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Messages - sdsr

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Lenses / Re: Canon 35 2 IS v Canon 40 2.8 pancake
« on: January 24, 2014, 04:07:22 PM »
Almost exactly a year ago I rented the Sigma 35mm and the Canon 35mm IS (using both on FF) and the only significant advantage I could see in the Sigma was its remarkably good coma control, much better than any other fast lens I've used.  Unable to decide whether that mattered more to me than the IS of the Canon, and because I'm not sure how much I like 35mm anyway (more often than not it seems either too long or not long enough for my purposes), I bought the 28mm IS instead when Adorama (or whoever it was) had it on sale last year - it's vastly better than the 28mm 1.8, 28mm really is different from 40mm, and I like the pancake for various reasons, so for now I have both of those. 

Both lenses you're pondering are excellent, so your choice should be made based on personal considerations that only you can answer.  E.g. What is it about a 35mm IS that's prompting you to consider it? Are there situations when you would have taken a better shot with IS?  If you want wider than 40mm and want IS, would 28mm IS make more sense, or is 2.8 too slow?  Or are you ditching the 28mm 1.8 because it's too wide?  If you're asking whether it's silly to have 35mm + 40mm, maybe not - the 40mm takes up less space, weighs less, and could fill in if a similar-length lens needs repair and thus may sometimes have practical benefits (besides, the 40mm is so cheap you may think it's not worth the effort of selling it).

Canon General / Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« on: January 23, 2014, 04:47:47 PM »

It's also worth mentioning that lenses designed for crop cameras use tighter tolerances in manufacturing which results in higher image quality (the parts are smaller so this is easier) so generally a lens designed for crop will perform better than a lens designed for full frame. The 17-40mm L is designed for full frame and performs nearly identically to the 18-55mm kit lens, but is more expensive and worse in nearly every way (though it's color and contrast is said to be slightly better, I don't really care personally).

Not entirely sure what you mean by "perform better", but to the extent you're right re image quality, it's only true if you compare the lenses on a crop body, as Neuro's link demonstrated; lenses designed for ff bodies work better on ff bodies, and the comparison tool at the digital picture repeatedly shows that any given ff lens performs better on a ff body than it does on a crop body; it may also show that ff lenses on ff bodies perform better than their crop equivalents on crop bodies.   For instance, many a reviewer/commentator raves about the sharpness of the EF-S 60mm macro which, in comparisons, seems to perform better than the 100mm L on crop bodies; Roger Cicala's blurb on the lens says it's one of the rare lenses that make him wish he used a crop body.  And it's certainly an excellent lens; but as I recently found out the hard way (i.e., I bought one, though the digital picture would have demonstrated the point had I bothered to check), while it may be light and convenient, it's certainly not as good as, let alone better than, the 100L on a ff body.

As for "tighter tolerances," even if that's true, something is evidently making a lot of reviewers complain about autofocus accuracy on the Sigma.  Fantastic image quality is all very well, but you won't notice it when the focus is off.  Have those reading this had problems of focus inaccuracy with the Sigma?

Canon General / Re: Why Scott Kelby Switched to Canon
« on: January 20, 2014, 05:48:13 PM »
Does he have to *switch*?  If I had the space and the money (I suspect neither is a problem for him, though of course I don't know for sure), I would keep both.  Aside from such practical considerations, I don't find brand loyalty terribly appealing.  That said, I too think Canon's ergonomics are far better than Nikon's....


A tricky situation will be to change the lens, ┬┤cause of the uncovered sensor. This might be an problem if you are outside...

I've been using an Olympus OM-D for at least 9 months and, as I almost always use it with prime lenses, change lenses a lot, both inside and outdoors.  So far I haven't seen a hint of sensor-dirt on any photo I've taken; based on what I've read online, this seems typical (I don't know whether this is true of other mirrorless cameras).  Whether Olympus use some special coating or other technology that is unique to them I don't know, but maybe it's grounds for optimism.


By the way, I ordered the Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter (Mark III) adapter a few days ago, it should be arriving on Saturday morning ... I had a chance to test it out in Melbourne last month and really liked how it works, unfortunately they only had a demo version, so I couldn't buy it ... will post some images once I get on this Saturday morning.

How is AF speed?

