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Messages - drummstikk

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Anyone own both Canon and Nikon
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:58:56 PM »

Are you sure Tamron never made an EOS adaptor? I have one......


All I'm sure of is I've never seen one on eBay.

Are there any electronic contacts on the other side, or is it just a "cold" adapter?  The one good thing about my no-name adapter is that it enables focus confirmation (when it works). The lens does focus on infinity, by the way, even though the adapter I have is quite a bit thicker than yours appears to be.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Anyone own both Canon and Nikon
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:19:21 AM »
This is different from your use case, but I recently became "bi-cameral" myself. Been switch-hitting for about 8 months.

I own a 1980's vintage Tamron Adaptall 300mm f/2.8 lens. For those unfamiliar, the Adaptall series of lenses were sold "mountless" and were purchased with whatever auxiliary mount was needed for your system (Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, whatever). I tried a couple of their lenses in the 80's and found them optically quite good, but the deal breaker was that they focused "backwards." At the time, I was a Nikon shooter. Since I am now a Canon shooter, it's no longer backwards to me, and when I saw a mint condition copy of this lens for about 700 bucks, I waffled for a few weeks, but finally bit on it.

Of course, it's a manual focus lens. But I'm old, so I can do that.

To make a long story slightly shorter, the so-so quality of the "fourth-party" lens adapter (Tamron never made one for EOS), plus the need to stop-down meter due to the Tamron's lack of electronic aperture, made the user experience a bit dicey. So finally, I broke down and bought a Nikon D7000 and Tamron Nikon AI Adaptall mount. Since even a relatively new Nikon "understood" the old non-electronic AI mount, stop-down metering is avoided, and there were none of the little electronic glitches I got with the no-name Canon adapter.

So, I effectively have a 450mm 2.8 and one body that never separate from each other. The unit has become quite a workhorse for me for basketball (a little tight, but got some good stuff), indoor track, golf and softball/baseball. Looking forward to soccer this fall.

Since I had a Nikon in my hands for the first time in over 20 years, I made myself take a good look at switching systems. Manual focus direction is a pretty big deal breaker, but even if I surmounted that somehow, I would second the motion that the menu system previously mentioned is torture to use. Since this d7000 is basically a single-use camera for me, I don't need to dig into the menus much, but when I do, well…I can't say it any better than "Gibbon on crack," so why try?

I won't brag on Canon's menus either, since they look like MS-DOS compared to present-day iOS or Android app menus, but Canon's mostly logical layout and the quick control dial at least make it usable.

A lot of people can reach a point when dipping into the "other" system is the best way to solve a problem. Obviously, RGF is an avid landscape shooter. I'm an avid sports shooter, as well as cheapskate, recycler, and old equipment nostalgist. If your personal passion leads you to consider "crossing the line," don't let brand loyalty stand in the way. I guarantee the brand isn't loyal to you.

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: June 17, 2014, 06:15:26 PM »
I throw this out mainly as target practice for those who seem to gleefully shoot down the idea at every opportunity, but could the larger viewfinder housing be for the larger prism necessary for an APS-H sensor? Of course, this would make the camera a "Successor to the 7D market space" rather than, strictly speaking, a "7D Mark II."

I don't think that any successor or replacement for the 7D will be incompatible with EF-S lenses.  That would just drive a lot of near-certain buyers down to the 70D.

That argument gets made a lot, but I don't understand it. This camera will be at most 2nd down from top of the line. I don't see the design being constrained by compatibility with the very lowest tier of Canon lenses.

As it stands now, there is not nearly enough distinction between the 7D and 70D. This new camera will certainly correct that with new features and design improvements, including *possibly* a larger sensor. I'd be surprised if these improvements did not push the price north of $2000.00 (I believe the 7D was 1700 at introduction about four years ago.) By my count, only 3 EF-S lenses top $600.00 in price. That's two completely different markets.

EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: June 17, 2014, 06:02:32 AM »
We’re told the top plate has a noticeably bigger bump around the viewfinder than the current EOS 7D.
A hybrid viewfinder perhaps?  Or maybe the return of eye controlled autofocus?

I throw this out mainly as target practice for those who seem to gleefully shoot down the idea at every opportunity, but could the larger viewfinder housing be for the larger prism necessary for an APS-H sensor? Of course, this would make the camera a "Successor to the 7D market space" rather than, strictly speaking, a "7D Mark II."

The 1D IV stays stubbornly expensive on the used market, which suggests there are a lot of people like me who appreciate the balance of increased reach from telephotos against a near full-frame view angle and depth of field. I've considered buying a 1D IV on a few occasions, but have always shied away from paying more for fewer megapixels and no wi-fi built-in.

