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Messages - jrista

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Landscape / Re: Fall colours
« on: October 19, 2014, 09:51:55 PM »
Maple Boke

Canon EOS 5D III
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 19, 2014, 09:49:38 PM »

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 19, 2014, 09:48:47 PM »
My Little Blue Friend

He's baack! I think he likes me. He would pose with each peanut before taking off this time.

(P.S. Utterly HORRID lighting...I wanted better light, but direct edge-on sunlight...no. Slightly diffused would have been sublime!)

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2

Bird attraction setup, my backyard.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon EF 2.0X TC With Diffractive Optics Element
« on: October 19, 2014, 12:30:38 PM »
Maybe the patent isn't for size/length/weight reduction, but rather IQ improvement. Diffractive optics are better at managing light dispersal. That can allow for a shorter lens, but that isn't necessarily the sole purpose. I for one would like to see better IQ out of a 2x TC...the current TC III is good, but it does impact IQ.

EOS Bodies / Re: Crop camera upgrade
« on: October 18, 2014, 04:25:13 PM »
Thanks to both of you for your comments.  It did seem like it wouldn't provide me any significant advantage over my current equipment.  However, I don't know how much reach I will need to get good shots of the animals that I will see.  Some subjects (i.e. elephants, giraffe, zebra, hippo) will not be moving quickly, so advanced AF is not imperative. 

Remember, the 5D III already has advanced AF. It just doesn't have an RGB meter linked into the AF system. That is certainly an advantage, but the 5D III is not handicapped by any means.

Another point of contention that I've given thought to is which lens/body combination would be best suited for my interest in this case.  Prior to reading a recent thread about FF vs. crop for IQ and distant subjects, I assumed that I would use the 70-200 with the 2x converter on my crop body.  After reading those posts, I'm more inclined to use it on the 5D3 and use either the 17-40 or 24-105 on the crop body for wider shots.  It does seem counterintuitive to use a FF for longer shots instead of crop.  I do recall Neuro stating on more than one occasion that the only advantages crop provides are size and cost.

Neuro's opinion on crop does not reflect everyone's opinion. My opinion, using both a crop and FF myself, is that there IS a reach benefit when using crop. With smaller pixels you resolve more detail when photographing with the same lens at the same distance. That should simply be logical, but some people insist that it doesn't matter. The 7D doesn't have as much of an advantage in resolving power as the 7D II is going to have, and whether it has a real-world advantage or not has been debated to death.

You'll often hear quibbling over numbers, is it 60% better, 45% better, etc. Purely from a pixel size standpoint, the theoretical resolution advantage the 7D II has over the 5D III is 52%. Will you get that in real life? It depends. The same issues that may reduce IQ with the 7D II are also going to reduce IQ with the 5D III. If you do everything you can to maximize the resolving power of the 7D II, then you should realize a real-world benefit. High quality, sharp lenses, use of a tripod when necessary, proper use of IS, etc.

The caveat comes when you have the ability to change your distance to subject. If you can get closer...then the larger frame of the 5D III is going to be better. More light, ultimately more pixels if you can frame the same. If you are always able to fill the frame...then the 7D II will rarely produce better IQ. It may produce a better frame because it simply gets more of them per second...but on an identical framing basis, it won't produce better IQ. That's where using the telephoto lenses on the 5D III buys you something...you can frame such that your gathering more light, which means less noise and more pixels on subject.

Software & Accessories / Re: Hello Windows 10
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:47:09 PM »
Personally, I'm a big fan of Windows 8. I have never understood why people complain about it so much. Compared to Vista (which it is often compared), Windows 8 is a whole different class. Several classes different, even. Microsoft may have made a mistake removing the start menu so suddenly, but the start screen is not as bad as people make it out to be. It's actually kind of nice to hit a key, and have a bunch of useful information like weather, sports, news, stocks, latest emails (from multiple accounts) etc. all right in front of you (and then simply hit a key again to make it disappear.)

