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Topics - pixyl

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Technical Support / Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II with uneven zoom action
« on: May 27, 2014, 05:42:43 PM »
I thought I read about this problem somewhere but can't find it...
My Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II "sticks" when I zoom, resulting in an uneven movement. For the premium price I paid I'd expect a smooth action. Is there something I can do about it or is it a production issue which Canon should repair within the warranty period?

Lenses / Portrait lens setup -what should I get next?
« on: June 02, 2013, 08:38:55 AM »
I'm aiming for a career within people photography (portraiture of various kinds in-/outdoors, the occasional wedding etc.) and wonder which lens(es) to get next. I will also be photographing food, architecture, lanscape, products etc. but people photography will be my main thing. My gear so far:

- Canon 50D (hoping to upgrade to full-frame, most likely a 5D III)
- Canon 70-200 f/4L (great IQ though with a crop body I seldom use it)
- Canon 35 f/2
- Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5

The Sigma is getting pretty worn and I don't particularly like it, which means I'm looking for a "bread & butter" zoom for general use. I'm considering the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II, Canon 24-105 f/4L and possibly a 50mm f/1.4 (I'm leaning towards the Sigma instead of Canon because it just seems better built and I hear it also gives a better result whenever copies of it don't have focusing issues) for shallow DOF/low light shots.
To make choices even more difficult there's Canon's 24-70 f4L, Sigma's 24-70 and Tamron's 24-70 (with IS). I can get the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II at a special price now, and I have a feeling that despite the missing IS and the missing added reach which the 24-105 has that this is a "keeper" and something which can boost the quality of my shots. The Tamron seems like a good buy on paper but I'm skeptical towards the brand itself and having tried it I don't like the reverse zoom compared to Canon's lenses and the placement of the focus ring. I don't know enough about Sigma's 24-70 but have heard a lot of good stuff about the Canon.
My 35mm f/2 is OK, but feels cheap and not very inspirational although I'm beginning to like the idea of prime lenses more and more, which is why I'm also considering a 50mm of some sort in addition to a general/use for everything "bread & butter" zoom (I'm ruling out Canon 50mm f/1.8 as that would be similar to my 35mm in build quality, and also the f/1.2L version because of the price).

So, would it be a good decision to go for the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II and possibly also the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 in addition (or leave out the 50mm for the time being), or would you go for the 24-105 and 50mm as well as possibly other primes, or something entirely different?

Oh, I'm working on my flash photography skills, so although I do like natural light I'm not one of those "I only use natural light" photographers and hence don't feel the need to go with fast, expensive lenses all the way.

Lighting / 580EX or 580EX II -which one to get?
« on: September 05, 2012, 06:19:28 AM »
I need a "master" flash to complete a dual flash setup (I have a 430EX) and am trying to decide between the 580EX or 580EX II. The latter has been reported faulty by design though I'm not sure if these are widespread problems or just exaggerations.
Would I be making a mistake in getting the less featured 580EX instead? I know the EX II can be controlled from the camera menu and has a better foot design, but the old model (580 EX) allows for easier switching between master and slave. I think there were some other advantages as well which has slipped my mind...

When having gotten the hang of a Canon wireless (IR) master/slave setup I expect to expand by getting a manual radio trigger (such as the Phottix Strato II) and possibly one or two additional speedlights (might as well be cheaper, non-Canon branded as this'll be manual triggering).

So, the 580EX or 580EX II? The former will most definitely be second/hand refurbished at a low price while the latter can probably be bought new for a little while longer (I suspect the 600 EX RT will fully take over once the old stocks have run out).

With the intention of starting up my own photography business I'm slowly upgrading my gear with that in mind and am having a hard time deciding on lenses.

The initial plan was to upgrade straight from my Rebel XT to a 5D3, but at the time it wasn't yet available and I ruled out the 5D2 because of the AF issue/old technology and knowing that something better was coming along "soon". So in the meantime I decided an intermediate solution would be to upgrade to a second hand "prosumer" SLR, just to get the hang of a camera with "pro" controls and features as well as better IQ. I ended up with a 50D with a battery grip. My current lens lineup is:

  • Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 DC -not very happy with neither the IQ nor build.
  • Canon 70-200 f/4L -I love this lens. Build quality and IQ is excellent IMHO but with 1.6x crop the reach is a bit much for general use, so it doesn't get much use unfortunately.
  • Canon 35 f/2 -I got this in order to replace much of the Sigma 17-70 use, better light-sensitivity and in order to start out with primes. It's OK but not great -noisy focusing, cheap build and feel nor does the IQ blow me away (perhaps I expected a bit more than what could be delivered for the price).

I'll be shooting a little bit of everything: portraits, products/advertising, school/kindergarten group shots, events, real estate etc. and when I get more experienced perhaps weddings.
The 70-200 feels like a keeper, especially when I go FF even though most pros seem to go for the f/2.8 version.
For "general use" I had my eyes set on the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L but have been waiting for much the same reason as the body: knowing that a mark II was about to be released. Now that it has been announced along with the hefty pricetag I'm considering other options:

  • Canon 24-105 f/4L IS -seems solid and well built, has a good feel to it and although online reviews differ a lot it seems like a great contender. The IS should be very useful for still-standing subjects in less than perfect lighting.
  • Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II -I haven't ruled it out though it'd better be twice as good as the first version for that price!
  • Canon 24-70 f/2.8L (first version) -thousands of pros can't all be wrong when using it. When the version II gets released I assume its price will drop drastically, but I'm a little hesitant as I read a lot of people find it a "mediocre" lens despite the "L" designation
  • Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS -not an "L" lens, but possibly an intermediate lens until I go FF. Lots of reviews/reader comments say it's essentially a lens with "L-quality" but with a consumer build
  • A combination of a zoom and one or two primes

I've ruled out the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC because I've gotten the taste of L lenses and rather want to invest in "keepers" rather than "probably just as good". I understand lots of people will disagree with this view.

My conclusion (if you've read this far  ;) ):
I think my money might be best spent if investing in a good zoom for allround/general use and a couple of fast primes. I'm aiming for lots of Speedlite/studio strobe rather than "I don't care for (I don't know how to use) flash", so I probably don't need superfast lenses for everything. I wasn't entirely blown away with the low-light capabilities of shooting at f/2 with my 35mm, but again I was probably expecting it to perform miracles. Even with an f/1.2 or f/1.4 of some sort I assume I'll have to crank up the ISO and/or in combination with a flash.

But which lenses would be good for both crop and FF use? Even when I get the 5D3 (an "entry level FF" (whatever that means) is also rumored, perhaps worth looking into) the 50D will probably be a nice backup body. Still, I'll be losing out on wide-angle with most of those FF-designed lenses but could buy a second hand Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 and sell it when I get the FF, hopefully without any/much loss.
Or... should I go an entirely different route and buy second hand EF-S lenses just for the 50D now, then buy separate L lenses for the FF when I get it?
Sorry for the long post  :o

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