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Topics - dhr90

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Technical Support / More reach
« on: March 19, 2014, 05:59:38 PM »
Struggling to work out where was best for this topic. I know its been covered numerous times before, but I'm after more reach than 200mm of my 70-200 on my 7D. It would be used primarily for motorsports, airshows and wildlife

Budget is around £1000 which gives me options of:
2x tele converter iii
Canon 100-400mm
Tamron 150-600mm
Sigma 150-500mm
Anything I've missed?

I have debated the Canon 400mm f5.6, but at that sort of focal length I highly doubt I would get along with a prime.

I have played with the Tamron, but struggled to hold it steady enough about 400 even on a monopod, looking back the shutter speed was just far too low, I've seen on here some excellent images shot with it. To use it above 350/400mm I'd need to use a tripod I think, something I won't always carry as mine is fairly heavy.

I demo'd a 2x converter today and the autofocus felt faster, it was a lighter rig (although the weight felt more than I'm used to with the lens being that bit further from the camera, it was better than the Tamron where the weight moves as you zoom), and is easier to carry than 2 separate, heavy lenses. It's also much cheaper!  ;D

Haven't tried the Sigma, I seem to hear good and bad things about it so I'm not sure what to think, the price appeals to me, but its image quality I'm after, then probably weight and thirdly price.

Something I'm uncomfortable with is the focal length and thus the ISO required to get photos, when demoing the tamron lens and Canon converter my camera has gone to ISO 3200 and still captured dark results, it is more noise than is acceptable to me and I'd not want to use whatever I bought. Yes the shop was reasonably well lit, but far from many of the lighting conditions outside in daylight, however better than a wooded area for some wildlife or a tree lined racetrack.

I've thought about the 1.4x tele converter, but having used 300mm previously on another camera I just don't think 280mm would be enough, even though its more than I have now.

I guess I need some advice, reassurance and maybe out of the box thinking.  I'm probably a bit averse to spending the money, especially when I won't get to use it more than 10 times per year.

Maybe I should save my money and just crop images until I have the time to use whatever the solution is?

Videography Technique / Videography for a beginner
« on: January 10, 2014, 08:19:48 AM »
I've been asked by my boss to shoot a video of a metal degreasing machine at work with a view to it being uploaded to the company website.

The process happens in a sealed machine with a small porthole to look through and and LED illuminating the interior. The porthole itself, from memory is about 65-75mm in diameter.

Beyond camera and tripod, what do I need/need to know? I don't think an external microphone will make much difference to the sound, but if it will I would be open to a fairly cheap one, being in an industrial unit it is just a constant noise rather than anything that will change.

Are my lenses good enough for shooting video? Space is tight so I doubt the 70-200 would be at all suitable. Would a macro lens be better suited? Whilst the 24-105 has a macro end to it, I have been considering purchasing the Tamron 90mm macro (version without VC) if that would be a better option.

I've never shot video before, can you set an aperture? I suspect if I lower/turn off completely the general lighting in the unit that I wouldn't get any reflections from the porthole glass. Another concern, but one I doubt I could do anything about is whether the LED inside the machine is bright enough to provide decent light for the video.

All ideas/thoughts appreciated!  :)

Software & Accessories / current monitor calibration (compared to prints)
« on: December 26, 2013, 01:24:17 PM »
My serious photo editing takes place on a Dell SP2309W monitor, I know its nothing special compared to what is out there, but I always thought it looked very good compared to anything else I have used, since the time of buying (4 years ago) up until now.

Monitor specs: Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
Diagonal Size23 in
Aspect Ratio Widescreen - 16:9
Native Resolution 2048 x 1152
Pixel Pitch0.249 mm
Brightness300 cd/m2
Image Contrast Ratio 80000:1,
80000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time 2 ms
Horizontal Viewing Angle 160
Vertical Viewing Angle 170
Features TrueLife, 98% color gamut

I had 3 A3 sized prints ordered for xmas from photobox:
1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/41379151@N03/10315417064#
2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/41379151@N03/9618410496#
3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/41379151@N03/9608006889#

The first image, I think on the print isn't really in focus, whilst it is maybe, acceptably in focus on my screen, certainly the print isn't. The real issue is that all 3 prints look under exposed, with poor contrast and slightly off white balance. The fins on the ailerons on picture 3 for instance are creating deep shadows on the print, but not the monitor.

