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Messages - friedmud

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61
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rented a D600
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:19:32 PM »
http://500px.com/photo/14938023

This is cheating! Did you get this nice place as a kit with your camera ?  :o

lol!  It didn't come with my camera... but it _DID_ come with a job upgrade I took a few years ago ;-)

Southeast Idaho is a great place to live as a hobbyist landscaper ;-)

62
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rented a D600
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:03:35 PM »
Hey - let me ask another question:  What is your favorite Nikon forum?

I tried Nikonrumors.com.... but I don't really like it (doesn't have the same community feel as canonrumors and the site is not as well put together).  Is there a good Nikon community somewhere?

Thanks!

63
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rented a D600
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:02:27 PM »
I fully agree with this assessment - this is exactly how I use my D700. I have 100% confidence in the camera being able to meter and AF in no time at all; this combined with the tremendous ISO performance means I can concentrate on getting the shot without worrying too much about what the camera is doing.

You should definitely think about renting a 14-24 next; I had one for a week and it's absolutely mindblowing. Glad to hear you had a positive Nikon experience!

I will get a 14-24 eventually (it's one of the reasons to switch!) and I definitely will rent it for my next photography trip.  It is _damn_ expensive though... so it's going to be a bit before I can think about buying one...

Thanks again for weeding through my rant to give me some real and good advice on using this camera!  I can honestly say that had I seen a rant like that I wouldn't have responded with insightful advice ;-)

64
EOS Bodies / Re: Looks like the 6D may not be so bad after all
« on: October 07, 2012, 07:02:43 PM »

With all due respect...post properly executed test samples for all to review, or don't bother making the claim. Identical scenes with identical exposure by professional testing sites simply do not show the differences you claim.


I totally agree with this (that I haven't shown proof)... but unfortunately I didn't have a good basis to compare them on.  My 17-55 f/2.8 is broken at the moment (one of the reasons I'm thinking of switching... because I have to buy new glass anyway) and I didn't think that anyone would care to see 7D shots with a 18-55 f3.5-f5.6 IS I compared to a D600 with a 24-70 f/2.8G.

I did take one shot with my "broken" 17-55 at 17mm (where it is stuck) and the D600 at 24mm mounted on the same tripod with the same view.  It's a crappy photo (light was really bad at the time... tons of haze from fires in the mountains and really cloudy) but it does show just how much difference there is in noise between the two at ISO 100.  Unfortunately, I didn't go further than that (should have taken a series of ISO shots on each to compare)... but, while I had the camera I was having too much fun actually taking photos like this one: http://500px.com/photo/14938023 to think about doing "testing" too much.  I'll see if I can post the full res versions of each a little later.

So you're absolutely right that I have no hard proof... but, if you can't tell, I'm a pixel peeper at heart... and I've been peeping at the 7D for a year over tens of thousands of photos... and on my honor as a pixel peeper the D600 is miles ahead...  ;-)

65
EOS Bodies / Re: Who said Canon cameras suck?!?
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:30:42 PM »
Let's see if I can be a bit inflammatory here but still get my point across:

(new) Canon cameras suck... FOR THE PRICE!

The problem is not that you can't take wonderful photos with Canon cameras... you absolutely can.  And while it is somewhat dodging the question to say "it's the photographer that counts" that is totally true.  I've taken tons of great photos with my "crappy" XSi and "sucky" 7D: http://500px.com/friedmud

However, if you're out to buy a new piece of equipment and you have $X to spend... you can have a camera that gets you better IQ for less money by buying Nikon (at the moment).  Go look at any D600 review and it will tell you the same (like this one: http://gizmodo.com/5946258/nikon-d600-review-images-this-spectacular-have-never-come-so-cheap )

Personally, I love everything about my 7D... EXCEPT the image quality for the price I paid.  I don't feel like the IQ was worth $1,500.  Everything else about the camera _almost_ makes up for it... but when I get home from a few weeks in England (like I recently did) and load up my photos for the first time... I sigh a bit when I see all the noise (even at ISO100!)... and when I try to pull back some cloud detail on a slightly missed exposure (even when I did use ND grads I still slightly missed)... and when I need to add a butt ton of color and play with the curves to get those ocean sunsets to look they way they did in real life.

