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Lenses / Re: Wildlife lens setup
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:39:18 AM »
It really depends on what you're shooting. I own and primarily use the 100-400L. It is sharp enough through the range. It could have better IS, although for moving subjects that doesn't matter anyway. You will need faster shutter speeds to reduce motion blur unless that is what you're going for e.g. to give a sense of motion. While the push-pull zoom generates a lot of love-hate on forums, in practice I find it far better than the twist zooms e.g. of my 70-300L if you need to zoom quickly and accurately.

For flexibility, unless you know you only need one focal length, then I'd pick a zoom. Messing around with switching extenders is not fun in the field.

While I haven't used the Tamron, it has one major flow which might not affect everyone. The zoom ring works in a backwards direction compared to Canon.

Sigma generally do use the Canon zoom direction on their higher end lenses, so if the Tamron is a consideration, maybe waiting for the availability of the Sigma lenses is also a consideration.

The ongoing tale of the 100-400L replacement I personally wouldn't wait for. It's one thing for them to say they're thinking about it, but without some more definite confirmation of timescales you could be waiting a very long time.

EOS Bodies / Re: Official: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 15, 2014, 08:58:03 AM »
I don't see the f/8 AF anywhere, but it has the rest of the rumoured AF bits, including the metering system. Really want to play with this!

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Dual Pixel Phase Detect AF While in AI Servo
« on: August 12, 2014, 05:45:42 PM »
It may even be able to AF based on shape and colour of object, which would be very cool if it can be made to work reliably!
I believe such a thing already exists in the 1D X as well as many higher end Nikon bodies. They use the metering sensor to provide that info. Bit disappointed to see this got cut out when they made the 5D3. Really hope it makes the 7D2.

Which has greater noise? An APS-C sensor or a full frame sensor cropped to APS-C size? Bare in mind our hypothetical situation is you're still reach limited, so the bigger sensor in itself conveys no advantage, and the only arguable difference is pixel size. For roughly comparable sensor generations I'd argue they're practically the same. Outside of lab tests, it probably isn't significant.

At ISO6400, I'd happily use either of my 600D or a 5D mk2 (as secondary body to 7D), but when reach limited the 600D would be my preference of the two. To me noise isn't the limiting factor in this scenario.

I can agree with jrista's example, as two of my biggest photography interests are wildlife and astrophotography. If you are reach limited and want more resolution, you simply need all the pixels density you can get. Upsampling a single image can't restore that lost information. The only way a bigger sensor can compete is to stick a bigger optic on the front to offset that. For most of us, there is a point where practicality and cost dictate a limit to how big we go. The other way bigger sensors could compete is to have comparable pixel sizes. I would love a hypothetical 46MP sensor in a full frame body, as that would roughly match the pixel density of APS-C. Then you get the best of both worlds. But until Canon bring out an affordable equivalent to the D810, I'm not holding my breath on that one and will look forward to what the 7D mk2 brings.

As a special case, multiple low resolution images can used to reconstruct higher resolution images! This can and is used in astrophotography where the subjects don't tend to change much, but obviously is useless for wildlife. In essence, you need to move the camera slightly between shots, so the low resolution image is not made up of exactly the same scene. Fractional pixel shifts will do to get you that sub pixel information.

Fyi: Unfortunately there is no way in the EU to upgrade your cps level with money directly, you have to purchase the two camera bodies that qualify you for the platinum level. In essence, there's no "gold" level in the eu as it's either amateur/silver like 6d or pro/platinum like 5d2,5d3, ...

I think most of us aren't lens limited, but body limited here. I just had a look again at the Canon Europe CPN site, and there sure is a gold level. Qualifying bodies only start from the 5D upwards and you need two of them. Platinum was 3 bodies 5D mk2 upwards. I hadn't noticed before the 6D was only silver level. Thought they'd give you gold at least, and you'd still need a 2nd one anyway.

For silver level: "Turnaround time on repairs to registered CPS-serviced equipment is five working days."
For gold level: "Turnaround time on repairs to registered CPS-serviced equipment is three working days. Free back-up loan service, if the three-day turnaround time for repairs is exceeded."

No mention of a loan at silver level...

Way I look at it, the silver level gets you a slight improvement to turnaround time compared to without, so consider it a bonus. If it is so critical you can't do without the camera equipment for a period, then consider some backup plan.

Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 03, 2014, 03:42:11 PM »
I own and use both the 70-300L and 100-400L. Never had a 70-200 of any form as to me, they're fitting a different niche than my interests. For practical purposes the 70-300L and 100-400L are near enough the same on their long ends, and if you get either that's where you'll probably be spending much of your time. Speed of handling on the 100-400L is great thanks to the push-pull. Older IS system often not that significant if you're shooting a moving target with it, and would need a faster shutter speed anyway to prevent motion blur. Against it, there is a bit more weight than the 70-300L. On that note, the 70-300L does have the newer IS system which can help if you're shooting static subjects, is supposed to have better sealing, and is smaller and lighter. As such I find myself taking this more if I can only take one small(er) bag on travels.

