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Topics - kirispupis

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Sending my 7D2 back due to high ISO noise
« on: November 20, 2014, 02:23:37 PM »
I received my 7D2 last Thursday and immediately set out for wildlife to photograph.  My primary interest is wildlife photography and I spend one hour in a park every day before going to work.  I currently use a 5D3 with a 200-400/1.4x and a 6D as my backup body (mainly for landscapes).

Going in I expected ISO 1600 on the 7D2 to be roughly the same as ISO 3200 on my 5D3.  On my 5D3 at ISO 1600 I can still count the feathers on a bird, while at ISO 3200 the feather detail begins to break down but the image is still usable for most purposes.

What I found was that on the 7D2 there was still a noticeable lack of detail at ISO 1600 compared to ISO 3200 on my 5D3.  Even worse, when I went down to ISO 800 there was still noticeable noise, though the images were certainly usable.  This morning I spent some time photographing identical subjects with the two, and I came to the conclusion that the 7D2 simply would not work for me.

I am glad I bought it at unique photo - who said they'll take it back as long as the box is in good condition.  I had hoped this would give me a bit more extra reach, but again I found myself learning the painful lesson of cropped sensors. Instead I intend to wait and see what Canon does with the 1Dx2.

Unfortunately my sample images are not up, but you can get an idea from this one (ISO 400).
Predator by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Software & Accessories / Need very large camera backpack
« on: January 15, 2014, 12:46:33 AM »
Hello everyone,

I currently have a ThinkTankPhoto Airport Accelerator that I rather like, but I wish I could hold more gear in it.  I am looking for a larger camera bag.  So far the only bag I have found is the Lowepro 600AW, but I am curious if there are better choices.

The following is what I currently carry in my bag:
5D3 with 200-400/1.4x attached
70-200/2.8 II
TS-E 17
TS-E 24 II
100L macro
8-15 fisheye
2x III extender
270EX II flash
CPL, ND, and other small accessories

I am looking for a camera bag that can store all of the above and my MP-E 65 and MT-24EX, which I had to remove from my camera bag when I bought the 200-400.

The following are my main requirements.
- Needs to work well for hiking.  The TTP does not do very well there.  This is my main concern with the Gura Gear bags, which are the only other large bags I am aware of.
- Does not need to fit in the overhead of an airplane.  My TTP bag will continue to serve that purpose.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Pricewatch Deals / Canon 200-400/1.4x on sale at BuyDig
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:52:14 PM »
I realize that few of you are likely to buy this lens on a whim, but I have been eyeing it for quite some time while I slowly saved up.  Then to my delight I found it ~$1k off last night at BuyDig and I was finally able to order it.

If you go to their site it lists for $11,299 - or about $500 cheaper than the usual list price.  If you then add it to your cart and proceed to checkout, right after you enter your credit card info (if you are so bold) they will deduct approximately another $500.

While many standard lenses like the 24-70/2.8 II and 70-200/2.8 II commonly go on sale, this is the first time I have seen a noticeable discount on a big prime.  Note that for their other primes I did not see as deep of a discount in the list price, but I do suspect they will deduct 4% when checking out.

I have ordered from Buydig before and have never had an issue with them.

Hello everyone,

I recently started my own photography business where I sell my prints - typically canvas or metal.  Two weeks ago I held my first exhibition and I am about to talk to several interested local establishments about displaying my work.

In order for this to work financially, I need a company that is willing to print at a decent cost.  I do not have the budget, nor will my wife give me permission, to buy a large format printer.  Besides, my metal prints are becoming more possible - which requires a far more expensive printer.  Therefore I like to send everything out.  However, my current prices cannot withstand the printing costs of places like MPixPro and Bay Photo - who I am sure do excellent work.

The canvas prints are the easy part.  I know of many online solutions and I have friends locally who will print for a low price.  The metal prints are more challenging.

Until now I have been working with pictureitoncanvas.  They are just starting out as well.  Their web site is maddening to work with and needs drastic improvement, but I took the opinion that since I was beginning my business, I would have some patience with them while they started theirs.  I used coupons to make my initial prints affordable and they offer a set discount to pro photographers on their site.  When I applied for that discount - sending them my business info + resellers certificate, they never responded.  Several times I have called customer support and they have told me that 100% I will hear back the next day. This is despite the fact that I have already given them a decent amount of business - ~50 prints so far.

