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Messages - sdsr

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Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: SMC Pentax 50mm 1.4
« on: June 21, 2014, 08:14:15 PM »
Lovely photos - and nice timing: I just bought its screwmount SMC Takumar predecessor (I very much like the look and feel of the older focus rings) and am eagerly awaiting its arrival early next week; your photos are making me a bit less patient....   There are some great bargains to be had via manual lenses (though I prefer to use mine on mirrorless Sony - magnification + focus peaking + EVF makes it far easier for me to use them).

Reviews / Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« on: June 21, 2014, 08:04:49 PM »

knowledgable users buy what they need more than uneducated users who buy what marketing tells them they should want. That's what Neuro keeps getting wrong.

If by "uneducated" you mean novices who haven't spent hours researching camera reviews, hanging out in camera forums, etc., and if we can assume from their market share that such people buy Canon more than other brands, does that mean, then, that Canon's ads and other marketing devices are more effective than anyone else's?  Is there any evidence to support this?  The only camera ads I've noticed on TV are Ashton Kutcher's for Nikon; I don't recall ever seeing a Canon ad anywhere (though perhaps that's just because I watch & read the wrong things).  I suspect that marketing isn't as effective as you (and marketing departments) think - my first dslr was a Nikon, not because I had swooned at the sight of Mr. Kutcher or read tons of reviews (though I had probably looked at more than most novices do), but largely because my father had one and I thought he might be a useful resource.  Novice friends and colleagues of mine who have no interest at all in spending hours researching this stuff have often followed my advice because they've seen some of my photos and think I'm trustworthy, in part because what I say about various cameras makes sense to them (I don't talk to them about dynamic range....); and I'm sure that's true of others.  Some may be act on name recognition (they have Canon copiers at work or at home) or because they see masses of Canon cameras at sporting events, or because they took a camera course one weekend where the instructor used a Canon.  Others pay attention to salesmen (it's instructive to spend some time in camera stores listening to interactions between staff and novices). 

As for who needs what, beyond the basics ("I want to take photos of my toddler roaming around the house so I can email them to his grandmother") you probably don't know until you do a lot of photography and take it seriously enough to think about what your equipment is stopping you from doing and why it makes your photos look the way they do.  To the extent that Neuro is suggesting that Canon is successful despite not doing so well in various DXO et al. tests because those relative deficiencies don't matter to most people, that's probably true in some sense, but also a bit misleading:  I doubt Rebel buyers chose Canon because they know noisy shadows at low ISOs and lower resolution aren't significant to them and don't fall within their "needs" - rather, they haven't the slightest idea what any of those things mean, either at all or in practice (in Rumsfeld-ese, this is known-unknowns or unknown-unknowns territory).  Try talking to a novice about APS-C vs FF, crop factors, etc., let alone the advantages of shooting RAW and fiddling around with software....   It's not because they're stupid or uneducated or dupes of marketing; it's just that they have other priorities. 

Even photozone's at it now; comparing against the EF 50mm f1.2 L II !

What the 50L does well doesn't have a metric that can be easily recorded.  That lens is about color, draw, bokeh, etc. and less about meat and potatoes forum fodder like sharpness, chromatic aberrations, distortion, etc.

However, the Sigma Art seems purpose-built to wow the forum crowd.  If you are a sharpness junkie (who needs AF), you've found your lens.

So you're justifying the 50/1.2L by saying that it has some immeasurable quality to it that nobody else can beat? Do you understand how irrational that sounds?

He didn't say it has some immeasurable quality that nobody else can beat, only that it has distinctive qualities that can't readily be measured.  That's neither irrational nor false (his statement as you reworded it may or may not be true, but it's not irrational).  You may not care for those distinctive qualities or even notice them; and it may well be that they're related to various aspects of the lens that *can* be measured (if you like, one could say that it's desirable because of, not despite, its flaws). But simply to dismiss it, as you seem to want to do, because it fails in various ways that can be measured begs the question.

(And, in case this is necessary to add, none of that is to say anything at all negative about the Sigma or, for that matter, to say anything positive about the Canon.)

Its too bad that lens reviewers are not able to test autofocus.  I realize that testing it would open a can of worms, since its possibly different on every camera.  Still, they could have canon calibrate their bodies, and determine a way to measure focus times and accuracy.  FoCal does a good job of checking accuracy and consistency, and by using a standard setup, different lenses could be compared on the test camera.  If a lens was acting up, it could be returned to the manufacturer for repair and retested.
I think that the results might open some eyes for all lens models.   Lens autofocus can be pretty bad, and timing will vary all over the place depending on the distance, starting point, lighting, and even the subject.  That's probably why no one does it.

