September 01, 2014, 04:13:15 AM

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - friedmud

Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] 14 15
181
EOS Bodies / Re: Rain Photos - Wet Camera Photos/Stories
« on: December 18, 2011, 12:16:03 AM »
I'm away from my computer or I would post some of the last photos taken with my XSi in the rain on the coast of Oregon.  The shutter froze up on it later that night (just got it back after a $200 round trip to canon and all seems well again).

However, I had to post to applaud kitaoka on the awesome street photos!  Seriously compelling shots!

182
EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 17, 2011, 10:55:47 PM »
If this is true, wouldn't it support the idea that you and friedmud would know about the noise before purchasing the 7D?

I will admit that I didn't do the "right" research this time around.

I had planned on picking up a T3i or 60D since I thought that's the best upgrades I could get in my price range... then my wife said "why don't you go for the 7D?"... well I'm sure all of you with wives out there understand that when a statement like that gets uttered by "the boss" you don't tend to do a lot of research past that point ;-)

That said I _did_ read quite a few reviews that raved about the 7D... but almost universally they were talking about how awesome the high ISO capability was.  My failing was in believing that if the high ISO is that good then certainly the low ISO wouldn't be worse than my XSi... that didn't exactly pan out.

Yes, I have "made peace" with my 7D.  I've already shot about 600 photos with it (been traveling a lot lately) and I am in _love_ with the camera itself.  Just tonight I was out shooting some great tree silhouettes in the sunset... and the way the camera works allows me to get the camera out of the way and really focus on the creativity of the shots I'm trying to produce.

However... I _do_ still have a tinge of regret over the noise.  It really is there.  I really wish it wasn't.

Even so, I think I'm going to have a long and productive friendship with this machine.  I don't sell my photos to stock houses or anything... so if it helps me get the shot I have in my head into a RAW file better and that translates well to the web and print... then I'm happy.

Cameras and Lenses are a series of tradeoffs.  If there was a "perfect" camera body _everyone_ would buy it.  Unfortunately, the reality of price / performance rears its ugly head and the mortals among us have to make tough decisions.  Fortunately that formula continues to drift further and further in favor of mortals all the time...

183
EOS Bodies / Re: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:33:10 PM »
What is wrong with embracing the grain as an artistic expression?
Nothing at all.

But when you're hired by "Glam Magazine" to do a nighttime outdoors photoshoot and they want clean image for their feature article, you might want to deliver what they're paying for.  Just saying that I too think artistic grain can be quite nice.  But when looking at photography from a profession's standpoint, the public has their own idea of what a "good photo" is, too.  And often times, grain isn't a part of it.

I agree.

Sometimes I like grain... sometimes I add more on purpose.  However, I want that _choice_!

If your equipment is capable of a clean image... then it gives you total artistic freedom to add grain where you see fit... instead of being forced into it by an inadequate sensor.

184
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 12, 2011, 03:55:13 PM »
I think your detailed report and break down of things is quite informative, but I've never questioned for a moment the 7Ds ability in the realm of landscape imagery.  I am finding myself achieving stunning results with very little post-production.  This is not an advertisement for myself, but you can see a number of landscapes taken with a 7D by following the link.  95% of the images posted were captured with my 7D.  The other 5% came from a 50D.  I think the images are a grand testimony to the ability of the camera to render my vision quite well.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1384191182#!/pages/Tim-Doolin-Photography/127209093980710

Nice photos - do you live out here in the west somewhere?  I noticed quite a few from Yellowstone and the Tetons...

Maybe we could get together for a hike sometime...

185
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 12, 2011, 11:30:21 AM »
I'm surprised you even needed f/8. How far from the barn were you?

Nice shots. I especially like the first one.

I was about 50-75 feet from the barn.... but I was miles away from the mountains.  I haven't done a proper hyperfocal calculation... but f/8 or so seems about right.

Thanks!

186
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 12, 2011, 11:27:04 AM »
Congratulations on giving the 7D an honest run and discovering what it can do! Good shots, good comparisons, and good analysis. Your detailed post can serve as a guideline to future 7D/60D/T2i owners.

