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Messages - digital paradise

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EOS Bodies / Re: AFMA – Easy or Not
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:51:54 AM »

I guess I could have been less winded and just said that  ;D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Digital cameras of the future
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:14:51 AM »
Well there are two paths - Blade Runner or Minority Report.

Blade Runner. No mirrors, a bit smaller both for bodies and lenses. Lenses much lighter with more zoom and improved distortion. Dealers of old DSLRs' on every third corner.

Minority Report. High end imagining glasses that do both stills and video with all types of 3D special effects. Zoom from 5 to 5000mm with no distortion. Your buddy on the other side of the world can see the image or video you took instantly via heads up display within his/her glasses. Same thing for contact lenses. Brain activated image capture. Also holographic imaging systems by competitors so people still have something to argue about on forums. 

Back in the day. I hated either wasting a roll of film by shooting of the images at nothing for a few images. Or trying to rewind film back so the tip did not slip back into the canister cause then I would have to dig it out. All just to change ISO or film type which included B&W. I used to think I wish they came up with a better way to do this  >:(  Never though of a digital sensor back then. Also even though I liked the look of grain but I wished I could make a clean 8 by 10 with 400 ISO film.           

EOS Bodies / Re: AFMA – Easy or Not
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:51:23 PM »
Just want to add something that hasn't been discussed before: it is pointless to do microadjust zoom lenses (unless you have the latest models that actually allow to do that) - the amount of correction you will need for smallest/largest focal lengths will be different.

I wouldn't say pointless.  I had a zoom that on my 7D needed +3 at the wide end and +7 at the long end.  Leaving it at zero wouldn't be optimal, obviously.  Generally, the DoF will be shallower at the long end.  In that case, +6 was the compromise value.

Having the two settings is nice, though.  The most recent zoom I tested on my 1D X needs 0 at the wide end and +5 at the long end.  But I can imagine that sometimes two settings wouldn't be enough.  The camera does a simple linear regression with focal length between the W and T values. For that lens, the two intermediate focal lengths I tested had AFMA values that fall right on that line.  If they hadn't, the lens would have gone back.

I was mostly kidding about the tires. I believe people get good results. I just don't trust myself.     

EOS Bodies / Re: AFMA – Easy or Not
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:46:44 PM »
I just wanted to add. All lens manufacturers were a little sloppy but you could get away with it with film. Digital changed everything. Also I doubt there is too much QC going after the manufacturing process. The Japanese manufacturing process considers it a waste. It is a bottle neck because you have to store it, move it around, it takes longer to get to market and people make mistakes when doing QC. They may sample a few but I doubt all are checked.

Where the Japanese excelled was QC during the manufacturing process which insures a defect free product at the end of the line. It is a lot of hard work, you really pay attention to everything which includes tolerances of supplied parts from other companies. It has been 8 years since the real dawn of digital which I consider to be the 20D and 5D.

So in that 8 years I think Canon has gotten better in the last several. There seems to be less talk about copy variation with the new 24-70II and others. Actually I read that Canon delayed the release to insure the it's  manufacturing was dialled in properly. I can't back that. According to DotTune my new 24-70II is - 1 @24 and +1 @70.             

EOS Bodies / Re: AFMA – Easy or Not
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:30:52 PM »
Just want to add something that hasn't been discussed before: it is pointless to do microadjust zoom lenses (unless you have the latest models that actually allow to do that) - the amount of correction you will need for smallest/largest focal lengths will be different.

Yes. Typically they say at the farthest focal point - 70-200 so you AFMA @ 200. Some people say to split the difference. I do that when I put air in my tires  ;D.

EOS Bodies / Re: AFMA – Easy or Not
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:25:47 PM »
Sure, it can be done easily. As you say, all you need is a high contrast object to focus on and take a couple of shots. Better yet, any former RPG junkies (aka D&D nerds  ;) ), you probably still have one of those 20-sided dice, so roll a d6 with 1-3 being negative and 4-6 being positive, and the AFMA value from the d20.

Of course, there's doing an AFMA, but then there's doing it correctly...   :P

Seriously, there's a reason Canon sort of discourages doing it in the manual, warning that it may prevent you from achieving proper focus.  AF systems are neither perfectly precise nor perfectly accurate - multiple shots are required, the target must be appropriate, flat where the AF point is (the whole real one, not smaller-than-real little box in the VF), etc.  I really recommend using FoCal or a commercial tool like LensAlign or SpyderLensCal, and take lots of shots.

