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Messages - mackguyver

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Photography Technique / Re: Photographing through fencing
« on: Today at 09:33:49 AM »
ams2d, thank you for the nice comment and the key is patience (waiting for the animal to finally walk away from the fence) and taking lots of shots.  There's a fine line between no fencing in the shot and just a hint of it that you can't see until you get home. 

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: Today at 09:31:08 AM »
JD, I've bought step-down rings from many different vendors and brands, but they all appear to be the same, and I've never had any issues with them.  Keep in mind that the hood won't work if you use, them, though.  I ended up buying a 72mm ND filter for my 50L / 85L II.  One shoot in the sun with the "1/8000s" flashing in the viewfinder until you hit f/2.8 or f/4 was enough for me :)

I don't get it. Bryan's test at TDP is a complete blowout; not even close. The Sigma is sharper in center and much much much sharper than the 1.2L away from center and in corners, and the CA on the 50L is bad, while nearly non-existent on the Sigma.
In comparing any two other lenses, where there is no brand loyalty or investment-justification involved, that kind of test result would simply be a clear blowout, and there would be no further discussion. Not here though. Here we see the defensive comments and a retreat to the trenches of the intangibles like bokeh (which is not clearly different in any sample shot I have seen anyone point to specifically) and creaminess, and the supposed uselessness of test charts (but only for this lens).

What don't you get?  I'm sure people that have the 50L love the fact that some are saying their lens sucks and that the Sigma is the bee's knees.  I think it's more the attitude of some posters that are getting people to be defensive.  The 50L doesn't get any worse now that the Sigma is coming out, and for many that have the 50L, the decision is not as clear cut, especially if they're waiting for the 50L II to come out before making a decision to switch the S50A.

I've tried Canon's 50 f/1.4 and have the 50L and my experience is that the 50L is better than the 50 f/1.4 wide open to about f/2.8, which is consistent with the results of LensRentals 50mm shootout while TDP shows the 50 f/1.4 to be a better performer.  But the 50L AFs a lot better and can be used wide open.  The 50 f/1.4's AF was not accurate from f/1.4-f/2.

With Sigma's success with the S35, I'd expect the S50 to perform well AF-wise.  Over time, I'd suspect that many would trade the 50L for the S50A, but it is a bit premature when it still is not available to everyone.  And if one has the 24-70 II, then the 50L would be used for portraiture/low light only, so edge/corner performance is not as important.  The S50 is even better than the 24-70 II at 50mm.  Is everyone now going to say that the 24-70 II sucks too for landscape and that the S50 A should be used instead?

Well said, Random, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we see the comparisons between the S50A at f/11 and the 24-70 II at f/11.  The S50A appears to be sharper.  I fall into the portraiture category and just as my 24-70 Mk I photos don't suddenly suck because I have the 24-70 II, the same goes here.

Back to ScottyP, I think what many of us are trying to say is that sharpness and a flat field were clearly not Canon's highest priority in designing the 50L.  If you read the Press Release, you'll see that it was designed for, "[W]edding and portrait photographers, as well as professional photojournalists."  For these subjects, it is an excellent lens and the bokeh, color, and contrast are what makes it great.  Look at these photos on 500px if you think I'm crazy.

Yes, the Sigma is better at test charts, and yes, it looks like it will ultimately prove to be the better lens in terms of IQ.  No, it's not the only lens that does poorly on test charts but works better in actual use.  The 24-70 Mk I also had horrible field curvature, but produced excellent photos.  The 85 f/1.2 II is also softer on the test charts (outer frame) than it is in use.  The 180L macro is another interesting one - some sites list at as the sharpest lens they've tested, while many show it to be only above average.  My copy is just short of my 300 f/2.8 IS II.

Also, I think what many of us are saying is that the other factors (bokeh, color, contrast, flare resistance) ARE more important for portraits than sharpness.  That's not to say that the Sigma won't beat the Canon on those factors as well.  Most of us who are saying this have a bag full of sharp lenses that we use for everything else, but sometimes we want a unique look that can't be achieved by the 24-70 II or other lenses.

For me, one of the reasons I like the 50L is because it's small and relatively light compared to my other lenses.  It's much less conspicuous to walk around with it on my 5DIII than my 24-70 II or 85 II. 

