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Author Topic: Michael's Tests of EOS-1Ds  (Read 17180 times)
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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2002, 01:13:40 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']One more thing. I know you're a Canon shooter Michael, but since you have good friends at one of the Ontario camera stores, would you consider asking to test the Kodak 14n and 2-3 Nikon lenses when it becomes available?

The 1Ds and the 14n are in some ways made for very different purposes. The 14n doesn't have the fps speed or flash sync speed of the 1D cameras or the rugged build either. I suspect the 14n will see a lot of studio use with it's 13.5 effective MP resolution. But still, both have full-frame 35mm format CMOS sensors and both are very high res with the ability to shoot very high quality landscape and nature shots at large sizes.

Wildlife and sports is one area where the 1Ds will have the edge, but I think that a lot of people will still like to see some real world outdoor shooting with the 14n and how it compares to 35mm and MF.[/font]
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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2002, 12:53:21 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I noticed the same thing Mike did about the Canon sample pics. I downloaded the Fruit photo and the first Portrait photo and both of them had several dust spots. The worst was the portrait. It took me over 30 minutes to clean up that shot in PS 7. I had sharpened them a little with NS Pro so that made every spot and flaw a little more noticeable.

Actually, that 30+ minutes also included the time it took to remove some of the wear and tear in the paper background and the worn out fabric covering the couch. Come on Canon!! If you're going to show off what your latest flagship camera can do, take the time to do it right. Make sure the sensor is clean and also that your studio background and props are in good condition. As our parents and teachers used to tell us, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right".[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2002, 09:22:43 PM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Pale yellow on pale grey is not a good contrast. How do I change this, Michael? My posts are so important, I like people to be able to read them without difficulty!!![/font]
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Dick
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2002, 02:22:57 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I was surprised to see the venue of Michael's shots change from Toronto to Florida... Do you think he likes the camera so much that he has taken it on the run?? [/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2002, 04:50:14 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Sergio,
Me too. But I also have an academic interest in such issues. Even though sometimes such knowledge has no apparent practical relevance, it's good to know for the sake of clear thinking. It's also useful sometimes to be able to quantify some claimed improvement just so one can ignore it. When should one bother with mirror lock up for example?

Rainer,
Now I'm re-thinking this issue of dots/pixels and line pairs, I'm concerned I might be out by 100%.  If a scanning pixel straddles a black and adjacent white line (which is a line pair), it's likely to be grey. If the lines are perfectly and equally spaced and at the resolution limit then every pixel will be grey, ie. no lines will be shown. This is why one needs 2 pixels per line. However, if that's true, perhaps one needs 4 pixels per line pair, and if that's the case then a 4000 dpi scanner which is approx 160 dots per mm will have a maximum resolving power of only 40 lp/mm.

Jim,
Now you've got me confused. The experiment you propose has really got nothing to do with the 1Ds. You could use any camera for such an experiment. The experiment would simply show how different file sizes affect resolution. Well, it would give you an idea of the magnitude of the differences between a 3 megapixel camera and an 11 megapixel camera. But I don't need convincing. One camera has almost twice the resolution of the other.[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2002, 11:10:17 AM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Quentin,
Well, you're right. The dynamic range is somewhere between slide and negative film. Since most professionals seem to use slide film and have no doubt got used to its DR limitations, switching to a DSLR which probably has a slightly greater DR than they're used to, is no problem. Here in sunny Queensland, the light is bright and I got used to using negative film. I do shoot Raw with my D60 and have now got in the habit of either underexposing by 1/2 a stop when the sun's out or use AEB. A recent trip whale watching would have produced a lot of burnt highlights if I'd used just the evaluative metering.[/font]
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2002, 09:11:17 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Thanks to everyone for your comments and support.

As you might imagine my time has been very compressed this past week and this morning was the first chance I've head to check the Board.

I'd love to reply to each and every comment and question, but I leave tomorrow morning for a one week wildlife shoot in Yellowstone and I still have to get my gear organized, pack, etc....

