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Messages - pj1974

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166
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)

167
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

168
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

169
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

170
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

171
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


172
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

173
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

174
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

175
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


176

-Rant- And there is no such thing as a FF nay-sayer. Some people think they prefer crop cameras over FF, but they just don't realize that their dinky toy sensors is utter crap in comparison to FF. I know this because I used to be one of them. ;) .. Oh, those lost years.

I agree... I was one too lol.  I don't understand the "reach" arguement.  Your lens is what gives you reach.  A smaller sensor doesn't magnify what's in the frame, it crops.  Even if the cropped image is made up of more megapixels than the same frame cropped from a full frame image, wouldn't the full frame image still be better in terms of IQ, bokeh, etc ?(assuming all else is constant...)
The APS-C sensor is sampling the central part of the image with 1.6 times the pixel density of the FF sensor. If the glass is up to it and you are in the lower iso ranges you get better resolving power and equivalent noise out of APS-C (assuming same generation of sensors.... can't compare new to 4 year old...). Use poor glass and the FF outresolves... and at high ISO FF has less noise. Sampling the smaller area is problematic for wide angle shots but benificial to long shots... Lenses can be made smaller, cheaper, and lighter for APS-C, but at the cost of resolving power.... There is no easy answer, just a bunch of tradeoffs.

Clarification on the highlighted bits above:

APS-C pixel density relative to FF depends entirely on the number of pixels. A 7D has more than twice the pixel density of a 5D Mk III. A Nikon D800 (FF) has a higher pixel density than a Canon 40D (APS-C).

If an FF image is cropped to match an APS-C image (i.e. the same subject taken from the same distance with the same lens, focal length and aperture), the two images will have identical bokeh.

Glad that there is SOME sense in this thread... (eg the above 2 posts). And a few others that state that the 7D (and even other APS-C cameras) are really decent. If people have issues with the 7D's AF, they've probably not learned how to use it. I have used both FF and APS-C, and know the benefits of both, and when to use what. Just because a FF is generally superior for eg landscape, portrait, etc doesn't mean it's 'useless' or 'a toy'.

I'm glad the original poster (OP) humbly admitted that he's not the world's best photog. He's not. (And note, neither am I - though I have some photos that have won awards and been greatly appreciated)  Some of the OP's photos are quite good, and I'm sure various viewers genuinely appreciate them.

However to suggest that equipment is more important than skill isn't true. It seems that the OP has managed to compose with his new FF DSLR and 50mm f/1.4  Kudos, but very similar images could have been produced on an APS-C with eg a good 35mm lens. The difference isn't as great as some people think.

I've seen people take stunning photos with point and shoot (P&S) cameras. Knowing how to capture light AND how to use one's equipment to maximum benefit is very important. Of course having great equipment helps, and there are some types of photos one can't do with a P&S.

And then there was the person who wrote: "i could never get over the crop factor killing the wide angle end of my lenses and hated the idea of getting lenses that couldn't migrate to any body i would get in the future."
Well it's a shame that people get EF lenses and don't realise there are so many great, dedicated lenses for APS-C. 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.

And someone else wrote that they couldn't compose with a APS-C - but could with a FF. Hmmm... again it seems people don't understand that you NEED the right lens for the job. I have used eg a 24-105mm on a 5D, as well as a 15-85mm on a 7D. Get and use the lens you need, but don't complain if you are using the wrong lenses on a crop body.

I've been both impressed with the 5DmkIII and 6D as recent FF cameras, and I'm also certainly interested to see what Canon will release with a 7DmkII... Different cameras for different purposes.  As someone else had stated, it's also important to remember that building both APS-C bodies and lenses to match saves significant costs. So again, there is place for both FF and APS-C, in terms of the target market / budget, etc.

Cheers, all.

Paul

177
Lenses / Re: What is your favorite lens and why?
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:19:56 PM »
This is a hard question to answer in some ways, but at the end of the day, my favourite lens is also my most used lens. For the past few years, the lens that has held this title in my lens arsenal is the Canon 15-85mm. Great image quality (sharp, contrasty, good colours) - fast, accurate USM AF and 4-stop IS.

I just find it a very godo combination-package - a quality walk-around, that can often meet most of my photography needs in the average 'day-out' shooting. 24mm - 136mm is a great focal length, and it doesn't really have any IQ failings. I take this lens when I'm capturing the official photos for camps and other events that I lead.

In terms of other lenses, I see all of them as more 'specialist' lenses, and for particular circumstances, they 'are needed' / my favourite.

eg: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 HSM EX (ultra wide angle, particularly for landscape, sometimes for architecture)
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro (for close-up photos of flowers, plants, insects, details - and even occasionally ad-hoc portrait)
Canon EF 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 IS USM - my wildlife and birding lens - for BIF as well as the outdoor portrait

Regards

Paul

178
Lenses / Re: Landscape Lens advice
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:14:11 PM »
Replying to the OP's initial question - I have no experience with the Ziess 21mm, so I can't comment there.

