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Topics - sootzzs

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Post Processing / Fast editing of RAWs to "camera like" Jpegs
« on: October 04, 2014, 06:29:30 AM »
Hi all,

Not trying to start another RAW vs Jpeg debate here. We all know the advantages shooting RAW has over Jpeg.
However, as an amateur shooting solely for my and others pleasure I'm having more and more photos mostly stuck imported to my Lightroom and never getting out of it as I don't have the time to edit them and unedited RAWs rarely look better than in camera Jpegs.  Currently I shoot only RAW and was trying to find a way for creating a "decent looking" or as in camera looking Jpegs conveniently and quickly. I've tried to using the Sync in LR for multiple photos with similar shooting conditions, but most of the Sync'd photos just don't look good enough and need re-tweaking anyway. 

I know I can shoot both RAW+Jpeg and only edit the best photos from RAW while publishing the rest quickly. Maybe I will do it eventually, but it seems to be really cumbersome and taking a lot of space on card while shooting and quite some time and mess in LR while trying to separate the Jpegs from RAWs (maybe I'm doing it wrong though).

I guess a lot of us encountered the same problem with "volume shooting" and was wondering is there an easier way in LR (or maybe DPP which I never used before) just to push a button and get these "camera like" Jpegs without hassling around to much.

Please help me set my photos free :) !



Third Party Manufacturers / cheap lowlight 30-35mm for APS-C
« on: June 12, 2013, 11:53:22 AM »
Hi friends,

I've become a father few weeks ago and looking for a new lens for my 60D to shoot my baby boy. I have a Canon 501.8II but feel it is to tight on my crop and the AF is too slow (babies seem to move a lot :) ). budget is no more than 500$ and I was pondering what is a better buy:

* Old Sigma 30 1.4 (cheap ~300$, nice but not great (?) pics, especially wide open).

* New Sigma 30 1.4 (not the new 35 Art); 500$, better build and picture quality than the old 30, better AF (?), sharp wide open (?).

* Samyang 35 1.4; ~450$, very good quality (both image and build), FF compatible (for the future). It is MF, which is generally is OK for me, but wide open in low light? How will it work?

To summarize:
1) I never used any of this and all the aforementioned is from the web. I would really appreciate first hand advice on these lenses. Do you think the new Sigma 30 is 200$ better than the old?

2) Generally, is 30-35mm (48-56mm on crop) is a good choice to shoot a baby indoors (or low light photos in general).

P.S I don't have the money for the 899$ 35 Art or Canon L glass ( :( ).

Thanks a lot!

Lenses / Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:59:56 AM »
Hi all,

In another post here someone asked about getting set of good, cheap old primes. This gave me an idea: I'm not a pro and can't afford  lots of even non-L specialized lens, but I'd like to learn about different styles of photography (Macro, portraits, wildlife, low light and flash photography and even a bit of manual focusing...). So I thought: "why not to try old primes (whatever brand with adapter for EOS and probably manual focus and aperture)". They are much cheaper (not all) and many still hold great IQ on DSLR's.

Any ideas on which old primes set could fit me (I'm mostly interested in a good macro lens, even if it needs extension tube, Industar 50mm as an example,  a long telephoto 400-600mm and low light wide prime).

From what I've read in other places and seen available on eBay I'm thinking of the next lenses:
* Macro: Canon 100mm f/4 FD, OLYMPUS  ZUIKO MC 50mm F/3.5, any of the 135mm (pentax, soligor...) or as mentioned Industar 50mm pancake on extension tube.   
* Telephoto: no idea actually but I saw quite cheap Paragon 500mm, Kalimar, Five Star etc... . Guess for the price they're offered the IQ is not exactly stellar.
* low light wide angle: Paragon 35 f/2.8, Mamiya/Secor 35mm f/1.4, SMC Takumar 35 f/2.

I've already bought the Super-Takumar 55 f/2 as a portrait lens and just to try manual focus. Didn't received it yet though, so don't know how it will work out.

I use 60D, by the way.

Thanks for you attention!   

