April 23, 2014, 05:56:20 AM

Author Topic: 7DII and D400 Specs  (Read 22943 times)

jrista

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2013, 12:27:24 PM »
Jrista, I never said the version 2 is the same lens with some updates. 

Well, I quote (underline emphasis added to clarify):

What we're really talking about here, is a lens going from approximately $8,000, to $13,000. 

I don't know any other way to read that than to mean you consider the 600/4 IS II to effectively be the same lens as the 600/4 IS, and thus account for a "a lens going from approximately $8000 to $13000". The 600/4 IS II has only ever had a single price in USD...$12,999. It was never introduced at $8000. The 600/4 IS was also introduced at $12,999, and after a period of some years did it drop to around $8000, and $4500-6500 on the used market.

By your logic, the next leap forward in price, given inflation and the supposed added costs of R&D, for a version 3 lens a decade from now, would be...what?  $45,000?  Or rather, in terms of what the dollar will actually be worth at that time...$1 trillion?

The price will be whatever the market can bear 10-15 years from now, factoring inflation and a countless number of other factors. Canon obviously does not believe the market can bear an increased price for the 600 II, and given that the conversion rate between dollars and yen is very similar to what it was a decade ago right now, it seems to think $12,9999 is the market bearing price. Assuming the only thing that changes over the next 10-15 years is USD inflation, the exchange rate with the yen changes accordingly, then the price could be around $16,500-$18,000. If key commodities increase in price, such as magnesium, titanium (base metals) increase in price considerably (which is not an unlikely scenario, given how much more we use these high end materials in more and more products consumed by greater and greater populations), then I don't think it would be all that surprising for the price of the lens to reach as high as $20,000 in another decade.

There are so many other factors that could affect price as well. Worker wages (these lenses are hand made once the key parts like lens elements and barrel parts are manufactured...all assembly is entirely done by hand) could play a key role in the price in the future. Import/Export taxes, regulations by any major country that these lenses are sold in, etc. etc. could all have an impact on the price in the future. The world is a regulatory beast these days...consumers and corporations bear a very burdensome cost of high regulation in most major countries, and that has a measurable impact on the cost of products like this. If the world ever finds it's financial footing again (an outcome I highly doubt, fools run everything these days), we could experience a deflationary period that would normalize the world to a previous state of fiat currency value, inflation, regulation, etc. which would allow future prices to be the same as or cheaper than they are today. If the opposite occurs, prices could be far higher. If hyperinflation occurs in a few countries, which isn't implausible or even all that unlikely given the financial state of so many countries, prices could skyrocket, and who knows what things might cost...$100,000, a million, several million...for a lens like the hypothetical 600 III?

What rare earth metals are used in the manufacture of these lenses?  Is a lot of platinum or palladium used?  Cerium, perhaps for polishing?  I assume lanthanum is used, perhaps for coatings...has the price of these skyrocketed recently?  I wonder how much of the actual cost to manufacture a lens, goes for rare earth elements?  I doubt it's all that high of a percentage.  Aside from R&D, the cost usually goes to energy, tooling and labor...especially since these aren't made by industrial slaves in China.

Rare earth and precious metals are used a lot more these days in high tech electronics, circuitry, etc. I don't think platinum or palladium are used, the primary industrial use for those metals is automobiles. Gold is usually used for extra-die wiring and interconnects, bus wiring, non-corrosive interface connections, etc. DSLR's are PACKED with electronics, and while the total volume of commodity metals (even including base metals like copper, usually used for on-die interconnect wiring in sensors and DSPs and other high performance ICs) is very small...a gram at most probably...the cost of precious metals like Gold and a wide variety of rare earth metals have increased by a factor of ten or more over the last decade. China was the primary producer of REMs until they decided to stop exporting them, keeping the vast majority of their production for use within their own borders.

There are some other REM miners outside of China, but not many. The primary use for such metals is in the manufacture of CFL and LED bulbs, and with the recent laws that have fully taken effect in the US to move from Tungsten to more energy efficient bulbs, the consumption of rare earth metals has skyrocketed while the supply and suppliers has plummeted. Molly Corp, a US corporation based in California, is the largest miner of REMs outside of China to replace the supply, but they have had a number of struggles. If struggles to mine REMs continue, the price of those commodities could continue to rise...and for some of them, the price is 20, 50, even as much as 80 times more than they were a decade ago.

I am not arguing that the new lenses aren't worth the current asking price.  However, if that price ever comes down, what does that mean?  Does that mean they were really worth whatever the market could bear, and after the newness wears off, the market can't bear so much?  How much money, is enough for you?  Will you ever have enough?  I don't think I'll ever have enough disposable income to collect a full set of supertelephoto lenses like many seem to do, but you never know.  I'm happy for you that you can.  Not all of us can.

