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Messages - Edwin Herdman

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526
Lenses / Re: Lens for bicycle race?
« on: May 22, 2011, 09:03:20 PM »
Nice.  It didn't really occur to me that you can get that close and crop out the wheels and still get a decent shot...though it seems that most of the bike photos I've seen were from a wider focal length, especially the race-finish or pack scenes where you want some sense of relative positions.  I guessed the 70-200 would be a bit long to frame such a shot, unless you were relatively far out in the crowd.

If I had my free choice I might try a full-frame or 1.3x crop (at most) type camera with the 70-200, though the crop body is starting to look better due to the tight framing you get and more certainty about getting a shot with the additional reach letting you start shooting sooner and for longer while keeping the frame occupied.

527
Lenses / Re: Lens cap solution?
« on: May 22, 2011, 08:55:24 PM »
Some Sigma and Sony caps are decent too - the F707 cap (I've mentioned this before) had the Nikon-like pinch-cap design along with a little string.  Didn't care for the string so much but it could be useful.

The TS-E 17mm cap is pretty decent as well, though it can grind some grit along the outside of the lens barrel.  Just a cosmetic result.  The string on that one is wide enough to put around most wrists, though that would be awkward.  Of course, the design is no good for any lens that has a hood, since it wraps and balloons outward around the protruding front element and to the sides.

528
EOS Bodies / Re: A grateful end to the DSLR video "revolution"
« on: May 22, 2011, 08:49:05 PM »
I like the thoughtful replies in this thread.  However, I think it's a mistake to look at this from just one angle, and assume that the technology is democratic.  The technology cares not what ends it is used in search of; the people who battle for their right to enjoy their livelihood - their freedom, democracy - make that distinction.  One does not become a slave to technology, however, but they may already be a slave to ideas that deny them the full effect of their soapbox.  Ironically, I feel that many pro photographers' laser-etched focus on the final image cuts themselves out of the picture, suffering the indignity of seeming irrelevance that the founders of the field never suffered.  But - I'm sure that ship has already sailed, and who could imagine Walter Iooss or another sports photog invited to joke around with the ESPN crew.  Some things perhaps can't be changed, even if they should.

The complaint of the original pro photog reminds me of Harlan Ellison on getting paid.  And interestingly, I found the link again on a digital photography website.  Furthermore, one of the top rated comments purports to be from an industry pro or insider.

It's true that the tools are helping a lot of people get into photography - lower prices have let me get into it with nearly professional-level tools, for example.  We all know that there is not just a trend to mediocrity when prices and demand force a field wide open, but that there's also a lot of real talent out there.  It's in most industries, too - everything from cartooning to even research writing has been impacted by the appearance of (the obvious one) affordable computerized assistance.  No more does Robert Crumb have to slave over drawings and intricately shade them - you can do all that and more in any of a wild variety of paint applications, some of which even double as instant messengers within internet browsers.  Instant feedback; endless ramifications.  If Robert Crumb were starting today, you'd have to wonder what his new inspirations would be.  If something seemingly obscure like "Keep On Truckin'" can have such an impact today even on teenage web cartoonists, what about the loop back?  Some people (I'm not going to drag Crumb into this one) are such creative giants they are more or less able to survive as autarks, but I think a lot of that perception is nostalgia sleepwalking.  Most everybody, even if they don't like to admit it, suffers little ill from mugging a bit back from the amateurs.  (icanhazcheezburger.com for example - shamelessly ripping off the 'net amateurs and making top dollar while doing it)

I think the real issue for photographers is knowing when to put your foot down.  I can imagine organizations that work on a charitable basis (either as their mission or as their way of stretching the budget) who won't know in twenty years who the guy or gal was who took photos for them for forty - because they just donated all the shots, not even putting down a name.  I am a naturally greedy enough person that I would never allow this (I possibly have the complete reverse problem from the original writer, in that I put the planning and that contract stipulation down before I have the workflow or commitment ready...)

