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Messages - pj1974

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Lenses / Re: Safari 300 2.8 Mkii or 200-400 1.4x
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:20:13 AM »
I've done quite a lot of travel in my life - from Australia (where I was born) to Europe (where I lived for about 11 years) to Asia (visited a number of times).  So while I haven't been to Africa (or your particular safari) I have used various camera / lens configurations during my overseas trips / holidays.

My advice would be to go with the zoom. Much more flexible for composing shots of various animals (small to large size, near or far).  And generally in Africa, for a 'safari setting' f/4 to f/5.6 works fine.

So for such a holiday I'd go for the 200-400mm 1.4x f/4 L zoom over the 300mm f/2.8 L prime any day.  And as you said, you don't want to be changing separate 1.4x and/or 2x TCs all the time.

Be careful with your gear (Any photographic gear will potentially attract attention - including possibly from some people who might think to 'relieve you of it'.  So... will it be insured? Will you be with someone else? What are you plans for storage? etc)   I generally find having 1 body and a flexible (eg zoom, and IS) lens is better than 2 bodies on 'holiday' situations. Especially when you have a big lens... just don't weigh yourself down too much.

Hope you enjoy yourself.  Best wishes. And I look forward to see some photos of your safari after you've returned!


Site Information / Re: Post Precessing Section
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:37:11 AM »
This would be good... post processing can be very important (for some photos more than others).

I have been a member of another photography forum on the interweb for many years, and they had a ‘post processing’ section that I (& many others) found very helpful.

So I would love CR (one of my fav photography websites currently) to have a Post Processing part of the forum.  Cheers (& hopefully thanks in advance!)

PJ   8)

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 13, 2014, 06:56:54 AM »
If the focus ring was at the other end of the push/pull barrel so it didn't get turned accidentally, and if the IS was worth anything, it would be a far more pleasant lens to use.

Have you used the 70-300L?  The design places the focus ring next to the body, the zoom ring further out. That's reversed from other L lenses, and means your hand (well, mine at any rate) reflexively grabs the focus ring when intending to zoom.  A real PITA, and if the new 100-400 has a similar design, it would be unfortunate.

I own the older Tamron super zoom (200-500mm). Its focus ring is placed where it is next to the camera's body...and I kind of like it that way! When used on a monopod or tripod, it seems a lot better that way...but certainly different from my Canon lenses.

I own a number of Canon L lenses - which started out with the Canon 28-135mm 'back in the day' which has the focus ring close to the body, and the zoom ring further away. (I've since sold the Canon 28-135mm)

Currently the 15-85mm and 70-300mm L are among my 2 favourite lenses (mainly used on my 7D) - and I actually prefer the configuration of focus ring close to body and zoom ring further away. The Canon 70-300mm L won for me over a number of other options  (a few years ago) - because of it's IQ and size/weight.  I did consider the 100-400mm... but that extra 100mm of zoom wasn't 'worth it' for me (I understand it might be for others).

I have used the 100-400mm a number of times, i.e. using friend's lenses, borrowing, etc. I became more accustomed to the 'push pull' after some time than I thought I would, but still generally by 'instinct' prefer a zoom ring, and a zoom ring nearer the end of my lenses. Having said that, I know it would be a different story if I had only got used to lenses with the zoom closer to the body (eg if I had owned the Canon 24-105mm L instead of the Canon 28-135mm).  But hey, the Canon 24-105mm L wasn't around at the time I got into photography!

I have owned 3 x Sigma UWA lenses (and initially found it mildly inconvenient on each that 1) the zoom rotates the other way AND 2) the focus is at the end and zoom ring is nearer the body. Thankfully I pretty much have a 'mental switch' in my mind now, so when I put my Sigma 8-16mm on my camera, I somewhat reflectively know it's on and my hand/mind know what to do (eg in the dark).

