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Messages - AlanF

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226
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: In-Depth Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:39:49 AM »

Welcome!  I usually focus on the batsman's head in cricket

Just like the fast bowlers.

227
How good do you think the IS is at 600mm? It doesn't seem like 4 stops to me.


depends.

how do you calculate that it is not 4 stops?
you shoot handheld with and without VC and look how many stops you need to see no blur from your tremors? ;)

or you just say you should be able to handhold it at ~1/30s. @600mm. ;)

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f-5-6-3-di-vc-usd-lens-review-23866
It is claimed in this review that 50% of his shots at 1/40 s are sharp.  Most of mine are blurred at that speed.


well that doesn´t mean it has to be the lens or VC. :)
exactly what i meant. ;)
are you able to hold a different (canon) 600mm lens at that speed?

i know people who can handle 600mm with IS at 1/30s or 1/40s but im not one of them.
as im not one of the guys who can shoot a 600mm handheld without IS at 1/600s.

you can´t just say "the rule is 1/focal length and this is a 4 stop VC so i should be able to hold it at 1/40s".  that´s taking YOU out of the equation.

when you look at professionell bird photographer most of them use a tripod or at least a monopod.
for a good reason.

next thing i will buy is a gimbal. :)


Here is a recent quote from Art Morris, one of the most famous professionals of all time:

"2) The Sharp, Fast, Versatile 300mm ƒ/2.8
For years I had my eyes and my mind closed to the 300mm ƒ/2.8 lenses. That all changed when I borrowed one for my big Antarctica trip with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris in early 2012. I loved it so much that I extended the loan and brought it along to Japan for a month. On the Southern Oceans trip, I needed to travel light; the Canon 300mm ƒ/2.8L IS lens was my big lens. It was great in the Zodiacs® and great for handheld birds-in-flight photography with or without the 1.4x TC. I used it with the 1.4x TC for all of my sea eagle flight photography in Hokkaido, and it was great for the snow monkeys as well. Aside from the light-gathering ƒ/2.8 speed, the lens is mind-bogglingly sharp.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF 300mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM, Extender EF 1.4x III, handheld "

http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/long-lens-tips-and-techniques.html

Professionals use tripods or hand hold according to circumstances. The 400/5.6 was (and still ) is so popular because hand holding is necessary for much bird in flight photography. Now, we can use the Tammy or 300/2.8 - we are so lucky.

228
Thanks Jon, I am sure you are right. The heavy cropping we do with birds is stretching the camera to its limits and we need much higher speeds than indicated by the old rule and the number of IS stops. Further, I think I have read that the old rule of thumb that you need a shutter speed of faster than 1/f breaks down at as f increases and so a 600mm requires more than 1.5x the speed at 400mm. The 1.6x crop factor on the 7 or 70D comes into it as well, and again more than 1.6x.

229
How good do you think the IS is at 600mm? It doesn't seem like 4 stops to me.


depends.

how do you calculate that it is not 4 stops?
you shoot handheld with and without VC and look how many stops you need to see no blur from your tremors? ;)

or you just say you should be able to handhold it at ~1/30s. @600mm. ;)

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f-5-6-3-di-vc-usd-lens-review-23866
It is claimed in this review that 50% of his shots at 1/40 s are sharp.  Most of mine are blurred at that speed. 

230
How good do you think the IS is at 600mm? It doesn't seem like 4 stops to me.

231
As an altruistic act on behalf of CR Tammy owners, I simulated a strap failure to test the rig. It worked. Make sure that the safety strap is not too long as the lens goes from horizontal to vertical on severing the link to its tripod mount and being suspended from the camera. I also replaced the cord with a section of flat webbing salvaged from old equipment as it is easier to thread through the lugs and also the key ring when changing lenses or camera bodies. The choice of webbing was between a lanyard from an ancient 110 Minolta or a pair of Nikon binoculars. I decided that although the latter might appear to be amusing to some it could offend a malicious Japanese god.

232
Safety strap for Black Rapid

The Black Rapid strap connects to the tripod foot of the Tamron using a 1/4" bolt, attached to a swivelling caribiner, through which is threaded the nylon webbing.
I am worried about my 5DIII falling off the lens because of my accidentally unlocking it, which has happened, cracking the plastic top. I have also read of the Black Rapid failing because the swivel head comes loose or the 1/4" bolt becomes undone. I decided to hook the camera to the webbing or top of the caribiner to prevent the hitting the ground if it becomes loose and to add a safety cord if the lens comes off the webbing. The first idea was to buy a 1/4" bolt to fit into the bottom of the camera and use that as an attachment. However, Canon does not advise that the attachment would be strong enough. The camera lugs must be strong as they are designed to take the weight of the body plus lenses like the 70-200/2.8 hanging on a Canon strap. So, here is my cheap and cheerful solution.

