December 20, 2014, 10:15:48 AM

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Messages - symmar22

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1
Reviews / Re: Are Gitzo's really overrated?!
« on: December 03, 2014, 01:35:10 AM »
I've 3 Gitzos tripods, plus one I sold since I had no use for it (got 85 € for it after 15 years, not so bad for a well used small aluminium 1 series). I'll probably sell the n°2 series aluminium, since it's been replaced by a carbon version 3 years ago. For work, I have a n°3 series that I bought in 1987 (they were still made in France at that time). It is still my working tripod, and doing fine. For travelling, hiking and street photography (I do a lot of my personal stuff with a 4x5 camera), the carbon n°2 is all I need. It handles without problems my 3.5 kg Technikardan, goes eye level without extending the column, and is even more rigid than the aluminium n°3 series.
So no, for me Gitzos are not overrated at all, it all depends on how much you actually need your tripod. For me it's 99% of the time. I am not even even looking at other brands. If you need a tripod once a year, it's probably not worth it, if it's your daily companion, you won't regret it.

On the other hand, most of their heads are poorly designed, and there is nothing I can really recommend here. ArcaSwiss, Linhof, Acratech, RRS, Manfrotto and others are all doing a much better job here. But IMO Gitzo legs are among the best things available in photography equipment.  In the US you may have other options, but in Europe, it's the way to go if you do not want to regret your tripod legs.

On the  price side, do not forget they are made in Italy, by people getting decent work conditions and salaries.

2
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Switching to Full Frame
« on: November 24, 2014, 08:34:25 AM »
Agreed, the D750 offers more for the money than the 5D3. Though IMO the built quality is likely slightly better with the 5D3. Both Canon an Nikon are the main pro camera brands for small format. Both are fine, but you should not decide on the price of a body only. If you go full pro, you lens range will be the most important investment, the one that lasts.

The 24-70 v1 is indeed a very disappointing lens, but the v2 is a huge improvement, and much better than the Nikon equivalent. I am not saying you should not buy Nikon, it's an excellent brand and I worked with them until I switched to Canon with the 5D2.

If you go full time pro, you should first consider the brand that offers the lens range that will suit your needs, and then choose a camera.

If you like primes, the Nikon recent range of f1.8 lenses, offer a lot for the money. As a pro, the most expensive is not always the best, it's a tool to make money, not a toy to parade in society.

Nowadays days it's clear the Canon sensors are behind the concurrence, and no one knows if they will catch up. But their lens range is for me the most important, since they have the best TS-E lenses. I wish however, I could replace my ageing 5D2s and the 5D3 is no improvement for my style of photography, so I am a bit stuck as well.

Finally, one important consideration is ergonomics. Most pros are very conservative with their equipment, since when it took years to use your gear instinctively, it is sometimes difficult to switch to another brand. Sometimes I still manual focus the lens the wrong way, since I used Nikons for 20 years, Canon for only 7 years. that's the kind of important detail when you actually work.

In the end, the switch is of course possible, cameras are only tools, and you should use the ones you want. Brands are just brands, not religions. But in any case I would highly advise that you rent or borrow a Nikon for a while, to see if you like the ergonomics, and plan your lens range carefully.

3
Same for me here I've been waiting too long to replace my 5D2s with something better, sensor speaking. I couldn't care less about an (again) slightly improved AF, or 50FPS, or 102400 ISO. In my domain (architecture and interiors) 99.5% or my pics are made on a tripod, manual focused between 100 and 400 (max) ISO. It's a long time I have the impression Canon won't deliver the high res studio / landscape / architecture camera many of us are waiting for. They do with the tech they have, that is oriented only at action shooters.

I was hesitating with the A7r, since it's a 1st Gen camera, it's always wise to wait a bit to see where it goes, but the upcoming A9, could be this time the new working tool I need. I'd keep some of my Canon glass (mainly the TS-Es since they are irreplaceable) and slowly swap the Canon normal glass for Sony. That's my roadmap.

