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Messages - pj1974

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46
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: More body upgrade from 40d questions???
« on: August 08, 2013, 06:54:44 PM »
As to the choice between 100-400mm (current or a vII) OR getting the 70-300mm L, it really depends on how much of your shooting is going to really require 400mm.  Obviously with most birds, the more mm the better - so it seems that a 100-400mm would be better.

BUT one must always consider the other factors, eg the 100-400mm L lens IS significantly heavier and bigger, and it makes a huge difference to me in that I can keep my 70-300mm L in my Lowepro shoulder bag with my 7D and 15-85mm attached (or the 70-300mm L attached to my 7D and the 15-85mm next to it).

If I owned a 100-400mm L, I wouldn't be taking that as often on my walks, drives, travels, etc, just because it's much longer and heavier. And I expect a vII of the 100-400mm L would be quite a bit more expensive (at least $2500 my guess). So having 300mm 'on tap' is better than 85mm!

So many 70-300mm L users love its portability and extremely good IQ.  But it's really up to you what you'll want.  I still think my earlier advice of getting rid of your 70-200mm f/4 nonIS and the 70-300mm nonL and replacing it with the 70-300mm L is a good strategy for you.

Then later down the track consider the Sigma 8-16mm if you really like ultrawide.

Regards

Paul

47
"Back in the good ol' days" I programmed my 350D to use the * (AE lock) button as a BBF.

Then, how glad I was when I moved up to my 7D, as it has a dedicated BBF button.  (And it's in the right spot for me).

It also only took me a few hours of shooting to become totally comfortable with BBF instead of shutter button.  I use my personalised and 'Quick menu' settings to set the shutter button back to AF for when I give my DSLR to friends to use / shoot a photo of me with.

Definitely prefer BBF for any situation now. Landscape (no need for lens to refocus when I've nailed the focus and are changing composition, etc). Same with so many other applications, eg macro, wildlife (including BIF), still life, etc, etc.

Paul

48
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Basic Specs [CR2]
« on: August 08, 2013, 02:53:41 AM »
A number of us posted on a thread some time ago (a few months?) - about the time from R&D on new technology and putting into a new DSLR, and the time between initial announcement, to production and final release.

The most knowledgable people (including some CR contributors who work in electronics / R&D) - said that the process would usually take some years with 'new technology', into something like an DSLR.

So, I believe Canon could have a new sensor in the 7DmkII - as well as 1 or 2 other 'great features' (eg improved AF, eg more pts and dual focus LiveView & improved optical focus).

Hoping for such a camera, sometime in 2014!

Regards

Paul

49
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Basic Specs [CR2]
« on: August 07, 2013, 07:59:23 PM »
I still am not buying the rumor that the 70D sensor is the same as the 7D2 sensor.  That only would have made sense if the 7D2 came out considerably in advance of the 70D, and that ship has sailed.   Why a lower trimline body would get such a vital core IQ component that a far better product will get a year later makes no sense at all.

Ditto. It doesn't seem logical for Canon to release a 7D II that didn't bring with it an entirely new set of technology, sensor included, continuing the trend started with the original 7D (do we start calling it the 7Dc for Classic, now? ;P) I also think that, whatever megapixel count is has...18mp, 20mp, or 24mp...the 7D II sensor really needs to shine. It needs to produce IQ better than the 7D and 70D that preceeded it. It needs to demonstrate Canon is still interested in their customers needs, and still capable of competing in a sensor fabrication environment riddled with far more competition and innovation than ever seen in the past.

(Not to mention the fact that a Canon employee mentioned in a DPR interview that they would be doing something interesting and innovative with the 7D II sensor not long ago.)

Double ditto.  Makes complete sense, and I hope it's true the 7DmkII will be achieving a new / better Canon APS-C sensor.

Additionally, if the AF specs at the top of this thread are accurate, that is impressive.  Holding out for a great new 7DmkII to be king of the APS-C field, as the 7D was in its day.

I still love my 7D.

