October 30, 2014, 01:03:00 PM

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Messages - docsmith

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Lenses / Re: Advice on Primes
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
The 5DIII, 24-70 II, and 70-200 II is a great travel kit.  Add in a 2x TC III and you really have a lot covered right there.

I would only be adding primes for very specific purposes, as has already been pointed out.  One prime not mentioned is the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art.  I don't yet own it, but it is on my list.  Its purpose for your kit would be low light photography, think DoF, and relatively tight landscapes. 

Otherwise, your kit is very solid.  You may want to consider a good tripod, CPL filters and graduated filters.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Is Sony junk....
« on: January 30, 2014, 09:16:10 PM »
Yes, "Junk" is just a colloquial term which does make for good press, however it is also used in unofficial investment nomenclature. Junk refers to non-investment grade ratings. Because Sony is now Ba1, they are no longer a "prime" investment. There are three classes of prime investments and prime credit: Triple As, the As, and the triple Bs (or, in the case of Moodys odd nomenclature, Baa{n}.) Sony is now a Ba1/BB+ rating, which takes it out of the prime investment category, and classifies it as NON-investment. In other words...STEER THE HELL CLEAR, VERY HIGH RISK! The rewards can be very great, but the chances are also very great that instead of being rewarded, you'll lose whatever you invest in non-prime (i.e. junk) rated investments.

Junk is a very appropriate term. That's why it's been used to describe this class of non-investment worthy funds for decades.

Agreed....it was a one step decrease in the rating that when from investment to "speculative."  It certainly isn't a good thing....but I bet most investors see it not as black and white...AAA or Junk....but as something that was already risky to something that has even more risk....

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Is Sony junk....
« on: January 30, 2014, 03:38:12 PM »
The power of labels is funny.  Moody's didn't rate Sony as "junk."  They down graded their rating of Sony BONDS by one step, out of 23 steps.  The step just happened to drop Sony's rating from the lowest "investment" grade to the highest "speculative" grade.  There are still 10 steps below Sony's current "Ba1" grade. 

The primary functions of these ratings are to given investors looking to buy bonds a sense of the risk that the investor may be taking on that the company (Sony) won't be able to pay back that bond and to help set the rate of return/yield/interest that will attract investors.  This is as much about comparisons as absolutes so that investors know that Sony bonds are about the same risk as bonds from company XX or more risky than company YY. 

And speculate about Moody's all you want...but, given Sony's debt and recent financial losses, would you buy Sony debt for a very low interest rate?  Or is the chance that they may default/go into bankruptcy enough that you may want more of a return on your investment to justify the risk.  That is all this is. 

"Junk" is just a label that makes for good press.

Canon General / Re: Canon's Fiscal Year 2013 Financial Results Released
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »
..., the EOS 5D Mark III and 70D advanced-amateur-model digital SLR cameras ...

Did they just call the 5D3 an advanced-amateur-model?  :o

Indeed they did.  The 1-series are the 'pro' bodies.  OTOH, Canon Europe lists the 5DIII in the pro section.

Marketing professionals write these blurbs and make these classifications to help them sell camera bodies.  Professional photographers take photos with the tools they have.  The two really have very little to do with one another.  It is actually funny, but pros often use what is most cost effective and not necessarily the "technical" best product.  Several pros I know haven't upgraded much of their gear since, well, when was the D300s released? 

Just to admit at how effective the marketing classifications are, I did desire the 1DX ever so slightly more when I read that and I did feel my 5DIII ever so slightly diminished.  But of course, I am over it now.... ;)

Canon General / Re: Canon's Fiscal Year 2013 Financial Results Released
« on: January 29, 2014, 09:17:07 PM »
I have to say...what an odd reaction to what really is good news.  Canon is a profitable, viable company.  I know the source of the negativity, that they won't be forced to innovate until their bottom line is hurt, but I also like to think that it is good to know that even in a down economy for cameras, Canon is doing well and will be around for awhile longer to service my gear and sell me more.  I doubt we can say the same for all the camera manufacturers out there.

Not knowing what a "Global Shutter" is - what would the implications of this be if (hypothetically), it was launched on the (to be named) 7D update?  Is there any benefit to the stills photography world or is it purely a video thing?

It's a purely video thing. The global shutter is the opposite of the rolling shutter. In live view, the physical shutter doesn't move, so the sensor scans the scene 24 or 30 times a second to create frames.

With a rolling shutter, the sensor scans from top to bottom, creating a distortion effect if you pan the camera, because the sensor doesn't actually capture every part of the image at the exact same time.

A global shutter captures the entire image at once, then waits 1/24 of a second before doing it again, so the distortion, or the "rolling shutter effect" is not present. Global shutters are harder and more expensive to incorporate, as the camera has to process large amounts of data at once, in a small period of time.

For still photography using a physical shutter, it makes no difference.

Thanks for the explanation.  However, I wonder if the physical infrastructure needed to perform a global shutter wouldn't have implications for still photography.  A rolling shutter seems to be the necessary result of having slower processers/read rates (I could be wrong).  To pull off a global shutter I would expect you would need faster or more A/D processors and faster read rates.  I wonder if such hardware could benefit still photography in terms of fps and possibly (elephant in the room) noise.

EOS Bodies / Re: "Honey, I'vs never seen it this hard before..."
« on: January 25, 2014, 11:37:43 AM »
I wouldn't get the Nikon.  I am not one of the anti-Nikon lot, but you already have a 70D and plan to keep it.  As you are an amateur, I don't see the reason to have two camera systems in one house.  It would be great to be able to swap out lenses between the 70D and a FF Canon camera while you are on vacation, or something like that.

Have you thought about investing in glass and putting the new glass on the 70D?  I'd be tempted by that as a first step.  The 70D is a solid camera.  But, having seen FF, you may not want to go back.  But only you can answer the question: 6D or 5DIII?  You've had a 5DIII, you know what it can do.  If that is what you want, spend the money and be happy.  I have a 5DIII and it is amazing.  But I know a lot of people with the 6D and they are very happy.  A lot of people shot with the 5DII mostly with the center point. 

So, based on what you wrote, I'd first look at glass for the 70D.  If that isn't going to work for you, I'd likely buy the 5DIII as you know you like it.  Spend the ~$3k and be happy rather than spend $1,800 and be unhappy. 

Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:03:01 AM »
My advice to docsmith would be . . . forget the 24-70, now or any time in the future! You won't be satisfied, no matter how good the next one you try might be. Perfection just doesn't exist at this price. Try Leica of Hassy . . . By the way, mine is fine!


....ahhh...no...that isn't the answer....

I guess it is hard to imagine if it never happened to you.  But let's stay with the obvious.  In response to the OP wondering if there are really some bad copies of this lens out there, five of the eight lenses I tested had either the clicking while zooming issue or a bubble in the front element that CANON themselves advised be returned. 

Lenses / Re: Making a perfectly sharp lens corner to corner idea
« on: December 30, 2013, 06:41:45 PM »
Look at canon's "CN-E" lenses. Larger front elements. The reason that this isn't done for all lenses is, of course, cost. The larger the front element the more it costs. But this is done, to a lesser extent on lenses available to us. Look at the size of the front element of "L" primes versus their non-L counter point. Grant lot of that is aperture related.

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.

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