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Messages - Mika

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EOS Bodies / Re: Official DXOMark Sensor Score for the EOS-1D X
« on: October 31, 2012, 06:37:56 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to down Nikon or Sony.  They make great sensors!  I also like Nikon's EC during auto ISO in full manual mode.  But overall, the sensor is only a fraction of the camera.  Why then, can I shoot at much higher ISO's and print 8 x 10's with minimal NR, at ISO 25,600 with the 1DX and I cannot do that with a D4?  Why?  That is all I'd like to know.  In this regard, the DxO score means nothing to me at all and I go with whatever works in the field, which in this case the ONLY choice I have to do so is the 1DX.  If the D4 and D800 sensors are better, who the hell cares if they don't produce shots and I have to pack up and go home in the 4th quarter?

BUT BUT, here I thought you could underexpose those shots with Nikon at lower ISO and push them back up in the post! ;)

Sorry, could not resist this time - no offence meant to Nikon people with this - both Japanese camera companies are good.

Bottom line being that different photography areas require different kind of things from the sensor.

Sorry, for some reason I didn't realize one important factor here at play.

As others mentioned, there are several things more that should be considered in the comparison. By photographing the same target with 55 mm (17-55), you are giving a considerable edge on the magnification for the APS-C lens. My suggestion would be to match the Field of views first, (70 mm FF ~ 44 mm APS-C) and check the results again.

However, even this isn't fully comparable since the maximum reproduction ratio of the lenses differ quite a bit (24-70 goes to 1:3.45, 17-55 to 1:5.9). Take the closest focusing distance of 17-55 - or a little bit further - and test both lenses at suggested focal lengths there, now both lenses should be able to focus there with the same field of view.

Then, there are some hints on the 24-70 @2.8 photo that it is slightly out of focus (on your earlier article). The pincer seems to show some greenish hue around the edges as well as the paper, which suggests that the lens might indeed have front- or back focused. Additionally, there is some haze all around the image which might be because of insufficient spherical aberration correction (which would mean some lens element has moved), or again that the lens has not been focused to the right place.

Due to lack of other objects in the 24-70 photo, I can't see where the lens might have focused. And because of the long shutter speed, it might also be that something simply moved during the take, blurring some of the details. Try using a shorter shutter speed too (1/500 perhaps) and add something like a plank to the scene so that it is easier to determine that if the lens focused wrong, where did it actually focus then.

I suppose you used the Central AF point on both lenses. Be advised that the area covered by the AF point is different between full frame and crop body, and that the AF point might not look exactly at the same direction the view finder suggests (this has been rather annoying with macro work occasionally).

Hopefully you get something useful out of this post.

EDIT: Additional question: does the 24-70 have a UV filter in front of it? If so, is it a quality filter?

Lenses / Re: Comments on the design decisions of 24-70 II?
« on: October 20, 2012, 01:51:58 PM »
What it comes to the zoom ring stiffness, I think they have made it intentionally so to prevent lens creep. Lens creep should not happen at all with a new 24-70 mk I, but the ring tends to become more loose over time so some of that initial stiffness will go away and you may start to see some miniscule lens creep after a couple of years of use. 70-200 F4 is remarkably smooth and easy compared to most of the zoom rings I have tried.

Hello Robert, I took a look at your testing out of curiosity. For me it seems that the test result of 24-70 at 2.8 does not correspond to my experience of the lens (camera settings not withstanding) and to be frank, the result looks like a focusing error. If possible, try focusing on Live view to see whether that changes anything. Granted, I only have 5D mark I, but adding more pixels shouldn't make it that bad.

In my copy of the lens, there is a small sharpness difference between 2.8 and 4, it is barely noticeable, and even then you have to go and look for it. So I haven't been afraid to use 2.8 at all with that lens. Actually, in my case the biggest issue with this lens has been photographer himself, typically selecting too large an aperture for the required depth of field...  ;)

If Live view focusing does show improvement, consider sending the camera and the lens for service, which according to my understanding, should be free for the first time if you bought your lens new.

