August 27, 2014, 01:09:12 PM

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Messages - scyrene

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1
Lenses / Re: 400 f/2.8L II IS: Took the plunge...
« on: Today at 10:09:29 AM »
Any Canon 400 F2.8 is a great piece of glass if it suits your needs.
I used to have the original EF 400 F2.8 L (a mere lightweight at 6.1 kilos), yes it was an old battered lens but the images were top notch!
The current model is less than 4 kilos and has updated optics - if 400mm is your bag then you will be very happy!
I note you use a 1DX, given it's iso capabilities, I would suggest turning off the IS as auto-focus and tracking will be even faster - if that's possible! Since January I have used IS on one of my lenses only once and then it was only to stabilize the image in the viewfinder, even with my Canon 800 F5.6 I find IS to be more of a hazard than a help most of the time with the 1DX.

This is very interesting. I've never heard that before. Does anyone else find IS interferes with AF? Is this just a 1Dx issue?

2
And I meant, if the maximum distance was 20m. I rarely encounter birds that close, especially the more unusual ones.
In which case I prefer the subject be that close. I dont bother taking photos of birds further than that as I'd just delete them anyways.

Haha, fair enough. Each to their own :P

3
Also, when you get into these extremes, you need to be shooting in cold, clean alpine air, or humidity and other environmental conditions will wreck your image.
especially if the subject is ways away. I much prefer the subject be less than 20m.

Gosh, if I restricted myself to 20m I'd get almost no shots at all! I don't find air quality a problem until the subject is a couple of hundred metres away (in sunshine/warm weather) or more. Maybe it's just the different climates?
if your relative humidity tends to be 80% or greater and temp ranges from 35°c or greater with a lot of coal and diesel (think "rolling coal" trend in the US) emissions then it will be a problem

Btw your statement is confusing. 20m is too great a distance?

Lol, I've never experienced 35ºC! It's often very humid here but not terribly warm. And pollution levels are low to moderate most of the time. Fair enough :)

And I meant, if the maximum distance was 20m. I rarely encounter birds that close, especially the more unusual ones.

4
Also, when you get into these extremes, you need to be shooting in cold, clean alpine air, or humidity and other environmental conditions will wreck your image.
especially if the subject is ways away. I much prefer the subject be less than 20m.

Gosh, if I restricted myself to 20m I'd get almost no shots at all! I don't find air quality a problem until the subject is a couple of hundred metres away (in sunshine/warm weather) or more. Maybe it's just the different climates?

5
EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: Today at 05:44:24 AM »
Okey, let me express myself a bit more clear. Canon is definitely able to make high-res sensors, it also able to make amazing prototypes in lab.

The file quality improvement in lower ISO from 5Dmk2 to 5Dmk3 is negligible, and I really can not find a reason for it. For this reason I have been thinking about jump ship to Nikon or go MF for a while. A camera packed with 2012 funtion and 2007 IQ(1dsmk3) is really disappointing.

I am now almost always use Capture One to convert CR2s just to get the file a bit more retouching friendly.

From what I've read in seemingly dozens of similar debates on here, Canon focused on other things when designing the 5D3 - autofocus and high ISO in particular - because that's what people wanted. I wasn't following things back then, but apparently that's what people were clamouring for - the DR/ultra high resolution/low ISO quality stuff has only come along since then.

Are the shots you've shared meant to show Canon's limitations? They look fine, I don't get it.

6
Post Processing / Re: Noise, shadows, etc.
« on: August 26, 2014, 02:18:27 PM »
I very much tailor my postprocessing to the shot, as I suppose most people do I only use Lightroom as full Photoshop seems ridiculously expensive and I'm usually happy with the results I get (I do use Gimp for astrophotography, but that's all).

For birds, my primary subjects it goes like this:

Nowadays I try to expose to the right - overexposing as much as possible without blowing the highlights - at least when shooting birds, especially dark ones. I'll bring the exposure down until it looks right (I do everything by eye, to my taste), which helps keep shadow noise lower. I have always tried to use as much of the tonal range (if that's the term) as possible, I don't know why - it's just my personal style I guess. That means shadows are darkened, and highlights brightened until the full histogram space is used, with no clipping.

