July 24, 2014, 10:37:01 PM

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Messages - scottburgess

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i cant belive nobody has suggested thermacell. these things are amazing ! i use them in the spring in northern quebec where the black flies and mosquitoes are insane in numbers . it does exactly as they claim. i have taken my shirt off while in the woods cause it was hot and didnt get bit once. bug spray on you or your cloths will keep them 2 inches away , thermacell will keep them 10 feet away. walmart usually has the best price. just remember it takes at least 5 min for it to start working.

So what does one do about possible allethrin deposits on one's lens coatings?  I'm not using this near my gear until I know it doesn't harm my gear.

Sea to Summit has a usable head net that can go over a hat. Much much better than Coghlan's version, also more expensive than Coghlan's.  I will have to try the DEET-on-hat method too. 30% DEET comes in roll-on solid form, which can be daubed around the ears.

DEET on a hat helps from our experience--at least around your face and neck.  Tilley Hats are heavy cotton, so it is safe to spray a bit around the brim and later wash the hat.  You may still have hordes of mosquitos around your legs, though.  Love my Tilley!

My wife wonders if our cameras omit a tiny, maybe ultrasonic sound that might also attract flying insects? What does anyone think about that theory? I thought it might be a possibility. I do believe in the carbon dioxide theory, too. Looks like we could all share some biting insect stories as we trek through the wilderness in search of our images.

For years companies marketed devices that produce a steady, high-pitched noise as a bug repellent.  Tests show they have no effect on biting insects.  They do annoy the heck out of humans, though.

My only problem with head nets is doing things with one's face--I would worry about seeing well through a viewfinder, for example.  Hiking in the Olympics once I came upon a handful of Boy Scouts paused by a stream for lunch.  The black flies swarmed ravenously that day, and I will never forget the image of one poor kid trying futilely to slip a sandwich under his head net so he could eat it.  We have headnets, but almost never use them.  By the time they are really useful, the insects are so thick that they would be landing all over the outside of the headnet anyway, and it's just time to leave then from our perspective.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: July 22, 2014, 03:39:28 PM »
Interesting review, and thanks for sharing!  I would like to know more about this, too...  Capture One appears to be somewhat oriented toward fashion and product photographers, so I would be particularly interested in nature photographers' comparisons with Lightroom.

We went to a Civil War site last weekend that sat adjacent to a swamp and by the time we got 20 feet from the truck, we were bombarded by gnats to the head, so we're wondering if anybody has any tried and true product(s) to deter such critters. I will not use spray at all. I did buy Coghlan's "no see-um" head net, but it was too small. We're also wondering about being able to see properly through any such products to actually get any decent shots.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks - the two E's.

I can understand your reluctance to use chemical products for any of a number of reasons--but do consider whether DEET is less damaging to you than dengue fever, chikungunya, or West Nile.

Having said that, there are some things which research has shown to be less effective, but still noticeably helpful.  Most of the critters are attracted to carbon dioxide, motion, and chemical compounds given off.  In the latter category, some critters are now attuned to artificial chemicals in addition to natural excretions--the compounds in cologne, deodorant, and antiperspirant scents specifically. 

To lower carbon dioxide, you can reduce your exertion and pace, stay in areas where wind scatters your breath, and if you are disciplined control your breathing a bit.  To lower motion, settle down.  Sometimes settling into grasses further restricts the ability of the bugs to find you, at other times it just causes the CO2 to pool around you.

There are a number of things you can do about chemicals.  First, don't wear a bunch of smelly stuff (I use an unscented antiperspirant).  You can also obtain modest gains by eating plants whose chemicals will come out of your pores--particularly garlic and onion.  This may confuse a few into thinking you're a plant.  Some skin creams and sun screens have citronella in them, and this works similarly for some critters--this may be the most useful thing to try, but how effective it is depends on the particulars of your bugs and locale.  One personal, untested observation I have made is that areas heavily trafficked by people have bugs more attuned to human scents and less thrown off by citronella.  Still, give California Baby Sunscreen a try and see if that works for you as it also has lemongrass and cedar.

A lot of light-weight outdoor pants and shirts do a good job of preventing larger bugs from biting through the fabric--especially mosquitos.  I now wear such clothes exclusively when shooting in nature.  These won't prevent some smaller bugs, especially noseeums, from getting under the clothes and driving you nuts, but I find them very effective at protecting arms and legs.  Button down the collar and sleeves to reduce the quantity of small nasties getting under your clothes.  Hit an REI or similar "backpacker-oriented" store for this light-weight protective gear--North Face, Marmot, REI, and Columbia are common brands, and I buy convertible pants (the legs zip off to turn them into shorts).  Recent visits to "sportsman-oriented" stores have revealed that some of their gear has caught up to or even surpassed the backpacking gear (IMHO), so check those out too (eg: Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse).  Note that some of the fibers used are artificial and may be incompatible with using DEET so remember to ask a store clerk if that matters to you.