Horses for courses... but most importantly, enjoy your gear and take great photos.  I trust that Canon will have done their research (& design) well; and if they do come out with a 100-400mm L II (or similar) that they will come out with an awesome lens.   However I doubt I'll be buying one... as the 70-300mm L meets my needs very well.

Best wishes all...


Part of the problem is:
 I have a Tamrac bag that I got more than 30 years ago, I've hauled it all over the country and halfway around the world, and it is still in very good shape.  Its not showing obvious wear and I'm not seeing a need to replace it, maybe in another 30 years...

Indeed, well explained.  The sign of good gear when it lasts that long!

Also - having good designs, so that a photog knows what one wants, and buys it - then no need to buy 'multiple / upgrade' bags either.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Speculation [CR1]
« on: June 19, 2014, 12:20:12 AM »
This is my prediction (which I have written before - and close to what Don has suggested in this thread)

24MP sensor
improved ISO performance at both low & hi ISOs (eg lower noise, less banding)
10 fps, with 2 options for lower fps
AF system similar to 5DmkIII (good frame coverage, extra sensitive, mostly cross type AF sensors)
DPAF (slight improvement on 70D)
Dual Digic6 processors
1xCF slot + 1xSD card slot
4k video, at least 60fps 1080 video, with headphone jack and more customisation
Touchscreen (I hope, but doubt - it will be articulated)
wireless flash controller (probably radio)
Similar black body / same weather sealing - including integrated pop-up flash
LP-E6 battery (optional portrait grip to house 2x batteries)
$2200 RRP

Lenses / Re: Any word on the 50mm with Image Stabilzation?
« on: June 17, 2014, 10:35:22 PM »
For the 87th time, Canon is working on an EF 50mm F/(no one knows) IS USM.  Going to happen.  Done deal.  (An 85 as well, surely.)

It will be exactly like the other non-L IS refreshes that the 24/28/35mm focal lengths got in the last two years:

  • Far far sharper.  As good or better than Canon's large aperture L in the same FL.
  • Modern, fast USM
  • Size on par with the current 50 F/1.4 -- i.e. much much smaller and lighter than the L or the Sigma Art.
  • 3-4 stops of IS
  • Much better build quality: solid feel, higher quality plastics, etc.
  • Internal focusing

...and it will be worth every penny.  If you want a solid 50mm for all purposes including handholdability in low-light, video, etc., this will undoubtedly be it.  The Sigma Art is a stellar lens at a great value, but a one stop advantage of speed is obliterated by 3-4 stops of IS depending on what you shoot.  (For me, that's huge.)  And we all know what a fickle diva the 50 F/1.2L is -- stellar draw/bokeh/feel but soft as a noodle in the corners and somewhat finnicky AF at wider apertures.

The only unknowns remaining are the max aperture and the cost. 

All prior non-Ls that got this refresh treatment retained their prior max aperture (24 and 28 --> F/2.8, 35 --> F/2).  However, in this segment, an F/1.4 IS might be big and heavy and perhaps Canon doesn't want to do that, so some folks have posited that it will be a segment-shaker-upper and be an F/1.8 IS.  We shall see.

The cost will depend on a lot of things:

  • Is it replacing the Canon EF 50 F/1.4 USM or will it be sold alongside it?
  • Will the max aperture be F/1.4?  F/1.8?  F/2?
  • How sharp will it be?  If it outpunches the 50 F/1.2L considerably (which not a high bar at all), will Canon enjoy people paying (say) $600 instead of $1500 for sharper lens?  (Replace $600 with $949 and you can see why Sigma loves life right now.)

So my guess is that it will be 90% as sharp as the Sigma Art (at comparable apertures) and run high at first offering -- say $799 -- to gobble up every photog who has stuck with the Canon 50 F/1.4 because the L is lacking something that they need.  Over time, the price might settle down around $600 like the other non-L IS refreshes.

- A

+0.8   [that is, quite close to my thoughts about this matter.]

Edit - the main thing that I believe I'll stick with a Canon 50mm prime with (rather than a Sigma, or other 3rd party lens) is that there have been slight AF inconsistencies with 3rd party lenses, which is crucial for my style of 50mm shallow depth of field photography.....