Canon wants to make profits without risk, good for them, but their attitude reminds me of Kodak's, sited on their money making film monopole, and incapable of foreseeing the future. We all know how it ended. Capitalism, like nature, hates emptiness, if someone leaves a gap, someone else will take it, and someday, one wakes up with a bad hangover.

4
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Phase One Mirrorless MF Camera in December!
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:08:33 AM »
Nothing very new here, it's just an ALPA architecture camera (the same have been existing with MF film backs, for decades). They just added a digital MF back. If one want to call it mirrorless....

Basically, all view cameras are mirrorless, since the 19° century. The ALPA / Phase One combination is nevertheless a wonderful tool for architecture, for the ones who can afford it.

5
Software & Accessories / Re: My HP Laptop getting too hot!
« on: November 17, 2014, 09:09:15 AM »
It is a relatively common problem with laptops, due most of the time to dust and thermal grease drying out. That is, of course if your fan is still running (it may have simply died).

This is due to the small hot air exhaust ports, and the small capacity of the fan /heat sink to dissipate the heat on laptops, because of the limited space available. The copper heat sink catches dust with time, and kills the ability to evacuate the heat from the laptop. Worsening the problem is the fact that all manufacturers save pennies and use the cheapest thermal paste, that is a critical component in the CPU / heat sink / fan combination.

The problem is even worse in case you have a discrete video card.

I've had the problem occasionally on my Lenovo W500, and one of the reason I loved Lenovo is they are designed to be (relatively) easily disassembled and repaired buy the user.

The cure is to stripe your laptop, remove the heat sink / fan assembly, clean it and replace the thermal grease with a good one (about the size of a grain of rice). I highly recommend the Prolimatech Thermal Compound, that can help reduce the CPU temp by 4 to 5 °C. Reassemble, and everything should be fine for a couple more years.

A good way to test it before is to see if this happens when your laptop shuts down only when plugged on the AC. When running on the battery, the CPU throttles down, and the temperature is much less.

6
Makes sense. However, for most big canon L glass collection owners it is easier and more reasonable to use an adapter, than buying a whole second system + longer flange distance has its IQ advantages too. When/if I give up waiting for canon FF mirrorless, then I will definitely get some nice fast manual primes and adapters for A7r or the next best thing.
I'm not a professional and I don't have those back problems caused by 10+ years of heavy gear lifting. Which may be one of the reasons why I don't buy this crazy "compact system camera" propaganda, that is supposed to replace a proper FF camera. Sony A7 series may be my last hope :).

I fully agree here, it's probably what I'll do as well. In my case I am looking for more resolution and DR at low ISOs, since I use a tripod all the time, so the A7r with Metabones might do the job, despite it's limitations (low battery capacity and shutter vibration among other). It's mainly for architecture with TS-E lenses so it 'll do the job. I am considering it as well for underwater photography,  where (small) size is better since the weight and bulk of the housing is directly related, plus I could re-use my old Nikonos 15mm f2.8. Underwater photography  is one case were the Sony 16-35mm is excellent news.

For everything else, I would have preferred a Canon solution, but I am bit tired of waiting, and my 5D2s are getting old.

7
Well, I think it is OK when better = heavier and more expensive.
What's wrong with adapting Canon EF 16-35/4L IS on Sony A7r?
Battery life is like Canon 1 : 3 Sony, and for a landscaping trip you may end up with 10 or 12 NP-FW50, because battery life in landscape photography is not about the number of shots you take, but the amount of time you are waiting for the right moment and unlike DSLR you can't even work on the composition with your A7r being turned off or in standby mode like most DSLRs are most of the time.

Nothing is wrong with adapting an EF 16-35mm if you are a Canon user, have already the lenses and want the sensor characteristics of the Sony A7r. But in real life most users would buy the lenses from the manufacturer of their camera. It might be the case for the "advanced photographer", ready to mix and match lenses and bodies through adapters, but it is unlikely to be what most people do.

