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Messages - Policar

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Canon General / Re: $4 Million Photograph
« on: February 24, 2014, 05:20:10 PM »
It might help putting it in the context of his other stuff:



The simplicity of the composition is the entire point, almost like a Mondrian but with textures as well as colors. (Not a big Mondrian fan, but I am a Pollock fan!)

As I said, I'm not a huge fan of Gursky because his work is kind of distant and stately (and this particular print just looks like any other expertly composed landscape to some extent; the subject is fairly banal), but I do think he's an unmistakable genius at what he does and that if you're not seeing it, the problem isn't with him.

Also, this is a HUGE print. Most good 8x10 photography is really simple, cold, and formal, because the textures become overwhelming at large sizes. What looks good on 500px is, as regards composition, completely different from what looks good printed 80X100 inches. The popular stuff on 500px is generally garbage.

I recently saw some work from this photographer ( http://www.lauramcphee.com/ronr.php ) printed wall-sized and was blown away. The thumbnails look like nothing special (still very good, as is the print in question here). What looks good in one format does not always translate to another. Guernica does little for me in thumbnail, but is overwhelming full-sized. I'm sure printed full-size this photo is incredible.

Also, if you can take a photo 98% this good on any given day, move into fine art, because you are among the very top of the very elite. And if you think 8x10 is just about resolution, keep on stitching. :)

Canon General / Re: $4 Million Photograph
« on: February 24, 2014, 11:48:35 AM »
Conceptually it's kind of boring (though at least it has a concept), but the technique and composition are better than anything I've seen posted on this forum... by far. Gursky's other work is cold, but for what it is... excellent.

Price is insane, but diminishing returns when it comes to the best.

I don't see how outcome is irrelevant... Gursky (who's working on 8x10, btw, and whose skill as a photographer technically and artistically is incredible) does amazing work. Google image search his prints. They're cold, formal, technical, kind of banal in terms of subject, but for what they are they're beyond reproach. $4 million is ridiculous, though, but what isn't. Most expensive wine surely isn't worth it either.

Cloning out some stuff and not other stuff isn't about cleaning up the image, it's about the composition as a whole. I feel like people here are so caught up on technique (ironic since few of your can shoot 8x10) they ignore the concept and execution of an excellent photograph. This isn't my favorite Gursky and his style isn't my favorite style (again, it's cold) but the guy is a freaking master.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 advice
« on: February 18, 2014, 10:47:38 AM »
Not wanting to confuse you, and also not to extend the scope of discussion arbitrarily, but if f/2.8 is not a must, you might find this interesting, too:

Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VS Tamron 70-300 F/4-5.6 VC - AMAZING RESULTS!!

It can be had really cheap and seems to be surprisingly good. This is not to say that it's up to any of the 70-200s, but amazingly close, it seems. (Well, yeah, this is a Canon forum, and the video is from "that Nikon guy"...)


The Tamron is GREAT but very soft at 300mm f5.6 relative even to 200mm f2.8 on the 70-200mm f2.8 II IS. That said, if you stop down even half a stop it's good.

And the lens overall is fantastic, small, and light. I HIGHLY recommend this lens if you plan to shoot mostly outside and don't need the lightning fast AF of the 70-200mm f2.8 II IS.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 advice
« on: February 17, 2014, 03:33:29 PM »
Wow, this got a lot more interest and replies than I thought. Thanks for everyone who took the time to answer, a lot of great advice was offered.

I saw a bunch of recommendations to invest in the canon f2.8 ii IS. While I have no doubts it's a fantastic lens, I can't help but make the comparrision to when I was buying my camera body a few months back. I was looking at a 6D vs. a 5Dm3 and also got a lot of ''get the 5D, it's the best'' (excluding the 1DX) and many people saying I'll regret the AF system in the 6D. But I got the 6D (for 1400$ new), and I'm thrilled with it. It takes stunning pictures, the AF has 99% been flawless and the few times it hasn't, I've made adjustments and got on with it. I borrowed a friends 5D for a day and while it's a better camera, I can't help but feel I got 90% of the camera for half the price.

Point of that was to say I don't feel I need the best of the best, I'm more looking for excellent quality without resorting to robbing a bank. Therefore I feel I just can't justify the extra money the canon will cost me. If I'm going down the used or refurbished (something I did for my other lens and I'll gladly do again), the tamron offers me savings of at least 600$.

