July 22, 2014, 10:02:37 PM

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Messages - pwp

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16
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 12, 2014, 03:54:58 AM »
Yes.... the touch screen is a game changer... either use it like a 1DX or tap the screen.... as touchscreens mature it will be interesting to see what happens.
I think touch screens will have a lofty place among entry level cameras and mirrorless cameras. When it comes to professional grade cameras...I don't really think that touch screens are going to be all that important. They introduce a highly disruptive workflow for changing camera settings, one that is not conducive to action shooting at all (and, since this is the 7D II were talking about...action is basically what it's designed for.)
Touchscreens? I wouldn't want to swap the major controls on my 1-Series or 5D3 bodies for touchscreens...too slow...but the touchscreen is here to stay. I got a little SL-1 as a lightweight travel camera and was frankly surprised how well sorted its touchscreen is. The SL-1 is much slower than the premium bodies to make adjustments to all sorts of settings, but some of the functions are just plain excellent. Bring them on!

-pw

17
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 11, 2014, 07:08:15 PM »
Can somebody explain to me HOW lack of a mode dial is a good thing? I've never really understood the button system on the 1D line. To me it seems to be a lot slower to switch modes like this.
That's the point. You don't want the mode changing accidentally and more to the point, the mode doesn't change that often - less often than you change lens/camera.
It's not without sound reason and frankly awesome industrial design that mode-dial-free 1-Series bodies get constant accolades for close on perfectly resolved ergonomics.

Like a lot of pros I choose to switch off all other modes leaving just Manual and Av. It's all I use. How often have you tried switching modes on a 5D3 or other mode dial camera in darkness or very low light? It's slow and potentially inaccurate. The 1-Series top display where mode selection happens is illuminated. No problem. If you've never understood the buttons on a 1D system camera, I'd say you've probably never owned one.

If the 7DII has no mode dial and presents as an APS-C pro body, I won't mind a bit. I'll just go straight out and get one.

-pw

18
Lenses / Re: Looking for an wideangle lens about 20mm
« on: June 08, 2014, 08:28:03 PM »
Daniella, your old 17-35 might be a good copy but things have moved a long way in the 20 years since that lens replaced the mostly unloved 20-35 f/2.8 way back in 1995. I had the 17-35 which was OK on EOS-1n film bodies but my first "real" DSLR sensor on an original 1Ds just laughed at it. The results were awful.

A great value wide is the 17-40L f/4. It's not much chop wide open, but even one stop down to f/5.6 it's a match for my very good copy of the 16-35 f/2.8II. At f/11 it outperforms my 16-35 f/2.8II.

Spend a bit of time over at http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/ where there are 100's of independent user-reviews of just about any lens you could name. It's well organized and could be helpful locating a suitable 20mm for you.

-pw

19
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens - Sharpness
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:09:59 PM »
Like Dr Neuro, I sold mine in favor of another lens, in my case a 300 f/2.8isII. And I miss the 300 f/4is! Honestly, there is room in my kit for both 300's. The f/4 is as tall and wide as a 70-200 f/2.8 and MUCH lighter. Therefore, I'd be far more likely to take a 300 with me as a matter of routine. With the bigger, heavier 300 f/2.8 I only take on location it when I know I need it.

My 300 f/4is dated from the 1990's but it's qualities have not diminished over time. Like most owners of this lens will report, it's pin sharp wide open and responds okay to a x1.4 TC. Another rarely mentioned benefit of the 300 f/4 is its ability to focus incredibly close, way closer than the 300 f/2.8.  It's almost a semi macro. I used to shoot a lot of food with the f/4, plus interesting portraits.

I did shoot sports with the f/4 and it did OK in strong light. The central reason I dropped $6.5k on a 300 f/2.8 was for action shooting, the blindingly fast AF and the extra stop are compelling. With the x1.4 TC it's still f/4.

The 300 f/4is is probably one of the great sleepers in the EF range. OP, if you're at all uncertain, get a second hand one, and if it's not for you you'll re-sell in a heartbeat and not lose a penny. Damn! I'm getting another one!

