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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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Lenses / Re: Poll: Most Wanted New Lenses of 2013.
« on: May 07, 2013, 06:45:11 AM »
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye II (non-L) :o

Yes, I kept my 15mm f/2.8 fisheye when the 8-15mm f/4 L fisheye zoom was released for three reasons:

1) DxO doesn't support the 8-15mm f/4. It was listed as to be supported, delayed again & again, until the lens was released, then it was dropped permanently from the list.

2) I use the 15mm f/2.8 in low light to capture a whole stage while standing right in front of it. One more aperture stop will always make for a cleaner image by shooting one ISO stop lower.

I've heard the the 8-15mm f/4 has better IQ. The lack of DxO support makes me wonder how true is that, as in maybe the distortion is so bad, DxO can't fix it, or something.

3) I'm not sure whether I'd find any use for focal lengths between 8 & 15. Actually, I'm considering selling my Sigma 8mm circular fisheye prime.

I'll be happy to see an EF 15mm f/2.8 II with better IQ.

The Sigma 15mm f2.8 is a more regarded lens than the Canon counterpart and it's still available.
The Canon 8-15mm f4 L lens is very sweet and makes a great FX lens. Zoom bursts and zoom swirls will never be the same again! The zoom has slightly less CA, but it's still quite strong. I guess correcting a full frame 180 degree AOV is pretty difficult, but it can be defished with some pretty horrific drops in quality. I think the zoom is a tad sharper, but there is really very little between them. The zoom is more flexible and offers more options, but like all fisheye lenses....best used in moderation and infrequently. I like mine a lot, it's a lot of fun but it's not a lens I use often. In terms of distortion....it's a fisheye....yes it's a distorted view....it's supposed to be....lol!

EOS Bodies / Re: No 7D Mark II in 2013? [CR2]
« on: May 06, 2013, 04:26:56 PM »
It's no fuss to me, I prolly wouldn't buy one any how. I far prefer full frame.

Lenses / Re: Anyone upgraded from their 24-70L to 24-70L MKII?
« on: May 02, 2013, 10:19:40 AM »
I currently have a stellar copy of the mkI 24-70L and I'm very happy with it. But the mkII sure does look tempting...but it's not on my priority list at the moment. It's a big cost for a little improvement.

So was I. I had both copies of the 24-70L. I had a stellar copy of the Mk. I but decided to let go of it as the Mk II is lighter &  the lens hood is more discreet compared to Mark I. Most of all, I am impressed with the sharpness and contrast of the Mark II and it is indeed worth the investment.  ;)

Ah cool, good for you bud! It sure looks like a nice lens. I'm more of a prime lens user, so my 24-70L isn't as heavily used as some. So I'm not too fussed about changing it up. But if a new ef 35mm f1.4 II L comes out....I'll be all over one of those!

Well, here's the funny thing...if I use my 5DIII with a 400mm f2.8, I pop a 2x mkII and a 1.4x mkIII TC's on it...it still has full AF, albeit a little slower. That's before and after updating the firmware.

Lenses / Re: Anyone upgraded from their 24-70L to 24-70L MKII?
« on: May 01, 2013, 08:57:52 AM »
I currently have a stellar copy of the mkI 24-70L and I'm very happy with it. But the mkII sure does look tempting...but it's not on my priority list at the moment. It's a big cost for a little improvement.

Was hoping they were going to fix the black AF points to illuminate them. Had a really, really hard time a couple of nights ago doing some nighttime street photography. Frequently impossible to find the active AF point unless you turn the camera toward a light colored background. :(

AF Oneshot is a lot more accurate in low light...plus one can see which AF point is illuminated.
There's a vast array of different ways of using the AF system on the 5DIII, I'm sure with a little exerimentation a workable solution can be found for your style and genre of photography.

Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Available Mid 2014?
« on: April 29, 2013, 07:08:15 AM »
Perhaps Sigma will be out with their new 120-300mm f/2.8 OS Sport lens before long and throw in a 2x converter with it.
What's this mean?  I've had that lens combination since it came out.  Do miss the focus limiter switch of the new model but don't miss the price.  Only thing I don't like is the inherent clumsiness of detaching a 2X TC, and the rather offputting OOF blur performance in some shots.

Other than that, though, sure 400mm f/2.8 would be a grand improvement but I actually do often find the zoom useful at times in wildlife shooting (usually going from extreme close - i.e. roughly 240mm before factoring in crop factor - to extreme long, roughly 560mm again before the crop), and the weight of the 120-300mm + EF 2X Extender III is already close enough to unmanageable handheld that I would think twice about going to a 400mm.  Of course I don't spend hours sitting in blinds; I just walk all over the place and try to get closeups of critters.  Works surprisingly well on many things.

ha, Canon.  :D

I had a Sigma 120-300 OS and I've found it very lacking when compared to Canon's offerings. I ditched it for a 400mm f2.8 L IS and there is no comparison. Like many Sigma's with HSM, I found the AF to be a little erratic and a bit hit and miss for fast moving objects. It was too large and heavy for what it was. The focal length was well short of the stated 300mm, nearer 280mm at infinity. Focus 3m away and it's nearer 240mm....which was appalling. If I popped a 2x converter on it and A-B compared focal lengths with my 400mm at 4m , I found them to be very close in focal length....which means where guys are thinking they have a 600mm f5.6, it's actually closer to a 400mm f5.6. This focal length is better realized in a number of options...even a 2x on a 70-200 f2.8 II L offers a better focussing, better IS, lighter, smaller and cheaper options. Optically there was little between them (70-200 vs 120-300) but my 400L is better all round except weight. Even without a converter, at it's closest focus distance, the sigma gains only 40mm over the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II....which is a tiny increase at such a long length. I think this Sigma lens is a missed opportunity and that's a real pity.

I seem to be one of the few who could really give a stuff about the new 200-400 f4 L IS lens. If I had the money, I'd either replace my 400 L IS mk I and upgrade to a mkII or consider the new 500mm f4 L IS II as my light and portable option....have you tried one? It's SO bonkers light!

Other than the OS (Canon IS), I don't see the sigma being a challenger of any sort.
Who knows, though?

The Canon design is an ancient design with blurry corners and a blurry mid-frame. It's not a top of the line lens. It also has severe issues with purple fringing that's very poorly controlled, and as a long lens , lacking image stabilization means if you're just shooting an event or  you're wasting 1-2 stops of light just to counteract camera shake without making your subject any sharper.

Here's a comparison between the 135mm f/2.0 and a much sharper lens:


f/1.8 also makes a difference is subject isolation, and also reduces noise too.

Everyone was saying that you couldn't improve on the 35mm f/1.4 before and look what happened. The problem is that people assume a "good" lens can't be replaced by something that is earth shatteringly better.

My old 200mm f2.8 II L was the sharpest prime I have ever used. It was a sublime lens. But I sold it because my 70-200 f2.8 II L IS was nearly as sharp but a lot more versatile. My 135L is sharp and yes it gets a bit of purple fringing....but Lightroom deals with this so well that it's a non issue. My 85mm f1.2 II L is a tad sharper. No one ever believes me when i say this, which I think is an opinion which goes against common forum mantra. But my copy is. My 135L is a stellar performer and I get great result out of it and I use it wide open often.
But it's a an old design and things have moved on. There's a possible 1/3 stop of brightness which can be extracted from the front filter size. IS could easily be added. AF could be tweeked. Newer coatings to help cleaning and flare control. More aperture blades and rounded ones would help the bokeh a bit. It's not weather sealed and mine's been back to Canon a few times for a loose front collar. The Hood is huge and it's flare control isn't as good as other lenses.
It's a bit like the 35mm f1.4, a brilliant lens. But just needs a little update to bring it up to epic status. 

