October 22, 2014, 02:47:55 AM

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Messages - bholliman

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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!

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.


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