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Messages - GMCPhotographics

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Any one here having tested both the new 300mm F2.8 L IS II and the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 AF APO EX DG OS HSM and having an opinion on how these two said lenses compare in sharpness and general (real world) usability ... Some reviews Rate the sigma as sharper as the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II so it should be really sharp ...   

Yes the Sigma is sharp, but not quite as sharp as the the Canon prime. But there are a few things you should be aware of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS which rarely comes up.
1) it's AF is not in the same league as the ef 300mm f2.8 LIS or 70-200 f2.8 LIS II lenses, not even close. It's slower, less accurate and more ponderous. It often locks on and then looses AF just as quick. AI servo with this lens using 61point AF on a 5DIII was particaulrly bad, as was 19 point AI servo on a 7D. Add a teleconverter and this gets a lot worse.
2) The lens drops focal length dramatically as the focus point gets closer to Min Focus distance. While this may not appear to be an issue, it is if you are trying to blur the background using close focus and wide open aperture. In this respect, the Canon prime is way way better, great for animal or people portraits. From my findings, the Sigma drops to about 240mm at 5 meters...which gives worse results to the 70-200 f2.8 at 1.5m at 200mm. In short, both the 70-200 II L and 300 f2.8 LIS are better at melting background and makes my wonder if the Sigma is worth the effort.
3) The Sigma is a lot heavier and larger than it needs to be. Don't confuse weight / mass with quality! The hood is terrible and the tripod ring isn't anyhwere near to the engineering of the Canon versions.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5DIII CF vs SD slot performance?
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:50:05 AM »
Yep, with my cards, I get only 5-6 bursts out of the SD card and I get about 10-12 from the CF card. Interestingly, if I have the Sd card slot enabled (regarlessly of having a card in there) I get the lower buffer / card write times. So when I need to shoot fast and long, I take out the SD card and use the Q button to write to the CF card only.

That's odd, I have noticed no such issue. My settings are set to record to both, and when either CF or SD isn't present, it'll give a warning when you turn on the camera, but I don't notice it negatively effecting speed.

It's not the speed, it's the buffer capacity it effects. With the right setting, the Cf card can shoot, buffer and write which frees up more shooting time until the write speed craps out and the buffer fills. With the SD card (raw to CF and Jpeg to CD) the card can't write that fast and the buffer fills up very fast which then stops the shooting.

Lenses / Re: Waiting for the 35 1.4L II
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:46:55 AM »
No doubt, sigma 35mm 1.4 art is canon killer.

Check some reviews, many people compared the two lenses. Though I'm not quite sure about the build quality that Sigma provides — at first sight yes, it's very good, but will it last as canon 35mm does?

I'm not sure I'd call it a Canon killer....it's a little bit sharper but that's about it. Also bare in mind that I've been using my 35L for the last 8 years (and it's paid for itself time and time with great professional images) where as this Sigma is new to the market. I'm happy with my 35L and see very little reason to swap to the Sigma. My Canon 35L has provided great images and will continue to do so.
If you rate a lens by optics alone then sure the Sigma looks great. But I would wager in a comparison that few could tell from an A3 print which lens was which. The Canon is far better built, has a far more reliable AF system and will hold it's value on the second hand market over the long term. Sigma AF issues are well documented, even their 120-300 has af issues.

You're wrong about build quality, the Sigma is much better, all of my 35 L's has been squeaky when squeezing the sides of the barrel, and two of them had the small plastic pins that holds the af/mf switch in place broken, leaving an open hole right into the lens.

 But color and contrast, build and ca correction needs a BIG update.

Don't mistake engineering plastic as weak and fragile. Sure the 24IIL is a lot more robust in how it feels in the hand and the shell doesn't flex. But after 8 years of heavy professional use, it's never failed me and still looks as good today as the day i bought it...although the hood is looking a bit worn. Most Sigma's I've bought and used in the past (the old painted matt finish and earlier) have looked terrible after a year or so. My old Sigma 12-24mm lens was solidly made from metal and yet had to go back to Sigma 3 times over 10 years due to a number of mechanical and electrical issues. First the Aperture motor burnt out, amazing considering how little I used this lens. Then one of the internal lens groups became free of their housings and acted like a marble in a cup. Then for some reason the lens started to mechanically vignette at all focal lengths...it had to go back for a re-build. If I compare that to my 16-35IIL which has been used in far more inhospitable environments and used a lot more...i've had no problems with it at all. I sent it into Canon last year becuase of a scratched front element (it was effecting my sun star shots) but that was my fault not Canon's.

While I'm sure the Sigma operates well, looks and feels good and delivers great results....I am very shy of Sigma. My fingers have really been burnt a lot by that company and I'm not sure I want to risk them again.

