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Thread: Kenko 1.4X TC/5D Mark III Questions...

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    Default Kenko 1.4X TC/5D Mark III Questions...

    If anyone has a Canon EOS-5D MIII and a Kenko 1.4X TC (the top of the line one: C-AF 1.4X TELEPLUS PRO 300) and (preferably) an 800mm f/5.6L IS (or a 400mm f/5.6L) I ask:

    Have you used any of the above combos successfully getting AF when you are not supposed to get AF (i.e., at f/8)?
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    Artie, maybe not directly answering your question, but I rented the 5DMKIII last week and used my 500, with a canon1.4 and my Kenko non reporting 1.4 and focused worked. The top of the line 1.4 I believe has all pins, so it reports, my guess is it will not work., but let's see if anyone else chimes in. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nrohrbacker View Post
    Artie, maybe not directly answering your question, but I rented the 5DMKIII last week and used my 500, with a canon1.4 and my Kenko non reporting 1.4 and focused worked. The top of the line 1.4 I believe has all pins, so it reports, my guess is it will not work., but let's see if anyone else chimes in. Good luck.
    You are right: not directly answering my question. :) The Kenko 1.4X as above and the 5D III works fine with both the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and the 300mm f/2.8L IS II and I was 100% sure that it would work with the 500 f/4. And, just for the record book and not that it matters, but the Kenko 1.4X worked fine with the 800/Mark IV and the results were super sharp... But thanks!
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    Ah, just re-read your comment more carefully. Which went on the lens? I was aware that the two TCs worked on the 500 f/4 from my Oregon trip.
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    I thought the f8 AF was the more relevant piece of information, which the MkIII was able to do. I placed the Canon 1.4 first on the lens, then the Kenko. In the end, it 'acts' like a 2x, but with AF, with all the downsides of slower AF (I did not try BIF) , reduced contrast, etc.. Best for static and/or slower moving objects IMO.

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    What is your name? I already knew about stacking the two TCs. I had assumed that the Kenko would focus fine with the 5DIII and the 800. It would have been way better than AF using the tape the pins trick. BUT, when I put the Kenko 1.4 on the lens with the 5D III the aperture reads 00. AND, worse yet, when you put the 5D III on another lens it the aperture will show as 00 even without the Kenko TC in place. The camera functions normally after you remove and replace the batter....

    I was simply looking for someone to replicate the problem.
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    Artie, I am Neil. Love reading your blog. I have the kenko that has only 8 pins ( or is it five?), whichever is the one that does not need taping. I bought it to use with my 400/5.6 +50D back in the day. Sounds like Canon has some software bugs in this area in their 5DMKIII? Leave it up to us to try and make every combination work, regardless of what they tell us :)

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    Hi Neil, Thanks. Where are you from? Not sure if it is a bug or ??? Do you still have the 400 f/5.6L?
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    I live in NJ and still have the 400/5.6, though it does not get much use these days. If I need 400mm I tend to use my 300/2.8 w/1.4x.

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    You can help me out then. Put the Kenko 1.4X--is it the same one that I mentioned--on the 400 f/5.6 and then mount the 5D III and turn it on. Let me know if the aperture reads f/8 or 00. Not to worry, if it reads 00 just remove the battery and re-insert it. THAT would be a huge help.
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    I would love to help you, BUT, I only rented the 5dMKIII, sorry.

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    Easy come, easy go. :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    If anyone has a Canon EOS-5D MIII and a Kenko 1.4X TC (the top of the line one: C-AF 1.4X TELEPLUS PRO 300) and (preferably) an 800mm f/5.6L IS (or a 400mm f/5.6L) I ask:

    Have you used any of the above combos successfully getting AF when you are not supposed to get AF (i.e., at f/8)?
    Hey Artie,

    The problem is you are using "the top of the line one", C-AF 1.4X TELEPLUS PRO 300. That one has full communication to the camera just like the Canon ones do so you have the same problem. You need to use this one
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...4_AF_1_4X.html

    Notice in the picture on my link only has 8 pins (3+5) where as the other one and Canon ones use 11 pins (8 + 3). It is those extra 3 pins that the software in the camera looks for to disable focussing.

    I use the Kenko TelePlus MC4 AF 1.4X DGX Teleconverter on my 5D3 with the 400 f5.6 and the auto focus is really good. I have also used it with the 500 F4 plus Can 1.4 ext to give me 1,000mm on the 5D3. That works well too.

    My preferred gear setup right now for 2 cameras is to have my 7D on the 500 f4 with the Canon 1.4 extender for more stationary birds and use the 5D3 with 400 5.6 and Kenko 1.4 extender for quick handheld birds in flight.

    The Eagle in Flight image I showed you was with the 5D3, 400 f5.6 and Kenko 1.4. Here's that picture online
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattle...in/photostream

    Best regards,
    Doug
    Last edited by Doug Schurman; 07-02-2012 at 01:44 PM.

