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Messages - Zen

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1
Animal Kingdom / Re: Wiley and the Grey Ghost
« on: May 12, 2014, 04:00:50 PM »
What a great series! And great snap shooting on your part, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

What's your sense of what was happening? Was the hawk attacking the coyote or trying to rob him of a kill or just plain harassing him?

Zen :)

2
Software & Accessories / Re: Hand Strap
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:30:22 PM »
Try a Camdapter. Good, adjustable fit, leather and comes in several colors. Available from B&H or directly from Camdapter. I have one on each of my 5D3's, and am much satisfied with them. Their installation trick sounds a bit goofy [they use a plastic drinking straw-supplied with the strap] but it works nicely.

Good luck.

Zen ;D

3
Take a close look at the Lowepro Pro-roller 200 or 300. Either should do nicely. They are well made, have wheels, tri-pod carrier, locks, and the insert, with dividers and all your gear can be removed for use as a back-pack. I have the 200 and carry 2 bodies, 6 lenses, a flash, filters and all the other necessary stuff- extra batts, cleaning gear, etc.

The only problem with the kit is its loaded weight. Believe me, the rollers are necessary!

Good luck on your search.

Zen :)

4
Photography Technique / Re: Focusing
« on: January 27, 2014, 10:03:17 PM »
I use back-button AF.  Great for birds (bump-focus), useful for focus recompose.  Only downside is if you hand your camera to someone else, but green-square mode cancels back-button AF.


Me too!

5
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Kirk PZ 148 plate for the 5d Mark III
« on: January 12, 2014, 05:28:16 PM »
Raj,

Glad you found a set-up that works for you. I have the 5D3 with the standard [not L plate] RRS plate, and use the Camdapter hand strap. There is a strap mounting point on the plate, and it works fine.  I too like to be able to set the rig on a table w/o tipping and this set up works nicely. So, in the event you'd like to try something else, try RRS.

Zen :)

6
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How to spend $3000 now or keep saving?
« on: January 03, 2014, 12:50:58 PM »
I´m no expert on the Sony, but for low light stage events ... I would be surprised if the AF on the Sony is anywhere near the 5DIII/1DX. And what happens to DR and all the rest of it in high ISO territory ...

I´m OK with people expressing their views in black and white, but to call the 5DIII/1DX sensors an embarrassment compared to Sony is to stretch the fact, especially in low light situations. If you add all the rest you need to make good images, I believe Sony is left in the dust.



Me too! I'd put my 5D3 against any Sony product any time. It's not only the sensor that makes an image. The glass and the processor have something to do with it too.

Zen :)

7
Photography Technique / Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« on: January 02, 2014, 09:00:25 PM »
Ray,

The 16-35 gives you a 33% wider view than your 24-70, while the 17-40 is 'only' 30% wider. I have used both my friend's 16-35 and my own 17-40 and find little difference in overall IQ between the two for most shots. The main differences are the aperture and price. If you think you will shoot lots of low light stuff, then go for the 2.8. But the f4 17-40 is a very nice and very adequate lens. And, since you're shooting a 5D3, with better ISO capability, the 17-40 f4 should handle your low light work easily. Plus, it's only half the price of the 16-35.

Even though you have a 50, don't trade the 24-70 unless you absolutely must, and if you go for the less expensive 17-40, maybe you won't have to.

Re the 70-200 + telextender vs 100-400 + extender, I agree that the 70-200 will give you better IQ, but remember that the 100-400 and the 2.0 extender gives you an 800 mm lens, which you will find useful in Y'stone and Teton. I understand that budget is an issue, as it is with most of us, but you may be able to rent or borrow one or find a used one somewhere. It would be worth it for this trip.

BTW, the 24-70 will be just about perfect for the hot springs, mud flats and sulfur pots near Mammoth. The 16-35 or 17-40 would do well for those shots, too. Ditto for the geisers.

Also, don't leave your polarizer at home, you'll need it. I assume your tripod has a hook on the bottom of the head so you can add the weight of your bag to it to get a little more stability, but if not, I'd suggest you jury rig something for that purpose. There is often a bit of a breeze in the open spaces out there, and if you're shooting long, every bit of weight will help.

Good luck.

