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Messages - koolman

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151
Canon General / 50mm Focal length for portrait
« on: November 02, 2011, 02:40:03 AM »
Can good portraits be taken at 50mm (eq) ? I use a rebel and find that for head and shoulder shots taken at about 4 feet away from the subject, 35mm seems nice. (35 x 1.6 = 56)

Does this contradict the long standing notion that you need a 100mm (eq) for a good portrait ?


152
People

153
Lens Giveaway Contest / Re: *Contest* People - Post Here.
« on: October 04, 2011, 03:52:12 AM »
Elvis

154
Canon General / Photography - Equipment or Skill ?
« on: October 02, 2011, 07:38:06 AM »
We spend allot of time here comparing equipment and extensively analyzing the pros and cons of bodies, lenses, etc.

However - many people say, that the real ingredient for producing special pictures - is the skill of the photographer. Many all time famous monumental photographs where taken black and white with "simple" equipment. The special part of those photos is often the content and meaning of the picture - much less the "sharpness" or other tech features.

How important is our equipment ? Would you agree that it more like 85% skill and 15% equipment ?

155
EOS Bodies / Re: No 5D Mark III on Novemeber 3 [CR2]
« on: September 26, 2011, 07:34:48 AM »
My 2 cents. This is based on intuition only - I have no "inside info".

Canon is working on a real improvement in digital sensors/processors - something that will increase DR and enhance IQ in a substantial way. The new bodies will replace older bodies - as digital "rot" of older bodies is devastating. (The "must have" bodies from 2003-2005 that where priced > $3,500 have ZERO value today)

Once such a product is released - all existing products will suffer major drop in value. This is a new tech and Canon needs to get it right.

Hence, we are left "waiting" for this new tech to be ready for production - and meanwhile we are told that "nothing new in the immediate horizon" as not to torpedo existing canon sales.


156
Canon General / Re: Improving composition - photography skills
« on: September 26, 2011, 06:44:48 AM »
Firstly thank you all for the references and tips.  will need time to digest the materials mentioned here.

Let me share 2 specific challenges I face with my photos:

1) Exposure - with digital - even a slight brightness often "kills" the colors by "blowing them out". When I shoot outdoors (I live in a very sunny country) I find it very hard to set exposure - as "normal" exposure often is much to bright and colorless, if I start to underexpose - I get dark spots in the frame? Any tips on outdoor shots in bright light ?

2) Portraits. Everyone talks about using a small f/stop >=2.8 to produce background blur (bokeh) and give the shot a nice affect. However I find - that f stops 2.8 and smaller - can easily produce blurry shots as the smallest movement of the subject (not to mention a group shot where people are not all the same distance from you) causes blur. I found that nothing ruins a nice portrait more then a blurry kind of picture (unless this was intended for some artistic purpose)
What is the best F/stop for portraits ? What about if you use a flash ?

157
Canon General / Improving composition - photography skills
« on: September 25, 2011, 09:00:48 AM »
Dear All,

Pardon me for interrupting the flood of tech - equipment type posts. I would like to ask those of you who are seasoned photographers a question about PICTURES (not cameras) for a change.

I am an amateur photographer (as a hobby) for about 14 months now. I started out right at the bottom coming from simple p&s pics at a birthday party - and I'm trying to improve my skills.

Can you suggest some tips on how to advance my composition skills ?

158
EOS Bodies / Re: A New Entry Level Full Frame Camera? [CR1]
« on: September 22, 2011, 06:24:49 AM »
With all the new bodies, advancements, and systems pouring into the market, it would make allot of sense for canon to provide an affordable FF body - with a ~$1,500 price tag. This will open the market to many enthusiasts (like myself) who want the high end of IQ - but are not going to pay thousands of $$ on a body - that with the fast moving market - might be somewhat obsolete in less then 18 months.

This would also prompt enthusiasts  to invest in L lenses which are geared for FF.