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    Thanks Doug! I just ordered the 1.4 and 2X to try. Good shot. This could be a real benefit.
    Best

    Patrick Sparkman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sparkman View Post
    Thanks Doug! I just ordered the 1.4 and 2X to try. Good shot. This could be a real benefit.
    Good to hear Patrick. I'd be interested to see results from the 2X.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sparkman View Post
    Thanks Doug! I just ordered the 1.4 and 2X to try. Good shot. This could be a real benefit.
    Hi Patrick,
    Just read that this will NOT work with the x2 converter:
    http://www.michaelfurtman.com/taping_the_pins.htm

    I will use a Canon 1.4 convertor rather than the Kenko as I know the Canon are excellent optically and I doubt that the Kenko will be as good. A converter is such an important element in determining IQ so I won't take any chance.
    Last edited by Ofer Levy; 07-03-2012 at 04:06 AM.

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    Just read some more and apparently the Kenko converter and the Canon with the taped pins don't behave the same - so maybe the the Kenko is the way to go.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...2&changemode=1

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    Hi Ofer,

    "Hi Patrick,
    Just read that this will NOT work with the x2 converter:"

    That article is about the Canon Teleconverters, and he is taping the pins to get the camera to focus at f8. The reason the 2X does not work in this case is that he is using it on a f5.6 lens, so it would be f11 with the 2X. I have both Canon teleconverters, but in order to use the 800 + 1.4X with the 5DIII (or 1DX for that matter) I have to tape the pins on the 1.4X. It works, but on just and hunts around a lot. I wanted to try the Kenko 1.4 that does not have the additional pins to see if it might work better. The 2X is to test with some other lenses as I want to get the 600 f4, but really need the 2X 1200mm combo.
    Best

    Patrick Sparkman

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    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS, Kenko 1.4X TC (the top of the line one: C-AF 1.4X TELEPLUS PRO 300), and Mark IV. Unfortunately it does not seem that this Kenko TC will AF with the 800 and the 5DIII.

    I was stunned by the sharpness of all the stuff I made that morning.

    Patrick, which Kenko TCs are you ordering???
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    Hi Artie, I have no experience with any Kenko teleconverter. From what I read in here it is my understanding that the Kenko converter you used to get this image is not the one that allows AF. The right one is the Kenko TelePlus MC4 AF 1.4X DGX.
    This image is not a great one to show sharpness as the only sharp area in it is the small area around the eye - the rest is really OOF. Maybe you got a better example?

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    Artie,

    Here's an image I took this morning as a sample for you. This is not a Kenko, but a Tamron-F AF 1.4x teleconverter (non-reporting) stacked with a Tamron SP AF 1.4x teleconverter. I have found both of these Tamron teleconverters to be exceptional. Because the one TC is non-reporting, it tricks the 5DM3 into thinking there is only one TC on the lens. This was taken under low-light conditions shooting at ISO 6400 with the Canon 5D Mark III and the new 600mm II lens, effective focal length of 1200mm.

    Here's a reduced, full-frame image (notice vignetting in corners):


    Here's a cropped version, post-processed using Topaz Labs noise reduction and unsharp mask in CS6:


    I have found that using the non-reporting TC to produce acceptable images (sharpness-wise) while it does struggle to lock autofocus under low-light conditions. Under bright conditions, I am able to capture birds-in-flight with the 5DM3 w/o too much difficulty. It's not as dependable as w/o the extra TC, but it does work most of the time especially with high-contrast subjects:



    The Tamron TC-F sells for $150 at BH

    Alan
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    Last edited by Alan Stankevitz; 07-03-2012 at 08:00 AM.

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    All,
    Just a quick note for those trying to push a 1D3 to f/8. If you have a 7D, the pixels are 1.4 times smaller so a 1D3 + 600 mm + 1.4x + 1.4x would give the same pixels on subject and get the same amount of light with the same exposure (thus same noise when using the same aperture diameter) and have the same depth of field as a 7D + 600 mm + 1.4x. This is Etendue. The advantage is that you have AF in the camera design range with no hunting issues. And the AF should be faster and more accurate. Image quality would likely be better too.

    More on Etendue at: http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/...m.performance/

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    All,
    Just a quick note for those trying to push a 1D3 to f/8. If you have a 7D, the pixels are 1.4 times smaller so a 1D3 + 600 mm + 1.4x + 1.4x would give the same pixels on subject and get the same amount of light with the same exposure (thus same noise when using the same aperture diameter) and have the same depth of field as a 7D + 600 mm + 1.4x. This is Etendue. The advantage is that you have AF in the camera design range with no hunting issues. And the AF should be faster and more accurate. Image quality would likely be better too.

