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Messages - scottburgess

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Lenses / Re: Teleconverter for 100mm 2.8l
« on: Today at 07:32:07 PM »
Does anybody know what 2x teleconverter would work best for my 100mm 2.8l since I can't use canon converters?

If you want this strictly for macro, you can use a 12mm extension tube as a spacer to get to 2X with a Canon teleconverter, presuming you already may own one.  You lose the ability to focus beyond a short distance though.

Many off-brand converters do not have a protruding element, so there are plenty of choices... I'd tend to lean toward a decent Kenko or Sigma if I were looking, but if you plan to do a lot of photography with something like insects, consider upsizing to a 180mm Macro.  The working distance alone is worth it.

It would help, though, if you could specify what your intended photographic targets are, and budget limitations (if any).

Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: Today at 07:22:10 PM »
My Argus C44.  And anything that is broken.  The Argus works fine, but if I want to shoot film I'm using my trusty Elan IIe.

Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: Today at 07:09:06 PM »
I'm planning on going camping at the end of August and I'm starting to look at camera bags that would fit the bill. So I'd like to hear about your recommendations and experiences with camping and photography.

I've done backcountry photography for a long time.  The best pack I found (and have ever seen) for this purpose is the Dana Design Arclight Swiftcurrent, long since discontinued but still available on the used market.  I place my photo gear in a separate generic camera bag at the bottom of the pack.

Main advantages of this pack:
  - Beavertail Shovit is perfect for holding a large tripod
  - Slant opening is great for getting at any gear--since it is best to keep high-density items (like metal and glass lenses) near your waist for weight transference to hips, this means I can keep the camera gear at the bottom of the pack yet still have immediate access.  Yes, I have been able to shoot animals before they took off because of this feature!
  - Pack itself is light weight, doesn't add much to the load.  This was a design feature of all the Arclight packs.
  - Generous side saddles (available in small or large sizes) can be added or not depending on how deep into the back country I am headed.

You have to see one to believe how great Dana Design was at backpack design.  If you buy one, make sure you get the correct size for your torso length.  High quality used ones often run only about $100, but it will likely be the last pack you ever buy.  Base unit is 4500 cubic inches, two long side saddles add about 900 cubic inches.  I put the sleeping pad on top, pack a 3-person tunnel-design tent, and even with several days of food and the camera goodies can keep it to 45 lbs.

If you don't find a used one on the usual used sites, consider posting a "wanted" item to some backpacker forums.  Lots of hikers have multiple packs, and would be happy to get some cash in exchange for one they no longer need.

Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 29, 2014, 04:08:00 PM »
I suspect people are forgetting that Canon are in the business of lens manufacturing to make money, not to satisfy photographers economic needs. 

The facts are as I see them, both Sigma & Nikon now have super duper high price 50(58)mm f1.4 lenses for £800 and £1500 respectively, both very likely to be selling at a price that makes a tidy return for both Sigma and Nikon, let's not even talk about the Otus range !   So, Canon has four 50mm lenses...

Spot on, Haydn!  Except that one can argue that there are more than four lenses in roughly this focal length...  The 40mm you mentioned, the 45mm TS-E, and the 60mm macro (APS-C only). 

Still your point that Canon will push new lenses out when it is to their financial advantage to do so is well considered.  Are they waiting for greater economic recovery/certainty?  Minimizing their plant investments? Considering moving some manufacturing back to Japan?  There is a lot more to think about from a business perspective than "let's make some cool lenses."  On the other hand, if they're waiting on external conditions it might be good for them to stop overpromising.

PowerShot / Re: Canon Announces the PowerShot SX520 HS & SX400 HS
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:15:53 PM »
Anyone have thoughts about the CMOS versus CCD sensor difference between these two cameras?  The CCD sensor may be a reuse from the Elph line, which might be discontinued as Canon pulls out of the low end of the point-and-shoot market.  The sensors are the same size, so I am wondering why the same CMOS sensor was not used in both...

Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 28, 2014, 09:13:37 PM »
Perhaps the new 50mm lens has already been released!  It came out in Q1 2014, just like the article says.  It's just not available to slobs like us! 

Rumor also has it that peace has swept the globe, Apple's new iPhone 6 will triple everyone's standard of living, and blisters are the quick road to a good afterlife.

