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Messages - FlowerPhotog

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Birds with attitude
« on: May 13, 2012, 01:45:32 PM »
T2i 420 mm f 8.0 1/200 sec (cropped)  EF 70-300 L @ 300mm  w/ Kenko 1.4 TC

Lenses / Re: Seeking lens in the 85-100mm range
« on: May 08, 2012, 06:19:50 AM »
Regarding the 24-105 as compared to the two 100 primes,  my biggest complaint is lack of sharpness near the edges of the full frame on the 5DM3. I'd guess the outer 20-25% of the image, regardless of aperture shows slight fuzziness when pixel peeping at 100%, whereas both primes are sharp to the edge if stopped down just a little.  On the t2i crop frame the 24-105 is much better, taking those edges out of the imaged area.  Center image quality on both cameras approaches the sharpness of the primes.   The edge sharpness improves on my copy once you get under about 50mm, so it's a good wide angle landscape lens, but at least on the full frame, it leaves something to be desired at the higher end of the focal length range if you need the entire image to be sharp. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good lens, but I guess I got spoiled having the two primes before I got it. 

Lenses / Re: Seeking lens in the 85-100mm range
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:05:38 PM »
I have done a series of comparison shots at mid-distances, a wooden picket fence with lots of grain detail, and distant shots at a nearby mountain park.  I have done this for all my lenses, on a tripod, self timer, etc so taking my shaky hands out of the equation. I shoot each lens at a range of apertures, using both viewfinder AF, and Live View AF.    On those tests I can't see any difference to speak of between the two 100 mm lenses, both are very sharp across the entire frame.  It did seem that on my t2i the 100 2.0 would once in a while be just a smidgen front- focusing as I sometimes would get a little sharper on large aperture shots using Live View focusing.   When I got my 5d Mk III, I bought a Lens-Align unit at the same time and tested all of my lenses.  Both 100 mm lenses were spot on.  The 24-105 kit lens that came with the 5D Mk 3, however was off at the long end.  Even with AFMA  applied to that lens, at 100 it has nowhere near the IQ as the two 100 primes.  The 100 2.0 is faster to focus than the 100 2.8L macro, probably due to the lesser total focus range.  It is also very quiet focusing.    I think you may have hit on a possible explanation for your initial impression of the lens' sharpness - using a pretty high shutter speed (1/250 or more) is what I found I needed to be sure to 'take the shake out' using handheld, which is more than the rule of thumb would say you needed for this lens; ie 1/160th  on a crop sensor camera.  The shot I attached earlier was 1/1000 second. 

Lenses / Re: Seeking lens in the 85-100mm range
« on: May 07, 2012, 09:39:40 PM »
If you are still considering the EF 100 2.0 lens, I have both it and the 100L.   I bought the 100 2.0 a couple years ago as my first baby step up from EF-S lenses to use at the time on my t2i.  I got it for the fast aperture and the good image quality that most of the reviewers noted.  I have been extremely pleased with the image quality of the lens, it is virtually as sharp as the 100 2.8 L Macro and given the bigger aperture can even give you a better bokeh effect in some cases.   I have seen some purple fringing on the edges of a few shots near wide open in high contrast areas but LR or DPP effectively removes that.  One semi-drawback of the 100 2.0 is it's relatively long minimum focus distance (2.8'), but prior to getting the 100L Macro, I found using a set of Kenko extension tubes gave me a pretty good proxy for a macro lens, just no IS.  After getting the 100 L Macro with it's great image stabilization system, I hadn't been using the 100 2.0 as much in mediocre lighting conditions due to my desire to keep the ISO lower on the t2i  to minimize noise.     As you can tell from my handle, I do a lot of flower photography and absent a tripod when in shady light, I didn't have quite steady enough hands to use the 100 2.0 at the stopped down apertures needed to get entire flowers in focus. In good light or with a tripod, however,  I got some great shots with the 100 2.0, both semi-closeups and distant landscape shots.    Now that I have a 5D Mark III, with its much much lower noise at higher ISO's , I find I am using the 2.0 in all lighting.  The full format sensor is also providing even better bokeh on large aperture shots compared to what I got with the crop sensor t2i.   Here's a hand held shot I took this evening with the 100 2.0 on my 5Dm3 in very poor light due to heavy overcast. Took it at f 2.0 ,  ISO was 800.  This is a crop of about a half of the original frame.   

