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Messages - neuroanatomist

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6286
Software & Accessories / Re: Good GND filter to go with new Lee system
« on: February 27, 2013, 09:56:59 PM »
The B+W filter is glass, like the excellent ND grads from B+W's parent company, Schneider Optics.  The specs of the filter you link don't say, but the Schneider filters are 4mm thick, vs. the 2mm thickness of the resin filters from Lee, Singh-Ray, etc.  If you go the glass filter route, you'll need the Lee 4mm side guides (for which reviews are mixed), not sure if you can use more than one filter at a time.

6287
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Good TripodHead
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:27:08 PM »
Kirk QRC-1 is what you're thinking of...I have a couple.  The RRS clamp with the flat bottom is pretty new - the older one has metal 'nubs' on the bottom so the BR lug doesn't sit flush. I called RRS about it, since the nubby clamp was pictured in their website with a BR strap attached. Their advice is usually reliable and helpful, but in this case their suggestions were to either 'mash the rubber washer down onto the nubs' or 'just file them off'.  :o  I bought the Kirk clamp instead.

6288
Lenses / Re: Best Value "Normal" Lens for 6d?
« on: February 27, 2013, 07:28:53 PM »
sharper, realy

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/50mm_1.2L/index.htm and the TDP comparison that TrumpetPower linked.

But probably some copy variation issues.  Roger Cicala (lensrentals.com) tested multiple copies, and it's basically a wash in terms of sharpness based on his results.

Regardless, the two key points are:

  • The 50L is an excellent (but expensive) portrait lens, optimized for better bokeh and sacrificing some other aspects of optical performance to achieve that creamy bokeh
  • Stating that the only differences between the f/1.4 and f/1.2L lenses are build quality and cost is an oversimplification

6289
PowerShot / Re: P&S - Faster lens or bigger sensor?
« on: February 27, 2013, 06:06:57 PM »
Personally, I'd get the S100 over the S110 - the improvements were marginal, IMO (unlike the S100 vs. the S95).

If I were to replace my S100 today, it would be with a Sony RX100 - same form factor with an even bigger sensor.

6290
PowerShot / Re: P&S - Faster lens or bigger sensor?
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:03:19 PM »
Bigger sensor would be the better choice, IMO.

6291
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Good TripodHead
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:00:13 PM »
Versa 3+PG-02 FG = ultimate stability for my 400 f/2.8 II.

I went with the PG-02 LLR (side mount vs. bottom mount gimbal) on a TVC-33, either way it's a top-notch setup for holding a supertele.

Yup. I would like to try the non-gimbal. I should just buy the plate and see how different it is. I am sure it is minimal but the FG setup is about 1 Lb I could shave out of my gear.
From a support and tracking standpoint, there's really no difference between the side mount gimbal and the bottom mount gimbal.  A little more care is required when mounting the lens into the clamp, with the side mount you need to support the weight of the lens while you lock the clamp, but with the bottom mount you can rest the lens on the plate as you clamp it. 

Besides being lighter and having one less piece when disassembled, I like that the side mount allows me to reach 'under' the lens to access the MF and focus preset rings. I had originally intended to get the full gimbal, and was surprised when RRS recommended the side over the full.  I discussed it with someone who'd bought the side gimbal for a 500 MkI and was quite pleased, so between that and RRS' recommendation, I went with that.

6292
Lenses / Re: 2x cpl as nd fader?
« on: February 27, 2013, 04:30:07 PM »
You're saying that 2x cpl doesn't work as a vari nd or just that cpl+linear is cheaper?

Two stacked CPLs won't work effectively as a variable ND.  A CPL is a linear polarizer with a 1/4-wave plate behind it, that 1/4-wave plate in a sense 'un-polarizes' the light, because AF systems cannot use linearly polarized light.  A varible ND cuts down the light as the orientation of a pair of linear polarizers approaches orthogonal (90° to one another would be 'black' if the polarizers were 100% efficient, which they aren't).  The commercial variND filters have just one 1/4-wave plate at the back to circularize the the output so AF works.  If you stack two CPLs, the light is already circularized when it hits the second linear polarizer (the 'front' of the second CPL), meaning you can't approach the orthogonal orientation that results in progressive light blocking. 

Therefore, two stacked CPL's in 'normal' orientation (i.e. if you don't modify one of them) won't yield very much darkening.   If you pull the glass from one of the filters, flip it, and put it back in the mount, and put that modified CPL in front of the unmodified CPL, then it will work as a variable ND filter - but that's because by flipping it, you've put the 1/4-wave plate in front, and actually converted your circular polarizer into a linear polarizer.  Easier to just buy a linear polarizer...

Bottom line, the way to make a DIY variable ND filter is with a linear polarizer stacked in front of a CPL (not the reverse).

6293
Lenses / Re: Best Value "Normal" Lens for 6d?
« on: February 27, 2013, 03:48:43 PM »
The 1.4 is sharper at every aperture from f/1.4 on, especially in the corners (due to that curved focal plane).

