July 22, 2014, 11:53:45 AM

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Topics - mackguyver

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Canon General / What's Would You Keep? [The anti-G.A.S. thread]
« on: July 10, 2014, 09:14:57 AM »
If you had to sell or give away most of your gear and were only able to keep a few items that you own, what would it be?  The idea is to think about what gear is most essential and how little gear you could live with and instead of thinking about what to buy (G.A.S.), think about what to keep. I'll start things off:

1 body + 1 lens: 1D X + 50 f/1.2 24-70 f/2.8II
1 body + 2 lenses: 1D X + 24-70 f/2.8II + 70-200 f/2.8IS II
1 body + 3 lenses: 1D X + 16-35 f/4IS + 24-70 f/2.8II + 70-200 f/2.8IS II
1 body + 3 lenses + 1 accessory: 1D X + 16-35 f/4IS + 24-70 f/2.8II + 70-200 f/2.8IS II + 1.4x III
1 body + 4 lenses + 1 accessory: 1D X + 16-35 f/4IS + 24-70 f/2.8II + 70-200 f/2.8IS II + 300 f/2.8IS II +1.4x III
2 bodies + 4 lenses + 1 accessory: 1D X + 5DIII + 16-35 f/4IS + 24-70 f/2.8II + 70-200 f/2.8IS II + 300 f/2.8IS II +1.4x III

Animal Kingdom / American Alligators
« on: July 07, 2014, 04:34:24 PM »
Work is pretty slow today, so I thought I'd start another thread - this time of some of my favorite neighbors here in Florida - American Alligators or gators as we call them around here.

An unhappy mother swimming towards me

The joys of an 800mm lens - this CPS loaner let me more safely photograph (them for a week)

This big guy is supposedly over 14 feet (4.25M) according to the refuge officials:

Florida beaches can't all be white sand and friendly locals

9 foot mother keeping a watchful eye on her young

A ten footer taking a swim in the Gulf of Mexico about 20-30 feet from an oblivious fisherman

My coolest encounter - he's roughly 11 feet long and paid me absolutely no attention

Lenses / Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS - Mackguyver's Review
« on: July 07, 2014, 10:18:41 AM »
Given the interest in this lens and the limitations on my time, I'll go ahead and start posting the various pieces of my review here, starting with the infamous brick wall tests.  Since everyone seems most interested in the performance at f/11 and f/16, I'll get started with that.  I shot the other apertures and some real-world stuff, and will post those in the coming days.

Photos in this gallery compare the 16-35 f/4 IS to:

1. TS-E 17/f4 at 16/17mm
2. TS-E 24 f/4 II, 24 f/1.4 II, and 24-70 f/2.8 II at 24mm
3. 24-70 f/2.8 II at 24mm at 35mm

(starting with photo labelled "2014-07-04 14...")

1. All photos are JPEG (max quality) screen captures of side-by-side comparisons in PS CC 2014 of TIFF files processed in DxO 9.5 using the "No Corrections" setting
2. The files and are labeled (typo and all :)) with the lens model, focal length & aperture as shown in the subwindow in PS
3. Photos are shown in the following order - (1) full frame, (2) center @100%, (3) top-left corner @100%, and (4) bottom-right corner @100%.  The top-left is darker, bottom-right is brighter showing more CA.
4. Click on the "O" or "Original" size at the top of the screen to see / save & download the photos at full size.
5. Camera settings - 5DIII, Av, ISO 100, tripod, cable release

Bonus: the gallery also contains an informal (read: personal) comparison of the EF 14 f/2.8 II, 24 f/1.4 II, & Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 II I did a few years ago.

Feel free to ask questions (and complain about my technique, etc :P) about these boring photos and stay tuned for more.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
« on: July 05, 2014, 01:46:44 PM »
It looks like we need to start a thread for this new lens.  Here are a couple from my first outing - this is the Florida Capitol (Historic & New) in Tallahassee:

Not much distortion at 24mm, as others have reported:

More distortion (not corrected) at 16mm, still a little vignetting at f/16:

Excellent flare resistance - compare to TS-E 17 f/4L below:


Lenses / Photozone Review of the 16-35mm f/4L IS
« on: July 04, 2014, 02:05:56 PM »
It looks like they just posted their review:

Animal Kingdom / Show us your Hooters (Owls)
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:35:07 PM »
I hope the subject line wasn't too subtle ;).  I don't see a thread devoted to owls, so I'll get one started.  I think they are really cool and I've been very fortunate to find a few of these guys but have never actually gone looking for them, and yes, most of mine are barred owls:

Barred Owl - hooting his head off for his mate from his fishing perch:

Great Horned Owl - spotted the silhouette just before sunrise:

