December 22, 2014, 09:24:18 PM

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Messages - viggen61

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Only you can make the decision to use a grip or not. For me, the decision was very simple. I wanted a grip on my 7D. Without the grip, I don't feel I have as secure a hold on the camera. Without a grip, my pinky finger has nothing to grip onto, and it makes it less easy for me to operate the controls with my thumb and index finger. Adding the grip places some of the work of holding the camera on the pinky finger, and I feel that my grip is much improved.

Having the extra set of controls for portrait orientation is a bonus for me. It is almost the same feel as operating the camera in landscape orientation. With the 5DIII and 7D2, it is like operation the camera in landscape, thanks to the addition of a joystick control to the grip.

The extra battery is also a bonus. It has let me go up to two days and sometimes more shooting wildlife, where I'll take up to 2,000 shots in a day, with frequent use of the AF and IS functions, as well as metering for shots I never take.

The extra weight doesn't bother me in the least, and even if it did, everything listed above would trump that issue.

Oh, and I've only had the Canon grip for my 7D.

Lenses / Re: First Image of the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:13:28 AM »
Sign. Me. Up.

Focal length markings: If the first photo we saw is right, then the ring between the zoom and focus rings may be a zoom lock in the manner of the current 100-400. Since that ring rotates against the focus ring, has no fixed position, so you could not put markings on that ring. My thought is the markings are on the top of the extending barrel, just like the current 100-400.

Push-pull vs. twist: Judging by the textures on the rubber rings, the new lens is definitely a twist zoom. The push/pull zooms have texture in the rubber that helps one push or pull, where the new lens has texture that helps in twisting.

The hood in the second photo definitely looks interesting. I bought a BGN hood cheap from KEH a while back, and someday, I was going to get around to cutting a slot in the bottom section so I could turn the CPL easily. I figure it being on the bottom, it wouldn't be that much of a problem for glare, and I could always cover it with tape...

Can't wait!

EOS Bodies / Re: Where are the Canon fun Pentaxian colors?
« on: October 27, 2014, 11:58:02 AM »
I do get tired of almost everything in photography being black.  Trying to find a black cable at the bottom of a black bag, in dim light is real photography fun.   >:(

One of the reasons I like my Kata backpack: Bright yellow-orange linings. Can't miss anything inside it...

EOS Bodies / 7DII AF guide posted at Canon USA.
« on: September 24, 2014, 04:01:33 PM »
Click the link below, then click to "Brochures and Manuals". Then download the AF Guide if you're so inclined...

EOS Bodies / Re: Different capacity on sd and cf
« on: September 24, 2014, 08:44:33 AM »
1) if you save RAW to one card, and JPEG to the other, the card that gets the RAWs will always fill sooner, because RAW files are a lot larger than the same image as a JPEG.

2) if both cards get the same files, the format can cause the actual, formatted capacity to be different than the labeled capacity, and/or different between types of card.

Lenses / Re: how to get 300 2.8
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:54:21 PM »
The 300 f/2.8L IS USM II is selling for $5,279.20 refurbished in the Canon USA store. Full 1 year Canon US warranty, and all accessories (caps, hood, straps and the suitcase).

I doubt you can go wrong with either the original or the sequel, but if you can swing it, I'd try for the II. Especially at that price!

Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 11, 2014, 07:32:19 PM »
I Bird Photo Therefore I Crop
Amen to that!

I voted yes (other) because I crop for many reasons. Focal length, BIF, etc.

Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:18:28 AM »
Ok, my recent vacation to southern England has showed me how much fun I have shooting birds, so I want to get more deeply into it. I think my camera and lens (7D+70-300L) are sufficient for my needs right now. My question is about accessories.
Do you use a tripod/monopod/shoot handheld and why do you do that?

All of the above! It depends on the situation, what I want to carry, what I am carrying, etc.

Monopod is great for traveling light.
Tripod is the best stability, but not nearly so light
Handheld is the lightest, but with a large lens, not so easy to keep steady.

In case of tripod/monopod which pod/head combo are you using?

Tripod: With a large lens (I use it with a 100-400), a gimbal is a great option. When properly adjusted, the camera & lens "float" in perfect balance, so it takes little effort to move, and it stays where you put it.

Monopod: Probably best with a monopod head that only has one adjusting axis.

I'm not a huge ballhead fan, especially for long focal lengths. I find that the advantages of rapid adjustment and (almost) infinite number of positions is outweighed by a lack of precision (getting it exactly where I want it) and repeatability. But others swear by them.

Are you using any sort of camouflage?
If yes, what type, a blind, a throwover or something like a ghillie suit?

I have some camoflage jackets in one of the Realtree patterns. Im many cases, simply wearing drab clothing that somewhat mimics your surroundings is fine. A solid green or tan jacket & pants work ok in many situations. Shun team colors, anything bright (with the exception of so-called "Hunter" orange for safety). No real need to be shelling out for expensive camo clothing unless you're really going "into the bush".

As for blinds, many different things will work. Even a car. I go to a couple wildlife refuges that have auto tour roads, and you can often get pretty close to skittish avians just by rolling up in the car slowly. I've gotten many great shots that way. I know a guy who built a "shed on wheels" that he can roll around his backyard to photograph birds. So long as they can't see you as a predator, they'll go about their business.

And I can't overstate the importance of patience. There's a turnout on one of the auto tours I frequent that gets a lot of sparrows & warblers. Soon as you pull up, thy scatter, but, if I shut off the car and wait 10-20 minutes, they come back, and pretty much ignore the car.