I am not a big supporter of AFMA. It is different now because back in the day before automated systems like FoCal and now DotTune it was a little to out of control for me. Too many methods out there. There was the old ruler and hold your camera at a 45 degree angle? I'm not putting air in my tires, I'm working with expensive, high precision equipment. I prefer to have trained technicians that have the proper equipment working on my gear. They do multiple measurements. So if I think something is off as much of pain as it is I send it to Canon.

Very seldom does anyone bring up the operator manual. I have many times and am usually ignored.  I'm not sure how many times I have read about people asking questions about other issues and the reply is "read the manual". I jokingly think "but ignore the page and warning about AFMA ;)"  Just saying.         

Also without an automated system I always second guessed myself even using Lens Align. I'd set it one day, go back the next and got different results. I tried my 100L Macro and got different results at 8, 12 and 16 feet which supports the manual. For best results adjust at location. 

One more thing. It is known that phase detect AF can be affected by different light sources. Incandescent and fluorescent will yield different results. Something else to consider.

I know people swear by it and I can see it's value with 3rd party lenses but there are times I think Canon put it in so they can save money on warranty returns. There is variation in every manufacturing and there are tolerances. If your manufacturing process is a little off one week and outside the specs the customers can fix it using AMFA. I know about that. 30+ years in manufacturing and trust me, you don't want to know what goes on.

Currently all my Canon lenses have zero AMFA on both bodies and I can produce tack sharp images on all of them. I don't bother if they are out a few ticks one way. Next day, distance and light changes and it will be out the other way. I really like DotTune as it gives me a good idea on my lenses performance. If out consistently more that 3 to 4 ticks it goes to Canon.

I can been contemplating getting Focal just to see what it is about.                   

I've been using the Gary Fong lightsphere for awhile now. I've had pretty good results with it. I just got the rogue flashbender with softbox attachment. I'll try it out this weekend.

The GF sphere is OK if you are in a room that has objects to bounce off. As a stand alone like outdoors it is useless as it throws light 360 degrees in all directions. The size of the area at the front face of the dome that scatters photons which actually reach your subject is slightly bigger than you bare flash. Waste of light and batteries. You will have better control in that situation with the rogue. Indoors as well if the area is big like a convention centre.

A bounce card style diffuser like a rogue bender is a pretty good choice if you need one. Here is a good DIY you can make for $5.

I stopped looking for the latest and greatest diffuser long ago. I bounce as much as I can. If I can't the flash goes on a bracket, I crank the ISO and make adjustments as required to bring in as much ambient as I can and shoot direct. This has really simplified and made my flash world more fun to use.       

Start in the blue column in the right. 01 -natural looking flash under "flash photography techniques

His book is very good as well. All you will ever need.

Food for thought. Not saying diffusers are a bad purchase as long as a person understands what they can and cannot do. If you used studio lights you know soft light is all about size of light source and distance to subject. Bigger is better.

Two more

You are right and I did say I knew the OP was looking for before PP tips which were addressed by other members. Unfortunately the digital world requires it because of the nature of the beast. The late great photo shop guru Bruce Fraser dedicated a lot of his time to this area so there must have been a reason. There are entire books on sharpening alone.

I do understand your point. Thought we could get the OP to split the effort between the front and back end. Thanks for the reminder.   

Cropped it a bit. Look at the detail in the stamped R. Again click for full size.

dff by Zen1950, on Flickr

Needs better light and post processing. Maybe a little AFMA? Can you post the raw file and we can see what we can do with it?

Yes it was a little dark. 

Canon General / Re: Other websites?
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:07:29 PM »
POTN is the one of the best

DPreview is OK but gets into endless about a sensors performance. It was tough on newbies in the mid 2000's but better now.

Was good when it started but slowed down

My on camera flash guru. His books are good.

Syl Arena. Master of the Canon flash

Two lens review sites.

Here is an example of what I am talking about.  I took this the other day and you can see its not tack sharp.  Yet it was locked off, continuous light but good light, and the 24-105.  So, I am fuzzy on how this looks so fuzzy.  To me it just looks softer than it should.

I applied my sharpening action. Click on it to see actual size.   

d by Zen1950, on Flickr

Shoot 100 ISO with a flash or studio lighting and have the shutter speed high enough to block all ambient light.

I have shot with Hasselblads, Nikons, Canons - both film and digital. The sharpest images come from fast studio lights freezing motion and creating strong contrast (paired with decent camera and lens of course).

Rent a Prophoto or other high end studio rig for a weekend.

That is interesting. I know flash freezes but never thought about it the way you described it. Amazing freezing power flash has. Here is was experimenting and had the shutter at 1/10. Swept the camera while I took the shot. T shirt was about 6 feet away and the christmas tree about 12. The started falling off before the tree. T shirt still overpowered but the flash froze.

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