EOS Bodies / Re: *UPDATE* A Bit of EOS 70D Info [CR1-CR2]
« on: April 22, 2013, 09:45:43 AM »
search : John Sheehy 7d aa-filter and you get answer

this is from dpreview, 3 aps and  the 7d , 7d has a stronger aa-filter like Nikon often have before  compared to for example  Pentax APS who use the same sensor as Nikon but lighter filter, d7100 has no filter and the resolution is also higher

I personally found my 7D to produce slightly soft per pixel detail when compared to my 5DII/III. I've read that Canon used a stonger than usual AA filter to reduce moire in movie mode. It was a very nice camera to use, but it's IQ wasn't on par with Canon's full frame offerings. It had very high iso noise, slightly odd micro contrast and the pixels were softer than any other DSLR I've used. I loved the 8fps, very capable AF system and great handling.

dpreview resolution test shows 2600 LPH for the rebel   and 2500 LPH for the 7d

Lets qualify things here. The 7D has a "stronger" AA-filter than the 650D, 60D, and D7100. STRONGER THAN X. I need to be extremely clear here that having a "stronger" AA filter than any one of those cameras by no means indicates the 7D has a TOO STRONG AA filter. The sentiment that you were pushing was that the 7D is losing IQ because of it's AA filter, an AA filter that is "too strong".

I strongly dispute that notion. When it comes to digital photography, we want an AA filter to be ideally suited for the specific sensor you are using. You don't want it to be too strong, and neither do you want it to be too weak, ESPECIALLY if you shoot anything that might produce aliasing or moire. Aliasing and moire are BAD things...and in your example shot, the 7D image is the ONLY one that looks acceptable to me...it reproduces the information present in the subject being photographed better than all the others. It should also be noted that the softening caused by an OLPF is predictable softening, while it eliminates an unpredictable outcome...moire. Softening is global, and thus something we can easily correct in post with a little bit of sharpening. Correcting moire is a far more difficult task, and it must be performed locally rather than globally, only to regions actually affected by it. The concept here is no different than diffraction...stopping down to gain necessary DOF is preferred over shooting wide and ending up with a thin DOF. Correcting for diffraction in post is easy because it is global and linear, correcting for an improper DOF is practically impossible because it is localized and non-linear.

I believe my 100% crop photo of the orange-morph house finch....a bird, with lots of criss-crossing feathers and color detail...looks nearly perfect! No moire at all, no aliasing, however the detail level is exquisite. The 7D has neither a too-weak nor a too-strong AA filter. It has an AA filter that is just about PERFECT for an 18mp APS-C sensor with a 4.3┬Ám pitch.

I stand by my statement. The notion that IQ on the 7D is lost because of an AA filter that is too strong is a myth.

Have to respectfully disagree. An inferior lens manufacturer would make lenses other than what Canon offers so as to offer no apples to apples comparisons. Sigma is making (so far in their art line) superior lenses in critical flavors that go head to head with the best that Canon has...

There's only one superior lens in their art range at the moment, the 35mm f1.4. But like many Sigma lenses before, how well does it focus? The rest of Sigma's range are sub par with Canon counter parts. With Sigma, you get what you pay for.

You are terribly misinformed. The new 35mm focuses like a dream. And the USB dock has been designed to counter possible tricks by Canon in the future.

And the statement in red is plainly false.