I'm interested in their native lenses. The Zeiss 35 & 55mm seem very nice and solid. I want to see what Sony/Zeiss has to offer on FE wide angle lenses up coming year. I really like their 55mm. I might be the odd one here, but I like to compose the shot with backscreen over the Op-viewfinder. My eyes get tired after couple hrs shooting with Op-viewfinder. My current compact FF is 5D III + 40pancake, NOT BAD at all ;D

I've owned an A7 for a week and for the past couple of days have been trying the Metabones EF adapter using, as it happens, the 40mm pancake along with the 85mm 1.8, comparing it informally along the way with the same lenses on the 5DIII.  I've not had a chance yet to process more than a few of the images, let alone look at all of them closely, but so far I'm inclined to conclude that - somewhat to my surprise - these lenses both create better images on the Sony than on the Canon, including greater sharpness and detail across the frame.  The difference isn't huge, and would doubtless seem less on smaller monitors, but on a 30" monitor it's quite noticeable even without zooming in.  (I now feel tempted to rent an A7r for comparison.)  I also get the impression that the camera meters better, among other things.  A remarkable image-generating device, and engagingly light, too (I've been using it, a Fuji xe-1 and an OM-D for the past few weeks, after which the 5DIII felt heavy and bulky), and, with its excellent EVF and magnification, a great vehicle for manual focus lenses.

BUT - using the adapter you don't want to be in a hurry.  I find it oddly engaging, but it feels a bit as though the AF mechanism was designed by Heath Robinson (do a google image search of you don't know his work) - the lens strolls towards the right place, arrives, looks around a bit to admire the view, moves a tad further, returns to the right place, whereupon it announces that you may press the shutter, assuming you haven't lost interest (in very low light you may need to try more than once, but I was generally pleased by how well it did walking home from work last night after dark).  I'm exaggerating, of course, but if there's a chance your subject will soon move, let alone is moving, good luck.  On the other hand, when the camera thinks it's in focus, it really is - as precisely accurate as it is with the (much faster) native kit lens or as the (extremely fast) AF on OM-Ds.

You should know, by the way, that not all Canon lenses are supported (with the 50mm 1.4 you get aperture control but not AF), and that the list of supported lenses on metabones' site is incomplete (e.g. they don't mention the 28mm IS, 40mm or the 100mm L, but mine work just fine).  And, of course, you can forget about automatic corrections based on lens profiles in LR, DxO etc., so while the 24-105L works too, correcting all that distortion at the wide end might be rather a bore.

So it's rather frustrating in some ways - you may get better-looking photos from Canon lenses on the Sony A7s than you do on Canon bodies, but the process for doing so is slower and a bit more convoluted. And once you've spent $400 on the adapter, they're no longer the cheapest FF cameras you can buy.  Then again, its versatility is marvelous (and if you have a bunch of x->EF adapters, you can just add them to the metabones).  Unless you're patient and willing/able to buy the native lenses, the most sensible route to take for those who need fast focusing is presumably to get an A-mount adapter and some A mount Sony/Minolta AF lenses which, I've read, focus even faster via that adapter than they do on A-mount bodies (though I've no idea if lens profiles in LR etc. still work for any of them).

Unless you're happy with the kit lens (which seems to be surprisingly good for something so cheap and light) and don't want/need wider or longer lenses, I doubt there are many for whom this would likely be their only camera.  If you want to read about a professional photographer's attempts to make it his, this blog is worth looking at:

Lenses / Re: 17-40/4 L DxO Tested
« on: January 15, 2014, 04:06:30 PM »
The NR capabilities of their new PRIME algorithms are very, very impressive.

Yes, they are.  It's also remarkably good at correcting geometric distortion, including volume anamorphosis:

I also think its automatic correction of lens distortion is a bit better than the other software I use the most, lightroom's.  I generally prefer LR overall, but it's nice to have other software for specific uses where they do better (I like Photo Ninja too, which restores highlights better than LR or DxO in extreme cases and comes closer to handling Fuji's RAW files than anyone else).

If comments here are typical, the normal progression is to start out by learning that DxO's lens/sensor tests are, um, perverse and then, based on that, to be biased against their software.  I'm probably unusual in that I started out with their software, was impressed by that and thus was biased towards trusting their tests.  I quickly shed that bias, but still like the software....

EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 14, 2014, 11:01:41 AM »

I am not denying that Canon is not innovating, they are, how else would they be market leader! They have an enormous R&D department, not only for photography, but also medical imaging (I use large Canon x-ray detectors at work, they are very good!). However they dont listen too much at customers. How many years did it take for them to implement Auto ISO in M-mode? Oh, and only in the 1DX, which cost way too much for most people. Do they even have spot metering linked to the chosen focus point? Fokus peaking? Zebra? Intervallometer? No!! They dont listen too much. They are a business, and in it to make money, and that they do well. Canon make a camera, not to be as good as it can be, but to fit a gap in the market. Reasonable, but not exciting. As you put it, "Canon, given their track record, doesn't give a flying rat's ass about "the competition." This is very arrogant, and is sure gonna cost them customers. We saw a little about this in the 50D -> 60D, more or less gimping the camera. In the 70D, they redeemd themself.

Comparing the old 550D with the rather new nex-6 is not fair, but how did the rebel series develop? Sensor, pretty much the same from 550D to 700D (minor tweaks). 550D -> 600D, added wireless flash control. 600D -> 650D, touch screen and articulated screen, also upped the AF (?), 650D -> 700D Changed the knob to go all the way around... Small steps, carefull evolution, nothing big. Though, they are entry level cameras, they could have done more, not keeping at a minimum all the time. But then again, as tools they are good, steady cameras. No denying!

You seem to be relying in part on a few questionable assumptions.  First, the fact that Canon doesn't make some change that you or a handful of contributors to internet forums want doesn't mean they don't listen - maybe they're listening to those with other priorities.  Second, how many significant innovations result from listening to customers?  Who asked for focus peaking (which doesn't work very well anyway) and zebra?  They might be nice features, but surely they're simply another example of supply creating demand (but not much, apparently).  As for the marginal variations from one Rebel to the next, that's true of most entry-level cameras, isn't it?  They're the cameras they sell the most, and companies seem to think (and perhaps they're right, otherwise why bother?) they need to keep issuing new ones every year to keep consumers interested.  Frustrating for those suffering from Gear Acquisition Syndrome, perhaps, but otherwise hardly important.

To the extent that Canon appears cautious (as you concede, they obviously don't lack innovation in what are arguably the most important areas), perhaps it's with good reason.  Much of the innovation you describe involves mirrorless cameras.  I happen to like that technology a lot (as implemented by some companies, at any rate), but there's no denying that aside from parts of Asia the overwhelming majority of camera-buyers aren't interested, and they are evidently the consumers Canon are listening to.  What's more, lots of these innovations are rather limited in practical effect.  With Fuji, for instance, who appear to be constantly responding to customer requests with firmware updates, you get an innovative sensor with very low noise but images that seldom look really sharp, an AF system that may finally be fast but still isn't accurate enough, and RAW files that are hard to manipulate with even the best software (DxO doesn't even try, perhaps with good reason).  Sony A7/7r?  Putting superb FF sensors in a small body is an innovation of sorts, and they handle very nicely (though not as well as Olympus OM-Ds), but their main virtue, and the only reason why I bought a 7R, is more than a tad anachronistic: you can now easily use legacy manual lenses (plus most other lenses) on a FF digital camera (if only it had IBIS...).  And it's just as well, because as we all know there are hardly any native lenses for them, and, aside from the (quite decent) kit zoom, they're expensive.  So far, despite their superb image quality,  it's hard to consider them as more than an appealing adjunct to a better developed system such as are provided by Canon and Nikon dslrs or, if you don't need/want FF, Micro 4/3.  (One professional's adventures in trying to make the A7/r his main kit are the subject of many entries in his blog, which is well worth reading if you don't know it:

Of course, those who really want innovation should get one of these:

Who else can sell you what's essentially a Sony Nex with a mediocre kit lens in the ugliest casing yet invented
for a mere 7200 Euros, pre-tax?

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon ditch the AA Filter?
« on: January 13, 2014, 05:13:00 PM »

From what I've seen from the X-Trans, its sharpness doesn't come close to a lot of other offerings, even smaller form factors like Olympus, in many cases. That's kind of the never really have moire (the moire you see in video is likely due to line skipping or something like that), but you don't get to actually utilize the sensor's full potential from a resolution standpoint, and there is clearly some overlap of larger blocks of pixels which is going to soften things up a bit.

