January 29, 2015, 09:28:17 AM

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Messages - pwp

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1
Portrait / Re: The New Guy
« on: January 28, 2015, 11:56:26 PM »
I have always taken landscape photos with no lighting or flash etc.

This was an experimentation with our newest addition to family that came over Christmas! I definitely see things that could be improved, but I would love to hear feedback/critiques on technique, composure, etc.
Keep doing what you're doing! You're catching the magic moments. And don't stop.
You're in a time warp now. Babies turn into 18 year olds asking for the car keys before you can blink.

It's a truly fantastic ride.

-pw

2
Lenses / Re: POLL: Which of these UWA options would you buy?
« on: January 24, 2015, 06:52:01 PM »
EF 14mm f/2.8II
This is one classy UWA.

-pw

3
EOS Bodies / Re: Buying second hand, avoid low shutter count.
« on: January 22, 2015, 05:36:26 PM »
...on the other hand I would be more worried of a camera with a high video usage because of the heat generated in video. Nevertheless, even high video usage would not be a dealbreaker for me if the price was right.
And of course the laugh is that most shutter count programmes do not take account of video use.
Interesting. I'm looking at a pre-owned 5D3 which the seller says has a 5500 shutter count and 8290 minutes of video usage. On the face of it, it looks like a very good deal. What are the genuine implications (if any) of 8290 minutes of video usage?

I always find the shutter count threads perversely fascinating. It's possible I have been absurdly lucky. As a heavy shooter who runs bodies well up into the  hundreds of thousands before retiring them, the only two shutters I have ever had to replace are on a film body where I punched my thumbs through a shutter while changing film in a bumpy helicopter flight shooting yachts during the start of an ocean race, and a 5D3 which was DOA. Canon swapped the body without question.

I don't personally know a photographer who has had a shutter fail. I know it does happen on a daily basis, my CPS will verify this, but I get the feeling there is far more significance put on shutter life than is warranted. Nevertheless, why not buy a low shutter count body? Or a low mileage car? The entire mechanicals have simply had less wear and tear.

-pw

4
Reviews / Re: Review - Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art
« on: January 20, 2015, 05:39:18 PM »
A few lines that jumped out at me ...

"I didn't have it long enough"
"I really didn't push the lens against its competitors"
"I have personally struggled regularly using this focal length over the years"
"Why did I take so long to write this review?"

Ugh — spare us next time
What a nice, friendly, positive first post! You're the best!

-pw

5
Lenses / Re: Fast lenses at a crossroads?
« on: January 20, 2015, 05:28:05 PM »
If the 11-24 was an f/2.8 lens it would be even more massive in both price and size. As an f/4, my hope is that it will be sharp wide open (not holding my breath on that one...). As Lee Jay points out, if you absolutely need f/2.8 and have the required budget, the 14mm f/2.8II is simply amazing. Most examples of the original 14mm f/2.8 are rubbish and should be avoided.

The brilliant value 17-40L f/4 which I had for years was sharper than my new 16-35 f/2.8II between f/5.6 and f/11. But images shot at f/4 were unusable mush.

Unlike the 17-40 f/4, the new 11-24 f/4 is not a budget lens and really needs to deliver quality output wide open.

-pw

6
United States / Re: Second Body Investment
« on: January 19, 2015, 10:32:36 PM »
I agree with the folks here. Get a FF. No point getting another crop camera.
Your 70D is a great body. I tend to agree with other posts, go for a FF whether that's a 6D, a 5DII or a 5DIII. Or even a low-milage 1DsIII. Not sure how much these brilliant bodies are going for now but it's worth checking. The only argument for getting another APS-C body would be that you already have a couple of EF-S lenses.

My advice may differ somewhat from others but get a full frame 35mm film camera.  The Canon Elan 7NE, 7N and 7E are all great film cameras that use EF lenses just like those for your 70D.  Shoot the wedding using Kodak Portra film and Push Kodak Tri-x two stops to 1600.  Your result will be legendary wedding photos not matched by digital.  You can buy these cameras in great condition for around $100 - $150.  35mm film cameras are versatile and well worth the small investment.  Go to Flickr and search for Kodak Portra and Kodak tri-x to see what I am talking about.  Film is fantastic at weddings.
Seriously? The OP wants to WORK with his cameras. He doesn't strike me as sentimental or a Holga artist.

