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Photography Technique / Re: Extreme macro question
« on: November 23, 2014, 05:29:42 AM »
If your lens supports it, you can use a teleconverter. I prefer this over extension tubes as you retain working distance and focus range.

Also it is untrue that extension tubes wont degrade image quality. Well, it may not be noticeable at moderate amounts, but you're pushing the lens out of its designed operating region. For example, if you try this on the 50mm f/1.8 you will find massive field curvature quite quickly. Combined with the quick loss of working distance I'm not a particular fan of this approach, but certainly it is a low cost option.

The MP-E65 does what it is supposed to, but lighting it has always been the biggest problem for me, and that would be an area you would need to put effort into.

If you want serious magnification, you can always buy a microscope with DSLR adapter. These adapters aren't just mechanical, but better ones include corrective optics. With my particular microscope, I get horizontal field of views of about 1.2mm and 0.3mm with 10x and 40x objectives respectively on APS-C sensor. In lens equivalent magnifications, that would be about 19x and >70x! Of course the subjects will be limited here, as you will have near zero working distance and depth of field! I really should get better at focus stacking...

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D II sensor measurement
« on: November 18, 2014, 05:27:11 PM »
That's a new site to me. The obvious question is, do their scores make any more sense than, say, DxOMarks? I had a poke around the site, and the description of the subscores is a bit vague at best. Even DxO explain it better than they do, but the weighting here does seem more rounded.

Lenses / Re: Advice needed on possible 100-400 L Lens Trade
« on: November 15, 2014, 01:40:20 PM »
I'd echo the above, check the zoom action is smooth and doesn't stick/jump. Also look through the viewfinder when doing so. I fear my 100-400L I had since new is wearing out from heavy use, and the zoom isn't smooth any more.

I previously had a used 35-350L which is also pump action, and that suffered even worse. At least I got that from a dealer so I could return it.

What's the "f" number?
Just looked it up. They decided on f/15, giving a focal length of 450m.

I've tried planetary imaging with 4 to 6m focal length optics before with moderate success, as the collimation wasn't right. I have to wonder what sort of images might be possible if they pointed the TMT at closer subjects such as those.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Is the 7D MK II Really Selling Well?
« on: November 04, 2014, 02:37:10 PM »
Without actual sales numbers we're just guessing.

I tried to look at UK dealers, but most don't have real time stock info so it is hard to tell who has what.

Personally I will buy one, but I'm not buying right away. In the UK, generally new kit sells at MRP/RRP/whatever RP at launch, and drops gradually over time. We don't seem to get instant discounting like other countries. I might bite when it drops 10-20%.

Software & Accessories / Re: DxO OpticsPro 10 released
« on: October 29, 2014, 05:34:48 PM »
Just had a very quick play with 10. Feels snappier than 9 for sure. I guess I'm in for at least this upgrade cycle.

Software & Accessories / Re: DxO OpticsPro 10 released
« on: October 29, 2014, 05:09:11 PM »
I just logged in to my account to check out the upgrade pricing. £55 to go from 9 Elite to 10 Elite, with free ViewPoint 1.2.1. For an extra £25 get ViewPoint 2.5.

Might have to get a demo of 10. I never quite got along with 9 as much as I did with 8 or before so found myself using it less.

Software & Accessories / Re: DxO OpticsPro 10 released
« on: October 29, 2014, 04:56:43 PM »
From the pdf:

All users who upgrade to DxO OpticsPro 10 ELITE Edition are entitled to a free copy of DxO ViewPoint 1.0.

I'm not very familiar with Viewpoint, but would that restore the functionality equivalent to version 9 for no extra cost after all?

Lenses / Re: More EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II Talk [CR2]
« on: October 28, 2014, 07:31:10 PM »
I do fear my 100-400L might be worn out from the use I've given it over the years. The push-pull mechanism isn't as smooth as it used to be, so a long(er) replacement isn't out of the question. No push-pull remains a disappointment to me but not unexpected.

