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Messages - pj1974

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166
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...!)

Regards

Paul

167
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!

Paul

168
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! :)

Paul

169
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 photozone.de 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.

Paul

170
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)

Regards

Paul J

171
EOS Bodies / Re: The sound of silence
« on: April 23, 2013, 11:13:47 PM »
I had to jump in here. Whenever I get new cameraitis I get my 7D out and go take some pictures. Tonight I used my tripod and took several shots off of my patio as the sun was going down. I used my 24-105 at 28 mm and F8. I tried a few little tweaks like bumping the saturation up to 1 in the Neutral setting and increasing the sharpness to 2. I tried different focus modes from my usual "Single point AF", including the manual zone select shifted to the left for a particular tree. I played with white balance settings. I shot in Live mode with a 2 second timer for many of the shots. I took 19 shots all in all. Brought them inside and pixel peeped the heck out of them. I made some crops, kept one in the original framing, and made a watercolor out of a crop of the tree that caught my eye. The crummy old 7D will still take better images than I can visualize. I don't use the fast focus on mine so much, stills and macro are more my thing. My point is, the camera isn't the limitation, I am.

 Still, the new ones will make it easier to get good images (we used to say exposures) and I like the idea of higher res. With high resolution you can use a really good fixed lens and crop your zoom later. I feel like I am missing out on something not having a new way cool camera right now! I guess I'll just try to get more things framed correctly the first time and learn how to use the camera I have with more skill!!! LOL

Great (first!) post. Respect.  ;) That is also how I often 'cure' my 'new cameraitis' - actually go out and practice, and make some decent photos!

Over many years of photography, I've realise that I still have a lot to learn, develop, practice and enjoy about my current photo great... which currently includes a Canon 7D with 5 good lenses.

Paul   8)

172
Lenses / Re: Canon L Glass is currently priced at over $1200 / pound
« on: April 22, 2013, 02:08:38 AM »
What an interesting thread - and the price per weight aspect is interesting to think about. I realise that quantity of high quality optical glass (and lens barrel / body) does bear some correlation to overall price.

At the same time, there are certainly lots of other variables to consider too. Eg technology like IS, built in tele-converts, focus mechanism, etc.

Just a quick point... that it appears not all the date fields in your table about lenses are accurate. Eg the 24-70mm f/2.8 II and 24-70mm f/4 were both released 2012 (early and late, respectively).

Cheers

Paul

173
The only lens that I'm really waiting for to complete my lens collection (aka 'lens arsenal') is a 50mm prime.  8)

My essential criteria:
1) wide open aperture of f/2 or faster
2) IQ wide open - sharpness, contrast, vignetting & CA very decent
3) IQ stopped down by 1 stop and more - awesome in every regard
4) bokeh wide open - great smooth, creamy at foreground, background and transition zones
5) bokeh stopped down - no ugly bokeh / circular aperture blades please!
6) AF - accurate, fast (full USM/HSM preferred, will consider STM if well implemented)

My non-essential (ie 'extra bonus' points) criteria:
 7. build quality - solid, metal mount, usable focus ring with FTM focus
 8. weight / size: not too heavy / big (less than 500gr is possible)
 9. IS - image stabilisation of 4 stops would be sweet (if not to the detriment of the above points)
10. filter size of filters that I have several of (ie 58mm, 67mm or 72mm preferable).
11. close MFD (so I can get nearby items in focus - for that 'effect')
12. price less than $800 if it ticks the above boxes (even if initial RRP is a bit higher, I'm interested in the online / street price after some time).

Now, if Sigma produce a great prime, and there are 95% of people / reviewers happy with it - no QC / AF issues - then I'll happily buy Sigma.  I currently already have 1 Sigma lens (UWA) which I'm very happy with.

So... the same is on: Canon, Sigma (& others?)  Who's gonna produce such a lens (first)?   ;)

Regards

Paul

174
Kudos to Sigma for the invention of the first lens f/1.8 zoom lens.  ;)  I've been waiting for such innovation for so long! Well done - and I would hope that the overall image quality is still very good (sharp, contrasty, low vignetting, reasonable distortions, etc).

While the zoom range (18-35) is nothing 'fabulous' on a APS-C, the fact that there is a zoom of this range at f/1.8 is nothing to be sneared at.  (And I must say I like the look of the lens even). I'd prefer it to have a wider zoom range (eg 15mm wide end, and 50mm tele-end) - but I'm very aware of the physical limitations (& size, cost, optical challenges) of that.

Back several years ago, I used my 18-55mm kit lens with my Canon 350D (and I occasionally still use this as a light-as-I-can-DSLR 'travel kit'). I'm not 100% sure what I'd rather have: a 18-35mm f/1.8 or a 24-50mm f/1.8 for APS-C, both would be useful.  I hope that other manufacturers will sit up (or already are!) and technological improvements can continue.

Yay yay yay!   8)

Paul

175
Lenses / Re: need help consolidating my lens collection
« on: April 17, 2013, 07:03:52 PM »
I have had the 28-13mm and 50mm f/1.8 lenses- bought them new when I purchased my first DSLR camera (several years ago, when the choice of lenses was much less than it is today). I have since sold both these lenses (and more) - while upgrading to better glass. While I had a decent copy of the 28-135mm - it's been superceded by the better Canon 15-85mm. Both copies of the 50mm f/1.8 I've owned weren't sharp enough wide open - and the focus and bokeh were not up to my standards.

