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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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46
EOS Bodies / Re: Which is better for high ISO, 6D or 5D Mk III?
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:12:27 AM »
From my observations, the 6D is about 1/3rd of a stop better in it's iso handling. The 1DX is about a 1/3rd of a stop better than the 6D or 2/3rds of a stop better than the 5DIII. Not killer but noticable on a like for like basis. But all three camera's tend to meter scenes slightly differently, so the results will be obviscated by the different metering and rendering values. But in an identially lit scene and all three cams on a tripod, set to M and manually dialled in settings, my above results will be apparent.

47
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A Summary of Sigma Lens Rumors
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:08:52 AM »
I was hoping for some primes to compete with Canon's 400/500/600mm primes.  A 300-600 would be interesting, but it likely won't be f/4 throughout; probably something like the Tamron instead as the weight would get too significant.  Ah well; I can still hope for something in the future.

I'm sure they are coming, although I doubt they will deisng a 400mm f2.8.
Their 500mm f4.5 is a well regarded lens and one which seriously do with an update. An IS unit, opening up to f4 and the ability to take teleconverters without Af issues and weather sealed should do the trick.

48
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:05:37 AM »
Multilayer sensor technology alone should have two stops of IQ advantage over bayer matrix, plus additional sharpness without AA.

I don't understand this statement....are you saying that the extra two stops of exposure latitude will improve per pixel sharpness? I'm not sure I quite understand?

49
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon's D800E 30% sharper than D800
« on: July 09, 2014, 05:43:10 AM »
There are very few lens review sites I have much regards to. Photozone.de is one of the more questionable sites, their old ef 300mm f2.8 LIS review comes to mind. That site reconed it was a really low performing lens....yeah right! DXO labs site is another example of this, their lens and camera tests seem to be fanciful compared to real world use. A generic lab test of a lens is not really applicable for all lenses, foe example if i put a 85IIL on a camera, i am looking for it's abilities to shoot great portraits...not measure bricks on a wall. I want nice looking natural optical vignetting, soft corners, beautiful out of focus rendering, popping colours and contrast....whihc i get from this lens at f1.2. it saves me a lot of post production work! If i pop a 35L on my camera, I couldn't give a hoot what dxo labs says about this lens, i want to know how good it is at small group shots or full body or 1/2 body portraits. If I pop a 16-35IIL on my camera for a landscape, i couldn't care a stuff how it performs wide open....I want it to have great sun stars, Ultra low flare and really perform well from f8-f16. But most review sites slate this lens and yet for landscapes it's fantastic. 
Which brings me to my point, who actually has regular need for 36mp? Who has the lenses and the required burdon / technique to feed the 36mp resolution?
When i moved to 21mp from 12mp, I found that I needed a complete new array of memory cards (4 sets for a whole day's wedding shooting), I needed an upgrade to my PC in both hard disk, backup, processor and memory components. Even then I found lightroom slowed painfully. But the images did have extra detail, but it wasn't equal to twice the improvement in real world use. 30% at best and even then it was only noticable with tripodded photographs. For hand held shots there was even less of an inprovement. So I have questioned the need for 36mp. For my needs it's pretty irrelevant and is probably counter-productive for my workflow.
The 5DIII has given me every thing I could have wanted in a camera. Pro build, 6fps, a stunning AF system which works in servo mode with all 61 points active. It tracks, it has low light capability, it meters well...it's full frame...what more could I need in my genre of photography?  I think the 5DIII can only be inproved in DR/dark shadow noise...and that's about it.

50
Lenses / Re: 16-35 F/2.8 vs F/4 for weddings
« on: July 09, 2014, 05:24:19 AM »
Jeff often gets a lot of critism for is envious relationship with Canon as one of their Ambassadors of Light. But he was heavily influential in the 5DIII's specification, in fact I'd go as far to say that camera was pretty much his personal wish list...which is great for every one.
Jeff has a lot of influence over photographers and many are envious of his opinion and often make snide remarks about him being a shill to shift more lenses. But the reality is he buys all his own kit and makes reviews based on his personal observation.
Most photographic artists need to cycle through their kit regularly to keep fresh and apply old principles in a new context. Jeff looks like he's concetrating more on composition and placement than isolation by depth of field at the moment. So f2.8 zoom lenses make a lot more sense in that context than a large bag of big heavy fast primes....lets face it, a 24-70 is a LOT lighter than a 24L/35L/50L/85IIL. With bright sunny weddings, I like to run witha  24-70L on one cam and a 135L on the other...a great combo. But I prefer my photos using a 35L and 85L combo....but that's just me.   
I didn't mean for my comment to come off as disparaging in any way to Jeff.  I was just trying to say that as a paid Canon photographer, he might make some comments that are somewhat influenced by Canon.  In this case, he might actually be using zooms most of the time, but he also might just be using them more.  His point about the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II vs 135 f/2 are valid for example, but looking at his recent work, it still looks like he uses his primes a fair bit.  I wasn't trying to say that he lies or has sold out to Canon or something, because that's obviously not the case.  He seems like a respectable gentlemen and as you say, I'm sure his input to Canon has benefited us all.

