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Messages - pwp

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EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrade to 5dmk2 or wait for 5dmk3?
« on: December 17, 2011, 09:42:07 PM »
Ihave a T1i, a 7D that i can use(My sister's, but i wont be using it for a while) and i was contemplating on upgrading to a 5dmk2.

Plenty of people are under a misconception that Full Frame is some kind of holy grail. Unless you are producing giant prints your 7D should deliver the goods. Unless you are deriving your income from photography, $2k is a big spend when you already have access to the 7D.

Just to provide perspective, I have no trouble producing billboards, glossy double page spreads and glossy full page output from a 1D4 with its 1.3x 16mp sensor.

If you have spare cash, why not drop it on good fast glass?

Paul Wright

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Looking for tripod advice...
« on: December 17, 2011, 07:09:47 PM »
Gitzo is a great choice, whether carbon fibre or metal. I've got a 20 year Gitzo, a mid sized model with a ball head. It gets punished...banging around in the back of the car, rattling around in light stand bags, it gets wet, dusty and dirty and still performs like new. There are a lot of chips in the paint, but this tripod gets used heavily, it's not coddled. If it died tomorrow I'd be surprised, but I'd go straight out and get another one.

It's something like this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/488035-REG/Gitzo_GT2941_GT_2941_Reporter_Tripod_Legs.html
with http://www.manfrotto.com/057-magnesium-ball-head-with-q5-quick-release

For more considered work in the studio or for precision architecture jobs, I have a large heavy Manfrotto which is just fantastic. http://www.manfrotto.com/475-digital-pro-geared-trripod-black with http://www.manfrotto.com/3d-super-pro-head

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Buying lenses, do you listen to your heart or your head?
« on: December 17, 2011, 06:42:34 PM »
In business you need to keep a practical eye on the bottom line. Most purchases outside of the core every day kit need to be justified to some extent. Return on investment calculations are very much a "head" issue.

But you can't always be 100% practical. I've often thought that being a photographer beats the hell out of having to work for a living....it's FUN. Life is supposed to be ENJOYABLE!

So yes, there is plenty of room for "heart" purchases as well. My 24 f/1.4II and the 300 f/2.8is spring to mind here. I didn't need either of them at the time, but as it turns out they have been far more useful than I could have anticipated. And there are all sorts of other low priced and eye wateringly expensive "toys" that have been "heart" buys. Some have been useful and fun, and others inevitably fall into the "what was I thinking" category.

What will I buy tomorrow? Yes! That 135 f/2L !

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-105mm and 100mm lenses with impurities
« on: December 17, 2011, 03:06:42 AM »
What is it we are exactly looking at here? Sometimes reflections can fool you.

If the imperfections are real and present, take the lenses back to your retailer and discuss. If the lenses are faulty, a changeover will probably be a simple matter. Don't delay a minute!

If you bought second hand, test the lenses and you'll probably find their performance is well within critical limits.
If they are not up to your standards, sell them again. You'll barely drop a penny.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
« on: December 17, 2011, 12:16:07 AM »
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

Back to the OP...

These are easy questions to answer.

Zoom? The 70-200 f/2.8isII is my default portrait lens. This is THE wow lens of the entire Canon range. No photographer should be without one.

Prime? Right now it's the Sigma 50 f/1.4. My Christmas present to myself will be the 135 f/2L so definately that lens will get plenty of prime time too.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Sigma lens deals ($100 off 85mm f/1.4)
« on: December 17, 2011, 12:08:44 AM »
Thanks for the heads up on this. Looks like a good buy.

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: Monitor recomendations for viewing and editing
« on: December 17, 2011, 12:01:28 AM »
The Dell U-Series IPS panels are sensational value. We have got two Dell UltraSharp U2410, one Dell UltraSharp U2711 and one Dell UltraSharp U3011. They are all very stable after a five minute warm-up period, they calibrate beautifully and deliver extreme accuracy.

I can see in the printed material and web content of client output and the color/density etc all looks  the same as what I saw on my monitors when I delivered the job. When color is off, clients let you know, usually at fairly high volume.

