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Messages - unfocused

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And I really think what I'm doing is romanticizing how great my old 55-250mm was. 

Probably not. People tend to look down on the 55-250 because it is cheap. But for whatever reason, the lens is really sharp. Light, plastic build, no USM, but that thing can be sharp.

EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 05:00:23 PM »
Agree 100 percent with DTaylor's comments.

Adding a very biased personal perspective.

In the film days, this was called the Zone System and it was popularized by Ansel Adams. The basic concept remains the same. Film (now sensors) and the final medium (photographic prints, photo-mechanical reproduction and now, monitors) cannot reproduce the full range of tones that exist in nature.

You have two choices when trying to capture scenes with a broad range of tones: You can "clip" the highlights/shadows by letting them go either completely white (for highlights) or completely black (for shadows). Or, you can try to compress the tonal range into something that is reproducible, preserving detail in both.

Right now, the fad in photography is to try to compress as much of the range as possible, creating "High Dynamic Range" scenes, which is a misnomer, because the range is not actually "higher" instead it is compressed and often looks very artificially so, like the example shown early in this thread. Some people think that looks great. Others think it is artificial looking and excessively dramatic.

Ansel Adams was a big proponent of compression and his Zone System was built entirely on teaching people how to compress the tonal range of film and paper. However, Adams' goal was to try to reproduce a tonal range that looked natural and reflected how the human eye (at least in his view) actually saw the scene. Many of today's HDR images make no attempt to reproduce the scene as a human eye might see it, but instead opt for overly dramatic misinterpretations.

The counterpoint in photography is the image that allows areas to go pure white and pure black while retaining the important detail in the middle tones.

As with most things in life, the decision should be personal and should be based on what your goals are. In my view, moderation is probably the best approach. But, that's a subjective decision.

The appeal of a wider dynamic range in sensors is that the sensor can preserve shadow and highlight detail in the file that can be brought out in the final image. Again, as DTaylor has pointed out, this can often be done in post-processing in Photoshop. I frequently use multiple layers of smart objects, adjusting the highlights and shadows in Camera Raw, masking certain areas and combining them in Photoshop. But then, I'm not a big fan of the HDR look and in most cases prefer the challenge of composing and capturing scenes within the limitations of the camera's existing dynamic range.

EOS Bodies / Re: More Big Megapixel Talk [CR1]
« on: September 25, 2012, 05:21:46 PM »
EOS 5HD or EOS 1HD. Depends on the body style.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 3D at 46.1mp Next Month? [CR1]
« on: September 25, 2012, 11:55:54 AM »
46 MP FF is SWEET.  Will make a lot of studio and product and landscape photogs happy.  For the rest of us... well.... meh... it's of lot of pixels.  46.1 MP is precisely 18 MP APS-C scaled up to FF.  So this would suggest Canon has improved the pixel performance (noise, iso, etc.) sufficiently that they are willing to deploy it in a 46 MP FF pro body?  If so, then giddy up little pony and let's get to shootin'... the current 18MP APS-C are very good (not perfect, but they are good) so if there is any improvement at all then we all be lovin' it.  It could also mean that Canon will keep the APS-C sensors at 18MP and similarly improve performance which is great.

Yes, I think Canon has concentrated their sensor development over the past several years on improving noise rather than continuing to increase pixel density. If it really is 46 mp, then the improvements will almost certainly trickle down to an 18mp 7DII next spring.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 3D at 46.1mp Next Month? [CR1]
« on: September 25, 2012, 11:09:13 AM »
I believe Canon had this sensor and the technology to mass produce it for some time (2-3 years) ...

Yes, they've been using it in the 7D for three years now.

EOS Bodies / Re: 46.1mp Canon DSLR Previewed at PhotoPlus 2012? [CR1]
« on: September 24, 2012, 07:00:48 PM »
Oh I think it would be quite excellent for wildlife because when you crop the picture, you'll have the same ability to crop as with the 7D. It would be the full frame version of the 7D, except perhaps in fps. Birders would love it.

I also see it as being used by quite a number of wedding photographers (that aren't amateurs pretending.)

This sounds good in theory, but it doesn't work in real life. The more you have to crop, the harder it is to nail the focus. So, while it sounds good to say you could simply take a full-frame camera of equal pixel density to a 7D and crop the image after the shoot, the most likely result will be images with missed focus points. If you need a 1.6 magnification, it is best to use a camera that provides a 1.6 magnification.

As for wedding photographers, I can't understand why they would pick this over the 5DIII, which was designed with their needs specifically in mind.

Lenses / Re: 70-300mm For my 5DM2
« on: September 24, 2012, 05:54:00 PM »
I just realized as I was posting this that Steve Smith said essentially the same thing. Sorry for the redundancy, but that means two recommendations on the "L" from the refurbished store.

If you are in the U.S.: ACT RIGHT NOW. The Canon Refurbished Store is having their 20% off sale and the 70-300 L is just over $1,000.

You might even get free shipping with Coupon Code; SHIP712  (see This is a fantastic lens and if you can swing it, buy it.

