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Messages - randym77

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1
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: August 30, 2014, 02:08:42 PM »
Thanks! Yes, we got pretty close.  A lot closer than I expected.

The photos I posted were resized for bandwidth reasons, but mostly not cropped.  (In some cases, they are slightly cropped for aesthetic reasons.  Straightening horizons, stuff like that.)  I wanted people to get an idea of how well suited the lens was for this trip.

I found that all you had to do was be patient.  If an animal was too far away, don't panic.  You'll get another chance, and you'll get a chance to get closer.

2
Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 29, 2014, 12:00:21 PM »
I use RAW if the lighting is tricky, or if it's a situation where I have to get it right - there won't be another chance.

Otherwise, I shoot in JPEG.  Especially if I'm taking a lot of photos.  I might take 2000 photos at a baseball game.  No way am I going to adjust them all in RAW.  Especially if they need to be submitted that night.

3
Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:56:48 AM »
I just want to add...yes, the longer the better for birding lenses, but if a super telephoto isn't in your budget right now, consider the Kenko 1.4 extender.  I've used it with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L and was very pleased.  Yes, you lose a stop, as expected, but overall the image quality and the focusing were very good.  I like it better than my Canon extenders.

4
Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:04:41 AM »
Oh, I see you're using a 70-300L.  I just returned from two weeks in Tanzania with that lens. 

IMO, you don't need a tripod for that lens.  I'm not particularly strong, and I had no problem using it hand-held.

I'd say go out and start taking photos.  You don't need to buy anything yet.  Your experiences in the field will tell you what you need.

5
Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 29, 2014, 09:51:12 AM »
Great links, surapon.

I've often wished I could photograph birds in the ultraviolet range.  Seemingly solid black birds like crows have infrared patterns on their wings that signal age, sex, maybe even individual identity.  Invisible to us, but very visible to other birds.

We mammals have poor color vision.  Apparently, we lost it, during the millions of years our ancestors were nocturnal burrowing creatures hiding from the dinosaurs.  We primates have good color vision for mammals, but fish, reptiles, and birds all see more colors than we do.  Kind of deflating to realize that your goldfish has better color vision than you do.

Unfortunately, the technology to photograph BIF in the ultraviolet range is not there yet.  Or is prohibitively expensive, anyway. 

As for camouflage...I never bother, and neither do the hardcore birders I know.  Some have camo covers on their 800mm lenses, but I think that's more to protect the lens than for camouflage, since the photographer wielding it doesn't wear camo. 

If you have a really long lens like a 600mm or an 800mm, you'll probably want to use a tripod and gimbal head.  Ordinary tripod heads won't do.


6
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: August 27, 2014, 07:22:36 PM »
I am back from my trip.  (BTW, it was with Overseas Adventure Travel.  A good balance of cost and quality, IMO.)

In the end, I took two bodies, a 5D Mark II and a 5D Mark III.  They share batteries/chargers, which was convenient.  I brought a half-dozen batteries, but 3 would probably have been enough, even with no electricity on some of our stops. 

I brought the 70-300mm, the Kenco extender, and the 24-70 f/4.  (At the last minute, I decided to bring that one over the 24-105.  It's smaller, newer, has better macro capabilities.)  I was pretty happy with that combination, but if I had to do it over again, I might take the 16-36mm f/2.8 instead. I missed going really wide.  Not really for landscape vistas, but for interiors and for stuff like the kopjes. 

300mm plus Kenco extender was generally long enough.  I didn't miss my 600mm f/4.  I did miss the speed of my faster lenses.  But considering weight and all, the 70-300mm was perfect.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.  It was really helpful.  Especially the tip about the filters.  I did not need my rocket blower.  I never used the circular polarizer.  But those B+W filters were gold.  Dust stuck to everything except those filters.

