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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: June 20, 2014, 08:59:11 AM »
Page 373 of the 5DMkIII user manual states that the focusing screen is fixed. 

This was a compromise I made with misgivings, but, in fact, I find the focusing screen to be pretty darn close the the Eg-S--and not as dark. 

Still, I do wish we had options.

I still have a mkII with an Eg-s and it's not even close. But with spot focus set, I don't really have any issues with the focus accuracy...but it was more reassuring when I could actually see my 85 f1.2 pop into focus than just relying on the AF to do it's job fully.

EOS Bodies / Re: Reports of EOS 7D Reaching End of Life [CR2]
« on: June 20, 2014, 08:11:51 AM »
I'm still prepping my bomb shelter for the hysteria as the 7D2 release gets closer
anyone remember how bad this place got pre 5Dmk3?

That was mostly due to the Nikon high-dr high-mp d800 release ... unlike the 70d the 7d2 will be a stand-alone upgrade competing with nothing, question just if it will find enough buyers considering performance vs. price. Canon seems doubtful, that's why there is no 7d2 atm.

The 5d3 is 95% of the 1Dx and it is half the cost.

But this 5% include 100% of the rgb metering, sealing, x-sync, customizability, shutter life, faster af/lens speed, higher fps :-p

No one ever mentions that the 1D-x's AI servo / face detection and colour AF tracking is noticably better than the 5DIII. Tracking wild sea birds in Ireland last week, the 5DIII's 6fps is well geared to it's AF tracking capability. While the 1D-X's 12 fps is well suited to it's improved AF capability.
I think durability wise, I've seen enough broken 1D-X's over the last few years to know that they aren't any more robust than a 5DIII. Yes the 1Dx is slightly better weather sealed, yes there is twice the frame rate. But there is more comonality between them then would first appear. The 5DIII really is the 3D we were all asking for. I think shutter life is a mute topic, and fro a £300 fix it's a minor issue. I know guys who had their 1DX shutter crap out at only happens. A lot of it is to do with the envirnonment it was shot with (sand is a killer on any camera) and how well treated it's been. Many pro cams get thrown around because they are pro grade and look like they can take the punishment. Most of the internal ribbon cables inside are connected using the same ones on our laptops and we generally treat them with more respect.
Pros buy the 1D-X because they are on a 5 year turn around for their cameras. A lot of wild life guys traded up from 1DsIII's and the 1D-X makes a lot of sence. Most wedding photographers are on a 3 year replacement cycle due to the harsh condidtions. My 5DII's were in a pretty sorry state when i upgraded to 5DIII's (which still look fresh after 2 years). This is one aspect that serious hobbiests don't often consider, the longeviety and resale value of a pro item. I expect 10 years out of a lens minimum, but camera bodies are 2-3 years for me. That said, i'm very happy with my 5DIII's and would consider selling one of them and trading for a 1D-X.
If I did, I would need to see a 5 year return on the camera. Which is a problem becuase the camera is already a few years into it's product life and i'm sure a replacement will come down the line at some point.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: June 20, 2014, 07:54:24 AM »
I received my copy of this lens several days ago, and I admit that it's a bit of a head-scratcher for me.  First off, I ran a series of shots of a static target at different distances in order to calibrate it with the Sigma dock/optimization software.  I achieved razor sharp results at f/1.4 after dialing-in the appropriate adjustments for each distance on the scale.  I did use a tripod, an extremely bright halogen lamp (EV 10, at least), and center-point focus only for the calibration.  I also played around with live-view focus which obviously achieved excellent quality and consistent results.  After calibrating with the dock (each zone, save for infinity ended up at approximately +10 or so) I took the lens out for some test shots.  The results were somewhat inconsistent, as others on this forum have reported.  Many shots were spot-on, but some were confusingly out of focus - and often by a quite a wide margin.  I deliberately kept the lens at f/1.4, but made sure shutter speeds were never below 1/200th.  I probably should have noted what points on the 5d3 I was using when the misfocused shots were taken as I believe I did read a post on this forum that mentioned problems with off-center (or perhaps non-cross-type) focus points and this lens.

