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Messages - pj1974

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136
Reviews / Re: Problems with Canon 7D
« on: June 13, 2013, 11:40:34 PM »
It's a shame far too many people are 'experts' at the 'limitations' of their photography gear (especially cameras & lenses) - and make so much more effort pixel peeping, reviewing, comparing, etc - rather than actually just getting out and taking, enjoying and sharing: PHOTOS!  :o

I have a Canon 7D. It was my 2nd DSLR (after buying the Canon 350D in 2005).  I had a number of digital point and shoot (P&S) cameras for the 8 years prior, and used film before that. 1 week ago (Friday evening 7 June 2013) using my Canon 7D with Canon 15-85mm lens - I took about 50 photos for a friend's 40th birthday party. Most of the photos were with the camera's 'pop up flash'.  The party was a 1920's themed evening with friends and relatives in a cocktail bar near the beach. It's winter here, in Australia- so it was already dark - and quite mild (not swimming temperature).

Were the photos the best (eg given I didn't use my external flash)? No. Are the photos worthy of National Geographic or some quality glamour / fashion magazine? No. Am I particularly skilled in this genre of photography? No.  However did my friend appreciate me taking the time and effort to take my camera along and spend about an hour of the evening with the camera around my neck - and taking these photos for her? Absolutely!  She thanked me many times, as did many of the other guests and friends who have seen the photos on an online album I uploaded them to.

The photos my 7D captured that evening are noticeably superior to the photos others took with their smart phones or P&S cameras of that evening. Part of that I attribute to my photography skills being higher than the average person, and also the capabilities of my gear (and that I know how to use them).  ;)

So while the OP might have a gripe about several aspects of the Canon 7D... I love my camera - and use it, and my 5 lenses in all sorts of situations (from landscape to wildlife to macro to event photography to casual sports to architecture to travel to people / portraits).

The 7D outclassed other APS-C cameras when it came out. It's no worse now than when it was released 4 years ago. I'm still very happy with it - particularly the AF, FPS and build quality. Sure I'd like lower noise, etc. But for what it is - a capable photographer can get many wonderful photos from the Canon 7D.  Hey, I even have many photos from my other cameras - Canon 350D and even P&S cameras - that people admire  (and yes, I do have friends who are concerned about quality of photos!)

Please go out: use and enjoy your camera, lenses and whatever other gear!   :)

Paul

137
EOS Bodies / Re: A Big Megapixel Discussion
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:52:13 AM »
Either 34.56mp (4800x7200) or 56.62mp (6144x9216; extra credit for seeing why I chose the latter numbers).

1920*3=5760

5760*1.6(crop)=9216

So it's the same pixel density as a 1.6 crop sensor with three horizontal pixels per output horizontal pixel in full HD video mode.

Fascinating.  That was not what I was looking at at all.

I was thinking 256 pixels per mm (vice 200 pixels per mm for the 7200).  I like your answer better.  Well done.

I figured it was just that the first one was 34560000 pixels, which is a cool number.  :D

+1  :)

I look forward to high number of mega-pickles if they are sharp per pixel - and don't impact DR and noise too much - coz that's good for cropping!  ;)

138
I think some of us (and this is not an indictment) are getting hung up in F/1.4 vs. F/2.  It's just one stop.  The other improvements -- general overall sharpness, internal focusing, IS, much much faster focusing, better build -- would have me buy this lens at F/2 or F/1.4. 

I know I am in the minority here, but I'd gladly give up one stop for all those improvements.

As for 50Lv2, agree.  It doesn't even stack up to the current F/1.4 in the corners.  For 3-4x the price, it should everything the cheaper one does and more.

In part I do agree with you - personally my needs and style of photography means that I'm not so hung up on the maximum aperture issue (ie between f/1.4 - f/2). However I wouldn't want anything slower than f/2 - though I do understand there are people who need f/1.4 (rather than f/2).  :)

Particularly if there the lens comes with IS - f/2 would work great for certain applications.  And having a robust focus (STM as a minimum, or true ring USM as my preference) - ie fast, accurate, consistent.

