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Messages - PeterJ

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286
Lenses / Re: Help! 70/200mm f/4 IS OR 70/200mm f/2.8 IS II
« on: November 28, 2011, 02:58:09 AM »
I'm only an amateur but have done a few weddings, I've got a few tight-wad friends that like my beer / wine / food / wedding present payment plan ::). Anyway I've got a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and a good many of the best shots have been taken at f/2.8 for the best bokeh. I use a crop so you'd get a narrower field with full-frame for the same composition, but having said that there are a few shots where I would have liked a bit more.

Are you using a crop or FF? For crop I'd say you'll definitely want the 2.8, for FF maybe f/4 would do the job, but then you'd have to consider the difference in AF speed when the light is not so good. They're not a light lens but I find it well balanced with a 7D with a grip. I suffer from a bit of arthritis and joint problems but don't find it too bad, for something like a wedding where the action is fairly slow moving but over a longer period I just zoom and then brace with my elbow while using AF / shooting.

287
United States / Re: What should my first prime lens be?
« on: November 28, 2011, 02:18:29 AM »
When I first bought a DSLR I bought a kit with two cheap zooms. Not great lenses optically but it was a good way to get a feel for what focal lengths I'd use most before shelling out for more expensive primes and zooms, something hard to work out with reviews and forums because everyone's style and situations are different.

Anyway just thought I'd mention it because while you have a loaner D90 and kit zoom it might be a good chance to see what the framing is like for the shots you'd like to take. The Nikon is a 1.5 crop and Canon APS-H is 1.6 so for any shots you take with the Nikon you'd just have to multiply by 0.94 to find the equivalent Canon focal length.

288
EOS Bodies / Re: Big savings on unknown Canon DSLR [Nov 27, 9:15 PM PST]
« on: November 28, 2011, 12:15:56 AM »
Turned out to be a T2i kit for $699:

Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens + Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens

289
Lenses / Re: Filter for direct sun photography
« on: November 27, 2011, 02:37:35 AM »
One interesting thing as a side-note is that after the filter first arrived I took a a snap as above, minus the eclipse and the histogram wasn't like anything I'd seen before:



I was expecting the peaks to be evenly spaced, I wondered if the filter and/or lens was doing anything funky but it does much up well with the Wikipedia "color vision" article that has a diagram showing human eye response:



Still the peaks seem to drop off more rapidly, I guess just a sensor limitation where the silicon / bayer filter response doesn't match the eye exactly? It looks pretty predictable so I thought that might have been the sort of thing that would be corrected, although that was a RAW import into lightroom so maybe it does happen during the display and/or export stages?

290
EOS Bodies / Re: Where and how do you keep all your gears?
« on: November 27, 2011, 02:01:19 AM »
My storage system is cyclic, about every 12 months I decide to get organised then 6 months later it spends about 6 months like dr croubie's setup before the process repeats :D. In my area humidity is about 50-60% during the warmer months outdoors, and only gets higher during colder months when I've normally got a heater running. I normally leave my gear sitting on a shelf to keep dust off in cloth covers / bags not tightly sealed to let some air flow in, or just sitting on a shelf depending on the part of the cycle. Given the modest cost of a hygrometer I guess I really should buy one, but suspect my gear spends most of it's time around 50% RH, which I gather is pretty reasonable.

291
Lenses / Re: Filter for direct sun photography
« on: November 25, 2011, 07:42:51 AM »
Nice! The softness of the sunspots and lunar rim is likely due to the low angle of the Sun over the horizon (giving a large airmass with turbulence). Was it handheld or on a tripod? I find the best focus for partial eclipses is achieved using "live view" on the lunar rim.
Thanks for your earlier advice epsiloneri, I hadn't thought about air turbulence but at that time it was getting close to a mountain range that does have a lot wind and cloud cover. I was using a fairly decent tripod and shutter release, only thing I realised later is that I should have used mirror lock-up as well, just had it in stuck in my mind not to use it because of the sun but of course wouldn't have mattered with the filter ::).

I had a play around with various focus options yesterday taking a few test shots with manual / AF and viewfinder / liveview. Apart from liveview / contrast detect AF which was a dodgy as usual I didn't find much difference between all of them, so ended up just taking an initial phase-detect focus on the center AF point making sure it was on the edge of the sun. Would that  have technically been an OK thing to do, the lens seemed to be spot-on the infinity mark for 200 but would the practical focus change over 30 mins or so?

292
Lenses / Re: Filter for direct sun photography
« on: November 25, 2011, 03:52:27 AM »
Since posting I found a good Javascript eclipse calculator, coverage was only 1.6% so as you'd expect nothing too dramatic. But anyway thought as promised I'd better come back and post initial results with the 7D + 2x III + 70-200 f/2.8. I have a few more to sift through and might be able to sharpen but after a quick look this was probably the best at f/9 and 1/200 using the Thousand Oaks filter:



Anyway good practice run for the fuller eclipse next year, might even see if I can get more up north of the country where it'll be a full eclipse ;D.

293
Lenses / Re: Lets define 'Tack Sharp'
« on: November 24, 2011, 07:14:03 AM »
With a FF sensor the field of view would be ~5 degrees = 18000 arcsec, meaning we would need a 2 Gpix sensor to optimally sample a diffraction-limited 400/2.8 lens.
True but 2 Gpix is pretty ho-hum, soon my 5.5 Tpix will arrive, not sure if I should post a direct link but Google "5.5 terapixel camera". Build quality looks awesome and it doesn't look as intimidating and nasty as a 1DX ;).

