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Messages - The Bad Duck

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Lenses / Re: 50 F1.4 durabilty question
« on: July 08, 2013, 06:33:07 AM »
I´ve dropped my 70-200 /4 L IS twice from about the same height onto the floor (wood). Not a scratch, perfect shape and perfect results. Dropped my brand new 35 /1.4 L onto tarmac, the af/mf switch took a hit and was loose, just hanging by the wires outside the lens. A small scratch by the mount on the pastics but the rear lens cover took most of the hit. I put the switch back right there in the field. Works perfect.
Then again, they are L lenses and have inner focusing. They should be able to handle some abuse.

Have not dropped my 50 /1.4, cant really say anything about that but my 50 1.8 only lasted a few weeks then broke in two pieces. I use my gear, and although I try to treat it well it doesn´t always work out that way...

If ya want to make an omelet you have to crack som lenses?

I seldom do exposures that long, but I do know that Canon still include a piece of rubber to cover the viewfinder. It´s on the camera strap.

Oh the good old days of light metering in the centre of the frame and in the bottom left corner (AE-1). I still think I´m spoiled when I use my 5D´s, or my old 30D for that matter.

Lenses / Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« on: July 04, 2013, 10:04:37 AM »
What is your planed usage for this lens?

I have the 50 /1.4 but not the 40 /2.8.

However when it comes to DoF, the 50 /1.4 is a (slightly) longer lens and two full stops faster, that does give quite a big difference. You would notice. The 40 has less distortion BUT the wider angle causes problems with tight portraits. I have no idea if this is how you want to use the lens, but it´s kind of a warning.

My 1.4 however is seldom used at f 1.4 - 2.0 because of
- lack of contrast (and sharpness)
- DoF is thin and hard to controll and get the sharpness where I want it
- For weddings DoF is too short for portraits of bride + groom. For a single person portrait, yes, its quite doable, but when they are both there, better step down to... 2.8. And then they play in the same league.

Since I cant comment on the 40, you´d better read some tests at photozone.de and/or the-digital-picture. Have a look at their test shoots to compare contrast and sharpness, they are very useful.

But a quick look sugests that there is not much of a difference in terms of sharpness when stopped down a bit.
And... the 40 is quite a bit cheaper.

Im sorry that I perhaps did not make it easier for you... but I would not use the 50 /1.4 @ 1.4 unless absolutely needed, to me it´s a f/2 lens. And as I said, I usually use it even further stopped down, so then they are about the same, but one is cheaper.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon 40D to 5D Classic. Good upgrade?
« on: June 28, 2013, 04:45:45 AM »
Going from 40D to 5Dc, is it a good upgrade? Well, for portraits @low iso then yes, it´s a great upgrade and a 5DIII would not do any better, not even for printing really big.  For landscapes, you need resolution if your landscape is very detailed and you want to print big and let the viewers come close.

What do you want to photograph?

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 28, 2013, 01:21:58 AM »
"Could you take a night exposure of distant, dim city lights, or else stars, (or even something inside your house) closed to f/3.5, and post side and top/bottom border crops at 100% sometime?  Place or frame, small light sources near the borders..."

I can give it a go. Luckily I moved south in Sweden so it does get dark at night even in the summer. Or well it gets rather dark, not pitch black. At least for two or three hours in the middle of the night... I´m not sure what to look for, so perhaps I´d just send som raw files instead of posting?

Oooo the greens.. I love the "spring greens" They are so full of life. So vibrant in their rather pale tone. Just as you say, high summer greens are more dull. Darker, not so alive. And it´s stressfull because I only have a few weeks to get all the spring images, then I have to wait for a whole year to get a new chance.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 27, 2013, 02:53:34 PM »
Agreed. The point of the first shot was only to show the distortion. The greens, well, perhaps. It´s a quick and dirty job and I should really return next spring with more than 5 minutes to stay... Or this fall perhaps? The location has greater potential than my photographic skills.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Samyang 14mm f2.8
« on: June 26, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »
It´s a fun lens. My copy is great. I use it quite a bit stopped down to get best results and a huge DoF. That way the focusing is less critical.

The distortion is rahter hefty and it can cause problems like in the first of my photos. In most cases it is not an issue for my usage.

Sure, if the Canon 14 L was only twice as expensive as the Samyang, I would probably get the Canon but right now there is absolutely no reason for me to invest in the L. I´m awaiting the rumored superultrawidezoom however, that will be interesting (and probably too expensive the first and second year).

