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Archive 2015 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters
  
 
ben egbert
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


The only filter I may need for my 11-24 is a ND for water shots. I am debating the 3.0 (10 stops) or the 2.0 (6 2/3 stop).

I assume other 11-24 owners are doing this because both are on back order at B&H. I also assume this is the best ND we can get for this lens. If anyone has other suggestions let me know. Its not about cost.

So I can get several; filters from one sheet, I could double up, but I assume one filter is better than 2 for any given filter value (fewer surfaces).

I have never needed 10 stops and I usually like 1/5-1/10 second for moving water, not the supper slow that some prefer.

So I am thinking the 2.0.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549036-REG/Kodak_8645541_3_x_3_Neutral.html/prm/alsVwDtl


Edited to include focus tip info, starting further down.

Edited on Mar 16, 2015 at 06:28 PM · View previous versions



Mar 16, 2015 at 01:55 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


I find I can do 30 second daytime sunny shots with a 10 stop.

I find 10 stops WAY too much in golden hours.

Far prefer 6 stops for LE at sunrise/set.

But that is 5-200 second exposures.

6 stops is fine for a short LE in daylight/daytime depending



Mar 16, 2015 at 02:24 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


I don't use ND at the moment, I typically stop down for water shots to f16-f22. The purpose of the ND grads is in anticipation of a 5dS and diffraction reduction by staying closer to f8.

I sometimes use a CPL or one of my ND grads pushed all the way down. Maybe I would be better off with a 1.0 since I am not going to be doing multi second shots unless at night.




Mar 16, 2015 at 02:37 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


I am very likely going to get the ND 2.0 gel filter, because I think it is enough for waterfall and ocean scenes where I want a longer exposure. The around 6 stops seems plenty, and if I went for 10 stops, I think my viewing and focusing would be a bit too hard unless it was quite bright out. My Pacific Northwest waterfall shooting is often with overcast days or in deep shade, so that tips it further toward 6 stops.

I am not planning on trying two gels at one time, because I think problems may show up. The optical location of the filter is at a point where it is very out of focus, but still, I am worried about the various un even contact points between two layers causing strange optical effects. I might be proved wrong, but I will let others be the first to try two gels at the same time.

The point about the Canon 5DS or 5DS R and staying at larger apertures to avoid diffraction effects is a good one, and I guess I will adapt to that when the time comes.



Mar 16, 2015 at 03:52 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Shooting wide angle on 4x5, we often put Wratten gels on both the front and the back, and very often multiple gels as well and there was never any deleterious effect unless they were scratched or dirty. The Kodak Wrattens were, however, visibly sharper than the Lee polyester filters. For those who are unfamiliar with gels, remember that they do scratch easily, can't be cleaned and will dissolve when wet. You will need to replace on a regular basis if you use them a lot. And the ND's aren't exactly cheap. Carry spares and have a waterproof dustproof case for them.


Mar 16, 2015 at 08:16 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


You can get Kodak Wratten Gel ND filters on eBay...

I sometimes stack ND gels behind an ND or CP front filter on a lens, but that approach won't work on a bulbous front lens like the 11-24/4L and it's not at the back of the lens where added stuff is much more influencial, as Roland mentioned.



Mar 16, 2015 at 11:07 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Peter Figen wrote:
Shooting wide angle on 4x5, we often put Wratten gels on both the front and the back, and very often multiple gels as well and there was never any deleterious effect unless they were scratched or dirty. The Kodak Wrattens were, however, visibly sharper than the Lee polyester filters. For those who are unfamiliar with gels, remember that they do scratch easily, can't be cleaned and will dissolve when wet. You will need to replace on a regular basis if you use them a lot. And the ND's aren't exactly cheap. Carry spares and have a waterproof dustproof case
...Show more

I think the new Kodak Wratten Gels may be different from the description attached. Says that are more durable, easier to clean etc. I am wondering if they are not as pristine as the originals.




Mar 16, 2015 at 02:16 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


ben egbert wrote:
I think the new Kodak Wratten Gels may be different from the description attached. Says that are more durable, easier to clean etc. I am wondering if they are not as pristine as the originals.


I can think of one way to find out...



Mar 16, 2015 at 02:18 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


jcolwell wrote:
You can get Kodak Wratten Gel ND filters on eBay...

I sometimes stack ND gels behind an ND or CP front filter on a lens, but that approach won't work on a bulbous front lens like the 11-24/4L and it's not at the back of the lens where added stuff is much more influencial, as Roland mentioned.


I suspect some of the problems I have had with filters on my 17TSE are the result of being too far from the glass, especially the edges.



