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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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I have been on the fence about this lens for a while. I just ordered one today from BH photo. Here is a review from imaging resource

They claim it is sharper on a crop body which is what I will be using it on. So you are getting similar focal range and performance as you would from the canon 200-400 on full frame. The 1 stop aperature advantage should in theory help counteract the better iso of the full frame setup and you are talking about 1/3rd the price . I will post more when it gets here.
On a crop body, you will loose a stop in iso performance and an effective stop of DOF against full frame. While your camera will state f2.8, the reality is that it is effectively dropping a stop to become a 192-380mm it doesn't really gain anything. The AF on this lens slower and less accurate than the big white and the focal length drop as the focus pulls into MFD is really quite apparent and dissapointing. I found that I was better off with a native 300mm f2.8 lens or a 70-200 f2.8 LIS with a 1.4x TC. 

here's a stupid question...  with sigma suffering  auto focus issues but reportedly great  image quality...  why don't the  manual focus crowd gravitate to sigma as a value option and simply use it as a manual focus lens?

I think it would need to "feel" like a £3K before anyone would touch it :D

Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 11, 2013, 04:16:29 AM »
The amusing thing about the focus shift issue is that it only happens when it's stopped down.

Unfortunately, given the razor-thin dof wide open, this is bound to happen a lot :-o

The My copy is worse at f2.8, which is quite amusing because it's not that sharp at MFD and it's certainly not a macro lens.

Ok, in Canon's defense this really doesn't matter as it isn't a macro lens, it's not supposed to be optimized for mfd.

Failing that, View view isn't effected by the focus shift at f2.8...which another workaround.

Another workaround is just to skip this lens, esp for this price tag :-> ... but probably more buyers will turn up of the next Canon lens isn't f1.4 anymore but f1.8, as intended....

... if you know what you want the 50/1.2 for and how to do it, of course it's legit and a good idea, but this lens is also a prestige item: it's even available in bread-and-butter discount retailers in Germany (that's where I tested it a couple of times), and this means a lot of people are buying it because it looks cool (it does!) and *has* to be "the best" as it's f1.2.

My reasons for buying a 50mm f1.2 L was three fold. Firstly, I didn't care much for the 50mm f1.4 USM, it was cheap and plasticy, poor AF and build, very low contrast wide open and it's out of focus rendering was quite harsh. Secondly, I need the bright f1.2 aperture...faster the better and that's how I use them mostly. Thirdly, I needed the L build and reliability. If I buy a lens, I want it to last a long time. If I get 10 years out of it, it'll cost me roughly £100 / year for reliable no worry usage. If I sell it for 80% of what I bought it for....then that's even better.

the thing about the Canon fifties is that they are a compromise... af  on  all,  excellent image sharpness when stopped down to 2.8,  decent bokeh,  but better on the 1.2,  but no is.

 so what I want is to buy a 1.2  or 1.4 50mm  that I can use wide open that is sharp and with a beautiful bokeh...  and I really want af  and I can do without is,  but I'd like that too.   sho Canon needs to get off their duffs  and make that happen...  and I'd happily pay $2000 ish for that lens.

The 50L is not a compromise. Apparently, IS on f/1.2 is technically impossible now. The 50L is designed for bokeh, not for sharpness. Even Zeiss says that you cannot have both (in their "bokeh" document).

 I've heard that from multiple sources,  but people  live the  Canon 85's   and the 135 L for their sharpness and the bokeh...
 and the sigma 35  gets a ton of praise for being sharp wide open...  and I  know we are  comparing apples to  oranges,  but I just can't seem to accept that it  has to be one or the other
+1 here. 85L is amazingly sharp wide open.

Longer lenses are easier to be made sharper. The 85L is sharp enough wide open but not really sharp, with strong PF and reduced contrast. The 135L is long and f/2. The Sigma 35 has really poor bokeh.

My 85IIL is very sharp wide open, my copy seems to be a stellar copy. It's nearly as sharp as my 100mm L IS Macro. Even my 135L isn't as sharp as my 85IIL. It's contrast is fantastic, so I would question the copy which you are using, it must be out of spec. Yes it has Purple fringing in specuatular highlights (no where else) which is easily correctable in LR. The 50 f1.2L is a nice lens but it's sharpness is certainly lacking wide open.