Sometimes your only defense is leaving.  Once my wife and I were exploring NE Nevada, and decided to camp at Angel Lake which all the locals raved about.  The large campground was virtually empty when we arrived because it had opened only two days before.  The camp host informed us that tomorrow was Saturday, and all the locals would be arriving to enjoy the first weekend at the lake.  This "lake" was basically a mud-hole that kids could float around on, nestled below a small peak in brushy hillsides.  My wife and I were unimpressed with the photographic opportunities, though the little two-toned mice who joined us for dinner were adorable. 

We were packing the car Saturday morning when I noticed something wrong with our cooler.  I got closer and realized its normally blue sides were covered black with noseeums.  I turned around and studied the hillside.  Arising in great black clouds from the thick underbrush were billions of freshly hatched, hungry noseeums.  My wife and I threw everything into the car, drove to a ranger station parking lot in the nearby town of Wells, and spent two wonderful hours unpacking the car, shaking off noseeums, and then repacking the car properly for travel.  The locals can keep their sucky lake.  We're not going back.

Photography Technique / Re: Shoot from the rearend of the subjects.
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:12:16 AM »
yessir, right away sir...


oh, you meant us, not them!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show us your Hooters (Owls)
« on: July 02, 2014, 06:56:10 PM »
I hope the subject line wasn't too subtle ;)

Perhaps we can all take greater care not to offend half of the population.  I, for one, would welcome more female members on this forum and would love to hear their input.  And I would not want others turning away because they belonged to a minority group and saw how other groups were being treated here.  I respect your photography and your useful input on this forum, mackguyver, but I question the necessity of a subject line that reduces women to nothing more than a part of their anatomy.

No one likes being singled out in a negative way, whether it is because of race, religion, gender identity, ethnicity, or something else not relevant to the item at hand.  Yes, I get you intended to be funny... the question is, do you get how a woman feels hearing/reading such things?  If you have doubts try talking to some about this thread, especially those who work in what are considered traditionally "male" roles.  I talked to some and those I spoke with expressed a lot of anguish.

What's neuro's collection made up? Just curious.   :)

The case/bag collection axtstern refers to is this:

Plus one bag to hold them all, and in the darkness bind them?

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

"This aggression will not stand, man!"

"Let me tell you something, pendejo. You pull any of your crazy S___ with us, you S___ on someone's piece out on the forums, I'll take your mouse away from you, stick it up your ass and poke it 'til it goes 'click.'"

 :P  :D

I may be mistaken as I'm away from my home pc at the moment, but if I recall, I think I saw something about tethering in DPP 4.0.

Yeah, I saw that too.  Version 3.x used EOS Utility to give that functionality, and I wasn't clear from the manual if that was the same process for Version 4.0.00.  The photos in the manual are suggestive that the EU capabilities might be integrated, but I can't be sure.  I really see no reason for two separate software packages.  Capture One arguably does more than both EU and DPP together.

I do feel for ya...  I wouldn't be happy either if DPP was my main or only tool and my older files weren't supported.  But I don't think that the percentages are in your favor on this one. 

This does make me wonder what it would take in labor to get support for more camera bodies, lenses, etc... and whether a company could get help from the user community.  Plenty of us are in software, and many users would be very happy to create a lens profile to support their uncommon/outdated lens.  I think it would be cool to have community-constructed profiles for old FD glass, third-party lenses, etc... and be able to import them into DPP.

The only reasonable explanation I can accept is that version 4.0 has very different algorithms to better render and extract details from the latest sensors. The upcoming updated 3.x will include the new controls, GUI etc and support the older models.

Otherwise, they are seriously SERIOUSLY on thin ice.

I find it helpful when thinking about these things to put myself into the shoes of other users as well as Canon's profit-making machine.

I think a reasonable explanation here is that changes in the file formats along with the move to 64-bit hardware are driving this.  Future amateur cameras will likely support the new formats.  That the 70D doesn't may be an artifact of corporate bureaucratic pathways, processor hardware selected, or perhaps the software was developed off of a previous camera to lower costs; I couldn't say, but there are many possibilities.  A converter module to support some of the older CR2 formats may or may not be in the works, but is probably a low priority.  From Canon's point of view, folks with older amateur cameras have a DPP version that works for them.