 

159
EOS Bodies / Re: Nikon unveils V1 and J1 Mirrorless Cameras
« on: September 22, 2011, 04:19:29 AM »
Nikon made a smart business move, to develop a small sensor body, with fast focus and speed. As sensor technology improves - the physical size of the sensor is less meaningful, allowing nikon to provide smaller better quality lenses, and keep costs down. I believe most consumers are not seeking interchangeable lens systems, and do not want to lug around a MFT body and lens. Nikon gives us a smallish body, with super fast performance.

I think this is a very smart business move.

problem is it is not small compared to m43....

m43 has the bigger sensor by similiar sized body+lens combos.
plus m43 has faster lenses.

so there is no reason to buy this nikon system...
beside the 60 FPS that will sure be seen in other (cheaper) P&S cameras soon.

Gothmoth: I agree with you that the size of say the GF3 and this new nikon are very close. However the size of the lenses, and the ability to create smaller lenses to match the sensor size - is the main advantage of keeping things small on the sensor side.

160
EOS Bodies / Re: Nikon unveils V1 and J1 Mirrorless Cameras
« on: September 21, 2011, 07:02:12 AM »
Just saw this on Engadget!

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/21/nikon-unveils-v1-and-j1-mirrorless-cameras-10-1mp-cmos-2-7-inc/


The traditional p&s line of cameras posses a basic drawback in the form of slow focus and shutter lag. For many home uses, and consumer uses, this is a real problem as you are forced to pose people to snap a good shot. Pictures of anything moving like a small child, or a school dance, are very hard to achieve.

The real improvement in the new(olympus, panasonic, etc.)  smaller bodies (MFT etc.) is that this hurdle seems to have been overcome. Technology now allows a fast focusing/shooting NON DSLR body. This is a major improvement and opens up a world to consumer use.

Nikon made a smart business move, to develop a small sensor body, with fast focus and speed. As sensor technology improves - the physical size of the sensor is less meaningful, allowing nikon to provide smaller better quality lenses, and keep costs down. I believe most consumers are not seeking interchangeable lens systems, and do not want to lug around a MFT body and lens. Nikon gives us a smallish body, with super fast performance.

I think this is a very smart business move.

161
I don't know about anyone else, but I've been waiting for 2 years for Canon just to release these two products. In my mind it's an absolute no brainer for Canon.

5D Mark III

- 32 Megapixels
- no more low iso noise problems
- 7D Autofocus
- Improved Dynamic Range
- Lower noise (signal to noise ratio not just noise reduction)

24-70mm F/2.8 IS

- Capable of resolving around 32 megapixels wide open or nearly wide open.

Seriously. They would sell these things faster than they could produce them.

The market today is being flooded with bodies. Prices of electronics are constantly dropping. The 7d did not sell well because of its high price bracket compared with the nikon D7000. In today's environment new bodies aimed at most of us - cannot be more then 2k - or they will not sell well. People are seeing tons of stuff pouring out every week, and they will wait. Existing 5d mark 2 people will not upgrade so fast - and send thousands more - unless it is a substantial upgrade.

The issue facing Canon is not tech development. I'm sure that they can produce outstanding stuff. Its a tricky business decision of how to eat the cake and keep in whole = bring out a winner body with substantiated advantages - that can be cost effective and attract a large audience of consumers.

 

 