Lighting / Re: Small container for holding spigots/studs?
« on: June 17, 2014, 05:01:58 AM »
I use a "disposable Tupperware" snap lid container for precisely this purpose. It's about a 1 pint rectangular container. Cheap, but pretty sturdy and easily replaceable, though mine is still going strong after more than two years. "GladWare" used to be a prominent brand in this type of product (from the makers of Glad storage/garbage bags), but I'm not sure that is still made as I don't remember seeing it in local stores for some time. Lately I've seen products from Ziploc and also the store brand.

You might consider a Parmesan cheese shaker container as well. That would roughly match the diameter of the HomeDepot item initially referenced, though it's taller. I have a couple of those living second lives around the house, though not for anything photo related so far.

I'm just glad no gear heads around here have punked on you for using a 6D for sports. Obviously a 1D-IV or X or a 5DIII are better suited for sports, but any camera is a "sports camera" if the photographer develops a good enough sense of timing. I'd suggest practicing every chance you get at capturing peak action with a single frame. Manual focusing skills can be huge, too.

A piece of advice I'd give is key on faces rather than the ball (or frisbee or whatever). Awareness of the location of the "object of interest" is important, but also work on learning to spot when the tell-tale grimace is forming on the face of a soccer player who is about to head the ball or a batter who's about to get drilled by a pitch. That will lead you to peak action much better than following the ball through the air.

But you're asking about portfolio. Advice given here so far is pretty good. All I'd add is try to look at the potential client's website or other publications and show that you can deliver what they have used before or (best possible case) show that you can do better. Also don't short yourself by not being ready to talk money. I like to offer somewhat lower charges per event if they will contract for a larger number of events. Back up your skills with a good value proposition.

Just to pull some numbers out of the air, I'd rather shoot 10 events for $2000 than 5 events for $1500. More work pays more bills. And the more of your stuff they have the more of it they will publish, which will (or should) mean more appearances of your byline and more exposure for you. And even though I've been at this for over 30 years, nothing keeps you sharp or makes you better like shooting a *LOT*.

I was once gainfully employed in a dying industry -- book publishing. After several months of escalating mutual hatred between myself and my employer, they gave up trying to build a paper trail on me and offered me 6 months salary if I would just LEAVE. Having a recent track record of several years making between 10-15 grand a year on a dozen odd weekends without even really trying that hard, I took their kind offer went freelance in 2006. This, by my reckoning, was precisely one year before I and every other pro in the market was devoured by the beast that goes by many names: "Timmy's Mom." "Lisa's Dad." "Billy's uncle."

Yes, the youth sports photo market deserted me right when I needed it most. Photography is unique in this way as far as I know. Every week, people go out and buy a Rebel kit on Saturday, *maybe* read part of the manual while on the crapper on Sunday, and then start handing out business cards on Monday. Since these people have "day jobs" they have no concept of what the price of the services they plan to offer are worth ("Is $50.00 for a wedding too much?") and drive their local market down by working for hobby prices. Nobody invests in a set of tools and then starts doing auto repair or carpentry or plumbing for cheap or free. But this happens in photograph ALL THE TIME.

As much as this is a kick in the gut to people like me who have honed their craft for over three decades, I can't whine about it. I could hope for amateurs to respect the craft, learn something about the business they are pushing in on, and at least charge a fair price. And, while yer at it, let's have peace in the middle east and  the *WORLD SERIES CHAMPION CHICAGO CUBS.*

If you still get the job asking a fair price, then congratulations, you've beaten me in the marketplace fair and square. But it you are giving your work away or charging hobby rates, you are hurting somebody, whether or not you even know who he or she may be.

The reality as I have found it to be in recent years is that photography skills are secondary (distantly) to marketing skills. Which is precisely why I get my butt kicked every year. I suck at marketing and always will. I don't have the personality for it. The thought of "developing my brand" makes me nauseous.

But I love the work and can't walk away. I make far too much money at photography to just leave on the table, but not enough to live on. So, I do my one-off jobs and service my contracts for part of my income, and clean toilets and mow grass for the rest and for insurance. That's my choice and I am not crying over it. Damn sure nobody else is.

I sold my 70-200 in a financial crunch about a year ago. As I bounced back later, I replaced it with an 85mm 1.8 and a 300mm 2.8 (not the 300mm you are probably thinking of, but that's a digression for another thread).

So between the two lenses under discussion which one would I buy the next time I have an accumulation of "lens money?" It would be the 135, hands down. I had the 70-200 or its predecessor, the 80-200 2.8L (and before that a Nikon 80-200 2.8ED) and used that type of lens pretty much every single day I took any pictures at all for nearly 25 years. When I had to sell it I was kind of panic-ed at how I'd get along without it. I'd never have believed it a year ago, but I still don't miss it very much at all. A 70-200 zoom is no better than third place on my list of "lenses to buy next."

