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Messages - rmfagan

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1
I am aware that uses for a cpl extend beyond darkening skies. Rather I was using that as an example. Regardless, natural or artificial light will scatter and an ultra wide such as the Samyang 14 will result in uneven polarization across the frame, whether that frame includes sky or not. Granted, this phenomenon is most apparent with an even subject such as a blue sky. While other images may not show it as well, it still occurs.

2
A circular polarizer on a 14mm lens on FF is fairly pointless... Because polarization can only occur over a limited angle (90 degree IIRC) using one on such a wide lens would almost certainly result in uneven polarization across the image, i.e. banding in a blue sky.

It is generally not recommended.

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Canon General / Re: Upcoming trip, any can't miss spots?
« on: January 28, 2014, 10:37:56 PM »
First things first; thanks all for the replies and loads of advice and recommendations! It is greatly appreciated and especially nice to see everyone concerned for my (and my gear's) well-being.  ;)

Now to address a few of the comments...

I feel it is important to stress that the purpose of this trip is specifically photography. I realize now that I didn't clearly indicate that in the OP. True, I am not being paid directly to make images on this trip, but my intent is to build a portfolio worthy of being paid in the future. Regardless of current or future compensation, I would not be taking this trip if it were not for the photographic opportunities. As such, I'm disinclined to go with a one lens approach. I "get" the whole Cartier-Bresson thing, and the "what's in your hand" mentality, but the fact of the matter is that I have the ability to choose to have more at my disposal. The "right" tool(s) for the job(s), as it were.

Leaving the "good" gear at home seems to go against logic, to me at least. Why buy the best lenses, a 5D3, etc but leave it in a safe when there is some risk? It seems to me the risk of exceptional photos often goes hand in hand with the risk of none(i.e. losing your gear).

And yea, I know I'm no NatGeo 'tog, but the idea of just "buying a coffee table book with better pictures" than mine is hard to swallow. Isn't this why we're here? Aren't we out there to learn and get shots that are worthy of publication or admiration. If not, this exercise seems a bit pointless, no?

To that end, I'd think a single 5D3, 24-70, 70-200, and 17 TS-E, as well a tripod and a few filters, is a pretty minimum kit. I'm young and fit and just got back from carrying much more than that (to include a 500 II) on my back for nearly two weeks in Japan. I won't be getting tired walking stairs or climbing hills.

The theft concern is real and valid. I do have insurance, to include rental coverage. I'll also look into the cable-strap posted. That said, I've also backpacked for months on end through El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and more with gear without a problem. Care, some common sense, and a little luck go a long way, I've found.

Sorry that all came out as a rant. It wasn't really my intent. Just some responses that kind of made me do a double take.

As for gear, I think I will take the advice to go for the 17 in lieu of the 24 TS. I actually HAVE a 16-35 but really wanted the higher IQ and lines. Thinking of selling the 16-35. I'll be carrying my gear in a ThinkTank Retrospective, so at least thats fairly inconspicuous. Torn on the macro. I see one person gave it a thumbs up while most others are saying I've got too much gear.

 

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Canon General / Upcoming trip, any can't miss spots?
« on: January 28, 2014, 08:57:51 AM »
Hello all. I'm wheels up in 44 days on another trip and I wanted to get the CR take on what to shoot. Any secret spots or can't miss places. General recommendations are welcomed as well.

I'm leaving NYC and have a 24-hr layover in Amsterdam, noon to noon. Then I'm flying into Athens, where I'll spend 3 nights. Then it's off to Istanbul for 4 nights, then a hop to Cappadocia for a night and a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the "chimneys". Then it's back home.

I'm planning on bringing my 5D3, 24-70 II, 70-200 II, nifty 50, my tripod, black glass, a few NDs, and one of my 600EX-RT's. I was considering bringing my 100L macro. Seems some of the Dutch "brownies", Greek food, and the Grand Bazaar beg for macro shots. Thoughts on that? I also intend to rent a TS-E. It's a hard call. The architecture and tight streets seem to scream 17, while Cappadocia might be better served by the 24. Any guidance there is appreciated.

So, any equipment guidance would be great, any input on where to go in the cities listed is even better! Thanks all!

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 11:05:33 PM »
Ha, perhaps not as good as I make it out I guess. Always another side to the story. All my money goes to photography and travel and I otherwise live on a Bud Light-budget to afford it.

It helps that I tend to make very good friends when I travel and am often invited to visit them, which usually negates lodging costs. A lengthy period of time living in the Caribbean and having to travel back and forth to NYC helped me rack up the flyer miles.

