December 19, 2014, 10:29:04 AM

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Messages - sagittariansrock

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 103
1
Software & Accessories / Re: What head with 055cxPro3?
« on: Today at 02:00:21 AM »
A copy stand will serve you far better than a tripod with the camera pointed downwards, for photographing documents. Much cheaper, more accurate leveling, and fine adjustments of focal length possible. You can even build yourself one if you are inclined towards DIY.
For your secondary use, the 055CX is very good, but it is heavier than the Gitzos or RRSs with similar load bearing capacity.
I wouldn't buy a non-Arca Swiss head- it is future proof. Markins, Arca Swiss (without the quick release plate), RRS, Acratech all make excellent heads. Can't go wrong with any of them.

2
Lenses / Re: Help me decide: should I buy an EF 135L
« on: Today at 01:29:06 AM »
It always produces the finest images. I own the 100L and it's a great lens too but the 135 is far better in almost every case I need.

How's that (and very nice shots, btw)? That's an unusual opinion from someone owning both, so could you please elaborate what it is you need, i.e. where the 135L is "far better" than the 100L?

I found the bokeh of the 100L more busy than that of the 135L, which made me forego the L macro and choose the non-L macro in addition to the 135L.
So, for portraits (especially head shots) the 135 would be a better choice.
For any fast action, the 135L focuses faster, even with the 100L FL delimiter applied.
Finally, the f/2.0 is a full stop faster for low-light photography of moving objects.
So the poster's case might easily be one of the three above.

3
Lenses / Re: DANGIT! I rented the 85 1.2ii
« on: Today at 01:11:31 AM »
I love the lens, its super heavy, but for portraits, its amazing  :D

nice shots.  It's heavy for its size, but I'm also used to lugging around the 70-200mm f/2.8 mkii. 

It's funny... when I hold an 18-55mm kit lens... it feels like there isn't anything there... it's just gonna float away.

Ooo... you, strong... ;)
I had a very sore right arm after lugging the 70-200 + 2x half a day a month ago... (admittedly, I had to point it upwards most of the time)

4
Canon General / Re: Advice on which DSLR to get
« on: December 18, 2014, 09:51:47 PM »
Any new Rebel, kit lens, and the 50/1.8 for those 'wow' shots.
Few of us (myself obviously not included) will be limited more by this equipment than by their abilities.

5
Lenses / Re: DANGIT! I rented the 85 1.2ii
« on: December 18, 2014, 09:47:05 PM »
Quote
some people seem to think "i use the 85mm f1.2 and the portrait will be great".

I agree with this assessment. While shallow DOF can be a great tool, it can also be a great crutch. One of the reasons f1.2 looks so "amazing" is because it's just not how we see the world, thereby making it rare and exciting. If all the photos in the world were taken at f1.2, nobody would even be talking about it. It will definitely enhance an already great picture, but sadly many amateurs equate shallow DOF with great image. And even sadder, a lot of customers buy into that philosophy.

A great secret sauce enhances an already terrific soup. It doesn't make a poisonous bowl of sludge suddenly edible and nutritious.

Hope the OP gets his dream lens soon!


With my limited experience, it is actually quite difficult to make people at large happy with shallow DoF (or let's say with shallow DoF alone).
I am sure my wife will not appreciate it if only one of her eyes is in focus in an image that does not have any other unique selling point, nor will there be any dynamic or spontaneity if I keep telling her to face the camera at all times.
The ability to use that shallow DoF is key, and I am sure once (if?) I acquire this lens it will take a lot of practice to get the most out of it.
This is not as difficult with the 135/2 since the DoF is thrice at a regular portrait distance (at least 15 feet) compared to that in case of the 85/1.2 (at 10 feet).

6
Lenses / Re: DANGIT! I rented the 85 1.2ii
« on: December 18, 2014, 06:51:41 PM »
I'm know nothing about photography. I would be the last guy on earth for this assignment ;D

Maybe after holidays, little busy with family activities right now  ;)

BTW...I used 24-70 and 200mm f2 IS combo last night at local church, Advent Prayer Service. IQ on the 200mm f2 IS II is just too awesome. Will share some photos this weekend.

1. You're selling yourself short. With such a huge range of bokehlicious images on the forum you're one of the most important contributors.
2. Whatever the comparison shows, we will get to see a bunch of sweet pictures!

7
Lenses / Re: DANGIT! I rented the 85 1.2ii
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:32:07 PM »
It will melt 85mm f1.8 and 135L in second.

Your next best is 200mm f2 IS

I disagree that the bokeh you posted cannot be achieved with a 135L. You should try a comparison with yours :)
What the 85L can do is achieve that with a much wider field of view

I wish I had brought 135L and taken same shot to compare the two ::)

I'm going to skip the debate about bokeh between 85L II Vs 135L - we all know which lens has upper hand. The photo was to demonstrate how 85L II can be at f1.2 in low light. This photo was taken at f1.2 1/125 I believe ISO is about 2000.

