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Messages - friedmud

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EOS Bodies / Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« on: December 11, 2011, 03:18:04 PM »
When deciding on filters you need to look at more than just the filter itself.  The filter holder system you choose will also impact your overall level of satisfaction with your filters.

Personally, I love my Lee system.  The way their filter holder works is that you have one screw on piece that you buy for each of the filter sizes you need (for each lens) then there is a simple clip that connects the actual filter holder to the screw on piece.  The holder itself is awesome because you can customize it to hold multiple filters (and even hoods) simultaneously.  Also, the two piece systems allows you to rotate the filter holder very easily to cock your filters at various angles.

Finally don't forget that the holder system will have an impact on the amount of vignetting you have when using the filters.  Again, I love my Lee wide angle attachment for their holder system.  It provides vignetting free filtration on my 17-55 f/2.8 .

My point is that once you go beyond a $20 throw away set of filters you are buying into a "system"... And just as with lenses you are going to want to do some projecting to see what your needs are going to be down the road.

As for actual filters, I definitely can recommend Lee.  They are a bit hard to get ahold of in the US, bu it is worth it.  Their 0.6 soft grad is my go to filter... But second would be a 0.9 soft grad.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D + 10-22mm or 5D III + 16-35mm L II?
« on: December 11, 2011, 01:23:48 PM »

Yes, Samyang is also branded as Rokinon and Bower among others though in the US market Rokinon is the easiest to find. I love the sharpness across the field and fast at f/2.8. Just wish my eyes were better for the manual focus :)

For manual focus for tripod shots of static objects I _always_ drop into live view mode, zoom all the way in on whatever I want to focus on (which mightH have come from a quick hyperfocal calculation) and then manually focus using the screen.  I then hop out of live view and proceed like normal.  Beautifully simple and you're guaranteed to have the focus you want (you're actually focusing on the _sensor_ itself instead l your eye)

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 08:04:20 PM »

If you are truly as disappointed with your 7D as you claim you are, and you fall outside your warranty window, drop me a line via private message.  I have a direct phone number and extension for a customer service rep at Canon who will replace your body - if you hold your ground and don't take no for an answer.  I also have a direct email and cell phone number for one of Canon's regional reps - who can step in if the CS person doesn't give you the answer you need.

I'm not going to get into the flame war of "user error" vs "faulty camera" that creep into the discussion when it comes to AF and IQ issues with the 7D.  Clearly, some people have repeatable issues regardless of settings, experience level, or history with the 7D. 

If, in the end, you really are unhappy with the body - let me know and hopefully I can put you in touch with some one who will get the ball rolling with the replacement process.  Just be warned - the replacement will be a factory refurbished unit - not new.  And there's no guarantee the the replacement body will give you any better results.  Some people have glowing reports after receiving a replacement, while others have been just as unhappy with the body they were given.

I may just need to drop you a line.  I just went a looked... and the return policy of the online retailer I used (Newegg... I had some gift certificates... don't ask) SAYS THAT I CANNOT RETURN THIS CAMERA!

OMG - I thought it would be no problem to return it.  Boy was I wrong.  Now I'm in for a crazy struggle.  What a nightmare.

I suppose I might have a 7D for sale now....

I will surely pay more attention to return policies when ordering camera gear from now on!  Honestly, I didn't pay attention because I thought this camera was a slam dunk.


EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:56:20 PM »
Print and screen pixel peeping are 2 separate things... I think the pixel peeping is a dis-service for the camera as printing is what canon is aiming viewers to be excited about... the final product... not on peoples monitors blown up to 200% looking to find ways to tear apart their products... If you do that with the 5d2 or 3, I got news for you... you'll find noise too...

Read again... I wasn't blowing these "up to 200%".  I am looking at the whole photo on my screen.  Not zooming at all (ie I can see the edges of the photo).  I am _not_ "pixel peeping" (I am _not_ looking at the photos at 1:1 with my screen.  Just viewing the photo like anyone would.

Everyone: Print is only one final avenue for my prints.  Most often they are enjoyed on high resolution monitors.

