September 17, 2014, 08:04:26 PM

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Messages - bholliman

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I look at it a different way.  Competition is good for the consumer.  If companies are nipping at your heels, then you are going to be forced to up your game.

So, I try (and sometimes fail) to avoid bashing camera companies.

Agreed, competition is really the only thing that forces companies to come out with improved products over time.

Personally, I think the 7D2 looks like a terrific budget sport/action/wildlife body.  I doubt I'll buy one as most of my photography is portrait, studio and landscape, so the 6D is fine for my needs.

Lenses / Re: Input on building a prime lens kit
« on: September 15, 2014, 07:56:50 PM »
As a general rule, is it a good idea to skip alternate lenses in a line up when planning and building a prime kit?

For example

24 - skip 35 - 50 - skip 85 - 100
35 - skip 50 - 85 - skip 100 - 135

And then only if you find that you really need one of the skipped primes, go back and fill it in?

That's what I am doing now that I am re-building my prime kit.  I *think* it is a good strategy.

FWIW, this is my strategy. 14/35/85/135. Although I may go back in an get a 100mm for its macro ability.

+1  I currently own 14/35/85/135 with a 100L Macro thrown in for good measure.  The combination works well and provides good coverage.  My 35mm f/2 IS is generally my walk around lens and I combine it with the 85 or 135 depending on how much reach I think I'll need. 

Lenses / Re: What telephotos do we own?
« on: September 15, 2014, 07:47:15 PM »
I currently don't own any lenses longer than my 70-200 2.8 II plus extenders and that is generally OK.  However, I do occasionally want something longer with better IQ than is possible with a 2xIII.  I'm thinking about adding a 400 f/5.6 in the near term and saving up for a 300 2.8 II longer term. 

I have a self imposed annual budget for photography equipment and it will take me a few years to save up for a 300 2.8 II!  I had the pleasure of renting one for a weekend a few months ago and its an incredible lens!

Lenses / Re: What New Lens are You Most Excited About?
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:45:51 PM »
I do not plan to buy any of these lenses.  The Otus 85mm interest me, but only to see if it sets a new quality benchmark, its way out of my budget. 

I'm still hoping and saving for the long rumored 100-400 mkII or a new 50 or 85 IS.

Lenses / Re: The New EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
« on: September 11, 2014, 01:05:43 PM »
I suppose this lens will fill a niche as an inexpensive "starter" FF general purpose zoom.  For a still shooter, a gray market 24-105L is probably still the better option for just a little more $$.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Specifications Confirmed
« on: September 11, 2014, 12:12:26 PM »
I don't shoot much sports or action so I won't be buying this body.  I'll be more interested in future FF bodies, like the 5D Mk4 or 6D Mk2.

But, it is well spec'd.  The AF system should be very 1Dx-like at a reasonable price.  Looks like a great camera for an action shooter on a budget.

Lafayette, Indiana USA, but born and raised in Kansas.

Scenery isn't great, but its a nice place to raise a family.

Lenses / Re: Permanent price drops
« on: August 30, 2014, 05:49:13 PM »

$500 drop on the 24-70mm f/4L IS.  More sensible price now, ouch for those that bought it at higher prices.

+1  This is a nice lens but was way overpriced compared with the 24-105L until now.

Lenses / Re: Another standard zoom advice topic
« on: August 28, 2014, 07:36:05 AM »
I would recommend a Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS that are going for between $600 and $800USD used on eBay, and new white box for around $900.  If you can wait, there will probably be some deals on these in upcoming months as well. 

This is an excellent lens, sharp at both ends of the zoom range with 3-stop IS and near macro (0.7) capability. 

Lenses / Re: Help deciding on going full frame
« on: August 28, 2014, 06:43:00 AM »

The EF24-105 should be removed from the L line.  It's mediocre at best.  So if you can tolerate it's weaknesses, it should suit you fine.  Or, if 105 is not important, but IQ is, I'd recommend getting the 24-70 F4 or 2.8L II.

I don't agree.  The 24-105 is very well built, definitely "L" quality, auto focuses quickly and quietly and is pretty good optically.  The 24-105mm range is provides an extra 50% of reach over the standard 24-70 zooms.  Its also a terrific bargain at around $600 on the used market.  Excellent quality for that price!

There are of course better standard zooms, but they all cost more money, so the consumer has choices.  I owned one of these lenses for two years and was very pleased with the images I captured with it.  I replaced it with a 24-70 2.8 II last year, but if I didn't have the funds available I would still be using it.

Not all L's are excellent optically, some are just good.  Personally, I like having options within the L designation.

Reviews / Re: Tony Northrup - D810 vs. 5D Mk3
« on: August 09, 2014, 07:51:24 AM »
YAWN.  Gee lets compare a camera that just came out to one that is two years old....

