What exact specs to look for in a lens?

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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:37 pm

SPOOFE wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:RAW is always better
I disagree.... Shooting RAW for everything just wastes space.... If I shot nothing but RAW, I'd have a terabyte of pictures by now, and for a dedicated hobbyist, that would be an absolutely ridiculous situation.
Storage is really cheap.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:04 pm

Storage is really cheap.

It's even cheaper if you don't have fifty thousand unncessary RAW files cluttering your hard drive with data that will almost never be used or noticed.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:10 pm

It's easy enough to make arguments either way. Whatever works for you to get the look that you want while spending your time the way you most enjoy it (unless you're shooting for money, then other considerations will apply to a greater degree), whether that's tweaking your in-camera jpeg processing to give what you want, shooting all raw and converting in the converter of your choice, or something in-between, is the "best" way.

Also, the moon is a "daylight" subject for the moon-shooters out there. It's not dim, and you're normally not going to benefit from a wide aperture when shooting it.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:24 am

mattsteg wrote:Also, the moon is a "daylight" subject for the moon-shooters out there. It's not dim, and you're normally not going to benefit from a wide aperture when shooting it.

Yes! You want a long, sharp lens. Stop down between F/8 and F/11 for optimal sharpness. Tweak your colors (unless you shoot raw :roll:) and let her rip.

I never shoot raw. I shoot well enough to get the colors and exposure the way I want them in-camera, and I don't like to meddle with burning and dodging.

Lens specs? I stop at focal length, aperture, filter size, and build type (instant m-f override? what moves on the outside? is it a pumper? etc.). Nothing else can really be appreciated by me in specs.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:42 am

I always shoot RAW. With Lightroom, the workflow is fast enough that I can PP most shoots (typically a hundred to two hundred pics) in under an hour, sometimes much less. Trying to do the same with Photoshop and ACR would indeed take me sufficiently long enough that I'd get sick of it. Also, I can usually spot the "keepers" pretty early on and get those processed within minutes.

I like the latitude that RAW allows, in capture, manipulation and effect. I like the larger dynamic range, the colours and the detail. The tolerance that RAW has for "off" exposures means I can capture decisive moments and know that I'll be alright. Also, my years in the darkroom have conditioned me to view post process being just as important as capturing the image, so I don't begrudge time spent PPing. Lightroom is enough for 99% of my PPing. I only ever bring out Photoshop if I want to do stitching, HDR, or editing.

As for space, I have an 8GB and 16GB SD card, and 7.25 TB of hard disk space, so I'm pretty okay with the large file sizes (so far). I can definitely see the photo collection grow out of hand, though...

BTW lex- if you want to see just how sharp your new lens is, then I recommend you shoot the test shots in RAW and with no in-camera sharpening and NR.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:53 pm

For what its worth Spoofe, I'm one of those beginners, and I don't see the slightest issue with shooting RAW. I know that if I want to tweak something after the fact I can, and what would have been a greatly composed shot won't go to waste by having the quality destroyed by shooting in JPEG (AKA.... I can't PP without loosing quality unlike RAW). As stated above, storage is so unbelievably cheap nowadays that you could purchase a 1.5 to 2tb drive for around 100 bucks and never really run out of space. I also don't keep things in a RAW format forever, like Vold said I spot the crappy pictures right off the bat and delete them the same way I would if they were JPEGs. If your happy with the way they look right out of the camera as RAWs and just wanted them to be in JPEG format you can simply batch convert them, this didn't take my laptop more than 15minutes to processes roughly 200 pictures. Space is the least of my concern if your bothering to buy something like a DSLR, its quality. You can easily run around with 2 or 3 memory cards and just swap out in about 10 seconds if you plan to go on a very long day of shooting... Just my 2 cents. Quality > Space
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:41 pm

Perspectives and priorities. If I were making a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I would stock up on memory cards and a couple external HDDs, and shoot RAW. If I had a stable of $2k+ lenses and full-frame camera bodies, see above.

However, 'm currently shooting at anything that moves (or not) with a basic half-frame body and entry-level lenses, mostly just to figure out how a DSLR camera and settings actually work in practice. And since many of my shots are regular family events where intensive post-processing is neither desired nor useful...JPEG, JPEG, JPEG.

