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Messages - sarangiman

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EOS Bodies / Re: The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: March 01, 2012, 03:29:34 PM »
I actually only took one single photo above 1.4, for more DOF I think the 70-200 is the way to go indeed. Sometimes a certain love cannot be explained....

Sometimes I like to go smaller than f/1.4 just to ensure I nail focus on off-center compositions, b/c the 5D Mark II AF severely underperforms. And in those cases, I'm stuck with non-circular OOF highlights.

As the OP said, CA at 1.2 is a huge issue. I'd stop down to 1.4 or 1.8 to try and avoid it. but that's my 2cents.

Actually, I've found CA to persist & soften a subject on the side of the frame so much that I have to go to f/2 to equivalent sharpness compared to the Sigma 85/1.4 at f/1.4 (which, to be fair, is more like f/1.6 on the Canon lens).

EOS Bodies / Re: The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: February 29, 2012, 09:14:46 PM »
Oops, haha, I guess I forgot there for a moment I was on CANONrumors :)

Regardless of the shortcomings of either system, I'm really looking forward to the next two days! An AF system that can actually focus properly outside of the center point & integrated radio wireless in a flash would be spectacular (I've experienced all the horrors of E-TTL Pocket Wizards with Canon flashes...).

EOS Bodies / Re: The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: February 29, 2012, 08:11:21 PM »
But I'll never part from the 85Lii

Funny. Different strokes for different folks, as the 85/1.4 Nikon is another reason I'd consider a switch... The ergonomics of the 85/1.2, which I own, are silly. If you take the lens off extended, you can't un-extend it, since it needs to power the motor to retract. Watch out for that rear glass element that sticks all the way out; you don't want to scratch it/hit it as you're mounting it to your body.

Furthermore, the CA on the sides is bad enough to make even in-focus objects on the sides appear soft. Then the 8-blade aperture means that out of focus highlights are no longer a pleasing circle at apertures smaller than f/1.6 (yes-- they're only really circular at f/1.2-f/1.4). Canon knows 9-blades is the way to go -- something they updated in their new 24-70 zoom. It gives you more circular OOF highlights AND 18 point sunstars... seems win-win to me. Yet all their professional primes only have 8-blades.

At f/1.2 though, it does let in a LOT of light. For any given f-stop, it actually appears to let in 1/3 stop more light than any equivalent aperture on the Sigma 85/1.4. Also has shallower DOF for any given f-stop than the Sigma, hinting at the possibility that it actually just opens up wider at any given f-stop in comparison to the Sigma. These are really its only redeeming factors, IMHO. But it is in sore need of an update.

EOS Bodies / Re: The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: February 29, 2012, 07:30:56 PM »
their 24 1.4 prime is another stellar performer better than the canon equivalent IMHO.

Yes, it has much less vignetting on a full frame than the Canon 24/1.4 II. Something like 1.5-2 stops less vignetting... so... not insignificant.

See here:

EOS Bodies / Re: The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: February 29, 2012, 06:03:45 PM »
Here I'll add some fuel to the fire  ;)

Nikon lenses have a 5 year warranty vs. Canon's 1 year warranty. $200 to fix your misalignment/decentering problem on Canon lenses, in my experience.

Nikon pro lenses all have 9-blade apertures. 18 point sunstars FTW! Smooth circular OOF highlights, as opposed to octagons above f/1.8 on, say, the 85mm prime.

77mm filter threads on most of their pro lenses... as opposed to 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm filter threads across Canon's top lenses.

All that being said, I'm still trying to stick with Canon, as I'm looking forward to cross-type AF points being spread out across the frame (Nikon doesn't have this)... and I still haven't seen a scientific/rigorous study that shows that Nikon's AF is any better than top-of-the-line (1-series) Canon AF. In fact I'd be very curious to see how Canon's 'high-precision' [f/2.8] sensors stack up against Nikon's sensors (Nikon doesn't differentiate higher vs. lower precision AF points).

As has been said before -- they're just tools. Whichever gets the job done best.

