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Messages - Hillsilly

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Software & Accessories / Re: Needing a primer on batteries
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:34:02 PM »
In Australia, a genuine NP-E3 battery is almost $300.  That's a bit excessive for four AAs and some plastic casing.  Given that you can get an almost identical third party battery for $35, choosing the third party option isn't that hard. (For anyone interested, I've found the ones from Aussie Battery to fit well and have a high shot capacity).

Although I've never had a problem, I am a bit more paranoid about the third party batteries.  I charge them on a granite benchtop with nothing nearby that might catch fire.  And I tend to check on them more regularly.  I don't know if the instances of failure are higher than OEM, but there are enough stories to make you a little wary.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: The Unholy Trinity of Non-L Primes?
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:04:03 AM »
A prime lens collection that is "good enough" is a difficult question.  I'm reasonably confident in saying that there aren't any "bad" lenses in the Canon collection.  Most are good and more than adequate for most things.  Some are very good and fill in the gaps for special needs. 

Even the cheapest lens - the 50mm f/1.8 - is actually quite good once you've stopped it down a bit.  In fact, virtually every cheap option is almost essentially as good as the "L" option except that they generally aren't as sharp at the widest apertures, feel a little flimsy, and their out of focus backgrounds aren't as nice.

For most things, the non-L 35/50/100 lenses will be almost as good, and you'd have to look closely to tell the differences.  And even then, "differences" doesn't actually mean "better" (although, admittedly, generally it will).  And as mentioned above, the 135mm f/2 is a very good lens if that's a focal length that interests you.  Its worthwhile saving up.

If you're looking at a more affordable option for occasional use, I've been using a carbon fibre Triopo tripod and ball-head for the last few years with success.

EOS Bodies / Re: 46mp sensor useless for landscape?
« on: October 07, 2012, 02:45:40 AM »
I won't try to say that I fully understand the article.  However, real world results suggest that there is no such problem.  The 5Dii has more than 19mp and has been considered an excellent landscape camera - I don't recall anyone noticing odd colour shifts when stopped down below f/8.  And those with a working D800 seem delighted with their cameras too.

Lenses / Re: Excellent shorter lens with TC vs Average longer lens
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:47:42 AM »
Thanks, should have mentioned that my interest is mostly astronomy related.  Currently using a 400mm with two 2x teleconverters on an m4/3 cameras (to give me an effective 3200mm).  But getting annoyed with noise and my photos could be sharper (and probably my tripod more stable).  Plus the small aperture doesn't help with getting sharp images.  Its not a bad set up for bright objects such as the moon, but planets look like tiny fuzzy blobs.  Just daydreaming about other options.  Maybe a telescope is the solution.

Software & Accessories / Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« on: October 02, 2012, 08:52:06 AM »
Maybe look at the second hand market.  If you can do some simple maths, then the older Pentax and Minolta spot meters are well regarded.

Nearly every serious photography book I read advocates a spot meter and the zone system or similar including sketching the scene and pencilling in all of the readings to determine the exposure and look that you are seeking.  To me, it seems overly complex and cumbersome....but then, my failure to do this consistently (and my fear of snakes!) might explain why I'm not a world reknown landscape photographer.  I suspect that one of the main benefits of using a light meter is that it makes you think more about what you are doing.  That alone might lead to better photographs. 

Actually, I have an RB67 too hence my reason for one....

You've never been tempted by the metered prism finder?

Lenses / Excellent shorter lens with TC vs Average longer lens
« on: October 02, 2012, 07:42:22 AM »
Was just checking the Samyang site and see they've got an 800mm mirror lens and a 650-1300mm zoom.  A second hand shop near my work has a Meade 1000mm f/11 mirror lens for sale.  And I see a lot of similar lenses for sale on eBay.  A quick google search suggests the image quality from these lenses isn't great. seems you get what you pay for.   

But my question is this: -

If you had a 300mm f/4, would your cropped image appear sharper than a cheap 1000mm+ lens?  What about a 300mm with a teleconverter or two?  Is there any point to buying a cheaper, longer lens?

Software & Accessories / Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« on: October 02, 2012, 07:27:01 AM »
Guilty.  But I only use it with my film cameras.  My RB67 doesn't have a built in light meter.  And while the meter in my Mamiya 6 is ok, I still occassionally find a light meter to be a good reality check - especially when using flash.

With my DSLR, I find the preview from the LCD and histogram more than sufficient.