As for the other options mentioned, the canon f4 IS looks fantastic, my only concern is that if i decide to attach a 2X converter, I'd loose autofocus. The converter would be a last option, but it would be nice to have that reach if I so decide. I'm also concerned about people posting that the m1 version of the 2.8 IS has much worse IQ. Can Tamron and Sigma really not make a lens in the same ballpark as canon? Both the sigma and tamron are newish lens as well.

Again, thanks for all the great replies, keep them coming.

Lenses are assets; bodies are liabilities. Look at how each depreciates in value.

I had a 70-200mm f2.8 and it was great. Tried my friend's 70-200mm f2.8 IS and it was similar, but with IS. Both are very good and you would be happy with them I think. You would also still wish you had the 70-200mm f2.8 II IS.

We both ended up selling those lenses. They weren't exactly what we wanted. The 70-200mm f2.8 II IS is.

It's not the sharpest lens I've used (the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 wins there), but it is a joy to use. You can look at test charts and user reviews all day and you'll see that the cheaper options are not that bad. However, the 70-200mm f2.8 II IS is Canon's flagship and everything about it is just made to be great. The packaging, the build quality, the look, the autofocus, the performance, etc. It's a totally no-compromise lens. The best in class.

Why go for second best, when best isn't that much more expensive (and the total cost of ownership, taking depreciation into account, is less)? Why do you have to justify it to yourself?

If it's a business expense get the cheapest you can get (or what will offer the most return on investment), if it's a toy get the best you can afford. Either way I think it's an easy choice. Wait for a refurb or for a sale. Mine was $1820 new or something. Worth every cent and more.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 advice
« on: February 16, 2014, 08:14:12 PM »
Just get the 70-200mm L II IS. It's like, what $1800? Not that much more than the others given that it's exactly what you want.
Financial responsibility is an important and valuable life-skill. Nobody questions the awesomeness of the 70-200mm L II IS, but if it's a $$ reach too far, and it's not earning money for you then the alternatives must considered.

The viable alternatives I'd be looking at would be a pre-owned EF 70-200 f/2.8 MkI, with or without IS, and certainly check prices for a pre-owned MkII IS as well. These are tough, long lasting lenses. Most pros give them a solid daily workout and they last for years. The other alternative mentioned by other posters is the EF 70-200 f/4, with or without IS. Read up; this is a lens with a great reputation.


You can resell the 70-200mm f2.8 II IS (I spent $1800 on mine, maybe) for about 90% of its new cost. If you need a bargain wait for a sale as I did or buy from the refurb store when there's a sale at the end of the month. Or buy one used.

You can resell the others for... much less.

The total cost of ownership is lower with the better lens.

Don't overthink it. Buy it.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 advice
« on: February 16, 2014, 04:38:41 PM »
Just get the 70-200mm L II IS. It's like, what $1800? Not that much more than the others given that it's exactly what you want.

To be perfectly honest it's not that much better than the 70-200mm f2.8 L or 70-200mm f2.8 L IS, but it is also a lens you won't find yourself selling another lens for so you can buy it later. And it is excellent. And it makes you look cooler. And it comes in a big box with a cool case and accessories and looks and feels so nice.

That said I usually just use my 50mm f1.4.  :P

But it's worth it if it's what you want! Resale is great, too!

Lenses / Re: Upgrade for 17-55 2.8
« on: January 01, 2014, 06:37:45 PM »
I find the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be an excellent performer, substantially better than the (old) 24-70mm f2.8 and the 24-105mm f4 IS and of course the third-party competition.

The 18-35mm f1.8 Sigma is the sharpest zoom I've used but the zoom range is limited (35mm is not long enough for portraiture) and autofocus glitchy. For the money I can't think of a better lens than the 17-55mm f2.8 IS for an APS-C walkabout lens; if it's not enough I'd upgrade to FF.

That said, even the 18-55mm IS II is great for what it is.

EOS Bodies / Re: L Lenses for crop bodies
« on: November 22, 2013, 06:09:26 PM »
its sharper on an a crop body than the 24-70ii.

Actually, I think it likely is.  Note that this is comparing both lenses used on the same APS-C body.  The 24-70/2.8 II on FF will blow away te 18-35/1.8 DC on APS-C.

The Sigma is sharper at f1.8 than the 70-200mm f2.8 IS II is at f2.8, so I'm guessing it's the best zoom on APS-C unless the 24-70mm f2.8 II is dramatically better than the 70-200.

