December 21, 2014, 07:58:12 PM

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Messages - jrista

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31
Animal Kingdom / Re: The 1200mm Sharpness Test
« on: December 12, 2014, 12:27:30 AM »

Alright. Here is a set of shots taken with the 7D and 100-400 L (original). I grabbed a few, with birds of varying sizes in frame, to bring some diversity of pixels-on-target to demonstrate that isn't necessarily the issue with the 150-600. These are all original shots, original crop, no scaling, no processing, no sharpening or NR of any kind. Strait out of camera RAW exported to 75% quality JPEG from Lightroom. (Blame CR forums for links to images instead of just images...I don't know what it was doing, but it wouldn't let me post with them embedded as images.)


http://i.imgur.com/TiKthrU.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/Z2vWEQF.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/TSoCerX.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/ZBAK66E.jpg


Every image here appears to be sharper than the 150-600mm shots. To be fair, one of your shots seems to have some motion blur. For the other, I cannot say, not really sure if there is any motion blur or not, but it still seems a little soft. Not as sharp as either my 100-400 shots or my 1200mm f/10 chickadee. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of the idea of an affordable lens that reaches 600mm. For the novice or budget birder, I think having such a lens is a HUGE benefit. That said, if the sharpness from your example shots is around the best the lens can do at 600mm, then I'm rather disappointed. I'm happy to accept if the issue is technique, or too slow a shutter speed, or lack of IS use (or IS kicking in and screwing up the shot), etc. If you can demonstrate as much, then more power too you, prove me wrong! :P But, as it stands, I don't think the sharpness of those shots is what I would call "ideal"...I think my 100-400 does better, and my 600 with a 2x TC at 1200mm f/10 (!!) does better.

32
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Dpreview: Review of the 7D2
« on: December 11, 2014, 11:29:05 PM »
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-7d-mark-ii/12


I'm happy to see the improvement in noise characteristics on the 7D II here. No vertical banding that I can see. That's extremely nice. This test demonstrates the "color blotch" on the 5D III that I see all the time. I utterly despise that...but it may be editor related. I used to integrate my astro images with DeepSkyStacker (DSS), which is a nice program, fast, does it's job reasonably well. It uses AHD, Adaptive Homogeneity-Directed demosaicing, the same as Lightroom and ACR (and an option in RawThearapy and DarkTable as well.)


I recently started integrating with PixInsights Batch Preprocessing script (BPP), and the results are considerably better. Color noise is much lower. Finer details are better rendered. Color is better, deeper. The noise takes on a cleaner, more random nature. I noticed that it does not use AHD demosaicing, instead it uses an alternative algorithm called VNG.


Anyway...there is no question that the 5D III has banding, but it may be that the horrid color blotch that I hate is not "in" the RAW data...it's more a consequence of demosaicing. If that is the case, then I truly hope Adobe catches on, and revisits the use of AHD, at the very least they could add the option to choose the demosaicing algorithm in the settings or something like that, including VNG as an option.


On a side note...DAMN! Give me that ultra clean quality noise of the D7000 any day! :P *drool* That's even a bit better than what I'm seeing from the NX1.

33
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Leica: Trouble in paradise?
« on: December 11, 2014, 10:56:12 PM »
It can take some time to resolve obscure issues, especially when they do not necessarily affect every single product sold.

That didn't stop Canon being ripped a new butt over the largely internet hyped 1D MkIII AF soap opera. Nobody could reliably reproduce the 'issue', just some cameras didn't do well shooting some subjects at some temperatures, sometimes, yet the internet had a firestorm and Canon didn't know how or what to do to placate everybody, most of whom never even touched a 1D MkIII.


QSI is getting ripped over the glow issue, too. Human nature, I guess.

34
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Leica: Trouble in paradise?
« on: December 11, 2014, 09:44:52 PM »
The issue is not with the sensor, but with the glass cover.  If it is scratched thru its coating, them corrosion will form on the glass, not the sensor.  Leica does not yet have a solution that will solve the issue.  In the meantime, they are fixing cameras with a identical part.  Eventually, a permanent solution with a different glass cover will be found.  Owners should refraining from scratching that glass cover if that's even possible.


