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Messages - pj1974

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Software & Accessories / Re: DXO Pro 8 - workflow with Aperture
« on: December 18, 2012, 07:10:11 PM »
Thanks for sharing what you've written, Neuro - I'm sure many people (including the OP) find that helpful. I have quite a similar workflow to you, Neuro in a way:

1) I don't shoot most of my photos RAW (but JPEG... but this might change as I have purchased a new more powerful PC a few weeks ago).

2) While going through and deleting the 'not work keeping' photos (about 5% of photos), I select 'favourite photos' from each month (usually around 10% of the total photos)- and save these original Fav JPEGs in a sub-folder called "YYYY_MM Favs"

During this stage I also select and move photos that I've made for HDR (exposure bracketing) and panorama processing - both of which I use dedicated software for.

3) I run all my 'normal' photos (which includes the Favs, but not the HDRs or Panos) through DxO with 2 sizes: full size and HD (1920 x 1080),

4) I run the HDR and Pano photos through the other respective programs (eg Photomatix and Panorama Magic) - saving output files for the ones I'm happy with.  Also, I use Photoshop (a very old, but still good working version) to post process any 'critical Fav photos' (eg ones I'm going to share, print, etc).

5) I then delete the 'normal photos' and any source HDR / Pano photos. (that is I keep the 'DxO output' and 'HDR output' and 'Pano output' files as well as all my Favs)

6) Next I copy the Favs, DxO and HDR and Pano output files both to a backup internal HDD and copy to an external HDD. (so they are in 3 places).

7) My favourites (& good HDRs and Panos) I copy to an additional external HDD. I keep all my external HDDs in different place to home (eg my filing cabinet in my office and my work place, which is a secure Government building)

For actual viewing (on my home computers and laptop) - I use ACDSee for my folder viewing (I like the layout and quick things it can do).

I hope my input is helpful.


Software & Accessories / Re: DxO optics pro (8)
« on: December 18, 2012, 06:56:22 PM »
I use DxO Optics Pro (have been using a few versions over the years, and v8 is a good upgrade).

well_dunno - I've never had contrast decrease in the output.  Hmmm.. I wonder if that has something to do with your settings (eg does your workflow mainly use RAW original files, or JPEGs?)

I must admit that mainly due to storage and PC limitations, most of my photos over the years have been JPEGs (but have used RAW for tricky lighting and or critical situations).  But the way I use DxO (also with 'autocorrect') usually gives a nice boost of contrast, sharpness and saturation where needed, without over-cooking it. I wonder what settings you have (eg affecting micro-contrast, etc?)

Last night I actually just bought DxO's Viewpoint - as I love wide angle shots, and saw it having some good potential (as a registered DxO purchaser / user, they give good discounts!)

A few weeks ago I bought a new PC (running Windows 8) - and plan to be shooting more RAWS and pushing them through DxO 8.. should work faster.

Hope my input is helpful and that you'll get good outcomes (ie both high quality images / photos and enjoyment from photography).


Lenses / Re: Which (if any) non-L lenses are enviro-sealed?
« on: December 14, 2012, 12:49:12 AM »
I have the Canon 7D, which is really quite decent in terms of weathering some light rain, etc. Definitely a few steps above my Canon 350D.

In terms of lenses, definitely the best non-L build that I have are shared by the Canon 100mm USM macro (nonL) and the Canon 15-85mm USM.  Both are very sturdy. I've happily let them get a bit of dust and light spray or light rain, without issues.  8)

I also had the Canon 28-135mm USM lens, which wasn't as good as the above two... it let in more moisture (and the smallest amount of dust).

Then again, no other lens I own comes close to my Canon 70-300mm L - but hey, that's an L!  ;)


Lenses / Re: Zoom vs Primes?
« on: December 14, 2012, 12:46:13 AM »
I use a combination of zooms and primes.

1) Generally I find zooms great for
a) travel - when I want to cover various focal length, but keep one lens on the camera most of the time
b) events - where they provide more flexibility in composition (I mainly do children camps, some non-professional sports, and church events).

My favourite zooms include Canon general purpose 15-85mm, Sigma UWA 10-20mm, and Canon telezoom 70-300mm L.

2) Conversely, I have some primes - which are good for more 'specialised' photography, eg macro and portrait.

I love the Canon 100mm USM macro (non L) - which is sharp and has great working distance.
I'm looking forward to a fast (eg f/1.4- f/2) Canon 50mm USM prime (possibly with IS!).

My 2 cents.


My advice: sell both your Canon 70-200mm f/4 L AND your Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - and buy the Canon 70-300mm L f/4-5.6.  The Canon 70-300mm L's sharpness at 300mm wide open is truly great (at least my copy and 2 other copies I've used are) - and I doubt even pixel peepers will tell much difference with that and the 300mm f/4 prime.

