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Messages - docsmith

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Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 29, 2013, 06:33:16 PM »
@Canon1---I sent back my last three copies a week ago.  I bought my first copy in mid- to late-October.  I evaluated Copies 1-4 over November and 5-8 in December.

@dgatwood---All I can say is that I find my 24-105 to be pretty darn sharp.  From my tests I can say that I am not as disappointed with softness from 70-105 mm as others have said.  I can see some softness, but it really isn't that bad.  Distortion at 24 mm is pretty severe.....but it has worked pretty darn well for me.  So I can't complain.

Lenses / Re: EF 400mm f/5.6L IS on the Way?
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:37:15 AM »
I did not say it would be a bad idea. I for one would be seriously tempted.
I said I do not believe this rumor! Plain and simple!

That was my first reaction, and that the 100-400L needs an update more.  But....the 100-400L outsells the 400/5.6 by a wide margin - and the zoom still sells well.  Maybe it makes sense to Canon to release a new 400/5.6 IS prime with substantially better IQ than the 100-400L, inducing current 100-400L owners to buy the prime...then (after a suitable delay) update the 100-400L with IQ almost equal to the new prime.

This thought crossed my mind as well.  Canon has to figure out ways to make money after all.  This could be a way.

I for one, hope this rumor is true.  It was be great to see a 400 f/5.6 IS that is optically better.  I bet it would sell even if it is in the ~$2,000 to $2,500 price range.

Regarding the thoughts of the 400 f/4 IS.  I'd be tempted by this lens.  The main problem I see is price point.  Make it close enough to the 400 f/2.8 II that it doesn't hurt the f/2.8 sales and the f/4 likely doesn't sell very well.  Price it in the ~$6,000 range, similar to the 200 f/2 or 300 f/2.8, and it may hurt the 400 f/2.8 II sales. 

I see Canon (over?) populating popular ranges like the 24-70 mm or 70-200.  I am not sure they'd do the same thing with the super teles.  Market may be too small.  Two 300 mm primes and several zooms that end at 300 mm.  Two 400 mm primes and two zooms that end at 400.  One 500 mm, 600 mm and 800 mm prime. One zoom that, with built in extender, ends at 560 mm.  Bigger the market, the more options you get.

Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:09:48 AM »
P.S. - I just bought a new 24-70ii.  It is simply awesome.  It is sharper then my 24-105 all the way to the corners and all the way from f2.8-f11.  Just awesome!!!

That is very good to hear.  I really am happy for you, if not a little jealous.

But I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss what is being reported   For comparison, my 24-105 was sharper at 70 mm from f/4 through f/11 than copies 3 & 7 of the 24-70 II I received.  Would you have spent $1,700 for a lens that was less sharp than one currently in your bag?   

I had reviewed the Reikan data.  My aperture sharpness tests for Copy 4 look almost exactly like the average data from Reikan for the 5DIII....but it had a bubble in the front element.  Copy 8 looks very similar except imagine from f/4 to f/2.8 the graph plummeting to ~0.75.  If you had multiple aperture sharpness tests all doing that and could see Reikans data, would you have kept those lenses?

Of course, those are rhetorical questions.  I am comfortable with what I did.

But Reikan's data, along with the various comments I've seen, are part of the reason that I think that there is a recent production line issues and that there are very good copies of this lens out there.  I will be interested to see if the Reikan values change as more data is gathered.  I will be more interested to hear reports, such as yours, of people getting good copies of the lens.  I may try to buy the lens again after a few months, depending on the price.

Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 27, 2013, 06:34:44 AM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.

 ;D :D

Too true.....

Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 26, 2013, 05:58:49 PM »
I wonder if some of the apparently OCD behavior with questing for the perfect lens has to do with passionate photographers well out of their spending comfort zone.

Or are there really so many bad copies of great lenses?

My context, I am one of the people having had issues with the 24-70 II.  I had eight ( 8 ) copies that I returned.  So, I have a little perspective on the sample variation of this "elite" lens. 

Regarding the first part, I can only speak for myself and I was comfortable with the amount I spent.  Matter of fact, I was ecstatic to be getting that lens for the $1,699 price (actually closer to $1,550 after all the different points, etc).  But I wanted that lens to be in my kit has a main stay for years to come.  So I did test it vigorously.

My tally was: 4 sent back for the "clicking" sound.  Three were very loud, one slightly less so, but I did not need to hold it to my ear to hear the clicking on any of them.  I contacted Canon, they advised I return the lens.  But these returns were really out of fear of the unknown.  Why is it clicking?  What will happen in the future?  Some people say the clicking goes away....but that sounds like either metal fatigue or wearing off small parts to me.  Long term impacts?  To me the clicking sounded like metal being compressed and released, like something was over torqued during assembly.  Hard to tell, but people on the forum said it was atypical...canon said it was atypical.  So 4 copies went back.  I tested one of them optically, the first, and it was optically great.  I didn't optically test the other three.

