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Lenses / POLL: Which of these UWA options would you buy?
« on: January 24, 2015, 12:38:02 PM »
Just for fun,
ASSUMING the rumored 11-24mm f/4L arrives, performs well, has a bulbous element, and costs around $2499-$2999: which would option would you pick below if you could only have one since they would cost around the same?

OPTION 1: 16-35mm f/4L IS + 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye
PROs: Offers both rectilinear and fisheye UWA depending on focal length, 16-35mm accepts filters
CONs: No rectilinear option wider than 16mm

OPTION 2: 11-24mm f/4L
PRO: This one goes to 11. :)  Unusually wide for a FF rectilinear lens.
CONs: Expensive for a single lens, no filters, no fisheye option available, lacks 25-35mm coverage.

Just curious about what the opinions and use case scenarios for people would be  8)

Lenses / Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye - Durability?
« on: September 02, 2014, 08:42:40 AM »
I really like some of the creative opportunities this lens offers if used wisely.

But, I am concerned with the durability and scratch-resistance of the front element when the hood is not attached.  Has anyone used this for an extended period of time?  How does the front element look over time?  How easy to scratch the front element if a branch or other object comes into contact with it?  Thanks :)

Lenses / Would you buy a hypothetical 85mm f/1.4L portrait lens if...
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:49:22 PM »
The 85mm f/1.2L II, while one of the most stunning portrait lenses ever made, does have some significant disadvantages expressed by users that can pop up even in portrait scenarios (especially portraits during events or outdoors):
85mm f/1.2L II disadvantages:
* Durability - exposed rear element near flush with mount resulting in precarious lens changes in the field, focus motor susceptible to damage when barrel extended and powered off, lack of weather sealing
* Autofocus - Slow on most bodies (1D excluded) due to higher voltage required to drive motor efficiently with large elements & extending barrel
* Manual focus by wire - some dislike this style of focusing, as it may feel less responsive and does not work when camera is powered off

The 50mm f/1.0L had virtually all of these disadvantages and Canon was able to rectify virtually all of them by releasing a slightly slower 50mm f/1.2L, which retains most of the look of the f/1.0 but with increased sharpness and less distracting flare.  While the 50mm f/1.2L is not the most popular lens as it is challenging to use and not the sharpest, it is both far easier to use and sharper than the 50mm f/1.0L. The 50mm f/1.2L is currently my go-to lens for event portraits; I wish I could also regularly use the 85mm f/1.2L II but some of its design characteristics do not appear compatible with the often hectic and unpredictable events that could occur during an event.

Given the design similarities between the 50mm f/1.0L and 85mm f/1.2L II, what if the same revisions could be done with the 85mm f/1.2L II using design cues from the 50mm f/1.0L > 50mm f/1.2L revision?  Would you accept the below disadvantages in exchange for all of the deficiencies listed in the first paragraph being completely rectified - with the same or greater sharpness & similar "look" with lower weight/size as a bonus:

Known disadvantages of next 85L being f/1.4 instead of f/1.2:
- 50% less light entering lens wide open
- 14% less DOF isolation capability wide open

Potential advantages of next 85L being f/1.4 instead of f/1.2 (using 50L f/1.0>f/1.2 design cues):
- Better protected rear element
- Lens barrel does not extend when focusing
- Weather sealed, easier to accomplish due to lack of extending lens barrel when focusing
- Faster autofocus, similar to speed of 50mm f/1.2L, due to lack of extending barrel and smaller lens elements
- Full time manual override, does not require camera to be powered on
- Lower weight
- Smaller size
- Potential minor increase in sharpness
- Potential minor reduction in flare
- Lower price as less expensive to make
- Overall "look" is similar, but not identical to the 85L f/1.2L II; like the 50L f/1.2L and 85L f/1.2L II, the lens design would be for portraits and hence not overcorrected/clinical.


Lenses / 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 21, 2014, 01:40:15 PM »
I have always been fond of the output of the 85L II.

