December 22, 2014, 06:01:54 AM

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Messages - mrzero

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This is really just a quiet way of saying "We won't cover repairs to your speedlite under warranty if you tell us you used lithium batteries."

Lenses / Re: Buying Advice: What First Lens for a Full Frame?
« on: December 16, 2014, 06:15:57 PM »
A good versatile lens would be a standard zoom, like 24-105 or 24-70.  The 24-70/2.8 MkII is probably out of your budget.  Consider a "white box" 24-105 F/4L or the new 24-105 3.5-5.6 IS STM.  I went with the 24-70 F/4 because I wanted something light, small, and constant aperture.  I love it but others are picky.  It is a little more expensive than those two choices.

Software & Accessories / Re: ND and Graduated ND Filters?
« on: December 11, 2014, 10:52:21 AM »
You might find a screw-on 3-stop useful to use your 35mm at maximum aperture in bright light.  I do that with the nifty fifty sometimes.  Rather than sticking at 67mm, I would suggest you up-size to your largest filter size (current or possible) and use a step-up ring.

But the conventional thought on introducing motion blur is that you need 6 or 10-stop filters, (i.e. the Lee Little Stopper and Big Stopper, respectively).  That seems like a lot of filter and hardware to hang off the front of the 10-18. 

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Pancake
« on: December 10, 2014, 10:42:28 AM »
Where's the link to his review?

Lenses / Re: What prime should I get?
« on: December 08, 2014, 11:06:36 AM »
We're all assuming you're on a crop sensor (Rebel, 60D, 70D, 7D series, etc.).  If not, adjust accordingly.

I would suggest two primes, so you can play around a bit at both the wide and long(ish) ends of the normal zoom range. 

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the new 24mm 2.8 EF-S STM pancake lens.  I think it would be good for you to consider.  The focal length is equivalent to 38mm on a full-frame or film camera (your old Nikon, perhaps?), and the price is about $150 US.  It would be good for candid pictures.

The 50mm 1.8 is a great lens despite the similarly cheap price.  On crop, it will be equivalent to 80mm.  If you shoot at 1.8, it will have soft blurry backgrounds (bokeh) and a very narrow slice of focus.  It would be good for portraits and low-light shooting.  It is also about $125 or so.  The 40mm is another option, but it will be a little bit shorter, have a little less bokeh, and not as good in low light, but it really isn't much different in size or price.  The only big difference is that the 40mm is STM focus, which is smoother and quieter if you shoot a lot of video on your DSLR.

An 85mm would be pretty long on a crop camera, more intended for headshot-type portraiture.  It is the equivalent of 136mm, which is a good bit of reach and can get awkward if you don't have enough room.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Refurb cycles
« on: December 05, 2014, 04:33:28 PM »
The only one that isn't already there is the 7D Mark that what you are thinking of?

I can't be the only one ;) I figure it'll be at least 6 months.

It might be listed there in 6 months, but the real question is how long until it is actually available as a refurb at a better price than the biggest online retailers are giving for new.  I think the 5DIII and the 6D took closer to a year. 

Besides, it seems like everybody is loving the 7DII, so I doubt there will be many returns that can be used as refurb stock.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Refurb cycles
« on: December 05, 2014, 03:03:38 PM »
The only one that isn't already there is the 7D Mark that what you are thinking of?

EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrade current body or wait?
« on: November 17, 2014, 01:12:26 PM »
Definitely make the upgrade to the 6D in the next few months.  There will be lots of holiday deals and the price will not be better.  I made the jump from a t1i and did not regret it.  The 6D is the body for landscapers, although I think it is also great all-around.

Even though you prefer primes (so do I), you will not regret a good, L class, standard zoom.  The 24-105 in the kit could be a good choice if the price is right.  I opted to go for the body first and added the new 24-70 F4 instead, and I am very happy.  I prefer it because it is lighter and smaller with the nifty macro mode.  I am not a big landscape guy, but I think it is well-suited to that task.  I bought a Canon refurb at $800 and you will probably see similar prices before Christmas.  I have barely swapped lenses in the 6 months since I bought it.  I tend towards the wide angles, and the lower distortion at 24mm (compared to the 24-105) really sold me.

Your 35 and 50 primes will take on new characteristics on full-frame, so I would wait before upgrading the primes.  They will be wider than you are used to and have shallower depth of field.  Between that and trying out the standard focal lengths covered by the L zoom, you can best decide what focal lengths you want to invest in for primes.

Lenses / Re: Lenses for Madagascar
« on: November 03, 2014, 10:43:05 AM »
I did 2 weeks in Madagascar with a t1i, 20mm/2.8, and 100mm/2.8 macro.  The 100mm L did not exist yet and I was too broke and hell-bent on moving to full-frame, or I would have gone for the 17-55 instead of the 20mm prime.  I also threw the 18-55mm in my bag as a last-minute back-up, but almost never used it.  With that in mind, here are my thoughts:

You should bring a standard zoom.  You will want to take pics of everything you see, at least at first, because the cities, countryside, and people are all very striking, dramatic, and photogenic.  For me, I made do with the 20mm (32mm equivalent), but the zoom would have been better.

You should bring a second body.  The lens changes did make me nervous, and we traveled during the dry season.  It is quite dusty, everything came back with dust on it.  I felt like Pigpen on the flight home.  If you travel during the rainy season, I think you'll face moisture and dust.

