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PHDX

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  1. PHDX

    Sony 24-105 f4

    I own several GM lenses and tried the 24 105 which I bought recently for my daughter. I compared it at 24, 35, 55 and 100 focal lengths with my gear. In a nutshell, the 24 105 is excellent for what it is and you need to crop beyond 100% to see it is a little behind the 16-35 GM at 24 and 35, the 55 1.8 at 55 or the 100-400 GM at 100. You can see a difference, more specifically in corners, but in most cases it should not be an issue. I must also say that in some cases like when I was in the desert in Saudia Arabia with a windy weather, avoiding to change your lens would have been very welcome ! For my own main use at F8-F11 for landscape, it could be an option provided that I would also add in my bag a prime like the Zeiss Batis 18mm.
  2. Hi guys, I wanted to share with you my growing experience with the Sony 100-400 GM : When you buy such a lens, you are supposed to target a specific use such as sport or wildlife photography. And yes this is true, the first reflex may be to carry this heavy lens only for those purposes. Let's say immediately that the weight is a relative criteria : in fact for such a focal length zoom, it's not very heavy and quite frankly not difficult to hold. The price is much more an issue for most of us, but what a lens ! Paired with my A7RIII, it is fast and accurate (it might be even better with the A9 I guess), the autofocus works quite well and the sharpness at all focal lengths and apertures is very good, if not outstanding. The build quality is excellent and the focus hold buttons (there are three !) very useful (eye AF). Now what can you do with it ?. As already mentioned, sports and wildlife. Here are two basic examples : my son in action (ISO 1600, 1/1000, F5.6, 189 mm), it was a late afternoon with not a lot of light and I had to shoot at rather high ISO. Nothing is perfect and the 100-400 is not a F2.8 lens. This is the compromise you have to accept. But the picture is quite OK. The second picture is a classical one (ISO 400, 1/1000, F7.1, 400 mm) : it was hand held and the the stabilization worked well. To be honest, 400 mm was not enough and I had to crop a lot in post. Since that time, I bought the 1.4 teleconverter which works quite well and give the extra reach I was missing, the image quality reamining excellent. But you know what ? I did not buy this lens for the above pictures. I got it because I needed something to get closer to my subject in landscape photography ! There are many occasions when you cannot be close to the subject, and if you can be, it will not provide you the same view at all. In addition the compression can be very interesting for landscapes. So may be you will find this awkward but this zoom comes with me in my bag with my other landscape zoom, the 16-35 GM. Here are two simple examples of lanscape pictures with the 100-400 : for the first one (ISO 100, 1/200, F8, 400 mm), I was on the other side of the lake in the mountain. The only other alternative would have been to be in an helicopter and then shoot with a shorter focal length ! The second one (ISO 100, 1/160, F8, 218 mm) could not be taken being close to this Vauban castle in the Alps. Let's say also, that all those pictures were taken hand held. If you are really curious about landscape photography with such a lens, read the excellent Sony 100-400 GM review made by Albert Dros (www.albertdros.com): I am just an amateur and he is a real Professional. But you can do even more with the 100-400 GM : I tried some close pictures of flowers in my garden and it's not bad at all. May be, it's not as good as with the excellent 90 F2.8 Macro G lens, but I was very positively surprised by what I got. Here are two examples : the pictures of the first flower (ISO 100, 1/400, F8, 198 mm) and the second one (ISO 200, 1/200, F16, 221mm) have been taken on a sturdy tripod. The weather was a little windy and then the flowers did constantly move. However, as you can see, the pictures are