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Messages - Stephen Melvin

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Do we have confirmation that the Mk III is binning pixels? Everything Canon has said implies that moiré is being removed by the DIGIC 5+ processor, and mentions nothing about binning.

Also, if the sensor is being binned, why is the maximum sensitivity of the movie mode lower than than that of stills mode? Binning should allow for higher ISO sensitivity, not lower.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Chuck Westfall & the 5D Mark III
« on: March 16, 2012, 08:26:45 PM »

I hope the 1Ds3 price plummets. I can tell you that there is nothing nicer than framing a bird at 1200mm with 21mp. Max on the 5D3 is 840mm  :-[

No, the 5D3 will AF just fine with the 1200mm f/5.6L. ;)

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« on: March 16, 2012, 08:03:38 PM »
I think Canon needs a lens in the class of the 14-28 f/2.8 Nikkor before they update the 400. Ultrawide zooms are their sole remaining lens weakness vs. Nikon. They've been updating their wides with world class upgrades (17mm and 24mm TS-E, 24mm f/1.4L II), so we know they can make a killer wide angle. Now they just need to upgrade the 17-40L and 16-35L to something that's sharp from corner to corner.

And yeah, an IS version of the 400 f/5.6L is going to be close to $2,000, I think.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1D X - f/8 Issue Activated?
« on: March 16, 2012, 07:53:37 PM »
I heard that it was the opposite, that it was a physical limitation, due to the larger AF sensors and not something that could be fixed with a firmware update. However, it was just the opinion of a CPS rep and he didn't have any hard evidence and hadn't been told anything beyond how the system worked and he admitted that he could be wrong.

It is a physical limitation. AF sensors are all about angles, and the exit pupil for an f/8 lens will be invisible to AF sensors that are aimed at the f/5.6 or larger exit pupil. I don't think firmware will change this, unless they update it to ignore the aperture and tell people that it may or may not work. That's what happens with the pin-taping that people do. Sometimes a bit of light bleeds around enough for the sensor to grab onto -- though I wouldn't call it reliable.

Live View could be an option for a lot of uses, though.

Lenses / Re: Canon 28 135 or 24 105
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:51:37 PM »
Thanks awin. I think I phrased this question incorrectly. I guess the question really is, is the 24 105 a good lens for a wedding photographer or should I save up the money for the 24 70 (partially be selling the 24 105)?

I am a wedding photographer, and I have a two-part kit for events.

Core zooms:
17-40 f/4L USM
24-105 f/4L IS USM
70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II

This is an excellent general purpose combo.

I frequently find myself at receptions where the room is really dark. Even worse, it's become trendy to paint the ceiling black, so bounce flash is just about useless. One stop in my core zoom lens isn't going to help me a whole lot here, really. So for those situations, I have my fast fixed lens kit:

24mm f/1.4L II
50mm f/1.4
85mm f/1.8

I find this setup to be much more flexible and usable in even the darkest venues. While an f/2.8 zoom is a very nice lens to have, in the dark places I shoot, it's just not fast enough. In places where it is, f/4 is usually just as good, especially when it has IS.

The silent mode looks pretty nifty, too.

But yeah, the vastly improved AF is the thing that has me most excited. Down to EV -2! That's impressive.

Lenses / Re: Canon 28 135 or 24 105
« on: March 16, 2012, 03:14:02 PM »
Alright so I have a Canon 28 135 that came with my 50D kit. I never used it too much due to it not being wide enough. I just got a Canon 5D mark II with the 24 105 lens though which means it's a much more useful range. My question is this, which should I stick with? I've tried selling the 28 135 and nobody seems to want to buy it for more than $220 when it's like a $350 lens. I'm mainly planning to use the lens for weddings and portrait sessions and so my thought with the 24 105 is that yes I know it's a better lens than 28 135 but I don't want to keep it and then ALSO end up buying the original 24 70. For a walk around lens I kind of like the 28 135 better as it's lighter easier to work with and I pretty much know the 24 105 isn't going to have a wide enough aperture for most wedddings. I think that's what I'm ultimately going to end up with but before I sell the 24 105 for $850 today I thought I'd get some opinions on whether it's really worth keeping the 24 105. Thanks.

