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Messages - ahsanford

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Lenses / New EF 16-35mm F/4L IS lens hands-on video and still samples
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:16:02 PM »

FYI for those eager to see the new 16-35 F/4L IS -- a short hands-on video and some sample shots are here:


Most important thing I learned (see 1:30 in the video):

It's internal zooming/focusing if you define that as nothing protrudes past the filter ring of the lens.  But there is no front element that covers the entire lens, so that zooming motion leaves a sliding surface that is exposed to the elements.  If you've shot a 50L, the relationship is similar (but obviously being a prime, that sliding is a focusing motion and not a zooming motion). 

For me, that's technically internal zooming/focusing for length but not for access to dust/moisture;  with (say) a 70-200 lens, that zooming motion is entirely captured behind a front element, which I have to say gives me a little more peace of mind when shooting in the elements.

Yes, normally I would UV or CPL this lens for handheld use anyway, but with an ND grad setup that you use right on the lens, this could be a potential for dust/moisture to get into the lens.  Seaside landscape shooters -- do you care about this?  (I never bought an ultrawide since I moved to FF, so I don't know if this is similar to the 16-35 F/2.8L or 17-40 F/4L and you've been coping with this limitation for a while anyway...)

He also goes on to say IS doesn't do much in wide angles... for video.  [Cue drum fill.]  If it gives me 3-4 more stops of handholdability in low light for my stills, this lens will be golden IMHO.

Links to sample images are here:

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 10, 2014, 07:21:38 PM »
There's one situation where that's not true, though.  Depending on the mix of full-frame and EF-S lenses that you own, some 7D users who decide to upgrade to full-frame might end up selling several of their lenses anyway, not to mention upgrading to lenses with longer focal lengths to make up for the lack of the 1.6x crop factor.
Entirely fair.  Current EF-S mount users choosing between a 6D/5D3 or waiting for a 7D2 absolutely are out there.  But I don't really see that as a Nikon conversion risk.  I see that as a one-time ripping off of the EF-S band-aid that you have to do to migrate to FF regardless of what company's products you use.

I see that less as a "Because I am mad at waiting for Canon" and more of a "Movin' on up (movin' on up) to deeeeluxe apartment in the sky-hiiiiiiigh".   ::)

But yes, you are right.  Leaving crop altogether costs money, well above the cost of the body itself.  This burden varies depending on what you shoot:

  • Best case:  You just have a standard EF-S zoom, like an 18-55 or 18-135 --> You go and get a 'pried-from-a-kit' 24-105L for $750ish or a 28-135 for $475ish.  Ouch, but small change compared to a FF rig. 
    ([Sigh] "Yeah, there's that... But it's worth it.")

  • Slightly painful case:  You have a standard EF-S zoom and an ultrawide --> Same as above, but now you need a 17-40L for $800ish as well.  Painful. But doable. 
    ([Deep breaths] "I can do this...  I'll just get that 17-40L next year.")
  • Really painful case:  You have have a standard EF-S zoom, an ultrawide and a 55-250 and enjoy shooting around 250 on the crop --> Same as above, but now you need a 100-400L as well.  Oof. 
    (The value proposition is starting to take on water rapidly...)

  • You-are-totally-screwed case:  You are a seasoned vet who shoots a 300 or higher prime on your 7D for wildlife or birding.  You have the comically painful choice of settling for the downsides of T/Cs, investing in $10K superteles, or simply not ever making the jump to FF because the glass will bankrupt you for what you shoot.  That's a buckler.
    (Hint to Canon:  You kind of own these people.  The 7D2 could be $4k and these people might still the first in line for pre-orders, b/c $4k is still less than Supertele prices.  Check and mate.) 

Thank goodness I had a succession plan when I bought my third and fourth lenses.  I opted for EF glass long before I made the move to FF and my only headache was doing without a 16-24mm FL option after I migrated (sold the EF-S 10-22 but the 24-70 I owned covered the wide end on FF pretty well).

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 10, 2014, 03:23:26 PM »
Sounds like another ploy by Canon (tm,) to make people think they are close to getting a replacement together so you don't jump ship to Nikon by making you believe the replacement is just around the corner (instead of late 2015)

No.  I'm buying this rumor as it seems to be coinciding with lack of 7D stock at the various resellers.  This is a CR2.5 in my book -- we may not have dates and specifics, but I'd say it will be released by year end with some confidence.

