January 27, 2015, 02:01:41 PM

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Messages - Policar

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1
Hi guys

For all you out there doing landscape photography; I'm very interested in hearing about what would be your choice if you could only use one lens for shooting landscapes. Whether it would be a super wide angle, telephoto, something in between, zoom, prime, or maybe a specialty lens such as a tilt shift or macro?

(One other point that is beneficial to note is what sensor size you would use that with; full frame, 1.3x crop, 1.6x crop.)

And to try to avoid this being just another thread where various people list all the lenses in Canon's lineup, I would be very interested in why you would choose that particular lens for your needs.

Hope this is not another dreadful repetition. I couldn't find anything like this in regards to landscape photography.

- Alex

90mm TS-E, although if the 45mm TS-E were better I'd choose it instead. :)

I find shift necessary for perspective correction and I like compressing space into a texture.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D or 5D Mark III. For video. Which one?
« on: January 01, 2015, 11:01:06 PM »
Hello guys and gals. :)

In last couple of weeks I was trying to decide which camera to buy. 6D or 5D Mark III.

My primary job is filmmaking (music videos, short movies, documentary, webisodes, etc.).

It's easy to say, let's go and buy Mark III, but at this very moment I need to think about price and all. In a way, is it really good to put that amount of money (difference is around 1300$) in Mark III or maybe 6D is just enough for the most of work I will do.

And for how long I can be satisfied with those cameras? (in a way, I could work with those bodies in next 3-5 years...)

Cheers! :)

If you are interested in a DSLR for film making you would be much better off with a GH4, NX1 or A7s than with either the 5D3 or 6D.

In terms of image quality alone, yes. In terms of buying into a system that's easy to use and doesn't require awkward adapters and difficulty interfacing with other Canon shooters, no.

But I agree. The A7S (other than its brutal skew) is quite a beast. The GH4 with XLR module (other than its poor low light and small sensor) is great, too.

I would still recommend a used C100, used FS100, or used AF100. But between 6D and 5D Mark III, 5D Mark III for sure!

3
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D or 5D Mark III. For video. Which one?
« on: January 01, 2015, 06:54:24 PM »
? Is there a good reason to NOT recommend the 7DmkII?

Just curious.

Thanks, Will T.

Based on my experience with the 70D, the 7D II should have great AF, but suffer from all the dSLR issues (bad sound, aliasing, no focus peaking or punch-in for focus, no good pre-amps, no waveform monitor, poor codec, not great color science, aliasing, etc.) as well as being APS-C with frame-skipping resulting in relatively poor sensitivity at extreme ISOs.

Should be fine if you can figure out how to get good sound and your client doesn't care about a bit of aliasing and softness. But the C100 (or FS7 if you have the money) should be soo much better.

Have you actually used a 7DII?

No, but I've used the 70D and the sample footage from the 7D II has the same look (and same aliasing).

The Mark III is not a "ready to shoot" camera. The preamps are dreadful (if you never need to record sound that's another matter), there's no focus peaking or exposure tools, etc. To kit one out to be "production-ready" you'd spend more than you'd spend on a C100 (or used AF100 or FS100)... It's the cheapest, but not the least expensive. The 6D I can't recommend for video specifically.

They're all pretty awesome compared with what was available 5 years ago, but unfortunately standards have increased, too. 4k I don't think is necessary until your client demands it.

4
Lenses / Re: Yongnuo EF YN 50mm F/1.8
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:13:57 PM »
If it's sharper than the 50mm f1.8, then it's sharper than Canon's sharpest 50mm prime wide open, and also sharper at f1.8.

The Canon 50mm f1.8 has poor build quality and sample-to-sample variation. And the five-bladed aperture sucks for anything other than wide-open use. If I can snag a decent copy for $40, this is my new walk-around lens on my 5D III and will probably replace my 50mm f1.4 Sigma non-art (great lens, awful AF) and 50mm f1.8 Canon.

