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Messages - christianronnel

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Lenses / Re: What was your first L lens?
« on: June 07, 2014, 03:01:32 AM »
First L lens and first ever lens that I owned is 70-300L.  Before that I borrowed my friends' lenses (yes I was surrounded by nice Canon users).  The decision to get the lens was mostly influenced by the lens review here in CR when the lens first came out.  Which was also the very first time I came across this site.

Software & Accessories / Re: Need help finding a backpack
« on: June 07, 2014, 02:49:04 AM »
Hi sagittariansrock,

I would like to recommend another F-stop bag, the Kenti.  It pretty much satisfies most of the features you listed:
1. It's 25L bag that can hold a 5D3 with 70-200LII attached.  I don't have the 135L but I think it's a smaller lens.
2. The pack is quite rigid and does not lose it's shape plus the ample padding will give you peace of mind.  The ergonomics is great and it fits me quite well 5'10".  Even though it can get very heavy once I'm done stuffing it, I don't notice the weight at all once on my shoulder and the pack belt secured, I can hike for hours comfortably.
3. I travel a lot and this has now been my primary bag because it fits easier on the overhead compartment even on commuter size planes.
4. Unfortunately it will not fit an older type 15" MBP but it may fit the retina display one.  There are 2 compartments that can be used for laptops/tablet.  One inside the main compartment accessed from top and another in the compartment for water bladder which can fit up to 13" MBP
5. As you're probably already familiar with their "gate keeper" attachment so you can carry something like a tripod in front of the bag
6. It is the lowest profile bag I've tried in this carrying capacity and I've had  several high end bags from Kata, Lowepro and Think Tank.  It was designed for bikers so it has to be low profile.
7. The price is a little bit more than what you wanted but it's definitely worth it.  You mentioned that you were also considering the Tilopa.  I own the Tilopa and it's a good bag.  I used for a 5-day trek in the mountains when I visited The Philippines.  But frankly that bag is just way too big.  I don't use it anymore because I can haul everything I need for a weekend trip in the Kenti.  The only reason I can picture myself using it again is if I'm trekking through the entire trip.  It's an overkill for car- or base-camping.

Just to give you an idea on the packs capacity, the gear that I usually carry in the bag are as follows
left camera compartment: 5D3 with attached 16-35L or 24-70L along with Lee square filters, filter holder, extra batteries and charger
right camera compartment: 7D with 70-200 or 70-300L attached, or 70-300L and either the 24-70 or 16-35.
front pocket: Lee GND filter set, iPad mini with keyboard, passport and other travel document, CF card reader CF/SD cards, intervalometer
Roll top compartment: MacBook Air, phone and laptop chargers, some change of clothes for 2 days and a rain coat.

You can imagine what must that pack weigh and yet I barely notice it in actual use.  Try it, you may not have to buy any other bags after this one.  So saving you money in the long run.



Hi, thanks for your message. I did go to the Apple store, showed the tech guys the same pictures I posted here. They said it's logic board/graphic card failure (I hope I understood them correctly). I told them about this thread and the one on the website. They said they never heard about this issue with early 2011 models. The funny thing was they said, well you know people say all different kind of stuff on forums  ;)

So, I paid $310 to get the new logic board + 8gb RAM, although they said it usually costs ~$500-600. I didn't really care as I'm covered with Squaretrade warranty. I picked up the laptop today, so far it's working fine.

Good luck with your newly fixed computer, I hope that it lasts a lot longer than what other people had experienced.  And of course they've never heard of it before, suuure (wink wink).  Hopefully we'll get refunded the repair cost once there's a class action lawsuit.  There is now a petition page on FB with 919 members so far.


As for the logic board failures, that's usually a thermal problem.  Someone probably didn't assemble the computer with the right amount of thermal paste between the GPU and the heat sink, resulting in overheating when the GPU is under load.  You might be able to work around the problem by using one of various tools that let you tweak the fan calibration.

If that doesn't help, then the GPU's heat is probably causing one of the BGA solder balls to not make proper contact with the logic board, which means that your logic board needs to be reflowed.  I'd expect that to be cheaper than a replacement logic board, though if the problem is caused by using the wrong kind of solder and/or not keeping the chip cool enough, there's no guarantee it won't just fail again after another year.

