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Messages - AlanF

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481
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: In-Depth Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC
« on: February 26, 2014, 06:05:22 PM »
My experience is that the Canon 300mm f/2.8 II 4 stop IS is much, much better in mode 1 at freezing movement than is the Tammy. The shutter lag of the Tammy is, accordingly, less bothering, and I have found it negligible for big birds in flight.  I use mode 3 for the Canon. At 600mm, I need 1/2000 for the Tammy without IS or VC for it to be absolutely sharp 100% of the time.   

482
Like resale value, we have to keep this "build-quality" issue in perspective. A lens that could take repeated falls off two-story buildings would be great, but not if it requires two sherpas to lug it around for you. For my purposes, traveling solo with minimum kit either on foot or motorbike, durability must be balanced against size and weight. After seeing the images posted on this thread, I'm convinced the Tammy's IQ is more than adequate for my needs. I think we can all agree that the price is an exceptional value. And now with wickidwombat's comparing the build-quality to that of the Canon 100L--a lens I own, love and have carried over hill and dale without a hitch--I'm convinced that the Tammy has the right IQ, AF, size, weight and build-quality to go ahead and place my order. I'll keep it tethered to me, as AlanF and I discussed in this thread, but expect it to last through many a trip.

Thanks to the early adopters who bought this lens and shared their experiences here!

But what about weather sealing?  I didn't think the Tamron had it.  If it doesn't, and you guys are talking about buying one to carry off into the bush...then I wonder if the weather sealing argument others have for other lenses, is just an excuse to argue?  Not saying it's not nice to have, but how is it ok for this Tamron to not have it, but not ok for the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "art" to not have it?q

Anyway, if there's info somewhere that there actually is weather sealing, I don't see it.

It's moisture resistant - http://www.tamron.eu/uk/lenses/overview/single/product/sp-150-600mm-f5-63-vc-usd-8.html?tx_keproducts_pi6[cam]=&tx_keproducts_pi6[vc]=false&tx_keproducts_pi6[sp]=false

483
Canon IS vs Tamron VC

It was easier to frame a target with the Canon at 600mm as the image jumps about less, which is the reaon why a queried the number of stops the IS by the Tamron VC gains.
I tested today the Tamron VC at 600mm vs the Canon 300/2.8mm II + 2XTC III on a target about 40 m away. At 1/640s my keeper without IS/VC was about 50%. With IS on, the keeper rate of the Canon was about 50% at 1/40s. With the Tamron, the 50% keeper rate was about at 1/80s. So, I think in practice the Tamron is about 3 stops, in my hands, and the Canon 4 stops.

Build quality
If you think that the Tamron won't survive a fall, don't drop it. (Mine is now at the end of a Black Rapid Strap plus additional safety strap). But, how strong is the 100-400 L? Well, mine was attached to my 7D when sitting in a passenger seat, with the 7D between my knees and the lens pointing down. The camera slipped and the lens hit the floor from a height of about 20 cm, flat on to the front of the hood. That small jolt was enough to break the USM motor. The 100-400 is reported to have cases of bearing failures.

I am not going to do the test of dropping the Canon 300mm 2.8 and comparing it with dropping the Tamron from the same height. Anybody volunteering for that?

484
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.

485
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.

486
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.

487
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. 

488
How good do you think the IS is at 600mm? It doesn't seem like 4 stops to me.

489
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.

490
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.


491
Thanks Miah. That's pretty good performance by the lens (and you).

492
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?)?

493
I couldn't upload the 3 at once, despite being well under the limit.

494
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.

495
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?

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