Finally, I think Canon 50L (soft overpriced crap lens?) and Sigma fans (poor QA, crap AF?) alike are going to be defensive on this one, but it's no surprise given what Roger over at LensRentals says about the 50L:

"Well, we could talk about this for hours: this is one of the most controversial, irritating, and spectacular lenses in the lineup. I won’t pretend to know what you’ll think of it, but our customers are evenly divided with “I love it” and “I hate it.” Here are a couple of pointers:

  • If you’re not used to working with very narrow depth of field (f/1.2 close up is NARROW) this lens will take some practice. Use one autofocus point only or it will focus where it pleases, not where you want.
  • The plane of focus is not flat; it’s slightly curved. Focus-recomposing will guarantee you an out of focus shot. Just don’t do it.
  • The 50 f/1.2 L exhibits focus-shift for near distance shots, meaning that shooting objects a few feet away between f/2 and f/4 the lens will probably not autofocus accurately. At f/1.2 it’s accurate, and by f/5.6 the depth of field is wide enough that you won’t see the effect.
  • The 50 f/1.2 L is camera specific: a copy that is wonderful on one camera may backfocus on another. It’s best used, for that reason, on cameras with focus adjustment like the 1D series or the 5D mkIII. If you don’t use autofocus adjustment, your images are likely going to be back or front focused.

The bottom line: when this lens is right, the shots are spectacular and the background blur is awesome, just like the 85 f/1.2. But it’s more finicky and more difficult to get those shots with this lens.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 10:32:51 PM »
I suppose it is time for me to drop out of this conversation... I just bought an 85L mkii... so... I guess the 50mm sigma wasn't meant to be.
Congrats, you'll love it.  It took me a long time to build up the nerve to buy it, but I had no regrets from the moment I saw the first photo.  In fact, my wife will only let me shoot her with that lens because she loves how the photos turn out with it.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:46:06 PM »
Those shots are from the 85mm f/1.2 II and I had already acknowledged that the difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4 is small.  While I don't think one set of photos that you keep posting is the definitive answer on this, I certainly don't expect a half stop do persuade anyone to buy the Canon over the Sigma.  The same set of photos does show a noticeable difference between f/1.2 or 1.4 and f/2, however, which was the point I was making.  If we're to follow DxO's essay, we're all idiots for buying fast lenses.  If they got out of the lab more, they might realize that shallow DOF is the reason that fast lenses are still relevant.

I understand on the LensRentals data - their blog isn't tagged the best, but I see it come up when I Google it.  I'm not sure how well rental durability translates to real life, but it's failure rate is still tiny compared to the worst offenders.  The Sigma 50 A looks like it's built well and I'm sure that won't be a differentiator, either. 

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:03:28 PM »
The Canon also probably isn't built better, it's 3 times less reliable than the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is pretty bad.

Radiating, those are mostly good and valid points, but where did you get this last stat? 

Ah, I see, it must have come from the LensRentals Repair Data 3.0 post, but it says, "Two lenses (the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and the Sigma 100-300) have behaved so well they’ve dropped below the 10% repair rate cutoff."

Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:55:13 PM »
Its a mighty unfortunate waste of talent and kit. And a real shame that talent and kit is not being enjoyed by more people - photography is best when shared ;)
I agree but the unfortunate reality is that there are fewer and fewer ways to make the kind of money needed to purchase high end gear through photography alone.  I shoot part-time, but live in a small market and my primary income (IT management consulting) pays 5-10 times what I would make as a full-time photographer.

Of course some people just enjoy photography as a hobby - I know that my personal work is much more enjoyable than the commercial stuff I do.  I also know that sharing isn't for everyone - my experience with the "art" world has been rather disappointing and the Internet can be a cruel place for many.  Just as standing in a Florida swamp is 180 degrees from shooting weddings, so are people's reasons they enjoy photography.

The great thing is that we all love photography.

Have any of you compared the Sigma to the Canon 180L?  I'm curious about how they compare (beyond the obvious spec differences).

Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 15, 2014, 02:50:25 PM »
I'm with Dylan & Viggo on this one.  If you have the means and photography is your passion, there's nothing "wrong" with owning nice gear, just as there's nothing wrong with the new Sigma 50 or the 35 f/2 IS.   

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Pentax 645z
« on: April 15, 2014, 02:27:02 PM »
You clearly don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about.


It's still pretty fat if you look at the overhead or side views, but I'm betting one peek through the huge bright viewfinder would erase any concerns.

If the system was really aimed at the professional portrait/ wedding profession then one or two leaf shutter lenses would be introduced. ( For high speed sync ). Lack of this gives away the intended Market. However it's interesting that there's a move towards MF once again costing ( only) twice that of a top end 35mm system but offer considerably greater resolution.

