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Messages - Niterider

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HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Post your HDR images:
« on: January 28, 2013, 06:34:56 PM »
A couple taken with a rokinon 14mm F/2.8

Arden Pond by Live By The Night, on Flickr

beach1-1 by Live By The Night, on Flickr

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35 1.4 or Canon 50 1.4 or Canon 24-70 2.8 II
« on: January 28, 2013, 05:52:32 PM »
Are you using a full frame or crop body camera?

Either way, I would go with the sigma 35mm 1.4. There is no question about image quality for that lens. The street photographers I know like the canon 40mm pancake lens because of how discrete it is. On the other hand, if you are carrying a 24-70 mkii, everyone knows your there.

If you are really looking for versatility, the canon 24-70 mkii is exceptional IQ for a zoom lens in its focal range. The trade off is the the convenience of zooming vs marginally better IQ and much more versatility in terms of depth of field.

It all depends on what your budget is and what you need. If you need a steadycam setup there is the merlin steadycam, which is a small fortune, but works beautifully if set up and balanced correctly. The glide cam is another solid option which is hard to beat in terms of cost vs. performance.

Are you looking at a stabilizer for wedding work or for filming a low budget film?

Also, have you considered shoulder mounted rigs? That way you can use follow focus systems.

I have seen a recent deal going on at Lensrentals.com for a redrock support rig if you need a follow focus:

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 05:13:27 PM »
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b
I'd not get another lenovo.
I had a higher end, custom (to the hilt) ordered lenovo thinkpad recently. They are NOT made with the same quality as the old IBM thinkpads which were tanks. The new stuff, has lots of flimsy plastic on the case...and if you even bumped it on the docking station, it would lost monitor sync..etc.

I wasn't impressed with the lenovo product. This was one I bought last year.

I've not played with higher end Dells, but this higher end lenovo, reminded me of a cheapo lower end Dell with regard to plastic and flimsy feeling build quality.

Exactly right and that's one aspect of my frustration. There is really NO replacement in the Windows world to the best of my knowledge. Lenovo is now worse than ever it seems. The Dells feel like toys. And I currently have a pretty expensive HP Elite Book from my work place. It's a hunk of junk to be honest. The screen would be completely useless for any creative work - and is even only borderline workable for my office applications thanks to the ridiculously low resolution. The keyboard is utter junk as well - even worse than the MacBook keyboard that it tries to mimic. And given that it is a Win7 with i5 and 4GB my old XP Thinkpad with Intel DualCore and 3GB of usable memory runs circles around that thing. Looks like Sony tried a few things that looked promising but then it turns out that their screens are all discolored.

So that and the even more hideous Win8 OS leaves me with some MacBook to replace my lovely Thinkpad at some point. Which means I'll have to get ready to change "eco systems" - because otherwise Adobe makes you buy everything twice. And I wouldn't want to deal with two types of system for the same tasks anyway.

I'll still need Windows for my work work and business stuff but that's ok. So for music recording and photography I'm willing to take the plunge and go Apple. But even that is a struggle I find since a lot of there stuff is not as useful for specialty applications than you'd expect. Which brings me back to the OP: The iMacs now more than ever are basically consumer grade computers that are only borderline workable for creative people with pro-level use in mind. As a photographer I want a better screen. As a musician I expect a designated Firewire port and a CD drive. So there's that.

The new Mac Mini on the other hand is a real improvement (if you don't need a high powered graphics card). I'm looking to get the i7 Mini, max it out with third party drives and memory and hook it up to a good NEC (or so) monitor and an external storage solution.

That should work for both my photo editing and as the center piece of an upgraded home recording studio.

It sounds like IT at your work really screwed up your HP Elitebook. When I have worked on those in the past, I have had the screen at 1920x1080 and they are extremely capable at doing intensive programs (CAD, etc.). Don't be so quick to throw lenovo under the bus either. If you have not taken apart a newer lenovo, I can assure you that they are still built like a tank. The T-series are absolutely solid and most thinkpads have a roll cage for protection! On the other hand, lenovo's Ideapads are absolute crap and would recommend a macbook over those any day of the week. I actually think the macbook pro is a solid laptop and if portability is what you need, they are top performers.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 02:12:17 AM »
I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

While you may feel Apple overcharges for what it provides it is fair to argue that those who purchase Apple products feel they are getting fair value because they buy them in spite of alternatives and DO believe they are receiving value for money.

