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Messages - East Wind Photography

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31
I ordered the SpyderLensCal.  For the price, it's worth a try.  I'm probably going to modify it with something that will make aligning the camera easy.

It's easy without modification. Particularly with the 70-200 which has a pretty thin DOF wide open.  For longer teles maybe a meter stick proped up next to it at an angle.

32
Lenses / Re: Introducing the Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: December 10, 2014, 01:03:56 PM »
Anybody know when this lens is coming out? :D

I think it comes out when you turn the zoom ring!  ;)

33
This lens is (supposed to be) very sharp. I am more than happy with my copy, probably sharpest lens in my bag along with 100L. Truthfully, I've never tested it on charts or diagrams, but from real scenarios, I can easily count eyelashes or hair on taken photo and they are tack sharp. I would send it for calibration IMO.

I'm not sure what you mean by sending it for calibration.  Is that a CPS service?  I'm not a member.  However Canon claims that both times I sent it in they tested to verify proper function (or so they claim).  At least the first time, as per their own admission the results could not have been right, as it was out of spec when it went in almost immediately after receiving it from Canon.

Sending it in again would seem to be no guarantee that it will come back in spec, and as I learned the first time -could do more harm than good.

That's why I'm doing some asking around and research before I decide whether or not to box it up yet again.

It looks like it just needs afma but short of that, it should come out tack sharp.  Mine is so sharp that I can resolve dust on my lenscal scale.

If you end up sending it back to canon you should send it to a different facility.  Which repair center did you send it to initially?

34
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Co-worker dumps $5k on Nikon
« on: December 09, 2014, 02:00:48 PM »
I thought this was going to be another stupid dynamic range conversation... but it really is so much more and I find that to be incredible.

We have the Nikon is better than Canon discussion.
We have the novice buying top gear despite not having adequate knowledge to truly wield it.
We have the jealousy presumption.
We have the, Why didn't you ask someone who has more experience before buying discussion.
And we have what I believe is my presumption... That Nikon in the perception of those entering the market holds Nikon in higher esteem than Canon.

There is really quite a bit of nuance in this thread and I love it because it isn't just a pissing contest.

I feel the wind starting to whip up.  Watch out.

35
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Owners first thoughts
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:05:36 PM »
Good Morning

 I am new to the forum. I do not speak good English, only Spanish.

 I live in Argentina where it is very difficult and expensive to purchase items Photography.

 Basically I do nature photography.

 I started with a sony H2, good camera, even when the shutter button would be broken.

 I spent a Canon 40D, great camera indeed.

 5 years ago I bought the 7D, gave me great satisfaction, but I gave intensive and can no more.

 A few days ago I have the 7D mark II. After reading the manual, an initial settings and did some tests.

 The camera feels great, looks very well built.

 To test the AF I went to a place where there peregrine falcons. Although the rate photo is somewhat greater focus to the original 7D, when oncoming almost all the pictures came out without focus.

 I have not even updated my PC so I can not process the raw files, so I've taken in raw + jpg.

 I also took some pictures in high speed and highly efficient AF camera performed well, back when the hummingbirds move sideways but when oncoming, little or nothing in focus.

 The photo attached is the jpg as it exits the chamber, without editing, I just downsized and gave a minimal approach in PS.

 I do not do scientific tests, but the image quality seems not much higher than the 7D, even so for my needs, is more than enough. The baterçia seems to last quite a bit even with the GPS turned off.

 I have friends who use 1D mark IV and Nikon D4, the 7D is far from those cameras in every way.

 For limited budgets, the 7D Mark II seems a good option and is a step on the original 7D, but nothing that dazzle in my opinion.

 I usually use 300 2.8 IS, so a FF body is no option for me.

 Among the positives, this compatibility with batteries, cables, flashes and triggers flashes.

 regards

Very nice photo.  There seems to be some issues with the first series of cameras where you need to Micro Focus Adjust to the lens first.  I can see in this picture that the front edge of the flower seems to be in better focus but maybe it is due to your PS processing.  I have also noticed some servo AF issues in my copy which I hope will be addressed in a future firmware update.  I am trying to get Canon to admit to an issue but so far I think they are just working on it.  It is one of the problems with owning a new camera right after the initial release.  I am pretty confident that this and other issues will be addressed in the not too distant future.

36
... and you've forgotten some features of the 5d3 the 1dx doesn't have: More resolution (1dx: 18mp, 5d3: 22mp), more dynamic range at base iso (5d3 has ~2ev more)
So, you have more resolution (actual resolution, not pixel count) with the 5DIII at the same time as you have that extra ~2 stops of DR at base ISO?  How does that work, exactly?

