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Messages - jasonsim

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Software & Accessories / Re: TVC-24L similar
« on: November 27, 2012, 12:43:35 PM »
It appears you are pretty set on getting a RRS tripod.  They are sure to be excellent in every respect.  However, just wanted to throw out that Gitzo systematic version 2 tripods are truly excellent as well and have some innovative features.  I'd perhaps consider a 3 series version 2 systematic from Gitzo.  They make both 3 and 4 section carbon fiber legs in the long version.  Here is a link to the GT3532LS:




Don't know that this helps...but know your options.  No shame in using the BH55 or BH40 on a Gitzo...I do ;-).

Kind regards,

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX or 5D Mark III with two lenses
« on: November 27, 2012, 11:42:03 AM »
I have the 5D III and the 50L.  I've never used a 1Dx or the 24mm 1.4L.  However, if you don't need the 10 or 12 FPS the 1DX affords, I think the 5D III would be the camera body to get.  Especially, if you can catch one of those Ebay deals where it's going for $2800 or even less.

As for lens choice, the 50L is not the sharpest at 1.2.  But the only option if you need that aperture.  I recently picked up a 24-70mm f/2.8L II, which has been providing great sharp images.  I sold off a few lenses in my collection to help pay for it and thinking about getting rid of yet another prime.  Only have the 35mm 1.4L and 50mm 1.2L in that zoom range.  I will keep the 85mm 1.2L II, since it is sharp at 1.2L and a great portrait lens on full frame.

Hope this helps some.  I'd give the new 24-70mm version 2 a look.

Kind regards,

EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 26, 2012, 05:02:52 PM »
No mention of the AF system. If it's the same as the 5D III, then Canon will have a stellar APS-C offering!  I'd consider getting one once the price comes down.  I suspect this will be priced higher than the 6D.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Ended: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body $2499
« on: November 24, 2012, 11:19:55 PM »
Great deal! Wish it worked with my 800 without needing a hardware fix.

Hi Paolo,

I have a 800mm and it seems to work okay with my 5D III.  I've not sent it in to Canon as it seems to function normally.  I've heard of some issue with the IS and 5D III, but not sure I am experiencing any of the reported problem.

Kind regards,

Lenses / Re: Is the EF 800 f/5.6L IS Due for Replacement? [CR2]
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:58:37 AM »
But with the 600mm + 1.4TC delivering almost as good IQ, there's not going to be many more sales of the 800mm (except for those who 'must' have 1600mm).

Actually, I think the 600/4 II + 1.4xIII actually delivers slightly better IQ than the 800/5.6, and the 600/4 II + 1.4xIII delivers better IQ than the 800/5.6 + 1.4xIII, as well.  In both cases, in addition to better IQ, the 600+TC is lighter, cheaper, and slightly longer in focal length.  So, the 800/5.6 really has no remaining advantages, except as you note to achieve 1600mm (at the cost of loss of AF at f/11 and a big IQ hit, such that cropping from 1200mm is probably better). 

Personally, I think it's likely we'll see an updated 800/5.6 sooner than expected, and the main reason is that the current one cannot compete with the new 600 II (and secondarily, because Nikon is releasing one).

Hello Neuroanatomist!
Thank you again for your very good thoughts - as always coming from you sir!

Expecting a brand new and also better Canon EF800/5.6L that has the new sophisticated/complex optical design(as in EF600mm f/4L IS USM II),
 that features (2) fluorite and UD lens elements to tackle aberrations and distortions,
 and also features a lightweight magnesium alloy and titanium construction,
 which reduces weight without compromising on strength and build quality - so I think I rather wait to maybe purchasing this new EF800, instead of one of the existing new ones version II super-lenses from Canon?

Let us see what the future holds!

Happy shootings!


hmm...I think the only major improvement Canon can make on the 800mm is reduce the weight tremendously.  No reason why it could not weigh around what the 500mm II does.   The third IS mode and removal of the protection glass element would make it in to a new 800mm too.  As far as optical design though, the current 800mm already has 2 fluorite elements and super UD elements. 

One other welcome change would be to better balance the lens...try making it a 55/45 weight distribution.   That is really my only complaint with the current 800mm; it's very front heavy.

Lenses / Re: Is the EF 800 f/5.6L IS Due for Replacement? [CR2]
« on: November 20, 2012, 12:43:23 PM »
Ive got an 800mm and am loving it for birding.  Got it for thousands less than a new 600mm II (nearly $4k less).  For use with my 5D III, I'd rather start off with a native 800mm focal length.  Cannot wait for the April firmware update that will let me AF with the 1.4x extender attached for 1120mm.

1/3200  ƒ/5.6m  ISO500  800 mm

1/2500  ƒ/5.6  ISO800  800 mm (1280mm eqv. on 7D)

Lenses / Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« on: November 05, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
Again, i know most everything about these lenses, except i have no first hand knowledge, and many of you do. Barring it all doesn't fall apart at smaller apertures(and i know it doesn't), i'm really only interested in stuff wide open to f2.8 or so. if i could get away with narrower i'd just use a zoom. how about if i ask this, is the IQ at f2 and below on both lenses crap, decent, good, or great? and that's without cutting any slack. i know f1.2 at 50mm and f1.4 at 35mm is tough, but i don't care. thanks

For portraits, they both work fine wide open.  Keep the subject toward the center, because the corners will be softer with significant vignetting, but that is the nature of the beast.  With AF, nothing really beats Canon's 35L and 50L wide open.