Paul

50
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Using Custom Dial Settings
« on: August 07, 2013, 01:48:02 AM »
I have a 7D, and I LOVE my 3 custom settings on my dial.   8)

This is how I use them:

C1 = landscape (low ISO, single shot, single point AF, aperture f/10, Av mode).

C2 = macro (Auto ISO, aperture f13, single shot, detailed single point AF, 3 FPS, aperture f/13, Av mode). I turn ISO to low if on a tripod and subject is still.

C3 = BIF / sports action (auto ISO, aperture f/5.6 or lower, continuous AF and fast FPS - depending on lens Tv mode of 1/1600)

Then in practice, I use the Av basically as a C4 part of my dial as a f/8, ISO 400 'general setting' - which I can decrease the Av to e.g f/2.8 for lower DOF.  I nearly always set my camera 'back' to that when I turn it off.

Then at times, I use the Tv at another setting (usually around 1/200 or 1/30 for uses - eg panning). And I use often use M (manual) for flash settings.  ;)

I have really enjoyed using the 3 custom dial functions. I really want Canon to get rid of the Green Square (bleh) and Creative Auto (yuk!).   >:(    So then I hope the 7DmkII has 4 or 5 custom settings on the dial!!  :D

The mirror lock up I have as a setting in my custom MENU (as well as other commonly used settings, eg Exposure Compensation, Format, Flash control).  Mirror lock up for those special settings, eg night scenes, certain macros, etc.

 I do also use the Q button time to time, but prefer to change settings with my eye to the OVF.

Regards,

Paul

51
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR2]
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:43:18 PM »
We seem to have two groups of people arguing....

One group says that FF has the best image quality.
The other group says that APS-C has the best image quality that they can afford.

Both sides are right.

:D  Great summary.....

... though there is (at least now) a third group of people that say "option C please, both the above are true!"

And you (& I) are in that group, Don!
I was outside last night doing something stupid..... trying to hand-hold a 60D with a 400F5.6 and a 2x teleconverter and shoot the ISS as it passed overhead. Surprisingly enough, it worked and the resulting image is 22 pixels across. I'd have loved to have a 1DX instead of the 60D and an 800F5.6 instead of the 400F5.6, but with what I can afford to spend, that's just not going to happen. Like so many of us, I have to settle for the best I can afford.

Wow, that's actually quite cool - taking a photo of the ISS with quite a focal length!

I've seen the ISS - but not ever got close enough to take a photo (maybe I should stand on a ladder next time)...  Plus my 7D and 70-300mm L doesn't have quite sufficient reach :P

Hmmmm... keeping in theme with this thread, I wonder if depth of field is an issue though as you might have focussed on the distant tip of the ISS, rather than the nearest tip - particularly if you couldn't AFMA on the 60D...   ;D

So- would you care to share your 22 pixels? 

Paul

52
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: More body upgrade from 40d questions???
« on: August 06, 2013, 09:05:07 PM »
Hi mickeykelly,

As you mentioned you are a relative rookie with DSLRs, my advice would be for you to keep the 40D and practice more.  The 40D isn't a bad camera at all... and you have some decent lenses.  I'd suggest a bit of a shuffle with lenses (details below)

I have the Canon 15-85mm (my most used lens) - and it's great as a 1 lens solution - for both travel and landscape.  I have the Canon 70-300mm L which pairs with it great for a 2 lens solution (if you want more zoom). It appears you also have the Canon 70-300mm nonL and the 70-200mm L non-IS.  I would recommend that the 70-300mm L is a much better solution than those 2 telephone zoom lenses that you currently have.  The 70-300mm L is sharper than both, has a great 4 stop IS system and true fast, accurate USM focusing. So it beats the best of both your telezoom lenses (as 1 lens!)

If you sell both your 2 telezooms, you might be somewhat out of pocket - but you'll have a better lens: an L lens that will last you a lifetime for any body. [Mine is very sharp at 300mm f/5.6]  AND it's a much more practical / portable solution. (I believe you can use your Kenko converter on the 70-300mm L - which will focus in good light / high contrast, or at least it does on some bodies, maybe also the 40D). And it might work particularly well with the new dual pixel LiveView AF - which apparently can AF at smaller apertures, eg f/8 to f/11.

