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Messages - neuroanatomist

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6151
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Weak LP-e6 battery
« on: June 24, 2013, 06:19:39 AM »
I try as far as possible to completely discharge the LP-E6 in camera (so it will no longer power the camera) before I recharge it, though I'm not sure if this really makes much difference to battery life/ recharge performance.

If anything, that's worse.  Li-ion batteries are better used frequently but lightly. Frequent full discharges will actually reduce overall longevity.

6152
Canon General / Re: How ready is your camera gear usually?
« on: June 24, 2013, 03:28:12 AM »
It's all in my walk-in closet in the master bedroom (my wife has her own walk-in closet). Not 'packed' because the gear is stored in four Storm hard cases for protection.  But one case holds the 1D X with the 24-70 II attached, another case holds the other 'go to' lenses - 70-200 II, holy trinity primes (35L, 85L II, 135L) and the 100L Macro, and a third larger case holds the remaining lenses (UWA zoom, TS-E, MP-E, supertele, etc.).  The fourth case holds flashes, PWs, filters, etc.  Many of the closet's shoe cubbies are put to good use, holding various lens cases, flash brackets, straps, wired/wireless releases, lens cleaning supplies, etc. Tripods, light stands, softboxes, backdrops etc., are all in there, too.  A selection of bags is right next to the Storm cases, from the small Toploader Pro 65AW for just the body with standard lens attached, a few backpacks, to the Lens Trekker that holds the body with the 600 II.

...at least your main body plus most/all your lenses...

Sorry, but without a couple of Sherpas, that's just not going to happen...   ;)

6153
Software & Accessories / Re: How good is Reikan FoCal?
« on: June 24, 2013, 01:07:51 AM »
My frustration with the program is beyond words.  So I just keep putting out there that when you use FoCal, you still need a way to verify the AFMA such as with a spydercal.  Dont "trust" that FoCal has worked as expected.  You need to verify what it's produced and at that point you might as well just use SpyderCal or LensCal in the first place.

How do you verify your SpyderLensCal results?  Personally, I never found that 8-10 shots were enough with a LensAlign Pro.

As I said, I get equivalent results with FoCal and LensAlign when I do compare them, but the LensAlign is a lot more work.  Perhaps it's that digital image analysis (of microscopy images) was part of my day job for many years, but I know that a properly-written algorithm can pick the sharpest image from a group better than a human eye, particularly when the images are close. Gauging the edges of the DoF on the angled ruler was not always obvious (particular with slower lenses at longer distances).  I'll also take a quantitative analysis over a qualitative analysis any day of the week.

I'm honestly not sure why you're getting inconsistent results with the setup you describe.  But perhaps I am getting consistent results because of how I use FoCal - for image analysis only.  They do seem to have worked toward predictive algorithms with each release, so that fewer shots are required per test.  It may be that their algorithms aren't all that predictive - undersampling with a system that has both systematic and random error can easily lead to erroneous results.  Since I got the 1D X before there was any FoCal support, I was forced to use Manual Mode - and I found it easy and very robust. I still do it that way.  Granted...I know that I'm oversampling (a lot), but my curve fits are solid, and the conclusion is visually evident.  Before FoCal, I wrote a Matlab script to do a similar analysis - FoCal is easier, with a nice front end GUI (something I have no idea how to code), and it works on jpgs instead of requiring conversion to tifs.

My setup is pretty simple - I leave a target taped to the basement wall (I've got enough room down there for up to a 300mm lens; outdoors I tape a target to the fence), set up the camera on a stable tripod, align as best I can (using the camera's level and my eyeball alignment), and shoot two shots per even AFMA value over |10| (defocused in opposite directions) and three shots from -10 to +10 (two defocused opposite then one without defocusing).  Setup takes less than 5 minutes, taking the 83 shots per test takes about 10 minutes.  It's quite obvious what the correct result should be, based on the curve. In the software, I can click on any point on the plot and see the image from which the data point was derived.  What's to verify?