135L = sharp wide open
100L = sharp wide open
85IIL = sharp wide open
50L  = not particularly sharp wide open
35L = sharp wide open
24IIL = sharp wide open

Which lens is the odd ball here? Ok, this may be my lens samples..but my 2nd photographer has the same kit and her 100L is a bit sharper than mine, but my 85IIL is sharper than hers...her 50L is a wee bit sharper than mine...but they are both the softest lens in our lens collection by a noticable margin. It's softer than any of our zooms or other primes.
As a L lens, the 50L is well built, it's AF is curiously slower than the 35L. The elements aren't that big. It' AF is certainly accurate, just a little slow to react. My mkI 24-70L is a lot snappier.
The 50L offers great flare handling, great contrast, nice out of focus rendering (bokeh is a term which only references out of focus highlight blobs). But it's sharpness isn't in the same league as my other lenses.

Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 10, 2013, 05:20:00 AM »
Actually when you look at lens design it wouldn't surprise me ( or disappoint me ) if the new 50mm IS is actually f2 in order for Canon to make it stellar wide open.

Since nowadays it's not difficult to prevent the lens from going wide open in any mode (or sticky dof preview), I'd prefer the manufacturer not to limit the speed of a lens to get max. iq wide open and favorable review curves. The most popular issue with the 50/1.2 also doesn't seem to be that it's soft @f1.2, but that it has a focus shift.

The amusing thing about the focus shift issue is that it only happens when it's stopped down. My copy is worse at f2.8, which is quite amusing because it's not that sharp at MFD and it's certainly not a macro lens. If I shoot wide open, then it's not an issue when shooting under half meter. The other thing whic i have noticed with my 50L, is the that if I use one of the outer AF points and then re-compose...then the AF accuracy at MFD / f2.8 is very good. Failing that, View view isn't effected by the focus shift at f2.8...which another workaround.


what the fuss????

calm down everyone.

NOT everyone needs AF !!
there is no linhof, sinar, alpa, arca swiss or horseman WITH autofocus.

The fuss is that it's new and we're grumpy!
And there's me thinking arca swiss just made tipod ball heads

Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.

I can easily imagine that the filmographers have to balance the need to get great and impressive or credible footage against very real footage, no programme = no wages. I can imagine a phone call from the producer which goes something like this "...Bob...I don't care how....just GET THE SHOT!!!"

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon D610 yes D600 minor upgrade!
« on: October 09, 2013, 08:47:41 AM »
Nikon really dropped the ball with the D800 and D600. Canon have really picked up their game with the 1Dx, 5DIII and 6D. The new 610 specs look very much like a feature plugged responce to the 5DIII and 6D.
For my wedding work, the 5DIII's quiet mode shutter is a game changer. It's good to see Nikon finally catching up with this, as usual a little late to the party. Hello cmos, hello full frame, hello live view, hello movie mode...and now hello quiet shutter mode.

It's not good that a camera in this price bracket and feature bracket has needed a warm over so quickly, but I guess that's a responce from the disasterous sales issues. How long will Nikon owners put up with this type of customer care or poor product development. The lack of silent mode is quite a biggie in the post 5DIII world.


"I could buy a new 400mm f2.8 L IS II for the same price of this new 55mm lens...which puts this new lens into perspective! " 

Where can you buy a 400mm 2.8 L mk2 for 3000euros??

Yep, apologies, I got my numbers all wrong. I thought his was retailing at 8K...although I probably could pick up a S/H mkI for close to the retail or this lens. I couls certainly pick up a 135L 50L and 24IIL for the same price!

Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 09, 2013, 04:26:38 AM »
As I've written numerous times on CR before, I would be happy with a new Canon 50mm prime.

