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Messages - gigabellone

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Lenses / Re: What New Lens are You Most Excited About?
« on: October 02, 2014, 08:15:04 AM »
The 24-105. I usually shoot primes only, and put a lot of thought in any single picture. Having a cheap zoom with good IQ for vacations and casual shooting would be great.

I know those lens are much more different than they are alike, but i think they both excel at landscape photography. Is there any IQ difference at comparable focal lenghts and apertures? I would use either one of the lens for landscapes and long exposures, so IS isn't very appealing to me, and i already have the Sigma 35/1.4, which i love, so i don't need the zoom coverage at the longer focal lengths. Going ultra-wide at 16mm would be nice, though, but the faster Zeiss could get me started in night landscapes/starfields photography. Is there any of you that used/tried both?

Lenses / Re: Inexpensive standard walk around lens question
« on: September 24, 2014, 03:47:23 AM »
My walk around set up is a 6D with Sigma 35/1.4. It's kinda heavy, but 35mm makes an excellent "generic" focal length, imho, and the large aperture allows me to shoot handeld in very low light, or to creatively use the shallow DoF.
The 40/2.8 would be a great choice, but you say it doesn't offer any advantage other than weight and size over the zoom, but that's a lens costing 10 times the former. If you aren't satisfied with the small pancake, and want something cool to play with, i would try taking either a shorter focal length (24 or 28 IS), or biting the bullet and carry the heavier but fantastic 35/1.4. I wouldn't consider lens without USM or STM: i have a 50/1.8 II, and its AF motor is irritating.

Lenses / Re: Would you buy a hypothetical 85mm f/1.4L portrait lens if...
« on: September 18, 2014, 08:49:25 AM »
I have the Canon 85/1.8, and i don't see myself spending over 1500€ for 2/3 of f-stop advantage, weather sealing, and (slightly?) increased sharpness. Let's be honest: the old 85/1.8 is sharp enough, focuses with good accuracy and speed, its optical deficiencies are negligible, and its cost of 350$/€ makes it a no brainer for anyone except the most demanding pros, or the very rich amateurs.

Lenses / Re: The Sigma 35mm Art is Toasting Canon's?
« on: September 18, 2014, 08:42:39 AM »
I have the Sigma 35A, and can't stop singing it's praises. Maybe i was extremely lucky, but my sample hasn't got any problems focusing, with any AF point, on my 6D. Or maybe i'm not as picky as the average CR forums user. :D
Anyway, i was so positively impressed by the 35A that i was almost certain i would have got the Sigma 50A as well, but i must admit that it's getting a lot more "bad focus" reports from the user, and this scared me. It could be that on a 35mm long lens the DoF is higher, thus the focusing imperfections may pass undetected, contrary to the less forgiving longer focal length of the 50A.

Software & Accessories / Re: How do you carry your tripod around?
« on: September 18, 2014, 04:08:29 AM »
My tripod is the Manfrotto 055XPROB which folds down to 25.79" and weighs 5.29lbs.  I have a RRS BH-55 LR head, which adds another 2.9" and 1.9lbs, for a total of 28.69" / 7.19lbs, so it's definitely not on the light side.

With a heavier rig, you really want to put the tripod in the center of the pack and have it tied with at least two straps.  If it's on the side, it will really shift the pack and make it uncomfortable and without enough straps, it will wobble all over the place.  As you can see in my post above, a big tripod on a small pack will work with two straps and a foot pocket.  That's going to be tough with your pack as I don't see any pockets on the back or sides, but there are some D-rings for the lashing at least.  You might try a avalanche shovel pouch if they make one for your pack.  I've used one on my Gregory mountaineering pack in the past and it works quite well.

That's exactly what i was thinking: the tripod hanging on one side will be uncomfortable to say the least, so now i'm looking for ways to strap it in the center. The backpack i have also hasn't got any paddings inside and it's not weather proof. If you know of any cheap ways around these incoveniences, i might get along with it, but if not i should seriously consider a lowepro flipside, for little above 100 euros.

