September 14, 2014, 10:08:40 PM

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Lenses / Re: 600mm too long?
« on: December 17, 2013, 07:41:41 AM »
I haven't used a 600mm prime, but do use the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 with 2x at times. In that sense I find the zoom valuable. For a similar price to the 600L, there's the 200-400L that could be considered? At 600mm it will have less aperture than the 600L, but you gain the benefit of the zoom.

At a practical level I'm not keen on the weight of the Sigma, so I hate to imagine lugging the 600L around in the wild. I haven't used either but do understand the weight difference between the 500L and 600L is quite significant.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 135mm f/2 DG OS Art Coming? [CR1]
« on: December 17, 2013, 07:31:58 AM »
My 135L is a lens I'd like to update, but not even the Zeiss is quite there in performance/value ratio (I would go for an Otus level one if they ever do that!). My biggest beef with the L is the longitudinal colour is rather poorly corrected. Can we have a true APO or better design please?

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A 40mm f/0.85 for Your EOS-M?
« on: December 14, 2013, 09:15:36 AM »
There are many fast lenses made in small quantities in the past, so give them credit for the fastest production lens you can actually buy and use today.

At a practical level, you get near enough the same performance at lower cost with a 55mm f/1.2 lens and metabones speed booster, although I don't believe they make an EOS M speedbooster yet.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Not Coming? [CR1]
« on: December 14, 2013, 09:09:08 AM »
It would be sad if Canon followed Nikon's missing D400, but thankfully this is rated CR1 and I wouldn't pay much attention to the noise until it is at least a CR2.

I can quite simply state, and I know many shooters like me, would not want a full frame body at the same cost as a 7D (with the tradeoff in performance that implies). They are very different cameras for different uses.

At the other end, however good it is in its own right, the newer 70D doesn't even match the 7D where it really matters. Even if it has new toys, it is isn't filling the same slot.


We shouldn't forget that ISS isn't a NASA exclusive, so it is quite possible another country took Canon up there.

EOS Bodies / Re: Two New Full Frame Cameras in 2014? [CR1]
« on: November 29, 2013, 11:59:49 AM »
While I agree Canon will do what it thinks will give them the best return, they can't ignore the market either. As a general trend, dominant companies in mature markets can be slow to react to a changing environment, although that doesn't rule them out from doing something different either. Looking to the past to guess the future only works if you expect them to do "more of the same". If they have something really new, anything goes.

EOS Bodies / Re: Two New Full Frame Cameras in 2014? [CR1]
« on: November 29, 2013, 07:14:08 AM »
Just give me a D800 in a 5D body and a 7D2 on the side, and I'll take on anything!

Software & Accessories / Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« on: October 31, 2013, 03:39:38 PM »
Finally got round to installing it. Did a very quick look so far, comparing:
1: Output image with normal NR
2: Output image with Prime
3: #1 ran through Neat image at 50% luminance reduction

1 is obviously noisier, with 2 and 3 looking very similar, so I was thinking, is Prime really worth 2m23s processing time compared to 9s with normal process? As I looked further, there really wasn't anything of note in detail retention or excessive smoothing. However there was a slight benefit to Prime, in that I saw less local bursts of colour noise. These are rather large scale and I guess missed by normal NR, but Prime is able to deal with it. Also colour retention in darker areas seemed better with Prime, were other NR would start killing real colour as if it were noise. If I have time later I could do some crops to demonstrate the above.

Since I'm already a DxO user I'll upgrade to keep things going. But I wouldn't rate this as a game changer if you already use something else. Maybe I'll change my mind after more testing, but I doubt it.

Software & Accessories / Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« on: October 27, 2013, 04:53:08 AM »
I really need to download and try this myself some time. I've been a paid user since version 6 so have seen it improve, although there's still plenty of room for more.

What caught my attention is a statement to the effect they have also improved clipped highlight handling. In the past, comparisons of raw converters found this to be a weak spot as they didn't do synthesis using unclipped channels. So if they now also do this, that's another plus even if it is a catchup feature.

The electronic interface need not be a major barrier. Look at CF cards, and how we get ever faster ones while maintaining backward compatibility. Unlike SD cards, where newer generations don't necessarily work on older ones.

Also there is a possibility they could release multiple sensors per generation, but will still have an upgrade path in that if you want a radical improvement some time later, you'd have to replace a bit more. Within a generation, I'd love to see a mono sensor offered alongside the typical bayer colour sensor. Want AA or not? That could be another choice. Or even one optimised for video like the ultra-low light one they're testing.

But the biggest problem I see is that a removable sensor will consume more space, which goes against the trend of smaller bodies in the consumer space. So this may be better suited to higher end kit, perhaps a future medium format body.

50D, sub-zero (don't know exact temperature but any water outdoors was definitely in solid form), several hours. No problems even after dropping it into snow.

450D, 600D, sub-zero (don't know exact temperature but I was getting frost on the lens), several hours. No problems.

when I enter a (valid) Gmail address, it sends me to the download links, but doesn't send me an activation code...? Is there normally some time delay between submitting your email and receiving the activation?

I just got it via gmail too. The e-mail went into the spam folder so you have to go there to find it.

Lenses / Re: Results with the 100-400 with a 1.4x TC?
« on: September 21, 2013, 04:44:22 AM »
Previous link is for wrong lens :)

Anyway, I've used the 100-400L with Sigma 1.4x. Biggest problem I have is no usable AF (50D, 7D). This means manual focus, which I find impossible to get accurate in viewfinder, and 560mm handholding live view isn't going to end well. If you can use a tripod, I find the image quality ok. Overall hardly worth the effort over 400 and crop.

Some people claim AF success by taping over some teleconverter pins to make it appear not there, but it never locks reliably for me, if at all.

Lenses / Re: A New Zoom Macro Coming? [CR1]
« on: September 11, 2013, 06:09:50 PM »
I'd like to have a zoom macro for the same reasons I like regular zooms. Something in the short tele range would be ok, say, 50-100mm? f/4 is no problem since most of the time most will stop down to have any depth of field, although AF will not be possible as you get close to 1:1. But again for a macro that is ok. Ideally it would be parfocal throughout the range so you don't need to refocus as you zoom. A change in magnification is ok, although my sleep deprived mind is telling me that then isn't going to be 1:1 through the range, unless wider angles will allow you to focus closer.

I already have the MP-E65 but I don't like the varying focal point as you adjust and other laws of physics really getting in the way.

A bit late, but weather and my free time haven't managed to meet up until now. Here are some samples from a standard 600D with Hoya R72 filter. It is a sunny day with a mostly clear sky and slight haze.

Image straight out of camera with auto WB. 1/5s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Same image with "auto levels" applied in photoshop.

Fresh shot after doing a custom white balance. 1/3s, f/2.8, ISO1600

Same image with "auto levels" applied in photoshop.

This is just a very quick and dirty test to give an indication of what's possible. Of course you could spend longer in PS tweaking stuff than my one click adjustment here.

Exposure time... if you need it, you could possibly use a faster lens and higher ISO to get into hand hold territory.

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