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Messages - PeterJ

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Lighting / Re: Trouble shooting on the 430 EXII (HELP!)
« on: January 07, 2012, 05:19:39 AM »
Try above, plus I had the same flashing screen issue with a 580 EX II. It's a 'feature' if the wide panel is pulled out for bounce flash so make sure that's pushed right in. Also as a diagnostic make sure you try it at a 90 degree angle, maybe something is wrong with the switch that determines if the wide panel has been pulled out.

PowerShot Cameras / Re: Making sense of compact camera sensor sizes
« on: January 06, 2012, 12:17:40 AM »
I was wondering about that a while ago as well, the terms are confusing because the inch isn't really an inch. The following Wikipedia article explains it and has a table of the common sizes:


Software & Accessories / Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« on: January 02, 2012, 01:47:40 AM »
My first decent tripod purchase was a Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod + 808RC4 Head. The legs have a good range of adjustments and let me get about as high as I'd normally want without needing to extend the top column (which loses a bit of stability) and the top column can be made horizontal for easy straight-down shooting at table-tops etc. For me the legs are a good compromise of weight, size and price. They are probably a bit large for frequent air travel but no problems carrying one in a car and relatively short distances.

That head allows quick adjustment between portrait and landscape and personally I find them a bit easier and more convenient than a ball head because it has the long levers to hold onto which I prefer to holding the camera. One drawback is they aren't very good for precise framing, I recently picked up a Manfrotto 410 geared head which is excellent for precise framing, but not for panning so I'll keep the pair. The 410 might also be a bit tedious for portraits, but that depends if they are 'setup' type situations or somewhat candid where it would be a bit slower to frame the shots.

Those options will easily cope with that setup, and give you a bit of headroom for heavier lenses apart from from some of the bigger super-teles (ie you'll be OK with any of the < $3K lenses).

Lenses / Re: Filters - Help!
« on: December 30, 2011, 01:17:31 AM »
Once you've read a few threads like that and worked out what kind of filters you want the only remaining thing to consider is the size. All your lenses need a 77mm filter, apart from the 16-35 f2.8 II which needs a larger 82mm filter. If you're just looking for protection and weather sealing most people stick with a UV filter, even though as I understand it most DSLR cameras aren't very sensitive to UV so it doesn't make much difference to the image.

That's probably why the B&H list looks so bewildering, there's around half a dozen common filter sizes so you could start by searching for 77mm filters to narrow things down a bit and and then look around at what particular kinds of filters achieve. Circular polarizing and ND (neutral density) are worth taking a look into, but unlike a UV filter aren't something you'd leave on all the time.

Edit - I missed the 50mm f1.4, that's a 58mm filter size.

Software & Accessories / Re: Battery grips
« on: December 28, 2011, 07:06:55 AM »
I have read that also the Canon grip had/has problems with the sensitivity of the grip shutterrelease. Just don't remember where I read it.
It does have quite a bit of a lighter feel than the main shutter release, when I first got a grip for my 7D I fired off a few shots before I wanted to. I probably only did that once or twice when I first got it, it's still smooth so while not desirable it doesn't take long to get used to. It did intrigue me though why they wouldn't just re-use the exact components from the 7D release so it was exactly the same, I thought that would have been generally easier / better / cheaper from an engineering point of view.

Lenses / Re: Travel advice - which lenses?
« on: December 28, 2011, 05:33:33 AM »
The wildlife one is tricky, in some areas for example kangaroos are quite used to people and you might get quite close. In areas where they are used to getting shot at or don't see people often they are very timid, you might be lucky to get within a 100 meters of one sitting still in the open. More likely if you're close you'll startle one that will move very quickly so I'd go for a fairly fast lens like your 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 over a zoom, they'll often run quickly past you on walking tracks for example.

Other animals like wombats and koalas are nocturnal so if you're lucky enough to spot many of them I'd use the flash and fast lens also. Not worth travelling with but buy a decent flashlight while you're here so you can 'spotlight' them as well, most pause with a light on them and it'll give you something to focus on. It sounds like you'll have a few 'assistants'  :).

What area are you travelling to? I've noticed quite a few other Aussies here so someone might have more advice on locations and gear depending on the specific area, it's quite a diverse country and conditions can be anywhere from an arid to tropical to moderate climate depending on where you'll be and how far you want to travel.

Ha ha ;D. I wondered if it would come up on any searches when sorted by high to low price, but I couldn't seem to find it. Otherwise I thought it might be fairly clever marketing if Amazon listing fees aren't much and are commission based (no idea if anyone knows?). I could imagine someone with huge amounts of cash typing in something like "canon camera" and buying the highest priced item thinking it must be the best, obviously not many but still I wouldn't mind one or two sales at that amount even if I bought retail...