There's a bridge to the professional question.  I've not worked as a pro in media myself (yet, possibly getting there...) but I do know that there are at least two directions to attack the problem from.  One, the direction the original writer, and Ellison, and Frank Miller and countless others take, in shaming their fellow pros to take a stand for credit.  An aside:  A few weeks ago an academic was on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," a CNN talk show, was putting forward the theory (you can buy their book to read the full story!) that the rift between money-makers and everybody else was forced agape in the 1970s as top "talent" demanded more salaries...it's an interesting proposition; I'm not convinced that's true, but it stands to reason that if only some of the choicest figurehead staffers of a production get the biggest salaries that society, as a whole, suffers due to the inequality.

The technology doesn't seem wholly to blame for income inequality - the "Great Divergence" happened in the 1970s - but it can reinforce it when used by naive people:  Starstruck, cowed, or just clueless.

That suggests the second route for attacking the problem.  Instead of preaching to the choir (and a lot of us didn't swallow the argument anyway), and complaining about ballooning advertising costs, the original writer needs to scramble harder to rejustify their expertise and professionalism.  Bedside manner isn't just for doctors.  This is not, at this point in history, a matter of what's just or fair, but a matter of what you have to do in order to stay in business.

I've been around some academic poets who did not, on a casual look, seem to have this problem; it was just expected that if you were famous university faculty would invite you, wine and dine, and everybody in attendance would buy your books.  But of course, poets suffer income crunch just as much as other artists, especially when modern poetry is regarded (rightly or wrongly - not an issue to get into in this space) as irrelevant - partly because people mistakenly thought that technology replaced poetry, which it does not.  Whatever the case may be, the academic poets I've met seem able to live within their means and still wear a clean shirt.

My DSLR's video was good enough for some poetry readings, but I still haven't uploaded any - well, that's nothing to do with the quality, really.  From that standpoint - asking permission before taking any video, doing it simply for the record and for posterity - it was fine as video from a fixed tripod of a speech, but nothing more.  As I was putting myself through a crash course on photography at the time, I was content to ignore the questions about content versus technology, since I was working on my own technical abilities - but I'm not sure it was really a period of creative growth for me.  In DSLR video, just a few experiments lead me to believe there's potential in tilt-shift style lenses for movies, but the current tools are woefully inadequate.  I saw something on DPR about a standalone movie suit coming from Canon with help from Technicolor...but that won't follow focus.

"I see allot of "self-taught" "Pro's" with 5d markII, 24-70 F2.8 and 580 Flashes shooting weeding in full auto mode whose work isn't bad in the sense that the image is blurry or under/overexposed, but the image is so god awfully bland, cliché or "cheap" that makes their work bad, though most people wouldn't notice it."

Exactly,
The people who don't understand photography say oh what a great picture! although to the seasoned photographer they can tell whats wrong with the photo right off the bat
I suppose I should be proud of myself today for throwing away a couple technically superior images for ones with better compositions.  Actually, I do it naturally - as wordy as I get I don't know that I always could sell somebody on what I do that makes the extra work worthwhile.

529
Lenses / Re: New Canon 18-270mm or 16-240mm
« on: May 22, 2011, 07:40:28 PM »
I've seen that before.  Not really fixable if you lose color information (I've seen this happen, once, with a file mistransmitted over the Internet).

530
Lenses / Re: Macro
« on: May 22, 2011, 04:49:09 PM »
I think the secret to using the TS-E is to put your camera on continuous mode and blaze away.

Tripods are great in theory, but I get a lot more shots wandering around shooting freeform than I'd manage lugging around a tripod.  I'm not restricted to things like deadlines or sales, though, and when lighting is poor the tripod seems essential (most of the time - dark cityscapes where you don't need a long exposure may be one exception, though the tripod will help there again).

Getting the tilt plane lined up right is always a chore for some reason.  I'd been more or less baffled until I saw a random video of a Canon rep introducing the 17mm on a convention floor - his words were "gross focus, adjust the tilt, then fine focus."  I finally looked at the manual (for the TS-E 90mm) and this is essentially the same procedure mentioned there - add in shift, if necessary, which comes as a first step (iirc, though the manual explicitly states shift doesn't require focus to be reset).

But aligning the tilt setting and the desired image plane is still a chore.  I spent a good few minutes on just one subject today, moving back and forth, trying to see if I couldn't get it aligned at extreme sideways shift...not quite.  I've managed to hit it 100% other times, though.  And it's definitely good to remember that before setting shift, see if the composition isn't already perfect without shift...best to make the process easier from the start.