+1


Sometimes there isn't a known solution to a problem. Leica is not the only company to experience such issues. I'm currently evaluating buying a Quantum Scientific Imaging CCD camera. There are two options, one is a newer design that uses a Sony sensor. QSI is a very reputable company, they produce very high quality parts...but sometimes things slip through. There is a faint "glow" problem with some of their Sony based cameras. It's an extremely faint glow, and even with it, the quality of images from these cameras surpasses most others. It's still an issue, though, given that these things cost at least four grand. The company has not yet issued a statement or recall covering a resolution yet...simply because they do not have one. It can take some time to resolve obscure issues, especially when they do not necessarily affect every single product sold.

35
This article hits uncomfortably close to home. In complete confidence of course, I can probably be persuaded to admit that I am seriously considering buying my next white lens on a 'buy now pay later' scheme - although I never go into debt for anything - ever. Photography has corrupted me...

Well, to be fair, white lenses can qualify as investments. I haven't seen one that's value has undergone depreciation. May I ask who is this worthy contender?


 I bought my 600/4 L II new, on sale, from Canada. I instantly made about $2000 on my investment. ;)

36
This article made me wonder how our spouses feel being married to men with photography-related G.A.S.
Change the cycling stuff to photographic gear, and disregard the middle age part (for now), and you've got me.
 :-\

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2869069/Oh-shame-married-MAMIL-s-Middle-Aged-Man-Lycra.html


Just wait until he gets into astrophotography. Then, instead of "Hey honey, can I spend $3500 on a new camera? Please!" or "Hey Honey, can I spend $2500 on a new lens? Please!" it'll be "Hey honey, can I spend $18,000 on this awesome new equatorial tracking mount with absolute encoding and in-mount sky modeling?" (no please, he's caught you off guard with a highly technical sounding thing...hoping your bewildered and will accidentally say yes), then "Hey honey, can I spend $10,000 on this new CCD camera?" and finally "Hey honey, can I spend $35,000 on a new Corrected Dall-Kirkam telescope from PlaneWave? PLEASE! I'll buy you that new car you want! :D"


Photography, expensive... Psh. You have NOOO IDEA. :P (I LOVE being single right now...)

37
Animal Kingdom / Re: The 1200mm Sharpness Test
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:25:57 PM »
Alan, a couple of things. First, did you click on my images for full size?


Second, regarding the feet. I was at 1200mm f/10...working with a ridiculously thin DOF. My chickadees feet aren't sharp because they are not in focus. My goal wasn't to get sharp feet, though...it was to get the head and eye sharp. To that end, I believe, despite 1/100s, I succeeded. (I just wish he hadn't hopped from the beautiful pine branch to the tripod before I did! :P)


As for the sharpness of your shots overall...honestly, I'm a little disappointed. Maybe it's just the disheveled nature of the birds, not sure...but, I guess I kind of expected more out of that lens. The Canon 100-400 could get MUCH sharper than that...and I mean the OLD 100-400...

38
Animal Kingdom / Re: The 1200mm Sharpness Test
« on: December 11, 2014, 05:45:51 PM »
Alrighty. I've done some more testing. I am beginning to distrust FoCal...it does not seem to be calibrating my equipment as ideally as it could be. I decided to do a quick and dirty AFMA check and tweak. I just set it at 0, -10, -20, +10 and +20. Took a few shots of the same target (lens and camera were on a tripod.) The differences were fairly obvious, +10 looked best. I tried +5, that looked slightly better.


