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Messages - funkboy

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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).

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.


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.

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.

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.

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...

Lenses / Re: What about a new 50/1.4 ??
« on: January 27, 2012, 08:02:02 PM »
Bought > Sold > ?  > Bough again > Sold again

I know what you're talking about.

So far, over the last 8 years, here's the list of 50mm lenses I've owned/sold (in chronological order):

Canon f/1.4 USM
Zeiss Planar f/1.4 C/Y mount (Bob Shell adapter)
Canon f/1.8 II
Zeiss Planar f/1.4 ZE

Got my eyes open for a Canon nFD f/1.2 now that EdMika is making really nice adapters for them.  I still have the ZE and nifty fifty (technically it belongs to the GF), but I get the feeling that the ZE will get sold if I get the nFD f/1.2.

I don't know whether it's my copy or what, but the ZE seems to lose a massive amount of contrast when used wide open (the C/Y Planar certainly didn't. I regret selling that one; it was before I had my Katz Eye screen that enabled accurate manual focus).  After f/2 or so it's razor sharp & super nice, but it's got a weird look to it when used wide-open, which is primarily what I bought it for.   Photozone & other tests indicate a noticable loss of contrast at wide apertures, but not as bad as what I'm seeing...  I've also got a Voigtländer 20mm Color Skopar pancake that's pretty much made on the same production lines & it's great wide-open (granted that's f/3.5, but still...)

Lenses / Re: What about a new 50/1.4 ??
« on: January 27, 2012, 04:20:37 PM »
Personally, I feel the world is well-fed with 50mm lenses (one of the reasons I got into Canon in the first place was that it's so easy to adapt lenses from other systems).  I seriously doubt that IF Canon is planning on releasing a new prime for mere mortals any time soon it would be a 50mm.  I would guess it would be a fast EF-s lens somewhere in the 24-35mm range, because this is where the biggest hole in their current lineup is.  I can also see them adding IS to the 60mm macro.

What I'd really like to see, though, is Canon giving us a stabilized fast short telephoto.  I don't care if it's EF or EF-s or a prime or a zoom, as long as it's f/2 or better, it has IS, and has as good or better IQ than the 85mm f/1.8.

It should be crystal clear that Canon sees FF lenses as clearly professional territory for years now.  As far as Canon is concerned (at least up 'till now), anything that's not professional FF is an EF-s zoom in their eyes (the only EF-s prime is the 60mm macro).  Nikon users should count themselves lucky that Nikon clearly doesn't see things that way and has been dutifully updating their old designs across the board.

Lenses / Re: f2 2x zooms
« on: January 27, 2012, 08:42:30 AM »
Egami is usually the place to look for patents.  Here's a link to the f/1.8 and f/2.0 17-55 patents..

Plenty of other tasty stuff in their archives, notably this one for several fast wide primes & zooms, and this 16-35 f/2-2.8.

One of the things I really like about Tokina is that their designs tend to be very good at the things that are difficult/impossible to correct for in post, and concentrate less on things like chromatic aberration & barrel distortion that can easily be compensated for with a lens profile.

The existing 11-16 is already very good.  I made a Lightroom preset for it that corrects CA that pretty much takes care of the problem.

If the translation is correct & they're making all these improvements, the new one should be approaching L-grade territory...

Lenses / Re: f2 2x zooms
« on: January 25, 2012, 09:52:12 AM »
Great shot, Neuro.  The 24-105L's bokeh is indeed nice.  I believe I was at about f/5 here:

The North Sea Jazz Festival at the biggest concert venue in Holland (Ahoy Arena) states the following:

"You can bring a small camera. Only when you are accredited as a press photographer it’s allowed to bring professional photo / film cameras to the festival."

Nice and vague.  So the first year I went I had the GF carry my trusty old S2IS (got to love a camera that runs on AA batts) and Pana LX3 in her handbag, and I left my 40D & L glass at home & took a small prime mounted on her 350D in my satchel, with her 55-250IS crammed inside my folded-up bike poncho.

Of course once I got in I saw a dozens of people carrying 5DIIs and various 70-200s in the open with no press cred or photo pass whatsoever, ho-hum.  Still got plenty of good shots & movies anyway.  There were certainly a few performances where photos by anyone without press cred were strictly forbidden, & the ushers were enforcing it (mostly the shows with assigned seats you had to pay extra admission for though).

EOS Bodies / Re: *UPDATE* 5D Mark III Sighting?
« on: January 23, 2012, 07:43:16 PM »
I think it's cool that a Canon tester is wearing a Ricoh scarf on a safari test shoot :-)

My guess is that the camera on the 600mm lens is either a 5DIII or the forthcoming Ciné DSLR that has been discussed so much.  Certainly no pop-up flash on that thing, and a much bigger prism than the 7D...

Canon General / Re: Patents: Canon 55-110 f/2 Optical Formula
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:40:25 AM »
Think that hint came when they killed off APS-H with the 1DMk4 (Ok yes you can still buy it but it is very limited) when they went to the 1D-X.

I wouldn't say that APS-H is completely killed off, but rather transformed into a different product line.  The super-35 sensor in the EOS Ciné cameras is very very close to the same size as APS-H; they likely repurposed the fab equipment used for the previous 1D sensors to make the Ciné sensors, & they've already stated that we'll see a super-35 Ciné DSLR.

Anyway, if the 55-110 lens patent was for a Ciné design it'd likely say so, & probably have aperture rated in T-Stops...

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II [CR2]
« on: January 20, 2012, 10:55:26 AM »
There is also a suggestion that the 24-70 f/2.8L II could end up a kit lens for the next 5D camera.

Makes a lot of sense to me.  Almost all the time when I've come across people in the field shooting video with the 5DII they're using a 24-70, primarily for its shallow DoF.  Of course since they're shooting video they don't care about IS either...

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