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Messages - pwp

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Interesting question.I occasionally use the 300 f/2.8 for portraits if I'm after a particular look, but it's certainly not a "go-to" portrait lens.

If the AF was up to speed with the 200 f/2 with 1.4X this would be a combination well worth considering. I hope someone posts some real world first hand experience with this combo.

A lens you may want to consider is the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. The newest release has OS (that's Sigma for IS) and really is incredible value.

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: Issues with Black Rapid?
« on: April 25, 2012, 07:11:20 PM »
Having tried them all, Spider-Pro is the undisputed King. I stand by every positive comment made about them. I also have the twin holster belt.

I can RUN while wearing it on with a 24-70 f/2.8 on one side and the 70-200 f/2.8 on the other, both on 1-series bodies with my hands free to carry a third body with a 300 f/2.8 on a monopod.

Come to think of it, I can't recall ever reading a negative comment about Spider-Pro.

Paul Wright

OK! Any discernible improvement in exposure control with the new flash?

Improvement compared to what?  Haven't really shot with it yet, though...  If there's something specific you'd like me to test, let me know.

Sorry, I should have been more specific. Improvement over 580ex & 580exII. You have to monitor the output very closely when using either of these flashes. It would be very welcome if the 600 showed greater exposure consistency than the 580ex & 580exII.

Paul Wright

EOS Bodies / Re: Shoot JPEG again with 5D3
« on: April 25, 2012, 06:59:36 PM »
As far as in camera JPEGs go, there is little doubt the 5D3 generates good ones. And there may be non-critical times when a JPEG file is perfectly fine.

But why get yourself a 5D3 to shoot JPEG? There must have been a bazillion words written in the RAW vs JPEG debate and the pro-RAW conclusions remain totally valid.

Frankly it freaks me out to shoot JPEG on any camera other than my phone...the potential for post-pro grief makes it a non-starter. If you know for 100% certain your output requirements are modest, check out mRAW.

It's worth remembering that portfolio standard images often emerge spontaneously from what you first thought was a shoot with low expectations and significance.

My motto? It's a bit like the Boy Scouts one liner..."Be Prepared" (always shoot RAW).

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: 400 DO f/4 vs 300 f/2.8is with x1.4 vs 400 f/2.8
« on: April 23, 2012, 05:20:45 AM »
I hope you get some user info about this. I'm curious also about the 300mm2.8IS +1.4tele versus 400mmf4DO. I've never really read much positive about the DO lenses other than the size weight advantages, but sometimes that alone might be of very high importance.

Yes,  a general web search on this revealed zip. Maybe nobody here at CR has a 400 f/4DO.

I doubt Canon have sold very many of them. Maybe the solution will be to rent one and do my own DO vs 300 f/2.8is+1.4X.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: 24-105mm f/4 L IS on a crop camera
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:13:08 PM »
If you never plan to go to FF, then why go past the stellar EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS ?
If you see a FF future, the 24-105 f/4is will not disappoint on any body.

But I'm a believer in getting glass to suit the camera you have now. The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is a very satisfying lens.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Canon 50 1.4 worth the upgrade?
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:03:01 PM »
It's a big ask from just about any lens to expect it to be pin sharp wide open. There are some (usually expensive) notable exceptions of course. My EF 50 f/1.4 was virtually unusable wide open but WAY better at just f/1.8 and reaching fabulous at a still very bright f/2.

In a quest for a better 50mm I traded to the Sigma 50 f/1.4. It's a little better wide open but then it's line ball with the EF Canon 50 f/1.4 from around f/2 onwards. So it was basically a wasted exercise...I have the Sigma which is much bigger & heavier in my bag for very little practical gain.

But for the OP, either of these lenses will deliver better performance than Canon's cheapest lens, the EF 50 f/1.8. Don't expect wide open miracles, but they'll be much better performers for you.

My experience with the f/1.8 is that it gets very good from around f/5.6, but is a real softy up at the wide end. There are good copies around that are more than acceptable wide open, but are generally as rare as hens teeth. Yep, do the upgrade.

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: 5D Mark III - Sandisk or Lexar CF Cards
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:01:05 AM »
... stumbled on a USB 3.0 'Transcend USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader RDF8'.
My order just arrived here at work. Interesting, the reader has a USB 3.0 cable included and a proprietary figure-8 style connector on the card reader side. I was expecting a standard micro or mini connector. Has anyone seen this approach on other card readers (proprietray or off-standard connector)?

I had a lousy Lexar USB-3 reader then my present Sandisk USB-3 reader and they both run proprietary cables.

