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Messages - kirispupis

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211
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Backup body for dangerous areas
« on: April 02, 2012, 02:02:53 PM »
This really depends on what you term "dangerous areas".  Last year I travelled with my full gear (5D3, 7D, several L lenses, tripod) to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Never once did I feel unsafe.  I have also been to Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, UAE, Mexico, and China in the last few years and never had an issue with my gear.  The only time I felt a bit nervous was in Peru - but even then only in Lima.

While I was travelling in Uzbekistan, I ran across two guys with had taken their SLRs on motorcycle trips throughout Asia and Europe.  One guy had been to every single country in Europe and was on his way from Germany to China and another guy had biked in numerous countries in Africa and was on his way from Bulgaria to somewhere in Siberia.

So when you use the term "dangerous", do you mean somewhere truly dangerous or somewhere you simply perceive as dangerous?  Southern Iraq, parts of Afghanistan, bad neighborhoods in Brazil, and large parts of Somalia are truly dangerous.  If you are going to those places, the safety of your DSLR will be the least of your concerns.  If you are travelling there, you will have someone who is managing your personal safety.

Assuming that your travel destination is not truly dangerous, but you are just perceiving it as such, your real issue has to do with the way you are travelling.  By backpacking you put your equipment in numerous situations where it may be stolen.  It really doesn't matter whether you are travelling with an XTi + kit lens or a 1Dx + L lens.  Thieves rarely know the difference between different models.  They just see a DSLR that may be an easy target.  In terms of camera equipment, therefore, my recommendation is to bring the best you can.  You likely will not be visiting these places again any time soon.

In terms of making sure whatever you bring is not stolen, the following are my recommendations.

- Learn the local language, especially if you will spend a lot of time in one place.  This shows respect to your hosts and you are less of a target when you show respect.
- Learn the customs of your area and obey them.  If local customs frown on photographing women, do not do it.
- Safeguard whatever is on you at all times.  When you sit down, wrap the straps of your backpack around your leg or chair.  Never leave anything of value unattended - even for a second.
- Be gracious with questions on your gear.  Do not shy away from questions on how much your gear costs.  People are just curious.  Be friendly, but of course never hand your camera over if they want to see it.
- Consult with locals on where it is OK to go and where it is not OK.
- If you can afford it, stay in better hotels.  In most better hotels you can leave your gear in your room and no one will take it.  Of course, this by definition is not backpacking. :)
- Trust the companions you happen across as much as you trust strangers with your gear.  You are more likely to have your gear stolen by a fellow traveller than by a local.
- Make sure you bag is not easy to open from the back and that it is well strapped to you.

212
Macro / Re: Water macro
« on: March 31, 2012, 01:41:55 PM »
Actually, for the shot I just posted I did not need to take too many shots. When you get to this speed the shutter is not enough to freeze the action.  You need to freeze it with flash.  I set my flash manually to 1/128th.  I use Yongnuo 565EX flashes.  I have a 580EX II and 580EX as well but the 580EX does not have a miniport and the one on my 580EX II no longer works. I find it pitiful that I find my Chinese knockoff flashes more reliable than the real things.

To fire the camera and flash at the right moment I use two Stopshots from Cognisys. Even with this there is a tremendous amount of work to do.  Everything takes time to setup and then I spend a lot of time trying different things to get what I am aiming for.

In this particular case I started with the column.  Once I understood the # of milliseconds at which the drop hits a particular point and I know at what time the water column reaches the point I want, I know how many milliseconds I have to collide another drop with the top.  I then fired another drop from a different siphon at a few milliseconds after the drop the forms the umbrella.  This was the tricky part as originally my goal was to have this drop fall through the umbrella.  I played with the timing a bit to get this happen and then noticed it wasn't as interesting as I thought so I then strove to get the drop just above, which proved a bit challenging.  Ironically I kept getting the drop falling through the umbrella - which I was trying to do before but now didn't want.

I really enjoy water drop shots and I am slowly learning different tricks. It's not easy to take these shots but it is very rewarding when you get a good one.

213
Macro / Re: Water macro
« on: March 31, 2012, 01:48:49 AM »
I took this one today. 


http://500px.com/photo/6193780

214
Lenses / Re: Canon 200-400/1.4x vs. 600/4 II
« on: March 30, 2012, 11:45:32 AM »
This is very good to know. I have a feeling I may end up going for the 600/4, because AF is certainly a concern for me.  I would be curious to hear your results from using the 400/2.8 II + 2x III on either a 5D3 or 1DX.  I have noticed that the AF with my 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III is a bit quicker on my 5D3 than it was on my 7D.  I still would not call it quick by any means - but it is quick enough where I feel birds in flight may be a possibility.

