August 30, 2014, 02:42:17 AM

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Messages - Jack Douglas

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1
I'm with Jon on the comments of 20% being meaningful.  When I spent $7k on the 300 2.8 II I immediately compared it to my 70-300 Nikon zoom on the D5100 and was quite disappointed to see the 300 really didn't outperfom it by much mounted on my 6D - that is relative to resolution of detail.  However, it has proved to be an awful lot better in other respects and I'm happy with it.

My friend was waiting to purchase and we beat all this to death.  My comment to him was that all those thousands of $$ were going into making a lens that was "maybe 20% better".  I value that "maybe 20% better".

Jack

2
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 26, 2014, 03:45:02 PM »
mustafaakarsu, lovely!  Wish I was there that moment.

Jack

3
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 26, 2014, 03:42:34 PM »
Jon, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that's the way it must be.  In so far as it's closer to what you recall seeing, I agree with your interpretation.  I certainly don't dislike it! ;)  Keep em coming.

Jack

4
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 03:36:06 PM »
Famateur, good balanced comments!  It's easy to talk big when it's not one's own pocket book. ;)

Jack

5
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:03:48 PM »
Happened to notice this on the 7D2 thread and I guess it descibes what I was falling into and maybe sheds light on the flower lighting debate.

When i first got my D600 I was lifting shadows right, left and center (and more :P). It was like an obsession. I was intentionally looking for scenes that would need shadow lifting. After some time it wasn't fun anymore. Soon though, couple of things occurred to me. a) I wasn't doing photography anymore, I wad doing experiments only. b) In my kind of photography I very rarely needed extreme shadow lifting that Canon couldn't handle. After the realization fun in photography has returned and more than 90% of the time they are done with Canon gears.
So, I would say if someone's work involves lot's of shadow lifting and if someone is not willing to do other techniques (filter, exposure blending etc), then Exmor will do a much better job than Canon. But don't expect miracles. Better doesn't mean perfect.

100% in agreement

Also, I find that for flower photos, the best ones usually are side-lit or front lit in order to make the colors pop. Sunflowers tend to face the east, so sunrise photos make most sense. Sunset photos of sunflowers are typically dull because the colors are washed out. Unless there's some compelling background, I don't see any benefit to shoot into the sun for sunflower shots; such is the case for the posted photos.

Jack

6
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 26, 2014, 11:51:35 AM »
"The root cause is that the foreground is just way, way too bright.  As a result, overall scene contrast is way too low.  Humans are very sensitive to light that isn't right, which makes real composites really hard - you have to get the light to match in the two frames you're combining."

Hi Jon,  I think Lee Jay may have put in words what I was feeling.  There is this loss of sense of the direction of the lighting and for me I also seem to like areas where it's just plain dark and lacking in detail - maybe that creates contrast that contributes to a sense of awe.  My bias seems to be towards under exposed.  While your composition may be "unnatural" that doesn't mean it isn't impressive and just what the doctor ordered for those who don't share my bias.

 :-[ I only use DPP and as I said am not the one to judge.  However, this got me wondering about my prior tendency that I've largely abbandoned, that is, pulling more detail from the shadows of my fairly correctly exposed bird shots (up for blacks, down for blown whites (decreases contrast)).  Any thoughts?

Jack

7
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 25, 2014, 07:40:54 PM »
Wow, Jon you always go the extra mile. Thanks :)  That is very helpful in understanding what you're doing and why.  I'm still debating in my mind how I should interpret the photo.  Maybe sometimes I'm really not feeling I want that much detail in the shadows - could it be visual overload for me??  Again, I'm not qulaified to judge so don't mind me.

Jack
 

8
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: August 25, 2014, 07:02:59 PM »
Now that's a very nice shot Jon, but there is something about it that just doesn't seem to really do it for me, almost as if I'd like more contrast.  Can you explain what you perceive to be the major gain of the merge.  Admittedly, I don't really qualify to be a judge of such things but I'm always trying to learn from these exchanges. ;)

Jack

9
Mackguyver, I assume this is uncropped in which case eye focus could be no problem but I'm frustrated by the small moving birds and catching their shoulders or other features more often than I'd like.  Usually this would be when somewhat reach limited but still a decent shot when cropped.  One shot with a ready finger on the focus ring seems to work some of the time but I guess it all comes down to reflexes and mine aren't the best and of course you have to see the focus is sharp in that instant before commiting.

How do you rate your 1DX vs 5D3 relative to subtle AF differences, how/where does the 1DX shine? 

Jack

10
mackguyver, good illustration.  I'm interested in your thoughts on what is happening when spot focus is apparently too broad to allow one to nail the eyes.  Would you say it's more the closer or the sharper edged object or does the shape ever enter into the equation.  Camera dependent of course, but Canon probably has algorithm similarities on say their center points.  How much of a difference does cross, double cross points make?  Is there any sense of round glossy objets (eyes) being given priority.  Tough questions?

And one never knows if the focus has wandered off target. ;)

Jack

11
Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 24, 2014, 11:15:37 PM »
So there's a RAW tea shirt and we don't get to see it??

I shoot RAW and really appreciate the degree of exposure adjustment that is available after the fact!
Also sharpening via specific lens tuning in DPP is a definite benefit.

Jack

12
Animal Kingdom / Re: DragonFly Series
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:26:21 PM »
Wish I could get eyes looking like the previous shots!  But those are macro and stationary so I guess I should be happy with this.  I set out for birds and there were none so .....

These guys are about 1 1/4" long and so fast it takes a lot of luck.  6D 300X2 F8 1600th ISO 1600

Jack

13
I like that! ;)

The success with altered AFMA would depend to a large extent on the predictability of say the distance of the birds shoulder from its eye, which in itself implies a kind of side shot, which is not that uncommon.  Since DOF helps I do believe there is a net benefit to being slightly back focused in such cases.  What you gain in one shot you may well lose in the next assuming no time to switch AFMA back.  I place the odds on slight back focus for small bird shots.  For front facing horses jumping a predictable barrier I'd bet it could benefit similarly.  But will the focus reliably lock on the horses nose?  Some trial shots would determine the odds there, then dial in some back focus and see what happens - I'm all ears.

Jack

14
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: August 22, 2014, 03:50:06 PM »
I'd love to have those in my collection! ;)

Jack

15
As an electronics engineer I have no objection to people getting as technical as they like.  I'm not immune.  However, sometimes simple things are made to look so technical that it scares folk away.  AFMA can only be as precise as the settings 0 +- 1, 2, 3 ......

Here is my tale regarding AFMA.  Spent big bucks on a 6D and 300 2.8 etc. and was all worked up about whether things were as good as they should be, pixel peeping and all.  So I parted with the gear for nearly 2 months and Canon set it all perfectly for me.  300 mounted AFMA +3  Then there was the time of charts and shots and more shots and ... oh dear oh dear.  Then I progressed to, "hey set it to whatever and go out and shoot".  Well now it's at +12 and my results are pretty consistent, thanks Canon.  When I view a shot such as this I think, well maybe a little back focused but how in the world could the focus ever be 100% - an eyball is not likely going to catch the algorithim like an eyelid so it may be focused on the front or rear eyelid or .....??
So I can just change it by a digit and maybe I'll prefer what I get.  Right now I'm getting great results overall so it stays put. The point is there is a lot of hit and miss in all of this and it's not like a mathematical calculation to 10 decimal places.  Each person chooses what they prefer but if you're uneasy about it, don't be, relax and just experiment.

And as stated don't forget to set it back to what worked best or what is correct. :)

Jack

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