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Messages - Minh Nguyen

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Just look at the new XBOX One. They wanted to monitor everyone and keep their machines constantly online. If your XB-ONE isn't connected to verify that you're playing and using the machine legally its practically a brick. So you pay $400 for a brick. PS4 kept gaming the same as the previous generation. All of a sudden Xbox is now taking a step back because of the backlash.

If we hold out or let adobe know we won't take this sh*t they'll do the same. However, in our world there is no Adobe competitor. Adobe bought them all out. There's GIMP but I don't think that has enough power or features.

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Lighting / Re: Yongnuo st-e2?
« on: February 06, 2013, 05:57:18 PM »
If you're really serious about using multiple flashes you're going to need to spend a bit of money.

I've tried the Cactus V5 and some other brand (I forget now), but all of them have been unreliable. I'll have my 580EX and my 430EX with me and one will pop but the other won't. And the fit is usually really bad and it looks like its going to damage the contact points.

What I know does work are the Pocket Wizards. But they're serious money. So what I suggest is going on to FM Forum and seeing if anyone is selling a used set. You'll get em' for cheap. I'm still using the really old Pocket Wizard IIs from a decade ago and they work reliably every time without question. And thats what you're going to need esp. if you're going outdoors.

I've tried all the brands that offer the entire setup 2 receiver/1 transmitter for $150-100. And they all suck.

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I didn't read every response that was written regarding your question, I read maybe about 1/3 of them. So I apologize if someone else has already made the suggestion I'm about to make.

I suggest you get a used 5DmII from FM Forum's Buy/Sell board. And for lenses, you really do want to start out with something good. I would recommend the original (used) 24-70mm f/2.8.

Why the 24-70mm f/2.8 over the 24-105mm? I own both and the 24-70mm gives you amazing photos with that f/2.8 whereas the 24-105 gives you an f/4. You sacrifice on reach but you've still got quite a bit of zoom range and a faster lens. Image quality from both of these lenses are amazing. When the 5DmII was being released a few years back there were tons of people claiming that the glass would not be good enough to create sharp images at 21MP. I have tons of photos from Fashion and Wedding shoots I've done where you can see the pores from the models face. These lenses are that good.

The 24-70mm has been my lens on vacations, studio shoots, landscapes, and events. Its on my camera 90% of the time. Its nearly an all purpose lens.

If you have questions about a specific lens I might be able to help. I've listed my current inventory below:
35mm f/1.4 L
35mm f/2
50mm f/1.4
50mm f/1.8
100mm f/2.8 Macro
17-40mm f/4 L
24-70mm f/2.8 L
24-105mm f/4 L
70-200mm f/2.8 IS
100-400mm f/4 - 5.6 IS L

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EOS Bodies / Re: !!!FIRST!!! - Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
« on: November 19, 2012, 01:20:37 PM »
I work at Sony Electronics. :)

Yea we've got FF Mirrorless already.

We're often times the first to market or very early to market. I remember announcing the world's lightest laptop 6 months before the first macbook air. Even after the launch of the AIR our's was still the thinnest and lightest but did anyone know haha? I remember carrying the world's first OLED TV to a convention in Las Vegas. We never advertised it though, the images were stunning and the design was sleek. 2 years later Samsung made a huge TV ad campaign and without saying it made it sound like they were the first to make the OLED TVs. And their TV was IDENTICAL to our aesthetically, they basically took our tv and rebadged it as a samsung. I think that's my biggest frustration with this company. We don't advertise anything and unless you're really looking for a product you would never know we made it. I'm so tired of watching great products get launch with zero visibility.

Just wanted to release some steam about the biggest issue that irks me about Sony. Other than that the company is awesome, they treat us real well, we get good discounts and the work culture here is great (I knew a few people who worked at Samsung that we're very happy).

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Lenses / Re: Landscape tips needed on shooting the Grand Canyon
« on: November 18, 2012, 01:37:31 PM »
Best wishes on your Grand Canyon trip. You renting or buying that 17-40mm?

I rented the 10-22mm EF-S a few times and hated it. For almost the same price as a 17-40 it wasn't nearly as sharp. Maybe it was the copy I had. On a 5DmII or mIII you might find that the 17 end of that lens isn't bad for such and expansive landscape. It'll be fun to see the results. Keep us posted.

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Lenses / Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« on: November 14, 2012, 01:49:38 PM »
The 17-40mm is a great lens. I don't use it all the time but when I do I'm glad I have it. You might be able to find that lens on FM Forum for about $700 or less used. Its one of those lenses that generally don't get beaten up too badly and you know the guys on FM are generally photo nuts who take good care of their gear. I actually got my 17-40mm brand new for $550. Can you believe that? It was during a time when Canada's exchange rate vs. the USD helped me save 25 cents to the dollar.

Can't think of any reasons not to get a 17-40mm.

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Lenses / Re: Landscape tips needed on shooting the Grand Canyon
« on: November 14, 2012, 01:38:50 PM »
Hello again. :)

For star trails I don't use a laptop. I just set it to Bulb use a cable release and set it to lock. Then I sit back and relax and come back between 30mins to an hour later. But if others are telling you to use a laptop I would get more info on that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I've always been happy with my star trails though *shrug.

A proper HDR, I just meant that I've seen people use the actual Bracket mode to get three images to five images but sometimes you need more depending on. I think its easier to do it by manually and tweak the settings for each of the multiple images being used.

