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Messages - elflord

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Lenses / Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
« on: November 20, 2011, 08:51:20 AM »
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

On a crop, it's been the 50mm f/1.4. On a crop, I wouldn't use a zoom as a portrait lens because an f/2.8 zoom is dof-equivalent to f/4.5 on a full frame.

On full frame, I'm still figuring it out as I only recently purchased the 5D Mark II. For the prime it's between the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and the Canon 135mm f/2. I like the latter but it needs a lot of shutter speed. I like the 50mm f/1.4 on full frame but it's a bit wide for a portrait. It is a nice lens for taking shots of small groups of people interacting.

For a zoom on full frame, 70-200 f/2.8 is an obvious choice.

EOS Bodies / Re: Bought my first digital camera today 5d
« on: November 19, 2011, 11:16:00 PM »
You are saying what you want, some sort of prime lens and a larger zoom, but you are not telling us what purposes you need them for, which makes a thought out recommendation impossible. 

Also, if you get one of the cheaper fixed primes in the focal range of your 24-105, you're just going to get a lens that can operate at lower f-stops, but not at top it's optical performance, in particular while in low light when it's most needed.

According to photozone's numbers, the 35mm f/2 and the 85mm f/1.8 have comparable resolution at their wide open apertures (f/2 and f/1.8) as the 24-105 at similar focal lengths at f/4. So you gain an extra two stops at comparable optical performance.  The 50mm f/1.4 is soft in the corners wide open, but stop it down to f/2.8 and it is comparable to the 24-105 at f/5.6. So you really do gain an extra two stops.

That is not to say it isn't usable or perhaps even very good, but it doesn't seem to give you a ton of extra usage that you don't already have in that very nice 24-105 lens so I would want to know specifically what I wanted it for, and not just to say I owned a prime lens... 

A prime lens will give you much shallower depth of field than an f/4 zoom. If you're taking portraits, that's quite a lot of extra usage.

Have you purchased either a refurbished DSLR or lens from Canon?  If so, what has been your experience with the equipment?  I had discussed them with someone who works in a portrait studio that he had bad experiences with them.  So, curious what others who have purchased them think...

bought a refurb 5D Mark II and a 35mm f/2 lens.

The 5D Mark II looked new and the shutter count was just under 1000 according to the software.

The 35mm f/2 was indistinguishable from new.

Satisfied with both purchases.

One thing to be aware of is that after taxes and shipping, the discount might be quite a bit less than 20%. You need to figure the price after all these costs are taken into account, then compare with buying new.

I believe even taking all this into account, there are some items for which the Canon refurbished price is actually less than the "street price" (e.g. closed ebay auction) of the same item used.

EOS Bodies / Re: How often do you go through a body? Why do you upgrade?
« on: November 19, 2011, 08:33:32 AM »
How about everyone else, how often do you go through a body? What makes you upgrade? When do you feel you're happy with what you've got?

Bought a film camera in '97. Upgraded to digital a few years later (Powershot A40). Upgraded (A60 I think) that when the first one got stolen, then upgraded (Nikon Coolpix L11) around 2008 when the powershot died.  Discovered that the L11 was unusable in low light (2010) and picked up an entry level SLR (Canon Rebel XS).  Caught the gear acquisition syndrome bug, and picked up a 5D Mark II and Panasonic GF2 in 2011. Will sell either the GF2 or the rebel XS. Would sell the L11 if anyone would buy it.

EOS Bodies / Re: Bought my first digital camera today 5d
« on: November 19, 2011, 08:25:41 AM »
Hi Everyone
After waiting overa year for a d800 or watever nikon wanted to call there full frame with video we bought the 5dmkII. Still reading the manual but so far were happy. Just wanted to introduce myself and say hi. Just got the 24-105 and would like to add a fixed prime and larger zoom. Any recomendations or advice. The salesman at the camera shop was a pure nikon guy and the nikon rep was there also visiting and they both did there best to push us to the nikon but in the end my wife just wouldnt settle for less then full frame.

For a prime -- it depends on what you are shooting.  For a general purpose prime I'd suggest the 50mm f/1.4. For a tele zoom, Canon make 4 different 70-200mm lenses, all of which are highly regarded.

If you want a longer lens than that -- a portrait prime, I'd suggest an 85mm lens. There are four -- Canon 85mm f/1.8 and f/1.2, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and Zeiss 85mm f/1.4. All of them are worth considering. Zeiss lenses are manual focus only.

