November 23, 2014, 04:04:01 AM

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Messages - pwp

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Lenses / Re: EF 24-70mm
« on: September 24, 2014, 07:27:35 PM »
Just like a few other CR regulars, I had a shocker of a time with the 24-70 f/2.8 MkI. Over time, I had five copies and none of them were any good. Bluntly, they were all dogs. I personally know a number of pro shooters who would name the 24-70 f/2.8 MkI as their most disappointing lens. There are good copies out there, but you've got to be lucky.

In complete contrast, the 24-70 f/2.8 MkII has immediately established itself as a stunning lens, out-performing primes in the 24-70 range. My 24 f/1.4II, 35 f/1.4 and Sigma 50 f/1.4 overnight became an unused waste of space and have been sold. The new 24-70 f/2.8 MkII is nothing short of sensational. This is not just my personal viewpoint, read up on reviews and user reviews. This is a lens that won't disappoint.


Lenses / Re: Inexpensive standard walk around lens question
« on: September 24, 2014, 04:19:00 AM »
Since you already have the 35/1.4L, why not carry that lens instead of 24-70/2.8L II?
+1...You've already got it.  :)


Lighting / New model Phottix Odin announced
« on: September 24, 2014, 04:09:16 AM »
This looks good! It's the new model Odin and it has a very welcome focus assist lamp.
I'm increasingly admiring Phottix products, I wish I hadn't left it so long to get Odins which I've has for around 6 months now...they're awesome. (even without focus assist  ;D)

The other very interesting Phottix announcement is for the TTL & HSS capable Indra 500 mono:

I've got to say an area of photographic gear that is evolving like crazy is lighting, all the way from speed-lights to studio gear, and most of the innovation is being spearheaded by China. I'm loving it.


Check out Joe Demb's long-time entries into this world of on-speedlight tools. Well-made attachment bands, good QC from my experience. Accessible business owner.
+1 for the Demb products, I'm using his flash bracket and bounce cards, great stuff at a reasonable price - and great service. Here's one example of an innovator being successful w/o selling snake oil.
The Joe Demb stuff works for me too. Deceptively clever, simple, well made and honest.
Having tried just about everything in the on-speedlight universe, I just keep coming home to Joe.
But for a natural look, the number one preference will always be a low white ceiling.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 7D MK2 RAW Files
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:22:43 AM »
Updates coming from Adobe for ACR & LR very, very soon.
There will be updates for a raft of new cameras that have been announced in the past week or so, not least the 7D2.


EOS Bodies / Re: Am I the only one excited about the new 7D mk2?
« on: September 22, 2014, 04:11:08 AM »
For all people looking at video, it's a huge disappointment, because even if you don't need 4K now, you might need it in the coming 4 years. 

I personally would have bought 3x 7D2 if it was 4K as addition to my 1DC, now i have 3x GH4.

I've stopped looking to Canon to solve my video requirements. Why worry?  The Panasonic GH4 is just awesome. I'll probably get another one. The Panasonic glass is compact and classy. With the new Metabones MFT Speedbooster my Canon glass is an option for video usage too. Cool!

However I'm pretty excited about the 7DII for stills. Most work is shot on the 5D3 and the 1D4, but the 1D4 with well over 500,000 clicks may soon be getting a bit tired. I like having a good crop body, though like WW I'm an APS-H fanboy. The x1.3 crop APS-H 1D4 is an absolute classic. Even with the high milage, I won't be completely retiring it any time soon.

The awesome AF of the 7DII is what interests me. For evening events work the 1D4 is has lousy AF when the light is low, only saved by a Yongnuo 622C with it's very bright AF assist. With a 7DII I can leave the Yongnuo 622C at home and enjoy Canon's best AF this side of the 1DX. And it's inexpensive! Having used very nicely evolved touch-screens on the GH4 and SL-1/100D, it's disappointing that this great feature didn't make the cut.

Really looking forward to checking out some high iso 7DII RAW files. I'd only expect a modest gain over the 7D and don't really expect a match with the 1D4, but if 3200 is usable I'll be a happy camper.


Lighting / Re: Basic help: How does Flash exposure compensation works
« on: September 22, 2014, 03:40:09 AM »
This tutorial explains it pretty well:

Have a dig around in Neil van Niekerk's blog, there is a LOT of great flash related info, some paid, a lot free.


Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Did you peak and what did you do about it?
« on: September 21, 2014, 07:58:08 PM »
So have there been peaks and troughs? Certainly. But it's not like there is just one big peak followed by a slippery slope of decline. Like any creative profession or interest, there will inevitably be peaks and troughs. But passion and insatiable curiosity will always pull you through to the next level.

If the passion is alive, you'll just keep getting better. No passion =  no growth.
Sometimes I look back at work I used to think was good and just groan at my ineptitude.
Sometimes I look back at work I used to think was good and feel inspired by my real or perceived brilliance.
Go figure...

There are times when I have feel I am plateauing, but something always comes along to jolt me onward and upward. In the past that might have been a new job, and since I have had my own business, it could be getting a new, interesting client on board. Or an equipment purchase. It happened in a big way during the transition from film to digital.

Last year I could feel a plateau coming on and decided to make a big reach into video production. This involved initial baby-steps, then full-on training with a highly distinguished documentary film maker, an awesome spend on equipment which has to remain a state secret, and then training in sound engineering and editing with Premier Pro CC.


Lenses / Re: Do you keep all your boxes?
« on: September 21, 2014, 07:20:51 PM »
I'm currently selling a 2006 1D MkIIn. What is it with boxes? I lost a certain sale last night just because I didn't have the original boxes. That's completely nuts.

