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Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
11
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Just as infantile as your purse comment.
And just as provoked. From what I can see going back, you instigated with the "breaking it down as I would for a small child" comment. Find one time before you initiated the insults where I took that route. You furthermore put another person's words into my mouth, and then proceded to berate my courtesy and ability to discuss without any reason to do so. Yes, I stooped to your level, and you're right I should not have.

Throughout this entire exchange, my point has always been that there is a difference between being "fast" and being "useful at full aperture" and that you are confusing the two. That is all.

ZV
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Throughout this entire exchange, my point has always been that there is a difference between being "fast" and being "useful at full aperture" and that you are confusing the two. That is all.

ZV
It's an incorrect point. I am confusing nothing.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
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I think the 50mm f/1.8 argument here can be summarized in a variety of ways:

1. The focusing motor on the 50mm f/1.8 is slow, not even close to the speed of USM. Therefore focus is also slow, sometimes too slow.

2. Focusing accuracy varies. Accuracy depends on:

a. The camera body. Better bodies can focus more accurately than cheaper bodies. This is because better bodies are better at determining when something is actually in focus than other bodies. For example, the autofocus capabilities of the 5D are better than that of the XT.
b. The lens. Some lenses are not calibrated correctly for the specific body. In this case people may find front-focusing or back-focusing issues. The solution to this is to return the lens to the manufacturor for focus calibration. This is a pretty common problem.
c. Subject movement. If the subject is moving too rapidly, and the camera and lens autofocus speeds can't keep up, then you'll encounter a lot of miss-focuses.
d. Available light: If the light entering the lens is too low, the camera will have a hard time getting a focus lock.
e. Contrast on the point of focus: If there is very low contrast where you're trying to focus, the camera will also have a hard time getting a focus lock.

Miss-focuses are made worse if you're shooting at a large aperture like f/1.8. Because the depth of field is so shallow, correct focus is paramount. Therefore, it could be said that a bright/fast lens that constantly miss-focuses is essentially worthless.

Unless otherwise specified, 99% of photographers will define the term "fast," as in "a fast lens," to be equivalent to a lens that has a large aperture, and can let in a lot of light. This term is synonymous with "bright."

If one is talking about a lens that is slow-focusing, photographers do not call that lens "slow." Instead, one must specify that the focus is slow. ie. That lens' autofocus is slow or That lens is slow-focusing.

When talking about lenses, using just "fast" and "slow" in any other manner besides referring to aperture size and brightness can lead to confusion.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: episodic
What is the shutter activation life of the new pentax kseries slrs?
I'm not sure, and I can't seem to find this information.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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Originally posted by: Madwand1
Originally posted by: DurocShark
Um, no. You can borrow one though. But don't spend money on the cheapest lenses unless someone you know already has it and can vouch for it.
Will someone who has a 50 f/1.8 come and visit me and introduce herself?
The 50mm f/1.8 is only $50 used. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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Originally posted by: kalster
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: EXman
What's a good DSLR to start with I bought a pentax *ist but the pics were so/so
From what I've read on the Pentax, you'll want to shoot RAW and then convert to JPG on the computer. The Pentax's in-camera JPG conversion is supposedly not as great as Canon or Nikon's.

ZV
Thatz what I do, I am very pleased with the camera
Regardless, you should always be shooting in RAW anyway :p
 

Madwand1

Diamond Member
Jan 23, 2006
3,309
0
76
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
The 50mm f/1.8 is only $50 used. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Nope, I'm already disappointed -- by several posts in this thread on that lens. Griping about focusing accuracy or whatever when using that lens wide open is... let's say not the best use of common sense or thread time here. Oops, I'm griping about the griping. That's about as bad. So I'll stop.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: Madwand1
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
The 50mm f/1.8 is only $50 used. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Nope, I'm already disappointed -- by several posts in this thread on that lens. Griping about focusing accuracy or whatever when using that lens wide open is... let's say not the best use of common sense or thread time here. Oops, I'm griping about the griping. That's about as bad. So I'll stop.
I *really* wouldn't let all this talk about focusing accuracy sway your decision. For many, many people, the f/1.8 is considered one of the first things a person should get because it's super cheap and super sharp.

Miss-focuses can be largely due to someone getting a bad copy of the lens. Seriously. Then the people who got a bad copy, instead of sending it in to get fixed, tells everyone that the lens sucks and to avoid it.

I think you'll find that the vast majority of people will agree with me that the 50mm f/1.8 is a great first-get lens.
 

virtuamike

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2000
7,845
13
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You still don't realize what I'm saying. A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
Wow, talk about unfounded generalizations. I shoot all my lenses wide open. My 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 are shallower than the 50/1.8. Yes, you need to be precise. Yes, it can be finicky. No, I don't have a problem with them being unusably slow in terms of AF. If you're having AF issues, simply jumping to USM won't solve them. Technique (specifically knowledge of your camera's focus system) plays a huge part in it.

