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Messages - biscuit

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Lenses / Re: Rare opportunity to get some nice L glass which would you pick
« on: September 12, 2013, 11:52:31 AM »
Call your credit card company, and get as many as you can get flip them and make some coin.  I'd take an 85mm if you'd do that.

No brainer.

This.  Some (all?) of these prices are way below the usual used prices.  If possible, buy everything and flip what you don't want.   You have a possibility here to end up with both a few nice lenses and more money than you started with.

PowerShot Cameras / Re: Canon Working on Large Sensor Compacts?
« on: June 27, 2013, 02:47:29 PM »
No they didn't. On, place your cursor on "Compacts 24x36" and you'll see.

There is a similar page at, with a '35mm compact cameras' link.  The link points to.... the Canon Sure Shot 150u, a compact film body released 9 years ago.

I think this rumor is a dud.

Lenses / Re: EF 24-70mm F2.8 L ver 2 or 3 Prime Lens
« on: May 15, 2013, 11:50:07 AM »
If I may, I'd like to buck the trend here a bit.  We do not really know what the OP wants out of the equipment.  If one were to want discrete shooting in the street and interiors, then a 24-70 would be a rather poor selection.  For convenience and overall sharpness, then the zoom will come out on top but if the OP wants to frame something that the 100mm does well, then the 24-70 will have to be shot wide and then cropped in post.  If shooting film, this may be more hassle than it is worth.
There are just so many possible photographic situations with ideal equipment selections for each that it is truly impossible to suggest an ideal without knowing the use scenario.
That said, why not get the 50, 100, and the zoom?  50 is inexpensive and a low light monster, the 100 covers a focal length the zoom does not cover, and the zoom can be used when the focal range is right and IQ is paramount.

I agree with this - the choice is not so clear cut and I am surprised by the consensus.

The combination of primes suggested by the OP is about 5-600 USD less than the zoom with the major online US retailers (OP's local prices might differ of course).  Closer in price would be : Sigma 35mm f/1.4 + Canon 85mm f/1.8 + Canon 135 mm f/2 L.  This gives an even wider range of focal lengths and includes two lenses in the 35/135 combination that are widely considered to be exceptionally good.   

I'm not necessarily advocating this particular combination of primes - maybe OP would prefer something wider - just pointing out that there are other options and the situation is not black and white.  Yet another similarly priced option would be the 35/85 combination above, plus the 24-105 f/4 L. 

My own suggestion to the OP would be not to buy anything at the moment, and look to borrow and/or rent some of these options to figure out what is really needed.

Aarrggghhhh.  I just ordered the B&H bundle (5d3+24-105+bag+extra battery+16GB CF card) for $3699 after waiting for weeks.  This one is even better.

I am not reading this site anymore.  La la la la la la ....

I would take the Adoroma deal: 5D Mark III + 24-105mm Kit + 600EX-RT

With this deal, I'm tempted to pull trigger on 2nd body.

I agree it is a bit better.  However, it doesn't seem possible to pay from a European account to deliver to the US anyway when ordering from Adorama via ebay, which I was able to do with B&H when ordering directly. 

So it seems that I still got the best deal available to me, if not the best one overall.

Aarrggghhhh.  I just ordered the B&H bundle (5d3+24-105+bag+extra battery+16GB CF card) for $3699 after waiting for weeks.  This one is even better.

I am not reading this site anymore.  La la la la la la ....

It has now dropped to 3699 for the same bundle. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Help me upgrade my 550d
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:28:14 AM »
OP once again:

I think I have decided to just go for the 5D3 option.  I was hoping to get it in a kit with the 24-105 at a sub-MAP price from ebay.  However, it seems that most of the ebay sellers, or at least the larger ones, will not accept a European credit card for delivery to a US address.

This is an unexpected snag.  I have never had this problem before, and purchased all of my current kit this way from Adorama/B&H.  Any ideas here?  Will Adorama/B&H negotiate sub-MAP prices by phone?  I know that a few weeks ago, pre-MAP enforcement,  their prices were considerably lower.

Thanks again for all of the advice.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Help me upgrade my 550d
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:24:10 AM »
OP here again:

Have you experimented with bounce flash, light modifiers (bounce card, etc.), etc.  to get better low light performance? An external flash can create pleasing light if you know how to use it.

Canon's EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is supposed to have better autofocus than the Sigma.

