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Looking to buy DSLR. - Page 2

post #31 of 87



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post




I used to consider it a challenge to violate that rule, with mixed results.  When I got my 300 mm with IS I shot a group at 300 mm and 1/30th of a second.  I got good pictures on most of the shots, compared with zero without image stabilization.  Of course, with the price of digital film, we can play those games.  For anyone like me who started photography in the SLR fad of the '70s, modern gear is a fantasy come true.
 


Eh.  I don't worry about IS vs Non IS.  Those are game you Canikon folks have to play.  With my Sony, the IS is in the body so every lens is a IS lens.   :) 

 

I shoot way more wide angle stuff than telephoto, and when I'm doing that 99% of the time I'm on a tripod so it's all really moot...

 

Arches Sunrise

 

 

Valley of the Gods

 

Zion National Park

 

Menu Falls Zion National Park

post #32 of 87

I found a new 18-200 for $129 (after rebate).  Can you think of any downside to this?

post #33 of 87

That is one huge rebate.  I'm a big fan of the generic lenses.  They test well in the lab and cost far less than the brand name which are only incrementally better. I think the biggest reason people get the fancier lenses is status, not photo quality.

post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

That is one huge rebate.  I'm a big fan of the generic lenses.  They test well in the lab and cost far less than the brand name which are only incrementally better. I think the biggest reason people get the fancier lenses is status, not photo quality.


I respectfully disagree. Although it could all be in my mind, my Canon L is a better lens than it's Sigma equivalent. It the autofocus is quicker and sharper and the pictures are sharper in general. I am not saying that the Sigma took bad pictures, in fact they were quite good, but the L-lens IMO, was worth the expense, to the point where I would only purchase L-lens from here on.

post #35 of 87

The deal is for a Tamron.  My long telephoto is a Tamron and I've been happy with that for years.  In any event I ordered the 18-200 and downloaded the two rebates.  I'll let you know how it works when I get it next week. 

 

In looking at the reviews, the only gripe was slow focusing in low light.  Most of the folks just switched to manual in those cases and were happy.

post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post




I respectfully disagree. Although it could all be in my mind, my Canon L is a better lens than it's Sigma equivalent. It the autofocus is quicker and sharper and the pictures are sharper in general. I am not saying that the Sigma took bad pictures, in fact they were quite good, but the L-lens IMO, was worth the expense, to the point where I would only purchase L-lens from here on.

 

I'd guess the sharper images are mostly in your mind, while the autofocus speed and accuracy differences are not.  We are, however, wading into a complex field of techno-babble which can dwarf the most esoteric technique and equipment discussions this forum has ever produced.  Fun to read from time to time.  When you get into the tests, one lens is better for linear distortion, the next better for chromatic abberations, etc.  I don't really know what one can actually see in a photo.  Certainly, the pros can see this stuff better than me.

 

I know that for the conditions I shoot most (outside, with good light and high f-stop) the generic lenses are very comparable.  At the extremes, the differences are greater.  I also know that for my budget (not unlimited) I can have more toys if I don't go for the fanciest lens.  A friend of mine recently had a photo sell at an auction for about $2000.  He took it with a 4mp camera and a generic lens.  We do a lot of shooting on the same trips, and he always has better pictures than I do, so I must admit that until I really work at being a better photographer, I probably don't need fancier lenses.  I imagine most of us fall into that crowd.
 

post #37 of 87

newfy, I'd agree with you to a point.

My camera gear (a bit like my ski gear) is more technically capable than my skills. But, I have found that a prime lens will give noticeably better results than a zoom, and will force me to think more  about the shot. I also know that shots I've taken with a Sigma lens at 24mm f5.6 will be noticeably lower quality than the same image taken with a Canon at 24mm (to the extent that I'm selling the Sigma).

I'd sooner buy a second hand Canon L lens than a new lens from a different manufacturer.

The first two were taken with a 180mm prime with no IS, the last was with a 70-200mm zoom with IS. At small sizes the images look pretty similar quality, but if you look at the full size versions (click the links underneath), I think you'll see a difference.