* Playing with an online DoF calculator is a great way to get a feel for what apertures are actually needed in different situations: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

Thanks!

As for DoF calculators... I personally use a simple DoF calculator on my iPhone.  There are several good ones.  One thing I like about the one I have is that you can set your camera and lenses and then it gives you tailored hyperfocal distances based on what you want in focus.

187
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 12, 2011, 01:15:27 AM »
The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well.

The serious landscapers I have met carry around a 17inch laptop and tether it to the body. That is why there are so many backpacks with laptop compartments .....

An ipad with the camera connection kit works pretty well as well... I carry one with me to review photos in the field.

188
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 11:14:11 PM »

I compose the shot I want with the camera mounted on my tripod.  Then to focus perfectly (either from hyperfocal or to achieve some other goal) I want to focus within that composition on a particular point.  There is no way to do that with AF without moving the camera (which I don't want to do because it's already in the "perfect" position).  So manual focus is what you want.

Yep, Live View is the way to go for manual focusing.  I pop into live view, zoom all the way in on what I want to focus on, then manually focus until it's sharp.  Then drop out of live view.

The two second delay works together with mirror lockup.  The idea is to have _zero_ vibrations in the camera when the shutter releases, so you can get the sharpest possible photo.  Mirror lockup puts the mirror in the "up" position long before the shutter fires, ensuring that there are no vibrations from the mirror movement when the image is captured. 


Thanks for the quick response

I do use mirror lockup with a 2 sec delay and the RC6 remote when shooting the moon.  I use my 70-200 F4 IS (without IS of course) and my 1.4x Extender.  I've never though of using it for day time landscapes.

Just curious why you don't use a single AF point with manual positioning.  I must admit I have a hard time manually focusing with this camera--of course I'm at the age where your close up vision goes to crap.  The one thing I do not like about the 7D is non user changeable focus screens.  I do miss the old SLR split prisms.  I know there are 3rd party ones out there but I'm not really comfortable changing it out.

BTW, I love your shots!  I grew not too far from there, on the Idaho side.

Choosing a single AF point didn't work so well on my XSi ;-)

On the 7D it is definitely more of a possibility... but when I'm taking that much time and care to get the shot I want... I want it to be _perfect_ (hence the reason for my "Earthshattering" post from last week ;-)

Where at in Idaho?  I'm living near Idaho Falls right now myself.  Haven't been here too long... but I'm loving it.  It truly is a nature photographer's dream!

189
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 10:55:10 PM »
Friedmud, thanks so much for sharing your thorough analysis with all of us!  I too do a lot of landscape shooting with my 7D so what you have shared is very valuable  to me.  Also, thanks for including your camera settings and PP steps.  As many others I've also been following all these recent 7D threads and trying to learn/understand as much as I can.  My 7D is my only body, someday I'll add likely a 5D3.

A few questions:

  • Why did you manual focus instead of auto focus on a specific point?
  • Did you use live view to assist with manual focus?
  • Why the 2 second delay and locked shutter?  Were you just trying to be ultra conservative for testing purposes?

Again, thanks for your time and sharing

I compose the shot I want with the camera mounted on my tripod.  Then to focus perfectly (either from hyperfocal or to achieve some other goal) I want to focus within that composition on a particular point.  There is no way to do that with AF without moving the camera (which I don't want to do because it's already in the "perfect" position).  So manual focus is what you want.

Yep, Live View is the way to go for manual focusing.  I pop into live view, zoom all the way in on what I want to focus on, then manually focus until it's sharp.  Then drop out of live view.

The two second delay works together with mirror lockup.  The idea is to have _zero_ vibrations in the camera when the shutter releases, so you can get the sharpest possible photo.  Mirror lockup puts the mirror in the "up" position long before the shutter fires, ensuring that there are no vibrations from the mirror movement when the image is captured. 

If you just use mirror lockup by itself, the first time you press the shutter release it will put e mirror up - then you press it again to actually release thhe shutter.  However, when you have the camera in 2 second delay mode (or you use a remote with a delay) the mirror will lockup when you press the shutter release and then 2 seconds later the shutter will automatically release.