-pw

20
Lenses / Re: 70-200 f/2.8L IS II underwhelming
« on: June 06, 2014, 05:45:56 AM »
It's not without its stellar performance reputation and extremely consistent build quality that the EF 70-200 f/2.8isII has found it's way into just about every Canon professional's bag on the planet. From this point it's frequently stated as being a "most-used" lens. So what's happening for you?

There is a chance that it is a very rare poor copy, it's in serious need of AFMA adjustment, there is comprehensive user-error or the unlikelihood of you being a malicious troll. I doubt this is the case!

Read up on AFMA (auto focus micro adjustment in case you were unsure) and do the adjustments as a start point.

This tends not to be a lens that disappoints. If you bought second hand, there are the occasional copies that have been dropped/damaged and badly repaired, then dumped into the hands of a trusting, unsuspecting buyer. As with anything pre-owned, YMMV.

-pw

21
My equipment cabinet is cold hard steel.
It's smooth and easy to slide cases and bags in & out.
Padding? Why? Do you live in an earthquake zone?

-pw

22
EOS Bodies / Re: Debating on selling my 5D II and 35L/135L for a...
« on: May 29, 2014, 07:28:22 PM »
I've been debating on this for a couple months now since I don't really use them for more than taking pictures of my kids and some occasional outings with our friends. My only requirement is that the camera shoots in RAW as I love to edit photos and touch them up in Lightroom.

Do yourself a favor and at least LOOK at the astonishing little SL-1. I see this camera as possibly the most interesting release from Canon in the past 12 months. It's light and tiny. It won't deliver files like your 5D3, but it's got a perfectly fine APS-C sensor.

Alternatively, running with the argument that the best camera is the one you have with you, the new Sony RX-100 III looks absolutely stunning.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/05/16/sony-announces-cyber-shot-dsc-rx100-iii-with-evf-and-f1-8-2-8-zoom?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=news-list&utm_medium=text&ref=title_0_47

-pw

23
Sheesh! I know Adobe bashing is fashionable, but the vitriol here is kind of strong.

Just about every photographer on the planet has built their experience with Adobe software there as a central tool and constant creative companion. I love what CC and its predecessors have enabled me to do and have no trouble at all with the current business model. Businesses including my own have the right and even a responsibility to keep looking at their business model and not simply adjust with the times, but to show leadership and innovation. Especially if it's a public company.

If people don't want to pay for CC there are low-cost alternatives that are OK but possibly inferior, or perhaps simply unfamiliar, or there's the murky illegal pathway. This may be good for the wallet, but not good for the creative soul that is more likely to thrive in honest, clear air.

I'm looking forward to CC 2.

-pw

24
Agreed. After 5 years it has to be something exciting. The same has happened with the 1Ds3/1D4 to 1Dx and 5D2 to 5D3 transitions, both noteworthy improvements. A 5-year interval between releases was a loooong time even during the film age.
The EOS-1 ran from 1989 to 1994 (5 years) followed by the EOS1-n which ran till 2000 (6 years) followed by the EOS 1-V which I believe you can still buy (14 years). The venerable Canon A1 ran from 1978-1985. The legendary EOS-3 had a huge lifespan, 1998-2007.

As the dust has settled after the initial decade of the digital revolution, we'll continue to see just incremental improvements and longer lives between updates. Personally I find this both refreshing and irrationally irritating.

-pw

25
Software & Accessories / Re: Safety Line for my camera
« on: May 16, 2014, 03:38:13 AM »
Here's what I use:
https://peakdesignltd.com/store/leash
The anchors that you attach to the camera are Kevlar cord and Delrin plastic rated to over 100lbs.

