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Messages - sdsr

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Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 07, 2014, 03:29:38 PM »
i couldn't watch past about 3 minutes as i almost died of boredom :P

In the first couple of minutes he asks the same question over and over in different ways, so I skipped to the six minute mark, where he was still asking the same damn question yet again (maybe there was something interesting in between).  At that point I gave up.  I expect most posts in this thread have said the same thing, or better, but in the appropriate number of words.

"Buy what you need" makes sense, of course, especially if you're a pro and know what you'll be doing with the lenses you buy, and I agree with what others have said along those lines.  But if you take photos for fun, enjoy experimenting with different products, or are just learning your way around, it's also worth noting that you don't necessarily know what you want, let alone "need", and that using prime lenses makes you think differently about what you do.  It can be an interesting exercise, for instance, to spend a day or two wandering around with a lens of a focal distance you think you don't want and see how doing so affects how you look at the world and whether it makes you encounter situations you find photogenic which had hitherto passed you by (28mm may = 28mm, but walking around all day with only a 28mm lens is not at all the same experience as walking around all day with a zoom lens set at 28mm, unless somehow immobilize the zoom mechanism).  You may discover a new want/need you were completely unaware of.

And playing around with new toys like this needn't involve great expense, furtive receipt of heavy packages, etc.  For one thing, responding to the urge to buy can be met with a rental - doesn't cost much, and you may not like the lens at all.  Or - and I think this is much more fun - buy a mirrorless camera of some sort that has magnification and focus peaking (they pretty much all do that these days, regardless of price) and a few cheap adapters and try some old manual lenses, many of which are very inexpensive and really good (you have to figure out manual focusing, etc., but that's not necessarily a disadvantage...); and if you don't like them, you can probably sell them for at least as much as you paid for them.

Over the past few days I've been playing with a Canon 55 1.2, a Super Takkumar 55 1.8, a Minolta 50 1.4 and Helios 58mm f2, while awaiting a Jupiter 85mm f2 and Nikon 100 2.8 (the sin of focal length duplication...), all of which combined cost considerably less than, say, the new Sigma 50mm 1.4.  There's more to life than satisfying "needs".


Although I would love to have seen Canon put focus peaking in as standard on the EOS M I think their reasoning behind not including it is simply because the vast majority of people using it would not be using manual focus lenses with it. It's very much a consumer level camera aimed at the amateur. Most of whom will just use the kit lens. To be fair for static subjects you can easily just tap the zoom button to help focus. Focus peaking is more for useful for video. I have ML installed and after the initial "wow - focus peaking!!" moment I haven't really needed it, and I have two FD leneses that I regularly use with it. For me the Magic Zoom function is better especially in bright sunlight.

Aside from all that, don't you think focus peaking can be rather tricky to master?  In my experience it works most reliably on fairly simple subjects that are fairly close; but if you have, say, a building 100 yards away with a large tree close in front of it, and want to focus on one rather than the other, good luck - all of it will likely get focus peaking and you may get an unpleasant surprise when you examine the result.  Magnification is more reliable (though it's nice if they're combined - a sort of belt-and-suspenders combination that works rather well on the Sony A7s, at least (perhaps others too, I can't remember).   

Perhaps I am a bit dense, but I guess I don't understand this company loyalty business.  People are "rooting" for Canon, or dismayed with Canon for not "competing" adequately against their opponents.  This is not sports!  If you aren't happy with their products, get the product you are happy with.  Yes, for professionals or those with a lot of money invested in lenses, this may not be easy.  But used lenses sell for a pretty good percentage of their original cost on Ebay and going from one system to another is not a total loss of money.  If Canon does not adequately produce products you are satisfied with, move elsewhere.  Why not?  As I mentioned in my previous posts (although most would probably disagree), I buy a camera to last for many years as the incremental improvemetns are considerably minor, so the system I choose will not cost me in reinvestment every 2 or 3 years.

