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Messages - pj1974

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Lenses / Re: Zoom vs Primes?
« on: December 14, 2012, 12:46:13 AM »
I use a combination of zooms and primes.

1) Generally I find zooms great for
a) travel - when I want to cover various focal length, but keep one lens on the camera most of the time
b) events - where they provide more flexibility in composition (I mainly do children camps, some non-professional sports, and church events).

My favourite zooms include Canon general purpose 15-85mm, Sigma UWA 10-20mm, and Canon telezoom 70-300mm L.

2) Conversely, I have some primes - which are good for more 'specialised' photography, eg macro and portrait.

I love the Canon 100mm USM macro (non L) - which is sharp and has great working distance.
I'm looking forward to a fast (eg f/1.4- f/2) Canon 50mm USM prime (possibly with IS!).

My 2 cents.


My advice: sell both your Canon 70-200mm f/4 L AND your Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - and buy the Canon 70-300mm L f/4-5.6.  The Canon 70-300mm L's sharpness at 300mm wide open is truly great (at least my copy and 2 other copies I've used are) - and I doubt even pixel peepers will tell much difference with that and the 300mm f/4 prime.

Also, the awesome 4 stop IS and fast, accurate USM focussing on the 70-300mm L, combined with it being a flexible zoom (I have needed to use less than 300mm at times - yes, even for BIF!) can not be under-stated (or under-estimated). Personally I don't like the 100-400mm's push-pull design, and the additional weight is a negative for me (I prefer ultimate portability).

Having a 1.4x on the 300mm f/4 prime does give you more reach, but AF and image quality do degrade - noticeably. On the 7D, I've had hundreds of well-praised shots with my 70-300mm L... it just does the job so well! Hope you get a good outcome.


Lenses / Re: what 5 lenses would you want
« on: December 13, 2012, 07:08:02 AM »
Hi all...

Well... as I have been using a 7D, I'll list my ideal 5 for that (I think APS-C vs FF body HAS to be stipulated, otherwise lens choice doesn't sit within 100% context!)

1) Sigma 8-16mm - must have great, sharp, contrasty IQ & an accurate AF copy too.
  (I have a good, sharp copy of the Sigma 10-20mm, which has minor AF issues - but it's not a practical problem how I use it)  8)

2) Canon 15-85mm - I have this lens, love it as my walk around... great range, v good IQ all round  :)

3) Canon 100mm L IS USM macro
  (I have the Canon 100mm non-L USM macro, which for all intents and purposes is 99% as good for macro.. but does lack the weather sealing and Hybrid IS- mostly for handhelds non 1:1 shots)   ::)

4) the yet to be released (maybe not even designed... CR2?) Canon 50mm f/1.4mm USM IS
  (I had two copies of the 50mm f/1.8, didn't like it's AF nor bokeh, and not quite good enough IQ wide open). There are aspects of the current Canon 50mm f/1.4 and Canon 50mm f/1.2 L that I don't like....  >:(

5) Canon 200-400mm 1.4x L (for my love of wildlife, especially birds - yes BIF too)  ;)
  (I have the 70-300mm L - terrific IQ at any setting- and if I got the 200-400mm 1.4x would desparately miss the portability of the awesome 70-300mm L... so it would be a 'toss up', but one can't argue with a lens that has 200-560mm range in an L!) 

Yes, I'd probably like a 200mm f/2 IS, or a 17mm T/S lens as an 'extra' - but the above 5 lenses are what I would expect to use lots (as I do all my current lenses).  So I feel that with what I currently have, I'm actually not too far off what would be my 'ideal' 5 lenses anyway, actually. And that's a good thing!  8)



Canon General / Re: Remote Shutter Release for Canon 5D3
« on: December 09, 2012, 07:14:29 PM »
Canon's little RC-6 (and RC-1) will trigger it, but that's IR so only works from the front.  I used the RC-1 with both a 7D and 5DII and it's great.

Since the 1D X doesn't have an IR receiver, I recently picked up a hähnel Giga T Pro II, works well and would be compatible with almost any Canon dSLR.  Beyond basic triggering, does interval timing, etc.