Also, the awesome 4 stop IS and fast, accurate USM focussing on the 70-300mm L, combined with it being a flexible zoom (I have needed to use less than 300mm at times - yes, even for BIF!) can not be under-stated (or under-estimated). Personally I don't like the 100-400mm's push-pull design, and the additional weight is a negative for me (I prefer ultimate portability).

Having a 1.4x on the 300mm f/4 prime does give you more reach, but AF and image quality do degrade - noticeably. On the 7D, I've had hundreds of well-praised shots with my 70-300mm L... it just does the job so well! Hope you get a good outcome.


Lenses / Re: what 5 lenses would you want
« on: December 13, 2012, 07:08:02 AM »
Hi all...

Well... as I have been using a 7D, I'll list my ideal 5 for that (I think APS-C vs FF body HAS to be stipulated, otherwise lens choice doesn't sit within 100% context!)

1) Sigma 8-16mm - must have great, sharp, contrasty IQ & an accurate AF copy too.
  (I have a good, sharp copy of the Sigma 10-20mm, which has minor AF issues - but it's not a practical problem how I use it)  8)

2) Canon 15-85mm - I have this lens, love it as my walk around... great range, v good IQ all round  :)

3) Canon 100mm L IS USM macro
  (I have the Canon 100mm non-L USM macro, which for all intents and purposes is 99% as good for macro.. but does lack the weather sealing and Hybrid IS- mostly for handhelds non 1:1 shots)   ::)

4) the yet to be released (maybe not even designed... CR2?) Canon 50mm f/1.4mm USM IS
  (I had two copies of the 50mm f/1.8, didn't like it's AF nor bokeh, and not quite good enough IQ wide open). There are aspects of the current Canon 50mm f/1.4 and Canon 50mm f/1.2 L that I don't like....  >:(

5) Canon 200-400mm 1.4x L (for my love of wildlife, especially birds - yes BIF too)  ;)
  (I have the 70-300mm L - terrific IQ at any setting- and if I got the 200-400mm 1.4x would desparately miss the portability of the awesome 70-300mm L... so it would be a 'toss up', but one can't argue with a lens that has 200-560mm range in an L!) 

Yes, I'd probably like a 200mm f/2 IS, or a 17mm T/S lens as an 'extra' - but the above 5 lenses are what I would expect to use lots (as I do all my current lenses).  So I feel that with what I currently have, I'm actually not too far off what would be my 'ideal' 5 lenses anyway, actually. And that's a good thing!  8)



Canon General / Re: Remote Shutter Release for Canon 5D3
« on: December 09, 2012, 07:14:29 PM »
Canon's little RC-6 (and RC-1) will trigger it, but that's IR so only works from the front.  I used the RC-1 with both a 7D and 5DII and it's great.

Since the 1D X doesn't have an IR receiver, I recently picked up a hähnel Giga T Pro II, works well and would be compatible with almost any Canon dSLR.  Beyond basic triggering, does interval timing, etc.

I also have and use the Hahnel Giga Pro, and it works a treat for both my Canon 7D and Canon 350D (which incidentally have different connections into the DSLR body).

Like Dr Neuro above, I use it for both remote triggering (macro, HDR, even self portraits) and interval timing (eg time lapse photography).

I find it handy I can have the 'trigger' inside (up to about 30 metres away - even with walls between it works), and have my camera set up outside (eg with ultra wide angle lens on, protected under a table in my back-yard) and I can see the interval timing is working well.

Cheers... all the best.


"Where we did we put that light meter the albino had?"
"Over the albino, I think."
"Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?"


LOL!  :o Where in the world did THAT come from?!? :D

A quote from "The Princess Bride" (altered to fit the situation, and much appreciated!!)

Aha!! No wonder I love this forum... it was the Princess Bride connection all along!! :)  Love it.   ;D

Lenses / Re: 70-300L for Outdoors?
« on: December 07, 2012, 06:46:53 AM »
Hi there

I also have the 70-300mm L, and LOVE this lens. It's got great IQ at any setting, great fast / accurate USM focus, and a 4-stop effective IS.

While it's not 'fast' (as in f/2.8 or larger aperture) - I don't need that, as I use the 70-300mm L for outdoors, and usually for wildlife, including birds - and occasionally for candid photography.  ;)

I have travelled with the 70-300mm L - it's very portable.  I actually PREFER the order of the zoom and focus rings that way (as I hold the lens at the zoom ring, and brace/  hold with the other hand on my camera body).

Well matched to APS-C, is often on my Canon 7D, providing a 480mm effective in 35mm format.   Great build quality too.  I got mine for a good price soon after it was released! Winner :)

Best wishes with that.


