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Messages - 20Dave

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Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 16, 2014, 04:28:32 PM »
  Only time will tell, but its these little snippets that keep us coming here, right?  :o

It feels like two weeks before the NFL draft, with CR playing the part of Mel Kiper.

Kiper: "Well it's a lock that Canon will be drafting a replacement for the aging 7D in the first round. It looked like a mini-1DX at the combine, and hopefully that will translate into production."
McShay: "That's probably true. However, although everyone expects a 100-400 in the second round, I wouldn't be surprised to see them to pass like they did for the last couple of years. Maybe a surprise like a 180 macro with IS, just to create a splash."

And like on sports forums, there is as much (if not more) angst about what might happen than about what actually does happen.

I'm just happy that I bought my 5D3 nearly two years ago to replace my aging 20D rather than waiting for the 7D2 (which I was strongly considering). When the 7D2 (or whatever they call it) finally comes out, it might be the best fit for my uses, but I'm more than happy enough with my current camera so I'm not really interested in moving over. As for the 100-400, if that comes out and if it has similar performance like the 70-200 II, that might be a different story.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: July 31, 2014, 07:41:21 PM »
Here's one of mine from last fall.

EOS Bodies / Re: One other hoped-for feature on the 7D2
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:56:52 PM »
How does the 1DX do it?

In the pdf you can find on page 28 a possible solution for assigning EC to a button.

Be patient: it will take some time to open this pdf.

They assign EC to the set button. Afterwards you can change easily the EC by pushing SET and turning the mail dial.

I just found that the 5DIII can fairly quickly change ISO as well (p. 327 of the manual), but it is disabled by default. You have to hold down the set button while turning the small dial next to the shutter button. You can't go into auto-ISO with this method, but you can go out of it and adjust the ISO while looking in the viewfinder. Not as straightforward as EC, but I'll give this a try.


EOS Bodies / Re: One other hoped-for feature on the 7D2
« on: July 28, 2014, 11:20:33 PM »
On my 5DIII this just works.  What body are you using?
I have a 5DIII also. Sorry for my poorly worded initial post as well as going offline for 8 hours after posting (post-and-run...).

I think that eventually people understood what I was getting at. I know that I can shoot in M mode with a fixed shutter, fixed f/stop, and auto-ISO. However, EC isn't an option in that setting. I double-checked the user manual and it says that "exposure compensation can be set in the P/Tv/Av shooting modes". All that I'm hoping for in upcoming cameras is to add M* to the supported modes for exposure compensation, where M* = M with auto-ISO enabled.

I guess that the thinking is that if you are in M, then the two dials would most often be used to adjust the shutter speed and the f/stop, so you run out of dials to adjust EC.

EOS Bodies / One other hoped-for feature on the 7D2
« on: July 28, 2014, 11:17:19 AM »
In order to keep my shutter speed fast (for my 400mm lens without IS) and an F-stop a little less than wide open for a greater depth of field, I need to set the camera to manual. With those two settings fixed, in order to adjust the exposure, I need to manually adjust the ISO.

With auto-ISO enabled, the Manual camera setting isn't really fully manual. It would be great if the camera allowed exposure compensation for the "not quite manual" setting where shutter and f/stop were fixed but ISO was automatic.  [BTW, let me know if this is already a feature and I missed it somehow.]

Any speculations on what *else* the lens could be if not the 100-400L successor?
Knowing my luck, it'll be another 400mm f/5.6 prime...

Actually, I'm praying for a 400mm f/5.6 prime with IS, but I'm expecting a new 100-400L. If it exceeds the quality of the current 400mm prime at 400mm, then that works for me.


Lenses / Re: Value Lens for birding
« on: April 21, 2014, 04:53:18 PM »
I really wish they would make a new version of this lens with IS, even at a few hundred more I suspect it would sell well, since the next thing up the ladder is the 400 f4 DO, which is a lot pricier.

Just a SWAG based on the price increase between the 70-200 MkI and MkII, I'm guessing that any new 400mm IS (whether a prime or 100ish-400 zoom) will be in the $3k range. Still more affordable than a DO, but with pent up demand for such a lens, I think that they could get a fair revenue stream even at that level.

Lenses / Re: Value Lens for birding
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:08:41 AM »
I shoot birds almost exclusively (hobbyist, not a pro). I have the 400 f/5.6 and a Kenko Pro 1.4x teleconverter on my 5DIII virtually all of the time. I've been very happy with it, but with two caveats:
1) I can't use AFMA with this setup. Fortunately, the focus has been good enough without needing to adjust it with my particular setup.
2) Being well into my second year with this setup, I am starting to long for IS. I have very shaky hands, so I need to set the shutter speed at or near 1/2000 for sharp images at the 640mm focal length. With the f/8 maximum aperture of this combo (and I prefer f/11 for a reasonable depth of field), that means that the ISO is usually well into the thousands unless it's a sunny day and not in the woods.

I think that the 400 is a great balance of price/performance, and it's actually the reason why I choose Canon rather than Nikon when I entered the DSLR world about 8 years ago (with a 20D). And if you really start getting into birding, I think that you'll find that you'll eventually want a 1.4x extender of some sort.

I'm really hoping for a new 400 with IS or a 100-400 Mark II sometime this year. At the same time I may upgrade to the Canon 1.4x to get AFMA. As a side note, I gave up waiting for the 7DII last winter and splurged on a 5DIII. I have no regrets on that front, and will continue happily shooting with my current setup as I wait for the next batch of telephotos (that aren't in the $10k range).


EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Announcement in Q2 of 2014 [CR1]
« on: February 27, 2014, 06:16:48 PM »
Hurry up already, Canon!!  I may have to break down and just get the 1DX if you don't  ;)
Joking aside, my 7d is feeling older and older the more I shoot with the 5d3.  I like the combo (7d,5d3), but... that 1DX rental has me craving something new.

I'm very glad that I bought a 5D3 a year ago rather than waiting for the immanent (at that time) 7D2.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Announcement in Q2 of 2014 [CR1]
« on: February 27, 2014, 05:33:26 PM »
So you're saying there's a chance...   ???

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: February 20, 2014, 12:14:28 AM »
Here are more Brants wintering along the RI coast.


EOS Bodies / Re: sotchi - canon prototypes
« on: February 15, 2014, 08:57:41 PM »
I perused the enormous panoramic shot of a World Series game just to see if anyone on the field level used the 34# Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and sure enough, some photographer had one. It is a distinctive lens in olive drab , looks a little like an overgrown RPG launcher.

i guess everyone here knows the hulkma. ;)

and yes i spoted one of them at sotchi too.

That's a pocket camera ;D. I've actually had the chance to work with a Sony XIS camera. It mostly a video camera but takes stills in a panorama mode to capture up to 270 degree view. And the specification is accurate when it says "less than 90 lb 6 oz", as I've had to move one of these suckers myself  :o .


Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: February 15, 2014, 08:39:14 PM »
Here are a few recent ones of mine. I would have said that one was a flock of Canadian Geese, but their wing speed seemed too fast. Sure enough, it is a flock of Brants, which I had never heard of prior to researching that photo. CCC welcome (the lighting is not good on the first two - too close to the middle of the day...). All shots were with a 5DIII and a 400 f/5.6 with a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter.


Lenses / Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« on: January 13, 2014, 11:53:29 PM »
Thoughts turned into a momentary urge to purchase this AM, so I'm committed.  Thank you both for this helpful commentary and eye opening initial dose of information.  Since I'm retired I have a fair amount of time and am simply bitten by the bug of photography.  I was bitten back in 1974 when I first bought a Canon Ftb but the responsibilities and cares of life just didn't allow it to materialize much, although I had purchased an F1 and a few lenses and always shot family and travels and a little wildlife.  But now - wow.  The technology has advanced so much that results are close to unbelievable.

Jack - Best of luck with your new gear and hobby, it can be very rewarding if you stick with it, and from the sounds of your comments, you will. I am a few years behind you, with retirement on the horizon, so I'm stocking up on equipment in preparation while I still have an income.  ;D

In terms of star images, I love the scenes that include landscape and wide angles and have followed threads on CR and elsewhere. 

Besides just practicing general astroimaging, the next project that I'd love to tackle is a video of the night sky as it moves across the sky. I have a spot next to water that I'm eager to experiment with.

... I'll be doing my best to learn with help from the many kind folk on CR like yourselves.  :)

If you haven't found it already, I recommend following the DSLR photography forum on There are a lot of terrific imagers on there.

I hear good things about a Rokinon lens that I may buy but initially I was hoping my new 70-200 F2.8 would work on the mount, or my 24-70 F4.  I guess only time will tell where all this leads me and I'll soon know what isn't working. 

Both of your existing lenses are perfectly fine to start with.

Lenses / Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:28:52 PM »

You can do a lot more than just milky way with an iOptron. People have been using devices like that to get pretty darn good Messier "deep sky" results...larger galaxies and nebula, open clusters, etc. A 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and an iOptron could get you some pretty phenomenal results of say Orion's Belt and Sword, which contains at least 5 nebula. Slap on a 135mm or 200mm lens (so long as the whole setup is under the 8lb weight limit), and you could zero in on say just the Orion Nebula. At 200mm, periodic error in the iOptron might limit how long you can expose, but exposing for a few seconds and excessive stacking can still get you some pretty phenomenal results. It can be quite a useful tool...I was actually planning to buy one not more than two months ago, when I decided instead to save my money for more ambitious goals (i.e. Celestron EdgeHD 1100 DX.)

You are correct, I should have been clearer on my definition of wide angle sky photography, which is where I think that the iOptron is the best fit. Things like the North America Nebula and the Orion area are certainly doable with a moderate telephoto and some stacking/tracking. I took the attached image (assuming I successfully attached it...) of Comet 17p-Holmes with a 20D at 400mm on a tripod - single image with a 4 sec shutter, so you can definitely get much better images with a reasonable tracking mount. Just be ready for a new style of image processing, with stacking of multiple images.

For $300-500, things like iOptron's devices are a good way to get started into both wide field and deep sky astrophotography without spending thousands of dollars. Now, Jack should be aware, there is no way in hell that little device is going to hold his 300mm lens...just in case he was thinking he'd slap on the 2x TC and do some hard core imaging of deep sky objects. You need a much sturdier mount with much more accurate tracking and much lower periodic error (and, probably, some autoguiding as well...and all of that mounts up to considerable cost...don't expect to get away with less than a $5000 investment.)

A Losmandy G8 mount (as one example) should definitely be able to handle the 300mm well, and those run around $1500 with the tripod. But yes, to get into the really deep sky stuff like galaxies, the 300mm isn't long enough, and you are getting into some big bucks. For good or bad, I took the splurge myself with a heavy duty mount, but I'm just in the beginning phase of my learning curve and not yet ready to put my images up for feedback  :-[.


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