Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Sony Alpha dSLR / Konica Minolta dSLR, Sony SLT

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 20, 2006, 3:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 7
Default

I think I am having some growing pains with my 7d.

I just got backfrom a (workrelated) trip to Costa Rica. I had acouple of days to play so decided to take aguidedboat + jungle tour. On the tour, and later too, I really felt like using the 7d was a wrestling match. Low lighting (mid day?) translated into quite a few blurred pictures.

Maybe I need to give myself more time with the 7d? Shooting in program mode was disappointing at best.I haveonly had the cameraa couple of months, so more training is in order. But I hate to think that I have to playwith the settings all the time for basic picture taking. My point and shot Sonyseems to run circles around my 7d in program mode.

At first, I thought that I needed to step up and get a new lens or two. This really was a bummer; the whole point of buying a 7d was to use the lenses from my ancient maxxum 5000.

Now that I have had some time to compare my current lens to a newer lens.... I don't see much of a difference. My old lens is an ancient 28-85 f/3.5-4.5 with macro. The lens I am considering buying is a 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (D).

So.... Would I really be gaining anything by buying the new lens? $300+ is a lot to gamble on what (on paper) is a very small gain! I know the new lens would be smaller and I guess that would be nice. The newer lens has a much larger filter size (55mm vs. 62mm) and I can't help to think that bigger/more glass means moreavailable light? Is the ADI that big of a deal?

I guess I better consider the 28-75mm f/2.8 (D) lens? This practically duplicates the zoom range of the lens I have now, but with a much better F/2.8.



Attached Images
 
thehazmatguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 20, 2006, 4:22 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

thehazmatguy wrote:
Quote:
I think I am having some growing pains with my 7d.

I just got backfrom a (workrelated) trip to Costa Rica. I had acouple of days to play so decided to take aguidedboat + jungle tour. On the tour, and later too, I really felt like using the 7d was a wrestling match. Low lighting (mid day?) translated into quite a few blurred pictures.
Bump up your ISO speed if you're getting blur and you don't want to open up the aperture anymore. Were you using Anti-shake and shooting non-stationary subjects?

I wouldn't hesitate to use higher ISO speeds if needed.

Quote:
So.... Would I really be gaining anything by buying the new lens?
More range (wider on the wide end, longer on the long end). The 24-105mm isn't really any brighter (unless it doesn't fall to f/4.5 until later in the focal range). I don't know anyone that's graphed it. It seems to be a well liked lens though (but, so is your 28-85mm).

I don't have either one. So, perhaps other users will comment. The closest thing I've got to either lens would be a Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 (which is rapidly becoming my favorite walk around lens).

Quote:
The newer lens has a much larger filter size (55mm vs. 62mm) and I can't help to think that bigger/more glass means moreavailable light?
That's just because it's starting out a bit wider. The aperture rating of the lens is what determines how much light is getting through to the sensor.

Quote:
Is the ADI that big of a deal?
Somehow, I doubt it. But, I'm not a big user of flash (which is the only time ADI comes into the equation) and I only have one ADI compatible lens.

Quote:
I guess I better consider the 28-75mm f/2.8 (D) lens? This practically duplicates the zoom range of the lens I have now, but with a much better F/2.8.
Well, it's a larger and heavier lens. Are you shooting in conditions where you need f/2.8? It is probably a bit sharper based on user reports I've seen. But, I doubt you'd see a big difference in them stopped down to smaller apertures.

You may want to post some of your problem photos so that members can try to see what went wrong with them if you're getting blur in some conditions. It could be something as simple as leaving ISO speed set too low for the lighting and aperture selected (or a depth of field issue versus a blur from movement issue).

On a moving/rocking boat, faster shutter speeds are going to be needed to reduce blur.

P.S. -- Nice photo, and Welcome to the Forums.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 10:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 144
Default

Do you have your copy of Gary Friedman's eBook on using the 5D/7D?

Really walks you through using the camera. Then of course there is always just getting comfortable with the camera.

As for the lense, and the low lighting you were mentioning I'd definately go after either the Minolta 28-75 f/2.8 or the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8

Maybe pickup a 1.5 telecoverter for when you need to reach out past the range of the 70mm zoom
kberntsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 9:23 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 7
Default

kberntsen wrote:
Quote:
Do you have your copy of Gary Friedman's eBook on using the 5D/7D?

Really walks you through using the camera. Then of course there is always just getting comfortable with the camera.

As for the lense, and the low lighting you were mentioning I'd definately go after either the Minolta 28-75 f/2.8 or the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8

Maybe pickup a 1.5 telecoverter for when you need to reach out past the range of the 70mm zoom


I don't have the Gary Friedman book, but I have considered picking it up. I have the Magic Lantern guide, and that seems ok.

