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Messages - FTb-n

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Technical Support / Re: at what shutter speed you turn IS off?
« on: February 16, 2013, 01:56:57 AM »
As stated earlier in this thread (see page 2) IS does not slow the AF system and will likely help it.  Look for the Chuck Westfall quote (HT. privatebydesign).  This makes sense, particularly for moving objects.  The steadier the image, the easier to focus.

Mine is on at all times for all IS lenses in my sig line below.  It is curious though that experiences with IS, particularly with battery drain, must be dependant upon the lens.  I think my biggest power hungry lens would be my 70-200 f2.8L Mk2 and I don't think there's a noticeable drain using IS on this lens.  But, maybe there is with the really big boys.

[Edit: Just realized that I only have two IS lenses in my sig line.  Others include the 18-135 (non-STM), 17-85, 70-300 (non-L).]

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7D or 5D3 for low light candids?
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:47:23 AM »
in reallity i have found that the amount of noise reduction the 18MP crop sensor takes at iso 1600 is about equal to the amount iso 16,000 takes on the 5Dmk3

I understand that the 5D3's Digic 5+ is better at noise reduction than the 7D's Digic 4.  But, isn't this only for the JPG's out of the camera?  When working with RAW images from both camera's, it was my understanding that the noise levels are much closer giving the 5D3 a mere 1.3 stop advantage.  Not true?

also 1/30 sec without flash?
gonna struggle with subject blur there

Sometime, yes.  Obviously, I prefer faster when light and subject allow it, but 1/30 second works for many candid moments that don't involve physical activity -- as long as camera movement is controlled with IS or other means.

DoF is gonna be a wash between the f2.8 crop and the F4 full frame

I like my 17-55, but the fact that DOF is slightly smaller with the 24-105 on a full frame body is one of the things that intrigues me about this lens -- it's wider, longer, cheaper, and real 'L' lens.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 7D or 5D3 for low light candids?
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:44:02 PM »
All the discussion in this forum about the 5D3 in low light has me intrigued.  I'm particularly interested in a 5D3 w/24-105 f4L IS as an upgrade path for a 7D w/17-55 f2.8 IS.  (For low light candids, I'm often shooting at 1/30 second and find IS to be a must.)

I know that the 5D3 offers greater color depth and that full frame is typically sharper than crop.  I also understand that the 5D3 offers about a 1.3 stop advantage in noise over the 7D.  But, I'm comparing a crop body with a 2.8 lens to the full frame with a 4.0 lens and this noise advantage drops to about 1/3 of a stop.

Now the question.  A 2.8 lens lets in more light than a 4.0, which is more light for the AF system to lock in.  So which system can lock in on focus at lower light -- the 5D3 w/24-105 f4L IS or the 7D w/17-55 f2.8L IS?

Technical Support / Re: at what shutter speed you turn IS off?
« on: January 26, 2013, 12:28:44 AM »
Don't worry about IS draining your battery.  I recently shot a 90 minute figure skating event with 70-200 f2.8L II on a 7D using just the stock battery (no grip).  2,000 images later, and my thumb parked on the back focus button for most of the 90 minutes, the battery was at 76% after the shoot.

Technical Support / Re: at what shutter speed you turn IS off?
« on: January 25, 2013, 11:26:56 PM »
With older versions of IS, you may need to turn it off when on a tripod to avoid feedback issues.  But with more current versions, there's no need to turn it off.  Further, i fail to see a benefit in turning IS off...unless there is something to the suggestion that IS slows AF performance.

Hey Neuro, can you weigh in on the IS affects on AF?

FTb-n was my first Canon which I bought in 1974 and carried almost every day in high school for three years as a yearbook photog.  Not very creative, but it's a sentimental favorite camera.

Lenses / Re: Your favorite lens is?
« on: January 14, 2013, 12:45:05 PM »
Favorite: 70-200 f2.8L Mark II on a 7D. 
Runner-up: 40 f2.8 pancake, even though the 17-55 f2.8 is my workhorse "short" lens. 

I've been using Transcend UDMA 32 GB 400x cards in my 7D for the past year.  The card keeps up with my burst rates.  I have gone through about 16,000 images on my main card without any problems.  They are currently selling for $45 on Amazon (down from $65).

Lenses / Re: Need quick advice Please and thanks! Choir photoshoot!
« on: December 23, 2012, 03:42:21 PM »
Thanks for sharing the results, they look great.  I love the composition and will remembers these when I need ideas for my next group shot.

What lighting did you end up using for the indoor shots?

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

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