I will be upgrading to the 7Dii when it launches.

I've taken a few decent to good pics with the 500D but my growth as a photographer meant that I needed something a little bit more advanced for what I would like to shoot, namely birds in flight and wildlife in general and the 7Dii definitely has what I'm looking for.

ITR. 65 points. Advanced AF modes. 10fps. Intelligent viewfinder. Up, down, left, right. Tracking sensitivity. Lens group designations... Uhm, wow! All of a sudden, upgrading seems rather daunting.

I just got done reading a post on Facebook where somebody upgraded from a 650D to a 7D about 3 months ago but is finding his pics from his 650D sharper. The lenses were calibrated against both bodies yet the results stay the same.

Can an upgrade of this nature be too much for some photographers?

Regarding an upgrade of this magnitude, what would you folks see as being the three most difficult to grasp features?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Photography's Top Manufacturers for 2020
« on: September 19, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
Bloggers, reviewers, forum members have all in the last year or so moved away from Canon vs Nikon exclusive  debates to now include Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Sigma and Fujitsu as viable alternatives. 

I have experienced this sway of sentiment before. In gaming, we had Sega vs Nintendo. Today it's Sony vs Microsoft. We had Nokia in the mobile phone segment. Not only usurped from their throne but taken over by a competitor. Sony dominated the CRT television market. Since the advent of flat panel screens and Samsung's total domination of the segment, whispers from Japan recently indicated that Sony may actually walk away from making screens altogether.

These companies stood head and shoulders above their rivals and their brands were household names, synonymous with the products they plied.

Quickly, very quickly it changed. Why? Well, one of two things in my opinion. Sega and Nintendo wanted to cater for a hardcore market, who was dwarfed by the sheer volume of the average consumer who wanted a console. Nokia wore blinkers and were oblivious to the huge strides made by newcomers to the market. They also decided to give their users what they felt the users wanted.

The rest is history.

Let's turn to Canon and Nikon. Combined, owning well over 90% of the photography market worldwide. Two years back, a newbie wanted advise on which camera or photography system to buy, there was uniform advise; go with either Canon or Nikon.

Today, that is no longer the case.

I watched a fair number of video previews on the 7Dii, read some more reviews as well as every 7Dii post here at Canon Rumors. There are grumblings regarding the sensor, the video capability and value-for-money proposition of the 7Dii vs the competition.
And no, the competition named is no longer by default Nikon as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic are all mentioned frequently. And judging purely on the massive strides they've taken recently, they have certainly earned a place in these conversations.

A company like Sony has Zeiss in their stable. If Zeiss was to release 4 compelling lenses per year until 2014 and Sony as a company enhances their overall system with flash units etc, could they be sitting at #1 photography brand in 2020?

There are other competitors too. If Sigma do start releasing their own bodies, bodies who speak the exact language their lenses do and thereby mitigate the AF issues associated with their wares on Canon and Nikon, what then?

This is not a topic about the 7Dii, this is about what could potentially happen in 2020. Funny enough, if there is one of either Canon or Nikon to slip out of the top 5, I somehow sense it will be Canon. Nikon's over all appeal just seems that bit more attractive.

You guys agree or disagree with anything I've said up there? Is it possible that the other brands could build up superior systems in 5 years?

Or is this a case of it's easier to go from 0-100mph than it is to go from 100-200mph.

Would love to hear some opinions on this.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 7Dii + 400 f/5.6 + Canon 1.4TC =?
« on: September 18, 2014, 05:37:45 PM »
As excited as I am about some of the 7Dii's features, I am equally unfamiliar with them.

This auto focus at f/8.0 on the centre AF point is interesting to me.

I understand that with a Canon 1.4x TC III, I can get 896mm and the camera will still maintain auto focus. So essentially I get larger magnification without losing AF.

So a few natural questions would be, is there loss of other AF capabilities, such as ITR and just how much of an IQ penalty will I experience by attaching a 1.4x TC to my beloved Canon EOS 400mm f/5.6? Has anybody got experience of shooting the 400mm with a 1.4x TC?

What else do I need to know? What questions haven't I asked that is relative to this setup and more importantly, if I was standing next to you in a photography retailer, about to pull the trigger on a Canon 1.4x TC for the above setup, would you stop me or encourage me to buy one?

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / CF Cards Vs SD Cards
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:08:08 AM »
Hi everybody

I've only ever shot with a 500D and have zero experience with CF cards.

I'm definitely getting a 7Dii but I'm unsure whether to continue with SD cards or if CF cards are the way to go.