Which is sad. :(


5
Photography Technique / Re: Your favorite f-number for landscape shots?
« on: December 28, 2014, 03:29:18 PM »
Whatever stop or technique allows you to keep everything in focus for a given scene.

On a view camera f16-f64 with tilt/S___...

On a dSLR f8 to f22 or something around f8 and focus stacking if need be. Typically on focal lengths >35mm so the space doesn't feel to artificially expanded.

6
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D or 5D Mark III. For video. Which one?
« on: December 28, 2014, 12:55:37 AM »
? Is there a good reason to NOT recommend the 7DmkII?

Just curious.

Thanks, Will T.

Based on my experience with the 70D, the 7D II should have great AF, but suffer from all the dSLR issues (bad sound, aliasing, no focus peaking or punch-in for focus, no good pre-amps, no waveform monitor, poor codec, not great color science, aliasing, etc.) as well as being APS-C with frame-skipping resulting in relatively poor sensitivity at extreme ISOs.

Should be fine if you can figure out how to get good sound and your client doesn't care about a bit of aliasing and softness. But the C100 (or FS7 if you have the money) should be soo much better.

7
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D or 5D Mark III. For video. Which one?
« on: December 27, 2014, 05:30:10 PM »
The 6D, while fantastic for stills, is a difficult choice for video exclusively due to the very bad aliasing. The 5D is much better in this regard, though otherwise similar.

I would order a C100:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/889545-REG/Canon_EOS_C100_EF_Cinema.html

While it is more expensive, the upgrades it already contains make it a better value proposition than the 5D.

None of these cameras have good high frame rate or 4k, which some believe certain clients will want. I'm not so sure.

As someone who owns both the 5D and C100, and has used every other major camera system (excepting the F65 and Amira), I would put the C100 closer to the Alexa than to the 5D and with better ergonomics for a single user than any other camera system. It's GREAT. But it doesn't do slow motion or 4k, however the 1080p image is the sharpest of any camera currently available, including the Alexa and Red, whereas other Canon has the softest 1080p I've seen (but good colors), which measures closer to 720p and "feels" more like SD in many cases.

Pick one up used; the MKII is not much better and was just released. I can't recommend this camera highly enough, although the learning curve is a bit more than the dSLRs.

8
How Canon can ignore the market when the technology is there is beyond me. They created an entirely new product and idea accidentally, but are now intentionally turning their back on it. IMO they will come to regret this decision with Sony, BlackMagic, and the likes dominating. Why would I purchase a C100 for twice the cost of a A7s? The two have offsetting features/outputs, but ultimately the Sony delivers far more value and image quality.

Then get the A7s.

Canon isn't trying to market toward the cutting edge of hobbyists, but toward wedding videographers, low end corporate, etc. That's why their mirrorless segment sucks for stills, too; they're focusing on products designed for professional shooters, who don't need that extra DR but do need that killer autofocus and optical finder and lens compatibility. When they throw that out, you get a sorry consumer product in the EOS M. Whereas the 7 DII looks fantastic.

That said, the A7s has a dreadful interface and ergonomics for shooting video, poor lens compatibility, a non-standard codec that's less industry-friendly (if arguably better) than on the C300 or C100, and Sony's SLOG 2 implementation is awful with over-saturated highlights that can't be fixed in post, odd skin tones, and too much dynamic range for an 8-bit wrapper. And the skew is just dreadful, not a nice combination for a lightweight camera. I find the image far inferior subjectively to the C300, but technically it is great and the low light knocks everyone's socks off.

I spent a lot of time with the F5 and while the specs blow the C300 away, the user experience was really poor. Bad timecode sync, ugly colors, magenta skin, ugly grain structure, SLOG 2 sucks (SLOG 3 is better so kudos to Sony there!) wheras WideDR and the current Canon Log color matrices are really nice and very pretty, etc. It was like driving a car with a lot of horsepower but terrible handling.