I really like compression in many landscapes (and have a particular interest in landscape photos in the portrait-orientation, where that compression can also work beautifully in many compositions).   Eg when I lived in Europe and visited Switzerland, taking photos of the Alps with details closer to the foreground ... magic!

Actually, I don't own a FF (my Canon DSLRs are 7D and 350D). My favourite landscape lens is probably the trusty Canon 15-85mm. It's got great IQ, and the USM AF and IS are very handy too. But perhaps more important than AF and IS is the focal range... from 24 to 136mm in 35mm format equivalent.

I find that 15mm on an APS (24mm in FF) - works VERY well for me for most landscapes. (I definitely really like those few extra mm compared to the 18-XXmm or 17-XXmm lenses). And 85mm on the tele-end is important for me (I find 50/55mm too short for a tele-end walkaround).

Though I do have an UWA (Sigma 10-20mm) - and it does come into its own in certain situations (and yes, there is a huge difference between 10mm and 15mm) - often I take my favourite landscapes around 15mm.  I really like the flexibility of a zoom when out bushwalking, sight-seeing, etc (I currently live in Australia, but have lived and travelled extensively around the world).

I'm not planning to upgrade from APS-C (looking forward to what a new 7DmkII may have in store for us).  Hope the OP will find the right lens for his/her needs.

Paul

179
Lenses / Re: EF or EF-S for 7D/70D
« on: March 27, 2013, 05:44:09 PM »
My 7D body has been shipped and should be delivered tomorrow, hopefully. So for now it will be the 18-55 kit lens I have. But since my full frame camera purchase is years away, I'm going to take the suggestions/advice of sticking to EF-S for the near future.

I'm still flip-flopping between the Canon EF-S 17-55 and the EF-S 15-85 as my "walkabout" lens. I know the 17-55 is better for low light and the 15-85 has more range.

Either way I hope to pair the "walkabout" with an ultrawide, either the Canon 10-22 or the Sigma 10-20.

My budget is limited so, I may only be able to get one lens for now and maybe another next year, in that case I'm leaning towards the Canon 15-85.

Thanks for all the input.

Sounds good. I'm very happy with my 15-85mm as my walk around - particularly because of it's great range, very good IQ and useability. I have the Sigma 10-20mm as my 'ultrawide', and 10mm is significantly wider than 15mm (though 15mm is nice to have as the wide end of a walk-around).

The Sigma 8-16mm is also a very nice lens, as are the Canon 10-22 and Tokina 11-16mm.  Actually in the ultra-wide selection these days, people are really spoilt for choice! When I bought my ultra wide, there were much fewer options, and I went with the Sigma, it's served me well.

As for 'low light' - when I want fast glass, I need primes.  That's why I didn't go the 17-55mm - it was too much of a 'half way house' for me.... not quite wide enough range for my walk around needs, and certainly the f/2.8 helps in low light... but a f/1.4 to f/2 is usually what I call 'large aperture' glass.

All the best

Paul

180
Lenses / Re: New 100-400 to Launch with EOS 7D Mark II [CR2]
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:41:06 AM »
Love my 100-400, would appreciate better IS, full sealing, and optical improvements. If it's as sharp as the 70-300L, awesome.  Hope they keep push-pull, but could learn to live with rotating extension.

Expensive, yes it will be.  But probably worth it.

100-400 F4 without 1.4 extender, Would be a good alternative to the 200-400 maybe half the cost?

Ha ha ha.  100-400mm f/4 means the same front element size as the 200/2, 400/4, 200-400/4, etc.  Would be a $7K lens easy.  Get off this, folks, it'll be f/5.6 at the long end, and likely close to $3K at that.

Yes, I'm with neuro on this..... :)

I have used Canon's existing 100-400mm L, and it can be a great lens. The newer 70-300mm L is definitely a design & size I prefer (and it's IQ is consistently better). Personally I prefer rotating ring zoom rather than push-pull, but I could get used to push-pull too.

I really love my Canon 70-300mm L on my 7D.  And I'm sure that a new (improved) 100-400mm L with a 7DmkII would be a welcome 'tele kit' for many. However the new / rumoured 100-400mm couldn't be a constant f/4 without being huge, expensive, etc... and I expect -  Canon have the 200-400mm f/4 1.4x as a separate target  lens.

Looking forward to this CR2 becoming a CR3... especially to see what the 7DmkII will bring! (Improved IS and if possible better AF, within still 'non-pro budget' for the 100-400mm will see some good sales, I expect).

Paul

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