Really, all you get with the L is an extra fraction of a stop of maximum aperture (with a depth of field so insanely narrow that it can only be considered a special effect) and "better build quality" that doesn't include weather sealing.

The 1.4 is a superlative lens. The L isn't a better lens; it's just a slightly poorer performing, heavier lens that opens up a marginal fraction wider. And it's got some red paint. And it costs three times as much That's all.

Not quite.  The 50L is sharper than the 50/1.4 from f/1.4 - f/2, doesn't have the halation that affects the 50/1.4 wide open, has much less flare, and has smoother, better bokeh at comparable apertures.  To state that the 50L is 'poorer performing' is misleading.  Whether or not the 50L's slightly better optical performance at wide apertures justify it's 4-times higher price tag is a different issue.

6294
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Good TripodHead
« on: February 27, 2013, 03:31:22 PM »
Neuro, what do you think of the BH-30?

Also do you think the lack of a drag knob on the BH-30 is a big deal compared to the BH-40? It would be nice to save the $100 difference and put it towards a lens, but I haven't had much luck finding info about any drawbacks to the BH-30.

I have the BH-30 on my TQC-14, and I like it a lot - it's small, light, and strong for its size.  I don't find the lack of a drag friction knob to be a big sacrifice, but others might.  A friend mentioned that there was a pretty abrupt transition from tight to loose on the BH-30 he borrowed to test out (he settled on the Markins Q3T); my BH-30 doesn't seem that abrupt (it can be set with a bit of drag), but mine is new and the one he tested has seen a couple of years of use, so maybe mine will change?  Here's a good read on the subject.

Versa 3+PG-02 FG = ultimate stability for my 400 f/2.8 II.

I went with the PG-02 LLR (side mount vs. bottom mount gimbal) on a TVC-33, either way it's a top-notch setup for holding a supertele.

6295
Lenses / Re: 2x cpl as nd fader?
« on: February 27, 2013, 12:58:45 PM »
You'll want a linear polarizer (cheaper, too) to stack with the CPL to make a homemade variable ND.

6296
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 12-24 f/2.8L [CR1]
« on: February 27, 2013, 12:51:49 PM »
In fact i would like to see canon and Nikon cooperate and make the nikon14-24 work on a canon body.   

Actually, quite a few people shoot that combo.  There's an adapter from Novoflex that supports use of Nikon lenses on a Canon mount, and the 14-24 is probably the most common use for that adapter.  It's manual focus, of course, and the aperture has to be set manually.  But since the Nikon UWA zoom is optically superior to the Canon offerings, and most UWA uses involve tripods and plenty of time to setup the shot, it's a viable solution.

6297
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Good TripodHead
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:52:27 AM »
...the AS is rated much higher than the RRS BH-55.

Load capacity ratings aren't really useful to compare between manufacturers, only within a manufacturer's line.  I've got a RRS TQC-14 tripod that is 'rated' to support 25 lbs...I can grab a two of the legs and hang my 185 lb self underneath the tripod with no issues.  The Induro CT-214 tripod legs are rated to 26.5 lbs, and when I started to try that trick with a set of them in a shop, it was immediately apparent from the way they bowed in that I needed to stop to avoid 'you break it you buy it'. 

6298
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 12-24 f/2.8L [CR1]
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:13:07 AM »
... perhaps adding an internal circular polariser?
You'd need a way to get it out of the optical path, when you don't want to lose 1.5-2 stops of light.  Perhaps a drop-in type like the supertele lenses use...

6299
Your going to be hard pressed replicating the "super zoom" of sorts on ff unless you either don't really care about IQ (the tamron you mentioned) or are willing to carry around a cinder block (canon 28-300L).

Get the 24-105L over the Tamron 28-300. 

A superzoom lens seems convenient, but there are always compromises.  Usually, those compromises are optical - superzooms are generally not very sharp, have a lot of distortion and a lot of other optical issues.  The 28-300L is a unique case, optically it's quite good (equivalent to the 24-105L, but covers a much broader range)...the compromises there are that it's a big, heavy, and expensive lens.  I have one, use it as a travel lens (usually supplemented with a fast prime like the 35L or 135L), but I use the 24-105L a lot more.

6300
Reviews / Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« on: February 27, 2013, 09:57:46 AM »
Although now that I think about it, perhaps an integrated high capacity battery system on a full size flash might be a good thing with even faster recycle time and longer life.  Let me think... use the same LP-E6 battery in the flash too... hmm.  That might be something cool...

Not a good idea to use the camera battery.  Li-ion chemistry is optimal for sustained, moderate-current discharge, and a flash needs brief, high-current discharge to fill the capacitor.  A Li-based battery in a flash means long recycle times (that's one reason why the popup flash on a Rebel/xxxD is very slow to recharge, whereas a 430EX II with NiMH batteries can keep up with the first part of an 8 fps burst.

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