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Messages - bholliman

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Lenses / Re: cheap AF-S 55-250 STM sharper than L series AF 70-300 USM
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:01:33 PM »

The only problem with the comparison above is that it is not at the same aperture. The 55-250 is at f/5.6, while the 70-200 is at f2.8. Closing the 70-200 to f5.6, the image seems to get sharper than the 55-250, but just a little bit.

Sorry, I must have copied the URL before I changed the aperture for the 70-200.  With both at f/5.6 the 55-250 looks a little sharper to me at the corners and very close at mid frame.  I'd give the 70-200 a slight edge in the center.  This is very surprising.  I took the comparisons a little further and compared the 55-250 to two of the best primes in that range, the 135 f/2L and 200 f/2 L.  To me the EF-S zoom looks a little better than the highly regarded 135mm f/2 L at f5.6 and even holds its ground against the legendary 200 f/2 L (a lens that cost 17x more) at that aperture. 


Of course, these f/2 and f/2.8 lenses are much faster and have L build quality.  But, my conclusion is that the EF-S 55-250 STM is a terrific lens for the money.

Lenses / Re: cheap AF-S 55-250 STM sharper than L series AF 70-300 USM
« on: March 02, 2014, 08:38:28 AM »
Interesting.  I knew the 55-250 STM was good, but surprised it's sharper than a well respected L that cost 3x more. 

I also compared it to the 70-200 f/2.8 II and the STM appears sharper at the corners, and only very slightly less sharp in the center and mid-frame.  Very surprising.  I will start recommending the 55-250 STM even more strongly than I have been to people looking for a APS-C tele zoom.


Lenses / Re: Alaska Vacation Suggestions
« on: March 01, 2014, 09:51:39 PM »
To see what you might be in for feel free to check out my Alaskan pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/
Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Awesome eagle shots, what camera and lens did you use?  What parts of Alaska did you see?

Depending on whether your budget allows, I can heartily recommend Camp Denali Lodge.  You cannot drive into the park on your own.  The interior buses are an option but the Camp Denali bus is more comfortable and less crowded and is art of the package.  The place is spectacular and even the views from the place are amazing.  Add a few of the included outings (multiple hikes with naturalists every day) and you will be in photography heaven.  A 3 or 4 day adventure there will really give you onsite into the tundra and mountains to add to the typical southeastern water based adventures.  Do bring a tripod and CPL's for your gear and consider ND filters.  And bring something longer because there is an incredible amount of wildlife in Denali, but they are not too close.  Found myself using the 100-400 (sometimes with a 1.4x) on the tripod a lot.  If I were to do it again (actually that should be "when" not" if"), I'll rent a 300 f/2.8 with a 2x or longer prime like a 500 or 600 with IS.

Camp Denali Lodge looks like a great option, we will have to see if we can fit that into our trip budget; I hope we can.

I'm still debating long tele lens options.  A 300mm f/2.8 II and 2x III would be awesome, but renting for two weeks would cost as much as it would to buy 35mm f/2 IS (on my short list of desired lenses).  I may rent one for a shorter stretch or settle for an f/4 tele.  I'm also considering buying a Tamron 150-600, which should be long enough. 

Lenses / Alaska Vacation Suggestions
« on: March 01, 2014, 11:15:47 AM »
I will be traveling with my wife and teen-aged son to Alaska for a two week vacation this summer.  This will be our first trip to the 48th state and we probably won't be able to return for a number of years, so we want to see as much as possible in the time we have.  We plan to fly into Fairbanks/Anchorage or maybe Juneau, rent a vehicle and drive from there. 

From what I've read, it appears most of the attractions are in the south eastern portion of the state between Fairbanks and Anchorage.  We would also like to see Juneau and Glacier Bay, but they seem to be a long way from the other tourist areas. Some of our "must see" attractions are: Denali NP/Mt. McKinley, the Kenai peninsula and Kenai Fords NP.  We would like to see as much wildlife (primarily bears, moose, elk, wolves, etc.) as possible.  We enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors.

