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Messages - jd7

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1
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: August 18, 2014, 03:58:44 AM »
For those interested, I got back my lens late last week.  I only had a chance to take a handful of shots with it over the weekend, and they were in less than ideal testing conditions (ISO3200, except for about 4 shots at ISO 400).  However, I'm very pleased to say my initial impression is the lens is much improved after servicing.  I need to test it more thoroughly yet, but it's looking like the lens is still a touch better at 24mm and 70mm than at 35mm or 50mm but the difference is now pretty small.  Seems like 35mm and 50mm are pretty good - it seems promising anyway!

Will update again when I've tested more carefully, hopefully next weekend.

2
Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:01:27 AM »
As to the weight, when many of your lenses are large aperture you get used to it and the mid range aperture lenses feel very light.

Like having a 24-105mm on the 5DMKIII feels a lot lighter than the 24-70MKI but you get used to it, so for a zoom of that magnitude 1050g isn't a lot. Compare that to the 70-200mm MKII which is 1490g add a 2x converter 325g and a mid body 860g = 2675g compared to mid range body and 70-300mm = 1935g. That weight saving is the same as taking a 70-200mm F4 IS also. So you could take another high end piece of glass to fill another gap like a wide angle.

I get the general point but I'm not sure "you get used to it" is really the issue.  As with just about everything to do with camera gear, it's about each person working out what set of trade offs suits them best for what they want to do.  Looked at in isolation, I agree 300g is not much at all ... but you can say the same about the 740g difference in the above example - it's really not that much.   On the other hand, if you're carrying something far enough and trying to move fast enough, etc, you'll want to shave 300g off every item you can.   In my case I'm sometimes (sadly not often - too much time doing a desk job) travelling with people who aren't so interested in photography so aren't going to cut me any slack, and we're covering quite a lot of rough terrain. I've done it with a 7D, a 70-200 2.8, a (Sigma) 24-70 2.8, a wide angle zoom and other bits and pieces and lived to tell the tale, but the weight made it all a bit less enjoyable.  (And I'm someone who spends my weekends doing things like running up hills with a 20kg+ pack on my back and pushing heavy sleds in the name of fitness.)

A couple of years ago I looked hard at moving to m4/3, but in the end decided to go the other way to full frame.  But I chose a 6D rather than a 5DIII, and apart from my 70-200 2.8 all my other lenses now are at the light end for lenses in their class.   Saving a bit of weight on each of a number of items adds up in a way which matters to me - and means I enjoy using the gear I have.  The OP may or may not have reasons (not necessarily the same as mine!) for valuing a weight reduction even if it's only 300g.

Anyway, my only real point is that there are a lot of factors which play into what's the "best choice" for someone.   I completely understand why some people prefer the 70-300L - the extra reach being the most likely reason, but for some even just being able to carry the lens vertically in a bag might make it worth it.   But there is nothing wrong with choosing the 70-200 4 IS either.  And there is nothing wrong with deciding 300g extra is not something you want, even if it's something you could get used to.


3
Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 04, 2014, 05:58:14 AM »
I have the 70-200 4L IS and like it.  My sister has had the 70-300L since last Christmas so I've played with it a bit too, although I haven't used it that much.  My experience is they are both sharp and you're likely to be very happy with the IQ from either, so it really comes down to whether the extra reach (without needing an extender) is important to you and how you feel abou the size/weight/handling of each lens.  That said, I should have a closer look at the bokeh from the 70-300L at some stage - I've never done any testing to see what I think of it.

Anyway, I've considered selling my 70-200 4L IS and getting a 70-300L but I like what I've got so I'm keeping it.  For my use (which includes carrying it in a pack for extended periods while hiking) I prefer the weight saving (the 70-300L is about one-third again as heavy) plus I like the constant aperture.  That said, the alternative way of looking at it is the weight difference is only 290g so it's not a big deal, and the extra range makes it worth sacrificing the constant aperture.  FWIW though, I disagree with the earlier post saying the 70-300L feels lighter.  I get that shorter lenses tend to feel relatively lighter, but to me the 70-300L still feels heavier to use.  On the other hand, the idea of being able to pack the 70-300L "vertically" in a camera bag might be a real advantage to you depending on your use.

In the end I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with either.  If you can try them out in a shop, I'd do that and see which one you prefer when you've got it in the hand (and on the camera!).

Oh, and as for the 100-400 I've never used one so I'll leave it to others to comment on it.

