October 21, 2014, 04:10:49 PM

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Messages - jd7

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Lenses / Re: 24-70 swap
« on: October 08, 2014, 05:44:59 PM »
I have both as well.

However, I have different impressions. Both lenses have their own strengths and weaknesses and I have come to the opinion that one can't truly replace the other.

The 24-70 has better:
Performance at 24mm, particularly in corners
Distortion control at 24mm
T-stop advantage (slight increase in exposure despite both being f4)

The 24-105 has better:
Range (71-105mm)
Performance in the 50mm range (significantly better, too)
Performance at/near MFD

At 70mm both seem to be about the same TBH.

Now, you may mention that I didn't bring up the close focusing ability of the 24-70 as an advantage over the 24-105. Why? I find it to be incredibly soft, plus one has to get so close that the lens blocks light. Not that useful in my opinion, but nonetheless it may find some use when I can't be bothered pulling the 100 macro out.

Have you sent your lens to Canon and had it calibrated? If not, I really recommend you try it.

My 24-70 f/4 was very soft at 50mm when I bought it, and not great at 35. 70 was better but 24 was certainly best. Sent it back to canon for calibration and it's a much better lens now. It's consistently good throughout the zoom range, from f/4.

As for macro mode, i agree the short working distance isn't helpful (although I still use it for occasional macro shots) but I don't feel like my copy is soft.

Wanted to add my thanks to jrista for taking the time and effort to post these examples. Very interesting to get a chance to play with an a7r raw file.

Leaving aside the issue of how useful it is in practical application, the IQ the a7r retains when the exposure is pushed certainly seems impressive to me. That said, there is something about the 5D3 image I still like too - something about the light/tone it shows. And looking at the detail of what you can see through the windows, especially the right hand window, i am wondering if the 5D3 has actually done better there. I will have to play with the a7r image some more tho, to see if it's a pp thin thing.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon's 2.300$ D750 said to best 5DIII
« on: September 30, 2014, 04:52:24 PM »
I'd like to see more reviews yet but I have to say the D750 does look like a very good camera, especially at the price. I like my 6D a lot and I'll see what Canon comes out with next, but this is the first time I've seen something which has made me give a moment's serious thought to switching from Canon. A camera body alone is not a system of course, but still ...

Technical Support / Re: Dynamic Range questions..
« on: September 26, 2014, 10:07:32 PM »
In general, Sony EXMOR has more DR until ISO400. Canon has more DR at ISO above 1600.

I certainly am not interested in any dr mud slinging, but it has to be noted that Sony's advantage at low iso is very large and noticeable while Canon's advantage at higher iso (see individual model dr curves) are minor.

I'm generally looking here, though it's mostly dxo data: http://sensorgen.info/

I am finding that my 6D has fair DR at 100 and a very high DR in comparison at higher ISO's.

My standard comment: Use Magic Lantern's dual_iso, it boosts your dynamic range at iso 100 to about 14.5+ stops at (nearly) no loss of iq but usability hassle. It also will have a mini_iso module in the near future adding 1/3-1/2 ev of dynamic range just like that, it's about the same optimization Canon did to the 1dx.

The thing to consider, is that very high ISO's like I often use, there is very little DR to begin with.  Even a small amount is a big improvement.  When DR is only 5 stops, 1/2 stop is a noticible improvement for virtually every photo, but the average photo has no noticible improvement with a 20% DR at ISO 100, you have to have poor lighting with deep shadows or a poor exposure to see the benefit.

+1.  That is the conclusion I came to as well. 

I have to admit I haven't personally tested an Exmor sensor camera to see for myself exactly how much difference Exmor makes at low ISO in real world shooting (or at least my real world shooting!), so I suppose that means take my opinion with a grain of salt, but for my needs DR/latitude at higher ISOs seems more important - noting I'm pretty happy with the photos I get with my 6D at low ISO even if they may lag behind what Exmor can produce.  (I really should get hold of a camera with Exmor one day and try it out for myself, I guess.)

I don't understand all the threads (I'm not talking about this one) which degenerate into heated dispute about Canon v Exmor DR.  Every system has a set of trade offs so it is just a case of choosing which set of trade offs suits you personally prefer.  Some photographers will value DR/latitude at low ISO very highly, in which case a system which includes a camera with Exmor is likely to be very attractive (subject to weighing up all of the other trade offs, of course).  Others won't value DR/latitude at low ISO so highly, so a system which includes a camera with Exmor isn't necessarily as appealing (but again, subject to weighing up all of the trade offs).  All else being equal I'm all for more DR if it is on offer, but in reality all else is not equal.

