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Messages - AlanF

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Lenses / Re: Preorder: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: November 12, 2014, 06:19:46 PM »
UK sites were slow with this, WEX now have it listed at £1999 (so about $3200 US).  Clearly someone at Canon UK is having a laugh!

Will of course come down but you wonder how many will pre-order at this price, maybe gives some of those with the MKi some time to offload at a reasonable price though
It's popped up on some other sites at £1999.  The Eurozone price has dropped to €2199, so I expect Canon UK's RRP will drop. €2199 equals £1732, so round it up ;) - £1749 or £1799.  I bet Canon UK would prefer £1799, but with that premium, I'd be tempted to buy from the continent - we're in a single market, after all.  We'll see what they do, but surely they can't leave it at £1999.

I have pre-ordered from WEX. It will take ages to come through. WEX doesn't bill you until your order is available and is very good on returns. If the € price is cheaper than the £, then I'll cancel.

I will use this native on the 70D (or maybe a 7DII if I upgrade) rather with a 1.4xTC on the 5DIII. The extra stop on the crop and the absence of degradation by the TC will, I think, give better results.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II - Finally using Canon's newer fab?
« on: November 10, 2014, 06:45:59 AM »
@ 59% Q.E would that apply to JPEG or RAW?

We have seen great high ISO photos from 7D II. However, most(all) of photos were shot in JPEG.

The data on is based on the raw-derived data from DXO, before DXO mucks with it. DXO gets a LOT of raw data, from countless individual RAW images, so I'd say it's pretty accurate.

Quantum efficiency (QE) is the efficiency at which photons are converted to current, which is prior to and independent of the processing of data to RAW or JPEG. Right?

Lenses / Re: Introducing the Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: November 09, 2014, 03:44:19 AM »
If Canon was smart, they would have built the lens modular and have an optional version with a flip-in 1.4x like the 200-400.

It will be difficult to use the same lens system in a "modular system" as in the stand-alone 100-400 since the 100-400mm glass will be further away from the sensor when the empty flip out housing is between it and the camera. A flip in housing will be bigger and heavier than having a separate external TC.

So, perhaps Canon has been smart after all and have realised the technical problems and also know that a flip in 1.4xTC will significantly increase the length and weight of the 100-400 so that it will lose its portability advantage, and such a version will appeal only to a few.

Canon 100-400 II
94x193 mm
1570 g

Canon 100-400 II + 1.4xTC
94x220 mm
1795 g

Canon 100-400 II + flip in 1.4xTC
94x >220 mm
> 1795 g

For comparison,
Tamron 150-600
105.6 x 257.8 mm
1951 g

Another test that is useful from TDP is the comparison of sharpness using the 200mm/2 L. The Mark II seems to my eyes to be an improvement over the 7D:

Although the 5D III still has a real edge, which is why the "extra reach" of the crop is not a factor of 1.6 because its image is more blurred.

Hate to say it, but your assessment here is a little flawed. The 5D III does have the edge, however that is because it is a comparison of identical framing. Whenever framing is identical, more sensor area with similar pixel counts is always going to win. These tests are NOT tests of reach.

The 7D II appears softer (at f/2) than the 5D III only because the 5D III chart images were not taken at the same distance. If you DID change the framing with the 5D III, such that the chart was at the same exact distance from the sensor as it is with the 7D II...then the "softness" of the crop would at least be on par with the 5D III.

Furthermore, the softness is due to optical aberrations. For an adequate comparison of resolving power, you need to be more diffraction limited. If both cameras were tested at say f/4 at the same distance (which means different framing in the 5D III), the reach advantage of the 7D II should become much clearer.

It's not the distance that is important in determining sharpness in those TDP tests, it is the sharpness of the sensors. The camera and lens are at a distance so that the chart fills the sensor in all cases and the conditions are not such to cause light shimmering, haze etc that gets worse with distance. If the distance were the crucial factor, then a 600mm L lens would be much worse than a 100mm lens in his tests, which it isn't. And you can compare a 1dsiii with 300/2.8 + 1.4xTC with a 60d + 300/2.8. Both are about the same distance away from the chart but the 1dsiii is still sharper despite having a TC which degrades the image slightly.

Another test that is useful from TDP is the comparison of sharpness using the 200mm/2 L. The Mark II seems to my eyes to be an improvement over the 7D:

Although the 5D III still has a real edge, which is why the "extra reach" of the crop is not a factor of 1.6 because its image is more blurred.

Lenses / Re: First Image of the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens
« on: November 06, 2014, 06:02:57 PM »
I use the Tamron 150-600mm as a very decent lens for portability and the 300/2.8 + TCs more generally for best performance. A decent 600 will outperform a very good 400 for small subjects far away, but I would sacrifice the extra length of the Tamron for the much better portability of the 100-400 (and probably pair it with a 7D II) if it is better than the Mk 1. So. if it is good, I'll sell the Tammy and get the new 100-400. I wasn't one of the few lucky ones to have a sharp copy of the 100-400.

See -

I estimated the additional reach of the 7D to be no more than 19% at best, and not the 60% often claimed. However, I bet my boots that a 400mm f/4 DO II (or a 300mm f/2.8 II + 1.4xTC) on a 7D II will perform at least as well and most probably outperform a Sigma 150-600mm S at 600mm on a 5D III for less weight. The f/4 on the crop will compensate for the smaller pixels. (Neuro's 600mm f/4 II on his 1DX will win, of course).

