April 19, 2014, 09:01:18 PM

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Messages - Random Orbits

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The Canon has a more useful focal length range, which saves a lot of lens changes and makes it more versatile.  22mm is a natural focal length for a couple people or for environmental portraiture.  For indoor group photos, you'll probably be stopping down and using a bounce flash anyway.  For landscapes, your not using wide open either.  Another thing to consider is that the Tokina has a low max magnification (0.09x vs. 0.17x for Canon), so if you want to blur out the background for a close subject (i.e. flower), the Canon can do it better.

Lenses / Re: Canon IS Primes for landscapes?
« on: April 18, 2014, 07:40:43 PM »
Have you considered Canon's 24-70 f/4 IS?  It'll be similar to what you're considering stopped down, and carrying zoom might be easier than a few primes.

The new Canon IS lenses are nice and compact (I've used the 24 and 28), and they can be had for decent prices when they go on sale or through the refurb store.

Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:46:16 AM »
Confirmation bias:
".. is the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses."

Personally I'd love for the Canon 50/1.4 to be better than the Sigma 50/1.4 Art because then I wouldn't need to carry around the Sigma lens, but I simply can't justify that thinking given the results that have been presented. Same with the 50/1.2L.

I can't wait for the Sigma 50/1.4 Art to be tested by DxO and for it to wipe the floor with the 50/1.2L. I can already see the posts from those with Red Ring Fever putting down DxO, etc. What a laugh that will be to see.

Yes, but seeing schadenfreude in action can be just as ugly.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:13:54 AM »
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?

Lenses / Re: Landscape lens for backpacking
« on: April 16, 2014, 07:42:48 AM »
Canon 10-22 and consider getting/bringing a small tripod.

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:37:37 PM »
I understand and have seen some excellent photos taken with it, which is why I bought it.  I thought it would be a great companion when I shoot wildlife with my 300mm because I could stick it in my pocket.  For some reason, I just never found a use for it, though.  I guess what really ruined me on it was the EOS-M that I bought not long after the 40.  I can take it along with the 22mm in a package that's still very portable.  Why take lens when I can have another camera and lens :)  And for a bit more space, I can take the M + 18-55 IS and that covers a whole lot.

I think that experience is what's keeping me from the 35 IS.  I thought Dustin's review might sway me more towards it, but I still don't think it would see much use in my kit.  The gap between my 24L II and 50L just isn't big enough for me to justify the cost and unlike the old 35 it's almost the same size as my 50 (TDP link).

I don't bother getting hoods for the non-L lenses.  The hoods decrease their size advantage, and if I'm trying to go as small and light as possible...  I didn't realize how much bigger the 35 f/2 IS is compared to the 24 f/2.8 IS.

I have never used the M and the DSLR at the same time, although I can see it being useful at times.  When the light is low indoors, I prefer using FF over the APS-C, which is probably why I rarely use the M's 18-55.  My wife uses it (she doesn't bother with the DSLR anymore), but I use the 22 f/2 more.  Perhaps that would change if the M's AF would be improved, but I find I like the DSLR ergonomics so much more even though the M's touchscreen is one of its best features.

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 01:50:11 PM »
So I push you to finish the review and then don't even notice it when you publish it.  I guess that's a comment on my busy life of late, but I'm glad I finally saw the post.  I liked your real-world review and comparison to the other 35mm choices.  The bokeh looks excellent and the wide open sharpness is really impressive.  I've never found much comfort at 35mm finding it too narrow compared to 24mm and too wide/distorted compared to 50mm, but I might have to give this lens a try someday.  The launch price killed my initial excitement, but it is more reasonable now.

I don't even use my 40mm very much, but I don't sell it because it represents such a small investment that it is worth hanging on to.
My 40mm experience was this: bought for $100 off (rebate + GearShop credit), put on camera, took 3 cat photos. Removed from camera. Collected dust for 4 months. Sold for $75 profit. I just couldn't find a use for it.

The exact reason why, even after looking at the price tag so many times, I have refrained from buying it. I'll never use it.

It can come in handy but I don't use it all that often either.  I use it primarily to complement walking around with a 70-xxx zoom when going to a zoo or taking pics of the kids playing soccer.  It takes little space, so I'm not using a bigger camera bag to bring the additional lens.  It is hard to take a team soccer photo when the rest of the parents are using smart phones and you have to stand 5-10 feet behind them (and they're still in your way) because the shortest focal length you have is 70mm.

