August 29, 2014, 06:40:48 PM

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Messages - bholliman

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Lenses / Re: 135L v 85 1.8
« on: May 01, 2014, 05:11:53 AM »
I own both the 85 1.8 and 135 2.0 for use on my 6D.  The 135L is my most used portrait lens, but the 85 gets a fair amount of use as well.  The 135 is definitely a better lens: sharper, smoother bokeh and CA well controlled (also 3x more expensive).  But, the 85 1.8 is a nice lens as well.  I find the 135mm focal length often too long for indoor shooting while 85mm generally works well.  The 85 is relatively sharp, small and light.  The CA can generally be corrected in Lightroom.

If I had to choose between the two lenses, the 135 would win hands down, but I would not want to part with my 85 1.8 either.  If Canon does come out with an updated version of the 85 1.8 with IS (rumored for what that's worth), I would be one of the first people in line to buy one, as I love the 85mm focal length. 

Lenses / Re: EF 400L f/5.6 vs. Tamron 150-600
« on: April 30, 2014, 05:36:46 AM »
Thanks for the input and excellent sample pictures, I'm sold on the Tammy.  I plan to order one in the next few days so I have time to get familiar with it and perform AFMA before my trip north.

I placed an order for it on 4/1 from BH so I'd have plenty of time before a July trip - haven't heard anything yet.   Status is still "On Order".  I wonder what the current lead time is.

there is a quite a backlog for them as they are super popular

I ordered last night from B&H, but am nervous about delivery now.  We leave for AK in 6 weeks.

Lenses / Re: EF 400L f/5.6 vs. Tamron 150-600
« on: April 29, 2014, 04:20:26 PM »
Thanks for the input and excellent sample pictures, I'm sold on the Tammy.  I plan to order one in the next few days so I have time to get familiar with it and perform AFMA before my trip north.

Lenses / Re: EF 400L f/5.6 vs. Tamron 150-600
« on: April 27, 2014, 07:23:14 AM »
You see the differences in resolving power when you are looking at fine detail that is close to the limits of resolution of a lens. Here is a collage of shots of the centre of an iso 12233 chart (not a professional chart from a high quality printer but a standard laser print posted on the wall of my house in daylight). The results are pretty clear: at 400mm, the Tammy, which as as sharp as the 100-400 and close to the 400L, can't resolve fully the fine line circles; at 500mm it can; and 600mm it is definitely slightly better. For comparison, a 300mm f/2.8 II + 2xTC III wins at f/5.6.

Thanks for the real world examples, the bokeh is definitely smoother in the 600mm shot of the goose and some details look sharper.  The ISO 12233 charts provide an excellent comparison of fine detail resolution between 400 and 600mm.  The Tammy looks pretty decent at 600mm f/8.

The added reach of the Tammy along with its flexibility and image stabilization are making me lean in that direction over the 400L.  I'm thinking I should order the Tammy soon to make sure I have it prior to our Alaska trip.  I understand it's not readily available yet.  Thanks again!

Lenses / Re: A lightwight wildlife lens
« on: April 26, 2014, 08:58:30 AM »
My first recommendation would also be the 70-300L.  Great IQ for such a portable lens.  Also has the advantage of being usable on your 5D3.

My second choice would be the EF-S 55-250 STM.  Not quite as much reach, but very compact and light (also inexpensive, but that wasn't one of your selection criteria).  Canon really improved the sharpness when they upgraded this from the version II to the STM.  Build quality not even close to the 70-300L, but IQ is pretty sharp. The mid frame and corner sharpness actually looks better to me in these TDP crops than the 3x more expensive L.  The STM is 112mm long and 375 grams vs. 143mm and 1,050 grams for the 70-300L.

My sister in law has the 55-250 STM and uses it on her 650D.  I've borrowed it a few times to use on my EOS M and really liked its IQ for the package size.

Lenses / Re: EF 400L f/5.6 vs. Tamron 150-600
« on: April 25, 2014, 09:47:34 PM »
Never handled the Tammy but when I was in Denali last year, my 100-400 was often too short.  I did use it some with a 1.4x but now plan to return with the 300 and 2x someday.  If I were in your shoes, I'd really consider the Tammy and bring the 70-200 with TC as well.  My only reservation is that I was shooting the 100-400 at relatively high ISO's because of the lighting and the Tammy won't be any better.

Another alternative is to rent something long.  A member of our group had a 600 mm on a crop body (with a monopod) and got some spectacular shots.

Thanks for the tips.  I was wondering if 400mm would be enough reach, maybe with the 2x extender, but then I'm looking at f/11 and no AF.  I have an EOS M can give me more pixels on distant targets.  I'll look into rental options.

Lenses / Re: Wide angle lens
« on: April 25, 2014, 07:04:11 PM »
Rokinon/Samyang 14mm 2.8 UMC.  Excellent lens, very sharp with minimal coma.  Great value.

