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Messages - kubelik

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Lenses / Re: Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art announced..
« on: February 10, 2015, 12:32:08 PM »
This should be an interesting battle with Canon & Nikon as both of them have well-regarded 24 f/1.4 lenses.  Yes, coma, and vignetting are issues, but they are very sharp lenses.  This was not the case with the 35mm and more so with the 50mm lenses, so unless the price is right, I think it's going to be a tougher sell to anyone other than people who shoot starry skies (assuming excellent coma correction).

Also, given Viggo and Eldar's experiences with the Art series AF, I'm staying far away from this line of lenses.

I'm particularly curious about the coma and astigmatism for exactly that reason - nightscapes. I don't really care much about its AF performance, but of course price/performance ratio is key.

Forgive my ignorance, I thought the 35mm and 50mm Art lenses were touted as being very sharp? was that not the real world observation? I haven't kept up to date with gear reviews lately.

EOS Bodies / Re: What will become of the 5D Mark III?
« on: February 04, 2015, 12:26:39 PM »
the 5D Mark III will continue to be my workhorse camera ... and everyone who no longer cherishes their 5D Mark III can send them straight to me so I have a couple of backup cameras.

as I stated on the 5D Mk IV thread, I have almost no desire to upgrade my 5D3 to anything else, which is in stark contrast to how badly I wanted improvements made to the 5D2. the 5D3 really is the tipping point in terms of the so called good-enough camera or last camera, where, yeah, there are some minor improvements that could be made, but for 99.9% of my shooting it is absolutely capable of doing exactly what I need it to.

EOS Bodies / Re: Where is the EOS 5D Mark IV? [CR2]
« on: February 01, 2015, 03:41:14 PM »
when I had my 5D Mark II, I remember the wait for the 5D Mark III release seemed interminable ... could not wait to trade up for the Mark III because of shortcomings in frame rate, autofocus, and to a lesser extent, the higher ISO capabilities.

now that I've got the 5D Mark III, I was actually surprised to hear that Canon was about the release a Mark IV. it feels like I only bought my Mark III a year ago, even though apparently I've owned it for 3 years already! guess I've found my "good-enough" camera. will look into trading up to a Mark IV if it really is a stunner, but even then it wouldn't be a sure thing. I think my wish list would be more about the little things that most consumers reading spec lists gloss over, which means it's unlikely we'll see any of these:

ability to actually use max speed on SD card memory slot
1/320 flash sync speed
7D weathersealing
3 second pre-record cache in movie mode
flash trigger in live view
2/3-stop improvement in dynamic range
built-in wifi module
7 FPS high speed shooting

Lenses / Re: What's your favourite focal length?
« on: November 19, 2014, 03:02:35 PM »
21mm ... I find I use my 16-35 most often in the 18-21 range. it'd be nice to have a fast 21mm prime, maybe like a 21mm f/2 IS? but I think that would be a tiny, tiny niche market

Photography Technique / Re: Game Ranches for photography
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:14:39 PM »
I'm curious about these game ranches- are they the same ones that you would go to for actually hunting said animals?

I agree with what was said earlier, about having to be honest about the pedigree of a photo when it is a photo for sale. I suspect, however, that sanjosedave is in a similar situation as myself: a hobbyist with limited time and budget. photography isn't and likely never will be how I make a living, so I can't exactly pop off into the wild for days at a time stalking elusive wildlife.

my wife and I drove through the Virginia Safari Zoo last fall, which is pretty much a drive-through park with a somewhat random assortment of animals, from those normally found in the wild to those normally found on slightly-more-exotic farms: llamas, deer, antelope, giraffes, shaggy oxen of some sort, camels, elk, etc (I make it sound boring, I know, but they had some unique subspecies of each of these standard animal types). it was pretty cheap and you pay a little extra to get these feed buckets so that you can feed the animals. if I were to go back, I'd skip the feed buckets. the llamas are intelligent and aggressive, and once they realize you have food they will mob your car and box you in, until they've had their fill or get tired of licking your windows. other than the llamas it was an enjoyable experience. I didn't realize how close the animals would come up to your car (you stay in the vehicle at all times) and quickly had to swap out my 70-200 for my 24-70. not so many of those creamy-bokeh isolation shots, but some neat ones where the animal is literally a foot away from your face and curiously eyeing you. it's a nice way to get really close to some interesting creatures in a way that is safe for them and safe for you. from a technical standpoint: you have to think about your framing and background to minimize the intrusion of man-made elements (the paved road, farm sheds, etc.) in the images, and occasionally it's jarring to see a species that is typically found in sub-saharan climates framed by deciduous forest. but at least there weren't cage bars or chain link fences like you see at your typical city zoo.

all in all, my wife told me that this was pretty much the exact same experience she had at a drive-thru safari zoo in South Africa (so these seem to exist on more than just one continent), except that ostriches took the place of the llamas, with very similar behavior.

I'd be curious to learn of other places in the US that allow for pseudo-safari animal photography experiences. especially for a photography that's got kids, this is probably a much more realistic photographic option than questing through the woods for a week in search of pure, unadulterated wildlife.

the only thing I'd do differently about the 5D Mark III would be to have it be able to morph into the LX100 or G7X at the push of a button for when I don't feel like hauling around the weight or when the DSLR form is too obtrusive. Given that I can just purchase one of those for under $1K, and my 5DIII cost about $2K after trading in my 5DII, I see no reason to spend $10K on a supercamera.

Would I get dramatically better photos if the high-ISO IQ were doubled? focus speed was doubled? frame rate was doubled? nope. Whatever shots I'm not getting now, I probably still wouldn't get then, because I'm fairly confident the capabilities of the 5DIII as a camera exceed my capabilities as a photographer.

if coma, astig, and vignetting are good I'd happily buy this over the Canon 24 L II. all of the canon offerings make a very poor showing of the corners when doing wide-field astrophotography.