I agree that none of the noise present in the shots I've posted would not show up in any reasonably sized print.


The point is that I paid $1500 and am receiving _inferior_ quality at ISO 100-200 to the camera I bought 3 years ago for $700.  THAT IS NOT GOOD.

No other arguments need to be made.

For my purposes (and for others who are interested in landscape photography) this body does not work.

As for the actual quality of some of the photos I posted: I totally agree guys... I wasn't taking any time at all to actually take attractive photos here.  Any CA would have been fixed in lightroom (fixed automatically by just turning on lens adjustments).  Blurring, etc would be fixed with tripods, etc.  Please stay on target and talk about the noise.

The last photo I posted this morning was shot handheld at 1/1000 in bright daylight.  There is no noticeable blurring in the photo beyond a bit of softening at the edges which is normal for this lens.

I can't even believe how far some people go to justify this stuff.  There is no way I could keep this camera with this output for landscape photography.  The first time I wanted to do a 25% crop (by which I mean crop down to a piece of the photo that is taking up approximately 25% of the original space) of a once in a lifetime photo SHOT AT ISO 100 I would want to blow my brains out.

When shooting at low ISO you should NEVER have to apply NR (or at least not much depending on how much you've cropped) and you should feel free to crank up the sharpness.  Anything less is unacceptable.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 12:54:37 PM »
One "last" shot:

That is a screen grab of me looking at a photo I _just_ imported into LR3.  I haven't made a single adjustment.  This one happened to be taken at ISO 200... but the ISO 160 shot looks nearly identical.  More specs: Evaluative Metering, Av Mode, Auto Lighting Optimizer off, Full RAW, default LR3 sharpening (25), default LR3 color noise reduction (25).  No exposure modifications at all.

This is _not_ a zoom.  This is just looking at the full photo on my 27" iMac.  This is exactly how I see it (and how others will if I show them this photo on either this screen or my 30" screens at work).  If you are viewing this image make sure to view it at "Actual Size" so that you can see what I'm seeing.

Unacceptable.  The noise in the sky is insane for ISO 200.  The noise in the shadow areas is awful.

Is it a "good looking photo" sure.  But my XSi could produce that same good looking photo without the noise in the sky at ISO 200.

I've decided to not even take this camera with me this weekend.  I don't want to accidentally damage it and not be able to return it.  It's going in the box now... and I'll re-evaluate what I'm doing going forward.

A few things:

To the guy talking about the diffraction limit.  It is true that you won't be able to get the thing you have focused on to be more sharp once you go beyond the diffraction limit... however, in order to obtain better overall front-to-back sharpness in landscape photography you often have to go beyond the diffraction limit (so that things in front of and behind your focal plane are "sharper" in the final image).  Yes, you can go too far and actually cause your photo to look worse by going beyond the diffraction limit, but sometimes that has it's place too (ie when you need a REALLY slow shutter speed and you head for f/18 or smaller)

Thanks for the advice x-vision.  I'm going to ship this one back... and I think I'm just going to hang out and see what Canon comes up with over the next couple of months.

If I'm going to go FF it would mean buying a new workhorse lens (in same range as my 17-55) and a new telephoto (I have a crappy 55-250 that I don't mind moving away from... I was already planning on buying an L upgrade for that soon).  I was trying to avoid laying down that cash... but I may have no choice.  IF I am going that route I may re-evaluate my choice to go with Canon.  As long as I'm buying new lenses they may as well be Nikkors... I'll put everything on the table and make the best choice.  But to do that I'm going to have to save up some cash.

I do already have other lenses that will work on FF bodies though (nifty 50 and a Lensbaby).  Other things I have would move to Nikon just as easily (Lee filters and filter holders, etc.). I'll just have to see how it works out.

Thanks again to everyone for your comments.  It's a tough decision for me to send this back, but ultimately I feel as if I would be disappointed every time I loaded shots up straight from the camera.... and that just isn't acceptable for $1500.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »
Very interesting to see all of the replies.  I am beginning to come to the conclusion that this camera isn't for me... but I'm left wondering where to go.  On paper the 7D looked like the ideal camera for me: it's got the "pro" features I want in an EFS package.  But now it seems like not only can I not upgrade to the 7D... but the 60D and T3i are out (same sensor).