Another thought (after that) that I had is you might want to look at getting the Sigma 8-16mm UWA... which is the widest non-fish eye zoom lens currently available for Canon APS-C DSLRs.  It would work so well complementing your 15-85mm. Getting to such extreme wide angles can be challenging, but also fun. Again, this lens is a great companion for travel.  (PS.. I dislike the 50mm f/1.8 - but I did have 2 copies of that lens in the past).

The 70D would be a reasonable upgrade to your 40D, but practice and technique are more important than having the latest / greatest gear. Though definitely the 7D and 70D have advantages in handling, and some features, the 40D would probably not be your main limiting factor at this stage.  The 70D will eventually come down to lower prices (I think Canon has been reasonable with the 70D price of $1,199 USD).  You can already get good deals on the 7D, but if I were in your shoes I'd wait a while to upgrade your body.

Hope this helps.

Paul

53
Lenses / Re: 24-70 II cracked focusing ring. **DIY FIXED**
« on: August 06, 2013, 08:16:59 PM »
I'm glad you got it replaced.  As you found out, its just a big rubber band, nothing technical about replacing it, and certainly no need to glue it or do some other fix.

Absolutely! It's like the first sensor clean I guess, it's not the favorite thing to try, but it's no problem at all...

Does anyone know if someone makes these rings in different colors? Red rings would have been cool :D

I'm glad to read this thread; it sounds like a 'good news story' (even though it started off with a cracked focus ring). I had no idea that the focus rings were like rubber bands, and so easy to remove and install a new one. Well done Viggo with the effort and also good quality photos of the process.

Hopefully your new focus ring will last a lifetime... and it's good you have a spare (zoom) ring too! Did you have to cut through the old (cracked) focus ring, or could you ply something suitable underneath to get a hold of it and then pull it off?

I've done image sensor cleaning (both the rocket hand blower and the wet method) a few times.... it was nerve-racking 1st time, but fine from then on.

Paul

54
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR2]
« on: August 06, 2013, 07:14:58 PM »
I'm curious about the f/4.5 bit...how exactly does that work? Is that only for the outer points? (I believe the center AF point is still f/2.8 compatible like with most Canon AF systems.)

It works at f/2.8, of course, but that is equivalent to f/4.5, even though some people do not want to hear about that. Assuming that it has the same precision: 1/3 of DOF or so, it is 1/3 (or whatever) of the f/4.5 eq. DOF. It is like shooting with FF at f/4.5, with 1/3 DOF precision. Well, that is 1/3 of the DOF at f/4.5 Even if f/4.5 is all you need as DOF, your precision is lower. Some empirical evidence on that can be found on the FoCal site.

Sorry, but that's incorrect.  The precision of the AF points at a given aperture isn't specified in terms of DoF. Well, ok, maybe it is...but in that case, you keep using the letter F in the abbreviation, and I do not think it means what you think it means. 

The AF sensor precision spec is 'within one depth of focus' for a standard precision point, and 'within 1/3 the depth of focus' for high precision (f/2.8, usually) points.  Depth of focus is in 'image space' and is measured in micrometer distances at the AF (and/or image) sensor. It is related to, but distinct from, depth of field, which is measured in larger distances in 'object space'. 

Depth of field is determined by aperture, subject distance, and focal length (and CoC, but since that is related to sensor size, let's leave that out).  When we discuss 'shallower DoF on FF', that's a function of either subject distance (with APS-C you're further away for the same framing) or focal length (with APS-C, you need a shorter focal length for the same framing). 

However, depth of focus is relatively insensitive to subject distance (once you're out of true macro range) and focal length.  Thus, depth of focus is primarily determined by aperture, and that doesn't change with sensor size.