What this does is give ample time for there to be no vibrations or other movement of the camera when the shutter is released... which means no chance for _any_ blurring of the picture through camera movement.

One more thing to point out: turn Image Stabilization OFF!  IS will actually cause a slight blurring when mounted on a tripod.  This is NOT conjecture.  If you remove all other sources of vibrations and you do a test with IS on or Off it is easy to see.

This is not just the way I shot these tests.  This is actually the way I always shoot with a tripod.

190
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 09:27:37 PM »
Your shot1 is just spectacular when I look at it full size on a 27" screen.  Very nice composition too!

Thanks JR!

191
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 09:26:04 PM »
@friedmud: Great shots. The sky's look excellent, even with noise. One thing you might try is smaller apertures. I know many of the comments on your other thread seemed to indicate as much, but stopping down the aperture beyond the DLA does NOT cost you detail in relation to the 450D (XSi)!! It can become "the same", but never worse. (See: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=747761)

At f/8, the DOF is probably not really what you need for those shots, and the mountains in the background might be a bit soft more because they are ever so slightly out of focus. I would be willing to bet you gain more sharpness by increasing DOF than you would lose to diffraction at f/16. You might be able to get away with f/11 if you readjust your focal plane to be a little farther back than it currently is as well.

Either way, excellent shots. I'd LOVE to see those at sunset...especially the one with the barn. Such an amazing landscape....I need to visit the Tetons again now that I have a 7D.

I tried tons of aperutres and f/8 gave the best results (I gave one comparison in the OP).  In the case of Shot1 I simply just focused too closely to be able to get everything "in focus" without losing a ton of detail overrall.  With my old camera it was more forgiving in that regard... because of that I grew quite sloppy in my hyperfocusing technique... guess I'll have to be more careful in the future!

As for the tetons at sunset / sunrise: they are spectacular!

Here Is one of mine at sunset: http://500px.com/photo/1388503

And here's one at sunrise: http://500px.com/photo/2126402

192
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 09:11:13 PM »
try use topaz de-jpeg first to clear up jpg artifacts, the whole suite is pretty cool
another tip for the topaz noise reduction is even shooting low iso portraits even though there is no noise to speak of i often run the topaz NR with a very low setting of 0.2 or 0.3 as it cleans up the skin nicely will cover very fine wrinkles and doesnt give off that horrible re-touched look that those retouching sausage making programs give off, and it only takes a few seconds, I usually run that as a last step

The jpeg artifacts came from the conversion flickr did from the tiffs that I uploaded from the screenshot program (grab) I was using.  They're not there on my screen or in the actual files.

193
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 08:21:45 PM »
Thanks EYEONE!

Also - I tried out Topaz on Shot2. Here is Topaz vs LR3 NR:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6496173171_1f8273d3a5_o.jpg

Note that there _are_ jpeg artifacts in here.  The Topaz version (on the left) is so smooth it gets impacted more by the jpeg artifacts.

Topaz does a pretty awesome job of removing noise while keeping detail.  I might consider purchasing it.  I don't think I would use it all the time but if I knew something was going to be blown up huge... that would be the time to pull it out.  Definitely a good tool to have in your back pocket...

194
EOS Bodies / Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 07:22:47 PM »
I use the Topaz noise reduction and its really great you might want to give the demo a try and see what you think, they have plugins for LR3 as well as CS5

Thanks wombat - I'll check that out.

195
EOS Bodies / Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« on: December 11, 2011, 07:17:50 PM »
Short Answer: Yes!

Long Answer: Read On

A few days ago I was "Earthshatteringly Disappointed" with my new 7D.  However, upon learning that I couldn't return it, I decided to give it a fair shake to see if it would be worth keeping or dumping for a loss.

I took it out to Jackson, Wyoming yesterday and shot quite a few shots and I wanted to share the results here.

