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Messages - jrista

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1
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:04:43 PM »
@Don: It looks like those are the paper release dates. The 1D X was announced in 2011, but it didn't actually hit the shelves until early summer 2012 (and maybe even later than that, as a lot of the early models used in the Olympics were ultimately replaced). The 1D X has a technical market life that is even shorter than the 5D III, which means the 7D is that much older than the next oldest Canon camera model.

Either it is REALLY going to be something utterly incredible...or Canon is killing off the 7D line. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if Canon can really achieve the level of "incredible" the 7D would really need to be to fill the shoes everyone expects it to...

2
To clarify, "Best at FL+aperture" refers to the Lens Score, which is based primarily on 'performance in 150 lux illumination' (like a dimly lit warehouse).  The Lens Score is only secondarily influenced by the optical metrics (sharpness, CA, etc.), despite those metrics being listed under the Score. That's why almost all lenses are 'best' wide open, even though the optical metrics are rarely highest at max aperture.

Consider that the Sigma 50/1.4 A is not 'best at 50mm f/1.4', but at f/2.  Since giving up a full stop of light is obviously not better for 'performance in 150 lux' that suggests that one or more of the secondary factors measured for the Sigma 50/1.4 A at f/1.4 were sufficiently bad to counteract the loss of a stop of light.  Or it could be that DxO just screwed up their testing, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.

LOL, no, not the first time.

I'm curious why the Sigma 50 A would bet the "best at f/2" treatment...but not the Canon 50L. It's quite clear that the 50L does not perform ideally (at least according to DXO's metrics) at f/1.2...and yet you can't even select f/1.4, f/1.8, or f/2 when comparing apertures with other lenses.

It's little things like that that always make me wonder if DXO really does have a bias against Canon. It seems they very often put Canon equipment in the worst possible light, and take special care to put other brand's products in the best possible light (such as the Sugma 50/1.4 A being best at f/2.)

3
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 05:05:39 PM »
@candc Canon used to make a 135mm soft focus which I believe us discontinued:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-135mm-f-2.8-with-Softfocus-Lens-Review.aspx


I owned the 135 softfocus and sadly this canon lens has ugly angular bokeh balls and primitive autofocus mechanism.  50L/85L II have far superior output if interested in the effect.


I think that's because the lens uses a diaphragm with strait blades, rather than curved. It was cheaply built overall as well, hence the reason I think it was discontinued (it just couldn't measure up in today's market.)

I really wish Canon would create another one, though, with a modern design and modern quality. I'd particularly like to see a 135 f/2 Macro Defocus lens...I think that would just be awesome to have spherical aberration in a long macro lens. Oh, the macro photos I could make with THAT! :D


Yeah, it has nothing to do with the SA adjustment, it was just a dated design in general.  It would be nice to see an updated version, although I'd first rather see an Canon EF 135mm f/2L IS update with curved blades/IS.  The other thing was, I though the 50L gave a better balance of dreaminess and sharpness than I could find with the 135 softfocus (even at variable midpoints settings etc).

If you are a fan of the dreamy look of softfocus, the 50mm f/1.2L is a great combination of sharpness and dreamy effect.  It makes more of a tradeoff in sharpness than the 85L II does, but if you like that effect you might actually like the 50L better than the 85L.


I'm a big fan of both the 50L and 85L. I am not good at portraiture myself, but I really love the quality and aesthetic of the portraits I have seen taken with those lenses. Both of them are excellent. The 50 definitely has a softer, dreamier look, but the perspective with the 85L is just to die for.

4
*Sigh*

DXOs Lens test results are so useless. They rate it less than the Otus, as they should, however all of the measures they choose to exhibit would otherwise indicate that the new Sigma 50 should be the better lens. Comparatively, it has the same resolution, better transmission, less distortion, and less CA than the Otus. Only in a footnote do you actually learn why DXO rates the Otus higher: It has sharper corners.

Bleh. DXO. Bleh. It's like they just barf up test results and let the chunks & giblets remain where they plop.

I think the world would be well-served if DXO just gave up on lens tests alltogether, nuked their lens tests database, and just stuck with sensor tests. (And furthermore, I think the world would be better served if DXO did away with scalar test "scores"...just as useless as the chunks and giblets that is their lens tests.)