Bottom line, just because you can't AF with your 50/1.8 wide open doesn't make it unusable for everyone else - there are plenty of photographers out there with experiences that say otherwise.
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You still don't realize what I'm saying. A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
Wow, talk about unfounded generalizations. I shoot all my lenses wide open. My 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 are shallower than the 50/1.8. Yes, you need to be precise. Yes, it can be finicky. No, I don't have a problem with them being unusably slow in terms of AF. If you're having AF issues, simply jumping to USM won't solve them. Technique (specifically knowledge of your camera's focus system) plays a huge part in it.

Bottom line, just because you can't AF with your 50/1.8 wide open doesn't make it unusable for everyone else - there are plenty of photographers out there with experiences that say otherwise.
Talk about lack of reading comprehension. Your anecdote has nothing useful to add. I never said that the slow AF of a lens rendered it unusable; what I said was that the 50mm f/1.8 exhibits such random AF wide open as to render it unusable with AF wide open. You answer "No, ..." etc. as if I made a claim about you having trouble with the lens-- when I'm only claiming that you have trouble reading and forming thoughts.

In addition, I'm having no AF issues. The AF imprecision of the 50mm f/1.8 is a well-known fact, and my many other lenses all work fine on my camera bodies. The precision of the 50mm f/1.8's stepper motor is just looser than its optical formula warrants.

Bottom line, a lens with extremely spotty AF is unusable with AF, and such is the case with the 50mm wide open. It renders the AF useless wide open. There are plenty of photographers who aren't such imbeciles as to claim otherwise, and can read a few sentences without making unfounded arguments.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You still don't realize what I'm saying. A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
Wow, talk about unfounded generalizations. I shoot all my lenses wide open. My 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 are shallower than the 50/1.8. Yes, you need to be precise. Yes, it can be finicky. No, I don't have a problem with them being unusably slow in terms of AF. If you're having AF issues, simply jumping to USM won't solve them. Technique (specifically knowledge of your camera's focus system) plays a huge part in it.

Bottom line, just because you can't AF with your 50/1.8 wide open doesn't make it unusable for everyone else - there are plenty of photographers out there with experiences that say otherwise.
Talk about lack of reading comprehension. Your anecdote has nothing useful to add. I never said that the slow AF of a lens rendered it unusable; what I said was that the 50mm f/1.8 exhibits such random AF wide open as to render it unusable with AF wide open. You answer "No, ..." etc. as if I made a claim about you having trouble with the lens-- when I'm only claiming that you have trouble reading and forming thoughts.

In addition, I'm having no AF issues. The AF imprecision of the 50mm f/1.8 is a well-known fact, and my many other lenses all work fine on my camera bodies. The precision of the 50mm f/1.8's stepper motor is just looser than its optical formula warrants.

Bottom line, a lens with extremely spotty AF is unusable with AF, and such is the case with the 50mm wide open. It renders the AF useless wide open. There are plenty of photographers who aren't such imbeciles as to claim otherwise, and can read a few sentences without making unfounded arguments.
Sounds like you got a bad copy. Have you tried other copies of the lens, or sent it in for repair? I have one, it's beat to hell, and it still focuses spot on.

BTW, let's try to keep the thread civilized please, for everyone, not just you.
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You still don't realize what I'm saying. A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
Wow, talk about unfounded generalizations. I shoot all my lenses wide open. My 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 are shallower than the 50/1.8. Yes, you need to be precise. Yes, it can be finicky. No, I don't have a problem with them being unusably slow in terms of AF. If you're having AF issues, simply jumping to USM won't solve them. Technique (specifically knowledge of your camera's focus system) plays a huge part in it.

Bottom line, just because you can't AF with your 50/1.8 wide open doesn't make it unusable for everyone else - there are plenty of photographers out there with experiences that say otherwise.
Talk about lack of reading comprehension. Your anecdote has nothing useful to add. I never said that the slow AF of a lens rendered it unusable; what I said was that the 50mm f/1.8 exhibits such random AF wide open as to render it unusable with AF wide open. You answer "No, ..." etc. as if I made a claim about you having trouble with the lens-- when I'm only claiming that you have trouble reading and forming thoughts.

In addition, I'm having no AF issues. The AF imprecision of the 50mm f/1.8 is a well-known fact, and my many other lenses all work fine on my camera bodies. The precision of the 50mm f/1.8's stepper motor is just looser than its optical formula warrants.

Bottom line, a lens with extremely spotty AF is unusable with AF, and such is the case with the 50mm wide open. It renders the AF useless wide open. There are plenty of photographers who aren't such imbeciles as to claim otherwise, and can read a few sentences without making unfounded arguments.
Sounds like you got a bad copy. Have you tried other copies of the lens, or sent it in for repair? I have one, it's beat to hell, and it still focuses spot on.

