October 22, 2014, 07:23:09 PM

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Messages - johnf3f

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Lenses / Re: Canon ef 300 mm f/2.8 IS II + TC 2X III test shots
« on: October 19, 2014, 05:18:52 PM »
The 300 F2.8 L IS Mk1 works great with that extender as well and, except for the aperture, isn't too shabby compared to the 600 F4 L IS Mk1. When I had my 600 I found myself using the 300 + 2 x whenever mobility was required and it didn't disappoint.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 16, 2014, 07:22:50 PM »
A 'pro'camera is any camera a professional chooses to use. The specs don't matter, only the end result.

Good point - my 1DX is distinctly amateur, especially in my hands! A friends Canon 40D is a much more professional camera - well she sells a lot more images than I do!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How to differentiate crop vs. FF
« on: October 16, 2014, 07:19:30 PM »
This same debate seems to come up over and over again and people still cannot decide! You can pixel peep all day and discuss various wizz bang factors till we are all dead and buried (or bored to death!).
Instead of quoting figures or other barely relevant specifications, why not simply try one out? That way you will see which size sensor best fills YOUR needs not what every bod else wants to recommend.
For reference the bulk of my photography is smaller bird species where (almost) everybody states confidently that FF is at a disadvantage. I agree there is a loss of "reach" but frankly it is a LOT less than you may think and most certainly nowhere near the 1.6 that the crop factor would suggest. Against that everything else is better with a FF camera for my birding uses. A while back I tried a 7D on my Canon 800mm F5.6, while the light was very good it produced nice results, when the light was good things were still OK, when the light was less than perfect it failed to produce useable files. Quite a while later my FF camera was happily giving me good images and I had yet to turn the IS on as the shutter speed was still OK, the ISO was up around 8000 but so what - images were still clean and needed no NR.
As you may have noticed I am a big fan of larger sensors, however these (FF) cameras are much more expensive and frequently a piece heavier. Crop cameras are perfectly capable of producing great images and they do it at lower cost - this makes them "better" for the majority of photographers. However I cannot see how an experienced photographer would suggest that a smaller sensor is going to produce a better image than a larger one, this has certainly not been my experience.

My phone has a camera!?
You will be telling me next that my DSLR shoots video!

Lenses / Re: Which prime lens for nature fotography?
« on: October 11, 2014, 06:37:02 PM »
I saved some money, I´d like to buy an prime for nature photography (animals, birds,...). I will use it for day trips, no longer expeditions.

As they are not cheap, I´d like to ask which lens to buy?

300mm 2.8 with 2x converter?
400mm 2.8 with 2x converter?
500 or 600 mm 5.6 with an 1.4x converter?

Optically, all 4 lenses are now very good. (my old 400mm DO IS was not).
I will carry it around all day long - so low weighted will be an plus, but I want an good optical quality too. So the 2x converter is not the best solution....

But which one to decide? Can you give me an advice?
My cameras are: 5DII, 6D and 7D

I own/have owned 3 of those 4 lenses so may be able to throw a little light (or confusion) on your quandary.
The most important consideration is the subject matter. As the lenses get longer they become more specialised as well as much heavier!
Firstly any of your cameras will give their best on lenses like these and, if you are going to use the 2x extender make sure it's the Mk3 version - much better than the Mk2.
My current wildlife setup is the Canon 300 F2.8 L IS and the Canon 800 F5.6 L IS though I have owned both the 600 F4 L IS and 400 F2.8 previously. Firstly if your subjects are small then discount the 400 F2.8 - It doesn't have enough reach and is too big and heavy if you need to stalk your subjects.
As to the 600mm I would say that it depends on which version you are looking at. I had the IS Mk1 and whilst it is a great lens my current 800 F5.6 beats it in almost all respects except minimum focus distance. It is lighter, slimmer and significantly more manageable as well as being sharper and having much better IS (which I don't use?!?). Now if you are looking at the 600 Mk2 then things change around a bit due to it's better IQ and greatly reduced weight. This would be my choice for smaller subjects like songbirds etc.
The Canon 300 F2.8 (any version) is simply a stunning lens and they work very well with extenders. However if you are constantly using extenders - is this really the right lens?
This is just a personal view but I would suggest you look at having two lenses (if funds will allow). I normally carry my 800 and 300 F2.8 (V heavy!) but I do get shots that I would have missed otherwise. Perhaps a better alternative would be a 500/600/800 lens + a Canon 300 F4 L IS - I really regret selling mine!
Well that lot has probably left you even more confused! Perhaps if I/we knew a little more about what you are specifically after I could be a little more precise in my suggestions. Anyway feel free to PM me if you  want to pick my brains any more.

Software & Accessories / Re: Bent tripod leg
« on: October 04, 2014, 06:57:21 PM »
I know of two cases where Giotto have replaced tripod leg sections free, yes they didn't even charge for postage. Well worth an E Mail to the manufacturer.

Canon General / Re: Funny things I read on ebay about lens
« on: October 03, 2014, 06:24:13 PM »
You have to be very careful with E Bay but I have been very happy with all but one purchase (I was refunded for that one). My larger purchases over the last few years have been a Canon EF 400 F2.8 L, Canon 300 F2.8 L IS, Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and a Canon 1DX. All were in better condition than described, were used (except the 1DX) and. I would not/could not have afforded these items anywhere else.