Thanks for saving me some typing time, ahsanford   :)

Lenses / Re: This thing's gotta go!
« on: June 11, 2014, 10:09:28 PM »
I had a Canon EF 28-135mm USM IS, that I bought with my first DSLR. I had a good copy, and mine was better than the 18-55mm kit lens (ie the 28-135mm was sharper wide open, more contrast, had USM focus, and IS).

It was my favourite lens for large flowers, and I kept it until about a year after I bought my 7D and Canon EF-S 15-85mm (which was a few years ago now).  Since using the superior 15-85mm, I didn’t find much use for the 28-135mm any more.  I decided to sell it… got a decent price for it, and am happy for the years of use I had out of it.

Along similar lines, I sold my Canon 100-300mm USM, when I upgraded to the Canon 70-300mm L USM IS.  This lens is a great telephone, especially on APS-C bodies.

I also sold my Sigma 10-20mm EX after I bought the superior Sigma 8-16mm (love this lens, with its extreme field of view!) 

The only other lens that I’ve sold is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.  I never really loved it – AF is between terrible and unacceptable (on all Canon DSLRs I’ve had), bokeh is harsh, and its quality wide open not good enough for my needs.

There you go!


EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 11, 2014, 08:19:13 PM »
I am looking forward to see what any 7D mkII has to offer (as I have a 7D and was a relatively early adopter of this great camera).

My main hopes / criteria include:
-   It definitely has to remain APS-C  / 1.6x crop sensor (I have lenses, both EF-S and EF that I love on APS-C bodies).* 
-   Better IQ (both at low and high ISO, in terms of lower noise, no banding – and good per pixel sharpness)
-   Improved AF (stronger, more consistent auto-focussing – especially in poor light, but I find the 7D does quite a good job if one knows how!)
-   Phase Detect DPAF (Dual Pixel Auto Focus) on sensor, like the 70D (or even better)
-   Body size / weight / shape – I love it as it is, and yes, I’ve use many other bodies – smaller, larger, Canon & other brands. 7D is just right for me! I’d prefer not to have an integrated grip.
-   Keep the pop up flash, it’s definitely convenient to have it there, and not need to always take an external flash
-   FPS is fine, but I’d like a 5 frame EV-exposure bracket possibility (not just the 3).
-   Intervalometer (not a huge deal breaker, I have the very good Hahnel remote, which can do those features, and has some other useful functionality)
-   WiFi & GPS – handy, but want to have the option to switch them on & off easily. Not essential or that important for me.

* APS-H is dead, and didn’t give the best of both worlds, it gave the worst of both worlds – though I can understand for some people it ‘worked’ as a handy compromise.

I don’t mind the mode dial – I really like that it has hard stops (I place ‘sports / quick action’ photography on C3).  But I only use these 3 modes Av (85% of the time), M (10%) and Tv (5%).  I certainly don’t want the P mode, or ‘Creative Auto’, etc.  I would be happy with 5 x Custom modes, either accessible via a mode dial, button/s or a well-implemented touchscreen system.

Having seen what Canon has brought out with the 70D (for a xxD body - a fine camera: good image quality, rich feature list & great value) – I have positive (and hopefully not unrealistic) expectations of a good 7DmkII… it’s certainly been a long time in the coming!


Lenses / Re: Photozone review of EF-S 10-18mm is online
« on: June 08, 2014, 08:10:23 AM »
Thanks Traveller for starting this thread.  Well done to Klaus @ Photozone for a speedy review.. I love his analysis and descriptions... good to read & follow.

I saw the review a day and a half ago, and it confirmed what I thought - another very 'attractive' Canon STM IS lens.  When I write 'attractive' - I mean, fantastic value for money, and very decent good image quality (IQ) and few other weaknesses.

Canon have been doing well with all their STM lenses in terms of IQ, general functionality, etc.  So it's great to see this being a 'budget' yet good IQ, that complements the 18-55mm STM IS and the 55-250 STM IS.