I also have and use the Hahnel Giga Pro, and it works a treat for both my Canon 7D and Canon 350D (which incidentally have different connections into the DSLR body).

Like Dr Neuro above, I use it for both remote triggering (macro, HDR, even self portraits) and interval timing (eg time lapse photography).

I find it handy I can have the 'trigger' inside (up to about 30 metres away - even with walls between it works), and have my camera set up outside (eg with ultra wide angle lens on, protected under a table in my back-yard) and I can see the interval timing is working well.

Cheers... all the best.


"Where we did we put that light meter the albino had?"
"Over the albino, I think."
"Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?"


LOL!  :o Where in the world did THAT come from?!? :D

A quote from "The Princess Bride" (altered to fit the situation, and much appreciated!!)

Aha!! No wonder I love this forum... it was the Princess Bride connection all along!! :)  Love it.   ;D

Lenses / Re: 70-300L for Outdoors?
« on: December 07, 2012, 06:46:53 AM »
Hi there

I also have the 70-300mm L, and LOVE this lens. It's got great IQ at any setting, great fast / accurate USM focus, and a 4-stop effective IS.

While it's not 'fast' (as in f/2.8 or larger aperture) - I don't need that, as I use the 70-300mm L for outdoors, and usually for wildlife, including birds - and occasionally for candid photography.  ;)

I have travelled with the 70-300mm L - it's very portable.  I actually PREFER the order of the zoom and focus rings that way (as I hold the lens at the zoom ring, and brace/  hold with the other hand on my camera body).

Well matched to APS-C, is often on my Canon 7D, providing a 480mm effective in 35mm format.   Great build quality too.  I got mine for a good price soon after it was released! Winner :)

Best wishes with that.


EOS Bodies / Re: Downgrade to crop
« on: December 03, 2012, 07:14:46 PM »
There is a valid case for any format...APS-C, APS-H & FF. It depends on your needs. Your needs may require a $35k MF kit, so that's what you get. If your work goes no further than the web, screen viewing or medium sized prints, then APS-C will suit your needs perfectly. Maybe even a decent P&S.

Dr. Neuro mentioned earlier, "I'd miss the thinner DoF you can achieve with FF, for the same framing..." By the same token, there are occasions when the greater DoF can be very useful. I currently work with FF & APS-H (x1.3 crop) and will likely pick up a 7DII when they ship. They're all useful for particular projects or shots.

I often feel concerned when I read posts from someone aching to go to FF with the misconception that FF is this extraordinary Holy Grail from Planet Camera. Often the upgrade can be a disappointing waste of money. OP, go FF by all means, just do it with your eyes open. And keep your APS-C.

Lookout! Here comes my evangelical moment. Good workers never blame their tools. Gear Geeks and Pixel Peepers aside, the true Holy Grail of Planet Camera lies within the photographer. Great images are made by photographers, not cameras.



I have used both FF and APS-C sized Canon DSLRs.  Certainly there is noticable difference in depth of field b/w FF and APS-C - but the difference in depth of field (DOF) between P&S to APS-C is MUCH larger!  And when people say "FF gives a 3D feeling" or "the quality of light from FF is so much better" - it's probably as a result that the photos they've chosen (or seen) from people using FF were more carefully composed, timed, etc.

Sometimes I prefer the larger DOF that a APS-C can give for the same aperture (eg for macro - and sometimes for landscape).  Other times I want a razor thin DOF, and then I use a fast (ie less than f/2 prime on a APS-C, which often does the trick.  I've done the 'blind test' even with pro photogs many times, and without knowing the camera / lens, 90% of the time are hard pressed to tell if it's FF or APS-C - many people delude themselves on (potential) purchases, in marketing it's called "cognitive dissonance".

It sounds like the OP might be well served by the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, as this is both fast, and gives sharp results (also reputedly good wide open). I have a good copy of the Sigma 10-20mm, which is sharp corner to corner. Often I've been less than impressed seeing photos of the full frame equivalent (16mm) eg the 16-35mm, which have noticeable corner softness, even stopped down.