Download this: https://builds.magiclantern.fm/#/ ... then follow these exact steps: Enable the dual_iso module, enable the dual_iso feature in the expo menu and set to to iso800 or iso1600 when in a tough spot.

But as you surely known my answer when asking, we can go straight to "Neuro educates about the difference between resolution and pixel count" :-)

Indeed.  The point is that the dual ISO feature of ML isn't free, there's a resolution penalty.  Listing '2 EV more DR' as a feature of the 5DIII is disingenuous.

The overlapped portion of both data sets are full resolution.  Only the highlight and deep shadow are not.  So we could say it's only half disingenuous and only that part which most eyes dont pay much attention to.  Properly exposed images are still necessary.


37
I'm using the SpyderLenscal and works good.

It's also important to do it right, not only which pattern you use:

- Use maximal aperture (lowest value)
- Maximal focal length on zoom lenses for smallest depth of field
- camera and pattern on same height
- pattern has to be parallel to camera (sensor)

My understanding is that for zoom lenses, it's best if you do both ends of the zoom range - as you can enter the MA for each with the 5D3, 1DX, 6D, 70D, and presumably the 7D2.

What method are you using to get the camera parallel to the Spyderlenscal?  It seems more difficult than using an ISO 12233 chart where you can tape it to a mirror and use the mirror reflection to align the camera.

So I guess I am one of the few that gave up on FoCal and now use a spyder lanscal.

First off the reasons I gave up I on Focal.  More complex setup, results were not consistent across lenses and bodies,  typically would rack up excessive shutter actuations just trying to get it to provide something of consistency, constant bugs which would cause the application to crash be unresponsive and countless wasted hours dealing with it.  What it is good for is testing your equipment to make sure it's working...though I don't believe you can completely determine if it's working properly.

Testing that equipment is working, but not necessarily properly?   ??? Sorry, I don't follow.  What do you mean?

Neuro has had decent results taking the shots manually and importing them later into the application.  Definately would help since the direct camera interface has a lot to be desired.

The Spyder lanscal is small but that does have a benefit in that you are forced to target the center of the tool which even if is tilted slightly is still close enough for govt work.  The variances in AF accuracy due to lens aging, color temperature of the light, intensity of the light, ambient temperature, really negate the need for perfect parallel setup.  Eyeball should get you within 1mm on this target.  It's also portable so you can take it anywhere, set it up and verify everything is working as set before you actually start shooting.  Yes it has a short ruler but it's fairly easy to tell which wayyou need to go if you are off the scale.  Not an issue.

The lensalign product I never used but decided not to buy at the time for the same reasons you did not.  I doubt it would hold up very well in the field, especially when calibrating a large supertele.  I wanted something I could set up on site in the conditions I am shooting and make final tweaks as needed.  Setting up a computer on a football field is not something I really want to do all of the time.

I'm sure Reikan will eventually evolve their product into something more reliable.  However the setup is challenging and was not the solution for me.  It's easy enough to just use the spyder lenscal and be done with it.

Good enough for govt work?  I'm hoping to get my lenses as good as I possibly can without using a computer at the moment.

I've been doing more reading on the two products and apparently the Lensalign mk II gen 2 is even more flimsy than I understood.  It seems to be a fantastic product if you plan to leave it assembled and stored safely, but not something that will withstand being taken apart and put back together many times.  I've read a number of reviews describing it as essentially cardboard.  I imagine it's probably more like Coroplast or a similar material, otherwise it would be ruined by humidity alone, but I'm hesitant to spend almost a hundred dollars for a product that won't last.

How would you describe the build quality of the Spyderlenscal?  What lenses have you used with it?  I'm giving it another look now.

There's apparently another product too, the FocusPyramid, which I'll look into.

The Spyderlenscal is of firm plastic construction and labels are plastic printed, not paper.  No worries if this got a little damp or wet.  It folds flat and when set up for use puts the target directly at 0 on the scale.  The bubble level is handy but as Neuro pointed out is pretty much useless other than to get you in the general ballpark of being level.  It does have a 1/4-20 tripod thread on the bottom which is brass and pressed into the plastic base.  It's not very strong but doesnt need to be.  The brass threads make it easy to attach to a tripod but I find it not necessary, particularly when you are in the field doing a verification.  I just set it somewhere and and shoot.

The best part about it is that it's completely portable.  I keep it in my bag with my 300 2.8L.