Software & Accessories / Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« on: January 21, 2012, 11:11:28 PM »
@Neuroanatomist: Right, I was just trying to get at a mechanistic explanation for the shallower DOF of the 7D than the 5DII in that scenario, & I think it has to do with the smaller pixel pitch. For example, if you take an image with shallow DOF on your screen, and then resize the window and make it smaller & smaller, you'll see that it starts looking like it has increased DOF... by the time you make it really small, it looks like everything's in focus (within limits, of course), & this exemplifies a similar principle to what I was alluding earlier: the lower the # of pixels you have to render (or sample) the image, the less you're going to display (or record) differences between neighboring areas in the image. This should translate to changes in perceived DOF. Though my guess would be these effects are minimal, which is why you should still get significantly shallower DOF for a given FOV with a larger sensor. If the pixel pitch for the 7D were the same as the 5DII, then in your scenario (keeping the focal length constant), the DOF would have to be the same.

I really like the Sigma lens, but initial results show more erratic focusing than the Canon 85/1.2 (which also sometimes erratically focuses, but not as frequently... granted the 5D/5DII focus system leaves much to be desired). I need to quantitate this before making an informed comment on it though.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: January 21, 2012, 09:29:13 PM »
Interesting, Neuroanatomist. As I mentioned in a different thread, I've found that the Canon 85/1.2 has a shorter DOF at f/1.4 than the Sigma at f/1.4. In fact, at f/1.6 it has a similar DOF to the Sigma at f/1.4. I wonder if Canon actually underestimates its max f-stop value (or Sigma overestimates it... which'd also imply that the Canon 85/1.8 overestimates it according to your results).

Software & Accessories / Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« on: January 21, 2012, 09:25:33 PM »
Neuroanatomist, you say: "I wonder if this is due to the thinner DoF with the 7D (the distances are the same as with the 5DII, so the shot/framing is different, but under those conditions the APS-C sensor delivers shallower DoF)."

Is that due to the smaller pixel size on the 7D? We always say that for the same FOV the DOF will be shallower on a full-frame sensor b/c you'll be using a longer focal length lens. But for your setup, using the same focal length, if I remember correctly, a higher spatial sampling rate (smaller pixel size) would actually lead to smaller DOF... though I wonder about the magnitude of this effect!

Also, I began doing these sorts of thorough tests with a LensAlign and image quantification software (moving to Matlab soon) to determine the best MA for my 85mm primes. I found that judging the results by eye introduced too much subjectivity. Though I haven't completed my tests, it would appear that my Sigma 85/1.4 doesn't even show a clear trend with the microadjustment settings. Meaning it jumps around randomly, rather than showing a clear trend from front-focusing to back-focusing. Not as much so with my Canon 85/1.2. I wonder if this is due to low precision of focus with the Sigma lens.

Therefore, I'm repeating my focus tests 20 times for each MA setting: 10 times throwing off the focus slightly forward, & 10 times throwing it off slightly backward, before refocusing. I have yet to quantitate and graph these results.

The nice thing is, one can also quantitate DOF using this sort of analysis with the LensAlign. Preliminarily, I've shown that the Sigma at f/1.4 has an equivalent DOF as the Canon at f/1.6 (for the same magnification of subject). Interesting.

BTW I'm using a Canon 5D Mark II. Just having a heck of a hard time determining optimal MA setting with the 85mm primes. No problem with any of my other lenses (35/1.4, 70-200 f/2.8, etc.).

Would definitely be interested in giving FoCal a try.

Canon General / Re: Canon Files a Patent for a Bunch of Lenses.
« on: December 16, 2011, 04:03:14 PM »
The 85mm f/1.2 II lens is in dire need of a 9-blade aperture.

Sigma's 85/1.4 creates much more pleasing OOF highlights b/c its 9-blade aperture is much more circular than Canon's.

