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Messages - sdsr

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Lenses / Re: 35mm f2 IS for city photography at night?
« on: February 19, 2014, 10:12:55 AM »
Another thought: The 24-70/4L IS may be a good option. It covers the 35mm focal length, has IS, and gives the flexibility of a zoom. It's obviously more expensive than the 35/2 IS, but weather sealed and comparable in price to the 35/1.4L

The TO has the 24-105 F/4 IS, so adding the 24-70 F/4 IS to his kit would be a bit redundant ...

Right, especially in low light where any slight improvement in corner sharpness etc. the newer lens might have will surely get lost.  As for whether slow apertures are a hinderance at night when you're not trying to freeze action, a couple of months ago I posted some photos I took on a snowy dusk/night in NY with the 70-300L (which has IS, of course) attached to my 5DIII - so no fast apertures and pretty high ISOs and, if I remember right, I didn't apply any noise reduction when converting the RAW files.  If interested, you can go here:


PowerShot / Re: need help deciding:To canon or not to canon
« on: February 18, 2014, 04:06:44 PM »
On the surface, those requirements read like the spec sheet of the G1X mk II.

At this stage, downpour-sealed, great IQ and small'ish size are, in that order, my main criteria. Is the G1X2 weather-sealed and if it is, to what extent?

In that case, the E-M1 seems the way to go, at least if you attach the 12-40mm zoom.  In case you've missed Ming Thein's hot shower test:


PowerShot / Re: need help deciding:To canon or not to canon
« on: February 18, 2014, 04:01:39 PM »
I like mine, and am looking forward to my X-T1 ...

Options for me are really leaning towards the Sony A7, the Olympus E-M1 and the Fujifilm X-T1 ... as they're all priced basically the same where I park it ... and small enough to carry around. Add a nice prime, weather-sealed of course, and I'm good to go. Only, there are no weather-sealed primes for these camera, or are there?

It's hard to find plausible-looking information about whether the Sony FE primes are weather sealed (some say they are, others say they aren't, still others say they are, somewhat), but even if they were I doubt they're up to E-M1 or even E-M5 standards.  If they were, you would think Sony would make a big deal out of it.  As for Olympus, the excellent 60mm macro is weather sealed, but I don't think their other primes are. 

Re Sony A7 vs Olympus E-M1, the Olympus is one of the best designed cameras around and it has the virtue of the best (in some ways, at least) range of native lenses of any of these compact systems; it really is a pleasure to use.  But if image quality matters a lot (i.e., if you don't print small and like pixel-peeping), the A7 is unquestionably better (the A7r even more so) than the E-M1 in that regard, the relentless protestations to the contrary on 43rumors notwithstanding.  And since the image quality of the E-M1 strikes me as no better than the E-M5's, it made little sense for me to replace my E-M5 with an E-M1, especially given that the A7 costs more-or-less the same as an E-M1 (for me, the only advantage of the E-M1 over the E-M5 is the bigger viewfinder; the other "improvements" are all fluff). 

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. 

Canon General / Re: Canon lack of innovation
« on: February 18, 2014, 02:42:25 PM »
Apple, Samsung, IBM, Canon, Sony, Ericsson, Nikon ... you name them, they are all in the same race.

True. But does any of them treat you like a real person ... cares for you as a person ... shows compassion and understanding towards you as a person ... ??? Or do they see you as simply part of the many who buys their product because their marketing succeeded ...  ???

All I want them to do is provide appealing products I (might) want to buy, along with attendant good service if needed; and while at the moment I get the impression that the Sony A7R is capable under the right conditions of creating images that are, technically, a bit superior to what any current Canon body is capable of, I think Canon overall meets those criteria very well, probably better than any other camera company.  I don't care what their motives are if they meet those criteria (nor do I if they don't). 

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "shows compassion and understanding towards you as a person" but if Canon started to send out social workers and therapists to make sure it understood me as a person, I would probably buy some more locks for the front door.  Are we supposed to show compassion and understanding to Canon & Co. in return?  (Fuji, given the extent to which it appears responsive to customer input by constantly issuing firmware updates, may come the closest to "caring" but unless the XE-1 & lens I bought were defective I have no desire to give them any of my money whether they care about me or not.)

And I rather doubt that any company succeeded for long based simply on marketing.

Lenses / Re: 35mm f2 IS for city photography at night?
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:44:00 PM »
A couple of observations:

First, all the lenses you currently own work really well in cities at night on 6d, with its superb low light performance, including the 24-105.  Sure, if you want to keep the ISO as low as possible or want to freeze action, something faster is nice, but otherwise I'm not so sure.  It would be helpful on the SL1, though.