But, I have never tried full time deployment for event photography.  Has anyone used it for this purpose?

My concerns:
1) Slow autofocus might result in missed shots, such as wedding reception entrances (where people often run or do unexpected maneuvers).  I have used my 50mm f/1.2L for this and it seems that this is about as slow as I would want for autofocus, but the 85L II is significantly slower than the 50L.
2) Fragile - the exposed rear element during lens changes, potential of damaging the lens motor (or so I have heard) when lens is placed face down with the barrel extended, and lack of weather sealing - I am wondering if this is the best fit for event photography which often is fast paced, hectic, and unpredictable.

Has anyone deployed this lens for event photography?  I love using my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II but f/2.8 is not always fast enough and for portraits the bokeh of 85L II is unmatched.  But the build of the 70-200 just seems so much more robust in more ways than one. 135L is an alternative but I do not like the bokeh at f/4 (which would be needed at times) and it is often too long of a focal length indoors.  85 1.8 same issue with bokeh at f/4... can't seem to find better alternative to 24l/50l/70-200 Thoughts?

Software & Accessories / Think Tank Urban Disguise 70 v2.0
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:22:32 PM »
Has anyone used one of these regularly?  I am thinking of getting one for two gripped 6D camera bodies, but I have heard the opening at the top is very narrow when two cameras  are side by side; while I do not need to be able to rapidly access the bodies, I do not want to have to put the bag down to take the bodies in and out.  Thoughts?  Thanks.

Lenses / 6D+70-300 DO *vs* 70D+55-250 STM
« on: August 09, 2014, 05:59:21 PM »
So, if you had to pick *only* between these two, strictly in terms of all aspects of image quality which do you believe would yield better results at 200mm equivalent FOV?

Canon 6D + EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
Canon 70D + EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Online tests seem to favor the latter, but wanted to get thoughts of people.

Software & Accessories / B+W Vario ND filter & 50L/85L II
« on: June 28, 2014, 11:20:48 AM »
Hi all,
So, I currently use the B+W 3-stop ND MRC filter when using f/1.2 in bright daylight to allow shallow DOF.  I am extremely happy with the results and quality this brings.  It is very neutral and offers superb results.

However, sometimes, especially with the 50L, I will be in a shoot that might rapidly change from indoors to outdoors.  In this case, unscrewing and screwing a filter each time becomes cumbersome and can interrupt the flow.

I was looking at B+W's Variable-ND filter ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/905891-REG/b_w_661075251_72mm_xs_pro_nano_mc_nd_vario.html ), and had some questions for those who have used it with the 50L & 85L II:
1. Does the diameter of the outer ring prevent either the 50L or 85L II hood from being attached?
2. How is the quality of the variable-ND dual-polarizer setup vs. the single gray glass of a traditional ND in terms of neutrality?  Are color changes (such as a more orangish skintone, bluer blues, etc) evident on polarizers also apparent on the variable-nd?  Putting aside the issue of 2 vs 1 pieces of glass, how neutral is the B+W variable ND vs a traditional B+W ND?
3. Does the maximum setting of B+W's variable ND exhibit the "fence" artifact I have seen on other variable-NDs?  At what level does this "fence" artifact start to appear

Note I am particularly looking for responses pertaining to B+W's filter linked above, as filters of this type can vary dramatically from brand to brand. Thanks :)

Lenses / The sharpness curse!
« on: June 21, 2014, 10:21:38 AM »
To me... sharpness is a curse!

Let me explain.  For me, it is frustrating when I see individuals, be it on a review website, youtube channel, or forum, conduct a sharpness test on a lens and then write-off whichever lens is less sharp as the inferior lens.  I have seen this happen time and time again. It is true, that some lenses may be simply bested by others, but generally sharpness is only one factor of this equation.

I do understand the importance of objective tests.  With objective tests, we can determine if a lens is optically different than another lens.  I struggle to say improved, as I have seen many examples of a lens that falls short on the standard array of optical tests (sharpness, falloff, CA being the ones I see most discussed) yet end up delivering subjectively fantastic results.

