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Messages - jonathan7007

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Software & Accessories / Re: Bag for tripod?
« on: January 08, 2015, 03:36:21 AM »
I have a heavy Gitzo Tele Studex (509?) anyway this thing is 20, 25lbs or something like that, 39 inches folded with head, and is perfect for interiors requiring multiple exposures and maybe fighting my way out of a big fracas. I have a shipping tube that was for flying with the tripod (checked) but it doesn't balance when carried by the handle... annoying. This tripod usually has to be carried just a little way from truck to house to be photographed, maybe down a trail for short way. It's so long and big around the legs and top casting I couldn't find a bag.

I stumbled on Op-Tech's under $20 shoulder-carry nylon strap that ends in two adjustable loops/rings with snaps. This works well for me or assistants. I would have preferred a bag for protection in the truck... but this will do. There are two versions of the carry strap, so look closely at the difference for your needs. One requires a metal loop to be a permanent part of the tripod, such as at the bottom of the center column or at the top casting.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Can I copy camera pics direct to a tablet?
« on: October 22, 2014, 05:12:11 PM »
I need to read a couple of the long posts (thank you to those others for contributing solutions), but a speed read tells me the following little device is not mentioned.

I had the same desire as Bennymista: send a confirmation image to a client from my phone so he/she would give me clearance and I'd be covered for any later arguments. I found a small item in Amazon by marketer "ikross" with a micro USB on the back end and a choice of USB or SDHC card on the "front". (Also offers microUSB, MS Pro, and "M2" slots.) I realize that the SDHC" designation might be a problem... The solid device adds an inch to the length of the phone while in use. I like having a little "block" device rather than a dongle format.

I did install DSLR Controller on my phone, too, for this purpose.

This is about $12-13 before shipping.

or search "ikross OTG" and a page with a couple of deals will appear.

I usually feed RAW files to both CF and SD cards in my bodies but I guess it'd be necessary to change that to put JPEGs on the SD card to set up the approval cycle.

Canon General / Re:
« on: October 07, 2014, 04:20:19 PM »
I think the Kodak DCS was before 2008. I have two of 2008's truly modern bodies: 1DsMarkIII. Still pluggin' along... (actually I bought them last year.)

Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: September 23, 2014, 03:09:41 PM »
Thanks for continuing these tests to inform all of us -- and keep Phottix working on the [firmware]development process. I will wait a bit to try one of their units.

Check out Joe Demb's long-time entries into this world of on-speedlight tools. Well-made attachment bands, good QC from my experience. Accessible business owner.

Joe was a photographer in the Boston area and has designed a good set of modifiers that work for shooting. I've used the basic card-above" version and a separate produce called the Portrait dish - a 10x13 cupped piece that has a bit of a scoop shape to catch enough of what comes up out of the speedlight to make a larger "card" effect. This folds for transport. It appears on its own page:

I have used both in real-life event work. I still carry a #10 envelope in my bag with a rubber band just in case I don't have his rig with me. I've used those tools since newspaper work years and years ago. Mr. Demb not a relative or friend.


Software & Accessories / Re: 5D III connected to iPad 4 Retina
« on: September 14, 2014, 05:38:41 PM »
I tether on my Android (DSLRController software) or Windows laptop (Canon's two tether software packages) but offer a name I hear mentioned often for iOS: CamRanger. Several hundred $? There may be other solutions.

A Mac-focused (no pun intended) web site that sells hardware for tethering is

Were there no good sources found with Google for this? If so there may be others here who would like to know about tethering, which is great when appropriate!

Lighting / Re: How to Extend Flash Performance (Life on Site)
« on: September 11, 2014, 05:57:28 AM »
Paul, you're right: I have the 820 with the one connector. Painful shooting speedlights at an event without this or some other external solution. Impossible, really.

Good to exchange ideas with you again, yes I remember and have been following your pursuit of Nikon-system consistency for Odin implementation here and on FM forums. In fact, your test descriptions made me dig out my Odin for some "quality time", which I am embarrassed to admit I did not put in when I got the kit. I have a TCU, three Odin rcvrs, and one Strato2 (at the time I planned to use speedlights and a 2000WS Norman pack for interiors.) Now that I have the Einsteins and their dedicated receivers I haven't needed the Phottix triggers very often. The arrival of the Mitros+ got me thinking about adding one of those to my speedlight kit, so --- testing!