OTOH, aa stated, from a practical standpoint the APS-C sensor does have a deeper depth of field. So, even though the specified AF sensor precision is the same, the manufacturing tolerances for APS-C could, in theory, be looser.  Users of 1-series bodies have long known their AF is' better' than consumer cameras.  I wonder if part of the recent improvements in measured precision of AF with the 5DIII and 6D derive at least in part from Canon tightening up the manufacturing tolerances.

Thanks Neuro for a well written explanation about DOF, sensor size, focal length, distance to subject & background, AF focussing accuracy. etc, etc.

That's the way I have understood & work with these variables for some time in my photography. It's a shame many people who take photos and own cameras / lenses don't understand or apply these.  People should practice, practice, practice - like I did years ago - taking photos with a FF at f/2.8 or a APS-C at f/1.8 - and determining how to use and control DOF for impact in photos.

That's the reason I'm waiting for a new 50mm f/1.4 - f/2 lens; that's the focal length and DOF that I enjoy taking many photos on my APS-C (Canon 7D).

Quote
I wonder if part of the recent improvements in measured precision of AF with the 5DIII and 6D derive at least in part from Canon tightening up the manufacturing tolerances.

And this, in red font, above is one of the things I'm very keen to see in a 7DmkII.  I have worked very well with my 7D's AF (I have again practiced with many photos and different scenarios). I have been able to achieve photos with with my 7D that I'm very happy - including macro using AF (though I usually use MF for most of my macros), BIF, portrait, event photography, etc.  There are a few scenarios that I would like the 7D's AF to be somewhat more accurate and consistent (like the 5DmkIII) - but the 7D is no slouch WHEN you know how to use it.

Regards all....

Paul

55
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR2]
« on: August 06, 2013, 07:05:59 PM »
We seem to have two groups of people arguing....

One group says that FF has the best image quality.
The other group says that APS-C has the best image quality that they can afford.

Both sides are right.

:D  Great summary.....

... though there is (at least now) a third group of people that say "option C please, both the above are true!"

And you (& I) are in that group, Don!

56
EOS-M / Re: Returning M today...
« on: August 06, 2013, 02:53:03 AM »
I have looked at and then used a Canon M. It's certainly got a lot going for it, in terms of size and decent price (especially the current M lenses). But for me (and I know a lot of others) - while it's smaller than any DSLR, the EOS M still isn't truly meeting my criteria of 'very portable'.

That's why I bought a Sony RX-100 (for my fiancee), and I'm impressed with the image quality. I tested it when I received it. In some situations Canon APS-C DSLR bodies have an edge in terms of overall image crispness (and definitely depth of field).  In other photos, the Sony RX-100 holds it's own.  (I can't compare Sony RX-100 to Canon M - as I don't own an M...)

My fiancee's camera doesn't have any dust issues, yet... hoping it stays that way!

Kudos to Sony - and also other companies, technology improvements are great.

Paul

In term of IQ, I can say that Sony is better due to new sensor tech. I can see that through my RX1 compared to my 5D III. That doesn't bother me.

Bothering me most is seeing 1" sensor(pocketable RX100 II) out perform the M with 22x15mm sensor. Not only better in low light(indoor), but everything else - faster AF, solid build etc...

Hi, yes thanks Dylan - I agree.

The RX-1 is a FF sensor, and I've seen that sensor (and other sensors of Sony) really pushing the bar - and I trust this will benefit us the consumer at the end of the day. But I'm not a 'just think about DR / ISO / sensor' person. Rather I'm a 'whole package' person - and I hope (and expect) Canon to make improvements in its sensors at all sizes, ie 1) at APS-C - eg EOS M and Crop sensor DSLR and 2) in FF too. (Don't mention APS-H - that's 'dead'!) :p

The RX-100 and RX-100 II are both amazing cameras - particularly for being pocketable and having great IQ.  However the flexibility of having purpose designed lenses and an optical view finder (OVF) mean I prefer the DSLR as my 'general camera'.

I've taken photos with the RX-100 at my home, and also used my 7D - and found my 7D was somewhat (slightly) superior in crispness, and noise / colour characteristics.  It appears the EOS M sensor isn't far off the 7D's sensor - and certainly with the Sony sensor being smaller (1 inch) - that's impressive from Sony.