reasonably sharp. Let's say also, that you need to close your aperture down since the depth of field is very narrow. The blurred backround was also a nice surprise knowing that with the help of Capture One, you can do a lot in post ! For this second picture, you may see a small insect in the top center of the rose. I did crop at 400 % and here is the result : Personnaly, I am quite impressed by the quality of the 100-400 ! Last but not the least : when I want to do a shooting for portrait photography, I use my 85 F1.4 GM which is one of the best portrait lenses I know. However, you can also get out of the logic box and use the 100-400 GM : I did some portraits hand held which are quite interesting and the sharpness was really good. Shooting at 100mm F4.5 brings enough blurred backround and the colors are awsome. So, in a nutshell, this 100-400 GM is a superb lens from which you can get many good surprises provided you are ready to keep open minded and carry it !
  3. I was walking around and found this old oak tree which was about to be chopped down, with one high branch which had already been cut. Since the inside was eaten by insects, it has created holes with as a result a screaming face, as if this old tree expressed its fear to disappear... With my A7RIII, 100-400 GM at 253mm, 1/1000s, F5.6, ISO 640. #sonyalpharumors
  4. Hi all, Following a previous conversation, I did leave the Adobe world (and more specifically Lightroom) to join Capture One. I shall not come back on the reasons which made me leave Lightroom after many years of use. They have been already shared by myself, among many others. I just wanted to share with you my first impressions on Capture One : It definitely took little time to adapt to this new environment but not with significant difficulties : 1 / Lightroom is certainly more advanced and powerful for the management of catalogs but at the end I found my ways with Capture one. It was a good occasion to review my own organization without changing the basics : keep my raw pictures database organized with the simple time criteria. I must confess that the migration of my Lightroom catalogs has not been very easy and i had in some cases to reshape things (not all parameters are transferred)but it was worth the journey. 2/ Pictures Color treatment : this is in my opinion quite a strong point in Capture One and since I do mostly portraits and landscape pictures, it is definitively a powerful tool. The way you can refine colors in capture One is just excellent. You need to get used to it and choose the advanced menu to get the best of it but once you understanfd how it works, what a pleasure ! I like verymuch the possibility to transfer a color change into a mask and then refine the picture where you want to have the right impact. Lightroom does not give you that, but, of course you can use Photoshop to use masks. 3/ You can find in Capture One all what you need for your pictures, like in Lightroom,and sometimes more, but you have to test each piece since the algorithms are not the same and then the result may differ : to take a very simple case, the color saturation button does not give the same impact as in Lightroom : just a question of adaptation. To this respect, I strongly recommend to watch the available tutorials or webminars dedicated to Capture One : not only you will understand quickly how to use it but also understand what's behind each functionality. 4/ About the price : I did leave the Canon world a few years ago (after having owned a 5D MKII that I loved) for joining the Sony world which I like verymuch (such a big progress in a few years !) and then I have bought the Sony version of capture One 10 for 50 Euros. Not such a big expense, knowing that I got the version 11 release for free. I must confess that after so many years of lightroom (from version 1 to version 6 !), my main workhorse, I was anxious to switch to something else : I can witness today that i have no regret and hope that capture One will sustain long with the right philosphy of making real progress in each new version.
  5. PHDX

