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Messages - PhotoCat

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rumored Sigma Lenses Coming in the Next Year
« on: September 09, 2013, 02:26:57 PM »
Where is the 85/1.4 OS ART?  ;)

Portrait / Re: My photos look so dull
« on: August 05, 2013, 09:53:16 PM »
Picasa does a nice job on the jpg too.   :P

Added a bit of fill light and high light. Also tinted the pic to get a pleasing skin tone.

Absence of noise in shadow area at ISO100!

2 stops higher dynamic range from ISO100-ISO3200

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: New MFA method
« on: February 21, 2013, 02:00:40 PM »

Some lenses just dont focus well on a linear scale.  Some need different AFMA settings focused far than focused close.  To me that's a manufacturing flaw or the lens is just out of spec and needs adjusting.  In those cases you either need to set the AFMA for the distance you use it the most, or split the difference in the near and far AFMA tests and use aperture to increase the DOF and mask the error.

Yup, that has been my feeling too and I am glad I can finally find someone to agree with me  :)

For all the lenses I have, I have never been able to AFMA it such that it works for any subject distance.
The ones that worked for any subject distance had AFMA turned off LOL!

Yet I do recall someone on this forum had great success with it... It is puzzling.
Perhaps some particular lens flaw happens to be compensated by AFMA perfectly.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: New MFA method
« on: February 21, 2013, 11:52:00 AM »
Sorry for the confusion if any.
By "consistent" result, I meant dot-tune always gives me the same AFMA value with the same
target and lighting.  No, I did not mean consistent focusing under whatever shooting condition and
distance after AFMA.

I will try the 3D target as u had suggested.  No, both of my 85/1.8 and 50/1.8 did not magically
become perfect after AFMA. It just improved focusing accuracy at a specific distance I chose while it suffered
at other subject distance.  It is a tradeoff.
As I had said, AFMA is a bandage solution at best but that has nothing to do
with the dot-tune procedure which is giving consistent value for me for a fixed target, fixed lighting and

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: New MFA method
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:57:31 AM »
Just successfully tuned my 50/1.8 & 85/1.8 with this dot-tune method with my 5d2.
There is no question in my mind that horshack's new MFA method works and works consistently.
Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea horshack!

To get a consistent result in my 50/1.8, I had to gaffer tape the focus ring of the 50/1.8  ;)
so it doesn't move right after manual focusing (x10) in LV.

Getting the AFMA value for 85/1.8 was easy as it was in range: -18 to -1, meaning a AFMA value of -10.

However, it was a bit more tricky for the 50/1.8 as the dot remains red at -20 and the upper range was -4.
-4 should be credible but -20 is questionable and it could be -21, -22, -23 etc but the scale doesn't show it.

So I was guessing horshack's "detuning method" and detuned the focus a bit.
I did so by first setting AFMA to +5 (guessing) and turn the focus ring manual until I get a beep (red dot).
So now I know +5 is within range.  Based on this detuned focus, using the dot-tune method gives me a range
of -9 to +9.   So I know the half range is 9.     Based on the credible upper value of -4 and subtracting
9 (half range) from it gave me a final value of -13.

Using the obtained AFMA values gave me much sharper images at f1.8 at the distance I performed the calibration. (distance suitable for a full-length shot)

So in my mind, the dot-tune method is solid. What is questionable to me is the
implementation of AFMA, as it seems subject distance dependent.

For example, my 85/1.8 with AFMA of -10 works great with full length portraits but I will get soft images at a distance of 10 feet and closer.  The 50/1.8 seemed to work well with AFMA of -13 at all distance with the calibration target and lighting. However, it doesn't work very well with somce other subjects and lighting. So I just have to turn off AFMA in case of doubt.

I feel this kind of AFMA is a bandage solution anyway and I am hoping Canon will incorporate their factory lens
calibration routine into EOS Utility and I will be laughing!  No more "bad copies"  of lens... sigh...
Note the competition already has "USB lens dock" for factory strength lens calibration LOL!

Mmm... forget about the lens dock... Canon can do better by incorporating the lens calibration software right inside EOS Utility and calibrate the lens while it is attached to the specific camera body...  It is 100x better than a lens dock!

It worked on my 5D2 and 85/1.8 combo! This is the first time I have any consistent results from AFMA!
A value of -10 makes my full length portrait much sharper at f1.8 at a shooting distance of 12 to 17.5 feet.

