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Messages - sdsr

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EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 23, 2014, 05:06:46 PM »

If you have talent and vision, it's not going to be lessened by using the tools available to you.

Quite so; and if you don't have talent and vision, being forced to use a limited range of equipment won't impart them.

As for shooting JPEGs, no thanks.  I like looking closely at photos, and if you do that you'll see that cameras' JPEG-creation tends to involve processing that smears fine details.  It may be possible to reduce or avoid that by experimenting with the camera's JPEG settings, but why bother if shooting RAW lets you avoid that? 


[....] This lens is a marketing gimmick though. It has nothing to do with the Zeiss Otus and the technology it uses. [....] The 55mm f/1.8 ZA is not revolutionary. It's about as impressive as sending someone to walk on the sidewalk. The 55mm f/1.8 ZA is boring design that shows no skill or technical mastery. [....]  If you look at DXO's sharpness figures and drill down to the raw data the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G obliterates the 55mm f/1.8 ZA over 98% of the frame at all apertures....

I've not read any of the marketing bumph - do Sony claim it is related to the Otus or that it's "revolutionary"?  Have you used a Sony 55 1.8 side-by-side with said Nikon lens and witnessed said obliteration yourself?

Anybody using the Sony/Zeiss FE 55mm lens yet? 

DXO testing shows results very close to the Otus 55 mm, in fact second best for any lens behind Otus and the best audiofocus lens DXO has every tested.  I should receive one soon along with A7R; I just hope all the ergonomic issues, Sony-specific software/hardware issues don't make me regret buying that combo to use alongside my 5D III.


I have no idea how it compares to an Otus in real life and probably never will (unless I rent one for kicks), I've not owned mine for very long, and so far I've only used it hand-held, but I'm finding the sharpness, clarity, contrast, colors etc. on my A7r to be quite remarkable, even on fairly distant subjects, whether in bright sun or at night, and at all the apertures I've used so far (it's impressive at 1.8 but does improve a bit with stopping down).  Excellent bokeh too.  I can't agree with those reviewers who have said they don't ever see any chromatic aberrations - while its performance may well be better than that of most fast lenses, I certainly see it in the usual worst-case high-contrast scenarios, but it's easy enough to fix in, say, LR; and while the files respond very nicely to tweaking, the RAW files look pretty damn good viewed 1:1 in LR with no more than its default import settings.  (I've also seen a bit of shutter shock on a couple of photos where I wasn't paying attention and the camera selected the shutter speeds where that happens (1/100-1/125 or so).)  It perhaps goes without saying that it's considerably better than the 28-70mm kit zoom.

I suppose it would be nice if it had IS (or OS or whatever Sony calls it), though I've not had a problem resulting from its absence so far (and it wouldn't help the shutter shock anyway, would it?), but given how well it does I'm disinclined to think it's overpriced for what it is.  (Then again, I was able to take advantage of the current promotion and bought it with the camera for $200 off....)

I also suspect that, as a practical matter, it's easy to exaggerate how good this lens is.  Yes, this lens/body combination captures remarkable detail etc., remarkably well - but I've also obtained excellent results from several of the Canon lenses I've tried on the camera too, including such bargains as the 40mm pancake and 85mm 1.8 (though this isn't as good at 1.8 as the new Sony is).  In many situations, especially if you're not viewing the images 1:1 or making huge prints, there may not be much of a difference in image quality (though of course you'll get much faster focusing from the Sony lens). 

Anyway, there seems a pretty good chance you'll be pleased with it - I hope so!

Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 22, 2014, 05:06:35 PM »
Only in CR or similar forums did I ever come across a few people talking about what kind of noise is there in some dark/unimportant area of the image or some posterization in the OOF area etc ... unfortunately, now I've begun to look for those issues, instead of concentrating on the most important aspect of the image i.e. subject matter, the message the images conveys, composition etc :-[
I need to get back to what's important to me in an image.

Easy for you to say, now that you have a Sony A7.... :P

Lenses / Re: Affected with GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome
« on: February 22, 2014, 04:47:38 PM »
1. If you really want to avoid GAS, steer clear of review/chat sites that blow subtle differences among bits of equipment out of all proportion to the difference, if any, they're likely to make to the photos you make with them.

2. On a related note - which could, of course, cut both ways - one way of dealing with GAS is (assuming this is an option where you live) to rent the latest expensive toy that everyone is getting excited about.  This will satisfy your curiosity, which may be enough - you could easily discover, as I sometimes do, that your reaction is indifference: yes, it's good, but the results aren't appreciably better than what I'm getting now.  And, by the time you send it back the initial urge may have passed anyway - yes, this is surely best 35mm 1.4 lens ever, but, frankly, I don't really like how the world looks at 35mm....

