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Messages - neuroanatomist

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 5D Mark III - Soft images
« on: August 30, 2012, 09:44:40 AM »
They're beginning to become too soft.. I find that the object I place my focus point on is blurred but something else, somewhere else in the picture is in focus.

So the problem isn't soft images, it's misfocusing.  I assume that you're manually selecting the AF point - if you're using automatic (61 pt) AF point selection, the camera will focus on the nearest object under an AF point - it has no way to know what you think is the right subject.

One store was able to narrow the problem down to the 24-70mm Lens I was using, also brought alongside the 5D back in April, and told me I need to recalibrate it. ...I'm starting to think the camera is the problem.

If so, is there any way I can fix this?

It seems most likely that you need to do an AF Microadjustment (probably for many of your lenses, the problem is just most evident on a particular lens).  The problem you describe is the classic presentation of a lens and camera being mis-matched for AF accuracy, the problem which AFMA is designed to correct.  Here's a tutorial on AFMA that I wrote up, including a DIY option.  Currently, I use Reikan FoCal software to do my AMFAs.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: rumor: D600 gets 16 Bit processing
« on: August 30, 2012, 09:36:19 AM »
So, this is the 5dMKIII competitor, not the D800. If the rumor about the price, $1500 is correct, then it is a 5DMKIII at half the price. Canon should be afraid.

Lol.  Really?  Max shutter a stop slower, limited use of magnesium alloy, 'very small and light', definitely an entry level FF camera, not a workhorse like the 5DIII.  But who knows, since the D800 is a somewhat specialized camera vs. the 5DIII which is more of an all-purpose camera, the D600 may fill the same conceptual place in the Nikon lineup.

I see no reason for Canon to be afraid. 

A lot of those features they've listed are expensive to produce, and the whole point of this camera is that it's supposed to be cheap. 100% viewfinders are complicated to produce. Weather sealing costs money. Full frame sensors are expensive. They're placing this in the price range of the D300? No, I just don't see it.

Nikon has been behind Canon in dSLR market share for years, and maybe they are feeling internal (or shareholder) pressure to change that - could be they feel the need for a loss leader.  Amazon sells the Kindle Fire for less than the cost to produce it. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 1DX VS 5D MKIII Cameras
« on: August 30, 2012, 09:20:35 AM »
The 1D X is better sealed.

For the Canon lineup, sealing is 1-series >> 7D = 5DIII > 50D/60D = 5DII.

yeah i know that but what is the actuall difference in the physical side of things?

The 1D X has rubber O-rings or gaskets in many places where the 5DIII has foam seals, has gaskets in some places where the 5DIII has tight joints only, has buttons (which can be more effectively sealed) in place of a mode dial, has a non-metal surface surrounding the lens mount for better seal with a weather-selaed lens, etc.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 1DX VS 5D MKIII Cameras
« on: August 30, 2012, 07:04:24 AM »
The 1D X is better sealed.

For the Canon lineup, sealing is 1-series >> 7D = 5DIII > 50D/60D = 5DII.

Software & Accessories / Re: Aperture and noise reduction options ?
« on: August 30, 2012, 06:53:05 AM »
Not exactly.  It's

1. Transfer files from CF card to HDD, import into Aperture as referenced files for triage (separate library, delete rejects and move to system trash, delete keepers and leave in place, triage library stays empty)

2. Open in DxO, process to JPG and export sidecars

3. Import RAWs in to Aperture as referenced files, import JPGs into Aperture as stored within Aperture

4. Backup RAW files to HDDs in two locations (work and home), then tag CF card as ready to format and use

Probably sound convoluted, but it works for me.  Aperture is better for triage (images load faster, loupe tool, easy multi-shot comparisons, etc.).  DxO is a better RAW converter, with better lens corrections (better than LR, too, IMO).  Aperture allows management of multiple libraries, including on external drives. 

The reason for separate RAW and JPG libraries is that my primary computer for editing is a 17" MacBook Pro with a 500 GB HDD (I also have a 13" MacBook Air with a smaller SSD).  At some point, that HDD will fill up, and at that point, I can simply move my RAW library to a (third) external HDD, and keep JPGs and a year's worth of RAWs on the laptop.

Lenses / Re: Question about older lenses
« on: August 29, 2012, 10:53:29 PM »
Sigma (and other 3rd party lens makers) must reverse-engineer Canon's AF compatibility.  At some point, the cumulative changes preclude the ability of older lenses to work with new bodies - some old Sigma lenses can be re-chipped to work with new bodies, but only back so far (usually within their long warranty period).

Canon does make sure their old lenses are compatible, but even then, sometimes they fail. In fact, the example you list is one of the 'failures'.  You only thought the 35-80 worked fine on your 60D.  :P  Ok, maybe it did from a practical standpoint, but while your 60D has 9 cross type AF points, with the 35-80 lenses only the center one acts as cross-type, the outer 8 points are just lines.  Canon issued a Product Advisory about that problem.  Actually, it's less of a problem for Canon since not many people use those old lenses, but more of a problem for Tamron, because several of their newer lenses 'borrow' the lens codes from those older lenses to spoof the AF system, and so fall victim to the same problem.

That was probably more than you wanted to know...   ;)

Lenses / Re: 200mm 2.8L II
« on: August 29, 2012, 06:30:24 PM »
Great value, excellent lens if a somewhat dated design.  Easy to handle, does well outdoors on APS-C (too long indoors, generally), great on FF for portriats with lots of compression.  I only sold mine after getting a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 + 2x teleconverter vs 100-400
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:18:27 PM »
Ok, I'll correct you - you're wrong.  :P

200mm f/2.8 with a 2x TC behaves just like any other 400mm f/5.6 lens in terms of DoF.  Since the 200/2.8+2x magnifies the subject more than a native 200mm, assuming you don't double the distance to the subject, it appears to yield a shallower DoF.  But you are still at f/5.6, and if you framed the subject identically with a native 400/5.6, the DoF would be the same as the 200/2.8+2x, you are not magically getting a 400mm f/2.8 in terms of DoF.

