November 27, 2014, 01:28:36 PM

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Messages - dgatwood

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Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8II or F4 for Zoo Shoot
« on: Today at 12:33:26 PM »

If you have a decent 1.4x and 2x TC, then go with the 200mm f/2.8.  If you don't, then I tend to agree with the folks saying that a 200mm lens probably won't cut it, no matter how wide the aperture.  I'd try to rent a 100–400 L or a 150–600 if you can, or failing that, a 70–300L.

According to PixInsight, the noise on the black part of the Fiddlers Elbow bottle, just under the label, has a standard deviation of:

7DII:  0.048 (R), 0.048 (G), 0.051 (B)
NX1: 0.037 (R), 0.037 (G), 0.038 (B)

Statistically, the NX1 DOES have lower noise.

Are we sure that Samsung isn't cooking the RAW images—either with a denoise algorithm or by exposing to the right and then scaling the values?

Bummer they are using a 16bit ADC...I guess with S-LOG they are basically shifting the shadow tones up in-camera, so in some ways they could be benefiting from that 21 stops...which is fine for video. For stills, they should really be using a 20-bit ADC. I guess we'll see if they stick this sensor in a stills body or not, but if they do...I certainly hope it would use 20-bit ADC.

Ideally, a 21-bit ADC, to be pedantic.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Contact Cleaning Body Cap
« on: Today at 11:37:44 AM »
So far the biggest problem I've had is the design of the 24-105L rubbing through & shorting out the internal ribbon cable over time, which makes for a nasty error message at any focal length other than 24mm.

Shorting it out?  Is it against metal?  If so, at least that's an easy fix—disassemble it and paint the wire with a thin layer of liquid rubber.

From what I've seen, I'd expect it to tear the ribbon rather than shorting it out.  I experienced that problem with the 18–55.  I'm not sure if Canon just wasn't careful enough in routing cables, or if there's something more subtle.

Frankly, I swear every time I see a lens whose ribbon cable is soldered permanently to a board or iris.  Instead of what should be about a 50 cent replacement part, you have to buy a fifty dollar replacement part, even though statistically speaking, your failures are almost guaranteed to be in the 50 cent ribbons rather than the $49.50 aperture mechanisms.

Unfortunately, Canon can't seem to bother to fix this fairly serious design flaw, which seems to be fairly consistent across most of their lenses.  There are a couple of notable exceptions that were designed correctly—the original 100–400L and the original 24–70 L (but not the 24–70 L II) come to mind.

Of course, in many lenses, the failures are statistically guaranteed to be in the half cent glue used to hold the cable in place, but unless you get lucky and notice some extra noise while zooming before the ribbon gets torn badly enough to fail, that distinction is moot....

EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrade current body or wait?
« on: Today at 11:14:05 AM »
By today's prices, 6D is a bargain, but requires lenses with decent sharpness at the image edges.
So do yourself a favor to yourself and get rid of the terrible 75-300mm. The bad news is that there is no substitute for Canon under $ 500. Tamron 70-300mm VC, seems to me the best value for money.

IMO, if you're used to a crop body, you're not going to like such a big loss of reach if you stick with the same focus range.  You'd be going from 480mm equivalent to 300mm.  That's very noticeable, to such a degree that I almost never take the 1.4x teleconverter off my 70–300L these days.

With my 70–300L, I can tolerate the IQ loss from that 1.4x TC, but even with that combination, I'm seriously considering moving to something longer.  I've mainly been waiting for Canon to ship the new version of the 100–400L so I wouldn't be buying a 16-year-old lens design.  If you're going to upgrade the 75-300, my advice would be to save your money until you can upgrade it to something with a longer focal length like the 100–400L II or Sigma's 150–600 (if you can deal with its huge size).  For now, just get yourself a cheap Kenko 1.4x and swear at it.

From what I've read, the Sigma 24-105 does not have an IQ or price advantage over the Canon 24-105, and Sigma's reputation for having AF problems, I can see why people would rather buy their kit lens from Canon, hurting sales & profit of the Sigma.

Actually, it has a pretty significant IQ advantage over the 24–105L, particularly with respect to corner sharpness, although it has somewhat more chromatic aberration.  Of course, it is also considerably more expensive and lacks any weather sealing.  IMO, that's a pretty serious flaw in Sigma's offering.  If they retooled it with weather sealing at that price, it would be a no-brainer, but as it is, it's a tradeoff.


1.  I know flash cards are expensive.  Shoot RAW anyway.
2.  That microdrive will randomly take way too long to record a photo, and your camera will hit its 30 second activity timeout.  Don't buy it.
3.  Skip the Rebel, and go full-frame from day one.  You'll thank me later.
4.  If you ignore #3, do not, under any circumstances, buy it with the original 18–55 kit lens.  It suuuuuuucks.