Not that I pixel peep, but there IS something to be said about using the 'sweet spot' of lenses (or specifically lenses designed for APS-C sized sensors, which seem to be very good on the ultra wide angle!)  There is definitely a place for FF, but as PW wrote above, FF isn't the holy grail - it's in the photographer (knowledge, artistry and technical competence!)


Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x TC Information
« on: December 02, 2012, 11:16:56 PM »
I think this lens will be a real hit for wildlife photographers, particularly professionals, or those with sufficiently large bank accounts  :D

While some people compare it to tele primes. While I'd love to own a Canon 600mm f/4 II - I would find the lack of zoom limiting at times - eg for providing habitual context of wildlife, even birds) - or when larger subjects fill the composition. Then other people compare the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x (as as zoom)  to xx-300mm 2.8 zoom lenses.  However I believe the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x is a lens in a league of it's own, and shouldn't be compared to such lenses.

The closest current Canon lens is the 100-400mm L.  But it's design (push/pull), older IS, IQ and ultimate reach are not the same.  (For the record I expect the 200-400mm 1.4x lens will have very high IQ, and if the 1.4x inbuilt teleconverter is tailored to the lens, I expect it will be particularly good still @ 500mm f/5.6)  ;)

I'm not into sports photography at all (and thus don't need a f/2.8 telelens).  Even then, lots of indoor photography requires a faster prime (eg around f/2)  So I don't think it should be compared to the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 - as they are different lenses.

Now, I won't be the first to say that getting a Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 and using a 2x teleconverter will be a great 'budget' workaround... (and even then, not THAT cheap, but substantially cheaper than the rumoured price of the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x)  However as a dedicated lens, I expect the Canon's AF will be faster and more accurate and the eventual IQ will be better.  8)

I believe the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens is also quite a 'comparable' - though of course it doesn't have the 1.4x. (Note: the latest version of this lens was the Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR AF-S, introduced April 2010 - price $7000 US).  That's a popular lens with a number of Nikon wildlife photog's.

Although I can afford it, I very much doubt that I'll ever buy the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x- as I'll choose to use and send my money for other things - including donations to international charities. I just can't justify that price (at least not at this time). As I do like to photography birds (both in flight and perched) - as well as other wildlife, the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x offers a lot in terms of zoom range and I'm sure high IQ. The IS will be helpful, particularly at 560mm f/5.6, and f/4 between 200-400 is not at all shabby!

Currently I have the Canon 70-300mm L - which I love for it's amazing IQ and particularly its portability (fits in my Lowe shoulder bag, and is nicely weighted and compact) . On my 7D it translates to a 480mm on a FF, which isn't too bad - though at times I desire more reach (naturally) and of course the 560mm f/5.6 on a 7D would nearly double that - being the equivalent of about 900mm on FF.   ::)

Well... that's my 2 cents worth.  I'm looking forward to it being 100% released, then the reviews -and more importantly - great photos made with it! Cheers.


Canon General / Re: Travel to Thailand/Laos should I bring my 5d mkiii?
« on: November 30, 2012, 08:44:49 AM »
I visited Thailand in May 2010... had to make a last minute change of plans to stay most of the time in Phuket (as the 'red shirts' vs Government protest was on in Bangkok. Thankfully (after the 'red shirts' were 'flushed out' - I still got to Bangkok (and saw my friends - from Netherlands, working there for a NGO- which was my original intention).

Both in Phuket and Bangkok I felt really quite safe. But then again, I'm a very well travelled person, having lived in other developing countries for many years. Be safe, keep 'carry-able' gear with you, and don't 'show off' or go to remote locations unless you're confident.

I took my 7D with 15-85mm on every outing, and depending on what I was going to see, either also took my UWA (10-20mm Sigma) or my Canon telezoom.  I'd not hesitate to go there again with my gear, which includes a white Canon 70-300mm L. I would even swim in the sea, keeping an eye on my bag (but then again, it wasn't too busy at the beach - as it was off-peak season, so the beach wasn't crowded at all).