 

4946694384_c9fa4498c6.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/psj_picdump/4946694384/sizes/o/in/photostream/

 

 

 4746633233_f0ea4db455.jpg

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/psj_picdump/4746633233/sizes/o/

 

4964568792_54c16fa21a.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/psj_picdump/4964568792/sizes/o/

post #38 of 87

 

The typical high school photo class project is to take a picture of a license plate at distance with a variety of lenses including zooms and primes, and then enlarge the photos so the license plate is the same size.  When I did this many years ago the results were favorable to a prime lens.   A decent 180mm prime will be sharper and more contrasty than a decent 80-200 zoom, and a 300mm prime should have a better image compared to a cheap 500mm f/8 mirror lens.  Of course, shooting in RAW includes the ability to "sharpen" images with RAW conversion software, making certain photos appear "sharper" regardless with what they are shot with.

 

A lens with IS will generally not test as well with the exact same lens w/o IS.  I guess this means tripods still don't suck.

 

Sigma is like most brands making pro quality and lesser quality lenses, both in terms of build and optical quality.  Some are better and better values than their name brand counterparts, and some are worse. Thank you Photozone for honestly testing so many lenses with no manufacturer advertisement $ to cloud their research.  Here is a link to lens testing for your Cannon:   http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview#canon_aps

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post

 But, I have found that a prime lens will give noticeably better results than a zoom, and will force me to think more  about the shot. I also know that shots I've taken with a Sigma lens at 24mm f5.6 will be noticeably lower quality than the same image taken with a Canon at 24mm (to the extent that I'm selling the Sigma).

I'd sooner buy a second hand Canon L lens than a new lens from a different manufacturer.

post #39 of 87

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post

I respectfully disagree. Although it could all be in my mind, my Canon L is a better lens than it's Sigma equivalent. It the autofocus is quicker and sharper and the pictures are sharper in general. I am not saying that the Sigma took bad pictures, in fact they were quite good, but the L-lens IMO, was worth the expense, to the point where I would only purchase L-lens from here on.


It depends about which lens you are talking. I have been using Sigma 70-200/2.8 for quite some time, and now I'm using Canon 70-200/2.8 (I switched because Canon CPS can offer few things Sigma can't). I used Sigma in same conditions as I still use Canon (considering I shoot sport for money, and most of it it's outdoor sport) I can say both of them went through quite some (ab)use. I never had any problems with Sigma and it spent many days in snow, rain, cold and heat. Also sharpness, color and focus speed were on pair with Canon 70-200 (af speed is, at least with Canon, depends more on body then lens).

But on the other hand, I would never change my Canon 300/2.8 or 500/4 for Sigma counterparts. So it all depends about which lens you talk.

post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



 

You're not kidding. I took 500+ photos at MTB World Championships on Sunday. I sure wouldn't have done that if I was using film 36 shots at a time. 8 fps really adds up!

I'm the same way, and tend to get a lot of good shots among hundreds when I just hold my finger down.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by patmoore View Post

I found a new 18-200 for $129 (after rebate).  Can you think of any downside to this?





Quote:
Originally Posted by patmoore View Post

The deal is for a Tamron.  My long telephoto is a Tamron and I've been happy with that for years.  In any event I ordered the 18-200 and downloaded the two rebates.  I'll let you know how it works when I get it next week. 

 

In looking at the reviews, the only gripe was slow focusing in low light.  Most of the folks just switched to manual in those cases and were happy.

I checked out the tamron compared to the Canon lens and found the tamron to be lesser quality, and no stabilization.  When you're using a lens in action shots and with that range, you want stabilization.  

In my experience, if you get the tamron now, you'll be okay but you'll end up getting the better glass later so you may as well get the better glass now.

post #41 of 87



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

 Sigma is like most brands making pro quality and lesser quality lenses, both in terms of build and optical quality.  Some are better and better values than their name brand counterparts, and some are worse. Thank you Photozone for honestly testing so many lenses with no manufacturer advertisement $ to cloud their research.  Here is a link to lens testing for your Cannon:   http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview#canon_aps

 

 


Good summation, and good link!

 

Another site I like is Ken Rockwells.  http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm

 

When I got my first DSLR his honest, opinionated translation of the owners manual was great.  Sort of a "everything the manufacturer knows but won't tell you" about all the adjustments.  Not afraid to say what he considers important or trivia and use terms like "never".

 

With repect to the original post, which I have hijacked in my babbling, I see there is a guide to Cirque's new camera on the site.

