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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Review: Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar T*
« on: July 26, 2014, 03:33:34 PM »
The test shot at f2 on the Canon is clearly slightly back focused and therefore not a fair example. It makes the Canon look softer than it really is.

Lenses / Re: What Lenses are missing from Canon's range
« on: July 17, 2014, 09:01:47 AM »
Need to have: 85/1.4 (but no one else mentioned it, so I suppose Canon has little market for it... :(
Want to have: 135/1.8-2 IS (that will essentially lock my 70-200 II to non-travel use)
Would be nice to have: 12orwhatever-24/2.8

I am not sure any of these will come out this year though... :(

If canon releases a 135 f1.8 LIS, I would get one and swap out my 70-200 f2.8 LIS II for an f4. I would use the prime for the dark stuff and the f4 for the bright stuff. I wouldn't need to lug the big 2.8 about anymore.

Lenses / Re: What Lenses are missing from Canon's range
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:59:18 AM »
One more vote for the 14-24 f/2.8 and the 135 f1.8 IS

I would rather a 12-24mm f2.8 and a 135 f1.8 LIS. A 14-24mm is only 2mm wider than a 16-35 and looses a major focal point at the long end.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 14, 2014, 05:29:26 AM »
We all know why the new lens will have a rotating zoom ring / extending barrel (aka 70-300L) instead of the current push pull: Video....
You can't fit a pull focus unit on a 15mm rail system where a lens can extend so much with the focus ring on the extending barrel. Where as, you can with the other design style.
There's another advantage too, the curent design pushes the centre of balance way forwards and the tripod collar is right at the back of this lens towards the rear mount. Hopefully the newer design will address this.

I think it depends on your needs. If you do portraits or weddings, you might need a fast 2.8 lens. If you do landscapes, travel or hiking/outdoor photography, the light-weight F4 lens would be a better choice for me.

I have a F2.8 and often wish I had instead purchased the F4.

Yep, I had the f4 version for a while and I've had the f2.8 version for some time too. So for a while I had both. I bought the f4 for travelling and in that context, it was perfect. It was also far easier to use for close up work too, eg rocks, details and larger flowers. In this context it was better and sharper than the f2.8 and a lot easier to handle on a tripod. If I was going to buy again, I'd probably get the 70-300L instead. but to be honest, there isn't any losers here, all three lenses are top tier and we really are splitting hairs between them. There has never been so much top end choice as we have available to us these days.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 13, 2014, 02:26:12 PM »
Wow....the unicorn rides's gotta be released at SOME point...I just worry I'll be too old by then!

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: July 11, 2014, 11:23:27 AM »
A short update:

I got my 50A back from the shop, and lo and behold, the inconsistency was gone. Sigma representative said they adjusted the lens to a standard body, and then returned it. Now the lens was back focusing either when approached from INF or MFD, which is OK from my books as I've tools to correct that. So Sigma dock it is, and 20 mins of adjustments later, I was ready for real life testing.

In the 300 photos I took last evening, I didn't see focus errors, and got a very good keeper ratio. The lens is now working, and actually seems to be sharp enough that I actually need to decrease camera sharpening preset for JPEGs.

EDIT: I'll have to say that this lens rocks! The background blur stopped down is a definite improvement over Canon's 50/1.4!

Yep, it's great idea of Sigma's...make an expensive device to get customers to do their work for them.
You pay Sigma to spend you time correcting their sloppy manufacturing errors. Maybe Ford should make cars which only drive properly after you buy their laptop software to interface with it....

Lenses / Re: Waiting for the 35 1.4L II
« on: July 11, 2014, 10:56:03 AM »
I think I'm slightly mis-representing my position on this lens...the 35L is a great lens. It's faithfully provided great service for me over the years. The new one will need to provide this and more to replace my existing lens, which has proved itself many times.

I have owned both and I wouldn't choose between them based on IQ.  I would make your decision on the following:

Is the big difference in size, weight, and price worth it for:
- 1 extra stop of light (do you shoot sports/wildlife in low light?)
- shallower DOF (both have great bokeh, but f/2.8 is better for subject isolation - though f/4 at 150-200mm provides plenty shallow DOF for most purposes including portraits)
- somewhat tougher (all metal vs. excellent engineering plastic) build quality
- a tripod ring in the box (though the f/4 IS + way overpriced Canon ring is still much cheaper than the f/2.8 IS II)
-AF with the 2xIII extender on all bodies

For me, it is, but if I traveled much at all or didn't need the low light speed of f/2.8, I'd go back to the f/4 IS.

