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Messages - drmikeinpdx

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EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Coming in March? [CR1]
« on: February 22, 2014, 12:05:30 AM »
Conversation overheard in the men's room at the Canon marketing department meeting:

Marketing expert one:  "We can't let the 7D Mark 2 threaten our full frame sales, so let's make sure it still has a noisy sensor."

Marketing expert two:  "Dude!  I have a great idea, you know that warehouse full of leftover sensors from the T2i?"


Lenses / Re: Hard choice the 50 1.4 or 85 1.8
« on: February 19, 2014, 10:10:26 PM »
I vote for the 85.  My favorite lens.

Lenses / Re: Advice on Primes
« on: February 14, 2014, 06:22:17 PM »
It will be hard to beat your two zooms as a convenient, if rather heavy, travel kit.  You might find that they meet all your needs.  If I were in your position, I would shoot with the two zooms for a while, then go through your images and see if there is a particular focal length (or two) that you use much more than others.  If so, that would give you a good clue as to which primes you should buy.  It really depends on what kind of subjects you end up photographing regularly.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Review: Sony A7R With Canon Glass
« on: January 28, 2014, 09:32:47 PM »
It seems to me that putting big lenses on a compact body kinda negates the advantage of compactness.  That leaves the great sensor as an advantage, but still, the practical advantages over say a 5D3 or D800 are not that great.

Your mileage will certainly vary!  :)

PowerShot / Re: Canon S110 vs S120
« on: January 06, 2014, 06:20:59 PM »
I just upgraded from my trusty old S90 to an S100 refurb from B&H for $180.  There were a number of good improvents going from the 90 to the 100.  Not worth the price of a new camera, but at less than half I'm pretty satisfied with the upgrade.

I think you really have to look at the list of features and see which ones are important to you.  I spent quite a bit of time looking at image quality samples posted online and I was not impressed with the improvements over the years.  I think it just comes down to features and perhaps processing speed.

Canon General / Re: Are Metal Mounts Better Than Plastic?
« on: January 05, 2014, 11:59:46 PM »
Interesting coincidence...  I was working with a a fellow pro today.  He recently got a 70D and an 18-55 STM for video.  The first time he put the lens on the camera, the mount sheared completely off.  Canon would not replace under warranty claiming abuse.  He picked up another one on sale very cheaply and it works fine.

I got to try his 15-85.  Now that is a nice sharp lens!

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: EOS 5D Mark III $2549
« on: January 05, 2014, 01:21:20 PM »
Looks like the sale is over at Big Value.  That was a great price while it lasted!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Aftermarket upgrading of cameras?
« on: January 02, 2014, 12:30:23 PM »
Used 7Ds are cheap right now and would probably do just what you want!

Reviews / Canon 85mm f/1.8
« on: December 31, 2013, 12:04:39 AM »
Personally, I like the background to be smoothly blurred, but not wiped out entirely.  I'll offer some examples for your entertainment:

Here's a shot with the 85mm 1.8 at F/2, 1/1250, ISO 100

Let's zoom in on the hair.  Sharpness is at Lightroom's default, 25.

Here is one at F/2.2, 1/250, ISO 200, hand held in very soft light.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« on: December 30, 2013, 11:57:56 AM »
Nice to see a review of my favorite lens by my favorite reviewer!

I'd have to say his observations match mine regarding performance at various apertures, fast autofocus, light weight, etc...

The funny thing about this lens is how people always compare this great all around portrait lens to it's very specialized 1.2 L cousin.  Rather than a technical comparison, we end up discussing feelings, intagibles, magic and other vague things.

I have no doubt that under some conditions, the L version will give more contrast and more saturated colors.  (I have the 135 L and that is certainly a good example of the L effect.)

The thing is... in Lightroom, I have sliders for saturation, clarity and sharpness that will give me any look I want.  I can make images from the light, cheap 85 look just like the ones from the heavy, expensive 85, for all practical purposes.

So in my mind, the only advantage of the L lens is the 1.2 aperture.  Would I use that if I had it?  Considering that I normally use my 85 around F/2.5, I'd say not.

What we are really seeing here, in my opinion, is a victory for the Canon marketing department.  Many photographers buy the 85 L as a prestige symbol and very few of them really use it to any advantage that could not be more easily and cheaply accomplished with the 85 F/1.8.   Or the 135 L, if your goal is to wipe out the background and create dreamy bokeh.

I think this review is a good example of how most people think about these two lenses.  They can tell the 1.8 is a nice, useful, practical lens, but they are just sure that the extreme price of the 1.2 L and the magic red ring must symbolize something very important.

Your mileage will certainly vary!  :)

Software & Accessories / Re: Need a Good Card Reader
« on: December 29, 2013, 10:21:46 PM »
This is a good thread to keep alive!

I was very happy for over a year using an internal card reader that hooked up to a SATA card in my computer.  That was fast!

Unfortunately, when I rebuilt my computer with a new motherboard (something I do about every two years) there was a compatibility issue I could not solve, possibly due to my switch to Windows 7.

I ordered a cheap USB 3 external reader that was very slow and sometimes locked up my computer.  I got a replacement that was almost as bad.

I am now using a Kingston USB 3 external reader that works fine and is reasonably fast.  I conclude that there is a reason to avoid the very cheap USB 3 readers.

I would have tried another internal card reader, but my current computer case doesn't have any floppy drive bays and you can't get any good card readers in a 5.25 inch bay these days.

I've never had a problem with the CF pins on any of my bodies, but did have some pins get bent in cheap card readers.

I never felt the need to hook up the cable from the camera to the computer.  Perhaps being an old competitive pistol shooter, the idea of slapping in a fresh magazine while I reload the old one is in the back of my mind.  :)

Third Party Manufacturers / S-100
« on: December 27, 2013, 12:56:41 AM »
I just ordered a Canon S100 as an upgrade from my S-90 that I've had for a few years.  B&H had refurbished models for $175.  The S110 and 120 don't add any features that I need.

I've enjoyed the image quality of the S90, but I'm hoping the S100 will have a shorter delay between button press and shutter release.  The longer zoom range will be nice too.

I love my 5D3, but sometimes a pocket camera is what you need.

EOS Bodies / Re: Thinking Out Loud: EOS 7D Mark II Thoughts
« on: December 17, 2013, 01:01:38 PM »
My 7D doesn't get much use anymore, because of the noise level.  I'd only be interested in a 7D2 if Canon makes a substanially lower noise 1.6 sensor and from what I've seen, they are not making much progress on that front.

My 70-300 IS isn't bad if you stop down to F8.  If you are just starting out in DSLR photography and haven't been spoiled by L lenses and primes, you could have some fun with it.  It's kind of big and impressive looking.  If you want to take pix of your kids and pets without investing a lot of money, it could be just the thing.  I could see taking it to a kid's soccer game.

I bought it several months ago when it was around $300 and I wanted a new toy to play with.

Unfortunately, I haven't found much of a use for it yet.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Ended: EOS Rebel SL1 w/18-55 IS STM $460
« on: December 15, 2013, 12:45:06 AM »
I like the concept of the SL1 better than I like the current crop of mirrorless interchangeable cameras.  I keep picking up a demo model at my local Costco when I walk past and looking through the viewfinder thinking it's a cool idea to make a DSLR this small. 

Then I remember that my T2i is only slightly larger (which makes it fit my hands better) and I have my S90 if I want a pocket camera.  Even at less than 500 bucks, I just can't find a reason to buy one.

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