Paul Wright

Lenses / 400 DO f/4 vs 300 f/2.8is with x1.4 vs 400 f/2.8
« on: April 21, 2012, 06:30:21 AM »
As a daily user of APS-H bodies since the original 1D, I'm going to badly miss the reach when I shoot with the 300 f/2.8is on the 1DMk4 when I update to 1DX (when they actually ship!). 300mm x 1.3 = 390mm on APS-H.

I figured a 400 f/2.8 will be an inevitable purchase, but the 400 f/4DO has caught my attention. The 400 f/2.8is is a heavy sucker of a thing...the DO is a featherweight by comparison. The lighter, smaller 400 f/2.8 MkII would be brilliant but I'm reluctant to drop close to $12K on one if I don't really have to.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens     (163 x 349mm) (5,370g)   
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM Lens     (128 x 233mm) (1,940g)   
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens   (163 x 343mm) (3,850g)
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens   (128 x 252mm) (2,550g)   

If the DO has the IQ and the AF performance, it could be a great match to the 1DX with its improved iso performance and claimed big advances in AF. The lowest cost alternative would be the drop a x1.4 converter behind my current f/2.8 300is.

I'm not completely cost driven, I just need to maintain the reach I currently have with APS-H when I move to the FF 1DX in a high performance, sensibly cost effective  setup.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: 100L vs 70-200L II for portraits
« on: April 21, 2012, 05:50:19 AM »
While there is absolutely no getting away from the fact the 100L is a fabulous lens, your question is about a useful portrait lens. There would scarcely be a serious Canon shooter on the planet who shoots portraits who doesn't have the 70-200 as an almost permanently attached to a body. Either the f/4 or the f/2.8 will deliver great flexibility and IQ.

Ideally go for the f/2.8 70-200isII. Sure it's big & heavy and is expensive, but this lens will earn your bread and butter for years to come. If I did an ROI calculation on every bit of gear I've ever owned, the 70-200 zoom would easily top the list.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 50mm f1.4
« on: April 19, 2012, 09:43:40 PM »
Either way it sounds like a bargain to me!

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: 5D Mark III - Sandisk or Lexar CF Cards
« on: April 19, 2012, 07:00:02 AM »
Anyone have any experience with the Sandisk "SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0 Reader / Writer" mentioned above or could you recommend one that has similar features?

More Lexar vs Sandisk here... My first USB-3 reader was Lexar and it was as unstable as hell on my system. Half the time it would not "show" as a drive unless you unplugged it and plugged it back in again. Often it returned reads at below USB-2 speeds. What a piece of garbage. It works OK as a USB-2 reader and now lives in my laptop bag.

Last week I bought the Sandisk.

Thankfully that vulgar "look at me" stand detaches easily (magnetic). It's very compact and so far there have been no connectivity issues. Speed is around the same as the Lexar when it worked. But to be honest, I see the major flaw in the design comes from Sandisk's desire to keep the reader very compact. The insert depth from the front of the reader to the gold pins is the shallowest I have ever seen. CF cards can be fiddly to align and it's disturbingly easy to bend the pins in the reader. I've straightened mine twice in the fortnight I've had it. More depth in the "mouth" helps steer the card accurately for a clean docking.

Frankly I'd look further than Lexar or Sandisk for a new USB-3 reader.

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: 5D Mark III - Sandisk or Lexar CF Cards
« on: April 19, 2012, 06:42:26 AM »
Over the years, anecdotally Lexar products have presented more problems and glitches than Sandisk. Having dipped into Transcend, Lexar and the very good Ridata, Sandisk is the card that has been consistently 100% stable in my experience, all the way from the 64Mb & huge 128Mb cards of a decade ago through to the 32Gb Sandisk Extreme cards that have become my current standard card.

Cards are something you never want to have to have the slightest concern about. Sandisk has the most stable reputation. I've even washed and tumble dried them in jeans pockets and they have just come back cleaner.

Paul Wright

Always always always use a lens hood. No excuses.

Yes, what Preston said. Always, always & always.

If for absolutely no other reason the hood offers your lens about the best protection you can offer it in the form of a shock absorbing buffer that may save your lens in tthe unlikely case of a drop or a far more likely hard bump when you have your body/lens on your shoulder and the rig swings into an immovable object. If you shoot a lot, particularly when shooting with multiple bodies and you're very focused on your work on you'll quickly find this happens a LOT.

Always, always always....

Paul Wright

The money you spend on a grad ND may be better spent on getting Lightroom with it's endlessly useful Gradient tool. I use this all the time to put richness back into skies or darken up an over-bright foreground in a "flash-on-camera" shot.

Paul Wright

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