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Messages - eml58

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Lenses / Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« on: November 18, 2013, 07:24:03 PM »
Has anyone used this lens in lower lighting conditions? There's a few shots in this thread that look like they were taken around dusk and turned out pretty well, but I'm curious about a bit more input.  I'm looking into getting my first "big white" and am mostly interested in this lens vs the 400 2.8.

I have had both Lenses on Safari, used both in low light/Dusk/Dawn shooting, the question is a good one and it's probably the biggest decision maker between these two lenses other than Sharpness. I've sold my 400f/2.8 L II since buying the 200-400f/4 but only after doing two Safari Trips with both Lenses to compare, and bringing along my 300f/2.8 L II as well.

I sold the 400f/2.8 II as I feel the versatility of the 200-400f/4 works for me in my own style of imaging to the point where the 400 was no longer necessary, but, this decision becomes easier when you have the 300f/2.8 II sitting waiting for those extreme low light situations.

The 400f/2.8 II is always going to be the better low light Lens, caveat here being what your shooting the lens on, I use the 1Dx and I find the combo unbeatable, the 5DMK III I also shoot with and it is not as good as the 1Dx in low light. The 400f/2.8 obviously has a full stop more light to play with over the 200-400f/4.

The 200-400f/4 though is no slouch in the low light department, what I have found is I simply operate the 200-400f/4 at 1600 or 2500 ISO where I would have operated the 400f/2.8 II at say 800 or 1250 ISO, any graining I take care of in Post. This is where the lighting conditions require higher ISO, otherwise during normal light conditions I would operate either lens at a Base 400, rarely do I shoot lower than ISO400.

Image quality comparisons I've found they two Lenses, same Length, same ISO same f/stop, are pretty evenly matched, again, I feel the Primes will always out the Zooms, but the 200-400f/4 compared to the 200f/2 (@f4) the 300f/2.8 II (@f4) the 400f/2.8 II (@f/4) the 600 f/4 (@f/5.6) and the 200-400 f/4 @ f/4 200/300/400 & 600 similar set up, you are going to find you need to go to zoom in quite a bit to begin to see the benefits IQ wise of the Primes over the Zoom, the 200-400f/4 is the best I have seen when comparing zoom to prime.

My feel is if you concentrate your imaging on low light you may want to go for the Primes, if your low light is say 10% of your Imaging, as is my own case, the Zooms versatility and first class IQ makes the 200-400 a better all round tool.

But that is an opinion knowing that I always have the 300f/2.8 II sitting ready for those low light extremes.

The attached were both shot @ ISO2500.

The Bush Baby with the 400f/2.8 II @ f/2.8

The Female Lion wight he 200-400f/4 @ f/5.6 560mm.

Not a true test of apples with apples, but both Lenses, on the 1Dx, work well in low light.

Both Images were shot with the 600EX-RT for fill flash.

Both Images shot well after sun down full dark, Both Images were shot with Spot light to gain focus, without the spot light neither shot could be achieved as no light/no focus.

This is one area where the f/2.8 will always out the f/4, a point where it's just too dark for the f/4 to achieve focus and the f/2.8 possibly still can.

Lenses / Re: Handheld vs. tripod with the Great Whites
« on: November 16, 2013, 08:33:49 PM »
I wonder how much extra freedom the bandolier gives compared to a monopod.
The bandoleer does not work without a monopod. And its not meant to be used with a 300mm. Have you seen the picture at the beginning of the thread?

I do a reasonable amount of shooting from a Helicopter, doors off, when I'm on Safari, especially in the Okavango Delta area, the Bandolier is almost the perfect solution, alternative is simply hand holding, the Helicopter harness keeps you attached to the chopper when your standing out on the skid, but this makes it impossible to use the Monopod attached, I've tried a harness from the top door edge but it's restrictive even using a line that has a tension brake included (similar system to car seat belts) the Bandolier is an almost perfect solution in this situation, and light weight easy to pack.

Thanks Eldar.

Lenses / Re: Lots of New Lenses Coming in 2014 [CR2]
« on: November 16, 2013, 02:09:44 AM »
For those who expect a new 200 f2 ii, what new features do you think will be implemented in it?

