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Messages - brianleighty

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Lenses / Re: Lens recommendation to replace 18-135mm IS
« on: August 13, 2012, 01:38:27 PM »
Alright so just reading your post real quick I thought 24 105. But then someone pointed out you already have the 100 macro IS which is a great lens BTW. So as long as you're willing to switch lenses to get that 100mm range then you probably could go with the 17-55. I've rented both that and the Tamron 17-50 VC and non-VC versions. I ended up buying the non-vc model. The VC version was definitely less sharp than the Canon and non-VC. Some could argue the Canon is SLIGHTLY better than the non-VC but I think the biggest difference between these two probably comes down to the auto focus. The Tamron's isn't that great but it'll get the job done. I don't use this lens as much since going full frame but when I did use it, unless I wanted the 2.8 depth of field I'd stop it down 4.0 which sharpens it up a lot. If I was in your position, I'd go for the Tamron. It's a really nice piece of glass for the price. If you're thinking long term then the 24-105 is also excellent and obviously has IS and better focus system. I'd buy an ultra wide angle to make up the loss in wide angle shots. I bought the Sigma 10-20 for around $420 and have been really happy with it overall. Either lens will be MUCH higher quality than the 18-135.

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: August 02, 2012, 03:25:12 PM »
Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer
Wow, I liked that video.
Never been into weddings, even though my friends are keep asking but this video is interesting.
So if there are so many photographers - and due to that large number probably so many good ones too - how come these people can shoot 100s of weddings?
Now I would think that this was staged but the sad thing is that all I have to do is search for the area where I live and I see half a dozen snappers like this....
Because people are cheap and/or don't actually investigate thoroughly. My wife and I have only shot 5 weddings as the main photographers but I still take it seriously and rent the necessary equipment to make it work. I look around at other people's work compared to their price and charge the same price as the aweful ones but do a lot nicer work. In a few years though once I've built up my portfolio though, I'll obviously raise my rates and so people will think my rates are "too high" for how little work I do. It's one of those areas where if you want good pictures, then perhaps money shouldn't be your first determiner.

I think by compatible they're saying it's compatible with ttl or more likely e-ttl mode. That doesn't mean you can access it via the menu though. It just means it's smart enough to send out a pre-flash for metering so you don't have to do everything manually. That's my best guess.

This is just me personally but I had horrible troubles with white balance with anything other than DPP. I used to hate it but the more I've learned it the more I realize you can do a lot of things in it, it's just not always obvious how you do it.

It is free (unlike Nikons) and you always know it's going to have the quickest update for new cameras if that matters. Maybe at some point I'll test the others again but it makes sense that Canon's software would do a better job since unless I'm wrong, all the other companies have to reverse engineer the RAW files since they don't have access to Canon's code. The only thing I hate is no auto-save and it does occasionally crash but as with every program, command-s is your best friend.

Software & Accessories / Re: PixStics - Discussion
« on: July 23, 2012, 10:52:20 PM »
So I just released the latest version. I'd like to give a special thanks to PeterJ who gave me a JPG that was causing issues I was not only able to solve the issue but add functionality at the same time. His picture was missing the regular Exif fields but had the data in metags. I added searching of these so that it will pull the information out. I was working off of only one picture so I'd love to hear some feedback if someone is able to test this out. I've started another thread where I will announce release in case anyone wants to be notified when I release a new version. You can view it here:
As I say in that thread though, please try to keep discussion to this thread. Thanks.

Software & Accessories / PixStics - Release Log
« on: July 23, 2012, 10:45:19 PM »
I'm releasing an updated version of Pixstics today which comes with a number of bug fixes and feature improvements. To help organize things better, I am starting this thread in which I will announce new versions as they become available. I'd like to keep the discussion in the original thread:
That way those that do not wish to provide feedback on it can still get updates of when new versions are released without having to receive a bunch of notices for other stuff. Hope you guys enjoy. Below is a list of changes in this version:
  • Bug fix - Fixed code issue that would cause error on missing data
  • Bug fix - File rotated with Windows Photo Viewer was causing script to get in an endless loop
  • Improvement - Files not containing exif field will be checked for meta data of same type.
  • Improvement - Duplicate files will now only be counted once. First checks for name and size matching if no match checks if serial number and original date time match
  • Improvement - Group by lens or camera added. Currently only works on Canon exif data

I was planning to add at least one more item but figured it was better to go ahead and release it and add that in later. As before, feel free to comment in the discussion thread:

I have been tracking the price of Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for quite some time and it has never gone down $2299.
I want to get it but I am not in any hurry, did any one see the price lesser than $2299. Do you think during Christmas it might go down further?
Not sure where you live but at least in the states is a good place if you're looking for deals on lenses. I have a tracker setup for Canon and get posts all the time. You obviously get a lot of other random stuff but there's some good deals in there too pretty regularly.

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 19, 2012, 11:56:19 PM »
Thanks for the input. I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the size of the object and the aperture. What I mean by this is if you have someone 10 feet away at 50mm and then you move them 20 feet away at 100mm, they'll both have the same depth of field.