EOS Bodies / Re: Downgrade to crop
« on: December 03, 2012, 07:14:46 PM »
There is a valid case for any format...APS-C, APS-H & FF. It depends on your needs. Your needs may require a $35k MF kit, so that's what you get. If your work goes no further than the web, screen viewing or medium sized prints, then APS-C will suit your needs perfectly. Maybe even a decent P&S.

Dr. Neuro mentioned earlier, "I'd miss the thinner DoF you can achieve with FF, for the same framing..." By the same token, there are occasions when the greater DoF can be very useful. I currently work with FF & APS-H (x1.3 crop) and will likely pick up a 7DII when they ship. They're all useful for particular projects or shots.

I often feel concerned when I read posts from someone aching to go to FF with the misconception that FF is this extraordinary Holy Grail from Planet Camera. Often the upgrade can be a disappointing waste of money. OP, go FF by all means, just do it with your eyes open. And keep your APS-C.

Lookout! Here comes my evangelical moment. Good workers never blame their tools. Gear Geeks and Pixel Peepers aside, the true Holy Grail of Planet Camera lies within the photographer. Great images are made by photographers, not cameras.



I have used both FF and APS-C sized Canon DSLRs.  Certainly there is noticable difference in depth of field b/w FF and APS-C - but the difference in depth of field (DOF) between P&S to APS-C is MUCH larger!  And when people say "FF gives a 3D feeling" or "the quality of light from FF is so much better" - it's probably as a result that the photos they've chosen (or seen) from people using FF were more carefully composed, timed, etc.

Sometimes I prefer the larger DOF that a APS-C can give for the same aperture (eg for macro - and sometimes for landscape).  Other times I want a razor thin DOF, and then I use a fast (ie less than f/2 prime on a APS-C, which often does the trick.  I've done the 'blind test' even with pro photogs many times, and without knowing the camera / lens, 90% of the time are hard pressed to tell if it's FF or APS-C - many people delude themselves on (potential) purchases, in marketing it's called "cognitive dissonance".

It sounds like the OP might be well served by the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, as this is both fast, and gives sharp results (also reputedly good wide open). I have a good copy of the Sigma 10-20mm, which is sharp corner to corner. Often I've been less than impressed seeing photos of the full frame equivalent (16mm) eg the 16-35mm, which have noticeable corner softness, even stopped down.

Not that I pixel peep, but there IS something to be said about using the 'sweet spot' of lenses (or specifically lenses designed for APS-C sized sensors, which seem to be very good on the ultra wide angle!)  There is definitely a place for FF, but as PW wrote above, FF isn't the holy grail - it's in the photographer (knowledge, artistry and technical competence!)


Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x TC Information
« on: December 02, 2012, 11:16:56 PM »
I think this lens will be a real hit for wildlife photographers, particularly professionals, or those with sufficiently large bank accounts  :D

While some people compare it to tele primes. While I'd love to own a Canon 600mm f/4 II - I would find the lack of zoom limiting at times - eg for providing habitual context of wildlife, even birds) - or when larger subjects fill the composition. Then other people compare the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x (as as zoom)  to xx-300mm 2.8 zoom lenses.  However I believe the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x is a lens in a league of it's own, and shouldn't be compared to such lenses.

The closest current Canon lens is the 100-400mm L.  But it's design (push/pull), older IS, IQ and ultimate reach are not the same.  (For the record I expect the 200-400mm 1.4x lens will have very high IQ, and if the 1.4x inbuilt teleconverter is tailored to the lens, I expect it will be particularly good still @ 500mm f/5.6)  ;)

I'm not into sports photography at all (and thus don't need a f/2.8 telelens).  Even then, lots of indoor photography requires a faster prime (eg around f/2)  So I don't think it should be compared to the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 - as they are different lenses.

Now, I won't be the first to say that getting a Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 and using a 2x teleconverter will be a great 'budget' workaround... (and even then, not THAT cheap, but substantially cheaper than the rumoured price of the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x)  However as a dedicated lens, I expect the Canon's AF will be faster and more accurate and the eventual IQ will be better.  8)

I believe the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens is also quite a 'comparable' - though of course it doesn't have the 1.4x. (Note: the latest version of this lens was the Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR AF-S, introduced April 2010 - price $7000 US).  That's a popular lens with a number of Nikon wildlife photog's.

Although I can afford it, I very much doubt that I'll ever buy the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x- as I'll choose to use and send my money for other things - including donations to international charities. I just can't justify that price (at least not at this time). As I do like to photography birds (both in flight and perched) - as well as other wildlife, the Canon 200-400mm 1.4x offers a lot in terms of zoom range and I'm sure high IQ. The IS will be helpful, particularly at 560mm f/5.6, and f/4 between 200-400 is not at all shabby!

