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Messages - Policar

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Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.

Lenses / Re: A very dumb view
« on: October 21, 2012, 07:32:07 PM »
Very surprised (and glad) to see the Hoya HMC filter do so well.

I don't use UV filters, but for video I use Hoya HMC NDs and they're just swell.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« on: October 21, 2012, 07:29:44 PM »
I have the original non-IS 70-200mm f2.8, and despite what people claim it's a perfectly acceptable lens, even wide open. Sure, the corners could be sharper at f2.8, but the bokeh is good and you can stop down to f4 for landscapes....and the focus is very fast and the contrast is good.

That said, the lack of IS is a big deal. Even with this less-than-modern lens, softness from image shake is generally way more significant than softness from a lack of sharpness. The IS II will solve both these problems. Just get it and don't look back. But be prepared for a heavy lens.

That said, the original is no slouch despite its age.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Full Frame Sharper Than Crop?
« on: October 19, 2012, 03:29:04 PM »
Lenses will always perform 1.6x better in the center in FF. Corners might be worse. Since few people outresolve the sensor in everyday shooting at that 1.6x MTF boost is for all frequencies, I'd think FF would look much sharper for most.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Where do you start for videos?
« on: October 15, 2012, 05:25:35 PM »
Quick question regarding Auto-Focus:

If your subject is moving, how do you keep the focus on at all times? Does this have to be done manually?

Hire a good AC (most pros have roughly memorized distance by eye and can pull decently on the fly at normal stops i.e. f5.6 or deeper on the 5D). Otherwise, just write your marks (with erasable marker on the follow focus and tape on set) and find a friend who's good at video games to pull--it's what I do.

All your focusing has to be done manually if you want consistently decent results (I'm not even sure the Mark III has video AF), and if you do not have an AC you'll have to practice like mad or design your shots around your limitations (or shoot at like f11 with wide lenses). Without peaking (please ML?) it is very very difficult to get an in-focus image on the fly, and even with it...very difficult.

Pretty sure it's the lens...you have some brutal (and really unattractive) falloff/"vignetting" on the first shot. That's not normal unless something is really weird inside the lens.

Both of those shots are incredibly blurry relative to how well this lens can perform. The first has horrible motion blur; of course 1/focal length won't solve that if the subject is in motion. (And since you're using a 1.6 crop anyway and digital has twice the sharpness of film give-or-take, try 1/3.2(focal length) to get acceptable results at the very minimum unless you have very steady hands). The second shot is obviously focused wrong.

It's a myth that this lens is as sharp as a high end prime (wide open) or nearly as sharp as the newest zooms. The corners are soft at f2.8... But those are incredibly soft images, worse than what any lens alone should do. It might also be an issue of your AF not keeping up. Try shooting a still object from a tripod with liveview. If it's still soft (and you've got that wonky vignette) then something is up. Otherwise, it's user error.

No one is reading the article. It states that the only phone camera that trumps old point and shoots is the Nokia 808, which has an enormous sensor.

I'm still taking better and cleaner photos with my 7 year old Kodak 6MP digital point and shoot (bought at $100 during that time) than all the IPHONES and Samsungs that my friends are using.  I still can't get what DXOmark is using to test those smartphones.

Neither can I, but the phone they cite as outpacing 5-year-old still cameras (and not even dSLRs) is the Nokia 808, which has a 1/1.2'' sensor, likely LARGER than the sensors on those old cameras. So that's...not very good. And if iPhones are much worse than that (the sensors are much smaller), that's really not very good.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Next Zeiss lens?
« on: October 12, 2012, 10:48:19 PM »
A normal lens kit for dramatic cinema is 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm or 28-135mm on FF.

I find for music videos (on the 5D) I am likely to go very wide to make a space dramatic and make dolly moves feel "big" so I often go as wide as 14mm or 17mm, but then I usually crop to widescreen. For beauty I like to shoot as long as possible, 135mm or 200mm to flatten faces. So I don't think this is an easy answer. You need it all. For standard coverage of dance I like a UWA of the space, axial punch in that's just tighter than normal, mild WAs for the diagonals, and a portrait lens for the talent, straight on the face.