In my time I have owned Olympus and Canon cameras.  When my Original Rebel finally bit the dust, I bought a 6D.  When I realized that the full frame 6D did not meet my needs for more zoom and less DOF for macro and shooting flowers (and was a bit heavy for casual walk-around use), I bought an Olympus EM-1.  Neither camera does everything I wanted, but together they do.  I was able to sell my Canon Macro lens as well as some other APS-C lenses that I no longer need and that covered a considerable percentage of the Olympus lenses I bought.  If Nikon or Sony had made a camera that better suited my needs I would have bought that.  The reality (at least from my perspective) is that all of these companies make excellent cameras.  As someone else mentioned, compared to film cameras, all of them are heads and shoulders better.  So, why does it matter so much what Canon does?

I think you're exactly right, including the sport analogy (I mentioned a while back in the some Sigma 50mm 1.4 thread, all this talk of what Canon "needs" to do reminds me of fans who need their team to have the best of everything).  Like you, I enjoy owning both Canon and Olympus M43, and recently added a Sony.  In some ways it's a silly extravagance, I suppose, and for many/most it's probably not feasible or sensible or even interesting, but I rather enjoy trying out new stuff, and as you say they're all good in different ways (and much of the time the differences in image quality are pretty trivial).  Promiscuity, in this context at any rate, is fun; and if divorce is warranted, well, it's easier than many think (when I switched from Pentax to Canon I lost on the body but not on the lenses, and, as I learned quite a lot from using the body that wasn't really a loss anyway).


To answer someone else's point - maybe pixel-peeping could be a vanity exercise, but when I'm impressed technically by what I see when pixel-peeping I'm impressed not by me but by whoever made the equipment in question.

Don't take it personally, we are all vain in some way or the other, and often subconsciously. And we are as often vain about what we own than about what we have accomplished.
In any case, that didn't answer my point- I was hoping you can share some comparison between the IQ of A7r vs whichever Canon dSLR you use. Not that I am doubting you, I am just curious. I have heard very good things about the A7r and just recently almost coerced a friend into buying it (he is a Sony person- I did try forcing 6D down his throat first, unsuccessfully).

[What? Bonafide is not in the dictionary?  :o]

Well, I'm very fond of my 6D (not sure I'm vain about it, though; I mean, how could one be with all the 1DX owners around here...) and don't feel inclined to part with it (and as you or someone else said, I rather doubt I would ever regard the Sony as more than an adjunct fancy toy, at least for now).  I probably will post some photos I've taken with my A7r (there's a thread elsewhere where others have occasionally done so) with a Canon lens or two attached, but so far, at least, I've not done any direct comparisons of the sort that a camera tester/reviewer would do; the closest I've come is to walk around Longwood Gardens with 5DIII + 100L and repeat the process with Sony A7r + 100L relying solely on focus peaking (as an experiment), at times trying to reproduce a photo I took earlier; but of course that doesn't count if you want a direct comparison because I wasn't in exactly the same place, the light had changed, etc.  If you don't care about direct comparisons, however....

(I'll also repeat what I've said before, that I would really prefer it if Canon came out with something similar, but  with better ergonomics - which wouldn't be surprising - and IBIS - which would. I certainly don't feel any special fondness for Sony (though if Canon does come through I would seek out an adapter for the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8...). 


Pixel peeping has it's place, but it should be thought of as a tool, not the end result. I zoom to 100% when I am denoising or sharpening, to see what the effect looks like at the pixel level. It's how I choose the right attenuation of the various denoising or sharpening settings.

But pixels aren't a picture, they are only components of a picture. You have to look at the whole picture to see the photograph. The problem with "pixel peepers" is that those are the whiny group of individuals who see nothing BUT the pixels, or to steal a phrase "missing the photo for the pixels".

I don't see why it has to be either-or; just because a photo is well composed and looks good overall, and was taken with a view to being seen as such, doesn't mean that there aren't details in it that one might want to peer into as well or that it can't be cropped to create a different composition that stands as well on its own.  Some photos lend themselves to it more than others, perhaps, but we don't all see and look in the same ways.  (And  if there really are people who take photos merely to peer at pixels, that's their business, not mine - unless they whine in my presence...). 

