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Messages - Famateur

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1
Lenses / Re: Philosophical question about Sigma Lenses - Why?
« on: March 31, 2014, 02:15:52 PM »
Microsoft makes Office for Mac OS.
Amazon makes Kindle app for iPad.

2
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon PowerShot G1 X II Coming May 9, 2014
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:43:16 PM »
One school of thought is that if your product flies off the shelves with its introductory price, you've left money on the table (i.e. forfeit potential profit). You price the product at the highest level the early-adopter market will bear, then adjust the price over time to reach equilibrium with demand from the broader target market.

If a buyer passes on the G1XII saying, "I can get a DSLR with kit lens for that price," and buys a Rebel/XXXD, Canon has succeeded (sales figures show that it will likely be a Canon DSLR). Canon even comes out ahead because now the buyer is in the ILC system and will be buying more lenses.

Those who want the form factor of the G1XII at any price will buy it. Those who won't pay that price and don't want a DSLR will wait for the price to come down. Naturally, there will be some who purchase something else rather than wait for price drops, but in general, Canon's pricing strategy seems to be smart (in my opinion) and the best way to maximize profit over the lifespan (and price-span) of the product.

Of course, estimating what that top-tier price should be relative to the early-adopter market is just that -- estimating. Sales figures will influence how long or short that introductory price survives...

One last thought: Whether we personally experience this or not, in general, consumers often relate price to quality, where a high price evokes superior quality -- especially with a company like Canon and its reputation. The introductory price sets the benchmark against which all "sale" prices will be compared. Seeing a camera that was introduced at $849 on sale for $649 seems (in the consumer's eye) like a greater deal than a camera introduced at $699 on sale for $649.

3
EOS Bodies / Re: What's Next from Canon?
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:14:29 PM »
A submarine isn't a good example.....they are full of leaks... the trick is to be able to pump out the water faster than it comes in :)

LOL...I can just see it now: a tiny little bilge pump for your next pro body.  :o







Or just a drain valve, but where's the fun in that? I want a pump!  ;D

4
EOS Bodies / Re: What's Next from Canon?
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:09:33 PM »
Thanks for understanding. ;)

You're welcome!  :P

Out of curiosity, what kind of situations do you use your cameras with articulating screens in? Do you tromp through swamps and wetlands, haul it through thickets of clingy brambles, take it into sub-zero temperatures or drench it in rain, sleet, snow, and hail?

I'll preface this by saying that I fully acknowledge I'm not a professional photographer (obviously) where my equipment is subjected to extreme conditions on a regular basis. That being said, my answer is yes to all of the above except swamps (don't really have any proper swamps in Utah) and perhaps hail (I don't recall taking any photos while hail is falling). I'd also add blood and sand to the list. :)

The elk hunt every year is one example. Rather than using a long-range rifle, I prefer to use a slug gun and stalk quietly through the woods (more of a challenge, and I feel much closer to nature -- it's a success that way, whether I harvest or not). Covering an average of 6-10 miles each day on foot, conditions range from single-digit temps to 50+ sunny afternoons. There's snow, rain, sleet, wind, dense thickets, sweat, grime and of course the occasional loss of footing where I land on my camera on one side or my rifle on the other. :) For years when I'm successful, the ol' camera tends to collect some blood and hair, too (sorry if that's a little gory for any readers). Most of the time, I'm above 10,000 feet, and conditions can change rapidly.

I also happen to serve as a scout master in my area. As probably happens to many others on this forum, I've become the de facto "photojournalist" for our excursions. That brings its own level of abuse getting tossed around with my pack or taking photos in whatever conditions we're in (often pouring rain). It took a few weeks for all the sand to work its way out of the lens assembly after our last trip to the dunes (that produced some fun shots), but it keeps on ticking.

Anyway, I wouldn't delude myself into thinking it's anywhere close to what a pro wildlife photographer would subject his/her equipment to, but at the same time, I certainly don't baby the cameras or hesitate to bring them out in extreme conditions. On one hand, it's not the same thing if only a few hundred dollars of point-n-shoot are on the line compared to a pro DSLR+lenses setup, but if the consumer stuff is as tough as it is, I would bet the pro stuff is many times better.

By the way, the articulating screen is marvelous for nature's beauty that happens to be on the ground (a la the "Denizens of the Forest Floor" thread on this forum). :)

Here's hoping that Canon finds a way to make a tank-strength articulating screen so you can have the value without the concession of lessened durability.

Take care...

5
EOS Bodies / Re: What's Next from Canon?
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:46:43 PM »
The day Canon adds articulating screens to their xD line of products is the day I jump ship.

I think I understand where you're coming from: when ultimate durability is a top priority, adding another point of potential weakness could be a big step back.  I'd be willing to bet, though, that the day Canon adds articulating screens to the 1D line, it's because they're robust enough to handle professional use in the field. Whether Canon ever goes that route is anybody's guess, but for now, the articulating screen doesn't look like it will make its way into a pro body anytime soon -- perhaps for the durability reasons you state. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if it makes it into the 6D. Technically, it's an xD body, but I don't think it's what Canon considers a pro body.

