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Lenses / Re: Canon 135mm f2 L
« on: April 18, 2012, 02:56:05 PM »
It's a great lens. A real money-maker for me.

Super sharp across the frame is an apt description. However, I disagree with the comment that it's probably the sharpest of all the L lenses--that would have to be the exotic $10,000+ super telephotos with virtually flat MTF curves at 99% or so.

The lack of IS makes little difference to me, but it would be extra wonderful if included. There have been a few times at events that it could have helped me when I end up in an awkward place and have to grab photos at low ISO and low shutter speed. I would buy it immediately if a new f/1.8 version of this lens came out with IS included. I probably wouldn't buy it immediately if the IS version was f/2.0, or reciprocally if a new version was 1.8 but still with no IS.

The holdability of the 135mm f/2L lens, not just weight but also handling and focal length, is super outstanding. That is just as significant of a factor for me in choosing a lens as IS.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DII Vs 5DIII for my needs
« on: April 15, 2012, 11:04:10 PM »

By the way, in your original post, why did state that you did not photograph anything of "super speed?" Car racing, especially drag racing is definitely super speed for a camera.

My 30D is okay at shooting the drags, not perfect but okay. I would hope the 5D II would be better than my 30D.

That's what I hoped, too. The 5D II is not better. Sometimes it seemed even worse.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mk III vs D800/E, is the 5D3 better at anything?
« on: April 15, 2012, 10:47:28 PM »

I shot a car race recently, and afterwards, the client wanted to downloaded jpegs straight onto his laptop. I know only amateurs and soccer moms shoot jpeg, but the ability to hand over high quality jpegs on a whim, when you don't have to opportunity to touch raw files up in post, is a huge benefit at times. To me, the out-of-camera Nikon files look like ass. That would bother me a heck of a lot more than, and take up more of my time to fix in post, than the 5DIII's disadvantage in DR.   

The strange thing is that most Pros I know switch to Jpeg once they are shooting events where they are taking large amounts of pictures and not doing dedicated (set up) work like fashion or product photography (when they usually would not use any equipment currently offered by Nikon or Canon ... MF anyone ?), as they also don't have the time to work with hundreds of raws ...

On a side note imagine the following not completely unimaginable scenario: Doing a one to two week photography trip where you would take 5 to 10k pictures ... do you still like 80MB raws afterwards with you limited processing power of a consumer notebook/mac ? I really don't think so and that is for what I need and want my camera to function perfectly ...       
When i shoot sports its always small jpegs. Ya need the buffer and ya don't need a tons of info. Even at 1- 1.5 mg our lab uses fractals and creates nice poster sized images. Our prints really do look excellent. For weddings, i don't worry about buffer or file sizes.
I am tempted to shoot both and use jpegs unless i need help with some files. Like the guy said in the video when he is done with editing the raws they pretty much look like jpegs anyway. The 5dm3 jpegs i am getting havent needed post processing which is pretty dang phenomenal but then i havent shot in a 3 diff light source poorly lit stadium either.

Totally agree. The people who wear T-shirts "I shoot raw" and only shoot raw are generally pro wananbes and not pros. I have worked for clients all over who want JPEGS, and the USATF wanted only Small JPEGs for their national Olympics.

RAW files basically give someone about 6 more bits of leeway if they took the picture wrong. The final used and delivered result never has more than the output from a JPEG, anyway.

When I shoot something critical I use RAW as a back up, but I make sure that my camera settings are set right, and I absolutely NEVER have to do any post processing.

"I have never found a practical use for RAW files in years of digital photography. In fact, here is the dirty secret of RAW files: it would take an accomplished expert hours of image processing time to match the same precision adjustments that are made to the image by the camera automatically when it exports image data to JPEG. The camera already has access to the full RAW data when it creates the JPEG image, and it optimizes and improves it automatically before creating the JPEG. So when you get the JPEG you are getting the best you can get."

Actually, I would take that quote a step further: a digital camera has access to MORE than the raw data when it converts to JPEG, so the JPEG you are getting has the potential to be better than the best you could possibly get by developing the raw file on the computer. Just ask yourself how a digital camera can do highlight tone priority, which affects both raw and jpeg output. The camera actually changes sensitivity to a lower ISO and also compresses the full 16-bit image pipeline into the 14-bit raw output. It messes up the dark end, but that is just an example of what cameras can do when developing their own JPEGs that is absolutely impossible to do in post processing.