Canon General / Re: How ready is your camera gear usually?
« on: June 24, 2013, 07:08:50 PM »
Camera and lenses would be ready in 1 minute but (ofc. spare batteries and cards always ready) but to actually get it all in the car would take another 1-2 minute. Then if lightstands, flashes and such gear is needed, another few minutes. So usually 5 minutes is needed. For getting coffee in the thermos and all clothes on for winter photography, add another 10 minutes.

Something tells me I will get the 50 /1.2 L next. I have cravings for that lens. Seriously though I should get the 85 /1.2 since I really like that focal length way more. But then again, the 85 /1.8 is a great lens and I don´t feel the need to upgrade.

So, the 24-70 would be nice if I was do to more weddings next year but honestly, two bodies and 35 /1.4 L + 85 /1.8 got me covered nicely most of the time. Or 17-40 L  + 70-200 /4 L IS.
The 70-200 /2.8 II L IS would be nice for weddings aswell, but the 120-300 /2,8 OS HSM surprised me with its portraiture qualities so I can´t justify the 70-200 II.

Ehm what else? Actually the 14 /2.8 may be the lens that adds most to my kit at the moment, but the Samyang 14 /2.8 I have is surprisingly good so..I´ not sure.

That leaves me with the rumored 14-24. That would probably be it. But it is not on the market so...

No lens for me :(

Canon General / Re: Desired fantasy gear
« on: May 20, 2013, 09:27:49 AM »
I would love a body with option of full frame and crop with the flick of a switch.
This fantasy stems from something I read in this forum earlier. Was it a Nikon camera?
I do not know Nikon gear at all so not sure.

But something like this would be great for me. Advantages of FF and crop in the same body! While we are at it, let the crop have even faster frame rate.

I believe the Nikon D800 has this. It effectively becomes a built in TC. I would love that too.

You could create an action in photoshop to autocrop your photos from the centre of the frame by 1.5 times and there you go. Problem solved.
However the "higher framerate"-function when less pixels are used is interesting (but not for me). I would like to go in another direction though - less noise! Use 25% of the pixels and reduse the noise by 50% or something by grouping the pixels together 2 by 2 or something, letting those 4 pixels simulate 1 larger pixel. THAT would be an interesting "crop" mode for me (although it would not be a crop mode since it would not crop, it would  be high sensitivity, low resulution mode). I have no need for faster framerates (however I understand that other photographers may need all the FPS they can get.)

22 mpix to use at low ISOs
11 mpix to use at high ISOs
6 mpix to use at superhigh ISO.

Canon General / Re: Desired fantasy gear
« on: May 20, 2013, 06:51:35 AM »
Self carrying camera bag.
Lightstands that do not blow over when windy.
Speedlights with the capacity (recharge time, capacity and power) of big studio strobes @ 1000WS.
Voice activated controll of speedlights and more groups (A, B, C... to K).
Jet pack for those unusual camera angles.
Weather controll to roll in those perfect clouds when the sky is just too boring.
Laughing gas kit - the lens can emit lauging gas to make the people at the wedding more relaxed and happy thus generating better pictures for the photographer. Or if the weddingshoot goes terribly wrong the photographer can use the gas for his or her own comfort.
Device to slow time. That would make it easier to get the shot when a lot is going on.

When it comes to camera bodies I´d like to have the eye controlled AF back. I´d also like to have the AF points spread out over more or less the whole frame. The 5D mkIII has a larger spread than the 5D mkII but I´d like even more.
I´d also like to set what points I can manually choose - when I use the "all cross type points" preset it takes forever to change AF point from one side of the frame to the other. Perhaps a portrait-mode AF that looks for eyes and put focus there. And a wedding mode that look for four eyes and give a large enough DoF to have them all sharp... From last wedding everything looked good on camera monitor but when I got back to my computer I saw that the groom was a bit OOF, but the bride was tack sharp. Not good and my own fault of course, but that wedding-mode would be cool.

Other than that.... Update the 50 mm /1.4. Give it better USM, better build, better sharpness wide open, better contrast.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: I've had a revelation
« on: May 10, 2013, 03:25:05 PM »
Agreed. Nothing beats the experiense of slides and projector. But then again for everything else, digital rocks.

Lenses / Re: Aperture and Light
« on: April 25, 2013, 09:50:39 AM »
The II-version has a lower T-value, measured by dxo.


Look at "transmission".

It can be that the glass is more transparent compared to previous version, or whatever other reason. I don´t know and frankly I don´t care about what causes the T value to be lower on the new version. However it is interesting to know the T-value of ones lenses when every bit of light counts, for instance when reaching for a lens at about 100mm I´d rather use my "in reality faster" 70-200 /4 L IS than my "quite a bit slower" 24-105 /4 L IS even though they have the same f/4 aperture.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Delayed
« on: April 21, 2013, 01:53:32 PM »
Warning - This whole post is off topic, ignore it if all you want is to read about the delay of the sigma 120-300.

