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Lenses / Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« on: March 19, 2013, 10:50:18 PM »
helpful how is it that you can use 3-4 times faster shutter speed with an 85mm 1.8 -vs- a 70-200mm 2.8 IS? you can react faster with a prime than a zoom?  halos around out of focus objects making things appear less sharp?

dude, what are you talking about?

I will answer, but by my answer I mean no disrespect to those, like myself, who invested over $2,000 in the 70-200 lens:

In regards to stops:
The transmission of the 70-200 II is T/3.4. The Tstop of the 85mm f/1.8, in both Nikon AF-D and Canon USM versions, is almost exactly T/1.8 as advertised. Let's just say 1.9 to be safe. The reason for the difference is because of the sophisticated lens design in the 70-200mm II that is used to correct aberrations at many distances and many focal lengths, not to mention the extra elements used for the IS unit.

To compute the relative speed of lenses to one another, one simply divides the higher Tstop value by the lower Tstop value, then squares the result.
3.4/1.9 = 1.789
1.789 squared = 3.2, i.e., three times faster of a shutter speed. 3-4 times was a bit of an exaggeration because I did not actually do the math, but was just basing it off of real-world experience.

In regards to out of focus characteristics:
There are those who look at the edge of someone's jersey, and see a halo/blur, and return their lenses, not realizing that the plane of focus is sharp. It happens most often when people are shooting stage events from down in the seating, and their cameras consistently focus around waist level because that's the nearest object within the active focus points, making 80-90% of the shots unsharp.

By no means is the 85mm lens perfect, and yes, it does have the purple fringing problem, but at f/2.8 it does not have it more so than the 70-200 II lens.

Lenses / Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« on: March 19, 2013, 09:19:43 PM »
The 85mm f/1.8 will give you better images at f/2.8 than the 70-200mm II as well much better light transmission.

Actually, the 70-200 II is sharper at f/2.8 than the 85 f/1.8 at f/2.8, and very significantly so in the corners.

Light transmission is only of a concern for videographers. For still photography, through-the-lens metering takes care of those types of differences. And I really doubt there's much of a T-stop difference between the two when used at the same apertures.

No, the corners wide open on the 85mm f/1.8 are 2,888 line pairs per image height, versus 2,954-3,100 for the 70-200mm II. That difference is almost invisible. At f/2.8 they are essentially the same in resolution figures (28 line pairs difference), but the chromatic aberration of the 70-200 mm II is at least five times worse: 29 - 60% versus only 5% for the 85mm f/1.8.

The shallow depth of field of the 85mm f/1.8 causes halos around out of focus details, making people think that it is not sharp, but for me that's the beauty and my intent in using this lens.

It doesn't impress people watching me take pictures, but my photos impress the people selecting them for running in the news. I can react much more quickly, focus more quickly, and use 3-4 times faster shutter speeds.

There is that much of a Tstop difference when used at the same apertures.

As a reference for those who may own the 50mm f/1.4, the 85mm f/1.8 is much better. Even when stopped down two stops all the way down to f/2.8, the 50mm in the corners is worse than the corners of the 85mm wide open.

Lightroom 4

My favorite--good job.

Lenses / Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« on: March 19, 2013, 04:55:48 PM »
The 85mm f/1.8 will give you better images at f/2.8 than the 70-200mm II as well much better light transmission.

In Tstops, the 70-200mm II lens is really T/3.4. It is more than 1/3rd stop slower than f/2.8 (not "huge" in the grand scheme of things, but very real). So the 85mm f/1.8 lens is actually more than twice as bright, about 250% as bright.

The 85mm f/1.8 is also lighter and thus more useful in enabling you to remain fresh and keep getting good photos compared to the 70-200mm lens in real world situations where 85mm is an appropriate focal length and/or when you can zoom with your feet. It is much faster in actual shooting of fast action.

The 70-200 II is what you need when you need a zoom and need that zoom to be as perfect as can be. But an f/2.8 zoom can never compete in situations that a fast, lightweight prime lens is designed for.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod/Monopod - What a clever idea!
« on: March 16, 2013, 12:06:56 AM »
Thank you for this thread. I am always open to something better, and I am already thinking about buying one of these, thanks to you.

