September 19, 2014, 08:08:57 AM

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Messages - jrista

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1126
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 09, 2014, 01:08:07 PM »

Canon's TS lenses can be tilted and rotated (as well as shifted, three degrees of freedom). It would be a simple matter to adjust the focal plane such that you get the whole eye in focus without losing the face. These things are quite subtle as well...we aren't talking about the need to tilt 30° here. Fundamentally, ANY amount of tilt would give you control over the focal plane. Also, don't forget, you can still stop the lens down as well. If you need more literal DOF even with tilt, then there is nothing stopping you from doing what you did before with narrow apertures.

Having MORE capabilities is NEVEr useless. It can't be...it's more capabilities.

But the TS-E only tilt in one direction, no tilt and swing. While the rotating mount in nice it won't help in this situation IMO. Tilting and moving the plane of focus will only move the slice of sharp focus to different parts of the fly's eye/head and not bring all the head into sharp focus.

Well, first, in the case of the sample photo I shared, I absolutely do believe a TS Macro lens would allow me to get the whole head in focus. The entire actual head, front to back, would not literally be all within the depth of field, but again, that doesn't matter. All that matters is that the part of the fly's head that is visible is sharp and within the depth of field. It's a fly. The DOF doesn't have to be that thick to achieve that goal. Without T/S, you have to stop the lens down CONSIDERABLY in order to deepen the depth of field enough to encompass enough of the fly's head to make it all appear sharp, however it can never be as sharp at f/32 as it could be at f/11. With a TS lens, just a little bit of tilt and rotation will allow you to adjust the plane of focus such that you can maximize the potential an f/11 DOF has, and not need to stop down to f/32 (which will obliterate a lot of detail due to diffraction.)

More capabilities are more capabilities. It isn't going to magically make it so you can use f/2.8 for macro, but it will give you options you did not have before. It will allow you to utilize the DOF you have at less diffraction limited apertures more effectively. That's the entire point. That's what a bellows in old MF and LF view and field cameras were for, not really for "creative" focus, but to give you more options to maximize your use of the DOF you have at wider (and thus, less diffraction limited and therefor sharper) apertures.

It doesn't matter the degree of the additional capabilities. Having them at all, limited or extremely capable, is better than NOT having them. That's all my argument is.

1127
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 09, 2014, 11:49:29 AM »

Here is one of my more recent fly macro shots:



You can clearly see the DOF falloff on the back part of the eye, because the eye is not parallel to the sensor. It wouldn't have taken much tilt to reorient the focal plane to be parallel to the eye, thus solving the problem.

I think if you added tilt to that image you possibly might be able to shift the plane of focus enough to bring the back of the fly's eye into focus but then all the front part of the face would be out of focus.

Canon's TS lenses can be tilted and rotated (as well as shifted, three degrees of freedom). It would be a simple matter to adjust the focal plane such that you get the whole eye in focus without losing the face. These things are quite subtle as well...we aren't talking about the need to tilt 30° here. Fundamentally, ANY amount of tilt would give you control over the focal plane. Also, don't forget, you can still stop the lens down as well. If you need more literal DOF even with tilt, then there is nothing stopping you from doing what you did before with narrow apertures.

Having MORE capabilities is NEVEr useless. It can't be...it's more capabilities.

1128
EOS Bodies / Re: Thinking about moving from a 1Dx back to 5D MkIII
« on: May 08, 2014, 10:07:36 PM »
I think it's reasonable to downstep to the 5D III. I'm always amazed at the clean creamy smooth quality of OOF backgrounds with the 1D X, but the 5D III's backgrounds are still very good, and it's subject detail is better. I think there is a lot of value to having more pixels, especially with full frame, since it's tougher to get the needed reach sometimes. Cropping is just a necessity.