I am now at the point that I need to replace them as a supplier.  If they cannot at least look at my file and/or call me back then I cannot rely on them as a business partner.

Would anyone know of a company who prints in metal, has a decent web site for ordering, and provides a discount to pro photographers?

Lenses / Advice on dream African photo safari
« on: October 11, 2013, 02:12:46 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have been given the go ahead to plan a dream wildlife photo safari for the summer of 2015.  Photographing African wildlife on safari has been a goal of mine for years and because this coincides with a big birthday celebration I have been given permission to design my perfect trip.  Now I need to figure out where to start.  The following are my thoughts already.

- In terms of camera + lenses, I will have a 5D3 (or newer body) and a 200-400/1.4x + other smaller lenses.  I may rent or buy a second body.
- My goal is to take portfolio worthy photographs that I will sell as prints.  I have photographed wildlife for some time and am confident I can do this if conditions are right.
- I have researched Africa a bit and found that the primary challenge in accessing wildlife (besides luck) are the following
      - Some places are overflowing with tourists and vehicles will often surround an interesting spot
      - In many locations vehicles are not allowed off road
- For this reason I am almost certain at least a portion of our stay will be in Sabi Sands, South Africa.
- The entire land based portion of the trip will be three weeks

At this point, therefore, my main dilemma is do we spend the entire trip in South Africa - going between different private reserves with perhaps some time in Kruger, or do we combine some reserves in South Africa with somewhere else - such as Botswana.  One goal of course is to photograph as many different types of wildlife as possible. 

Any help on where to start would be greatly appreciated.

Lenses / New 200-400/1.4x review - or 11,799 reasons to cry
« on: August 29, 2013, 12:53:52 PM »
For those interested there is a new review that just came out on the 200-400 -

I have to admit that I was very skeptical and while I do still think it is extremely expensive, I have to admit that the price seems in line at least with Canon's other big teles.  I recently traveled for a few weeks to Australia with my 400/5.6 and even given the size this would have been my most used lens there.

My only quib with the review is I disagree that you really need a 1D-X to properly use this lens.  I have always been a believe that glass is more important than camera bodies and I am sure I could make great use of this lens on my 5D3.  I currently have no desire to buy either the 1D-X or the 6D but will evaluate the 1D-X's and 5D3's successors.

Now I just have to convince my wife on this lens... :)

Software & Accessories / Best deals on memory cards right now
« on: July 14, 2013, 06:49:15 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have an upcoming trip and realized that I need some more memory cards.  I am looking to purchase a 128GB SD card and a 64GB CF.  If the price is right I will buy more.  I use both with my 5D3 and the SD cards serve as my backups.  Would anyone know the best deals out there right now for these cards?

Landscape / My photo on the Bing home page today!
« on: July 06, 2013, 03:47:39 AM »
Bing used one of my images for today's homepage.  Kind of cool that so many people have the opportunity to see it.  You can see it at  If you are reading this any later than 7/6, then you'll need to scroll back a few days.

Here is the original.

Sienna by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Ironically, here is the image I originally had in mind.

JSC_2681_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Abstract / Some more water drops
« on: February 22, 2013, 07:58:35 PM »
Took these over the last week with my new water drop setup.

The Sound of Colors by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Water Arch by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Street & City / Tuscany and Cinque Terre with TS-E 24 II and TS-E 17
« on: February 22, 2013, 02:24:55 PM »
Sienna - TS-E 17

Sienna by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Cinque Terre - TS-E 24 II

JSC_2110_HDR.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1013_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1238_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1374-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 17

JSC_1399-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 17

Florence Duomo #2 by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1506_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Pisa - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1667_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Pisa - TS-E 24 II

JSC_1705_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Cinque Terre - TS-E 24 II

JSC_2314_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Sienna - TS-E 24 II + polar mapping

JSC_2847 Stitch-Edit-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

San Gimignano - TS-E 24 II

JSC_3804_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

La Crete - TS-E 24 II

JSC_4166_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Montepulciano - TS-E 17

JSC_4888_HDR-Edit.jpg by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Florence - TS-E 17

Staircase by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Lenses / Telephoto choice for Australia
« on: January 31, 2013, 11:54:16 AM »
Hello everyone.  We will be travelling to Australia this August and am trying to plan out what my telephoto choice will be there.  We will be travelling to the following locations

- Cairns/Port Douglas area.  We have rented a house outside of Port Douglas on the border with the jungle.
- Fraser Island - staying on the island (Kingfisher Bay)
- Lady Elliott Island
- Gold Coast (obviously not needed for amusement parks, but we may go to the bird park)

My current max telephoto is a 70-200/2.8 II with a 2x III extender.  It works decently well enough that I sold my 100-400 long ago.  My current thought is to buy a used 500/4 v1 and take it with me.  That would be about the extreme of my budget, so anything priced above that is simply not possible.  In terms of the telephoto, the following is my logic.