Zen :)

8
Photography Technique / Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« on: January 01, 2014, 05:12:21 PM »
Hi Ray,

The shots you get will depend on the time of year and the time of day when you are there. Early morning is better for wildlife and mountain flowers. If you enter the park from Jackson, you will drive along the Snake R to the left of the road, and as you approach Teton, watch the left side of the road carefully for free ranging moose. They like to play in the Snake and browse the willows and other shrubs at river's edge. But they like EARLY. Much past 10:30-11 AM, they will be bedded down and more difficult to spot.

If you access from Cody, you will drive along the Shoshone R, on the left of the road. From 2-3 miles east of the Park entrance and into the park at Pahaska Tepee, the area along the river is moose and grizzly bear country. But you must watch sharply to see them.

Inside the park, Hayden Valley is wolf country, and the rangers will tell you if the wolves are active. You will see many buffalo, elk, some antelope, possibly a few mountain goats, coyotes, eagles and other raptors. But you must keep a sharp eye to see them. Take along a pair of good binos and have your passenger scan as you drive. Yellowstone Lake is picturesque and easy to get sweeping panoramic shots, and you'll often see small herds of buffalo and some singles near the water's edge.

As to gear, your 70-200 will be adequate but definitely not enough for the long shots. If you can, try to get your hands on something longer, like a 100-400, and a telextender. A 1.4 is good, but I usually end up using my 2.0. The longer you can get, the more good wildlife shots you will get.

If you are after mountain shots, there are those aplenty. Once again, to get the glacier on the middle Teton, you'll need your longest lens or lens/telextender combo. And, be sure to take along a solid and sturdy tripod for the long shots. If you find a likely spot for wolves, e.g., you'll set up your rig along the road and wait, possibly panning and looking. You'll need the same rig for coyotes, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, too. A hand held 100-400 will be ok for eagles, hawks and falcons on the wing if you have a reasonably steady hand.

I use my 24-105 and/or 24-70 for walking around, but when I go into the park, will always have the 70-200 mounted and sitting on the seat next to me or on my wife's lap - so I can grab it quickly.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to approach buffalo, moose or bull elk. They are dangerous if they get agitated, especially cow moose with calf. That's why you mount the 70-200.

Finally, the gate rangers are well informed on a daily basis regarding good wildlife viewing areas on the days you are there. Sometimes they post notices at the gate, but if not, ask them for that info.

If you are staying at Cody, try the Proud Cut Saloon, right on the main street, which is Sheridan Av, for good food and drinks in a real western atmosphere. In Jackson, look for the Sourdough restaurant, an old log house/restaurant a block off the square.

Have a good trip and enjoy. You will have tons of 'targets of opportunity' in that region.

Zen :)

9
Lenses / Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« on: December 30, 2013, 06:03:45 PM »
My advice to docsmith would be . . . forget the 24-70, now or any time in the future! You won't be satisfied, no matter how good the next one you try might be. Perfection just doesn't exist at this price. Try Leica of Hassy . . . By the way, mine is fine!

Zen

10
Software & Accessories / Re: Mini Tripod, which one and why?
« on: December 26, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »
Really Right Stuff has what they call a "Ground Level Tripod", aluminum, about 17" folded and 22-23" with legs extended. It's perfect for table top use, and the legs can splay out all the way down so that the camera is almost at ground level. Add your favorite ball head and you're home free. I use it on the dining room table, lens pointed straight down, for macros. As to capacity, if I could find the balance point of my truck, I think this rig would hold it!

Take a look.

Good luck.

Zen :)

11
Lenses / Re: Another strike against UV filters
« on: December 17, 2013, 06:49:25 PM »
First of all, I would not get a UV filter for protection, I would get a CLEAR filter.  UV filters adversely affect the color on a DSLR plus UV filtering is unnecessary.

BUT that being said, there are PROs and CONs to protective filters.  I think sometimes it is exaggerated on both sides.

Some say lens front elements are quite durable. They are, but they still can be damaged, and if that happens even if it doesn't affect the IQ the value of your lens gets decimated even with minor damage if you ever plan to resell or trade it in.   While the rear element has a much larger impact on image quality, most buyers prioritize the condition of the front element.

Some say lens front elements are a relatively cheap part.  Often, they are.  However, unless you rebuild the lens yourself (unlikely in most cases) you will have to pay potentially expensive service fees on top of the parts fee, making the repair more expensive than projected.