PowerShot / Re: Canon PowerShot G1 X II Final Specifications
« on: February 11, 2014, 10:26:02 AM »
I know I'm going to get shouted down for this, but I wonder if it can do 720p/120fps video. my brother in-law shot some slow-mo video with his iPhone 5 at the shooting range the other day and all I could think about was how awesome it would be if we could get that on something with a decent-sized sensor and a high-utility lens. pretty sure this is on the S120 and the G16 but not the G1X, hopefully they can do it on the G1XII. even if they don't ... could still be the perfect backup camera to the 5DIII.

Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 70-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS
« on: February 04, 2014, 10:31:10 AM »
Perhaps it's a case of you-always-want-what-you-can't-have but I feel like Canon is totally missing the gauntlet just thrown by Tamron with the new 150-600. instead of covering the 70mm-100mm range yet again for the zillionth time, how about moving up into the 500mm or 600mm range for consumers and serious amateurs? I think that they will absolutely lose sales over this, not because the Tamron is amazing (although initial reports seem to show that it's pretty good at the least) but because Canon simply has zero competitive offerings in the focal length-to-price class. How about a 500mm f/5.6 L prime to replace the 400mm f/5.6? How about matching the 150-600mm variable aperture, or a 200-600, or a 150-500?

I know that the Tamron is just hitting and it will take some time for Canon to rework its lens designs and patents. I also know it's easy for webgeeks to sit and critique decisions that were probably made for very good reasons based on more factors than we will ever know about. But I seriously think Canon has been short-sighted in assuming that the 400mm maximum focal length would satisfy amateur photographers forever. Just because that was a realistic assumption 20 years ago doesn't mean it's a realistic assumption now. I have way more confidence in Sigma creating a competitor to the new Tammy than Canon at this point; can't wait until Sigma waves their new magic wand over the Bigma lineup.

If these perform at the level of the 35 f1.4 I will be looking forward to buying both

Lenses / Re: Stolen lens database?
« on: April 15, 2013, 02:20:39 PM »
I'd be less worried about whether the lens is stolen or not, and more worried about whether or not this lens even actually exists. the whole thing could be a scam, as the old "if it's too good to be true..." adage holds up very well with photography gear on the internet.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: EF 400 f/4 DO IS II
« on: April 14, 2013, 09:40:04 PM »
Realistically I think we're looking at $7500 to $9000 for this

Lenses / Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« on: April 03, 2013, 09:11:33 AM »
I would think that they could make it a 50mm f/1.8 IS or even a 50mm f/1.4 IS, sticking with their current product positioning trend. a 50mm f/2 actually seems a little slow for what they should technically be able to accomplish.

I personally just bought the 35mm f/2 IS to serve as a walkaround on a 5D Mark III as the trusty ol' 24-70mm f/2.8 L was far too bulky and too intimidating for many situations. it's a great lens, the IS works well, the resolution is excellent. color and contrast are good, contrast may actually be a bit overdone for my tastes, but the images certainly have 'pop' straight out of the camera.

I tried the 24mm f/2.8 IS in the store and it also looked good, but I have far too much overlap at the 24mm f/2.8 position already, with the 24-70 L and the 16-35 L. a 50mm f/2 IS should be good but I wouldn't trade my 50 f/1.4 in for it. frankly, even if it's a 50mm f/1.4 IS, I would trade my current 1.4 in for it, but it would at least make a more compelling argument for upgrade.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Crazy... go Nikon?
« on: April 03, 2013, 09:02:47 AM »
I finally got a great deal on trade-in gear and made the switch from 5DII to 5D Mark III ... and I gotta say, if the D800 is any better, then it must be an insanely good camera. did some shooting at 1-stop underexposed at ISO 6400 last night with the new 35mm f/2 IS and yes, while the blacks are a bit crushed (I feel this also has something to do with the lens, the 35 f/2 IS is ridiculously contrasty, maybe almost a little too much so), there is excellent detail in the areas where it matters and the files from the 5D Mark III clean up far nicer than the ones from the II in terms of noise reduction. back when I was comparison shopping, it looked like the 5D Mark III had a 2/3-stop advantage over the 5D Mark II in terms of sensor performance based on web charts (dpreview and the like), but I'm finding in real-world usage, it's functionally a 1, maybe 1-1/3 stop advantage in terms of true usability.

I haven't done enough architectural/landscape work with it yet to tell if the dynamic range is improved over the 5D II, but from the bit of work I have done so far, it looks pretty good. I've shot far more restrictive film formats before so dynamic range, limited or not, doesn't bother me. I do think more is always better, but for those folks on here clamoring that the dynamic range limitations of the Canon are a deal-breaker are definitely exaggerating. please look at the work of Galen Rowell to see how dynamic range is controlled at the point of capture. and if you claim that it's too cumbersome, remember that half the time he was photographing in locations that he either had to ski to get to, hike to get to, or be roped in to get to.

I've stopped using Long Exposure Noise Reduction because I realized it wasn't actually time effective. when shooting, it closes the shutter for a time equal to the exposure time to try and figure out how much noise to subtract. as Aglet pointed out, it's really mainly just to remove the hot pixels.

I've discovered that when night shooting, I'll typically shoot numerous frames of around 5 to 10 minute exposures, of which I only select a couple to really work on in post. removing the hot pixels manually takes me only a few minutes per frame, whereas a 45-minute series of shots would cost me an extra 45 minutes in the field of waiting for the long exposure noise reduction to do its thing. totally not worth the time, just clean hot pixels in post and use a decent noise removal plug-in.

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