-pw

7
Lenses / Re: new TS-e lenses ?
« on: January 19, 2015, 08:07:15 PM »
I would buy a 90 pretty much on release, I do a good amount of product photography and really like the movements, I currently use the 100L Macro. I'd be very interested in a 45 too for larger products and architecture.
The current 90 TS-E is my go-to lens for most of my product shoots. If you're doing even a modest amount of product work, why wait for the update? It could be years away. The current 90 TS-E is a fantastic lens which I honestly wouldn't bother replacing with an updated L 90mm TS-E. To achieve a unique look, for some close work I use the 90 with extension tubes, though most close work is done with the brilliant f/2.8 100mm L Macro. Great lens.

-pw

9
I'm with everyone else on this...skip the 50 f/1.8II and choose the 40 pancake. I had the 40 for a while, it was sharp, quiet, had fast AF and was deliciously compact. And cheap! You'll probably have no trouble getting a perfect used one for under $100. Superficial people like me who bought them when they first came out, seduced by the fun factor, are finding they're sitting unused after the initial fascination wore off. But then I've always been a sucker for a pancake...

That doesn't mean the 40 is not a great lens, it just didn't fit with my first choice work-a-day glass which are the three-high selling f/2.8 L zooms. The 40 comprehensively outclasses the 50 f/1.8II in almost every respect.

-pw

10
Lenses / Re: The Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L
« on: January 19, 2015, 06:49:43 PM »
Who hasn't got a soft spot for a crazy bright 50mm lens? The f/1.0 is one of the all-time classics.

It happens that today I have an opportunity to get my hands on a Carl Zeiss Planar F1.4 50mm ZE lens (build 2009). I see that they're a fairly modest ~$800 new. Better off with a used EF f/1.2 or a Sigma Art 50 f/1.4?

-pw

11
Lighting / Re: Profoto B1 vs. Phottix Indra
« on: January 18, 2015, 08:21:50 PM »
Profoto B1 is definite rock & roll level hardware. Profoto is the go-to system for people in the flash hire/rental business.

Yet after a decade and a half of almost evangelist level Profoto ownership, I sold off the lot a couple of years ago. The cost of ownership was high. High purchase prices and frequent trips to the repair shop took the shine off for me. So eight Compact 600 heads, two 2400 w/s floorpacks and all the modifiers and accessories were quickly (and easily) sold.

I now run with eight PCB Einsteins, VML's, and lots of staggeringly good value modifiers. They get shipped all over the place and have passed the tough-test. I like their very light weight, small size, power range from 2.5 w/s to 640 w/s, quick recycling and (so far) perfect reliability. An Einstein head is priced around the same as a Canon 600 EX-RT vs around $2k for a Profoto B1. PCB support is legendary.

Getting back on-topic, Profoto B1 vs. Phottix Indra is a fascinating comparison. Phottix are making some great stuff, no question. The Indra is probably perfectly fine, but I'd be looking closely at choice and range of quality modifiers, performance/reliability feedback and importantly, the standard of product support close to where you live.
http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/11/03/first-impressions-phottix-indra-500-ttl/#.VLxUSifOQZ0
https://fstoppers.com/gear/phottix-announces-indra500-ttl-500ws-strobe-ttl-and-hss-37521
http://www.lightingrumours.com/phottix-indra500-ttl-6267#.VLxbJCfOQZ0

We're absolutely spoiled for choice with flash gear now compared to just a few years ago. My best-buy for 2014 was a pair of 400 w/s Godox Witstro AD 360 flashes. Talk about great value. Godox and some of the other emerging brands may not have the street-cred of Profoto or Broncolor, but really, who cares? It's the credibility derived from the results you deliver to your client that counts.

