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Thread: I need some advice

  1. #1
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    I need some advice

    So I've been shooting daily for my photo-a-day blog for almost 6 months with my Leica M kit and Hasselblad MF kit and occaisionaly with my Panasonic GF1. What I'm missing is parties, dinners, events, etc., anything with animals and small children and anything with a lot of motion. Looking at my blog (there's a link to it below my signature) you would think that there's not a living think on earth.

    The Leica kit is problematic for me in poor available light because I'm slightly astigmatic - doesn't bother me in decent light but fully dilated I find it hard to focus. Events push the GF1 to or past its limits - it's just a bit too slow and high ISO isn't there.

    Last time I was happy shooting events it was with a Canon 5D (which I've given to my daughter). So I'm thinking . . . maybe a 5DII and a 50mm f1.2L. An extra battery and backup charger, and off I go. Costs about the same as a typical Leica M lens - I've got a lot of them so I could sell one to finance it. I've shot Canon a lot so it's not a great leap mastering it.

    Am I nuts?

  2. #2
    tokengirl
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    Re: I need some advice

    I don't think you're nuts. It's a lovely camera with great high ISO performance, and if you were happy with the autofocus of the 5D, the MkII will be just fine. (I only mention this because there are a whole lot of people all over the internet who were very surprised that the autofocus of the 5DMkII was not as sophisticated as Canon's $5-8,000 cameras. Go figure.)

    As an alternative to the 50mm f1.2 L, you might want to consider the Sigma 50mm f1.4. It has lovely bokeh, is very sharp, and very nice build quality for about $1,000 less money.

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    Re: I need some advice

    I bought a 5DII and 50 f1.2L a few months ago and couldn't be any happier with them. Go for it!

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    Question: Why not buy a 5D original?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    also consider the Nikons (D700 or D3)

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    Re: I need some advice

    Woody...

    Why mess around?

    H3D II 39 M9....the ideal compliment may be a Sony A900 and a couple of ZA lenses.



    Or just get an 18 MP Rebel 550/XT2i....small fast and great processor.

    Just to be clear...my wife and daughter shoot XSis I have used 1D 1DsMarkII
    original 5D, Nikon D3 and D100, D70, D700....now just stare at the back of the A900...very little post process needed. AF lightyears ahead of my H3DII 39 with moving subjects.

    Just a thought.

    Bob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    A different POV:

    A lot of kid energy/motion and a 50/1.2 on a 5D(MKII)? All I can say is ... good luck.

    A reco from someone that always has a person in the shot ... Nikon D700, AFS 24-70/2.8 nano coated zoom. Fat pixels, zoom track the kids, super low light ability, faster AF than the 5D or 5DMKII. Give one a whirl and see what you think.

    The Siggy 50/1.4 is available in Nikon mount also, but I found it slow focusing on either camera.

    -Marc

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    My simple .02, and only because I know you and know how you shoot Woody...

    If you want fast, accurate AF and want to stay in Canon, then I'd go for the 1 series. FOcus is significantly faster and more accurate than the other bodies. 5D2 IQ is great, as is high ISO, but AF in low light I would be willing to bet won't suit you; while the 1's will AF track a black cat running across a dark alley. For glass, I owned the Canon 50/1.2 and 1.4 as well as the Sigma 50/1.4. Of all those, I preferred the Sigma. It's a bit slower focussing than the C f1.4 lens, but faster than the 1.2; the 1.2 has a great look but so does the Sigma wide open, pretty darn close anyway, and equally as good or maybe even better optically than the 1.2 at f1.4... Your round out glass... The 35 L is due for a makeover -- nice lens, L look, but biggish. The 85/1.2-II is a dream, but big and still slow focusing. But you'll need to use those L's to get the "look" you want wide open...

    Howeverbutt -- the 1 series cams are tanks, and more so with fast glass. Add a big glass and I'd agree with Bob, your Hassy with the 100 and the 45 is not looking like a bad "street" alternative...
    Jack
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    Re: I need some advice

    I might have an alternative a canon 7d with a 35 1.4. It is noisier then a 5d 11 or 1d mk 111 or 1v but it is light excellent autofocus and at iso up to 200 excellent. I have no problem with it's image quality to 1600, 3200 is fine but not in the same league with the 5d or 1d series cameras. It is light weight has a good feel. Also if you ever need telephoto that 1.6 crop is nice. also the 35 might be getting a makeover but it is a damm fine lens just not weather sealed. I ahve the 5d mk 111 and a 1dmk111. The autofocus is much better on the 7d then the 5d mk11. I use iso up to 4000 for newspaper work on the 7d.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    Give the guy a break, who wants to take a 1 series to a party or a dinner? I know I wouldn't . The D700 with a 50mm 1.4 sounds about right (should you want that focal length), small and relatively unobtrusive and a perfect camera for that kind of stuff.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    Thanks to all. On the Canon front I've owned the 5D and it did tend to hunt in low light (I remember on occasions being very frustrated with it) - if the 5DII isn't an improvement in that respect it may not be my best choice. The 1 series is too big and conspicuous for my purposes