I also fully understand the negatives of a loud shutter. Just the other day, I was photographing a Black-crowned Night Heron, and the shutter sound of my 7D (which is also relatively loud) spooked some deer that had crept up between shots...I hadn't even known they were there before, and if it wasn't for the shutter sound, I doubt they would have cared that I was there either (I probably looked like some oddly shaped tree with all my camo). After the shutter sound, the deer refused to cross this little rise I was standing on to get to the water...and I love photographing the deer drinking and splashing about.

Personally, I use evaluative metering in manual mode and a fixed white balance setting (I don't like my WB changing shot to shot with minor changes in the light), and I manually compensate, so not having AF-point linked metering  or AWB wouldn't be a big deal for me. I use Art Morris' approach to exposure, which is actually pretty awesome. A lot of the time, so long as the lighting and angle of light doesn't change, once you set exposure, you can just keep shooting until something does change (i.e. cloud, angle changes too much, etc.)

The only real serious drawback of the 5D III vs. the 1D X is having half the frame rate. I consider 6fps rock bottom for action shooting, especially for birds. I would much prefer to have 8fps, and 12fps would be perfect (not too many frames, but not too little either.) Assuming you frame the same, there really isn't that much of a difference in real sensitivity (the 1D X has 44% Q.E. while the 5D III has 49%...the smaller pixels means more readout wiring in the 5D III, which reduces total light sensitive area a bit, so in identically framed situations, there really isn't a significant sensitivity benefit for the 1D X, and better cropping ability.)

I've considered what full frame camera to buy on many occasions. I'm using a 7D now, and I like the small pixels/high spatial resolution. I'd like 12fps, but seeing is that is the one significant benefit to the 1D X for me (there are certainly other benefits, but none as significant as that relative to the 5D III), I've decided to get the 5D III. The savings will allow me to invest in my astrophotography (probably a cooled mono CCD camera, which will suck up most of the extra funds I'd save by not getting the 1D X), and the 5D III is an excellent general purpose body (good enough for birds/wildlife and has the best Canon AF system, better for landscapes than pretty much any other Canon camera (large frame and the most pixels of any Canon camera), larger frame so better for low light shooting, will work quite well as an astro cam until I buy the mono CCD, etc.)

1129
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:44:37 PM »
Round goes the Teal

Captured this shot shortly after sunset. ISO was cranked up to 3200, which is really high for the 7D, but I had to try to get a shot regardless, as still, reflective water is extremely rare in Colorado (there is always some kind of breeze). This little teal was just doing his evening rounds....round, and round, and round he went around the little tiny pond. ;P

Blue-wing Teal
Cottonwood Creek Wetland
Cherry Creek, Colorado

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Hand Held


1130
Landscape / Re: Waterscapes
« on: May 08, 2014, 06:48:33 PM »
Wonderful shot, ckwaller!

Wish I could see a larger version without that massively intrusive watermark, though. I know people like to protect their work, but when the watermark totally kills the image, I honestly wonder what the point is. ;P

1131
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 08, 2014, 02:46:11 PM »
The question still remains, how much tilting you can achieve with an SLR camera where you have to account for the mirror box. Even in medium format T&S is mostly seen as toy, only large format cameras give you the flexibility to take full advantage of the Scheimpflug principle.

Well, if private's information is correct, Canon currently allows up to 8° of tilt freedom. If all your really doing is slightly shifting the focal plane to align with the primary plane of your subject, I think most of the time you'll be quite fine with 8°. That assumes Canon doesn't find a way to improve that range. There are always going to be certain circumstances where TS just doesn't and cannot offer you the flexibility you might potentially need, however having TS capabilities with macro at all is still an improvement over not having it.

1132
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:41:58 AM »
one more of the spring babies in the area....

Awesome! Love that long trail of yellow fuzzballs.

1133
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:41:33 AM »
and a few more.

What a bird! Love that fiery crest.

1134
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:41:11 AM »
It's been a while since I posted anything so here are a recent few. EXIf and more shots on my Flickr site. 7D, 100-400L, handheld, pp in DPP.

Beautiful shots, my friend! Man, some of you guys have wicked skill in getting close.

