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Messages - FTb-n

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Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 23, 2012, 02:20:10 PM »
Both the 50 1.8 and the 35 2.0 have 5 bladed diaphragms which can (but not always) lead to pentagon looking bokeh.  The 40 2.8 has 7 rounded blades that many consider more appealing in the bokeh department.  Reality is sometimes different than head-to-head specs suggest.

I bought my 35 because I needed a low light lens wider than my 50 for a wedding and I wasn't ready to invest in the 17-55 f2.8 IS.  (I wasn't the wedding photographer, I was the brother-in-law who couldn't leave the camera home.)

My subject matter is mostly people in less than ideal lighting situations so I often shoot wide open or close to it.  I do find the larger aperture bokeh on the 35 to be quite appealing.  Below is a shot from that wedding.

I love the 40 2.8.  It's fantastically sharp, freakishly small, and focuses down to 12 inches.  However, I  won't part with my 35.  There are times when I want the extra stop and it focuses down to 9.6 inches.  I don't have much need for macro, but every once in while I find this quite handy.

Admittedly, part of the appeal to the 40 is it's size.  The 35 and the 50 are twice as deep, but still rather small.  Of the three, I do believe that the 35 2.0 is the most versatile.  It offers the extra stop over the 40 and extra reach.  Another minor consideration, wider non-IS lenses are easier to hand-hold at slower speeds.

My 50 is stored in the "mostly retired, but can't quite part with it" camera bin in the basement.  Both my 35 and 40 are kept handy.

One note to be aware of.  None of these lenses are USM.  The 50 and the 35 each have noticeable motor noise when focusing from far to near and vice-versa.  In practice, this isn't a big issue.  Once you pre-focus, the little adjustments needed to track your subject is much less noticeable.  But, the whir from quick grab shot of child or a pet could alert the subject.  The 40 uses the new STM system which is almost as quiet as the USM.

As for third-party, I won't say don't buy, just know what your getting.  I've read good things about Sigma, including the 30 1.4 (which compares to a 48mm on full frame).   Frankly, a 30 1.4 is quite attractive on a crop body.

Check out www.The-Digital-Picture.com for lens reviews, both Canon and third-party.  Also check out the head-to-head test tools such as the link below.  Just be aware of which body is used in the test.


Photo taken with Canon 60D/35 f2.0, ISO 3200, 1/30 sec at f2.0 (roughly 50% crop to get under 4 MB upload max and show bokeh in window):

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 22, 2012, 07:45:19 PM »
As for brand, I'm in the Canon only camp, especially with today's auto-focus systems.  With third-party lenses, you risk focus software issues.  In theory, they have been tested with current Canon bodies, but when you upgrade down the road, that third-party lens may hiccup with updated focus software on next generation bodies.

The 50 1.8 is a great lens.  Mine is from a film Rebel G and has held up well despite it's plastic construction.  With a crop body, I wanted a little wider lens and went with the 35 2.0.  This is another great lens for crop (but soft in the corners on full frame).  However, the 35 is almost three times the price of the 50 1.8.

My new favorite grab shot lens is the 40 2.8 pancake.  With current rebates, it's only $150.  You lose just over a stop in speed from the 50 and a stop from the 35, but you have to stop down both of these lenses to 2.8 to get close to the IQ of the 40.  Both the 50 and the 35 are weakest in the corners which makes them great for crop bodies where the "corners" are "cropped" out.  But, the 40 is sharper at 2.8 from corner to corner. 

The 40 equates to a 64 on full frame (or film), so it is a little long.  Some may find it too long for indoor family gatherings, but I most often want to get a little closer and find this focal length to be very workable.

As for IS, it ALWAYS helps.  Many suggest that it's unnecessary with faster shutter speeds, but I find that it gives you a bit more edge in sharpness.  Everything you do to eliminate hand held movement is a plus. 

I prefer available light and often push the limits of ISO and f-stop on my lenses.  As much as I like the 40, whenever shooting slower than an 1/60 of a second, I get more reliable results with my IS zoom.  When shooting candids, I can often get good results with 1/30 second with IS on.  If my subject is stationary, 1/15 will work.

For budget zoom, I'd recommend the 18-135 f3.5-5.6 IS, either the old model or the STM version.

For crop, my working lenses are the 70-200 f2.8L II (my absolute favorite lens) and the 17-55 f2.8 IS.  But, neither is cheap.

