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Messages - pj1974

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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)


Lenses / Re: New 50 Finally on the Way? [CR1]
« on: November 04, 2012, 05:05:25 PM »

I am very much waiting, and looking forward to a new Canon 50mm. I had 2 copies of the 50mm f/1.8, and eventually got rid of both. AF was not quick enough, nor consistent enough for me on either of my DSLRs. While quite sharp stopped down a bit, it lacked absolute sharpnss & sufficient contrast wide open - particularly noticable in low light. The 50mm f/1.8 It also had poor quality bokeh.

Additionally, I've also used the 50mm f1.4 - but I don't like the 'el-cheapo' micro-USM, and the IQ wide open leaves a lot to be desired. I do realise that good shots CAN be had with either current f/1.8 and f/1.4 - but I want a prime lens that is consistent, quick (both in terms of AF and usability) and long-lasting.  I ended up using my 100mm f/2.8 macro for portraits and subject isolation more than my 50mm's, even though of course the composition / framing needs to be much different.  (I find my 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens has quick and very accurate AF response).

So... what do I want in a/the new 50mm prime?
  • between f/1.4 to f/1.8. (the f/2.8 of the new 24mm and 28mm lenses is a different category IMHO)
  • sharp & contrasty wide open, so I can be confident of awesome IQ
  • rounded aperture blades (pref 8 to 9 of them) for great bokeh
  • study build (eg metal mount, good quality construction materials
  • close minimum focussing distance (eg about 0.4m - 0.5m)
  • super sharp stopped down
  • USM (or... STM if it's a good implementation, though I'd probably prefer USM with FTM focus).
  • IS... well, it would be a bonus - but it shouldn't affect any of the above... but I'll happily pay $100 - $200 extra for it.
  • Eventual (hoping!) price: definitely below $1000 with IS and below $800 without IS.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1Dx ISO100 high DR shadows SNR improvement
« on: November 04, 2012, 04:34:22 PM »
Hi Neutral, thanks for sharing the technique and outcomes.... interesting (& understandable).

The only thing is, that the final output file you show, has significantly more noise and vertical banding than the base file "1DX_ISO100_EV0-Crop200%.JPG".

The file 1DX_ISO100_EV0-Crop200%.JPG is the cleanest for me... in fact very good for a 200% crop.

At least, that is what displays on my PC & Monitor.  Anyone else?


Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: November 01, 2012, 10:46:47 PM »
There is definitely a big difference between AF systems of cameras.

If you get to know how to use the 7D's AF system - it's much more capable than the XXD line (faster, more in challenging listing, more AF points).  The XXXD and XXXXD lines are even more limited in terms of AF capability.

Also, there is a big difference between 70-300mm nonL and 70-300mm L in terms of sharpness, contrast, focus speed / consistency AND IS.  The L is noticeably superior in every regard.  Also, though there have been a few 70-300mm L dud lens copies (eg as tested by SLRgear) - but in general, compared to the 100-400mm L, the 70-300mm L is better in AF speed and also has the edge in sharpness / contrast.

I'd definitely love to have a 600mm L II and a 2x teleconv with a camera that can do f/8 AF in some situations.... but hey, then it's not going to be an 'affordable' price!  However having said that, for some reason I seem to get closer to some birds than a lot of people say... eg I even have cropped with small birds at times.  Ok, not every bird!!

All the best.


Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: October 31, 2012, 10:39:49 PM »
Certainly there are many situations a photographer finds oneself in, and wants "more reach!  more reach!"  :P

I have found that using patience and getting closer (or as close as possible) to the actual wildlife (including small birds in flight) is important.  But obviously this isn't always possible!

In addition to great sharpness wide open (at full tele on a zoom), great IS and fast, reliable USM focus are crucial criteria when I consider a telephoto lens.  ;)

Here are a few examples of what I've managed to achieve using the 70-300mm L on a 7D, handheld.

Paul  8)

Lenses / Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« on: October 31, 2012, 09:29:21 PM »
Another vote for the 70-300mm L lens - on a APS-C body (eg 7D) - it is a wonderful portable wildlife combo.

As the OP didn't state that more range was needed, but better sharpness (esp in poor light) - I can attest the 70-300mm L is great, sharp, contrasty - also in low light - AF works well, 4 stop IS a real bonus.