If you want a wider lens, Canon make the 35mm f/2 (dated design but good and inexpensive) and the 35mm f/1.4. Zeiss make lenses at this focal length, I don't know what they're like. I don't recommend Canon's 28mm f/1.8.

Now, I know the value of L lenses, but try telling that to Joe Consumer.

If this "Joe Consumer" fellow doesn't understand the advantages of better glass, he probably doesn't understand the advantages of full frame either -- he's better off with APS-C.

I think if Canon can release a FF body, whether they reuse the 5D mk1 sensor, reuse the 5D mk2 sensor, or even a new one 14-15MP or so, cut the crap out of every feature (video?) to get it to €1000 (just under 7D price, half 5D2 price),

Maybe one day, but they're not there yet. The single most expensive part of a full frame camera is "full frame" (that is, the sensor itself). It's the sensor size that makes it expensive to produce, not the megapixel count. The other features they could cut don't make it expensive to produce, they main reason for cutting them on lower end models is to protect higher end models.

Lenses / Re: Best place to sell used gear?
« on: November 15, 2011, 08:08:05 PM »
What have your experiences been selling used gear?  I'm looking for recommendations and suggestions. Ebay is an obvious option but I'd like to know if others have found other viable alternatives.

I'm selling my EF-S 15-85mm w/hood, case and filter.

Thank you

I sold the same lens (but still under warranty) on craigslist. I had several responses from scammers and one low baller who wanted it for $400.  I ended up selling it on fredmiranda for $649 including shipping and paypal fees. 

Lenses / Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome: please help!!!
« on: November 13, 2011, 09:13:49 AM »

Between dealing with scammers, low ballers, no-shows and other time wasters, craigslist transactions are only free if your time has no value.

Thanks, what a nice thing to say about the value of my time.

You misinterpreted my comment. I am pointing out that if you do transactions on craigslist, there is a cost in time and inconvenience. If your time is valuable, this is not free. Also, I was discussing this in context of my experience using craigslist, which is the reason why renting makes sense for me. Craigslist varies greatly by locale, some areas have more active markets for camera gear than others. The inconvenience of going via CL will vary considerably by locale.

I expressed no opinion in my post about the value of your time -- that was your interpretation, and it turns out, not the correct one.
I could counter that by saying that someone with reasonable intellgence can easily circumvent those problems which you seem to find with Craigslist (does it really take you that long to read and delete an email?).

It has nothing to do with "intelligence". Some emails do merit a response (e.g. offers). Sometimes a prospective buyer might send emails back and forth and either no-show, or just not be interested in negotiating a fair price.

I suppose with some experience it may be possible to get a little faster at determining who is a time waster and who is worth responding to.  But again, acquiring that experience has a cost (in time).

Lenses / Re: Minimalist photography
« on: November 13, 2011, 08:11:48 AM »
Hello CR forum-goers!

The majority of us take pride in our collection of gear, but what about the minimalist photographers? Could you do it?

Lets have some fun here. If you are/would be a minimalist photographer, having 1 body, 1 prime lens and 1 zoom lens, what would they be? Flashes/memory cards/tripods/etc can be left out of the equation.

I recently had a trip where I wanted to travel very light. I kept it nice and simple -- only took the 5D Mark II with the 50mm f/1.4.

Lenses / Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome: please help!!!
« on: November 13, 2011, 08:08:09 AM »
Not for me. I buy and sell only on Craigslist. When selling, it's just a 5-min walk to a Starbucks near work (although maybe I should count the grande mocha as a transaction fee?).  Transactions are cash, and the lens/etc. can be tested before purchase. 

Sounds great, but depending on where you live, it might be some time before the item you want is available and when it is, there is no guarantee that the list price will be reasonable. That could be OK if you're prepared to haggle, but otherwise it isn't.  It won't work very well if you're trying to compare 5 or so lenses and choose one of them.

I also had very little luck trying to sell on craigslist -- nearly all the responses were from scammers, except that there was also one low-baller.

Between dealing with scammers, low ballers, no-shows and other time wasters, craigslist transactions are only free if your time has no value.

Lenses / Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome: please help!!!
« on: November 12, 2011, 10:45:54 PM »
I'm not a fan of renting a lens just to try it out - IMO, it's a waste of money that could otherwise be put toward purchase.  If I'm not sure about a choice, I buy used at a low enough price that I can re-sell with no loss.  That requires some patience, but that's fine - because that's only for 'wants', since if it's a need, you know what that is and you just buy it new.