I haven't got a second good monitor to check the images on, nor any access to one elsewhere. I have previously used an online calibrator to try to set my monitor up as well as I can, that at the time was my choice as a student and lack of money was my main restriction.

The photobox website states they use: For all our larger prints we use a Polielectronica Laserlab. This is a world–class laser-based photographic device, which also prints onto FujiFilm Crystal Archive digital photographic paper, at 254 DPI.
I had to send the file in JPEG with file sizes under 7MB. I have used them 2 years ago and was very happy with those results, since then the website has changed and they no longer accept TIFF files (they told me via twitter they have never accepted TIFF files, but I would not have created TIFF files of my order 2 years ago if they didn't), it didn't even allow me a sharp preview image before I ordered, just a heavily pixelated preview with no possible details there.

So I guess what I am asking is, if there a good online calibration tool, or maybe a non too expensive piece of hardware to calibrate it? Is it even worth calibrating it? I can't really afford a new monitor, and certainly couldn't justify the expensive given how infrequently I use it (no space for my desktop to be set up, parents don't like my monitor due to the size and lack of speakers so I use their rather poor one for every day use). Photobox do have a calibration print to send out (http://www.photobox.co.uk/content/quality-advice/calibration), but they didn't send me one, and I don't know how accurate it would even be.

I did have 2 other 7x5 prints ordered (intended to be christmas presents, but they were so poor I decided not to give them), which uses a different printer and whilst one was poor due to it being cropped from an iphone, the other was from my 7D, but the contrast was too high and like the A3 prints it was under exposed.

I could photograph the prints and post them if it helps?

Software & Accessories / Rain cover
« on: November 12, 2013, 05:00:22 PM »
Seen various types, from heavy duty ones with 2 hand access and monopod/tripod to cheaper once/twice reuse Optech ones (would get expensive if I kept having to bin them), or a bin bag tied around end of lens and a hole for viewfinder (have done this once but it wasn't ideal), or a chamois cloth.

Any recommendations? I don't shoot in the rain too often, mainly just motorsports (as a spectator, so if fences in the way I tend to leave the camera in the bag)

The price of Optech (£6ish) appeals to me. Quality of the heavier duty ones appeals. Chammois, again price and recommendations appeal to me, but seems like a water trap to me  :o

Shooting with 7D and 70-200L primarily (yes I know they have weather sealing, but I'm not sure I want to risk that in heavy/constant rain. Especially as I don't earn anything (apart from experience and fun) from taking photos.

Technical Support / Minolta MD to Canon EF adapter
« on: September 04, 2013, 03:12:34 PM »
Looking for an adaptor to fit a Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 onto my 7D. Have seen plenty of adapters with a bit of glass in to allow for focus to infinity, but I'm not interested in that. It will only be used for macro work so adding a likely poor quality bit of glass in the middle isn't needed/wanted.

I don't really want to spend much on this £10-£20 at most. Alternatively I might just use that money, and what I get for selling it on another lens and go without macro for a while (40mm pancake or 50mm 1.8 most likely).

Software & Accessories / Memory cards
« on: August 26, 2013, 04:18:13 PM »
Currently I use 4x 4GB (2x SanDisk Extreme 3 30MB/s and 2x SanDisk Extreme 40MB/s UDMA CF cards and a 2GB Lexar 133x card.

Shooting an airshow at the weekend I was having to change cards a lot (file sizes of my older Sony DSLR were smaller so it was less of a problem). I'm after 1 or more higher capacity cards, prices of 16-32GB cards have finally come down to a level that doesn't make me shudder.

Looking online I could get 2 SanDisk Ultra 30Mb/s 16GB cards for about £55. Or 1 SanDisk Extreme 400x UDMA 32Gb card for £67. My question is: will I notice a difference in read/write speeds? The only times write speed may be an issue is shooting planes or Motorsport where I have used a high speed burst and tried to review shots while the buffer was still emptying. Read speed copying images to a pc is less important to me provided it doesn't take too long. Alternate cards people can recommend are also welcome.

Thank you in advance  :)

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