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Messages - pj1974

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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, http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/sets/72157633893629528/

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 photozone.de - 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 SLRgear.com  (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!


Australia / Re: New setup- New to the Forum
« on: June 16, 2013, 06:13:20 AM »
Welcome to CR forums.

I agree that f/2.8 is very handy for night time photography.... and so the Canon 16-35mm L would be a good consideration. Not tack sharp wide open, but still reasonably sharp - but you might need the f/2.8.  Do you need wider than the 24mm? And do you have the 24-70mm v1 or v2?

Other options - yes the Canon 14mm L or one of the TSE lens. Or Canon 17-40mm which is very good stopped down.  I don't do much astrophotography, so my criteria are different (I do more daylight landscape photography UWA).

Your Sigma 8-16mm won't work on a FF. For what it's worth, I've seen a lot (!) of very good images with a crop sensor (APS-C) using many UWAs - eg Sigma 8-16mm, Sigma 10-20mm, Tokina 11-16 (f/2.8!), Tokina 12-24mm and Canon's 10-22mm.  We're really spoiled for choice!

Then, on the other hand, perhaps you want to consider a telezoom- eg 70-200mm f/2.8 II or the 70-300mm L (which I have).  I also take quite a lot of landscape shots with these (eg zooming into mountains, along coastlines, even forests, etc).

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 DC Available for Preorder
« on: June 14, 2013, 12:30:19 PM »
I congratulate Sigma for designing and producing this ground-breaking lens. A f/1.8 zoom for DSLR (admittedly limited to APS-C sensored camera bodies - but still it's an impressive design).

And... according to SLRgear - who have just tested this lens, it performs very well! Read their 'rave review' here: http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=1609    8)

As this lens doesn't suit my style of photography - I don't expect to purchase it (even though the price is very reasonable). However I do think many people will be happy to buy the lens at the price of $799 USD.

Well done Sigma... looking forward to more quality technology in the future.  ;)


I am curious to know what people that photograph other things would do too! Thats why I said that.

But if you want to know, I like to photograph people working, not rich people, people from deep Brazil, where I live now. In the farms for example.

(I'm talking about $2000 in US prices, of course).

Firstly, I echo distant.star's comment - to be thankful (that many people would love to have a 5DmkII and $2000 available to them - and I'm sure you know that from Brazil too).

I do quite a lot of 'people in an environment' style photography - eg recovery / therapy camps for adults and children, church events, some casual sports, etc - though I wouldn't say this is my 'preferred' photographic genre, nor even an area I have most of my skill in.

The lens that I find is the most useful on my Canon 7D for most of my 'people shots' is the very good Canon EF-S 15-85mm. That lens covers equivalent of 24-136mm in FF format. I have also used and owned a good copy of the Canon EF 28-135mm, and the EF-S Canon 18-55mm.

So while it depends on the type of environment you would photograph people (as you said, on farms) - eg mainly outdoor, in large expanses, or up close, detailed work, etc - for FF I would want something of the focal range of the Canon EF 24-105mm L - which gives you both the possibility of context (eg wide angle) and some telephoto (at 105mm). With FF one has more potential for thinner depth of field, even with an f/4 - that can produce some shallow depth of field and have decent bokeh. ;)

Next I would get the 70-200mm f/4 L IS - which would give you some creative potential for more telephoto. And having IS is invaluable here (especially @ f/4). I think if you shopped around and were careful, you could buy both the 24-105mm L and 70-200 f/4 L IS new for about $2000 US.  If new wasn't a possibility - I'd get one (or both) of them refurbed from Canon.

While I own and prefer the Canon 70-300mm L over the 70-200mm f/4 IS - this 70-300mm L is more expensive -and perhaps there are fewer 'deals' going on it too. The 70-300mm L really shines on my 7D, and I've used that for people photography too, it has great sharpness and exceptionally good bokeh for a relatively slow telezoom.

So, in summary if you can - perhaps get the 24-105mm L IS and the 70-200mm L f/4 IS.  Good to great image quality from both lenses, relatively light (eg transportable, etc) - and both have USM and IS - which are really helpful features to have.   And after using these 2 lenses for some time, you may have saved some money and will find out if you need an other lens, eg a fast prime, and at what focal length, or maybe an ultra-wide angle (for that 'special UWA effect').  I doubt that I'd want to get a prime unless you have some time and experience in shooting the style of photography that you're talking about.  :)

Hope my input helps.


Lenses / Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« on: June 13, 2013, 11:47:12 PM »
Ankorwatt... I really like the photos you have shared here... and am glad to read that you realise the Canon 200-400 would be able to take even higher quality images.

Lenses / Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« on: June 13, 2013, 11:45:05 PM »
I'd love to have the new EF Canon 200-400mm f/4 1.4x USM IS lens.... and yes, I'd also have that over the 400mm f/2.8.  The flexibility to have from 200mm (@ f/4) to 500mm (@ f/5.6) on tap is something I would love, particularly for wildlife (animals and birds). Most of my shooting is in good light - a blessing of being in Australia where there is plenty of light often. But even in darker situations, a capable photographer could make this lens sing!

No doubt the 400mm f/2.8 has the advantage in some situations (ie where you are perfectly positioned to fill the frame / compose at 400mm - and in darker light). That's not the style of photography for everyone. I can see many people really loving this lens and buying it (admittedly probably mostly pro's or enthusiasts with higher disposable incomes).

Even above the reviews that will no doubt start to trickle out over the interweb, I look forward to seeing some great quality PHOTOS from this lens too!   8)



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!   :)


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).



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!  ;)

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)


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