General photography thread [img heavy]

What you see is what you get, including photography, displays, and video equipment.

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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:22 pm

I love the detail captured in the third and fourth shots in the dog's fur and the bird house, but I agree that the composition of the last shot is perfect, and it shows off the smooth bokeh that the lens is capable of producing (looks better than my Canon 70-300, for sure). I'm also really enjoying the smooth noise profile of the Sony sensor; I'll keep saying it till Canon does something about it, but it puts Canon's crop sensors to shame!

A few things I noticed:
-Each shot looks a little out of focus at the pixel level. This is to be expected, especially on a ~5x telezoom, but it also highlights the need for a stable tripod when shooting at the long end. Also, keep in mind that in-body image stabilization (the sensor shift stuff) that Sony uses is very good for shorter lenses but challenged at telephoto focal lengths, so tripod!
-The colors look perfect; if I were to PP these (and I may for my own benefit later) I'd boost the global saturation slightly (~+10) to make them pop off the screen, sharpen to +50 (out of 200 I think, Lightroom defaults to 25 for me), and add in a small amount of de-noising dependent on ISO, but no more than +20.
-The longitudinal chromatic aberration looks very well controlled at both ends of the zoom, with just a hint of magenta in the edges around the edges of the leaf in shot two, and a hint of green in the fur on the dog's neck. Very easy to correct without introducing artifacts, which is nice!


(I did cheat by looking at the full-size shots on your Flikr page; nothing I mentioned above could be seen in the shots you posted.)
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:38 pm

Good analysis. You're dead on about the need for a tripod. I knew the shakes would be magnified but I was still surprised by just how much. What also blows me away is how much light this lens needs. Telephoto seems like it might be a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

JAE - thanks!
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:33 pm

This weekend, my daughter was performing in a dance recital and I was taking pictures. In between acts, I looked over and caught a friend of my wife lost in thought.

Image

Photobucket appears to have lost the EXIF data, so here are the critical stats.

200mm, F2.8, 1/3s, ISO 6400. Hand held.

The only lighting was the diffuse reflection of the stage spots off the closed curtains. We were at the back of the auditorium. It is not the best quality, but it is an amazing example of how far technology has come.

--SS
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:34 pm

You have the hands of a surgeon. I have the hands of a junkie in withdrawal. Nice job.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:48 pm

I love the color and lighting in that shot. And it's sharper than the forum-width version leads you to believe! And a little oversampling from resizing makes Sony's sensor noise at higher ISOs just disappear beautifully.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:41 pm

Edited for flip-mode in Lightroom 5:

Image

I tried to be gentler with the adjustments than I am with my own shots, and this shot was already very, very good. Just wanted to see if I could make it 'pop' a little more along with sharpening a little and addressing the noise to a minor degree. I also rotated and cropped a little to make the shot look subjectively more level. I find I have to do that on many of my shots, even though they were actually shot level because the composition plays tricks with your eyes. Certainly changing the way I think about composition!
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:37 pm

It looks great. The colors are so much better. I'd have done it myself but I've used all my spare time snapping pictures rather than tweaking them 8) My wife is getting irritated to see the camera constantly in my hand. Bah. She's never understood artistic obsession.

This lens is loads of fun, but as already stated, very challenging. I now fully appreciate the value of fast glass. The SAL1855 is a hundred times faster than the SAL75300. I just never realized there was this aspect to photography, this "fast glass" aspect. It helps me understand why a lens might be worth many hundreds of dollars. That's no knock against this lens. It's given me some fabulous shots. Heck, I haven't had my SAL1855 back on the camera since I got this. It's a blast. And the price was very right!

It tends to hunt for focus too much. I've found myself going to manual focus a few times. The lens does not have an af/mf switch so I have to use the switch on the camera body - not sure if that's anything to worry about.

Close portraits at 75mm are terrific and very satisfying to look at. My bro was thrilled with some shots I took of his baby boy. At 75mm this lens is easy enough to use hand held. At longer zooms I set the drive mode to continuous shooting and take several exposures and usually get a steady one.