Um... I'm pretty sure DxO scores are based on a specific "best" setting, where the "best" setting represents the highest achievable score on a given lens.  The sigma score is based on f/2, and the Otus f/1.4.  They both acheive similar sharpness at that setting, however that gives the Otus a full stop advatage on toward the score.  You should maybe figure out how they score before trying to put down their scoring method......

If you look at all of DXO's lens tests, it's very clear that they are VERY HEAVILY weighted based on the T-stops value. That's a problem, because it makes comparing the overall quality of lenses with different maximum apertures practically impossible...it's why a 50mm f/1.4 lens scores higher than Canon's 600mm f/4 L II supertele. The 50/1.4 doesn't even come remotely close to comparing to the 600/4 II, but it scores quite a bit higher. Why? Because it's f/1.4, and the 600 is f/4.

The T-stops weighting effectively nullifies much of the value that could potentially exist in DXO's lens tests. There is a certain value to testing lenses that way...but not if the most important benchmark is T-stops.

BTW, DXO does not mix ratings for measures from different apertures. If they choose the measures for a lens when it is tested at f/1.2, then that means sharpness, distortion, vignetting, and CA are all based on the testing at that aperture. As far as I know, DXO tests all lenses at all of the full-stop apertures (plus the max aperture, in case it isn't a full stop faster), but when they score, it's based on whatever they deem is the "best" aperture. Since they put such a significant weight on T-stops, that is usually the maximum aperture, although not always.

5
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 18, 2014, 02:29:09 PM »
I used to think the 7DII might come pretty close to FF in IQ and high ISO performance. Until last November, when a thread in CR completely disillusioned me. Next thing, I bought a 5DIII and sold my 7D and I've been kicking myself ever since that I didn't do it a year sooner. So yeah, I totally see what Jrista is talking about [although not cool to use 'trounce' in APS-C vs FF (that too same generation), Jrista, not cool].
I am lucky that I didn't end up waiting for 7DII and be disappointed.
Agreed!

If IQ was my only concern, I could walk into the local bestbuy and grab a 6D for less than what we expect a 7D2 will go for. There is no way short of physics defying magic that the 7D2 will beat it... But for me, I really want a more capable AF system and after playing with the touchscreen interface on a 70D, would like to see the next generation of that too... Hmmmm...... 5D4?

And this is where it gets interesting.  If the AF system gets improved that hopefully means more keepers as was the case with the 5DIII and 1DX.  So technically the IQ of the camera could be improved with a better more accurate AF system...as we know, Sensor IQ is nothing if the image is fuzzy to start with.

One needs to look at the system and not just one feature.  If the 7DII gets an AF system on par with 5DIII or 1DX then that systems is more desirable than a 6D.  I would expect a higher keeper rate (At least for subjects that are in action).  For me, having tasted the sweetness of the advanced AF systems, I could never go back to the old school 19point or less.  I would be disappointed, even if the sensor was noiseless.

Thats just me and buying a camera based on sensor alone is an amateur mistake.
Agreed!
I did not realize how bad the AF was on the 60D until I got into birding and tried a borrowed 5D3..... now I can't imagine getting another camera without a great AF system. My ideal camera would be the sampling density of APS-C and 5D3 (or better) AF system... this is why I am so keenly waiting for the 7D2 and why I did not even consider the 70D...

Aye, this is pretty much the same boat I am in. The sensor IQ on the 5D III is better as well, but once you start using that AF system, nothing else will really suffice. Ever since I first tried a 5D III a couple years ago now, I've seen all the flaws in the 7D's AF system. The 7D was better than the 9pt systems in it's time, but it definitely has it's issues. The 61pt system seems to be flawless...it's so well designed and perfectly executed. I don't know that I'll be getting a 7D II...I'm pretty set on a 5D III now (for action, landscapes, and astrophotography), but I still really hope the 7D II gets a vastly improved AF system.

So in AI servo mode, does the 5D focus much faster and more accurate than the 7D?

In my experience, the 5D III is way faster, far more consistent, and a bit more accurate. The 7D can be accurate, it's just inconsistent. I've had rather poor luck photographing birds in flight, for example. I don't think the problem is my technique...the 7D just has trouble maintaining a lock. It'll lock initially, but then for each frame the AF moves around just enough to kill your keeper rate. The 5D III seems to maintain it's lock much better (especially in expansion or zone modes), so even though it has a lower frame rate, it's keeper rate is similar or higher than the 7D.

