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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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271
Lenses / Re: What lens delivers the strongest background blur?
« on: July 16, 2013, 07:53:18 AM »
I'd like to share a photo shot by a pal on another forum:

He used 200mm f2 to do this shot: tell me if any shorter lens can ever achieve this effect:

hint: subject distance: 17.6m



35 1.4? pfff, not even close

Contrary to popular belief, in order to get most background blur (isolation), you shoot head/shoulder with wide angle (35), half body with medium (50/85) and full body with telephoto (>200), not the other way around.

Wide for full body, tele for close up just gives you flat and boring snap shots.


The OP asked a very general question. With your very nice posted image, taken with a 200mm lens, another focal length prime will not create an identical image. The background blur can be less or more depending on the working distance, focal length, aperture and subject distance from the background. If you hinge on a 200mm then the only way to create a simular isolation is to go closer with a wider lens or further back with a longer lens. If one goes wider, then a larger aperture will be needed to create a clean background.
A 35mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.2 are both perfectly capable of doing this, although the 35mm is better suited to "head and shoulders" portraits and not "head and toes" portraits. The wider lens will be a lot closer and cause a different look to the 200mm image. There will be a different look from the amount of compression difference between the 200mm and 35mm, but that's an entirely different subject. 

I regularly use a 35mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.2 for my professional wedding work and it's very very easy to melt the background, but tricky to get a precise point of focus. That said, my 24-70L is very good at melting backgrounds too. At 70mm @ f2.8 it's min focus distance is very close and more than capable of making clean backgrounds.

272
Lenses / Re: 50mm Primes that don't suck wide open?
« on: July 12, 2013, 11:29:21 AM »
In preparation for my upgrade to a 5d3 (from a 60D) later this year I'm trying to compile a list of potential prime lenses to get between the 35 and 100mm range. I've already got a 24-105L and will sell my non-L 70-300 to get the L version. Also have a 50mm 1.8 so I'll need to get a 85 1.8 to get my portrait capability back.

Then the question remains: Do I keep the little plastic toy (which never use wider than 2.8 anyways) or just get a pancake (which is actually pretty usable wide open, vignetting aside)? Do I even need a 50? I know the 50mm 1.4 isn't great wide open either and has fragility issues but at least it'll work with the automatic CA corrections in the 5d3 (I shoot RAW+jpeg). The sigma 50 1.4 is...really big for a 50mm prime, has AF quality control issues and won't work with auto CA corrections. Rumor mill has it that the sigma 50 is due for a rebody to the "art" line they've got going now but probably won't get an optics refresh... Oh yeah, the 50mm 1.2 is a no thanks I'll keep the money. Everything 50mm seems to be a compromise and you'd think after so many decades of people using such a prolific "normal" lens the designers would have perfected the formulas by now.

Do I even need a 50?

Only you can answer your last statement.
To be fair a 24-70 f2.8 L does so much and so well, a lot of guys don't need the primes in a post high iso world. it can do all the depth of field isolation at the 70mm end or by getting closer and shooting wider. It's MFD is amazing and it's bokeh is first rate. 
I use a 35 f1.4 and 85 f1.2 a lot. But prefer the f2.8 zoom trinity if I can, light permitting. On sunny days, the primes are too bright and my 5DIII bounces off it's 1/8000th max shutter speed....lol!

There isn't a great 50mm, sorry but that' the truth. The best is certainly the 50 f1.2L but it's not that great. It's ok and it does the job best of all. But it's lacking compared to the 35L and 85L. We are all hoping for a 50L which is worthy of the moniker...but that's probably just a fools hope. I think the 50L was a big wake up call for Canon and every lens since has been stellar. 

273
EOS Bodies / Re: Wait, Digic 6 is already out??
« on: July 11, 2013, 05:07:54 AM »
What's the data though put for Digic 6? Dual Digic 5 was good for 227mb/s, so I'm wondering if the single Digic 6 will match these figures.
Oooo...here's a though, if the dual Digic 6 is good for around 340mb/s then a theoretical 1DXII could be good for 12fps @ 28mp.....nice! Or 6.3fps @ 54mp!