Canon General / Re: Canon Files a Patent for a Bunch of Lenses.
« on: December 16, 2011, 03:59:53 PM »
The 24/1.4 II should be a top priority for Canon b/c it has -3 stops of vignetting at the corners/edges. 3 stops. That's like the edges of your image effectively being shot at ISO 6400 rather than ISO 800 by the time you've corrected for vignetting in software. In comparison, the Nikon 24/1.4 has only 1.5 stops of vignetting at the corners/edges. Just look at the comparison btwn the two:


Yeah a lot of the time for people photos I don't care about vignetting but the 24/1.4 has a specific use case: environmental portraits. And in such portraits where you want to separate the subject from the background (landscape), using 1.4 is beneficial. And in such cases (landscapes) one typically doesn't want vignetting.

The 35/1.4 needs an update? Why? Perhaps for weather sealing but I can't imagine any other possible reason... the lens is perfection minus my gripes about a 72mm filter ring & the lack of weather protection.


Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:42:15 PM »
Yeah competition is good & I hope Sigma's 9-blade much-more-circular aperture forces Canon to rethink their 85/1.2 II. This is one aspect in which the Sigma lens is not only as good as, but, better than the Canon 85L. As one of the previously posted reviews itself states.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: December 07, 2011, 12:34:08 AM »
Yeah anyone that can manually focus with an 85mm lens < f/2.0 & still get critical focus with hit rates >50% is a magician to me :) Unless you have stationary subjects & have a lot of time... in which case I might just use live-view.

A loupe on the viewfinder might be nice...

I guess since focusing & recomposing will always lead to back-focus one could try & compensate by firing off a number of shots while slowly leaning backward (I think I got that right?). Seems a little funny to me though.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: December 06, 2011, 04:15:29 PM »
Yeah my Sigma also needed a +3 microadjustment but, then again, so did my Canon 35L.

After that, center point focus was dead on. It consistently hit my test chart at a 45º angle at the right spot.

But when using the right-most AF point on my 5DMkII, focus was rather erratic. Dead-on, back-focused, front-focused, you name it.

However, same performance with my Canon 35L, so I doubt the Sigma lens is at fault here and, rather, it's the low precision of the outer AF points on the 5DMkII that render it nearly impossible to nail focus with such shallow DOF.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: December 06, 2011, 12:39:13 AM »
One thing I like better about the Sigma 85/1.4 lens is that its aperture stays circular all the way to f/2, & almost circular all the way to f/2.8.

The Canon 85/1.2 II is already non-circular by f/1.6 & pretty offensive (to my eye) by f/1.8. OOF highlights just don't look very good anymore as they have distinct shape to them.

Sigma has 9 aperture blades; Canon has 8. I'm surprised this isn't mentioned more often.

In my side-by-side tests, though, it appeared to me that at any given f-stop, the Canon lens had a wider actual opening than the Sigma (looking thru the front element). This could explain the slightly underexposed images from the Sigma as well as the lower amounts of background blur of the Sigma as opposed to the Canon.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III Information [CR1]
« on: December 03, 2011, 02:59:02 PM »
The only reason I can see a landscape photographer needing a 1D series (preferably full frame) camera is for its weather sealing.

Otherwise, it's just overkill. It weighs more than the 5D series & no landscape photographer should need better AF (especially w/ the advent of Live View).

More megapixels are certainly nice for lanscapes. I would probably even take more MP over higher DR for my landscapes, b/c DR can be well controlled w/ polarizers, graduated ND filters, & HDR. IMHO, a tripod is irreplaceable for landscape photography, no matter how good the high ISO performance. Landscapes/large prints just look better at the lowest ISO possible.

The point is: if you're a landscape photog, the 5D II is more than ample (just keep one of these rainsleeves handy: http://tinyurl.com/42wjd6n). You don't *need* Canon to release a new camera to take better landscape photos, which I would argue is *not* the case for wedding/portrait photographers who seriously *need* a better full-frame body that can actually focus accurately with <f/2.8 lenses for non-centered compositions. I suppose for that purpose the 1Ds III suffices, but, man that's old tech.

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