The 7D II really needs to get an AF system like the 61pt that Canon put in the 5D III and 1D X. If they reuse the 19pt AF system again, I think that will be a very big mistake.

6
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:44:42 PM »
Immature Rufous Hummingbird from Monday.

EXIF on the site.


That is a truly exquisite shot! Perfectly composed, beautiful boke, supreme sharpness. Fantastic work!!

7
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:42:27 PM »
I used to think the 7DII might come pretty close to FF in IQ and high ISO performance. Until last November, when a thread in CR completely disillusioned me. Next thing, I bought a 5DIII and sold my 7D and I've been kicking myself ever since that I didn't do it a year sooner. So yeah, I totally see what Jrista is talking about [although not cool to use 'trounce' in APS-C vs FF (that too same generation), Jrista, not cool].
I am lucky that I didn't end up waiting for 7DII and be disappointed.
Agreed!

If IQ was my only concern, I could walk into the local bestbuy and grab a 6D for less than what we expect a 7D2 will go for. There is no way short of physics defying magic that the 7D2 will beat it... But for me, I really want a more capable AF system and after playing with the touchscreen interface on a 70D, would like to see the next generation of that too... Hmmmm...... 5D4?

And this is where it gets interesting.  If the AF system gets improved that hopefully means more keepers as was the case with the 5DIII and 1DX.  So technically the IQ of the camera could be improved with a better more accurate AF system...as we know, Sensor IQ is nothing if the image is fuzzy to start with.

One needs to look at the system and not just one feature.  If the 7DII gets an AF system on par with 5DIII or 1DX then that systems is more desirable than a 6D.  I would expect a higher keeper rate (At least for subjects that are in action).  For me, having tasted the sweetness of the advanced AF systems, I could never go back to the old school 19point or less.  I would be disappointed, even if the sensor was noiseless.

Thats just me and buying a camera based on sensor alone is an amateur mistake.
Agreed!
I did not realize how bad the AF was on the 60D until I got into birding and tried a borrowed 5D3..... now I can't imagine getting another camera without a great AF system. My ideal camera would be the sampling density of APS-C and 5D3 (or better) AF system... this is why I am so keenly waiting for the 7D2 and why I did not even consider the 70D...

Aye, this is pretty much the same boat I am in. The sensor IQ on the 5D III is better as well, but once you start using that AF system, nothing else will really suffice. Ever since I first tried a 5D III a couple years ago now, I've seen all the flaws in the 7D's AF system. The 7D was better than the 9pt systems in it's time, but it definitely has it's issues. The 61pt system seems to be flawless...it's so well designed and perfectly executed. I don't know that I'll be getting a 7D II...I'm pretty set on a 5D III now (for action, landscapes, and astrophotography), but I still really hope the 7D II gets a vastly improved AF system.

8
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:39:48 PM »
Do let me know when this thread gets back to a discussion between 1D IV vs 7D II.
Alas, it seems to have run off into another FF vs APS-C discussion...

Everything I've said about FF vs. APS-C applies to APS-H vs. APS-C. It's sensor area that matters, so from a sensor IQ standpoint, the 1D IV wins. The 1D line also gets extra attention to all the fine little details, the small things that require a lot of extra hands on time to tweak and tune and refine. It's a large part of the reason the 1D models cost more...they are highly and optimally tuned. You can ask almost any 1D owner regardless of generation, and most will tell you they love the out of camera quality in every respect...higher sharpness, lower noise, better color fidelity, etc. etc. The same fine tuning applies to all the other non-sensor aspects of the camera as well. The 1D IV had a much better AF system that performed much better than the 1D III and any other Canon camera of the time. It had the high frame rate, the higher performance shutter, etc.

I think it would be very difficult for the 7D II to beat the 1D IV. At best, Canon might achieve parity, and some non-sensor features might be better (i.e. better AF system), but I generally don't think IQ will be better.
And the quality of the build!
Better materials, tighter tolerances, hand matching to specs, all adds up to greater consistency. Another reason why the 1D lineups outperform the rest, particularly after a few drops and tumbles.....