I'm glad you wrote that.  I've been playing around for a couple of weeks with a Fuji X-E1, mainly to use with "legacy" manual lenses, based in part on the reports of remarkable sharpness that I've seen in various reviews.  Maybe the one I bought is defective, or maybe the kit lens is that came with it is (or both), but almost none of the photos I've taken outdoors in good light with the kit lens (which also receives very high praise in some quarters for sharpness) looks really sharp to me.  At first I thought it was the result of inaccurate AF, but while that occurs far more than it should (a well-known problem with these cameras, it seems), many photos simply look soft (this seems to get worse as the distance from the subject increases), both the camera's JPEGs and raw files via Lightroom and Photo Ninja (this is supposedly the best at dealing with the quirks of Fuji's raw files - DxO doesn't even try).  I don't have this problem with any other camera I own or owned or have recently tried, so I don't think it's just my ineptitude.

I have no insider technical knowledge, let alone the sort of technical knowledge you and others here have, but there seems to be something going on with either the sensor or how Fuji cameras create and process raw files that results in a degree of softening and may explain in part the remarkable low noise performance of these cameras at high ISOs.  You can see this if you use the dpreview comparison tool - Fuji raw files without noise reduction seem very smooth compared to any other APSC-size sensor, and even seem to compare favorably in that regard to some FF cameras, but there's less detail/contrast/punch - they look as though they've already been subjected to a heavy dose of noise reduction.

Lenses / Re: Why can't there be IS/OS in all lenses?
« on: January 08, 2014, 10:40:41 PM »
I must be missing something - why not put the IS in the camera instead of putting it in each of the lenses?

Sony, Olympus, and several others do just that.  It has the advantage of working with any lens, in theory.  In practice, in-body stabilization is much less effective with longer lenses (the sensor can only be shifted so far and so fast), doesn't stabilize the optical VF, and doesn't help with AF since the AF sensor isn't stabilized.  I suppose Canon and Nikon would also consider not being able to charge more for IS in each lens as a disadvantage.  ;)

Speaking of missing something, despite Sony being big proponents of sensor-shift IS, that feature is missing from their new FF mirrorless a7 and a7R.

One reason I'm keeping my Olympus OM-D and hesitant to try a Sony 7/7r is the excellent performance of the OM-D's IBIS, which stabilizes the EVF (if you're lucky enough to figure out the correct setting...) and, because it's mirrorless, doesn't need an AF sensor; it works superbly on the 100-300 Panasonic lens (better, probably, than the IS in that lens, which I keep turned off).  This is not only good for "native" m43 lenses, but wonderful for legacy lenses - it's easy to manually focus an IBIS-stabilized 135mm legacy prime on my OM-D, quite an ordeal on my Fuji x-e1, despite the reduced crop factor (there's no point even trying on my FF Canons).  Whether IBIS can cope with really big, heavy lenses, I don't know (though while I owned a Pentax K5 it seemed to do a good job with the unstabilized  version of the Tamron 70-200 2.8).  Apparently it's not in the A7s because the IBIS needed for a FF sensor would require a bigger camera body than Sony wanted for this line of camera.

As for the superiority of the Canon 24-70 2.8 II to the stabilized Tamron 24-70, it rather depends on how you use it, doesn't it?  I'm not disputing that in many (most?) situations the Canon is a better lens, at least marginally, on a Canon body.  But if you shoot in very low light you may, thanks to the Tamron's stabilization, get better results with the Tamron; if sharpness matters that much to someone, it's worth noting that the Tamron on a Nikon D800e is sharper than the Canon on is any currently available Canon body (according to Roger Cicala, at any rate); and it's not obvious that, say, the images Dustin Abbott has posted here taken on his 6D with the Tamron would look any better if they had been taken with the Canon lens.

Lenses / Re: Baby on the way - lens help
« on: January 06, 2014, 04:44:07 PM »
It depends in part on how close you're willing/able to get.  I don't have a baby of my own, but I've taken lots of photos of a friend's baby recently and, perhaps it's because she's not mine, but also because I don't want to startle her with a large black object making clicking noises, I used only two longish lenses, the 135L and 70-300L (the latter with bounce flash); with longer lenses you can take close-ups without being too instrusive, which suits me and, perhaps, the subject.  (Much the same applies to cats/kittens etc.; I have two of those and use the same lenses usually, sometimes using the 100L or 85 1.8 instead.)  All this is FF, so the same would apply to your 6D.

Perhaps also it might be due to Americans liking the "go big or go home" approach.