1135
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:36:03 AM »
To clarify my earlier answer. Macro T/S would have some limited benefit, particularly for small product work, such as ladies watches and jewelry, circuit boards and microchips, something with a flat, or close to it, face, something you might well use the current 90 TS/E and a tube for. But it wouldn't help the typical macro shot of a fly's head type scenario at all.

I think your missing some of the potential that a TS lens has for macro. Improving the DOF does not necessarily only mean making it deeper. I think you are also stuck on the notion that the only use for TS is simply to create a deep wedge of focus. I've done my fair share of fly eye macro photos, and even when you maximize your DOF, the usual case is that you can still see depth of field falloff around the eye. It wouldn't take that much tilt to allow you to orient the focal plane such that it maximizes DOF on a fly eye, without needing to actually tilt the lens to it's maximum to create a deep wedge. The wedge isn't even necessary, all that's necessary is to align the focal plane around the plane of your subject.

That's often simply what achieving focus is about. In bird photography, it's the same deal. You either wait for the bird to move such that it's oriented parallel to the plane of the sensor, or you move yourself to achieve the same thing. The depth of field can then be very thin, but all that matters is that the FRONT HALF of the bird be in focus. The back side of the bird can be entirely out of focus, but it doesn't matter, because you can't see it.

A TS Macro would give you more control and more freedom to orient your focal plane such that it maximizes DOF around the parts of your subject your interested in. Maybe that means creating a maximum wedge. Maybe it simply means a slight reorientation of the focal plane without creating a wedge, and simply aligning the focal plane in such a way that a greater percentage of your subject that is facing at least generally in the direction of the sensor is parallel to and within the focal plane (even if the focal plane isn't parallel to the sensor anymore). In the latter case, more fine grained control over tilt is even more important than doubling the amount of tilt.

Here is one of my more recent fly macro shots:



You can clearly see the DOF falloff on the back part of the eye, because the eye is not parallel to the sensor. It wouldn't have taken much tilt to reorient the focal plane to be parallel to the eye, thus solving the problem.

1136
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 07, 2014, 04:05:40 PM »
I would think the notion of a macro t/s is more appealing to people who don't fully understand the practical implications of the tilt concept rather than actual macro photographers. Changing the block of focus to a wedge of focus that decreases to a point could well result in less dof at macro distances. It would be great for almost two dinensional subjects, but move to three dimensions and that ever narrowing cone of focus is going to hurt, and you would need a lot more than 8° of tilt too, 20° would be a minimum even for a 45mm, take that to 90mm lens and you'd need even more to get the movement you'd need.

I suspect if Canon is actually designing a Macro TS lens, they have probably taken all of those things into account. They are going to be NEW lenses, after all. ;) We'll have to wait and see...but I still think a controllable focal plane would be useful for macro.

1137
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 07, 2014, 04:03:47 PM »
You also seem to have some rather docile birds. I can never get as close as you do. :P
I´m not sure you would say that if you joined me on a trip. It often takes me a couple of hours of very careful movements and lots of sit-still-and-be-patient time to get them close enough. Some duck species are easy though

The other day I spotted an Eurasian Teal, which is rather rare this far north. It was too far away, but I thought he would come my way, so I sat patiently in a spot, very quiet and still. After a long time I heard a low whisper next to me and I had a giant male swan studying med from 4-5 feet away, with his head and wings held in their aggressive posture and I was sitting on my but, with the tripod and 600mm over my lap. You don´t mess with them! First instinct was to run, second was to sit still, which i did. After a while he lost interest and glided away. Puuhhh! An hour later I could conclude that I would not get an image of the Eurasian Teal ...

You and I seem to have similar tactics and experiences. :) I spend hours getting close. I've sat, covered in camo, on the muddy shores of various wetlands and ponds and lakes, for hours for birds to get comfortable and close. I think that's just the bird photographer's life...patience. To get the shots of the Ibis, I spent over an hour getting close and waiting for them to do interesting things. I spent about 40 minutes getting some shots of this beautiful Black-crowned Night Heron. It's just how it is...it takes time, and most of the time, you end up with nothing for your efforts.

