Thread: Canon Lens
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:13 PM   #25
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 27
Default Just organizing my thoughts

Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
I think a writer of ad copy has just joined the forums! Or a CEO ...
The last few hours I have been playing around with some lenses I have not messed with for a long time (9 of them in all) and it has been a lot of fun. My main lens, a Tamron 28-300 with VC seems slow at times, especially at the longer focal lengths and in the dark. Go to BHPHOTO.COM and you see most users rate the Tamron slower than the corresponding Nikon, and most users seem to agree, even the guys at the local Mike’s Cameras (3 stores) who have been promoting the brand in its 28-200 and longer variants for the last 20 years. I once asked them to show me the corresponding Nikon and they said they don’t keep them around.

The long Tamrons, a 28-200 about 20 years old, a 28-300 about 10 years old, a 28-300 about one year old (the only with VC Vibration Control), (and excluding the 18-200 about 4 years old) all seem about the same, doing best at less zoom, better light and strong vertical lines to focus on. In really low light there was lots of searching but eventually I could get all them to focus, but sometimes there is embarrassment if I am shooting people on the street in borderline conditions, but never a failure to get the focus in less than 10-15 seconds estimated. Sometimes it is best to simply manually pre-focus at eternity shooting birds for example because they can go shooting by pretty fast and often background gets in the way. Same for airplanes sometimes since one can get the infinity sweet spot with a little practice. Also best to pre-focus on infinity if you are swinging the camera around a lot because the Nikons really like to grab onto the nearest thing, often unpredictably, for example shooting out through the window of a moving car at variable targets. In this case take steps to make sure you don’t get distracted, best to have a separate driver or a good mount and a good remote control and hope the cops don’t want to get you anyway. For example I miss a lot of things along the road corresponding to what the RR guys show in derailments, being sometimes it’s spooky to stop and start photographing the scene of an accident or traffic stop. It makes the cops paranoid.

I was surprised that the 18-200 seemed considerably snappier than the other Tamrons giving me hope that the 18-270 itself might do well although I have no plans to buy one but would if I had to depend on the D200 again.

The shorter-is-better continued through the others to my surprise. The Tokina 20-35 F 3.5 which I have had around for a long time really jumped to it, much faster than anything else, even my Nikon F 2.8 60 mm Macro lens which has been around for a long time. Neither the Nikon 75-300 (F 4.5-5.6) nor the Sigma 400 (F 5.6) was any better than any of the Tamrons at equivalent focal lengths.

I have been on the BH-Photo web site today and I am frankly amazed at how much money one can put into some of those lens, especially Nikon and Canon among others. The Tamrons I have been talking about, the 18-270 and the 28-300 both with VC are in the $600 class and I would love to have some of the more expensive lens to run against them but I would have to be convinced of their practical value. For example things not visible in normal conditions don’t impress me, things like minor vignetting etc. As far as detail goes I believe in strict testing of various combinations of equipment, of objects that one can zoom way in on the computer and compare things of realistic nature, such as bar codes or printed pages or dental x-rays at what ever distance is selected, since viewers intuitively identify with such things, like a bar code at 15 feet is always a challenge. And these zoom shots should be presented as unknowns, since various viewers have agendas and preconceived notions. Plus it is important that test shots be of identical density and that implies ripping off a series in bracket mode so that identical densities are available.

I have always liked the Tamrons because everything is right there near and far and macro and wide angle at close distance, etc, like taking pictures of the person riding with you on a two person chair lift. The D700 supports very high speeds, up to 6,400, although noise has more of a tendency to creep in with poor light, although one can often see good detail behind the noise (little speckled dots of color.) One needs to constantly check quality and the display on the back is simply in a different world than my D200. Faces can be tough so one should be ready to whip on the flash unless operating low profile. And the only test that counts to me is how well the image responds when one puts it on the computer and starts “Zooming & Grabbing” to see how much detail he can get from an image, like how many individual nice images from a line of football cheerleaders doing a series of high kicks, shot at 6 frames per second, maximum of 30 shots. Like the girls are really cute, have their legs way up in the air and enjoy having their pictures taken.

I am a radiologist and I have been fighting these battles of preconceived notions for a long time. There are scattered articles promoting techniques that supposedly increase “detail” but the tests and experiments described are not clinically realistic but that has stopped some people (technicians) from seizing on them and one has to be on guard that these things don’t creep into clinical practice, since unfortunately these techniques all tend to result in much longer exposure times, in a game where speed is often the one thing that solves lots of your problems, like shooting x-rays of “fighting drunks” from the ER in the middle of the night and standard techniques have to be programmed into machines.

I find ACDSEE as good as anything for viewing and organizing images. For example one merely needs draw a box around an area of interest and click inside it and that area immediately fills the screen. I have not met anybody who has seen anything slicker or quicker.

I keep CaptureWizPro sitting on the edge of my screen. Hit draw a box around the part of the screen of interest and the program grabs the image, gives it an ascending file name and that is it. There are other options too but that is slickest. $70 with 30 day free trial. $40 with 30 day free trial.

Both companies are easy to work with, being friendly and non-predatory.

I like the combination of these two programs to carry out what I call “Zoom & Grab” which results in little or no loss of pixels if done right, since one is using the entire screen, rather than the loss of pixels that occurs with “cropping.” I suspect cropping when different images on this site by the same viewer show lots of variation in file size and I suspect that in many cases “Zoom & Grab” would have resulted in better image quality.

In a similar vein, the fastest way to look at images on FLICKR seems to be in slide show format and these images yield nicely to reaching out and grabbing them with CaptureWizPro, since they do not respond the same way as .JPEG’s would, since they are in JAVA.
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