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Messages - AlanF

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481
Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm f/5.6 L
« on: December 12, 2013, 05:00:57 PM »
Arthur Morris is the doyen of bird photographers. For many years, the 400 f/5.6 was his "favourite toy" lens. Here is a typical quote from his blog:

http://www.birdsasart.com/faq_1-4isor4f56.html

Which is a better lens, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS zoom lens, or the 400mm f/5.6L lens?
I'm asked this question almost every day (sometimes more than once) -- either in person, on-line, or by phone. I always answer it with a question, "Do you want to use the lens primarily for bird photography?"
If yes, then the straight 400 is clearly the lens for you. It is the world�s best flight lens. It is lighter than the 100-400 zoom. It costs less. It will give sharper results with the 1.4X teleconverter than the 1-4 zoom. The speed of initial focus acquisition is unmatched. When used with an EOS 3 body and mounted on a fairly sturdy tripod, you'll have a great starter outfit for bird photography -- a sharp 560mm f/8 lens with functioning autofocus.

But, a few years later comes this confession:

http://www.birdsasart.com/b13.html

Confession #1: Though I still consider it the best lens in the world for photographing birds in flight (see FAQs on web site for details), I no longer carry my beloved "toy lens"--the Canon 400mm f/5.6 L--on my shoulder as my auxiliary intermediate telephoto. It has been replaced by the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L Image Stabilizer zoom lens. I have been using the 1-4 more and more every day and--contrary to some reports from other users--have been making razor sharp images at all focal lengths with wide open to moderately stopped down apertures. In addition, I have it used it wide open, handheld with the 1.4X tele-converter with excellent results (with static subjects) at 560mm. For bird photography, the versatility of this lens is unmatched; I find myself making images that I would never even have thought of before--especially of groups of birds in their surroundings. And though it is heavier than the 400 f/5.6L, it is also a superb flight lens. At Bosque Del Apache NWR late this fall, I used the 1-4 on a tripod before sunrise for "bird-scapes" and then again almost exclusively for the spectacular blast-offs. I only wish that the zoom were a bit smoother. I am even considering selling one of my 400 f/5.6s; I never ever thought that I'd  say that when the 1-4 first came out.....


In my opinion, it is simply preposterous that Canon still makes a 400mm lens without IS. When I want a 400, I put the 1.4xTC on my 300mm f/2.8 II. It's expensive but not too heavy, and four stops of IS make all the difference in use. Or, I take the 100-400mm when weight and size are concerns or I need a zoom. What's the pint of carrying a lightweight lens if you have also to carry a tripod to get the best out of it?

482
Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm f/5.6 L
« on: December 11, 2013, 10:30:30 AM »
   I have this 400mm lens, but I seldom use it.  It is very sharp.  The numbers on it are right up there with the $10, 000 lenses. 

It is simply not true that the numbers are up there with the $10,000 lenses. The 400mm f/5.6 is a very good lens, but use one of the big whites and you see immediately how sharp is a really superb lens. I sold my 400mm f/5.6L after I bought a Sigma apo 400mm f/5.6L tele macro for £120. It's sharper than the Canon in the Photozone MTF measurements and also in my experience. For cropping the centre portions, my 100-400 was as good as my 400 L.

Here is a comparison of the 100-400 L with the 400 L, combined from various sources.

483
Lenses / Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« on: December 07, 2013, 01:11:13 PM »
I'm increasingly finding that a 'classic' combination of wide-to-normal primes and tele-zooms works best for me. Given enough light I like to work with my 24-105 though, especially for events and holidays. In any case it's December - dark and miserable, it's 'prime' season to get the most out of the little light available.

I agree with what others said: primes force you to think more about what you're doing. Beforehand, even. Good shots follow from good preparation.

Opposite for me. I need the sharpest possible telephotos for big cropping of nature photos, and zoom moderate wide to moderate teles for general carry around.

484
Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 300-600 f/5.6 w/1.4x TC
« on: December 07, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »
Quote
Why? It's unlikely to be as good as the old 100-400 at 400, and probably much worse than a new 100-400mm II, and even less likely to be seen.

i don't see why ? the actual 70-300 f4-5.6 IS is way better than the 100-400 ! and the new 100-400 II still not exists and might never exists ;)

Because the current relatively new 70-300 L with a 1.4xTC at 420mm is not nearly as good as the old 100-400mm - see

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=113&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=0&LensComp=738&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=0



485
Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 300-600 f/5.6 w/1.4x TC
« on: December 06, 2013, 03:49:49 PM »
Now they handle the technic, Canon might think about a line of zooms with built in converter

i would like to see a 70-300 f/4 IS with x1.4

Why? It's unlikely to be as good as the old 100-400 at 400, and probably much worse than a new 100-400mm II, and even less likely to be seen.

486
Lenses / Re: Patent: Canon EF 300-600 f/5.6 w/1.4x TC
« on: December 06, 2013, 02:17:20 PM »

<li>Teleconference insertion</li>


I like the idea of being able to insert a Teleconference. If we all get one, then we could confer over each shot.

487
It would be fun to test an SX50 body adapted so it would fit on to a 300mm f/2.8 to give an effective fov of 1675mm or, in terms of pixel size 1200mm. Using the sharpest Canon lens at f/2.8, instead of the f/6.5 of the SX50 zoom (which has a true focal length of 215mm) might give some interesting insights.