 

Example:

ISO: I use 100 in daylight. If the light gets dim and my images would get blurry from slower shutter speeds I increase the ISO to 400, 800 or 1,600. I never bother with in-between settings like 250 or 640. Unlike film, the 20D looks great at high ISOs, so I use them anytime I need them. I'd much rather have a slightly grainy but sharp image than a less grainy and blurry one. See examples of the noise and grain on my noise comparison page. I explain how to set these on my Controls page, and I explain ISO (sensitivity to light) on my ISO page.

White Balance: I use AUTO. I explain how to set these on the 20D at Controls. See my White Balance Examples page and my White Balance page for why you'd want to change them.

Quality: I shoot Large JPG NORMAL, which shows as L and a stair-step icon on the rear and top LCDs. Large is 3,504 x 2,336 pixels image size. I don't bother with RAW. See RAW vs. JPG and file format examples from a Nikon D200 for explanations and examples of the various settings. I explain how to set these at Menus.

For parties or sports where' I'll be shooting hundreds and hundreds of images, I shoot Medium Normal (M and stair step icon) to save file space. The images still look great!

I've made 12 x 18" prints of the same shot and seen no difference among the file types. Don't worry!

I never use FINE, which is the quarter circle in place of the stair step icon. It looks the same to me and takes up twice the file space.

Parameters: I prefer the vivid color I get from Fuji's Velvia 50 film, so I tweak the 20D to give color as vivid as I can get.

To do this, press MENU, spin the knob clockwise to get to Parameters (the last red entry), press SET to get to the Parameters menu, rotate the dial 3 clicks clockwise to get to the Saturation setting, press SET to allow you to adjust the Saturation setting, spin the dial 2 clicks clockwise to the maximum Saturation, and press SET again to record the change.

post #42 of 87

Very informative!  The RAW vs JPG topic made for some interesting reading.  I've done some shooting in RAW but haven't seen any appreciable difference from the JPG files.

 

post #43 of 87
Thread Starter 

I had read the Ken Rockwell article on the C90 before buying, and it actually caused me to consider the 5000 pretty seriously.  I like this excerpt from the Marketing section of his article:

 

Quote:

Marketing

16 page brochure. The photo examples suggest that buying a D90 will earn you a lot of young, colorful, outgoing and active friends. No photos are credited. As usual, most of the example shots are made with lenses like the 85mm f/1.4, 14-24mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8 that each cost as least as much as the D90 body alone and weigh several times as much, and would never be carried by someone young and exciting.

 

 

Notice that you will never, ever see anyone in a brochure sitting in front of a computer screen dicking with raw images. All you will see is skateboarding and bicycling, and the only time you'll see a person portrayed as cool with any electronic device is if Apple is trying to sell them iPods, or a cell phone company is trying to push wireless devices, which do cause cancer. You also will never see anyone holding a camera, unless it's a camera ad. Cameras and electronics are not cool. Dealing with people in person and participating in, not watching, active sports is where it's at.

post #44 of 87

Quote:

Originally Posted by patmoore View Post

Very informative!  The RAW vs JPG topic made for some interesting reading.  I've done some shooting in RAW but haven't seen any appreciable difference from the JPG files.

 



You are kidding, right?  If that's really the case, you aren't doing something right....

post #45 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmoore View Post

Very informative!  The RAW vs JPG topic made for some interesting reading.  I've done some shooting in RAW but haven't seen any appreciable difference from the JPG files.

 



OK, I am a PENTAX (K7) and NIKON (older) guy but the RAW thing is still the same.  RAW makes a little difference (big with the mid-range SONY and older PENTAX) in image quality compared to JPEG.  RAW makes a huge difference when the exposure is a bit off, and a huge difference when the AUTO function on the white balance is not accurate (and it happens a lot).  RAW conversion software makes it unbelievably easy to take care of 95%+ of what you would normally do in Photoshop.  RAW makes working an important image with a dynamic range that stretches the limits (this is a skiing forum), an image that needs necessary sharpening, an image with off white balance, with a lot of noise, etc. super easy.  I'd be surprised if Lonnie put together his first three images (above)

without RAW processing.

 

BTW, regarding the white balance:  How many people use a gray card?  With Capture One (Phase One) or Lightroom (Adobe) all you have to do is click on the card in a photo and apply the setting to all your desired images with one click.  For all that weird light stuff, a one click fix is all you need to know you have it right.

 

OK, RAW files are huge compared to JPEG.  But you don't have to save them after converting to JPEG.  Besides, a lot of us don't keep anything on our laptops after uploading images to on-line storage like SmugMug, our favorite local photo-processing place, or wherever.