Copies 3 & 7.  Both these copies were incredibly sharp at 24 mm, especially copy 7 (sharpest at 24 mm of all the lenses I tested).  But they both had issues at 70 mm.  In addition to being significantly softer than the other copies I optically tested at 70 mm, there was an odd AFMA issue where I had different AFMA values at different apertures.  I still do not understand why and have been worried it was me, my camera, my tests, etc.  But I did multiple tests using Focal, and the tests were pretty consistent.  In addition, I lined up more real world tests for Copy 3 and I could see the center focal plane shift depending upon the aperture. 

Copies 4 & 8 I almost kept.  Copy 4 was probably the best copy.  It wasn't the sharpest of the copies at any focal length, but it was close enough.  More important it was consistently good.  But it had a small bubble in the front element.  Despite that, I did almost keep copy 4.  I couldn't get the bubble to optically interfere with any shot that I took.  The deciding factor for me was resale value.  While I plan to keep this lens for years to come, plans change.  And I know me, I would probably have been right up front and advertised that the lens had a bubble in the front element, likely killing my resale value, if I was to ever sell it.  I thought about sending it to Canon to replace the front element, but that introduced a huge unknown factor for me.

Copy 8.  I almost kept this one as well.  But, by 8 copies, I was pretty sour on this wave of lenses coming from Canon.    Copy 8 was pretty solid.  It was actually better than Copy 4 at 24 mm and 70 mm from f 4 through f/11.  Which was fantastic.  But from f/2.8 to f/4 the IQ was noticeably worse.  By noticeably, at 70 mm the Focal score was ~25% lower.  At 24 mm the Focal score was ~15% lower.  Worse yet, I printed off online copies of the ISO 12233 chart and I could see the difference in the center IQ. The edges were very comparable.  Like I said, I almost kept this copy.  But, through this testing, I have come to appreciate my 24-105 f/4 as I was always comparing the varies copies of the 24-70 II to it.  My 24-105 f/4 actually seems to be a very good copy and had only slightly lower performance than the various  24-70 II copies from f/4 to f/11.  So it got down to I am willing to spend the money for a 24-70 f/2.8 II that was sharp overall, but it needed to be sharp from f2.8-f4, because I already have sharp covered from f/4-f/11 with my 24-105.  This was true for copy 1 (but it had clicking) or copy 4 (but it had a bubble in the front element), but not copy 8.

So all 8 copies have now gone back.  So, was I OCD?  I am an engineer.  I am always a little OCD.  But I would have happily settled for a reasonable copy of the 24-70 II.  I tried two sources (amazon and adorama), had lenses made from Sept 12 through June 13, and had 8 copies that had at least 4 different types of issues.  I am sure there are good copies of this lens out there.  But my experience tells me that I should give Canon awhile to fix whatever issues they have going on before I try to buy this lens again.

BTW.  I also jumped on the 70-200 f/2.8 II sale ($1,799, closer to $1,675 after all points).  It isn't perfect, but it is good enough.  I also tested several of my other lenses as I went through this process.  They tested out fine.  The 24-70 II is the only lens I have ever returned.  And it just so happens I have returned it 8 times. 

So my conclusion...to speak to your final question, unfortunately, IMO there are a number of bad copies of the 24-70 II out there right now. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Sad 5DIII
« on: December 26, 2013, 02:21:52 PM »
I feel sick to my stomach.....

I am glad that you have insurance.  I have coverage as well, but still,  that is some expensive gear to have fall to the ground.

Lenses / Re: 24-70 II slight clicking sound when zooming
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:49:04 PM »
I am really not sure.  What concerns me is that people are reporting several types of issues.  I've called and talked with Canon that they have stated that there are no advisories for the 24-70 II.  So, at least thus far that they are acknowledging, this is normal.

That said, it isn't normal with any other canon lens or camera I've had.  I've definitely upped my testing of lenses since getting this lens.  Lots of practice, after all.   >:(  :'(  But I've gone back and tested a couple of other lenses of mine and they test out just fine. 

I just packaged up the last of the lenses I am going to test.  I want the "better colors/contrast" that I've heard others talk about.  But I am done.  I'm going to let the sale price go and see what comes around in 4-6 months.  Maybe an IS version, maybe lower prices, maybe primes, or maybe a Tamron.  :o  ;)

Lenses / Re: 24-70 II slight clicking sound when zooming
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:25:26 AM »
Has anyone made it past the "batch" of lenses with issues?  I've had 4 copies with clicking noises, a lens with a bubble in the front element, two lenses with AFMA issues at 70 mm (both were amazing at 24 mm, but awful at 70 mm) and a lens that was great until wider than f/4, then the resolution plummeted.   So, this is eight copies that I've tested with origination dates from Oct 2012 through June 2013. 

