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Messages - AlanF

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Lenses / Re: Why does 7D II seem COMPARATIVELY soft with certain lenses?
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:39:49 AM »
I have no axe to grind about FF vs crop or the 7DII vs 5DIII or the 100-400mm II vs big primes because I use combinations of all of them according to circumstances.

First, the AF on both my 5DIII and 7DII is fast and consistent in A1 servo, and my keeper rate is very high. The same was not true for my 7D, which could not even cope with some lens combination.

Second, I use the 5DIII + 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III for bird photography, accompanied by wife who uses the 7DII + 100-400mm II, both camera systems having about the same field of view. The quality of the images from the 7DII are excellent, though not quite as good from the 5DIII, despite the 100-400mm II not being in the same price league as the prime. My experience is that the 7DII + 100-400mm II at f/5.6 is as sharp at the centre as the Tamron-150-600mm on the 5DIII at f/8 and sharper at the edges.

I simply do not understand why some users are getting only 5% keepers and have AF problems. Some used to say the same about AF with Tamron 150-500 on the 5DIII, but I never had any problems. Perhaps I have been very lucky with my 7DII and 100-400mm II etc. But, whatever, some copies of the 7DII do really deliver the goods.

Lenses / lensrentals:-100-400-is-l-mk-ii-teardown-best-built-lens-ever!!!
« on: February 12, 2015, 04:56:49 PM »

Roger has stripped down the 100-400 II and reckons it could be the best engineered lens ever. Perhaps one reason why it is twice as expensive as the Tamron 150-600mm or the Sigma C.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: February 10, 2015, 05:44:00 PM »
My first foreign travel with the 100-400mm II + 7DII. Had to fly out to the Weizmann institute in Israel for less than two days, just enough time for a mornings shooting on campus. The 7DII and 100-400 are sufficiently small that I could add them to hand luggage. It's very difficult to see birds on campus but patience and waiting with camera in hand paid off. These are all 100% crops. I am pretty happy with the system for ease of travel and hand holding.

Lenses / Re: 400 DO II continues to test out as superb
« on: February 08, 2015, 03:24:38 AM »
Roger also wrote: "The first comparison we made was between the 400mm f/4 DO IS II and the 300mm f/2.8 IS II at their native focal lengths - 400mm and 300mm. I do want to point out that this puts testing distances at roughly 19 and 15 feet respectively. This is not ideal working distance for super telephoto lenses, so take these results with that tiny grain of salt."

Lenses / Re: Best birding/wildlife combo?
« on: February 08, 2015, 02:57:59 AM »
I use the following combos and have the following opinions.
1. There is very little difference in IQ between the 5DIII + 1.4xTC + 100-400 II at f/8 and the 7DII + 100-400 II and f/5.6. There is no gain in using narrower apertures, and the wider aperture without the TC allows you to one stop lower iso. You get some extra resolution putting the 1.4xTC on the 7DII but I prefer to use the 7DII + bare lens.

2. The 5DIII + 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III is sharper, but much heavier. When I go out with my wife bird photographing (and we are going to Cyprus for a bird watching holiday next month) I take the 5DIII + 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III and she takes the 7DII + 100-400 II. I made the decision yesterday to keep the 300/2.8 rather than sell it and have a second 100-400 II to have a lighter load.

That is a double bonus: gaining an owl and losing a squirrel!

Lenses / Re: Inconsistent reviewing of lenses
« on: February 04, 2015, 07:17:14 AM »
I decided to do my own tests, staring pixel by pixel at shots at f/5.6 and f/8 with the 100-400 II on the 5DIII and 7DII of the iso12233 chart and the FoCal chart at 400mm. This was important for me as I want to know the best aperture. On both cameras, f5.6 is slightly sharper for resolving closely spaced lines etc. Also, the bare 100-400 on the 7DII is marginally better than +1.4xTCIII on the 5DIII. The superiority of the f/5.6 setting cannot be due to an error in AFMA as f/8 would have a greater depth of field. Perhaps there is some variation between copies, but I am happy to have one that is best wide open.

Lenses / Re: Inconsistent reviewing of lenses
« on: February 02, 2015, 11:40:09 AM »
Couldn't the different results be because of copy variation?

Personally, the most believable test results / reviews are from Lensrentals who test multiple copies while also explain the methodology of the test procedure.