For a personal example, I will go back to a lens I like to discuss a lot - the 50L.  This lens is by far my #1 favorite lens bar none, no comparison.  If I was only allowed to have one lens, it would be the 50L.   Now, I have a lot of lenses that are sharper than the 50L (i.e. 24-70 II, 70-200 II, 100L come to mind).   But, there is something about their output that subjectively I do not like as much.  I also love the subjective output of the 85L II, but I'd still rather have the 50L because the 85L II requires too much working distance for many photos - so with the 85L II I would miss a lot of opportunities.  50L can do pretty much everything, and make it all look beautiful. 

I also find it frustrating when lenses without a red ring get ignored simply because they don't have a red ring. For instance, the new 24 IS, 28 IS, and 35 IS are all brilliant lenses.  The 24 IS is one of Canon's best landscape lenses in the entire lineup, because at f/11 it is ultra sharp AND virtually free of flare even when shooting into the sun (no L can claim this) - plus it looks great subjectively and is extremely portable!  If I was a landscaper, this would be a *must have* lens for me.  But I often see it ignored, and I think its because its not an "L".  The 35 IS is finally appearing to get some credit thankfully with pro reviews declaring it overall superior to the aging 35L 1.4, which I agree with despite both being excellent.   The old 35L's bokeh just isn't as good when its not wide open - the 35L does still have a purpose for those who need f/1.4, but it really needs an update IMO. 

Again, I think objective tests are important.  Perhaps our tests are not yet advanced enough to fully describe a lens' output, and that is the issue.  And, I do appreciate the objective tests to learn more about a lens' characteristics.  But, I think that is only part of the process, and wish more "reviews" and discussions of lens quality focused an equal amount of time on subjective factors - as it appears the objective tests simply are not there yet.

But sharpness is easy to understand, easy to test, and easy to see differences in... Making it an easy thing to get hooked into and focus on almost exclusively.  But remember, in the end, while some of us are documenting things where sharpness is the #1 priority, others are capturing moments in time where sharpness is not the most important factor.  If you are not doing clinical work that really does require edge to edge sharpness, remember that in the end its not about sharpness - its about capturing the moment.  Might save you a bit of money over time too ;)

Hi all,
Some are excited about the corner sharpness of the upcoming 16-35mm f/4L IS.

Just curious, if Canon were hypothetically able to improve corner sharpness on the 16-35 II f/2.8L by 25%, would you be willing to go for a bigger lens? If you recall, the 16-35 II increased filter size/lens diameter from 77mm to 82mm from the 16-35 I in exchange for improved corner sharpness.  Is the 82mm filter size/lens diameter already too large or not?  Of course, it is likely with increased lens diameter weight will increase as well.  Thanks!

Lenses / Canon lens packing
« on: May 02, 2014, 07:22:02 PM »
So got a new L prime, UPS comes to deliver it, fumbles the shipping box and drops it about 4ft onto pavement.  Lens still packet tightly in shipping box, of course.  Checked for decentering using star chart and looks ok.  Some abberations on the center dot at 1.4 but normal enough for ultra wide aperture.

I have  to wonder though, how well do the Canon boxes protect the lens from shock?  And, how much shock does it take to decenter or otherwise damage a lens (that exhibits no signs of physical damage)?

Wondering for in the case of this lens, and also when I ship a lens in the future...

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Two 6Ds: two different focus screens.
« on: March 19, 2014, 05:53:38 PM »
Hi all,
I like to do a lot of creative work with my f/1.2 lens, as well as work in low light with my f/2.8 zooms.  I also do events.

I have two Canon 6D cameras. Right now, one has the stock screen installed - while I recently installed the EG-S in the other.  I installed the EG-S because I felt the viewfinder was not giving accurate depth of field with f/1.2 as it was difficult to manually nail focus (or confirm the AF hit).