What Mackguyver on with my findings too!
Just to add, I think any difference between lenses (f2.8 vs f4) is more likely to be copy variation than any measurable statistic. In real world use they are optically and pertty much mechanically equal, except for the lesser build on the f4. 

Any one here having tested both the new 300mm F2.8 L IS II and the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 AF APO EX DG OS HSM and having an opinion on how these two said lenses compare in sharpness and general (real world) usability ... Some reviews Rate the sigma as sharper as the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II so it should be really sharp ...   

Yes the Sigma is sharp, but not quite as sharp as the the Canon prime. But there are a few things you should be aware of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS which rarely comes up.
1) it's AF is not in the same league as the ef 300mm f2.8 LIS or 70-200 f2.8 LIS II lenses, not even close. It's slower, less accurate and more ponderous. It often locks on and then looses AF just as quick. AI servo with this lens using 61point AF on a 5DIII was particaulrly bad, as was 19 point AI servo on a 7D. Add a teleconverter and this gets a lot worse.
2) The lens drops focal length dramatically as the focus point gets closer to Min Focus distance. While this may not appear to be an issue, it is if you are trying to blur the background using close focus and wide open aperture. In this respect, the Canon prime is way way better, great for animal or people portraits. From my findings, the Sigma drops to about 240mm at 5 meters...which gives worse results to the 70-200 f2.8 at 1.5m at 200mm. In short, both the 70-200 II L and 300 f2.8 LIS are better at melting background and makes my wonder if the Sigma is worth the effort.
3) The Sigma is a lot heavier and larger than it needs to be. Don't confuse weight / mass with quality! The hood is terrible and the tripod ring isn't anyhwere near to the engineering of the Canon versions.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5DIII CF vs SD slot performance?
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:50:05 AM »
Yep, with my cards, I get only 5-6 bursts out of the SD card and I get about 10-12 from the CF card. Interestingly, if I have the Sd card slot enabled (regarlessly of having a card in there) I get the lower buffer / card write times. So when I need to shoot fast and long, I take out the SD card and use the Q button to write to the CF card only.

That's odd, I have noticed no such issue. My settings are set to record to both, and when either CF or SD isn't present, it'll give a warning when you turn on the camera, but I don't notice it negatively effecting speed.

It's not the speed, it's the buffer capacity it effects. With the right setting, the Cf card can shoot, buffer and write which frees up more shooting time until the write speed craps out and the buffer fills. With the SD card (raw to CF and Jpeg to CD) the card can't write that fast and the buffer fills up very fast which then stops the shooting.

Lenses / Re: Waiting for the 35 1.4L II
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:46:55 AM »
No doubt, sigma 35mm 1.4 art is canon killer.

Check some reviews, many people compared the two lenses. Though I'm not quite sure about the build quality that Sigma provides — at first sight yes, it's very good, but will it last as canon 35mm does?

I'm not sure I'd call it a Canon's a little bit sharper but that's about it. Also bare in mind that I've been using my 35L for the last 8 years (and it's paid for itself time and time with great professional images) where as this Sigma is new to the market. I'm happy with my 35L and see very little reason to swap to the Sigma. My Canon 35L has provided great images and will continue to do so.
If you rate a lens by optics alone then sure the Sigma looks great. But I would wager in a comparison that few could tell from an A3 print which lens was which. The Canon is far better built, has a far more reliable AF system and will hold it's value on the second hand market over the long term. Sigma AF issues are well documented, even their 120-300 has af issues.

You're wrong about build quality, the Sigma is much better, all of my 35 L's has been squeaky when squeezing the sides of the barrel, and two of them had the small plastic pins that holds the af/mf switch in place broken, leaving an open hole right into the lens.

 But color and contrast, build and ca correction needs a BIG update.