215
Lenses / Re: Canon 200-400/1.4x vs. 600/4 II
« on: March 29, 2012, 07:42:33 PM »
I agree that these are big lenses.  I have two friends who have the 800/5.6, two others with the 400/2.8, and a number of people with 500/4's.  I plan to budget for a new camera bag along with the lens.  I do not expect to bring it to work every day - for example if I know it is going to rain - but as the location to photograph is literally outside the door I will not have to lug it very far.

That being said, one advantage of the 200-400 is I expect it to be significantly lighter.  A 600/4 at the zoo will likely be overkill.  Also, due to the different enclosures a zoom lens would be more useful there.

In terms of selling the 7D, I am finding with the 5D3 it isn't that useful.  The 5D3 has so much more detail and far better high ISO support and better AF.  Factoring in the resolution the 7D has a 1.44 crop over the 5D3. However, so far I have noticed that even at relatively low ISO such as 400, the 5D3 has a lot more detail.  I plan to do some tests soon to figure out how much of an advantage the crop truly is - but I have a feeling the 7D will not be around for long.

So far it works like this.
Birds - 1st place 600/4 II.  2nd place 400/2.8 II, 3rd place 200-400/1.4x
Sports (baseball) - 1st place 400/2.8 II, 2nd place 200-400/1.4x, 3rd place 600/4 II
Zoos - 1st place 200-400/1.4x, 2nd place 400/2.8 II, 3rd place 600/4 II
Travel - 1st place 200-400/1.4x, 2nd place 400/2.8 II, 3rd place 600/4 II

If I approach this analytically, it works out as follows.
Judging each area equally with 3 pts for 1st place, etc. it comes out to
600/4 II - 6 pts
400/2.8 II - 9 pts
200-400/1.4x - 9 pts

Weighting the categories on a 1-5 scale however.
Birds - Very important.  I do this often. 5
Sports - Very important, but it is only a few months of the year. 4
Zoos - Moderately important, only happens a few times a year. 2
Travel - Not so important. If I lack something I can always rent it. 1

600/4 II - 22 pts
400/2.8 II - 28 pts
200-400/1.4x - 22 pts

That would seem to answer the question, but I will have awhile to think this over while I am saving.

216
Lenses / Re: Canon 200-400/1.4x vs. 600/4 II
« on: March 29, 2012, 06:20:37 PM »
Thank you for all the replies.  The 400/2.8 II is definitely another strong option that I should consider.  Interestingly my main concern was that the 400/2.8 II + 2x extender would be considerably less sharp than the 600/4 + 1.4x but at least with the current 600 that does not appear to be the case - http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=741&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=2&LensComp=336&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0 One advantage that the 600/4 II does have though is it makes a nice 1200/8 - which perhaps will be more useful in the future when Canon releases a 1 series body again capable of focusing at F8.

Note that I currently own a 300/4 and a 70-200/2.8 II.  I plan to sell the 300/4 to help fund whatever I buy.  However, the earliest I will purchase something is the end of the year as I have quite a bit of saving to do (the 5D3 did not help here :))

In terms of lugging gear to work, I already lug a bag with a 7D, 5D3, 70-200/2.8 II, and six other L lenses to work every day.  I will need a bigger bag for either lens, but it isn't a big deal.

217
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?

218
EOS Bodies / Re: This web site is making me question why I lurk here
« on: March 29, 2012, 11:52:42 AM »
To the original poster, I am in 100% agreement with you. I am very sick of all of this whining -

- I am so disappointed with the 5D3 specs. I cannot believe they did not add 3D and warp drive.
- The Nikon D800 is so much better.  My grandmother said so.
- I have the 5D3 right now and it keeps eating my son's homework.

Seriously, what I find sad is the utter stupidity of so many people who earn enough to afford a $3500 camera.  It's just a camera! Get over it!

People really need to get out and take photos.  I had the 5D2 and I now have the 5D3.  They are both very nice cameras and they both enable one to take very nice photos.  Instead of all of this bashing and whining, why not spend your time improving your photography skills.

What I would really like to see CR do is change the algorithm that displays the top posts on the front page to display the more helpful threads - such as advice on lenses, how to take particular types of photos, or asking for critique for particular photos.

The alternative is to let this site continue to be dominated by the same morons that make most sane people avoid DPReview.

219
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advice: Upgrade to 7D or 5DmIII
« on: March 26, 2012, 06:17:41 PM »
I currently own both a 5D3 and a 7D.  To be honest now that I have the 5D3 I find the 7D of limited use.  When I used to have a 5D2 and a 7D, they complemented each other well.  I used my 7D when I cared about reach, AF, and frame rate.  I used my 5D2 when I cared about wide angle and image quality.

Now that I have the 5D3 the 7D is much less useful.  The 5D3 beats it in AF and in terms of image quality they are on different planets.  With the 7D, I do not feel comfortable going past ISO 800.  With my 5D2 I felt comfortable up to ISO 3200 and now that is ISO 12800 with the 5D3.  That is a huge difference.