That is, on the rare occasion it takes a photo that's in focus.


A good camera is harder to use well, but more powerful when used properly, so of course you will get both the best and the worst from it.
But let's be honest for a second... taking a good (as in substantially better than most snapshooters) photograph is REALLY easy.

I disagree on both counts i'm afraid.

You can use a 1d series and change virtually every essential setting with the camera at your eye.  On the lower canons theres much more up and down up and down and mussed shots.

Things like focus limiters and ai servo tracking behaviours make life massively easier,

In ghe video realm my ENG cameras look very complex to novices, but I know where every switch and setting is.  I barely have to go into the menus.  Lots of external controls, in a consistent place, be it dony, panasonic, jvc, grass valley, ikegami make ENG cameras far easier to use than say an XHA1, which I'd need half an hour with before being confident its set up properly, or an EX3, which is totally different again, both much more menu driven.

The difference is experience.  A novice would find a 1dx as frustrating as I find my sx230.

It might be easy to take an in focus image, correctly exposed, and with an accurate colour temperature, but thats only 'good' technically.

As I said, harder to use well because it requires more experience, but more powerful (and to that extent easier to use well) with experience.

And yes, taking a technically good photo is very, very easy, whereas producing a good composition is harder. But measured against the average composition you see here, for instance, getting an above-average composition is also pretty darned easy.

Some of the worst photography I've seen has been shot with the very best gear.

It's a double-edged sword: virtually every time I see a print I love in a gallery I learn that it's shot on 4x5 or 8x10; and yet many of the worst photographs I've taken have been on 4x5 (lots of photos of dark slides, yet more missed exposures and screwed up focus).

A good camera is harder to use well, but more powerful when used properly, so of course you will get both the best and the worst from it. And my local lab let me in on a little secret... even the best photographers bracket and turn in dark slide photos of their own. :)

But let's be honest for a second... taking a good (as in substantially better than most snapshooters) photograph is REALLY easy. The basics of aperture/shutter speed/ISO take about a day to learn and basic composition equally as long; from there you're just answering to yourself why something is bad... too dark, leading lines don't work, too busy, whatever. Taking a much better than average photograph is easy. Designing a camera or lens is incredibly hard.

Your camera did more work than you did. It has more potential than you do.

EOS Bodies / Re: L Lenses for crop bodies
« on: November 21, 2013, 12:57:02 AM »
The Sigma 17-50 is an "L" lens for crop.  The Canon 17-55 isn't.
 :-* ;D 8)
I have owned Sigma 17-50, Tamron 17-50 and Canon 17-55 ... both the Sigma and Tamron do NOT even come close to optical performance, accurate AF speed or the build quality of Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS ... but if I too was smoking some exotic stuff, I'd say I agree with you.


Also, the 10-22mm appears pretty great.

However, the 18-35mm Sigma is pretty nice. :)

If you could take equally as good pictures with a cheaper camera, why wouldn't you use it?

Doesn't the "it's the photographer" argument discredit the talented engineers who made the camera? It's certainly easier to use than it was to engineer. I certainly can't take the some photos with my iPhone I can with my 5D and 70-200; if you can, why don't you?

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« on: November 18, 2013, 08:26:05 PM »
And he didn't even mention how completely free of nasty LoCA/PF it is even wide open where the other fast 50mm are riddle with purple (and green) junk.

So between the res center and corners and the above, yeah pretty impressive as expected from the early Zeiss MTF and samples.

It's funny how no one seems to mention the lens being truly apochromatic, especially when, while the added resolution and contrast might not be immediately apparent in web-sized samples, this is obvious in virtually ever sample anyone has posted. The colors look so pure and vibrant.

This lens looks AMAZING. I have no plans to buy it, but it looks like the type of thing that can set one's work apart almost instantly if used even competently, similar to the 200mm f2 L IS.

Got mine Tuesday. The box is huge!

Not THAT much sharper than the 70-200mm or that much more impressive looking (heavier for sure), but just such a classy product. Those who ordered will like it, I think! Nice lens.

Once again, it's baffling that there isn't more demand for 50+MP cameras.

How well do Phase One cameras sell?

Given that back in the day virtually all "serious" photographers shot not only 120 but 4x5 (or larger), not nearly as well as affordable medium format gear could.

Canon has had some luck branching out into "cinema" and is attempting to branch out into security cameras. The super-high-end might be the market to pursue.

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