I still eventually want the ultra-wide, but this thing is proving quite the distraction from that pursuit. :D
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:13 am

Remember though, the SAL75300 is only f/4.5 at its fastest. Getting down to 2.8, or better yet under f/2 will make indoor photography a dream.

Also, wy wife scrapbooks. Our hobbies/addictions feed each others. You need something like this.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:52 pm

TheEmrys wrote:Remember though, the SAL75300 is only f/4.5 at its fastest. Getting down to 2.8, or better yet under f/2 will make indoor photography a dream.

Also, wy wife scrapbooks. Our hobbies/addictions feed each others. You need something like this.


Well to be fair the ability to take pretty clean high ISO shots with image stabilization helps a lot too.

Those lenses are a wonderful deal and take pretty nice pictures. The XF 55-200 I will acquire fairly soon is $700. It's true they are new and there is nothing useful in that range otherwise though.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:36 pm

I have yet to fully explore the quality of the various ISO levels on the a57. I need to run some tests.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:01 pm

Not really a Hubble shot but I caught this, you can see the bush magnified by the 200x raindrop:

Image

in my buttercup picture:

Image

Downloaded the new Capture One 7.0 to try:

http://www.phaseone.com/en/Downloads/Capture-One-Pro-7

The Express version is about $100. The Pro version , $250 or so, gives you studio captured camera stuff mostly. I'm liking it better than Lightroom so far.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:28 am

PenGun wrote: Downloaded the new Capture One 7.0 to try: http://www.phaseone.com/en/Downloads/Capture-One-Pro-7 The Express version is about $100. The Pro version , $250 or so, gives you studio captured camera stuff mostly. I'm liking it better than Lightroom so far.

Nice to know there are options out there. I might give it a spin.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:49 am

I had a choice (and still do) about which RAW editor and photo manager to use, and reading this DPReview article did help me decide. I'm not endorsing DPReview, but they do dig into the real differences between the various solutions. The only relevant solution left out is Apple's Aperture, which I did find disheartening as I'm now to the point of considering saving up for/selling stuff off for a Macbook Pro to replace several mobile computing devices. Just can't seem to find better laptop hardware anywhere else, though I am keeping my eye on ASUS's and Acer's efforts in the 'large, thin and light' space with Haswell.

*Edit: I have the Capture One Pro 7 demo importing all of the photos I have on my laptop (a fraction compared to what's on my desktop, laptop only has a 120GB SSD), and it's sure taking it's time. First impression? GUI is ugly as sin :). When you're uglier than Adobe and you know it...

*I will be giving it a fair shake. I just don't want to form an opinion of it's performance until it's ready to concentrate on editing only; editing performance is one thing that could be improved upon compared to Lightroom 5.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:38 am

Aaaannd they can keep Capture One.

If you go out of your way to make your UI even less user friendly than Adobe's, you are wrong. I do like the 'skin tone' tool though. Might have to get some portrait-centric plugins for Lightroom for that.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:49 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Aaaannd they can keep Capture One.

If you go out of your way to make your UI even less user friendly than Adobe's, you are wrong. I do like the 'skin tone' tool though. Might have to get some portrait-centric plugins for Lightroom for that.

Ahh user friendly. I come from user hostile in a world of hurt called X and I like the Capture One UI better than the Lightroom UI. I was new to both.

Ever play with Blender?

I find DPReview to be a bit dumb but that's just me I imagine. The Fuji has a trick sensor and I think Capture One does a better job on my RAW files, not by much and the Silkypix may still do a better job that that even ... but it's all pretty close. Capture One seems laid out better to me.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:05 pm

PenGun wrote: I find DPReview to be a bit dumb but that's just me I imagine.


What are the "top five" photography review sites?
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:58 pm

flip-mode wrote:
PenGun wrote: I find DPReview to be a bit dumb but that's just me I imagine.


What are the "top five" photography review sites?