I did video for years before I started doing much with still photography.  As a result, I can't remember a time when my photography wasn't severely limited by my gear—pretty much from day one, and certainly by the end of week one.  However, even though I knew it wasn't doing as well as I wanted it to do, I assumed that digital cameras just weren't good enough yet, and that the problems were inherent, rather than being the result of specific gear choices.

As a viewer, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to make of these things as I play around with them (e.g. "Ball, Fuzzy Boy; Boy, Fuzzy Ball".)

I agree changing the dof seems to be rather childish (like I laughed my a** off as a 5-year old when seeing a movie backwards). But I am impressed by the interactive 3d effect you can create when "focus-stacking" the whole dof region of the camera. Imho ( :-p ) It's not only nice to play around with, but you can even change the composition in post.

I can see a use case in interactive Ads

3D movies with eye tracking refocus.

Canon General / Re: Does Canon really deserve this?
« on: November 23, 2014, 05:03:58 PM »
Various responses to multiple posts:

More DR means less contrast - yet contrast could be considered more important in the eyes of many.

More dynamic range means more contrast, not less.  It means that the photo can represent a wider range of brightness values.  Yes, if you then deliberately squash the entire dynamic range of the camera into an sRGB image, you'll have less perceived contrast on the things that matter, but why would you do that?  In a more realistic post-processing workflow, you'll end up with the same amount of contrast, just with bigger safety margins for correcting overexposed or underexposed images (which you can throw away disproportionately to make the picture brighter or darker) without blown out whites or blacks.

99.9% of the time, that doesn't matter.  But when that .1% happens to burn you on a photo that you care about, the two-stop difference between a 6D and a crop body makes a world of difference, and an extra stop or two on top of that would be most welcome, even if it is mainly  a "just in case" feature.

  Folks want more MP, and yet on at least a few websites, reviewers note that without a tripod, there is no difference between 24 MP and 36 MP.  And, yet, people want even more MPs!

There's no reason that this should be true in principle, so if that's what folks are seeing in practice, it probably indicates that the IS systems are simply not precise enough.

Unless you print larger than 8" x 10" there is virtually no difference between photos taken with an SL1 with kit lens and a 6D with "L" lens, but people want to believe that they need the best cameras and the best lenses.

Under optimal conditions, there's little difference between my 6D and my iPhone 5.  Of course, real-world shooting isn't always optimal, and poor lighting, long distances from the subject, etc. can make those minor differences turn into huge differences.

The big reason folks want more megapixels, in my experience, is the ability to crop more in post processing.  If a camera's resolution is good enough, you can shoot wider, resulting in fewer misses, confident that you can crop it in post and get a reasonable image.

This particularly comes into play when shooting wildlife and sports, because of the distances and the sometimes erratic subject motion characteristic to both.  For both situations, a full-frame camera with the pixel density of a crop body would be a serious win.  Unfortunately, Canon chooses to keep full-frame pixel density relatively low, presumably because they've been unable to scale the high-density sensors up to larger sizes while maintaining an acceptable reject rate.  That's pretty annoying.  Lots of us would really like the reach of a crop body, but without the crop.

On the plus side, I hv to admit Canon still has a clear lead in in-camera jpg rendering for portraits/skin tone.

With flash prices as cheap as they are, I stopped shooting anything but RAW several years back.  From what I can tell, outside of a few specific markets (e.g. news gathering), that seems to mostly be a consumer feature.  Unfortunately, consumers are buying fewer and fewer dedicated cameras these days, so I doubt that Canon's lead in in-camera JPEG rendering is very meaningful in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think the 5DIV will be a 'mirror slapper', or at least not if you don't want it to be.

With this talk of a 'modular' dslr going round I think the next 5D could have an interchangeable viewfinder, that is an optical pentaprism one for those that want to shoot stills with a high quality OVF, and an electronic EVF for those that want to lock the mirror up and use it for either stills or primarily video.

This way you get the best of both worlds.

Although that could certainly be done, it would make a lot more sense to just use a hybrid viewfinder that can be an EVF or an OVF on demand.  And a properly done hybrid design could also allow for all sorts of overlays even in OVF mode (e.g. zebra stripes on overexposed areas, focus peaking, etc.)

If you get the chance, there's a bridge across between the north and south rims with an old bridge next to it that they've converted into a pedestrian bridge.  Besides being able to say that you walked across the canyon, you might also get to shoot some pictures of whitewater rafters down below.

