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Messages - sdsr

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: December 31, 2013, 04:57:07 PM »
I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy :D . However, i only have a nifty fifty to go with it, and now i'm starting to crave for another toy (some of you here call this condition G. A. S. :D ). I'm a gearhead, but i'm also budget-conscious, so, before spending big bucks on L glass, i was considering the plan of getting some cheap vintage primes and adapters to see which focal lenghts would fit my needs. I know nothing about vintage lenses, and the variety and quantity of lenses is a bit overwhelming. I can borrow a Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 with adapter from a friend, so i got that focal length covered. Can you suggest me some cheap 24mm, 35mm and 135mm primes?

A few random points:

1. Unless you're trying to stop action or want extremely shallow focus, f4 on a FF body can be quite impressive; I get excellent results wandering around in a city at night with the 24-105, for instance.  I agree with the poster who said that this lens is a good way to figure out which focal lengths you like (which isn't to say this lens isn't good in its own right).

2. You don't need expensive "L" primes to get excellent results - the recent 24/28/35 IS primes and 40mm pancake are all first rate, and, provided you're willing to fix the purple fringing, so are the 85 1.8 and 100 f2.  Depending on what you shoot, the less expensive predecessors of those IS lenses can yield impressive photos too (take a look, for instance, at some of the photos sporgon has shown here taken with the old 35mm f2).

3. Old manual lenses aren't necessarily cheap (though of course I don't know what you mean by "cheap"); it's a shame you don't like 50mm because that range is the cheapest (you can buy 50mm 1.4s for as little as $50; I recently bought a 55mm Canon FD 1.2, which looks as though it were made last week, for a mere $300), with 135mm being perhaps the next cheapest range.  Wider lenses usually cost more, and some aren't cheap by any standard (especially the best fast 85mm lenses).

4. DSLRs don't work well with manual focusing unless you're willing to use live view and a tripod (which, for me, takes all the fun out of it) or conjure up a special focus screen for your 6D and have good enough eyesight to use it accurately (compare the viewfinder on just about any decent old film camera and you'll see what I'm talking about).  Over the past couple of months I've been buying vintage lenses and greatly enjoy using them but only on mirrorless bodies, where the magnification made possible in an EVF makes them easy to focus (I seldom find "focus assist" useful, though), especially if the body happens to have IS (it's not easy to manually focus a long lens via magnified view without stabilization as you're focusing).  You may react differently, of course, but don't be surprised if you find obtaining accurate focus to be a frustrating experience.  Try using manual focus only on your 50mm lens and see what you think.  On a camera body that makes manual focusing easy, you may well find yourself preferring it in many situations (I know I do).

5. Conversely, Canon probably has the best/fastest/most accurate auto-focus of any dslrs, and their camera bodies are designed with AF in mind; it seems a shame not to use it.

6. If you do want to pursue vintage lenses, there are specialist sites that can help you; at least one is devoted to Minolta-Rokkor lenses, another to Canon FD.  Some sites show interesting comparisons mixing new and old lenses.  There are lots of resources out there on line; even basic searches such as "best 24mm legacy lens" will yield useful results.  It's an entertaining pursuit, though if you were doing this for a living you might find it merely frustrating and confusing....

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100 f/2.8L IS Macro autofocus?
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:57:56 PM »
When you say it hunts for several seconds every tenth shot or so, has anything changed between shot #9 and shot #10?  Does this happen more when you're putting it to macro or non-macro use?  I've never used a macro lens for non-macro work which didn't hunt when switching between subjects at significantly different distances from the camera, and this gets worse as the light gets lower (that doesn't stop me from using my 100L that way, though, because it's a fantastic lens in every other way; using the focus limiter and grabbing the focus ring largely solves the problem).  I would also note, as others have, that manual focusing tends to work better for macro work.  Wonderful though good AF is, and I don't think any dslr systems can beat Canon in this area, it's probably overrated and has its limits; and one such is when you need to make fine, precise focusing choices such as are typically involved in macro work (too bad dslrs are lousy tools for manual focusing unless you use live view).