Firstly, the photos linked from this post were all shot with these settings in common:

Camera: 7D
Lens: 17-55 f/2.8 IS
Filter: Lee 0.6 ND Soft Grad
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 322RC2 Head
Focus: Manual
Mode: Av
Exposure: Evaluative
Image Stabilizer: Off
Drive Mode: Single
Shutter Release: 2 Second Delay
Mirror Lockup: On
Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
Silent Shooting: Off
Long Exposure NR: Off
Output: Full RAW
Edited In: Adobe Lightroom 3.5 (Camera Raw 6.5)

Now, my best two shots of the day (full resolution jpegs):

Shot 1:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6495423747_4172bc55fc_o.jpg

Shot 2:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6495421331_29a396d12d_o.jpg

Shot 1 Details:
ISO: 100
Aperture: 9.0
Focal Length: 24
Focus: Back of Barn

Shot 1 Edits:
Blacks: 5
Saturation: +9
Tone Curve Adjustments
Sharpening:
  Amount: 46
  Radius: 1
  Masking: 26
Noise Reduction:
  Luminance: 15
  Color: 25

Shot 2 Details:
ISO: 100
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 35
Focus: Mountains

Shot 2 Edits:
Blacks: 5
Saturation: +12
Tone Curve Adjustments
Sharpening:
  Amount: 56
  Radius: 1
  Masking: 34
Noise Reduction:
  Luminance: 19
  Color: 25
Lens Profile Corrections:
  Distortion: 0
  CA: 100
  Vignetting: 100

Personally, I am really happy with these shots.  Are they winning any awards?  No.  But, that is _my_ failing and not the camera ;-)

Both shots show a ton of detail.  Shot2 is a familiar shooting place.  I have tons of photos that look exactly like this from my XSi… but they don't even come close to the level of detail displayed here.  Shot1 I've shot a few times (most recently a few months ago) and comparing to my XSi I definitely received quite a bit more detail from my 7D.

But what about noise?  The 7D has quite a lot of it for shooting at Low ISO, but I found that I could clean it up adequately with NR without too much of a loss of detail in other areas (which is one thing I was worried about… what good are 18 MP if I have to blur everything with NR?).  Here is a comparison of the tip of the "Grand" in Shot2 both before and after editing:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6495416405_1318e18975_o.jpg

The noise in the sky is easy to notice, but there is also quite a bit of noise "on" the mountain as well.  But as you can see it cleaned up pretty nicely.  Would I rather the noise wasn't there?  Definitely!  Is it tolerable… it might be.

That was at ISO 100… someone in the "Earthshattering" thread suggested I shoot at ISO 160.  Let's compare 100 vs 160 before we do any edits:

 http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7154/6495415439_e27d29e1e9_o.jpg

To my eyes the 100 (which is on the left) is ever so slightly cleaner.  Let's see what those same shots look like after we edit the photo:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7174/6495415939_aa6ac7d7aa_o.jpg

Now we can definitely see that the ISO 100 shot cleaned up better.  These zooms are from Shot2… but the same phenomena happens in Shot1 (where ISO 100 is again cleaner).  I think I'll be sticking to ISO 100.

Last thing I was interested in is the diffraction limit using this lens / body combo.  In the "Earthshattering" thread it was proposed that the diffraction limit on the 7D is f/6.9… and in fact that appears to be the case!  I shot a _ton_ of exposures from f/5.6 up to f/14… and anything over f/7 definitely gets fuzzier!  That said, I found that up to about f/9 there wasn't any real difference, but beyond that you were definitely losing sharpness.  Here is a comparison of f/8 to f/11 for the trees in the foreground of Shot2:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7012/6495472603_bdae7d4f33_o.jpg

The reason I chose to zoom to the trees here is because they were "foreground interest" in this shot, but not terribly close to the camera.  Recall from above that in this shot I manually focused on the mountains in the background… so I would need some amount of a small aperture to make sure everything in the foreground is sharp.  Turns out, that for this situation f/8 was enough to keep things sharp in the foreground… and pushing further, even to f/11 caused a loss of clarity!

This situation was the same in Shot1… where I focused toward the back of the barn (which is probably a little close for true hyperfocus, I just wanted to make sure I had the barn in focus).  When I look at the mountains in the back I was expecting that something beyond f/9 was going to be necessary to get the most sharpness back there… but not true.  Again, anything over f/9 softened the details in the mountains.

