November 25, 2014, 05:32:11 PM

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Messages - mackguyver

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Post Processing / Re: My RAW Processing Workflow
« on: November 21, 2014, 04:27:02 PM »
I'm happy to hear that this post is helpful and I'm happy to expand on the why for any of the specific adjustments, if anyone has specific questions. 

Reviews / Re: Samyang/Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Review (Text + Video)
« on: November 20, 2014, 01:04:15 PM »
Reviews in the pipeline:  Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART (next week), Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T, Metz 64 AF-1 flash units, Vanguard ABEO Pro 283AT + GH-300T head, Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4, Canon 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 STM, and Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar.
Not much going on in your world is there ;).  Just kidding of course and thanks for the nice review (as usual).  It seems to match what Roger at LensRentals and others have said.  Also, as an owner of the Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5 II, I had to chuckle a bit about the lens hood comments. The one Canon supplies serves little purpose other than to take up lots of room in your bag :)

Lenses / Re: 70-200 or 100-400 conundrum.....
« on: November 20, 2014, 12:59:29 PM »
I've had this debate a bit myself as I own the 70-200 but do a lot of wildlife work.  The old 100-400 never made me happy, but I was very close to pre-ordering the 100-400.  Then the 11-24 f/4 leaked and that interests me more, but I'll give you my thoughts:

70-200 f/2.8 IS II or f/4 IS are both brilliant lenses, with the f/4 being just as good, but costs much less and is much smaller & lighter.  Both take the 1.4x extenders very well and are excellent for wildlife shooting.  The 2.8 is also a great low light & event/sports lens, plus excellent portrait and general purpose lens.  The f/4 can be used for these as well, but has less shallow DOF and needs 1 more stop.  With the 2x, the f/4 AF struggles a bit more in lower light, but works.  The f/2.8 takes the 2x very well, but becomes somewhat long and bulky, and isn't very pleasant ergonomically, but is still viable.

The new 100-400 looks to be extremely sharp & versatile, offering all of the above without the need to reach for extenders, with the tradeoff being less light, less shallow DOF, and bigger size/weight.  Unless you need low light / action stopping ability (less critical with the newer DSLR bodies high ISO capabilities) or shallow DOF for portraits, I'd go for this lens as it's more versatile and 1 purchase vs. 2 or 3 (with the extenders).

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
« on: November 20, 2014, 12:49:55 PM »
serendipidy, Hjalmarg1, and Northstar, thank you for the nice comments.  It was a great room and I wish I was there right now!  I live in NORTH Florida, and it was in the 20s last night.  Looks like it's going to be a long, cold winter here in the US.

Lenses / Re: Really bad GAS
« on: November 20, 2014, 11:43:43 AM »
Sorry about the GAS, but it happened to me too, and the 300 + extenders is an AMAZING combination.  The lens costs over a grand less than it did when I bought it last year, so take some solace in that, at least!

Business of Photography/Videography / Re: Update on SmugMug
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:50:55 PM »
Hi Mackguyver,

I'm using smugmug for about 9 months right now. After looking a small intro on youtube, I had four hours later my first site running on it. I never had the feeling that I should tell people to stay away. So I never had any frustration. I'm a happy user :) and it works great in combination with Lightroom.

The old SmugMug was difficult to use, but once you spent many, many hours customizing it, it worked fairly well.  The new SmugMug is great, but moving from the old to new was near impossible when they first came out with it, leading to endless frustration on my part. With 3798 photos and 46.36 GB of data on their servers (just checked), the prospect of moving was a tough one for me.  I'm very happy that they have fixed the issues and other than a few things that I haven't sorted out, it's working well.  I look forward to putting more work into it this weekend.

Business of Photography/Videography / Re: Update on SmugMug
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:46:27 PM »
I rate them as adequate. Biggest problem I have is the place seems to be run by children, very juvenile.

The latest problem is image view tracking. Used to be you could see all image views except yours. Now they've thrown your own views into the results and tout it as some kind of benefit. I think their intent is to move you to Google Analytics.

Still seems to be about as good as is available given the options.
I haven't gotten into the new stats module, but the old one never impressed me much.  I've used Google Analytics for a long time and have gotten the hang of using it pretty well.

EDIT - I see that, and agree that is really stupid.  Why not give us the option.  The issue I've always had still remains as well.  I'd like to see my most popular photos and such for my whole site, not just a single gallery.  That's what has always irked me about their stats.

