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Topics - Harley

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Software & Accessories / Starting out: Flickr? Picasa? PBase? Other?
« on: January 12, 2012, 08:20:59 PM »
Contributors on this forum are very thoughtful, so I'd like to solicit your advice again.

Flickr seems pretty popular for photosharing, but how does one decide?  What would you recommend?  Starting out I'm just interested in a good basic free photo sharing site, but may eventually want more.  I don't currently have my own webpage or blog up and running but I do own a domain. 

What are the critical things to consider when building an online portfolio?

Third Party Manufacturers / Looking for tripod advice...
« on: December 17, 2011, 04:01:16 PM »
I recently got the Peak Design Capture as a gift which has an Alfa Swiss compatible tripod mount.  My current tripod is an inexpensive Slik aluminum with its own non-standard plastic tripod mount and a simple swivel head.  To be honest, it spends more time in the closet that under a camera. 
I had a little bit of sticker shock looking at the range of tripods and heads available, particularly because I started out interested in carbon fiber.  I would like to find a tripod that is somewhat easy to travel with and makes me want to bring it along and use it, but it doesn't necessarily have to be super-compact or high tech.  I have a GorillaPod for backpacking when size and weight are extremely limited. 
I guess I'm just wondering if anyone can help me evaluate what is worth it and what isn't when it comes to picking out a tripod. 

Third Party Manufacturers / KatzEye Focusing Screen
« on: November 23, 2011, 01:58:44 AM »
I just had the focusing screen on my 7D replaced with a KatzEye split-prism/microprism focusing screen, more like an older SLR would have.  So far I like it quite a bit.

In addition to the split-prism bullseye, the KatzEye screen offers higher contrast, more visual "snap" when acheiving focus, and much better indication of depth of field.  The camera's AF points continue to function normally. 

The 7D's focusing screen is not user servicable due to the adjacent transmissive LCD screen, so I had KatzEye install, align and calibrate the new screen.  They also cleaned the mirror and the focusing screen area.  My split-prism and the AF confirmation appear to be in perfect agreement.  Plus, I love that I don't have to rely on Live View to nail my focal plane when shooting wide open.  The viewfinder is very accurate.

I opted for the OptiBrite treatment to the matte portion of the screen.  This helps to keep the screen bright when using a very slow lens or stopping down significantly.  I was pleased to find that although darker than the factory screen when stopped down to f/16 it wasn't by a lot.  It was quite usable in an unlit interior on a cloudy day.  With the lens opened up it quickly becomes bright and contrasty.

One of the reasons for choosing a high contrast focusing screen is that I have an FL 55mm f/1.2 with an Ed Mika adapter.  So shooting manually with a shallow depth of field, the new screen helps get the focus right, especially with moving subjects.  It is also influencing me to choose manual focus when using my EF lenses. 

The side effect is feeling more connected to the camera than I have in years.  I forgot how fun it is, like with an old SLR, to handle the controls and see via the viewfinder rather than trigger servos and scan for blipping AF points.  I think anyone could benefit from the upgrade.

These are some recent shots with my newly converted FL 55mm lens on a 7D (all hand-held shots).  I know there are other forum members who have also recently received an Ed Mika conversion kit.  If you have photos to share, please post them here.

Canon General / After-market Focusing Screens
« on: September 17, 2011, 03:36:23 PM »
Has anyone had any experience with after-market split-prism focusing screens for their DSLR?  I have a 7D and a converted FL-series manual focus lens.  Although I can get autofocus confirmation through the AF, I think, at least for me, it would be helpful (and enjoyable) to have a split-prism / microprism focusing ring in my viewfinder. 

I see that there are some products available like KatzEye Optics:


I would appreciate any feedback that the forum members would have to offer.  Thanks!

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