To answer someone else's point - maybe pixel-peeping could be a vanity exercise, but when I'm impressed technically by what I see when pixel-peeping I'm impressed not by me but by whoever made the equipment in question. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advise Please
« on: May 02, 2014, 11:29:34 AM »
Each specific camera model has its advantages and disadvantages. You mentioned Canon 70D, and its direct competitor is Nikon D7100. I can say that the image quality is very similar in the two cameras, and any one of them is able to make good pictures. But ... To truly good photos, you need to make good adjustments, and is easier to adjust the settings with Canon. Why? The menus of the Canon cameras are more intuitive, and the buttons have written things in them that everyone understands. I have friends who use Nikon for decades, and when you buy a new model, get lost in the camera menu, and even the flash menu. :o Any camera will have better results with manual adjustments, or semi-automatic rather than fully automatic (green rectangle).

Strongly recommend you do not use full auto mode (green rectangle) , but start using the P (Program) mode in the first weeks , and when better understand the equipment, try the Av mode (Aperture value) , and Tv mode (Time value) . When you understand the operation of each mode , and track your results , then you should try the M (Manual) mode. Note that the green rectangle mode the camera becomes inaccessible many controls , and important settings from the menu disappear , preventing a consistent learning . On the other hand , the M mode makes all the adjustments available.

I quite agree with all of that.  It's far easier to learn a camera when the controls and menus are clearly laid out, and while that's to some extent a matter of subjective preference, like a lot of people I find Canon far more user-friendly in that regard than Nikon (or just about any other manufacturer, for that matter).  My first dslr was a Nikon D3100 - a bad mistake for me because like so many intro level cameras there aren't enough direct-access controls on the outside and I found the menus intimidating (I was always afraid I would change something and never be able to figure out how to undo it).  The D7100, if that's what Jom is also considering, is probably better in that regard, but I still find Nikons fussier to use.  As for which has better image quality, it may be true that the D7100 has less noise at low ISOs than the Canon, but it's also probably true that the Canon has less noise at high - and, more important, that any such differences will be trivial and may not affect your photos at all.  The lenses will probably make more of a difference - a better lens on a Canon will make better images than an inferior lens on a Nikon (and vice versa) - so you should also consider which company makes better lenses for your purposes.

Also, it can make a significant difference in image quality if you set your camera up to create RAW files instead of (or in addition to JPEGs) and are willing to process the images yourself rather than relying on the camera to do it; much of the time the results may be the same or close enough, but at others they won't be, and it's far easier to edit RAW files than JPEGs if you want to tweak your images.  For some reason beginners tend to be scared of RAW files; it took me a year or so to get over it, but I still have friends who, years later, simply can't bring themselves to try it.  I hope that's not true of you too!


Yes, I want a higher MP camera. Yes, I want more DR. Yes, I want better manual focus ability. Yes I want improved AF and yes I want a lot more. But having seen the sharpness, resolution, color and everything else I get from what I have, I wonder if anyone (other than the pixel peepers at CR ;)) will be able to see/tell if I got the new 14 f-stop sensor, with 45MP and ... all the rest of it.

I think your (perfectly reasonable) comment invites two opposite lines of response, both of them right.  If you don't pixel peep (I sometimes wonder if those who disapprove do so because they don't like what they see when they do...), just how much better do images taken with the new Sigma's images look than those taken with other 50mm lenses?  Depending on how you view them, perhaps not much - maybe not at all.  But if you do like pixel peeping (I do, when I like what I see - perhaps there's some AA equivalent: "Hi, my name is X and I like to pixelpeep..."), you will be able to see a difference when you switch sensors (I certainly see a difference when I attach my favorite Canon lenses, such as the 100L, to my Sony A7r, for instance).  Whether the differences are significant, and whether they matter, depends entirely on who's looking.

Canon doesn't just "needs to respond with SOMETHING".
Canon needs to hit a home run with their next product.


And no, the 5dm3 was not a home run. Maybe a single. Every other manufacturer for the level I consider has surpassed Canon in both lenses and cameras.

