November 25, 2014, 11:47:27 PM

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Messages - dswtan

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While getting dated (2009), my friend's experiences should still be quite useful to you and others planning this trip:

Follow-ups and more at his blog:

One result:

My 70-300L has not come out of the cupboard for a very long time now. I really should (and will eventually) sell it.

Strange. The 70-300L is my main default lens on the 5D3 -- I look forward to the new 100-400 and appreciate the potential similarities! Different strokes. :-)

Building PCs from scratch? I leave that to the real enthusiasts or people with time on their hands. If you go to Cyberpower or IBuyPower in the US (at least), you pay very little for the build and yet get a reasonably nice, fairly tested, and very flexible configuration of components that are ready to go and much better value than a mainstream brand PC.

Selective component upgrading (SSD, extra HDs, more memory, better graphics, etc.) is worth it every 12-24 months for many people, as long as the technology is improving -- and it mostly does, in various ways. But OS upgrades are seldom worth the trouble, so I'm sympathetic to sticking with an older OS as long as you don't fall too far behind -- in which case, it's time to move on to newer hardware, which seems to be the case here with Harv actually.

But I am fortunate to just get a new machine every couple of years and keep the older one as a backup, as some others have suggested here. I watch for the significant (not the minor) CPU generational upgrades. For the last couple of machines, I went with the above pre-built options (both companies).

Do NOT use the 24L II for astro. It is a complete waste of time. You will be frustrated, like others before you.

It has the most appalling coma (distorted stars in corners). This only shows up in astro. See: - there has been similar discussion in this Forum too, but that thread was the best I found.

I do not know how the 2.8 performs in this regard, but typically Canon seems to not have low coma in their priorities. I do have the 24L II and I have spoiled astro shots thanks to the coma - I made the same stick-with-Canon mistake as you.

I now have a set of the Koreans dedicated for astro work. The Korean lenses are exceptional for astro. That they are so inexpensive is an amazing bonus. Manual focus is all you want at night. Live view to focus precisely. They are even sharp at full aperture.

Buy your 2.8 if you need AF in daylight, this may be reasonable for your daytime purposes. But use the rest of your 24L savings and get yourself one of the Korean brands (Samyang/Bower/Rokinon) for night use. Seriously, they are just fantastic at night -- plus, it's at night. No one can see the brand you are using and we won't tell on you. :-)

Technical Support / Re: Pink/purple streak in pics when using live view
« on: September 23, 2014, 10:15:31 AM »
I have this, but my pattern is a more defined flare.

Mine's on a 5D2, also full spectrum (clear sensor filter) converted by Life Pixel. They may know more about this, since they've probably had comments on it over the years unless it's extremely rare (just you and I!). But I've not got around to reaching out to them, and I'm not at the point of complaining about it, since the simple workaround is just not to use Live View during astrophotography except for focusing.

You can see my posts on it from just a couple of weeks ago, with photos, here:

Mine -- complete dark, same with no lens attached, only source of light must be within body -- 30s at 1600 ISO:

EOS Bodies / Re: More Images of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 13, 2014, 03:57:31 PM »
I'm really happy to see this and the 5D3 similarities!

As others have said, +1 as my new wildlife cam to complement my 5D3 all-rounder. Wide stays on the latter now, and telephoto on 7D2. Perfect. Assuming no pricing insanity, which seems unlikely in the current market and recent tends.

And the if new battery may be back-compatible to use my existing LP-E6s, that is fantastic!

My original 7D will be for sale. Thank you old friend, but we're done now. Poor thing has not been turned on for a year or more. Welcome, 7D2! :D

This has nothing to do with sales, it's just the rankings of the search terms overall.

LOL! You just dismissed Google's entire business model -- which wholly relies on the correlation of search terms and ultimate sales. :-)

I don't have access to any search engine data
Yeah you do. We all do:

I'm not sure what the point of this thread is beyond stirring up mud but we do have some access to search engine data at least. Just more fuel. Fantasy football for camera geeks. Take photos!

Lenses / Re: Going native at 400mm
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:08:20 PM »
What else am I missing?
Something we are all "missing" is the rather over-anticipated but perhaps more likely than ever 100-400L update that could come later this year -- unless you really need something immediately. I appreciate you are veering towards a prime, but Canon's L zooms are such high quality these days...