Just as a data point (or two, or three), I've had an articulating screen on three Canon (consumer) cameras: A80, G12 and 70D. The first two have seen plenty of abuse (each has an inverted corner from hard falls onto concrete). The screens both feel and perform as they did when new (this surprised me, actually). My kids have inherited the now archaic A80, and I use the still very relevant G12 for rugged outdoor stuff when weight/space is a concern.

The 70D is still like a new pair of shoes, wiping off every little smudge. The screen feels just as strong as the G12 (maybe a little stiffer). I'm confident that it will prove just as durable, but I can't help but knock on wood when I say that! Hence, I understand the concern a professional might have.

One other quick note: I managed to get my G12 covered in snow and very wet while snowboarding with my kiddos last week. There was water in and around the screen, buttons, lens assembly, et cetera. It was wet. I wiped it off, blew in some crevices, and all was fine. Obviously, snapshots of the family aren't critical to a professional shoot, but I was impressed with what that little camera can withstand...

6
Canon General / Re: Off Brand: Nikon Announces the D4S
« on: February 25, 2014, 11:01:10 AM »
That's what caught my eye, too, and as someone who uses ISO 102400 on my 5DIII all the time, I might have to sell all of my Canon gear to get the D4S.  I think it will really help with my upcoming series - Coal Mines by Matchlight.  If I accidentally run into some methane, this might be my last post ;)

I thought you were doing A Bat's Eye View series

LOL...I see a new gallery thread for showing off super high ISO: BIF - Bats In Flight  :P

"What, noise? No, that's the swarm of bugs the bats are feeding on..."  ;)

7
Photography Technique / Re: FoCal – Long / Fast Lens Calibration
« on: February 24, 2014, 02:22:46 PM »
MackGuyver,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your FoCal method. It's actually quite reassuring to me as I've had inconsistent results trying to calibrate my EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS with my 70D (so much so, actually, that I've started to wonder if I have an issue with either the lens or the body). Granted, my lens is not nearly as fast as your F1.2, but it was nice to see that while results of the automated process were "poor" for your lens, you were much more successful via this manual method.

As soon as I come up with a better/brighter light source (maybe a couple of those 500W halogen work lights from my shop?), I'm going to follow your FoCal recipe to see how it goes. The 20lb sandbag is a great idea, too -- especially with my cheapo tripod.

I'm much more enthused to go give FoCal another try. Thanks again!


8
Lenses / Re: Hard choice the 50 1.4 or 85 1.8
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:08:53 PM »
I'd get the 85 and watch and wait for a new 50 from either C or S.

Ditto this.

The 85MM is one of the best bang-for-buck lenses. My understanding is that the 50 1.4 has to be stopped down a bit to have good sharpness, which kind of negates the F/1.4 aperture. With rumors of a new 50MM flying around, I'd go with the 85 now and wait to see what happens in the 50MM focal length in the next year.

9
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF problems with 70D and fast lenses
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:58:56 PM »
Doing a little searching of the interwebs, I found this: http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/43791/why-isnt-my-canon-70d-autofocus-accurate-in-manual-zone-af-mode-with-a-50mm-f-1

Comments on that post by jrista (I'd assume the same individual as CR's jrista) were very helpful. It might not solve my issue, but it definitely helps frame my perspective as I approach my testing.

The explanation of the 7/70D AF sensor (linked below) was also helpful. In fact, based on the explanation that the sensor lines extend beyond the boundary of the viewfinder's focus square, I might not be too far off on my question about discrepancies between what the viewfinder sees and what the AF sensor sees.

http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/41174/if-the-focal-plane-is-curved-should-the-outer-af-points-work-correctly-or-front/41179#41179

Anyway, interesting stuff. How I'd love to have a 5DIII AF system, but alas, the funds are lacking...

I have similar issues with the 5d3. 

This actually cheers me up a bit. :)


1. The 24mm and in fact many lenses have quite a different afma depending on focus distance.
2. Focal is not very reliable.  I have never obtained consistent results using my 5diii or 7d with 10 different lens combinations.
3.  Fast lenses have a very thin dof so any error is more apparent.  You can try the lenses at f4 and see if your curves stabilize.

I ended up having to manually verify focal with a Spyder lenscal and ended up just not using focal as i got better results doing it manually.



Interesting about different AFMA at different focus distance. I'll test mine to see if it's similar. After shelling out for FoCal, I'm a bit disappointed to hear your results. I'm going to give it another go with as meticulous and repeatable a setup as I can before I give up on it (and maybe with a couple of borrowed lenses). Agreed on the DOF challenges. I first thought that my issues were from moving forward/back too much between focus lock and shutter release, but I didn't experience any issues via Live View.

Thanks for the input! I'll be sure to report back and/or ask further questions in a new thread (didn't mean to hijack this one).