Also, jumping ship out of frustration waiting for a new model is a great windup for some folks but very, very few people actually do it.  An average 7D user today likely has at least three lenses (some have many more) and hopping over to Nikon would represent selling all their stuff at 60-70% value and rebuying it with the other brand.  Swapping in light of that says such a person is an enthusiast who must have the latest thing even at great cost, and that's a bit of a rarity.

I think to get large numbers of pros or enthusiasts (with a lot of present dollars committed) to switch is very, very difficult.  Those folks typically only bail if:

  • Canon's products or services take a fundamental nose dive.  Terrible recalls, poor quality, lengthy service, etc.
  • The competition releases exactly what you were looking for and your company will not do this.  A poor example might be the D800's release, but that didn't really sink Canon so much as build up demand for a similar offering.
  • The competition introduces a game changing innovation for what you shoot and you don't have to completely cross over to use it.  An example would be the Sony A7 line, possibly adapted for use with Canon glass or for landscape work.  You don't have to sell all your gear to give it a real go, so some people have tried it.
  • I can't speak for a photography business/studio, but I'd imagine larger scale buyers might be given healthy incentives to switch brands to 'land' them as future customers.

In light of that, people don't bounce around that much.  So Canon would much rather take baby steps, lovingly dial-in the 7D2, and not release it until it's 100% ready.  And as someone who has enjoyed a completely problem-free 5D3, I agree with that approach completely.  The wait is usually worth it.

- A

So you ordered those Trekpaks, eh?
The prototype looked better than the mass production, unfortunately. Also, at 3 lbs for the smaller Rollipack, I am worried about how much weight that will add. The velcro dividers are supposed to be 1 lb.

Not yet I haven't. 

First:  there is no phone number to call.

Second:  Using their contact web form I asked them a softball question of "can I use those couplers to attach two segments end to end (to make a longer one), and though I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, I've gotten no response in days other than a same-day automailer saying they'd get back to me soon.

Then I saw this:  http://blog.trekpak.com/2013/11/shipment-delay-our-apologies/

Then I saw this:  Nothing ships until July 7th

And then I wondered (a) how badly they wanted my business and (b) if it's Nanuk/Pelican insert time.  (I've spoken to the Pelican customer support folks and they are on top of it -- their products, what goes with what, what my options are, etc.  I'm assuming Nanuk would be similar.)

P@#$es me off as this looks like a stellar idea for a product.  I may wait it out further, as it's the only 30"x20" option I have that won't have repeat walls.  (All the Nanuk/Pelican options involve putting 2-3 inserts in side by side.)

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 04:26:12 PM »

Yeah, the 40 is very impressive bar the focus speed.

If you take STM as a replacement for the buzzy micro motor AF on cheap lenses, it's a nice improvement (although I can only guess about speed as I've never owned one of those lenses). It also doubles up as a nice damped AF system for video, which is why it may get introduced in replacements for lower end USM lenses.

I see no reason why the attributes of STM (slow, progressive AF suitable for natural looking pull focus on video) and those of USM (snappy, near instant AF for stills) can't be combined into one lens. In the meantime, I'd very much like high end photographers lenses to carry on with the current USM tech.

Any chance the AF drive could be USM or STM selectable by a switch?  Lightning quick for stills and smooth for video?

Or is that such a foundational lens design consideration that you can't do both?

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 04:24:24 PM »
I have used the 55-250 STM as a test for concerts and animal shooting. I haven't measured it, but to me the STM seems to work just fine, although it feels a tad slower (?) than USM (still significantly quicker than non-USM though). The one thing to keep in mind is that the focus on these STM lenses is electronic, so you can't "full-time manual focus" without power to the camera.

I don't want to be a lens snob, but as a still shooter with a bag full of USM glass, I only see STM as an improvement over the non-USM lenses I left behind years ago.  I have yet to hear of a single thing it does better than USM for stills.

So STM, for me, says 'for video', and as such, won't be getting any of my money.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 03:16:57 PM »
Just to throw this out there... If Dual pixel tech is ever going to hit full frame cameras like the 5d4 or 6d2 or 4d then FF will need a compatable STM lens too.

