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Messages - ahsanford

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136
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 07, 2014, 01:27:40 PM »

And we're finally getting some Flickr traffic in the group that was setup for this new lens:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/2644636@N20/

Some folks are posting full-res shots for download, FYI.

- A

137
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 07, 2014, 01:11:04 PM »
My copy of 16-35/4L simply put old but trusty 17-40/4L into retirement. Those cornes are improved quite noticeably. No horrid CA, no mushiness, no lacking contrast. Even wide open, it's quite usable in the corners, from about f/8, it's satisfactory sharp enough for most people I guess.
My copy is wonderful as well and I couldn't be happier with my new lens.

It's clear from the data I have linked (as well as samples from a number of reviewers) that at landscape apertures this lens is not a massive improvement like the MTF charts implied.   It's a very good lens, don't get me wrong, but the MTF charts (esp. in comparison to the lackluster 16-35 F/2.8L II and 17-40 F/4L charts) would have had me expecting larger improvements.
Yes, it's not a massive improvement in numbers, but when shooting real subjects, the improved contrast, color, and absence of CA goes a long way to make better photos, even if the resolving power at f/11 and f/16 isn't significantly higher.

I rented the new 16-35 F/4L IS and was pleased with it.  I just didn't have the flight hours logged with the other two Canon UWA zooms to know if it was better / worth its money.  I know I don't need the F/2.8, so it's really just a question of the 16-35 F/4L IS or the 17-40 f/4L.  The clear read from everyone is that the new lens is certainly worth it.   

I hereby drop my resolution numbers question.   :D

I had also forgotten from my 28mm F/2.8 IS usage that nighttime/low-light handheld use -- even with IS -- rarely lets me stop down to F/8, F/11, etc. without hitting 5 digit ISO levels.  So the increased sharpness at F/4 - F/8 will absolutely get used in my hands.

Looks like it's time to move something from the B&H wishlist to the shopping cart...

- A

138
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 11:11:04 AM »
It would be very difficult to interest me.  Any new features or sensor technology will also appear in a FF body, and it will be much better IQ wise.
 
Maybe is it were priced under $1000?

I think the value proposition certainly changes for current FF users.

What would get me excited was if I could get the same IQ & noise performance as I do with my 5D3, only at the 1.6x length that crop brings.  But this entire forum would rise up and throttle me because (a) that's not going to happen for technical reasons and (b) if Canon somehow could do that, they never would as it would eat into FF and supertele sales.

So I'll say this, I'd like a second body, and it could be a crop body if it was 90% as good as my 5D3 for IQ & noise.  I would get excited about that.  I'd use my 70-200 F/2.8 IS II on it and net great shots at distance without the drawbacks of a T/C or having to buy bigger/heavier/pricier lenses.

- A

139
EOS Bodies / Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 10:50:24 AM »

I'd thought we'd start the week looking forward to something.  What features / performance levels would get you excited about the 7D2? 

I want a positive statement from you about what would legitimately fire you up to own a 7D2.   No snarky "APS-C is not for me so I'll say 'A 50 MP FF sensor', ha ha" stuff.  Seriously, what would get you excited when the 7D2 announcement comes?

- A

Disclaimer:  I'm not trying poke fun at Ivan's original thread so much as build some excitement around a release.  Mondays need positive thoughts because they are, in fact, Mondays.

140
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 07, 2014, 04:11:05 AM »

So I'm not being critic.  I think I am going to buy this lens.  But before my money comes out, I am asking this group:

1) Did Canon really deliver on those stellar MTF charts?  Is this is the sharp-in-the-corner landscape lens many have been looking for?

2) For landscape work on a FF body (both on a tripod and handheld), and presuming that I want an UWA zoom, is this the best one to get?

- A


Yes.

Yes.

Unless you have the absolute need for f2.8 (and for whatever reason upping the ISO won't work for you) then the f4L  is much sharper - at least from f4 to f8 - in the corners. The centres are pretty much the same on both. Plus you have the bonus of the IS.

http://www.philaphoto.com/images/16-35_Test_series.jpg

Thanks.

