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Messages - Random Orbits

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61
Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 29, 2014, 01:04:15 PM »
There is much more to Sigma's recent success in the quality of their products than in their go-to-market timing.  Sigma is doing well because it is putting out some fine lenses for terrific prices.  And on the data side of things, specifically in resolution, Sigma is handily beating Canon, not just keeping up.  The 35 and 50 Art are the sharpest AF lenses in their respective focal lengths, and by a comfortable margin.

I haven't shot either of the Sigma Art primes, but many trusted reviewers hold both of those lenses in very high regard.  But a lens is more than how sharp it is.  So I could see 'real world' reviews possibly not seeing as large a gap between Canon and Sigma in these focal lengths.

Canon must be working on some next generation L-series standard primes (24/35/50/85) that are intended for very large MP sensors.  I think we are all waiting for those.

- A

Don't forget some other Sigma Global Vision releases:  30 f/1.4, 18-35 f/1.8, 120-300 f/2.8 and 24-105 f/4.  Some like the 35A, 50A and 18-35A are world class.  The 30A and the 12-300S offer slight improvements compared to their predecessors but aren't that much better.  And then there is the 24-105, which may offer slight improvements compared to Canon's 24-105 but also streets at a higher price.

62
Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 29, 2014, 12:14:40 PM »
Seeing as how Sigma already released a killer 50/1.4 at an extremely competitive price, I don't see how Canon could compete given that their latest offerings show that all they really care about are slow-aperture IS zooms at exorbitant prices.  The idea that Canon will release something faster than f/2, patent filings notwithstanding, is not exactly something I have a lot of confidence in.

Canon simply does not care about high-quality fast-aperture primes for photographers.  These days, it is all about cinema lenses and cheap consumer-level zooms they can crank out.  Everyone keeps holding on...crossing fingers, hopeful that next year will be the "year of the lens."  Again, just LOOK at what Sigma made.  They have nowhere near the kind of optical expertise or production capability that Canon has, and they made an AF 50mm f/1.4 lens with corner sharpness that is closer to a $3500 manual-focus Zeiss than it is to ANY other such design on the market today.  And then they priced it under $1000.  I have no particular love for Sigma, mind you (their QC and customer service leave much to be desired).  But this is just embarrassing.

Canon used to be a company that pushed the frontiers of optical design.  They pioneered many lens technologies that we take for granted today, such as USM AF; fluorite elements; diffractive optics; image stabilization; all-electronic lens-body communication in the EF mount; and ultra-fast apertures of f/1.0 and f/1.2 that still have no equal today.  I find it maddening that this is the same company that now seems to cr*p out a new EF-S 18-135mm cheapo zoom every six months, or produces some insane $35k cinema lens that only movie studios will buy, and leaves everyone else in the cold because we aren't their bread and butter.

The Sigma 50A came out this year.  It will take years for Canon to respond with something in kind unless they knew Zeiss and Sigma were playing with retrofocus designs years ago.

The 16-35 f/4 IS is a great lens and addresses a lot of concerns that people had in Canon's ability to design sharp ultrawide zooms.  The new 10-18 was a surprise that many were not expecting, and the ef-m 55-200 shows that Canon has not abandoned that platform.  The 24-70II sets the benchmark that the fast L primes will have to beat, and that IQ bar is high.  And like or not, Canon's releases of the 24, 28 and 35 IS lenses has shown that Canon's days of producing non-L primes without IS is over. 

I'm hoping the 50 IS will be a small compact f/1.4 gaussian design that slots between the existing f/1.4 and Sigma's 50A, and I'm hoping that the 50L II will be a retrofocus design that competes against the 50A and the Otus.  Releasing the 100-400L II this year will make it look a lot better than what has been released to date, and anything else will be gravy.  I'm looking forward to the 35L II and the 100-400 II too, but I'm in no rush.  Plus my wallet can't handle it all at once anyway...

63
Lenses / Re: Lenses in the 20mm range
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:00:01 AM »
I forgot to ask, are you using a full frame 6D/5D/1DX, or a crop sensor camera from the rest of Canon's range?

Paul

I'm assuming that he's using FF because a 20mm lens would give a 94 deg diagonal angle of view from his original post.  And if he wants to do a whole room corner-to-corner, then a 17mm lens would get you to 93 deg for the horizontal AOV while a 20 would get you 84 deg.