Next up, I attempted to AFMA with FoCal for kicks.  FoCal's AFMA module absolutely hated this lens and reported 'poor' confidence (red color) in two complete runs.  I didn't bother saving the logs.  Next up I used the FoCal's AF consistency module which reported 97.5% consistency with phase detection... weird.  I wonder if I've not received a dud lens, or if my old hands are shakier than I truly realize.  I do own the Sigma 35mm f/1.4A which is an absolute gem.  I have no problems whatsoever with the 35A in terms of auto focus.  Sure, 35mm has lots more DOF at F/1.4, but I just can't miss with it. 
Thoughts, anyone?  I see that some people have already exchanged their copies of the 50A (even several times)... Thanks.

Sorry to hear that dear friend.
Looks like Sigma still trying to figure out the 5d mkiii/1dx AF system.
And it's very sad that still no words or any firmware update from Sigma yet.
Also the service guys still have no idea what to do with those issues.
Otherwise it's a great lens ;)
I have lens no.2 now. The first was very unpredictable. This second one is more consistent, but not reliable. I have done both FoCal, with a mix of poor and acceptable results (The first lens did not pass FoCal at all) and a manual LensAlign test. With LensAlign I have found a fairly consistent back focus, coming from infinity to app. 1,2m and front focus coming from MFD. Not much, but enough to make f1.4 shots sufficiently out of focus to be annoying.

With the Eg-S focusing screen on the 5DIII and Ec-S on the 1DX, I get equal or better results shooting the Otus wide open. That sort of kills my interest in the Sigma ...

I agree on the optical performance though. When focus is right, you can get absolutely stunning images with this lens.

I'm a bit curious, how did you fit a Eg-s screen to a 5DIII? I didn't think they were interchangable?

My point was the A7R will take sales from the A7S

Sorry, I mis-read your post.

Are you saying the A7R has a good video legacy so more people will upgrade to the A7S?

I was (missing your point) arguing people still buy Canon because it's got a legacy as good video dslrs, but that might change over time once the competition has "pro" features at a decent price. The 70d has nice lv af though which also might appeal to some, but it's on the other end of the "low light capability" scale than the a7s.

I really can't see Sony ever making a serious pro camera. Certainly nothing in the 5DIII / 1D-x product bracket. Their camera design objectives and product placement look confused and badly thought out. For my needs a 1DX or 5DIII are pretty much the best range of features and reliabilty that there is. I trust also the Canon band, which is a lot more than I can say about Nikon, Sony or Sigma. I'm not saying Canon haven't made mistakes, but they haven't isolated me in the market place. If I was in Nikon land, I would still be wondering how I would be upgrading from the D700 within a wedding photographer's context. For me, the 5DIII is pretty much perfect, although 2 stops low noise shadow detail pull-ability would be nice.
There is so much more to a camera than it's sensor. I think Sony's cameras are a case in point here. Great sensors, let down by poor cameras.
When I look at the Nikon lens catalogue, I see a lot of ancient designs, most without USM (or what ever Noik call it). I see a lot of screw driven lenses and very few really new and interesting things. There's some but not many and it's not a comprehensive as Canon's. If I look at Sony, that disparity is even worse.
Anyone who has used the newer 24-70IIL, 70-200IIL or any mk II white super tele's will know what I am talking about. In fact, my 35L and 85IIL still produce fantastic pro images for me, while I hear that Sigma has a good 35mm...I don't trust their reliability or AF capabilities....sorry, but that's been my experiance. there is more to a lens than just flat lens charts. In 8 years of pro shooting, most of my Sigma gear has gone back for repairs or calibration 2-3 times per lens. My Canon gear (which i have more of) takes a beating far better and I think I've only sent one lens into Canon and that was for a front element replacement.

Tamrac used to make some of the best backpacks up to about 7-8 years ago. then they seem to lost their way, lost their innovation and put out bags which seemed to step backwards and not forwards.
Gura Gear on the other hand pushed forwards (and in price) and produce some of the most useful backpacks ever made for photographers.


GuraGear are the Apple of camera bags.  Functional, well-designed, well-built and innovative, but pricey.  I love my Kiboko 22L. 

Why on earth would GuraGear take on the weight of the Tamrac name?  Is there timeless bag design that they always make money on, something like a Domke F Series? 

I have to believe this move was a business transaction to obtain patent rights to poach great features for future GG bags, but I could be wrong. 

