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Messages - pj1974

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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.


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  :)

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.


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).



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).



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)


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.


Lenses / Re: What other lenses for my 60D
« on: May 14, 2013, 12:00:01 AM »
I have a 7D, and the Canon 15-85mm.  I am biased to the benefit of having those extra few mm on the wider angle, as I love doing landscapes. 

And most of my landscapes are in good light (thanks to living in awesome Australia) - or I use a tripod.

So for me, the extra 30mm (85mm vs 55mm) is also significant.

When I travel I either like to go with that 1 lens, which has a great focal range. And at times I will put a 'specialist' lens alongside, eg a bright prime (I don't consider f/2.8 that bright!).

But definitely both the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM  and Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM are great candidates to add to the lenses you already have, for the 60D.


Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Announcement Tonight
« on: May 13, 2013, 08:43:40 PM »
Wow! Those are very impressive MTFs, across the board.  Particularly with the extender ON at wide.. (I'm wondering though if that MTF was accidentally mixed with the extender OFF at wide...).   8)

This lens is one I am keen to see reviews of (& photos from).  I doubt I'll ever buy it (though I can afford it, I can't justify about $12k on a single lens - unless I was a professional - ie needing to use it, and making a living from it - which I am not). I'm an ethusiast (and enjoy photography for myself, and sharing my photos with others.

I would love to rent it (but I expect renting it for eg a few days to a week would still be quite a lot!)  I need to convince a good local friend to buy one and let me use it... or I could feel kind & generous; buy one myself and lend out to local friends, thus 'justifying' the purchase to myself more... lol    ;D

Well... looking forward to some reviews, and more importantly - images from it (I love wildlife photography). Having a zoom from 200mm @ f/4 to 560mm @ f/5.6 with 4 stops IS and USM focus in 1 package is really what I would like - honestly, much moreso than I would like a fast tele prime eg the 400mm f/2.8.  (I don't shoot sports, apart from the occasional 'a bit of sports for fun' aspect).  :)

Size and weight are one reason I love my 70-300mm L - it's a truly portable - yet still very high IQ telezoom lens. Of course that lens only goes to 300mm (which is just over half of 560mm). But the 70-300mm L being so portable, it means I'm often able to get closer to 'jittery critters and birds' - than I would be with a huge, tripod mounted lens.

Cheers....  Let the photos roll on!!  ;)


EOS Bodies / Re: The Future of EOS M [CR1]
« on: May 07, 2013, 12:07:30 AM »
Thats what I'm saying Marsu.  With the right settings I don't think the AF is really all that bad.  I wouldn't recommend it to my mum, because she would want it just to work out the box, and I take the point that every review, every forum and everybody who has read a forum (and even those who haven't touched an M) says..

Out the box with the flexi zone left to auto, it's slow and it hunts.

With a dabble in the menus, point select, AF+MF enabled and continual focus switched off, it is about 65x better.

Now I know that 99% of the target users probably aren't going to get beyond A mode.  But for folk who used EOS before, who know what the AF settings mean, you can get better results out of the AF.

Thanks Paul for your number of posts about the EOS M.  I must admit I didn't go into the menus of the EOS M (but I did for the 100D and 700D DSLRs, which I was quite quickly familiar with).

I had picked up the EOS M as a 'end of my visit to the store' thing - and to be fair to the EOS M, I didn't go through and 'limit all the variables' for AF (like I also do for my DSLRs). I would have

Maybe I will go back to the store and use the menus another time. Some staff in that store know me from some visits / former purchases, and they are all usually very accommodating in letting customers use the camera at length in store.

At the end of the day I think I have been spoiled by the 7D's AF (I agree with you, Paul, that too many ppl have overstated the 7D's low ISO noise and "AF issues" - none of which have been show stoppers for me). But I might have another look at the EOS M - but think that a DSLR is a better 'fit' for my girlfriend (also with my range of Canon EF and EF=S lenses).



Lenses / Re: Poll: Most Wanted New Lenses of 2013.
« on: May 06, 2013, 11:43:14 PM »
I voted for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM (as long as it's true USM - which I expect any replacement to the current 50mm f/1.4 will be).

Having written that (& voted) - I would like to add 2 other suggestions:

1) With last month's announcement of Sigma's new 18-35 f/1.8 DC HSM Art for APS-C, as a ground-breaking fast zoom - I would like to see a manufacturer (preferably Canon) come out with a complementary fast zoom lens, in the 30mm - 70mm range. I realise having a f/1.8 (or f/2) zoom all the way from 30mm to 70mm might be biting off more than one can chew (without compromise in size, image quality, etc).  So even having a 35mm - 60mm range could still work well.  USM focus to be used (or STM - at a push). IS not a priority for this lens.

2) Canon 50mm f/2 USM IS.  I would probably prefer the 50mm f/2 USM IS over a Canon 50mm f/1.4, due to the smaller size / potential lower cost. Obviously if the 50mm f/1.4 is sharper @ f/2 than a 50mm f/2 @ f/2 (wide open) - I would take that into account.  The recently announced Canon 35mm f/2 USM IS looks like a great lens, awesome IQ wide open: sharp, contrasty, great bokeh, etc. So I see a Canon 50mm f/2 USM IS as a logical near future release.