Remember also that if you're using the lens wide open, when you get really close, as the lens lets you do for macro work, depth of focus is exceptionally thin and the slightest imprecision in focusing, including the slightest movement of the camera, will result in an image in which either the wrong thing or, more likely, nothing at all is in focus.  What aperture were you using for your macro shots?  (This may not have much to do with the hunting, if any, you experienced doing macro shots.)   


I also enjoy the odd manual focusing only I went the cheaper route of -
EOS M + FD adaptor + $90 Canon FD 50 1.4 (found on ebay) + Magic Lantern.
I also have zebras and focus peaking and manual only fun but for a fraction of the cost. Sure it's not FF but with a few tweeks in LR images come out just fine.


Seems a bit strange to buy a $1500 digital camera just to use it as a manual focus only camera. Are you planning on buying additional E mount lenses with it?

based on your logic, Leica shouldn't be in business.

I'm thrilled to be going back to enjoyable, more thoughtful, artistic side of photography. When I first started taking photos, I never dreamed of owning an SLR, it just wasn't the kind of camera I wanted....
While I love my EOS-M, the lack of dials to control manual settings, and no VF make it a little less than an ideal tool for me to use as my main camera.

I guess it's ironic (or at least a bit eccentric) to buy a fairly fancy new camera so you can better use manual (and in some ways rather antiquated) lenses, but manual focusing with a dslr is no fun for me (for one thing, I need a viewfinder as I hate using the monitor; and but optical viewfinders in dslrs are hopeless for manual focusing).  Mirrorless cameras are another matter entirely, and one major reason why I upgraded from the OMD-EM5 to the EM1 is its superior manual AF performance.  This is a mirrorless/EVF advantage in general; it's not specific to Sony: the only advantage the A7s have is the FF sensor - a far from trivial advantage, of course, but old manual lenses don't have IS, and the Sonys, unlike their dslr cousins, don't have IBIS; but the OM-Ds do.  (The M won't do for me because it has neither IBIS nor an EVF.)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Vote for T1i, SL1 or 6D
« on: December 21, 2013, 04:29:52 PM »
The improvements in image quality moving from one APS-C to another are trivial compared to moving from APS-C to FF, especially in low light/high ISO, so I don't really think there's much point making that switch if you don't care about continuous AF etc. (and if you did, the 70D would make more sense).  If you're worried about the reverse crop factor (as it were), rent a 6D and see for yourself (and, of course, you'll see the difference in image quality). 

Lenses / Re: DXOMark: Sigma 24-105 f/4 DG OS Reviewed
« on: December 19, 2013, 10:50:34 AM »
DXO gives this lens the same sharpness score (18) as the Canon 24-70 2.8 II and the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC.  Perhaps I don't understand what their sharpness scores mean, but I'm pretty sure I've not seen any other review claim or show that the Tamron, however much they may like it, is as sharp as the Canon, or that the new Sigma, while a bit sharper than the 24-105, is also as sharp as the Canon 24-70 2.8 II.  What am I missing?

I would like them to call it Gerald or Kevin.

Two last questions - Do many find 35mm wide enough most of the time and would adding a 50 be redundant?


Do you mean for FF or crop?  On crop 35m isn't wide at all.  On FF I usually find 35mm too wide, unless I'm in certain interiors or fairly cramped spaces (alleys etc.), when it probably isn't wide enough, or want a really wide angle, in which case it's nowhere near wide enough.  But that's neither here nor there - what matters is whether it's wide enough for you.  If you're asking about crop, how often have you wanted to go wider?  If you're asking about FF, consider this - if you've been using 35mm a lot on your crop and like that angle of view, to get something similar in FF you'll need c. 55mm. There were plenty of such lenses in the film era (I just bought a couple), but few make them today; the closest is 50mm.  So if you want a familiar view through your viewfinder, a 50mm won't be redundant at all (I find 50mm much more useful than 35mm, but again, that's just me).  But you don't need to decide any of this now - if you rent a 6D, try your lenses on it and find out if you like how their "native" field of view looks to you.  You might discover new "needs" instead....