294
Lighting / Re: Using multiple flash cords for speedlights
« on: November 23, 2011, 05:26:42 AM »
Is there any voltage/power issues to deal with for running multiple flashes on cords?
Modern cameras and flashes use low-voltage logic to trigger, so you're unlikely to run into any problems like that. Older flashes that use high-voltage could damage your camera regardless of using a cord, but using anything generally recommended for a modern Canon camera should be OK.

The only reason I say 'should' is that if you use two different kinds of flashes they might "pull up" the trigger to slightly different voltages. That wouldn't damage the camera, but could damage one of the flash units. Frankly though a flash would have to be very poorly designed for that to happen so the chances are slim. Personally I wouldn't worry about it, especially if your're planning on an EX-series for the second flash.

Edit - another thought, I wonder if the PC sync cable still 'fires' with an ETTL flash attached? That way you could have full control over one flash and use the other manually. I've never tried it myself but if nobody else knows can try it tomorrow on my 7D and let you know.

295
Lighting / Re: Canon flash mounting
« on: November 22, 2011, 06:57:56 PM »
Note that it's not the tripod-standard 1/4"-20 threading.  Canon doesn't publish the specification for the threading, but since it's for a Eurpoean-market bracket, expect it to be metric.
I've just measured and it looks like an M6 x 0.5mm thread. A standard M6 screw has a 1mm pitch, doing a quick Google it looks like M6 x 0.5mm is a fairly hard to come by but dies are available in that size.

296
EOS Bodies / Re: 5DmkII price drop in Japan....due to a box fail?
« on: November 18, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »
Yeah sounds sus to me, apart from what Mt Spokane said about the low cost of replacement boxes the modern packaging industry is so automated I'm sure they could "call in a favour" from their supplier and get them in a week.

I wonder if it's just they're getting a good deal on the kit and splitting it up giving that as an explanation for not having 'proper' packaging? A few non-offical dealers in Australia do that, although they're up-front about why you don't get the lens box. I'd also assume that while Canon are based in Japan a good deal of components, sub-assemblies and some manufacturing occurs in other countries where the change in exchange rate has helped drop the cost.

Probably some truth in that it could be to do with a Mk III as well, whether it's out in 3 months or 18 now the R&D costs are out of the way it probably makes sense to drop the price and get more out there. From a customer loyalty point of view if you buy one today at $2K and the replacement is $3K or more I can't see you'd end up dropping too much money when you came to sell it.

297
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: APS-C Image Quality (7d vs nex7)
« on: November 17, 2011, 06:02:45 AM »
I must say however - that my brother in-law visited me for a few days last month. He came with his 7d + canon 24-70. I used My canon t2i + tamron 17-50 NON vc.

My IQ was consistently better then his. I "played" with the 7d extensively, attached my Tamron to it, and tried it as well with a canon 50 1.4.

Bottom line - for a reason I dont understand - the 7d was somewhat "soft" / "mushy" compared to the t2i !!!

I moved from a 450D, which in latter parts I was shooting in RAW to a 7D (with which I've always used RAW) and had similar issues at first. My "problem" was solved once I read the manual and came to grips with all the autofocus options and found what suited me. I'm an amateur and not having a go at you in any way, just for me at least it is a camera that can take a bit to get the best from but results can be awesome as you get used to it ;D. I now despise and never use any of the AF modes that automatically pick points.

298
Software & Accessories / Re: patchmaster 3 in 1 lightning trigger
« on: November 17, 2011, 03:18:44 AM »
Sounds interesting. For anyone handy with a soldering iron that likes to tinker the Camera Axe is worth a look as well. Probably a similar build quality by the sounds of it (and yes a 9V battery) but probably a bit more flexible and has an LCD that makes the user interface quite intuitive. They seem to be "between versions" at the moment but from memory they had a pre-built version as well, I just ordered the DIY version to save a few bucks.

They have two sensor inputs and two trigger outputs and being open source hardware and software you can change anything with the operation if you're inclined to. They also have some interesting sensors like a projectile sensor with two photodiodes so the unit can calculate the speed of the projectile so you can set the trigger in terms of distance rather than time. Not that I've tried that sensor yet, I managed to break a photodiode with a screwdriver while testing it out and haven't got around to fitting a replacement one yet ::).

299
Canon General / Re: Got a problem...
« on: November 12, 2011, 04:13:27 AM »
Actually, are you sure it covers only the USA and Canada?  That does not seem right.

It seems a common practice with Canon to limit the warranty to only regions in which they were purchased. For example Canon Australia's warranty terms limit it to cameras purchased directly or indirectly through Canon Australia or New Zealand:

http://www.canon.com.au/Support-Services/Warranty/Warranty-Terms

I guess they operate as seperate business units and don't want to get 'stuck' with a lot of warranty claims from grey imports without the benefit of getting some of the profit. For whatever reason here an 'Australian' 5D Mk II is around $2800, $2500 from a grey importer (with a local warranty as legally required of their own) or about $2200 if you want to import from elsewhere and take the risk on warranty. From what I see Europe is much the same and tend to pay more than the USA / Canada.

300
Canon General / Re: Dynamic Range - Digital sensors
« on: November 08, 2011, 09:20:11 AM »
This article is rather interesting and seems to imply current larger pixel sensors may be able to achieve a few stops extra in the future with better analog conversion:

http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/digital.sensor.performance.summary/

Presumably the sensors themselves will also become a little lower in noise over time. I can't think of any technical reason a camera couldn't be created with lower resolution and lower frame rates but much higher DR using current technology, it probably just wouldn't be a good seller. Give it a while when fps and pixels are high enough for anyone and it might be the next battleground :D.

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