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1
Lenses / Re: Sigma 24mm F/1.4 Art lens is apparently in the works!
« on: April 22, 2014, 09:48:33 PM »
Sharpness is nice, but sharpness is not the top priority for that focal length.
I would be even more impressed with a distortion free 24mm lens than just a "sharp@f1.4" 24mm lens.

Of course, combining the two would really make waves.

But, with the larger front element you need for f/1.4 (physics) it becomes very difficult to avoid lens flare at stopped down aperture that you would use at typical 24mm for landscape.  IMO, for 24mm f/1.4 aperture is truly a specialty lens, if landscape is a priority you are probably better off with an f/2.8+ prime to reduce flare as you won't be using the f/1.4 for landscape anyway. 

2
Lenses / Re: Sigma 24mm F/1.4 Art lens is apparently in the works!
« on: April 22, 2014, 08:24:11 PM »
Let's just hope this one autofocuses properly unlike the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art! ;)

Joking aside, for my own personal use a f/1.4 24mm lens is very limited.  I actually prefer the Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS USM over the Canon 1.4L because it offers much less lens flare when stopped down, which to me is more important as I usually use 24mm for landscapes (i.e. f/8-f/16).  I have seen some who like the 24mm 1.4L wide open for artistic distorted car shots and I can understand that aspect of it, but for the traditional landscape use I prefer the 24mm f/2.8 IS and save my 50mm f/1.2L for the art (can't really justify owning more than three lenses covering 24mm).

3
Canon General / Re: $10,000
« on: April 22, 2014, 05:54:03 PM »
If you had $10,000 to spend on photography gear to put together a jack of all trades kit, what would you include, assuming you were starting from scratch.
Here's what I would likely put together...

$4000 5D3 kit with 24-105
$1070 Tamron SP 150 - 600
$300  Rokinon 14mm 2.8
$1050 Canon 100mm 2.8L Macro IS
$1350 Canon 70 - 200 f4L IS
$500 On a tripod... not sure what though
$1280 600 RT x2 and ST E3 RT transmitter kit

$1750 6D Body
$2300 24-70 f/2.8L II
$2500 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
$1620 50mm f/1.2L
$600 100mm f/2.8 Macro
$1100 600RT x2
$150 vanguard tripod

4
Lenses / Re: Will Sigma 50/1.4 Art push Canon to release a 50/1.2L II?
« on: April 21, 2014, 05:19:56 PM »
Question makes no sense, the two lenses have totally different aims.

5
Lenses / Re: Canon IS Primes for landscapes?
« on: April 19, 2014, 01:51:55 PM »
My current gear is still doing fine, but the time has come to think about an upgrade. I’m planning to:

a) Move to Full Frame (ditching the “0” on my 60D and going for a 6D);
b) Switch to primes (which I tend to use as “2-way” prime anyway).

The choice for a 6D is mainly a financial one, but for most of my photography (mainly landscapes) it will do just as well as a 5DmkIII. A possible drawback of the 6D is the wildlife shots, but I think I would actually prefer a 70D (or maybe 7DmkII) over a 5DmkIII because of the higher fps and crop factor.

I’ll keep my L zooms (70-200 f/4 and 100-400) for now, but the EF-S lenses need to go. For my new prime lenses it’s hard not to get excited about the new Sigma ART lenses, but:

I’m shooting landscapes most of the time. As such, I tend to use apertures from f/4 and upward.
When comparing the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART to a more moderate priced Canon 35mm f/2 IS, the latter actually isn’t doing that bad:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=824&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=4&LensComp=829&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5

There is no Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART yet (thus an unfair comparison), but the Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS seems to be dropping the ball a bit:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=788&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=829&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5
The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART is rumored to be heavier and more expensive as the 35mm Art.

Although the mentioned Canon IS Prime lenses are not as good wide open, they have some clear advantages:
  • They are much smaller and lighter (the combined weight of the 24mm and 35mm Canons is actually less than a single Sigma 35mm ART, a big bonus when hiking);
  • They are (much) cheaper (the possible savings could bring a 5DmkIII in reach, but likely be spend on more glass);
  • They offer IS (which I don’t care about, but could be good for filming).