Yeah, I'm a jerk for asking that first question.   :D   It's clear from the data I have linked (as well as samples from a number of reviewers) that at landscape apertures this lens is not a massive improvement like the MTF charts implied.   It's a very good lens, don't get me wrong, but the MTF charts (esp. in comparison to the lackluster 16-35 F/2.8L II and 17-40 F/4L charts) would have had me expecting larger improvements.

But for the other reasons mentioned -- IS, good control of CA, 77mm filters, etc. -- I'm probably still going to buy it anyway.  My 2nd question is still a resounding 'Yes' to me right now.   ;D

- A

141
Lenses / Re: Confused, 24-70 f/2.8 or f/4?
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:56:36 AM »
I was torn between the 70-200/4L IS and slightly slower 70-300L. Renting first made my decision easy.

Try the 24-70/4L IS both with and without IS switched on. If the slower shutter speeds allowed by the IS for static shots in poor light give you a benefit, then the lighter cheaper lens is probably better for you. IS is a bigger benefit than one one stop of of speed if the subject isn't fast moving.

+1.  Renting and testing head to head is always a good idea if you are going to sink four figures into glass.

- A

142
Lenses / Re: Confused, 24-70 f/2.8 or f/4?
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:44:40 AM »
Don't be confused.  Just compare what you'll be getting -- top to bottom -- and make a decision based on your priorities:

24-70 F/2.8L II
  • It is believed to be the sharpest 24-70 out there by many reviewers.  That may or may not be so depending on the apertures you shoot.  I believe it to be the sharpest for general use, but if you are shooting landscapes at F/11, chances are you won't notice much of a difference between the F/2.8 and F/4 lenses.
  • This lens is weather sealed.
  • F/2.8 max aperture will give you faster shutters for sports, moving subjects, etc.
  • F/2.8 max aperture will give you the opportunity to shoot with smaller DOF, smoother background blur, etc. (if so inclined)
  • This lens takes 82mm filters, which you may not currently own.  Consider that when you add up the total cost.
  • This lens is much more expensive than the F/4 IS lens.
  • I am totally speculating here, but the F/2.8L II is probably a better bet for resale value over the F/4L IS as it is the 'pro' staple lens for standard focal lengths -- this will be a go to for many photogs, and as such, there will always be some demand for it.

24-70 F/4L IS

  • This lens is quite sharp but generally not regarded as sharp as the F/2.8L II; however, some reviewers disagree slightly:
  • This lens has Image Stabilization, it's #1 advantage over the F/2.8L II. If you shoot handheld stills in low light without a flash or if you shoot video, this will be a large upside for you.  If not, it may not be that valuable.
  • This lens is also weather sealed.
  • F/4 max aperture will force you to crank up the ISO to match the shutter speed of the F/2.8 lens for moving subjects, sports, etc.
  • F/4 max aperture can not deliver the same great subject isolation, bokeh, etc. as the F/2.8L II.
  • This lens takes 77mm filters. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume if you are dropping $3-4k on glass, you have the relatively standard 77mm filters in your possession already.
  • The F/4L IS lens is about 33% lighter than the F/2.8L II.  That matters if you carry all day, but I'm sure most pros would prefer the IQ and carry that weight.
  • This lens is considerably cheaper than the F/2.8L II.
  • The F/4L IS lens is about an 1" shorter if memory serves.  That's a really small advantage in comparison to the points made above, but that might matter to you.
  • It has the macro mode, which is fun to use but limited compared to proper 1:1 macro lenses with more useful working distances.  This particular feature is more for those who choose this lens as a walkaround lens on their FF rigs and do not want to carry a 100mm macro or extension tubes with them.  It's a nice feature but not a killer one.

So if IQ is everything to you / you need strong bokeh in a zoom / you shoot sports --> the F/2.8L II is the clear choice.  I think most everyone on this forum would say that if money were no object, that's the standard zoom you get.