If I've used a high ISO (on the 5D3, 1600 and above, although it depends very much on light levels), I will apply moderate colour noise reduction, usually increasing saturation to compensate. I prefer to preserve detail at the expense of higher luminance noise, but on areas of smooth tone (e.g. out of focus backgrounds), I will often hand-paint higher noise reduction because there's no detail to lose, and this can actually improve the look of the bokeh to my eye (when done with care). With particularly difficult shots, I'll oversharpen the in focus areas and then apply wholesale noise reduction, which helps retain detail.

Since I share shots at reduced size (currently 1800 on the longest edge for Flickr where possible), I tend to split noise reduction into two parts - some on the original, then some on the resized version. At very high ISO, I tend to do several cycles, reducing the size a little each time, as it seems to provide the best results (better than all at one scale). If I'm printing large, I will reprocess, usually leaving in more noise and adding a little extra sharpness, but that varies.

Some examples. The siskin and dipper were in poor light, ISO 1600 and 2000 respectively, whereas the linnet was in ideal conditions, ISO 400 (all 1000mm, f/10).

7
EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 26, 2014, 05:06:50 AM »
I was going to say, it depends what aspects of the sensor matter to you, too. Sensors vary in numerous attributes. Jrista has touched on this (and as an aside, I thought sunflowers faced the sun - these ones are not conforming! ;) ), but I'll just add my perspective. I shoot largely at what most would consider to be high ISO (800-3200) because of the focal length/aperture I use (1000mm f/10), combined with subpar lighting (overcast, or shade). Low ISO DR is largely irrelevant to me. High ISO quality is paramount. And megapixel count, because at 1000mm I still find cropping necessary a lot of the time (the focal length is a compromise - the longest I can use while retaining autofocus, plus adding an extra teleconverter diminishes image quality).

So even if the sensor was the most important thing (and I don't think it is), not everyone judges sensors by the same criteria anyway. Your genre and style of photography dictate your needs.

8
Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 22, 2014, 04:59:52 PM »
I have 24L/50L/24-70 2.8/70-200 2.8 - was just looking for something Tele faster than 2.8
. Seems no ideal option, maybe if a 85 1.8 IS or 135L II is announced in Sep I'll go for thay

Don't forget the 100mm f/2!

9
Technical Support / Re: Question regarding sensor size and image quality
« on: August 22, 2014, 02:07:48 PM »
Funny, I found the righthand image sharper :/

10
Technical Support / Re: Question regarding sensor size and image quality
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:00:51 AM »

When comparing image quality between different sensor sizes, lets say aps-c and FF, all else being equal (FOV, DOF, noise, dynamic range, resolution), there is a subtle but visible difference in the way tones are rendered. The larger sensor produces a more '3D' look, the subject seems more tangible. One of my teachers at the photography school I attended called this 'brilliance', but couldn't explain what caused it, or how it worked. So, how does it work? When I take a shot of a given scene with my 7D, and someone else takes exactly the same shot with a 5D, both at the same FOV and the same DOF (so NOT at the same focal length and aperture), what makes the difference? And can it be reproduced to some extent in post, as I've noticed that some shots benefit from increasing the dynamic range in lightroom, as to look more '3D like' as would be rendered by a physically larger sensor?
Thanks for taking the time!

Even though the FOV and DOF may be the same, the images will never be "equal".  Why is that? For the same reason that a 4X5 image will look "better" than 35 mm--field compression.  Let me explain.

Let's take two cameras a 35 mm and 4 x 5.  A 50 mm lens on a 35 mm camera and a 210 mm lens on a 4 x 5 camera give the same field of view.  However, the images do not look the same because of the apparent difference in distance between the foreground and background.  Even through the field of view is the same, the background will appear much closer to the foreground with the longer lens--this is called field compression.  These images "look better" and have a more 3D feel.  This is why the old master's like Ansel Adams, Ed Weston used large format cameras.  Ansel Adams once quipped when asked what kind of camera he used his response was "The heaviest one I can carry".

The same this is going on with an APC sized sensor compared to FF.  The equivalent field of view for a 50 mm lens on a full frame sensor is about 35 mm on an APC sensor.  The apparent distance between background and foreground for given a field of view is greater in an APC sensor than in a full frame sensor.  Hence, the images do not look as good and lack the 3D feel.

