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Messages - kirispupis

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How to Annoy a Photography Snob
« on: April 19, 2014, 08:32:06 PM »
There's only one true way to really annoy a photography snob - take better photos with lesser gear.  Most of the photography snobs I know take horrible shots with very expensive gear.  The photographers I know who truly have talent are far friendlier.

Photography Technique / Re: technique for hand held larger lens
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:10:47 PM »
I commonly hand hold my 200-400/1.4x - which is considerably heavier than the 300/4 (which I have owned in the past).  I use the following for help

- Attach neck straps to both the camera + lens
- Control my breathing when using low shutter speeds (similar to macro)
- Hold the camera by the lens and stiffen my arm when shooting
- Stick to higher shutter speeds (which are necessary since most of my targets are moving anyways)

Most of my non-Disney photos in this stream were taken with it -

Lenses / Re: Canon 600mm f4 IS II Vs Canon 200-400mm w/1.4x TC
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:04:32 AM »
I would purchase the 200-400 simply because I like the flexibility of zoom. It woul be a wonderful addition on my 70-200

I zoom with my feet. ;-)

I chose the 600 II when I bought a big lens. Would make the same choice today, especially given that it is just as good as the EF 800 f/5.6 with the 1.4x TC attached (840mm f/5.6) and has the option to use the 2x TC for 1200mm f/8.
If I had the money, I'd go with the 600II as well. It seems like you never have a long enough lens....

You can zoom with your feet, but many time you can't because of terrain, water, or common sense (a 24mm lens and a grizzly bear are not a good combination). For those cases you either need a long lens or a bear-proof suit.

Indeed. I zoom with my feet while using one of Canon's longest lenses. The longest, when you factor in the 2x TC. My point was that there is no reason to get the 200-400, the 600 is longer in every case, and still just as flexible because, well, you can "zoom" with your feet. ;)

Absolutely not true.  There are a great many occasions where it is simply not possible to zoom with your feet.
- Most sports events
- Landscape photography where you can only take the shot from one spot
- Wildlife - where moving could scare away the animal, or where you are in a blind
- Closeup photography

The 600/II is a great lens, but which one to buy really depends on whether you are a birder or not.  I absolutely agree that for birders the 600/II is more appropriate (the 600/I has far fewer advantages as the 200-400 is considerably sharper).  However for most other purposes, including those above, the 200-400 wins out.

Lenses / Re: Canon 600mm f4 IS II Vs Canon 200-400mm w/1.4x TC
« on: March 07, 2014, 07:01:50 PM »
A few months ago I had to make the same choice and I picked the 200-400/1.4x.  I do not regret this choice.

Ultimately it really boils down to what you like to photograph.  I use this lens for a wide variety or purposes - wildlife, sports, and landscapes.  For these purposes there is no contest - the 200-400 is the best lens that can achieve all three.

If I were only photographing wildlife, or more specifically birds, then the 600/II would be the better choice.  You simply need as much length as possible.  If an 800/4 existed that was actually portable, I would recommend that.  That being said, you can certainly accomplish a lot with 560mm.

For a real world example see this set  Three of these images were taken at 560mm, but three were not.  The versatility of the 200-400 certainly wins out here.

For sports I almost never use the extender.  I also find myself switching a lot between 200mm and 400mm.  It is one case where a zoom is invaluable.

Finally for landscapes I am all over the place.  That was really the deciding factor for me.  I wanted a lens I can use for landscapes to catch the shots many landscape photographers miss.  For these I rarely shoot at 560mm. 

This set illustrates the flexibility -  Most of the landscape shots were not taken at 560mm, while most of the close up bird shots were.  A 600/4 would have probably done an even better job, but the 200-400 certainly did a very good job.

Someday I may pick up a 600/II if I have a sudden influx of cash, but it is not a huge priority given the excellent performance of the 200-400 at 560mm already.

BTW, the Tamron is a very nice lens, but the 600/II and 200-400 are in a completely different class.  There are vast differences in AF speed, image quality, and the extras that go into a top end lens.

Lenses / Re: Soon to be MP-E 65 owner has a couple questions
« on: February 25, 2014, 01:04:09 AM »
I own the hood but have never used a protective filter for this lens.  Given the size of the element and the protection from the hood, it simply is not necessary.  In general I do not use protective filters for any lenses I own.  The hood and proper care are enough.  I have taken literally thousands of photos with this lens and have never had an issue.

