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Messages - docholliday

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Photography Technique / Re: 1D X - 12 FPS or 14 FPS?
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:10:09 PM »
Why wouldn't an array of strobes work?  One could hand off to another, that way you could either have more flash power and fast recycling time, or even more flash pops per second.  Of course the light source/direction from each strobe would alternate between each photo frame, but that might give more interesting lighting to choose from in post...besides the added wing positions.

You would use a bi-tube setup with one tube to each power pack - Bron Pulso Twin on two Scoros or Profoto Protwin on two B4s. Packs set to fire in ping-pong so that alternating packs/tubes are fired. Since it's a single head, with one modifier and one position, the images would be repeatable.

Lenses / Re: General purpose zoom for honeymoon
« on: February 27, 2014, 04:52:04 AM »
My choice of vacation camera? 1Ds3 w/ 24-70/2.8L. Or 1Ds3 with Zeiss 35/1.4 ZE. Or Hasselblad H4D with 50.

Hey, you love photography, and if she can't deal with you shooting during the "normal" hours, I'd kick her to the afterwards, give her some time too!

Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 09, 2013, 02:41:27 PM »
...and nothing like a camo first aid kit. Oops...I dropped it somewher...aaaaah. Camo kit + camo'd users = lost dead body that'll probably never be found.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5dmk2 - weak usb connection - options?
« on: December 03, 2013, 01:55:43 AM »
@Mt Spokane Photography: great, I'm expecting to hear back from a few repair centres next week.

@docholliday: Thanks a bunch, really like you approach!

Regarding the 90deg usb cord, Is it correct that the 5d mark2 needs a "right" version?

I'm not sure on the 5 series...on the 1-Series, it's the LEFT angle Mini-USB for the cable to go downward. Look at the Mini-USB port, if the bigger part of the port is towards the FRONT of the camera (towards the lens mount), it'll be the LEFT for down. If it's towards the back (towards the screen), it'll be the RIGHT for down.

I paid the extra for the "High-Flex" version of the cable, but also have one of the "Low Pro" ones around as a spare. The company is really good, good support too. I had a cable go bad on me and they promptly sent me a replacement without any headaches. They'll also cut specific sized cables with whatever ends you need on it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 5dmk2 - weak usb connection - options?
« on: November 30, 2013, 12:00:55 AM »
I tether constantly my 1D3/1Ds3's...get your USB repaired at Canon.

In the meantime, go here: order the 90deg left OR right angle cable (match the orientation of your USB port). But, order it short, say 12-24".

Then, order a straight through extension cable from here: for whatever length you want (I use a 50' active USB).

Finally, get one of these: and attach it to the 12-24" cable to a strap lug (or tripod base plate/head). Be sure to let the shorty piece have plenty of slack. (You want this springy strap to be 'tight' and the USB to be looped/curved so that the weight of the cable is being held by this piece).

It'll take the tension off the USB and if the cable does get jerked, tensioned, or otherwise, it'll breakaway at the 3' to extension joint instead of destroying the USB connector on the camera. I drag this combo all over the studio to shoot different sets, use it for handheld tethered shooting (dance, models, etc), and even on location for capture (on-site product, architectural).

I tried a TetherTools setup and while they may be great for video shooters, they aren't that good and overpriced for what the item is.

Don't do the EyeFi - they are JUNK and slow/unreliable enough in a studio/tethered situation that you'll be hating life. Had 2 of them, and used them in the SD slot on my 1Ds3. Sometimes, they won't transfer until the card has so many pictures shot, other times, it wouldn't transfer at all, and other times, it would take almost 10 seconds to get 1 RAW file over. Absolutely junk for a professional environment. They are toys at best and only really useful on P&S cameras with JPG output.

The 1-series cameras have a clamp that goes over the USB cable and screws to the body to secure the cable and prevent stress accidents on the jack. But, it only works with the 1-series and only with a straight-through cable. The other suggestion would be to go a WFT transmitter, but you do lose some speed and there is a 1-2 second lag between shot and computer arrival time. Doesn't sound like much, but it can be annoying. If you need the instant speed and fast transfer, use the USB cable.