Mar 16, 2015 at 02:18 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Also I noted again last night, at 11mm, the AF is really slow in dark light. It focused great on near subject matter, but would not lock at all on something closer to infinity, even when there was a transition edge. I think the combination of low light and low detail is the culprit. One advantage of f2.8 is in providing more light for focusing.

I am now leaning towards a 0.9 (3 stops)





Mar 16, 2015 at 02:21 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Ok, some info for the 11-24. I have not yet attempted to micro adjust the lens, I need to update Focal first. But I don't use normal AF much these days so it did not seem critical. Live view af is supposed to be as good as it gets and does not need micro adjust so this is what I use.

But last night I did a series of tests on a large field with distant mountains. Focusing in about 10 feet at f8 and 11mm should have produced good dof, but instead it left infinity soft. It looked perfect on the LCD (which is why I don't attempt manual focus with live view).

When the focus point is set for near, focus is fast, when it is set for far, it may not grab at all in lower light.

Just a warning and an opening for how best to focus this lens. The results of a close focus image looks pretty good after sharpening and especially after downsizing, but I did one series at about 200 feet distance and it was definitely sharper at infinity and as good as the close focus for near stuff. But I had a hard time getting it to focus.

Lets share our technique.




Mar 16, 2015 at 04:37 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Ok, quick test in my side yard. The day is overcast but pretty bright. I have a large grassy area and then a mountain about 3-4 miles distant. I tried to use Live view on the mountain but it would not acquire focus. Normal af grabs it fast. But the normal af points are way too central, I almost always want someplace outside its range, another great thing about live view focus.

I did some more tests using normal AF at various closer places and off center. Then I switched to live view focus using the grass or a fence some 50 feet out.

I think the normal af on the mountain (near center and infinity) was sharpest overall. Better everywhere except the extreme corners. The live view focus on the near grass had the sharpest corners but it was hair splitting.

This was all at f8 and 11mm. According to the dof calculator. Infinity focus at f8 and 11mm is still down to a couple feet and this is with the CoC at 0.15.

I need a better test range. I will need to see if there is a way to focus at infinity other than using the normal AF. Manual focus does not work for me, not via viewfinder or via live view. The Normal AF is ok other than not having focus points where I need them.

By the way, I use f8 because you need f8 to avoid vignetting, and I would like to use the fastest aperture that will provide sufficient dof. I am not a candidate for manual focus or focus stacking. I need to find the most accurate af method for all focal lengths at a standard aperture.






Mar 16, 2015 at 08:36 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


ben egbert wrote:
...By the way, I use f8 because you need f8 to avoid vignetting, and I would like to use the fastest aperture that will provide sufficient dof. I am not a candidate for manual focus or focus stacking. I need to find the most accurate af method for all focal lengths at a standard aperture.


Hi Ben,

You're taking a systematic approach, which is totally appropriate, but there will be situations with subject matter and/or lighting (or lack of lighting) that you won't necessarily have the best settings for, based on your prior empirical work.

Have you tried using a smart phone or tablet to view the LiveView output from your camera? I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet (phone.x.tablet) for viewing tilt-shift compositions (esp. tilt), because (i) it's a lot larger than the camera rear LCD, and (ii) I can get magnified views of the rear LCD magnified view (which sounds like overkill, but is sometimes useful). Maybe you could use LiveView manual focus reliably, if you have a suitable viewing technology for use in the field.



Mar 16, 2015 at 08:59 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


jcolwell wrote:
Hi Ben,

You're taking a systematic approach, which is totally appropriate, but there will be situations with subject matter and/or lighting (or lack of lighting) that you won't necessarily have the best settings for, based on your prior empirical work.

Have you tried using a smart phone or tablet to view the LiveView output from your camera? I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet (phone.x.tablet) for viewing tilt-shift compositions (esp. tilt), because (i) it's a lot larger than the camera rear LCD, and (ii) I can get magnified views of the rear LCD magnified view (which sounds like overkill, but
...Show more


I had considered a remote monitor for my 1ds3 which had a lower res LCD and no live view focus. But the 5D3 live view fixed all that until now. I had noticed some of this with my 16-35 at wider views, that is not able to focus unless there was lots of contrast and detail on uwa settings.

I do manual focus my 17TSE using live view in manual mode. But 17 is a lot more magnification than 11mm and I have a poor track record with the 17TSE in manual and I am usually focusing it up close never at infinity.

So I am not planning on getting a smart phone, but I might get a remote monitor. The 5Ds may fix some of this. This lens was obviously made for that camera. The 5ds has something called high detail as a picture style, I wonder if that is intended to help with focus?



