October 01, 2014, 11:17:02 PM

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Messages - bholliman

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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!

I have tried to show is that the outer points on the 6D give infinitely more accuracy than an f5.6 dof - because there has been confusion in this thread about the meaning of an 'f5.6 precision' AF point, and that the outer points are perfectly useable in many circumstances whether near or far.

+1  I have a 50 1.4, 85 1.8 and 135 2.0 that I use all the time on my 6D at f/2 and below with very good focus accuracy.  I primarily use the center AF point, but have good success with the outer points as well in decent light.  Thanks for posting the field trials.

Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK.

Did you try all af options? "Release priority" is the certain way to doom, and in my experience "Tracking sensitivity" responsive is better for side movement while "locked on" does better for forwards/away movement.
Thanks, this helped.  I had my AF AI Servo priority set to release priority.  I changed it to first priority "focus" and AI Servo accuracy is much better. 

That's very similar to my experience the 5DII, although the hit rate dropped noticeably when the subject was moving toward/away from the camera, or when trying to track moving subjects in lower light.  For example, kids coming down a slide at an indoor 'bouncy house' (4-6 EV lighting), the 6D I had borrowed locked on initially at the top, but couldn't keep up with tracking.  My 1D X tracks the whole way down, either following the kid with the center point, or using auto point selection and letting the system hand off focus from one AF point to the next. 

Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK. 

I'll have to rent a 1Dx sometime to see what it can do.


Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !

We have an almost 2-year-old toddler who can move about as quickly and randomly as these piggies, and the AF with my 6D and 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.8 does just fine under f/2.0 using the center point.  Overall, my hit rate for moving kid shots is in the 75-80% range, and I'm happy with that.  I know a 5D3 or 1Dx would do much better, but for my overall use (kids/landscapes/portraits/macro and a little high school golf and cross country) the 6D is a great camera.

Exactly.  Four years, many people (myself included) were clamoring for a camera that unified the image quality of the 5DII with the autofocus of the 7D.  Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

Well summarized, I agree.  If you want a camera with superior AF, buy a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D has IQ in the same ballpark as the higher end cameras, but a limited AF system.  That's why its $1K+ cheaper than the 5D3.  Personally, I'm glad Canon gives us price and capability options.

Lenses / Re: Landscape lens for backpacking
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:56:18 AM »
My recommendations would be the EF-S 15-85 and EF-S 10-22 and maybe a fast prime like the 35mm f2 IS for low light or shallow DOF shots.  When I had a 550D and 7D, I had both lenses and used the 15-85 for the vast majority of my landscape and other outdoor or flash photography.  Its a terrific lens.  I borrowed a friends 17-55 2.8 quite a bit and loved it, very sharp and f/2.8 came in handy for lower light photography.  To me its focal range was just too limited compared with the 15-85 however.  For most landscape photography the wider aperture of the 17-55 will not come into play.

The 10-22 is a really good UWA and I'm sure you will have plenty of opportunities when it will be useful.  My oldest son (age 15) and I do a lot of 3-4 day hikes (nothing like your 221 mile adventure however) and I took the 15-85 and 10-22 on most of them and really felt I had everything covered.  A few times I wished I had more reach for wildlife, but otherwise these lenses covered 99% of what I wanted to shoot.

I agree with NancyP and Don on the extra batteries and SD cards!  A small, really light weight tripod would also come in handy.

If you do stay with a crop camera, the 17-55 is a better lens for landscape than the 15-85. It is faster and it is sharper on the wide end....

Sharpness looks pretty close to me in the TDP crops at f/4 and f/8.  However, the 17-55 does control distortion better.


EOS-M / Re: How do you carry your EOS-M?
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:43:54 AM »
After picking up my M kit I've almost spent as much "accessorizing" as on the kit itself.  :-* Picked up a clear filter & hood for the 18-55 and a 43-58mm step-up ring to go with a 52-58mm ring and 58mm C-Pol I already had. Also the EF to EF-M mount adapter.

Yesterday I went to a local bricks and mortar store and after some tests picked up the Mirroless Mover 10 as I wanted a bag for the basic kit.

It snugly Fits the M with the 22 attached and the ex90 under the 18-55 with some room to spare in the main compartment with the C-Pol in the lid compartment.

Looks like a great carrying option for the M and accessories.  I have a LowePro Dashport 20 which is perfect for the M with 22mm lens, but there are times I'd like to carry my EF-M 18-55 as well and maybe a speedlite.  This looks like it would be perfect for that.

EOS-M / Re: Canon EOS M3 in Q3 of 2014?
« on: April 15, 2014, 01:10:07 PM »
Northlight</a> has posted 2 EOS M cameras potentially coming in Q3 of 2014, which would make it a Photokina camera.</p>

Good news!  I'm very happy with my EOS M1 as a light weight complement to my 6D.  I'm interested to see what the M3 and M4 bring to the table.

Lenses / Re: 135mm L if I already got the 100mm L?
« on: April 13, 2014, 04:22:48 PM »
I have both and a 70-200 2.8 II and use them all quite a bit.  To me the extra stop of light (f/2) of the 135L sets it apart from the zoom and Macro.  Here is what I use each for:

100L Macro - Macro, limited portraits and occasionally as a longer compliment to my 24-70 2.8 II
135L - Portraits and light weight tele option to go with my 24-70 2.8 II.  Terrific sports lens and I use to shoot my sons high school wresting and golf meets.
70-200 - Great all purpose lens for outdoor activities with the kids in conjunction with a wider lens (35-50mm or EOS M and 22/2).  I also use it for portraits when I want something longer than 135mm

I really enjoy the 85-200mm focal ranges, so for me having these three lenses works out well.  I have a friend who thinks I'm crazy for having all three, but he prefers and takes most of his pictures from 17-85mm, so he has 7 primes in that range.  So, depends on what you shoot and your personal preferences.