My point is that I hope some of the self-proclaimed experts on this site will take a moment to think before accusing people who use JPEGs of being soccer moms and amateurs. Shooting JPEGs is something that full-time professionals do. Amateurs might do it too, and they might not. But logically there is no relationship between what one unrelated person does and what a professional photographer does.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DII Vs 5DIII for my needs
« on: April 15, 2012, 10:37:14 PM »
I was reading through and about to reply that you really just need the 5DII and that there is nothing the 5D3 has that you need. For good light, nothing fast, etc., like your original post said, you don't need any features that the 5D3 does better than the 5D2.

However, as soon as you mentioned cars and racing, that answers your questions right there. The 5D3 can do that. As mentioned before, the 5D2 has an autofocus system that is simply incapable of photographing racing. I have owned both cameras and tried them almost in every extent of their capabilities.

So for the subjects you need to photograph you need the 5D3. Which is the opposite of what I was going to tell you up until I heard the word racing.

By the way, in your original post, why did state that you did not photograph anything of "super speed?" Car racing, especially drag racing is definitely super speed for a camera.

Lenses / Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« on: April 13, 2012, 09:11:19 AM »

I wouldn't be so fast to laugh: Of course the 70-200/2.8 is an excellent lens, but imho has some drawbacks: a) physically larger, front-heavy on 60d, less suited for travel, b) no IS which is handy when some animal doesn't move for some time, c) very small depth of field on 2.8 - even when a bird is looking towards you, you need something like f5.6 if you want to have it in focus, d) more need for a good af and af micro adjustment (i.e. not the 60d)

Good comments about the 70-200 f/2.8, but I said the 200mm f/2.8L II. I specifically said prime. It is far lighter, perfectly balanced, and if you haven't used it, you have no place to comment.

Lenses / Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« on: April 13, 2012, 12:36:50 AM »
I read through your post again and based on your budget for lenses and the subjects you want to photograph, this is what I recommend:

* get the body only (the first lens I am recommend would be way better for your needs and a much better value than the 15-85mm)
* Sigma AF 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM OS
* Canon 50mm f/1.4
* Canon 200mm f/2.8L II

If you can't afford all three lenses, you could actually skip the 50mm f/1.4. The 200mm f/2.8L II is just the ticket you need for wildlife. It doesn't have image stabilization, but believe me, it is a much better choice for what you want than the 70-200mm f/4 IS, and actually is hundreds of dollars less expensive. On the 60D body using just the center of the image circle and having a 1.6x crop factor, it is equivalent to the 300mm f/2.8 L II lens. Once you have experienced this lens, any other option seems laughable.

PS. If you can't get the 50mm f/1.4 then the 50mm f/1.8 is a must-have option after you buy the other two lenses, and surely that would make all three fit within your budget. The only thing that I can't stand about the 50mm f/1.8 is its noisy and slow autofocus, but I still have multiple copies of it and can assure you that it is a wonderful lens, and a miracle to be priced so low. It's like a little Leica or Zeiss lens for just $100.

Lenses / Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« on: April 13, 2012, 12:23:03 AM »

One thing that helped me when I first got started: I bought a 50mm f/1.4 and just stuck with that on my Rebel for a long time. It helped me really get a handle on composition and forced me to recompose with my feet, instead of just zooming in/out. I believe I became a better photographer because of it. You can get a Canon 50mm f/1.8 for like $130, probably the best lens anywhere for the money. After that, you can start deciding how to add to your stable.

I agree with that. At the beginning of your photography career you have the most potential to develop your photography talents the fastest.

As a past photography instructor I have seen that zooms tend to kill any photographic intuition that would be normally developed by a new photographer with a prime lens.

With a zoom lens you can just sit there not being a good photographer and you'll never even know it. And keep getting mundane shots.

The over-arching thing about photography isn't cropping, composition, etc.--it is first of all what is in the picture and second of all from what perspective you are taking the picture from. In other words, where you physically are, in a relationship with where the subject physically is.

Once someone becomes an expert with lighting, their equipment, and all of that, photography basically boils down to the relationship between the subject and the camera, which is acting in the place of eyes for whoever will be viewing the photograph forever after.

A prime lens teaches you how to have this relationship between the camera and the subject, whatever that might be. A zoom lens does not teach this. It makes you think about zooming in or out, or getting around obstacles, rather than a simple relationship with the subject.

A zoom is like someone who stands in one place and screams for what they want at whatever volume is needed to irritate everyone into paying attention, rather than talking in the right tone of voice for each situation that is at hand.