BTW, let's try to keep the thread civilized please, for everyone, not just you.
I keep things civil until someone accuses me of not knowing how to use an AF system appropriately. No, I did not have a bad copy; I've owned two copies and tried a third one. It cannot be a bad-copy issue because this is part of the mechanical design of the lens. I didn't know this until after I'd purchased my second one. Other prime lenses I've used extensively, most of which I still own:

35mm f/2
35mm f/1.4
50mm f/1.4
50mm f/1/8 (x 2)
85mm f/1.2 (never heard of the f/1.4 virtuamike claims to use)
100mm f/2
135mm f/2
200mm f/2.8

Your copy does not AF spot on reliably wide open, period. You're misleading people if you claim otherwise, or perhaps you don't notice when you miss focus. The fact that you're using it on a 350D makes it even more impossible that you can achieve perfect autofocus at f/1.8 with that lens even half the time. Pixel-peep your own pictures and you will agree. People often pass off failings of this lens as user error, even when other lenses perform much better.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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Originally posted by: 6000SUX

85mm f/1.2 (never heard of the f/1.4 virtuamike claims to use)

Pixel-peep your own pictures and you will agree. People often pass off failings of this lens as user error, even when other lenses perform much better.
virtuamike shoots Nikon...

I've personally tested this lens (and all my other lenses) using focus lines (horizontal lines on a sheet of paper and I aim to focus for one line) and for the most part the focus is nice and accurate.

Regardless, IMO the biggest downfall of this lens at f/1.8 isn't because of the supposed autofocus inaccuracy, but because it's just not very sharp at f/1.8. It doesn't start to become sharp until f/2.2 and lower. Therefore I consider this lens by and large as essentially an f/2.2 lens. I hardly ever shoot at f/1.8 because I know my pictures are just not going to be crisp.

Did I still get my money's worth? For $50, heck yes. Does f/2.2 still give nice limited DOF for non-professional picture taking? Yup. Does it work great as a macro lens when stuck with an extension tube? Definitely.

If you're buying this lens solely for portraiture, look elsewhere (duh). If you want a really sharp lens on the cheap that's fairly bright, there's really no other alternative than this one. It's light, it's cheap, it's sharp, autofocus works fine at the apertures where it's sharp, and it's really hard to fault it at its price point.
 

Number1

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2006
7,558
66
91
I am considering this lense for my XT.
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro: Canon EOS.

Would the APO version be a lot better then the non APO? There is a significant price difference between the two.
 

rijet0711

Member
Apr 30, 2006
33
0
0
What is the best place/website/book you would recommend to an amateur photographer (w/ Kodak Z740) to further learn about the indepths of a camera and start using and taking great shots in manual mode?
 

xtknight

Elite Member
Oct 15, 2004
12,974
0
71
Do I need an expensive camera (>$300) to take good looking pictures? To get RAW or lossless format? To get an untampered with (no noise filtering) image? Can I flash a cheaper one to allow these functionalities?

Sorry if these have already been answered but the search is broken here.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: Number1
I am considering this lense for my XT.
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro: Canon EOS.

Would the APO version be a lot better then the non APO? There is a significant price difference between the two.
A lot of people who recommend the 70-300mm lenses recommend the APO. It may be best to go with the APO version.

But if you're really getting serious into photography, save up money to get a better telephoto, like a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 for $500.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
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Originally posted by: sash1
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=160857&prodlist=cnet

good deal on an E-500? I think so. My friend is looking at it and might get it. I like the E-500. I've had minimal experience with it, but I like the stock lens and the picture quality is comporable to my D-50, IMO, though maybe a bit worse?

have you had any experience with the E-500 and think thats a good deal?
I personally have no experience with the E-500 but I think tfinch may be able to help you out since he uses Olympus.

The one thing that I don't like about it is the viewfinder. It's small and dim, smaller than the XT, which IMO is really bad and cuts down on the enjoyment of shooting for me.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: rijet0711
What is the best place/website/book you would recommend to an amateur photographer (w/ Kodak Z740) to further learn about the indepths of a camera and start using and taking great shots in manual mode?
This is a good place:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

I've heard that the book "Understanding Exposure" is also good.

YHPM
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: xtknight
Do I need an expensive camera (>$300) to take good looking pictures? To get RAW or lossless format? To get an untampered with (no noise filtering) image? Can I flash a cheaper one to allow these functionalities?

Sorry if these have already been answered but the search is broken here.
1. Nope. Although you will probably lose some smoothness and sharpness compared to DSLRs, but for general viewing the pictures can be quite nice.

