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Topics - xvnm

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Third Party Manufacturers / The Most Boring Ad Ever Made?
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:21:50 PM »
The Most Boring Ad Ever Made?

The Most Boring Ad Ever Made? on Vimeo

Lenses / San Francisco camera store recommendation
« on: April 15, 2014, 02:08:43 PM »

I'm visiting SF this week and I'd like to know if anyone can recommend me a good camera store, like B&H or Adorama in NYC. In particular, I'm interested in buying the Rokinon 14mm 2.8 at a good price.

Thank you!

Canon General / Is the x0D line doomed? (Canon naming scheme)
« on: January 17, 2014, 11:53:25 AM »

One thing I never quite understood is why Canon has different naming schemes for its entry-level product line across North America, Europe, and Japan.

I mean, the whole "the smaller the number, the better the camera" as a whole is awesome, so why ruin it and replace it in North America with T2i, XSi, SL1, T3? Isn't 600D, 100D, 1000D much better?

Well, you may be tempted to answer that the reason is historic, that Canon already had the Rebel brand well-stablished here. But that only pushes the question backward: why did they name it Rebel back in the film days to start with?

Which begs the question: now that we have a 100D camera, what will be of the x0D line after the 80D and 90D are released in a couple of years? Makes me wonder if they are going to bring the Elan brand back.

Lenses / 135L or 100 Macro IS?
« on: January 17, 2014, 11:43:46 AM »

I think I may soon have a couple hundred bucks to spare on a shinny new lens. I'm wondering if I should get the 135L or the 100 Macro IS. They cost the same here in Canada. What would you recommend? I'm an amateur, not a professional, and I just want to have fun taking beautiful pictures. My current equipment is listed below.

You can all start complaining now about how Canon is lagging behind.

Lenses / Does IQ vary with focus distance?
« on: October 13, 2013, 05:32:33 PM »

We all have seem charts and charts in most lens reviews showing how IQ (sharpness, vignetting, CA) varies with aperture.

What about focus distance? Does it affect IQ to focus closely vs. at infinity? And lens distortion?

Software & Accessories / Cheap UV filters: are they worth it?
« on: October 04, 2013, 11:56:45 AM »

I'm thinking about following a piece of advice I've heard multiple times and replace my lens caps with UV filters.

However, looking at my local stores, I see there is a huge price difference between them. For instance, for 58mm filters, we have:

. Bower: $7
. RocketFish: $20
. Tiffen: $23
. Hoya: $25
. Protama: $29
. B+W: $46
. Hoya Pro: $55
. Kenko: $60
. Cokin Paris: $60
. B+W Multi: $65
. Hoya HD: $72
. Zeiss: $75/$95
. B+W Nano: $110

Since I have to buy 6 filters, up to 77mm, the savings do add up. So, I have a couple of questions:

1) How is a $110 filter different from a $7 one? Do they differ much in quality?

2) Some are multi-coated, others are not. What does that mean?

3) Do you have any recommendations? Brands to avoid?

4) How do UV filters (cheap or not) affect image quality (sharpness, distortion, vignetting, color balance, flares, etc.)? As I understand, they are not made out of thin air, so they have to affect the light passing through them somehow.

Thank you.

Third Party Manufacturers / Leica rangefinder - with lens cap on
« on: September 29, 2013, 05:41:37 PM »
I'm sorry but I have to share this. Today I went to a nearby park to take some pictures. Very nice place, there is always lots of folks with DSLRs taking pictures there. But today this guy really caught my attention. He was carrying this very expensive Leica rangefinder camera (I tried but could not see which model; digital, for sure), taking lots and lots of pictures. All with the lens cap on.

I always knew Leica makes some very fine cameras and some of the best lenses money (mountains and mountains of it) can buy. What I didn't know, though, was that the camera and lenses were so damn darn good that they could take pictures even with the lens cap on. Maybe it's for protection, a cap for sure does a better job protecting the front element than UV filters. Now that's something worth paying $9,000-plus for!

Lenses / Recommend websites for lens reviews
« on: September 03, 2013, 12:20:03 PM »

I'm looking for a good lens review website.

One site that I really like is DPReview (, in particular their sharpness charts (example: However, they have a very limited database, only 11 Canon lenses as of now.

I also like The Digital Picture ( and Ken Rockwell (, but they tend to be more on the subjective side of reviews: not a lot of numbers and charts to compare across. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

DxOMark ( has a pretty extensive database, and although some of their reviews can be very controversial here, I have no reason to believe they are not doing a proper job. However, I find most of their charts using colors instead of lines and numbers difficult to compare objectively. Also, sometimes I don't understand their testing criteria.

For instance, the 85/1.8 vs. the 100/2 on the 5DIII:

The 85 is sharper (15 vs 14), has better transmission (2 vs 2.2) and less aberration (3 vs 5). The 100 has slightly less distortion (0.3% vs 0.4%) and vignetting (1.4 vs 1.6). Pretty similar numbers, I'd say. Yet, the 100 has a score of 30 while the 85 gets only 26. And I don't understand why they always seem to say that all lenses are best wide open ("Best at f=100mm & f/2", "Best at f=85mm & f/1.8")

Another example, Sigma 18-35/1.8 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 on the 7D:

The 35 has better transmission (1.6 vs 1.8 ), distortion (0.2% vs 0.3%), vignetting (0.8 vs 1.1), and aberration (5 vs 7). The 18-35 is only slightly sharper (13 vs 12), yet the 18-35 has a score of 24 and the 35 only 22. I don't understand their numbers.

Also, highly regarded lenses, like the EF-S 10-22 or the 16-35/2.8L, have some relatively poor numbers on DxOMark.

My ideal site would be like DPReview with a database the size of DxOMark :-) What do you recommend?

I posted a video comparing DPAF video tracking with STM and USM lenses:

EOS Bodies / Canon 70D: it's here!
« on: August 23, 2013, 01:24:07 AM »
I just got Canon EOS 70D this afternoon (August 22nd) at Aden Camera in Downtown Toronto (Yonge and Dundas) for $1150 (body only). They had a lot of 70Ds with the 18-55mm kit, a few 18-135mm kits, and some bodies. Waiting for the battery to fully charge to play with it :-)

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