I have my eye on a Sandisk 32gig for about $200.

What would you recommend and why?

Thanks guys

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Macro Photography - APS-C Vs Full Frame
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:58:48 AM »
Hey everybody :)

So for the past 6 months, I've been diligently saving towards the 6D, as I want to step into the world of full frame. I'm really excited about the better noise handling, the better IQ and all the goodness that comes with a full frame upgrade.

However. I'm now caught up in the frenzy surrounding the 7Dii. The AF system and the vast improvement it will offer over my 500D is massively appealing to me. My bird photography has progressed from bird-on-a-stick to larger, slower birds in flight. Anything smaller than a gull however and I can in 98% of cases, kiss a sharp image goodbye.

I will eventually own both cameras but cannot afford both at once.

If I go full frame now, it means stalling on incrementally improving my bird-in-flight shots.

If I go APS-C, it means not being able to take low light shots and negating much of the noise issues my 500D gives.

So macro is my deciding factor. What would be considered a better tool for macro, a 6D or a 7Dii?

Thanks guys, looking forward to some answers.

Lenses / Canon MP-E 65 f/2.8
« on: August 30, 2014, 11:12:28 AM »
So I'm an absolute macro nut and I'm very seriously considering ponying up for the MP-E 65. Thing is, I don't know much about it.

So a quick Google search says this lens was released in September, 1999. How does this lens hold up vs the 100L when it comes to sharpness, bokeh etc? I shoot handheld, with the MR-14EX ringlite in manual, for the record.

This lens is 15 years old, still brilliant or due for an upgrade? And if you feel it is due for a reboot, what would you change about it?

Thanks guys :)

EOS Bodies / 6D+7Dii Vs 5D mkiii
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:33:41 PM »
My 500D, noble beast that she is, needs to be retired.

Her AF isn't sufficient when trying to catch quicker birds in flight and when it comes to low light photography, anything over ISO 800 affects image quality.

So I decided, that I wanted two cameras to replace her and set my sights on the 6D for the full frame goodness and 7Dii (yes, I know it's not out yet :D) for frames per second, AF system and so on.

But a friend is now messing with my mind. His advise? Get the 5Diii instead.

His contention is that the 5Diii will give me more bells and whistles than the 6D offers and provides sufficient resolution that would allow me to crop an image to equal the 1.6 "zoom" of a crop body.

But I'm not so sure that cropping an image shot at 400mm (FF) would give me the "fill" of a 640mm (APS-C) without negatively affecting image quality.

What would you guys do? If the 7Dii isn't announced this year, I may go for the 70D instead.

I'm really in need of some convincing that the full frame can replace a crop body.

Thanks in advance :)

Lenses / Canon EF 12-24mm f/2.8 L - Constructing the Enigma
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:53:58 AM »
So this post is purely a flight of fantasy and not based on fact but merely on hope.

Personally, I would love Canon to replace the 16-35mm focal length in favour of 12-24mm for it's flagship ultra wide lens. Yes, I do understand that there are many that enjoy that extra 11mm on the long side but as I've pointed out, this is kinda what I would ask for.

My non negotiables are these:
1. Focal length: 12-24
2. Aperture: f/2.8-f/22 (constant across focal range)
3. Weather sealed
4. Able to take filters
5. Unparalleled corner-to-corner and centre frame image quality.
6. Reticulinear

I'm not too concerned about IS for this focal range but I do acknowledge the many reviewers of the 16-35 f/4.0 IS stating IS as being impressive. 

So is this lens possible and what would it look like and weigh? Just how bulbous would such a front element be and would an 82mm thread size be possible?
I'm looking at a weight of between 550g-650g max.
Filtering a lens with 12mm on the wide end will bring obvious vignetting issues. Can this be mitigated?

Lots of fantasy I know, perhaps not even possible.

But if it was real, would YOU buy this lens?

Lenses / Which Bokeh Monster?
« on: July 23, 2014, 03:57:18 PM »
So Bokeh Monster is a term I use for those primes that weigh in with apertures larger than 2.8.

Now with photography being very expensive here in South Africa, I've only got space (and money) for one Bokeh Monster in my kit.

Which would you recommend?

I'm aware that the number of aperture blades plays a big part in creating bokeh but I'm also looking for decent AF performance and sharpness. I'm less worried about those abherrations (fringing/vignetting) that can be 'ticked' away in post.

I'd also like an opinion as to whether IS benefits the photographer when working at these extreme apertures.

Looking forward to hearing some opinions, especially those with working experience of these primes.

Thanks in advance guys :)

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