162
EOS Bodies / Re: More New Full Frame Rumors [CR1]
« on: September 20, 2011, 05:27:56 AM »
<div name=\"googleone_share_1\" style=\"position:relative;z-index:5;float: right; margin: 70px 0 0 0;\"><g:plusone size=\"tall\" count=\"1\" href=\"http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/09/more-new-full-frame-rumors-cr1/\"></g:plusone></div><div id=\"fb_share_1\" style=\"float: right; margin: 0 -50px 0 10px;\"><a name=\"fb_share\" type=\"box_count\" share_url=\"http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/09/more-new-full-frame-rumors-cr1/\" href=\"http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php\">Share</a></div><div><script src=\"http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share\" type=\"text/javascript\"></script></div><div class=\"tweetmeme_button\" style=\"float: right; margin-left: 10px;\"><a class=\"tm_button\" rel=\"&style=normal&b=2\" href=\"http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/09/more-new-full-frame-rumors-cr1/\"></a></div>
I received two other emails today talking about what could be coming in October from Canon.</p>
<p>According to one of the emails:</p>
<blockquote><p>Canon will be launching a new camera later in October. Already in production and described internally as a “Nikon-killer”, it is reportedly a camera with lower megapixels than might be expected for a new release, but with excellent dynamic range and ISO performance.</p></blockquote>
<p>No one has come forward in the last while to say a new 1Ds Mark IV or 5D Mark III were in the immediate pipeline, for the moment this appears to be it.</p>
<p><strong><span style=\"color: #ff0000;\">c</span>r</strong></p>



Canon's main advantage is its L line of lenses. For crop cameras - the L's focal Lengths are a bit ridicules - as the 24 is not wide, the 16-35 is a fortune and not ultra wide, the older fast primes preform mediocre on the crops.
The 24-70 - behave differently on a crop - as the longer end was not made to focus at such a magnification (you need to stand further away from your subject).

The body race is in the field of electronics (sensor and processor development). It makes much sense for Canon to introduce more affordable FF bodies. This will achieve a few things simultaneously:

1) Give this FF body a substantial advantage over all the MFT new bodies FLOODING the market - who's IQ is quite near (if not even better) then the crops.

2) Open the L lens market to many more consumers.

3) Allow a real jump in DR - which again will "jump" the canon body way ahead of what crops can do.

In other words - the rumor of an affordable FF - in my opinion - reflect a wise business move.

 

163
Canon General / Re: Autofocus Problem / Question
« on: September 20, 2011, 05:12:57 AM »
neuroanatomist: Thanks for all the info and explanations. I just did some more test shots - and you may be right! It seems that there is a slight front focus issue - noticeable only at very wide f stops and "masked" on consumer lenses.

I will try and compensate for this meanwhile by focusing on a spot slightly farther away from the spot I want the focus on. I can also just use live view if needed.

I would like to upgrade the body - however at this point in time I would wait to see what new bodies appear then purchase the 7d - a 2 year old camera - which is fundamentally my 550d in a fancier package. I'm not a pro and I need to watch the budget.
 

There is a very good writeup and chart here.

It is basically the starting point for the commercial lens align product and works well.

I find that I get excellent focus adjust accuracy at relatively short distances where the shallow depth of field becomes apparent.  not macro, but say 5-7 ft for a 35mm L.

Canon will adjust your 50mm f/1.4 lens at no cost if its in warranty. 
Otherwise they have a flat $95 fee for repairs.  Its also possibly a combination of tolerance stackup where the camera and / or the lens needs adjustment.

I'd get it fixed, its worth it to have it right-on.  Send in camera and lens so they make sure the right one is fixed.

I had a XTi bpdy that was off, and it had a simple screw adjustment to adjust the stop screw for the sub mirror.  Two clicks of the screw and everything was perfect.

Hi, I live in Israel - and sending the camera abroad for this is a bit much. Local canon representative will charge allot and I'm afraid that messing with the body could cause more harm then help - as it could mess up other lenses.

We are talking about a "slight" front focus issue - noticeable only at f stops < 2.5 . I can compensate meanwhile manually - and eventually I'll upgrade the body for something with MF adjustments.


 

164
Canon General / Re: Autofocus Problem / Question
« on: September 19, 2011, 07:29:19 AM »
It does not seem to be a back/forward focus problem - just lack of capability to achieve sharp focus. 

If I focus using the sensor in live view mode - the focus is almost always tack sharp - or at least much better, even wide open at 1.4 - and beyond 2 tack sharp.

1) Can someone explain this phenomenon?


