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Messages - pj1974

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Software & Accessories / Re: DxO Optics Pro 9 released
« on: October 27, 2013, 11:42:09 PM »
Don't you hate it when you realize that the f/2.8 lens(es) you brought are WAY too slow for the event?  I think we've all done that one before.  I hope you're able to get something out of the shots in post.

Oh, I knew that going in - I have f/1.4 and f/1.2 primes I could have brought, and a 600EX-RT on the camera that I chose not to use, despite several iPhone, P&S, and Rebel-on-full-auto lights/strobes disturbing the ambiance.  I hadn't planned on any keepers from that activity (one of several, others are better lit, it's an annual event we attend).  FWIW, I brought the 35/1.4L last year, and didn't get any keepers from the fireside stories, either.  I grabbed a few shots this time on a lark, just to see how PRIME would handle them (I think it's the first time I've taken any non-test shots above ISO 25,600).

Neuro, I'd be very keen to see some of your shots from your daughter's Halloween event (including 'before and after post processing' comparos, both to see the detail of the IDX at high ISO's, and what DxO v9 can do with them).

I've been using DxO since v5, and love what it can do, particularly with its useful batch post-processing improvement capabilities. So when the DxO Optics Pro 9 came up in my email telling about PRIME, I became interested.... and there are still some weeks the upgrade offer is valid till.   8)

Will keep an eye out...

Paul :)

Lenses / Re: 70-300mm IS USM or splurge for Tamron 70-200mm VC
« on: October 17, 2013, 10:14:28 PM »
Shame to hear about your house and lenses, thankfully though - it seems no lives were lost?

For Safari, you definitely want reach (but also flexibility - ie don't want a prime).  I find a 70-200mm too short for most of my wildlife shots (and I have a Canon 7D).  My current telezoom is the Canon 70-300mmL USM IS.

I have used the Canon 55-250mm IS, the Canon 70-300mm USM IS (ie non-L), the Tamron 70-300mm USD, the Canon 100-400mm L, the Sigma 120-400mm and Sigma 150-500mm (Yes, I've tried a lot of lenses - borrowed from friends or used in-store!)

I have also previously owned the Canon 100-300mm USM, but that was quite a while ago, and it had lot IQ above about 180mm.  The Canon 70-300mm USM IS is definitely ok, but loses contrast and some sharpness between 200-300mm. 

If you can't afford the Canon 70-300mm L (which is also great because it's still very portable, especially to any of the lenses 400mm and above), then I'd recommend the Tamron 70-300mm USD a bit ahead of the Canon 70-300mm USM IS. Just stop these down to f/7.1 or f/8 to get more sharpness and contrast at 300mm. I've obtained surprisiing good photos with the Canon 55-250mm, that might be the cheapest stop gap measure.

Hmmmm... I don't know if my post gives any more clarity, but I'm just sharing. I'm very glad I went out and waited till the 70-300mm L arrived then bought that.... the other lenses just didn't cut it for me in the end!

Enjoy your safari.. and share some photos!


Lenses / Re: EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 Vs EF 24-105mm f/4 L
« on: October 10, 2013, 07:19:25 PM »
The Canon EF-S 15-85mm is my favourite ‘go-to lens’ for the 7D and the 1 lens option I use when I only wish to travel with 1 lens. Put simply, it has an extremely useful focal range, very good IQ [sharpness, contrast, low CAs good bokeh, etc], build quality (a step above most consumer zoom lenses) and convenient features like FTM USM AF & a 4 stop IS.

The 24-105mm has a less useful focal range on a 7D, very similar (still very good, but not better) IQ, better build quality – and similar FTM USM AF & a 3 stop IS (note: one stop less effective).

For a 7D, I’d definitely stay with the 15-85mm – as the focal length is just so much more appropriate. There is little difference between 85mm & 105mm.  105mm @ f/4 provides a bit extra control of depth of field than the 85mm @ f/5.6.  (I have owned a good copy of a 28-135mm, which I know is a bit different again, but it feels more similar to the 24-105mm regarding focal length).

