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Messages - NormanBates

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Lenses / Re: Affordable, non-L, Prime Lenses from this century please!
« on: February 22, 2011, 05:49:40 AM »
what I don't understand is how, being as commited to APS-C as canon is, it doesn't introduce a full range of EF-S fast primes

designing and manufacturing a lens for a smaller sensor is much easier and cheaper, so these lenses could be of great quality and carry a very reasonable price, probably comparable to that of the current non-L primes

apart from lack of interest (which, as you know, is great for a firm's long-term prospects...), the only reason I can think of for not doing this is to avoid canibalizing their L series

so maybe they've decided that it's best if they let it to the new breed to eat their business (I'm talking about panasonic, olympus and samsung, all of them offering cheap primes for their evil little cameras)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon T3i/600D Announced
« on: February 07, 2011, 07:28:54 AM »
like a lot of companies, Canon will milk the European market (especially the German market) for all it can.

it's not milking: it's VAT and a mandatory 2-year warranty

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon T3i/600D Announced
« on: February 07, 2011, 07:11:44 AM »
Have a look at the sample pictures on dpreview:
They've included shots at ISO 3200, 5000 and 6400.

Find the noise.

thats crazy. I would like to see fullsize shots and raw..

there's something fishy on those samples: does the camera even have ISO 5000? dpreview themselves say it doesn't...

EOS Bodies / Re: 600D Shows Up at a Korean Agency
« on: February 03, 2011, 09:23:52 AM »
I also doubt they'd debut DigicV in a Rebel. But, I don't know, is there any precedent for that?

no, there's not, but there was a big change of behaviour with digic 4

debut models, as taken from here:

DIGIC II - 1Dmk2
DIGIC 4 - 50D (quickly followed by 5Dmk2, less than a month later)

Lenses / Re: IS in prime lenses.
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:58:03 AM »
IS does help, but it is not always essential

it helps most on long lenses: with my t2i, even with a (cheap) shoulder support, I can't take consistently stationary footage with a 90mm; if my lens had IS, the footage would be fine

with a 35mm, the shoulder support is enough, I would only need IS if I wanted to go totally handheld

in any case, it would always be more steady if I could use a tripod, but that's not always an option

EOS Bodies / Re: From the Land of Crazy! [CR0]
« on: January 24, 2011, 09:41:39 AM »
a quick google search tells me that the only reason is that nikon wants to sell grips harder than canon does, and cripples their cameras on purpose, then uncrippling them for the price of a grip

a quick way to test this theory is to see whether the nikons get higher fps also with only one battery installed in the grip

EOS Bodies / Re: 60D video problem
« on: January 19, 2011, 11:21:22 AM »
I've got two transcend cards (8GB class 6 and 32GB class 10) and they've never given me this kind of issues

maybe you've got a faulty unit (of card, or of camera)

hook the card to a pc using a card reader, and test how fast it can write to it; if it is below 10MB/s, the card is running under its theoretical spec (I'd have to test mine to see what I get...)

by the way: maybe formatting the card in the camera will help (don't use the "fast" option)

Lenses / Re: 5D MKii lens
« on: January 11, 2011, 06:53:08 PM »
I think the GH2 is a perfectly capable tool, and the lack of videos is just because the camera is so young and difficult to get (no stock anywhere), but I haven't tried one (and it's not my hands you want on that camera anyway), so I can't tell for sure

the biggest advantages are:
* great in low light
* nearly no aliasing/moire (and this is a big, big plus)

and my main issues with it would be:
* I'm not sure it records at high-enough bitrate at all frame rates
* some people complain that the "panasonic look" is not as nice as the "canon look" or the "nikon look"
* and, even more, some people complain that it is difficult to get rid of the "panasonic look" in post
(I haven't used these cameras, so I just don't know exactly what they're talking about)

plus, what everybody complains about with the GH2 is the lack of nice glass, apart from the voigtlander 25mm (which, I forgot to say, is a manual lens, so no autofocus there, not nice for stills)

but the thing is: if you need low light, it's a killer combination, way better than anything else in the market, except for the super-high-end 1Dmk4 and D3s

