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Topics - rmfagan

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Lenses / Next Lens Purchase...where is the gap in my gear?
« on: December 21, 2014, 06:13:01 PM »
Title says it all... I'm planning to purchase another lens and I wanted to get opinions on where I might gain the most.

At present:

Rokinon 14
Rokinon 24
16-35L IS
24-70L II
70-200 IS II
50 1.4
100L Macro
TC III 1.4 and 2.0
600EX-RT x 3 and SR-E3-RT

I had a 17 TS-E but sold it as I felt it lacked the sharpness I'd hoped for and while shift was great, tilt wasn't as noticeable at 17.

I recognize a gap in telephoto coverage at the long end, and debated the 500 II, but got a 1Dx instead, and will get the 500 next fall, and rent that for now when needed.

I'm most strongly considering the 85L II and the 24 TS-E. The 70-200 is great for portraits, but can be unwieldy for more intimate settings or when my primary focus is portrait. Also, 1.2 would be sweet. As for the TS-E, I love landscape, and this is bread and butter for the TS-E. I also have enjoyed playing with architecture, but mostly outdoor thus far.

Is having so much wide coverage contraindicating the TS-E? Is the 100L and 70-200 a knock on the 85? Would there be other suggestions? Basically, where does my gear stand to gain the most?

Before it's suggested, I have 2 Gitzo tripods, RRS Gimbal/Pano/Macro set ups.

Hello all-

I've seen several posts lately which have left me confused. My understanding of the crop factor (1.6x in Canon's case) is that FOV is decreased by 1.6x, effectively cropping the photo. It doesn't replace focal length in that you do not gain additional telephoto compression. However, this crop effect could still be useful to the focal length limited photographer (let's say 300IS II + 2x TC III as opposed to a 500 or 600 prime) because to crop a FF image in post throws out pixels, while a sensor forced crop puts relatively greater number of pixels on target (ie a 7d2 vs a 5d3).

Now I've read posts alluding to a "real" benefit of closer to 1.2x due to increased camera movement. Why? Would this camera movement not also occur at a comparable FOV on FF? Would a 300 + 1.4x not have roughly the same movement as a 400?

Thanks in advance for clearing this up.

Lenses / 300 or 500I or 500II or 7D2... HELP!
« on: December 06, 2014, 01:55:51 PM »
Hello all-

I'm at a bit of a purchasing impasse and I'm hoping you can help. I'm looking to make a big purchase or two between now and mid-January, with a mind to use it/them on trips I have scheduled throughout the year.

 I'm photographing snowy owls in Canada in January, Iceland in February, eagles in Utah followed by mammals in Teton in March, an abandoned prison in April, Glacier NP/Yellowstone NP in June, storms in AZ in July, whales/puffins in Maine in August, and 9/11 in NYC by helicopter in September.

My current gear is Canon 5D3, 17TS-E, 16-35L 2.8, 24-70L II, 70-200L IS II, and a 50 1.8 II. I have both the 1.4 TC III and 2.0 TC III, and 3x600EX-RT, as well as the SR-E3-RT. I'm in the process of selling the 16-35 for the new 16-35L IS (I don't find myself needing 2.8).

I enjoy nature/wildlife photography, landscape, portraiture, and travel.

So with that said, I'm looking at the 300 IS II or 500 IS (ver 1) refurb or lightly used respectively, and a 7D II. I could also consider the 500 IS II if I forgo a 2nd body. I'm torn. The 300 II option would see use for more stuff, no doubt, but I feel I'd need the 7D II for reach (?). For the cost of both I could get the 500 IS II.

With either 500, it's a purely wildlife lens. With the 300 I can see portrait, some sports, even tele landscape stuff too. Of course, I'm also looking at the 85L, 135L, and 100L macro, so portrait use isn't critical.

If anyone can offer some advice, it'd be much appreciated.

Side question: I was looking at MTF charts. Is 16-35L IS looking sharper than 24TSE? I'm no good at those charts.