Absolutely! I've used one 1D IV once. It was pretty phenomenal. Even with it's older AF system, it was just amazing how well it performed, how fast it was, how it sounded, how it felt. The 1D X is the same way, just even more refined. If someone offered me either one for a steal, I'd take either one. Doesn't matter to me if the 1D IV is old, it's still a superior camera.

9
EOS Bodies / Re: 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:36:27 PM »
I used to think the 7DII might come pretty close to FF in IQ and high ISO performance. Until last November, when a thread in CR completely disillusioned me. Next thing, I bought a 5DIII and sold my 7D and I've been kicking myself ever since that I didn't do it a year sooner. So yeah, I totally see what Jrista is talking about [although not cool to use 'trounce' in APS-C vs FF (that too same generation), Jrista, not cool].
I am lucky that I didn't end up waiting for 7DII and be disappointed.
Agreed!

If IQ was my only concern, I could walk into the local bestbuy and grab a 6D for less than what we expect a 7D2 will go for. There is no way short of physics defying magic that the 7D2 will beat it... But for me, I really want a more capable AF system and after playing with the touchscreen interface on a 70D, would like to see the next generation of that too... Hmmmm...... 5D4?

And this is where it gets interesting.  If the AF system gets improved that hopefully means more keepers as was the case with the 5DIII and 1DX.  So technically the IQ of the camera could be improved with a better more accurate AF system...as we know, Sensor IQ is nothing if the image is fuzzy to start with.

One needs to look at the system and not just one feature.  If the 7DII gets an AF system on par with 5DIII or 1DX then that systems is more desirable than a 6D.  I would expect a higher keeper rate (At least for subjects that are in action).  For me, having tasted the sweetness of the advanced AF systems, I could never go back to the old school 19point or less.  I would be disappointed, even if the sensor was noiseless.

Thats just me and buying a camera based on sensor alone is an amateur mistake.

Totally agree! Although I think whether the 7D II or 6D is desirable will often depend on what the photographer photographs. If your a macro junkie, I think the 6D would be the superior camera, as you'll very likely be using manual focus and focus stacking anyway. If your an action shooter and cannot afford the 1D X, then the 7D II should be pretty ideal.

10
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:22:26 PM »
@candc Canon used to make a 135mm soft focus which I believe us discontinued:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-135mm-f-2.8-with-Softfocus-Lens-Review.aspx


I owned the 135 softfocus and sadly this canon lens has ugly angular bokeh balls and primitive autofocus mechanism.  50L/85L II have far superior output if interested in the effect.


I think that's because the lens uses a diaphragm with strait blades, rather than curved. It was cheaply built overall as well, hence the reason I think it was discontinued (it just couldn't measure up in today's market.)

I really wish Canon would create another one, though, with a modern design and modern quality. I'd particularly like to see a 135 f/2 Macro Defocus lens...I think that would just be awesome to have spherical aberration in a long macro lens. Oh, the macro photos I could make with THAT! :D

11
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 03:23:22 AM »
Hah! That is actually an old technique used in cinematography for the dreamy effect. It doesn't give you spherical blur circles, though, just the soft highlights.

Isn't there a net-like filter or something for that?

You guys are thinking of soft focus. There are lots of ways of achieving soft focus. Vaseline was one of them (mostly for cinema stuff as far as I know, although I'm sure people did it for stills as well)...people don't usually do that anymore as it means putting oily gunk on your lens on purpose. :P There are also plenty of various soft focus filters that use some kind of net design. Some use particle dispersion as well. The net or particles diffracts light, softening it much like diffraction from stopping down a lens (but at all apertures). One of the side effects of net-type soft focus filters is they mess with your boke...you can see it in a lot of tv shows and movies...look at the OOF backgrounds. You can often easily see the design of the net or the particle distribution in OOF highlight blur circles.

A lot of high quality cinema lenses are purpose-built with spherical aberration these days though (soft focus as well as spherical OOF highlights are very desirable in TV/Movies...any time you see a real cinematic tv show or movie, look closely at the background highlights...you'll see very frequently that they are clearly spherical.) So the use of filters or, god forbid, Vaseline, is usually unnecessary.

12
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 02:34:44 AM »
If you want this...you gotta buy a lens that offers it. Either a soft focus control/defocus control lens...or something like the 50L/85L.