Also, consider shopping the Canon refurbished store.  I have full confidence in lenses and bodies refurbished by Canon.

Lenses / Re: Variable length zooms and dust
« on: December 22, 2012, 06:59:17 PM »
Some lenses, such as the 17-55 f2.8, also have vents near the base of the filter threads.  Using a filter on these lenses can help reduce dust ingestion.  which begs the question, "why put vents where filters can defeat them?" 

For what it's worth, on my 17-55 I don't feel any additional resistance with the filter in place.  This lens does have a bit of resistance between 28 and 35 mm range when zooming, but I don't think its vacuum related.  This is one of those things that feels huge when playing with the lens, but you forget about it when using it and you're more focused (no pun intended) on getting the shot.

Lenses / Re: help!! 40mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.4?
« on: December 16, 2012, 08:08:40 PM »
So many lenses...so many decisions...good luck with yours.  Let us know what you end up getting.

Lenses / Re: help!! 40mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.4?
« on: December 16, 2012, 06:16:10 PM »
I have the 50 1.8, 35 2.0, and the 40 2.8 that I use on crop bodies (60D and 7D).  Of these I prefer the 40 2.8.  It's sharp wide open, relatively quiet, and so small.

The 35 2.0 is a nice lens on crop bodies and sometimes the extra stop helps.  But, you have to stop it down to 2.8 to match the 40 2.8 wide open.  The same is true for the 50 1.4.  It's quite soft at 1.4 and doesn't match 40 until you stop the 50 down to 2.8.


If you already have the 50 1.8, there's little benefit in going to the 50 1.4 unless you really need the extra stop and are ok with softer images at 1.4.

The 40 offers you something different than what you have and it's a great little walk around lens.  I'm betting this a lens that you'll keep as you upgrade bodies in the future.

If you're hoping for both, consider the 40 2.8 and the 85 1.8.  The 85 1.8 would give you a nice portait lens (when you find models) and a very good low light telephoto lens for crop bodies -- good for indoor sports and events.  (It's one that I seriously considered before taking the plunge with the 70-200 2.8L Mark II).

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 7D: 'I need a Must Have's List'
« on: December 15, 2012, 01:31:52 AM »
+1 on the locking mode button -- funny how often I grab the 7D, take a shot and find that the mode button has migrated to Bulb.

As for that dream kit built around the 60D and 7D (although I might prefer two future 7DII's):

- EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS w/hood (generic) w/Hoya HD clear: Use this on your 60D
- EF 70-200 f2.8L IS Mark II w/hood w/Hoya HD clear: Mostly on the 7D
- EF 40 f2.8 pancake
- 430EX flash
- ThinkTank Digital Holster 20 for 60D/17-55
- ThinkTank Digital Holster 30 for 7D/7-200
- ThinkTank Pro Speed Belt

...and when all this is too much to carry:
- PowerShot S100 (currently $250 at Amazon)
- Tamrac 5686 pouch

28-700?  Where can I find this lens?

Are you looking only for UV protective filters or UV and clear protective filters?

EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 28, 2012, 12:20:32 AM »
I know, a 2 stop boost in high ISO noise reduction is a lot to ask for.

Regarding the noise reduction benefit of the 5D3 vs. 7D, I was definitely looking at the JPEGs and have looked at DPReview's comparison tool.  In a way, I'd take it as good news that the difference is less than two stops since I don't want to spend the money on a 5D3.

I've also looked at the Image Resource's Comparometer (link below).  I don't know if they use in-camera JPEGs or RAW converted by software.  But, to me, the 5D3 at 25600 looks better than the 7D at 6400, but not as good as the 7D at 3200 -- roughly 2 1/2 stops.  Now, I suspect this is a controlled test and real world results may not be as significant.  So, it helps to hear from those with hands on experience.


EOS Bodies / Re: Will the 6D have video AF
« on: November 27, 2012, 07:49:43 PM »
My guess is that video AF will be one way for Canon to keep the crop bodies distinct from the full frame bodies.  Look for it in the 7D2.  Maybe a better system than the T4i. 

I fear that video AF will be the "big" thing in the new 7D2 instead of better low light performance.  Given a choice, I'd rather have the latter.

EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 27, 2012, 07:45:12 PM »
I only want two things in the 7D2.  Less noise at higher ISO -- ideally a 2 stop boost.  And a locking mode dial.  More AF points and higher FPS would be nice pluses, but not necessary for me.