I can imagine many people going for this lens who want a Canon EF-S UWA on the Canon DSLRs like xxxxD, xxxD, xxD and maybe even the 7D's. It's very competitive against other UWAs out there... and beats a handy few.

I used to have a good copy of the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, but upgraded to the Sigma 8-16mm, which has even better IQ than either of the Sigma 10-20mm's.  Plus it's an extra 2mm wider, which at that width is really noticeable!  Here is photozone's review of the Sigma 8-16mm - which interestingly is very similar in sharpness and general other IQ characteristics (eg vignetting and CA's) to the Canon 10-18mm.

I hope many Canon APS-C camera owners will be happy owners and enjoy the fun of UWAs with the EF-S 10-18mm STM IS!  Looking forward to seeing beautiful images from it.  :)



Lenses / Re: What was your first L lens?
« on: June 06, 2014, 05:48:45 PM »
My first L lens was the 70-300mm L USM IS.  I bought it a few years ago to replace my 'quite average' 100-300mm USM, mainly for much improved IQ @ the tele end, and of course the IS.  (I must say the 100-300mm's USM was very good!) :)

I didn't actually expect to get the 70-300mm L, it was recently released in shops - and I was looking between the Tamron 70-300mm and the Canon nonL 70-300mm, leaning toward the Tamron. Then I saw it on the shelf in the shop - and asked to try it on my 7D.

Took a few shots inside and more outside the store.  I was surprised at how well balanced it was on my 7D, AND how compact it was. (I wanted a very portable lens to fit in my shoulder LowePro bag, to complement my Canon 15-85mm). I went home, looked at the photos on my PC and was sold - particularly at the great sharpness, contrast and general great IQ at 300mm f/5.6. 

I went back to the store, and they offered me a great deal (really good price on a new lens, and gave me a pro 67mm multicoated Hoya UV filter).  :)  So I was 'sold' and bought it and have enjoyed using it lots since. My 7D's AF is good, and I have photographed much wildlife, including hundreds of birds, also BIF. 

Cheers..... Paul

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 f/4L IS Real World Sample Images
« on: June 04, 2014, 09:23:30 AM »
Yes, I've looked at the samples... definitely hints that this EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM will be a great lens.
I've also seem some of the new EF-S 10-18mm IS STM will be a decent budget for APS-C cameras too!

Well done CANON!  :)


Lenses / Re: Canon 10-22 vs 10-18
« on: June 03, 2014, 07:56:22 PM »

2) Whom they are going to sell EF-S 10-22 to now? (To the guys who crave for 7DII? No chance! Since all of them are bird-shooters who do not care about UW.)

Hey I have a 7D and crave the 7DII, shoot birds and have the 10-22. ;D

+1 *(well almost)

(I have a 7D and crave the 7DII, shoot birds (lots of them!)- and landscapes (lots of this) - in my case many with my Sigma 8-16mm!

Thanks 2n10 for sharing *almost my thoughts exactly - before I did! ;)

I'm sticking with an APS-C for all my photography at this stage... I love the lenses I have, covering 8mm to 300mm with quality glass!  :)

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF-S 10-18 f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
« on: June 03, 2014, 07:47:26 PM »

It's truly bizarre to me that almost 20 years after Canon's first IS lens people still insist on staying ignorant about the benefits of IS. IS is not just about counteracting shaky hands, IS allows you to shoot at lower shutter speeds than you normally would. f/4.5 with 3-4 stops optical stabilization on this lens will be able to handle lower shutter speeds than f/3.5 without on the 10-22mm. Can you use your imagination to think of any scenarios where lower shutter speeds are indispensable?

I can successively shoot an EF 85mm f/1.8 at 1/4 second on a crop-camera. Therefore the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 is not a problem, for me. YMMV. I can also drive a stick-shift (manual) transmission car. YMMV.