Any perception that Dell U-Series monitors are not up to scratch is garbage. Cheap office grade Dell panels will disappoint photographers & graphic artists, but the U-Series Dells are from another planet.

In the past I have had Sony Artisan (CRT), Eizo etc and they have been very good, but the value of the Dells makes them impossible to ignore. The Dell UltraSharp U2711 in particular is stunning value.

Paul Wright

Software & Accessories / Re: Automatic Microfocus adjustment software
« on: December 16, 2011, 11:45:07 PM »
There is a software that soon will be released for automatic Microfocus adjustment branded FoCal . It works with Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D. More information available at:  http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/
I have tried it with 3 different lenses and my 5D Mark II and i'm impressed so far.

Are you a beta tester for Reikan/FoCal? Would you let the list know when it's ready for prime time?

I've successfully used Michael Tapes LensAlign system http://www.whibalhost.com/lensalign/products.html and the results make the purchase price well worthwhile.

In particular my stellar 70-200 f/2.8isII is now even more accurate, particularly up close at f/2.8, my 50 f/1.4 is now useable and other lenses have all benefited from micro adjustments.

Paul Wright

Site Information / Re: Applaud or smite?
« on: December 16, 2011, 06:47:51 PM »
To smite or not to smite...this is the question. Your Applaud/Smite index does effect your CR credibility.

At first I felt the system was open to unfair reactive usage and there is no doubt a percentage of smites are delivered in a passionate, later regretted moment. I have delivered one smite, and later wished I could take it back. I felt a bit gutless smiting someone behind their back. I guess we could do it with a PM.

However, with the Karma system in place, it definitely plays a hand in the tone of posts & responses, and keeps unregulated "flames" to a minimum. Nobody wants dozens of smites against their names. I've been tempted from time to time to bang out a reactive response to a post, but the smites that may have followed would diminish my CR credibility. So I hold back. I have one mystery smite against me. It would have been nice to know why.

When I see my applaud number go up it's a little win...someone has benefited in some way from my post.

Changes to the system? How about a second chance before delivering a smite, much the same as a Delete warning on the computer..."Do you really want to Smite this person?"

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Which telephoto lens has the fastest AF
« on: December 16, 2011, 04:25:39 AM »
My 300 2.8 is MUCH faster than my 70-200 2.8...

My experience with these two lenses backs this 100%. With the 300 f/2.8 on my 1DIV body the AF keeps up right up to minimum focus distance provided your chosen AF point stays locked where you intended.
But Brendan, for anyone here to give you relevant responses, we need to know what sort of sports you shoot. With just about any lens a 1DIV will track faster and more accurately than a 7D, 60D 5DII etc. It's designed and built for high performance and this is what you pay for.

The 400 f/2.8 is a supreme favourite with sports shooters, and will most likely become more so with the release of the 1DX and the subsequent loss of the 1D series APS-H 1.3X sensors. 300mm on the 1DIV gives us 390mm with the 1.3X.

You may want to do a bit of research on the apparently brilliant new Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS.

King of fast AF is probably the legendary 200 f/2L. There is a virtual black market for this lens now. Wish I had the foresight to drop the Visa card on one while they were still a current listed lens.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Buy a used 24-70 now or wait for new version?
« on: December 15, 2011, 07:28:03 PM »
24-70 as it is, is a really nice lens.   Maybe my copy is just good, but I like the pictures that come out of it. 
My guess is that the same people who take crappy pictures with the 24-70 L lens that is available today, are the same exact people that will take awful photo's with the version II lens whenever it comes out. 

That's great that you have scored one of the many great copies of the 24-70 f/2.8. Brilliant.

With respect, most photographers who have rejected multiple copies of this lens are more likely to be extremely practical professionals who need to deliver image files to clients at a very high commercial standard.

When the 24-70 f/2.8 works well there is no doubting this is a cracker of a lens, but the reality is that there are a highly disproportionate percentage of these lenses that simply don't cut it. There is also plenty of evidence that the later builds of the 24-70 f/2.8 may have dealt successfully with the problems.

This is probably a great time to buy a NEW 24-70 f/2.8 for run-out pricing.

