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Messages - Robert Welch

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Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« on: January 12, 2013, 02:13:58 PM »
I currently use a Canon 50/1.4 and am happy with it. But I am looking forward to trying the 50L 1.2 one day. The photos I've seen from it are indeed special, it strikes me that this lens is for those who want a certain feel to their photos, a unique quality that can't be delivered from just any lens. There are many 'sharp' lenses out there, but there are few than can take a photo which you can actually identify which lens was used. Not every photo taken with a 50L can be identified as such, obviously, but there are photos I've seen that have a quality which can be identified as having been taken with this lens (and such can be said for the 85L, as well as certain other lenses made by Lieca, Carl Zeiss and perhaps a few others). This quality from these images isn't something that can be measured on a graph, but only by the eye of the beholder. I've seen enough such images to convince me there is something special in these lenses, and while you can still take wonderful photos with other lenses, you can't take the exact same photo as you could with a lens like the 50L unless you use the 50L in such a way that you take advantage of it's unique qualities. It's not a general purpose lens, seems to me, the 50/1.4 would be better suited to that. But if you want to explore your creative potential with a single lens, the 50L is probably one of the better choices, seems to me.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Anyone still using a 20D?
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:35:11 PM »
The 20D marked a tremendous step forward in it's day for the Canon lineup, a nice improvement on the 10D and not really bettered for it's class in terms of IQ until the 40D came out many years later. I used a pair of them as a professional wedding photographer for many years with complete satisfaction. It's no worse a camera today, just been passed up by the capabilities of newer cameras. Considering it's value on the used market is little more than pocket change (in photographic equipment terms) it's probably worth keeping as a backup/beater camera unless you never anticipate needing such a thing. As noted by someone else, it also makes a great entry camera for a beginner photographer, maybe find a niece or nephew who might be a budding shutter bug and pass on the joy of photography to them, it's value in this respect may far exceed it's market worth.

Canon General / Re: 70-200 F2.8 mark I or mark II?!
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:12:27 PM »
I find it interesting how many people sang the praises of the mkI for many years, calling it one of Canon's great lenses...then suddenly it's a dog when the mkII comes out. Did the lens change? Or our perception of it? Obviously the latter. Certainly the mkII is the better lens, all sources indicate to. The question is, whether you have to spend the additional money for it, or would the mkI or Tamaron work satisfactorily for your needs? Only you can decide. I have the mkI, I find it's satisfactory for most of what I need it for. I'm happy with images from 100mm to 200mm, at 70mm I seem to get less critical sharpness, though not unusable. Fortunately, I tend to use this lens more at the upper ranges, so this isn't a dire issue for me. I do like to stop down to f/3.5 when possible, but I don't shy from f/2.8 if needed, and can get satisfactory results. On portraits (what I mainly use it for) I get detail in eyelashes and such, so it serves it's function, and the bokeh is a wonderful creamy texture (I've heard the mkII is a bit more harsh in that feature). Would I like to have a mkII? Sure, sounds like it would be nice. Do I feel I NEED a mkII? Not necessarily, I'm able to produce completely acceptable and sellable (the last being the most important to me as I'm a full time professional) images with the mkI, so as a business decision it's better for me to just keep the mkI.

Should you get a mkI? If you want the most critically sharp lens, and money isn't an issue, then probably not. If you want a reasonably good performing lens, one that was widely accepted as a quality lens for over a decade when it was a current model, and can find a good copy at a decent price, it may meet your needs. That's for you to decide, don't let others opinions with no perspective on your needs be the only factor in your decision. Calculate you needs and make an educated decision from there.

I think you are complaining to the wrong source. I would send a complaint to the editorial department of the magazine. Then they will say something to him, he won't be able to give them the same lame excuses. If they get enough complaints, then he won't have the opportunity to screw up the review like this anymore.

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D vs 5Diii vs 5Dii - Speedlite AF Focus Beam Assist Tests
« on: December 12, 2012, 02:03:50 AM »
I have heard that the 5D3 (and I assume the 6D as well) does a focus confirmation in acquiring focus. That is, it achieves focus, then does a confirmation check before shutter release. You can overide this in the menu by changing the shutter release priority from focus priority to shutter release priority in the AF menu. This double confirmation of focus acquisition is new with the 5D3, not a function of the 5D2 AF. This may be the 2nd stage of AF that Michael is noticing, and probably part of the reason this camera seems to have a higher 'hit' ratio with regards to in focus images that most users, including myself, seem to get with this camera as compared to older Canon cameras.

