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Messages - pj1974

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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)


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.    ;)

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