EOS Bodies / Re: weird "grid lines" in 5DII pictures
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:10:33 AM »
I can't open the attachments for some reason, but looking at the first crop I certainly can't think of any setting problem that would give that effect. Apart from the camera being faulty it could be worth trying a different CF card if you have one, or at least try re-seating it. I've never seen those symptoms with a camera in particular but could imagine a faulty address line on the memory bus or card giving that kind of effect.

Edit - just thought to add, do you get the same in live view at 10x zoom? That would take memory card problems out of the equation. Memory card not so likely after further thought because RAW has lossless compression I believe so the lines wouldn't correspond to memory areas throughout.

EOS Bodies / Re: What Are Your Custom Modes Set To?
« on: December 23, 2011, 03:01:18 AM »
I just went through the settings trying to disable it on my 7D and after looking through the menu and Q button menu found nothing. Actually the menu is so limited to what you can do I realized that's the first time I've ever put the camera into full auto mode... I've owned this body since October 09...
Not a custom function but the internal flash also won't pop if it thinks an external is attached, that's a mechanical switch so a cheap hot shoe cover will do the trick.

EOS Bodies / Re: What do you do with old bodies?
« on: December 22, 2011, 07:29:59 AM »
I held onto my 450D for a while after getting a 7D as a bit of spare and thought I'd give my partner a try on it to see if she'd become more interested in photography. That didn't really happen so I thought I'd sell it while it still had a decent resale value, it was in good condition but I was surprised how much I got on E-bay, only about $100 less than a new grey market 550D that would have come with a 12-month reseller warranty versus none at all. I put that towards a 5D I just purchased.

My previous cameras were digital P&S. The first Kodak I gave to my dad, it was in 'very used' condition but thought he might like it because he had the same model and might have found a use for the accessories if nothing else. The other was a FinePix that died when the USB connector snapped off. I removed the broken connector to see if I could replace it but something must have shorted and it was entirely dead.

That last one must have been sitting on my desk about a month without batteries and I pulled it apart to scrounge some parts that might be useful (I work with electronics). Out of habit I shorted the flash capacitor before removing it and was amazed I got quite a big spark after that amount of time. It probably wouldn't be fatal but at 200V or more (it was rated for 320V) at the least it would cause a lot of pain and maybe pull your arm out of join in the reflex action. Anyway just a warning, it was only a P&S so I imagine something like a 580EX would have have a cap that would store more energy.

Other than being careful of that I'd recommend pulling everything apart that's broken or too old to be useful to see how it works ;D.

EOS Bodies / Re: What Are Your Custom Modes Set To?
« on: December 21, 2011, 02:28:07 AM »
I've only got as far as using C1, almost identical settings to yours but for food and other tripod photography so manual and an aperture of f/4 which I normally use as a starting point. The main thing it helps avoid in my case is picking up the camera later to take a quick shot and getting the dreaded two second beeps while the moment was lost.

That C3 "holy crap" idea is awesome, I can see that coming into use :D.

Personally I use the literal meaning of the word, "someone who takes photos". So I'd describe myself as an amateur photographer, and I'd refer to someone who earns their money mainly from photography as a professional photographer. If someone on the street says "are you a photographer?" my usual answer is "just an amateur".

As wockawocka said it's largely what you feel comfortable with. Just the same as there are plenty of bad doctors / accountants / teachers I've seen plenty of average 'professional' shots. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think many countries have actual laws against representing yourself as a photographer regardless of qualifications unlike some other fields where for good reason it is illegal. So really just a personal choice.

Lenses / Re: All round lenses
« on: December 19, 2011, 07:51:21 AM »
As this is your first DSLR and you've got until April for your trip, I would suggest you spend a couple of months getting to know your camera, playing with the kit lens and working out which focal lengths you think you are lacking.
Great advice, I started with kit lenses to work out what focal lengths I would use. Also the first few shots I took with my 7D were much worse than my 450D, and the first few shots from a 5D I bought recently were worse than the 7D, it does take a while to get used to new gear and get the best from it.

Lenses / Re: All round lenses
« on: December 19, 2011, 07:38:46 AM »
Thanks PeterJ, I will have a look a the 17-55mm lens, but is it worth getting it if the kit lens I get with the camera is an 18-55mm?
The 2.8 would be worlds apart, but not owning one had never looked at the price in the past and didn't realise it was a $1000 lens. I thought they were a bit cheaper, it wouldn't be worth getting both but I guess comes down to image quality and aperture versus the big price difference.

The kit lenses are generally not bad with decent lighting if you're not too concerned with DOF, which should be OK for landscapes.

Lenses / Re: All round lenses
« on: December 19, 2011, 06:29:58 AM »
The 50mm f/1.4 is a great lens for the price, I'm sure you'd love it for portraits and as a general walkaround.  I've got a 70-200 f/2.8 but on a crop that focal length is quite a long telephoto, I've never been to Iceland but imagine it would be great for wildlife if you're close enough but probably not so much your typical landscape shots. I don't own one myself but from what I've heard maybe the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS is worth considering.

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