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Messages - zim

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Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS Coming [CR3]
« on: January 23, 2013, 05:30:37 PM »
Any purchases or reviews yet??


that is no review... not yet.

it´s a preview.

True but you do seem to be able to compare target shots, looking forward to the full review though

Well just got my first book from Blurb and have to say am very pleased with it. Not perfect but any issues I can see I can account for by a mistake at my end. I did very little post processing but a lot of monitor calibration!

What lens are you using? I'd have thought Jupiter would be nothing more than a fuzzy little ball with anything less than a 4" reflector?

AF on Jupiter, seriously?  :o

Canon General / Re: After CES Whats Next for Canon?
« on: January 18, 2013, 05:15:37 PM »
Yip this is the big one, all will be well in Canon world after this cos apparently it's a bit shabby at the moment   8) ;D

Whether it matters depends on whether it makes a difference to the sort of photography you do.  I own a 5DII and, within the past couple of months I've rented the 5DIII, 6D and D600 (the latter two simultaneously).  I haven't performed any properly controlled tests - certainly nothing compared to what someone conducting a serious review involving test charts, etc. - but merely used them as I would normally use a camera (except that with the 6D and D600 I kept switching back and forth, photographing the same thing from the same place at the same time).  While the D600 made good photos, not one ever struck me as superior to those I took with the 6D in any way; at most the differences were fairly small/trivial, and where I had a preference it was for the Canon, mainly because I preferred the colors.  So other features were decisive - Nikon's absurdly complicated controls, the weird greenish cast to the D600's monitor, its drab viewfinder (so what if it's 100%?), etc.  Relatively trivial stuff I would put up with if it made noticeably better photos, but for my purposes it didn't.  I will cheerfully concede that others may conclude otherwise.

+100 I doubt many people have actually done this. So what 's your preference 5D3 or 6D after using them?

What the hell is a tax refund:o :o  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Older Canon cameras
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »
Wouldn't touch any of that with a barge pole, and I'm still using an F1n

United Kingdom & Ireland / Re: Canon and Nikon on Jessops failure
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:31:34 AM »
Don't know how accurate it is but the comment from Mr Ricard under the piece is very interesting. It would be good to see a decent bit of press investigative journalism into that but somehow I very much doubt I will.

Lenses / Re: New EOS-M Lenses Soon [CR2]
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:11:11 AM »
A viewfinder and FAST Af would be much more appealing, it's the price that will be interesting, that body with those improvements and a lens no more than an entry level DSLR price would be as much as I'd be willing to pay. The market may feel otherwise of course  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: DSLR & Lens Coming on January 15, 2013? [CR1]
« on: January 13, 2013, 06:54:29 PM »
EOS 70D - old sensor tech
7D Mark II - new sensor tech

7D Mark II - [CR1], unanounced

With every last Canon camera iteration people expected "new sensor tech" but were disappointed: 650d, 5d3, 6d... as each new lens is surely "THE" lens like the upcoming 14-24L.

But realistically, Canon is more about incremental updates than big leaps, and the really useful stuff is sure to end up in a high-end and/or very expensive body first coupled with a healthy early adopters premium.

7D2 - top of the range crop no?
Top of the range pro is all about reliability and getting the job done is that really the best place to test out new sensor tech? I'd have thought something around the 7D would be about right. Hey what do I know only having fun it is rumours after all  :P


I hope when you complete this project you'll come back and tell us all about it.

You mean me?

If so will do, just finished book and uploaded today so hopefully should have it back by end of the month.

Edit: Ah ooops of course you didn't you meant the OP silly me  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: DSLR & Lens Coming on January 15, 2013? [CR1]
« on: January 13, 2013, 06:34:55 PM »
EOS 70D - old sensor tech
7D Mark II - new sensor tech

... just giving the pot a little stir 8)

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« on: January 13, 2013, 06:32:07 PM »
Guess there's just too much DR out there..........

........ ok look someone had to say it  ;D ;D ;D

I'll "third" the recommendation for Blurb, but I'll also say that it's the only one I've tried. I recently published two books with them and been very pleased with the results.

I will say that Blurb was attractive to me because I've had some history in publishing - I wanted to be able to use my previous experience with Adobe InDesign to lay out my books, so their ability to accept a PDF was a deciding factor for me. I downloaded their InDesign plugin (which really only automates the initial document layout by providing dimensions and a non-printing set of guides which help define bleed lines and trim lines and such), as well as their ICC profile for Photoshop.

You didn't ask, and you may have this information already, but here's what I did to try to ensure a quality outcome. Your mileage may vary, and I'm open to suggestions from others about improvements...