- A

it makes one wonder if Tamrac were really that big? We sort of assume it was based on it's distribution and web site layout. But it's quite possible that it was quite a small outfit all along. In a simular way, Gura gear may not be all that big either. But is possibly a lot more cash rich due to it's better margins, lower overheads and wiser equity investment. I guess the proof is in the pudding, and another indicator that the market only really sustains the top of the pile gear (ie Apple, Canon etc). 

Tamrac used to make some of the best backpacks up to about 7-8 years ago. then they seem to lost their way, lost their innovation and put out bags which seemed to step backwards and not forwards.
Gura Gear on the other hand pushed forwards (and in price) and produce some of the most useful backpacks ever made for photographers.

The crazy thing is that storage space doesn't seem to be advancing as quickly as it use to anymore. It was quite a number of years ago that we hit 2Tb....then a few years ago that we hit 3Tb, and now only recently have 4Tb drives have begun to become "affordable" (the ones with TERRIBLE access times are still around $150, and the ones with faster access times are still in the $220-$300 range). There are less than a handful of 6Tb drives on the market, and only LaCie seems to be selling 5Tb hard drives...both of which are at lest $300 a pop if not considerably more expensive.

While larger hard drives, all built with the same semi-reliable technology that has been plaguing computer users for decades, trickle slowly onto the market, our data use needs are RAPIDLY growing. As video, especially 4k video, becomes more accessible, I think 48Gb worth of video files is only the beginning! :P And as still image sizes skyrocket to 40, 50, 70 megapixels and beyond... Yeesh...I shudder to think about the costs of storing it all. Cloud services aren't even remotely "there" yet when it comes to space/dollar, and then you have to deal with transferring tens or hundreds of gigs across the wire.

Yeah I really wish some of that next generation tech had come to fruition already. We need ultra fast many TB reliable, safe storage, yesterday!

Aye! I really wish multi-TB sized 10 million hour MTBF SSDs would finally hit the streets. I picked up a 500Gb SSD recently for $200, which was a STEAL...but it was still $200...and for only 500Gb. :\

Really can't wait until I have three or four terrabytes of SSD drive space zipping along at 600Mbit per second or more. :D

Three years ago i bought a vertex III 240gb SSD. It cost me £400 and was state of the art. Now I can buy a 500gb Samsung (a better drive) for less than £300, so the data capacity has doubled and the price has come down a lot.

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: June 17, 2014, 08:07:28 AM »
An announcment...and an offically leaked spy shot can't be far around the corner.
And when it does....this place will go into melt down. I might avoid it for a few days until the fever calms down.

EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 16, 2014, 10:02:50 AM »
To imply any differences between Yervant and Jeff Ascough images are down to program mode choice is really, really wrong.

Yervant's images are post process driven, Ascough is a natural light narrow dof "B&W gritty" look. To suggest that Ascough couldn't take exactly the same images he does in M using Av is disingenuous, he is a master of his craft. If you watch some of his videos you would realise he actually relies on RAW post capability much more than a slide film shooter ever would, but people who come from a B&W film background do that, they generalize exposure and rely on the depth in the file, and that is a technique that lends itself to M mode shooting.

I pointed out Joe Buissink as a user of P mode just to illustrate that some high end pros work with it quite happily, not that you need to use one mode over another to get a style of image.

Wow, you fly off the handle quickly! Perhapse you mis read my post. That's not what I was alluding to at all. I was pointing out that some photographers choose different modes to others regaqrdless of popularity or success. I prefer Jeff's style and generally agree with his point of views, at a wedding you need to meter for each room manually and stick to that metering so the exposure is consistent from frame to frame. It cuts down post prodding images where the meter has jumped about all over the place. I know Jeff quite well from when we were both on a private forum together. While I admire Yervant's work and success, his work is generally not my style or inspiration. I like George Weir too, again another photojournalist who uses M mode. Maybe it's PJ thang vs the art crowd? I'm just musing out loud here.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:37:25 AM »

Sea birds in Ireland. All shot with 7D and 300 1:2.8 II

Hi Birdlover....I'm wondering if you happen to be Dutch? If so, Hi Martin from Gareth!

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:33:04 AM »
It's interesting that Canon in the past commented that a 100% viewfinder and pop up flash was unweildy and not a workable solution....looks like the 7DII with have!

EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 16, 2014, 06:46:46 AM »
I'm rather surprised no one has captured a picture of a 7D2 at the World Cup yet---if they're really there!

As speculated in the neighboring thread about pre-production models, the earlier incarnations are most likely inside the old camera body so you won't recognize the 7d2 from the outside.