To be honest, anything could work, even stitching. It is only a matter of convenience. TS-E may be the best choice (as a specialized lens). However, any decent gear combined with good post-processing skills could easily outweigh the best possible equipment, if you know what you're doing. 16-35/4L is a decent multipurpose option.
Stabilized UWA lenses are great for handheld video, but there's no way it could replace a decent tripod. At long exposures (like 0.5+sec) IS only compensates for vibrations, the movement stays + without a tripod it would be difficult to keep the perfect level alignment (if not impossible).

True, although horizontal and vertical tilts have their limits in software.  Past 10 using LR, and the results start looking hokey.  A TS-E is faster to use if a tripod is used.  Shift can be used to compensate for tripod height changes and for getting yourself out of the frame when standing in front of small mirrors (i.e. small bathrooms).

64
Lenses / Re: Lenses in the 20mm range
« on: July 28, 2014, 12:34:14 AM »
+1 on the TS-E 17.  It was made for interior shots.  The 16-35 f/4 IS may have more uses, but nothing does interior shots better than the TSEs.

65
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 28, 2014, 12:27:20 AM »
I'm looking forward to the 16-35 f/2.8 III and/or the 1x-24. 

The reasonably high probability of a Canon 12/14-24L in the relatively near future is yet another reason I'll likely put the proceeds of selling my 16-35/2.8 II toward the TS-E 17/4L, rather than getting the 16-35/4L IS.

I forgot how useful it was to have AF in the ultrawide range for a walk-around lens until I swapped the 16-35 f/2.8 II for the f/4 IS.  Now, I look for reasons to use it.  I use the 24-35mm range on it for about 1/3 of the shots I keep.  It may not be as good as the 24-70 II, but it is still excellent and saves on a lot of lens changes and renders in a similarly pleasing way.  I'd rather have the f/2.8 over the IS, but for now, I like the 16-35 f/4 IS a lot.

The 12/14-24 will likely not accept screw in filters, but the thing I'd miss most from it is the range up to 35mm for shots with people in them.  Given the life stage (young kids), I'm more likely to use a 16-35 than a 12/14-24, although I'd look at the 12/14-24 as a replacement for my 14.

66
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 27, 2014, 07:46:04 PM »
I am just afraid of the day the new 16-35 2.8 III (or a 14-24) will be announced. I already have 14mm 2.8 II, 16-35 f/4L IS, TS-E17mm f/4L (and a Zeiss 21 2.8 ) and ... I will want/need it since (judging from the 24-70 2.8 II and the 16-35 4 IS ) it is almost certain that it will be coma corrected too.  :-[

I'm looking forward to the 16-35 f/2.8 III and/or the 1x-24.  I have the same mix, and will have to rejigger the kit, but it will be substitutions and in some ways lead to a more compact kit.  If it is a 14-24 f/2.8, that will replace the 14 and the Z21.  And if it's a 16-35 f/2.8 III, then it'd replace the 16-35 f/4 and the Z21.  The Z21's lack of AF limits its usability because I don't have the time do landscapes much, and I find the TS-Es to be more versatile.  The Z21's focus confirmation is close to accurate on one side but the confirmed range is too wide and leads to OOF pics on the other...

67
I'm 5'8" and have the TVC-24L.  It is a bit longer than the TVC-24, but I rarely extend ANY leg fully even on uneven ground.  There isn't a big price difference between these tripods, so it really comes down to how compact you want the folded up package to be and weight (~0.6 lb difference).  If you travel a lot (carry on luggage), then the 24 (or the 14) will suit you better becuase you might be able to get in into a carryon.  If you travel by car a lot then the weight and length penalties don't count as much, and I'd opt for the 24L even if you only use 3 out of 4 sections of it most of the time.

68
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 12-24mm f/2.8 L - Constructing the Enigma
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:37:16 AM »
Sigma's 12-24 has a bulbous front element, is f/4.5-5.6 and weighs about 670g already.

If Canon were to build a constant f/4 12-24mm lens, I'd expect to to be closer to 1kg, and it'd still would not take filters.

69
Lenses / Re: Ditching the Primes - Advice/Opinions Needed
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:25:56 AM »
The 24-70II is a great lens, but the range is limiting.  The 70 is often too short.  If given the choice between the a single lens (24-70II) and a series of primes, I'd opt for the primes.

