July 22, 2014, 07:46:48 PM

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Messages - AlanF

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod legs locking mechanism
« on: July 21, 2014, 05:09:20 PM »
I would like an umbrella head for wet weather. Perhaps Surapon could design one?

2
Reviews / Re: Review - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
« on: July 21, 2014, 10:15:30 AM »
The Sigma 35 is indeed very sharp. However, I tested it carefully against my old Canon 24-105 L at 35mm, using an iso 12233 chart. The 24-105 is sharper (at f/4 on both)! This is the second time the old workhorse has outshone the new pretenders (last time a Tamron 24-70 VC).

The Sigma 35 A is reported by Photozone and lenstip as having significantly superior MTFs to the 24-105. Either I have been unlucky with the Sigma and Tamron and getting poor copies or I have been very lucky and have a 24-105 which is an outlier in the right direction.

3
Lenses / Re: Safari 300 2.8 Mkii or 200-400 1.4x
« on: July 19, 2014, 05:07:13 AM »
Living in Botswana, let put across my experience. I used to use the 300 F2.8mk1 with a1.4X TC permanently fitted on my 7D. I was quite happy with the combo and as I was still learning to use my gear I did miss a few shots here and there. Last year during some major upgrades, I sold off the 300Mk1 and replaced it with the 200-400mm . My reasons
1) Versatility of the zoom for composition cannot be beaten !!!
2) I dont have to worry about weights and losing luggage enroute to places. I usually book a private safari and pay through my nose for having certain privileges such as being the only person with the guide on the "Bakkie"/ Open Safari vehicle.
3) The higher F stop is not too much of a problem for me.
4) Dust is a B***H, it gets in everywhere.
5) I usually holiday in private concession which means that we can go off road , where as in the parks you are restricted to the roads and will need a longer lens.
6) After two holidays with the 200-400, I am very happy and impressed with having it on a 1Dx !

PS: I am thinking of adding a 600mm with a crop body( 7D2?) and 1.4X TC for Birding ! :P

Does your manservant carry your gear for you?

4
Lenses / Re: Safari 300 2.8 Mkii or 200-400 1.4x
« on: July 17, 2014, 10:20:43 AM »
We were in SA on safari, together with my wife. we had a 300f2.8ISi and 70-200f4IS and a 2xiii Extender on 5dii and 50d

in "good light mode" we had the 300mm on the 50d normally with extender, in the evening, we removed first the extender, next changed the 300mm on the 5dii and maybe the 50d to a fast 50mm.

this, because:

- a crop camera is the better extender than a real extender
- the big whites are so bitingly sharp, that their resolution is enough for the spaller pixels on the crop sensor
- with 2 cams one gets different perspectives at the same time.

For the (in my opinion) way overpriced 200-400 you can probably take a 2nd person on the trip, who does the 2nd perspective (and helps to carry all the stuff).

If money doesnt matter, and if y can carry the weight of the 200-400, i would take a 400f2.8 instead, with the same strategy, and would use a 1 crop and one FF camera instead of 2FF

+1 for much of this. For animals, I found the 7D with 70-200 more than adequate, but too short for birds. What I would do next time is take the 70D with the 300 f/2.8II + extenders and, in my case, the Tamron 150-600 on the 5DIII (or 1DX if I had one) to be ready for all events. You really do need a zoom. The Tamron is more than adequate for animals during the day time. At dawn and dusk I would put the 300mm on the 5DIII.

5
Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART questions
« on: July 16, 2014, 05:11:08 PM »
My Sigma 35L arrived on Monday. On FoCal testing, the AFMA on the 5DIII was +4 and on 70D -2. The focus consistency on both bodies is the best ever I have ever encountered: 99.2% consistency of focus on both bodies and incredibly sharp. The lens is very well built and fits very precisely with no play on to the body.

6
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 16, 2014, 05:44:19 AM »
The TDP tests above are done on full frame sensors. It is a different story on crop, which shows up the deficiencies on the less-than-tack-sharp lenses. On the 60D, for example, there is clear daylight between the 400 mm f/5.6  L at f/5.6 and the 400 mm  f/2.8 L II at f/5.6.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=741&CameraComp=736&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3

and also the 300 mm f/2.8 II at 420mm with a 1.4xTC at f/5.6 has similar superiority:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=3

It's not just the TDP site that shows this and it is confined to the 60D, but also DxOmark in its tests on a variety of bodies, and as found by me in my use of the 100-400, 150-600 and 300/2.8 on the 5DIII, 7D and 70D.