4
Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:38:41 AM »
I hope the non-L 85/2.0 IS is still coming this year!  ::)

I'll take one of those too!

An 85 IS sounds great, but I really hope it's faster than f/2!

A 135 IS would be interesting too.

5
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 29, 2014, 09:39:18 AM »
It shouldn't be that unsharp buts it's no surprise you find the lens disappointing. For the same price, you can get the better sigma 24-105 or a Tamron 24-70 VC. I can see the f4L version being a value until it's sub-800$.

The better sigma 24-105????????

The sigma is larger and heaver than the 24-70 II! And, other than right at f/4, it's performance isn't that far off the 24-105L!
Right because at 5.6-f/8 all lenses look sharp. So being able to shoot wide open sharp photos matters more with a slower lens like 24-105's because you'll be there more often.

It still makes the 24-70 F/4L look like an overpriced toyota at it's current price.

I have to say I ruled out the Sigma 24-105 largely on grounds of size and weight.  If I'm going to carry something like that, I'd be saving for the 24-70 2.8L II.  For my purposes the aim of using an f/4 zoom is to trade aperture for size/weight savings, so if the extra focal length was really important to me I'd still be looking at the Canon 24-105 4L over the Sigma even if the Sigma is (may be?) a little sharper.

As for the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, I did consider it.  For some reason I couldn't get excited enough about it to want to carry the extra size/weight anyway.   I'm not trying to be critical of it - my only real "complaint" about its IQ is the onion ring bokeh (I reckon my old Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM was a step up for bokeh, if not sharpness), but query if that would make any difference to me in real life (as against when pixel-peeping at 1:1).  Anyway, I just didn't get excited about it so I didn't go down that path.

I admit I haven't looked really closely at the Sigma 24-105 (as I say, the size/weight issue was enough to put me off it - for my uses) but I wonder if you're being a little harsh on the 24-70 4L IS.  It seems like a good copy is pretty darn good - but the issue is getting a good copy.

I was simply stating that any of those lenses would be a wiser choice unless you absolutely needed whatever little benefit the 24-70 F/4L has. 24-105L, Sigma 24-105L, or Tamron 24-70 VC. Doesn't matter but until canon wakes up and lowers the price on it, You won't see the 24-70 F/4L thread get very much bigger.

It's only gripe is the price, but otherwise a decent replacement for the 24-105L. I'd be all over that 24-70 F/4L @ 799 like peanut butter to a jelly sandwich.

Yes, even now the price of the 24-70 4L IS has dropped a bit from its real release price, it's still pretty hard to swallow.  The Tamron 24-70 VC has a lot to recommend it, and when you factor in price as well it's easy to see many people choosing it over the 24-70 4L IS.  And then when you also factor in weak IQ in the middle of the zoom range seemingly effecting many copies ... well, the 24-70 4L IS feels frustrating to say the least.  I agree with LTRLI that Canon made a good call in producing a lens with good IQ at the extremes of the range, but even so I expect quite a lot more than I was seeing from my copy in the middle of the zoom range (and I'm pretty sure I'm less picky than many on CR!).

I'm looking forward to testing my copy when it comes back from Canon.  Fingers crossed it turns out to be one of the good copies!
 

6
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:46:30 PM »
It shouldn't be that unsharp buts it's no surprise you find the lens disappointing. For the same price, you can get the better sigma 24-105 or a Tamron 24-70 VC. I can see the f4L version being a value until it's sub-800$.

The better sigma 24-105????????

The sigma is larger and heaver than the 24-70 II! And, other than right at f/4, it's performance isn't that far off the 24-105L!
Right because at 5.6-f/8 all lenses look sharp. So being able to shoot wide open sharp photos matters more with a slower lens like 24-105's because you'll be there more often.

It still makes the 24-70 F/4L look like an overpriced toyota at it's current price.

I have to say I ruled out the Sigma 24-105 largely on grounds of size and weight.  If I'm going to carry something like that, I'd be saving for the 24-70 2.8L II.  For my purposes the aim of using an f/4 zoom is to trade aperture for size/weight savings, so if the extra focal length was really important to me I'd still be looking at the Canon 24-105 4L over the Sigma even if the Sigma is (may be?) a little sharper.

As for the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, I did consider it.  For some reason I couldn't get excited enough about it to want to carry the extra size/weight anyway.   I'm not trying to be critical of it - my only real "complaint" about its IQ is the onion ring bokeh (I reckon my old Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM was a step up for bokeh, if not sharpness), but query if that would make any difference to me in real life (as against when pixel-peeping at 1:1).  Anyway, I just didn't get excited about it so I didn't go down that path.