Don't mistake engineering plastic as weak and fragile. Sure the 24IIL is a lot more robust in how it feels in the hand and the shell doesn't flex. But after 8 years of heavy professional use, it's never failed me and still looks as good today as the day i bought it...although the hood is looking a bit worn. Most Sigma's I've bought and used in the past (the old painted matt finish and earlier) have looked terrible after a year or so. My old Sigma 12-24mm lens was solidly made from metal and yet had to go back to Sigma 3 times over 10 years due to a number of mechanical and electrical issues. First the Aperture motor burnt out, amazing considering how little I used this lens. Then one of the internal lens groups became free of their housings and acted like a marble in a cup. Then for some reason the lens started to mechanically vignette at all focal had to go back for a re-build. If I compare that to my 16-35IIL which has been used in far more inhospitable environments and used a lot more...i've had no problems with it at all. I sent it into Canon last year becuase of a scratched front element (it was effecting my sun star shots) but that was my fault not Canon's.

While I'm sure the Sigma operates well, looks and feels good and delivers great results....I am very shy of Sigma. My fingers have really been burnt a lot by that company and I'm not sure I want to risk them again.

Lenses / Re: Waiting for the 35 1.4L II
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:37:48 AM »
35mm is such a useful focal length for me, I hope Canon will weather-seal a mark-II version. That does give some peace-of-mind especially working outdoors and in humid areas.

I can say the 35 L II will be weather sealed 1000% certain.

Not that the little black rubber gasket does much! I've had most of my L primes soaked on a number of occasions by rain water and I've never had any problems regardless of the weather seal claim or not. 

EOS Bodies / Re: 5DIII CF vs SD slot performance?
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:44:28 AM »
The CF slot is significantly faster than the SD slot. Most new and expensive SD cards are significantly faster than the 5DmkIII's slot will allow writing to it.

You don't notice this all that much unless you are burst shooting. I just tested this for you, using M, 1/250, F/4.0, ISO 100, pre-focused. In a 30 second run, using my 1000x Lexar Professional CF card, 82 shots were recorded. Using a 95mb/s Sandisk Extreme Pro card, 27 images were recorded.

The CF card clears the camera's buffer much faster, and thus allows you take pictures more than three times as fast as an SD card. You could easily run the same test with your own cards, though they are different speeds, it is quite likely your CF cards will be faster. Note that the ratings on the cards are generally read speed, not write speed, so you actually need to test them instead of looking at the numbers.

FYI, it appears the SD card slot is limited to a speed of 133x, or +- 20mb/s.

Personally, unless I know I have to do heavy burst shooting, I have both CF and SD cards present in my 5DmkIII, and capture to both. Yes, it is slightly slower, but nothing is as slow as a card malfunction requiring you to re-do the shoot (or wedding, or holiday, etc)

Yep, with my cards, I get only 5-6 bursts out of the SD card and I get about 10-12 from the CF card. Interestingly, if I have the Sd card slot enabled (regarlessly of having a card in there) I get the lower buffer / card write times. So when I need to shoot fast and long, I take out the SD card and use the Q button to write to the CF card only.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 55mm f/1.4 & Other Primes
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:35:55 AM »
I was hoping to see a new approach from Canon with their 50mm optical formulas, but these three patents look like the same old, same old. If any of these three lenses make it to the market place (and that's a big "IF") then i doubt we'll see much improvement over the old one...which makes me ask...why bother?

Canon's more clever than you think - buy sticking with the outdated 50/1.4 and the ultra-outdated 50/1.8 *any* improvement will be a biggie, and people will buy them as long as there's a Canon label on them... a "real" usm would be worth the upgrade alone no matter the iq.

I've never really cared for the current 50mm f1.4 USM. Wide open, is got a low contrast and milkyness to the images I don't particularly like. Sure I can fix it in post Prod...but I really can't be bothered for the results. The build is really sub par, I've broken several and that's why I eventually upgraded to the L version. These days, I don't have need for a specific 50mm prime, so I cover the occasional requirement with a f2.8 zoom lens.
I have a mkI 50mm f1.8 (with the metal mount) which I got new with the original Canon AF camera (EOS 650). I still have the camera but I don't use film any longer, but the lens still works fine. Not bad results from it, nicer than I ever saw from the f1.4 version wide open. 

I'm not sure Canon has done anything "deliberate" here. I think they have gone and re-designed these lenses formula based on an old model / requirement. Sigma and Zeiss have changed the approach to 50mm lens design and Canon haven yet to notice. We are probably about 5 years away from seeing any new 50mm prime from Canon which any dramatic change in optical formula. Lets face it, we'd all rather see a 100-400L replacement over a new 50mm!

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