April 25, 2014, 12:13:27 AM

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Messages - curby

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Software & Accessories / Re: Convertible tripod/monopod options
« on: April 24, 2014, 07:03:45 PM »
Alright, order is in ... for a Sirui N-2204X and K-20X head.

I decided to go 4-segment, not just for stability, but also for setup speed.  I might not be able to unlock four adjacent locking collars with a single motion, but three should be fine.  Also, it's three fewer collars when the segments are extended.

I decided to go with Sirui because I found this combo for $410 shipped, which is close enough to my budget for a complete system.  Also, the K-20X is remarkably well-reviewed and well-liked for its price and size category.  Many people buy the head by itself, so it isn't cheap "shovelware" added to tripods just to make them kits.  I'll compare it to my Q10 and see how to pair things up.

The toggle-style leg angle locks seem easier to use than the pull-out/push-in locks used by many others. 

I'm not too thrilled with how the split column works (e.g. no hook when running short-column-only) and the exposed hook may be a snag hazard, but we'll see what happens.  Thanks again for all the ideas!

Software & Accessories / Re: Protecting foam on monopod / tripod legs
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:03:46 PM »
Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I meant that you'd strip away any disintegrating foam that's already there, and apply the racquet handle wrap to the bare al/cf/etc.

Software & Accessories / Re: Protecting foam on monopod / tripod legs
« on: April 23, 2014, 11:53:13 AM »
Something tells me that if it starts to disintegrate, you might be better off using something else instead of delaying the inevitable.  I bet if you took your legs to a tennis shop, they could wrap them in the fantastically grippy, comfortable, and durable wrap they use for tennis racquets (or sell you some if you wanted to DIY it).


Software & Accessories / Re: Convertible tripod/monopod options
« on: April 20, 2014, 05:53:22 AM »
Ok, it's between these two:



They're very nearly twins, but the Oben has retractable spikes and includes a short center column, whereas the MeFoto is slightly lighter and smaller (folded).

I know the 5-segment design will be less stable, but I haven't been able to find a compelling 4-segment model in this price range, and this should help with the folded size.

Any thoughts on one over the other?  Thanks again!

Software & Accessories / Re: Convertible tripod/monopod options
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:36:33 PM »
Dang, lots of new ideas.  Thanks so much!  I'll take a look at them later this weekend.

Software & Accessories / Re: Convertible tripod/monopod options
« on: April 10, 2014, 05:13:24 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts!  I'm trying to travel light, hence the convertible tripod/monopod unit so I don't have to pack four legs.  Does Gitzo offer such a thing?  I don't think they did when I last looked.  Perhaps it's too gimmicky a feature for their intended professional audience?

@expat, I'd love to know which model you got. 

Thanks again!

Software & Accessories / Convertible tripod/monopod options
« on: April 09, 2014, 06:41:33 PM »
Hi, I'm looking to replace my current Feisol tripod, due to some space and usability issues.  The Feisol can still be used at home, but I'd like something more compact and modern for travel.  180°-folding legs, monopod conversion, and 5-segment design can help with compactness, and some modern usability features like non-rotating leg sections would be nice. 

I use a non-gripped 70D, and my longest lens is currently a 70-200/4, though I'm looking to extend into the 300-400 range in the next year or two.  I do a variety of travel photography including wildlife, landscapes, architecture, and near-macro.

Options I've found thusfar:


Must-haves include good reliability and stability for the weight and price class, twist locks with anti-rotating legs, and a monopod conversion feature.  I'd like to spend under $400, but could go higher if there's something amazing just out of that range.  I have a ball head I could transplant, but a good head that comes with the new tripod would work too.

Are there any other options I missed?  Have you had positive or negative experiences with any of them?  Any other thoughts?  Thanks in advance!

I'm just getting started, but I do AI Servo, back button focus, and usually center point active.  Focus and recompose is so easy, just make sure that when you swivel, you aren't moving the subject out of your DoF.  I guess BoF and sports could make use of more active points.  Like I said, I'm still learning. =)

Software & Accessories / Re: Step up Adapters and Circular Polarizers?
« on: October 04, 2013, 07:57:24 PM »
Thanks!  I'd love to go Lee but I can afford neither the price nor the space in my compact kit.  The screw-on filters will have to do for now.

