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Messages - sdsr

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31
Lenses / Re: Help deciding on a macro lens
« on: August 04, 2014, 03:28:01 PM »
Thank you for all the replies so far!

My main use for the macro will be food close ups to start with, but I will also use it for a variety of other purposes (e.g. I travel a lot and often find myself wishing for a macro lens while doing it). As I mentioned I was hoping to use the lens as a portrait lens as well (f/2.0 would sometimes be useful here), but on the other hand I wouldn't want to compromise its primary use.


I could be wrong, but I suspect that by "food close-ups" you're not really implying the sort of "true" macro photography that others have been addressing - do you want, say, to have a solitary beautifully lit caviar egg fill the image?  If you merely want to "get close" but let the image be recognizably of food, all you may need is a lens with a short minimal focus distance or a lens with sufficient magnification.  Macro lenses are great for that too, of course (that's primarily why I like them so much), but for such purposes it will matter less whether it's 1:1 or 1:2 or even whether it's 50mm or 100mm or 180mm (by all accounts the Sigma 180mm IS lens is fantastic, but if the food you want to photograph is in a restaurant chances are you won't want to us *that* lens...).

The 100L is one of my favorite all-purpose lenses, for all the reasons already given by others.  The IS won't always be helpful, but sometimes it will and I would rather have it than not; and while AF isn't as accurate as MF when operating with shallow depth of focus, especially if you care about - and you will - which precise details are in focus, it's nice to have it otherwise, especially when you're using it on a dslr, hand-held, where MF is rather hard to do effectively.  But if you don't need IS and don't need 100mm you could by the 70mm Sigma, which does 1:1 magnification, has superb image quality, costs half as much as the 100L and makes an excellent all-purpose walk-around lens.  Or you could try the 100mm non-L Canon.  Or, frankly, just about any macro lens - as far as I can tell, they all provide impressive image quality, with differences among them being relatively trivial in actual use.

(If you had a decent mirrorless body it would be easy to recommend some cheap macro lenses to start (or even end) with.  E.g. for less than $150 you can buy a Nikon 55mm f2.8 MF lens + adapter and get superlative image quality; it also has the advantage of being small and light (a mere 289g) - but I wouldn't want to try to use mine on a dslr....) 


32
Lenses / Re: 50mm Coma Sigma Art vs Regular Sigma F1.4
« on: August 01, 2014, 11:02:01 AM »

Most all the 50mm offerings are so bad at it.  The Art I'd hoped was even better than it was.  Even if at the same time it is far better than the others, minus the Zeiss and the more expensive Nikon.  In a way it's a 1 stop boost in less coma.  Though yeah it is going to be sharper anyway.  But if I was shooting something with street lights near the corners or with stars, I'd probably feel the need to head to F2.8.  And if I'm at F2.8 I just about may as well be using the old Sigma.  It's softer but guessing I'd maybe sell it for $200, making the jump $750 and I'm not sure it is that much softer when we're talking far corners here anyway.  Not sure why I had it in my head the F2.8 Art coma result is what F1.4 was going to be closer to.  Lenstip made it seem close to that.  Or well lenstip coma at F1.4 looks like my star test between F2 and F2.8 I guess. 

Anyway, just an example for those looking at getting it for that reason, which is probably many.   

Very useful - thanks!  (It's the superior coma performance of the Sigma 35mm art compared to other 35mm lenses I've used, more than anything else, that keeps tempting me.)

33
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: July 31, 2014, 04:43:46 PM »
The "this format is almost as good as that one" slope is a slippery one. FF is what, 2.6 times the light gathering area af a (canon) APS-C? Well if the FF is barely better than APS-C with that size advantage, then surely APS-C has an even smaller performance advantage over M4/3 being only 1.4 times larger. And so on and so forth until cellphone sensors are perfect adequate for all purposes.

I think you'll find that most reviewers and users are of the opinion that the difference in image quality between m43 and APS-C is very small indeed except at higher ISOs.

Sure, but where does the "very small" end? If the difference between FF and APS-C is very small, and the difference between APS-C and m4/3 is very small, and the difference between m4/3 and 1" is small, is the difference between FF and 1" some degree of small?

Maybe it is, but without quantifying what "small" is, it's a bit of a useless comparison, and in a world where people report for example dynamic range in tenth-stop precision, maybe small from the general lexicon doesn't apply.