The one thing that impresses me most about him is that while he almost never uses flash, he has the ability not only to be in the right place/right time and find a great composition, but also find great light.  It's quite a talent and one that has clearly come from his many years of experience and hard work.

As for the prime/zoom argument, it's one I go back & forth on myself.  I'm fortunate enough to have a great set of primes and zooms, so I'm able to pick the best tools for the job, often using a combination of the two.

No probs bud, he's a photographic hero of mine, like Guy Edwardes...top of their game and the very best in their genre.
I think in this case, Jeff is using the lightest kit he can get away with on the day and i really don't blame him for that. Most wedding photographers keep any eye on the weather reports and know their venues well, so it's quite easy to make the "prime vs f2.8 zoom" choice days before the gig. I regularly have a big kit bag in the back of my car and select what I need throughout the day, I'm sure Jeff does too. I've been to several of his wrokshops over the years and the last time I looked over his kit bag, he wisely packs a pair of flashes....which look like they have never been used. A consumate professional...a backup for nightmare lighting situations...which most likely will never occur, but if it did, he'd still get the shots!
My perefered load out is a 16-35IIL, 35L and 85IIL. But on sunny days it's way too bright to shoot wide open, so for me a 24-70L and 135L are a great sunny day combo. I have a 70-200 f28 LIS II in my car, but it only occasionally comes out during wedding receptions and weddings ceremonies where I'm banished to the back row of the church. I find it amusing at weddings were people like to label me a prime only photographer or a zoomset...or a flasher...when in reality it's about the photos one produces. The kit is a tool, but the goal is the photograph. When I handle a 35L or swap over to a 85IIL, I have a specific shot in mind. I like to mix up my lens choice on a "needs basis" and at the wide end, I have only the choice of a 16-35IIL or a TS-e 17L and that lens is very rare for me to get out at a wedding...and when I have it was for a specific shot. The same is true for the 8-15mm fisheye, a little use is quite enough of that particular lens!

51
Lenses / Re: 16-35 F/2.8 vs F/4 for weddings
« on: July 08, 2014, 07:31:57 AM »
Oh I am not sad, the 16-35 MkI fitted in my underwater housing whereas the MkII didn't, that was the main reason I kept it. Housing has long gone but the lens lives on. Having the 17TS-E for the times I need sharp corners, and so much more, make swapping it out for anything a low priority.

Wedding prime shooters, the real artists, are a very small breed, Jeff Ascough is my personal favourite and he truthfully is an artist, though it is surprising how much he relies on post to get his exposure and contrast where he wants it. http://www.jeffascough.com/wedding-photographs/

As for film, I delayed jumping to digital in the early 2000's when Velvia went from 50iso to 100iso, wow a whole stop more, for free!
I too have admired his work for a long time, too, and when I used to do more event work, I'd check out his site/blog frequently for inspiration.  I don't know if you've read his CPN posts of recent times, but he says that he has switched to f/2.8 zooms and high ISO for most of his work, at least that's what he's said as a paid Canon shooter.  Given the amount of post and his use of grain, I guess it's not much of an issue.

Velvia was great stuff - it was like perfect post processing done in camera :).  I've tried all of the simulations, even DxO Filmpack's very good one, but there's a richness that's missing from them, just like the Provia profiles.  The Tri-X and Portra simulations from DxO are amazing, though, and I really like using them when appropriate.

Jeff often gets a lot of critism for is envious relationship with Canon as one of their Ambassadors of Light. But he was heavily influential in the 5DIII's specification, in fact I'd go as far to say that camera was pretty much his personal wish list...which is great for every one.
Jeff has a lot of influence over photographers and many are envious of his opinion and often make snide remarks about him being a shill to shift more lenses. But the reality is he buys all his own kit and makes reviews based on his personal observation.
Most photographic artists need to cycle through their kit regularly to keep fresh and apply old principles in a new context. Jeff looks like he's concetrating more on composition and placement than isolation by depth of field at the moment. So f2.8 zoom lenses make a lot more sense in that context than a large bag of big heavy fast primes....lets face it, a 24-70 is a LOT lighter than a 24L/35L/50L/85IIL. With bright sunny weddings, I like to run witha  24-70L on one cam and a 135L on the other...a great combo. But I prefer my photos using a 35L and 85L combo....but that's just me.   