- Canon is unlikely to release a new 100-400 or 400/5.6 IS before this time.  Even if they announce it, it will not likely ship before then.  Even if it does ship, the 500/4 v1 will still likely outperform it.
- Any other telephoto Canon releases (200-400/4) will almost certainly cost more than a used 500/4 v1
- This is a very popular lens and will be easy to sell for roughly what I paid if I later raise the money for something like a 600/4 II.
- Although big, it is more convenient (especially for travel) than a 600/4 v1
- I won't have the budget for this until early July anyways, so if Canon surprises me I can change direction
- The telephoto isn't just for Australia.  I take a lot of wildlife photos here in the PNW too.

Now, the main question I have is - is it useful to take a lens this size to these locations?  I am mainly interested in photographing birds and mammals.  In particular I want to photograph dingoes on FI.  Does the wildlife get close enough that a larger telephoto is not necessary?

Secondly, will I run into problems on the flights if I carry this on in a Gura Gear bag or something similar?  We are flying Hawaiian to Brisbane (brief stopover in Honolulu), then flying Virgin Australia to Cairns and back to Brisbane.  I am already aware of the weight limits for the flight to LEI.

Underwater / Advice on inexpensive underwater system
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:02:22 PM »
I am looking for a decent underwater system and could use advice in what to choose.  The following is what I am looking for.
  • I do not plan to take underwater photos very often - mainly on vacation.
  • I do not need a high depth rating.  The vast majority of my photos will be in the pool and snorkeling.
  • I am interested in taking photos where part is above water and part is underwater
  • My budget is not very high. I did look into a sport housing for my 5D3 but that was running about $3k.  I would really like to keep my budget for the underwater part under $1k
  • My current thought is to buy a compact camera and put it in a housing.  The housings for these cameras are much less expensive
  • I have high standards on image quality.  I have an X10 and that is about the minimum in terms of quality that I can tolerate.  I imagine though that underwater I would have to use it at an unacceptable ISO
  • If I buy a new camera for this, it would be nice if the camera is usable above ground too

I will greatly appreciate any recommendations.

Macro / Is no one interested in macro?
« on: December 10, 2012, 02:53:15 PM »
I see that hardly anyone is posting in the macro topic.  Thought I would liven it up with a few water drop shots from the last week.

Magic Lamp by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Barista by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

A Window Into It by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

The Goblet of Drops by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Abstract / Playing around with water drops
« on: December 02, 2012, 11:56:10 PM »
I took these shots over the last week while playing with my Stopshot controllers.

Dressing Up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Jacob's Ladder by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Tower Landing by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Macro / More experimentation with water drops
« on: November 26, 2012, 11:34:43 AM »
Now that I am spending less time building my water drop setup and more time playing with it I thought I would share some more progress.

Recently I played around with cross polarization - which is placing polarizing gels on the speedlights and a polarizer over the lens.  When aligned correctly the technique removes most reflections.  I decided to try it on a black liquid to best see the effect.

This is with cross polarization

The River Styx by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

And this is without. Note that I changed the gel for the background between shoots.

Rain Cap by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Personally I found X-polarization useful but it is a technique that really requires more lights.  The polarizer gel and filter took too much light away and required me to go higher in ISO than I preferred.  I also think in retrospect black liquid was a very poor choice for the test.  In the future I plan to  try this again with a lighter liquid and more lights.

In this shot I started trying something much different but didn't meet much luck there.  I wound up playing with the reflections on the drops.  This is caused by the color of the drops themselves combined with the geled speedlight behind them and the effectively geled (through the water) speedlight below.  I like the effect but need to play with this more to better understand it.

Bowling for Bubbles by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

This is another failure.  I started by trying to collide drops in midair - similar to what I did in my 2nd shot above - but I had difficulties getting it to work again.  I then collided drops with the splatter of the first drop, where I succeeded but found the effect not so interesting.  I ended up with this shot.

Into the Wishing Well by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

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