I'm still at the point where the money I could use to boost my HDD capacity to RAW storage levels (including sufficient external backup) is about the same as the next lens I'll probably buy, or at the very least, the difference buying that lens, and buying the better version with a lower f-stop capability and the USM system. Frankly, I would rather another lens than another hard drive.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:00 pm

I just don't see the big deal; the added information has only ever come in handy for me at times when I screwed up a shot. It seems like such a tiny gain for 4-5x the storage space. And I stand by my assertion that it's lousy advice to tell beginners to "always shoot RAW".
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:01 am

Well, Nikons have a really great JPEG engine, and great out-of-camera colours. I'm not as happy with the JPEGs out of my Panasonic, although I don't think they're nearly as bad as some people complain about. I still like the extra range and depth of RAW, though.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:42 am

I always shoot both (RAW + JPEG) with the EOS 40D. Space isn't an issue. Each 16 GB compact flash card holds 1100+ images. Once they're transferred to the PC, I delete the RAW files of the bad ones. By the time that I fill up my 750 GB storage drive, I'll buy a bigger one.

P.S.: $85 for 1.5 TB: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=71266
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:42 am

I set my camera to RAW+Jpeg last night. My sister got in this morning and gave me my lens at the airport. Firsth thing I noticed is that the lens is a heavy beast and 3 times the size of my normal lens. Wednesday at the Raptors game should be quite interesting (if they let me in with the thing). It will take some getting used to.

I tried a few shots this morning and noticed that I have to quicken the shutter speed considereably or I will have over exposure constantly . . . .EXCELLENT!!!!! The review on dpreview.com didn't really give the lens any credit found here. I only understand half of what he's talking about anyways.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:28 am

lex-ington wrote:I tried a few shots this morning and noticed that I have to quicken the shutter speed considereably or I will have over exposure constantly . . . .EXCELLENT!!!!!


Are you shooting in M, or are you saying that the camera doesn't meter right with the lens? Cause otherwise I don't see why you would be overexposing with a faster lens.

If it's any consolation, they tested sony's latest 70-200/2.8 at dpr, and it doesn't seem as if it outperforms the Tamron by that much as to justify its high price tag. That said, they still considered the new sony one of the best telezooms in its class.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:31 am

For me JPG is like a print: a final photo which you have to live with. If something went wrong.. well too bad, you need to reshoot and hope the next "print" will be better. If not, then reshoot again and again.

With RAW you will have the original "negative" and you can tweak it as much as you like, adjust colors, exposure, retouch etc. For less important snapshots JPG is fine, but if you use a considerable amount of time and effort to shoot some photos, why not use RAW?

Voldenuit wrote:Are you shooting in M, or are you saying that the camera doesn't meter right with the lens? Cause otherwise I don't see why you would be overexposing with a faster lens.

If it's any consolation, they tested sony's latest 70-200/2.8 at dpr, and it doesn't seem as if it outperforms the Tamron by that much as to justify its high price tag. That said, they still considered the new sony one of the best telezooms in its class.


If you use too high iso and your camera doesn't have very fast shutter speeds, it's possible to overexpose if you don't pay attention to what your autoexposure system is saying.

Also, the Sony lens probably has a lot better AF motor. Tamron's is... well, bad for action shots.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:56 am

The version for Sony α may not have the focusing issues that early samples of the version of this lens for Canon EOS exhibited.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:49 pm

I think as a general rule Tamrons and Sigmas have more process and build quality variations than the equivalent Canon L lenses or Nikon or Sony pro-level stuff.

Having said that, I've had to have L lenses recalibrated in the past (well, one). Had a 28-70/2.8 L that was a bit soft in one corner, so took it to their service center and got it fixed under warranty.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:53 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
lex-ington wrote:I tried a few shots this morning and noticed that I have to quicken the shutter speed considereably or I will have over exposure constantly . . . .EXCELLENT!!!!!


Are you shooting in M, or are you saying that the camera doesn't meter right with the lens? Cause otherwise I don't see why you would be overexposing with a faster lens.

If it's any consolation, they tested sony's latest 70-200/2.8 at dpr, and it doesn't seem as if it outperforms the Tamron by that much as to justify its high price tag. That said, they still considered the new sony one of the best telezooms in its class.


I'm using the manual setting to control everything myself. I turn off the autofocusing as well to learn how to adjust my lens properly based on subject distance.

With the lens that came with my camera, I tried to take some shots at 70mm at the last basketball game I was at. I had my shutter speed set to 13 since the timing isn't that bad until I reach down to 10. Once I put on the new lens and used the sam settings, the picture was way too bright, so reducing the speed to 100 (or is it increasing the speed to 100???) made a hjuge differenc, especially in the amount of blur in the picture (hand held shooting).
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:48 pm

Is there any particular reason that you're shooting in fully-manual exposure rather than using aperture or shutter priority?
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:29 pm

By going to 100 you were increasing your shutter speed... Its somewhat confusing of how to think about it for us newbies, i'd recommend this little video "Quiz"
Just helps you visualize what your doing when you adjust shutter speeds. By going from 10 to 100 (1/10 to 1/100) you made your shutter speed faster and made it take in less light.