Second, as for the Sigma 35 1.4 vs Canon 35mm IS, I think those digital picture charts show that they are in fact quite similar in terms of sharpness (that was my experience, anyway), and if you were going to use them in bright daylight, I might suggest you toss a coin.  As for cities at night, each has an advantage the other lacks: while IS is nice to have if your shutter speeds get slow, city lights provide ample opportunities for coma (distant street lights near edges and corners, for instance); and if that bothers you (it does me), the Sigma is the better choice - it has the best coma performance of any fast lens I've used: it's only slight wide open and only a little stopping down makes it disappear altogether, whereas the Canon starts off much worse and takes longer to go away as you stop down, which rather defeats the purpose of using a fast lens (that's one reason why I like the 24-105 so much - coma isn't a significant problem with slowish zooms).  This won't be an issue on the SL1.  Check out the lenstip reviews - they address coma better than anyone else's I've seen.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8 advice
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:48:53 PM »
No apology needed, you gave great advice. I just can't see myself justifying any extra 1000$ for a lens that may be 10% better (feel free to correct me on this) especially since this isn't my job and I don't earn money for it. If the lens really is night and day then i may consider it, but then i'd rather buy an extra wide angle lens. Is the canon really twice the lens of the sigma/tamron?

Reviews I've seen of the Tamron VC (you'll find some here) suggest the difference is pretty subtle, though of course whether the difference(s) matter(s) is for you to decide.  But unless you really want/need f/2.8, consider a 70-200 f/4 IS or, my own favorite zoom, the 70-300L IS, both of which are optically and mechanically superb and weigh and cost a lot less than the 2.8.  And if you do buy a 70-200 2.8 II, check it out carefully - I tried three, all of which were decentered, before giving up and deciding that for my purposes the other two L zooms were quite good enough.


that thread is on a fred miranda review using canon lenses on an a7r for landscapes.

thanks I saw that article.  that is why I am considering the Sony A7R.  Which is the better way to go?  Waiting for Canon may be a long time and if a body comes out it will be expensive.

It seems you can't readily attach Canon lenses to Nikon bodies, for the reasons given here:


So if you're deciding between a Sony or Nikon body, the answer seems pretty clear - get the Sony, which also gives you the usual advantages of mirrorless bodies & EVFs. 

Of course, as others have pointed out, whether you'll find the A7r gives you better results depends on how you use/view the results and what your criteria are - the extra resolution and dynamic range may or may not make a difference to you; and bear in mind that while you will almost certainly get better center resolution if you attach a Canon lens, that may not be true of corners:


My hunch, after playing with an A7r for a couple of weeks (and an A7 before that), is that Canon lenses (the ones I tried, anyway) yield slightly better results on A7 bodies than they do on a 6D or 5DIII (though of course they're easier to use on the latter), that the difference isn't just a matter of extra resolution (if you like viewing images 1:1 on a good, big monitor, the results certainly have an extra "wow"factor, even if you don't use a tripod), but that the 6D is probably better at high ISOs, at least in terms of noise. 

But I've not done anything approaching scientific tests, which is why I say "hunch" (I imagine there are useful A-B comparisons of the same thing shot with the same lens on different bodies on-line or, if not, that there soon will be).  If you're in a position to rent, why don't you rent an A7R & metabones Canon-E adapter and find out first-hand if you notice an improvement that's significant to you?  (And don't just try it on landscapes, unless that's all you photograph.)

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Price leaked
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:39:02 PM »

Shown off to who, if you don't mind my asking?  It's such an exotic piece of tech that only other photogs would know what it is. 

With that same money, you can you get a second FF body along with this new Sigma 50...  Just saying.

Or, if you make that second FF body a Sony A7/A7r, you could get the Zeiss/Sony 55mm 1.8, which probably makes photos that are indistinguishable from the Otus 99% of the time, and has AF (and, at present, is $200 off - i.e. $799 - if you buy it with an A7/A7r).  Come to that, the Zeiss/Sony on a 7R could well create better images than the Sigma, no matter how good it is, or even the Otus would on any current Canon sensor (leaving aside such questions as whether you need to track fast action).  Interesting times....

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Price leaked
« on: February 13, 2014, 07:31:52 PM »

[...] I know that only photographers see the differences in most of these crazy lens choices 99% of the time. Clients just don't, clients see moments, posing, lighting, composition, post processing etc . This constant hand wringing about a few lppmm, or distortion, aberrations etc is just crazy.

I'm sure that's right, if what matters is the perceptions of clients.  Those of us (un)lucky enough not to be professional photographers are our own clients, as it were, and, just like any other interest/hobby, if you get "into" it enough you start to care about all sorts of details that others just don't notice (and, when they're pointed out, don't care).  Some distinction that may seem trivial to me might matter to you, and vice versa; and while it's probably true that all manner of differences among lenses and bodies are simply invisible unless you go pixel-peeping - in which case it really is crazy to obsess with this sort of thing if you don't pixel-peep, print small, etc. - some of us do.

And for those sorts of reasons it's hard to answer questions such as "I own body x and lenses y & z; should I upgrade to body A or lens C", especially if what motivates the question is some hoped for change in image quality.  In a different life I used to sell cds of classical music, and new customers would always be taken aback when they asked for a recommendation for a recording of some piece of music because, instead of just saying "this one's the best" I would ask them questions about their tastes in interpretation and tried to tell them that they mightn't notice what I notice (and vice versa), care about what I care about, etc.

Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I'll show my other half a couple of photos for comparison purpose (noise, botched lighting, etc.), and as often as not he'll prefer the "wrong" one and not notice what is, to me, an obvious flaw.  It's an enviable state, in some ways - often, when looking at others' photos, I'll find myself looking at all the trivial stuff that we're supposed not to care about (and I'm quite sure that I never noticed chromatic aberrations, noise, etc. on HD TV shows until I got into photography a few years ago).  But once you get into the habit of scrutinizing details it's hard to stop....

Lenses / Re: DxO Review of the Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 Di VC USD Canon
« on: February 12, 2014, 01:51:51 PM »

I am not sure I understand your criticism of DXO. Am I right that their scores only refer to image quality? It seems to me that you are asking more of them than they offer.

I think I know what you mean, but image quality in the abstract doesn't matter: if it doesn't focus fast and/or accurately (I've no idea whether it does or not) in the sort of conditions for which such a lens is likely to be used, then the image quality, much of the time, won't be any good at all.

Reinz ... Not to sound like an ass but ... what are you trying to prove here?

I'm interested in the A7 + a kit/prime lens and have the special luxury of getting approx 20% discount on almost all Sony products so I'm wondering whether it is worth the plunge. Somehow I feel that a 55mmm prime + a A7 will be a great tool while on my travel.

I am however, NOT AT ALL interested in using one with an adapter. For me, the only point in the Sony is the smaller form factor that I can use while I'm traveling. For anything that requires a Canon lens, I'll happily use my DSLR.

I get not wanting to attach a Canon zoom, but it's perhaps worth pointing out that you retain a small form factor if you attach one of the smaller Canon primes (I've used the 40mm pancake and 85mm 1.8).  Of course, focusing may not be fast enough....

@Rienz: I'm curious about the JPEG quality. You say these are strait out of camera JPEGs? When you move into the green backgrounds, the posterization and artifacting is really bad. Really quite bad, especially at the lower ISO settings. Any chance you could take a RAW and save it at maximum quality JPEG?

You can read more about that problem here:


I don't use JPEGs, so for me that's not an issue.  What does bug me - because I like taking urban photos at night - is a sensor flare/reflection problem, some of which is discussed in this thread:


I don't think I ever noticed that particular problem, presumably because I never shot slower than f4 at night (but perhaps I should scrutinize my images more closely; I won't be taking more photos with it because I returned it), but I did notice large halos around just about any significant point of light - headlights, streetlamps, etc. - regardless of JPEG or RAW and regardless of whether I was using a native lens or, say, a Canon.  I have never seen such halos via the A7r I've been playing with for a couple of weeks.  (If I decide to keep either of them, it will be the A7r, whose main problem for me is the shutter vibration, which is easy enough to avoid - shoot slower than 1/100 or faster more than 1/125).

By the way, in case anyone reading this who cares and doesn't know: in the US at least you can take $200 each off the price of up to three of Sony's native lenses for the next couple of weeks or so if you buy them with an A7/r, and they're almost giving away a Sony flash that normally costs c. $500.  The two primes are certainly worth it....

Canon General / Re: So much redundancy...
« on: February 11, 2014, 10:19:30 AM »
The 85mm sold... so there's a little less redundancy in my life.

Good; now you can buy an 85mm L....

The fact that you have lenses of similar focal length and/or that overlap doesn't necessarily mean that any of them are redundant.  You'll figure out soon enough if you don't need/want both the 100L and 135L (I could imagine having the former and deciding I didn't need the latter, but not vice versa, but they're different, I like them both and thus keep both - but that's just me), or any of the others.  The only one I would consider dropping is the one you're most reluctant to part with, the 70-200....

Lenses / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Price leaked
« on: February 06, 2014, 05:21:56 PM »
If it's true then they got too greedy too early.

On the other hand, I don't know the price difference between the Aussie and the U.S. markets. For example, the U.S. prices are about 30-35% lower than where I live. The 50L is about 2300 dollars where I live.

Perhaps they're encouraged by the $999 charged for the new Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8!

Photography Technique / Re: Photography fail moments !!!
« on: February 06, 2014, 04:42:02 PM »
Honestly, I think your comments are unfair and directed at the wrong "idiot" in this situation. These people obviously used their cameras on "auto" mode. So, the question is, why is the camera not clever enough to actually figure out what's going on, huh? Badly designed "auto" mode from the manufacturers, in my opinion.

True, but that doesn't explain the tourists I see who wander around, say, Independence Mall with bulky speedlights attached, which they use while taking photos of the exterior of Independence Hall on a sunny day; not sure what's going on there.

My bad moments usually pretty boring - I'll adjust a setting I don't usually adjust, go for a few days without using the camera, forget I ever made the change, and not realize it until it's too late.

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