As soon as so many people stopped using zoom lenses, for me I have seen for them the true world of photography open up and blossom.

The 50mm f/1.4 mentioned is an excellent choice, and I would highly recommend the superb f/2.8L 200mm lens at the ridiculously cheap price of about $800 as your next lens (it will revolutionize your photography, and it is equivalent and just as good as the 300mm f/2.8 $11,000 lens on your 60D camera). You can keep your kit lens for any wider angle shots that you need.

How far will these two lenses put you ahead of anyone else? Light years.

A lot of people think that they want a lens like a 28-300mm.

At 50mm and beyond you would be shooting closer to f/5.6 than f/4.

The 50mm lens is sharper and lets in one, two, three, four stops more light (f/5.6, f/4.0, f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.4).

This is SIXTEEN TIMES more powerful of a tool for your photography than the zoom lens.

And even if that were not true, prime lenses are still better for learning and executing the art of photography and the relationship with the subject which is all important as soon as all the technical details are mastered.

Lenses / Re: Active Sports - 135 or 70-200 2.8 II?
« on: April 11, 2012, 12:08:29 AM »
Actually, sports is what I do most, and the zooming causes me to miss a lot of shots, believe it or not. In fast motion one can't be zooming and watching. One has to anticipate and guess the best focal length, and 135mm is the best focal length to use in anticipation of almost any plays in indoor sports on an ordinary basketball-type of court.

The main thing with the 135mm is things across the court will be too far away from you.

Basketball with the 135mm is perfect full frame for almost any plays near the goal. My favorite place is near the corner just because the referees don't get in the way. I have also used the Sigma f/1.4 85mm when I am closer to the lane, with great success.

I also have the 70-200 II and I rarely use it for any indoor sports. One stop brighter always gives me twice as much freedom indoors, no matter how high of ISO the camera has. Note that with the 5D3's two-stop improvement I may actually be "lazy" and start using the 70-200 II a bit more indoors.

In the NCAA basketball season that just ended I didn't use the 70-200 II for a single basketball photo from about the end of January until April, but I used the 135mm and 85mm 1.4 almost every game, plus a 300mm telephoto for shots of the coaches and bench and shots at the other end. I don't know if you can afford it, but I always have those three lenses on three bodies, plus a fourth body with the 24mm f/1.4L II for any wide-angle group shots.

But if I could only have one of the body/lens combos to grab and keep for a game, it would be the 5D3 and 135mm f/2.0L for sure.

That's my two cents worth for you to consider.

My proposition is that iso should be kept as low as possible as a matter of best practice.

Always. Absolutely always. That's the first thing that should always be taught in class. Camera ads, Kodak film ads (in the past), etc., made it sound like high ISO was somehow better. The best images and the best practice for taking images is always to shoot at the lowest possible ISO that can be used for the given subject and conditions.

Sometimes people mistake this for meaning "try to shoot volleyball at 1/125th to improve image quality." Sometimes the lowest possible ISO is extremely high for some subjects.

But that is the golden rule, briansquibb, and you couldn't have said it better.

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D Mark III White Balance issues?
« on: April 09, 2012, 03:52:22 PM »
This is caused by the refresh speed of the lights. Anything faster than 1/60th (actually 1/30th, because at least two full cycles are needed during exposure for reliable averaging to happen) can cause colors to change.

The spectrum emitted by the lights varies drastically during the alternating current cycle which has a high or low peak every 1/60th of a second. Some lights have a photoelectric phosphoresence effect that continues to emit the same intensity/color of light despite the cycling of alternating current. Others change color from white to red or green or other horrible colors.

Try taking a picture of a white wall at 1/500th of a second under these lights, and you will easily see bands of color across 1/3rd or 1/2 of the frame. There are some cameras which have mechanisms to fight it, but mathematically they can't always win.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will the D1-x really be superior to the new 5DIII?
« on: April 07, 2012, 12:41:21 AM »
The 5DIII's AF [...] it's still not as snappy or responsive as even my ancient 1DII.

With all due respect, I must disagree here. What lens(es) are you using and what AF settings when you say that the 5DIII is not as snappy or responsive in autofocusing as the 1DII?

With my 24mm f/1.4 L II, 85mm/100mm f/1.8 / f/2.0, 70-200 mm f/2.8L II, 135mm f/2.0L, and other fast-focusing lenses, I find the AF to be more snappy and responsive as the best bodies from both Nikon and Canon that I have ever used--until now this does not include the D4, which, together with the 1DX, would be the only camera more responsive than the 5D3. With a lens like the Tamron 60mm f/2.0 Macro for Canon, on the other hand, AF is not as "snappy," but here the culpability lies with the lens rather than the body. (That lens is excellent, by the way--it is just noisy and slow due to its not being equipped with the latest silent focusing motors.)

