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Messages - koolman

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Canon General / Autofocus Problem / Question
« on: September 19, 2011, 03:45:32 AM »
This is for those of you who have deeper tech understanding of what goes on inside the camera:

Question that is bothering me:

I have a rebel 550d (t2i) + canon 50mm 1.4 prime. Even when I try to carefully focus using the center focusing point only (which is supposed to be most sensitive) the prime often "just" misses and the picture is slightly / moderately blurry - depending on how wide I opened the lens. 1.4 - 2.5 are almost always slightly off. 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?
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 ?

Thank you all

EOS Bodies / Re: Advice on purchasing a new APS-C body
« on: September 11, 2011, 04:25:41 AM »
Get a room, you two!   :D   Killswitch, I agree with other posters that unless you have some need for what the 7d offers over the 60d or the Rebel line, I'd buy a less expensive body and put the balance into some more glass.  Maybe an EF-S 60mm macro or a 35mm f/2?  A telephoto zoom like the 55-250mm would be good buy as well.  Enjoy your new purchases!

Lol, ya I am most likely going to go for the 60D (better body and weight than the 600D)...and really need a telephoto zoom. Confused whether to go for the 70-200 f4L IS or the 70-200 f2.8L non IS. Also if not the L lens, which one is better in terms of sharpness, the 55-250mm or the 70-300mm?

Hi Kill,

I would go for the 70-200 f/4 L IS. Its light, very sharp, and simply fun to use. The 2.8 version is much heavier, and you might find not useful with no IS. The IS version mark 2, which is superb, will cost you 2.5 k and is probably a huge overkill.

EOS Bodies / Re: Advice on purchasing a new APS-C body
« on: September 08, 2011, 04:32:28 AM »
I currently own a Canon 60D, and a Rebel XT (aka 350D). I have the following lenses

1) Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II
2) Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6
3) Tokina 11-16 f2.8

I share these gears with my wife, and most of the time we go on a photowalk together. I am not a pro, but a hobbyist and slowly finding myself devoting more and more time in photography these days. I was thinking of buying the Canon 7D for me, but I was wondering if I should wait till the announcement of new cropped sensor bodies (if there is any). So far rumors indicate only FF bodies :( I am in no hurry to buy one but was wondering if buying the 7D now would be a wise decision. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

Your lens selection is very nice - and the 60d is a superb body for your needs. The issue I understand is a second body for your wife - who is "stuck" with the older 350d while hubby has the new flashy 60d.
I personally would not "solve" this problem by purchasing a 7d now for $1,600. Get your wife a 600d - nice sized camera for a woman - and your good. The 600d is the same basic specs of the 7d for 1k cheaper.

EOS Bodies / Re: Having Multiple Camera Systems
« on: September 08, 2011, 04:20:19 AM »
Many thanks to all replies.

We both play with manual adjustments. Especially, with ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and compensation. We hardly touch the white balance.
My P&S is very noisy above ISO 200 and its flash is not powerful enough longer than 3 meters.
Outdoor pictures are good. I hate the lag between pressing the shutter and the actual snapshot.
When my daughter perform on stage we both are watching.
So me using the heavy gear is not a problem.
When my wife is alone she need a much lighter camera.

She wants to be able to use higher ISO.
To catch the moment and not miss it due to slow performance.
Take better video clips (SX100 IS capture 640 X 480 only).
Play with depth of field.

We do not use post processing and not planing to.
I guess jpeg quality is enough for my use.
On the other hand, i will probably want to try HDR in extreme light conditions.

It will never be more than a hobby.
However, my wife invest lots of time on this hobby.
After every trip abroad she use a photo album software and print the final album as a book (printed by professionals on a quality paper).

Three months ago a friend gave us his old Nikon D70 with 18-135 slow zoom.
The pictures were better than with our P&S.
However, it was too heavy for my wife and the lens did not offer a lot more.

I found Canon easier than Nikon.
However, if i have to choose one system, it probably would be a mirrorless Panasonic (I hope no one offended).

Currently, we take the camera everywhere and we do not plan to change that.

Sorry for not providing all answers on the first post.

