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Messages - sdsr

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS M Vanishes from Canon USA Web Site
« on: May 28, 2014, 11:23:48 AM »

For those that think you can't get good bokeh with M4/3, check-out Robin Wong's work with a 75mm f/1.8 http://robinwong.blogspot.com  How to Box a Chicken and Portrait of a Stranger, they look good to me.

And not just that lens - the other m43 primes I have that are long enough to significantly blur the background (Panasonic/Leica 25mm 1.4, Olympus 45mm 1.8 & Olympus 60mm 2.8 macro), and some of the zooms, create beautifully soft-edged bokeh - as of course do a vast array of other lenses which can be attached to a mirrorless camera via an adapter.  The reduced size of the sensor doesn't change the bokeh the lens is capable of, though of course the crop factor affects the relative distances for any particular framing with any particular lens and, thus, the extent to which the background will be out of focus.  (I've recently been enjoying using an inexpensive manual Vivitar 55mm 2.8 macro lens on my Olympus OM-D, Sony a6000 and Sony a7r and enjoying the different results from three different sensor sizes.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Debating on selling my 5D II and 35L/135L for a...
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »

The full frame mirrorless many recommend like the Sony a7/a7r is deceiving because though the body is small, the lenses are literally still as big as DSLR full frame lenses - in fact the 55mm f/1.8 for the Sony A7 is twice the size of the Canon 50mm 1.4!   So you have this tiny body but still have to lug around the big lenses making the ordeal pointless and an ergonomic mess IMO.

Your general point may be right, but the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 isn't twice as big as the Canon 50mm 1.4 - it's a bit longer (71mm vs 50mm), but somewhat narrower (64mm vs 73mm) and weighs slightly less (281g vs 290g) (data from dpreview as I'm too lazy to measure mine, but it seems about right).  It's also optically superior to the Canon, though of course not quite as fast (if you don't mind manual focus, the Canon, by the way, works very nicely on a Sony A7/A7r, the mirrorless technology avoiding the back/front-focusing issues often complained about with this lens). 

The Sony/Zeiss 35mm  2.8 is tiny, almost exactly the same size as its micro 43 equivalent, the Olympus 17mm 1.8 (both weigh 120g, there's a whopping 1mm difference in length and 4mm difference in diameter).  It's optically superior too.

As for the original question, it depends on what he wants to use the camera for and what he wants to do with the resulting photos.  If weight and bulk matter a lot and lens versatility matters, micro 43 wins out - optically much the same as most APS-C, the lenses - some of which are excellent, esp. the closest equivalent of the 135L, the Olympus 75mm 1.8 - are all much smaller than dslr equivalents, and if you buy an Olympus body, you get excellent image stabilization for any lens you attach, which makes up for at least some of the low light disadvantage these bodies have cf FF.  Whether what is perhaps the main difference - relatively longer depth of focus - matters is a matter of taste (the bokeh can be superb, though). 

If you don't mind the various compromises involved with the Sony A7/A7r (shortage of native lenses, not designed for herons-catching-fish, etc.), the image quality is unsurpassed (except perhaps by the 6D and 1Dx in very low light), and they're small and light. 

If you like playing around with old manual lenses (or new ones, for that matter), on mirrorless bodies focusing is much easier than on any dslr.  AF is better in at least some respects too - you can move focus points just about anywhere in the viewfinder (especially beneficial if you want to avoid the problems that come with focus-recompose) and there's no issue with front/back focusing.

Or a high-end point-and-should may suffice.

