Some Interesting Observations on The 5D Mark III From a Working Pro.

Started Jun 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Sharpeshots
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Some Interesting Observations on The 5D Mark III From a Working Pro.
Jun 25, 2012

It's been a bit over a month now since I picked mine up and two weeks since I added the Battery Grip. ( Essential in MY books).

An Ex-Girlfriend just bought a D800 a few days ago and I assured her of this.

Every new Camera you buy will take you some time to determine where they've laid out the new 'fences', compared to whatever you owned before.

You need to determine the limits and reading about them isn't going to do it for you.

Here's what I've discovered from riding the fence lines.

ISO

Yeah, it's true.

I read it first and tested it just before sunrise on a deep blue sky with some office buildings in the bottom half of the frame. You gotta' love insomnia.

MULTIPLES of 160 ISO, eg. 160, 320, 640 etc. are quite noticeably less noisy and maybe, just maybe a bit more contrasty than any of the others. PERIOD.
I tested it like crazy and it's true.
Start at 100 and work your own way up.
I read somewhere that 320 ISO is actually less noisy than 100.
So.

Shoot something that's midtoned and continuous toned, put them in Lightroom or Photoshop at 1:1, side by side, and see for yourself.

Hey, listen to me here --- I'm just trying to help.
( Make sure D+ is turned off or you won't get below 200 ISO.)

I had my 70-200/2.8 IS II L on my Gitzo with mirror lock up and 2 second self timer.
Which is when I discovered....

Auto Focus

At 1:1, and it really doesn't matter, nothing was in focus.
It was close, oh yeah, pretty close ... but it wasn't critically sharp.
Close only counts, as they say, in horseshoes and grenades.

OK so, I'm not going to sweat it yet, the camera has micro-focus adjust.
Really, f-o-r-g-e-t the targets you can throw up on your monitor online.
I tried it, it'll drive you bananas.
There's another well loved site online that reviewed the "Lens Align" System.
Michael R...
I bought one had it shipped to Kana'der, eh? (+ the Long Ruler Kit).
It arrived much sooner than I'd anticipated. Thank you Mr. Tapes!

It's expensive, it's almost entirely made of cardboard and incredibly, horribly, painfully anal to use.
But that's it's charm. Real True Precision.

You have to remember, it's not what it's made of, it's what it DOES, so listen....

After HOURS of moving a tiny target around at 32+ feet with a 200 mm lens and trying to align two minuscule holes up to shoot thru and then evaluating the results at 1:1 in Lightroom for a mere millennia, I'll tell you...
It's like getting a brand new system for free.
The focus is breathtaking.

If you want to squeeze every last drop of juice out of this Camera, that's how to do it.
Lightroom 4 just makes it even that much better.

I have 3 L Lenses and you get the distinct privilege of doing BOTH the widest end and the longest on each zoom.
My 16-35/2.8 Version I, I just fell back in love with.

The kit didn't fix the nasty CA it has, LR does that just fine, but it needed to be front focused 8 FULL POINTS at 16 and 5 at 35.
It's a brand new lens.

My 70-200 was out only 2 points at 200 and needed to be BACK focused; 1 point at 70. My 24-105 also needed tweaks.
Before MF adjust ALL of it would have needed to be sent to Canon.

I'm shooting now just for the pleasure of seeing how good these lenses can really be.

I really miss shooting Leica and Kodachrome 25. You'd often see God laughing out of the corner of your eye. Nothing has ever approached that before or since, however?
I've seen a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Yes. I AM that OLD.
It works like this:
Canon 5D Mark III + Lightroom 4.1 + Lens Align.
And the patience of a Saint.

Trust me, you'll hate me for what you just read and adore me if you can handle that ordeal.

The AF system itself has turned this device into a Heat Seeking Missile.
It's the finest 'available darkness' camera you can possibly imagine.

One of my shoots was a corporate party in an inkwell of a restaurant with teensie blobs of light for torment.
It never drew a sigh.

It locked 450 images first time, EVERY time. It's hesitated once or twice in ALL of those instances, asked me if I was truly serious, locked focus and nailed it.

Whomever the genius was who designed the AF Orientation, deserves a Medal of Honour.

A little less functional when you zoom from 24-105, you'll see when you try it, but if you're a continuous distance away, at last.. God'AMighty, at last! What a treat!

Try assigning the Picture Styles and Camera Profiles to the images in Lightroom, to your RAW files.

Don't automatically 'assume' that the Adobe profile will always be the best,although for my money, the 'Canon Portrait' Profile is absolute POO.

I haven't even begun to play with the Servo Focus modes.

Another tip? It's absolutely essential to focus on the EYES now of anything with a pair, even more than ever.

I've noticed on occasion how beautifully resolved the fabric on the collar was when that was the least of my concerns.
Focus on the eyes.
You'll thank me again and again.

JPEGS as it mentions in the review on this site are a mushy mess that can't be cleaned up due to a far too aggressive noise reduction system, in Camera.
If you want to get what you've paid for, RAW Baby, RAW.

Jpegs are just fine at web resolution on Fakebook, forget them for real life shooting.

The Extreme Pro SD card that you bought for the Dual Card slot won't work at it's 95mbs rated speed. Thank you, Canon, but WTF were you THINKING???

If you want the fastest shutter speeds you can get in a burst DO NOT load an SD card to write to.

CF only. The SD cards will determine how fast you can clear your buffer, and that ain't fast 'enuff.

So, there you are.
A Postcard from the Trenches.

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When asked how he felt about missing photographs while he reloaded his camera with film, he replied 'There are no photographs while I'm reloading' -Garry Winogrand

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D800
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