No idea, are there five? DxO seems to be not bad for lens tests.

I just Google stuff and troll forums I find. That way it takes a lot of the ads out of the equation. Most any site will have some kind of bias so filtering through human interaction is very useful. I glean information to make many decisions about hardware and useful practice that way.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:09 pm

PenGun wrote: No idea, are there five? DxO seems to be not bad for lens tests.

I just Google stuff and troll forums I find. That way it takes a lot of the ads out of the equation. Most any site will have some kind of bias so filtering through human interaction is very useful. I glean information to make many decisions about hardware and useful practice that way.


DxO is decent, and DPReview works with them for their review data, but I find it best to approach all of them as if they're outright liars.

My lowest bar is whether or not Lensrentals carries it- if Roger thinks it's too bad to be rented to a customer for some reason, it's too bad for me. You can also look at his 'Roger's Takes' on various equipment they rent to get an idea of what a part is good for; just don't expect overly negative comments.

Ken Rockwell is a bit pretentious and a bit of a fanboy of whatever he's shooting at the moment, but he'll tell you if it works (if he can make it work, for work).

Photozone.de seems pretty decent and has been good for comparing lenses between reviews, and I've used their data to map out my lenses- what aperture is sharpest at what focal length, etc. Still need to find a way to relate focal distance to all that; maybe I'll find a pattern I can use.

Otherwise, there's a smattering of sites out there and each has their own forum, and I really haven't developed a real preference, other than reading a lot of them when I zero in on an interesting product.

On a more interesting note, my Grandfather pulled his Circa 1981 Minolta XG-1 SR-mount 35mm film camera out of the closet, along with Minolta/Rokkor 45/2 and 50-135/3.5 lenses. Says the camera needs a professional dust-up, and the lenses look good to me, so I'm going to take the body by a shop on Monday to see what they can make of it. He's in his eighties, so I'd love to get the camera shooting (assuming it doesn't shoot now) and get some shots of him and family blown up with it.

Worse comes to worse, I hear Minolta SR-mount adapts very well to mirrorless systems, including Fuji :).
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:12 pm

If you read too many lens reviews, you may go broke.

I like Photozone, The Digital Picture and various forums.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:00 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:If you read too many lens reviews, you may go broke.

I like Photozone, The Digital Picture and various forums.


That's the truth; but I've done well enough so far. Only bought one red ring (the kit L doesn't count!).

I'm good with TDP; they seem to be pretty consistent. Also, these guys.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:20 pm

For Sony/Minolta mount, the guy to look at is Kurt Munger. He is a fair reviewer, which is about as good as I can say for most reviewers. I may disagree with him from time to time, but its always on grounds I can respect. I never feel like he is nit-picking. He doesn't waste time trying to argue for or against systems or try to claim some sort of system superiority.

DxO's methodoligies are very.... clinical. But I read/hear many people talk about how their real-world results are different. That being said, they are pretty much the only folks out there with a clearly defined and, for the most part, reproducible testing method.

The hard part is that it is nearly impossible to be objective about something so subjective as art (photography). Yeah, we can say it has fast and accurate focus, good low light performance, but to quantify bokeh? Yeah, good luck. All we can say is that "Yes, that is pretty bokeh" or "That bokeh is distracting/ugly/doughnut shaped."
Sony a7
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:42 am

TheEmrys wrote:The hard part is that it is nearly impossible to be objective about something so subjective as art (photography). Yeah, we can say it has fast and accurate focus, good low light performance, but to quantify bokeh? Yeah, good luck. All we can say is that "Yes, that is pretty bokeh" or "That bokeh is distracting/ugly/doughnut shaped."


Prefer lens reviews like Ebert used to review movies (peace and mercy in his direction). He could give a move a half of a star, and still tell you why you might want to go see it.

Mostly, I find myself collating the bad- some lenses fall off the running quickly (Sigma's 70-200/2.8 OS, not sharp) and others I'm still working on (Tamron's 70-200/2.8 VC). Quite the varying opinions there.


