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Topics - dirtcastle

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Why are the standard focal lengths for primes the following?...


I understand why they are spaced relatively evenly. But couldn't it just as practically be the following?...


Ultimately, it seems like the "standard" lengths are probably arbitrary in their origins. Probably the first person to pick the original standard focal length was making a technical decision, rather than an aesthetic decision.

History buffs... bring it on!

SmugMug is great, but I don't want to pay $150/yr. I am only using it for family photos, not professional work.

What are some alternatives?

I don't need anything fancy except the ability to order prints. I don't care if the prints are low quality or overpriced because this is just for family photos.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Which picture style for video on the 5D3?
« on: May 27, 2013, 07:25:28 PM »
Which picture style should I be using when I shoot RAW format on the Canon 5D MKIII?

  • Neutral
  • Cinestyle
  • Cineplus Cinema
  • Marvels Cine

I plan to do heavy post processing.

Have I missed one here that is better than any in this list?

Here is my current workflow for converting RAW files from a Canon 5D III.

1. Shoot in RAW.
2. Convert to .dng files with
3. Edit .dng files with ACR or Lightroom, export as .tif files.
4. Open .tif files as sequence in QuickTime7, then export as a ProRes 422 (HQ) file.

The problem is that the colors/tone are getting messed up somewhere along the way (probably during the ACR/Lightroom step). In my case, they are a bit washed-out and overexposed. I know for others it is sometimes the opposite.

Which format should I use when exporting from ACR/Lightroom?

  • Adobe RGB
  • ColorMatch
  • ProPhoto
  • sRGB

Or could it be that my preview is off in ACR/Lightroom?

I'm also wondering if doing my color/tone adjustments in After Effects might help to avoid this problem by giving a more accurate preview.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Need help with video lighting!!!
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:25:05 PM »
What should I get?

I will be shooting a variety of indoor and outdoor. I want to have a variety of lighting options for different situations.

It would seem like I could save money with CF bulbs from Home Depot. But last time I went, I couldn't figure out what to buy. What brand and color temp of bulbs is good? I'm looking for good prices, over quality (unless it's worth it to spend a little more).

What about modifiers? A friend of mine was telling me "china balls" are good modifiers. Where might I get something like that in Los Angeles?

I have a softbox... what's the best way to rig up a bulb in that?

What about spotlights or big fill lights?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!!


I have refined my question...

If you were just starting out with video and needed an inexpensive lighting kit for indoor shooting... what would it be?

Lenses / Sigma 35mm f/1.4 -vs- Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 ...for video
« on: March 28, 2013, 02:24:31 AM »
Has anyone used the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 for video?

For DSLR, the Zeiss 35 f/1.4 appears to be the reigning 35mm champion for video (with a price to match). The Sigma, on the other hand, is known to be an incredible bargain and top IQ/AF performer. But I haven't been able to find much on the Sigma, as it relates to shooting video.

I'm putting together a Canon 5D III video rig. The rig will be built on a Redrock Micro Shoulder Mount. I have everything picked out except the viewfinder.

Is it possible to find an optical viewfinder that doesn't require an adhesive attachment? Or are there alternative ways to attach these normally adhesive-attached viewfinders?

Ideally, I would like to use a Kinotehnik LCDVF or a Zacuto Z-Finder. I'm wary of using an adhesive frame, both because of the removal hassle and because I will shoot a lot of stills w/o the extra viewfinder.

I'm putting together a small video editing setup. Here's what I have:

Macbook Pro w/ 16GB RAM and 7200rpm drive (ports: Thunderbolt, FireWire 800, USB2)
Adobe Premiere CS6

What external drive (and speed) will give me the optimal speed/price ratio?

With prices coming down, Thunderbolt seems to be the way to go. But I don't know whether I will get a significant performance difference between a 5400rpm and a 7200rpm external Thunderbolt drive.

Site Information / Why do some posts get locked for no apparent reason?
« on: September 22, 2012, 04:39:33 PM »
Dear Moderator(s),

A group of posts got locked in the "EOS Bodies - For Video" today, but it's not clear why. I'm confused.

Is there an explanation?

Lenses / 135mm + 1.4 extender _VS_ 70-200mm f/2.8 IS mkI
« on: August 30, 2012, 03:42:38 PM »
I have the Canon 135mm L. It's my longest focal length.

If I want to shoot at longer focal lengths, would it make more sense to get an extender for the 135mm... or get a lens that has/includes a native 200mm length? Image quality is important. And I don't mind changing lenses (I'm mostly a prime shooter anyway).

I'd like to avoid paying an extra $1000 for the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I, when all I really want is that 200mm length. Or how about the Canon 200mm f/2.8 L? My concern with the 200mm f/2.8 L is the lack of IS. Of course, that's also an issue for the 135mm + extender (but extenders are cheap, and if the IQ is 90% of a non-extended lens, I could probably settle for that until I have more funds).

EOS Bodies - For Stills / How do I avoid "stars" around street lights?
« on: August 26, 2012, 02:58:41 AM »
Here's an example of what I don't want.

And here's an example of what I DO want...

Lenses / What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« on: May 10, 2012, 03:00:50 AM »
I'm debating the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L -vs- the 17mm TS-E f/4 L. What I'm looking for is the least possible distortion, but I'm also willing to spend a lot of time in post editing. I don't need it perfect SOOC. But I also don't want to spend 30 minutes on each and every image.

Tell me something I can do with the the 17mm TS-E, that I can't do with the 14mm + software.

If you've got any 17mm TS-E images showing results unique to that lens, it would be super appreciated.

Lenses / Why no L zooms between 35/50mm and 100/135mm?
« on: May 07, 2012, 08:20:27 PM »
For me, 24-70mm is too short and 70-200mm is too long (and heavy).

On a full frame, it seems like a 35-85mm or a 50-100mm would be more useful/versatile for weddings and photojournalism.

Is there a reason why there is nothing between the 24-70mm and 70-200mm models?

Lenses / What is the most EXOTIC Canon lens?
« on: April 11, 2012, 04:38:10 AM »
By "exotic", I mean extreme or unusual. It could be specs, rarity, price, quality, etc. Whatever you think constitutes extreme or unusual... post it.

Let's include both current AND discontinued lenses.

Lenses / Which Canon lenses DON'T need an update?
« on: April 10, 2012, 02:37:23 AM »
Is there any Canon lens that DOESN'T need an update. Or at least, for which it is unlikely that an update will make significant improvements.

1. IQ and sharpness
2. Great AF
3. Reasonable weight
4. IS, if appropriate

From what I hear, it sounds like the following lenses are pretty damn close to perfect (given current technology)...

TS-E 24mm f/ 3.5 L II
24mm f/1.4 L II
100mm f/2.8 L macro
200mm f/2 L
300mm f/2.8 L II
400 f/2.8 L II

And maybe the new 24-70 f/2.8 L II will be added to this list??

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