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Messages - noisejammer

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Lenses / Re: Filters from 17 TSE can be used on 24 1.4?
« on: March 31, 2013, 04:33:30 AM »
I made a mount to suit my TS-E 17, all my Lee Filters (4" x 6") work with it EXCEPT the polariser which vignettes heavily. This is not really a limitation - a polariser will cause the sky to take on strange colourings in such a wide lens.

These filters are all usable on a 24/1.4 II provided you have the correct mounting ring.

Lenses / Re: Zeiss 25mm f/2
« on: March 31, 2013, 04:28:12 AM »
I own the ZE 21/2.8, 25/2 and 28/2.

Make no error, (in spite of a comment to the contrary) the image quality of the 25/2 is obviously better than either of the others. It is a great lens with one caveat - I have not been able to extract the 3D look that pops from the 35/2. It may be that I need to play with this lens lot more.

You might give serious consideration to purchasing the ZF.2 model - it offers freedom to choose the body you prefer and glass like this is certainly good enough for high resolution sensors.

Lenses / Re: What is your favorite lens and why?
« on: March 31, 2013, 04:22:13 AM »
I really like to play with my ZE 28/2.
I feel the 28mm focal length avoids the "blah" factor that a 35 offers (I have them) but it's not as extreme a perspective as the 25/2. This makes it versatile on the street - although I'll fess up and say I've not done any street photography for years.

Besides this, it works well on my 5D2 and 1D4. The field curvature can help or hinder.

Among my very near favourites are an OM 16/3.5 FE, a 58/1.2 Rokkor and the ZE 50/2 MP... but I do love all my children. Mostly.

Hmm... no option to add more than one alternative?

I have a 1952 (?) Rollei TLR and a 1954(?) Agfa Super Silette RF and a couple of OM SLR's. I pick them up when I'm in the mood. They all work fine.

Even my phone camera gets it's day in the sun from time to time... it can do things than an SLR can't.

Lenses / Re: Wide angle lens advice and AF confirmation
« on: March 02, 2013, 09:22:38 AM »
I can't speak to the 24L but I own the 21 and 25mm Zeiss lenses and have used the TS-E 24 quite a bit.

You asked whether the ZE 25/2 is not up to the ZE 21/2.8.

In truth, they are very different lenses however I believe the 25/2 is at least it's optical equal. Bear in mind that the MTF plots show the lenses wide open and then stopped down two clicks. At f/4, the resolution of the 25 is the equal of the 21's resolution at f/5.6. Both lenses exhibit field curvature in the extreme corners and stopping down does not help much. Vignetting is similar - both lenses need to be stopped down to f/5.6 for this to go away.

The TS-E 24 is a very good lens indeed however it is bulky and (IMO) the focus mechanism is not up to the quality of the optics. Gearing on the tilt mechanism could be better too. All this said, it is a versatile lens that can double as a 34mm tilt-shift if you have a 1.4x tc. Note that it is optically slower which makes focusing through the view finder more difficult.

Focusing - With all MF lenses, I find that magnified live view and a Zacuto 3x Z-finder Pro allows me to achieve precise focus every time. The Z-finder can be installed on the camera using a Z-FRM and remain there. It looks odd but it works well for me. I use Magic Lantern albeit not as effectively as I might. The focus peaking does allow rapid checking of focus.

The distortion of the lenses is easily removed in post but be wary that this can cost you resolution. I'm experimenting with doing it as the last step in my processing.

Samples. You can take a look here... . You should find hundreds of images from each lens to look at.

Lenses / Re: Will Canon step up to Zeiss with a 55mm 1.4L?
« on: February 21, 2013, 09:14:14 PM »
Would you be willing to drop $4k on a 55mm Canon lens?
Reading between the lines, that seems to be the expected price for the ZE beauty.

I already own 7 ZE lenses and this is way too rich for my blood.

Lenses / Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« on: February 21, 2013, 01:07:19 PM »
I think I can comment on using a tc with a TS-E 17. My tests yielded an unexpected result.

I tested my TS-E 17 plus a 1.4x Mk III against my friends TS-E 24 II. I stopped both down to f/8 effective - in other words the 17 was stopped down to f/5.6 while the 24 was stopped down to f/8.  I used magnified live view to focus at the center of the frame, and then magnified live view to focus at 2/3 of the way out and in the corners.

My results
1. In the center there is no difference at all.
2. At the 2/3 position, there was no difference at all.
3. In the corners, the 17/1.4x combination was BETTER. If memory serves, point sources were rendered on half the pixels.
4. There was no difference in chromatic aberration between the two systems.
5. Focusing precisely enough to extract everything from this lens is extremely difficult - even magnified live view with a 3x loupe left me with some uncertainty.

Ok, so I've looked at the results on TDP.

Bryan and I disagree on our results however Bryan was shooting a flat calibration target. I refocused the lenses to eliminate the effect of focus curvature. My conclusion is that if was are shooting a brick wall, the 24 TS-E may well be sharper. If I was shooting something else, my results would depend entirely on how well the subject matches the focal curvature of the lens.

The other caveat is that I had exactly one 17mm, one 1.4x tc and one 24mm. I do not have any idea of whether this is representative or not. Nevertheless, I was convinced enough that I decided I did not need to purchase a 24 TS-E and picked up a 25/2 Zeiss instead.

Other thoughts
6. Using the TS-E 17 at f/8 is not an issue - if you are shooting a landscape, you are probably going to use f/8 to f/16 anyway.

7. Although I've found a way to use my Lee filters on my TS-E 17, this comes at the price of reduced shift before I hit vignetting. If memory serves, I can move the lens about 6 mm each way so that the effective image is about 48x24 mm (115 deg diagonal field of view) with the filters on. Fotodiox has a solution for this but I'm not willing to buy (or carry) yet another set of filters.

