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Messages - Policar

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226
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: New to video...advice needed
« on: December 20, 2012, 04:48:59 PM »
Buy this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Bare-Bones-Camera-Course-Video/dp/0960371818

Just trust me! It's simple to read but the information is super advanced. Ignore the stuff on film camera mechanics, but pay attention to the stuff on stops, fov, etc. The composition chapter is amazing. Even gets into basic lighting. You can find some of the same info online, but this book is sooooo much better.

A normal kit for cinema production is 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (sometimes 14mm for on location or 135mm for some stuff), but that's for Super35. The focal lengths you'll need to cover for a "normal" kit are about 28-135mm.

So you're there. A 70-200mm zoom or 135mm f2 would complete things if you like that look, but you can shoot with the 35mm and 50mm alone or the zoom alone or whatever.

You WILL however need ND filters (.3., .6, .9, 1.2, etc.) and a polarizer. You want to keep your shutter speed as 1/50 and your f-stop no deeper than maybe f8 or f11 outside (usually) so for bright day exteriors those NDs are crucial. Most frequently ignored part of a complete kit, maybe. And get a nice fluid tripod, too.

227
Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 16, 2012, 09:14:40 PM »
Re: Policar
Yes, would be great to have a 17mm TS-E or even the Zeiss 21mm I keep reading about.  For those
prices though it had better grow arms and legs, walk out and pose every dang tree and bush for my
landscape photo, walk back, mount itself on my camera body and reach back and hit the shutter release.
:)
Of course that's fantasy and it's nice to hear about those sorts of lens but they are totally impractical
for lego_boy's or my budget.  Currently I'm about at about his budget going towards a EF 20mm 2.8 early next
year.

I would have to greatly disagree that his or my own budgets make getting a lens impossible.  Challenging
perhaps but not impossible at all.  I've been doing quite a bit of research and I'm still looking at adapting
an M42 mount, for $50US and $10 for an el cheepo adapter it's right in the price range my wallet likes.

As for other options; the 2 lenses I've also been looking are the old-ish Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and the
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5.  Both seem like decent lens from what I have read.  When they are available
the Tamron is less than $200US (about 130GB) and the Canon less than $275US (about 180GBP).

Don't be intimidated by having to adapt and old style lens.  Canon's EF mount being as verstile as it is and
in our budget range it's actually a very real option.

The 17mm TSE isn't very expensive for what it does. Compared with a Master Technika and a 65mm LF lens ($12,000) and $6 per frame to shoot and $200 to scan for LF or a tech camera and MFDB (which could run $60,000+ for a decent set up) a 17mm TSE and 5D II is an incredible deal.

Granted I'm not a very good photographer and don't want to give the impression that my gear snobbishness correlates with an ability to get much out of it, but I still can't see how an UWA with T/S can be replaced with a cheap, not terribly wide zoom without any lens movements. (Unless you're shooting FF, in which case 17mm is legitimately UWA, but still lacks lens movements and sharpness.) If you're taking pictures of buildings then that's fine… if you're serious about architectural photography I just don't know how you can make this work. Maybe a panoramic head, stitching and perspective correction in post, but I couldn't pull it off. More power to you if you can.

That said, if you're not worried about having the sharpest print and are willing to recompose a bit in post, any very wide lens could work for architecture. Just stop way down to give infinite focus and fix perspective in post and it's as good as T/S.Or if you're in an area where you can back up really far from the subject, even a not-so-wide lens could work. I just wouldn't want to rely on it professionally.

Fwiw, the 14mm Samyang, while dreadfully full of distortion, is a great deal and could pull this off with a lot of post work. The 10mm f2.8 Samyang (when it's released) might be a very viable option so long as you're okay with fixing perspective in post.

I'd take the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 but not for architecture. Of the lenses you've listed in your price range none are even close to as good for it as the kit lens (but you'll still need to fix perspective in post). For architecture, I'd get a tripod.

228
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 02:42:09 AM »
That sounds a lot easier than with a view camera. And picking the right aperture is just a matter of stopping down until the rest is in focus? And since it's displaying single pixels anyway, determining the circle of confusion is trivial if you just assume it's at the pixel level? And I can shoot in raw with an ultra-high contrast picture style to preview the changes I'll make and not worry about spot metering everything in frame? And not worry about exposure compensation? This sounds so ridiculously easy!

Do you use MLU and a cable release? I'd like to have the option to do long exposures, so I guess ND filters would help.

Looks nice, btw, and technically immaculate. Not my style (lens is wider than I like) but nice.

What software do you use to develop? That's sharp enough for a 12X15 print that will give me no problems and sharper than I'm used to with JPEG.