Not meaning big in size, but we like things that truly excel in some category - and also bring a good value to the table.

Here is where mirrorless fails entirely, given the above statements:

- Is mirrorless the best in quality?  Nope, DSLR is.
- Is mirrorless the most compact? Nope, a smartphone camera is.
- Is mirrorless the best standalone camera value?  Nope, a point & shoot is.

So where does mirrorless fit in?  Where does it truly excel above all?  The problem is, it does not.  It is through-and-through a compromise camera.  It compromises quality for portability, but still is less portable and more expensive than many other options available.  Hence the USA fail.

If by "quality" you mean "image quality", your answer to your first question is false: the new FF Sonys are at least as good as FF dslrs in image quality, the same is true of APS-C mirrorless cameras and their dslr equivalents (fans of the Fuji x cameras tend to think they're better, especially in terms of noise), while the gap between M43 and APS-C has become negligible.  What's more, the technology of mirrorless cameras, in the better ones, makes it easier to take good photos with both AF and manual lenses.

Your answer to your second question is true.  It's impossible to answer your third question without knowing what "value" means.  It's subjective.  If you're really nit-picky about image quality, point and shoots are bad value, regardless of price.

The reason why camera sales are falling is likely that most people aren't demanding about image quality (just as they aren't re audio quality - cf the prevalence of ipods + crappy earphones); and if all you're doing is posting photos on facebook etc., a smartphone is good enough anyway.  Toss in the answer to your second question and....


Let's be real here. AF still blows (speed and consistency) on every mirrorless offering in the market relative to a DSLR. The only piece of tech in existence currently is Canon's dual pixel tech which can potentially be used to provide something that can bring mirrorless AF up to par (or perhaps beyond a DSLR).

Yes, there are great manual aids that various companies provide in their mirrorless offerings. But the average user is the one that companies need to pursuade as they are the largest percentage of consumers and most of them don't want to have to manually focus. Also, focus peaking isn't all that great when it comes to super fast lenses and getting consistent critical focus. Split prism and/or zoom PIP is okay, but still not very fast or usable for all situations.

The second issue would be energy consumption. Battery life sucks on mirrorless cameras. Yes, all of them. I try to use the OVF and just deal with parallax as much as possible on my x100s and it is still not getting great battery life. Although I can deal with it, I still don't like having extra batteries in my pockets when I'm running out the door with the family in a hurry. So unless there are some earth-shattering developments in battery tech in the near future, this will be a major issue for the average user with any mirrorless camera.

Then comes the lens issue for me. lol. That being said, if the two problems I mentioned above were somehow rectified by some miracle, I would have no qualms about dumping my glass and going all in on a mirrorless system.

I quite agree about battery life (though they're small and it's easy to get back-ups; besides, I suspect that those of us who frequently take more than 400 photos a day are a rather small minority...) and focus assist (in my experience, used by itself it's the opposite, though it can be somewhat helpful when used in conjunction with zooming through an EVF), but unless by focus speed you're referring to tracking action (something I don't do and thus can't comment) I don't agree about focus speed and accuracy, at least with M43 cameras (esp. those I know best, OM-Ds; with most of the lenses I own focus is as close to instantaneous as makes no difference, and I'm pretty sure the accuracy rate is higher than I get from my dslrs (though as they're Canons that's very high anyway).  As for focus on fast moving things, there are plenty of demonstrations online of how that has changed with the newest OM-D; evidently it's not quite as good as the best Canons for that, but given how fast the technology seems to be developing it may catch up.  (Fujis, on the other hand, seem to be both slow and shockingly inaccurate, unless the new xe-2, which allegedly has fixed the former, has fixed the latter as well.)

All that said, I wouldn't be surprised if none of that has anything to do with why hardly anyone in the US or Europe wants to buy mirrorless cameras.  It may be more a matter of biases, prejudices, clueless salespeople, the vagaries of buying stuff online if you don't know anything much about the topic etc.


Seriously, raise your hands here --- if Canon were to release a Mirrorless FF body, same form factor as the 5 series, that used Ef lenses, regardless of spec's, raise your hands if you'd be thinking about owning one?  Spec it out 6dish and price it at $1900, who's raising your hands?  Hell, that could be a fun backup camera.