3. There's nothing wrong with GAS if you can readily afford it. And it needn't be that expensive.  For instance, if you bought a digital body that works well with old manual lenses (i.e., a mirrorless body of some sort - a second-hand m43 with IBIS is a good idea) you could acquire many new lenses to play with that are really cheap and a pleasure to play around with, in part because they're made so well, in part because they can be really good.  And while doing all of that you may be distracted from wanting to buy $2000 lenses - especially once you get used to how inexpensive lenses can be....

4. And on a note related to *that*, if you're disciplined and don't keep everything you buy, it's worth remembering that, unlike camera bodies, good lenses don't depreciate much: you won't lose much if you sell an L lens you bought new, and if you bought it second hand in the first place you may even sell it for more than you paid for it.  (When I ditched all my Pentax equipment on switching to Canon, the only notable loss was on the camera body; I sold several lenses for more than I paid for them, and they were far from L quality.)

5. You need more lenses.

Lenses / Re: Lenses sharper on FF
« on: February 22, 2014, 04:12:26 PM »
You have to have a really sharp lens for it to be close to as sharp on a crop body compared to ff. The crop sensor has a higher pixel density and will out resolve a lot of lenses. The link below compares crops of a 200 f/2 on a 6d and a 70d which are both 20mp the 6d might be a bit better in the center but I don't see a significant difference.


In real life those two combinations may produce results that look the same, but in this particular chart comparison I can see a difference, which is, perhaps oddly, most apparent in the corners, where the 6D wins all the way down to f8 (at which point I stopped), even though the difference narrows as you go.  (Obviously, unlike more than a few FF lenses this lens doesn't have corners that benefit from being cropped off.)

PowerShot / Re: need help deciding:To canon or not to canon
« on: February 21, 2014, 04:21:46 PM »
The Fuji looks nice, but I hope the image quality is notably superior to the X-E1's.  It could be that the copy I bought was defective, but I don't think it ever created a really sharp image, regardless of light, if the subject was more than a few yards away, and while it's true that even their RAW files have low noise, it's pretty obvious that they achieve that by applying heavy noise reduction that you can't avoid; you can even see this via dpreview's comparison tools.

The noise reduction (only in JPEG) can be somewhat modified by turning NR to -2 and increasing sharpness. As far as RAF files go, the files coming from the X Trans II are awesome for APSC.

I firmly believe that some of the issues people have with these files are from not processing them through the proper software. LR 5.3 now does a much better job than previous iterations with X Trans files albeit still not as good as photo ninja and a couple others IMO.

I processed mine with the latest versions of LR and photoninja.  Maybe I was doing something wrong, and maybe the Fuji files need rather different technique, but I didn't like the results in either, for various reasons (among other things, horrible colors in many outdoor images in photoninja that were hard to correct, and break-up when adding moderate amounts of sharpening in LR) that have never been an issue for me with m43 (Olympus), APS-C (Nikon, Pentax, Canon) or FF (Canon, Nikon, Sony).  I was very impressed, though, with the accuracy of its automatic white balance in difficult interior lighting (probably the best of any camera I've used).

Canon General / Re: Canon Says No to Retro Design for Them
« on: February 21, 2014, 04:04:14 PM »

The only people that the Nikon Df is really going to appeal to are those that started out taking photographs with film and remember what it was like "back then" when video cameras were used to create video and photographers had cameras that took photos, not video. They'll already have a collection of lenses to use the camera with. The iPhone and Instagram crowd couldn't care less for it.

You may be right; but won't they be disappointed too, at least to the extent their lenses are manual focus?  It's all very well being able to easily attach an old mf lens, but without providing the means for relatively easy mf that film cameras had, and by avoiding the mirrorless advantage of in-EVF magnification and focus peaking etc., Nikon doesn't seem at all user-friendly (leaving aside all the other ergonomic issues).  For someone with mf lenses s/he wants to use on a ff camera, a Sony A7/A7r makes more sense to me (that's one reason why I bought an A7r).

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 21, 2014, 02:30:12 PM »

I'm quite confident I am a limitation in my own photography and the more experience I get, the better my pictures get, regardless of the equipment.

I am also quite aware of the advice to look at your cameras limitations and decide what you really need before you upgrade.  This is where the 60D answers many of my equipment's limitations for a whole lot less than FF.  It just doesn't answer the one that bugs me the most (noise). 

I'm concerned that I will go FF and still be disappointed.  That's why I might just rent first to see.

All that is true, except that it's almost inconceivable that you would be disappointed by what a FF body does for your principal annoyance.  And while it's true that better equipment won't necessarily improve *your* limitations, it's not likely to make them worse.

But yes, it makes sense to rent/borrow first.  That's what I did - and when I did, I couldn't wait to buy one (in fact I ordered my 5DII before returning the one I rented), because I preferred everything about it, from ergonomics through to the actual image; because I enjoyed using it so much more, I used it more and, through practice, improved, probably more than I would have had I stuck with my Pentax K-5.  You may have a similar experience - or not....