2. There are a few cameras out there that have RAW or TIFF mode, but the problem with them is that they shoot these formats very slowly. There's not enough image buffer or bandwidth to take a lot of shots and store them quickly to memory. Instead of something like 2.5 fps when shooting in JPEG, you're probably going to be in the *spf* range when shooting RAW or TIFF.

3. I don't think so. There are certain models that do a lot of tampering, and those who don't do much. It all depends on the model.

4. I haven't heard of firmware flashing that can allow this, but then again small P&S's are not my forte. There may be some models out there that can have this done to.
 

virtuamike

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2000
7,845
13
81
Originally posted by: xtknight
Do I need an expensive camera (>$300) to take good looking pictures? To get RAW or lossless format? To get an untampered with (no noise filtering) image? Can I flash a cheaper one to allow these functionalities?

Sorry if these have already been answered but the search is broken here.
It'll take some looking around but they do have older/used P&S cameras in the $300 range that'll do RAW and disable noise filtering (Canon S70 or G6, Nikon 8400). They'll take good pictures, but there are advantages in going with a DSLR - more control, better optics, bigger sensor (meaning less noise), and better responsiveness compared to a P&S. It's tough finding one in the $300 range though. I've seen used Rebels, D50's, and D70's for under $500, but add in lenses, memory cards, printer, etc and it can get expensive.

Have you considered film? You can get a manual SLR and lens for cheap, and they make decent scanners for $100-150. Even with film and lab costs, it might be a practical alternative.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,576
431
126
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
Originally posted by: Number1
I am considering this lense for my XT.
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro: Canon EOS.

Would the APO version be a lot better then the non APO? There is a significant price difference between the two.
A lot of people who recommend the 70-300mm lenses recommend the APO. It may be best to go with the APO version.

But if you're really getting serious into photography, save up money to get a better telephoto, like a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 for $500.
I've owned the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro and it was a pretty tolerable lens. Not the brightest, not the sharpest (stay away from 300mm), but very good value for the money. Insanely long warranty too.

You really should get the Canon 70-200mm f4 L or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 instead, though. Much better image quality and only a couple hundred dollars more.
Originally posted by: rijet0711
What is the best place/website/book you would recommend to an amateur photographer (w/ Kodak Z740) to further learn about the indepths of a camera and start using and taking great shots in manual mode?
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is really excellent for that purpose. It teaches you how, when dropped into manual mode, to properly balance aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings to maximize the effect of your photos - accompanied by full-colour example photos.
Originally posted by: xtknight
Do I need an expensive camera (>$300) to take good looking pictures? To get RAW or lossless format? To get an untampered with (no noise filtering) image? Can I flash a cheaper one to allow these functionalities?

Sorry if these have already been answered but the search is broken here.
With point and shoot cameras, in my opinion there are two major faults:

1. You lose the ability to take 'creative' photos. You know those photos where a single person is highlighted and really jumps out at you, because the rest of the photo is blurred? That sort of thing is near impossible to do with a non-SLR camera.

2. Your flexibility of lens choices is nil. You'll have, oh, say a 3x or 4x zoom on average (let's ignore actual focal lengths measurements for a moment). What happens when you go to a sports game and want to shoot something from afar? You're screwed. Ditto getting really, really close to take a macro shot of a tiny insect. The midrange should be fine though.

RAW is overrated. The elitist digital photographers in here may scoff at me for saying that, but I and many others believe it true. There's a time and place for RAW, and that time and place is not "all the time and everywhere".
 

cHeeZeFacTory

Golden Member
Apr 23, 2001
1,658
0
0
I'm deciding between the Pentax K100d and the Nikon D50. Which one has better out of the box performance? I'll be using it for a vacation to thailand & hong kong in december. I plan to bring only one lens. I will be going w/ a few friends, so I don't want to be holding them up by trying to change lenses everywhere I go.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Pentax, since it has the shake reduction. Only thing that turns me off about the pentax is the battery, which doesn't uses rechargeable lithiums.

 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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91
Originally posted by: cHeeZeFacTory
I'm deciding between the Pentax K100d and the Nikon D50. Which one has better out of the box performance? I'll be using it for a vacation to thailand & hong kong in december. I plan to bring only one lens. I will be going w/ a few friends, so I don't want to be holding them up by trying to change lenses everywhere I go.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Pentax, since it has the shake reduction. Only thing that turns me off about the pentax is the battery, which doesn't uses rechargeable lithiums.
I'd probably lean towards the Pentax too. The image stabilization would be great for on-the-go shooting with a somewhat slow zoom lens.

As for battery, just get yourself 8 rechargable AAs, a good charger, and you should be good. A bit heavier, but battery life should still be excellent.

After reading through a review, it seems that the Pentax doesn't have a very good burst mode (buffer fills up after only three shots). This may be something you want to factor into your decision.
 

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