Since the 600mm class lenses have also been bought up, to me the Tamron is not an option with its backward zoom ring. That leaves the two new Sigma lenses. I already have the 120-300 f/2.8 (to get 600 with a x2) and the '600 S will be similar in weight. A bit too much for regular use on the move. On the other hand, I'm not sure how good the C will be.

Or maybe I should just get another 100-400L before they stop making them :) Even bring back the 35-350!

Lenses / Re: Sigma APO 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
« on: October 05, 2014, 06:08:32 AM »
I have the "middle" Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. In short, the first one was without OS. Then there was one with, which I have. Then they remade that in the current "Sport" form. The last two appear to share the same optical formula, so you would expect image quality to be similar, although they might have tightened tolerances on the later one.

In short, it provides decent enough images, with medium speed focusing. I mostly do wildlife so can't comment on sports usage, but it does ok on tracking movement similar to, for example, the 70-300L or 100-400L.

As mentioned, it is heavy. You wouldn't want to constantly hold it up unsupported so that may need some consideration.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II: More High ISO Samples
« on: September 28, 2014, 02:32:22 PM »
  It's got the functions, but that is it. The AF module on the 1Dx and 5DII are light years ahead of the 7D II. I for one am very disappointed. Just because of that I will never buy one.

I presume that's the 5D3 not 2? The 5D3 AF was a disappointment to me as they decided not to include the metering sensor tracking assist from the 1D X, even if it has the rest of the stuff, that would have been the selling point to me. I suspect it would have put the 5D3 rather too close to the 1D X at the time. Thus for my uses at least, the 7D2 is on paper miles ahead of the 5D3. Of course, it remains to be proven in use. Anyway, now the precedent has been set, it seems likely the 5D4 will get a similar upgrade whenever that will be.

In general, I wonder if it would be fair to say those that like the 7D like the 7D2. If you didn't like the 7D for your uses, the 7D2 isn't likely to change that.

Lenses / Re: What telephotos do we own?
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:19:33 AM »
Since 300mm class lenses are included here, it would have been useful to have the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 in there too.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II: More High ISO Samples
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:15:48 AM »
I'm excited over the 7D mk2, just not over image quality from the sensor. The AF is what has practically sold it to me already.

As far as jpeg outputs are concerned, I don't see any radical difference in noise at higher ISO than what we have already. We still get the high ISO mush and, in these examples, chroma noise that hasn't been processed out.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: September 27, 2014, 04:18:29 AM »
I'll switch when there is something worth switching to!

I'm keeping an eye on other systems to see what they do. There's the occasional nice idea but not enough to swing it in itself.

Possible factors:
Smaller and lighter? - maybe, if they can do it without a reduction in overall quality
AF - mirrorless is getting better but I'm not convinced their tracking ability is there yet (most examples use shorter focal lengths in outdoor light). I'd give it 5 or 10 years. The benchmark will go up to the 7D mk2, so they wont have an easy job.
Lenses - I don't think anyone else has as good a selection of what I want than Canon (higher end, longer focal length). This is a particularly weak area in mirrorless land excluding the Nikon 1 70-300, but I need more than a 1 trick pony.
Some radical sensor tech? - Foveon? Light field? Or something unimaginable? I'm not holding my breath.

For less demanding niche uses, some mirrorless system I'd rate as about as good Canon, in a slightly smaller package. But that in itself isn't enough.

I also have had my 7D since not long after it came out. It is still my primary goto camera for outdoor work. Sorry, I prefer a 600D for indoor thanks to its tilty screen! I've had good use out of it. If I could only have one camera that you can buy today, it would still be my 1st choice. Not had a noise problem with mine. If there's enough light to AF, there's enough light to get a shot. I even prefer it over my 5D mk2 in low light, as at least it doesn't have shadow banding.

Having said that, the reason I got the 7D in the first place (updated AF compared to APS-C bodies before it), is also the reason I'm looking forward to the 7D mk2 some day. I wont be first in the line for sure...

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