I suppose I'm just going to have to continue with my XSi for now.

As for not mentioning that I'm a landscape photographer... that was definitely an omission on my part.  After reading everything about this camera I don't fault the people that told me to snag it... there are _many_ happy customers with this camera.  I just think it's not right for me.

I think that "catz" post is the most relevant to my situation.  I am often pushing my RAW files to the edge to get more detail / color / contrast out of them.  If the 7D sensor is not making RAW files amenable to that then it's not for me.  What is a real travesty is that this camera has great features for a landscape photographer: multiple custom settings, built in level, awesome metering, etc.

As for "pixel peeping".  I don't think that's what I'm doing.  Anyone who looked at those photos I posted should be disgusted.  I didn't do _any_ exposure adjustment at all and just a tad bit of sharpening (not even close to as much as I typically would for a landscape shot).  The exposure is spot on... fully covering the range in every channel (yay evaluative exposure on 7D!  My XSi would have trouble doing that with even this shot ;-)

If I try to crop this photo down _at all_ I can see the noise with the full photo being displayed (ie not zooming in) on my 27" iMac.  And that's doing a pretty small amount cropping (like only including the whole church).  If I go any further, like just the front half of the church... it looks like I took this photo at ISO 800+!  How anyone shooting landscapes would think that is acceptable is beyond me.  I've cropped ISO 100-200 photos from my XSi _way_ down and been satisfied with the results (and I didn't have to apply any NR at all!).

Here is a screenshot of what I'm seeing on my screen:

Bottom line: $1,500 for RAW files that you can't "push around" at all and having to apply NR at ISO 100-200 is completely unacceptable to me.

Like I mentioned, I'm still going to give it a go this weekend and see what the results are... but at this point I'm not expecting it to be good...

Thanks again for everyone taking the time to reply!  This has been extremely insightful!

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 02:42:06 AM »
I posted last week to get advice on getting a 7D now... and got some truly wonderful responses about how I should take the plunge... and I did.

I got it last night and took some photos around town today.  While I was shooting around town I thought the PQ looked GREAT... I could definitely see improvements in the evaluative metering over my XSi... and shouldn't even have to mention the HUGE improvements to AF over my XSi.

Everything was going great... until I got home and loaded up those photos in LR3... and saw a ridiculous amount of high frequency noise ALL over the place... even when shooting at ISO 100-200!

Hi Derek,

I think I may have been one of the ones who recommended the camera to you last week. I'm a little surprised you're having such a problem. While I do think the 7D is a tad noisy at low ISO, I found for myself that ISO 160 seems to be great. I'm not exactly sure what Canon says about the 7D, and whether it differs from their other cameras in any way...however I've heard two things about it:

1. The 7D, unlike other canon DSLR's, has ISO 80 as a base, making ISO 160, 320, 640, 1250, and 2500 ideal.
2. The 7D IS a bit noisier than their other DSLR's (not surprising given its pixel density), and ISO 160 a -1/3 stop pull from ISO 200, resulting in a slight deamplification of the image, lowering noise, but also slightly lowering DR. (Additionally, ISO 125, 250, etc. are pushed from the previous native setting, which contributes to their CONSIDERABLE noise...avoid +1/3 ISO stops at all costs!)

This video is a helpful demonstration:

Either way you slice it, you should try ISO 160, 320, 640 and see how you like the results. I have not noticed any huge issue with using those ISO's, and if there is any loss in DR, its never been a problem for me. Additionally, remember that the 18.1mp of your 7D is 48% MORE detail than the 12.2mp of your XSi. At 100% pixel peeping, your looking at noise at a much finer level of detail thann the XSi. If you scale the 7D image down to the size of an XSi image with some standard bicubic, the additional noise should be mitigated against, if not entirely normalized with, your 450D. I've also found that Lightroom 3.5's NR does a pretty good job at reducing noise, and when I print at home with a Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mk II @ 13x19", the noise is usually invisible (and some noise is always a bit beneficial for printing smooth gradients, like a fade into shadow or a sunset sky.)