I think diffraction is way overrated, especially since you can sharpen in post. The perception of sharpness from deep focus and the lens's inherent micro contrast seems to matter a lot more. But past f16 things get hairy fast, so I do want tilt.

229
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 01:03:02 AM »
That's great, then. I'm not super technical at all, I just want three things: enough tilt that I can photograph most reasonable landscapes with deep focus before incurring tons of resolution loss from diffraction, enough rise to correct perspective, and a reasonably sharp lens.

Are there any guides for focusing tilt/shift lenses for ideal sharpness or should I just apply the same principles as I would with a view camera?

230
Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:53:50 PM »
Gees does no one ever actually read and understand the original poster's post?  I see that SO much
that it finally got to me that I had to register and stop lurking; to which I will be going back to momentarily.

Currently 150pounds is about $235 US.  In that range there is no new canon EF or EF-S lens he could
purchase.  That is about the current cost of his 18-55mm.

I think this is the sort of thing you were asking about: (or something like it I would guess)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/DIGIFLEX-58MM-Wide-Angle-Canon/dp/B003VNF116/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1355629529&sr=8-10
Do not buy these sort of auxiliary lenses at all.

The one most of the other useless replies are mentioning is this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-28mm-1-8-USM-Lens/dp/B00007EE8N/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355629684&sr=8-1
Too expensive for your budget though a very nice lens.

What you will have to try for you budget is winning something like this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Carl-Zeiss-Jena-1Q-Zebra-Flektogon-20mm-F4-20-4-M42-mount-ultra-wide-angle-lens-/121034957518?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item1c2e3ee2ce
Zeiss are always good and getting an adapter shouldn't be more than another
10 to 20pounds.  Though nearly any M42 screw lenses will fit a Canon EF camer lens mount.
If you want to be more sure look through this list:
http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/index.htm
and then choose a lens and check ebay for price and availabilty.

Hope that helps lego_boy.  Happy shooting!

The issue is he's asking for something impossible. The 18-55mm IS is a reasonably fantastic lens and the best cheap wide angle available for anything, really. At f8 it's quite strong across the frame. Wide open it's decent, too.

What he's looking for is a 17mm TSE and FF body for $200. Something wider, sharper, and appropriate for architecture (lens movements). That's $4000 minimum. Either you can ignore his price concerns or what he wants to use the lens for...

I'd recommend a tripod, honestly. If you're getting image shake that can help, and then you can stop down all you want to improve image quality. Or saving up for the 11-16mm or 10-122mm (for architecture) and fixing distortion in post. Or getting the 30mm f1.4 Sigma (or 28mm f1.8 Canon) as a general purpose lens, though it is not great for architecture.

The $12 fotodiox macro tube is nice for macro, though. That's one thing that's cheap and useful.

231
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:47:01 PM »
For about $150 you can get a back for your 4x5 camera that will let you put the 5D3 body on.  I would suggest starting there; that way, you can use your LF lenses to create a baseline for comparison.  You might find that the optics have quite a bit to do with it.   And you get to use all the movements with your digital 'back'.  I realize that it doesn't cover the full field of view, but then again, with live view, you get skip the part where you trade the ground glass for the film pack.

It would be a cheap way to experiment until you find the settings that get you what you want.

I've been playing around with some old Ektar lenses on my 5D3 (with a real kludge of an attachment), and I find the images very interesting, so I just bought myself a LF camera (a Graphic View w/203mm lens), and plan on getting one of those back as soon as the camera arrives.  I'll even be doing some film, because there is still something about it that strikes my fancy.

If you are a serious LF user, the TS lenses might not be enough for you movement wise.

The trouble with them is the small format cameras mirror box, it is so deep you often get shadowing.

As for the smaller lenses having less movements, well they need less! Tilt degrees are directly related to the focal length, Policar's 4x5 lenses have a 135 format 3x crop factor, that means any lens he used to get the same fov would need one third the tilt. If he used 30º of tilt with his 300mm on the 4x5, he could use 10º tilt with a 90mm on a 135 format for the same identical image.

Yeah I don't think the 4x5 back is the answer. I'd have to stitch like 15 frames to get the same FOV and the shadowing might mean it wouldn't work at all.

I'm not a serious LF shooter. I never really got into it. So I don't think the transition would be too painful for me, but I don't know yet.

Is that true about needing less tilt? If it is, great. Isn't Scheimpflug the same for any focal length, though?

232
Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 09:02:49 PM »
35mm f/2 is great on a crop sensor. I used that lens on my 7D more than any other lens. It isn't wide, but not too tight. It also focuses close and gives nice shallow DOF, anything wider gets more expensive.