Cheers,

Michael[/font]
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CharlesCongdon
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« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2002, 12:05:37 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']In part 5 Michael writes:

----
Since I'm primarily a medium format landscape and nature photographer this presents me with a quandary. When I get a 1Ds (and my order is already placed, with deposit), what do I do with my medium format gear? What do I take with me on a shoot from now on? Should I sell my MF equipment?
----

I just came back from a trip to Europe. Took D60+lenses+microdrives, Fujitsu P2000-series notebook computer (3 lbs with internal CDRW and extended battery), Mindstore, CD-Rs, plus adaptors, cables, etc. Everything worked fine.

My point? All this stuff is a boat anchor unless there is a place for me to plug in for the night. Yes, I could pack a Digital Camera battery or six, and if you have a car you can charge one thing at once (or can you? Lithium Ion chargers draw more current than many auto inverters put out...), but power is a problem. It can be done, as Rob Galbraith's article on the 2001 Eco Challenge proves, but you need to be *really* prepared.

So maybe my answer to Michael's quandry is: if you know you are going to be doing much of your shooting near a place that you can plug in every 24 hours, maybe it is time to part with the MF equipment like you did with your wet printing lab. But if you go on shoots where 120/220V AC is far and few between (how about rafting in Grand Canyon?), maybe there is still good use for that MF gear....

Thanks for listening.
Cheers,
Charles

P.S. I can't find the link to this Cathy any more, but there was this wonderful one that goes like this:

Friend: "We used to lug a bag of photo equipment on our trips...but since we got our digital camera, it all fits in the palm of one hand!"

"All we had to take was out laptop to download the memory card onto ... zip drive to download the laptop onto ..."

"Cables ... cases .. connectors ... battery chargers ... manuals ... and TA DA!"

Cathy: "What exactly fits in the palm of one hand?"

Friend: "Tip for the bell captain. Also, the chiropractor's cell number."
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2002, 07:33:51 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Jim,
Thanks for finding the facts to support my conjecture. Can anyone find any facts or explanations to either support or refute my other assertion that pixel size would have to be considerably smaller than 6 microns in order to accurately capture a 6 micron dot that a top quality 35mm lens is supposed to be capable of resolving.

Imagine trying to photograph a single 6 micron dot with a digital sensor comprised of 6 micron pixels. In the very likely event that the dot does not correspond exactly with a single camera pixel, how is it portrayed - a 2 dot elipse - or possibly 4 dots with a diameter greater than 12 microns - or possibly it's not captured at all.[/font]
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Marshal
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2002, 12:48:58 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']How many of those 1Ds bodies are you actually planning on keeping?   

If more than one, you're either a well heeled pro or my long lost rich uncle I've been looking for. And since we're good buddies now(right?)and you're loaded with a credit card limit that can handle the order of 4 1Ds bodies, I'm a little short on money now and since you're such a nice guy I know...lol

The lack of an AA filter in the Kodak did make me wonder when I first read about that. It'll be interesting to see if Kodak has found a way around that so the camera may not need it. Jury's still out till we can see some real world sample pics from Phil, Rob, and Dave. Or Kumio.

Did you see any problems with blurriness in the corners with W-A lenses or did you test it at all with the 16-35 for instance? How about the chromatic aberration problem Rob entioned? Did the one you tested show any of that? It's something I occasionally have to work with and remove with my D1X pics.

As for that comparison pic to 4X5(with RVP?)we saw on Rob's site, the 1Ds pic didn't appear quite as super razor sharp as the 4X5 film, but it did look a heck of a lot cleaner, much less grainy under magnification. In terms of being noise free, the 1Ds image won by a country mile over the 4X5.[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2002, 07:23:18 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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[But when there's plenty of light (shooting planets and the Moon) they do use "over-sampling". This would be equivalent to using pixels much smaller than, say, the D60 7.5 microns with 35mm lenses. It's not that you do not resolve more, it's just that you pay in a lot more noise. The Nyquist criterion is the generally accepted point for compromise.
Lenses optimised for f8? I actually tested 5 prime lenses on a D30. A Sigma 500/7.2 APO was so lousy we need not discuss it further, max resolution 35 lp/mm. The other 4, Tamron 14/2.8, Canon 28/2.8, Canon 50/1.8, Canon 100/2.8 macro all peaked at f8. I expected variations. Coincidence? so I can only conclude that they were actually designed that way ;-)
As for 35mm lenses being the limiting factor with both the D60 and the 1Ds, I would refer any doubters to test their best lenses using Norman Koren's lens test chart:
Samirkharusi,
Thanks for at least attempting to clarify some of these points. I've heard it often quoted that noise increases as pixel size decreases as though this is an immutable law like Rayleigh's law that describes the limiting factor of diffraction - nothing much you can do about it because that's the nature of light etc.