With 135L, I'm more likely to be f2  1/160min ISO=????
Own both and the 135 gets used only when shooting fast moving subject and need to jump from MFD to infinity quite often.
Otherwise, 85 all the time. Both bokeh and focal length match my needs way better.


Bokeh is subjective by definition, but the theoretical amount of blur can be calculated and is pretty close between the 135L and the 85L.
http://howmuchblur.com/#compare-1x-135mm-f2-and-1x-85mm-f1.2-on-a-0.9m-wide-subject

Many people prefer the bokeh of the 135L to that of the 85L and probably many more the converse. The 135 is sharper which makes the blur stand out more, and there is much less purple fringing and the bokeh balls aren't cut up (see the top middle one in Dylan's image). To say the 85 will melt the 135 in seconds suggests to me that the 135 has been under-utilized so far.

The two lenses have very different purposes, which is why in spite of owning the 135 (which is my travel telephoto/headshot lens) I have been trying so hard to get the 85L during the refurb sale (two near misses). I think the 85mm focal length is perfect for portraits, providing the best perspective (subject distance). The longer FL of the 135 makes it less flexible (need more back up space) and reduces the background blur due to the larger subject distance.

BTW, as far as I have heard, the bokeh of the 200L is better than the 85L (rather than being the next best). Maybe Dylan can do us a favor and do a real-world comparison of the three in his spare time ;)

I wish there was a really good 85/1.4. Matt Granger has shown that the Nikon 85/1.4 is ALMOST as good as the 85L in terms of bokeh, and focuses fast (with real manual focus) and is less bulky. I think that the slight lack in bokeh is more than compensated by the ergonomics. I really hope Canon decides in favor of a 85/1.4L but that is almost certain not to happen :(

8
" I use the center point 99% of the time anyway"

Whenever I see this, sigh and click away.

"I use my hand anyway so who needs a wife!"

You don't know what you miss till you try it out.

I occasionally use the off-center points. When I need it though, it is great to have them.
Plus, the AI Servo performance of the 5D III is just mind-blowing (disclaimer: I have never used a 1-series body) and you do need the off center points there. Here again, the 7D wouldn't track as well (or I wasn't skilled enough for it).

9
Technical Support / Re: Repair or Return?
« on: December 18, 2014, 12:06:11 AM »
What would you do?

What would be the reason to return it anyway? If you get it repaired, they might even take the time to clean and calibrate it again (there are some spots on the front, even if most likely they won't show up on the shots).
The reason to return it is because it failed their QA process, which is rather disappointing, and because I should have to be the one to pay for the shipping to send it in for repair.  I can probably negotiate that with them, though.

The other reason is that now that I have a fisheye lens, I'm not sure if I really like the look.  Obviously that's a whole other issue and one only I can sort out.

Just call them- they are really nice and will provide you with a shipping label. They did so about 6 months after I bought my 17 TS-E and realized I can get them to fix the paint chips.
I was thinking about your experience the other night - you're the only person I've heard of that's had anything other than a great experience with their refurb stuff.  I'll definitely give them a call tonight.

Yeah, and after they had a go at it with their paintbrushes it looks absolutely fine now.
Good luck, there's a very nice lady at their VA call center.

10

As for holding cash before holding camera, I like the idea but again, most buyers would be suspicious (and rightly so) that I would do the very same thing, run with the cash while they sit there with a camera box full of newspapers or a brick.


What I was looking for was the same thing as the return policy.  When I ask people about that I don't expect to use it, I'm gauging their lack of douche-baggery.  If someone says "sure, yeah, you want to try and you'll bring it back exactly the same?  OK."  then I know they are real.  Even if they put up a fight and then they agree, they are real.

So on the cash thing if people said "hell no, I want to see it before you see the cash", they are not real.  If they are willing to do the cash up front, they are real.

That's how it worked when I bought/sold motorcycles.  No cash, no ride.  In fact the rule was you give me the cash and your drivers license, then you go take a ride.  Not before.


You either inspire a lot of confidence, or you are lucky to have worked with very trusting sellers. There is no way I will agree to taking something back from a total stranger on CL for a refund once the item is out of sight. Who knows what could happen in the meantime? I'd say take half an hour, take an hour, test all you want- but once you pay and go away with that item, it doesn't come back to me.

