Discussion -- Accessories Reviews

ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark.Administrators Posts: 21,584 moderator
edited December 9, 2005 in Accessories
Greetings,

I've added a sticky "reviews" thread.

What I'd like to do is gather comments and suggestions in this thread and
periodically incorporate them into the reviews. The idea is to keep a separate
discussion going here.

This is my first attempt at this so go easy :D

If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to start a discussion.

Cheers,
Ian
Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?

Comments

  • SeamusSeamus Reading is hard Registered Users Posts: 1,607 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2005
    Lens sharpness / IS
    Just to start the ball rolling Ian,

    I was out this afternoon and took over 100 photos. All of the photos I took of birds in flight were out of focus and had to be deleted. I didn't have a tripod or monopod with me. I left them at home. I set the aperature speed as high as I could but didn't get a good one.

    I am using a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens. When a shot was in focus it was sharp. Eg:

    16840484-L.jpg


    This shot was taken while resting on a fence post.
    This is a long introduction to my question. Would IS have made a difference. If you wish post examples.

    I also wondered if sometimes a lens gets a bad reputation as being soft when a contributory factor is bad technique? as in my case where I couldn't handhold the camera properly?

    Shay.
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2005
    A lot of things can contribute to a photo with an unsharp look.
    • bayer interpolation: cmos and ccd sensors interpolate the pixels giving a blurry look to unsharpened photos
    • Poor focus point selection: e.g. Using center focus when the subject is off to the side
    • Motion blur: slow shutter speed and active subjects
    • camera shake: slow shutter speed and or large focal length
    • diffraction blurring: small aperture (e.g. f/22)
    • focus failure: low contrast scene, low light conditions not giving the focus system enough contrast to lock onto.
    • low contrast conditions: gray overcast day with poor quality shadows and highlights, poor contrast doesn't look as sharp.
    • Equipment failure: focus system consistently back or front focusing
    • A combination of any and all of the above.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2005
    shay wrote:
    This shot was taken while resting on a fence post.
    This is a long introduction to my question. Would IS have made a difference.
    Dunno. A fence post, coupled with either the shutter on the timer or a remote release, is pretty stable. I had asked on the Rob Galbraith forums if the rule of "1 over focal length" applied to long distances. At 50mm I can hand-hold a portrait at 1/60 a second, but what if I have that same lens and shutter speed for a mountain landscape 5 miles away? I got varying answers as to whether that would work. About the only useful thing I learned was there was a reason why landscape is done with tripods and medium and large format cameras.

    What was your focal length, shutter and aperture for that shot?
    I also wondered if sometimes a lens gets a bad reputation as being soft when a contributory factor is bad technique?
    Without a doubt it happens.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • SeamusSeamus Reading is hard Registered Users Posts: 1,607 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2005
    The exif:


    Date Taken:2005-03-03 14:47:59Date Digitized:2005-03-03 14:47:59Date Modified:2005-03-03 17:57:11Make:CanonModel: Canon EOS 20D Size: 2544x1696 Bytes: 1664894 Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 70mm (guess: 75mm in 35mm) Exposure Time: 0.0031s (1/320)Flash:Flash did not fire, compulsory flash modeExposure Program:Normal programExposure Bias:0ColorSpace:sRGB


    I am very curious about the whole IS thing. I bought the Sigma because it was €1400 cheaper than the Canon 70-200 f2.8 is. My next lens is probably going to be the Canon 400 5.6 but for around the same price I can get the 300 f4 IS. With a 1.4 extender I get 400 5.6 and IS. A very favourable review of the 400:

    http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/forgotten-400.shtml

    I am starting to think that taking pictures is like shooting. Never shoot standing if you can help it. Find something to lean against or lug a tripod.
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited March 15, 2005
    Shay, are you asking why your bird shots were blurry?

    If so, I can think of a couple of reasons, and IS wouldn't help in either case. The first problem might be a too slow shutter speed. You're panning across the sky and traking the birds. Unless you have a really fast shutter speed, or have perfectly matched the birds' speed, you're likely to get blur.

    The second reason might be that your camera/lens simply didn't autofocus on the birds. If your aperature was at 5.6 and the birds were only in a small portion of your frame, there's a good chance your camera got confused and tried to focus on the sky. BTDT

    I'm learning that autofocus works best with really wide aperatures. And that panning with slow shutter speeds is a skill. I suspect both played a part in your bad shots.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited April 8, 2005
    shay wrote:
    Just to start the ball rolling Ian,

    I was out this afternoon and took over 100 photos. All of the photos I took of birds in flight were out of focus and had to be deleted. I didn't have a tripod or monopod with me. I left them at home. I set the aperature speed as high as I could but didn't get a good one.