I've had a pretty seamless experience using both metro and classic apps on all my Windows 8 systems, including the desktops. Windows 8.1 and the Update 1 both brought great improvements. Windows 10 is amazing, to be honest. It's almost like a Mac OS release...tons of new features, multiple desktops, the way it works on each device, and automatically optimizes it's behavior for each device, is pretty wicked cool if you ask me. I think Microsoft has a real winner with Windows 10. Once it is fully refined for release, it should be a much more solid OS than Windows 8, which was WORLDS better than Vista ever was (and which was what I consider Microsoft's true flub...not necessarily because it was all that bad...Vista's biggest issue was lack of driver support out the gate and it took some 8 months and change to get that fully figured out...bad news. Once the drivers were available, even Vista was pretty nice, if maybe a little too glossy and shiny. :P)

The big thing for me is the reliability and speed of Windows 8. It's blazing fast. Very low resource usage. People complaining about lack of an upgrade path for XP...Windows 8 is less resource intensive than Windows 7. If you upgrade to 7, then upgrade to 8, you should have a pretty optimal system. (I upgrades XP to Vista to 7 to 8, without ever uninstalling. I finally bought a new SSD boot drive and installed 8.1 Update 1 clean on that for the first time in many years.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Crop camera upgrade
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:40:59 PM »
I agree with what Marsu said. I think the key differences between the 5D III and 7D II, aside from the IQ difference, is going to be AF point spread and frame rate. I went to the 5D III from the original 7D, and I can definitely feel the difference in frame rate. I don't think I'm really losing anything, the 7D had an AF jitter that cost me enough frames that I didn't have a better keeper rate than with the 5D III.

However, if a difference of 2fps can be "felt", a difference of 4fps should be pretty big. If you NEED that kind of frame rate, then I would say the 7D II has value. Marsu hit the nail on the head though...is it enough value to justify $1800? Is the frame rate and AF point spread together enough to justify the $1800? I shoot birds and wildlife, and the 5D III does quite well. For wildlife in particular, the larger frame with larger animals lets me get beautiful backgrounds that can be more difficult to achieve with the crop frame.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 18, 2014, 01:15:19 PM »
Ah, the orange would have made for such good contrast. Oh well. My maple had barely dropped a leaf until today. Now, a third of the leaves are on the ground, and it went from nearly 80°F to 40°F in a couple hours, and the low is 34°F tonight. It doesn't look like snow...yet...but winter is almost here.
We had our first snow yesterday, which is early ... And the 7DII does not arrive until late November, which means any real testing with the long whites will be wet, cold and in dull colors, with most of the birds on vacation in the south ...

Yeah, winter is going to be a heavy one this year. At least I'm not an early adopter, so not being able to test the 7D II isn't a biggie for me. :P Besides, in the close quarters of my yard, I like the full frame FoV and DOF.

It is a POS!  Who cares about a 5K display if it is only sRGB

"5120‑by‑2880 resolution with support for millions of colors"

Millions?  What about BILLIONS... like 1.07 Billion give or take to be exact.

This is the problem I see with most 4K or 4K plus displays, lack of color depth. 

The ASUS PB287Q may only be a 4K monitor but it handles 60x more colors.

All you hear people harp on is Dynamic Range... Dynamic Range... And then you throw away a BILLION colors?

I am sure it is a "nice" display, and it is a "big" foot print.  But I like colors... Lots of colors.

And even if you do get one of the few 1 Billion+ display monitors that are out there, so still need a card that can handle that as well.

Yeah, this is the bigger issue for me. If I am going to spend a lot of money on a new high resolution screen, I want it to be one of the high grade graphics design/photography displays like the NEC PAW line or Eizo ColorEdge. I won't spend a lot of money on a new screen until I can get at least 4k with at least 97% or more AdobeRGB coverage. I also don't think I could live without the really flat even rendering across the entire area of the screen or the clean, crisp colors from a hardware LUT.