The new 'white' paint color.  ;)

I'm afraid I tend to agree, here, New White Paint same as the Series II Lenses, 20% less weight ?? (Not sure how much, but some weight saving).

I say "afraid" to agree only because I would love to see the 200f/2 get the series II Lens treatment, but it's my view that the current 200f/2 is so good I just don't see why Canon would do anything to it.

Plus the new Lens should it get the series II treatment, will get the Series II price increase, I had the 300f/2.8 series I and the 400 series I before upgrading both Lenses (have sold the 400 since though), in general the price increase for the series II over the series I has been in the order +/- 30% increase, that would likely see a series II 200f/2 move to above 8K, not sure that would be a smart move for Canon.

Why mess with perfection ??

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: November 15, 2013, 09:07:07 PM »

It's been a while since I've seen a Peed off Blue Tongue, grew up in the Northern wheat belt area of West Aussie, these guys provided a reasonable amount of distraction as a Kid.

Thanks for Posting.

Lenses / Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:33:24 PM »

Is it worth it?

No doubt in my mind, I'll not go into the equipment list, Neuro and others have covered it to perfection.

I used Gitzo some years back, good gear mostly, but about 3 years ago I switched totally to RRS for Tripod, monopod, safari clamps, replacement foot on all my whites, Gimble head, Ball head, etc etc.

I live in Singapore so I order the gear direct with RRS & ship Fed Ex cheapest Air to Singapore.

Costs for shipping have been between USD$60 to USD$100 per order, the most expensive shipping was when I ordered the 34L tripod & pano head plus bits, that was USD$109 shipping US to Singapore on an order that totalled $1,800.

Singapore also has GST add on, they may or may not be more reasonable than Sweden, cost is generally 7% of Order cost excluding Shipping & Insurance costs. But in Singapore if your Non Citizen (I'm a Resident), you can claim the GST back less Fee when you next leave Singapore, that may not be an option in Sweden.

RRS will either handle payment with a Telegraphic Transfer (they charge a Fee for this but waive the Fee for orders over $1,000 so bite the bullet and get as much gear as you can in the one order, I think the Fee is $35, or waived if more than 1K). I do my order payment now via PayPal to RRS, save Transfer fees and hassle, but of course PayPal have built in Fees as well.

I have had absolutely first class service from RRS, I deal direct with the owners wife with all my orders, so you get spot on service, in this day and age that's simply worth money to me. I could get Gitzo/Arca/Wimberley etc (and still have some of this gear laying about) here in Singapore, but I'm Happy to pay the premium to get the RRS equipment, it is engineered to perfection and being an Engineer I appreciate it when i can see gear made this way.

If you would like the contact details of the lady I deal with at RRS please message me direct & I'll pass the contact details onto you.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« on: November 15, 2013, 02:41:12 AM »
LOL!!! (Once again....What kind of hood do you have on that $3000 lens?). Funny post!

The attached is the "Dumb assed end"

I must admit I didn't research enough before I purchased, the Images from this Lens are 2nd to none among my ultra WA lenses, of which I own several, Canon 14f/2.8L II, Canon 8-15f/4, canon 17TSE, 14-24f/2.8 Nikon, Canon 15f/2.8.

With the exception of the 17TSE, all my WA lenses are purchased first for Underwater WA, secondary function, Landscape, but I sort of suck at Landscape.

I just couldn't imagine anyone handicapping a Lens by having a fixed Lens Hood like the Zeiss 15, in my view, "Dumb Assed".

And, after trying several Circular Polariser Filters it wasn't until I found the Heliopan Slim that I found a Polariser that didn't cause Vignetting, but that Heliopan cost $500 bucks.

So, amazingly sharp, beautiful contrast, smoothest Manual Focussing system I've experienced, but a dumb assed Lens Hood system.

Yes, as has been shown by others you can remove it, but after laying out 3k for a Lens anyone that brings a spanner or a screwdriver within 3 metres of this Lens while on my Camera, is a dead man, or women.

I am always happy when companies innovate and make interesting stuff. I do not see any reason why we should not appreciate their efforts. Really.

And that's pretty well where i sit, On this particular Camera (the a7r), I've gone from "Interesting development","Could work well as a back up smaller system FF to the 1Dx" "Pre Order" "cancel Pre-Order".