Maybe (and I'm expecting) the dual pixel LiveView AF technology that has debuted with the 70D will go into the EOS M (next model) - and that will significantly improve the EOS M's AF.

The EOS M didn't impress me regarding build... but then again, there were also aspects of the RX-100 I didn't like (eg the flash, and some of the menu implementation / handling).

I still love a DSLR!  But good job with the Song RX cameras....

Paul :)

57
EOS-M / Re: Returning M today...
« on: August 06, 2013, 01:28:27 AM »
I have looked at and then used a Canon M. It's certainly got a lot going for it, in terms of size and decent price (especially the current M lenses). But for me (and I know a lot of others) - while it's smaller than any DSLR, the EOS M still isn't truly meeting my criteria of 'very portable'.

That's why I bought a Sony RX-100 (for my fiancee), and I'm impressed with the image quality. I tested it when I received it. In some situations Canon APS-C DSLR bodies have an edge in terms of overall image crispness (and definitely depth of field).  In other photos, the Sony RX-100 holds it's own.  (I can't compare Sony RX-100 to Canon M - as I don't own an M...)

My fiancee's camera doesn't have any dust issues, yet... hoping it stays that way!

Kudos to Sony - and also other companies, technology improvements are great.

Paul

58
Lenses / Re: On a crop sensor...EF17-40L or EFS15-85?
« on: August 05, 2013, 10:57:48 PM »
Canon 15-85mm is my 'go-to' general purpose; aka 'walk-around' lens.

17-40mm - decent IQ, but not as good as 15-85mm. The focal length is really limiting here. I would find the 17-40mm only useful as a 'budget / lighter version' to the 16-35mm f/2.8 for FF.

I have used and owned various other 'walk around' lenses - but the 15-85mm is the best package imho for APS-C. As has already been written: IS (effective for 4 stops), great USM focus, totally useable wide open at both wide and tele ends. I love the 15mm (24mm in FF equivalent) for landscapes and the 85mm for casual portraits.   It's contrasty, sharp and has 'decent' bokeh for a slow zoom (when used in some situations).

28-135mm (I had a decent copy) - IQ wide open not as good as the 15-85mm, handling - and particularly zoom range didn't work as well as 15-85mm.

18-55 vII. Rrecent IS and STM versions have improved IQ (older versions were decent stopped down a bit) But still not nearly as good as the 15-85mm due to USM and focal range

If one didn't want to get the 15-85mm for whatever reason (why, though?) you could probably get the relatively new 18-135mm STM (good reviews, price reducing now, and will come down further)

17-55mm f/2.8 - when I like 'fast' - I like f/1.4 - f/2. So I find the f/2.8 sits in the 'middle ground' - certainly useful in some low light situations over the 15-85mm, but I'd still go for a prime. Again focal length as a 'walk around' limiting.

Advice: get the 15-85mm. You won't regret it.

Paul

59
Technical Support / Re: Can't transfer RAW files, only JPEGs
« on: August 05, 2013, 02:21:45 AM »
I'm 95% sure your issue is a Windows matter.  RAWs don't copy / display correctly in Windows explorer (which often is the default that comes up when you connect a camera to a PC).

I have 4 PCs at home. I run both Windows 8 (for the purpose of this thread, similar to Windows 7) and Windows XP.

When I connect my Canon 7D or Canon 350D via USB cable to Windows XP it shows the '2 copies' of each file - ie if I've shot both RAW and JPEG - but does not copy the RAW across as a CR2.   >:(

I need to use the Canon 'copy program' (which I quite dislike) OR use a card reader (the option I go with - but annoying as I prefer to just use the USB cable... USB2.0 speed is good enough for me (I nearly always do something else while the files are copying, eg facebook...lol  ;D).

But with Windows 8, the RAW files DO copy (as .CR2) using Windows Explorer - so that's one benefit I like about Windows 8 (I've been using XP for what feels such a long time!)

