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Topics - kirispupis

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Macro / Playing with water drops
« on: November 12, 2012, 10:24:53 AM »
Just thought I would post a bit about my water drop setup progression.  These photos were all taken with two Stopshots from Cognisys.

This first shot is an example of what I could do before I rebuilt my setup.  The orange is from food coloring while the background is construction paper.  The shot is relatively simple.  I use one drop to get the column then hit it with a second drop to create the splash.

Ending with a Splash by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

In this next shot I rebuilt the siphon system to support three configurable siphons.  This allows me to use three different colored drops in a single photo.  The rest of the system is similar with the same plate holding the water.  I illuminated the background slightly, but otherwise didn't do anything there.

The Well of Souls by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

In the next shot I moved to illuminating from underneath.  I used a Tupperware container and a glass dish.  Although I could use three siphons, I only used one siphon here and the shot is similar in complexity to the first one.  The difference in shape is due to the makeup of the liquid.  There are a number of problems with this shot and I realized after taking it that the Tupperware was not very practical.

Watercolor by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

The last shot I took yesterday.  I built a small light table and rested the glass dish on it.  One flash was used to light from below while another was geled and placed behind the table to create the background.  Another flash illuminated from the side.  Two siphons were used.

Drop Playground by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

I am getting there, but more work needs to be done.
  • The table shook a bit and was not level.  This is the reason for the unlevel background and harsh transition on the side.  I have since fixed this with leveling legs.
  • I need more flashes for the setup.  In particular I would like at least two for the background, another one on the other side, and two for underneath (to light up the water behind the drop more).
  • I bought polarized filter paper for my flashes and have a polarizer for my lens.  I just need to brave up and cut it ($50/sheet) and use it on the side flashes to see the effect - which I hope removes some of the glare I spend time in PP removing

Lenses / Guesses on lenses for Photoplus
« on: October 24, 2012, 02:39:49 PM »
We'll know this for sure within a few days (hours?) but I thought I would take a stab at what lenses they'll announce.

Most likely
35mm 1.4 II - priced somewhere between $1700-$2100
200-400/1.4x - priced at $10k

TS-E 90 II - magnification near .5x, similar updates to other TS lenses, priced at $2100
TS-E 45 II - similar updates to other TS lenses, priced at $2100
400/5.6 II - much sharper.  Has new gen IS.  Priced at $2300.
300/4 II - much sharper, takes extenders better. Has new gen IS.  Priced at $2300

100-400 II - no more push/pull, much sharper and faster.  Priced at $3000.
135/2 II - Priced at $1900.
MP-E 65 II - Significantly better optics, maybe increased magnification.  Priced at $2300.

Not happening
14-24 - Maybe an "in development" announcement, which means 2014

Lenses / Need opinions on telephoto choice
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:58:33 PM »
I have been lucky to save up for almost all the lenses I want within the last several years.  I currently have the following - MP-E 65, 100L macro, TS-E 17, TS-E 24, TS-E 90, 16-35 2.8 II, 24-105, 8-15 fisheye, and 70-200/2.8 II.  For the most part I have all of the tripods, lighting, and other things I desire.  My one big hole is a telephoto.

As one of my biggest joys is bird and wildlife photography, this is a big hole.  Ever since I started in photography it has been my desire to have a good telephoto, but right now the best I can do is a 2x III extender on my 70-200/2.8 II.  It does a decent job and I sold my 100-400 because the combo was very comparable, but now I would like something a bit better.

I am mainly looking for something to photograph birds and mammals that I come across.  I am not a true birder, but I do like photographing them and have learned to do a decent job with the equipment I have right now so I am reaching the point where equipment will make a big difference.

I have done a great deal of research for some time, but being ever cautious I thought I would ask for opinions on my choice to make sure it is a wise one - as we are dealing with a lot of money.

First, $7k is about my maximum.  Even that will be extremely difficult and will likely mean no photography purchases for the next year.  I will have to seriously beg my better half and I am unlikely to be able to do something like this for many years afterwards.

Weight and bulk are concerns and are not.  Most of my photography is local, so I have the ability to carry something large.  However, we do travel somewhere interesting each year and sometimes that place has decent wildlife.  Next year we are going to Australia, where it would be nice to use it.  However if the lens is too large to take, then I'll be OK.

Note that this will be for a 5D3.  I used to own a 7D but was not happy with the image quality so I sold it when I bought the 5D3.

The following are options I have considered.