More importantly, I want the next Canon 50mm lens - to have great IQ (sharp, contrasty, smooth bokeh, low CAs, little vignetting) when it's wide open.  ;)

Then if anything the lens' IQ should 'improve from there' in the range f/wide-open till f/5.6. I doubt I'll use such a lens at smaller apertures than f/5.6.

The new EF Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM looks attractive... just I use the 50mm focus length more than I use 35mm.  I'd be prepared to spend up to $1000 AUD for a lens that fits the bill. I'm looking forward to what might be around the corner....  8)

Paul

139
Lenses / Re: Aperture Sweet Spot
« on: June 10, 2013, 08:43:13 PM »
There are so many variables here - by lenses (both primes and zoom)... as has already been written, it's impossible to make one statement about 'aperture sweet spot' in terms of image quality (IQ).

A few examples (and comparisons) from my person experience with various lenses:

1) Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. My copy was 'decent' (but not fabulous) wide open across the zoom range, but noticeably sharper and had more contrast 1 stop down. I've since sold the lens (as I bought the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM which is superior and has better IQ across the zoom range - even wide open)

2) Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM. This lens was quite sharp & had good contrast wide open at the wide end (ie 100 to ~170mm).  It got progressively worse (soft, low contrast and higher CA) towards the tele-end. At 300mm I had to stop down to about f/10 for the 'best' IQ.
Note: f/10 without IS at 300mm (480mm FF equivalent) needs IS in many situations - or high ISO - which often degrades quality anyway.
Again I sold this 'old' lens - when I replaced it with the Canon EF 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 IS USM - which is much sharper and has great constrast wide open at all focal lengths - even at 300mm f/5.6 my copy if great - just a touch of stellar when pixel peeping... So that's fantastic!! (Note: that 4-stop IS helps so much!)

3) Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM - my copy is very sharp already at f/2.8 and is perhaps the sharpest between f/4-5.6, though often I either shoot wide open (ie at f/2.8 for subject isolation) or at around f/11 - f/22 for when I need more depth of field in some macro situations. The lens is still reasonably sharp at f/14-f/22 but defraction is somewhat noticeable and sets in more.

4) Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM - my copy has 'reasonable' sharpness and contrast at 10mm wide open (f/4), and is a bit better by f/5.6.... Similarly at the tele end of 20mm - sharpness and contrast are somewhat better at f/7.1 than f/5.6.  Thankfully the sharpness / contrast is already quite good wide open, and at these ultra wide angles, depth of field even at f/5.6 is considerably deep!

5) Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 mk II - I had 2 copies - both were 'ok' at f/1.8 - but not as sharp or as contrasty as would be ideal (the main issue I had with both copies- 1st lens worse than the 2nd) - was AF - slow, inaccurate and inconsistent.  Stopped down between f/2.2-f/2.8 it had noticeably better IQ.  Then from f/2.8 to f8 it was very sharp (if AF was 'on').  So what do I want? A new Canon EF 50mm prime which has great IQ wide open, including lovely bokeh!

Well, that is my contribution. Hope it's helpful.

Paul

140
Lenses / Re: Why Does the 100-400L Sell So Well Still ?
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:07:05 PM »
It continues to sell well because it's a very good lens, and the only 'affordable' way to get 400mm with IS.

+1  I wouldn't buy the 400mm f/5.6 prime because of 2 reasons
a) it doesn't have IS and
b) isn't a zoom

Most of my telephone zoom photos - eg birds - are often up close, or where zooming helps in composing / capturing the subject (eg BIF - then zooming in)

So I can understand how for many the 100-400mm L meets their needs.