There are many times an IS system is handy -- Long Whites comes to mind. But a 10-18mm you've to to be kidding!

But not-to-worry, your side has won  ::) Canon has also added Image Stabilization to the EF 16-35mmf/4L IS USM. When will Canon add IS to the EF 14mm f/2.8L and EF 15mm f/2.8L ??? I'm sure that Zeiss will soon add IS to their Wide Angle Prime lenses :)

I have been shooting photos for years, and was very happy when image stabilisation / optical stabilisation came out.  It definitely benefit many of my photo opportunities (both in lenses, and in digital P&S’s).

Some people definitely have steadier hands than others (and some people are better practised at this). However to suggest that most people could consistently achieve sharp hand held photos with exposure of 1/4 second at 85mm (on an APS-C body) is a fallacy.   I would suggest that even the steadiest percentile of photographers can not achieve this consistently!

Much of my photography requires small apertures… eg f/8 to f/16 (yes, I know… diffraction starts to set in… but this overall very minor decrease in sharpness (ie at small apertures like f/16) is offset by having a photo with a sufficiently sharp (close) foreground to (distant) background.

There is definitely a place for IS, also in UWAs. In fact for several years, I have been hoping that Canon might even come out with an in-body IS system. Yes, I’ll admit it – I’m jealous of that possibility offered by some other manufacturers.

On the whole I prefer the overall Canon system (features and quality of DSLR bodies, lenses and accessories).  Even if in body IS offered 2 to 3 stops of IS (rather than the 4 in most new lenses) that would be welcome… I fully realise I’m being quite hopeful and optimistic in this, but an extra 2 to 3 stops stabilisation for my Sigma 8-16 would be AWESOME.  (It’s such a good lens!)  I’m thrilled with my Canon 15-85mm as my walk around, it’s 4 stop effective IS proves so useful – also at 15mm.

Sure I find most use for IS on my fantastic 70-300mm L, where that lens' 4 stop IS is really helpful, and in some ways a 'photo saver'.

But even then, for many of my photos, a steady tripod is required. There is nothing like having a good sturdy tripod from which to take photos with any duration of shutter speed. Just IS is helpful for when I don’t want to lug around a tripod (or when they are not allowed in certain environments).

Professional photographers and videographers alike use IS extensively – AND use tripods too. That’s not to say that in all situations tripods are required, or that photographers who don’t have or use a tripod – are ‘unprofessional’ or ‘limited’.  They might just not do that type of photography that requires it… OR they might be happy with ‘blurry photos’ (and I’m not talking about pixel peeping… I’m not a pixel peeper!) To suggest that either IS and/or tripods are not needed shows an ignorance about the breadth and requirements within certain genres of photography.

Well done Canon for introducing IS into your first UWA – in the EF-M 11-22mm. And thanks now for adding IS to the EF 16-35mm L F/4 and the EF-S 10-18mm. It’s a good thing!

Lenses / Re: UWA for a lady - crop user, EOS 700D
« on: June 01, 2014, 07:19:45 PM »
Just wanting to understand your post a bit more, to help out with your question.

You wrote that you’ve been looking at:
- EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
- Tokina 11-16 (I dont really get all the different versions...)
- Sigma 10-20 4,5-5,6
- Canon 10-22

- but that you got the old sigma 4,5-5,6 and am not too happy with it....

Firstly, what do you mean by the Sigma lens/es you list? Do you mean the same lens – you maybe want a different copy?
Or do you mean you hope to get the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5?

What was/is it exactly / particularly about the ‘old Sigma f/4.5-5.6’ that you didn’t/don’t like?

I have owned 2 copies of the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 HSM EX lens – bought when there was not the variety of choice there is today. (There were only 3 UWA lenses for Canon APS-C back then): Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM which was just released and expensive, Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX (not as wide as I wanted) & Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 (less expensive, better build quality and initial tests showed about just as sharp as the Canon).  The Canon’s lens hood really turned me off too (very wide / protruding).

