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Messages - pj1974

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Spec List [CR3]
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:16:29 PM »
The 70D will hopefully provide a lot of bang for the buck... which will hopefully help fuel a healthy and continuing competition between major DSLR manufacturers for a decently priced 7DmkII eventually.  ;)

I bought a 7D quite soon after it came out. I paid a premium for that (ie didn't wait for half a year to a year, till the price dropped)- but the photos I captured with it (and still do!) are worth every Aussie cent! :)

Oh yes, a quick PS... Please, people who think the 7DmkII will be an APS-H.....  THAT SENSOR SIZE IS DEAD ALREADY!  :D



EOS Bodies / Re: Comparing AF-tracking 7D, 60D and 70D
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:11:50 PM »
The 7D's AF system is quite different to other Canon crop bodies AF (eg xxD, xxxD, etc).

Many people initially took some time to get used to it, and realise the full potential of the 7D's AF (eg adjusting custom settings, and practicing technique for a high keeper rate).

Yes, I have the 7D - and can verify when one knows how to use it, the 7D's AF system runs circles around what is possible with the 60D's AF. I've captured highly regarded photos using the 7D - which were with difficult AF scenarios - including BIF and some sport).

Or maybe 1 or 2 people here had a 7D with 'dud' AF?

I've very happy with my 7D... and look forward to what the 70D and 7DmkII will offer!


Lenses / Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:06:10 PM »
I will try to post some photos this weekend.  However, after just having the 200-400 on a safari for 2 weeks, I can't understate how incredible versatile this lens was.  During one shooting "session" I was photographing lions and cubs at 400 with the extender.  A couple of lions from the same pack took down a zebra about 150 yards behind our vehicle and, as a result, about 8 other lions stood up and started to work their way towards and then right past our vehicle to partake in the meal.   Without switching camera bodies or lenses or even really moving much from my original position in the vehicle, I was able to photograph each lion as it got closer and closer.  My other friends were fumbling to switch camera bodies back and forth (missing shots) or found themselves very limited in their composure options as the lions got closer to the vehicle.  The minimal focal distance was also a big advantage when we came up on wildlife very close to the vehicle. 

I'm not saying the 200-400 is better or worse than any other lens.  I am saying it definitely has its uses.  For those particular uses, I don't think it can be beat.


That is what impressed me about the lens, the very versatile focal length - 200mm to 560mm. From all accounts it has very good image quality at all settings.   8)

As I don't do sports serious, I don't necessarily need f/2.8 - but as I DO wildlife photography - including BIF, and also love the 'tele-compression effect in various landscape settings', I would find the 200-400mm f/4 1.4x very useful.


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Spec List
« on: June 28, 2013, 02:15:25 AM »
where is the pic?

DMCA/copyright/takedown notice?

I doubt it. CR did post a very large version though. so maybe hot linking was an issue, even though it shouldn't be as it is not that hard to defend against.

It is still up at and I have a copy too, as do a few people here, I am sure. :-)

I did a print of the picture - yes it was quite an impressive (and what I could tell... authentic).

Hopefully we'll actually have the 'real deal'  Canon 70D out soon.


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Spec List
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:28:06 PM »
This post has really got my attention... thanks CR.  I'm quite impressed at the 70D specs listed. They are not 'unreasonable' - as in, re-using the already very good 7D's AF, and some other improvements (eg LiveView AF, articulating screen, WiFi, etc).  The new '5 times quicker' contrast detect AF sounds particularly useful in some applications (I wonder if that only applies to STM, and how much other lenses, eg USM - also benefit?)

As I have a 7D - and love that camera - it does give me hope that a very good improvement is around the corner for the 7DmkII.... as that will probably be my next camera.  Because I use the 7D for all my photography needs - from landscape to macro to wildlife to events to casual sports and portrait - an improvement in the sensor (namely lower noise and better DR) will be come.

I have taken so many great photos - even landscapes and portraits - don't let someone tell you an APS-C can't produce stunning photos in those genres, even though FF will naturally have an advantage there... the quality of the final result is more about lighting, composition and knowing how to use one's equipment - including great lenses.