8. On reflection, I have not tried to see how the tc responds when the lens is exercised in shift. I'll try that when the lens comes back from Canon.

9. I strongly recommend you secure the adjustment knobs with a blob of nail polish / thread locker. Loosing one can be inconvenient... been there, done that.

10. Using the 17mm requires a lot of discipline. The front element is entirely unprotected and replacing it is expensive.

Lenses / Re: Tripod collar for 200mm f/2.8 L?
« on: February 18, 2013, 05:15:33 PM »
There are plenty of options on fleabay... Search for an A(B) or A II (B) ring.  I saw some going for $6

Canon General / Re: Canon 1D X on the Street
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:14:50 PM »
I drag a 1d4, 5d2, 5 Zeiss lenses, a TS-E, 70-200/2.8 ii and a 400/4 DO pretty much everywhere I go including annual expeditions to Southern Africa. I take reasonable care but it's all insured for replacement. Apart from the deductible, theft would be a nuisance but I really don't stress at all.

Canon General / Re: Digital Rev!
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:04:49 PM »
I dealt with DR twice... The first time was fine, the second was the last. Basically, they took my money and didn't ship an expensive lens for more than a week. My emails went unanswered until the item was finally delivered at which point they wanted to know why I was tense.. I have no problem waiting for an item but BE HONEST if it's not in stock.

I looked around and discovered that there are several suppliers that are less expensive, more reliable and faster... The usual suspects... Aden, B&H, Adorama and 2filter....

Landscape / Re: Need some advice & guidance about night/astrophotography
« on: February 16, 2013, 08:54:00 AM »
Finding the Milky Way
I suppose the easiest way is to download a copy of Cartes du Ciel, or if you're willing to spend a couple of bucks, an app for your smartphone or tablet (assuming you have one.) I use Cartes to plan observing sessions and "The Night Sky" by iCandi on my mobile devices. Cartes is completely free and can be had from .

On photographing the Milky Way,
1. You really want to get to the darkest site you can find. The light from the MW is very faint and if there is any light polution, it will be overpowered. So... look for a place far from the maddening crowds.

2. Choose a clear, moonless night - the moon can wash out the MW too.

3. Try wind the ISO up to 1200 or 2400 - on a 5D2, these offer the same noise as 800 and 1600 ISO respectively and you can do some noise filtering later.

4. Use a wide angle lens because it will allow a longer exposure without visible smearing of the stars. This is dependent on the direction you're facing (as well as the pixel size and lens resolution) but a reasonable rule of thumb is 15-30 seconds with a 24 mm lens. If the focal length doubles, the exposure must half. I made the calc for a 5D2 - if the pixels get smaller than 6 microns, the exposure must get shorter too.

5. Select a lens that has no focal plane curvature when it's focused at infinity. Ideally it will be reasonably fast - say f/1.4 or so so that you can stop down to f/2 and improve the image quality and vignetting considerably. A manual focus lens (read Zeiss) is probably your very best bet.

6. Use a very stable tripod, mirror lock up and either a timer or cable release to start the exposure. I usually use sunlight white balance.

7. Turn off autofocus and use magnified live view to focus the image manually. Use a Zacuto 3x loupe if you can afford one. Finally, it's best to focus at about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way from the edge of the field because that tends to get most of the image reasonably sharp.

Ok - it may be bad form but I may as well make a plug for the Canon DSLR Digital Astrophotography group on Yahoo! We have something like 2300 active members. Full disclosure - I'm one of the moderators.

Lenses / Re: How do yall compose a shot using a fisheye lens?
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:47:30 AM »
I find that the "rule of thirds" is inappropriate for a fisheye. It's more a case of look through the viewfinder and see what works with the subject. Keeping your feet and fingers out of the frame can be harder than it sounds. Don't be afraid to experiment - take lots of images and trash the garbage.

I've found that getting very close to the subject can produce interesting perspective distortion.

Lenses / Re: Please help me.
« on: February 11, 2013, 04:02:48 PM »
The pixels of an APS-C camera are small so that photons are always at a premium. Because of this, I'm inclined to advise against the 10-22 and 8-16 offerings because they are very slow optically.

Similarly, I was fairly unimpressed with the way a 17-40 worked on my 7D, but it works very well indeed on a full frame camera. So temper your desire for an L lens with your long term aspirations.

When looking at lenses suited for the 60D, I'd say the Tokina 11-16/2.8 and the Canon 17-55/2.8 are about as good as you will get.

Lenses / Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:21:15 PM »
I own several ZE lenses and the 17 TS-E. I used to own the 17-40L.
My take is that the ZE 21/2.8 is a good lens, but I don't rate it as highly as several others in the Zeiss stable.
As for the ZE 18/3.5. You may need to be aware that it's very difficult to focus through the eyepiece (live view is fine.) It also suffers from a lot of edge fall off so that it only really reaches sensible levels at f/8 or f/11.
My suggestion would be to go for the 17-40 and exploit it's versatility. Maybe you can get a TS lens when it's appropriate. (Personally, I'd suggest the TS-E 17/4L because you can add a 1.4x tc and it works just fine at f/8.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Please Help a Brother understand
« on: February 09, 2013, 09:31:20 AM »
I think the 5D2 is good bang for buck, even though it's getting old. A nice one can be had for $1200-ish on POTN. If you have enough cash, the 6D has a very good centre AF point that is better than anything else that Canon offers.

The classic street focal length is a fast 35 mm but if you want to be a bit more discrete, a 135 mm allows you to get some separation from your subject. If you're looking for a 35 lens, the new Sigma 35/1.4 runs rings around everything else. Among 135's, it is the Canon 135L.

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