March 04, 2015, 10:51:22 AM

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Messages - drmikeinpdx

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When someone asks me if they should upgrade to a new body, here's what I like to ask them:

What do you need that your current body is not providing for you?

When they answer, I can give a more intelligent answer to their question.   In some cases, it turns out that they just needed to work on their technique or perhaps get a better lens or get some better lighting equipment.

Lenses / Success!!!!
« on: January 23, 2015, 08:54:00 PM »
Canon received my 50L and my 5D3 on Tuesday.  Today is Friday and my gear showed up this morning.  Pretty fast service, I'd say!  BTW, I am a Gold CPS member, which probably speeds things up.

The really great news is that the lens now focuses perfectly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tested the center point and all four peripheral points and they are right on the money with no AFMA.   I also checked for focus shift with aperture changes and did not find any at my usual six foot test distance.  If I recall correctly, that was only a problem at minimum focus distance anyway, according to forum posts.

Sorry I can't comment on curvature of field, I don't have any brick walls handy!   ;)

The service note says that they only adjusted the lens, not the camera body.  Apparently some optical assembly in the lens was still decentered after their first attempt at repair.    They did clean the 5D3 body, including viewfinder and sensor, and they reset my custom functions to the defaults.

I am a very happy photographer right now!  :) 

Lenses / Re: Focus asymmetry - Canon 50mm 1.2 L
« on: January 17, 2015, 01:34:07 PM »
Well, the lens in question is now on it's way to Southern California for another little vacation at the Canon Spa.  I boxed up my 5D3 and sent it along at the suggestion of the service rep who I exchanged email with.  Canon sent me a Fedex overnight shipping label, so it isn't costing me anything but time.  I will have to use my 7D for several days, which will be interesting.

Before I boxed up the 50L I did a boudoir photoshoot with it.  I used the center focus point and the ones on the left and bottom that had been working well.  It felt funny sometimes holding the camera opposite to how I normally hold for vertical shots.  However, I have to say that the lens focuses really well with those points that were functional.  ::)

I'd share photos, but they are too naughty for this forum. 

I think I'm going to like this lens if/when the focus problem is fixed.

Lenses / Re: Where are the new Canon 50mm and 85mm lenses?
« on: January 15, 2015, 10:33:53 AM »
I notice that the Canon 24mm 28mm and 35mm, with IS are not showing up in the refurbished store. 

Either people love them or they don't have quality control problems, or hopefully both!

Add me to the list of Canonistas waiting for a 50 in this line. 

Lenses / Re: Purple fringing of 85 1.2ii
« on: January 12, 2015, 08:50:57 AM »
I tested the 1.2 mark II and the 1.8 side by side several months ago.  They both had about the same amount of CA at 1.8, but if you open the L lens all the way to 1.2 it does have a bit more.

I like the label:  "bokeh monster" for the 1.2 :)    I did not like the slow focus speed or the weight, however.   Definitely a specialty portrait lens... every wedding photographer with strong biceps should have one!

BTW, anti-reflection coatings are wonderful things, but they are not related to chromatic aberration.

Lenses / Re: Focus asymmetry - Canon 50mm 1.2 L
« on: January 12, 2015, 08:38:17 AM »
Hi privatebydesign!  I appreciate your input.

A few years ago I had to do the Canon service dance three times to get a zoom lens working right, so I know what you mean about that.

I would appreciate hearing more about the testing procedures they use.  I understand optical benches of course.  However, I have seen forum posts that mention Canon service techs testing lenses on, if I recall correctly, "reference" bodies.

I'm not sure how sophisticated the optical benches are, but I wonder if they have the capability to test the electronic functions of the lens? 

Anybody know?

Lenses / Canon Service: Strike One!
« on: January 11, 2015, 06:48:57 PM »
Dear CPS Service,

My EF 50 1.2 L still has the same problem as when I sent it in.  I would like you to authorize a shipping label for me to send it back again.  I will describe the problem here and again in a letter that I will enclose with the lens when I send it back.

1.  The focus points on the far right side of the viewfinder have severe front focus, approx 10 inches at 6-7 feet when the camera is held vertically and about 6 inches when held horizontally.