Now, if you absolutely cannot afford the "L" lens, I would honestly recommend going a cheap route and picking up the new Tamron 70-300 stabilized lens. It is less expensive than the Canon IS lens, but from all accounts it is sharper. I had that lens before I gave in to the desire for the "L."  Don't get me wrong, the "L" lens is much better (sharper, weathersealed, built like a tank, etc.) but I really had few complaints about the Tamron. It was as sharp or sharper than the 55-250 mm lens, which is actually quite sharp (although not USM and lacks build quality). I don't have any experience with the 70-300 non "L" IS lens, but from reviews, etc. it doesn't seem to be a stellar performer and is more expensive than the Tamron.

Only problem I ever had with the Tamron was an occasional hangup when it would hunt for a focus point. Although I honestly don't know if that was a problem with the lens or with the 7D center focus point not being able to focus on a subject due to contrast issues.

Anyway, that's my two-cents.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 70D & 700D in 2013? [CR1]
« on: September 23, 2012, 12:31:46 PM »
I love it when a plan comes together.

Okay, I admit I was wrong about some of the features of the 6D. No touch screen, no flip screen and it does have micro-focus adjustment. You can take some deductions from my score for those, but if the 46 mp camera emerges, I want extra points for calling that one. :)

While most lenses are out of stock, the superb 70-300 L is in stock as of 10 this morning (central time). Just over $1,000. Fantastic deal. Also the 430 EXII is under $200.

EOS Bodies / Re: 46.1mp Canon DSLR Previewed at PhotoPlus 2012? [CR1]
« on: September 22, 2012, 09:28:23 PM »
Well this is pretty much what I've been predicting all along.

I'm still calling it a 5D HD and believe it will be essentially the same body with a different sensor plopped in. I am surprised at the frame rate, I thought it would be lower. I wonder if they will give over some processing power to the frame rate by putting a more modest autofocus in this one. Not sure the people using this camera will need the 5DIII or 1DX autofocus. I've said it will be the same price as the 5DIII. Possibly it will come in slightly higher, but I don't see this as a 1-series body.

Yes, as 46mp, this looks like Canon will used the same sensor in this as they use in the next generation of 7D and probably 60D. With three years of experience with the 18mp (46 mp equivalent) it may mean Canon has decided to just improve upon what they already produce instead of trying for ever-more pixels. That's consistent with everything they've been doing the past year (1DX, 5DIII, 6D, T4i).

This bodes well for 7D users. Canon must deliver acceptable noise for the full frame body (Not sure I'm buying the 12,800 as clean, but if it is good at 6,400 or even 3,200 that would be a significant improvement) and since they'll likely use the same sensor in the 7DII at least, the APS-C version should perform identically.

Lenses / Re: First lenses for new crop sensor camera?
« on: September 21, 2012, 06:42:58 PM »
It's a personal preference and there are tons of threads arguing in favor of one or the other.

I am with Marsu, I prefer the range of the 15-85 over the speed of the 17-55. Both are very sharp, which is certainly the most important criteria of any lens. I can attest from personal experience that the build quality of the 15-85 is pretty robust.

Same with the 70-200 and the 70-300. You have to decide between the longer range and one stop difference in speed. I chose the longer range.

It is possible that this has veered so far off-topic that there is no getting it back on, but...

It occurred to me it's ironic and hypocritical for photographers to even be having this argument.

Photographer A and Photographer B both shoot a wedding. Photographer A charges $800 and Photographer B charges $8,000.

Photographer A's images are out of focus, improperly exposed, mundane and uninspiring. Photographer B's pictures are not only technically perfect, but they are absolutely luminous, capture the moments perfectly and positively soar.

But wait, Photographer B admits that he USED THE EXACT SAME CAMERA as Photographer A. All of the difference is in the software holding the camera.

Clearly Photographer B is immoral and unethical.

OMG! I just learned that for years the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable were the same car with just different options and nameplate. That's so immoral!

Youre essentially paying for the software that costs the company money and time to develop. Programmers arent free guys.

Being a programmer myself, I agree :)

Shawn L.

Not being a programmer, I also agree. Somebody needs to figure out all those 0s and 1s and I'm glad it ain't me.

I think I'll start a new thread: "OMG, Apple admits the iTouch and iPhone are essentially the same device"

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII feature requests...
« on: September 20, 2012, 10:47:32 AM »
Just looking at this and the other threads on 7DII features (there are several almost identical ones) I have an observation: 7DII owners are pretty consistent in what they want. They want what they already have, just a little bit better.

That seems in sharp contrast to many of the other threads on this site, which seem to be dominated by people unhappy with their choices. I'm also surprised at how many 7D owners seem willing to pay a lot more for the next model. People throw around figures of $2,000 to $2,500 quite freely.

All this says to me is that regardless of what people may think of other recent Canon decisions, they sure got it right with the 7D. I really expect we will get about what we want. Canon is no doubt doing all sorts of market research and finding that 7D owners are generally content with the camera and just want it updated to take advantage of technological improvements of the past three years. I don't see them doing anything radical that might upset the apple cart. No merger with the change in sensor radical redesign.

As a side note, I do get the feeling that people who have actually bought the 5DIII are similarly satisfied. With the 7D II Canon decided to split the market into two segments, those who would pay a premium for a premium body and those who wouldn't (the 60D). Now, I think they've done the same thing with the full frame market with the 5DIII and the 6D.

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