This will be a family vacation first and photography expedition second.  My wife and son are pretty tolerant of my hobby, but I can't get too carried away with it and keep family harmony.

Regarding photography gear, my equipment list is below.  At this point I'm inclined to bring my 6D, 24-70, 70-200 and maybe the 100 Macro.  The Rokinon 14mm is another possibility.  Even with my 2x extender, I am worried that I won't have enough "reach" for some of the wildlife due to the vast distances.  I might consider renting a long tele lens for the trip.  I'll take my EOS-M and EOS adapter along as a back-up body and occasional use when I don't want to carry a heavy DSLR and lenses.


Lenses / Re: Zeiss Otus 55mm review from Bryan Carnathan
« on: February 25, 2014, 01:26:26 PM »
Razor sharp! 

The 24-70 2.8 II is reasonably close at f/2.8 however.

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:21:07 PM »
The Pancake, because Landscape does not necessarily mean UWA.
Canon 35 f/2 IS.


Either one of these would be a good prime option.  I'm thinking about buying one or both this year and will use for hikes if I do.

Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 24, 2014, 12:42:47 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a lens to do some landscape photography while hiking. I need something very lightweight since I'll use it during hikes of more than 7 days.

My gear currently :
- Canon 6D
- Canon 50mm 1.8
- Canon 24-105L

I saw the 28mm f1.8, and maybe the 24mm f1.4 from Rokinon.
My budget is under 800$, not enough for a 16-35mm ...

What do you think about these lenses ?

Your 24-105L is a pretty good lens for extended hikes.  I took mine as my only lens on my 6D for 3-day and 5-day hikes last summer.  A little heavy, but the quality of the images I got made it worthwhile.  The 24-105's nice focal range and IS make it a very good single lens for hiking.

I have since sold my 24-105 and replaced it with a 24-70 2.8 II, which is better optically, but probably not as versatile for extended hikes as the 24-105.  This summer, I plan to take my 24-70 and 100 Macro or 135L for hiking, although we don't have anything beyond day hikes planned at this point.  I'm also considering taking my EOS-M and 18-55 and 22mm lenses along instead of the 6D and see how I like the reduced weight vs. somewhat less capable camera system. 

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 22, 2014, 06:18:15 PM »
This winter was mild where I live, but here are some photos from previous years:


Landscape / Re: Grand Canyon, North or South Rim?
« on: February 22, 2014, 11:15:16 AM »
I've been to both - the first time was to the north rim. I was staying in Kanab (a long 80m - I think - drive away - so there was no getting there for sunset for me!). It is higher, colder, and completely different. The aspen trees are beautiful - I was there in June and they had their pale green new leaves. I wouldn't say either rim is better - just different. Probably fewer people on the north rim.

If I was going to go back, I'd probably go back to the north rim - I just preferred it.

+1  We visited the Grand Canyon on vacation in June of 2012.  We spent two days on the South Rim and a week later visited the North Rim for a morning.  I really enjoyed the North Rim more, maybe it was the lack of crowds or cooler, more densely forested terrain, but we really enjoyed it.  We also stayed at Kanab and had planned to arrive at the park in time to catch sunrise at Cape Royal.  However, that didn't happen.  I tried valiantly to drag my family out of bed around 4am, but finally gave up and went back to bed myself.  We finally arrived at Cape Royal maybe an hour or so after sunrise.  Overall, we really enjoyed the NR.  My wife and I decided that we wanted to come back to the North Rim and stay at the Lodge for some future vacation.

I included a picture taken near Cape Final but its nothing special.  As I review my North Rim photographs, I really don't find any that are particularly good, maybe due to the less than ideal light or maybe just lack of skill on my part.  Despite my lackluster photography, it is very beautiful.

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 22, 2014, 10:47:17 AM »
Wind blown water dripping from snow in January when here in Alberta it is not supposed to be melting then! 


Nice capture!

I'm a bit of a global warming skeptic but I could very well be wrong based on what our winters are becoming lately.  Selfishly hoping it's true! :)

Here in Indiana and much of the eastern US, we have had one of the coldest and snowiest winters in memory.  So, no evidence of global warming here!  However, the last 4-5 winters before this one were all pretty mild.  It does seem that global weather is getting more extreme.