Then I shoot with a D600 for 5 days on a rental... and it is immediately clear that the IQ is _worth_ $2100 and I say to myself "Why didn't I get this from my 7D?  It's not that big of a difference in price and even though the sensor tech is older, Canon is still putting it in brand new cameras and obviously believes that there is nothing wrong with it..."

Then I see reviews where the 5Dmk3 is basically on-par with the D600 in terms of IQ (some tests showing D600 is better some showing 5Dmk3 is better)... but there is a _$1400_ price premium on the 5Dmk3!

So, to that, I say: Canon (IQ) sucks... for the price.

66
EOS Bodies / Re: Looks like the 6D may not be so bad after all
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:11:35 PM »
Looking over the Imaging Resource test images, the D600 at 3200 looks a lot like the 7D at 1600.

I've owned a 7D for over a year and just rented a D600 and I can tell you that the difference is definitely more pronounced than that... especially at lower ISO.  ISO 100 on a 7D looks like ~ISO700 on a D600.  It's not even close.... and it is something that I can see on my 27" iMac when looking at a fullscreen picture.  The D600 is _clean_ the 7D is damn noisy anywhere there is a somewhat solid color.  The frustrating thing about the 7D noise is that if I go to take it out I lose detail.  If I leave it in and do any sharpening it comes blasting to the foreground (much like trying to sharpen up photos from a point and shoot... although, of course, it's not THAT bad).


There's greater separation at 3200 and 6400...just like with 7D/5D comparisons...but no great difference in any respect at lower ISOs...also just like 7D/5D comparisons. I can confidently say that I could make two 24" ISO 400 prints from the 7D and the D600 and you would never know which was which.

That is possibly true but it doesn't mean much.  I could make a 24" print from my old XSi that would probably look pretty damn close to a 5D3 (if I managed to get the exposure and everything nailed and did a bit of postprocessing work to heighten the contrast and DR).  Almost anyone would have trouble distinguishing prints from 12mp+ DSLRs from the past 4 years on a 24" print.... especially when viewed from normal viewing distances

I can't stand it when people say "but you don't print larger than X!".  Going by that standard we should all still be at 10mp like Mr. Rockwell advocates.  That statement means absolutely nothing and should not be taken as a reason to have noisy sensors with less DR...

And the 5D3 looks better at 6400 than the D600 at 3200. That surprised me, but it's a pretty clear difference in favor of the 5D3.

The small edge that Sony made sensors generally have in shadow and high ISO noise has been blown way out of proportion by Nikon fans and turned into an online myth. Much like how FF fans will swear on their mother's lives that there is a huge...just HUGE...difference in IQ against crop sensors even though they can never confidently pick between unlabeled samples and prints.

It's human nature I guess.

I don't do a lot of high ISO shooting so I can't comment on that.  Go look at other reviews though... like this one from Gizmodo that compares it directly to a 5dmk3: http://gizmodo.com/5946258/nikon-d600-review-images-this-spectacular-have-never-come-so-cheap

That outdoor shot with the buildings is particularly telling... look at the noise in the sky.  The D600 is damn clean with excellent contrast and detail on the buildings... which is what I've been after for a while now.... and for just $2100 I can have it.  Even spending $3500 on a new Canon body won't give it to me!  WTH.

As to the 6D...the problem is that it has been stripped down way too much for the price. The 5D3 is a great camera, but should be priced between the D600 and D800, closer to the D600, but a bit more. The 6D should be priced well below the D600, and even then should not have been stripped down like it was. And I fear Canon's 46 MP beast will be sold at a beast of a price, more than the 1Dx.

Part of the reason I went with Canon a decade ago is because Nikon stripped down their lower end bodies to the bone, thought way too much of themselves, and priced accordingly. Now Canon seems to have that attitude, while Nikon wants to be cut throat competitive. I don't like what I'm seeing in terms of Canon pricing for a given feature set.