I'm looking forward to seeing photos soon - that were produced by the 70D - ie Canon's exciting new 'camera-on-the-block'! Yay for technological improvements.  Roll on 7DmkII.

a happy Paul :)

Lenses / Re: The ULTIMATE Canon lens
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:08:07 AM »
Why isn't this one white? Surely it qualifies... doesn't it? Oh - wait, that's right... it's not even an L (I don't think there are any white lenses which are non-L).    ;)

I hope it's a metal mount, cause I guess a plastic mount will stress & flex a bit when I attach  it to my 350D and lift this lens to my eye and shoot some photos.   8)

Quick question - why does my battery die after just 2 photos... maybe this lens's AF motor really drains the power too quickly?   :P


Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Review from TDP
« on: June 24, 2013, 10:46:36 AM »
A stellar lens, certainly.

One interesting (and concerning!) note from the review: "Canon does not advise shifting the extender into place until IS turns off and all memory card writing ceases. The Canon rep I talked to strongly advised against doing this and suggested that a service visit may be required of a lens that has been used in this way. Apparently electronics are at the root of the potential problem. Since the entire fly-by shown above lasted less than 4 seconds, the horse would have been gone before the card writing completed."  Since it takes a brief but noticeable time for IS to shut off, and a card write after a burst can take several seconds, I could see this being an issue when shooting with the lens. 

Be careful, folks!  Also, if true it could be a real hassle for lens rental businesses...

I've also just read Bryan's review of this lens on TDP - as usual, a finely written, detailed analysis!  What a super zoom! (Just when we've had the 'super moon'- I would have loved to take a photo of the moon this morning here in Adelaide, South Australia-  the moon was spectacular on my drive to work).

Neuro, I had the exact same thoughts as you.. and 'Woah.... that could cause some issues'!  Maybe that was part of the reason this lens has taken so long to come to market? (Canon were trying to work at overcoming this issue, potentially with electronics... but it didn't work?!)

The image quality of the 200-400mm f/4 1.4x L lens is superb - almost matching primes in many occasions. Certainly a lens I would love to use.. but doubt I'll be buying any time!  In the right hands, many great photos will be taken with these lenses, I'm sure!



Canon General / Re: How ready is your camera gear usually?
« on: June 24, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »
Most often my 7D  is 'ready' (in Av mode, ISO 400, f/8 - with my 15-85mm lens attached) on a built in cupboard shelf in my spare bedroom.  My other lenses (UWA, L telezoom, macro) and flash are on the same (large) shelf - 'laid out' in order, all with their hoods and lens caps fitted.

Then on the shelf below it (and on the cupboard ground area) are my spare batteries, tripod, bags, filters, etc - again all 'laid out' ready to put what I need to in either one of my Lowepro bags (both bags have spare CF cards already in them). I also have a Canon 350D as my back up body with battery and CF card inserted (and its spare batteries ready too)

That's the way I like to have my gear ready... as if I need to do some quick / spontaneous photography inside my home, or in my garden - then I don't need to unzip any bag first.  I'll be getting married in the near future - so that might mean it will be laid out a bit differently... though I expect my gracious fiancee (then to be wife) will allow me to keep 1 shelf with my camera gear 'at the ready' if we have enough cupboard space :)

Lenses / Re: If You Could Have One 1 Lens...
« on: June 24, 2013, 07:30:01 AM »
For my 5D MKii, if we are talking about lenses we own, then the Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro. 

You can use it for landscape

You can use it for portraits

You can use it as a telephoto

You can use it in low light

You can use it for macro (duh)

You can use it for product photography

You can use it for movies


I've thought about it a lot and a good 100-105mm macro lens is on of the most versatile lenses you can have in your kit even though it is only designed to do one job.  The are very sharp, a great focal length, cheap, I got mine for $300, light weight, and have great focusing rings. 

All of the photos above were taken with my Sigma 105mm, also here is an album of some of my favorite shots I've taken with the lens,

Well done Andy, your set of photos (also your flickr page) are an example of someone who knows how to use a lens well, good improvisation on the 'macro' lens.

The other day I was using my Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens, and I also really love the photos that I can achieve with this lens.

Lenses / Re: If You Could Have One 1 Lens...
« on: June 23, 2013, 11:44:48 PM »
I don't really see the point of having a DSLR if you could only have one lens... so this thread is very much hypothetical for me, as I use different lenses for different purposes.

However I'll share my thoughts below, pretending a 'only allowed 1 lens' scenario were reality. (My main photography interest is landscape.... but I take lots of types of photos - so an 'all round' lens fits the bill best for me).

- APS-C (crop sensored DSLR): Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM would be the second 'all round' preference).

