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Messages - PeterJ

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Lenses / Re: variable max aperture lenses question
« on: December 18, 2011, 12:22:49 AM »
Just a related question out of general interest because at the moment I've only got fixed aperture lenses. In Av mode if you select say f/4.5 and zoom the lens to where it has to shift to f/5.6 does it 'stick' there or revert back to f/4.5 when possible?

Canon General / Re: 5D mark II versus 7D spot focus
« on: December 16, 2011, 09:45:08 AM »
Just thought I'd post back and thank everyone for their advice, as of today I'm a proud 5D Mk II owner ;D. I haven't had a chance to take any especially interesting shots but gave it a test under varying conditions and I can't find much difference in the center focus point speed / low-light perfomance versus a 7D. As some commented the outer spread of focus points is not great (well pretty bad), and I tried to repeat a shot I'd taken recently through a bird cage using spot focus that it couldn't match, but I expected as much.

Now for the good part is that banging on a tripod and taking a few food shots the colour reproduction was fantastic. Outside during the day the FF gave my 70-200 a much better focal range and shallow depth of field for the style of photos I often take. Got some nice shots at night too using a 50/1.4, I expected a nice ISO boost but it seems to handle dramatic changes in contrast much better too. I'm a happy camper and look forward to giving it a good run over Christmas. It will really complement my 7D well rather than replace it :).

About my biggest gripe so far is the location and type of power switch, I saw a post recently by someone asking about how to extend the standby time. I didn't reply but thought why can't you just turn it on & off between shots but now see where he was coming from. I put mine of a tripod earlier and just about needed a screwdriver to get at the switch ::).

Software & Accessories / Re: Monitor recomendations for viewing and editing
« on: December 16, 2011, 01:48:33 AM »
I've got a Dell U2410 and have been very happy with it, unless you want to fork out a lot more cash for a 30" it looks like the 27" U2711 dr croubie suggested might be the go at the moment. I only went 24" because at the time there was a bit more of a gap and I had an older 24" I now use as a second monitor so it made sense to stick with same size/resolution.

Actually the older Dell blew its power supply recently, it was about 6 years old and I picked up a new power supply for $60 odd and it's back in business. Guess that's one advantage to the more popular brands that spare parts seem to be available a long time.

For your video card I wouldn't touch that, I had an older 9500 that I upgraded to a GTX295 because I had some apps that I wanted CUDA for, but running two monitors at 1920x1200 I could barely pick a difference in speed for normal applications, and the old card would easily let me watch an HD video on one monitor without any noticable affect on the performance of the other.

Australia / Re: Finally, cheap cameras in Australian shops
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:35:45 AM »
Anyone have experience from I was going to buy my 70-200mm 2.8 IS II from them 12 months ago til I realised they sell grey imports (the whole canon australia warranty not honouring overseas/grey imports) and I think they're a family business as in they operate outta a house? Bad assumption, but I entered the address on their website (they might've changed address by now) and it was a residential building. Which lead me to believe they just buy grey imports from overseas and sell them here.
I can comment on Cameras Direct, just ordered a 5D from them today in fact ;D. I've probably placed about 8-10 orders with them, when things show in stock they always have been and arrive in 1-2 days. I live near Hobart so QLD -> Hobart overnight is a bit 50/50 with the courier but they've always sent in stock items the same day as I ordered as long as it was early in the day. Only non-stock item I've ordered was a tripod plate and the 7-10 days delivery shown turned out to be correct.

Labrador is a fair bit out of Brisbane but looking at Google Earth the exact address looks to be part of a large warehouse complex and I've spoken with a few of them so no reason to think it's a backyard operation. They do sell grey imports however, I've never had a reason to use it but part of their warranty is paying for freight each way last time I checked. Anyway for me I've bought a 7D, 3 L lenses (including 7-200 2.8 IS II), 580EX II, cards, tripod and heads, cleaning bits and various other odds and ends and never had a problem.

The suggestion to look at solar panels is helpful. Makes me wonder if we could either run a 5d2 with a solar charger hooked up to the USB port or charge / supplement a 5d2 battery from that port.
Probably not, I've never heard of a Canon DSLR drawing power or charging from the USB port, I know my 7D will drain the battery at about the usual rate while using it tethered. Also wondered if I could download while a battery was out of camera charging, you can't and the camera is 'dead' without a battery.

Australia / Re: Finally, cheap cameras in Australian shops
« on: December 13, 2011, 02:43:06 AM » Good or bad? They seem ok but I'm still a bit suss
The only thing I've ordered from them was an off-camera flash cable. Their web page at the time didn't give an indication of stock levels but I wasn't in a rush so went ahead and placed the order without calling. It's going back a while but someone called within a day or so to say it was back ordered and would be 7-10 days, then got another call about 3 weeks later to apologise and say it was getting close and it turned up a week or so after that.

Anyway I wouldn't be too critical of them, it may have been an unusual supplier problem and they didn't bill my card until they sent it but it did make me wonder how much stock they really carry as they don't show it on their pages. They seem legimate enough but in the future I'd call to see if they really have any stock and where it's coming from.

Lenses / Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« on: December 10, 2011, 02:45:29 AM »
I think as jcns hinted you'll need to be a bit more specific about the kind of aviation photography you have in mind. I took this snap with a 70-200 at the 70mm end on a crop, so 110mm effective. Obviously it's not a very good photo, but this was taken from a public road across from the runway so depending on the size and altitude of the aircraft sometimes you might not need as much focal length as you'd think.