Trouble is though, from my point of view, in situations where I want MF quality I can take three vertical frames and get a format that's  larger than this MF anyway whilst still retaining the high versatility of the FF system.

I agree on the sync, but for architecture, product photos, etc. I'd think the resolution would be great.  Also, think about three vertical frames (150MP) with this bad boy!

Landscape / Re: Total Lunar Eclipse - #1 of 4 - April 2014
« on: April 15, 2014, 02:21:44 PM »
jrista, you really have mastered astrophotography and these shots are amazing!  That said, I think I think Dylan put everyone else's work to shame ;)

Lenses / Re: Canon 300mm f2.8is II with 2.0x teleconverter III
« on: April 15, 2014, 01:55:54 PM »
mackguyver, I bet you're just saying that so you'll have sharper shots than me! ;)

Thanks for the reality check.  I'm saving for the elusive 7D2 with hopes of decent performance with more reach.  I figure the 6D and a 7D2 should serve me well as I travel Alberta/BC till my shooting days are over.

A sign of spring, yesterday.  Yes a frog even though the creek is still mostly ice.  Pretty heavy crop.

6D 300 X2 500th F11 ISO 640

Nice shot, Alan, and I have the same gear as you (at least in Superteles), so my photos will only be sharper if I play around in Photoshop ;).  It's funny to think about ice when I hear my fellow Floridian's complaining that it will "only" be 70F tomorrow.  I grew up in New England, so I know what winter is, but the people around here...

The biggest challenge of 600mm on a FF body is getting close enough, but the more I shoot wildlife, the more I realize that no lens is long enough to shoot everything you see.  Getting close is the trick to getting most wildlife shots.  It seems like you always need a 200-600mm lens or a 3000mm lens :)  Maybe that's why the 200-400 1.4x is already so popular, but it's still seems too big and bulky for my liking.   I might have to borrow one from Canon to see how I like it, but my wallet is rather afraid to do that!

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 01:43:56 PM »
I trust a good tripod more.
That's the only real way to get the sharpest of shots!  I agree about the passion / hate for the 50L and the only issue I have with the haters are that many of them have never used the lens or if they have it's been in passing.  Others have used the lens and just don't like, and that's fine, we're all entitled to our own opinions.  I don't like the sacred 35L, but I've seen mind-blowing photos taken with it.  My gear list is different than just about anyone else's just as my photos are different than anyone else's. 

1D X Sample Images / Re: Any Thing shot with a 1Dx
« on: April 15, 2014, 12:45:14 PM »
Was filming a Heinekin commercial few days ago. A friend who does explosions on action movies dropped by. This was the result...

love the shot
 but a horrible thing to do to a good beer LOL
+1 and that is alcohol abuse if I've ever seen it.  Please tell us that you refilled the bottles with Sprite or something after drinking the beer.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 12:43:50 PM »
The Canon also probably isn't built better, it's 3 times less reliable than the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is pretty bad.

Radiating, those are mostly good and valid points, but where did you get this last stat? 

While digital sensors may let less of the oblique light hit the sensor, for you to say that f/1.2 "on a digital camera is a lie" is simply false and a one-dimensional interpretation.  The DxO 'fast lenses are for idiots' essay has one major flaw - depth of field.  That's why fast lenses are still relevant and why Sigma & co. are still making fast lenses in a time when the 200-400 1.4x is being used to cover indoor sports.

I'm not saying f/1.2 and f/1.4 are far apart, but f/1.2 and f/2 sure are, even if they are letting the same amount of light reach the sensor.  It probably needs to be updated, too, as microlenses and other factors may have changed things somewhat, at least if we're to believe some of the manufacturer's (Panasonic & Leica) literature.

Finally, science, graphs, test chart shots, and lousy comparisons aside, what really matters is the photo.  We can spend our entire lives measurebating, but that's just a sad way to live. 

I'm going to hold onto my 50L because it takes beautiful portraits and if I need sharper photos, I have plenty of lenses for that.  I'm positive the Sigma will be an excellent lens and take beautiful portraits as well.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Get a new camera every 150,000 pictures?
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
Here is some interesting information about this subject from a Canon repair tech.  http://www.reddit.com/r/photography/comments/aywqq/im_a_canon_dslr_repair_technician_questions/

Welcome to CR and thanks for the interesting link.

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