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Messages - jrista

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I hope I have time to do a comparison between my 100-400 and 300mm +2x tomorrow, and see if that can make us any wiser.  :)

Download the following image and look at full screen (1920x1080).
You see four 100% center crops:
Top: from 7D iso 200   (My test shots from today)
Bottom: from 5d3 iso 640. (Alans crops)
Top left: Canon 300 f2.8 IS MK2 + 2xTCIII wide open.
Top right: Canon 100-400mm @400mmf56 and upscaled to 600mm.
Bottom left:  Canon 300mm f2.8 is mk2 + 2x TCIII wide open
Bottom left: Tammy @600mm f6.3

Can an upscaled (to 600mm) 100-400mm wide open  shot give same details as the Tammy?

Um, simple answer is, NO! Your upscaled 400mm sample is soft all over. You can CLEARLY see it in the text, in the gray watermark, in the ACE logo, in the black box with text in it. There is absolutely no question, the upscaled 400mm shot doesn't compare to the 600mm shot.

There isn't any way to slice this such that a 400mm lens could win, not when the Tamron resolves as well as it does at 600mm. If the Tammy was particularly BAD, then maybe, but the Tammy is NOT bad...it's quite good for it's relative position in the broader scope of DSLR lenses. At non-diffraction limited apertures like f/5.6 and f/6.3, even the EF 400mm f/2.8 L isn't going to outdo the Tamron. At this point, thanks to the Tamron's good resolving power, it all boils down to pixels on subject. For the same sensor used at the same distance to subject, longer focal lengths will always produce sharper results than upscaled shorter focal lengths. No way around that.

The only way the 400mm could compare to any 600mm, when they all offer decent resolving power, is when you normalize framing, rather than maintaining subject distance. If you move the 400mm setup closer such that the credit card fills the frame in exactly the same way as a more distant 600mm, then your putting the same number of pixels on subject. If the two lenses offer similar resolving power, the results should be largely indiscernible. But if you can get closer with a 400mm, you wouldn't need a 600mm...so it kind of defeats the point of the argument. In reach-limited scenarios, more optical magnification is pretty much always going to be better unless the longer lens is of radically poor design or uses particularly poor quality glass.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 02:34:13 PM »
LOL... "focused...on other features"...you don't get the hint from that?

AF systems (think 5D3, 1Dx, and dual pixel developments), ergonomics, ecosystem, user interface, service, just to name a few.

You two call the AF system Canon is currently putting in most of their DSLR's a feature? Heck, it's basically twenty year old technology. An EOS 3 from 1998 was already as good as it gets and it could do heaps more! The AF system in the 5DII is a joke for what that camera cost and it was only due to Nikon upping the AF systems in their mid-end models that drove Canon to do likewise.

Dual pixel AF ... only applicable when you assume the wet diaper stance for LiveView photography. Useless to a stills-only photographer like me.

Ergonomics ... right from the start ... 1987 ... EOS 650 perfect. Nothing new. BTW, for me personally, the ergonomics of the 1D series suck. But that's just a personal opinion.

Ecosystem ... yes, heaps of lenses ... most of them junk kit stuff; most of it discontinued.

User interface ... yeah, like button reassignment and such ... not. Well, OK, on the 1D series ... I hope.

Service ... maybe in the USA and Europe and Asia, but here in Africa ... not a chance.

Just to name a few ... please do go on, as I'm really having fun here.

I really suspect your arguments now. You really don't seem to know the Canon EOS system at all. Button reassignment, for example, has been present on Canon cameras for many years. I can do button reassignment with my now rather ancient 7D! Your personal opinion about 1D series ergonomics is certainly niche, as Canon  evolved their ergonomic design for the 1D series over years based on the feedback of their customers. Today, most customers love the 1D ergonomics. The only real complaint some have is the weight due to the integrated grip...and often those people step down to the 5D line to get a lighter, smaller body. The 5D line ergonomics? Probably one of the single biggest reasons Canon maintains such loyalty...people love it!

