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Messages - friedmud

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Lenses / Re: 24-105L Curved horizon.
« on: May 26, 2013, 01:14:41 AM »
In LR it is one check box that needs to be checked...

I agree with this.

But I'll also add something else here: optical perfection comes has costs.  Sure, we all want perfect pictures straight out of the camera, but you have to keep in mind a few things:

1.  Money.  As in $$$$.  Instead of spending $1000 on the 24-105 and getting this:

You could have spent $2000 on a 24-70 Mk II and gotten this:

How much is a straight horizon worth to you?

2.  Utility.  Instead of having image stabilization, autofocus and a huge zoom range you could have spent $1,700 and gotten this:

Do you want to walk around with a bag full of primes and change lenses every 10 minutes to get a perfectly straight horizon?

My point here is that every lens has its tradeoffs.  Some trade performance for cost.  Others trade utility for ultimate image quality.  What lens is right for YOU is what you need to work out.

If you're going to be taking nothing but pictures containing tons of perfectly straight lines (ie architecture photography) you might want to invest some cash in some primes that have as little distortion as possible.

If you're going to be taking casual travel photos that occasionally show distortion effects (like your shot here) it's probably better to err on the side of utility (like you've done with the 24-105).  What good are perfectly straight lines if your dog runs off while you're trying to change lenses??

Finally, a tip: learn the strengths and weaknesses of your gear and keep that in mind while you're shooting.  Don't try to force a tool to do a job it wasn't made for....

EOS Bodies / Re: Bye Canon?
« on: April 30, 2013, 12:44:38 AM »
I switched to Nikon about 8 months ago and I'm still loving it.  I left for the image quality... and I haven't been disappointed by my D600.

One thing that I didn't expect to love?  The lenses.  I had always heard about the legendary Canon lenses... and I really thought that I would miss them (especially my 70-200 f/4 IS L)... but that's not what happened.

I bought the D600 with the 50mm f/1.8... that is a SPECTACULAR lens.  So sharp.  So fast and accurate to focus.  Just beautiful bokeh - and CHEAP!

From there I sprang for my workhorse lens: 24-70 f/2.8G... sharp from corner to corner... unbelievably fast to focus... and incredible color rendition.

Lately - I just picked up a refurbished 70-300 for $350.  I can't believe how great that lens is (especially for the price!).  I wasn't expecting the AF to be up to tracking subjects... but actually it does just as well (sometimes better) as my 70-200 f/4 did with my 7D!  Sure, it's not as sharp as my 70-200, but the IQ of the D600 more than makes up for it.

So?  What do I miss about Canon?  CANONRUMORS! ;-)

Seriously - I've just not been able to find another community that is as good as CanonRumors.  NikonRumors is ok for rumors (although it doesn't get updated often enough) but the community is not great... quite a lot more amateurs and certainly not the great technical exchange that happens here on CR.

So if you're thinking of jumping ship... do it for the IQ and don't look back (other than back to CR ;-)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Lens for upcoming Auto show
« on: April 29, 2013, 11:55:43 AM »
I've only shot a car show with a DSLR once... But I primarily shot with my 17-55 f/2.8 and thought it did a great job.  You can see some the results here:

Nikon is similar.  AFMA is called "AF Fine Tune".

I found this thread informative... my Nikon D600 is spot on wih my 50mm 1.8G and my 70-300... but is quite off at the wide end of my 24-70 f/2.8.  I'm sending it in for adjustment soon (after the next round of trips) but I could never work out how the focus could be perfect for all of my other lenses and be off for one.  This thread definitely gave some insight into that!

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon D800 Value Dropping?
« on: April 13, 2013, 07:49:39 PM »
I see a lot of the old "there are no lenses good enough for 36MP!" cries going on in this thread.

That is just not true.  The final resolution of a camera system is a function of all of the pieces in that system.  A higher resolution sensor will increase the overall resolving power of the system.

But don't take my word for it.  Go see the tests here:

Note that the Nikon 24-70 by itself is less sharp than the Canon 24-70.  However, when fitted to a D800 it out-resolves a Canon 24-70 on a 5D Mk III... the higher resolution of the sensor making up for some of the inherit deficit in the lens.

I just can't wait until a ~36MP Canon comes out and we can stop seeing all of these ridiculous "I would never use 36MP!" posts.  Everyone can use more resolution, regardless of your style of shooting.  Now whether you truly "need" 36MP (to the point where you would put down your money for it) is something else...

Software & Accessories / Re: Rucksack Camera Bags
« on: January 26, 2013, 02:57:17 AM »
I've carried tthe Lowepro Fastpack 350 with me all over the US and on several overseas trips for the past few years.  It fit my 7D, 70-200 f/4, 17-55 f/2.8, Lensbaby and 50mm f/1.8 (a bit snug, but you can get it all in there) plus a 17" Macbook Pro (I've recently switched to a 15" though for weight savings) AND an iPad (I put it in the laptop compartment with my laptop).