Canon's the market leader so they're focusing more on boring "pro" features that make the camera easy to use and with footage that's small, easy to ingest, and edit, and can even look ok straight out of the camera. WideDR looks great and has lots of DR; EOS standard intercuts with Canon dSLRS, which are still ubiquitous, even on network tv as b cameras (seriously). Sony has great specs but takes more work to make it work and it's not there when every MB and transcode costs your company serious time and money. For an enthusiast, seems like a no-brainer to get the Sony, the low light is incredible and if you avoid clippy saturated highlights and skew then the image is very competitive and better than Canon dSLRs for sure (if you can grade well). But for bread and butter shooting the C300 still owns the market segment and there are very good reasons why it does. The image is beautiful and really easy to post with and requires low end hardware and not much support to use. Great single operator camera, I see them all over. Canon is a lot like Apple: poor specs for the money, but great user experience and system loyalty for that reason. Arri even more so. The highest end cinema camera still has the lowest resolution sensor, but the Alexa is a dream. Curiously, Canon's lowest sensor density camera is also its most professional, the 1DX. Nikon's D4 is even lower-res.... Maybe not so curious. Pros pay for hard drives, they don't sell more photos if they have more resolution beyond the baseline needed.

Black Magic seems cool, but I find their products horribly bad for ergonomics, and the 4k has static noise like crazy and just a bad interface whereas the 2.5k aliases like nuts and also has a bad interface. The pocket camera seems cute, though incomplete. Cool studio camera for well-lit green screen shots, but not as flexible by any means as any of the competition.

But yes, Canon did abandon anyone who wants "cinema" video IQ in a dSLR for cheap (whereas Sony and Panasonic made some great strides here), and they did so to support their cinema line. The Mark III isn't terrible and the 70D introduced really cool AF, but the image didn't get dramatically better. No, it wasn't very nice for them to focus on professional gear instead, but so far it has paid off financially. To be honest, I also think the C300 is a great product, just pricy. Sharpest 1080p on the market (sharper than some 4k and probably as sharp as the Alexa's 2k tbh definitely sharper than Alexa 1080p), great colors, easy codec to handle in post. I still hope the C300 Mk II is strong enough that Canon isn't afraid to improve their image quality on their still cameras. The 5D Mark II still has a nice look, and Canon does great color processing. Would be cool if they improved the specs just a bit, I agree, but they will never again be cutting-edge, at least not intentionally. The 5D Mark II was a fluke. Also, 120fps... that would be sick.

9
Lik's photo is a tone-mapped clichéd mess;
Probably you are right.

Quote
Gursky's is extraordinary.
Please tell me why? I really (honestly) would like to understand.

Gursky reminds me a bit of David Fincher. You get this really technically perfect (imagine that photo except wall-sized and with the equivalent of like 400 megapixels of detail) cold, clinical image that's still beautiful. I don't think this is Gursky's best photo at all, but try framing up a shot of a river that has that clean a composition and that symmetry. You would never walk by that scene and see something so perfect (and I'm sure it's digitally manipulated, but I can't tell where...) but it also feels naturalistic. It's a very elegant, beautiful look at something more mundane.

Gursky is a little crazy and he gives you this very high camera angle usually looking down on something and it's very clinical and cold (and usually shot in 8X10) so of course it's where you put the camera and how you present the subject matter. I think Terry Richardson is a great photographer if you're trying to shoot everything from a predator's POV, for instance. Gursky's POV is very cold, superior, organized, and it's not easy to emulate, though it's trivially easy to identify his style.

Lik is a great brand-maker, but his photos are just overbaked landscapes. He's not incompetent, but his stuff wavers between decent and garish.

It's kind of silly that on one hand you have someone who's so cold and intellectual and on the other you have someone who's maudlin and basically the Thomas Kinkade of photographers. Kincade and Mondrian, maybe... But Gursky is better than Mondrian.

I'll take Vermeer or Velazquez. :) Dig the hell out of Gursky but he's not my personal favorite, just think he's very accomplished and does great stuff.

