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Messages - ahsanford

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EOS Bodies / Re: Petapixel: Canon Full Frame Mirrorless
« on: December 03, 2014, 04:47:03 PM »
Why would canon develop a FF slr that its still in general the same size as the 5d,6d body size and keep the lens mount and distance to the sensor the same
As far as I can see the reduction of body size is a bit overblown especially for FF as the lenses still need to observe physical limitations. Sony's FF lenses are evidence that the masters of miniaturization cannot skin that cat.

This gets to market segmentation.  You have multiple users of mirrorless with different needs.  Consider just two (of many) groups coming to mirrorless from SLRs:

1) People who love the small form factor for carrying or discretion reasons — street, reportage, travel shooters and such. They *don’t* want big lenses, huge grips and such. They want 90% the IQ/features of a same-sensor-sized-SLR in 50% of the size.

2) People who are migrating to mirrorless from DSLRs simply for the best IQ they can get (i.e. people buying the various a7 Sony models) — a good example would be Canon landscape shooters wanting more MP or more DR. These folks don’t give a damn about form factor and are bolting big L lenses on to these bodies with adaptors. Effectively, they *aren’t* mirrorless devotees so much as fans of wonderful sensors and don’t mind fighting through the limitations (battery life, AF, etc.) of today’s mirrorless rigs.  An A7R and an adapter is a much cheaper way to upgrade your sensor than buying a D810 and new lenses.

Normalnorm, it appears to me that Group 1 above really cares about size, and Group 2 couldn't give a damn if it takes the best shot (and, bonus, lets them keep using their old glass).

I think -- just maybe -- that the complexity of the user's needs in mirrorless might scare off Canon and Nikon as (at least for now) being a bit too unpredictable to make a major investment -- i.e. should they aim their mirrorless efforts at fully replacing what DSLRs do, or should they focus on getting the size down?  Doing both could be irresponsible w.r.t. time & dollars.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Petapixel: Canon Full Frame Mirrorless
« on: December 03, 2014, 04:37:28 PM »
Canon is losing quite a few landscape photographers these days, because there is stiff competition to fill all the broad and niche landscape needs. I still use Canon for landscapes because I like their system and I have no complaints with my process. I can still see vast majorities of people wanting to get into landscapes who are not even considering Canon because of lower MP and less DR. I personally stitch and bracket all of my shots (never missed a shot), so I have not much to gain by leaving Canon, but others certainly see the need.

Respectfully disagree, Johan.  Canon isn't really losing folks to mirrorless nearly as much as they are losing folks to Sony sensors -- people are 'switching to mirrorless' just to get their hands on what they think will get them better IQ.

Consider:  one of the Sony a7 bodies with an adaptor is probably the cheapest way to get a "better" sensor for FF work without having to flip all your glass.  Landscapers are the ones willing to give this a try first, as they need AF far less than most photographers and LV can get them by.

But we continue to hear of everyone leaving Canon for a host of reasons, principally due to the sensors, and secondarily due to their avoiding any significant commitment to mirrorless.

Canon will eventually commit large dollars to mirrorless and make a proper go of it -- with APS-C, not FF.  (I don't see a 4th mount happening.  But they'll pony up an EVF, offer DPAF, and (please) offer a greater variety of small, native EF-M lenses and people will buy it.

The big wild card is when.  I've heard a thousand forum-dwelling photography enthusiasts that claim that Canon is falling so far behind and that everyone is leaving them, but I haven't seen a speck of sales data that shows that Sony / Fuji / etc. are converting large numbers of DSLR users from them.  If that starts to happen, Canon will deploy more competitive products in that segment.

- A

Vacuum sealed travel bags. You don't need to use the vacuum feature, but good ones will come with a sturdy and sealed zipper.

Ah.  So don't break down the cold camera bag (body + 2-4 lenses) into separate plastic bags -- you're saying to put my entire satchel full of gear into a large sealed bag?

- A

No problem for the tripod.
1. Canon specifies a lower operating temperature around freezing for their cameras. I've had my 7D in much colder than that, but YMMV.
2. Beware condensation! Put your gear in a plastic bag before you bring it inside.

Way ahead of you.  Ziplocks and dessicant are at the ready!   :D

Any suggestions for larger items like a 70-200 f/2.8 that do not readily fit in a ziplock? 