Am I missing something, or is this actually a viable option? Any good experiences using these Canon lenses for landscapes?


OP: You are making a common mistake when looking at lenses - looking at only one optical benchmark (sharpness).

You stated you wish to photograph landscapes.  Odds are, those landscapes will have a lot of light.  They might even have the sun in the picture!  Did you investigate lens flare, which will then be your biggest enemy?  Using the same site's lens flare test, we can see that the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS that you were skeptical above is actually the best in terms of lack of lens flare at smaller apertures.

Which is another point, your landscape shots will generally be f/8-f/16.  The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS while not the sharpest of all at f/2.8 is just as sharp if not sharper at f/8-f/16.

Going back to lens flare,
The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS has significantly less lens flare than the below lenses:
* Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L
* Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II

Proof:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Flare.aspx?Lens=788&Camera=453&FLI=0&API=5&LensComp=787&CameraComp=453&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Flare.aspx?Lens=788&Camera=453&FLI=0&API=5&LensComp=480&CameraComp=453&FLIComp=0&APIComp=7

This is largely due to the much smaller front element on the 24mm f/2.8 IS.


And the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART is an utter mess in terms of lens flare so I wouldn't count on the 24mm:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Flare.aspx?Lens=788&Camera=453&FLI=0&API=5&LensComp=829&CameraComp=453&FLIComp=0&APIComp=7


So, sometimes the cheaper option is actually the better option.

If not obvious already, I recommend the Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS for landscape work, due to its classic 24mm landscape focal length, very low lens flare and high sharpness at typical landscape apertures.

6
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 04:44:48 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.

7
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:37:44 AM »
@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.

8
While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

Certainly, but I'd consider it a a workaround in the extreme.

Well, considering that the 5D3 AF points definitely are far from filling the entire frame, it is a workaround you will have to employ on the 5D3 as well - perhaps just less frequently.  At f/1.2, one should never focus and recompose even a smidgen as you well know due to the thin DOF.

Quote
More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder. 

Yes, the focusing screen can be installed (I have the Eg-S screen) but I'm specifically commenting on the AF which doesn't work too well with very large aperture lenses.  Comparing the 5D3 AF with the 6D MF with Eg-S screen is like comparing apples to oranges. The 5D3 outer AF points will lock on with superb precision and you would have already taken the shot and moved on to another in the same time you would be focusing manually with the 6D.

Its not really comparing apples with oranges because the Eg-S allows you to see in the viewfinder more accurate DOF - even when autofocusing - than the 5D3's stock screen which is not user replaceable.  5D3's fixed focus screen only shows about f/2.8 DOF while the Eg-S on the 6D will come close to the DOF of f/1.2.

So, the fact that the 6D allows the user to swap to Eg-S means that what you see in the viewfinder when both AF *and* MF will more accurately represent the end product.  If you do choose to MF to that end product, it is worlds easier on the 6D using Eg-S vs the 5D3's fixed screen.

Yes, the 5D3 will likely allow to set up your shots faster, but that does not make the 6D AF useless.

Quote
One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

All EOS cameras AF with the lenses wide open, so a f/1.2 lens will AF wide open at f/1.2 no matter what settings you use to shoot.

Correct, when aperture is set to f/1.2 DOF is so thin that the very slightest difference between where you thought you were focusing and where the actual camera focused will cause loss of detail. MF with Eg-S/matte screen allows you to easily see if you got the shot or not before you take it - and you don't even have to go into Live View.

Quote
The cross type outer AF points work extremely well on the 5D3. See below photo taken with a 5D3 with 85L II - 100% crop of the AF area also provided - I have been using this combo for quite a while now and am happy with the results.

Not saying that 6D is a bad camera, but the whinging that takes place over the AF happens deservedly so.

Edit: I'm not sure how to post the 100% crop. The 100% crop image that I can view here on CR is larger than what I see in LR with a 1:1 view - any tips on how to post the exact image?

I think the whining about the 6D AF depends of what you take shots of. Birds, sure, the 6D AF probably not good for that.  But for shooting people, the 6D AF is superb.  Finally when one wants to MF (or see DOF when AF in viewfinder below f/2. 8), as one often may want to with an f/1.2 DOF, the 6D actually is better than the 5D3 IMO.