1. Because this was my beginning foray into publishing, I bought a new monitor (Asus ProArt monitor) and a Spyder colorimeter (Spyder Pro 3, I think). Spyder's got some great tutorial videos on how to calibrate monitors, and I've been really pleased with the simplicity of the tool.

2. I do my initial image processing in Lightroom, primarily again because of the simplicity. I've found I get most images about 95-98% of the way to where I want them in Lightroom. I export the finished files from Lightroom as RGB TIFFS, cropped, but unresized from the original RAW resolution.

3. I bring the TIFFS into Photoshop and do any additional processing (specific alterations, adjustment layers and such). Soft proof the images using the Blurb ICC profile. Resize the images to final dimensions and DPI (Blurb wants the files at 240 dpi, iirc). Then permanently apply the Blurb ICC profile (this converts the image to CMYK) and save as TIFF.

4. Import the images into InDesign as part of the book layout process. At the conclusion of this phase, I used the Blurb presets (this is part of the downloadable addon for InDesign) to export the PDF, and then shipped it to Blurb. A few days later, presto, books appeared. My experience was that they always arrived a day or two before the website suggested they'd arrive, which was nice.

A couple of additional notes:

  • You can purchase a swatch kit of papers from Blurb for their "pro" papers. It's $7, and it gets refunded on your first order. I did this, and was pleased - it helped me pick the paper I wanted. Initially I'd intended to use their heaviest, most expensive paper, but found that I didn't care for it quite as much as I expected - the "2nd best" paper actually appealed to me more, and in my books, that judgement held up.

  • I only printed hard cover books with slipcovers, so can't speak to the other options. My impression is that the slipcover printing is a bit more variable than the interior printing. On one project I did two sizes (8x10 and 11x14) - the slipcover on the 11x14 was spot-on, but the 8x10 were a little less so, but the interior work seemed to be of the same consistency. My understanding is that Blurb actually has a number of publishing houses working behind the scenes on their website, so it may be that I just was seeing the difference between one house and another (because of how I ordered, the 11x14 came out of an East Coast location, while the 8x10s came from a Seattle location).
  • If you're printing a lot of copies of a book, the only way to get a proof copy is to buy one book first, evaluate it, then make corrections and upload new PDFs, if necessary. On one project, I did this - my proof suggested that I needed to correct 3 images (out of about 90), and when I reuploaded and got the "final" order, I was pleased to see that those new 3 images had improved, while the other images had stayed as I'd expected. This made me trust my workflow, and Blurb's consistency. It's a little difficult to swallow that there's no other way to make proofs other than to buy one full-price copy, but at least in my case, it was worth it.
  • Lastly, if you're producing solely B&W material, Blurb's system may not be the solution for you. Blurb can only accept color (CMYK) TIFFS because their digital presses are a six-color process, so even if you're working with black and white images, the files still have to be color. Only because I've had some experience with offset presses where can run true half-tone images, there were several B&W images in my books where I felt I could see a slight greenish color-cast to the blacks that wouldn't be seen using other printing methods. The color shift was so slight that I chalked it up to me being super-picky - it didn't prevent me from using the final product.
  • You can pay to have Blurb remove their logo from a last page they automatically add to your PDF. I didn't. It was understated enough that I wasn't bothered by it. YMMV.

Good luck with your project. I'll admit, my foray into the new (to me) world of one-off or short-run digital printing has been really quite eye-opening. A few years ago I dreamed of printing books with an equivalent quality to some of the Ansel Adams books that were in my dad's library. I don't think Blurb's quality is quite there yet (see my comments about the B&W images), but it's pretty damn close. It's a really remarkable world we're living in, where that level of quality is available to the dabblers and advanced-amateurs like us (or me, at least...)


Eric, thank you so much for posting this detailed reply. For many years my photography (amateur) has simply to take a few of the best shots I like each year, print big and enjoy. No internet stuff I just love prints! Anyways I’ve just started getting into the idea of printing themed books, just an expansion on a similar vain, it’s print and books are tactile I love that.
I’m just starting using the blurb client software and really like it (tried a few) but have been concerned about comments/reviews on the web I’ve read about the final quality of the product mostly that pictures are dark/colour casts and poor quality paper. The dark/colour cast issues sounded to me like people not using calibrated monitors and correct ICCs. Of course the only way to know for sure is to try it myself. I have been concerned about how to get this right but your experiences (and others) has reassured me. You’ve given lots of great info to work on here so again thank you!

PS I may have some supplemental questions for you though how you won’t mind!

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