- A

Hey gang,

Next month I'm off on a road trip.  Though I'll be bringing my camera bag inside to hotels each night, I didn't know if there was any harm in leaving my tripod and ball head stashed in the car.  Threat of theft is not an issue, but temps will be as low as 10-15 F overnight.

Tripod = carbon fiber = Gitzo 1542T
Ball head = Arca Z1 DP

Any concerns with that gear getting down to that temp?

- A

If you get the chance, there's a bridge across between the north and south rims with an old bridge next to it that they've converted into a pedestrian bridge.  Besides being able to say that you walked across the canyon, you might also get to shoot some pictures of whitewater rafters down below.

No GC this trip, unfortunately, but we'll check it out next time we go.  We're in Southern California, so it's easy to come back to this part of the country when it's warmer or when we have more time to spend.

- A


- the only filter I would bring is CPL for the 16-35. I'm not a big filter user, I'm happy with what Lightroom and RAW give me, but for eliminating reflections, a CPL is great.

Have a nice trip!!! :D

Thanks for the advice!

The CPL is a staple for me provided faces aren't in the frame (it creates really harsh transitions of light on faces).  And believe it or not, I'm actually more likely to not use it on the 16-35 than any other lens.  The 'pseudo-vignetting' effect that occurs from uneven polarization with a wide field of view (UWA landscape shot with sky in view) is a pain to deal with in post.

But I'll use a CPL on anything about 24mm on longer as basic contrast management of a problematic sky or to punch up macro work.  It's a vital tool for me.

- A

I was in Arizona a few months ago.


Great shots, thanks.  I feel like I'm less of an American because I've never been to Monument Valley.  And, as we all know, that's where Airwolf is hiding.  On the list for a future trip, most certainly.

- A

If you will be near it Utah, go to Antelope Canyon, or Canyon X for magnificent slot canyon shots.  Need a tripod, shutter release, and the lenses you listed would be good ( between 16 and say 50 mm, better at the shorter end).

Antelope canyon will be crowded, but Canyon X is a private tour with only 3 photographers and the guide Charlie.

It is a bit out of your way, but something to think about.


Yeah, so much to see in the AZ/UT border area, but we're not going to get that far north.  We're going to save that for a future summer trip, though.

- A


70-200 f/2.8 IS II --- so easy to find elk deer if your into that, great for landscapes

Around this time two years ago I was up at the South Rim of the GC and I had the canyon's edge to the right of me and this gentleman (attached) immediately to the left of me with many female elk nearby.  I was near an animal as big as a car 15 feet to my left and a sheer cliff to my right.  Not cool.  This happened right in the GC Village!

I quietly walked around and got back to my hotel room and put on the 70-200 and went back out.  As it's a light pollution controlled area -- very low lighting is there just to tell you the cliff's edge is close -- I had to climb up to ISO 25,600 to net even a 1/3 second shutter shot wide open.  Many many many missed shots before I sort of got one.

- A


Personally I would leave the 100L and take the 70-200L if I could.   Sometimes it helps framing long distance landscapes and

Thanks for the locations tcmatthews and John.  Had a bunch of those sites on my 'might go there' map, but there were a number of new ones as well.  Thanks.

The 70-200 I would specifically bring for compressing the distance in landscapes as tcmatthews said, but I'm on the fence about it's 'carrying weight to usage' ratio.  I bring it, it takes stellar pictures, but I only seem to use it for 5% of my travel shooting and it's a solid 4 pounds extra carry weight on walkabout.  I'm still leaning towards not bringing it, but I foresee the next 5 respondents to second-guess me pretty hard on that call.   This forum really adores that lens.  :D

The 100L was my short tele option, and I like to have either that or the 24-70 f/4L IS for the macro option.  I don't know why, but I'm a tourist handheld macro shooter.  Flora, not-shy lizards and such always seem to pop up in my travels.

- A


next month I'm off for a vacation road trip with my girlfriend through Arizona to Santa Fe, NM and I'd love some gear and sightseeing advice. 

  • Unlike past trips where I could carve out some solo photography time and shoot some landscapes or macro work, we'll be together for almost all of the trip.  So the big GuraGear bag is staying at home and I'm planning on bringing a more modest kit.
  • On vaca, I shoot a little bit of everything -- walkabout, street, hiking, landscapes and macro.  95% of the time, I'm an available light shooter. 
  • The full gamut of temperature we'll see could run from 15F to 60F.  So there will be plenty of large temp transitions where my gear will jump into and out of the cold.
  • We'll be staying in hotels -- no need to plan for overnights outdoors.