Canon General / Slick City Kit?
« on: October 27, 2014, 01:31:38 PM »
Hello all-

With your help, I decided on buying the 17 TS-E, and it's on order. While I anxiously await it's arrival, I'm trying to piece together what I hope would be a slick and versatile kit for shooting in NYC and the like (I could see such a kit equally adaptable for European travel for instance). As I'll be commuting into the city by train and mostly walking once there, weight and portability are certainly parameters for consideration, keeping in mind that image quality is still foremost. For reference, I currently own a 5D3, the 17TSE, 24-70L II, 70-200L II, 50 1.8, 3 x 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT, Gitzo GT3451, Markins Q10i.

With that in mind, I thought my 5D3, the 17 TS-E, my 24-70L II, and purchasing a 135L would be an ideal kit allowing for architecture, unobtrusive street photography, and virtually anything else I might encounter. I can see shallow DOF and low light lacking perhaps, but I'm not sure bringing the 50 is worth it. I considered the 85L but am concerned about it's AF speed for street, and 135 seems to get me close enough to the reach of the 70-200 without the weight or "look at me!" appearance. Thoughts on this kit? Any holes? Should I bring a 600EX-RT?

Now to utilize the 17TSE in particular, I need a tripod, and my GT3451/Q10i seems too big and heavy for maneuvering subways and sidewalks and unnecessary for the kit I'd be deploying. The Gitzo GT1542T paired perhaps with a Q3i Traveller seems a much more compact and viable solution. Given it's on rebate right now, I'm inclined that way unless an argument is made for something different. I love RRS but can't seem to justify the expense in this case.

Lastly, I need a discrete sling or shoulder bag (no backpacks) to carry all this, and here I am stumped. I have a Think Tank Retrospective 30 that mostly fits the bill (though perhaps it has TOO much space for this kit) but I was hoping to have the option of carrying the tripod folded on the outside, perhaps on the bottom? Is the Urban Disguise my only option? Any other bags on the market? It needs to hold the kit, plus some ND, CPL, a remote, batteries, etc.

As always, thanks so much for the suggestions and assistance!

Lenses / Which TS-E for NYC?
« on: October 14, 2014, 07:49:24 AM »
Hello all-

Finally ready to take the plunge on a TS-E lens but still woefully undecided on which. I currently shoot on a 5D3, with the 24-70L II, 70-200L II, and the nifty 50.

Living just outside of NYC it seems a shame I haven't taken the opportunity to photograph it. My primary interest in this context is the phenomenal architecture of the city, though I quite enjoy people photography as well. I'm envisioning the 24-70L II, a 135L, and one of the TS-E's (along with my Gitzo carbon legs and RRS ball head) as a suitable kit to these ends. But I'm undecided on the 17 vs 24.

One the one hand, 17 gives me a perspective 24 can't (though I could take advantage of shift movements). I have the Lee Big Stopper and hope to employ it but I read that is now also possible with the 17. So which is my better investment if I'm hoping to capture shots of the Brooklyn Bridge, Flat Iron Building, GCT, High Line, NY Public Library, and the like?

Thanks in advance!

Canon General / Upcoming trip, any can't miss spots?
« on: January 28, 2014, 08:57:51 AM »
Hello all. I'm wheels up in 44 days on another trip and I wanted to get the CR take on what to shoot. Any secret spots or can't miss places. General recommendations are welcomed as well.

I'm leaving NYC and have a 24-hr layover in Amsterdam, noon to noon. Then I'm flying into Athens, where I'll spend 3 nights. Then it's off to Istanbul for 4 nights, then a hop to Cappadocia for a night and a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the "chimneys". Then it's back home.

I'm planning on bringing my 5D3, 24-70 II, 70-200 II, nifty 50, my tripod, black glass, a few NDs, and one of my 600EX-RT's. I was considering bringing my 100L macro. Seems some of the Dutch "brownies", Greek food, and the Grand Bazaar beg for macro shots. Thoughts on that? I also intend to rent a TS-E. It's a hard call. The architecture and tight streets seem to scream 17, while Cappadocia might be better served by the 24. Any guidance there is appreciated.

So, any equipment guidance would be great, any input on where to go in the cities listed is even better! Thanks all!