I would be keen to hear other's thoughts / input / calculations (eg of weight, size, filters, estimated cost, etc) on the above lenses.



Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon EOS Rebel SL1 in Stock at B&H Photo
« on: May 06, 2013, 02:45:00 AM »
On Saturday (here in Australia, it's Monday afternoon already) - I went to my local dedicated photography store, and tried the 100D (SL1), 700D and EOS M (The store only had the SL1 for 1 week).  I was impressed with how small and light the 100D was, as a body - though it had the 18-55mm IS STM lens attached, which looked 'quite big' relatively speaking.

I wrote in the "Future of the EOS M" thread about my experiences with the EOS M (summary: it has a small size with the 22mm f/2.8 lens attached, but AF is too slow for me).  The EOS M with 22mm lens can easily be put into a small bag (or into a large pocket) Build quality and weight spoke of quite decent materials being used.

Thanks Marsu42 and verysimplejason for your comments / reflections on my earlier post on this thread about the SL1 / 100D. Some further thoughts of mine follow....

The 100D though felt too big to use in that way (definitely not pocketable, even with the 40mm STM pancake). Actually after I had used the 100D for several minutes and saying I liked what Canon had done, but I wasn't sure the size was right (for my girlfriend). The female salesperson told me that she felt the grip wasn't to her comfort- as her hand felt too cramped and 'naturally' felt she needed to hold it more steady with 2 hands.

We then used / compared a 700D - which I had not seen in person or used before, and I much preferred that size. As my girlfriends hands are almost the same size as mine, ergonomics are very personal. As I said to the salesperson, it's probably wisest for me to take my girlfriend to the store to look before actually buying the any camera for her.

The AF on both the 100D and 700D was really quite ok: relatively fast and definitely smooth!  I used the 18-55mm IS STM lens on both camera bodies, and it felt more balanced on the 700D. I'm hard pressed to tell any difference in speed, but AF seemed similar on both. I like STM! (I guess as a budget option to USM in some cases). In the fairly well lit store, the AF wasn't as quick as my 7D using a lens with USM - but it was decent

The 100D was exactly $100 (AUD) less than the 700D, which I thought... hmmm for $100 the 700D does give you more - eg functions, etc.  The 100D's view finder was quite decent size and bright, ok not as large / bright as my 7D, but better than my 350D.  I asked about the 18-135mm STM lens, wow, that lens is still quite expensive here in Aus. So in summary, I think the 700D (or even the 650D - which will be getting cheaper) are better options for my girlfriend... than the 100D / SL1. Who knows when I should purchase it (her birthday is November...!)



EOS Bodies / Re: The Future of EOS M [CR1]
« on: May 06, 2013, 02:25:50 AM »
On the weekend (here in Australia, it's Monday afternoon already) - I went to my local dedicated photography store, and handled the EOS M. I was impressed with the small size with the 22mm f/2.8 lens attached (that lens is really small).

The EOS M and 22mm lens is definitely of the 'slip inside a handbag / manbag' size.  The build quality and weight spoke of quite decent materials being used.

However the AF was really very slow. In a fairly well lit store, it didn't appear much quicker than my 7D's "Live View" AF (which I consider impractically slow apart from tripod landscape work). I haven't used a P&S in quite a while (occasionally tourists will ask me to take a photo with their P&S along a beach, etc).  So I can't really compare to 'average' P&S cameras of todau - as the last time I owned and used my P&S was about 8 years ago.

The salesperson at the store shared that yes, the EOS M had not sold well at all. In fact she said that only a very few people after trying it in store felt it was the camera for them. Who tried the EOS M eventually either purchased an entry level DSLR or a decent P&S, and most were not happy with the AF (for the price / potential).

This is understandable, and I wouldn't buy the current EOS M - mainly due to what you get for the price, compared to a good P&S or even moreso an entry level DSLR. (The saleswoman also indicated she thought it was silly having the small EOS M mounted behind huge EF lenses - I agree). Not user friendly in that case.

I do think if 2 things could be improved upon, the EO SM camera would have more potential:
- the AF to have quick snappy acquisition and very accurate focus
- there to be more (specifically small size) high quality lenses.

Let's see the future... your call, Canon!


Lenses / Re: Best Lens for FF 6D
« on: May 05, 2013, 11:01:20 PM »
best lens would probably be the 14-300 f2.0

+1  Oh, but wait, that was only mkI.  8)
vII of the 14-300mm is also f/2.0, but adds a 4.0x built in tele-converter, and has 10 stops IS and USDSM (Ultra-super-duper-supersonic-motor) AF.  ;D

Naturally the mkII retains its status as a Canon EF lens; is a L, weighing in at 300gr, and uses a 58mm filter (because I asked Canon nicely with a 'pretty please' as I already have 2 Hoya filters of that size: CPL and ND).  ;)

Understandably, we all want to know when the mkII will be available. Well, mkII is said to be released along with the Canon 200-400mm f/4 1.4x IS USM, at 20% of the latter's cost. This is again possible, because I asked with a 'please' and said 'thank you for the realisation of a lens of this nature' in my email correspondence with Canon's CEO.  :P

Ok... enough fun from my end! Seriously now... probably the 'best' lens (as a general purpose) is the 24-70mm f/2.8 USM vII - if you can afford that and need / want f/2.8. I use primes for true 'fast glass' so I don't use 'fast glass' zooms. The 24-105mm f/4 IS USM is a good & affordable alternative for the 6D. Or the 24-70mm f/4 IS USM if you want some decent close-up capability. The Tamron 24-70mm VR has also a large fan base.