I admit I haven't looked really closely at the Sigma 24-105 (as I say, the size/weight issue was enough to put me off it - for my uses) but I wonder if you're being a little harsh on the 24-70 4L IS.  It seems like a good copy is pretty darn good - but the issue is getting a good copy.

7
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:31:49 PM »
Clearly this forum is not the place to hang out if you're trying to avoid buying more stuff (sigh)


Yep, the people around here are a great help if you want to spend money ... not always so much if you're trying to save it  ;D

8
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:28:07 PM »
Clearly this forum is not the place to hang out if you're trying to avoid buying more stuff (sigh)

Anyway, yes, I have seen the reviews of the 24-70 f4 and remain confused. I was wondering why so many gave such a high impression of this lens (with the exception of TDP which shows awful performance at 50mm)...I went to my local store to try one out and it confirmed the mediocre performance at 50mm f4 (ok, trying to be nice - it simply sucked at 50). It was very good at 24mm (much better than the 24-105 and close to the 24-70 2.8 II)...got worse as I zoomed in. At 35 it was just ok...at 50 no part of the image was sharp. Center was just barely passable, toward the edges - I thought my 24-105 was meh at 24, but (!!!)...and then it improved again at 70mm but it's still not as good as it was at 24. Macro mode seemed cool but gimmicky at the same time. Performance wise the macro mode seemed to be fairly good (of course, not in the league of the 100L but WAY better than anything in its class).

Basically, with the exception of 24mm f4, this seemed like a step DOWN from the 24-105 which really surprised me given reviews I've read singing its praises. Then, finally I stumble upon some reviews docking it for its performance at 50mm (and threads like this)...I wonder if that was just a bad copy that the store had. Unfortunately it's the only copy they have too...I'd like to try out another one to see if it's any better.

So...sounds like it's normal to see a drop in performance in that lens at 50, but it shouldn't be a dramatic one?

I agree - it does seem to be a bit of a confusing lens!  From everything I've read and experienced, your assessment seems to be correct though (and the copy you tested sounds very much like mine).  50mm is the weak spot for the lens, but even so if you get a good one it should be almost as good at 50mm as it is at 70mm - probably close enough you're unlikely to notice the difference in real world use.

For example, it seems SLR Lounge got a good one ...
http://www.slrlounge.com/school/canon-24-70-vs-24-105-vs-28-300-lens-wars-50mm/

I think many of us were hoping the 24-70 4 IS would be basically a 24-70 2.8 II but trading aperture for size/weight.  Doesn't seem to have quite worked out that way though.  Given how good most of Canon's more recent lenses have been (eg 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 II, 35 2 IS, etc), I wonder what happened with the 24-70 4 IS?  Complications related to the inclusion of the macro mode?  Allowing larger tolerances in an attempt to reduce manufacturing costs?  Anyone got any other ideas?

I really hope mine has become a good copy by the time it comes back from Canon!

9
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 27, 2014, 05:07:41 AM »

In fact, I've even been considering selling my 70-200 2.8L II and picking up a 135L (and change), although I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet.  If they bring out a 135L IS, that might well convince me ... although I'm still tempted by the 135L as is.   (And no, I don't want to just add a 135L to my kit. I really don't need any more lenses!)

Nooooooooooooooooo!

+1, that's almost insane - the 70-200 2.8L II is a bag full of f/2.8 primes all rolled into one. It is the ultimate zoom. So unless you're bothered by its size and weight, I recommend getting the 135L beside the 70-200L (I know how GAS works). Whatever you do don't first sell the 70-200 and then get the 135L. Keep them both for a while (a year or so) to see how it works out.

Agreed - well put.

I did say I was considering it but hadn't been able to bring myself to do it yet!   :)

The 70-200 2.8 IS II is fantastic, but I do a lot of my photography when travelling and the size and weight can be an issue.  I have a 70-200 4 IS and it's great too, and half the weight and significantly smaller so it tends to be the one I take often.  And it feels like overkill for me to have two 70-200s!  Still, the 2.8 is so good, and useful in so many situations, I think I'll end up keeping it.

