March 05, 2015, 05:51:02 AM

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Topics - Sabaki

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Lighting / 400 f/5.6 + 600RT + ST-E3-RT + SB-E2
« on: January 17, 2015, 03:26:39 PM »
Hey everybody :)

I've been rather keen to use fill flash for birding ever since seeing Glenn Bartley's tutorial. It will most definitely be a plus for birds under tree canopies or those that are backlit.

I own the ST-E3-RT & 600RT and can pick up the flash bracket (sans cable) for dirt cheap but wondering if this will be practical.

So the flash unit will obviously sit to the right of the camera and I'm wondering if the position, along with the length of the 400mm will cause shadows on my images.

Would this work or should I look at another setup?

Thanks everyone :)

Lenses / Canon MP-E 65mm - Due an upgrade?
« on: January 11, 2015, 09:43:14 AM »
So I'm pretty nuts about macro photography and I've had my eye on the MP-E 65 for a while now and my finger is itching to pull the trigger.

I've been reading reviews and noted this lens is 16 years old! But the only negative I can see regarding this lens, aside from one's personal level of expertise, is softness at 1x on f/2.8

You guys feel this lens is due for an upgrade?

Lenses / 24mm - Digital Photography's magical focal length?
« on: January 05, 2015, 05:38:59 AM »
Like the majority of us on this site, I tend to read something about photography on a daily basis and I try to absorb as much as possible.

One of the things that I've noted, is the popularity of the 24mm focal length.

It certainly is a focal length that is present in many different lenses and as I'm typing here, I can think of at least 8 lenses that have 24mm in it's range.

I have one lens which incorporates this focal length and that is my 24-70 mkii.

But I have a confession to make, I can't 'see' photography in 24mm and I think I'm losing out on what may be the most versatile focal length in digital photography. In fact, I would ask, is 24mm to digital photography what 35mm was to film?

What I mean by 'see' is that when I'm shooting with my 100mm macro or 400mm, I can envision what I want to capture and snap the shot.
I think a big reason for this is that I know what appeals to macro photography and bird/wildlife photography so I kinda have a feel for the 'psychology' of these focal lengths.

I am however stumped as to what I can do with the 24mm focal length.

Is it best as a people lens? What does it bring for landscapes? What other genres benefits from shooting at 24mm?

This may be somewhat of an odd question and I can imagine many wouldn't find this topic interesting but I fear I bought the 24-70 in a question to own the holy trinity but I never envisioned what to do with the lens.

I'm looking for that EUREKA moment where I get what this lens and specifically 24mm is about and will know instinctively to use this lens in a specific scenario.

Once again, I understand if this thread only returns a few replies (actually I'm hoping for just one :D) but I'm looking to explore different aspects of photography this year as opposed to being fixated on gear talk and tech babble.

What do you guys 'see' when you reach for your 24mm? What do you expect from the final image?

Technical Support / Canon After Sales Support
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:04:18 PM »
hey everybody :)

As I've posted before, I've purchased a 7Dii recently and I'm sorry to say it has been a nightmare experience.

I'm on my second body now and it's factory calibration is so poor, that AFMA anywhere in the -20 --> +20 range does not yield photos remotely sharp.

I contacted the local Canon servicing centre (outsourced to an external company) who requested unedited images which I've sent and they say calibration is definitely needed.
I've advised the service agent, all my lenses are very sharp on my 500D.

So the next question from him was, "How old are you lenses?"

He then advises that body to lens calibration also requires calibration of the lenses and thus there will be a charge incurred ($200 per lens!)

I'm asking if this is ethical, as other 7Dii users don't have the issues I do so why exactly should I be paying to calibrate my lenses?

As a first time owner of an advanced DSLR, I was certainly not aware of this and I would just like to ask if I'm wrong to be upset about this.

I told him that 3 of 6 lenses I have longer than 2 years.

Macro / Sabaki's Favourite Macro From 2014
« on: December 21, 2014, 09:49:41 AM »
Macro is my favourite genre and although I'm still learning, I did enjoy a few of my photos taken this year

The majority were shot on my Canon 500D and a few with my new Canon 7D mark ii. I generally use the Canon MR-14EX ringflash and depending on the creature's size, may attach a few extension tubes.

If anybody has advise on diffusing the MR-14EX, I would be most grateful!

