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Topics - chasinglight

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Software & Accessories / Canon BG-E13 Flimsy Tripod Mount
« on: July 09, 2014, 09:16:09 PM »
Hi,

I know many say that the most stable way to mount your camera to a tripod is without the battery grip (though many will debate otherwise, but that is not the point of this post). I recently noticed that when I mount my Canon 6D + (authentic) Canon BG-E13 to a tripod (via arca swiss plate or RRS L bracket) there is significant flex in the BG-E13 tripod mount. In fact I can see the bottom of the battery grip flexing/torquing when light force is applied to the camera while the ball head is tightened. When the 7D was my main camera I always mounted my 7D + BG-E7 either directly to a tripod via an arca swiss plate or a RRS L Bracket and never really experienced any appreciable flex. So I guess my question is, out of curiosity, is anyone else noticing that the BG-E13 is pretty flimsy when mounted to a tripod? I don't have any issue with the quality for handheld use (though I do like the ergonomics of the BG-E7 better). Despite the ill effects to my workflow I am thinking that I will now remove my BG-E13 when using a tripod....and also exchange my RRS 6D w/grip L bracket for the plain 6D L bracket.

Thoughts? Comments?
 

2
Animal Kingdom / Bird Photography Critique/Tips
« on: July 21, 2013, 01:05:32 PM »
Hi, I have been getting into bird photography since the beginning of this year. I am shooting with a 7D and 100-400 L. Attached is a recent exposure (I have attached both my processed version and the original RAW). This is probably not my best work, certainly not my worst. What I am looking for is a critique of my exposure technique (what you can infer), the image itself, and the processing. Feel free to download the RAW and post an example of how you think I should have processed it (please include a basic write up of what you did).

I am just looking for opinions and suggestions on how I can improve and hone my skills.

Some details about my technique. This was taken about 7-10 feet from the female red-winged blackbird at about 6PM. I used AF Servo, single point AF, Spot metering, ETTR (as much as I dared), and IS to achieve this shot at 1/800s, f/8.0, ISO 800 @ 400mm. I processed the image completely in Lightroom 4. I cropped, adjusted WB, and globally sharpened, then applied the following local adjustments: highlight recovery, contrast, and applied NR.

RAW photo: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/36974080/Public%20RAW%20Photos/_7D_7610.CR2
JPEG: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/36974080/Public%20RAW%20Photos/_7D_7610.jpg

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Move to full frame (6D) or New Lens?
« on: July 16, 2013, 12:00:17 AM »
Hi, I currently shoot with the canon 7d. I have the 15-85 which I use for landscapes, all around lens, and occasionally portraits; the 50 1.8 which I use for shallow DoF and low light work; 100-400 which I use for birds and wildlife; and the 70-200 f4 IS which I use occasionally for portraits and landscapes.

My question is if you had a choice of whether to add the 6D to the line up (for most shooting except wildlife) or buy a fast zoom like the 24-70 2.8 (version 1) which would you do? I like the idea of the 6D because it will create cleaner images, provide better low light performance for family events, and will allow me to use the 70-200 more as I find the focal length either too long or too short on crop (never just right). At the same time, just getting the 24-70 would give me better low light performance and shallow DoF for events where lighting is not ideal.

Part of me says to get the 24-70 first as I would need a standard zoom on the 6D, but part of me really wants to try out full frame. I thought about just getting an old 5Dc to try out full frame, but I figured it was more worth the money to get a current model camera. The 5D3 is currently more than I would like to spend if anyone was thinking to suggest that instead. Thoughts?!?

4
Software & Accessories / Filter Holder for Tiffen ND Grads
« on: May 05, 2013, 01:17:57 AM »
Hi,

I am looking at buying one or two Tiffen ND Grads. I have decided to go with Tiffen due to their renown color neutrality. Also I like that glass is much more resistant to scratching than resin. Previously I bought a set of Hitech resin filters and they came scratched out of the sealed packaging! So that doesn't give me much faith in resin. Anyway I initially wanted to go with the 100mm filters and accompany them with the Lee Foundation Kit Filter Holder....until I saw that the Tiffen 4x6 (100mm) ND Grads are over $400 a piece! WOW! Way too much. As I actually don't need filters that big I started to look at the Tiffen "P" series filters which are much more reasonable; roughly $160.