    A7rIII

    Without doubts the new camera is better, but shooting mainly landscape and portraits, I am not so much sensitive to this. Yes 10 fps is great but not absolutely necessary. And yes a new battery is quite an improvement but I already use a grip with my A7 RII. Dynamic range, which is very important for me (may be the first reason why I bought the RII) has also improved a little and also IBIS, but not to such an extent that it makes a big difference. Then there is the pixel shift, but for a limited use and no possibility to check the result in the camera. For the future, I might not want a big increase in pixel count but certainly a new generation of sensor with better color quality and DR. However, I am glad to see Sony moving on and I shall wait for the A7 RIV !
  6. Thanks guys for your quite relevant answers. I did start using Capture One and, although it takes time to adapt coming from Lightroom, it seems quite powerful. I need of course to learn and test much more (and presumably it will take some time to reach a good undersatnding of all the features) but the test I did with landscape pictures on Capture One sounds very promising. By the way, I was so used to Lightroom that I had lost somewhat my creativity, applying very often the same corrections or changes to my pictures : switching to another system with a different philosophy and structure forces me to adopt a new behaviour. As you all know, probably better than me, Photography requires patience and time, but it's defenitely worth the journey.
  7. Dear all, I have been a Lighthroom user for years and been satisfied with it even though nobody's perfect and some other are better in some aspects. The announcement from Adobe That they discontinue the standalone version (LR6) and promote only The CC version (be it "Classic" or not) looks like a "take it or leave" message ! On a pure economic standpoint, I fully understand their interest : getting a permanent subscription fee at a minimum of 144€ per year should make the shareholders happy ! But, considering my needs, I do not see a lot of advantages in switching to the CC. I understand the benefits of the cloud and the capacity to access to your pictures everywhere you are and with any type of device, but quite frankly I do not care. Having the full LR version downloaded on my PC and on another portable is quite enough for me and I am not dependent on any internet / WIFI connection to do my posttreatment. You also may argue on the security and the fact you can save your production on the Adobe cloud : fine, but having backups on several portable harddisks is sufficient for me, knowing that a lot of progress is made with those devices and you can find at least 2 Tbytes robust portable harddisks at a quite reasonable price. There are certainly other advantages to switch to CC ,speed (?), permanent releases...but at the risk to be extremely oldfashioned, i am quite happy with what I already have. Is there anyone sharing the same opinion or am I the only one ?
  8. To answer your questions : For the grip, the ergonomics are quite good with no problem in using this for one hour or more. It's even better since you can really keep the camera in your hand without effort. In addition, it's much easier to shoot hands held on portrait mode. For the lenses, I would just say that the Zeiss 55 F1.8 is a good option, quite sharp and light, if you do not need a faster aperture.
  9. Hi, I have been a canon user for 10 years and switched to Sony a few years ago : If you are targetting the good quality Sony zoom lenses, it will be very comparable in terms of size and weight (I did have the Canon 24-70 L, and 70-200 L, and now shoot with the Sony 24-70 GM paired with my A7 RII). So, the big difference is the camera body by far smaller and lighter as you already know : it's quite a change when you come from a 5D series but you get used to that quickly. However, in order to get a more balanced system with the Sony, I got a grip which brings also other advantages such as battery life (a sony weakness). all in all, it is still smaller than a 5D III or IV. I am pretty happy with my Sony today and would certainly not come back to Canon, but not for weight reasons : the DR, the pixel count (which enable to crop more), and other features are better. If you do not want the native Sony zooms, may be you could have a look on the last Sigma ones rather than Tamron : they seem quite attractive in terms of quality. Now, despite the rather small difference for the lenses between Sony and canon, a keeping a comparable set of lenses (4), I had the capacity to carry a smaller Lowerpro bag with the Sony gear than with my former canon one. Some of the Sony (Zeiss) lenses like the 55 F1.8 being quite small and light (same for the 12-24 zoom).
  10. I owned the 16-35 F4 in absence of any other good zoom at the time, and sold it because there was an overlap with my 24-70 GM. I then got recently the 12-24. I had a good experience with the Zeiss 16-35 and if you have a limited budget, it would be probably the best choice for landscape. In addition, this zoom is quite small and light. I did not try the 16-35 GM but I guess it is better in terms of sharpness and hopefully at 35 where the Zeiss is not very good. I have tested the 12-24 since a month in different situations and it performs well. However it is a real wide angle zoom with the distortion you may expect and the corners at all apertures are quite soft. I would say it is a nice to have but somewhat a specialized zoom, not the one I would have bought first. So, if you have enough money to spend, if you are not afraid with the weight and size, and according to the existing reviews, the 16-35 GM could be the good choice A last comment : you come from the Nikon world (I came from the Canon one some years ago) and are probably used to a bulkier bodies. It is clear that, with the actual technology, most of the very good lenses will allways be rather heavy, so do not hesitate to add a grip to your camera : it will be much better balanced (among other advantages) This is what I did and I am very happy with that.
  11. Hi all, I am just an amateur photographer; So take my comments with I have got the new 12 24 lens a few days ago and spent my week end in shooting with it urban landscape in Paris. All what I have already read on the lens seems quite true : First of all, it is a light and somewhat small one ! (when compared to my bulky 24 70 GM which I like however) Very easy when paired with my A7RII. The ergonomics are quite good and overall quality fine with me. The focussing is fast enough and I had no difficulties in shooting hands held although a tripod would have obviously brought more quality to the pictures. In terms of sharpness, be it at 12, 16 or 24, the center and near center are very good. However, the (extreme) corners are clearly soft, even at F8 or F11 (I almost never shoot at more than F11 with the A7RII). I did not check any MTF curves, and did not make serious comparisons with other lenses such as the 16-35 F4 Zeiss but it seems not far from It in terms of sharpness. At 24mm, my 24-70 GM is better, but I did not buy this 12-24 to shoot at 24 ! To be honest, my favorite prints are the A2 ones, and for this size, the pictures are sharp enough (except if you have to crop a lot). As far as the distortion in concerned, it has been said that it is well contained and I could not agree more for such a wide angle zoom. Not very difficult to correct with Lightroom (or better, with DXO). For this first test, I did not benefit from the lens correction in Lightroom which is not yet there.. Since, most of the time, I do not shoot in low light with such a lens, the F4 maximum aperture is not an issue and, if needed, I shall shoot at a low speed with a tripod of course. I would be curious to test this zoom for shooting the milky way although a wider aperture than F4 would be better. As a conclusion, this first test was positive and I shall certainly keep this zoom in my bag, using it more specifically in the 12-16 range.
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