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Topics - jd7

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Software & Accessories / Peak Design Slide strap thoughts ...
« on: February 20, 2015, 11:51:20 PM »
I have had a Slide strap since Christmas. Even though it's nice in a lot of ways, I'm finding I don't especially like using it. The problem is the strap is still fairly wide and stiff/inflexible quite close to where it connects to the camera. Because of that the strap tends to get in the way of my hand when trying to operate the camera. It's particularly noticeable when shooting in portrait orientation.

Anyone else finding the same thing?

Lenses / which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 20, 2015, 08:57:25 PM »
Hi all

Short version - should I switch out my 70-200 4L IS, or even my 70-200 2.8L IS II, for a 135L?

Longer version ...

Over the last 12 months I have bought and sold a few lenses and I'm generally pretty happy with my kit now.  I have a 6D with:

35 2 IS - general walk around / street / indoors / low light / shallow depth of field / wider portraits

40 2.8 pancake - haven't used it much since I got the 35 2 IS but for the price useful when you want the camera to be as compact as possible or to have in a pocket as a wider option if carrying a long zoom

85 1.8 - portraits / low light / shallow depth of field / occasionally as small and light short telephoto for travel (esp if hiking long distances)

24-70 4L IS - general walk around / travel zoom, landscapes, some close up ability (I know it's not really a macro despite its macro mode, but I've never got into macro photography).  I know the 2.8L II would be "better" in most respects but I find the 4L good for travel, especially when doing a lot of hiking, and the 35 2 IS gives me better low light ability than the 2.8 zoom.

70-200 2.8L IS II - portraits / events / general purpose, especially outdoors, when I'm doing something where the weight/size is not an issue / anything and everything which works in that focal range

70-200 4L IS - travel telephoto zoom / general purpose, especially outdoors, when I'm doing something where the weight/size of the 2.8L is an issue.  Either 70-200 is great for landscapes, but I tend to use the 4L more for that, because it's the one I'm more likely to carry to places which have nice landscapes!

I would quite like to add a fast 50 to my kit, and otherwise I'm not keen to add more lenses to my kit - I think I have more than enough already!  I do occasionally think about the 16-35 4L IS, but am trying to resist. Don't think I'd make enough use of the 16-24 range to justify it.

So, the question is whether any of you would recommend a different travel telephoto option?  In particular, I'm thinking about the possibility of switching out my 70-200 4L IS for a 135L.  Good idea or bad idea?  I've also considered switching my 70-200 2.8 for a 135L, but in the end I think the 70-200 2.8 is probably too good and too useful to part with.

The 70-200 4L IS has the advantages of the flexibility of a zoom, weather sealing, and IS.
The 135L has the advantages of being easier to pack/carry (it's shorter), draws less attention (being black and shorter), two stop faster aperture, and being a fantastic portrait lens as well.

I've also thought about the 70-300L, but I've used it a few times and just never been taken by it.  It's not the photos it takes - they're great - but I just didn't enjoy using it that much.  Maybe I just need to use it more to get used to the reversed placement of the zoom and focus rings but ... well ... I think I'd rather keep my 70-200 4 than switch to the 70-300L.

Obviously this is a question I will have to answer for myself in the end, but I figured if there was anywhere I might get some useful advice, it's CR ...

Thanks for any thoughts!

Lenses / Canon 24-70 f/4L IS sharpness
« on: January 18, 2015, 06:01:00 AM »
Hi all

I've started this thread as a result of a question Act444 asked in another thread:
The other thread was about a review of Canon's new 24-105 non-L lens so it seemed better to start a new thread for this rather than further side-track the old thread.

I'm going to try posting some sample images (never posted images to CR before) to try to show something about the sharpness of my 24-70 f/4L IS towards the long end of its range and near MFD.  Please note I only had a couple of minutes today to grab a few shots so these are all shot on a 6D, handheld at ISO 400, with IS on, using centre-point AF, with shutter speed in the 1/100 to 1/200 range.  (Yes, it would have been better if I'd taken them with a tripod and using Live View!)  Obviously, then, the testing methodology leaves something to be desired!  In particular, movement by me when shooting or AF issues could be significant in making a shot seem soft.

Software & Accessories / Blackrapid strap slips
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:03:09 PM »
Hi all

I have a Blackrapid Sport strap.  The problem I'm having is that every time I adjust the length of the strap, the strap pretty quickly extends back to its maximum length once I start using it.  If I'm using my 70-200 2.8, I'd be lucky to have walked for 10 minutes before the strap has slipped back to it's maximum length.  Basically, even though I really like the idea carrying the weight on my shoulder and across my body, in practise I'm finding the strap is not really usable.