The D30 was acclaimed for its low noise. The D60 crammed more pixels into the same area and should therefore be noisier than the D30. But apparently it isn't. Both cameras are about equal in this respect despite the D60's pixel spacing of 7 microns and the D30's 10 microns. It would therefore appear that, whilst it's true there's an inverse relationship between pixel size and noise, this is not necessarily more than a technological obstacle which can be overcome through R&D.

BTW, Norman Koren makes a few predictions about future developments of 35mm sized sensors. He envisages a 24 megapixel sensor that has 1.39x the resolution of 35mm film.

On the issue of your lenses performing best at F/8, this is not really surprising. It's been folk wisdom for a long time that most 35mm lenses are best at around F/8 and no doubt for good practical reasons. I'm not challenging the results, but the reason for these results. One could argue that the reason why doesn't matter. It's only the result that matters. (But I have an enquiring mind!). You've assumed that all the lenses you tested were designed to have optimum performance at F/8 and you might be right. However, there are many test reports of 35mm lenses which indicate that certain lenses are sharpest at say F4 or F5.6. I have one such lens that springs to mind because I went to the trouble of testing it - a Sigma 400mm F5.6 prime. There's more than one report on the internet that claims this lens is sharpest at full aperture. My tests did not reveal this. The lens appeared to be sharper at F8. However, being a fairly modest sort of bloke, I did not immediately jump to the conclusion that I'd uncovered a scam and that the staff at the testing laboratories were either incompetent or in league with the advertisers and manufacturers, and that I with my simple and relatively crude testing methods had got at the truth. On the contrary, it became very apparent during the testing that focussing a 400mm lens on a 2 dimensional target at F5.6 was difficult and that there was always a degree of uncertainty. What I learned from that little experiment was that lens testing at big apertures is a hit and miss affair without a very precise system in place.[/font]
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2002, 12:04:42 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']The lack of grain and 'cleanliness' of the images from the 1Ds (and D30, D60) creates an impression that resolution is greater than it actually is. Lack of grain is one of the hallmarks of MF and LF. It's probably as significant a factor as resolution in terms of the general appeal of the larger format over 35mm.

The problem with the pricing of the 1Ds is unfortunate, but I wouldn't mind betting that this is related to the removal of the focal length multiplier effect. With the D30 and D60 there was a clear spin off for Canon. Increased lens sales. A 400mm lens which effectively becomes a 640mm lens is a bargain. Who can resist? Loss of wide angle capability is annoying, but maybe that 17-35mm zoom or 14mm prime now becomes a necessity. I know from personal experience. When I bought my D60, that was less than half the cost - although admittedly I opted for the Sigma 15-30mm instead of the much more expensive Canon 16-35mm. (Cheapskate amateur!)

I can't think of a good reason why anyone buying the 1Ds would also feel the need to buy any additional lenses - except of course for newcomers to the Canon system. There's little spin off for Canon. Profit will come mainly from the sale of the 1Ds body alone. Hence the high price.[/font]
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Dick
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2002, 04:24:44 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Wow!! the comparison between 1Ds and 1Dv film really bring to end any debate about whether digital can surpass film.  Game, set, match.

I'm sure there will be issues with artifacts (moire, etc) but the capability of the 1Ds is plain to see.  I anxiously await the Kodak comparison.

