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Topics - rpt

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Black & White / How do I improve this picture?
« on: January 08, 2015, 12:01:20 PM »
So I shot this picture yesterday. The moon comes up from behind a Jamun tree (Syzygium cumini; and there is a place where it is visible from my veranda.

I shot it hand held with the 7D2, 100-400L @400, 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 6400. I thought it would come out great but it is just passable. What do you think I need to do to make it better?

Look forward to your critique and suggestions.

Thanks for looking.

EOS Bodies / CR2s not showing up as thumbnails on my Win 8.1 laptop
« on: November 30, 2014, 02:27:54 AM »

So I got the 7D2 and thought that the raw file being CR2, would show up because my CR2 from the 5D3 shows the thumbnail - and double-clicking the 5D3 file displays it.

Apparently the software gods at Canon thought otherwise...

Trust me, I Googled and downloaded three installers from Microsoft that swore that they would solve my problem. But they did not so I turn to you folks. What magic did you do to solve this issue.

Thanks in advance.


EOS Bodies / 7D II owners, did you need to AFMA your camera?
« on: November 28, 2014, 11:36:07 AM »

Well, yesterday I succumbed to my CAS and got me the 7D II. The pictures I took today seem to be a bit OOF. I think I need to AFMA it. Unfortunately, FoCal has not yet released the version for the 7D II so I guess I will have to do it the good old way for now.

Did you guys have to AFMA? I have the kit lens - the 18-135 (not L  :P ). I will start with that and then go to the 70-200L, and the 100-400L and then both those with the 1.4x multiplier. And then the 100L macro and the shorty forty. in that order. Lot of work - I wish FoCal was there... If wishes were horses...

Thanks in advance :)

So here is the deal. I am looking for advise to see if my choice makes sense to you folks. I must admit that I have been coveting the 7D II even before the 5D III rumours came out. However, GAS is what it is and so I look for advise from folks who have the 7D II or the Sigma 150-600 (S) or both! Or others who would like to chime in. Just don't ask me to switch to another system unless you are funding me  :P

I am in India and needless to say that closer to the equator, the light is quite OK. So this whole low light shooting bit with the 7D II does not worry me so much. I have the 5D III for low light so I am covered - or so I think - as I use MagicLantern on the 5D III. Have been using it for a loooooong time. But then, back to the question.

Much of my shooting (attempts :P) is bird photography. So more pixels on target is better. On the 5D III  I believe that I get 8.66 M pixels for the same FOV as the 7D II. On the 7D II I believe it would be 20 M pixels. Another way to get more pixels on target is to get a longer lens. I currently have the 100-400L and with the 1.4x it gets me to 560mm on the 5D III. I loose some light and some AF speed. So I was thinking if I got the 7D II I would get to 640 mm equivalent @400 mm. Getting the 7D II would also get me a backup camera.

The advantage of the lens is also it's price. The down side of the lens is its weight. It is significantly heavier than the 100-400L. The lens seems to be sharp.

So people, what do you advise?

Thanks in advance.

Animal Kingdom / Photos from Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:02:09 AM »
Yes, I have not been posting pictures for a while. Well, I was is Costa Mesa, California for 4 weeks and discovered in the third week that the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve was just 15 minutes walking distance from my hotel. Luckily, I had taken my 5D3 with the kit lens, my 100-400 and the 1.4x. So I went over to the preserve a few times - four or five I think. There is a good amount of wildlife there. This is the first tranche of pictures. The important thing I want to share with you is that I have been using MagicLantern for several months now - only for Dual ISO. I find it is great! You guys should try it. There is a request. I am lousy at identifying birds let alone birds from another continent. I would appreciate if you guys would educate me :)

So here goes:
*Edit: redid the sizes...


RPT_7478-dualiso by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7305-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7310-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7319-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7333 by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7368-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7435 by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7439 by Rustom, on Flickr

#9. Yes, it has motion blur and is out of focus but I like it :)

RPT_7446-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7453-dualiso-a by Rustom, on Flickr


RPT_7464 by Rustom, on Flickr

Lenses / So the 70-200 f2.8 IS-II zooms only to 180mm?
« on: September 11, 2013, 01:06:42 PM »
Yup, that is the question. Both, the EXIF of pictures taken at 200mm on the lens and later on doing AFMA, FoCal also recorded the 200mm setting on the lens to be 180mm. So what is the deal? Is it a 70-180mm lens? Or if I were to do the arithmetic on the 70mm side, it ends up being a 63-180mm lens. So what am I missing? I mean why does it report a 10% lower focal length?

Animal Kingdom / A butterfly is born.
« on: September 08, 2013, 12:40:27 AM »
Hi, So this one shrub on the terrace was infested with caterpillars. Eventually there were 7 pupae left on it. Yesterday one of the butterflies came out of the pupa. Here are some of the pictures. Shot with my 5D3 and 100L macro. It is a tailed jay.