Lenses / Sell 16-35 II for 24-70 II/24TSE?
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:15:24 AM »
Just looking for some feedback on shuffling my lens stable/adding a lens. I've noticed I am rarely using 16mm on my 16-35 and often find myself wanting more reach, which lends itself well to the 24-70 II, yes? But for landscape, I COULD see myself wanting a bit wider. So... How realistic is it to expect to be able to use shift on the TS-E to get me a wider FOV, thus satisfying my desire for "there if I need it" wide ability?

Does anyone see a downside to selling my 16-35 II and picking up the 24-70 II and 24 TSE II? I currently have a nifty 50 and the 70-200 IS II as well. Likely swapping the 50 for whatever Canon cones out with soon(?) OR the 50 ART.

Lighting / ST-E3 RT + 600EX RT + 430EX II??
« on: December 20, 2013, 08:34:07 PM »
Hi all-

Just picked up a 600EX RT to go with the ST-E3 RT I had purchased earlier (I ran out of money hence getting the ST first). My question is: Can I mount the ST-E3 RT to my 5DIII and fire the 600EX RT via radio while having the 600 trigger the 430EX II optically?

My hope was to finally have the ability to do 2-light setups, but I  can't seem to figure it out. Is there a workaround or should I sell the 430EX II and try to save up the cash to float another 600?


Lenses / What's my next purchase?
« on: November 21, 2013, 07:51:07 AM »
Hello Collective Minds of CR-

I could use some insight into what my next purchase should be. Currently have a 5D3, gripped, 16-35 II, 70-200 II, and nifty 50, along with a 430EX II, an ST-E3, 600EX, and 2x III on the way. I currently shoot for my college paper (a lot of sports right now, but also your typical PJ/editorial stuff) and also shoot portraiture, wildlife, and travel stuff for myself. Over the summer, I hope to intern with a wedding photog, or a publication.

I'm torn over what the next big purchase should be. The 24-70 II is a top contender... perfect for basketball and even has a place for near shots in the end zone for football, and I can see it's utility with the rest of my PJ stuff as well as making a great travel lens. Naturally, it would make a good wedding lens if I go that route.

But then again, I could also see a lot of utility in an 85 1.2 for portraiture, low light travel, and such. Again, it too has a role in weddings.

Lastly, there is the option of saving up a bit more and buying a 2nd 5d3. Granted, for sports, the 1DX is worlds better, and I love it after renting/borrowing it several times BUT for everything else I do, the 5D3 performs very well and is still acceptable for sports for me. Bottom line, I can't afford to go 1DX right now. If I end up a full time sports shooter, obviously I'd trade up to 1DX's though.

For what it's worth, I do intend to grab the 300 II off Canon Refurb in the spring.

So usually, easy call...lens is better buy than body. But given my situation I'm unsure. Then of course, it's which lens.

Your help, as always, is greatly anticipated and appreciated.

Sports / Basketball: #1 UConn vs #3 Stanford
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:58:52 AM »
Had the opportunity to shoot the reigning National Champion UConn women's basketball team in their first test of the season against #3 Stanford. Only my second time shooting basketball. Some of my favorites below. Any commentary or critique is greatly appreciated.

Sports / First Shot (npi) at NCAA Basketball
« on: November 10, 2013, 10:02:32 PM »
Here's a few from the women's UConn vs Hartford game Saturday night. Shooting UConn v Stanford tomorrow.

Software & Accessories / Portable Storage Backup?
« on: October 22, 2013, 07:08:47 PM »
Maybe I'm nuts, but I feel like this must exist, or should: a portable hard drive with integrated CF and SD card reader that does not require it to be interfaced with a computer. I'm envisioning something I could bring into the field or on trips such that I can insert my CF and SD cards into the reader, press a button, and have all files dumped to the integrated hard drive for storage, which I would then load to my computer when home.

This device would also ideally be battery powered so I could use it when away from civilization, but I could make do if I could plug it directly into a wall outlet or a portable USB battery like a NewTrent instead.

It doesn't really have to have a small screen for viewing files, though I could see the utility of that for deleting obviously bad shots (OOF, motion blur, etc) and thus saving the onboard memory space.

