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Messages - Bob Howland

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Lenses / Re: New EOS-M Lenses Soon [CR2]
« on: January 17, 2013, 07:32:23 AM »
Hopefully Canon and/or Metabones will introduce a Speed Booster Adapter ( See ) for Canon FF lenses on the M body. That might actually convince me to buy an M body, although not the current one.

It was annoying that they did not include a focus limiter switch, and it's painful to see that they've now changed the design (and at such a price) to include what should've been there.  However, I feel that when I'm careful I can usually work around this problem.
Based on my experience and observations, the resulting images would not be acceptable.
That's not been my experience.  Did you look at the teleconverter-attached images at POTN forums?  With the EF Extender III I rarely have any problem with the 2011 version.

If you are shooting with a camera with smaller pixel pitch than the 7D and need critical resolution then there may be a problem.  Occasionally the images seem somewhat less than critically sharp - but only at 1:1 magnification (discounting focus errors of course).  I've got a good number of shots that are more than acceptably sharp in my view.  The weakness of the lens and TC combination comes when shooting at somewhat longer ranges against a busy background - occasionally (such as an image across a swamp / small lake) I have gotten an unacceptably busy rendition of OOF backgrounds.  No doubt the 200-400 will excel in this area, hopefully even with the TC active.

The 200-400 will be the single-lens option for wildlife if you cannot afford to remove the lens in the field (I admit this is somewhat burdensome to change), but 120-200mm has been useful surprisingly often and f/2.8 even more so.

After all these considerations, I would be reluctant to toss out the 120-300 entirely in favor of the 200-400 TC 1.4 - especially as it seems to excel in relatively close-up to medium range photography (although you have to work around the minimum focus distance - 1.5m at the wide end, and 2.5m at the far end - it is able to focus closer than many other lenses in this range).  The price on  the original model couldn't be beaten, either - maybe one of the better lens deals in recent times, and I hope the price increase doesn't reflect Sigma's belief they sold the original too cheaply.  I was definitely limited by funds to that lens, however, and for that reason the 120-300 + TC combination will still be tempting compared to the 200-400mm.  It seems to handily beat consumer-oriented lenses in the 1X0-400mm and 1X0-5X0 (etc.) ranges.

Thanks for the comments. I've only used the Sigma TCs and have not been impressed with the 2X. I still would prefer a 200-500 f/4 lens, even if it is substantially heavier and more expensive.

Obviously we're not seeing any tests with this lens yet, but if it performs well with a 1.4x TC I could see this standing in as my poor-man's 200-400mm-ish (168-420mm FF) type of lens for some of that distant action and animal stuff that I.... never do :)

Except that the 200-400 comes with a 1.4X TC, making it a 280-560. To do that with the 120-300 would require a 2X TC. Based on my experience and observations, the resulting images would not be acceptable. Sigma needs to scale up the 120-300 design into a 200-500 f/4. Their 200-500 f/2.8 is an overweight, overly expensive joke.

Lenses / Re: Canon 100mm macro IS vs non-IS - any further input?
« on: January 05, 2013, 08:44:27 PM »
I've got the non-L non IS 100.  Mine is about 10 years old and it is a great lens.  I don't use it for hand held macro photography.  My macro work is done strictly on a tripod.  For general purpose photography, I sometimes use this lens and, of course, my photos are hand held.  It produces terrific results and I have no need to upgrade to an L or to IS with this particular lens.
Same here.

EOS Bodies / Re: What no one else seems to have noticed
« on: January 01, 2013, 08:46:59 PM »
The 1DXs will take EF-S lenses!

I'm going to assume that you're not joking. Taking EF-S lenses might be a useful feature in a 40MP camera costing $3000 but, for a camera probably costing $8000+, who cares?

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a 39.3mp Sensor Exist? [CR1]
« on: December 31, 2012, 07:25:37 PM »
As some here probably already realize, 39.3 megapixels is kind of a magic number, since its resolution is probably 7680 (i.e.,1920 X 4 and 3840 X 2) horizontal by 5160 vertical. If you want a C300-style 2 x 2 binning sensor, except capable of being cropped to 3840 X 2160, that is the resolution you would want.

Good observation. A 4x4 HD 3:2 sensor has 39.3 MP; a 5x5 has 61.4 MP

I don't think that 5x5 would work. The bayer sensor uses a 2x2 block of two green, one blue and one red pixels. Using odd numbers would require taking pixels from an adjacent block. I don't think the 5D3 uses 3x3 binning, although the horizontal resolution is 5760 or 3 x 1920.

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a 39.3mp Sensor Exist? [CR1]
« on: December 30, 2012, 12:12:41 PM »
As some here probably already realize, 39.3 megapixels is kind of a magic number, since its resolution is probably 7680 (i.e.,1920 X 4 and 3840 X 2) horizontal by 5160 vertical. If you want a C300-style 2 x 2 binning sensor, except capable of being cropped to 3840 X 2160, that is the resolution you would want.