Edited by quant2325 - 9/10/10 at 10:23am
post #46 of 87

For RAW vs JPG the bottom line is, if you think you can get the image right the first time, in the camera, using the cameras image processing, then shoot JPG.  But if you think that there might be something you want to change later, shoot RAW.  When I shoot, I shoot in JPG and RAW at the same time.  Using a sony full frame A900, that's about 36 megs for each push of the shutter.  I shoot both in case I get card corruption or have some other mishap.

 

You just can be a flexible in your post processing with a JPG as you can with a RAW image.  You camera has image processing software built into it.  The jpg image you get out of your camera is the result to this software.  Now let me ask this, what has more processing ability, your desktop or your camera.  That's a no brainer. 

 

Given the cheapness of memory storage these days, there is no good reason NOT to shoot in RAW. 

 

 

 

 

DSC01009a.JPG

Lonnie%20Shull%20Edge%20of%20Cedars.JPG

 

Lonnie%20Shull%20Fallen%20Roof%20House%20vertical.JPG

 

 

Lonnie%20Shull%20House%20on%20Fire.JPG


Edited by Lonnie - 9/9/10 at 8:42pm
post #47 of 87


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post

 

Given the cheapness of memory storage these days, there is no good reason NOT to shoot in RAW. 

 


I fully agree that RAW will ultimately give you a better picture than an in-camera JPG hands-down IF you are willing to spend the time to do the RAW processing yourself. Admittedly I have never really taken the time to perfect a RAW workflow, but the thought of sitting down for hours after shooting several hundred pictures to post-process them to see which ones are keepers doesn't appeal to me.

 

The second reason is the speed of shooting RAW. Maybe newer cameras are better, but the FPS rate of my 20D sucks when shooting RAW or RAW+JPG.

post #48 of 87

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post

The second reason is the speed of shooting RAW. Maybe newer cameras are better, but the FPS rate of my 20D sucks when shooting RAW or RAW+JPG.



You need to update to faster memory. 

 

Also, I can get most of my RAW processing done in 5-10 mins per image.  I might shoot 100-200 images in a typical sunrise/sunset shoot with 5-10 of those being "keepers".  That puts me at about an hour doing PP.  When I spened hours going to, setting up and getting back from a shoot, it really isn't that much time....

 

DSC09351a.JPG

 

 

DSC03015.JPG

 

 

DSC08411.JPG

post #49 of 87

Lonnie, 

 

Outstanding images!  Wow!

 

I have the RAW processing down pretty good, including different ways of converting images to B&W.  My weakness is getting everything possible out of Photoshop, and I'm sure some of your above images were worked on a bit with the software.  What is the best Photoshop learning program you recommend?  I have some free time until my book (for marketing) is published to get better at Photoshop.

post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post

Quote:



You need to update to faster memory. 

 

Also, I can get most of my RAW processing done in 5-10 mins per image.  I might shoot 100-200 images in a typical sunrise/sunset shoot with 5-10 of those being "keepers".  That puts me at about an hour doing PP.  When I spened hours going to, setting up and getting back from a shoot, it really isn't that much time....

 

 

I am stuck with Compact Flash in the 20D, nobody is putting any development into making them faster unlike SD, SDHC etc. The only way is to change cameras unfortunately.

 

Assuming the you only PP the keepers, how do you determine the keepers before applying PP? Do you run them all through a generic automated workflow then identify some for further/manual PP or do you look at the JPGs and go back to the RAW for PP?
 

post #51 of 87

ZeroGravity,

 

Try some free software:  http://www.phaseone.com/Phase%20One/Downloads/CaptureOne  , which should answer your question .  I love this stuff, although most of my friends use Adobe's for work flow.  I dunno about Lonnie, but I just upload both JPEG & RAW, view what I like (including enlarging parts of the image for focus purposes), and scrap the rest. Once a month the trash file gets cleaned out.

post #52 of 87

Originally Posted by epic View Post

You're not kidding. I took 500+ photos at MTB World Championships on Sunday. I sure wouldn't have done that if I was using film 36 shots at a time. 8 fps really adds up!


A few weeks ago I was out in the hydro course at Seafair shooting with borrowed DSLR.   A long time film photographer, I still couldn't bring myself to press the button and 'waste film' with rapid shooting.   Still, by the end of the day I'd shot 268 frames (about 510 MB).   Later in the day a friend from another rescue boat boasted of shooting "Almost 1,200 shots..."  whereupon yet another fellow (a pro from the Times) glanced at his high-end Nikon and said, "Really?  I shot just over 35,000 frames today..." 