I rent the 135 periodically. One weekend last spring I had one to shoot indoor tennis in a dark, low contrast tennis dome (inflatable structure). The day turned out to be unexpectedly warm and sunny, so they moved the match out the back door to the outdoor courts. I no longer needed f/2.0, but I had the lens, so I used it. I dropped the ISO down to 100 and shot wide open or nearly wide open. My client for that job is a man of few words and seldom comments unless my work misses the mark in some way, but that one time he sent me a short email to say words to the effect of "I don't know what you did but the shots from that match were a cut above the rest."

That confirmed my feeling that the 135mm 2.0 has a look and feel all it's own. In a perfect world, I'd probably own both the zoom and the 135, but the 135 would definitely get bought first. I'm not a prime lens snob, and that's my use case alone.  Either lens is a great asset, and it's a very personal choice for each individual photographer.

However I never see sports photographers with assistants. I can't see where/how they would? Carrying their gear to the playing field?

Um…yes. Schlepping gear. I admit the last time I worked a pro game, I was still shooting film. In recent years I shoot sports almost entirely for colleges and conferences, but in my newspaper days, it was not uncommon to see at least one photographer at the NFL game who was equipped head and shoulders above everyone else. This was probably the Sports Illustrated guy, or maybe, in those days, Inside Sport (now defunct). These shooters often had an assistant who would hold the 400mm 2.8 while the photographer was shooting with the 600mm 4.0. At intervals, they'd trade.

Perhaps more important at the time was having an assistant to hand you a body freshly loaded with film when a play was about to start and there were only about 6 frames left on the roll.

But, as the poster observes, assistants in sports may have gone the way of the dodo in the age of digital and ever tightening budgets.

Lenses / Re: removing the tripod collar on the 70-200 f 2.8 II IS lens
« on: March 04, 2014, 07:50:45 PM »
But I was just providing a counterpoint, like I said, do whatever you want with yours, but don't spout theoretical irrelevancies as justification to others, it is your personal choice. I don't care if you always leave yours on because it makes you "look like a pro" or " I can tuck it in my jeans pocket" or because "it gives me a rest to balance on the palm of my hand" or any other reason, real or imagined.

And by all means use *your* equipment as *you* see fit. But since the center of gravity of a lens/body unit is a measurable attribute and not an imagined one, I don't think "theoretical irrelevancy" is an applicable term here.

Also, while photography is not currently my sole source of income as it has been at other times of my life, my work and invoices speak for themselves, so trying to "look like a pro" is not a concern of mine.

Canon provides the tripod collar for a reason, and for me the reasons go far beyond tripod mounting. But I also have to recognize they also make it removable for a reason, though outside certain situations where compactness or weight reduction is of a *paramount* importance, I have yet to see an expression of that reason that I find in the slightest bit persuasive.

To each his/her own.

Lenses / Re: removing the tripod collar on the 70-200 f 2.8 II IS lens
« on: March 04, 2014, 10:40:38 AM »
Though with anything like a good tripod, head, and clamp arrangement, is totally unnecessary. The only good thing about it is the ability to very easily shift from portrait to landscape without altering anything else.

Well, there's also that the tripod collar mounts the lens much closer to its center of gravity, which will improve stability no matter how good your tripod/head/clamp rig is, in addition to relieving excessive stress on the camera tripod mount. Oh, and it also allows the lens to pivot much closer to the nodal point if you happen to be doing any kind of pano work.

Now the 300 f2.8 tripod mount is completely different, I do take that with me and use it about 50% of the time.

Only 50%?  That will go up to 100% if you upgrade to the IS Mk II, from which Canon wisely omitted the removable tripod collar.

Lenses / Re: removing the tripod collar on the 70-200 f 2.8 II IS lens
« on: March 04, 2014, 06:26:56 AM »
Why remove it? It's a great grip.

Agree 100%. It's a great palm rest to raise the lens just off the palm of your hand for fingertip control of zoom and focus. And, while I would not necessarily call this a best practice, you can also use it to hang the lens from your jeans pocket if you have it off the camera temporarily but want it within easy reach at a moments notice. I've been at a dead run with it hanging there and never dropped it.

It is also preferable to me to have the lens hanging by the tripod collar using a C-Loop or similar rig. When it hangs this way (from the shoulder rather than around the neck), it tends to situate next to the hip closer to the body whereas when it hangs from the camera strap lugs the lens tends to stick straight out sideways where it can bang into all manner of door frames or clock little kids of a certain height. (I've unintentionally caused tears on more than one occasion in this way.)

