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Topics - pwp

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Lenses / Canon 24-70 f/2.8II lens hood
« on: March 15, 2014, 06:50:55 PM »
I'm lucky to still have the lens hood for my Canon 24-70 f/2.8II. At a large function last night the head waiter came up to me with the hood and asked, "is this yours?" This has happened at least half a dozen times now, often returned by function staff. Even when properly attached and checked, it comes off pretty easily.

It's a relatively minor issue, but I'm curious to know whether this is an isolated case or if it's a design flaw. I'm tempted to get a few eBay clone hoods to use and keep the original in the cupboard!


Third Party Manufacturers / Arca Swiss PU Plates
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:42:06 AM »
Today I ditched three different Manfrotto plate systems and simplified into the Arca Swiss system, initially with a very cool Induro BHL2 ballhead and a couple of QRT70 to go on the monopods.
http://www.indurogear.com/products/induro-qrt-series-qr-clamps-qrt70.aspx to go on the monopods.

Needing to quickly expand, I'm stunned how cheap the Arca Swiss PU plates are on eBay...under $10.00 and free delivery from China.

Has anyone used these? Are they complete junk or are they OK? What could possibly go wrong?


Third Party Manufacturers / Is Manfrotto Q5 Arca Swiss compatible?
« on: February 20, 2014, 12:31:49 AM »
I'm in the process of updating/upgrading/simplifying from an unwieldy mix of 3 different Manfrotto plate systems. Clearly ArcaSwiss is the way to go. I like most of the higher grade Manfrotto ball heads, but finding it hard to get information as to what the Manfrotto Q5 system actually is. Usually 10 minutes on Google will answer anything.

http://www.manfrotto.com/054-magnesium-ball-head-with-q5-quick-release appears to suit my needs.

It looks right, but is the Q5 100% Arca Swiss compatible?


Lighting / Elinchrom D-Lite & Yongnuo YN-622C
« on: December 18, 2013, 10:30:05 PM »
Who has had experience triggering Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 with Yongnuo YN-622C to achieve HSS?
I know the Elinchroms play nicely in the HSS universe with the with Phottix Odin and I think also Phottix StratoII.


Lighting / Another HSS option
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:02:23 PM »
On Friday I received a promotion from a local reseller for the Jinbie Discovery 600 flash, reviewed here at Lighting Rumors.
Out of curiosity I emailed them and asked if they had tested any of the Jinbei flash units for HSS capability.
To my amazement I actually got a reply, and he had done actual tests himself in response to my query.
Here's his reply:

I have taken four shots with a Jinbie Discovery 600 with a Yongnuo YN-622C HSS type wireless trigger that we stock and here are the results below straight out of Lightroom with the Meta data shown.

Shot with a 5D Mkiii  quick and crusty (sorry)  anyway, the first shot is 1/4 second no flash,  2nd shot 1/200 of a second (technically the actual flash sync of the camera), 3rd shot is 1/500 and the last is 1/8000.  All synced fine as you can see :-)

I did these four shots on 600 ws,  and 400 ws settings and turned the 400 ws setting down 5 stops which is technically 12.5 watt seconds   and it still synced at 1/8000.   If i put the flash in the second socket which is 200ws it did not work as the flash duration is obviously becoming too slow,  I think it would only handle 1/500 before sync issues.

So it's clear that we can add the Jinbeis to the HSS-capable  studio-flash list, along with the Elinchrom D-Lite RX4. Good! Personally I'll probably pick up the Elinchroms for the HSS function. I know that they'll deliver HSS with Photix Odins, but has anyone successfully achieved HSS with the D-Lites with the Yongnuo YN-622C which I already have.

FWIW I have had a previously excellent experience with Jinbie flash gear. About ten years ago I bought a couple of high output Jinbie porty monos that ran off heavy lead-acid batteries (which were cheaply user-replaceable) They came with a 3 year warranty and were cheap. Zero street-cred, but they performed perfectly for years until I replaced them with Einsteins and PCB Mini-Lithium batteries. I gave them away and to my knowledge they are still going strong.