The only real reason I've decided to sit back and wait & see is the reports I'm reading re the a7r and poor focus in low light, even with the Zeiss 55 f/1.8, that's a real need for what I would expect to use this Camera for.

Lenses / Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:37:29 PM »
I bought the 600 f4L IS II (alongside the 1DX).  8) ... I already own the 2x and 1.4x extenders. ... Looking forward to my next safari in Kenya!  8)
Nice choice, I'm sure you'll be plenty happy and it should be perfect combo for your safari and lots of other shooting.

Yeppppp!  :D

Well Done Dave, just to be sure, are your converters the Series III ?? To get the best out of the New Version II Lenses you need to be using Series III Converters, the Series II will work, but not as well.

The 1Dx + 600f/4 II is about as good as it gets, mine is pretty well always hooked up set to go with the 1.4x III Converter, provides the perfect accompaniment to the 1Dx + 200-400f/4.

Be careful going through Nairobi these days, I'm heading into the Masai Mara in March 2014 and I've arranged it so I don't overnight going in or out, pick up my Charter flight same day as I arrive, pick up my International same day I come back in, after the disaster they had earlier this Year Nairobi itself is off my list of spots to spend time, anytime.

Canon General / Re: Any special "hints" for shopping?
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:18:01 PM »
Ah, pilgrimage completed. Spent some quality time at B&H and Adorama, both.  Handled some gear for which I have an interest.  Now, I'll go home and be able to "pull the trigger" on those items, online, when the right deal comes along.

Well done JPAZ, that's the way, research, look, touch even smell, but hold off the buy part until you get the deal you want on the gear you need.

I am impressed.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:11:23 PM »
The Zeiss 15 is a wonderfully sharp Lens, I bought one a while back after seeing some of Sanj's Images with this Lens, love it, but. It's damn heavy, which you can live with, it's manual focus of course, again you can live with and I actually have grown to like Manual Focus Lenses again after buying this lens, but, what just seems dopy, is the non removable (without a lot of very scary effort) dumb assed Hood.

I eventually went and purchased the 17TSE (with the Wonderpana Filter Holder, so now I can use the 17 with all my Lee Filters, Yippee), now very seldom do I take the Zeiss out, I'de love to put the Zeiss 15 into my Underwater housing to replace the Canon 14f2.8 L II, but the dumb assed Hood precludes that. There isn't any doubt though that the Zeiss 15 is a much better Lens in all departments than the Canon 14, except for the dumb assed Hood.

Lenses / Re: Handheld vs. tripod with the Great Whites
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:53:55 PM »
Cheetah IS....now that's something I never thought I would ever see ;D

That's it !!, Cheetah IS, and for all those Canon Knockers saying Canon are no longer being innovative, Canon have brought "Cheetah IS" to the Market first, Take that Nikon !!! & Sony to.

Lenses / Re: Handheld vs. tripod with the Great Whites
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:41:12 PM »
Hi Eldar, I like it, simple, in expensive.

There are a few products out there such as the Fly Cam, Steady Cam etc, mostly made for Video use, but also mostly entailing a hinge vest and arm arrangement.

As you mentioned, the 200-400f/4 brings a few small issues to the Party now, when hand holding it's a bit of a task operating the Zoom and Converter as well as the Camera, maybe we are looking at it from the wrong perspective.

Perhaps we should be looking at stabilising the Subject ??

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Japan Teases a White Kiss
« on: November 14, 2013, 05:28:48 AM »
Yep, it's white.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: November 14, 2013, 03:30:20 AM »
Back in the days of the civilized, polite and diplomatic Vikings (!), we were rich conquerors.

I'm reasonably sure the People that live South of Norway much prefer Today's Norwegians, than the Lads from 300 to 500 years ago.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: November 14, 2013, 03:27:20 AM »
Snow leopard, 5D3, 100-400L @ 400mm, handheld, ambient light, ISO 2000. Through a wire fence at the San Francisco zoo.

Two Animals I will Photograph, I hope, over the next 2 years in the Wild, Snow Leopard & Jaguar.

Beautiful, Beautiful animal.

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