If it doesn't "hit a home run with its next product", then what, exactly?  You won't buy it?  I won't buy it?  Posters at Canonrumors will complain loudly?  The cameras and lenses that keep Canon's camera department going stronger than anyone else's (in terms of market share) haven't been "home runs" in years and probably don't interest most posters here in the least, but they still sell well.   And I don't think it's true that every other manufacturer has surpassed Canon in both lenses and cameras - this or that body may do something better, this or that lens may be better than its Canon equivalent, but overall?  I don't think so, for all that I'm very fond of my Olympus OM-D and Sony A7r.   But if you think so, why does it matter if Canon doesn't satisfy your desires?  It's far easier to jump ship than some people around here seem to think (but even more fun to be promiscuous if you can afford it and sample more than one brand at a time).


Sony just release what appears to be an awesome camera, especially for the price. I am committed to Canon myself, but I think some people are starting to think about switching because these others like Sony are upping the quality of their products.

Canon doesn't have anything close to the 24mp,  79 AF points and 12 FPS...especially under $1500.

Curious to see what everyone else's thoughts are on this new Sony and where you think Canon falls within the competition.

The 70D, 6D and 5DII/III are all close to 24mp, and we don't know yet how well the AF points and FPS work in practice (how many people who buy cameras, let alone to the extent that Canon & Nikon should care, care about either of those things anyway?)  For all I know, it may be a very good camera, but have you ever used an SLT?  The IBIS is nice, the EVF is nice (though I realize they're not for everyone), but Sony's previous SLTs suffer from lousy high ISO performance, due in part to the focus mechanism which diverts some light from the sensor.  Unless Sony has done something (aside from jacking up in-camera JPEG noise reduction) to improve this, I'm not interested - I wish they would just make these things fully mirrorless and be done with it (is there any reason why an A-mount dslr-looking camera can't be mirrorless?). 

I'm not anti-Sony at all (I love my A7r, for all that I occasionally yell at it), but barring some revelation in forthcoming reviews it's hard to imagine why someone who doesn't already own a Sony A-mount body would choose this over a 70D or D7100 or even a Pentax K-3 (or whatever the newest one's called). 

Photography Technique / Re: Another try getting everything in focus.
« on: April 30, 2014, 05:46:16 PM »
I am telling, you...learn to embrace it!  If you are always chasing perfection of one thing, it'll not only cost you a fortune, it will keep your eye off the ball, which is to make a piece of art.   

I'm with you.  It's hard to get everything in focus in macro-world, and if you need or want to do so it takes considerable effort, as explained by others.  But the same reasons that make this difficult make it easier to obtain different effects - creating artistic images by focusing on tiny details and blurring out the rest.  It's all a matter of taste, of course, but in these photos it strikes me as being far more effective if you can get a drop or two in focus and let the rest fade into the background than if you make the drops as in focus and thus as (un)important as everything else (or the tip of the bud vs the rest, etc.).  The trick is then to be very precise with your composition and focusing (and technique - depending on the distances and apertures involved, the slightest movement by the camera or the subject can screw it up.  Jack56 may like the retakes more, especially the first one, because the water drop and the tip of the bud (an iris?) are close enough to be in focus and are the details he wanted to draw attention to - the base of the bud isn't in focus at all, and, as it's unimportant to the overall image he was aiming for, it's aesthetically preferable for it not to be in focus (I'm just guessing, though - maybe he really wants it all to be in focus...).

Lenses / Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« on: April 29, 2014, 11:06:05 AM »

But, even before the latest Sigma anticipation, I've been craving something with a bit more room that allows me to step physically closer to subjects.  I've heard negative and positive things about the 50mm 1.2, but that is true about most lenses.

This doesn't answer your question, but: What sort of subjects are you trying to get closer to, and what sort of effect are you after?  Depending on the answer, you might want to consider a 100L (macro) or 135L.  Even when not using it as a macro lens, the former allows a remarkable combination of proximity, sharpness and out-of-focus blurring, for instance.

EOS Bodies / Re: New Sensor Technology Coming From Canon? [CR1]
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:58:28 AM »
FF mirrorless + 3-4 pancake lenses to start with: 35,50, 85, and 18mm

Omg, this would be ridiculously amazing.

Yes, especially if it has good IBIS.  I don't think I'll hold my breath, though....

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:46:50 AM »

The Otus is will likely prove to be the best 50 for a DSLR. 

