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Messages - jdramirez

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: And people say Canon is behind??
« on: September 12, 2014, 01:27:23 PM »
We are talking about marketing... where a camera phone can take a photo equal to a 5d mkii and an 85mm f1.2 mkii...

Where burgers look like works if art, and not the work of some guy named Art.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 12, 2014, 10:14:54 AM »
DXO can score this however they want, but when they say things like this: "The new Otus 85mm is without question the most desirable and best performing 85mm portrait lens available" I have no desire to continue reading what they are selling.

What are they smoking?  I still haven't figured out what use case there is for this lens.  You can't hand hold this lens for closer portraits wide open.  You can't.  Not while focusing manually. 

What am I missing?  Why is this the Most Desirable and Best performing 85mm?
We did shoot f1.4 portraits back in the old days, where no AF was available. I had the first 50mm f1.2L lens and have lots of good shots with it, wide open.

A major part of being a photographer then was to practice your manual focusing skills. People were also shooting all kinds of sports and wildlife at the time. Very few (if any) shot f1.4 though, but you still had to handle the movement issues. So adding a precision focusing screen to your camera (I use Ec-S on my 1DX), you can clearly shoot portraits handheld with this lens. But you have to practice quite a bit to master it. If you pick up these manual lenses only once every now and then, I agree, you will not make it. I have lots of close portraits taken with the Otus 55mm at f1.4 (and the Zeiss 135mm at f2.0), where focus is exactly where I want it, so I imagine I will be able to do it with the 85mm also.

So are you saying that a well practiced manual focusing photographer could use this lens as an effective portrait lens in close quarters wide open?  What do you think the keeper rate would be hand held?  What percentage of those keepers would use to the fullest extent this very expensive glass?  I think it would be disappointingly low.
One of the first posts here had a link to some real world examples, I even went to the flickr site referenced.  Guess what? No portraits.  Some beautiful photos, but no portraits.

In the past photographers practiced their manual focusing.  Nowdays it is the videographers out trying to perfect this skill.

I agree that this lens could have a place, but my real gripe was with DXO, who doesn't seem to understand the lens other than by its stats.

Shooting portraits wide open manually is not quite as hard as you think, particularly since Zeiss lenses do have focus confirm (which is pretty accurate).  It takes some practice, yes, but better a manual focus lens than one with erratic AF.

I manually focus when I have a stationary target, shoot stopped down (f8), or are using a tripod and live view.  Outside of that... give me a good consistent auto focus.

Then go to Auction sniper.

And that is what sucks about Ebay these days.

I don't even bid any more.  If it has a buy it now price and the price is reasonable to me, I buy it outright.

It used to be fun and effective to bid on Ebay, but these programs killed that.

It all depends on what you are willing to pay.  People used to hang out in front of their computers doing the same thing.... So it isn't that divergent, though people are willing to pay for the convenience.

I've been looking for around two or there weeks and comparable ones sold for thirty-ish more.  So I didn't get a great deal, but I got a good deal. 

So I've been losing every auction... que sera sera... but there are very few Sunsui (or whatever) available... so I will probably wind up with a Manfrotto... so I guess that's a plus.  I could have used it tonight... night shooting @ an amusement park, some long exposures... and an f/2.8 lens.  bleh.

Check the values that they actually sell for by looking at completed auctions.  Use that to set your bid price.

Then go to Auction sniper.  It will place your bid about 5 seconds before the auction ends.  This eliminates bidding wars and the urge to beat the other guy, which only runs up the price.  either you win, or you don't, but no one else even knows you exist to place a bid, it just happens a few seconds before a auction closes.

I've done this for years, and when I set a reasonable bid price, I win a fair percentage and only lose when there is a bidding war going on.

You can set Auction sniper to bid on multiple auctions and stop when you win one.

I don't sell it, but I use it.  They do charge a very small amount, but only if you win.

Photography Technique / Re: Timelapse
« on: September 11, 2014, 03:34:28 PM »
I watched one on YouTube the other day.  It was by the dig rev tv guys and it was pretty darn interesting.

Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 11, 2014, 03:33:03 PM »
Indifferent because I wasn't going to get one anyway.

I like to finish my stories I start....

I took a suggestion from one of y'all and bought one off of ebay.  I got a Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Monopod.

It has a fluid head, the fluid base and the feet and the flip locks... I paid a whopping 240 for it, but I had a video head for basically 90 bucks... So I'm feeling pretty good about it. 

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 06:15:08 PM »
Has anyone noticed that the 'true' max apertures as indicate by the Tstop is nowhere near the manufacturers claim? The Zeis is closer to a f1.8 lens than f1.4 and the rest fare no better....