The 15-85mm stands up well to use in a variety of conditions (I’ve taken photos with it in very dusty environments, light drizzle, fog and humid conditions… it did not suffer issues. I would probably have some concerns using it in heavier rain or in the tropics for extended periods of time, though).  The 24-105mm is better weather sealed, but even with it, I would not take it into the harshest environments on a 7D. With a 1D body, I’d venture most habitable places on this planet 

In addition to my 15-85mm, as zooms I also have a Sigma 8-16mm (love this UWA lens, a great wider complement to the 15-85mm!) and the 70-300mm L (a great high quality portable tele complement to the 15-85mm). When I want fast glass, I like primes (I don’t consider f/2.8 really ‘fast’, so that’s why I don’t have the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8).  Enjoy taking photos with your 15-85mm!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Where is the Canon 7D successor?
« on: October 10, 2013, 05:51:46 PM »
So in the last two years Canon comes out with touchscreens, WiFi controls, and Dual-pixel technology.... and at the same time they say that the 7D2 will be revolutionary.... that's got to mean something more than a slightly better 70D. What if the 7D2 is mirrorless and they are still trying to get the EVF up to snuff... or some equally impressive jump in technology? What if they are alternating vertical and horizontal on the dual-pixels and haven't got it quite right yet... What if they are ISO splitting the dual pixels for increased DR....

I am much happier waiting for a true jump in features in a 7D2 than having one rushed to market with laughable "upgrades".... like going from a T4i to a T5i with a mode dial that spins all the way around... I'm sure they could introduce a 7D2 now that was barely better than a 70D, but I am patient enough to wait for a real upgrade.


This!  Yes, I'm very happy with my 7D - and find the more I use it (even after tens of thousands of photos) - the more skilled I become (yet I can still improve in areas too).

I saw Canon's recent release of the 70D as very promising for the 7DmkII - a real upgrade (as the 70D was to the 60D).   ;)

Don, I can't recall reading that Canon has stated the 7DmkII will be 'revolutionary' (but if you can source a publication from them, please do share!)

Exciting times ahead... I'd be happy with improved IQ, improved AF, maybe a mirrorless (still compatible with EF-S lenses, though). Enjoy photography folks!

Paul  8)

Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 09, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »
As I've written numerous times on CR before, I would be happy with a new Canon 50mm prime.

My main requirements are:
 - at least f/2 (up to f/1.4 in an ideal world)
 - good IQ wide open (eg sharpn, good contrast & pleasing bokeh, low CA)
 - true FTM USM AF (fast & accurate), or STM if not USM

Added bonuses:
 - 4 stop IS
 - close MFD
 - 58mm filter thread size
 - lightweight / small-ish
 - metal mount
 - less than $800

I like Canon's latest 35mm f/2 USM IS - it meets pretty much all the criteria I have for a 50mm; except it's a 35mm (I've analysed my photos, and I would much prefer a 50mm prime than a 35mm prime). I find I can use one of my zoom lenses at 35mm (eg my Canon 15-85mm).  If they could make a 50mm similar, I'd be very happy with that to round out my lens arsenal.


Compare your spec list to the new Zeiss 55mm...it's quite amusing really and puts us all into a very distinct bracket in the market place.

Yes... I did look at the new Zeiss 55mm lens... and actually I believe while it will have 'outstanding IQ' (eg superior bokeh, sharper, more contrast) - I can't justify the price for such a lens.  Plus I rely on AF in too many situations.   :-\

I'd much rather spend big bucks on the Canon EF 200-400mm 1.4x L IS USM  :)  My most expensive lens to date is the Canon EF 70-300mm L IS USM, which I love (a great portable telezoom, with quality IQ).

So, I'm still looking for a new Canon 50mm prime that meets my needs... :)

Paul    8)

Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 08, 2013, 10:46:51 PM »
As I've written numerous times on CR before, I would be happy with a new Canon 50mm prime.

My main requirements are:
 - at least f/2 (up to f/1.4 in an ideal world)
 - good IQ wide open (eg sharpn, good contrast & pleasing bokeh, low CA)
 - true FTM USM AF (fast & accurate), or STM if not USM

Added bonuses:
 - 4 stop IS
 - close MFD
 - 58mm filter thread size
 - lightweight / small-ish
 - metal mount
 - less than $800

I like Canon's latest 35mm f/2 USM IS - it meets pretty much all the criteria I have for a 50mm; except it's a 35mm (I've analysed my photos, and I would much prefer a 50mm prime than a 35mm prime). I find I can use one of my zoom lenses at 35mm (eg my Canon 15-85mm).  If they could make a 50mm similar, I'd be very happy with that to round out my lens arsenal.


Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
« on: September 17, 2013, 04:43:30 AM »
The color rendition from this lens is just so good to look at.  :)

How good is this lens at portraits? Moarrrr please, ;D like angox's.

Portraits?  You'll never go wrong with this lens.  It's just a little bit hard in my case because it's a little bit long for an APS-C when used for portraits and the AF is slow relatively if compared to 50mm F1.8 II (for portraits).

I have been following this thread for a while, and appreciate a lot of the photos in this thread, well done to many fine photographers. I have the Canon EF 100mm macro USM (non-L).

What was written above (which I've highlighted in red font) isn't my experience. My 100mm macro's AF is definitely quicker to focus than both copies of my Canon 50mm f/1.8 II - on either of my Canon DSLR's: 7D or 350D. Not as quick as my 70-300mm L, but it's not bad... better than eg a few Sigma telephoto zooms I've used.

If I limit the AF (ie so it doesn't search through the 'macro ranges') - the 100mm AF's quite snappy, at any subject distance- particularly on my 7D, but even on my 350D. I hated the slow, grindy, inaccurate AF of the 50mm f/1.8, so I got rid of both copies.

Here are a few recent macro photos I made with my 100mm nonL lens.
Note - there is also a Canon 100mm macro non-L, non-USM.... but it's quite old and not so many of those around anymore.
(PS - I have some great portraits with my 100mm macro lens too....)

Landscape / Re: Milky Way
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:07:47 PM »
Great photo. I also really appreciate how the light pollution actually highlights the horizon.

The fade between yellow-ish (light) and black/blue (stars) is not too obtrusive, imho.

Well captured!  What was the camera you used?  I'm guessing a FF (perhaps 6D or 5DmkII or 5DmkIII?)


Lenses / Re: Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS STM Announced
« on: August 22, 2013, 12:39:50 AM »
So excited about this!
The previous version is great, and all the other STM lenses have been getting stellar sharpness reviews.


My thoughts exactly (and I wrote the same a few minutes ago on the 'pre-order' thread about this lens and the new PowerShots.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: EF-S 55-250 IS STM & PowerShot Preorders
« on: August 22, 2013, 12:36:48 AM »
Well done Canon!

All the new STM lenses have so far been impressive, and I trust it's the same for the 55-250mm IS STM.

And, I think Canon has released a great set of PowerShots - covering various users' needs and preferences.  Exciting times!


Lenses / Re: New Lens Announcement Tonight [CR3]
« on: August 21, 2013, 10:08:31 PM »
Optical upgrades?!?! The old 55-250 is already a pretty solid piece of work optically. I can't wait to see how it could improve. I mean, if it gets much better, it would practically eliminate the need to go to an L in that range.

I wouldn't go quite that far:  http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=456&Camera=474&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=738&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Yeah, the L lens is five times as much, but it is in a whole different league optically.

Not really, if you compare them both on an APS-C body then the L lens is just barely better than the 55-250.  On the other hand compare the 55-250 vs the 70-200 is ii at 200mm both on crop and you'll see a world of difference.

Wow - I've never done that before, but that seems really odd to me.  I don't know why the image quality from the 70-300L should be that different between the FF body and the crop - I have not seen that to be evident in actual use.  Something seems wrong there.  I seriously doubt the 55-250 would look that much better on a FF body if it were capable of being mounted there.

The results of lens resolution tests on The Digital Picture (TDP) have recently been discussed on this forum:


The results can not be compared between different sensor sizes / camera systems (eg FF vs APS-C).
FF will generally yield sharper results per pixel than APS-C.  Some APS-C bodies can sometimes be an advantage of FF when focal length limited.

Back to the original topic, Canon's 55-250mm lenses are great, but noticeably not as sharp as the 70-300mm L. Yes, I have used both - and I've kept the awesome 70-300mm L.

If there's an improvement for Canon's 55-250mm lens that would be good. Particularly in the AF specs, eg if it would be a STM: awesome! I feel that lens being a non-USM / non-STM lens is its greatest 'weakness'.


Lenses / Re: Yet another call for travel lens advice
« on: August 14, 2013, 01:28:23 AM »
There's another current thread, somewhat similar requirements to yours. Check it out here - there are a number of people (including myself) who've posted advice.