Mar 16, 2015 at 09:16 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


ben egbert wrote:
...The 5ds has something called high detail as a picture style, I wonder if that is intended to help with focus?


Let's find out.



Mar 16, 2015 at 09:20 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Ben -- I believe Picture Styles only work in JPG, not RAW.

If I were you, and you are particularly interested in guaranteeing infinity sharpness, I would do AFMA for all the distances you are keen on, and ignore FoCal altogether.

I would start out with distances like 50 and 200 feet with the center AF. It shouldn't take you too long to dial in from your yard, running back in to the computer, then making corrections. It is repetitive and slow, but I am always happiest knowing I've checked every distance I find important and they are all in focus, particularly with a zoom. I'm kind of anal about it, having a yard and street area that I can check from MFD at all stages out to 4 mile infinity setting. I find it very interesting seeing how a lens behaves at all distances, but that's just me.

Not to rain on your parade, but depending on lens design, you many not get the sharpest infinity or greatest DOF at f/8. Don't be afraid of diffraction if you get a much better DOF at f/11 for example. Some of my lenses, like the 24 TSE and 17TSE are best at around f/13 for focus sharp at around 25' to infinity. DOF scales and formulas lie -- they are only a guideline, and if you are picky, you can almost halve their recommendations for "acceptable" sharpness.

I think you would do best with your vision issues in adequate light (into dusk) by simply putting the AF point on a distant spot of your choosing (let's just say 100m), focusing, taping the lens and switching to MF, and shoot at f/11 (or f/10, or f/9. . . ).

When I'm shooting a building or cityscape, I arrive before dusk while it's still bright, get my focus, tape my lens (blue painter's tape) and don't change anything until I'm done when it's dark out. When it is dark and I'm doing a "run and gun" of multiple shots and angles, I use the center AF point and just shoot like normal with confirmation light on manual focus lenses, or leave it auto for a zoom. So far, I always bring home the bacon!

Once you are dialed in and confident of your gear, getting sharp focus shouldn't be a big deal with an adequate f/stop. At least that's my experience.

Good luck! and interested to hear your further reports and see some illustrations.



Mar 16, 2015 at 10:22 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Gunzorro wrote:
Ben -- I believe Picture Styles only work in JPG, not RAW.

If I were you, and you are particularly interested in guaranteeing infinity sharpness, I would do AFMA for all the distances you are keen on, and ignore FoCal altogether.

I would start out with distances like 50 and 200 feet with the center AF. It shouldn't take you too long to dial in from your yard, running back in to the computer, then making corrections. It is repetitive and slow, but I am always happiest knowing I've checked every distance I find important and they are all in focus,
...Show more


Good tips,. and one more I did with my Samyang, I calibrated the focus dial. If infinity is the best place to focus, I may be able to find out where on the focus dial infinity is.

I did lots of MA with my 1ds3 and 500f4, so I am used to the drill. I will work on it. I agree, Focal may not be the best for UWA when infinity focus is the goal.





Mar 16, 2015 at 10:37 PM
johnctharp
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


Expect CDAF (i.e. Live View) to fail in lower light; if I had to focus this lens at night, I'd use the center PDAF point on my 6D (with a light of some sort if needed), focus for distance, and recompose. Then I'd check the focus at critical points in magnified Live View.


Mar 16, 2015 at 11:16 PM
johnctharp
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


And here I forgot why I came- I want to know if currently available gels hold up to the higher-resolution demands of digital 35mm systems .


Mar 16, 2015 at 11:28 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Using the 11-24, focus and filters


johnctharp wrote:
And here I forgot why I came- I want to know if currently available gels hold up to the higher-resolution demands of digital 35mm systems .


John -- It seems counter-intuitive and a bit scary, but everything will be fine because the filter is far from the converging focus at the sensor plane. Even dust or smudges on the rear element of the lens have little effect on image quality (resolution), other than slightly lowering contrast.

To give you a comparison you will be familiar with: You know how dust, spots, and a hair ON the sensor barely show up until the lens stopped down quite a bit? Well, the filter holder at the back the lens is orders of magnitude further away from where the light rays converge in focus -- OTOH, the dirty sensor is right at ground zero. That means rays are coming from all over the rear element, circumventing individual particles or defects, to further on join up in a sharp image.

So, even a poor filter will produce decent results. Obviously, best possible contrast and sharpness will come from a perfectly clean gel filter. (A greasy fingerprint will be worse than a hair.) You are likely to get more noticeable interference from schmutz on the front filter than you are from the same particles on the rear!



Mar 16, 2015 at 11:58 PM
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