OK, back to my rant/questions.

All my testing occurred right after upgrading to the v1.24 firmware.

I had forgotten that "TTL" systems were based on in-body analysis. Duh! Years ago I did a lot of editorial work with those Vivitars and Sunpacks that watched the scene in front of them and STOPPED the flash when the head saw enough light for the chosen setting. I didn't "reset" my head (no pun intended) and realize that speedlights in modern TTL were just emitters -- smart emitters -- but their position in relation to the photo subject was not used directly for info input. Therefore the speedlight could be buried in a softbox and the camera would analyze the light shed -- from all emitters -- on the subject in the preflash.

I read more after my post and got good at pushing test on the TCU and resetting the Sekonic for the "real" flash 2.5 seconds later. I checked with Sekonic and they confirmed that my L558 will reset for the next strobe flash within about a second. THIS IS INTERESTING: the tech told me that even though the meter reads the light "seen" during the pre-flash it will ignore that reading after reset -- without clearing the meter info screen --and give me a clean reading of the full-strength pulse. He felt I did not have to push the Measurement button again.

OK, switch to manual light output settings on some(?) or all of the channels, and there is no longer a 2.5-second gap between preflash and "real" pulse. So the meter cannot be used. No way to get a reading without using the camera sensor, I guess.

Missing flash trigger on first shot... Clients/models get nervous when this happens and I don't like using anything that makes them worry. I don't remember these "wake-up-moments" from shoots a while back before upgrading the firmware. Maybe they happened. Missing frames doesn't square with everyone's eager praise foe  100% perfect Phottix Odins. I haven't heard this described by anybody.

I wrote Phottix some days ago and added to the thread on the Help interface. Nothing after a kind of boilerplate response to my first question: everything off, take out all batteries, replace, try again. Maybe helped but I was looking for 100% firing.

Your reply was helpful, thanks. I'm pretty experienced (had my TTL head screwed in wrong...) but wanted to dig in and really understand the system so everything you've been investigating has moved all of us further along. I see myself using the manual ratio control set for the most part. That way I lose the metering, though...Frustrating and bush compared to the way we took elaborate care to know exactly what light we had before we exposed film, especially view camera work. Even with Polaroids for testing...

BTW the ease of access to the HSS capabilities of the Phottix rig is truly neat.

Again, thanks for a detailed post to help out.


Behavior: I finally did a firmware update 9/6/2014 -- issued by Phottix a year ago for TCU and receivers. My Odin kit was 1.0 and those sold now are 1.5, but Phottix implies that the firmware update makes them functionally identical (they use the word "compatible".)

I set up a little test shoot to see the results of the firmware -- and practice some use cases I have not yet done with the Odin -- for clients. I just want to learn more about the Odin kit. Here's the problem: Since the update yesterday there are times I shoot a frame in which no flash occurs and then the second shot will fire as expected -- as will further frames as long as I keep going. This wake-up frame seems to occur when there is perhaps a minute or two of inactivity.

I first noticed this yesterday so I cleared the TCU, took out the batteries and let it sit without power for a day. This had helped some photographers last year at the time of the firmware update, which didn’t go smoothly for everyone. My flashes in this test are one each 580EX and 550EX. They are set to stay on, not to go to sleep. It is not battery power. But tonight I had that blank frame reoccur.

I was shooting tethered to an Android tablet and thought something wonky in its shutter button but the same issue happened with out tether. A pause takes the camera into some form of standby. I will ask Phottix. Any thoughts here?

Nowhere can I find a detailed discussion about when it's best to leave the flash units as TTL using "TTL Compensation" on the TCU to affect a ratio. Non-TTL is called Manual but the flash is STILL set for "ETTL". I have been asking myself how TTL on controller *and* flash head (speedlight) can work when the shoot calls for the flash unit to be facing the inside of a umbrella of softbox. Using TTL in the test setup I did see some change in the flash output when I put a white card behind the mannequin head (my "model"). In TTL with changed aperture the whole rig was "OK" at producing similar histograms. But one of my strobes, the 580, was flashing into a silvery umbrella on every shot, The other light was a 550EX directly at the model.