A post like this was started before... might've been on another forum... but thankfully I had a copy of the text.   :D  So here goes:

1979 - 1995 Yashica film camera - when my parents let me use theirs  :-)
1995 - 1999 Olympus film camera - (I gave it away in about 2004 after not using it since 1999)
1999 - 2000 Kodak digital P&S (an early digital camera - used at work, occasionally took home)
2000 - 2001 Fuji F40i P&S (I gave it to friends who wanted a compact digital P&S, I wanted something with optical zoom)
2001 - 2003 Fuji 6800 P&S (zoom mechanism failed - but many photos in the meantime)
2003 - 2005 Fuji F60z P&S (a child broke it - but many photos in the meantime)
2005 - present Canon 350D (works faithfully. Taken about 100k photos. Weaknesses: AF, low light, poor handling, viewfinder)
2009 - present Canon 7D (a great body, awesome handling camera. Produces good quality images).
The future... maybe a 7Dmk___   in the meantime I enjoy photography a lot :)

I have several lenses from ultra-wide angle to telephoto zoom, macro, walk-around, etc.

Cheers....  8)


Lenses / Re: Travel lens\es on crop body
« on: October 25, 2012, 07:29:40 PM »
Firstly, I acknowledged you have a good lens the 24-105mm f/4, mainly intended for FF. I would strongly recommend the Canon 15-85mm as a great travel lens for an APS-C / 1.6x crop - either to hire or buy.  It's got a great and practical zoom range, and matched with fantastic IQ.  Sharp, good contrast, decent bokeh and natural, rich colours.

A few weeks ago I went on an interstate holiday, and took 2 lenses: my 15-85mm and Sigma 10-20mm. My Canon 15-85mm was my most used lens, but the ultra wide (ie used @ 10mm) of my Siggie 10-20mm certainly handy for some landscape and architectural shots. I can imagine that you'd get some ultra wide usage in Italy (great landscapes and of course rich architecture).

If you are thinking of doing a lot of low light shooting (I do realise Italy is heading close to winter...end of November will have relatively short / darker days), maybe buy (or hire) the 17-55mm instead of the 15-85mm (of course, shooting wide open). The 24-105 is also a great lens, but just not wide enough as a travel zoom on a crop for my usage (but you may have a different shooting style). Matching to any of these decent / good ultra-wide though (eg Sigma 8-16, or 10-20mm or Canon's 10-22mm, or Tokina 11-16mm), does make a lot of sense.

Best wishes for your photography, and enjoy Italy.  It's a lovely country.


Lenses / Re: DXO - lens reviews - 300mm f/2.8 IS II - that bad ???
« on: October 15, 2012, 05:34:21 AM »
The Canon 300mm f/2.8 L is a superbly sharp lens. Even 'professional' testing websites can receive a 'dud' or 'softer' copy... eg SLRgear with their Canon 70-300mm L is definitely not nearly as sharp as the one I own.

I generally refer to photozone.de and the-digital-picture.com for lens reviews... I've found these to be the most thorough and consistent.

You shouldn't really compare a 300mm f2.8 prime with a 50mm f1.4 prime. While both (Canon) prime lenses, they are SO different. Comparing apples to oranges.. big time.

But if you get a decent copy of the Canon 300mm f2.8 - you should get great outcomes.

Happy photography!


5D MK III Sample Images / Re: Ultra long daytime exposures - 5D mkiii
« on: October 11, 2012, 05:54:30 AM »
Alex, these are AWESOME photos... for your 'first attempts' - absolutely stunning work.

The ultra wide perspective is very cool.   8)

Very quickly, I did some basic calculations, and realise your 'black glass' is WAY WAY WAYYYYY darker than even 3 x ND8 filters stacked.

I have 1 x ND8 (72mm) filter and a 1 x CPL (72mm) filter - which I sometimes stack.  The ND8 (and if necessary stacked with CPL) helps in some situations eg with waterfalls in broad daylight to get a long exposure... but can't give the effect like you get.

Inspiring work... I really like that the colours and tone of your photos are so 'strong' and yet natural. (I do use HDR on occasion, but very carefully - not to overcook it).

Cheers... thanks for sharing.    ;)

Landscape / Re: Aurora Borealis in Southeast Alaska
« on: October 11, 2012, 05:47:40 AM »
Great photos, JBPhoto... and welcome to the forum!

I particularly like the colours in photo #1 and the wavy feeling / repeating theme in photo #3.  8)

Thanks for sharing your settings too. Great shots. As I live in Australia, I can't provide any Aurora shots for you.   ;)


Paul :)

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:24:47 PM »
Thanks Neuro / John...

Fantastic photos... great colours - even at the high ISOs.

I think you've created some strong images - nice compositions for your 'first few tries' of the combination of a great lens with an awesome body.

The 'bonus' indoor candid shot - I'm imagining that you are some distance away from her then!?

Looking forward to your photos from other locations, Plum Island, etc (not that I know anything about Plum Island from this side of the globe!)

Best wishes...


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 vs 7D
« on: October 05, 2012, 06:32:57 PM »
I know this question has been asked over and over and several reviews on the web have put both cameras through their paces, but after my own use of both cameras, here is my 2 cents.