Your instructor should know this stuff.  Maybe he/she should read Ansel Adam's excellent book "The Camera".  In fact, all of us should read the entire Adam's series: "The Camera", "The Negative", and "The Print".  There is still much to learn from the old masters even in the digital age.

Don Barar

This is interesting. Without seeing examples, it's hard to understand - surely compression of perspective makes things look less three-dimensional, though?

11
Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:53:18 AM »
Great topic!

Not only does the camera body make a difference, but personal taste for blur should be taken into account.

For example, Vern's lovely wedding shot above has too much blur for my taste.  I'd rather have a little less blur and be able to identify my friends/relatives in their wedding pix.  I think photographers may have gotten a bit carried away in seeking maximum blur.  Do clients really want that?  I think they are more concerned that we don't make them look fat.     BTW, I'm not a wedding photographer, so my opinion should not be given a lot of weight.  - pun intended :)

Personally, on my 5D3,  I prefer the 85 1.8 for its light weight and speedy autofocus.  In my recent side by side test, the images were quite similar.   But of course the 85 1.2 can create more blur if you shoot at 1.2.

All I need to do now is find a way to paint a red ring on my 1.8!

That's a good point - I do find f/1.2 too blurred sometimes. But of course if you stop it down to f/1.8 the image quality will be better than the cheaper lens wide open. (It certainly fails on 'light weight' though!) :)

12
Technical Support / Re: Question regarding sensor size and image quality
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:48:48 AM »
Even leaving resolution out of the equation, so both are like 8 mpx or they both have the same pixel size, enough to make no difference on a screen or small enough print, than I'd think that the FF image still looks better. It's this difference in image quality that I am interested in.

That's a hypothesis. The only way to test it would be for someone to take those shots and have you decide which is which - blind testing. You'd have to guess (statistically) significantly more than 50% correct, otherwise the hypothesis is falsified.

the current ff sensors perform better at high iso and you get a wider (uncropped) view using the same lenses.  if you are wanting shallow dof then its easier to get with ff. i posted the images below on another thread. it is the 6d + 16-35 f/4 (16mm) and 70d + sigma 8-16 (10mm). in good light like this they look about the same.

Excellent work - too many discussions of this kind lack evidence. I would say the two shots are indistinguishable.

The full frame 'look' such as it is is likely (as mentioned above) the ability to use shallower depth of field and more vignetting - but this is only the case for certain lenses, at certain apertures.

(Although it's possible that given full frame cameras tend to be more expensive, and often aimed at professionals, other factors are involved, like the quality of the in-camera processing; I've no knowledge on that subject though).

13
Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:07:26 AM »
I wouldn't worry too much about the rear element. It *is* very exposed, and I was worried to begin with, but I've never had a problem - just be a tiny bit more careful when slotting it into the mount.

I shot a friend's wedding reception partly with this, and it works well, but can be a bit long in confined situations, and obviously lacks the versatility of a zoom. Always produces beautiful shots though.

14
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:45:04 PM »
The real benefit of 1200mm comes into play when your photographing small birds. With just the 600mm, even at a relatively close distance, with a full frame, they are quite small. Moving to 1200mm with passerines isn't because they are far away...it's just to increase their size relative to the frame, but your still relatively close. More than close enough that water vapor in the air isn't going to be a problem between lens and subject (it might wreck your background boke...but that's a whole different deal.)

Absolutely. As I've said, I use 1000mm as my normal birding focal length now, and it's often not quite enough. Passerines are tiny and skittish, and getting them with good feather detail requires a long focal length coupled with a fairly close distance - I suppose under 50 metres. I've included some shots I took this year at 1000mm - all will be cropped. Any extra focal length is welcome! See my Flickr for better/more details.

15
Lenses / Re: Development Announcement of a New 800mm f/5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: August 19, 2014, 06:57:38 PM »
What sense does it make to put IS on such a big lens that would likely always be mounted on a tripod where IS is not needed? Or even not recommended?  Is use of a monopod assumed to be the most frequent user choice?   Certainly hand-held, where IS would be most helpful, doesn't seem practical because of quick fatigue with such a big lens.

Some people do handhold these lenses, but even if most don't - IS can help when using a monopod or tripod. On the rare occasions I use a tripod on my 500, the IS still helps a lot with framing shots and preventing excessive shake.

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