Given your success rate with your current camera and focusing system/technique, I suspect that you would be disappointed by an upgrade to any other APS-C; you certainly won't get a "wow" inducing improvement in image quality, even if you prefer the focus system.  As neuro and others have explained, you will see a significant improvement if you move to a 6D, especially in low light/high ISOs; but you should also see (albeit to a lesser extent) improved detail in good light, too - your EF lenses will perform better (go to thedigitalpicture and do some comparisons).  You will also likely find that processing RAW images works better too - there's more detail to play with, which helps with repairing under/over-exposed bits, for instance. 

(Of course, as someone else noted, there may be a wow factor you're looking for that has nothing to do with camera body performance and may instead be related to composition, lighting and so on but most of that's subjective.  For instance, I think some of your photos would have benefited from being taken at a time of day when the sun wasn't overhead - but of course sometimes there's no choice - or otherwise being less bright, but that's just me.)

And while the 6D doesn't have as good a focus system as the 5DIII or 1Dx, it's not as bad as some keep saying - I use outer points in even low light pretty successfully when I don't want to focus/recompose (the one time I compared them directly, I found that if my 6D won't focus in low light on an outer point, chances are my 5DIII won't either), and while the 5DIII/1Dx have far more focus points to choose from, they don't occupy a significantly larger portion of the image area (for that you need mirrorless). 

Anyway, as you seem willing to rent, why not rent a 6D and judge for yourself?  You may (or may not) be pleasantly surprised.

EOS Bodies / Re: Thinking Out Loud: EOS 7D Mark II Thoughts
« on: December 16, 2013, 07:14:42 PM »
1. There had better be a 7d MK II.

2. I hate video. Optimize my camera for still images.

Divergance is an extremely important concept Canon does not get. See this link...

3. The 7d mk II MUST be APS-C. I have discussed many times on this forum the superior nature of APS-C.

Canon, listen, or let the K3 eat your ever dwindling customer base...

I'm not interested in video either (I was delighted to discover, after accidentally pressing it, that the movie button on the new OM-D can be assigned any one of a number of useful functions such as AF-assist or disabled altogether; perhaps that's true of all other cameras too...), and I also like the ideas of specialization and simplicity.  We may be in a tiny minority, though (not only do people seem to like things that do everything, but I suspect that the longer the list of specifications, the more appealing it is to a certain sort of consumer).

Besides, these problems are exaggerated.  It's easy not to use the movie functions in a camera (how much do they add to its cost), and some modern cameras, despite looking dauntingly complex, can be set up so that they are, in fact, extremely simple to use (the latest OM-D, for instance).

As for Pentax, its high-end dslrs have given better sensor performance than anyone else's for several years by some accounts (esp. DxO scores), even when they're using the same sensor as others, but that doesn't seem to have hurt Nikon, let alone Canon, and it's hard to see why it should start now.  Even with its improvements, I don't think anyone is claiming that the K3's AF performance comes close to rivaling Canon's, and when it comes to lenses, not only does Pentax have nothing like the range of Canon, overall the quality isn't as good either (especially in terms of AF speed and accuracy).  Sure, they have a few cute little primes (far more attractive aesthetically than anything made by Canon), but hardly any of them have really fast apertures and many of them have focus problems (speed and/or accuracy).   

As it happens, before I switched to Canon I owned a K5 (five minutes with 5DII & 24-105L and I was sold), and am once again enjoying using a few old Pentax manual lenses (Takumar) because they work even better on my new OM-D (with its excellent and easy-to-use in-EVF magnification and focus assist).  These new-fangled complex cameras have their advantages....