If you need a more portable telezoom, I can also recommend the 70-300mm L over any of the 70-200mm f/2.8 varieties (as the 70-300mm L is lighter, plus gives you more reach). Obviously you loose the f/2.8 advantage... horses for courses.

If you require the 16-35mm for UWA on your FF, yes - then I can understand you'd like to take that too.



Lenses / Re: What lenses would you bring for this travel-trip?
« on: August 14, 2013, 12:39:58 AM »
When I go for 2 lenses, it's often the Canon 15-85mm and Canon 70-300mm L.
A killer combination indeed, especially if combined with a 10-22 lens (I know you mentioned other brand you just reminded me of my beloved and stolen 10-22).
But the point is that OP has already a FF camera. I agree with you that in this case the 24-105 is the best all round lens(I do own and like it). I would complement it with the 16-35 and 135 (and leave behind all others) to avoid carrying the 70-200 2.8

Hi tron

Thanks for your post and quote of my earlier post.

Yes, I'm aware that the op has a FF, that's why I stated in my post - in his situation I would go with the 24-105mm L (twice mentioning that as a suitable lens).  It's true I didn't explicitly make the connection / compare my 15-85mm on a 7D / APS-C with the 24-105mm on a 5DmkIII (these being quite similar in usability as a go-to zoom lens).

I have used the Canon 10-22mm, and have own a Sigma 10-20mm since 2008 (my copy has v good sharpness & great contrast). Now I have the Sigma 8-16 which is superior in various ways (less CA, slightly sharper in centre - but more noticeably sharper in the corners).  I have often stated on these CR forums and other places that there is a plethora of great UWA lens choices for APS-C DSLRs these days.  And it's very hard to obtain equivalent full frame lenses (esp zooms) which can match the corner sharpness of the best APS-C UWAs.

I would recommend that fiend, the OP, buys a 24-105mm and goes with for most of his photos. Then uses the 16-35mm when he requires UWA photos.  The 135mm L prime is not a bad addition, but it's not THAT much longer than the tele end of the 24-105mm L, of course the 135mm L prime is a few stops brighter - but having 3 lenses rather than 2 does mean less convenience. 



Lenses / Re: What lenses would you bring for this travel-trip?
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:17:59 PM »
I have travelled lots around the world, and taken thousands upon thousands of photos with my DSLRs in various situations.  From several countries within Europe to SE Asia to many parts of Australia (where I grew up, now live and have returned after sevearl years abroad).

Convenience is important while on the go - I want to enjoy my time of walking, travelling, seeing sites, talking with people and yes, also photographing lots. But I would opt for a light & available body with a zoom in most cases than travel rather than feel like a 'fully laden pack horse' with a host of lenses, including too many primes!

In your case, I'd probably opt to buy a 24-105mm L, and use the 16-35mm time to time too.  The 70-200mm f/2.8 II is a great lens, but very heavy to take along. I can see the new 35mm f/2 IS being a great option as a 'street photography' / low light option too.

I use a 7D as my travel camera, and the Canon 15-85mm is my main camera. So yes, it does depend on each individual's photography style, but I would expect that many photographers would find the 24-105mm on a 5DmkIII the most handy combination (or the newer Canon 24-70mm f/4 IS as another travel option).

When I go for 2 lenses, it's often the Canon 15-85mm and Canon 70-300mm L.  A great, and very portable 2 lens travel solution - providing very high quality images. Though in some situations I'll (also) take and use my Sigma 8-16mm (love that ultrawide!) Of course one can use all 3 lenses as such if that is preferred.

When I was on holiday in Thailand some time ago, I used the 15-85mm about 80% of the time on my 7D.

Best wishes.

EOS-M / Re: My EF M 11-22 has arrived
« on: August 11, 2013, 08:17:19 PM »
I really like the looks of what Canon is doing lately, REAL innovations (eg dual pixel AF in 70D, improved AF in EOS M, an IS ultra wide zoom - this 11-12mm).     ;)

The EOS M with 11-22mm would make a great IQ 'relatively small' / 'quite-portable' package for landscape (or architecture).    8)

One faint hope (though I very doubt it will happen  ::) ) is that the 7DmkII will have image stabilisation in the body... that way my Sigma 8-16mm would be even more wonderfully useful... boy I would love THAT lens to be stabilised....!

Thanks for the sample photos and user reviews through this thread, folks.



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