274
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 2014 [CR2]
« on: July 11, 2013, 04:59:04 AM »
I'm curious about the 2 "pro" bodies - one of will be the high megapixel camera but the other will be?.....


Maybe two high megapixel? 5D3big (3D?) and 1DXbig?
Or will the APS-H surprise us and come back to a new life?

The 5DIII was the 1DX were co-developed together. The 5DIII really is a 1Dx lite. Both cameras benefitted from the co-developement. I suspect that something simular will occurr with the big chip cameras. A 1D series with a large super-sized sensor and pro spec, and a 5D sized camera with a simular sensor and features but less fps and a more semi - pro orientated build / features.

I don't think we'll ever see another  APS-H sensor again.

275
Lenses / Re: What's the Difference: 1.4X EF Extender 2 Vs. 3
« on: July 03, 2013, 04:22:04 AM »
I've had the mkII and mkIII 1.4x TC together. I sold the mkII last year (I needed two at the time) and I found the mkIII to be a little better in every regard. Slightly sharper and slightly better with it's AF. Less Vignetting and less CA. But those differences didn't make huge difference in the final pictures.
I'm currently using the mkII 2x TC. I've used the mkIII version and it looks like a greater improvement over the mkII - mkIII 1.4x converters. There seems to be slightly more Image Quality improvements. Then again, not everyone needs a 2x TC!

276
Lenses / Re: Used 300 2.8 L IS Mk I
« on: July 03, 2013, 04:16:54 AM »
The slightly older US date code that was in impeccable condition.  ;D

I too thinking about 400 f2.8 IS version I. Would be nice to have version II, but the price tag is little too high for me.

I bought a S/H near mint 400 f2.8 L IS mkI last year, just before the mkII's were released. I figured that I won't loose money on it and if I need to I can upgrade to the mkII as and when. The 400L is everything people are saying....it's AF is fast and very accurate. It's jaw droppingly sharp....it's one of the few lenses which can be used with a 2x TC wide open. It's very versatile too, the ability to use TC's really expands the use of this lens. It becomes a 400/2.8 a 560/f4 or 800/5.6. The only problem with it is it's physical weight....it's REALLY heavy and cumbersome.
There are lighter ways to shoot wildlife!
If I had a clean slate and 10K to blow, I would buy the new 500IIL. It's SO light and easy to handle. I'd loose the f2.8 option but the rest of the package really makes up for it.

277
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Gitzo tripod or no?
« on: July 02, 2013, 08:54:55 AM »
Personally, I prefer Really Right Stuff as 'the best' support gear.  I find the build quality to be a little better than Gitzo (e.g. the aluminum parts are anodized on RRS, painted on Gitzo), the teardrop feet are more stable, etc.

Of course, RRS is even more expensive than Gizto, and unless you're local to SLO, CA you can't even try them out without buying them (they only sell direct, no distributors).

Regarding the legs sliding completely out, they're designed to do that if you unscrew the locks far enough (that might or might not be what was happening with the one you tried).  What happens if you get saltwater or windblown sand in your tripod legs?  With Gitzo and RRS, you just unscrew the locks, disassemble the legs, rinse them with clean water and let them dry - they're designed to be field-strippable/cleanable.  Manfrotto legs require tools to take apart (usually a hexkey and a nut driver; for some you have to pound out a pin with a hammer and awl).

Yep, I've seen a lot of Gitzo Systematic tripods which fall apart after exposing to saltwater and sand. My GT3541LS has had all three lower leg assemblies and spikes replaced, along with every hex bolt on the thing (4 I think) due to corrosion. It's a great pod for stability....but ut's not what I'd call robust. If I was buying again, I'd get a RRS tripod.
Expensive, but worth it in the long run.
The bottom end of the range Gitzo's don't compare to the top end. The traveller pods are pretty weak and unstable compared to the Systematic range. You probably think....I'll just get this traveller for now...but you will find that you will want more stability soon enough.