However the first copy of my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 HSM EX had a decentring issue, so I returned it at the shop for another lens. The 2nd copy was good. It was sharp – at nearly all settings, and was a solid performer.  The AF on the Sigma was not quite as good as Canon USM’s (I have a number of Canon USM lenses) – ie the Canon was slightly more consistent & a touch faster, but AF for an UWA is not that critical – actually much of the time I used it as a MF lens, as I prefer most of my UWA photos to have lots of depth of field (I mainly shoot landscape with it).  It was sharp and contrasty. So overall I was happy with it- great lens for the price (and my results were consistent with a lot of reviews of it, eg at Photozone).

However some time ago I upgraded to the Sigma 8-16mm, for a number of reasons: The first & main reason is that I wanted a few extra mm on the wide end… and 8mm vs 10mm is quite a difference!  The other reason is that the newer lens has slightly better sharpness, noticeable less CA (especially at the edges & corners). Don’t get me wrong, the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 wasn’t ‘bad’ in these respects– not at all, in fact it’s received lots of happy users.  Just the Sigma 8-16mm is a bit superior IQ (and it’s wider). I had both for a while, and am happier with the Sigma 8-16mm overall, hence I sold my Sigma 10-20mm.  Only lost about AUD $200 for about 5 years of use – which to me is great value for the many many hours & thousands of ‘keeper photos’ I had from it (I sold it for about $400, bought it for just over $600 back in 2008).

The Sigma 8-16mm won’t allow filter (which is a bit of a shame – but as I don’t do many UWA photos requiring filters, I don’t mind that much)… I use filters on my Canon 15-85mm, Canon 70-300mm L and other prime lenses, which is a different story.

Hope this is helpful.  :)


Lenses / Re: EF-S 10-18 f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Image Samples
« on: May 15, 2014, 07:34:32 PM »
Very interesting....

I can do ultra-wide with the 16-35 II on the 5D3 and it's great. But, the best I can do on the Rebel is the manual-focus 14 mm Bower. And manually focusing on the Rebel isn't really easy for my old eyes through the viewfinder.

I'd chalk this lens up to a great performer at a reasonable price, kind of like the 40/2.8. Which I bought. Didn't need a 40, I have several ways to get a similar focal length, but I bought it anyway. It now sits happily on the 10D that I bought back from the person to whom I sold it several years ago. My first DSLR.

As for those images from the 16-35/4, holy carp on a cracker. Very interesting also!

Hi Tom

I’m curious what you mean, so I’ll ask (neutrally) – when you wrote ‘can do ultra-wide with 16-35mm on 5D3’ but ‘best .. on Rebel is the man focus 14 Bower’… do you mean, these are your current lenses?  Or lenses that meet a certain criteria for you?  Have you tried other UWA lenses on your cameras?

I have used the 17-40mm L on FF (borrowing a FF), and quite liked it – but the corner sharpness (even when stopped down) did not match what lenses designed for APS-C could achieve in the corners.  The 16-35mm L was too big and expensive for my liking. I don’t need or use f/2.8 for UWA anyway.  F/5.6 is plenty for what I use and need.

On my 7D I have used a Canon 10-22mm (borrowed) and owned a decent copy of the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, which was ‘reasonably’ sharp –at the corners.  I now own the notably better Sigma 8-16mm, which is definitely sharper – even at 8mm in the corners, and has much lower CA than either the Canon 10-22mm or the Sigma 10-20mm versions.  Plus that extra 2mm makes a real distance… I love ultra wide landscapes in particular!

I am impressed by the MTF charts for both Canon’s new UWA lenses – well done Canon, and at decent prices (esp the 10-18mm STM’s price).  I don’t plan on replacing my Sigma 8-16mm even though I’d love it to have IS/OS (it’s just that good optically… plus still the widest zoom UWA lens available).  But I’m glad for others… and particularly can imagine many landscape photographers will be very happy with the EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS (and it will probably also be very good for many others eg architecture, etc).

Happy shooting everyone!


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