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Messages - neuroanatomist

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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.

Software & Accessories / Re: Wrist or Neck strap
« on: April 15, 2013, 04:28:13 PM »
Not only is the Black Rapid strap a great product but they offer great customer service.  And they will keep my business when I need a new strap.


After close to 2 years of using my RS-4 (mostly with a gripped body and large white zoom), the 'leading' edge of the strap started to fray just a bit.  Didn't look like anything that would compromise the structural integrity of the strap, but I sent BR an email just to check.  They agreed that it wouldn't pose a risk...but they sent me a new strap anyway, for free.

Software & Accessories / Re: Wrist or Neck strap
« on: April 15, 2013, 01:33:13 PM »
I use a shoulder strap (Blackrapid) and a hand strap (Canon E1).

Lenses / Re: Long zooms
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:14:20 AM »
You'll want the Canon 100-400L, partly for the better IQ but mostly for the much faster AF.

Legs:  Gitzo or Really Right Stuff.  The latter is more expensive, but the quality can't be beat.  I have their travel tripod setup (TQC-14 and BH-30 LR), leg diameters and support rating are equivalent to the Gitzo 25xx, and even though it's rated for 25 lbs, I can (and have) personally suspended myself (180 lbs) holding two of the legs and swinging under the tripod.  The RRS TVC Series 2 is similar to the Gitzo 3-series.  IMO, the build quality of RRS is slightly higher than Gitzo (anodized vs. painted aluminum parts and easier-to-hold legs locks, for example). But really, you can't go wrong with either Gitzo or RRS.

Head: RRS, Kirk, or Markins.  I'd avoid both Gitzo and Manfrotto.  The Gitzo heads have a generally bad reputation for a reason - they're kludgy and relatively heavy, and use a non-standard plate.  There's a guy on my local Craigslist that's been trying to offload a Gitzo head for over two years now - no takers.  Whether you get the Gitzo 25xx or an RRS Series 2 set of legs, I'd get the RRS BH-40 head.

I used a Manfrotto 468MG ballhead for a few years - the poster who commented it's a joy to use is correct.  The head is a joy to use.  The RC2 plate/clamp system is not a joy, IMO - it's the weak point in an otherwise quite decent system.  While it locks down securely (thanks to the secondary pin, there's no risk of it slipping out), even with it 'locked down' there's still play - and that means vibration, and also makes it difficult to precisely position the load.  Fortunately, the clamp can be switched. I removed the Manfrotto clamp and replaced it with a Wimberley C-12, an Arca-Swiss type clamp. 

I highly recommend going with the AS system - the clamps are secure and it's as close to a standard as you'll find (used by RRS, Kirk, Markins, Acratech, Arca Swiss, and others).  You can get excellent Kirk or RRS L-brackets, specific or generic lens plates, a variety of pano systems, etc. 

When you add the cost of the 468MG (you can get just the head without a clamp) to the cost of the Wimberley C-12 ($80), you might as well just get the RRS BH-40...

If you like your geared head, maybe keep it and use the Kirk adapter to concert the RC4 to an AS-type clamp.

EOS Bodies / Re: Bogus Canon Rebate Prices at B&H
« on: April 14, 2013, 03:37:42 PM »
Instead of blaming B&H, you will need to blame Canon's minimum advertised price policy that went into effect a couple of years ago.

However, if you give it a few days, the price may drop...  But you would need to add the item to your cart to see the lower price.

$499 for the 600 flash

Indeed. I bought one a couple weeks ago for $550 (my second one), might have to pick up another...

Software & Accessories / Re: iPhoto or Aperture´╝č
« on: April 14, 2013, 09:52:34 AM »
iPhoto doesn't really handle RAW images, Aperture does, and allows multiple libraries including storage on external drives.

That 6D kit (with the 70-300f4-5.6 IS USM), wow, it's like they're throwing one of their best lenses at you for free.

While the L version of that lens ranks among their top lenses, the non-L version included in the kit could hardly be considered "one of their best".  At 300mm, it's about as sharp as a bowl of pudding.  :P

I'll look at harnesses and holsters again but I have found that when I am in crowd situations, (I can think of multiple news and sports events where I had to thread through crowds of people to get to the front or out of harms way) and if I don't have hip pack/think tank gear pushed behind me...towards my back, then I am whacking every person in the crowd with my gear (ie hip holster type things) and it tends to piss them off...

I had a similar concern.  I use the Spider Holster, but not on their belt. Instead, I have it on a Lowepro belt - their Light Utility Belt has 'sections' that slide on the belt, so you can slide a rig around toward your back.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon D800 Value Dropping?
« on: April 13, 2013, 12:08:47 PM »
Something that has engaged my attention is the user feedback on Amazon for both the 5D3 and the d800. Both have around 250 reviews however, negative reviews for the 5D is almost non existent while its considerable for the d800. Leads me to believe there are issues with the d800 that left many buyers disappointed. I hope it comes down even more it might drive me to get one.

If you look at Amazon's Top 100 Rated dSLRs (rating, not sales), the 5DIII is at #4/5, and the top 8 are all Canon, with Sony rounding out the top 10. The D800 isn't even in the Top 100 (although the D800E is on the an impressive #83).

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