Nobody wants to pay more than $220 for the 28-135 because they know it's only a $200 add-on as a kit lens. If you sell it for more than that, you're making a profit. That, plus it's very common and very old.

It's a competent enough lens, but the 24-105 is significantly better. You might find yourself missing the extra stop of aperture at 105mm, the more modern IS, and the much wider 24mm focal length. Not to mention the superior performance.

I've owned both lenses, and it was a no-brainer to sell the 28-135 and keep the 24-105.

Lenses / Re: Ultra-Wide-Angle (UWA) wishlist
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:18:51 PM »
The Canon 10-22 is by far my favorite lens on my IR-converted 400D Digital Rebel. It has no hotspot whatsoever, and it's a stellar performer.

My camera was modified by Lifepixel, using the standard AF adjustment. It works perfectly, as do my other lenses. My other primary IR lens is the Tamron 18-200, of all things. It's not as good as the 10-22, but it performs reasonably well, and it has no hot spot, oddly enough.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 Auto Focus Question
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:15:48 AM »
Thanks for the nice explanation!

You're welcome.

The great news with this sensor is all of the f/4 sensitive cross points. I think this AF unit is going to be one of the best ever marketed by anybody. The D800's sensor is nothing but f/5.6 AF points, other than that single f/8 center point.

I think the new AF sensor sounds like one of the best ever, from anyone. But I've also considered that there might be a large bit of marketing hype here about 'more accurate' f/4 sensors vs. 'less accurate' f/5.6 sensors. Nikon seems to do fine in the accuracy department, with 'just f/5.6 sensors'.  The underlying assumption is that the density of the pixels in the line sensors are equivalent, but what if that's not true?   

It is possible, but after the 1D Mk III AF debacle, I'll bet Canon has put everything into this AF unit. They know this is their last chance to prove themselves.

Consider: the prior 1-series bodies starting with the 1DIII have many f/2.8-f/5.6 crosses (two lines with different baselines), but the center AF point is f/4-f/8.  Does that mean the center point - the one where you most want accuracy - is actually less accurate because of the 1-stop narrower baselines?  Canon says it's not, that it has the same accuracy at f/4 as the other points at f/2.8, because they use a sensor line with twice the density of pixels to compensate for the narrower baseline.  So, what if Nikon's AF systems use higher-density sensor lines for relatively greater accuracy at f/5.6 compared to Canon's f/5.6 lines?  I have no evidence that this is the case, just tossing it up for consideration, given that Canon has already played this card.

Well with the new sensor, the "X" points are only active at f/2.8. I think it's fair to say that it's designed to have the most accuracy with these center points.

Regardless, it is fair to say that this AF system is Canon's best to date - and even though I'm getting a 1D X, I'm really glad they're using the same AF sensor in the 5DIII as well, especially after my experience with the 5DII's AF.

I am, too. Frankly, it's much more efficient to spread that over a few million 5D's than 100,000 1D's. I never understood why they felt the need to develop completely different AF units for so many camera lines. At worst, why not give the lower lines last year's AF from the higher lines?

Lenses / Re: advice on lens for evening events
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:08:51 AM »
hi, so Ive been asked to do a quinceaneara i will be paid for it. i currently have 60D body, with 60mm f2.8 macro,  18-135 f3.5 and 70-300 L and going to be getting the ex 580 II or EX 600 flashes soon. i have been looking at another lens to ad before this for this kind of events this just little incentive. what would be a good lens to get? i was looking at the ef 35mm f2 and ef 85mm 1.8  any suggestions?

For event photography, the first thing you need to do is upgrade your core lens. In this case, there is an excellent option in the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM.