Hangin' Around by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Aphid Farming by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

This is probably the most interesting new product for me.

Two things I'd want from this product:

1. Better diffusion when photographing subjects with reflective type elements, such as the body of a ladybird.

2. This is a lesser want but I find the mark 1 very difficult to store in my camera bag. It's shape is ungainly and awkward.

Can't wait to hear some first impressions!

If you want better diffusion then just pick up the MT-24EX and add diffusers to the heads.  In terms of difficulty to store, I do not see any improvement here.

Initially I was excited because I thought this product was using wireless between the flash controller and the head, instead of the ungainly cord.  I figured if they added this to the MR-14EX it must be coming soon to my beloved MT-24EX.  Sadly this is not the case.  I honestly cannot see any improvement in this product over the previous one in terms of my needs.

I use a Stopshot Studio with up to six valves.  The water is from food coloring.  I use two Einstein 640s and two 580EX flashes for lighting.  The 580EX's go from underneath a light table I built, one of the Einsteins is geled behind the drops and the other provides the main light.

I love taking water drop photos.  Here are a few I took recently.

Swan Lake by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Star Catcher by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Funny.  From the thread title I thought it was about peregrine falcons...

Software & Accessories / Re: Macro and Tripods and offset
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:22:59 PM »
I have the same Acratech GP ball head above, but mounted on a Gitzo 2541EX tripod - which is of the explorer arm type.  On top of the ball head I have two RRS macro rails.

That being said, the overwhelming majority of my field macro shots are hand held.

In general though when doing macro on a tripod macro rails are a must.  The RRS ones are very nice for that.  If I had to buy everything again, I would have bought the geared version of my tripod.  While the RRS macro rails allow me to precisely move in the X and Y directions, moving in the Z direction is more difficult to do precisely.

I own a pair of Wimberley macro brackets myself but almost never use them with my MP-E 65 + MT-24EX.  Usually in the field I am trying to minimize the size of my lighting because otherwise it bumps into everything.

I started with the Stofen diffusers + the MP-E 65 hood (many don't know there is an actual hood for it - and I consider it essential).  They are OK and do well in tight environments, but for most cases I use these

The following shot was taken with them.

JSC_5453-Edit.jpg 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.

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: January 07, 2014, 06:48:52 PM »
...add a 600/4 II, but those are minor tidbits.

I'm not sure whether to be impressed or appalled that you referred to the 600/4L IS II as a "minor tidbit."   ;)
If it were, I'd already have one.  Unfortunately, $13k is not minor for me :'(

It is a minor tidbit because I do not have a huge need for one, given that the 200-400/1.4x works well for me, and after the amount of begging and whining I had to do to obtain the 200-400 I do not even dare mention the 600/4.  If I win the lottery some day it would be nice, but I am happy with what I have.

Of course, if this truly is a "lens year" then future lenses may be too difficult to resist - particularly if Canon releases a 14-24.

Lenses / Re: I'm done - I have all the lenses I need
« on: January 07, 2014, 04:59:51 PM »
I am basically in the same boat in terms of lenses.

70-200/2.8 II - While I do not have a specific use for this lens, I find it is my most often used lens on many trips.  It is versatile for everything - from portraits to landscapes.

TS-E 24 II - My second most used lens.  I use it for architecture exteriors and landscapes.

TS-E 17 - Used for interiors and landscapes.

24-105/4 IS - My "I don't care lens".  The sharpness is not up to snuff but it serves well when I just want some casual photo of the kids.

MP-E 65 - Used for insects

100L macro - Used for small things larger than insects, or for big insects

TS-E 90 - Used for product photography and flowers

16-35 2.8 II - Not often in my bag except for hikes

8-15 fisheye - Great nifty lens when used in moderation

200-400/1.4x - For wildlife and some landscapes

I say "almost" because ideally I would replace the 24-105 with a 24-70/2.8 II and would add a 600/4 II, but those are minor tidbits.  I generally do not miss them and am unlikely to buy them within the next few years.

Lenses / Re: Which one should I get?!
« on: January 04, 2014, 09:09:09 PM »
I have the 8-15 fisheye and absolutely love it.  That being said, it is a lens best used with moderation so although it is always in my bag it is rarely the first lens I turn to.

If you want a 'wow' lens look into the TS-E 24 II.  This is a lens I often turn to first.

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