As a wildlife and bird photographer, THE SINGLE most important feature of a DSLR for me is the AF system. Hands down, no question. More important than sensor or anything else, the AF system has to nail it as often as possible. The 7D, back in the day, offered the best AF system for APS-C, and reach-limited as I was back then, APS-C was a must. Today, the 5D III and 1D X offer a VASTLY superior AF system to anything else on the market. Despite the lower frame rate, the moment the 5D III goes on sale again one will be replacing my 7D, and by and large primarily because of the AF system.

It blows my mind that you downplay it, but that is probably because you simply don't understand it. If all you do is shoot landscapes, then that really isn't a surprise, but just because you personally are part of the niche doesn't mean that Canon's phase-detect AF system isn't a feature. The fact that AF systems were first introduced in the 80's does not diminish the fact that Canon's 61pt AF system is packed with advancements and innovations that, at the moment, no one else has. Things like multiple double-precision double-cross type points, the widest point spread ever achieved for a 35mm frame, the highest cross-type point count in any PDAF system, the highest point count period in any PDAF system, etc.

The EOS 3 had eye-controlled focus. Not everyone likes that, and that doesn't mark the pinnacle of AF technology.

To downplay Canon's AF system and pretty much every other aspect of Canon's products and service that are the primary reason Canon maintains such a loyal customer base simply speaks to your naiveté. You've lost the dwindling amount of credibility you had. Probably should have played your cards a little closer. You are clearly one of the hyperniche photographers who demand every fringe feature imaginable packed into a single camera model that sells at rock-bottom consumer-grade prices because you simply don't understand how businesses work. You've officially joined the ranks of dilbert, AvTvM and friends. Have fun.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 01:43:41 PM »
The gauntlet was also thought to be thrown down when the D800 came out and yet we are still here with our puny 20ish megapixel sensors and measly sub 12 stops of DR being forced to use inferior equipment to make images. Canon better do something now or they won't sell anymore 5D3s or 6Ds (oh wait, that was last year's BS from the NICHE of people on the internet).

Despite what everyone might like to think. Canon cannot respond to a new product such as the D800 in less than 3 years. There's just too much R&D required. Well maybe 2 if they were really in a hurry.

Canon already made APS-H sensors with 120 MP in 2010, surely it can make 40 MP FF sensors at 1/5th the pixel density. Canon makes enough money to prove it's management is smart enough to ask "can we make a profit selling this or similar technology to consumers", and if we haven't seen it in 3+ years, the answer is probably no.

They probably could sell it, I think it is just ahead of it's time. A 120mp RAW image is going to be ~220Mb. That's PER IMAGE. That's in comparison to the ~25-30Mb of RAW images today. That's a big file for photographers to swallow, let alone edit. I hear people have enough problems editing D800 files, which are about 70Mb...could you imagine editing a 220Mb image?

That's nothing to say of the write speed to memory cards. One single photo would take as long to save at today's write speeds as 6-8 current RAW images. MUCH faster memory cards, faster even than the first couple rounds of CFast 2.0 cards will allow, are needed before 9.5FPS 220MB RAW shooting can be a possibility.

Once computing technology has caught up, both in terms of DSLR buffer memory and sizes, memory card sizes and speeds, as well as the average desktop computing speed for photographers, then I think a 120mp sensor would be more viable. That's still a few years away at least at the earliest.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:54:23 PM »
But for the majority of buyers, the IQ of current Canon sensors is satisfactory, and they're focused ... on other features.

Like what?

LOL... "focused...on other features"...you don't get the hint from that?

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:47:03 PM »
Er, what? Do you have some kind of evidence for that?

The economic rebuild of Japan after the Second World War by American economists. It's in the history books. Look it up. (It's probably also on Wikipedia.)