First, the price will remain high so long as the demand is there. From what I understand, when you order one of these lenses, it can be months before you actually get it, because they are in such huge demand that they cannot be manufactured fast enough, and all assembly and testing of each lens is done by hand. There is a pretty long waiting list for all of the new Mark II lenses (although a bit less so for the 300 and 400, as they hit the street a year earlier.) When all of the key consumers and professionals have their copy, demand will drop, probably rather precipitously, and the rebates will start to fly at that point.

The primary trigger for a significant drop in official price is when the R&D costs have been recouped for a given lens design. The 600 II costs $12,999 right now because it is in demand and Canon needs to recoup the costs involved in making it a significantly better lens than it's predecessor. When the current circumstances end, the price should drop. I wouldn't be surprised to see it hit $8,999 within three years. So long as Canon can make a reasonable profit and keep customers interested, the price will be as high as it can be. There is a certain amount of customer expectation in price, but ultimately they end up being what the market will bear. Everyone expected the price of the 5D III to be $2700. So many were surprised when it hit the street at $3500...but it is still selling like hotcakes, and sells even better when there are dips into the $3000 range. The market was certainly able to  bear the $3500 price tag. It is still able to bear the $3000 price tag. Canon needs to recoup their R&D costs for their new line of DSLRs. Once they have, the official price of the 5D III will drop, maybe $2999. It's just how things work.
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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2013, 12:27:24 PM »

Hydrogen

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #76 on: March 23, 2013, 09:51:44 PM »
jrista -

I would love to see a 100% crop of the pine branch the red morph is perched upon.  From here it is hard to tell, but the branch appears to be sharper than the bird.  Possible missed/front-focus?

Regarding the use of teleconverters on APS-C. I use them. Hell, I've used teleconverters with both the EF 300mm f/2.8 L II and the EF 500mm f/4 L II on my 7D. I use both the 1.4x and 2x, and if Canon made a 1.7x, I'd use that too. Primes frequently have far more to offer from an IQ standpoint than sensors do. A lot of people complain about how "soft" the 7D is...that is true, sometimes...when using older lenses. Slap on pretty much ANY Mark II lens on a 7D, and that "soft" disappears, replaced by some of the sharpest detail you've ever seen. The Canon 18.1mp APS-C sensor is a good sensor...however it is a very, very high density sensor. If you use inferior glass with it, all the flaws OF THE GLASS are revealed. The only real drawback of the 7D is noise, and then, only at ISO settings above 2500 (and even then, with the increasing availability of advanced noise removal tools, such as Topaz DeNoise 5 (which has stellar random noise removal AND debanding!), high ISO noise is becoming less and less of a problem.)


To put some images behind my claims. Below are two photos of House Finches. One is the normal red morph, the other an orange morph. Same bird, otherwise, same size (maybe a slight size benefit to the orange morph) with the same amount of base detail...feathers, beak, eye. Both of these were shot at pretty much the same distance (around 7 feet...red morph maybe a few inches farther), ISO, and aperture, although the red one was up in a tree so my focal plane was shifted a bit, thus slightly blurring the top of its head and the back of its right wing. The body feathers and beaks are in focus on both birds. Both birds were positioned within the same rough area of the lens...slightly off center towards the upper left corner. Both full-scene images below are cropped to roughly the same area (few pixels difference in width and height).

Both photos shot with my 7D, ISO 400, f/6.3, in my backyard. The red morph was shot with my EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS lens with a full stop of additional light at twice the shutter speed (1/1600s, which should be an IQ advantage!) The orange morph was shot with a rented EF 500mm f/4 L IS II. Both lenses had AFMA adjustments for this body.

Here are the full images, scaled down to 900 pixels. Even at this level, you can see the difference in quality between the two photos can be seen. The orange morph is sharper and clearer (probably thanks to better microcontrast.)




At 100% crop (1:1 zoom, PIXEL PEEPING for all you pixel peepers!), the difference in IQ is beyond clear. The 100-400mm lens produces far softer results (even ignoring the slightly out of focus crest on the red morph). This kind of softness is what I've come to expect from the 100-400mm lens at less than f/8, and beyond f/8 diffraction again softens the image. (There is roughly the same amount of noise in both photos. It is more apparent in the red morph due to the increased lens softness, which blurs detail but does NOT blur noise. Clear, sharp detail tends to trump noise. ;) The background in the red morph also provides a greater area of <= 18% gray tone, where noise becomes most apparent...the orange morph has a greater area of pixels > 18% tone.)




