September 17, 2014, 05:57:56 AM

Author Topic: Can a 7D do Landscapes?  (Read 21800 times)

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2011, 10:01:23 PM »
Friedmud, thanks so much for sharing your thorough analysis with all of us!  I too do a lot of landscape shooting with my 7D so what you have shared is very valuable  to me.  Also, thanks for including your camera settings and PP steps.  As many others I've also been following all these recent 7D threads and trying to learn/understand as much as I can.  My 7D is my only body, someday I'll add likely a 5D3.

A few questions:

  • Why did you manual focus instead of auto focus on a specific point?
  • Did you use live view to assist with manual focus?
  • Why the 2 second delay and locked shutter?  Were you just trying to be ultra conservative for testing purposes?

Again, thanks for your time and sharing

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2011, 10:01:23 PM »

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2011, 10:06:30 PM »
oh i also forgot to mention if you enter a discount code when you buy topaz you get 15% off
I used stuckincustoms when i got mine, I think its the same now but lots of websites have their own discount referal codes, I think they get a little kick back from topaz but the 15% discount makes it pretty good value IMO

Thanks for the discount tip!

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2011, 10:55:10 PM »
Friedmud, thanks so much for sharing your thorough analysis with all of us!  I too do a lot of landscape shooting with my 7D so what you have shared is very valuable  to me.  Also, thanks for including your camera settings and PP steps.  As many others I've also been following all these recent 7D threads and trying to learn/understand as much as I can.  My 7D is my only body, someday I'll add likely a 5D3.

A few questions:

  • Why did you manual focus instead of auto focus on a specific point?
  • Did you use live view to assist with manual focus?
  • Why the 2 second delay and locked shutter?  Were you just trying to be ultra conservative for testing purposes?

Again, thanks for your time and sharing

I compose the shot I want with the camera mounted on my tripod.  Then to focus perfectly (either from hyperfocal or to achieve some other goal) I want to focus within that composition on a particular point.  There is no way to do that with AF without moving the camera (which I don't want to do because it's already in the "perfect" position).  So manual focus is what you want.

Yep, Live View is the way to go for manual focusing.  I pop into live view, zoom all the way in on what I want to focus on, then manually focus until it's sharp.  Then drop out of live view.

The two second delay works together with mirror lockup.  The idea is to have _zero_ vibrations in the camera when the shutter releases, so you can get the sharpest possible photo.  Mirror lockup puts the mirror in the "up" position long before the shutter fires, ensuring that there are no vibrations from the mirror movement when the image is captured. 

If you just use mirror lockup by itself, the first time you press the shutter release it will put e mirror up - then you press it again to actually release thhe shutter.  However, when you have the camera in 2 second delay mode (or you use a remote with a delay) the mirror will lockup when you press the shutter release and then 2 seconds later the shutter will automatically release.

What this does is give ample time for there to be no vibrations or other movement of the camera when the shutter is released... which means no chance for _any_ blurring of the picture through camera movement.

One more thing to point out: turn Image Stabilization OFF!  IS will actually cause a slight blurring when mounted on a tripod.  This is NOT conjecture.  If you remove all other sources of vibrations and you do a test with IS on or Off it is easy to see.

This is not just the way I shot these tests.  This is actually the way I always shoot with a tripod.

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2011, 11:10:24 PM »

I compose the shot I want with the camera mounted on my tripod.  Then to focus perfectly (either from hyperfocal or to achieve some other goal) I want to focus within that composition on a particular point.  There is no way to do that with AF without moving the camera (which I don't want to do because it's already in the "perfect" position).  So manual focus is what you want.

Yep, Live View is the way to go for manual focusing.  I pop into live view, zoom all the way in on what I want to focus on, then manually focus until it's sharp.  Then drop out of live view.

The two second delay works together with mirror lockup.  The idea is to have _zero_ vibrations in the camera when the shutter releases, so you can get the sharpest possible photo.  Mirror lockup puts the mirror in the "up" position long before the shutter fires, ensuring that there are no vibrations from the mirror movement when the image is captured. 


Thanks for the quick response

I do use mirror lockup with a 2 sec delay and the RC6 remote when shooting the moon.  I use my 70-200 F4 IS (without IS of course) and my 1.4x Extender.  I've never though of using it for day time landscapes.