I definitely agree with all of that - and that's why I'm switching.  Canon costs have just been out of proportion with the competition recently... and I've been disappointed with the IQ and specs for the price.  If the 5dmk3 were ~$2k or even $2.5k  and the 6D were ~$1500 I might stick around.  If the new 24-70 was ~$2k.  Or how about those new primes.... $900 for a 24mm f/2.8 IS?

But Canon seems to believe that it can keep jacking up prices and we'll keep paying them.  I, for one, am not sticking around to see what happens next.

67
Software & Accessories / Re: Head for Manfrotto 055xprob
« on: October 07, 2012, 05:38:16 PM »
I have a 322RC2 grip/joystick style ballhead and love it... the ability to switch between panoramic and portrait style shots very quickly... and get the best framing on macro and close up shots easily is why I love it.

Often when a scene is developing I don't have time for a head with separate adjustments... I just want to get the framing that I see and do a quick leveling using the on-camera virtual horizon then shoot.

But, I can definitely see how if you are getting paid to do architectural shooting you might want something with finer adjustments...

68
EOS Bodies / Re: 46mp sensor useless for landscape?
« on: October 07, 2012, 02:31:45 PM »
Beyond shooting, I also definitely recommend using a "DOF Calculator" for a while (like this one http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html ).  You can also get really good DOF calculators for iOS and Android so you can have them in the field.

Just playing with one will give you a good idea of aperture sizes to use.

Note that according to that dofmaster website with a D800 at 24mm at f/5.6 I can focus at 11.2 ft (the hyperfocal distance) and get everything from 5.6 ft to infinity in focus.

Even at f/4 I can focus at ~16ft and get everything from 8ft to infinity in focus!  If your camera is on a tripod at eye level, it's going to be rare to have something closer than 8 ft...

Once you get a feel for this you can "wing it" in the field... I generally just focus a bit beyond my foreground interest and choose an aperture around f/5 to f/8 depending on if there is something closer than that.  Beyond f/8 on my 7D diffraction starts to kill any gains made in DOF...

69
Lenses / Re: Resolving ability of the lenses
« on: October 07, 2012, 02:11:05 PM »
I personally like Photozone: http://www.photozone.de/

Their MTF charts are really the best.

DXO Mark is starting to get more into the lens testing business... but don't look at their actual "score" go into the raw data sections...

70
I use a Manfrotto 055XProB with a Manfrotto 322RC2 grip release ball head.

I've travelled the world with it for the last 3 years.  Almost all of the shots here ( http://500px.com/friedmud ) were taken with it.

My only gripe in 10s of thousands of photos?  Weight.  I love the weight for how sturdy it is... but when trekking up a mountain there have been times when I've cursed it under my breath ;-)

71
Still on Lightroom 3 on Mac OSx Lion here.  Will have to get 4 once I get my D600 (apparently they are not upgrading 3 with D600 support).  Might move up to Mountain Lion at the same time...

I try to do very little to my photos, preferring to do more of the work in the field (with filters, etc).  Usually just saturation, contrast, sharpening, NR.

72
EOS Bodies / Re: 46mp sensor useless for landscape?
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
Of course, at some point, there will be enough MTF in a camera body to cause the lens to be the limiting factor, but that is well out in the future, we are not near reaching it.

I wouldn't necessarily say that.  Go read about the lengths D800E users have to go to in order to get all the resolution out of their sensors.  You have to use the _very_ best glass and hit the perfect f/stop with the perfect focusing (hyperfocal generally).  It is already getting quite fiddly to feed 36mp... if Canon is going to do 46mp things are definitely going to get interesting.

BTW - It's a pet peeve of mine that many "landscape photographers" don't truly understand diffraction, DOF and hyperfocal focusing.  If you think "all landscape shots are at f/8 or smaller" then you need to go do some reading and shooting.

Just go get a really good camera and lens, stick it on a good tripod, use manual focusing and mirror lockup and go through a series of shots from f/4 to f/22.  Choose a good landscape scene with foreground interest (although your camera doesn't have to be right up against the foreground interest) and go through the aperture series while focusing at 3 different points:

1.  At the foreground interest
2.  Halfway to the distant object (like mountains or a far off building)
3.  At the distant object

Compare your results.