Here goes

EOS Bodies - For Stills / FotoBuzz 7D Mark II Update
« on: December 12, 2014, 01:33:02 PM »
Andy Rouse has updated his review on the 7D Mark II.

Some great new pics!

Lenses / The Next L Primes
« on: November 15, 2014, 04:02:00 AM »
A Google search later, it seems that the last non telephoto primes lenses released, were the 17mm TSE, 24mm TSE and the 100mm L Macro in 2009.

I believe it's fair to say these lenses are extraordinary in performance, with few faults.

But I'm beginning to wonder, just how far Canon can turn up the performance dial for any new prime they intend to release?

When I began photography three years back, a common bit of wisdom I found was that primes are just better than zooms and this was due to the simplified engineering required.
Then along comes 4 zooms, 16-35 f/4.0L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L ii, 70-200 f/2.8L ii & the 200-400 that had reviewers saying something along the lines of "this zoom performs good enough to make me sell any prime lens covered by that range."

I'm paraphrasing there, don't sue me  ;D

So back to the subject of what a brand new prime could bring to the table.
1. Sharpness from corner to corner at largest aperture
2. Contrast
3. Autofocus
4. Colour rendering
5. Bokeh/Aperture blades
6. Image Stabilization
7. Size/Weight/Filterability

Canon's latest zooms are a strong indication that the engineering process has become highly refined and that the next primes should truly shine.

I feel that Canon's next L prime should be able to deliver astounding image quality and simultaneously consign issues such as jittery or slow AF, sterile contrast and any fringing to the past.

Lenses / Critical View of 70-200 f/2.8 mkii+2xTC III
« on: November 08, 2014, 04:08:20 PM »
I often hear people citing the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii with the 2X TC III as a serious option as a wildlife lens and I don't quite agree.

I believe that the setup is touted as you end up with the best 70-200 out there which can double as a telephoto but I find the image quality to be a compromise.

The images I have seen, has me place both the 100-400 and definitely the 400 f/5.6 as better options.

Now an admission: I'm not a technical guy and cannot breakdown my feelings on the TC'd 70-200 into tech-talk but I find the overall IQ as poorer.

Am I wrong? Is the 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii a match for the 100-400 and the 400 f/5.6?

I'm interested in hearing opinions on this but let's keep it sentiment free ie "I own that setup and I love my photos"...

Thanks peeps

Hey everyone

Can you guts please offer some advice on how one should or should pack one's camera bag please?

I've recently found that if I place my Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L ii with the front element down, the lens cap pops off.

A veteran tog has also advised me not to pack my camera with a lens attached to it.

You guts have anymore? Should I vacuum my bag periodically?

Thanks guys

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Brief Hands on with the 7Dii
« on: October 05, 2014, 07:54:09 AM »
So I attended a Canon sponsored PhotoMob in Cape Town and briefly handled the 7Dii.

So speaking to probably the most senior Canon guy on the African continent, I got this info from him:

1. 2-3 stops better ISO performance over the original 7D.
2. ISO 3200 performance is a touch better than ISO 800 on the original.

Disclaimer: He is a Canon man and most things said are probably pitch but there we go.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Upgrading - What To Expect
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:57:25 PM »
After a magnificent 2.5 years spent with my amazing EOS 500D, I will be upgrading to the 7Dii when it launches.

I've taken a few decent to good pics with the 500D but my growth as a photographer meant that I needed something a little bit more advanced for what I would like to shoot, namely birds in flight and wildlife in general and the 7Dii definitely has what I'm looking for.

ITR. 65 points. Advanced AF modes. 10fps. Intelligent viewfinder. Up, down, left, right. Tracking sensitivity. Lens group designations... Uhm, wow! All of a sudden, upgrading seems rather daunting.

I just got done reading a post on Facebook where somebody upgraded from a 650D to a 7D about 3 months ago but is finding his pics from his 650D sharper. The lenses were calibrated against both bodies yet the results stay the same.

Can an upgrade of this nature be too much for some photographers?

Regarding an upgrade of this magnitude, what would you folks see as being the three most difficult to grasp features?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Photography's Top Manufacturers for 2020
« on: September 19, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
Bloggers, reviewers, forum members have all in the last year or so moved away from Canon vs Nikon exclusive  debates to now include Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Sigma and Fujitsu as viable alternatives. 