Lenses / Re: Lenses that you want Canon to release next
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:07:28 AM »
The 85/1.8 is a sweet lens, just a pity about the CA. If they fixed that and kept a similar IQ, price & size... mmm....
Exactly my thought.
Improve it optically, less CA, little bit more colors and contrast.
New ring USM, aperture design and maybe improve the mechanics a bit.

... and having tried the Sigma 85/1.4 I was not really happy but I saw what could be possible.

85 1.8 II sounds great to me too, although I think 85 1.8 IS would be even better (as long as it doesn't push up the weight/size/price too much!) ... or perhaps an 85 1.4.

Other than that, 135 2L IS (I keep trying to come up with a way to justify adding a 135 2L to my kit  :) ) and 50 1.4 IS (or even a 50 1.4 II if there are problems putting IS in a lens with a 1.4 aperture).

Maximilian - out of curiosity, what weren't you happy about with the Sigma 85 1.4? The reviews I've seen are generally very positive, with the only real complaint being some reports of AF issues. I've been thinking about trying to pick up one second hand to give it a go, so I'd be interested to hear what you didn't like about it.

Software & Accessories / Re: Blackrapid strap slips
« on: September 17, 2014, 06:34:03 AM »
Thank you all for the replies - much appreciated.

Since it sounds at least possible my strap is not working as it should I think I will start by contacting BR and see what they have to say.  If that doesn't lead to a solution I will give the other suggestions in this thread a go.

Apart from the length slipping I do like the BR strap so I'm crossing my fingers I will get it sorted out one way or another.

Thanks again.

Software & Accessories / Blackrapid strap slips
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:03:09 PM »
Hi all

I have a Blackrapid Sport strap.  The problem I'm having is that every time I adjust the length of the strap, the strap pretty quickly extends back to its maximum length once I start using it.  If I'm using my 70-200 2.8, I'd be lucky to have walked for 10 minutes before the strap has slipped back to it's maximum length.  Basically, even though I really like the idea carrying the weight on my shoulder and across my body, in practise I'm finding the strap is not really usable.

I've seen quite a lot of good reports about the Blackrapid straps, so do other people not have this problem?  Anyone got any solutions?


EOS Bodies / Re: More Images of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 15, 2014, 10:51:47 PM »
This is not a troll attempt, i really would like to hear people's thoughts on the upcoming 7D Mark II when put up against the new Nikon D750. It seems the 7D Mark II will use an improved 70D sensor and the D750 uses an improved version of the D610 sensor. I realize this is an APS-C camera versus a Full Frame camera but the D750 has an APS crop mode that you can use which would mean you basically have two cameras in one. The DxOMark ratings for the D610 versus the 70D are drastically different with the D610 ranking a 94 and the 70D ranking at 68
- this disparity is bound to remain in the two new models given their base technologies as mentioned. Besides the obvious boost that the 7D Mark II will have over the D750 in terms of fps and the phase detect for video use, what other reasons are there for choosing the 7D Mark II over the full frame D750? The pricing will not be so different as the D750 is at $2,299 and the 7D MK II is expected to come in at ~$2K.

Thoughts anyone?

At that point you're looking at the system as a whole and not the body itself.
The reason you would get a 7D2 over the D750 is that it's a Canon, you get the lenses, UI and controls, customer support. Nikon has been fixing a lot of the complaints people had, but in the long run I'll still take Canon's lens selection as a primary reason to stay with the system. They don't really show any signs of slowing down in the number of awesome lenses they produce.

The 7D2 seems like it will be a great action camera (although there is still the question over low light performance), but all else being equal (which it is not, of course) the D750 is the camera which would interest me far more.   I'm not putting my Canon gear up for sale just yet, but I'll be looking forward to finding out what Canon has to offer when they release their next round of FF cameras.  A 6D with AF and FPS comparable to the D750's sounds great to me (and I guess I'd take the D750 sensor too if it was on offer).

(OK, in anticipation that someone will say I could always just get a 5DIII, yes that is true, although it would be heavier, bigger and more expensive.  Still, it's always an option.)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon announced D750
« on: September 12, 2014, 11:30:50 PM »
I am very impressed with the Nikon D750. Yes, I believe this is a camera that could trigger a person to switch platforms. The thought ran through my mind for sure.