That is an extremely broad stroke there. What evidence do you have that America's assistance in rebuilding Japan had a direct impact on the behavior of Canon as a business? From what I remember, America's help with Japan, at least regarding their economy, occurred more at a governmental level. It was tax breaks and incentives that helped spur economic growth. I don't think that really has anything to do with a fundamental underpinning of how the Japanese people behave, though. That careful, precise, intentional pursuance of perfection has been a trait of the Japanese people for millennia. That's in the history books as well.

Supply side economics, the same kind of economics that spurred growth in the 80's, is pretty much guaranteed to spur growth in any economy. If you give people more money to spend, they are going to spend more money...especially if that money's expenditure has the potential to mean they have even MORE money in the future. THAT is what American's gave to Japan in the 60's.

Conservative companies are actually kind of a hallmark of Japan.

And yet in 1987 Canon bet the whole farm on the EOS system, instead of sticking to the FD system. And that was after they had spent all that money on promoting the FD system at the 1984 Olympics, only three years previous. Sounds kind of reckless to me. Oh, and wasn't the 1980's also a time of great uncertainty in the economy, with all those major American companies nearly going belly-up?

Actually, the 80's were a major boom in the economy. Reagan created some 25 million jobs, by doing the same thing the Japanese did after WWII: Incentivised business by reducing their taxes. By enacting supply side economic practices. That came after the economic slump of the 70's. We actually have a term for all that: Reaganomics!

Canon had no option but to create EOS. The FD mount, as much loved as it was by their customers at the time, was preventing them from making the kind of progress they really NEEDED to make in order to grow their photography division. Electronic focus was the primary driver. Canon tried AF with FD, and it didn't pan out. As I said (which you did not quote), the Japanese have long been known for their ability to take risk, big or small, when it is most essential. Canon took a risk with EOS, but they knew it was an essential risk. And look at the result? It gave them dominance over the SLR and DSLR markets for decades. That dominance still holds.

Risk taking for the sake of risk taking, and risk taking because it is truly essential with potential returns orders of magnitude more than without taking the risk, are different things. Nikon and the Df? That's a risk just to take a risk. It's actually something Nikon is known for. Remember the 24k gold plated SLR with real lizard skin grip? Those puppies sold for about $12,000 each! Was THAT a worthwhile risk? I mean, it's certainly an interesting novelty piece, but even at $12,000 each, it was a drag on their resources to manufacture. Similarly, the Df has a long-term DRAG potential on Nikon's bottom line, because there is no question it's a niche product, which means they are expending manufacturing capacity building it, capacity that has to be taken away from building other more lucrative bodies that more people want more often, such as the D800 and D600. The Df is a small thing, but it is still a thing that affects the companies operation as a whole. It affects their bottom line. It took resources to design, and it will continue taking resources into the foreseeable future to manufacture and ship.

Canon EOS, on the other hand, was the moments turning point for Canon that made it possible for them to be the massive, dominant photography force they are in the world today. Canon made the wise decision with EOS, and it wasn't a random or il-considered decision. The fact that Canon made EOS doesn't change the fact that they are a conservative company. You still don't seem to understand what that means, even though I gave you an explicit meaning before: Canon is a wise business. Being wise does not mean taking no risks whatsoever. It means taking the risks that have a meaningful payback over the extended long term. It means taking the BIG risks at the RIGHT moment that are GAME CHANGING for DECADES. That's what I'm talking about. The Nikon Df? That's a risk that has no long term beneficial potential. Not only that, it was a risk that was increased because the product was rushed...it clearly has a botched control design, and that will mean it sells fewer models to that niche crowd than it might have if they didn't botch the controls.

Anyway. This is the debate I get into over and over with people who don't understand business. There are wise risks, and there are stupid risks. Canon, being conservative, generally only takes the wiser risks. They won't take risks, or they will scale back risky projects, if the potential return is low. Nikon, on the other hand, seems to take a while range of risks, some of them have the potential to be greatly beneficial, but they squander that potential with stupid risks. Nikon is a more reckless company than Canon, as they don't seem to know how to balance risk with long term return.