Does this exist? Am I dreaming? If so, let's build one, because I could see a lot of people buying it! I'd be happy though if I could just buy one now.


Lenses / January in Japan...Advice?
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:38:54 PM »
Hello All-

I racked up enough miles to cover flights and hotel for a trip to Japan from Jan 9-18, 2014. I'm flying into Tokyo. The main draws for me are the snow monkeys near Nagano and Tokyo itself. I plan to spend 2-3 days on the monkeys, and other than flying into and out of Tokyo I am flexible. Is Hokkaido even doable in this time frame? I considered Kyoto to fill the time not used in Nagano or Tokyo. Is there much to see in Kyoto at this time?

Also of interest to me is whether I should rent a lens. I will be bringing my 16-35II, 70-200II, and nifty 50 on my 5D3. I may own a 24-70II by then. Should I rent the 85 1.2 for the trip? Monkeys are like people, so portraits, right? Worth it to bring my 600EX-RT and ST-E3 RT to do a little off-camera flash? Or do you think the monkeys will flip out if I pop them with a speedlight?

How useful might a macro be on a Japan trip? I'm thinking markets, sushi, possibly even a tight shot of the monkeys' eyes.

I'll likely bring either a 1.4x or 2x bc why not, and of course my tripod.

So, what say you collective CR intellect?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 2nd Body... 1D IV or another 5D III
« on: October 19, 2013, 11:57:07 PM »
Hello all-

I posted a few weeks back about my first experience shooting college football and it appears I'll be doing quite a bit more of that as well as basketball and general PJ work. As of right now, I'm shooting on a gripped 5D III, a 16-35 II, a 70-200 II, and a nifty fifty.

CPS loaned me a second 5D III as well as their 400 IS II to shoot that last game, but as you may or may not know, these are evaluation loans and as such you can only "borrow" each item 1-2 times, depending on your level of membership. As such, I've decided without a doubt that I need another camera. In truth, I would prefer to cover football with 3, but we'll worry about that in due time. With all of this, keep in mind I will also be buying EITHER a 300 2.8 IS II OR a 400 2.8 IS 1.

So, the question becomes which one? As I need to sort this out fairly soon, I don't have a ton of time to save. Yes, I know the answer to this question is 1DX, but I can't do it right now. I'm between another 5D III, maintaining battery and control compatibility, or a 1D IV.

I love the 5D III, no real complaints. It's great at what it does, and honestly, it's not a half bad sports camera. If I get a third camera later next year, it will be a 5D III more likely than not. I did notice some shots missed due to having "only" 6 fps. The tracking though was largely fine. IQ I was happy with. I did some cropping, but not a ton with the 400. If anything, I could use to back off a bit.

This leads me to consider the 1D IV. I can pick one up in good shape for roughly the same price as a refurb 5d III + grip. I could get the newer 300 2.8 IS II and get slightly less reach than 400, while gaining fps. I expect tracking to be fine, metering fine, etc. After all, this was THE sports camera before 1DX, it's not all the sudden bad.

I've got a 1DX (I'm gonna hate myself) and 300 2.8 IS II coming in for my next game, shooting Teddy Bridgewater against UConn early November so I should get a feel for both the speed of the 1D-series and the difference in reach, should I go 5D III on a second camera and stick with 300.

Your thoughts on 5D III / 1D IV and on 400 ver I / 300 v II would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton!

Software & Accessories / Tripod Leg Protectors?
« on: October 01, 2013, 01:29:05 PM »
So I just upgraded from a cheap aluminum manfrotto to a Gitzo G3541 and went ahead and got the Markins TH-300 to remove the center column. What I'm curious about is whether anyone uses leg protectors on their carbon legs?

I mean, yes, I see the desire to protect what we shell out a grand for, but haven't we also just pony'd up that cash for a lightweight leg set? Isn't added stuff to it counter-intuitive?

I'm specifically interested in how you all carry your pods when hiking or when walking around the city? I used to just strap my aluminum cheapie to my pack when hiking, but I wonder is this too careless with a carbon pod? Padded tripod bag a better option? The aforementioned leg protectors and just strap it up?

Where is that "just right" point that balances protection with weight and portability?


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