Good point. We already have the 40, but a slow zoom is the typical deployment of such technology. These EF-S zooms so far been optically very good, and very cheap. Does anyone see an EF 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS STM on the horizon? Nikon recently refreshed their budget full frame variable aperture zoom.

This is entirely ignorance on my part as the only STM I own is the pancake, so I'll ask:

1) Do any still shooters who are shooting moving subjects use STM glass at all? 

2) Has STM focusing speed improved to catch up with USM speed? 

3) Does STM work well in Servo for moving subjects?

Please educate me, as I think my first go at STM with the pancake was not impressive on those three fronts.   That lens is a marvel, but only for static shots in my book.

Maybe more recent STM glass is better?

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Replacement Buzz Going Around [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 01:45:14 PM »

An STM lens.  Really.  That's pretty weak for what is presumably a best-in-class APS-C rig in the $2k neighborhood.  STM is fine for video, and it's also nice upgrade over the squeaky slow AF motors of the older entry level Rebel kit glass, but 7D2 still shooters would want the speed of USM, right?

Are they legitimately going after pro wildlife/sports guys with this rig or just enthusiasts who want a high burst rate?  Surely the days of kitting this with a relatively average lens are over, aren't they?  (I recognize that the people drooling over a 7D2 likely already have a lot of glass, but the same could be said at the launch of the 5D3 and that had a decent lens kit option...)

Just riffing here:  any chance Canon kits this with a really solid L lens?  I recognize that a 24-something zoom lens will be too long on the wide end for a standard zoom.  So...

Kit it with a 16-35 F/4L IS?

Kit it with a first-ever L lens in an EF-S mount?  An EF-S 15-50 F/4L IS?  An L-quality update to the 17-55 F/2.8 IS?

Kit it with the Sigma 18-35 F/1.8?

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Reports of EOS 7D Reaching End of Life [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:21:22 AM »

I'm also curious to see what the price will be.  When I first offered that the 7D2 will cost more than the 6D, many disagreed.  I still think -- depending on the features and how good the sensor is -- this camera could comfortably climb above $2K (body only) at first offering.

For certain shooters, the 7D2 is their holy grail and it represents a spectacular savings in lens costs for them.  That small sliver of shooters would pay above $3k for it, I'd guess.

But, not knowing the specs and recognizing that Canon isn't building this rig just for wildlife/sports folks, I'm guessing this is a $1,999 - $2,499 rig at first offering.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Reports of EOS 7D Reaching End of Life [CR2]
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:14:48 AM »

The Problem Canon seems to have with the 1DX and 7DII, is that the 1DX is still selling well and the second Canon release a 7DII, those sales will tail off pretty fast. It's just not possible to make a 7DII without it being a 1.6x version of the 1DX. The 5DIII is already a full frame 1DX lite....so a 7DII must therefore be a cropped sensor 1DX lite also. Ergo, simular frame rate, AF array and 18mp as the 1DX.

Agree with the 'lite' statement, but a camera is far more than those three specs:

  • Consider what that 'lite'ness costs you: 
    • No integral vertical grip
    • Slower burst (presumed)
    • Can't get as small a DOF at the same aperture
    • No spot metering at any AF point
    • No built-for-war build quality (the current 7D is great, but I though the 1D build ways always a step up from that)

  • This forum is loaded full of people that reject the notion that an APS-C rig with an Xmm lens takes shots as good as a FF rig with a 1.6Xmm lens. (I don't want to start a back and forth on that here, but it's an important point in comparing 7D2's true threat to the 1DX's sales.)

So I feel that current or prospective 1DX users would feel a bit handcuffed on a 7D2 platform.  As such, I see a 7D2 user not having a tremendous overlap with 1DX users, and I only see 7D2 stealing a small amount of 1DX business.

I think the 7D2's #1 value proposition is for folks where length is everything.  The 1.6x either limits how expensive a supertele you need to buy (a 400mm instead of a 600mm) or it lets that 600mm do more as a 960mm FF equivalent.

So, I dont know why I have this locked in my head, but the 7D2 screams wildlife (esp. birding) to me.  It sure it will do most everything else well, but the value proposition to wildlife folks for length reasons is spectacular.  I don't have all the white lens prices in front of me, but getting 90-95% as good a shot as FF for half the price and weight of body + lens is a compelling sales argument.