If, however, you'd like 90-95% as good a lens and one of the green advantages above is a big deal to you, the F/4L IS may be the right choice for you.  Just spitballing here, the biggest reasons to choose the F/4L IS would be...
  • You shoot video as well as stills and want an all-in-one stills/video lens.  IS is great for video.
  • If you often shoot handheld + low light + no flash on non-moving subjects.  Street, vacation, walkabout shooters desperately need IS.  It's admittedly not a routine need, but in those circumstances, F/2.8L II shooters would need to crank their ISO 2-3 stops up to net the same shot as the F/4L IS.
  • Weight does matter for you.  If you hike, camp, etc. and have to lug everything around, less weight is beautiful.

- A

143
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:51:02 AM »

  The IS is very odd because you can't see the effect like you do with an unwieldy telephoto, but I think it will be a great travel/walkaround lens.

The IS is for shooting video while handholding.

That's one thing you can do with it. 

IS is fantastic for stills of non-moving scenes in poor light.  Compared to a non-IS lens of the same specs, you can:

  • Net the same shot with 3-4 stops lower ISO.
  • Keep the ISO the same and walk the aperture down 3-4 stops and get more working DOF in a sharper smaller aperture.

Put another way:  There are certain places/circumstances where you cannot use or do not have a tripod or a flash, and that's when IS can save your bacon.  As a handheld, natural light shooter (98% of the time), I absolutely love it at all focal lengths, especially at night.

- A

144
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:40:21 AM »
Can we just call it a really good lens? Good enough to take amazing photos. And you can get bad shots too if you take a bad photo.

Yes, it's a lovely lens.  But for landscapes, which is what I am going to use it for, I need to know that I am not just paying +$400 for IS over the 17-40 F/4L.

So I'm not being critic.  I think I am going to buy this lens.  But before my money comes out, I am asking this group:

1) Did Canon really deliver on those stellar MTF charts?  Is this is the sharp-in-the-corner landscape lens many have been looking for?

2) For landscape work on a FF body (both on a tripod and handheld), and presuming that I want an UWA zoom, is this the best one to get?

- A


145
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 06, 2014, 01:11:41 PM »

And Kai's classic adjective-laden review of the 16-35 F/4L IS:
http://www.digitalrev.com/article/canon-16-35mm-f-4l/MjM5NzkyOTAy

- A

146
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 06, 2014, 12:11:09 PM »
And now Photozone joins the conversation -- and this spurs an interesting conversation:
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/877-canon_1635_4is?start=1

I'm glad we know have sharpness numbers to compare, because it speak to a concern of mine.  I am reading that everyone who uses this lens finds it a sharpness improvement over the 16-35 F/2.8L II and 17-40 F/4L, especially in the corners.

But the sample pictures I see do not give a ringing endorsement of sharper corners other than new lens has more useful corners at larger apertures

So I looked at PZ's sharpness data, and my eyes may not fooling me after all:

@ F/4 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3342   2730    1073
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3482   2945    2195
16-35 F/4L IS:     3540  2826     2556

@ F/8 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3278   2896  2197
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3249   2882  2744
16-35 F/4L IS:     3390  3023   2766

@ F/11 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3012   2760  2577
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3000   2734  2669
16-35 F/4L IS:    3059   2796  2614

And, without transcribing it all, the relationship on the longest FL end is similar.  PhotoZone only gave it a 3.5 star (out of five) for optical quality, and with the numbers above, I can see why.

So -- were we to assume this data is correct (remember, PZ only gets one copy of a lens) -- we might think that:

  • The new lens will, in fact, not be sharper at the apertures landscape photographers shoot
  • The new lens is sharper in the corners for more wide open apertures.

Do you folks buy this?  For those who own the new 16-35 and either the old 16-35 or 17-40, have you had a similar experience?

- A






147
Lenses / Re: 24-70 f4 IS macro performance
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:49:46 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I think I will go for it as soon as I find a buyer for my 24-105 :)
the dedicated macro lens will have to wait for another day as I am afraid that the limited use it would see doesn't justify the cost. Btw, what would be the approximate working distance to get 0.7 magnification on the dedicated 100mm macros?