Barred Owl - in my backyard - he comes by almost every evening but this is the first time he was close enough to actually see:

My first wild (barred) owl in my front yard - not a great shot, but I was really excited to finally get a shot of one in the wild!:

Eastern Screech Owl (Captive) at the local zoo:

Lenses / Canon "Explore Lenses" Microsite
« on: July 01, 2014, 12:16:55 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone else has posted this, but Canon has an interesting new microsite.  Nothing too exciting, but well done, and a good link to send to people new to photography to help them choose and learn the basics of the various lens types:


Canon General / EOS 1D X + 300 f/2.8 IS II + DxO = Awesome
« on: June 29, 2014, 03:00:12 PM »
Here's a 100% crop of a great horned owl photo taken 9 minutes before sunrise this morning.  I got better shots of the owl, but this was the first shot and it was a mere silhouette to my eyes.  The bird took off right after this shot to a nearby tree and I didn't think I had even focused on the bird until I got home and downloaded my photos.  I couldn't believe it!

f/2.8 1/160s, ISO 4000, EV+1, pushed ~0.25 stop in post, DxO Prime:

From the-digital-picture:

Looks good to me at first glance - seems like less CA and sharper corners than the older lenses. 

By request, here's a new thread for this combination.  All of my shots are with the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM + 2x Extender III with the 5DIII or 1D X.  I haven't had a chance to get much use out of this set, but here are a few samples:

Software & Accessories / 1-Hour Photo iPhone App - Why?
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:26:17 PM »
It's either a new way to help (mobile iPhone) photographers appreciate their work, or a stupid contrivance to eliminate what is probably the single biggest advantage of digital:

1-Hour Photo App Makes You Wait for Your iPhone Images

With all of the flame wars of late, I think we should have one thread to battle it all out for ultimate CR forum superiority.  There's only two rules - try to back up what you say with evidence or examples, and nothing so bad that you get the thread locked...   I'll start things off:

1. Are 18 Megapixels enough?

2. Why do we need more than 12 stops of DR?

3. What ISO setting will we need to take pictures on a new moon night?  Do we really need anything better than the 1D X / 6D?

4. When will mirrorless camera take over?  Bonus: When will they pass the Turing test???

5. Assuming Sony, Nikon, or Fuji had the same lens selection as Canon, and money was no issue, would you switch? Why?

6. Is IS necessary on wide angle lenses?  Do you even use IS on your lenses?

7. What's better, USM or STM?

8. Should DSLRs have video or is just a waste of R&D & money?

9. Is DxOMark THE authority on lens and sensor measurements?

Lenses / What was your first L lens?
« on: June 05, 2014, 10:04:52 AM »
My first L was the 135 f/2, which I purchased with the plan to use it for headshots to make some money from my photography.  I did that, but actually ended up using it with the 1.4x as a poor man's wildlife lens :).  It's been downhill from there in terms of spending way too much money on these beautiful lenses....

What was your first?

Lenses / Canon Ambassadors & Their Favourite Lenses
« on: June 05, 2014, 09:50:02 AM »
For all of my fellow lens lovers, enjoy this link from CPN:

Canon Ambassadors & Their Favourite Lenses

Photography Technique / Shoot for the Thumbnail
« on: June 04, 2014, 01:48:55 PM »
A trend I've noticed in the social media era is something I call shooting for the thumbnail.  What I mean by that is focusing on the impact of the image as it appears in a tiny thumbnail on the screen of a PC, tablet, or phone.  Bright colors, tons of contrast, and often lots of bokeh draw your eye and those photos tend to be very popular on the web in general, but especially on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 500px, Flickr, etc.  Examples of my work are photos like this, all of which have been extremely popular on social media:

While there's nothing wrong with these photos, there are a lot of photos that don't look so good at this size and really need to be viewed as large prints or at least on a large monitor to be appreciated.  The photos below are some of my most popular in terms of prints, but have drawn almost zero interest online:

Each of these photos have a large number of subtle details that can't be seen in a thumbnail.

This isn't a new phenomenon of course.  If you walk into a American art museum, as I did when these artists were both on display, Andy Warhol's work will jump off the wall at you from down the hall, while Norman Rockwell's work won't even elicit a response.  Up close, the Marilyn works from Warhol were interesting and catchy, but I quickly passed them and moved on to other work.  When I reach Rockwell's work, I was mesmerized by the detail and layers in his paintings of the diners and soda shops.  I probably spent 10 minutes with Warhol and over an hour with Rockwell despite there being twice as many Warhol works.

I guess the point of all this is that I worry not only that future generations are losing their appreciation for printed art/photos and large detailed works, but also that the instant gratification of the thumbnail will influence my own work.

What are your thoughts?

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