Having said that there is no way that I will pay a huge premium to have that capability.  If Canon wants my money they need to get the actual price down to the mid $5000 range.[/font]
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Godor
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« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2002, 06:24:10 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Michael,

Thanks for the daily reviews. It's the first thing I check for these days.

One thing you didn't touch on noise was how the noise reduction system is on 1Ds. I'm not sure if you were planning to and if you were, great and am looking forward to it. I have not been able to find any info on whether the NR system on 1Ds is like the 1D or the D60. Meaning, can you take another picture while NR is processing the image like the D60 or do you have to wait till it is finished like the D30/1D? Thanks.


Godor[/font]
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sas
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« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2002, 10:00:38 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Great so far, but did anyone really doubt that this camera would have amazing resolution?

For me I would really like to see a camera  with dramatically improved dynamic range.  

Sigma has promised this but I fear the lens line up will prove to be a real hinderence.

sas
www.photonotions.com[/font]
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sergio
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2002, 11:50:34 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Does anybody see jaggies in the parabolic antenna?[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2002, 09:14:11 PM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Quentin,
That's a good point. The DSLR has now come of age. Some folks might think the 1Ds surpasses film based 35mm cameras in all respects. No need to bother with film any more. But I suspect this is not the case. If dynamic range is a major consideration, DSLRs are still not up to scratch. The fact that I might belong to a minority with this view does not make me wrong. The facts speak for themselves. I don't want to mess around with graduated ND filters (which are only of use anyway with a certain type of uncomplicated skyline) or spend my time cutting and pasting in Photoshop from two differently exposed D60 frames, which I find myself doing quite often.

Clearly, the benefits of the new DSLRs outweigh any disadvantages, but let's not completely ignore the weaknesses.[/font]
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jwarthman
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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2002, 09:47:21 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Ray,
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If dynamic range is a major consideration, DSLRs are still not up to scratch. The fact that I might belong to a minority with this view does not make me wrong. The facts speak for themselves.

Please elaborate! I've tried without success to find a good, quantitative discussion of film and DSLR dynamic range. Michael has a short discussion of slide vs. negative film here but I can't find a comparable comparison of, say, the dynamic range of the D60 or D1.

If you have facts, please share! Even better, if you can provide links to authoritative discussions of DSLR dynamic range as compared with film, I'm sure many of us would be pleased.

Enjoy!

-- Jim[/font]
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« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2002, 11:39:19 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Ray,
I'm confused. (Not an altogether foreign state for me )

First you say dynamic range of DSLRs is not "up to scratch", and the facts speak for themselves.

I ask for some of those facts, but then you say "it's difficult to get the facts". And you label the subjective dynamic range comments in various reviews of DSLRs as "pretty vague".

I agree!

But I don't understand why you continue to "peg" the dynamic range between slide and negative film. It seems to me that we still don't know - objectively, any way.

I've begun to locate some interesting discussions on the web re. dynamic range. Too soon, really, to make conclusions - but from what I'm reading it's not clear that the D60 has a smaller dynamic range than color negative film.

I'll post more info when I've digested it. Meanwhile, I think it does everyone a disservice to propogate the subjective opinions that DSLRs have a smaller dynamic range than (negative) film.

Sorry for the rant - I'm just interested in getting the facts, as you say.

Enjoy!

-- Jim[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2002, 11:31:34 PM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Jim,
Sorry about the confusion. When I wrote, "The facts speak for themselves", I was referring to the fact that the dynamic range of DSLRs appears to be a 'hush' subject. Many reviewers seem to ignore it but occasional mention of it tends to place it somewhere between slide and negative film (for the D30 and D60 at least).

I recall some time ago reading a specific reference to the DR of the D60. (Was it an article by Norman Koren or Miles Hecker? I'm not sure.) I think the figure was 6 f/stops. I was a bit surprised because I expected it to be about 7 f/stops from other comments I'd come across.

Will has now re-inforced what I already suspected to be the case. (Thanks Will!) But I'm still surprised. If Canon's claim for the 1Ds is that it can equal (and perhaps even surpass professional slide film), what was their claim for the D60?

Now, if I could drag myself away from this forum, I might find the time to do some testing of my own.[/font]
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