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Topics - vlad

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Lighting / Phottix Mitros+ Flash first impressions
« on: November 21, 2013, 04:52:33 PM »
Yesterday I received 2 Phottix Mitros+ flashes direct from Phottix in Hong Kong.  I couldn't find much first-hand info on them before buying, so I was hesitant to take a chance, but in case somebody else is contemplating them or finding this thread through a search, let me report - these are the real deal.

I'm coming from a 580 II + PocketWizard Flex + AC3 setup.  The setup has worked fine, but I would get so annoyed with carrying around the PW's, spare batteries for them, etc.  The idea of having it all be built-in was just too tempting.  Why didn't I just go for the 600EX? Well, the great thing about the PW setup is that it also let me trigger manual flashes or studio lights.  In the case of my AlienBee, the PW AC9 even allowed remote power adjustment from the camera using the AC3.  I wanted to keep this flexibility, and the Phottix system is compatible with their other, cheaper triggers.

I haven't done any extensive shooting yet, but I did test the following:
2 Mitros+ flashes
Odin transmitter
Strato II receiver

In a word - everything works as intended.  I was able to get things up and running in a few minutes without using the manual.  After a few initial stumbles (likely caused by not reading the manual), everything got set up and fired every time.  I had the Strato II on an old manual Sunpak flash, using either a Mitros+ or the Odin as a transmitter, etc.  Everything just worked.

The build quality is good, there are cables, accessories, carrying pouch, foot, and even a little clip-on diffuser.  Everything feels solid.  Definitely not ebay-grade Chinese knockoff territory.

I'm a little disappointed that there isn't a dome type diffuser that's compatible with these, at least not on the Phottix site.  The provided clip-on one does a tiny bit of diffusion for direct flash, but it doesn't make the light go everywhere like the dome type.  In any case, since Phottix sells dome diffusers for Canon/Nikon flashes, I expect they will eventually make one for their own.  Also they have this thing:

Overall, I'm pretty excited to get rid of all the PW's.  I plan to use these at a party this Saturday, so I can report back with real-world findings.

Better than PocketWizards: No separate units to mess with
Worse than PocketWizards: No remote power adjustment for AlienBees.  Power tweaking with the PW AC3 is quicker and more intuitive than any LCD.

Better than Canon: cheaper, provides remote second curtain, can trigger studio/manual strobes using cheap compatible triggers.

Software & Accessories / ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade
« on: November 14, 2013, 06:02:31 PM »
Anybody ever used this?

For the record, I supported their kickstarter for the C-Loop, and i use their glide strap.  I love both and will likely get the new strap (

The dot seems like a gimmick though.  Is it?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Camera AFMA changed itself?
« on: July 09, 2013, 03:05:33 PM »
After importing photos from this weekend's trip, I saw that quite a few were front-focused.  Sure enough, my 5D III was set to -8 AFMA for the camera, and in fact this was shown on the full-info playback if I had been more attentive.  The problem is, I didn't set it!  I looked back at all the images on the memory card, and saw where I was shooting the same scene with the same lens (100 2.8 macro, no AFMA configured), and in one shot there is no AFMA shown, and then the next shot, taken less than a minute seconds later, it's there and it stays there for subsequent shots.

Interestingly, it seems that although this was a "body" AFMA setting, it's not being shown in playback for all lenses.  A lens that had AFMA configured only showed the lens value (I'm not sure how the single AFMA number in playback is determined when there's both body and lens adjustments - does it pick one or do a sum?), and other lenses showed 0.  I reset the body adjustment back to 0 but now I'm paranoid that it will happen again.

Has anybody heard or seen this happen?

Software & Accessories / Pushing LR/ACR past 100
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:22:27 PM »
Let's say I want to bring down the highlights or boost the shadows beyond the slider limits in LR/ACR.  I could export the maxed out image to tiff, import it, and repeat, but is there a more efficient way to do it?

Coming from a 5Dc with an EE-S focusing screen, I was pretty disappointed that the 5D III didn't have a similar alternative.  Doing some searching, it appeared that is currently the only option around.  In short, a guy in Taiwan gets original Canon screens and modifies them - there are various microprism/grid/etc screens, but since I like the freedom to manual focus anywhere in the frame, I went with the S Type.

It arrived yesterday, meticulously packaged, and I got to work using their online instructions:

As I was finishing the installation, I accidentally dropped one of these screws inside the camera, and as luck would have it, it dropped into the hole on the side of the mirror, where I can't see or reach it.

I turned the camera upside down, tilted it, shook it a bit - I could hear the screw rattling around for the first minute, and then it just stopped - I guess it got lodged somewhere.

Thankfully, the part that's held down with the 2 screws seems to be solid enough with just 1, but I'm not really happy about literally having a loose screw inside the camera, just waiting for the right time to break free and go exploring inside a lens...  Maybe I should register and capitalize on my mistake.

As for the focusing screen - it works great, same as my previous EE-S screen.   To me, it makes the difference between trusting myself with manual focus through the viewfinder, and using it for emergencies only.  A bit pricy, but totally worth it in the long term.  Despite whatever reason Canon gave for not having swappable screens in the mk III (something about how it's a side effect of their new AF), the various AF modes continue working fine.

If anybody has any ideas on either getting the loose screw out (I was thinking of trying canned air) or at least finding a replacement for it, I'd be eager to hear it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Better dynamic range than my 5DIII
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:53:31 PM »

Grotto in an iceberg, photographed during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1913

What is this groundbreaking new camera that can get cloud details, snow, and noise-free shadows with plenty of detail in one shot?

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