That's a reasonable intuition for wedding photography.  This works as long as the subject is much closer than the hyperfocal distance. This is usually true if you're shooting with tele lenses at fast to normal apertures.
Sure, I realize there are other things that come into play but that's my dumbed down thing that you can't "cheat" depth of field in some way. Hyperfocal is definitely something that while I understand it to some extent, I don't even take it into account yet for the work I do.

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 18, 2012, 11:20:49 PM »
I always use flash at weddings.

When they return down the isle I have a flash on either side in two places (4 flash). So I get two really good flashed photos.

Outside groups are always flashed, whatever the conditions - saves missing a shot.

Indoor reception obviously flashed.

Take plenty of rechargables

Thanks. Good to know this is fairly common. I'll have to look into this some more for future weddings

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 18, 2012, 11:19:37 PM »
I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the

Um I dont mean to be rude but if you dont understand depth of field then you really should not be shooting a wedding!

weddings are about as full on shooting conditions that you will ever encounter you need to be 100% clear on how your camera works and all fundamental photography basics

otherwise you might end up here
Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer

OMG! LOL I never knew that Judge Joe Brown was such a big photographer LOL. Thanks for the laugh. In response to your point, I knew my point might be a little confusing. I of course understand the concept of depth of field but I think it takes a lot of practice to get to the place where you truly know how much depth of field you'll have at a given aperture and distance. Anyways, thanks for the laugh. I love the 18-55 lens part in the video best.

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 18, 2012, 02:01:01 PM »
I currently shoot with a single 430 or 580 flash during wedding ceremony's. For the stuff closer up where I can bounce it up it's pretty decent but for longer distance shots where I have it running straight through a gary fong lightsphere to soften it up some but still straight at them it's not as nice an effect. I've been thinking of getting a third flash (we shoot with 2 cameras) and I'm wondering if it would be weird to have another slave flash off camera just bringing up the ambient light in the room or if that's too distracting. Anybody have thoughts on this or done something like that before?

I don't think it would be weird at all.

As the guy who got married not that long ago, the photos were one of the big ticket line items in the wedding budget (I think it was third and not too distant third after food and drinks), so I was quite happy to help the photographers do the job that we were paying good money for.

In fact I'd be all for going slightly further and putting one on either side in front of the altar.

Regarding larger apertures -- depth of field doesn't just depend on aperture. For example, with a 50mm lens, f/22 at 3 feet gives you less depth of field than f/1.4 at 15 feet. At mfd with 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4, you have less than 1 inch dof,  but when you're at those longer working distances, it is much more manageable (1ft-2ft).

Thanks for the input. I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the size of the object and the aperture. What I mean by this is if you have someone 10 feet away at 50mm and then you move them 20 feet away at 100mm, they'll both have the same depth of field. Obviously it will look different but the actual in focus distance will be the same. So if I want to fill the frame tightly with two people then I'm learning it's hard to get them both in focus if they're not on the same plane at even f4. Granted one of them isn't super out focus but it's noticeable. If instead you're doing something where it's a wider shot though then I'm sure you could do a much larger aperture but unless you have a really exciting background it's kind of eh. The only thing that helps all is using a crop camera over a full frame which will give a little more depth of field. But then of course a full frame camera will pretty much always have better iso performance so you can shoot at say 3200 5.6 vs 1600 4.0 and get relatively similar results. I'm not trying to be real accurate here so you don't have to tell me that that's not correct due to various other items. These are just the general ideas I've learned. It takes skill to be able to know what needs to be in focus and what's not and I'm still learning that. It also takes skill knowing when to take the shot so that everything you want in focus is on the same plane. I definitely still have a lot to learn there. So until I do, I'll continue to use a smaller aperture to make sure I get the client usable pictures. For that flashes are invaluable.

Software & Accessories / Re: Canon Direct Instock Alert Tool
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:15:04 PM »
All my research seems to indicate most services only run once daily. This definitely wouldn't suffice for being alerted the minute a product is in stock.

Lighting / Re: Need a new flashgun
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:23:11 PM »
My Jessops 360AFDC Flashgun had decided to die on me just when I want to start teaching myself about flash as I know little when it comes to flash photography. Can anyone recommend a decent flashgun I could buy, I currently have a Canon EOS 450D but in the near future I would like to upgrade to FF like the 5D Mark II. One I have looked at is the Canon Speedlite 430EX II, this seems to be a popular flash, also the Canon Speedlite 580EX II, but because of the cost I would have to look at getting that one used.

Thank you very much!
I've got both. I got a real good deal on the 580 used from lensrentals $310. Spent also the same for the 430 brand new. They're both great flashes. I've had more issues with the 430 not holding in place as well as the other but that might just be mine. Otherwise you can't wrong with either. If you're just starting out I'd say go with whichever one you can get a better deal on. Chances are you'll probably end up more than one eventually.

Lighting / Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:20:57 PM »
Thanks for the info wickidwombat. The one thing I've always wondered with shooting manual is how you handle changes in light. Are you having to just manually adjust it as you go? If I setup a manual flash then I theoretically have to either shoot in manual mode on the camera as well or dial in an exposure compensation equivalent to what the flash will fire during the exposure.

Software & Accessories / Re: PixStics
« on: July 16, 2012, 08:45:30 AM »
Just wanted to let everyone know I'm currently working on several fixes/improvements to the script. Hopefully will have a new version up sometime this week or next week.

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