Anyway, they all have their pros and cons.  I used not to mind (much) carrying around FF dslrs and a lens or three, but having spent the last few months using an A7r, A6000 and Olympus OMD-EM5 almost exclusively, my 6D and 5DIII feel terribly bulky and heavy on the few occasions I've used them and I just don't enjoy the process of taking photos as much; for now I'll keep at least one of them, but I'm not sure for how much longer.  We're all different, though, so it's hard to make any sort of specific recommendation. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: DSRL Camera for travel
« on: May 23, 2014, 12:10:27 PM »
If you want to stay with Canon, I too would suggest the SL1, which produces image quality at least as good as any other Canon APS-C body (except perhaps the 70D and leaving aside such things as AF points and the inability to microadjust AF) and - at least if you're in the US - can be bought very inexpensively.  I keep reading good things about the most recent Sigma 18-250mm OS Macro and if you act within the next few days, you can buy a new one from Adorama for a mere $260; you'll find a link + code for the extra discount at - hold your nose - kenrockwell.com.  It's currently on backorder, but maybe it would arrive before you leave (I just ordered one for such a purpose; at that price it was hard to resist).  Anyway, an SL1 + that zoom + one or two small primes you already own may well be more than enough.  The same might be true of the EOS-M, if you can do without a viewfinder and don't mind the rather laggy performance.

Vacations pose rather a dilemma, don't they?  If you're going somewhere special, it seems silly to compromise on image quality, but you don't want to ruin your day by lugging around heavy expensive stuff.  To go smaller/lighter than the SL1 + above, you would need to switch to an entirely different system such as Micro 43, or get a relatively expensive high-end point-and-shoot (such as the tiny Sony RX100 series or the bigger Sony RX10) or, for optimal image quality, a Sony A7/7r and its two primes. But those options will all cost more (a lot more, in some cases) and, depending on what sort of images you take and what you plan to do with them, the differences in quality may well be negligible to nonexistent (some of the options will be inferior). 


Or they decided to do the hard thing (refreshing a large portion of their lens lineup) before doing the relatively easy thing (increasing pixel density in a single body). As has been noted numerous times, both the optics and the electronics net the effective system resolution, hence the 5D3 + lenses resolving better on average than the D800 + lenses.

Sure; but didn't Roger Cicala at lensrentals show that while the Canon 24-70 2.8 L II is a higher-resolution lens than the Tamron equivalent, the Tamron on a Nikon D800 outresolves the Canon on a 5DIII?  Reports suggest that the Canon performs awfully well on a Sony A7r (I wonder if anyone has done a similar comparison with both lenses on an A7/A7r).

It may well be that most people don't "need" more resolution, and that many of those who think they want it would be disappointed when they got it, but would anyone here complain if Canon released a relatively affordable (i.e. comparable to Sony) FF camera with higher resolution and better low ISO performance (especially if it also had at least as good high ISO performance as the 6D/1Dx)?  I wouldn't - especially if it were also mirrorless, so we could avoid the tiresome back/front-focus problems that seem to affect so many lenses. 


If you are consistently cropping for added zoom, you have the wrong lens or are standing in the wrong place.

Perhaps.  But swap "sometimes" for "consistently" and bear in mind that a small mirrorless FF camera + Zeiss/Sony 35mm or 55mm (or one of the smaller Canon - or anyone else's for that matter - primes) weighs little and is really easy to carry around all day; and the higher the resolution the easier it is to forego carrying around a longer lens as well.   


in addition to your Canon does not require any kind of lens selling or trading in for new set of crappy Nikon lenses.  trust me , Nikon just go down and down from now on since Sony just announced using its best sensor for only its own camera

Could you explain it a bit, how can Sony cameras use Canon lenses better than Nikon?

If you're asking whether Canon lenses work better on Sony A7/A7r bodies than Nikon lenses do, the latest metabones EF-Nex/e-mount adapter provides aperture control for most/many (all?) EF lenses and (if you're not in a hurry) AF for some.  I don't think there's a Nikon-Nex equivalent yet.  Provided you don't mind manual focusing and manual aperture control, manual Nikon lenses (you need the aperture ring) work just fine on the Sonys (as do a vast range of manual lenses - that's part of the appeal of mirrorless cameras).  This has nothing in particular to do with FF, by the way - the metabones EF adapter works just the same on Sony's APS-C mirrorless bodies.

If you're asking whether Canon lenses work better on Sony mirrorless cameras than they do on Nikon cameras, I don't think it's physically possible to attach an EF Canon lens to a Nikon body; so the question doesn't really arise. (Or am I wrong about this?) 