A few comments:

  • The 24-70 F/4L IS is a clear winner over the 24-105 for sharpness and distortion, and it's comfortably better than the 24-70 F/2.8L Mark I.  Only the 24-70 II is sharper, and for $2K+, it ought to be:  http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/canon-24-70-f4-is-resolution-tests

  • The 100L macro is not a dedicated macro lens so much as a fully featured macro lens.  Dedicated implies that's all it does, like the 180L macro (AF too slow to do much else with it, maybe landscapes?) or the MP-E 65mm trombone 5x macro.  The 100L macro is not such a lens... but I think that's a good thing.  The 100L macro is a stellar prime for non-macro purposes -- the AF is quick and the sharpness is terrific.  Sure, it's not an ultra-fast aperture, but you can nail some terrific shots with that lens (see CR's review here: http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/review-canon-ef-100-f2-8l-is-macro/).  I never shoot video, but I'd imagine the IS is pretty good for that as well.

- A

148
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:20:00 PM »
...
which makes it all the more tricky to compare real world.

So it sounds like you've discovered why DxO use the methodology that they do.

Yes, it's also why I never tried to post up real scenes in a scientific test manner, it's tricky. I'm trying this time, but it's very tricky.

You still have to take great care with charts and constant lighting too though, as DxO seems to have not yet discovered though, or perhaps only very slowly discovering (see: 16-35 II having best corner performance at f/2.8, 70-200 2.8 II being the worst at 200mm f/2.8 of all the Canon 70-200 2.8s; 70-300 non-L having better 300mm performance than 70-300L and 300 f/4L, 24-70 f/4 IS supposedly having mediocre edges at 70mm; etc.).

Or you can do it the way TDP does it -- I believe Bryan Carnathan now shoots head to head comparisons simultaneously on separate bodies to ensure the light is the same.

Either way, lens testing is road to madness.  I say rent before you buy and you'll never be upset.

- A

149
Lenses / Re: 24-70 f4 IS macro performance
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:58:33 PM »
I have this lens and I've enjoyed the macro mode.  My observations:

  • First: it only delivers macro functionality at 70mm, it is not a 'zooming macro'.
  • I am not a pro, but from what I've read of professional macro shooters, shaping the light is delicate, scripted  process that this lens would not support due to the limited working distance.  So I only use this lens' macro mode for handheld walkaround work in great light.
  • Kai very very briefly spoke to macro use here (including a demonstration of the working distance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-q0JcUCwpw  (see 7:14 to 7:35 or so)
  • Image Stabilization, as you might imagine, cannot remotely overcome the added DOF you need.  So if you want an entire flower, bug, etc. in frame, you have to stop down to comical levels (like F/22) or focus stack with multiple shots.  In either case, you should probably be on a tripod.  (The working distance is so small that I think a macro flash would be difficult to use.)
  • Some folks really do want to stop down to comical levels with macro lenses.  Both 1:1 100mm macros Canon sells stop down to F/32, whereas this 24-70 only stops down to f/22.  This has not been a limitation for what I shoot.

That said, I enjoy this mode thoroughly for what this lens is made for -- the perfect travel/walkaround option.  I slam this on my 5D3 and go explore things.  In my travels, I may see something I want to get close to -- that's where this mode is great.  My 100L macro stays at home (as I'd only use it for 1-2% of my travel shots) and I have more space in my bag.  I also use this lens as my single lens for hiking, as it's got a very sharp wide end, is light/compact (for a zoom), and it's weather sealed.  In that instance, I've got a great landscape lens and a serviceable macro all in one.

But make no doubt of it, a proper, purpose-built macro with 1:1 and a decent working distance will trump the 24-70's macro mode handily if you shoot macro often.  My thinking is this -- if I need a tripod, a bulb sprayer and a reflector, I reach for the 100L. 

If I just want to snap a flower as I'm walking around, I leave the 24-70 on, take the shot, and move.

Shots below were taken with the 24-70 in macro mode.

- A

150
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »

A really long review video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db3GvPz6nbI

Note: it's in German, but he did do a number of side by side shots at similar settings with the 16-35 F/2.8L II and walked around his shots in comparison mode to show the virtues of the new lens.  I have not watched it all, but you might find it helpful.

- A

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