Lenses / Re: Comments on the design decisions of 24-70 II?
« on: October 15, 2012, 03:16:13 PM »
I have a suspicion that Canon focused more on sharpness, with a view that other forms of distortion can more easily be addressed in software/silicon.  I suspect however that this is becoming a more general trend in lens design, to primarily address sharpness, and to concentrate less on correcting spherical and chromatic aberration optically, and rather to finish correcting these in silicon or in software (albeit at the cost of some sharpness).  This probably ties together with more of the recent cameras doing lens correction in their in-camera JPG conversion.

I think this is the case too. Spherical aberration typically has something to do with bokeh in a way that designing for the maximum MTF makes bokeh more nervous. Leaving some residual spherical aberration tends to improve the bokeh, and I suspect this has indeed been the case with the older 24-70. Increased sharpness requirements might aim for the future sensors too, too bad it tends to make bokeh worse.

Maybe people have been asking for more sharpness from 24-70, so that's what they get. Distortion and bokeh are the trade-offs then. What I don't know is whether they realized that bokeh will become worse for that. Also, for me it starts to sound that the new lens isn't as versatile as the old one, new one seems to be aimed more for people working at wide angles, while I think the older one was better overall at 35-70 mm range (the one I tend to use more). Basically, that's the reason why I have been asking whether those who own the lens have noticed a shift in their photographing habits. Call it being curious, then  ;)

I doubt it, I do not know how the many different lens formulas they have tried affect the variables.  They try to balance all the factors, while, of course, giving maximum sharpness.  One formula may be sharp but have curvature of field, another might have more CA, and some might have more lens elements running up the cost, weight, and reducing light transmission.

How do we deduce which lens formulas they tried and what their properties were?
I would not use the MK I, I had five and did not like any, and sold them.  So any sustained use of the MK II at all would be different use.

Trust me, I'm very aware of the lens design process and the trade-offs and compromises included in that. But why would the actual lens structure be of importance to this discussion? Why would the designs that weren't selected as final candidates be relevant to this discussion? We know the 24-70 mk I and mk II specifications. That's enough for me to see the differences what they choose for the actual photographing (and which I listed on the first post), which is what matters here.

So far I have actually liked Canon optical design choices (I'd actually like to buy a few for the optical guys at Canon, but chances are I'll never meet them), but the new 24-70 makes me question about the direction they are going to go next. So, from what I have seen, the people who mainly photograph landscapes do like the new 24-70. How about the event photographers?

Lenses / Re: Comments on the design decisions of 24-70 II?
« on: October 14, 2012, 05:47:34 AM »
I'm very much aware of that, though some of those decisions can be derived from the lens specifications.

However, the bigger question was, do you notice that you would be using the lens in a different way than Mark I?

Lenses / Comments on the design decisions of 24-70 II?
« on: October 13, 2012, 11:24:33 AM »
Since some of you already have the new 24-70 II, I thought it might be a good time to post up a topic like this. My question is this: do you see that you would use the Mark II in a different way than Mark I?

I ask because what I think is that Canon improved the drawing capability by quite a margin over the old lens. Additionally, from the reviews it sounds like the wide angle side does not have that much field curvature any more (though I'm not sure whether this has been intentional as well), and color aberrations have been reduced further.

These design decisions apparently came with the following drawbacks: bokeh isn't as nice as it was with Mark I, there is more distortion, and while the minimum focus distance is the same, the reproduction factor has dropped from 3.45 to somewhere around 5.

For my style of photography, these things actually make Mark II sound less appealing (granted; I have not tried it yet). Have you noticed these differences in actual use? I have got a good use of the old lenses macro, and would not like to see that capability go so that I'd need to carry a macro lens to do same stuff in the future. As I occasionally use film, I don't welcome the increased distortion either.

What's your thoughts? Is this a step to a right direction for a general purpose zoom?