Thanks in part to the advice given earlier in this thread, I went ahead and pulled the trigger and bought the Zeiss 50 2.0 ZE Macro.     UPS showed up yesterday afternoon with it and I had a little while this morning to test it out.  So far I am very impressed with the image quality.  The focus ring is very smooth and has lots of throw which is wonderful for closeup fine-tuning.  I was a little surprised at the infinity end of the focus range, as compared to some of my Canon lenses.   I did a quick set of distant test shots comparing it to my Canon 24-105 set at 50 mm. The Canon, when manually focusing, goes beyond infinity, but the Zeiss hard stops right there.   I had a little trouble being 100% sure what I was focusing on (maybe 50 yards away or so) was right at infinity or just a smidge back from it. Shots came out razor sharp so I guess I got it OK.
On the distant landscape (mountain)  shots the Zeiss is sharp edge to edge from about f/2.8 on, unlike my Canon 24-105, which gets a bit blurry near the margins when pixel peeping at 100%, regardless of the aperture.

 Here's a couple shots I took this morning in the garden.  Same scene, one at f10, showing the entire flower and prickly bud in razor sharp detail, the second is at f 2.0, showing the creamy blurring of the background.

Lenses / Re: Best third-party lenses
« on: April 30, 2012, 03:07:11 PM »
I mentioned in the previous post that I do have the Sigma 70 2.8 Macro.   Using normal viewfinder AF it is right on the money, on both my t2i and my 5D Mark III.  It does make more noise than any other lens I own while focusing, but it locks right on pretty quickly, espcially with the Mark III's improved AF system.  It does, however, have problems focusing with Live View on the 5D Mark III, often taking several runs at it before it finally locks on, but occasionally never getting there.     If I'm in a position to use Live View (ie, on a tripod), I will often do manual focusing.   No problems using Live View on the t2i, other than taking longer than viewfinder AF to lock on, but that's the case for most lenses.     The image quality of this lens is so superb, that I can live with the Live View issue.  Given the ability to use the 5D Mark III at higher ISO's (allowing higher shutter speeds) I find I am not using Live View and a tripod nearly as much,  so most of the time I use this lens now with normal viewfinder AF which works fine.     I  have taken some landscape shots with this lens and it is as sharp at infinity as it is close focusing on flowers, so it's a good all around lens regardless of subject being photographed.  One minor quibble is the hood is a screw-on type, so you can't easily put a lens cap on and off without removing the hood.   

Lenses / Re: Best third-party lenses
« on: April 29, 2012, 09:03:21 PM »
I have two Sigma's,  the 70mm 2.8 macro and the 150mm 2.8 macro (non-IS version).  Both of these lenses are very sharp, with the 70mm probably being the sharpest lens I own - it is incredibly sharp edge to edge on a full frame sensor.   The AF is good on both, but a little slow and noisy on the 70.   

The 150 macro has become my favorite flower lens since getting the 5D Mark III - the DOF on the full frame creates a very creamy bokeh that is so much better than on the crop sensor.   The ability to use a higher ISO without noise on the Mark III vs my t2i has also let me use the 150 handheld in many more situations by increasing the shutter speed.   Had to use a tripod with that lens most of the time on the t2i. 

Did a Lens-Align check on all my lenses when I got the 5D Mark III, and both the Sigma's didn't require any adjustment. However, one odd thing with both lenses is using Live View on my t2i works they both work fine, but on my new 5D Mark III they both seem to struggle locking on focus - even in good light.  Same shot with normal viewfinder AF they're are right on the money pretty quickly.

Just ordered the Zeiss 50mm 2.0 Makro-Planar ZE lens, so we'll see if that can overtake the Sigma 70 as my sharpest lens. 

