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Messages - funkboy

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331
EOS Bodies / Re: My 9.8mp 70D dream
« on: February 01, 2012, 06:58:52 PM »
There's always the 10mp mRAW mode on the 7D.  Wish it could do some real tricks with the extra pixels like my Fuji though...

332
Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM
« on: February 01, 2012, 12:58:59 PM »

333
Lenses / Re: If you could buy one ...
« on: February 01, 2012, 10:12:50 AM »
If I could pick really only one then I'd go for the 50L - if alternatives are allowed I might opt for the Zeiss 50 1.4 instead.

I'm getting ready to hock my ZE Planar 50mm f/1.4 on either the Makro-Planar 50 or the Distagon 28 f/2.  It's definitely not doing the "Zeiss thing" for me at fast apertures like my old C/Y 50mm Planar did (why, oh why did I sell that one?  Well, good adapters weren't readily available at the time like they are now...).

334
Canon General / Re: Headed to Paris with Camera Gear
« on: February 01, 2012, 10:04:01 AM »
Restrictions are primarily:

 - flash is not allowed in most museums, galleries, etc.

 - museums with a lot of sculpture like the musée d'orsay will make you check a big bag, but a small one is usually OK.

 - around official monuments & very crowded touristic places (yes, even outdoors), police have asked me to put away my tripod on more than one occasion

but in general Paris is a very photographer-friendly city.  People use tripods on the street very regularly without any trouble.  Most public buildings & museums will have a little sign next to the entrance that indicates what's allowed.  Many places enforce what it says, some don't.  Try to go to museums & monuments earlier in the day & in the middle of the week to avoid the crowds (also security is more lax when crowds are low); spend the weekends & afternoons doing something outdoors if you can.

Don't be afraid to explore, & have a good time :-).

335
Lenses / Re: Revolutionizing the kit zoom
« on: February 01, 2012, 06:51:09 AM »
Maybe not what you are thinking of, but I would be absolutely thrilled to see an EF-S 15-70 (or similar range) in a constant f4.

Sounds to me like a great idea for the next iteration of the EF-s 15-85 IS.  Of course that lens was clearly made to fill the role of the 28-135 IS on crop bodies, (anybody else wonder why they still offer that thing as an "advanced kit lens" with semi-pro crop bodies) but that would certainly be a step in the right direction.

336
Lenses / Re: If you could buy one ...
« on: February 01, 2012, 06:33:36 AM »
Well, since you haven't asked about the 17-55 f/2.8 IS I'm going to assume you're on a full-frame camera.

The 35 f/1.4L is the best handling of the three and is better for close work in very low light (like jazz clubs etc) as well as the most practical & least conspicuous for street shooting (& I feel the most inspiring as well).  The AF is quite fast as well & doesn't have the "niggles" of the 50 f/1.2L.

But as everybody else said, if you're not doing a lot of that kind of stuff & just need a very good all-round lens, the 24-70L is your mule.  Most of the folks I see around using 5DIIs for semi-pro & pro video work have a 24-70L mounted.

337
Lenses / Re: Revolutionizing the kit zoom
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:17:57 PM »
Some very good points there, especially the one about market demand.  Tamron & Sigma do have something in this price range though (that sell extremely well), and that is their 17-50 f/2.8 zooms, the least expensive of which costs a whopping $680 less than the Canon 17-55 IS (B&H prices, not including the rebates running on both at the moment).  Granted, the $440 Tamron doesn't have IS but for an extra $170 they'll give it to you.

I agree that maybe there's not enough room in the stable for my proposed "cheap wide prime replacement kit zoom" (& I'm certainly not suggesting a revival of the 20-35 USM), but it looks to me like Tamron & Sigma have a better answer to replace Canon's aging non-L wide prime lineup than Canon does.

If they wanted to do something about that then I think something like a hypothetical 18-45 f/2.8-3.5 IS with the same cost-cutting measures I mentioned above (built like the kit zooms) and the same size & less weight than the non-VC Tamron would do very well if priced right (i.e. significantly cheaper than the aforementioned Tamron), and I don't think it would cannibalize the sales of the existing 17-55 version based on its range & aperture and "pro" features like better build quality, non-rotating front element, etc etc. as anyone in this price range is going to buy the Tamron or Sigma, not the 17-55 f/2.8 IS.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'd personally rush right out & get one of these if they made them, but Tamron & Sigma have clearly demonstrated that there's a large market for reasonably-priced fast standard zooms for crop cameras, & are currently eating Canon's lunch in this particular segment.

