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Messages - East Wind Photography

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1
Abstract / Re: 7D2 HDR - Mustard Yellow!
« on: March 01, 2015, 04:53:35 PM »
There is a huge difference between saying "the 7D MkII has a number of issues" and an individual 7D MkII having a number of issues.

I don't see any evidence of the 7D MkII line having issues like the 1D MkIII, D600, 5D MkII, D800, Sony A7 etc etc, that are based on faulty design or manufacture that result in most if not all bodies suffering the same problems. There are many reportsof unhappy 7D MkII customers but when you drill them down many ownes don't know about simple processes like AFMA, for instance.

Now I am not saying East Winds particular camera is not a lemon, every production run of everything has a lemon or two, but that is quite different.

Well I'm finding quite a few people here as well as on canon forums all complaining of the same things and it's not just afma calibration.  I am very experienced at that and I can assure you not everyone's issue is a failure to afma their camera to their lens.  Not sure if it's a bad batch...mine was serialized less than 100...or what.  Only canon knows what's going on right now.

As I said before most if not all could be fixed with a firmware update as I don't think there is anything physical at fault.  Be it bad software or just bad factory calibration.  There is enough people having the same issues that it's not just a camera having multiple issues.

If yours works for what you need then great.  Glad you got one from a good batch.  Or perhaps you just haven't discovered the issues yet or have not really looked at the numbers yet to see that the keeper rates are piss poor compared to other bodies including my old t2i.  It is not a little brother of the 1dx.  More like a big brother of a 7d with shorter battery life.

2
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:37:03 PM »
I prefer this tracking system for travel use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1092106-REG/sky_watcher_s20510_star_adventurer_motorized_mount.html

thanks, seems like a good value.

Holds a lot of weight too.  I can get my 600 F4L with my gripped 5D3 on it but need extra counter balance.  But it works.  With my 300mm F2.8L it's a perfect balance with only one counterweight.  You would likely need the wedge and a couple of other things so if that seems like a good value, make sure you get everything you need.


While you can barely fit a 600/4L and 5D III on the Star Adventurer, it is not recommended. The rule of thumb for imaging is to use only half the rated capacity. More than that, and your tracking accuracy will suffer, which will affect your stars. You shouldn't put more than 5-6 lb on the Star Adventurer for best results. You might get away with 7-8lb, but with longer lenses your star profiles will suffer (you'll have bloated stars, and you'll lose the benefits of the increased resolution of a large lens like the 600mm f/4).


I use an Orion Atlas, a $1500 mount with a 40lb capacity, and at barely 20lb I am still not able to get ideal stars. I've reached the point in my imaging where instead of obsessing over things like just getting tracking working reliably at all, I am now obsessing over maximizing my mount's performance to get the tightest stars. I've come the the simple conclusion that a $1500 mount with 40lb capacity is simply not capable of giving me sub-arcsecond performance, even when guided, with a mere 20lb load.


There are two levels of alternatives. There are the $5000 mounts, like the CGE Pro, the Orion HDX110, the Losmandy Titan. These can perform well, and have higher capacities, but they aren't engineered much better than the entry level mounts that run for $1500-$3000. They can get to 1-2" guided performance, but still can't get to the holy grail of true sub-arcsecond performance (where the worst case performance is still less than an arcsecond peak-to-peak (P2P) periodic error (PE).) Only the high end mounts, which start at $8000 for 45lb worth of imaging capacity, can give you tracking performance that averages >1" PE and 0.1" or better guided performance (which is necessary when you start imaging at a scale of 1"/px or larger...in my case, I am trying to image at 0.73"/px and simply can't do it with my mount.)


The 600/4 and 5D III is 2"/px image scale, and to get the best stars, you really want to keep your guided tracking at around 1-1.25" RMS. The 11lb capacity of the Star Adventurer is not going to give you that kind of performance, not even at half load, let alone full load. You might be able to get away with a 5D III and 300mm f/2.8 on that mount, but I think it would be difficult to get good performance out of it. The 5D III and 400mm f/5.6 would probably do much better.


For beginners, the best recommendation is to get the biggest mount you can possibly afford, and get a small, short, fast refracting telescope (or lens) as your first telescope. That maximizes the mount capacity (i.e. an Orion Sirius or Atlas), and minimizes load, thus maximizing your potential to get the most out of the equipment without a lot of hassle. Focal lengths ranging from 300mm to 600mm are generally recommended for beginners. Once your up over 800mm through 1200mm, your image scales drop to the point where mounts like the Sirius or Atlas are barely going to deliver what you need without extra work (i.e. most Atlas users who are imaging at 1200mm or longer have hypertuned and possibly belt modded their mounts...or, they skipped the Atlas and went strait to the Atlas Pro, which is basically hypertuned and belt modded right out of the box, for another $500 tacked onto the price.)