    If the Nikon D700 is the heir to the F100 I could love it (the F100 was my last film DSLR). Not so many pixels so "glue the center spot to an eye and tighten up in post" is less of an option than with Canon.

    On the D700 how is low light autofocus away from the center spot?

    Bob - in terms of handling what are the things that you love about the Sony? Lens recommendations, particularly fast primes? (A quick web search for Sony A900 lenses left me a bit in the dark.) Environmental sealing?

    The Hassy + 100 just doesn't make it from an ISO standpoint, and it's kind of big . . . well actually really big.
    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 6th April 2010 at 06:22.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    Thanks to all. On the Canon front I've owned the 5D and it did tend to hunt in low light (I remember on occasions being very frustrated with it) - if the 5DII isn't an improvement in that respect it may not be my best choice. The 1 series is too big and conspicuous for my purposes If the Nikon D700 is the heir to the F100 I could love it (the F100 was my last film DSLR). Not so many pixels so "glue the center spot to an eye and tighten up in post" is less of an option than with Canon.

    On the D700 how is low light autofocus away from the center spot?

    Bob - in terms of handling what are the things that you love about the Sony?

    The Hassy + 100 just doesn't make it from an ISO standpoint, and it's kind of big . . . well actually really big.
    One of the chief attributes of the D700 is its fast AF. Frankly, I couldn't tell much difference between it and the D3. Make sure you get AFS lenses if you go this route.

    -Marc

  13. #13
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    Some images from last night - examples of the sort of thing I like to do. Note that live view helps out on the odd angles, but isn't essential to me.

    Attachment 29570

    Attachment 29567

    Attachment 29569

    Attachment 29568

  14. #14
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    How do people feel about Lightroom support for the Nikon and Sony options?

  15. #15
    tokengirl
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    Re: I need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    Some images from last night - examples of the sort of thing I like to do. Note that live view helps out on the odd angles, but isn't essential to me.

    Attachment 29570

    Attachment 29567

    Attachment 29569

    Attachment 29568
    I don't see anything here that would be particularly challenging for the 5DMkII.

    Here is a link to some wedding reception photos I took with the 5DMKII and 85mm f1.2 L:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo...7623349770413/

    Maybe you should rent one for a few days?

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    Re: I need some advice

    Woody,

    Marc's recommendation is very sound...I found the D700 was a bit more robust in AF than the Sony...but if you are not chasing kids around the room it seems very consistent in nailing the focus.

    A900 viewfinder is as good as the Nikon...


    The steady shot in camera stabilization and new LR 3.2 Beta even out the disparate ISOs for the two cameras for most general shooting.


    Lenses are a mixed bag for primes...wonderful Zeiss 135 and 85, a very good Sony 50 1.4, 35 1.4 which has great bokeh moderately sharp but images very well. There is a 20 2.8 that is a holdover from the Minolta legacy which has received good reviews by others.

    Zeiss zooms 24-70 and 16-35 seem as good as any out there. Very 3D rendering for all the ZA lenses.

    Main difference is in color balance...seems more true to life than Nikon and does need less postprocess on my part...even with profiled cameras.
    Kind of a wash...I prefer the color and the larger file of the Sony.

    Hopefully Marc will comment as he transitioned to Sony from the Nikon for some of his wedding work.

    Bob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    I would avoid the 5dII. I just had some experience with the 7d , which is supposed to have better AF than the 7d and found the 7d AF is not up to Nikons AF regarding accurancy.
    The 50/1.2 is a wonderfull lens but it doesnt help much if the AF is not accurate enough to focus such a shallow DOF.
    What I heard from the photo store is that with the 5dII there are even more people having AF problems.

    I am back with Nikon now (D700) and am quite happy.
    C1 seems to render skins tones fine (since I also wasnt totally happy with Nikon colors before).

    I cant comment on the Sony other than the images I see are nearly allways beautiful. However I find the lens options for Sony somewhat limitting.