I've used it to calibrate a wide range of lenses from my 7-15mm fisheye zoom to my 600 F4L.  It would be nice to have a larger scale for the 600 but in the end it's not really necessary as once you are on the chart it's pretty easy to determine within 1 AFMA unit where the correct setting should be.  Final checks are done at infinity shooting a heron or eagle.

Regarding FoCal, it does offer some other tools that are useful for evaluating the condition of your equipment such as what aperture provides the highest resolution for a particular lens as well as being able to AFMA individual focus points to determine if the AF screen is tilted or badly warped.  However as I stated before the AFMA results are rather inconsistent and the test is very VERY sensitive to vibration and sufficient and consistent ambient light.  Even keeping those the same, for me, the results were not as good or as quick as I can do myself with the SpyderLenscal.

38
Lenses / Re: Review: Sensor Performance of the 7D Mark II
« on: December 09, 2014, 07:20:03 AM »
I am going to need a tracking mount. Any recommendations? Not top of the line stuff, already spent way over budget on equipment this year. In fact the cheapest product that is proficient enough.

Yeah I agree.  It depends on the weight of the rig, does it need to fit in a backpack or something you will use from home only or can transport in a car?  Are you going to shoot deep space objects or wide star fields?

Cheap solutions can give you hours of frustration and not deliver what you expect.

This is about the minimum you can get away with.....

http://ca.skywatcher.com/_english/02_mounts/02_detail.php?sid=68
Looks great, and not too expensive!
Maybe I should rather ask this; what would you recommend me starting off with (deep space and/or wide star fields) taking into account the equipment I have - 70D, 7DII, 100-400L, ext 1.4III, 70-300, 15-85, 50 1.4, 60 2.8 macro. I am getting a 10-22 this weekend.
All will be transported by car - rough tracks - 4x4. We will be spending half our time in the bush where there is no light pollution and the stars is so bright it seems like you can touch them!
Thank you again for your input.

This looks pretty good as it allows you to use your own stuff to reduce costs and extra stuff you need to travel with.  Watch the weight.  Very easy for a camera and lens to reach the max limit and cause the tracking motor to start slipping (best case) or break (worse case).  Though the 100-400 is pretty light. 

I've not seen this mount but I may get one myself to play around with.

Just a follow up that the sky watcher mount is now available at B&H.  You have to order some things seperately but its still cheaper than having it shipped from Canada unless you are Canadian!

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

39
My Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II went in for service twice in a three week or so period.

It had a front element defect which was followed by a "misaligned" element upon return which caused very oof (yet inconsistent) corners.  Now upon return for the "misaligned"element, the corners aren't perfect, but much better.  Unfortunately, everything is slightly oof now.  I want to micro-adjust and see how things look then.  Using just a yardstick, it appears that the camera is back focusing a bit, but I'd like to adjust using a proper tool.

Reikan Focal is something I want to purchase and use in the near future, but for now I need something that doesn't require a computer and isn't fussy about lighting.  Enter Lensalign mk II generation 2 and its quasi copycat, the Datacolor Spyderlenscal.

I am trying to pick one.  Here's my analysis of the pros and cons of each as far as I can tell:

Lensalign:
Pros: More sophisticated design with dual sided and dual color (B&W + W&B) measurement stick, better target that includes a built in tool to get the camera center and parallel to it, and the option of a larger measuring stick for super telephoto lenses.
Cons: Supposedly somewhat flimsy design where measuring stick will sag over time and cannot be disassembled and reassembled many times before it becomes damaged.  No bubble level to ensure it is level on a tripod that has no level.

Spyderlenscal:
Pros: More robust build quality.  Designed to be repeatedly folded flat.  Bubble level built into base.
Cons: Less sophisticated design than Lensalign.  Measurement stick is basically a ruler.  No tool to help align camera to target.

So, for those of you who own one or the other, any info you can share would be appreciated.

Please note: I'm posting this because it seems every other thread on the internet asking the same question was derailed by a bunch of people replying that they use neither and instead use Reikan Focal.  I appreciate what Focal has to offer, but in this thread I'm asking about Lensalign mk II generation 2 vs Spyderlenscal - not Focal.  Also, if you use Lensalign Pro or Lite, neither product is still sold.  The original Lensalign mk II is also discontinued.

So I guess I am one of the few that gave up on FoCal and now use a spyder lanscal.

First off the reasons I gave up I on Focal.  More complex setup, results were not consistent across lenses and bodies,  typically would rack up excessive shutter actuations just trying to get it to provide something of consistency, constant bugs which would cause the application to crash be unresponsive and countless wasted hours dealing with it.  What it is good for is testing your equipment to make sure it's working...though I don't believe you can completely determine if it's working properly.

