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Messages - AlanF

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166
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 19, 2014, 03:02:49 AM »
While I can hand hold a 300 f/2.8 ii + 2x TC with IS, I will tell you that using a tripod is better at that focal length.  The Tamron is about 1.5 pounds lighter than that combo but I can tell you that there still are times when a tripod is a great tool.  Having only recently gone to a Gimbal head, I'd really recommend it over a Ballhead unless travel weight is a limiting factor.  I am biased but I like the Lensmaster RH-2 for it's size, simplicity and price.

Art Morris, the doyen of bird photographers, sums up the situation for the 300/2.8 in:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/03/07/gear-evaluation-the-canon-300mm-f2-8l-is-ii/

Sometimes you need to hand hold, like for birds in flight, other times a tripod is better. I like resting the lens on a ledge in a bird hide or on wall, tree or pole when walking, and always have a small plate on the tripod foot to stop it being stripped of paint.

167
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 18, 2014, 02:59:30 AM »

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”

For what it's worth I have arms like pipe cleaners and can barely do a push up!
Though a lot of it is down to technique, not strength, most people can support large lenses surprisingly well for short periods. Locally there is quite a petite lady who rarely uses a tripod with her Nikon 500 F4 + D4 - so it can be done!
My problem with IS is that it slows things down, when you have a small bird flitting here and there I have enough trouble keeping up with it - let alone the IS slowing things up! Try it for yourself. Also I believe that IS is not effective at shutter speeds of less than 1/500 sec so it is of limited use for many subjects.
I should state that I use a 1DX and it's ISO capabilities are a significant part of the equation, were I using a different camera this may alter my opinion.
However, regardless of the camera used, I prefer to shoot with IS off and only use it when necessary (in desperation in my case!). It is a very handy feature, to have in reserve.

For rapidly moving birds etc, use Mode 3 on your IS - the IS kicks in only when you actuate the shutter, and Mode 3 was introduced precisely for tracking fast, erratic motion.

I don't understand why you write that IS is not effective below 1/500s. there are oodles of published measurements and examples of IS working brilliantly down to 1/10s or so - just look at the lens tests on TDP. The following link explains Mode 3 and states image stabilization at 1/5s for the 600mm f/4 II:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

168
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:02:04 PM »
In simple terms, if you have a very sharp lens, then every small blurring event, such as minute camera shake, will be noticeable. If you have a very soft lens, then a minute amount of camera shake would not be noticeable in the overall blur. So, you would be crazy to hand hold a 600mm f/2.8 II with IS off, or more sensibly a 400 mm f/5.6 at a low shutter speed. However, a Tamron 150-600mm at 1/1000s with IS on would not register any camera shake.

As Weixing write there is no wrong or right way, but you can have accessories that are overkill for a particular lens.

I have only used the IS on my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS for a couple of shots this year - all my other shots (both hand held or on a tripod) have been with the IS turned firmly OFF. Why - because I get faster AF and a higher hit rate, especially if subjects move. Given the lighter weight and better balance of the Canon 600 Mk2 (that you quote) + the extra stop of light and it is hardly a chore to use hand held and there is certainly no need to turn on the IS in anything but poor light - my 800mm is not as good in this respect being F5.6. Note I am not a bodybuilder - I am a 55 year old arthritic Diabetic. These lenses are not that difficult to manage!

To the OP.
I do not claim to be an expert, but I have primarily used long (400mm +) lenses for quite a while. When the light is good you can keep the shutter speeds up and manage quite happily without support. IS/OS etc have their uses but are no substitute for a decent tripod + head. If you get cheap support you will rapidly outgrow it and end up spending more in the long run. It's up to you, but I would suggest you get good support from my experience.