Difference in field of view between 35 and 50 is minimal, and certainly not worth the price difference. If you can afford a 35 f/2, you might as well save a little more and get a 28 1.8.

As I see it the 50 1.8 is really the only logical option given the OP's parameters.

I strongly disagree. The difference in FOV between 35mm and 50mm is very significant--although I find both to be not so great on APS-C. On FF, for instance, I love the 50mm focal length and can't stand 85mm for most purposes (I like 135mm). You ask an experienced DP like Roger Deakins and he claims he wishes he had a prime lens for every 3mm difference toward the wide end (21, 24, 28, 32, 40, 50, etc.). I can't tell the difference at those extremes, but it illustrates a point. It boils down to personal preference and you might like 35mm and 50mm equally well (I love them both on FF quite a lot), but on APS-C I find 50mm to be a tricky focal length to love and 35mm a lot better but still just a bit long.

The 50mm f1.8 is a nice lens, but I'd rather get the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 Sigma (neither of which I've used, but a useful focal length trumps sharpness by a lot) on crop.

For architecture, of course, none of these lenses are particularly appropriate. For that it's UWA and perspective correction in post or T/S. That's really the only way to do it well. And a tripod, of course.

233
Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:37:55 PM »
I love the 18-55mm IS, but it does have its weaknesses (corners). In my experience the 50mm f1.8 is a mixed bag because build quality is poor and there's a lot of sample variation. I have a terrible sample that's very bad on APS-C but brilliant on FF, even wide open. My favorite lens on my Mark III because it's small and light and fast and I love the FOV. It's not the sharpest and bokeh sucks stopped down, but it is quite good! On APS-C, it's an awkward focal length and the softness becomes an issue.

I love the 17-55mm f2.8 IS but it's not that much better on the wide end than the kit lens. The rest of the mid-priced Ls are kind of mediocre on FF, worse than either of those two except in terms of build quality. If you can afford a 24-70mm II I'm sure that's amazing, but if you can afford that why are you shooting APS-C?

For architecture you really need to go T/S, but the 17mm is $2000, I think. The easiest way to fake it is getting an UWA (11-16mm Tokina is awesome or the 10-22mm Canon is maybe better, never used it) and correcting for keystoning in photoshop or shooting with the horizon level and cropping. Architectural photography all-but requires perspective correction. You lose a lot of resolution this way, but perspective correction is crucial for architectural photography.

Others have found otherwise, but I think the 18-55mm IS is nearly world class if you get a decent sample and shoot at normal stops. Get a tripod, maybe. I don't know what to say; if the IQ isn't up to snuff it's a lot of money to do significantly better, but significantly better stuff does exist. It's also much more special-purpose; the kit lens is a very multi-purpose lens. If you want shallower focus that's easy, though. Get the fast fifty or 30mm f1.4 Sigma or even the pancake.

234
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:26:55 PM »
The 45mm is the worst of the current TS-E series.  The 24mm II is actually better with a 1.4x TC, and the 24mm + 2x isn't really much worse.

Egads, but doesn't the TC ruin microcontrast? Microcontrast is everything with deep focus photography.

As much as the true "artist" would prefer 45mm for its elegant neutrality (for landscape; 17mm makes tons of sense for real estate, architecture, etc.), I'll take 24mm and 35mm. I might even stoop to using an ND grad filter or HDR. I'll plan on renting a 24mm, 1.4X TCIII, and 90mm TS when I take a trip west. Thanks!

235
Lenses / Re: Help me choose: EF lens for 60D
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:06:43 PM »
The 17-55mm f2.8 IS is amazing in that way something that underwhelms you by virtue of having no weaknesses is. Resale is good, too. And it's sharp and the right set of focal lengths for portraiture and landscape (could be a little longer for portraiture, I like 85mm on crop). Some weird, gnarly CA but whatever... No distortion. Punchy, nice micro-contrast. I liked it for stills and for video. It's the lens I miss most now that I've gone to FF. Build quality was as good as my L lenses.

And to be perfectly honest, I preferred the 18-55mm kit lens to the 17-40mm L on crop. I like the 17-40mm L much more on FF, even though the corners are bad. It is a fine lens by f8 and it's contrasty, but so is most everything else.

236
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:00:57 PM »
If you can wait then the much rumoured MkII 45 and 90 TS-E's are bound to be huge improvements over the MkI's, well if the 24 MkI and MkII are anything to go by they will be. The 24 got a massive gain in IQ and functionality, I will 100% be in the market for the 45 when the MkII arrives.

With regards Nikon, lenses, especially their TS lenses, really do let them down, there is zero point to a D800 if you use their weak lenses for big high quality prints. Slightly farcical, Canon have the lenses but no medium format competing sensor, Nikon have the sensor but not the lenses!