600 II, 500 II, 800/5.6, 400 2.8 II  - These are all above my budget
200-400/1.4x - Doesn't actually exist and will certainly be above my budget
Used 600 I - Strongly considered this, but the thing is so huge.  I handhold most of my bird shots now.  Won't happen with this one.
Used 400 2.8 I - This lens does not handle extenders well
Used 500 I - Smaller than the 600, but used prices are not much less.  This is a tough one, but I think my choice is the better way to go.
Used 300/2.8 - A much cheaper choice, but in this case I believe the 300/2.8 II is the best choice.

The following are reasons why I am leaning towards the 300/2.8 II.
- I am a sucker for new things.  Call me overcautious, but I prefer to have the latest and greatest.
- Optically it looks amazing.  Looking at these charts it appears to compete well with the 500/4 I -
- It handles extenders very well - even a 2x.  I am sure AF will take a good hit, but I'll have a decent 600/5.6 that will be sharper and likely have better AF than my existing 70-200/2.8 II + 2x.
- It's smaller - making hand holding much easier and I can take it on vacation as necessary

Does this sound logical, or am I overlooking something?

Below are some examples of the photos I have taken so far.

The Successful Hunter by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Getting Ready by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

EOS Bodies / DPReview 5D3 review out
« on: May 22, 2012, 08:52:38 PM »
It's out -

In a sign of their political awareness, the 5D3 scored the same (82%) as the D800.

I'll let the fanboys comment on individual aspects of the review.  As far as I have been able to tell, both cameras succeed in taking pictures.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Great review for D800 vs. 5D3 and DxO
« on: May 09, 2012, 11:32:43 AM »
I like the author's tone here and his opion of DxO.  This review pretty much sums up a lot of the current debate -

His style is a bit brash, but I agree with him 95% about DxO (I actually have a more negative opinion of them than he does) and about the entire debate.

Macro / Gross me out
« on: May 07, 2012, 01:52:17 AM »
Let's see some of your most disgusting macro shots.  Let's try to make this the most feared thread on CR. :)

I'll start with two of mine.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / New D800 vs 5D3 comparison review
« on: May 04, 2012, 11:21:38 AM »
Ron still plans to put more reviews up soon, but for those interested in the resolution difference between the 5D3 and D800 he has this review up -

The detail on the D800 looks quite impressive, but I do agree with him that the 5D3 exposed better.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:09:58 PM »
I currently own a 5D3 and a 7D.  I still have the 5D2 my 5D3 is meant to replace and am waiting for the market to clear a bit before selling it.

Yesterday I photographed a pair of hooded mergansers that I had earlier photographed with my 7D.  The lens was the same - 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III, and the location was exactly the same.  I also photographed the birds at the same exact location in the pond with both cameras.  The only difference was the shots were taken several weeks apart.

I was curious to compare them, so I took two photos of the same merganser at the same location and compared them.  The crop from the 7D made its version larger, but the following is what I noticed with my very unscientific experiment (partly due to laziness and partly because there are flaws in this test I will not post the crops).  Here are two different shots from each shoot, but note that these are not the ones I compared.  They won't tell you much about the quality of the cameras but they'll give you an idea of the conditions.

7D -
5D3 -

- The 5D3 had a huge advantage in noise.  I had taken the 7D shots at ISO 800, while the 5D3 shots were taken at ISO 1600.  Nevertheless the 7D had very noticeable noise while the 5D3 was significantly cleaner.
- The 5D3 had far more detail in the shot.  I could see far more details in the feathers than the 7D - even when the crop was taken into account.
- The 5D3 seems to have better dynamic range.  With the 7D the black parts of the bird were solid black, while with the 5D3 there was a lot more detail there.  This may also have been an exposure issue.

When I look at this, I am seeing really no reason to keep the 7D.  Other than having two more fps, the 5D3 outperforms it in every aspect - even when the crop is taken into account.  Perhaps this may not be true for ISO 100, but for bird photography that is extremely rare.

My question is to those who also have both cameras.  What have you noticed in the difference?  I am not looking for theoretical discussions here but practical ones from other individuals who have used both cameras.

This is just a single test and ideally I should test both cameras on a tripod with the same subject at the same time, but I am curious if others have noticed the same thing.  At this point I am strongly leaning towards selling the 7D and going back to a single body, with the proceeds going towards funding a future 600/4 II.

Lenses / Canon 200-400/1.4x vs. 600/4 II
« on: March 29, 2012, 01:19:59 PM »
This isn't really a vs. question as I am well aware of the utility of these two lenses.  I have long wanted a telephoto and am thinking of finally saving for one. These two lenses are at the top of my list but as it will take me awhile to save up I really only have the possibility to buy one.