If you say you do not need IS, then I believe you and salute your rock solid arms and their strength. However, not everyone has your natural stability. Here is what Bryan from TDP, writes, and he claims to work out regularly with weights.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-600mm-f-4-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

“I relied on IS a lot when using the version I 600 L IS lens - especially when shooting wildlife. I didn't handhold that lens a lot due to its shoulder/back injury-inducing weight, but the tripod-sensing IS system was quite helpful in reducing vibration (including from mirror slap) when shooting from a tripod. Handholding the 600 L IS II is much easier and I am now relying on IS much more frequently to help me get the shot. I find IS to be an extremely valuable feature for this lens.”



169
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 16, 2014, 10:30:59 AM »


Bear in mind that the Tamron is not the sharpest lens on the block, but is sharp enough and provides more fun per $ or ounce than most telephotos. One of its greatest advantages is its light weight and zoom. You nullify these by adding massive expensive gear that might get the best of a supersharp heavyweight that outresolves the sensor but might not increase the sharpness of a less refined lens.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this point.
Whilst I don't think a 5 series Gitzo is necessary a good Feisol 2/3 series (or similar) with a decent Gimbal would net the best results without spending silly money.
Whatever the price or weight of the lens, it is the focal length that matters. You state that the Tamron is not the very sharpest lens going, surely this makes getting the very best out of it even more important?
If light levels are good then no support is necessary, but that isn't always the case.
[/quote]


Getting the best out of a lens means appreciating what its weak point is. There are mathematical equations to describe the overall resolution of a system in terms of reciprocals of the resolution of the lens, the resolution of the sensor etc. If the resolution of the sensor is low, then it dominates the equation, if that of the lens is low, then it dominates the equation. Under such conditions, the other factors are less important.

In simple terms, if you have a very sharp lens, then every small blurring event, such as minute camera shake, will be noticeable. If you have a very soft lens, then a minute amount of camera shake would not be noticeable in the overall blur. So, you would be crazy to hand hold a 600mm f/2.8 II with IS off, or more sensibly a 400 mm f/5.6 at a low shutter speed. However, a Tamron 150-600mm at 1/1000s with IS on would not register any camera shake.

As Weixing write there is no wrong or right way, but you can have accessories that are overkill for a particular lens.

170
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 16, 2014, 06:24:26 AM »
Happy Father's day !

Taken today, an Oystercatcher male, feeds his offspring.

( taken from Kayak )

Love the photos but hate the rings around the legs. No doubt the bird conservators have their reasons but some of them seem to go in for overkill on relatively common species.

171
Software & Accessories / Re: Gimbal head or not for Tamron 150-600
« on: June 16, 2014, 03:03:32 AM »
Just my 2p!
I am having to disagree with some here - sorry!
If you are going to use the Tamron, at 600mm, then you must treat it as a 600mm lens to get the most out of it. The fact that it is very light is, if anything, a disadvantage when shooting as the Canon/Nikon 600mm behemoths damp down  a great deal of vibration by sheer weight!
You will need top quality support (tripod) and a top quality head. I would not go for a Ball Head as you will VERY quickly find it VERY frustrating. With a ball head positioning/framing will be difficult and moving subjects will be out of the question. A Gimbal (such as the Jobu Jr recommended above) is probably the best compromise. Unfortunately, if you change focal lengths, then the balance will alter - but it is still the best solution.
Make sure you have a good, very rigid, tripod (forget the weight ratings) that will support your lens and not shake all over the place with these sort of focal lengths - sorry but that means an expensive tripod!
Be prepared to spend more on your tripod and head than you did on the lens if you want to get the most out of it.

Bear in mind that the Tamron is not the sharpest lens on the block, but is sharp enough and provides more fun per $ or ounce than most telephotos. One of its greatest advantages is its light weight and zoom. You nullify these by adding massive expensive gear that might get the best of a supersharp heavyweight that outresolves the sensor but might not increase the sharpness of a less refined lens.

172
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.

173
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.

174
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?

175
... 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.

176
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!

177
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.


178
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.

179
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?

180
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.

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