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 22, 2014, 10:41:44 AM »
Interesting ice formation in creek near our home.

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 21, 2014, 12:48:17 PM »

Other people find different reasons to prefer FF vs crop, but for me it's all about one thing - the view finder.

This isn't the only reason for me, but its a significant one!  I considered buying an SL1 last summer as a smaller backup body to my 6D, but after looking through the cramped, dark view finder at one at a store, I decided not to.

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:20:14 AM »
I recommend full frame.  A 5D3 if you shoot lots of action and wildlife, a 6D if not.  Improved low light/high ISO capability and better ability to control your depth of field were the main reasons I made the switch.

I honestly cannot agree with the recommendation that the OP keeps the 24-70mm lens. He's a photography student. He still has to learn and define his version of the art. If he uses the 24-70mm, then IMHO, his photographs will look like everybody else's photographs and he won't develop a style of his own that's marketable in a very competitive business. (Over here in South Africa, every idiot with a "Rebel" and Sigma budget zoom considers herself a "pro" photographer ... heck, scratch "pro" ... considers herself a photographer.)

The OP already owns three primes (50 1.8, 100 Macro and 400 5.6) according to their equipment list.  So, I really don't understand your suggestion to sell the 24-70 2.8 II.  I agree with the premise that zooms often allow the photographer to become lazy and not work for the best framing and composition.  But, I think selling maybe the best standard zoom lens available just to force working with primes seems a bit extreme. 

I have both zooms and primes and at times just take one prime on outings, or even restrict myself to just using a single prime for a week at a time to force myself to work on shot composition when restricted to one focal length.  It is definitely a beneficial exercise.  The OP can learn a great deal from use of primes and still have the flexibility of the 24-70 2.8 for situations (parties, receptions, festivals and events) where you will miss shots if you don't have a zoom mounted.

Lenses / Re: Hard choice the 50 1.4 or 85 1.8
« on: February 19, 2014, 05:06:38 PM »
I own both and use them quite a bit, primarily indoors and when I want a light weight or less conspicuous lens.  As others have pointed out, the 85mm 1.8 is a better lens.  Sharper optically with faster AF, a terrific lens for the price.  But, 50mm and 85mm are different beasts and serve different purposes. 

I feel the 50mm 1.4 is the best price/quality combination 50 available with AF.  Hopefully, Canon enhances their 50mm prime lineup this year with a new IS lens that is of similar quality as the other IS primes introduced in 2012 (24mm, 28mm and 35mm).

EOS-M / Re: Is the canon eos-m a dead end system?
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:15:45 AM »
I'm keep hearing people say: "I bought EOS-M as a backup camera".

Let be honest here guys, many of us(including myself) bought the M due to half price reduction.

If this EOS-m still selling @ $700-$800, I wonder how many of us would consider the M as backup camera?

From 5D III owner POV, it doesn't make any senses to have EOS-M as a backup - from slow AF, unbalance, IQ.

Let say you go out and shoot BIF or action event. Your 5D III or 1D X is not working, would you rather have rebel, 60d, 40d etc as a backup?

My 2cents: current EOS-M is death and Canon has no interest bringing this system up to date in US market yet.

I also bought my EOS-M because of the price reduction last summer, I wasn't even considering it before that.  But, once I started using it, I realized it could replace my 7D as a seldom used back-up body and my S100 as a compact camera for when I didn't want to carry a large DSLR.  I was able to sell my 7D and S100 and have never missed either.  So, to me the M is worth more than the $300 I paid for it.  If an M3 or M4 is introduced down the road with a nice EVF and DPAF, I would be interested and would be willing to pay maybe up to $600 for it.

I shoot very little action and almost no BIF, so I don't need a high performance AF system.  Those who do shoot action and BIF could still "get by" with the M as a backup as Neuro pointed out.  Canon DSLR's are very robust, we all know the likelihood of camera failure is unlikely.

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