Why do you think it isn't a back/front focus problem?  I ask, because what you describe sounds like a classic case of a need to adjust your AF - the phase detect AF is off a bit, whereas the contrast detect AF (Live View) is spot on.  Phase detect uses a separate AF sensor, which may be slightly misaligned relative to the image sensor (that misalignment can affect different lenses in different ways).  Contrast detect uses the imaging sensor, so there's nothing to be aligned/adjusted.

Granted, the 50/1.4 has some halation wide open, and that results in a slight softening of the resulting images - but if they're sharper using live view, that really points to an AF issue. 

AF issues (front/back focus) are most evident in shots with a shallow depth of field (like you get with the 50/1.4 at a wide aperture). A similar issue on a typical consumer zoom (f/3.5-5.6) would likely never be noticed.  That's also why you aren't noticing an issue at f/2.8 and narrower - the deeper DoF masks focus errors.

Is this reproducible, e.g. does it happen with different subjects?  That's important, because one thing many people don't realize is that the actual AF point on the AF sensor is larger than the little box in the viewfinder.  That means that your chosen focus point may have features that cause your camera's AF system to lock onto something you didn't intend, even within one AF point.  See the attached image below - a member of another forum was compaining that two successive shots with a 135mm f/2L had different focus, but when I superimposed the center AF point of the 7D (the camera used by that person), you can see that the AF system was merely locking onto different features of the key each time.  You can also see how the actual AF point sensor is alrger than the representative box in the viewfinder.

The ideal way to test AF performance is with a commercial tool like a LensAlign or SpyderLensCal - those have a focus target that is parallel to the camera (and aligned properly), and a readout 'ruler' at an angle to the camera.  Since buying one just for this seems unwise, try printing this starburst target, then tape it to a box on a table, and line up a row of somethings (batteries work well) next to the box, extending toward and away from the camera.  Focus on the target straight on, and see which battery is in focus (the one adjacent to the target, or forward/backward of that).  Compare phase AF and Live View.  A tripod would work best, assuming you have one.

2) Would a more advanced body (say a 60d ) have better autofocus results ? Is there a difference even using the CENTER focusing point between the 550d and the 60d ?


There might difference between the center AF point in your camera and a more advanced body.  The 60D (and 40D/50D) as well as the 7D have a more complex center AF point.  Yours has two lines, one sensitive to f/5.6 and the other sensitive to f/2.8 (the 'high-precision' part).  The xxD and 7D bodies have a +-shaped f/5.6 sensor with an X-shaped f/2.8 sensor superimposed on that, so you're getting the f/2.8 presicion in two orientations instead of just one.  But as stated above, I don't think that's the problem in your case.

If the problem is a misadjusted AF, a more advanced body would help.  But not the 60D.  The feature that allows a user to correct AF issues on their own is called autofocus microadjustment (AMFA), and the 60D doesn't have it.  The current xD bodies have it (1-series, 5DII, 7D), as does the 50D (but Canon dropped AMFA from the 60D, for no apparent reason other than to differentiate the lines, as it's a no-cost feature).  Personally, I'll never by a body without AFMA - all of my AF lenses have some amount of adjustment applied, but it's most important with the fast primes.

Hope that helps...


neuroanatomist: Thanks for all the info and explanations. I just did some more test shots - and you may be right! It seems that there is a slight front focus issue - noticeable only at very wide f stops and "masked" on consumer lenses.

I will try and compensate for this meanwhile by focusing on a spot slightly farther away from the spot I want the focus on. I can also just use live view if needed.

I would like to upgrade the body - however at this point in time I would wait to see what new bodies appear then purchase the 7d - a 2 year old camera - which is fundamentally my 550d in a fancier package. I'm not a pro and I need to watch the budget.
 

165
Canon General / Re: Autofocus Problem / Question
« on: September 19, 2011, 06:03:08 AM »
the first thing is discount the obvious, are you shooting at a fast shutter speed?

You can get camera and lens calibrated to give better focusing.

Yes, I am shooting at a high speed and leaning on a table to further steady myself.

I live abroad and giving in my gear is problematic. Secondly, canon often will match the body with this particular lens, but create issues with other body-lens combo's.

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