Sure, if you can conjure up the rather limited range of circumstances in which a manual lens can be made to work well on a dslr.   In the highly unlikely event I ever acquired one I would used it on a mirrorless camera instead so that I could take advantage of the in-viewfinder focus peaking and magnification that make manual lenses fairly easy to use.

I agree with the general vibe here...  Canon hasn't given a reason to buy their cameras. The only camera REALLY worth buying was the 1DX. The 5DMKIII was a marginal upgrade. Many people said if you owned a 5DMKII, you may not need the upgrade. Only Wedding photographers would really want upgrade their 5D's...  The new Rebel and SL1 are cool. But that's it in the DSLR.

With the new Nikon D800S on the horizon and some of the Sony mirrorless cameras, Canon really needs to get their act together. Fuji mirrorless is quite amazing as well. All the news and cool and new news is coming from these guys.

That Nikon D800S has me salivating....

I get your general point - which is in part why I own an Olympus OM-D and Sony A7r in addition to Canon stuff - but  your opening sentence surely only applies to the sort of picky consumer who reads sites like this.  Canon makes the cheapest DSLRs out there, and they're significantly cheaper than the best mirrorless cameras (a Rebel kit is cheaper than just about any decent mirrorless body with no lens attached); the same is true for Nikon's entry level dslrs.  Presumably that's why they're ubiquitous (in the time since I've bought my OM-D a year ago I think I've seen someone carrying one twice; I saw someone using a Fuji Xsomething for the first time last week).  Such reasons may not matter much to those who read canon/nikonrumors, but it still seems to be a pretty powerful reason and allows Canon and Nikon to carry on being boring.  I've no idea how long they'll be able to continue doing so, but so far the announcements we keep reading online that the dslr is all but dead seem either a tad premature or to confuse what ought to be with what is.

It could well be that stand-alone cameras will end up being niche products as smartphone cameras continue to improve (just as it's become hard to find a CD player that does nothing more than play CDs).  It doesn't seem unlikely that the overwhelming use to which photos are put is illustrating posts on facebook etc; and cellphone photos are good enough for that and, perhaps even more important, they're small and always with you.   I know more than a few people who have asked my advice on what camera to buy for whom the single most important characteristic of a camera is that it be tiny; the fact that it will almost certainly take worse photos doesn't matter - and for them it probably doesn't matter because they'll never view them in a context where the differences are obvious.   


The explanation that Canon does not update their lenses for > 20 years because the market lets them get away with it is logically correct, but not particularly satisfying for those end users, whose needs aren't completely met.

It's presumably true that anyone who wants to buy Brand X's products is disappointed if Brand X doesn't have a model that does what s/he wants, but it's a fairly trivial observation, isn't it? 

A year or two back Roger Cicala at lensrentals compared a raft of fast 50mm lenses and most respects (that he tested, at least), the old Canon 50mm 1.4 did at least as well as any other, perhaps better (I forget all the details), regardless of price.  I may be wrong, but I don't think it's possible to buy a current-production 50mm 1.4 AF lens for as little the price of the Canon 1.4 ($400 new, assuming no discount) that's better, regardless of who makes it.  If Canon upgraded it, it doesn't seem unlikely that the price would double, and Canon's most recent prime upgrades (24 IS 28 IS and 35 IS) were not only much more expensive than their predecessors but not terribly fast anyway (2.8, 2.8 and 2 respectively).  Chances that Canon would release a new 50mm 1.4 for $400 which meets the needs of picky consumers rather than those who buy most of Canon's lenses seem pretty remote. 

And if Canon can't meet your needs, assuming the reported AF inconsistencies with the new Sigma are exaggerated, and assuming you don't mind paying $900 for it, you can just buy the Sigma and still use it on your Canon bodies.  Or you could do something a little different and, say, supplement your Canon gear with a Sony A7r + 55mm 1.8 (which costs the same as the Sigma), like I recently did, and get image quality that I suspect is better than the Sigma will give you on any current Canon body (provided you don't mind the limitations of the Sony body).

So I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about - unless it's annoyance that the home team (Canon) doesn't have all the best players.  If other companies made recently upgraded 50mm 1.4 lenses that out-performed the Canon while costing the same, this general complaint would make more sense.  But I don't think they do.

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