Landscape / Re: Rural Landscapes
« on: October 17, 2014, 12:18:26 AM »
Late Summer Field

A recently mowed field far out east on Quincy Road out of Aurora, Colorado. A chain of storm cells was moving through, arcing past overhead while rains fell in the distance with the moving front and the faint rumblings of thunder.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 16, 2014, 11:47:31 PM »
Blue Jays and Maple Leaves

I tried to photograph the jays again today. This time with some maple branches in the background. The Jays refined their technique...they were even faster at peanut-theft this time! That left me hanging dry without a shot most of the time, and I only got one semi-decent shot out of the whole lot. :P Even with my current skill accumulated from three years trying to photograph these beautiful buggers, I'm still not always successful.

It looks like a storm is blowing in. This may have been the last day I'd have an opportunity to get all the fall color. Id so, next year...I'll do better, be faster, and smarter, than the birds. :D

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo BT3532LS w/ Jobu Pro 2

Just me, out in the open, wits vs. wits.

The rest of the time, I got stuff like this:

And this:

Ah, the orange would have made for such good contrast. Oh well. My maple had barely dropped a leaf until today. Now, a third of the leaves are on the ground, and it went from nearly 80°F to 40°F in a couple hours, and the low is 34°F tonight. It doesn't look like snow...yet...but winter is almost here.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 16, 2014, 11:31:41 PM »
@rpt: Just sitting out in the open. I have a hair trigger finger and a great eye. It took a LOT of practice to get shots like this...realize, this is going on the third year I've tried. All my prior year attempts don't compare. With all the accumulated knowledge, I was able to nail it this year.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Mark 2 Preorders "sound off"
« on: October 16, 2014, 05:34:45 PM »
No preorder for me. I wanted to see how the Samsung NX1 fared before I even started thinking about selling the 7D and replacing it with a 7D II. I like the specs of the NX1, and I am intrigued that it's the first APS-C part with an isocell BSI sensor. I'm not worried about the 12-bit at high FPS...I figure for my use cases, I'd be at higher ISO anyway, where I'm highly unlikely to be getting 10 stops of DR let alone 12, so it's not an issue.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D MkII RAW sample images
« on: October 16, 2014, 02:54:10 PM »
Not far, but at least 1/2 a step better?
It is - no question. I've seen it very clearly in the conversions I've done.

I've owned a 70D (which I frequently use, to great effect, at high ISO - I know what I'm doing) for some time, and have converted a number of high ISO 7D Mk II Raw files (from Imaging Resource), comparing them with equivalent 70D files from the same site.

The 7D Mk II is better - and that's before the best converters have officially caught up with it (Photo Ninja converts 7D Mk II files already, even though it doesn't officially support them).

I've also compared it with the "best of the rest" in the crop camera world (Nikon D7000/D71000, Pentax K-5/K-3) - I'll take the 7D Mk II's results any day.

Once Photo Ninja and Capture One catch up with the 7D Mk II, things are going to be really good. DPR's Raw conversion examples are crap (how many more times? ACR (and Lr) are not "state of the art" converters any more, especially used as badly as they've been here) - but hey, they do give The Usual Suspects something else to fixate on and whine about, so they've got some value...

Seriously - download some 7D Mk II files from Imaging Resource and convert them yourselves  - the latest DPP (which I don't regard very highly at all as a converter) supports the 7D Mk II, and gives better results than these DPR monstrosities.

Alright. I'm going to put Capture One 8 to the test. I know that LR handles Canon noise worse than DPP does. That handling does not seem to have improved with LR 5.x. You have stated on multiple occasions lately that Capture One does a superior job handling noise. If it really does, then it may indeed be worth the money. I've trialed it in the past, although that may have been v7. I'm going to do some side-by-side processing of some images in both C1 and LR and see how things turn out. It looks like they offer a $10/mo subscription, which is fairly reasonable, and if it does a better job, I'll probably move to it.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: October 16, 2014, 01:41:45 PM »
Blue Jay Portrait

Close up crop of one of my Blue Jay shots from yesterday. I think yesterday may have been the last day for beautiful yellow leaves. I may be able to get some branches off my maple for a reddish background today. Fall is fading fast, really fast. Going to be a coooold winter.

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