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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Feb 2013 (Thursday) 16:35
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am I thinking soundly or is it the pain meds?

 
MarkRN
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Feb 28, 2013 16:35 |  #1

I am not a regular poster here, I mainly just lurk and gape in aw of the beautiful images posted. I just had my appendix removed (was almost through my 12 hour shift at work before finally caving and walking down to the ER) and--with all my new spare time--I got to thinking.
I simply take pictures because I really enjoy it and I love seeing what I do hanging on my wall or on a wall of family/friends.
My pictures lately just don't seem to be up to par with where I imagine them to be; more often than not they are just not clear enough. I have no doubt this problem is in the gear and not my skills (or lack thereof). I can zoom with the LCD and manually focus all day but it's just not clear, there is always distortion at 100%. LR does a good job of cleaning some of it up but then it looks over processed.

Now is this a problem with the lenses I use or the body itself?
I use an XSi with either the kit lens or 55-250.

Here is an example. Taken with the 55-250 SOOC at 100%

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My lovely wife is going to let me get something and I have chosen on a 24-105L. Am I correct in thinking that a better quality lens will produce results more like what I want? Or is it a limitation of my camera?

| T4i, XSi, SD630 | 24-105 f/4 L, kit lens, 55-250, 50 f/1.8 | Bower SFD926C

  
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watt100
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Feb 28, 2013 16:49 |  #2

MarkRN wrote in post #15662381 (external link)
I am not a regular poster here, I mainly just lurk and gape in aw of the beautiful images posted. I just had my appendix removed (was almost through my 12 hour shift at work before finally caving and walking down to the ER) and--with all my new spare time--I got to thinking.
I simply take pictures because I really enjoy it and I love seeing what I do hanging on my wall or on a wall of family/friends.
My pictures lately just don't seem to be up to par with where I imagine them to be; more often than not they are just not clear enough. I have no doubt this problem is in the gear and not my skills (or lack thereof). I can zoom with the LCD and manually focus all day but it's just not clear, there is always distortion at 100%. LR does a good job of cleaning some of it up but then it looks over processed.

Now is this a problem with the lenses I use or the body itself?
I use an XSi with either the kit lens or 55-250.

Here is an example. Taken with the 55-250 SOOC at 100%


My lovely wife is going to let me get something and I have chosen on a 24-105L. Am I correct in thinking that a better quality lens will produce results more like what I want? Or is it a limitation of my camera?

if that's a 100% crop then it's the pain meds kicking in.;)

True, a 1DX and 400mm or 500mm telephoto will get you better eagle pics but you'll have to shell out 000's of $$. If you're into birds then get the 400mm 5.6 L prime




  
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MarkRN
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Feb 28, 2013 16:52 |  #3

maybe I'm just setting the expectations too high...

So if I were to spend money somewhere would I be better off getting the glass or a new body?


| T4i, XSi, SD630 | 24-105 f/4 L, kit lens, 55-250, 50 f/1.8 | Bower SFD926C

  
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watt100
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Feb 28, 2013 17:04 |  #4

MarkRN wrote in post #15662438 (external link)
maybe I'm just setting the expectations too high...

So if I were to spend money somewhere would I be better off getting the glass or a new body?

depends on your photo subjects, lighting, etc. Do you shoot a lot of sports? birds? landscapes, portraits?
The choice of lens make the most difference but newer camera models have a higher FPS rate, buffer, iso performance, etc. many more useful features than the dated XSi/450D




  
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MarkRN
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Feb 28, 2013 17:09 |  #5

I shoot mostly landscape and birds. The kit lens I find to actually be quite nice for landscape. The biggest thing I do NOT like about my camera is the ISO. 400 is the highest you can go without getting any noise and most of the time I'm free handing and would LOVE to be able to turn that up a little higher for sunrise/sunsets. So I feel that limitation. ISO and video are the only two reasons I would really care to upgrade to a 7D.


| T4i, XSi, SD630 | 24-105 f/4 L, kit lens, 55-250, 50 f/1.8 | Bower SFD926C

  
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watt100
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Feb 28, 2013 17:22 |  #6

MarkRN wrote in post #15662491 (external link)
I shoot mostly landscape and birds. The kit lens I find to actually be quite nice for landscape. The biggest thing I do NOT like about my camera is the ISO. 400 is the highest you can go without getting any noise and most of the time I'm free handing and would LOVE to be able to turn that up a little higher for sunrise/sunsets. So I feel that limitation. ISO and video are the only two reasons I would really care to upgrade to a 7D.

there's good news and bad news. The good news is you can solve your sunrise /sunset problems with just a tripod - seriously! - don't free hand those types of shots. The bad news: to get significantly better iso performance you will need to upgrade to full frame. Or invest in a little noise reduction software, it works.

for example

XSi (450D)
ISO 1600

see any digital noise?


IMAGE: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4023/4475367049_f5dde4fcd9_b.jpg

For those bird shots consider a longer telephoto - 400mm prime, 100-400, Sigma 150-500, etc.



  
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Fester
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Feb 28, 2013 17:27 |  #7

You already know the answer if you've been lurking long.
NEW BODY & non kit lens
Hope you fell better, but if your a RN you already have a stash of Vicodin...LOL




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 28, 2013 17:32 |  #8

MarkRN wrote in post #15662381 (external link)
Now is this a problem with the lenses I use or the body itself?
I use an XSi with either the kit lens or 55-250.