It sounds like your wife's preference is something small, with high ISO speed and fast shutter speed response.
The fast shutter speed is tricky as this is a problem that has plagued all NON DSLR cameras - until recently. Now the newer generation of MFT bodies like the olympus pen ep3 or the panasonic GF3 - seem to be as fast as a DSLR. I assume P&s bodies will catch up soon. The Olympus Pen by the way - may be a good choice for your wife. It has a slew of lens options, and might be able to serve all purposes. They even have fast primes for it, like the new 12mm f/2 and the new 45mm f/2.8.

Assuming you want to purchase another camera for yourself, and are not restricted by weight, then a basic DSLR like the 600d or 60d + a 15-85 lens could help you.

Both the PEN + the 60d + lens - will still be belllow the 4k budget.

EOS Bodies / Re: Having Multiple Camera Systems
« on: September 07, 2011, 06:28:09 AM »
Currently all I have is a Canon SX100 IS point and shoot.
In the film era, I had a Pentax SLR with 28-80 cheap lens (abandoned when went digital).

My wife takes more than 100 snapshots and several videos per month.
We want a better camera and can afford spending up to 4000$

We do not make money of photography.
Most of the snapshots are of our family.
At least half are taken indoor (low light).
About 5% are in low light plus long distance such as performance on stage.
Most of the rest is outdoor.

My wife wants a small camera and I want fast lenses.

What do you say about the following combination:
  • Canon 600D + 50mm f/1.4 + 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
  • Panasonic GF3 + Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 + Leica Summilux DG 25mm f/1.4

This combination provides:
  • Extremely small camera for standard distance.
  • Fast lenses on both 50mm and 80mm (35 equivalence).
  • Best zoom on 100-300 (35 equivalence).

On the other hand, investing in two different camera systems costs money.

Any comments?
Any better alternative with similar cost ?

Dear Ehud,

You basically want/need a camera for family pics, both outdoor and indoor, which account to 95% of your usage, +  "5% low light + long distance"  like on a stage from a distance.
You also mention a fondness for fast lenses, and a preference for small bodies.

$4,000 !! for family pictures ! wow.

I would suggest:
1) canon 600d + 15-85 zoom + flash. That will cover all your family pics indoor + outdoor.
2) To satisfy the fast lens need: canon 50mm 1.8 OR canon 35mm f/2. I am fond of the 35 however it is a "normal" lens, not a portrait lens.
3) As far as the stage from a distance in low light. The 70-200 L 2.8 mark2 - is a very heavy expensive overkill, and I don't see a parent/needing or  lugging around such a heavy, expensive, professional lens. This lens was intended for pro's shooting action like a basket ball game.
As I assume your stage activity is not fast moving like sports, you probably could get away with the 70-300 IS, or the 70-200 L F/4 IS. You can also consider a fast prime if the stage distance is more or less constant such as a 85mm 1.8, or 100mm 2.8 macro.

1) camera 700 + flash 400 + lens 750 = 1850
2) 100
=1,950 (and is probably all you need)
3) the zooms I suggested are 500 - 1200 additional - the primes all around 350.

Lenses / Re: wide angle lens
« on: September 07, 2011, 04:11:13 AM »
Hello folks. I've been with canon brand for past quite a few years. I currently have Canon 5D Mark II, menawhile I got some lenses and I am quite happy with them but I am looking for realy good wide angle lens.
For me the most importnat thing with lens is the F stuff, so the lower it gets the better for me, so for me lenses that are 2.8 or lower are the ones that I love the most. Anyway which wide angle lens would you recommend? Which one is the best? Which one can capture the most of the area without getting any significant distortions (fisheye type)?

If money is not an issue 16-35L mark2 - superb option

Lenses / Re: New L Series Lenses coming out with the 5D Mk3?
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:51:23 AM »
Here is my perspective on your comments:

The physical size of the sensors - is swiftly becoming less and less relevant, as electronics and technology progress.  Having a "FF" sensor - is much less a landmark achievement today. If you compare a 7d with 5 years ago's FF DSLR - you will quickly see that the 7d is far superior in IQ.

I believe this will become even more true in the near future - as superior small sensors will easily outplay larger sensors.