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:11:27 PM »
Ferruginous Hawk in flight:

Here are the relative aperture sharpness plots from FoCal for the Tamron at 600mm on the 70D (Top) and 5DIII (Bottom). You can see the 70D, if anything, retains its sharpness with aperture better! I did the 5DIII measurements 3 times and got optimal values of f/9/, f/10 and f/11. Keep between f/8 and f/14 for maximum sharpness.

You know, I've noticed that with my 7D and FoCal. There sometimes seems to be a jitter, where as FoCal moves through the apertures, it doesn't exhibit the kind of smooth curve you would expect. If I retest a few times, then it will usually get back to normal, and finally produce the smooth curve I'm looking for. I don't know why that happens...always bugged me about FoCal.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:04:10 PM »
Although, Canon is a Japanese company...so...  ;D

Canon was heavily indoctrinated influenced by the American school during the rebuild in the 1950's ... so ... ;D

Er, what? Do you have some kind of evidence for that?

Conservative companies are actually kind of a hallmark of Japan. It fits with the Japanese culture...for millennia they have always been slow and careful and precise about whatever it is they do, taking risks (of whatever degree) when they are most certain it is essential. That's been the case from emperors to samurai to corporations since long before America ever even came into existence. Canon is a staple from the "old Japan". Nikon and Sony are Asian companies that seem to have taken a cue from some of the more reckless American companies, as needless risk taking seems to be more of a modern trait of the Japanese people (and certainly a trait of many modern American companies, particularly in the financial sector.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 11:40:23 AM »

Interesting lecture on the American business model. It truly explains a lot - and I'm not being sarcastic. Thanks.

Welcome. Although, Canon is a Japanese company...so...  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 12, 2014, 11:11:01 AM »
Canon is simply conservative. That's it! They aren't holding back. They aren't greedy. They aren't milking their customers for all their worth. They are conservative. They play the market safe when the market is uncertain or unsteady. That's all.

So did the captain of the RMS Titanic ...

The captain of the RMS Titanic was reckless.

They play the market safe when the market is uncertain or unsteady.

Ooooh, that's very dangerous. First question: why is the market "uncertain or unsteady"? Second question: Are our products (through lack of or due to product innovation) contributing to the market being "uncertain or unsteady"? Third question: By playing it safe and conservative, will our current products weather this storm in the "uncertain and unsteady" market?

There's that old saying of "adapt or die" ... so if the current marketplace is "uncertain and unsteady", then surely whoever wants to survive must adapt.

World markets are still uncertain. Don't be fooled by STOCK and COMMODITY markets rising...they stopped being an indicator of healthy MARKETS about seven years ago. When it comes to consumers, especially in the US, the worlds single largest economy, they don't have as much disposable income as they did six to seven years ago. In the US, millions of people have given up looking for work and live off of the pitifully mediocre government dole. Those who have looked for and found jobs are more likely to be working 29 hours than full time, so they can barely make ends meet. There are still nearly seven million people unemployed. The European financial issues have simply been bandaided, they are not fixed, and they have been dragging at the European economy ever since their crisis. The Chinese and Indian markets are slowing.

World economies and therefor the markets they support are NOT strong. They are a shadow of what they used to be five to seven years ago. If Canon had tried to introduce the EOS-M in the US before our financial crisis, when everyone had high paying jobs, before massive tax hikes and job losses sucked up everyone's disposable income, the EOS-M would have probably been a massive hit. Market wise, it isn't any surprise that people in the US and EU are more cautious about spending their money on new types of technology, especially when the DSLR in those countries is still viewed as a superior device.