They also offer a wrist strap:
https://peakdesignltd.com/store/cuff

The products are awesome and I had given up on camera straps before buying them.  I have the anchors on my bodies and lenses and I change out the straps as needed.  The only downfall is that they don't make a padded strap for those situations when you might need one.
Another BIG vote for the Peak Design system. I'd spent too much time and money on strap systems that either were oversized, cumbersome and underdeveloped (CarrySpeed), inflexible for MY purposes (BlackRapid), occasionally very useful (SpiderPro system) before landing on Peak Design. The major pre-purchase reservation was the thin straps. In spite of shooting all-day jobs with two cameras/lenses slung one each side, the shoulder strap discomfort seems no different to wide, and standard straps. This is carrying a 1D Mk4 with 70-200 f/2.8isII and a gripped 5D3 with 24-70 f/2.8II with a 580EXII on each body. As I've said before in CR posts related to equipment weight...I'm definitely not Mr Muscles, unlike Mr (Strong) Surapon.

The Kevlar cord and Delrin plastic anchors have passed the "tough-test". However I'll take the OP's post as a wake-up, and look at methods of "double-insurance" in case of a failed Peak Design anchor. I give the Kevlar cord a quick visual check before shoots, any slight sign of fraying will turn them to landfill. I apply the same rules as with abseiling and canyoning ropes. Extra anchors are very cheap...I've got a dozen spares.

-pw

26
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Third-pary Grip. Safe?
« on: May 07, 2014, 06:38:26 AM »
I wouldn't use a third party grip if I was hanging my camera off the tripod mount.
You don't want the mount to pop off and dump your first-party camera and lens on hard concrete.
Otherwise, IMO, 3rd party grips are equally functional (experience with 50D and 7D grips).

I've had a mount pop out of a grip...fortunately when I was attaching a SpiderPro Plate to the camera so no drop.  :P 

This was a genuine Canon grip on a 5D classic. My fault, I was just plain over-tightening with the supplied Allen Key. I replaced the grip with a Meike. Years ago I gave the camera & grip to an assistant and from all accounts it's still going fine. BTW, the shutter count on that body is up near 600,000 now on the original shutter. Crazy!

-pw

27
Lighting / Re: Incredible Godox Witstro 360 flash (does HSS too!)
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:44:44 AM »
Any tips on where to get gel sets for this thing standard cto etc?

Probably not exactly what you want, but could be a useful start point:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Godox-AD-S11Color-Gel-Pack-Reflector-for-WITSTRO-flash-AD180-AD360-F482-/160958458788?pt=AU_Flashes&hash=item2579df2ba4
I generally buy sheets of CC gels and cut them out to the required sizes, if if I'm feeling lazy, I just clip an oversized sheet onto the dish. Same-same but different...

BTW, how's Witstro World? Bright?

-pw

28
Which Newton Bracket do you use? This one?
http://www.newtoncamerabrackets.com/default-old4.htm

-pw

29
Lighting / Re: Incredible Godox Witstro 360 flash (does HSS too!)
« on: April 30, 2014, 07:37:31 PM »
  They are not auto strobes, so you have to know what you are doing..(a good flash meter can be very valuable) but I am definitely a fan.
By auto strobe do you mean ETTL? Are they pure manual like most studio strobes?

That's right, these are fully manual flash heads, just like an Einstein, or most monobloc heads. It's not a big deal. The output controller is robust, large, illuminated and quick to use.

In event situations I often switch my 580EXII's to Manual just to be sure of constant output. ETTL is frequently easily confused by background density or black or white subjects, backgrounds or shiney elements in the shot such as a mirror, glass, polished steel etc. Just set to Manual, shoot a quick test, and then your quickest adjustments will be via aperture or iso. Altering the output on any speedlight is obviously fine too, but usually a second or so slower than an aperture or iso shift for those moments when the pressure is on.

ETTL would be nice on the Witstro, but the price would be much higher. With the speed Godox is developing their products, we may well see an ETTL Witstro some time in the future. If you absolutely have to have ETTL, then these lights are not for you.

-pw

30
Lighting / Re: Cheap decent softbox for a traveller
« on: April 29, 2014, 09:21:37 PM »
thanks I picked one up today it just fits the roundflash! works pretty well cant wait to test it out with the new sigma 50mm ;)
Hey that's great. You'll love the Godox Witstro AD360.
Phew! Glad it fits your roundflash.
Where did you source the Witstro from?

-pw

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