Even at low ISO the 5D3 blows away the 7D in terms of quality though.  I was surprised at the quality from some shots I took at ISO 400 of a bird this weekend with the 5D3.  Even at low ISO the 7D suffers from diffraction - simply fitting too many MP on that small sensor.

The only advantage the 7D has now is the reach.  With resolution factored in it has a 1.44 crop over my 5D3.  Still, this is likely much less when image quality is taken into account.  Therefore, I now keep my 7D as only a backup body - and a rarely used one at that.  I have a feeling before the year is over I will sell the 7D to help purchase a large telephoto.

Therefore, if you have the money I would buy the 5D3 hands down.

220
I just called Adorama to make sure the order was canceled. She canceled the order but stated that they do have stock and it would otherwise ship. I'm not sure whom to believe as one representative says there is an error in the system and they do not have enough stock and another says they do have stock.  To be safe I just canceled my order as uniquephoto has confirmed that my camera will ship shortly and I should have it tomorrow.

From this experience and others', it sounds like Adorama is still the best bet for preordering something.  A friend of mine placed orders at both B&H and Adorama and should have his camera from Adorama today.  The one time I previously preordered from Adorama I also received it earlier than B&H did.

However for orders of things that have already been released but are in hot demand, I will not order from Adorama again as I have no confidence that they will actually have the item. B&H seems much better in this area.  I bought the TS-E 24 II and TS-E 17 from them shortly after they were released when B&H had them available on their site for all of 20 minutes.  However, for something like the 5D3 kit where B&H already has too many preorders I will order from a smaller out of state store.

221
It looks like it is some issue with their system.  They even charged my credit card (and failed to automatically refund when they ran out of stock).  I found the camera at uniquephoto, though, and spoke to a representative who was able to take a physical box and put it aside for me to ship out tomorrow. :)

Normally I have had good experiences with Adorama, but this is not one of them.

222
Unfortunately I just received the following e-mail after I had canceled my order at B&H because a customer service rep at Adorama told me my kit will ship at latest tomorrow:

We received report that our warehouse encountered an error in regards to the numbers of item that we received from Canon. Apparently, the order was not able to get any allocation and may not be able to ship until we receive another shipment from the manufacturer.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Now, thanks to Adorama, it looks like I will not have the camera for an upcoming vacation.

223
I missed out on the combo deal which is a bummer but I placed an order and they verified that it will ship either today or at latest tomorrow.  I canceled my order with B&H.  For the record both Adorama and B&H were very friendly and helpful over the phone - but the spoils go to those who can supply the camera.

B&H did mention that they believed it would ship on Monday, but I have a view house to photograph this weekend and would like to have the 5D3 handy for it.

BTW. Thank you for reporting this as thanks to the info here I should have my camera this weekend.

224
The MP-E 65 is a very fun lens.  For the record I started in macro with a Sigma 80-400 + Canon 500D diopter.  I then moved straight to the MP-E 65 + MT-24EX.  I then foolishly thought I could buy "everything I ever needed for macro" in one swoop by putting in a rather large order for the 100L, Gitzo 2541EX, TS-E 90, RRS macro rails, and 300/4 IS.

Since then I have spent far more money setting up a drop photography system, focus stacking with the Stackshot, and attaching microscope objectives to my camera.

You may find this blog I wrote several years ago on the MP-E 65 interesting - http://calevphoto.com/2008/10/22/zen-and-the-art-of-the-mp-e-65/

225
As already stated, this is not even close to the MP-E 65.  I have the 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III and use the pair often on my 7D.  I use it more often as a telephoto for birds but it does function as a low power macro at times.  Here are two shots with them.  Note that even though I own extension tubes, I do not use them as it isn't worth making the setup even longer for the minimal magnification gain (+ AF is affected, not important for macro but very important for birds).


http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevphoto/6778619380/#in/photostream


http://500px.com/photo/5097144

In terms of lighting, this really depends.  Generally I use flash only in situations where the subject field is small enough that I may completely control it (MP-E 65) or where I need a fill for things like insects' eyes.  With my 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III I only use ambient light.  Flash tends to have a negative impact for most of my uses.

In terms of the MP-E 65, note that it is a very specialist lens.  If you are not already very familiar with macro, I do not recommend this lens.  It is extremely challenging to photograph at these magnifications and requires a lot of practice and patience.

The 100L is a much better general purpose macro.  Currently I mainly use my MP-E 65 for insects and my 100L for almost everything else.

Here's a recent shot from my 100L (focus stacked)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevphoto/6787561780/#in/photostream

Here's a shot from my MP-E 65 for comparison. This is the only one of the four shots where I used flash.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevphoto/6046280004/#in/photostream

Note that the crocus shot would not be possible with the MP-E 65, while the fly shot would not be possible with the 100L.  They are both great lenses, but are completely different in their uses.

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