Is 17-55/2.8 holding anyone from FF?

Started Feb 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
OP M Irwin Senior Member • Posts: 2,384
Postscript to the postscript for Steve

It's been less than a week, and the weather's been completely uncooperative, but I've formed some opinions regardless. First, it was indeed tongue-in-cheek when I said I've made "the wrong decision". Many many people provided robustly defensible reasons just to sit tight with xxD. Because I am, like you, (just) a serious hobbyist, it was "wrong" in that I caved simply due to temptation for the new gadget. Granted, I really did want a bit more IQ and resolution than the 30D provided, and I wasn't crazy about what I saw from 50D files. 40D seemed neither here nor there.

So having said that, the most obvious thing that jumps out about the 5DII is that it's just an unparalleled still-image generating machine. I am honestly astounded at the resolution. Several times I've thought that I'm fully zoomed into a Photoshop file only to realize I've still got 2 or 3 more "control +" clicks to go. It's pretty sick. Then add in all the updated gadgetry ala the 50D plus video, and the features truly feel a bit futuristic relative to the 30D. I haven't even fired up the video, so no comments here about that.

On the handling side, it pretty much just feels and looks like a heavier 30D. There is no immediate techno-lust inspired by the body, period. It's truly what's inside that amazes. For faster shooting, it also feels frankly more sluggish than the 30D, therefore in-turn, it's likely to feel even more-so than the 40D or 50D. It's not just frame rates. I perceive a bit longer shutter lag (perception vs reality, who knows). It's not a sports camera, and I wouldn't recommend getting it if it's your ONLY body and you shoot lots of action. No doubt that you CAN get great action shots, but an "example" of such is not proof that it is your "best" option if that's your thing. The 6 hidden assist points are not to be completely discounted however - the 7-point method is how I shoot with center point on my 1d2n. Countering these handling trade-offs is of course the wonderful viewfinder - I WANT to look through it and go get more shots.

In summary, for all practical intents, I just feel that there's very very few still-subject shots that this solid-enough body along with an immanently usable 50-6400 ISO range and a 21mp sensor will not allow me to capture (landscape, portraiture, low-light gigs, etc). Also, with the 1D2n, I will distinctly know which body to grab for without question - horses for courses. Tougher decision if you don't have those choices. Some examples of resolution and ISO that have been beaten to death elsewhere that I can corroborate here, all straight from RAW defaults in ACR:

Indoor scene at ISO 6400, 50mm, f/4, the full crop scaled down:

An actual pixels crop from that frame (ie. the green box):

The big jump in quality at ISO3200 of that same area (I never knew those leaves had that weave pattern!):

I will note that FF definitely requires more accurate focusing. This is the full crop scaled down of an f/4 image at 75mm:

This is actual pixels of the green box. Yes, prodigious resolution, but also slightly out of critical focus on the eyes - it notably fell on the left umbrella edge instead:

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