Software & Accessories / Re: How do you carry your tripod around?
« on: September 17, 2014, 03:28:49 AM »
Thanks to you all for the feedback! :)

First of all, i see that most of you are carrying tripods much smaller and lighter that the one i've got. I'm aware that a lighter tripod is a godsend for the usage in the outdoors, but i couldn't really afford spending 4 times the amount i spent for the one i have just to drop the weight by 1kg. That said, i also have this backpack:

It's not photography-specific, but maybe i can add some paddings inside for the gear, and tie the tripod with the straps on the side. What do you think?

Software & Accessories / How do you carry your tripod around?
« on: September 16, 2014, 03:52:22 AM »
Last month i bought the new Manfrotto 190 with a ball head and, while not being the heaviest around, is still heavier than the 10 euros crap i used to lug around before, and now i'm needing a convenient solution to bring my new tripod along. I'm planning to start hiking, nothing hardcore, it's just to find new spots to take photographs. Right now i have the above said Manfrotto, a Canon 6D, a Sigma 35/1.4, a Canon 85/1.8. I might add a wide angle in the near future(Canon 16-35/4 IS, most likely), and a 70-200/4 IS. I don't plan having more than 4 lenses, and given the costs of gear and the little time i spend enjoying my favorite hobby, it's not going to change in the next 3 years at least. I just got a speedlight (YN560III), and if i get into it, i might add another 2 flash units and a remote transmitter, along with light modifiers, and tripods, but those are going in a separate bag, i guess, and i don't think i'm going to carry all that lighting gear on hikes anyway. Right now i have everything fitted inside an Amazon Basics camera backpack, which is very cheap and has plenty of room, but it's even too big for the gear i have (most of it is empty), and it only has two flimsy straps on one side to carry a tripod. Moreover, it's not waterproof; not that i'm planning to hike in hailstorms, but i would like to be sure nothing gets damaged if it starts raining while i'm out. So, to sum it up, i'm looking for a backpack with the following:
  • Room for 6D, 2 small/medium lenses, 1 telephoto, 1 speedlight optional.
  • Straps strong enough for a 2.5kg tripod, possibly centered, so i don't hunch on one side
  • Some form of weather resistance
It would be great if this backpack costs less than 150 euros, and is easily found for sale in Europe.

Thanks! :)

Lenses / Re: Permanent price drops
« on: August 30, 2014, 05:25:39 PM »
I wonder if this is going to affect the eurozone prices as well...

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART questions
« on: July 21, 2014, 07:31:08 AM »
I  use one on a Canon 6D, and i think it's a stellar performer. Maybe i'm not as picky as other fellow forumers, but my copy didn't need AFMA, and the AF is accurate, though not fast. Bear in mind that i always take photographs of static subjects, and that i always use the central focus point.

Software & Accessories / Re: Post processing workflow
« on: July 17, 2014, 09:48:08 AM »
It very easy, buy Ligthroom. Shoot raw, import into ligthroom, do your adjustments.
For 90-95 % of your photos, its all you need.
- read on internet what Ligthroom can do.

That's what i usually do. I got a free LR 5 license bundled with my 6D, and i really enjoy using it. Some other photog friends, one of them being a professinal photographer/videographer, pointed out that LR is too simplistic, that the pros use Photoshop, and that to improve the quality of the results of post processing, i need to invest time learning how to use Photoshop, and also spending a great deal of time fine tuning the looks of my images. I don't enjoy post production much, what i enjoy most about photography is being there, freezing the moment, looking for a better composition. I fell in love with LR, it's simple to use, yet capable of delivering impressive results. I was just afraid that refusing to learn to use other software and techniques would have hindered my progress in becoming a better photographer.

There are various workflows using Lightroom and Photoshop.  It gets complex if you have several people involved in the process, each with a different task.

Martin Evening has his, Scott Kelby has his, Victoria Brampton has hers, and lots of other book writers have theirs.  Each explains the reasoning why they do it their way in their books.

Some publish their preferred method, but have no technical reason for doing things in a certain order except that it works for them. 

Just search on workflow for Lightroom, or for Photoshop, or whatever editing software you use.  If there is no explanation as to why they do it the way they do, and you need one, look elsewhere until you find someone who does.