Lenses / Re: New lenses for 46mp camera?
« on: December 24, 2012, 02:23:15 PM »
I've long read how most of the current lenses are more than capable of out resolving anything on the MP horizon, and I thought it very likely to be true, but when i look at DXO's "mpix" rating of lenses, i start to wonder.
BTW-I'm ISF certified, yet i have no idea what a quad-HD television is, but i don't disagree with Bob's point.
Sorry, 3840 X 2160

Lenses / Re: New lenses for 46mp camera?
« on: December 24, 2012, 09:52:29 AM »
can't imagine i'd ever need 46mp.. so i'd stick to what i have anyway..

I bet you couldn't imagine that you needed 12mp about 10 years ago. The worlds changing buddy, get on the train and hold on tight, or be left behind :P

Yes, the world certainly is changing but I doubt that anybody using a Nikon D4 (16MP) or Canon 1Dx (18MP) will feel "left behind". Professionals, increasingly, are seeing their images displayed small in size and at low resolution. Even a quad-HD television is still only 8MP.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Do you miss APS-C?
« on: December 14, 2012, 10:36:37 AM »
i own and use both a 5D3 and 7D. This pairing replaced a 5D and 40D. The 7D is used principally with my 100-400 and 300 f/2.8 (with and without TCs) for sports photography. Very often, the 100-400 will be on the 7D and a 70-200 on the 5D3. With the focusing improvement, the 5D3 is a passable sports camera, something the 5D never was.

However, I have also used a (1) 17-35 on the 5D/5D3 and 24-70 on the 40D/7D, (2) 24-70 on the 40D/7D and 100-400 on the 5D3 and (3) 17-50 on the 40D/7D and 70-200 on the 5D/5D3.

Having said that, if I were regularly shooting events and/or weddings, I would certainly buy another 5D3 and relegate the 7D to backup status.

Regarding the mythical 7D2, I want improvements in DR and high ISO image quality over the 7D, not more pixels. That's what I said about the 5D3 over the 5D2 and that's what Canon delivered.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 50 f/1.4 IS in 2013 [CR2]
« on: December 13, 2012, 07:37:28 AM »
shooting at 1.4... just looks amateurish

this is something new to me :o

For video, going super shallow is cool, but so easily overdone, and has become a 'special effect' with DSLR video these days that's often used too much, with no regards to keeping anything particularly in focus to show off bokeh.
I like shallow, but for subject separation or for a nice dreamy feel when needed, but not for an excuse for poor composition, you can't just keep a single point in focus and ignore how the overall image is composed.
If you need 1.4 for the light, then that's certainly great if IS is part of the package too, but one is better off with a fast wide angle for lowlight video anyways

I watch a lot of TV shows that have a documentary flavor. They rarely, maybe never, use selective focus. If anything, they go to the other extreme, with everything in sharp focus.

The reality is that Canon is a business, and their obligation is to deliver value to their shareholders. 

And any buyer-seller relationship is essentially adversarial and the person you're dealing with is your mortal enemy, to be exploited to the maximum extent they will accept.

I wish instead of bringing out new flashguns they would bring out a receiver unit for the ST-E3-RT to make the 580's compatible...

That would be an ST-E2!

I really don't understand the dissatisfaction here, Canon did a very good job of making the new flash compatible with 100% functionality of the legacy gear going all the way back to the first EX's. They didn't have to include optical triggering reverse compatibility, it wouldn't have altered my decision to buy three 600's and an ST-E3-RT and having used them for a few weeks I know I will be buying more, but give credit where it is due, Canon did include it. You can buy one 600EX-RT and if you already own older EX Speedlites or a camera with a commander built in you are good to go.

You don't understand the dissatisfaction?? We just want Canon to introduce something comparable to the Phottix Odin. They've already introduced the transmitter half but seem intent on forcing us to buy new flashes instead of introducing the dedicated receiver. For your information, the ST-E2 signalling doesn't work very well in bright light and is very restricted in range. Now do you understand our dissatisfaction??

EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 27, 2012, 11:23:09 AM »

For the billionth time, more pixels does not mean more noise.  In fact, given the same basic sensor performance, more pixels means less noise (given the same total sensor area, of course).  This is because bigger pixels do nothing but simple block averaging while noise reduction software uses far more sophisticated approaches to reducing noise than that.

Think of it this way - a perfect sensor would record each photon's location.  This is sort of equivalent to "infinite" pixel count.

There are a couple factors here. Hand-holding ability suffers when pixel density is too high,

No, it doesn't.  The extra pixels are capable of showing the blur that was already there in more detail.  Reducing the pixel count just hides that blur inside the blur due to poor sampling.

On top of that is encountering diffraction earlier on.

That's also baloney, and for the exact same reason.

There are several drawbacks to cramming more pixels on small sensors. You can take as many shortcuts as you like, but eventually physics will emerge victorious, thus the booming full frame market.....

The only drawbacks to more pixels are that better manufacturing is needed, faster processing pipelines have to be included, more storage is consumed by the final files, and more processing power is needed to post process the final images.  There are no image quality disadvantages except in certain extremely way out there edge cases no one ever mentions anyway.

If all that is true, why does the 1Dx have only 18MP and the Nikon D4 only 16MP?

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: AA Battery Charger and Batteries
« on: November 07, 2012, 01:34:12 PM »
Low self-discharge NiMH batteries and a battery charger that charges each cell individually, not in pairs, at a relatively low current. I use Eneloops and a LaCrosse BC-700

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