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7Dii vs Nikon D750 Dynamic Range Test
« on: November 02, 2014, 07:20:02 PM »
Maybe it's just me but I'd be more interested in the comparison of AF speed and accuracy between 7dii and d750, as the latter apparently has very fast and accurate AF.

The focusing system on the D750 is not as good as the 5Diii in the head to head test I'll be publishing this week.

I haven't tested the 7Dii the way I normally do, but my initial thoughts from shooting ~500 shots of windsurfers yesterday it is much better than both the 5Diii and D750. More cross types, (much) more AF point coverage.

It was a LOT of fun to shoot sports action with it at 10 fps.

The 7Dii sensor is different than the 70D sensor.
If the 7DII's focussing is much better than that of the 5DIII then it must be truly remarkable.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7Dii vs Nikon D750 Dynamic Range Test
« on: November 02, 2014, 02:30:16 PM »
Thanks for your post. A comparison with the 70D would be nice everything points towards that they have the same sensor.

Techradar has just added noise and resolution analysis to their review of the 7D II.  They state that it has a different sensor from the 70D, with different microlenses. The 7D II has slightly better resolution at low ISO but the 70D catches up at higher.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7Dii vs Nikon D750 Dynamic Range Test
« on: November 01, 2014, 07:52:05 PM »
I was happy to get my Canon 7Dii yesterday and being in the middle of reviewing the Nikon D750, I decided to put them both through a Dynamic Range test I have been working on.  I know it is an Apples to Oranges comparison, but I was curious none-the-less.

Im not a huge fan of, nor believed a certain testing website for various reasons, and have always read their scores with skepticism because their methodology is mostly proprietary and scoring system whacky. In fact, I have long wanted to come up with a DR test simply to confirm or deny their DR tests to some degree.

I am long time (12 years Canon owner and shooter vs 3.5 years of Nikon), so if anything I would naturally be more biased towards Canon, but in this test I think we are looking at a DR for the 7Dii very similar to that of the Canon 5Diii.

In the past, some of you have been very insightful with suggestions and tips to improve my tests, and therefore I invite your scrutiny and suggestions. Many others of you have ridiculed me, which also actually improved the quality of my tests, so I guess I invite that as well, as long as there is some creativity involved in the ridiculing.  :o

What do you guys think I can do to improve this beyond the obvious (cropping straight).

What would be a good way to figure out total DR and noise cut offs?

In any event enjoy!

Does calling yourself "The Maven" mean that you consider yourself the expert?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Owners first thoughts
« on: October 31, 2014, 05:56:36 PM »
Please everyone who posts images here state whether they are 100% crops or downsized and what the iso and other settings are. Without that information and some idea of the processing we can't evaluate the camera.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Owners first thoughts
« on: October 31, 2014, 04:20:12 AM »
So far I love the camera--very fast.  My 70-200 EF f/2.8 IS II with the 2X TC focuses much faster and more accurately than with the 7D.  I'm amazed in the noise improvement.  Will take me a while to get used to the placement of the AF change buttons--I was so used to the 7D after using it for 5 yrs.  Here's a couple of ISO 12800--yes, 12,800!! taken with the 70-200 + 2X  on manual and dev with NO changes in DPP except adding the lens correction.  It think they are pretty incredible for the ISO.  They would have been so ugly before.

Are these 100% crops or are they the whole image resized down 3-4 times.

I had missed this thread and started another yesterday - sorry. Anyway, I posted the comparative MTFs of the Tamron and Sigma in

Whatever the reservations about the lens being provided by Sigma, and that it might be a chosen good copy, this behemoth is very good, although not for me.

Third Party Manufacturers / Sigma 150-600 Sport vs Tamron 150-600mm
« on: October 29, 2014, 06:58:27 PM »
Lenstip, bless them, have done the first review of the Sigma 150-600mm sport. The MTFs are very impressive, and beat the Tamron. But it is a monster, heavier than the Canon 300/2.8 II + 2xTC. It weighs 2860g vs 1951 of Tamron. It is 120 x 290.2mm vs 105.6 x 257.8mm. (The 300/2.8 II is 128 x 248mm, 2350g)

It's a better lens than the Tamron but it is too large and heavy for me as it would be easier to carry and pack the admittedly much more expensive 300/2.8. Nevertheless, a very impressive lens.


The TDP test has the lens at different distances so that the chart completely fills the frame. That is a useless comparison for comparing the resolution of a lens for a subject at a fixed distance away - the target is 50% further away at 600 vs 400mm in the TDP tests. I have posted images of the iso chart taken at the same distance away using 400, 500 and 600 mm. The Tamron at 600mm clearly outresolves itself at 400mm.

I took those with 100-400 @ f8 and f6.3 respectively, i guess it is very sharp, maybe not like the big whites but that a different thing.

these are almost 100% crops

For the fun of it, I did a collage of crops of your shots with the 100-400 and some of mine taken at random using the Tamron at 400 and 600mm and the 300/2.8 II + 2XTC. They are all 100% The comparison isn't really fair because yours are on a 600D and mine on a 5DIII. The big white wins hands down, of course. But all the photos are acceptable and enjoyable.

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