For whatever it's worth, in my experience Canon lenses work superbly on Sony mirrorless bodies - leaving aside AF issues (accuracy is dead-on; speed, on the other hand...).  And that's true not just of L lenses but even such lowly old-timers as the 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8.  When I get caught up with processing photos I'll probably post a few on this forum - though by now that point has been made by others elsewhere.

Sony FE 70-200/4 OSS is 80 grams HEAVIER and slightly LARGER than Canon EF 70-200 /4 L IS ... and delivers somewhat LESS IQ ... at 40% HIGHER price. ;-)

Luckily, the Canon works very well attached to the Sony bodies - provided you don't mind the AF compromises....   (I'm coming to prefer manual focus, so it's not a problem for me.)

Lenses / Re: Canon 85mm both front and back focussing issue ?
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:16:32 PM »
This is a tangential point that won't help Andrew one bit, but this thread, and the similar recent one re the 50mm 1.4, remind me of one reason why I look forward to the time (I hope it comes) when Canon makes a useful mirrorless camera, thereby rendering this back/front-focusing menace obsolete. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New Nikon D800s... Why?
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:08:16 PM »

Even carrying two lines for AA filtering reasons seems nutty.  Is a hardware selectable 'AA filter defeat' feature not possible?  That's an upgrade some folks might actually jump for.

- A

I have no idea, but i'm pretty sure the newisih Pentax K3 has the reverse - it has no AA filter, but you can select an AA filter simulator if you want.  Presumably reviews discuss whether it works.... 


The list Posted earlier in this thread re the upcoming Lenses Zeiss are producing for the Sony E Mount are very interesting, especially the faster lenses less than f/2.8, that's of real interest for me I must admit.

I love the Otus, but it would be nice to get something that has AF that's almost as good, in a Zeiss.

Maybe you mentioned this earlier in the thread, but if not - did you ever try the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8? 

Lenses / Re: Helios 44-2
« on: May 20, 2014, 03:32:06 PM »
I just picked up a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 from 1974...  and boy, it is fantastic...  best 15 gbp I've ever spent!!!!

Nice photos!  Since you like that sort of thing, if you haven't already you might also want to try some other similar lenses, such as the Jupiter 9 - 85mm f2 and rather soft and dreamy wide open (at least mine is), creating wonderful blurred images and, thanks to its 15 blade aperture, out-of-focus highlights remain more-or-less perfectly round as you stop it down. (There's another Russian lens, Tair 11-A, that has 20!)

I see an awful lot of bitching, complaining and general brand hatred in this thread.  Let me add:

- If you want a Canon/Nikon camera like the A7/A7R to use with all your Canon/Nikon lenses, buy an adapter!
- If you don't like the A7/A7R, don't buy it.
- If Sony doesn't make the lens you want, use someone else's!

If you want a really great full frame camera, buy the Sony A7 or A7r and enjoy it.

I've been a Canon user for years and a Pentax user before that.  I now have an A7R with adapters for all my Canon, Pentax, Minolta, M42 and T2 lenses and love it.  I own one Sony lens, the kit 28-70mm fit lens for the A7 (because someone didn't like it and gave it to me).  BEST lens I've ever had for the price!

Stop bitching, go for it and have fun...

Quite so.  There are likely plenty of people for whom the A7 series aren't "really great" for various reasons, but for the rest of us they are indeed fun, especially if you like manual focusing and (depending on the lens) aperture selection. I've been greatly enjoying using on my A7r a variety of old manual lenses (Helios, Jupiter, Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Vivitar & Pentax/Takumar), all of which have been very inexpensive to buy and which work really well with even cheap adapters - along with various Canon EF lenses; and when I want AF and even higher resolution I'll use the two Sony/Zeiss primes.  I'm so taken with the whole process I've recently added the even smaller and lighter a6000.  (Toss in my Olympus OM-D - its excellent IBIS helps - and each manual lens effectively acquires three different focal lengths; yes, you can achieve similar effects by cropping, but it's a rather different experience.)