http://michaelthementor.com/lessons.cfm?lessonID=3

And the direction I see JAE heading in :P I wouldn't really jump into Manual mode right away hehe, i made that mistake thinking I was supposed to get these fantastic pictures, all I ended up doing was making myself frustrated. There are so many things that you'd have to go through in Manual mode that if forgotten and left at default could completely change the image (metering, ect). If you want to mess around with more of the settings than Aperture or Shutter priority modes give you then you'd be best to use Program mode, which will run just like manual mode except if you don't change a setting it will automatically choose those settings for you, sort of nice if your like me, still experimenting with individual settings like shutter speed and exposure compensation but don't want to worry about the others.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:25 pm

lex-ington wrote:I'm using the manual setting to control everything myself. I turn off the autofocusing as well to learn how to adjust my lens properly based on subject distance.

With the lens that came with my camera, I tried to take some shots at 70mm at the last basketball game I was at. I had my shutter speed set to 13 since the timing isn't that bad until I reach down to 10. Once I put on the new lens and used the sam settings, the picture was way too bright, so reducing the speed to 100 (or is it increasing the speed to 100???) made a hjuge differenc, especially in the amount of blur in the picture (hand held shooting).



Manual mode is good to learn about exposure, but probably not a good idea for a sports game. Stick it to A and set your aperture to f/2.8. 1/100th of a second may be a bit slow for sports (and you will get some camera shake at 210mm focal length), so I'd think about bumping the ISO up as well (but judging from what I've seen with Sony, you shouldn't go above ISO800).
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:39 pm

What V said. Try it in Aperture priority at f/2.8 with your ISO set up to 800. That should cause the camera to select fast enough shutter speeds to freeze the action. You're looking for around 1/320th to 1/500th of a second.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:03 pm

Here are some of the pics I took wednesday night during the Raptor's game. I think I have something setup wrong or the magnififcation is an interesting thing on these lenses cause some of the pictures look surreal.

http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... C03178.jpg
http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... g&newest=1
http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... &&newest=1
http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... &&newest=1
http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... &&newest=1
http://s978.photobucket.com/albums/ae26 ... &&newest=1

You guys see anything funny with those pictures?
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:52 pm

If you're referring to how the players look "pasted on" to the court, that's because a long tele will flatten perspective. That's why press photographers (almost) always shoot from the floor. However, I've never seen such an extreme example, even with my old 300mm f/4 L. Not sure what else could be causing it off the top of my head, though. Are you sure those pictures are posted in the right aspect ratio?
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:24 pm

Looks like the floor is reflecting the light & giving everything an orangish/brownish tone. Try setting your white balance to to fluorescent instead of auto
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:29 am

Voldenuit wrote:If you're referring to how the players look "pasted on" to the court, that's because a long tele will flatten perspective. That's why press photographers (almost) always shoot from the floor. However, I've never seen such an extreme example, even with my old 300mm f/4 L. Not sure what else could be causing it off the top of my head, though. Are you sure those pictures are posted in the right aspect ratio?


I didn't change anything in the pictures. The way you see it is the way it was shot. I'll see how different it is when I go to the game this wednesday - completely different angle since I'll be closer to the court this time. I had the camera set to the aperture setting as suggested. Maybe this time I'll just set it to automatic and see what that does.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:25 am

This is probably a very dumb question, but I need to ask.

What is so significant about a lens having a magnification at 1:1 vs. a magnification of something more . .like 1:3.5??? I would really like to make an educated purchase on a macro lens, so I won't second guess what I'm doing.

Thanks.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:49 pm

It is a ratio of the original subjects size to its relative size in the picture. A 1:1 is meant to be the exact same size as your subject was when you saw it in real life. This is supposed to be the best kind of macro (and most expensive) as you can pick up the most detail since you are viewing things at their normal/real size, not smaller like a 1:2 (Half of its actual size). I've been killing to find a decent 1:1 cheap macro lens like an older Minolta but they just don't seem to exist without dropping 100's of dollars. Three thing I've been told are very important when considering macro shooting. One of which is a very sturdy tripod or your going to have issues with composition when your that zoomed up on something. The second thing was to consider WHAT you are shooting macro of... is it going to be flowers, bugs, what? If its something like bugs you've gotta consider whether or not they will get easily scared the closer you get, so something like say a 28mm 1:1 macro would require you to get quite close to the subject possibly scaring it away. And the third thing to consider is having a cable shutter release or a wireless shutter controller since your going to be so zoomed up that just pressing the shutter could move your camera throwing off your composition. The last may not be as important if your talking about VERY still subjects and time isn't a concern since you can always use the timer.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:59 pm

SPOOFE wrote:
RAW is always better

I disagree, and that's a lousy mentality to impress upon someone just starting out. Shooting RAW for everything just wastes space; most of the "extra detail" won't even matter or be noticed (and hence, wouldn't be missed). Important shoots - say, something you're being paid for - certainly justifies the use, but if one is just out and about having fun? Hell, if I shot nothing but RAW, I'd have a terabyte of pictures by now, and for a dedicated hobbyist, that would be an absolutely ridiculous situation. The sheer amount of time spent converting that terabyte would have absolutely killed my passion for photography.