Yes I have.  At the moment I am making fairly heavy use of bounced flash indoors to avoid using high ISO.  It is not always practical though, e.g. if I am not at home and don't have the flash.  It is also distracting sometimes for kids and they decide to come over and stick their fingers on the lens.

So I think your 550d focus issues possibly come from your lens (sigma? not surprising) and possibly technique. With both of my rebels my hit rates are north of 80 percent, and thats for fast moving people in the street with endless variety of lighting conditions.

Hit rate is no problem for still objects, but it struggles in cases where someone is moving (usually quickly) straight towards me / erratically etc.  I have done a lot of experimenting in case that it is operator error, and I am fairly confident that I am doing as well as could reasonably be hoped.  The hit rate with the Sigma is lower than with the others (in any situation), but the AF performance (specifically AI servo) is a general issue.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Help me upgrade my 550d
« on: November 12, 2012, 03:04:29 PM »
Hi again, OP here:

Sincere thanks all for the advice.  I am of course convinced that the 5DIII is the better body, but I confess that I was a little surprised by the unanimity of opinion. 

I'm hesitating because with the 5DIII I would end up with just the 24-105 f4, 70-200 f4, and a 50mm prime.  With the 7D I could get the body and also a few primes (28 and 100 say), with cash to spare.  (Realistically I might buy even more lenses, leaving no cash to spare...)

Is the 5D option really so much better in low light that it offsets the slower f4 24-105, bearing in mind that much of my use would be indoors? 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Help me upgrade my 550d
« on: November 11, 2012, 11:53:57 AM »

Hi all,

I am looking for some advice about upgrading my current camera.  Here's what I have at the moment:

Canon 550d, 50mm f1.4, 70-200 f4 L IS, 430EX II flash, Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS

I am interested primarily in portraits / people (maybe 80%), about 3/4 of which is of my 3 year old daughter.  The rest is mostly travel.  I do not do any wildlife, sports etc, that have special requirements.  A 3 year old is a fairly high-speed object with erratic movement though.

There are two reasons for upgrading.  The first is that the autofocus of the 550d struggles with fast moving subjects (i.e. children).  The second (less important) reason is that low light performance of the camera could be better.  I am generally happy up to about ISO 800, but after that it degrades rapidly.  I have also found the performance of the 17-50 disappointing, but I think this is because the AF system is particularly ill-behaved with this lens; the keeper rate is lower (maybe 60%), and there is fairly consistent back-focus which I can't correct.  I generally do not print anything larger than 8x10.  I will occasionally shoot video, but nothing serious.

I am trying to decide between the 7D and a 5D III.   In the 7D case, I would stick with the 17-50 and hope for improved performance given the better AF system and AFMA.  In the 5d III case, I would sell the 17-50 and replace it with a 24-105 f4.  I live in central Europe and hope to buy something on my next trip to the US in about a month (delivered to a friend's house to collect).  For this reason, the 6d and 7d II / 70d (if they ever appear) are not options.   Prices here are much higher, and I will not be back to the US for at least a year after this trip.  I also tried a Nikon d600, but really didn't like the ergonomics, plus I don't want to dump everything and start again.

The 5d III offers everything I want of course and is FF, but the price is very high and the camera is basically overkill for my purposes.  I don't care so much about the super robust build, dual card slots etc, and would gladly pay less to give up these features.   In this case I only have sufficient budget to buy the kit with the 24-105, which would leave me with a 3 lens configuration (50 1.4, 24-105 f4 and 70-200 f4), which will not actually be taking advantage of some of the camera's AF capability, and moving from the 17-50 f2.8 to the 24-105 f4 partially offsets the ISO improvements.   I can get the 5dIII + 24-105 kit for about 3750 USD.  That's not from an authorised dealer, but I don't care because I won't be in the US to return it anyway if it breaks.  I can recover ~450 USD by selling the 17-50 in this case, so say 3300 USD net.

The 7d is maybe a more logical choice for me, since it is a lot cheaper and addresses the more important AF concern.  However, I am not keen on buying something that is about to be replaced by a newer model.  It also has the same sensor as my 550d, so presumably the same low-light performance. The video capability is somewhat worse.  Refurbs go for about 1200 USD on occasion.  Given that that is about 2000 USD cheaper than the 5d III option, I would also consider buying some additional lenses;  probably the 24-105 f4 anyway (I realize not a popular crop choice, but the range I like most on crop), and an 85 f1.8 or 100 f2.  Even with those two added to the purchase, the total cost is several hundred dollars lower.

I'm grateful for any advice or other ideas.


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