Like has been suggested above, if I was in your shoes I would definitely keep the 10-22mm - as it's the only ultra wide angle (UWA) lens you have. But if you've determined that you haven't used it in the past 2.5 years... then I'm curious why you bought it in the first place....  I have the Sigma 10-20mm, and use it often - it really shines on my 7D for UWA shots - very sharp corner to corner. However yes, some people don't use UWA so much - and yes - I do a lot of landscape photography where UWA can be handy at times.

The previous 2 weekends I have been away and used my 7D with 15-85mm and 70-300mm L.  This is such a great travel combination, top quality glass - very suited for the Australian outdoors where we get a lot of great light. :)  When I want fast glass, I want and use primes. I'm still looking forward to Canon announcing (and selling) a new, improved 50mm prime - at least f/2 - sharp, contrasty with good bokeh wide open, solid, fast accurate autofocus (USM or STM) - and hopefully IS too. :)

Paul

176
EOS Bodies / Re: Is the SL1 sensor an improvement?
« on: April 11, 2013, 08:17:35 PM »
As far as IQ, at low ISO's you are almost certainly not going to notice any difference.

Not true.


                         "DPReview published some JPEGs from a pre-release camera.  Still, I can't do this with my T2i.  Here I've pushed blacks that were in the neighborhood of 8 counts up to the neighborhood of 140 counts.  I see no sign of banding and very little noise.

What do you think?  Better noise processing?  Black point clipping?  Or a genuine reduction of read noise?  Raw images will settle this, but I haven't seen any yet."
It is true, he asked how it would compare to his T2i, not a D800.  A D800 or Nikon was not mentioned by the OP!Its not going to be much different from his T2i.

I appreciate the input of many on this forum... but what I think Mt Spokane and Neuro have missed in this, is that Lee Jay IS the OP.  I am following Lee Jay's line of thinking here....

At the end of the day I hope there is improvement at both Low ISO and High ISO ... ie less noise, low banding, etc.

Paul


177
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Announcements on April 23, 2013? [CR2]
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:52:53 PM »
I think that is why Canon has been doing alot of len upgrades. I think they are making sure that users who will buy a Big MP body will be able to get results out of it via the new L glass.  Just MHO, but I think Canon is smart to upgrade glass first.

+1   I have been thinking along the same lines as this, above.

Canon has made some very good moves regarding digital photography in the past (eg first in FFs, first DSLR with video and live-view, etc).

So the idea of first getting a suitable amount of high quality lenses to get the most of any increased MP DSLRs (particularly FF) makes a lot of sense to me.

When I upgraded from an 8MP 350D to a 18MP 7D, the requirement for better glass to get the most out of the increased resolution / sensor was clear to me.  I now have high quality lenses covering 10mm to 300mm, including Canon L glass too.

Regards

Paul

178
Thanks faccray for sharing this Good News Story!   (Particularly as the world often seems full of bad news stories!)  Glad to hear of the honesty of both the Canon folk and yourself!

I also live in Australia and have had my 7D serviced twice (same issue: the pop-up flash gets 'stuck' down due to a known issue with a little 'sensor button' under the metal hotshoe mounting - after eg an external flash was put on it).  The issue now seems resolved.

Both times it was under warranty. First time took a bit over a month (I think it had to go interstate) - the 2nd time just over 2 weeks. They did a good job (so they should have of course, nothing was my fault).

Regards

Paul

179
My first suggestion is also for you to get a 7D (you can get very decent prices even for a new 7D now - or better prices for a used / refurb 7D).  I upgraded from a lesser model Canon DSLR, and the 7D's AF is vastly superior to any Canon XXXXD, XXXD or XXD- particularly when you know how to use the 7D's AF to it's limit. And the 7D's IQ is notably superior to your former 20D's.

While an infant (often a barely moving or sleeping baby) doesn't require great AF... by the time they are 1.5 to 2, they can move much more, so the 7D's AF will be handy. For indoors / dimly lit, the 17-55 f/2.8 can do a lot - though possibly the 35mm f/2 IS USM would be my choice of 'pure low light' (great IQ wide open, USM AF and the mature 4-stop IS). While a flash might not 'damage' a baby's eyes permanently, I wouldn't take a photo with a bright flash in their eyes, purely from a "caring for the baby's emotions" factor.

My 2nd suggestion is for you to go with something from a 550D to 700D. :)  And get a good prime (eg the 35mm f/2 IS USM).  Get a 7DmkII only if you really need it as an upgrade, when it's price is lower (eg 6 months or more after it's released).

All the best. And I mean that particularly for your family and caring for the precious gift of a child.

Paul

180
I have used various UWA lenses on eg Canon's 7D - and let me say that wide open at equivalent of 14mm and 16mm (in FF comparison) - the Sigma 8-16mm, Sigma 10-20mm's or Canon 10-22mm and Tokina 11-16mm, etc really shine. Often they're much sharper in the corners than FF can do with eg a 17-40mm or 16-35mm.
At equivalent or equal apertures?

At equivalent apertures *1, and definitely at equal apertures *2.

1) eg Sigma 10-20mm @ f/5.6 vs Canon 17-40mm @ f/8 or f/9. I've seen so many shots of FF with good L glass zooms - even stopped down they don't match the crispness of APS-C. Not ALWAYS, but often!  These pages give you an indication / comparison (which is matched up by my real work usage):
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/427-canon_1740_4_5d?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/406-canon_1022_3545_50d?start=1

2) eg Canon 10-22mm at wide end at f/5.6, even with the Canon 16-35mm, I've seen an advantage to the APS-C 'cutting off' the corners of the lens....

Paul


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