I wouldn't worry tremendously about the zoom length.  If you put the 70-300 on a crop body, I think you'd be thrilled.  You could swap out for the 100mm if it is truly dark and get 160mm 2.8 with IS, and that would probably do quite well.  We did not do jungle- or wildlife-type excursions, we mostly went to little zoos or parks where the animals were mostly tame.  The 100mm served well for that, although the flexibility of a zoom would have been better.  I did not really need the close focusing of a macro, I was not a big flower guy, and I had no intentions of hunting for bugs.  I chose it for the quality and the 2.8. 

If I were to go back today, I would have my 24-70 on the 6D almost full-time, swapped out only for the ultrawide, and then have the 70-300 or the 100mm on my cropped backup.  I would not worry about low-light much, unless you have some night excursions already planned.  When we went, dinners were long (to allow the kitchen time to procure the food you had ordered), and then straight back to the room for showers and bed.  Because you will be TIRED.  This country is extremely tiring, everything is hard work, even a car ride.  Also, the mosquitoes  (malaria) and just overall safety/security are concerns at night, so you probably won't be doing a lot of nighttime shooting.

Overall, though, pack as light as possible.  I carried all my gear with me in a very nondescript black belt bag (not a photo bag) so as to avoid attention.  When I wasn't wearing it, my gear bag was locked in a suitcase.  If you wear a backpack, it will end up in the back of your van and frequently getting carried by "helpful" folks looking for a tip.  I'd go for a shoulder or waist pack that you can keep with you in a cramped moving vehicle.

Note -- we were never in any real danger, but we traveled half our time with two missionaries who had lived in the country for years and spoke the language.  We stuck out like sore thumbs (four tall white people), and a tour group probably sticks out even worse.

Canon General / Re: Lucerne, where to go?
« on: October 30, 2014, 04:23:53 PM »
The lion monument was beautiful and is in a very peaceful and photogenic setting. It is most peaceful between the busloads of tourists that show up and then disappear.

I do think this is a cool deal, and I hope CR and Adorama collaborate on more in the future.  I won't be using this one since I recently purchased the 24-70/4 IS, but I like the idea.  The price is good, the seller is good, and I'm sure the refurb lenses are great. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Next purchase?
« on: September 30, 2014, 05:02:57 PM »
TV stations can shoot from anywhere, since they basically own the games, and they choose to put their camera just above the last seat on the main floor, where I was for this shoot. But, here is what my sideline, or near sideline shots look like.
For these I did not use the 2x tele III

The only TV cameras up that high are used as part of a multi-camera setup that includes numerous cameras on the field level as well.  The still photographers and other video stringers are all on the field level, too.  TV and newspaper photogs shooting high school and college football games all universally shoot from the sideline, I know because I did it for years. 

First thing, get on the ground.  Even the first row of the stands is too high.  Second, get as close to the sideline as you can.  You need to eliminate all the sidelined players, coaches, cheerleaders, etc. from your action shots.  Trust Robert Capa's advice, "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough."  Third, you need to be in front of the line of scrimmage, so that the play is coming AT you.  All of your sideline action shots, you are behind the line of scrimmage, meaning that all we can see is backs.  And move ahead when the line of scrimmage moves.

Everything that everybody else has posted in this thread is correct, constructive criticism.  Try these tips and you'll save yourself a lot of money!

Lighting / Re: First Flash
« on: September 30, 2014, 09:47:42 AM »
Just get the 430EXII and start learning.  The most important thing you need is a tilt-swivel head so you can learn how to bounce the flash.  It is small enough to pack easily but you have to have the bounce head. 

The third-party stuff is OK if you know what you're doing, but when you are just learning, you need to be able to trust that the gear isn't sabotaging you. 

Photography Technique / Re: Why 3:2 aspect ratio?
« on: September 26, 2014, 05:24:19 PM »
This conversation brings up a question I have had for a while. Why not have a square or a cross shaped sensor?

Let me explain. Say you are camping near a lake. First you take a picture of the lake during a sunrise. You set the camera to landscape at 16:9, or whatever you want, and only the pixels in that ratio is used in taking the shot. Next your child wakes up and is sticking her head out the tent door. So you switch to portrait 4:5 and you can hold the camera in the same comfortable position as you do in landscape and take the picture. The day goes on with different shots with different ratios.

Obviously this would only work with a mirrorless camera and you could not have a lens hood with pedals.

I think some of the advantages would be you get to hold the camera "normally" for portrait shots, you only use the pixels you want (thus keeping the size of files to a minimum), there is less cropping in post, etc.

What do you all think? Stupid idea or does it have some merit?

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 mirrorless camera does not have a square or cross-shaped sensor, of course, but it does basically what you want (including portrait 3:4 without rotating the camera).  If you shoot RAW, it will use all the pixels of its entire 4:3 sensor image, but JPGs are cropped as you specify. 

So, yes, I would say your idea has merit!

Genius.  I want to take portrait photos without removing my baseball cap.  That's got to be worth a few grand more.

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Mark-II in response to the D750
« on: September 19, 2014, 10:24:19 AM »
The 5DIII came out before the 6D, so it seems likely that we'll get a 5DIV before a 6DII.  Regardless, the 6D fills a niche between 5D- and 7D- series, and they aren't going to change it much.  Probably upgrade the AF system a bit since everybody complains about it.  It would be nice if all the points were cross-type.  Adding DPAF would be cool, but I'm not holding my breath.  I doubt that it will get more AF points.  Agreed that there is no reason to change the form factor.  No flip screen necessary.  I would like to see the dual card slots like the 5DIII and 7DII have, though.

A real dream would be adding an RT controller since it lacks the pop-up flash.  But that won't happen, because it would be too damn cool.

Regardless, if you're a crop shooter with some full-frame glass, when the 6DII gets announced you should pick up the original 6D at the bargain prices.  For the fun of it.

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