Canon General / Photography Ruins your Memory...
« on: December 10, 2013, 05:06:34 PM »
Here's an interesting piece to be taken with a grain of salt that suggests photographing an event may interfere with your memory of that event:

I thought about it for a minute and I have to say I agree, though from a different context to the research results. In my work I've often photographed absolutely extraordinary people, many with international reputations across all sorts of professions and pursuits. This has often been a necessarily short session, frequently with a journalist/reporter and the interview and photos may have to be completed in 30 minutes. Afterwards people may ask me, "lucky you meeting that person, what are they like, what did they say...?" And because I have been so locked onto getting the shots, I realise my memory of the experience is flawed. Of course it's not always this way, but some great encounters certainly have left me with scant recollections because of the upfront pressure to come back with great shots.

You can extrapolate this out into all sorts of areas. For example on the home front, I see other parents at kids Christmas concerts so intent on getting video coverage of their child that they miss the magic of the moment completely. And so on. Food for thought as we head into Christmas and vacations.


Once you've moved away from the traditional neck-strap, it's very hard to go back. But the whole sling-strap and holster industry is still very young and evolving fast. PeakDesign has been one of the bigger Kickstarter successes. Is anyone using the Peak Design Capture system?


The Peak Design CapturePro looks to me to be a sophisticated, evolved, compact design. The DualPlate is an intriguing design compatible with both Manfrotto RC2 and Arca-Swiss. Any reviews I've read are gushing, but appear to have been written by acolytes or affiliates. Any real-world feedback?

The Leash strap system can convert in seconds from a sling strap to a conventional neck strap. The Leash looks a little thin, so I emailed Peak Design who replied almost immediately saying a wider, more comfortable strap suited to the weight of a pro body with 70-200 zoom will be shipping very soon.

I often work long days on my feet carrying a load of gear. The search for a perfect carrying system is a bit like the search for the holy grail. I have a Spider Pro system www.spiderholster.com with the dual holster belt which has been very good but is now worn out and needs replacing.

Recently I had a case of buyers-regret on a full set of CarrySpeed straps; the Extreme, the Pro and the Dual plus extra F1 foldable plates. Initially the system looked full of promise, and I figured I'd get used to the clumsy attachment system and bulky components. What I will say about CarrySpeed is that it is just great if you're only carrying one body/lens so long as that does not include a 70-200 f/2.8. The ability to instantly hitch the camera up tight solves the BR bouncy-bouncy issue. Two straps doesn't work together and the design implementation of the Dual is a mess.

So what to choose? The new kid from Peak Design? More Spiders? BR? And CarrySpeed appear to have been wiped off the face of the map, litigated out of existence by a cashed-up BR for having the audacity to make a sling strap.


Site Information / new look for CR
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:55:17 PM »
Huh? What's with the new look? It just flickered over when I refreshed a page.
Think I preferred the lower case banner font, but what the heck...

EOS Bodies / Canon SL-1 as travel camera
« on: September 02, 2013, 06:21:45 AM »
It's adventure time again. We have just booked three weeks in Laos, trekking and backpacking. This time I just didn't want to lug the 5D3 plus glass. Research pointed me towards the brilliant range of mirrorless cameras, the Olympus OMD in particular. This ran a very close second to the final choice. My shooting style needs quick response AF, and a viewfinder for me is a must. The winding road eventually led to the new, tiny 100D/SL-1. OMG this camera is TINY! APS-C sensor, viewfinder, light weight and sharp price clinched it. Plus it takes all my Canon glass. For the trip I've set it up with one of the classier EF-S lenses, the EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6is.

Check it out compared to it's bulked-up siblings:

And there is a moral to the story. My initial SL1 was a DOA, exchanged the next day over the counter without question. It's a good argument for buying new gear well before a planned trip, and also for buying from an authorized dealer. We're not leaving for a couple of months. If I'd cheaped-out and bought gray, just a couple of days before leaving for the trip, the potential for disappointment would have been very high.