My equipment is a pop-up hunting blind, a folding camp chair, a thermos of tea, and assorted camera gear. After a while they forget about the hunting blind....

I actually have the Ameristep Chair Blind: http://www.naturescapes.net/store/ameristep-tent-chair-ground-blind.html

It is wonderful when you have the right kind of background trees and foliage to hid it in. When I just set it up out in the open, it's conspicuous enough that the birds still stay away. Also, when it comes to getting the kind of low perspective I like, it just can't get low enough to the ground. I am usually laying flat, with my tripod either entirely flat, or at the next set of notches to flat. When I'm around wetlands, where the ground is always muddy, laying is the best approach...the chair feet just sink and get stuck, the chair ends up uneven, and I'm constantly having to get out and level it or fix it in some way...which kind of negates it's purpose. :P

The blind has proven more useful for wildlife...deer and prairie dogs. I am also hoping I can find a way to set it up near one of the Kingfisher hangouts so they will stop chattering at me and get down to the business of fishin'. :D

1138
Lenses / Re: New Canon Tilt-Shift Lenses at Photokina [CR1]
« on: May 07, 2014, 02:47:48 PM »
I would love a Macro TS. I love creative focus, but on the flip side, a TS lens for macro would let you maximize your depth of field without having to use extremely small apertures, which means you can resolve even more detail. Sounds like a win-win to me.

1139
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 07, 2014, 02:22:20 PM »
You also seem to have some rather docile birds. I can never get as close as you do. :P
I´m not sure you would say that if you joined me on a trip. It often takes me a couple of hours of very careful movements and lots of sit-still-and-be-patient time to get them close enough. Some duck species are easy though

The other day I spotted an Eurasian Teal, which is rather rare this far north. It was too far away, but I thought he would come my way, so I sat patiently in a spot, very quiet and still. After a long time I heard a low whisper next to me and I had a giant male swan studying med from 4-5 feet away, with his head and wings held in their aggressive posture and I was sitting on my but, with the tripod and 600mm over my lap. You don´t mess with them! First instinct was to run, second was to sit still, which i did. After a while he lost interest and glided away. Puuhhh! An hour later I could conclude that I would not get an image of the Eurasian Teal ...

You and I seem to have similar tactics and experiences. :) I spend hours getting close. I've sat, covered in camo, on the muddy shores of various wetlands and ponds and lakes, for hours for birds to get comfortable and close. I think that's just the bird photographer's life...patience. To get the shots of the Ibis, I spent over an hour getting close and waiting for them to do interesting things. I spent about 40 minutes getting some shots of this beautiful Black-crowned Night Heron. It's just how it is...it takes time, and most of the time, you end up with nothing for your efforts.

1140
EOS Bodies / Re: New Sensor Technology Coming From Canon? [CR1]
« on: May 07, 2014, 01:20:38 PM »
Well the masks have certainly shrunk in size, then. Also, keep in mind, masks may not cover the whole die area. A number of years ago I was researching this stuff, and found that a lot of the time masks only cover some of the area of a die, only a few transistors or other components at a time. And they were quite large, inches in size vs. the nanometers of the things they templated (hence the reason I thought a scale factor of thousands...although I guess the size of the transistor designs on the template might only be millimeters or maybe even microns in size, vs. nanometers, even if the whole template is a few inches in size, which reduces things to a 10-100x scale factor). I guess progress keeps marching on.

I guess it would be possible to rotate the design on the template. I don't know enough about the actual lithography machines to know how that would work...could you just rotate the whole template? Or would you have to generate twice as many templates for the alternate orientation? And there is still the problem of automating everything with dies of different orientations...you have to update the entire automated pipeline if you do that. When dies are all in the same orientation, you can simplify parts of your pipeline, because you can then make certain assumptions.

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