Neuro has had decent results taking the shots manually and importing them later into the application.  Definately would help since the direct camera interface has a lot to be desired.

The Spyder lanscal is small but that does have a benefit in that you are forced to target the center of the tool which even if is tilted slightly is still close enough for govt work.  The variances in AF accuracy due to lens aging, color temperature of the light, intensity of the light, ambient temperature, really negate the need for perfect parallel setup.  Eyeball should get you within 1mm on this target.  It's also portable so you can take it anywhere, set it up and verify everything is working as set before you actually start shooting.  Yes it has a short ruler but it's fairly easy to tell which wayyou need to go if you are off the scale.  Not an issue.

The lensalign product I never used but decided not to buy at the time for the same reasons you did not.  I doubt it would hold up very well in the field, especially when calibrating a large supertele.  I wanted something I could set up on site in the conditions I am shooting and make final tweaks as needed.  Setting up a computer on a football field is not something I really want to do all of the time.

I'm sure Reikan will eventually evolve their product into something more reliable.  However the setup is challenging and was not the solution for me.  It's easy enough to just use the spyder lenscal and be done with it.

40
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Co-worker dumps $5k on Nikon
« on: December 08, 2014, 11:00:51 PM »
I love these type of threads.  People do by Nikon... Shocker I know.  ...

Yes and largely for the same reason some people vote Democrat or Republican.  They dont really understand what the other side offers.

;)

I for one think investing that kind of dough on Nikon is foolish.  I for one think their build quality is crap.  Having known people who have had system failures at the worst possible times, I would never recommend Nikon product to anyone investing more that $1K on a body.  In all likelihood they wont get anywhere near the return on their investment as one would spending the same on a Canon product.

Just like with cars and the old chevy vs ford debate, one can get lucky..or get burned no matter which side you are on.  However one side IMHO has a better track record than the other.  And that can be said about politics as well!  ;)

41
i own both cameras you mention. Go with the 7D Mk2. Up to ISO 800 they shoot the exact same quality pictures. From 800 to 3200, 5d Mk3 is 1 stop better. From 3200 to 12800, 7d mk2 is 1/3 of a stop better!

It appears you're serious about that.  Sorry to have to say it, but physics does not agree with your assessment.

And neither do I!  LOL

42
5d3 is the better all around camera.  But you pay more for that all aroundness.   The 7d2 is more geared for action photography.  5d3 can handle it all just not at 10fps.

43
Lenses / Re: Talk about your ef 300mm f/2.8
« on: December 08, 2014, 08:31:25 AM »
Quite possibly one of the finest lenses canon has ever made.  My mk1 was fantastic but upgraded to the mk2 to get the extra 2 stops of image stabilization and save a little weight in my backpack.

With the extenders you get images that lose only a little IQ which makes it a quite versatile lens.  My 600 f4 is sharper but not by much.  The 300,s offer the fastest AF speed or so it was for quite some time.


If you are looking to get a 300 you can consider a used mk1 version to save some $$$.  They are a great alternative to the mk2.


44
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: buying suggestion: a 5D3 or 1Dx?
« on: December 08, 2014, 08:18:56 AM »
Quote
Often when I am using my 600 f4 on my Wimbley I will remove the grip so I have more verticle reach.

You're right on the gimbal thing: I have a 7D2 on a gimbal and its lightness helps. I can't imagine putting a 1-body on that thing for extended shooting.

Not sure I get it.  I guess it's because of the Wimberley II design?  I use a RRS PG-02 LLR side-mount gimbal, as long as I position the 600's barrel over a tripod leg, the body is between the other two legs when going vertically, and I don't think removing a removable grip would matter.

As for the weight of the body, when the load is properly balanced on the gimbal, the whole rig can be easily moved with a fingertip, whether I have my 1D X or my EOS M behind the 600 II.

For a moment I was wondering who shoots tennis matches with 600mm fixed...

Those who aren't lucky enough to get a press pass. ;)

45
Lenses / Re: Review: Sensor Performance of the 7D Mark II
« on: December 07, 2014, 10:28:10 PM »
I guess I should give it a try. The Dual ISO does sound promising. I'm in the habit of frequently formatting my cards. Do you erase the old files from the EOS folder manually? Or do you keep ML on an SD card? I suppose I should visit the site and read the FAQ again.

In case you didn't see it, I did a comparison between a Sony A7 and a DualISO 5D3 a couple months ago.

Comparing apples to oranges again.  ;).

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