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Topics - rlarsen

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Lenses / Lens deals suddenly dry up
« on: March 29, 2014, 01:34:47 AM »
As someone looking to save on a 70-200 f2.8 ll, the recent 20% midnight sale was a cruel tease. Suddenly it seems like all lens deals are gone, prices are up. We're told discount pricing will be stopped by Canon.
What's going on ?

I'll wait. A week, a month, six months ?  I'm just going to wait. List prices are pretty damn high if you ask me.


Lenses / Canon March 23 midnight 20% sale
« on: March 23, 2014, 12:39:03 AM »
I learned from Canon Price about a 20% March 23 midnight sale for refurbished lenses.
I tied to order a zoom at midnight but the lens went out of stock immediately.

Any idea if the sale pricing will be honored when in-stock notifications are sent out ?


EOS Bodies / Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« on: September 25, 2013, 10:53:13 PM »
I love my 5D MK lll bodies but I often struggle with getting high quality skin tone even though I use a custom white balance. Too often I am challenged to reduce excess magenta, red and pinkish tones from skin color and also deal with too much yellow.

I'd be much happier with more brown tones in caucasian skin. I see those wonderful tones from large format digital cameras. I have a hunch the 5D can pull it off, I just need to learn how, either with camera set up or post production Photoshop techniques.

Tell me it's possible



Lenses / Canon 24-70 2.8 ll, Thanks and Canon Rumors
« on: June 23, 2013, 02:28:01 AM »
Thanks to and Canon Rumors for the 5% discount on select Canon bodies and lenses.
I decided I wasn't going to purchased the over-priced 24-70 2.8 ll until I found a deal from a reliable seller.
Canon Rumors and BuyDig worked together to offer special pricing. The 5% turned into a $100 savings on a lens that's hard to find on sale. also offered a Hoya uv filter,  a modest lens cleaning kit, and rush shipping.

I had purchased from many years ago but was reminded what a class act they are. The service could not have been better. They offered free, 2-day shipping, but sent my US warranty lens next day air.
The included 82mm Hoya filter was excellent quality and saved me nearly $70. My local camera repair man put a scope on it and told me it is as sharp as I could get at any price. is a quality online dealer, I hope Canon Rumors will continue to team up with them to offer discounted pricing.

The mid-range zoom is my most used lens for professional work.  When Canon introduced the 28-70 2.8 L many years I immediately added to my kit, and then up-graded to the 24-70.

After a lot of thought I'm glad I got the 24-70 2.8 ll. It's sharper, has better contrast, focuses fast, and
is most impressive when shooting back-lit subjects.

The popular new lens is not perfect in my opinion. Though it costs an extra $1000, the focal length is not the same. It's wider, and I'm not happy to give up focal length at the long end. If version 1 is 70mm, the new one falls short of that. I wrote about it in a previous post and some photographers didn't like it. Some said it wasn't true, others said they don't care, and a couple people wrote about "focus breathing."  The new lens is wider ! I have both and I can see it's not even close. The MK ll doesn't focus nearly as close either, and that doesn't help me at all.
The new lens has a zoom lock and I'm not sure why since the zoom ring is so stiff.

I appreciate the deal from and Canon Rumors, and I'm glad I purchased the lens. For the extra $1000, I sure wish the focal length and minimum focus distance matched the older, less expensive zoom.

Lenses / Canon 24-70 2.8 ll or 20-60 2.8 mark 1 ?
« on: May 11, 2013, 07:21:14 PM »
I've been increasingly tempted to replace my 24-70 2.8 with the new mark ll model.
I was surprised and quite disappointed to discover how much wider the new lens is at both ends of the zoom !

I always wished the lens was a little longer, a 24 to 85 would be ideal. Discovering the new lens is now shorter at  "70mm" makes me less eager to purchase it even with improvements to sharpness.  I wonder what the acceptable tolerances are when naming a lens focal length ? Is it a 20-60 f 2.8 mark 1 ?

EOS Bodies / 5D 1DX joystick problem with sports
« on: September 19, 2012, 01:50:58 AM »
 5D MK lll autofocus impresses me, and I can get by with a 6 FPS motor drive for action.
What drives me crazy, and is a serious problem when shooting sports, is the function of the joystick and autofocus selection.