Lenses / Re: What about those lens weights?
« on: May 14, 2014, 11:39:08 AM »

So what do folks think?  Is smaller and lighter better for you?  Or do you prefer higher quality and damn the pounds?  Have you swapped down to a mirrorless ILC, or would you own and use both ILCs and SLRs?

I used not to worry about weight (though after spending a full day walking around with several pounds of ff equipment I would sometimes wish I hadn't) until I tried some M43 equipment a year or so ago and was pleasantly enough surprised to buy some.  After extensive periods of time using it, switching back to FF Canon dslrs was rather a jolt.  I've since added a Sony A7r (465grams) along with the Sony/Zeiss 35mm 2.8 (120g!) and 55 1.8 (281g), all of which together weigh only 50g more than the new Sigma 50 1.4 by itself.  The image quality is fantastic, so there's no trade-off at all in that regard (unless you need a faster aperture, of course, or need to photograph herons-catching-fish).  For now I'm keeping all three (plus a SL1), but I'm not sure how long that will be the case.  (For some uses there's still no substitute for a dslr, but they tend not to apply to me, so....)

(As for lens weight increasing over time in general, during the last couple of weeks I've been playing around with some old manual lenses on my mirrorless cameras; and while they're often quite a bit smaller than their modern counterparts, they're surprisingly heavy for their size if you've become used to modern mostly-plastic primes - great to use, and much less bulky, but not necessarily much of a weight savings.)

Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: May 09, 2014, 11:08:51 AM »
I played around with the idea of getting this lens, or maybe the Sigma for quite a long time. As mentioned in the review, "that thick and stubby “prime” design" was very tempting too, but in the end I went with the Sigma (that was also before the Canon price drop).

You made the right choice for that sort of use, I think - the Sigma is amazingly good at controlling coma, far better than the Canon (or any other fast lens I've tried, for that matter).

Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 07, 2014, 03:29:38 PM »
i couldn't watch past about 3 minutes as i almost died of boredom :P

In the first couple of minutes he asks the same question over and over in different ways, so I skipped to the six minute mark, where he was still asking the same damn question yet again (maybe there was something interesting in between).  At that point I gave up.  I expect most posts in this thread have said the same thing, or better, but in the appropriate number of words.

"Buy what you need" makes sense, of course, especially if you're a pro and know what you'll be doing with the lenses you buy, and I agree with what others have said along those lines.  But if you take photos for fun, enjoy experimenting with different products, or are just learning your way around, it's also worth noting that you don't necessarily know what you want, let alone "need", and that using prime lenses makes you think differently about what you do.  It can be an interesting exercise, for instance, to spend a day or two wandering around with a lens of a focal distance you think you don't want and see how doing so affects how you look at the world and whether it makes you encounter situations you find photogenic which had hitherto passed you by (28mm may = 28mm, but walking around all day with only a 28mm lens is not at all the same experience as walking around all day with a zoom lens set at 28mm, unless somehow immobilize the zoom mechanism).  You may discover a new want/need you were completely unaware of.

And playing around with new toys like this needn't involve great expense, furtive receipt of heavy packages, etc.  For one thing, responding to the urge to buy can be met with a rental - doesn't cost much, and you may not like the lens at all.  Or - and I think this is much more fun - buy a mirrorless camera of some sort that has magnification and focus peaking (they pretty much all do that these days, regardless of price) and a few cheap adapters and try some old manual lenses, many of which are very inexpensive and really good (you have to figure out manual focusing, etc., but that's not necessarily a disadvantage...); and if you don't like them, you can probably sell them for at least as much as you paid for them.

Over the past few days I've been playing with a Canon 55 1.2, a Super Takkumar 55 1.8, a Minolta 50 1.4 and Helios 58mm f2, while awaiting a Jupiter 85mm f2 and Nikon 100 2.8 (the sin of focal length duplication...), all of which combined cost considerably less than, say, the new Sigma 50mm 1.4.  There's more to life than satisfying "needs".

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