It is an incredibly useful bag... and comfortable to wear for long periods.

For security I do a couple of things:

1.  There is a "flap" that snaps over the outside of the bottom of the bag.  If you hide the zippers under that flap they are harder to get to.

2.  I use small TSA approved locks to lock the zippers together for the both e top storage area and the camera storage area.  I keep these locked anytime I'm in a crowded area where someone might be able to get into my bag (like on a train or subway, etc.).

I haven't had any trouble, but I haven't been to the worst places in the world either :-)

All this said, I recently got a Thinktank Retrospective 50.... and I absolutely love it!  Tons of room and it doesn't look like a camera bag... plus it is mich easier to get your camera in and out of and to change lenses on the go.  Since it does rest on one shoulder, it's less suitable for long trips, but it is still comfortable.

My "other" backpack (yes, I have a problem) is a Burton Focus Pack:,default,pd.html?start=22&cgid=mens-packs

It is UBER comfortable, whether you're tearing up the slopes with tons of gear on your back or trekking across England :-)

TONS of room and weatherproof.  This is my go to bag for long trips where I want to bring a lot of gear and I might encounter some weather.

I recommend going to a good camera shop and trying quite a few bags.  Bring all of your gear and see how it fits.  Every bag is a tradeoff... get a few :-)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 50
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:02:58 AM »
@friedmud... what you are describing is the effect of increasing the length of the exposure (from 1 second to 2 seconds in your example) and it's that real increase in the number of collected photos that improves the SNR not any magical effect of using ISO50.

Oh, I agree (with my quibble above about understanding the effect of "base ISO").  I apologize for reposting that here out of context... it was simply more convenient than retyping it :-)

The context was landscape photography... and I was trying to explain why I shoot at ISO 50 sometimes (because of less noise from the longer exposure... well, along with any other reasons why a longer exposure might be wanted, like blurring a waterfall).

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 50
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:59:10 AM »
Once more unto the breach....

The following "Sunny f/16" exposures all result in the exact same amount of analog gain applied to the readout of the sensor, and therefore the exact same raw file:

1/400s @ f/8 @ ISO 50
1/400s @ f/8 @ ISO 100
1/400s @ f/8 @ ISO 200 + HTP

Hey Trumpet, I don't want to get pedantic (because you are mostly right in what you are saying, and you're trying to provide clarity to someone who is definitely wrong) BUT... I feel like since we've had a good technical discussion here I should point out that you have to be careful about that "exact" word you used there.

Your statement is only "exactly" right if a sensor's "base ISO" is exactly 100.  For many modern sensors it is close, but even a 5DMk3 is closer to 80 and it appears as though a Nikon D800 is closer to 75.  What this means is that there is some analog gain applied, even at ISO 100... and there will be different analog gain applied at 50.

What this means is that shooting at 50 might not lose you a full stop of highlights.  Indeed, shooting at ISO 75 on a D800 won't lose you any highlights at all (compared to ISO 100) and you get the added benefits of more photons (ie, less noise).

Sorry to be pedantic... I don't want to derail what you're saying.... I just want people to realize that not everything about a camera sensor is set in stone by a god somewhere... and each and every sensor type has it's own unique aspects... :-)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 50
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:32:58 AM »
ISO 50 is a complicated subject... and really depends on the nature of the sensor in your particular camera.

The following is something I posted over at Nikon Rumors in response to seeing someone say that ISO 50 was underexposing and then correcting:

(EDIT: I just want to be clear that his was in a discussion about landscape photography, where an aperture has been chosen for DoF and sharpness and the shutter speed is ranging to get the exposure right)

"Firstly, it's not "underexposing then correcting in software"... that's more of what happens with things like "Active-DLighting" and "Highlight Tone Priority" (on the Canon side) or using very high ISO. If anything, ISO less than 100 _overexposes_ and then pulls back in software. If you fix aperture and you expose at ISO 100 and get 1 second exposure... Then you drop ISO to 50 and take the same shot the shutter time will be 2 seconds. If the sensor can't be "less sensitive" than ISO 100 then you are overcooking the sensor (ie, overexposing). The camera can then correct in software to give you the correct looking exposure (possibly at the expense of highlights that might have been blown out and can't be recovered). Because of this there can be a small drop in dynamic range (you might have lost some highlights).

A few thing about this:

1. Physics means that an ISO 50 shot will definitely include the effects of more photons striking the sensor. That will reduce "random shot noise" which can give you a visible reduction in noise. I have done tests with my D600 and there is less noise at ISO 50,

2. At the worst case of a sensor that really can't go below ISO 100 at all, this process is equivalent to overexposing by one stop and pulling back your RAW file in post. Essentially it is equivalent to Exposing To The Right (ETTR Which, in scenes of lower dynamic range can give you a tangible benefit of having less noise in the shadow areas. So once again we might be shaving off noise.