One last thing - I've been able to hit focus at distance just through a Rebel viewfinder, in good light, and even have gotten some minimum focus distance shots (just below half a meter) by watching the focus plane shift, but for critical focus and generally most of the time I hit the Live View button.  It always brings out details to focus on that I miss in the viewfinder - on the other hand, the magnification mode makes it easy to obsess over the wrong area for focus, instead of the whole image.  On the Rebel this is even more of a chore than it needs be because the mirror swings back into position after a time - I've never timed it but it seems like it gets more and more impatient in certain circumstances (especially if the camera is getting warm).

531
Lenses / Re: Help Request For How To Clean Gelatin Rear Filters
« on: May 22, 2011, 02:08:00 AM »
I don't have a supertele or any experience with them, but it sounds as if the rear filter holder is currently occupied by a UV filter.  As McCabe suggests, it probably isn't critical to have a UV filter in there, most of the time.  A circular polarizer might be more useful back there.

Too bad I don't have a 500mm lens..!  Enjoy.

By the way, here's a comparison of shots taken with the 500mm f/4 with and without the drop-in circular polarizer.

532
Lenses / Re: New Canon 18-270mm or 16-240mm
« on: May 22, 2011, 01:52:10 AM »
If my equipment produced some of the photos I've seen on facebook, I would have (and once did) run screaming to the lab. This includes everything from photos so soft that nothing looks sharp to photos that look like they were cut in two and glued without being properly aligned.
On film, or digital?  Sounds like there was a lag on reading from the sensor in the second image...more likely to happen in a still pulled from a movie frame (especially if played back on a computer first) I'd think.  Never seen that happen on a digital camera, though I could imagine it.

533
Lenses / Re: Obsessing
« on: May 22, 2011, 01:41:02 AM »
Resolution can be measured, but Lo CA is not measurable, neither is Bokeh
Actually, this raises an interesting point.  Most of these features of lenses can be described in a completely mathematical way, and thus can be rated on a scale.  Perhaps these is simply an unmet demand for more types of metrics for lens reviews.  Personally, knowing a lens's CA characteristics (of the different types) is very useful to me.

I think it can be measured - lateral CA anyway.  lateral CA can be measured in terms of percentage of a frame width of fringing, though people usually talk about how many pixels out from a like of marked contrast that fringes exist.  It can be fixed in a standard, programmatic way (not longitudinal CAs so much though).  For axial (longitudinal) chromatic aberrations I figure that the measure would be how far out of sync the two color channels are, comparing the sharpness of images at different wavelengths.  It would certainly be harder than the traditional MTF test but seems possible regardless.  Boke would be even trickier since there is more of a subjective quality, and trying to test for adherence to a certain desired kind of defocus quality might be a point of contention, with some people liking their boke looking different.

Still, review sites like photozone.de, despite not standardizing a test to translate boke into a graph still feature it, and it is clear enough that there is a comparison to be made in this quality across different lenses, and more credit given to lenses with better defocus area quality.

Photozone does feature a graph of purple-green fringing lateral CAs, though sometimes I differ with their results.  They claim that purple-green fringing is "not field relevant" on the TS-E 90mm, but on my first day of testing I discovered quite a bit of it, in various circumstances, that is visible even from the confines of a fit-to-screen monitor view (about 1920x1200).  Either my (secondhand but essentially new) copy is somehow defective from the formula (it's not a mechanical issue) or their review methodology is flawed.

534
Lenses / Re: EF 50 f/1.4 II & EF 50 f/1.8 III [CR2]
« on: May 22, 2011, 01:21:50 AM »
Feature wish list, hit any of these along with IQ and it's probably a sale for me:
* Better sharpness wide open
* Newer bells-and-whistles focus system with ring USM (although focusing the current model has never given me any trouble, the focus ring does feel a bit nasty like there's sand in it - always has)
* IS
* Closer focus

