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Messages - Harv

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 24-105 f/4 DG OS Sample Images
« on: October 31, 2013, 08:17:32 PM »
To put it as succinctly as I can... I'm underwhelmed.

Lenses / Re: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark I vs Mark II
« on: October 31, 2013, 03:44:47 PM »
I have owned every version of the 70-200 that Canon has made, including 3 copies of the f/2.8 version I.  I was never happy with the performance of that lens wide open and/or at the long end of the zoom.  Every copy I had was soft at those settings.

I purchased the Version II when it became available and never looked back.  The improvement was HUGE.  The IS in this version is also much improved.

This lens is my go-to lens for a lot of what I shoot and pretty much lives on my 1D4 for motocross events, at which I have taken tens of thousands of images.  It also gets a lot of time on my 5D3 for motocross as well as landscapes.

It was worth every penny.

You might want to read the review at TDP.....


If you need that focal range and can afford it, I definitely recommend the Version II.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: EOS 5D Mark III Firmware 1.2.3 Available
« on: October 30, 2013, 10:15:38 AM »
It never ceases to amaze me how many people are never satisfied with what Canon does.  If the 5D3 falls short of their expectations, why buy it in the first place?

For crying out loud, the 5D3 is half the price of the 1Dx.  If someone wants the 1Dx features, they should reach into their pocket and pony up the funds to buy the 1Dx.  It's that simple.

I elected to add the 5D3 to my bag as a second body to my 1D4.  I knew what the specifications were when I made the decision to buy it.  It performs as advertized.  Firmware updates to deal with bugs that show up are appreciated and I'm thankful that the manufacturer offers them up.  I don't expect Canon to turn my 5D3 into a 1Dx.

Anyone who purchased a 5D3 knew full well what it's features and limitations were when they made the decision and laid their money down.

If you own the 5D3, which is a great camera, just pick it up and go take some photos.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: BlackRapids RS-7 + Battery Grip
« on: October 26, 2013, 09:30:02 AM »
The con is that it breaks cameras. Black Rapid straps disconnect and drop cameras on the pavement. Not every time, not every trip, but if you use one frequently it's going to happen eventually. It may be more likely to happen with heavier lenses and cameras.

It may well be that Canon cameras and lenses (likely other brands too) just aren't designed to be hung from the bottom like a Black Rapid, Carryspeed, or similar strap are designed to do. I've yet to find one that doesn't break and/or drop cameras. By contrast I've yet to see a strap attached to the strap eyelets at the top of the camera or side of a lens detach or break. The ergonomics aren't great, especially for larger lenses slung over a shoulder, but at least this doesn't break cameras.

What you are referring to is the original design which included a 'D-ring' style of attachment fitting that screwed to the camera body or lens.  There were some reports of the fitting coming loose but once the issue became known, Black Rapid changed the design to a one-piece machined part which I believe corrected the problem.

From April to October, I spend almost every weekend shooting motocross.  I'm on the track 6-8 hours per day, shooting with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II mounted to either my 1D4 or gripped 5DIII.  As mentioned above, it balances nicely when the strap is secured to the tripod collar.  However, in that environment, when I am not actually shooting I prefer to have my gear hung with the front element of the lens facing down.

I have used the RS-7 mounted to the bottom of my 1D4 or gripped 5DIII with the 70-200/2.8 attached.  I have had absolutely NO ISSUES or PROBLEMS with either.

Canon General / Re: You know it is going to be a bad day when...
« on: October 10, 2013, 08:40:20 PM »
You know it's going to be a bad day when you travel an hour to photograph a litter of puppies for a breeder/friend, put your camera to your eye, press the shutter for the first shot and nothing happens.  You look down and read on the LCD.... 'No Card'.  Of course not..... it's in the reader at home.

No problem.  Get a spare.  Open the bag only to find you left those at home as well.

The last bit of bad news is that the puppies are all leaving for their new families the next day.

At least it was early enough to make the 2 hour round trip to get the cards and make it back to complete the shoot.

Lesson learned..... the spare cards now never leave the bag.

I hate the thought of being held ransom by anyone..... Adobe included.  I was tempted to update to CS6 but then along came this new marketing approach of theirs.  I'll just continue to stumble along with my CS4 which pretty much does everything I need.

And if for some reason, my CS4 craps out, there will always be an alternative somewhere.

I have always owned my own home because I never wanted to be at the mercy of a landlord.  Nothing has changed.  :D

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: On a 5D Mark III, when shooting mRAW
« on: September 04, 2013, 10:43:33 AM »
One also gives up some color accuracy. 