I currently have only minimal use for DPP.  What I would like to see is the migration of EU into DPP, with advanced tethered control of the camera in DPP--something not likely to be available with Lightroom or Photoshop.  If I can take a shot tethered, and process out aberrations while doing so, then catalog and post-process with Adobe tools, I'd be a fairly happy camper.  This makes better sense to me as it gives desirable value added to the products and does so within a common advanced amateur/professional workflow (and those are the people who care and also drive profits).  If I were in Canon's shoes, now that the move to 64-bit hardware is complete I would be studying Phase One's Capture One software for popular features to swipe for version 4.1.  I would also be adding further lens profiles.

I don't think Canon is on any "thin ice" here.  As noted previously, there was a nice update to the older software released this month, and that version can be used alongside the 4.0.00 version.  DPP is a poor cataloging/ image management tool compared to Lightroom, and totally inadequate for post-processing compared to Photoshop with its innumerable plugins.  Most pros and advanced amateurs build a workflow around those or some less costly alternatives (eg: Bridge subbed for Lightroom for pure Photoshop 5-6 owners, or perhaps Google's storage and tools or ACDsee's Pro and Photo Editor for those unable to afford the Adobe Clod [sic]). 

Add in that Canon is very good at profiling their customers and probably realizes that someone owning a $2000-4000 camera also probably has 64-bit computer hardware, and you can see where they're coming from.  There might be a subset of Rebel users still eking life out on an older 32-bit machine, and those couldn't use version 4.0.00 anyway.  My old XTi is 10Mp and uses an old file format--that hardware is only 7 years old, but I really don't expect Canon to write new-fangled software for it since I am an advanced amateur who can move on to a better camera.  If I was a point-and-shooter using my Rebel just to shoot Christmas with the kids I might not care that I couldn't use the newest DPP.  Throw those subsets together, and I don't believe that the vast majority of the user base will complain at all.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7d2 IQ thoughts.
« on: June 17, 2014, 04:33:33 PM »
So I'm wondering: Dual Digic 5+ or single Digic 6
So I'm sure: 70D style Video AF
So I'm sure: GPS and WIFI
So I'm sure: 5DIII style AF for still
So I'm sure: deep raw buffer

What I fear will make me angry soon:
3 month after I buy the 7dII which will be as soon as it is available, Canon will launch the 750D or 150D and besides the buffer and the still AF I fear it will have almost all of what I list above for 1/3 of the price.

Well at least I will not be bothered by a mode dial with a green window of shame....

At this point we have little reason to be sure about anything.  The camera may not even be available for purchase until after Christmas.  If prototypes are really being tested now, I suspect that software polishing will go on through the end of the year and production will start in January--making bodies available around March-May 2015.

Better hardware is a fact of life.  If you wanted a faster computer for your money, you can always wait another year.  Better camera, better smart phone, better mp3 player, ...  same thing.  The reality is that life goes on, and I'd personally rather make a decent choice and get on with living than constantly wring my hands over such trivia.  95% of photography is what the artist brings with her mind, so I actually think it is less worth worrying about my camera gear than my computer hardware.  [If you have trouble believing this, go look at what Tony Sweet brings in with his iPhone...  he's bringing $h_t better than I am with a frickin' iPhone!  It's not the bling, it's the bring.]

People keep focusing on what they think they might gain on a 7Dii.  But there are things you might lose as well.  Top of my mind would be dropping the pop-up flash, which to me seems very reasonable.  Whatever we get will be a set of tradeoffs to produce a good value proposition, and that means a feature or two may disappear.

Here's the manual I found from the Philippines...  Looks decent compared to previous versions.


Thanks for the link!

Looks like it will have a decent number of lens aberration profiles at least.  Under DPP 3.11, I could hardly do anything because there were so few lens profiles.

One still can't edit lens information for non-Canon lenses.  Tools look mostly the same as the last version.  I'm guessing that the big move for version 4.0 was to 64-bit.  That is probably why there is a major loss of backward compatibility and why a 3.x.x update came out earlier this month.  I doubt Canon will invest time or money to fix the compatibility issues.

I'll study it to see, but I'm not really inclined to use it much.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7d2 IQ thoughts.
« on: June 16, 2014, 11:19:09 PM »
I can't thank you enough for the thorough reply, Jrista.  My wife is interested in starting astrophotography, and there was much useful information in that post.  :)  Sorry that darker skies aren't available in your area, though I wonder if summertime in the Rockies further west would allow access to high elevations and perhaps less atmospheric interference?  The West Coast is blessed with potential access to dark sky zones from Stone Mountain Provincial Park and Wells Grey Provincial Park (both in British Columbia), all the way down to the Warner Mtns and Siskiyous in northernmost California.  Go west, young man, go west!  ;D

A couple follow-up questions:

1) What keeps one from binning?  Is it a physical problem resulting from the Bayer sensor, or just an image processing issue?  It seems to me like there might solutions to a purely software problem.  If you have a TIFF, you might be able to post-process that with some sort of binning algorithm.  One might also enhance the camera firmware à la Magic Lantern, which wouldn't necessarily destroy the general utility of the camera for other purposes.  Even if the Bayer sensor is the issue, some interpolation might be doable from slightly offset images though obtaining the correct offset might be difficult.