The differences with the 600 + 2x TC OOC look MUCH better now. The birds are quite sharp strait out of camera, and they get very sharp with just a little sharpening. Below is a single photo from a more challenging burst of frames, as I was at 1/100th shutter...with a Chickadee. :P Anyone who's photographed Chickadees knows how ludicrously insane it is to try and get a sharp result at 1/100th second. :D


Anyway, managed to (with the limited 6fps of the 5D III even) get one frame that was sharp, at 1200mm f/10, ISO 800. I'm attaching three full size 1:1 scale crops, of the original image, sharpened only, then with a little bit of toning to bring down those highlights...just to reveal all the detail that is there. Personally...I'm pretty impressed at how sharp the 600/4 L II+2x TC III can be strait out of camera. My earlier softness was apparently just due to an improper AFMA selection by FoCal (that my extremely rudimentary and hackish approach handily bested.)



39
Interesting. I hope he does more testing...very curious to see how the Samsung products (not just the body, but the lenses as well) compare overall, at the wide and long, at max aperture and f/8.

40
Animal Kingdom / Re: The 1200mm Sharpness Test
« on: December 08, 2014, 10:34:36 PM »
The TC III's improve corner performance over the TC II's as well, on top of the improved AF capabilities (which I believe only work with the 1D X.)

41
7D II (horizontal, red cast):



5D III (horizontal and vertical, red cast):



NX1 (none, neutral):


42
Animal Kingdom / Re: The 1200mm Sharpness Test
« on: December 08, 2014, 03:13:00 PM »
What's the consesnus on the 1.4x II vs the 1.4x III? I own a 1.4xII and 500 f/4 IS USM and I leave the 1.4 in the closet. The loss in resolution is very discernible.


The 600/4 II with 1.4x TC III seems to produce very sharp results. It is not as sharp as possible right in the corners, but overall, I don't feel as though I'm losing anything with the 1.4x. The 2x produces what you see here, an apparent softening, but it is pretty easy to clean up. The TC III series were designed specifically to maximize the potential of the supertele L II series...so it I suspect the results are better than with the TC II series and original supertele L series lenses.

43

IMO, the presence of horizontal banding and the lack of vertical banding suggests that they've started scanning the sensor in the opposite direction, i.e. row major versus column major order or vice versa, rather than an improvement in the sensor or preamplifier technology.


Horizontal banding has been present in Canon cameras for years. It's present in my 5D III, just to a slightly lesser degree than in the 7D II. The big difference is that the 5D III has the sharp vertical banding as well...the 7D II lacks that pretty much entirely. I think that just revealed an existing horizontal banding problem (something I've seen before with both the 5D III and original 7D in my astro images). The horizontal banding does seem more pronounced, but it is not a row-wise banding like the column-wise vertical banding was...they are much fatter, around 10 rows and softer. I don't think it's a change in readout orientation...it seems logical that would remain row activate, column readout.


I guess the softer horizontal banding is less likely to be a problem for most photography...it goes in the direction our eyes naturally scan, left to right...so were now scanning with the grain. It is also fairly faint, so it probably wouldn't show up unless you were shooting in low light at a low ISO and were lifting the shadows a lot.

44

Personally, the large blotchy color left behind after your regular color noise reduction is what bugs me the most. There is very little that can clean that up nicely. If Adobe could fix their RAW engine to NOT produce that in the first place, then one of my biggest complaints about Canon RAW images would be gone. They still wouldn't have the dynamic range, but, at least the data would be cleaner. I don't really want to spend the couple hundred bucks on C1 Pro, as it's workflow doesn't seem as nice to me as Lightrooms, and it has a limited range of DSLR compatibility...but I may jut do that for the IQ.

I know exactly what you mean, this was the issue i had with the A7 at high ISO.  I'm not sure I saw anything like that in the 7D2 samples I played with but I'd need to check again.  Do you see this on the 5D3 as well or just 7D2 samples?


I see it in every Canon file once I start lifting the shadows enough. It usually doesn't take much, a stop and a half. It's pretty bad with the 5D III, it seems milder with the 7D II. I think Canon may have moved to their newer fabs for the 7D II sensor. If Roger Clark is right about the dark current, and if the Q.E. really is 59%, then this is the first sensor from Canon in a long while that is starting to rival Exmor as far as dark current levels go. If Roger is right, it may even be a little better in terms of dark current than an Exmor.