Incremental sync speed is vastly over rated and not the panacea many seem to think it is. Besides, the 1D from 2002 synced at 1/500 and the 1D MkIV syncs at 1/300 AND, speedlites like the 600-EX-RT, 580 EX II, Nikon SB910 etc have full power flash duration in the 1/250-1/350 range anyway, shorter shutter speeds actually cut your power even when you are not in HSS.
I disagree. A FF camera with a sync speed @ 1/500th at that price would be a game changer. The X100 is already a hit with many strobists. It means I can stress my speedlites less, better battery life, and less headaches of battery pack swaps.

What we need is to move to electronic shutters with simultaneous parallel readout.  With that, not only would you have almost infinitely fast shutter and sync speeds, but also the ability to store a photo as a stream of samples along with shake data and perform much more precise IS in post, for faster response beyond the capabilities of physical IS.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 or 100-400 conundrum.....
« on: November 21, 2014, 01:01:23 AM »
Personally, I'm very fine with my 70-300L, and if I want "fast" I'd rather add fast(er) primes to that (I've already got the 100L macro). Even for indoor flash-supported work the 70-300L is ok, it's not like one stop @70mm is such a big deal when you're doing small prints.

I tend to agree.  I loved my 70–300L on crop, but after moving to full-frame, I find myself leaving the 1.4x extender on it almost nonstop, so I’m probably going to switch to the new 100—400L II at some point.  I think night sports is pretty much the only plausible reason to go with the 70–200L f/2.8.  For most normal situations where you need reach, f/4 and even f/5.6 is plenty fast enough, and if you don’t need reach, you’ll probably be using your 24–105L, so the 70–100 range won’t be a big loss.

I have the 24–105L and the 70–300L, and 84% of my shots were shot at focal lengths longer than 105mm.  I don’t think I’d miss the overlap that much.

Photography Technique / Re: Travel advice - Northern California and Oregon
« on: November 20, 2014, 02:39:43 PM »
... there's little I like more than the beach in winter (although it'll be a first for the Pacific Coast)

If you get to the Monterey Bay area, be sure to dip your feet in.  You’ll soon discover why they don’t swim in Maine.  :D

And in the unlikely event that you have a few hours to spend, the whale watching trips from Moss Landing are an experience.  Bring a long lens (I mostly shot with a 70–300L and a 1.4x Kenko TC on my 6D).

Photography Technique / Re: Game Ranches for photography
« on: November 20, 2014, 02:22:42 PM »
One thing to note is most zoos, wildlife parks, and captive habitats have copyrights on their animals and strictly prohibit commercial photography without their permission.

At least in the United States, it is not possible to copyright an animal.  Copyright is exclusively limited to creative works.  Those locations may claim that they have such protection, but they don’t.

They might ostensibly have trademark protection, which would make certain specific uses (such as use in advertising) illegal, but that’s a different issue, and is pretty expensive on an ongoing basis, so it is unlikely you’ll run into it.

As always, the usual caveats apply: Although I have an extensive background in intellectual property law, I am not a lawyer, and more importantly, I am not your lawyer, so get legal advice before doing anything that might violate any agreement that you’ve entered into with such a zoo or park.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How long until the next FF body? Or buy now?
« on: November 18, 2014, 03:56:18 PM »
Probably not 95% if Canon production statistics can be used as a guide.  In April 2014, Canon surpassed 100 million EF lenses.  In February 2014, Canon produced its 70 millionth EF camera (film and digital).

Again, this tells you nothing of value, other than that Canon sold a few more lenses than cameras.  I suspect that most people do not regularly upgrade their lenses (if ever), but rather buy new lenses of different varieties.  By contrast, most people do eventually upgrade their camera bodies.

Depending on the percentage of kit lenses in that mix:

  • If most of the lenses sold are kit lenses, then most people never buy a second lens, and most users never replace their cameras.  As a consequence, users have, on average, about 1.4 lenses each.
  • If most of the lenses sold are individual lenses, then most people do buy a second lens, and most people do eventually replace their cameras with newer models.  If you assume that the average user goes through three bodies before upgrading a lens to a similar model (which is probably not far from reality), that means the average user probably owns about 4 lenses.
But even if we knew that information, that still wouldn't tell you what percentage of users never upgrade.  If users own 4 lenses on average, you could take twenty people, and nineteen could own one lens, and the twentieth could own 61 lenses, and you'd average out to four lenses each, but 95% of people would still be using the kit lens.  Such an extreme imbalance is, IMO, highly unlikely.  But you could easily have ten people who have seven lenses and ten people who have only one.

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