338
Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC HSM
« on: January 30, 2012, 07:41:12 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with this lens on a APS-H sensor lens? What about full frame?

You can do this with some 3rd party zooms designed for APS-C, e.g. the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 has acceptable vignetting on FF at 16mm and works as a 14-16 on APS-H, but I think for primes you're out of luck.

339
Lenses / Re: Looking for advice
« on: January 30, 2012, 05:51:01 AM »
If you need a wide angle, the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 stands alone in bang-for buck on APS-c.  They've just announced a mkII version that should be out this summer.

If you've got a dedicated wide-angle for your crop camera then a general-use lens designed for FF cameras like the 24-105L IS is less of a limitation on the wide side (as it becomes a "normal-to-medium tele" lens on crop bodies).

You almost certainly want some kind of prime as well though.  The 85mm f/1.8 USM is a really great option that won't break the bank.  I use it for portraits, landscapes, concerts, low-light, etc etc etc.  Good lenses that are light & fit in a coat pocket have a certain advantage over the big L zooms sometimes...

Personally I use a Voigtländer 20mm f/3.5 Color Skopar as the "street lens" on my 40D.  Small, light, inconspicuous, and it's a very rare example of an electronically coupled EF mount pancake lens (the other example being the Voigt 40mm).  I usually just set it to hyperfocal at f/4 & forget about having to focus :-).

340
Lenses / Re: What about a new 50/1.4 ??
« on: January 30, 2012, 05:35:36 AM »
I'd like to see a 50 f1.4L of similar build to the 100f2.8L macro keeping the size similar to the existing 50f1.4
weather sealing would be nice and using the ENG plastics would keep it light and portable :)

Good point.  Frankly, I'd even settle for the replacement of the archaic 50mm compact macro with an f/2 version with the same hybrid IS as the 100L macro (or the same treatment to the 60mm EF-s macro).

341
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« on: January 30, 2012, 05:24:17 AM »
Lots of great replies here (in particular, good tip on the camera straps with steel cables).  Personally I've been lucky enough to never have had anything stolen (& I do travel a lot).  Here are a few things I do:

  • Use "stealth" bags like the beautiful Think Tank Retrospective and Urban Disguise.  I also have a big Crumpler backpack when I really need to carry everything.
  • In the past, I owned a long white 70-200 f/4L.  The first thing I did when I got it was cover all the white parts with gaffer tape.  Not only does it make it stand out less, but it protects the lens body from dents & scratches as well.
  • I have a specific clause in my homeowner's insurance covering $10000 worth of photography gear and computers against theft, fire damage, water damage, etc.  I also try to buy everything with my Amex wherever possible, which provides some additional theft insurance for the first year.

HTH...

342
Lenses / Re: Revolutionizing the kit zoom
« on: January 29, 2012, 07:05:00 PM »
So, you do not think they replace primes with primes?

In the basic prime lineup to which I was referring, nope.  The 28mm f/2.8 may have just been silently discontinued with no replacement at all, possibly due to slow sales, supply chain or tooling problems, or (hopefully) to make room on the production line for a modern non-L prime.

The last Canon prime lens that doesn't say "L" "TS-E" or "Macro" on it came out in 1995 (the 28 f/1.8 USM).  Northlight has a great chart detailing the entire EF lens history.

343
Lenses / Revolutionizing the kit zoom
« on: January 28, 2012, 08:10:44 AM »
I've been musing a lot about lenses lately, & I've a hypothetical question for the lens design experts out there:

What would a wide-aperture EF-s kit zoom look like?

The idea is to introduce the consumer to the concept of wide-aperture lenses like we had in the days when the 50mm f/1.8 prime was considered the "kit" lens, while still being the cheap consumer zoom so apparently near & dear to Canon's marketing people over the last 15 years.

My thinking is the following:

  • Unlike Nikon, Sony, u4/3, etc, Canon's basic prime lineup is older than Methusalem.  It is highly unlikely that they'll release any updates to any of the old "consumer prime" designs.
  • New Canon EF-s plastic zooms, however, are released almost every year.
  • Several patents for wide-aperture zooms give us hope for something different.

With the possible (hopeful) exception of an EF-s 30-ish prime, it's pretty clear that anything Canon releases to "replace" the old primes will be a zoom.  Digging into this patent, we see specs for two 2x zooms: a 24-48 and 25-50, both f/3.5-4.8.  Notice that they're in the same patent that features a lot of new tricks with DO elements and fast wide primes.  But I also get the feeling that these are all pro-grade full-frame designs.

