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Messages - kirispupis

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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.

Lenses / Re: New lenses ($6800 budget)
« on: January 04, 2014, 09:06:39 PM »
I strongly recommend that you do not purchase 5 lenses when getting started in photography.  Even if you are already knowledgeable (say moving from Nikon) I still highly recommend that you stick with two lenses and hold the rest of your budget for later.  The following are my reasons

- You aren't exactly sure what you enjoy photographing the most
- Lenses are complicated beasts.  You need to spend a lot of time with a lens to understand its capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Some lenses (such as macro) require specific genre expertise that will require significant time themselves
- When trying to fit things in a budget, you may compromise on lenses that will frustrate you and be more difficult to sell

In terms of which lenses to buy, that depends on what you most want to photograph.  Personally I would probably pick up a 70-200/2.8 II + 24-70 2.8 II - which would cover a very fair range.

Lenses / Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« on: January 04, 2014, 08:59:37 PM »
While I understand the 300/2.8 II is an excellent lens, I can't understand why this lens is being trumpeted without the 200-400/1.4x also being mentioned.  At 560mm with the built in extender it is just as sharp as the 300/2.8 II + 2x III and at 300mm is very close.  Add in the flexibility to go between 200mm and 560mm and this is a no brainer choice of the 300/2.8 II unless you are photographing sports where you need the bare 2.8.

Personally, I bought this lens over the 600/II.  It was a tough choice but the flexibility makes the lens more valuable.  I would of course like more reach but it does a decent job with a 2x extender.  If I were photographing exclusively birds then the 600/II would have been the better choice but the fact is I photograph a wide variety of things.

Please don't feed the trolls...

Lenses / Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« on: January 02, 2014, 04:24:51 PM »
I recently had a similar decision and wound up purchasing a 200-400/1.4x.  Although I have had it only a week so far I do not regret this decision at all.  While the 600/4 has more reach, the 200-400/1.4x is far more flexible.

Lenses / Re: EF 400mm f/5.6L IS on the Way?
« on: December 30, 2013, 07:48:04 PM »
In general I have always believed Canon (and most other manufacturers) have a hole in their lineup in terms of high quality telephotos.  On the one side you have their 'budget' telephotos like the 400/5.6 and the 100-400 and on the other side you have their high end telephotos beginning with the 300/2.8 II.  The problem is there's really nothing in between unless you buy used.  So you either pay ~$1700 for the current 100-400 or you save up $7k for the 300/2.8 II (or more likely $10k and up for the 200-400 or 500/4).

I agree there's a gap, but it's been there long enough for Canon to have filled it, if they wanted to.

Very true, but that doesn't mean I can still wish they filled it. :)

Then again from Canon's point of view:
- I purchased the 100-400
- I purchased the 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III.  The image quality + AF was close enough to the 100-400 to no longer justify carrying it.
- I still wasn't happy with the image quality + AF, so I bought the 400/5.6
- I still wanted something with IS and a bit more reach, so after some time I used the money I was saving for the 600/4 II and bought a 200-400/1.4x with the justification that it is far more flexible.

So in the end Canon got a lot more money out of me than if they had just introduced a 500/5.6 IS in the first place.  :)

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