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Messages - jabbott

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Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 22, 2015, 03:24:45 PM »
No. DonĀ“t switch.

24-70 /4 L IS and 70-200 /4 L IS is a perfect travel kit. Use more money on location to get more interesting shots instead.
This. With regards to traveling light you can pry the 70-200 f/4L IS from my cold, frost-bitten fingers. It is such a versatile lens for the size and weight, and the quality of the images it captures always surprises me when I get home. As an alternative to carrying a telephoto, perhaps you can switch to the 5D S and shoot 50 megapixel images with a normal focal length lens, then crop them to magnify. Just kidding... ;^)

For my trip to India and Nepal in 2012 I used a large North Face Base Camp duffel combined with a Lowepro Photo Sport 200AW as my day pack. It is a versatile combination and was possible to carry both when fully loaded. I used Sea to Summit eVent compression dry sacks for storing clothes + REI down jacket + Marmot Lithium 0 degree down sleeping bag. The Photo Sport is comfortable and able to carry a full frame camera such as the 5D Mark III with 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 (though it's quite cramped in the camera storage area when using f/2.8 lenses... I opted to bring f/4 lenses instead), hiking poles, snacks, first aid kit, 1L Nalgene bottle, batteries, etc. I also went from central India to the Himalayas and I was able to bring enough clothes with me in the duffel to readily handle the different climates. The real challenge for me was keeping luggage weight down for flights. Airlines over there have more restrictive weight restrictions and they will sometimes weigh your carry-on/daypack. I weighed everything with a digital kitchen scale before going and made sure that my gear wouldn't exceed the weight limits for each airline I would be flying. If you want a copy of my planning spreadsheet or any other info, send me a PM or email. Best of luck with your trip!

A couple other thoughts... I didn't have spare room in the duffel to stow the camera bag, so whenever I was traveling to a new location I carried the duffel on one shoulder and the camera bag on the other shoulder. That worked but was not ideal. That said, I was able to comfortably hike over 100 miles with the daypack itself. Also, if you are traveling via bus in the middle of the night with your gear on your back, wear a headlamp when you disembark so you can see the ground... I misstepped on broken asphalt and badly twisted my ankle when I got off a bus at the start of my trip in India. Having all of that extra weight on my back did not help. Learn from my mistakes!  :D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII dual cards
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:13:06 AM »
I am presuming the associated circuitry was finalised in advance of UHS because I don't see how intentionally leaving it off would benefit them. I could obviously be wrong, but I can not come up with a scenario where the program manager made a decision to go with a slow secondary slot when a better option was viable and cost effective. I understand the notion of crippling, but that seems like a silly way to do it. The second card is nice but not strictly necessary. If you want the fastest performance, pull the SD. The 5D3 demographic isn't going to buy a 1dx due to a slow secondary slot, nor is 1dx demographic going to buy a 5d3 instead had it a faster secondary slot. Ergo I have to assume a more practical reason, such as timing.

I've worked projects before that tried to implement SD card support (from scratch) and the amount and quality of documentation are bizarre at best... the official SD spec is 500+ pages of information, and yet there are various exceptions and trickery that one must play to get different cards to work. SD != SDHC != SDXC. My guess is Canon had to weigh the risk of it not working right (and potentially jeopardizing the reliability of non-UHS 1 cards).

In other news, my SanDisk Extreme 128GB SD card just fell apart by itself after copying photos from a European vacation to my computer. Three of the four edges delaminated and the write protection tab fell out! Initially SanDisk rejected my RMA request because the pictures of the card showed "physical damage" which they don't cover. After I insisted that the damage was the result of the card delaminating without mishandling it, they decided to honor their warranty and are swapping out the card. For those of you with the 5D3, definitely record your photos to both CF and SD!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 10, 2014, 11:02:07 PM »
I should also mention dragging the shutter may help... depending on your shutter speed it might even provide a nice motion blur effect behind the subject, while the subject is still sharp from the flash. There's a lot of creative possibilities. Here's an article with more info:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 10, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »
Here it is:
Thanks for uploading. I loaded it into Lightroom and tried the following which seems to help:

- "Auto" tone in the Develop > Tone section
- Noise reduction to 25

This brightens the background, keeps noise under control and keeps highlights from blowing out. Note how the highlight and shadow adjuster both go to 40... this means that Lightroom is having to reduce highlights and boost shadows equally to get a more even exposure. It's also a testament to the 5D3's metering system which struck a nice balance between highlights and shadows, regardless of how prevalent they were. All of this just helps the existing photo though... I still think it would help to boost ISO for future shoots.