Canon General / Re: Why did you choose Canon?
« on: March 13, 2013, 11:26:40 PM »
It's photography, and somewhat cameras and lenses in general, that I love, not Canon. I'm passionate about the art that I create with a camera, not about the word on the front of the camera.

So the reason I "chose" Canon was the exact reason I chose and use several other brands--the unique features that I need for making a specific image.

For Canon, this would be some of its lenses, which in their niche are either superior or unique.

And for the same reason I have almost an equal amount of Nikon equipment. For example, today I shot with a Canon camera about half the time and with Nikon camera combo for the other half of the time. Using both of those systems, as well as many others, and being proficient at them, allows one to see photography freely as an art form, not as the customer of a camera brand.

Just like a B.A. normally requires a foreign language, so an M.F.A. in photography should require knowledge of a "foreign" camera system until we know it just as well as our "native" language. Ideally, we should have no other native language except the language of art itself.

Landscape / Re: How Would You Edit This Landscape Photo?
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:43:54 PM »
These results are all wonderful. This is one of my favorite threads ever on CR.

Landscape / Re: How Would You Edit This Landscape Photo?
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:08:11 PM »
Sorry Guys I need one more go to get more detail in the sky, and warm it up a little, and tried a wider crop

Your second result here is fabulous.

Landscape / Re: How Would You Edit This Landscape Photo?
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:06:24 PM »
2 minutes work in Apple Aperture 3

Great result!

Landscape / Re: How Would You Edit This Landscape Photo?
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:56:13 PM »
My favorites are:

peteroc 2nd color version
Chuck Alaimo

This is an awesome thread and good photo material to work with.

Lenses / Re: Advice on a telephoto lens for street photography
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:02:43 AM »
Ever considered to choose a 2.0/100 ?

It's an almost boring lens in terms of pure specs: No IS, no red ring but: it is short, a little bit longer than the 1.4 50mm and hence very unobtrusive. IQ is very good from f/2 on: high contrast, very good texture rendering. Just sharpness increases if you stop down a little. AF/USM is very fast.

Just my 2ct - Best, Michael

That's great advice, too. Many times I'm somewhere at a big basketball game with my big lenses in my box and using my 100mm f/2, surrounded by people with their big lenses. And I'm the one getting all the shots with the 100mm's lightning fast focus, high light transmission, and almost perfect focal length for that job. As Louis L'Amour stated, only the very best gunfighters never need to prove it to anyone, and all the rest do. The 100mm doesn't need to prove itself with huge size or a white case, because it is one of the very best.

From someone who knows, let me say that you can't effectively use a 60D for sports. You could set it someplace ahead of the action and perhaps get one frame if you practiced. That's if you were lucky.

I tried using the 60D and the 5D Mark II for sports. Maybe they could suffice for someone who didn't have my standards, but for me they were worthless. However great they are, they simply could not get photos when it counted. You can get perhaps one good shot per game with the 60D or the 5D Mark II. The standards my job requires are to get one good shot per play. That's a huge contrast.

On the other hand, the 7D is way up near the top of sports cameras. Only in bad lighting does the picture quality decrease. And even then it isn't that bad because you can still boost the ISO very high, albeit with a lot of graininess. But the AF system still keeps up. Compared to graininess, getting the shot and getting it in focus is way more important. The 7D can do both, and the 60D cannot do either one.

Lenses / Re: Advice on a telephoto lens for street photography
« on: March 05, 2013, 11:29:34 PM »
I've been full circle almost using almost every option for extensive periods of time, zooms to primes, fisheyes to 400mm f/2.8 II. Right now at the moment I am starting to fall in love again with the 200mm f/2.8L II lens for just the purpose you mention. Nothing is as comfortable, as stealthy, or as effective.