If your looking at something like the Astro Trac or Sky adventurer, you should be thinking much more wide field. Anything from ultra wide (14mm through 80mm), maybe 100-200mm. To give you guys and idea of how big these fields are (assuming a FF camera like the 5D III or 6D). The ultra wide focal lengths like 14-80mm are either "whole sky", "constellation", or "asterism" in terms of the field coverage. After that, up to 200mm or so, then you can start zeroing in on the really large regions of nebula, like the greater Cygnus region, or the entire Orion Belt+Sword complex, or both Heart and Soul nebulas in Cass, etc. At 600mm your down to just Orion's Sword or the end of his belt where Horsehead is, or just Heart or Soul nebula, or just California and Pelican nebulas in Cygnus, Andromeda Galaxy, etc. At 1000mm, your down to portions of nebula, small nebula (Wizard, Elephant Trunk,  Crescent, Tulip, etc.), medium sized galaxies like Triangulum, and beyond that your into bulk (small) galaxy ultra high resolution nebula imaging. Much beyond 1200mm, and you have to start explicitly looking for scopes that have truly massive apertures, and much larger sensors with gargantuan pixels, just to get a reasonable image scale. It's not uncommon to find FF sized CCD sensors with 9 micron pixels being used at 1600-3000mm. A lot of the larger scopes support 65-70mm image circles, which cover 37x37mm and 49x37mm "large format" sensors that have 9, 12, and even 24 micron pixels.


So, as beginners, you should be thinking what is the shortest telephoto lens you can use, and what is the biggest mount you can possibly afford. Shortest Scope + Biggest Mount = Least Hassle, Most Fun. With an AstroTrac or Star Adventurer, I'd say 400mm f/5.6 or around there should be the limit. If you are willing to deal with some frustrations, you might be able to work a 300mm f/2.8 on a Star Adventurer, but just prepare yourself for dealing with tracking issues and other problems about half the time.

I agree that bigger is always better but the point is what are you going to travel with? Often times we have to make due with less. So while a 600mm on a star adventurer is not ideal, you can make due but have to shoot a lot of subs and weed out the bad ones. I could not see traveling with anything larger than the sky watcher astro package.

3
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:28:00 PM »
Hi Guys, I bought myself the star adventurer a few months ago, but have hardly had a clear night since, plus I am in the southern hemisphere and it's not getting truly dark till about 10 pm, past my bed time .. ha.. well add a few hours of trying to get a few shots and it is.
I mostly wanted it for wide field shots. So I didn't have to push the iso up to like 3200 at F2.8 and about 25 to 30 sec exposures.
I was hoping it would allow me to drop the iso and stop down a little but and just extend the exposure time to still get the milky way come up nice and bright.
I recently bought a Phase One with the P45+ back that's a CCD sensor and high iso is not it's forte.
So yeah looking forward to winter here soon and longer nights.
BIG issue this side of the world is finding polar alignment, we don't have such a bright pole star as you guys, so I really need dark skies to even get close .. so far no luck in finding true polar south yet even ....
I do have the new 100-400 with a 1D4 so will give that a go also, but finding polar south is my first hurdle. It seems a bit fiddly and hard to view through that's all.
I hope I am on the right track anyway and can pull out some nice medium format milky way shots, I also want to include ground scenery in the shots, I know I'll get some horizon movement issues merging the two shots together, but hope it's not too much.

The star adventurer polar scope has the southern hemisphere polar star field built into the reticle. Provided you can see the polar stars you should be good to go. I think it would be much easier than northern polar alignment which requires us to have an app or a slide rule to figure it out.

You would just overlay the pattern in the polar scope and you are done.

4
Abstract / Re: 7D2 HDR - Mustard Yellow!
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:20:09 PM »
Welcome.

What was the thinking behind the selling the D750 for a 7D MkII?

The D750 was the last straw in a 45 year Nikon adventure. First was the D600 oil/dust issue that required a trip to Nikon. Decided to dump it - at a larger than normal loss because of the reputation of the issues -  before the late and reluctant recall by Nikon. Then the D800 left focus problem & recall. Then a failed Df sensor at 300 shots. Then the D810 service advisory. So to get a nice small camera we got a D750. Got home and while charging the battery, found the serial number was subject to a recall by Nikon for a relection/light blocking issue. Took it back and left the store with the 7D2.

We see lots of posts from people who are returning 7D MK II's for perceived autofocus issues, I hope it doesn't happen to you.

Every camera model seems to have a few issues pop up.  As long as the manufacturer takes care of the problem, It is annoying, but not a reason for me to worry.