I owned this lens for years before I even knew the collar was removable. It's so useful that I seriously can't understand why so many people can't seem to wait to take it off.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Oh neat, a Nikon 300f2 (1981)
« on: February 14, 2014, 04:04:40 AM »
I'd read about this lens over the years. The lens was a little pricey for its time (early 80's) at around $29,000!  Along with the 6mm fish eye (with a field of view of 220 deg), it was made in an era where exotic lenses were the norm for Nikon and Canon. Ah the good 'ol days ;)

The local dealer in Muncie, Indiana where I was attending college (Ball State University) had one of these lenses in stock back in the mid-80s. I recall they had the lens for sale for a relatively reasonable $12,000. Naturally, it ended up being purchased by a dentist and not a real working photographer. After that, according to the sales people in the store, if you wanted to purchase this lens you had to put down a 50% down payment, and then they would START MAKING ONE. By that time the price had gone up to the $29,000 figure mentioned for the custom build. I'd speculate that fewer than 50 of these lenses were ever made.

One came through a dealer in Indianapolis within the last couple of years or so and was sold fairly quickly priced at $4200.00. My memory may be faulty, but I believe this lens came with matched 1.4X and 2X teleconverters to make it into a 420mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4.

Too many times I've covered events where the hobbyists have equipment that's better and newer than mine. Most likely theirs has seen far less wear, as they don't have to come up with usable images day after day. If they miss a shot because their gear fails, yes, it's a real disappointment.  If I miss mine, I've probably lost a payday, perhaps a hard-won client, as well as being out of work until it's fixed.

Ironic, isn't it? if you make your living (or part of it) in photography, you can't afford photography equipment. Certainly not the *newest* photography equipment.

How many times have I found myself in the situation you describe? Too many to count.

There was the college indoor track meet where I was shooting with my 50D with a rented 135 f/2.0 right next to a guy with a Nikon D3S with the 200mm 2.0 and a monopod screwed into the base of the camera instead of the lens tripod collar. That poor camera tripod socket must have been under more stress than spandex shorts on a sumo wrestler.

I recall the guy with the brand-spankin' new 1D-X fitted with a 50mm 1.2 and 600ex flash trying to do bounce flash under 30 foot high black ceiling while I struggled along with my 7D with 24-105 and a couple of radio-triggered 283's.

Anyway, I voluntarily abstain from CPS. I didn't know they were charging money now. That's a deal breaker in itself. I would not give up the 15K or so a year I average in photography, but I don't think it fulfill's the spirit of the membership requirements as I understand them. When I was a full-time newspaper photographer and CPS member 15-odd years ago, the main benefit was expedited repairs, but my local emporium  uses a repair vendor that can turn around a shutter replacement in a 40D in less than a week. Plus, I happen to be in a loose, informal association of "part-time pros" who lend each other equipment in emergencies or for testing.

So, speaking for myself only, who needs CPS?

Lenses / Re: 300 f/2.8 -a big problem
« on: November 04, 2013, 08:02:49 AM »
What body were you using when you compared AF speeds of the 4 and 2.8? Roger from Lensrental once explained that the II series big whites use a feedback loop for which you need the 5DIII or 1Dx to take advantage, I find the f/2.8 300mm II does focus much faster on the 5DIII than on the 7D. This is most noticeable when the 2xTC III is attached.

I wouldn't say I was "comparing" as such, but simply noticing the performance of what I happened to be using at a given time. I use 7D's and have heard this assertion before about 1D's in particular being better at AF, in part due to the higher voltage battery that simply yields more power for driving the AF motor. Though it does seem odd/interesting to imply it takes a body manufactured in 2011-12 to fully utilize the advantages of a lens released in 1999.

My choice of 7D's relates to their good balance of reasonable cost in relation with very good sensor performance. There's also the good number of megapixels that gives decent room to crop without gobbling up my terabytes any faster than necessary. Also the "gripless" configuration is preferable to me, especially in the not-infrequent cases where I use a flash bracket.

The reason I went for the f/2.8 was to use it with extenders for nature photography. The f/4 is a very fine lens when bare but it takes a hit with the 1.4xTC, whereas the 2.8 doesn't, and a big hit with the 2xTC, whereas the f/2.8 is still excellent. There will be some people for whom the f/4 with 1.4xTC is good enough, but even more would prefer the good old 400m f/5.6.

Yes, I was one who preferred the 400mm 5.6 by far over the 300mm 4.0/1.4x combo (and why I was so sad to sell the 400mm). We definitely agree on the fact the 300mm 4.0 does take a performance hit with the 1.4x. I never use a 2x and can't comment on that. Results with lenses like the 135mm 2.0 or the 300mm 2.8 coupled with a 1.4x, even my 20-year-old "Mark 1" version, are virtually indistinguishable from the same lenses "solo."

And I certainly didn't mean to give any impression I criticize anybody's decision to go with a 300mm 2.8. Believe me, if I had a good financial cushion and could afford the lens without using "what's in your wallet?", I would buy one TODAY. But finance charges on such a lens would exceed what I lay out in rental in a given year. If I *had* one, I'd use it very frequently, but I have to look at how often I *need* one, which is far less.

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