I've seen quite a lot of good reports about the Blackrapid straps, so do other people not have this problem?  Anyone got any solutions?


Lenses / Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 18, 2014, 10:21:13 PM »
Hi all

I've been playing with a Canon 24-70 4L IS for the last few weeks and comparing it to my old Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX DG HSM.  I haven't had that much time to do comparisons but so far I'm struggling to be impressed by the 24-70 4L IS.   I was hoping - expecting really - it would be a clear step up from the Sigma, but it's closer than that.  I know I'm pixel peeping but still, U have to say I was expecting more from a Canon L (especially after lenses like the 70-200 2.8 IS II, and non-L lenses like the 35 2 IS). 

Trying to sum it up:

At f/2.8 the Sigma is pretty good at 24mm, but it gets steadily worse as the focal length increases.  The drop off in sharpness and contrast by 70mm is significant.

At f/4, the Sigma shows a clear improvement over 2.8 across the whole focal length range.  The quality still drops as the focal length increases but the drop off is less significant than at 2.8.

At f/4, the Canon is good at 24mm, but by 35mm the quality has dropped noticeably.  By 50mm I'd go so far as to call it poor - certainly for sharpness, if not so much for contrast.  It improves again by 70mm, but it doesn't get back to the standard it set at 24mm.  I would say the Sigma wins at f/4 at 50mm and perhaps even 35mm.

From various reviews, I expected the Canon to be weaker towards the middle of its range, but looking at the LensRentals' resolution tests I thought it would still be pretty decent there.  What has surprised me is just how poor it seems towards the middle of its focal length range.   I think I'm still leaning towards keeping the Canon and selling the Sigma - because the Canon's IS has its uses, it's a bit lighter, it's better at 24mm and 70mm, and it's got its semi-macro mode for a bit of fun.  That said, the Sigma's f/2.8 has its uses too - even if the quality drops towards the longer end of the focal length range - and I'd get more if sold the Canon.

Anyone else really disappointed with the 24-70 4L IS in the middle of its focal length range?  For those who are happy with their 4L ISs, are you genuinely happy with them at 50mm?  Have I got a poor copy?  Hhmmm, I don't want to pay for the Canon 24-70 2.8L II and I'm uncertain about the Tamron 2.8 VC (my brother has one).  Maybe I should just keep my Sigma?  Or look for a 2nd-hand 24-105 4L IS?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Lenses / Canon 24-70 f/4L IS - macro mode any good?
« on: May 04, 2014, 09:12:30 PM »
To all those who have experience with the 24-70 F/4L's macro mode - do you find it's useful or is it just a gimmick?  From what I've read the working distance is really short - about 3 cm!!  That's going to pretty much rule out using it for insects and anything else which can run/fly away (not to mention sting or bite you!), but what about for things which can't/don't run away?  Is the macro mode useful in practice for those things, or is the working distance so short you end up blocking all the light or running into other problems?

I quite like the idea of the 24-70 F/4L as a relatively light travel and hiking lens, but it's certainly not cheap.  If it doubles as a decent macro lens too though (even though it's only 0.7 magnification), it might be the thing which makes me take the plunge (subject to selling my Sigma 24-70 2.8).

Thanks for any thoughts you can provide.

Lenses / Canon 35 2 IS v Canon 40 2.8 pancake
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:53:06 AM »
A question for anyone who has the 40mm pancake and the Canon 35 f2 IS: do you see yourself keeping the 40 and 35 in your kit long term or do you see them as largely redundant?  Which of the two do you prefer?  I realise the 35 is a stop faster before you even take into account the IS, while the 40 is much smaller and lighter (although I gather the 35 is still fairly small and light), but I'm keen to hear from anyone who's used them both.

I've currently got a 40mm pancake, a Sigma 50 1.4 and an old Canon 28 1.8 (which I used as a general purpose prime on crop, but which hasn't seen much use since I got a 6D).  I'm planning to sell the 28, and I'm thinking about getting the 35 f2 IS but I wonder if I need (can justify!) having a 35 and a 40 (And a 50!).  I'd be using the lens mostly as a general walk around/street/low light prime when I want to go small and light (so something like the Sigma 35 1.4 isn't so appealing to me despite it's IQ reputation).  Another option is to sell the 40 as well as the 28, and replace them both with the 35.  Or I could just forget the 35 and stick with the 40.  To the extent relevant, I do have a Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM as well.  (I'd actually like to reduce the number of lenses I own, but somehow I seem to find buying easier than selling!)

Thanks for any comments you can offer!

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