Pick pockets can be in every country, so just 'be wary'.  Best wishes, and SE Asian has some spectacular scenary, colours, culture, etc.


EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 26, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »
I have a 7D as one of my 2 Canon DSLRs. I love this camera, it's my 'go to' for 95% of my photography. I really like the crop / reach advantage that APS-C (1.6x crop) sensor cameras can bring, plus there are now some great EF-S lenses / 3rd party lenses for crop-sensored cameras.  ;)

My thoughts on the CR0 specs above are:
- 18MP is fine - but if 24.2MP are clean, why not?! (more cropability!)
- 10.2 fps would be awesome. Even 8 fps works well for me.
- it needs enough processing power... sure, give it 2x Digic 5+ CPUs
- no need to change the design, my 7D fits me so well
- please keep the same battery... pretty please?!
- Feb 2013 announcement would be good so that towards Christmas 2013 (ie a year from now, which is our summer here in Australia) - prices will be lower.  I would only plan to get a replacement / upgrade for my current 7D if / when it's on its last legs.

Cheers and regards!  8)


Lenses / Re: Portrait lenses
« on: November 22, 2012, 07:46:42 PM »
It can be on a FF (full frame) if you have enough working distance (ie space between you and the subject, to take the photograph). Even on a crop good portraits with this lens can be achieved (eg outside).

Generally 135mm (FF) or 85mm (on a APS-C / crop) is considered a more practical portrait focal length.  The 200mm is a sharp lens. At times you may want faster (that is, a lower f/ value aperture)... but f/2.8 at 200mm isn't bad! :)

However person to person style does differ. I don't take close up portraits often myself, so on my 7D (APS-C / 1.6x crop) - I like a fast 50mm - 60mm setting.

Best wishes.


Lenses / Re: Best Lens for photographing children
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:13:39 PM »
I took my almost 5 year-old daughter to her gymnastics class a couple of weeks ago.  My wife asked me to email her a pic during the class, so I held up my iPhone and caught a well-timed pic of her hanging from an uneven bar. The guy next to me looked over at the iPhone 'shutter click' and said, "If you want to get an actually decent pic, you need a real camera." He reached into his bag and pulled out his T2i with an EF-S 55-250mm mounted, and gave me a little grin.  I grinned back and replied, "You know, it's really more about composition and timing than about gear."  He took some shots, well-spaced since the popup flash was firing (despite the kids being out of its effective range) as I watched the kids.  When mine started a bounce down the trampoline track a few minutes later, I was unable to resist.  I looked over and said as I reached down, "Ever seen Crocodile Dundee? 'That's not a camera...that's a camera,'" as I pulled out my 1D X with the 70-200 II and fired off a 12 fps burst.

True story.  ;)

(1D X, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 200mm, 1/500 s, f/2.8, ISO 10000)


Loved reading the above (true) story! I too, would've loved to see the expression on the other guy's face.    ;D
And... being an Aussie, very glad that you quoted from 'dear old' Paul Hogan... aka Crocodile Dundee!  8)



Lenses / Re: Opinion: EF 24-70 f/4L IS & EF 35 f/2 IS
« on: November 05, 2012, 11:48:18 PM »
Amen, finally a replacement to the embarrassing prehistoric EF 35mm.
I'm very glad Canon is updating the 35/2!  This update is long overdue.  It will be wonderful to have a small, quiet, high-quality 35 — I'm assuming it will be high quality.  I hope the 50/1.4 is next on the list of updates.
+1    ;)
Or even a good 50mm f/2 USM (with IS hopefully!) would make me happy.....

The more I think about it, I do see a 50mm fast prime with USM and hopefully also IS coming up within the next 12 to 18 months..., probably sooner?  A fast 50mm on a FF would be helpful for video (not that I'd use it for that.. ) I want to use is on my 7D as an equivalent 80mm fast prime....

The macro capability of the 24-70mm f/4 USM IS is a definitely bonus, and I don't underestimate how difficult that was to implement an almost 1:1 on a zoom lens like that.