I have two burning questions:

1) If you've been to or live near the Flagstaff - Albuquerque - Santa Fe neck of the woods, what are the must-sees or must-dos?  I don't just mean great vistas for photography -- what's fun to see, do, or experience out there?  If it helps, we are in our 30s and we're into food, beer, hiking (medium level, day-hikes only), art, film, music, history, local culture, and odd places. 

2) Of all my gear (listed below) -- and considering the four bullet points up top -- what would you bring and why?  My gut (just off the cuff) is on bringing the bold items below.

  • 5D3
  • 28 f/2.8 IS
  • 40 f/2.8
  • 50 f/1.4
  • 100 f/2.8L IS
  • 16-35 f/4L IS
  • 24-70 f/4L IS
  • 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
  • 90EX Speedlite (tiny emergency flash if the need arises, works fine on the 5D3 with standard FLs)
  • 600EX-RT Speedlite
  • Tripod, ball head, cable release, sand bag, etc. (Small Gitzo traveler (1542T) and an Arca head (z1/dp)
  • Standard filters - UV, CPL, etc.
  • Landscape filters - Lee 100 system, ND grads, Big Stopper, 105 CPL, etc.
  • Ziplocks and desiccant for coming from the cold
  • Batteries, chargers, yadda yadda
  • Rain covers
  • Monopod

So?  Thoughts? 

As always, I appreciate the advice -- you folks have been gold on prior trips.

- A

Check out the WonderPana system - it has a CPL and isn't extremely expensive.  The thing is that the WonderPana also has the adapter rings to get down to 77/82mm.

I'm also invested in the Lee 100mm stuff, and I think my general point is this kickstarter doesn't do a good job of telling me why I want their product.

This new idea is wretched on a boatload of fronts -- there's no value proposition and no details, so we are left to speculate.  Best I can tell, it's a price-undercut of the $400 SW150 holder with a push-on functionality (and I had to guess that from the video).  I have no need for this.

The very next day, this link surfaced and broadly blew my original link's idea out of the water: 


It's another SW150 killer (price-wise), but clearly further along in the design and at a much more manageable cost. 

- A

The SW150 system also can be adapted to use the 100mm rings, so you can also use it with any lens.  Get 1 set of ND filters and it doesn't matter what lens or camera system you are using.

Good future-proofing, but the only pull through with the Lee 100 system is the rings -- you'd still need large and expensive 150mm filters, right?  And I need independent CPL rotation to my ND grads, so I think I'm out of luck with the SW150.

After a great deal of scrutiny of all these systems, I think the vignetting, size and practicality of a slot-in system gets radioactive when you try to get wider than FF 16mm or so, so I've stopped chasing larger options.  I'm vested in the Lee 100 setup and it covers all my needs on my 16-35 f/4L IS.  I can stack two NDs and use a 105 CPL in front down to 20mm without vignetting, and if I pull the CPL I'm clean all the way down to 16mm.  Plus, my entire holder/ring/filters/CPL setup fits into a very small package I can take with me. 

But I do find the design problem a fascinating one to read about.  No lens manufacturer seems to have embraced slot-in filter use to the point of putting features in expressly to make their use easier or simpler (as it fights with lens hood real estate, I guess).  I do give Canon some credit for apparently doing something to keep the filter ring "height" off of the 16-35 F/4L IS front element relatively low to minimize the 'you're stuck with this' distance from the lens designer that doesn't care about slot-in use on UWA lenses.   16mm + 2 stacked NDs without vignetting (but still in a 100mm system) was beyond many people's expectations.

- A

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon EF-S 11-24mm f/3.5-4.5
« on: November 18, 2014, 08:04:12 PM »
I'd prefer an 8.75mm - 17.5 mm (= 14-28mm Full Frame). f/3.5-4.5 is OK on my 10-22mm.

BTW Olympus has a NEW 7-14mm f/2.8 lens coming (= 14-28mm FF)   http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1031586-REG/olympus_7_14mm_f2_8_pro_m.html

That lens (sort of) exists, doesn't it?


- A

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