    More on Etendue at: http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/...m.performance/

    Roger
    If I am understanding the above correctly you are suggesting that folks use the 7D over the 5D III at f/8 in spite of the fact that the 5DIII sensor is of superior quality to the sensor of the 7D. Is that correct?
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    Roger,

    For clarification, did you mean the 5D3? Artie's original question pertained to the 5DM3. Just want to make sure.

    Thanks,

    Alan

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    All,
    Just a quick note for those trying to push a 1D3 to f/8....
    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Stankevitz View Post
    Artie, Here's an image I took this morning as a sample for you. This is not a Kenko, but a Tamron-F AF 1.4x teleconverter (non-reporting) stacked with a Tamron SP AF 1.4x teleconverter. I have found both of these Tamron teleconverters to be exceptional. Because the one TC is non-reporting, it tricks the 5DM3 into thinking there is only one TC on the lens. This was taken under low-light conditions shooting at ISO 6400 with the Canon 5D Mark III and the new 600mm II lens, effective focal length of 1200mm. Here's a reduced, full-frame image (notice vignetting in corners): Here's a cropped version, post-processed using Topaz Labs noise reduction and unsharp mask in CS6: I have found that using the non-reporting TC to produce acceptable images (sharpness-wise) while it does struggle to lock autofocus under low-light conditions. Under bright conditions, I am able to capture birds-in-flight with the 5DM3 w/o too much difficulty. It's not as dependable as w/o the extra TC, but it does work most of the time especially with high-contrast subjects: The Tamron TC-F sells for $150 at BH
    Alan www.iwishicouldfly.com
    Thanks Alan. At the risk of seeming unappreciative, I already know that trick. I am trying to get help with the situation that I talk about in Panes 1 & 6.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Schurman View Post
    Hey Artie,

    The problem is you are using "the top of the line one", C-AF 1.4X TELEPLUS PRO 300. That one has full communication to the camera just like the Canon ones do so you have the same problem. You need to use this one
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...4_AF_1_4X.html

    Notice in the picture on my link only has 8 pins (3+5) where as the other one and Canon ones use 11 pins (8 + 3). It is those extra 3 pins that the software in the camera looks for to disable focussing.

    I use the Kenko TelePlus MC4 AF 1.4X DGX Teleconverter on my 5D3 with the 400 f5.6 and the auto focus is really good. I have also used it with the 500 F4 plus Can 1.4 ext to give me 1,000mm on the 5D3. That works well too.

    My preferred gear setup right now for 2 cameras is to have my 7D on the 500 f4 with the Canon 1.4 extender for more stationary birds and use the 5D3 with 400 5.6 and Kenko 1.4 extender for quick handheld birds in flight.

    The Eagle in Flight image I showed you was with the 5D3, 400 f5.6 and Kenko 1.4. Here's that picture online
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattle...in/photostream

    Best regards,
    Doug
    Thanks Doug for shedding some light on the situation. It raises the question, if the top end TC has eight pins why doesn't it read f/8 and allow me to manually focus. I will try to get my hands on the TelePlus_MC4 and will also see what the Canon tech reps have to say.
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    Roger,

    Based on your input, I tested both scenarios on a cooperative Red-Bellied Woodpecker at a peanut feeder. I quickly changed camera bodies and removed one teleconverter for the 7D. I then cropped the head of the bird as close as possible to the other image. Without peeking at the exif data, can they be told apart? (ISO 800, f/9, 600mm II lens, shutter speed: 1/640 sec - 5DM3, 1/1250 sec - 7D). Images were not post-processed other than cropping them identically at 300 dpi.

    Image #1:


    Image 2:


    Alan
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    Artie,

    See the above comparison. There's no appreciable difference in those two images. The 7D however had much more light to play with using only one teleconverter. Also as Roger stated, the autofocus was much better with the 7D. (Quicker and more accurate.) As far as I'm concerned, the 7D would be my choice instead of trying to get two 1.4TCs to work on the 5DM3.

    Please note: There was absolutely no doctoring of any kind to the above images. They were just cropped/framed identically. The 5DM3 required a tad more cropping than the 7D (1.4x+1.6x vs 1.4x+1.4x), that's the only difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    If I am understanding the above correctly you are suggesting that folks use the 7D over the 5D III at f/8 in spite of the fact that the 5DIII sensor is of superior quality to the sensor of the 7D. Is that correct?

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    Hi Artie,

    I bought the MC4- DGX versions. Not the Pro versions as you did. I want to try them for myself and will let everyone know this weekend. If they don't work, that is the beauty of B&H!
    Best

    Patrick Sparkman

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    Thanks Alan. My point on the 7D remains as always. Nearly all serious bird photographers who have used the 7D and either the 1D IV or the 5DIII prefer the image files from either camera to the image files from the 7D. And all as I have done get rid of their 7D bodies. That said, it is a great value and can make some great images. See what Dan Cadieux has done over the past year with his 7D and "only" a 100-400....
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    Artie,

    I think you have to qualify your statement. If I photographing tame birds...birds that I can move closer to w/o spooking them, the 5DM3 and Mark IV's image quality wins hands-down. But if I am photographing birds in the wild that are not approachable, image quality is nearly identical with all three cameras due to post-cropping. The 7D requires the least, while the 5DM3 requires the most. This evens the playing field.