But on a FF, 70mm is too short for me.... I like at least equivalent of 120mm in my walk-around lens (horses for courses).  That's why the 15-85mm on my 7D is so handy, covers the focal range that I want (equiv: 24 - 136mm) in a '1 lens travel solution' - while having great IQ across the range!

I'm sure many FF users (eg 6D camera purchases) will snap up the 24-70mm f/4 USM IS, particularly if it has great IQ. It would make a great budget(ish) 'travel landscape zoom' with the 6D.


My decision was made for me at 1a.m. today.  I sold my copy of the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.  So now I have to buy a 5D mkii with the corresponding 24-105mm kit lens.  That should leave me enough cash to buy a 135mm f/2 and then I'll be down to zero dollars.  So that's a plus.

Glad you made a decision, though I wonder why you didn't keep your copy of the original 24-105mm IS USM, and just get a 5DmkII body only? (wouldn't that have been cheaper, than buying a new 24-105 IS USM?)

Before reading your last post (quoted above) - I would've recommended the 70-300mm L, which is a great lens - giving more reach than the 70-200mm's (obviously) and being very sharp and great IQ / contrast (almost at the same level as the 70-200mm f/2.8 II).

Also, I can also endorse the Nissin Di866 MkII as a great professional, yet not-too-expensive flash... works very well for me on my Canon DSLRs!

All the best with your new kit - and the 135mm f/2 is a great lens!


Lenses / Re: EF 24-70 f/4L IS & EF 35 f/2 IS
« on: November 05, 2012, 11:26:35 PM »
I'm quite excited to see an actual lens announcement from Canon - and well done to CR guy for predicting the 24-70mm L f/4 IS USM.  ;)

As I don't plan to go full frame (at least not in the near future) - the 24-70mm L f/4 doesn't interest me so much. I'm very happy with my 15-85mm IS USM on both my 7D and 350D.

If the 24-70mm f/4 L has great IQ, I can imagine it will be popular as a less expensive / less bulky walk around (aka 'kit lens') for some folks having a FF, perhaps particularly the new 6D.  (though I will say here that a possible price of $1800 USD is quite scary!)  ???

To me, the 35mm f/2 IS USM is actually a much more interesting lens... and.... in one sense meets a lot of the criteria I have for the 'only lens' that I'm really looking forward to, or - that is what I find 'lacking' in my current lens arsenal: a sharp prime at about 50mm (+/- a few mm).

The new 35mm has the following features, which are important to me:
 - USM - my preferred AF mechanism, with FTM focus
 - 4 stop effective IS
 - 7 or more blade circular aperture

The size of the 35mm f/2 IS USM is still small enough. I guess any 50mm would be a bit longer... possibly could have 58mm or 67mm filter size. (I hope if a 50mm prime comes out, that it has a 58mm, 67mm or I'd even 'put up with' a 72mm filter size - as I have filters for these sizes).  :)

I expect the IQ of the 35mm f/2 to be very high (better than the 40mm f/2.8 pancake, which has received lots of praise, particularly for its price!)

My 'only' concern is that the 50mm might be a f/2.8 lens.. (no, please, no!)  I had already decided that f/2 is perhaps the limit that I'd be happy with for a 'fast prime'. Obviously f/1.4 would be ideal. With f/1.8 or f/2 being 'good options' - particularly if IS is included.  ;)

There would be some situations that 35mm is more suitable than 50mm (eg some group shots, etc). However my own photography style, means that I really like the 50mm aspect on an APS-C (giving the equivalent of 80mm in FF format).

So... now that the 35mm f/2 USM IS has come out (after the 'earlier this year' new 24mm & 28mm f/2.8 USM IS lenses) - I have more hope that a 50mm f/1.4-f/2 USM (possibly IS) lens will be released in the near future.  I plan to go to a bricks and mortar shop and use the 35mm f/2 USM IS sometime.... see how I like it, get a feel for it, and hopefully see a new 50mm prime in store sometime in the future too...

Cheers   8)


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