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Messages - AlanF

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 15, 2014, 02:43:47 PM »
Couple of shots from this afternoon. A Great Crested Grebe was constantly feeding its chick, but a nasty gull attacked the young bird to steal the fish, and left a nasty wound. Both are 100% crops from the 5DIII with 300mm f/2.8 II + 2xTC. Hand held as usual. The AF of this combo is phenomenal - spot on time after time using centre point focus.

I wasn't set up for this shot - I was photographing rowing with the Tammy 150-600 on 5DIII at iso1250 when an arctic tern suddenly appeared and dived. I got him at the supposed softish corners and didn't have time to increase the exposure, which I had to do pp. 100% crop.

Lenses / Re: Filter for Tamron 150-600?
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:37:53 AM »
I got the clear mulit-coated glass protective filter from Marumi, not the UV, "Marumi 95mm DHG Super Lens Protect Filter ".

One thing in favour of the Melitta filter is that it is 100% guaranteed to remove all vignetting.

Regarding the CPL, doesn't it make the lens rather slow at 600mm with the light loss?

... looking for a sign of a 7d.
Maybe you better should be looking for the new 100-400. It should be easier to spot and then there is an 70 - 90 % chance that a 7D2 is attached to the rear end of that one...

I am looking to see England win the World Cup in Brazil as it is more likely than seeing a 100-400II on a 7DII.

Site Information / Re: How often you visit Canon Rumors?
« on: June 12, 2014, 04:38:03 PM »
Rarely.  ;)

Neuro = 9.28 posts/day.
Come, on get your Impact Factor up to 10!

Lenses / Re: Filter for Tamron 150-600?
« on: June 12, 2014, 01:47:24 PM »
I bought the Marumi. It is great - no adverse effects on IQ, and I dropped it onto concrete and not a mark on it. I normally use expensive B+W, and the Marumi seems just as good.

The reason I bought a filter was to to protect the front when carrying the lens around without a hood, which would normally protect it, in urban settings on vacation to make the lens look a lot smaller.

Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:31:27 PM »
some just don't get it some are just lazy a bad len from a tripod will out perform a good len free hand

On some occasions a tripod might be necessary and if the light is bad enough and the shutter speeds too slow then use one - as long as the subject keeps still. But to make your statement as a generalisation and accuse others of being lazy is complete and utter drivel. The beauty of the Tamron is that it is a light lens with 3-4 stops of IS and is a joy to use with speeds above a few hundredths of a second without lugging a tripod around. If you phot small birds then you need shutter speeds faster than 1/500 s to freeze their movements, which gives an effective shutter speed as far as camera shake is concerned of faster than 1/4000 s.

Lenses / Fungus common on 500mm L IS?
« on: June 11, 2014, 04:42:24 PM »
I could not help but notice and wonder about a 500mm being listed on eBay UK: "First of all please note that there is fungal growth within the elements which is quite common with Canon 500mm lenses." Is it really true that fungus makes a bee line for a 500?

Lenses / Re: Need a 600mm. Don't want to pay for one
« on: June 09, 2014, 12:13:55 PM »
It's horses for courses. Ideally, I would like a 600mm f/4 L II + 1.4xTCIII for excursions when I don't have to carry far and will be sitting in a hide or fixed spot with a good tripod. For hiking and using hand held for impromptu shots of birds and for birds in flight, the 600mm f/5.6 (aka 300mm f/2.8 II x2) is best because of weight and ability to hand hold for a length of time - I didn't particularly like taking my new monopod this weekend. Whereas the 600mm at 840mm would give me the length I frequently crave, the shot of the wren in the tree just posted required me to be quick on the uptake and swing the 300x2 into position for a transient moment when walking.

I just wish Canon would make a lightweight 600mm f/5.6 prime as it would be perfect for to use native and at 840 f/8 with a TC.

Lenses / Re: Need a 600mm. Don't want to pay for one
« on: June 08, 2014, 12:37:27 PM »
To compare further, I took this about 3 hours ago out on a walk. Hand held Canon 5DIII + 300mm f/2.8 II 2xTCIII, 1/400 s, f/5.6, iso640. With four stops of IS I don't need a tripod at 1/400s.