I have the 70-200mm II, and I practically hate that lens as a working tool. Carry one around 14 hours and you'll hate your life. Carry the 200mm f/2.8L II lens around for the same length of time, and you'll be smiling at the end of the day and probably have way better pictures as well.

If you're doing night street photography, the 135mm would make sense as well, but the 200mm focal length just has that perfect framing for candid photos and continues to have nice backgrounds wide open at longer distances than the 135mm.

Lenses / Re: Cheap Canon 300mm or 400mm do I Choose?
« on: March 01, 2013, 12:57:24 AM »
Are you shooting baseball and doing it mostly in the daylight? Go with the 400mm f/5.6. It will do much better for baseball outdoors.

If you want a general purpose lens, then the 300mm with IS and f/4 would be better. But there is no way to get the same reach out of the 300mm f/4 lens without reducing the image quality significantly below the quality of the raw 400mm lens. In terms of megapixels, the 400mm lens offers about 77% higher resolution at the same distance compared to the 300mm lens, plus a slight sharpness advantage on top of that.

However, unless you are desperate now is probably not the time for either one. I have a feeling that at least one of them will be replaced, perhaps both, with new and much improved versions.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon 7100 has been anounced
« on: February 21, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »
Update: this does sound off-topic, but I wrote it to respond to the conflict that was beginning about the "color palates" of Nikon vs. Canon, a conflict that is fundamentally flawed.

The "color palate" of cameras, lenses, and LCDs which I hear about so often is a figment of photographer's imaginations. The only thing a lens has to do with color is separating between color contrasts (low chromatic aberration). The only thing a camera has to do with color is its AWB. The only thing an LCD has to do with color is its calibration (and color spectrum coverage); miscalibration might result in the color being displayed improperly during playback but has zero to do with the actual image, as someone correctly noted by distinguishing between the LCD and the monitor (although the monitor might also be calibrated improperly).

By setting the white balance manually, using both axes that Canon and Nikon make available, not just a one-dimensional Kelvin scale, you can make the colors perfect in the actual image that is recorded digitally. (The reason there are only two axes but three colors is because the third color is determined by exposure, so it is only necessary to control with two variables the proportion between the remaining colors. It is just like the degrees of freedom in statistics, which for a one-sample student's t distribution is one less than the number of data points.)

There is no such mysterious thing as one brand of lens having "warmer colors" or all this other nonsense. Colors are a completely relative thing with digital photography, and even the RGB simulation of color is just a representation of the color spectrum which is actually an interval of the wavelengths of light. RGB colors are unnatural compared to sunlight, and it is just a blessing that our eyes and brains are complex enough to create the illusion of full color from a mixture of RGB.

So since colors are completely relative and white balance completely controls them (except for chromatic aberration), there is simply no such thing as a color palate of a camera or lens, or anything else.

The only thing that might be partly true to say is that the AWB doesn't work the way you see things with your eyes. But that's what you deserve if you are using AWB anyway--it gives someone else's interpretation of color rather than your own. If you want your photography to be determined by the color tastes of an engineer in Japan, then go ahead and use AWB.

And even then you can't blame AWB, because AWB can be fully adjusted so that it delivers your color tastes but still automatically adjusts for different lighting contexts (within the imperfect limitations of technology to detect such things properly, of course).

It's just a shame to see people believing that cameras have "color palates," when it is actually fully under the photographer's control.

Even among professionals, those who are willing to learn to get color right are in the minority. I see so many "great" pictures that are just terrible because those who processed the RAW files don't know anything about white balance, and because the photographer didn't do their job on site to set (or even take any photos of subjects that would have provided the needed data for) the proper white balance.

For example, there was a photo of a bee and sunflower on here. The white balance on that was not quite right. I have done extensive sunflower photography jobs and know quite a bit about it. The bee was OK, but not the background and colors. (I shouldn't judge this though. On the original user's monitor they may have been perfect, but on my precisely calibrated screen they were considerably off.)

P.S. The way to assess "perfect" white balance as I alluded to, is simply to hold a print from your photo next to the original subject. If the colors are not the same, then the white balance is off.

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