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Topics - kaihp

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Lenses / Which Tilt/Shift lens to choose?
« on: September 15, 2014, 06:00:37 PM »
I've been looking at the tilt/shift lenses for some time, and the ability to change the focus wedge is appealing to my geeky side. As usual, googling for which tilt/shift lenses are used for what, is just as futile as trying to drink from a firehose :(

I guess that the 17mm and 24mm are primarily used for architecture and landscape work, and the 90mm for products (and that miniature effect). But what about the 45mm?

Since I am mostly thinking to use selective focus (tilt), I presume that the 45mm and 90mm are more obvious tools. However, since I already have the 1.4x and 2x (MkIII) extenders in, one option could be to use an extender with the 24mm, allowing me to dabble in architectual shots as well..

Looking at the local 2nd hand market, it seems that there are a bunch of 24mm, 45mm, and 90mm available for reasonable cost, but which focal length would be the obvious choice?

I have zooms in the similar focal length areas, but no primes yet. I'm (also) tempted to get the 100mm L-macro too, but that's a seperate topic.

Edit: I'm shooting on a FF camera (5D3).

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http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/comparing-rangefinder-and-slr-50mm-lenses-version-0-

In short: the Sigma looks even more drool-worthy from this, from a pure specmanship point of view. Bravo, Sigma.

Hopefully, the reports of the AF issues will fall away and never to return.

3
I recently discovered on taobao that Benro now also sells filters - specifically also 10-stop ND filters. Since ND1000 filters can help give some interesting effects, I decided to purchase first a 77m and a 82mm filter.

I bought the "SD" (Super Digital) filters. Inspired by Bryan Carnathan's article about 10-stop filters I decided to do a quick test of the filters. As I had previously purchased a 3-stop Tiffen 82m filter (82ND9) I decided to test that also for reference.

Since I don't have an "official" reference color plate, I searched around and downloaded and printed this target: http://photojoes.org/colorchecker.jpg on a laser printer and taped it to a door. Since the printing and my two Osram table lamps used for illumination are likely to give a color cast, so I used the gray boxes to adjust the color temperature for each picture.

(I should say that I'm very much still learning about color temperatures, so I could have done the adjustments incorrectly. If so, please let me know and I'll be happy to update/correct things.)

I chose a deep DOF (f/8) to ensure that I wasn't getting hurt by creases in the paper and non-planarity issues from the taping. Also, since I'm not sure of the lamp filament type, I shot at 0.5sec exposure so reduce or avoid any flicker issues. The 0.5sec, f/8, ISO 100 gave standard exposure with the two lamps.

I'm showing 5 shots, all adjusted to the same (theoretical) in-camera exposure. They have been run through DPP for color temperature adjustment and rescaling to 1200 x 800 px, nothing else.

The camera (5D3) was (obviously) mounted on a tripod (concrete floor), live view was used for initial focus and the lens was then switched to MF. IS was off. Silent shutter and a remote (wireless) trigger was used.

All shots taken at f/8, ISO 100.
1) Control shot, 24-70/2.8L Mk II @ 70mm, 0.5sec.
2) Tiffen ND0.9, 24-70/2.8L Mk II @ 70mm, 4sec.
3) Benro ND10, 24-70/2.8L Mk II @ 70mm, 480sec.
4) Control shot, 70-200/2.8L II @ 200 mm, 0.5sec.
5) Benro ND10, 70-200/2.8L II @ 200 mm, 480sec.

So what are my conclusions so far?
Like Bryan, I find that the Tiffen gives a really bad color cast and much reduced contract. Sharpness seems OK, though. Cost is USD136, according to their website
The Benro filters look quite good with colors very close to the control picture (after correction) and little or no sharpness lost. I'm quite happy with what I see here, especially with the price paid: RMB485-600 (USD88-96) .

Comments, suggestions and improvements/corrections to methodology / design of test are welcome.

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Lighting / Is 580EX incompatible with 5D3 - No Flash C.Fn ?
« on: August 10, 2013, 02:54:50 AM »
Can anyone access the Custom functions menu of their 5D3, when a 580EX (Mark I) is attached?
(Image -> External Speedlite control -> Flash C.Fn settings)

I get a menu saying that "This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off."
And yes, the 580EX is turned on...

5
EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5D3 ignores microadjustment in LiveView
« on: September 06, 2012, 12:31:56 AM »
While doing some manual AFMA testing on my 5D3 (firmware v1.1.3), I noticed a peculiarity about focusing in LiveView - the camera ignores the AFMA setting, and will even not report any AFMA value in the EXIF data! My old 50D always used the AFMA data.

After looking into this a bit more and thinking it through, the observed behaviour seems correct and to be expected. When the camera is in LiveView, the image sensor is used to directly observe the focusing where the focusing is needed and therefore you don't need to adjust for any tolerances between the lens/AF sensor complex vs the image sensor. Thus, you always get the optimum focusing :)

The downside is of course that focusing in LiveView is much slower than when using the normal AF sensor.

This the 5D3 and 1Dx share so much on the AF side, I assume that this applies to the 1Dx as well. Confirmations of this observation on both 5D3 and 1Dx is appreciated.

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Lenses / National Parks besides Grand Canyon? - recommendations please
« on: August 26, 2012, 06:02:28 AM »
I will be flying into LAX in the beginning of October for some days of track riding at Willow Springs, and then 9-10 days of exploring the National Parks in the SW. I've never been to the parks, so I'd like to get some input for places to see/pixelshoot and how much time to spend where.

I will be driving out from the Rosamund/Lancaster, CA area on the morning of Oct 8, and hop on a plane mid-day Oct 17th in LAX.

Based on fsu_dan17's thread in Feb/March (I hope you had a safe return), and reading through the Lonely Planet Guide, I'm so far planning to go the following parks/places:
Grand Canyon, South Rim (2 days?)
Lower/upper Antelope Canyon (OK to do in 1 day?)
Horseshoe Bend (same day as Antelope?)
Grand Canyon, North Rim (½day? 1 day?)
That would bring me to around Oct 12-13.

Question is what to do next - one option would be to go back west to Zion, Vegas (just a stopover for sleeping), via Death Valley to Yosemite, but getting to Yosemite and back to LA is quite trek.
Another option would be to go NE for Bryce Canyon NP and the Utah Highway 12 from Bryce to Torrey ... but where then? Capitol Reef NP?
Suggestions are most welcome, keeping the Oct 17 date in mind.

As for lenses, I plan to bring 'the lot': 5D3, 17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS, 1.4x TC III, 580ex and tripod. I'll probably bring the 50D just as a backup and/or for reach.
Speaking of lenses: I'm considering to swap my 70-200 Mk I for a Mk II - can anyone recommend a shop in the LA area for this?
What about Lexar 1000x cards? (getting them shipped to CN from B&H or Adorama before the end of the month is not an option).

Thanks.

Edit: fixed fubar url thingy.

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5D3 for sports/action?
« on: August 11, 2012, 05:58:30 AM »
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.

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