People who deride
P mode are idiots

Fyi Magic Lantern users: There's a module called "autoexpo" which is essentially P mode, but it lets you pre-set av/tv/iso for every lv value. Afaik it doesn't support shifting (yet) and doesn't take the lens' focal length into consideration, but if you exactly know what settings you want for what available light I'm reading it's very useful.

To quote two very famous and widely regarded wedding photographers, Yervant and Jeff Ascough (the main input who directed Canon to spec the 5DIII). Yervant uses P all the time, Jeff uses M all the time.
Both are highly regarded, but I know who's photos I prefer.

Another great photograher who I have a lot of time for is Guy Edwardes. He's a M user, with the occasional Av use. Go check out his diary page for some of the finest landscapes, flowers and wildlife I've yet to see.

Personally I see little use for P, my default is AV with exposure compensation applied. But I know many other pros who feel the same about M, once fully mastered, there is little reason to have any other mode. My personal view is that Av or Tv is faster to operate and less of hassle in environments with constant lighting changes / challenges. Another useful feature of M is that it can be used as an "Iso Priority" (Iv?) mode if "Auto iso" in engaged. Not my bag, but I've used on the odd occasions.
As for Ken Rockwell and his "P is for professionals" comment....yeah right....becareful of what you read on the internet....especially if the advice is for free? I certainly wouldn't go on one of his workshops.

EOS Bodies / Re: New Full Frame Camera in Testing? [CR1]
« on: June 16, 2014, 06:33:04 AM »
The most anal people I know about image colour are flower photographers and ceramicists, ever photograph a red flower and it not look anything like the flower did? Try deep blue, purple, and mauve flowers, they are a very difficult to get accurate and you have to use a camera profile specifically for the light you shot in.

A lot of trouble with flowers is even more that people seem to stick to sRGB which makes many flowers impossible to show correctly. A wide gamut monitor will give you a much better chance (of course it's true that the WB and profiles and all can still mess with things).

But with any gamut, you have to ultimately prepare the image for the end viewer who is likely using sRGB.

That's exactly it. I don't bother with a high end monitor with wide gamut and all this, because the print shops I use only accept sRGB and if I tinker with a file to make it perfect and anyone I send it to uses a medium quality laptop
To view it in, what's the point? For professionals that do commercial work and advertising posters etc, or magazines and all that stuff I can certainly see the point. But for me and lots if others, creating a ColorChecker Passport profile for daylight and tungsten in LR gets you very far from the standard colors out of your camera.

sRGB can cover every hue (colour) it might not be able to render the saturation (intensity) or the brightness (or darkness) of a specific colour, but my point was about getting the hue correct. As you point out, for the vast majority of the time a very good colour workflow can be covered with the simplest of techniques, a ColorChecker and a custom camera profile in post.

All wide gamut monitors do is give you more degrees of saturation and contrast levels, not hue capability. But wider gamut files and workspaces give you much greater post processing latitude, that doesn't mean the end product can't then fit into a smaller gamut like sRGB, just that it is much easier to get an accurate rendition into a smaller gamut of you start out with the wiggle room inherent in a bigger one.

And yet many photographers choose Canon becuase of their inherant colour rendition. Skin tones are far nicer on Canon than Nikon. I belive this is due to hot reds on the Canon gamut. I don't want a clinical colour accuracy, that would be boring. I want a colour interpretation whihc is nice and pleasing on the eye. In a simular way to hi fi...some components are very neutral and a little bland. I like speakers and amps which inject a little colour to the sound and add some charector to the performance. This is why I like Arcam amps and Ruark speakers. Unfortunatly, both companies have been pretty much killed by the iPhone market....go figure!

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D MK III Images
« on: June 15, 2014, 07:49:25 PM »
A few birds from the last few days in Ireland:

Canon 5DIII and a 400 f2.8 LIS
None of the images shows up ...

>Sigh< Flickr's gone and changed again and I can't see where I can obtain the link to the images.
Can anyone help? Anyone figured out the new Flickr UI?

Here we go......

Some from the last 4 days in Ireland:

Canon 5DIII, 400mm f2.8 LIS and sometimes extenders

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 15, 2014, 07:47:49 PM »
Some from the last 4 days in Ireland:

Canon 5DIII, 400mm f2.8 LIS and sometimes extenders

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