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Messages - neuroanatomist

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seriously, show me how to reproduce this in actual shooting. I've never seen anything remotely like banded skies in any of my 5D Mark II shots.

I thought everyone knew. 

  • Set your camera to M mode
  • Point it at the sky
  • From the metered exposure, reduce by 4 or more stops (note, some cameras do not properly display this on the meter in the viewfinder, so you may need to be an experienced enough photographer to calculate a 4-stop underexposure in your head)
  • Take the picture
  • During post-processing, raise the exposure by 4 or more stops (note, some RAW converters do not allow you to adjust exposure by that much, notably, Canon's own DPP is restricted to just 2 stops - and of course, that's by design, because Canon knows that their sensor performance breaks down when pushed by 4 EV, so they are taking steps to mask their own inadequacies...but I digress).
  • Now, look at the image - you'll notice the banding

Once you know the steps, it's easy to be affected by this horribly common problem that destroys the IQ of the 5DII.  That's why I sold that piece of crap camera.  All that horrible banding in the skies when I underexposed my images by 4 stops.

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself...   ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« on: January 03, 2013, 02:15:23 PM »

Well, having your child photographed by pro does not come cheap so instead of doing that, I'm going to purchase my very first DLSR camera, debating on Canon 60D or T4i...

That was actually one of the reasons I bought a T1i, several years ago.  (But, photography was a big hobby for me many years ago, in the pre autofocus SLR days, so the T1i was also a trial to see if I wanted to pursue photograhy as a hobby, beyond family pics...and the answer there was yes, which explains my current gear list.)

If you get the T4i, the 18-55mm kit lens is a good idea - adds relatively little to the cost.  The 18-135mm lenses offer similar IQ (i.e. decent, not great) over a broader zoom range.  While the cost differential between the T4i and 60D is not huge (when considering something like the 6D, anyway), it would help to know what you have in mind for a total budget.

The 85mm f/1.8 is a great lens for tight portraits on an APS-C camera.  In general, you have the right idea about spending more on a lens.

The other thing to consider is lighting - you mention portraits, and while a fast prime is great for candid and outdoor portraits, have you gone to a 'chain' photo studio (Portrait Simple, etc.), and checked out what they use?  Usually an APS-C body with a kit lens like the 18-135mm - and that works well.  Why?  Because with control over lighting and the background, you can shoot at the sweet spot for those lenses on APS-C (f/6.3-f/8) where they are optically quite good.  When you buy an expensive prime lens (L-series, but the 85/1.8 is close) you're paying for the ability to shoot wide open and get sharp images.

At a minimum, I'd recommend a 430EX II flash so you can bounce the light off the ceiling indoors.  You could consider a portable backdrop setup for your house, more lights, and some softboxes.

My point is that there are many options, depending on what kind of images you want.  But usually, lenses (especially for outdoor portraits) and lighting (especially for indoor portraits) will mean more for your final images than the camera body you choose.

Personally, I started with a T1i, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, 85mm f/1.8, and a 430EX II. 

Shots like the ones below were taken on a FF camera with an L-series lens, but you would not be able to tell if they were taken with a Rebel and 18-135mm - they were taken with a zoom lens set to f/9 or f/10 (the 'sweet spot' is a bit narrower on FF vs. APS-C), with three lights in softboxes (one monolight and two Speedlites) and muslin backdrops on a portable stand.


These two were outdoors with an 85mm prime on APS-C (T1i+85/1.8 on the left, 7D+85/1.2L II on the right).  The wide aperture helps to isolate the subject from the background.  You can't tell that the background on the left image is a dirt path - that's why subject isolation is a good thing!


You also mention low-light landscape and cityscapes - for that, you're going to want a good tripod and ballhead.  Get a cheap one, it won't work well, and you won't use it.  I'd consider Manfrotto as a good compromise between quality and value, carbon fiber if you plan to carry the legs any significant distance. 

Also, take a class on learning to use your dSLR - get it out of green square (full auto) mode.  Check community colleges, also where I am the local Audubon society offers frequent dSLR intro classes.

Hope that helps...

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cannot Keep Screwing It's Customers Over
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:16:16 PM »
Wrong - depreciation is not the same as market value.  Go back to school and pay attention - you may be able to get a better job and you wont care about a $500 price reduction.  :)

+1.  I just sent a piece of scientific equipment to salvage.  Price new in December, 2008 was $250K.  Net book value (what it's currently worth based on depreciation) is $110K.  Fair market value is $7K.  And you thought your dSLR lost value fast... 

Now...who should I bitch to about that?  At least I'm not the one losing $103K...   ;)

Lenses / Re: DXO Mark review the 28mm f/2.8 IS...
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:05:02 PM »

At what focus setting do DXO measure the T setting?

Do you accept that as a lens focuses the mathematical corelation between physical focal length and aperture diaphragm pupil diameter changes?

No, I don't know where they focus wneh they measure.  Yes, it's true that focusing changes the apparent focal length of the lens (well, not all lenses, but a lack of focus breathing is one reason cine lenses are so expensive).  For example, the 100L IS Macro, when focused at 1:1, is giving the equivelent FoV of a 65mm lens.  But convention is to state the focal length when focused at infinity, and I would guess that's where DxO tests the T-stop. 

Regardless, the vast majority of DxOMark's lens T-stop measurements come in at or lower than (in terms of light transmission, so a higher number) the rated f/stop of the tested lens.

HOWEVER, I think the actual point of contention is that people are too keen to tear apart DXO's musings and any Canon new product, when it's demonstrable that they don't have a clue about the difference between F & T stops, which are distinct, and what the review is referring to.