FF Mirrorless, small, lighter, but only a handful of lenses to choose from? (or an adaptor to use Ef lenses which to me just seems real real awkward, and would also cost you some IQ or Aperture or AF capabilities/accuracy?)

I would buy one without any hesitation if were realized as well as, say, the Olympus OM-Ds.  The advantages of mirrorless strike me as significant.  Not only is there no mirror flapping around causing vibrations, there's none of the focus inaccuracy induced by the complicated system required in a dslr - the need to adjust lenses to a camera body should be obsolete because you're focusing from the sensor: if the image looks in focus via the EVF then it is in focus (unless it's a crappy AF system such as used by Fuji, which often seems to think you should have focused on something else instead).  EVF's have the advantage of letting you see the effect of adjustments on exposure etc. as you make them while looking through the viewfinder and make manual focus easy again (especially nice if you like to fool around with "legacy" lenses; the simple adapters involved there work just fine).  What's more - and this is a huge advantage when avoiding focus-recomposing - the focus points can be almost edge-to-edge.    These are the main reasons why I like mirrorless, and they have nothing to do with size/weight.  I would love to be able to use my Canon lenses properly on such a camera, especially if, like Olympus, they were to throw in comparably good IBIS. 

I like having an OM-D for when I don't want to lug heavy stuff around too.  But the main reason M43 systems are small/light isn't because the bodies are; it's because the lenses can be, thanks to the smaller sensor.  Unless you use it solely as a back-up and/or are one of the (presumably tiny) class of people who expect to use them on tripods, I see little point in a small camera body if the lenses are big, even if it's technically possible to attach them with flawlessly unobtrusive adapters; the results are ergonomically absurd (as far as I'm concerned, at any rate).  That, and the lack of IBIS, are the main reasons why I've not bought one of the Sony A7s.

I had hoped that the next generation of Sony Alphas would be mirrorless, but it seems they'll keep using the same technology they've put in their modified dslrs, with their inferior low light performance (at least if the Sony rumor sites are to be believed).   And if Sony won't do it, it's hard to imagine Canon stepping up. 

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-105 vs canon 24-70 ii
« on: January 03, 2014, 11:23:30 AM »

Interesting how experiences can vary. I sent the 5diii back with the feeling that there was no real life difference over my 5dii. After reviewing the results from an event I shot with both cameras I had no desire to upgrade at all.
Yes, the focus of course is faster. But especially having all these extra AF points in the same confined area around the center provided no benefit in my book. If anything it slowed emu down having to scroll through too many of them.
I'd like to see fewer AF points but further spread out across the screen.

But then again I have a feeling that future models will have even more "features" that I have no use for.

Yes, they will, and perhaps include sensors so overloaded with pixels as to be of little practical use for most people.  And I agree with you about AF points.  I added a 6D to my 5DII for the better image quality and then replaced my 5DII with a 5DIII mainly to be better able to avoid focus/recompose and there seems little doubt that, as dslr focusing experiences go, the 5DIII/1Dx are still the best (better, anyway, than the Nikon equivalents in my limited - rental - experience).   But the focus points still take up a small portion of the screen.  I've also bought an Olympus OM-D, whose focus points are almost edge-to-edge and which focuses very fast and accurately and, as I have little interest in photographing things that move, must say that from that point of view it beats any dslr I've used.  (Such coverage may require the camera to be mirrorless, but it's obviously the case that not all mirrorless cameras are good at it; I've recently been trying a Fuji X-e1 which has worse coverage and shockingly inaccurate autofocus - except for fairly large things close-up I've given up and resorted to manual focusing instead.)

As for the two lenses, I'm sure the new 24-70 is sharper, and for all I know it does windows too.  It's not for me, though, and I don't think it would be if it were half the price.  Perhaps I'm weird, but I find the range limiting at both ends, prefer to have IS and while there are obviously types of photography where maximum sharpness is important, I seldom take photos myself where minor differences in sharpness matter (sure, I often look at photos I've taken with some lenses and say to myself "wow, that's sharp", but the nagging question "so what?" is never that far away).  Maybe I have an unusually good copy of the 24-105, but on all three FF Canons I've owned the images it makes are sharp enough that I'm disinclined to complain and I've had no problems at all with either speed or accuracy focusing in very low light; even though I have much faster lenses, and even though it's certainly not my favorite lens, it's probably my go-to lens for wandering around town at night - like the Energizer Bunny it just works....

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....

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