*Film camera update: I've had this thing for less than six hours, released the shutter once, and still don't have film for it yet. But I'm hooked. Grabbing that fully manual Samyang 14mm/2.8 has gotten me finally acclimated to fully manual shooting; that is, moving from M mode to 'this lens is made of steel. and glass. and steel. there are no electronics here'. At this point, these MD Rokkor-X lenses, one in 45/2 and another in 50-135/3.5 (very cool) are enough to make me want to revive the XG-1(n) my grandfather had hiding on a closet shelf. Oh, and I'm now highly interested in getting a digital body that will adapt well to these lenses (they have aperture control and some metering assistance).

JAE, I don't have to read reviews for this one- I'm already hooked. Most immediately I want a 49mm to 67mm reversing ring so I can hook that MD Rokkor 45/2 backwards up to my 100L Macro. 8)
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:20 am

Yeah, I ran my FM2 for a very long time. Completely manual, it gives one a different view of photography.

OK a 2013 Super Moon, I got there late:

Image

Click for full size.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:03 am

Looking decent- I yanked out my super-zoom and got a few shots, will see if I can get them online tomorrow-ish. I am noticing the same 'distortion' along the bottom (southern?) edge of the moon in your shot that I saw in mine, taken ~2200 US Central. Looks like the atmosphere was fairly unfriendly for this super moon?
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:18 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Looking decent- I yanked out my super-zoom and got a few shots, will see if I can get them online tomorrow-ish. I am noticing the same 'distortion' along the bottom (southern?) edge of the moon in your shot that I saw in mine, taken ~2200 US Central. Looks like the atmosphere was fairly unfriendly for this super moon?


Huh. What distortion? Looks fine to me. There are some RAW conversion artifacts but I don't see any distortion. Those artifacts did upset me till I found they were from the conversion, not my camera.

The two radio towers on Mount Benson, under the moon, are just visible. Blows my mind this camera.

EDIT: The towers on Mt Benson are 16 miles from the camera. Thanks GE.
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:27 pm

I'll have to zoom in later on what I'm seeing, but I see it in your shots the same as mine, whatever it is. I'm pretty sure it's not the moon's topography :).
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:44 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I'll have to zoom in later on what I'm seeing, but I see it in your shots the same as mine, whatever it is. I'm pretty sure it's not the moon's topography :).


Anything near the horizon is not really round. I guess that's what you mean, it's the atmosphere refracting the image.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_refraction
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Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:54 pm

PenGun wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:I'll have to zoom in later on what I'm seeing, but I see it in your shots the same as mine, whatever it is. I'm pretty sure it's not the moon's topography :).


Anything near the horizon is not really round. I guess that's what you mean, it's the atmosphere refracting the image.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_refraction


I wasn't aware that the moon had an atmosphere thick enough to refract...


Kidding. I shot the moon well above the horizon, far enough above that I was able to shoot it centered in the frame over the roof of a two-story apartment from roughly 50 feet out at 70mm on my 6D and not get the roof in the frame, at least. I really didn't expect there to be any atmospheric distortion, especially none that would make the bottom/southern edge look as blocky as it does. If it is atmospheric distortion, then it seems like it's just the right amount for my sensor to pick up, but not enough to be picked out itself.

Either way, I need(ed) better optics for things like that. My tele-zoom is at it's limits, and 300mm is definitely not it's strong point at any aperture and focus distance combination. Wish JAE was close, I'd borrow his 100-400L :).
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:09 pm

OK. My moon 100%:

Image

Now what are we seeing that's distorted?
Fuji X-E1 Leica Elmar 135 4 XF60mm 2.4 Macro | Zeiss FE 35mm 2.8
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PenGun
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: General photography thread [img heavy]

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:18 pm

I don't see it here as well- I followed the link to the full version you previously posted, but it's not a big deal. I just need to wait till I get home to really look at it again, and hopefully take a second pass.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5008
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

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