    I do love my 5D Mark III and use it a lot. But I still use the 7D as well for better resolution shots. I prefer the 5D Mark III for birds-in-flight since there is less chance of clipping a wing out of frame. Only wish it had faster fps.

    Alan

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Thanks Alan. My point on the 7D remains as always. Nearly all serious bird photographers who have used the 7D and either the 1D IV or the 5DIII prefer the image files from either camera to the image files from the 7D. And all as I have done get rid of their 7D bodies. That said, it is a great value and can make some great images. See what Dan Cadieux has done over the past year with his 7D and "only" a 100-400....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Stankevitz View Post
    Roger,

    Based on your input, I tested both scenarios on a cooperative Red-Bellied Woodpecker at a peanut feeder. I quickly changed camera bodies and removed one teleconverter for the 7D. I then cropped the head of the bird as close as possible to the other image. Without peeking at the exif data, can they be told apart? (ISO 800, f/9, 600mm II lens, shutter speed: 1/640 sec - 5DM3, 1/1250 sec - 7D). Images were not post-processed other than cropping them identically at 300 dpi.
    All, In my post I said 1D3. I meant 5D3. Sorry for any confusion.

    Alan, in your test, it seems you set the f/ratio to be the same with both cameras, both 5D3 and 7D. If so, that is not an equal test. You also have different shutter speeds, with the 7D getting less exposure. The aperture diameter on the 5d3+600*1.4*1.4 at f/9 is 1200/9 = 133 mm. The aperture on the 7D+600*1.4 is 840/9 = 93 mm. The area ratio is then 2. So the 7D received half the light going through the aperture and you had half the exposure time, so the 7D had 1/4 the exposure of the 5D3. Further, the depth of field is different between the two setups.

    To equalize the systems, try a test wide open:
    5d3 + 600 mm +1.4x TC + 1.4x TC, f/8, xx exposure time. (aperture diameter = 1200/8 = 150 mm)
    7d + 600 mm +1.4x TC f/5.6 and the same xx exposure time. (aperture diameter = 840/5.6 = 150 mm)

    Set the ISO independently to expose to the right without clipping highlights. ISO is relative and not equally set regarding the amount of light on the two cameras, and ISO has nothing to do with sensitivity, it only tells the camera what range to digitize. So if you have ISO 800 and 1/640 second on the 5D3, use the same 1/640 second with the 7D and adjust ISO so as not to clip highlights. I predict the ISO on the 7D would be 400 in this case. Again ISO is not sensitivity, only what range of photons to digitize.

    Artie, you state that photographers have concluded the 7D doesn't deliver the image quality. But I would say that they didn't properly equalize the systems, and their tests were biased against the 7D. When the systems are equalized (exposure, pixels on subject, lens aperture diameter, depth of field) then one will find the images from different cameras of similar generation produce nearly identical images. This is Etendue. And in the case of trying to push a large pixel camera to f/8 focusing (e.g. 5D3), then AF performance suffers and the camera without that restriction will perform better in real world applications like action photography.

    Another way to look at the problem, is that a camera with smaller pixels is like having a built-in TC. That gives more pixels on subject, but less light per pixel in a given exposure time, just like adding a TC on a camera with larger pixels to get the same pixels on subject.

    Roger

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    Respectful to everyone but I agree with Artie here.

    Roger's test is good and important for some applications but it does not represent practical photography IMO. Photography is not a perfect equalization of system transfer function. As was discussed many times before, aperture diameter is not a relevant parameter in photography. We work with f-number not aperture diameter. When you photograph something, your exposure (shutter speed, f-number and ISO) is set by the subject and scene. When you change bodies you do not change these values. It is fixed by the scene. Our lenses are designed for 35mm format, the larger sensor uses the full field of view of the 35mm format collecting more light and delivering higher IQ image. That's why the best photographers prefer to use larger sensor cameras. In the coming years the small sensors will be eventually phased out and all SLR cameras will be FF. It's just a matter lowering the cost for FF sensors.

    The fully normalized case is similar to comparing a Ferrari V12 engine with a Toyota V6 engine while disabling half of the V12 engine in order to "normalize" things. It might be a good measure for per-cylinder performance but it is not a good comparison between the two engines.