The results will be pretty damn obvious.  You'll get the best sharpness focusing halfway between (which is just an approximation of the hyperfocal distance that will be good enough for you to see what's going on) the near and far subjects and with an aperture that is just on the large side of the diffraction limit (generally around f/5 to f/8 for most modern sensors and good glass).

By focusing better (right at the true hyperfocal distance) you can get everything sharp with larger apertures (I'm using f/5.6 more and more often lately in my own work).

If you use a tilt-shift you can do even better than that because you tilt the focal plane so that it more closely approximates your scene (instead of just being perpendicular to your lens).

All of this is a way of saying that as we get higher MP sensors... we (the landscapers) are going to need to do more work and be more diligent to get the very best possible image.

I read an article not too long ago where a pro (really?) landscape photographer was advocating shooting everything at f/22 focused at infinity.  I nearly lost my lunch.  How could a "pro" never have even done the above testing?  Because when you're using film or only 10mp it simply doesn't matter that much....

73
EOS Bodies / Re: Looks like the 6D may not be so bad after all
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:39:13 PM »
Oh - and I just went to LensRentals... and I can't rent a 1DmkIII... so that's out anyway.

74
EOS Bodies / Re: Looks like the 6D may not be so bad after all
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:35:13 PM »
try to rent a 1d mk III and compare with the iq of d600

Ummm... why?  It's 3x the price.  What an odd thing to say.

Even then, it's hard to believe that the IQ could actually be better.  That's what I'm talking about about the D600.  The IQ is _so_ good that with 14bits I just don't know that it can get any better (at ISO 100 which is what I REALLY care about).  Now, that is just the raw IQ... a lot of other stuff goes into "picture quality"... I'm sure that metering can be better and white balance can be better and AF can be better and long exposure could be possibly be better (and I'm sure you might get all of that in the 1DmkIII).  But, if all of those are the same (ie, in a testing environment) I simply don't see how you can really beat the D600.

But I will give you that in the field I am sure the 1DmkIII produces beautiful images... possibly better than the D600 (never shot with it myself).  But, for my dollar I cannot imagine them being 3x better.  Especially since they are at half the resolution (which is important in the landscape shooting I like to do).

I really think that to get better IQ at low ISO than the D600 we're going to need another leap in sensor tech.  It's going to take a different sensor design... and definitely more bits in our analog to digital converters to get more out of a scene than the D600 does.

Please don't take me as a troll or anything... I'm just a guy that did what a lot of people around here won't do: I _tried_ the competition.  There are many cameras out there... and each person is going to have different needs.  But when it comes to comparing raw low ISO IQ I think you're going to have a hard time beating a D600...

75
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rented a D600
« on: October 07, 2012, 12:44:02 PM »
(I made this post to another thread around here... but thought I should archive it here for anyone reading along)

For anyone that is thinking about switching I highly recommend renting a D600 like I did.  At LensRentals it was ~$200 to rent it with a 24-70 f/2.8G for 5 days.  During that time I was able to find out if I could live with the ergonomics issues (I definitely can... it won't ever be as good as my 7D in ergonomics.... but the tradeoff is worth it) and put it through its paces in a variety of environments.

What did I find out?  That the D600 is a _tool_.  What I mean by that is that by the end of my rental period I trusted the D600 as much as I do a hammer or a saw.  _It_ takes care of capture the photo... _I_ take care of choosing the photo I want to capture.  Yes, even in that short amount of time I came to just trust the D600.  The metering is so spot on I didn't have to worry about it.  The Auto-ISO is unbelievably good (since you can actually set limits on things like shutter speeds and min/max ISO!).  The AF is spot on (although I do lament having to focus and recompose a bit... I got used to not needing to do that on my 7D).

It all adds up to a package where even though the ergonomics are a bit off... it simply doesn't matter because you don't interact with this camera as much as with a Canon... you simply set a bunch of sensible limits and then let the camera do its thing and you come out on the other side with incredible photos.

Don't take my word for it - go rent it yourself and find out!

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