For me, I much prefer the design (ie size, shape, zoom mechanism) of the 70-300mm L.  The 'big deal'  is that I can transport my 70-300mm L in my Lowepro shoulder bag, with my 7D and 15-85mm lens (either lens attached) and shoot all day with it.  This is my perfect 'travel zoom combination'  - and I might throw in a prime (or my UWA) for certain situations.

More often than not however, my 2 lens combo is the 70-300mm L and 15-85mm.  The 100-400mm L is substantially longer and more difficult to transport & carry than the 70-300mm L. Still I can understand it's a great lens for many ppl who really want that 400mm reach.  The 100-400mm L isn't quite as sharp as the 70-300mm L nor has the newer IS or quite the same AF speed / accuracy (just a bit slower / more hunting in my experience)- but the 100-400mm L is still a very decent lens!

Paul

141
Canon General / Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« on: June 05, 2013, 02:09:03 AM »
I've found the following regarding 'news turns video' (from written article with a photo or few):
1) the quality of many news videos is often poor (quality of sound, shake, background distraction, etc).
2) it takes me MUCH longer to scan and/or receive information.

So when there are video links in news items (particularly if they are the main / only source of information in that article) - I will avoid it.

For years I haven't looked at news on TV (since the late 80's regularly - and since the early 90's I haven't used TV for news pretty much at all).
Both at work (in my breaks) - and at home - I want to choose what to read, by clicking on news headlines, and read the top paragraph - that will determine whether I need or want to read more. Only for world breaking news (eg huge natural calamity, or outbreak of war, or a truly good news story) - might I tune into TV, or view news videos online. That's only about once every few months (at most!)

I will continue to enjoy photography as a hobby - and appreciate seeing others' quality photography in various media (online, magazines, newspapers, etc).  Even though video is taking over some of the traditionally 'written and photographed' articles - there will always be a place for it. And I expect quality publications will still reserve a space for photos and written articles. Who knows, there might even be a return to that some day!

Regards

Paul

142
I've lived in 3 different countries for periods of some years each, and have visited many more countries for 'some week to some months' each.

Sad that in some parts of the world there is so much fear about 'street photography'- and indeed even aggression when a photographer is around with his / her camera in hand. I have researched the laws in various countries and know my rights. I also am an official photographer for events (eg some sports events, church events, youth camps, official openings, etc)

Thankfully I've never been threatened, or felt very harrassed. I am naturally a friendly, smiley guy. But stereotypes are difficult, as I'm a non-married middle aged male - so if I'm alone (eg on a beach) some people might think I'm there to capture photos of unsuspecting people ... for sinister purposes, which is far from the truth! :/  Usually though when I'm at the beach I'm with friends - so that does feel 'easier' if I have my camera then, and especially if they have their phones and/or cameras out too! :)

Only once (about 5 or 6 years ago) when I was photographing crashing  waves on quite a remote beach, did one young surfer (read about 20?) stop surfing and come to me and ask if I was taking photos of him and his mates. I said I wasn't, I was capturing the waves and landscape. He asked me not to take photos of them. I responded in a friendly manner: "No worries mate, as I said I wasn't doing that and I won't take any photos of you". However that was the only exception.

When I travelled to Thailand, for example - I used my 7D with 15-85mm most of the time, especially around people (only using my L white glass less often).  I was very thankful to note the friendly and open nature of the Thai people I met. I usually started conversations with people first anyway - that's just my nature.

But I know from various parts of the world - and for some - religion also has an impact on this - photography is much more difficult and threatening. While I prefer visiting 'friendly / safe' places - if in an area of 'photography vulnerability' - I'd probably not take so many photos, and no where there is a feeling people don't like it.

Regards

Paul (now in Australia)

143
Lenses / Re: Anything shot with 70-200 f4 IS USM + 7D
« on: May 28, 2013, 08:02:26 AM »
I have used the 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM- and I own a 7D.