I would suggest the difference is similar to restaurants and home cooked food. The Apple restaurant uses the same ingredients as the others but happens to make a dish that far more preferred by diners. The home cook may actually make something that tastes better but the diner wants the ambiance of the restaurant that Apple has built and is uninterested in dirtying their hands.

They are not to be pitied they have made a decision that is sensible to them.

I guess ignorance is bliss...

The marketing strategy of apple: Take a product that is in every way insensible for what they charge and make the consumer think it is a sensible purchase.

Lenses / Re: Can You Beat it?
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:18:34 AM »
Totally not relevant, but when I saw the name of your forum topic, I had no idea what I was going to read when I clicked on the link  :o

Software & Accessories / Re: Need help with developing in LR
« on: January 27, 2013, 05:14:39 AM »
Do you do anything in terms of gradient filters, brush tool, highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance, saturation, contrast, etc?

While I understand the desire to not fiddle around with each photo, every one is different and I rarely find myself applying settings used in another photo to the one I am currently working on.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 27, 2013, 05:03:01 AM »
Niterider I disagree slightly.

Yes it's expensive, but when you compare spec for spec, Apple does charge quite a bit.  The products are generally usable and you don't waste time with stuff that doesn't work.  Instead you can use your time to simply use the product.

There isn't much difference between laptop/desktop architecture anymore.  Yes, performance is better with a big huge desktop, but what do you need the performance for?  Keep in mind with the iMac you're getting a 27" IPS screen.  After the computer is useless, I believe the screen is still usable via the thunderbolt port (but only with thunderbolt enabled devices, which right now are mostly apple laptops but that might change in the near future).  In any case, a 27" IPS (unless you buy some no-name brand on eBay) is going to run your $700+, so factor that into the specs.  It is NOT the same as the $199 27" specials you see all the time.

As for the hackintosh, don't do it.  I built one and it works ... mostly.  Sometimes something doesn't work, then you have to go through the forums and figured out what went wrong.  It's a fun project and I enjoyed doing it, but for a PC that's going to be used daily that I need to rely on, it simply doesn't cut it. 

My only suggestion is that if you don't need super-performance, buy a Mac-Mini instead, and a cheapo monitor for now (unless you have a monitor, if you do, use that).  When Apple releases a new Thunderbolt Display (27" IPS based on the NEW iMac monitor) either grab that or another high quality 27" IPS or PLS Monitor (Samsung, Asus, Dell Ultrasharp, etc.)  They're all going to be pricey.  That way you're separating the computer from the monitor, and can upgrade the PC every few years and keep the monitor.  The biggest drawback with the iMac is that it's difficult to upgrade yourself, and the PC side of the tech will likely get outdated well before the monitor.  Separate the two, and you can replace the PC every few years.

Honestly, I have little experience with hackintosh builds. All of my computers are either on windows 7, windows 8, ubuntu or running a virtual machine of a different linux distribution. I have heard running a hackintosh is a hit and a miss for stability sake so I can understand the desire not to go down that route.

While the iMac has an IPS screen, I often find that the graphics cards that are in the iMac just dont cut it for QWHD resolution, especially if you get into CAD or 3D rendering. Just a preference, I am not the biggest fan of the glossy screens either. I prefer the anti-glare screens in the Dell Ultrasharps.

Probably the most important part of a custom build for me is just simply convenience. I have a sound card, multiple graphics cards, efficient power supply, blue-ray, cooling like crazy, 16gb samsung ram (overclocked), multiple solid states, multiple hard drives in RAID arrays, a processor with 4 real and 4 virtual cores stable at 4.5ghz idling at 36 degrees Celsius, and a motherboard that can allow for lots of further expansion. I just cant get that in an iMac and if I could, it would cost over $3000 at least.  I built this computer for less than 900. Unfortunately, I am one who does need super performance and most of the software I run is best on a windows platform (emulating doesnt work very well for these programs).

