November 29, 2014, 12:43:34 AM

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Messages - johnf3f

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Some questions about autofocus speed
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:40:11 PM »
I had the 300 F4 L IS for quite a while and loved it, I only sold mine because I got the 300 F2.8. As to the IS if you are putting it on a tripod or shooting anything moving then turn it off otherwise you will miss a lot of shots and get a noise like a coffee grinder! I am not knocking the IS on the 300, it is just that it doesn't like any significant movement.
Unlike Neuro (sorry Neuro!) I disagree about IS and AF performance. The difference is not large but it can be significant on things like songbirds flitting about in trees. If your IS is already running then there is no difference on static subjects, however if it isn't then the lens cannot focus until it is. I know IS fires up almost immediately but it is not instantaneous. For example yesterday I got 3 shots of a Bittern standing, then it was off! That was 3 frames at 10fps so if there was a split second delay while the IS fired up how many frames would I have got? The other thing I find is that if subjects are moving then, as you track them, you are fighting the IS - hence my coffee grinder comment above. On more modern IS systems (like the 4 stop IS on my 800 F5.6 L IS) this is far less pronounced.
I am not saying don't use IS - it can be VERY handy - just save it for when it is really needed and the subject is not moving too much.
I don't know if the 7D2 AF will be faster but, from what I read it hunts a lot less and tracks far better than any previous APSC camera - all the comments about the 7D2 AF seem to be very positive.
I sympathise with your eye problems as I have a cataract in my right eye so I rely heavily on the AF as well! Hopefully mine will be operated on soon!

Pity you don't live in the UK!
Bet you could have some fun with this, an Ed Mika adapter and your 5D3!

I have the current EF model and it is my most used lens - love it!

Software & Accessories / Re: What accessories for 7d Mkii?
« on: October 30, 2014, 07:36:25 PM »

I'm surprised to see so many suggesting a battery grip. I've always thought they looked too bulky, plus most of my work is in landscape mode, but I'll have to try one sometime!

I'll check out the other products that have been suggested.

Thanks everyone,


A grip on a 1 series is rock solid, but on a 7D, I'd pass.  You do not hold a camera with heavy lens by the body / grip combination, you put a hand under the lens to support it.
I've had a lot of grips, and took them all off. 
Unless you have a specific need such as portrait orientation or extended battery life where you can't easily change a battery, I'd pass.

The battery grips that I have tried have always been too flexible for tripod mounting and are only occasionally useful with long lenses. If you REALLY feel that a battery grip is essential then get a 1 series as the add on grips are just to bendy!

Software & Accessories / Re: What accessories for 7d Mkii?
« on: October 28, 2014, 06:44:23 PM »
Spare battery or two and a decent card or two - plus maybe a QR plate if you use tripods.
What else would you need?

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.

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