But before you go to such extremes, call Apple anyway.  Then press zero until you get a live human.  Ask to speak to Customer Relations.  Tell them that you've seen the thread, and that you're experiencing the same failure out-of-warranty.  Ask them to make a warranty exception.  They're the only team that can typically do that, so you might as well skip all the tier 1/tier 2 tech support and go straight to the people who can actually help.

Thanks for the info.  I agree with you, the GPU needs to be reballed.  But it's too late for mine, I need to find a place that can replace the GPU with a new one and actually solder the GPU properly to the logic board.  The problem with Apple is that their service centers are not equipped for board level repairs.  They just replace the parts (i.e., logic board).  The problem with that is they just replace with refurb or new logic board with the same flaw.  It will just have the same problem again after a short time.

The issue is related to the discrete AMD graphics chip.  Does your MBP have one?  If it does then it's a related issue otherwise it may actually be software or RAM related.

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:09:10 AM »
A visit to the top of the Empire State is  a must.  You can buy a Citypass that would get you big discounts.  Skip most of the museums except for maybe Guggenhiem for architecture photography and the Met just for awesomeness.  The Brooklyn bridge is not that far either and it's a good stroll.  There are some good cafes and restaurants to have dinner in that area after sunset shooting.  Here are a couple of shots I took when I was there a week before hurricane Sandy.  Have a fun and safe trip!

Third Party Manufacturers / Macbook Pro 2011 Logic Board/GPU failures
« on: February 25, 2014, 04:51:07 PM »
I know this is not camera related but I think there would be a lot of CR readers/members who may be using a Mac for post processing.  I just want those Mac owners to be aware of this issue.

My 17-inch MBP (2011) just started showing GPU glitches when I use Photoshop or Lightroom.  I cannot do anything to it but shutdown wait a few minutes before restarting.  The machine would be usable for a few minutes only just enough time for me to get a file so that I can use in another computer.  I'm out of warranty so I was getting ready to fix it.  While I was searching for logic board repairer I stumbled on a thread from Apple forum high failure rate on this model of MBP.  Another google search and I found this article on MacRumors

I'm curious if anyone here had the same problem?  I know the photography/videography community would probably have a high percentage of Mac power users that would push the GPU/CPU to its limits.

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: February 23, 2014, 12:52:32 PM »
"The Fire Wave"  Valley of Fire State Park, NV.

Nice job.  I like your comp of this place.  I think this is one of the best images I've seen from VoF.

.... It's just not the IQ leader.

Just curious, based on that statement, if you put an image from a 1DX against the D800, would you be able tell which is which?  Sure there are scientific methods of measuring IQ but do you actually see the differences may it be on print or on your monitor?

I'm not familiar with what you shoot, but let's say you were surprised by a thrilling subject, and your subject was backlit or accidentally underexposed due to speed/position.  At this point, you would care a great deal about shadow recovery with minimal noise and banding.

One would think that people who use a 1DX or 5D3 or D3s or D800 should not normally have that kind of issue.  But just in case there are a bunch of money bags out there who chose these as beginner cameras, Canon has a solution.  You can shoot 12FPS or 6FPS continuously at different exposure compensation.  It's called auto-bracketing.  Does that solve the DR problem?

And here is the photo taken by the 1100d (T3):

I live near the US/Mexico border.  In that part of the world, you wouldn't want to be walking around looking smug with your "pro" gear.

Improvements are improvements. Each works towards the ultimate imaging device. As long as we're all alive, it always will.

Downplaying improvements because they aren't happening with the brand you've exchanged vows with just doesn't make any sense. It's a reactionary stance, with little footing in logic or science.

Are alll improvememts of equal significance?  By your logic the identification of the 13th and 14th genes that subserve a particular cellular function carries the same scientific weight as the discovery of DNA as the primary heritable genetic material or the elucidation of the structure of DNA.  Inflating the importance of a particular incremental improvement to the level of a paradigm-shifting technological advance is not rational. 

Can you honestly say you believe that going from 11 to 13 stops of DR or adding MP that many lenses cannot fully take advantage of rise to the level of importance to and impact upon the field of photography as autofocus or the shift from film to digital?  If not, then your response to my sarcasm was absolutely 'reactionary, with little footing in logic or science.'

I mostly agree with you that some advances in science and technology were paradigm-shifting.  However, incremental improvements are what allowed for those revolutionary discoveries. Such that incremental advances in crystallography is what solved the structure of the DNA as Watson and Crick's original model was completely wrong.  Same goes for small improvements in enzymology that allowed the development of polymerase chain reaction and cheaper and faster DNA sequencing.