As a side note though, there is a real, lens-dependent effect.  Because a TC does not change the MFD, and the 70-200/2.8 II MFD is about 2 feet closer than that of the 100-400, it is possible to get a closer subject distance with the 70-200+2x than the 100-400, and that does result in a (slightly) shallower DoF, assuming you are shooting at the MFD.

Technical Support / Re: custom funtions
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:27:19 AM »
You have to enable them in the Restrict Shooting Modes menu.

If you're taking a long exposure, especially with dark areas in the image, use long exposure NR in camera.  The other option (often used by astrophotographers) is to take a dark frame manually and subtract it (using appropriate software) in post.  'Regular' NR isn't a good substitute.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS-1D X Firmware 1.0.6
« on: August 28, 2012, 04:41:39 PM »
So here is the thing.  I'm not sure this is related or not but if the lens doesn't report the serial number to the camera, entering it into the AFMA setting doesn't help.  The camera will still revert back to the what is read from the lens.  If the serial number isn't readable, it will still save the AFMA value for the lens (identified as serial 00000000) you just cant save AFMA values for multiple copies of the same lens.  You can only do that for lenses that actually report back their serial number to the camera.

Is it that the lenses are not reporting their SN or is it the camera not saving it once it's detected and read from the lens?

There are three situations that I've encountered with various lenses, before this firmware update (which I haven't yet applied, but with Orientation Linked AF Point disabled, AFMA seems to behave normally):

  • Serial number reported automatically by lens, AFMA values can be stored for multiple copies of the same lens.  This applies to the newest lenses, like the 40mm f/2.8. 
  • Serial number not reported automatically by lens, can be entered manually, AFMA values can be stored for multiple copies of the same lens.  This is the case for most of my lenses.
  • Serial number not reported automatically by lens, can be entered manually, AFMA values cannot be stored for multiple copies of the same lens.  This is the case for relatively old lenses, including the 135L and the 100-400mm.  For these lenses, on the screen where you manually enter the serial number, there is a asterisk to the left of the row of boxes.

EOS Bodies / Re: AF Focus Point on 5D Mark II...
« on: August 28, 2012, 03:43:54 PM »
Just go with it.  Maximize the effect.  Sell the 70-200 II, get an 85/1.2L II and shoot at f/1.2.  Then, instead of one of the two people being in focus and the other one being out of focus, you'll have 7 eyelashes of one eye of one person in focus, and everything else will be a beautiful, creamy blur.

What about noise when shooting with HTP=on? Does it mean when I shooting at iso1600 it's in fact iso 800 in term of noise? I have always set HTP on, because results look better for me. Some people claims 7D is too noisy but I happy with iso 1600...

Not exactly - pushing the exposure increases noise, meaning with HTP you get a differential increase in shadow noise in the image.

Similar to primary issue. Picture style affects movie, am I right? There is no way to change it easily, right? So it's a good idea to have neutral style for still and some colorful for movie.

True.  You can also download a Technicolor CineStyle picture style for shooting video.

The only one that directly affects RAW is Long Exposure NR, since that takes a dark frame after the exposure and subtracts that from the RAW file before writing it to the card.  Note that with Canon, when you set Long Exp NR to off, it really is off (with Nikon, it isn't at least on some models, and there is a median blur filter applied as well, google 'Nikon Mode 3 NR').

The other setting that 'sort of' affects the RAW file is Highlight Tone Priority.  This doesn't really modify the RAW data, only the metadata.  The camera uses an ISO that's 1 stop less than selected (which is why ISO 100 is unavailable with HTP on), i.e if you select ISO 400, the camera is exposing at ISO 200 (but reporting ISO 400 in the metadata), then it applies a selective tone curve to boost the signal but preserve the highlights.  DPP and other RAW converters recognize the HTP flag in the metadata - DPP will apply Canon's tone curve during conversion, other converters will apply their versions. but some converters don't recognize the flag and will just show you an underexposed image.

Do note that NR, color, contrast, saturation, etc., including those settings as applied by a Picture Style, can indirectly affect a RAW image.  For a RAW image, the camera generates a JPG preview image that's embedded in the RAW file.  That JPG preview is generated using the in-camera settings (picture style, ALO, etc.) even when shooting RAW, it's what is shown on the LCD review, and it's used to generate the histogram.  That means if you use the histogram or 'blinkies' (blown highlight alert) to judge exposure, you may expose incorrectly, and that obviously affects the RAW image.  You may want to use the Neutral picture style to get a closer approximation of how the RAW file will look, as a basis for the histogram and highlight alert.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS-1D X Firmware 1.0.6
« on: August 28, 2012, 12:49:37 PM »
Sorry to keep asking questions but I really would hate to mess this up.

If Canon says the file is 33.04 MB then that should calculate to 33,812,480 bytes (33.04 X 1024).  The extracted FIR file that I have downloaded is 32,988,060 bytes according to the "properties" function. 

I confess I am not a computer person but it sounds like my file is not complete.  Any help appreciated.

Mine says 33 MB on disk (32,988,060 bytes).  You're fine, just go for it. 

BTW, your math is wrong, you need two factors of 1024: bytes to kilobytes then kilobytes to megabytes (meaning 32,988,060 bytes = 31.46 MB), but also hard drives have a minimum block size that means files take up more room than their actual size, and that minimum block size increases with larger drives, and is dependent on the OS.

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