Lenses / Focus and recompose related question
« on: May 26, 2013, 06:51:18 AM »
I have been doing focus and recompose since I started to photograph! I mean with my old Lubitel what choice did I have? Same with AE1 and the 300D. Now I always thought that the focus is done along the radius. Is my understanding incorrect? Is it done on a plane perpendicular to the ray of light going through the center of curvature of the lens? I have seen a couple of articles on this but there is no real explanation there. They just say that the focus goes off a bit. Very early on, I would shoot at f8 or f11 or even f16 so I guess I never had an issue with DOF...

If you could point me to some articles that would help.

Thanks in advance.


Software & Accessories / Video editing software
« on: May 01, 2013, 12:28:26 PM »

Looking for guidance from the folks who shoot video. Some months back I bought a video editing software called "VideoPad Video Editor" from NCH software While it works for me, I am looking for other options. I do not do any professional stuff - mostly "documenting" stuff like storytelling sessions or the once in a blue moon hawk fight etc. Nothing that gets me money. But that is not the point. I'd like to know what you guys use on the windows platform. Yup! My name is rpt and I am a windowsaholic! :)

OK, to the serious stuff. What am I looking for:
  • What kind of video shooting do you do? Wedding, Sports, News, BIF, Cheeta sprints - etc.
  • What video editing software do you use?
  • Why you like your video editing software?
  • What are the cons for that software?

I have been using Audacity for sound editing - have converted many LP records (over 50 with another may be 75 or so to go) to digital form using this open source software. I think it is great! It is free and guess what? It never crashed on me! Ever! And mind you I am on the Windows platform! OK, so the question:
Is there any decent open source program for video editing?

I guess this is it. Look forward to your informative responses. I have got many for my questions on this forum.

Thanks in advance :)

Software & Accessories / Topaz DeNoise or other plugin
« on: February 10, 2013, 09:30:50 PM »

I find myself shooting a fair amount of photos at and above 8000 ISO. I have been using LR4 to clean the noise but I feel I need a better solution. I saw the demos on the Topaz site and was impressed. I recall Jrista mentioning this plugin. What do you people suggest? Are there other plugins I should look into? Btw, I have a Windows setup so Mac only options are out  :(

Another thing to consider is that Topaz has a host of plugins that I like. So if I like the DeNoise, I might buy the pack. So if you are suggesting some other company's noise removal tool, I would like to know if they have other plugins that you use.

Thanks in advance.

5D MK III Sample Images / Need you to critique this annual calendar
« on: December 29, 2012, 10:08:59 AM »

I created an annual calendar with a photo of the Hawk that came visiting on the 16th of December this year. FYI, this is the third version of the calendar and I believe (hope, pray, etc...) that I am done, but I would like you all to give me your thoughts on how the calendar can be improved. I am sure I have missed something... The image is sized to be printed on A3 paper. The noise you see on a 100% view of the image does not show up on the printed copy. An item to note that I have just noticed that the months February and November need to be center alligned and I will do that. Look forward to your inputs.

Thanks in advance. :)

Third Party Manufacturers / What do you use to scan your 35mm negatives?
« on: December 15, 2012, 09:05:56 PM »
I have been scouting around for something to scan my negatives. I find that there are 5 mega pix scanners that are small and handy and then some flat bed scanners. Canon has a 9000F that I liked. However I read some folks say that the plastic attachment that holds the strips breaks off and canon does not carry spares for that! Has anybody used the 9000F? What is your experience?

Also what resolution do you scan at? Scanning at 4800 dpi would produce huge files I thought.

Thanks in advance.

Site Information / I want to thank you all...
« on: November 29, 2012, 02:39:30 PM »

I would like to thank all of you all. It has been very enlightening and enjoyable communicating on this forum. I have received more than I have given. Hopefully that equation will change - me giving more...

Thanks again.


Lenses / Believe it or not, 5D3 user misses the 300D reach...
« on: November 27, 2012, 11:30:58 AM »
I miss the reach of my 300D and the 100-400L. With that combination I thought I got 640 mm focal length. Then I bought the 5D3. And the 400 mm seems to be - well, 400 mm! So I decided to get back to Rithmetic. Well, 400 x 1.4 = 560. 5.6 x 1.4 = 7.84! Wow! that is less than f8. And hopefully, Canon will deliver next year - meaning 2013 on f8 focus.

Now There is the Sigma 150-500 that is a f5-6.3!

So the question is, should I get:
  • The 1.4x III extender for my 100-400L
  • The Sigma 150-500 mm lens. I intend to keep the 100-400L.

What experience do you have on the Canon 100-400L + 1.4x
The sigma 150-500 mm Lens

Thanks in advance.




I just got my 100L macro lens and realise I need macro extension tubes and macro rails. I shot some six legged creature that was about 1.5mm long! This is the first macro lens I have owned.

Macro extension tubes: I checked out the canon ones. They were ok. I can't get kenko in my city. On eBay I see Zeikos but the cost is 70% of the canon tubes anyway. Any suggestions?

Macro rails: I want those that can adjust the camera position in two directions. Obviously it should be good for the 5D3 + 100L macro + macro tubes. Do you have any suggestions or preferences? I see a Phottix on eBay.
Not sure how it mounts on a tripod. Mine is 1982 vintage  :)

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