Some do, at least up to a point, such as lenstip:

But it seems pretty clear that they don't cover the range of contexts you refer to in your second paragraph.  I've no idea whether anyone else comes closer.


very bizarre that they test it on aps-c first (or perhaps even only???)
I will wait until they do it on FF.

Not "only" - they say there will be a FF review shortly and, in the conclusion portion of the review, give a more than subtle hint at their overall opinion of it on FF.  But yes, it does seem odd to start with APS-C first.

Lenses / Re: EF-S 10-18mm - a few early photos on SL1 & Sony a6000
« on: June 20, 2014, 11:02:02 AM »
According the the digital pictures image quality post, this lens is...good only if you dont want to pay for the 10-22, and lose a fair amount of zoom capacity.

Sharpness is pretty much the same as the old bird. corners are smushy. Ive used the 10-22 on a 7d, t2i, and an eos m...there's only so much sharpness you can expect of of that lens. So if this is the same, its pretty pointless.

I've no clue how they compare first-hand as I've never tried a 10-22, but photozone states that "[t]he MTF results are nothing short of astounding."  But even assuming they're optically "the same", the 10-18 is half the price and has very effective IS, so I don't think "pointless" is quite the right word unless you already have the 10-22 and don't care about IS, or don't do APS-C - which isn't everyone.

Reviews / Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« on: June 19, 2014, 03:42:23 PM »

I like high mp bodies so I can crop and still have a good image left, and at low ISO's, the Sony sensor is good.  that's assuming that I'm willing to buy a $5,000 Zeiss lens that can produce those results.  In any event, with a ordinary lens, the results will be better than with a low mp sensor.

Cameras with high mp Sony sensors (at least, the A7r) also produce great results with a $900 Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 lens and (inter al.) a wide range of Canon lenses, including such relative bargains as the 85mm 1.8, 100mmL and the ultra-cheap 40mm pancake.  To the extent you meant to include a "not" in the third sentence, the photos I've taken with an "ordinary lens" (assuming you mean something less exalted than a $5000 Zeiss) don't look worse via my A7r than they do via my 6D & 5DIII.  To the extent you didn't, "at least as good" might be safer than "better than", but I'm not really sure.  These are just impressions I've formed by using them, though, rather than through comparisons performed under controlled conditions.  Are there such tests showing otherwise?

Reviews / Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« on: June 19, 2014, 03:14:03 PM »

Anyone that prints to A4 from any camera with more than 8MP downconverts to 8MP (this means anyone shooting for magazines.)

Anyone that takes a photo and puts it on their web page for people to look at downconverts.


One might also add that when a photo is printed without downsizing from a high resolution image, it will likely be viewed at a greater distance than one that's downsized first.  So you (and they) have a point. 

What matters, though, is how the resulting images actually compare - does a photo from, say, a D800 or A7r downsized to 8mp look noisier or less noisy (or better or worse etc.) than a photo from, say, a 6D, 5DIII or 1DX?  I'm pretty sure DxO has never performed such a test (does anyone there ever actually take photos?), though there are plenty of sites online where you can find such comparisons, and if my memory is right the D800 & A7r usually fare pretty well (see, e.g, photographylife).  My hunch, based on using most of these cameras (but not involving anything like a scientific comparison) is that the differences are exaggerated.  (Which isn't to say anything about the A7s, which I've not seen, much less used.)

Lenses / Re: Thinking of replacing a couple of lenses
« on: June 14, 2014, 07:56:05 PM »
The new 10-18 is supposedly sharper than the 10-22 and, while a bit slower, has a huge advantage in IS (unless you prefer to use tripods, in which case it doesn't matter, I guess); the IS is very good - I've taken sharp photos with mine at 1/6 & 1/8 secs hand-held without any problem.  I have no first-hand experience with the 10-22 or the Tokina your girlfriend has, though, so I can't say from personal experience how they compare.  Why don't you compare the two and see if you can detect a significant difference?  (Do the two of you need both of them anyway?)  It's hard to see why Canon would come out with a new 10-22....

As for the 28mm IS, do you find it better than your 24-105 @ 28?  If not, do you need such a thing at all?  If a faster lens matters, get the 35mm f2 or Sigma 35mm 1.4.

If you really want superior optical performance, switching to FF would make a bigger difference than worrying about these lenses (esp. if you shoot in low light), but since you don't want to do that....

Canon General / Re: Why does this happen?
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:49:29 PM »

My real issue here is that the OP mainly does portraits.  He already has the 70-200 f/2.8L II IS lens so I suggested the 24-70 f/2.8L II is pretty much sharper than any prime in that range.  Then the "only primes" post.  I didn't think my suggestion of spending $2299ish was out of line considering the total price of the primes he listed. 

Why do some people feel as though to do well in photography, you must be a purist?  It's like if you don't shoot in M mode, manual focus, and use an L prime, you're not doing it right.

