April 16, 2014, 12:14:55 AM

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Messages - Efka76

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1
Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 11, 2014, 07:16:39 AM »
Hi, all lenses that you own are very good and, of course, you would be able to apply all of them in order to make beautiful pictures. However, my advice to you would be to limit your weight as much as possible and to take Canon 24-70 mm lenses only. These lenses are fast, there is a zoom which is useful for portraitures and landscapes. Last year I spent one week in Rome and understood one thing: camera + 1 lenses become quite heavy if you spent the whole day on foot. I am really strong and sporty guy but I felt all the weight on my neck. If you take 70-200 and other lenses you will be tired quite soon and will not see less Paris as you could. Also, I imagine vacation when you enjoy your time, walk with with In beautiful city but not carrying 10 kg or more on your shoulders and dreaming to sit on the bench to rest. One thing when you are going to Paris for work purposes (e.g. to shoot buildings, landscapes and etc. and you are paid for this job) and when you go for vacation.

I suggest you to relax, take as less gear as possible and enjoy that beautiful city together with your wife :)

2
Street & City / Re: Neon Bright Stockholm
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:24:10 AM »
DKN, I like your photos very much. Very good composition and really interesting and not ordinary post-processing. Could you please describe in more detail what post-processing was done on these photos. Did you use some Lightroom presets?

3
Neuro, thank you very much for your comments! I really appreciate that!

Few comments:

Regarding setup of light: of course I know that more light is better :) However, that was a maximum that I could get today. In summer I will try to do testing during sunny day and will see what kind of results I will get.

Thanks for valuable advices on Canon 50 mm 1.4 calibration! Deep in my mind I felt that insufficient light and vibration could cause such issues with testing ;)

4
Dear colleagues,

shortly I will describe my experience in lens calibration. I hope that this story will be useful to someone who wants to calibrate lenses but never done that before.

1-2 years ago I bought Canon 7d and number of lenses. My shots seems quite Ok for me. I did not notice any back / front focus issues. But that was due to the fact that I did not have  a knowledge how to notice such things. But after spending some time in Canon rumours and reading various things about lens calibration I finally decided to try that.

My setup was following:

1) For lens calibration i bought Reikan Focal plus. Of course, Pro version is better but I thought that Plus version is sufficient as it allows fully automatic and semi-automatic calibation as well calibration target validation. Pro version is almost twice expensive as Plus version.

2) Photo studio - if you have option to do testing in bigger space, do that. My studio was almos 6 m long and of course it would be better to have bigger in order to test 200 mm lenses at x50 focal length. I selected studio for testing as it is controllable environment (light, no wind, it is easy to put calibration target on a wall.

3) Cheap tripod - it was not very convenient but for testing purposes this tripod was quite ok. During testing I target was not lost due to movements in tripod head. If you have good and expensive tripod it will be easier.

4) Calibration target  - printed on laser jet on standard (lightweight) paper (Focal manual recommends using Matte Heavyweight paper, print should be performed on Inkjet). My target worked really ok in testing but if you have ability do everything as manual says :)

5) Camera settings: AV mode, eye piece covered, etc. as indicated in manual.

6) Light level in all cased was higher than EV 8 (during my testing it was EV 8.2 - 8.9). For lighting I used halogen lights, background was lit by natural light from window and fluorescence lights. Of course such mix of lights was not very good but I tried to achieve higher EV. Light in terms of Kelvin was 5200.

The testing:

1) Target validation  - it was quite easy with all lenses; I just followed visual instructions and fixed tripod head when there was ok sign on computer screen. You just have to make sure that tripod  / head / target are not moved during testing.

2) Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L II IS USM: very good test results achieved. Based on Neuro advice I tested zoom lenses at various focal lenghts (FL). The following FL were used: 70 mm., 100 mm, 140 mm and 200 mm. Focal Plus calculated the following AFMA adjustments for the above FL: +1 ; +3 ; +1 ; -1. Testing results show really very good quality of lenses. Due to the fact that only one AFMA value can be entered into Canon 7D i left AFMA as -1 but currently thinking to change it to 0 (mid value between min and max FL).

3) Tamron SP 24-70 2.8 VC. I really like these lenses, they are my walkaround lenses and I thought that they are quite sharp. Test results were the following: 24 mm (AFMA +1), 35 mm (AFMA +9), 50 mm (AFMA +13), 70 mm (AFMA +6). In camera AFMA +6 was written. Despite the fact that difference between both FL is only 5 I was unpleasantly surprised that in between of min and max FL sharpness is reduced quite dramatically :( However, I now know what defficiency such lenses have and AFMA +6 at least will help me to have sharper images comparing to previous shots before calibration.

4) Canon 100 mm 2.8L IS Macro - I did 2 testings: @ x25 FL AFMA +7 and @x50 FL (recomended by manual) AFMA + 4. I entered +4 into camera. I was a bit surprised that i got 2 different AFMA values at different distances.