The one feature that intrigues me about the 5D3 is it's performance in low light.  Based on researching online reviews, I estimate the benefit to be about 3 stops over the 7D (and my 60D).  So, I've dreamed about swapping my 60D/17-55 2.8 IS for the 5DIII/24-105 4L IS -- a logical upgrade path.
I would be losing a stop on the lens for a net gain of 2 stops in low light performance.

Now, if the 7D2 offered that 2 stop boost, I wouldn't need the 5D3 -- which is why I fear that the 7D2 will only have a modest boost in low light performance.  Granted, the 5D3 offers sharper images and deeper color, but I suspect its low light advantage is a key reason that many consider it to be the logical upgrade for a 7D.  Canon may want to preserve this path.

I do think that Canon will position the 7D2 to be the king of crop bodies.  This means more MP, maybe more FPS, and better video -- better than the consumer bodies.  I suspect this is why the 5D3 and the 6D lack the STM video focus benefits of the T4i.  Canon may be saving a better video focus system for the 7D2.  However, I doubt that the 7D2 will get the articulating screen simply because it lessens the durability factor.

I hope I'm wrong.  I don't really care about the video improvements.  All I want is better low light performance -- and a locking mode dial.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendation -newborn shoot
« on: November 06, 2012, 01:16:02 AM »
My only advice is USM or the new STM.  When my kids were that young, my noisy EF 50 1.8 and Tamron lenses often spoiled the moment.

Lenses / Re: Can a UV filter affect IQ (sharpness) on a lens?
« on: November 02, 2012, 03:28:49 PM »
The Hoya HMC will degrade image quality.  That's why I switched to the Hoya HD Clear filters.  They are tough and very easy to clean.  Given the cost of the filter, I wanted to know if it was worth it.  I did some testing with and without it and I don't see any degredation of IQ.  My 70-200 f2.8L II can be glare-prone (but not as bad as the Mark I), but the filter doesn't add any glare of it's own.

Lenses / Re: Hoya UV filters
« on: November 02, 2012, 03:18:42 PM »
Skip the Hoya HMC.  The Hoya Pro1 is good, but not great.  The Hoya HD s exceptional.  It's tough, very easy to clean, and doesn't degrade IQ.  Specifically, I recommend the Hoya HD Clear (don't need the UV).  I use them on my 17-55 and 70-200L.   BHPhoto.com has them.  The 58mm is $35 and the 77mm is $55.  $55 is a good price, it often hovers near $70 -- which is what I paid and, yes, worth the price.

I was in the same boat, but I've since sworn off shoulder bags.  They simply get to be too much for the migraine sensitive neck muscles and always seem to swing around at the wrong time.  For events and travel sightseeing, I use ThinkTank holsters.  The weight around the waist is a lot easier to handle and I can slide them around the belt to gain access or get them out of the way.  For many events, I always seem to use the same camera most of the time.  The holster approach gives me the option leaving the almost always empty holster at home (or in the car).

Specifically, I use a ThinkTank Digital Holster 30 v2.0 for my 7D and 70-200 f2.8L II with hood in shooting position.  No more need for the lens cap.  For my 60D and 17-55 f2.8 with hood in shooting position, I use the Digital Holster 20 v2.0.  This bag can also handle a longer lens.  I use these bags on ThinkTank's Pro Speed Belt.  One word of warning, these belts run a little big and seem to stretch a bit during the first few events.  On rare events when I want a flash or a small prime, I add a small utility bag to the belt.

This is a very flexible solution and the lowest profile that I could find.  Of course, they do scream "camera inside".  Some food for thought if you're open to alternative solutions.

My most memorable bodies (all dates approximate):

1970: Kodak Instamatic
1974: Used school's Yashica Mat-124G for a year
1974: Argus C3 (very used)
1975: Canon FTb-n black body (my sentimental favorite)
1975: Rollie 35 (the "Elph" of the 35mm before Minox got into the game)
1979: Mamiya 645 1000s
1980: Canon AE-1 (got 3 of these as refurbished cameras)
1982: Polaroid SX-70
1985: Canon FTb-n (used silver body)
1990: Canonet  G-III QL17 (got 2 of these silent shutter wonders)
1995: Canon Rebel G
2000: Kodak 2mp (first digital)
2003: Canon G3
2006: Canon Rebel XT
2011: Canon 60D
2012: Canon 7D

Plus, there have been a handful of point-n-shoot 35mm rangefinders and digitals throughout the years.

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