November 25, 2014, 06:49:50 PM

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Messages - FTb-n

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Lenses / Re: Lens as a gift. Non Photographer buying... :)
« on: Today at 05:13:56 PM »
Wow, lot's of advice for the OP to ponder.

This gear is expensive, if you aren't sure, then some kind of creative way to give her a "coupon" for a lens and/or shopping spree makes a lot of sense.

I'll offer one more caveat.  I'm guessing that the 6 year-old Rebel predates the 18 MP sensor of the T2i/T3i/60D/7D bodies.  If true, then a new body will be a huge improvement.  But, if the OP's wife hasn't been keeping up with EOS body lineup (and doesn't follow CR), she may not realize the benefit until she tries a new one out. 

Speaking from experience, I came from the world of film.  My 8 MP Rebel XT was a huge improvement with it's "high" ISO of 1600.  All I thought that I wanted was a new lens.  With the film mindset, there's little difference in bodies.  But, in the digital world, the body (or sensor) can make a big difference.  It wasn't until I tried a friend's T2i with another friend's 70-200 f2.8 Mk I that I realized what I was missing.  My camera bag hasn't been the same since.

When I ultimately upgraded to FF, I looked at lenses differently.  Those "L" lenses that are good on crop, are fantastic on FF.  So, if FF could be in the wife's future, make the leap now.  Of course, I'm making some presumptions on budget.

I would advise the OP to look into the pricing of a 70D and the 6D to assess which one may be in the ballpark budget-wise.  Then, however he presents the gift to his wife, make it clear that it's ok to spend the money for whatever body is in his budget.

Incidentally, I would also highly recommend Canon's refurbish store for refurbished bodies.  I bought my 7D from them and have been very pleased with the purchase.  I like knowing that the body was fully tested by Canon before being sold.  They now offer a 12 month warranty.

Lenses / Re: Lens as a gift. Non Photographer buying... :)
« on: Today at 10:24:31 AM »
Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS II

I thought the OP wanted a mid-range zoom, but on crop or FF, the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS II is my workhorse lens.

Lenses / Re: Lens as a gift. Non Photographer buying... :)
« on: Today at 09:52:59 AM »
If the Rebel has less than 18 megapixels, a body upgrade is in order.

If sports isn't a priority and you want to stick with a crop body, the 70D paired with a Canon 17-55 f2.8 would be a huge improvement and an ideal system for general use.

However, if full-frame is in play, consider the 6D with a 24-70 f2.8L II or even the older 24-105 f2.8L. 

As previously implied, there's a risk here.  These suggestions aren't cheap and we are making assumptions about your wife's interest in photography.  I can only draw from my experience.  A few years ago, I upgraded from an 8 mg XT to a 60D.  For a short zoom, I chose the 17-55 f2.8.  I was blown away with the IQ improvement and the low light performance of this body and this lens.

Eventually, with my sports photography, I pushed the limits of crop bodies and ventured into FF with a 5D3 and a 24-105 f4L.  I was blown away again with IQ improvements and better low light performance.

Full frame is expensive (and heavy).  It typically leads one to buying more 'L' lenses.  It may then lead to buying better post processing software and better computers.  But, once the money is spent, for the serious photographer, it can be very rewarding.

General advice is not to upgrade until the limits of your gear are holding you back.  You need to decide whether the limits of your wife's Rebel, or of crop bodies in general, are constraining her photography.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Black Rapid Backpack Strap
« on: November 19, 2014, 06:59:49 PM »
Okay - let me ask you this... Do you think that putting a lens (on a tripod ring/foot like the 100-400) into the capture clip even makes sense... maybe I'm over thinking it.  I will have 2 clips coming next week.  I'll do some testing... maybe I'll have one clip for sale.   ;D
Good question.  I use the collar on my 70-200 with a monopod for figure skating, so I keep a Manfrotto clip in it.  Generally, however, I prefer to leave the collar home.  I suspect the clip on the body will work better.  The lens collar may be too centered weight-wise and prone to swinging.

Sports / Re: Winter Baseball
« on: November 19, 2014, 06:50:16 PM »
I miss summer  :(

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Black Rapid Backpack Strap
« on: November 14, 2014, 11:25:46 AM »
I use two standard Capture Clips for two 5D3 bodies, one with a 70-200 f2.8L II and the other with a 24-70 f2.8L II.  I do not use a tether strap.  Recently, I switched the clip to a 7D body and was impressed at how it remained secure on the 5D3.  I do, periodically, make sure the clip is still tight and have never had it loosen up.

The mount that secures to a strap or belt, however, should be checked periodically.  I'm in the habit of double-checking the thumb screws.  Sometimes, they aren't tight, but have never really loosened up.

Standings as of this post:

Neuro             14897 posts, 10 boxes,  one rumored EOS GEEK
Mt. Spokane        9055 posts,   9 boxes, one very envied EF 50 f0.7 IS
Marsu42            4944 posts,   7 boxes, one EF 400 f2.8L IS Mark II
Private By Design  2709 posts,   7 boxes, one EF 300 f2.8L IS II

All seems right to me -- except I'd rather have a 50 f0.7, but that's just me.

I always (ok, almost always) power down before removing the card.  I never power down to change a lens.  I most often power down before storing it -- I try to do so every time, but have forgotten.

EOS Bodies / Re: what is the body you want to see canon release next ?
« on: November 02, 2014, 07:33:05 PM »
SL2 with the 70D sensor and improved video AF.

