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Messages - neuroanatomist

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Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Availability
« on: April 16, 2013, 08:54:25 PM »
I hope they give a copy to TDP guy so he can do a full review and compare it to the 300 and 400 f/2.8 ii with and without extender.

They don't 'give', he buys them retail (although I suspect B&H does put him at the head of the line for purchasing new lenses).  I'm sure that as soon as they're available, Bryan will buy one to review.

Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Availability
« on: April 16, 2013, 07:20:26 PM »
I just don't get it....

Then...don't get it!  ;)

Lenses / Re: need help consolidating my lens collection
« on: April 16, 2013, 06:57:17 PM »
The 50/1.8 and 28-135 aren't really worth keeping in your collection, IMO. Your plan leaves you with no UWA lens - are you ok with that (how much do you shoot the 10-22mm between 10-15mm)?

The 70-200 II is great for portraits on FF, but you might consider a fast portrait prime (85/1.8, Sigma 85/1.4, 85L, 135L).

As an aside, the Manfottos do have a "hook" for ballast, it is cast in the side of the main housing and is very strong, the hook is hook shaped, and it also has a slot in it, great for tying a bit of string to to make a more substantial mount if needed. It is mounted on the main casting so that you can use it to maximum effect and weight when you use the column off axis. It also has a strap eye.

Thanks for that - I had completely forgotten about the little loop/tab on the side of my 190CXPRO4 platform!

In general, my opinion is that RRS is "the best" with Gitzo a close second.  I think Manfrotto offers the best compromise between quality and value - great gear at a good price (particularly their legs - their QR clamping systems leave something to be desired, IMO).

Technical Support / Re: Which RAW processing software do you use?
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:25:49 PM »
Are there any others that I missed?

You missed Canon's own DPP...   ;)

Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Availability
« on: April 16, 2013, 01:53:12 PM »
...another look-what-we-can-do lens to divert attention from the fact that Canon cannot make EF-S primes.

Last time I checked, Canon was doing just fine at making the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro.   :P

What additional functionality do you get from the $700 Gitzo or the $900 RRS that a $400 Manfrotto doesn't give you?

I am all for quality engineering, and there will always be customers for Rolls Royce, but if the object is to safely drive around surely a Mercedes "will do" for most people, especially when cost was mentioned originally by RC.

After trying Gitzos, I just don't see the cost/function equation approaching that of the Manfrottos. I have never owned a RRS tripod, but clearly I do value their brackets and plates, but again, whilst you might get a fraction more stability sometimes for your $900, unless you have nothing better to spend $500 on, or you truly do NEED that last fraction of performance, or if you have requirements RC doesn't, then the far cheaper options are more than up to the simple task of holding an average weight camera and short tele lens a few feet off the floor.

From an in-use perspective, Manfrotto is very good, Gitzo/RRS are just a bit better.  Higher load capacity means greater stability, something as simple as a hook to hang a weight is lacking from the Manfrotto legs.  But it's a dimishing return to some extent.

However...have you ever had to disassemble your Manfrotto legs to clean them after use in sand or salt water? My RRS legs take about 1 minute to completely tear down, with no tools required (where did that little clip-on hex thingy go when it fell off the Manfrotto leg?  :P ), and after they're rinsed and air dried, reassembly is just as fast. 

Software & Accessories / Re: Quick release plates: RRS v's Manfrotto
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:25:07 PM »
No, the Arca Swiss-type plates for the RRS BH-40 (and ballheads from Kirk, Markins, Acratech, and a host of other excellent brands) do not fit on the Manfrotto RC2 clamp.  Manfrotto uses their own plate designs, and they're not even compatible within the brand, let alone outside the brand.  That's one reason I switched from Manfrotto to AS-type plates/clamps.

While some of the Manfrotto heads can be converted to an AS-type clamp with the Wimberley C-12, the 496RC2 isn't one of them.  You could replace the monopod head (with an RRS monopod head, for example, but a Manfrotto 234 tilt head with a Wimberley C-12 is what I used before getting the RRS setup to hold a 600 II), or get the Kirk 'adapter' (link) that has an RC2 compatible base under an AS-type clamp.

I planning on buying a grip for my 5D3 but debating whether or not I'll leave in permanently mounted on my body or not.  I've never used a grip so I just don't know yet.  Right now I'm calculating an extra 6" above the tripod for for the ball head and camera without grip.  I hope to have it all figured out by the end of the week.

FWIW, a battery grip does add a bit of flex to the system (as an accessory, not when integrated as on the 1-series).  For example, FoCal states, "If you are using a battery grip, it is best to remove this as it can cause extra vibration when the camera is mounted on a tripod."

I definitely agree that you should not include the center column in your height calculations (my TQC-14 has a center column, but I would rather lean over a bit than extend it).  Generally speaking, even a non-extended center column adds a point of instability - the bare platform with the head attached is the most stable configuration (which is likely why the RRS 2- and 3-series and many of the Gitzo 3-series and higher legs do not even come with a center column, although you can buy one separately if desired).

Canon General / Re: How do you buy equipment?
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:03:51 PM »
Day job pays for living/family expenses.  Side consulting pays for the gear fund, everything is paid cash (in effect), nothing is financed.  I usually purchase with CC online (B&H and Amazon mostly, Adorama on occasion), and I pay the charges off in cash as soon as they post.  One notable exception - when I ordered my 600/4L IS II, I was on a work-related trip to New Jersey and I took the train into Manhattan to order in person from B&H...I paid in cash (with a very large stack of $100 bills). 

Software & Accessories / Re: Wrist or Neck strap
« on: April 15, 2013, 11:52:14 PM »
Anyway, I'm also considering a RRS L-bracket for the 5DMKII and was wondering if all of the components (RS-7, L-Bracket and wrist strap, etc.) were gonna play nice.   The wrist strap is intended for the 5DMKII.

Not quite, but with one addition - yes.  Actually, the three you list (BR strap, RRS L-bracket, and wrist strap) will play nice - the L-bracket has a lower lug for a wrist/hand strap (that's what the camdapter provides), and a threaded socket for the BR FastenR-3 lug. The 'not nice' part is that to mount the L-bracket to a tripod, you've got to unscrew the lug.

The solution is to put an Arca-Swiss type clamp on the BR strap lug.  I use a Kirk QRC-1 clamp for that, it's a small 1" clamp (RRS has a 1.5" one, the B2-FAB-F, but a wider clamp isn't needed for this - the Kirk 1" holds even my 1D X +! 600 II).  Connect the BR lug to the clamp with a little Loctite Blue 242 on the threads. That way, you can unclamp the strap, mount the camera to a tripod, move the clamp to a lens collar plate, or another body (you could get an RRS base plate or Wimberley P-5 for your Rebel).

Have a good trip!

Lenses / Re: Lightweight lens for backpacking and bicycle touring
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:10:17 PM »
I will also look more seriously at a 15-85.  Like I mentioned earlier, the focal length sounds great, I'm just a little hesitant about how good IQ will be.

The 17-55 and 15-85 deliver optical quality equivalent to L-series lenses.

Lenses / Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:04:39 PM »
Sure, you can get step-up rings, for example to use a 77mm filter on a 72mm or 67mm lens.  They work fine (I have a couple from B+W). Be sure to have filter wrenches. Also, they usually preclude using the lens hood.

Canon General / Re: the rebate program... what a sham!
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:18:22 PM »
I bought a 600EX-RT a couple of weeks ago.  With the rebate, it's $50 cheaper today. I may just buy another before the rebates end...

Lenses / Re: 135mm vs. 100mm macro
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:01:21 PM »
I'd choose the 100L if I needed macro, else the 135L.

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