The 90mm already looks good... But yeah I looked at sample images with the 45mm and it doesn't seem as good as the 24mm or 90mm. If the new one is under $1500 and has great image quality I'll just go ahead and buy it. I'll rent for now...

It's funny about the Nikon T/S lenses. Nikon makes this amazing landscape camera and don't have the lenses to support it. I do prefer the D800E files to the 5DIII ones, but not nearly enough to make up for my huge (and probably about to get much huger if I pick up a C100) investment in Canon's system.

237
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 07:37:41 PM »
Did they discontinue all three versions or is 100 still available in 4x5? How about 120? Obviously 50 was my preference, but I can live with 100. And it was the greens, right? Green looks so good with Velvia. As for grain in the blacks, I don't know… it's certainly granier than digital, but the resolution was great even on 135. I really, really liked it and shooting film with a spot meter really improved my technique.

I might try the DXO emulation but I just can't imagine it would work. First of all Velvia has very tight color sensitivity peaks versus the pretty sloppy filters on bayer filters now to increase sensitivity, and amazing tonality since it has such low DR but such insanely thick DMAX. And beyond that it has such high contrast that any accurate emulation would map most pictures to blown highlights and crushed blacks and no one wants that (except me).

Haters always said it was cheesy, but that is why I loved it. You shoot a flat scene (four or five stops of DR) with it and use a normal lens (150mm on a view camera) and it becomes this amazing picturesque thing. Assuming you expose and compose well, that's what I struggled with. And loading film and getting focus. But try that with a digital camera and a 50mm lens and it's trivially easy but you get a very flat, boring shot even with a good composition and if it's a landscape or architecture and you've got trees the uncorrected perspective makes the leading lines point outside the frame and even the composition can never be great. So then the style with digital is HDR and UWA (without T/S to correct for perspective) and you get these super tacky, saturated photos with crazy contrast and colors but there's no actual sense of depth or reality since it's tone mapped to hell and the perspective is totally unnatural. Plus composing on 4x5 with a loupe felt big and composing in a viewfinder feels like a thumbnail. So the irony is the cheesy film turns out these beautiful elegant painterly photos, whereas digital, which should be all accurate and clinical and naturalistic, has made this really awful stuff suddenly popular.

</rant>

Did I mention I don't like HDR?

But anyhow, does anyone have much experience with the 45mm TS? Sample shots seem boring and have poor micro-contrast relative to the 24mm and 90mm, but still better than the Nikon 45mm TS. I might just get that and dump all the LF gear. Or take it for one last run (I still have a 6x12 back and access to a Nikon 9000 scanner) and bring the Canon along, too.

238
Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 05:18:07 PM »
What is this Velvia, of which you speak so reverently?   ;)

A transparent sheet of magic coated in pixie dust... DXOMark gave it a one billion.

(Of course they wouldn't; it has four stops of DR and is super grainy in the shadows at ISO 50 with terrible color accuracy.)

239
Lenses / Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 04:31:55 PM »
I asked this elsewhere, but I figured I'd ask it here, too:

I'm thinking of getting into landscape photography, which was an interest of mine I never really pursued.

I started with 135 (Velvia) and then went to 6x7 and eventually 4x5. And while I found 4x5 had everything I needed (amazing IQ, color, lens movements) it was too expensive and slow. I'm not a patient person I guess.

I'm thinking of selling off either my entire 4x5 kit or most of it and investing the money in T/S lenses for my 5D Mark III. I strongly, strongly prefer the IQ and color on 4x5 Velvia, but it is too much work to shoot and too expensive. I'm just too lazy.

My favorite focal lengths were 135mm, 180mm, and 300mm. What lenses should I get to mimic these? The 24mm TSE II seems like the best performer, but the 45mm and 90mm seem like they would give me the FOV I like. But the corner performance... yuck.

Then I'd get an ND 1.5 so I could do the long shutter speeds I like. Does that make sense?

Has anyone successfully been able to get velvia style color and tonality out of a Canon sensor? I'd overexpose a bit, meter so that the scenes I shot only had 4-5 stops of DR (very low contrast scenes), etc. But is there some way to match color (LUT)?

Thanks!

240
I personally find the difference most significant for portraiture, low light, and autofocus.

For UWA the difference isn't great unless you use tilt shift lenses, which make more sense on FF.

The 50mm f1.8 on a 5D is such a great combo. And autofocus with long lenses is stellar with the Mark III. Tonality, micocontrast, etc. are improved. A 1.5 stop advantage over the 7D sounds right.

Macro is worse.

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