Just curious why you don't use a single AF point with manual positioning.  I must admit I have a hard time manually focusing with this camera--of course I'm at the age where your close up vision goes to crap.  The one thing I do not like about the 7D is non user changeable focus screens.  I do miss the old SLR split prisms.  I know there are 3rd party ones out there but I'm not really comfortable changing it out.

BTW, I love your shots!  I grew not too far from there, on the Idaho side.

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 11:14:11 PM »

I compose the shot I want with the camera mounted on my tripod.  Then to focus perfectly (either from hyperfocal or to achieve some other goal) I want to focus within that composition on a particular point.  There is no way to do that with AF without moving the camera (which I don't want to do because it's already in the "perfect" position).  So manual focus is what you want.

Yep, Live View is the way to go for manual focusing.  I pop into live view, zoom all the way in on what I want to focus on, then manually focus until it's sharp.  Then drop out of live view.

The two second delay works together with mirror lockup.  The idea is to have _zero_ vibrations in the camera when the shutter releases, so you can get the sharpest possible photo.  Mirror lockup puts the mirror in the "up" position long before the shutter fires, ensuring that there are no vibrations from the mirror movement when the image is captured. 


Thanks for the quick response

I do use mirror lockup with a 2 sec delay and the RC6 remote when shooting the moon.  I use my 70-200 F4 IS (without IS of course) and my 1.4x Extender.  I've never though of using it for day time landscapes.

Just curious why you don't use a single AF point with manual positioning.  I must admit I have a hard time manually focusing with this camera--of course I'm at the age where your close up vision goes to crap.  The one thing I do not like about the 7D is non user changeable focus screens.  I do miss the old SLR split prisms.  I know there are 3rd party ones out there but I'm not really comfortable changing it out.

BTW, I love your shots!  I grew not too far from there, on the Idaho side.

Choosing a single AF point didn't work so well on my XSi ;-)

On the 7D it is definitely more of a possibility... but when I'm taking that much time and care to get the shot I want... I want it to be _perfect_ (hence the reason for my "Earthshattering" post from last week ;-)

Where at in Idaho?  I'm living near Idaho Falls right now myself.  Haven't been here too long... but I'm loving it.  It truly is a nature photographer's dream!

unfocused

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2100
    • View Profile
    • Unfocused: A photo website
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2011, 11:19:48 PM »
I glad you are happier with the 7D now.

My take-away: buy from B&H or Adorama. No hassle returning or exchanging.
pictures sharp. life not so much. www.unfocusedmg.com

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4480
  • POTATO
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2011, 11:24:49 PM »
@RC: Automatic focus isn't particularly useful in landscapes. For the most part (and there are some exceptions), you want a deep DOF, so the entire scene is in focus. There really isn't anything specific to focus on, so AF usually just gets in the way.

More specifically, when photographing a landscape, focus is more about the art of compromise as much as anything. You really can't get *everything* in focus, so you have to fine-tune focus for the selected DOF to get as much of the entire field of view as sharp as possible, without losing too much on the front or back. The only way to do that is with manual focus. Better yet, the ideal way to do that is with dedicated manual focus lenses with a nice, long focus throw, so fine adjustments are easy. (AF lenses tend to have very short focus throw, as it helps them focus less precisely faster.)

In the heydays of large format, you had a REAL NICE, HUGE ground glass screen to compose and focus your shot with. It was 4"x5", maybe 8"x10", clear and easy to see focus. The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well. Its many times larger than the largest viewfinders, clearer, brighter in most cases (OLED screens are even bright in direct sunlight), and usually more capable. With most Live View features on DSLR's today, you can zoom in and focus to a pixel-perfect level at various locations of a landscape scene, and never have to worry that some part of your photo may be out of focus, or that it was focused clearly on the wrong thing.
My Photography
Current Gear: Canon 5D III | Canon 7D | Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II | EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS | EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L | EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro | 50mm f/1.4
New Gear List: SBIG STT-8300M | Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2011, 11:24:49 PM »

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2011, 11:38:48 PM »
...Choosing a single AF point didn't work so well on my XSi ;-)

On the 7D it is definitely more of a possibility... but when I'm taking that much time and care to get the shot I want... I want it to be _perfect_ (hence the reason for my "Earthshattering" post from last week ;-)

Where at in Idaho?  I'm living near Idaho Falls right now myself.  Haven't been here too long... but I'm loving it.  It truly is a nature photographer's dream!

Thanks for the clarification.  I'll shoot you an "offline message" regarding my Idaho and current location

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2011, 11:47:39 PM »
@RC: Automatic focus isn't particularly useful in landscapes. For the most part (and there are some exceptions), you want a deep DOF, so the entire scene is in focus. There really isn't anything specific to focus on, so AF usually just gets in the way.