Or smear a bit of vaseline on the lens :)

(Just kidding.)

Phil.

Hah! That is actually an old technique used in cinematography for the dreamy effect. It doesn't give you spherical blur circles, though, just the soft highlights.

13
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:59:20 AM »
Here are some sample photos taken with the Nikon 135/2 Defocus lens that shows the difference between normal boke and boke in a lens with spherical aberration:

No Defocus


Flat blur circles, sharp subject, clearly defined focal plane. Looks great, nothing wrong with it, but it is not the same kind of boke as you get from a lens with spherical aberration:

With Defocus (spherical aberration)


Spherical blur circles, highlighted outer ring, radial gradient to the center. Soft and dreamy highlights on subject at the focal plane. Focal plane itself is less defined, softer, smoother.

This is what you get with a lens that has spherical aberration. The blur circles cannot be replicated in post if you start out with solid ones. The dreamy effect can be approximated with post-processing effects...but it's never quite the same. This is a fairly specific effect, one that must be done with optics to get the full effect in all it's aesthetic glory. If you want this...you gotta buy a lens that offers it. Either a soft focus control/defocus control lens...or something like the 50L/85L.

If you still can't tell the difference, well, then all I can say is those two lenses are definitely not for you. :P

14
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How to Annoy a Photography Snob
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:50:28 AM »
Anyway, if you want to pull an Artie, don't come off like a jerk, and maybe actually teach something...your current approach is rather wanting.  :P

As is yours. Wrapping an opinion up in lots of words and figures doesn't make it valid. As for being a dick, well I am on occasion, I have found in my many successful years of teaching headstrong and over opinionated intelligent people who talk utter rubbish it takes a bit of a slap around the face for them to even notice how absurd they are being.

Well, all I can say is I'm really glad I don't take any of your classes.

15
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:38:02 AM »
Well I asked a collection of questions (to you) in this post:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=20498.msg387881#msg387881
but you have not answered. Should I take from this that you do not wish to enlighten me with information and thus leave me in a place where I can only but make assumptions?


Well, I thought Neuro answered them well enough. But if you want me to answer, sure.

I'm pretty sure that you can introduce spherical aberration through plugins or other software components if you really so desire. What you can't do is correct for poor image quality at capture time.


Actually, spherical aberration is an effect in three dimensional space.


If spherical aberration is so important and necessary to photographers then why do lens manufacturers go to such great lengths to eliminate it?


I think saying it's necessary "to photographers" is overly broad. I think the proper phrasing would be that spherical aberration is desirable to a certain class of photographers who understand what it is, how it affects their images, and love the aesthetic result. Again, check out the flickr groups for the 50L and 85L...they are packed with incredible photography that has a very specific look. Even the corner softness and CA is a part of the overall aesthetic that people WANT in those two lenses (and, actually, the 135/2.8 Soft Focus lens, which offered the same features as the Nikon 135 f/2 Defocus Control lens, albeit in a cheaper package.)

There is sometimes more to a lens than technological perfection. I think you may be missing that, and along the way missing out on the beauty of a LOT of photography created by avid fans of Canon's short portrait primes.

Quote
It's better to have a diversity of options, because not everyone photographs the same things in the same ways that you do.


Of course. Nobody else is interested in lens that produce sharp images, have excellent colour rendition and contrast. Especially not a standard length zoom at 50mm.


I'm not saying every lens should have spherical aberration. I'm actually saying that not every lens should be a Zeiss Otus. The Otus also has a unique aesthetic, its beautiful, for sure. But it's different than the Canon 50L and 85L. A diverse set of options for lenses is a good thing. I think it's important that photographers have a choice...all those people who share their work on the Flickr 50L and 85L groups? What's going to happen to them if Canon just creates another Otus in the 50/1.2 L II? Or another Sigma Art 50?


If I recall correctly you like long telephoto lenses for birds, etc. Would you prefer a long lens that had the characteristics of the 50L or the Sigma 50/1.4 Art?


Long telephoto lenses serve a different purpose than a 50. I honestly do not think making such a comparison is relevant. As for the 50's themselves, I'd actually prefer to own both a 50L and an Otus. I love the aesthetics from both, and I see the differences between them as well.

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