November 23, 2014, 06:32:10 AM

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Messages - AlanF

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There are several comments here about the Tamron being soft at 600mm and slow from individuals who clearly don't have any first-hand experience of the lens and just rely on mythical hearsay or lens test from TDP, which actually shows it sharp at the centre.

I regularly  use the Tamron 150-600, have used extensively the 100-400 L and have the 300/2.8 II.

The Tamron is not soft at 600mm, and it is reasonably fast at AF at 600mm. My first hand experience fits in well with the extensive reviews on ePhotozine and Lenstip. Here is the MTF analysis from ePhotozine, which has measured the values at 600mm to be on the edge of excellent at f/8, and the Lenstip's of the 150-600mm and the 100-400mm, which shows that the Tamron at600mm and f/8 to be similar to that of the 100-400 at 400.

Don't knock cameras or lenses based on hearsay, second-hand and inaccurate information.

Time has passed this lens by - it is two years to late.

The 150-600 zoom is the new kid on the block...

Indeed, and like much of America's youth, the 'new kids' are big and overweight.  The retracted 100-400L is the size of a 70-200/2.8, a very convenient size for a 400mm lens.  Considering the optical improvements going from original to MkII of the 70-200/2.8 IS, a new 100-400 should be excellent.  Mount a 1.4x TC behind it, you'll have a 140-560mm f/8 lens that will AF on recent higher-end bodies, deliver great IQ, and be a heck of a lot more portable than those "I'm not fat, I'm big-boned" new kids.  ;)

How quaint. You recommend using a lens 2/3 of a stop slower, thus requiring the use of a higher ISO with an f-stop that requires many autofocus compromises.

When the issue is portability, yes.  The 1D X and 100-400L with 1.4xIII mounted fits in a Lowepro Toploader Pro 75 AW or even a regular backpack – it's a very portable combo. At 560mm f/8, the IQ of the 100-400 is similar to the larger, heavier Tamron at 600mm.  If I want to compromise portability instead, I'd bring the 600/4L IS II which is 1.33-stops faster, has better AF and much better IQ, and can go to 840mm f/5.6 or 1200mm f/8 (still with better IQ than the Tamron at 600mm).   

Or I'd buy the 300/2.8, which is about the same length as the retracted Tamron 150-600 (and shorter and lighter than the Sigma 150-600), and with the 2xIII is 1/3-stop faster, has better IQ and better AF.  Sure, it's more expensive...but you always have to compromise somewhere.  Personally, the higher cost isn't a big concern.

As you know, I use the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC as my 600 of choice but I am also happy with the Tamron 150-600 when I need a zoom or less weight and volume. I found that the AF on the 100-400 + 1.4xTC was hopeless on the 5DIII whereas the Tamron is quite good. I'd be very tempted if Canon came out with a short retractable new 100-400 of higher quality for portability.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7d mark II as reviewed by Artie Morris
« on: October 22, 2014, 05:19:17 AM »
Arthur Morris a doyen of bird photographers, and he is not afraid of changing his mind with changing times. Note that he is now using the 300mm/2.8 II with extenders, which he does also on FF whereas in the past he thought it was too short. Just remember - using these combinations that a 300mm on a crop has twice the aperture as a 1.4 TC + 300mm on FF with similar resolution or a 300 + 1.4xTC on crop is similar to a 300 + 2xTC on FF. The extra stop on the crop makes a factor of 2 in iso and the absence of or smaller TC gives for better IQ.

I am really looking forward to seeing more data on the 7DII, and will get one if the IQ has improved. Already, my 70D using the 300/2.8 stands up quite well to my 5DIII, so I am hopeful.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7Dii AF performance
« on: October 17, 2014, 02:50:33 AM »
The AF on the 7D was its weakest link.  It had real problems with the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC, which is the reason I sold it for the 70D, which focuses well. There has been considerable comment here about the weakness of the 7D AF.

Reviews / SX60 HS
« on: October 15, 2014, 04:04:26 PM »
The first reviews are trickling out, e.g,

It handles better than the SX50, it is reported. The local shop had one in today, which gave me the chance of a few shots side-by-side with the SX50. The evf is a real improvement and seemed more responsive, but I was more interested in the IQ at 1365 on the SX60 vs 1200mm.

I used iso 320 and RAW. Unfortunately, DxO doesn't have a raw converter for the SX60 yet but the latest DPP for Powershot works. The SX60 was very noisy, much noisier than the SX50, and the SX50 gave better results.