If the color blotch problem is a consequence of the RAW engine, then Canon has certainly made some strides. They eliminated vertical banding and gained a little bit of horizontal banding (but it is soft, so, not nearly as intrusive as what the 5D III has), lowered dark current, and increased Q.E. Read noise is introduced by the readout pipeline, probably primarily by the ADC units Canon uses. So, that is probably something they could fix (basically, anything that reduces ADC frequency should help.)


I am pretty amazed at how clean the NX1 files are though. Very clean, very neutral random noise, much lower than Canon's. I am hoping Chipworks tears apart both sensors and gives us a detailed look at the designs. I'd love to see what's changed at a low level in Canon's sensor, and what Samsung has done with theirs.

45


I noticed a slight amount of something when I denoised the 6400 and 12800 images. Not sure what that is. Hopefully it is simply very early versions of the demosaicing support for the NX1 files in ACR/LR.


I have been testing out CaptureOne Pro. CaptureOne does seem to render a better quality noise with Canon files than LR does. I'm not going to say it's groundbreaking, but it doesn't seem to exhibit that horrid blotchy color noise that I loath so much in my Canon files with Lightroom. Sadly, C1 does not seem to have any support for Samsung cameras... :(


I am beginning to think now that Adobe's algorithms in Lightroom are indeed becoming rather dated. They don't render the data in the RAW files as well as they could be. I don't remember who asserted that in the past, but I think they may be right. Here's to hoping Lightroom 6.x gets a much-needed rewrite of the rendering pipeline, one that eliminates the color blotch with Canon files.


I did notice that LensRentals.com now has the NX1 on preorder:


http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/compact/samsung/samsung-nx1


Woo! Not sure that I'll have a chance to try it out before the end of the year, but I'm glad they have it. They have a number of lenses as well. I think I'd give the NX1 and the 16-50 a try at the very least...but since this is something I'm curious about as an alternative to a 7D II for birds, I may hold off until Samsung releases their 300mm f/2.8 lens first. One thing I did learn recently is there do not seem to be teleconverters for the NX line mount yet. That might be an issue for me...if I picked up the 300mm f/2.8 lens, I would want both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, and not having them would probably be a deal breaker. Maybe if Canon lenses AF well on the NX1 with an adapter...but I suspect that wouldn't be the case for a while. :'(

I know they've had the NX1 up for pre-order for at least a month or two as I almost tried to order one for testing before an event I shot over the thanksgiving weekend.


Hmm, odd. I only saw the Samsung entry in their list of brands show up recently.



As for the weird NX1 noise, I can definitely believe that it could have something to do with the LR conversion although I'm not quite sure how DPReview arrived at their DNG files.  The craziest part of those results to me is that before color noise reduction the NX1 definitely looks better but after you remove the color noise the 7D2 looks better, at least to my eye.  I don't think I've ever seen that happen before.  I've seen cameras become essentially equal after you remove the color noise but never swap positions like that.


The thing about the 7D II is that after color noise removal, as in the more speckled finer grained color noise, you have that blotchy color left behind. Again, though...maybe that really is just poor demosaicing algorithms. C1 doesn't seem to do that. Kind of funny, to think that Adobe's RAW engine is now old and potentially less effective than it could be today...but I think that may be the case.


Personally, the large blotchy color left behind after your regular color noise reduction is what bugs me the most. There is very little that can clean that up nicely. If Adobe could fix their RAW engine to NOT produce that in the first place, then one of my biggest complaints about Canon RAW images would be gone. They still wouldn't have the dynamic range, but, at least the data would be cleaner. I don't really want to spend the couple hundred bucks on C1 Pro, as it's workflow doesn't seem as nice to me as Lightrooms, and it has a limited range of DSLR compatibility...but I may jut do that for the IQ.

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