January 26, 2015, 07:29:43 AM

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Messages - fotoray

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I am looking to get me a BlackRapid strap or something in that line which I can use with my 5D3. In most scenarios I use my the 5D3 on my tripod for landscape shots, but at times I like to detach it from the tripod and shoot handheld. When handheld, I like the camera to have some form of secured strap which I can use to wrap around my wrist or leave it hanging on the side of my shoulder.

I am looking for something that is reliable, secured, and I can attach/detach the strap with ease depending on my shooting scenarios. The heaviest load it will need to withstand is 5D3 + 70-200 IS II. Any advice or recommendations? Oh also anyone used a wrist strap, any recommendations on that? Thanks.

I use a Blackrapid strap with a Kirk 1" clamp attached to the lug – comfortable to carry, easy to move clamp from the Arca plates on body to lens, or remove for tripod/monopod use.

+1 I use the exact same combination, having gotten this recommendation a few months ago from Neuro on this site.   :)

Offers good shoulder support with camera/lens off the right hip.   Very comfortable and secure.  Being able to quickly remove the Kirk clamp is a big plus going to/from tripod to hand-held. 

I have recently begun using this combination with my 5D3 + 100-400 ii (also 7D).  Works great!

A very good solution.

I have an up-to-date CS6 Suite and LR 5.7.1.  Can I keep these versions and add CC PS+LR without conflicts between the versions?  Not sure this is a good plan, but if it will work what might be the pitfalls of having both versions?

Photography Technique / Re: How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 08, 2015, 03:04:56 PM »
Also to keep in mind is that shooting a full moon will give you less detail in terms of contrast because the sun isn't raking across the surface creating dynamic shadows from the texture and craters.

This was shot almost 2 weeks ago on Dec. 28, 2014 on the new Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II handheld in Los Angeles.

Did you intend to upload an image? :)

Photography Technique / Re: How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 08, 2015, 12:36:43 PM »
fotoray is your moon rotated 90deg?

No.  My image is not rotated 90 deg.  It is posted exactly as shot.  If my image is compared with Keith's, there is an apparent 90 deg difference caused by a complexity of changing geometries depending on when and where the image was taken.   

While the moon generally shows us the same face all the time due to tidal locking, what we see does differ somewhat.  Compare the surface features of two nice images posted by Keith Breazeal and you can see they appear rotated with respect to each other. 

You will see a 90 deg rotation of surface features between moonrise and moonset of the same full moon.

Photography Technique / Re: How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 08, 2015, 03:25:09 AM »
I shot again last night while applying some of the suggestions provided here.  Results were greatly improved, with much better focus and sharpness with IS turned off.   There was some blurring during focus from the atmosphere, so clearer air may have helped improve this result.

Using 7D +100-400 II at 400mm and manual exposure my settings were 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 100.  Used liveview at 10x and manual focus with cable release and 2-sec timer.   Liveview automatically locks up the mirror, so it is eliminated as a source of vibration. 

The attached image has been cropped to 1024 x 1024 at 300 dpi.   The result isn't as exciting as Keith's, but much better than what I got the previous night. 

More practice will improve my results further.  Now I at least have a good procedure to start with.

Thanks to everyone for your helpful suggestions!  Any comments or suggestions?

Photography Technique / Re: How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 07, 2015, 03:32:50 PM »
Here's a shot with a 7D & 100-400 + a 1.4x
exposure 1/160th, f8, ISO 100
I use a robust tripod, remote release, and live view.  My technique is to turn on the IS for easier focusing, then turn it off.  Lock the lens to 400 to prevent zoom creep.  I keep the Live View in 10x and watch for all the vibration to stop- this can take several seconds.  Obviously, I cropped the photo quite a bit.

Moon 21 July 2013 © Keith breazeal by Keith Breazeal Photography, on Flickr

Here's one with a 5D III with a Celestron C-5.  I used the exact same technique to shoot this one.  The major difference is that I didn't need to do a massive crop.

Moon / Celestron C-5 Telescope / Canon 5D Mark III © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal Photography, on Flickr

What are the pixel dimensions and file format of your cropped image (Moon 21 July 2013)?

Photography Technique / Re: How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 07, 2015, 01:00:33 PM »
I'll leave a proper response to jrista and the other astro-experts here, but did you turn IS off?  That will ruin a shot.  Also, I'm not sure where you live, but here in Florida, the humidity, even in winter, is a sharpness killer.  Atmospherics like humidity, pollution, and other air quality issues really affect astro shots in particular.

Good input!  I did NOT turn IS off, even though I know better.  :(   I'll try again tonight with what remains of the full moon.

Also, I live in LA, so air pollution is definitely a factor, something we can do nothing about, except take these types of pictures in clear air regions, if we can find them.


