December 20, 2014, 12:14:46 AM

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Messages - curby

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Why would you buy from Amazon and not directly from Adorama or B&H?

(1) This quarter, some major credit cards are giving 5% cash back for Amazon purchases.  That's $100 off the lens.  (Admittedly, this only helps if you aren't also paying sales tax.  I don't need to pay sales tax for Amazon purchases.)

(2) Amazon isn't any less direct than Adorama and B&H.  It's not like Amazon buys from B&H and then sells to you.

Ultimately, do what you think is right for you.  8)

Be interesting to see how they compare to Marumi filters?

Here's a few comparison charts that cover TIFFEN, HOYA and B+W to give you a frame of reference! :)

Spec sheets make for good marketing materials, but the proof is in the pudding of shooting through the filter.  Color cast and consistency of the NDs?  Flare resistance?  Build quality (it's more than just materials)?  Thread quality, resistance to cross-threading and thread wear/damage?  Resistance to polarizer delamination and other environmental damage?

I'm intrigued and I'm not saying that these filters necessarily lack in those respects.  But those qualities haven't been proven either.  That only comes with direct comparisons of performance against competitors and experience over time.

No circ. polarizer?
No variable ND?

To be fair, some of these are stretch goals, and you can't make everything at once.  It's a new line of filters, and I'm sure that if they're as good as claimed, people will buy them.  If people buy them, they'll be able to broaden their offerings.

I've been looking at those MTF charts. Have I misunderstood them

I'd recommend a read of: and follow if you care about optical geekery

What I'm seeing:

1) Astigmatism with extenders: less at the wide end, more at the tele
2) Worse contrast and resolution with extenders
3) Can we trust the blue lines at the bottom?  That combo can't always hit the f/8 aperture that the lines supposedly represent.

Software & Accessories / Re: Next on the shopping list: filters
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:34:56 PM »
@brad-man, that's true, but I *think* the single coating is anti-reflective as well.  They seem to brag more about the hydrophobic and protective qualities when talking about MRC. 

Software & Accessories / Next on the shopping list: filters
« on: May 05, 2014, 05:25:02 PM »
I'm interested in a 10-stop ND and a circular polarizer for a trip to Alaska later on this month.  I'm looking to flex my landscape muscles a bit, and figure the ND would be for blurring clouds and water for long exposures; the polarizer for blue skies and clear water options. 

My lenses all have 67-77mm filter threads, so I'm thinking of getting 77mm filters with adapters as necessary.

So I'm thinking of the B+W 1000x MRC and the Kaesemann Polarizer MRC, but my budget's a bit tight.  Two questions:

1) How useful is the MRC coating, if I'm only occasionally using the filters?  Is it important optically, or more for easier cleaning and resistance to gunk?  Adding MRC to the ND adds roughly 50% to the non-MRC price, so that's pretty significant.

2) If I were to only get one of these, which would you recommend, and why?  I'm leaning towards the ND filter, to have fun with things like waterfalls, but a polarizer is one of the things that you can't replicate or fake with ISO/shutter/aperture/Photoshop tricks.


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!

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