T value is not aperture value, an f1.4 lens is a "true" f1.4 if the apparent aperture diameter is focal length divided by 1.4. The T value relates to actual light transmission and is pretty much irrelevant with TTL metering stills cameras.

Aperture value is always lower than T (transmission) value because however good the glass is you always lose some.

Quite a few of the latest EF lenses do seem to have a T value that is the same as the aperture: the 24-70 IS, 40 pancake, 24/28/35 IS primes. These are all slower lenses but it does look like Canon are achieving a very high light transmission efficiency - you know - to make up for the sensor.........

LOL - but a solid point, and part of why I was surprised that the T-stop lagged so much with the Otus 85.  I raised the point in my 35IS review that the light transmission between the Sigma 1.4Art and the 35IS wasn't all that big.  The 35IS feels like it has a wider aperture than f/2 (although it actually just REALLY has an f/2 aperture, instead of a f/2.3 or such.)

It's probably just me, but I wasn't blown away by the images in the video.  Maybe I am now just jaded.

I know what you mean.  Several of them seemed really underexposed, but the crops certainly showed the great detail rendering.

Yeah, it reminded me of my 100L macro.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 04:13:43 PM »
I'm actually surprised by the light transmission issue here.  The front element on the Otus is HUGE (86mm, if I recall).  I would expect light transmission to be better.

Still, watching this video makes it clear how HUGE of a difference there is in microcontrast with this lens:

Where I reviewed the Zeiss Sonnar T 135/2, it literally destroyed my beloved 135L in this regard.

It's probably just me, but I wasn't blown away by the images in the video.  Maybe I am now just jaded.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »
Actually, this is quite interesting comparision. It shows, that Canon 85/1.2L clearly does not lag behind, is quite cheaper (relatively ofc), has AF (slow as it may be) and for most of the people, it will do the job nicely enough. From a standpoint of avid amateur photographer, I have to but ask for whom is 85mm Otus meant? I mean, where is the significant difference (when there is significant PRICE difference) in optical perfomance to its peers?

(honest question, I'm really curious, can't really wrap my head around this one...)

It is like the pokemon, gotta catch them all.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 11:00:31 AM »
The raw data is the raw data... So if you want to draw your own conclusions, you can.   Maybe the number they give isn't always expandable, but there is a baby there... So don't throw it out with the bathwater.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:44:09 AM »
How's the bokeh?  The 85mm focal length is all about bokeh, because it is sharp enough.

Lenses / Re: Is there a need for a 50mm?
« on: September 09, 2014, 09:30:15 AM »
Yes, that is the caveat of using that mode.  If you need to go go over 1/200s (using HSS), this is no good.  If you have a 5DIII or 1D X (or 6D?), the other option is to use Auto ISO and set your minimum shutter speed to 1/60 or (better yet) 1/100s.  That way you don't have to deal with the 1/200s ceiling.

This is fun.  Just guys talking about gear.  All we need is some beer, some comfortable chairs... And hell, a few strippers on the main stage. 

I'm trying to think of how many twenty year old lenses are still in heavy use... the 50 f1.4 usm comes to mind.  I know it's long in the tooth.

Ok... now let's move backwards twenty years to which bodies were in use in 1994. Film obviously, but in the digital realm there was.... assuming I believe Wikipedia, the Canon eos dcs 1.

I'm kinda thinking the lens outlived the generations of bodies. 

That's not a fair comparison... but I don't feel like being fair.


The logical conclusion from that train of thought is that the "best" tested lens will give the "best" photograph, when that is patently false. Even if you totally discount the photographer from the photograph making equation your fundamental point is flawed.

For example, you have an assignment to photograph Usain Bolt crossing the line of the 100m at the next Olympics, you can use any camera system, just get the image. For arguments sake the Canon 400 f2.8 tests better than the Nikon 400 2.8, but the Nikon has more MP and more DR, however the Canon has better AF, but the Nikon system can resolve more even though it doesn't test as well. Hm, the Canon can do more fps. Now which do you choose? The lens that esoterically "tests better" or the the other system that scores much better for more meaningful metrics; or the system that "wins" your test but for reasons other than that...........

I'm the biggest offender of refreshing my gear... I buy something with the expectation of selling it at some point in the future.  I've had gear, that I wanted, for less than a week because someone made me an offer.  I tend to think I'm atypical.  I tend to think that some people who buy gear (and I'm not only referring to high end lenses) that they are satisfied with have the intention of keeping it well past the freshness date on the milk expires.  So if you have a few thousand bucks, and you know that the half-life of a body is significantly shorter than that of a lens, you might take that into consideration. 

Getting the shot now is short sided.  Polaroid instamatics allowed us to get the shot now... and that really worked out well for them. 

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