Some say lens filters degrade image quality.  Cheap ones can, but good ones like B+W XS-PRO 007m CLEAR have virtually no impact on quality with exception of slightly increased flare in select circumstances.  However, if you shoot a lens for 5 years with no filter regularly, the front element glass even if you don't drop it will be weathered by environmental elements which could also impact quality.  If you have a filter, you could just put in a new one with minimal cost and the front element remains pristine.

Some say you might scratch a front element if a filter breaks.  Sure, but you might also scratch a front element without a filter because there is no protection - and I would say that is more likely because photographers don't have catastrophic drops every day, but they do expose their lens to other risks every day.  Also, the filter absorbs the initial blow, so something that may have severely damaged the lens may only have minimal impact.  Also, filters are often required to complete the lens' weather sealing, thus without the filter you could get damage in the lens or body from the elements.

Some have the perception that a CLEAR filter's only use is protection. On the contrary, high quality filters are often far easier to clean than a lens element making them hugely useful in the field.  They also keep a front element looking pristine as it will never be exposed to the elements or cleanings which helps retain lens value.  Yes, the filters are an additional expense but you can always reuse them on another lens.

So, I believe those stating CLEAR filters are not useful or detrimental are very much overstating their case.  There are some pitfalls to CLEAR filters, but if you just want to shoot and have a few less things to worry about they are a big benefit in my opinion.

+1. I use the UV filters to protect against air-borne dust, small scratches and nicks, and sundry dangers on the windy western plains, deserts and mountains . . . NOT against dropping the whole thing on a hard floor or rock. Plus, as others have said, cleaning a filter of dust is a lot easier and safer than cleaning the lens. A filter is cheaper than the lens . . .

Zen

12
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Pregnant woman photography
« on: December 11, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »
In-silhouette shots like Iron-t's are conservative, understated and certainly NOT sensual/sexual. But they certainly tell the story. His is a dynamite shot that conveys inner peace in the Mom to be, and a gentleness that we all envision Moms to have. Couldn't be a better pose. There are many variations on the theme, of course, but the silhouette is the way to go. For those ladies who may feel unlovely or are a bit shy about appearing in that condition in a photo, the silhouette gives a measure of anonymity that a full color head on shot would not.

Wish I had done this with mine, but alas, I did not.

Good luck.

Zen :)

13
Landscape / Re: 14yr old looking for some C&C
« on: November 29, 2013, 06:13:41 PM »
Hi Teentog,

Generally very nice shots. I especially like #8488, the monotone, which to me looks perfect, and #0750, the misty hillside.  But I agree with a previous poster - that some of your colors are off. Image #0235 and #0303, both Tetons, are pink tinged and detract from the overall effect. Likewise, #6091 is green tinged and #9877 is too orangy. You should be able to fix them easily with very minor corrections in any of the PP programs available.

All in all, great shots. Congrats and keep shooting.

Zen :)

14
Lenses / Re: what filter for 24-70 ii 2.8?
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:02:52 PM »
Hi guys,

Perhaps Neuro or someone else who is technically aware can answer this question.

Other than the very slight warming effect some see in the B+W UV MRC Nano vs. the opposite effect of the Heliopan, what is the real difference between the two? With the Heliopan significantly more expensive than B+W, but both using Schott glass and brass mounts, is either better than the other? Why is the Heliopan so much higher in price than B+W? Is it worth the difference? Heliopan says their MRC version has 16 different coatings, whereas B+W says only 8. Is that the only difference? Do the extra coatings make that much of a difference?

Secondly, regarding the circ polarizers by each manufacturer, does the B+W have a similar warming effect in the polarizer as it does in the UV? To my eyes, the difference is almost undetectable in most situations. Can anyone comment on this?

Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this issue.

Zen :)

15
Lenses / Re: 70-200mm F 2.8 IS 2 VS 70-200mm F4 IS
« on: November 21, 2013, 05:39:32 PM »
Thanks Sunny and JR for your replies.

I have no complaints about the 2.8. When I got it, I didn't think I would need the 4, so sold it. But now, because of the weight of the 2.8, I wish I had not sold the smaller one. So I was trying to decide if I should replace the one I sold with a current copy or wait for a possible upgrade. But I liked the clarity and sharpness of the 4, so I've decided to just go ahead and get the current one. I plan to keep my 2.8 as well, using it when I can easily use my tripod, but going with the f4 for walking around.

My only problem with the 2.8 is that it is too heavy to carry easily . . .

Thanks again for sharing your opinions.

Zen ;D

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