RAW or RAW+jpeg is what I recommend. Your RAW is a "lousy mentality to impress upon someone just starting out" is a shockingly bad suggestion.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:35 pm

End User wrote:
SPOOFE wrote:
RAW is always better

I disagree, and that's a lousy mentality to impress upon someone just starting out. Shooting RAW for everything just wastes space; most of the "extra detail" won't even matter or be noticed (and hence, wouldn't be missed). Important shoots - say, something you're being paid for - certainly justifies the use, but if one is just out and about having fun? Hell, if I shot nothing but RAW, I'd have a terabyte of pictures by now, and for a dedicated hobbyist, that would be an absolutely ridiculous situation. The sheer amount of time spent converting that terabyte would have absolutely killed my passion for photography.


RAW or RAW+jpeg is what I recommend. Your RAW is a "lousy mentality to impress upon someone just starting out" is a shockingly bad suggestion.

Explain, please.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:10 pm

SPOOFE wrote:
RAW is always better

I disagree, and that's a lousy mentality to impress upon someone just starting out. Shooting RAW for everything just wastes space; most of the "extra detail" won't even matter or be noticed (and hence, wouldn't be missed). Important shoots - say, something you're being paid for - certainly justifies the use, but if one is just out and about having fun? Hell, if I shot nothing but RAW, I'd have a terabyte of pictures by now, and for a dedicated hobbyist, that would be an absolutely ridiculous situation. The sheer amount of time spent converting that terabyte would have absolutely killed my passion for photography.



Think of it like this: with JPEG, you're getting a canvas with something already painted on it. With RAW, you're getting the canvas with paint on it, but a palette and brush to go with it.

When you have the RAW files, you get to change many aspects of the picture -- such as tone, noise, sharpness, white balance, color balance, just to name a few -- that you cannot change as well if you work with a JPEG. It's very convenient to have JPEGs out of the camera because it makes it easier to send pics to your friends, but for anyone serious about the hobby who wants to get the most out of every picture, you need RAW. If you don't shoot in RAW, you aren't using your equipment to its full potential.

Many of my photos benefit from a little post-processing of the RAWs, especially the ones shot at high ISO. It's nearly impossible to edit a JPEG as cleanly as it is RAW. In fact, the only reason I shoot RAW+JPEG is because it's just easier to have all the JPEGs hanging around to fire off to friends and whatnot, but when I preparing photos to print or display online, I exclusively process the RAWs. JPEGs -- even high quality ones -- inherently have less detail than RAW files and allow you much less leeway in changing -- subtly or extremely -- the way the picture looks.

I have an 18MP camera, and I shoot JPEG+RAW all the time. I get over 200 photos on an 8 gig card. When I get home, I delete the photos that don't come out so they don't stack up and waste space. If space is a concern, I recommend shooting RAW, but only keeping JPEGs around for long term storage. It's important to have the RAWs there at first, though; when you get back home and check your photos, it may be possible to save a poorly-exposed photo and turn it into a keeper if you can mess with the RAW file, but with JPEG, you have to assume that you'll get every picture spot-on.

At the very least, new photographers should shoot RAW at first to learn what it's possible to do with RAW files. Then they can decide whether or not they want to shoot them.

EDIT: Shooting RAW also allows you to see, on some cameras, useful info like what part of the photo your camera focused on. This can help you learn how your camera works so you can use it more effectively in the future.
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Re: What exact specs to look for in a lens?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:13 pm

Guys, enough with the RAW holy war. There are plenty of good reasons to choose to shoot RAW (either routinely or for a specific shoot) and plenty of good reasons to shoot straight to jpeg (either routinely or for a specific shoot).

Lex: what looks "funny" about your Raptors photos? They don't strike me as particularly strange.

Magnification is the size (in specifications at closest focus) of the image on your camera's sensor relative to the size of the object in real life. With 1:1 or 1x magnification you can fill the entire image with something the size of the image sensor - a little less than an inch wide for "crop" cameras. With 1:2 magnification you are at half size, so you can only focus close enough to fill the image with something a couple of inches wide. 1:3.5 would be less capable still (in terms of magnification). More than 1x magnification in a lens (without added accessories) is pretty rare. I can think of a Canon lens that does it, but that's it for SLR lenses i know of (and that lens is very specialized).
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

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