    I am using a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens. When a shot was in focus it was sharp. Eg:

    16840484-M.jpg


    This shot was taken while resting on a fence post.
    This is a long introduction to my question. Would IS have made a difference. If you wish post examples.

    I also wondered if sometimes a lens gets a bad reputation as being soft when a contributory factor is bad technique? as in my case where I couldn't handhold the camera properly?

    Shay.

    Of course, any great lens can be used to create a poor, blurry image through poor photographic technique. Michael Reichman on The Luminous Landscape writes at length how, as digital cameras and lenses resolution continues to increase, the demands on the technical skills of the photographers increase also to make full use of the capabilities of the better sensors.

    Shay, I think IS is a great advance in telephoto lens technology. For a modest sum, IS allows you to shoot in far lower light, ( much cheaper and much lighter than building two fstop faster lenses optically), and allows much slower shutter speeds as a result.
    For example, this poor shot of a robin was shot resting on a bench this evening after sundown, at f9 and 1/13th of a second. The lens focal length is 700mm. That's right, 700mm at 1/13th of a second. I did use a Better Beamer at -2/3s EC to brighten things up a bit. But the basic exposure was available light. 1/13 sec at 700mm. Do you think I could have done that handheld without IS? Check the lack of a secondary image in the feathers and the eye. The beak is blurry due to movement of the beak from singing while the shutter was open. 1/13th second......

    19223091-L.jpg

    Is IS necessary for landscape photography? - probably not - but it sure is great for teles and wildlife shots.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,584 moderator
    edited April 9, 2005
    What camera did you take that shot with? I can't remember. Is it a 20d?

    ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited April 9, 2005
    ian408 wrote:
    What camera did you take that shot with? I can't remember. Is it a 20d?

    ian


    I am not sure who you are asking Ian. Shay's profile lists a 20D. I was shooting with a 1 Series Canon.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,584 moderator
    edited April 9, 2005
    pathfinder wrote:
    I am not sure who you are asking Ian. Shay's profile lists a 20D. I was shooting with a 1 Series Canon.
    Sorry, I meant yours.

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2005
    spare parts
    a while ago i lost a little rubber foot to my manfrotto tripod. no biggie, but i want to replace it. i found their phone number for parts, added it to ian's info thread above. pkg of 3, $2.75. prolly a good thing to just 'have' around.

    andy
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,584 moderator
    edited August 15, 2005
    andy wrote:
    a while ago i lost a little rubber foot to my manfrotto tripod. no biggie, but i want to replace it. i found their phone number for parts, added it to ian's info thread above. pkg of 3, $2.75. prolly a good thing to just 'have' around.

    andy

    Sweet. I need one for the monopod--ground the original through. Now it's
    got dirt inside :(
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2005
    andy wrote:
    a while ago i lost a little rubber foot to my manfrotto tripod. no biggie, but i want to replace it. i found their phone number for parts, added it to ian's info thread above. pkg of 3, $2.75. prolly a good thing to just 'have' around.

    andy

    my spare parts just arrived from bogen :D they told me about a month, they were out of them... very cool, now i have one to replace, and two more i can lose lol3.gif
  • DaniDani ZOMG! Registered Users Posts: 807 Major grins
    edited December 9, 2005
    A suggestion....

    you should add some resources for good tripod heads and camera/lens plates to that section as well....

    heres a few good links

    Thom Hogan article on support
    http://www.bythom.com/support.htm

    Really Right Stuff: ballheads, L-plates and other inovative products.. plus lots of great information
    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

    Kirk Photo: ballheads, L-plates etc
    http://www.kirkphoto.com/

    others to include would be Markins, Arca Swiss and Arcatech maybe?
    Dani

    20D | 300D-IR | EF-S 10-22 | EF-S 18-55 | 50 f/1.8 II | 70-200 f/4L | 17-40L | Lensbaby 2.0 | 250D | 550ex | Gitzo 1257 | RRS BH-40 | RRS L-plates

    The Blog | The Photos
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,584 moderator
    edited December 9, 2005
    Thanks Dani!

    I'll take a look at that later this weekend.

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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