October 25, 2014, 06:50:13 PM

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Messages - johnf3f

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Come on folks!
Quoting all the whizz bang factors and theoretical pro's and cons means precisely nothing!
Get out and shoot some shots with the various sensor sizes and see which works for you.
The last comparative trial I did was to try a friends 7D on my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS, at the time had just bought a 1DX and still had my 1D4. All cameras were set the same for metering. shutter speed, aperture etc. As expected the 7D and 1D4 made the subject (a co-operative Moorhen) larger in the frame but the 1DX gave significantly more pleasing images. Note the bird was stationery so not an AF test.
True this was far from a scientific experiment but who cares - I certainly don't! Since moving to exclusively full frame I am getting more keepers and better ones at that, yes I do have to crop a little more with my 1DX but the files hold up much better than the other 2 cameras.
Try them out for yourself and see and if you prefer camera X then go for it. For me, being focal length challenged, I prefer the results that I am getting with my full frame camera, after all it is only 90% reach - that other 10% makes all the difference!

Never owned a 1D3 but a friend of mine did until recently. He used a bunch of Sandisk Extreme 3 8GB SD cards simply because they were cheap and faster than any CF cards in that camera. It would appear that the 1D3 is the only dual card format camera that is actually faster with SD rather than CF!

Yep, this is true. The 1D3 is much faster writing to SD cards than any CF. I wish Canon would drop this annoying dual format memory card malarkey. Just give us two super fast CF slots in the Pro series and an SD in the consumer range.

They have in the 1DX and it works well. With my 1D4 I could get 23-25 RAW files before the buffer filled at 9fps. With the 1DX I get 30+ with a Traanscend 400X CF card (same card as I used in the 1D4) and 50+ files with a Lexar 1000x at 10 fps.
Good improvement - pity about the price!

I have found little difference in reach when changing sensor size, though I have noticed improved IQ.
I don't carry out scientific comparisons I just go out and see which performs better.
I do most of my photography with the Canon 800mm so if there were much of a difference this is the lens to show it up!
Now if Canon/Nikon made a low MP APSC camera to the same standard as the 1DX/D4 then the situation may be different!

Lenses / Re: 400 f/2.8L II IS: Took the plunge...
« on: August 26, 2014, 08:35:54 PM »
Any Canon 400 F2.8 is a great piece of glass if it suits your needs.
I used to have the original EF 400 F2.8 L (a mere lightweight at 6.1 kilos), yes it was an old battered lens but the images were top notch!
The current model is less than 4 kilos and has updated optics - if 400mm is your bag then you will be very happy!
I note you use a 1DX, given it's iso capabilities, I would suggest turning off the IS as auto-focus and tracking will be even faster - if that's possible! Since January I have used IS on one of my lenses only once and then it was only to stabilize the image in the viewfinder, even with my Canon 800 F5.6 I find IS to be more of a hazard than a help most of the time with the 1DX.

Never owned a 1D3 but a friend of mine did until recently. He used a bunch of Sandisk Extreme 3 8GB SD cards simply because they were cheap and faster than any CF cards in that camera. It would appear that the 1D3 is the only dual card format camera that is actually faster with SD rather than CF!


Between the p324 and the p 424, there is only a $30 price difference... If that's the case, I'd get the latter.  Having said that... I'm an aluminum kind of guy. Carbon fiber is nice... it is lighter, but not at twice the cost.

That's the great thing about the Sirui mono pods - they are cheap!
Seriously if you really want an alloy mono pod then get one but I guarantee you will be disappointed in the long run.
I have a Manfrotto 679 alloy mono pod in virtually mint condition, simply because it is never used!
The P424 is a fine piece of kit but really not necessary for a 500 F4 or smaller, that is where the P324 is a better choice - but there is no harm in too much support!

I have 2 mono pods and find them both to be excellent for their designed purposes. The small one is a Gitzo GM2541, rather pricey but very strong and ridiculously light - also I don't think it will ever need replacing. The other is a Sirui P424. Not quite as well made as the Gitzo but more reasonably priced, pretty light and holds anything - this is what I use for my Canon 800mm.
I am not a fan of heads on mono pods but where I need significant vertical movement I use the Sirui L10 head which is pretty good with lenses up to a 300 F2.8 + a pro body.
If the Gitzo is too expensive then have a look at the Sirui P324 (my P424 is simply more than you need) as it is a fine robust mono pod that is reasonably light and not silly money.
You may notice that neither of my mono pods have flip locks (neither do my tripods) there is a reason for that - I have used flip locks in the past and do not consider them suitable/trustworthy for tripods and mono pods. Both the Gitzo and Sirui twist locks are far superior and much easier to use, as well as being MUCH more secure.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Lens to body pairing
« on: August 19, 2014, 03:36:52 PM »
I was at the Weston Super Mare show and go to the Swansea show as well. These are similar coastal events. I use a full frame camera with a Canon 300mm F2.8 L IS for the larger aircraft and add a 2 x Mk3 extender for the small aircraft (or a 1.4 if I am near the center of the flight line). Your 70-200 will give you excellent results but bring along the Sigma for when it's too short. You will have plenty of time to change lenses so I would suggest just taking the 7D.

Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: August 03, 2014, 07:30:41 PM »
My 70-200 F2.8 L IS - simply don't use these focal lengths!

I've quickly checked my camera bag, and it seems there's a spot just big enough to fit YOUR 70-200mm!  :P :P :P :P :P

If you live in the UK send me a PM.

Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: August 02, 2014, 06:21:37 PM »
My 70-200 F2.8 L IS - simply don't use these focal lengths!

Lenses / Re: Teleconverter for 100mm 2.8l
« on: August 02, 2014, 06:16:14 PM »
I use both the Canon 1.4 Mk2 and 2 x Mk3 extenders on my Canon 100 F2.8 Macro with excellent results. I use a 13mm extension tube and manual focus, well who doesn't for static macro subjects? A longer Macro lens may be a better solution but the extenders cost little IQ and have many other uses as well as being cheaper.
I don't see your problem - perhaps I have missed something?

Lenses / Re: 300mm f/2.8 L IS II - what do you use it for?
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:09:46 PM »
I have the Mk1 version + extenders and find it very adaptable and flexible. However for almost everything I do I find the Canon 800 F5.6 is much better (except for mobility).
Surely the question is what do you want. For many applications the 300 F2.8 is the Dogs dangly bits but for many other uses it is not. Just because the 800mm is my most liked/used lens doesn't mean it's the one for you, same with the 300mm.
What are you after?

Lenses / Re: Going native at 400mm
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:12:57 PM »
Looking at your list I have owned/do own all of them (though mine were Mk1 versions) bar the 400 DO and the 400 F5.6 both of which I have used a fair bit.
The 400 F5.6 is probably the most popular choice due to it's combination of price, reach, quality and light weight. F5.6 can be limiting, depending on your camera, though this should rarely be a problem with your 5D3.
The 400 F2.8 (any version) is simply stunning - but big heavy and expensive. The pre IS versions are now pretty reasonable but even heavier!
400 DO - approach with caution! I have tried 3 examples. Two were simply stunning with excellent sharpness and detail (certainly better than my (then) 600 F4 L IS Mk1, the third was distinctly average and not worth the money. Try before you buy!
I have not been convinced by 70-200 F2.8 lenses with extenders - though others seem happy with them.
The 2 300mm lenses are my personal favorites. The F4 is light, cheap and gives excellent quality. The IS is a bit old and clunky but it works well for fairly static subjects. I didn't bother much with the 1.4 extender as on either a 1D4 or a 1DX this lens allows a lot of cropping before the image suffers too much. Unfortunately I couldn't justify keeping mine when I bought the F2.8 version!
The 300 F2.8 is the best option in my opinion. Yes it is fairly heavy, far from cheap and you will end up using extenders much of the time. However, as a bare lens it outperforms pretty much anything and works exceptionally well with extenders (especially the Mk3 versions). if the price is a bit scary then have a look at the Mk1 IS version as it gives up very little to the Mk2 and is cheaper. Having recently had quite a long play with the Mk2 version (4 days ago) I am not thinking of "upgrading" to the Mk2, it is better but it is barely noticeable and not worth the extra to me.

Hope some of the above helps.

Software & Accessories / Re: Gitzo GT3330LS
« on: July 16, 2014, 04:56:06 PM »
I have the Carbon Fiber version (3530LS) and find it to be an excellent tripod for any, production, Canon lens. Mine normally has a Canon 800 F5.6 L IS sat on top of it. I have not used the aluminium version but I expect it would be very good - just a bit heavier.

I have now tried 3 different 400 DO lenses.
I would have ditched my 300 F2.8 in a heartbeat for the first 2 - but they were too expensive! True colours and contrast were slightly muted , but the sharpness and resolution put my (then) 600 F4 to shame - without moving closer for the shorter focal length. Frankly I was amazed at the lenses as they were so good at the things I thought they would be poor at!
Recently I got the opportunity to buy another example at a very reasonable price so I jumped at the opportunity. It was at a local nature reserve so I had the chance to try a few live subjects compared to my 300 F2.8 IS Mk1 both with and without extenders. Now I was amazed in the opposite direction, the 400 DO was good but couldn't live with my 300 F2.8??
The moral is try before you buy. I didn't know they varied so much!

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