Ok, lets qualify this a bit more. I've owned a Sigma 180 macro and used several, the AF ring was so gritty it was difficult to fine tune the focus. When compared with a Canon 180 L, there was  amassive focal length difference between these two lenses. The Canon has a much longer focal length at close distances and I'm pretty sure the Sigma lost focal length as I focssed closer....not what I wanted in a Macro lens. I had a 100-300 f4 EX DG...it was pretty unspectacular in sharpness, but more seriously it's AF was pretty inaccurate, often mis focussing. It had the most stupidly huge hood...because it flared so badly in bright light. I had a 70-200 ED DG mkI, it had dreadful back focussing issues at Min Focus distance. It had AF inconsistencies, sometime accurate and sometime way off. I have a 12-24mm EX DG. A nice lens, but it's been back to Sigma twice. Once for Aperture motor burnout and a whole lens group coming loose. I had a Sigma 120-300 OS DG and to be frank it was terrible. It was sharp enough, but it was so huge. It's AF was erratic and imprecise. It was way short of the 300mm stated, closer to 280mm at infinity but down to a dissapointing 240mm at Min focus distance. When compared to my Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II, the small increase in Focal length wasn't worth the poor AF and massive extra bulk. None of these AF issues were related to Microfocus, the Sigma HSM motor system just isn't in the same league as the Canon USM system. I had a Sigma 24-70 (non HSM), it was a noisy AF system, but very good. The big issue was the rubbish hood and awful flare on sunny days. When I replaced it with the Canon 24-70L (mk I) it blew it away in every regard. Generally I find that Sigma lenses have a warm cast, but this varies between lens designs.
I hear from several friends who have the Sigma 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4, they too get focus inconsitencies.
I don't get these issues with Canon L lenses. After the 120-300 OS DG dissapointment, I bought a 400mm f2.8 L IS which really put the Siggi in it's place. It's not just the sharpness, it's the AF's amazing accuracy.
So I'm sure you see that I have a long history with Sigma lenses in a professional basis. Most of my lenses went back to sigma and couldn't be fixed.

I'm all ears for Sigma releasing newer better lenses, but I've heared this story SO many times. I trust in Canon because they make reassuringly good kit and their prices reflect this. As I said before, and i'll restate again....the only superior lens (to Canon) in their catalogue at the moment is the 35mm f1.4. Every other lens is in some way deficient compared to it's Canon counter part.

Have to respectfully disagree. An inferior lens manufacturer would make lenses other than what Canon offers so as to offer no apples to apples comparisons. Sigma is making (so far in their art line) superior lenses in critical flavors that go head to head with the best that Canon has...

There's only one superior lens in their art range at the moment, the 35mm f1.4. But like many Sigma lenses before, how well does it focus? The rest of Sigma's range are sub par with Canon counter parts. With Sigma, you get what you pay for.

Maybe this means that a Sigma spy within Canon has gleaned that they won't be adding IS to the 135L anytime soon.

If it's as good as their Art 35 and the AF is close to the 135L then I'd certainly consider it.

Canon's probably already scrambling to get a 35L II out the door to catch up with Sigma...  An Art 135 OS and 50mm would really hit Canon where it hurts.

The Canon ef primes have been a nice earner for Canon. Many wedding photographers have stayed in the Canon fold (when Nikon had better DSLR specs) becuase of the 35L, 85L and 135L. No other band (other than Sony) had a simular array of bright primes. But as usual Canon were unaware of the need to develop the next gen of fast primes. The 35L is a fantastic lens, but flare control isn't great, it's AF in low light is erratic and it's not weather sealed and it's number of aperture blades is an even number. The 135L is an awsome lens, but it's an old design, flare could be better, MFD could be better. It could do with newer coatings, it's aperture blades are not circular (stop down and look at the out of focus blobs). It's not weather sealed and Sony has an f1.8 variant, which means that it's not the best of the breed. Popping IS on it would really make my wedding work easier too. It's AF is good but not as good as the newer 70-200 f2.8 L IS II. It#s a great lens but there's quite a lot of room for improvement.
The 85L is a quirky lens and I'm quite happy with it as it is. It's not easy to use, and it's dof is so slim it requires a well honed AF technique to get consistent results. I use this lens a lot and I love it.