    Regards, Tom

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    Ahh, and if you like fast primes Nikon has the 24/1.4, 28/1.4 (beautiful lens IMO), Sigma 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 105/2.0, 135/2.0DC, 200VR all great lenses for my taste.
    If I didnt have had all the Nikkors allready it still would have been a tough call between Sony and Nikon.
    On the other side with more use of autoiso I am quite happy to have the good high iso quality of the d700.
    Kids move fast and it helps in this regard. Other than that specially in shaddows and low contrast areas the d700 does a fantastic job.
    I dont get paid for praising the Nikon but I am just happy to be back with Nikon after my inconsistent Canon experience (regardinf AF accurancy but also regarding noise behavior).
    I believe that the 5dII and 7d are not up to the quality of the Canon lenses.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    I'm confused. This went from "a Canon body and 50/1.2" to an entire system with huge 200/1.8 AFS VR and stuff like that?

    You need lenses like that to shoot an event, and precocious kids like another hole in your noggin.

    Not enough lens choices in the Sony system? Get real. More than enough to shoot what Woody is after, and then some. Sony is missing T/S optics and that's about it. Personally, I've never seen a need to shoot running Grand Kids with a $2,500 T/S manual focus lens ... but hey, maybe that's just me.

    Nikon 100/2 or 135/2? What? Old Nikon "snail paced" AF with paper thin DOF?

    I swapped over from Nikon to Sony for weddings because IMO 1) the Zeiss lenses and their incredible micro contrast and 3D focus fall off 2) the best color right out of the camera due to the mid-range tonal skew and sacrifice of super high ISOs ... no small issue when slogging through 500 to 800 wedding images.

    Question is, do you shoot that much at a crack, and how much of it is converted to B&W?

    I'll stick with my org. reco: D700 and a Nano Coated AFS 24-70/2.8. Nikon has their zooms (14-24, 24-70, 70-200) in order now, and IMO they beat the snot out of the aging Canon equivalents. I'm talking near prime lens IQ territory here. Also, on the D3 or D700 they produce the best B&W conversions with the least amount of effort bar none ... including the Canons and Sonys.

    Here are a few with the D700 and D3 (basically the same camera including AF accuracy and speed in my experience ... except the D700 is small and promotes "take with"). The New Year's "Balloon" image was the D700 done one handed over the shoulder of a guest as a Hail Mary shot. The "Bouquet Beat Down" tryptic shows the swift AF abilities of the Nikon.

    The guy "admiring the feminine landscape" was the Sony A900 ... which focuses fine and gets the decisive moment shots when commanded to do so

    -Marc

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    Woody, you don't want to hear this, but the last work of that type that I did that really, really liked was taken with the
    >>>




    >>>




    >>>


    M8 & 50 Lux:






    >>>


    Now I've replaced it with the GF1. Clearly not in the same league, but it gets the job done for me -- and you were there right after I made the switch :



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  21. #21
    tokengirl
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    Re: I need some advice

    You are right, they are not in the same league. The M8 sure makes people look a lot cuter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Woody, you don't want to hear this, but the last work of that type that I did that really, really liked was taken with the

    M8 & 50 Lux:






    >>>


    Now I've replaced it with the GF1. Clearly not in the same league, but it gets the job done for me -- and you were there right after I made the switch :




  22. #22
    Super Duper
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    Re: I need some advice

    Marc,

    you are right - I did not carefully read the first post.
    Answering the first post I would say for action, and events a camera should a) offer fast and accurate AF and b) good high ISO.
    That would be Nikon for me, yes with either the 24-70/2.8 or with 1-3 fast zoom(s), like 24/1.4, 50/1.4 and or a 85 or 105 (I still insist the DC lenses are great lenses to photograph people and kids)

    The other thing is that often things start out with a body and 1 lens but after some time there might come wishes to also be able to do other things, for example to use a T/S lens. In this regard I think its nice to have the option later on.

    For running kids I am now a big fan of the 70-200/2.8VR - also a big lens but its the best fast AF telezoom lens I have experienced so far.

    So I stay with my opinion that even though I would give the slight edge to Sony for the beautiful tonality and color I often see in posted images that Nikon is the more flexible system and specially for action the AF and high ISO should be a benefit.









    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm confused. This went from "a Canon body and 50/1.2" to an entire system with huge 200/1.8 AFS VR and stuff like that?

    You need lenses like that to shoot an event, and precocious kids like another hole in your noggin.

    Not enough lens choices in the Sony system? Get real. More than enough to shoot what Woody is after, and then some. Sony is missing T/S optics and that's about it. Personally, I've never seen a need to shoot running Grand Kids with a $2,500 T/S manual focus lens ... but hey, maybe that's just me.

    Nikon 100/2 or 135/2? What? Old Nikon "snail paced" AF with paper thin DOF?