I have the 15-85mm IS USM on my 7D, and love that lens. It's my go to lens for most all-round situations & travel. If I had a FF, I would probably go for the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 vII on a 5DmkIII, or 24-105mm on a 6D. There are some great package deals going with 6D and 24-105mm at the moment.  I do find 70mm at the tele-end limiting in a FF zoom.

Let us know what you decide, and enjoy taking some photos and sharing! :)


Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon EOS Rebel SL1 in Stock at B&H Photo
« on: May 03, 2013, 01:32:09 AM »
I am very seriously thinking of getting a Rebel SL1 for my girlfriend, Ali. She is a great photographer in her own right - a very 'arty' person: a lot of people comment on her photos. Ali also paints, sketches, make sculptures, etc AND on top of that she has a great singing voice - writes and records music.

We are in a committed relationship, and while we're not (yet) engaged, I do hope & expect we will get married sometime soon. Ok, bit of a long background (I hear you thinking "where is this going with all of that?") So the only camera that Ali has at the moment is her smart phone (I think it's a Samsung - does pretty decent photos - but obviously nothing like a dedicated camera, and not the creativity of a DSLR).

Ali has used my 7D and while not used to DSLRs yet - she really enjoyed playing with it - and using a few of my different lenses (eg Canon 15-85mm, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 70-300mm L). Ali commented on how much better she could focus with my camera (it was faster and didn't hesitate / shift like her smart phone did for macros). Ali and I are the same height, and she has about the same size hands as me. I know she will find smaller / lighter camera more convenient (she carries a reasonably large leather sling bag with her always).

Therefore the Canon SL1 with the new 18-55mm IS STM lens, remains really compact. (I have noted from that this new lens has great image quality - IQ). I will probably wait some time till the price for both the SL1 and new 18-55mm IS STM lens drops a bit - and look at it in person at a store before I buy it.  (I think having a compact combination is quite important for Ali, so it can fit into her bag).

So I'm toying up with the idea of whether to get the 18-55mm IS STM OR the 18-135mm IS STM lens (which also has really good IQ).  The main disadvantage of the 18-135mm is that it's physically bigger / longer...  but of course the extra reach is handy. I have the 18-55mm II (non IS) version, so maybe I will get the 18-135mm IS STM - because if / when Ali needs a compact lens, the old 18-55mm II (non IS, non STM) lens can do. Because even that lens, stopped down, has decent IQ.

Anyway, I think Canon has released quite a nifty little functional DSLR camera with the SL1, and I look forward to reading reviews, and testing it out in a store sometime soon.

Hmmmm... decisions, decisions.   Well, time will tell.


Lenses / Re: Need Some Advice
« on: May 01, 2013, 09:27:39 PM »
You have all you need except: confidence & experience.

Crack the manual.  Get your partner kids neighbour colleagues to pose in low light conditions. practice. practice. practice.

oh and practice.

Train hard fight easy.

think 'i'm possible' not impossible.

don't buy any more gear.

you want to spend your time taking pics, not changing lenses or fretting about which of your primes to use.

Put the 28 on the 5D.  Put the 50mm on the T2i.  Have the 85mm in your pocket.

Yes, the above advice (by another 'Paul') is close to the advice I give too. :)

I've been asked (not guilt tripped) into doing weddings for friends, and I've always made it clear that I'm doing this as a favour, as a friend - and don't expect shots like a seasoned pro photographer with $50k worth of gear.

Many times my friends have been very thankful with my shots (even back in the days before I had a DSLR!)  I have 2 Canon APS-C bodies.  Primes are important for weddings, both 1) often with low-light settings and 2) wanting to isolate subject (people / sometimes decor) from background

Practise is SO important.  Do a 'trial' with a couple of your friends in a similar / same environment. Don't change lenses too often if you can help it. Think about composition, light, ideas.  I often like a bit of distance b/w me and the couple / bridal party / guests (so having a bit of telephoto - eg 85mm helps).   ;)

While a bit different, this is related: often people tell me they are going to get a camera 'just before they go on holidays' (or to take photos of a friend's wedding - and what can I recommend).  I tell them get a camera NOW... practice a bit daily (or as often as time practically allows them).

Learn all the settings, functions, buttons, etc of your camera NOW. Read the manual 2 times, or more times if you've NEVER owned a camera before. Have it to hand. Many ppl have thanked me for that advice many times over, realising it's the practice that makes the difference, more than the actual equipment.   8)


Paul J

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