I attached a looped cord to a key ring of suitable size, and tested the strength by swinging a 14 lb clock weight from it.  Then, I threaded the loop through a camera lug and threaded the rest of the cord through the protruding loop. The cord was then attached to the webbing by the key ring.


233
Thanks Miah. That's pretty good performance by the lens (and you).

234
Yeah, thanks for posting these, AlanF. Very helpful indeed!

I shot these two today, male and female mallard ducks and a female red tailed hawk, using the trusty 400 f/5.6 and 5D3. Both photos are heavily cropped, hence the desire to pick up the Tammy.

Nice. What were the sizes of each before you reduced them (if you did?)?

235
I couldn't upload the 3 at once, despite being well under the limit.

236
It's difficult to find birds to photograph! Here are two examples from today. The first is too easy: the robin was pretty close, and it should have been sharp. The second is a crane flying. The Tammy is not particularly fast at locking on, but when it does, it keeps on target. The crane is at the limit at what I can take, and I use shots like these as reference to what I have seen. It took some work in PP to get the image where it is. The Canon would have done better, but it doesn't make much difference. The robin is sufficiently sharp that having it any sharper wouldn't make any real difference. The crane still wouldn't have got to publication quality.

Both were at 600 mm, iso 640, f/8 on a 5DIII. The crops are at 100%, the full image of the crane is reduced just to show what was cropped. The robin is at a high compression, in the next posting.

237
Tried out the Black Rapid RS-4 this afternoon. The Tammy is very comfortable hanging from it. As some might know, my 5DIII once fell off the 300mm when it was slung over my shoulder. I'd like to secure the 5DIII to the Black Rapid and also have an extra safety link from the Tammy/camera to the shoulder strap in case the screw comes loose from the Tammy tripod bush. I am thinking now of getting the Black Rapid wrist strap, screwing that into the 5DIII and threading its loop through the shoulder strap that is attached to the lens tripod mount. Has anyone tried something like this or has a better suggestion?

238
My advice based on experience if you are looking for a big lens then buy Canon for two reasons, picture quality and residual value. I bought a 300L 2.8IS from new and had much pleasure for three years and then sold it for $400 more than I paid for it. I haven't seen that happening with with other brands.   

simplyelectronics is selling a new 300/2.8 II for £1500 less than I paid for my discounted one nearly two years ago. That loss is far more than the cost of the Tammy. We are not at present in an inflationary era for consumer goods so don't bet on the big whites not seriously depreciating.

239
So, the sum of all this discussion is as such:

Tamron - Excellent value lens with great IQ (beats competition in the range), and is the cheapest 600mm lens. However, f/8 is required at 600mm to get good results. It is a zoom, so more flexible.

Canon 300 II + 2xTC III - Better IQ, faster, better build quality/weather sealing. Option to use native 300 f/2.8. Less flexible and 5x more expensive.

Get the Tamron if money is tight and/or wildlife isn't your thing and/or low light shooting is not a frequent event. Get the Canon combo if lowlight is more of an issue, you have plenty of cash to burn and you need a tank of a lens and the best IQ?

Did i miss anything? I like to have a summary at the end of these discussions! :)

Yes, get both if you can afford it. Use the 300/2.8 ± TCs when driving around and on moderate hiking, and the Tammy when travelling abroad or for long hikes. My Black Rapid RS4 has reportedly been delivered in the post and I am going to check if I can anchor it to the 1/4" slots in both the Tammy foot and the 5D3 by buying extra connectors.

240
I know we are discussing the 300 f/2.8 L II + 2x TC III ... but how about EF 300 f/4 L I + 2X TC III? did anyone compare this combo with the Tamron 150-600 VC? ... obviously the bare EF 300 mm f/4 L IS would be a lot sharper than the Tammy at 300mm, but what about with a 2x TC?


For many of us this might be a more applicable comparison than the faster primes.   I have considered the 300 F/4 L and 400 F5.6 L which are in the same price ballpark as the Tamron.  I already have both III extenders with my 70-200 F4 L IS so I'm debating which lens to add.  It would nice to see the comparisons at 300-420-600 and 400-560-800/840.  The Tamron could do all but the last one without an extender.   Maybe TDP will post results for the Tamron one of these days - it seems to have a lot of interest.


A 2xTC on the 400/5.6 gives f/11. So no AF and manual focus will be tedious. Both, the 300 and 400 with the the 2xTCs are really soft at f/8 and f/11, respectively: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=111&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2

The Tamron at 600mm and f.8 is sharp and in a different league.

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