This is something I never saw on my XSi.  I don't know the exact diffraction limit on my XSi but anything over about f/13 or f/14 definitely produced a softer image.  This is telling me that the 7D is definitely more sensitive to being fed a sharp image…. i.e. the 7D is definitely recording more detail.

Now were both of these shots (f/8 and f/11) acceptable: definitely.  But it's always good to know where the limits actually are for your kit.

So what's the final verdict here?

I believe that when it comes to IQ the 7D can hold it's own for landscape photography.  When you include the numerous benefits of using the 7D in the mix, I think it makes a great landscape photography tool.

Pros For Lanscapes:
- Body Design
  It was ~15 degrees when I was shooting these yesterday.  Because of the layout of the 7D I was able to keep my gloves on the whole time!  Good Stuff: dedicated buttons for advanced options, joystick and wheels workable with gloves, big buttons on the left easy to press with gloves, big bright viewfinder, LCD panel on top gives an instant reading of current options, and more

- Custom Modes
  C1 is now "Landscape Mode" for me.  This has been a dream of mine for years.  All those options at the top of the post are dialed into C1… it brings tears to my eyes to know that I can put the camera in C1 and shoot…

- Built In Level
  I have bubble levels, but being able to use the built-in electronic level is handy.

- One Touch Live View
  I use Live View to do manual focusing for tripod mounted shots - the 7D has a nice big button that makes that easy to do with gloves on.

- Feels good in the hands with a heavy lens on.
  Again, with gloves, the 7D is not going anywhere… always a bit dicey with my XSi!

- Megapixels
  Details!  I feel like I got a level of detail in those shots that I wouldn't have been able to get with my XSi.  I don't currently have my XSi or I would do a direct comparison, but just looking at the photos on my screen (and comparing to previous shots with my XSi) the details certainly stand out.

- Focusing
  I didn't need to use AF much when shooting yesterday (had plenty of time to setup a tripod and manually focus) but the few times I did I was extremely impressed with how quick and accurate the focusing was on the 7D.  It just doesn't mess around!  I also love how I can switch focusing modes right in the viewfinder without taking my eye away (to select AF point or points, etc.)

- Metering
  For both of the shots I posted I think I dialed in +1/3 exposure adjustment (just to bring out a bit more shadow detail for use in post).  The +1/3 certainly wasn't necessary.  The built-in evaluative metering is _awesome_.  It never failed me all day!  I actually never use my XSi in evaluative metering mode… it just always does the wrong thing.  I actually always use center weighted average… at least then I would have some idea of what it would do so I could compensate manually.  The 7D frees me up to focus more on composition and less on trying to second guess the metering system.

- Weatherproofing
  This thing feels like a tank.  I wouldn't hesitate to take it out in a storm.  It certainly didn't mind the fairly cold temperatures yesterday.

Cons for Landscapes:

- Low ISO Noise
  It is there.  I do wish it wasn't.  But it can be cleaned fairly well in post.

- Weight
  Not a big deal, but when hiking around I did notice the weight a bit.  For the weatherproofing and hardiness of the body the weight is certainly acceptable.


So am I going to sell it?  At this point: I don't think so.  I just enjoyed using it a little too much yesterday.

If I could send it back, would I??  That is a hard one.  I still think the answer to that question is probably yes.  I think I would probably wait a few months and see if a 5D3 comes out.  However, this isn't an option for me.  Yes, I could sell it, but I would probably lose $300-$500… which is hard to justify considering all of the great things about this camera.

Note that in this post I didn't talk about any of the other things the 7D does well.  I did use it to shoot around Jackson Wyoming quite a bit with my wife yesterday and found it an ABSOLUTE joy to use while walking around and taking candid photos of my wife.  I won't go into all of that here though, because I don't think anyone is questioning the 7D for that use.

It's been shown numerous times that the 7D excels in basically every way other than landscapes… hopefully I've shed some light on some issues surrounding that use of a 7D.

Pages: 1 ... 11 12 [13] 14 15