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Messages - skitron

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421
Software & Accessories / Re: Your Personal 7-Point System
« on: December 09, 2011, 05:26:17 PM »
As far as the NR/sharpening goes, mine is pretty simple. In Capture One 6 Pro, import RAWs using a predefined profile I built for 50D and then zoom 400% on an area with small details, usually the eyes since I'm primarily a people shooter. Adjust as needed and apply local contrast while at 400%. Pan to dark areas to verify NR. I tend to lean on CO's "surface NR" and pull back "(regular) NR" as much as possible (which usually comes out about 1/3 NR slider 2/3 surface NR slider). The "color NR" value sent from the camera is usually right. For sharpening I tend to stay around values of 400/1.1/1 for the 50D and reduce the radius if hair doesn't look right, then increase threshold if it still isn't right. Add a hint of fine grain. Zoom out to normal and tweak local contrast as needed. This method is very fast and effective for me. It's interesting just how inter-dependent these particular functions are and it took some experimenting to find the sweet spot and fast workflow.

422
EOS Bodies / Re: Brand New Canon 7D $1099 Canon USA Warranty
« on: December 09, 2011, 04:20:17 PM »
I think it's grey market with no waranty. Thats the reason it has an "add waranty" button by the Buy It Now. I think they just forgot to take the mention of Canon Waranty off the "what's in the box" list. I checked their listing for a 5D2 for $2K and there is no mention of a Canon waranty on it. If proven otherwise I'd buy one of them today.

423
EOS Bodies / Re: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
« on: December 09, 2011, 04:02:18 PM »
I used to really belabor similar things in the audio world. As a result I did extensive mods to my A/D/A, built custom preamps, did vacuum tube implants in studio microphones, all kinds of crazy stuff. And it all did in fact make improvements for the better. Too bad it's not so simple in the camera world. But I learned that, while I'm all for raising the bar (and eagerly waiting for 5D3), it's a huge mistake to sidetracked from the infinitely bigger question of *content quality*. So yeah, I'll play too when it comes to disecting the technicals but I don't get very wrapped up in them anymore. And if the technicals do start to bother me I'll just go buy a used Phase One and call it a day...

424
Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM....are they any good?
« on: December 09, 2011, 02:10:24 PM »

Another update: AI Servo works really well.

That's good to see. I'm having pretty good luck out of mine but this looks like it should make the percentages even better, plus maybe it works using a filter.

BTW, I get the same "pulsing" sensation with my 100 L when in servo, so it's not a Sigma specific thing. It's a bit smoother but definitely there.

425
EOS Bodies / Re: Earthshatteringly Disappointed With 7D
« on: December 09, 2011, 12:29:34 PM »
Totally agree, a $600 sony nex 5n can beat canon 7D in terms of image quality, check out the dpreview "Studio shot comparison: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studiocompare.asp#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=sony_nex5n&masterSample=dsc00790&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=sony_nex5n&slot0Sample=dsc00790&slot0DisableCameraSelection=true&slot0DisableSampleSelection=true&slot0LinkWithMaster=true&slot1Camera=canon_eos7d&slot1Sample=canon7d_nrstand_iso3200&x=-0.9485456681437512&y=-1.5736754905560102

If I haven't had 5DII with 8 L lenses and full frame, I would jump to sony nex 5n or 7 with legacy lenses. Actually I am think to get a nex 7 as backup main body since 5DII is collecting dust.

Thanks for the cool link, that is a nice resource for making comparisons. Unfortunately I couldn't find any info on what lens were used so that limits the usefulness somewhat...

I thought the RAWs out of the 5N and 7D looked a lot alike. The 5N may be slightly better at low ISO and and 7D better at high ISO. I also added the 5D2 and 50D since it will compare 4 at a time, so I would have references of both clearly better and clearly worse.

Not that it much matters if all you're interested in comparing is noise, but I did notice that the comparisons don't all have the same focal plane. For instance the 5D2 is OOF when zooming the queen's face on the playing card and also the checker targets in the upper corners, but is sharp on subjects more forward in the shot. Meanwhile the 50D is OOF when zooming anything further forward like the paper clips and bottle labels, but the queen's face is sharp as are the corner targets. Just a heads up for anyone looking at sharpness comparisons...

426
Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM....are they any good?
« on: December 08, 2011, 11:10:48 AM »
EDIT 2: Lens is completely unpredictable, would not recommend at this point.

One thing I noticed about mine was if the camera is not steady (i.e. good handhold technique) I will often get both motion blur and OOF. It's as if the AF can't deal with much camera motion and still do its job. Only an issue at low aperture values.

Another thing I'm going to try even though I'm having good luck with this lens is shooting in AI servo mode when at low aperture values due to the very thin DOF. Several folks are recommending this in the Canon vs Sigma 85mm thread and it makes alot of sense. May be worth a try for you.

427
Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm 1.2LII vs Sigma 85mm 1.4
« on: December 08, 2011, 10:50:42 AM »
I have found my "hit rate" with f/1.4- f/2 lenses (50 f/1.4 and 135 f/2) improves radically if I shoot using AI focus and shot at 8 fps on the MkIV, particularly when shooting people handheld. Just that tiny rocking on your feet is enough to shift focus from the eyes to somewhere useless.