I'll have a look into Martin Evening's LR5 manual, thanks for the kind suggestion. ;)

To me, photography is an expression of point of view. I really like when everybody is allowed to have his own point of view, especially when it comes to beauty. As such, I do appreciate the fact that photography tools allow every single one of us to express ourself in our own way.
You choose your lens, body, shutter speed, light color, vantage point, ..., you name it, according to what  you want to capture.
Post processing should not differ from that. It should give you the freedom to represent whatever you want to convey.
If all post processings were the same, how would you stand out from the crowd? How would you envy someone else's work? How would you admire the effort put on it? Wouldn't you get borred at yours if you do the same thing over and over again?

I see post processing as another tool on top of my shooting parameters in order for me to better express myself. It helps alot in learning how to shoot too.
To explain myself, see below pictures (Sorry for the quality, I am not a great retoucher).
The first one is what I have after ACR (I don't use Lightroom).
The second is my "standard" post (magenta).
What I saw during Zombie Walk was really a World War II mood but my camera couldn't give it to me. I had to modify my standard workflow to get there in post.

It pleases me that you are eager and mad about it. Was there a year or two ago and still searching for my "way". Some photogs simply don't want to know anything about post and some of snapshooters just want the magic solution (click and poof).

When I began, someone made a suggestion; choose one book that you like, focus on every single detail in it and don't jump all over the place, it will give you a nice head start; the scientific part you want to discover. Later study the internet and find your own style.

He suggested this one, but choose what suits you best.

I totally agree that what we try to express through photography is subjective, and each and every one of us sees and feels the world in a different way, but photography is also a craft, it's what makes the impressions become understandable by others. Post processing is part of this craft, the part that i enjoy the least, to be honest, but curiosity and thirst for knowledge are pushing me through these boundaries. Or maybe i'm just overthinking this, and should rather be taking more photos. :D

Software & Accessories / Post processing workflow
« on: July 16, 2014, 04:46:24 PM »
Searching the web about the subject, i found what it seems to be a quite detailed description of a photography workflow here. What bugs me about this, and all the other articles i found on the web, is that no one cares to explain why a certain operation is done, why that way, why at that certain moment in the sequence. And all the workflows i found differed from each other, irregardless of the gear used, the type of photographs, or the subjects. Every workflow looks like a "magic recipe". There are many things i don't know about how to deal with the processing of a picture for artistic purposes, and i'm eager to learn more about it.
I want to learn the basics, for example: raw converters give us the option to tune almost everything in a picture, from white balaance, to sharpening, to noise reduction, to curves, everything. And so do the raster pic editors, like Photoshop. What are the advantages and disadvantages in doing any of this operations during raw conversion? Which ones should i do during raw conversion, which after? Why are there so many different functions and algorithms for sharpening? And why should i use one over the others in any given situation?

I would like to learn these, and many other things about image processing, from a scientific point of view. I want to learn facts, not magic recipes. Is there a book (or several) that can help me quench this thirst for knowledge?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D or 5Dm3?
« on: February 28, 2014, 04:48:43 PM »
Given your needs, i think that the 5D3 is the best choice. I have a 6D, and i must admit that when using the outer points the AF is not quick: it usually takes a run across the whole focal range to achieve focus. It is clearly not suited for fast moving subjects. The central focus point is a whole different story it is very accurate, and, when coupled with lens that feature an ultrasonic focus motor, lightning fast. Coming from a 7D you might find it is a little lackluster.

Lenses / Re: 50mm F1.8
« on: February 10, 2014, 07:39:29 AM »
I'm kinda in the same situation: the 550D was my first DSLR, and the 50/1.8 was the first lens i bought. Buying that lens is undoubtedly one of the best ways to spend 100€/$, but its "wow factor" is related to its very low price, and to the fact that it's usually the second lens anyone buys for its beginner kit. The shallow depth of field and increased light gathering capability are lightyears ahead of the kit lens, not to mention the increased sharpness at comparable apertures. The flimsy build quality is not a relevant flaw: amateurs like me treat their gear like sacred relics. Its flaws are in the focusing system: the AF is noisy, not very accurate nor very precise, and the MF gear is tiny and hard to use properly. IQ is still good on FF, but the unreliable AF made me look for something else (Sigma 35 <3 ).

Canon General / Re: Gear envy
« on: February 08, 2014, 09:50:15 AM »
The most surprising thing for me is the presence of 7 pieces of the 8-15mm fisheye. Is it really that useful in that scenario?

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