April 24, 2014, 01:29:34 PM

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Messages - johnf3f

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Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:47:19 PM »
What do you think of the 400 DO outresolving a 600 f/4 L?
I have been searching for the images I took to illustrate my post but I have to admit I can't find them - sorry! They may be on my old PC (which I still have) so I will see if they are on there.
Basically I fancied one (but couldn't afford it!) so I tried out the 2 at my local camera shop. As a comparison I then mounted my Canon 600 F4L IS and took pictures of the same subject (a BMW 3 Series) from the same place. The difference was that we could see that the lacquer on the rear of the car had crazed slightly with the DO lenses we weren't easily able to pick this up with the 600.
As I said I will have another look for the images.
The 400 DO is certainly a very controversial lens - but the ones I have tried have impressed me though less so with extenders.

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:23:29 PM »
You wrote:
"For all the pomp about the 300 f/2.8 ii, once you slap on that 1.4x iii converter, it's not a vast improvement in sharpness, if any, over the bare 400 f/4 DO...from looking at Bryan's test comparison at the-digital-picture.com."

All I have said was what you wrote does not match up with Canon's own measurements and a simple examination of Bryan's site. I am not defending anything or have any of the motives that you somehow have attributed to me. Could we please restrict this to rational discussion.

Have you tried out a 400 DO?
 What do MTF charts mean in the real world? I don't know, but what I do know is that I tested 2 second hand Canon 400 DO lenses against my Canon 600 F4 L IS at the same range and both out resolved the 600. I recently tried another 400 DO against my, current, Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and it was out of it's depth. However at half the focal length is was FAR from shabby!
I fully accept that images from the 400 DO need more processing and that they don't work well with 2 x extenders - but, as a bare lens, their resolution is top notch.
Do not let me put you off decrying this lens - PLEASE carry on! If more people keep doing this then prices will fall and then I can afford one!
P.S. I do have a Canon 300 F2.8 L IS and with the 1.4 extender I find it does not quite equal the 400 DO as a bare lens.

Need something for when carrying a tripod is too much...

Depends on your budget and what lenses you are using.
I agree with Neuro's RRS recommendation and JPAZ on the Sirui mono pods. Personally I have a Gitzo GM2541 - it is very light and will cope happily with any current Canon lens. I would say that I found it a bit skinny with my 600 F4 but it supported it quite happily. My other mono pod is a Sirui P424. In Gitzo terms this is equivalent to a 4 series - so the P424 is pretty chunky! However it is not too heavy, very rigid, well made, supports pretty much anything and is fairly cheap. I suspect it would be overkill so the P324 model may be more appropriate.
If you are not supporting anything bigger than a 3 kilo lens + a pro body then the Gitzo GM2541 is the kiddie!

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 01, 2014, 07:46:03 PM »
i love my FLM58...

it´s the best ballhead for my needs and better then the praised RRS BH-55... if someone ask me. but then i am from germany and so i don´t have to support RRS. ;)

it´s big and heavy but it´s the most stable ballhead i ever had the pleasure to use.

10 years warranty are not bad either.


i also have 2 cheap sirui ballheads, kx-30 if im not wrong.
they have a blue numbered ring and it´s pretty useless.
after 2 weeks this ring was going lose and now rotates freely.
happend on both heads... i read about it too.
seems to be a common issue.   

also the fine positioning with the sirui is a pain in the a**.
maybe if you don´t know better ballheads you are satisfied.
i am not.

doing macro i constantly have to lock/unlock the ballhead because when locking the ballhead the camera/lens moves a bit. enough to kill the composition.

on one ballhead the plate was screwed so thight by the factory, that i destroyed the screw head when trying to unscrew it. im unable to remove it, i would have to drill the screw away. but it´s not worth it.

overall im not very impressed by siruis ballhead quality.

Surprised you had problems with the Sirui K30X - my K40X has given me no excuse to criticize it after 2 years. I agree the little Blue ring can move about but then I haven't found a use for it so I don't care.
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

Thanks, Johnf3f, I have gone that route with the Canon 12mm extension tube, but infinity focus and AF are lost.  I want the flexibility of going from macro to tele without fiddling.  I like what Jappe did, but before a start modifying, I would like to know whether the Sigma 180 2.8 + Canon TC III combination will AF.

Don't understand why you lost AF! The extension tube should just relay the electrical signals and no functionality should be lost, though infinity focus would go.
I am afraid there is no solution other than modifying your lens/extender at your own risk! Though you could try the old Kenko 1.5 (Note 1.5 not 1.4) extender which will work with any lens - but the IQ is not great though they were only 50 quid brand new. I found cropping was better.
A far better (though more expensive) solution would be to get a used Canon 300 F4 L IS or a Canon 400 F5.6 L - pricey but very good!

I modified a cheap extension tube to allow the use of extenders on any Canon EOS mount lens. It completely eliminates the problem of the lens rear elements fouling the front element of the extender. You will loose infinty focus but that is hardly a problem on a Macro lens!
For reference the extension tube is 13mm long. If you look at the one on the right you can see that I modified the anti reflection screen with a Stanley Knife. Cheap - simple and it works!