However for my purposes, the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM won from a perspective of having an extra 100mm reach, and being almost as 'fast' as the f/4 for the same mm (it stays f/4 for quite a while, and then f/4.5, etc). So I bought the 70-300mm L soon after it was released.

Most reviews will show that both lenses are very sharp, even wide open. My 70-300mm L is still very sharp at 300mm f/5.6 (the setting I use most) - but it is a bit sharper at 70mm (if I look closely). But at 300mm f/5.6 it still knocks the socks of most lenses. Though it needs to be taken into account there is sample to sample lens variation in IQ.

The 7D is definitely more demanding on lenses than eg an 8MP or 12MP equivalent APS-C.  I have a number of lenses, and eg the 15-85mm really outshone my (now sold) 28-135mm on the 7D.  But on the 350D, while the difference between these 2 lenses was noticeable, the difference was not AS noticeable as on the 7D.

I can highly recommend the 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM, but recommend the 70-300mm L if you can afford the extra bit of money. The 70-300mm L is very hand-holdable (it's 4-stop IS is very good, and its USM focus very fast & accurate). Though built like a tank, it's not too heavy to transport (or have in a bag) all day. I like it's 'stumpy' design and that the zoom ring is at the end of the lens (that's what I prefer!).

Paul

144
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D vs. 600D with good lenses?
« on: May 27, 2013, 01:58:01 AM »
More flexibility in low light performance and range both wide and tele with option #1. On the 600d you would have had to find a lens that is 15-65mm to match the same focal length of 24-105mm on 6D. DOF of f/4 on 6D is also compared to f/2.5 on 600D. The boost in ISO performance and overall look of the images is also better with full frame, but I wouldn't spend that kind of money for street shots if I could barely afford it, you should make the bigger purchases if you know your finances can take the hit or if it will be an investment that pays for itself short term. But of course, in the end, you still buy what you want because it's your money. ;)

Certainly FF has advantages of more control of depth of field (DOF) ie by definition of having a larger sensor, a shallower DOF is easier possible - with the same aperture.  And FF has the advantage of generally lower noise, so in that regard the 6D would be a good option.

However there is a place for APS-C (eg 600D or 60D) too. Firstly there are many great EF-S lenses, eg the 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 which covers 24-135mm in FF format. True, this is a slowish lens. The 17-55mm f/2.8 is a faster lens. Though for truly shallow DOF, a dedicated fast prime (eg f/1.2 - f/2) is more suitable.

UWA, there are so many great lens options - from various manufacturers, many of which are sharp corner to corner, contesting the best L UWAs. Eg the Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 10-20mm, Sigma 8-16mm.

The 7D's AF is great for street photography (19 cross type AF points, well spread across the composition). Most EF-S lenses are less expensive than their FF 'equivalent'. No doubt if money is no barrier, then go for FF- and get a 6D (or even a 5DmkIII or 1DX).  But generally people don't choose the 5DmkIII or 1DX because of financial limitations - and needing to keep sufficient funds for decent glass.

Regards

Paul

145
Lenses / Re: 50mm.. Upgrade or not?
« on: May 22, 2013, 11:47:18 PM »
My two cents is that if I had your existing lens kit, I would wait.  I have a feeling that the next year is going to bring some interesting lenses in the 50mm department, including an ART remake from Sigma and a nice 50mm (probably with IS) from Canon.  There's a lot of good about Sigma's current 50, but the AF isn't one of them.  The enhanced build quality and AF from the 35mm f1/4 in a new 50mm from Sigma could be very interesting, and most of Canon's new primes (while expensive), have been significant optical upgrades from their predecessors.

In the meantime, I think you are pretty well covered between the 24-70II and 1.4, particularly if you are pretty satisfied with your 1.4.