Thanks for the quick feedback.  It sounds like your totally sold on the Zeiss, glad to hear you don't have issues with focusing.    One more question -  I usually use Aperture Priority - is there anything else different you need to do for proper exposure vs a Canon EF lens?  I have some old Minolta manual lenses I used on my t2i with an adapter (only worked for close focused subjects), and those were both manual focus and manual exposure. I usually ended up taking several shots to get the right exposure.  I  think the ZE versions of the Zeiss lens have their apertures linked electronically into the metering system, so assume that won't be an issue, but just wanted to check with someone whose actually using the lens.

Thanks again

Lenses / 50mm Zeiss 2.0 vs Canon 1.4 - manual focusing on 5D Mk III??
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:58:57 PM »
I am trying to decide on a 50 mm prime to go with my new 5D Mk III.  I do a lot of fairly closeup photography (flowers mostly) and landscapes, so wanted a lens good at both, ie close focus capability, and very sharp across the entire frame.  I've been doing a lot of reading about the image quality of the Zeiss 50 2.0 macro and it sounds great.  My only hesitation is the lack of autofocus.   I don't intend to use the lens for fast action - usually I will have time to properly compose the shots.   With the Mark III not having replaceable focus screens, I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried using it with a Zeiss (or other manual lens) and how good the viewfinder image is for manually focusing?   I know I could also use Live View for manual focusing, but sometimes that is just a bit awkward depending on the shot. 

I am also considering the Canon 50 1.4,  even though it has it's issues, it does have very good IQ when stopped down, which is what I often need to do to get better DOF for some types of flowers.  A concern about the Canon 50 1.4 is the minimum focus distance on it (18") is about twice the Zeiss  (9").  I'm not considering the Canon 50 1.2L, as it appears to have slightly poorer IQ when stopped down than the 1.4 does, and if I'm going into that price range the overall IQ of the Zeiss sounds more like what I'm looking for.      I've also considered the Canon 50 2.5 macro, the Sigma 50 1.4 and the Sigma 50 2.8 macro, but can't get too excited about any of those lenses after reading the various reviews.  There is just something about the reported mythical image quality of the Zeiss lenses that has me intrigued, not just the sharpness, but also the bokeh appears to be superior to the Canon, and often for flowers I do attempt to get a nice blurred background.   

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Lenses / Re: 24-105mm f/4 L IS on a crop camera
« on: April 22, 2012, 12:37:16 PM »
I just upgraded from a t2i to a 5D Mark III with the 24-105 Kit Lens.  On my t2i I have been using the EF-S 15-85, as my main walk around lens.  I've been very happy with it,  it has good IQ and very good 4 stop IS.  It's also a solidly built lens, a vast improvement over the 18-55 kit than comes with the Rebels.   Since getting the 5D Mark III I've been doing a bunch of lens comparison tests, including putting the 24-105 on the t2i and comparing the same scenes with both it and the 15-85 set to the same focal length and aperture (tripod mount, self timer etc).   I don't see much if any differences.  At the longer focal lengths, if anything the 15-85 is a smidgen sharper at the edges.  At the widest focal lengths the 24-105 might edge out the 15-85 on the margins,  but overall it's a wash.   If you don't have any plans to upgrade to a FF in the future, might consider the 15-85 over the Tamron, as it will give you a wider focal length range in one lens.  I think the list price of the 15-85 is about $350 to $400 less than the 24-105. 

 bchernicoff -  I just read your post about the Kenko TC needing to be on the lens before mounting on the camera. I don't recall the mounting sequence I was doing the other day when I found it wouldn't work on four of my lenses (2 Canon and 2 Sigma).  I just tried it per your suggestion with my Canon 100 2.8L macro and unfortunately, it still doesn't work - just locks up the camera requiring a battery removal to reset.  That was one of the lenses that Kenko claims does work with the Mark III.  I have a  C-AF 1.4X Teleplus Pro 300 DGX model, recently purchased from Adorama.