5) Canon EF-S 18-135. Due to the fact that thes lenses ar kit lenses I did not expect great results :) Results are following: 18 mm (AFMA +13) and 135 mm (AFMA +6). In camera I entered AFMA +9. In testing it was very obvious that after AFMA adjustment images were much sharper.

6) Canon 50 mm 1.4: I was really struggling with these lenses testing. At x25 FL distance I got AFMA +3, however, when I wanted to do testing @ x50 FL Reikan Focal Plus had issues: it performed many shots, however, was not able to collect reliable data for exact AFMA determination (indicator was red). I then tried test few more times at different distances from target. In few cases software was not able to collect reliable data, in one case I've got AFMA +4 (indicator was yellow, not green). I am wandering how to interpret such testing results. Does that indicate issues with my lenses or due to the fact that lenses are 1.4 it is much harder to obtain reliable results (light conditions were very good in all cases, EV 8.9). From testing I saw that AFMA values were in range of 3-5, accordingly I left AFMA +3 in camera.

Anyway, I have intentions to sell Canon 50 mm 1.4 and buy a new Sigma 1.4 Art series, when it is released. I really hope that Sigma will be much better than old design Canon lenses.

I hope that this my story will be helpful to some future testers :) Also, I would appreciate if someone knowledgeable could comment on Canon 50 mm 1.4 testing results interpretation.

   

5
Dear colleagues, I just recently acquired Reikan Focal Plus software for lens calibration. It is perfectly clear how to calibrate fixed focal length lenses, however I need your advice on zoom lenses calibration. If I understand correctly there are these options:

1) Full manual calibration - to make a lot of manual shots on both end of the zoom and import all such data in Reikan focal. Then software will show what AFMA numbers are for both ends of zoom lenses. I do not like this method as it is very time consuming and there might be some differences due to manual shots.

2) To run full automatic calibration 2 times (for minimum and maximum focal length of zoom lenses). In this case I will get 2 AFMA values. Then there is a question which value should i input into the camera? Its a pity but my camera (canon 7d) does not support input of 2 AFMA values for zoom lenses.

In my opinion, are the following options:

a) to input AFMA value, which is determined based on long end of zoom lenses (such advice I found in Focal testing guide.

b) To input mid value of both AFMA numbers

c) to run additional test in mid of the zoom and input that value into the camera.


I would really appreciate your advice as tomorrow I will be performing that testing and your advice would be very helpful to me.

6
Surapon,

nice shots! I suggest you to have at least 1/1000 shutter speed in order to freeze bird. Your current 1/640 is not sufficient.

7
Dustin,

thanks for such good review! It was a great pleasure reading it!

8
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art Lens Should be Amazing
« on: January 15, 2014, 04:49:55 PM »
I will wait for test results and I really expect that these lenses are going to be superb. Will definitely sell my Canon 50 mm 1.4 and buy these lenses (maybe after 1 year when their retail price will go down).

Canikon will be ashamed :) Sigma and Tamron are reaching new levels. Customer wins in such case as these companies offer even better products than Canikon for significantly less price. I really hope that Sigma and Tamron will start releasing very quality big primes which will match or be better than Canon's 300 mm, 500 mm and 600 mm :)

9
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Replacement Coming for CP+? [CR1]
« on: January 12, 2014, 03:50:36 AM »
I really do not have big expectations from 7DII. Take a look at rumours before 6d release and real camera. In new 7dII i expect the following:

- the same sensor as in 70D
- slightly better autofocus ( worse than in 5dIII)
- slightly higher fps (maybe 10)
- wifi and gps

Forget about better DR and high ISO performance. Canon does not want aps-c camera to match FF camera in performance (i guess it is not possible technically if you do not develop new sensor, which is smaller in size than in 5dIII but is much better).

Canon does not have new sensor, which people expect. When such sensor is ready it will be introduced in 1d camera body for which Canon will rip customers by asking to high price.

All these talks about 7dII remind me rumours about iPhone 5s when people had very high expectations but received practically the same phone. Canon is milking the same cash cow and doing that quite well. What is the purpose of introducing cutting edge technology when you doing so much cash without significant investments in R&D. That's the sad truth.

10
Photography Technique / Re: Photography online courses and education
« on: January 11, 2014, 05:47:17 PM »
I suggest kelbyone.com. I have bought a yearly subscription and I am very happy with the quality of courses.

11
Wonderful news! Let's wait for some time when tests are performed and price drops a bit :) I really expect that Sigma 50 mm 1.4 will be much better than (20 years!!!! old) Canon 50 mm 1.4. I am really disappointed regarding Canon's approach to lenses. Canon's new lenses are superb quality (e.g. 24-70), however, their price tag is too high for average customers. From another side, Sigma & Tamron is able to manufacture and offer to customers PRO line lenses, which are really affordable.