6154
Lenses / Re: 100L vs. 135L
« on: June 23, 2013, 08:15:18 PM »
The diff between 0  and +1 by 12points(880 vs 892, x50 in distance) through Reikan FoCal, I wonder the human can see this diff? I rather leave my @ zero ;)

Perhaps not.  But AF systems aren't perfect - take a bunch of shots, and while a properly AFMA'd lens will result in spot-on focus on average, any given shot may be a bit off. By ensuring the AFMA is correct, you're ensuring that the shots that are a bit off are less off. 

In my opinion the 100L is better than the 135L at everything, except that the 135L is F2 one extra stop a more creamy bokeh. No Macro capibility on the 135L though. They are both super sharp.

My 135L focuses a lot faster than my 100L. That makes it a better choice for action, so for me it's more than just the extra stop of light.

6155
Lenses / Re: Beginner lens
« on: June 23, 2013, 07:56:47 PM »
Unless you absolutely need f/1.4, I'd get the 40/2.8.

6156
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1D X Product Advisory
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:28:54 PM »
Does anyone here actually own or know of a body that is NOT potentially affected?

If every camera with serial numbers ranging from 1-7 require inspection, it's safe to assume that a lot of bodies are affected, but lately I've been thinking that it's in the realm of possibility that the digit in question will always be in the 1-7 range... After all, the first part of the serial number is presumably some sort of date/production code.

What I'm trying to say is, perhaps Canon didn't want to announce that every single body produced (or the vast majority) is potentially affected, so they worded the advisory like that.

Most likely they just discovered it, units that just rolled off the line were pulled, fixed and marked.  But they're using standard wording for a product advisory, since even after units with post-affected serial numbers are produced, older ones will still be in retailers' stock, units will be sold used years from now, etc.

6157
Animal Kingdom / Re: Wildlife Tips?
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:50:05 PM »
Thanks.  Bear, whales, birds (espcially eagles), people at the buffet, etc.

I'd be looking for an 800mm lens... people at buffets can be dangerous and you don't want to get real close.
Ha ha ha! So true - you don't want to mess with that lot - they are an "endangering" species. They'll run you over if you come in between them and the buffet table. I would even add a 1.4x multiplier to the 800mm ;)

I'm surprised you both neglected to recommend a weather sealed body/lens for the inevitable cruise ship buffet line food fights.  ;)

6158
Software & Accessories / Re: How good is Reikan FoCal?
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:44:25 PM »
When you AFMA your lenses with FoCal you never know if it's going to be correct or not.  Even with very adequate lighting EV14+ I could not get consistent results that would equal what I got with using SpyderCal.

Sorry to hear that!  I do have to say, though, that you seem to be in the minority. 

Personally, I get consistent results, that match a manual estimate with a LensAlign Pro, even with the 1.9 beta version (although I will say that v1.8 crashed frequently for me under Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8, whereas v1.9b seems stable). 

What suggestions for your inconsistent results were offered by Reikan support, when you contacted them?

6159
Lenses / Re: Monopod for 600mm II - advice needed
« on: June 23, 2013, 03:13:47 PM »
Have a great trip!

FYI, the monopod with head fits perfectly in the RRS TQB-64 quiver bag.

Not sure it's needed/relevant for a safari where you're in a Land Rover, but for longer hikes, I carry the monopod attached to a Lowepro belt with a Maxpedition Universal Light/Baton Sheath.

6160
Lenses / Re: Monopod for 600mm II - advice needed
« on: June 23, 2013, 02:55:31 PM »
It Really is the Right Stuff.  :)

I have the MC-34 and MH-02 Pro, which I use with my 600 II and other lenses.  I prefer the screw clamp to the lever clamp for the monopod head, as I'm often carrying the 600 II over my shoulder on the monopod, and a lever clamp could catch on a pack strap (I have their lever clamps on ballheads and my gimbal, and they are great there).

If you only plan to use the monopod head with the 600 II (or other collared lenses), save a little weight and $, and get the MH-01 head.  The difference is the MH-02 can be rotated 90-degrees (to attach a camera body plate) with a screw knob, meaning you can swap back and forth in the field (the MH-01 with the right clamp can be rotated, but you need a hex key).