You should also get a backup camera body. Perhaps you can borrow one for this event. My 40D's mirror failed at a wedding reception in Cancun. Fortunately, I had my trusty 20D with me, so I could keep shooting.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 Auto Focus Question
« on: March 16, 2012, 12:56:26 AM »
what about the 16-35 f2.8L II doesnt it zoom backwards too? does that mean it in the same boat?

Well I said my hypothesis as to precisely why is a guess, but in any case, it is all about the location of the exit pupil.

That doesn't mean AF will be any less accurate with these lenses. The f/4 points are all cross-type, and they'll likely actually be looking close to the f/2.8 exit pupil. In any case, the 16-35 is going to have a lot of DOF most of the time.

I really wouldn't worry about this with any of the mentioned lenses. Unless I was one of the 24 people who owns the 1200 f/5.6L and saw that only 33 AF points work at all. ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: What does Sony know that we don't know?
« on: March 16, 2012, 12:48:31 AM »
It seems to me that Sony may be done with FF cameras of their own. But even if they're not, recall that they put the same 24mp sensor in their cameras as Nikon did in the D3x, but the Nikon has much higher image quality.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 Auto Focus Question
« on: March 16, 2012, 12:45:38 AM »
While reading through the manual today I found it odd that the 24-70mm f/2.8 is classified as group B which gives it only a single dual cross-type AF point.

Can anyone explain why this and other f/2.8 lenses are put into group B and even group C (no dual cross-type)?


It has to do with the exit pupil location of these lenses.

AF sensors are all about angles, not the quantity of light. F/5.6 sensitive AF sensors have a 10 degree offset (two sensors "looking" at opposite edges of the lens circle from the back) and f/2.8 sensitive AF sensors have a 20 degree offset. With lenses such as macro lenses, the exit pupil moves farther away as it focuses close, putting the edge of the circle outside the view of the AF sensors. The sensor is "blind" to the image, so the camera has to switch to an f/4 or f/5.6 AF sensor.

Same thing with the 24-70, which has an unconventional backward zoom, with 24mm extending the lens and 70mm making it shorter. At least, that's my hypothesis with this lens. ;)

I suspect the 24-70 Mk II will be able to utilize these double cross points.

The great news with this sensor is all of the f/4 sensitive cross points. I think this AF unit is going to be one of the best ever marketed by anybody. The D800's sensor is nothing but f/5.6 AF points, other than that single f/8 center point.

EOS Bodies / Re: Megapixel wars: Where do we go from here?
« on: March 15, 2012, 07:03:20 PM »
Oh, resolution has quite a way to go. The 35mm format will support between 100 and 200mp. Seriously.

I'm old enough to remember when new CD players were sold on the basis of "oversampling." "2x oversampling" and "4x oversampling" were common stickers on CD players. Why? Fidelity.

We're nowhere near the point where the sensors are oversampling. Just wait until we start seeing all of the aliasing from the D800E, and you'll see that there's plenty of room to go. We're still using low pass filters on our cameras because they need them. Even the D800.

We'll reach the limit when we no longer need the low pass filter because diffraction supplies all of the anti-aliasing we need. At f/1.4, that's over 100mp.

Speaking of the D800, the low light performance of that camera ought to put to rest the myth that more megapixels decrease low light capability. It's clearly a match for the Mk III in that department.

There is no real reason not to keep increasing the resolution of our cameras.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mk III vs D800/E, is the 5D3 better at anything?
« on: March 15, 2012, 06:51:15 PM »

    • Autofocus in video.  I'm not a videographer, and I don't make movies.  But I'm a dad and I take pictures of my kids' sports.  I don't have the skill or desire to learn to try and manually focus 7 yr olds playing soccer.  Sure, I can buy a video camera, but then I have to lug extra equipment around, and still have inferior glass to what I already have for my DSLR

    You may find that the autofocus in video will leave a lot to desire, it's nowhere near the level of camcorders.

    Exactly. Accurate video AF of a 24 x 36mm sensor is much, much harder than with a tiny camcorder sensor, with its infinite depth of field. [/list]

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