    Please note I'm not saying 7D is a bad camera, it is great value for money but to expect to get the same IQ as a 5D3 or 1D4 in real field conditions is just unrealistic IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sparkman View Post
    Hi Artie,

    I bought the MC4- DGX versions. Not the Pro versions as you did. I want to try them for myself and will let everyone know this weekend. If they don't work, that is the beauty of B&H!
    Thanks. I am looking forward to learning what you find out :). I am hoping that you used the BAA B&H affiliate link.... Love to Robin.
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    Roger, one minute you are saying the pixels on the subject is all important, and then next minute you are saying that you find yourself going to the MIV because it has the better sensor..... As far as the image files from the 7D, I know how to get the right exposure, I rarely work smaller than f/5.6 or f/6.7, and I always prefer my images from the 5DIII and the MIV to those from the 7D. And as I have stated over and over so do most experienced photographers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Stankevitz View Post
    Artie,

    I think you have to qualify your statement. If I photographing tame birds...birds that I can move closer to w/o spooking them, the 5DM3 and Mark IV's image quality wins hands-down. But if I am photographing birds in the wild that are not approachable, image quality is nearly identical with all three cameras due to post-cropping. The 7D requires the least, while the 5DM3 requires the most. This evens the playing field.

    I do love my 5D Mark III and use it a lot. But I still use the 7D as well for better resolution shots. I prefer the 5D Mark III for birds-in-flight since there is less chance of clipping a wing out of frame. Only wish it had faster fps.

    Alan
    Not qualifying it. After 28 years and 12 years with digital I know which image files I like and which I do not. You will find very few serious bird photographers who can afford a MIV or a 5D III who prefer to use a 7D. Ask them why, and they will say that they simply like the image files better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Roger, one minute you are saying the pixels on the subject is all important, and then next minute you are saying that you find yourself going to the MIV because it has the better sensor..... As far as the image files from the 7D, I know how to get the right exposure, I rarely work smaller than f/5.6 or f/6.7, and I always prefer my images from the 5DIII and the MIV to those from the 7D. And as I have stated over and over so do most experienced photographers.
    Artie,
    I NEVER said pixels on subject is all important. People often ask about pixels on subject and I show them how to compute it and give examples. That is far from saying pixels on subject is ALL IMPORTANT.

    I use my 1DIV because the sensor has less fixed pattern noise than either 7D, 5DII or 5DIII and because the 1DIV also has faster AF than the non 1D cameras. But when I want/need to travel light, my 7D is my choice when I need telephoto reach. Sometimes I take only one camera, and it is often the 7D when I am travelling light. When I go to Africa now, I'll only take my 1DIV and 7D and leave the 5D2 home.

    Regarding people choosing 7D images over other images, I will stand by the Etendue science. Most comparisons are not equal, as in Alan's test above. Once one understands Etendue, then one is better informed to use the best tool for a given situation, and know how to use it.

    There was a long thread about this issue, including the 7D fixed pattern noise:
    7D or 1DIV: better noise?

    http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/93821-7D-or-1DIV-better-noise?p=759867

    Then there was also the big pixels versus little pixels thread showing another aspect of the pixel size trade:
    http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...-Little-pixles

    The bottom line of what I'm saying is that in focal length limited situations where one needs telephoto reach, and factors like no AF at f/8, the camera with smaller pixels will be the better choice in most situations, and definitely the better choice when one is forcing f/8 AF by taping pins or tricking the bigger pixel camera to AF at f/8 when the camera with smaller pixels will AF at f/5.6 and get the same pixels on subject.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    Respectful to everyone but I agree with Artie here.

    Roger's test is good and important for some applications but it does not represent practical photography IMO. Photography is not a perfect equalization of system transfer function. As was discussed many times before, aperture diameter is not a relevant parameter in photography.
    Arash,
    Aperture diameter is THE KEY FACTOR in light gathering in photography. It IS all important. It is FUNDAMENTAL to photography. F/ratio is relative and causes confusion,
    as it is obviously doing in this thread.

    Your car example is irrelevant.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    Arash,
    Aperture diameter is THE KEY FACTOR in light gathering in photography. It IS all important. It is FUNDAMENTAL to photography. F/ratio is relative and causes confusion,
    as it is obviously doing in this thread.

    Your car example is irrelevant.

    Roger

    Hi Roger,

    Photographers have worked with f-number for more than 100 years. I don't think it confuses anyone. All the charts, tables and spec in photography are in terms of f-number. Aperture diameter is a factor for sure, but IMO the way you normalize it does not resemble a photographer making photos in the field. It is not a field parameter. It is one factor but not THE key factor IMO, sensor size and performance is equally important.