(Another reason why the 1DX overlap is smaller than you think:  1DX users aren't looking for 90-95% as good as something -- they want the best money can buy in that format.  That separates the users pretty clearly for me.)

The #2 value proposition might be 'the best camera you can buy without moving into crazy dollars' -- and that screams enthusiast (who would rarely buy a 1DX) to me.

If anything, the 7D2 might steal business from the 1DX as a second body choice to complement their 1DX.  Sports guys, maybe?

- A

Make sure your 3rd drawer is big enough for the Great Whites. And don't forget to post some pictures when done.

Nice try on the superteles.   ;)

200mm (or 400mm with the 2x) is as long as I need for what I shoot, and I'm not paying the bucks to grab one stop over my 70-200 F/2.8L IS II.  So I spec'd this case for front-filtered lenses that fit in a 5.5" drawer, which is everything I own.

Future pickups are an ultrawide and likely an autofocusing 50 prime to replace my Canon 50/1.4 (still waiting for Canon's IS answer to the Art lens before I decide), and maaaaaaybe a a tilt-shift, an 85L or a future 135L II someday.  All of those will fit nicely in the drawers I've selected.

Photos of the case are coming for sure, but it may be a while.  TrekPak doesn't ship their first products until early July.   :(

- A

Thanks to all the responses!

In my four drawers, I presently will have:

Top Drawer = accessories: remotes, chargers, gizmos/doodads, cleaning items, straps, etc.
2nd Drawer = all lenses and bodies and standard on-lens filters
3rd Drawer = expansion for down the road (will start as being empty)
4th Drawer = outdoor gear: tripod, monopod, 4x6 and 4x4 filter system, arca head, plates, sandbag, etc.

...And I think we'd agree certain items need more protection than others.  So, my plan will be to use a 1/4" thick yoga mat to line the bottom of each drawer, and...

Top Drawer = Keep it cheap:  Simple tackle box / kitchen drawer like plastic dividers in a grid
2nd Drawer = Pay the money:  Either the Pelican/Nanuk foam inserts or the TrekPak divider system
3rd Drawer = Nothing for now
4th Drawer = See how use dictates I protect things, but I think I'll leave items loose, except the Arca head (which will go in it's padded box) and the filters (which I have in a padded MindShift FilterHive).

Thanks to everyone's advice on this thread.  I truly appreciate it!

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Reports of EOS 7D Reaching End of Life [CR2]
« on: June 07, 2014, 04:58:08 PM »
The 7D is so old that it's been end of life in the market place for a long time. It's been said before, it's not the camera which is dated, but the sensor inside it. It's seriously behind in iso ability and clarity at 100%. Sure the AF could do with a tweek, but I found the 7D's array to be very good.

Ummm...it is not just the sensor, it as all the electronic circuitry in the camera that is dated.

The 7D actually has a better processor than the 5II of the same generation. The 7D to get it's data through put of 8fps and 18mp used a dual Digic 4 design. While the 5DIII and 1DX use Digic 5 and Dual Digic 5 designs, the through put of the Dual Digic 4 and a single Digic 5 are remarkably similar.
Other than AF systems, a 19 point to 61 point AF system, the 7D is remarkably modern except for it's sensor. If fact much of the 5DIII's development was carried over or progressed from the ground work laid in the 7D development. The 7D really was a 1D4 lite....so one wonders if Canon has the will to put out a 7DII / 1D-X lite?

A lot of people pick on its age, but if a 7D2 was offered that was identical spec-wise to the 7D other than offering a new best-in-class APS-C sensor, I think it would still sell like hot cakes. 

But tack on what we think they will tack on beyond the sensor (a 5D3/1DX-like AF grid, dual-pixel, video improvements, etc.) and we can start talking about such a beast eclipsing $2k and still selling like crazy.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Reports of EOS 7D Reaching End of Life [CR2]
« on: June 05, 2014, 11:15:35 AM »
Didn't we all think this about 18 months ago? lol

LOL exactly what I was thinking.

Every 18 days! See this one: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19973.0

We shouldn't be surprised Canon is taking so long with the 7D2 -- after all, the original is nearly indestructible:


- A


Great suggestions, all.  Much to think about.

The cabinets arrive tomorrow and I'll have some measuring to do.  Then it's decision time.

- A

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