52
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 f/4L IS Sample Images
« on: July 08, 2014, 06:58:06 AM »
In the end, I think we all agree to disagreements. We choose the lens that suits our shooting needs the most. But objectively, the new 16-35 4L IS is a sharper lens, has IS, and sells for lower price.

Objectively it also is unable to do f/2.8 at all, which is the whole point and quite significant, as well as the fact that at f/11 the sharpness is similar to the 16-35 f/2.8L II - the importance/usefulness of this should not be ignored when advising on which lens to pick :)

As you say it depends what you shoot and how. I bet that a LOT more people could make use of even just nearing 1 stop IS and much better CA control (especially longitudinal) and overall somewhat sharper, especially on the wider end at this UWA to WA range than need f/2.8 there. Of course some like yourself prefer the f/2.8 over all of that, but I bet for an UWA zoom, rather more make out better with the new lens. Plus the new lens is like roughly $500 or so less too.

I don't disagree with any of what you are saying.  Most people probably will benefit from the improvements of the new 16-35 f/4 IS, as this lens focal length probably racks up the most sales for landscape or non-demanding "general use."  The increased corner sharpness and lower price will help these two groups respectively.

On the other hand, most professionals who sell their services for cash in places they have little control of the ambience will likely benefit more from (or outright require) f/2.8.  But, that group is probably a smaller percentage of the lens-buying population. If someone is paying you to do something, you don't want to be in a situation where the shot desired is not doable because your lens is not wide enough or not fast enough.  Also, those who are more into shooting people indoors, even casually, will benefit more from f/2.8; a shot with obvious motion blur, high ISO noise levels, or compromised framing due to lack of a wide enough angle - all are much worse than decreased corner sharpness.  Recall, f/2.8 lets in twice as much light; in many cases where you don't have the option to drop shutter speed due to motion, that extra light will actually add to increased resolution as you can use lower ISO and in turn lower (or no) resolution-reducing DNR.

Which all goes back to - the new 16-35 f/4 IS is awesome and a much needed upgrade for the 17-40 f/4, but it is most definitely not a replacement for the 16-35 f/2.8 II as some are proclaiming.

You are quite right, it's a replacement fro the 17-40 f4 L not the 16-35 f2.8 II L. Which leads many of us to think that the rumoured f2.8 replacement will cover a very different range. A 12-24mm f2.8 for example would be fun. But ultimatly, if one needs the extra stop of light and the 1 stop slower shutter speed offered by the new f4 IS version can't be made to work with the IS unit, then the f2.8 is still the best option in that situation....which I why I haven't swapped out mine. 
While a 12-24mm f2.8 would be fun, for group shots, I would prefer the 16-35mm range.
I use my 16-35 f2.8 II L along side a 35L and 85IIL on three cams for my wedding work. If I chose the new f4 version, there is a huge difference in light gathering between my ultra wide and my primes. it's a bit too much for my needs, but this new f4 lens is a fantastic piece of kit and I'm sure Canon will sell bucket loads. For 80% of the full frame photographic community, this is the right lens for them.

53
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 08, 2014, 06:48:23 AM »

I think you really want a 1D-x....but for 7D money, good luck with that!
You think so? If the 7Dii doesn't give lower noise at up to 1600 they may as well not bother.

With that complete list, yes it's a 1D-x requirement. But if you take a single spec in isolation...no it's not too much to ask. But I really can't see a 7DII having a faster frame rate than 8pfs....happt to be proved wrong though.

54
Software & Accessories / Re: Neutral Density Filters
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:55:45 AM »
So, I've recently invested in a 16-35 II. I'm looking to use an ND filter for long exposures, but I'm having trouble settling on one.

I've looked into the lee system, which is obviously awesome, but comes at a price -the big stopper is £99, the holders etc will run to about £120. Not a cheap option! The other Idea was a Hoya Vario ND in 82mm and then step down rings- even more expensive with the filter alone running to about £200.

I've just seen a NiSi filter on amazon. 10 stop coated filter in 82mm for £49.98.
I'm just wondering if this is a good buy- if anyone has experience with these filters or even this brand I'd be really grateful.
Thanks,
Elliot

I've done a lot of filters in my time and none are truely neutral. Lee's big stopper has a green cast, Hoya's filters have a pink cast and B+W has a copper cast. I choose Heliopan becuase they have a colour cast which looks nicer (a warm brown cast) which helps sunrise / sunset shots by warming them up a bit. But none are truely neutral. Lee resin ND grads have colour casts too, usually a megenta cast which is most noticable on their .9 (3 stop). With most ND's, the higher the density, the higher the colour cast. I tend to prefer a 3 stop and a 6 stop, which I stack a polariser too if I need a greater density. I try to avoid the 9-10 stop filters as then have very strong castes....which is nice for BnW and art toned images though, but not so good for colour!