My question is, is there a "P" series filter holder that is more robust than the standard Cokin "P" series holder? Something more like the Lee filter holders? I found this aluminum 85mm holder from Hitech

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/884360-REG/Hitech_ht85amh_85mm_Aluminum_Modular_Filter.html

does anyone have any experience with this holder? moreover does anyone have experience with this holder and tiffen filters?

is there something else I should be looking at? is the cokin "P" series holder really all I need/the quality is actually pretty good?

Thanks in advance for your help!

5
Software & Accessories / Induro C314 vs CT314
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:00:58 PM »
Hi, I am looking to get a sturdy tripod for landscape and wildlife. It needs to be able to support a gripped 7D with 100-400. I have ready very good things about the Induro CT314. When I was looking for the best price I found someone selling the "C314" on eBay for $100 less than the CT314 currently goes for. Turns out the C314 is the previous model. The features look generally the same, the specs looks quite different. However, I believe the difference in specs could just be marketing talk..maximum load 22lbs vs 39lbs. I read a very good review of the "C413" (the same production year as the C314) on Luminous Landscapes so I believe the Induro CF tripods to be very capable.

Anyway does anyone have experience with either the C314 or CT314? any real life differences?

Also I have researched manfrotto, gitzo, RRR, and others and am pretty set on the induro based on price, value, and favorable reviews. That said I am not looking for "well you should really get a Gitzo for $800 or a RRR for $1000." My budget allows <= $1000 for legs and a gimbal head...so with the induro I can easily stay within budget.

Thanks for your help!!!

http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_C314.html#specs
http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_CT314.html

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/accessories/indiro413.shtml

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5D3 vs 7D AND 6D
« on: March 09, 2013, 12:30:42 PM »
Hi, I am an avid hobbiest photographer. I enjoy shooting landscapes and portraits, but increasingly I am shooting birds, horses, and other fast moving subjects as well. I currently have a T2i, 15-85, 50 f/1.8, 70-200 f/4 IS, and 100-400. I am looking to upgrade bodies, but I need a little bit of advice. Obviously the 5D3 would satisfy all of these shooting requirements with only two downsides, the price and loss of "reach" that I have a with a crop. The other avenue I am thinking about going is two bodies. Sell the T2i, get a 7D as they are becoming cheaper everyday and get a 5D2 or 6D. Now you may add up the prices and say a 7D + 6D (or 5D2) is about the same price as a 5D3. I am looking for opinions on which way to go. Pros/Cons of having two bodies. For some reason I am just a bit apprehensive to get one camera for ~$2500 since I have not yet spent that much on any one piece of equipment. I might add that I currently do not get paid for any photos, but I may start picking up some paying equine photography gigs as I have quite a few friends who ride and want to set me up with some clients, but this would just be occasional "on the side" work. Thanks for you help in advance!

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / 550d vs 7d AF for Bird Photography
« on: January 30, 2013, 03:12:37 PM »
Hi, I recently started getting into bird photography. I have been using a Canon 550d and a Canon 100-400 in center point AI servo mode. I have had fairly good luck, but I find the AF to be a little sluggish and it tends to hunt quite a bit when trying to focus on birds in trees. To be fair the birds are only filling the center point of the frame. That said I am considering getting the 7d given its renown AF performance, but in my research I have read a lot of people stating that even with the 7d they mostly use center point AI servo mode. I have read that some people use center point with AF expansion, but it has the tendency to lock on to a leaf or something at the worst times.

So my question is, is it really worth it for me to upgrade to the 7D for bird photography? Obviously aside from AF I would gain a faster FPS and build quality, but the unless the AF is much better the IQ will stay the same since the 550D and 7D share the same sensor. I don't mind getting the 7D if it will drastically improve AF performance, but otherwise I have been planning to get a 5DII or 6D for improved portraits and landscapes.

Thanks in advance for your advice!






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