Creating higher density sensors warranted for much better lenses, otherwise we'd still be using Canon glass from the 90s instead of being excited what Sigma will release next.  Improving the dynamic range 2 stops helps when you're making large prints since the DR of paper/printers is already limited.  Going from 3 FPS on 5D2 to 6 FPS on 5D3 is night and day without factoring the other improvements.  Those seem like small improvements on paper but significant in actual use.  So yes, all improvements are significant.  Compounded knowledge has a snowball effect.

Reuters Full Focus best of 2013 was even more lopsided to Canon:  A collection of the years's best 93 pictures.

80% of the pictures within the collection were taken with Canon cameras. The Canon 5D Mk3 and the Canon 1DX were the most popular each with 27 photos in the top 93. (29% each, 58% together) The Canon 1DMkIV had 11. What totally blew me away was that Nikon as a camera was only used for 11 pictures in the collection of the top 93.

Here is the full list by camera manufacturer and model:

1.  Canon 5D Mark III          27 pictures
2.  Canon EOS 1DX             27 pictures
3.  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV 11 pictures.
4.  Canon 5D Mark II             7 pictures
5. Canon EOS 1D Mark IIII 3 pictures

6. Camera with two photos in the collection:
 a. Canon 7D
 b. Nikon D3s
 c. Nikon D4
 d. Nikon D300S
 e. Nikon D3

7 . Cameras with one photo in the collection:
Canon EOS 1D Mark II.
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N
Canon EOS rebel T3
Nikon D7000
Nikon D700
Nikon D3100
GoPro Hero II

Thanks for sharing.  The image with the mother giving birth is the one that will stay with me for days.

I don't care much which camera model they are using.  What's interesting is the dominant number of images shot with a 70-200 and 16-35.  I expected the 70-200 but I was surprised with how many images there are either shot with 16-35 or 24mm prime. If the 16-35 lens is popular with press photographers as well as landscape photographer one would think that a 14-24 lens would be one of Canon's top priorities.  Or am I looking at it the wrong way, is it because it's so popular that they don't think it needs a replacement?

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: February 16, 2014, 04:24:12 AM »
I think these two photographs are my best landscape shot to date.  Thanks for viewing.

u n d u l a t i o n by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr

b a d w a t e r by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr

Software & Accessories / Re: I know, Another backpack question
« on: February 16, 2014, 04:14:11 AM »
Since you're already into the F-Stoppers Bags, have you not considered a smaller one of those? I have the Guru and love it as a day bag. I think you'd be able to fit all that stuff into a small ICU in the guru, though the lens hoods might be a bit of an issue and the 70-200 would have to be attached to the camera. I also have the Medium Slope for mine which would easilly fit that stuff, but leave less room up top for jackets etc.

I agree, since you've invested in the ICU why not try the Guru or the Kenti?  F-stop makes really great bags.  Perhaps the best camera bag out there.

I use the Tilopa BC with a medium pro ICU for mulit-day backpacking or trekking.  I used to used a Guru with a small ICU for daily walk use around town.  Now I have a Kenti I don't use the Guru anymore. 

The Kenti cannot use the ICU system but the bag is awesome.  I use it for day hikes.  I take a 5DIII with 16-35L, a 7D with 70-300L with hood and tripod ring or 70-200L without the hood but with tripod ring attached, a 24-70LII, one 600ex RT plus radio trigger, Lee filter kit and holder, extra batteries and charger, intervalometer, light meter, iPad mini in  a Logitech keyboard case, rain coat, gloves, head lamp, flashlight, Leatherman tool kit, some snacks.  I can carry all that but not look like I carry all of that.  The Kenti is designed very well, you can even add some extra holder on the hipbelt (I added a water bottle holder).  You load the camera with lens attached from the sides so you have easy access to your gear at a moments notice.  The top compartment is roll top so it can expand to carry as much gear or enough clothing for a weekender.  You can also attached a camelback water bladder on the outside using one gatekeeper. and you never had to worry about the leaking inside the bag.

Trust me, you will look cool with a Kenti.  Your grandson may even want it from you.

Landscape / Re: Sunset landscape
« on: February 06, 2014, 11:34:03 AM »

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