If you need the distance, then get a WFT-E4 and use ethernet. Get a box of Cat5e cable, and a crimp set. Then, cut what you need, where you need! I have one that's ~225' feet for tethering on architectural/industrial shoots so that a live 'editor' can be in a stationary place if need be (and if the wireless transfer from the WFT is too slow or receiving interference from nearby equipment).

I spent over 25 years in the IT world...and it comes in handy when configuring my studio stuff. I spent a whole month trying out different ideas for the best solution for tethering and this was the most efficient, safe, and productive solution. I keep a spare set of the cables around in case one gets broke and I can change cables out in seconds and be back to shooting if something happens...

Lenses / Re: Comparing 16-35 to Nikon 14-24 and Zeiss/Leica primes
« on: November 20, 2013, 02:36:59 AM »
The problem with Ken Rockwell is comparing zoom with prime
Actually, I think the problem was just Ken Rockwell doing anything :)

I know you joking.
I am a very sarcastic guy, but in this case, I'm not joking.  Ken Rockwell is the man who, among other things, says that you shouldn't waste your money on a tripod and that the 28 f/1.8 is a great lens (because it's good at f/8).  Even his lens reviews contain statements about what happens when he shakes lenses.  I don't take anything he says seriously.

Exactly! He is a M-O-R-O-N.

Lenses / Re: Comparing 16-35 to Nikon 14-24 and Zeiss/Leica primes
« on: November 16, 2013, 06:09:03 AM »
And here's how much salt I take with anything from Ken Rockwell:

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Camera Sling
« on: November 14, 2013, 09:08:51 PM »
I've had multiple Manfrotto plates crack in the pot metal (on my Hasselblad 203FE, no less). Plus, I don't use the Manfrotto QR system. I use the Arca-Swiss system.
Whoa! Multiple fails. I can understand why you switched to Arca-Swiss. That's statistically extraordinarily bad luck.
Just out of interest and relevant personal concern, were they genuine Manfrotto or clone RC2 plates?


Sorry...a bit late, but I've been on a shoot...they were genuine ones, straight from Bogen/Manfrotto. On one of their own heads and tripods. The plates cracked when locking down on the Manfrotto head. I missed it the first time and the camera fell (luckily, it was spread low, so it only dropped about 2' to the dirt). The other time, I heard the QR lock make a not so normal "pop" and caught the camera on the way down. It was a 203FE with a 350/5.6 Sonnar Superachromat - QR plate mounted on tripod RING, not the 203 body, so the weight was well balanced.

The tripod spider shattered on another occasion while spread out during a timed exposure (about 3 minutes in, I heard a "pop" and watched the rig collapse over). That was with a 203FE and 110/2 FE, so not that much weight. The temperature was only ~20F, so not the most extreme conditions. My comment should have said "plus, I don't use the Manfrotto QR system anymore".

Switched to AS plates, AS Z1 DP head, Gitzo carbon tripods, Optech sling straps and haven't had any problems since, even when colder and with heavier loads, both Hasselblad and 1Ds3...

Portrait / Re: And yet again...great talent trumps any amount of equipment
« on: November 12, 2013, 11:27:36 PM »
This crap isn't photography, it's I'm good with photoshop FFS. I wouldn't buy any of these. It's not talent, it's some kid who taught himself how to photoshop. Real talent is being able to pick up any camera, and getting "the shot" right on the spot. Like Chase Jarvis and Zack Arias.

I'd have to agree, but also disagree. Photoshopping is nothing more than a tool, just like sandwiching negs, making contrast masks, etc before printing a pin-registered set on an enlarger. In the commercial photography world, you'll be surprised how much PS'ing is going on. Not to change the image, but to remove items like wires, adhesives/waxes, etc before outputting. I wouldn't call that manipulation. But to collage up multiple images and cut & paste pieces from one to another, I would.

BUT, there is something to be said about photographers who'll Hollywood up a set and do it all "in the can". Yeah, it'd be impressive if somebody would do stuff like this on an 8x10 with a single sheet of film.