Perhaps I'm getting lazy, but as there is no direct financial cost with taking digital photos, I'm quite happy to snap away until I've got the exposure I want.  And bracketing isn't necessarily a bad option as it can give you post production possibilities.

EOS Bodies / Re: mhm... open letter to canon?
« on: September 26, 2012, 05:46:44 AM »
I've got an older 1Ds Mkii and was hoping that a 6D might be the next thing for me.  I'll like the smaller size and the video capabilities.  Higher ISOs, WiFi and GPS will also be fun to play with.  But there are a few things that aren't quite as good.  Just wish the decision was a bit easier. 

EOS Bodies / Re: mhm... open letter to canon?
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:26:32 AM »
I agree.  And I'm not reallly advocating a switch.  I just think that if the 6D is a sales disaster then Canon will have to give some serious thought to where they went wrong.  Although, realistically, I suspect it will be a sales success and the Canon execs will probably sit around slapping each other on their backs saying how awesome they (and the 6D) are.

EOS Bodies / Re: mhm... open letter to canon?
« on: September 26, 2012, 01:52:52 AM »
It was about the fact that their website does not disclose any RRPs...

Getting a little off topic, but its good to see a lot of authorised reps (such as Camerapro in Brisbane) list the 6D at $2199.  The do say the price might change, but I think it bodes well.  When you consider that price includes $200 GST, the underlying price is even cheaper than the US.  Overall, local Canon pricing for camera bodies hasn't been shocking me as much as it used to.

Back on topic, I can't believe how much anger the 6D has generated.  Peoples, its just a camera.  It will probably work very well, even if it is uninspiring to many.  There's plenty of other alternative cameras out there.  You don't have to pin your hopes and aspirations on this one.  If its not perfectly suited to your needs, don't buy it.  The best way of getting your message across to Canon is for them to see all of their 6Ds gathering dust on the shelf while the D600 sells like hotcakes.

EOS Bodies / Re: Why are flash sync shutter speeds getting worse?
« on: September 24, 2012, 11:50:06 PM »
I wouldn't say they are getting worse.  Just not getting better.  For the better part of the last twenty years most mid range Canons have been around the 1/180 - 1/200s mark.  Less than 10 years ago, a lot of Canon bodies were still in the 1/90 - 1/125s range.  Unfortunately, it seems you can have a fast max shutter speed, or a fast sync speed, but you can't have both.  I might be sounding like a Canon apologist, but I prefer the option of a faster shutter speed on my DSLRs for action photos (if I want faster sync speed, I'll just use of my medium format cameras - but then I can't go out in the sun or I have to use very small apertures).  Now, where did Canon put that 1/8000s shutter speed....

EOS Bodies / Re: Best FF option
« on: September 24, 2012, 07:51:00 AM »
Get a 6D?
Love to know why you recommend a 6D?
I would have thought a 6D would be exactly what you need if you're just after a second body for the 7D to do architectual, landscapes, portraits etc as you won't need the more advanced AF capabilities and frame speed of the 7D or 5Diii aren't needed here.  Keep some cash in your pocket instead. 

I'd assume the image quality would be on par with other full frame options.  In fact, the lower MPs might even lead to lower noise if doing night time architectual shots.  The only real down side seems to be the slower flash synch speed.

Lenses / How are lenses measured?
« on: September 22, 2012, 04:01:36 AM »
Can anyone provide a simple explanation as to how the focal length of a lens is measured?  Where is measured from?  What makes a 17mm lens a 17mm lens?  What makes a 400mm lens a 400mm lens.  My initial thought was that if you held up a negative 400mm from your eye, you might get a similar angle of view to a 400mm lens.  But that doesn't seem quite right, and doesn't account for fish eye lenses etc.  A quick google search didn't shed much light.  Does anyone know?

Lenses / Re: last call for vacation lenses
« on: September 22, 2012, 03:40:56 AM »
A tough choice.  My heart says 35mm as it is such a nice lens, but my head says 17-40mm as it covers a wide range of focal lengths that would be very handy on your trip.  And then there's the tilt-shift.  Not only does it have capabilities missing in all of the other lenses, but 24mm is an ideal focal length for many things you intend to do.  Do you have Sherpas to carry your gear?  If so, take the whole lot.  If you're carrying everything yourself....eeny, meeny, miny, moe......I don't know.  Maybe the 35mm?

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