It is entirely different on FredMiranda, where I will have no problem taking back something the buyer wants to return, provided the buyer has a few reviews and has been active on the site for some time. (it has happened only once when I sold my 5D II- I had forgotten to switch from BBF to shutter release and the buyer thought that the camera wouldn't focus and panicked. I told him I that I can walk him through the steps over the phone but if he doesn't want the hassle I can either take it back for a full refund or pay return shipping, fix it and ship it to him. He was patient enough to save me the expense)

I feel really bad for Rusty, and frankly I am not even that careful. I will often meet on the Patio of Starbucks, where it is quite easy to bolt. Lately I have started meeting in the lobby of my workplace, where there is security and closed circuit cameras, but that is mostly due to convenience (and it is reassuring enough for a buyer who is carrying a bit of cash). But only yesterday I sold my 7D II to a gentleman in the lobby of a bank after it had closed. He was carrying $ 1700, so he was also taking a chance I guess.

11
Technical Support / Re: Repair or Return?
« on: December 17, 2014, 03:34:58 PM »
What would you do?

What would be the reason to return it anyway? If you get it repaired, they might even take the time to clean and calibrate it again (there are some spots on the front, even if most likely they won't show up on the shots).
The reason to return it is because it failed their QA process, which is rather disappointing, and because I should have to be the one to pay for the shipping to send it in for repair.  I can probably negotiate that with them, though.

The other reason is that now that I have a fisheye lens, I'm not sure if I really like the look.  Obviously that's a whole other issue and one only I can sort out.

Just call them- they are really nice and will provide you with a shipping label. They did so about 6 months after I bought my 17 TS-E and realized I can get them to fix the paint chips.

12
Lenses / Re: What would you choose to compliment a 50mm prime?
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:55:59 AM »
I thought a 16-35/2.8 and a 70-200/2.8 would be the ideal companion for a 50/1.4 (on FF) when I first started dSLR photography and hoped to move to FF one day. For crop, the option was simply not there as there was no 10-22/2.8 and 50-150/2.8 to go with a nonexistent 28/1.4 (and the 28/1.8 wasn't that great, but I digress).
However, when I moved to FF I found 24mm was more than sufficient for my regular use (I had 17mm on crop and the extra wide FL range makes a big difference). So I rarely need wider than 24mm, and when I do- I want really wide, like 14mm.
I don't know whether you use FF or APS-C, and my suggestion to go for a 16-35 and 70-200 is based on APS-C (in which case 50/1.4 is a great one for portraits). If FF on the other hand, I would forego the 50mm FL completely and go for a 85mm for portraits, keep the 24-70 and get a 200/2.8 or 135/2 to cover the tele end. But that's me, and you wanted our personal choices.

13
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Lighting setup for studio portraits
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:25:03 AM »
I find that a single 600EX struggles in a double-diffused modifier >600 in2.  They're fine in a 24" softbox, 48x12" stripbox, or 30" octabox.  I often use a single monolight (PCB Einstein) in a large modifier like a 4' octa as key, with 600's in softboxes as fill or kicker, or just with a Honl Speed Grid as a hair/rim light.  I started with PocketWizard triggers, but I've found that using an ST-E3 on camera to trigger the 600's and the optical slave capability of the monolight is quite reliable.

Thanks for the precise information, Neuro. The Wafer is 30" by 40", so the 600 will definitely not be sufficient...
I don't have the budget for an Einstein at the moment, though, and the used ones aren't that much cheaper. So maybe the Alienbee 400 is my best option...

14
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Lighting setup for studio portraits
« on: December 16, 2014, 11:55:01 PM »
I have three 600EX-RTs, and I recently received a Wafer 100 softbox for free from a very generous CR member. He included a Speedotron adapter. Now I am trying to decide whether I should get a Speedlite adapter (Bower + L bracket thingy) and use one Speedlite in it, or should I either get a Speedotron or get a Alienbee 800 and the corresponding adapter? If I should get a monolight then what are the pros and cons of getting a Speedotron? I see a bunch of them for <$ 300 on eBay- are these good deals?
e.g.,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Speedotron-Brown-Line-400-W-2-M90-Heads-1-MWR3-head-ans-extras-w-Case-/181590427933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a47a2091d
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPEEDOTRON-D802-800-WS-Power-Pack-2-Heads-Instructions-Bundle-/281531678691?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418c987fe3
The primary use will be as a key light for portraits, but I am not sure if one 600 will be strong enough to pass through the diffuser and provide a good key. I am loathe to gang up 600s because that reduces my flexibility to use a secondary light, hair light etc.
Any advice?
Thanks in advance!

15
Lenses / Re: DANGIT! I rented the 85 1.2ii
« on: December 16, 2014, 09:45:20 PM »
It will melt 85mm f1.8 and 135L in second.


Your next best is 200mm f2 IS

I disagree that the bokeh you posted cannot be achieved with a 135L. You should try a comparison with yours :)
What the 85L can do is achieve that with a much wider field of view

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