I do think Gursky's stuff looks much better LARGE, as it's meant to be, whereas Lik's photos have a nice thumbnail over saturated/over-tonemapped POP that looks great on Facebook.

10
I just don't understand the value put on this photo.  'Bella Luna' is hideous. But he does good work in general.  I could see it fetching 100's, maybe 1000's at most.  I guess it's all about marketing.

"Bella Luna" is hilarious. He didn't even use the right transfer mode when he superimposed the stock image of the moon. And the composition is poor... everything about it is awful, but hilariously awful.

This is just a fairly good photo that's been tone mapped a bit too aggressively and put into black and white to make it art. I keep forgetting about that one. This isn't nearly that bad.

11
Lik's photo is a tone-mapped clichéd mess; Gursky's is extraordinary.

12
I never found my old 70-200mm f2.8 L to match the test charts, so I traded up to a brand new 70-200mm f2.8 II IS, but it's... not that much better. It is better wide open, less "weird," and possessing less character, but it's not in the same category as the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 for tack-sharpness wide open...

It does seem to have good IS (for stills, not video as much) and great autofocus and build quality (so the the original) so I can't say it's a bad lens at all. The IS alone really made the difference, at least for stills, but it's no "miracle" lens as the 200mm f2 and Otus and recent Sigma Art lenses appear to be.

13
Hideous tone-mapped mess, but clever technique with the thumb thing.

14
Introduce a lot of backlit clouds or street lights at night or even go deep in a forest with just a few rays of light or peer into a cave or balance between the inside of a house and the outside without much light.... and you're looking at valid 14+ EV scenes no problem.

In other words, you'd still be clipping or blocking with an Exmor sensor.  It'a a point that I've made before...~13.x stops of DR is better than ~11.x stops of DR, but the number of scenes that have more than ~11.x but less than ~13.x stops is far exceeded by the number of scenes with <11 or >14 stops.  In jrista's example with the a7R home interior shots, the windows still had blown highlights despite the greater DR of the Exmor sensor.

Shooting with the C300 and Alexa side by side, you soon see just how many scenes fit into the 11-15 stops of DR range. But that's for video. I still disagree for stills, a little extra detail can't hurt. Clipping isn't so bad in a very high contrast scene, but clipping later rather than sooner is best.

Canon's sensors are still fine for what I need, I don't see all the fuss, but I'm aware that there are those to whom a little extra shadow detail matters and try to respect that.

15
A stop or two off is a HUGE error if you're metering right. If you're getting that kind of error from metering, Canon really does have a problem! When I shot 135, my F4 could expose properly for Velvia, which has +/- 1/3 stop exposure latitude, when set correctly, though I'd still spot meter (with an external meter) to check.

You can't tell, but if you've been spot metering scenes for years (which any of us shooting MF and LF I'm guessing have) you can easily guess... and that scene has around 8-9EV of meaningful dynamic range (even if you exposed wrong it's only the white sign, maybe the reflections off the sand, or the black shirt in shadow–nothing important to have tons of texture in–that would clip) and the 10D should have no trouble with it even if you expose a stop wrong one side or the other.

What I meant is that the contrast on a print is 4-5 stops of contrast at most, usually 4. For the best print. So you either have to tone map (cheesy) or shoot a flat image if your scene has a lot of contrast. Or wait on good (flat) light. That's why Velvia had 4-5 stops of DR and made for the best landscapes. It's funny everyone wants all this dynamic range for landscapes when ideally landscapes were something you'd approach trying to get as flat in-camera as possible because you knew the final print would only have so much contrast. Or the zone system accommodated 10 stops of DR, but Ansel Adams' B&W prints would look a bit cheesy tone mapped that far in color, let's be honest, and not many of us have surpassed his technique even digitally! But a computer screen has a 1000:1 contrast ratio nearly (9-10 stops of DR) so you can shoot higher contrast material and still have it "pop" like slides on a lightbox with less tone mapping.


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