Plus if i need to upgrade, I can just pop the door of the case off...

Do most people need a QWHD screen, i7 processing power, over 8 gb ram, 3tb and a ssd os boot drive? Not many, but for those who need or want it, get ready to top off that credit card limit.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:08:50 AM »
Ahhh there are a lot of apple fanboys on this site  :'(

Do note that the iMac is a sealed system and you can't upgrade it in the future without paying apple an arm and a leg.

The iMac is based on laptop architecture thus its not going to be a true desktop in performance. There is a reason I have a $2500 workstation under my desk at work and not an iMac. Building yourself a Hackintosh is going to be your best bet if you want to maintain the mac os. Plus, the build minus the monitor will run you around $600 and you can put the money you saved towards camera gear.

Don't get me wrong, I dont hate the Macintosh Operating System, I despise Apple as a company. So whatever os you use, I could care less (unless you are using a unix/linux distribution other than the mac os, then I applaud you). Its shelling out over two grand on ridiculously overpriced hardware that frustrates me.   

I do not mean too offend you as many get when one insults apple. I just want to show you the alternative. If you at any point decide to go down the path of a Hackintosh, I would happily help you with the parts to buy and the information on how to build one.

Ohh and if it makes you feel better, feel free to insult windows ;D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D weatherproofness, tested.
« on: January 23, 2013, 03:15:29 PM »
Just an update.
My right cursor button stopped working. And then it started working, and then it stopped working, and then it started working, and now it's not working currently.

Going to Canon Oz tomz.
Lucky I still have my 50d which hasn't been sold. I can use that for my shoot on Sat.

You might want to run to a local camera shop and have them put a working battery into the camera. Sometimes, moisture/water can damage a battery and cause errors similar to the one you are having. I got hit by a wave trying to trespass around a gate. I immediately took out the battery and put it in my pocket. I made sure the camera was dry, but upon placing the battery back in a day or two later, I had functionality issues with certain buttons on the camera. A new battery fixed this and I have not had an issue since.

Hey guys I've seen other threads about this but no updates really in a couple week with any new valuable information. So I'm currently shooting on a T2i of my own but often renting out either 5D mkii's or mkii's even now, (I'm an independent filmmaker) and I finally have the cash on hand to upgrade my own camera so I don't have to spend the money on rentals. If i had the money i'd be getting a mkiii but money is tight snd i shoot with sigma lenses so slong with upgrading my body i need to upgrade my glass as well. Now I know the mkii is a workforce and still capable of great things especially when I can pick up the 5Dv2 moire filter to eliminate that issue. But with the arrival of the 6D I'm kind of torn. I know that the moire on this is even worse but I'm worried if I pick up a mkii now while they're cheap, i could miss out on something great in the 6D with it having the new processor and even higher iso capabilities. Any thoughts?

Again if money wasn't an issue I know the mkiii would be the obvious Answer but 3500 clams is a lot when adding the cost of lenses and what not.

If you are in independent film maker and thus use a DSLR primarily for video work, don't forget that Magic Lantern works perfectly on the 5d mark ii. The 6d doesnt have ML yet. My recommendation is definitely the 5d mark ii. It has been the workhorse of countless videographers and photographers for years.

Plus at the prices it has been going at, its a bargain for how good of a camera it is.

Lenses / Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« on: January 16, 2013, 04:57:32 AM »

Hello CR Folks,

I'm off on a ski trip shortly.  I wasn't planning on skiiing, but I do intend to shoot a lot all over the mountain.
Was planning on leaving the non-L glass at home and sticking with my weather sealed 24-70 F/2.8L I and 70-200 F/2.8L IS II on my 5D3.  Both lenses are filtered for weather sealing.

Temperatures will be in the 10s-40s (F).  Can you guys give me the do's and don'ts of shooting in the cold?  Assume I'm outside for a few hours at a time.

Sorry for the rookie question, but all my snow shooting to date has been 5-10 minutes at a time so I didn't take any special precautions. So as I rarely shoot in the very cold, assume I know nothing about it.