All of my lenses are f/1.2-f/2.8 in speed, but I feel the f/2.8 lenses are quite a bit darker (somewhat expected) with this new screen.  Not dark to the level of not being to compose, but might make it tricky in a dim event where I am using flash.

BUT, the f/1.2 lens seems way easier to confirm auto focus and also manual focus with the EG-S.

My question is, does anyone else here have two 5D/6D cameras with a different focus screen installed in each?  They seem to each have benefits.

So, I was thinking it made sense to have one 6D with the EG-S (for 1.2-2.0 lenses), and the other with the stock screen (for low light f/2.8 zooms).  Anyone else setup like this?

EOS Bodies - For Video / 6D+VAF5D2 vs 5DIII for video?
« on: January 29, 2014, 08:51:18 AM »

Which would offer better video quality, a 6D with the above moire filter, or a 5DIII without it?

Lenses / Refurbed lenses and sharpness
« on: November 25, 2013, 09:56:07 AM »
Hi all,
So while I have bought refurbed bodies, I've never bought a refurbed L lens.  I can see why someone would return a body because it did not meet their needs, but returning an L lens I would find less likely for this reason as its pretty clear what a lens is able to do upfront.

Reason behind my train of thought is the below:
1) Canon refurb stock to my knowledge is generally customer returns in the 30 day period or dealer demos
2) I've heard lots of people who will do sharpness tests with brand new lenses and return them if they do not match some of the reference tests online.  Or sometimes they will order multiple copies and return the less sharp ones.
3) Most of the time due to copy variation less sharp copies are generally considered in spec (i.e. look at lensrentals data), and thus Canon would not adjust it
4) Thus, when buying a refurb lens and thus a customer return, there might be a higher probability you would get a less sharp copy than if you bought new

Is this reasoning crazy, or do others agree? :)  I do know many people are happy with refurbed lenses, and I am not talking about getting a lemon here, just a lesser chance of getting the brightest bulb of the bunch.  I've also heard quite a few stories of people getting refurbed lenses with a lot of dust inside, though it is unlikely that would affect image quality.

Lenses / Wow lens filters are hard to sell!
« on: November 23, 2013, 04:55:43 PM »
I have a couple of spare lens filters on Amazon from previous lenses I sold. They are all B+W XS-Pro MRC Nano 007m Clear filters - good stuff!  In 77mm, 58mm, 52mm... But they won't sell for weeks even though I have the lowest price and they are in beautiful shape!

I'm really surprised, has anyone else had difficulty selling lens filters they don't use anymore?  Or is this just an unpopular model I am using?  IMO it is the best model for the cost, but perhaps because they are costly filters they don't sell much?  I know you can get a lens filter for a fraction of the price, but usually you get more flare, loss of clarity, and color tint with those cheap filters - are people not aware of this in general?

Lenses / Owning both EF 16-35mm & EF-S 10-22mm
« on: November 15, 2013, 05:50:23 PM »
So I have both a FF and crop camera and generally carry both in the kit.

In terms of UWA lenses, I currently only own a EF-S 10-22mm because the distortion appears quite low @ 10mm compared to 16mm at FF from online comparisons I've seen, likely largely due to the nature of crop.

I do appreciate the greater speed of f/2.8 on the 16-35 and realize a lot of the distortion can be cleaned up in post, but I am thinking the 10-22 would still be nice to have for shots that need less post cleanup...  Maybe spend the money I'd spend on a 16-35 on the 8-15 fisheye instead for intended distortion.  Or perhaps a 24mm 1.4 where the speed would be more noticable in reducing DOF.

Anyway, what are thoughts for those that owned both on merits of EF-S 10-22mm vs. EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II?  Let's assume the 10-22 would be mounted on a newer APS-C like 70D vs. 16-35 on 5DMKIII.  I am tempted to sell the 10-22 for the 16-35, but I am not sure it would really be a clear upgrade due to the distortion differences.  If its not a clear upgrade, it would be hard for me to justify the price given my dual kit.


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