PowerShot Cameras / Re: G1x vs. G16 vs. ??
« on: July 04, 2014, 03:06:23 PM »
Similar story here. I currently stick with the stalwart G-series over the Sony because I need the Canon hot shoe for occasional but regular use of bounce flash and I like to use my existing flash units. It's nice to have the same basic user interface as my DSLRs too.

Currently have G15. I tend to skip a generation or two because the annual upgrades tend to be rather minor. The G1 X II is tempting but ultimately just too bulky and too expensive for my use cases. However, my G receives less and less use because camera phones are just getting too good for snaps now (I have a Nokia Lumia 920). But the G still saves taking the DSLR on most business trips.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod for someone who's never used one?
« on: December 01, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »
A classic"right of passage" question! :-) This famous link doesn't seem to have been posted yet, and while getting dated, remains great for many of the general principles also mentioned in this thread:

Quick question: as far as plates are concerned, is it just Gitzo and Manfrotto that are proprietary? And does that mean if I get an Arca swiss plate I couldn't use it on a Gitzo or Manfrotto head? But I could get an Arca swiss plate and Arca swiss head and attach that do a Gitzo or Manfrotto set of legs?
Yes you can attach Arca-compatible heads to Gitzo/Manfrotto/RRS or whatever legs -- the connection between head and legs will either be a 1/4" or 3/8" thread, which are the industry standards -- sometimes both are options depending on the combination but do double-check for the combination you choose.

Lenses / Re: Lens dilemma for night sky
« on: November 27, 2013, 12:34:23 AM »
I'd be willing to spend $4000 on a lens that has excellent stars stopped down to f/2.0 or so, especially if it is 21mm or 24mm focal length.  That would be a dream.  :)
Wade - have you tried the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower options? For a tenth of the cost, you can live the dream today!  8)

I took the same path as extremeinstability and naively wasted shots on the 24L II. I'm sure Zeiss is nice, but why bother when the Korean lenses are so well-suited to astrophotography. This is one of those rare cases of a true bargain!

BTW, this has a good summary of the coma issue, just to add to the resources already in this thread:

Lenses / Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« on: November 18, 2013, 05:55:20 AM »
Very happy with my 16-35 2.8L II on FF. I find it sharp. It is not "bad" in any sense of the word that I am familiar with. In a sense I had moved from a 17-55 2.8 EF-S on crop and was always disappointed by that, despite its universal acclaim on the Internet. That was a good lesson -- that there are copy variants, and that opinions on the Internet are not everything. 8)

Lenses / Re: Questions on EF 24-70mm II on 5D Mk3 vs EF-S 17-55mm on 7D
« on: October 14, 2013, 01:30:52 AM »
Like rs, I'll be amazed if you don't find the 24-70 II on 5d3 far superior in overall image quality - though I'm one of those rare people that did not like the 17-55 on 7D. (I have all these combinations myself; I presume I just have a bad copy of the 17-55.)

But for the shooting scenarios you suggest, you might find you'll miss the IS of the 17-55, and the 24-70 is heavier and more bulky. You may find the 17-55/7D more convenient in practice, plus you even get a little more fps.

On the other hand, you may find the increased image quality so seductive with the other combo, you'll use it more. In my case, my 7D is gathering dust. 

Canon General / Re: Should I get into this industry?
« on: October 13, 2013, 02:27:59 PM »
Some great advice here - it's all been said really, but with a 30-yr professional in my family, I feel bound to re-emphasize something.

"I don't have any business or marketing education" <-- there's your problem, as they say.

Most of *any* business is business and marketing.
Check out this chart -- there are similar ones around:

But there is hope - you now also understand why you are probably having trouble getting something in your existing profession too!

Clearly you have the skills and experience as a great graphics designer. All that's likely missing is the business and marketing skills to sell yourself to potential employers - or even to make it yourself in your own business in the same field.

Go for it. Get that education. Find free or low-cost classes - fantastic MOOCs like Coursera/Udacity/EdX, etc. Even just YouTube. Also your public library. Use that time you now have as an investment - in you.
Good luck! But heed the advice in this very fair thread carefully and "seize the day"!

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