10
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF problems with 70D and fast lenses
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:47:32 PM »
again this is not a front/backfocus issue that can be easily solved with AFMA.

it´s also not an AF tracking issue, or something like that.
when your combo is affected by this problem each and every image will be out of focus at wide open aperture. as you see they use a tripod and a static object (tree).

when you change from center AF to a different (not center AF) point the lenses behave just fine.
again.. that makes AFMA pretty useless.

the lenses are also not faulty per se.
as shown the same lens works fine on 60D´s or 7D´s (center AF point or not doesn´t play a role).

Understood. I apologize if my particular (separate) issue hijacked the thread. I wrote about it before I knew the contents of the video. Thanks for the clarification!

11
EOS Bodies / Re: Will the next xD cameras do 4k?
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:22:49 PM »
This chicken-and-egg scenario of 4K content creation versus 4K display reminds me of when 64-bit processors made their debut on the desktop PC stage. Everyone said, "What's the point when there's no 64-bit software to take advantage of it?"

My take on it is this:

  • Affordable 4K displays are still a long way off (a couple years?)
  • 4K content isn't really useful to most people without the corresponding displays.
  • It's only a matter of time before 4K replaces 1080P as the standard for high definition, and prices come down accordingly.
  • If I'm creating content that's meaningful to me, I'd like it to be as high of quality as possible, even if that means it's a couple of years before I can afford to see it in all its glory. :)

Edited to add: Do I care if my current/next DSLR lacks 4K video? Not a bit. :P

12
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF problems with 70D and fast lenses
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:02:06 PM »
Doing a little searching of the interwebs, I found this: http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/43791/why-isnt-my-canon-70d-autofocus-accurate-in-manual-zone-af-mode-with-a-50mm-f-1

Comments on that post by jrista (I'd assume the same individual as CR's jrista) were very helpful. It might not solve my issue, but it definitely helps frame my perspective as I approach my testing.

The explanation of the 7/70D AF sensor (linked below) was also helpful. In fact, based on the explanation that the sensor lines extend beyond the boundary of the viewfinder's focus square, I might not be too far off on my question about discrepancies between what the viewfinder sees and what the AF sensor sees.

http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/41174/if-the-focal-plane-is-curved-should-the-outer-af-points-work-correctly-or-front/41179#41179

Anyway, interesting stuff. How I'd love to have a 5DIII AF system, but alas, the funds are lacking...

13
Photography Technique / Re: How (and Why) I Took the Shot #2: Persistance
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:37:24 PM »
Dustin,

Thanks for another great post. Count me as one who always enjoys the photos you share, and adding the "you were there" context is appreciated. As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Sometimes, though, it takes "a thousand words" to fully appreciate a photograph.

Cheers...


14
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF problems with 70D and fast lenses
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:29:19 PM »
Thanks for the summary!

I'll add this info to the context of my ongoing testing...

Thanks again!

15
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF problems with 70D and fast lenses
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:04:41 PM »
Thanks for the link. Anyone care to translate the gist of the article/video into English?  :P

I have a 70D and EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS, and I've noticed that focus is hit or miss via the viewfinder -- mostly miss. I've invested in FoCal and run through the calibration process, and each time it produces a different AFMA value for a given focal length and distance (e.g. running the calibration process several times in a row without changing any of the setup). The suggested AFMA values are usually anywhere from -1 to +2 or +3.

Calibration Info

1. Tripod on concrete basement floor at night.
2. Constant lights providing ~12ev.
3. Calibrations at distances of both 25x and 50x focal length
4. Calibrations for both 17MM and 55MM focal length

On one occasion, FoCal did not complete the calibration saying that the results were not consistent enough to generate an AFMA value, although the two or three calibrations I did after that (with identical setup) worked with "Good" results.

Unfortunately, I don't have another lens to test with right now, so I'm left wondering if it's the body or the lens. Live view is usually correctly focused, which is what pointed me to AFMA to begin with, but even after calibration, focusing through the viewfinder is unreliable enough that I'm mostly using Live View now so I don't miss the shots.

Is this likely a body or lens issue (or user error :) )? It's just frustrating when I focus on an eye (at shutter speeds well beyond 1/FL) and get a nice sharp eyebrow but blurry eye or even nothing sharp at all. Maybe I should test individual focus points?

Anyway, this is something I'm trying to get to the bottom of -- when I have the time. Any tips or info are welcome.

Cheers...

PS -- One other thought: while it's probably far less likely, is it possible that there's a slight misalignment of either the AF sensor or the LCD overlay in the viewfinder such that the focus point I see isn't really representing the location that the AF sensor is "seeing"? For example, what if the AF sensor really is seeing the eyebrow when the focus point in the viewfinder is over the iris? Just thinking out loud here...I should probably set aside an afternoon, channel my inner Neuroanatomist and do this in as structured and scientific a manner as possible...and maybe borrow another lens while I'm at it.

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