You're right, of course, that as a general proposition it's useless - for one thing, even assuming the differences can be measured, what's "small" for me mightn't be for you, and vice versa, and the only way to know is to use the different formats in question and see if you notice any differences that matter to you given the uses to which you put them (or find useful comparisons online).  I'm not sure, though, what the point is you're trying to make with your invocation of slippery slopes.

34
Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
« on: July 31, 2014, 04:36:17 PM »
On the off-chance no-one's mentioned this yet, Roger Cicala's test results are now available here:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog

35
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: July 31, 2014, 03:23:37 PM »
The "this format is almost as good as that one" slope is a slippery one. FF is what, 2.6 times the light gathering area af a (canon) APS-C? Well if the FF is barely better than APS-C with that size advantage, then surely APS-C has an even smaller performance advantage over M4/3 being only 1.4 times larger. And so on and so forth until cellphone sensors are perfect adequate for all purposes.

I think you'll find that most reviewers and users are of the opinion that the difference in image quality between m43 and APS-C is very small indeed except at higher ISOs.

36
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: July 31, 2014, 03:21:09 PM »
2. That said, if I do scrutinize, it's not hard to tell the superiority of FF images over APS-C and M43,

Yeah it is actually. The problem with this debate is 99.9% of the people debating have never been forced to pick between unlabeled prints. Much like wine experts discover when they are blindfolded, our ability to "scrutinize" photos is not nearly what we believe it to be when labels are in front of us.

ISO 100-800 (probably throw in 1600 for Sony sensors)...all other factors being equal (MP; lens IQ) with optimal processing for both...you're not going to identify the format between APS-C and FF even in big prints.

I guess you may be right if "optimal processing" is applied, and I dare say I don't do it.  At any rate, if I look at images on a monitor at 100% (which is what I had in mind by "scrutinize"), I see more noise even at ISO 100 on APS-C than FF (regardless of whether it's Canon or Sony), and of course with m43 there's the "problem" that ISO starts at 200.  Would I see it if I weren't looking for it?  Probably not.  Would I see it at less than 100%?  Probably not.  Does it matter?  No (well, not for me, anyway, unless I want to boost shadows a lot, and even then it's usually not noticeable).  Would I bother applying NR?  No.  Anyway, I doubt we're disagreeing about much, if anything.

Anyway, I've now seen the video and am not impressed either.  All he says is that the difference in sensor size between FF and APSC is trivial compared to the difference in sensor size between FF and large format (etc.), and that the differences between FF and APSC have become insignificant.  That could be said in less than 30 seconds.  It may or may not be true (it all depends on what you think is significant), but he does nothing at all to prove his point besides waving a stick at a series of photos of sensors over and over again.  I rather doubt this is a Fuji ad - wouldn't their publicity department come up with something better?

37
Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: July 31, 2014, 03:05:52 PM »
Tripod.

38
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: July 31, 2014, 11:32:44 AM »
When Zack implies that shooting APS-C is a good as Nikon full frame, that doesn't automatically apply to Canon APS-C sensors.  We're lagging behind.  But when you look at other modern sensors (such as Fuji) that are being put into camera systems in which quality lenses are being specifically designed for APS-C sensors (such as Fuji), you'd be surprised at the high image quality.  Modern APS-C sensors are excellent.  Rather than being defensive and negative, we should become proactive and demand Canon pick up their game.

A few observations:

1. Whether one is "as good as" another rather depends on what your criteria are - what you photograph, how you view images, how fussy you are about what one should probably refer to as small differences (though that's hardly objective either - differences that matter to me may not even be noticed by you and vice versa), etc.  I own several different cameras (too many; I should do some pruning...) - FF (Canon 5DIII & 6D, Sony A7r), APS-C (Canon SL1  & Sony a6000) and M43 (Olympus OMD-EM5), with lenses all over the map, from rather elderly manual Russian lenses to high-end current ones.  I'm often tempted to think that even viewing on a 30" monitor, if I don't pixel peep, and don't go out of my way to look for differences, there are many images I've taken with various combinations of equipment which, if I (or anyone else) looked at the images in succession, I would have a hard time matching up accurately with the images, and perhaps a harder time forming a preference.   

2. That said, if I do scrutinize, it's not hard to tell the superiority of FF images over APS-C and M43, and not just when comparing Sony/Nikon ff to Canon APS-C.  It may be that the a6000 makes better images than the SL1, but it's also true that the a7r makes better images than the a6000, just as the 5DIII and 6D make better images than the SL1.