I've tried to film inside a church with no additional lighting using my 550D and 50mm f/1.8, and there was no way I could get away with that, there was not enough light, period; an f/1.4 and/or a 5Dmk2 would have brought some improvements, but probably not enough; a GH2+f/0.95 would get around that

and still my plan is to wait for the 5Dmk3 (or mk4, if the 3 still has aliasing/moire), and complement my current lens set with a elmarit-r 180mm f/2.8 (once my 135mm becomes a real 135mm) and a 24-70 f/2.8L, for wide angle and stills (for "creamy" and "filmic" look, you usually want primes, but even if I don't take many stills, it would be nice to have at least one lens with autofocus; for film, I'd mostly use it at 24mm, where you usually have a pretty deep field anyway)

on the 24-105 vs 24-70 issue... as demonstrated by the fact that I only own primes (and the 550D kit lens), I'd get a sharper and faster lens against a more versatile one, any day of the week; and it seems that would be the 24-70 (although the 24-105 catches up at on the longer end):
(apart from the autofocus, the reason for getting a 24-70 L instead of a wide angle prime is that I haven't found any nice&cheap(ish) vintage wide angle lenses; both leitz and czj are a bit lacking here)

initially my other options were the 17-40L (cheap, but too soft) and the 16-35L (faster, but just as soft)

as of today, with these cameras riddled with image quality issues (moire and aliasing just drive me nuts), I'm pretty happy with my 550D with magic lantern, plus $900 on vintage primes, plus $2500 on accesories that will live on to my next camera (tripod, slider, followfocus, ND filters, sound, lights... this bit ramps up real quickly!)

Lenses / Re: 5D MKii lens
« on: January 11, 2011, 12:30:47 PM »
@NormanBates: Thanks for that list really helpful! Any in particular you recommend from your experience? Got any examples?

resolution tests on my one dollar resolution chart (on a 1.6x crop camera, I'm afraid):
(mind you: resolution is not all you care about: the canon 50mm f/1.8 is sharp as hell, but the images are too harsh, I don't like it at all, while the czj pancolar 50mm f/1.8 is just a bit sharper but delivers much, much, much nicer images)
(you'll see not all lenses are born equal: the carl zeiss jena flektogon 35mm is absolutely awful, while the very closely related pancolar 50mm is splendid)
(note the different tints from different lens; this may or may not be a problem for you)

this video was shot with a pancolar 50mm f/1.8 on a 550D; I was using an ND filter, which at 50mm softens the lens a bit, but I still think it looks great; that lens runs for under $100 on ebay

apart from the pancolar, all the others are great too, but I think the leitz ones are better than the zeiss (sharper, and more modern)... and also more expensive (the leitz ones run me between 2x and 4x more cash than the czj... and still the most expensive one was $400)


on a different note...

If you really care about low light, consider the panasonic GH2
it has relatively clean ISO 3200 (against 1250 on a 5Dmk2), and a 1.9x crop sensor, which is good for low light because on full frame your depth of field may be too shallow at f/1.4
you can get the GH2 and a voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 for less than the cost of a 5Dmk2, and your get 9x more light sensitivity at the same depth of field:
* 2.5x because of the higher ISO (3200/1250)
* 3.6x because of the smaller sensor (1.9^2)

the key to the second part (the 3.6x) is the following:
in terms of field of view and depth of field, you’d get an equivalent image with:
* a 5D with a 50mm set at f/1.8
* a 550D with a 30mm set at f/1.1
* a GH2 with a 25mm set at f/0.95

so compared with the 5D the GH2 gets 2.5 times more light because of higher clean iso, and 3.6x more light because you can set a bigger aperture and your DoF doesn’t get too shallow, hence 9x

the biggest problem with the GH2 is that there's not much fast glass apart from this voigtlander and other similar lenses, all around 20-25mm; you can use an adaptor and put basically anything on this m43 camera, but remember that if you want shallow depth of field then here "fast" means "really fast", f/2.8 is not nearly enough in most cases

at a minimum, consider the GH2 as a second, video-oriented camera: it doesn't have all the moire/aliasing issues of the canons