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: New Photographer. Need suggestions :)
« on: December 15, 2011, 05:46:01 PM »
I recently shot my brother's engagement photos with my new camera and a 50 1.8 lens I borrowed from a friend. They came out pretty good (Well at least he thought they did) and asked if I would shoot his wedding.  While I have no experience shooting weddings (and clearly told him so:), I said I would. 
Also, any other suggestions for a budding wedding photographer.  Thanks in advance.

Mike, My advice in the strongest terms is to decline. The potential for life long lingering resentment, whether subtle or overt is high.

You may well be a terrific photographer but as you have close to zero experience shooting weddings or events, there are traps by the million that you possibly don't even know exist yet.

Give your family relationships the best possible chance and reconsider. If you are doing a good job as a wedding photographer you'll be 100% locked in to that job and you'll miss out on being a great brother at the wedding.

By all means take your camera, but make it VERY clear that you are not there as primary photographer...you are there as the brother of the groom and want to enjoy the event and a social time with family and guests. Trust me.

If you do go ahead and do the wedding, be VERY VERY clear and honest with your brother and his wife about the reality of your skill level and the high likelihood of missed or botched shots. If you are doing your job properly you'll barely have time to have a conversation with anyone...your attention will need to be on the job. There is no half measure.

If you want to give your brother and his wife a great wedding gift, offer to pay for a professional.

Paul Wright

EOS Bodies / Re: Should i go for the 1DX or the 5D Mk III?
« on: December 14, 2011, 08:29:20 PM »
Hi all, assuming the 5D MK III really is going to be a high MP FF, which one would u prefer if u were a wedding/pre wedding photog, and also shoot alot of events....despite there are significantly price different, if u were only allowed to choose just one DSLR, which one would be ur choice?
High MP is good for pre wedding....but for wedding day and events..it might not need that high MP, in fact it might need fast and better low light focus and better DR.....
thanks for opinion.

Just getting back to the OP for a moment...

Just how the 5DIII wil be configured is still anybodys guess. Equally, just when you'll be able to get your hands on one is crystal ball stuff. It might be next Christmas by the time they start shipping in meaningful numbers.

On a balance, from what you have said and from what we know about the 1D4, this looks like the camera for you. Not to mention the fact that you'll be able to get to work with one in March/April 2012. Just put your order in for one right now. If you want out when your shipping day arrives, there will be plenty of shooters happy to take your place in the queue. You may be able to SELL your place in the queue!

Paul Wright

Lenses / Re: Buy a used 24-70 now or wait for new version?
« on: December 14, 2011, 05:58:00 PM »
I'm seriously considering a Canon 24-70 f/2.8L as a "general use" lens.  I don't have much experience with the second hand lens market....

The 24-70 f/2.8 is one of Canon's more contentious lenses. People like myself have had a appalling experience with them...three copies and all dogs. I can't tell you how many photographers I know personally who have a 24-70 f/2.8 and been shocked with the poor quality of the output. This position is repeated on the CR list time and time again. Others have been lucky enough to score a 10/10 copy.

But having said that, the later builds of this lens seem to have addressed the negative issues. If you want one of these lenses, buy a new one. A good number of the second hand 24-70 f/2.8 lenses are probably being sold because of quality issues. Some may have been bought and sold a dozen times.

Buy new, and be sure to have a clear exchange agreement if the IQ on your copy is anything less than stellar.

Paul Wright

United States / Re: Is 1D Mark IV boring or almost perfect?
« on: December 13, 2011, 12:27:35 AM »
There is no such thing as a perfect camera, though the MkIV ticks an awful lot of boxes.

Sure, we would all like a car that had Audi styling with a Subaru motor, Volkswagen seats and a Mercedes steering wheel, if you get my analogy.

Definitely there are a few specs on the 7D that would have been cool on the MkIV but really, isn't it all about getting out there and producing great images for your clients, your Flickr page, your lounge-room wall or shots of your kids for their grandmothers Brag Book?

I like cameras that I barely have to think about, that I understand completely and know will deliver. Better cameras will be coming along soon, but right now the MkIV is a mostly brilliant, tough as hell camera which is built to hack the daily grind and deliver the goods day after day.

Paul Wright

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