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 01:41:44 PM »

Did you have a chance to use the S35 personally?  I would have guessed the S35 would have been a better match to your 24-70 f/2.8 VC because the difference in aperture is greater.

The size/price advantages of the recent Canon IS lenses compared to their L counterparts are large, but I often wonder what is the point of the 24 and 28mm f/2.8 IS when the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC is priced near 1k.  It seems to me that Canon didn't think someone would deliver a 24-70 f/2.8 VC when it decided to design the new 24 and 28 mm lenses.  If Sigma sells its new 50mm f/1.4 for about 1k, I can see a Canon 50 f/1.8 IS meeting the same fate as the 35 f/2 IS because I don't think Canon would sell it for 300 or less.  If the price is 500 or more, most people would prefer to upgrade/get a better zoom than for a single focal length.

Lenses / Re: a 50mm dilemma.
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:36:17 AM »
Depends on whether or not you'll be able to sell the 50L for a profit down the road.  If you can, then there is little risk to getting the 50L now, using it, waiting for the reviews and prices to stabilize for the S50, and then making your decision then to switch.

Lenses / Re: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens - your thoughts?
« on: April 09, 2014, 02:23:09 PM »
Not suited for run and gun type photos, but it comes into its own using LiveView.  Shift can be done handheld, tilting to give the illusion of greater DOF is much harder handheld.

IQ-wise, it's much better than 16-35 II.  The Zeiss 15 is a little sharper and can take filters, but the TS-E 17's movements extends its versatility greatly.  If you're looking for a travel lens, the 16-35 II is more suitable, but if you have the time to get the shot with proper support, then the 17 is hard to beat.

Lenses / Re: Wait for Sigma 50mm Art or purchase Canon 135 f2L.
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:12:28 AM »
If the Sigma lives up to the hype, I'd go with that after the prices settle a bit, but it comes down to which you would use more.

The question then becomes how much will you use the 24-70 if you have 35/50/85 primes.  If you prefer using the primes over the zoom, then you might be able to sell the zoom and acquire the 135L.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:33:08 PM »
Can't imagine that this would work well for Sony if they put in its ILCs.  Curved sensors might have an advantage, but the beauty of the Sony system is getting a higher MP, DR camera and pairing it with superior glass from other manufacturers.  This would effectively put an end to that.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Not sure which Canon body to get
« on: April 04, 2014, 07:49:01 AM »
6D, if you swing it financially with the cost of lenses factored in.  I'm guessing that you're probably looking for a lens group like a Samyang 14, Canon 24-105 f/4 IS, 70-200 f/4L or 70-300L and a 100mm macro.

If you go APS-C, I'd suggest the 70D with 10-22, 17-55, 70-200 f/4L or 70-300L and a 100mm macro.  The higher quality lenses for the APS-C would cost more than the FF option above, which will offset some the APS-C's price advantage.  If the budget is less than that, then crop will get you more bang for your buck:  18-55 and 55-250 much more affordable.

Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for a focusing rail
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:58:21 PM »
I've only used the RRS B150s, so I really can't say how they compare to other manufacturers' offerings.  The RRS has a locking mechanism that is used in conjunction with the screw drive.  If I were looking for rails again, I'd look for something that does away with the locking mechanism because it slows down the process significantly if you're trying to focus stack (don't know if these exist or not in a compact form).  Unlock, turn the screw, lock, take a pic, repeat.  The screw gear can also slip (unlocked) if the camera is inclined significantly, so you end up supporting the camera with one hand while turning the screw drive with the other.

Perhaps this is the state of the art, but it would be nice if these minor annoyances can be engineered away.

Lighting conditions can be the driving factor.  Resolution and DR fall and noise increases with higher ISOs.  Do you use a flash?

If you're willing to trade DOF for lower ISO, greater blur, then the S35 f/1.4 is a good choice.  Plus you can adjust the lens to the body with the dock.  If your inside subjects are people, then flash is better when there is more than one subject.  For an APS-C camera, I'd opt for the largest aperture possible (so S35 over the Canon 35 f/2 IS).  However, if your indoor subjects aren't people, then the 24 and 28 f/2.8 IS are fine choices.

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