+1

My thoughts EXACTLY. (Thanks, TWI for making my contribution so simple as a +1 and this line).  I'm waiting to see what Canon (& other lens manufacturers) will put out in the next 12 to 18 months re: 50mm primes.  A Canon 50mm  IS USM lens would be great, or a Sigma 50mm 'A'  - if either were f/1.4 - f/2  :)

146
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Coming in July? [CR2]
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:19:25 PM »
12800 iso will look like a cat vomit after eating a pack of m&ms

THAT made me LOL!!   ;D  I've never heard that as a description of high noise, but it's very apt!

I've used the SL1 (in store) for about 5 minutes the other week and then I also tried the 700D in store too. So I couldn't really determine the noise to any great detail, but both did seem fairly close to my 7D (judging from the screens and zooming in).

Hopefully Canon will introduce a new, improved sensor with the 7DmkII (and even better, if it is included in the 70D). As I'm not planning on getting a 70D, but rather a 7DmkII (or mkIII) if / when my 7D is due for replacement, I do hope Canon achieves advances in their sensor technology over the next few releases, both the 70D and 7Dmkxx. I'm very happy with my 7D, and have used a number of xxD cameras too, and still have my old 350D as a backup.

Regarding swivel screen- if it's 'quite solid' when locked in, I'm all for that, at times (especially with macros or some positions) - having a swivel screen using live view can be helpful (and I don't own a smart phone... yet)... ;)

I am sure the 70D will be a great enthusiast camera, hopefully they will include AFMA with it, and a robust AF system - these are 2 things I think that level of camera deserve.

Paul

147
Canon General / Re: Which lens for my new 6D (my first DSLR)?
« on: May 20, 2013, 07:35:48 AM »

full frame is my main concern here. I had been using my friend's Rebel kiss since months and it breaks my heart everytime i return home with cropped images due to the crop sensor.

If the above is your experience / thinking, there are (at least) 2 (possible) issues here:

1) your friend's Rebel Kiss (300D), the first of that 'line' of Canon's 'entry level' DSLRs has been used with the 'wrong' lens - eg using a 28mm lens on a crop sensor (1.6x / APS-C) for 'wide angle' won't really be 'wide'. You need a lens at 17mm to be equivalent of 28mm in Full Frame (FF) format.  Don't use wrong lenses (ie expecting the same mm as in FF) for the APS-C / crop sensors  (btw, new crop bodies like 700D and 60D are MANY steps better in just about every regard).

2) you don't understand photography - that is, that you think the lens 'won't crop' an image in the first place. What you see through the optical view finder (OVF) in a DSLR is what you get. So, therefore get a lens that you need. Eg, I have the Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS USM, which is a great lens for a APS-C, and very comparable in focal length (and other aspects) to the EF 24-105mm L IS USM on a FF. So get the lens or lenses you need, whether prime or zoom, whether fast or slow.

Generally for landscapes and low light, FF is superior. If you do a lot of low light, maybe the 24-105mm will serve you well, because although it is 'only' f/4 (not particularly fast) - it has IS which will help you in getting steadier hand-held shots than even non-stabilised f/2.8 lenses.

I love using primes (eg f/1.2 ti f/2) for low-light / subject isolation. Zooms for good light, and travel / convenience. Even on a crop, such prime lenses can produce stunning images with shallow depth of field (DOF) and zooms - particularly EF-S like the 15-85mm or Canon's 17-55mm f/2.8 can be really handy and have high Image Quality (IQ).

Regards

Paul

148
Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
« on: May 19, 2013, 10:58:32 PM »
Dolina... they are really great photos... showing (off!) very well the wonderful poential of that lens.
Thanks for sharing... good job on them.  I love the colours and depth of field you've used.  Will look at some more of your photos on flickr when I have more time (I'm in my lunch break at work).

McTool - welcome! I really like your bird shots with the 500L too. Autumn a bit over a year ago (March 2012) here in in Adelaide, SA, I took several photos of Wattle Birds, New Holland Honeyeaters and a Willy Wagtail - that patiently allowed me to get quite close to them. I had my 70-300mm L (so won't post on this thread).  I was happy how many BIF of mine worked out.