Lenses / Re: New Canon L Primes, but Not Until 2015 [CR2)
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:52:10 PM »
We’re told to expect new Canon L primes, but none will be announced in 2014.
So much for the "year of the lens" bullshit.  Once again the marketing hype has wound everyone up, but the package in the mail is empty.

The second is a new 50L in late 2015. The new lens is said to be a lot smaller and lighter, perhaps a drop to f/1.4?
Much smaller than its predecessor, and a 50L, hmmm....   perhaps the oldest lens in the lineup, the 50mm f/2.5 Macro (released 1987), is about to meet its maker.  That 50mm lens could be made noticeably more compact near its current aperture.  And it would be sensible to upgrade that to an L series lens, much as with the 100L Macro, as it then could command a higher price.  That would heat up profits on it, too, which are probably currently tepid.  In addition, it might become an f/2.8, probably would get better autofocus, and probably would focus to life-size without an accessory.  It is a lens replacement that would be best released about the same time as a new advanced amateur camera.  It's something to think about, anyway.

Of course, the 50mm f/1.8 II (1990) and 50mm f/1.4 (1993) are also moldy, and the latter has significant competitive pressures that also favor an upgrade to L series status.  So we shall see.

Lenses / Re: Going native at 400mm
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:41:37 PM »
A 400mm prime would be nice especially if I can use my 1.4x II to go to 560mm occasionally.

  • The 400mm f/5.6 has no IS.


What else am I missing? What would you recommend?

Suggest you wait until mid-September if you can.  A 400mm lens or newer 100-400mm zoom are likely releases for this fall.

i cant belive nobody has suggested thermacell. these things are amazing ! i use them in the spring in northern quebec where the black flies and mosquitoes are insane in numbers . it does exactly as they claim. i have taken my shirt off while in the woods cause it was hot and didnt get bit once. bug spray on you or your cloths will keep them 2 inches away , thermacell will keep them 10 feet away. walmart usually has the best price. just remember it takes at least 5 min for it to start working.

So what does one do about possible allethrin deposits on one's lens coatings?  I'm not using this near my gear until I know it doesn't harm my gear.

Sea to Summit has a usable head net that can go over a hat. Much much better than Coghlan's version, also more expensive than Coghlan's.  I will have to try the DEET-on-hat method too. 30% DEET comes in roll-on solid form, which can be daubed around the ears.

DEET on a hat helps from our experience--at least around your face and neck.  Tilley Hats are heavy cotton, so it is safe to spray a bit around the brim and later wash the hat.  You may still have hordes of mosquitos around your legs, though.  Love my Tilley!

My wife wonders if our cameras omit a tiny, maybe ultrasonic sound that might also attract flying insects? What does anyone think about that theory? I thought it might be a possibility. I do believe in the carbon dioxide theory, too. Looks like we could all share some biting insect stories as we trek through the wilderness in search of our images.

For years companies marketed devices that produce a steady, high-pitched noise as a bug repellent.  Tests show they have no effect on biting insects.  They do annoy the heck out of humans, though.

My only problem with head nets is doing things with one's face--I would worry about seeing well through a viewfinder, for example.  Hiking in the Olympics once I came upon a handful of Boy Scouts paused by a stream for lunch.  The black flies swarmed ravenously that day, and I will never forget the image of one poor kid trying futilely to slip a sandwich under his head net so he could eat it.  We have headnets, but almost never use them.  By the time they are really useful, the insects are so thick that they would be landing all over the outside of the headnet anyway, and it's just time to leave then from our perspective.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: July 22, 2014, 03:39:28 PM »
Interesting review, and thanks for sharing!  I would like to know more about this, too...  Capture One appears to be somewhat oriented toward fashion and product photographers, so I would be particularly interested in nature photographers' comparisons with Lightroom.

We went to a Civil War site last weekend that sat adjacent to a swamp and by the time we got 20 feet from the truck, we were bombarded by gnats to the head, so we're wondering if anybody has any tried and true product(s) to deter such critters. I will not use spray at all. I did buy Coghlan's "no see-um" head net, but it was too small. We're also wondering about being able to see properly through any such products to actually get any decent shots.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks - the two E's.

I can understand your reluctance to use chemical products for any of a number of reasons--but do consider whether DEET is less damaging to you than dengue fever, chikungunya, or West Nile.