Lenses / Shooting low light event with 50 1.8II or 15-85
« on: September 11, 2012, 04:43:30 PM »

I am a bit baffled here. I own 60D with 50 1.8II and recently purchased EF-S 15-85. Also just got the Yongnuo 468II flash (no experience with it yet). Shooting at low light (tungsten, no flash) I've noticed that to get reasonable IQ I had to stop the 50mm to F/2 or even 2.8; While my 15-85 is 3.5-5.6 (3.5 only at 15mm if I remember right), it has an image stabilization which supposed to give me about three full stops more. So, while shooting at maximum F/5.6 with 15-85 IS on, it equals to F/2 if I use my 50mm (right?) and even faster with larger F-stops. Well...why do I need my 50 1.8 then when I can get the same images (or better) and use a zoom??? Ain't it supposed to be a low light lens?? Do I miss something here?

I ask this because I have to shoot low light event this Saturday (Flamenco dance). It will be a small event in a small, packed, dimly lit room. The stage will probably have some lighting from above but I doubt it will be enough. I will be close (very) to the stage and probably won't be able to use my newly purchased flash. I have a nice ball-head tripod (Sirui) but from my few recent experiences, it doesn't help a lot when the person you trying to shoot moving around. Having the (not so stellar) tools I have, how could I maximize the good/bad picture ratio (ISO, lens, tripod: yes or no)? Which lens is better to use with the flash (if I'd have the possibility)?   

Sorry for the multiple questions. I've tried to shoot few low light events recently for my friends and was really disappointed with my results. This one is really important for me, don't want to @#@# it up again :).

As always, thank you for your time and advice!


Lenses / Advice before buying used 15-85 EF-S
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:37:53 AM »

I'm new to DSLR (about 4 months), using 60D, 18-55IS, 50 1.8, 55-250IS. When I bought the camera paying 700-800$ for lens seemed crazy for me (yep, I was young and innocent :) ) so I preferred to start with the much cheaper 18-55 and "upgrade in the future".
Well, the future arrived faster than I thought and I feel 18-55 is not enough any more and I'm stuck with it. I'm thinking to upgrade to 15-85 ( I don't have money for L glass). I've got an offer of 625$ for 1.5 years used 15-85 with original hood, supposed to be in like new shape. New one costs here 790$ w/o the hood and has 1 year warranty.

I'm not fond of buying used things in general but I understand that with lenses it not always a bad idea. I would like to ask an advice from people that have this lens:
Do you think 165$ worth the 1.5 year use (it's from an amateur) or should I buy a new one? How does 15-85 cope with time and use? Or maybe I should buy a new 17-85 for 620$????

As always, Thank You for your help and advice!!! 


Software & Accessories / Benro A-550 EX BH-1 tripod recomendation
« on: April 08, 2012, 07:47:02 PM »
I'm thinking to buy Benro A-550 EX BH-1 as my first tripod from this seller in China (not sure how trusty it is, so would be gkad to hear from somebody who had had business with them):

The cost is 155$ and free shipping. I'm an amateur photographer and will only use it occasionally so I can't afford anything more expensive (actually this one a bit to expensive for me). I've heard some good reports here and elsewhere on Benro in general (usually the more expensive). I was wandering if someone used this particular (or similar) model and can testify? It comes with a ballhead and seems very reasonable for it's price.

I'm using 60D with 55-250mm lens (my heaviest for now).

I would also be glad to have recommendations on other tripods in this price range if you believe they are better.


I would like to ask the owners of 60d: do you really think it is worth to spend extra $$ (in my case it will be extra 375$) on 60d compared to 600d? I know that most people will say "invest in glass instead". But 375$ is not that much to invest in glass (I don't have more right now) and also I prefer to buy three moderate lenses (18-55 IS, 55-250IS and 50f1.8 II) for ~400$ and cover a lot of range and possibilities to learn and understand which L lens I'll need in the future. I love different kinds of photography and will need this kind of lens for it (which will cost fortune in good glass). Do you think is the right way to think for a complete beginner?

I love traveling in quite harsh environments (forests, mountains, etc...) and afraid that the 600d wan't be able to withstand it for long (though 60d don't have weatherseeling, it build better(??)). Also I'm afraid to outgrow 600d too fast. I plan to have the same body for at least 3 years.

And lastly: is 600d worth the 100$ markup over 550d? I understand the sensor is the same and I don't care too much about video. I'm quite concerned about the screen in 600d breaking on me in one of this trips.

Thanks alot!

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