If the 5D3 had a user replaceable focus screen like the 6D (or a stock screen similar to the Eg-s) I'd be quicker to throw the 6D under the bus, but the 5D3 does not, which is certainly a large demerit against the 5D3 when AF or MF in the viewfinder with fast lenses at apertures wider than f/2. 8.

9
Lenses / Re: Canon 50L - Love or Hate?
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:33:50 PM »
The 300 f2.8 absolutely blows both the 1.2 50 and 85 L's away when it comes to bokeh orientated portrait imagery.

But, the distance required for 300mm kills a large amount of portrait situations; virtually unusable in most indoor scenarios.

Which again is the beauty of the 50 1.2L, it requires the least working distance of any "bokeh oriented portrait imagery" lens if you want to put it that way :)

10
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Give me reasons to by the 200 f/2
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:08:13 PM »
1. You want it.
2. I assume you can afford it, given your post, and you would prefer a new lens over $6000 of something else.
3. Life is short, enjoy it.

11
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder.  One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

12
Lenses / Re: Canon 50L - Love or Hate?
« on: April 16, 2014, 05:58:25 PM »

I'm starting to ramble... I need one of yall to loan me your 50L for a week and I'll see if my opinion changes. :)

If you live in the NY/NJ USA area we could do a CR gear meet in Central Park and take some test shots, heh.

For those who have used the 85L II, if you think the 85L II is amazing it is hard to imagine how you would not love the 50L output just as much once you learn how to tame it.

13
Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 16, 2014, 05:34:13 PM »
So. Am I to infer that if Canon comes out with 50/1.2 II that is sharper and has better corner to corner sharpness then you would not DESIRE to use it?

Only as a compliment to, not as a replacement for, the Canon 50mm f/1.2L.  I have an entire bag of sharp lenses (many sharper than both the Sigma and the Zeiss), but the only lens that has a similar special look when shooting people with the Canon 50mm f/1.2L is the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  That special look is unique, and elevates my work greatly.  The 50 can be used in a lot of situations that the 85 cannot, thus it is good to have both if you shoot people!

14
Lenses / Re: Canon 50L - Love or Hate?
« on: April 16, 2014, 05:30:11 PM »
This lens has a very special output that is extremely flattering for taking pictures of people

Exactly.  I use my 50L and 85L for people shots mainly, and the corner softness if anything adds to creating a unique look to portraiture.  If I am going to do stopped-down landscape or architectural shoot, I break out my 24-70 II or T-SE 24 mm II. 

Nailing focus at f/1.2 is not going to happen for everybody, but I highly recommend installing ML and use focus peaking in live view  8)

Bingo, my thoughts exactly.

I would like to see an 135mm f/2L IS, modern day update of the 135L.  Then 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L II, and 135 f/2L IS and you would have the ultimate "people" kit.  And throw in a 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro for portraits you want tack sharpness on.

15
Lenses / Re: Canon 50L - Love or Hate?
« on: April 16, 2014, 05:03:36 PM »
This is one of my favorite Canon lenses, it is like a baby 85L II when mastered.

No, it is not the sharpest lens in the world wide open, and a look at the MTF chart confirms that (though it becomes very sharp when stopped down).  But, I already have a slew of sharp lenses if that is my criteria.  This lens has a very special output that is extremely flattering for taking pictures of people with. Bokeh reminds me of the Noctilux, as do the purposely uncorrected "flaws" of the lens.

It is also worth noting this lens takes more skill than the typical lens, so unless you dedicate time to it you are not going to get the results you are expecting.  It also helps to have the Eg-S focus screen to nail that razor-thin f/1.2 DOF and rely less on autofocus at f/1.2-f/2.8.

The Canon 50mm f/1.2L is one of the best tools in my lens arsenal, and there is no other 50mm lens I would trade it for remotely near its pricerange.  I do understand that some are more about clinical sharpness and want something that is a bit more forgiving.  But, in my opinion, the effort you put into this lens produces results wonderfully different from most other lenses.

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