I'd say it's the difference between "fine-art" and "photograph".

Portrait / Re: And yet again...great talent trumps any amount of equipment
« on: November 12, 2013, 11:22:01 PM »
The whole thing about this from my perspective is that I don't care if it's "real" or's just he's not that unique, as there are many more people who have done "surreal" images like these ages before. Yes, they've manipulated their's too. They've captured well conceived and planned images, captured them well, and then Photoshop'd out items.

It's not only that they did it a while ago, but their's look much more "surreal". People like Brooke Shaden, Natalie Dybis, etc. have been doing this stuff for a while.

Problem is that everybody seems like they want to do the whole low-contrast, misty/foggy, muted toned imagery (note that I didn't say photography). It's all very reminiscent of some "fine-art" filter applied via Instagram. Yeah, it's that whole Polaroid 66x silk look.

Portrait / Re: And yet again...great talent trumps any amount of equipment
« on: November 12, 2013, 08:39:04 PM »
I'd say he has a few good ones, but most of his "portrait" work is kinda blah. Hipsterish and generic looking, much like what every other startup is doing. Lisa Loeb said it best in "The 90s": "So alternative just like everyone else in the mainstream". Not knocking the guy for trying, but at the same time, not all that exciting in today's Instagram/Hipstagram world.

Canon General / Re: How to teach a friend Photography...
« on: November 07, 2013, 04:31:44 AM »
I'd say to send her to a local store offering classes (free or otherwise). I lecture a lot and do teach advanced studio photography, but I don't teach beginners. It'll keep your neighborly friendship, your own headaches down, and she'll be amongst her "peers" at the same level of knowledge so that they can bounce ideas off each other freely with the guidance of a structured method to learn.

As she gets more "advanced" and familiar with the craft, then you could always step in and give advice, critiques, etc. Once she has the basics down, then if you were to take her out on a shoot to work on something specific, i.e fill flash, composition, etc. it would be much easier.

I tried to teach a few friends back in the day and they ended up getting pissed off because I was "harsh" or something of such when I critiqued their work. They pretty much expected me to just pat them on the back and say they were doing just fine, like their Facebook/Flickr/etc followers were saying. Truth was, their shots were horrid, both technically and aesthetically, and while my critque was purely non-biased, they didn't feel that way.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« on: November 06, 2013, 11:34:12 PM »
There's a huge difference between being a gearhead and having the right tools for the situation. There's a difference with spending the right money in the right places for the right items vs being cheap. And, there's a difference with trying to "improvise" with less than optimal gear and learning to use the right gear correctly.

Learning to control light, use PP tools well, and the stopping at/overcoming/removing the limitations of the tools at hand will do more than upgrading any body or lens. Well, that is until you find the limitation to be that piece of gear...

My MR and MT both have serial numbers. It's on the bottom of the generator unit, near the front edge. It's thermal embossed in the plastic, north of the "Canon, Inc.".

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Camera Sling
« on: November 06, 2013, 07:23:28 PM »
If you use a tripod often, don't look at those - the usage of the 1/4-20 to mount to sucks balls. I hate having to unscrew and screw the stupid adaptor all the time. I prefer using the Op-Tech sling kit from the right strap lug to the bottom strap lug on all my 1-series bodies. With the quick-release clips, I can even take the strap off instantly if I don't want it on the camera when tripod mounted (prevents wind induced vibrations from a strap blowing around).

I mounted my Black Rapid strap screw to a manfrotto quick place adapter

and mounted an RC2 plate to my camera. This allows me to quickly attach/detach the camera from my BR strap and quickly attach it to my manfrotto monopod/tripod.

That's all fine and dandy, until that RC2 let's go on you. I've had multiple Manfrotto plates crack in the pot metal (on my Hasselblad 203FE, no less). Plus, I don't use the Manfrotto QR system. I use the Arca-Swiss system. And, even with your setup, you'd still have to unlatch the Krap-Rapid from the plate before docking onto the tripod. I can have the strap still on camera with the body mounted to the AS B1.

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