EOS Bodies / Re: *UPDATE* A Bit of EOS 70D Info [CR1-CR2]
« on: April 19, 2013, 06:53:56 AM »
"Plus, you've just acknowledged that the 5DIII's autofocus and low light performance is second only to Canon's most ultimate ever flagship camera. And yet it's still an insignificant marginal improvement over the 5DII? Please. At least have the decency to keep your trolling consistent...."

The 5DIII's AF capabilities are a vast improvement over the 5DII. It's the same basic system as the 1Dx but with out the face recognition and colour tracking abilities. But the AF array and circuitry is the same. I regularly use a 5DII and 5DIII alongside each other at weddings. The 5DII's centre spot is the only usable AF spot and it's pretty good. But as the light levels drop it starts to fail. The 5DIII's AF array is extensive and most of those spots are slightly better than the centre 5DII spot. The middle vertical 5 spots on the 5DIII are amazing and can lock on in REALLY low light levels, which the 5DII can only dream of. The 6D's AF array is new but low in AP points. Again the centre spot is the really usefull spot here and in low light it's better than the central 5 spots on the 5DIII and 1Dx.
The 1Dx's AF is slightly better that the 5DIII where AF Servo mode is employed, but not a huge improvement.
In One Shot mode, there is no difference between the 1Dx and 5DIII's AF abilities. The 1Dx's big ability is that crazy fast card eating fps and buffer size.

EOS Bodies / Re: DxOMark Sensor Performance: Nikon vs. Canon
« on: April 19, 2013, 06:34:03 AM »
nice side by side (literally) comparison between D600 and 5Dmk3: http://youtu.be/Ot7aMeUmojY

Eyes roll....wow a guy with a video camera, web access and a pair of DSLR's....claiming to make an informed review.

Ok...here we go...he compares a 5DIII size against a D600....where the 5DIII has the optional grip...hullo?
Then makes a further eyes roll statement....the Nikon has dual SD card slots...which Canon doesn't have...when ever has an SD card been a cool thing compared to Compact Flash???
The Nikon has a pop up flash.....OH COME ON.....5 mins of my life wasted on this muppet.....

EOS Bodies / Re: *UPDATE* A Bit of EOS 70D Info [CR1-CR2]
« on: April 19, 2013, 05:45:20 AM »
You are right and you are  wrong, the APS has a break point in low light and if you compare that with a 24x36mm area  it is around 800iso
second, it is the surface size who are important, not the pixel size, if we not are discussing very low light. and the results should be seen / compared at the same size.
third, APS are earlier in the development stage , it means better QE, etc than the 24x36mm sensor who are last in the chain because of costs and machines

read more here http://theory.uchicago.edu/~ejm/pix/20d/tests/noise/noise-p3.html

ps : smaller pixels results in less noise

From my limited understanding of pixel / sensor design is that the pixel etchines are all physically the same size on all of Canon DSLR cameras. Every pixel is pretty much the same. but the bucket or well which they sit in in varies in size. On top of this arrangement is a microlens which helps direct as much of the light from the bucket surface into the smaller pixel at the bottom of the hole. Which is why Canon and Nikon made such a fuss over their gapless microlenses. Canon haven't made 
much advancement to their pixel design for a very long time because they were using the microlenses to mop up more or less light as required in their design brief. Nikon went a bit crazy and added gapless microlenses in their D700/D3. Keeping their mp low at 12mp, meant that they had a real advantage over the same generation of CAnon cameras. But it was a one off advantage and one which wouldn't be sustainable in future products as their MP increases. Canon's idea was far better and offered future scalability in MP. Then Nikon proved this point and released the most barmy camera ever...the D800, which created confusion in their product range. No one wanted an ultra high MP camera riddled with iso noise. The D700 was snapped up by pros who saw a big iso and AF advantage over Canon...but within one generation have been soarly let down by their new chosen brand. When I look through their camera portfolio, there's nothing there that inspires me. When I look at the Canon camera portfolio...it's looking very strong. The 6D is sweet, the 5DIII is amazing and the 1Dx is probably the best DSLR ever made. 

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