Positives: FF, Built-In WiFi, Dual SD card slots, Good AF, 24+ MP Sensor, 6.3fps
Negatives: 1/4000 shutter speed limit, Weather Sealing?
Neutral: Articulating Screen, Built-In Flash, ISO

I'm not about to rush out and sell my Canon gear and switch, but I agree (at least on paper) the D750 does look like it might be a great camera for many people/purposes (not saying it will suit everyone, of course).  I basically agree with your list of pros and cons, although I'd rate the articulating screen and the built-in flash as negatives if they compromise weather-sealing or durability (but do they?).  I also have a question mark over the ergonomics.  Looking at the screenshots of the D750, I am unconvinced about the ergonomics, but of course you really need to shoot with one before deciding about that.

I have to say I feel like Nikon has had a habit of making products with great specs but which (as far as I can tell from what I've read) in actual use often are no better than, and sometimes worse than, comparable offerings from Canon and others.  (I'm not talking about the SoNikon sensors though - but there has been enough written about them already.)  I guess we need to see how the D750 actually performs, but if the D750 lives up to its specs, I'd be pretty happy about it if I shot Nikon.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of full-frame cameras from Canon will bring.

Edit - just saw some posts above wondering about the D750's buffer.  That's definitely something to find out more about!

Lenses / Re: 24-105 vs 24-70 2.8 ii
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:20:24 PM »
Yeah, the f4 24-70, or at least the one I tried at the local store, is DEFINITELY weakest at 50mm. Dare I say that one was worse than my 24-105 is at 24, its weakest point (w/o the distortion)...there was NO sharp area of the image at 50mm f4. Anyway, I'd like to try another copy - maybe that was just a mediocre one.

Between the 24-105 and the 2.8 24-70 - unless you shoot a lot of indoor social events (and thus need the 2.8 / IS mattering less in those situations), or you have a big budget, then the 24-105 is still a good lens with decent sharpness and great value for price. Plus IS makes it more versatile, too.

My 24-70 f4 was definitely poor at 50mm, and weak at 35mm, when I first got it.  I sent it back to Canon though, and it came back greatly improved.  I'm pretty happy with it now, throughout the whole zoom range.

If you're interested in knowing more, see http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=21846.0

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:17:23 PM »
In case anyone stumbles over this old thread at some point and is interested to know how the story ended ...

Having done some more testing, I'm pretty happy with my 24-70 4 IS now.  The IQ is pretty consistent all the way through the zoom range now.  It's possible its weak spot is now at 35mm (f/4), and I think it might not be quite as good at 24mm (f/4) as before I sent it to Canon (but it's marginal - I might be imagining that), but really its consistent - and very good - throughout.  It's a vast improvement over its performance before I sent it back to Canon, that's for sure.

It's interesting reading around the internet that some people report the 24-70 4 IS being great throughout the zoom range (eg see PhotoNet http://photo.net/equipment/canon-ef24-70f4/, and see SLRlounge's "lens wars" series including their 50mm "wars"), while many others report it being weak in the middle of the zoom range, especially at 50mm.  Sporgon mentioned in an earlier post that Roger Cicala had found the 24-70 4 IS has an unusually high number of adjustable elements.   Maybe Canon bit off a little bit more than they can chew with the 24-70 4 IS, in the sense the QC required to make it consistently good out of the box would mean it would have to be priced at a level which isn't going to fly from a commercial point of view?

Anyway, the story has ended well for me, so I'm happy!

PS - It seems pretty clear it's not going to be what you're looking for if you're serious about macro photography, but as someone who isn't that much into macro, I'm definitely having some fun with the (semi) macro mode on the 24-70 4 IS.

Lenses / Re: What New Lens are You Most Excited About?
« on: September 12, 2014, 08:43:05 PM »
Personally the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II intrigues me. Why? How good will it be?  How much will it cost?

Same. I'm not going to buy it but I'm very curious to see what they've done with the technology.


I'm vaguely interested in the two Sigma 150-600 lenses too, but I doubt I'll buy either of them. Overall though, I'm not really excited about any of the recently announced lenses.  I was really hoping we would see an 85 1.8 IS!

PS - If I was shooting on a crop camera, I'd definitely be interested in that 24 pancake, assuming it's priced the same as the 40 pancake.  I've seen some negative comments on CR about the 24 pancake, but my bet is Canon will sell a lot of them.