As for playing it safe. Canon is in a position, as the supreme provider of imaging technology in the world, that they CAN play it safe. Canon owns the market. They have compelling products that people ARE snapping up in droves. Canon DOES listen to their customers, and they DELIVER what their customers ask for (the 1D X an 5D III, released BEFORE anyone was demanding more DR, delivered EXACTLY what their customers were most vocal about for those models.) Canon will continue to listen to their customers, and with the next 1D and 5D models, and probably the big MP model, dynamic range (which is clearly the biggest issue customers are demanding be fixed) will be improved. Canon offers the best customer support of any imaging company, as evidenced by the fact that they have won customer service awards for a decade.

When it comes to 4k video...it's niche. It is not one of the top features being demanded by Canon customers. It may BECOME one of the top features being demanded by Canon customers in the future, once 4k TVs are sitting on a majority of consumers walls and entertainment centers...once a majority of Canon's customers understand what it is and want it. Canon won't deliver 4k video just because their competitors have delivered it, however...that has never been Canon's MO.

By being "conservative", Canon delivers what their customers most loudly demand as a whole. That isn't being 100% risk free, however it IS avoiding taking risk on endeavors that have a very high chance of failing (i.e. EOS-M) in the current market environment. EOS-M is a very good example and demonstration of Canon's conservative business approach in action...it isn't profitable for them to push it out into the US and EU markets yet. They took a risk (not really a big one even), and the product hasn't taken. It's taken off like wildfire in Asian markets (apparently particularly for women), however, which is why they are focusing on EOS-M in that market alone right now. That is business conservatism. Think of it as "wise business", because that's exactly what it is. Canon knows when to scale back with a new endeavor, how to reallocate resources towards producing products that DO sell in various markets.

Thanks Alan,

@ f8 and smaller, Tammy shows better IQ in 600mm. This is good news for those want long zoom & shooting at slower shutter speed.

I'm no expert in BIF photography. Last time I tried, my shutter speed was in 1/2000ish.

F8 + 1/2000ish =  ??? IQ

I hear you brother!

The f/8 or narrower makes it a deal breaker for me. I typically shoot birds in a well wooded area. The foliage makes it difficult for me to keep ISOs under control with the f/5.6 aperture. It's all very well shooting in bright daylight but for the shooting I do, I'm yearning for f/4 or faster lenses ... f/8 just won't cut it even with the high ISO performance of the 5D3/6D

Owning a 600mm f/4 lens myself, I can tell you that you are often limited by too-thin DOF than you might expect. At 600mm, an f/4 aperture results in VERY THIN DOF. Quite often too thin. Unless you are photographing particularly large birds (which seems unlikely in a wooded area), even if you owned a 600mm f/4 lens you will find yourself somewhere between f/5.6 to f/8 often enough anyway. It does help having f/4 as an option, and when you really get down to the wire (near sunset in a wooded area) then you open up and deal with the DOF issues regardless.

But having an f/4 lens does not necessarily mean you are always shooting at f/4.

Ha ... I didn't think about that ... Thanks Jon!

I do my birding with the 100-400 right now and being limited to 400mm and f/5.6, I've not run into any serious DOF concerns - that will sure change with a supertele as you quite rightly point out above. The 100-400 isn't the sharpest of lenses and combined with super high ISOs, my pictures turn out too soft and lacking detail - I usually blame high ISOs for the lack of detail and noise and hence my cringing for a faster lens.

Aye, I always used the 100-400 at f/7.1 once I realized it was softish at f/5.6 and f/6.3. With a 7D, that really exacerbated issues with noise. Having the option of f/4 is certainly helpful for that. Keep in mind, you can get the 500/4 L II at a pretty significant discount to the 600mm f/4, and still have the option of using it at 700/5.6 and 1000/8 if you need to. It's a great middle-ground option when you can't afford the extra $2000+ for the 600mm.

I've used the 600 only a few times but that was for shooting shore birds in reasonable light so I could stop down happily without any concern over the ISO. 