Lenses / Re: Photozone's review of the EF 24-70 f/2.8L II is up
« on: September 23, 2012, 05:34:19 PM »
It is interesting to hear about the performance of 24-70 mk I and 24-70 mk II in real life testing. So far I have been very satisfied with the Mark I myself (bought last year), and wondered what could be coming up next.

When Mark II was announced with very high MTF, I thought Canon may have shifted the weighing of some characteristics during the design of this lens to accomplish the drawing capability design goal.

Apparently, the older lens traded field curvature at 24 mm for comparatively small amount of distortion. Additional changes in the drawing capability of the new lens seem to have caused the maximum reproduction ratio to decrease actually substantially from the old one, and also bokeh seems to be worse on the new lens.

What it comes to investing in the new lens, I don't know as it does not have exactly the same performance in other areas. Mark I for me seems to be a bit more all-rounder, so I do think there might be some interest in the second hand markets for this lens for a relatively long period due to aforementioned properties.

Lenses / Re: What lenses do you own?
« on: August 15, 2012, 08:22:40 PM »
What do I have? Let's see, this list has been accumulated over several years, and I'm luckily done now. There isn't a lens I would like to buy any more.

Sigma 12-24 EX - The first version, I was just curious about how wide this one is. The answer, it is wide. Bought this one used for half the price.
Canon EF 24-70/2.8L - Work horse zoom that I don't use as much now as I did a year ago. I'm pretty satisfied on this lens, and use it mainly on daylight time or at work. Surprisingly good at macro too.
Canon EF 28/1.8 - When Autumns get dark, this one will get more usage.
Sigma 28-300 - Bought several years ago in Hong Kong. I haven't used this one for ages, though it is still on shelves.
Canon EF 50/1.4 - One of the oldest lenses I have, works pretty well up to F/2.0, but has somewhat lackluster autofocus. Will probably see more usage in the autumn as I tend to travel with a bicycle.
Canon EF 50/1.0L - Not a typo either. This certainly is an art lens, that lives in dark or in shallow depth of field photography. I'm actually pretty happy about the performance of this thing, at F/1.4 it is certainly better than the 50/1.4 which is what I hoped for.
Canon EF 85/1.8 - I was mainly curious about this focal length, and bought one used. Pretty good for what it is, and still retains a good aperture for dark autumn time.
Canon EF 70-200/4.0L - Very good outdoor lens for event photography, good for pretty much everything which requires slightly longer photographing distances, though is limited for day light hours without a tripod.
Sigma 120-400/4.5-5.6 - Actually surprisingly good for the price. Relatively good macro capabilities too, while AF isn't as good as in 70-200. I was curious about what could lie in the telephotography and wanted a tool that could be used to test it with a reasonable price. I got that one down, but this one needs a lot of light too.

Lenses / Re: Canon 28 1.8
« on: July 12, 2012, 05:00:50 PM »
Professional reviews to me, are rather useless.  They are looking at things that just aren't noticed or matter to most of us.  The 20, 24, and 28 non-L lenses are just fine for normal, everyday use, yes even on FF cameras.  If you have some money, get a few of 'em :)


People are too quick to dismiss a lens based on its lab-tested corner performance wide open. But, as I've said many times before, how many real-world shots demand corner sharpness AND a wide-open aperture?


I'd like to add that different visual cortices process the picture literally in different ways. Some people will notice burnt out areas, some people jump quickly on softness, while some people don't like vignetting at all.

Sigma 20/1.8 might be an interesting lens too, given that how much flak it has received in the reviews, while photos taken with it tell a different story to me.

Lenses / Re: Canon 28 1.8
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:42:01 PM »
Hello Stevo,

I'm glad you decided yourself, this is what I did too. In my use, the 28/1.8 has not really been that bad as some of the reviews made me think it could be. Of course, using it wide open requires paying attention to high contrast differences (the same thing with 50/1.4). As somebody mentioned at 2.2 it is already much better, but I think that when I have needed 1.8, the blurriness has not been that apparent in the photos. But I typically view pictures at A3 size, so I don't know how this lens works with larger prints.