Photography Technique / How to Expose and get sharp Focus of Moon
« on: January 07, 2015, 12:32:36 PM »
I am taking the first shots with my new 100-400 II and decided to try it out on last night's full moon (1/6/2015). 

I used my 7D +100-400 II mounted on a sturdy tripod.  I shot against the dark sky at 400mm to get maximum image size (FF equivalent 640 mm).

Since moonlight is reflected sunlight, a typical daytime exposure ought to work fine.  I shot in manual mode using 1/100 sec at f/11 and ISO 200.    This exposure seemed OK, but maybe not optimum?

My trouble was in getting the focus right to get images with the sharpest possible detail.

I used manual focus in live view magnified 10x.  I took each shot using the camera 10-sec self-timer and cable release to minimize camera shake.   

I was disappointed in the lack of detail of my images.   But maybe I had unrealistic expectations and have done about as good as can be expected within the limitations of my equipment - definitely no telescope available.  :)

Still the attached uncropped image shows craters at 10 o'clock that I definitely cannot see from the ground!!  So this is an improvement over my own eyesight!!

I'm looking for feedback from others who have taken shots of the moon using equipment similar to mine.  Did you get better images than my attached sample.   If so, what were your procedures?

Any feedback welcome and appreciated.


Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:23:13 AM »
After the busy holidays I finally got time to shoot with my new 100-400 II.   Went to nearby LA Zoo with my 7D + 100-400 II attached to my monopod.   This is the biggest and heaviest combo I've ever used and I found I needed to work more slowly than usual.

My initial results were encouraging.  My lack of photography technique with the new lens was the biggest shortcoming, certainly not the new 100-400 II lens.   My impression is that it is the sharpest lens I now have, which is encouraging given the cost.  :)

I've attached two shots taken at the LA Zoo, one of a Sumatran tiger and the other of a Western Lowland Gorilla.

Details for tiger (uncropped) -> 400mm (equivalent 640mm w/7D crop) at f/8,  1/80 sec,  at ISO 800

Details for Gorilla (cropped) ->  400mm (equivalent 640mm w/7D crop) at f/8, 1/640 sec, at ISO 800

I chose ISO 800 with f/8 aperture for both shots to reduce the shutter speeds to hand-holdable levels, believing I'd get sharper pictures using such a big/heavy lens (for me) for the first time.

Overall I was satisfied enough to share with this audience.  Your comments are welcome.

I see that RRS now has a link to lens plate for 100-400 ii


Beware that this is a "make-do" lens plate until custom made one becomes available.   

This is the same "lens plate" (the MPR-113 Rail) recommended to me when I first called RRS and posted this topic.

If a "make-do" lens plate is OK with you, it should "make do".   We must all wait for custom make version.

Thanks for the pics, folks.  Seems like you could even keep the thumbwheel and the piece with all the lugs and four screws ... just undo the screws and put the (anticipated) replacement foot on.  If there's threadlock involved you'd have to be careful not to damage the screws while loosening them.

A bit offtopic, but does anyone know what the maximum diameter of the lens hood is?

the max outside diameter is at front of the hood - 4-3/8 inches.

All the more reason for someone to step up and actually make an aftermarket replacement.  They can even fix the wobbling of the standard foot mentioned in this thread (and in the lens instruction manual).

East Wind Photography mentioned that you can add a second screw.  If this means that the standard foot actually has two holes for screws, then that's even better than an anti-twist flange, as the plate's bolted to the foot in two locations.

Unfortunately, the standard tripod mount for the 100-400 ii has only one hole for screw mount.  It would've been nice...   :)

I started this topic and have since bought an Induro Quick Release Plate PL70 for my new 100-400 ii.  It is Arca-Swiss mount and matches the length of the lens tripod foot bottom surface and has anti-twist flange.  No overhang. When attached with the flange to the front, everything seems to be mounted securely without any twist.  Price was $35, including Allen wrench.

Seems like a good long-term solution, unless RRS, Kirk, etc may come up with custom-made version.  Hard to imagine it would be better than the Induro PL70.   


Lenses / PDF of users guide for new 100-400 II available on canon website
« on: December 17, 2014, 03:32:24 PM »

A PDF version of the users guide for the new 100-400 II is now available on Canon website   :D [size=78%] [/size]


The European site asks for a camera serial number and would not accept mine from the 5DIII.  I'm guessing because it's registered in Canada.  Would not let me download without it.

Interesting!  Is that part of Canon's new gray market push?  It does not make sense, try downloading from Australia.  Chances are that its a bug in the site.

Canon Australia does not show that version available, but thanks for the tip.  Guess I'll wait until Canon USA or Canada list it.

I'm downloading it right now from Canon Europe with my registered camera serial number from the USA.
Make sure that you enter zeros and not O's in the serial number.

+1 that worked for me too

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