Currently I have the Canon 70-300mm L - which I love for it's amazing IQ and particularly its portability (fits in my Lowe shoulder bag, and is nicely weighted and compact) . On my 7D it translates to a 480mm on a FF, which isn't too bad - though at times I desire more reach (naturally) and of course the 560mm f/5.6 on a 7D would nearly double that - being the equivalent of about 900mm on FF.   ::)

Well... that's my 2 cents worth.  I'm looking forward to it being 100% released, then the reviews -and more importantly - great photos made with it! Cheers.


Canon General / Re: Travel to Thailand/Laos should I bring my 5d mkiii?
« on: November 30, 2012, 08:44:49 AM »
I visited Thailand in May 2010... had to make a last minute change of plans to stay most of the time in Phuket (as the 'red shirts' vs Government protest was on in Bangkok. Thankfully (after the 'red shirts' were 'flushed out' - I still got to Bangkok (and saw my friends - from Netherlands, working there for a NGO- which was my original intention).

Both in Phuket and Bangkok I felt really quite safe. But then again, I'm a very well travelled person, having lived in other developing countries for many years. Be safe, keep 'carry-able' gear with you, and don't 'show off' or go to remote locations unless you're confident.

I took my 7D with 15-85mm on every outing, and depending on what I was going to see, either also took my UWA (10-20mm Sigma) or my Canon telezoom.  I'd not hesitate to go there again with my gear, which includes a white Canon 70-300mm L. I would even swim in the sea, keeping an eye on my bag (but then again, it wasn't too busy at the beach - as it was off-peak season, so the beach wasn't crowded at all).

Pick pockets can be in every country, so just 'be wary'.  Best wishes, and SE Asian has some spectacular scenary, colours, culture, etc.


EOS Bodies / Re: First Round of EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: November 26, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »
I have a 7D as one of my 2 Canon DSLRs. I love this camera, it's my 'go to' for 95% of my photography. I really like the crop / reach advantage that APS-C (1.6x crop) sensor cameras can bring, plus there are now some great EF-S lenses / 3rd party lenses for crop-sensored cameras.  ;)

My thoughts on the CR0 specs above are:
- 18MP is fine - but if 24.2MP are clean, why not?! (more cropability!)
- 10.2 fps would be awesome. Even 8 fps works well for me.
- it needs enough processing power... sure, give it 2x Digic 5+ CPUs
- no need to change the design, my 7D fits me so well
- please keep the same battery... pretty please?!
- Feb 2013 announcement would be good so that towards Christmas 2013 (ie a year from now, which is our summer here in Australia) - prices will be lower.  I would only plan to get a replacement / upgrade for my current 7D if / when it's on its last legs.

Cheers and regards!  8)


Lenses / Re: Portrait lenses
« on: November 22, 2012, 07:46:42 PM »
It can be on a FF (full frame) if you have enough working distance (ie space between you and the subject, to take the photograph). Even on a crop good portraits with this lens can be achieved (eg outside).

Generally 135mm (FF) or 85mm (on a APS-C / crop) is considered a more practical portrait focal length.  The 200mm is a sharp lens. At times you may want faster (that is, a lower f/ value aperture)... but f/2.8 at 200mm isn't bad! :)

However person to person style does differ. I don't take close up portraits often myself, so on my 7D (APS-C / 1.6x crop) - I like a fast 50mm - 60mm setting.

Best wishes.


Lenses / Re: Best Lens for photographing children
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:13:39 PM »
I took my almost 5 year-old daughter to her gymnastics class a couple of weeks ago.  My wife asked me to email her a pic during the class, so I held up my iPhone and caught a well-timed pic of her hanging from an uneven bar. The guy next to me looked over at the iPhone 'shutter click' and said, "If you want to get an actually decent pic, you need a real camera." He reached into his bag and pulled out his T2i with an EF-S 55-250mm mounted, and gave me a little grin.  I grinned back and replied, "You know, it's really more about composition and timing than about gear."  He took some shots, well-spaced since the popup flash was firing (despite the kids being out of its effective range) as I watched the kids.  When mine started a bounce down the trampoline track a few minutes later, I was unable to resist.  I looked over and said as I reached down, "Ever seen Crocodile Dundee? 'That's not a camera...that's a camera,'" as I pulled out my 1D X with the 70-200 II and fired off a 12 fps burst.

True story.  ;)

(1D X, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 200mm, 1/500 s, f/2.8, ISO 10000)


Loved reading the above (true) story! I too, would've loved to see the expression on the other guy's face.    ;D
And... being an Aussie, very glad that you quoted from 'dear old' Paul Hogan... aka Crocodile Dundee!  8)



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