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:57:27 AM »

Taken to the extreme - if you were teaching someone who knew nothing about photo, and assume money was no object - what would you start them with? A 1DX with a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200? Of course not - many would say here to start on film, with a 50mm. Get them understanding the basics.

Why couldn't a competent teacher do that with a student who owned such equipment?  I find the notion that you must start with a small, dark viewfinder, a sensor that makes noisy images in low light (or, worse, film, requiring you to wait perhaps days before you can see the results of your efforts), etc., and the implication that top level equipment is some sort of reward that you have to earn by first mastering technique elsewhere, quite bizarre.  Of course, money usually is an object, especially if you have no idea whether your interest in photography will "stick", but otherwise....

Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 21, 2014, 10:51:44 AM »

I'd like to see what you can do to try a stripey 7D file under the same conditions, and see how much work you'd have to put in, and what kind of results could be obtained.


And yes, I'm no Photoshop guru, but neither should I have to be.  Far quicker and better for future-proofing to just choose better tools that don't require me to fix such things in post.

Since this is a thread about DxO (albeit a different branch of it) I though I would mention the improved "prime" (I think that's what they call it - I don't have it here in my office) noise reduction component of the latest version of their software.  The other day I ended up with a badly underexposed photo of one of our cats, who was posing in a rather dramatic way - I inadvertently took the first shot, with bounce flash, before I was in the same room as he was in, so of course it bounced in the wrong place, missed him altogether and I ended up with a rather dark image.  I rather liked the result nevertheless, but also thought I would see what would happen if I tried to brighten it.  As I had taken it with my 5DIII rather than 6D, there was a little visible banding in the noise which I couldn't quite remove in LR (not that I tried terribly hard).  I then tried it in DxO, selecting "prime" noise reduction mode and the banding vanished completely, and automatically, with no further tweaking on my part.  Whether that would help with the banding you're complaining about I have no idea (I've never used a 7D, and have no idea how underexposed your problem photos are, let alone how much you want to brighten them), but what it did for me certainly didn't require guru status.

Ever since I got the Sony a7, I've been visiting the www.sonyalpharumors.com site almost everyday, but since last night the site seems to return the following error message:
Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to www.sonyalpharumors.com
Try reloading: www.­sonyalpharumors.­com

Did anyone who has visited that site, today, face similar problems today?

We seem to be reading the same blogs, presumably for the same reasons!  I was unable to get onto the site yesterday via Firefox but had no problem with Chrome, and when I closed Firefox and reopened it the site worked just fine again.  I just tried it in Chrome and it worked for me again.  Try closing your browser and opening it again, or try a different browser and see what happens.

(As for soundimageplus, much as I enjoy following his experiences with various cameras, and for all that his comments usually make a lot of sense, I don't find his photos very helpful because I find the way he processes them to be, to put it politely, not to my taste.)

In daylight I rather doubt any of those alternatives will yield noticeably better results than you get from your 5DII, unless you wanted to shoot lots of fast action, in which case a 1Dx or 5DIII would be an obvious improvement - but only in terms of actually getting the shot, not the image quality of a successfully made photo. 

If you really want a new toy, take yorgasor's Sony A7r suggestion more seriously than it may have been meant instead, and see how much fun you can have with your Canon lenses on that excellent sensor (but not if you want to take photos of things that move...).  As you seem to be in the US, you could just rent one & adapter from lensrentals (and try the excellent Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 while you're at it).

Canon General / Re: Canon Says No to Retro Design for Them
« on: February 20, 2014, 03:59:41 PM »
The retro thing may be a temporary fad anyway.  I happen to rather like the look (it's partly what drew me to the Olympus E-M5), but aside from the clunky Nikon DF it seems confined to the realm of mirrorless cameras, which don't sell well regardless of what they look like, and even there the latest flagship mirrorless cameras don't look retro at all (any of the Sonys, Olympus E-M1, Panasonic GH4 (which looks just like a slightly undersized dslr), even the upcoming Fuji whatever-its-name-is).   

Canon General / Re: Canon Says No to Retro Design for Them
« on: February 20, 2014, 03:48:53 PM »
What the camera looks like is relatively unimportant - what it does is what matters.  Unfortunately, with the
exception of the dual pixel 70D (which has yet to prove itself), Canon seems to be lagging in almost every
department, sensor development, high iso performance, mirrorless, etc.  On the other hand, it seems to be working for the bottom line when other manufacturers are struggling.

Behind whose high ISO performance does Canon's lag (the 6D's in particular)?  As for arguably the single most important aspect of a camera, focus accuracy (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, speed), who beats Canon in the dslr context?   It's true that they don't seem to be interested in mirrorless, but it's hard to blame them for that - outside parts of Asia, they just don't sell well (however much some of us may like them, however much it seems they *ought* to succeed). 

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