3. I still don't get all the fuss over Fuji's x APS-C sensors.  Before Christmas I bought an XE1 and returned it a couple of weeks later, assuming that the unsharp results, especially in photos where the subject wasn't close, were the result of a defect in the camera or lens, but I don't think they were - I've looked at countless images online taken by fans of these cameras (not to mention the comparisons you can make at dpreview) and seen much the same lack of sharpness.  There may be less noise than on images taken with other APS-C bodies, but there's less detail.  Frankly, I prefer the images I get from my SL1, extra noise and all.  Again, the differences aren't so noticeable if you don't scrutinize closely, and if you care more about noise than detail it won't matter, but if you do....  (Even some Fuji fans acknowledge this - e.g. whatsisname at soundimageplus says they're his favorite cameras to use, but he much prefers the images from his a6000, not to mention a7& a7r.)

4. I've not seen the video yet....

39
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 04:01:17 PM »

No, it's not an irrational fanboy problem, it is a money problem. If I could afford to sell out of Canon and replace all my Canon gear with Nikon, then I'd do it in a heart beat. But I can't. And I suspect the same is true for many others. We're all effectively held hostage by Canon so we're pretty much at the mercy of whatever Canon decides to deliver to us. Some of us are angry that Canon is lagging so far behind in sensor development when compared with what Nikon and Sony are doing, some of us aren't. And that's how Canon stays #1, just like a drug dealer, get 'em when they're "young" and you've got them for life.

Are you sure you can't afford to?  Is that because the equivalent Nikon gear is more expensive?  I completely jumped ship from Pentax to Canon a couple of years ago, selling all my equipment in the process.  The only item where I clearly lost money was the camera body I had bought new at full price (I don't really consider it a loss anyway because I got a lot of use out of it while I owned it); everything else I sold for more-or-less what I paid for it (a bit less if I had bought it new, sometimes more if I had bought it used).  I doubt that's unusual.

As for Canon the drug dealer, most of Canon's sales are of Rebels (and below), and most such customers probably stick to their Rebels and don't move either up or sideways.  Those who feel trapped or who suffer from sensor envy are more likely the minority who are enthusiasts, and these days it's fairly easy for them to avoid Canon's evil plot (if that's what it is) by buying a mirrorless camera with a Sony sensor and using their Canon lenses on that....

40
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 03:48:42 PM »
Personally, I'd love to have the Nikon D810, but only if I could put my Canon glass on it!
Nikon doesn't make the high quality glass that I need, for the lenses that I use.  For example: Canon TSE 24mm mark2.

I'll take this opportunity to trot out one of my favorite photo wishes: an industry-standard SLR mount so we can freely interchange cameras and lenses across manufacturers.

Ain't gonna happen in the U.S.  Hey, EU!  We need your regulatory assistance here!   8)

Agreed.  I've probably said much the same thing in response to similar posts of yours, but you can come close to that with a decent mirrorless body + adapters, provided you're willing to forego fast AF or, in most cases, any sort of AF (which of course rules this option out completely for many).  Of course, given that one of the best features of Canon lenses is their extremely fast, accurate AF, it would be nice if Canon were to provide us with such a mirrorless body.... 

41
Lenses / Re: Which Bokeh Monster?
« on: July 24, 2014, 04:48:07 PM »
Hi Sabaki.
Congratulations on your decision to move to 6D (hope you will be as thrilled as I am, since I moved to 6D from crop, 450D).
Seeing that you have the 100mm 2.8 L macro I suggest, that you start out with that one to get some feel for the FL (not too far from 85mm as many suggested above) and the much greater bokeh on FF, than you were used to on crop. I like it for portraits - though not exactly a 'monster'.
Based on that you can make a more experienced decision.

I agree.  In fact almost all Sabaki's lenses can conjure up nice bokeh in the right circumstances.  Blurring isn't just the result of aperture - distance from the subject, distance of background from subject, and lens magnification all matter too (along with other factors, such as the number of aperture blades and their shape) - though of course, other things being equal, the faster the aperture the better.  But other things aren't always equal - 85mm lenses tend to have a mfd of at least 3 feet, and you may well be able to get more/better background blur with a slower lens that magnifies more or lets you get closer or both (e.g. the 100L).  Toss in the effect of switching to FF and it probably makes sense to suggest Sabaki doesn't buy any lenses yet - s/he may get enough blurring with what s/he already has.  Of course, if one can afford an 85L, it's hard to go wrong (aside from the terrible purple fringing - scarcely better, if at all, than the 85mm 1.8 in that regard).