Lenses / Re: 5D MKii lens
« on: January 11, 2011, 07:12:34 AM »
a dslr is a more-than-capable video camera, you just have to avoid its flaws (mainly moire and aliasing)
apart from that, the image is much better than anything you can get out of a small-sensor video camera

second note: the lenses you want for video can be different than the ones for stills, mainly because of focusing
for video, you usually want to focus manually (and on most current dslrs, it's actually the only option), so you can use very nice and relatively cheap vintage glass, which also has the advantage of manual iris ring (meaning you'll be able to use them with future non-canon cameras) and a long-throw focus ring (which makes focusing manually much easier)

for around $900, I got the following lenses from ebay, and the corresponding adapters:
* leitz elmarit-r 35mm f/2.8
* carl zeiss jena pancolar M42 50mm f/1.8
* leitz elmarit-r 90mm f/2.8
* carl zeiss jena sonnar M42 135mm f/4

they are all cream-of-the crop, and are in reasonably good shape, but, as all the lenses I've bought on ebay, have some minor flaws (mainly dust inside) that don't seem to significantly affect picture quality; a better place to buy these lenses could be

I wouldn't want to use these lenses for stills, as in that case the advantage of autofocus is absolutely decisive

Canon General / Re: Android Based DOF Calculator
« on: January 11, 2011, 06:40:46 AM »
I also built a dof calculator myself, but in this case it is a php web page

the interesting thing about mine is that while programming and using it I found out that lens choice affects perspective but hardly has any effect on DoF, hence this simplified DoF calculator, which I find much more useful than the typical kind

and it works on any phone of computer you throw at it, as long as you have access to the web :)

Lenses / Re: M42 adapter
« on: January 05, 2011, 03:26:10 PM »
em... it's just a mechanical adapter, no electronics whatsoever

all my lenses are vintage and manual, so I don't need AF for anything, but I hadn't even conceived there could be M42 lenses with electronic control: really, on this screw mount? I didn't expect it

Lenses / Re: M42 adapter
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:23:49 AM »
I use several M42-to-EOS fotodiox adapters, bought from the fotodiox store in ebay

they work perfectly fine, many people say fotodiox is one of the best brands for lens mount adapters

I've also used a much cheaper chinese version from ebay ($10 or so), and, while it was ok and I couldn't find any differences in picture quality (infinite focus ok, no aditional wiggle, etc), I got rid of it and now I stick to the fotodiox adapters: they're not that expensive anyway

Site Information / Re: Photokina Resolutions
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:22:26 AM »
If you're going into video, please, please, please, start by watching this video

it's part of an interview with Stu Maschwitz (, where he talks about how important it is to use 24 frames per second, and why he likes it better than 60

the rest of the interview is also quite good:

but the 24p part is the most important one, because it's not intuitive at all and most people get it "wrong" (look at all that 100Hz and beyond TV craziness)

if you're looking for interesting video blogs, I think the best are the ones from Philip Bloom, Shane Hurlbut, and Stu Maschwitz:

EOS Bodies / Re: The Radical 1Ds Mark IV [CR1]
« on: September 14, 2010, 06:19:16 AM »
maybe "modular" means they are implementing something that I have been proposing for some time: build a standard stills camera, then add functionality through different grips, as in:

* for fast shooters: a grip with an additional digic processor, doubling the fps count
* for heavy shooters: a grip with an ultrabig battery and either 4 card slots or a connector for an external SSD drive
* for videographers: a huge and very expensive L-shaped grip that also covers the back of the camera, and which includes:
- a fast video processor, that can record a series of reduced resolution RAW images through binning (not line-skipping) to an external SSD drive
- full-res HDMI output
- a big (5"), high-res (720p), swivel screen
- a couple of XLR inputs
- a headphones connector

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