I assume the standard user would buy a Canon camera to use Canon lenses, and Sony camera to use Sony / Zeiss lenses. Nothing wrong with either method, it's just very unlikely that someone buying a camera system for the first time would bother to buy a Metabone adapter ($400) to mount a lens that won't behave exactly as the original brand would, to maybe get 10% better optics.

If someone want to go into the Sony system, it makes sense to buy Sony lenses, if you go into the Canon system it makes sense to buy Canon lenses for general use. So for Sony users, I suppose it is a good news to have an excellent wide angle zoom available, as it is for us, Canon users to finally have the 16-35 f4 IS that will replace without regrets the previous ones.


8
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Need Best Monitor for Photo Edits
« on: November 08, 2014, 07:44:51 AM »
You cannot go wrong with high end NEC monitors (I use a PA271w), but if you want to save, DELL offers IMO more for the money. I have an old DELL 2709W (PVA panel) that gives me a slightly better RGB and Adobe RGB coverage than the NEC (my calibration device says so). That is 100% sRGB for the DELL vs 98% for the NEC that is twice the price. Both are "old" CCFL backlit; nowadays you want to go for LED. But all high end monitors will do, providing they have an IPS (or equivalent) panel. I had an Eizo 24" as well, excellent screen, but not offering much considering it's very high price.

HP also has a good reputation for monitors, but I think DELL has the best price / value ratio. If I would buy a screen now, I would likely go for the DELL U3014 (IMHO the 16/10 ratio is more useful for photography) plus I like the large working space of the 30".

Never had a dead pixel on either DELL, or NEC, but a couple on the EIZO.

9
A dream come true for many landscape shooters & travelers. A7r + FE 16-35mm f4 OS = light weight package with a full pocket of spare batteries.

Anyways, Canon 16-35 f4 IS is a GREAT lens.

Noboby said the Canon is not a great lens, it's likely the best of all 3, and I will probably get one in a near future.

However I am not sure I get your point about the A7r combo :

Canon 5D3 (905g) +16-35 L IS (615g) + 2 LP-E6 (about 150g) = 1715g

Sony A7r (407g) +  16-35 ZA (518g) + let's say 5 NP-FW50 batteries, to make it balanced (215g) = 1140g

When you go for landscape / travelling, it's very likely you carry at least a small backpack, so carry 3 more batteries is not really an issue (except for the cost) since the Sony batteries are about half the weight of the Canon ones. On the other hand 575g total weight less is not subjective when hiking / travelling. IMHO, for landscape / travel / architecture (and I am NOT saying for sports, birding, weddings or whatever else), the Sony combo wins, especially when you take in account the sensor low ISO capabilities (although for travel some might not want the extra resolution).

10
I love the way people get mad about a thread from SonyAlpha Rumors. What do you expect ? DxO has well rated a Sony lens, they make their headlines with it. If DxO had best rated the Canon lens the same headline would be on CR.

Aside from that, before you start the classic ranting about DxO, you could at least read the full review. I find it quite balanced and finally reflecting the reality, the 3 lenses perform about the same, with slight differences.

 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS: sharp but higher than expected CA

"Sharpness is good across the field even at maximum aperture but there’s some field curvature/astigmatism that’s more noticeable at the long focal lengths causing some image degradation.

Distortion is little higher than expected, not so much at the shorter focal lengths but at the longer-end, where the lens has noticeable pincushion distortion from around 24mm onwards. Vignetting and transmission are similar to rivals but considering the optical design (and liberal use of ED glass) chromatic aberration is higher than we would expect of a lens from Zeiss. Chromatic aberration is most noticeable at 16mm, not only in the corners but as a donut-shaped ring in the center of the field but there are also some traces still at 28mm."


Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS vs Canon EF 16-35mm f4 ISUSM vs Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f4G ED VR

"Although the Zeiss has higher levels of CA across the field as a whole, the Nikkor has quite heavy fringing in the corners and more noticeable barrel distortion.

Sharpness isn’t as uniform as the Zeiss either, and particularly at 35mm where it’s restricted to the centers. The new Canon performs well but it’ quite obvious the sensor of the Canon EOS 5D Mk III holds the performance back a little resulting in the lower overall DxOMark score (remember the score is based on the lens and sensor together). It has generally good uniformity (there’s some field curvature at longer focal lengths) and has very well controlled lateral chromatic aberration – by far the best of three even with the less demanding sensor. However, on balance the Sony is ranked just ahead but it’s not the clear win given the price."

Conclusion

"Sony isn’t the only manufacturer with an eye on budding moviemakers. The addition of stabilization to this ultra-wide zoom was crucial, not only to appeal to that group (in addition to stills photographers) but also to compete with rivals. Both Nikon and Canon already offer a similar lens. While the new Sony Zeiss offering is likely to be popular, it isn’t that much smaller or lighter than those rival models made for DSLRs. Given that it’s more expensive and that is doesn’t convincingly outperform them either is a pity, but hardly unexpected. Lenses like this are a balance of compromises and overall the Sony isn’t likely to disappoint."


I don't understand the all the nervousness here, all the lens perform similarly, they even agree that the Canon is probably the best, but handicapped since their test relies on a SENSOR / LENS combination (36Mpx for Sony Nikon, 24Mpx for Canon). I just see it as a good news that Sony owners can as well access a good WA zoom. What's the problem here ?

DxO never said the Sony lens is crushing everything else, SonyAlpha Rumors did. Actually they seem to have expected slightly better results, considering the use of special glass and the retail price.

11
Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 10:51:28 AM »


What do u mean by "crappiest lens" My copy is sharp wide-open in the centre at f2.5. I often shoot at f2.8 without any problems, despite the fact that  my copy has some blurry right edge, which only shows up in shooting test charts.  It is vy sharp wide open on the left edge and centre too on a full frame camera. It is a vy sharp lens good for food photography.

The only issue is QA like the defect I have and the loud focus motor noise LOL!

BTW, distortion wise, the compact macro tops 50/f1.8 & 50/1.4.



To begin with, I had to test 3 copies, before I could find one that was not badly centred (obviously yours is as well). Honestly, the edges are indecent at 2.5, and the complete coverage until the corners is not happening before f8. That's acceptable on the 50mm f1.8, not on a Macro lens. The vignetting is is also extreme until 5.6, and strangely it's the only lens I have that Reikan FoCal refuses to AFMA (seems the AF motor can not repeat focus properly enough). I have a 15mm fisheye that doesn't show the same issue.

The plus is the distortion is absolute 0, the field is perfectly flat (good for art repro), and it's a killer lens at f8, f11 and much better than most at f16. So I use it as kind of fixed aperture lens for architecture. Considering the price, it's not that bad, but again it compares very poorly with the Nikkor AI-S 55mm and AF-D 60mm I had before.

For a macro lens it is the absolute minimum requirement, and clearly shows it's age. I believe it's the only 1980's micro motor left in Canon's range (not sure if they still make the 135mm soft focus). I would buy immediately an improved IQ version with IS and USM.

12
Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:32:57 AM »


EF-S 10-18, EF 16-35 f/4 IS, EF-S 24, 400 F/4 DO II, 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-M 55-200... just not the lenses you want.

You are right it is a few lenses, but it is all relative for me since I do not have a crop camera (or an M one).

I am thinking about buying the 16-35mm f4 (finally a good wide angle zoom). The 10-18 and and 24 are likely good news for the crop sensor users. The 400 DO is obviously not a lens for everyone and the previous one was not very successful. I do not have much to say about the 24-105, but I won't trade my f4 L for this one. Finally the 55-200 is released when they do not make the (relatively unsuccessful) Canon M any more, with no successor announced.