First off, let it be said that a FF 7D is the 5D3. This is not about comparing the these two bodies. The 5D2 is basically a FF rebel (in terms of speed/raw features), with a far SUPERIOR color processor and sensor! (No offense anyone)

I own both cameras. It comes down to this, if you are shooting mainly stills, weddings and "canned" shots, the 5D2 cannot be beat in areas of image quality and low light handling.

However, for wildlife? The 7D is a workhorse and I love using mine. The more I shoot with it, the more I love it. I have been getting amazing images from it and it is far easier to use than I first gave it credit for. It is very fast and a "NOW" camera. It does what you want exactly when you want it done!

I am simply suggesting that a camera that can cost well over a grand less than the 5D3, and upwards of $600 less than the 5D2 and twice as fast as the 5D2, one has to stand up and take notice. When Canon does decide to make a "7D Mark II" they have their work cut out for them. For an APS-C camera, the 7D is as close to perfect as it can be and I for one cannot wait to see what they consider a "replacement" for the 7D! Yes, crop sensors have limits, just as FF bodies do... but the image quality and advantages (speed) of the 7D outweigh the 5D2 in real world shooting!

If you buy one, you will not be disappointed. I haven't been... (shots taken with the 7D, pics sized down for posting, full size rez photos are much, much nicer!)

Richard, you have summed up my thoughts, feelings and experience of owning the 7D very closely with your post. I bought my 7D soon after it came out... and it's been a workhorse of a camera - very much a 'NOW' camera and capable of great image quality in the right hands, with good lenses (& technique).

Sure a FF has some noted advantages, but often we're talking at pixel peeping level. Even great photographers can not often distinguish an unlabelled crop photo from a FF in many instances. 

Enjoy your photography everyone!!   ;)


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D Center Cross-Type ?
« on: October 05, 2012, 06:24:00 PM »
Thanks Neuro... you have answered all my questions SO clearly and well.  I now understand.

You're a legend!  Again, your contribution on this forum is so much appreciated.


I use DxO Optics since version 1, been quite happy with the results (one of the best RAW engine as far as I know, better than LR2 but I hear it's been much improved with LR3 and LR4). I tried LR since it is the standard (for once Adobe sells an affordable software), but I am not very happy with the ergonomic. When you get used to something.....
Plus DxO has excellent lens correction modules, as well as a practical geometry correction module to straighten architecture.
Can be tried free for 30 days.
Has anyone else tried it or does the fact it is related to DxO mark make it the evil software ?


Though I don't do all my photography in RAW - I do use DxO Optics Pro for RAW conversions too. Since I first downloaded the first demo (a long time ago) - I loved it... for the various lens tools, corrections, tweaking, etc - that it has available.  Particularly the last version is getting better interface, functionality, etc.  8)

For my purposes, most of my photos I actually shoot in JPEG (not RAW).... but DxO conversions work great on both RAW & JPEG. As Neuro has stated in various posts, the DxO engine is good for low noise.

While I take the DxO overall sensor score with a grain of salt (if that) - I do like their software very much  ;)



Just curious....given that you have the option of shooting RAW....why do you shoot with jpeg?
I'm not really understanding why anyone would shoot less than RAW these days...memory is pretty cheap these days....and if shooting jpeg, well, you've automatically lost potential things you can do in post....

I can maybe understand if you're taking 1000's of shots for a time lapse thing...but for just normal stills pics....why would you shoot anything but RAW if you have the capability?

Just curious,


Hi Cayenne

Sure.... I understand your question and appreciate your curiousity!  :)

Most of my photos (as in... more than 50% of the photos I take with my 7D and 350D cameras) are either for events (like children camps, church events, sporting or outdoor occasions, and some family holidays).

Thus my priority for these type of photos is to have these ready as soon as possible to share with others (or give to, and occasionally sell to others)...  So JPEG is quicker (in terms of my computer mainly - viewing and post processing).

Generally the IQ difference between shooting RAW and JPEG for THOSE type of photos is not so critical as time.

I think if I get (or if they will invent) much faster computers, I would use RAW a bit more often than JPEG, because many times I need to process several hundred if not thousands of photos after an event, and have the photos ready ASAP.  I have read that even Olympic photographers shoot in RAW AND JPEG, with many of the JPEG images being used in time critical applications (eg images directly uploaded to news websites, blogs, etc).

However, when I do my "own" photography; and where time is not critical - eg landscape, macro, wildlife and 'special product / nature photography' (particularly in tricky lighting / white balance, or where maximum dynamic range or sharpness is required) - then I will use RAW more often.  And I find it has benefits, especially in some compositions.

I hope this satisfies your curiousity.   8)

Wishing you a good weekend. It's nearing Friday evening here in Australia!  Yay!! :)


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