I am really starting to cool down on the idea of a new wide angle lens. There are a couple of factors. 1. How often am I going to be in a rainforest taking pictures of animals the size of a dime? On an overcast day? 2. A good deal on a lens of that caliber is going to be $400. Will I get $400 better than the lens I have now? hmmm.... doubt it.

My next trip is a couple of weeks in Yellowstone/Wyoming/Montana this coming July. If I spend money on a lens, I should keep that trip in mind. My 75-300 has served me well, but maybe it's time to step up and get something nice. I saw a Sigma someplace, I think it was a 170 - 500 (or about) f5-6.3. That would rock.

(edit- looked on ebay, that lens sells for 450ish)

thehazmatguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 9:34 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 7
Default

crap.. forgot my attachment.

ok.. I resized it, so you can't really get a feel for the focus. But, in full size the frog has a soft focus from camera movement.

The shutter speed is 1/15 with an F4.5, normal program mode. The time of day is 10:40 in the morning (ignore exif, I set the time 12 hours off.)

the zoom was all the way at 85... what can I say? it's a poison frog! :-)
Attached Images
 
thehazmatguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 10:53 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Yep, my eyes aren't really good enough to judge focus at that viewing size.

But, you've got a number of things fighting you with that kind of image.

For one thing, your shutter speeds are pretty slow.

Since your angle of view at 85mm would be the same as using a 127mm lens on a 35mm camera, the "rule of thumb" for hand holding a camera would be shutter speeds of around 1/125 second or faster (the generally accepted desired shutter speed is 1/focal length or faster to reduce blur from camera shake).

You're more than 3 stops slower at 1/15 second. Yes, you've got Ant-shake to help out, and some people can hold a camera steadier than others. But, I wouldn't expect every image like that to be be tack sharp.

Another thing is that you're shooting at wide open apertures. Most lenses are going to be sharper 2 or 3 stops down from wide open. The camera's autoexposure algorithms probably went wide open because of the slow shutter speeds (most do once you get below the 1/focal length rule of thumb for shutter speed).

You've also got a shallow depth of field. So, any focus errors (or if you lean at all after locking focus) can hurt sharpness of your subject.

In addition, if the frog wasn't absolutely motionless, you'd probably get a touch of motion blur at shutter speeds that slow, too.

Just to make it worse, not only was your aperture wide open, but you were at max focal length with the lens (and most zoom lenses tend to perform better if you're not at one extreme or the other). I wasn't able to locate any MTF charts showing lens performance. But, the lens is well liked by most users and I've found my 24-85mm to be acceptable wide open. So, your 28-85mm is likely OK that way, too (although it would probably be much sharper at around f/8, that wouldn't have been practical in this case).

So, what do you do? Well, if you stopped down the aperture any to get better sharpness from the lens and more depth of field, your shutter speeds would be even slower (each one stop move would force shutter speeds twice as long). Since the primary problem is more likely shutter speed related, that would probably make things worse in this case (unless you wanted to use a flash or tripod).

Personally, I'd probably just bump up the ISO speed to ISO 800 to get shutter speeds up (that would have gotten you to 1/30 second shooting at the same aperture) and/or use extra care is squeezing the shutter button to minimize blur.




JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2006, 11:42 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 7
Default

Yeah.. I totally agree about the ISO speed. I left it on auto, and I guess I expected a little too much. I haven't had the camera long enough to get used to how "auto" the auto ISO is.

I'm sure there are lots of guys like me... who always wanted to get into photography but the costs associated with film developing kept me from really exploring the hobby.

I am having SO much more fun with my 7d than I ever did with my old Maxxum. This past weekend I took a series of pictures of motorcycles moving with the shutter speed cranked to 1/4000. I must have taken 30 -40 pictues, something I wouldn't have even considered if I had to buy all that film and get it processed. In addition, I could let someone else take pictures of me doing stupid stuff on my motorcycle without worrying about wasted pictures.

Digital kicks a$$.
thehazmatguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24, 2006, 12:16 AM   #8
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I think most modes limit Auto ISO to a max of ISO 400 (although Green Auto may go through 800). You'd have to test it in low light to find out for sure.

I don't even hesitate to set my 5D to ISO 800. I was using it that way in pretty good light over the weekend (I should have probably been using ISO 200 or 400). Noise is low enough that I don't even worry about using ISO 800.

I'll only think twice before going ISO 1600 or 3200 (I'll try to get by with 800 unless shutter speeds get too slow for a high percentage of keepers). But, if my shutter speeds get slow enough, I'll bump it all the way to ISO 3200. I'd rather have noise than blur. ;-)



JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:20 AM.