The following are the major uses I am planning:
- Bird and wildlife photography. I love to photography all types of birds.  I also enjoy photographing mammals - though they are more difficult to come across.
- Zoo photography. For the most part these are the only mammals I often get to see other than squirrels.
- Sports.  Both my sons love playing baseball.
- Travel. Once in awhile we travel somewhere interesting such as Peru or Africa.  Although for this particular case rental is an option, it is nice to have something I am used to.

Note that I will be using these with a FF 5D3.  I do own a 7d but will likely sell it soon.

First, I am aware that no one has had the opportunity to use either of these lenses, but let's assume they are both excellent optically and that the 200-400 is sharp even with the extender (for $11k it better be).  Therefore it comes more down to utility.

What I really like about the 200-400/1.4x is the flexibility.  It should make a great safari lens and zoo lens.  For sports, the focal length is right where I need it.  The zoom capability should also help greatly as kids run around the bases.  The smaller size also makes this a very useful travel lens.  I also like the presumed close focus distance (assuming it has specs similar to the Nikon 200-400).  Occasionally I manage to get quite close to a bird and I enjoy taking closeup shots of leaves from a distance.

The main disadvantage of the 200-400/1.4x is the length.  For most birds on a FF I would prefer more.

What I really like about the 600/4 II is the focal length.  On my 7D, my 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III gives me an effective 640mm and it is barely enough.  I would certainly love to go higher and the 600/4 II would give me an 840/5.6 that is still very sharp.  I also like that the new model is much lighter - making it easier to deal with.  Generally with birds I find the focal length I need is the max I can do, so the zoom isn't as useful.

The biggest disadvantages of the 600/4 are that the length is a bit too long for baseball (though as my kids get bigger I will be forced to stay further away) and it is heavier and more difficult to port around.  The 200-400 is light enough that I may take it on trips where wildlife is not the main focus, but the 600/4 would like accompany me only on serious safaris.  Of course, for safaris I can always rent the 600.

Still, most of my bird photography is not done on vacation but is done almost every day.  My office is within walking distance of an area that has quite a few birds and I take walks there every day during lunch.  Therefore, whichever lens I pick up will likely be used at least twice a week.

Therefore, I like the flexibility of the 200-400 but also like the length of the 600.  Given my needs, which would you go for?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Cancelled my 1D-X order
« on: January 23, 2012, 01:01:42 PM »
After much deliberation (some of it on the forums here) I decided this morning to cancel my 1D-X order. For those who are on the waiting list at Adorama this should be good news as I was among the first to preorder there.

The final straw was simply the following two realizations.
1) I already have the ability to take good photos. There's nothing about the 1D-X that will radically improve my photography in any way. While I'm sure it's a nice camera, I would not expect those who pay attention to my photography to notice the difference.
2) From a "photography progression" standpoint, it is far more worth it to invest in equipment that allows me to take photos that I am currently unable to.  For example, two recent purchases (within the last 30 days) that I have made include high speed photography triggers and the 8-15 fisheye.  Without this equipment the following two photos would not have been possible.

Therefore I cancelled my preorder and moved the rest of you up a bit. :)

I must admit that the following did not help from a rumor standpoint (though the above two points were what made the decision).
1) The main thing I wanted in the 1D-X was high ISO support. If the 5D3 does this then that will work for me. Still, I will not preorder the camera but will instead wait for it to actually be released before deciding.
2) I am a bit worried that the 1D-X is a rush job. The fact that none of us have seen full res images seems to indicate that the firmware is not finished enough where Canon feels full res images are indicative of the final product. Rumors of battery issues and the glaring omission of F8 AF also seem to indicate that Canon rushed this camera to meet the D4. Given that Canon had huge AF issues with the 1D3 and many photographers are not happy with the AF capabilities of the 1D4 in low light, I do not have much confidence that Canon can produce a high quality camera that is rushed.  Maybe the camera is all that, but I'll let other photographers do the $6800 experiment.

EOS Bodies / Is it worth picking up the 1D-X?
« on: December 22, 2011, 01:43:51 PM »
I was very excited at the announcement of the 1D-X and I quickly put a preorder in, but I admit that I am now having second thoughts.

First, I am not a professional photographer by trade. I do take a lot of real estate photography - which pays for my equipment.  For real estate I use a TS-E 24 II, TS-E 17, and occasionally a TS-E 90. From a pro standpoint therefore the AF doesn't do anything for me.  The 7 shot bracketing is nice, but I can get by counting like I do today.