A -10 AFMA would however make any shots less then 10 feet away slightly OOF and I am not surprised as this appears to be one limitation of Canon's AFMA implementation to date IMHO.  Canon's AFMA appears subject distance dependent.
For that kind of shorter distance (< 10 feet), I needed to turn off AFMA to get a sharp image.

It seems that Canon's factory lens calibration is much better than can be achieved by on-camera AFMA, as far
as distance dependence is concerned.

Now sigma has the USB lens dock for focus calibration, I hope Canon would catch up quickly by offering a Canon USB lens dock so we can perform factory quality lens calibration at home... :)

Very informative video and it took a lot of work to make it.
Thanks horshack for sharing this idea freely.
Highly appreciated. I will definitely give that a try.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II is a Peerless Performer
« on: January 28, 2013, 09:42:19 AM »
Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED with a D3X has a score of 24 whatever that means.
Not that far behind considering the Nikon was introduced 2007!

I think the DXO lens score has a lot to do with which camera it is attached to.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 6D vs 5D MKII (Focusing?)
« on: December 05, 2012, 06:24:55 PM »
@ Chuck- I am doing some low light focusing testing today and will verify what you are asking. My gut impression is that the 6D seems to be better geared between the higher ISOs (which are also a little "soft") and low light focusing, which as you know will be fantastic for shooting receptions and low light events. Ill post the info as soon as my tests are done, should be later today or tomorrow.

If anyone else wants any comparisons done let me know, I have a 5Dii, 5Diii, & Nikon D600.


Hi Michael, thanks for the effort!

It would be interesting to compare AI-Servo accuracy with the centre AF point between all 3 cameras.

Also repeating the AI-Servo test with the top-most AF point in portrait orientation would be very interesting.

I guess the test condition would be similar to shooting a wedding processional in a church :)


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AFMA Callibration - How much is too much?
« on: August 07, 2012, 02:14:45 PM »
Interesting info. Tks Canon816!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AFMA Callibration - How much is too much?
« on: August 07, 2012, 09:56:52 AM »
Very informative article Dr. neuroanatomist. Thanks!
Although I have always had a question on the effectiveness of AFMA.
My AFMA experience has suggested that the calibration is distance dependent.
i.e., if u calibrate an 85mm lens at a distance of 7 feet, it would be vy sharp
at that shooting distance. However, if u need to be shooting at 15feet for example,
the lens won't be as sharp.  The AFMA is a 1 dimension adjustment and it
seems that the Canon factory lens calibration is capable of more than 1 dimension adjustment
to make the lens sharp at all shooting distance.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Hi, Did you use any software for Camera/Lens calibration? Is there any online tutorial or best method to calibrate. I have a 5DM3, 24-105L F4, 70-200L F4 IS USM. Any advice is appreciated

I use Reikan FoCal Pro, highly recommend it.  For my 1D X, manual mode is currently the only option, 5DIII works in semi-auto (for my 7D, and the 5DII I used to have, calibration is fully automatic).

For manual AFMA, I wrote a tutorial for TDP, based on LensAlign Pro, but with a DIY option as well.

I need to do some head-to-head shooting with my 5D2 and D800 but from the disparate shots I've already done the D800 at low ISO totally kicks the 5D2 into the woods.  The more I review 5D2 images the more its shadow banding noise flaws show up.
I recently shot a bunch of family portraits for a friend, using the 5D2.
outdoors, cloudy day, flash fill; 3 people wore pants of varying shades of dark gray.

When prepping the files for print it was grossly obvious ON SCREEN how much banding there was visible on the darkest clothing with a lesser degree visible on the next lighter shade.  Everything else looked fabulous.  Fortunately, at the small sizes they wanted printed they won't see the noise on those dark gray pants.  But it would be obvious if it was a 20x30" print.

When I shoot scenes with even much greater DR, I can pull far more shadow detail from the D800's raw file without any concern for pattern noise, or any real noise at all at low ISO settings!

I'm sold, the Nik's a worthy addition to my collection.  I'll use it whenever I need to record scenes that have anything dark in them.  The DARK side indeed!

Same experience here with 5D2 with raw capture :(   It is just a "normal" shoot of a model in black dress outdoor at ISO100.
The red colour noise is so visible on the black dress without noise reduction! Had to dialup NR in LR so much that some detail of the dress is lost to completely remove the color noise...  Sigh... if Canon can't do it at ISO100, forget about those ISO800 shots!
It is such a basic requirement!

Site Information / Re: In Sympathy for CR Guy
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:44:12 PM »
my condolences... 

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