Lenses / EF 400L f/5.6 vs. Tamron 150-600
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:06:36 PM »
I have around $1,200 in my new lens budget and am debating between these two lenses.  I'd like to purchase in the next month or so as we plan to take a vacation to Alaska in June and I really need a longer lens for wildlife shots.  After the AK vacation, I would use the lens primarily for wildlife closer to home (wild turkeys, bears, deer, maybe a few birds, etc.) and some limited outdoor sports like baseball and soccer.

My other tele lens is a 70-200 2.8 II and I have a 2xIII extender.  This lens is still really good even with the 2x extender, so maybe I should continue with this combo and save my money toward an 85 1.2 II?

From reading reviews and looking at the lens sharpness tool at TDP, it appears the 400 is sharper overall.  But it of course lacks the zooms flexibility and vibration control.  At this point, I'm leaning a little toward the 400 5.6 as I expect I would use the zoom primarily at 400+.


Canon General / Re: $10,000
« on: April 25, 2014, 11:36:49 AM »
I'm happy with my current kit, but here is an alternate one with all primes I could also be really happy with:

$2200   5D3 (used)
$5800   300mm 2.8 II (refurbished)
$550     35mm f/2 IS
$1000   100mm f/2.8L Macro
$300     14mm 2.8 Rokinon/Samyang

This would not leave anything for speedlites, tripods, carrying cases, filters, etc.  So, would probably have to drop one or more of the inexpensive lenses to buy those.


+1, if you want to track subjects coming towards you at speed successfully I suggest a trip down to your local professional camera  shop with a thick wad of cash  :(

Agreed!  Time for a 1Dx!


I also have to experiment with focus priority when doing tracking with the topmost point in portrait mode, no way around it really when tracking a horse running towards you... my problem might be a combination of dirty af array, non-cross point and bad 6d tracking behavior. Good to hear from some people without super powers, now I've much more to go on than before :-)

I wasn't aware the horse was running toward you.... I don't have much success with those types of shots either!  The 6D AF can handle side-to-side movement pretty well, but it definitely struggles with targets moving at anything over slow speed toward the camera.  I'd say my hit rate with those types of shots is pretty low, maybe under 60% depending on the DOF. :-[   I could nail focus with any of the AF points on the kiddie rides at f/2.8 with my 70-200 using One Shot with no problem, but shots of my older son on some of the faster rides moving toward me was iffy with either AI Servo or One Shot.  I really didn't even try these shots much since I knew they wouldn't come out.


Thanks, good point, maybe that's really the reason why my 6d has such a mediocre performance with the outer points! I never use them a lot, so if they have collected dust I haven't much of a comparison and my 60d is all cross points.... general spec'ed precision/accuracy of the 6d is not worth anything if doesn't lock on first try and hunts and this is the horse picture my 6d's outer point thinks is in focus:

If its not dust, there may be a problem with the AF system on your 6D,  I'd recommend sending it in to Canon if its still under warranty.

My "hit" rate with outer point focus is roughly 95%+ in decent light, even with shallow DOF shots with fast primes (using One Shot and slowly moving or stationary targets).  I took nearly 300 shots of the kids at a theme park last weekend with my 6D and only 4 or 5 were out of focus.  Roughly 1/3 of the shots were focused using the outer points.


What I was trying to show was that the AF accuracy at f1.6 was way more than f5.6. To this end the 2m dof was 'very narrow' compared with the 12m dof that f5.6 would have given.

The examples were in reply to the comments you made about this, and could be demonstrated by attaching the very small, but fast loading files.

Thanks again for the sample shots and all your work on this topic.  Your samples match my experience with the 6D AF.  Its very precise and accurate for non-action photography and works well with wide apertures.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« on: April 22, 2014, 11:59:55 AM »
Even the missed focus shots are sharper than the Canon f/1.4.  ;D

Did you look at the 10 samples shots of the butterfly? :o  As Neuro pointed out, 4 are seriously out of focus, definitely NOT sharper than the Canon f1.4!

Overall a nice review and a quality lens.  However, the AF issues would hold me back from ordering one.

Lenses / Re: Value Lens for birding
« on: April 21, 2014, 09:47:00 PM »
I bought a 400 5.6 for my 600d and I haven't noticed the lack of IS. OK, I live in a sunny country, but the autofocus on the 600 isn't exactly stellar, nor the iso performance, and I haven't had any problems. I mostly get away with 1/1250-1/1600 at f5.6-7.1 and iso under 800. For me, not having to fuss over zooming makes my life easier, as there are fewer options for composition, which is what I need with quick moving animals. (It's fun for surfing portraits too! 1/1200, 5.6, 400)
I bought the lens second hand for a very good price, too, cheaper than I could buy the Tamron...

Excellent shots, love the light in the second one!

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