When you're flying and sleeping free, trips are a LOT more affordable!

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Canon General / Re: Winter Olympics....anyone going?
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:56:54 PM »
Funny, I saw a story about Russia having a problem selling out tickets and considered going. But ultimately, I could only sneak away for a 4-day weekend, 2 of which would be spent getting there/back, and I just don't know how realistic it would be to expect I'd get close enough to the action to get images without a credential. Ironically, I do have the requisite vest for Sochi, though it would likely raise some eyebrows at customs.

But hey, $550 r/t from NYC to MOW, $150 r/t to Sochi and tickets to some events as cheap as $100. A case of Red Bull and a 10lb bag of beef jerky and you might sneak in just over a grand if you couch surf/slum it. And on the upside, if God forbid, something DID happen, you might finally get an image on the cover of Time...

I'll pass.

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:24:45 PM »
I've seriously considered the 300 2.8 as a cheaper alternative as well. Especially if I can pick one up during a Canon refurb sale. Very tempting indeed.

I'm not too big either: 5'9", 150, but then again I've had 4 years experience with heavy packs as an infantryman in the Marine Corps so I guess heavy loads don't bother me too much.

I did actually notice how nice the roads were in Japan, Hokkaido in particular. I did indeed enjoy the crabs :)

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 08:21:33 PM »
I tried, really tried, to convince my wife to let me buy the 600 mm., and her sister and husband were on my side, but realistically, the lens is too heavy to fly with.  However, she let me tryout the new 200-400 X1.4 lens before further consideration.

The 600 really is a bit too big/heavy to fly with, but I'd highly encourage you to check out the 500 II, with and without a 1.4 TC. It fits perfectly well mounted on a gripped 5D III in my Lowepro Trekker AW 400 (carry-on approved) and it never bothered me during my Japan trip. I was backpacking virtually the whole 10 days and the pack never left my back. From the streets of Tokyo, to the mountains of Nagano/Yudanaka, and the cold lakes and passes of Hokkaido, it went with me everywhere along with a 16-35 II, 70-200 II, 50 1.8, 600EX-RT, ST-E3, Gitzo 3541 w/Markins Q-Ball, filters and other accessories and was never a bother. It's remarkably portable. Lighter than the 200-400 I believe (?).

9
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 05:06:09 PM »
lion rock-

I was at the Akan International Crane Center, about 30 mins from the Kushiro airport. Lens certainly played a big role. I borrowed the 500 II from CPS and couldn't be happier that I did.

The only downside is that I now have a tough decision. As I had been shooting a lot of sports, I was considering the 400 II, but this 500 really has made me think twice. It's fantastic for birds and general wildlife, and with enough room (shooting from the back of the end zone) I can probably make it work for football too.

That said, my interests are so varied that my next purchases are probably the 24-70 II and the 17 TS-E, along with a 2nd 600EX-RT and a handful of various ND grads... Trips to Athens, Istanbul, Iceland, Acadia NP, and Yosemite NP coming up this year and I'd like some different options for landscape and architecture than my current 16-35 II provides.

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: January 21, 2014, 01:39:47 PM »
Obligatory photos from the trip to Hokkaido I just returned from...

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 01:25:29 PM »
...

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 01:22:20 PM »
A few of the aforementioned cranes from my inaugural birding trip...

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 01:10:08 PM »
A few from my recent trip to Hokkaido... My first time photographing birds actually.

Beautiful rmfagan....what gear and setting did you use for these.

First timer?  Wow.

Thank you! Sure: Gripped 5D III, 500 IS II on all. 1st: ISO 250, Av, f/4, 1/4000. 2nd: ISO 250, Av, f/4, 1/1250. 3rd: ISO 250, Av, f/4, 1/2000.

It was a great time. Very educational shoot for my first time out. I experimented with differing AF modes and found that in this scenario (pretty frantic) AF expansion in Servo mode worked best for me to lock and keep focus. All shots were handheld. I initially was trying to track on a tripod, but found handholding much more intuitive and the reduced weight of the 500 vII made it pretty easy.

I got quite a few shots of red crowned cranes and whooper swans as well, though those were generally easier to shoot fundamentally, more difficult as far as finding unique compositions...quite a bit of luck involved in hoping the cranes/swans did something interesting.

14
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:39:40 AM »
Canon 5D III and 500L II, some may have used 1.4 TC III. Aperture priority, f/5.6 I believe.

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:29:59 AM »
Another...

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