 

I can't imagine shooting that many shots with a still camera.  Might as well use video.   And I've got to wonder how long it takes even to "just glance" at each of 35,000 shots on a laptop or PC trying to find one that looks worth printing/publishing.   

 

.ma

 

post #53 of 87

michael, I think the pro may have been exaggerating a tad just to join in the one-upmanship game. 35k of images is the equivalent of shooting at 3fps continuously for the best part of 4 hours! (that's dependent on the buffer being capable of that performance). It would also require a few (8+) changes of batteries and mean that he gets his camera overhauled (new shutter etc) every week.

And assuming he was shooting in RAW, that's about 14MB per image on a D3s, so he's looking at 500GB of data.

 

...of course, maybe he was taking video, in which case it's about 23 minutes. at 25fps

post #54 of 87
Thread Starter 

Anyone have an opinion on SD memory?  What speed is enough?  I have used Ultra or Ultra II memory (Class 4-6) in the point and shoot.  Is there any reason to pay for Class 10 (Extreme III)?

post #55 of 87

I used Extreme III & IV CF cards in my SLRs, and a mixture of Ultra II and Extreme III in my P&S.

post #56 of 87

I have both, and don't notice any difference (I don't shoot too much in continuous mode).    BTW, I was at COSTCO Saturday and on the B&H website this morning.  The prices have dropped a lot for cards in the past year.

post #57 of 87

WTFH,

 

Yup, could be... but I got the impression he was serious.  

 

He carries a large bag of lenses, batteries, laptop, an uplink and assorted other gear.  The other fellows on that boat say his Nikon sounds like a machine gun when he's taking pics.  Quite sure it shoots way more than 3 fps and we're out there from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm on race day. 

 

Not sure what model it is but he has all the gear on board to download images to his laptop, review and modify them, upload to the Times and recharge everything before the next heat.   I'll send an email and see if I can find out what model it is.

 

Took a peek through his camera and found it to be an amazing scene.  The body needn't be held very close to the eye to see clearly through whatever lens is mounted.  Nice large and bright image too.  Thing weighed a ton though.  Quite a bit larger than a regular DSLR body with all the attachments on it.  I'm guessing a large aux battery pack and large added memory core.   

 

.ma

post #58 of 87

Photokina is less than a week away, and the leaks are all over the net. Improvement in all the DSLRs is a given.   My guess is that we will all be using the no mirror EVIL cameras within 5 or 6 years, and maybe even using them to replacing our bulkier and heavier DSLRs.  It will be interesting to see what the new EVIL sensors (larger?) and EVIL camera dedicated lenses will look like and cost.  This whole Moore's Law thing, which is still valid, is having an effect on photography.


Edited by quant2325 - 9/14/10 at 1:47am
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
I am stuck with Compact Flash in the 20D, nobody is putting any development into making them faster unlike SD, SDHC etc. The only way is to change cameras unfortunately.


You are not serious right? CF cards are at the moment around 90MB/s while SDHC are still somewhere around 20-30MB/s in best case. When it comes to this, CF cards are still a whole lot better then anything else... not to mention it's pain it the a** to handle SD cards, once you have to put gloves on ;)

 

As far as comment about 35k frames/day goes it's joke. Pro shooters shoot a whole lot less then you would imagine. I know avid hobby shooters who come home from race/match with 1000-2000 frames, while in 99% of cases, I come back with 150-200 frames max. To be honest, I don't know any colleague who would be shooting 1000 frames per game/race. On the end, we need to send 20 to 30 photos max if you (like me) are working for agency, and only 3 or 4 if you are working for newspaper. So there's no need for 1000+ frames. 1000+ frames just make it longer to pick those 20 or 30 photos, and time matters in our business. Next to that, for someone with right skills, it doesn't take 1000+ shots to get 20 good photos. So I'm pretty sure that 35k comment was joke.

post #60 of 87

If you're willing to deal with jumping through the numerous and annoying hoops associated with rebates, watch for them on memory cards, they can be substantial.  A couple years ago I bought a half dozen 4g 300x cards for $7 each (after rebate).  At the time they were selling for about $80 each.  It took some follow-up phone calls, but I eventually collected the rebates.  

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