Post Processing / Re: 16 bit vs 8 bit
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:55:31 PM »
Note that 16bit files need more memory when editing and more hard disk space, but in the year 2015 of our lord (other year number for followers of other lords) this shouldn't matter unless you're stacking a lot of layers in Photoshop.
Good advice, Marsu, and I'm still working to kill all 64GB of my RAM.  I was up to 59GB the other day when I was processing photos in DxO. stitching a pano on PS, editing in Premiere, correcting a windy/shaky video in After Effects, and working on a logo in Illustrator.  My poor VRAM (3GB) is actually what began to limit me...but doing the above just a few years ago was just a dream ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon EF-S 11-24mm f/3.5-4.5
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:50:28 PM »
Your finances can rejoice, this rumored lens is ef-s for crop :-> ... stay tuned for further [CR1] on the ongoing quest for a "wider than 16mm uwa" for full frame sensors.
Oops, wrong thread... :-[...maybe I'm still too busy to rejoin the CR discussions :(

Business of Photography/Videography / Update on SmugMug
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:17:31 PM »
After my long period of frustration with SmugMug, I gave it another shot over the weekend and I'm happy to report that the kinks all seem to be worked out.  I have finally built a "new SmugMug" website and customizing it has been pretty straightforward.  I'm still working on the site, but I can now go from stay away from them to actually recommending them again.  If there's anyone out there who has been thinking of trying them, it's worth giving the free trial a shot.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Canon EF-S 11-24mm f/3.5-4.5
« on: November 18, 2014, 01:30:43 PM »
I have a strong feeling that this lens is going to destroy my finances!  I still regret selling my Sigma 12-24 II, and was about to buy another when I saw the German CPS leak.  I hope it comes soon as I'm stuck at 16mm right now unless I shift/stitch my TS-E 17.  These crazy wide lenses are a challenge to use, but when you nail the shot, it's amazing.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
« on: November 18, 2014, 01:16:38 PM »
So I finally got a half decent panorama.  It's from the balcony of my room at the Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.  It was a business trip and for some unknown reason, they upgraded me to a room with a huge balcony including a hot tub!  Needless to say I didn't ask why...  Shot during golden hour at around 50mm, 9 photos stitched together using my RRS pano kit.

nineyards - great shot - those little guys seems to hold still, well never.  dslrdummy - that's definitely a great use for a long lens and get's much closer than a normal watersports shot.

Software & Accessories / Re: 1D X + EC-S Focusing Screen - Save Your Money
« on: November 18, 2014, 10:15:17 AM »
Good to see you back, Mackguyver! Real life has a tendency to intervene with all the fun stuff at times.
Thanks, DominoDude.  Life does get crazy sometimes, but I'm trying to enjoy the ride!

I had seen the notes about the screen in the user manual, but based on my previous S screen experience, I thought I could live with those things.  As I said, both the AF area etching being off and the exposure changes were relatively minor.  I used those screens for years in all kinds of light and with a mix of lenses ranging from f/1.2 to f/5.6, with no problems.

What shocked me was how different the Ec-S screen is from the other S screens.  In the 60D and 5DII, I found the brightness trade offs to be pretty minor (say 10% darker with f/4 and 25% with f/5.6), but in the 1D X, the viewfinder becomes so dark (maybe 25% with f/2.8, 50% with f/4, 75% with f/5.6) that it's a real hindrance for anything slower than f/2. 

Post Processing / Re: My RAW Processing Workflow
« on: November 17, 2014, 04:35:50 PM »
Modifying the global contrast slider in ACR is effectively manipulating the S curve, but does so using more sophisticated algorithms in an attempt to provide more balanced contrast.  For photos needing it, I will frequently add a touch of global contrast but use the curves to fine tune areas like the low shadows and mid highlights.  For example, in the shot below, the dynamic range was quite high with the sun risen but most of the trees still in shadow.  Using the contrast slider washed out the sky so I used the curves and brought down the 220-240 brightness range to bring back the cloud detail.  I also used the 10-20 range to pull the shadows up just a bit in the darkest areas to give the trees more definition.

The difference between point (what I used above) and parametric is a longer answer, but I'll try to get something together.

As far as color, even those of us without color blindness have trouble with skintones, so don't feel bad!  As far as the goal, I hate to say it, it depends.  For my personal work, what you said is exactly right.  I make every attempt to work on the image the day I shot it, at least to give it the initial look, which is how I remember seeing the scene.  For my commercial work, I typically use a ColorChecker Passport to profile the scene, or the original painting or artwork, and use controlled lighting to replicate the colors as accurately as possible.    For portraits, there used to be some cool PS plug ins that corrected skin tones with a pointer, but I think the company went out of or stopped making the plug in version.  Most Canons shoot a bit warm, especially with the elderly, so toning down the reds a bit is generally a good idea.  In the end, it really just depends on what you're trying to do, and your subject, and unless you're being paid to "get the colors right" or your skin tones don't look human, it really doesn't matter.  If you and your client (if applicable) are happy, that's all the matters.

Finally - when I have the time, I will do some instructions side-by-side with screenshots in both DxO 10 (which is a great upgrade) and ACR.

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