Scaled down to web size, the red morph photo is good enough. Most people won't notice the slight softness. From a print standpoint, I probably would not print the red morph photo, however the orange morph photo is definitely printable. It is not only printable, it could also easily be blown up two, maybe three times larger, and still be high quality, even higher quality than the red morph photo printed at original size!


I think the visual evidence speaks to itself regarding the sharpness and quality of, say, the EF 300mm f/2.8 L II lens (or any Mark II telephoto lens from Canon.) Canon is not releasing new lenses for the bulk of their lens lineup just for the heck of it. They are releasing new lenses to support their DSLR business for the next decade or two! The addition of IS or throwing in a Fluorite element here and there in the past were only minor updates on decades-old lens designs, and the impact to MTF charts was always minor. This is the first time since Canon introduced the EF mount that they are radically redesigning their L-series lenses to not only be lighter and more ergonomically ideal, but to significantly improve the MTF (resolving power/IQ) of each, as well as improve the AF circuitry to support much more advanced AF units that have found their way into the 1D X and 5D III (and, hopefully, the 7D II). In the past, even some of Canon's best lenses were still only in the range of 0.7 to 0.8 at best, and a bare few ever approached the vaunted 1.0 (the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L  comes to mind as the prime example). The lenses released over the last few years, as well as those yet to be released or updated, all produce or will most likely produce MTFs well above 0.9 at best, and the Mark II telephoto lenses all approach 1.0 from center to nearly the edge.

I have no doubt in my mind that Canon is paving the way for 24mp+ APS-C sensors and 60-70mp FF sensors down the road. An extensive lens-lineup upgrade like they are doing is not just on a whim...they NEED the improvements to support the future DSLR, and a 24mp 7D II is probably only the beginning. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to a 24mp APS-C pro-grade camera from Canon. If they manage to achieve similar ISO gains as the 1D X has, it will be an astonishing camera indeed. At 10fps w/ a 61pt AF system on the 7D II, Nikon...who as of yet has not shown much interest in updating the bulk of their lens lineup to support their 24mp APS-C sensors or 36mp FF sensors, won't have anything that will solidly compete with it!
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Hydrogen

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #77 on: March 23, 2013, 09:54:07 PM »
jrista -

I would love to see a 100% crop of the pine branch the red morph is perched upon.  From here it is hard to tell, but the branch appears to be sharper than the bird.  Possible missed/front-focus?

Appears to be the tip of the pine branch is sharper...
5D Mark III | 1D Mark III | 20D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 28 f/1.8 | 35 f/1.4L | 50 f/1.4 | 85 f/1.8 | 580ex | 430ex | 420ex

jrista

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2013, 09:12:41 PM »
jrista -

I would love to see a 100% crop of the pine branch the red morph is perched upon.  From here it is hard to tell, but the branch appears to be sharper than the bird.  Possible missed/front-focus?

Appears to be the tip of the pine branch is sharper...

It was most likely wind, although the birds breast feathers are only a few millimeters more distant than the closest pine needles. I have plenty of other shots that demonstrate the difference. Even if I dig out my sharpest 100-400mm shot, it still won't be as sharp as the shot from the 500mm L II. Just looking at the MTFs will tell you that, of course...the 500's is nearly perfect, while the 100-400's is most definitely not.

I can try digging out some other examples if you want.
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garyknrd

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2013, 05:23:54 AM »
I agree, I have the 300 II and 500 II and only just switched to the Mark IV for AF. I Have been telling the guys on another forum that these lenses were designed for high MP sensors. It is simply amazing. If i had the AF of the IDX in a 7D I would never of changed to the mark IV. It is simply stunning with the 7D. I have never seen anything like it. I am waiting on the next 7d II. It will revolutionize birding with the new lenses. Period.
The people who have never shot the new Super telephoto's with the 7D just do not realize how good the glass is.
The 1DX and 5DIII are not the best these lenses can do by a long way. The 7D has shown me these lenses are ready for big high MP sensors.
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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #80 on: May 30, 2013, 05:08:33 AM »
Sharpness comparisons r interesting up to a point. Looking at a National Geo book of "Simply Beautiful Pictures" are hundreds of fantastic shots and not one of them is nearly as encumbered as the shots of the back yard birds with the notion that pixels are more important than the context as described by the author which includes light, moment, subject etc. In fact the first few pages are literally filled with what beginners and neophytes and those captivated by the cost of a lens believe are completely dull shots because there is no sharpness involved. None of the pictures of sharp shots can be found at the Smithsonian. Now they may appear after much digital editing in a magazine for emphasis. But to buy a lens based on its apparent sharpness is to lose the efforts of photography and make no use of ones skills and talents. If it were than merely spending money would encapsulate the total equation of "superior" shots. It ain't that at all.

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Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« Reply #80 on: May 30, 2013, 05:08:33 AM »