On my old 1D MK ll bodies programming a home setting for AF was easy and reliable. Whenever I hit the home button AF would return to the center sensor every time.  The 5D MK lll, and 1 DX I presume, can't do that. Pressing the joystick in switches AF to the home setting ( the center for me ) only every other time. It alternates between "home" and previous AF positions.

When I press the joystick in or bump it by mistake I never know what AF sensor will be selected and it tends to move all over the place and is a disaster for shooting sports. While struggling with the camera while shooting football for my newspaper I couldn't help wondering how photographers successfully covered the Olympics with the 1Dx ( or 5D )

How is everyone dealing with the unreliable joystick performance for critical action photography ?

EOS Bodies / Alternative 5D MK lll grip review
« on: June 20, 2012, 10:33:53 PM »
A preliminary review of the alternative 5D grip can be found in "Third Party Manufacturers"

After years of shooting jpgs I want to shoot RAW with the new 5D MK lll. I'd also like to beging using the Xrite Passport for batch color correction. I believe it requires conversion to DNG files. This is all new to me so I would appreciate advice on the best current way to process RAW from the new camera. I'm also about to switch to Mac after years of using PC computers.

I'm a pro, learning to use a new camera, new file format and new computer all at the same time.


EOS Bodies / Sleeping Joy Stick
« on: April 10, 2012, 11:01:23 PM »
Any way to keep the MKlll joy stick awake ?
When covering action events it's not good to have to continually wake up the JS with a shutter button tap.

EOS Bodies / Lighting up a selected 5D AF sensor
« on: April 07, 2012, 01:09:18 AM »
The solution I've found for lighting up a select 5D AF sensor is to use AI Focus, or One-Shot.
Coming from 1-D MK ll bodies that feature helpful light-up options, I've been concerned by the possible lack of it in the MK lll.

It's great the 9 boxes on the 5D MKll screen are gone because I really prefer a plain screen.

I'm accustomed to using Servo AF, so I'll be curious how AI Focus works for my subjects. I'm trying to take my time to really learn the manual and the camera, as well as the new 1-DX AF guide.

I'm curious to hear from others how AI Focus works for movement and action.

EOS Bodies / 5D MK lll arriving a little early ?
« on: March 12, 2012, 02:54:06 PM »
My dealer informed me this morning that Canon is shipping their 5D order "in a day or two" and they'll ship my order this week.

With all the hands-on reviews of the MK lll, how about some comments on the Intelligent Viewfinder and focusing screen.
After using 1-D bodies for years I'm not crazy about having AF boxes on the screen of my MK ll, so I welcome the change in the new camera.
Can it be set up like 1-D so the selected AF lights up only briefly ?

How bright is the focusing screen and how well does it perform for manual focus ?

The best screen I ever had was the crisp and sharp, glass, all-matte K screen in my old F-1n film cameras. The gold standard for manual focusing.

Also, isn't odd that the viewfinder is described as APPROX 100%. It's either 100% or not, right ?

EOS Bodies / 5D MK lll Auto Focus for action
« on: March 08, 2012, 02:08:46 AM »
The one thing lacking from all the 5D MK lll previews is auto focus performance for action photography.
It's an important question.
Six frames-per-second is plenty fast, but how will the 5D track action subjects ?  How will it compare to the older-but-popular 1-D MK lln, the 1-D Mk lV,  7D, or others ? 
If you purchase a 5D, will you need another camera for action photos ?

Since the 5D will be shipping soon, it's time to talk about auto-focus performance for sports and fast-moving subjects.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Canon 5D MK ll grip with AA's
« on: February 27, 2012, 12:49:29 AM »
Does anyone have experience using AA's in the 5D MK ll grip instead of two LP-E6 batteries.
I'd like to use 6 Powerex AA's and recharge as needed instead of ordering a 2nd LP-E6.
Any comments ?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5D MK ll LCD protection
« on: December 06, 2011, 11:11:01 PM »
Switching from the 1-D MKlln to the 5D MK ll I notice how much closer the viewfinder is to the LCD.  Should I be concerned about my reading glasses scratching the screen ? I really don't like the idea of applying screen protection but want to avoid scratches.  My 1-D LCD's have proven to be pretty tough but I'd welcome comment from 5D users.


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