So far, the focus on our 7D2 cameras has been acceptable. However, we use only Canon lenses. Many complaints I have seen about focus for Nikon, Canon and even Sony have been in relation to Sigma or Tamron lenses. We had a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 live view focus problem on a D800e that was fixed via a firmware upgrade. Still it did not perform as well as a native OE lens on the Nikon.

Sadly your comment that every camera model seems to have a few issues pop up is true. The difference is how the manufacturer treats the customer. In our case, it was less than ideal and that was why we switched to Canon. Our partners were using Canon and we saw first-hand how they were treated by Canon service vs our experience. It was an easy decision!

Yes the 7d2 has a number of issues. Most should be fixable with a firmware update. The AF issues have caused me to return mine to canon. I use servo AF almost exclusively and that is where most of my problems are. In one shot AF it seems fairly decent.

However I can say that canon service has been great. They even paid for the shipping back to Canon. I am still waiting for the return and to see if issues are resolved. Their customer service has been excellent.

5
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: February 28, 2015, 06:49:10 PM »
I prefer this tracking system for travel use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1092106-REG/sky_watcher_s20510_star_adventurer_motorized_mount.html

thanks, seems like a good value.

Holds a lot of weight too.  I can get my 600 F4L with my gripped 5D3 on it but need extra counter balance.  But it works.  With my 300mm F2.8L it's a perfect balance with only one counterweight.  You would likely need the wedge and a couple of other things so if that seems like a good value, make sure you get everything you need.

6
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 28, 2015, 10:15:34 AM »
I have both the 7D and the 7dii. I had the 7D for nearly a year and the 7Dii was supposed to be  an upgrade for me.
Both cameras were set to the same exact settings (or as close as possible given that the shutter speeds have slight variations, etc.).  I was shooting horse races using both the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II and the 3oomm f/2.8 L IS prime lens.  On day one I used the 7D and 7Dii with the 70-200 lens alternating cameras one race after the other.  On day two I alternated cameras race by race using the 300mm.  RESULTS:  Both the 7D and 7Dii shot identical quality shots using the 70-200mm.  Using the 300mm prime lens, only the 7D shot in-focus shots one after the other.  Nearly every shot taken by the 7dii was blurry.  I spent a solid week testing and retesting.  Same results.

There is something inherently wrong with here.  Compatibility issues? Maybe?  I sent the 7Dii back to B+H which honored their 30-day return policy.

Now my search for an upgrade to the 7D continues.  I thought the 7Dii would be that upgrade but it turned out to be a huge disappointment!

If it's any consolation, my 7d2 is back at canon being checked for AF issues.  In my particular body even afma was not being honored properly.  I could get fairly consistent in focus shots using one shot AF but in servo AF it required a different afma...and would not be consistent from one day to the next. 

Though they are full frame, the 5d3 or 1dx are the next options.  For crop sensor the option would be the 70d.


7
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: February 28, 2015, 10:03:11 AM »

8
Hi.

I really love the results from my 600mm mk2 together with my 5D mk3 BUT I find it very hard to focus with. Like yesterday for an example. The main target was about 30m away. I had the setting on "16m and further away" because there would be no objects closer than that. But when I try to focus on the trees in the background that was about 200m further away it had big issues to find focus even though I think that the background had some contrast. I needed to use manual focus first and then it did focus properly on that distance. When I then wanted to set the focus again on the subject 30m away from me I again needed to use manual focus first. I tried several solutions by using more or less autofocuspoints and change the settings in the camera but I feel that the lens or the camera is struggling more than I expected. I have no friends with a lens like mine so I have no one to ask or compare to. Maybe the camera and lens is no better than so and that is what to expect but I find that hard to believe. Trying to catch flying birds is also really hard because I often need to focus manually first to somewhere close to the distance of the bird and then I can use autofocus. Can someone with own experience write about how it works for you? The examples are many when I have had a hard time getting the object in focus.

Thanks.

There is a setting in the 5DIII firmware to only use cross type AF points.  That helped considerably.

9
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Metering / Extreme Overexposure Issue
« on: February 23, 2015, 07:34:42 PM »
Hi, I have a brand new 7D Mark II and I'm experiencing intermittent metering issues. For example, I will be shooting just fine in aperture priority in a normal outdoors environment, say at F4.0 at 1/250 sec at 400 ISO, and then all of a sudden, the camera will show that it needs a 30 second exposure (on the LCD screen on the top of the camera). However, if I switch to live view, the screen on the back of the camera will show a normal 1/250 sec exposure. When I switch off the live view, the top LCD screen will go back to showing some ridiculously long exposure time.

Changing shooting modes (TV/Manual, etc.), metering modes, AF modes, etc. seem to have no effect on on correcting the crazy long exposure time. However, after a minute or so, things will go back to normal.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon? Thanks for advance for your input.