If so, I am not sure I understand the wisdom of purchasing the mark3 for $2,500 ~ just because it is FF. (unless of course you need it for your professional use right away as part of your business as a photographer)

As far as a 24-105 2.8 - Sure such a lens could be produced - however it would be a very large heavy expensive piece for it to retain both IQ and the 2.8 and the focal length. I'm not sure its business savvy to produce such a lens. The 24-105 is aimed as a convenient quality walk around lens,  not a specialty lens.

EOS Bodies / Re: Exposure Compensation
« on: August 29, 2011, 02:39:58 AM »
I'm away on holiday a the moment, so taking quite a few photos, but realised tonight that most of my photos in the last two days have involved me tweaking the exposure compensation.  Out of curiosity, is this normal ? Do others tweak all the time, much of the time or not at all ?   Do others tweak a little or a lot ?

I have a t2i which is in the same family as your camera. All my flash photography requires some level of manual intervention - as the camera cannot guess the exposure accurately.

Additionally, photos taken outside in bright light, that often has allot of contrast, will require tweaking if you want to get the exact right balance.

Canon General / Re: Kiss of death . . .
« on: August 25, 2011, 05:51:28 AM »
To back up a pair of pro bodies I have always travelled with a 'pro compact'.  However, the nature of my photographic work is such that I require a powerful lens on the compact.

I have never managed to bring myself to get rid of any of my old Canons, so now have, in effect, my own mini museum.  While glancing through the cameras last night, I realised that I seem to put  kiss of death on the production line of any 'pro compact' that I buy: rarely does that camera line manage more than one incarnation.  If the product line does continue, there is a 3 to 4 year gap between models.

My 'collection' starting with the oldest:

  • 1990 - EPOCA (magnificent 35mm with 35-105 lens, superseded by the EPOCA135 in 1992, then line ended)
  • 1998 - PowerShot Pro 70 (6-15mm zoom, 1.7MP, in the days when digital cameras didn't have zooms!)
  • 2001 - PowerShot Pro 90 (7-70mm, 3.2MP)
  • 2004 - PowerShot Pro 1 (7.2-50mm L, 8MP, I love this camera - 8MP seven years ago and an L Series lens)
  • 2008 - PowerShot SX1 IS (5-100mm, 10MP, a bit lightweight and plastic after the Pro 1, but no other option)

Since buying my PowerShot Pro 1 in 2004, there has only been one 'pro-ish' powerful zoom compact (SX1 IS).  By contrast the  'consumer' range of powerful zoom compacts has evolved at the rate of one each year since.  I'm no gambler, but I see a PowerShot SX50 IS coming out this year!
  • 2004 - PowerShot S1 IS
  • 2005 - PowerShot S2 IS
  • 2006 - PowerShot S3 IS
  • 2007 - PowerShot S5 IS
  • 2008 - PowerShot SX10 IS
  • 2009 - PowerShot SX20 IS
  • 2010 - PowerShot SX30 IS

So, what of the future . . . there must be enough people in the World who want a high quality, powerful compact, to justify another model being produced?  Something with the build of a G-Series, but a 20x (or more) zoom?  I have had a look at the PowerShot SX30, but it is a definite step down from the SX1 (which itself was a big step down in terms of build quality from the Pro 1).  The G12 is a lovely camera which I have had the pleasure to use, but try having that as an emergency back-up for wildlife photography in Africa . . . not quite punchy enough on the lens front!

Dom: The prices of DSLR's have some so close to the compacts - why not just throw a rebel into your bag as the backup camera?

A t2i with a canon 35mm f/2 + 70-200 f4 IS - should more then cover anything you would need.

Canon General / Re: Will the new Sonys force Canon to rethink?
« on: August 25, 2011, 05:46:46 AM »
IMHO all the hype about gizmos placed into new bodies - is dramatically over done.

For me the basics of a useful camera are, ergonomics, bright large view finder, easy accessible button controls for commonly used settings (ISO, WB, etc.), and last but not least wide selection of lens options.

I want a camera that does not get in my way - and allows me to focus on my pictures and improve my skills.

All these new bodies, may cause an adrenaline rush with there colorful electronic specs with 10,000 of this and 24MB of that, but at the end of the day have very little to do with the above list.