    I think my car example is a good analogy to the normalized test you suggested, i.e. sending equal number of photons and normalizing the gain of the pre-amp. IMO they are identical. Any ways, this has been discussed extensively previously and I don't have much more to add to what I said in that thread. I just wanted to affirm what Artie mentioned in terms of IQ reflects my own experience too :)



    Thanks for input. I have never taped off the pins so I don't have much to contribute there. I do wish Canon had a FF sensor with smaller pixels if the performance was identical to that of Nikon D800 for better resolution. I have doubts about getting the 1DX because of its relatively low resolution. We'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    Arash,
    Aperture diameter is THE KEY FACTOR in light gathering in photography. It IS all important. It is FUNDAMENTAL to photography. F/ratio is relative and causes confusion,
    as it is obviously doing in this thread.
    Aperture diameter may be the all important factor in the science behind light gathering on the sensor, but it has zero use in the field. I can't say that I know anyone who is confused by f/ratio, in spite of your insistance to the contrary. You advocate a number that requires the use of a calculator to figure out. That's not how people take pictures. Sometimes I think science gets the best of you. In your comparison of noise between the 7D and the 1D Mark IV, you devised a test that compared the 7D at ISO 400 to the Mark IV at ISO 800; this was done to normalize the aperture diameter. As I pointed out then, this type of comparison doesn't pass the sniff test; I believe you were blinded by science.

    In photography, we contend with available light. When comparing high ISO performance, what's relevant to photographers is ISO performance at equivalent exposures as dictated by available light. Equalizing the number of photons reaching each pixel is not relevant. That's a lab test, not a field test.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    Artie,
    I NEVER said pixels on subject is all important. People often ask about pixels on subject and I show them how to compute it and give examples. That is far from saying pixels on subject is ALL IMPORTANT.

    I use my 1DIV because the sensor has less fixed pattern noise than either 7D, 5DII or 5DIII and because the 1DIV also has faster AF than the non 1D cameras. But when I want/need to travel light, my 7D is my choice when I need telephoto reach. Sometimes I take only one camera, and it is often the 7D when I am travelling light. When I go to Africa now, I'll only take my 1DIV and 7D and leave the 5D2 home.

    Regarding people choosing 7D images over other images, I will stand by the Etendue science. Most comparisons are not equal, as in Alan's test above. Once one understands Etendue, then one is better informed to use the best tool for a given situation, and know how to use it.

    There was a long thread about this issue, including the 7D fixed pattern noise:
    7D or 1DIV: better noise?

    http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...noise?p=759867

    Then there was also the big pixels versus little pixels thread showing another aspect of the pixel size trade:
    http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...-Little-pixles

    The bottom line of what I'm saying is that in focal length limited situations where one needs telephoto reach, and factors like no AF at f/8, the camera with smaller pixels will be the better choice in most situations, and definitely the better choice when one is forcing f/8 AF by taping pins or tricking the bigger pixel camera to AF at f/8 when the camera with smaller pixels will AF at f/5.6 and get the same pixels on subject.

    Roger
    Thanks for clarifying that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    Hi Roger,

    Photographers have worked with f-number for more than 100 years. I don't think it confuses anyone. All the charts, tables and spec in photography are in terms of f-number. Aperture diameter is a factor for sure, but IMO the way you normalize it does not resemble a photographer making photos in the field. It is not a field parameter. It is one factor but not THE key factor IMO, sensor size and performance is equally important.

    I think my car example is a good analogy to the normalized test you suggested, i.e. sending equal number of photons and normalizing the gain of the pre-amp. IMO they are identical. Any ways, this has been discussed extensively previously and I don't have much more to add to what I said in that thread. I just wanted to affirm what Artie mentioned in terms of IQ reflects my own experience too :)

    Thanks for input. I have never tapped off the pins so I don't have much to contribute there. I do wish Canon had a FF sensor with smaller pixels if the performance was identical to that of Nikon D800 for better resolution. I have doubts about getting the 1DX because of its relatively low resolution. We'll see.
    Arash, Doug,

    How can one possibly send the same number of photons to a sensor if the aperture diameter is different? The aperture collects the light. If the aperture is not the same, the amount of light collected per unit time (the exposure time) can not be the same.

    You insist on f/ratio as the key parameter. Film days covered up a lot of issues with simplifications. But digital and varying pixels are exposing those simplifications.

    Try googling: f/ratio myth

    Test for your self: pick a big telephoto lens, e.g. your 600 mm lens and a short focal length lens.
    One evening in a dark sky (in a few days; full moon is tonight). Put the big lens on your camera and aim it at the north celestial pole (Polaris for northern hemisphere photographers). Set the f/ratio to f/5.6 (or whatever number you want that both lenses can do). Now make a 30 second exposure at any ISO (best to use mirror lock up).
    Next put on the short focal length lens (e.g. 50 mm) and set it to the same f/ratio (e.g. f/5.6). Now make another 30 second exposure. Both images are made with the same camera, same exposure time, same f/ratio. Which image shows fainter stars? Note too that the star images are the same size in the camera due to diffraction (assuming quality lenses). If f/ratio were the key factor, both images will show the same faint stars (ignoring resolution limits where two close stars would fall on the same pixel). You will find that the big lens records many more stars. it is simple: the larger aperture collects more light. F/ratio is not the key factor.