Whether you prefer the Tamron to the 100-400 or vice versa is your decision, but I sold my 100-400 for the 150-600mm and am very happy with it on FF. I wouldn't recommend either on a crop body for the highest quality images, but they are both more than adequate for more general use.

(The DxO tests are done on the 100-400, not the 400 prime, but they are consistent with TDP)

7
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 16, 2014, 03:41:08 AM »
To put it into perspective, there is not much difference between the 400/5.6 L at f/5.6 and the Tamron 150-600mm at 400mm f/5.6.

 http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=0

8
Reviews / Re: Review - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:04:16 PM »
The 35mm A arrived today. It required only +4 AFMA on the 5DIII and -2 on the 70D, by FoCal. The consistency of focus on both is 99.2%, which is better than any of my other lenses. It has a nice balance on the camera, has a an exactly fitting bayonet mount, and feels very well made. The first shots are very sharp. Downloaded the DxO module and it removed the vignetting at f/1.4 nicely. So far so good.

9
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II [CR1]
« on: July 12, 2014, 06:14:38 PM »
Rotating zoom ring

Bummer.  :(

You'd prefer one that wouldn't rotate?   :P


Despite the controversy, I rather like my push pull 100-400.  Never had a dust problem...  I would welcome faster AF.  That's the only downside I have experienced with mine.  I would be (pleasantly) surprised if the price is $2400.

I agree - push pull is a very robust design and it is a retrograde step to give us a telephoto like the 70-300L although admittedly that is a good lens optically but is not as tough as the current 100-400 where the front optical assembly slides along a rigid tube.

I'm with you guys. The small size of a push-pull makes a great compact unit. It will have to outperform the Tamron 150-600.  If it does, I'll buy.

10
Insurance is a casino game between you and the insurance company in which the odds are stacked in their favour. Many years ago, I was given the advice that you insure yourself only against events that happen very rarely and are too expensive for you to cover. If you can afford to replace your gear, then don't insure it because the insurance companies have the odds stacked in their favour - they make a profit because on average the insurance premiums cost more than the cost of repairs and losses.

So I take it that you don't insure your house or car either?  Of course insurance companies are out to make a profit, they can't provide that service for free!  The model is for them to spread the risk over many in hopes of reducing their risks and keeping the premiums lower for everyone in the group.  That's just how it works.

You clearly haven't read what I wrote and you don't understand odds.  I insure my house because I could not afford to replace it if it burned down. I don't insure my washing machine because I can afford to replace it if it breaks down.  I don't bother to insure most of my photographic gear because I am more careful than the average bear and rarely drop or lose items or leave them where they can be stolen and I can afford to replace them. If I insured them I would be paying over the odds to have the insurance company make a profit and to pay for all those careless individuals who don't look after their gear.

11
Insurance is a casino game between you and the insurance company in which the odds are stacked in their favour. Many years ago, I was given the advice that you insure yourself only against events that happen very rarely and are too expensive for you to cover. If you can afford to replace your gear, then don't insure it because the insurance companies have the odds stacked in their favour - they make a profit because on average the insurance premiums cost more than the cost of repairs and losses.

13
IMO - when comparing a prime to a zoom, the real question is, do you need the shorter focal lengths and zoom flexibility? If what you really want is a longer telephoto for avian photog etc., then the 300II is the clear choice b/c it pairs so beautifully with the 1.4 and 2X III. There are a number posts on this combo. Short version is - you get a stellar 300 2.8, a super 420 4.0, and a very, very good, hand holdable 600 5.6 (best at f8). All the combos AF well. It's a costly set-up, but if you can afford it and tele work is what you want to do, you will have no regrets.

+1 except my 300+2xTC is sharpest at f/5.6, both from my own experience and measuring with FoCal. The Sigma is too heavy for me to handhold at a kg more and so I compromise with the Tamron 150-600 when I need a zoom in that range.

14
Lenses / Re: your experience of buying very old EF L lenses
« on: July 10, 2014, 07:09:17 AM »
I bought the 70-200 IS f/4 before the 2.8 II came out, and decided that the f/4 was much the better choice. Against the 2.8 II, the decision would have been much more difficult as it is a fabulous lens wide open, even a tad better at f/2.8 than the f/4 is at f/4. But, you have to stop the old f/2.8 down to f/4 to compete with the smaller lens. I recently posted some photos of the Tour de France in http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=21705.0  taken with the f/4 on a 5DIII. The images are tack sharp from corner to corner, seen even with the reduced sizes posted.

15
Lenses / Re: your experience of buying very old EF L lenses
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:21:25 PM »
The f/4 IS is significantly sharper, 4 stops of IS, much lighter and still as solid as a rock.  So, unless you really need f/2.8, don't even think about the old lens.

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