Heh not your average kind of photography, agreed.
Actually I´m not that professional. It´s 10-20% of my income. And at the moment it covers my expenses but not much more.

I shoot everything related to swedish agriculture (tractors, yes. But also landscapes and animals. Hopefully portraits of farmers aswell. Have done som food photography aswell but that is not my primary niche.) My customers are
- Mashine companies who sell tractors, combines etc.
- Organizations like the Federation of Swedish Farmers, Focus on Nutrients to name a few.
- Advicing firms
- Magazines

The tractor images that sell are of modern models. And the tricky part is that the plough or wagon or harrow or whatever is pulled with the tractor needs to be of a brand that my costumer also sell. Some of my best photos are of course with the wrong combination, and unsellable.

I have really not made any advertising yet. When I do I will also try to make banks and ensurance companies interested in my photos, since farmers are great and reliable costumers for them. Then I think I will turn to authorities.

It´s not a big market - but easy to navigate and not too much competition. It´s also quite easy to sell photos since for instance John Deere tractors usually have the rocky mountains or some huge field in I don´t know.. montana or texas or something, and that is NOT what fields in Sweden look like. I simply give my clients more suitable photos.

So... all those guys who tell you to specialize are quite right, specialize like crazy and you buissnies will be easier to manage, your clients will be easier to find and they will more easily find you. Now enough of my friends know what I do, so the clients come to me. So in a year or two, with more work, I hope to go to 50% photography. The rest of the time I work as an advicer and agricultural engineer (Degree of Master of Science (one year) in technology from the Swedish University of Agriculture) with a focus on renewable energy and comunication. My vacation is spent on my parents farm. Working with... you guessed right, agriculture. So photographing and farming in practise and in therory...

That´s me. So basicly, my shooting style has to be fast and my gear needs to be robust. I need fast lenses because I can´t rely on tripods while climbing up and down tractors and combines. Im often running along the tractor I am photographing with a 14mm lens on my 5d mkII or III and the other body is laying in a ditch or in a tractor nearby. It´s dirty, dusty and loud. I had an insect running around inside the viewfinder of my 5d mkII last autumn. Litteraly, it was inside my camera. Then I think it died because it was in my bottom left corner of the viewfinder. Could not see it when I removed the lens, not when I removed the focus screen.... and now it´s gone and since the camera is working, I really don´t mind. Was a bit of a surprise though, seeing the little fellow running around in there.

So the 120-300 is fast and long. I can stay on the edge of a field and compress lines from wheeltracks or whatever to get leading lines to the tractor. It´s also great for shooting cows and sheep; while they are not wild, they behave diffently if you get close. So a photo of a cow shot with a 300 /2.8 is very different from a photo taken with 35/1.4 since the cow would be curious if you get too close, changing her body language. And they might bump you hard if you get too close. But then again, as I said before, I have not sold any photo made with the 120-300 yet and it will take a year or two before I know if it was a good investment, but I have a feeling it is.

Oh, that´s a long reply and way of topic for this thread. I´m sorry fot that. But you asked :)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Delayed
« on: April 19, 2013, 09:55:31 AM »
Well, I haven´t sold any photos shot with the new lens yet. I have no doubt that I will though, but most pictures that I sell are being shot with the 24-105 L IS. Then some with 70-200 /4, some with 17-40 /L. But the exotic focal lenghts like 14 /2.8 and 300 /2.8 give those photos that stand out, even though they don´t always sell, but they might keep the viewer interested. And the competition may not use those lenses. I think it´s good to have them. I will know in a year or two if it was the ritght choise or not. And if it was a mistake, I don´t mind, it´s a fun lens to use.

I haven´t tried the lens with a 2x extender as I don´t own one. I will soon though, I just have to haggle the prices of a lenscoat and an extender... and perhaps a new tripod head... down a bit. Hehe great fun to haggle :)

Well, the energy situation in the world is problematic. We could save a LOT of energy by using better technology and be a bit smarter in our choises. For instance, the whole direct energy use in swedish farming could be saved from applying current technology and controlling the lighting of the swedish companies, so households not included, but the rest.
Of course, thats electricity and you are talking about fuel. In Sweden there are projects to make ethanol from forrestry bi-products, and that is cool. Biogas is aslo cool but there is a huge problem to be solved with the quality of the residues so that it´s safe to use (once again) as fertilizer. If we could solve that and build a nice infrastructure, a lot of fuel could be produced from garbage. I totaly agree that food should be fuel for humans and animals, not mashines.

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