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Messages - drmikeinpdx

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Technical Support / Re: dark vignette in top right hand corner- help!
« on: October 23, 2013, 10:04:07 AM »
Using my cheap radio flash trigger with Alien Bees, my 5D3 won't synch  at 1/200.  If I keep it at 1/160th, it works 99% of the time.  When it doesn't work, I get an artifact a lot like those in the photos above.

Since the action is stopped by the strobes (at least in my otherwise dim studio) I don't worry about the exact shutter speed.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: when are the best Sales on 5d Mark iii?
« on: October 22, 2013, 06:45:24 PM »
One funny thing about the pricing is the kits offered with various lenses.  At least the three are EF-S lenses for crop bodies.  LOL

And don't be surprised if that price changes mysteriously, it took a large jump yesterday when I happened to refresh the page.

 Canon EOS 5D Mark III "Kit #1" w/Canon 18-55mm and More!
 Canon EOS 5D Mark III "Kit #4" w/Canon 18-55mm & 55-200mm and More!
 Canon EOS 5D Mark III "Kit #5" w/NEW 18-200mm and More!

Lenses / Re: good budget lenses for 5d
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:16:55 AM »
Canon 85mm F/1.8.   Often available on the refurb site.

Lenses / Re: Good or lucky copy of the 50L?
« on: October 18, 2013, 09:53:29 PM »
My Sigma 50mm 1.4 has a bit of focus shift.  That makes it a bit tricky to do micro adjustments.  Do I set it for accurate focus wide open or one stop down where I usually use it?  Hmmm.....

The only shift I could find was between 1.4 and 2.0, after that the depth of field overwhelmed it.   Pretty much what Neuro said.

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« on: October 16, 2013, 09:44:40 AM »
This is a place where I always reach for my 135.  I added some vignetting, as I usually do.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: "Downgrading" for a very specific reason
« on: October 15, 2013, 12:24:47 PM »
I don't miss my 5D classic a bit.  The LCD screen was tiny, the autofocus system sucked and it was very slow writing to the memory card.   I did like the smoothness and color of the images, but I can get the same look from the Mark 3 with Lightroom when I want it.

It's really hard for me to make a valid image quality comparison with my 5D3, or with any two cameras, because so much is dependent on the software I use for post processing.

I've only been using Lightroom for two years.  It's fun to go back and re-process the old images from the 5D classic and see what improvements I can make.

Lenses / Re: How bad is the 24-105?
« on: October 13, 2013, 11:41:53 AM »
   I see no reason ever to sacrifice quality for laziness.
   Moments cannot be resurrected in post.

Interesting comment, but I find the opposite to be true more often.  I love my primes and will shoot with them when I can control the flow of a photoshoot.  However, there are situations where a zoom allows me to get more usable shots.  If you miss a shot because you were changing lenses, or did not bring the right prime with you, that lost moment cannot be resurrected in post.

I haven't had my 24-105 very long.  I bought a white box copy for around $700 last spring and I've been very impressed.  I always shoot it wide open.  I don't use a tripod too often, so the stabilization actually makes it sharper than my L lenses in actual use.  I have noticed no chromatic aberration and I haven't used it for shooting buildings so I haven't noticed any distortion.

I'm taking it out today for a waterfall/fall foliage hike.  Maybe I'll leave the tripod at home.

Landscape / Re: Fluffed it! Moon and ISS
« on: October 11, 2013, 03:58:15 PM »
I think you did great to catch it like that.  I tried to catch it one time without the moon and it was way too fast for me.   I'm not sure, but I suspect that even with a longer focal length, the ISS would still just be a dot.

Portrait / Re: Maternity shoot
« on: October 09, 2013, 08:31:16 PM »
I know what you mean, JM.  Combining sexuality with pregnancy is not politically correct, but I do find that some women wish to portray that combination in their maternity photos.  I suppose they seek me out because of my reputation.

I won't post any of my images here out of respect for the forum, but if you would like to visit my site and view the maternity gallery, the password is Columbia

Portrait / Re: Maternity shoot
« on: October 06, 2013, 10:44:07 AM »
Very nice work!

The first Yongnuo product I got was a simple RF-600TX radio trigger set that I use with my Alien Bees.  I've had it for over two years, used it weekly and had no problems of any kind.  I can't see a need to upgrade to the big name triggers, at least for my needs.

I have two of their speedlights, the manual  YN-560 and the YN-568 EX.  I'm not an advanced speedlight user, so I can't comment on the fancy features, but they have been reliable in light use.  My main complaint is that the instruction manual is almost useless.

I took the 588 EX along on an outdoor shoot a month ago, because I knew I'd need fill light and didn't want to carry an Alien Bee w/ stand and battery.  Here's the first test shot.  Do you see what's wrong?  I had the swivel head tilted up one or two clicks. 

When a model shoot is going really well, I like to click about every 1-2 seconds.  I was hoping that with the speedlight on manual at 1/2  or 1/4 power, that it would keep up, but it didn't.  I lost about one shot out of every 3 or 4 when it didn't fire.  That was with alkaline batteries.  I later tested with eneloops and it worked a little better. 

Obviously I'm still learning about speedlights.  :)

Lenses / Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« on: September 30, 2013, 03:58:02 PM »
I shoot mostly people, not sports and I use the Sigma 50 1.4 and a Canon 85 1.8 a lot.  They are both soft wide open, the 50 much more so than the 85.  I make use of that to soften the faces a bit in feminine portrait work.  The shallow DOF and nice bokeh look pretty too!

They both sharpen up dramatically at F/2.8, but you can still get some bokeh and subject isolation.

I don't think I ever use them at apertures smaller than 2.8 unless I'm in the studio and have to stop down because the strobes are already at minimum power.

My canon 24-105 is a different animal altogether.  It is plenty sharp wide open at F/4, so I pretty much just leave it there.  If I want serious bokeh, I'll grab a prime lens.

Each lens has its own personality, so you can't really generalize.  Oh, that reminds me, I should say that I'm shooting with a 5D3.  That makes a difference too. :)

Lenses / Re: Canon IS BINOCULARS
« on: September 28, 2013, 02:11:36 PM »
I've never tried stabilized binoculars.  How well do they work?

Lenses / Re: 70-300mm IS
« on: September 15, 2013, 02:42:48 PM »
I picked one up a few months ago when PriceWatch said the price dropped to around $400 at one of the second tier online retailers.  I figured for that price it would be a good backup or I could use it for rough outdoor situations where I did not want to risk my better lenses.

I wasn't too impressed with it on the 5D3, but a few weeks ago I took it to Portland International Raceway where there was a British Car Field Meet going on.  I put in on my 7D to extend the reach and kept it at F8.  Here is an example taken at 300mm, F/8, 1/400, ISO 200.

Full frame:

(some sharpening applied in LR)

I later switched to my 200 2.8 L and it was noticeably sharper.  I used it wide open, but with a much faster shutter speed, which more than made up for the lack of stabilization.

My conclusion is that you get what you pay for!

Lenses / Re: How much are you using the 40mm pancake?
« on: September 14, 2013, 11:25:55 PM »
I use it as a walking around lens on my 5D3 when I don't want to have the weight and bulk of my 24-105 on my neck.  I find that the light weight makes it easy to stabilize the camera and give me sharp images.  I used to think that a heavy lens did that!

With the resolution of the 5D3, I can crop to simulate the FOV of a longer lens.  I can also use the high ISO capability to compensate for the modest aperture.

Here are some shots I took with the 40 several months ago.  It turned out to be the perfect focal length for an indoor motorcycle show.

1/200  F/3.2  ISO 3200

1/200  F/3.2  ISO 1600

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