I don't think so.  It simply looks inconsistent that there is a radical jump in MTF from f/5.6 to f/8 and then back again. Also the flat response from centre to edge looks very odd - even Canon's MTFs show the centre best and the edges worse. If I had made measurements like these in one of my experiments, I would be checking them.

Lenses / Re: Inconsistent reviewing of lenses
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:37:59 AM »
Testing continues to amaze me. ePhotozine has just published their measured mtfs of the 100-400 II on the 5DIII and have quite incredibly at 400mm the following, with a sharp increase at f/8 and f/5.6, f/11 and f/16 the same Top). Do abrupt peaks like that rea;lly happen (top graph). On the other hand, have a smooth transition with f number (bottom), and TDP has f5.6 ~ f/8 and f/5.6 clearly better than f/16


Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 31, 2015, 10:47:36 AM »
Cog, you have inspired me to upload a Phalacrocorax carbo portrait!

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: January 31, 2015, 10:08:12 AM »
Cog - great shot! Shows what the good old 400/5.6 can do!

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: January 31, 2015, 10:01:05 AM »
I have to say this lens is great, coming from the 400 5.6, this is a much more dynamic and useful lens. You can check out a few pictures with the new 100-400 here, sadly I don't have too many since its brand new and I am now in the dead of winter in upstate NY :(

Have you done any side-by-side IQ testing vs. the 400/5.6?  I'm looking to buy either the 400/5.6 or the 100-400 II.  Obviously the zoom is much more flexible, but expect to shoot mostly at 400mm anyway.  I'm trying to decide if the zoom versatility and IS is worth the extra $1K.

There have been several comparisons on the web - there isn't much between them in IQ at 400mm. The MTFs etc on favour the 100-400, TDP has them very similar on FF, but the 100-400 seems to gain a bit on crop. Tony Northrup has the 100-400 the winner. I wouldn't worry about the difference in IQ. The 400mm is an excellent lens and very good value. The 100-400 is much more versatile and the IS enables a much wider range of possibilities. I'd miss about 80% of my shots if I didn't have IS, but that's the way I use it.

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: January 29, 2015, 01:06:50 PM »
Yes indeed. "The great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is a member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display." Wikipedia And they certainly were doing a bit of foreplay. However, they were not spotted and they weren't in woods but on a river.

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: January 29, 2015, 08:42:23 AM »
Very good point about the 1.4xTC. I think that the I00-400 II + 1.4xTC at f/8 is about the same at the centre as Tamron at f/8 but sharper as you go out, and is highly recommended. My initial reservations about the 1.4xTC plus 100-400 on the 7DII were  wrong and it does give slightly better resolution than the bare lens and is not difficult to handle.

Here are 3 shots. Top is a 100% crop of two grebes starting courtship, from the 100-400 on 5DIII. The birds occupy a tiny 600x280 pixels. Below is a shot at the same time with the 300/2.8 + 2xC on 7DII. Despite being a much larger 1400x670 pixels, it is far less contrasty (wh ch can be corrected) and not much more detailed. Bottom is a buzzard hovering taken with the 7DII + 1.4xTC + 100-400 II. Despite being f/8 and only the centre point AF, the focussing was very fast and accurate (I tend to use the centre point spot focus even when the others are available).

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: January 29, 2015, 07:37:38 AM »
Tony Northrup in a sickly review on Youtube has a supposedly a double blind comparison of the Sigma 150-600 and the Tamron 150-600 both at f/6.3 and 600mm vs the 100-400 II and 400/5.6 at f/6.3, scaled up. According to I think an audience vote, the 100-400 II came first, the 400/5.6 second, the Sigma 3rd and the Tamron a poor 4th. However, this test was flawed in many different ways.

1. There wasn't sufficient fine detail in the chart used, which was against the true 600mm lenses.
2. It was very unfair on the Tamron because it improves greatly on stopping down to f/8.
3. It was unfair on the 100-400 II as it is sharpest at f/5.6.

My feeling from my own shots is that the 100-400 II at f/5.6 and 400 mm on the 7DII is better than the Tamron at f/8 and 600mm on the 5DIII. And I would not use the Tamron at 600mm on the 7DII as it is not as good on crop as FF, but others might disagree with that. The 100-400 II on the 5DIII is not only exceptionally sharp but very contrasty and brings out colours superbly. I do regret having sold my Tamron, which I could use on occasion, but I do prefer the 100-400 II.

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