It works well with both crop sensors and full frame sensors, but the nature of the lens changes quite radically. The lens is actually pretty good in (very) low light indoor photography. And it is nice to carry around as it doesn't weight that much - and isn't that expensive that I would be afraid of breaking it.

This was taken last winter with 28/1.8 (F/3.5, 8 seconds, ISO800, 40D)

Lenses / Re: Battle of the 50mm's - 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2L
« on: July 04, 2012, 07:09:08 PM »
For @lex: I like your wide open portrait shots! They are inspirational really!

What it comes to the rest of fifties, it's weird, my 50/1.0L actually outperforms my 50/1.4 and quite noticeably at that. My sample wide open is slightly better than 50/1.4 wide open, and at F/1.4 there is no comparison. Maybe my 50/1.4 is out of whack? But then again, I'm not the only one who is saying this, and if I recall correctly, this is also the expected behavior of the nominal designs (unless looking close to the boundaries of the image). I have not used 50/1.2L yet, so I can't say anything about it.

Additionally, I think the AF hit rate is better with 1.0L compared to 1.4, provided that only a slow moving or stationary target is photographed. 1.0L has relatively slow AF, but that's understandable given the circumstances. 1.0L does have a learning curve. The reason why I have both of them is that I can move relatively carelessly with 50/1.4 outside in the -25 C temperatures, whereas I certainly wouldn't take the 50/1.0L there!

I'd be interested to know also whether there is vignetting correction coming up for this one in 5D3.

Lenses / Re: Canon 50mm F1
« on: June 04, 2012, 04:01:57 PM »
I'm a little bit curious of the test reports of 50/1.0. In real life, I find it sharper wide open than 50/1.4 wide open. In my photos, 50/1.0 (@ 1.4) is considerably better than 50/1.4 (@ 1.4). Maybe my 50/1.4 is out of whack, but then again, I have seen similar quality in other pictures taken with similar lenses.

If anyone plans on buying this lens, a couple of comments, as this lens does have a learning curve:

- First, 50/1.0 is really a special purpose tool. There are better day-to-day lenses available for good light, unless you are specifically looking for effects it enables.

- Don't try to photograph people too close with it wide open. It just doesn't work that way. Instead, it is the best I have seen for half-body or full body sized photos in dark environments or when the depth of field is of importance.

- I also find that its AF is way more reliable than 50/1.4s. However, AF is also slow, so it cannot be used to photograph kids if they are moving.

- The way it renders bokeh requires some testing and experimenting. There are several things that one should know about it: faraway backgrounds tend to smoothen out great. Close by background might become a little tedious, and if photographing through leaves or random high contrast areas in background, vignetting causes a swirling sort of look into photos.

- It is great for old style half-body pictures! You don't believe it until you see it!

The only actual annoyance in this lens is flare, but on the other hand that is to be expected with such a fast lens.

About the lead based glasses, do you know the stuff it was replaced with? Prohibition of lead based glasses is a prime example of Green stupidity, if anything.

Some of the photos posted in this thread have been taken using what is still my 'current' digital camera.  It's probably time for me to upgrade...

Heh, don't sweat it, I still use 5D, 20D and 40D. No problems with them.

Speaking of cheap gear, here is something shot with Nikon Coolpix S3000:

I like the photo for a reason that I cannot explain, despite the fact that the picture is blurry due to long hand hold time.

Now if I just could find out where I have put the stuff taken with Minolta's pocket film camera...

This is a great topic! I registered too just for this one, have been lurking around for a bit longer...

Sunset (Canon 20D, Sigma 28-300), as-shot JPEG.

Orion from the surfer's tower (Canon 40D, Canon 28/1.8), as-shot JPEG

Yes, the sea is frozen during the winter here :)

A view from the Great Wall (Canon 20D, 18-55 mk.I), cropped from the original that was taken 2007.

Looks a bit clich├ęd now.

Illuminated water fountains (Canon 40D, Canon 50/1.4), taken at F/1.4 and 1/20, ISO800.

I don't have fond memories of Sigma 28-300 or Canon 18-55, otherwise it has been pretty good.

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