2) If I am understanding you correctly, a 5Dii/5Diii might make a better pairing with the AT8RC.  The increased pixel pitch would offset the slightly longer focal length, and assuming that 1200mm is near the maximum that the 7D can support those bodies fall just a tad more comfortably in the useable range.  [I think the AT8RC actually has an eyepiece large enough to allow full frame coverage.]  Am I reasoning correctly here?  Is this combination popular?

3) The mod I was thinking of was indeed removing the IR and/or UV filters in the stack, but I saw the Astronomik clip-in filters for DSLRs that narrow-pass for hydrogen-alpha, oxygen-iii, and other wavelengths, so one could collect additional stack frames with those to pump up selected color bands, right?  It increases the stack size required, but leaves the camera ready for general purpose photography after the filter is removed.  [Unfortunately, it looks like Astronomik does not support Canon FF bodies.]

4) Are there comparable resolution monochrome CCDs to the ~20Mp general purpose DSLRs but at lower cost, and can one use color filters on these to efficiently recreate a color image?  Would that increase or decrease the stack size needed to create an image relative to the DSLR stack, assuming similar resolution?  The CCDs I've seen seem to be lower resolution, or rather expensive once comparable resolution and the requisite cooling unit is factored in.  Most of the comparably priced CCDs I've seen are under 4 Mp.  Perhaps the cooling unit isn't necessary here, since our mountain nights tend to be chilly.

5) If the 7Dii turns out to be a high Mp APS-C camera, say ~36Mp, then the pitch might become so small (around 3 micrometers) that it might not be useable for deep sky photography since the useable focal range might be only about 250mm - 750mm?  [Or alternatively would this put enough pixels on each star that one could use firmware to bin, even despite a Bayer sensor?]

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7d2 IQ thoughts.
« on: June 15, 2014, 07:29:33 PM »
Hey Jrista, would you be consider buying a 7Dii for conversion as a full-time astrograph?  What feature set would be ideal for that application--fewer or more Mp, sensor technology, add on features... ??

Software & Accessories / Re: RRS or Markins?
« on: June 15, 2014, 06:47:26 PM »
Would the Acratech GP be a good choice, do you think? And if so, where would I best go for my L-plate?

Thanks again!

You're welcome, glad to hear all our ramblings are of use.

The Acratech GP should be able to support your lenses and should be reasonably durable.  Whether it is best for your style of photography only you can really say.  Part of using gear is liking the feel of it, feeling like it is an extension of yourself.  I appreciate the texture of the RRS clamp knobs, the fast closing action on some Kirk clamps, the smooth control of the BH-55 head, the huge variety and mounting options of the Hejnar macro rails, and how much easier life is with ring mounts on telephoto and macro lenses.  If you're like most of us, you'll have your own likes and dislikes after using something heavily for years, and you'll appreciate minute improvements in the newer gear.  Then maybe you'll try something else.  Camera gear is not "...'til death do us part," after all.

Note that you might be able to order an Acratech head without a clamp, meaning you could buy the clamp of your choice from somewhere else.  For example, a RRS panning clamp might be more practical than their "upside down" posture for frequent pano-stitching.  The clamp-free versions used to be common from Acratech--contact the company via email if that's an option you'd like and see what they will do pricing-wise.  It never hurts to ask.  I notice they now have lever clamps and bubble levels available, so maybe this option doesn't matter much to you.

Both Kirk and RRS make great L-plates for camera bodies.  Usually I check weight and whether I have full access to the controls, but Kirk and RRS are both good about making ports available.  Sometimes Kirk is a little cheaper.  With respect to your 7D, however, the prices are the same, so I personally would choose the RRS since it is a half ounce lighter (unless you need the new sensor center line on the Kirk).

Hejnar really doesn't make L-plates.  They're costly to design, as designers must buy all the camera models and accessories to test out prototypes.   Hejnar carries a couple for a few odd Nikon and Sony models, but doesn't appear to customize them well to the camera bodies.  I think he mainly fills a niche in L-plates for camera bodies that the bigger companies don't want to bother with.

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