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: March 29, 2014, 05:12:41 PM »
+1 on the used tripods. There are some real bargains out there if you hunt about. Between a friend of mine and myself we picked up a mint Feisol 3342 and 2 older model Carbon 3 series Gitzos (one Systematic and one Mountaineer) for about $480 in your money. We were lucky but it does show what can be bought - and this is in Ripoff Britain!
As to heads, especially ball heads, they are cheap. My Triopo RS3 + an Arca compatible QR clamp cost less than $70 and weighs less than 350grams (with clamp) and it easily copes with any current production Canon lens. I don't really know what it will support without creep as my Gitzo tripods are too bendy! In the attached image - that is a Canon 600 F4 L IS on it.

Lenses / Re: Ordered 300mm 2.8 II; tips/suggestions
« on: March 29, 2014, 04:36:03 PM »
Unlike the others I am a big fan of Lens Coat type covers - though I do use a different brand:

I find they protect the lens from scratches and subdue the Canon white! I am a wildlife photographer so this can be an issue, in your case I don't think the cars will be scared off!
Make certain you get the Canon Mk3 extenders as these are specifically designed for your Mk2 lens.
You will be VERY happy with this lens, it is a little better than my Mk1 version - which is stunning - so get out and enjoy it!

Software & Accessories / Re: Alternatives to RRS MH-02 Monopod Head?
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:21:24 PM »
Thanks johnf3f.  Does the Sirui head allow for 90 degrees rotation without having to use a special tool, like the MH-02 does?  That's the feature I'm really looking for.
Looking at your original post I assume you are thinking of the different orientation of QR plates on your cameras and larger lenses. If you do the same as me - I align my QR plates along the center-line of my long lenses (equipped with lens feet) and at 90 degrees on the cameras. If this is the case then - no the Sirui does not accommodate this without the use of tools.
If the above is not the case then I may well have got your post wrong

Software & Accessories / Re: Alternatives to RRS MH-02 Monopod Head?
« on: March 25, 2014, 05:19:05 PM »
I use the Gitzo GM2541 and can thoroughly recommend it. It is very light and exceptionally strong. Incidentally, forget Gitzo weight ratings as they are meaningless. They will actually support something like 5 to 10 times what they say.
My only criticism of the GM2541 is that it looks too spindly when supporting lenses like a 600 F4 or 800 F5.6, though it is fully up to the job!
I have a Sirui L10 tilt head which is pretty good (not as good as the RRS or Kirk ones) but they seem to have doubled in price here in the UK. At it's current UK price I don't think the Sirui is good value but it is OK with  lenses up to a 300 F2.8 Max.

So I've never owned a camera I felt confident enough to trust in AI Servo until I started shooting with the 1Dx. Old habits die hard though, and I'd still been toggling between one shot and AI-Servo based on subject matter.  I've always held this pre-conceived, personally unfounded notion that One Shot would be more accurate than AI Servo on stationary subjects.    Given how amazing I found AF accuracy to be on the 1Dx, I decided to test my theory by exclusively using Servo mode for all non moving subjects.

In the past month I've shot mostly portraits, some landscape, and quite a bit of macro.  At the pixel level, I can't tell any difference in regards to focus accuracy between shots taken using One Shot vs. AI-Servo based on my real world use.  Granted, I have my shutter release priority biased towards focus as opposed to release.  I don't see myself using One Shot ever again as far as I'm concerned, and I appreciate not having to press a button or switch modes to engage Servo if something does start to happen unexpectedly. 

Can anyone think of any cons to using AI servo fulltime and ditching One Shot if I I'm able to achieve the same level of accuracy?   (ok yes, as a concession I'm taxing the battery, but battery life has become a total non issue for me having moved to a 1D body)

Thanks in advance!

I am starting 5th month of owning my 1DX and haven't even tried out the one shot AF! I simply duplicated the settings I used for wildlife photography on my 1D4 and have not yet found a reason to change anything. Although this camera offers a myriad of options, once I got my setup sorted, it is  a point and shoot. Yes I will adjust aperture and shutter speed according to the subject, but aside from that I point, I point then shoot and it delivers the goods - in spades. Well done Canon!
P.S. my point and shoot camera does mt head in! The 1DX is so much simpler!

United Kingdom & Ireland / Re: Hello...Anyone else from the UK?
« on: March 15, 2014, 05:32:21 PM »
Hello from South Wales!
I am mainly into wildlife photography but dabble in most things.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod: Suggestions
« on: March 09, 2014, 07:15:41 PM »

i cant recommend highly enough stuff from WLT, i have the frank model http://www.3leggedthing.com/frankblue.html the stuff is expensive but most of the tripods doublle up as a monopod so there is extra value there.


You are right they are expensive - checked the link and that is more than I paid for my Gitzo 3530LS which will/has supported me at 105+ Kilos! The 3LT tripods are very innovative and adaptable but are too short for most uses unless you extend the center column - then stability goes.
To the OP have a nose around for a used Gitzo, buy quality once = save money.

Lenses / Re: Canon 600mm f4 IS II Vs Canon 200-400mm w/1.4x TC
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:59:15 PM »
ok, enough of this now. Next topic: What's the better lens: The EF 2.8 14 L or the EF 5.6 800 L?

The 800 F5.6. Bought my 1DX in November 2013 and have hardly used any other lens on it, in fact I have yet to even mount a lens shorter than 300mm on it - hope they will fit!

Lenses / Re: Question about Canon 300mm f/4 L IS
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:03:33 PM »
As I mentioned in a previous post the hood on my 300 F4 L IS does not creep under any circumstances that I have yet encountered, nor does a friends (much more heavily used) one. I haven't heard of this from the numerous local 400 F5.6 users either.
Is it the Welsh climate???

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