Well, one might argue that sharpness isn't the most important feature of a portrait lens; that while the primes-only guy may just be some fool showing off, it may have less to do with purism than the fact that fast primes have a different look from sharp 2.8 zooms (though it's not clear why someone who mainly does portraits would be much interested in a 24mm or 35mm, L or otherwise - especially when he asked about 85...); and point out that Ls aren't required - there are even some cheap, fast, old(ish) manual 85mm lenses that make rather nice portrait lenses, even if unacceptably soft wide open to the sharpness police.

But one won't, because that cartoon is so damn good....

Lenses / Re: Looking for an wideangle lens about 20mm
« on: June 13, 2014, 03:45:09 PM »
As far as ultra wide angle lenses go there are only a hand full from any manufacturer that aren't terrible.

You think the EF-S 10-22 is terrible? Not that the OP is looking for EF-S lenses, but I asked since you include them in your list.
I think it is actually pretty good, and I have used it for more than 2 years.

And the new EFS 10-18 should surely be on the list - reviews say it's better than the 10-22 and it's half the price (I'm happy with mine, anyway, for all that I prefer FF).

Reviews / Re: Is Canon 5d mk 1 still a good camera?
« on: June 13, 2014, 11:33:28 AM »
There is no reason to purchase the 5D3 unless you are shooting Sports/Wildlife or if you wanted to shoot video. The 6D is an excellent stills camera and you will find it a nice step up from the 5D in every way (with the one exception that you might miss the joystick).

Certainly not true.

The 6D is great if your a landscape shooter or place your focus point in the middle of the frame, but if your using fast glass like F1.2-2.8 you might struggle to get focus with focus recompose methods to have any focus point other than in the middle of the frame. I wouldn't say the 5DMKIII is the go to camera for sports or wildlife, it can be used but the buffer and FPS aren't really suited thats where the 1DX comes in.

The 5DMKIII is the perfect wedding/journo/commercial photographers tool.

Maybe I'm just lucky, or am focusing on easy targets (I hardly ever photograph things that are moving, for example), but I find it just as easy to focus even in very low light with fast lenses wide open using outer focus points on my 6D as I do on my 5DIII (though of course the 5DIII has the advantage of having far more focus points to choose from).  If you're saying the 5DIII is better than the 6D I won't dispute that, however (not that I have much first-hand experience either way).

Reviews / Re: Is Canon 5d mk 1 still a good camera?
« on: June 12, 2014, 04:43:13 PM »
There is no reason to purchase the 5D3 unless you are shooting Sports/Wildlife or if you wanted to shoot video. The 6D is an excellent stills camera and you will find it a nice step up from the 5D in every way (with the one exception that you might miss the joystick).

What's more, in at least one area of image quality - revealed noise when lightening shadows - the 6D beats the 5DIII.

Lenses / Re: EF-S 10-18mm - a few early photos on SL1 & Sony a6000
« on: June 12, 2014, 04:38:28 PM »
Thanks for the kind words, Dylan & Pie.  The quality/price/weight combination of this lens is pretty impressive.

Lenses / EF-S 10-18mm - a few early photos on SL1 & Sony a6000
« on: June 11, 2014, 10:15:46 PM »
I received mine a couple of days ago and briefly tried it on two successive days walking home from work via City Hall in Philadelphia, the first day with it attached to the Sony a6000, the second to the Canon SL1.  Here are a few photos from each day, mostly within parts of the building.  All off-the-cuff, hand-held tourist-dodging stuff, mostly at 10mm, nothing fancy:

In some there's a bit of flare and ghosting (in a couple of the outdoor shots on the Canon the lens was aimed at the sun), some of which may be related to the cheap filter that Adorama threw in for free (I'll try it later with no filter and then with a better quality one).  All are raw files processed via lightroom 5; a few had shadows lightened (the outdoor light was hideous each day), but otherwise the tweaks were minor. 

I'm amazed by how little distortion the lens creates - most of the time I saw nothing that needed correcting, though just for the heck of it I applied the lens profile for the 11-22mm EOS-M (it worked better than the profile for its predecessor; there's no profile for the new lens yet, of course).  It's miles better in terms of distortion at 10mm than the 24-105L is at 24mm, for instance, and better than any other similar wide-angle lens I've tried (if my memory is right, that is).

I included a few Sony a6000 photos to show the far-corner vignetting I mentioned elsewhere.   (Aside from that vignetting - which only shows up at 10mm, varies with the light and often disappears completely with minor distortion tweaking - I'm inclined to think that the photos it makes on the Sony are on the whole slightly better when viewed closely, but it would take controlled testing to reach a firm conclusion either way; I'll leave that to someone else....)

Anyway, make of them what you will....

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