In terms of my hobby work, I primarily shoot nature and insects.  My primary lenses for this are the MP-E 65, TS-E 90, 100/2.8 macro IS, TS-E 24 II, and 70-200/2.8 II.  In almost all cases - even with the 70-200 - I shoot in MF.  Therefore, for this scenario the AF doesn't matter much. The better viewfinder though will be very nice.

I currently shoot all of these with a 5D2.  The biggest improvement the 1D-X will give me is high ISO.  However with rumors of a high ISO 5D3 coming out sometime (probably EOY 2012) that would probably suit my needs as well as a 1D-X (if it truly uses the same sensor).

The one area where I do need AF is sports.  In spring my two sons play baseball and for that I use a 7D + 300/4 and 70-200/2.8 II.  As they play during the daytime the light is usually quite good and the 7D does a very good job.  Otherwise I tend not to use my 7D as the high ISO sucks.

Finally I take a great number of photos travelling.  For this scenario I take both the 5D2 and 7D and often have both cameras out at the same time.  I typically put the 70-200/2.8 II on the 7D and the TS-E 24 II on the 5D2.  If I go through with the 1D-X I would carry only that camera as I would sell the 7D + 5D2.  For examples of places traveled to we did Uzbekistan+Tajikistan this year and have trips booked to Dubai and Tuscany next year.

The biggest argument for the 1D-X is I typically push ISO when travelling and taking hand held macro shots.  The improved ISO would greatly help here, as would the better viewfinder.  On the other hand, if I am patient enough to wait for a high ISO 5D3 then that should work just as well.

Generally I have always pushed buying glass over buying cameras, but I almost have the glass I want.  The only lenses I really want are the 8-15 fisheye (which I will buy in March whether I pick up the 1D-X or not) and a good telephoto.  The problem is for the $4000 I would save by not picking up the 1D-X now (rest of the money comes from sale of 5D2 + 7D) there really isn't a decent telephoto out there.  The ideal lens would be the new 200-400/1.4x, 400/2.8 II, or 600/4 II but all of those are well beyond the budget.  Of course I could always just keep saving until I do have enough.

I find myself therefore a bit conflicted.  On the one hand a 1 series camera has always been a bit of a 'holy grail' to me and I have always wanted one.  On the other hand I am not sure it is truly worth the expense.

EOS Bodies / When will Canon 1D-X release?
« on: December 22, 2011, 01:21:16 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has heard anything more solid on whether the 1D-X will actually release at the end of March.  Currently I am not so sure.

- Canon themselves have said the camera will be released in Japan at the end of March.  How long does it usually take between the Japan release and the US release?
- I have not seen any reputable sites with a price yet.  Only on B&H can I search for it, though I know Adorama has it in their system (because I have a preorder).
- I have yet to see a single professional give their opinions after using it in the field.  I know people who have used one at a trade show, but haven't heard of anyone reporting on it from the field.
- I have yet to see a single image from the camera that gives an idea of the high ISO capabilities.  All of the images so far have been too small.

My suspicions thus far are that if we do not see the last three items fulfilled by the end of January, then we're probably looking at mid-summer.

EOS Bodies / New 1DX review with AF info
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:21:58 AM »
Thought I would post this -

Not a huge amount new here but there are some details on the RAW buffer that I haven't seen elsewhere and some thoughts on the high ISO capabilities.

EOS Bodies / The irony in it all
« on: October 16, 2011, 05:46:37 PM »
Just thought I would share a rather humorous thought.

For the last several years, Canon users have been lamenting Canon’s pursuit of more MP.  While Canon users have been grudgingly happy with their cameras + lenses, there has always been a bit of yearning when confronted with the high ISO capabilities of cameras like the D3s – why can’t Canon come out with a camera like that?

Meanwhile, Nikon users have been generally happy with their cameras but I have heard a bit of grumbling that it’s about time Nikon come out with a camera with more than 12 MP that costs less than $8,000.

So Nikon is now rumored to come out with a 36 MP D800.  From what I have seen, many Nikon users are furious – that this camera simply has too many MP and low light performance and disk storage space will suffer.

In turn, Canon is now rumored to come out with an 18 MP camera that exceeds the D3s in most ways everyone cares – better high ISO, more fps, 50% more MP, and better AF.  The general feedback from the Canon crowd is this is the worst decision Canon has ever made.  18 MP is simply too few for a next generation sports camera.

Of course, these are just rumors and neither camera is guaranteed to actually surface (though in Canon’s case we’ll know soon).  It just really seems like camera manufacturers can’t win…

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