MarkRN wrote in post #15662438 (external link)
maybe I'm just setting the expectations too high...

So if I were to spend money somewhere would I be better off getting the glass or a new body?

For subjects like birds in decent light, the limiting factor is your 55-250 lens. There is no reason that your XSI's sensor can't resolve a sharp, clear image if you shoot it with a longer Canon prime lens. Whoever advised getting a 400 f5.6 made a very good suggestion.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Luckless
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Feb 28, 2013 17:44 |  #9

Yes, and the best thing about upgrading your glass before bodies whenever you get the chance is that when you DO get around to upgrading your body then you have a pile of great lenses to stick on it.


Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500
Flickr: Real-Luckless (external link)

  
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MarkRN
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Feb 28, 2013 18:54 |  #10

watt100 wrote in post #15662526 (external link)
there's good news and bad news. The good news is you can solve your sunrise /sunset problems with just a tripod - seriously! - don't free hand those types of shots. The bad news: to get significantly better iso performance you will need to upgrade to full frame. Or invest in a little noise reduction software, it works.

Picture looks amazing for 1600... I suppose that means I should start shooting in RAW and actually use LR3? I have a really cheap, crappy ($50) tripod but I do have a gorillapod which I love and I keep it strapped to my camera bag. I'll just have to start using it more.

The 400 f5.6 really does have me drooling...

Ya know, I have 2 weeks of nothing so I might as well learn how to use RAW files. Thanks all


| T4i, XSi, SD630 | 24-105 f/4 L, kit lens, 55-250, 50 f/1.8 | Bower SFD926C

  
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samsen
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Feb 28, 2013 19:19 |  #11

If you are looking to replace rang your current 55-250 gives, then 24-105 is not the right replacement though later has better rez and I@.
I say look seriously at 70-200L NonIS F4 that is the cheapest of all sisters in that series. You will be very happy with that.
If widelife is your prime area of importance, then look into 100-400L though price is jumping up.


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Luxornv
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Feb 28, 2013 23:55 |  #12

watt100 wrote in post #15662526 (external link)
there's good news and bad news. The good news is you can solve your sunrise /sunset problems with just a tripod - seriously! - don't free hand those types of shots. The bad news: to get significantly better iso performance you will need to upgrade to full frame. Or invest in a little noise reduction software, it works.

for example

XSi (450D)
ISO 1600

see any digital noise?


[removed picture]

For those bird shots consider a longer telephoto - 400mm prime, 100-400, Sigma 150-500, etc.

What software did you use for that? That's surprisingly clear for ISO1600.


Canon Rebel T3i - 18-55mm Kit lens- Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 - Rokinon 8mm Fish Eye - Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake - Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

  
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watt100
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Mar 01, 2013 04:22 |  #13

Luxornv wrote in post #15663651 (external link)
What software did you use for that? That's surprisingly clear for ISO1600.

Neat Image plug-in filter with Photoshop CS3. The noise reduction was applied selectively using a PS layer.




  
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BigAl007
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Mar 01, 2013 05:14 |  #14

If you really want to improve the bird type pictures, nice eagle by the way, is probably the 100-400L. Maybe not quite to the level of the 400 5.6 but very close and also has the advantage of 100-399 on the focal length. It is my big tele zoom of choice, but I have to hire one when I need it:(. Good quality glass is always going to be a winner, even on an older Rebel/xxxD camera. The attached image is from my 300D, with the 100-400, and I had to MF as the AF on the camera has packed up (it's now my backup to my "new" 20D). It is resized to 1024px to fit the posting limits from a 1091px crop from the 300D, 400mm f8 1/160 ISO100. RAW processed in LR4.1.

Shooting RAW is also going to really help, as will Exposing To The Right (ETTR), which will really help with reducing the effects of noise. A 1600 ISO image shot 1 stop to the right will look much better than any ISO 800 image shot "bang on" and any amount of under exposure will just make things even worse. Brightening an image always introduces noise, while reducing the brightness will effectivly reduce it. Both my Canon bodies under expose by around half a stop anyway, I think this is actually quite common so that will not be helping. The other thing that I would recommend is moving to Lightroom 4. LR4 has some new tools for highlight and shadow recovery that are a major improvement over previous versions of LR. This is a big benefit to those of us who ETTR as in RAW images there is a lot more highlight detail, that you cannot normally see in an in camera JPEG image, the new LR tools make showing this detail much easier.

Alan


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MarkRN
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Mar 01, 2013 09:00 |  #15

I tried ETTR but my problem is I cannot get everything set quickly enough shooting manual before I lose the shot. Most of the time with birds you get a very small window of opportunity. BUT as I was reading your post I remembered that you can change how your camera exposes even in the AV/TV modes so I'm not sure why I haven't been using it.

Just set it one stop to the right and RAW+JPEG, we'll see what I can do with that. I'll look into LR4


| T4i, XSi, SD630 | 24-105 f/4 L, kit lens, 55-250, 50 f/1.8 | Bower SFD926C

  
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am I thinking soundly or is it the pain meds?
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