Some very interesting observations!
I can see many liking this camera and I was looking at it for myself. Unfortunately it is completely useless for my uses - pity as I quite fancied the A7 version - ah well it will have to be a 6D or 5D3, bulky and heavy but they do have reasonably quick AF and viewfinders (optical).

When I got into Wildlife photography I had a 20D and a 100-400, now I use a 1DX with either an 800 F5.6 or a 300 F2.8. I think you can guess what my vote was!

Premium = the current additional cost for additional features.  1D4 = $1500, 1Dx = $6799

I'm sorry, we must use current values for value tradeoff analysis

I was merely quoting the relative prices of my camera to show that the 1DX need not be such a price jump as many seem to think. Naturally if you are going to compare a new current camera to a superseded, lesser, used model it is going to be more expensive - that seems pretty obvious.
As to the 1DX being worth the extra, to me, it most certainty is! If you are using long lenses in less than perfect light then the difference in AF and ISO performance is a lot, so much so that I have only used the IS on my Canon 800 F5.6 once (briefly) this year so I am additionally benefiting from further improvements in AF performance from the lens as well as the camera. The AF benefits of turning off IS are very small but I am getting more successful shots since turning it off, this applies to a friends Canon 600 F4 L IS as well, doesn't seem to make much difference with my 300 F2.8 L IS though.
If you are shooting in reasonable light then the 1D4 is still an excellent camera - the 1DX is simply better.

I have shot the 1Dx and know what it can do but it's not worth the premium IMO especially when I scored a 24K actuation 1D4 for $1500.  Maybe if the 1Dx had 24MP+ or priced around $3500, but not now.

My 1DX cost 100 GBP less than my 1D4 - both bought new after their prices had dropped from their initial highs.
As to 24mp - no thanks especially if it cost any high ISO performance, which (with current technology) it is bound to do. As I stated in my previous post the 1D4 is a fine camera and I loved mine but the 1 DX is significantly better for my uses especially with the longest lenses.

It looks like I can get a 1D4, 7D2, and 5D3 for less than the price of a 1Dx and sell off my 5D2 and 70D.  So if the 7D2 can do that, I will get one then sell my 5D2 and 70D to get the 5D3 or whatever is coming down the line

Having had the 1D4 and having tried the 5D3 (both VERY nice cameras) but not being able to comment on the 7D2 yet, I can see why you are concerned at the price of the 1DX! I would therefore strongly suggest that you do not try out a 1DX under any circumstances. I had my 1DX for 3 months before I sold my 1D4 and can confirm that the advances are significant and well worth the extra expense, though the extra weight is not welcome.
You also mention the "crop reach". Having gone from APSC (1.6 crop) cameras to APSH (1.3 crop) to full frame I am not really experiencing any significant loss of reach or pixel density and would certainly not entertain a smaller sensor DSLR with current technology for my uses.
I am not a sports shooter, I shoot mainly small birds using the Canon 800mm F5.6 L IS and 300mm F2.8 L IS - so if there were a significant loss of reach I would know about it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Next purchase?
« on: September 28, 2014, 05:52:29 PM »
Unlike others I am not lusting after the Canon 200-400 - mainly because I would rarely use it at 400mm and mostly use it at 560mm.
However, having used one, I think it is a great lens if it suits your needs. The first thing that struck me was how fast the AF is. It made my 600 F4 IS seem distinctly pedestrian and was VERY nearly as quick as my 300 F2.8 - maybe as quick! Even on a 6D it is going to AF pretty quick.
I don't own a 6D (yet!) but I am a fan of this camera, nevertheless I can't help feeling that for sports etc a significantly faster camera may be a better first step. I replaced my Canon 1D4 with the 1DX and find it to be a significantly faster responding camera with superior AF.
I would normally advocat glass before camera bodies but perhaps you should try a 1DX before you decide.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: September 28, 2014, 05:40:01 PM »
Why haven't you left canon?

For my uses there are only 2 systems - Canon and Nikon.
Played with the Nikon D800E recently, as well as the 500 F4 VR - very nice too. Pity the owner was so pissed off when he tried my Canon gear!

Why was he pissed I wonder? Just curious...

AF speed and lock, ISO performance (dull afternoon), flexibility of my AF system and he commented on the overall speed of my camera and how the main controls (shutter release etc) had a better more positive "feel" - his thoughts not mine. I thought his camera and lens combination was pretty good but the typical Welsh light didn't really give his sensor a chance to shine. His AF was pretty slow and didn't track as well as I am used to but that is to be expected as I was using a 1 series so it is not really fair to compare them directly - though I was using a slower lens.
What I think really got to him was that, for our conditions (photographing small birds) the Canon setup proved significantly faster with a much higher "Hit Rate" - this combined with the fact that I hadn't paid much more than he did yet had a faster/more responsive camera (1DX) and a better (though slower) lens that is 300mm longer.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: September 27, 2014, 04:02:01 PM »
Why haven't you left canon?

For my uses there are only 2 systems - Canon and Nikon.
Played with the Nikon D800E recently, as well as the 500 F4 VR - very nice too. Pity the owner was so pissed off when he tried my Canon gear!

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