pw


12
Whenever these threads come up which is pretty often, I just have to wave the Peak Design flag.
Often when that flag is waved, I ask how the Peak Design system attaches to an Arca-style lens plate (a real one, not Peak's little square plate that may not allow balancing the load in a tripod clamp).
Also, just to point out:
http://petapixel.com/2014/09/17/peak-design-strap-failures-causing-dropped-cameras-photographers/
The perfectly useful, compact ArcaSwiss compatible plates from Peak Design are required only if you use their Camera Clip system. https://peakdesign.com/store/?c=clips While I do like the Peak Design straps, I found their Camera Clip system less resolved than their straps. The Camera Clips would work perfectly well with very small light cameras, GoPro in particular, but pretty annoying with FF Canon bodies with an L zoom attached. The rigidity of the Peak Design clips makes their use uncomfortable and impractical. If I feel the need to use a clip system, then the Spider Holster system http://spiderholster.com/ is still the unrivalled Gold Standard.

When Peak Design released the Slide https://peakdesign.com/store/slide last year, there was a manufacturing glitch as discussed in the PetaPixel post. There were a handful of unfortunate incidents, but to their credit, Peak Design were 100% open about the issue, and kept the market up to date with the correction process, and followed up with prompt, appropriate action. As far as business ethics go, I'd rank Peak Design as exemplary.

-pw

13
Some nice info already. I like the Peak Design's Slide and Clutch. I really like the fact you can still mount your camera on the tripod with that strap attached (which can be taken off with ease as well). Is there something similar in configuration for BR straps? Custom SLR has M-Plate, and Luma Labs too, for the same purpose.

Anyone of you had any issues (shoulder pain, or back pain) with any of these straps with a load like the 70-200 IS II + Body? What about the strength of these straps, overtime does it wear out? I am worried about those plastic snap-ons that are used to disengage the Camera from the straps.

I bought Peak Design when they first did their KickStarter program. The Anchors looked like the weakest point to me, so I bought spare ones https://peakdesign.com/store/anchors but they're still sitting unused after a few years hard labor. The Anchors may look a bit light but they're fine. They get regular checks and as soon as see ANY fraying I'll replace them. The actual socket-like Anchor Links which you can buy separately https://peakdesign.com/store/anchor-links are also stronger than they first appear. It's compact, very well engineered and strong.

-pw

14
I am looking to get me a BlackRapid strap or something in that line which I can use with my 5D3. In most scenarios I use my the 5D3 on my tripod for landscape shots, but at times I like to detach it from the tripod and shoot handheld. When handheld, I like the camera to have some form of secured strap which I can use to wrap around my wrist or leave it hanging on the side of my shoulder.

I am looking for something that is reliable, secured, and I can attach/detach the strap with ease depending on my shooting scenarios. The heaviest load it will need to withstand is 5D3 + 70-200 IS II. Any advice or recommendations? Oh also anyone used a wrist strap, any recommendations on that? Thanks.
Peak Design has exactly what you are looking for:
https://peakdesign.com/store/?c=straps&gclid=COyPhsjenMMCFU5vvAod01UATQ
Nothing touches them especially if you're moving from sling to tripod as their design doesn't use the tripod screw by default. Have a look.

Whenever these threads come up which is pretty often, I just have to wave the Peak Design flag. Certain equipment choices seem to bring out the Obsessive Compulsive in me. Over time I have tried just about every pro strap system on the planet including the well marketed, alluringly named Black Rapid. BR is fine and has a legion of fans, but in my demanding shooting schedule, Peak Design is the only one that doesn't have any obvious annoyances or irritating limitations.

As a bonus the perfectly secure quick release system allows for almost instant strap removal. Straps can be annoying when shooting video or when using long lenses on a tripod, especially in windy conditions using a slow shutter speed. A strap flapping in the wind on a tripod mounted long lens may introduce camera shake.

-pw

15
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review
« on: January 17, 2015, 11:46:15 PM »
Quote
he sharpness at f/4 is phenomenal. The sharpness falls off with increasing f number, and rapidly above f/11.
Hm. I am thinking about a reason why the lens is sharpest at f/4 and falls off right after this.
Wide open is precisely where I would expect the 400 f/4 DO II to be at it's sharpest.
My big whites very rarely get moved from f/2.8 and I doubt if they've ever been past f/4.

-pw

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