    The fact that camera manufacturers continue to live an old simple paradigm and do not report aperture diameter (which would be very simple to add) is irrelevant to the real factors in photography. Similarly, if one insists on keeping f/ratio constant between different cameras when changing focal length, then one is changing the aperture and thus the amount of light.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brown View Post
    Aperture diameter may be the all important factor in the science behind light gathering on the sensor, but it has zero use in the field. I can't say that I know anyone who is confused by f/ratio, in spite of your insistance to the contrary. You advocate a number that requires the use of a calculator to figure out. That's not how people take pictures. Sometimes I think science gets the best of you. In your comparison of noise between the 7D and the 1D Mark IV, you devised a test that compared the 7D at ISO 400 to the Mark IV at ISO 800; this was done to normalize the aperture diameter. As I pointed out then, this type of comparison doesn't pass the sniff test; I believe you were blinded by science.

    In photography, we contend with available light. When comparing high ISO performance, what's relevant to photographers is ISO performance at equivalent exposures as dictated by available light. Equalizing the number of photons reaching each pixel is not relevant. That's a lab test, not a field test.
    Doug,
    Following my last post, in the field photography is all about light. One compromises on shutter speed to record enough light yet keep motion blur in check, and f/ratio to gather enough light but compromised by depth of field. ISO is irrelevant. F/ratio is a proxy for lens aperture diameter. Try this experiment:

    When you do the test on Polaris with your 600 mm lens I described above, try the following. Aim your 600 mm lens at polaris, mirror lock up, manual exposure set to 30 seconds, camera (1DIV, 5D3 or whatever you choose, but one camera only), constant f/ratio (e.g. f/5.6), then make 30 second exposure varying ISO:
    400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. Which image shows fainter stars? On the 1DIV, which has good low level response, you will see little difference. On the 5D3, the ISO 400 may be a little worse due to fixed pattern noise, but not from any change in sensitivity.

    The key here is ISO has nothing to do with sensitivity. The keys to gathering light are clear aperture and exposure time. If one is not in manual mode, e.g. in aperture priority, all changing ISO does is tell the camera to change the exposure time and digitize a different range.

    ISO does not change the amount of light collected. That is why in my 7D-1DIV example, I kept exposure time and aperture constant. ISO as defined by the camera is relative, not absolute. It is all done to simplify what is really going on. But that has led to massive confusion by photographers as the digital era with different sized sensors is exposing those simplifications, leading to people making wrong conclusions an wrong decisions about cameras. Understanding these concepts will help one make better decisions in the field. Digital is a new paradigm.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    Arash, Doug,

    How can one possibly send the same number of photons to a sensor if the aperture diameter is different? The aperture collects the light. If the aperture is not the same, the amount of light collected per unit time (the exposure time) can not be the same.


    Roger

    I think this is where the rest of us differ with you. Avian photography is not about sending equal number of photons to an image sensor. In real field conditions you send to and collect more photons with the FF sensor per given integration time than you do to with a smaller sensor. The number of collected photons is not equal. That's where the advantage comes from. Normalizing system transfer function is good for evaluating some aspects of sensor performance, but it does not resemble how a photographer makes photos in the field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    I think this is where the rest of us differ with you. Avian photography is not about sending equal number of photons to an image sensor. In real field conditions you send to and collect more photons with the FF sensor per given integration time than you do to with a smaller sensor. The number of collected photons is not equal. That's where the advantage comes from. Normalizing system transfer function is good for evaluating some aspects of sensor performance, but it does not resemble how a photographer makes photos in the field.
    Arash,
    How dose the sensor (FF or other) get the light? It is fed by the lens. The sensor size has nothing to do with it (except its quantum efficiency). The sensor just collects what the lens delivers to it. An example, which I have given in the past, is buckets. Consider two buckets, one larger, that you fill with your garden hose. The larger bucket doesn't magically get more water as it is the hose the delivers the water, not the bucket. If you fill each bucket for 10 seconds, both buckets contain the same amount of water, regardless of bucket size. The larger bucket simply ENABLES more water to be collected if you fill it longer, but the control is the hose and the fill time, not the bucket. In a camera system, the lens delivers the light and a bigger lens delivers more light, as does a longer exposure time.

    Read the wikipedia page on Etendue. It is all there in the math. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etendue

    Roger
    Last edited by Roger Clark; 07-03-2012 at 06:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    I think this is where the rest of us differ with you. Avian photography is not about sending equal number of photons to an image sensor. In real field conditions you send to and collect more photons with the FF sensor per given integration time than you do to with a smaller sensor. The number of collected photons is not equal. That's where the advantage comes from. Normalizing system transfer function is good for evaluating some aspects of sensor performance, but it does not resemble how a photographer makes photos in the field.
    Another test you can do. Take two or more cameras and your telephoto lens (e.g. 1DIV, 5D3, 7D) set them to a high ISO (1600, 3200) and make 30 second exposures on Polaris using each camera with the same lens and same f/ratio (e.g. 600 mm set to f/5.6). Which camera records the faintest stars? The full frame camera, or the crop camera?