In the same time, I would love to see replacements for :

20mm f2.8, 28mm f1.8, 35mm f1.4, 45mm f2.8 TS-E, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f2.5 Macro, 85mm f1.8, 90mm f2.8 TS-E, 100mm f2.

These are outdated designs,  and IMO in need for a refresh. How many of these would sell compared to the 400mm DO ?

Hopefully, the new 100-400mm is coming soon. :)

13
Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 25, 2014, 02:57:38 AM »
Come on Canon, your standard Macro is a shame, this one as well needs an urgent upgrade.

I really can't see much of a case for renewing that lens. With the 100mm twins offering either great value (non IS) or superb IQ (IS L) as well as the 60 mm for EF-S, that leaves a very small niche for a ~50mm macro lens to fill. The short working distance that focal length requires would make it a hard sell even at a lower price than those lenses currently available.

I do not fully agree here, the 100mm L is a superb lens, but I have both the 50 Compact macro and the 100mm L and they do not serve the same purpose. I won't comment the 60mm EF-S since I don't have a crop camera. A 100mm is not a 50mm (though the perfect focal for a standard macro should IMO more be a 55-60mm).

 I use the 50mm macro not for real macro (a 100mm or even the 180mm are more practical), but for the specifications of any 50-60 macro lens : ultra sharp , zero distortion, perfectly flat field and the ability to focus close. It has a use in (art) reproduction, studio photography, landscape and architecture. I used Nikon for 20 years before switching to Canon and the 55mm AI-S, then 60mm AF-D were the best lenses I had. They both could easily replace the 50mm of their time for general use, if you did not need 1.x aperture. I just cannot say the same with the 50mm Compact Macro (a 27 year old lens).

14
Lenses / Re: why there are no new L primes
« on: October 24, 2014, 10:10:24 AM »
You forgot the 50mm compact macro on your list, brilliant in the f8 - f11 range , but the crappiest lens ever wide open. It is one of the very few (if not the only) left over from the original 1987 EF releases. The old Nikkor AI-S 55mm was much better compared to the LOMO/Canon 50 Compact Macro f2.5.  Come on Canon, your standard Macro is a shame, this one as well needs an urgent upgrade. What happened to the year of the lens ???

15
It's not because you don't need it than no one does.

Of course not.  The point is that Canon's goal isn't to make a product to meet the specific needs of every individual.  They've shown that they can accurately assess the needs of the majority, and design/produce cameras and lenses that satisfy the needs of the majority of customers.  If an individual's needs differ from those of the majority, they should look elsewhere for gear...and understand that their doing so doesn't bother Canon in the least.

I hear you, but aside from the debate if Canon sells more or less, it is supposed to be one of the 2 real professional DSLR brands (aside from medium format). The want / need for a higher Mpx count is not the fact of only one individual, it is a requirement for lots of pro photographers. Therefore it is not completely insane to assume that Canon (if they still consider themselves as a professional photo equipment company), could think about fulfilling the needs of a decent part of the professional market (fashion, beauty, product, architecture, interiors, art repro and so on), who would need more resolution. The market being what it is, not everyone can afford the 50k investment for a digital back. I am just saying that Sony/Nikon, seem to have understood the need, while Canon wants to sell a camera that does everything. Doing that, they push away a sizable part of the pro market (not everybody is into sports or weddings).

The way Nikon has segmented the pro cameras make IMO more sense, D4 for press/speed, D800 for studio/resolution, D600 for general public/budget. With canon we have 1Dx for everything/high end, 5D3 for everything/medium end, 6d for everything/budget. I'm not saying they are bad cameras, I am saying that the image they give are all the same.

And no, I do not want to switch to Nikon (I was there for 20 years), I would just like to have another sensor to put behind my 10k of EF glass. In my case the Sony A7r will likely be the alternative, but I would have preferred a Canon 35/40 Mp DSLR offer.

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