So what did you ever decide to do with the wide angle situation? Are you going 16-35? 17-40 or 14 prime? Very interested in knowing what your findings and choice will end up being.

Do you plan to do any birding or other wildlife photography while you're at the GC? I've been dying to get a 300mm F/2.8, I just can't afford the financial hit right now.

I read a suggestion for Sedona. I loved it there, beautiful sunsets. I wish I had more time, hopefully you take some amazing photos and share with us.

And thanks for liking my pics! I should have been more precise. The one of the castle in Madrid was done with a Grad ND and the other two were HDRs. Just wanted to show both could work but forgot to write that in.

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Lenses / Re: Landscape tips needed on shooting the Grand Canyon
« on: November 14, 2012, 12:01:42 AM »
I think you've got a wide range of photography covered with the assortment of lenses you're bringing. If you're strictly doing landscapes and looking to rent a wide angle I would go with a 17-40 f/4 or a 14mm prime over a 16-35 f/2.8, from what I remember during my research the 16-35 f/2.8 is a great event photography wide angle because of its fast optics but overall it was not as sharp as the 17-40 f/4.

1.) Between the 17-40 f/4 and the 14 prime. I'd still go with the 17-40 because it'll give you range and versatility over the 14 prime. and I don't think losing 3mm of wide angle on a full frame is much. Primes are sharper but both lenses are L lenses so I don't think sharpness will be a concern.

2.) I don't think you'll need a flash. A flash is not powerful enough to illuminate a grand expanse like the grand canyon. It won't even come close. A better and cheaper investment for landscapes would be a trigger release. You can set your camera to Bulb and capture the stars traveling across the night sky in the background with the grand canyon in the foreground. How beautiful would that be right?

3.) Oh whoops star trails...I mentioned that in #2. :) But you'll need a trigger/cable release and a tripod. I would invest in at least a Giottos or Enduro tripod if not better. Something that can handle a lot of weight. I've got a Giottos and a Gitzo Traveler myself.

4.) I've been to the Grand Canyon but this question is too difficult for me to answer. I'm not an expert on that area. I did see tours by mule/horse and I think that might be more creative and give you a more unique look than just the top down view most people do.

5.) HDR all the way. This seems like a trip where you'll have a lot of time to set up for your shot in which case you have time to do a proper HDR. Forget bracket shooting. Do a proper HDR. I'm talking 5-8 photos depending on the time of day and range you want to capture.

ND and Grad ND shooting is for run and gun shooting where you don't have time to set up. I did that in Spain and New Zealand...mixed feelings about it. HDR will always give you a better look. But please please don't over do the contrast. I HATE it when people make their skys look like some sort of electrical storm or apocalyptic explosion is happening. I think the best HDRs are the ones that have slightly more range than the human eye captures at that moment. Just my opinion though.

Here are a few of my own HDRs
http://www.flickr.com/photos/halogenlab/8184226516/#sizes/l/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/halogenlab/3703942284/#sizes/o/in/set-72157621035695209/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/halogenlab/3703934582/#sizes/o/in/set-72157621035695209/

- Minh Nguyen

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 5D Mark III - Price Drop Details
« on: October 29, 2012, 03:23:45 PM »
There were a lot of posts initially on this thread saying that it would be years before the 5DmIII went below $3000. And conventional wisdom would agree with that prediction, but here we are a few months later and the camera is under $3k. It hasn't even been a year.

Crazy. I'll probably need one in a year or two when my 5DmII shows its age. I wonder how much it'll be by then. Who knows maybe $2400 or less :)

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Pricewatch Deals / Re: EF 24-70 f/2.8L II in Stock at Norman Camera
« on: October 25, 2012, 12:51:08 PM »
I remember when I bought my 24-70mm f/2.8 mI. Its full price was $1299 and I got a promo from BHPhoto + a Canon rebate taking my brand new lens down to $950. So when I see this lens going for $2299 I remind myself of how lucky I was to get one for so cheap. I'm sure the new one is better in every way, but for 2.25x the money none of my customers will be able to tell the difference haha. Maybe I'll get one some day. I don't know about you guys, but I find that prices have gotten unacceptably high.

Yea I've heard all the reasons. The floods and other disasters, the economy, etc. But when a lens jumps up 200% in price its really scary. Anyway, I'm just ranting about prices sorry.

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1.) I'm going to have to disagree regarding diminishing returns. All the talk about lenses and sensors not being able to produce good IQ at high pixel count has been going on since the launch of the 5DmII. My 5DmII was shipped to my house 1 week after the launch date. I immediately found all those fears to be false. What I'm trying to say is that all the "Know-it-alls" cast judgement about whats possible and not possible before even trying the camera based on theory.

2.) I hate being told that "I" don't need high pixel count because I won't ever print pass __ x __ size. I hate being told that what "we" need are more A, B, and C. Everyone is different.

3.) As I wrote on another thread, I do fashion, landscape and product photography I can definitely use more megapixels. No. I don't need 80MP. When the count gets that high I would agree that the lenses we have right now and the sensor size we're using PROBABLY won't be able to manage an acceptable image. However, I think 40+ MP is still within range seeing that my gen-1 24-70 f/2.8 and 5DmII produce tack sharp product images. I'm not even using an L Prime and the images are already too sharp (well its never too sharp for product photography).

If possible I'd personally would like a 40+MP Canon DSLR with a better AF system than my 5DmII and 4FPS is fine for me. If they want to squeeze in more that's fine.




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