It's the thrill of the chase for an amateur like me, getting surrounded by nature and enjoying it. And, depending on the capriciousness of wild beings, maybe next time I will get a great shot.

Yesterday, I tried out the 70D with the 300/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III. It was good at f/4. But, for reach limited subjects, the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III was even better.

Do you mean that the 2xTC on FF is better than a 70D+1.4xTC? And what about a 70D vs 1.4xTC on FF?

I posted earlier an example where 70D with the 300/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III was as good as 5DIII with the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III. I meant here that 70D with the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III was better than 70D with the 300/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III in a highly reach limited situation.

I haven't compared 70D plus 300/2.8 II vs 5DIII with the 300/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III.

Yesterday, I tried out the 70D with the 300/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III. It was good at f/4. But, for reach limited subjects, the 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III was even better.

An interesting point I read on TDP from a conversation with Chuck Westfull. You read regularly that the 1.4xTC III slows down focussing speed by 50% and the 2x by 75%, but in practice they do not. Addition of a TC actually speeds up focussing because the glass has to be moved through shorter distances and so the 50% and 75% reductions are there to bring them back to the speed of the bare lens.

EOS Bodies / Re: Poll: Would you buy a high MP Canon EOS 5DIV?
« on: September 26, 2014, 10:28:42 AM »
I would buy if it had a crop mode so I didn't have to download horrendously huge files.

Here's the test, my favourite medieval chimney, ca. 900x700 100% crops side by side. Left is the 70D, 420mm at f/4 iso640, right is 5DIII, 600mm f/5.6 iso1250. Identical processing of both.

The 7D was not as good as the 70D in my hands. If you look at the 60D @420mm with the 300mm/2.8 vs 5DIII at 600 mm; and then compensate for the poorer performance of the 60D by comparing the 70D with the 60 on the 200mm f/2 on the TDP site, it looks as if the 70D and hence the 7DII are as good as the 5DIII in general in this comparison.

By the way FEBS, I am the treasurer of FEBS so watch your bank account!

Total simpleton here that has tried gamely to follow the logic of this thread. I accept the circa 20% difference but can someone put this in laymans terms for me....I currently have a 5DIII with 300mm and 2x converter. However, with a 7D2 I could achieve slightly greater 'reach' with a 1.4x - in this instance would a 7D2 with 300mm and 1.4x be a better option than a 5dIII with 300mm and 2x converter? I am reach limited more often than not and I guess the other benefits of the 7D setup include higher FPS, lighter weight and faster aperture.

I've done the comparison 70D + 300mm f/2.8 II+ 1.4xTC III f/4 vs 5DIII + 300mm f/2.8 II + 2xTC III f/5.6.

There is  little to choose between them, if anything the 70D was sharper. The extra stop compensates for the extra noise on the 70D - I used iso 640 for the 70D and 1250 on the 5DIII, and the 300mmx1.4 TC combination has a slight inherent IQ edge over the 300x2TC. So, I think the 7DII with the f/2.8 II+ 1.4xTC III or the new 400mm f/4 DO would be a very nice set up.

Thanks for getting me to look at my old images (I had deleted them from Dropbox and had to recover them). It's made me change my mind about getting a 7DII as for the particular case of the 300mm f/2.8 the crop looks as if it will outperform the 5DIII.

United Kingdom & Ireland / Re: Hello...Anyone else from the UK?
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:24:47 AM »
from a little quaint rural village just out side Glasgow....... Ruggie!!!  ;D

Were you No! or Yes!?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Which Canon L Lens for 7D Mark II?
« on: September 21, 2014, 05:15:45 AM »
Is this a spoof question? There seem to be quite a few such questions from people with just one or two postings, and it is making me suspicious.

EOS Bodies / Re: 70D or 7D MK II
« on: September 20, 2014, 01:07:07 PM »
  If Nikon hadn't patented the crop in the camera I'd just switch the 5D to crop mode for wildlife and have the camera I want.

Does the Nikon give any extra reach in crop mode? Or is it the same as doing crop of FF in post?

Lenses / Re: Wildlife lens setup
« on: September 20, 2014, 11:42:10 AM »

I don't see the point of lugging around all that glass in the 100-400, when I would also want it at 400 ..
So light weight prime for me would always win.

The 100-400 weighs only 110g more than the 400 prime, 1360 vs 1250g. The difference  in weight is not that big a deal.

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