Lenses / Re: Waiting for the 35 1.4L II
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:37:48 AM »
35mm is such a useful focal length for me, I hope Canon will weather-seal a mark-II version. That does give some peace-of-mind especially working outdoors and in humid areas.

I can say the 35 L II will be weather sealed 1000% certain.

Not that the little black rubber gasket does much! I've had most of my L primes soaked on a number of occasions by rain water and I've never had any problems regardless of the weather seal claim or not. 

EOS Bodies / Re: 5DIII CF vs SD slot performance?
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:44:28 AM »
The CF slot is significantly faster than the SD slot. Most new and expensive SD cards are significantly faster than the 5DmkIII's slot will allow writing to it.

You don't notice this all that much unless you are burst shooting. I just tested this for you, using M, 1/250, F/4.0, ISO 100, pre-focused. In a 30 second run, using my 1000x Lexar Professional CF card, 82 shots were recorded. Using a 95mb/s Sandisk Extreme Pro card, 27 images were recorded.

The CF card clears the camera's buffer much faster, and thus allows you take pictures more than three times as fast as an SD card. You could easily run the same test with your own cards, though they are different speeds, it is quite likely your CF cards will be faster. Note that the ratings on the cards are generally read speed, not write speed, so you actually need to test them instead of looking at the numbers.

FYI, it appears the SD card slot is limited to a speed of 133x, or +- 20mb/s.

Personally, unless I know I have to do heavy burst shooting, I have both CF and SD cards present in my 5DmkIII, and capture to both. Yes, it is slightly slower, but nothing is as slow as a card malfunction requiring you to re-do the shoot (or wedding, or holiday, etc)

Yep, with my cards, I get only 5-6 bursts out of the SD card and I get about 10-12 from the CF card. Interestingly, if I have the Sd card slot enabled (regarlessly of having a card in there) I get the lower buffer / card write times. So when I need to shoot fast and long, I take out the SD card and use the Q button to write to the CF card only.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon 55mm f/1.4 & Other Primes
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:35:55 AM »
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?

Canon's more clever than you think - buy sticking with the outdated 50/1.4 and the ultra-outdated 50/1.8 *any* improvement will be a biggie, and people will buy them as long as there's a Canon label on them... a "real" usm would be worth the upgrade alone no matter the iq.

I've never really cared for the current 50mm f1.4 USM. Wide open, is got a low contrast and milkyness to the images I don't particularly like. Sure I can fix it in post Prod...but I really can't be bothered for the results. The build is really sub par, I've broken several and that's why I eventually upgraded to the L version. These days, I don't have need for a specific 50mm prime, so I cover the occasional requirement with a f2.8 zoom lens.
I have a mkI 50mm f1.8 (with the metal mount) which I got new with the original Canon AF camera (EOS 650). I still have the camera but I don't use film any longer, but the lens still works fine. Not bad results from it, nicer than I ever saw from the f1.4 version wide open. 

I'm not sure Canon has done anything "deliberate" here. I think they have gone and re-designed these lenses formula based on an old model / requirement. Sigma and Zeiss have changed the approach to 50mm lens design and Canon haven yet to notice. We are probably about 5 years away from seeing any new 50mm prime from Canon which any dramatic change in optical formula. Lets face it, we'd all rather see a 100-400L replacement over a new 50mm!

Don't look for us to stop you!

I'm wanting a 400/2.8 but that's some serious scratch for a hobby.

True, but the lenses rarely drop their value...unless you drop one on concrete. So they are an investment, sometimes they go up in value. There are very few things we can buy which hld their value. Some cars, if you don't use them. Some guitars, a few Hi Fi components, some specific wine, some pieces of art...but Canon's great whites hold their resell value so well city traders have been known to invest in them too.

Abstract / Re: Beautiful bokeh! Let me see yours!
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:30:51 PM »

Canon 5DIII and a 70-200 f2.8 LIS II with a 2x TC mkII

EOS Bodies / Re: Which is better for high ISO, 6D or 5D Mk III?
« on: July 09, 2014, 06:21:06 PM »
Which is why I prefer fast primes over f4 or f2.8 zooms. I gain a far lower iso value or a higher shutter speed.

Well, but lower than "100" is "screw on nd filter" and the iq of 1600 on the 6d is so good I seldom feel the necessity for a really fast prime. You can post-process push a bad exposure, but cropping from 20mp (too wide prime) is tricky, and adding image data in post (too long prime) is impossible.