If you boosted ISO in camera it would certainly help get the shadows exposed without as much noise, but you'll want to experiment to find the point at which highlights start significantly clipping. Quickly looking at the RAW, it looks like you might have around two stops of additional room to safely expose to the right. The Mac version of RawDigger says that 0.3-0.4% of the photo is overexposed, while 30-43% is underexposed. I don't have the Windows version of RawDigger which shows a nice histogram plot so if anyone does I would be curious to hear what they find. Here's an informative guide on ETTR I recently found:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 10:02:14 PM »
There could be a reasonable shot in the raw. But its always going to be quite soft.
Are you referring to the 5D Mark III RAW softness issue? If so, that was resolved two years ago with Canon's Digital Photo Professional or by using any third party RAW converter such as Adobe Camera RAW.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 06:18:23 PM »
Nope. In the jpg the values for face & arm are already @ 252+ and actually parts of his nose and lips are already clipped; if you think you could add another 2.5stops and be able with your LR 4+ to bring'em back then damn, pls torrent us your LR cause it must be some pretty special sauce ;D
Note that you're only looking at the JPEG. The RAW version would have significantly more highlight data than what is shown in the rendered JPEG. I've dealt with this countless times with clouds that appeared to be blown out in the JPEG preview but actually weren't in the RAW version... especially with 5D3 RAW files.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 04:54:58 PM »
Nope. This is not a classic example of underexposure and it would be silly to overexposure by 2.5-3 stops this particular scene since the subject's highlights are already bordering on overexposure; doing so would result in no noise in the bg and a white hot blob in the center
Lightroom 4+ would have no problem recovering highlights even if this scene were 2.5 stops brighter. The result with a brighter exposure would look cleaner than if shadows were pushed in post, especially because the highlights represent such a small fraction of the overall image. Using a moderately higher ISO of 500 should significantly help here. Same goes with reduced flash power to prevent blown highlights on your subject. ETTR is the key, and the 5D Mark III has a great amount of highlight headroom when shooting RAW. Good luck climber with your next round of shots.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII - too grainy or not?
« on: February 09, 2014, 02:01:09 PM »
Hi. I took the attached picture at ISO 200 and it looks quite noisy/grainy in the shadows at 100%. Could someone take a look and say if this is normal or not? Or it is just me doing something wrong? Picture is converted in LR 4.3 and unprocessed.
This is a classic example of underexposure. Take a look at the histogram in Lightroom and notice how most of it is bunched up on the left side. You want the histogram to be about 2.5-3 stops more to the right. You have some options... the first is to try setting the ISO speed higher (ISO 500 should work nicely assuming all other exposure settings are unchanged). You can also reduce your shutter speed (not a good choice due to the fast-moving subject) or use a faster aperture lens like a 35mm f/1.4 to get up to 4X more light as any f/2.8 lens at the same focal length. Note that if you shoot at f/1.4, the tradeoff is having a much lower depth of field which is more challenging for the 5D3's autofocus system. When you increase the ISO speed, you'll notice that the histogram starts to fall more in the center, with the lights and subject possibly being overexposed a little. If some areas appear overexposed, adjust the highlights slider downward in Lightroom until the overexposure isn't noticeable/pronounced. Also be sure to shoot in RAW which gives Lightroom the most data to work with for highlight and shadow recovery. One other tip is that the 5D3 has support for a live histogram using live view mode so you can adjust exposure settings and get instant feedback about whether the photo is properly exposed.

Further, you are dead on -- I see pros still using the old Canon 50 F/1.4 at weddings, concerts, etc. because the 1.2 lens isn't for them.  It's dreamy and arty, but it's not particularly sharp and I've read people having fits nailing the focus.  I've shot both, and I think the hunt-y AF of my 50 F/1.4 is slower to target but ultimately more reliably on target.

Count me as one of those... I used a 50mm f/1.4 on a 5D3 at a wedding recently (non-professionally) and the focusing performance while using AF Servo mode was absolutely appalling. Usually the 5D3 focuses on the nearest object and stays nicely locked in, but with the 50mm it was consistently focusing further out. The subjects were a few feet away so there should have been no issue. I've had much better luck with other lenses. If the price is right with this Sigma 50, and the AF performance is good, I'm in!

Lenses / Re: 70-200 Halo issue?
« on: September 15, 2013, 03:12:25 PM »
Have not experienced this, and mine is late 2010/early 2011 vintage.

Lenses / Re: How much are you using the 40mm pancake?
« on: September 15, 2013, 02:02:45 AM »
Often while using a 5D3.  Next question please!   ;D

Canon General / Re: Is it Genuine? Canon LP-E6 Battery
« on: September 10, 2013, 10:21:38 AM »
Weird.  I looked at Canon's battery comparison page (at and both my LP-E6s (one from the original/new 5D3 box, one purchased new at B&H separately) appear to have the bold font of a counterfeit battery.  Every other feature looks similar to the genuine battery however.  I have had worse battery performance than other Canon DSLRs (300-500 shots per charge) so I have to wonder if somehow counterfeit batteries were snuck into the supply chain.

EOS Bodies / Re: 12 Step Program for Focusing
« on: August 30, 2013, 01:41:55 PM »
There were some 7D's that had erratic focus.  Canon can repair it.
Did you just buy it new?  If so, exchange it.  Otherwise send it to Canon for repair.
Seconded on this... LensRentals ran a focus accuracy test with the 7D and a few other Canon DSLRs, and the 7D had among the worst consistency in autofocus:

Canon General / Re: Yellowstone vacation advice
« on: August 23, 2013, 10:44:05 AM »
I think I remember reading once that >95% of Yellowstone is inaccessible via road, so most of the park is unseen by visitors.  It might be worthwhile to prepare a hiking pack you can use with a reduced set of gear to see more of the park.

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