Having said that, there are some things which research has shown to be less effective, but still noticeably helpful.  Most of the critters are attracted to carbon dioxide, motion, and chemical compounds given off.  In the latter category, some critters are now attuned to artificial chemicals in addition to natural excretions--the compounds in cologne, deodorant, and antiperspirant scents specifically. 

To lower carbon dioxide, you can reduce your exertion and pace, stay in areas where wind scatters your breath, and if you are disciplined control your breathing a bit.  To lower motion, settle down.  Sometimes settling into grasses further restricts the ability of the bugs to find you, at other times it just causes the CO2 to pool around you.

There are a number of things you can do about chemicals.  First, don't wear a bunch of smelly stuff (I use an unscented antiperspirant).  You can also obtain modest gains by eating plants whose chemicals will come out of your pores--particularly garlic and onion.  This may confuse a few into thinking you're a plant.  Some skin creams and sun screens have citronella in them, and this works similarly for some critters--this may be the most useful thing to try, but how effective it is depends on the particulars of your bugs and locale.  One personal, untested observation I have made is that areas heavily trafficked by people have bugs more attuned to human scents and less thrown off by citronella.  Still, give California Baby Sunscreen a try and see if that works for you as it also has lemongrass and cedar.

A lot of light-weight outdoor pants and shirts do a good job of preventing larger bugs from biting through the fabric--especially mosquitos.  I now wear such clothes exclusively when shooting in nature.  These won't prevent some smaller bugs, especially noseeums, from getting under the clothes and driving you nuts, but I find them very effective at protecting arms and legs.  Button down the collar and sleeves to reduce the quantity of small nasties getting under your clothes.  Hit an REI or similar "backpacker-oriented" store for this light-weight protective gear--North Face, Marmot, REI, and Columbia are common brands, and I buy convertible pants (the legs zip off to turn them into shorts).  Recent visits to "sportsman-oriented" stores have revealed that some of their gear has caught up to or even surpassed the backpacking gear (IMHO), so check those out too (eg: Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse).  Note that some of the fibers used are artificial and may be incompatible with using DEET so remember to ask a store clerk if that matters to you.

Sometimes your only defense is leaving.  Once my wife and I were exploring NE Nevada, and decided to camp at Angel Lake which all the locals raved about.  The large campground was virtually empty when we arrived because it had opened only two days before.  The camp host informed us that tomorrow was Saturday, and all the locals would be arriving to enjoy the first weekend at the lake.  This "lake" was basically a mud-hole that kids could float around on, nestled below a small peak in brushy hillsides.  My wife and I were unimpressed with the photographic opportunities, though the little two-toned mice who joined us for dinner were adorable. 

We were packing the car Saturday morning when I noticed something wrong with our cooler.  I got closer and realized its normally blue sides were covered black with noseeums.  I turned around and studied the hillside.  Arising in great black clouds from the thick underbrush were billions of freshly hatched, hungry noseeums.  My wife and I threw everything into the car, drove to a ranger station parking lot in the nearby town of Wells, and spent two wonderful hours unpacking the car, shaking off noseeums, and then repacking the car properly for travel.  The locals can keep their sucky lake.  We're not going back.

Photography Technique / Re: Shoot from the rearend of the subjects.
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:12:16 AM »
yessir, right away sir...


oh, you meant us, not them!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show us your Hooters (Owls)
« on: July 02, 2014, 06:56:10 PM »
I hope the subject line wasn't too subtle ;)

Perhaps we can all take greater care not to offend half of the population.  I, for one, would welcome more female members on this forum and would love to hear their input.  And I would not want others turning away because they belonged to a minority group and saw how other groups were being treated here.  I respect your photography and your useful input on this forum, mackguyver, but I question the necessity of a subject line that reduces women to nothing more than a part of their anatomy.

No one likes being singled out in a negative way, whether it is because of race, religion, gender identity, ethnicity, or something else not relevant to the item at hand.  Yes, I get you intended to be funny... the question is, do you get how a woman feels hearing/reading such things?  If you have doubts try talking to some about this thread, especially those who work in what are considered traditionally "male" roles.  I talked to some and those I spoke with expressed a lot of anguish.

What's neuro's collection made up? Just curious.   :)

The case/bag collection axtstern refers to is this:

Plus one bag to hold them all, and in the darkness bind them?

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