278
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 70D a New Benchmark in ISO Performance?
« on: July 02, 2013, 07:27:42 AM »
I'm waiting for the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Band of Banding-Hunting Brothers to mention that it has obvious pattern banding at +10stops DEC & +1000 fill-light, as confirmed by Professor Professorson, PhD E.E., when pixel-voyeured at 800%...

Which will undoubtably "prove" that this camera is useless for any photographer who refuses to metre and expose their photographs properly!

279
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 70D a New Benchmark in ISO Performance?
« on: July 01, 2013, 11:48:35 AM »
While this is good news, the caveat here is apparent....a new benchmark....for a crop sensor. I seriously doubt that it'll match or even come close the high Iso performance of the 1DX, 6D or 5DIII.

280
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Spec List
« on: June 28, 2013, 06:00:40 AM »
It's an interesting spec list. This new camera isn't far off the current 7D specs.
19 point AF and 7fps!

281
There's very few lenses which can take a 2x TC, wide open and still get very usable results. My 400mm f2.8 L IS is certainly one of them, my 70-200 f2.8 L IS II is another...which is amazing considering it's a zoomer. It's a fantastic lens...just a bit big and heavy.

282
Big question - other than the focus being perhaps a hair off, how fast and, most importantly, how accurate do you feel the focus is?
Focus is fast. Not quite as fast as the Canon 400 f2.8 II. But its pretty fast. Fast enough for sports.  As to the accuracy, not ready to put a stamp on it yet due to the back focus. I had some misses.  Not an exceptional number of misses for a softball game. Some that surprised me were the longer shots. For instance shooting an outfielder with center focus, I caught the fence more often than I thought I would. 

Update: I just spent some time tweaking the focus with the doc. I reset the 1Dx micro back to 0. I eventually worked my way up to a -15 setting on over 100'+. At that setting it is sharp!  I then started working on the 120, 150 and 200 mm settings. I did not have time to put on the 5DIII and test it with the updates.   I'll do a full review soon.

Suggestion, if you buy this lens, get the dock. Not sure if my situation is typical, but without it, I'd be calling Sigma or considering returning it.
-Mike

I used to have the previous model (OS) and mine was certainly sharp at 300mm f2.8...if yours isn't, it's either missing focus or it's out of adjustment. One of the nice things with this lens is that it's wide open sharpness is excellent. My copy's AF seemed a bit hit and miss, or slightly erratic.

283
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How do you carry your tripod?
« on: June 27, 2013, 07:04:38 AM »
I tend to avoid attaching my tripod to any of my camera bags. It's a Gitzo GT3541LS and it's pretty heavy. If I attach it to a camer bag it always unbalances the bag and pulls me backwards. So When I walk with my pod...I hold it in my hand. I often extend one of the legs and use it as a walking stick sometimes if the ground is unstable. 

284
When I pop my 400L on a sturdy tripod....the only movement is between the camera and the lens mount. If I use a Teleconverter, this increases a little. It's just a bit of lens mount rotational slackness.

285
Lenses / Re: New Wide Angles Lenses in 2013 [CR2]
« on: June 26, 2013, 08:40:58 AM »
for 14-24mm f/2.8
I would buy, if this lens accept regular (100mm) filters, I already have a filter collections, that's already very expensive. I wouldn't buy larger filters (>150mm) cuz they're insanely expensive.

I think it's very unlikely the 14-24mm will be able to use 100mm filters.
When I designed a filter holder for my Samyang 14mm, I found that anything narrower than 125mm would show up at the sides of the frame.
The LEE holder for Nikon's 14-24mm is for 150mm filters.

Yes, and the Wondapanna filters for the Nikon 14-24mm, Sigma 12-24mm and TS-e 17L are even bigger...165mm I belive!

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