6161
Animal Kingdom / Re: Wildlife Tips?
« on: June 23, 2013, 02:36:39 PM »
For flying/moving birds/wildlife, I generally use M mode, 1/1600 s, f/6.3, Auto ISO, AI Servo with the center point selected with 8-pt expansion, and evaluative metering.  For perched/static birds/wildlife, I use Av mode with Auto ISO and a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 s (I sometimes dial that back to 1/250 s in low light), One Shot with Spot AF, and spot metering.

Having said that, IIRC you are using a T1i/500D so several of those options aren't available to you. In particular, in M mode, Auto ISO will be fixed at 400 so that's not a good idea - you'd be better off with Tv mode, 1/1600 s and auto ISO, although that will mean your lens will often be wide open (I like f/6.3 or f/7.1 for a little more sharpness from the 100-400 and a bit more DoF).

Have a great trip!

6162
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1D X Product Advisory
« on: June 23, 2013, 01:47:49 PM »
Well, it's a bit hard to be certain since I'm viewing on my iPhone, but it looks like the first one 'hit' better on the play tent opening.  Not sure if you're aware, but the actual AF points are larger that the little box that represents them in the VF.  So, you could put the box on his face, but the real AF point extends up outside the box and catches the rolled up 'door' of the tent, and that what it locks onto.

6163
Software & Accessories / Re: Lightest, good, Shoulder Camera bag?
« on: June 23, 2013, 12:35:59 PM »
I'd look at a backpack rather than a messenger bag - even if the bag itself is smaller/lighter, the gear isn't and supporting it with both shoulders (and ideally a hip belt) would be better.

I'd check out the Lowepro Flipside 200 or 300 (the latter for a gripped body).

6164
Lenses / Re: $1000 .. what to buy
« on: June 23, 2013, 12:13:07 PM »
As I have already mentioned I am interested in your impressions mostly regarding the opposite use of rings.
P.S It will fit nicely vertically on the bataflae 26L bag I just ordered  :)

I'll let you know on the rings - lens arrives tomorrow.  TDP's specs show it as the same (retracted) length as the 24-70/2.8L II with the hood mounted, and that fits vertically in my Flipside 300 - so I assume the 70-300L will be the same.

So...I got the 70-300L on Thursday, AFMA'd it that night (a constant +2 at four focal lengths across the zoom range), and took it on an excursion Friday afternoon.  The size is great - it does fit vertically in the Flipside 300, so I was able to take four lenses (and I needed all four).  It also fits in a Lowepro Lens Exchange 100 AW, so that'll be nice on a belt to pair up with the 24-70 II.

I did find the reversed placement of the zoom/focus rings (relative to my other L zooms) a bit annoying.  I'm sure I'll get accustomed to it, although frequently switching off with the 24-70 II will slow that process down (it would have paired well with the EF-S 17-55/2.8 when I had it). 

I just ordered the Tripod Mount Ring C for it.  It's a small enough lens and my RRS ballheads are robust enough that it's not really needed for balance (though it won't hurt).  But I think the tripod foot will give me a good place to rest my hand, keeping it off the focus ring and positioning my fingers under the zoom ring.

The convenience of the lens and it's excellent IQ more than offset the annoyance of the ring placement, IMO.

6165
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1D X Product Advisory
« on: June 23, 2013, 08:52:46 AM »
Forgive my ignorance here, but can this issue just cause unexplainable oof images? I've been shooting a lot with the 24-70 lately, and it is perfectly afma'd, but often I aim at something and it just won't focus properly. This sounds nooby, but it's not "the occasional oof iimage" I just doesn't focus right, and not in front or behind, it feels like it just doesn't even try to get it right.

How was it "perfectly afma'd?"  What you describe (neither front- nor back-focus but still a soft image) sounds like a problem with the lens, e.g. decentering.  What do shots taken with Live View AF look like? 

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