7
I have a book from Ralph Clevenger and he recommends trash compactor bags and that's what I carry in all of my bags.  I don't know if they sell them in Europe as I don't remember seeing a trash compactor during my years living there. They are 2.5 mils thick which is very heavy duty, but they fold up very small and are reusable and I mainly use them as ground cover to sit in the mud, but they also serve as backup waterproof gear covers.  I'm sure you can probably find something similar in Germany.

Hey, thanks for this tip! 

I went down to the grocery store to look for some. They didn't have any (I guess trash compactors have fallen out of favor in recent years), but they did have contractor bags.  Trash bags meant for use by contractors and other commercial users.  They are also 2.5 mil thick.  They are a little bigger than compactor bags (3'x4') but easy to trim to fit.

8
Never had a 6D, but my 5D Mark II doesn't seem to like rain much.

I had it out all day in the rain. With a rain cover, but it was so wet that day I guess the rain cover wasn't enough. 
The shutter went wonky.  I would just touch it and it would shoot off in burst mode forever. Until I turned the camera off. 

I took it home and gently blow-dried it.  It was fine the next morning.  I was worried there would be permanent damage done, but it's been a couple of years now and the camera's been fine.  Knock on wood.

9
Photography Technique / Re: Photographing Ghosts / UV Photography?
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:00:27 AM »
The IR cameras used on Ghost Hunters and the like are not the kind most of us use when we do infrared photography.

IR photography (the kind where the trees are white) is near-infrared.  Just outside our vision range.

The IR cameras the ghost hunters use on TV are very expensive and "see" wavelengths  much longer. 

Of course, some people claim to have photographed ghosts even with normal visible light, so you might luck out with an infrared conversion.

UV photography is fascinating, but probably not worth it for ghost hunting.  You will need special lenses, because most lenses block UV light.  Last time I checked, UV lenses were crazy expensive.

10
Software & Accessories / Re: Small Bag Recommendation?
« on: July 02, 2014, 04:18:50 PM »
If you're a woman...check out the camera bags at Epiphanie or Jo-Totes.  There are some stylish bags that look like purses, not camera bags.

11
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:36:46 AM »
24-105 is practically useless for wildlife

I have a completely different perspective having done the northern Tanzania safari circuit as the OP is going to do. I found the 24-105 to be the perfect lens for times when the animals were close to our land rover, which was pretty often.

Thanks.  You've talked me into it.  I'm going to go with the 70-300 and the 24-105.  I'll miss the super wide angle and the fast glass, but sacrifices must be made.


12
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: June 22, 2014, 01:01:06 PM »

just lift bro

I'm not a bro.  :-Þ

Men have 3 times the upper body strength of women. What is a reasonable weight to hand hold for you might not be for me...no matter how much lifting I do over the next month.




13
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: June 21, 2014, 05:54:41 PM »
I may be naive but it seems like you can have a one lens solution in the 28-300L lens.  It seems to be a perfect fit.  Wide and long.  Although heavy at 3.7 pounds.

I considered it, but it's definitely too heavy for me. Even the 100-400 is probably too heavy (at 3 lbs.)

I want something I can hand-hold all day without killing myself.


14
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: June 21, 2014, 04:22:01 PM »
I just returned from a trip to Namibia (a little different from tanzania). Like you I had questions about the gear to take with me. In the end, as many members recommend, I went with 24-105mm and 70-300mm. It covers almost all my needs. You can take a look at some of my pictures if you want!

http://500px.com/Goulab

Personally I prefer the 70-300mm than 100-400mm especially concerning bokey (and weight)


Hope it helps

Nice photos.  I like the nightscape - "Road To Nowhere."  I guess 24mm is wide enough.

15
Lenses / Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« on: June 21, 2014, 04:05:10 PM »
too short and compromised, I'd look 100-400L (or at least 70-300L + kenko 1.4x DGX TC)

I'm considering the Kenko.  The 100-400 is too heavy.  This is a trip where we will be walking a lot and staying in tents.  I anticipate having to carry my camera gear with me on moderate trails and not being able to use a tripod or monopod.

FWIW, the tour company recommends a 300mm lens. 

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