Almost a week in, I'm loving it. This new class of tiny DSLR deserves a big future. I'll remember to post some Laos shots when we get back.


Software & Accessories / CarrySpeed straps vs The Rest
« on: September 01, 2013, 10:30:32 PM »
I know the subject of accessory sling straps has been discussed endlessly, but has anyone had direct user-experience with the CarrySpeed strap? In particular I'm interested in the functionality/performance/perceived security of the C-3 Mounting Plate, the steel pin & the strap attachment to the pin.

The video makes it look good, but then most promotional videos do.


Lenses / tripod collar for 135 f/2
« on: August 27, 2013, 08:12:07 PM »
I have a 135 f/2, it's a nice sharp copy which needed +9 AFMA on all my bodies to become stellar. But I hardly use it, reaching more often for the 70-200 f/2.8isII.

Just now I realised why...no tripod collar. I shoot well over 50% portrait orientation, often on a monopod. If there was a tripod collar for the 135 f/2 I know I'd use it almost daily.

A quick web search including eBay revealed nothing...does anyone know if this item is exists?


Lenses / 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
« on: August 25, 2013, 08:12:30 PM »
Usually my lens and body purchases involve 1-Series & L glass but as a very lightweight alternative travel camera I've been intrigued by the tiny SL-1/100D. For my shooting style I'd have the DSLR advantage ahead of a mirrorless.

If I went with a kit lens, how good is the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is stm vs the ef-s 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is stm? I have absolutely no experience with either.


CS6 won't run the now ancient (though perfect for my needs) custom web gallery template I patiently built back in CS2 days. I find the web gallery templates available through Bridge and Lightroom don't quite cut it for showing commercial clients their images.

The Turning Gate http://shop.theturninggate.net/ on the face of it looked like a great solution. So I got the $25 CE3 Gallery plugin. OMG it's HUGE! It's bloatware! It's so complex and poorly designed it ultimately defeated me. The galleries it is capable of generating are mostly terrific, but the mud you have to wade through to get there takes far too long and pushed my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Can anyone point me in the direction of good, viable web gallery creation software/plugins? I'm not after freeware necessarily, just something that looks professional, is configurable and just works.

Thanks in advance.



Software & Accessories / DNG converter weirdness
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:00:07 PM »
I use DNG converter just about every day of my life. I'm on PC Win764. After a big archiving session where I used lossy conversion on several thousand files to crunch down the size, DNG Convereter has stopped working. Check out the screenshot.

None of the grayed out panels work or respond. I uninstalled (V 7.2) by deleting the DNG.exe from C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe and reinstalled  and restarted. The issue was unchanged. So I uninstalled and reverted to V7.1. Exactly the same. Next I uninstalled and ran the new V7.3. Exactly the same.

Fortunately I can run my conversions on another identical Win7 64 PC on the network, but it's not ideal of course. Any ideas?


Lighting / Fastest Sync Speed
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:38:30 PM »
I'm constantly hitting the wall with slow flash sync speeds. Australian light can be hard, harsh and brutal, and when there is no option but to shoot through the middle of the day, fill flash is often a must.

Low powered options are obvious, HSS with speedlights often save the day, but a true high speed sync camera body would be brilliant to enable full use of Einsteins etc. I'm quietly hoping for 500th on the upcoming 7D2. I appreciate and understand why higher sync speeds on FF bodies is technically challenging, but how about APS-C?

My 1D Mk4 has a handy 300th sync, and my long retired EOS 1D had 500th sync. Brilliant.

Other than leaf shutter MF DSLR cameras, is there anything around that has FAST sync speeds? I'd even consider a sub-APS-C sensor provided it was acceptably high quality. Fuji? Panasonic? Olympus? Or (gasp...) Nikon?


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