I also feel ZE lenses are very overrated (they're still good, but terrible values); that said they rent well and clients like them so they are good for pros who want a high end brand. But they're just average performers (with nice coatings, admittedly) and for shooting video at normal stops (f2.8-f8) you'll get the same results with anything. Since getting a 28mm, 35mm, 85mm, and 135mm to complete the kit is prohibitively expensive, I'd just go by feel. Take out a zoom for a while and see what you want. Focal length is all that matters; performance will be fine with anything. I'd go 28mm f2 since I like that focal length, but I also love 35mm on FF a whole lot. But then you don't have enough variation between that and the 50mm (which I also like on FF; 85mm is not as nice, but I use it occasionally).

So buy what you like and rent more when you shoot. If I am shooting a music video I'd like the 16-28mm or a 14mm L for the space, the 24-70mm zooms for coverage, and the 70-200mm zoom for additional coverage and beauty CUs. And three cameras, one with each lens. But I am not a pro so this is just...preference.

Lenses / Re: 17 - 40mm for Architecture?
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:03:32 AM »
Go tilt shift! Or at least be prepared to correct in post if not, at the cost of resolution and how precise you can get your composition. For professional work you really need the 17mm and 24mm at LEAST if you want to compete, imo.

The 17-40mm is okay...  Soft at the edges particularly at 17mm, but not unusable. Better stopped down but never great. Performance improves as zoomed in; so does distortion, which is an issue but not terrible at 17mm. Weirdly, I like the bokeh with this lens. It's not smooth, but it's not yucky either, not that you'll often get much sufficient out of focus for it to really matter.

The 14mm Samyang is an odd one. Seems plenty sharp, but the distortion is very bad. If you don't mind correcting it in post (both for mustache and barrel, which makes it feel less wide in a bad way) it's good, plus if you want to correct for converging parallels I guess that can be part of the same process. But the 14mm L is a lot less distorted, for instance, and even the 17-40mm L is way better.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 + 17-40mm or 500D + 10-22mm?
« on: October 07, 2012, 11:51:38 PM »
I sort of preferred my t2i and 11-16mm Tokina cominbation to my 5D3 17-40mm combination, but like...not by a lot. IQ was similar and the t2i was smaller with a little less distortion.

The 17-40mm doesn't make that much sense on APS-C since the 17-55mm f2.8 IS is just better. But on FF it's fine. I think it's too wide for most landscapes, but that's a matter of taste, and I can't stand the lack of shift, tbh, so I'd far prefer the 24mm tse, but the price....

EOS Bodies / Re: 46mp sensor useless for landscape?
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:17:38 PM »
So what if 19 megapixels is the most a FF red-sensitive sensor can resolve at f8? A 46 megapixel bayer sensor only has 11.5 million red-sensitive photosites. No problem at all...

At a certain point it does get kind of pointless, especially if you shoot landscapes without a T/S lens (in which case--what are you thinking?). We're not there yet. There's a test online between 80MP backs and 4x5 and 8x10 and 8x10 is still best by far, though 80MP is sharper with less fine detail than 4x5.

With film enlargements you're limited by the size of the grain. 4x5 isn't that much sharper than 6x7 when stopped down to equivalent DoF but the tonality and grain are better. Same with 8x10, you can make a wall-sized print (80''X100") that holds up to scrutiny even up close, but an equivalent enlargement of 135 (to 8''X12')' is sharper (just way, way smaller and with the same granularity and tonality). With digital, there's no grain, but when you can see the pixel structure, that's bad, so there's still that matter of tonality but to a much less significant extent.

And despite diffraction, landscape shooters have shot at f64 on 8x10 and even 4x5 for quite a while and made huge prints. We might not get sharper than that without stitching, but unless you're printing bigger than wall-sized in a venue where people will stand right next to the print (extremely rare, and obviously you would want to use stitching in these cases), then you'll be fine.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: First Canon EOS C100 Short Hits the Web
« on: October 02, 2012, 07:05:47 PM »
That's fine, but I'll reiterate, how much work have you actually done posting in 4k? It's not easy. To this day, 90% of vfx shots are done at 2k, and most DCPs are delivered in 2k, too. People whose work goes to cinemas (most major studios) are still only delivering in 2k and 1080p. The Genesis and Alexa are pretty popular cameras and neither approaches 4k resolution. Very few films shot on red are delivered in 4k; most 4k film scans are downressed at some point along the chain--the only reason for scanning at that resolution is to avoid aliasing (nyquist), not to get extra detail.