My 2 cents.  8)

Paul

60
Lenses / Re: Wide angle lens' for crop sensor camera
« on: August 01, 2013, 01:38:53 AM »
This is one area where I feel APS-C photographers ARE literally "spoiled for choice" these days; that is there are many great options when looking for ultra wide angle (UWA) zooms.    ;)

While the OP stated that a zoom isn't necessarily needed, it was also stated that would be considered.  I would suggest a zoom. I'm also an outdoor person, and landscapes are some of my favourite photos to take. (I strongly dislike fisheye!) I've felt that the flexibility of a zoom does help in composition - and a few mm either side makes a lot of difference at these ultra wide angles.

Obviously there is lens to lens variation and QC, but I've done a lot of researching - and my own real world testing of UWAs... and am providing the below as some assistance to the OP.   :D

There are several options I'd recommend.
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 sharp and particularly good if one enjoys low light (and particularly astro / night photography)
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/379-tokina_1116_28_canon?start=1

Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 as a good OEM option (as Neuro suggested, a 2nd hand would fit budget)
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/174-canon-ef-s-10-22mm-f35-45-usm-test-report--review?start=1

Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 as a great UWA lens all round - good IQ and one of the best value. It's slightly slower than the Canon, but for most landscapes that's not a huge issue
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/307-sigma-af-10-20mm-f4-56-hsm-ex-dc-lab-test-report--review?start=1

Actually what verysimplejason wrote below is incorrect and not backed up by any data or research.
or Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 Ex Dc Hsm.  Make sure it's F3.5.  The other one isn't that good.
The Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 is actually sharper at the wide setting (and most focal lengths) than the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5.

Compare the analysis of both Sigma 10-20mm lenses here (in Nikkor format, as Photozone hasn't reviewed the f/3.5 in APS-C Canon mount):
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/467-sigma_1020_35_nikon?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/308-sigma-af-10-20mm-f4-56-dc-ex-hsm-lab-test-report--review?start=1
Tests (& user reviews - also those who have purchased later f/3.5 versions) at SLR report the same, ie that the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 is sharper at most focal lengths (with the f/3.5 having noticeably softer corners in particular - not just the decentering issue, though to be fair some f/4.5-5.6 lenses also had decentering issues):
Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/171/cat/31 being sharper than
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1250/cat/31

The only downside of the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 is CA at 10mm. However thankfully automated post processing can get rid of that very well, so easily.

If I were buying lenses today, perhaps the option I would go with is the Sigma 8-16mm (the widest in its class) which has received good reviews - but a bit more expensive (so you might need to look for a 2nd half / refurbed model)    :)
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/515-sigma816f4556apsc?start=1
http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1330/cat/31

There are other options, like the older Tokina 12-24mm f/4 (not bad) and Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (not the best), etc, etc, etc - but I'd recommend the first one's I've listed. I definitely notice the difference between 10mm and 12mm, with wider being better.

As I also have the Canon 15-85mm (love this as an all purpose lens) - I don't need / use the Sigma as much as I used to when my 'wide' was 18mm on a kit zoom.  But I still do use the Sigma regularly for dedicated landscape, architecture and special effects.

I use my Sigma 10-20mm UWA lens at these settings the most: 10mm f/8 (usually at ISO100 or ISO400) where it consistently is shown to be a tad sharper than the Canon. The Sigma provides great results, I've taken thousands of photso with it. The Canon 10-22mm is a good lens - but I don't like the huge, weird lens hood and briefly a few other UWAs.  When I bought my UWA, there were not the later options of eg Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 8-16mm.

Also, it is significant to note that UWA lenses for crop sensor DSLRs (ie APS-C cameras) are consistently sharper than their FF equivalents at the edges and particularly in the corners, (and especially so with lenses wide open). Even the higher end FF UWA lenses have noticeably softer edges & corners than what can be achieved on APS-C.  This is actually one significant reason I'm happy to use UWAs on APS-C cameras.

As I started my post with... we are really spoiled for choice in this segment.  8)

Best wishes for your purchase, let us know how you go!

Paul   ;)

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