It's a spill-over from the market for genuinely collectable items that jackpot in price if offered with original packaging. Better still if it's unopened. Honestly I've never understood the mind of "The Collector."

Possibly to my own slight financial loss, I'm perverse in that I'll throw away packaging after a day or so once the item has established itself as not being a DOA, as a refusal to kowtow to this completely irrational, storage-space consuming trend.


EOS Bodies / Re: AE-1 Styled DSLR from Canon?
« on: September 18, 2014, 12:39:40 AM »
Maybe some don't, but I think many of us love the feel and process of using a film SLR. Rotating through the shutter speeds. Deciding to set and burn 160 ASA film at 100 for slight overexposure when shooting portraits....
Arrrgh! Retro? Call me a forward looking evolution/revolution tart, but I like new stuff. The often subtle changes that bring better design and ergonomics/useability and so on, are my tech tool turn ons. Just so long as the changes will deliver options for me to take better pictures.

It's not how cool I look taking snaps at my local cafe with a "statement" camera, it's the magic in the images that I come back with that count for me.

Whether it be cameras, cars, kettles or toasters, in my possibly narrow zeitgeist, Retro happens at a point where industrial designers have run out of ideas.


Lighting / Re: Your experience of Metz flashes.
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:29:57 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts and input, guys! It's much appreciated.

pwp: Metz is cheaper here than Canon SpeedLites at comparable GN's.
         Canon 600EX-RT -> $710
         Metz 64 AF-1 -> $535
$710 for a 600EX-RT? Not any more.  That sound like maximum RRP. Shop around. You should get them for under $500 now.

What about pre-owned? Good 600 EX-RT's can be picked up for under $400 if you're patient, and mint condition 580EX II's can be bought any day of the week for around $300. Canon Speedlights tend to be amazingly robust and reliable bits of kit. I absolutely hammered my pair of 580 EXII's for years until an update to 600 EX-RT's  and I've been hammering my pair mercilessly for over 12 months now. They 100% pass the tough-test.


Lenses / Re: how to get 300 2.8
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:13:35 PM »
Do a CR search...there have been useful threads on the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 right here on these forums.

I have the 300 f/2.8isII. Little needs to be added about this incredible lens. For some sports I often think it would be useful to have a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. It's a lens that has intrigued me for years, but I've never gone through and bought one. When I shoot football (various codes...) I have the 300 f/2.8 on one body and a 70-200 f/2.8 on the other. A Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 would free me up to just work with one body for most shots, and leave a wide on the second body.

Unless you are Mr Muscles, this is a monopod lens. It's heavy. Much heavier than the Canon 300 f/2.8. Another thing to investigate further are reports that the Sigma may not be a true 300mm, more like 280mm though this may only be at the minimum focusing distance. Check it out and decide whther this is important to you or not.

And also check out the Fred Miranda user reviews:


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D II or 6D
« on: September 15, 2014, 10:02:41 PM »
Now that the new 7D II specs have been released...

Should I go with the 6D or the 7DII, I know the one difference is the 6D is full frame.  How will the new 7D II do with taking portraits and everyday shooting?  Lighting ?  I hear the 6D is great with low lighting.

And is there really a HUGE difference from full frame to crop?

As someone who shoots almost every day with a FF 5D3 and an APS-H x1.3 crop 1D MkIV, (in some ways a similar pair to a 6D and a 7DII) I understand your dilemma. For sheer image/file quality it's no surprise to anyone that the 5D3 delivers more whether shooting in the optimum 100-800 iso range and even more so above 1600-3200 iso.

If you value getting the magic moment in a dynamic flow of action whether that be sports, fast moving kids or pets or wildlife, the 7DII will give you more keepers. For premium landscape, nicely lit static shots and so on the 6D will pull comfortably ahead. Like someone else said, they're very different cameras. 

If your outdoor, landscape, static shots are going to be printed 20 or 30 inches, then the 7D2 will show it's APS-C limitations. But if you print small, or mainly view them on a screen you could be better off with the 7DII.

So consider what your intended output is going to be. If it's unlikely to be in the exhibition print category, between the 7DII and the 6D I'd recommend the latest...the 7DII. But will the budget stretch to a 5DIII? It has the FF advantage plus more sophisticated AF abilities than the 6D.


Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 15, 2014, 02:24:17 AM »
The most often reason is the image getting automatically cropped in LR when rotating it slightly to adjust the horizon.

This is one of the very few issues I have with LR (and why I have to use PS sometimes): If you rotate in LR, the image gets automatically cropped and there's no way to extend the canvas at the edges. With the content aware heal brush, it's no problem to fill some edge areas and keep more original pixels - but LR doesn't allow for that :-(. Maybe in LR6? LR7?

Make the request at the Adobe Lightroom Feature request page. They need feedback. It's an easy find.
While you're there, add a request for "show focus points".


My 4K camera of choice is the Panasonic GH4. It's utterly transformed my video work. With the exception of high iso work, it eats my 5D3 for breakfast. You shoot in 4K and publish in 1080p. For reasons I can't explain, shooting in 4K and downsampling to 1080 in post delivers way superior output to shooting in 1080.

I find that these differences are often only noticeable when you put the two videos together side by side in the same production. Is there a visible difference to the two videos that you produce once both are at 1080p?

I shoot my videos now on the 1DX but am looking for a good new secondary camera that will allow me to put the two together without one being so much visibly better than the other. I have even considered getting the C100, which would also solve a few other issues I have.

This rather long review is worth sitting through, and the examples Dave Dugdale runs through match my own experiences. &

And if you've got the time, this is highly informative:


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