I have experienced this sway of sentiment before. In gaming, we had Sega vs Nintendo. Today it's Sony vs Microsoft. We had Nokia in the mobile phone segment. Not only usurped from their throne but taken over by a competitor. Sony dominated the CRT television market. Since the advent of flat panel screens and Samsung's total domination of the segment, whispers from Japan recently indicated that Sony may actually walk away from making screens altogether.

These companies stood head and shoulders above their rivals and their brands were household names, synonymous with the products they plied.

Quickly, very quickly it changed. Why? Well, one of two things in my opinion. Sega and Nintendo wanted to cater for a hardcore market, who was dwarfed by the sheer volume of the average consumer who wanted a console. Nokia wore blinkers and were oblivious to the huge strides made by newcomers to the market. They also decided to give their users what they felt the users wanted.

The rest is history.

Let's turn to Canon and Nikon. Combined, owning well over 90% of the photography market worldwide. Two years back, a newbie wanted advise on which camera or photography system to buy, there was uniform advise; go with either Canon or Nikon.

Today, that is no longer the case.

I watched a fair number of video previews on the 7Dii, read some more reviews as well as every 7Dii post here at Canon Rumors. There are grumblings regarding the sensor, the video capability and value-for-money proposition of the 7Dii vs the competition.
And no, the competition named is no longer by default Nikon as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic are all mentioned frequently. And judging purely on the massive strides they've taken recently, they have certainly earned a place in these conversations.

A company like Sony has Zeiss in their stable. If Zeiss was to release 4 compelling lenses per year until 2014 and Sony as a company enhances their overall system with flash units etc, could they be sitting at #1 photography brand in 2020?

There are other competitors too. If Sigma do start releasing their own bodies, bodies who speak the exact language their lenses do and thereby mitigate the AF issues associated with their wares on Canon and Nikon, what then?

This is not a topic about the 7Dii, this is about what could potentially happen in 2020. Funny enough, if there is one of either Canon or Nikon to slip out of the top 5, I somehow sense it will be Canon. Nikon's over all appeal just seems that bit more attractive.

You guys agree or disagree with anything I've said up there? Is it possible that the other brands could build up superior systems in 5 years?

Or is this a case of it's easier to go from 0-100mph than it is to go from 100-200mph.

Would love to hear some opinions on this.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 7Dii + 400 f/5.6 + Canon 1.4TC =?
« on: September 18, 2014, 05:37:45 PM »
As excited as I am about some of the 7Dii's features, I am equally unfamiliar with them.

This auto focus at f/8.0 on the centre AF point is interesting to me.

I understand that with a Canon 1.4x TC III, I can get 896mm and the camera will still maintain auto focus. So essentially I get larger magnification without losing AF.

So a few natural questions would be, is there loss of other AF capabilities, such as ITR and just how much of an IQ penalty will I experience by attaching a 1.4x TC to my beloved Canon EOS 400mm f/5.6? Has anybody got experience of shooting the 400mm with a 1.4x TC?

What else do I need to know? What questions haven't I asked that is relative to this setup and more importantly, if I was standing next to you in a photography retailer, about to pull the trigger on a Canon 1.4x TC for the above setup, would you stop me or encourage me to buy one?

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / CF Cards Vs SD Cards
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:08:08 AM »
Hi everybody

I've only ever shot with a 500D and have zero experience with CF cards.

I'm definitely getting a 7Dii but I'm unsure whether to continue with SD cards or if CF cards are the way to go.

I have my eye on a Sandisk 32gig for about $200.

What would you recommend and why?

Thanks guys

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Macro Photography - APS-C Vs Full Frame
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:58:48 AM »
Hey everybody :)

So for the past 6 months, I've been diligently saving towards the 6D, as I want to step into the world of full frame. I'm really excited about the better noise handling, the better IQ and all the goodness that comes with a full frame upgrade.

However. I'm now caught up in the frenzy surrounding the 7Dii. The AF system and the vast improvement it will offer over my 500D is massively appealing to me. My bird photography has progressed from bird-on-a-stick to larger, slower birds in flight. Anything smaller than a gull however and I can in 98% of cases, kiss a sharp image goodbye.

I will eventually own both cameras but cannot afford both at once.

If I go full frame now, it means stalling on incrementally improving my bird-in-flight shots.

If I go APS-C, it means not being able to take low light shots and negating much of the noise issues my 500D gives.

So macro is my deciding factor. What would be considered a better tool for macro, a 6D or a 7Dii?

Thanks guys, looking forward to some answers.

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