But comparing a just released camera with larger sensor to an older one?  He might as well just compared the 5DMKIII to the 5D MK II

+1  Its a testament to the excellence of the 5D Mk III that it took the competition 2+ years to equal and possibly slightly surpass it!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: DSRL Camera for travel
« on: August 02, 2014, 10:56:30 AM »
I just took the SL1 + Tamron 18-270 hiking over 70+ miles.  It worked great.
If you want it to be smaller, use the kit lens or the 40mm pancake or whatever smaller zoom or prime you like.
The batteries are also smaller than the 5D3 batteries.

How do you like the IQ of the Tamron 18-270?  I've been looking at buying an SL1 kit as a lightweight option for some time.  Carrying multiple lenses defeats part of the purpose of a lightweight/small kit, so a good superzoom would be a nice option for long hikes.

Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: July 31, 2014, 06:07:57 PM »
Mine: my 430EX and 580EXIII Speedlites.  I love natural light and use my Lastolite reflectors/diffusers or Einsteins most of the time I need to add or modify light.
I'm like natural light too. My Speedlites are least used.

+1 but for my 600EX-RT's and ST-E3-RT.  This is great equipment, but I normally just don't take the time to drag it out.  Its easier to use natural light and a reflector.  Part of the problem is that I'm not that good at speedliting, so even with great equipment tend not to use it that much.  I need to go back and re-read Syl Arena's speedliting book...

Photo backpack.  It just sits in the closet because it's too cumbersome to shoot out of, and I never find myself in a position to carry everything I own.

I seldom use mine either.  I used tend to only use it on vacations or 2-3 day photo outings which account for maybe 3-4 times per year.  The rest of the time I just take a my 6D and a couple of lenses with my M along as  a backup in smaller Lowepro cases.

I agree with the comments above. 

A Stofen gives you 90% of the functionality for 1/20 the price.

Lenses / Re: Which Bokeh Monster?
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:39:16 AM »
I currently own the following primes for use on my 6D (and occasionally EOS-M):  35mm IS f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.8L Macro and 135mm f/2.  When funds allow, I plan to replace the 85mm 1.8 with the 85mm f/1.2 II assuming something better doesn't come along by then.  I also like the 50mm focal lenght, and might consider one of the new Sigma Art lenses down the road.  If I had to chose a bokeh monster from available primes it would be the 85mm f/1.2 II first and 135L second.

Your 100L vs 135L:
The advantage of the 100L over 135L is that you can get closer to your subject or move them closer to you (i.e.  further from the background) which can give you additional blur which nullifies the f-stop difference. Also being a shorter focal length the 100L allows you to use it in smaller venues so it becomes much more versatile on full frame. The 9-blade circular aperture in your 100L is also better than the aperture of the 135L, which is not circular and starts showing it octagonal shape by f/2.8 and become very obvious by f/4. The 100L is also weather sealed. The 100L also has IS which is of benefit which can also help with decreasing your shutter speed if you need more light. Basically, while the 135L is a cracking lens wide open, it's not very versatile and if you already have the 100L I don't see the 135L adding much value to your camera bag.

Depends on your definition of versatile, and entirely depends on the needs of the user.

In my case, for example- the 135L produces beautiful head and head and shoulder shots, and a great portrait lens if not as good as the 85, if you have space, and is great for kids especially if running around; it acts as a nice short tele when I am traveling, great for distant landscapes, zoos; it is a great lens for indoor sports where you need the FL and the f/2; it is also great for events. I just shot an acapela concert and a show, both in piss-poor light, with fantastic results even when cropped heavily.

So, for those need the wider FL or the macro capability, the 135L is more versatile. In fact, now that I have the 135L, I am considering picking up the 100 non-L for any occasional macro work I might want to do. I tried the 100L and I didn't like the bokeh- so I wouldn't pick it as a portrait lens.

+1  I own a 100L and 135L and use the 135L quite a bit more and find it more versatile for my purposes.  I love the 100L for macro work, but it's bokeh is too "busy" to my eye, I prefer the bokeh of the 135.  The extra stop of light is also a huge advantage to the 135, generally lack of IS is not much of an issue for me as I almost always shoot wide open, so can keep a fast shutter speed in all but the worst light.  Non-circular aperture blades also not an issue as I'm shooting at f/2 or 2.2 99% of the time.

It takes 1.4x extender with no noticeable loss of IQ to give a great 190/2.8, and takes 2x in a pinch to provide a perfectly acceptable 270/4.

As much as I love my 135L, I have not had good success with extenders on it. I've used it with both 1.4x III and 2.0x III extenders and feel the results are soft with lots of CA.  The same extenders work fantastically with my 70-200 2.8 II.

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