I would prefer a 60d any day - over a smaller hyped up electronic gizmo laden sony/panasonic/olympus.

touch screens, art filters, 24mb, super fast this and that, are all hype created to give the masses a rush.

EOS Bodies / Re: Getting a little bit Fed Up...
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:54:43 AM »
Is it just me or does it feel like Canon is dragging their heels in getting back as the market leader in the Pro SLR market? Maybe I should wait till September to point fingers, but I am really getting disillusioned with Canon. I am doing a lot of pro golf events for magazines and studio work. After a lot of saving and hard work I got enough money together in December last year to move to the 1Ds range and I knew buying one then would be a mistake - so I waited. There were times I thought I should just get a 1D, but there's no stock... So I am still waiting.

Now reading things like "However, we’re told Canon is more interested in getting production up to 100% before announcing new EOS products" is not really the type of news I want to read...

Am I the only one who feels this way? Is Nikon the new leader? (I know swearing is not allowed - but hey, sometimes you need to get things of your chest)  :)

Maybe I just need some feedback from fellow Canon users before I decide to switch to the yellow brand...

Nikon waited a long time before coming out with the D7000 - as it seems to be a real leap foward.

Canon is probably cooking its response - as the D7000 took the market away from the 60d and 7d.

Lets see what they pull out - as things are now - all the sites recommend the D7000 over canon products.

Lenses / Re: Which is the best "normal" prime for a Crop Camera?
« on: August 16, 2011, 02:38:22 AM »
although in a slightly different league of the 35/f2, i absolutely LOVE my 24/f1.4 on my 7D....

it's a totally wonderful lens and lives on my camera most of the time now as i find that it's just right for framing and it can also focus quite close which makes it very versatile for my uses. if you plan to be stuck on photography for awhile i recommend getting this lens because it makes using a crop body much more joyful :)

The 24mm = 38.4 mm equivalent on a crop. This is quite close to the traditional 35mm lens many cameras ship with like the fuji x-100

Lenses / Re: Which is the best "normal" prime for a Crop Camera?
« on: August 14, 2011, 09:34:13 AM »
For what it's worth...
I believe that a 7D plus 35mm f/2 combination would make you reasonably happy when you get the box for the 35mm, but any happiness after hearing the autofocus will last for a week tops.
Selling your 7D and getting a T3i plus a 35mm f/1.4 combination would make you happy until you want to go full-frame.

Too often do I see people with mediocre glass but a prosumer camera, and feel that that is the best that they can do because they cannot afford a better lens.  Flip that mentality my friend!  A sharp "L" glass on a JPG only camera will give you better results than mediocre glass on a camera that can take pictures in RAW format any day.  Plus, the T3i jpg's look sharper with the same lenses than a 7D anyways, because the 7D is meant to be taken and processed in RAW, not JPG, so corners were cut.

I hope that this post can help you make a decision.  I'm 100% sure that you'll love my setup.

The 35 f/2 is an older lens, and yes it is not the silent "USM" internal focusing. I got used to the noise and don't hear it any more. However - it delivers clean, crisp, SHARP pictures, nice colors, all in an affordable LIGHT package that's great for extensive use. Sure the 35 L at almost 4 times the price is nicer!

Lenses / Re: Which is the best "normal" prime for a Crop Camera?
« on: August 14, 2011, 05:18:33 AM »
papa: I have the 550d + Tamron 17-50 - and was in the same dilema.

I currently have the 50 1.4 + the 35 f/2.

My experience is that on crops, the 35 f/2 is superb. It is a light, sharp, player with a useful field of view.

The 50mm are a little tight, and are more suited for isolated subjects (portraits etc.)

I often walk around with the 35 f/2. it is very light and fun to use.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for t2i crop sensor
« on: July 18, 2011, 04:27:19 AM »
AJ: Thanks for your insight. I actually own the Tammy 17-50 non VR lens, and I totally agree it is a very good investment, however like all photography equipment not perfect - i.e. dicey auto focus - especially in low light.

I actually find its IQ at least as good if not even superior to the canon 17-55 which is OVERPRICED to my taste.

The secret with the Tammy, is to focus on a part of the subject with good contrast and color, for people use the eyes, or eye brows, or a curve in the nose. For "things" use a colorful contrast part with some borders or lines.

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