Aside from that, more rounded and a greater number of aperture blades, internal focus, etc. would be great but not so essential for me personally.  It would be great if it were truly parfocal; IF should help with that.  I don't shoot a lot of video and wouldn't use a 1.4 if I had the chance to use something else, though, especially if focus needed to be changed.
The 50mm f/1.4 is a bit weak wide open, but its also fairly cheap.  I find myself using 35mm and 85mm a lot more than 50mm, so I'm doubtful that I'd pay $700 for a new 50mm lens.
I agree (though since I have a crop body currently I get a lot of use out of the 50 since it's essentially an 80, which is roughly my favored focal length for most shooting).  The last couple days I've been experimenting more with the 50mm 1.4 wide open and find myself surprisingly happy with its performance.  I might still spring for a new lens if it becomes much sharper at f/1.4, but I've had the current model only a short while and it won't feel like it makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of cost effectiveness, unless I manage to sell my current 50 for a good price.
I'd be surprised and annoyed if a new 1.4 were given L status. Non-L users deserve up-to-date products, too.
That's just funny.  If it doesn't add anything to the price, why not?  I'm just hoping that there will be value for the money.

535
Lenses / Re: Macro
« on: May 22, 2011, 01:00:42 AM »
Sort of tempted to bump the TS-E 90mm rumors thread, but it's a bit old.

How about TS-E 90mm with a stack of Kemco (for example) extenders on a 1.6 crop Rebel?

Not sure I personally need 1x; .5 sounds pretty reasonable to me.  I have gotten dang good "macro-like" results even on a 50mm with that 1.6 crop factor, though nothing like Neuro's amazing picture from the last page.

My TS-E90 worked well with a TC and for close up images.  I had bought it to use for product photos, but experimented with closeups with and without a TC.  However, 90mm turned out to be a bit long for my product photos, so it did not get enough use for me to keep it. 

If a person needed the tilt-shift function, it could certainly work for a near macro lens and have supurb resolution.  However, the cost is comparable with the 100L, so its a tradeoff of the features you would use most.  I bought a 100L to replace my TS-E90, but was sad to see it go.  For me, the IS of the 100L was more useful.
Late reply here - thanks for the response.

I went ahead and got the TS-E 90mm, but your report jives with my own (very limited) experience.  The lack of IS is definitely a con at this focal length (it's the second-longest lens I own so far).  IS in a TS-E lens would be a first but I don't think it'd be any problem to add.

From what I can see the 100L (or the 180L for that matter) might as well be sharper for macros - haven't shot either of those to compare with, but the 90mm doesn't seem as sharp as the old stories say :)  Still pretty good of course, and it fits a niche, but if they release an update to this I'll be ready to jump.  I think it'll be more challenging to compose landscapes with this than I had anticipated...it's not far off from the short end of a telezoom.

536
Lenses / Re: Macro
« on: May 09, 2011, 12:38:25 AM »
Sort of tempted to bump the TS-E 90mm rumors thread, but it's a bit old.

How about TS-E 90mm with a stack of Kemco (for example) extenders on a 1.6 crop Rebel?

Not sure I personally need 1x; .5 sounds pretty reasonable to me.  I have gotten dang good "macro-like" results even on a 50mm with that 1.6 crop factor, though nothing like Neuro's amazing picture from the last page.

537
Lenses / Re: 400mm Lenses
« on: May 09, 2011, 12:29:20 AM »
The main alternative is the 100-400L.  The zoom adds IS, which is a big plus. Some reviews suggest that this isn't as good at the long end (where it will be used 99% of the time).
One thing that drove me away from the Canon 100-400mm (aside from the price) was the very early generation IS - the rating given means that it wasn't going to be much of a fudge factor compared to the Sigma alternative.

Unfortunately, I was never able to try out the Canon to get a personal base for making comparisons.  I have had the feeling that the Sigma tends to have significantly better pictures in good light than in poor - and in good light you don't need IS much anyway (with one significant exception - the panning mode the Sigma offers, which coupled with the max aperture and focal lengths may make this a decent dirtbike or NASCAR performer).  I've seen the Sigma IS criticized because it clicks-in and clicks-out on a shutter half-press, but this feels pretty reasonable to me, though it's the only IS system I've used.  It definitely was handy in following action and in framing a shot, but I wonder if the "slower" Canon generation 1 IS from 1998 wouldn't do just as well.

For long-range landscape shots the Canon might be at a disadvantage for blur, but at longer focal lengths the Sigma is not at its best.