Congrats on the festival acceptances and distribution deals, though. And, as a frequent festival reject who used to work for a company that picks up the occasional indie film, I mean that--it's an incredibly tough field and anything you get is a real win. To have the majority of your content see theatrical distribution or even major festival play is an incredible thing and something to be extremely proud of. That said, I've never heard of a festival that cares about format, beyond whether it's HD or not. Most submissions are made on DVDs. The fs700 does look like a nice camera, though, and I could see why someone would choose it over the cs100, though not for the 4k resolution specifically. I would take either over the BMC camera for form factor and sensor size, primarily.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: First Canon EOS C100 Short Hits the Web
« on: October 02, 2012, 05:10:07 PM »
I see the BMCC has already been mentioned a good bit, but just for the guy who thought about upgrading from the mk3 to the c100, I would definitely take a look at this video:

Comparing the Cinema Camera & 5D Mk III on Vimeo

This puts the BMCC in perspective against the mk3, and it literally blows it out of the water. Now, I have nothing against the mk3 as I own one, but for video I would definitely take a closer look at the BMCC over the c100. You could get the BMCC, matte box, shoulder mount, SDD drives, an L lens, larger external display and a follow focus and still have change left over for the same price as just the c100 body. That, my friends, is tempting.

And this is just my opinion, but I'd still rather the Sony FS700 over the c100 from the looks of it. Same price range and the FS700 has a 4k firmware upgrade coming out.

It all honestly boils down to what you want though. People have made beautiful films dealing with the horrid H.264 compression in the 5Dmk2 (and nearly all other DSLRs). If you're serious about making movies, you'll find a way to work with whatever you get.


4k is marketing fluff. No one needs it. Have you every tried posting in 4k? Exactly. The c100 has a great sensor, awesome image processing, much less skew, an anti-alaising filter, everything but a solid codec, but an external recorder fixes that. An L lens does no good to make the BMC's sensor the right size or fix skew and aliasing...what l lens is wide enough to get you a usable FOV on the black magic camera? 18-85 is the range of every cinema package on super35 (zooms or 18, 25, 35, 50, 85 primes). That's equivalent to 12-55. So that's an 11-16mm zoom and a 17-55mm zoom and those are f2.8 on a tiny sensor, so shallow focus and low light suffer. There's no compelling prime kit and the UWA options are poor.

That video is obviously biased (the part on wide angle is particularly ludicrous), and consider how much additional work in post it takes working with raw footage. What if you shoot ten hours of that for an event video. How do you cope with that? 24Mbps has the advantage of recording a lot of footage--for doc or videography or wedding it's not so bad at all. Furthermore, apply HTP (which is only necessary in the tough shots that video focuses on) and sharpen the 5D footage in post and you've split the difference in that video at the expense of a bit more grain. But let's be realistic...the 5D is no video monster in the first place. Or just compare the C100 and BMC camera and I think you'll be surprised that the C100 outdoes it in everything except flexibility of the codec in post, again an easy fix and having that small codec can be nice for other gigs.

There's a lot of hype around buzzwords like 4k and raw, thanks mostly to Red. But 90% of new tv shows are shot on the Alexa (which can use raw, except no one is shooting in that format for tv, just for cinema). Likewise almost all content is posted in 2k or 1080p for tv or for cinema. And there are no consumer 4k tvs with any market share and 2k DCP is still the standard. If you can sell clients on 4k and raw, it's worth something, because clients are as ignorant as most people who buy into that kind of fluff...except they also are less likely to care about it (but some will!). But for actually getting good images to delivery the C100 is a lot more impressive than its specs and conservative design indicate, and I would take on over the BMC camera ten times out of ten EXCEPT in a studio setting or a greenscreen shoot or such.

Software & Accessories / Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« on: October 02, 2012, 03:57:36 PM »
When I shoot film I always use one, when I shoot video I use one sometimes.

For digital stills...nah.

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