    I would really miss the reach of my Canon EF 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 IS USM for wildlife, etc. as well my UWA landscape shots (with eg my Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM on my APS-C)

- FF (Full Frame DSLR) Canon EF 24-105mm L f/4 IS USM (with the Canon EF 24-70mm L f/2.8 USM and the Canon EF 24-70mm L f/4 USM IS [semi-macro] as my alternate preferences on FF for 'all round' lenses).

Again I would miss my true macro shots - or a bright prime for shallow depth of field.

Other options for a 'one-only' lens on FF would be the Canon EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS USM vII, or the Canon EF 28-300mm L f/3.5-5.6 IS USM - but these are large, heavy lenses to lug around all the time.



I use Av nearly all the time on my Canon 7D... however when I shoot birds (and occasionally planes) - it is then that I use Tv - and usually set the shutter speed at 1/2000 sec.

Auto ISO - often between 100 and 1600 - and usually if there is some daylight, I'm fine.  In less light, that's when things get tricky  (though panning shots can work - if you are experienced enough).  I have a 70-300mm L that I use for most 'birds in flight' (or plane) photos.

Definitely do use spot metering, as often other modes can underexpose.  And for AF settings - I use Servo mode and the central zone AF area or the version with 'focus assist points' enabled.

Best wishes.


Lenses / Re: Alaskan Cruise - 70-300L/Crop Sensor?
« on: June 20, 2013, 08:30:44 PM »
You've got some great advice here above already.

I have lived and travelled extensively during my life - although I'm just middle aged. I echo the advice that travelling light on such a journey will make it more enjoyable for you, and may even allow you to get a number of photos that you might not otherwise if you were 'burdened down' with gear (or too busy changing lenses).

On my Canon 7D, my travel lens combination is the 15-85mm and 70-300mm L.  I have seen photos of Alaska that my friends took a year or so ago, and also another friend who went to New Zealand (somewhat similar scenery: mountains, 'fjords', glacial features, etc).

While I also have a great Ultrawide Angle (UWA) - the Sigma 10-20mm - I would recommend that in many cases your Sigma 17-50 would cover a lot of landscape well... and having the flexibility of the 70-300mm L for eg animals, birds or some landscape features in the distance - would work well.  It's when you are up close to big mountains, etc - that an UWA would be 'necessary'.

Although the 100mm and 200mm primes can be handy in low light, you'll probably have enough daylight most times (and with IS on the 70-300mm L) - to get good shots with both (your Sigma 17-50mm is f/2.8, right?)


Someguy - "Thats a nice camera, It must take great pictures."

RLPhoto - "I taught it everything it knows" *Smugness.


EOS Bodies / Re: SL1 as a "travel" body
« on: June 16, 2013, 07:21:50 PM »
I've used the SL1 - and found the body actually too small to be comfortable (my fingers didn't have a secure place to grip it well). I much preferred the 700D.

Plus even with the 18-55mm IS STM lens on it, I wouldn't call it 'pocketable' - only with the 40mm pancake might it be that 'pocketable'.

So, for my girlfriend I bought a Sony RX-100 instead - as that is truly 'pocketable / place in a small bag' size. Of course that's a totally different camera all together....

I agree that having an EOS-M is handy as a backup to use one's lens arsenal.


Lenses / Re: Why no lenses like 35-135mm anymore?
« on: June 16, 2013, 06:40:23 PM »
Yes, I could see a 35-135mm f/2.8 as being a very useful lens for some situations (eg street photography, candids at camps, events, etc)

There is the Tokina AF 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX - some reviews of it in different mounts at - and it does well, particularly at the wide end across the frame, and tele end centre is great, just a bit soft in the corners wide open. But just 1 stop down the corners improve substantially.

There are also 3 versions of the Sigma 50-150mm, two of which are tested at  (they vII they appeared to have a very decentred copy).  But the vI Sigma 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO they tested is amazingly sharp across the frame at all focal lengths, even wide open.

To me I know I would find a 35-150mm f/2.8 image stabilised lens 'ideal' for many of my purposes - that is, that focal length on an APS-C (Canon 7D).  For FF I'd want to use a 70-200mm f/2.8 though.

Here's hoping!!! I have a 70-300mm L - which is what I use for my wildlife / bird photography (as I don't need fast glass for that)... and my walkaround is my Canon 15-85mm. A moderate fast (that is f/2.8) 35-150mm would be great for people photography or subject isolation.... so yes, it would also fill a niche for me.

At times I use my Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro for subject isolation (ie - not macro) - which does well in that too- but just at 100mm obviously!


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