More specifically, when photographing a landscape, focus is more about the art of compromise as much as anything. You really can't get *everything* in focus, so you have to fine-tune focus for the selected DOF to get as much of the entire field of view as sharp as possible, without losing too much on the front or back. The only way to do that is with manual focus. Better yet, the ideal way to do that is with dedicated manual focus lenses with a nice, long focus throw, so fine adjustments are easy. (AF lenses tend to have very short focus throw, as it helps them focus less precisely faster.)

In the heydays of large format, you had a REAL NICE, HUGE ground glass screen to compose and focus your shot with. It was 4"x5", maybe 8"x10", clear and easy to see focus. The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well. Its many times larger than the largest viewfinders, clearer, brighter in most cases (OLED screens are even bright in direct sunlight), and usually more capable. With most Live View features on DSLR's today, you can zoom in and focus to a pixel-perfect level at various locations of a landscape scene, and never have to worry that some part of your photo may be out of focus, or that it was focused clearly on the wrong thing.

Thanks jrista for the additional information.  I'm going to try this technique out this week.   I probably put too much trust in AF and assuming I'm getting hyper-focal distance with a smaller aperture.

Edwin Herdman

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 543
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2011, 11:53:11 PM »
RE: 7D landscapes?

I'll find out soon enough, I suppose - I finally have a 7D on order after finding one at an amazing price (not new, but near the $1K price mentioned earlier, and this one WILL be shipping).  I shot many landscapes on the T1i, though, with its noisy chroma, and didn't have too much trouble so I don't anticipate much trouble here either.  A 5D would be better for that but I need the resolution (and density) more.

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2011, 12:59:27 AM »
The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well.

The serious landscapers I have met carry around a 17inch laptop and tether it to the body. That is why there are so many backpacks with laptop compartments .....

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2011, 01:15:27 AM »
The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well.

The serious landscapers I have met carry around a 17inch laptop and tether it to the body. That is why there are so many backpacks with laptop compartments .....

An ipad with the camera connection kit works pretty well as well... I carry one with me to review photos in the field.

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2011, 01:40:37 AM »
The direct equivalent today would be like having a small TV attached to your DSLR, however Live View serves this purpose extremely well.

The serious landscapers I have met carry around a 17inch laptop and tether it to the body. That is why there are so many backpacks with laptop compartments .....

Can you use LiveView with an iPad?

An ipad with the camera connection kit works pretty well as well... I carry one with me to review photos in the field.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2011, 01:40:37 AM »

dtaylor

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 712
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2011, 02:02:33 AM »
Short Answer: Yes!

Congratulations on giving the 7D an honest run and discovering what it can do! Good shots, good comparisons, and good analysis. Your detailed post can serve as a guideline to future 7D/60D/T2i owners.

A couple comments:

* I often use Local Contrast Enhancement on my photos. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/contrast-enhancement.shtml. I bring this up because this can also greatly increase the perception of sharpness and fine detail in some shots.

* Playing with an online DoF calculator is a great way to get a feel for what apertures are actually needed in different situations: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

* +1 on the LiveView focusing suggestion. I do it all the time. This also helps to achieve the optimum combination of focus and aperture as you can scroll around the scene and use DoF preview. Doing this rather than blindly stopping down can create a greater difference in fine detail then any difference between Canon's current APS-C and FF sensors.

I'm glad you took the effort to get the best out of the 7D. Enjoy it. Yes, eventually I think a >30 MP 5D3 will come out. But that could be a ways off and the 7D is a brilliant 24" - 30" print landscape camera in the mean time. You really could not get much more out of the 5D2 sensor for this purpose.

dtaylor

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 712
    • View Profile
Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2011, 02:07:07 AM »
I tried tons of aperutres and f/8 gave the best results (I gave one comparison in the OP).  In the case of Shot1 I simply just focused too closely to be able to get everything "in focus" without losing a ton of detail overrall.  With my old camera it was more forgiving in that regard... because of that I grew quite sloppy in my hyperfocusing technique... guess I'll have to be more careful in the future!

I'm surprised you even needed f/8. How far from the barn were you?

Quote
As for the tetons at sunset / sunrise: they are spectacular!

Nice shots. I especially like the first one.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Can a 7D do Landscapes?
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2011, 02:07:07 AM »