That is not normal and while I sent my 7d2 back to canon for other reasons, I never experienced this issue.  Check the electrical contacts on the camera and lens for any dirt or lint.  If that's ok, can you try another lens and see if the problem still happens?

If you don't have another lens, try to find a series of steps to reproduce the problem and send the lens and camera back to canon for replacement or repair while it's still under warranty.

10
Photography Technique / Re: What is your keeper rate?
« on: February 22, 2015, 01:00:00 PM »
Keeper rate

1dx = 95%
5d3 = 85%
7d2 = 10% sadly

7d2 is back at canon for an evaluation.  Also note these percentages are shots where the camera performed properly...doesn't account for my bad timing.

11
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 17, 2015, 04:23:32 PM »
A very interesting conversation for me because I have been pretty disappointed with the 7D Mark II.
I have very good eyesight and the view through the viewfinder and a 100-400 L II is really very good.
The camera looks as if it's locking on focus extremely well.
The photos however I am finding are disappointing.
I would say quality wise no better than my old 500D.
I had though APS-C sensors had come along way since the 500D but it doesn't seem so with my copy of the 7D Mark II.
It's a lack of resolved detail I'm finding most disappointing.
Maybe I'm spoiled by the 5D Mark III but I find the pixels seem to smudge into each other alot earlier than I am expecting. No better than a 500D sensor.
I understand it's a cropped sensor but I thought at 20+ MP it would resolve detail better.
Photos do look a bit soft compared to how they seemed through the viewfinder.

Could these issues be caused by an AA filter or something similar that was intended to smooth out noise at higher ISO's?  Or maybe something in the in-camera processing of the image?  I can't imagine the actual sensor tech has taken a step back...

(I know this question in various forms has already been asked in this thread, but I was hoping some our more engineering enlightened members might chime in.  ;) )

Almost certainly the AA filter softens the image which requires post sharpening either in or out of camera.  However the AA filter will not affect AF, at least with phase detect AF it wont.  Most of the issues are with AF problems.

AA filters were introduced to reduce moire patterns, particularly in video.  If you shoot mostly wildlife and natural landscapes moire is not an issue...though you can get it on feathers of birds in some situations.  The AA filter seems particularly strong on the 7D2 and could be due to the smaller pixel pitch and their anti-moire requirements.


12
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:27:39 PM »
Thanks takesome1, as you've already probably gathered I tend to fuss and fume tooo much.  I'll have the 1D IV in a few days and it'll have to do and I'm pretty confident it will do.  :-[

Jack

You will enjoy the 1DIV and never look back.  Once you see what it can do, all of this discussion on the 7DII will appear as silliness.  :)

13
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 16, 2015, 01:47:05 PM »
I do use other lenses. Here is a great tit taken on the 7DII + 300/2.8 II + 2xTC. A guy next to me had the same lens combo on the 7D, and it would not focus. Mine was fast and good.

Yes but this is a static shot where one shot AF would be sufficient.  Try some bird in flight shots and see how many in focus shots you get in the sequence.

14
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 16, 2015, 10:49:31 AM »
I have no axe to grind about FF vs crop or the 7DII vs 5DIII or the 100-400mm II vs big primes because I use combinations of all of them according to circumstances.

First, the AF on both my 5DIII and 7DII is fast and consistent in A1 servo, and my keeper rate is very high. The same was not true for my 7D, which could not even cope with some lens combination.

Second, I use the 5DIII + 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III for bird photography, accompanied by wife who uses the 7DII + 100-400mm II, both camera systems having about the same field of view. The quality of the images from the 7DII are excellent, though not quite as good from the 5DIII, despite the 100-400mm II not being in the same price league as the prime. My experience is that the 7DII + 100-400mm II at f/5.6 is as sharp at the centre as the Tamron-150-600mm on the 5DIII at f/8 and sharper at the edges.

I simply do not understand why some users are getting only 5% keepers and have AF problems. Some used to say the same about AF with Tamron 150-500 on the 5DIII, but I never had any problems. Perhaps I have been very lucky with my 7DII and 100-400mm II etc. But, whatever, some copies of the 7DII do really deliver the goods.

Perhaps you are of are one of the lucky ones that got a good copy.  There are very numerous and consistent faults with the AF system and I would recommend anyone considering a purchase to hold off a bit for canon to figure out what is going on.


15
Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:30:14 AM »
So which would be a better choice for a 6D owner, if one is looking for the best all-around camera, the 7D II or the 5D III?

Absolutely right now I would get the 5d3.  Too many issues with the 7d2 right now.  People are only getting about 5% keepers in servo AF.  It's slightly better in one shot mode.  However the AF system has some big issues that are not getting resolved by canon.

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