10
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 27, 2014, 04:57:16 AM »
i was pondering between the 24-70 and 24-105 (both f4 and IS) and a lot of people told me that the 24-70 is extremly good at 24ish and 70ish mm (close to the 2.8 II)... but the further you go from those focal lengths the worse it gets... they went as far as saying it is less sharp at 50mm than the very basic kit lens (18-55)

so i guess it is THE zoom lens for people who hate 50mm ;)
or if you dont care abut switching lenses now and then... add the cheap nifty fifty and you should be set  8)

Around 50mm does seem to be the weak spot for the 24-70 4 IS.  That said, LensRentals' testing puts it as slightly sharper than the 24-105 even at 50mm (although query if you'd pick a difference in real use). 
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/canon-24-70-f4-is-resolution-tests
It seems there is plenty of copy variation amongst the 24-70 4s though - and it seems the ones which are poor can be quite poor.

I'm crossing my fingers mine shows a very significant improvement once it's been serviced by Canon!

And I do still wonder if I might not have been better going with the 24-105, although I do like the handling of the 24-70 4 IS and the macro mode could be fun occasionally.


11
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:55:57 PM »
My lens has gone off to Canon for servicing.  The shop tells me it's a 6 to 8 week turnaround, which is a bit frustrating, but I guess the main thing is whether or not it comes back in good shape.  Fingers crossed!!

Anyone know the rules for CPS membership in Australia?  I'm pretty sure last time I looked into it, you have to be getting paid for your photos.

As for whether f/4 lenses are any use, you won't be surprised to know I think they have their uses!  Sure it's nice to have a wider max aperture but in the end with lenses it's always about the trade offs.  In fact, I've even been considering selling my 70-200 2.8L II and picking up a 135L (and change), although I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet.  If they bring out a 135L IS, that might well convince me ... although I'm still tempted by the 135L as is.   (And no, I don't want to just add a 135L to my kit. I really don't need any more lenses!)

12
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 21, 2014, 07:31:00 AM »
Thanks for adding your thoughts Sporgon.  If you're happy with your 24-70 4 IS at 50mm f/4, I'm sure it's more than good enough for me ... which further convinces me I really do have a sub-standard copy.

I've also done some more testing over the last couple of days.  I haven't done it very scientifically (eg shooting hand-held, although making sure the shutter time is nice and fast) but it's consistent over a variety of subjects/situations.  Taking the same subject at different focal lengths, I'm happy with the lens at f/4 at 24 and 70, but at 50 it's just plain poor.   I have to say I generally like the handling of the lens, so if it was (pretty much) as sharp at 50 as it is at 70, I'd be very happy with it.

Called the shop today and they just say they'll send it back to Canon ... and I should get it back in 4 to 6 weeks.  Sigh.  Fingers crossed it doesn't actually take that long ... and they actually fix it.


13
Reviews / Re: Please help me love ef 35mm f2 IS vs 40mm pancake
« on: July 21, 2014, 07:06:17 AM »
I have both the 35 IS and the 40, and I have to say the 35 IS has grown on me the more I've used it.

This was my thinking a while ago (from a post of mine earlier in the year - sorry it's a bit of a long ramble, but saved me some typing now  :) ):
- my feeling is the 35IS is a little sharper, but there's not a whole lot in it
- my feeling is the 35IS has slightly better colour and contrast, but there's not a lot in it
- my thinking is the 35IS has slightly nicer bokeh, but there's not a whole lot in it
- the 35IS has noticeably faster and quieter AF - but that's not to say the pancake is bad in those respects, so query how much difference this is likely to make in practice (no doubt it depends in large part on what you're shooting)
- the 35IS feels more substantial and hence makes you think it may have better build quality - but I have no idea whether, in reality, the 35IS is likely to be any more durable.  (In this case I strongly suspect it is likely to be more durable than the pancake, but all the same I get sick of reading lens reviews which seem to equate weight with build quality, and conclude anything light weight is lesser quality.  Isn't that like saying something made of steel is always a higher build quality than something made of titanium or carbon fibre?)
- of course, the 35IS has a one stop aperture advantage (which you'd rather have than not), and IS (worth at least another 3 stops - which allows you the choice of longer shutter times or lower ISO)
- the 35IS has 67 filter thread, which means you may already have filters you can use on it (unlikely with the pancake)
- the extra 5 mm of width (in the focal length) is noticeable on the 35IS but again, it's not very different - and to the extent there is a difference, each has its pros and cons
- much better focus ring

Weighed against that, the 35IS is around 3x more expensive than the pancake, substantially larger and over 2.5x heavier (even if it still ranks as a relatively small and light lens in the bigger scheme of things).