EOS Bodies / Re: HELP PLEASE: CANON 5D II - ISO in "M" mode
« on: December 08, 2011, 01:59:23 AM »
If your friend lent you the camera and not the manual you can download the PDF manuals from Canon. The paper booklets are good to look over a few times when you get new gear, but I always prefer the searchable PDFs for any little "curiosities" that I want to look up down the track about a particular feature.

Anyway just thought I'd mention it in case you weren't aware.

Australia / Re: ND filters
« on: December 07, 2011, 05:40:53 AM »
Walch Optics is like a trip back in time as far as camera shops go - loads of interesting stuff - you don't really get camera shops like the any more - even Michael's in Melbourne (expensive as they are) has way to "polished and commercialised" a feel.
Great shots and glad the Walch Optics suggestion worked out well. Definitely must get in their now after hearing an opinion from someone in Melbourne where there's a lot more shops. Not sure how many times in the past I've put it off given it's an 'epic' journey of about 10 mins for me ::).

EOS Bodies / Re: How can Nikon remain in business with 12MP FF?
« on: December 07, 2011, 05:16:45 AM »
short shutter speeds minimize the effect of read noise

How so?  Can you explain how read noise is affected by shutter speed?   Careful now...

The other parts of your comment sound about right... just this particular point somehow seems off.
I'd tend to agree, read noise is probably not the cause. Same ISO IMO would lead to the same amplification and the number of photons striking the sensor with the ND filter should be the same. I'd suspect it's thermal noise, I'm a bit rusty but think that increases either directly or with the sqare root of time. Also the dark current of a photodiode may have an effect, the low level when you get a reading when no light is present, it would make sense that accumulates over time.

Anyway bit of a technical argument, end result is the same that high ISO and lighting with short shutter speeds isn't a good comparison against low light with longer shutter speeds. Interesting discussion because I've seen a few test shots that look very different to my results and I've never given it much thought before.

Software & Accessories / Re: Spyder3Pro vs. Spyder3Elite: Your thoughts
« on: December 07, 2011, 01:06:49 AM »
I bought the Elite version to get the multiple display matching, although I didn't really think it through because my primary monitor is better than my secondary so I always tend to use that for image display and the secondary monitor for other stuff. So in retrospect I probably should have just bought the Pro version. I take it you've seen the comparison chart:

The Elite is the same hardware and just a software upgrade so it's not a particular disaster if you buy the Pro version and later decide you should have bought the Elite version, but it does end up costing $40 odd more going that way.

I've been happy with the results after looking at the before and after comparisons. About my only small peeve with it is the plastic suction cap supplied to hold it to the monitor says to use only on CRT monitors not LCD. It's not a hugely big deal but the calibration takes 5-6 minutes so it's a bit tedious holding it there that long.

Digital camera sensors are also similar to solar arrays, would be neat if the recorded light values on the sensor could be recycled back into the batteries for some added efficiency, not sure if that is feasible either, just a thought.
Interesting thought, although I just looked at a few solar cell datasheets about the size of a 35mm sensor and power output was around 50uW for 200 lux. I just looked at an LP-E6 and it holds over 12W/Hr, say hypothetically under light use it lasted 12 hours so was cosuming about a watt, then unless I've made a mistake over those 12 hours it would extend battery life by only a few seconds. Even if a high-quality sensor had 100 times the output of a cheap solar silicon cell you'd still only be looking at a few minutes.

Australia / Re: Finally, cheap cameras in Australian shops
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:16:35 AM »
I also had my flash refusing to go up on my 7D which was serviced under warrantee (it's a noted design problem with some Canon DSLRs) without any issues.
Nice post Paul, I agree with your sentiments and my experiences are largely the same. A little OT but the single problem I've had with my 7D flash (out of warranty) was after setting it up pointing straight down then trying to pop the flash to use as a wireless trigger while it was tethered. After I retrieved it and held horizontally giving a very gentle pry while pressing the button it came right after a few attempts and I've never had a problem since.

It made me think that maybe something in the mechanism doesn't like being opened while facing downwards, something I'd never done before personally but I guess some may do for personal preference before taking a shot. Anyway not saying that was the cause in your case, and I would have also used the warranty if available but I'll be sure in the future to always make sure I only pop up the flash when fairly horizontal.

In my case it wasn't the microswitch problem, I could hear the motor turning but not getting anywhere.

EOS Bodies / Re: iPhone 4S vs Canon 5DII
« on: December 04, 2011, 07:27:08 AM »
To me some of the comparisons look a little silly, worst example IMO is shot 6. The caption says the iPhone is 'very clever' in those conditions but is the 5D set to fully auto? I imagine most 5D's don't spend much of life in that mode, plus all shots are tiny as ecka said.

This is the head i use
Just wanted to come back and say thanks for posting that, I hadn't heard of geared heads before either and picked up a 410 a few weeks back after reading about them. I do some amateur food photography and for work sometimes take photos of electronic assemblies and the like and they're awesome for anything that you need to frame with precision. The same applies to telephoto shots where the subject isn't moving they work great, especially vertically where you don't need to worry about lens flop.

As I expected they wouldn't be the best for panning or quick setup shots so I'll still keep my existing head for those odd occasions. I've used it with about 3Kg of kit and it remained smooth and generally felt very solid so no doubt the 5Kg maximum load is realistic.

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