If you're suing something other than DPP, be sure your RAW converter of choice supports mRAW.  If you need to use DPP to convert your mRAW to DNG for further processing, you'll end up with bigger files than just shooting regular RAW.

Some technical details on mRAW, color sampling, etc., from Doug Kerr are here.

Thanks a lot, Neuro.  I was hoping you would step up.  :D

I use DPP for my RAW conversions so that will not be a problem.  I'll check out the link you've provided.

You are a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate you sharing.

Lenses / Re: Long telephoto prime lens for landscapes?
« on: September 04, 2013, 10:37:44 AM »
You don't say on which body you would use the 400mm for landscapes.  On a 1.6 crop body you might find that long a focal length quite limiting.  I know I would.

Having said that, I've always liked using medium telephotos for landscapes and my 70-200 gets a lot more use than my wide angle lenses on my 1D Mark IV and my 5D Mark III.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / On a 5D Mark III, when shooting mRAW
« on: September 04, 2013, 10:22:43 AM »
On a 5D Mark III, when shooting mRAW, does one give up anything other than resolution?

I shoot motocross events most weekends during spring and summer.  I have mostly used my 1D Mark IV and have been very happy with results.  However, I have had occasion to use my 5D Mark III and notice a higher keeper rate on fast-closing, oncoming shots when compared to the 1D Mark IV.  I would like to use the 5D Mark III more but don't like the very large file sizes it produces when dealing with thousands of images.  It really does slow down the file transferring and processing.

As I have full access on the motocross tracks and can literally go wherever I want, my images are pretty much frame filling or close to it.  I need to do very little cropping, if any.  That being the case, shooting mRAW would be more than adequate for my needs in terms of pixels on the target, but leaves me wondering if doing so would cost me more than the just the reduction in resolution.

Can anyone comment on this concern?

Lenses / Re: 16-35 I vs. 17-40
« on: September 01, 2013, 08:24:51 PM »
Just to shore up what others have said, I owned both lenses.  I sold the 16-35 and kept the 17-40.  I found it to be noticeably sharper than the copy of the 16-35 I had.

Personally, I think the 17-40 is probably the best 'L' bargain out there.

Lenses / Re: Question regarding drop-in circular polarizing filter
« on: September 01, 2013, 08:19:40 PM »
Thanks for your input, guys.

I well know about the loss of light throughput and given the light I normally shoot in and the bodies I'm using, that is not an issue.

I was just wondering if there was any impact on the AF speed or accuracy.  I believe that question has been answered.

Hopefully it will arrive in time for me to try it out next weekend.

Lenses / Question regarding drop-in circular polarizing filter
« on: August 31, 2013, 11:40:21 AM »
Among other things, I shoot a lot of motocross throughout the spring and summer season.  Pretty much most weekends.  I have often thought that a drop-in circular polarizing filter for my 300/2.8 would be a good idea to reduce glare from goggles and face masks, as well as to enrich colours and perhaps tone down some highlights.

I decided to go ahead and have ordered one.  As an afterthought (I have a lot of those), I was wondering if introducing that filter would have any negative effect on the speed and/or accuracy of the AF.  Anyone out there with any experience with one that could answer that question for me?

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: August 19, 2013, 03:39:43 PM »
Does anyone know what this bird is?

It's tiny, just a bit bigger than a chickadee, and there were two of them on the sand at the edge of the Ottawa river, near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It would use it's beak to quickly probe the sand.

I'm pretty sure it's a Least Sandpiper, although I'm surprised to see it that far south at this time of year.  It's a bit early for the fall migration to have started.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: August 18, 2013, 08:35:19 PM »
A Trumpet Swan that was putting a run on a Canada Goose.....


Third Party Manufacturers / Re: ...and now Smugmug.
« on: August 04, 2013, 07:32:49 AM »
You guys all rock! I had a heck of a week...we had ALOT of migrations, and a ton of signups, so the support to cover was alot. It is finally slowing down, so I can come back and chat with you all! I saw a couple posts with new sites. AWESOME! It's 4am here, and i need a couple hours of shuteye, but I will return tomorrow to answer all your questions and check out your new Smugmug sites. Thanks so much!

I shoot a lot of motocross racing during the season and when at the track yesterday, many of the people who regularly visit my site made a point of telling me how much they liked the new look.

As for me, I love the look as well and am delighted with how much and how easily I can customize and change the site.

Two thumbs up.  In my opinion, and the opinion of several of my friends who use SmugMug, you guys have hit a home run with this change.



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