I guess to boil it down, think of the tradeoff in terms of the limits of resolution:  If you have a lens that optically outresolves what its IS can provide, isn't that still a better solution than a system that can provide much improved (in terms of time gained) IS and yet isn't as sharp?  You can put the first lens on a tripod if need be and attempt to get shots the second lens won't dream of making.

I'm not about to give up the Sigma 120-400mm, though, since the shorter focal lengths may yet prove useful and everything else falls out of the price range.  The 400mm isn't versatile enough for my liking.  I also am trying to see if some focal lengths are better than others, and how much lighting has to do with its performance.

------

A break for the "rumors" side of things:  Last year seemed top-heavy with announcements of big things not intended for hobbyist photographers, and the 200-400 TC (impressive!) seems set to follow this trend.  There apparently have been rumors about a replacement for the 100-400 for years; anything becoming concrete yet?  I don't really see the release of the 200-400 TC as making it less likely for a 100-400mm replacement to happen; if anything it stands to reason that Canon would release the info on the big lens first to snatch some more dollars from somebody who otherwise would spring for a cheaper 100-400mm (or its refresh), although I'm not convinced they can or do schedule releases that way.  I don't think it makes it less likely for a 100-400mm since they appear to not only be different niches but also very different price ranges.

538
I don't like sounding like a lecturer, but there was a serious problem with the argumentative style and logic of the original reply, which is like this:  Other people's bad experiences with lens x are coincidences, and my (your) positive history proves that those are not worth considering (especially when you say that some people just lie "for the feeling of power"!).  The OP's question wasn't "people on the internet say the EF-S 17-55mm always fails, is this true?" but rather if anybody here thought there was sometimes a problem (yes) and if so how severe (your own positive history is an example of how it can never crop up; very relevant and useful but as you say, doesn't speak for everyone else).

This is why it's frustrating:  You immediately put the topic in terms of whether people were "happy" with the lens or not, instead of it being a pretty focused technical discussion of some small possible issue.  That is changing the question.  I like my car but I know it can rust if I don't take care of it; swapping preventive maintenance tips isn't dissing the hardware.  (But I drive an older Hyundai...so... ;) )  And then there's the whole issue of saying that some people apparently lie for kicks...

I think that the community of serious photographers isn't big enough for us to just write off certain other groups as being usually wrong.  There certainly is a lot of junk on Amazon.com, and you could spend your whole life trying to clear it up, but there are also a lot of awesome photographers who share their reviews.

Sorry if it seems rude and presumptuous for some random guy on the Internet to be running around giving unwanted advice, but I like to think that Canon Rumors had a friendly atmosphere.  I don't see how you keep the atmosphere friendly when the first sentence of the first reply insinuates that some people lie about their 17-55mm lenses just to get a feeling of power...on Amazon of all places...sorry Scales, you just happened to be the person who said it this time.

539
Lenses / Re: Lens cap solution?
« on: May 06, 2011, 03:53:25 AM »
Fun story:  When I got my 50mm f/1.4, I shot with it all the time.  Then I discovered that the cap from an old Sony F707/F717 digital camera is exactly the same - but has a bonus pinch-style cap and a short little leash on it.  So I swapped caps with the F707 lying around.  Well, one day I lost the Sony cap - it's around here somewhere, I'm sure - but the Canon cap is still sitting on the F707.

So, what do I do for the 50mm f/1.4?  It's protected by the third party lens hood (a cheap but nice Adorama one) and I keep it in the camera bag when not in use.

540
Lenses / Re: Is 50mm normal lens on 5d?
« on: May 06, 2011, 03:47:19 AM »
On any "full frame" sensor camera, the 50mm lens will have more or less the same perspective as it would on 35mm film.  On a smaller sensor camera (i.e. APS-C seen on the T1i, T2i, T3i, 50D and 60D, 7D, etc) it will appear as if your lens is roughly 1.6 times longer in focal length (i.e. the 50mm acts like a portrait lens, i.e. 80mm).  From what I understand, the depth of field and most other essential characteristics do not change, but since the sensor is smaller it's as if you've cut away the outer portion of a picture taken with a 35mm film perspective - thus it appears to be "zoomed in" because, well, it is.  The rest of the flat image plane focused by the 35mm camera lens falls outside the sensor plane and is simply not recorded.

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