  • Should I never change the lens when out in the cold?
  • Should I never change a filter when I'm out in the cold?  (I often yank the UV in favor of a CPL depending on the sky, what I'm shooting, etc.)
  • I seem to recall there was a concern bringing in cold and/or externally damp gear into a warm place (like my cabin) -- something associated with condensation inside the lens as it equilibrates to temperature.  Should I ziplock bag my gear before I bring it into a warm indoors location?
  • My tripod is carbon fiber, and it will most certainly get cold and wet.  Do I need to take any precautions to using it in such conditions?

I appreciate your guidance.

- A

I actually use a pelican hard case with desiccant packets inside so that I dont have to deal with plastic bags. Just a personal preference and haven't had a problem. Not sure how effective hard cases are compared to plastic bags though.

For the filters, your be careful not to breathe on the filter or front element when changing because it will fog it up. You especially don't want to trap that moisture in their once a different filter is screwed on. Also the heat from your hand can sometimes cause this same problem.

The tripod should not be a problem. Carbon has no problem with cold temperatures, but I would be careful about water getting in the legs and freezing. If the legs stop sliding in and out, let the tripod dry out in a warm, dry environment. No use in forcing it and risk excessive force to a single point. (really shouldn't be an issue though.)

Just my $0.02

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D weatherproofness, tested.
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:12:51 AM »
Afaik warranty doesn't cover it because the "sealed" is more about small splashes than real rain or larger amounts of sand ... The only really sealed camera bodies are the 1d series, with everything else it's a gamble.

For my semi-sealed 60d (and probably also the 6d) I feel safe shooting when it's snowing or in very light rain for short amounts of time, but that's about it. But from what I've read non-working buttons work again if it wasn't salt water and the camera was dried to avoid pcb corrosion.

Bummer about the "sealing". Then, maybe they and everyone else shouldn't say that they're "Sealed/weatherproof/weather resistant" at all. Maybe the only weather resistance is that one should resist taking it out on bad weather. ;)

Thank's heaps about your opinion on malfunctioning buttons working if the camera is dried. That gives me a peace of mind. My camera is now enjoying a rice bowl. I'll give it two days before I try again. I'm going to need my rice back! :)

I have previously tried those wet-bags for DSLRs that I bought a shop called Ryda in Oz. Luckily my friend suggested I fill them up with weight and tissue paper. I tested them by submerging them about 30cm. The first bag I had leaked. The second bag also leaked. I gave up on them.

Anyways ... hopefully, in three years I'll have enough money to get my 1d'ish camera and then I will be unstoppable!

Recently I talked to an employee at a local camera shop and he recommending putting the camera first in a bag with desiccant packets like those found in shoe boxes. Then place that bag without closing the zipper in a larger one filled with rice. His advice was that this keeps the sensor and camera from getting dirty/dusty from the rice. Might be worth a try.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: HDR video on the 5Dmk3?
« on: January 12, 2013, 07:14:39 PM »
I'm pretty sure Magic Lantern does HDR video through varying the ISO. It alternates between two ISO's every other frame.

I've never tried it, I just always see it on the ML menu and wondered what kind of effect it would have on video.

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Best HDR Software?
« on: January 12, 2013, 04:02:41 AM »
I see HDR as a way to get the same image with a dynamic range not achievable through hardware limitations. While there is an art to the cartoon like HDR, I find most people over do it and most software are tailored to mimic this effect.

The method I use to get the most "natural" looking HDR photographs is to process it through Adobe Photoshop CS6 as a 32bit HDR and save that file as a .tiff file. (should be about 176mbs) Then import the Tiff image into lightroom and then go about editing it as you would a normal photo. This combination of software results in a lot less noise in the shadows and considerably more detail in the highlights.

I know this software is expensive, but there are ways around those fees. I am a student so I get the student pricing, but I have a lot of people ask me to process their files through Photoshop. If you know of anyone that has photoshop, that may be a viable option to getting your images processed.

There are other methods that enable oneself to acquire the software for free, but hey I'm probably not supposed to advocate that.   

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