My 5D3's suit me fine.  But, I would be interested in a compact DSLR for travel light needs and for my wife. 

I like full manual for stills, but video isn't a big interest for me.  The 5D3 is truly fantastic for those more talented with manual focus while shooting video -- which isn't me.  Our best video camera for me and for my wife to use is an SX20.  I'd like to replace this with an SL2 which can use my lenses or just the 18-135 (or the new pancake).

Photography Technique / How do you nail your exposure when shooting sports?
« on: November 01, 2014, 12:52:21 PM »
I often look at exif data of sports shots (when available) and am surprised at how many sport shooters use an auto exposure mode.  Av or Tv seem most common.  It isn't that I expect "real photographers only shoot manual".  It's how they get reliable results from an auto mode that surprises me.  (Or, maybe they don't??)

I've tried Av or manual with Auto ISO and often get wide swings from overexposed to underexposed shots.  If I use partial metering, jersey colors can wildly affect the exposure.  Evaluative or center weighted metering gives me more problems with the background adversely influencing the shot.  So I most often spot meter on faces during warm-up and shoot full manual.  (During the action, spot metering a face then recomposing means lost shots.)

Indoors, some gyms have dark spots, so I try to change the shutter accordingly during play.  Most often, this is based more on my eye than the meter.  When the scene looks darker, I bump the shutter speed, shoot, then chimp the LCD to see if I was close.  But, outdoors, I run into more light swings.  Either cloud cover results in constantly changing light or players move in and out of shadows based on the direction of their play.  Still, I try to note the correct exposure -- or something close -- and change settings when I anticipate play moving into different lighting conditions.

My results are generally close, plus or minus 2/3 stops.  I still get a bunch that may be off a full stop.  But, I'd like to nail the exposure in camera.

How do you nail your exposure when shooting sports?

Post Processing / Portrait-specific post processing software
« on: October 31, 2014, 09:49:54 PM »
Anyone use portrait-specific post processing software that you can recommend -- or warn against purchasing?

I don't have Photoshop and only use Lightroom 5.  For the most part, this has met all my needs.  But, what do you use for portraits of students who have more than a mild amount of adolescent blemish reduction needs?

I often see Portrait Professional ads on these pages (I know that the ads aren't endorsed by CR) with samples that overdo things a bit.  Anyone have experience with this software?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: clown* photographer
« on: October 24, 2014, 11:51:27 AM »
oh just had to ask...didn't you...LOL! It's complicated. It is a light painting set-up.
Sorry, but I'm glad I asked.  I found the story of your creation far more fascinating than a ring light.  Thanks for sharing it!!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: clown* photographer
« on: October 23, 2014, 11:44:06 PM »
Wait...wait...I thought that I resembled that remark????....  8)
Infrared, is that a DIY ring light and power box?  If so, would you mind showing off the business end and telling us about it?

I'm always fascinated by DIY lighting.

Photography Technique / Re: Shooting in a Dark Skating Arena Advice
« on: October 20, 2014, 11:00:06 AM »
Curious if you change anything as you shoot a group of skaters.  Are you going with f/2.8 always or stop down to get more of them in focus?
Shooting freestyle groups can be tough, especially if the choreography has each skater doing photogenic elements in unison.  I look for portions of the choreography that gives each skater a moment to shine alone.  If you don't know the routine, it helps to be able to shoot with both eyes open so you can tell when another skater is preparing for a jump or another element.  Still, you're going to miss a bunch of shots.  For these groups, I keep it wide open and I'm primarily looking for individual shots.

Synchro is different and I will shoot wide open and stopped down to 4.5, maybe 5.6.  If shooting from the boards, I like to get a shot wide open, looking down the line as they skate by with only the second or third skater in focus.  If the line is skating toward me and perpendicular to my focal plane, I'll go wide open because shutter speed is more important here.  If I try to get more skaters from a line in focus, stopping down means a slower shutter speed (or higher ISO) and I make sure to pan with the movement as I shoot.  This helps if the skaters are moving at the same rate and not in a pinwheel.

When shooting competitions, I generally can't shoot from the boards so I forget about the more dramatic shots of looking down the line.  Actually, I am more likely to shoot from the top of the bleachers with synchro so I can show the synchro elements as the judges see them.  Hopefully, this means straight lines!  The key is to find a point where you can look over the plexiglass and to be on the same side as the judges.  Most routines are choreographed to face the side of the rink where the judges sit.  In this case, I typically stop down to 4.5 or 5.6 and leave it there.

One nice plus to competitions is that you may get the chance to shoot in a rink used by a large university with LOTS of light.  The shots in the gallery link below were shot at the home rink of the Minnesota Gophers hockey team.  It was a dream to shoot with this much light.  These shots were at ISO 4000, f4.5, and 1/640.

Lenses / Re: Building my lens system - where to go from my basic kit?
« on: October 18, 2014, 03:37:31 PM »
Sorry to here that the 24-105 is working for you.  I love mine for walk around use and any shots with moving water.  The IS is a big asset with slower shutter speeds to control the motion blur.  I would definitely keep the 35 1.4.  This appears to be your benchmark lens and it's nice to have a fast prime like this in your arsenal.  Maybe consider the 70-200 2.8 II next.  This happens to be my most used lens, but our subject matter may differ.  I just can't see it becoming a paperweight.   Then consider the 16-35.  Save the decision to replace the 24-105 with the 24-70 for last to see how much you really need the 35-70 range.

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