Canon General / Re: Is canon going to come back?
« on: November 29, 2012, 12:42:28 PM »
I think Canon and Nikon really differentiated themselves when the 5D3 and D800 came out. Canon seemed to be addressing the needs of their typical users who wanted a better 5D, the main complaints being AF capabilities and better shooting performance (frame rate, build quality, etc.), they addressed these and made the near perfect 5D. Few were really complaining about IQ, though they did improve that some, particularly in the high ISO range.

Nikon stepped out with a bolder camera design, one that wasn't for their typical shooter, but has some interesting features. I know a lot of Nikon shooters who have the D800, they love it for certain things, but not for others. Resolution is king with this camera, but performance otherwise not so much. The typical complaint I hear about it is the high ISO just isn't the best, most of these users have a D3s or even D700, which they prefer for event photography. I've heard of a few who have looked at the D600, so far the comments I've heard are it looks good, but not stellar in any particular feature, just a good combination for the price. When compared to other cameras, including the 5D3, it seems to be just a little less all around, including price. You get what you pay for there.

So, is Nikon way ahead? I don't see it's possible to say that as a general statement. Nikon has no equivalent to the 5D3, nor does Canon have a D800 competitor. It depends on your needs, if the D800 is better for your needs, then Nikon is ahead for you. If the 5D3 is better for your needs, then Canon is ahead for your needs. Lenses aside, they are both great, just pick the one that suits you.

Lenses / Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« on: November 21, 2012, 02:17:00 AM »
The 17-55 has some nice features, 2.8 & IS, but the build quality is not good. It's a shame, such good optics in such a poor housing. It's better than the 18-55 kit lens, but not better than the 15-85 lens, and no where as good as the 17-40. I just use the 17-55 indoors, I won't take it to weddings as it's just not durable enough and too expensive to risk, IMO (I'm a wedding photographer). But if you treat it gently, it will provide good images. Of course, it won't allow you to upgrade to a full frame, you'll have to buy a new lens for that. So if you might want a full frame in your future, the 17-40 might be a better long term option.

EOS Bodies / Re: [Poll] Canon Reign Supreme Again?
« on: November 04, 2012, 01:35:53 PM »
I think the camera that Canon really jumped over Nikon with was the 5D3, when pitted against the D800 most photographers will find the 5D3 more useable. Sure, the D800 has it's uses, but for a more narrow segment of the photographers out there. The 1Dx vs. D4 is probably a close race over all, feature for feature.

So that leaves the 6D vs. D600, and I'd say the D600 really compares more to the 5D3 feature for feature, and when you factor in the price, may be a better buy. So in the end, over all Nikon may still have a better lineup of full-frame cameras to appeal to the widest group of photographers. Canon has limited the 6D so much that it's opened the door for Nikon to market the D600 to photographers who are looking at choosing between the 6D & 5D3, they can get the D600 and not have to choose, effectively. Sure, the 5D3 is built better and probably performs better over all, but when it comes to marketing to the widest possible number of photographers, the fact that the D600 has most of the key features in common at a much lower price tag means it will have a wider target market.

I don't see a need to. If I had to have another repair done, then I might ask for it to be done, but I would rather not have the camera opened up for something that is really a non-issue. There is always a chance that something could happen while being 'on the bench' that isn't detected until I get it back, requiring me to send it back for another repair. There is an old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." That sums up how I feel. Maybe if I ever decide to sell it, I'll send it in for a cleaning and have it done then, but I have no intention of selling mine...not for a long time at least.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX - issues in low light at reception
« on: August 13, 2012, 05:38:10 PM »
I have been using a 580exII with AF assist beam on, and encountered some AF difficulty in low light. I've also tried turning the beam of, which didn't seem to help. I mostly use expanded-spot focusing in single shot mode, I will do more controlled testing in different modes to see if I can get better results in some other configuration. I am normally using the 24-105L on this camera, which isn't the best lens for low light AF. My work around is similar, I switch to a 7D for reception photos typically (would use the 1D3, but it hurts my hand to carry it around all night, which is why I was so happy when the 5D3 was released).

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX - issues in low light at reception
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:36:53 PM »
I have the 5DmkIII, which has similar AF system to the 1Dx as I understand, and have had some issues acquiring good focus in very low light (the emphasis on 'very low'), along the lines of what you have reported. Others I've seen have reported this issue with the 5DmkIII as well, some have remarked that the 5DmkII had much better low light focus when using just the center focus point on that camera.

