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Messages - dswtan

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod for someone who's never used one?
« on: December 01, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »
A classic"right of passage" question! :-) This famous link doesn't seem to have been posted yet, and while getting dated, remains great for many of the general principles also mentioned in this thread: http://www.bythom.com/support.htm

Quick question: as far as plates are concerned, is it just Gitzo and Manfrotto that are proprietary? And does that mean if I get an Arca swiss plate I couldn't use it on a Gitzo or Manfrotto head? But I could get an Arca swiss plate and Arca swiss head and attach that do a Gitzo or Manfrotto set of legs?

Yes you can attach Arca-compatible heads to Gitzo/Manfrotto/RRS or whatever legs -- the connection between head and legs will either be a 1/4" or 3/8" thread, which are the industry standards -- sometimes both are options depending on the combination but do double-check for the combination you choose.

2
Lenses / Re: Lens dilemma for night sky
« on: November 27, 2013, 12:34:23 AM »
I'd be willing to spend $4000 on a lens that has excellent stars stopped down to f/2.0 or so, especially if it is 21mm or 24mm focal length.  That would be a dream.  :)

Wade - have you tried the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower options? For a tenth of the cost, you can live the dream today!  8)

I took the same path as extremeinstability and naively wasted shots on the 24L II. I'm sure Zeiss is nice, but why bother when the Korean lenses are so well-suited to astrophotography. This is one of those rare cases of a true bargain!

BTW, this has a good summary of the coma issue, just to add to the resources already in this thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50949062

3
Lenses / Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« on: November 18, 2013, 05:55:20 AM »
Very happy with my 16-35 2.8L II on FF. I find it sharp. It is not "bad" in any sense of the word that I am familiar with. In a sense I had moved from a 17-55 2.8 EF-S on crop and was always disappointed by that, despite its universal acclaim on the Internet. That was a good lesson -- that there are copy variants, and that opinions on the Internet are not everything. 8)

4
Lenses / Re: Questions on EF 24-70mm II on 5D Mk3 vs EF-S 17-55mm on 7D
« on: October 14, 2013, 01:30:52 AM »
Like rs, I'll be amazed if you don't find the 24-70 II on 5d3 far superior in overall image quality - though I'm one of those rare people that did not like the 17-55 on 7D. (I have all these combinations myself; I presume I just have a bad copy of the 17-55.)

But for the shooting scenarios you suggest, you might find you'll miss the IS of the 17-55, and the 24-70 is heavier and more bulky. You may find the 17-55/7D more convenient in practice, plus you even get a little more fps.

On the other hand, you may find the increased image quality so seductive with the other combo, you'll use it more. In my case, my 7D is gathering dust. 

5
Canon General / Re: Should I get into this industry?
« on: October 13, 2013, 02:27:59 PM »
Some great advice here - it's all been said really, but with a 30-yr professional in my family, I feel bound to re-emphasize something.

"I don't have any business or marketing education" <-- there's your problem, as they say.

Most of *any* business is business and marketing.
 
Check out this chart -- there are similar ones around:
http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2012/01/where-my-time-goes-as-full-time-pro.html

But there is hope - you now also understand why you are probably having trouble getting something in your existing profession too!

Clearly you have the skills and experience as a great graphics designer. All that's likely missing is the business and marketing skills to sell yourself to potential employers - or even to make it yourself in your own business in the same field.

Go for it. Get that education. Find free or low-cost classes - fantastic MOOCs like Coursera/Udacity/EdX, etc. Even just YouTube. Also your public library. Use that time you now have as an investment - in you.
 
Good luck! But heed the advice in this very fair thread carefully and "seize the day"!

6
Lenses / Re: A New 50 Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: October 06, 2013, 12:28:08 PM »
"Canon has noticed that the pricing on the 3 mentioned lenses at launch was too high and lead to poor initial sales numbers. Since the lenses have been price dropped, they are selling better."

*So* hope they try this on the Big Whites soon!!  ;D

7
Landscape / Re: Stars...how to focus in pitch black...
« on: September 27, 2013, 01:25:44 AM »
Live View. 10x. Use a fast lens. Pick brighter stars. Optionally maximize your ISO, just temporarily to focus. Focus so that you see as many stars as possible. You'll get it!