Lenses / Re: Damaged 70-200 2.8 II, suggestions
« on: April 12, 2014, 03:52:24 PM »
A broken front element is no big deal.  However, cracked internal parts my eventually cause a expensive Autofocus motor or IS failure.
Canon will not straighten the dent, they will replace the front portion.
I'd file a claim with your insurance company, and send it in to be repaired correctly.  Your insurance company is not going to ding you for a occasional low cost repair.  If they do, you need a better Insurance company.
Be aware that Canon does not supply tools or parts for independent repair companies, so you will get a fix from someone who does not have the Canon repair procedure, and will not have the tools needed to check and adjust the autofocus accuracy, the lens will almost certainly be decentered as well.

Well, I took it to a camera shop that does repairs.  The said they could straighten and re-thread the end of the barrel sufficiently to accept filters, but it may not look the same way it did originally. 

With the risk of internal damage or shifting elements, I decided to send it back to Canon so they can go over it thoroughly.  I'll decide on if it makes sense to turn in to insurance or not depending on their cost estimate.

Lenses / Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:50:18 PM »
I wouldn't be without the 15mm fisheye, it is remarkable versatile and software makes it even more so.

Here is a selection of images I have shot with mine.

Some excellent shots!  I especially like #2 and #6

Lenses / Re: Damaged 70-200 2.8 II, suggestions
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:32:40 PM »
Thanks for the repair suggestions.  I called around and found a camera shop nearby that does lens repairs, so I'll take it over there this weekend.

It's heart broken when I hear 70-200 f2.8 II got dropped :'(

No kidding!  Would have to happen with my favorite lens...  I think I stopped breathing until I pried the broken lens cap off to see the damage, I was expecting the front element + to be broken.  Fortunately, it was not that bad.  One lesson learned is to keep my lens hoods on.  I normally use lens hoods most of the time, but this was a cloudy day and I figured I could reduce bulk by leaving the hood in the car and just going with my lens cap.  I'm thinking the hood would have absorbed a great deal of the drop force had it been in place.

Lenses / Re: Damaged 70-200 2.8 II, suggestions
« on: April 11, 2014, 02:51:51 PM »
Yes, Canon can fix it.  IIRC, Mt. Spokane previously posted some information about tools that can be used to straighten out threads, not sure if that would work here.

FWIW, deductible aside you should always consider carefully whether it's worth it to submit a claim like that.  My gear policy has no deductible, but even so I consider it more like catastrophic coverage.  Any claims against insurance of that sort (linked to a homeowner's/renter's policy) are submitted to the CLUE database - too many claims can mean increased premiums or even denial of coverage.

Thanks for the feedback.  I just re-checked our homeowners insurance policy and we there is no deductible for my photography equipment.  But, as you pointed out, filing a claim will probably cost us more in the long run than just paying to have the lens fixed.  I agree that insurance should probably only be used for theft or damage beyond repair.

Lenses / Damaged 70-200 2.8 II, suggestions
« on: April 11, 2014, 12:40:48 PM »
A few days ago I dropped my 6D with 70-200 2.8 II mounted from about 2 feet onto a concrete surface.  The lens landed on the lens cap at a slight angle.  The lens cap was totally destroyed, I had to finish breaking it apart to remove it.  Once I got the cap off, I was relieved to find the front element was unbroken with only a couple of minor scratches (I assume from the lens cap).  Optically, the lens appears to be OK, but I really haven't had time to do much testing or perform AFMA with Focal.  Some quick AF testing shows its pretty close and test pictures appear to be clear and sharp.  I plan to take some brick wall pictures this weekend to look for evidence of decentering or other issues.

The one problem I've found so far the end is bent as shown in the attached pictures.  So, I'm unable to mount any ND or CPL filters, which is inconvenient.

The lens in insured for damage on our homeowners insurance account, but with $400 deductible.

Is this something Canon can repair?  Any idea about cost?  Anything else I should be concerned about?


Edit: the specs visible in the picture are dust, I gave the front element a good cleaning after the pictures were taken and some of what I thought were scratches came off, overall the front elements looks good

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:13:39 AM »
I guess what really ruined me on it was the EOS-M that I bought not long after the 40.  I can take it along with the 22mm in a package that's still very portable.  Why take lens when I can have another camera and lens :)  And for a bit more space, I can take the M + 18-55 IS and that covers a whole lot.

I bought a 35 f/2 IS a few months ago primarily to use along with my 70-200.  It works great for this, but so does the EOS-M as you pointed out. 

Two weeks ago our family spent the day at a theme park as part of a spring break vacation.  I took most of my equipment on the trip, but accidentally left both of my spare batteries for my 6D at home.  The 70-200 and 35 IS were my lenses of choice for a day in the theme park, but I was worried my battery in the 6D wouldn't make it all day.  So, I opted to take my M +22/2 (and EOS adapter just in case) to use in conjunction with the 70-200 and leave the 35IS (and 24-70) locked in our vehicle trunk.  This combination worked great!  The 70-200 is a nearly perfect lens for theme parks with little ones, as you can get some terrific shots on the kiddie rides.  It was also long enough to catch our older son and his buddy on roller coasters and more advanced rides.  The M was perfect for the occasional wider group shot or in tighter quarters.  The M is also a pretty effective video camera.

In the future I'll probably use the M in the role again (but will remember to bring my spare batteries!)

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