Basically my idea is a cheap plastic wide-aperture 2x zoom with all the cost-cutting features of the 18-55 kit zoom (rotating front element, external zoom & focus, etc), but it would also have consumer-grade USM & IS.  A 22-44mm EF-s zoom for example (they'd probably call it a 22-45) would be the equivalent of a FF 35-70, and line up nicely above the EF-s 10-22.  22mm is a pretty conservative retrofocus focal length on EF-s...

My question is, could they design such a thing with a wide enough aperture to really differentiate it from the other EF-s zooms and come close to replacing the "consumer" wide prime lineup on the EF-s platform, & still keep it cheap enough to offer as an optional kit lens?  I'm thinking something along the lines of f/2.8-3.5 (constant f/2.8 would be great but is probably too ambitious).  They've done lenses in the past like the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM (and plenty of other f/3.5-4.5 zooms), so wider-aperture variable zooms aren't unprecedented.

344
Lenses / Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:49 AM »
In Canon 85mm land, the 85L is a brilliant portrait & low-light lens (possibly the best available option on FF), but the AF is pretty slow for an L as it has A LOT of big heavy glass to move (not as slow as the 180L macro though).  You can also buy 3 or 4 different primes in my list above together for the price of a new one...  If you're a portrait or wedding photographer using full-frame, then it's a great option.  If you're shooting indoor sports or other subjects that require fast AF then it's probably not the best choice.  The bokeh is certainly sexy & looks great in video, but accurate MF on an AF lens is not so easy...

The 85 f/1.8 USM has pro-grade AF close to the speed of the 135L.  I've never found myself waiting on it or cursing it.  It purple fringes a bit at extreme apertures, but nothing that can't be cleaned up with a few presets in post.  It also has the advantage of fitting in a coat pocket & not being very heavy.  Myself (& a lot of others here) feel that it's the best bang for the buck in the entire Canon lineup.

The 135L is also an option to be considered.  The AF is magical.  At least on my 40D, when you set the focus limiter switch to 1.6m - ∞, you press the button & it's there, wham, done.  The bokeh is beautiful, & it costs a grand less than the 85L.  It's also really useful as a general telephoto, and it takes teleconverters.

I'll do a quick portrait comparison here.  Using dofmaster, we see that the 85L wide-open on a 5DII has 4cm of DoF at 2 meters.  Back up 60cm & switch to the 135L (again, wide-open) & you'll have the same 4cm DoF & beautiful creamy bokeh for a grand less.  Now, the two lenses are certainly different animals:  the 85L is better for low light (i.e wider aperture & shorter focal length) & has closer working distances, and the 135L is lighter & has faster AF (and also costs a grand less).  But if you're on an FF body and can extend your working distances a bit, the 135L is an extremely competent portrait lens.

345
Lenses / Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:17 AM »
Personally, as a non-professional I have a really hard time spending more than the mythical 1000€ on a lens.  My prime bag currently looks like this:

20mm f/3.5 Voigtländer Color Skopar pancake ("ZE" type electronic mount)
35mm f/1.4 Zeiss Distagon (C/Y mount & Bob Shell adapter)
50mm f/1.4 Zeiss Planar ZE
50mm f/1.8 II
85mm f/1.8 USM
135mm f/2L USM

If I can find a clean 85L mkI for around a grand this year, I'll snap it up if the 'ol bank account can handle it.

For me at least, I want AF on anything longer than 50mm as even with the Katz Eye focusing screen & a magnifier, getting the MF right on the Zeiss 50 faster than about f/2.8 is pretty challenging in situations that involve a moving subject (e.g. candid shots).  At least with the electronic coupling you don't have to stop-down manually, which speeds things up a lot.

To address the original post, I'd say that IMHO it's not really an either/or situation.  BTW, he didn't really mention what he's planning on shooting with these things (or if he's shooting on FF or crop) so I'll generalize a bit...

There are A LOT of options available in the 50mm department.  I've discussed several of them in this thread so I won't crosspost, but there are certainly plenty of lenses to consider besides the L and 1.4 USM (both of which are good but have their own individual quirks).  The folks in that thread seem to concur that the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is really nice but really needs to be used on a body with AF calibration to work well.

Also bear in mind that while the "nifty fifty" f/1.8 II may be physically crappy (build, motor, etc), the optics are quite good and it's the smallest/lightest/cheapest lens that Canon makes.  Just get one & keep it in your pocket & you'll never be without a fast prime.  (Same goes for flashes & the 270EX II; there's really no comparison vs. a built-in, and if you've got a flashless body then it's a must-have).

Personally, I'm still on the quest for the ultimate 50mm...

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