And I already raved about how damn difficult it is to af with the 6d in enough threads, and even with a better af system the dof of f4 on longer focal lengths is already very thin @100% crop. Not that I'd dismiss fast primes as you get thin dof @small export/print sizes, but I guess I'm the "zoom flexibility" type of photog.

Yep, I got by with my 5D and then 5DII for many years using fast primes. It was hard, but I used the single centre point and recompose technique and One shot setting. But I fitted a Eg-s fine focus screen so I could see if my 85 f1.2 IIL was in focus. I was a tricky technique but once mastered, I could shoot weddings all day at f1.2 as close to MFD as i liked and get sharp in focus image.

EOS Bodies / Re: Which is better for high ISO, 6D or 5D Mk III?
« on: July 09, 2014, 10:39:05 AM »
I have a 6D, which I've been using in low light situations. In recent months I've found myself frequently exploring the limits I can go and still come up with what I consider successful photos. I've very happy with the results I've been getting up to ISO6400 or so.

After downsizing 22mp 5d3 -> 20mp 6d and adjusting for slight sharpness differences it's a wash, this is the same sensor generation. However the 6d has significantly less banding, i.e. higher dynamic range which *does* make a difference if your shots require it - it even tops 1dx on low iso. You can boost the dr on 6d even higher with Magic Lantern, nearly up to 15ev.

Having said that, no nice noise performance makes up for dodgy metering or getting out of focus shots with the ancient 6d af unless you're mf'ing (like with ML's focus peaking).

Even what I've shot at 12800 pleasantly surprises me.

ISO 12800 is just a digital push (on 6d, actually even 6400 is) - no need to use it unless you shoot jpeg or do video, otherwise underexpose a lower iso and keep the higher dynamic range of the lower setting.

The main positive about the 6D is the centre point is rated to -3ev whereas the 5DMKIII is -2EV.

Well, yes, it's "nice to have" esp. with slower lenses like f4+. *But* af'ing @-3lv is so slow that you could also just switch to live view and contrast af or mf with a boosted lv (ML again) which works far below -3lv.

Which is why I prefer fast primes over f4 or f2.8 zooms. I gain a far lower iso value or a higher shutter speed.
If I gain 2 stops advantage, I can double my shutter speed and halve my iso value. If I dump my entire advantage into the iso value, it will fall by a factor of 4. That's a big difference and far more than any camera can provide regardless of how good the iso handling or on chip noise reduction is.

Dear "J,"

I supposed I should not be surprised that you chose to announce the end of our relationship in such a public and cowardly way. You were never one for subtlety and discretion.

And, so typical of you to blame all the failures on me. As though you contributed nothing to the breakup. But, then, I guess since you contributed so little to the relationship, I should not be surprised.

The truth is, I've known for a long time this wasn't working. If I could have ended things myself, I would have. But as you know, for me this was an arranged marriage. You picked me and I had no say in the matter. For the honor of my family (and honor is something my culture values very highly) I could not leave you.

At first, your clumsy attempts to satisfy me were amusing and not without a certain boyish charm. But, honestly, it quickly became apparent that you were never going to improve. In fact, I soon realized that you actually thought you were good. I know this is hurtful to say, but since you are the one that began this public conversation, I think honesty is justified.

Never once were you able to bring me to my full potential. No, let me be more candid, never, ever did I come remotely close to achieving the heights I was intended for. You would fiddle with my dials and move my joystick, but it was so mechanical and uninspired that I could hardly bear it. Honestly, most of the time I wished you would just stick to the green box and let me do it myself.

And the trips...well, what can I say? Sure, I enjoyed them, but it was as though you thought that simply going someplace new would solve all our problems. All it did was make me long for the relationships that I saw others enjoying. How I wished that could have been us. But you...all you ever did was worry about whether someone else had a newer, prettier model hanging on his shoulder. 

You were so obsessed with showing me off that you didn't see how many of your fellow travelers lovingly treated their lowly Rebels with respect and appreciation and how they were rewarded in ways that you and I could never achieve together.

Yes, I saw the world. But, really, I would have traded it in a instant for a quiet little town in the Midwest, with someone who understood me and what I was meant to do.

Now, dear D810, believe me, I wish you no ill. In fact, I actually feel sorry for you. I know people say you are nothing more than an overinflated mass of silicon, but I know better. We are both from established families and, like me, you have not had any say in this relationship.

I would like to wish you a long and happy relationship, but I suspect that won't be the case. In the end, you will be blamed for everything. Just remember this. It is not you...it's him.

Wow...I'm coming to you for my next letter writing needs!

I think he forgot that the 5D3 has held it's value better than the d800.

Don't feed the tolls....nothing here to see...lets move on to a real thread!

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.

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.

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?

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