The vario ND's are a nice idea but they don't work too well on anything less than 24mm.

55
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod center column - yes or no
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:47:12 AM »
It's been said before that the prefect tripod has three characteristics - rigidity, height, and portability.  Unfortunately you have to decide which two are the most important since no tripod has all three.  Center columns sacrifice rigidity for portability.  Portability sacrifices height without a center column.  I ended up selling my Induro series 2 CF with a center column for a RRS series 24L CF without a center column. No regrets and as the RRS salesman pointed out your second airline portable travel tripod (<20 inches) is replaced by checking lugage.

I usually put the legs into my hold luggage. It's about 2kgs, no great weight. It's the ball head / fluide head which weighs a lot!

56
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:44:01 AM »
I want a faster frame rate and a little more reach for field sports and wildlife. If the light goes down I'll use my 5Diii. I wouldn't use a 7Dii above 1600 iso with my 300 f/2.8 anyway so if it can give me low noise images at that iso I'll be buying next year after the reviews are out. I'm assuming sensor and AF wise it will be a significant upgrade on the current 7d. After 5 years it should be.

I think you really want a 1D-x....but for 7D money, good luck with that!

57
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:12:28 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or feedback with this model?
"Sirui R-4203L 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod"  From what I've seen, it looks pretty darn good for the price but I'm not familiar with the brand.. at 70" it seems that may be a good height for me, I'm 5'10". 

Anyway, please give me your thoughts or comments.  Thanks!   :D

There is one user on CR who swears by them.  When getting a tripod, and laying out $600, make sure that you can get parts.  With camera sales tanking, I'd expect that tripod makers are hurting too, and some of them will drop out or get bought up.

You would not believe how often i have had to repair my Gitzo GT3541LS. I've replaced all the main screws and the lower legs several times. These tripods don't do salt water very well and if you use spikes, the end pieces have a habit of falling out. They are only push fitted in and even if one glues them in...they weirdly fall out. Every year, i've had around £110 UKP's worth of spare parts needed. I'm seriously thinking of going over to Really right Stuff in the hope their pods are more resiliant.
Ok, I know I shoot in some of the most harsh conditions...but come on! These Gitzo pods are actually quite fragile.

Going back to the OP's original question, if you get a pod with no centre column...then you can't be tempted to use it, which will cause sharper images! For marco work, my Gitzo can my camera to a few inches above ground level and I've never needed a "bouncy" centre column to get closer to a macro subject.

58
EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 55mm f/1.4 & Other Primes
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:05:25 PM »
Dissapointingly, the three 50/51/55mm f1.4 designs all seem to be using gausian optics...which has largely been the blame for poorly resolving optics. Both the Carl Zeiss and Sigma 50mm lenses use a back focus design (simular to the 35mm f1.4) to resolve a higher resolution. Gausian optics offer a smaller and light weight construction, but at the expense of more optical defects and lower optical resolution.

I was hoping to see a new approach from Canon with their 50mm optical formulas, but these three patents look like the same old, same old. If any of these three lenses make it to the market place (and that's a big "IF") then i doubt we'll see much improvement over the old one...which makes me ask...why bother?   

59
Lenses / Re: DigitalRev review of the new 16-35 L IS
« on: July 04, 2014, 09:29:37 AM »
Count on Kai to do a Suarez ;D
As to the "negative" comments on the video, one has to understand that, this is Kai' way of promoting Digitalrev and he does it very successfully ... despite being located in Hongkong, Digitalrev has excellent sales from all over the world, largely due to Kai's popularity as vlogger on youtube.

I've bought from DigitalRev a number of times...from before he did video reviews too. If i have need of his services, i'd happily buy again. But those reviews are erm...not my bag.

60
Lenses / Re: DigitalRev review of the new 16-35 L IS
« on: July 04, 2014, 08:15:00 AM »
And he needs to learn to hand hold the camera properly!! Is he not supposed to rest the lens on his left palm?!??

That's the problem with the internet, anyone with a video camera and a web site can set them selves up as internet review authorities...with very little tallent or skill. This guy is a camera salesman who takes out the piece of kit for a walk and show. It's not much of a review and it certainly wouldn't sway me to buy anything from them due to one of their "reviews". it's a little bit like unboxing videos....excuse me please, I have a life and it's more precious to me than watching some one unbox something they have recently bought....regardless of how rare it is.

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