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: August 18, 2014, 03:58:44 AM »
For those interested, I got back my lens late last week.  I only had a chance to take a handful of shots with it over the weekend, and they were in less than ideal testing conditions (ISO3200, except for about 4 shots at ISO 400).  However, I'm very pleased to say my initial impression is the lens is much improved after servicing.  I need to test it more thoroughly yet, but it's looking like the lens is still a touch better at 24mm and 70mm than at 35mm or 50mm but the difference is now pretty small.  Seems like 35mm and 50mm are pretty good - it seems promising anyway!

Will update again when I've tested more carefully, hopefully next weekend.

Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:01:27 AM »
As to the weight, when many of your lenses are large aperture you get used to it and the mid range aperture lenses feel very light.

Like having a 24-105mm on the 5DMKIII feels a lot lighter than the 24-70MKI but you get used to it, so for a zoom of that magnitude 1050g isn't a lot. Compare that to the 70-200mm MKII which is 1490g add a 2x converter 325g and a mid body 860g = 2675g compared to mid range body and 70-300mm = 1935g. That weight saving is the same as taking a 70-200mm F4 IS also. So you could take another high end piece of glass to fill another gap like a wide angle.

I get the general point but I'm not sure "you get used to it" is really the issue.  As with just about everything to do with camera gear, it's about each person working out what set of trade offs suits them best for what they want to do.  Looked at in isolation, I agree 300g is not much at all ... but you can say the same about the 740g difference in the above example - it's really not that much.   On the other hand, if you're carrying something far enough and trying to move fast enough, etc, you'll want to shave 300g off every item you can.   In my case I'm sometimes (sadly not often - too much time doing a desk job) travelling with people who aren't so interested in photography so aren't going to cut me any slack, and we're covering quite a lot of rough terrain. I've done it with a 7D, a 70-200 2.8, a (Sigma) 24-70 2.8, a wide angle zoom and other bits and pieces and lived to tell the tale, but the weight made it all a bit less enjoyable.  (And I'm someone who spends my weekends doing things like running up hills with a 20kg+ pack on my back and pushing heavy sleds in the name of fitness.)

A couple of years ago I looked hard at moving to m4/3, but in the end decided to go the other way to full frame.  But I chose a 6D rather than a 5DIII, and apart from my 70-200 2.8 all my other lenses now are at the light end for lenses in their class.   Saving a bit of weight on each of a number of items adds up in a way which matters to me - and means I enjoy using the gear I have.  The OP may or may not have reasons (not necessarily the same as mine!) for valuing a weight reduction even if it's only 300g.

Anyway, my only real point is that there are a lot of factors which play into what's the "best choice" for someone.   I completely understand why some people prefer the 70-300L - the extra reach being the most likely reason, but for some even just being able to carry the lens vertically in a bag might make it worth it.   But there is nothing wrong with choosing the 70-200 4 IS either.  And there is nothing wrong with deciding 300g extra is not something you want, even if it's something you could get used to.

Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 04, 2014, 05:58:14 AM »
I have the 70-200 4L IS and like it.  My sister has had the 70-300L since last Christmas so I've played with it a bit too, although I haven't used it that much.  My experience is they are both sharp and you're likely to be very happy with the IQ from either, so it really comes down to whether the extra reach (without needing an extender) is important to you and how you feel abou the size/weight/handling of each lens.  That said, I should have a closer look at the bokeh from the 70-300L at some stage - I've never done any testing to see what I think of it.

Anyway, I've considered selling my 70-200 4L IS and getting a 70-300L but I like what I've got so I'm keeping it.  For my use (which includes carrying it in a pack for extended periods while hiking) I prefer the weight saving (the 70-300L is about one-third again as heavy) plus I like the constant aperture.  That said, the alternative way of looking at it is the weight difference is only 290g so it's not a big deal, and the extra range makes it worth sacrificing the constant aperture.  FWIW though, I disagree with the earlier post saying the 70-300L feels lighter.  I get that shorter lenses tend to feel relatively lighter, but to me the 70-300L still feels heavier to use.  On the other hand, the idea of being able to pack the 70-300L "vertically" in a camera bag might be a real advantage to you depending on your use.

In the end I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with either.  If you can try them out in a shop, I'd do that and see which one you prefer when you've got it in the hand (and on the camera!).

Oh, and as for the 100-400 I've never used one so I'll leave it to others to comment on it.

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