Software & Accessories / Step up Adapters and Circular Polarizers?
« on: October 04, 2013, 03:24:23 PM »
I know the usual warnings about filter adapters, e.g. vignetting if they extend out too far, but are there polarizer-specific problems I might encounter when mounting onto smaller lenses?  My lenses all have either 77mm or 67mm filter threads, and I'm considering a 77mm polarizer and a 66mm (lens) to 77mm (filter) adapter.  Thanks!

I've got the 70-200/4 IS, and I'm loving the hell out of its performance on my crop body.  I've been idly considering the 70-300 for extra range, but I figure at this point I might as well see if they release a new 100-400 next year.  Anyway, I was wondering if the 70-300's shorter length makes its heavier weight (compared to the 70-200/4) any easier to handle.  Does holding the weight closer to the camera body help its hand-holdability at all?  Thanks!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Using Custom Dial Settings
« on: October 03, 2013, 02:21:08 PM »
Necroposting to update.  I got the 70D.  It's quite a bit nicer than my Rebel in pretty much every way.  I wish it were a little lighter though.  :P

With my wide interests, I can't cover everything with a single mode.  I can't have a birding mode, a macro mode, a portrait mode, and a landscape mode.  In most of those cases though, I have the time beforehand to set things up.  And if I don't have that time, then it makes most sense to have the generic "oh crap, get that shot" mode anyway.

I currently have the C mode on exposure bracketing, as I might want to experiment with some light expanded DR work.  The more I think about it though, the more I want to do neuro's #2 suggestion.  To wit, have the C mode be for situations when you can't take the time to make all the adjustments.  However, I wonder if it would be better to select the middle nine AF points instead of just the center. 

I think of back button focus as 'manual focus using a button'

Great way of putting it.  Now you have full time manual focus (with most modern lenses at least) and full time auto focus.  Best of all worlds if you have enough finger coordination to manage an extra button. 

I got the 70D and am doing back button focus with DoF preview button being a single-shot AF/Servo AF toggle.  My only question is whether to have SS or Servo be the default (with the alternate on the DoF button).  I like the beep+flash AF confirmation of the SS, but I like the continual tracking of the Servo.  Hmm..  ???

Technical Support / Re: Sharpest f stop for a lens?
« on: October 03, 2013, 02:37:09 AM »
The OP asked where lenses tended to be sharpest, and if there's a rule of thumb that generally works.

The whole "how much does sharpness matter" debate is irrelevant, because it's still nice to know about patterns in lens performance even if it's not of practical importance for every shot.  There are geeks, enthusiasts, and engineers-at-heart in this hobby that are interested in the science too!

As others have suggested, I often look at reviews to get an idea of where my lens's weak and strong areas are.  That's never the first thing in my mind as I compose a shot, but sometimes it's useful additional information when you have time to set up a shot and carefully consider lens sweet spots along with other factors. 

For viewing and editing photos, I'd definitely go for a retina MBP if you can afford it (in terms of price, size, weight).  Simply put, the screen matters for your use case.  A LOT.

The most consistently worst part about Apple laptops for me has been the screen.  Glass multitouch trackpads rocketed Apple to the best in the biz, the move to x86 nixed the PPCs that just couldn't keep up, but until the rMBP the screens have been horrible.  Sure the review sites would tell you that for TN panels, the gamut, color accuracy, and contrast were decent, but as we know specs aren't the whole picture. TN panels have horrible color saturation shifts at different vertical viewing angles.  The IPS panel of the rMBP fixes that.  Now you have desktop-level resolution, and desktop level color consistency across viewing angles.  Now you have a laptop that you can edit photos on without having everything wash out because you sat up in your seat a few inches.  (And if you fly coach, you can now sit in a cramped seat and look down onto the screen with much better color saturation.)

But as others have said, wait 'til the end of the month, when Apple is expected to announce the next-gen, Haswell-bearing, rMBPs.  That also gives you another month to save up for it!   ;D


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