Changing mode on the TCU to "manual" would seem to avoid  confusion from TTL decisions, I guess, so I set full power from the umbrella and 1/8 power from the direct 550. Shoot. This strong ratio does show on the back-of-camera screen  as soon as I hit the shutter. Changes in ratio show right away.

I have very little experience with TTL  and trust manual (admittedly limiting). I expect to meter the flash as I own a Sekonic L558. Even though there appears to be no preflash in this Phottix version of "manual" my meter is confused. It reads f3.2 for a flash level that is f10 when I get the histogram right. (I know in-camera histograms aren't perfect…)  (In preflash for TTL operation my meter successfully waited for and displayed pretty accurate results of a "second" flash stronger than the first.     

Why is there a wake-up shot required?
Why doesn't the speedlight inside something or facing an umbrella mess up the Odin TTL system?

Lighting / Re: How to Extend Flash Performance (Life on Site)
« on: September 08, 2014, 04:16:14 AM »
I had Quantums a long time ago and they were great.

I do have a Godox 960 I purchased for use with Canon 580 and 550 and this pack has been excellent. My unit has only one outlet used for both output and charging when you need to recharge. I didn't know the 960 grew another outlet.  I will buy another 960 and place the Yongnuo pack as backup kit.

Software & Accessories / Re: Shuttercount Now Available for Windows
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:23:27 PM »
Keep this thread, use one of the tools when selling a body, and give the buyer your count AND the thread to show that there might be differences or that it's understood that there has been a variation noticed. Then if Canon Repair later gives a "more official" (and different) count for that body you are covered.

Lenses / Re: Your favorite older EF lens
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:14:04 PM »
"Oldies but goodies":

1. Lens I have now - the 300mm non-IS. I live where there are few used lenses so when it showed upon CraigsList I bought it. $700. It's the longest I have, not counting the 2x extender(II) I never seem to fit onto anything. I know the 2x and the 300 are not a good pair...

2. Lens I wish I still had - 35mm TSE FD mount - the lens that made me switch from Nikon to Canon in 1974 (I think I have the year right... 1975?) I currently use the 17, 24, 45, and 90 TSE's. For some years I had the 17 and the 45 and wanted something in between for interiors. 45 just not right most of the time, at least for my clients. Good food lens, though. Yes, I once put the 17mm on the 2x extender on a shoot and just the sight of it gave me the willies. Results not good enough to get over it. Client happy but not me.

Fun thread. Hearing about lenses I never knew about.

Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
As the OP, I never got very excited by the Canon system because it seemed inflexible for me: events, sure, maybe, but then add commercial work on location: flexibility between systems is needed and I don't have clients here paying the margins for discrete kits all packed separately for different purposes. So mix-and-match to be able to do anything is my motto.

Scotty, thanks for the input. I might buy one.

The price struck me during this discussion as close to that of an Einstein head. That gave me pause. I usually don't run out of Einstein heads on location, but as an alternative for my next head: a Godoc 360 and a strato? Alternatively, because I usually use all this stuff on manual, a fifth Einstein head can be turned up and down with my Cyber Commander. (I fire the Einsteins with their dedicated trigger which is handier, holding the Cyber Commander in my hand for adjustment and sometimes flash metering.) That's very useful.

I have some thinking and comparing to do.

Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:15:18 PM »
Conversation linked above (now in two threads) offers a lot of hands-on experience both from earlier this year and recent firmware affects. Jury's still out, I believe. See why I'd only buy ONE. (at least now): controller function OK once you understand ho it "thinks", response as a "receiving unit" for some of these commentators: not-so-consistent. But jury's still out (repeating myself.)

Lighting / Re: Mitros+ Owners: are you satisfied?
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:05:43 AM »
good test on output level consistency from a Mitros+ compared to Canon 580EXII models -- posted just now (!-read our minds...) at Fred Miranda

Very detailed.

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