My main requirements are:
 - at least f/2 (up to f/1.4 in an ideal world)
 - good IQ wide open (eg sharpn, good contrast & pleasing bokeh, low CA)
 - true FTM USM AF (fast & accurate), or STM if not USM

Added bonuses:
 - 4 stop IS
 - close MFD
 - 58mm filter thread size
 - lightweight / small-ish
 - metal mount
 - less than $800

I like Canon's latest 35mm f/2 USM IS - it meets pretty much all the criteria I have for a 50mm; except it's a 35mm (I've analysed my photos, and I would much prefer a 50mm prime than a 35mm prime). I find I can use one of my zoom lenses at 35mm (eg my Canon 15-85mm).  If they could make a 50mm similar, I'd be very happy with that to round out my lens arsenal.


Compare your spec list to the new Zeiss's quite amusing really and puts us all into a very distinct bracket in the market place.

This is an interesting lens for sure and I'm probably not Zeiss' target audience, so my thought and opinions of this lens are largely irrelivant to Zeiss. If we compare Canon's 50L, there is a stark comparison here between two dinstinct markets / buyers.
I have no need for manual focus lenses. I have only two in my collection, the TS-e 17L and 45. Both of which, I rarely use.
The Canon 50L has probably the best AF, contrast, build quality and flare control of any 50mm lens currently made. It's a very nice piece of engineering which is quite apparent when handling one. But optically, it has some weak spots, particularly with sharpness wide open. It's expensive compared to the consumer and prosumer counterparts. But the feature which seperate it from those other lenses are the features which most working pros desire and need.
This Zeiss is a lot more expensive and therefore attracts a different kind of personality. One who views optical performance as the highest priority, before eye watering cost, AF, build and all other considerations.
I could buy a new 400mm f2.8 L IS II for the same price of this new 55mm lens...which puts this new lens into perspective!   

Personally, I do not consider it as "fake" ... to recreate a natural environment takes a lot of talent, skill and above all dedication. At the end of the day I'd rather see an interestingly filmed/recorded footage of wildlife, which I'd otherwise never get a chance to see in my life. I consider those who call such footage "fake" as just a bunch of cribbing whiners who cannot produce any worthwhile footage on their own. What Doug Allan (the cameraman) and Sir David Attenborough have done is incredible and I respect their skill and dedication to their craft.

Yes I agree, I sometimes think that when people see behind the "magic of TV" they are often dissolusioned or dissapointed...afterall... these wildlife guys just rock up to a killer whale with a camera and a boat and they just love to do a dance for them...then they pop into a plane and pop over to africa and point their cameras at a lion and elephant or two and the they do a little act and the awards just roll in by themselves ;-D

How many great pieces of top wildlife film footage or stills have occured from walkabouts? Not much compared to the footage which a huge amount of persoanl sacrifice, ambition, field craft and dedication took place. 

It depends what you wanted to do with it and what type of pro you were. Plenty of pros don't shoot anything that needs crispy corners at 24mm FF or care about purple fringing branches against skies. Then again some do. It depends what you wanted/needed out of it.

I also see a ton of pros praising the new version and saying it was well worth the price over their old version.

If you don't care, don't pay, but enough with the high and mighty act.

That's as silly a tired old statement as saying that only the lens matters.

The funny thing is that so far from what I've seen, 80% of the people who write what you just did end up having nothing but some shots of a few cats in their back yard in their galleries and the amateur twiddler lab techies end up having giant galleries from around the world or big time sporting event, etc.

I've not seem much purple fringing with my 24-70L, although I do see a bit from my 85IIL. My 24-70L shows a bit of CA maybe but not that much to be a problem, my 2nd photographer's 24-70L is a tad sharper than mine and is a really nice lens. Yes the new version is an amazing upgrade to the mkI in almost every area, although probably not to my 2nd photographer's copy...hers is stellar. I am waiting for a new one, but I rarely buy new equipment during a wedding season. I like to learn and shake a lens down in my own time and not introduce a risk into a wedding. It's a fantastic piece of kit and the two which i've tried were very impressive. Much like this Zeiss lens I guess.   

If you think I have a high and might act then you really don't know me at all.

The lens an important component in a chain of important components and skill sets...and my statement was not silly.   