Here's the 100% crop version of the shot with the 70-300L @ 300mm  with the Kenko 1.4 (ie @ 420 mm)

Here's a sequence I did with my new 5D Mark III recently at Red Rocks Park, west of Denver.  I use a hilltop radio tower and facility as a good lens testing target as it has lots of thin wires etc good for resolution testing.  These were all on a tripod, but center spot auto-focus was used, no manual focus, and the auto-focusing seemed to be on the money and pretty quick, but admittedly it was a nice bright sunny day.

 The first for reference is using the kit lens at 105mm,  then the second is with my 70-300L @ 300mm, then the third with that lens with the Kenko 1.4X, making it 420 mm.   I downsized these quite a bit for posting, but at full size, raw (especially with the new fixed DPP), these are pretty darn sharp.
I reached the total attachment file size limit with these three, but I will post a follow-up with a 100% crop of the 420 mm shot.  Comparing it back to the 105 mm image (which itself is already a ~ 2X magnification vs reality) I think the reach and image quality the Kenko is providing is quite good.  Now if we could just figure out how to get it to work with some of the other lenses it doesn't want to play with, I'd be totally happy with it. 

I apologize, as I gave some mis-information yesterday with my post.   I had attached the Kenko 1.4 to my Sigma 150 macro while indoors and did a half-press on the shutter, which did a fast and apparently accurate auto-focus, so I assumed it was working fine, but I didn't actually try to take a picture. Tonight I tried to actually use it outside and it appears to take a picture, but then it locks up the camera, with the only way to get it going again is to remove and then replace the battery.  After that exercise I went thru my entire collection of non EF-S lenses and tried to take pictures -  this is what I found;

Works:     EF 70-300L
                EF 70-300 (non-L),
                EF 24-105 (kit Lens)

Doesn't work:   EF 100 2.8L IS Macro (despite Kenkos reply to wickidwombat that it does)
                         EF 100 2.0
                         Sigma 150 2.8 Macro (non-IS model)
                         Sigma 70 2.8 Macro

All four lens that don't work exhibit the same behavior - it just locks up the camera after one shutter actuation.  It never actually takes the picture.

Those four lenses that don't work with the Kenko 1.4 on the 5D Mark III do work with it on my T2i.
I guess the only silver lining for the time being is I will be using it mostly on my 70-300L to get back some of the reach I lost going from the crop sensor to the full frame.  Canon's teleconverters won't work on the 70-300L, so at least the Kenko provides some benefit, and so far I'm pretty happy with the IQ. 

I have been able to successfully use my Kenko 1.4X Teleplus Pro 300 converter with my 5D Mark III.   I have had no problems at all using it  with my 70-300 L, which by the way does autofocus when the Kenko is attached, even when it is at 300 mm, which theoretically it shouldn't as the max aperture is f5.6 at that point, so with the 1.4X, I'm at f8.0.  Data is reported in EXIF file correctly as the 70-300 lens and it shows 420 mm as the focal length.    I also have tried the Kenko with my Sigma 150 Macro and the 24-105 kit lens that came with the 5D Mark III, and both also seem to work fine.  I just bought the Kenko from Adorama about 6 weeks or so ago, so maybe they changed something in it that is allowing a newer version to work?    The Kenko also works fine on my T2i, also allowing autofocus on my 70-300 when its at 300. 

I've attached a shot taken tonight with the 70-300L @ 300mm with the Kenko 1.4X.  This was handheld at f8.0,  1/500 sec. ISO set to 3200.  One of the main reasons I wanted to get the Mark III vs my old T2i was the ability to use the higher ISO, both for faster shutter speeds to help in windy conditions and/or low light like this picture which was taken in total shade.  These are jpgs out of LR4.1, absolutely no noise reduction added, so you can see how little noise there is at 3200 ISO.  First one is the full frame, then cropped to just the tulip. 

(I haven't posted pictures before, so hopefully these will show up.  When I did the preview before submitting,I am not seeing the pictures, but it shows them to be attached.)

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