Wow - good information on ISO 160, 320, 640.... I'll definitely give that a shot tomorrow (and this weekend).

Even when I scale the photo down to XSi size I'm still having trouble with the noise... but I do understand what you're saying about comparing the XSi to the 7D.  I haven't actually done that comparison yet... but I'm still somewhat disappointed in the performance the 7D has put in so far.

Good to hear about the prints... I have the same printer myself.  I'll do some prints from my shots this weekend to see if everything looks ok.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 02:27:12 AM »
I think that your 17-55 may be slightly decentered. Right side is kinda soft in both pictures.

I suggest you not to worry so much about the noise levels. What I'm seeing (in terms of noise levels) is totally acceptable even for large prints.

You're definitely right about the right side of my 17-55.  For whatever reason it only really shows at certain apertures and focal length combos.  I've kind of learned to deal with it over the years.  I wouldn't mind sending it in sometime... I was always just a bit worried that it would come back _worse_ in some other way ;-)

I do get quite good photos out of it though (note that I didn't try very hard to actually get nice looking photos here... these were really just noise tests).  You can see some of them here:

Do you think it would be worth sending it in?  Now that I have a more demanding body I might be time to do just that.

You think the noise is ok?  It might be.  I'll take photos with it this weekend and then fixup a few a do some larger prints and post some back to this thread.  I guess I'm just really bothered by my inability to use sharpening with these photos from the new body.  As a primarily landscape photographer I lean heavily on sharpening to give me crisp looking scenery.  Maybe I just need to change my practices...

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:22:13 AM »
Both shot in Av mode.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:21:04 AM »
hmm i see what you mean, definately seems noisier than you would expect at iso 200, seems there is quite a bit of CA in there too you havent got ISO In auto or anything silly like that?

Nope - ISO was set by me.  Both that I posted are ISO 200.

First is f/11 second is f/9.

These are with my Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:09:46 AM »
Unfortunately, I can't compare directly to my XSi right now because it still hasn't made it back from the shop ;-)

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:09:05 AM »
Ok - here's one that has just received minor sharpening (what I would do for any shot coming in at ISO 200)

And here's another that I've tried my hardest to "fixup" with sharpening and NR:

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:01:17 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys... I'd love to get this sorted!

Firstly: I'm not bothered by the high ISO performance (>400).  As most of the reviews mention...  I too think it is great in that area.  I'm specifically troubled by _low_ ISO performance (100-200).

It does sound like I might be doing something wrong.

I'm going to try to attach a downrezed (to 5MP) photo (so that it fits in the attachment limit).  Even at that rez you should be able to see what I'm talking about.  This photo just has a small amount of sharpening and nothing more... which is what I would normally do for an ISO 200 photo...

Hmmm... it won't let me attach it.  Give me a minute to find a place to put these.

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 12:30:20 AM »
Ok a little more info.  I thought maybe LR3 couldn't handle the 7D very well so I loaded up DPP... and got the same (if not worse) results...

EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 12:14:04 AM »
A little more information.

I shoot RAW only... and mostly shot in Av mode all day today (with suitably sized apertures for "urban" landscape's DoF needs... ie around 7-12).

The noise is anywhere a "smooth" surface is.  Applying any amount of sharpening brings it right out (masking helps, but the noise then still hangs out in the "fringes" of solid surfaces).  Applying NR to balance... I have to apply too much to get the noise out and end up losing detail (what is the point of all of those MPs if we have to smear everything around with NR?)

It is true that I am somewhat pixel peeping here... the noise doesn't become noticeable until about 2x... but it's not like I'm view at 1:1 or something.  Sure my XSi has some noise... but at ISO 100 or 200 I have never had to apply NR to get acceptable medium prints (like 13"x19").  I don't believe I could print these 7D images at even 13x19!

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