I am really surprised that Canon was sleeping for 20 years and has not updated its 50 mm 1.4. Despite the fact tah Sigma's equivalent is 2x expensive I will sell my Canon 50 mm 1.4 and will by Sigma. Canon is starting to loose quite significant market to Sigma and Tamron. Canon users are not Apple users, they think! Accordingly, I would expect that many people will by Sigma 50 1.4, which is based on new technology, excells Canon, quality is Similar to Zeiss (I really expect that :D ) but price is affordable.

Canon should be ashamed to offer (in the future) non-L 50 mm 1.8 IS....

12
Lenses / Re: New lenses ($6800 budget)
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:19:16 AM »
I fully understand you as I went similar way. I bought 7D (this is my first DSLR) as FF cameras are really expensive. However, I decided to invest into lenses, which I am planning to use at least for decade when camera after few years becomes obsolete. Also, I bought lenses with a mind that in the future I will have FF camera and., accordingly, my lenses should be FF compatible. My advices regarding lenses is the following:

Lens 1: 50 mm 1.4 - very fast prime, very good money / quality ratio. 1.2 is too expensive and 4x expensive comparing to 1.4. Also, you could consider Sigma 85 mm 1.4, which is very good.

Lens 2: Tamron 24-70 mm 2.8 VC - very sharp and quality lenses. Actually it is my walk-around lens. Quality is much better comparing Canon 24-70 2.8L MkI, however, sharpness is slightly worse than MKII version (but Tamron has vibration control (Canon IS equivalent) which gives advantage over Canon 24-70 2.8L MKII). Also, Tamron is 2x cheaper than Canon equivalent. In my opinion, Canon is very very good lens but not worth that money.
 

Lens 3: Cannon 100 mm 2.8L IS Macro - very sharp lenses. Very good price for the quality.

Lens 4: You could replace your 18-135 by Canon 24-105 4L but is not worth to do that. I use my Tamron 24-70 2.8 almost 90% of all my shootings as this lens is faster and much better quality. I use 18-135 when I am in various trips abroad only when I am near the sea and I am not afraid that salt water might spoil my lenses :)

Lens 5: Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L IS II USM - definitely it is the BEST telezoom in the market. Yes, it is expensive but I 100% recommend it. It is very sharp, focus is very accurate and fast. Also, its manufacture recently started and I do not expect that this lens will be replaced  / improved at least for 5-10 years in the future.

Also, consider buying TC (1.4 or 2) if you want longer reach. TC's + 70-200 are wonderful combos.

13
Canon General / Developments in technology
« on: January 04, 2014, 01:27:47 PM »
Dear colleagues,

I would like to hear your thoughts about developments in photographic technology and reasons why such developments are so slowly implemented. When I look at digital photography and prices it is obvious that the first digital cameras were extremely expensive and not affordable to general public. However, during the last decade there were quite significant developments in digital cameras (increased MP, better DR, ability to shoot with higher ISO). I understand that 5-7 years ago FF cameras were very expensive due to the fact that FF sensors were very expensive. Accordingly, cheaper (crop) sensors were invented in order to make digital cameras more affordable to general public.

I still do not understand why after so many years FF cameras are so expensive as sensor production should be much much cheaper (R&D costs already amortised, mass production is already in place). Also, I can not understand MF camera costs, which rocket to the sky :).

Also, there are not so many improvements in Canon's digital cameras technology. As far as I understand in digital camera the most important things are sensor and processor. If you take a look at computer area you can notice very significant improvements in processors speed, their architecture and etc. Canon, for example, still produces 5 year old 7D, which is based practically on outdated technology (I admit that 7D is superb camera, however, it could be even better). So, why is it so hard to photographic companies to try harder and develop better sensors and image processors on a yearly basis. They ear sufficient profits, which could be invested in R&D. Of course, I understand that improvement in optics are very costly and even slight improvement is very hard to achieve. That's why we are still using lenses , which were developed 10y (or even more) ago.

The same applies to MF cameras. I can not justify their costs. In my opinion (maybe I am wrong) the difference between MF and FF is the sensor, processor capabilities and larger lenses. If MF sensors are produced as mass production their costs should be much lower and MF cameras would be more affordable. I have impression that Canon and Nikon are basically milking the same cows for many years and do not try very hard to due to lack of real competition.

Any thoughts on that matters?




14
Canon General / Re: Are Metal Mounts Better Than Plastic?
« on: January 04, 2014, 09:42:15 AM »
Very good article. However, now when I know the truth, I am really disappointed. The most disappointing fact is that photographic companies are charging for "professional grade" products really high and people assume that they even could use them during rain, however, reality is really different.

15
Canon General / Re: What did y'all get for Christmas/ the holidays?
« on: December 28, 2013, 09:10:30 AM »
Nothing :( I already have all equipment, which I currently need. Dreaming about 5D MkIV and good RRS or Gitzo tripod ;)

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