September 01, 2014, 07:40:52 PM

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Messages - Vern

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Braved the heat to snap a few hummers. Kit = 5D III, 600 II + 1.4X III on a Gitzo tripod with RRS full gimbal, exposures - Fill-flash at -1 & 2/3, ISO 2500, f8.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
« on: August 27, 2014, 01:55:13 PM »
A couple taken last Dec in New Orleans on a 1Dx. Playing w DOF at 2.8.

Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 24, 2014, 05:30:00 PM »
Per others: if you are backpacking, get a great pack for that and put your camera gear in bags to go inside. I carry a Dana Design pack (big green one in front, pictured below) that fits like a glove. On this hike (round trip of Syncline loop at Islands in the Sky) we spent one night on the trail and I carried a 5DMKII, 70-200 2.8II, 16-35 II, 24 TS II, 300 2.8II, 1.4X and 2X converters + Gitzo tripod and ball head plus accessories. It was a dry camp, so everyone was loaded. One innovation (?) to carry my tripod and access my camera was to place a large "S"-hook above the right shoulder so I could hang the tripod with camera mounted and have the weight carried on my hips. I can snap quick pics w/o removing the tripod from the hook, or easily take it down w/o removing my pack. I've carried this set-up for up to 4 night outings when we had access to water good enough to filter. I also carried food for everyone, clothes etc. though I had my sons and a friend to help with the tents. This was a rough hike (2nd photo shows a downhill section that was the worst), but I felt fine with this gear b/c I had a great pack. I am 6'2" but only 160 lbs, so not a muscle-man (I'm far left in the 1st shot). Last shot is inside the Syncline crater - kind of reminded me of Mordor (pano w 24 TSII). I'd rather handle a heavy pack than not get the shot.

Lenses / Re: 200 f/2.0 vs 70-200 f/2.8 II
« on: August 24, 2014, 04:24:06 PM »
I have used both lenses for portraits but have never done a side-by-side comparison. You should take a look at the Digital Picture ( for the review of the 200 f2. The IQ of the two at their respective max. aperture is pretty much identical and Bryan has a comparison of some portraits at 2.0 and 2.8 with the 200 f2 that will give you a good idea of the relative background blur. I bought the 200 2.0 for indoor volleyball where the extra speed is critical to stop action. I use the 135 f2.0 as well. While a great lens, its IQ is a notch down from the 200. If I was only shooting portraits, the 70-200 2.8II would be fine and adding the 200 2.0 would not be necessary. However, if you are additionally interested in indoor sports, the 2.0 is wonderful - and also can be used for amazing portraits - as Lisa Holloway's work highlights. Are they $6K better than the 70-200 could render? Only you can decide.

Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:41:42 AM »
Great topic!

Not only does the camera body make a difference, but personal taste for blur should be taken into account.

For example, Vern's lovely wedding shot above has too much blur for my taste.  I'd rather have a little less blur and be able to identify my friends/relatives in their wedding pix.  I think photographers may have gotten a bit carried away in seeking maximum blur.  Do clients really want that?  I think they are more concerned that we don't make them look fat.     BTW, I'm not a wedding photographer, so my opinion should not be given a lot of weight.  - pun intended :)

Personally, on my 5D3,  I prefer the 85 1.8 for its light weight and speedy autofocus.  In my recent side by side test, the images were quite similar.   But of course the 85 1.2 can create more blur if you shoot at 1.2.

All I need to do now is find a way to paint a red ring on my 1.8!

Thanks - I did also manage to focus a few shots on the subjects.  ;)The 1.8 is a very nice option and certainly much lighter than the 1.2 - although at 1.8, the IQ of the 1.2 is much better. Not sure if the bokeh at the same aperture would be equivalent either. I do shoot at 1.2, but the DOF is so shallow that getting more than one subject in the focal plane is a challenge.

Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 21, 2014, 03:48:55 PM »
I used this lens exclusively at my oldest son's wedding on a 1Dx. As I was just a back-up to the pro they hired, I could risk missing some shots - and of course I wanted to be a participant as well. I had the choice of my 70-200 2.8II, but I'm glad I went with the 85 b/c I shot mostly at f1.8 and really got some great shots. Since most were posed, the focus speed was not an issue and the 'look' provided by this lens won the day. Good thing I was back-up b/c the pro did not really deliver excellent shots. If I was on the hook as a pro, I would definitely have this lens on one body while I had the 24-70 2.8II or 70-200 2.8II on another. I don't think another lens would render bokeh as per below.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 11-24 f/2.8L Coming [CR1]
« on: August 07, 2014, 05:47:48 PM »

[/quote]I am in the same boat. There's no real IQ improvement in the 16-35 f/4L IS. They are the same at equivalent apertures. The fact that they are the same weight and size, and that the 16-35 f/2.8L II goes to 2.8 convinced me to skip the f/4, but an 11/12/14 - 24 is more tempting. I realllly hope they go with f/4 on this to keep the weight down, because f/2.8 is bound to be big and heavy, not to mention much more expensive.

I agree about the IQ between the f4 and 2.8II - contrast looks marginally better at f4 w the former, but not really worth replacing a lens over and at f8 where I shoot landscape from a tripod, its definitely not worth a switch (pending further data).

11-24 w or w/o f 2.8 is intriguing. I'd go with the best IQ formula and only prefer 2.8 if it did not degrade the IQ at f4 and above. Size, weight + cost less important for the applications I envisage.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 11-24 f/2.8L Coming [CR1]
« on: August 07, 2014, 04:57:47 PM »
worth waiting for

Was debating the new 16-35 IS 4 to replace the 16-35 2.8II, but only for the IQ - I don't need the IS on an UWA. Now, I can think about having 11-70 mm covered with the same IQ as the 24-70 2.8 II. If my IQ wish is true, I will happily pay the price. Possible in 2015?

Landscape / Re: give us a wave
« on: August 04, 2014, 08:27:22 PM »
Hurricane Arthur passed 80 miles offshore of Oak Island on July 3rd. Not an artistic shot, but it was quite a wave. The pier is ca. 20 feet above the water.

Lenses / Re: Lensrentals Canon UWA FF lens comparison
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:29:28 PM »
I'll hold off until more f8 results come out. My rationale being that I use the 16-35II 2.8 in two ways - low light people photography in tight settings (need 2.8, tack-sharpness less important since motion blur will be the image limiting effect) and landscape (shot at f8-11 where it appears the 16-35II 2.8 is not far behind the new 16-35IS 4.0). IS on a wide angle is not a big deal to me since I have steady hands and can shoot at 1/10 sec at 16-35 mm with a decent keeper rate, and if I'm shooting landscape, I mostly use a tripod anyway.

All this said, the new 24-70II 2.8 is so sharp that I now debate whether to carry my 24TS II every time I shoot landscape. If I'm not planning on TS movements, the 24-70II seems just as sharp and obviously quicker/more flexible. Maybe the 16-35IS 4.0 is so much better optically than the 2.8 that I will get it just for landscape. f 8.0 will tell (looks similar on the IQ tests from the digital picture site). Make sense?

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Post your HDR images:
« on: July 26, 2014, 05:27:42 PM »
Beautiful clouds SwnSng. Here are some from Pisgah National Forest near Mount Mitchell.

Sent mine in at the time - they cleaned the sensor, but it has oil spots again now. I have also cleaned the sensor myself several times. I love many things about this body but this bit is frustrating. I guess I will send it in again for cleaning if I can't resolve it myself.  :(

Landscape / Re: Sunset landscape
« on: July 26, 2014, 04:22:39 PM »
Sunset on the Blue Ridge. 5DMKIII, 24-70II, HDR

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Post your HDR images:
« on: July 13, 2014, 10:09:59 PM »
Sunrise on the sound side, Oak Island, NC. 5DMKIII, 24-70II.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: July 13, 2014, 10:06:23 PM »
Thanks Click - the hummer was a very tight crop. Even w 840mm, they are small and hard to approach. I'm hoping for better goldfinch shots with a little more time in my blind.

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