Thanks for sharing all, and I look forward to more photos from Canon's amazing 500mm L f/4 L lens. I would be very tempted to get the 200-400mm L f/4 1.4x lens for wildlife & birding, I think it would do a great job (I love the flexibility of zoom lenses often when outdoors taking photos of aspects of nature - eg landscapes, wildlife, birds, etc).

Cheers

Paul

149
I've owned DSLRs for about a decade, and have taken many many photos at the beach. Generally I don't hesitate to change lenses at the beach, but if it's windy I refrain from doing this (or I go to the nearest non-sandy area, eg walk 50 metres away from the sand of the beach). I do not try not to change lens too often, on the beach - but never at ground level, nor when sitting down (as sand is more likely to get pick up / kicked up at that level). So usually I do a change with the body hanging off my neck.   ;)

Having grown up in Australia and then spending about a decade in Europe, also visting various beaches when I lived there - and eg going on holidays to Thailand 3 years ago, I have taken my DSLR gear (and prior to that my P&S camera/s) with me wherever I go.  Sand possibly did get into (or 'along the barrel of') one of my Fuji P&S cameras - that may have have caused issued (but I had taken over 100,000 shots with it, so that's not bad).

I found more issues with going from very cold conditions (eg below -20 outside) in Romania - to inside conditions (causing the lenses to humidify / 'fog up') was more annoying, and as others have stated, could possibly present more issues.  I had the same condensation issue (but with less severity) in the tropics (even when it's been the off-peak / humid season).    ???

I enjoy taking photos at the beach - and I love swimming, walking at the beach. So I have taken my DSLR cameras to the beach hundreds of times. When there is a small risk of me actually falling in the water (eg wading in water with waves) I use my older DSLR body / lens combination eg Canon 350D with 18-55mm kit lens, rather than my Canon 7D with 15-85mm.

Certainly do be careful changing lenses... but if you are careful - you should be right. I would also say that having an 'air-rocket' to blow away dust, sand particles, and also a soft (eg micro-fibre) cloth to hand - but away from sand itself, to wipe away any sand, dust, etc - is handy. 

Best wishes - and yes, do enjoy your holiday (not just the photography side of it).  8)

Paul

150
Lenses / Re: Standard Lens for Paris and London holiday.
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:10:43 PM »
I've lived in London for 6 years back in the 1990's early 2000's, and while not visiting Paris, I have been in many other European cities. Though architecture and street photography isn't my 'main photography interests' - I'd say that you will find UWA helpful in cities (eg both street scenes and inside old buildings, etc).

Both your 50mm f/1.4 and 135 f/2 could be useful for different types of candid street shots too (eg for subject isolation). While the 24-70mm II is a great lens, it depends your shooting style whether you'd need it.  One thing I don't like doing while travelling is taking a TON of equipment.  So you might not need an additional lens to the 3 you currently have.

As stated previously, f/2.8 will be helpful for low light / night time - but often an even lower f/ value AND IS is better. You state you won't bring a tripod along, and I can understand that. In general I would advise people who are going to a place specifically FOR photography to consider bringing a tripod along - but yes, that can be quite inconvenient carrying a tripod along everywhere unless you have a bag that fits one to it.

I find the zoom range of my 15-85mm on my 7D ideal as a 1 lens travel option... ie equivalent to 24-136mm in FF format.  And it has 4 stops IS... so I can get away with a lot of hand held photos that still have a deep depth of field too.  So in some ways if I went on holidays with a FF, I might even consider the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VR - but I have heard there are some QC issues with that.... So it might even mean that I would go with the 24-70mm f/4 IS OR 24-105mm f/4 IS. 

Am I helping or making more options? Ok, in summary - I'd probably go with the 24-105mm f/4 as an all round, or stay with your 3 current lenses if you don't mind changing lenses... but a wide angle and 1 lens for subject isolation can be helpful.

Paul

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