You are welcome to look over my flickr account and professional wedding blog site to see if I fit into your view of your 80% view...I hope not. I'm not hard to find and I have plenty to show! Just google GMC Photographics.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: October 09, 2013, 03:37:10 AM »
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<p><strong>Canon EOS 7D Mark II<br />

</strong>We’ve heard a bit of talk recently about the follow-up to the EOS 7D. The same sort of time frame is still mentioned, an announcement in Q2 of 2014.</p>
<p>One suggestion is the 7D Mark II will become a bit more video oriented. So beyond a “pro” APS-C camera, it will also be highly desirable for the videographer. The camera as such will also retail well above the EOS 70D.</p>
<p>We’re also told any follow-up to the EOS 7D will get a new sensor and not use the 20.2mp sensor that is found in the EOS 70D.</p>
<p><strong><span style=\"color: #ff0000;\">c</span>r</strong></p>

The 70D is pretty much the same spec as a 7D mkI with a few tweeks and a few extra bells. The 7D mk II will need a strong progression to hold onto it's premium price point and model placement. I'm asuming the aspiration and promotion of the XXD linage to the current 70D is an indictaor that the 7DII will indeed push the boundaries of the 7D level AF, low iso noise, improved DR, fast frame rate are all needed in this sector. If we look at the 5DIII and it's relation to the 1Dx, the 7DII needs to improve on that basis and progress further, it's a newer model after all!

I'm honestly surprised by the negativity around price with this lens.  It's a niche lens with a complex design and near flawless image performance that demands a large price.  So be it I say.  I'd like to purchase it, but two things will prevent me from doing so in the short term:

  • Canon does not have a high megapixel body yet to take advantage of this lens.  Granted, there are certainly other benefits such as color rendition, contrast, edge-to-edge sharpness, but my guess is that it really shines with a high megapixel body
  • Manual focus through the viewfinder on newer Canon models is an exercise in frustration if you are extremely anal about perfect focus placement.  Forget about it on the 5D III, as the viewfinder presents an image with an f-stop well smaller than large ones on prime lenses.  I have a 1D-X, but have yet to try one of the focus screens that can be purchased, so maybe I can go that route.

Regardless, I find this thens very intriguing and hope to be able to rent a copy to try at some point.  I will reserve any judgment on price until then.

As MP goes up, difraction limitations the pros and cons of high MP cameras on a 35mm format is unkown at the moment.
It's true, the 5DIII and all Canon stock screens render a DOF of roughly f4...which is a million miles away from fast primes (f1.2). For f2.8 glass, it's not so important but for fast primes, it needs to be worked around. The 1Dx, 5DII and 6D have interchangable screens and when fitted with a "g rated" fine focus screen, the actual DOF can been seen in the viewfinder...but the screen is somewhat darker (fine if you are using primes). I have found that the Spot AF system (which I think isn't on the 1Dx - please correct me if i'm wrong) is fantastic and nailing a precisely placed point of focus, but it's tricky.


"roughly f4" ? I think it's actually f2.5.

The 1d X have the spot-AF in the same way the 5d3 does, and also an advantage over the 5d3, the ability to set spot-metering to any focusing point.

I have the EC-S focusing screen for the 1d X, but I stopped using it after buying the 24-70 II, and it was indeed tricky, because metering isn't supported so you will be doing a fair bit of compensation.

It's certainly higher than f2.8 becuase I've tested it with my lenses...stock screen and I can't see stopping down from f1.2 round to f4.

At launch there was internet forum chatter around the 1Dx's spot focus point only being usable on certain lenses, where as it was open to any lens on a 5DIII. But I could well be wrong, it's just what I remembered from the specs at launch. Where the 1Dx certainly as an AF feature is when all 61 points are active, the colour and face deetection AI Servo tracking is amazing. The 5DIII's tracking is excellent, but not in the same league. But the 5DIII is a different machine for different markets, it was heavily directed by a well known wedding photographer...hence the dual slots, pro AF, superior build and nearly silent shutter (very sweet and spookily quiet). 

There's a menu item custom function for the EC-S screen, it'll allow the camera to meter correctly. Otherwise, you'll get some funky and inconsistent metering.

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