And the low light EV -2 sensitivity of the 5D3 is absolutely for real, not a marketing gimmick. I was shooting in theatre/jazz production Thursday evening and had no problem focusing anywhere in the dark theatre--and I'm not talking about the stage, but about the audience. Starting with ISO 25K, f/1.4, 1/10th of a second and even darker than that--it could nail focus like magic. It was necessarily to precisely aim the selected focus point at the subject, but it was easy and felt nearly too good to be true.

The lower ends of ISO for the 5D3 are not necessarily spectacular improvements over low ISO from previous Canon cameras or versus the Nikon D800 (but very comparable). This is simply because low ISO performance has gotten as good as it can get already.

But the amazing thing about the 5D3 that doesn't show up in DxO-Mark style testing is how flat its image quality curve really is. Although it may reach SNR 85% at a somewhat lower value, its high image quality stays essentially the same for a range of several thousand ISO values.

Just to prove this, I am attaching an unedited ISO 3,200 100% crop from my 5D3. There has never been this little difference between ISO 3,200 and ISO 100 in any other camera. Period. Not even the D4.

As I have mentioned before, the 5D3 seems objectively better by three stops compared to the 7D, two stops better compared to the 5D2. At low ISO there is no point arguing, but the difference is obvious anywhere above ISO 800.

Canon has a winner on their hands. In my mind, the values of the 7D, 5D2, and all previous cameras have just dropped by about 90%. If you are trying to decide between a 7D, 5D2, or the 5D3, there is absolutely no comparison. Three stops means eight times better (and to me, worth eight times as much) as the 7D. Two stops means four times better (and to me, literally worth four times as much) as the 5D2.

And the improved autofocus and all that is the incredibly delicious icing on the cake. For those who don't rely heavily on autofocus systems, there is still reason enough to buy the 5D3. And for those whose jobs depend on taking rapid-fire sequences of randomly moving targets in perfect focus, the improved autofocus added to the image quality makes the 5D3 the perfect camera. That was something the 7D could do to some extent, and which the 5D2 could not do at all.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 85 1.4 vs Canon 85 1.2L
« on: April 05, 2012, 01:53:28 PM »
Go with the Sigma 1.4. For me it is more versatile and just as sharp.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D MKIII vs 1Ds MKIII
« on: April 03, 2012, 10:47:37 AM »
tom, I think you should get the 5D3. The other camera you mention was good for its time period. But it's like a Pentium 4 computer vs. a Sandy Bridge computer. I don't know if this analogy rings any bells, but I'm trying to say that the 5D3 is a revolutionary improvement compared to the  1Ds MKIII.

If you were comparing the EOS-1D Mark IV vs. the 5D3, then I would say it is more of a wash, although the 5D3 sensor is twice as good even compared to the EOS-1D Mark IV.

All these people talking about "barely a few stops better" need to realize that even one stop is twice as good, i.e., 100% better. After a week with the 5D3, I would rather have it than any three camera bodies prior to the EOS-1D Mark IV, and it is also easily worth more than the $5,000 EOS-1D Mark IV.

So even for $3,500 (or whatever the price is in your country), the 5D3 is the only choice that I would consider if I were in your situation.

EOS Bodies / Re: Shot wedding with 5DIII, dissapointed in AF
« on: April 02, 2012, 06:12:46 PM »
This is not what I am getting. I shot an inauguration on Friday with the 5D3 and autofocus was insanely perfect and snappy down to exposures of 1/30th at f/2.0 at ISO 12,800 with the 135mm f/2.0L.

I also shot a track meet that ran until 1030 pm under poor stadium lights, and tracking was right on, even with runners going in and out of the uneven beams of very dim lights, or backlit in the curves of the track.

The AF of the 5D3 is absolutely incomparably better than the 5D2, and I have loads of experience to be able to make this statement.

BTW, I am using the automatic focus tracking which uses the center spot to lock on and then tracks it to any of the other 61 AF points. It is the mode that shows up with a border around all the AF points and a bold center point, when you are selecting autofocus modes. (I am describing the view through the viewfinder.)

Also, AF worked just as well even if I selected the initial focusing point as one of the other ones rather than the center.

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