8
EOS-M / Re: EOS M is built like a tank
« on: September 25, 2013, 02:38:39 AM »
The M maybe, but the M lenses are much more delicate in my experience -- my 18-55 came with some of the white lettering rubbed off even new, and my 22mm got a ding in it from a *very* gentle knock. The lens bodies seem very soft plastic. Treat carefully!

9
EOS-M / Re: The Next EOS M [CR2]
« on: September 21, 2013, 03:38:19 PM »
Apparent M2 mention - interesting catch by Jon A T over at: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3549757

10
Curious...how did you get the two bright stars on the mountain on the right side? :)

Thanks for the kind words, cayenne and CarlTN!

The "stars" on the mountainside are the LED headlamps of climbers, early in their summit attempts for the coming day ahead. You can see more here, faintly, near the top, snaking their way up: http://500px.com/photo/11734889

11
You might find this useful, even if it's a 5D3 - I just added my "RAW" from my popular milky way shot on 500px, so you can see the relative amount of post processing required to make "art".  http://500px.com/dswtan/stories -- it is the first one there.

Lightshow I - RAW converted straight into JPG with default processing in Lightroom.
Lightshow II - some contrast and enhancements to bring out a more realistic (to me) look.
Lightshow III - the modern fashion is to be more dramatic and enhanced - I like it. This is how it *felt*!

Direct link: http://500px.com/dswtan/stories/1394220

12
Lenses / Re: Did I get a bad copy of the EF-S 17-55 f2.8?
« on: September 11, 2013, 03:02:16 AM »
I have always been disappointed by my 17-55's sharpness, even with AF MA -- plus mine has the dust ingress flaw*. It performs like yours. I assume we have bad copies, because surely all those anecdotal rave reviews can't be wrong... (the more systematic tests could be more reliable).

I'm sure bad copies occasionally happen. I didn't know any better at the time and so I never changed mine. It might be worth a try, if you have that option.

*http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/drp

13
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Your opinion on backup camera
« on: September 08, 2013, 12:25:09 AM »
If it's really a backup and not just an alternative, and you're depending on this for work or serious hobbying, +1 to Dylan777 and get the same as your main.

If it's just for toying around with, then while crop is fun for reach compared to your main FF, I soon found that with a venerable 7D backing up a 5D2 and then a 5D3, the noise/grain on the 7D was just too much for me and my 7D is just remaining untouched for months now.

14
EOS-M / Re: EOS-M IR Conversion - Hotspot Tests
« on: August 20, 2013, 01:27:49 AM »
BTW, I take real photos with this set-up too -- here's one from the day before the tests:
http://500px.com/photo/43699048 (Honeybee on Sedum in Infrared)

Actually, this is a second EOS M with a full spectrum (i.e. clear) Life Pixel conversion that I got primarily for astro work, with an amplified color IR filter (665nm) from Spencer's Camera on the 100L.

No hotspots on that. 8)

15
EOS-M / EOS-M IR Conversion - Hotspot Tests
« on: August 19, 2013, 02:34:22 AM »
This week I received my "$299-deal" EOS-M converted to standard 720nm IR by Life Pixel and have started taking shots. I did some systematic tests today for hotspots on the lenses I would typically use.

I am sharing the results with the community in case this is useful for others -- I used a lot of the current shorter L primes, modern zooms, a couple of EF-Ss and the two original EF-Ms.

http://sdrv.ms/16B8HGm

Summary results:
- 18-55M starts to show noticeable hotspot from ~f/11 upwards at 18mm, less pronounced at higher zooms.
- 22M starts ~f/16 upwards, not strong.
- 17-55S starts faintly at ~f/16.
- 35L and 100L ditto.
- 135L starts faintly at ~f/22.
- 70-200IIL and 24-70IIL starts ~f/16 to varying degrees at all zooms (24-70 ok at higher zooms).
- 16-35IIL starts faintly ~f/16 and gets pretty bad, and starts ~f/8 at 25mm and 35mm.
- 10-22S, 24-105L and most primes very clean.

Looking at the thumbnails exaggerates the effect and is handy to spot trends. Even the worst performer is very usable at wider apertures. Whether any are noticeable in practice will depend on the subject and conditions!

There are a number of lens IR performance lists on the web, but I don't know of one for the EOS-M specifically, nor for the EOS-M lenses. Hope this helps!

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