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Old Apr 4, 2004, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default The technical talk is important but sometime overdone

I don't have my DSLR because I sent it in for calibration with the lenses I now have (Sigma lenses not included because Canon won't touch them, a topic for another string I'd say). So, I went out for a bike ride today with my FZ10 perched in my travel bag on the front of my bike. I took about 70 photos of tree textures, my bike, and one particular little prairie dog that tested the 12x optical on this particular camera. I also took some photos of a few dancing horses out in a field as they played. I then rode home and downloaded the photos. Even the ones that I thought were good were not. I had sufficient light, even at ISO 50, my exposure was perfect, and I supposedly had the Panasonic IS on that camera working for me. Fuzz and grain.

The day before I had found an ad in the paper where someone was selling a 70-200 2.8 Sigma so I decided to go and try it out, not expecting to purchase it because I had made up my mind to buy the Canon IS version, but I didn't have my own camera because it's in for calibration tests. However, this guy had a D10, which I consider to be extremely close to my own camera but with obvious construction advantages, yet the guts are similar, if not exact. Well, I bought it because it worked magnificently, from what I could see, with the 2x converter I own. We took shots and uploaded them on to his computer to check things out. My hand-held shots were as good as the tripod shots, and he had a pretty stable manfrotto. Well, I ended up buying it. So now I have a Canon 70-200 F4 (which is away with my camera for calibration) and the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 with 2x converter, which retains AF nicely. I know, I tried it with my own hands.

I got upset with myself for making this purchase so I ended up listing everything in the paper for sale, the 50-500, the 70-200 with 2x converter, and the FZ10.

Now I'm having second thoughts...why am I doing this, the Sigma lenses haven't beaten me or caused me sorrow (just the flash that broke down on me at an inopportune time) so why should I sell the Sigmas just because they are not Canon? I've used the 50-500 on my camera and it works magnificently. So why should I list the Sigma 70-200 when I haven't even tried it on my camera yet? It's insane! In fact, why am I even "considering" this action? Then the answer comes...because I'm getting sucked in by all of the Canon hype, which isn't Canon's fault because the lenses "are" excellent for the most part. Finally it became crystal clear, it isn't the lens, never was the lens, and never will be the lens, it's the one who screws the lens on the camera!

The only sane thing that I did was to list the FZ10, selling it because it will never give me shots that I'll be satisfied with, no matter what. Not that it isn't a good camera...it just isn't going to compete with a DSLR.

The saving grace of all of this is that I wouldn't be able to answer alot of these questions for myself had it not been for the more technical people in this forum, like NHL. So, I'd be a fool to blame the techies.

So who do I blame?

Me alone, for being an idiot and thinking that it's the tool that makes the carpenter and not the carpenter who uses the tool. Give a good carpenter a crappy tool and he will find a way to make it work well. Give a crappy carpenter a good tool and no matter how much he or she tries, it just ain't gonna happen. However, I personally believe that some crappy carpenters can learn how to become excellent ones, given the time and the appropriate commitment.

Wow, that was a long post, but as most of you now know, I usually like hearing myself talk. But this time I actually spend some time editing and reading what I posted to ensure that it was as clear as possible for little ol' me. I'm actually using the "preview" button more than before, and it seems to help. I knew it was there for some reason!

Here's the bottom line: soft focus lenses are probably not selling as well now because digital cameras and software programs can suppress and even eliminate the technical difficulties of some of the less "luxurious" lenses. I think the playing field is much flatter now and I'm not so sure that the experts have such an advantage over the rest of us anymore. I think that the little guy can turn out a very publishable photo now without breaking the bank.

Honest, that's the end.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 12:00 AM   #2
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That second-to-last paragraph is very true, and it's causing many people frustration. Photography is just for fun but with high standards for me (and I believe you.)

The problem for some areas of the profession is that I might, some day, put a collection of my shots into a stock agency. Since I never really planned to make money doing this, if I make any I'm happy. That means that I'll take what others would consider "a lower price". But I can afford to use good equipment and I take some good photos on occasion.

