November 25, 2014, 10:02:36 PM

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1
Photography Technique / Re: Would electrical tape damage the red ring?
« on: November 24, 2014, 01:38:58 AM »
I echo the advice to be careful about the tape you put on your lens.

My 24mm f/1.4L lens has a lot of sticky residue from countless times that its focusing ring has been taped, and I wish I had been able to avoiding using electrical tape, duct tape, etc., on those occasions when I had no other choice. It is probably going to lower resale value by a few hundred dollars, on a lens that would otherwise look like an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

Suggestion: Use only gaffer tape: "While related to duct tape, it differs in that it can be removed cleanly because it uses a synthetic petroleum-based adhesive."

Rubbing alcohol will get the stickiness off without a trace. Just soak a cotton wool bud and wipe away, it will probably take a few goes but isn't difficult. Alternatively you can buy just the rubber grip from Canon for not much and fitting is easy.

Thanks! This is very helpful. I would have to apply some pressure about right on top of the cracks above and below the focusing ring, and some alcohol would definitely be released into the crack as a result.  Any chance that the alcohol could harm anything within the lens?

Thanks again for at least giving me more courage to try what I've been too afraid to do yet.

2
Photography Technique / Re: Would electrical tape damage the red ring?
« on: November 24, 2014, 12:34:26 AM »
I echo the advice to be careful about the tape you put on your lens.

My 24mm f/1.4L lens has a lot of sticky residue from countless times that its focusing ring has been taped, and I wish I had been able to avoiding using electrical tape, duct tape, etc., on those occasions when I had no other choice. It is probably going to lower resale value by a few hundred dollars, on a lens that would otherwise look like an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

Suggestion: Use only gaffer tape: "While related to duct tape, it differs in that it can be removed cleanly because it uses a synthetic petroleum-based adhesive."

3
Post Processing / Re: Image size for web site
« on: November 18, 2014, 03:52:26 PM »
One of the most common frustrations in bad website design is extremely "high quality" images that actually provide an extremely low quality user experience.

I agree with the suggestion earlier to use 1080px (or 1200px) as the longest dimension for images. A larger image size could/should be available as a download individually, but not as part of the content loaded into the regular web page.

Also, it is useless to save images used within a web page at the highest JPEG quality setting. JPEG exports are mostly based on two technologies. First, libjpeg, for which 85% quality is excellent for high quality web use like photo galleries, while 95% would be good for individual high quality downloads, and 75% is sufficient for general web use. Secondly, Adobe products use a different compression scale, and 50 is good for general use, 60-70 good for high quality use, and 80 or more for individual high quality downloads.

Here is an analysis:

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/jpeg-quality



4
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Is IQ better with smaller files?
« on: November 17, 2014, 10:23:51 PM »
This is both true and not true.

Literally, it is true. Shooting a JPEG at a lower resolution (but not at a lower quality), and leaving all of the other settings the same produces a cleaner file. The ratio of how much more clean is in theory approximately equal the square root of the ratio between resolutions. Even that rule of thumb fails to take into account a host of factors that are equally important in determining "cleanness" as a function of pixel density.

But also, this is not true. Imagine that you scaled down the entire picture to a single pixel. This pixel would be a wonderful clean pixel, with almost no noise whatsoever. But no matter how clean and noise-free that pixel might be, a pixel is not a picture.

You never gain more picture information by scaling down in order to make a cleaner file. The signal to noise ratio (the meaning of "cleanness" in this context) is not a measurement of total image quality.



5
Portrait / Re: Engagement Session from Saturday 11/8/14
« on: November 10, 2014, 06:03:55 PM »
You have a hit in the third photo, which is striking in its simplicity and effective from a variety of other artistic principles and elements as well: emphasis, balance, pattern, line, shape, color, texture, etc.

In the first picture it seems like balance is missing (the picture seems to be holding up an enormous weight) and the lines don't strengthen the composition. The second picture contains space/perspective, but is not using it well to to effectively to achieve the related goal of either harmony and unity or contrast.

6
The wedding photographer you hire needs to be knowledgeable and experienced with photography in the same environment where the wedding will be held.

For example, consider two completely distinct situations, calling for different photographic skills--
Is it in a dark church with no ability to set up flashes and lighting?
Or is it going to be outdoors during daylight hours?

I suggest that you look at the photographer's portfolio, especially their recent work, and see if there is any evidence of producing good photographs under the conditions and location where the wedding is planned.

Ask to see one or two complete wedding photography books from weddings in situations similar to yours. The photographer may not be able to display them to you publicly at their website, but they should at least be able show you them in a face-to-face meeting. Compare the results of three or four photographers and pick your favorite.

One other important note is that $2,000 is not enough to even pay for the equipment depreciation and business expenses of a good photographer, let alone their need to pay for the expenses of staying alive. 5-6 hours of on the scene photography translates to at least 50-60 hours of work directly related to your wedding, and much more work that is indirectly related but equally important. Set your expectations quite low if $2,000 is all that you can afford.