EOS Bodies / Re: In defence of the 100D
« on: December 16, 2013, 05:38:03 PM »
So, overall, I'd not be trading my 5dii for one, but...
I am seriously considering this cute one as back up and travel DSLR.
I've read several tests about the fast AF and decent picture quality.
An despite the size it feels really comfortable in my hand.

As far as I can tell, its image quality is as good as any other recent Canon APS-C body's, and it works very nicely with not-so-long primes; unless you need a fancier focus system (I've no idea how well it does with fast moving things, but mine works just fine on other subjects) or don't already have a FF body (and don't plan to), or find them too small to hold comfortably (I was pleasantly surprised), these cute little things seem rather appealing.  Cheap, too - bought mine a couple of months ago for c. $450, including kit lens.  I too like the touch screen (though nothing beats the combination of touch screen and EVF & masses of external controls provided by such cameras as the latest OM-D), though Canon's ergonomics are so good it's not the boon it would be for, say, Nikon.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM
« on: December 15, 2013, 11:25:32 PM »
Finally, a shot of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, in a near-blizzard two days later - but this time with the lens on my 6D, and with all concerned nice and dry - this was taken through my office window (whose greyish coating tends to get in the way, but Lightroom helped).

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM
« on: December 15, 2013, 11:05:46 PM »
And here are three more.   I rather like how it made the out-of-focus lights behind the statute look almost as though they're radiating in large concentric circles from behind it, but they're not - they're simply the lights on the Rockefeller Center tree....

You can see more along these lines, if so inclined, here:

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM
« on: December 15, 2013, 11:03:27 PM »
One attribute of this lens that doesn't seem to get mentioned much, perhaps because it's not exactly fast, is how well it performs in low light - at least when attached to a FF body - when merely taking hand-held snapshots.  A week ago I was wandering around NY with my 5DIII & 70-300L (I left everything else in the car) and ended up in Central Park as the light began to fade; and as it did, it began to snow.  The light was magical and the camera/lens combination did a rather good job of capturing it.  (They also did a rather good job of ignoring the snow - I had nothing to protect them with, not even an umbrella, so I just occasionally shook or blew the snow off as it accumulated and kept going until I decided to stop a couple of hours later.)   No noise reduction despite the rather high ISOs (I think the grain enhances the look).  The results could perhaps have been better with a faster lens or a tripod or someone better behind the camera, but none of those were available....   These four are in Central Park.  In the next post I'll add three from a bit farther south.


Not arguing, but thinking aloud that 300 should be enough with planning for a smaller package.

Sure, depending what and how you shoot. However, IMHO,  more buyers than not will buy the A7/A7R and end up shooting zero.  I suspect it will be bought by wealthy hobbyists, most of whom don't shoot much anyway.

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the c300 limit isn't so much a Sony thing as a mirrorless thing, especially when an EVF is involved as it is here; they simply use more power than dslrs.  I don't get much more than that with my Olympus OM-D EM5 (haven't had my new EM1 long enough to find out); the first time I went to Longwood Gardens with it I ran out of power after about three hours and had to switch to a Canon dslr.

As for who's interested in the A7/A7R, I have no idea (landscapers with tripods strike me as a small minority, but who knows?), but - and this doesn't really prove anything of course - I spent a fair amount of time in B&H on Sunday.  The place was packed, unsurprisingly, with lots of people milling around the Nikon and (especially) Canon stands and wanting to see the latest Fuji Xs and Olympus OM-D.  To my complete surprise, while there were a few people at the Sony stand, the only person I'm aware of who ventured near an A7 was me; the lonely salesman seemed pleased enough to chat even though I didn't have much to say except that I lost interest when I realized they had no IBIS - he seemed sympathetic.  I must say, though, that it was quite nice to hold and the EVF looks impressive.  And it really is small - displayed among a bunch of small Sony point-and-shoots it made no impression whatsoever (aside from being black).  Hard to imagine using anything but the smallest primes on it (without a tripod, at any rate).

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