It may also be worth noting that the meaning of "bokeh monster" may not be clear-cut.  In my experience lenses vary in bokeh appeal depending on the circumstances - I have fast lenses that create beautiful smooth blurred background effects if you can get fairly close to the subject but that, as you get further from the subject and/or the background is farther from the subject, create backgrounds that are far less smooth and even unpleasant.  Some fast lenses, especially older ones, have aberrations which rather than creating a smooth blur add a distinctive character to the blur, including, in some instances, giving the effect of making out of focus highlights appear to swirl around the subject (this especially happens with lenses that create "cats' eyes" rather than smooth circles towards corners).  Lenses with fewer aperture blades make out of focus highlights rapidly become less round (hexagonal, etc.) as you stop them down (a few old Russian lenses, which have up to 20 blades, never do so).  Some lenses described as bokeh monsters are manual only (e.g. the Tokina 90mm 2.5 macro that's dubbed "Bokina" in some, um, circles).  And so on.

So it all rather depends on the effects you want, the subjects you like to photograph and the conditions you're likely to be presented with.  Which is why you might as well wait and see what you can achieve with your current lenses on your 6D when you get it; it would be a shame to spend all that money on an 85L only to discover that you can get the effects you want with your 100L....


42
EOS-M / Re: Adapters + legacy lenses on the EOS M: any advice?
« on: July 23, 2014, 02:44:05 PM »
It depends on what you mean by "worth it".  As you may have noticed, lots of vintage manual lenses are cheap, and lots of those can be very good to superb; it's an inexpensive way to play around with a variety of lenses.  Given the tiny size of the M you'll likely want small lenses.  If so, Pentax is perhaps the best place to start - a few weeks ago a bought a Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm 1.4 for c. $100 which makes excellent images, and an even smaller Pentax-M 50mm 1.7 for less than half that.  Check out the pentax forum for vast numbers of user reviews.  Your 100L is a marvelous lens, of course, but you might rather use something a lot smaller, such as the superb Nikon 55mm 2.8 macro (if you want to get close) or the Nikon E series 100mm 2.8, which looks tiny next to a 100L.  I recently bought both those lenses in excellent shape for c. $120 each (and could have paid less if I had tried harder).  With the right adapters, the range to choose from is vast.  (I use them on my Olympus M43 and Sony a7r & a6000, but I don't see why they wouldn't work at least as well on an EOS-M.)

43
HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Inspirational...
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:36:03 AM »
Great locations a little too much post but this is my dream too.

"A little too much" for me too.  They look like good photos that, for my taste, would look much better had someone else processed them.

44
EOS Bodies / Re: High Megapixel EOS on the Way as Mentioned by Canon
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:28:14 AM »
Lots of people around here "look forward to the advent of high-resolution model of the EOS" too.  In the (perhaps unlikely) event that's an accurate translation, I'm not sure it follows from that comment that a high resolution camera is "on the way," a phrase that suggests a degree of imminence rather than a vague prediction of something that might happen in a year or three. 

45
Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: July 22, 2014, 10:29:53 AM »
...
But it's annoying to buy a fairly expensive AF lens which you're expected to fiddle around with on a docking station and even then seems best used, in the case of many copies at any rate, in MF mode.
...

Why do you think AFMA exists on Canon cameras? To address the same problem that the docking station is for.

The problem isn't QC it is engineering tolerances and the fact that neither camera nor lens are all made the same. There is copy variation between each camera and lens. This means that whilst AFMA might be +5 for a given lens on your camera, that same lens might be -5 on my camera and that same lens might be +0 on someone else's camera.

I don't disagree with any of that (to the extent you're talking about AFMA adjustments rather than inconsistency).  My comment wasn't specifically about Sigma, though it seems more of their lenses need adjusting than others and more of them focus inconsistently within any given AFMA tweak.  But after using a variety of mirrorless cameras over the past 18 months, where AFMA simply isn't an issue, I'm getting less tolerant of/patient with this aspect of dslr technology.  As for inconsistency within any given AFMA adjustment, presumably mirrorless isn't helpful, but manual focusing avoids that and mirrorless cameras make manual focusing easy (I recently bought an EF-mount version of the excellent Sigma 70mm macro and have been using it on my A7r rather than my 5DIII - so no focusing problems at all aside from incompetence at my end...).

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