When you buy and sell used, there are shipping costs, possibly transaction fees (e.g. paypal) and some risk associated with each transaction. Depending on where you list when you resell, there may be additional listing fees. Then there's the initial inconvenience of having to sell it.   A four day rental from lensrentals is in the same ballpark price wise as paypal transaction fees + shipping.

So renting actually makes quite a lot of sense at least from a cash flow perspective

Lenses / Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome: please help!!!
« on: November 11, 2011, 06:42:44 PM »

Rent some lenses and buy whichever you like. For a fast tele, I'd suggest Sigma 85mm f/1.4 or the 135mm f/2. You could try a wide angle zoom also. Rent a few and decide which one you want to buy.

PowerShot Cameras / Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« on: November 10, 2011, 06:09:11 AM »

but today I saw a sale on the new olympus pen mini...ohhh boy, it's beautiful and I love olympus.
I thought of Pen EP3 or even the 2 but it's waaay to expensive and too big for her tastes.
Ssssso, what you guys suggest me?

The Panasonic GF2 can be had used for about $250. It's close to the size of a compact. Pair it with a prime and it's quite small.

The proliferation of m43 bodies means that the older models are pretty cheap used (that includes the EP2)

Lenses / Re: Buying a 5d mark ii what should my first L lens should I buy?
« on: November 03, 2011, 06:52:45 PM »
I'm going back and forth on what to buy with my new 5d mark ii. I'm thinking either a 50mm 1.2 or a 50 1.4 and maybe a 24-70 2.8 or 24-105 f/4. So do I go with the top of the line 50mm or maybe a 50 1.4 & 24-105 f/4. I'm mostly shooting portraits of kinds and a general all purpose.

Some portrait primes:

Canon 135mm f/2L
Canon 85mm f/1.2L
Sigma 85mm f/1.4L

These are lenses in the classic portrait focal lengths. The Sigma and the 135 are both quite affordable ($1000US), Canon's lens is more expensive. Of course there's Canon's 50mm and 35mm L lenses, but these aren't really "portrait" focal lengths (though still great for people photos)

Re choosing a zoom lens, if you're photographing people most of the time, I'd suggest the faster lens over the extra zoom range. The extra stop is much more useful than extra range.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5Diii vs 7Dii (FF vs APS-C)
« on: October 29, 2011, 06:55:05 PM »
Not quite that simple -- if I do the same comparison for the 135 and the 85, the 135mm f/2 replaces the 85mm f/1.2 on full frame (at about half the price) and the 200mm f/2.8 replaces the 135mm f/2.  On full frame, lenses like the 85mm f/1.2, f/2.8 zooms, and the 200mm f/2 have no replacement on APS-C that provides the same dof and fov. So if you want shallow dof, you are much better off with FF.

In terms of the 400mm f/2.8 -- you have the 600mm f/4 which is about the same weight.

You will generally get more reach for less $ on APS-C though (you also have access to several very good and inexpensive wide angle choices)

I might be going stupid but I dont understand how can a one stop slower lens be the equivalent?

They are equivalent in fov and dof. They are not equivalent in terms of exposure because you need to bump ISO by a stop to get the same exposure. However, the larger full frame sensor will perform better at high ISO.

135 f/2 is not the same as a 200 f/2.8, a 85 f1.2 is not the same as a 135f2, a 400 2.8 is not the same as a 600/f4 -

No, they are not "the same" -- the only lens that is "the same" as the 135mm f/2 is the 135mm f/2. However, that lens will behave different on a full frame body vs a crop body. If you're looking for equivalence in terms of dof and fov, then my comments are correct.

please consider that there is a lot more to photography than a shallow dof - in these cases low light and speed.

The full frame sensor performs better at high ISO.  You bump the ISO by one stop with a 200mm f/2.8 on full frame, and your dof, fov and noise level is comparable (maybe not exactly the same, but same ballpark) as your 135mm f/2 on a crop.

Shallow dof  works against most photos in ff - macro, wildlife, landscapes - even street shots in poor light.
Yes, but if you want a lot of dof, why are you using an 85mm f/1.2 or a 300mm f/2.8 ?

I agree that a crop has the upper hand when you are at the other end of the aperture range.

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