Agree with Sporgon that you're missing a lens in the middle of the range.  I'd look at the 35 f/2 IS (picked up a refurbished copy through the Canon store for less than 500 during one of their sales) and Sigma's 50A.  Both have fantastic IQ, but I'd definitely test out the 50A in a store to make sure that it works well for you on your 6D before buying it.  The 40 is a great value lens, but it looks like you have a significant budget and being limited to f/2.8 when so many other lenses around that focal length are faster can be limiting in its own right.  This option will also be lens expensive than the 24-70II, which will allow you to get the 70-200II that much sooner.   ;D

I'd also keep the 24 f/2.8 IS.  It'll serve you well as your child grows and you start travelling more again.  It also gives a nice environmental portrait potential (i.e. shooting from a low position when the baby starts walking).

70
Lenses / Re: 24L MkII focusing problems
« on: July 24, 2014, 03:22:57 PM »
Why are you AFMAing at a target that is so far away?  For the 24L II, I adjusted AFMA for a target closer to 50x, which is 1.2m or 3-4 ft, and it works fine for much larger distances.

That said, I did have an issue with my 24L II where I it would not focus accurately at all even stopped down to f/5.6.  It did fine with LV, which bypasses the PDAF.  I would suggest trying to AFMA at a closer target and see if that fixes it.  If not, I would take a few shots showing your problem and send it to Canon with the lens.  They had to adjust my lens' AF mechanism.  The description of the work done was not more detailed than that but it did not imply that they had replaced any parts either...

My issue was found on a 5DII and confirmed on a 7D.

71
Lenses / Re: 24L MkII focusing problems
« on: July 24, 2014, 01:34:33 PM »
Why are you AFMAing at a target that is so far away?  For the 24L II, I adjusted AFMA for a target closer to 50x, which is 1.2m or 3-4 ft, and it works fine for much larger distances.

That said, I did have an issue with my 24L II where I it would not focus accurately at all even stopped down to f/5.6.  It did fine with LV, which bypasses the PDAF.  I would suggest trying to AFMA at a closer target and see if that fixes it.  If not, I would take a few shots showing your problem and send it to Canon with the lens.  They had to adjust my lens' AF mechanism.  The description of the work done was not more detailed than that but it did not imply that they had replaced any parts either...

72
Lenses / Re: How many years before we see a 50L II
« on: July 24, 2014, 01:22:20 PM »
3-5 years.  The Otus was the first with a non-gaussian design.  Is there any indication that Canon has been working on a similar design 1-2 years ago?  If there were working on another modified guassian design, then it will not do well against the Otus or Sigma A, and they might as well start from square one.  And if it's new product development, then will take years...

73
Lenses / Re: 3 week trip to Finland & Germany, what lenses to take?
« on: July 23, 2014, 02:23:40 PM »
Only taking the 24-105 and the 50 f/1.4 sounds like a good idea.  Traveling with kids can be taxing enough without having to worry about additional gear.  It might not hurt to ask your relatives whether there are any camera shops that rent lenses while you're there just in case you run into a situation that you'd like a longer lens.

My gear is covered by a rider on my homeowner's policy.  It'd be a good idea to look into it before traveling.

74
Lenses / Re: Buying a used lens from Adorama
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:26:46 AM »
Well damn, I didn't even think to look on Canon's site specifically. I figured they'd be way more expensive. :)

Is a refurbished lens better than a new, white box lens, though? Doesn't refurbished mean that it was broken at one point and then fixed?

Not necessarily... refurb equipment is stuff that is returned to the factory for whatever reason, which can include buyers remorse.  They check out the equipment and make sure it's functioning up to spec.  I bought a refurbed 5DII a couple years ago that had less than 100 clicks.  I also purchased 3 refurbed lenses and 2 flashes, and never had an issue with any of it.  Certainly some of the refurbished units could have been broken and then fixed, but with a warranty of 1 year, there is much less risk. 

75
Lenses / Re: Buying a used lens from Adorama
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:02:51 AM »
I'd pass.  Refurbished 24-105s are priced at 920 on Canon's own website (shop.usa.canon.com), and they run promotions from time to time (10-20% off).  And those refurb units carry a 1 year warranty -- same as new.  Split kit lenses can be had for as low as 600-650...

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