2.  The upper focus points have a mild front focus problem.  The center, left and lower points work fine with zero AFMA.

3.  All points work fine using live view.

4.  I repeated my tests using my Canon EF 85mm 1.8 lens and all points worked perfectly, so I don't think the camera is at fault.

5.  The camera is a Canon 5D Mark 3, firmware version:  1.2.1

6.  I use the camera a lot in a vertical orientation for portraits and I put the farthest right focus point (now at the top) on the eye of my subject.  I really need that focus point to work well, especially with an aperture of F/1.2!

7.  I would appreciate it if you would test the lens on a 5D3 after any adjustments and make sure the right side focus points are working.



Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
« on: January 08, 2015, 10:14:28 PM »
VERY nice review Dustin!  Since this is not a lens I need, it was great to read your thoughts on where this lens fits into Canon's future plans.

Lenses / Re: Focus asymmetry - Canon 50mm 1.2 L
« on: January 07, 2015, 12:00:14 AM »
No change in status yet on my lens repair order at the Canon shop in California.  It got logged in on Dec 31, but the repair tracker on the Canon site shows no change from the previous status.  It just says that payment has been authorized.   Hopefully that means they are doing a really good job of calibrating this lens!  LOL

Third Party Manufacturers / Crazy autofocus
« on: January 02, 2015, 09:51:09 AM »
Autofocus problems will make you crazy, especially when you know the lens/camera combination is capable of extreme sharpness!

I have had a Sigma 50 classic for about four years.  I was very happy with the sharpness, not that different from the 50 Art I rented.  Unfortunately the autofocus performance varies a lot.  Sometimes when I would get very frustrated, I would put it away and just use other lenses.  Then, 2 or 3 months later I would try it again and find it worked very well for a while.  (I did send it in for calibration before the 3 year warranty ran out, but could detect no difference when I got it back.)

I'm hoping that my recently purchased, used Canon 50 1.2 will at least have consistent focus errors.  That way I can learn to compensate.  It's in for calibration right now as I've reported in another thread.

Viggo, thanks for sharing your experience.  All this would be even more frustrating if we were not able to learn from each other.

Lenses / Lens received by Canon Service in California
« on: January 01, 2015, 01:57:26 AM »
I will certainly be interested to see what Canon service can do for my copy.  They sent me an email a few hours after they received the lens on New Year's Eve.  No word on when the repair/recalibration will be complete, but they did tell me the cost.  The flat fee for this kind of work is quoted at $269.  I get a 20% CPS discount, then they add $18 shipping for the return, so it will cost me $238 plus what I paid to send it there.

I'm not expecting great peripheral sharpness, but I would really like the focus points to work better.  I guess I am gambling on the result!  Maybe I should have spent my money on lottery tickets, but that remains to be seen.

Lenses / Re: Where are the new Canon 50mm and 85mm lenses?
« on: December 29, 2014, 07:35:06 PM »
I would give almost anything for a sharp, reliable 50mm lens like the 35 IS that I rented a few months ago.

I have used a Sigma classic 50mm 1.4 for the last few years and am really tired of the erratic autofocus.  I rented a Sigma 50mm Art lens and had even worse problems with the autofocus.

A few weeks ago I bought a used 50mm 1.2 L.  Guess what, I'm sending it to Canon tomorrow for an attempt at focus calibration.   :-X

Lenses / Re: Comparison: Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 vs Canon 50mm f/1.8
« on: December 29, 2014, 01:38:01 PM »
I can't wait for a review of the autofocus performance!

Lenses / Re: Focus asymmetry - Canon 50mm 1.2 L
« on: December 29, 2014, 01:35:33 PM »
This is the first time I've used Canon Professional Service and so far I like it!

I called the secret number and worked my way through the menus to technical advice.  I spoke with Tony and told him what the lens was doing.   He says it needs calibration and to send it in.  I appreciate the quick advice.

Now we will see how well the Canon service techs can adjust this expensive piece of glass!

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon 35mm F2 IS
« on: December 28, 2014, 09:59:06 PM »

Great use of the 35mm wide open.  It's my favorite lens for apartment shoots, especially with available light.

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