In summary, decide what range you want to use, and pick accordingly. While I haven't used the 70-200 specifically, I have also got the Sigma 120-300 f2.8. For those times I want to change range on it with teleconverters, it isn't a fun thing to do in the field. So this may apply to the 70-200s also, in that is may be best to have what you think you need in one range than to mess around. If you find the 100-400L a bit heavy, use the 120-300 for a bit. The 100-400L suddenly becomes a lot lighter!

Lenses / Re: 5D3 + teleconverter + Telescope
« on: July 09, 2014, 04:05:02 AM »
A workaround would be to not fully fit the TC until it clicks. e.g. release it slightly and turn it so the contacts aren't lined up with the body any more. Of course, you have to be very careful not to let the body fall off if you do this... I didn't say it was a good workaround!

Alternatively, skip the TC altogether and get a barlow for the scope.

EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 04:03:29 PM »
Many 'serious crop shooters' also own a full frame body to overcome the limitations of the crop sensor.  The 7D plus 5DII was a well-liked combination.  The 5DIII combined the best of both, obviating the need.
I own such a combination, but to me, the 5D series is no replacement. If I had unlimited funds and said I could only have one camera body, I'd still pick the existing 7D over the 5D3 without hesitation. About the only way I might put up with full frame is once pixel densities get more reasonable. The Nikon D800 would be adequate as a starting point for such a hypothetical body, if you could get it to 8fps and focus well at the same time.

I hate to do this, but I might start sounding like a microFourThirds fanboy at this point. The arguments for choosing crop over full frame are similar to those thrown by MFT to APS-C. For a given "reach", the crop sensor is just better optimised. On full frame you'd need silly big (and expensive) lenses. Even if people could afford them, they wouldn't want to carry it! Why not ever smaller? I have to say the Nikon 1 with native 70-300 lens sounds like an interesting reach combination, but I'm not sold on its overall performance.

Full frame serves a single niche of shallow(er) depth of field. If you're not after that, smaller sensors make more sense. Side note: why not continue my own argument and get smaller sensors? Because mirrorless tracking AF is still a long way off even a basic DSLR.

EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:45:28 PM »
There's one killer feature for me: updated AF/metering system. 1D X equivalent or better (no, the 5D3 doesn't cut it). Everything else is distantly secondary.

Any speculations on what *else* the lens could be if not the 100-400L successor?

Personally I wouldn't mind seeing them revisit the 10x zoom lenses. I had a 35-350L for a short time, with failing AF so returned to dealer. Although it wasn't quite as good as the 100-400L on the long end, the extra wide end was welcome. I know the 28-300L replaced that, but we're getting a bit short again. Perhaps something like the Sigma 50-500 given the L treatment?

Knowing my luck, it'll be another 400mm f/5.6 prime...

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Speculation [CR1]
« on: June 18, 2014, 08:08:12 AM »
Random speculation on my part: I wonder if a higher than expected MP count could be somehow related to some successor to the dual pixel AF system?

Lenses / Re: Night Pollution Filter
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:56:40 AM »
I have the astronomik clip filters. They can be affected by very fast lenses, but I've used them with f/2 without problem. You will likely need to do some work on restoring white balance at the end though, and for very short focal length lenses you will get a noticeable shift in the focus range. My Samyang 8mm fisheye can't infinity focus with it in place.

They will cut out some of the wanted light, but of course that is outweighed by cutting out much more of the unwanted light. It is very effective on sodium lighting. I can point my camera at a street lamp outside my house and it is reduced to a faint glow of part of the internal mechanism (keeping the rest of the scene at reasonable exposure).

Gave it its first serious use today... and I left myself more confused than when I started. Long story short, initial testing seemed to show focus was good enough, so I just used it. I saw backfocusing in the field but wasn't sure if that just me being too rusty on using the 5D2 or was it due to the lens. Then I noticed the AFMA was set to +17. My guess is this is the value I entered for the Zeiss 50 makro, and as they report themselves as "50mm lens" they ended up sharing the same value. I tried fiddling with it in the field but was getting nowhere.

Now, the above didn't stop me getting shots, although it may be a question of focus reliability. 50mm f/1.4 at close range for wildlife wasn't the best mix, as the DoF was often smaller than the width of the subject's eye...

Swan vs. dog by Crestie Crazy, on Flickr

Canon 5D mk2, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 A, at f/1.4, 1/5000s, ISO100.

A quick sample for now. This was more distant, and the focus was good enough by luck I have to admit. I did crop this image to better frame it, but if you can figure out flickr's current interface it is 100%. I should also add I just did a quick and dirty process on this, and the 100% view wasn't optimised as it was just an intermediate step to a smaller web view I posted elsewhere.

I need to get bigger ND filters as even on this overcast day I was close to overexposure when wide open.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 DO
« on: May 24, 2014, 05:06:12 PM »
The size is an interesting observation. Note the patent shows the DO element is relatively small and inside the lens. The existing 70-300 DO and 400/4 DO has the DO element at the front of the lens so relatively large.

On the existing 70-300 DO lenses, I don't think there's a contrast problem myself, but it is very prone to glare which reduces contrast. So shooting into bright lights is something to be particularly careful with. Maybe using it further in, that wont be as much a problem any more.

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