I certainly read doubts about the AF, especially off the center point. 

However, the effusive praise, perhaps well deserved, won't light a fire under Sigma to address the AF problems.

The AF problems are isolated meaning some lenses are perfect some are junk. This is much better than all lenses being slightly off. I don't mind buying multiple copies from multiple retailers (to ensure they come from different batches) and connecting them with multiple bodies if it means I will get a perfect setup.

I bet the dealers mind your deliberately wasting their time and money.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens - Sharpness
« on: June 08, 2014, 04:15:14 AM »
The major websites such as TDP, Lenstip etc are all in agreement over the performance of the 300mm f/4. Lenstip has a lot of data. Here are the collated data for competitive lenses. Compare the data for the 300mm f/4 with 1.4xTC with the 100-400L and Tamron at 400. For a small lightweight very versatile lens at nearly 300mm, the 70-200mm f/4 L with 1.4xTC II at 280mm is pretty good, and is the one I throw into my camera bag. The 70-300mm L is an exceptional lens. If you want extreme sharpness and excellent image with stabilisers, then I am afraid the 300mm f/2.8 II is the real answer for those tiny crops. On my 100s of trips for bird photography, by far the most popular lens I see is the 100-400L, then the really keen birders use the 500L, there are a few 400 f/5.6, 1 or 2 300mm f/4, and I have yet to meet up with a fellow 300mm f/2.8.

I must emphasize that all these lenses produce superb images when used within their limits.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens - Sharpness
« on: June 07, 2014, 03:00:55 PM »
It's a great lens. I use it with a Canon 1.4x Extender III all the time for birding and other wildlife photography. I have admittedly been toying with the idea of trading it in for a Tamron 150-600mm but I doubt that I will. I would like the extra reach, but I'm having a hard time justifying the move on any other grounds. I guess I'll just have to find ways to get closer to my subjects. I've attached a couple of pictures taken with this lens and the extender.

The Tamron is significantly sharper than the 300/4 + 1.4 xTC according to lenstip and TDP and has much better IS as well as being as sharp at 300mm and having a zoom from 150-600mm. It is also cheaper than a 300/4 plus TC new. The 100-400L is sharper than the 300+TC. The 300/4 was a fine lens for its time but is now another Canon dinosaur, still OK to use and still a favourite for some but it could be so much better still and is expensive for what it is. I suppose a really good 300/4 would dent the sales of the 300/2.8.

Lenses / Re: Need a 600mm. Don't want to pay for one
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:01:46 AM »
For comparison, here is one at a similar low light level to the emerald dove, a kingfisher with the Canon 300mm f/2.8 II + 2xTC III on the 5DIII. Iso1250, f/5.6, 1/320s, hand held. As with the others, they are taken in RAW with the only processing being DxO PRIME noise reduction followed by sharpening with USM in PS by 0.9 pix.els at 100%.

Lenses / Re: Need a 600mm. Don't want to pay for one
« on: June 07, 2014, 07:16:48 AM »
The Tamron is not as good as my Canon lens. For extreme crops under poor conditions I use the Canon. However, the Tamron is good enough for most of the time. Here is a selection i took with the Tamron, going down the page at 309mm, 450mm, 600mm and 600mm. They might not be up to your standards, but they are good enough for me.

ps - they are all 100% crops. The EXIFS are on the images and you can download to read.

Thanks for sharing, Alan.  Yeah, the 309mm shot is fine for me.  The 450mm is not a disaster, but the 600mm for me would be unacceptable, and looks similar to what I got with the 300 f/4 IS + 2x TC: washed out color, low definition.  Reminds me of a bunch of shots I had to toss from a wildlife safari trip with that combo, where everything with IS or a TC went in the trash bin.  :(

You obviously have high standards. The emerald dove was taken in terrible light, f/6.3, where the lens is at its weakest, iso1250, which is higher than I like to go, and 1/250 s, hand held. Here are a couple of better examples. The mandarin duck was a f/6.3 again, but iso640 and 1/1250 s. The wigeon was at f/8, iso640 and 1/1000. Both at 600mm and hand held.

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