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Topics - Stephen Melvin

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Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Lomography Petzval Lens
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:35:40 PM »
Received it about a week ago. Really difficult to work with. The focus knob only goes 1/4 turn to go from 1M to infinity. And it's in a really awkward position; especially if you try to take a vertical. Which is why I've pretty much only taken horizontals with it.

Focusing with the Mk III's screen is about hopeless. I use Live View with my Zacuto finder and zoom in. This can be quite successful. The depth of field is very shallow. Surprisingly so, considering that I shoot my 85 f/1.2 wide open most of the time, so I know what to expect, normally.

The lens is very, very sharp dead center. Even at f/2.8. But you don't buy such a lens for sharpness. You buy it for its character, and it has character in spades. What's so interesting is how quickly the image starts to diffuse once you start to get away from the center. Look at the hands in some of the pictures.

I wish they'd built this lens more conventionally. Helical focusing and an AF-confirm chip would be such a huge boon. If they wanted more authenticity, I think it would have been neat if the lens elements were uncoated.

Anyway, I love the images. So I'll be using this lens a lot. It makes me slow down and compose, and I wind up shooting just a few images, generally. I realize this seems rather contradictory. This lens is definitely
not for everybody. It's slow to use and a bit frustrating at times. But the images...

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EOS Bodies / Mk III ISO 100 Black Frame -- Cleaner Than We Thought?
« on: March 23, 2012, 10:23:56 PM »
Okay, opening this black frame in ACR shows a lot less read noise than I expected. I have to take the black clipping point to "0" to get it to show any noise, even when pushing it four stops/bringing the fill light way up. On my Mk II, just bringing the fill light up more than 30% can show banding noise. Is my sensor cleaner than we thought? Or am I doing something wrong?




Notice that the only difference is the black clipping point moving from "0" to "1."

And the raw black frame:
http://galleries.stevemelvin.com/100blackframe.CR2
 

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EOS Bodies / Some unanswered Mk III questions
« on: March 19, 2012, 09:38:21 AM »
Actually, it seems like these haven't been asked. Anybody own a Mk III, yet?

As someone who's owned a 7D and a 5D Mk II, there are some areas that really need improvement that haven't been mentioned in any of the marketing or brief "previews" from various sites.

1. The 5D Mk III inherits the 7D's iFCL metering sensor. Does it also inherit the low light flaw of the 7D, where the burst mode slows way way down in a dark environment?

2. Has shooting in Live View mode been made any more responsive? Current implementations are like first generation compact digital cameras from over a decade ago. I call it, "click and wait."

3. Has CDAF improved in Live View mode? I find I have to use "quick" AF, which drops down the mirror and engages the phase detect AF module, because CDAF is so slow as to be absolutely useless most of the time. Virtually all of the competition has been ahead of Canon on this. I hope to see a very significant improvement in the Mk III.

4. Any improvements to the ability to take a still in the middle of a video clip? A faster main processor should allow for a shorter gap in the clip.

5. How is the new camera removing moiré? Is there on-sensor binning? If it's binning, then why is the maximum ISO lower for video than for stills? In theory, it should be higher with binned pixels. Is it still line skipping? I haven't seen a word about this.

6. What's the buffer when shooting RAW and sending the files to both cards?

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