In my experience the most accurate AF as far as L primes go has been the 35L and the 85L II.  The 50L got better on the 5D MK III.  These are not fast to AF though.  The 85mm II is sharpest of the three wide open. 

The bokeh is best on the 85mm L II and only challenged by my 200mm f/1.8L. 

I think, if you had plans to get an 85mm f/1.2L II, then it may be better complimented by a 35mm f/1.4L.

Lenses / Re: Another 135L vs. 70-200 f/2.8 II question...
« on: October 27, 2012, 09:49:52 AM »
Don't get rid of your 70-200mm.  Excellent range and perfect for weddings!  You should be looking to get a 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 16-35mm f/2.8.  perhaps the 16-35mm f/2.8 can bring new life to your 60D.  Unless you have assistants running around with primes, you will miss shots at critical moments if you don't have these zooms available.  perhaps you can swap lenses quickly ( maybe you have a lens sac or boca bag for fast swapping ), in which case go all out with primes.  I prefer primes myself, but only when I know I can walk around and when there is no pressure to get critical shots.

I also second getting a black rapid strap.  If I do another wedding ( only done one thus far ) I would get the double black rapid to carry my 7D with the 16-35mm f/2.8 and the 5D III with 70-200mm f/2.8.

If you mainly use flash at your weddings and don't need f/2.8 much ( I was mostly at f4 and f5.6 at my wedding) I would suggest getting:

17-40mm f/4L (use on 60D)
70-200mm f/4L IS (use on 5D)

These are excellent lenses and only give up one stop and much lighter!

Hope this helps,

EOS Bodies / Re: Is 22Mpx Really Enough?!!!
« on: October 25, 2012, 03:07:14 PM »
22MP is plenty for me.  But I might enjoy the added cropping potential from a 36MP or more raw image ;-).  As long as the added MPixels do not cause too much noise; or noise that cannot be easily corrected.

But then again, I am no grant master.  If I was, I'd be living large with free grant money! 

Sorry...could not help myself.

Thanks and kind regards,
Jason Simmons

Here are some recent pics taken at high ISO:

1/500s . f/1.2 . +2EV . ISO 12800 @ 50mm
another taken with available light:

1/500s . f/2.8 . 0EV . ISO 5000 @ 70mm

Site Information / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II in Stock at Adorama
« on: October 15, 2012, 06:22:19 PM »
I wonder if it really is worth it?  I'd need to sell a number of my current collection to pay for it:

24-105L, 24L TS-E II, or one of the following 35L, 50L or 85L. 

I'd also consider giving up my 16-35mmL II, since I don't use the wide side that much.  But as soon as I sell, I bet the need will arise. 

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 200 f/2L IS
« on: October 12, 2012, 05:30:37 PM »
I liked my Canon 200mm f/2L IS, but when I found a absolute gem Canon 200mm f/1.8L for half the price I sold the f/2L.

Sample from the f/1.8L:

Sample from the f/2L:

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Post your HDR images:
« on: September 28, 2012, 10:28:36 AM »
Some of my HDR's. 

African Elephant:   

Fire Engine:

Lenses / Re: 500mm f/4.5 focusing help?!?!?
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:19:56 PM »
Yes, it is probably not the support system since the feeders were sharp.  Do you have the photo that you can send to me?  You can email to jlsimmons1414@gmail.com .  I can take a look. 

If you think you need sturdier support though, I would recommend a Wimberley WH-200 full gimbal.  You will love it.  This makes birds in flight a breeze.  Of course the trade off is that it's pretty bulky and 4.5 lbs.  If you don't care for a gimbal, then a RRS BH-55 is also a gem.  It's a ball head that is built wonderfully and holds substantial weight: 50+ lbs.  You might want a Wimberley sidekick for this setup, if you want to track birds in flight (BIF). 

hmm...if most of your shots were at 1/800 to 1/1250 s, then I'd suspect a back focusing issue.  Do this, take a page from a book and place it at a 45 degree angle on a table.  Then with the 500mm on a tripod at the same height as the book, move it to the minimum focus distance away from the book.  Then focus on a particular line in the book and judge if the AF is back or front focusing.  If it is, then play with the micro auto focus adjustments in increments of +/- 5.  Then once you are getting close, move +/- 1 increments.

Kind regards,

Lenses / Re: 500mm f/4.5 focusing help?!?!?
« on: August 16, 2012, 09:10:14 PM »
My first thought is perhaps your shutter speed was too slow; rendering the birds a bit blurry due to their movements while leaving the feeder in sharp focus.  This because the feeder is largely stationary. 

What were your settings for the blurry shots?  You might need to bump up your ISO on the 5D MK III.  Try starting at ISO 400.  With a 500mm that has no IS, you will want to be above 1/1000 second shutter speed.  You might also check the minimum focus distance for that lens and make sure that you are at least that MFD away from the where the birds will most likely be positioned on the feeder.

Also practice your long lens technique, by placing your free hand ( I assume you are using the set on a gimbal or sidekick apparatus ) on the top of the barrel midway down the length of it.  This will help dampen the vibration transferred to the camera's sensor. 

Another possibility, albeit a potentially costly affair, is that your current tripod legs and head are inadequately stable for the combined weight of the 500mm + 5D MK III.  I recommend a 3 series tripod at very least and a beefy ball head or gimbal such as:  RRS BH-55, Arca Swiss Z1, Wimberley WH-200 or Jobu Design Pro1. 

Hope this helps and best of luck shooting.


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