For all that though, the more I've used the 35IS the more I like it over the 40mm.  I like the slightly wider FOV, the slicker AF, the IS for low light, f/2 for low light and blurring backgrounds (well, it's a 35mm lens so I don't expect miracles ), the manual focus ring, ....  In the end all the little things add up.  I think the 40mm is a great little lens and I can understand why you're happy with it - and it's very hard to go past for the money - but if I could only keep one I'd keep the 35IS.  It's just a bit more versatile.

By the way, my 35IS is pretty sharp even at f/2.  If yours isn't, I'd say you either need AFMA or there's something wrong with it.


14
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 19, 2014, 08:10:04 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts all.

To those recommending the 24-70 2.8L II, I have no doubt it's superb.  I'm looking for a general purpose "walk around" / travel / hiking lens, so the combination of heavier weight, larger size and higher price mean it's not perfect for my needs.  Obviously having 2.8 would be nice at times, but I don't think that's so important to me for what I plan to use this lens for.  And if I need to stop action in low light, I have primes in the same focal length range.

Reading around the internet (again!) makes me think I may just have a poor copy of the 24-70 4L IS.  TDP and LensRentals note the drop in sharpness at 50mm but seem to suggest it's not too bad.  SLRLounge has a "shoot out" of a number of lenses at 24, 35, 50 and 70 mm and rates the lens pretty highly - and their 100% crops seem to back up the idea.  Various other reviews (Photozone, Bob Atkins, PhotographyBlog, to name a few) seem similarly impressed with the lens at all focal lengths.  Interestingly, SLRgear notes they tested 3 copies and the first two were very poor at 50mm but the third one was significantly better (albeit 50mm remained a weak spot).  It all makes me think I'm right to be expecting better than I'm seeing from my lens.

In any event, I will call the shop and see what they say but I'll be surprised if they'll do anything more than send it off to Canon to be checked.  Sadly I'm outside the 14 day period within which they will exchange for another product, and they do not offer refunds unless the item doesn't work (and I'm guessing I'll have trouble convincing them about that).  Unfortunately shops in Australia rarely offer the kind of "no questions asked" refund policies which I gather can be found overseas (or at least in the US).

Hhmmm, maybe I should take mrsphotografie's hint and ditch the 24-70 zoom altogether and just go with primes.

15
Lenses / Canon 24-70 f/4L IS disappointing?
« on: July 18, 2014, 10:21:13 PM »
Hi all

I've been playing with a Canon 24-70 4L IS for the last few weeks and comparing it to my old Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX DG HSM.  I haven't had that much time to do comparisons but so far I'm struggling to be impressed by the 24-70 4L IS.   I was hoping - expecting really - it would be a clear step up from the Sigma, but it's closer than that.  I know I'm pixel peeping but still, U have to say I was expecting more from a Canon L (especially after lenses like the 70-200 2.8 IS II, and non-L lenses like the 35 2 IS). 

Trying to sum it up:

At f/2.8 the Sigma is pretty good at 24mm, but it gets steadily worse as the focal length increases.  The drop off in sharpness and contrast by 70mm is significant.

At f/4, the Sigma shows a clear improvement over 2.8 across the whole focal length range.  The quality still drops as the focal length increases but the drop off is less significant than at 2.8.

At f/4, the Canon is good at 24mm, but by 35mm the quality has dropped noticeably.  By 50mm I'd go so far as to call it poor - certainly for sharpness, if not so much for contrast.  It improves again by 70mm, but it doesn't get back to the standard it set at 24mm.  I would say the Sigma wins at f/4 at 50mm and perhaps even 35mm.

From various reviews, I expected the Canon to be weaker towards the middle of its range, but looking at the LensRentals' resolution tests I thought it would still be pretty decent there.  What has surprised me is just how poor it seems towards the middle of its focal length range.   I think I'm still leaning towards keeping the Canon and selling the Sigma - because the Canon's IS has its uses, it's a bit lighter, it's better at 24mm and 70mm, and it's got its semi-macro mode for a bit of fun.  That said, the Sigma's f/2.8 has its uses too - even if the quality drops towards the longer end of the focal length range - and I'd get more if sold the Canon.

Anyone else really disappointed with the 24-70 4L IS in the middle of its focal length range?  For those who are happy with their 4L ISs, are you genuinely happy with them at 50mm?  Have I got a poor copy?  Hhmmm, I don't want to pay for the Canon 24-70 2.8L II and I'm uncertain about the Tamron 2.8 VC (my brother has one).  Maybe I should just keep my Sigma?  Or look for a 2nd-hand 24-105 4L IS?

Thanks for any thoughts.


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