I know that there are good copies of this lens out there.  Actually, I almost kept the copy with a small bubble as it was great in every other way.  As was the one copy with the clicking issue that I tested (other three I sent back as soon as I heard the clicking).

But I just want to see if anyone has recently purchased a good copy of this lens? 

BTW, I've tested my other lenses and the 24-70 II is the first lens I've ever returned. 

Also, for those of you that have to hold your ear up to the lens to hear the clicking....that is much softer than what I've experienced.  The four that I had with the clicking it was audible enough that I instantly heard it with the lens at a normal distance (18 to 24 inches) from my ear. 

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-105 vs canon 24-70 ii
« on: December 09, 2013, 06:23:10 AM »
I am a recent convert to the 24-70 II.  Actually, I am still looking for my "good copy."  So I'd agree with the QA/QC issues.  But, in addition to IQ, I wanted to add that the 24-70 II also has much faster AF, especially in low light, and I believe is focusing in much less light than the 24-105 on my 5DIII.  Both of these are likely to be expected as the 24-70 II enables the f/2.8 AF points, but it is a noticeable improvement. 

So, in addition to IQ, I am seeing improvements in AF.

Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 300-600 f/5.6 w/1.4x TC
« on: December 06, 2013, 02:13:25 PM »
The >$20,000 estimates seem really high to me.  My understanding is that the front element is a significant cost driver for these lenses.  Dropping from f/4 to f/5.6 is a big deal.  Assessing the size of the front element using the focal length/max aperture, the 400/4 = 100 mm and 600/5.6 = 107 mm.  And the patent is actually for 585 mm/5.6 = 104 mm.    If this holds true, then I'd expect these 300-600 to be priced similarly to the 200-400.  Say ~$12,500? 

Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 300-600 f/5.6 w/1.4x TC
« on: December 06, 2013, 09:14:22 AM »
I really fault Canon for not being very creative or innovative   ;D ;D ;D

A 300-600 f5.6 with a 1.4TC that is optically on par with the big whites? That is a dream lens.  I probably can't afford it. 

Lenses / Re: 24-70 II slight clicking sound when zooming
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:43:35 AM »
It is pretty upsetting that Canon allowed such QC issues on any lens much less a premium lens for so long.

I am on my 4th copy.  This one is optically fine, no click, no squeak, but a single very tiny bubble in the front element.  I can't find any impact on IQ, and may keep this copy, largely because I am more concerned about what problem the next lens I get has given everything I have read in this thread.

BTW, my tally: first copy: 032-loud clicking, second copy: 032-loud clicking, third copy: 062-AFMA/softness issues at 70 mm, and 4th copy: bubble in front element.

So, I'll either keep this copy, send it in to Canon under warranty, or I will return it for a refund and keep my 24-105 for at least another year.

Thanks for posting Alan.  I am one of the people in a similar boat.  I ran my own tests, not quite as good as yours and ultimately concluded that cropping the 5DIII was good enough compared to the 7D.

Both are excellent cameras.  But as a hobbyist, I haven't yet found justification for keeping two dSLRs.  I am in the process of selling my 7D.  My "body kit" will be the 5DIII and EOS-M.

Portrait / Re: Looking for advice on my portraits...
« on: December 02, 2013, 06:56:03 AM »
Hobbyist here, but one other thought would be to give yourself more distance between the subjects and the background.  Even at more narrow apertures, that will help with blur.  I'd also play around with bouncing the light off of different directions.  If I can, I often set myself up with a corner behind me so I could bounce the flash off multiple surfaces.  But I've since moved to a two flash + umbrella set up.

EOS Bodies / Re: "Two New FF Bodies in 2014" - if 5DM4, would you jump in?
« on: November 30, 2013, 11:41:29 AM »
Amazing camera.  I'll be pleasantly surprised if the rumored late 2014 announcement and early 2015 release is true.  That would be earlier than expected, but would make sense if they are planning on rolling out new sensor tech.  Then I'd expecte the rumored two FF DSLRs to be replacements for the 5DIII and 1DX and, of course, the rumored 7DII all with the new sensor tech.

We will see.  I am certainly in no rush.  The 5DIII is a great camera.  Things that would make me tempted for a 5DIV:
  • bump to ~28 MP
  • Better High ISO performance (color, DR and noise)
  • Better DR--say 14-15 stops
  • Better color rendition
  • up to 8 fps

But I can see myself shooting the 5DIII for years to come.  If the 5DIV is a modest upgrade, I'll likely sit on the sidelines.

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