    I swapped over from Nikon to Sony for weddings because IMO 1) the Zeiss lenses and their incredible micro contrast and 3D focus fall off 2) the best color right out of the camera due to the mid-range tonal skew and sacrifice of super high ISOs ... no small issue when slogging through 500 to 800 wedding images.

    Question is, do you shoot that much at a crack, and how much of it is converted to B&W?

    I'll stick with my org. reco: D700 and a Nano Coated AFS 24-70/2.8. Nikon has their zooms (14-24, 24-70, 70-200) in order now, and IMO they beat the snot out of the aging Canon equivalents. I'm talking near prime lens IQ territory here. Also, on the D3 or D700 they produce the best B&W conversions with the least amount of effort bar none ... including the Canons and Sonys.

    Here are a few with the D700 and D3 (basically the same camera including AF accuracy and speed in my experience ... except the D700 is small and promotes "take with"). The New Year's "Balloon" image was the D700 done one handed over the shoulder of a guest as a Hail Mary shot. The "Bouquet Beat Down" tryptic shows the swift AF abilities of the Nikon.

    The guy "admiring the feminine landscape" was the Sony A900 ... which focuses fine and gets the decisive moment shots when commanded to do so

    -Marc

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    Re: I need some advice

    I switched from Canon to Nikon D3 a while back and have never regretted the move. I miss the 85/1.2L and nothing else. I dont trust autofocus on any of the systems shooting wide open on moving targets. better is a little flash unit - by far and then you might just stay with the Leica..since getting my M9 ..everything else is just a paper weight..

    just a thought.

  24. #24
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm confused. This went from "a Canon body and 50/1.2" to an entire system with huge 200/1.8 AFS VR and stuff like that?

    You need lenses like that to shoot an event, and precocious kids like another hole in your noggin.

    Not enough lens choices in the Sony system? Get real. More than enough to shoot what Woody is after, and then some. Sony is missing T/S optics and that's about it. Personally, I've never seen a need to shoot running Grand Kids with a $2,500 T/S manual focus lens ... but hey, maybe that's just me.

    Nikon 100/2 or 135/2? What? Old Nikon "snail paced" AF with paper thin DOF?

    I swapped over from Nikon to Sony for weddings because IMO 1) the Zeiss lenses and their incredible micro contrast and 3D focus fall off 2) the best color right out of the camera due to the mid-range tonal skew and sacrifice of super high ISOs ... no small issue when slogging through 500 to 800 wedding images.

    Question is, do you shoot that much at a crack, and how much of it is converted to B&W?

    I'll stick with my org. reco: D700 and a Nano Coated AFS 24-70/2.8. Nikon has their zooms (14-24, 24-70, 70-200) in order now, and IMO they beat the snot out of the aging Canon equivalents. I'm talking near prime lens IQ territory here. Also, on the D3 or D700 they produce the best B&W conversions with the least amount of effort bar none ... including the Canons and Sonys.

    Here are a few with the D700 and D3 (basically the same camera including AF accuracy and speed in my experience ... except the D700 is small and promotes "take with"). The New Year's "Balloon" image was the D700 done one handed over the shoulder of a guest as a Hail Mary shot. The "Bouquet Beat Down" tryptic shows the swift AF abilities of the Nikon.

    The guy "admiring the feminine landscape" was the Sony A900 ... which focuses fine and gets the decisive moment shots when commanded to do so

    -Marc
    Great looking parties!!

  25. #25
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    I've managed to borrow a Sony kit and rent a D700 kit so I'm doing a personal shoot-out over the weekend. Have an engagement party tonight that I'll take the D700 to.

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    So I made a choice. I'll let you guess what the camera and lens are from the 20 images in the following posts. The first outing to shoot an event was a disaster, with typical problems that you have with a new camera. Second outing was better. The following are from my third outing, last night. I think I have most of the issues sorted at this point. Keeper ratio (from a technical standpoint) was about 60% - not bad given the very poor lighting. With what I learned last night I may get it to 80%. Anyway, the images follow.

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice










  28. #28
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice





    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 18th April 2010 at 17:26.

  29. #29
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice








    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 18th April 2010 at 17:26.

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice










  31. #31
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice







    That's all!

  32. #32
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: I need some advice

    Focus is actually more consistent than the samples suggest - I'm still experimenting and one of the approaches I used last night seems to work better than the others.

    This really seems to be going in the direction that I had hoped when I started this thread.

    Thanks to all for your help (particularly John Milich who lent me his A900).
    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 18th April 2010 at 17:34.

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