I also have the 1DmkIII and agree it does an excellent job with low light focus acquisition, better than the 5DmkIII. One thing I notice with the 5DmkIII is it seems to hesitate to engage the AF in low light situation, when you press the button nothing happens for awhile, as if it is processing the information before it starts activating the focus mechanism.

Don't know the 1Dx focus issue you are reporting is related to the similar 5DmkIII issue I've seen, but hopefully performance of both cameras will be improved, ideally with a frimware update.

EOS Bodies / Re: Should/can Canon keep making its own sensors?
« on: July 20, 2012, 02:34:23 PM »
I love how people want to tell Canon (or Nikon, etc.) what they should do. Don't you think they spend a lot of money doing market research before they manufacture anything. And then after they do make something, they know how profitable it was and that will guide them going forward. I think Canon is doing well enough, unlike some other companies, like Olympus (which has had some scandal issues among management/board members recently), or Sony & Panasonic in the TV market.

EOS Bodies / Re: Why are you buying the 1D X?
« on: July 12, 2012, 06:14:34 PM »
I have the 5D3 and an older 1D3, the 5D3 replaced the 5D classic I sold and the 1D3 for the most part (1D3 is now my backup camera). The 1D series body is more bullet proof for sure, but the 5D3 is no slouch either. The biggest issue I have with the 5D3 is in very low light, the AF seems to struggle to attain lock. Once it does, it's golden. I would suspect the 1Dx will do better in attaining AF lock quicker in lower light, since it has more processing power, and maybe because the higher voltage battery will activate the lens motor quicker, particularly for bigger glass lenses (i.e. 50/85 f/1.2 and the long lenses).

As for image quality, what I've seen samples of with the 1Dx does show outstanding IQ at higher ISOs, probably better than 5D3 from what I can tell. Of course, it will shoot faster too, so for speed of handling, durability and perhaps better high ISO images, it's obviously the better camera. Whether the difference is worth the extra $3k+ is up to you.

As for low ISO image quality, I suspect Canon is going to release something along the lines of a D800 type camera soon (next year or 2 anyway), which will fit the need for that kind of photography. Generally, the need for super high IQ, high MP, low ISO images doesn't require a 1D series tank for the body, with the corresponding price tag. I think the 1Dx is perfectly spec'd for the market it is targeting. They realized that when the 5D2 killed the 1Ds3 sales, so why build a camera that most people aren't interested in?

EOS Bodies / Re: Is the 5DIII the New 50D?
« on: June 14, 2012, 01:31:00 PM »
The point made about the 50D not having video was the big reason I think it was not a major hit on the market, and because the AF was not upgraded. To say the 5DmkIII will have similar market irrelevancy is a hard comparison to make, the only thing I can see holding the 5DmkIII back from record breaking sales figures would be the price. That is the one thing Canon can address, if they feel the need to. I'm sure the price will come down some eventually, the question is how much? The answer will be how many does Canon want to sell?

I think the other aspect is what does Canon have up their sleeve? A ~$2k full frame camera may be on the horizon, and that camera would probably be a huge seller. I think Canon hurt some of their potential 1Dx sales by making the 5DmkIII so good (and by getting it to market so quickly), so they may decide to keep the price up on the 5DmkIII to offset some of the lost sales on the 1Dx. The new, lower cost full-frame will probably be the one they look to become the mass seller, pricing it more competitively to get record breaking sales figures. Does that mean the 5DmkIII will be irrelevant? I doubt it because it has all the top features, the less expensive model is sure to lack some of those, making it cheaper to produce and less desirable to those who require all the features. I would suspect the cheaper camera to not have the best weather sealing, a single card, maybe the AF won't be quite as good...sounds a lot like the 5DmkII, don't you think? Maybe it will have lower MP than the 5DmkIII, but the same AF. Whatever it is, I think you can count on the 5DmkIII still having better specs and still having a good place in the lineup, Canon has had a long time to bring that camera to market, and I'm sure they thought about what they would do to make sure it had adequate shelf live on the market.

EOS Bodies / Re: Possible issues with Sandisk Extreme Pro 32g CF
« on: May 24, 2012, 12:03:56 PM »

Are there images on the card when you put it in? The camera reads the file structure when you put the card in, so if there are images on there it is looking at the FAT information and may take a bit to register the images, especially for a large 32gb card. Saying the card is bad is uninformed and probably wrong advice, if the card is working fine and you can copy/read files on it, then nothing to worry about.

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