    Answer: they will all be the same (if the cameras are of the same era). Sensor size does not matter.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Clark View Post
    Arash,
    How dose the sensor (FF or other) get the light? It is fed by the lens. The sensor size has nothing to do with it (except its quantum efficiency). The sensor just collects what the lens delivers to it..

    Roger
    Of course the light is delivered by the lens but it is the sensor that collects it. The limiting factor is NOT the lens as you suggest in your bucket example, but the sensor size. Lenses are designed for 35mm format not for small sensors so it is the small sensor that wastes the photons that are already provided by the lens. The FF sensor always collects more light for a given exposure dictated by the scene. That's the whole logic between making larger formats in both film and digital.

    You don't buy a 10 gallon bucket, a 5 gallon bucket put one gallon of water in both and say hey they are equal. what kid of logic is that? Of course if you buy a FF camera and use a small portion of its sensor by cropping your files heavily (e.g. photographing far starts or birds from a mile away) or stopping down to "normalize" the number of photons it is not going to have an advantage and sensor size will become irrelevant. But that's the wrong way of using it.



    I disagree with you that sensor size does not matter. I think it is of most importance. But I think we won't gain anything by continuing this discussion as before. I was trying to help you understand the differences between your methodology-which I mentioned has merits for other applications-and real world photography and why the two are orthogonal but this is just turning into circular arguments. I am bailing out.
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 07-03-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    As a final comment let me clarify what my methodology is :

    I go to the field see an owl in evening light, my exposure is f/5.6 1/2000sec ISO 400. It is set by the scene. I put a 500mm lens on a 7D and shoot. Then I attach 1.4X TC to my 5D3 and shoot again. My exposure remains fixed. I compare the two RAW files. The 5D3 image has received 2.56X times as many photons delivering a cleaner and sharper file. Do I care the aperture diameter changed? No.

    Roger suggests I should stop down to f/8 after adding the TC to equalize aperture diameter and then raise the ISO until I get the same brightness because I need to normalize the system transfer function. Why in the world should I photograph like this? It makes no sense to me.


    You pick one of the above

    When I used to test CMOS sensors in the lab, I would hook up a spectrum analyzer and look at the FFT of the signal at the column access nodes. Is this method the best scientific way to measure sensor performance? Yes. Does it translate to practical photography results when working with RAW files from a consumer SLR in different field conditions? **** no. Is it relevant or useful for this forum and this crowd? I doubt it.
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 07-03-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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    Life Time Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Your analogy makes no sense to me Roger. And you're making photography far more complicated than it actually is. When I compare two bodies with different sensor sizes, I set my exposure based on available light. I can manipulate 3 parameters to render a proper exposure; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. The size of the sensor does not affect my exposure. And I have no quick and easy way to calculate lens aperture diameter. I do not try to ensure that each pixel is receiving the same number of photons. I choose what I consider to be the correct aperture, shutter speed, and ISO and see how each camera handles identical settings. If during my testing I am shooting f/5.6, and moving to f/8 means increasing my ISO by a stop, I may choose to stick with f/5.6 to minimize noise. That choice is independent of the relative lens aperture diameters of the two bodies I'm testing; it's all about the quality of the resulting image. You, on the other hand, would stop down and bump your ISO to make the comparison 'valid.' The fatal flaw of your methodology is that it doesn't factor in the quality of the image. It's all about equalizing the number of photons of light per pixel. You claim that tests which don't compensate for the small sensor size of the 7D stack the deck against the 7D. I couldn't disagree more. The 7D has strengths and weaknesses. Its high pixel density and smaller FOV mean that I need to crop less. Its smaller sensor means that for my chosen combination of exposure values, each pixel on the sensor will receive less light than each pixel on the 5D3's sensor. That's just the way it goes.

    If and when the day arrives that camera makers give us a lens aperture diameter dial on camera bodies, I'll rethink my position. Until then, I'll stick with good old fashioned aperture.
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    Roger, I find these discussions very interesting and informative and I never get into the discussion because my photographic knowledge and scientific knowledge
    is pretty limited compared to most people here.
    I do wonder though and appreciate your discussions, but it seems to me that you are trying to convince a few of the best bird photographers in the world that
    they do not know what they are doing!
    All the discussion about star photos and the like are fine except that they have nothing to do with taking a great photo of a diving Tern, or am I being simplistic?
    It is interesting, but I am not sure how a fairly new photographer benefits from a lot of this.
    It is entertaining, I just don't understand a lot of it.
    Dan Kearl

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