3. How much highlight you lose is very sensor dependent. The D600 has a lot of headroom in this area and if you look at DXOMark ( ) it doesn't show a loss in Dynamic Range when going to ISO 50.... just that it doesn't gain much either.

In summary: be careful about spreading dogma like this. Every sensor / camera is different. In particular, I have done my own testing on the D600 and have found the tradeoff for lower noise to dynamic range to be more than acceptable. In extreme dynamic range scenes I may choose 100 to just be safe... but in all of my shooting with the D600 so far ISO 50 has produced better (less noise with the same / similar dynamic range) photos.

Everyone: don't just take my word for it (or anyone else on the internet) there is no reason not to do these types of tests with your own gear. One of the first things I do when I receive any new piece of gear is test it's limits. Not to be dissappointed but to know where they are so I can make correct decisions about tradeoffs in the field..."

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM First Impressions
« on: December 22, 2012, 11:47:41 PM »
Good point, but I don't tolerate poor quality from any manufacturer.
Canon may be a bunch of shisters for price, but the quality is always top notch...


The first 70-300L I bought this year was no better than my 70-300 non-L, so I returned it (the second one I bought is marvelous, but failed after 3 weeks; it's now fine again - for now, at least).  On Black Friday I bought a (brand new) 70-200 L IS II and was dismayed to see that it produced images that were soft along the right edge, in the bottom right corner (extending well into the image) and along the bottom edge, along with dreadful colour fringing in the same area; I returned it too.  So no, not always....

Indeed.  I had a 17-55 f/2.8 that was WAY soft on the right (but still a great lens!).  I also went through two copies of 16-35 f/2.8's that were soft on the left (even on a crop body!) before giving up.

Moral of the story?  Check your gear when you buy it!  I've switched completely to buying locally so I can test gear and return it easily.  Yes, I pay a bit more for the privelege (although not much)... but man is it nice to have a return happen in minutes instead of weeks!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: right now i am not happy to be a canon user
« on: December 21, 2012, 11:58:06 PM »
I felt this way... so I sold all of my Canon gear and bought a D600.  I couldn't be happier withh the photos I'm getting for the price I paid.

Don't just complain about it.  If you really feel this way then votemwith your dollars!

Does your D600 have the dust/oil problem that so many are noticing and/or complaining about?  (The price has dropped so low that I'm half considering one - not to replace but to supplement my Canon equipment.  But I really don't want to have to deal with the dust/oil problem that may be explaining the low price.)

It does get dustier than my Canon bodies.... but a quick blow with a Giottos Rocket Air gets the stuff off.  The dust accumulation is definitely slowing down over time as well.

I gotta say that it's worth the hassle for the upgrade in IQ... but I totally understand the hesitation over this issue.

If you are on the fence, I recommend renting one with a 24-70 from  That's what I did and I sold my 7D and lenses the very next week...

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: right now i am not happy to be a canon user
« on: December 21, 2012, 09:28:05 PM »
I felt this way... so I sold all of my Canon gear and bought a D600.  I couldn't be happier withh the photos I'm getting for the price I paid.

Don't just complain about it.  If you really feel this way then votemwith your dollars!

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: At least we have Canon quality control
« on: November 23, 2012, 01:18:33 PM »
Not saying there haven't been problems with Nikon (my D600 has the dust issue... but I can blow it off)... but it's not always rosy on the Canon side either (I had a 17-55 f/2.8 that was soft on the right and when through 2 16-35 f/2.8's that were WAY soft on the left for instance).

What we have to keep in mind is that these are _precision_ instruments.  Almost nothing else that we use in life has to be as "perfect" as our camera gear has to be to produce a perfect image.  These are complex beasts with MANY interacting parts and engineering tolerances.

I think that one of the reasons there have been so many D800 returns is that 36 megapixels will show _any_ minor flaw.  As both companies (Canon and Nikon) move forward with higher density sensors this is going to continue to become more and more of a problem.  How their quality control departments handle this is going to be interesting...

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM First Impressions
« on: November 23, 2012, 01:12:42 PM »
There are some signs of onion brokeh which isnt too pleasent.

However im not very knowledgeable about how often situations that create onion brokeh occur. All the other samples seem to have a very nice brokeh. Can anyone enlighten me as to whether this should be something to be concerned about?

Weird - if you look at the OOF highlights here I don't see any onion bokeh problems... look fairly uniform to me.

Also - I cannot see any fringing.  To me, it looks like someone processed that file on FredMiranda incorrectly... or someone had sharpness turned way up in their camera and was shooting JPG... I don't know, but it just looks messed up.

Finally, bokeh looks smooth and creamy in all those tistory shots to me (look at the shot of the dog for instance).

Overall, that guy on FM looks like he went a little crazy with one test shot that he found somewhere...

Software & Accessories / Re: Luma Cinch Strap
« on: November 19, 2012, 01:02:49 AM »
Thanks guys!

This is sounding good!

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