August 01, 2014, 12:46:03 AM

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Messages - gbchriste

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Photography Technique / Re: 85 vs 135 for portraits
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:39:38 PM »
Either will excel at both head/shoulders and half ( or even full) body shots. The real discriminator is how the lens treats the background perspective relative to the subject. If you compose the subject and take the shot with the 85, then switch to the 135 and move back to achieve the same view of the subject, the background will be drawn in closer to the subject.  Works in reverse if you start with the 135 and then switch to the 85.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8ii or i
« on: June 28, 2014, 12:30:21 PM »
I've owned both and used both on the 5D2 and 5d3. No contest that the MK2 lens is the one you want on the 5d3. The MK2 lenses have been optimized for the 5d3 and 1dx bodies.  The difference in AF accuracy alone makes the cost difference worth it. I'm also a portrait shooter and stay at f2.8 pretty much all the time. Night and day difference between these 2 lenses on the 5d3.

Photography Technique / Re: Shoot from the rearend of the subjects.
« on: June 01, 2014, 02:53:05 PM »

Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:34:34 PM »
I kayak and have a small pelican case just big enough for my camera and most used lens.  It rides between my legs in the kayak where I can get to it quickly.  I carry two other lenses in a dry bag in the hatch.  I rarely ever change lens, but I have them if needed and will stop to retrieve them and change them out.


Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:34:14 PM »

I do a lot of trekking and have found the best solutions for keeping camera gear absolutely dry is to use Beta Shell cases for your lenses (see for info) and to use the large Wanganui case from aquapac: to store your DSLR. I have found that if I remove any tripod mount, I can even keep my 5D Mk III in the wanganui pouch with a 24-105L or 16-35L II mounted on the camera.

All of these products will survive submersion for several minutes if used in accordance with the instructions. For extra protection I put the betashell cases inside a kayak dry bag (in my case the dry bag is used as a rucksack liner). Hope that helps.

Thank you!

Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:33:53 PM »
As one who has made a career photographing from water, I know from costly experience there is no way to be "totally waterproof". But, you can vastly improve your odds if you take a few precautions.
The hard plastic case (Pelican or similar) is one of the best solutions, but, as pointed out, is probably too bulky to be useful when kayaking. Same goes for what I usually use, a large cooler, in which I fit two or three bodies and a few long lenses.
I also kayak quite a bit and, when I do, I use a dry bag. While it would be smaller than a case, I'd make sure it was large enough that your equipment could be quickly taken out and stowed inside. (Not sure what is worse, missing that important shot because you didn't get to your camera fast enough or ruining it because you couldn't put it back before the big splash.)
Before you set out, I would make certain that your dry bag is truly dry. I'd run a test each time you use it, without any gear, just to make sure the all the seams hold and there are no pinhole leaks. It might have worked fine the last time, but setting the bag down on a rough surface, like rocks or gravel, even a small piece of class hiding in what you thought was a safe spot, can cause a puncture (likely one you can't see, but will still let water in).  Also, avoid quick changes of temperature, as taking the bag from warm to cold, or even cold to warm, yields condensation.
Just to be extra safe, carry a towel in the bag as well, and use it to wipe up any moisture before it has a chance to find its way to your gear.
And, one more thing, make sure your bag is well-sealed, so give it at least three turns.

Many thanks!

Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:25:50 PM »
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Do you have a recommended approach other than those already suggested that you consider to be the "right" way?
And keep in mind, you are not after the best solution, you are after the best solution that will fit into a kayak.....

There are also deck bags that you can bungie onto the top of your kayak.... but the seal isn't as good as a dry bag. They are more convenient though...

I won't be home until late tonight, but when I do, I'll try to remember to post some photos of various solutions... expect to see them tomorrow evening.

BTW... are you talking about a sea kayak or a river kayak?


Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:25:07 PM »
All great suggestions!  Thanks.

Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 01:53:21 PM »
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Do you have a recommended approach other than those already suggested that you consider to be the "right" way?

Canon General / How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 07:50:09 AM »
I'm thinking about going on a couple of kayak excursions of the streams that cross the forested areas near where I live.  A couple of them are well known kayaking destinations.  Although I was quite an experienced canoer in my youth, I've never handled a kayak before and I know that even for experienced kayakers, an occasional capsize is not uncommon in some of the narrow passages where a run in with a submerged stump or overhanging tree limb can catch you up.  One of my main objectives of course is to do some photography along the way.

My question is how to stow my gear when it's not in use so that in the event of a capsize, it stays perfectly dry.  I would need some sort of water tight container that could hold a 5D III body, 70-200, and 24-70 lenses, but be small enough to not take up the whole boat.

Any suggestions?

Mine also does not lock in place. The first time I put it on the lens and turned it in to position, there was a slight catch and "snap" sound and the hood does not lock via the lock button.  I can turn it to remove it without engaging the lock button with only the very tiniest bit of resistance felt before the lock disengages and the hood rotates on the threads.  Fortunately I've never had a case where the hood loosens or comes off by itself.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Portrait of your "Best friend"
« on: March 22, 2014, 09:51:22 AM »

linus by gbchriste, on Flickr

First shot  I took with my new 70-200 2.8L IS II.  Wanted to test the IS function.  The only light in the room was a 40 watt table lamp just off to camera right.  Zoomed to 165mm and hand held at 1/20 second.

Couldn't survive without mine.  Absolutely indispensable for fine retouching and complex-shaped selections.  When you have clone out about 100 individual stray hairs from a portrait subject there is no substitute for doing with a graphics pen as opposed to a mouse.

My previous one was the Bamboo Fun, which was also a Wacom product.  I loved it because it came with an included mouse that also operated on the tablet so it was easy to switch from pen to mouse as needed.  That tablet died but the model was discontinued.  The newer Wacom tablets don't come with the mouse anymore and I really miss it.  The gestures for making mouse-like movements on the tablet with your fingers just don't cut it.

Lenses / Re: just hit the purchase button
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:57:02 PM »
Love mine!  Coupled with the 70-200 2.8L II makes a perfect combo.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:00:46 PM »
I've had 2 really bad experiences with Adorama:

1.  Purchased a Canon 5D Mark II.  Came out of the box with a bad battery.  The only way Adorama would ship me a replacement was to return the bad battery, wait 5-7 business days for the return to process through their system, then they send me a replacement by the slowest ground shipping available.  That meant about 2 weeks without a battery for my new camera.  Obviously that was a non-starter so I ended up having to shell out the bucks to buy a battery off the shelf at Best Buy while my return was processed.

2.  My wife bought me several items for Christmas from Adorama.  Adorama shipped it via a method that left their warehouse via UPS but then got handed off the the U.S. Postal Service somewhere enroute.  Once the USPS handoff was made, all tracking info was lost.  The shipment went missing.  Adorama required it to be "non-delivered" for 30 days before they would send a replacement shipment out.  So I got my Christmas gift somewhere near the end of January.

Never had any such problems at B&H.  They are spot on with rapid service and customer satisfaction every single time.

I've reluctantly bought from Adorama but only in cases where I needed something "right now" and couldn't get it at B&H or the discount being offered was so big that I was willing to take a risk.   

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