I'd say the 600mm is the best lens on earth for shorebirds. At low perspectives (i.e. laying on the sand of a beach, lens on a ground-level pod of some kind) gets you the most exquisite background blur you'll ever see. The 500mm will do much the same, if you need the cost savings, but the 600mm can't be beat for shorebird work.

Jon, a large section of the buyers of the Tammy will end up using them on the APS-C cameras where diffraction sets in real early - sometimes as soon as f/6.3. If you were to stop down to f/11, how much do you think the images will suffer in sharpness?

This is the diffraction myth. Diffraction is diffraction, it is the same regardless of the sensor. The difference in pixel size simply means your imaging the lesser effects of diffraction sooner, but that does not make the effect worse. Diffraction is purely optical, so whether you are using a FF sensor, an APS-C sensor, or a small 4/3rds sensor with even tinier pixels, you should really NEVER worry about diffraction.

Read this:

So, technically speaking, stopping down to f/11 is stopping down to f/11...the ultimate result on IQ in reach-limmited scenarios (same lens, different cameras, same subject distance) is roughly the same regardless of FF vs. APS-C (technically, APS-C would actually have the edge, barring blurring from other factors...i.e. the 7D has a stronger low pass filter than the 5D III, which mitigates some of the benefit of having smaller pixels, but not entirely.) Smaller pixels will always give you a cropping advantage, and the more you stop down, the returns offered by those smaller pixels simply diminish until they offer no benefit over larger pixels (but at no point would smaller pixel EVER be "worse" than larger pixels from the standpoint of diffraction...noise is another matter.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 11, 2014, 10:09:07 PM »
When Canon debuted 1080p video with the 5D Mark II, would you have said that this was intended to be a niche product or main stream?

When the 5DII was announced, HD TVs and media were widely available.  The market had matured to the point that the 'format war' (BluRay vs. HD-DVD) was over. 

Can I walk into Target and buy the LOTR box set as 4K movies?  Can I buy them on Amazon? (Don't try to sell me on '4K Mastered for optimal up scaling and a near-4K experience.)   No, I didn't think so.  That's why 4K is niche, not mainstream.

You've addressed the point of the format on TV, not that of the video feature in the camera.

Using a DSLR to create worthwhile video - even at 1080p resolution - takes its use out of the "mainstream" and into "niche". If I needed to create a 1080p video of a wedding or some other event, I wouldn't use a DSLR of any kind because they're just not built for it. The people to whom the 1080p in the DSLR has appealed to are those looking for another alternative to expensive bodies used in video rigs. Thus the amount of care required to bring video originating from a DSLR moves it well and truely out of mainstream. That plus the amount of editing required.

So if you're doing video on a DSLR you're thus not mainstream, that would put you in a niche that would correlate well with the people that will want to use 4k video for production.

Whereas Canon created the market for "indi" 1080p production with a quality and look that matched professional, if they make no attempt to deliver 4k in their next round of xD cameras (at least) then it would seem to me that they've decided they no longer want to be a part of a market segment that they created.

The "next round" of xD cameras from Canon could start just around the corner, a couple/few months from now with the 7D II. I highly doubt that 4k video, especially 4k RAW video, will be offered by Canon in the 7D II. At the earliest it would be in a 5D IV or 1D XI (or X II), but those are  years away.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: February 11, 2014, 08:26:00 PM »
He reminds me of someone I know... :-) - Feedback appreciated.

Hmm, reminds me of ME on most days!!....  :o

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: February 11, 2014, 08:25:34 PM »
Harbor seals, Martha's Vineyard shore.

A young seal trying to rest on a rock.

Three adults trying to sleep on a Big boulder in the surf.

100- 400 mm

Love the first one! Such an excellent pose! Wonderful work.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: February 11, 2014, 08:25:14 PM »
Pack of rowdy coyotes (mostly yearling pups) howled through "dog town" (huge prairie dog colony) yesterday:

Great series  - The prairie dogs are a riot.

Thanks. They really ARE a riot, though! :D

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