If I worked 80 hours a week for 52 weeks out of the year, and spent $150,000 annually on running my business, I might be able to reach a level of productivity of 100 weddings per year, absolute maximum.

But even in this ideal scenario of the highest possible profitability and efficiency for the photographer, a price of $2000 for the wedding values the photographer's expert time, usually based on 30+ years of dedicated commitment to the trade, at only $10 an hour.

So just ask yourself if you want to entrust your wedding memories to someone whom you are paying an hourly rate of just 75 cents more than the "Fry Cook" position at McDonald's.




7
Post Processing / Re: Fast editing of RAWs to "camera like" Jpegs
« on: October 04, 2014, 12:22:31 PM »
Despite having options to mimic camera settings, Lightroom so far does not have this capability, nor do other non-OEM RAW processors that I have tried (all the ones that usually come up in a Google search).

Digital Photo Professional is the only RAW processor I know of that truly has the ability to instantly match the standard out of camera JPEGs of the Canon DSLRs. In fact, when you shoot RAW and JPEG together, DPP will by default process the RAW output to be the equivalent of the JPEG output, with the exact same settings applied and using the same algorithms.

And then, starting with a result that looks as great as the SOOC JPEGs, you can then do so much more for the photos that need it.

This works so much better than spending all your effort struggling just to get the RAW files to look as good as the JPEG images that you barely have any energy left over to make them even better.

The only problem is that DPP is really slow. For example, exporting is a 30-second process for one RAW image, so I can't use it for the purpose that you desire, of quickly allowing all of your RAW photos to see the light of day.

Yet herein lies the other benefit of shooting RAW + JPEG. For the photos that don't need to be taken beyond standard processing, you will already have the time-consuming conversion process done by the camera.

Of course, if your original JPEG images are shot with awful settings, like the wrong white balance, etc., then you are back to square one. So in a sense, learning how to make the SOOC JPEG images look good by your shooting technique is just as much of a part of this method of RAW processing as doing all the tweaking afterwards, and it saves so much more time.


8
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: October 01, 2014, 01:55:30 PM »
What an utterly dumb question to ask.

I am asking myself the exact opposite question, and seriously I am honestly about to completely leave Nikon, despite being with Nikon for even longer than I have been with Canon.

Why?

Nikon has horrific customer service in every possible area, from website and phone ordering to forgetting to screw in all the screws into the back of a lens after repairing it, to NPS, to putting their loyal, long-time authorized dealers and service centers out of business by charging them $107,000 for renewal, etc. The list could go on forever.

Canon has incredible customer service.

End of story.

If you are an actual photographer who actually relies on your equipment to the point that you need service, you need Canon. That's it.

9
Thank you! A very useful post!

10
It is not Canon's fault.

Chuck Norris passed by a major sporting event two years ago, affecting hundreds of the super telephoto lenses present, which have been nervous about focusing on anything ever since.

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EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Mark II - Timing and when to buy
« on: September 17, 2014, 03:43:14 PM »
Wait a year if that's the only camera you need in the next five years.

If you buy it early, you have a very small chance of running into issues, and won't save anything on price.

If you wait a few months you might end up with one of the cameras returned by other terrible citizens of the photography world. I've seen people who brag about how many times they use then return lenses and cameras on these forums, for example. I never, ever buy cameras without being fully committed to the purchase, merely so I can try them out and then return them. And even if something is truly wrong with a camera, I have it serviced rather than exchanging it to pass the problem on to the camera store or another photographer. But there are a lot of people who do the exact opposite, and there will be a lot of "new" cameras that aren't really quite new being sold after the initial introduction as a result.

If you wait around a year, you can probably catch it at a great sale price, and get one that is fresh from the factory, and probably better by some slim margin than all the cameras being sold at the release date.

Some even suggest that the sensor's performance can improve slightly between one production run and the next, similar to the "steppings" of computer CPUs which vary in overclockability (which would be somewhat a parallel to the amount of sensor thermal noise and read noise) despite having the same design.


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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Do you need a really high ISO?
« on: September 11, 2014, 08:43:17 PM »
Absolutely.

It would be impossible for cameras ever to reach a point where a still higher level of ISO sensitivity would no longer be useful/needful for me.


13


I'd like to know the actual resolution of a lens regardless of body.

Hearty Amen.

14
Photography Technique / Re: Ballhead or Gimbal?
« on: September 06, 2014, 02:28:50 PM »
I want to thank everyone who participated in this thread for providing a truly useful and informative discussion relevant to many photographers. Outstanding!

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EOS Bodies / Re: A Rundown of Canon at Photokina
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:20:07 AM »
Quote
EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II

Be still my beating heart!

The 7D II sounds good too, and if its sensor is a true breakthrough, I'll probably go through five of them just like I did with the first version!

I would LOVE to have the luxury of using crop sensors instead of full frame, and still having the quality customers demand from me, but it's been a dream too good to be true... hopefully that will change on September 15th!


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