Some birds will always be a challenge, though!
I have a Leica Ultravid 8x32, is that sufficient for my needs in the field?
Binoculars? Sounds like they'll be fine. I tend to prefer 10x, as that more closely resembles the view at 400mm with my 7D. I've got a pair of Nikon 10x binoculars, and they're fine for me, but I don't think I'd trade Leica for Nikon! You may also want to think about investing in a set with larger objectives. An 8x40 gathers more light than an 8x32, and is easier to see with in the often dim light of forests.
Questions about questions, but I appreciate every answer and am looking forward to the insights in your technique!   :D Thanks!
You're gonna want a longer lens. 400mm is about "entry level" for birds, though 300 can be good at times. I started out with a 70-300, but went to a 100-400 very quickly.

Here is an excellent online reference. Secrets of Digital Bird Photography. (

Good luck!

EOS Bodies / Re: MISSING Camera body feature
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:19:33 PM »
So like many, I have de-coupled the half shutter press from AF, and instead use the AF-ON button to Auto Focus.

Boom - no more hesitation when the trigger is pulled waiting for the lens to re-focus.

What's missing though is a second AF-ON button / Dedicated SERVO mode.

How many of you toggle between "Single Shot" and "Servo" ?

Is it just me, or it would it be sooooooo nice to have them both at your fingertip?

Switching between C1/2/3 isn't a good alternative, esp with a locked dial.
5d3 and 1 DX can program the dof button to do this
As can the 7D.

(though I do find that placement less than ideal...)

Also, if one owns one of the "great whites" with the buttons on the lens ring, they can do the same thing. As always, the camera manual has this information.

Put me down as a fan of Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ. Good store, good folks. Bought my 7D there. Best of all, as an NJ resident, no tolls parking or transit expense!

Abe's of "maine" is now (was?) a small place in a warehouse district in Edison NJ. I did not get the warm and fuzzies there. They did, though, let me play with about $6,000 of camera gear unattended. Not worth it, though. Cameras are a tiny part of their business.

Fat-32 can be used too, almost any computer will read and write it.

True. However, recent implementations of Apple's Disk Utility won't give you that option, at least for some disk types. I know it won't give you that option for large USB thumb drives...

Good day everyone,
The problem is so stupid that I decided to create an account here to ask

I use a Transcend HDD because my MBP retina 15 has only 256 mb inside it — not quite enough to store important RAW files.
I converted it to ExFAT format, don't remember why but there are some serious profits.

The problem is when I connect my HDD to windows running computer, the system asks to check the HDD to prevent some errors, when I do that it actually erases half of my RAW files and only then allows to use it. (one can't overcome the checking, windows won't let you move something to your HDD)

I found some solutions, eg Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery — brilliant thing, but I'm kind of tired of doing the same thing everytime, because it take 5 hours(at least) to restore 750GB HDD.

What's wrong with the HDD? Why windows sees RAW files as damaged ones?

ExFAT is not supported directly in some versions of Windows. Your Windows friends might need to install an updater from Microsoft. I know that Windows XP requires an update to support exFAT, but Windows 7 (and presumably later versions) do not.

Macs can read from, but not write to NTFS (last I heard).

Why do you need to connect to a Windows machine? If we know why, we may be able to recommend a safer course of action. One suggestion, if you're only sharing a few files, would be to burn to a DVD or CD which have universal file formats.

retina, retina, retina!
and a 4k 24" external monitor like the UP2414Q


My mpbr has 99% srgb coverage.


Canon General / Re: DOF and Sensor Size
« on: July 01, 2014, 03:18:22 PM »
This can be so confusing, but it really should not be.

For a given lens, subject and distance to that subject, the DoF is exactly the same whether your EF lens is mounted on a full frame camera, APS-H camera or APS-C camera. But because of the narrower angle of view of the APS sensor sizes (aka "crop factor"), you do not see the same framing in each camera. So with a full face portrait, the APS-H might cut off the ears, and the APS-C much more than that.

Where the DoF changes is when you want to achieve exactly the same framing between disparate sensor sizes. Since the APS-size sensor image looks like a "zoomed in" version of a full frame image (due to the narrower angle of view), to achieve the same image in both sensors corner to corner, you need to either back away from your subject with your APS camera (increasing the distance to the subject), or zoom out, shortening the focal length of your lens. Either one of these variables then changes the DoF result in the image and mathematically when changed in the formula.

But, as with most comparisons between full frame and crop, unless you carry both with you, and need to make a decision on which to use in a given situation, there's little reason for most of us to worry over it on a daily basis.

Have you handled a larger great white?  I'd suggest that you do and decide if you want a hand holdable or not.

The 400 is ii us m and 600 ii is usm  are for me marginally hand hold able (and thus less good for difficult birds in flight).  I have no experience with the 200-400.

The 300is ii usm and to a lesser degree the 500 ii usm are hand holdable and the 300 for sure takes extenders really well.  The MTF would indicate that the 500 does so very well as well.

So Id go for the 300 or the 500 unless you are in very good shape in which case any of the great white sharks would work for you.  If I were to buy a 500 I'd consider camera canada as they have a deal on the 500....

Different strokes for different folks!

I know a photographer that almost exclusively handholds a 1D4 with an 800 f/5.6, but others who think a 100-400 like mine is "too much lens to carry"...

Personally, I'd likely opt for the 500 as well. I rented a 500II last year, and it was spectacular! Adding my 1.4xIII helped in the reach department as well, and hardly affected the images my 7D captured.

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