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Messages - gigabellone

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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?

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm f/1.4
« on: February 06, 2014, 09:18:36 AM »
I bought it 2 days ago, and i love it. The AF is reasonably good: i used every single focus point of my 6D, and the pictures were in good focus. Sharpness and contrast are excellent even at the largest aperture. Vignetting is heavy, but it gives some shots a certain look that i like, and it can be easily corrected with post processing. I know 2 days of usage are very few, but i would recommend this lens. The only real alternative to the Sigma is the Canon 35/2 IS: slightly less sharp, slower aperture, but the AF should be as good as any other Canon lens, it is stabilized, and quite a bit cheaper than the Sigma. I see no point in getting the Canon 35/1.4, its cost is almost double the cost of the Sigma.

Lenses / Re: Lens filters or not?
« on: February 01, 2014, 02:09:21 PM »
Damn, reading this thread made me paranoid! :D

What brand/model would you recommend? I found this purposedly built filters from Hoya, the HD Protector series. Has anyone tried them?

Well, i strongly believe that finding the proper camera involves an irrational impulse, like falling in love. When i got my first DSLR, i was sure i would have got a Nikon D3100. In the shop, right next to the D3100, there was this Canon 550D, priced about the same. I took it and, BAM! love at first sight. It just felt "right": it fitted my hands better than the Nikon, i liked the viewfinder more, and the buttons were right where i would have put them if i had to design a camera.
What's the point of this? I think that ease of use is as important as technical specifications. You like your 6D and you're happy with it, and it looks like your wife, which is going to be the one to use the new camera very often, will like the 70D. So 70D seems the most sensible choice (and it's the cheapest of the 3 as well! ;) ). Have her try both the 70D and the 6D and tell you which one she likes more. If she picks the 6D, then you have a justification to get yourself a bigger toy. :D

Serious wide angle lens for landscapes? Didn't feel any necessity there yet. And no, no stars. Yes, I do own the 100/2.8L Macro lens and yes, I did use it for portrait in the past. I also have a 50mm/1.4 which is better for portraits in most cases. Yes, the EF 24-70/2.8L II sure must be nice. But also quite expensive as you say. I basically know I've got to get it if I go FF but not sure that will be right now. Any recommendations for a standard zoom lens that is in the <$1000 price range?

Sorry, i wasn't aware that you already have a 50/1.4 and a 100/2.8 macro. That would make the switch to FF much more affordable. If you don't mind going all primes, you have a 50/1.4 as a general purpose/street photography lens, and a 100/2.8 as your macro/portrait tool; if you ever feel the need of a wide angle, you can add a 24mm or 28mm IS, and you've got a highly efficent and cost effective lens setup. If you need a midrange zoom without braking the bank, both the sigma 24-70/2.8 hsm (the newer one) and the tamron 24-70/2.8 seem to be viable choices, according to several online reviews. I can't vouch for them, having never owned one.

EOS Bodies / Re: Repair or replace 7D
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:01:32 PM »
The 7D is certainly a good camera, and it's worth repairing. Just be sure to check the shutter count. It's not pure math, but a shutter with a very high count is expected to break earlier than one that's hardly been used. Compute the cost of an eventual shutter system replacement in the near future, and check if the sum equals or exceedes the cost of a new camera of comparable quality (Canon 70D, for example).

Lenses / Re: zooms vs primes for landscape
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:29:39 PM »
Hi. I'm hoping to prevail on the collective wisdom of CR regulars for advice on building my lens kit after making the change from crop sensor to FF (I've got the 6D - great camera). I got rid of the last of my crop sensor lenses, leaving me with the following lenses: 24-105 f4L, 50 f1.8II, and an older Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO HSM (no OS) that I've had since my Elan IIe days. I shoot landscapes, occasional portraits, and I would like to get into macro. I don't shoot sports and don't plan to. I see two possible paths forward: go mostly with primes or rely mostly on zooms. In either case, I plan to keep the 24-105 because of its versatility as a walk around lens.

Plan 1. Add the 24mm f2.8 IS, 35mm 2.0 IS, 100mm f2.8L IS, and 200mm f2.8L. Sell the Sigma. Perhaps add a Rokinon 14mm manual focus later. On hikes when I want to keep the weight down, I could go with the 24, 35, and 100 and have most of the bases covered.

Plan 2. Add the 17-40mm f4L, 70-200mm f4L IS, and 100mm f2.8L IS. Sell the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. I don't want to buy the Canon 70-200 f2.8L (IS or non-IS) both because of the weight and the fact that for most landscape I don't need shallow DOF. Similar comments apply for the 16-36mm f2.8L. On hikes when I want to minimize weight, I would go with the 17-40, the 50, and the 70-200 f4L. I suppose that I could add macro ability by swapping the 50 1.8 for a 50 2.5 macro.

Any thoughts about either of these plans or other recommendations? Thanks.

I'd sell everything except the 24-105, and get a 100/2.8 macro. The 24-105 has nasty distortion at 24 and it's not very fast, so you could switch to the 24-70/2.8 II as soon as your budget allows. If you really want to go ultrawide, the Samyang/Rokinon 14/2.8 is the one: it's cheap and with good image quality.

  • Landscapes
  • Long time exposures at nightfall / night
  • Temples / Shrines / other interesting buildings (no, I don't have or want shiftable lenses)
  • Flowers / insects / small animals (close-up and macro)
  • Portraits and Cosplay (from close-ups to groups)

Based on that: stay with your 550d :-) at least it runs Magic Lantern (timed bulb exposures, unlimted hdr bracketing, focus stacking for macro).

The 70d sensor isn't a significant upgrade, and you don't seem to have the need for a better af system. A full frame isn't really better in all cases, as it has a more shallow dof and this is what you *don't* want for macro, and for landscape it depends on how much you want to boost the shots in postprocessing.

Marsu42 got a serious point. The switch to FF is going to cost a heap of money. You need a serious wide angle lens for landscapes, even more than serious if you're going to take pictures of stars. To save some money, you can do double-duty with a 100/2.8L for both macros and portraits. That said, i would get a 6D body, an EF 24-70/2.8 II and 100/2.8 macro, for a total of about 4200€, 4500 if you throw in a decent tripod, but i assume you already have one. Of course you can spend a lot less, but what's the point of getting a brand new shiny full frame camera and skimping on lenses?

Lenses / Re: Which lens is should i buy.
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:58:26 AM »
I have no experience with longer lenses, but as far as i know "bird photography" and "walk around lens" can't be attributed to the same lens. :-P
Among those you listed, the 70-300L seems to be the one, but i suggest you look into the 100-400L, which would be better for the purpose, IMHO.

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