488
Don
I agree with you 100% about the SX50 as well as your comments about FF vs crop. There is a good review of the SX50 vs the Sony rival HX300, which the SX50 wins - http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_HX300/index.shtml

When Canon introduces faster AF with a dual pixel sensor, the SX50 will be awesome.
Alan

489

2.   I said at the beginning that the photos were not very good. These photos are for comparison purposes under the same set of conditions, not choosing the best photos taken on a particular camera under optimal conditions. They are not the highly selected best ones taken, of which one is proud - I have plenty of fine keepers from both cameras. So no snide comments please about how you would have discarded them immediately.

That exactly is the point ... isn't it? To see the IQ differences in both cameras, you need to test the limits to see which one does better.

Shoot the same subject in good light at ISO 100 and I very much doubt whether you will see much difference between FF and an(y) APS-C. It's only when the lighting gets a bit murky that the 5D3 pulls away.

iso 100 with a 600mm telephoto lens is not often suitable for bird photography. iso 100 would mean restricting our photography to just when we had well sunlit, stationary birds. For birds in flight and much of the time we need fast speeds (near dawn and dusk, shade, rapidly moving subjects, camera shake when hand holding). The iso 640 that was used is not excessive for the 7D.

490
Misunderstandings always build up in threads because people come in at the end without reading the earlier posts. All of these images are for quick comparisons done under the normal conditions I, and many others, would use for amateur bird photography. The results are of use to me and for some others who may be similarly wondering whether to keep their 7D now they have a 5DIII or whether they should sell their old 7D to buy a new camera. The conditions are not what the perfect ones that TDP etc use for a scientific comparisons, but sub-optimal conditions used in every day life.

1.   The title says exactly what is going on – cropped images for bird photography at 600mm for a 5DIII vs 7D. It is not a scientific survey of FF vs crop under all conditions for all lenses and all bodies. The 7D is not a representative of all crop cameras. Its sharpness will depend on the sensor’s characteristics  - for example its AA filter. The comparison is done for heavy crops from both systems to the same size, not for landscapes etc.
2.   I said at the beginning that the photos were not very good. These photos are for comparison purposes under the same set of conditions, not choosing the best photos taken on a particular camera under optimal conditions. They are not the highly selected best ones taken, of which one is proud - I have plenty of fine keepers from both cameras. So no snide comments please about how you would have discarded them immediately.
3.   Regarding focus problems. The lenses have all been AFMA-ed with the bodies using both Focal and sloping ruler tests. There are issues with the AF of the 7D – many posters find that it is erratic. Motion blur is unlikely – the one of the grey (not blue) heron is representative of a group of shots that were all similar, taken at 1/1250 s and 4 stops of IS, with the camera still and resting on a ledge.

If I want to take a photo of the moon, then my 600mm on my 7D with a good tripod etc will out-resolve the same lens on my 5DIII. But, what I wanted to know the answer for is how much of the advantage of crop on the 7D is realised in 90% of what I take. The answer is that the 5DIII is better. But, the situation might change with a 7DII. And then a 5DIIII might reverse it.

491
Three more. The photos are nothing special, and not very good. They are just to illustrate in a semi-scien tific manner.
The heron in the lake is the closest shot, in the reeds, further away, and the widgeon is at the limits of photography, just to have something that is pixel-limited, like the duck in the previous.

492
There are many, many comments in the the threads about the 7D having a 1.6x longer reach for bird and nature photography than the FF. Those of us who have both FF and 7Ds (Neuro et al) reckon that in practice the difference in reach isn't much in practice and the higher IQ of the 5DIII or 1Dx etc gives overall better images. This morning, I decided to have a shoot out with the 300mm f/2.8 II + 2xTC III on a 7D vs a 5DIII. Both cameras were hand held, but resting on the shelf of a hide (blind) at sufficiently high shutter speeds that there was no camera shake. Iso was at 640 and the aperture at f/5.6. I post 6 collage pairs out of many shots, which were are representative. The 7D images are at 100% crop (the actual number of pixels). The 5DIII have the number of pixels increased by 1.5x in each of width and height. All images were taken in RAW, and the sharpness and luminance set at 25 units in PS. The crops were cut and pasted into PS jpegs, and the collages sharpened using USM at 0.5 radius and 100%.

The results parallel what I have found many times in the past.

In terms of resolution
1. At very far distances where the cropped image on the 5DIII is about 200-400 pixels high or wide, the 7D is marginally better.
2. For larger images of say ~500-800 pixels high or wide on the 5DIII, it is at least as good as the 7D, if not better.
3. For images greater than a 1000 pixels, the 5DIII is very clearly superior.

The noise is better on the 5DIII.


493
How do we 'know' anything?  Most of you assume you have a brain in your head...but have you actually checked?  Where's your proof?  Speaking for myself, I've checked...and put the evidence out there for everyone to see, right to the left of my words.

 :P
I agree "how do we know anything" ... but how do we know its your brain? :P

That's a no-brainer. He knows for sure but you don't.

494
Site Information / What ads do you get on Canonrumors?
« on: November 29, 2013, 01:43:07 PM »
Ads appear in on Canonrumors pages. They used to be picture of pimply girls before applying some proprietary software and then their beautifully smooth skin, straightened noses and narrowed faces after post-processing. Now, the two well-endowed ladies advertising T-shirts, as well as ads for Ukranian (sic) ladies. These can't reflect my personal browsing habits as I never shop for T-shirts and certainly don't log in to websites specialising in pictures of girls (or boys for that matter). So, does everyone else get these ads? If so, why are they targetting us?


495
Animal Kingdom / Re: Low Flying Fighter Bomber .....! (UPDATED)
« on: November 29, 2013, 03:40:36 AM »
Here come the heavy bombers. Take off, cruising at altitude. Bombing run with leader dropping his load. Very grey day last Sunday.

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