The end result of this is that the price agencies are paying for photos is droping (for some things... but not others. There are no absolutes.) Many companies are unwilling to pay the higher price for a processional shot when they can buy a shot for less over the web that is good enough.

With the tech getting cheaper (good autofocus allows shots that were basically impossible 10 years ago) and the accelerated learning that digital gives you.... Well, if you are willing and have a decent eye you can get lucky and get some good shots. I don't claim to be great, but I occasionally take a picture that makes the room gasp. And I don't have to make a living at this so I can sell it for less (if I wanted to.)

As for the sigma lenses. Their 70-200 is very good. If you don't need IS, then you should keep it. It's so close optically to the Canon that I doubt it matters to you. You might even consider selling the 70-200 f4, unless you can see the diff optically.

Eric
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 1:24 AM   #3
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I'm going to keep my Sigmas at least until I can test them myself on myown camera, that's a for sure. I am and continue to be, amazed and filled with good feelings, about the Sigmas. When I get the canon F4 back, and I test it with the sigmas, I look forward to the results because I have both Sigma and Canon at my disposal, and it's "my" eye that judges.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 6:41 AM   #4
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We shot with the Sigma 12-24 the other day at work (on a D70 though; we haven't gotten the Canon version in yet) and it's just plain outstanding! Definitely as good as the Nikon version costing like $400 or so more.

Sigmas have come a long way in the time I've worked for Wolf, and I no longer would hesitate to own one.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 10:34 AM   #5
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I would hesitate on some Sigmas. But they have shown that they can produce lenses very close to the best out there when they want to. Their HSM enabled EX line is very good. If I was to get a 70-200, I would probably get the sigma.

I wouldn't be evaluating them based on sharpness, but instead on my need for IS and how fast the AF is.

I don't really understand IS on the shorter lenses (like Canon's 28-135) but it does have a place in longer lenses. When wind induced vibration can make or break a picture, I'll take all the help I can take. Sure, I have a very good tripod and head (Gitzo 1348 & ARca-Swiss B1G), but I'll still take IS when I'm using 400 + 1.6x sensor crop.

Eric
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 11:00 AM   #6
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oops, double post.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 9:25 PM   #7
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Eric, The IS is a great help on the 70-200 for hand-held shots, and that is what I take with it all the time. IS will still be useful on a tripod in a windy environment too.

Barthold
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 11:56 PM   #8
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I agree with it helping hand-held shots. Technically it something that you can learn to do well and not need IS, but frankly I'm not that good so I love IS.

I don't really know any other way to help reduce wind vibration. I lock down my tripod and head... I even put weights on it. I still get vibration some times. IS is the best way I know to overcome it.

Eric
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Old Apr 7, 2004, 8:51 AM   #9
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I think the area that pro's have an edge is on consistency, we can get the odd great shot. They can probably get more great shots because they do it everyday. And if they can't then they won't be pros for long.

The internet however has may things easier for people that have a small number of shots they want to submit get them into the hands of a stock photo agency. And the internet has allowed the agencies to consolidate which is driving prices down too. It's a two sided squeeze on prices.

I've been very happy with my Sigma lenses - I also appreciate the much better warranty they offer. The only concern I have is that Canon may do whatever they did starting with the Elan 7, and mess up the AF, or render useless E-TTL2 flash as it relies on info from the lens. For lenses where there's a big price difference I'll buy third party, but if it's close I'll stick to Canon everything else being equal.
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Old Apr 7, 2004, 2:36 PM   #10
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Normcar

Re flash... be careful, and this has been posted numerous time before: You can easily blow up any flash by using it constantly and not let it cool down especially on NiMh which makes them recycle even faster!

As to the Sigma 12-24mm Canon has nothing like it... and it definetly is an excellent lens. I want one!
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/64398
http://194.100.88.243/petteri/pont/R..._f4.5-5.6.html
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