I think it's more than just front/back movement, though that's an important point. I get the feeling that one shot AF quits a split second too soon with fast primes, or at least with Sigma fast primes. AI Servo keeps trying even if you and the subject are stationary. I get a higher hit rate if I use AI Servo and wait to fire until the AF has settled.

Interesting, i will definitely try this. Thanks for the info!

428
EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 08:06:48 PM »
The attached image shows 100% crops of the identical region, the left being from the 1/2000s image and the right from the 1/5s image.

Very interesting. I guess I can't "take away" what I thought I could earlier LOL.

429
EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 08:04:51 PM »
So the sensor is actually a storage device?

Yes, that's precisely right...

In a way, yes...

Thanks to both of you for enlightening me. :) I know quite a bit about audio related circuitry but nadda about this sort of thing and the explanations are good.  ;)

430
EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 02:25:56 PM »
Maybe it is thermal noise.   It's normally considered to be insignificant at exposures less than 1 second but certainly it's continuous and would be greater (although possibly still very small) at 1/60s than it is at 1/2000s.  Any thoughts?

Wiki has a decent and short writeup of different noise types found in all electronics. They all apply all the time, it's just a matter of when do they become significant. Obviously neuro's example reaches 'significant' since we're spending our time talking about it. :) And that said, the useful principle seems to be that system S/N is closely correlated to instantaneous intensity of light reaching the sensor and lowering the instantaneous intensity and then collecting the same number of photons over time does in fact reveal this to be true. At least that's what I'm taking away from it.  :D

431
EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 01:59:22 PM »
...and not give rise to the noise seen in neuroanatomist's images. We have to find the explanation elsewhere...

I believe the issue is that the longer length of time the analog and AD conversion circuits are in use, the more cumulative noise from these circuits there will be imparted on the final image. Remember, circuit noise is a random deviation from ideal performance (i.e. amplitude in the analog domain) and these deviations also have a random frequency in which they occur.

That's true in general, however, the readout of the image sensor and the A/D conversion takes place after the exposure is completed.  I'm fairly certain the readout and A/D process would be identical and take the same amount of time regardless of the exposure time.

So the sensor is actually a storage device? There is no way to have a fixed length of time for the analog and AD to be used *regardless of exposure* unless the sensor actually is a storage device as well. I don't see how that is possible but confess it's not an area of electronics I know anything about.

432
EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 01:35:58 PM »
...and not give rise to the noise seen in neuroanatomist's images. We have to find the explanation elsewhere...

I believe the issue is that the longer length of time the analog and AD conversion circuits are in use, the more cumulative noise from these circuits there will be imparted on the final image. Remember, circuit noise is a random deviation from ideal performance (i.e. amplitude in the analog domain) and these deviations also have a random frequency in which they occur.

433
Software & Accessories / Re: Spyder3Pro vs. Spyder3Elite: Your thoughts
« on: December 06, 2011, 04:56:25 PM »
I use the Elite and very pleased with it. Not sure about the other versions but the Elite license agreement allows installing and calibrating unlimited number of desktop computers and additionally up to five laptops. So I did everything I own plus some. :)

434
Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM....are they any good?
« on: December 06, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »
I've had two of the Sigma 50 1.4 and almost sent the second back as well. But then I tried shooting it without the B+H MRC UV and it focused just fine. So been using it ever since with no filter. The hit rate is not as good as my 100 L, but it hits in the low 90%s for me. Getting some very nice shots with it and glad I kept the second one. Very little focus shift on mine and that was the first thing I checked since it's all you see on the net about this lens.

435
Software & Accessories / Re: Let's talk about RAW software
« on: December 06, 2011, 10:59:38 AM »
Capture One Pro here. Excellent workflow and even better IQ. I've said many times here the difference in IQ between CO and DPP is larger than kit lens to L. Amazing results in very little time. One of the acid tests for me is rendering 24K gold properly and CO nails it immediately, DPP makes it look like brass no matter how many hours I spend messing with it and color profiles.

Full disclosure: My thought when doing evals was the software from the company that has a medium format camera and lens lineup was probably the place to start. So I did and was impressed enough to buy and never bothered testing others (other than DPP).  I don't have much time to fiddle with my hobby so I wanted a software aimed at the time=$ crowd and recognized it immediately in CO.

That said, I am also an Adobe Premier Pro (video) user and swear by it even though I'm not a fan of the quirky UI and workflow. Adobe would have been next on the eval list, but after trying CO my thoughts were Adobe might equal CO in IQ but not surpass it and no way the workflow would be as good based on my experiences with Premier Pro, so no reason to go there.

No opinion on the others since I have no experience with them (except that DPP is horrendous). But given their respective successes in the market it's probably safe to say they are all good products. So hopefully the value of this thread is for those either shooting JPG or using DPP and looking for ideas how to raise the bar. I doubt seriously there is compelling reason to change from one "good" RAW processor to another.

[edit]  If you don't have color calibration for your monitors, I'd say there is much more value dealing with that first and then moving into improved RAW processing. As much as CO improved my setup, it would be a virtual waste without first getting the monitors calibrated.

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