While I agree with you, I will point out that DxOMark tested the 28mm f/2.8 IS on 17 bodies - 15 of them show a T-stop of 2.8, one (the 1D X) shows T2.9, and one (the 550D) shows T2.7.  The 40mm f/2.8 also shows a T-stop of 2.7 on the 550D, and likewise, it's T2.8 on the other tested bodies.  With those very few exceptions, every lens on every body that I looked at shows a T-stop that is equal to or less than (again, in terms of light transmission) the lens' specified f/number (or for zooms, the average f/number across the zoom range). would you explain DxOMark's apparent outliers for a couple of f/2.8 lenses tested on one type of body?  A DxO mistake?  Defiance of the laws of physics?  Or maybe they have a magic 550D body that just sees the brighter side of life?   :P

...for those who still need ultimate IQ rather than overall performance

For them, no dSLR (not even the D800E) will suffice. 

EDIT:  but wait, I just checked DxOMark, and the D800E has a better sensor than the Phase One IQ180.  Now I'm the one who's confused...   ::)

Lenses / Re: Glacier National Park - New lens?
« on: January 03, 2013, 12:18:21 PM »
+1 on the 10-22mm - an excellent UWA for APS-C.  You might also consider the Sigma 8-16mm.

As for the extender, I highly recommend the 1.4x III.  It works well with the 70-200 f/2.8 II with wildlife and will be effectively 420mm at f/4 with fast AF.  I cannot comment on the 2x because I don't have one.

280mm f/4, you mean.  We may all wish the 70-200/2.8 was a 300/2.8, but it's not.   :P

The 2xIII does very well with the 70-200 II (performs just about as well as the 100-400mm), and I'd recommend that for wildlife you may encounter, 140-400mm is a useful range for those subjects.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cannot Keep Screwing It's Customers Over
« on: January 03, 2013, 12:12:50 PM »
There needs to be some sort of level playing field...


Keep in mind that each geography (e.g. Canon USA or Canon Europe) operates as a separate business unit within Canon, each responsible for maintaining their own profitability.  That's why warranty policies, service policies, sales of refurbished units, and pricing differ from country to country. 

Lenses / Re: DXO Mark review the 28mm f/2.8 IS...
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:52:19 AM »
@ paul13walnut5, I think the point of contention is that the DxOMark measured T-stop is actually 'faster' (letting in more light) than the rated f/stop of the lens.  As you point out, the T-stop takes real-world things like coatings into account, but such things cannot add extra light transmission, only reduce it. 

I can't find the 28/2.8 IS patent, but a recent patent for a 24mm f/2.8 lists the actual calculated Fno as 2.86.  Almost all of the Canon lens patents have an f/number that is rounded down to the value printed on the lens (but there are exceptions), so a T-stop that's faster than the stated f/number is pretty surprising.

I have the Canon Angle Finder C, which is the OEM version of the Seagull finder you linked (and probably provides better optics than the 3rd party versions).  It's useful for on-the-ground and general macro shooting, IMO, less useful for over the head shots.

Lenses / Re: Soon to be Launched EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:26:36 AM »
I debated this vs. the 500/4 II vs the 600/4 II.  Since the 200-400 wasn't available (and technically, I suppose still is not available), I didn't consider it too strongly.  But even so, the 600mm is more useful, to me. 

With the 1D X (and soon 5DIII) having f/8 AF capability, this lens would be more interesting if it could take a 1.4xIII, but the design precludes that.  Personally, I'd rather have 600mm at f/4 than 560mm at f/5.6.

But I'm interested to see how this lens performs, regardless...

Lenses / Re: Exposure and focusing help with tilt/shift lenses
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:22:03 AM »
FWIW, while TS movements affect metering through the viewfinder, Live View metering is unaffected, so autoexposure works normally in Live View.  That's my preferred mode of shooting with a TS-E lens - live view on a tripod, 10x manual focusing.  The few times I've shot the TS-E 24L II handheld, I've also used Live View.

So much so, their supremacy in the SLR lens market is in fact the basis of their marketing leverage in pricing their bodies a smidge higher, and getting away with small annoyances like not including hoods even for some 1K L's (70-200L  f/4 IS for example).

Eh? My 70-200 F4 IS came complete with the hood and soft lens bag. It was back in 2010, granted......

Yeah, I caught that, too.  All L-series lenses come with a hood and pouch/case, including the 70-200/4 IS.  A small number of non-L lenses also include the hood/pouch, such as the 70-300 DO and the 45mm and 90mm TS-E lenses. 

That's in North America and Europe.  In some markets in Asia, a hood and pouch/case are included with all lenses, even the lower end like the 40mm pancake and the 50/1.8 II.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:49:20 AM »
I bought a used 70-300mm DO lens and used it for a few months.  I loved the compact size (same size as a 24-105L), the IQ was ok with a little extra TLC in post (boost contrast and sharpness a bit more than normal).  I didn't like the horrible zoom creep, and as I said, the IQ was ok - but not great.  I also didn't like the bokeh.  I eventually sold the lens (for the same amount I paid for it) - a free long-term rental as a try-out.  That was before the 70-300L came out - I'd definitely prefer the L to the DO lens.

Here are a couple of shots:

EOS 7D, EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM @ 300mm, 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 500

EOS 7D, EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM @ 300mm, 1/500, f/6.3, ISO 640

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: EOS 6D back en front focus adjusment.
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:34:39 AM »
Canon bodies with autofocus microadjustment, single value per lens:
  • 1Ds Mark III
  • 1D Mark IV
  • 1D Mark III
  • 5D Mark II
  • 7D
  • 50D

Canon bodies with autofocus microadjustment, two values per zoom lens (Wide and Tele):
  • 1D X
  • 5D Mark III
  • 6D

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 MkII price?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:23:27 AM »
It probably will not go back up to $2499, more likely to the $2300-2400 range...  But I'd definitely say now is the time to buy.

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